The takeover continues, despite constitutional promises that the Kitchen cannot over rule the entire House. In this case it is even a kitchen cabinet in the dining room, though it was not confirmed by the Senate–and it’s from Vietnam.
We were sold on this Parawood cabinet when we read that it was made from old farmed rubber trees from defunct rubber plantations. Apparently rubber trees only produce latex for seventy some odd years, at which point they are cut down and made into some quality lumber. in short, this wood supply will last as long as the rubber meets the road somewhere.
We needed the storage space.
This also brought to mind one of my favorite students, who convinced me that the Vietnam war was really about control of the world rubber supply, and all the patriotic balloon about communism was just a bunch of hoya. How did he know? He volunteered for three tours of duty in ‘Nam as a medic for the Green Berets.
He was on paid leave from the Chicago Fire Department, and the union was paying his tuition. He was a conspicuous thirty years older than any of the students at UI, and had a wicked sense of humor. One male student asked him the following:
Student: Why did you volunteer for that many tours in Vietnam?
Beret: Because it was better than Chicago.
That shut the kid up. In a later class another one really stepped in it. He asked the following:
Student: Did you learn anything in Vietnam?
Beret: Yea, I learned not to shoot into Michelin’s rubber plantations.
As a theorist that just about all imperialist wars are fought over control of commodities, I had to get in on this conversation.
Me: Explain that.
Beret: We Green Berets could do almost anything we wanted. Burn villages, shoot civilians, and kill women and children. But, one shot into a Michelin rubber plantation, and your ass sat in the brig forever. And you think the Viet Cong didn’t know that?
That really got me thinking. The Greek empire, especially Athens, controlled the wheat supply. The Romans controlled wine, olive oil, and the famous fish sauce. We are aiming for an empire of canned goods.
Ok, not much of a start on an empire. The only place we’ve invaded has been the farmer’s market.