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The map is not the name

I would like to call attention to some foolish people and some people who are abrogating their responsibility. Representatives Bob Ney (R-OH) and Walter Jones (R-NC) arranged to remove French fries and French toast from the House of Representatives cafeteria menu. This is about the stupidest symbolic act ever. Duh.

But heck, why stop with Ney and Jones? Ney is Chairman of the Committee on House Administration, which is responsible for this change. The other members of the committee are certainly culpable: Vernon J. Ehlers, (R-MI), John L. Mica (R-FL), John Linder (R-GA), John T. Doolittle (R-CA), Thomas M. Reynolds (R-NY), John B. Larson (D-CT), Juanita Millender-McDonald (D-CA), and Robert Brady (D-PA). (Apparently being named John is one of the criteria for being on this committee.)

I can’t quite believe they all happened to be out of the room while Representative Ney was being a blithering idiot.


  1. This true? This is pretty low even for a congress person.

  2. Just about all the major news outlets are reporting it, so yeah, I think it’s true. Wild, huh?

  3. I don’t even want to talk about how much this disgusts me; it would probably just come across sounding like hyperbole, anyway.

    I do want to point out how excited I am to see a list of Representatives who share responsibility for something – and not see a single -TX in the list. This is something of a high point in the past decade, I think.

    I also should mention that, as near as I can tell, there is no common compound formation with the word “French” that takes on any suitable measure of irony when “freedom” is substituted. The closest is “pardon my freedom,” but that’s too open to interpretation.

    “Freedom Stewart” has a nice ring to it, though.

  4. It just occurred to me to wonder if the stories about kicking dachshunds were actually true. I’ve seen a ton of references to it, but most of them are “everybody knows” type references. And for once, a quick spin through Google failed to turn up anybody who has saved me the trouble of doing actual research.

  5. Molly Ivins is the most authoritative voice I can find on the subject: During World War I, excited patriots went around kicking dachshunds, on the grounds that they were “German dogs.” What a blow for freedom that was. All the references I’ve ever seen to the phenomenon are of exactly the same character – one line, served up as an example of a phenomenon (either the depths to which humanity sinks, or the degree of anti-Kaiser fervor in America during World War I, by context), followed perhaps by a wry exclamation. No source. It’s so alarmingly consistent…

    And I have to wonder how something like that would become a recognized phenomenon. It doesn’t seem like a sufficiently social phenomenon that we would have a good media record of it, like we do hula hoops, breakdancing, and the jitterbug. I can see it being a human interest piece, but it would have to be fairly widespread – not just a guy or two hauling off and kicking one or two stray dachshunds. And I guess that’s what makes it all seem so absurd – nobody ever talks about what the owners of the dachshunds did, or even if there were owners. One almost imagines that there were hordes of dachshunds roaming wild throughout Main Street, USA, just waiting for the political tide to turn against them and set them up for a good punting. And maybe there were, and it was just a pleasant side effect of the war that the plague of dachshunds was decisively stamped out.

  6. bruynseels pieter-jan bruynseels pieter-jan

    I think the whole action of banning french fries was stupid and ridiculous.

    Not only is it dumb to take this kind of action, just because a country thinks something els than yours (freedom of thinking?), even worse is that the people who made this statement doesn’t know their own language.
    The french in French fries doesn’t refer to France but to the old verb to french, which means: to cut in small pieces.

    As a belgian I can’t let the French take the honor of being the inventors of the fried potato: honour which honour belongs to!

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