Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Hobgoblins Wanted

"The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary."
H.(enry) L.(ouis) Mencken, 1880 - 1956

The U.S. Department of Fear and Emotional Engineering is seeking video presentations from parties interested in serving as the new national or international bogeyman. After the supposed recent death of the last bogeyman, Mr. bin Ladin, it was decided that a fresh face was needed to prevent the public from falling back into complacency.

Video submissions should be no more than three minutes long and provide their own translations if recorded in a foreign language.

A Muslim bogeyman is the preferred model, but all entrants will be considered. Perhaps you might have a gift for presenting yourself as a "Mad Russian",  "Sneaky Jap", "Ruthless Hun" or "Savage Redskin."
Video submissions should avoid the use of obscene or vulgar language since it is desirable that the videos can be broadcast on national news for greatest effect.

If you are an inexperienced bogeyman, it is best to make threats that you can later claim for yourself. An experienced candidate would not make a statement such as, "We're going to blow up the Eiffel Tower." since it would cause a loss of credibility when it didn't happen. It is much better to say something like your organization is going to derail a train, cause a plane to crash, set wildfires, or cause some unspecified bridge to collapse. These things occur all the time, and subsequent to the event you can claim responsibility for your group, thereby gaining valuable credibility.

Be sure to make demands that you know will not be met, such as the U.S. pulling out of Saudi Arabia, Japan or South Korea.

Be certain to have a good costume. If you want to be a Japanese bogeyman, consider dressing as a ninja. An East Indian might consider a turban and a kukri knife as suitable props, whereas a Russian might want to wear a Joe Stalin jacket and speak with a heavy Russian accent. German candidates might consider a Sam Browne belt and jackboots, but the Nazi/Fascist theme should not be overdone since it has been over used as a template for villainy

If you want to use a nickname such as "Carlos the Jackal", it's best to use a name that inspires fear: "Muhammad the Cobra". is better than "Isoroku the Rabbit." A general rule - not ironclad - is that reptiles are better than birds or mammals; "Elmer the Duck" isn't a good selection

Be serious in your presentation. Smiling is reason for disqualification as is an obvious disguise such as nose-glasses. Fake beards are acceptable as long as they look real.

Candidates need not worry about having actual experience. If you are selected, the next oil well disaster, high rise building fire, political assassination, train derailment, boiler explosion, ship sinking, Somali pirate incident, or some such eventuality will be credited to you.

To enter, send your video to Department of Fear and Emotional Engineering C/O conlysullivan@yahoo.com

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Confessions Of An Inept Murderer

I was hired recently by a criminal organization to kill a man that has been a nuisance to it for many years.
It was widely believed that my target had been dead for quite a few years since he was known to be in poor health and in need of dialysis treatment Nevertheless, I took the job since I needed the money and the guy had supposedly been located in a hideaway he had constructed.

In order to make good my claim that I had in fact killed the designated victim, I rigged up a video transmitting arrangement so that my client could see in real time that I had accomplished the mission. Everything was going along swimmingly as I approached the target, but dang it, wouldn't you know that just as I closed in for the kill, something went wrong with the video and they didn't get to see the hit.

I went in and found the target unarmed and shot him in the head. While I was there I loaded up several van loads of booty - computers, videos, memory sticks, records of all sorts - which took me several minutes to accomplish. I also loaded up the body, took a few pictures and hightailed it out of there.

As I was fleeing the scene, it occurred to me that the decedent was a strict Albigensian and I needed to bury him in accordance with Albigensian practices so I flew out over the ocean and dumped his body in the sea, but not before harvesting some DNA as proof that I had actually pulled off the hit.

When I went to collect my money, the customer wanted proof that I had actually succeeded in locating and killing the victim. I told them that I had DNA that matched his sister, but they claimed that I could have gotten the DNA from him without killing him or that he might have been dead for a long time and been in cold storage - they wanted proof, not evidence, that I had a claim on the money.

I told them that I had pictures of the dead man, but that they were too gruesome to show them and that I was not going to spike the football. They asked why I didn't bring them the body since I had removed it from the crime scene, but I explained my commitment to honoring the victim's religion. They told me that one of his hands or his head would have been sufficient, but I would not have lowered myself to such depths.

Happily, a few days later a message posted by the decedent's organization appeared on a website confirming his death and threatening revenge for the killing. I thought that surely they would see this as conclusive proof of my success and pay me what I was owed. I went back to the client in triumph and pointed out the web posting confirming the death, but they still refused; claiming that I could have concocted the thing myself.

I pointed out that three U.S. Senators said they had seen the pictures and the guy was dead. Being the obstinate people that they are, they said that the pictures turned out to be fakes and that I might have posted them through a "leak" to see if the fraud could be detected before releasing "my" pictures. This was such a preposterous charge that I wouldn't even dignify it with a response. I sensed that they were just trying to get me to show them the "real" pictures and I'm not going to stoop to that. What if they got posted on the internet? The risk was just too great.

I fear I'm going to have to sue to get my money because they keep nit-picking about my not having the body.
It seems that nobody wants to do business honestly anymore.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

New TSA Screening Procedure

New TSA Screening Procedure

The TSA announced today that it is implementing a new screening procedure to replace the so-called X-Ray backscatter machines because of concerns about the cumulative effects of radiation on frequent travelers.
The new procedure will be simpler, safer and quicker, a TSA spokesman told Mendax News Service.
In order to maintain a sense of modesty and propriety, the new system will have two lines designated "Rams" and "Ewes" in which passengers will remove their clothing and put it on a conveyor for scanning by a TSA professional. The use of animal terms for male and female indicates which sex is appropriate for each line without specifying or mandating compliance, thus avoiding an anticipated challenge to the procedure based on sex discrimination.
Before having clothing returned, the passengers will pass through a small glassed-in portal that will be fitted with cameras where their images will be transmitted to an off-site TSA professional who will look at the passengers and note that they are not carrying any weapons.
"The program is designed to respect individual sensibilities regarding privacy, modesty and personal autonomy to the maximum extent possible, while still performing its crucial function of protecting all members of the public from potentially catastrophic events." said TSA spokesman, Shepherd Ovis.
Ovis stressed that the employees viewing the pictures are not within view of the actual passengers, and are not allowed to store any of the images. TSA is also considering a prohibition against the public bringing cameras within range of the disrobing area.
Some extremist groups have objected to the system, claiming that it is "demeaning" and fret that it will lead to invasions of privacy and erosion of civil liberties. TSA has assured the public that the fears are unfounded.
Several passengers interviewed said that they felt a little strange taking off their clothes in the airport, but that it was worth it to be safe.

November 5, 2010
Chris Sullivan [send him mail] owns a welding shop in Atlanta, Georgia and is currently working on design of exercise equipment.
Copyright © 2010 Mendax News Service

This first appeared on LewRockwell.com