Wednesday, October 30, 2002

The National Organization for Man-Hating Marxist Lesbians Women are in a snit because there are too many good looking women on TV. No, I'm not making that up. Some other bits of unintentional hilarity in their report:
  1. The Jennifer Aniston Rule. The majority of women in the U.S. are young, thin, white and fall within a narrow standard of "beauty." FALSE. Really? Wow, am I glad NOW clued me in on that. I went to the senior center to cruise for chicks, and they all looked like Bea Arthur. I thought God was playing a cruel joke on me.
  2. Opposites attract. Attractive women often couple with less attractive "average Joe" men and older men, placing value on personality over appearance. MOSTLY FALSE. Gee, and I thought my bald spot would attract all those Jennifer Anniston lookalikes too. Someone should clue NOW in--we overweight balding guys already know this, and we know that the only way we'll date supermodels is if we earn the equivalent of the GDP of Ecuador.
  3. The WWE Smackdown! (UPN) web page lists 35 male "superstars" and only 6 females. That's only because they haven't signed up Janet Reno yet.
  4. FOX's America's Most Wanted: "Clips before[the] show and in between cases focus onthe victims who are young and attractive and frightened. Emphasis on their beautyand fear seems geared toward attracting male viewers . . . Excuse for program is to identify most wanted criminals--but selection of content is questionable." Imagine that--crime victims being frightened. The next thing you know, they'll talk about how apprehending crooks is too violent.
  5. FOX's Cops features violent arrests, often involving men and women of color and lower-income people. Oops, never mind.
  6. Field analysts commented on the low level of maturity in primetime TV and its overall lack of interest in social issues. I think this became commonly accepted wisdom by the second episode of My Mother the Car. Nonetheless, let's applaud NOW for getting to the bottom of this deep conspiracy that the networks have engaged in for the past 45 years or so.
I have to hand it to NOW. For an organization that has absolutely no sense of humor whatsoever, they do an admirable job of putting out some really hilarious material.

Tuesday, October 29, 2002

Bjorn Staerk has a good post about anti-Americanism in Scandinavia. The part that most intrigued me was this part:
The best way for a foreign artist to get good press in Norway is still the magic word Norgesvenn, "friend of Norway". (Anything is forgiven of a Norgesvenn, even failing careers, and becoming one can actually be a good retirement plan.)
Which explains what happened to all the guest stars on The Love Boat.
Last weekend my sister came up to visit with some friends of hers from college, then she came over to the house to visit. Over dinner, she mentioned that all her friends from college are idiotarians. She didn't use that exact word(she doesn't read any blogs but this one), but from what she related of the conversation, it was pretty obvious. They mentioned Kyoto to her, about how Bush is "stupid", etc. Pick a style of tinfoil hat, and they're probably wearing it. Anyway, because she doesn't read blogs outside of this one, doesn't surf the net much, and gets her news primarily from the Howell Raines Gazette,the Scare Quotes Sentinel, the Clinton News Network, PMSNBC and other birdcage liners mainstream news sources. As soon as I get an e-mail from her with the questions, I am going to do a multi-part series, answering one or two questions a day. Anyway, it should make good reading, and I welcome any and all participation in it.
From Cato Mark Steyn hits another one out of the ballpark:
You get the picture: Sure, Muslim fundamentalists can be pretty extreme, but what about all our Christian fundamentalists? Unfortunately, for the old moral equivalence to hold up, the Christians really need to get off their fundamentalist butts and start killing more people. At the moment, the brilliantly versatile Muslim fundamentalists are gunning down Maryland schoolkids and bus drivers, hijacking Moscow musicals, self-detonating in Israeli pizza parlours, blowing up French oil tankers in Yemen, and slaughtering nightclubbers in Bali, while Christian fundamentalists are, er, sounding extremely strident in their calls for the return of prayer in school.

Monday, October 28, 2002

Watching Donahue, So You Don't Have To I'm doing this on a full stomach, so I'm taking a chance here. This is going to be a stream-of-consciousness thing, so if the post appears disjointed, that's why. Michael Moore is now comparing the executives of K-Mart with Nazis. He's also drawn a connection between Lockheed and Columbine. Michael Moore just claimed that all the countries with less murders than the US is because they don't have the death penalty. Of course, the fact that Japan has a death penalty he completely forgot, and the fact that Britain had far less crime when they had the death penalty, and the crime rates of all the countries(with the possible exception of Japan) is increasing. Now Donahue has put up this lovely clip of Moore drawing a connection between Kosovo and Columbine. Of course, it is obvious that stopping a tyrant in the Balkans would cause two crackpots to shoot up a high school. Mikey is saying that increasing the minimum wage will reduce the murder rate. That makes perfect sense, if you are tripping on bad acid. Now Michael is going to miracle himself full employment with a $10.00 an hour minimum wage. Of course, that also makes perfect sense, if the only economics course you've taken is home economics. OK, my stomachs rumbling a bit, and I'm feeling woozy. I can make the last 15 minutes, I can make the last 15 minutes. It's nice how Donahue has stacked the audience with a whole gang who all think Michael Moore is such a great guy. I'd like to see Donahue pack the audience with folks like Misha, Rachel, Cato, Glenn, and myself. Maybe have someone bring up the fact that he makes up such gems as the NRA/KKK link. Now Mikey is saying that Bush is declaring war on Iraq to distract from the economy. Mike's saying that Canada is the paragon of virtue. We should sign kyoto, the land mine treaty, etc, etc. OK, this mikey more love fest is making me ill, and I just can't watch any more.

Sunday, October 27, 2002

Yet Another Sign of the Apocolypse The Howell Raines Gazette has endorsed George Pataki.
A side note to the previous post: If you have learned about poker from watching the movies, don't send me any comments about Royal Flushes and beating four of a kind with a straight flush or a royal. The only movie I have ever seen which accurately portrays the game is the movie Rounders. Every other movie about poker sucks in portraying the actual game. You learn as much about poker watching your generic poker movie as you would learn about auto mechanics by watching an episode of Speed Racer. Yes, they are all that bad. Update: Everything they say is good, except for the casino that the Matt Damon character says everyone plays at. You want to play poker at Atlantic City, play at the Tropicana or the Trump Taj Mahal. If you live in New York or Boston, play at Foxwoods or Mohegan Sun instead. It's closer, and they both spread more games.
We've got the nuts at the UN I haven't mentioned it here before, but I am an avid poker player(I'm not a great player, but I love the game). Usually I will play either 7 card stud(2 down then 5 up then 1 down at the end) or I will play a game called Texas Hold 'em, where each player is dealt two cards individually, and then five community cards are dealt(two individual cards, then 3 community cards(the flop), then one more community card(the turn) and finally the last card(the river). You make the best hand using the cards you hold plus the cards on the board. There are other games, Hi-Low games and such, but they are beyond the scope of this post. In Texas Hold'em there is a term known as having the nuts, or having the nut straight, or nut flush(Ace high), etc. In the parlance of the game, that is the absolute strongest hand that can be made using the five cards on the table. Having the nuts is a very good thing. It means you can afford to slowplay a hand(pretend you have a much weaker hand than you do) and it means that you can be 100% confident that you will scoop the pot at the end of the hand. Also, in poker, there are a number of strategems you can use to get the pot. First there is the obvious way, having the strongest hand at the table. The second way is to bluff. You bet and raise, with the idea towards making other players think you have a stronger hand than you actually do. One thing about bluffs, is often the player engaging in the bluff projects a rather aggressive stance. He'll stare you down, act intimidating, and generally try to make himself look strong. Bluffing is rarely done in a casual manner. There is also a form of reverse bluff. Instead of bluffing to project strength, you bluff to project weakness. For example, I was playing in a 7 card stud game, and with the fifth card, I made a full house, queens full of deuces(3 queens, 2 deuces). This is a very strong hand, and I didn't want anyone to drop by my betting. So, instead of jumping out with a bet/raise right a way, I let out a loud moan when the deuce paired. The other players happily bet and raised, because they believed that I had crap, but I took the pot(and a big pot it was). There are different kinds of poker players. Rocks, very tight, passive players, never play anything unless it is the absolute best hand, and will throw away just about everything else. Maniacs bet and raise with any two cards. Calling Stations do just that. Every hand, they call. They rarely raise, and they rarely fold. They basically just tag along for the ride. Sometimes you lose to a calling station, but mainly they just donate money to the pot. One thing I've noticed is how much diplomacy is like poker, and the goings on in regard to Iraq can be put into poker terms pretty well. Iraq is the prototypical inebriated maniac player. Saddam is holding a lousy hand(a ten and a deuce before the flop), but he is betting and raising like mad. He thinks that by raising any bet, acting bellicose, and staring real hard at the other players, they'll fold. Its worked for him pretty well in the past ten years, so he thinks it will work again now. Of course he is bluffing, but he thinks his bluffing will work forever. However, all he is doing is digging himself a deeper hole. France and Russia are each holding a pair of Kings(the UN Veto). Both have a big stake in the pot from previous rounds of betting, and now are engaging in one last raise on the hope that the US and Iraq will drop their hands, and and France and Russia can share the pot. The problem is that Saddam has had his fifth shot of Jack Daniels in the last hour, and really thinks he can win with his pair of deuces, so he will raise until he is out of money. China held a pair of nines at the initial deal, and Jiang Zemin decided that he didn't want to waste money on such an obvious loser, and threw away his hand, instead waiting for the pair of pocket Aces which he will get--someday. The rest of the UNSC got their two cards, and called, like they do just about every time they get dealt a hand(or asked to vote on a resolution) Finally, there is the US, with his friend Britain watching from the rail. The US holds the nut flush(a congressional resolution), and has held it right from the flop. Bush isn't going to project too much strength. In fact, it is to his advantage to project weakness. Witness all the talk about how Iraq might be able to avoid being invaded if they comply, etc. Bush wants Saddam to raise the bet again(deny his WMD program exists). He wants Saddam to raise, and raise, and raise. Bush wants this, because no matter what, Bush is holding the nut flush and cannot lose. Saddam's bluff is DOA, but Saddam is convinced somehow that it will work. France and Russia are hoping against hope that Bush will drop his hand, but even they realize that is a losing proposition, so their attempt will ultimately fail, and if they don't drop their hand soon, they could lose a lot more than what they have already bet(Lukoil and ELF Fina). But they are trying to do something to stop him, but eventually they'll drop, because while losing the oil concessions is bad, losing their Security Council vote is worse. Saddam, however, because he is drunk(Jack Daniels, dictatorial power, same thing), is going to raise. Bush is going to raise him back, and Saddam will raise again, and eventually, all of Saddam's money(power) is going to wind up in Bush's hands, and Saddam will lose his entire bankroll(or get hung from the nearest lamppost). So when you hear about the gnashing of teeth about how the UN is dragging their feet, remember something. Bush could end this charade any time he wants by launching military action. The reason he's not isn't because he can't, but because it is in our best interests for him not to. He is playing Saddam, and the Russians, and the French, and at the end, the result is going to be the same it would have been before. There are only two possible outcomes: The UNSC approves our action, and we invade Iraq(and win the pot) or the UNSC vetoes our resolution, and we invade Iraq(and the UNSC becomes irrelevant in the process). Either way, Saddam falls, and the FrancoRussian oil concessions are dead. Update: In response to Cato's post, I think I need to clarify/change the situation France and Russia are in. France and Russia are now engaging in what is known in the poker world as a crying call. The crying call is a bet that is called when you have every expectation of losing. You are calling the bet not to win, but on the notion that you probably won't win, but you need to see the cards anyway. The problem, in France and Russia's case, is that they are between Iraq and the US. So the more they try to defend the oil interests, the more likely it is that the United States will consider the UN irrelevant, and that cost is more than I think either country is willing to bear.