We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
Our Recent Essays Behind the Front Page
Friday, April 17. 2009
Why many with 6-figure incomes do not feel rich
Obama apologizes to innocent asteroids
How the CIA extracted info from Jihadists.
Krauthammer shreds Obama's BS. Amazing to me how the O gets away with it.
And another Dem Rep calls them despicable. Huh? I thought dissent was patriotic...never mind.
And via Driscoll:
Social pathology and structural poverty. A quote:
Dick Morris on the anti-success President. A quote:
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Well--it's finally happened: for the first time in my life I have purchased a jar of Tahini. Tahini is that almost paste like stuff made from toasted sesame seeds. It is used in middle eastern cooking--first introduced to the west coast by hippies in the 60's. I am curious though--why is it--in very tiny print it says "Made in Guatemala". They don't grow sesame seeds do they? If they do, can we grown them here? If so, why don't we produce Tahini locally? Why the heck--Guatemala? This is from a fine company that I trust for many other products. Based in NY you can read about them here--why Guatemala?
Everybody knows that the world's best sesame seeds come from Chichicastenango. /Trader Joe's devotee
Yup, the northern part of Central America is a big sesame producer. :-)
And hey, get a load of what happened a few years back to the comlpaining Dem Rep's hubby:
"many with 6-figure incomes do not feel rich"
And their example is near-on an order of magnitude higher in income than my family, and yet I feel pretty rich. I think the emphasis is on "feel" in the article, but the causes listed are health-care, education, and loss of net-worth due to drops in housing value.
My tip: do your postgraduate degree abroad. Getting the visa is dead easy, often spouses of students are automatically eligible to have employment, and the education-cost "bubble" has not happened there.
Ok Skookumchuk--how the heck did the sesame seeds from Central America get into the mainstream diet of the Middle East? :-) And, why can't we grow them here? A lot of empty tobacco fields I would imagine, or is there? What are they growing in those fields anyhow?
What is the overall design of the new world plan that has been formulated by a bunch of nincompoop "change agents"? How about this: stabilize the populations in Africa into a very productive source of food. Do the same for remaining agricultural areas of Americas. Then move the unemployed populations into the construction industry. Where you might ask? Well where the unions want to work with the mobsters in the construction industry. I have a better plan: instead of sending money to corrupt government officials in Mexico--what do you say we support American construction companies that use good building code practices and materials to go down to Mexico and rebuild those residential areas--that way their unemployed could stay there--our folks would be getting some of the money--and perhaps--just maybe we could start to educate the population about the faults of corruption. See how did we get here? How about looking more closely at what the agricultural trends are today?
"...stabilize the populations in Africa into a very productive source of food."
I can see this as a great way to solve Africa's problems - eating all its inhabitants, but 'productive'? I don't think so. They're all so damn skinny they'd be like eating one chicken wing at a time.
I think the Germans are the fattest. Maybe the Brits. We could eat them first. But that doesn't solve Africa's problems, alas. Maybe a tall, skinny, black person on a sesame seed bun would help our digestion. Oh, who knows.
"And, why can't we grow them here? "
I like pistachio nuts, and at one time the U.S. imported them exclusively from Iran. After the Teheran Embassy take over in the mid-70's, a U.S. oil embargo implemented. Whereupon, Iran not only cut off our oil, they also cut off our nuts. Shortly afterward California developed the methods necessary to cultivate and produce the pistachio nut we enjoy today.
Why not sesame seed? Maybe cost, climate or lack of demand.
Arnold should know.
AP: I have absolutely no idea. It probably went the other way - from the Middle East to Central America - I'm guessing.
A-ha. According to the always reliable Wikipedia, sesame began in the Indus Valley... then to Latin America and the Southern US with the slave trade. It grows in Texas, too although Africa and China are the biggies. Then Central America (though Wikipedia doesn't say that) and the US.
I don't know if sesame is really grown around Chichicastenango, Guatemala. All I know is that a corrupt cop once tried to write us a ticket for "speeding" on a curve outside of town. I do like the sound of the name, though.
Yes, Skookumchuk, I have always loved the sound of that name also!
Dear Meta--your wit is so quick and much appreciated! I was of course referring to the vast untapped plains and valley upon which agriculture could be developed staffed by a population so eager for food and so able to work for peanuts (woops--pennies). Everyday I watch as Microsoft, Buffet, and Soros pour billions of dollars into Africa through their "charities", or their "philanthropic foundations"--those folks want something back in return for their kindness--what could it be? More manufacturing--nah that goes to China and India. More information technology--nah, we'll keep that one. How about . . . How would you divide up the primary functions that support life as we know it? If you were a greenie--how would you like to re-distribute the population mess? Which requires a re-distribution of wealth, which is what is going on right now.
And, of course the thing we hear so little about--but, that thing which is the most critical to any life--water--how the heck are we gonna "play fair" with that issue? Those of us who live in the north central states (remember that north/south corridor/highway/train that is being planned) are all keenly aware of the negotiations for power/control over the water in our states: easiest to visualize is the water above ground--but, what is being fought over with equal determination is the ground water--water underground that we use in our wells, on our land--that water no longer belongs to us. The use of that water is a gift from the state--just thought you should know.
Ahh _ guess I'll go bake an apple pie while I still can!
One more thing: would Buddy, or another informed Texan, please spell out the details of Texas' right to secede from the Union. It is my understanding that though DC doesn't like to talk about it, or admit it, the fact is that Texas has retained the right to break into five separate states. That occurred as a result of their re-entering the Union after the war. Somebody help with this one--please.
I understand that there are those who say the agreement no longer holds, but every school child in Texas learns about it. Here's a quick summary from Snopes: http://www.snopes.com/history/american/texas.asp
(Sorry, html tags don't work for me when I post here, don't know why. My comment was rejected as spam when I tried to use commands that didn't work anyway )
"Chichicastenango" - or "Place ringed by nettles" in Nahuatl.
Were it "place ringed by sesame."
In the not too distant past it would have been honest to say "a place ringed by tourists", but I suspect that is no longer the case due to various gangs, etc.
On another subject raised today: I give thanks every day for Charles Krauthammer! I do not agree with him on all things--but he calls it closer than anybody else out there.
apple pie ... I'll get my husband, who is 5th generation Texan, to post the details later when he gets back from an errand. But, the gist of the agreement The Republic of Texas made when it agreed to join the United States was that it reserved the right to withdraw if circumstances changed substantially. Some folks contend that the Civil War abrogated Texas' original agreement, and maybe it did.
But I don't think secession is being threatened by Rick Perry here, even though the mainstream media, which is always ready to accuse the South of great crimes and general uppityness, has said that is what Perry said. What Perry said is that Texas and its Legislature wanted to return to the Constitution and the Bill of Rights as they are written, and to have the Feds confine their government actions to the activities specified in the Constitution and the Bill of Rights. He noted during a speech on Tax Day that if the Feds kept arrogating to themselves more and more power which had been granted to the states, that maybe Texas might have to rethink things.
If Texas did secede [God forbid] we certainly could do without the United States better than it could do without us. We have our own power grid not dependent on the national power grid. We have lots and lots of fossil fuels and the refineries to process them. [You guys would probably miss that.] We grow a lot of veggies and meat -- darn good beef as a matter of fact. Farms in the Texas Valley produce great amounts of fruits and vegetables. We have nuclear powered plants which produce clean electricity.
In short, we're pretty self-sufficient down here, as are several other Gulf states. The twits in Washington are singularly ignorant of the assets Texas and the other Gulf states have and which they would lose if they pissed us off sufficiently.
The trouble with the twits in Washington and in the mainstream media is that they're pretty ignorant about almost everything.
Texans love to twit Yankees about secession. In the 70's we had a progressive/liberal Texas Railroad Commissioner (for obscure reasons, the oil & gas industry in Texas is under the purview of the RR Commissioner). He completely scandalized Washington by suggesting that Texas should negotiate directly and on its own with OPEC. Always had a soft spot in my heart for that guy. What was his name, Hightower?
About sesame seeds: we're interested in growing them here in South Texas. The little boogers are really expensive, and we use a lot of them. Apparently the climate is OK; the trouble so far has been in finding cultivation-quality seed. It seems you can't just plant the ones from the bottles.
I was told that when the Republic of Texas presented a plan to Washington to join the Union with five named sates, the plan was rejected because the region would have too much representation in the nations capitol.. ten senators etc.
The Republic of Texas was allowed to join the union, but only as a single state.
As part of the negotiation, one of the unique agreements was, Texas, by law was not required to fly the state flag lower that the U.S. flag, (altho they always do) along with some other, what seemed important but minor issues of the day pertaining to the new state.
Texan99 ... As you undoubtedly already know, we also have our own homegrown basmati rice, which is sold under the brand name Texmati. I just grabbed some when I shopped for the week's groceries a little while ago. I don't think most of us let it hang around long enough to be 'aged basmati rice,' but it's available, and in fairly compact packaging too.
We lived in West TX for two years--hated the weather--loved the people!
It is my understanding this way: in the beginning TX had the right to seceed. But there was another war and another re-writing of the relationship between TX and the US. If I remember correctly the second time around TX maintained the right to divide into five separate states. It is that possibility that always concerns DC--it would mean an additional eight senators! We loved Hightower--did a little work helping him keep nuclear waste out of TX. Don't know what, if anything has been buried down there now.
What I find hard to believe is that McDonald's can sell its Big Mac so cheaply considering those little boogers that sit atop its bun.
Well, Meta... perhaps McDonald's had some inside influence in purchasing power once Iran cut our nuts off.
What do you think of Texas becoming a nation-state? I wonder if they'd elect a King and Queen? How cool would that be? The Queen of Texas could say: "Off with their heads!" to the drug lords and people would smile benignly and clap quietly.
I kinda like it. What say you?
I'm okay with Texas being sovereign. As for the Queen and her powers... as long as it's the right one I'm all for it.