Thursday, May 15, 2014

Right-wing news gobbling up Sriracha CEO's comment that air-pollution regulation "almost the same" as communist Vietnam

Turns out, a regulation requiring you to put in an air filtration system so that your (very successful) business doesn't flare up allergies and stink your neighbors out for months at a time is the equivalent of a cold-blooded communist regime. At least, according to Sriracha CEO David Tran.

Now, an effective filtration system might sound like a good idea, when one considers the impact its absence has on people's lives:
"It's like having a plate of chili peppers shoved right in your face," said Ruby Sanchez, who lives almost directly across the street from the shiny, new $40 million plant where some 100 million pounds of peppers a year are processed into Sriracha (pronounced "sree-YAH-chah) and two other popular Asian food sauces.
As many as 40 trucks a day pull up to unload red hot chili peppers by the millions. Each plump, vine-ripened jalapeno pepper from central California then goes inside on a conveyor belt where it is washed, mixed with garlic and a few other ingredients and roasted. The pungent smell of peppers and garlic fumes is sent through a carbon-based filtration system that dissipates them before they leave the building, but not nearly enough say residents.
"Whenever the wind blows that chili and garlic and whatever else is in it, it's very, very, very strong," Sanchez said. "It makes you cough."
Down the street, her neighbor Rafael Gomez said it not only makes him and his kids cough and sneeze, but gives them headaches, burns their throats and makes their eyes water.
If the kids and their dog are playing in the backyard, he brings them inside. If the windows are open, he closes them.
"I smelled it a half a mile away the other day when I was picking my kids up at school," he said.
It might seem that way, but, of course, only if you're a godless communist. According to Tran, who "says he escaped from Vietnam almost 35 years ago to be free of the communist government there and its many intrusions":
"Today, I feel almost the same. Even now, we live in [the] USA, and my feeling, the government, not a big difference," Tran says.
Apparently, Vietnamese communism was deeply concerned with the right to breathe of asthmatics. Or maybe Tran is just an asshole who thinks his 80 million dollar business shouldn't be bothered with trifles like people's health.

Naturally, the right wing agrees. With him. Daily Caller ran an article highlighting his comments. So did Fox News. And TeaPartyNewsNetwork. Rather than pick up on the extraordinary hyperbole -- comparing the brutality of the Vietnamese communists with a measure that prevents you from poisoning your neighbors' air --  they treat the commentary as if it is reasonable and deserving of genuine consideration. The commentary from readers is surreal. "Socialist cesspool", "the only good commie is a dead commie", "Tyranny", etc.: it's all there. But the best commentary came from RightWingNews, which went so far as to turn their take on his comments into a fawning commercial, and a glorious stand for freedom against pro-breathing tyrants, all at the same time:
If you haven’t tried it yet… try this stuff. You will replace ALL of your hotsauce with sriracha and remember with every knockout bite that you are tasting freedom and that even in California it still prevails.
So there you have it, faux-patriots: go, buy in droves, because, you know, people wanting to be able to breathe the air near their home is totally like a repressive communist regime. Go on, hot sauce patriots. Defend your

(to breathe polluted air for someone else's enrichment).

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