absence of evidence isn’t evidence of absence

Some, today, point to the recent article on factcheck.org, entitled, “Bush A Military Deserter? Calm Down, Michael”. The relevant quote:

The fact is Bush was honorably discharged without ever being officially accused of desertion or being away without official leave.

So now we’re falling down a rabbit hole of sophistry and semantics. This is what you might call a non-denial denial. I can make them too:

The fact is, Capone died at home in Florida without ever being convicted of murder, bootlegging, extortion or racketeering.

capone mugshot

What’s the story on this factcheck.org site? Looks above-board, but CRAZY nit-picky to me. For instance, here’s how they “debunk” a claim by Gephardt, “George Bush has lost more jobs than any president since Herbert Hoover.”

They say:

It now seems likely that Bush will end his term with the economy employing fewer payroll workers than when he took office, according to most projections by private economists. If that happens, Bush’s critics will be able to say correctly that he’s the first since Hoover to have ended an entire term with a net job loss. But it’s premature to say that now. Even Reagans bigger job loss was erased less than two years after growth resumed. And several private economists are projecting job gains in the next 12 months that would leave Bush with a net gain in jobs.

This from a website that’s supposed to be clearing things up for us. Thanks, FactCheck!

daylight hours are best

There is a probability greater than zero that my father will appear, in his kayak, in this live webcam picture.

lifting the level of political debate

Doesn’t John Kerry look like ________? Eric Zorn thinks so.

smackdown tonight amazes

Tonight, thrill to the excitement of:

  • An amazing size, style, and suckiness curtain-jerking mismatch: Rey Mysterio vs. Chuck Palumbo
  • The one good match on the show, in the two-spot: Tajiri vs. Kidman
  • An amazing size, style, and suckiness mismatch: Shannon Moore vs. A-Train
  • The first crummy handicap match of the night: Chris Benoit & John Cena vs. Rhyno & Matt Morgan & Brock Lesnar & Big Show (Suggested chant: “WHO’S MATT MORGAN?”)
  • The second crummy handicap match of the night: Bradshaw vs. Akio & Sakoda
  • Your “one of these things is not like the others” main event: Chavo Guerrero Jr. & Chavo Guerrero Sr. vs. Eddie Guerrero & Kurt Angle

Tune in or do something productive with your life!

oldest working computer

The Register offers a light piece about the oldest microcomputers still in use. I love the idea of some guy buying a VAX for personal use in 1987.

shattered remains of old

I also love the idea of someone scavenging a bunch of old Commodore 64 units just to tear out the old SID synthesizer chip, then building a new device to hook three or four of them up to modern equipment. Check out a near-pornographic photo of one of these boxes. I can understand nostalgia for the kind of sounds old vacuum tubes or analog synths produce, but old digital synth chips from consumer-grade hardware? Wow. Not that I didn’t love listening to my C-64 playing “The Entertainer” back in the day.

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