Sunday, March 08, 2009

Monday Musings

The government stole our hour. I want it back. Let's muse.

In an effort to build goodwill between the United States and Russia, Hillary Clinton offered Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov a red button that said "overcharged" in Russian. It was supposed to say "reset".

Setting aside the fact that, had this been Condoleeza Rice, the New York Times (see you at the unemployment line, suckers) would be penning it's 136,542th article on the issue, I have to ask... Why are we evoking cold war imagery by giving Russia a little red button?

Of course, this is the administration of the most brilliant man EVER, so who am I to question.


is one of the most reasoned, intelligent pieces I've read in a while. It's about foie gras, and it comes from Mark Pastore, owner of Incanto, a well-regarded Italian restaurant in San Francisco. Here is an excerpt:

"Much of the outrage being stirred up over foie gras production centers around the practice of gavage, the use of a funnel inserted into the duck's esophagus to force-feed grain to the duck over the final 15-21 days of its life... However, this approach is the crux of the problem with an argument meant to play upon human empathy: it anthropomorphizes an animal whose physiology is fundamentally different than ours. Ducks and geese are waterfowl. Their digestive tracts evolved to accommodate swallowing of whole fish, the occasional amphibian, and rocks for the gizzard to assist in digestion."

In other words, intellectually dishonest vegetarians and eviros have used the delicacy as a public relations vehicle, when really what they want to do is get everyone to stop eating meat.

Foie gras, if you have not partaken, is delicious. Eat some today.


While I'm on the food topic... Anyone who has not tried Be'wiched in the Warehous district should absolutely feel compelled to do so.

As the name implies, it's more or less a deli, specializing in sandwiches and salads. But Be'wiched sandwiches house absolutely top notch ingredients (e.g pastrami made on-site) and are crafted with extraordinary precision. Every nuance of the sandwich makes sense.

Go during happy hour, and they'll put together small plates for you and your party. Just tell them what you want, and how much you want to spend, and they'll do it up. Seriously, it's that laid back. Oh, and Surly's are $2.


I'm less infatuated with Smalley's Caribbean BBQ in Stillwater. The jerk chicken is exquisite, as is the mac and cheese side dish, so on that basis I can recommend it if you happen to be in the area, but the food is uneven and often greasy. I appreciate the idea of BBQ that goes beyond dousing everything in sauce and turning it into jerky, but I'm not sure "it's better than Famous Daves" is enough to merit a 40 minute hike across the cities.


And, lastly, you should make it to the Blue Door Pub while they are serving their Merriam Park burger. Stuffed with bleu cheese, garlic and bacon, and topped with a sweet chili sauce, that thing is heaven.


You know what story I'm sick of hearing. "Man goes from $100,000 per year to poorhouse". If you were making $100,000 per year in 2007, and you don't have any money now, you are getting what you deserve.

I suppose that's why the stories are so popular. Schmucks like us get to read it and feel a sense of empowerment. Except the stories themselves are actually pretty banal. That's what we get for being schmucks.


Besides, Obama has saved us. If you aren't employed, it's because you didn't hope hard enough.


Anonymous peter said...

Dude, I thought for you'd include some snarky comment about Obama giving Prime Minister Brown a stack of Star Wars DVDs as a diplomatic gift. If we can't count on snark from you on such an occasion, what CAN we count on?

8:10 AM  
Blogger Kevin Sawyer said...

Maybe the gifts got confused. Russia was supposed to get Star Wars as a veiled reminder of our nuclear defense capacity, and Britain was supposed to get the button, in honor our special relation... er, partnership. We will press that button together when the time comes.

Imagine being Belgium right now. All it got was socks.

Next time, someone should put instructions for diplomatic etiquette on Obama's teleprompter.

10:49 AM  
Blogger Joanne said...

I am bothered by the anthropomorphism and the false information when it comes to the animals used to produce foie gras. Majority of the foie gras comes from Moullard ducks (a non migratory bird who is not predisposed to gorging of any kind and certainly not force feeding). Furthermore, these ducks are dabbling ducks not diving ducks, therefore do not swallow whole fish. They dabble on the surface of the water for bugs and floating vegetation. Geese do not swallow whole fish either. This is why whenever a foie gras proponent tries to show a photo of a waterfowl swallowing whole fish, the wrong kind of bird (usually a cormorant)is shown.

And yes, ducks and geese are waterfowl, which is why it is so excruciatingly cruel to keep them on a dry farm away from any water. If we just stop anthropomorphising for a second we can understand this. Keeping a duck or goose out of water is like making a chicken sit in water for its entire life. Waterfowl need to submerse themselves in water in order to be healthy. They need to swim and preen. Without it, they go blind and they get sick. At foie gras farms the ducks never ever get to be in water. They have no access other than to drinking water. Webbed feet are for living in water, not in dry cages.

10:39 AM  
Blogger Kevin Sawyer said...

The key point, for me, is that their throats are able to tolerate force feeding in ways that human throats are not. The key complaint regarding force feeding is that the practice can cause infections. It doesn't matter if the duck gets an infection, because it will soon be dead.

I think I speak for the vast majority when I say I don't feel any obligation to ensure that animals are allowed to live in their natural habitat before they are slaughtered. I'm sure the ducks would rather be in water, but I am equally certain they would rather not be killed.

11:35 AM  

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