I could almost see the collective shudder when the WSJ ran its story on rats as the other white meat in Vietnam these days. But the video-documented revelation that a California slaughterhouse has been torturing downer animals to get them up and moving past federal inspectors and into school lunches in this country somehow just warranted another cheap what-are-you-gonna-do? shrug. The same “America, fuck, yeah!” attitude also permeated the NYTimes story on feeding athletes at the Beijing Olympics. If a patriotically obese chef were not brought in to oversee the cooking, the poor fragile flowers might have to eat icky stuff. Maybe even chicken bloated on steroids, something they surely could not get at home in the land of the hyper-conscientious, overly endowed FDA (you know, in the country where workers are, for some reason, getting sick blowing brains out of hogs’ heads?) Ironically, Fred Ferretti got his 15 seconds to have what was clearly a long-simmering say on the same day that bizarre piece ran. Mistaking chop suey for anything in one of the world’s top three cuisines is the least of the sins he could have cited. And why do I assume ground-up cows and pigs will always be on the menu for the champions of the world?