- The Washington Times - Monday, March 26, 2012

An interesting alliance, perhaps: The Elvis Presley Holy Land Tour has been organized by Elvis Presley Enterprises and Israel Theme Tours, set to take 100 fans to Israel next year “to explore the Gospel side of Elvis Presley.” Organizers say the travelers will follow in the footsteps of Jesus, sail the Sea of Galilee, visit Jerusalem, float in the Dead Sea, ride a camel, roam Tel Aviv and be baptized in the Jordan River, with certificate and baptismal gown included. Gospel performers and musicians who once worked with the iconic singer will accompany the $4,000 excursion; tickets go on sale Wednesday.


There hasn’t been such a hubbub over cheese since the French were called “cheese-eating surrender monkeys” in the popular conservative press as war loomed in Iraq. These days, cheese is weaponry: The European Commission intends to restrict the use of generic terms like cheddar, parmesan, feta, provolone and even “classic” and “fine” by including naming restrictions within free-trade agreements with Western Hemisphere and Asian countries. The cheese makers are fighting back, though.

The Consortium for Common Food Names, launched on Monday and based in Virginia, hopes to stop European efforts to monopolize names now in the public domain. They’re OK with specific things like “Parmigiano Reggiano,” “Camembert de Normandie” or “Washington State apples.” But restricting ricotta?

“No one country or entity should own common food names,” says Jaime Castaneda, executive director of the new initiative, and trade policy expert at the U.S. Dairy Export Council - who warns that if restrictions are imposed, consumers won’t even recognize their favorites foods while producers must foot a massive relabeling bill.

“At least as much feta and parmesan cheese are made outside Europe as within it. This is not just a question of dollars and cents, but of fairness and choice,” says the group’s chairman Errico Auricchio, also president of BelGioioso Cheese in Green Bay, Wis.


“What are they? Women, or are they men with breasts?”

And so said Pennsylvania state Rep. Babette Josephs, a Democrat from Philadelphia, in describing Rep. Kathy Rapp and other female Republican lawmakers who co-sponsored a state bill that would require women to undergo an ultrasound 24 hours before an abortion.

GOP women are acting like women only in the sense “that they will do what the men tell them,” Mrs. Josephs told a crowd assembled for a Lancaster County Democratic Committee rally at the state capital on Monday.

Organizers supported the lawmaker. “If this gets people thinking, that’s the point of a rally like this,” committee chairwoman Sally Lyall told the Patriot News, a local newspaper in Mechanicsburg.


“Bring back pre-existing conditions: VOTE REPUBLICAN.”

(Bumper sticker spotted in Warren, Ohio).


Story Continues →