Saturday, July 28, 2007

Hillary's lawyer......

Last night…..

“Last night I saw Lester Maddox on a TV show….

With some smart-ass New York Jew……

Jew laughed at Lester Maddox….

Audience laughed at Lester Maddox, too.

Well he may be a fool, but he’s our fool….

If they think they’re better than him, they’re wrong….”

No….wait. Snap out of it, Mike. Go away Randy Newman. (I wish I could play Randy in the background of this post....but we have dial-up out here in the mountains).

Anyway. Last night..... we did a little dinner at the store for the local College of Law. The guest of honor was a guy named Lazar Palnick. Seriously.

Supposedly. I can’t find the guy on the internet, but he was here for a week, teaching at the local law school. My friend Richard Rosenthal brought him to us. For my 4am friends, and my friends in New Zealand…..I will edit this post and find out who the fuck this guy really was. Is. Lazar Palnick.

Lazar is a fat lawyer from Arkansas. Maybe you don’t need to qualify Arkansas lawyer with fat…..I don’t know. Lazar is big in voter fraud in Pennsylvania. Lazar is big on whatever side he is on. Lazar is big, period. But, Lazar is on the side of the angels.

Lazar met Hillary Clinton when he was 14 and was Bill Clinton’s lawyer back in the Paula Jones days. Lazar says that Paula was a lying sack of shit and advised Bill to depose her and get rid of her right away. The rest of the fancy lawyers demurred and Paula wound up being a time bomb that went off under Bill right at the time of Monica.

I don’t know if Lazar was the guy who gave the best Clinton quote of all time or not: “Paula Jones is the kind of thing you wind up with when you drag a hundred dollah bill through a trailer park…..”

In Cachagua…..being cognoscenti of trailer parks….and hundred dollah bills….and what comes up when you drag one through…...we have to chuckle at that.

Anyway…..a bunch of nice people turned out for the fest. We fed them a polite little prix fixe and Lazar got up to talk.

Lazar loves Hillary. His talk was supposed to be “red meat for vegetarians”….whatever that means. I am thinking that Hillary is neither for red meat or against, and probably all for vegetarians, but with some reservations.

Lazar said that Hillary is the best lawyer he has ever known or seen. She is good on prep and organization; she knows her shit; she is brutal on cross-examinations. Hillary is the one that you want at 2am when the tough decisions have to be made.

The current Administration is a dog pile of scumbags, says Lazar. Can’t disagree, there. These guys aren't even awake at 2am.

By contrast, Bill Clinton never made a policy decision that was not in the interest of the American people and the American nation.


How about that whole NAFTA thing, Lazar? Globalization hasn’t worked out well for the folks in the trailer parks, you might mention to Bill when you see him. He might only have to drag a twenty through the trailer park at this point……or a hundred peso note, maybe.

And the bankruptcy law? Oh, yeah…that wasn’t Bill….that was Hillary and DiFi…..

Lazar went on to talk about loyalty as the prime political value. You have to be loyal to your people, to your candidate, to your party to build anything worthwhile for your country. And Hillary is the one that you want making the tough decisions at 2am.

Lazar pooh-poohed the whole Obama thing: inexperienced and naïve. I mean, really….talking to the Iranians without pre-conditions. Our enemies have to earn the right to talk to us. And Hillary is the one that you want making the tough decisions at 2am.

No offense, Lazar. Speaking as the least organized caterer, or possibly least organized businessperson on the planet……I try to avoid tough 2am decisions. We try to make those decisions at four o’clock in the afternoon, or nine in the morning, with a bunch of other folks…stone cold sober.

At this point I became grateful that I had not invited Ben and Cate and the KCathy’s to be part of this little Demo love-fest. I am feeding these guys at cost, and they are swilling my wine….I get to ask a question. The annoying working class guy.

“Uh, sir? I hate to be the fart in the elevator here. I am just a shitty little caterer from Cachagua. Five years ago, twenty per cent of my business was from pharmaceutical companies. Lunches for doctors and nurses, big bucks, no questions, money in the bank, American Express card on file. We decided, with our workers all uninsured and unlikely to ever see any of these drugs that were being promoted essentially at the taxpayers’ expense…..that the business was corrupt, malign, unethical, and dangerous to society. We gave it up…even though we need the money. Just look around….. (Laughs).

“My question for you is the Michael Moore question: In 1993 Hillary proposed a universal health plan against all odds and got pilloried for it, and crushed by the famous ’94 Republican revolution. They called it ‘socialized medicine’ and basically labeled her a socialist, or worse.

“Now, she is the largest recipient of pharmaceutical company money in Congress (with Joe Lieberman). Harvey Weinstein pressured Michael Moore to keep this information out of “Sicko”, but he refused. Truth is truth. What happened, and why should we trust her?” If a working class caterer in the mountains of Cachagua can make the moral decision to forgo pharmaceutical income for the betterment of society….why can’t Hillary?”

Lazar….who has known Hillary since she was 14……”Uh….I didn’t know that about the pharmaceutical money. Interesting. Uh….All I can say is that it is really expensive to run a modern campaign. It takes lots of money to defeat the Republicans, and we need all we can get for the good fight. And Hillary is the one that you want making the tough decisions at 2am.

“And….just because you take money from someone, doesn’t mean you do their bidding. Politics is a tough game: there is give and take; you have to wheel and deal and compromise to get to where you want to go…..

“And Hillary is the one that you want making the tough decisions at 2am.

"Does that answer your question?”

I went home and took a long shower and scrubbed extra hard.

At 2am, I woke up with Puppy trying to sleep on my head….and the two of us made the tough decision:

Fuck Hillary Clinton.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

You are what eats you.......

Seriously now.


The Farm Bill is being debated in the House even as you read this.

Oh no! Oh, shit! No one told me….The Farm what?

This bill only comes up every five years, so this is just the second time it has come around under the Bush Corruption Juggernaut. As opposed to the military appropriations bills and so on which comes around all the time. The Bushies have been so focused on stealing all the money in Iraq that the Farm Bill has been a relative snoozer.

Not that it matters much who is in charge of the wheels of government….the levers that control the wheels stay pretty much the same, Democrat or Republican. The Farm Bill is a boring backwater compared to guns and bombs and crazy Arabs. Not to mention Lindsay Lohan.

Bear with me a minute

Let us start with Peter Python…to distinguish him from his more amusing cousin, Monty.

It turns out that hundreds of thousands of pythons slither into the country each year. When small, they are cute and sexy….well, they are sexy if you have a tiny little dick and vote for Bush and you live in Florida or Georgia and can’t meet chicks….Maybe a baby python is better than for dating prospects. (Don’t click on that link….I just made it up).

When Peter Python gets past a certain size, and starts munching the neighborhood cats….or Joe Dumbfuck actually meets a real woman with a functioning anatomy….he dumps the snake. This is not a big problem in Michigan, but in Florida…..they move right in. The Everglades now has about 5,000 loose pythons.

Don’t feel too left out. This happens all over. Apparently, American bullfrogs have invaded France. Brett Harte and Mark Twain would be proud. Don’t think more than a few seconds on why French men are importing hopping amphibians with giant tongues while American men are bringing in giant slithering….. well….No wonder the dollar is in the toilet compared to the euro).

Pythons are not the only endangered species that have invaded us. There is kudzu, super-kudzu, Asian carp, crazy zebra mussels, foxtails…all that. The Bushies spend about a billion dollars a year in fighting these things. Typically, they only fight them after they are already here….unlike Muslim terrorists….when it is hopeless to eradicate them. Cost to business in America of these critters? About $100 billion dollars a year…..Zebra mussels are more of a threat to nuclear power plants than Ralph Nader and Cindy Sheehan combined).

So… costs us $100 billion….and we are spending ONE billion to patheticially do nothing. One percent. Hold that thought, Flip Romney.

Oh, and the pythons are not even on the list.

Oh….and how many wildlife biologists are there to track all these critters?

One. Erin Williams. And she is backed up years evaluating new invaders. Her counterparts in say….Australia? One week.

And…..she has to fight for funding for her job every year. The Bushies have this rule that any regulation of business has to justify any new government rules in terms of cost to small business. In other words, if actual laws interfere with immediate profits….a bad thing. The social cost to the country and society as a whole? Not allowed. Call Flip Romney.

So, back to the Farm Bill.

Michael Pollan (author of Omnivore’s Dilemma…the best book about food I have read since Harold McGee and Like Water For Chocolate) has some thoughts. Here is my paraphrase.

No….screw it. You have to read his article. He is Michael Pollan…a journalism professor at Berkeley….and I am some putz in Cachagua.

“Right now, the Farm Bill encourages American farmers to grow as much corn and soy as they possibly can, and then sell it for less than it costs them to grow it. The result? The best calorie deals in the American supermarket are added fat and added sugar—precisely the sort of calories that are making us overweight and diabetic. Few pieces of legislation have as profound an impact on the public health.

But to speak of the bill’s impact on the American food system does not begin to get at its full impact, which is global. The Farm Bill helps determine the price of corn in Mexico, the price of cotton in Nigeria, and whether small farmers in those places will prosper or fail—stay on the land or migrate to the cities or to the United States. You can’t comprehend the pressures driving immigration without comprehending what U.S. agricultural policy is doing to rural agriculture in Mexico. Or Haiti. Or Senegal.

The bill determines, to a considerable extent, what happens on nearly half of the private land in the United States. We tell ourselves that we don’t have a national land-use policy, that the market decides what happens on private property in America, but that’s not exactly true: The Farm Bill helps decide what land is farmed and how, as well as what land is restored to grass- or wetland. Few pieces of legislation have as profound an impact on the environment.”

We won’t even talk about the impact of bio-diesel and corn-based ethanol production. Or cane-based ethanol production. Get back, Halliburton! The battle between ArcherDanielsMidland and Halliburton for corn fuel should be like Mothra vs. Godzilla.....

When Flip Romney blathers on about the independent American spirit and the threat of Marxism… about this:

Your tax dollars support….and have supported for years….a clique of Republican sugar growers in Florida whose resulting financial power distorts our agricultural policy, our foreign policy, our labor policy, and our immigration policy….for starters.

I have to quote Earl Blumenauer, Food Warrior from Oregon:

Sugar is perhaps the most protected item in American agriculture. There's an elaborate system that keeps the prices that are paid by American consumers and sugar-using industries artificially high - two to three times the world price. If the price ever drops below a fixed level, imports from countries that can produce sugar more efficiently and more cheaply are severely restricted. Anything above a tiny amount of sugar entering the country is subjected to a 100% tax.

This system translates into very substantial costs to the consumer and businesses - nearly $2 billion, according to one study by the nonpartisan General Accounting Office. This suggests that the American economy as a whole would be significantly better off if the whole program were scrapped, just wiping out all the winners and losers and special benefits.

The impact on the economy extends far beyond subsidies. We lost thousands of sugar-using jobs, for instance, when candy manufacturers left New England and Chicago for Canada because the cost of the basic sugar their industry needs was so much cheaper north of the border. If we're concerned about overall employment in the American economy, there are about 10 times as many jobs in the sugar-using industry as there are in this artificially protected industry growing both cane and beet sugar.

There are other costs as well. As cane sugar production skyrocketed in Florida near the Everglades , from less than 70,000 acres in the early 1960s to over 450,000 today, there have been severe environmental consequences. The encroachment of cane sugar production and the runoff into the Everglades is one of the reasons that the federal government is spending $8 billion cleaning up and trying to restore the ecological damage to this national treasure.

Other agricultural industries have also paid a price for our protecting sugar in each of our trade agreements. Because it's the most protected trade item, the United States, in negotiating trade agreements, has made exceptions for the sugar industry that have harmed other industries and consumers. To protect sugar interests, the US allowed Australia to protect its cattle industry, which has hurt American cattlemen.

It also hurts poor countries. Most of the other countries in the world that are natural producers of sugar are much poorer than the United States . So we are discriminating against some of the poorest in an industry that could help countries raise their citizens out of poverty - all while we protect a few and penalize many in the United States.

The fundamental question is why? If it costs money, if it costs jobs, if we're worse off as an economy, why does United States continue to pursue a policy that creates problems for us with the environment, international trade, and the sugar using industry? The answer is politics. The people involved with the sugar growing industry invest a small percentage but a significant amount of dollars of their sugar profits in keeping things just the way they are. Even though sugar represents perhaps 1 percent of the agriculture production, it makes 17 percent of agriculture's political contributions.

And it goes far beyond campaign cash - although don't underestimate that impact - that flows to both parties as well as individual candidates. This sugar "lobby" is a vast array of trade associations on the regional, state, and national level. They employ an army of sophisticated public relations people, trade association executives and lobbyists. I have often thought that if we could mobilize the support that the sugar lobby has to nourish poor children rather than the sugar industry, no kid would ever go to school hungry in this country again.

See that One Per Cent figure pop in there again. And the campaign donations to the Republican Party from the Sugar Kings? Less than that same One Per Cent of their gross.

These guys are whores, we all knew that. Who knew that they sold themselves and us so cheaply? Waitresses make fifteen Denny's. Less than twenty at The Cachagua Store and Rachelle will set your hair on fire.....

Oh, and the Sugar Kings fund the opposition to any rapprochement with Cuba. Don’t even talk about the foreign aid we have to send to sugar-growing countries whose markets we have gutted….and don’t even TALK about how many of them are Muslim….with George Bush’s hand in their pocket. No worries there about National Security.

Beyond Sugar…..seventy percent of the Bush Administration’s price supports for agriculture go to ten percent of our nation’s farmers. Ninety percent of these large growers vote Republican. Virtually none of these are small family farms, and virtually none of those have anything to do with organic, sustainable life-styles. If Flip Romney actually wanted to see Americans succeeding without government help, it would be at his local farmer’s market…..but none of those guys have federally supported rice farms with elegant gun clubs and air-conditioned duck blinds. What fun is that?

Also part of the Farm Bill is COOL: country of origin labeling. Do you want to know where your food or your puppy’s food is manufactured? Remember that One Per Cent: only One Per Cent of our food imports are inspected by the USDA or FDA…..including the deals they have with foreign countries where they trust foreign governments to inspect food to our “standards”.

Please call your Congressman. Our guy is Sam Farr, and he is basically on the side of the angels….but “spare the rod and spoil the Congressman”.

Call someone today. If One Per Cent of you call……

She drives funny cars......

I will try not to say “Fuck” in this post.

Monday night was our first night without Brendan in a year or so (He is working at a forge in Toolville…..yes, Toolville (by Visalia)…….learning to forge knives. Talk about Slow Food!).

All was well until Calley brought in some wild-looking drunk from Big Sur to eat with him at the bar. It was “Fucking Durney!! this and "Fucking Durney” that when he recognized Dirk at the salad station. Fucking this and fucking that. It was all Alex and I could hear on the hot side, even over the music.

Finally, I could take it no more. I leaned over the short wall to the bar. “Hey! Hey, you! One more “Fuck” and you are out of here!”

The dude blearily focused on the source of the noise.

“Hey! Get me? One more “Fuck” and you are gone! Where do you think you are, Fernwood? One more “Fuck” from you and I will throw you the……….fuck…….out!”

So much for raising the national discourse.

Then I recognized the guy: Aldo….Son of Crazy Richard from Garapata.

Everyone knows Crazy Richard. And, Aldo actually worked for us once.

In 1989, the marque of the year at the Concours was Aston Martin, to commemorate the 25th anniversary of Aston Martin’s big win at Le Mans….the first seven places. We got the job of doing all the Aston Martin parties at Laguna Seca…..a huge opening cocktail party, the private dining area….the works. I even had Talbott’s make a special bow tie for our workers in Aston Martin British Racing Green and yellow.

The demand for staff pushed us to new territories. Dana Godbe, once my chef and now my competitor at Grapes of Wrath, brought some of her Big Sur folk…..among them Aldo.

Aldo was and is a character. He is a bull in a china shop, even in Big Sur. A big guy with a big personality to match. I put him on the smoked salmon/oyster bar for the opening cocktail party. Big Sur guys can shuck oysters, and the knives are relatively dull, so no big downside.

This party was for Aston Martin, but was sponsored by Ralph Lauren…..who eventually stiffed us, or at least dragged us through the mud before coughing up the designer dough. Ralph himself was there, and his horde of advance minions made sure that all his wants were in place: Taittinger champagne, the oyster bar…..I don’t think we actually had to pluck the green M&M’s from the mix, but there were a lot of hoops to jump through. I met Ralph, and I remember thinking: “Why is this old queen pretending to be married to this hot blonde?” Whatever.

So…..Ralph got Aldo for his oysters.

For those of you that are not car people, the various Aston Martins are called DB-5, and DB-6, etc. The famous early James Bond car with the machine guns, the rotating license plate, etc. was an Aston Martin DB-5, I believe….but my friend Benny will straighten us all out soon in the comments department. Anyway the DB stands for David Brown…now LORD David Brown, the original engineer and proprietor of Aston Martin.

In the midst of the inevitable chaos of the party for 2500…. on asphalt…. on a coastal desert mesa…. in August.....I spied a very well dressed old English dude tottering towards the oyster bar, accompanied by a very tall young woman in riding boots. No. Brand new cowboy boots.

Uh oh.

The woman was hot is a way that works best in England, and maybe Kamchatka: tall, pale, thin….. with lots of dark mascara and with a very weird posture. She slithered towards Aldo and the oyster bar bent backwards, with her arms bent back and her breasts sort of thrust out and straight up. (This was pre-silicone. Well, pre good silicone). She actually slithered, or at least swayed rhythmically. The old guy tottered along with his gold headed cane in her wake.

Lord David Brown himself. Awww, shit. This can't be good.

I sprinted over just in time to hear this exchange:

Aldo: “Wow, baby! What can I do for you?”

She: “Are you serving oysters?”

“Oh, yeah. And whatever else you want!”

“Well, an oyster for me….and one for my husband.”

“This dude is your HUSBAND? Get the fuck outta here! He’s gonna need more than one oyster….he better stand right here for a while and have a dozen! How old is this dude?”

Lord David Brown was of course by now standing right there.

“He is eighty-six.”

“Yeah, no shit! He is 86’d OK! Get him the fuck outta here, and you stick with me!” Bow tie comes off….Aldo reaches for apron strings. I arrive.

“Aldo, calm yourself. Maybe Lord Brown and Lady Brown would like some nice smoked salmon?”

“Oh……Fuck…….I guess. Sorry. He is still gonna need more than one oyster…..”

Monday, July 23, 2007

Flip and Woody.....

Here is Flip Romney in New Hampshire today.

This is New Hampshire of the “Live Free or Die” license plate.

And…..let it be said that I am not anti-Mormon. I love Mormons……especially Mormon women, truth be told. I revere Mormon women. Even Amanda once had a Temple Invite. I am just anti-hypocrite. I still have not met a hypocritical Mormon woman. Sorry, Mitt. YOU are the starter husband, you dumb fuck. Wait till your chick meets some guy with principles and a ball sack.

Anyway, here is Mitt:

“Hillary Clinton’s course: Let government manage your life. Our course: Let the individual and personal responsibility lead and guide,” Romney said. “She said we have been an ‘on-your-own society’ and she says we need to replace that with shared responsibility and ‘working together society.’ That’s out with (free-market pioneer) Adam Smith and in with Karl Marx.”

Well……individual and personal responsibility used to work.

I am still that guy: Jack Armstrong… hard, do the right thing, help your fellow man….and everything will be fine. Everyone take care of your own world to the best of your abilities…..and everyone will prosper.

Etienne Merle taught me that in a successful restaurant there are no problems…..everyone works their hardest and there is so much money to spread around at the end of the night that the nickels and dimes don’t matter. We always had the happiest dishwashers on the planet. (Wait! I was one of those dishwashers! Oh...and Merle used to fuck us out of the FICA on the employee meals.....I got a check for $13.85 from the New York State Department of Labor after five years....I consider it my diploma.) get the picture. Merle inspired us and filled our hearts with the joy of a hard job well done..... And set us all on career paths that seem to basically be the culinary version of Muslim suicide bombers....

Merle’s other lesson was that in your spare time and with your spare money……help out the next guy. You never know if the guy you step on on your way up won’t be there to chuckle at you on your way down, should you slip up. And that guy you give the hand up at the right time…..could be the next Horatio Alger. And you will all smoke cigars at your daughter’s wedding and laugh about the old times……

Momie Hilde had the same lesson for me. At her restaurant in Berlin in 1945, she used to feed a cute young couple at the back door by the trash every day. (This is why she was called Momie….and we all preserved her misspelling of the core word for decades). She stole eftover stock and soup and stale bread from her own place. Years later, after Brazil, and New York, and Philly, and Minnesota she moved to Monterey and had a series of successful restaurants, with even Clint as a partner in The Marquis.

Damned if she didn’t run into the couple again: Peter Steuber, now (at this time) the manager of the Mark Thomas Inn (now the Hyatt) and very fancy. They cut her dead, and pretended not to know her. We always laughed at the irony….especially as the hotel sold, his marriage dissolved, then there was the expensive illegitimate child, the failed restaurants (anyone remember Latitude 36….or his crappy German place on Junipero where the gay Mexican restaurant used to be?....and Judith Profeta is still trying to peddle.....)

Yeah, well…..that just proves that I am old to think like this. That honesty and hard work should matter.

And genuine charity, for it's own sake.

I hope to God that Romney gets run out of New Hampshire. Live Free or Die, indeed. Fuck this guy...with his Irish Setter on the roof. Remember: I am campaigning for the New Republican Party…..and New Hampshire is almost Margaret Chase Smith country. I guess I am actually campaigning for the OLD Republican Party….when the kind of values that Flip Romney gives lip service to actually existed in the business world.

Now, our lead Republican.... and the National Leader...... is blatantly and in-your-face-fuck-you campaigning on a platform of lies, corruption, nepotism and perversion of every possible original American concept and value. Madison, Jefferson and Hamilton used to fight like cats and dogs....Today they would all line up for a chance to shoot this current idiot on the New Jersey Palisades....and Aaron Burr would be there with them.

A cool businessman nowadays cuts his wages to the level that his workers need Medi-Cal and welfare…….and then runs even those jobs out to the Chinese while he buys a third house in Boca Raton. He takes full advantage of the absence of moral, ethical and government oversight to steal, pollute and destroy anything he can to make a temporary dollar for his stockholders....and then even hijacks THEM for Caligula-style wages and excess…..

Even, or especially..... at the cost of the degradation of the National Discourse. Forget the National Life-Style.

Oh, and Flip......Mr. Romney.....what part of individual and personal responsibility is it when you have to listen to my phone calls, read my emails, and dump eight hundred year old legal principles like habeus corpus?

Oh, and Your Leader's latest Presidential Order? You can seize me and all my assets if you deem me to be a threat to your policies in Iraq. What part of me is not a threat to the current policies in Iraq? So...where do I report, and who is gonna cook Monday Night dinner?

These guys are pissing in their own well. OUR well. MY fucking well.....

Lead article in the New York Times Magazine today: the most successful restaurant in America is some piece of shit colossus in Las Vegas…Tao? Something. Sixty million dollars a year…..a huge lead over Number Two: my old workplace The Tavern on The Green in Central Park….(where I had to carry an ice-hook around to keep the Puerto Rican cooks from stealing my Uncle Ben’s Rice coupons…another story.) Tao? Something also has a place in New York City that takes in another twenty mill or so.

The first paragraph talks about how Americans are so in love with Tao? that they line up to eat Chilean Sea Bass satays…..

Fuck me silly. Chilean Sea Bass? I just finished writing Time Magazine a scorcher about their puff piece on Singapore Airlines where the supposedly fabulous Kraut chef serves wonderful gourmet meals like BBQ pork ribs and CHILEAN SEA BASS! What.....are these prop planes these guys are flying? DC-6B Constellations with chicks with girdles as "stewardesses"?

Has anyone noticed that no conscientious American chef has served Chilean Sea Bass since Bill Clinton spluged on Monica’s blue dress? These are giant, old fish….eating them is like chowing down on a Galapagos turtle. Everyone knows this…….don’t they? Doesn't the New York Times? Or does the sixty mill volume push back the obvious fucked-upness of this circus shithole packed full of rubes?

What have we come to?

I was not kidding when I posted: “Your Government is Trying to Kill You.” Flip Romney has his whole thing backwards.....and as the Human Golden Retriever in the race he is too busy panting after His Master's Milkbone to notice. Your government IS trying to kill you...they just don't want Osama to beat them. (Did you ever notice that your Blue Cross policy, your business liability policy and your homeowner's policy EXCLUDE acts of terrorism...or acts of God (see: Allah....) And have since.....oh, the Gulf of Tonkin incident?)

At least Cheney and his crew are viciously and cynically exploiting old doddering Marshall McLuan. They can convince the MSM that the DEMOCRATS are obstructing passage of the military funding bill……when it is the Republican Masada suicidal fringe that are filibustering the bill…..against all their own declared principles of just two years ago. Flip is so fucking stupid he has missed the point.

The USDA has pillaged a Republican American company from the reddest county in the reddest state in The Union for having too high standards for inspecting beef. The same USDA and FDA are closing inspection stations and firing scientists to save money and eliminate oversight of the most basic sanitary and health standards....even for food from China and Nicaragua……to the point of rolling standards back to the days of “The Jungle” by Upton Sinclair. The same outfits have gutted organic standards to the point of meaningless absurdity.

In the modern Republican businessplace the core value is not independence to do good, to create a great product in a happy peaceful, sustainable environment, free from stodgy, unenlightened government interference....a product that will raise the business milieu and give us all cause to smoke cigars at our daughters' wedddings.

The new core value is: Get the fuck out of my hair so I can screw the fourteen year old busgirls, not pay them overtime or minimum, get their Mom's on welfare and Planned Parenthood, sell turkey as veal piccatta, toxic farmed salmon as wild-caught, and hire illegal aliens to parrot real skills of real chefs .....and who live in the back of the shop in a car by the dumpster.

Like Peter Steuber in Berlin. In a bombed-out Fascist failure of a city.

The only reason Karl Marx ever had an audience to begin with, Flip...... was because of people like you, Flip Romney….the other dumb fucks…..AND the vicious, short-sighted pricks like Bush and Cheney.

Someone find me a Republican with a set of morals, a sustainable business and a something palpable in the ballsack……


Amanda is now on a John Steinbeck kick. He is very cool now….with his museum and shit in Salinas, and everyone reading his books....even in schools....even in Kansas.

Ag people in Salinas still hate him..... the way old-school Republicans still won’t drink Dewar’s scotch because Old Man Kennedy made the family pot importing the stuff during and after Prohibition. People forget that those old school Republicans were basically right….the guy was a fucking radical progressive with an overdeveloped fascination and love of the workers and common folk…a traitor to his class. Friends with Ansel Adams. Friends with Woody Guthrie.

Well, Steinbeck is everywhere today. (Even in my house. We have temporary possession of Hilario….a photo of a vaquero that Carol Steinbeck bought at a garage sale in 1940….blessed upon us by my godfather, Bill Brown…..Carol’s second husband. Hilario is complete with Carol’s lipstick print on his cheek….she loved the guy).

In closing, here is another super-patriotic mind twister for you. I await the moment when Flip Romney or some other hypocritical fuckhead adopts “This Land is Your Land” as his campaign song.

(I agree with Flip’s attack on Hillary….but only on musical principles…..I mean: Celine Dion?)

Here are the words to the song, as Woody Guthrie wrote them, and the Bad Republicans and every kindergarten class in America sings them:

This land is your land This land is my land
California to the New York island;
From the red wood forest to the
Gulf Stream waters
This land was made for you and Me.

As I was walking that ribbon of highway,
I saw above me that endless skyway:
I saw below me that golden valley:
This land was made for you and me.

I've roamed and rambled and I followed my footsteps
To the sparkling sands of her diamond deserts;
And all around me a voice was sounding:
This land was made for you and me.

When the sun came shining, and I was strolling,
And the wheat fields waving and the dust clouds rolling,
As the fog was lifting a voice was chanting:
This land was made for you and me.

I, as a born and bred honest-to-God Republican (Margaret Chase Smith style), crossed with Irish union Democrats….and for some reason, I always remember the next verse:

As I went walking I saw a sign there
And on the sign it said "No Trespassing."
But on the other side it didn't say nothing,
That side was made for you and me.

Flip…..get rid of these lying, cheating cocksuckers so that the rest of us can actually……

Live Free or Die……

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Paranoia Strikes Deep

Jeez....I already used this title. I REALLY must be paranoid. The fish oil must not be working......

Quick response to CommentFolk: More Carl Demler very soon; actual organic milk products can be purchased from Organic Valley nationwide, and Strauss Family dairy in California. And....Brendan bought the Aprilia Motard 550 SX. He is a Motorslut. When he was born there were two Dunstall Norton café racers in the garage.......It is genetic.

Back to basics.

If I were a terrorist......note the subjunctive would not be hard for me to take out some folks here in The Homeland.

I have known some actual terrorists. Don't get excited, Sr. Gonzales....these are people I met at public events. Well, and people I met in bars. Let us just say that they all knew who Shane Magowan is.

These guys were professionals. They did not drink much even in the bars. (I guess I am not made for terror). They had an ideology, a program, and a business plan. There was no foaming at the mouth and shouting......that was for the other idiots at the bar whose twenty dollar notes funded the "terrorists". These guys had plans, inventory, guys with focus groups....the whole nine yards.

One of these guys that I met had escaped from a maximum security situtation in a northern country.....and had lain naked and submerged in freezing bogwater for twelve hours breathing through a straw while the dogs hunted him. If you ever have read "Sometimes a Great Notion".....

These guys were quiet, serious, dedicated.....and ultimately, successful. No screaming "Allah akbar!" in a market and pulling the pin on the bombsuit......

Anyway.....As a foodservice professional, who is completely familiar with writing business plans, and who has had long talks with actual terrorists.....I propose this as a.....novel, screenplay, fantasy......

A Person decides....for whatever reason or kill some Americans. This Person has a meeting with his peers, and they come up with a budget.

For maximum impact, the Person and his contacts talk about the number of Americans who need to be killed. Millions? Out of the question. Thousands? Well, it worked pretty well on 9/11....

They decide, for argument's sake to mimic 9/11 and kill 3,000 Americans. Now they need a method.

The Bush Administration has spent all the money in Iraq, so it is not hard to penetrate The Homeland. Only 1% of incoming containers to America are inspected. Only 1% of incoming foodstuffs are inspected. Even from China. Even from Bangladesh. Even from Malaysia.

They could build a dirty bomb, call it sneakers or t-shirts for Wal-Mart and smuggle it in in a container. Build one and the odds are 100-1 that it succeeds. Build two, and the odds are 10,000 to one in favor. You can go to Vegas with that!

But, dirty bombs are tough. Material, transport, bribing all these people....The technical aspects of detonation and distribution......this is not easy. Technicians are flaky. Millions of dollars are required......and you are playing right into what the security forces are expecting.


How about this?

Forget the 1% chance of beating the customs.....let's do something internally. How about food? Maybe....meat?

Decent chemical and biological toxins can be ordered on the internet......or purchased at Hacienda Hay and Feed in Carmel Valley.

Sierra Meat Company in Marina in the middle of the night is stocked with illegal alien dudes who are just trying to get by and feed their families, here and in Mexico. If we could get a toxin into the daily mix of ground beef....say an ounce or two in several thousand three to five hamburgers per pound.......we have possibly ten thousand potential victims.

How much would it cost to bribe one of the illegals.....even to do a long-term wine and dine program with a hot babe or slip in an ounce of toxins into the batch? A couple grand? How about we slip the coyotes some cash and hold up a guy's cousin's fiancée in San Diego? (Twenty years ago I paid $2,500 for the daughter of a cousin of my salad guy at Secrets....)

OK....easily traceable. Sierra has their master packing plant in Reno. What would it cost for a couple of hookers, a few nights on the town......and an ounce of toxins into the mix that goes out to all of Northern California? Ten grand? Twenty? With a potential 10,000 victims.....all living in a blue state.....this is a buck a body! Osama should be so lucky! Dirty bombs and nukes are SO expensive......and SO sketchy.

This is the same company that "wink-wink" sells farmed salmon as wild all winter....all through Northern California and Nevada......just to make a buck. I think our business plan can run with these guys.

It is one thing to attack buildings and airplanes.....what about attacking the very food that keeps those Yanks going? Talk about terror........

So....the ground meat, or the buffalo short ribs (even better....since Ted Turner is Buffalo Man) goes out all over the west. The poison slips by....and suddenly chefs, cooks, waiters, dishwashers, and clients are dropping like flies......and they are all illegals or Democrats. Beautiful.

President Bush and FEMA are quick to respond.

Here are some excerpts from the President's speech:

"My fellow Americans. It is with a heavy heart that I speak to you tonight. Our thoughts and prayers go out to all the victims of this weeks terror attack, and to their families. Our nation stands with you, and your pain is our pain.

For seven years now I have been fighting the good fight against terrorism. Recently I have stood virtually alone in my dedication to this battle.

The American people chose not to listen to my message. The Democrat Party stood in the way of every effort of mine to ensure the security and stability of our nation: the ports, the borders, the airways, our cities and our food supply. Their misguided message has closed the ears of our stalwart citizens to the threats that surround them.

Today, as we mourn with the thousands of our brothers and sisters in California the tragic loss of life caused by this cowardly and vile attack on our Homeland.....I swear to you that I will leave no stone unturned to find the culprits responsible. I will leave no stone unturned.

I am today invoking the powers that my wisdom and foresight......given to me by Almighty God in my prayers to Him.....have prepared just this last May. I am temporarily suspending the Congress and the courts. Your government will bring all its power to bear on the security of our citizens and seek out, find and bring justice to those who would destroy our Constitution and our American way of life.

The voice of freedom will not be stilled in this world....."

Thank you, Mr. President..... the World......who could be motivated to pull off a stunt like this?

Just a thought......

Friday, July 13, 2007

I like Beckham.....but

Frameshop: A Picture of the GOP on Civil Rights

photo credit: Ricardo Thomas / The Detroit News

The one photo the GOP does not want anyone to see was snapped at yesterday's NAACP GOP Presidential Candidate Forum. The NAACP invited all 9 Republican candidates to the forum, but only one showed up: Tom Tancredo. All the Democratic Presidential hopefuls showed up for their forum.

The excuses given by the Republican campaigns mostly had to do with scheduling conflicts--just too busy to make it.

The resulting photo of Tancredo--standing on a stage of empty podiums--sums up the Republican party's commitment to civil rights in America: the only Republican interested is the guy running to deny immigrant workers their rights.

One has to wonder why this photo was not the lead on every morning show and on the front pages of every morning newspaper in America.


The reason, most likely, is a coordinated effort by Republicans to pressure news agencies to downplay the obvious implications of having 8 out of 9 of their Presidential candidates as "no shows" for a debate at the NAACP.

What is keeping the obvious story about Republicans and racism out of today's headlines? David Beckham's arrival in Hollywood.

This is an ideal moment to stand up and demand the kind of news coverage we want in America. Contact your local TV stations and newspapers. Ask them to run this photo and to write an article about Republicans, civil rights and racism.

© 2007 Jeffrey Feldman, Frameshop

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Your government wants to kill you.......

Well.....not right away.

You have some small uses to them in the meantime. Mostly, spend all your money at Wal-Mart, watch Fox News, listen to Rush and vote for American Idol...... but not for your Congressman.

Oh, and eat any damn thing that is put in front of you.

America's food supply is now like eating at Grandma's. "Finish your tuna fish......children are starving in: Darfur, Nigeria, Somalia".......

Salinas, Grandma?

No....those are just fucking Mexicans........

"You don't leave the table until you finish your dinner!"

It gets creepy when you see the cans of Fancy Feast in the pantry.....and you know that Grandma's kitty died back in the Carter Administration.

I am not kidding.....this was lunch at Jane's grannie's in Ohio thirty years ago. Everyone but me buckled down and ate. I earned Flower Family scorn as the disloyal, effete Easterner (Ithaca was 200 miles closer to Greenwich, you see.....) by passing on the treats. (Grannie still left me her '64 LeMans.......)

Not that my family was any better. As little kids, my brothers and I used to dread my parents' vacations: the Irish grandparents would watch us while the folks were on a cruise.

Grandpa Tom was the chef. He was a ship's carpenter who worked at Van Kamp's fish cannery on Terminal Island. One of the perks of the job was free distressed merchandise....cans of fish.
Grandpa Tom was born in Ireland in 1890. His grandfather had eaten grass in the green fields of Eire in competition with the landlord's cows to survive The Famine. Dining with Grandpa was like dining with Elie Wiesel......the moral and practical authority was unquestionable.

"Eat the fucking food."

Meanwhile, this was the sixties in Orange County, California. "Better Dead Than Red." My seventh grade middle school geography teacher was frog-marched off campus for teaching us how many little pictures of cows, oil wells and corn ears the Soviet Union was supposed to have on its blank map in the book. We did weekly atomic bomb drills....and everyone had a bomb shelter at home.

Ours was full of Van Kamp's slightly swollen fish cans. Grandpa Tom was insulted that my folks were not giving us a steady diet of the stuff, so when he took over........every night, baked canned......I suppose it was tuna. Or some part of the tuna. Tuna nerves. Tuna skin. Tuna livers. Tuna guts. Something dark and very smelly.

My brothers and I would sit for hours at the table in silent protest at the baked, reeking mass in front of us. It was not just was unswallowable. The tongue rebelled and the throat refused. At an early age I knew that "unpalatable" was not a was a survival tool.

Crispy the dog was no help...... and dogs eat cat poop with relish. We spread as much as we could under the table, into the hollow legs, under the chairs, in our shoes, into the houseplants.......Our house smelled like a fish abattoire. (I have since used these skills in bad Michelin one-stars in Spain with veiny foie gras........)

Meanwhile, Gramps would chow down with relish.....completely unfazed by the stench and the grimy, sticky, dessicating texture of his nightly offering. It was better than.......Nothing.

Or grass.

Upon least the Van Kamp's stuff was made from actual fish, caught in actual local Union guys (Grandpa was a union carpenter).

Nowadays, you as a consumer have no such assurances. Grandpa Tom is now in charge of the USDA, and there are no more unions.

The Bush Administration has taken the position that you are not allowed to know anything about the food you buy and consume that is independent of the public relations and marketing department of the company that has produced it......beyond the number of calories per serving, and a laborious list of additives. That is for packaged food. For bulk the stuff in the fish case at Whole Foods......there are literally no rules.

Upton Sinclair is spinning in his tomb.

You are not allowed to know which country the food is produced in, whether it contains meat or fish from cloned animals, whether it has been irradiated, or whether it contains genetically modified materials. If your dairy refuses to use rBGH to force milk production from its cows......the USDA maintains that the dairy is not allowed to tell you. If your meat company checks each and every steer for BSE (mad cow), it will be expensive.....not because of the cost of the inspection......but because of the cost of the full time legal team the company needs to keep the USDA from stopping the inspections.

Supposedly, you don't need to know what country your meat, fish, produce and vitamin supplements come from because the USDA only certifies products that come from countries with similar inspection programs to this is a good thing. The USDA and the FDA only inspect 1% of the food in THIS country. Picture their presence in Argentina, or Baja, or Laos, or Bangladesh. Yeah, right......

Speaking of Bangladesh: if you buy tilapia, you are an insane person. Tilapia are a hardy enough fish that they can live in cesspools....and in fact they are useful in that they consume the waste and clean up said cesspools. And then you can eat them! How cool is that? Bangladesh and India make extensive use of this neat feature to help with water purification and local nutrition.
Oh.....and there is ABSOLUTELY nothing to prevent these fish.....or say tiger prawns similarly raised.....from being presented in the Costco or Whole Foods fish case as American, Scotch, French or Swiss bred.

If a product is not packaged.....there are no rules. If a product IS are not allowed to know where it came from, or what kind of stuff is in it.

Even if you do the research, and buy from only reputable, organic and American suppliers of produce, meat and fish.......there is nothing to regulate the foodstocks, fertilizers and chemicals that these birds, cows, sheep, pigs, goats, salmon, and tomatoes are being raised on. The melamine poison protein substitute that killed all those dogs a few months ago was fed to every organic cow and pig in California. Turns out it only kills dogs.....right away. Picture what the non-organically raised creatures are eating.

Grandpa Tom knows. Just enough to stay alive and turn a profit. And eating grass is definitely NOT part of the program.......

And, if you think that you can take refuge in buying organic.......forget it. Wal-Mart and other mega-companies have found the organic standards to be vexing and they have changed them. Milk can now be called organic if the facility the milk is produced in is certified organic. The cows themselves can be regular old chemically and anti-biotically challenged critters that are just shuffled in and shuffled out. If you buy Costco Kirkland organic milk, or Safeway "O" or Woodstock Farms, or anything made by are a dumb fuck. Buying Horizon milk is God's way of telling you that you have too much money.......

There was a law passed back in 2002 to mandate Country of Origin Labeling for meat, fish and produce.....but President Bush continues to delay its set for September 2008.

Meanwhile, the Farm Bill continues to favor Agribusiness over small family farms, bio-tech companies pushing cloning, genetically modified foods, and Wild West style marketing. Even Senators and Congresspeople from places like Iowa and Nebraska.....even Democrats from farm country are not immune to the vast legislative purchasing power of outfits like Archer-Daniels-Midland and Wal-Mart. The companies that grow the cows and pigs in Iowa also grow them in Argentina and China.....and don't think that it matters to you that there might be an important distinction between them.

Which came first: Government deception, misinformation, bait-and-switch, and corruption.....OR Industry deception, misinformation, bait-and-switch, and corruption? Does it matter? Is it a distinction without a difference?

Even our farmers are drinking the KoolAid. How can you support a government that is flooding your own market with cheap, shitty stuff that you and your family have produced in quality for four generations? Regulation: Bad? Market: Good?

If the people in charge of our food policy were true Republicans, and actually believed in the market place.....they would insist on accurate labeling. Give the consumer the information, and let him decide. Instead, the machinery of our government has been harnessed to stop any and all information at the source. Profits are king....any way you can get them. The government has ceased to function in any reasonable way to support the public good.

I was chuckling last weekend as I watched Presidents Bush and Putin cavorting in Maine.
We all remember back in 1986....April 26th to be exact.....when the Chernobyl nuclear power plant melted down.

Five days later in the Ukrainian capitol of Kiev.....1oo miles away.....there was a scheduled May Day Parade put on by the government. The government assured everyone that everything was fine. We are here for you......we are taking care of the public good. No problems with that power plant thing.

One hundred thousand children from all over the region marched in the parade.....while radioactive chaff rained down on them.

All those children are now officially labelled as "survivors" of the Chernobyl "incident"....with sterility and other problems rampant.....something along the lines of 70 per cent.

Now wonder Bush and Putin get along so well.

Yeah, so eat your fish.

Grandpa Tom says so.

Some links:
Earl Blumenauer, food warrior.
Organic Consumers
Old School Farmers turned International
Stop Unlabeled Cloned Food in California

Thursday, July 05, 2007

Super quick.....

Damn.....Keith Olbermann beat me to the punch.

Proof positive that there is no possible difference between Hillary Clinton and any possible Republican you could name outside of Ron Paul and Crazy Boy Tancredo:

Bill Clinton disgraced himself at the eleventh hour of his Presidency by pardoning an international scumbag named Mark Rich. This creep had stolen money right, left and central and absconded to Switzerland ahead of multi indictments. A passle of right wingnuts proclaimed his innocence....on some Neanderthal cave man ethical principles.

More to the point, Mark Rich's widow Denise was a zaftig, Joan Collins style, creepy looking item that did NOT flee the country.....and liked to hang with Bill. Slightly upscale from Monica.

Anyway....Bill pardoned the creep.

Now, the right wingnuts are going: blah, blah, blah! Clinton pardoned Mark Rich! Bush can pardon Libby!

Well, of course......Mark Rich did not WORK for Clinton (not talking about the wife.......).

Who was Rich's lawyer?

I. Lewis (Scooter) Libby.

Even I don't have enough Irony Points to deal with this.

Fuck all y'all. I still like Mike Gravel. Or Kucinich. Or Ron Paul.


Al Gore, III gets busted for driving a Prius at 100 mph while holding pot, Vicodin, Xanax, and Valium.

First obvious point:

Who knew a Prius could go 100 mph?

Second obvious point:

Who knew Al Gore, III was a caterer?

And what did he do with the champagne?