Quick! More than half the tickets are already gone. But if you’ve ever wanted a Serbu BFG-50A (just like the one the good folks of Serbu refused on principle to sell to the NYPD), you can buy a chance and benefit JPFO at the same time. This is a beautiful $2,400 gun. If “BFG” stands for what you’d expect “BFG” to stand for, the name really, seriously tells the truth.
“David Brooks: The Last Stalinist.” Unfortunately, he’s probably not even remotely the last. But I “enjoy” listening to him on NPR, where they pair him with E.J. Dionne as if it’s some sort of big sparring contest (big liberal vs big conservative, you know), and their views are so damn near identical that I make a game out of guessing which is which.
Damn. Journalist — real journalist — Michael Hastings just got killed in a car accident, age 33. He was one of the rare ones who wrote about power without pandering to the powerful. He will be missed. Sigh. Now let the conspiracy theories begin …
Wow, yeah. That’s one one really, really big anti-gun rally. Three whole people attending. Of course, the sponsoring group isn’t anything big time. Just some outfit created to support an obscure politician named … oh, what was his name again? Oh yeah … Barack Obama, that’s it.
“Why government should be paying you for your information.” I disagree with some of the conclusions, but I’m even more fanatical in believing that personal information about individuals belongs to the individuals and should not be a trade good unless the individual involved gives explicit consent.*
* Yeah, I know that goes against the current “information belongs to anybody who wants to profit from it” thinking. Well, BFD. The wiser I get, the more sorry I am that I ever considered Andy Galambos a nut.
Oh gads, please let me be even 1/4 as cool as Christopher Lee when I’m 90:
“The Soul-Rape of Bradley Manning.” This superb piece by Wendy McElroy has already and deservedly gotten a lot of electron time. I’ve been meaning to base a think piece of my own on it, but since I haven’t quite gotten there, I thought I’d just add one more link to the masses it’s already received.
I’ve been kind of sorry that the local Big City has only a Home Depot, not a Lowes. I like ‘em both, but always liked Lowes a little better. But damn, the co-founder of Home Depot has him some style and some guts.
Some are highly tested and reliable; others less well vetted. Some are open source; some maybe not. But considering the alternatives …
A requirement of the 2008 law is that the NSA “may not intentionally target any person known at the time of acquisition to be located in the United States.” A possible interpretation of that language, some legal experts said, is that the agency may vacuum up everything it can domestically — on the theory that indiscriminate data acquisition was not intended to “target” a specific American citizen.
NSA admits pretty much the whole shebang. Filthy, lying, spying, Orwellian, totalitarian, anti-Bill of Rights scum.
I’ll bet they — or their kissing cousins in the Injustice Department — turn out to be responsible for this, too.
* Dear alphabet soupers, and Lives of Others creepers and peepers: The above is not written as a threat. Merely an observation. Frankly, I don’t think any decent person would want to dirty their hands on the likes of you.
Yeah, the video’s a little “1980s” now. But still …
ADDED: I suppose it’s a plus (although a pretty weird one) that this song has been banned on the BBC for many years “…due to its address of war, nationalism and religion, as well as a direct reference to weaponry in the line, ‘There’s a gun and ammunition just inside the doorway.’”
Geez, I knew the Brits had gotten lily-livered in the last few decades (no offense, reader Roger), but that’s nuts! What are they allowed to listen to on the BBC? Songs about unicorns, lollypops, and how wonderful the government is?
It would have, among other things, have imposed de-facto gun registration and created thousands of new “criminals.” Worse, though, it would likely have become a model for other states.
Sandoval intended all along to veto it, I’m sure. The interesting thing was that he set up a call-in hotline to allow anyone, anywhere to v*te for or against a veto. Billionaire Bloomberg tried to rally his (ahem) grassroots anti-gunners while gun groups and the gunblogosphere rallied the real grassroots.
With all of Nanny Bloomberg’s bux and bluster, his people managed to get about one fourth of the total v*te.
One of the problems with reviewing a cookbook is that to do it properly you have to try at least a few of its recipes. That’s why I’m late to the party reviewing The Prepper’s Cookbook by Tess Pennington whose ReadyNutrition.com is rightly beloved among preparedness devotees.
When her publisher, Ulysses Press, sent the cookbook … oh, back in April, I think … it sure looked like a great (and even fun) resource. But I had to try a few dishes to be sure.
Having done that, I can say it cooks as good as it looks.
The #1 thing I appreciate about Tess’s recipes is that they take into consideration the full scale of storage and homegrown foods. This isn’t just a book about how to make edible sense out of your #10 cans of the ever-mysterious fruit galaxy. Recipes utilize freeze-dried and dehydrated items, storebought canned foods, bulk grains and beans, home-canned produce, dried herbs and spices, protein powders, and fresh food from your garden. (I say your garden because I so infamously can’t manage to grow one; I was able to cook up some decent food, regardless.)
In short, if you have a well-rounded storage pantry, here’s the well-rounded book to help you make the best of it.
While there are indeed 300 (or 300-ish; I didn’t count) recipes, there’s really more than that — including basic storage advice, brief canning info, lists of ingredients you can substitute or create for yourself if you don’t have something a conventional recipe calls for, and even a section on making beverages such as old-fashioned root beer, almond milk, rice milk, and Amish tea.
I set out to try several recipes without allowing myself to go to the store for any ingredients.
The first recipe I made up was Mandarin Orange Chicken (page 129), which is similar to something I often make with “regular” ingredients. This being a book about using storage foods, Tess calls for canned, not fresh, chicken. I used the canned breast meat that Costco sells at such super-bargain prices and that is a regular (though small) part of my food storage.
About the only ingredient in the recipe that might not already be in an otherwise well-prepared kitchen was fresh or dried bell pepper. Thanks to long-time reader MSJ, I have many small packets of edible, storable miscellany, including mixed dried bell peppers (and a small packet goes a long way). So in they went.
Verdict: Tess’s Mandarin Orange Chicken would have been scrumptious with fresh chicken. Canned, which falls apart when cooked, gave the dish a less-than-ideal texture. But it still tasted very good. And hey, we’re not likely to be worried about texture while whipping up dishes to help our family members have the strength to fend off zombies.
Tess’s 3-Can Black Bean Soup (page 101) was even better (and let me use up some canned items I might otherwise never get around to eating)
Best of all was dessert — Chocolate PB (Peanut Butter) Balls (page 189). Which don’t require a zombie attack to make them worth eating. (Sticky little suckers, but who cares if you have to lick something tasty off your fingers?) I added some chopped raw cashews and almonds, which made them even better and at least nodded in the direction of primal nutrition.
The book is well-written and well-organized. It covers the gamut of dishes, from salads to drinks and even includes a chapter called “Kid-Approved Snacks.”
There are certainly a fair number of books already out there on storing foods (especially, of course, the great — really great — granny of them all, Putting Food By).* And there are wonderful, useful, all-round classics like the late Carla Emery’s Encyclopedia of Country Living, which is being kept alive with new editions long after its amazingly quirky, innovative author has departed the world.** But many are either highly specialized or simply overwhelming, while some newer books aimed at the growing prepper market are either too simplistic or from less-reliable sources.
Pennington has “street cred” in preparedness, especially regarding food. And her Prepper’s Cookbook has the advantage of being both simple enough for new-minted preppers (a great gift for a friend or relative who’s just getting into preparedness) and comprehensive enough to be useful to the most experienced.
While I’d never give up giant tomes like Putting Food By or The Encyclopedia of Country Living, I’d call Pennington’s new book the best all-round book I’ve seen for actually cooking with storage foods.
Nice job, Tess.
* Oddly, on the day I made these links, the paperback version of PFB was cheaper than the Kindle version. Amazon changes prices frequently on some items, so who knows?
** I count myself lucky to have both a recent edition and one of the early copied-and-printed at home editions that Emery sold by subscription and peddled around the country from the tailgate of a vehicle full of kids way back when.
I’ve been trying to figure out the worst thing about the NSA revelations and it’s been hard to put my finger on that.
It’s not the loss of privacy. I hate that. I really, really hate that and I assume that everybody with a brain hates that. But it’s Not News.
It’s not the destruction of the Constitution and the Bill of Rights. Again: hate, hate, hate — but Not News.
It’s not the lies or the preposterous Hollywood scenarios the securitators are cooking up to obfuscate the fact that they’re spying on everybody. (Hey, look! As long as we make up Bourne-ish, Bondish stuff about terrorists, you won’t notice we’re spending more time peering at YOU!)
It’s not even that the country is being run by unelected madmen and most people don’t give a damn.
It’s not even that secrecy has run amuck and hardly anybody seems to notice that you can’t have both secret government and “representative” government at the same time — that secret government is by definition dictatorship.
No, all of that is horrible, but none of that is the worst. So what is it? What is it? What is the elusive thing that is even more horrible than all that?
I think the word might be impunity. Or better yet, that term our grandmothers might have used: effrontery.
It’s that all of the above is being done with the bland assumption that they (and I mean all the “theys,” from the No Such Agency to the rubber-stamp FISA court to the unholy union of Feinstein and Graham to the legions of enforcers to, of course, the Lecturer in Chief) will get away with doing whatever they want to do to us. They assume they’ll never be stopped and never be forced to bear any consequences.
And why should they assume otherwise?
Even when they’ve been caught in the past and had to weather mediastorms or even storms of congressional ire, those “theys” have always gotten their way in the long run. Look back at the frenzy of the 1970s, when Watergate and the COINTELPRO scandals crashed simultaneously over the nation — and thinking people, utterly disgusted with the illegality and overreach of “their” government, rose up and demanded change!
What did they get for their indignation and their efforts? They got things like the FISA court. That is, they got the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, that, at bottom, just created a way for all the abuses to go on exactly as before (with perhaps a slight pause in the worst domestic surveillance) — but now to go on with a nice cover of “legality” — and complete, permanent secrecy.
And of course, we got all that — and worse. Because the fundamental wrongs never get addressed. They just get legal-ified to make them appear acceptable. (Legalification has the same relation to natural law as truthiness has to actual truth.)
The fundamental wrongs never do get addressed — within the system. And that’s what all the “they’s” are counting on. Public outrage. Followed by cosmetic reform. Followed by business-as-usual. Followed by all kinds of delicious new laws and regulations they can use to game the system even more completely in the future.
And so their game goes on. And on.
To a point.
Of course, behind all the impunity and effrontery, there lies that one ever-present fear: the knowledge that at some point even the most regulated, cowed, well-bribed, and spied-upon population won’t take it any more.
The “theys” of the world know this even as they deny it in the media and their everyday doings. Perhaps that’s why creatures as allegedly diverse as Feinstein and Graham are humping each other so vigorously on this one thing — the real thing not being that surveillance is good and comfy and protective and absolutely harmless as they keep insisting, but that the status quo (that is, elites overseeing the rest of us) must be maintained at all costs.