|Large Methuselah Supreme, Please|
Sam Aurelius Milam III
For years now I've been listening to various versions of the food police trying to tell people what to eat or what not to eat. I've usually been annoyed by their conviction that they know better than anybody else, and better than me, what I should eat. I've repeatedly objected to allegations that some study proves their point. If I wasn't in a study group, then the results don't apply to me. Not only that, reported results are merely an average of a normal distribution of results. As justification for a mandate, an average result is as phoney as can be. However, when I heard an NPR report2 about Pizza in a Bucket, I think I might have gone beyond annoyance and into amusement. It's become so absurd that it pretty much has to be funny. According to the report, the management of some pizza restaurant has decided that the Atkins low-carbohydrate diet is a threat to pizza sales. So, they're offering a pizza with all of the normal ingredients, except no crust. They call it Pizza in a Bucket. Wow. I just had to laugh. OK, variety and choice are good things. I don't object to another choice at the pizza place, but the panic over what we eat is getting a little silly. Maybe the shape of a pizza, circular, triggered something in me but I think maybe I've come full circle. The report brought instantly to mind one of my father's many poems. Here it is, a fitting epitaph to the food police movement (one can hope), as accurately as I can remember it from when I was a kid.
Poppa's Tree Test
Sam Aurelius Milam III
I've been thinking about the growing fears regarding genetically modified (GM) food. Whether or not such fears are justified, we should at least be precise in our terminology. Our fears aren't based on the fact that the food is genetically modified. All food is genetically modified. Our fears are based on the fact that some food is artificially genetically modified (AGM). Precision in terminology is an important virtue.
There are certainly advantages to AGM food but I don't know if the food is more dangerous or safer than traditional food. However, I can think of one way to make that determination.
I must briefly digress. The part of the country where I spent most of my childhood was, at that time, undergoing a long drought. Not much would grow there except weeds. Once, when I observed a plant that I couldn't identify, I asked my father if it was a tree or a weed. With his typical wry wit, he said, "I don't know, son. Cut it down. If it grows back, it was a weed." His amusing suggestion had obvious disadvantages, but it contained a grain of truth. Weeds grew back. Trees didn't. If I cut down something and it didn't grow back, then I knew to protect that kind of plant if I saw another one like it. Poppa's Tree Test was a restatement of the old saying, "Good decisions come from experience. Experience comes from bad decisions."
OK, back to AGM food. We can pass all kinds of legislation, based on ignorance by the way, empowering the government to further supervise our lives and regulate our food. However, we already know that such government involvement won't improve the food. It might even make the food worse. It will certainly further erode our liberty. We know the government is dangerous, but is the food safe? Let's get the known villain (government) out of the picture, eat the food, and just see what happens.
Sam Aurelius Milam III
Cause and Repression The more worthy and legitimate a cause, the more repression will be tolerated in its name. Thus, when I complain of repressive feminists, repressive Christians, repressive animal's "rights" activists, and so forth, I'm actually in a backhanded sort of way giving each group a compliment. If the cause wasn't so worthy, then the repression that it could sustain would be insignificant.
Options When I make a conclusive argument that you cannot successfully rebut, then your only legitimate choices are to either accept my position and change your ways or to live thereafter knowingly in error.
Abolish Testing Drug testing is a violation of the presumption of innocence.
Letters to the Editor
Sir John the Generous
If a man doesn't own his animals, then anybody else has as much right to them as he does. Then, it isn't a crime to steal a horse. A man can't sell the milk from his dairy herd. He has to give it away to anybody who wants it, because he doesn't own it. If he does sell the products of his animals, then he's obligated to give the money to the animals. Cash fed cows. What an idea. Of course a man can own animals. They're property.
I will accept the idea that a man is the custodian of land. Long after the man is dead the land will still be there. It will be used by countless future generations, for millennia to come. Not so with animals. The animals won't last long enough to be passed on to future generations. I think that your assumptions lead to some very undesirable conclusions. I suggest that you rethink the assumptions.
... In regard to the article about animal rights: It would be helpful to have a sentence in the first paragraph explaining who "Bouvier" is. Of course, I know, but there may be readers who have never heard of him. In regard to the ideas of the animal rights activists, ... they are extremely confused and inconsistent, because if animals should have the same "rights" (privileges?) as people on the basis that they are sentient beings, then it is wrong to have pets. If slavery is wrong for people, how can it be right to enslave animals as pets? It's interesting to note that there is one religion, Jainism, which does teach that it is wrong to harm any living thing. Logically, this precludes killing anything for food. Jains are not expected to fully follow the precepts of the religion until they are elderly and ready to die.
In regard to the article on biometrics: State power is becoming increasingly entrenched because of the power mania of the few, and the cowardice of the majority. These atrocities couldn't be happening if people weren't allowing themselves to be terrorized by media tales that truly effect only a tiny percentage of the population. It's like people are more afraid of a paper tiger than a real, armed policeman. Also, I'm surprised that you didn't have a reference to your essay on identity the one where you talk about what constitutes proof of identity.
Sir Donald the Elusive
Bouvier refers to Bouvier's Law Dictionary. Some people regard it as the authoritative source of legal definitions. I use an 1889 edition.
The essay on identity is "The Number of a Man's Name". I'll provide copies upon request.
Regarding biometrics, I hope that youre resisting them in your own life.
your March 2004 issue .... "I'm sometimes gay but I'm never homosexual". How about when you masturbate? Those are the hands of a male that are stimulating your genitals!
I think it's generally understood that a homosexual relationship is between different people of the same sex, not between a man and his hand. I don't know if you're trying to be funny, trying to be a smart-aleck, if you're ignorant, or if you're intentionally distorting the definition. Whatever the case, your point escapes me.
My thanks to the following: Sir James the Bold, Sir John the Generous, SantaClara Bob, Lady Jan the Voluptuous, Eric, of Repressa, California, and Sir Donald the Elusive.
Dear Music Lover
My wife has a whole mess of Cuisinart stuff, but I ain't never heard of Mozart. Is it fer cookin'?
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Sam Aurelius Milam III, editor