Friday, May 10, 2013

Thoughts of the day

I agree with Ethan Chorin that President Obama's misguided Libya policy set the stage for the Benghazi consulate attack and other deleterious effects. For a liberal leadership posture, Bush's Middle East policy was correct. By retaining the same liberal posture yet switching course based on the faulty premise that Bush's Middle East policy was incorrect, Obama's Middle East policy has gone wrong.

2004 CNN report with Clinton supporting Bush on Iraq:
Clinton, who was interviewed Thursday, said he did not believe that Bush went to war in Iraq over oil or for imperialist reasons but out of a genuine belief that large quantities of weapons of mass destruction remained unaccounted for.

Noting that Bush had to be "reeling" in the wake of the attacks of September 11, 2001, Clinton said Bush's first priority was to keep al Qaeda and other terrorist networks from obtaining "chemical and biological weapons or small amounts of fissile material."

"That's why I supported the Iraq thing. There was a lot of stuff unaccounted for," Clinton said in reference to Iraq and the fact that U.N. weapons inspectors left the country in 1998.

"So I thought the president had an absolute responsibility to go to the U.N. and say, 'Look, guys, after 9/11, you have got to demand that Saddam Hussein lets us finish the inspection process.' You couldn't responsibly ignore [the possibility that] a tyrant had these stocks," Clinton said.

As shown by Clinton's quote, the Democrats understood the context and stakes in Iraq, yet they still distorted the public perception of the Iraq mission for parochial partisan gain. This postsecret from May 18 reminds me of the layers of damage caused by the misinformation, propaganda, and false narrative against the Iraq mission that the Democrats validated. Let's see whether this and this make a difference.

Bravo, Richard Kemp. More of this needs to be said and often about our roles in Iraq and Afghanistan. I would emphasize more the liberal and humanitarian aspects of our peace operations, but he takes the narrative in the right direction by critically spotlighting and contrasting the nature of the enemy. We need a better, stronger narrative. The leftist anti-peace narrative works hand in hand with the Islamic terrorist narrative to deadly result.

Bravo, Michelle Malkin. This is the right tack to criticize Obama's hypocrisy and overreach, and rehabilitate Bush's legacy while not throwing out the baby of national security and the War on Terror with the bathwater. Make Bush the standard and hold Obama to it.

I haven't been following the Jason Richwine controversy, but here's his side of it. Judgybitch's take.

Abandoned places, such as the abandoned showpiece City Hall subway station.

Youtube fun:
Schmoyoho's (Gregory Brothers) Churchill remix. Churchill is a soul brother.
A red-pill song by Matt Hires: Restless Heart.
The Crazy Nasty Ass Honey Badger (original narration by Randall).

Touching google doodle of a girl excited, then apprehensive and tentative, then finally released and intimate with her military dad when he comes home from a deployment. The theme is Best Day Ever and the artist is contest winner Sabrina Brady.

Who you are, character, personality, intrinsic self, inner game is determinative. It always wins out. Talent, skill, resources, given advantages, and luck are just tools. What you do is episodic. Character is thematic. In the end, you are what your record says you are.

Free Northerner's manly reading lists. Compare to Columbia's renowned Core Curriculum.

Project Gutenberg - classics for free on-line.

Story of a family who travelled from a Lockean state, the UK, to visit family in India and fell into a Hobbesian nightmare.

At some point, I'll make a separate post for Szelenyi's lectures, like my knots progress post.

What's happening to good-girl paragon Amanda Bynes? Her fall is yet another harsh disillusioning blow to my idealism where a hitherto unimpeachable American paragon is brought low in shocking and/or sordid fashion, like Lance Armstrong, Alex Rodriguez, Lehman Brothers, Columbia space shuttle, GEN Petraeus, Bernie Madoff, Tiger Woods, Horace Mann, Catholic church, and Penn State. Bynes was seemingly the most stable and virtuous of her peers, yet her fall has been the hardest. It's like Taleb's black swan enacted on a personal level. Insight from Mara Wilson.

A red-pill explanation for Bynes's breakdown: The truth about female desire: It’s base, animalistic and ravenous. It may be, at least in part, her nature breaking free.

Duke of Earl by Gene Chandler. "As I walk through this world, nothing can stop the Duke of Earl ... Nothing can stop me now, coz I'm the Duke of Earl!"

Goodnite, Sweetheart, Goodnite by the Spaniels. "Good night, sweetheart, well, it's time to go. I hate to leave you, but I really must say, oh good night, sweetheart, good night." "Baby, I just can't get right. Well, I hate to leave you, baby, I don't mean maybe, because I love you so." That's what it felt like when I left Korea, the Army, and her behind. To summarize, Every Little Thing She Does is Magic by the Police, Can't Fight This Feeling by REO Speedwagon, Teenager in Love by Dion and the Belmonts, and Goodnite, Sweetheart, Goodnite by the Spaniels sing the love story that wasn't. Rollo explains the 'click' together but ... mystery.

Sorrow.

Honor your father and mother by begetting children.

Sarah at Trying to Grok regrets waiting too long to start having children and recommends women should start their families before age 25.

Narcotics Anonymous: "Insanity is repeating the same mistakes and expecting different results."

7 stages of grief (modified Kubler-Ross): Shock - Denial - Anger - Bargain - Depression - Testing - Acceptance.

Pulp Fiction Ezekiel 25:17 (the whole scene; revisited in the final scene). "The path of the righteous man is beset on all sides by the inequities of the selfish and the tyranny of evil men. Blessed is he who, in the name of charity and good will, shepherds the weak through the valley of darkness, for he is truly his brother's keeper and the finder of lost children. And I will strike down upon thee with great vengeance and furious anger those who would attempt to poison and destroy my brothers. And you will know my name is the Lord when I lay my vengeance upon thee!"

No matter how much a drill sergeant yells at you while smoking you (and your fellow privates) in the pit or anywhere else, muscle failure is muscle failure. Where the drill sergeant makes a difference is your muscular capacity is higher than your perception of your muscular capability. The drill sergeant bullies you past the limits of your perception, gets more out of your capacity, and thereby improves your capability more than you would have on your own.

Principle is fine - it's the ought. But power comes first - it's the real that is.

Andy Greenwald on the moral of the Game of Thrones's Red Wedding - the practical purpose for the fiction of idealism and the danger of codes of honor: "Jon Snow is a bastard, born outside of the tight web of convention that gave Ned meaning and purpose, the same fiction that Varys spoke of a few weeks back as being essential to keeping an empire from falling into chaos. While there's enough Ned in him to save the life of the elderly horsetrader — and blow his own cover in the process — Jon's still fluid enough in his worldview and allegiance to keep him alive for the foreseeable future." Rational choice wins. Greenwald's post is worth reading even if you (like I) haven't watched the show. It's a prescription for the red pill. "Greater good", "make a difference", and "make the world a better place" can be spun, interpreted, and modified to mean a number of different things.

Related to that the frame of the problem informs the solution, knowing parties, premises, (first) principles, purpose, and definitions tells you the rest.

I made myself a bannock pizza deep dish style using my 3 quart mixing bowl in the Nesco. It worked. The crust tasted, looked, and felt (texture) like a reasonable approximation of a deep dish pizza crust. I left the bannock dough in the refrigerator overnight because I wasn't hungry. I learned that chilled bannock dough, like chilled brownie batter, also flour based, is easier to work with than just-made bannock dough. The cooked crust seemed thicker than usual, too. I'm not sure whether it tasted different, though the bitter taste from the baking soda seemed less.

This time, I let the Duncan Hines dark chocolate fudge brownie cool completely before eating it. Cooled, but not cold, the texture was more brownie-like and seemed to taste better, too.

I tried mixing evaporated milk into my last dark chocolate brownie mix. The result was the consistency was more brownie like. Still low on taste, though.

I bought Duncan Hines dark chocolate fudge cake mix on sale for 1.25 for a 16.5 ounce box. Ugh. It's tasteless, more tasteless even than the Duncan Hines dark chocolate fudge brownie mix. Granted, cakes are meant to be frosted, but the cake portion should have at least some flavor. The texture is cake texture rather than the relatively denser brownie. Adding evaporated milk to the cake batter makes the cake spongier.

I wonder why chicken takes longer to cook than pork. Less dense muscle fiber?

Golden Krust honey barbecue jerk sauce is quite tasty as a dipping sauce. Hunts hickory & brown sugar barbecue sauce is too strong as a dipping sauce and okay as a pre-cook baste - quite sticky, though, due to the corn syrup.

The turkey sausage is a pain in the ass. I just ate 2 bites that were half raw. How am I supposed to know the inside is no longer pink? I'm going to try boiling one next time before I grill it, like how I broil my pork before grilling it. I'm just afraid the tasty oil will leak out of the sausage when I boil it.

.99/lb pork neck bones - not worth it for the meat. A lot of bone for broth, though.

Best Yet frozen southern selection cut okra is good. Slimy, so I cook it with my rice so the slime is soaked up in the rice.

Bachelor meat-sauce pasta shortcut: Add the uncooked pasta directly to the sauce. Add enough liquid for the pasta to plump. The Mirro and burner worked well for making the meat-sauce pasta. Bachelor meat-sauce pasta is illusory. It looks like a heaping pile (as I've noted before) and tastes okay, but it's not filling, so it goes quick.

The canned salmon makes for a decadent bachelor stew with Progresso soup. Earlier, I tried making a bachelor stew with a can of crushed tomatoes rather than soup and ended up with something like a weaker bachelor meat sauce, which I usually make with ground turkey, chicken, or pork. Today, I tried making a bachelor meat sauce pasta with the canned salmon (scallion greens, canned corn, frozen spinach, crushed tomatoes with basil). Pretty much the same result as the bachelor stew-turned-sauce. Not bad, but the canned salmon is miscast with the meat sauce. The salmon is weaker flavored with the crushed tomatoes than with the Progresso soup for some reason - tomato juice neutralizing the salmon oil, perhaps? From now on, I'm sticking with pork, turkey, or chicken for the meat sauce pasta and the canned salmon will be reserved for stew. Plus, I'm quite pleased with the Mirro so far.

With the Sunbeam wounded, I could use a skillet, frying pan, or wok for my single burner. I'm waiting for one to turn up for scavenging. I can only cook so many ways with the grill pan. At least one frying pan was available, but I declined to take it at the time because my Sunbeam was still healthy and I wasn't using my burner yet. Just goes to show, gotta think ahead.

I recovered a Circulon stove-top grill pan insert but without its holder/drip pan. It looked sort of like a skillet. I can't use it to cook without its holder unless I use it concave or underside side up, and I don't know that the underside is safe to cook on. I can't think of any other use for it. So, back in the recycling bin it goes. Oh well.

16MAY13: I scavenged an aluminum Mirro-matic electric frying pan today. I guess it was discarded because it's missing its power supply, so now it's just a frying pan, no longer electric. It's otherwise in good shape. The lid is intact and it's been scrubbed clean. It has scratches, some discolorations, and stubborn (soybean) vegetable oil stains in all the hard-to-scrub places. The key, and lucky, characteristic of the pan is its bottom fits onto my burner. The Mirro-matic has a 15-cup (120 ounce) capacity, compared to 12 cups for the 3-quart mixing bowl and 9 cups for the Sunbeam.

In cooking and other useful endeavors, the right tool for the job makes a big difference and trial and error is necessary for improvement beyond the limits of conception.

Eric

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