Geography Lesson

Palin: “it’s very important when you consider even national security issues with Russia as Putin rears his head and comes into the airspace of the United States of America, where, where do they go? It’s Alaska. It’s just right over the border.”

“Rears his head”. How diplomatic.

Of course, there is indeed an unimportant remote part of Russia quite near an unimportant remote part of Alaska. But if Putin were to actually visit Washington DC or the UN in New York, he would pass near or over Iceland and then enter US airspace in New England, no doubt rearing his head menacingly all the while.

ref: Mathematics in Civilization, Resnikoff & wells 1984, p. 160.

Update: In the comments, Steven Mosher argues that I am missing the point that Palin was feebly trying to make. He seems to have a point. Apparently there was a coherent point that someone had taught her that she simply messed up on explaining. Chris Weigant at Huffington Post has a similar view. Weigant also agrees with Dano’s comment that it’s unlikely that Palin can be sufficiently coached by Thursday to make a good showing at her debate. I suppose this will be a well-watched VP debate by historical standards, and I suppose the format has been chosen to hide her, um, weaknesses.

I also have long had the impression that Biden isn’t the sharpest knife in the drawer either. On the other hand, his spin session on MSNBC after the first debate was compelling enough. So we’ll see.