I read two articles this morning. The first was from Charles Krauthammer on whether President Obama may have finessed policy realities for political gain. As expected, it was quite good. K-Hammer usually gives voice to my already cynical beliefs about political arguments. He also threw in some analysis from Greg Mankiw; always a pleasure:
Mankiw puts the Obama bait-and-switch in plain language. “Translation: I promise to fix the problem. And if I do not fix the problem now, I will fix it later, or some future president will, after I am long gone. I promise he will. Absolutely, positively, I am committed to that future president fixing the problem. You can count on it. Would I lie to you?”
For those of you who don’t read RealClearPolitics, or the Washington Post, you can read the rest of the article here.
The second article surprised me.
This item was published in City Journal with the title: “America’s Food Revolution.”
First, a quick bit of background. Over the last few months, I have been reading–and reading about–Michael Pollan, David Kessler, and others all the while searching for nuggets of wisdom interspersed between the usual anti-corporate rhetoric. As an aspiring culinary adventurer, I do enjoy the hunt for food and nutrition wisdom.
With that in mind, I was surprised to discover City Journal’s Jerry Weinberger to be a fellow traveler on this path. He sarcastically dismisses those who think that captialism’s reign has past and goes on to count the many blessings of American entreprenuership and even–gasp–of globalization.
But in telling the story of America’s rise to culinary greatness, Weinberger cites Alice Waters (the Berkeley-living, slow food loving, activist chef who wants to regulate every pesticide and genetically modified food) as one of the instrumental catalysts.
Were they to read the [Alice Waters/Chez Panisse] “creed,” most conservatives would be amused by its blather about “sustainable practices” and “farmers who know their seeds and soil” and even “wine makers who know what their grapes have known.” But the basic culinary insights embedded in the blather are important: really good food can’t be thought up in a chain-food corporate boardroom where shareholders must come first; a menu should have only so many items on it; the ingredients can’t all be available 365 days a year; and they are always best when local.
Didn’t this guy just get done praising globalization and snarking at its discontents?
Apparently you can believe in free markets, global trade, small businesses, and fresh tasty food.
Like Krauthammer, Weinberger eloquently gave voice to something I already had a dim hunch about: the reasonableness of supporting such an apparent mix of contradictions.
Adam D’Luzansky lives in Charlottesville, Virginia.