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America: Apple Pie and War

by Dear Jon
October 18, 2002

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Sort 180_Dear Jon-America: Apple Pie and War ACTUAL LETTER TO DEAR JON:

Dear Jon,

What are the best types of apples to use in apple pie?

Pie Baker

Dear Baker,

Ask my mom.

Actually, based on memories of my mom’s apple pie, which objectively speaking no one has ever cooked better, I have to say that the apples did not matter much. Much more important are that the apples are allowed to cook long enough, that the crust be flaky, and that there be generous amounts of cinnamon and sugar on the crust and throughout the entire pie.

Delicious apples are already sweeter, but they are hard. Macintosh apples are softer but tart. Mom even made pies out of crab apples that grew from three trees in our yard. I never knew, once a pie came out of Mom’s oven, which kind she used. I never knew because she never skimped on sweetener, the apples always had the same texture of softness, and the crust was always perfect.

There was one time that Mom had done a whole lot of baking, and for no particular reason than that she had sugar and flower and eggs. She baked brownies and put them in a cookie tin and no one was eating them because there was too much of everything else. Can you imagine? Nobody having an appetite for brownies because of all the other homemade stuff? That was my home. I am probably the luckiest man who ever lived.

Other kids had to tell me I was poor because I had no idea. Then I would go over to their homes and no parents would be around and I would eat cookies out of plastic wrappers and drink hot chocolate heated in a microwave. Who was poor?

This reminds me that Thanksgiving is coming up. I don’t live in the same state as my Mom anymore, and due to professional obligations it is hard to get to her house for Thanksgiving. Mom’s house is always the kind of house that has company. I’m sure that this year she and Dad will have a house full of guests who are homeless for Thanksgiving and grateful for the experience, and she will give them a choice of pies to eat for dessert, and the people who try her apple pie will tell her that no one else ever has baked an apple pie like hers.

(I will never know if Mom’s pumpkin pies are better than anyone else’s. I hate pumpkin.)

I will be a homeless guest at someone else’s house, eating their supermarket pie and wishing I were home for the holidays.

Thank you for asking about the apples. That means that someone, somewhere in this land is choosing to make something from scratch. There is nothing convenient about baking a pie by yourself. It is hard work that requires attention. A pie is a labor of love (sniff). Yours is the best letter anyone has ever written to me (sob). God bless you, and God Bless America! Somebody get me a handkerchief!

Dear Jon:

This is not an actual letter. I just wanted to point out that a second state in the “Axis of Evil” has admitted to being in an advanced state of nuclear weapons preparation. When will our President threaten war against North Korea?

Bush Doctrine Observer

Dear Doc,

Bush’s doctrine isn’t big enough to go to war with North Korea. That will have to wait for a President with a bigger doctrine. We are choosing war on Iraq as our instrument of statecraft because, first of all, we know we can whip Iraq and, second of all, once in Iraq part of our “rebuilding” will mean American oil companies in Baghdad. To the best of our knowledge, North Korea has no oil, just enriched weapons grade uranium, which they can use to instantly intimidate political rivals in South Korea and Japan, both of which are enlightened democracies that are even making progress in such areas as women’s rights.

God help us, though, if Hussein becomes a regional power, because than he will threaten other Arab oligarchs teetering at the top of their corrupt dictatorships. Rather than the Gulf state sheiks terrorizing their own populations, throwing Christians in prison and whipping women in public for showing ankles, Hussein might come in and, well, make it all worse, whatever “worse” might mean. Not that even the Kuwaitis desire an American presence in the region anymore. In a choice between cowering to Hussein or being liberated by the United States, the Arab world would rather cower to Hussein. So going in and clobbering Hussein will be utterly thankless and might actually radicalize more Arabs to the jihad than ever, as for example the Kuwaiti sypathizers of Al Qaeda who murdered a U.S. Marine.

It all boils down to this: Because American consumers demand cheap oil, our government is willing to fight a war in a region where they are hated to liberate a people who would rather suffer the tyranny, incompetence and corruption of their home-grown rulers. In order to settle this agenda, the American government has to marginalize relations with democracies around the world, such as: Israel, Russia, India, South Korea, and Japan, not to mention the European states which, speaking of apple pies, are too flaky to mention here anyway.

If we go to war with Iraq, I will have to conclude that this is the stupidest administration to govern the United States since Lyndon Johnson’s. I will never, ever vote for a Texan again.

A Floridan .... maybe. ... But NOT a Texan!

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