Finances Political Commentary

The old classic, lying with statistics

Replied to Exaggerating China’s military spending, St. Louis Fed breaks all statistical rules with misleading graph (

The Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis published a jaw-droppingly misleading graph that portrays China as spending more on its military than the US. In reality, the Pentagon’s budget is roughly three times larger.

In an accompanying report, the St. Louis Fed admitted that China’s 2021 defense spending was just 1.7% of GDP, “which was the lowest share among the six nations in the figure”.

Yay! I love Actual Propaganda! With a good ol dose of racist fearmongering 🙃

My Biostatistics teacher in college devoted our entire first lecture to discussing ways you could lie with data, so we would be better able to recognize it — and hopefully, not do it.

If we acknowledged how much we waste on bloated military spending, we would have to come to grips with our spending priorities. We would have to acknowledge what we don’t buy with that money. Some of that money could help stop children from going hungry, or keep diabetic people (who aren’t on Medicaid) from dying for lack of affordable medicine 🤷‍♀️ (To name some real problems in the US that shouldn’t be controversial yet somehow are.)

A much more accurate graphic created by the Peter G. Peterson Foundation shows how, as of 2022, the United States spent more on its military than the next nine largest spenders combined – including China, India, the UK, Russia, France, Germany, Saudi Arabia, Japan, and South Korea (and several of these countries are close US allies).

Some of what our $$$$$$$ military spending buys is impressive: a rapid response force that can be wheels up in under 18 hours (the logistics of that alone are mind-blowing), a sophisticated anti-tank weapon that still beats out everything anyone else has and is making a huge impact in Ukraine, and development of GPS.

Preserving self-governance in Ukraine A+++++++ But mayyyyybe we could spare some of the $850 billion we’re spending on the military this year to care directly for people?


TIL you can get “tea drunk”

Bookmarked What to Know About Getting Tea Drunk by Devan CiccarelliDevan Ciccarelli (

In China, being “tea drunk” is known as cha zui. This Chinese translation means someone who’s moved into an altered state of being after drinking tea. Similar to alcohol, this shift can change how you feel physically, mentally, and emotionally.

Thanks to specific compounds found in tea leaves from the Camellia Sinensis plant, tea drinking may lead to a type of euphoric, calm, yet alert feeling.

I wonder if this is why I don’t like the fancily machine steeped tea at the tea shop downtown, which I would describe as “intense” and I can never finish a pot 🤷‍♀️


Watched Genghis Khan and the Rise of the Mongols

Watched Genghis Khan and the Rise of the Mongols from

Look deeply into the life of Temujin, who became the fearsome Genghis Khan. Investigate the steppe culture of the Northern tribal warriors who would conquer China and their nomadic lifestyle of herding and raiding. Trace Temujin’s phenomenal rise to power as he gathered massive legions of tribal followers, founding the Mongol Empire. Explore social and political life among the Mongols.

Another Great Course through the library. Interesting to learn Genghis Khan’s origins and cycles of expansion. I didn’t like the presenter’s attitude about the Mongols, which felt disrespectful and othering — heavy and frequent use of wording like “nothing resembling civilization” and a dismissive description of a culturally important garment that doesn’t align with western beauty standards. Nomadic and oral cultures are also civilizations even though they are quite different from ours. Hell, the ancient Greeks were an oral culture, the damn Odyssey is the written form of an orated poem, and we speak about them as the pinnacle of civilization.

Art and Design History

Interpreting the Beijing Qingming Scroll

Bookmarked Song Scroll (

Painted during the Song dynasty by the artist Zhang Zeduan, this scroll is believed to be the earliest extant version of the famous Qingming shanghe tu 清明上河圖 Most scholars now accept this as the earliest extant version of the scroll … and date it to the twelfth century.

Cool way to add context and more information to a (literally long thus difficult to view on screens) historical document, to understand a) what’s going on and b) what’s important to notice, what’s important for the time period, what to learn from it.


Watched The SexyCyborg Origin Story

Watched Why Do I Look Like…This? The SexyCyborg Origin Story by Naomi ‘SexyCyborg’ Wu from

Every supervillain has a backstory- here’s mine.

I discuss my implants in more detail here:

Understanding Toms, Dees, and Lesbians in Thailand –
Everything That You Always Wanted to Know About It

Toms: The Complex World of Female Love in Thailand

Queer Women in Urban China. (2013). doi:10.4324/9780203085561

For Gay Chinese, Getting Married Means Getting Creative


Read The Devil Comes Courting

Read The Devil Comes Courting (The Worth Saga #3) by Courtney Milan

Captain Grayson Hunter knows the battle to complete the first worldwide telegraphic network will be fierce, and he intends to win it by any means necessary. When he hears about a reclusive genius who has figured out how to slash the cost of telegraphic transmissions, he vows to do whatever it takes to get the man in his employ.

Except the reclusive genius is not a man, and she’s not looking for employment.

Non-traditional and amazing. So much emotional richness to this story – lots of growing and revelations from both characters. I love love loved seeing Amelia grow into her confidence after escaping from an emotionally abusive living situation. Devoured it in one go.