A coalition of food, farming and health groups has delivered a letter to President Obama asking him to stand by his pledge and support a law to require GMO labeling on foods.  I’m not sure why this is such a big deal.  Other countries have GMO labeling on food products and their food industries haven’t collapsed.

Actually, I do know why this is such a big deal.  In the world of sanity, this would be a simple requirement.  But in the world of right-wing paranoia, this is only the first step to the government taking over food production, and it brings us closer to that tragic day when you will walk into your local McDonald’s and the only thing on the menu (by order of Michelle Obama) will be an organic kale salad with low-fat vinaigrette dressing.  The day liberty dies.  I’m sure our highly profitable fast food companies are shaking in their boots.

And this is why we can’t have a normal conversation about anything anymore.

It’s possible I’ve said it before, but it needs to be said again:  in these difficult times, I often find myself taking my amazing hometown for granted.  I whine about my life, I wonder if it would be more spectacular if I lived in Brooklyn, and then I read a news article about how our bike lanes or our microbrews or our seasonal organic food is the envy of other cities around the world.

So here’s to you again, Portland.  I love your costumed erotic balls and your steampunk-themed croquet matches and your confusing art festivals.  I love your fantasies about a city filled with bicycles and streetcars, its shiny buildings run by sun and wind alone.  They may never happen, but damn it, I dream about the same shit, so I’m a good fit for you.  I love that if the country turns Republican, we Portlanders will continue to be that tiny band of brave progressive resistance–and that we are so progressive right now, Obama seems like a Republican to us.  I’m willing to forgive you for some of the things which annoy me, like hipster moustaches and guys playing banjos.  The unemployment may be high and we may be low on the list of business-friendly states, but that’s not a bad thing.  We know there’s more to life than money.  And yeah, I love the beer.  More than that, after hearing what was on the menu during the caucus at the Iowa State Fair, I’m thankful for the food, too.  No midwestern style cuisine here, please.

So I promise never to take you for granted again.  You may not be as big or famous or exciting as other cities…but you’re perfect for me, you hopeless little dreamer, you.