Ralph Hudson says he knows he’s not doing the country any favors by exploiting wedge issues between people but the money he earns in exchange for making the country a more violent and less tolerant place is too good to refuse.
“In a perfect world would I want to make our country a crappy place to live? Probably not,” says the radio veteran, whose conservative talk show is syndicated nationwide and attracts a daily audience of some 15 million listeners. “But my first responsibility is to myself, because even though I’m probably going to die in another 20 years or so, and won’t be around to enjoy it, I want to amass as much wealth as I can, and doing what I’m doing enables me to do that.”
Hudson’s daily radio show, called “Taking Back America,” is influential among political and religious conservatives, analysts say. “He can really move the needle on issues,” says Hans Creighton, a professor of politics and media at the University of Virginia.
Creighton cited several instances in which Hudson incited conservatives to action, including one in which listeners assembled and demanded the criminalization of homosexuality. “No matter what your political beliefs, that’s not good for the country,” says Creighton. “Yet that’s the kind of influence he has.”
Hudson says he sometimes snickers in the shower for getting people so riled up, especially since deep inside he doesn’t really care one way or the other if conservatism wins the day. “At root I’m essentially a-political,” he says. “In fact, when I was younger, I was actually pretty liberal. I still harbor liberal tendencies, but there’s no money in that. The money is in getting conservatives riled up, so that’s what I aim for.”
“Do I sometimes think it’s bad that I incite people to action, including hostile action, by exploiting people’s intolerances and hate? Sure. I wouldn’t be human if I didn’t. But I like money, and I like being famous. So, I do what I have to do.”
When his conscience bothers him, Hudson says, he just drinks a little more or takes drugs, including sometimes illegal drugs, even though he condemns “lefties” for being soft on drugs and knows minorities are disproportionately incarcerated for drug offenses. “Am I being hypocritical? Of course,” he says. “If people knew half the crap I did, they’d be shocked, especially since I do things far worse than the poor blacks who are always landing in jail. It’s hardly fair, but I hardly care, because my measure of success if whether I’m rich and famous, and, since I’m both, I’m a success.”
Hudson thinks he has the talent, the charisma, to be just as effective at bringing people together, but there’s no money in that. “If I wanted to, I could help people see others through a more tolerant, forgiving lens,” he says. “I could be a force for peace and understanding rather than a force for hate and intolerance. But people don’t pay good money for that and I’m not in the charity business. I’m in the ‘Me’ business, so, sorry about that. You’ll just have to find another person to give up wealth and fame to make the world a better place. I don’t have achieving high principles as one of my priorities before I die.”
This is a work of satire. It is fictional news article not meant to be taken seriously. Photo: nv-age (Creative Commons). Not necessarily an endorsed use of image.
WASHINGTON, D.C.–A gun rights activist who thinks anyone who favors gun control of any type is a “socialist elitist who hates America” accidentally shot off his nose yesterday while at a rally here celebrating the second part of the Second Amendment to the United States Constitution. “Nobe ub dis chages my biew dat weal Americans strap guns around der legs,” says John (“J.D.”) Ray, the activist, from his room at George Washington University Hospital in Washington. Doctors treating the activist say they are attempting to reconstruct his nose using tissue from other parts of his body because the accidental point-blank shot left nothing of Ray’s original nose to work with. More.
For all his popularity with tea party conservatives and libertarians, Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky will never be able to establish enough trust with American voters to win the presidency, should he run, because of his tousled hair, psychologists and campaign strategists say. “Rand Paul’s tousled hair is not presidential, it’s not masculine,” says Ronald Friedman, a psychologist at Columbia University who has looked extensively at what people’s hair styles say about them. “Even worse, Paul uses a styling gel to get his tousled look, so he faces a double hit with voters. Not only do voters see tousled hair as a lack of strength, but his use of gel makes him seem vain. So, it’s not a good combination.” More.
Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas), the Canadian born firebrand of conservative politics, is a favorite of many Republicans, thanks to his strong social and fiscal conservatism, but, as a very scary man, he will never be elected president of the United States. “I like Sen. Cruz in the same way that I like movies about self-hating megalomaniacs, but I could never vote for him as president,” says Dave Laver, a Republican in Ohio, a key swing state. Cruz was very much a liberal in his youth, say people who knew him, and he was scary back then, too, but he applied his scariness in a liberal rather than conservative direction. More.
Zack Morton doesn’t pretend he’s collecting his federal unemployment compensation, rental subsidy, and food stamps as a stopgap measure while he looks for work. No, he just doesn’t like to work and as long as the free money holds out, he has no intention of getting a job. “I hate working,” he says. “Getting up in the morning, brushing your teeth, going out in the cold, or the heat, and working all day in an office or outside or in a restaurant or something—I hate it.” Morton says he worked for a while when he was in high school, and in fact dropped out of school so he could work full time. But he didn’t like the work—it was as a clerk in a department store—and he ended up getting fired. “I think I came in late or something or didn’t come in at all. I just can’t remember,” he says. More.
The long-brewing debate over the accuracy of the psychiatry profession’s bible, called the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (DSM) of Mental Disorders, came to a head this week as the American Psychiatric Association released the sixth edition of the 900-page book, and realized that 100 percent of Americans are now classified as having a mental disorder. “We feared this was going to happen,” says Jim Dulaney, professor emeritus at Columbia University and chair of the American Psychiatric Association. “Every time we update the DSM, more Americans fall under one of its disorders. Now we’re at the point where all Americans fall under one of its disorders, so we either have to reevaluate how we define mental illness in this country or we’re all really sick.” More.
Don’t expect quick processing of your Social Security check today. Agencies throughout the federal government have closed in response to heavy cloud cover over the city, preventing the sun from shining and threatening rain. “All federal empoyees, with the exception of essential employees and national security personnel, are instructed to stay home during today’s extreme weather event.” Kevin Longley, director of personnel management for the Office of Management and Budget, said in a statement today. “We expect federal agencies to resume normal operations tomorrow, although if current conditions persist, we expect to issue a revised update calling for a second day of closure.” More.
Alarmed at a rash of high-profile data breaches at big U.S. retailers like Home Depot, a task force of scientists and engineers looking at computer safety and privacy have called on lawmakers to add 16 letters to the English alphabet. They’ve also called for the addition of three numbers to the number scale, but that recommendation was not included in the final report as task force members look at how that could be done, since the number scale is universally understood to be based on the 10-digit system and any change would be difficult to administer. More.
OTTOWA—Tired of living in the shadow of its much larger southern neighbor, Canada yesterday officially changed its name to Not USA and unveiled a new flag that government officials say is designed to tell the world that Canada is its own country and not simply a northern outpost of the United States. “Not USA has a long and proud history,” says Stephen Harper, prime minister of Not USA, formerly known as Canada. “With our new name and flag, we’re celebrating our unique place in the community of nations. People forget that Not USA defeated the United States in several key battles in the War of 1812 and beat the U.S. in the 2010 winter olympics hockey championship. What’s more, Not USA is the largest country on earth by land mass, has more ice than any other country, and is the world’s largest producer of maple syrup and moose souvenirs.” More.
Elegant British super spy and womanizer James Bond is ditching his iconic Saville Row suits and other formal wear to sport a more casual look, an MI6 spokesperson says. “Agent 007 isn’t immune to the times,” the spokesperson says. “He understands business is conducted in an increasingly casual atmosphere and that spy craft is similarly changing. I’m not saying Bond will be stepping out of his Aston Martin in anything less than a nice shirt and maybe some khakis, but when he’s just puttering around London, Paris, or New York, you might just see him in a T-shirt and jeans. I’m not saying it will happen, but you might see that. He’s a secret agent, after all.” More.
SmartCarry™ Luggage Carts are the go-to brand of carts for most homeless people, a survey released today by Brand Trust, a business-to-business trade magazine. The magazine asked 250 homeless people in New York City, Los Angeles, Chicago, and Toronto about their brand preferences when it came to luggage, grocery, or other types of carts for carrying their possessions and just under 200 said SmartCarry™ is their cart of choice. “They last a real long time,” says Arnold Sween, a homeless person in New York City. “I’ve had mine for 10 years and it still rolls good. Holds a lot, too.” More.
BEIJING—China this week released its plan to dominate the world by 2020 and also host a summit on the overfishing of red herring in the South Sea. “This is China’s century and we are determined to assert our interests globally in accordance with our stature as the one true superpower,” Chinese President Xi Jinping said in a news conference here yesterday. China is the world’s largest country by population, with 1.36 million people, not counting ethnic Uighurs, and the world’s second largest economy, with a gross domestic product of $16.1 trillion. That is about $1 trillion less than the United States, although that gap is expected to close within the next 18 months because of America’s declining productivity and “black president,” the plan says. More.
Saying it’s tired of sitting on the sidelines for the majority of compositions in the English language, the letter Q announced today its secession from the English alphabet and a ban on all uses of the letter Q in subsequent English compositions. The letter Q also says it’s reviewing its ties with French, German, Spanish, and other Indo-European languages, but for now, it’s willing to stay in those Latin-based languages until further notice. “For thousands of years the joke has been on the letter Q,” says the letter Q in its Declaration of Secession, delivered simultaneously to the American Library Association, the British Library, the National Library of Canada, the Oxford English Dictionary, the Webster English Dictionary, the Associated Press, and the Chicago Manual of Style. “But no more. As of today, the letter Q is not available for your use.” More.
The English Language Institute removed “utilize” and “cleanse” from the English language today as part of the organization’s long-term plan to trim the language of unnecessary words. The words were recommended for removal by the organization’s Word Removal Committee last month and approved for elimination by the board of directors today. “We grow attached to words, so it’s never easy to say goodbye to them, even when they’re unnecessary,” says Nigel Porter, president of the English Language Institute. “But for the long-term good of our language, today’s actions were necessary and long-overdue.” According to the Institute, “utilize” has long been used as a complex variant of “use,” but it was found to have no meaning beyond “use.” More.