Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Is it really wrong?

I was reading this weeks article by John Stossel, and it started off with this:

We grow up learning that some things are just bad: child labor, ticket scalping, price gouging, kidney selling, blackmail, etc. But maybe they're not.

That got me thinking. People are against child labor...but when you need every penny/nickel/dime you can lay ahold of, why is it bad? I was reading an older book on Google books - I forgot the name of it - but in the early 1900s, those 10 and up generally worked. It wasn't until after WW2 that a majority went on to finish high school. I guess my parents were unusual, as on my mom's side, they all went to college, and on my dad's side, he went to a technical school. (he played football there) Should we abolish child labor in other countries? That would be making poor countries already poorer. Prostitution rises in countries where the jobs are less. So.. a choice. having kid selling their body on the street, or working to make Tshirts? Its a real no-brainer.

8th grade education was the basic thing, for "the greatest generation". Things were invented, unlike now = when everything is basically the same since then. Merely improvements on something already invented. Think about it. Ok, enough rabbit trail there.

What about "price gouging"? Who is to say what a "fair price" is, when the product is scarce? Of course the price is going to rise. Market value is related to how desired a product is, and the scarcity of it. If there's a lot of it, and it's desired, prices will stay low. As amount falls, prices will rise. (common sense).

Take those "price gougers" heading to a hurricane-stricken area with gallons of water. Are they supposed to sell the water for 74c a gallon? Or, do they take into account their time and trouble, not to mention gas money, for bringing it to that area? So what, you have to pay more...so you can get water/generators/whatever. Would it be better to NOT have those items? According to the gov't, it would be.

"being parsimonious is a form of greed" was one of the comments. Think about it.

1: exhibiting or marked by parsimony; especially : frugal to the point of stinginess
2: sparing, restrained
— par·si·mo·ni·ous·ly adverb


(see parsimony)
First Known Use: 1598

Synonyms: cheap, chintzy, close, closefisted, mean, mingy, miserly, niggard, niggardly, stingy, penny-pinching, penurious, pinching, pinchpenny, spare, sparing, stinting, tight, tightfisted, uncharitable, ungenerous
Antonyms: bounteous, bountiful, charitable, freehanded, generous, liberal, munificent, openhanded, unsparing, unstinting

ok. think I've exhausted that rabbit :P

On another note, school vouchers for choice of education for your child. I think it's a good idea. But the only problem I forsee, is that the government will want to call the shots at any school accepting vouchers. Bad idea!

Look at this:

The LEA is the "Local Education Authority".. ie. the public school. Notice the wide gap between public and private/charter/whatever schools. Which one would be better used to educate children? Yet another no-brainer. And of course, the teacher's unions are all over this, saying that it's horrible that public schools are losing money through students fleeing. well DUH! Big FAIL for public schools.

Now for the taste buds - I made a nice strawberry shortcake for dessert last night, but I figured out do NOT make the full recipe when there are only two of you eating it. The shortcakes turned out huge, and youngest only ate 1/3 of hers. I started thinking about food, and being I was talking with a friend about food, this came to mind:

Chicken fried BACON. Complete with cream gravy. Hopefully the gravy is nicely peppered. Imagine the calories in that thing - a fat, deep fried in fat, served with a fat. An artery-busting thing!

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

What I learned today (and yesterday)

A couple of interesting things I've found out - "meat glue" and energy consumption per capita. First, what I learned yesterday - meat glue. Sounded kind of weird, and when I first heard of it, I thought.. glue made out of meat? Kind of like jello?

Nothing of the sort. Its transglutaminase. Its an enzyme, from pig & cattle blood, and bonds proteins together. (think chicken nuggets) It's used in those, sausages, lunch meats, hot dogs all use it. But, what I've learned, is that it's also used for "steaks". I'd be rather PO'd paying good money for what I think is a slab of steak, and finding out it's only leftover chunks & stew meat slapped together with this into a "steak". Not to mention, the possibility of bacteria. I make sure the outside of my steak is brown, but I like a cold, red center (and lots of center). If I'm eating a steak that's of bits and pieces, it's no more safe even at medium rare than a hamburger cooked to that. That's why they suggest cooking your ground meat to well-done. Brown all the way through. I don't think anyone would like to have their steak done all the way through. YUK! talk about overcooked! But there is the usual scare-mongering of 'meat glue' although it's regularly used in food products.

Never thought you'd be eating paste again, like you did in kindergarten?

From Mike's Daily Apple (about health):

If you’re worried that the meat you buy contains transglutaminase, you can do a few things to avoid any potential complications:

Do what the guy in the video did and gently tug on your meat. If your steak comes apart, it’s probably “steak.” It’s probably best to perform the tug test before you pay for the meat, and most meat counters/butchers will allow you to inspect what they sell.

Just cook it thoroughly. I would advise against cooking your “steak” like a steak until well done, because, well, that just ruins meat, but a nice braise, crockpot stew, or soup would all work. Remember: it is meat and it is edible.

Ask. Ask your butcher, your meat supplier, or your waiter if the meat contains glue. They should know, and if they don’t (or if they’re unwilling to say), order something else or go elsewhere.

NOW for the interesting factoid I found -

We all *know* the US is the EEEEEEEEeevil energy-user of the world, and of course, Americans should live like Bangladeshians. The US uses 7,885.9 of KGOE (kilograms of oil equivalent). Sounds high? Let's see where it lies among the countries' usage.

Energy (oil) consumption per capita:

1. Quatar 19,466.0

2. Iceland 12,209.4

3. Bahrain 11,180.0

4. Kuwait 11,102.0

5. United Arab Emirates 10,354.0

6. Luxembourg 10,137.8

7. Trinidad & Tobago 9,736.0

8. Netherlands Antilles 9,057.0

9. Canada 8,472.6

10. United States 7,885.9

11. Norway 7,153.2

12. Brunei Darrussalem 7,062.0

13. Singapore 6,932.0

15. Finland 6,555.0

16. Saudi Arabia 6,068.0

17. Australia 5,897.5

18. lgium 5,891.7

19. Sweden 5,780.3

20. Oman 5,440.0

21. Gibraltar 5,432.0

22. Netherlands 5,048.8

23. Taiwan 4,621.0

24. Czech Republic 4,418.6

25. South Korea 4,415.4

26. France 4,396.8

27. New Zealand 4,218.0

28. Germany 4,187.0

29. Japan 4,135.3

30. Austria 4,134.7

By the way - Bangladesh comes in last, with 171.0

Weird, huh?

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

A Texan's Answer to Welfare

I went to my email inbox, and got a nugget of joy from a friend a couple counties over. I'd wager there are more than just a few people who think this should go on.

This is is good. Read to the end. Should work in Washington also.

Put me in charge . . .

Put me in charge of food stamps. I'd get rid of Lone Star cards; no cash for Ding Dongs or Ho Ho's, just money for 50-pound bags of rice and beans, blocks of cheese and all the powdered milk you can haul away. If you want steak and frozen pizza, then get a job.

Put me in charge of Medicaid. The first thing I'd do is to get women Norplant birth control implants or tubal ligations. Then, we'll test recipients for drugs, alcohol, and nicotine and document all tattoos and piercings. If you want to reproduce or use drugs, alcohol, smoke or get tats and piercings, then get a job.

Put me in charge of government housing. Ever live in a military barracks? You will maintain our property in a clean and good state of repair. Your "home" will be subject to inspections anytime and possessions will be inventoried. If you want a plasma TV or Xbox 360, then get a job and your own place.

In addition, you will either present a check stub from a job each week or you will report to a "government" job. It may be cleaning the roadways of trash, painting and repairing public housing, whatever we find for you. We will sell your 22 inch rims and low profile tires and your blasting stereo and speakers and put that money toward the "common good."

Before you write that I've violated someone's rights, realize that all of the above is voluntary. If you want our money, accept our rules.. Before you say that this would be "demeaning" and ruin their "self esteem," consider that it wasn't that long ago that taking someone else's money for doing absolutely nothing was demeaning and lowered self esteem.

If we are expected to pay for other people's mistakes we should at least attempt to make them learn from their bad choices. The current system rewards them for continuing to make bad choices.

AND While you are on Gov't subsistence, you no longer can VOTE! Yes that is correct. For you to vote would be a conflict of interest. You will voluntarily remove yourself from voting while you are receiving a Gov't welfare check. If you want to vote, then get a job.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Email to DC

Ok...so I am FED UP with the rank stupidity, and gross neglect of common-sense that DC is doing - so I started emailing my senators - Kay Bailey Hutchinson, and John Cornyn.

I only remember a little of what I wrote to Hutchinson, but basically that you cannot go on a spending spree to Macy's one-day sale, planning on spending $1500, and spend $1000 and call that a spending cut. that it is insanity, and that I'm ashamed of the morons in Washington.

To John Cornyn, his handy-dandy auto reponder regurgitated my email to him - so here it is for your viewing pleasure:

Your Message:

What on God's green earth is having you vote for this monstrosity? I'm aghast at the spending you guys are doing up there. This is the crap that is forcing me out of the Republican party, as they are just now "democrat lite". What part of NO MORE SPENDING do you people up there NOT understand? If I had the chance YOU have to make a stand and say NO I would have jumped at it, but you rolled right over into their laps. If I used a credit card the way you guys spend up there, I'd be long dead before it was even paid off. You CANNOT CONTINUE TO SPEND MONEY. Start introducing bills CUTTING things, that would be state issues, according to the Constitution. When you were elected, you swore an oath to God to uphold it. Who cares what they think of you? Do what's RIGHT according to the Constitution and the oath you swore. You'd garner much more support if you actually took a stand like that. I'm thoroughly disgusted with the whole process. I can stand sausage making, but what this government has devolved to, the baseness, is something that is utterly vomitrocious.

This was just one little rant. I can't bring myself to call their offices, as I would probably be hung up on, for screaming epithets at them at the top of my lungs. Plus, raise my blood pressure beyond reasonable levels.

Tonight's dinner is baked tilapia, with crab cakes on the side, and steamed broccoli. When we flew to Boston for the marathon, we had a layover in Baltimore, and it was necessary that I try crabcakes. We went to the Phillips Seafood place there, and :O it was DELICIOUS! Don't bother with the appetizer crab cakes, go directly to the lump crab cakes, do not pass go, do not collect $200.

Here is the recipe they used (and I use now!)


8oz. Phillips Crab Meat
1/2 tsp. Phillips Seafood Seasoning (I use Old Bay, and more than a half tsp)
1 egg
1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
1/8 tsp. dry mustard
1 Tbsp. mayonnaise
1/2 tsp. lemon juice
1 1/2 tsp. mustard (I use yellow sunshine mustard)
1 1/2 tsp. melted butter (i just cut off some butter from the stick that looks good)
1/2 tsp. parsley flakes
1/4 c. breadcrumbs or Ritz crackers, finely crushed (the exact amount of Ritz crackers is 7)

Preparation Instructions

In a large mixing bowl, combine all ingredients except for crab meat. Gently fold in the crab meat, being careful not to break up the lumps. Shape into cakes. Pan fry or bake at 375°F degrees for 12-15 minutes or until evenly brown on each side and reaches an internal temperature of 165 degrees.

This is from the phillipsfoods.com website, which has lots of other crabby recipes.

I pan-fry mine in about 1/2 stick of unsalted butter, with a smidgen of olive oil thrown in there to prevent early browning of butter.

More Government Stupidity

Yes, I know that is like saying the same thing twice - government and stupidity are basically the same thing.

The ruling class, who desires nothing more than to have the 'working class' et al be subservient to the almighty Fed, wants to make tractors, cotton pickers, other farm equipment in the same class as semi tractor-trailers. Yep, a commercial driver's license.

No more of a farmer or rancher having his kids help, if they are too young to have a CDL. Funny, friends of ours, their under 16 year old drove their F250 back and forth to the cotton fields, and was helping with the cotton harvest, the neighbor's kids would drive farm equipment when they were about 12, to help out the family.

Some of the stuff they would have to do:

Detailed logs would need to be kept by all drivers – hours worked, miles traveled, etc.

Vehicles would have to display DOT numbers

Drivers would need to pass a physical as well as a drug test – every two years.

More info found HERE on CDL.

It appears the Fed will not be satisfied until everything is nationalized and under their control.

From what it appears from a DOT's op-ed piece, is somehow because tractors use the roadways at times, it should come under their regulation? HERE is that op-ed.

This is just more big government, just "here to help you"... I think the farmers should give the DOT a collective middle finger, raised high.