Thursday, December 1, 2011

On the hot dog lobby....

I’m not a conspiracy theorist by any stretch of the imagination, but I know people who are and most of them are crazy as a shit house rat.  I have a brother who doesn’t believe that we’ve been to the moon.  He thinks that what NASA should do to quell all of the talk from him and the 10 others who think like him is point the Hubble Space Telescope at the moon so that they can see the Tang containers we left behind.  He says that then he would believe it.  I laugh and poke fun at him about this every chance I get; it’s fun.

I’m not stupid either though and I do consider myself to be intuitive.  I see something here and hear something there and my intuition does the rest.  I’ve always thought that I would be a good investigator.  Once there was a woman who came in for an ID card who couldn’t tell me her deceased husband's full name or where he was stationed, only that he was in the Air Force when it first became the Air Force.  I made about 20 calls and eventually tracked him down and got her that ID card.
About ten years ago I was listening to the radio while driving home from Chattanooga and heard a short news report about an annual hot dog lunch that a number of politicians routinely attended.  “Hot dog lunch”, I thought to myself, “a fine example of the hot dog lobby hard at work currying favor with our elected officials”, and chuckled to myself.  At the time I didn’t realize just how prescient that fleeting moment out on Interstate 24 was.  After that day the hot dog lobby became a distance memory and I all but forgot about it.
About five years ago I read about a piece of legislation introduced in the House of Representatives (H.3462) that would have made it unlawful to use chicken knuckles in the manufacture of hot dogs due to health concerns and the inhumane methods used by chicken farmers in the harvesting of said chicken knuckles.  Manufacturers argued that chicken knuckles were actually good for us and that they would be the least of our concerns if we knew what else is in hot dogs.  Before the bill came to a vote its sponsor withdrew it from consideration without comment.  I thought about this briefly, then something shiny distracted me and just like that earlier news report it was soon forgotten.
Last year a bill was introduced by a Senator in North Carolina (S.1291) that would have forced hot dog manufacturers to package their hot dogs in an eight pack to match the number typically found in a pack of hotdog buns.  This bill made it out of committee and was voted on by the full Senate, but it failed to pass by a vote of 95 to 15.
Here are my issues with these two pieces of legislation:
  • The Representative who introduced the chicken knuckle bill suddenly became wealthy off of some hot dog futures that he claims were purchased prior to taking office.  Shortly after withdrawing his bill from consideration he retired to Vienna, Austria. 
  • There are only 100 senators, but there were 110 votes cast.  Where did those other votes come from?
After the incident last year in the Senate I became convinced that the Hot Dog Lobby that I had dismissed with a chuckle ten years previously actually did actually did exist, so I began to sit back and observe, determined not to continue to be a victim of dirty hot dog politics.  I began to see headlines like this one from
 (Click on the titles to see the article if you don’t believe me):

Were the hot dogs a bribe to keep him quiet about Lockerbie or just a reminder of who he works for?

And this one from

After a time I knew that I had stumbled upon something so sinister and secretive it made the Illuminati and Red Elephant Club look like the Girl Scouts.  Then came the final piece in the puzzle when in June of this year the USDA held an event during which it was revealed that they were pulling the old swicheroo and replacing the traditional food pyramid with a plate graphic. 

Who headlined the event unveiling this new plate?  None other than Michelle Obama of course.  Here is a picture of that graphic:

What's missing?  The venerable hot dog.  Michelle Obama has apparently adopted nutrition as her pet cause, which brings us to this headline from The New American:

Ask yourself this: With your wife making such a huge deal about nutrition, why is Obama out throwing down dogs? Just who are you beholden to Mr. President, your wife or Oscar Meyer?

This brings us full-circle back to the incident that first started me down the path of uncovering this hot dog conspiracy.  I started thinking about that first little news snippet that I had heard and made it my mission to track down more on this story.  After months of intensive research followed by a ten second query via Google, I found this:

That’s right, the Hot Dog Lobby now has a name, the American Meat Institute.  How hot dog manufacturers were able to join an institute dedicated to furthering the just cause of meat is beyond me, but there it was in black and white.  Like deviled ham, SPAM, vienna sausages and bologna, I hardly think that the contents of the common hot dog would qualify it as meat anymore than me being born in an oven makes me a biscuit.  Here's a quote taken directly from this article:

“The event was also sponsored by the American Bakers Association, International Bottled Water Association, American Beverage Association….”

So the hot dog industry doesn’t have a tight enough grip on the American political process and had to bring in reinforcements in the form of buns, water and beer.  What’s really cooking in the kitchens of Oscar Myer and what agenda are they pushing?  Part of the answer is their desire to continue the use of chicken knuckles in their products and their refusal to conform to the eight hot dog/eight bun standard.  There's more to it than that though and I assure you that my investigation will not stop until I have the full story.

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