Month: January 2012

Food: Hollandaise Sauce

So believe it or not I’d never made Hollandaise sauce. It’s a pretty simple recipe:

4 Egg Yolks

1.5Tbsp Butter

1tbsp Fresh Lemon Juice

Salt to taste

Cayenne to taste

Combine all ingredients in stainless steel bowl. Start a 4qt. sauce pot with 1.5″ to 2″ of water and bring to simmer. Place stainless steel bowl on top of sauce pot.

Whisk mixture, the object is not to scramble the eggs but to cook them. You’ll know they’re cooked when the color changes, it goes from a pale yellow to a richer yellow color.

I’m surprised that I never tried this before. This is awesome, it rocks on sausage patties, even scrambled eggs, or a piece of bread or toast.  It’s a nice rich sauce that really doesn’t have that sulfrous taste at all despite using four egg yolks.

Still can’t figure out poached eggs though. One tip was to use white vinegar in the water, but all I have is cider vinegar, red wine vinegar, and balsamic vinegar. So it’ll have to wait until I get some white vinegar. It likely has to do with the acid content.

The Republican Party is a mess

I think Mitt Romney will probably get the nomination. I say it because he’s tacking ever rightward in a move to appease. But then I’d love to see either he or Gingrich get it because either one virtually ensures that President Obama gets a second term.

And lets face it, Gingrich has enough baggage to fill a pullman car, while Romney has uttered some inexplicably stupid things such as how he likes firing people, or how corporations are people, or how he can afford to throw out a $10,000 bet during one of the debates. And now his tacking to the one man, one woman schtick.

The Republican party seems to have suffered from embracing the Tea Baggers. And let me explain again, they CHOSE that name, not me. I just prefer to refer to them with their original moniker.

Plus the eight years of George W. Bush and the Republican controlled congress did some serious damage. Bush himself is politically radioactive. You don’t see him trotted out for any fundraisers, etc.

I really do hope that President Obama gets a second term. I have that wish because during a second term it’s likely that anywhere from 1 to 3 U.S. Supreme Court justices could either retire or die. And I do not want Republican ideologues to replace them. I’d much prefer jurists with a solid grounding in non-ideological law.

 

Elaboration on my randomization of politics

I mentioned this in a prior post but I wanted to expound upon it a bit, just to eliminate any doubts and to encourage all of us to take a look at this.

It is clear that our political system as it currently exists is is no longer a representative republic, but instead a corporate plutocracy. In simple terms, whoever or whatever has the most money gets to be the leader.

Our two party system is partly to blame, along with a couple of asinine court decisions in the late 19th century. Actually I should place those in reverse order since the parties predate the corporate person-hood fiction of the judicial system of the 19th century.

In any case what it did was allow corporations, whose sole avowed purpose is to turn a profit and hoard money, for it’s investors of course, the largest of which sit on their boards of directors, etc. to buy elections.

Until the Citizens United verdict by the U.S. Supreme Court, they couldn’t do a complete capture of the political system. But now any regulation, any limits have been removed. And with only two parties, it’s easy to buy BOTH candidates. So even if the Republicans do act like horses asses, their Democratic colleagues are just as bought and paid for as the Republicans.

But my proposal to randomize would make it virtually impossible for them to buy elections.

In essence here is my proposal. Take the pool of registered voters in the U.S. Pull out only those who’ve ‘voted’ in the last 4 elections. There are 169 million voters in the U.S. and only about 50% of them actually vote, so the pool drops to 84,500,000. Leave the age limits for senator and president in place. Using that you would drop the pool to about 20,000,000 people. Add an educational requirement for all office of at least a Bachelors. You’d drop that pool to 5,400,000 people.

From that randomly select your 100 senators every six years, and 435 representatives every 3 years from that pool. Do the same for the President and Vice President every 4 years.

So lets say we implemented this in 2016. We’d randomly pull 537 people from the pre-qualified pool. It’s a 1:10,000 chance. Sure, they might be able to bribe 10,000 people but WHICH 10,000.

And once you serve one term, you can NEVER serve again on the federal level.

I dare corporations to try buying elections when they would have a

The True Meaning of Family

I had seen this a little while ago but the part that grabbed me was the bit towards the end of his letter:

When it is dark they are the light,
When I feel frightened and chill’s,
They are the warmth I feel.
When I am hungry they cook my meals.

Every bigot out there who abhors gay parents should have to read that and the whole letter.

Because it gives lie to their biggest fib. The one where we will try to recruit the kids to be gay, or that kids won’t be as well adjusted without a mother and a father, or a host of other ludicrous reasons that the religious bigots come up with.

A friend who is a psychologist summed it up nicely. He told me that what kids really need is love and consistency. And the letter by Zac demonstrates that without fail. Here was a kid from a broken home, who stole from his adoptive parents. But they were CONSISTENT about their love of Zac and as a result the young man actually has a better shot at life than if he’d remained with his mother or in the foster system.

And that’s the other thing, Zac alludes to the fact that he’d been in twelve different homes in three years. Those were probably straight families and they couldn’t demonstrate the love and consistency necessary to break the bad habits that Zac had and to get him on a better path for life.

But a gay couple had the right motives and now Zac is a normal, healthy teenager who seems to be thriving. The one difference between gay couple who adopt and the allegedly normal mother and father is that the former actually WANT to have kids.

From that simple fact we know the religious bigots are full of shit.

Sometimes you need to tell the truth to relatives

So my aunt had posted the following on Facebook:

From the items posted in that the most ironic is “Culture: Constitution and Bill of Rights”

So you want to drug test benefit recipients, balance the budget, and implement term limits. Well, I go that last one a step further. I want to randomize the entire political system. Instead of electing our representatives and leaders, let’s pull them randomly from the pool of the registered voters throughout the U.S.

You’d have to place certain restrictions of course, we don’t want complete imbeciles as our representatives and leaders, so keep the age restriction, maybe specify at least an Associates degree in a science, tech, math fields.

But randomizing our elections would do something else. You couldn’t BUY elections when the entire pool is millions of people. I mentioned this at work and one of my colleagues said I scared him with that stuff. I asked if he wasn’t more afraid of corporate plutocracy. Sometimes you have to shock people out of their cocoon.

I posted the following comment on my aunt’s image on facebook:

So in Obama’s place, who would you suggest? The current crop of Republicans isn’t all that stellar. I mean seriously, the leader of the pack Romney has come out and publicly said Corporations are people, that he likes firing people, and that he makes a $10,000 bet on stage during a debate. Not exactly presidential caliber.

Pin drop time!

Oh wait, my aunt posted:

Carol Puopolo: anyone is better than Obama at this point. Country is in shambles..

Really, anyone? You honestly think any of the Republican Cavalcade of Idiots would be a better president. But it demonstrates something. My aunt associates the inaction on the part of government with the President alone, not the congress.

Which I responded with I’d rather shambles than be outright terrified if McCain and Palin had gotten in.

So I wrote a post on my facebook page, inspired by something on the Huffington Post about the motives behind the racial bigotry of Pat Buchanan and white Christian America.

The U.S. as a country would not exist without immigration, either forced in the case of Africans back in the 16th to 19th centuries, or the voluntary immigration of Irish, Italian, German, Polish, Lithuanian, , Dominican, Mexican, Guatemalan and Venezuelan and even Indian immigrants and a whole host of people from all over the world.

The immigration of all those groups of which my blood contains two, added to the flavor and character of the U.S. It hasn’t made it worse, it’s made it better, more interesting, more livable.

The anti-Mexican thing is interesting to me. These are people who the religious should want to cultivate, hard working, honest people.

To which my aunt, love her, replied with the following:

agree with you but to many have been here years and are not legal yet. WHY?

My reply and I couldn’t resist because I have a copy of the document in my possession:

Well, consider my great grandmother and your grandmother didn’t naturalize until 1937. And your father, my grandfather was born in 1918! So that’s a 19 year span there.

And of course I got the response from my aunt:

also, things were different back then. Those who came got jobs. Got legal . We have 12 million or more by now still not legal. Not good for the tax payers supporting all these people, school , health, food stamps , housing. Time to do the right thing and pay in like all the rest of the people who work hard on a daily basis. Also welfare over burdened. We have enough of our own dead beats to support here in the US. I am sure you would agree on that.

My response:

Carol, I have a copy of her naturalization paperwork. None for great grandpa though. And as to the things being different now and that they got jobs back then, I suggest you look into history a bit. There was widespread discrimination against Italians back then.

I wrote that because I’ve seen the newspaper clippings, the pictures from my own state where there were signs in storefront windows “No Italians or Irish need apply”. Or pictures of Italian and Irish immigrants digging ditches.

You really don’t want to start that with me. I’ve studied the history, seen the photos. I’m glad things have progressed for Italian Americans to the point where they can now try to discriminate against another immigrant group. But don’t discriminate when you don’t know about our own history.

Post #1,981: Cuyahoga Falls Gay Couple told their marriage isn’t real

I don’t know where to start on this one.

Here’s how I see this playing out. Sooner than later the issue of marriage equality is going to hit the United States Supreme Court. And just as they did in Loving v. Virginia and numerous other cases, they’re going to propel civil rights forward despite the desires of the knuckle draggers out there.

We’ve seen case after case of insult to LGBT people and to couples thereof in the past couple of years. And even if the bigots at NOM want to scream and yell about it, there is a clear connection between what we LGBT folks are going through now and what the African-American community was going through in the 1960’s. There is apartheid, there is blatant discrimination, there are bigots that say that black people and white people shouldn’t mix (My own father spouted this one once!).

And in the case of Loving v. Virginia, a handful of states openly allowed black and white people to marry. But the insults of abuse perpetrated by the states landed the case before the Justices of the U.S. Supreme Court.

I’m buoyed by the political turmoil on the part of the Republicans right now. It virtually assures that President Obama WILL get a second term.

And I suspect at least two if not three Justices on the court may either die or retire during an Obama second term. That would pack the court in our favor.

Post #1980: The reasoning behing the Catholic Church’s Opression of Gay People

Welcome to my One Thousand Nine Hundred and Eightieth post.

Go and read here

Yes – they used the oppression of gay people as fodder to feed the ranks of clerics. But here’s something you’ll never hear the Catholic church mention particularly here in the U.S. You see, there are fewer and fewer men called to the ranks of the priestly class.

I believe this is part of what informs the reasoning of a good friend of mine. He think the Catholic church is slowly dying. And from all signs I’ve seen it seems true. For instance they do not have enough priests to fully staff all the churches where I live, and I suspect it’s likely similar all over the United States.

The church as a force for good has NEVER been the case. Sure, some of their works with the poor and downtrodden were pretty good. But their demonization of those who don’t fit with their view, that is a large black mark on their collective soul.

I left organized religion at a fairly young age. I knew even then what the Roman Catholic Church was all about. It was then as it is now, it’s all about the money.

When numbers mean something

This is my 1,979th post. But the one prior was 1978.

1978 was an interesting year. I turned 14 years old at the end of it.

Music wise, Peter Brown’s “Dance With Me” was fantastic. So too Heatwave’s “Groove Line” and Kansas “Dust in the Wind” and yes, yes, Parliament’s “Flashlight” came out in 1978.

Little did I know that seven years later I’d be spinning some of those tracks at a local radio station. That ran from 1985 to 1987. Radio does get into the blood. I did a talk radio stint from 1990 to 1992. That was actually kind of fun too.

On a down note, 1978 was the year my mom died. I was only 13 when she died on Friday October 13, 1978. Not to worry, I don’t have the irrational fear of the number 13.

And this is how I end my 1,979th post.

The overextension of copyright law

So I’m rather displeased that U.S. law enforcement was able to work with authorities in New Zealand to arrest those responsible for megaupload.com

The reach of U.S. copyright law is interesting. And it has now been CLEARLY demonstrated that the police are NOT our friends no matter where you happen to be.

I’m rather pleased that Anonymous has done some DDOSing of the DOJ, FBI, RIAA, and MPAA over this. In fact when I’d heard about the takedown I let it be known I hoped Anonymous shut just those sites down.

So either I think the same as the folks of Anonymous, or I know one or more of the folks of Anonymous, or I am part of Anonymous. Actually the second to last is more likely. I’m a bit more ethical but I do like to see those who abuse power get their comeuppance.

There are reasons I haven’t bought a DVD, or otherwise in quite a while. Sure I bought the 2nd season of Walking Dead on Amazon but does that count?

But the reason I won’t go to the movie theaters is because Hollywood in their so called wisdom hasn’t produced an original movie in decades. It’s all remakes and sequels to hit movies. Granted, I can’t fault the sequels bit but I got a little sour about it after paying to see the prequel movies of Star Wars, you know, after George Lucas lost his fucking mind.

And then there’s the cost. The prices go ever skyward but the quality diminishes greatly. So no thank you, I’ll keep my Netflix account and just watch what I WANT to watch.

And to Anonymous – good on you all. Keep up the good work!

Food: Pulled Pork Barbecue

So this morning I put the seasoning and a fully cut up pork shoulder into the crock pot. It cooked all day on high.

Around 5PM we took the big chunks of meat out and ran them through the food processor, two or three pulse of the blade were enough.

We modified the recipe below by adding a tablespoon of crushed red pepper flakes, two more tablespoons of vinegar, and an extra tablespoon of Worcestershire sauce. We also had a bone in 12 pound pork shoulder so we had to pull the meat off the bone, well, it fell off after 8 hours of braising.

Ingredients:
1 medium onion, chopped
1/2 cup(s) ketchup
1/3 cup(s) cider vinegar
1/4 cup(s) packed brown sugar
1/4 cup(s) tomato paste
2 tablespoon(s) sweet paprika
2 tablespoon(s) Worcestershire sauce
2 tablespoon(s) yellow mustard
1 1/2 teaspoon(s) salt
1 1/4 teaspoon(s) ground black pepper
4 pound(s) boneless pork shoulder blade roast (fresh pork butt),
cut into 4 pieces
12 soft sandwich buns or ciabatta rolls, warmed
Dill pickles (optional)
Cole Slaw (REQUIRED)
Potato chips (optional)
Hot sauce (REQUIRED)

Directions:

  1. In 4 1/2- to 6-quart slow-cooker pot, stir onion, ketchup, vinegar, brown sugar, tomato paste, paprika, Worcestershire, mustard, salt, and pepper until combined. Add pork to sauce mixture and turn to coat well with sauce.
  2. Cover slow cooker with lid and cook pork mixture on low setting as manufacturer directs, 8 to 10 hours or until pork is very tender.
  3. With tongs, transfer pork to large bowl. Turn setting on slow cooker to high; cover and heat sauce to boiling to thicken and reduce slightly.
  4. While sauce boils, with 2 forks, pull pork into shreds. Return shredded pork to slow cooker and toss with sauce to combine. Cover slow cooker and heat through on high setting if necessary.
  5. Spoon pork mixture onto bottom of sandwich buns; replace tops of buns. Serve sandwiches with pickles, potato chips, and hot sauce if you like.

So now we have a BIG batch of it. Have to invite some folks over. This is our first try at making this and I love it. There are roughly 6lbs. of shredded meat.

And that’s the other thing, you can shred with forks but a food processor is faster.

Here’s the sauce with some of the chopped up pork in it:

The Sauce