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17h47 UTC; THURSDAY, 19 JANUARY 2012: We all know, boys and girls, about GOP Presidential wannabe Mitt Romney's infamous crack about "corporations are people, too" (recalling the Supreme Court's Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission ruling as established, in essence, a new class of personhood for "winning hearts and minds" purposes electorally) ... BUT: Given the Guiding Principle of Jucheism in the North Korean stylee that "Man is the Master of Everything, and decides Everything," where exactly does this place corporations by Governor Romney's logic?

And it's now emerged, speaking of Indecision 2012, that:
  • he of the 15% tax rate (Romney) has been found to be using offshore accounts in the Cayman Islands, a rather notorious tax harbour among "the Four Hundred" and other weird and unwholesome types fearing hyperflation and arbitrarily-inflated tax rates; and
  • a former wife of another GOP Presidential wannabe, Newt Gingrich to be specific, tells ABC News in an interview to air on Nightline this evening that Meneer Gingrich is sorely lacking in moral character, which could pose Clear and Present Danger to Our Dear Lovely Nation if ever he managed to win Indecision 2012.
So what would preclude their use as Aunt Sally material?

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Your Correspondent understands that Crosse and Blackwell, and old-established English foods company as is now owned by Smucker's, has long offered among its line of condiments and releeves Branston Pickle, the which has been around since 1855 and is named for the village of its creation.

How much longer before it manages that someone comes up with a parody of the Branston Pickle going by the name of "Branson Pickle" (as in the Acme and Perfection of Amerikanischer Realkultur held deeply and dearly by sociocultural conservatives in particular, never mind many of its "music shows" having rather blatant parallels in tone and stylee to Nazi-era mass rallies and "folk culture" festivals which sought to promote National Unity and Identity), all along managing to get away with a trademark-infringement charge by Crosse and Blackwell?

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Those of you as are acquainted with Route 66, in particular its Oklahoma portion, may recognise this landmark:



Otherwise known as the Yukon's Best Flour Mill, a long-established landmark thereon west of Oklahoma City along "The Mother Road" in its Luscious Glory. And when it was constructed, Your Correspondent had to wonder if Pillsbury Mills up in Minneapolis (which is up in spring-wheat country) was envious of the Yukon Mill and Grain Company's calling their flour "Yukon's Best," let alone boasting of its having "No Finer or More Modern Mills in America." (Their roof-mounted sign atop the mill, as greets westbound traffic, is still one of those bulb-based affairs.)

The which I bring up because it seems as if Minnesota, in its day perhaps the single preeminent flour-milling centre of the nation, may be seeing its milling industry go into a slow decline. Consider:
  • Pillsbury and Gold Medal no longer have any milling activity to speak of in Minneapolis, with a portion of the latter's mill now incorporated into the Minnesota Historical Society's Mill City Museum and Historic Site;
  • the Washburn "A" Mill, a Minneapolis landmark itself, is now leased to Archer Daniels Midland (ADM), which does some artisan flour milling there under contract;
  • several of the more obscure, yet well-known, brands of flour such as Stockton's Best, Faith's Best and (most recently) Swany White, have been lost irrevocably when the mills which milled them were destroyed by fire over the last 25 years; and
  • what remains of the Gopher State's flour milling facilities (most notably the Bay State mill here in Winona and ConAgra Mills' operations in Hastings and New Prague) now devotes their production to bulk flours for the trade, with limited consumer production (e.g., store-label brands under contract).
Leaving many home bakers with a penchant for the more esoteric brands of flour rather than Gold Medal and Pillsbury, as seem to be available almost everywhere, seeking out the likes of King Arthur Flour (now available practically everywhere, even if The King Arthur Flour Company doesn't mill the flour themselves) and Hudson Cream Flour out of Hudson, Kansas (population 125), in the heart of winter-wheat country.

Which has Your Correspondent wondering just how an obscure flour mill in a one-horse town in central Kansas manages to produce flour, cornmeal and baking mixes as are especially popular in the Virginias, Kentucky and Ohio, and their environs--even if the only relation Hudson Cream Flour has to cream in the first place is the Jersey cow trademark on the bag (itself recalling where, back when The Stafford County Flour Mills Company, millers of Hudson Cream, was founded in 1903, it was not uncommon for farm families to have a cow or two on hand to supply their milk and cream, the Jersey breed producing especially rich, high-butterfat milk).

For those of you who can't find Hudson Cream Flour at their supermarket or supercentre, even after patiently asking the manager to stock it, download and complete this order form, or otherwise freecall the mill on 1-800-530-5640 during business hours weekdays; they now accept VISA, MasterCard and Discover credit and debit cards. (Just be sure you review their product line beforehand so you know what you want to order therefrom.)

(Come to think of it, imagining delivering the very name "Hudson Cream" in a somewhat naughty sort of way, not unlike that scene in Surf's Up where Tank "The Shredder" Evans displays his ten championship trophies in the Big Z Memorial Surf Classic, giving each a girl's name and, as required, making a somewhat suggestive pose alongside each--only to have his ego deflated when his mother angrily calls out "TANK!! You polishing those trophies again?!!")

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In case you've yet to hear the news, Faux has just launched the 11th series of American Idol with its traditional round of the auditions nationwide to decide the final tranche of contestants. The which should be enough of an opportunity to look for that one finalist as sounds so awful (think The Cherry Sisters, Florence Foster Jenkins and Alessandro Moreschi, onmibus as it were), s/he actually deserves to be kept on week after week in the competition, eventually winning the championship and its emouluments of a $1 million grand prize and a recording contract.

And for good reason: To show the Nation just how much of a farce American Idol has become, to show just how awful the quality of their contestants has been reduced to, and to make the people realise they're being used for to distract their attention from The Bigger Picture, the Harsh Reality of Our Dear Lovely Nation Being Driven All the Closer to the Final Countdown. (Please be sure to share with your online contacts. Responsibly, of course.)

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Rochester, New York has long been recognised as being The Most Compassionate of America's Major Cities, the which came about in large measure way back when, from what I recall.

And it looks as if they're going to need it all the more because Eastman Kodak Company, a traditional source of pride there (not to mention, in its day, Rochester's biggest employer), has gone into Carey Street, citing a series of ill-advised business miscalculations about the speed with which Americans would start embracing digital photography when it first surfaced in the early 1990's, unaware of its potential detrius to Kodak's traditional film-based photography model, translating into US$67.5 billion in debts owed Kodak's creditors. (One likely way Kodak may pay off its debts: Selling off its stable of highly-valuable patents and related rights.)

Though Kodak may still call Rochester its headquarters, its socioeconomic presence has diminished greatly over recent years as production at Kodak Park has moved overseas to cut costs and idle buildings have been demolished wholesale. (And this may be ironic enough for even Ripley to note: Rochester's 50-kW clear-channel hayburner goes by the call of WHAM, with a news/information/talkback format; for those still in the DX fraternity, it's on your radio at 1180 kHz AM/254 metres MW. And can also be heard on Teh Innwewebz if one isn't quite within signal range.)



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