The Daily Ping

We've only had four major designs over our 11 year history.

February 20th, 2003

Freedom Fries

Clearly, one of the oddest things to arise out of the entire Iraq crisis is “news” that a restaurant in North Carolina is no longer selling French Fries, and is instead selling Freedom Fries.

[The owner] said the switch from french fries to freedom fries came to mind after a conversation about World War I when anti-German sentiment prompted Americans to rename German foods like sauerkraut and hamburger to liberty cabbage and liberty steak.

Yeah, and we all know how long those terms lasted.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I’ve got some liberty cabbage on the stove….

Posted in Miscellaneous

FROM: Matt
DATE: Thursday February 20, 2003 -- 12:20:56 am
I wonder if this particular establishment is Stormin Normans?

FROM: Robert [E-Mail]
DATE: Thursday February 20, 2003 -- 12:46:24 am
That's nowhere near as interesting as the Ghetto Burger.

FROM: Dave Walls [E-Mail]
DATE: Thursday February 20, 2003 -- 12:56:22 am
France has sucked for a number of years..couldnt we have used this time to figure out a better term for this food other than FREEDOM Fries?

Even if you want to keep the patriotic theme, there are other options:

Patriotic Potatoes
Stars and Stripes Spuds

While we're at it, let's write McDonalds to get the menu items changed! Liberty Legumes (salads), Constitutional Coca-Cola, and All American Apple Pies.

I hate it when people capitalize on situations where people may, or have, die(d). I hated it when some bastards tried to sell trinkets made of metal from the World Trade Center, and acting patriotic to sell, out of all things, FRENCH FRIES, burns me up.

Serving your country in war, hanging a flag outside, or even working to support those who are overseas is being patriotic. To hide behind an American Flag to pimp fast food is simply wrong.

(stepping off soapbox now)

FROM: dave
DATE: Thursday February 20, 2003 -- 9:21:23 am
This Freedom Fries crap is just another cog in the ever-growing hate/propaganda machine. If it catches on, they'll still be French fries to me...just like that airport down the street from me is "National Airport" (as opposed to that name that was forced upon us).

FROM: Chris [E-Mail]
DATE: Thursday February 20, 2003 -- 9:37:00 am
It's french fries, nor French fries. The french in fries has nothing to do with France. It comes from the verb "frenching," which when applied to cooking means to cut into thin strips. If people want to boycott French products that is fine. But lets at least make sure we are dealing with something related to France.

They could refrain from french kissing. That would show those cheese eating surrender monkeys.

FROM: Ryan
DATE: Thursday February 20, 2003 -- 10:51:04 am
dave -- When I went to see Brian Regan a number of years back, he mentioned how he flew into "Reagan National" and the audience booed. He said, "Wow... I've never heard such a negative reaction for an AIRPORT before..."

FROM: Greg
DATE: Thursday February 20, 2003 -- 11:36:19 am
I like Dave's term... "Patriotic Potatoes"

Why don't we just call them what they are: "Fried Potato(e) Strips"

FROM: Greg C [E-Mail]
DATE: Thursday February 20, 2003 -- 12:25:50 pm
Heh that reminds me of the term my friend used to have for Corn Dogs... "Processed fat, breaded with fat, deep fried in fat."

FROM: Lenny
DATE: Thursday February 20, 2003 -- 4:15:25 pm
I like french fries with mustard. I like mustard on everything. Ever have a mustard sandwich? Of course not, neither have I. That's just f**ked. About the "liberty fries", I think it's actually gonna become the standard name. Wait and see. This time next year, people will be saying, "French fries? Oh yeah, I remember them!"

By the way, this is a bit off the subject, but has anyone ever played Ju Ju Bakoo? I have a copy of it and can't find a soul who knows how to play it. Email me and we can start a game on the network.

FROM: Iain
DATE: Monday February 24, 2003 -- 1:40:41 pm
Wow... just like with the Germans during WW I, eh? I must have missed the part where France started invading it's neighbors. Well, at least I know now. Who's for a nice cold war? They're good after a hard day's patriotism.

DATE: Tuesday February 25, 2003 -- 8:32:55 am
Over in the UK it's been a national sport for centuries (possible even millenia) to hate the French.
It's OK really, it's what they're there for!

DATE: Tuesday February 25, 2003 -- 11:37:34 am
whens the last time you ordered a frankfurter?

FROM: Nina
DATE: Wednesday February 26, 2003 -- 5:10:00 pm
stupid! Stupid! STUPID!!!!!

FROM: Gimlet
DATE: Wednesday February 26, 2003 -- 5:42:50 pm
How 'bout just calling them Surrender Potatos? Or Vichy Fries? Collaborateurs? Anti-Semite Spuds?

Or maybe just "fries"...

FROM: Madman [E-Mail]
DATE: Friday February 28, 2003 -- 2:14:42 am
For how long are were going to have fun with all that crap...

The world isnt wrong for not supporting our stupid ways of see life.. NO WAR its also patriotic, NO MORE DEAD

Rowland SUCKS
Freedom Fries TOO

FROM: John
DATE: Friday February 28, 2003 -- 10:06:01 pm
While we're at it lets not drive down for fries in our Nissan. They are owned by Renault. Also stop washing those fries down with any bottled water produced by Great American Springs. They are owned by the French also. Does anyone really believe the French couldn't defend against the Germans in WWII because they lost so many in WWI. How many Germans died in the same period and who was the loser? Same recovery time. The Depression had a greater effect on Germany than France in the period leading up to WWII.

FROM: Linda Mae
DATE: Monday March 3, 2003 -- 12:33:15 am
In Canada we call them chips. as in Fish and Chips, chips and vinegar etc.

FROM: Paul
DATE: Tuesday March 11, 2003 -- 5:43:08 pm
Oh, god. Via Kottke.

I'm ready to move to Canada.

FROM: Ryan
DATE: Tuesday March 11, 2003 -- 6:43:32 pm
I swear to God, it's like those representatives are back in fucking elementary school.

FROM: Bong Head
DATE: Friday March 14, 2003 -- 9:21:33 pm
My friend informed me of this strategic move by Washington, to re-name them "freedom fries". I laughed.
Perhaps the Frenchies are laughing harder at this than I am.
I guess their is a fine line between being patriotic and being dumb.
Try living overseas. Perhaps you will become enlightened. I have. It's taken three years, but I have. You will come to realize that no country is better than the country where your family, friends and NY Yankees are.

FROM: dave
DATE: Friday March 14, 2003 -- 10:39:54 pm

It gets worse.

FROM: Ryan
DATE: Friday March 14, 2003 -- 11:01:02 pm
Seriously. This is like a bad joke. It's like America is putting a "Kick Me" sign on its own back.

FROM: Aaron
DATE: Saturday March 15, 2003 -- 9:17:14 am
This is pure insanity. Ia gree with "Bong Head," sometimes there is a fine line between patriotic and dumb. Rowland needs to find something else to put his energy into. Also, America is being very much like a two year old who can't get his/her way.

FROM: Rin-Tin-Tin
DATE: Saturday March 15, 2003 -- 9:22:21 am
This is too painful to watch our country be this way over something as trivial as some potatoes which don't even have to do with France. In cooking, "frenching" is a verb which means to slice thinly into strips. Even so, let's find something to complain about. ISN'T BUSH GETTING THE MESSAGE THAT MAYBE FRANCE IS DOING THE RIGHT THING?!?

DATE: Saturday March 15, 2003 -- 9:23:52 am
As Charles Schultz would say, good grief.

DATE: Saturday March 15, 2003 -- 6:44:29 pm
I apologize if I spelled "SCHULTZ" wrong. My bad, but it is not as bad as believing that saying freedom this or freedom that is the way to solve anything between the U.S. and France.

FROM: nottohappyaboutthefries
DATE: Saturday March 15, 2003 -- 6:51:16 pm

FROM: pmf
DATE: Sunday March 16, 2003 -- 12:21:05 pm
also, what will happen to the swearing people, "pardon my chinese"?

FROM: rl
DATE: Sunday March 16, 2003 -- 7:54:24 pm
@pmf, Oh no, the Chinese want to veto as well. No more Chinese Checkers. Never mind that an earlier Republican Administration turned its back on democratic Taiwan in order to trade with China, whom everyone except Republicans know is run by military-capitalistic murdering oligarchs, but hey, it's good for Corporate America, so it's OK. Or let's ask about VP Cheney about all the reconstruction money his company made after the last Iraq adventure, and the fact that right up until he was running, he was working to get sanctions lifted! Or that Rumsfeld used to chum around with Saddam in a previous job, and his message that while Kurds were being gassed he had warned Saddam against using WMD cannot be found in any of the official transcripts? Wink, wink. As for making sure that France does not participate in any reconstruction projects in Iraq, why would this Administration care? Oops, slipped again, of course they would care, if they can direct business toward their own companies and those of their PAC friends. How stupid of me. Read the excerpt below from Arianna Huffington's Dec 2, 2002 article for more.

We ought to look at people who are trying to avoid U.S. taxes as a problem," roared President Bush. "I think American companies ought to pay taxes and be good citizens." Trent Lott was equally exercised. "It agitates me that companies will be doing that," he fumed.
Then Election Day came and went, and lots and lots of big corporate checks were cashed. It was payback time. And a bipartisan who's who of power lobbyists -- including former Senate Majority Leader Bob Dole, former House Ways and Means chairman Bill Archer, former House Appropriations chair Bob Livingston, and former Senate Intelligence chairman Dennis DeConcini -- made sure that the expat companies' government gravy train was kept running, "Mussolini-style," right on schedule.

With the public's attention diverted elsewhere -- namely Iraq, and J-Lo and Ben's engagement -- the tax haven crowd found a much more receptive audience in Washington. Operating behind closed doors, and with next to no public debate, the lame duck Congress made an abrupt U-Turn and sliced-and-diced the no-contracts-for-tax-cheats rule. And without blinking an eye, the president happily signed the bill into law.

That barely muffled cheer you might have heard came from the Caribbean-based corporate offices of companies such as scandal-ridden Tyco, Arthur Andersen progeny Accenture, and Ingersoll-Rand, a corporate chicken that, in a show of national mourning and solidarity, flew the coop a mere three months after the Sept. 11th attacks. All have avoided paying tens of millions in taxes by reincorporating offshore while pocketing tens of millions in federal contracts. And now, thanks to their good friends in Congress, they'll continue to do so. Not only do they not have to help pay for homeland security, but they're helping themselves to the spoils of the Homeland Security Act.

FROM: angel
DATE: Thursday March 20, 2003 -- 2:53:15 pm
How dumb is calling french fries freedom fries? More important events are happening in the world than changing the name of a food. Pure idiocy!

FROM: valeria van fortes
DATE: Monday April 28, 2003 -- 2:54:44 pm
We can only see the degree of decadence of our world when some people debate on how to name greasy potatoes while others die of intelligent bombs and inmoral wars... Only ignorant Americans, all plastic brains and fatty hearths, could turn our world in to pathetic debris and inalienable rights like freedom and democracy and justice into pittyful falacies.

Peace for the world and enlightment for an 80% of those American sleeping minds!

FROM: Dave Walls
DATE: Monday April 28, 2003 -- 7:32:51 pm
I believe you meant "immoral", not "inmoral"..and "into", not "in to"..

If you think that all Americans are really so ignorant that they are up at night worrying about what to call French Fries, then you really don't know a damn thing about America.

Enjoy the Progeria pictures.

FROM: wtf?
DATE: Tuesday April 29, 2003 -- 2:33:15 pm
I enjoyed that

FROM: valeria_amsterdam
DATE: Tuesday April 29, 2003 -- 4:15:42 pm
I speak 6 languages and English has never been a priority for me. Despite the mistakes, my ideas are clearly understood (as you seem to have done perfectly). I have two MDs and I am pursuing for a second PhD. I have travelled all over the world and lived in several countries (including the USA). I have been blessed with the posibility to learn and the hability to be understand. I have read authors from all cultures and times and to speak with people of many relions and ideas. I would not call myself ignorant buth rather empathic and lucky to enjoy from the diversity or our world...

The fact that you have to make use of such low resources (like using a sad and unfortunate condition like progenia) to insult people who disagree with you, proves that Americans are, exactly, the way I (an millions of people all over the world) percieve you... (I am sorry for that 10% of brave, corageous, kind, generous and admirable Americans who do not swallow the patritotic crap that your goverment and media so smartly spread and who are also categorized as "all Americans")

Yes, you spend large amounts of time, energy and money in stupid things like renaming potatoes, imitating Elvis, making films called "Jackass" and bombing of the craddle of civilization... Yes, unfortunately, our world is so crazy that the lives of millions of people of millenary cultures are in the hands of an idotic, vain and profoundly ignorant nation (yes, yes... you are powerful too... we know)...

You spill French wine and rename French food (as you once did with German... you put muslim people in detention camps, as you once did with japanese) but people all over the world has united to boycot millions of American products... That is just an example of what the rest of tworld thinks about your nation and a sign that the world will toletare no more...

As the Portuguese writer and Nobel Price, Jose Saramago has put it (but, I guess you have no idea of who is Jose Saramago... the American literary knowledge covers no further than Danielle Steel an Ophra's book circle, right?): "The moment is here; when the enlighted brain of a united world will outshine the ilussion of almighty power of the Plastic Nation (read the USA)"

Is my message ortographicaly, gramatically and, ceratinly (for your grand American standards) incorrect?... Well, who cares?... You have, once more, understood it.

FROM: Ryan
DATE: Tuesday April 29, 2003 -- 5:08:37 pm
I'm not looking to jump in the middle of yet another Ping battle, but:

The fact that you have to make use of such low resources (like using a sad and unfortunate condition like progenia) to insult people who disagree with you

I just wanted to clarify that Dave was referring here not in a derrogatory way to Progeria patients, but to a phenomenon specific to this site where one-time visitors visit this Ping and request pictures of Progeria despite the fact I clearly state not to do so.

FROM: Dave Walls
DATE: Tuesday April 29, 2003 -- 7:06:52 pm
Thanks Ryan..I said that as a clever way to kind of reference Pings where we really have either gotten off topic, or people cannot follow instructions. (Also, for your perusal, my witty remarks dated 4/29/03 where I tried to sway angry tow trucks drivers with Free Pens. Alas, the sarcasm is below, I guess.
In no way was I trying to belittle or mock the persons who suffer from this terrible disease.

Ok, now back to the original topic:

When you say "you", you are unfairly trying to classify ALL Americans. To quote the American writer Leonard Pitts, "..The strength of Americans is not always readily apparent. That aspect of our character is seldom understood by people who don't know us well." We are a frivioulous nation, sure, but for the large part, we are a decent people, proud of who we are, who struggle to know the right thing and do it everyday.

For all of your talk trashing Americans for boycotting French items for reasons relating to war, you show your own ignorance to American culture. I, for one, do not eat fried food at all anymore (for health reasons), never watched the movie "Jackass", and haven't spilled any French wine lately. (except for the spot in the corner from the party last Saturday...sorry bout that). And since when have we gathered up Muslims in America and put them into camps? What America did to the Japanese during WWII was an overreaction, a mistake that we will not make again.

I'm fluent in 3 languages, have also lived in several countries, and travelled a good portion of the globe. What does that have to do with all of this? Not a damn thing.

(I am sorry for that 10% of brave, corageous, kind, generous and admirable Americans who do not swallow the patritotic crap that your goverment and media so smartly spread and who are also categorized as "all Americans")

I dont think you could be more wrong if you tried, although you did try quite a bit. We do have something called the First Amendment to the Constitution. The press (written and electronic) has been pretty fair in recording both sides of the argument concerning the war, military action in Iraq, and even patriotism. Whatever the viewpoint, it is protected by the government, which was formed and defended by those who were (and still are) willing to lay down their lives. Are Americans vain? No, Americans are proud. (BTW, when did Iraq become "the 'craddle' of civilization"?)

Ok, this is way too serious to be in a Ping that is really just about a dumpy restaraunt in North Carolina that was trying to capitalize on the war. (Something I chided them about, if you would have read).

I'm tired of this. If you don't like America, stay the hell out. End of story. (and if you ever accuse me of reading Oprah again.......)

FROM: Ryan
DATE: Tuesday April 29, 2003 -- 7:47:24 pm
Yeah, the Oprah thing was a low blow...

FROM: valeria
DATE: Tuesday April 29, 2003 -- 9:16:34 pm
Well, I guess there is just no point in discussing with an American... So, have a good (all American) life!

PS: I guess that it not in Ophra’s book circle where you will be able to find relyable books on History of Civilization, History of Irak or of the Middle East... Just to give you an idea:

The territory that it is now called Irak became the Cradle of Civilization somewhen arround 4000BC, when the Sumerian and Mespotamian cultures flourished in that region and moved us from prehistory to history.

The ancient Sumerians, developed sophisticated irrigation systems that created the first cereal agriculture.

To the Sumerian culture we own the written language (cuneiform writing)thanks to which they were able to pass on complex agricultural techniques to successive generations; this led to marked improvements in agricultural production.

Sumerians invented the wheel and the first plow in 3700 BC.

Sumerians developed a math system based on the numeral 60, which is the basis of time in the modern world.

Banking originated in Mesopotamia.
Another important Sumerian legacy was the recording of literature. Poetry and epic literature (Gilgamesh).

Architecture and civil engeneering was born in Mesopotamia (the Zigurats are the oldest examples of architectonic work; or the Hanging Gardens of Babylon, one of the seven wonders of the civilized world ).

Babylon was the commercial and cultural center of the Middle East for almost two thousand years.

Many new legal concepts used in modern American law were introduced by the Babylonians, (legal protection should be provided to lower classes; the state is the authority responsible for enforcing the law; Social justice should be guaranteed; punishment should fit the crime, among others) in the Hammurabi Code (King Hammurabi, from the Amorite Dynasty), which is proudly displayed by the occidental culture at the Musee de Louvre, in Paris.

Just to mention: the (in)famous “An eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth."), slogan repited to boredom by president Bush in his “Retaliation Songs” after the terrible 9/11 attacks comes from....the Hammurabi code

You cand find proof of all these at some of the 1,000 archeological sites (including the remains of the Babylon Hanging Gardens) or at one of the 65 most important museums in Iraq...

But... wait... these museums are empty now... it seems that, during the Shock and Awe camaping (that has certainly shocked and awed the whole world) designed by your president, the American army “missed” to protect the cultral centres while jelously guarding the Oil Ministry in Baghdad.

Just to give an example, the National Museum of Antiquities thoroughly sacked, used to be among the 10 most important museums in the world. It was to Mesopotamian art what the Louvre is to Western painting. It maintained a collection of international antiquities dating back some 5,000 years...

Not to talk about the fires at the National Library and the Ministry of Religious Affairs that destroyed more than 100,000 libris incuanabili, a legacy not only for the Iraqi people but for the whole human race.

All this happend while American patrols impassively watch as looters carted away vases, jewelry, pots, and other goods and .S. Army commanders simply rejecteded the plea from desperate officials of the Iraq Museum for aid. (Naturally, the USA called these lootings as opportunistic, described by a sensitive Donald Rumsfeld as the natural exuberance of a country working off the nervous energy occasioned by regime change).

Of course, one can not avoid to think about the version shared by thousands of archaeologists, cientifics, art curators and intellectuals all over the world that says that the the looting of Iraq’s National Museum in Baghdad was not accidental, but the result of a long planned project organized by the American goverment to plunder the artistic and historical treasures that are held in the museums of Iraq... Any similarity with this whole Iraq war issue is merely coincidential... (

Yes, Iraq was the craddle of civilization. Its splendid archaeological sites made it huge world heritage zone and the magnificent contents of its museums, a unique storehouse of art and archaeology. But Americans seem to think that being able to produce 8,000 smart bombs and to drop them with impunity over people and history is far more cultured and civilized than the preservation of life, nature and legacy.

Well, I guess American can be proud of having a First Amendment that allows them to create idiotic sites that deal with dumpy rtesturants in North Carolina and junk food... It is a pitty that that same Amendment did nothing for the millions of Iraqi people who shouted in the loudest voice that they didnt want an American invassion that severed the lives of thousands and the historical roots of our civilization (not to talk about an Amendment that never worked for people in Vietnam, Panama, Nicaragua, Somalia and so on, and on)....

But, what can we do about it?... This is a world ruled by idiocity... and, of course. Liberty Fries!

FROM: valeria
DATE: Tuesday April 29, 2003 -- 9:19:42 pm

If the the Oprah thing was a low blow, how would you call the
"Enjoy the Progeria pictures" then???

(and, it is not low for me, but to the many children who suffer from that horrible illness... yes, you Americans have a very particular way of seeing "right and wrong")

FROM: Marcus Mackey
DATE: Tuesday April 29, 2003 -- 9:43:35 pm
Well it's still sort of on topic, but... I do have the perfect comeback to all of those that blast the French, even if I've had my share of pomphous French people (even as I've known many of that are no better). If they had paid attention in American History, they'd realize that if not for the French... we'd still be a part of England. After all... as a gift, the French gave us the "Statue of Liberty" as a statement to their assistance in allowing us to be our own country, under our own rule. Apparently they hate the English as much as the English hate the French. ;)

Oh and for the b.s. about the Geneva Convention? Rules are made to be broken. Just ask the Minutemen (our ancestors) during the Revolutionary War against England where we used "GUERILLA WARFARE" so effectively to beat an imminently stronger foe. If there was a U.N. and a Geneva Convention back then... we'd be war criminals and be returned to being a part of England for not obeying the rules. Oh, and to our chagrin... by opening Pandora's box... the Viet Cong used guerilla warfare against a decisively stronger foe in beating us in WWII. Terrorism? Wasn't that us dropping the A-Bomb on the
in Nagasaki and Hiroshima? We are definitely not without skeletons in our closet historically... nor are any Christian people. The Inquisition and Crusades speak "LEGIONS" to that.

So no, no matter how french fries got their name (and last I heard, french fries are a creation of Belgium, not France... close, but no cigar), I will still call them as "french fries" because... it's pointless to hate on anyone, of any color, of any nationality, of any creed... for their opinion. Isn't that what the United States of America was about? Freedom of Speech? Freedom of Religion? Freedoms to do as you wish without stepping on "ANYONE'S" toes and violating their moral wishes?

For every Liberal-zealot out there that wants to take away the right to bear arms, the right to be able to purchase violent video games, etc. etc. etc. There's a "so-called" Conservative Blind Patriot ignoramus out there bashing the French because they disagree with us, bashing North Korea because they seek to protect themselves with similar might that we, as American's, are entitled to... but ::gasping:: noone else is?

America, the land of hypocrisy... hell, we blast Iraq for "chemical weapons" yet... as reported in the News on numerous occasions. That strain of Anthrax that was "FLOATING" around all over America, that ended up on former Senate Majority leader Tom Daschle (D) mailbox on 2 occasions? Oh... that was an "AMERICAN" strain used for "TESTING".

::noting hypocrisy::

Do as I say... not as I do. ;)

I'm American, I love my country, love my fellow man, woman, and child. I had a relative serving in the armed forces by her "OWN CHOICE". I've had countless relatives, including my own father, my Uncle Rich that is an ex-POW from the Korean War (another stupid showcase of our inane diplomacy), my grandfather, and countless other relatives...

That doesn't mean she or anyone else has to agree with the stupid moron at the helm and "Seig Heil" like a jackass. Supporting your troops does * NOT * = Supporting your president. The faster you learn the distinction... the quicker we can avoid stupid crap like what "Born on the Fourth of July" depicts from reality, much as we can stop America from becoming the next Germany, and Seig Heiling behind a man that promises you things that are unattainable.

War on terrorism. LMAO Rubbish.

War against drugs... LMAO Rubbish.

War against alcohol. Oh yeah, that was Prohibition... it "FAILED" too.

::pay attention, you'll learn from your past mistakes::

::whacking forehead of Bush::

So pull your flag out of your ass and open your eyes for a second.

Why did France not agree?


U.N. = democratic system, just like our government. It's done that way for a "REASON".

Bush's policy?

"Fuck the U.N., I'm doing what I want to do, even if I can't prove any of the radical accusations. I want to go in."

Of course we can prove it now... perhaps. Then again, I could just as easily prove the sky is blue after I blow you away, because who is going to prove me wrong?

The winner's of wars write history... not the losers. Remember that. Oh and eventually the truths come out over time... around the time that noone really gives a shit about it anymore. ;)

So, pardon my francais... but as a "TRUE" American that understands and believes in the Constitution and Bill of Rights, it is the "Blind Patriot Zealots" both of militant and overly dictating types (liberal and Republicans, as I won't say "conservatives" because true conservatives, like Harry Browne, and the Libertarians, aren't militant dumbasses) that are perhaps even more fucked in the head than those that want to put "warnings" on violent games. Even with said warnings, the parent can circumvent them. Taking someone's freedom of speech away because they won't wave their little flag like everyone else everytime we attempt to blow up another country for capitalist concerns... isn't Un-American. It's "TOTALLY" American.

Pull your head out of the sand before you get more humps than a camel and end up living under a militant dictator not unlike that of Adolf Hitler.

If you kill enough people, soldier or not, the #'s add up. There's nothing "HUMANE" about war, and there never will be. Sometimes it's necessary (to stop inane dumbasses who can't figure out why terrorists keep attacking them, and Sept. 11th wasn't the first call... it goes back to Reagan and beyond for those who've paid attention)... but more often than not, it's someone flexing their muscle out of penis envy.

All that said...

It's french fries. End of story. :) Best served with cheese on top. ;)

FROM: dave
DATE: Tuesday April 29, 2003 -- 10:13:03 pm
All right, I've lurked on this one long enough. ..

America is not the monolith of idiocy you would like to think it is. Every country goes through its political mood swings, including yours...I gather you're Dutch, so I bet you aren't too fond your your current government.

I personally believe that the Freedom Fries issue is just another expression of that insatiable American desire to get on TV...which in this case the right-wing elements of the American media were only too happy to oblige. The majority of us just muttered to ourselves "what a moron," and got on with our lives. It is one of the less useful applications of our First Amendment, but it is still a valid use.

At least half of America does not take this seriously. We know a publicity ploy when we see it. We know about the "cradle of civilization," and are outraged by the destruction of cultural artifacts in Iraq. We read more than Oprah selections and Danielle Steele. We are slowly waking up to the fact that our mainstream media are not impartial, and slowly tilting rightward.

For someone so well-traveled, you have much to learn about Americans.

FROM: Ryan
DATE: Tuesday April 29, 2003 -- 10:25:15 pm
To confuse this battle a bit further:

If the the Oprah thing was a low blow, how would you call the
"Enjoy the Progeria pictures" then???

My comment about Oprah was a joke. An attempt at levity.

(and, it is not low for me, but to the many children who suffer from that horrible illness... yes, you Americans have a very particular way of seeing "right and wrong")

FROM: Dave Walls
DATE: Tuesday April 29, 2003 -- 10:37:08 pm
It's a shame that with all your education, you can't tell the difference between a joke and a serious comment.

Again, the "Enjoy the Progeria Pictures" comment was a JOKE. A JOKE that was related to people's actions asking for pictures in a previous Ping, like Ryan already clarified. I would NEVER make fun of such a horrible disease. Jesus Christ, for someone who (supposedly) has 2 MDs and going through a third, the least you could do is pull your head out of your ass and learn the difference between a serious statement and a joke.

And again, this Ping is about F***ing FRENCH FRIES. I could really care less about what the Sumerians did in this conversation, unless they invented Ranch Dressing for dipping the fries in.

God damn, I havent been this mad in quite a while, and it's a Ping about French Fries. Too bad we can't install Dumb Ass Mode on certain users.

FROM: Dave Walls
DATE: Tuesday April 29, 2003 -- 10:43:00 pm
And, for the record, how DARE you insult Ryan and the work that he's done in bringing awareness to Progeria? God damn, I've never even met the guy, but he's brought to my attention a very serious disease that needs more research to prevent more innocent children from suffering.
He maintains the fantastic website that he linked to above, and I hope that a cure is found as quickly as possible. Hopefully, thanks to the increased attention and care put into it by Ryan, one will.

What the hell have YOU done? I thought so.

FROM: valeria
DATE: Wednesday April 30, 2003 -- 12:06:21 am
Funny... the only people that can make me develop deep emotions (hardly ever ever anger, though) is the one that is able to challene me... So far, I am emotionless (why would I make you furious?)...

And, it seems that the one who has totally missed the point is you... My complian about this site is, precisely that it is about FRENCH FRIES...

I would suggest you to read the posts at your site a bit more carefully... I do not have 2 PhDs, but going for a second... And I have never insulted Ryan... whomever he is and whatever he does (I have no idea about his activities)... If, as you have mentioned, Ryan does a fantastic job bringing awarness to progenia, he certainly has all my respect... I work with terminally ill children (in the USA, as much as in Iraq... that is what I have been done... let alone that I have fundraised millions of Euros for projects to improve the quality of life of termially ill children and disabled people... and, yes, founding a succesful NGO as well), knwo about the condition and believe that more people should promote knowledge about these issues...

I suppouse that you could use your time like Ryan's... Progenia seems to be more important than french fries...

Yes, I am half Dutch and have Dutch nationality... and I am not at all happy with my goverment.

And... i can go on and on on a debate without insulting people... Iso, I guess all my studies and travelling have given me at least an advantage.

FROM: valeria
DATE: Wednesday April 30, 2003 -- 12:29:18 am
By the way, I can really understand that you are not at all interested on Sumerian history. But, at least you shold know a little about the French Fries that have promoted this "academic" debate ... Yes, your French Fries are not french at all... They were invented in Flanders (north of Belgium, south of Holland) and they are called Vlaamse Fritjes (flemish fries)... Potatoes were consumed all over Europe from the XVI century, after its arrival from the New World... except if France, which considered a food for the pigs untill the XIII century... Potatoes became popular in France after the french speaking Belgians (from the south of France) introduced Vlaamse Fritjes to the court of Paris... The best fried potatoes in the world can be found in a small street stand outside the ONZE LIEVE VROUWEKERK (Our Lady church), wich has been managed by 7 generations of the same family... May be americans could start calling fried potatoes by their accurately historical name... or, at least until Belgium fails to follow the whims of the American goverment.

FROM: valeria
DATE: Wednesday April 30, 2003 -- 12:31:14 am
In case you wonder which is my other nationality... Yes, I am (not that proudly) French.

FROM: Paul
DATE: Wednesday April 30, 2003 -- 7:56:16 am
valeria: My complian [sic] about this site is, precisely that it is about FRENCH FRIES...

You know what? I don't care.

The Daily Ping is not a site about french fries. Anyone with a basic knowledge of the Internet could figure that out. This particular Ping is indeed about french fries. I wrote it.

But goodness, take a moment and consider how incredibly foolhardy you sound right now. This is a Ping about french fries, and you're making it into an enormous debate about American involvement in world events, all because you learned how to do a Google search for "freedom fries".

I find it slightly amusing and confusing that you're attacking Dave, even though he didn't write the Ping and is simply a visitor like you. Comments such as:

I suppouse [sic] that you could use your time like Ryan's... Progenia [sic] seems to be more important than french fries...

are personally insulting. You have no idea what I do in my personal life, and you also have no right to demand it from me.

You obviously don't understand what the Ping is, all because of some unresolved issues from your childhood. Don't take it out on us or our guests. (Although, I will admit, you amuse me. A lot.)

FROM: Dave Walls
DATE: Wednesday April 30, 2003 -- 12:35:24 pm
You know what, I could yell some more, and feel pretty good about it, too, but I'm gladly withdrawing in this debate.

Why? Because it's pointless. Not only have you insulted me, you insulted all Americans with the label that all Americans are uneducated, unrefined boobs. You say you didn't? Whatever. You say that we (or just me) should use our time better to help those that are underpriviledged? A lot of us do. Ryan does a terrific job with Progeria awareness. I volunteer my time MDA, raising awareness for Muscular Dystrophy. At this very moment, I'm on a break from helping MDA raise 10,000 for research, in conjunction with a local radio station. In addition, I volunteer in helping to feed the underpriviledged in the inner cities.. That's just one unrefined American boob talking, anyways. I don't talk about what I do a lot, because I don't feel the need to brag about my degrees, knowledge, or what good I do. I prefer just to do them for the benefit of others.

Let's call a truce here. You and I will never really share the same opinions on our country, but if what you say is true, that you do help children across the world, then we are really on the same page in some ways.

FROM: Dave Walls
DATE: Thursday May 1, 2003 -- 5:32:05 pm
Just as I thought.

FROM: Paul
DATE: Thursday May 1, 2003 -- 5:58:06 pm
Tell 'em the truth, Dave.

FROM: valeria
DATE: Saturday May 3, 2003 -- 1:39:49 pm
I agree with you Dave, this debate is pointless. But, before withdrawing, I must apologize for having insulted you or your countrymen.

It took me a couple of days to reply because I spent quite a while thinking why I had behaved like that. Most of the times, I am an agreeable person and I can say that I am understanding and empathic. And, in mw writings to this site, I have been all but than and started emulating the intolerance, vanity and prejudice that I so much criticize. I have a happy marriage with a man from a nation, race and religion different to mine and; I have said that I consider myself blessed for having had the chance to visit several countries and for loving and being loved by people from very diverse races, backgrounds and ideas. I have learnt to love diversity and to try to be open and understanding. And, until now, I had never had prejudices against any nation in the world. I had never felt like that before. And it is a new, strange and totally unpleasant feeling to do so.

Yes, by generalizing with my insults, I have insulted Americans who absolutely didn’t deserve (perhaps you among them) and I am very sorry about that. I have some very, very dear American friends and I know that there are lots of Americans who are empathic, generous, intelligent and kind who does not deserve to be insulted. I know that, all I can do is to apologize for that and to try to explain why have I felt sadly compelled to do so:

I do not often talk about my job or my professional activities to people I don’t know. If I did it is because you wrote about a Ryan who does a praiseworthy labor for children with Progenia and then you added:

“What the hell have YOU done? I thought so”

Well, again, you have made a comment about something that you absolutely ignore and that was also ment to be insulting. And, it really touched a very sensitive point. Based on your own experience working with people with DM, you must know and understand that, many times it can be a frustrating labor. I work every day (and do not take me wrong, I absolutely love my profession and my job) with children and adults who have been physically and emotionally mutilated by war, poverty, hunger and ignorance. I have traveled to countries which nature is astonishingly beautiful and it is difficult to understand how is it possible that so much pain and sorrow grow together with beauty. It is unfair that people can not enjoy the beauty and peace every human being is entitled to. Some times it can be very, very hard to know that, no matter what you do, it is never enough and that, for a positive thing you do, other people do a hundred terrible things that keep mining the health of our planet and of its living creatures. Yes, I wish I could do more, much more… and I can not.

So, yes, I have reacted to your comment, because it affected me in a very personal way. And that is why I have made that other comment (as ignorant and insulting as yours) which was addressed to you (not to your countryman). So, I have made a mistake. You do what you can and what you think is right. As, fortunately, many people in this world still do. And, I must stressed that, if there is something I admire of the American people is their sense of unity and solidarity. There are thousands of American organizations (NGOs, of course… I am afraid that your government could not be included) that try to make ours a better world. So, my respect goes to them and, again, my apologies, if I insulted them when generalizing.

At the end I guess that my reaction, the recent prejudice I have developed for a country and all the anger and frustration I have shown through my posts, it is only a reflection of the anger of millions of people around the world to the American government. I despise your government (not your nation) and its latest actions. I am angry to live in a world ruled by intolerance and illegality. I am angry to see an illegal and immoral war. To see a government that ignores the international right, that fakes proves and decide that five thousand dead Iraqis are called “casualties” when five thousand (absolutely innocent) Americans (dead during the hideous 9/11 attacks) are martyrs. I am angry to see a country that believes that murdering children and imposing believes s patriotic and that prefers to swallow the lies of their government to keep living their American dream. I am angry that that American dream is being paid with the blood of others. I am angry that my life, the one of the people I love and of millions of people all over the world is in the hands of a single and absolutely insane man. I am angry that your president said that Shussein was a treat to the world when the real treat is him. I am angry that now there is a Cuba in the invasion and dominion plans of your country. I am angry that our planet get irremediably polluted and wounded because your president decided to make a war away from “home”. I am angry because your president has made our world a much sadder, dangerous and pathetic world to live. I am angry for the innocent lives waist in USA, Afghanistan and Iraq (as the most recent ones). I am angry because I do not want to bring children to this world and because now there are many more children without parents, or families, arms or dreams. I am angry to see that one single person has the power to add so much pain and anger to this already wounded world. I am angry because is unfair that a country embarks in wars that can be watched in TV from home but are so painfully felt somewhere else… I am angry for so many things… The world is and sad… and that is what the Americans are not able to see… And, if you see, you just do not care.

I do not like to harbor anger and I am not happy with myself at this moment… I am not happy that m anger makes me rude, unfair and intolerant. I feel ashamed for that but, at the moment, I can not feel different… All I ca n do is to analyze my own feelings and try to keep the hope… Perhaps some day all this madness will go… perhaps the world will some day put so much money and energy in trying to sooth the pain of others…

Perhaps there will come a time when daily pings discuss ways to promote awareness of MD instead of those stupid French, Flemish or greasy fries.

Once more, I apologize for having being stupid and intolerant and I celebrate the fact that, in this chaotic world there are still people who, despite their so different ideas, can met sometimes in the same page.


FROM: Paul
DATE: Monday May 5, 2003 -- 10:18:31 am
ugh. but... but...

Perhaps there will come a time when daily pings discuss ways to promote awareness of MD instead of those stupid French, Flemish or greasy fries.

The Daily Ping is not your website. It's ours, and some days we write about Oreos, and some days we write about Progeria. Not every Ping has to be this monumental critique of the American justice system, or our way of life, or anything of the sort.

The Ping is The Matrix.

And freedom fries are stupid.

FROM: Marcus \"Neo\" Mackey
DATE: Monday May 5, 2003 -- 3:09:51 pm
"The Ping is The Matrix."

Like whooooa... which pill do I take again.... dude?


FROM: angel
DATE: Thursday October 30, 2003 -- 6:21:43 pm
me gusta esta kelly !!!!

DATE: Monday December 20, 2004 -- 10:16:03 pm
Did you really have saurkraut on the stove at the time or was it a joke? That has bothered me for sometime, actullay it hasnt i just read this, that was a joke. I always get a good feeling for paul and ryan when i see a seemingly pointless and stupid ping with a vast amount of comments and responses, you have really accomplished something, i always thought that no one cared that much about the french anyway.

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