A New Can Of Worms
03 July 2003
 
Juan Valdez Is Unemployed

A piece in Washington Monthly by Joshua Kurlantzick explains why a venti skim latte costs $3.65 at my neighborhood Starbucks. Turns out the IMF/WorldBank are to blame. Anytime you see "IMF" or "IBRD" (World Bank) be afraid -- be very afraid.

Kurlantzick also blames Americans for poor taste, and he is right. That crap you find at the grocery store, Folgers, TastersChoice, Maxwell House is made with horrible tasting beans according to the Kurlantzick. What he doesn't mention is how Americans came to drink such crappy coffee.

Americans have a love-love relationship with coffee since before the the American Revolution. Cowboys used to chew coffee beans to stay awake on cattle drives. The stories of how Americans love coffee have been intertwined throughout our history. However, during the Depression, when markets determined a coffee shortage, and WWII, when the Government did, Americans began to drink weaker and poorer tasting coffee.

The reason why we drink Folgers et. al., and put it up with it, comes from "Our Greatest Generation." It is an artefact of the 1930's and 40's. It is only with the rise of Starbucks and Seattle's Best etc. are we beginning to shed it. I wish Kurlantsik had mentioned this fact because I think it has bearing on the problem he is describing. His wonderful piece focuses on the supply of coffee -- the demand equation needs to be better addressed here, too.


 
Wife Carrying

This (link requires subscription) will undoubtably be all the rage this holiday weekend.
30 June 2003
 
Constitutional Amendment on Marriage

Sen. Bill Frist (R-TN) has called for a Constitutional Amendment in support of the Institution of marriage. I am actually for it, but not for the reasons that are being bandied about in press and on talk radio.

One of the interesting things about this argument is what is not being mentioned around the country. The State has a legitimate interest in supporting the institution of marriage. The state's interest in protection the institution revolves around the perpetuation of the state. Weakening the institution of marriage, it can be argued, is a threat to the survival of the state. This is because marriage produces citizens.
 
P.J. O'Rourke on "Living History."

Banal is how I would describe the book -- complete with references to Arendt.
29 June 2003
 
The Real Third Way

I wonder if Tony and Bill new this history of the third way when they began triangulating their way across Britain and the US.

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