Thursday, October 27, 2011

Technology helps broadcaster "take it to the next level"

If you've ever listened to National Public Radio's show All Things Considered, you've heard the flutey, glassine voice of presenter, Michele Norris.

And if you've heard the voice of presenter, Michele Norris, you know that nobody loves the voice of Michele Norris more than Michele Norris.

She speaks like she's playing an oboe in her larynx; an oboe made of flesh; an oboe that would make you want to turn away if you ever saw such a one.

Well, Michele Norris announced yesterday that she's "taking a break" from All Things Considered.

She cited her husband taking a high-powered job with the White House as the reason, but Inside the Hotdog Factory has the inside scoop:

Technology has now made it possible for Michele Norris to actually make love to her voice, so she's going on hiatus to do just that.

First, she plans a whirlwind shopping trip to New York with her voice. Then she'll be off on a romantic getaway to the Caribbean with her voice, where she will woo it by candlelight and wow it by daylight upon the beach. Then Norris plans an extended tour of Europe and then India with her voice, no doubt indulging in some Old World VVO (voice-to-vagina orgies) along the way.

It has not been revealed just what physical form Norris' voice has taken at the behest of this new technology, beyond what we can guess: a crude, phallus-like object.

Michele Norris has refused numerous requests to speak on the matter, leaving us to ponder what romantic flights and flourishes she and her voice will engage in now that she's leaving All Things Considered.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

You will know them by the bankers they defend

The American plutocracy/oligarchy has no shortage of brave defenders. Not the least of which is Marybeth Hicks who gives a conservative-eye view on the Occupy Wall Street protests.

The team at Inside the Hotdog Factory felt a response was in order:

Dear Marybeth:

It takes such moral courage to defend the bullies, oligarchs and the Wall Street bosses who tanked our economy and walked away with multi-million dollar bonuses so they didn't experience any interruption in their lifestyles.

Good for you! And glad you're so well up to the job!

I guess such myopia explains why you go after only the easiest, most glaring targets of the Occupy Wall Street protesters.

For the purposes of this note, I'll give you all the piercings, tattoos and dreadlocks. Have it your way -- they're not American citizens because of how they dress and wear their hair.

Now, about the rest of the protesters.

They are protesting a system that is skewed, rigged and corrupt, which rewards greed over hard work, which pampers and caters to only the wealthy at the very tangible expense of the vast majority of the population.

I know, I know, it's what Ronald Reagan wanted for America, but it's an embarrassing, unjust, unworkable system.

There are millions of people who have jobs, pay their bills and hold to your high standards of hygiene and personal appearance, who have lost their retirement funds, have lost their homes to illegal "robo signing" of big banks, whose wages have stagnated, for whose children that enviable college education has become more and more out of reach (what with heroes like Eric Cantor quashing Pell grants and schools' tuition rising like the country's blood pressure).

There are millions of people, as well, who hold to your high standards of hygiene and personal appearance who have lost their jobs. You see, when you have an economy that's based on consumption and then systematically send once decent-paying jobs overseas, it's creates a problem.

I know, I know, that's the conservative way! Have an economy based upon consumer spending and then send the jobs to Korea and China and India. Pray your way through it! I get it.

One problem: that doesn't work.

You write that "Only 4 percent of college graduates are out of work." Right. They're working at the Gap, McDonald's, driving taxis, pouring coffee at Dunkin Donuts, working part-time.

I know, I know! That's what conservatives want for America -- a society where few (if any) jobs meet the educational level of workers. America's made its stance on education and the importance of education in American life abundantly clear. It shows in the test scores. It shows in America's ranking in the world on educational indices.

The Dick Cheneys of the world love this economy. Where else would you have PhDs waiting tables? Where else would you have people offering to work for free? Conservatives love that idea! Rush Limbaugh will be glad to tell you how wonderful slavery was for the United States. And it's not dead. In Indiana, for instance, there are waitresses who work for free, subsisting only on the tips they receive. Now that's a conservative economic model for the country!

With no Russia to compete with, showing off that America has the better standard of living, conservatives are happy to let the standard of living slide right off the table.

Because, you're right, America is just a Club Med for the wealthy and everyone else can just dry up and stop complaining.

Bravo Marybeth! You're among notable company: among those who defend the rich against the poor; defend the powerful against the powerless; who defends the haves against the troublesome have-nots.

Hopefully there's a PNAC lapel pin on the way to you in the mail for you efforts.

One last thing: I hope you're not a Christian. You'd be horrified to see who Christians worship -- a long-haired, sandal-wearing socialist who heals people at no charge, who gives away food, someone who forgives sins (!!!), someone who doesn't judge. He's a guy who once said about paying taxes: "Give unto Caesar what is due Caesar." (Rick Perry should challenge this douche to a duel!) And Jesus once told a business man "it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God." (I can just see the heroes of Wall Street rolling up their sleeves and lining up to give this Communist the ass-kicking he deserves!)

Is that Jesus Christ creep trouble, or is he trouble?

And Jesus' hygiene? Other than his baptism, I don't think it mentions any other time in the New Testament that he bathed. Clearly someone who belonged in jail... Oh wait, he was arrested. Ah, and thumbing ahead to the end of the story, good news! He was executed! Conservatives rejoice! Jesus Christ was executed. Another messy, troublesome hippie put down.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

IndyCar CEO made changes to rules to increase "carnage and wrecks"

Sure, he's backpedaling now. They always do.

The 3rd Quarter Dick Cheney Award for Corporate Malevolence goes to Randy Bernard, CEO of Indy Car -- which suffered a catastrophic crash this weekend, causing the death of driver Dan Wheldon.

In June of this year, Mr. Bernard was quoted in an interview as saying that his "change to restarts would mean more 'carnage and wrecks,' adding that 'danger will be an important element of the sport.'"

Well, Mr. Bernard, you've now got your carnage.

Of course, Mr. Bernard is the picture of contrition today.

On Monday, when confronted with this heartless quote from June, he replied "I'm sorry if my comments are interpreted this way . . . Danger has been an inherent part of the sport since 1909. I don't know if what I said was taken out of context or I misspoke, but if you know me, you know where my loyalties lie, and I'm very respectful to the drivers and the sport."


If that quote does not display Mr. Bernard at his most heartless, his follow up remarks on Monday about it proves him to be utterly without conscience: "I'm sorry if my comments are interpreted this way."

Interpreted this way?


That remark was pretty black-and-white. Pretty unambiguous.

I'm sure Mr. Bernard's minions must bear with his moral and intellectual relativism, but the general public does not.

I, for one, did not interpret Mr. Bernard's promise that there would be more carnage and wrecks in this Indy Car season. I read those remarks as he said them. In English. Unexpurgated. With no lawyer or public relations spin doctor at my side.

Mr. Bernard continued in his Monday contrition: "Danger has been an inherent part of the sport since 1909."

Yeah, danger has been an inherent part of the sport.

My charge and contention is that Mr. Bernard heightened that danger; accentuated that danger by packing more cars into each competition and having racers using side-by-side restarts.

Like the owners of the Deep Water Horizon oil platform or the Upper Big Branch mine in West Virginia, Mr. Bernard is yet another dreary, greedy CEO who is completely willing to put the lives of his underlings at risk to produce more profits.

There is no misinterpretation.


Manifest Density

You can't pass off a plutocracy as a democracy.

You can't trumpet the virtues of freedom and democracy abroad and vilify protesters at home.

You can't call yourself just while embracing injustice.

And you can't brag about having a free society when you don't.

You just can't.

* * *

After losing his job, 34 year old Mervin Mayfair moved back to his hometown and lived in a room above his parents' garage.

While away, he had heard through friends that the city and his old neighborhood had deteriorated over the years. Things were tough all over and Mervin remembered watching the city and neighborhood go through changes as he grew up.

One afternoon, he went to Anderson's Corner Store to buy a newspaper. Mervin wanted to look at the Want ads and get back to earning some money.

When he entered Anderson's Corner Store, he wondered if he'd walked into the wrong place. Gone were the coolers once filled with energy drinks. Gone were the racks of chips and snacks and chocolate bars and magazines and hamburger and hotdog buns. Gone were the cigarettes and lottery tickets and the canister of beef jerky on the counter.

Instead, there were a couple of sofas, love seats and armchairs, each occupied by women in their early twenties, all wearing halter tops and short-shorts.

A man with a pencil mustachio approached Mervin. The man grinned. "You came at a good time of day, friend," the man said. "You've got your pick of the litter."

"Litter?" Mervin said. "This is Anderson's Corner Store, right?"

"It certainly is," the man said.

"I'm here to buy a newspaper."

The man laughed. "We don't sell any newspapers, friend." He gestured to a red-haired woman lounging on a chaise nearby. "But Holly here will give you a blowjob for ten bucks."

Mervin left without a newspaper or a blowjob. His friends weren't kidding when they said the neighborhood was going to shit.

He walked down Main Street to Dawson's Gas Bar. There were no longer any pumps out front, but Mervin wondered if they still had newspapers and chewing gum and energy drinks inside.

When he entered, Mervin found the gas bar store had been cleared. The far side wall was filled with TV monitors tuned to horse racing, baseball, hydro plane racing, auto racing, boxing, mixed martial arts. There was a group of people sitting before the monitors cheering the sporting events.

Off to the side was a wicket surrounded by wire mesh. Inside the wicket sat an old woman.

"Is this Dawson's Gas Bar?" Mervin asked.

"Sure is," the old woman croaked in a smoker's voice.

"You don't sell gas anymore?"

"Nah, no gas."

"You don't sell chewing gum anymore?"

"No, none of that."

"You don't sell newspapers anymore?"

"No -- say, if you're looking for all that kind of stuff, why don't you try Anderson's Corner Store up the road?"

"I did, but it's not a corner store anymore, it's a whorehouse."

"You wanna place a bet?" the old woman asked.

Mervin shook his head and left.

As he walked along Main Street, he came upon Edmond's Furniture Store. Mervin did a double-take when he looked through the front windows: there was no furniture in the store, though it appeared to sell newspapers.

Mervin went in and found the day's newspaper. He looked around and saw rows of potato chips and snacks, chewing gum, energy drinks and beef jerky.

Mervin went to the counter to pay for the newspaper. Old Mr. Edmond was working the cash register. Mervin remembered him from years before when he, Mervin, played on a little league baseball team sponsored by Mr. Edmond.

"Mr. Edmond, how're you doing?" Mervin said.

Mr. Edmond didn't seem to recognize him. "Doing all right, thanks. Do I know you?"

"I used to play for the Edmond Furniture little league team," Mervin said.

"Oh, right, you've got a good memory."

"You don't sell furniture anymore?"

"Nah, nobody can afford it."

"How did you get into selling newspapers and chips and energy drinks?"

"Well, when Anderson's Corner Store turned into a whorehouse and Dawson's Gas Bar got into sports betting, it seemed like a natural opening in the marketplace."

"But if Anderson's Corner Store is a whorehouse, why isn't it called a whorehouse or something other than Anderson's Corner Store? Because it's not Anderson's Corner Store anymore."

"Interesting question."

"And if Dawson's doesn't sell gas anymore, and all you can do is bet on sports there, why is it still called 'Dawson's Gas Bar'?"

"Well, 'Gas Bar' sounds better than 'sports betting', doesn't it?"

"But it's not accurate."

"You said you played on the Edmond Furniture little league team?"

"Yeah, when I was about eleven."

"It's my lunch hour," Mr. Edmond said. "What do you say we go over to the Victory Luxury Lounge?"

"Sure, I could use some lunch."

Mervin and Mr. Edmond went down the sidewalk to the Victory Luxury Lounge. Mervin recalled that it as one of the fanciest restaurants in town, where many famous entertainers had performed over the years.

When they entered, Mervin was astonished to see the place was a complete dump: mismatched chairs at tables, the velour booths were bald and ripped, the leather booths all cracked and split. The placed smelled of urinal pucks and BO. It was a large place, which seemed even larger since the old expansive bar had been removed.

Behind a partition dividing the old seating area, there was a group of men cheering and betting on a cock fight.

"I thought you said we were going to get some lunch," Mervin said.

"No, I said that it's my lunch hour," Mr. Edmond said. "I always bet on the cock fights on my lunch hour."

After leaving the Victory Luxury Lounge, Mervin met the town's mayor out walking his dog. There was little grass for the dog to walk on and relieve himself. As the dog pooped on the pavement, Mervin said hello to the mayor.

"Say, your honor," Mervin said. "No disrespect intended, but why wouldn't you take your dog to the dog park?"

"That's used as a junk yard now," the mayor said. "It's not safe to walk the dogs amid all the jagged bits of metal from all the smashed and destroyed cars."

"Why is it still called 'The Dog Park', then, and not 'The Junk Yard'?"

"Because 'Dog Park" sounds so much better."

"I've noticed the same thing with businesses along Main Street," Mervin said. "Anderson's Corner Store is now a whorehouse. Dawson's Gas Bar is a betting hall. And the Victory Luxury Lounge is used for cock fighting. It's confusing when you don't call a thing what it is. Why doesn't anyone call these things what they are?"

"Because our town would look like it's turned into a pile of shit," the mayor said. His dog had finished pooping on the sidewalk, so the mayor gave Mervin a nod and continued along his way.

Thursday, October 06, 2011

America, you're not alone! Some Canadians think waterboarding's cool, too!

A letter to the editor of The Windsor Star, Sept. 29:
Ex-U.S. leaders should face justice
It's time for the Harper government to prove that its stance on "law and order" pertains to more than just pot smokers.

The government of Stephen Harper must commit to arresting and prosecuting former U.S. president, George W. Bush, former vice-president, Dick Cheney, former secretary of defense, Donald Rumsfeld on the charge of war crimes should they ever enter Canada.

Based on what evidence?

Aside from copious first-hand accounts from victims, memos signed by Bush, Cheney and Rumsfeld, each man has admitted to war crimes in their respective memoirs.

George W. Bush, Dick Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld admit - and, in fact, state they are proud - that they authorized the use of torture during their so-called "war on terror."

More than that, they admit to specifically authorizing the use of such torture techniques as "waterboarding" to be used on detainees.

I believe the Conservatives' tough talk about law and order is merely campaign trail rhetoric; a way to steer taxpayer dollars to cronies to build prisons.

I challenge the Harper government to prove me wrong.

As we await Moammar Gadhafi to be brought to justice in The Hague, so too should George W. Bush, Dick Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld. These three should be given legal representation and full, proper, transparent trials.

They need to be brought to justice. No matter who perpetrates acts so grievous they are termed "war crimes," such actions should not be tolerated or accepted by anyone.

Even by the Harper government.
A Canadian who endorses the use of torture replies.

To which I would reply if I replied:
Interesting this correspondent says that waterboarding was successful. It actually was, but not in the way he thinks.

The Americans took their waterboarding techniques from their own S.E.R.E. (Survival, Evasion, Resistance and Escape) program, meant to train soldiers how to endure torture by the communists (soldiers came back from the Korean war with stories of torture, so the program was created on how to withstand those techniques). The Bush administration "reverse engineered" these techniques and instructed its people in how to perform these acts.

The thing is, analysts and historians (and some communists who later confessed) know why and in what way waterboarding and other techniques were used during the Cold War: to force false confessions for propaganda purposes -- never for intelligence gathering. The techniques were created to extract lies from people.

The communists wanted a quick and ruthless way to make people confess to crimes they hadn't committed, and then filmed American pilots who'd been shot down, admitting anything the communists wanted them to admit.

That's how the Americans are using waterboarding, et al. Not for intelligence, but to manufacture an enemy and gather false confessions.

So, the correspondent is technically correct -- waterboarding has been successful. It's gotten a horde of very unlucky people to confess to acts they never committed and implicate people who never did anything, either.

Has this made us safer? No, it's made America more hated than ever around the world. As a Canadian who has been mistaken countless times abroad for being an American (based on my accent), this is a direct threat to my safety when travelling.

How do I know this about waterboarding? One of the few, effective FBI interrogators, Ali Soufan, has written a book about torture and how ineffective it is. Other, serious, responsible people who interrogate suspects for a living all say that torture only elicits false confessions, never usable information, because people will say anything to make the torture stop.

And, at the end of the day, torture is a recognized war crime. The correspondent may endorse the use of torture, but that doesn't change its legal definition. It's recognized around the world, among all thinking, civilized people, as barbaric, inhuman and criminal.

It says a lot about a person who would endorse it.

Manimal finds love!

No one ever thought it would happen -- Manimal has found love, and with one of his own species, at that!

'80s TV hero, Manimal, has walked the earth alone since the cancellation of his popular show. Finding work, making ends meet were all he could hope for. Love? Love was out of the question.

That is until he met the Spain's 85 year old Duchess of Alba who, too, is a Manimal.

Decades separate them, chronologically. Thousands of miles had separated them, geographically. Yet, the lovers found each other.

In this cynical day and age, where even Steve Jobs can die, it's refreshing to learn that even Manimal can find love!

Wednesday, October 05, 2011

Raymond Davis enjoying freedom

After CIA contractor Raymond Davis was sprung from a Pakistani prison in 2010 when $2.3 million of US taxpayers' money was paid to the families of two men he murdered, Davis returned to America and recently demonstrated how he's making use of his new lease on life: punching out a middle-aged man in a bagel shop parking lot over a parking space.

The incident took place in Colorado. Davis has been charged with third-degree assault and disorderly conduct.

In response to this trouble contractor once again finding himself in trouble, the CIA and US government are prepared to grant him free parking for the rest of his life in the continental United States.

"We acknowledge that the parking space over which Raymond Davis punched a mildde-aged civilian was a free parking space," said a CIA spokesperson in a press conference, "so we're not only granting Davis free parking for life, but dibs on all unmetered parking spaces he may desire. We ask for the help of the American people with this matter. We're at war in three and a half countries and this is a time for shared sacrifice. So, starting on October 3, 2011, if Raymond Davis wants your parking space, give it to him."

Davis was not available for comment, but a pedestrian walking past the headquarters of Davis' security company, Hyperion Protective Consultants, responded to questions about the situation by saying, "I think it's a pile of shit. Dibs for life on parking spaces. Barak Obama has destroyed this country."