Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Cuisine of Granada

Looks good.


With good gumbo, ingredients that go well together are cooked together, not to the point that the ingredients become indistinct like tomato soup, but so you still have chunks of the chicken, sausage, shrimp, okra, whatever, but it all works together.  Not all physical objects are equally promising gumbo ingredients, and once the workable ingredients are in the gumbo, it cooks together for a while to produce one whole.

The other day Pastorius and I were walking in an olive grove overlooking the Agora.  I don't recall how this discussion started, but here are the main points I advanced.

Pastorius asserted that America is a nation based in a set of ideas.  As such, if I am representing his views correctly, it follows that any human being who is capable of assimilating mentally and spiritually to those ideas could potentially become an American -- i.e., it has nothing to do with race, and everything to do with culture and ideology.  Not all cultures are equally promising in their ability to produce people who are likely candidates for becoming American.  Britain or Italy probably produce people who are very good candidates, while Islamic countries in particular are not so promising.  The reason is Islam, an ideology which is antithetical to the American ideals.

I agree with the point about Islam.  There are notable exceptions such as Ayaan Hirsi Ali or Salman Rushdie -- I'm fairly certain Rushdie has not become American, and I don't know if Ali has, but this is just by way of example of the type of thinking people who share American values, and thus are potential Americans.  Notably, these two reject Islam.  I will allow that it's possible that a Muslim could take a scalpel to the Koran, TJ style, and chop out vast swaths of it, including some of its central tenets, and as a result believe in a religion that was not antithetical to the American ideals of freedom of conscience, industry, innovation, tolerance, etc.  Would his new religion still be "Islam"?  He could call it such, but it would be very different from Islam as set out in the Koran, and as practiced currently and throughout history.

Beyond that, I disagree with Pasto that race and ethnicity has nothing to do with being American.  This is a position I've come to only lately, within the last 4 or 5 years certainly.  Before 1965, pretty much only Europeans got in, and once they got here, the idea was that they severed the link to the old country, which was separated by a long ocean journey, and assimilated culturally, intellectually, and linguistically.  Today everything about that process is regarded with horror.

There have been two important steps in the evolution from the "melting pot" idea to todays multiculturalism.  At around 1965 we decided (against all evidence from history) that anyone whatsoever with human DNA can and will assimilate to the American way of life, and tossed out racial/national origin criteria for immigration.  This was an error, in my opinion, but I don't believe Pastorius shares this view.

The next big step happened in the 80s or 90s, when the idea of assimilation itself was rejected in favor of "multiculturalism."  Since then, we have became a land that's home to numerous separate groups that don't encounter one another or share basic values, much less the values of the founding generation, which were passed down until the 60s but are now almost entirely disregarded, even among children of legacy Americans.  This was another error, and I think Pastorius agrees with me that rejection of the assimilation ideal in favor of multiculturalism was an error.  Indeed, it's based on zero evidence, pure faith and happy face kumbaya garbage (and I suspect its proponents aren't stupid enough to actually believe in it, and in fact simply want to bring about the downfall of the US, while spouting hippy trippy BS for the consumption of the kiddies and marginalization of their political opponents). 

But, the first step, rejection of the blood principle, was also a hell of an experiment.  I would submit that, up until conservatives in the US have been forced, by the advent of multiculturalism in the 80s and 90s, to defend the idea of assimilation to an American ideal, nobody has ever found it necessary to take the position that membership in a nation is in fact based on an idea rather than on national/racial/ethnic identity.  Conservatives take that novel position now because the alternative sounds like racism, which is now the big sin that gets you excused from the table.  That's a new position, not one that the founders would have had the need to adopt, because they still held to the more fundamental blood principle before even getting to what our national ideals were to be.  Both steps in this process violate the rule that you don't tear down a fence before you understand why it was there in the first place.  Today, an intelligent discussion about why only Europeans were admitted as immigrants during America's rise to greatness is impossible.

Throughout human history, people have organized themselves into racial/national/ethnic groups: the "blood principle".  One such group, the Americans of the 13 colonies, formed a government.  In doing so, they crafted a Constitution based in certain ideals.  This was a descriptive act, almost like how the Koran describes the ideals prevalent in the Arabian peninsula of the 7th century.  To most colonists, that is, the Constitutional ideals were not foreign.  To be sure, the Constitutional ideals would be normative, and should be understood to have informed Americans of what their ideals should be.  But, most fundamentally, the Constitution was normative of how the government of the new country would function.  In none of these ways did the founding fathers reject the blood principle in the first instance.  The blood principle was a prerequisite to there being a society there in the first place.  Once it was there, its members came together and set up a government.  The founding fathers would not only be horrified at the current idea of "multiculturalism," but they would have rejected as folly the 1965 idea that all human beings on the planet are equally promising candidates to assimilate into our nation.

This is not to say any particular races should be barred.  To be sure, if a family from Thailand moved to America in 1925, the country would not fall apart.  And, as long as they were willing to assimilate and were welcomed and encouraged in this, the family would likely assimilate perfectly well.  But, the melting pot model becomes unworkable once you have a critical mass of people who will not or cannot assimilate. Mexicans can assimilate, and did so successfully up until the last few decades.  Now, we see large areas within cities, whole cities themselves, and whole areas within states that are full of Mexicans who will not assimilate, who send money back to Mexico and don't learn English or have any need to do so.  With this situation there comes separatist movements like Azatlan and La Raza.  The same is true with American blacks, even though they've been here from the get go.  If you have one black kid in class, like Franklin from Peanuts, he will assimilate quite well, likely do well in school and not be antisocial.  If half the class is black, you will start to see self-segregation, and division of people on cultural/racial lines.  This is not caused by racism, it's caused by a fundamental comfort level people have with their own kind.  America should aspire to be of one "kind."  If you have a huge melting pot full of gumbo, you can throw in stuff that's already there -- chili powder, shrimp, celery, whatever -- and it will still be gumbo.  You could throw in something that's not in it yet, like a pork chop, and the pork chop would eventually boil down and you would still have gumbo.  You could even throw in a teaspoon of gasoline, and it would still be gumbo, probably perfectly edible still.  But if you dump 30 gallons of gasoline into the gumbo, it's not gumbo anymore, and has to be tossed out. 

Although no particular races should be barred from American citizenship (so long as it's not enough to upset whatever balance of ethnic background is desired, whether that means the previous balance is maintained, as was the case up until 1965 or, to correct the damage done since then, whether the new ideal should be to restore the balance as it existed at some ideal point in time, such as 1925); but, some ideologies should be banned outright.  Yes, I'm talking to you, Islam.  The best way to do this is to ban immigration from Muslim countries altogether, with exception for special circumstances, like if Rushdie or Ali wished to become citizens, or exceptions for Lebanese or Coptic Christians, for example.

Until fifteen minutes ago, the USA only let in Europeans.  Then we were told, without voting on it, that we must all believe that one of the fundamental organizing principles of all societies through history is now forbidden and evil and must not be discussed.  I submit that rejection of the blood principle led in a predictable way to multiculturalism.  To accept the former step in that progress while struggling against the latter is a fool's errand, because it ignores all historical evidence including the actual facts of this country's founding, seeking to introduce a founding principle that is actually only a recent invention of necessity. 

Fuck you, Islam!

Fuck you too, Ted Kennedy, I hope Robert Bork managed to pass through hell for just long enough to kick your flabby, treasonous, lying ass.


Thursday, May 30, 2013

Potted Hare

From Inn at the Crossroads food blog:

Elizabethan Potted Hare

A Hare Hashed.
Cut it out in quarters, chine it, and lay it in Clarret, mixed with three parts of water, and parboyl it, then slice the flesh in thin pieces, and lay it on your stew pan, let this be off the Body, but the legs wings, and head whole, almost cover it with some of the liquor it was boyled in, add some Butter, sliced Nutmeg, the juce of Lemon, and a little beaten Ginger, serve it upon sippets, Garnish it with Lemon, and sliced Onion.
-The Whole Duty of a Woman: Or a Guide to the Female Sex, 1696
Our changes: *NOTE* This dish is best prepared a day in advance. Potted meats are basically stewed meat and herb that are ground after stewing and packed into a terrine. So we’ve used the basic recipe for hashed hare and finished it as you would a potted recipe. Also, can we please just take a moment to appreciate the title of the original source? Hilarious.
  • 1 rabbit, cleaned
  • 1 part red wine
  • 3 parts water
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/2 lemon, juiced
  • stick butter, clarified
Cut the rabbit into manageable pieces and place into a large pot. Add one part red wine to three parts water until the meat is covered and simmer until flesh is falling off the bone (several hours).
Strain off liquid and pull all meat from the bone, discarding the bones (what broth is left can be made into a soup — waste not!). Grind down by hand or in a food processor, adding spices, and lemon juice. Pack loosely into a terrine, add a bit of the broth, then pour over with clarified butter to completely seal and coat. Cover with clingfilm and refrigerate for at least one day before eating.

Modern Potted Hare

  • 1 rabbit, cleaned
  • 1/3 lb. smoked slab bacon, cut into lardons
  • 1 pigs trotter, washed
  • 1 onion, peeled and quatered
  • 2 stalks celery, chopped
  • 2 carrots, peeled and chopped
  • 5 thyme sprigs, 1 Tablespoon thyme
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 glass white wine
  • 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • Salt and pepper
  • Olive oil
Preheat oven to 350F.
Cut rabbit into manageable pieces. Warm a glug of olive oil in a large sauce pan on medium-high heat, and brown rabbit pieces on all sides. Remove rabbit and brown the bacon. Put meat in a casserole dish with the trotter, veg, thyme, bay leaves, wine, and enough water to cover. Bring to a simmer and cover, transfer to the oven and cook for about two hours.
Place sieve over a saucepan, and strain off the liquid. Boil and reduce to a little over one cup. While boiling, pull rabbit meat off the bones and shred into a bowl. Finely chop the bacon, add it to the rabbit as well as the mustard and tablespoon of fresh thyme. Season with salt and pepper and and loosely pack into a terrine.
Pour over the reduced cooking liquid, cool, cover and refrigerate until solid.
Remove from fridge 20 minutes before serving.

And here, hare pie

Burn in hell, Rowan Williams!

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

You want to create this perception

The city of D.C. has taken $28 million off people by use of traffic cameras in one three-mile stretch of road.
“You want to create this perception that, at any time in any place, you can be apprehended for running a red light or speeding,” McCartt said.
Actually in this and other contexts, I don't want cultivation of a feeling like that to be the goal of government, and I don't want law enforcement power to be used as a revenue generator.

You will need 2 acres.

How many acres will you need in order to go off the grid?  About 2, according to the Huffington Post.

2 acres is about 44,000 feet, which in a perfect square would be about 210 feet long on each side, in my opinion.  Why am I rounding these numbers rather than being precise in my calculations?  Because math is not a precise science when it comes to acres and square feet and that.  What, not satisfied with my explanation?  Take it up with Obama's Czar for Square Footage Math Inaccuracy Explanations or whatever, and get off my back!  Does everything have to be right all the time? 

Illya Kuryaki: Ula Ula

Monday, May 13, 2013


Derbyshire on Anthony Weiner.  Weiner is a typical professional politician (not unlike Obama):
Weiner had never had any working life outside politics, a thing that always raises my suspicions of a candidate’s character. If you have no other way to support yourself than by chasing votes, who knows what you won’t say or do to stay in the arena? Weiner had never shoveled concrete for a living, or stocked warehouse shelves, or sold haberdashery over a counter, or taught a roomful of fidgeting kids, or proofed newspaper copy, or programmed computers. Having done all those things, and being inclined to self-righteous smugness about my breadwinning versatility, I looked down on the guy as a loser.

It turns out Weiner has brought in close to half a million dollars since Weinergate, for "consulting" "work".

Conservatives behave as though we have a country, America, which is full of citizens, Americans, who share a common heritage and values, and who care about the welfare and future of the country.  Conservatives see themselves, individually, as part of a stream: ancestors are downstream, and descendants are upstream.  This is true whether you're talking about an individual family or, a church, or one's city, or the country as a whole.  Conservatives act on the assumption that all other Americans share their understanding that the proper and natural attitude towards the world, therefore, should be, and is "how do I seek my own advantage in such a way that I, my family, and my country may succeed now and in the future, how do I make my way in this world without making the world a worse place?"

We are ruled by a permanent governing caste including people like Anthony Weiner, Obama, Hillary Clinton, Michael Bloomberg, John McCain, and the countless miniature versions of the same at local levels. 

The media and the government are one and the same.  Rush Limbaugh today detailed the incestuous relationship between Obama and the major MSM outlets:
CBS News president David Rhodes has a brother named Ben who is Obama's deputy national security adviser for strategic communication, especially concerning the Middle East. Ben Rhodes wrote Obama's infamous Cairo speech. His brother is the CBS News president. It speaks for itself. Now we know that Ben Rhodes was a key player in revising the Benghazi talking points last September. So does it make perfect sense that his brother would carry the agenda of his brother? His brother at CBS News? 
No brother wants to harm another brother. If your brother's writing Obama's speeches, if your brother is moderating, monitoring and altering the talking points, and you're at CBS News, what you are gonna do, you gonna expose the talking points as fraudulent? No way. Journalism has many more problems than getting it wrong. Because, as I say, honest mistakes can be corrected, like that, I mean, instantly, you can fix it instantly. That's not the problem.  
Try this. The president of ABC News's sister also works for Obama. Ben Sherwood, ABC News president, sister Elizabeth Sherwood Randall, special assistant to Barack Obama. She's also a specialist on the Middle East. CNN's deputy bureau chief, Virginia Moseley, is married to Hillary Clinton's former deputy Tom Nides. Tom Nides was Hillary's deputy secretary of state for management and resources. So it's no wonder that Benghazi, along with every other Obama scandal has been soft peddled by CBS, ABC, and CNN. And of course Obama's close relationship with NBC goes without saying.
The MSM and government are one big interrelated tyrannical entity, working remorselessly against our rights.

If you are favored by the rulers life can be made pretty sweet, and our rulers have shown a willingness and ability to make life miserable for those who oppose the whole corrupt, evil racket.

Look to Sarah Palin to see what happens when a real human being tries to get involved.  (To be sure, Republican handlers get their share of blame for not grasping that her appeal lay precisely in the fact that she was a real person, an advantage they promptly cancelled out by politicianizing her.  And she gets her own share of blame for not being saavy enough to see this was happening and put her foot down to stop it -- indeed, Palin was probably drunk on the same fame and power that Weiner and all the rest live for, so she willingly submitted to the extreme makeover).

What makes the monster tick?  For most, like Weiner, it's purely power.  Gone are the days where being a government employee means you earn a humble paycheck and live modestly, where your attitude is one of gratitude to your employer, the people of the country.  And that's just the millions-strong legion of government employee support staff and professional-level drones who shuffle into their Bureau of Whatever at 10 am, do meetings, have lunch, email memos, plan the holiday party, attend seminars, and shuffle home at 5 pm, and produce nothing.  This vast patronage army depends on Weiner and company, and keeps them in power.

Government dependents -- not just traditional welfare cases, but all those who draw government checks for their livelihood -- passed the tipping point.  We are beyond the point of course correction, because these people will continue voting for checks for themselves.  Weiner and company will continue their end of the bargain, and will live out their lifetimes like viceroys in British India.

Obama, unlike Weiner, is a notable exception, not in it just for personal gain -- although to be sure, Obama's coming to power will give him and his children and grandchildren unlimited access to vast kingly wealth.  Obama is a genuine leftist, who would probably give his life for what he believes in, which is the undoing of the United States as founded and its transformation into something else, in accordance with the marxist and socialist vision that Obama has lived and breathed his whole life.

For the large majority of the rest, it's pure power.  The best way to a good life these days is through government.  Be an employee at even a low level, and it's very hard to get fired, and you make in the high 5 figures or even 6 figures for shuffling in and out of your Bureau of Whatever.  It's even sweeter for the higher ups with the ability to dole out government jobs and distribute to your allies the money stolen at the point of a gun from the productive sector of the country.

That is what conservatives don't get.  "How do I seek my own advantage in such a way that I, my family, and my country may succeed now and in the future, how do I make my way in this world without making the world a worse place?" is from Leave it to Beaver days.  The worldview Mitt Romney grew up living and breathing is an anachronism.

When Democrats and most Republicans mouth words which seem to reflect they believe in the Romney ethos, it's bullshit.  The ruling class does not believe in it, nor do those among the government dependent class who are unable to lie to themselves about the worth of their own "work."

What does a government employee do when they come face to face with the truth that they produce nothing, and in fact are a parasite whose livelihood depends on the blood sucked from the country they authentically care about?  They maybe develop a leftist ideology so they can continue happily raking in the spoils:
Ideology is a process accomplished by the so-called thinker. Consciously, it is true, but with a false consciousness. The real motive forces impelling him remain unknown to him; otherwise it simply would not be an ideological process. Hence he imagines false or apparent motives

Or, he maybe quits his job and says "fuck it, I'll rise or fall on my own merits doing something that actually doesn't contribute, in its own small way, to the downfall of civilization, and bear the consequences."  More likely, the realization never takes place.

Do conservatives not see that our rulers, along with a wide swath of their fellow Americans, have no concern whatsoever for the future of the country, but rather are simply engaged in scrambling to devour what they can of it's carcasse?

Why is there something, rather than nothing? Are moral values relative?  What sets Man apart from the animal kingdom?  What is the purpose of life?  What is beauty? What makes life meaningful?  Is there a God?  In the absence of God is there a moral order? 

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Mark of the Beast

Via Drudge, Student in Texas loses lawsuit seeking injunction allowing her to remain in her school without wearing tracking device as required by school.  Her objection: "the badge was the "mark of the beast", as described in chapter 13 of the Book of Revelation in the Bible."  Did her lawsuit assert religious freedom grounds I wonder?

My take: the device is not the "mark of the beast," but it's not acceptable that the government forces people to go to public school in the first place.  It's too bad the objection to the practice in this instance was enunciated in cukoo language, that can only provide fodder for shameless and unprincipled slayers of straw men.

The big news today is the pending dismantling of the 2nd Amendment.  Those who hold that the exercise of a constitutional right requires pleading and justification and the license of those who have come to political power are apt to set their sights on two particular scarecrows: the 2nd Amendment either contemplates hunting ("No one needs 10 bullets to kill a deer!") or -- yes, really -- the potential overthrow of the government!  This last one just kills me.  Look, the point about sovereignty is simply this: in a society in which the government gets its legitimacy from consent of the governed, individual citizens have a basic inalienable right to sovereignty over their persons.  That means, e.g., the state cannot grab people off the street and tie them up and draw their blood without a search warrant or other emergency; it also means that people have the right to defend themselves from evildoers.  To assert that individuals do not have the right to self defense when attacked, and must wait for police to arrive or else just lay down and be a good little victim is to dismantle the fundamental building block of popular sovereignty.  Soverignty lies with the individual.  It's too bad the founders did not state this more explicitly, although to be fair it's impossible to anticipate all the penumbras and emanations scoundrels will discover in their attempt to undo this noble experiment in self-government.  Should Madison have put a footnote to the fourth amendment, for example, saying "Notably, the protection from "unreasonable search and seizure" shall not be construed as providing the right to abort a fetus".  No, there's no reason he should have anticipated that.  So, they did about as well as can be expected with "the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed".  It's certainly not that the petty tyrants don't understand the words, and it may not even be that they actually believe in the straw men they set up to attack or that they don't grasp the notion of individual sovereignty, but the problem is simply that these enemies of freedom disagree with individual soverignty as a first principle, and they know they can get away with their dishonest and cynical reworkings of our society thanks to a compliant lap dog media that agrees with their statist vision, and thanks to a people that has been both thumped into submission by 1000 little indignities and intrusions, and dismantled as a people through the deliberate political project of replacing legacy Americans with foreigners who do not share historic American values, and who are not assimilated into those values, now that the ideal of the "melting pot" has been tossed out in favor of "multiculturalism".

Fuck you, Obama, come get them.