Last night I started reading Hank Paulson’s book, Dealing With China. I’m still in the Introduction, and distracted by the howlers.

For example, Mr. Paulson to the contrary, China is not the largest holder of US debt — the US is. There’s slightly over $18 trillion of US debt. Foreign holders have only $6 trillion of that, or about one-third. The other two-thirds Americans owe to each other. Even among foreign holders, Japan is the largest holder, although that just happened in February of this year, and given long lead times for books Mr. Paulson may be forgiven for that specific oversight.

He also claims the US relationship with China is “our most important bilateral relationship.” Given who our largest trading partner is, and that we share a 5500 mile peaceful border with them, I’m fairly sure our most important bilateral relationship is with Canada, not China. Especially on a military basis — the fact our border hardly needs protecting because we’re so secure with Canada as a neighbor gives us a huge advantage over states not so fortunate.

And while it’s not a howler as such… In over 100 visits, Mr. Paulson says he’s learned no Chinese. Even I recognize 中国, and 你好. No intellectual curiosity at all, eh, Hank?


My wife and I were eating in our local taquería. They had the television tuned to Univision, as they usually do.

I saw a commercial for Microsoft Windows. From Microsoft, en Español.

Which was very strange to me, because when I was most familiar with Microsoft’s internal structure, I knew they had no Spanish-language product support.

According to this phone list at their web site, they still don’t. Moreover, Microsoft’s Spanish-language website isn’t based in the Western Hemisphere, but in Spain.

It continues to confound me how Microsoft can show such contempt to a large segment of the US market — one they’re advertising to, no less.