Is frozen pizza a cruciferous vegetable or a leafy green?

What could possibly be more ridiculous than Congress declaring frozen, mass-produced “pizza” a vegetable?  Perhaps declaring that this particular act of Congress represents a BETRAYAL OF THE AMERICAN PEOPLE and a FAILURE TO PROTECT THE CHILDREN!!!

But this is what Congress has done. It has let the American people down and failed to protect our children. As Michele Simon astutely points out, “Congress has hijacked the USDA regulatory process to do the food industry’s bidding.” How much longer will we allow Big Food and our government to propagate lies about food and compromise the health of our nation’s children for their financial and political gain?


In order to believe this, you’d first have to believe that Congress actually represents The American People(TM) and that they actually give a rat’s ass about protecting the children.  You’d also have to believe that the fate of the nation’s health hinges upon whether fresh fruits and vegetables are being served in school cafeterias, instead of the usual (literally) warmed-over shit (powdered mashed potatoes and these curiously spongelike “nuggets,” purportedly made from chicken, were a couple of the classics from my time in the adolescent daycare system).

You’d also apparently have to think that it’s a good idea for the government to be involved in deciding what constitutes a healthy diet.  “But,” I can hear some goo-goo saying, “the government’s already involved in deciding what we eat.  We might as well try to influence it in a better direction.”  Well, yeah, but that hasn’t worked out very well so far, has it?  Better get to work on that lobbying budget.  In the meantime, you could pack your kid’s lunch and make sure she gets some real food for breakfast and dinner and not waste your time worrying about what Representative Jones, D-ConAgra has decided to call a vegetable.

You could also reconsider your support for a school system that’s subject to the whims of a corrupt political system.  Please, think of the children!


The Other 1%

Heard a marine, or former marine, say on a talk radio show this afternoon: “We’re the one percent that helps the other 99 percent.”

Setting aside the question of how exactly killing villagers in places like Afghanistan is helping anyone in the United States, I have to ask, don’t you just hate when people insist on giving you “help” you didn’t ask for?


Not that this particular dead horse needs any more beating, but I’m still amazed by the amount of reverence people have/had for a college football coach.  Forget about the rioters and the students who crashed the Board of Trustees’ press conference to protest the firing of “Joe Pa.”  I’m talking about the middle-aged dudes who call into sports talk radio shows in utter disbelief that such a tragedy could have befallen such a “great man.”  The other day, a caller asked a host if he thought they’d be able to honor Paterno in some kind of public ceremony at some point in Paterno’s lifetime.  The host said that he doubted it, seeing as how Paterno is already 80-some years old and it’s going to take more than a few years for a scandal involving the rape of 10-year-olds to blow over.  The caller sounded downright disillusioned as he conceded the point.  How did this happen?  How did the legacy of a fucking college football coach become so damn important?  I mean, what did the man do besides turn an average state college into a wildly popular destination for white suburban kids who like the idea of going to a school with a winning football team and a top-notch party program?

Support the Troops

The retired postmaster flags certain items he comes across, for female soldiers: such as a little box of nice soaps. Stirling says even people who don’t support specific wars should support the troops. But he’s not sure he supports the troop withdrawal, “I think that’s a political thing right now. I think it’s expedient. But I don’t know if it’s the right thing to do unless they’re right there waiting to go back in because the situation in the world is very. It’s like a tinderbox, you know, and you’ve got to make sure things are done properly.”

My local NPR affiliate

I guess now that the troops are coming home from Iraq (except for the ones who will remain to guard the embassy, and the others who will remain in Kuwait and Saudi Arabia, just, you know, to make sure nobody steals any sand) we’re going to get more of these sentimental puff pieces about those brave men and women who risk their lives to defend our freedoms.

Of all the braindead slogans regularly parroted in the mainstream media and culture, “support the troops” has got to be the most nauseating.  Even when an effort is made, as in the passage quoted above, to separate the soldiers from the mission, it’s still, in effect, an underhanded attempt to silence dissent.  What they’re actually saying is, “You may not support the war(s), but really you should, if only for the sake of the troops.”  It’s become the foreign policy equivalent of “think of the children.”

But what really irks is the implied obligation.  You should support the troops because they’re risking their lives for you.  I mean, they wouldn’t even be in Iraq, killing all of those terrible sand niggers and getting their arms and legs blown off by IEDs, if it wasn’t for you and your damn freedom that needs to be protected all the time.  You’re not some kind of ingrate, are you?

Funny thing is, I don’t recall asking a single soldier to go anywhere and do anything for me.  So I have an idea: Instead of telling me that I should support the troops, I think you should just fuck off.