Saturday, January 05, 2002

Politically Incorrect Silliness Watch: Jan 2, 2002

Here's the link to the transcript: PI, Jan 2, 2002

The big debate in this episode is over the decision to not require high school diplomas for airport baggage screeners. Everyone on the show with the exception of Dennis Prager thinks this is a horrible travesty.

Sample High Level Analysis:
Bill Maher: I saw old people on the news interviewed about this, and they were pretty much saying the same thing which is, "I don't like this that they don't have to have a high school diploma. I think it's awful."

Well, it's tough to argue with old people, but I have a question: Just what is there about being a baggage screener that requires a high school diploma? If people without diplomas aren't qualified to look at a scanner and recognize basic shapes from a list, just what are they qualified for? Let's be honest here: Baggage screening is a tedious, boring, repetitive, dull...zzzz Sorry. I nodded off there. Anyway, the point is that this is one job where education simply doesn't matter. You could put Cornell West himself in front of an X-ray machine, and within two days he'd be trying to make rap music by scanning a record album back and forth through the machine.

What you want in your baggage screeners is dogged determination, and persistence in being thorough despite the fact that the last time he saw a terrorist was back in the Johnson Administration. You want someone who just keeps plodding away, doing their job, day in and day out, while people get annoyed at them, in spite of the fact that the odds are that they personally will never thwart anything more than a conspiracy to smuggle a Cuban cigar home for Dad on Father's Day.

Best Joke on the show (Hey, Bill's still funny):

Well, the world's big hot spot has shifted here in the new year to the border between India and Pakistan, where they are currently trading mortar fire.

It could get a lot worse.

In fact, the conflict has already spilled over here to our shores between India and Pakistan. Yesterday, a cab driver rammed his car into a 7-Eleven.

Introducing the "Politically Incorrect" Silliness Watch

Why 'Politically Incorrect'? Aw, c'mon. This is a show dedicated to the proposition that our movie and TV stars need MORE influence in our political process. We are apparently missing the much-needed input of the people educated in the studio-school system, and who are very good at pretending to be other people and throwing hissy fits when their hotel rooms are not decorated all white.

And from a purely self-interested, lazy perspective, any show that manages to spark 'debates' between the likes of Pamela Anderson and Alec Baldwin has GOT to be a target-rich environment for a smart-ass like me.

I actually used to frequently agree with Bill Maher, back when he was more of a pure libertarian and general pain in the neck to the establishment. Back then, "Politically Incorrect" actually lived up to its title. But slowly over time Bill has fallen lock-step with his Hollywood peers on a number of issues, and now restricts his "incorrectness" to eschewing olives in his martinis at the Playboy Mansion.

So, on a regular basis I will be forcing myself to sit through a show, gorging myself on Cheetos and Slurpees, so that I may report back here on what I have observed. Or, if it's so stupid that I dribble half-digested Cheetos all over myself in slack-jawed amazement, I may have to wait for the next-day transcript so I can read it slowly while simultaneously trying to keep from regurgitating breakfast.

And once in a while, I may find that I agree with everything that was said on the show. If that's the case, please kill me.
Celebrities Car-Pool to Cabin For Environmental Protest
Okay, that would be too philosophically consistent for them. And anyway, aren't cabins all like, dark and cold? How do you keep your Perrier chilled? And this Yugo is not nearly as comfortable as the limo. So instead, about two dozen celebrities jetted into Banff, Alberta in the dead of winter this weekend to protest Alberta's use of environmental resources. Of course, they are all staying in luxury suites in a five-star resort. Then they'll jet back home again, after telling the rest of us that we use too much energy. But first, they'll hit those tasty slopes!

Note to America: Oh, we'll tolerate your Pauly Shores, your Corey Feldmans, and even (under protest) some of your Baldwins. But let this be a warning: If Barbara Streisand sets ONE FOOT in Canada, you'll be sorry. Remember Celine Dion? We're got thousands of them growing in vats hidden from U.N. schlock inspectors, and they're primed and ready to go. You have been warned.

Friday, January 04, 2002

This is Tom Daschle's Brain:
Look, I know it's early in the year, but I think we may already have a finalist in the 2002 Idiotic Comment of the Year Awards.

Read it yourself: Tom Daschle, Economic Genius

For those of you who can't keep your eyes from glazing over while trying to follow the tortuous maze of logic Mr. Daschle has delivered, let me rephrase what he said:

The deficit is bad! George Bush created the deficit because he cut taxes! The solution to this problem is to cut taxes! Oh, and raise spending, too. That will fix the deficit for sure.

Okay, that wasn't a real quote. You can tell because it just doesn't have that dull, droning feel to it. Here's a real one:

We can shortchange critical needs, such as strengthening homeland security, or we can raid the Social Security surplus,” Daschle said.

Daschle’s speech called for substantial increases in federal spending on public schools, public health, nanotechnology research, bioterrorism deterrence, and defense of the nation’s industrial and computer infrastructure.

He also proposed tax credits and subsidies to provide broadband service to cities and towns that do not currently have it.

Yes, the budget is in critical shape, and we have a war to win. Tom Daschle is so worried about that that he wants to allocate some emergency spending to, uh... broadband internet service.

Wednesday, January 02, 2002

Welcome to Happy Fun Pundit, the only blog chock-full of crunchy pundity goodness.

Okay, seriously. Let's talk about what this site is up to. First, our political affiliation: We are firmly in the conservative/libertarian wing of the building, but George Will kicked us downstairs for making too much noise, and Pat Buchanan upstairs drove us absolutely NUTS with that damned goose-stepping. So here we are in the basement of the conservative wing of politics, where we can make as much noise as we want and throw parties without waking up the old fuddies.

This site is dedicated to the idea that conservative/libertarian philosophy is not just correct, but fundamentally optimistic. It's impossible to believe in the rightness of free markets without believing that they will ultimately take us to a better world. And if the future looks bright, why are so many conservatives so damned sour all the time? If you really believe in free markets, you should have trouble keeping yourself from giggling inappropriately just thinking about what's coming. So call us O'Rourke, Dave Barry, South Park conservatives. We're here to spread the word, have some fun, and kick some well-deserved asses from time to time.

We also believe that many conservatives are doing themselves a disservice by being so damned SERIOUS. When was the last time you saw Bill Bennet Laugh? I think it was back in the Reagan administration sometime. Bob Novak? Sure, he drives a snazzy Corvette. But jeez, tone down the anger just a tad, will you? And wipe your chin. If conservatives want to attract new, younger people to the cause, they need to lighten up. A dynamic world full of individuals charting their own courses through life should be MUCH more attractive to young people than the bureaucratic, stifling world the liberals would like to dump on us. So why do conservatives make their ideas sound like something only Grandpa would like?

And let's not talk about the religious right. Unless we want to make fun of them. Which we do. A lot.

Anyway, what you'll mostly find here are thoughts and articles about technology, futurism, political analysis, and humor, all from a decidedly libertarian/dynamist/conservative viewpoint.

Oh, and remember: Do not taunt Happy Fun Pundit.