Corks, Kegs and Commentary

Events, news and musings from the crew at Hayden Beverage Company. Information on beer, wine and events in the state of Idaho

And for this We Give Thanks

Dodds Hayden - Sunday, November 25, 2012

As my family went around the Thanksgiving table naming things for which we were thankful, my mind was occupied by the place we live.

Capitalism - A couple years ago I read a book called Nothing to Envy (one of my favorite non-fiction). It describes N Korea and what life is really like in the communist country under the rule of "The Great Leader". Emigrants told their stories of N Korean life and its lack of economic efficiency, inability to trade with other countries, its propaganda, and its corruption. All of this led to starvation, cruelty, paranoia, and a society of neighbors who could not trust each other.

Democracy – Daily the news shows us world leaders who attain power by fear and violence and the maintain their power through the same.  It makes me (almost) forget about how ridiculous our national elections can be and makes me grateful for our ability to elect and reject our leaders. Similarly, I had the pleasure this election cycle to meet with several of our state lawmakers, and I was inspired by the enthusiasm, altruism, and ideals. Some smart dudes built us an amazing form of government.

Industrialism - It is virtually impossible for us to imagine life in a third world country. We eat our Thanksgiving meal cooked in an oven run by gas or electricity provided by our energy infrastructure.  The ingredients are guaranteed safe and purchased blocks away at a supermarket unfamiliar with scarcity. Now try to imagine doing the same thing if you had to grow, pick, and clean the vegetables, if you had to carry your water from a river or well of questionable sanitation a mile away, and if there was not turkey, or meat, or money to buy it even if you could find some. I visited the slums of Mumbai that spread for miles and miles with no electricity or running water or paved roads or sanitation. I suppose it is virtually impossible for them to imagine a typical American Thanksgiving dinner.

Natural Resources - My favorite aspect of living in Idaho is the beauty of our setting - be it mountains of incalculable mass white with snow, rolling fields of the Palouse, rivers and streams meandering through valleys, pulse-slowing mountain lakes, or dunes of the desert. I have experienced filthy urban sprawl, and I have spent a few weeks in the desolate, lifeless deserts of the Persian Gulf. From there, Idaho seems a dream.

How does all this relate to beer and wine? Hell I don't know.  I suppose our natural resources give us the grapes, barley, and hops. Our capitalism provides the competitive markets that give us access and variety.  Our democracy (as opposed to a Theocracy) gives us the freedom to consume it. So raise a glass with the family and friends you are blessed to have, and be thankful for the fact you live in a great state in a great country. I certainly am.

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