Saturday, April 4, 2009

Meanderings: Ghosts of Meals Past

I'm standing outside; the sun is shining; and I'm thinking. For some reason I'm reminiscing about the Brooklyn in which I grew up. Then somehow the train of thought leaves the station and winds up at The House on Mango Street, a book I thoroughly enjoyed. I've recommended it loads of times. It's easy to read, composed of near poetic almost stories. Surprisingly, no one has been as taken with it as I was. But you see, I know all about growing up Hispanic in an urban American environment in the dim mists of the past.

Take the rice sandwich. To the horror of the Nun in charge, young Esperanza takes a rice sandwich to school. Poor Esperanza wants desperately to be like the other children and take a sandwich for lunch. All she's got at home is rice, so that's what she puts between two slices of bread. What did she know about tuna, or cold cuts? A sandwich? Nah, she just wants to stop being the outsider.

I can relate. Somewhere along the line I realized that everyone else didn't eat rice every night or spaghetti with greasy brown sauce. So I announced to my mother that I wanted lasagna. I even had a recipe on the back of a matchbook. Nobody really makes matchbooks anymore, at least the kind with recipes in them, which is probably a good thing because I never got a good recipe from that source. Now the backs of boxes are another thing altogether, bearing a veritable treasure trove of great recipes with the exception of those that read "to the pasta add one jar of XYZ spaghetti sauce," which kinda defeats the purpose of adding a recipe to the box.

Anyway, we went through the ingredients. Canned tomatoes? No problem, we had tomato sauce. Mozzarella cheese? Well, we had American. Needless to say, the result was near unpalatable and soured us on Italian cooking for years. I guess it was just as well, because nothing was ever going to make me anything over than the little Spanish girl in 3 downstairs. I suspect that some may have substituted spic for the same, but it was not until I left the confines of the working class and moved to suburbia that I was ever called the latter to my face.

The Unnatural

Missed the Sunday edition last week due to paucity of good material, although these two entries did stand out:

An interesting article on Reuters about the last eunuch in China who died in 1996. The poor guy's life reads like a novel, although it was all too real. A slice of the past.

Over at Breitbart is an AFP article that the US Navy has "significant evidence" of "cold fusion." You might remember the two researchers who announced they had achieved same years ago. When other scientists failed to replicate their results, they were generally discredited. Seems they might have been on to something after all.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

You Go, John!

Representative John Conyers, Jr, perhaps best known for his desire to try, metaphorically speaking, Bush in absentia, took time to hear testimony of alleged improprieties on the part of ACORN, the apparent new NGO arm of the government. The laundry list of allegations was so impressive, he is considering launching an investigation. Read about it here at the Washington Times.

Finally, Some Common Sense

Despite the naked greed, Euro-envy, and Pollyanna politics reaching new heights in the latest outbreak of the "We Want to Go to Cuba, Too" syndrome, there are still lone voices out there standing up for what is right.

Kudos to the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review for this.

from the beginning-

New calls to loosen U.S. travel restrictions to Cuba extend the hand of good faith and friendship to a regime that, 47 years later, still prefers to govern with an iron fist.

to the end-

The case for lifting U.S. bans begins with Cuba enacting meaningful reforms, not by Washington politicians espousing political expediency.

A Moment in Brief

Following the logic behind the unconscionable raising of tobacco taxes- almost two dollars a pack on cigarettes- as it's being reported, we can cure heroin addiction by raising the price of a fix.

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Heard in Passing

It's like this whole country's turned into high school.... Everything's a popularity contest.
-caller to Michael Medved's show this afternoon.

Monday, March 30, 2009

Updated: It Was a Very Good Year...

... for George Soros apparently who made 1.1 billion last year, in part by betting against the dollar. Well, since Soros was instrumental in the rise of the liberal left, inquiring minds want to know how much of that he's paying in taxes. Something tells me it's not 32%. These bleeding heart moneyed liberals are very good at spending OPT (Other People's Taxes).

Update: Rumor has it that he pays 15% just like say someone who has a taxable income of say 60 thousand or so.

Quote for Today

I believe he is going to eventually be called a great President, even as he has inherited the worst economy since FDR and a much more dangerous world.
-Mike Lupica from this in which he counsels the President to cool it on the campaigning.

Can I ask a question? On what basis? It is theoretically possible, if not particularly likely, that Mr. Lupica will be proven correct. But I would like to know what in his past, what in the seemingly bumbling start to the administration provides the slightest inkling that Mr. Obama will be an able, let alone great, president? This is just another example of how our political views have become enmeshed in our love or hate for a particular politician with little or no grounding in reality. I guess believe is the operative word here.

H/T Ms. Calabaza

The State of Our News

Years ago, I was watching CNN when I nearly fell out of my chair as it covered the opening of a new museum, presided over by then Iraqi strongman Sadam Hussein, devoted to those fallen at the hands of the evil Americans. I kid you not, that was the perspective of the report. Angered, I emailed CNN and asked when they became the Baghdad news network. During the Iraq war, it became embarrassingly apparent that CNN had been playing footsie with the dictator in order to keep their Iraqi operation.

This week Humberto Fontova over at Babalu outed another dirty secret when he noted that the Miami Herald Tribune was copying news releases put out by a Cuban propaganda arm, ACN. There is no free press in Cuba. Any "news" issued by the same is by definition propaganda issued by the regime, as the press is an organ of same. There is no disclaimer that this is a press release. There is obviously no context in these so-called reports. To give you an idea of just how serious this is, can you imagine gleaning news about Nazi Germany from the propaganda put out by Goebbels? You decide.

Leave 'er Alone!

You would think that I would be cheered by the way the media is going after Biden's daughter. After all, we may recall how they trashed Palin and her family. However, it is wrong. It was wrong then, and it is wrong now. Whether the vice president's daughter did or did not do cocaine has no bearing on the quality of his governance. The public would be better served if they devoted the same enthusiasm to uncovering the cronyism and unsavory dealings of many of our elected officials. Now that would serve the public interest. But that would require some true investigative reporting.