Saturday, August 15, 2015

#17 - NATHAN'S HOT DOGS, GREATEST SONG WRITERS, NADER ON TRUMP, THE YUAN

NATHAN'S HOT DOGS
The answer:
Nathan's hot dogs and cheap, squishy hot dog rolls. Bagels. Krispy Kreme doughnuts. Texas-style smoked ribs and brisket. Reese's Peanut Butter Cups. Crystal Hot Sauce. Twizzlers Chocolate Licorice Twists. Vita herring in sour cream.


The question:
Now that you've lived in France for over a year, what foods do you miss most?

Don't get me wrong. We have a smoker on our terrace. You can buy herring and sour cream and put them together yourself. And truth be told, you can get everything on the list delivered to your door if you are willing to pay the price.

But if you want a place to hang out for a few days while you are in the south of France, have one or two of the things on the list in your suitcase when you show up on our doorstep. We have a guest room.

GREATEST SONG WRITERS
Rolling Stone named the 100 Greatest Songwriters of All Time (emphasis mine) and it was a joke. Never mind that Bjork came in ahead of Marvin Gaye or that Jay Z beat out James Taylor. The Gershwins, Cole Porter, and Loerner and Loewe don't even appear on the list. I'm not suggesting that the list should have included Thomas Tallis. The man's been dead for over 400 years. But Stephen Sondheim was alive the last time that I checked.

Call the list the 100 Greatest Billboard Songwriters. Call it the 100 Greatest Rock and Roll, Folk and Rap Songwriters.

Call it Ferdinand. Cause it's Bull.

NADER ON TRUMP
Ralph Nader has gone on Fox and praised Trump for opening up the electoral process by threatening a third party run. It takes a billionaire, said Nader. Like Perot, said Nader. It's a good thing, said Nader.

Nader can't really see Trump and Perot as reformers. Not if he believes his own frequently repeated lament that America has become an oligarchy. Rather, I believe that he is attracted to men with egos of similar size to his own. We are fortunate that neither Perot or Nader ever seriously challenged for the Presidency and that Trump is just not serious, period.

THE YUAN
Politicians in Washington who pretend to understand these things have been calling on the Chinese to allow the yuan to float against the dollar for years. Now they are complaining that China has let the yuan float against the dollar. You see, the dollar is strong right now. That means Chinese goods are cheaper. And oh, by the way, the dollar has recently gained 20% against the euro. That means that German goods are cheaper, too. But the Germans aren't the Chinese. So we don't care about the euro, right?

Gee, this free market stuff can get complicated.

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