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Monthly Archive for March, 2008

PRISON PUNISHMENT CHOW SOUGHT FOR FAMINE RELIEF

Montpelier, Vt, April 1…”It’s worse than solitary,” one convicted murderer says. “I’d rather go hungry than eat it,” says a child molester.

It’s nutraloaf, a mixture of cubed whole wheat bread, nondairy cheese, raw carrots, spinach, seedless raisins, beans, vegetable oil, tomato paste and dehydrated potato flakes and it’s given to misbehaving prisoners who start fights, assault guards or throw their feces.

Vermont Corrections Commissioner Rob Hoffmann acknowledges that it doesn’t taste very good. “It reminded me of eating my vegetables,” he said, ”and I’m not necessarily a big fan of vegetables”.

But according to the Associated Press, “prison officials see nutraloaf as a tool for behavior modification.” After a few days on nutraloaf most prisoners mend their ways, officials say. The mere threat of an exclusive diet of nutraloaf has decreased incidents of “food abuse,” feces throwing, urine attacks, and excrement bombs.

But prisoners claim that forcing them to eat nutraloaf is “cruel and inhuman” and thus a violation of the Constitution. And the courts agree. A federal judge ruled in 1988 that prisoners had to be put into segregation before they could be given nutraloaf. The Supreme Court has described a similar food used in Arkansas as “intolerably cruel” if given for weeks or months.

Now the Vermont Prisoner’s Rights Office wants to ban its use. Nutraloaf is not behavior modification it’s “punishment plain and simple,” says attorney Seth Lipshutz.

But one man’s punishment can be another’s salvation. Nutraloaf may find a new life in the famine-wracked areas of the Sudan. Leah Schildkraut, pediatric nutrition specialist for the Anarcho-Feminist Alliance had nutraloaf analyzed by a panel of experts. They found that it is a “complete meal,” she said. “If eaten with a bowl of rice it can supply the daily requirement of protein and vitamins for a starving child.”

Schildkrautt has organized a nutraloaf collection drive at all the prisons in the US. She hopes to airlift tons of the food into Africa in the next few months.

“Food that is considered unfit for criminals in the US will save millions of lives in Africa,” Schildkraut says.

NON GRATA LA GENITALIA, ITALIAN MEN ARE TOLD

Rome, March 28…After an emotional trial pitting an American feminist against a Sicilian bricklayer, Italy’s highest court has ruled that men may no longer touch their genitals in public.

In a unanimous decision it denied an appeal by Estansio Cullioni, of Palermo, who was convicted last year of harassment for loitering outside the hotel of Leah Schildkraut, chairperson of the Anarcho-Feminist coalition and “ostentatiously touching his genitals through his clothing” whenever she walked by.

Ms. Schildkraut testified that Signor Cullioni was in a construction crew that shouted obscenities at her as she entered the hotel to attend the annual conference of the Komodo Sisterhood, an organization named for the Komodo dragon, whose females fertilize their own eggs and reproduce without the participation of the male. She acknowledged shouting back that men would soon be as obsolete as the male Komodo and said the harassment began soon after that.

Ms. Schildkraut said Signor Cullioni accosted her at all hours, grabbing his testicles and making offensive remarks. She admitted she didn’t know what he was saying, but “I didn’t think he was asking me what time it was.”

The police did not take her seriously, she said, fondling their groins suggestively and asking “is this how he did it?” But when Komodo Board members Martha Stuart and Rosie O’Donnell complained to the American embassy they took Signor Cullioni into custody.

Cullioni’s lawyer argued that Signor Cullioni was merely observing the ancient Italian custom of cupping the crotch to ward off bad luck. He had done it once when a funeral procession passed on the way to the cemetery, another time when an opposing football team’s bus drove by on the way to a match and a third time when a nun followed by a black cat crossed the street and walked under a ladder.

Ms. Schildkraut’s presence on these three occasions was a tragic coincidence, Cullioni’s lawyer said.

“I beg of you, do not let a foreign agitator emasculate a thousand years of Italian history,” he pleaded.

But the court ruled that Signor Cullioni’s act had been a ”violation of public decency” and suggested that any Italian man who feels the need to grab his crotch can do so in the privacy of his home.

NON GRATA LA GENT

NOTE TO SLACKERS: NOW YOU CAN GET A DEGREE IN “BULLSHIT”

Princeton, N.J…. March.27…”Bullshit studies” have become the newest rage in university philosophy departments.

A new textbook, Bullshit and Philosophy, by L. Hardcastle and George A. Resich, in which eminent thinkers “respond to bullshit” is the hottest item in campus bookstores.

Inspired by the best seller On Bullshit by Harry G. Frankfurt, Professor of Philosophy Emeritus at Princeton, many scholars have turned their attention to what they believe to be a neglected aspect of modern life.

“Frankfurt argues that bullshit is a dominant feature of our culture,” says Professor Artoro Fecale, of the University of Bologna, “but we have no coherent theory, no clear understanding of what bullshit is. Bullshit studies attempts to systemize the analysis of bullshit so that we can recognize it in front of our faces, sniff it out as it were.”

According to Frankfurt, bullshit is not outright lying, but rather an attempt by the bullshitters to “convey a certain impression of themselves” whether it is true or not. Frankfurt believes that “liars at least acknowledge what is true,” but bullshitters consider truth to be irrelevant, which makes bullshitters “a greater enemy of the truth” than liars.

“As you have seen in your Presidential campaign someone who starts out as a bullshit artist can turn into a pathological liar,” Fecale says.

Meanwhile, the study of bullshit has led to the creation of a new philosophical discipline—Mindfucking.

The London Times Literary Supplement reports that Colin McGinn, Professor of Philosophy at Miami University, author The Making of a Philosopher discovered the concept when a student told him his lecture was a “mindfuck.”

In his new book, Mindfucking“ McGinn says, “I knew instantly what was meant. I was, we might say, mindfucked by the word “mindfucked.”

After reading On Bullshit McGinn became convinced that mindfucking “was a concept of the future.”

Miami U, which was the first college to offer, “underwater basket weaving” as an elective is poised to certify a major in Bullshitting with a minor in Mindfucking for the class of 2012.

Because of it title, Mindfucking is not receiving wide distribution in bookstores. An attempt to order it from Amazon.com received the following advisory:

“Customers who bought this item also bought The Baby Jesus Butt Plug, The Menstruating Mall, War Slut and The Haunted Vagina.

DOGS IN THE NEWS

DAILY EVENT

DOGS IN THE NEWS

FOOTIES FOR FRITZIE
GERMAN POLICE DOGS TO WEAR SHOES

Düsseldorf, Germany, Mar. 24… Police dogs in this western city will now be able to patrol in comfort. The entire canine unit will be equipped with blue plastic shoes, a police spokesman said today.

This program was initiated after a number of German Shepherds slipped in blood and stepped on broken beer bottles in Düsseldorf’s historic old town where drunken brawls are a nightly occurrence. The broken glass lodged in their paws, but a greater danger came from the transmission of STDs from contaminated blood, the spokesman said.

“Many of our dogs contracted Chlamydia, Gonorrhea, herpes and genital warts from contact with the bodily fluids of the human vermin in our foreign quarters. Now their pure Aryan feet will be protected.”

The shoes come in small, medium and large and were ordered in blue to match the officer’ uniforms.

Former SS officer, Werner von Stumpf, 89, watched approvingly as the newly shod dogs were put through their paces in training exercises.

“We could have used these booties in Auschwitz,” he said. “Our Dobermans suffered terribly during the winter.”

JAPAN’S NEWEST ZEN MASTER HAS FOUR FEET

Naha, Japan, Mar. 24…Monks at the Shuri Kannondo Buddhist temple welcomed their newest novice today—a 1 ½ year old black and Chihuahua named Conan.

Conan attends prayers every day with his master, priest Joel Yoshikuni. He has been trained to go through the motions of meditation, sitting up on his hind legs and putting his paws together.

“Word has spread and we are getting a lot more tourists,” Yoshikuni said.
The monks are hoping to cross Conan’s legs in the lotus position in time for the Cherry Blossom Festival.
In addition to teaching Conan, the monks feel they have learned a lot from observing him.

“A dog will eat everything, relieve itself anywhere, have sex with anything from another dog, a man or woman’s leg to a stool or a hole in the ground, but also has the flexibility to gratify itself in the search for enlightenment,” Zen master Shitzutani said. “Dogs are truly Zen.”

DAILY EVENT WORLD ROUND UP

BANKERS BEG FOR BAILOUT:
IT’S A MATTER OF LIFE OR DEATH

Cambridge, England, Feb.26th…Bankers all over the world face imminent death if the current banking crisis is allowed to continue, according to a joint World Bank and World Health Organization study issued today.

Drawing on 40 years of data the study concluded that a “system wide” financial upheaval could cause tens of thousands of deaths” through heart attacks brought on by stress and anxiety.” The Bank urged that Governments act quickly to transfer billions to bolster troubled banks, warning that: “Five or six thousand of the richest men in the world could die instantly unless the widespread panic and hysteria is contained.”

Alone protester marched outside the World Bank Headquarters. Leach Schildkraut of the Anarcho-Feminist commune carried a placard, reading: “Die Bankers Die.”

She accosted several young banking executives on their lunch break. “Millions in the developing world have died because of your greed and outright criminality,” she shouted.

One of the bankers began to hyperventilate and a team of security officers quickly escorted Miss Schildkraut to a barricade across the street.

JAPAN VERSUS CHINA
DUMPLING DIPLOMACY BOILING

Tokyo, March 1st…. Japan’s National Police Agency lodged an official protest today over China’s refusal to clamp down on purveyors of poisoned dumplings.

So far ten Japanese of have sickened after eating contaminated dumplings made in China. This came after numerous illnesses were reported from eating eels and tuna also imported from China, which is the world’s largest exporter of seafood products used in sushi, the Japanese national dish.

“The dumplings were laced with pesticide,” Japanese Police Commissioner Aki Toro said. “Chinese police have refused to cooperate in the investigation. This could escalate into a diplomatic crisis.”

“The Chinese are trying to poison us,” accused Yakima Agedofu, national commander of the Japanese Defense Forces during a cabinet meeting yesterday. “This is their way of getting revenge for the Rape of Nanking…”

After his remarks were made public, Mr. Agedofu was dismissed from his post by Prime Minister Fukuda, who said: “You can’t get revenge for something that never happened.”

Later that evening Mr. Agedofu was found dead in his office with ten empty packages of dumplings by his body.

PROF GIVES UP SEARCH FOR “LOST DRUMMER”

DAILY EVENT

PROF GIVES UP SEARCH FOR “LOST DRUMMER”

Los Angeles, Feb.22…An eminent musicologist has abandoned his forty-year quest to discover who played the drums on a classic Fred Astaire-Ginger Rodgers dance number.

Albert Phalange, Chairman of the Music Department of Triplett University has been trying to identify the drummer in the RKO Studio orchestra for the 1938 Irving Berlin musical “Carefree” since 1968 when he saw the film as a young composition student at Juilliard School of Music.

“It was in an American Songwriting class,” Phalange remembers. “There was this number ‘Yam.’ Minor Berlin, a silly lyric, but the band was hot and had an amazing swing drummer, who drove the dance with rim shots and tom toms and cowbells that seemed to pick up Astaire and Rodgers and fly them across the floor.”

After class Phalange says he “bombarded” his instructor with questions. Who was this drummer? Was his part written or did he ad-lib it? Did he play to the choreography or did they choreograph to his playing?

“My professor didn’t know anything about it and he wasn’t interested in finding out,” Phalange says. “But I was.”
For the next forty years, in the midst of a busy career that included playing, composing and teaching, Phalange searched for his mystery drummer. He looked in RKO studio archives, tried to track down the various conductors, the contractors, other musicians. They were either dead or “consigned to oblivion”, Phalange says.

In the course of his search Phalange says he realized that the “Golden Age of Hollywood” was made possible by thousands of artists and craftsmen, “the so-called below the line people,” he says, who toiled in anonymity and today are forgotten.

Phalange posted his query on message boards all across the Internet, but so far has not had one response. Now, about to retire, arthritic and suffering from Retinitis Pigmentosa he admitted defeat.

“I guess I’ll never know who hit those magic rim shots,” he says.

CHINA LEADS THE WORLD

Beijing, Feb. 22…China’s Ministry of Aviation announced the opening of the world’s largest airport terminal today.

Designed in the serpentine form of a Dragon, the Chinese symbol of power, the Beijing Terminal is 1.8 miles long, 17% larger than all the terminals at Heathrow Airport combined. Chinese officials boast that the project went from the drafting table to ribbon cutting in four years, a world record. Built by a non-union work force of 50,000, working six day weeks and 16 hour shifts, it is modeled after an Imperial palace with vermilion walls and golden roofs and it is meant to impress the millions of visitors who will be arriving for the 2008 Olympic games.

According to The Economist magazine, China is in the throes of a building frenzy
that will cost 200 billion USD over the next three years.
It is slated to open the world’s longest sea-crossing bridge, a 23-mile span across
Hang Zhou Bay in June

China’s first bullet train will make the sixty-five mile journey between Beijing and Tianjin in less than a half hour.

The Ministry of Communications says China has built 35,000miles of toll expressways since 1993. “We achieved in 15 years what it took the West 40 years to accomplish,” an official said. He attributes the speed of completion to the fact that the People’s Republic does not have to seek permission from the people to expropriate their land and change the shape and ecology of their cities. “Democracy sacrifices efficiency,” he says.

China is now embarking upon what one official says, “will be the greatest engineering project in the history of the world.” Plans have been approved for an expressway from Beijing to Taipei, the capital of independent Taiwan, which means that part of the road will have to bridge the 90-mile Taiwan Strait. Completion is scheduled by 2030, by which time China expects to be “united” with Taiwan, the official said.

China may be catching up to the West in infrastructure development, but it has long led in other departments.
It is number one in poverty: it is estimated that 200 million Chinese live on the equivalent of $1 a day.

It claims to be number two in prison population, second to the US, which has the largest number of incarcerated in the world. But Harry Wu, a human rights activist disputes this statistic. Wu, who spent sixteen years in prison for criticizing the government, says that there are between eighteen and twenty million people imprisoned in China, many for political offenses.

China is the undisputed world champion of executions. According to Amnesty International the Chinese executed more people in the last three months than the rest of the world did in the last three years. The NY Times estimates that between 10 and 15,000 executions take place every year. Hoping to avoid adverse publicity in their Olympic years the Chinese have lowered that number by 10 per cent.

Capital crimes in China range from stealing petrol and “disrupting the stock market” to “selling harmful foodstuffs” and “aiding Tibetan border crossings.”

‘”KNOCKED UP” AND “JUNO” SWEEP PRO FAMILY AWARDS

Vancouver, Feb. 15. CSPERM (Canadian Society for the Protection of Embryo Rights and Mothers ) awarded its much coveted “Babees” to the Hollywood hits “Knocked Up” and “Juno” last night.

The “Babees”, life-sized plastic models of fetuses with velour umbilical cords attached to their navels, were presented to directors Judd Apatow (“Knocked Up’) and Jason Reitman (“Juno”) in recognition of the “powerful pro-family values themes in both films.”

The citation commended both directors for having “slipped in [the family values] completely below the viewing audiences expectations.” It praised Apatow and “Juno” screenwriter Diablo Cody for “concocting implausible plots and obnoxious characters to emphasize their message.”

CSPERM President Eugene Poole described “Knocked Up,” as “the nightmare” of every young single woman in the Western World: a joyless one night stand with a repellent drug addict, which leads to an unwanted pregnancy. ” Her decision to have the baby and eventually to marry its father gives “great moral weight to her redemption.”

“Juno deals provocatively with the compelling social issue of teenage pregnancy,” Poole said. “What to do when an insufferable teenage girl and a callow, insecure boy conceive a child, which they will be unable and unwilling to raise? With no guidance from her platitudinous parents or her morally numb peers, our heroine pledges her unborn child to a desperate couple who have no other way to get a child, but to communicate through a community newspaper. “

There are no winners in this dismal scenario, Poole said. “Except, of course, the child, who might go on to write a great symphony or discover a cure for cancer.”

He said he believes that “the message will certainly have an impact on those previously disposed to following pro abortion absolutism.”

Apatow who did not attend has claimed to be neutral on the subject of abortion, saying, “we’re just messengers of two sides of this very important discussion.”

Reitman, who was also not in attendance calls “Juno” a “fairy tale,” and has brushed off all political questions.

Cody, who pleaded previous commitments, calls herself “pro choice,.” She says her heroine, Juno, “had to have the baby in order for me to execute the story.” And adds: “I had a friend who had a baby when she was teenager and everything turned out alright.”

A lonely picket marched outside the Vancouver Dave and Buster’s where the awards ceremony were held. Leah Schildkraut of the Alberta Anarcho-Feminist commune harangued the crowd, shouting: “Hollywood Hypocrites. Liberalism plus money equals Fascism…”

One attendee turned at the entrance and said: “That’s pretty good. I’ll have to remember that.”

TRAVELING

Traveling until March 9, 2008. New entry of The Daily Event on March 10, 2008.