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Saturday, July 16, 2005

On Food. And Faux Food.

I present to you today two widely disparate stories that are, to my twisted way of thinking, related.

First there's the sad news reported in Collegiate Times, the Virginia Tech student newspaper, that a grocery store in Blacksburg, Virginia called Low Carb Crazy is closing. (link)

Cheri Kelsey, owner of Low Carb Crazy, said she was unable to get the kind of profit needed to keep the store open. The store did not attract enough business to remain economically feasible, even though several dozen customers remained loyal to the store.
Shop owners in the area (downtown Blacksburg) blame ongoing construction for the shutdown. The store's poor location (second floor of a downtown building with multiple vacancies) and the fact that the store's target audience was microscopic ("several dozen customers remained loyal to the store ..."), and the fact that a discerning shopper could find the same packaged low carb leaves and twigs over at Wal-Mart may have had something to do with the store's demise as well.

But what do I know?

The second story comes from the Associated Press.

14-Pound Baby Girl Born in Kentucky

CORBIN, Ky. (AP) -- A baby girl weighing a whopping 14 pounds, 3 ounces was born in Kentucky, a hospital official said. The baby was born Tuesday by Caesarean section and appeared healthy, said Susan Whittymore, a nursing supervisor at Baptist Regional Medical Center. (link)
Being a former Kentuckian and knowing the people of Corbin like I do, I can say, with a high degree of certainty, that this kid's parents weren't eating bark for supper each evening. Or low carb soils and mulch.

In Kentucky its pig knuckles and possum fat, baby. Greasy pork barbecue and high carb fried potatoes. Slop. Especially slop. Polysaturated slop. And lots of it.

So how are these two stories related?

In Blacksburg, the average low carb devotee, topping out at 112 pounds (and that's the male of the species), and subsisting on a diet of molds, spores, and lichens, worries about being knocked down by a stiff breeze.

In Corbin, a person has to trade the Chevy Cavalier for a Mack truck when his wife blesses him with a young'un. 14 pounds 3 ounces of young'un.

There is a lesson to be learned here. Low Carb Crazy is no more. And McDonald's stock reached an all-time high last week.


Apologies, Apologies, Apologies ...

I almost tossed my tacos the other day when I saw Republican National Committee chairman Ken Mehlman on television groveling before a hate-filled NAACP convention crowd, pleading for forgiveness for (non-specific) sins committed by (unnamed) Republicans (when?) long long ago (see Nedra Pickler's, AP version of the event here).

I had two immediate reactions when I saw his painfully pathetic pandering performance. (1) For this I could have voted for Bill Clinton, and (2) An apology served up to the NAACP will go about as far as would tossing a tuna sandwich to a pack of sharks.

So how did the "black community" react to Mehlman's apology? They want another apology.

Here's Carol M. Swain, a professor of political science and law at Vanderbilt University and a visiting fellow at Princeton University, taking time out from her decrepit slavery-induced circumstances and from her role as a charwoman, in an op/ed for the Washington Post this morning.
An Apology for Slavery
By Carol M. Swain

It's time for the Republican Party to write a new chapter in race relations. What I have in mind is something beyond the Senate's recent resolution on lynching and this week's expression of regret by a high-ranking Republican official for the GOP's use of what came to be know as the "Southern Strategy." What I propose is a formal apology for slavery and its aftermath. (link)
President Clinton's apology for slavery and President Bush's denunciation of the institution of slavery are old apologies apparently. We need a new apology.
Others will say that an apology is not necessary because one has already been issued -- two, really. In 1998 President Clinton acknowledged the evils of slavery. And last year President Bush ... spoke of the wrongs and injustices of slavery.

That sounds like an apology. Nevertheless, while presidents as far back as John Adams have acknowledged the wrongness of slavery, there is still much to be said for an official apology. It would bring closure and healing to a festering wound.
Oh. OK. We need an official apology this time. Now I understand.

Mehlman's attempt at closure didn't even buy him a week of harmony and understanding. And the "festering wound," routinely reinfected by the new slave traders, as I prefer to characterize people like Carol Swain, will not be allowed to heal. Not until they've squeezed every ounce of fame and fortune out of it.

So apologize away. My suggestion to George Bush would be to open every Saturday morning radio address with a standard apology disclaimer. He could even bring Bill Clinton back from his mission to rebuild tsunami-ravaged Southeast Asia to be the Apologizer-in-Chief. He perfected the art of insincerity, after all. "I didn't rape that woman, Juanita Brodderick. But if I did, Hillary and I apologize from the bottom of our hearts."

Hell, ABC would give it its own twice-weekly reality show.

'Buried' Treasure

This is the stuff archaeologists dream of:
Bedouin leads archaeologist to fragments of biblical scroll
Danielle Haas / Associated Press

JERUSALEM -- A secretive encounter with a Bedouin in a desert valley led to the discovery of two fragments from a nearly 2,000-year-old parchment scroll -- the first such finding in decades, an Israeli archaeologist said Friday.

The two small pieces of brown animal skin, inscribed in Hebrew with verses from the Book of Leviticus, are from "refugee" caves in Nachal Arugot, a canyon near the Dead Sea where Jews hid from the Romans in the second century, Eshel said in an interview with The Associated Press. (
To those of us who are on constant watch for buried treasure, this is an exciting discovery.

Summing Up The Karl Rove Kerfuffle

John Tierney, writing for the New York Times, sums up for us the gist of the Karl Rove-leaked-classified-information scandal. Here's how he sees it:
... it looks as if this scandal is about a spy who was not endangered, a whistle-blower who did not blow the whistle and was not smeared, and a White House official who has not been fired for a felony that he did not commit. And so far the only victim is a reporter who did not write a story about it.

It would be logical to name it the Not-a-gate scandal, but I prefer a bilingual variation. It may someday make a good trivia question:

What do you call a scandal that's not scandalous?

Nadagate. (link)
Excepting the rabidly detached Democrats who want Rove's head - reality be damned - most of us came to the conclusion a while back that there is no story here.

Now someone has to break the news to Hillary.