Meat Labelling Humor at the WTO

Chiles Con Carne 3

Well, I was reading a story about some kind of meat labeling treaty or something discussed at the World Trade Organization (WTO).  From what I could gather from the article, the U.S. insists that meat be labeled as to country of origin.  This apparently had Mexico and Canada up in arms with chants of fowl play.

U.S. consumers might prefer the raised and slaughtered in the U.S. label rather than say Uruguay or some other meat producing places, like Canada and Mexico.  Now as a carnivorous American, I want to know where my meat comes from.  I would rather eat locally grass fed beef and cage free “home on the range” chicken and eggs.  And I would like to be reasonably confident that the beef, pork and fish I consume do not also come with a broad spectrum of antibiotics, fattened by GMO grains.  Of course, we can’t be sure.  The irony here is that the U.S. favors labelling meat but does not favor GMO labeling.

As I read more of the article, I did find one point the Canadians made to be amusing and it went like this – because of the integrated nature of the industry, “animals might cross the border multiple times”.   Now just how these animals manage to cross back and forth across the border is an intriguing question.  They must do it in the stealth of night.  I suppose the chickens just fly right over the border undetected.  The pigs I guess dig their way across or access heavily traffic tunnels.  The cattle, well I don’t know how they do it, but they might disguise themselves as tourists with fake id cards.

I do remember crossing over to Canada once and was asked if I had any pork, beef or poultry of any kind on my person and I confessed that I had just eaten a chicken club sandwich and was allowed to cross but only after guards inspected my car and documents, apparently on the look out for stray animals looking for safe roaming across the border. I was so afraid that I promised to become a vegetarian during my stay in Canada.  They actually may have suspected me of being a cow, I do have a deep voice, and though I am sometimes as messy as a pig, I am not a cow, nor have I ever been.

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Does America Really Want a Fresh Face?

If you look at recent Presidential polling from Iowa and North Carolina,only Hillary Clinton seems to hold a commanding lead among Democrats.  For the Republicans, it’s anyone’s game – Walker, Bush, Rubio, Cruz, Paul. And when Clinton goes head to head with any of the Republicans, she has a very small advantage in the polls. Iowans favor her over Rubio, Bush, Paul and Huckabee by just 2 points.  I doubt the other Democrats in the race or being urged to run would fare any better against the Republicans.  Bernie Sanders has no chance. Elizabeth Warren could pose a threat, but she’s not even running…yet.  Frankly, I’d prefer that she be nominated for the Supreme Court if any of the justices step down before President Obama’s term expires.  And who has even heard of O’Malley? The only O’Malley I know is Cardinal Sean from Boston and I don’t think he’s running for President, maybe for Pope in a few years, but not President.  It’s good that Hillary has challengers, but they aren’t exactly household names…well, there’s Biden, but Americans are fed up with most established politicians and there will not be a clear cut favorite.  Folks may want a fresh face.  Certainly this attitude was true in 2008.  Which leads me to this.

What if the fresh face were not a politician at all, or at least not seasoned, someone like the Baltimore prosecutor Marilyn Mosby? Or maybe comedian Jon Stewart?  Ok, he’s not exactly a fresh face, but he will soon be between jobs.  Conan O’Brien is a Harvard graduate, I think, and he’s not only funny but possibly even smart.  Ben Affleck and Matt Damon have Harvard experience, not that that means anything, but club membership is important if only for appearance sake. The Good Will Hunting masterminds don’t need any introductions or campaign contributions for that matter.  Have you ever considered Neil Tyson Degrasse? He’s the smartest guy on television and would be a fierce debater.  The GMO folks don’t like him much though.  I think Sanjay Gupta has earned the trust of most Americans and might be good for what ails America.  Now for the climate changers among us, we shouldn’t forget Bill Nye the Science Guy.  He has curb appeal and a fiesty personality  And there’s Chris Hayes from MSNBC who could make for an interesting candidate running on a platform of income equality.  Michael Steele should make a run as a Republican. Since he left the party leadership, the Republicans have self-destructed. Harold Ford, Jr. could be the moderate choice among Democrats. A wild card could be Anthony Bourdain who is widely traveled and knowledgeable of global affairs, right? Julia Louis-Dreyfus has real experience, no? She’s interesting, funny and smart and a better actor than Ronald Reagan ever was.  Dennis Rodman is another potential candidate who could bring the peace with all of our enemies through basketball.  Lastly, if Tom Brady wins another Superbowl, he might be elected as a right-in candidate, that is if he doesn’t have a scheduling conflict.  I don’t know his politics, but he was oddly absent from the Patriots meeting with the President.  He’s claims to be an Independent, but I don’t see him supporting Bernie Sanders bid.

Sadly, none of these folks will run and even if they did, they would not stand a chance.  As much as Americans distrust politicians (Congress has a 72% disapproval rating) we tend to gravitate toward establishment figures anyway; the tried and true, the Ivy educated, who have name recognition, gobs of money and the support of super wealthy donors. 2016 will be the battle of the royals.  Predicition: Clinton over Bush by 1 hanging chad of a point.