~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ I O 93 93/93 I O ~~~~~~~~~~~~~

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Location: LaGrange, Kentucky, United States

The opinions and interests of a husband, analyst and Iraq war veteran.


Friday, April 28, 2006

Dumbasses proclaim, "We won't fight your wars!"

Vandalism at UNC - Chapel Hill's ROTC:

An open letter to the anti-recruitment movement:

You idjits do know that our armed forces have been strictly volunteer since 1973, right? Do you have any idea how stupid you look acting out the street theater, counter culture antics of your parents in a time when the draft no longer exists?

Understand this, morons: A technological and organizational revolution has forced a change of mindset in the military community over the past thirty-plus years. Quality of life in the military has improved under the all-volunteer system because with volunteerism, comes a smaller pool of applicants, and with a smaller pool comes more incentives (better pay, better benefits, better accomodations, better services, and higher morale.) And with a smaller pool of applicants comes an increased reliance on new technology to make up the difference in strength with fewer numbers, which in turn, places more emphasis on the qualifications of applicants. These post-1973 changes have focused recruitment efforts to seek out only the best and brightest of America's population. Qualified individuals are often found on college campuses but, rest assured, punks like you are not encouraged to apply.

This ain't the sixties. If you're not bright enough to recognize what decade you're living in, then you're not qualified to join the modern military. My advice to you is to study hard, because it's clear that you have a lot of catching up to do.

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Monday, April 24, 2006

Recipe for media attention

Got a bone to pick? A grievanve to air? Want the press to hear your outraged condemnation of... well, of anyone? Here's your formula:

Ben & Jerry's sorry for Irish "Black & Tan" upset

DUBLIN (Reuters) - Ice cream makers Ben & Jerry's have apologized for causing offence by calling a new flavor "Black & Tan" -- the nickname of a notoriously violent British militia that operated during Ireland's war of independence.

The ice cream, available only in the United States, is based on an ale and stout drink of the same name.


"I can't believe that Ben & Jerry's would be so insensitive to call an ice cream such a name and to launch it as a celebration of Irishness ... it's an insult!" wrote one blogger on www.junkfoodblog.com.

"I hope they don't try to launch it here in Ireland or I imagine they'll lose a lot of their fans."


1 obscure yet offensively named frozen dairy product
5-6 outraged offendees
1 tablespoon each; adversarial journalism, culture of victimhood

Combine ingredients in a medium/large free speech zone, whip until frenzied, serve hot or cold. Don't matter which. Milk that bad boy until apology is issued and then fold in the creamy balm of healing, you know, just to show you're a sport with no hard feelings after forcing an apology for seemingly innocent yet secretly insidious labeling!


Jeff Goldstein has already covered the societal implications of ice cream politics here during the "Burger King Ice Cream" controversy of last year and in numerous other posts. To paraphrase his argument (with which I wholeheartedly agree) he asks, "Just when did we decide that the constitutional right to free speech is trumped by a non-existant "right" of freedom from offense?"

Who gets the final word in determining the intent of words? The speaker? Or any random, offended listener?

If the onus of understanding is on the speaker to make his intent clear, then it follows that the speaker should be the one to define his own intent. (This, BTW, is the way I would prefer all arguements took place.) This position, it seems to me, reinforces the notion of free speech as both a right and a responsibility. Conversely, if it's the listener's responsibility to interpret the words accurately, read between the lines so to speak, this would also favor the speaker in terms of free speech. The speaker, under this paradigm, is free to say whatever he wants without explanation! I doubt anyone would agree to that framework. But leave it to the leftists to come up with a third option: Put the consequences of free speech on the speaker, but cede the power of interpretation to the offended listener!

The possibilities for abuse are clear. Example: If I were to adopt an Aussie accent for what I considered a harmless joke and say, "Noice day, idn't it?" to anyone with a bone to pick with me, under the current paradigm of "the speaker is always culpable" and "the listener is always the final judge of the speaker's intent" well, I'm leaving myself open to all sorts of accusations of cultural insensitivity, aren't I? And, being solely culpable for any misinterpretation of the intent of my words, the offended party could demand an apology at the very least, if not additional punishment in the form of social ostricization, censure from my employer, expulsion from campus, etc.

This, I think, is scary stuff, brought to public attention by ice cream of all things.

UPDATE: This post appeared on the site many, many hours after submission. Blogger's been acting squirrelly.

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Wednesday, April 19, 2006

"not with spears only but with axes"

From time to time I rag on John Derbyshire of National Review, calling him "negative" and "codgery" because... well he is. But I will be forever in his debt for bringing to my attention this story of Herodotus:

The story needs a bit of background. During the first quarter of the fifth century B.C., the new empire of Persia was expanding aggressively under two great kings: Darius, up to 486, and then Xerxes. They wanted to conquer the young Greek city-states, and sent expeditionary forces for that purpose. During one of these forays, the city-state of Sparta had killed some Persian envoys by throwing them into a well. In the years that followed, things did not go well for Sparta, and all kinds of bad omens were observed. The Spartans eventually decided they should make some collective restitution for their crime. They therefore called for patriotic citizens willing to go to Persia and offer their own lives in payment for those of the slain ambassadors. Two well-born young Spartan men, Sperthias and Bulis, volunteered. They set out for Susa, the Persian capital.

Persia was a sprawling despotic empire of the pre-modern type. An infallible god-king effected his will through a huge bureaucratic apparatus, the whole thing financed by crushing taxation. (Rather like the Democratic Party, in fact.) On their way to Susa the two Spartans — whose selfless mission was well known, and widely admired — were given hospitality by a high Persian official named Hydarnes. Impressed by these two brave young men, Hydarnes attempted to recruit them into the king's service. "For," he said: "When ye regard me and mine affairs, ye see that the king knoweth how to honour valiant men. Ye also likewise, if ye would give yourselves unto the king, because ye are esteemed of him to be valiant men, might each of you rule over land in Greece, which the king should give you." Then they answered him thus: "Hydarnes, thy counsel as touching us is not evenly weighed. For, of the one thing thou hast made trial, but of the other thou art without experience: what it is to be a bondservant thou knowest full well, but of freedom thou hast never yet made trial, to know whether it be a sweet thing or not. For if ever thou hadst experience thereof, thou wouldest counsel us to fight for it not with spears only but with axes." Thus they answered Hydarnes.

I have this story memorized. Whenever someone asks me why I joined the military, I now reply, "not with spears only but with axes." When I see reports of american busineses and newspapers self censor out of fear of reprisal, when Buchanon on the right, and the Berkley crowd on the left scream for isolationism as a response to world terrorism, I want to scream back, "not with spears only but with axes!"

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My first and only post about the nutty Tom Cruise

Once upon a time, I was upset with Tom for never acknowledging the fact he was from Kentucky. What? Was he too good for us now that he was rich and famous?

In retrospect, I believe he's done us an enormous favor in severing the connection. Now that he's achieved creepy procreation with his creepy child bride, well, the favor is even more appreciated. That poor child has no shot at a normal life.

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Please, please, please, please...

Please let it be so. He's surely a nice enough guy, I have nothing against him personally. But right now? The White House doesn't need a "nice guy" to deal with this extremely hostile press corps.

UPDATE: Make that the "super-slutty" press corps. Heh.

UPDATE:Top of the hour news confirms it. McClellan has resigned. I'm keeping my fingers crossed that the new Press Secretary will do a better job of pushing back against the conventional narrative.

Podhoretz at National Review writes, "Not to hit a guy when he's down, but...thank God." My sentiments, exactly.

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Tuesday, April 18, 2006

This is brilliant

I for one welcome our new lumpy overlords.

It’s time to cut our losses and pull the plug on this unwinnable exercise in imperialistic hubris. It’s time to face the fact that the war on cancer is over, and that cancer has won.

... Did somebody say “Mission Accomplished”?

How will history account for such a miserable failure of a war? Many would argue that we never should have gone to war with cancer in the first place. The very idea that American medical science could control a process as elemental as malignant cellular proliferation is emblematic of a type of hubris only Americans are capable of.

... this endless war on cancer has been a distraction from the real enemy: heart disease. Heart attacks kill more Americans than cancer, yet there’s been no talk of a “war” on heart disease. Meanwhile the dead and the maimed in our war on cancer continue to pile up, but they’re rarely mentioned anymore because the corporate-controlled media has moved onto the next story about dieting, K-Fed, or pretty white girls who go missing on Spring Break. Meanwhile, untold billions have been frittered away on this un-winnable cancer war, money that could have been spent beefing up security at our ports, on our borders, or wherever Rep. Cynthia McKinney might attempt to enter a federal building next.

Wake up, America.

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Friday, April 14, 2006

I'm not saying Western Civilization is perfect...

... but it is the best thing going in the history of Earth. And this good thing we have is fundamentally threatened by identity politics, the notion that humans are somehow distinct based on ethnicity and therefore merit distinct treatment. Whichever speech writer for President Bush came up with the phrase, "the soft bigotry of low expectations" has hit the nail squarely on the head. These six words neatly sum up everything wrongheaded about identity politics, as well as explain the current fad of self censorship out of fear of Muslim violence.

The practice of identity politics cedes power to a few minority leaders while simultaneously slapping the collective face of minorities. Identity politics suggests less than human status. I reject this notion outright. We're all pink and squishy when turned inside out.

Pink and squishy applies directly to the war on terror. It bothers me that some hawkish, right leaning bloggers that I respect have been focusing so much time and effort lately to point out the obvious fact that we are not at war with Islam as a whole. Frickin' duh. That doesn't go very far to excuse the silence of the moderate muslim majority. Either you believe, as the president regularly states in his speeches, that a "yearning for freedom" exists in the heart every human, in which case, the cause of fighting tyranny becomes a duty for muslim moderates, or you don't, in which case you're effectively saying that freedom for some people just isn't possible. That they're just not up to it. They're fully human, (I'm with the prez on this one) and I'm not above shaming them into action. It's been pointed out that their silence isn't completely voluntary. True, the majority of the muslim population live under authoritarian regimes, yet that's still not an excuse. Not if you consider muslims to be completely human, with all the attendant rights and responsabilities. Not when we're fighting on their behalf to remove the forces standing between them and self-determination. The multi-culti mixed-message senders here in the West certainly aren't helping!

Speaking of sending the wrong message, self censorship here in the land of the free, where we supposedly value our freedoms, can only stem from the mistaken belief that those crazy muslims can't help themselves! Yes they can. And mostly they do restrain themselves here in America, proving that the pink and squishy standard ain't dead yet (thank God.) In Europe? Not so much. But violence in Europe has intimidated Americans and that cannot stand. Also, I've noticed that self censorship here in the West is practiced mostly by individuals and organizations that oppose our military efforts in Iraq and Afghanistan. This puts them into the untenable position of BOTH refusing to expect muslims to check their extremists, AND refusing to assist them by removing authoritarian regimes. Way to show your support for what is arguably the largest oppressed population on Earth, Comedy Central, CNN, and Borders.

For myself, I believe it's worthless to remove dictators without demanding high expectations from a freed population. And those who reject one or both propositions, are cooking up a recipe for a domestic crackdown of civil liberties here at home. Not the bullshit, manufactured, "roll back of civil rights" controversies we bicker about today, no, I'm talking about the real deal. I'm talking about brute squads in Kansas and roadside checkpoints up and down the east and west coasts. Or as James Taranto wrote in January:

Another terrorist attack would create an irresistible public demand for a new strategy, especially if the Bush strategy is rejected wholesale. An offensive strategy having been found wanting, the likely response would be a defensive strategy--a retreat into isolationism and an emphasis on homeland security. Its elements could include genuine curtailments of civil liberties, an end to the taboo against ethnic and religious profiling, restrictions on immigration, and heightened security that introduces enormous inconveniences into everyday life while constraining the flow of people and goods into America.

This would be a nightmare for liberals, and for all of us who care about freedom, prosperity and American engagement in the world. Those who are troubled by the Bush administration's aggressive approach to terrorism and tyranny in the Middle East should be careful what they wish for.

I think the choice is pretty frickin' clear: To whine about Bush's "illegal war for oil, based on lies" is to suggest that brown non-westerners aren't capable stewards of a fungible world comodity like oil, and you run the risk of real curtailment of freedoms here at home in the event of another attack. Whereas if you support our efforts abroad [Please note: I did not say "if you support Bush," it's irrelevant who initiated the campaign,] you get to legitimately boast you support human rights and oppose bigotry, not to mention enjoy the enormous satisfaction that follows when you help keep your country safe from further attack.

I've said it before, but it bears repeating. On March 19, 2003, I crossed the berm from Kuwait into Iraq, believeing that I was going to war to make my country safer, with the added bonus of freeing 25 million Iraqis. In retrospect, it's clear that I went to war to free 25 million Iraqis, with the added bonus of making my country safer.

Humanitarian intervention has value for its own sake. Doubly so when married to national security concerns.

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Thursday, April 13, 2006

More South Park controversy

Stephen Spruiell at NRO's Media Blog just got off the phone with a Comedy Central spokesperson and confirms, "Just in case there was any confusion, that settles it. Comedy Central censored the image [of Mohammed.]"

Last night's episode, part 2 of "Cartoon Wars," replaced the Mohammed cameo appearance with a blank screen and the words, "Comedy Central has refused to broadcast an image of Mohammed on their network."

As you may remember, I'm all in favor of a private company (say, Comedy Central) obeying the dictates of the free market (say, pulling an episode deemed offensive by a religious group after that group makes its displeasure known through a letter writing campaign) but for the record, I DON'T CONSIDER THE THREAT OF VIOLENCE TO BE A LEGITIMATE FREE MARKET FORCE.

Thanks to a few rioting splodeydopes in Europe and the Middle East, the concept of free speech here in America doesn't carry the same meaning anymore. An attack on one is an attack on all, and anyone still advocating isolationism (I'm looking at you Pat Buchanon, and you, Berkley, CA) as an answer need to wake the hell up and smell the Constitution burning.

See for yourself:

UPDATE: I'm looking for the uncensored verision, rumored to be flying around the Internet...

UPDATE: The rumors look increasingly false...

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Wednesday, April 12, 2006

That's twice in one year

If Chancellor Denton cannot or will not comply with federal law, it's time to pull her federal funding.

Take away $80 million from her budget?

...and watch her magically find the resources to restrain her spoiled brat student body.

UPDATE: "the Mountain States Legal Foundation, has formally requested that tax money be cut off from the school for its violation of the Solomon Amendment"

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Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Today's must read

Which side is the national media on?

I have difficulty with the press pushing back every time it finds out the military doesn't trust it to inform the American public, or the world, about our operations. Every time they sniff out any foray into information warfare, they begin with the propaganda meme, and attempt to discredit it. Yet the same folks will bemoan the inability of the administration to stir public sentiment in our favor at home or anywhere else. It would be nice for the media to admit they have waged an aggressive propaganda campaign of disinformation and disinterest in anything positive that has actually harmed our war effort and made our work in Iraq more difficult.

(Via: the corner)

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I feel the need to spell this out periodically...

I don't do humor here on the Kadnine blog. I do sarcasm. Those looking for the funny are advised to look to the Instructor-in-Chief.

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Monday, April 10, 2006

Why don't we all meet in the middle and just agree to ban speech codes?

It amazes me some can still contend that America's media organs are conservative-controlled. For instance:

Christians Sue for Right Not to Tolerate Policies
Many codes intended to protect gays from harassment are illegal, conservatives argue.
By Stephanie Simon, Times Staff Writer
April 10, 2006
ATLANTA — Ruth Malhotra went to court last month for the right to be intolerant.

Malhotra says her Christian faith compels her to speak out against homosexuality. But the Georgia Institute of Technology, where she's a senior, bans speech that puts down others because of their sexual orientation.

Malhotra sees that as an unacceptable infringement on her right to religious expression. So she's demanding that Georgia Tech revoke its tolerance policy.

With her lawsuit, the 22-year-old student joins a growing campaign to force public schools, state colleges and private workplaces to eliminate policies protecting gays and lesbians from harassment. The religious right aims to overturn a broad range of common tolerance programs: diversity training that promotes acceptance of gays and lesbians, speech codes that ban harsh words against homosexuality, anti-discrimination policies that require college clubs to open their membership to all.

[Emphases mine]

WOW. Positively dripping with buzzwords associated with the Right! "The religious right aims to overturn a broad range of common tolerance programs"? Whoa. Stephanie Simon's a Bush voter, for sure.

But wait! There's more!

[Malhotra] caused another stir with a letter to the gay activists who organized an event known as Coming Out Week in the fall of 2004. Malhotra sent the letter on behalf of the Georgia Tech College Republicans, which she chairs; she said several members of the executive board helped write it.


The student activist who received the letter, Felix Hu, described it as "rude, unfair, presumptuous" — and disturbing enough that Pride Alliance forwarded it to a college administrator.

A rude letter? Say it ain't so! Now how much would you pay for this conservative media mouthpiece? But this here is the clincher:

The open question is what constitutes harassment, what's a sincere expression of faith — and what to do when they overlap.

*sigh* I guess this conservative propagandist Stephanie Simon didn't get Karl Rove's memo about not implying that Christian beliefs are incompatible with institutions of higher learning. What she should have written was, "While it's clear that according to the Constitution that anybody has the right to say whatever they want, the open question is when in the hell is academia going to stop passing speech codes banning the ideas it doesn't happen to like and start living up to its stated ideal of free debate?"

It was clearly spelled out in the memo. I guess she's headed for the chopping block. Pink slip city. Can't have any reporter refusing to toe the conservative line. She's a goner, I'm afraid. Yep. Sad.

(Via: KisP)

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A nation of immigrants

So there I was... no kidding. Waist-deep in the pool at the Marine Corps Recruit Depot, Paris Island, SC. Broken ankle slowly healing, must've been a Tuesday or a Thursday, those being the days for pool therapy, when I was asked this question:

Drill Instructor: Delp!

Me: Sir!

DI: Delp. What kind of name is Delp?

Me: An American name, sir! German via Dutch, sir!

DI: What?

Me: It's a German surname but this recruit's family first immigrated to Holland before coming to America in the 1800's, sir!

DI: Ummmmm....

Me: The first American Delp was actually a Delph, but this recruit's great-great-great-great-great-great-great-grandfather dropped the h for reasons unknown making Delph into Delp.

DI: But...

Me: Pennsylvania, Kentucky, Indiana, and Tennesee, sir!

DI: What?

Me: That's where the Delp clan settled, sir! First Pennsylvania, then Kentucky and Tennesee, and finaly Indiana where this recruit's parents and grandparents were born.

DI: I'm confused... What does...

Me: Sir! The Drill Instructor asked this recruit what kind of name Delp was! This recruit is simply answering the question!

While proud of my family, I don't write this blog as a proud German-American. Assimilation matters.

And, like most Americans, I'm growing tired of the ludicrous straw man argument that those pushing for enforcement of our current immigration laws are anti-immigration. How could they believe that? More importantly, how could they expect us to believe that?

The sheer, brute force of pragmatism may very well force us to grant amnesty to most of the 11 million illegals in this country... but that doesn't mean I have to like it. And I will not support any amnesty program without concurrent sister programs to secure our borders and promote assimilation. Anything less would be 1986 all over again. The ideal of zero illegal crossing is what ought to inspire us, not the ideal of open borders.

It's sad that we've let ourselves get to the point where enforcement of the current laws is impossible. Sadder still is the message we've sent that it's okay to flaunt the breaking of our laws.

Nineth Castillo, a 26-year-old waitress from Guatemala, said she has lived in the United States for 11 years "without a scrap of paper."

Asked whether she was afraid to parade her undocumented status ["undocumented status"? Sheesh - ed] in front of a massive police presence, she laughed and said: "Why? They kick us out, we're coming back tomorrow."

Where's the incentive to assimilate? It doesn't exist anymore. The multiculturalists have effectivly killed off what it means to be an American. And that's the saddest thing yet, because if those 11 million illegal immigrants could taste for themselves even a fraction of the immense pride I felt telling off that Drill Instructor who dared question my namesake? They'd stand in any line, fill out any paperwork, jump through any hoop to secure that feeling for themselves.

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Another late night rumination on whiskey connoisseurship

Canadian whiskey? Surely you jest, sir! I mean, Crown is okay and all. And it's sweet, dark rhythms are a curiously qualified match to our own ancient American elixer... Coca-Cola. But in the end the whole thing smacks too much of French snobbery, don't you agree?

No. For my money, nothing beats Kentucky Bourbon, or as a close second, Glenmorangie, which has the good sense to age itself in reused bourbon barrels. You know, a few years back, Heaven Hill Distilleries suffered a fire, and what a fire it was! Even through the diminshing lens of the television cameras, one could see that those paltry wildfires out west had nothing on this. "Why," I exclaimed at the bar whilst watching the white hot conflagration live on the TV, "this fire is important!. This fire means something!" The barkeep agreed, and promptly announced a special on the the house whiskey. I believe his exact words were, "Behold! Get it while it lasts. Dollar shots!"

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Sunday, April 09, 2006

I are a college student

Some days I think my education is incomplete...

*click for hilarious video*

... but then again, maybe it's complete enough.

[I originally had an embedded video player, but could not figure a way to keep it from playing automatically when the page loads.]

(Via: Ace)

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Tuesday, April 04, 2006

On fashion

I blame Lisa Loeb and Howie Mandel for my current fashion predicament.

I have terrible eyesight. I have to wear glasses or contacts to correct for my extreme nearsightedness and astygmatism. Recently I went to Dr. Bizer's Vision World for an exam and updated prescription, looking forward to the day I could see distinct leaves on trees again. It's been a few years since I saw an optometrist.

To my dismay, the round, John Lennon / John Denver style glasses I enjoyed wearing in the past are currently unavailable. All of my choices in the frame department made me look like a PETA volunteer! Round is out, square is in. Thanks, Loeb. Thanks for nothing.

Also, hair. I've decided to go back to my "military look" by shaving the head, augmented with goatee and silver earrings, only to discover that Howie sports the same look on Deal or No Deal. I was there first, Mandel! As my good friend Andy drunkenly explained, "You should go with the shaved head and keep the beard and glasses. It conotes, intellectual, yet dangerous." I agree. Let's discuss Hegel... or I'll cut you! I liked it, but Howie had to go and ruin a good thing.

So, when you combine Lisa Loeb...

with Howie Mandel...

you get me.

And it looks ridiculous.

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Monday, April 03, 2006

Everyone was kung-fu LARPing

My geekitude has limits. But these guys? No shackles of conformity will keep them from creating a life-like facsimile of the world inside their heads!

Thank you, guys. Dream on.

(Via: Ace)

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"Only the French could come up with the pre-emptive riot."

I could have sworn that not long ago French youths were rioting because, thanks to workplace-protection laws so rigid you could dry your pantalons on them, no one under the age of 65 can break into the job market (unless their grand-père is head of the Union of Permanently Picketing Fonctionnaires, in which case there is always room for one more shop steward).

France's youth unemployment rate is consequently a staggering 23 per cent. The government's solution is this: In order to ease employers' worries about hiring graduates and then being stuck with them, regardless of their competency, for life, a new law will allow them to fire anyone under the age of 26 with fewer than two years on the job.

It is this law, designed to help students find work after university, that has them aux barricades. One minute French students are rioting for jobs, the next they are rioting because they might actually get a job but be required to perform well to keep it. How swiftly indignation adapts to circumstance. Any anthropological textbook will tell you (using longer words) that France is a strange land with weird traditions.

This, while true, strikes me as a bit harsh. So let me lessen the blow to the collective French Cultural Ego with a few words of praise for their pioneering work in the area of cuisine. Because without the baguette and croisant, superior institutions like the Philly cheese-steak and Hardy's breakfast croi-sandwich would never have been possible. That's a fact.

Thank you, France. Riot on.

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