Archive for August 28th, 2011
“We are in, right, now…the right eye wall, no doubt about that…there you see the surf,” CNN reporter said breathlessly. “That tells a story right there.” Stumbling and taking shelter next to a building… “This is our protection from the wind … It’s been truly remarkable to watch the power of the ocean here.” In the background you see folks walking, laughing, and a guy on a bike rides by waving as if out for a casual ride in the rain. This is Long Island in the midst of hurricane Irene. Rolling across the bottom of the screen, “Breaking News: Irene Batters Long Island” soon to be replaced by a message from the Federal Emergency Management Agency: “Stay Inside, Stay Safe!”
The media and the United States government tried so hard to hype up this storm as Americans went about their lives as usual.
Our wonderful Homeland Security chief, Janet Napolitano declared that there was “a ways to go with Irene” but “with the evacuations and other precautions taken we have dramatically decreased the risk to life”.
Apparently, last weeks earthquake didn’t meet up with the medias or our governments expectations of heavy damage and loss of life, but the hurricane surely would. It didn’t.
Obama seen on the news calming our east coast citizens and assuring them that he would save the day. In the back of his mind you know he is thinking about what happened to George Bush in the aftermath of Katrina. This was not going to be a 2005 Bush moment for Obama, hell no. “Obama takes charge” read the headline of one wire service story.
News footage of television reporters putting themselves in the most extreme danger possible in an effort just to get that dramatic hurricane live shot was at times laughable.
Then we have Tucker Brown, a reporter for FOX 5 doing a live shot from Ocean City, Maryland, who will go down in media history for the best live shot ever broadcast on television. Watch the video as Tucker Brown describes his surroundings as he stands proud, being beaten by waves of brown sea foam. He fights the waves describing the foam as “having a sandy consistency” … “it doesn’t taste great.” He goes on to say that it is up to his knees.
Little does Tucker know that he is being pounded by waves of raw foamy sewage. Yes my friends, Tucker is literally standing knee deep in shit! – John Roycroft
- TV Reporter Covered in Toxic Sludge Gives Update on Hurricane Irene Like A Champ (laist.com)
- TV Reporter Gives Hurricane Irene Update While Covered in Toxic Waste [Video] (jalopnik.com)
- Hurricane Irene: ‘The worst of the storm has passed’ – Los Angeles Times (news.google.com)
- VIDEO: Hurricane Irene ‘large and dangerous’ (bbc.co.uk)
Some of you probably caught my post bringing to the attention of my being banned from another blog. I am happy to report that they have decided to allow me to continue to comment on their site and have also placed me back on their blogroll. As a gesture of diplomacy, I have removed my post which brought attention to their decision to ban me. So … now you no why the post has been removed. I still remain a supporter of Anthony Bourdain, and all he does to bring attention to the plight of some of our fellow humans across the world. Regardless of what some of you may think of him and his opinions, Bourdain is a good man. In support and defense of Bourdain, I am sharing with you his recent blog post. Read and enjoy - John Roycroft
Anthony Bourdain: No Reservations
August 28, 2011, 10:36 AM |
I just got back from family vacation, where, for ten days, I violated all my rules and everything I’ve ever preached about how to travel. I stayed put. I rarely left the hotel grounds. I ate in the same two restaurants for most of my trip—rarely deviating from pasta, pizza and gelato. Though there was a lake a few hundred yards walk down, I never put so much as a toe in it—spending the bulk of my days instead, splashing around in the shallow end of the pool with a Barbie pail , an inflatable porpoise, and a relentlessly energetic 4 year old girl. It was marvelous.
I missed—or was at least physically absent from—the monstrously overblown “controversy” about the dietary choices of “regular people” and the larger question of whether I am a cruel, horrible, snake-eating, Yankee liberal elitist—or just an occasionally obnoxious guy making a point. Or a bit of both. Without revisiting a week where I found myself in the rare, worrying– and yet strangely satisfying position of having both FOX News AND the New York Times drop a deuce on my head, I’ll let this Monday’s episode of NO RESERVATIONS make my argument for me.
The show begins in New Orleans, a city I feel very connected to—and continues deep into the heart of Cajun country and culture. The South—particularly (but not exclusively) Louisiana, is where “American” food comes from. There are certainly other uniquely regional cuisines and specialties in this country—but creole and Cajun constitute uniquely American-born mutations. They could not have occurred anywhere else. Like the birth of jazz—they were created at bizarre yet magical intersections of cultures and circumstances—the end products of long journeys, much pain and simple pleasures.
One of the things I’m always looking at as I travel around the world is “where the cooks come from”. And if there’s a regular feature, a common thread wherever you go in this world, it’s that the best cooks and often the best chefs come from the poorest or most challenging regions. And it is without doubt that the greatest , most beloved and iconic dishes in the pantheon of gastronomy—in any of the world’s mother cuisines—French, Italian or Chinese–originated with poor, hard-pressed, hard working farmers and laborers with no time, little money and no refrigeration.
Pot au Feu , Coq au Vin, Sup Tulang, Cassoulet, pasta, polenta, confit, —all of them began with the urgent need to make something good and reasonably sustaining out of very little. So many of the French classics began with the need to throw a bunch of stuff into a single pot over the coals, leave it simmering unattended all day while the family worked the fields, hopefully to return to something tasty and filling that would get them through the next day. French cooking, we tend to forget now, was rarely (for the majority of Frenchmen) about the best or the priciest or even the freshest ingredients. It was about taking what little you had or could afford and turning it into something delicious without interfering with the grim necessities of work and survival. The people I’m talking about here didn’t have money—or time to cook. And yet along with similarly pressed Italians, Chinese, Spanish, Portuguese, Indians and other hungry innovators around the world, they created many of the enduring great dishes of history.
So the notion that hard working, hard pressed families with little time and slim budgets have to eat crappy, processed food –or that unspeakably, proudly unhealthy “novelty dishes” that come from nowhere but the fevered imaginations of marketing departments are—or should be—the lot of the working poor is nonsense.
The many Cajuns who were good enough to host us on this Monday’s episode make this case, I think, far better than I ever could. Notice, when you watch the show, how everybody cooks. Men, women—even the kids seem to be helping out. Many aren’t cooks, per se, but everybody we met , everybody, was really, really good at at least one dish. Cajuns proudly trace their roots to a particularly harsh and brutal diaspora, followed by a steep learning curve as they adapted to an incredibly difficult new environment. Their culinary traditions reflect that.
At the traditional “boucherie” I attended, an entire community swung into action within seconds of me putting two bullets into the guest of honor. And one and all– everyone, from musicians, mechanics, to the town mayor—set about demonstrating the real guiding principles of gastronomy. Slow cooked, “smothered” and “stuffed” turkey wings, a stew made from the backbone of the pig, delicious, hot boudin made from the blood or less expensive bits, head cheese, cracklins. None of this was expensive. None of the cooks were professionally trained. But what I ate that day—and on other days—in Lafayette, Breaux Bridge and Eunice was some of the most delicious food I’ve had anywhere.
And what about New Orleans? There’s nothing fancy or expensive about the wonderfully kooky Afro-Chinese hybrid street food, Yakkamein, or red beans and rice—or the fried chicken at Willie Mae’s. A good muffaletta sandwich, an oyster Po’ Boy—these are not expensive luxuries, they’re birthrights—and no one who’s eaten them can ever say they are any less delicious than anything served in a Michelin starred dining room. Made well, by someone who knows what they’re doing, they are unimprovable by man or God. They are also, one would assume, quite delicious and quite fattening enough without squeezing them between two Cinnabons.
For ****’s sake, the South pretty much taught us all to cook. They know what good, affordable food is—having pretty much written the book on the subject. All I’m saying is that Macaroni and cheese is a good and noble dish. Deep fried macaroni and cheese is no better and certainly no more affordable.
This is the last episode of NO RESERVATIONS of this season. We begin shooting a new season in September, but in the interim period, while we’re out there travelling, I hope you’ll find amusement—and maybe even some useful information– in THE LAYOVER, a ten episode, high speed mini-series we just shot in an alternately thrilling and exhausting bounce around the world, from New York, Singapore, Hong Kong, Rome, San Francisco, Miami, Montreal, Amsterdam, London, and Los Angeles.
And for the NOLA/Cajun episode, I want to thank Lolis Eric Elie, Wendell Pierce, David Simon and everybody from the HBO series “TREME”, upon whose previous works and extensive research and experience we shamelessly piggybacked.
Posted By: anthony bourdain
- Paula Deen vs Anthony Bourdain (theroycroftreport.wordpress.com)
On Thursday, when Obama’s union appointees at the job-destroying National Labor Relations Board issued their latest edict that America’s employers must post notices advising employees about their rights to unionize, apparently the post wherein the NLRB’s “skirting Congress was referenced bothered the non-unionized* staff at Media Matters.
Interestingly, MMFers didn’t seem to take issue with the fact that the NLRB is destroying jobs and hurting the economy.
No, the Marxists at Media Matters only seem to have a problem with the assertion that the NLRB has skirted Congress in issuing its new mandate as they wrote a post entitled Red State Falsely Claims NLRB Lacks Authority To Issue Rule On Labor Notification.
Since whether or not the NLRB skirted Congress by forcing employers to post notices will ultimately be decided by the Courts (unless sanity returns to the NLRB in 2013 and the rule is rescinded), rather than belabor the point, here is the justification [emphasis added for the dullards at non-union* MMFA] for stating that the union sycophants at the National Labor Relations Board skirted Congress:
First and foremost, there is the lone GOP member of the NLRB, Brian Hayes, who has argued from at the beginning that “the posting requirement is beyond the scope of the Board’s NLRA Sec. 6 power to issue ‘such rules and regulations as may be necessary to carry out the provisions’ of the NLRA.”
Of course, far be it for the non-attorneys at MMFA to disagree with the lawyers (including a former NLRB member) who argued for the Coalition for a Democratic Workplace when they wrote:
The Board is without statutory authority to require up to six million private-sector businesses, regardless of whether they have committed an unfair labor practice, to post a workplace notice detailing employees’ rights under the NLRA. The Board cites Section 6 of the NLRA as authority for the proposed rules, but Section 6 only authorizes the Board to promulgate “rules and regulations as may be necessary to carry out the provisions of this Act.” 29 U.S.C. § 156 (emphasis added). Of course, the Board’s authority to administer the Act begins only when a representation petition or unfair labor practice charge is filed.
Section 6 says nothing about asserting jurisdiction against an employer in the absence of a representation petition or unfair labor practice charge.
And, of course there’s this from the American Action Forum:
Section 6 of the NLRA Does Not Authorize This Action:
The Board’s only justification for the new posting requirement is found in Section 6 of the NLRA, “The Board shall have authority from time to time to make, amend, and rescind, in the manner prescribed by the Administrative Procedure Act [5 U.S.C. 553], such rules and regulations as may be necessary to carry out the provisions of this Act.” We believe this broad grant of authority does not permit the Board to force employers to post union organization rights. (It is not too surprising that Section 6 is the same supposed grant of authority that Professor DeChiara cited in 1995.)
However, citing Section 6 does not necessarily grant the NLRB with the power to issue this regulation. The U.S. Supreme Court has circumscribed NLRB rulemaking excess in the past: “The deference owed to an expert tribunal cannot be allowed to slip into a judicial inertia which results in the unauthorized assumption by an agency of major policy decisions properly made by Congress.”
Now, there are several other sources (including the NFIB statement in the original post) that could certainly be explained for the kids at MMFA. However, since MMFA is a union-funded organization (from the likes of AFSCME, the NEA, SEIU and AFL-CIO), it is not at all surprising that they would try to defend the union appointees at the National Labor Relations Board.
What is fascinating, though, is that MMFA does not seem to be living up to its own standards.
In fact, by all accounts so far, MMFA’s own union zealotry is yet another case of left-wing hypocrisy, since MMFA does not appear to be a unionized employer. On the whole union issue, by all appearances, MMFA seems to be running on the standard double standard that the Left is so infamous for.
*With that in mind, here is a standing offer for those of you non-union staffers at the MMFA:
You are hereby offered the opportunity to unionize Media Matters at no charge to you.
In fact, some former union organizers and agents will gladly help you unionize for free.
Moreover, since Media Matters management seems to like the hallucinogenically-named Employee Free Choice Act (aka “card check”), we can assume that MMFA managment would let us unionize you without a secret-ballot election even being necessary.
Heck, since MMFA is hiring, it’s even possible we can get someone on the inside of MMFA to unionize you from within (you know, like a union salt).
In fact, MMFers, we’ll not just even help you unionize for free, we’ll help you (also for free) negotiate for a contract that will guarantee you better wages and working conditions at your place of employment at Media Matters.
If Media Matters management plays hardball with your union, we’ll help you file charges at the NLRB for free.
If worse comes to worse, and Media Matters management starts “union-busting” like some of its liberal donors sometimes do (see Penny Pritzker), we’ll even help you go out on strike for as long as you’d like to strike. Heck, we’ll even help you protest outside Media Matters management’s homes (like this).
If Media Matters management replaces you, well, we’ll even let you write about it at LaborUnionReport.com (for free), which we’ll cross post everywhere as well.
Now, for all you union posers at Media Matters, it’s time for you to put up or STFU. Let’s get MMFA workers a VOICE at work!
Really, since it does not appear that you’ve taken advantage of your collective bargaining rights in your jobs at Media Matters, don’t you think it’s time you do so and live within your own screed?
*Note: If, in fact you are not a bunch of [how do you say it?] “non-union rats” working without a contract at MMFA, please feel free to post your CBA in the comments on the cross-post here. [You don't need to worry about leaving your name.]
If you want to take a bunch of “seasoned” former union agents up on the offer and unionize Media Matters with free help (kids, we won’t even charge you union dues!), you can leave a comment on the cross-post as well.
So, what do you say, MMFers, let’s unionize Media Matters and show them who’s boss, shall we?
- Employers Irate About New Union Rule (blogs.wsj.com)
- NLRB Requires Companies to Post Notices on Workers’ Rights (blogs.wsj.com)
- New NLRB rule requires employers to notify workers of their labor rights (dailykos.com)