Tuesday, October 16, 2007

How very... American.

Ha! Look what that silly commie dictator is doing now:
CARACAS, Venezuela (CNN) -- The price of sin rose Monday in Venezuela where President Hugo Chavez is on a campaign to make Venezuelans cut back on drinking and smoking.
...
The Venezuelan government is placing a higher tax on alcohol and cigarettes in an effort to cut consumption and prevent what it views as the social, economic and moral consequences of drinking and smoking, said Jose Vielma Mora, superintendent of Seniat, the government body that oversees the collection of taxes.
Listen to those sanctimonious socialist prigs! They sound like... like...

Well, like Tennessee Governor Phil Bredesen, actually.

15 comments:

Les Jones said...

I can't get too worked up over sin taxes. We're going to have taxes, so better a high tax on bread than beer. Beer has more externalities than bread, so a Pigovian tax is fair.

Tam said...

If anything, Les, it's the accompanying sanctimonious twaddle that annoys me more than the actual tax.

If I'm getting mugged, I don't want to be told it's for my own good; the mugger should just take my wallet and leave.

comatus said...

Bread: grain, water, yeast, shortening.

Beer: grain, water, yeast, hops.

In the externalities department, beer wins. We're going to have death, so better just shoot me now, seize my goods, and cover your uninsured children.

He's already got the sanctimonious prig vote locked up. Now he's going for the Peace Prize.

Anonymous said...

Comatus:

You might want to add a little salt to that bread.

Ted

comatus said...

Thanks Ted, I've had that issue before.

Beer's looking healthier all the time. No cholesterol! Hell, a real government would subsidize the stuff--for your own good.

B&N said...

"Beer: grain, water, yeast, hops."

Funny, it looks like health food to me. So healthy, that the Krauts have a law about what can go into making the stuff, and comatus wins the kewpie doll for getting correct ingredients.

In the old days, drinking something other than beer or wine could kill you. I'm wondering if the dolts who claim to be our "leaders" know this.

Gregg said...

comatus,
While I second the salt addition, I question your inclusion of shortening in bread. As I recall, my basic bread recipe is grain, water, salt, and yeast. Humans have been making bread for thousands of ears and shortening is a recent invention. Admittedly, it pretty much has replaced lard, but lard is not necessary for bread making.

Beer, can be made without hops. In fact hops are a relatively recent addition. Prior to that all sorts of herbs were utilised to provide the bitter counterpoint to the sweetness of the malt. In fact, during the middle ages the herbs used in beer brewing were controlled by the church. (Yes, in Europe there was essentially only one church until that Luther guy vandalised a church door. ;-) )

(Oh, and beer with those herbs was called gruit.)

As a final interesting note, there is still debate as to which came first beer or bread, as well as which one actually led to agriculture and civilization. My vote is for beer.

TBeck said...

Well, Hillary wants to do it for the children. Hugo wants to do it for...the children I guess.

BobG said...

All the bread I've ever made had sugar, for the yeast.

comatus said...

Oh yeah Gregg, what a fascinating field. In our old brewers guild, we used to chuckle over what else the monks threw in the mash before they finally arrived at hop leaves. There's a famous Shakspr-era recipe that calls for cattle dung for sweetening the barrel, and a flayed cock for bitterness. Body, whatever. Hops is a germicidal preservative, and a powerful one. Juniper berries will do that too, but of course they're poison, and that's what makes a gin recipe so touchy.

Shortening is vital to bread's body and crust. It doesn't have to be "our" shortening--olive oil or butter work fine, but in different quantities, and that emulsifying factor comes in there somewhere, making the dangerous hydrogenated product much more useful to the volume baker. And it's full of air. Beer? That ain't air, baby.

"Groats" came first--partially ground cereal grain dissolved in water to a light paste, then left out on the flat roofs of the ME to dry into a cracker. The contemporary cracker "Euphrates" may be close to it. Up there on the roof, things happened to groats, and thereby hangs Civilisation As We Know It.

Prof. Solomon Katz, U of Penn., was the scholarly hot shoe on this, and it sounds like several of us have read him. So we are agreed that women did this (if you buy the Victorian BS that only men hunted); next question: Did they do it to undermine the hegemony, to kill time while men were away, or to keep their men home? (The obvious answer, to store grain energy and survive through the winter, can be discounted as not radical enough).

German braumeister=English alewife. It's all gender studies, see...

More research needed! (Sound of cap popping)...

rickn8or said...

Talk of beer all you choose, it's a good subject.

I'm just contemplating the life of a Venezuelan moonshiner.

Do you think the Venezuelans would evolve moonshine runners into NASCAR?

Bryan said...

Bugs me...who to say that drinking and smoking is immoral? From my perspective a person or persons that deflate my currency, over spend my national budge, control monies via a central bank, and force social security is immoral. Am I able to tax them?

Why am I the bad guy?

comatus said...

rickn8, ever seen "Sorcerer"?
A,T,F AND E.

Anonymous said...

Juniper berries will do that too, but of course they're poison, and that's what makes a gin recipe so touchy.

They're also sold as a spice. Tasty. With you on oils in breadmaking, though.

comatus said...

anon, please don't ever distill anything that has crushed juniper berries in it, or has been filtered through them.