June 19th, 2003

flavored with age

El balanceo de ojo mas grande

I have some opinions on the whole Cuban exile/anti-Castro movement, but I'm not going to get into them, because they tend to get me yelled at. However, I do want to point out something about this.

Please note the following excerpt:

Eventually, a man posing as a Chavez aide asked Castro: "Do you agree with the shit on the island, murderer?" and added, "You fell for it ... the whole of Miami is listening to you, Fidel Castro."

"What did I fall for, you shit," the irate Cuban leader answered, adding further crude expletives, including references to the anatomy of the host's mother.

"He used very obscene words the president of a country should never use," said the radio host Joe Ferrero said later.

So, to summarize: they call the head of state of a sovereign nation on the phone and lie to him. They call him shit. They call him a murderer. And who's the bad guy? It's CASTRO, because he used language unbecoming of the president of a country in response to this moronic provocation.

I really love this story, because it combines the low-grade, junior-high sense of humor of the typical drive-time DJ with the overblown hatred of Castro and transparent sense of entitlement of the Cuban exile community in general. Thanks, the news!
flavored with age

Now playing at the Encino TittyPlex: The 007 Festival

Occasionally, I get an e-mail from the Encino TittyPlex, one of America's finest pornographic theatres, about special events they're having. I was out there last year for their Classics of Pornographic Cinema series (featuring such timeless greats of adult film as The 400 Blowjobs, The Wadfather Part II, The Cuntformist, 8 1/2 Inches, and Last Year in Marian's Bed), and it was a great time.

Apparently, they're doing a James Bond retrospective this year, showing all the 007 movies all the way through. The lineup is Dr. Blow, From Tushy with Love, Dildos are Forever, Coldfinger, Underballs, Fellatio Royale, You Only Come Twice, Live and Let Autofellate, The Man with the Golden Choad, Monsraker, On Her Majesty's Secret Cervix, The Spy Who Shoved It In Me, For Four Guys Only, Pussypussy, Never Say Your Safe Word Again, Licence to Felch, A View to a Random Sexual Encounter Filmed in Excruciatingly Tight Close-Up, The Licking Daylights, BronzeEye, Tamara Never Dykes, The Wang is Not Enough, and Do Another Dame.

Should be worth checking out.
flavored with age

Dandy Don's numbers game

Every so often, a public figure says something so completely stupid that one wonders how a presumably intelligent human being could have formulated the sentence at all. Today, at a briefing in which he was quizzed about the rather unseemly number of Iraqi civilians in Baghdad who have been killed or hurt by American troops, Defense Secretary Donald von Rumsfeld made such a statement. Let's take a look.

At the Pentagon, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld on Wednesday sought to put a new perspective on the recent deaths and injuries in Iraq, pointing out that Baghdad is a big place with a lower violent crime rate than Washington, D.C.

"You've got to remember that if Washington, D.C., were the size of Baghdad, we would be having something like 215 murders a month," said Rumsfeld. "There's going to be violence in a big city."

Now, let's examine the many reasons this is idiotic.

FAILURE OF DIRECTNESS: The statement completely avoids the question ("Why are American troops killing so many civilians in Baghdad?").

FAILURE OF ANALOGY: Washington, D.C. is nothing like Baghdad, because the latter is occupied by an invading foreign army which exercises martial law, and the former is not.

FAILURE OF RHETORIC: The question ("Why are American troops killing so many civilians in Baghdad?") and the answer ("Big cities tend to have a problem with violent crime") have nothing to do with each other.

FAILURE OF LOGIC: Stating that Baghdad has a lower violent crime rate than Washington, DC is not relevant, since civilian homicide is not logically comparable to military killing of citizens.

FAILURE OF STATISTICS: If Washington, DC (metro population of just over 600,000) were to grow to the size of Baghdad (metro population of just over 4,000,000), the seven-fold increase in population would not necessarily increase the murder rate by a factor of seven.

FAILURE OF MATHEMATICS: Even if the increase in the murder rate were directly proportional to the increase in population, it would still not even begin to approach 215 murders a month. No city in America, not even Washington -- which leads the nation in murders per capita -- is even remotely close to that number. (Washington had 252 murders in 2002, or 21 murders per month. A sevenfold growth in the murder rate would still leave them at 147 per month.)

FAILURE OF STATISTICS II: Washington, DC's murder rate is a statistical red herring. It could just as easily be pointed out that New York, which is actually larger than Baghdad, has a lower murder rate than DC, and Tokyo, which is larger than New York, has a lower rate still.

FAILURE OF ANALOGY II: Even if the population of DC was the same as that of Baghdad, while its murder rate might somehow possibly reach 215 a month, the rate of civilians killed by soldiers would probably not be very high.