Friday, May 01, 2009

Friday Night is Carnitas Night

If’s finally Friday. On Friday I reward myself for lasting yet one more week at my job by treating myself to a plate of carnitas.

Carnitas is Mexican cuisine. The word roughly translates as “small meats” I think. You make carnitas by cooking pork, usually a pork shoulder, for a long time, adding spices, peppers and onions to it, thus rendering the meat dark, tender and tasty.

While I have made carnitas myself, these days I just go to my nearby Mexican food restaurant and get some take out. I like to eat my carnitas while watching Keith Olbermann.

And today I realized that it is doubly important that I do this thing that I do on any given Friday.


Well for one thing, since the job that I survive from one week to the next is as an educator, and the chief purpose of an educator is to stamp out ignorance, I thought I should do my part today in stamping out the ignorance that has surfaced over the swine flu, also known as H1N1.

One ignorant thing I’d like to address is what they are doing in Egypt in reaction to the swine flu. They are killing their swine. They are doing this because they think you get the swine flue from . . . swine.

You don’t.

But that doesn’t matter. Even though there is not one documented case of swine flu in Egypt, the government has laid out plans to kill every pig within their borders. About 300,000 to be exact.

Because they think people get this strain of the flu from pigs.

They don’t.

From Scientific American:

“‘Actually, not really’, says Arnon Shimshony, Israel's former chief veterinary officer. ‘The reason swine flu has its name is that certain parts of its DNA resemble those found in flu viruses that commonly affect pigs,’ he explains. ‘At some point in the virus's evolution, it probably passed through pigs, which could act like "mixing vessels" of human and avian flu viruses,’ Shimshony says.”

You don’t get the swine flu by kissing a pig.

You don’t get the swine flu by eating pork.

“‘It is unfortunate,’ the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization Chief Veterinary Officer Joseph Domenech said of Egypt's decision. ‘The crisis today is in transmission from human to human. It has nothing to do with pigs,’ he told The Associated Press.”

But wait, there is more ignorance to stamp out than just that.

There’s the ignorance that is also racist in origin. Ignorance and racism are like Siamese twins: mostly inseparable.

Right wing talk show entertainer Michael Savage has surfaced spreading viral rumors about Mexicans. He not only savages Mexicans in their hygienic habits that he imagines in his viral mind, he cooked up a terrorist plot.


“‘It would be easy,’ he said, ‘to bring an altered virus into Mexico, put it in the general population, and have them march across the border.’”

You know, if a terrorist wanted to cause a pandemic in America, I can think of a whole lot worse viruses to use than a flu virus.

Ebola comes to mind.

But what comes to mind after that is the real reason that the terrorists can’t attack America in that way.

They could get the bug as well, and on top of that, they may not be living in a place that has the same kind of medical services we have in America.

What kind of twisted minds do we have at work here? These people dream up the most amazing racist things to say to entertain and to instill fear among the gullible.

And among their fellow racists.

Even to the extent that the gullible (because I doubt that racists would deign to eat Mexican cuisine) are staying away from Mexican restaurants now.

Because they think they will get the swine flu if they go to a Mexican restaurant.

Another from MSNBC:

“As swine flu fears have spread, the backlash has also affected some Mexican restaurants’ business, possibly fueled by disparaging comments like those of Savage questioning the hygiene of workers.”

So tonight I am getting in my foreign car and driving over to my nearest Mexican restaurant. And I am going to support that business by buying some Mexican food prepared by Mexican workers, very probably illegal aliens.

And it’s going to be pork.

And it’s going to be delicious.


B ob said...

As for the Egyptian pork slaughter, I suspect it goes beyond mere ignorance, since a Muslim religious majority has a fair amount of government control of a Christian minority.

And it's that minority that raises the pigs.

So if you find pigs morally offensive and have the opportunity to blame the beasts for crimes against humanity...

Hal said...

Agreed, Bob. This is also an assault of the Muslim majority in Egypt upon the Coptic (Christian) minority there. Copts in Egypt have been persecuted for centuries. My first girlfriend was a Copt. It is a trully unique Christian sect. They anoint with oil.

The goal of Muslims in Egypt is to wipe out Coptism. This is another way for them.

Why did I pull the punch? Because Egypt suffered in the Bird Flu epidemic. They lost over a hundred souls. To combat that epidemic they killed over 25 million birds (murdering their chicken industry) back in the late 70's.

Now their pork industry has got to be hurting, because they have a market, but no product.

It has to hurt. Too bad that religion trumps knowledge.

And where have I heard that before?