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Gavel Road

With the rattle and hum of presidential pandering already established in the noise floor of American media drone, Queque has inhaled deeply of the oracle’s secret element and seen through the mist this army of campaign advisors that have laid down from Iowa to New Hampshire and the darker chamber of our hearts.

On the far shore of the perpetual promise parade we see Dennis Kucinich. The Democrat’s Conscience. All alone. In a field. Off the Texas ballot.

His crime? Refusing to sign blind party loyalty to whichever candidate receives the nomination, since that could result in supporting a “Bomb-Again” Hillary candidacy.

Beside him appears the world’s last authentic Texan, blue-chip advertising vehicle, and politician’s kiss of death: Willie Nelson, smelling of Kinky’s Hondurans.

He strums his guitar, but only the sound of a gavel splits the silence. A robed figure, played by U.S. District Judge Lee Yeakel, descends. Da Judge, to hear Nelson’s complaint this week, not only will take issue with Queque’s denial of “authentic” Texan status to millions but like Marc Singer as Dar, the Beastmaster, will call down the wrath of 10,000 rampaging white-tails (with the rains we had, they come cheap, even in visions) on state Dem Party Chair Boyd Richie for compelling the loyalty pledge.

In the trampled ground, a message in those angry, split-toed tracks: Obey Your Conscience. Fade.

Sin Maiz

Even this is sideshow.As the vision fades and the noise floor returns, we see the international bridges overrun with protest.

We see family farms ripped from the earth and a still-sinking Mexico City stuffing every corner lot and city park with illegally planted maiz for the poor.

Now that NAFTA’s final promises are being fulfilled this month, the ultimate irony of free trade arrives as Mexican bean and corn tariffs are stripped. If you thought the farmer revolts of past years were something, stay tuned for those of 2008 when “the people of corn” will be forced to start importing higher-priced (genetically engineered) U.S. kernels.

Staple tortillas will begin to float beyond the pocketbook of even more Mexicans, and with the U.S. biofuels promise, we can bank on increasingly expensive foodstuffs north of the border, too.

But, we should be grateful, no? After all, isn’t it corn tortillas making all those folks living atop Kelly Air Force Base’s toxic plume sick, as the City health department has been suggesting?

Beyond corn alone, we can agree NAFTA has had some unexpected consequences. Is it perhaps time for some Texas lawmakers to get behind the NAFTA Accountability Act, introduced into Congress by Ohio Democrat Marcy Kaptur? Or would that get in the way of all these economic destabilization plans, like the Trans-Texas Corridor, the Kelly/NAFTA Port, and the great hustle of Latin American growers and American workers?

To market, to market, and fleece more lean sheep…

Next stop: a massive migration wave into El Norte just in time to test those contracted border walls. For our television-addled, it promises more great entertainments, courtesy of fucked-up economic and foreign policy.


For San Anto’s Sterling Foods and Labatt Food Service, it’s good to know that an army (Navy, Air Force, Marines) still fights on its stomach.

Sterling Foods, “the foremost leader in shelf-stable bakery technology and manufacturing since the early 1980’s,” (now where’s my slice?), received a $36.6 million contract from the U.S. Department of Defense this month. Sterling has seen its DOD contracts rise from about $20 million only a few years back. The consultant to the starch stars, ie. Frito-Lay, Kraft Foods, and Starbucks, is certainly proud to be feeding the troops, but apparently more proud to advertise on their website of their “Non-union stable workforce.” Proud to be (non-unionized) American. Our chest swells.

Likely the upstart Sterling is starting to nibble into Labatt’s defense dealings. Labbatt, which nailed a $9-million Meals-Ready-to-Eat deal last month, does an average of $45 million per annum (about 8 percent of its total business) with the DOD. Still, that’s in decline. Back in 2000, the company served up the DOD with $80 million in preservative-packed goodies.

But look out, SA. Here comes the United Arab Emirates’ best.

Just as we’ve started to see a shift to Middle East oil contracts fueling the War on Terror (See The Queque, November 14, 2007), now we have Dubai-based Seven Seas Shipchandlers being awarded at $55-million contract for “food and non-food” products.

According to the company’s website, SSS provides “general ship repair, insulation works, refurbishment of crew accommodation … tank cleaning, sludge collection and disposal.”

The Queque recommends care be exercised when Seven Seas food items are served. After all, we want our troops to return home in one piece, without sludge build-up.

In other War on Terror loot news:

Standard Aero, Inc., San Antonio, Texas, was awarded $94,912,666 for “modification to a previously awarded indefinite-delivery, indefinite-quantity contract (N00019-04-D-0016) to exercise an option for T56 Series III Engine Module repairs for the P-3, C-130, and C-2 aircraft.”

TXU Energy was awarded $15,949,431 for retail electricity and ancillary services.

And Stewart & Stevenson Tactical Vehicle Systems, Sealy, Texas, was awarded a $50,956,095 contract for low-signature armored cabs and another $458 million for 668 Mine Resistant Ambush Protected Category II (CAT II) vehicles. (The ones our troops should have had before IEDs started tearing them to shreds.)

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