Free Markets, Free People

Twitter

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Hash Tag Game

Tonight there was a hashtag game on Twitter called “Explain a Film Plot Badly”. I thought I would play the game for a while, but I think I got a bit carried away. Here are my entries to the game. How many of these movies do you recognize?

Hollywood SignAn ex-Marine officer returns home and takes over the family business started by his Italian immigrant father.

A private eye is confused by an attractive woman and her sister/daughter.

A young farm boy learns about religion, kisses his sister, joins an insurgent group, and blows up a military base.

A bar owner in Morocco befriends a local policeman.

A Kansas firm girl dreams about a magical land after being injured in inclement weather.

A rich media mogul remembers his favorite sled.

A stranded alien becomes addicted to candy.

A prize fighter suspects his brother may have slept with his wife.

A British and Turkish officer have a brief sexual encounter in WWI.

An inmate has fun causing hijinks at an asylum.

A former Nazi scientist figures out a plan to legalize polygamy.

Astronauts find a black box left by aliens long ago. Hilarity ensues.

An ex-nun sings about everything.

Military doctors drink and perform surgery in tents.

A big fish ruins everyone’s summer.

A UCLA archaeologist ignores international treaties about antiquities.

A murderous lunatic enjoys cannibalism and legumes.

A black Philadelphia police detective solves crime and racism in Mississippi.

Wyatt and Billy sell cocaine, ride motorcycles, and irritate rednecks.

A poor Irishman meets a nice girl, but dies in a boating accident.

Bruce Willis dies, then counsels a troubled youth.

An NYPD detective learns that Frenchmen have the best smack.

A bible-quoting gangster retrieves an important briefcase, then interrupts a robbery in a diner.

A concentration camp prisoner discovers which child she loves the best.

A Jewish chariot racer takes baths with hunky Roman men.

Private Ryan is sent home after a family tragedy.

A murderer practices accountancy in prison.

A rich vigilante dresses up like an animal and drives a cool car.

Twelve disgruntled jurors talk things out.

A man and his imaginary friend form a club they never talk about.

Little people travel with a piece of jewelry, have adventures.

A man goes into people’s dreams and learns stuff, and thinks about his hot ex-wife. Or maybe it’s just a dream.

A half-Irish, half-Italian man becomes involved with organized crime, then tells cops how fun it was.

A police detective looks into a box and makes an unfortunate find.

A man wishes he had never been born. His wish is granted, and his little town becomes way more fun.

Lunatic hotelier has unhealthily fond memories of his mother.

A federal agent investigates a baseball-loving bootlegger.

A magical black man heals a wounded rodent, but is electrocuted.

A starship crew encounters an alien who kills all the unattractive crew members.

A milk-loving British thug receives therapy.

The English make a Scottish rebel pay for his violent hijinks.

A mentally disabled man befriends the daughter of an idealistic, widowed, southern lawyer.

Con men rob a gangster and then get shot. But not really.

A Cuban immigrant snorts cocaine then introduces rivals to his small acquaintance.

Adolf Hitler yells and dies in German.

A British officer is held prisoner by the Japanese, and builds the best bridge ever.

A LA policeman kills robots, then has sex with one.

A hippie bowler has sex with a rich woman, meets a pornographer, and has his carpet soiled by nihilists.

Ratty-looking Formula 1 driver has a bad crash, but races again.

An African hotelier in Kigali, Rwanda, is disturbed by local events.

A math professor becomes paranoid, but gains an imaginary friend.

Antarctic researchers find an alien with a talent for mimicry.

Unattractive Persians kill hunky Spartans in a disturbingly homoerotic war.

A man is reacquainted with his childhood sweetheart, while his Hispanic friend investigates his father’s murder.

Unscrupulous petroleum magnate drinks other people’s milkshakes.

An Irish hit man travels to Belgium, is unimpressed by Bruges.

Jason Bourne loses his memory, then falls for a quirky German girl.

A girl learns how to box, then dies.

An Indian leader preaches pacifism, but, ironically, is shot.

A young man volunteers to serve in Vietnam, which is more unpleasant than he expected.

A hotel caretaker spends the winter writing an extremely repetitious book, and using cutlery.

Undercover cop gets shot while participating in a robbery. He’s told he’s “gonna be okay” but isn’t.

A mob-connected gambler runs a casino in Vegas, while hosting a bad TV show, then has serious car trouble.


Dale’s social media profiles:
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Image Credit: The Hollywood sign image was originally posted to Flickr by Sörn at http://flickr.com/photos/34065722@N00/1151601662, licensed under the terms of the cc-by-sa-2.0. Post originally posted at DaleFranks.Com.

Trashing the left on Twitter

John Hinderaker at Powerline discusses what Dale, Michael and I talked about briefly on the podcast last night – i.e. how the left (particularly the Obama campaign) continues to get “clobbered” on Twitter.

If you’re not a denizen of Twitter, you may be unaware of the “streams” represented by hashtags.  Twitter followers know to follow certain streams to keep up on particular conversations/events even if they don’t follow everyone participating in that convo.

Literally thousands will watch a particular Twitter stream represented by a hashtagged word.  Think #Olympics2012 for instance.  Or #WorldSeries2012.  Dancing with the Stars has its own #DWTS hashtags. And fans flock to read what is said in that stream.  Hashtags are added to the end of Twitter messages and direct them to those particular streams for everyone to read.

That’s what the Obama administration and the left in general has been trying to use for some time to use to establish narratives or conversations they think will be beneficial to them.  And for the vast majority of them, it has blown up in their faces because almost immediately, the hashtag they publish becomes a target of the right and, frankly, it ends up being highjacked.

The most recent examples are given by John:

Maybe it’s because Twitter puts a premium on brevity and cleverness. I don’t know. But for some reason, it seems to be a natural medium for conservatives. We saw it when the Hilary Rosen interview (“Ann Romney never worked a day in her life”) prompted a Twitterstorm. We saw it again when #ObamaEatsDogs exploded, and when #Julia blew up in the White House’s face like an exploding cigar. Currently, the White House is promoting #AskMichelle, where loyal Democrats can go to ask the First Lady a question. Only nearly all of the questions have come from conservatives. A sampling:

-When you vacation in Hawaii, can you see the rise of the oceans beginning to slow?
-What’s up this week for the @BarackObama campaign and “Operation Change the Subject” (to anything except the economy)?
-Do you still exchange May Day cards with Bill and Bernadette?
-Do you think your daughters should request affirmative actions preferences?
-Do you still get Christmas cards from the Rezkos and Blagojeviches?
-So who succeeded you at that critical, highly important $300k/year community outreach job at UC hospital?
-I have several friends who specialize in relocation. Shall I give them your number so they can help you relocate in January?

You have to know that such attempts and the result must really frustrate the on-line types at the Obama Campaign headquarters.  It is like they set them up on a tee for the right.

One of the things I asked last night was how such a supposedly net savvy campaign staff could repeatedly do these sorts of things and expect different results?   How many times do you have to see the same thing happen before you figure out that the strategy is fatally flawed?

The answer?  When you figure out it isn’t 2008 anymore.  I’m not sure his staff has figured that out yet.  In 2008, they likely could have gotten away with this.  But 2012 brings us what?  Oh, yeah, a president with a record, something he lacked 4 years ago.

And, as we’ve seen, he’s reluctant to talk about it, certainly isn’t touting it and provides few venues for others to question him about it.

Except with his clueless Twitter gang.

Long may they continue to flail away trying to find some hashtag that won’t provide the usual .  They at least provide some comic relief to this travesty.

Forward.

~McQ

Twitter: @McQandO

Observations: The QandO Podcast for 06 May 12

This week, Bruce and Dale talk about what the Trayvon martin case says about the media.

The direct link to the podcast can be found here.

Observations

As a reminder, if you are an iTunes user, don’t forget to subscribe to the QandO podcast, Observations, through iTunes. For those of you who don’t have iTunes, you can subscribe at Podcast Alley. And, of course, for you newsreader subscriber types, our podcast RSS Feed is here. For podcasts from 2005 to 2010, they can be accessed through the RSS Archive Feed.

Observations: The QandO Podcast for 22 Apr 12

This week, Michael, and Dale talk about the Trayvon Martin case, Hillary Rosen, and the economy.

The direct link to the podcast can be found here.

Observations

As a reminder, if you are an iTunes user, don’t forget to subscribe to the QandO podcast, Observations, through iTunes. For those of you who don’t have iTunes, you can subscribe at Podcast Alley. And, of course, for you newsreader subscriber types, our podcast RSS Feed is here. For podcasts from 2005 to 2010, they can be accessed through the RSS Archive Feed.

Today’s dose of comedy: Twitter will save Democrats in 2012, says speaker at DNC

I can’t do much better than to quote the first paragraph of this article in its entirety:

Democrats are hoping they’ve found a secret weapon for winning back the House in 2012: Twitter.

To quote a famous faux-professor, stop laughing. It get’s better:

“We know that we’re up against a team of about 43 think tanks on the other side. … But when you engage them in a good debate, they’re shallow."

As opposed to the 140 character sound bites in Twitter? You’re going to make a sophisticated argumentative reponse tht snds lik its a txt msg bcuz u haf 2 cmprss n2 140 chars? ROFL!

Why, the event was so successful, one delegate created a Twitter account! Right there at the event! Really!

A Democratic leadership aide described the event as a “nice hands-on training” for Members less familiar with social media, and it even led to one Member signing up for Twitter on the spot:
@DelegateDonna (Democratic Del. Donna Christensen of the Virgin Islands).

Just think – a DNC delegate managed to do something so complicated that thousands of teenagers do it unassisted every day! What a triumph! 2012 is in the bag, man!

Yep, social media is going to save the Democrats. It will finally, finally get their elegant, persuasive message out.

They’ve had such tremendous obstacles, after all. Why, they’ve had to rely on such limited resources up to now. They’ve only had a bunch of their own think tanks, three broadcast news networks, one cable news channel that openly supports them and another that keeps a fig leaf of pretense that they don’t, every remaining non-bankrupt major city paper except the Wall Street Journal, a slew of pretentious magazines, and a government-funded national radio network that has come right out and admitted where they stand. On the Internet, they’ve had to rely on such a thin guard of sites: Huffington Post, Daily Kos, Media Matters, DogLakeOnFire (or whatever it is, I forget), TPM, etc. etc. I mean, just how far can Soros’ billions go? Those stupid rubes must need some serious educating to realize the wonder and magnificence that is collectivism. The work just never ends!

Hey, at least they’ve stopped explaining that Obama just needs to make more speeches. He seems to have taken that to heart. In the midst of some of the biggest foreign policy happenings of the decade, Obama has decided the best place he can spend time is the golf course. I’d like to disagree with him, but given what he would probably do if he actually did anything, I really can’t.

They’ve got a president who would rather be a dictator, but the problem is their message.

They were given control of all branches of the federal government, and the result was an economy in the dumper, unprecedented and unsupportable debt, one foreign policy blunder after another, a healthcare bill so hated that it help them suffer an historic election loss in 2010… but their real problem is getting their message out.

As in 2010, I hope this delusion continues. Please, please let them keep getting their message out. The union protesters in Madison, for example, are doing great work in this area.

They have clearly communicated the Democratic Party  message. It’s this: You intend to keep on sucking every possible bit of money while telling the rest of us exactly what sort of lives we’re allowed to lead.

That’s your message in a nutshell. Good news: it will fit in a post on Twitter.

Pondering the “new civility”

As everyone knows, the “new civility” has been getting quite a workout since the Wisconsin thing has blown up.  Anyone who has kept up with it and read blogs covering it (like Althouse), know this hasn’t been an episode of peace, love and decorum.  It has been one of threats, violence and attempts at intimidation – not to mention a fairly unseemly tantrum. 

So, I have to wonder what happened to all the civility talk after the Giffords shooting?  Especially on the left.  It’s been rather quiet over there since Wisconsin has erupted.  And make no mistake about it, the threats, violence and attempts at intimidation, not to mention the frequent invocations of Goodwin’s law, aren’t figments of the imagination – they’re documented fairly thoroughly for anyone who wants to find them (unlike the MSM).

As the sort of cherry on top of the “new civility” sundae, here’s this email that was sent to every GOP senator (save the one who voted against the bill) by someone who is, and I dare you to tell me otherwise when you read it, deranged and apparently plans to visit violence on each and every one of them:

From: XXXX
Sent: Wed 3/9/2011 9:18 PM
To: Sen.Kapanke; Sen.Darling; Sen.Cowles; Sen.Ellis; Sen.Fitzgerald; Sen.Galloway; Sen.Grothman; Sen.Harsdorf; Sen.Hopper; Sen.Kedzie; Sen.Lasee; Sen.Lazich; Sen.Leibham; Sen.Moulton; Sen.Olsen

Subject: Atten: Death threat!!!! Bomb!!!!

Please put your things in order because you will be killed and your familes
will also be killed due to your actions in the last 8 weeks. Please explain
to them that this is because if we get rid of you and your families then it
will save the rights of 300,000 people and also be able to close the deficit
that you have created. I hope you have a good time in hell. Read below for
more information on possible scenarios in which you will die.
WE want to make this perfectly clear. Because of your actions today and in
the past couple of weeks I and the group of people that are working with me
have decided that we’ve had enough. We feel that you and the people that
support the dictator have to die. We have tried many other ways of dealing
with your corruption but you have taken things too far and we will not stand
for it any longer. So, this is how it’s going to happen: I as well as many
others know where you and your family live, it’s a matter of public records.
We have all planned to assult you by arriving at your house and putting a
nice little bullet in your head. However, we decided that we wouldn’t leave
it there. We also have decided that this may not be enough to send the
message to you since you are so "high" on Koch and have decided that you are
now going to single handedly make this a dictatorship instead of a
demorcratic process. So we have also built several bombs that we have placed
in various locations around the areas in which we know that you frequent.
This includes, your house, your car, the state capitol, and well I won’t
tell you all of them because that’s just no fun. Since we know that you are
not smart enough to figure out why this is happening to you we have decided
to make it perfectly clear to you. If you and your goonies feel that it’s
necessary to strip the rights of 300,000 people and ruin their lives, making
them unable to feed, clothe, and provide the necessities to their families
and themselves then We Will "get rid of" (in which I mean kill) you. Please
understand that this does not include the heroic Rep. Senator that risked
everything to go aganist what you and your goonies wanted him to do. We feel
that it’s worth our lives to do this, because we would be saving the lives
of 300,000 people. Please make your peace with God as soon as possible and
say goodbye to your loved ones we will not wait any longer. YOU WILL DIE!!!!

I can only guess, by the sentence structure, single dense paragraph and spelling, that the person is product of public schooling, which explains why they’re so upset about those 300,000 people.  Some of those are Mr. or Ms. X’s teachers.

Apparently the person also signed the email indicating they may have had the opportunity to have each of those teachers for more than one year.

Regardless, this is not something I remember showing up at offices of politicians when the Tea Party was supposedly so “violent” and “uncivil”.  Maybe I missed it and someone will enlighten me.

And, of course, the new way of venting (“civilly” of course) and shouting out threats, Twitter, hasn’t been silent either.

I’m also wondering if the SPLC will designate the government unions of Wisconsin official leftist “hate groups”?  My guess is the SPLC will somehow find a way to claim they’re part of a militia movement or something.  Everyone knows militias are the ultimate evil – and right-wing fascists.  More likely, the SPLC will ignore it.

There is one consolation though – we won’t have to listen to any condescending, patronizing and smarmy lectures about “civility” anymore from the left. 

Will we?

~McQ

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NYT: Blogs “wane” as young set moves to sites like Twitter

In another example of how little the NYT knows about blogging (but fervently wishes for the day they’d just go away and the Times could get back to the good old days of deciding what is news or just flat making it up), it reports today that blogs are on the “wane”.  Check out this paragraph:

Like any aspiring filmmaker, Michael McDonald, a high school senior, used a blog to show off his videos. But discouraged by how few people bothered to visit, he instead started posting his clips on Facebook, where his friends were sure to see and comment on his editing skills.

“I don’t use my blog anymore,” said Mr. McDonald, who lives in San Francisco. “All the people I’m trying to reach are on Facebook.”

This is the lead for the story.  It is clueless.

Some 17 year old who likes to make videos doesn’t use his blog to show them off anymore, but instead uses Facebook – and that sounds the death knell of blogs?

What this youngster wanted to do was show his vids off to a few (tens? hundreds?) friends at most.  Facebook is a much better venue for that.  In fact, it’s an even better venue than YouTube because your friends have to go to YouTube to find your vids vs. having them delivered to their Facebook page via your posting.  It. Makes. Perfect. Sense. 

But … it says more about the misapplication of blogging (for what the young man wanted to accomplish) than the demise of blogging.

Twitter – same thing.  For some things it’s perfect.  For others, a blog is perfect.   Depends on what you want to do.   Like say anything  that takes more than 142 characters. Blogs, Twitter and Facebook are all networking tools that provide an application that helps accomplish what the user wants to accomplish.

The case the NYT is trying to make is blogs will die out as the younger demographic moves to different venues:

The Internet and American Life Project at the Pew Research Center found that from 2006 to 2009, blogging among children ages 12 to 17 fell by half; now 14 percent of children those ages who use the Internet have blogs. Among 18-to-33-year-olds, the project said in a report last year, blogging dropped two percentage points in 2010 from two years earlier.

Well here’s a news flash – I don’t read “children” or their blogs and they most likely don’t read mine.  But note the next demo – 18-to-33 year olds – suffered a whole 2% decline from two years earlier.

As of Feb. 16th, 2011, according to Wikipedia, there were 156 million blogs in existence.  A two percent drop in two years is simply statistically insignificant.  And, blogs aren’t just for “social networking” as the Times would like you to believe.  Nor do they require writing “lengthy posts” unless you want too. 

Blogs went largely unchallenged until Facebook reshaped consumer behavior with its all-purpose hub for posting everything social. Twitter, which allows messages of no longer than 140 characters, also contributed to the upheaval.

No longer did Internet users need a blog to connect with the world. They could instead post quick updates to complain about the weather, link to articles that infuriated them, comment on news events, share photos or promote some cause — all the things a blog was intended to do.

Phenomenal – I never had to blog to “connect with the world”. Nor was any blog I was a part of “intended” for comments on the weather or to just share photos. 

I hadn’t waited on blogs to “connect with the world” – that had been available for years via email, first through bulletin board systems, then through Usenet and Google Groups.  Blogs are just another method of doing so and may someday be supplanted by something else.  But on the wane because of Facebook and Twitter? 

All I can say is if Twitter is now the first choice of someone who was once blogging, they were never a serious blogger to begin with.  And, if Facebook is now the choice of a blogger, they’ve greatly narrowed their outreach to only those who subscribe to them.  The fact that they’re on Facebook, even with an open page, doesn’t mean anyone is going to read them any more than when they had a blog.

Obviously things are going to change and evolve in the online media and social networking world, but as much as the NYT would love to declare the blog dead and gone, it’s not even close.

And a little note for the editors and publishers of the Times – when blogs have finally gone the way of the dodo bird, the NYT will most likely have predeceased them by a substantial amount of time.  My guess is Hot Air has as many or more readers than the Times does.    HuffPo just went for 300 plus million to AOL.  Point me toward the last major newspaper that sold for that much.

~McQ

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Dale?s Observations for 9-30-2010

First official photos of the new BMW K1600GTL are available. I-6 engine with 160HP, 129 ft-lbs of torque. Nice bike. http://bit.ly/9BSadX



Fisher-Price releases new toy: small plastic lozenges called “Chokies”.


Favorite Tony Curtis line: (In a thick New York accent) “Yonda lies da castle of my fodda, da caliph.”


Poll: Among California?s likely voters, 52 percent favor the proposition to legalize marijuana. http://bit.ly/9Lr9A5


It’s troubling that when jobless benefit applications are at 453K, it’s considered good news. http://bit.ly/cL9QXo


US mortgage rates drop, with the 30-year fixed at 4.32%. http://reut.rs/9PcSvx


China snubs US on boosting yuan’s value. Why wouldn’t they? They need a devalued yuan to keep exporting. http://bit.ly/95iEWh

Dale’s Observations for 9-30-2010

Whitman’s maid claims Whitman knew she was an illegal immigrant. Whitman posts the maid’s falsified employment docs. http://bit.ly/bormPh



California Gov. signs bill against loud aftermarket motorcycle exhausts. Now we’ll see if loud pipes really save lives. http://bit.ly/bUiFG9


Wow, that Gloria Allred is a c … uh … committed advocate for her client, huh?


Meg’s maid felt “exploited, disrespected, humiliated, and emotionally and financially abused.” But stayed for 9 years. http://lat.ms/auFy6P


Soooo, that went well. Meg Whitman Housekeeper Flakes On Allred Press Conference. http://bit.ly/9T7DmF


Two Things Loretta Sanchez (D-CA) Can’t Stand: Racial Intolerance and Vietnamese. http://bit.ly/cEShrW

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