Saturday, December 27, 2008

The Brunswick Stew Code

1. All meat in Brunswick Stew is GROUND. No pulled, diced, cubed, chunked, shredded or otherwise mangled meat is in genuine Brunswick Stew. Whatever meats your recipe calls for, they MUST BE GROUND UP to achieve the consistency of authentic Brunswick Stew. If you don't like ground meats in your stew, then you won't like authentic Brunswick Stew. Go make a pot roast instead.

2. Attention all you Yankees out there: THERE ARE NO POTATOES in authentic Brunswick Stew. You might find recipes calling for corn and tomatoes and okra and even peas, but you will NEVER find a recipe for genuine Brunswick Stew that contains POTATOES. Got it?

As a lifetime southerner raised on authentic Brunswick Stew, I declare this the Official Brunswick Stew Code. If you're eating stew with chunks or strands of meat, or with any kind of potatoes in it, it ain't Brunswick Stew.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Hair On Fire Roundup

Madoff: Warnings were ignored
This WaPo article says that the SEC had received several credible warnings over the years about the Madoff business being a ponzi scheme, and the SEC is beside itself trying to defend its multiple failures to detect and act on the fraud.

Who can read that and not remember all the warnings our government received over the years about 9/11 but failed to act?

As with 9/11, and Enron, and Katrina, and the meltdowns in Iraq, they didn't see this Madoff crisis coming, despite all the hair-on-fire warnings over the years. Even though the government's main priority: tax revenues will take a tremendous beating as a result, they still dropped the ball. Forget about us, they can't even protect their own interests. How's that for a laugh? God forbid these incompetents assume control over the auto industry and healthcare too.

Here's another couple genuine hair on fire warnings that nobody is taking seriously:
  • David Walker: this country's bankrupt.

  • Celent Report: On the Road to Weimar Republic inflation.
    ...there has been an entirely unprecedented increase in the money supply. By the week of 3 December 2008, the money supply was a staggering $630 billion, or 74% higher than it was during the week of 3 September 2008. An increase of this size in the past took on the order of a decade.

    Such an increase in the monetary base should be cause for alarm, and would normally be seen as an indicator of a pending bought of hyperinflation. [...] might be excused for thinking that the frequent comparisons with the Great Depression of 1929 are not the most apt. Perhaps the economic crisis in the Weimar Republic some seven years earlier could provide a better comparison.

    Who out there actually believes that we can spend our way out of any problem?

    Bush Approval Rating at an All-Time High
    At least, according to this UPI headline: Survey: Bush disapproval at new low. The article itself reports Bush's overall approval rating at 24%, and his "positive legacy" rating at an astonishing 11%. LOL

    Where's the turning point?
    Negative public sentiment regarding local law enforcement seems to be growing, no thanks in part to incidents like this, where an innocent 12-year-old girl was beaten in her own front yard by 3 unidentified police officers alleging she was a prostitute even though she didn't match the description they were given, then was belatedly arrested for assault when she tried to fight off her assailants. Not to mention all the no-knock raids on the wrong houses that we read about regularly, and the general thuggish behavior routinely exhibited by police. (Sidenote: Here is an excellent resource to see just how bad the problem has become.)

    Mistakes can and do happen, and the appropriate response in a civil society is to acknowledge the mistakes when they happen, apologize, and take steps to minimize them in the future. What we have instead is a policy of official defense of the indefensible when municipal authorities determine these unconscionable actions of the officers are appropriate and they'd do it again if given the opportunity.

    I'm sure there are good cops out there who take their roles as public servants seriously, who don't appreciate being the target of increasingly negative public perceptions, but when they stand shoulder to shoulder defending and protecting the thugs among them, they acquire the taint as if they themselves are the culprits.

    The late entertainer Aaron Russo had an easy test everyone should try. He once asked his audience to notice their response when they see a police car driving behind them. If they are taken by a sense of comfort and security at the sight of the police behind them, they live in a free and just society. However, if they are immediately overcome with apprehension upon seeing the police car, they live in a genuine police state. It's an easy test: When a police car pulls in behind you, do you calm down or tense up?

    Will this be turned around in my lifetime so that the public can believe and trust the "protect and serve" motto, or will the public trust continue to erode until the police and the public ultimately become warring factions in the long lost land of the free?

    God's Law or Man's Law?
    Here we have an interesting case where a church member confided in her mentor about her relationship with her boyfriend. Being that this relationship is sinful in the eyes of the church, they proceed to act upon Matt. 18:15-17,
    [15] Moreover if thy brother shall trespass against thee, go and tell him his fault between thee and him alone: if he shall hear thee, thou hast gained thy brother.
    [16] But if he will not hear thee, then take with thee one or two more, that in the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established.
    [17] And if he shall neglect to hear them, tell it unto the church: but if he neglect to hear the church, let him be unto thee as an heathen man and a publican.

    Seeing as how the woman thought her conversations with her mentor would be kept confidential, you can see why she has a problem with this, and formally resigned from the church. Thing is, the church is going to announce it anyway, even though she's no longer a member there.

    It would appear that the church may already find themselves in a bit of hot water, to the tune of 5-15 years in prison. Florida statute 836.05 states thusly:
    836.05 Threats; extortion.--Whoever, either verbally or by a written or printed communication, maliciously threatens to accuse another of any crime or offense, or by such communication maliciously threatens an injury to the person, property or reputation of another, or maliciously threatens to expose another to disgrace, or to expose any secret affecting another, or to impute any deformity or lack of chastity to another, with intent thereby to extort money or any pecuniary advantage whatsoever, or with intent to compel the person so threatened, or any other person, to do any act or refrain from doing any act against his or her will, shall be guilty of a felony of the second degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084.

    This might explain in part why they've essentially gone into hiding.

    But the question is, which law prevails: God's Law, or Man's Law?