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Chicago is the first city to ban foie gras


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147 replies to this topic

#61 coquus

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Posted 27 April 2006 - 09:42 AM

If the economy sinks like a stone (which it will eventually), we'll get our foie gras back, and abortion, gay marriage, unintelligent design (take your pick) will cease to be important campaign issues.

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She's a witch, a witch! Burn her, burn her. Sorry, couldn't help myself, bad analogy in this topic scordelia, otw good stuff.

#62 Malaclypse

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Posted 27 April 2006 - 09:47 AM

Gabrielle's piece could not be more apropos. The last time I ate at Prune I had marrow bones and sweetbreads. If the food police and animal activists/terrorists have their way, these delicacies will soon suffer the same fate as our beloved Foie.

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If sweetbreads (one of my favorite things ever) get banned I'll be a very sad panda indeed.

#63 scordelia

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Posted 27 April 2006 - 09:58 AM

I was thinking of that it might be fun to run an all foie gras tasting menu for a while, but now I wonder if my time and energy might be better spent trying to run a campaign against Alerman Joe Moore.  I wonder what my chances of winning would be?

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I'll help you. I live in the neighboring ward.

Also, here's a link for Gabrielle Hamilton piece, which is very good. What she says in part and parcel with the FDA and their obesession with raw milk products.

Gabrielle Hamilton in the NYT

Edited by scordelia, 27 April 2006 - 10:02 AM.

S. Cue


#64 Gastro Nomos

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Posted 27 April 2006 - 10:53 AM

I recall some months back when this ban was first proposed. It seemed to die without much debate. Does anyone know how the issue got brought back up? Was anyone aware that a vote was imminent? Is/was there a group opposing the ban? I live in Chicago and would be happy to be in contact with others who would like to respond to this. It may not be too late.

#65 yellow truffle

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Posted 27 April 2006 - 10:55 AM

Scanning through the James Beard 2006 nominees, all the Chicago reps currently have foie on their menu. Going back to 2005, same thing as well, with the exception of Mexican cuisine master Chef Bayless. Interesting correlation between these chefs and those in the industry that have been opposed to this ban.

I wonder how much (if any) foie plays an integral part on these chef's menus. How do you compensate for the loss of this rare ingredient? Some chefs here are breaking the mold and preparing foie in so many creative (non-traditional) directions. Will we see a reduction of Chicago chefs represented at next year's jBread nominations? Probably not, but I sure will miss the creativity being done here right now.

<sidebar>
Slightly off topic, but has there been a Battle Foie Gras on Iron Chef?

I stand corrected. There is another Chicago representative on the list. Charlie Trotter himself. But note the title given to him. They refer to him as a "host," for the PBS television show, "The Kitchen Sessions with Charlie Trotter."

Edited by yellow truffle, 27 April 2006 - 11:08 AM.


#66 Philanthrophobe

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Posted 27 April 2006 - 10:56 AM

If the economy sinks like a stone (which it will eventually), we'll get our foie gras back, and abortion, gay marriage, unintelligent design (take your pick) will cease to be important campaign issues.

View Post

She's a witch, a witch! Burn her, burn her. Sorry, couldn't help myself, bad analogy in this topic scordelia, otw good stuff.

View Post


She turned me into a newt! (Sorry.)

This is insane. Let me get this straight: foie gras production is inhumane, but the shitty conditions under which chickens and other livestock are raised and processed are just peachy. The hell?? What a weird, random thing to ban.
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#67 sapient

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Posted 27 April 2006 - 11:02 AM

I'm totally embarrassed for my city. This is just ridiculous.

#68 FabulousFoodBabe

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Posted 27 April 2006 - 11:11 AM

Buck up, this isn't the end of the world for you guys.  I'm sure your favorite chef knows how to make things taste just fine without fois gras.  And it will be character building for you to go without, or risk your tails dealing with the seedy, underworld duck wranglers.  Ah people, you make this world rich, not fois gras, you.

View Post


Yeah, well, we make the world rich, but

fois

gras makes no sense. (Were you, by chance, CIA-educated under the able, but etymolologically*-challenged, Chef Turgeon? :laugh: )

Fabby,
the Spelling Nazi.

PS -- I think I'll start a foie gras speakeasy type of thing. Maybe I'll also serve unpasteurized cheeses without gloves. Oh, yeah. Who says I can't get a little crazy?

(* Yippee, new word!)
"Oh, tuna. Tuna, tuna, tuna." -Andy Bernard, The Office

#69 Megan Blocker

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Posted 27 April 2006 - 12:27 PM

As discussed above, here's a link to Gabrielle Hamilton's Op-Ed piece in today's Times.
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#70 Alex

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Posted 27 April 2006 - 12:39 PM

I just emailed Mayor Daley's office asking if he intended to do anything to nullify the ban, especially given his comments noted in the Sun-Times article. Is it worth encouraging others to write or would it be merely tilting at windmills (or pissing into the wind, or...[your expression here])?

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So, has anyone besides me written or emailed Mayor Daley encouraging him to somehow nullify the City Council's well intentioned but hugely misplaced concern for poultry?
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#71 ronnie_suburban

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Posted 27 April 2006 - 12:44 PM

I just emailed Mayor Daley's office asking if he intended to do anything to nullify the ban, especially given his comments noted in the Sun-Times article. Is it worth encouraging others to write or would it be merely tilting at windmills (or pissing into the wind, or...[your expression here])?

View Post

So, has anyone besides me written or emailed Mayor Daley encouraging him to somehow nullify the City Council's well intentioned but hugely misplaced concern for poultry?

View Post

No. I have and I know several others who have, as well.

=R=
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#72 Bobby 2 Shakes

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Posted 27 April 2006 - 03:40 PM

How about if those in our ranks familiar with the nuances of law assemble defensive strategies for those accused and challenges to the law itself, both from a PR standpoint and a legal view. The first move I'd make would be to compile a list of likely allies. Card-carrying members of the ACLU could form the first phalanx. Opponents of the bill should be wooed and encouraged. We should avoid sounding elitist but rather press the issue of our liberties being commandeered.

The fanatics don't have a monopoly on anthropomorphism. Our representatives from the duck world could say something along the lines of "I'm not going to sit here and let those politicians take food out of my mouth." (it may be necessary to improve that one)

Tony Bourdain can even rally the troops by posing for a picture of him blissfully stuffing his face with foie while wearing a "No Snitches" T-Shirt.

#73 santo_grace

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Posted 27 April 2006 - 04:33 PM

I'm totally embarrassed for my city.  This is just ridiculous.

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I'm embarrassed also! And slightly afraid of what is next.
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#74 karen m

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Posted 27 April 2006 - 07:41 PM

I just emailed Mayor Daley's office asking if he intended to do anything to nullify the ban, especially given his comments noted in the Sun-Times article. Is it worth encouraging others to write or would it be merely tilting at windmills (or pissing into the wind, or...[your expression here])?

View Post

So, has anyone besides me written or emailed Mayor Daley encouraging him to somehow nullify the City Council's well intentioned but hugely misplaced concern for poultry?

View Post

No. I have and I know several others who have, as well.

=R=

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Well when this proposal was announced months ago there was a way to express opinons with our Alderman. I was on the phone immediately. My Alderman Tom Allen thought the whole ban was insane. This is so embarrassing. Wonder what happenend with the lovely foie gras at Fox and Obel? I have a duck in my fridge.
Save the liver!!!

#75 coquus

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Posted 27 April 2006 - 07:52 PM

Buck up, this isn't the end of the world for you guys.  I'm sure your favorite chef knows how to make things taste just fine without fois gras.  And it will be character building for you to go without, or risk your tails dealing with the seedy, underworld duck wranglers.  Ah people, you make this world rich, not fois gras, you.

View Post


Yeah, well, we make the world rich, but

fois

gras makes no sense. (Were you, by chance, CIA-educated under the able, but etymolologically*-challenged, Chef Turgeon? :laugh: )

Fabby,
the Spelling Nazi.

PS -- I think I'll start a foie gras speakeasy type of thing. Maybe I'll also serve unpasteurized cheeses without gloves. Oh, yeah. Who says I can't get a little crazy?

(* Yippee, new word!)

View Post

I'll say it, you can't get crazy, it's a Nazi thing, a Spell-ling Na-zi thing. You should though, you should.

You got me, FFBabe 1-me 0. I really thought it was spelled that way too, shame on me, and my sixth grade class wants to tell you they are shamed they only had two better spellers than me, well, you know, they would probably be, if I knew many of them anymore.

#76 Bobby 2 Shakes

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Posted 27 April 2006 - 08:39 PM

On the plus side, forbidden liver tastes a lot better than just plain old guilty liver.

#77 MarketStEl

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Posted 28 April 2006 - 03:06 AM

If the old adage, "Tell them they can't have it and they'll want it even more," applies, look for sales of foie gras to skyrocket at restaurants in suburban Cook County. Shortages may develop at fine food purveyors in Evanston. And you won't be able to find a seat at any restaurant in Oak Park that serves it. The papers will be full of stories about shootouts in Cicero as Mob families battle for control of the black market in foie in Chicago proper.

If you ask me, this is an exciting time to be a Chicagoan.
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#78 scordelia

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Posted 28 April 2006 - 06:20 AM

Well when this proposal was announced months ago there was a way to express opinons with our Alderman.  I was on the phone immediately. My Alderman Tom Allen thought the whole ban was insane. This is so embarrassing.  Wonder what happenend with the lovely foie gras at Fox and Obel?  I have a duck in my fridge. 
Save the liver!!!

View Post


We did that too. Last year, when this nonsense began, I posted the e-mails of every alderman and encouraged city folks and suburbanites alike to write, because let's face it, we eat all over Chicago, not just in our wards, and people like ronnie_suburban travel into the city and spend their money on fine dining which means taxe$.

Alderman List

I also posted that list on other food and wine forums and websites. I forwarded the list to everyone I know including some wine brokers and restaurant people. I got some feedback from people so I know the list was getting around and people were writing.

The problem is PETA had a really organized campaign. If you googled "chicago foie gras", the first site was a PETA site. Sadly, us omnivores do not have a quasi-militant group of wackos to help us out. :wink:
S. Cue


#79 scordelia

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Posted 28 April 2006 - 06:36 AM

I'm sorry to say that in many ways, this all comes back to Charlie Trotter. He lent a lot of credibility to the "anti" crowd's ridiculous arguments about foie gras and I believe that if it were not for him, we wouldn't be facing this news today.




Trotter Boycott anyone ? :angry:

View Post


Not sure this is Charlie Trotter's fault - he has said repeatedly that his decision to not serve Foie Gras is a personal choice, and he doesn't believe it should be banned or restricted in any way. He doesn't believe politics should enter the debate, period. He had a personal choice on the matter that got widespread press - he would be the last person to claim himself an advocate on the issue.

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Sorry, I think we can put the blame squarely on Mr. Trotter. Chucky is actually cited in the ordinance--twice--first for pointing out the "evils" of foie gras and second as Chicago's most eminent chef :hmmm: !

Foie Gras Ordinance

If Chucky had stayed in the closet on this one, this ordinance would have never occured to any of those boobs on the city council. Now, I am not sure if Chucky intended to get foie gras banned, but I am sure he intended to get some much needed publicity. His food has slipped and he is now a follower, not a leader in American cuisine, and the James Beard Foundation no longer lists Chucky as a chef but as a TV host.

PS Thanks to ChristyMarie for tracking down that ordinance.

Edited by scordelia, 28 April 2006 - 06:37 AM.

S. Cue


#80 FoodMan

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Posted 28 April 2006 - 09:18 AM

The problem is PETA had a really organized campaign. If you googled "chicago foie gras", the first site was a PETA site. Sadly, us omnivores do not have a quasi-militant group of wackos to help us out. 


maybe because we have a life?

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#81 JohnL

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Posted 28 April 2006 - 09:20 AM

Can anyone recall the last time in American history that politics were driven by a social, moralist agenda?

Hmmm? Thinking hard?

I'll give a hint--you could have enjoyed foie gras, but not the Sauterne to go with it!

Yes, it was the Roaring Twenties! What do the Roaring Twenties have in common with our current political climate? First, the gap between rich and poor is the largest it has been since the Twenties. Real Estate prices are the highest since the Twenties (really, no kidding--the average price of an apartment in 1500 Lake Shore Drive, Chicago's most exclusive co-op is $3 million. The last time 1500 had prices that high was 1929). The US elected conservative Republican administrations. Also, there are great similarities in the moral climate. The Twenties saw really quite naughty and promiscuous behavior from a certain segment of society and a huge increase in the evangelical movement in another segment. Sound familiar? Except now, we also have to contend with sanctimonious vegans as well as bible thumpers. So, the Twenties banned liquor and we are banning cigarettes and foie gras.

The Depression put an end to all that moralistic claptrap. People stopped caring about what others drank and whom they screwed and whether or not in a state of grace when they had no money. Periods of "moral" legislation tend to come about in prosperous times. Victorian England is a prime example.

If the economy sinks like a stone (which it will eventually), we'll get our foie gras back, and abortion, gay marriage, unintelligent design (take your pick) will cease to be important campaign issues.

View Post

Whenever one is driven by one's ideology this is the result.
Muddled thinking and strained analogies.
In the end one actually nullifies any substantive points they are attempting to make.
First--I suggest revisiting the history of prohibition--the subject is much more complex as to lead one to the simplistic conclusions reached here. Your comparisons regarding the moral and economic climates are pretty strained.

Second--Attempting to assign some sort of political responsibility for the current fois gras ban is likewise--not well served by the facts either.
Let me help you along:

The Chicago City Council is dominated by Democrats who voted overwhelmingly for the legislative ban.
The mayor is a Democrat.

Fois gras was banned in California
The bill was signed by a Republican Governor
The bill was introduced by a Democrat state legislator
and voted on by both democrats and Republicans.

There is a movement in Washington State to ban fois gras
led by Democrat politicians.

I suggest that the current Zogby poll that indicates that 80% of Americans
(and 79% of your fellow Illini---I am sure some of them are liberals)
Favor a ban on fois gras--has a little something to do with these legislative efforts.

I would also suggest that PETA and other animal rights groups (hardly bastions of conservative thinking) have mounted a highly motivated and well funded efforts. The story behind the polls.

Given that most people have not eaten fois gras and given our love of cute farm animals ("mother" was a goose after all) fois gras is an easy target. (let's not forget ducks either).

I am also gonna suggest something a lot of folks may have a hard time with.
We all sat around when the government went after tobacco. (you mentioned this in your post).
This prohibition stuff is a slippery slope.
Now its fois gras.
Alcohol and Fatty foods are targets.

Let's face it--we are lazy--better the government steps in and solves all our problems.
Fat kids? No willpower?--hey big brother will just take the offending foods away.
This isn't about one political party or another it isn't about conservative or liberal it is about people and public opinion.
When we bring in ideology-- good cohesive arguments fizzle out--what we need here is clear thinking and realistic assessments--there is a compelling argument for fois gras.
It needs to be made.

#82 Lady T

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Posted 28 April 2006 - 10:33 AM

If the old adage, "Tell them they can't have it and they'll want it even more," applies, look for sales of foie gras to skyrocket at restaurants in suburban Cook County.  Shortages may develop at fine food purveyors in Evanston.  And you won't be able to find a seat at any restaurant in Oak Park that serves it.  The papers will be full of stories about shootouts in Cicero as Mob families battle for control of the black market in foie in Chicago proper.

If you ask me, this is an exciting time to be a Chicagoan.

View Post


:biggrin:

Doubt it, actually: the Boys from the West Side probably will be too busy cornering the regional markets in fine champagne, cognac, and good unsalted butter -- to be ready for the Foodiban's next probable campaigns.

:cool:

(Edited to add free range organic chicken and veal.)

Edited by Lady T, 28 April 2006 - 10:35 AM.

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#83 nick.kokonas

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Posted 28 April 2006 - 10:43 AM

Young ducks these days are not what they used to be. Just a few generations ago, ducks were ethical, hard working animals, commuting from Canada each fall via the various North American Flyways. Now they have become lazy, unappreciative, and insolent.

The horrible thing is, nearly 15% of the adolescent duck population is now obese. Even free range ducks are exhibiting this problem, reflecting a lack of education about the dangers of eating too much while exercising too little. More often than not, these young ducks grow into obese full grown ducks. And the viscious cycle of morbid obesity extends to their own off-spring.

These naturally fat ducks may easily be seen amongst the crowd of their thin counterparts. Farmers have begun to cull these animals from the flock to ensure a healthier, fitter duck for America's future.

#84 Sneakeater

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Posted 28 April 2006 - 10:53 AM

Since somebody has to state the obvious, I think you're going to have a real hard time finding a basis for a constitutional challenge to this law.

#85 MarketStEl

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Posted 28 April 2006 - 11:31 AM

Young ducks these days are not what they used to be.  Just a few generations ago, ducks were ethical, hard working animals, commuting from Canada each fall via the various North American Flyways.  Now they have become lazy, unappreciative, and insolent.

The horrible thing is, nearly 15% of the adolescent duck population is now obese.  Even free range ducks are exhibiting this problem, reflecting a lack of education about the dangers of eating too much while exercising too little.  More often than not, these young ducks grow into obese full grown ducks.  And the viscious cycle of morbid obesity extends to their own off-spring.


Perhaps they should emulate their brethren geese, who opened their own chain of convenience stores?

These naturally fat ducks may easily be seen amongst the crowd of their thin counterparts.  Farmers have begun to cull these animals from the flock to ensure a healthier, fitter duck for America's future.

View Post


And what happens when the Fat Police keep us from eating these?

Guess that grease fire in Wisconsin will go national.
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#86 Megan Blocker

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Posted 28 April 2006 - 12:16 PM

Fat kids? No willpower?--hey big brother will just take the offending foods away.
This isn't about one political party or another it isn't about conservative or liberal it is about people and public opinion.

View Post

And, as usual, the government is right on target as to what our problem is. It's definitely foie gras that's making our children obese. Absolutely. I know I see kids everywhere chowing down on it like it's...soda.

Edited by Megan Blocker, 28 April 2006 - 12:17 PM.

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#87 JohnL

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Posted 28 April 2006 - 12:38 PM

Fat kids? No willpower?--hey big brother will just take the offending foods away.
This isn't about one political party or another it isn't about conservative or liberal it is about people and public opinion.

View Post

And, as usual, the government is right on target as to what our problem is. It's definitely foie gras that's making our children obese. Absolutely. I know I see kids everywhere chowing down on it like it's...soda.

View Post

Ihear MacDonald's is thinkin of offering a "Big Quack"
1/4 pound of fattened duck liver on a sesame seed bun....or maybe in a "PETA" bread.

seriously--
the real culprits are PETA and the other special interest groups.
They have managed to sway public opinion in their favor on this one--easy enough because most folks don't eat fois gras (or even know what it is) so they really don't care. It can also be easily labelled a "rich man's treat."
The cute gooseys and duckies win out here.
The politicians are following public opinion.

As I see it--the only way to win this is to make the argument that rights of people are being sacrificed and that yesterday it was tobacco --today fois gras--furs are next and then...
eventually something "you" like to indulge in

Also this "rights" idiocy has gone way too far.
Everytime someone wants something they couch it as a "right."
What we forget is that every right gained someone loses a "right."
To take a responsibility to respect animals within reason to giving animals rights is a path to a place I do not want to live in.

and don't think it will stop at animal rights either--there is actually some thinking (as insane as it is) that plants should have "rights" too.

yeeeeesh

Edited by JohnL, 28 April 2006 - 12:39 PM.


#88 Daniel

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Posted 28 April 2006 - 12:39 PM

Can anyone recall the last time in American history that politics were driven by a social, moralist agenda?

Hmmm? Thinking hard?

I'll give a hint--you could have enjoyed foie gras, but not the Sauterne to go with it!

Yes, it was the Roaring Twenties! What do the Roaring Twenties have in common with our current political climate? First, the gap between rich and poor is the largest it has been since the Twenties. Real Estate prices are the highest since the Twenties (really, no kidding--the average price of an apartment in 1500 Lake Shore Drive, Chicago's most exclusive co-op is $3 million. The last time 1500 had prices that high was 1929). The US elected conservative Republican administrations. Also, there are great similarities in the moral climate. The Twenties saw really quite naughty and promiscuous behavior from a certain segment of society and a huge increase in the evangelical movement in another segment. Sound familiar? Except now, we also have to contend with sanctimonious vegans as well as bible thumpers. So, the Twenties banned liquor and we are banning cigarettes and foie gras.

The Depression put an end to all that moralistic claptrap. People stopped caring about what others drank and whom they screwed and whether or not in a state of grace when they had no money. Periods of "moral" legislation tend to come about in prosperous times. Victorian England is a prime example.

If the economy sinks like a stone (which it will eventually), we'll get our foie gras back, and abortion, gay marriage, unintelligent design (take your pick) will cease to be important campaign issues.

View Post

Whenever one is driven by one's ideology this is the result.
Muddled thinking and strained analogies.
In the end one actually nullifies any substantive points they are attempting to make.
First--I suggest revisiting the history of prohibition--the subject is much more complex as to lead one to the simplistic conclusions reached here. Your comparisons regarding the moral and economic climates are pretty strained.

Second--Attempting to assign some sort of political responsibility for the current fois gras ban is likewise--not well served by the facts either.
Let me help you along:

The Chicago City Council is dominated by Democrats who voted overwhelmingly for the legislative ban.
The mayor is a Democrat.

Fois gras was banned in California
The bill was signed by a Republican Governor
The bill was introduced by a Democrat state legislator
and voted on by both democrats and Republicans.

There is a movement in Washington State to ban fois gras
led by Democrat politicians.

I suggest that the current Zogby poll that indicates that 80% of Americans
(and 79% of your fellow Illini---I am sure some of them are liberals)
Favor a ban on fois gras--has a little something to do with these legislative efforts.

I would also suggest that PETA and other animal rights groups (hardly bastions of conservative thinking) have mounted a highly motivated and well funded efforts. The story behind the polls.

Given that most people have not eaten fois gras and given our love of cute farm animals ("mother" was a goose after all) fois gras is an easy target. (let's not forget ducks either).

I am also gonna suggest something a lot of folks may have a hard time with.
We all sat around when the government went after tobacco. (you mentioned this in your post).
This prohibition stuff is a slippery slope.
Now its fois gras.
Alcohol and Fatty foods are targets.

Let's face it--we are lazy--better the government steps in and solves all our problems.
Fat kids? No willpower?--hey big brother will just take the offending foods away.
This isn't about one political party or another it isn't about conservative or liberal it is about people and public opinion.
When we bring in ideology-- good cohesive arguments fizzle out--what we need here is clear thinking and realistic assessments--there is a compelling argument for fois gras.
It needs to be made.

View Post


I would also like to add that a Constitutional Ammendment can not be passed by a party.. It takes 2/3 majority.. It looks like everyone agreed at the time..

#89 JohnL

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Posted 28 April 2006 - 12:44 PM

good point Chef.
actually the prohibition (18th) ammendment was passed/ratified by two thirds of the state legislatures.
this is the other way to enact or repeal a constitutional ammendment.

anyway--the analogy is strained at best.
though I would agree that special interest groups banded together to change public opinion on alcohol just as they have done with fois gras.
politicians respond to public opinion most of the time--there's where the votes are.

I would bet that the Chcago City Council individually had little interest in this until polls (suspect some driven by PETA et al) began to show this as a no brainer vote.

#90 Daniel

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Posted 28 April 2006 - 12:57 PM

good point Chef.
actually the prohibition (18th) ammendment was passed/ratified by two thirds of the state legislatures.
this is the other way to enact or repeal a constitutional ammendment.

anyway--the analogy is strained at best.
though I would agree that special interest groups banded together to change public opinion on alcohol just as they have done with fois gras.
politicians respond to public opinion most of the time--there's where the votes are.

I would bet that the Chcago City Council individually had little interest in this until polls (suspect some driven by PETA et al) began to show this as a no brainer vote.

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Right right.. Actually, I was confused because something like 30 states (actually google says 33) had already passed laws banning alcohol before the Volstead Act was passed.. Either way, it was not something that you can put on a party then or even try to decipher what side those players would be on now..