Monday, November 29, 2010

Death of American dream, 60 million no sick leave, 132 million no dental, 59 million without medical

Death of American dream, 60 million no sick leave, 132 million no dental, 59 million without medical

Please share this article from the Daily Kos with your friends.  Please.

Bill Moyers on Plutonomy

This is a few years old now, but it is as relevant to us working class and middle class Americans as it was the day it aired.   

10 Epic Failures of the Bush Tax Cuts | Crooks and Liars

10 Epic Failures of the Bush Tax Cuts | Crooks and Liars

Worthwhile reading this morning.

10 Epic Failures of the Bush Tax Cuts | Crooks and Liars

10 Epic Failures of the Bush Tax Cuts | Crooks and Liars

Worthwhile reading this morning.

Burning A Mosque Or Any Other House Of Worship Is Wrong

Dear Oregon Portlanders and Other Fellow Americans,

I understand your anger at that idiotic, murder-minded, would-be terrorist Mohamed Osman Mohamud.  I really do.  After all, his family was given safe harbor here when they were refugees from Somalia years ago.  He became a naturalized citizen.  In addition to violating his citizenship (which I think should be stripped away with all haste), he violated the ideal of good guestmanship:  you don't foul the house that comforts and feeds you.  Young Mo is a threat.  He deserves whatever punishment he earns for himself.  What he proposed was evil in the extreme.

But, I will tell you this: burning the mosque in Corvallis where he occasionally worshiped as a reportedly indifferent Muslim is wrong.  It's the same kind of wrong we experienced in the US in the 1960s when racists were burning and bombing black churches.  No different.  Its the same kind of wrong as when racists both in Europe and the US burned Jewish synagogues.  It is a shameful and contemptible thing. The people who participate in such burnings become terrorists the moment they strew a flammable liquid, set a fuse or strike the spark to set the fire burning.  There is no doubt of that.  Not for a minute. There is no moral high ground when people stoop to that kind of retributive behavior.

From all reports, young Mohamud was an infrequent worshipper at the mosque that was torched and therefore, that mosque and others in the area were not the incubators of his hatred, not the incubators of his radicalization.  So the public and private anger at him is really being misplaced and the unflattering, racist reaction toward the areas Muslims leads to yet more injustice.  Sad to say, those Muslims are right to feel afraid of the rest of you now.  Clearly no one in your communities, no one in your churches, no one in your community's leadership spoke in a loud enough voice to demand that you let justice pursue it's course and to stay the hands of vigilantism.

Why do I write this?  Simply because I have been disgusted by the desecration of sacred spaces, no matter what faith they serve, for 50 of my 56 years.  Desecration is just that kind of wrong.  It's morally bankrupt.

Friday, November 19, 2010

When Public Employees Lie

Had a run in today with a school employee at a joint use park here in ABQ where the access is through the school grounds.  Was there to walk my diabetic, blind dog.  Dog was on the leash and we were leaving.

I've walked my dog in that park for the last three years - ever since I got her.  Without incident. For three years, I've walked past probably a dozen or more teachers and hundreds of kids without any teacher saying anything about the dog.

The employee told me I could not bring my dog there and she was very insistent about it.  Said it was a safety issue to protect the children.  I then picked up my dog and showed her the cataracts in the dogs eyes and told her the children were a greater danger to my dog than my dog was to them.  She then proceeded to tell me the local parks ordinance prohibited dogs there during school hours.  I told her she was being cruel and left, carrying my dog.

After getting home, I checked the city ordinances for parks and the HEART ordinance for dogs.  No such rule.  Then I went to APS's website and looked for anything in their policies section about dogs and all they had was referencing stray dogs only.  They don't even discuss service dogs. So my conclusion is the woman lied to me for her own convenience and/or to try and exert authority that she does not have.

So what did this employee win for APS?  Nothing.  What her lie did do was win a bucketful of ill will.  I don't need public employees at any level, lying to me or trying to impose on me a rule that does not exist.  So what she did win for APS is this:  After 35 years of consistently voting yes on APS bond issues for schools, facilities, teacher salaries I will now be votinge "No" on future APS bond issues.  I will be voting no because she lied.  The lie was self serving and unnecessary.  I will not vote to pay anything that could potentially go into her weekly paycheck!

Monday, November 08, 2010

The Patient Bean Pot

I enjoy cooking and particularly like hearty dishes.  This bean pot fills the bill and can easily be made into a vegetarian dish by eliminating the salt pork and sausage, increasing the olive oil for sauteing by an extra tablespoon and, lastly, substituting the chicken broth with vegetable broth..


3 C Small Navy Beans
2-3 large carrots cut into a small dice for @ 1 to 1.5 Cups worth
2 stalks celery cut into small dice for @ 1 to 1.5 Cups worth
1 large onion cut into small dice for @ 1 to 1.5 Cups worth
2 medium cloves of garlic minced finely
24 oz low sodium chicken broth
3 C water (filtered, preferably)
Olive Oil
Salt Pork
1 lb smoked beef sausage sliced
1 Tbsp Herbs De Provence
Sea Salt
White Pepper

1.  Soak Navy beans in water to cover for 4-6 hours, change water after two hours.

2.  Prepare carrots, celery and onion by cutting into a small dice.  Size for all should be approximately the same for even cooking.

2.  Cut a 1/4 inch X 3 inch slice of salt pork off the slab and dice.  Put into a cast iron dutch oven over low heat and let the fat render out from the salt pork.  After the pork has rendered as much fat as possible and the meat has browned, remove it from the pot and set aside for later.

3.  Add 2-3 Tbsp Olive Oil to the fat in the dutch oven.

4.  Stir in minced garlic and saute lightly until translucent.

5.  Stir in the carrots, celery and onions and continue to saute until the onion is translucent.  Stir frequently.

6.  Pour broth over vegetables and bring to a simmer.

7. Drain soaked beans and add to pot.  If not fully covered by the broth, add water until the beans are fully covered..  Turn heat up and bring to a rolling boil for about 20 minutes.  Then turn heat to simmer.  Add back the reserved, cooked salt pork and sausage.  Stir and put dutch oven lid on, reduce the heat and let simmer on the stove for 2 to 2.5 hours.  (If you want to know whether your beans are done, try Chef Ann Burrell's tip:  dip out six beans. Bite into each bean and if you can bite through each bean easily and it is still slightly firm, then they're done.)  In the last half hour add in the herbs and add salt and pepper to taste.* Cool and refrigerate overnight.

8.  The next day, bring beans out and heat on stove over medium heat until hot all the way through.

Serve with your favorite rustic bread on the side.

* Salt is added at the end of cooking beans because otherwise they will end up tough and inedible.  The herbs are added at the end because they're more delicate and break down over long cooking times, so cooling the beans and letting them rest overnight in the fridge lets the herbs finish imparting their flavor.)

Friday, November 05, 2010

I'm Fed Up Too

Take a gander at this:
We all know it's true.  The Republicans and Tea Party are one on this.  Health care reform means we will have an extraordinarily large percentage of our working class American citizens dying prematurely without any medical care.  I say take their bodies and leave them at the door steps of every insurance industry executive and lobbyist who promoted repealing health care and every congressman and senator who votes to repeal the health care bill.  After all, they will have been paid quite handsomely for your loved one's premature demise.

Thursday, November 04, 2010

On That Trip To India

Nifty way of taking the story apart and rendering it back to appropriate scale:

Hey You! Bachmann

Hey Michelle, just so you know when you cite 200 million a day being spent on President Obama's pending trip to India and then attribute it to "unnamed press reports" you're demonstrating a lack of principles and a great deal of dishonesty!  Shame on you!

Wednesday, November 03, 2010

On The Heels Of The Election

I just want to say that the negative campaigning on both sides was beyond pathetic.  It was a contemptible show on everyone's parts and I'm disappointed in all of you.  Not one of you found the courage to tell your campaign managers "Don't go there!".