The Daily Escape:
Hitachi Seaside Park – Ibaraki Prefecture, Japan
A week with the sounds of all Russia, all the time in our ears. It nearly blanked out any discussion of the Senate’s “reform” of American health insurance. Let’s take a look at two stories that you probably missed:
First, American beef is now available in China as a result of a deal that Trump made with Chinese President Xi Jinping. In exchange, Chinese chicken is now available in the United States.
Was it a good deal by our dealmaker-in-chief?
Well, the Chinese chicken must arrive precooked, and it won’t be labeled as coming from China. So, if you’re worried about eating chicken produced in a country with notoriously lax food safety regulations, stay away from that bag of wings in the freezer aisle. Here’s another catch: The chickens that China cooks and sends us must come from the US, Canada, or Chile. So, these particular chickens fly as much as 12,000 miles one way from Chile to China, and then another 7,000 miles from China to the US.
Why isn’t chicken from China required to be labeled with the country of origin? Maybe before we start selling Chinese chicken in the grocery store, it should be used in the Senate dining room for six months.
As the Republicans are fond of saying, “Let the market decide.”
Second, Texas passed a law that allows residents to openly carry knives (or swords) with blades longer than 5.5 inches. The bill goes into effect Sept. 1st. Texans could already carry knives with blades under the 5.5-inch limit, but they generally could not purchase or carry longer weapons. The new law won’t apply to places like schools, prisons, hospitals, amusement parks or places of worship. And if you’re going to a sports event or a bar, you’ll have to leave your sword at home.
Texas is not the first state to enact such a law. Montana and Oklahoma have both passed legislation scrapping their bans on bladed weapons in the past few years
Can you take your gun into a bar? Sure, but, leave that sword at home. This raises the age-old question: If the pen is mightier than the sword, then, why do actions speak louder than words?
So, let’s have something soothing to end the week. Dr. Wrong prescribes brewing up some Peaberry coffee, getting to your favorite chair, and listening to something soothing.
Today we will listen to “Symphony No. 66, Hymn to Glacier Peak, Op. 428” by Alan Hovhaness. Hovhaness, who died in 2000, was one of the America’s most prolific composers. His official catalog comprises 67 numbered symphonies. Hovhaness had six wives during his lifetime, so he was prolific in many ways.
Here is a note from Hovhaness’s sixth wife, Hinako Fujihara Hovhaness, about Symphony No. 66:
The Seattle Youth Symphony commissioned this work for their fiftieth anniversary season in 1991. It was premiered on May 10, 1992 on Mother’s Day. In 1991 he was eighty years old, and had just had a hip operation. He walked with a cane, majestically slow, like the first movement of the symphony. But soon he recovered completely. He saw Glacier Peak from his living room windows. To look at the mountains was his daily ritual and inspiration.
Listen to “Symphony No. 66, Hymn to Glacier Peak, Op. 428”:
Those who read the Wrongologist in email can view the video here.