Free Trade

It's Not Just About Roquefort


Last week, Katherine Mangu-Ward blogged about the Bush administration's 300 percent tax on Roquefort cheese, and cheese shop owner Jill Erber's righteous rant in defense of free trade.

Caleb Brown and Austin Bragg brought their camera to Erber's shop for a short video.

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  1. I just brought some in today from CDG-Roquefort- duty free.

    Maybe the govmint is trying to protect the infant industry of sheep milk cheese with benign mold.

    Anyway, I am going with the sure thing.

  2. CUSTOMER: “Do you, in fact, have any cheese at all?”

    CHEESE-SHOP OWNER: “No, I’ve been deliberately wasting your time, sir. The cheese duties make the cheese too expensive.”

    CUSTOMER: Instead of importing cheese, you could make your own.

    CHEESE-SHOP OWNER: You’re right, I never thought of that.

    CUSTOMER: Blessed are the cheesemakers.

    CHEESE-SHOP OWNER: After that pun, I’m afraid I’ll have to shoot you.

    CUSTOMER: It’s a fair cop.

  3. But remember how we were saving freedom by replacing anything with “French” with the word ‘freedom’? Because that’s how you really instill liberty!

  4. I apologize in advance for the long post:

    Owner: (lustily) Certainly, sir. What would you like?

    Customer: Well, eh, how about a little red Leicester.

    Owner: I’m, a-fraid we’re fresh out of red Leicester, sir.

    Customer: Oh, never mind, how are you on Tilsit?

    Owner: I’m afraid we never have that at the end of the week, sir, we get it fresh on Monday.

    Customer: Tish tish. No matter. Well, stout yeoman, four ounces of Caerphilly, if you please.

    Owner: Ah! It’s beeeen on order, sir, for two weeks. Was expecting it this morning.

    Customer: ‘T’s Not my lucky day, is it? Aah, Bel Paese?

    Owner: Sorry, sir.

    Customer: Red Windsor?

    Owner: Normally, sir, yes. Today the van broke down.

    Customer: Ah. Stilton?

    Owner: Sorry.

    Customer: Ementhal? Gruyere?

    Owner: No.

    Customer: Any Norweigan Jarlsburg, per chance.

    Owner: No.

    Customer: Lipta?

    Owner: No.

    Customer: Lancashire?

    Owner: No.

    Customer: White Stilton?

    Owner: No.

    Customer: Danish Brew?

    Owner: No.

    Customer: Double Goucester?

    Owner: (pause) No.

    Customer: Cheshire?

    Owner: No.

    Customer: Dorset Bluveny?

    Owner: No.

    Customer: Brie, Roquefort, Pol le Veq, Port Salut, Savoy Aire, Saint Paulin, Carrier de lest, Bres Bleu, Bruson?

    Owner: No.

    Customer: Camenbert, perhaps?

    Owner: Ah! We have Camenbert, yessir.

    Customer: (suprised) You do! Excellent.

    Owner: Yessir. It’s..ah,…’s a bit runny…

    Customer: Oh, I like it runny.

    Owner: Well,.. It’s very runny, actually, sir.

    Customer: No matter. Fetch hither the fromage de la Belle France! Mmmwah!

    Owner: I…think it’s a bit runnier than you’ll like it, sir.

    Customer: I don’t care how fucking runny it is. Hand it over with all speed.

    Owner: Oooooooooohhh……..! (pause)

    Customer: What now?

    Owner: The cat’s eaten it.

    Customer: (pause) Has he.

    Owner: She, sir.

    Customer: (pause) Gouda?

    Owner: No.

    Customer: Edam?

    Owner: No.

    Customer: Case Ness?

    Owner: No.

    Customer: Smoked Austrian?

    Owner: No.

    Customer: Japanese Sage Darby?

    Owner: No, sir.

    Customer: You…do *have* some cheese, don’t you?

    Owner: (brightly) Of course, sir. It’s a cheese shop, sir. We’ve got–

    Customer: No no… don’t tell me. I’m keen to guess.

    Owner: Fair enough.

    Customer: Uuuuuh, Wensleydale.

    Owner: Yes?

    Customer: Ah, well, I’ll have some of that!

    Owner: Oh! I thought you were talking to me, sir. Mister Wensleydale, that’s my name.

    Customer: (pause) Greek Feta?

    Owner: Uh, not as such.

    Customer: Uuh, Gorgonzola?

    Owner: No.

    Customer: Parmesan,

    Owner: No.

    Customer: Mozarella,

    Owner: No.

    Customer: Paper Cramer,

    Owner: No.

    Customer: Danish Bimbo,

    Owner: No.

    Customer: Czech sheep’s milk,

    Owner: No.

    Customer: Venezuelan Beaver Cheese?

    Owner: Not *today*, sir, no.

    Customer: (pause) Aah, how about Cheddar?

    Owner: Well, we don’t get much call for it around here, sir.

    Customer: Not much ca– it’s the single most popular cheese in the world!

    Owner: Not ’round here, sir.

    Customer: (slight pause) and what IS the most popular cheese ’round hyah?

    Owner: ‘Illchester, sir.

    Customer: IS it.

    Owner: Oh, yes, it’s staggeringly popular in this manor, squire.

    Customer: Is it.

    Owner: It’s our number one best seller, sir!

    Customer: I see. Uuh…’Illchester, eh?

    Owner: Right, sir.

    Customer: All right. Okay. ‘Have you got any?’ he asked, expecting the answer ‘no’.

    Owner: I’ll have a look, sir……..nnnnnnnnnnnnnnnno.

    Customer: It’s not much of a cheese shop, is it?

  5. I present the infamous “Cheese Roll Call”, led by Pinky (also here).

  6. the Bush administration’s 300 percent tax on Roquefort cheese

    These foreign cheeses need to learn that people in places like Arkansas and Indiana are happy to make $75000 a year with no bonuses.

  7. fucking Special Olympics TelePrompter….

    “If you go to North Dakota, or you go to Iowa, or you go to Arkansas, where folks would be thrilled to be making $75,000 a year — without a bonus — then I think they’d get a sense of why people are frustrated with these foreign cheeses”

  8. I really think Reason is on to something here. Jill Erber has a bit of the Palin about her, but I don’t think she’d engender the same hostility from the BeltwayElites. Heck, she’s already almost inside the Beltway anyway!

    Let the RoquefortREvOlution begin! All power to the cheese shop owners! With our entire multi-trillion dollar financial system being run just as she runs her cheeseshop – stocked to the brim with libertarian common sense – we’re sure to win!

  9. Shut the fuck up, Lonewacko.

    (Everyone was doing it. I just wanted to be cool.)

  10. Heck, she’s already almost inside the Beltway anyway!

    Sorry, LoneWacko, but if you’d simply look at the GoogleMap on HerStore’sWebsite, you’d realize that it is indeed InsideTheBeltway.

  11. “All power to the cheese shop owners! With our entire multi-trillion dollar financial system being run just as she runs her cheeseshop – stocked to the brim with libertarian common sense – we’re sure to win!”

    But not as good a chance to win as a racist right wing group that focuses on birth certificates and immigration!


    One of many links to this ongoing trade-war on foodstuffs. Honestly, I side with the French on this one. The French are generally supportive of every whacky idea proposed by their gouvernement, are terminally afraid of any genetically-altered foodstuff parceque le gouvernement said so, and hate McDo’s with an irrational exuberancy bubble that will never burst.

    So I say to my gouvernement. Enough already. So few of us Americans actually enjoy Roquefort that you are swatting at gnats and swallowing camels. Secondly, if the French demand genetically unaltered and hormone-free beef, than by god, deliver what they want. America can produce both. I want my Roquefort.

    Disclosure: many French persons purchase shitty cheese like Mimolette and go to McDo’s.

  13. “Tell Mission Control it’s Roquefort.”

    Forgot about all that talk about visiting the moon again. ‘Moon-Rock’-a-fort. Of course! Why didn’t I see it before?

    Folks, the moon is made of cheese, you know.

  14. “Rochefort. Isn’t that a smelly sort of a cheese?”

  15. Hey, I rode on the Orange Line last week! Does that make me special? I wanna be special.

    (STFU, LoneWacko)


    Rochefort represents one of five authentic Trappist breweries (Orval, Westvleteren, Chimay, Westmalle.)

    Smelly cheese? Lots of those. Educate yourself, please. Online is a sufficient place to begin and end.

  17. Eyewitness Report (on the Orange Line):

    Reason Editor_______ was seen passing a ______ to MSM Member _________. Obviously, ________ is that ___________ who is __________ to _________ notwithstanding ___________ in light of ____________ at the same time considering _________ involvement with __________.

    Use following to fill in blanks: Wesson, DNA test, bad movie review, Smith, Wiegel, mongoloid, exacerbate, Reg Q, Aristophanes, tintinabulation.

  18. I’m going to treat this as a weekend open thread and just say that THE SERIES FINALE OF BSG SUCKED MONKEY BALLS. As I expected. That is all.

  19. This brings up something I have wondered about for a while now.

    Why do businesses NOT put on their labels what percentage of the price is due to government regulations and taxes?

    Maybe that would be something to promote. When people start to see that 50%, (more?), of the cost of pharmaceuticals, 25% of the cost of cars and 99% of the cost of good weed and huge percentages of just about everything else, are all due to government rules, regulations, taxes, licensing costs and such, maybe they would start to demand less rules and lower taxes.

    Oh hell, who am I kidding? They’ll just shrug and demand the next rule or tax be for themselves and give their local politician their taste.

  20. “Episiarch | March 22, 2009, 8:04am | #
    I’m going to treat this as a weekend open thread and just say that THE SERIES FINALE OF BSG SUCKED MONKEY BALLS. As I expected. That is all.”

    Yeah, it was pretty good until the pseudo-religious crap vomited forth. The visions, the time travel, the disappearance of Starbuck. Like that tied up the question of how she found her own body.

    I was really hoping for something better than a combination rip-off of the Sopranos and St. Elsewhere.

  21. Hit & Run baby, hit & run!


  22. I went the other way on the BSG finale.

    The religious thing has been an integral part of the show since the beginning, and once they brought a cast member back from the dead it seemed clear that they were serious about sticking with it rather than debunking it, unless Starbuck was a cylon. I just looked at the religious aspect as another part of the fiction, and let them take the story line where they wanted to go with it. I suppose that if you can’t accept that, the whole thing went to shit.

    With all that in mind, I thought they did a nice job of closing out the series in 2 hours. They defeated the primary antagonists and got back the little girl. They let the centurions go, free and clear, with hopes that a clean slate would prevent future conflict. They actually found Earth, which I thought was a pleasant surprise. Roslin got to see Earth before she kicked off.

    I’m sure they could have done something better, but they could have done a hell of a lot worse.

  23. Finally, the last BSG threadjack is upon us.

  24. Tom Wright,

    I went to the liquor store the other day. They had a sign up saying “Cigarette price going up 85 cents / Reason: TAXES.”

  25. JLM : Yes, but they could also have explained the religious aspect of those plot devices in other ways, rather than the ‘oh, a god(s) did it’, which is the cheap way out, IMO. If you read much science fiction you can probably imagine half a dozen ways to finish this off that would be more interesting without the deux-ex-advertisers they dove for

    Young ‘Un: Yeah, nice to know, but that ain’t a label on a car or a pair of jeans or shoes. Plus we all know it’s ok to tax those damn dirty smokers.

  26. Is there a tariff on Arugula? No! Because an Arugula eating dude in office. The solution to this problem is to elect a Roquefort eater to the highest seat in the land.

  27. I need Anonymity Guy to bag on LoneWingnut again. Please.

    Also, they should import Casu marzu. Not that I would eat it, but I would try very hard to get everyone I know to eat it.

  28. About the BSG final, there was a show on last week “The Last Frakkin’ Special” where Ron Moore said he was having trouble writing this last episode, but he decided that it wasn’t about the plot it was about the characters. So if the ending is implausible, I think that’s why.

    Still, I generally liked the episode as at least these characters that have been on the run finally found Earth and they finally have a chance at a new life.

    There is, however, was a fanboy wish inside me that the fleet finds present day Earth, makes contact, and then we cut to forty years later when a basestar shows up and a few brand spanking new battlestars move out from behind the Moon and kick the snot out of the basestar.

  29. This video would be much better with bouzouki music.

  30. Hey thanks, Nooge, for making me barf.

  31. I looked at her site and her cartoon, presumably of herself, has some PrettyWellDefinedCalves. What’s the deal with that?

    Say, in news that Reason forgot to cover, the president sent his people door-to-door to take down names and – of course – Reason forgot to discuss Nancy Pelosi’s recent comments. Note that I mentioned those comments right after the SFChron did, and it took Fox several days to get around to it. And, even after all that she recently said something similar and didn’t back down from her earlier comments. AFAIK, Fox et al have yet to pick up on her latest comments.

  32. I am not sure who is the most annoying troll, lefti or OLS

    Please Hit and run readers, go take a look at some of the comments (all 11 of them) in the second article OLS sights (the Nancy Pelosi one).

    What a wonderful group of intelligent free thinkers they have over there!

  33. I’m just waiting for LoneWacko to start asking SomeToughQuestions of HighLevelExecutives at CurtisMediaGroup as to why they would KnowinglyEmploy an admitted “LifeLongMexican” (AlternateLink) as the NewsAndProgramDirector of Raleigh/Durham/Cary/ChapelHill’sMainTalkRadioStation. đŸ˜‰

  34. Whoa — Someone commented on a Lonewacko blog post? That’s man bites dog in itself.

  35. I thought the BSG finale was okay.
    But the series REALLY ended with “Ridiculous gelatinous orbs”.

    I was disappointed that Starbuck didn’t turn out to be Daniel reincarnated. That would have been way cooler. But I suppose the whole “deus ex machina” wasn’t unexpected, considering they’ve been playing along that theme for the whole series.

    It was cool that Gaius finally redeemed numself and got back together with Caprica Six though.

    Also, they dragged out the ending way too long once they got to the planet. Also this planet seems to have been mostly grass – hypersaturated uber-green grass.

  36. Apologies, zoltan. đŸ˜‰

  37. re: nooge, anonymity troll called out lonewacko at some point?! when did this happen and how did i miss it? was it like…

    Shut the fuck up, Lonewacko!


    because I love that.

  38. FN, the comment in question is here; it was almost certainly a spoof–but a very, very clever spoof.

  39. EJM:

    Your comment has nothing to do with HerWellDefinedCalves or anything else, but, oddly enough, I have a summary page on the National Hispanic Media Coalition. If you help feed them Rush, I’m sure they won’t turn on you next!

  40. In other words, you’re TooChicken to ask those ToughQuestions concerning RickMartinez.

  41. Interesting. I know of someone in NC, and I also know of someone who follows libtalk. I wonder if they’re the same person?

  42. I think Starbuck was some sort of Jesus knockoff. She died and rose from the dead. She went down in flames (descended into hell) and returned (ascended) with the beautiful (heavenly?) vision of Earth. Her greatest fear was being forgotten (so that people would not lose “the way” to peace and redemption). Apollo promised that she wouldn’t be forgotten; he is her apostle. Just my two cents.

  43. Seriously, this is the worst case I’ve ever seen for free trade.

    I’m supposed to be sympathetic to people who eat $35/lb cheese?

    Honestly, this is a case in which schaudenfreude is at least understandable, if not outright defensible.

    Dude, that’s WHY they went after Rocquefort. Easy target!

    Seriously, reason should use more discretion in choosing which tariff victims to make martyrs out of. This is just laughable. And pathetic.

  44. First they went after the rich yuppies, but I was not a rich yuppie, so I said nothing.

  45. I think Starbuck was some sort of Jesus knockoff. She died and rose from the dead. She went down in flames (descended into hell) and returned (ascended) with the beautiful (heavenly?) vision of Earth.

    Actually that kinda also fits with my theory that BSG is The Aeneid.
    I was wondering what part was going to fit with the trip to the underworld, where Aeneas goes and gets directions to where he’s supposed to found Rome.

    She also burns herself on a pyre like Dido.
    Not everything is an exact analogy.

    Still, there’s the whole refugees from war following a prophecy thing. New Caprica is like one of the unsucessful attempts.

    The prophecy entails that they will be starving and eating the boards of their own ship before they get there. (Dismantling Galactica).

    The series ends with a giant battle at “The Colony”.

    There’s a half-human/half-cyclon child involved (Romulus) in founding the new civilization.

    All the while you’ve got the final five running around like Greek Gods interfering in the lives of mortals.

  46. Nations the world over are increasing tariffs or are threatening to. If Mexico follows through with their threats, they may face a revolt. It’s hard enough for Mexicans to feed themselves with the current state of their economy. Increasing tariffs on food originating from the US will cause starvation.

  47. @Hazel Meade:
    Nice analysis!

  48. Sorry, LoneWacko, but if you’d simply look at the GoogleMap on HerStore’sWebsite, you’d realize that it is indeed InsideTheBeltway.

    How would the Cosmotarians* (spelled right?) find her had she not been inside the beltway?

    *Just kidding and I am not yet sure what that means other than it sounding cute when I see it.

  49. *Just kidding and I am not yet sure what that means other than it sounding cute when I see it.

    At least you didn’t say anything about her calves. đŸ˜‰

  50. I find it semi-ironic that the BSG finale and Casu Marzu should be discussed in the same thread. They both elicit about the same reaction from me.

  51. Casu Marzu is illegal within the EU. Sardegna is not Sicilia.

  52. I gotta go with JLM on this one. The religious mumbo-jumbo was part and parcel of the series itself; to not make it integral to the finale would be a cop-out. FWIW, the first two-thirds or so of the finale were a great deal better than the last third; it was too implausible to believe that people would just up and give up on technology, and they spent way too long on the savannah navel-gazing. I also wasn’t a fan of the overt anti-technology message at the end, which ran counter to most of the point of the show.

    The climactic battle was great, and Tory and Sharon got screwed, as richly deserved. The nuking seemed a bit gratuitous.

  53. i love roquefort cheese, so i am a victim of this trade war too.

    america also has some great blue cheeses. maytag cheese is made in iowa, it’s wonderful. here in oregon, the rogue river creamery puts out some great cheese, including a blue smoked in burning hazelnut shells.

  54. The Trade War’s Littlest Victims
    by Izod Gillespie, New York Times
    MIDDLETON – Esmeralda takes a look at the cheese the lunch lady at Sidwell Friends has put before her and lets out a low sigh. “It’s just not the same, Mrs. Maximer”.

    Esmeralda closes her eyes and thinks back to the time before the Great Roquefort Trade Wars of 2009, and remembers the glorious taste of nature’s finest cheese.

    [five screens follow]

  55. America is just trying to turn Europe into another Cuba.

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