I'm fighting off a touch of flu (despite two flu shots! Grrr!)--and I have to do a bit of tax work (I like to have all my pain at once) so anyway, I'm not in a mood for heavy blogging. But I have been wanting to say a word about Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin and the ban on American chickens. Apparently the Russians don't like it that we clean them with chlorine.
I haven't an ounce of technical knowledge on this one. Perhaps the Russians are completely right: apparently the Europeans have enforced the same kind of ban since 1997. But am I wrong to note a sense of truculent pride in thiss one, as President Putin says "One shouldn't look for political background in this case, God forbid,. No political background here!"
Narrowly speaking, maybe not. But recall: this is a guy with a highly actuated sense of humiliation. He lived through the destruction of his favorite empire, and the near-death-experience of his favorite empire-within-an-empire, the KGB. He seems never to have mised a meal in the process, but must have mortally wounded his pride. "Yeah!" he seems to be saying. "But we're cleaner than you!"