Opinions, Etc 02.11.04


While a hot dog itself may not qualify as “meat,” common frankfurter ingredients such as food coloring, sodium nitrate, bread crumbs and preservatives certainly pass muster as “filling.” – Patrick Hruby, ESPN Retard

Okay, sports geek, now you’re in MY backyard.  I, of course, know more about hot dogs than you know about sports, which isn’t saying much considering who gets to write for espn.com (other than, of course, the Doktor, about whom I will never, ever say anything bad).  Let me break down your allegedly humorous assertion to the REAL truth:

1) Hot dogs are mostly meat.  In fact, they’re usually a mixture of meat (mostly a combination of pork, beef, and chicken), unless you’re dealing with something like a “100% X” product, in which case all of the meat used is of X species.  A hot dog happens to be a bunch of meat that’s put inside the equivalent of a giant blender, turned into a paste, stuffed into casings, and smoked and/or cooked.

2) Sodium nitrate is a cure.  Curing meat is a way to get some shelf stability for sausages and other meat products (like corned beef, which should really be called “cured beef”).  It also adds flavor and color to the final product.  It’s also legally restricted to a very small amount of the final product.  In fact, sodium nitrate isn’t even the most common cure used.  That would be sodium nitrite, which is allowed in even smaller amounts.  It’s limited to 200 parts per million in the final product.  Yeah, that’s a helluva lot.

3) Preservatives aren’t very common in hot dogs.  When they are used, they’re used in amounts in the single digit parts per million.  The shelf stability of hot dogs mostly comes from the curing, smoking, and cooking, just like in the days before refrigeration.

4) Food coloring is in there, but it’s not part of the process unless you’re talking about stuff like hot links (which are abominations unto God).  Food coloring is introduced into a hot dog not as part of a means to make a hot dog look better, but as part of the curing process.  Cure is usually sold in pre-mix since it’s limited to so little in the final product by law.  A cure mix is simply salt doped with sodium nitrite.  Hence, it looks like salt.  However, it has food coloring added to it (usually some pink coloring) in order to differentiate a bag of cure mix from a bag of salt.  It’s a safety measure and not something designed to f*ck with consumers.

5) Bread crumbs are what is known as a “binder”.  When you turn the meat into paste, it usually needs something to hold it together long enough to get it into the casings.  It’s used in large amounts because binder is cheaper than meat and doesn’t adulterate the taste.  Binders are more commonly found in what’s euphemistically called “beef pattie mix”, which is ground beef with tons of binders added.  In fact, there are three different classifications of ground parts of cow.  There’s “ground beef”, which is just beef that’s been put through the grinder with nothing else added to it.  There’s “hamburger”, which is beef put through a grinder with fat added to improve the texture.  And then there’s the cheapest, “beef pattie mix”, which is ground cow with fat and fillers added as necessary to ensure a huge profit margin from people who think they’re getting all meat (when you see “100% beef” on a package, you’re guaranteed it’s beef pattie mix, and they’re not lying, since it’s only beef as the meat in there; it’s just beef with a whole lot of non-meat crap with it).

Hope that you got a little bit of an education from that.  It also gave me a great lead-in to this as well.  So, thanks, retard, for the help.

And it’s Wednesday at Black, where I get to talk about various and sundry shit without talking about wrestling (although Kanyon’s release would have provided some material for me).  People seem to enjoy it, even though I’m not going to comment about the SI Swimsuit Issue (too old to care).  So let’s just get on to the festivities…


Baxley gets lead pimp because he gave me lead pimp.  It’s called “back-scratching”.  Learn it and you can survive in the morass of politics that seethes behind the happy facade here at 411.  But I’m sure about one thing:  “shizzy hizzle” cannot be anything good.  Does anyone have a Snoop Dogg-to-English dictionary?  Or better yet, an English-to-Snoop Dogg plug-in for Word?  I do use Word for some stuff, just not this column.

I’m one of the very few people who doesn’t use Word to write his stuff here (and convert it to HTML for submission).  I use UltraEdit and manually do the HTML extensions, which is why you don’t see stuff like diacriticals showing up here, even when I know they should be included (like in Rene Dupree’s name).  I just prefer it that way instead of loading up Word.  I don’t need to WYSIWIG this column.  Just wanted to lift a little of the kayfabe veil to show you the insides of 411.

Haley has his Little Things in public view again, just like he does every week at this time.  What a deve.

I forgot to throw an In Memoriam yesterday in the direction of Julie Schwartz, whose influence on comics and how we, the public, view superheroes is incalculable.  I’d put him in the Top Five all-time of influential people in that medium.  Stupid of me to neglect that.  Fortunately, Stevens covered my ass nicely on that Sin of Omission.

Memo to Helm:  Boorman lost me when he overlaid the sex/death/war metaphor too heavily during the sex scene.  However, Nicol Williamson kicked serious ass in that film performance-wise.

Erhardt gets pimped because I’m such an ofay old guy that I have no clue as to what he’s talking about.

Anderson is right about Stat Boy being in the wrong place as substitute host of ATH, but wrong about Noo Yawk Kellerman, who should be sealed up in a box and sent to St. Petersburg as a bitch-boy for the Russian Mafia.  But what do you do with Stat Boy, since it seems the geeks in Bristol are giving him a push that Van Dam would kill someone to have and it’s now painfully obvious his appeal has outgrown PTI?  Here’s a suggestion:  put him on NFL broadcasts in the booth.  God knows they can’t do worse than what they have now.  Maybe we can do something in regard to Paul Maguire that involves a copy of The Lesbian Guide To Sex.


I kept saying that the primaries yesterday were pretty much in the bag for Edwards, being Southern states where his appeal would override any kind of Kerry momentum.  Okay, I was wrong.  Kerry winning both states genuinely surprised me, in a pleasant way, of course.  And that finally drove Wesley Clark out, a realization he should have had after last week’s pretty pathetic results from states that he should have done well in.  Buh-bye, General, and thanks for the entertainment while it lasted.  My results may not have been as expected, but I got Clark dropping out after the events of yesterday right on the f*cking money.  I’ll look for positive punditry wherever I can find it, thank you.

The only problem with the victories yesterday is simple:  It’s now essentially over, or will be after Wisconsin next week.  Dean and Edwards are both saying that Wisconsin’s their last chance.  Although one of them, probably Edwards, may find something positive in the results to keep him in the race, a Kerry win in one of my former states of residence would pretty much cinch the game before Super Tuesday.  That’s really pretty sad.  I was hoping to get a lot more material out of the primaries than I did, and now it’s on to the Big One.  I’ve been saying that I’m for Kerry for so long now that now that it’s become a fait accompli, I don’t have anything left to talk about concerning my support for him.  Yeah, it still gives me a great feeling that the small little bandwagon I had a reserved seat for in the middle of 2002 is now overcrowded to the point of a majority of Demos supporting him (according to the latest CNN poll), and they have to stand while I can sit smugly with that “I Told You So” grin on my face.  But I’m still going to miss the deluge of mails I got whenever I mentioned Kerry telling me to get on the stick and switch to Dean/Edwards/Clark (mostly Dean), and I’m going to have to miss justifying my case.  Well, I’ll do that in the upswing to November, and keep reminding people of the fact that, last week, Dubbaya de facto admitted that he lied about WMDs in Iraq, among many others in his list of High Crimes And Misdemeanors.

But talking about the election now is like hyping the NBA playoffs in October.  There’s just too much time between the events for anything to happen, like it used to be in the WWF.  Take one particular assertion that I think has some credibility.  It comes from Flea his own self, and I like it enough to throw it in here as a great example of One Of Those Things That Might Happen.  The Bag thinks that Cheney’s going to drop out of the Veep slot due to “health problems” (read:  minimize the Halliburton damage once a select committee starts looking into it with the attention it deserves), and for symbolic purposes, Dubbaya will draft Rudy Giuliani.  Well, I had to bring up Rudy’s health problems to him.  His view was that they caught the prostate cancer early, and “no one dies” if that happens (his words).  I then brought up the fact that doctors caught my father’s prostate cancer early, and that didn’t stop him from dying of it.  Oops.  But Flea does have a point in that the rate of remission is really high, and Rudy would be a suitable Veep candidate.  I think it could happen, especially if Dubbaya starts sagging in the polls like Mae Young’s tits.  Thanks to the sheep-like nature of Americans when it comes to PR designed to appeal to their surface patriotism, that would change the dynamics of the race heavily.  Kerry would have to select his Veepmate very, very carefully to minimize a Rudy Effect.

(Memo to David Bishop:  Yes, Edwards is giving up his seat, but he’s going to be a lot more valuable in North Carolina during the campaign season to make certain that his successor gets elected in what is definitely a marginal state for the Demos.  It’s the same situation another retiring Senator/prime VP choice, Bob Graham, is in.  The Senate is as big of a prize as the White House for the Demos.  It’s so close that a strong run from Kerry, combined with some judicious campaigning by respected retiring Senators, could tilt the balance.  They’re not going to jeopardize that by having a Senator running for President with another Senator running for VP.  Haley likes the idea of Edwards just for the purpose of turning Cheney into his bitch during the VP debates, but that won’t be hard to do, if they end up keeping Cheney.  They don’t need Edwards for that; any charismatic Demo will do as long as he or she is acceptable to the voting public.  It’ll end up being someone from the higher levels of the House or a governor.  Rod the Mod might be a decent choice for Midwestern and ethnic appeal.)

That’s just one example.  The economy could start to improve (fat chance).  Everyone in Iraq might decide spontaneously to settle down and stop the bullshit that’s getting our men killed for no real reason (again, fat chance).  Too many variables in play in what’s going to be another close race.  So there’s no use speculating at this point.

One more thing:  Irish Bureau Chief Ian Wright asked me last week what the difference is between a caucus and a primary.  A primary is simply an election.  You go and vote for a single candidate, and that’s it.  A caucus is a series of small meetings of party members.  A bunch of people gather in a convenient place, like someone’s living room, over coffee and cookies and listen to some people make speeches in favor of one guy or another.  Then you pretend that you didn’t grab the last Mint Milano, piss on the toilet seat, or walk in to the place with your mind made up, and vote for a single candidate or sometimes vote on whoever made the best argument on behalf of their candidate so that they can go to the convention to represent said candidate as a delegate.  So, a primary is, in effect, a direct connection between the candidate and voter, while a caucus enables a candidate to have a chosen pimp be the connection between candidate and voter.

And speaking of direct connections with an audience…


Here’s a rare YAM that deals strictly with politics.  Most of the time, the political content from YAMers is combined with some other factor that provides additional context for trying to prove me an idiot.  Not this one.  So I congratulate Coby Preimesberger, who’s such a loser that he uses IncrediMail, one of the worst e-mail programs available for the PC, to send his crap out:

If you guys on the left would read a dictonary

Personally, I don’t need to read one.  My command of vocabulary is perfectly acceptable and almost certainly at a higher level than yours.

and look up the word neo-conserative you wouldn’t throw it out there,

Huh?  It’s a perfectly legitimate term when used in the context commentators of all political stripes use it in.

becuase the definiton for neo-conserative is this: One who once had liberal views,

Oh, bullshit.  The term developed into its current usage to describe people of the conservative persuasion who were diverging from the standard conservative line as embodied by people like the late Barry Goldwater due to the influences of the Religious Reich on the subject of morals (which Goldwater conservatives really didn’t care about) and on the subject of the economy (supply-side is definitely not a classic conservative approach).  In the late 1970s, there was a major struggle in the Republican Party between the old-school conservatives and the emerging group as described above and embodied by the Senile Old Fuck.  The latter started describing themselves as neo-conservative, and the label stuck.  Nothing about former liberals involved at all.  Eventually, the neocons ended up dominating the party, which is a shame, because the ideological filter they put everything through prevents them from working with the other side to actually solve issues.  That’s why I like people like Orrin Hatch and John McCain, who are true conservatives who are also pragmatic when it comes to the give-and-take of politics.  McCain learned at the feet of Goldwater how to be a conservative, and Hatch’s religious filtering comes with the territory of being a sincere, devout Mormon.  I just wish Hatch would stay out of technology issues.  Having Novell and SCO as constitutents does not a techno-savant make.  I’d even respect Pat Buchanan if he decided not to be such a shit-stirrer for the sake of stirring shit.

Jesus, what a stupid piece of shit, trying to pervert the term “neocon” in order to portray his disgusting beliefs as “true conservativism”.  I respect true conservatives.  I don’t respect neocons, especially neocons who try to portray themselves in a true conservative light.  In that vein, Monroe really needs to read The Conscience of a Conservative and see if he can adjust his views.  He has the potential to be a true conservative if he can just rid himself of that neocon baggage he’s carrying.

can you name anybody right now working for Bush that had liberal views,

Not now, but I can definitely bring up the names of two ex-Cabinet people:  Tommy Thompson and Paul O’Neill.

heck the only perosn I know who you could term a neo-conserative is Ben Nighthorse Campell the senator from Colorado

Who is a Senator and thus does not “work for Dubbaya”.  And his name’s spelled “Campbell”, as in the soup, which he’ll be in if the Demos come up with a decent candidate this autumn.

I’ll be talking about the Senate races in play as the election approaches.  Right now, I’d like a clearer view of who’s getting the fast track in Illinois so that my home state can have its proper two Demo senators and governor.  Mayor Daley would have been happy with that.

who was afillated with the Democrats for so many years but is now a Republican.

And he was a conservative Democrat, which is how he won election in Colorado.  In fact, he was an old-school conservative.

As far as Fox News, you know you guys should watch it more often

There’s not enough Prevacid in the known universe that would allow me to do that.

becuase for as many people that have conserative views, just as many people with liberal views appear on the shows.

And they’re turned into bitches by such exemplars of broadcast yellow journalism like Sean Hannity.  There is one person who shall remain nameless who keeps attempting to convince me that Bill O’Reilly isn’t as bad as he seems (and he’s got the inside props that allows me to accept what he has to say at face value), but it’s not going to happen, because O’Reilly is Fat Tony, with the Fox bosses whispering in his ear all the time to pimp the neocons.

Just to summarize:  Sean Hannity is not a conservative.  Ann Coulter is not a conservative.  Rush Limbaugh is not a conservative.  Barbara Olson was not a conservative.  They’re all neocons, and with neocons dominating the talking heads platforms, it’s a blight on the cause of true conservatives.  You don’t need a dictionary to realize that, moron.


1) Chick Commando has a major role in the story.  MORE CHICK COMMANDO!!!

2) Reid gets the shit beat out of him.  God, I’ve wanted to see that since the series started.

3) T’Pol and Trip…no, just watch it.  But it does confirm certain strictly scientific observations that I’ve had concerning Jolene Blalock’s ass.

I would like to mention the incredible cynicism showed by Viacom in regard to UPN’s scheduling of Enterprise.  We’re now in the midst of February Sweeps, which explains the scene alluded to in #3 above.  Enterprise will have all-new episodes up until March 3rd, which is pretty much the end of the Sweeps period.  That episode will be a teaser setting up the remainder of the season-long storyline they’re involved in.  Then, the show takes a seven-week break…yeah, you heard me, a seven-week break…until new episodes start up again, just in time for May Sweeps, whereupon they do the big push to the season finale.

And they’re getting desperate.  They’re putting most of the remaining episodes in the directorial hands of Old Trekkers LeVar Burton and Roxann Dawson, plus they’re bringing Casey Biggs back into the fold to complete Enterprise‘s trifecta of DS9 Misunderstood Bad Guys That Everyone Ended Up Liking (joining the ever-present Jeff Combs and J. G. Hertzler).  They’re also betting the farm on hoping that Randy Oglesby gets over as the Xindi scientist (after his performance last week, he’s well on his way), considering he’s going to be getting more screen time than most of the regulars over the last batch of new episodes.  The odor is starting to intensify over at the Paramount lot, and it’s not a pleasant smell.  Too bad that Viacom won’t fork out for some deodorizer.  In fact, their actions of late have been creating a bigger pile of whatever’s causing it.

I may not like the show that much, but I think that Viacom’s treatment of it has reached the point of ridiculity.  Changing the title to include “Star Trek” in it.  Dropping teasers for the next episode.  Leaking the news that Berman and Braga’s jobs are in trouble…okay, that’s a good thing, but you kinda get my drift.  All in all, Star Trek is reaching a crisis point as an icon.  This series has thrown away a lot of goodwill on behalf of fans toward the franchise, and even the merchandisers are responding (Activision trying to get out of their franchise agreement for electronic games, for example).  The audience isn’t coming, and nothing they do can shut the fans up about the perversion that’s going on.  All I can say is that it took Voyager three full seasons to get its ass in gear.  However, it also took a refocus of what the series was about, an emphasis on the Borg, a couple of great new villain races to go along with that, and a very judicious cast change to start the engine.  Enterprise will need to do the same thing if it wants to survive, and it doesn’t have the assurance from Viacom that it’ll be back for a fourth season.  There’s going to have to be one hard sell coming up from the Trek production team to keep this show alive.

Chick Commando as a regular would be a good place to start.  God, she’s got a great pair of tits on her.


So the US soccer team is out of the Olympics, humiliated 4-nil by Mexico.  Just like the baseball team was in the same situation (win and go to Athens, lose and go home in disgrace).  Of course, there’s one question you’re asking yourselves when looking at that.  No, it’s not “Why is America taking it on the chin against a country we’ve been pulverizing lately in soccer?” or “When football became the National Pastime, did Baseball take a swim over the Rio Grande?”.  It’s “How can Eric spin this so that it’ll be another Obvious Dubbaya Fix?”

Well, this one’s obvious.  One of the few direct appeals to the American surface-patriot psyche that runs directly through the minefield of the GOP mismanaging of the economy is through NAFTA.  Since Americans can’t get passionate about anything Canadian except for cheap prescription drugs, that means Mexico is a target.  So, have young American boys lose to Mexicans in a pair of high-profile sports (and remember that Dubbaya is a former baseball team owner) and let the anger emerge.  There was a large frisson of national pride during the 2002 World Cup when the US beat Mexico in the second round, although it wasn’t as big as Mexicans’ shame in losing to the gringos (I know this from first-hand experience; those f*cking beaners at that plant in Chicago wouldn’t listen to me for a goddamn week after that game, and the looks on their faces were ones of overt hostility rather than just benign ignoring).  So, obviously, it can work the other way around.

Also, there’s that little thing about Dubbaya’s immigration plan, a scheme so reprehensible that Monroe and I actually agree about it.  What better way to take the heat off of Dubbaya than with a national sport loss to the Mexicans?  Deflect the hostility away from the Junta and toward the Mexicans.  Brilliant.  Cynically brilliant.

So, we have another Dubbaya fix.  And, tragically for us Americans, it had to be a crushing defeat rather than something decided in, oh, penalty kicks.  However, it could have actually been a fix by US soccer officials and Nike, who now have every single sports writer who paid attention screaming about the need to bring in Freddy Adu, NOW.  Well, now we’ve got until Germany 2006 to worry about Freddy’s development.  Just have Freddy show up in the next church-related commercial with LeBron.  As long as f*cking Bernie Mac isn’t there too, I’ll be satisfied.


Two weeks already, and some of you retards are still infected with MyDoom.  Clean your systems up, goddammit.  Especially now that Doomjuice and Deadhat are taking advantage of that backdoor that was opened by MyDoom to modify the initial infection.  Those puppies don’t spread by mail; they port-scan your box, see if you’re infected, and slime their way in.  Doesn’t matter that MyDoom’s scheduled to terminate itself this week.  If you’re already infected with MyDoom, you have a good chance of now being infected with the Doomjuice and/or Deadhat payloads as well.  Congratuations, you stupid f*cks.  Make life miserable for all of us, why don’t you.

I don’t know who, but someone out there has my address in their book along with that of Richard Roeper…yeah, Richard Roeper of the movie review show and cultural gadfly of the Chicago press.  I got an e-mail with his return address on it with a MyDoom payload, which means that he and I share space in some infected loser’s address book.  It’s got to be a Chicagoan, which makes me more sad.  Fernandez, is that you?  Check your box, ese.  Or it might be Jeff Cross, who uses the Chicago Sun-Times mail service (and Roeper works for the Sun-Times).  As for your question, Jeff, no, I don’t think that WMDs will be found during the Demo Convention, especially not after Dubbaya pretty much admitted straight out that they weren’t any and he got us into a conflict on a complete lie (which, I guess, puts the GOP even with the Demos on that score vis-a-vis Tonkin Gulf).  If they do “find” WMDs, it’ll be sometime in October.  October Surprises are nothing new for the Bush family, after all.

But what was I talking about?  Oh, yeah, viruses…

We’ve got to start implementing policies on a corporate level for people who open obvious virused e-mail attachments.  Let’s start with breaking fingers and then escalate to more important body parts.

By the way, MS’s latest monthly security update is out, and it’s a must-get, so head over to Windows Update, like, now.  This is, of course, if you’re running Windows.  But the vast majority of you are, and I can’t enforce the fact that these security patches are incredibly necessary if you’re connected, even with dial-up.  The latest vulnerability that’s been closed has been known about for six months, so someone may have been able to develop a method of breaking in using it (although none have been spotted).  Jesus Christ, folks, it’s easy.  Just go over to Windows Update and grab the patches, then reboot your system.  Takes no time at all.  Microsoft is actually making sure these days that nothing important breaks with these updates (unless they’re designed to break something like the IE update last week), so you’re in no danger of something not working.

With that warning, I’ll close it up for another week of fun and games here.  Stay tuned to all the zones for the latest and greatest, and until next week, farewell.