April 2011

By Wink

The press seems obligated to report a certain number of ‘happy stories’ every day. They search and search for these, because they know that war stories and cancer stories become a bit of a buzz-kill, and after a while people will tune you out.

Some days the ‘happy story’ comes easy. Every Thanksgiving the President will ‘pardon’ a turkey. This always makes the local and national news.

Boring. Stupid. Happy.

Same with Easter. The President and his wife invite some kids over. The kids scramble around the White House lawn scooping up eggs.

It turns out that these are ceremonial, wooden, Easter eggs. This is not new, but I probably didn’t know about the wooden eggs because I DON’T CARE. The ‘happy stories’ bore me.

Fox cares. Fox cares about everything the Obama’s do.

Every day the Fox writers are assigned one duty: Find any story and turn it into a way to rip the President and his wife.

Even a stupid, boring, Easter story.

Conservatives love to say all other networks are simply liberal mouthpieces. When “W” was president, did NBC/CNN/etc. ever do anything like this? http://www.examiner.com/political-buzz-in-national/fox-news-takes-serious-issue-with-the-white-house-easter-egg-roll-event-video

Likewise, did Fox complain about Laura and George Bush when they held 8 consecutive Easter egg events, also with wooden eggs? Hint….no, they didn’t.

If you care (and I don’t know why anyone would care), here are the facts surrounding this years’ Easter Egg hunt at the White House…..

  1. The eggs were certified hardwood, not particle board. Certified hardwood is just like any other wood, but comes from sustainable forests.
  2. The ‘particle board’ mentioned is the cardboard box that the eggs come in, which is still not really particle board, but it isn’t normal hardwood either. (The box is also certified wood.)
  3. The 85,000 eggs were NOT signed by Michelle and Barack Obama, The names were just stamped on them. (It would be a little time-consuming to sign 85,000 wooden eggs.)
  4. The White House egg-rolling event actually uses hard-boiled eggs, so yes, there were real eggs there. The wooden eggs are given as souvenirs to the families who attend the event, and also sold online with proceeds going to the National Park Foundation.

But Fox does continue to validate the “We Report – You Decide” motto. The full motto is …

“WE REPORT 50% fact and 50% bulls**t, YOU DECIDE which is which.”

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By Wink

An exciting new story popped up in my local newspaper the other day. The Chicago Cubs may have thrown the World Series.

Not LAST year’s World Series. They weren’t in that one. Nor the one before that. Or the one before that. Or the one before that.

Okay, I couldn’t remember when the Cubs were last in the World Series, so I looked it up. Wiki tells me it was 1945. And they lost that.

Did the Chicago Cubs throw the 1945 World Series? Who knows? The story I read was not about the 1945 World Series. It was about the 1918 World Series.

Yeah, you read that right.

And no, I am not confusing this with the famous “Black Sox Scandal.” That effected the 1919 World Series, and was not about the Cubs, but rather their cross-town ‘brothers,’ the Chicago White Sox.

Nope. The year is 1918. The team is the Cubs.

Where did this ‘breaking news’ come from? It is actually part of the 1920 “Black Sox Scandal” court disposition. And somebody decided to report on it now, only 91 years later.

So in other words this was news, in 1920.

It seems to me the better time to have investigated this would have been in 1920, when any of the participants were still alive.

The White Sox players from 1919 were thrown out of baseball forever, and many died destitute.

Whatever happened to the Cub players from 1918?

Nothing. Since there was no investigation nobody was punished and they all played out their careers.

Unless you are Indiana Jones, it would be a little hard to ‘get to the bottom of this’ now….

Maybe their century-long chase for another World Series championship is just the God’s way of making the Cubs pay for the 1918 ‘non-scandal.’

Go Giants!

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By Wink

Glenn Beck is leaving FOX. You would expect me to be celebratory about this. I am not. Frankly, I don’t care one way or another.

I was always mystified how such a loopy character could command the $20+ million that FOX was always willing to pay him. He did have an enormous audience for the longest time. His audience is shrinking, but is still huge.

His blend of bizarre paranoia and crocodile-tear filled ‘concern’ for the future of our country obviously struck a chord with those who weren’t bothered by his tenuous grasp of the facts surrounding the founding of America, and equally shaky understanding of everything that has happened since..

According to Glenn, everything, everything is a conspiracy. The only non-conspirators, in the whole history of the country, were the founding fathers. They were, in his eyes, flawless… (The ‘flawless founders’ idea, all by itself, begs for closer examination, but not if examination would interfere with yet another conspiracy theory)

But hey, it’s a free market economy. If people buy it, Beck will sell it… and people bought it huge. Good for him.

One thing I know for sure, Glenn will always have a radio show, and will continue to make insane amounts of money in that venue.

Crazy-talk radio is as hot as ever. Radio gave up on mass-marketing long ago, and now almost all radio talk shows are niche-marketed.

In any big town, if you can lock up 12% of the radio listeners, you will be on that station forever. It matters not WHAT you talk about, the stations will fight over you.

There is a sports niche. There is a Spanish-language niche. There is a conspiracy niche.

The conspiracy niche is bigger than 12% of the population. How else can you explain the (much larger) percent of people who STILL don’t believe President Obama was born in Hawaii? Sure, a certain percent are just racists who cannot stand the idea of a black president, but a separate, non-racist percent, are simply so stupid they can’t/won’t accept obvious evidence that proves them wrong.

Beck knows this, and plays to this audience.

Glenn, do me a favor. Please go on your show and tell people that the Winkest Link blog is a part of the conspiracy. I really don’t care WHICH conspiracy. Your fans will believe it, whatever it is…..

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Do you love Monty Python? If not, you will never be accepted as an editor at Winkest Link. We do, and we offer you this tasty Python morsel….

——————-

Four Yorkshiremen Sketch – Monty Python

Four well-dressed men sitting together at a vacation resort.

Michael Palin: Ahh.. Very passable, this, very passable.

Graham Chapman: Nothing like a good glass of Chateau de Chassilier wine, ay Gessiah?

Terry Gilliam: You’re right there Obediah.

Eric Idle: Who’d a thought thirty years ago we’d all be sittin’ here drinking Chateau de Chassilier wine?

MP: Aye. In them days, we’d a’ been glad to have the price of a cup o’ tea.

GC: A cup ‘ COLD tea.

EI: Without milk or sugar.

TG: OR tea!

MP: In a filthy, cracked cup.

EI: We never used to have a cup. We used to have to drink out of a rolled up newspaper.

GC: The best WE could manage was to suck on a piece of damp cloth.

TG: But you know, we were happy in those days, though we were poor.

MP: Aye. BECAUSE we were poor. My old Dad used to say to me, “Money doesn’t buy you happiness.”

EI: ‘E was right. I was happier then and I had NOTHIN’. We used to live in this tiiiny old house, with greaaaaat big holes in the roof.

GC: House? You were lucky to have a HOUSE! We used to live in one room, all hundred and twenty-six of us, no furniture. Half the floor was missing; we were all huddled together in one corner for fear of FALLING!

TG: You were lucky to have a ROOM! *We* used to have to live in a corridor!

MP: Ohhhh we used to DREAM of livin’ in a corridor! Woulda’ been a palace to us. We used to live in an old water tank on a rubbish tip. We got woken up every morning by having a load of rotting fish dumped all over us! House!? Hmph.

EI: Well when I say “house” it was only a hole in the ground covered by a piece of tarpolin, but it was a house to US.

GC: We were evicted from *our* hole in the ground; we had to go and live in a lake!

TG: You were lucky to have a LAKE! There were a hundred and sixty of us living in a small shoebox in the middle of the road.

MP: Cardboard box?

TG: Aye.

MP: You were lucky. We lived for three months in a brown paper bag in a septic tank. We used to have to get up at six o’clock in the morning, clean the bag, eat a crust of stale bread, go to work down mill for fourteen hours a day week in-week out. When we got home, out Dad would thrash us to sleep with his belt!

GC: Luxury. We used to have to get out of the lake at three o’clock in the morning, clean the lake, eat a handful of hot gravel, go to work at the mill every day for tuppence a month, come home, and Dad would beat us around the head and neck with a broken bottle, if we were LUCKY!

TG: Well we had it tough. We used to have to get up out of the shoebox at twelve o’clock at night, and LICK the road clean with our tongues. We had half a handful of freezing cold gravel, worked twenty-four hours a day at the mill for fourpence every six years, and when we got home, our Dad would slice us in two with a bread knife.

EI: Right. I had to get up in the morning at ten o’clock at night, half an hour before I went to bed, (pause for laughter), eat a lump of cold poison, work twenty-nine hours a day down mill, and pay mill owner for permission to come to work, and when we got home, our Dad would kill us, and dance about on our graves singing “Hallelujah.”

MP: But you try and tell the young people today that… and they won’t believe ya’.

ALL: Nope, nope..

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By Wink

We have talked about CEO bonus’s before, but, to recap:

We feel corporate execs deserve every dime they get, and that a company should be bled totally dry to pay execs and keep them happy.

We also hate unions, because every ‘sick day’ some ‘laborer’ uses may mean an exec can only belong to three country clubs, instead of four.  It could also cost an exec up to 10 minutes worth of private jet fuel. That stuff isn’t cheap you know.

So…. Transocean Ltd. gave bonuses to execs because 2010 was its “best year” in safety.

Best year in safety!  Wow. Now that is something to celebrate.

Wait a second… Transocean Ltd…. Do I know that name? Oh yeah, they owned the Deepwater Horizon oil rig.

Whatever happened to that?

It did what? It blew up, killing eleven people?  Yep, and spilling millions of gallons of sludgy-oil into the Gulf of Mexico.

…Sorry, I got distracted. Where were we?

Oh, yeah. Executive bonuses for having their “best year” in safety.

OKAY !!!!!

 

How does Transocean Ltd. define “safety?” I can only guess…

  • A paper cut that gets infected = one ‘incident’
  • Someone gets sick at the workplace cafeteria = one ‘incident’
  • An oil rig explosion that kills eleven employees and dumps millions of gallons of oil = one ‘incident’

So, there are three ‘incidents’ right there!

To be fair, the five execs that received the safety bonus donated all of it (over $250,000) to the Deepwater Horizon Memorial Fund, which will be distributed to the 11 families.

Questions:

  1. What is a fair amount to pay for the death of an employee? There is no reasonable answer for this.
  2. What is a fair bonus for an executive? Apparently, the sky is the limit.
  3. What would constitute a ‘bad year’ for safety when the deaths of 11 workers and despoiling the Gulf of Mexico is your ‘best year?’
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