Thursday, March 23, 2017

Too Little, Too Late

I read that the perpetrator of the London attack had been discovered to be a rampant radical some years ago - but he was not arrested, merely left to his own nefarious pursuits.  To quote Shakespeare, "The law are an ass." (They talked funny back then.)  Same thing with the Bataclan nightclub in France.  The perpetrators came from Molenbeek, Belgium, "which has become notorious for radicalization."

Meanwhile ... Germany, Spain and Switzerland re the ban on electronic devices on board the plane have taken a contrary attitude which seems to be "Come in from any Middle Eastern or North African hot spots and bring your electronics!  We don't care!"

But before we get too smug ... Chicago gang funerals are fraught for everyone but the deceased in the coffin.  Funeral directors routinely hire security or off-duty police to attend and guard these funerals.

The funeral directors delivering the deceased to the church have to be careful not to be wearing any colors associated with any of the gangs and to take routes that keep them safely outside of gang areas. 

One funeral director reported that she watched the brother of the deceased step up to the coffin to pay his last respects.  Another man approached, threw an arm around him and the funeral director thought, "How nice - he is consoling him" when the guy whipped out a knife and stabbed the mourner. 

Gang members now make it a practice to attend the funeral of the person they killed for bragging rights with their gang.  Snickers from the back pews. 

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Fake News? April Fool's Joke?

Giselle Fetterman and Cindy McCune, of Pittsburg and environs, have come up with the idea of selling hijabs for Barbie dolls.  Calling their product "Hello Hijab" they plan to start selling these after-market products for $6 each on APRIL 1st. 

The pair said that they pay the workers who actually make the hijabs $15/hour and that 100% of the profits will be given to the Islamic Center of Pittsburg, the ACLU and the Jewish Family and Childrens' Service. 

They are anxious to teach their daughters diversity and to promote understanding between Muslims and others.  Fetterman's daughter has an extensive collection of diversity (?) dolls including various races, ethnicities  and a doll in a wheelchair.   

Indoctrinating your daughter to accept some of the atrocities perpetrated against Muslim women in the guise of "diversity" strikes me as perhaps not the greatest idea in the world.  I can only hope that given the sell date that this is all an elaborate April Fool's joke.  Please, Allah.

Monday, March 20, 2017

Let's All Go Green - and Get e-Coli While We're at It

Plastic drinking straws are now on the No! No! List, a list kept carefully by such as a woman named Jackie Nunez who founded The Last Plastic Straw campaign to make restaurants (for example) make you ask if you want a straw with your drink.  Okay, do local residents remember the Great Drought when restaurant diners had to ask for a glass of water?  I do, and no one had a problem with it.

But this is where I do have a problem.  In 2010 Ms. Nunez was leading a kayaking tour in Belize when she came across a large mass of plastic debris.  "That's what really sent me over the edge," she said, "a literal river of trash was going by.  I really was beside myself."  This is the kind of 'tude that gives American tourists the "Ugly" when referenced by the locals. 

Notice the personalization - "I was beside myself ... sent me over the edge."  If I lived in Belize, I would have been tempted to offer to help her pack for her return trip to wherever she lives in the U.S.  Let her go kill plastic at home.

All of the above was triggered by the front page of today's Daily Breeze.  Manhattan Beach has banned plastic straws.  The City offers alternatives to (shudder! eeek!) plastic and suggests you use lengths of bamboo, surgical steel or glass instead. 

Here are a couple of the disadvantages...
Stainless steel - Williams Sonoma no longer carries them and didn't say why.  Since W-S has never turned down the possibility of a profit in living memory, there has to be something wrong with them.

Glass - give one to your kid!  You'll be picking glass shards out of his mouth before you know it!

Bamboo - cannot be put through the dishwasher (and I wouldn't want to try it with glass either - especially at $6 per straw -  I've got champagne flutes I paid less for and that have lasted 25 years)  It is suggested that the bamboo straws are immersed in hot soapy water instead.  Use a pipe cleaner to clean them.  Once a month boil up a batch of water and vinegar and soak them.

Cost and labor-free alternative.  Learn to drink out of a glass.  If you shriek that you need a straw for your milkshake?  You shouldn't be having one anyhow.  Do you have any idea how fattening they are?

Sunday, March 19, 2017

RIP Charles (Chuck) Edward Anderson Berry; James (Jimmy) Earl Breslin

Condolences to his survivors - Themetta (Toddy) Suggs, wife of 68 years;and their children, Darlin Ingrid Berry-Clay, 66; Melody Exes Berry, 64; Aloha Isa Lei Berry, 57 and Chuck Berry, Jr., 55.

Condolences to his survivors, wife Ronnie Eldridge Breslin, married 1982; after his first wife and mother of their six children, Rosemary Dattolico, died in 1981.  Breslin leaves Kevin, Christopher, James and Patrick.  Daughters Rosemary died of a rare blood disease in 2004 and Kelly died in 2009 of a cardiac arrhythmia.

This is not turning out to be a good day for those in the creative arts.  If things do come in threes, artists, you are advised  to be watchful into the night. 

Friday, March 17, 2017

Finally! An All-Inclusive Holiday!

                                     EVERYONE'S IRISH ON ST. PATRICK'S DAY!

We toured Ireland from Dublin to Shannon in 2006 and prior to the trip friends were waxing nostalgic about the "craic" pronounced "crack."  I said, "Anyone who tries to get me to take drugs is going to be very sorry they did!"

When they quit laughing at me, they explained that craic merely means "fun" or a good time or merriment (all three taking place in a pub of which there are quite a few.)  

Craic translates easily to America, so have at it!  Erin Go Braless! 

THIS JUST IN -  from our Texas correspondent

May your horse never stumble
Your spurs never rust
May your guts never rumble
Your cinch never bust
May your boots never pinch
Your crops never fail
While you eat lots of beans
And stay out of jail

Thursday, March 16, 2017

1st Amendment vs. Sedition

Most U.S. citizens know and frequently quote the 1st Amendment's salient point which is we all have the right to "free speech" that being saying any damned fool thing that we want to on any occasion.

However, careless readers of the First seem to have skipped over this part:  The right of the people to peacefully assemble and to petition the government for redress.   I would add that "peacefully" would not seem to embrace looting, rioting, or bodily harm to those who dissent against the rioters, looters, etc. 

Conversely, "sedition" is defined by "conduct or speech inciting people to rebel against the State."  Further, the seditionist is not supposed to just get a slap on the wrist for being naughty.  Practitioners are liable to a fine or no more than 20 years in prison or both.


Wednesday, March 15, 2017

There's More to Eat In Ireland Than Corned Beef and Cabbage

An Irish Country Cookbook by Patrick Taylor, MD   368 pages   $28.99

Ireland, as based on this book if nothing else, is Big on Bread.  Soda bread, potato bread... probably because most of these breads are 1.  easy to make   2.  made from leftover potatoes; potatoes being a staple there as rice is to Asia. 

In the event you are having guests and want to amaze them with your knowledge ...

IRISH POTATO BREAD  aka  Potato Farls which are a round loaf cut into quarters, each quarter being 1/4th of the loaf.

1 lb. mashed potatoes
4 oz. all-purpose flour
1 oz. softened butter
pinch of sea salt

Bung it all together, knead it into a flat round, cut that into fours (farls) and fry them in a lightly-greased skillet until golden brown on both sides.

"Champ" is the name of a dish that is simply mashed potatoes, with cooked green onions stirred into them with lots of butter and, variation, dotted with cheese and run under the broiler.

COLCANNON or White-headed Cabbage  
It's eaten in Scotland, too, but there it's called "rumbledethumps"
1 3/4 lb. quartered potatoes
4 oz. curly kale or spring cabbage
1 bunch green onions
4 oz. butter
2 slices cooked and chopped bacon
salt and pepper to taste.

Boil the potatoes and leave them in the emptied pot to dry out, then mash them
blanch the kale for a minute, then drain and dry and chop.
Roughly chop the green onions
Mash everything together including the bacon, reheat, make a well in the middle and put the butter in.

If you're a guest, try for an overnighter so you that you can have an Ulster Fry for breakfast.