Monday, April 28, 2008

A Brief History of Arugula

For those of you wishing to avoid the tags of "limousine liberal" or "latte drinking leftist" or what have you, there are numerous pitfalls in the food and beverage world. Apparently, should you hope to not be lumped in with the "lift your pinkie whilst drinking tea" crowd, you need to add arugula to your list of right wing vulnerability targets. Just ask Ezra Klein.
When did arugula become the new latte? Newsweek is using it as the counterpoint to beer (which, though drunk by hipsters and sold in Trader Joe's, apparently denotes blue collar cred), but does that register with folks? Arugula just looks like...lettuce. I couldn't even identify it offhand. Sushi, frappucinos, "SmartWater" -- all that I could see. But a sort of obscure salad ingredient? That's a more advanced degree in in yuppie than even I have.

Here's what I know about arugula. It doesn't have any double letters in it. (Or so my spell checker tells me.) I'm not sure if I've ever had it. Yet, I've voted for several Democrats over the years, and a number of Republicans, mixed in with various third party candidates and cartoon characters. I kind of like American Prospect commenter Mark F's conundrum.
I live in Worcester, MA. About as blue collar and non-elitist as you get. I had a turkey buger with arugula for lunch on Saturday. To drink I had two Narragansett tall boys. WHO DO I VOTE FOR?

Here's something more official, from your friends at wikipedia.
also known as arugula or rocket, is an edible plant. It is a species of Eruca native to the Mediterranean region, from Morocco and Portugal east to Jordan and Turkey.[1][2] It is closely related to Eruca vesicaria and included by some botanists in that either as a subspecies E. vesicaria subsp. sativa[3] or not distinguished at all;[4] it can be distinguished from E. vesicaria by its early deciduous sepals.[3]

Now I feel better. Doesn't sound like anything I'd put in my beer.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Misguided, Or Misguiding?

So what do you think makes a person sit around and decide which methods of torture to use? Do you think it's that they have become so divorced from reality that they didn't understand that they're condoning torture, or do you think that they knew exactly what they were doing, and that they're all just a certain kind of (and I HATE using this word) evil?

I don't know, but I know it's a disgrace. Some public noise needs to be made, a lot of public noise. Jane at Firedoglake has a plan, and an easy way to speak up a bit.
"I'm aware our national security team met on this issue. And I approved," Bush told ABC News' Martha Raddatz on Friday. "I don't know what's new about that; I'm not so sure what's so startling about that."
He doesn't see what's so startling about that, so now it's up to us to tell him.

Friday, April 11, 2008

I'm a detective!

The definitions of detective include "fitted for or used in detecting something." This week, though I'm sure The One True Tami (Blessed be Her name)would not approve, I finally took one of the final steps toward becoming a grumpy old man yelling for those damned kids to get off his lawn. I purchased a metal detector. Now all I really need is the cloth cabby hat and the baggy golf shorts in some really blaring colors.

I think there's something inherent in our genetic code that these companies have tapped in to. It's a hobby that I never would have even considered a few years ago, and in fact made fun of. Do I expect to find untold riches and retire to the South of France? Not bloody likely. But there is just something addictive about the idea of wandering around, listening for little beeps in a pair of headphones, and digging down into the earth to see what mysterious objects might lie below us, just out of sight. Could it be a rare old coin? A lost diamond earring? A civil war military artifact? 99 times out of 100 it's going to be a pull tab from a soda can, a beer bottle cap or a rusty old nail.

I took it out into the yard last night for just a few moments and "detected" my very first metallic item from the earth. It was a rusty old bolt of some sort. I don't care. I cleaned it up with a wire brush and I'm going to string it on a chain to hang around my neck. Yeah, there's a fashion statement for ya.

So I wish you all a good weekend and invite you to laugh at me if you will. Oh, and just make sure you stay off my lawn ya little bastards.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

More on Negotiating

To clarify further how I feel about negotiating with anti-Israel "government officials" such as Hamas leaders:

If you have a group of people in a position of power that behave as an immovable object regarding unreasonable expectations, you know, like say, blowing the entire country of Israel up because they believe it is an abomination, there are two approaches that I would consider as having a chance of succeeding. The first is to treat the leaders as adults, and to continue trying to discuss things openly, hoping that reason may eventually sink in, and that a more peaceful existence can be achieved. The second is to attempt to kill every single man, woman and child within the belief system you are opposing, not stopping until you have at least decimated their existence. Kill, kill, kill until the devastation overwhelms, and your enemies have no possible resources to use in order to rise up against you.

I don't really believe that either one of these methods can "solve" the Middle East conflicts, I believe that they will exist in form or another until the end of the earth. I think that method two, though, is idiotic, irresponsible towards our fellow humans, and an evolutionary step backwards.

The future has to go forwards, people.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Carter Criticism Connundrum

(via Memorandum)

Carter to meet with Hamas Leader (possibly)

Wow, people judge Jimmy Carter pretty harshly. Personally, I was quite young when the whole Egypt/Israel Camp David peace treaty thing happened, but I remember how happy it made my parents.
“I’m not surprised that Carter would do this, as he has been supporting Palestinian extremism for many years,” said Steve Emerson, director of the Investigative Project on Terrorism, a watchdog group.

Carter would be the first Western leader of his stature to meet with the Hamas chief. Though Meshal met with Clinton officials in the 1990s, the Bush administration has sought to isolate Hamas, enforcing rigid sanctions on its government in Gaza and refusing to meet with its leaders unless it recognizes Israel and abandons terror.

“I think this [visit] undermines the U.S. policy of isolating Hamas,” said Emerson. “I think this encourages Europeans to further dilute their sanctions against the Hamas government.”
Really? Carter supports extremism? Why is it that I honestly feel that this guy supports peace above all else? Is it his mild demeanor? His lack of declaring wars? His work to provide housing to low-income families? His willingness to sit down with people who have their thumbs on an entire race of people and can influence their emotions at the drop of a hat to try and convince them that working with the US could help them more than working against it? Am I the only one who thinks he's trying to make things better for everyone? Oh, wait -
But Ibrahim Hooper, communications director of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, a non-profit advocacy group, said Carter's efforts demonstrate he's a true partner in peace.

“I think if true, this report would indicate that President Carter is willing to travel any road in search of peace,” he said. “I think President Carter would only undertake such a mission if he believed that something could be achieved in terms of peace and reconciliation in the region.”

Hooper added that because of Carter's reputation among Palestinians he might be able to bring some pressure to bear.

“Obviously President Carter has a great amount of credibility in the region because of his past efforts seeking peace internationally,” Hooper said.
OK, I agree with the American-Islamic relations guy. I'm pretty sure that I'm an example of a Jewish person who wants good things for Israel. Am I turned around, here, or are people just being inflammatory out of reflex, and hurting themselves?

I think that people need to be working for peace, not supremacy. Maybe that's my problem.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Oprah Exposed!

Right up front, let me just say, if you came to this post looking for naked pictures of Oprah Winfrey, you:

1. Will be vastly disappointed
2. Have some very serious issues and should seek help immediately
3. May have a future with Fox Television

The real story, of course, is that Oprah is doomed. And why? She has been poisoned by the toxic aroma of Barack Obama.
Much hay was made nearly a year ago when Oprah Winfrey announced that she would support — and campaign for — Democratic presidential hopeful Barack Obama. Her effect in boosting support for Obama in early primary and caucus states like Iowa (which he won), New Hampshire (which he lost) and even South Carolina (which he won) is debatable.

But what has received far less attention is the impact Oprah’s endorsement has had on her own popularity... Almost instantly, Oprah’s popularity in America plummeted. An August 2007 CBS News poll showed only 61 percent of Americans were favorably disposed to her — a considerable drop of 13 percentage points from a similar survey conducted just seven months prior.

According to the always non-partisan and never challenged Journal of Convenient Facts for Me, it is clear that virtually everyone in the country hates Barack Obama. In a second, highly scientific poll, my basset hound responded saying, "I'd bite that Obama loving beeyatch if I had half a chance and could get my pudgy arse off this couch." From this it's clear that not only can Obama not be elected president, he will sink the careers of everyone who has ever met him... including the Pope who will be cast down from the Vatican into a pit of burning brimstone prior to November.

Then again, let's just get crazy for a moment and imagine that something else could explain the ratings change for the daytime talk diva. Who makes up Oprah's biggest demographic base? I'll leave you to do the Neilson research yourself if you don't believe me, but it happens to be women. And what group is Hillary Clinton's biggest fan base? (Cue the Jeopardy music.)

So once she endorses Obama, do you suppose that some disgruntled Hillary fans are a bit less enthusiastic about her in this highly charged political environment? History will be the judge. Somehow I don't think Oprah or Obama are going anywhere soon, but then again... what do I know? I believed the story about penguins being able to fly.

Oh Happy Day!

Fafblog is back!

This is because I wore my Fafshirt this weekend, I just know it.
Don't bother me with the fact that they came back before the weekend, I'm not listening.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Obsession Continues

While other people, smarter people, maybe even better people (nah!) around the world are thinking globally, I continue to think locally. Really, really locally.

I am so damn happy about the kitchen.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

The Truth Can Finally Be Told

Otis was right. Penguins really can fly. At least one particular sub-species.
Camera crews discovered a colony of Adélie penguins while filming on King George Island, some 750 miles south of the Falkland Islands. BBC1 viewers will see the penguins not only take flight from the Antarctic wastes, but fly thousands of miles to the Amazonian rainforest to find winter sun.

And there is photographic proof.