Farewell, Bourdain

Dear Editor,

I have been in the food service profession since 1978.  Like a lot of people I started out by flipping burgers for McDonald’s and moved on from there to various other positions in the profession, from being a pot scrubber at the Elks Club to various management positions.  Indeed, the only things I haven’t done are being an owner or franchisee.

In 2003, a fellow co-worker shared with me a copy of the book Kitchen Confidential.  The author of this book was a chef named Anthony Bourdain.  When I read this I felt at once that Chef Bourdain was a kindred spirit in that this guy knows my world and the world of thousands of us in the profession.  This is a book that could have been written by a lot of us because of similarities with the stories and events related by Chef Bourdain.  You see, Mr. Bourdain was that rare celebrity who was an anti-celebrity and therein lies his appeal to those of us who are, for lack of a better term, guerrilla chefs.  He was a refreshing breath of fresh air in a world where the “stars” are prone to sudden emotional outbursts like “Bam” or are just plain tyrants.  Rest in peace, Chef – you will be greatly missed.

Jim Bailey



Protect, Don’t Hurt

Dear Editor,

You have probably seen the video of the four Arizona police officers beating an unarmed man. Instead of being fired, they have been given paid leave. Imagine if police chiefs, sheriffs, prosecutors and judges across the country had said that this was police brutality and that the officers involved should be fired and prosecuted. But that didn’t happen.

Police officers should not be above the law. They should not be allowed to beat up someone because they allegedly refused to sit down. And did you see the video of the police officer punching an unarmed teenage girl at the beach? Police officers are supposed to serve and protect, not beat up unarmed men and little girls.

Chuck Mann



Looking It Up

Dear Editor,

I wasn’t aware I was a racist/misogynist/sexist/homophobe/Nazi. I looked deeper into these words to determine if they applied to me.

Racist: Google ‘ethnicity vs. race.’ You are going to be surprised that there’s a difference. Based on this research, am I a racist? Nope. Moreover, I get along with Irish Catholics (ethnicity) just fine as long as they don’t try to force me to change my Protestant ways. See the difference?

Misogynist/sexist: This one is easy. I love women. I respect women. There are women that have done as good a job, or in some cases, better than a man has. However, there some things 99.5 percent of woman cannot physically do. It’s not sexism, it’s biology. Until someone is able to play God and upset the natural order, it won’t change. Nope, not this either

Homophobe: Now this one is easy. Let’s break the word down. Homo, “the genus of bipedal primates that includes modern humans and several extinct forms, distinguished by their large brains and a dependence upon tools. Phobe, “one fearing or averse to [something specified].” So by the literal definition, a homophobe is afraid of human beings. By urban definition, it refers to homosexuals. I’m not afraid of people (or at least the majority people), and as for the urban definition, I don’t care what you practice in your own life, just don’t force me to accept it. My brother was gay. I loved him unconditionally but not his lifestyle. Love the sinner, hate the sin.

Finally, Nazi: “A person who seeks to impose their views on others in a very autocratic or inflexible way.” Now what groups fall under this definition? The old adage involving glass house and stones comes to mind. By the way, the Nazi Party was “the National Socialist German Workers’ Party.” Also known as the Socialist Party. Where have we seen “Worker’s Party” and “Socialist Party” before? Which side seems to use those titles all the time? Again, not me.

One more – socialism: “A political and economic theory of social organization that advocates that the means of production, distribution and exchange should be owned or regulated by the community as a whole.” Moreover “[in Marxist theory] a transitional social state between the overthrow of capitalism and the realization of communism.”

Learn the meanings of words before you throw them around. Your ignorance is showing.

Go Galt and save the republic.

Alan Marshall



No Substitute

Dear Editor,

If self-worth is dependent on external validation such as pieces of paper or others agreement, then the sense of dignity can never be achieved.  It is a hunger that requires greater and greater bites to satisfy.  It is a pathway leading the individual to veer further away from the goal with every step, a journey with no end.  If dignity can be taken away by others opinions, than nothing can ever achieve it. True dignity comes from within, in spite of and independent of others.

Allowing the government to become the source of dignity is shallow and manipulative.  Any law that someone disagrees with can become offensive and destroy “dignity.”

Government interventions to strengthen or create internally lacking dignity will continue to extract increasing toll on society.  It is a formula for greater abuses of power and crimes.  After all, the Nazi’s felt dignity following the loss of World War I could only be achieved by segregation.  They invaded neighbors to rewrite the losses. When segregation didn’t restore dignity they attempted extermination of an entire race.  Basing governance on easily manipulated emotional constructs is death to democracy and undermines the rule of law.

Alan Burke