Dafydd: Flipper the Duck

Patterico has noticed an astonishing claim by Howard Dean — no, I mean astonishing even on the Dean Scale — a few days ago (I can’t find the exact date).
Here comes Mr. Chairman:

The president and his right-wing Supreme Court think it is “okay” to have the government take your house if they feel like putting a hotel where your house is.

Let us all ponder this audacious argument. My old dictionary defines “chutzpah” as Lizzie Borden pleading for mercy from the judge on grounds that she’s an orphan. But next year’s edition will eschew written examples in favor of a photo of Chairman Dean.
What Dean has done, of course, is simply to flip the political identity of the justices on the Court; in Dean’s world, it was the “right-wing” caucus on the Court — Stevens, Breyer, Ginsburg, Souter, and Kennedy — that ruled in favor of the city of New London, CT, in the Kelo case; while the “left-wingers” (Scalia, Thomas, Rehnquist, and O’Connor) desperately tried to stick up for the little guy. It’s Howard Dean through the looking glass!
Patterico has also noticed the thundering sound of a million crickets chirping in the MSM auditorium; or as Paul Simon (the successful singer, not the lefty senator) wrote, the “sounds of silence.” It’s hard to imagine so many quiet noises if it had been Bill Frist or Tom DeLay who casually flipped left and right; Dana Milbank in particular would have gotten at least four op-eds out of it.
In honor of Howard “Flipper” Dean, herewith, offered for your approval:
They call him Flipper, Flipper, quick to the cameras,
No-one you’ve seen, spins faster than Dean,
And we know Flipper, lives in a media bubble,
Truth lies in rubble, watch Howard preen!
MSM loves the king of the twist,
Tripe that he shoves they cannot resist,
Tricks he will do when cameras appear,
Sneer, smirk, slither, and smear!
He’s a hot tipper, Flipper, makes the news fright’ning,
Giddy they seem with “I Have a Scream,”
They know their Flipper feeds them the soundbites to plotz for,
Cheap dirty shots whore, he’s on their team!

Dafydd: Word War III

All right, I confess: being a math geek, I actually love polls to death.
I love nearly everything about them… especially the game of taking some tendentious poll and trying to tease out what’s really going on beneath all the thud & blunder. And boy, did I run across a doozy yesterday!
How’s this for a headline?
Poll: Americans Say World War III Likely
by Will Lester
Jul 23, 2005, 4:01 PM (ET)

WASHINGTON (AP) – Americans are far more likely than the Japanese to expect another world war in their lifetime, according to AP-Kyodo polling 60 years after World War II ended. Most people in both countries believe the first use of a nuclear weapon is never justified.

What caught my eye like a free-swinging fish hook [eeew] was the comparison between Japanese and Americans. Why such a huge difference?

Six in 10 Americans said they think such a war is likely, while only one-third of the Japanese said so, according to polling done in both countries for The Associated Press and Kyodo, the Japanese news service.

According to my wife Sachi, who is Japanese, there is a lot less political variation among Japanese than among Americans. There are Japanese Communists, of course; a lot more than here. And there are true “right-wingers” who still yearn for the emperor to seize control and turn Japan back into an imperial-military dictatorship.
But both of those extremes added together are still a very tiny percent of the population, not likely to show up in a typical poll of 1,000 respondents. Outside that fringe, Japanese political opinion is much flatter than in America.
So my suspicion — in the absence of any real data in the AP article about the actual poll results — is that the Japanese response of 33% was likely across the board, whether the Japanese places himself to the left or the right of the political centerline (mathematically, I predict a very low standard deviation).
But let’s turn to the American side. How on earth do we get 60% of Americans convinced that World War III is just around the corner?
The rest of this post is numbers, numbers, numbers… so if you took your Sociology or English Lit degree precisely to avoid those squirmy little figures, don’t continue reading this post!

Continue reading “Dafydd: Word War III”

It’s An Extremely Claustrophobic World

If you missed Hugh Hewitt’s show last night, you missed one of the funniest and strangely compelling endings to a radio broadcast ever. Hugh broadcast his show from Disneyland yesterday as the granddaddy of theme parks celebrates its 50th anniversary this month. Despite being the best political talk show on radio, Hugh likes to spice it up occasionally by switching to fun locales and covering cultural topics — and when he does, you can expect him to come up with a way to torture his producer, Generalissimo Duane, in some novel and hilarious way … hilarious to us, of course.
This time, Hugh came up with the fabulous idea of sending Duane through the slow-boat ride, It’s A Small World. Those of us who have been to Disneyland on multiple occasions — I grew up in nearby Cerritos and literally lived next door to it for two periods of my adult life — know that Small World is only good for two purposes once you’re past 8 years of age: putting the smaller kids to sleep at the end of the day, and giving your tired feet a rest.
Neither of these purposes require fifty consecutive trips through the ride, listening to the oh-so-catchy theme song until you’re driven crazy by its unbearable cheeriness. However, Duane details on Radioblogger exactly that mission, and how Hugh sadistically finished off what was left of his sanity in the show’s final moments. The First Mate and I laughed so hard at Duane’s desperation that tears were streaming down our cheeks. (Sorry, Duane, but it was brilliant radio.) He also has pictures, but surprisingly omits the ones where he strangles Hugh in his sleep. Be sure to read the entire post.

A Good Laugh Now And Then

I don’t spend a lot of time on entertainment sites when surfing the Internet except for IMDB when researching data on movies. I prefer to spend my time reading and writing about weightier topics, which gives me plenty of entertainment all on its own. However, my son and his friends have a favorite website called Homestar Runner, which really has so much fun packed into one spot that I could spend all day there.
The site has a complex series of running cartoon characters, none of which I really understand (I think that one has to have a Star Trek-like devotion to it to really understand it all), but my favorite is StrongBad. If you want a taste of the silly, satirical, and devastating humor, try going to Strongbad’s e-mail page. This one in particular skewers radio and is so funny that I had tears rolling down my cheeks. Make sure your sound is turned up. And when Strongbad talks about college radio, just try telling me that it doesn’t sound like Al Franken on Air America.
I will be checking my son’s college grades very closely now to make sure this site doesn’t eat up his “research” time. I’ll get to that, um, right after Strongbad’s next e-mail …

Scandal! Captain Ed’s Past Comes Back To Haunt Him

I just KNEW that my higher profile would result in embarassing revelations about my past. Now I have heard that my (former) blog associate Peter Cook at Slublog has unearthed photographic evidence of a shameful period in my life.
The worst part of this, of course, is that Hugh Hewitt is the studliest-looking guy in the entire group …
UPDATE: Okay, it’s established that I have the “coolest hat”, and that I gave lousy directions to the baseball bat-bearing thugs. Keep checking the windows, Peter …

To Be Or Not, Homey

Andrew Lloyd Webber, the creator of a string of hit musicals that have delighted audiences around the globe, reportedly wants to sell his four West End theaters, and one of the people interested in buying them is American Sean “Puffy” Combs. Rumor has it that Combs wants to convert the theaters into hip-hop nightclubs. However, in the best traditions of British satire, Alexis Petridis writes a howler of a parody about what P. Diddy might do with the jewels of West End theater in The Guardian:

The season, entitled We Invented the Theatre, contains what Combs describes as “classic drama, adapted by one of the all-time great hip-hop lyricists, producers and performers – I mention no names – to reflect the hustle and the game in 2005. We got ‘Tis Pity She’s a Ho. We got Hamlet, but we kind of moved the action from Denmark to NYC, and shifted the lead character slightly so he now one of the all-time great hip-hop lyricists, producers and performers, looking to avenge the death of his vastly overweight former crack-dealer protege. He don’t stab no one in the arras, he record a hip-hop cover of a Sting song in tribute instead.” …
Perhaps the most ambitious of Combs’s projects sees his former paramour Jennifer Lopez taking the lead role in Berthold Brecht’s Mother Courage and Her Children. … [“Y]ou know, it all depends on how you want your Verfremdungseffekt served up. Me, I want it served up by a honey with a phat-ass donk, and I expect my man Michael Billington will agree.”

What’s funnier is that initially I missed the disclaimer at the top, and it wasn’t until the Verfremdungseffekt reference that I realized the whole thing was a put-on. The Brits can get very snooty, but they also know how to skewer someone with panache. Read the whole thing.

Lends Women What?

The Washington Post should hire better headline writers. On an article detailing a visit by California’s governator to a conference on women and families, which he sponsored, the Post titled the article thusly:

Schwarzenegger Lends Women His Muscle

I’m sorry, but given the treatment Schwarzenegger got from the press during the last weekend of his recall election, that headline conjured up something completely different than what the article delivered. Instead, William Booth writes dishy, somewhat gossipy coverage of a routine political event, one in which Arnold’s friend and co-star enthusiastically supported his outlook on women’s issues:

All those accusations of unwelcome gropes in hostile work environments? A distant memory of a recent unpleasantness, it seems. Because when the actress Jamie Lee Curtis introduced California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger at his Conference on Women and Families here on Tuesday, the audience of 10,000 — about 9,995 of them female — gave the Republican action hero a standing ovation.
“Welcome to the estrogen festival!” announced Curtis, who described her co-star in 1994’s “True Lies” as a caring, compassionate gal pal who gets it. “He is,” Curtis sighed, “the ultimate girlie man.”
When a top button on Curtis’s silk blouse came undone onstage, the governor looked down and said, “I didn’t see anything.”

Maybe he is a girlie man …

Redneck Counterculture

Iowa Hawk has posted a hilarious paroday how blue state teenagers are rebelling against their parents by adopting a red state lifestyle. Here’s a taste:

“I’m not sure where we went wrong,” says Ellen McCormack, nervously fondling the recycled paper cup holding her organic Kona soy latte. “It seems like only yesterday Rain was a carefree little boy at the Montessori school, playing non-competitive musical chairs with the other children and his care facilitators.”
“But now…” she pauses, staring out the window of her postmodern Palo Alto home. The words are hesitant, measured, bearing a tale of family heartbreak almost too painful for her to recount. “But now, Rain insists that I call him Bobby Ray.”
Even as her voice is choked with emotion, she summons an inner courage — a mother’s courage — and leads me down the hall to “Bobby Ray’s” bedroom, for a firsthand glimpse at the psychic devastation that claimed her son.
She opens the door to a reveal a riot of George Jones CDs, reflective ‘mudflap mama’ stickers, empty foil packs of Red Man, and U.S. Marine recruiting posters. In the middle of the room: a makeshift table made from a utility cable spool, bearing a the remains of a gutted catfish.
“This used to be all Ikea,” she says, rocking on heels between heaved sobs. “It’s too late for us. Maybe it’s not to late for me to warn others.”

Iowa Hawk seems to be an equal opportunity humorist, laughing at the quirks of the rednecks and granola-eaters at the same time. Any blogger who can include “Foucault” and The General Lee in the same post is worth checking out!
Hat Tip: The Corner.