Wm. F. Buckley Jr. jumps ship, too.

by Steve, February 28th, 2006

politicsFirst Fukuyma. Now Buckley. In a February 24 column in the National Review titled “It Didn’t Work”, Buckley writes:

“I can tell you the main reason behind all our woes—it is America.” The New York Times reporter is quoting the complaint of a clothing merchant in a Sunni stronghold in Iraq. “Everything that is going on between Sunni and Shiites, the troublemaker in the middle is America.”

One can’t doubt that the American objective in Iraq has failed. The same edition of the paper quotes a fellow of the American Enterprise Institute. Mr. Reuel Marc Gerecht backed the American intervention. He now speaks of the bombing of the especially sacred Shiite mosque in Samara and what that has precipitated in the way of revenge. He concludes that “The bombing has completely demolished” what was being attempted—to bring Sunnis into the defense and interior ministries.

Our mission has failed because Iraqi animosities have proved uncontainable by an invading army of 130,000 Americans.

Of course the paleo-con Buckley was never a big supporter of the neoconservatives (like Fukuyama), so this is not earth shattering. But it is coincident with the whole Dubai ports deal and the Republican congressional revolt. Always good to see the Republicans eating their young.

Sweden is golden

by Steve, February 26th, 2006

hockeyThe only Olympic game I watched start to finish, and it was a doozey. Long-time arch-rivals Sweden and Finland battled it out hard for 60 minutes of back and forth hockey.Sweden gets the gold!
Swede (the Zamboni driver at the rink where I skate) must be over the freakin’ moon.

You’ve got to understand… Sweden and Finland have a combined population of 14 million. Add to that Russia’s upset by the Czech Republic, and you’ve got one heckuva weekend of excitement in the world of hockey. The fact that Russia, Canada and USA failed to make the podium is phenomenal.

Cholle recipe

by Steve, February 25th, 2006

Okay, Wacky Mommy, you’re not the only one around here that can post recipes.

Made a big pot of this for dinner tonight. My goodness, it’s good and tasty. Cholle is a North Indian garbonzo bean dish. It’s very easy to make and very tasty. The only “exotic” ingredient is garam masala. If you can’t find garam masala, don’t despair. It’s just a mixture of cinnamon, cloves, black pepper and cardamon.

I used a ton of garbonzos I had cooked previously and frozen. They were in a 12 cup freezer container. With that many beans, the unit of measure for the spices was 1 tablespoon. So where it says “1part cumin”, I used 1 tablespoon. You could certainly use more, but this seemed about right to me. I used about an onion and a half, a couple tomatoes and nice chunk of fresh ginger, about the size of my thumb.

Read the rest of this entry »

How to get a human

by Steve, February 23rd, 2006

(On the phone, that is!)

We’ve all experienced calling a customer service number and getting a computer. (These things are called Interactive Voice Response or IVR for short.)

Sometimes pressing “0″ or just waiting will get you to a human faster. But every system seems a little different. Now, thanks to gethuman.com, you can breeze through (or past) these annoying prompts and get right to a real live operator. Check out their database of IVR shortcuts.

This stuff is golden.

You’ve probably already seen this

by Steve, February 23rd, 2006

last supper

If you haven’t already seen this, you must see The Brick Testament.

For Ben

by Steve, February 21st, 2006

hockeyOkay Ben, did you see the women’s gold medal game? No surprise Candada won, of course.

But what about that Swedish power play. (I meant to ask Swede down at the rink today, but I forgot.) They set up with the puck behind the goal line and just played catch. The Canadian defenders didn’t know what to do at first. On the penalty kill, defensemen don’t want to wander far from the front of the net when the puck’s in deep, so they were just clinging to the corners of the net looking nervous.

The Swedes just passed it back and forth, waiting patiently. Suddenly they passed to the point, and get a one-timer goal.

Very creative and original power play. Canada learned pretty quickly, though, and shut it right down the next time Sweden tried it. Has anybody ever seen that play before? Nobody I talked to at the rink had. I’m not sure it would very effective twice against any decent team, though.

Francis Fukuyama Swears off Neoconservativism

by Steve, February 21st, 2006

politics…and gets in some nice shots on the rump neocons in the process:

New York Times Magazine: After Neoconservatism

Fukuyama was part of the neocon chorus for an Iraqi intervention immedieately after 9/11. On 9/20/2001, he signed a letter to President Bush stating in part:

We agree with Secretary of State Powell’s recent statement that Saddam Hussein “is one of the leading terrorists on the face of the Earth….” It may be that the Iraqi government provided assistance in some form to the recent attack on the United States. But even if evidence does not link Iraq directly to the attack, any strategy aiming at the eradication of terrorism and its sponsors must include a determined effort to remove Saddam Hussein from power in Iraq. Failure to undertake such an effort will constitute an early and perhaps decisive surrender in the war on international terrorism.

Cheney’s (actual) smoking gun (and others)

by Steve, February 21st, 2006

politics“To the vice president’s credit, he did own up to it. On FOX News he said the fault was his, he can’t blame anybody else. Boy, it’s amazing, the only time you get accountability out of this administration is when they are actually holding a smoking gun.” —Bill Maher

“Rumors are that the reason Dick Cheney didn’t say anything about the hunting accident for about 24 hours was because he had been drinking. And I’m thinking, well jeez, he was probably drinking when we planned the invasion of Iraq.” —David Letterman

“Cheney now says he can’t blame the shooting on the guy who got shot. He said we tried that for three days. It didn’t work.” —Jay Leno

“They were in a car, they drive along, they get out of the car, he shoots his friend in the face, then they get back in the car and they go hide for 18 hours. That’s not hunting…that’s an episode of ‘The Sopranos’” —Jay Leno

There’s oh so much more at about.com.

Giving. Up. Coffee.

by Steve, February 21st, 2006

espresso

I am. It’s true.

Fancy Portuguese espresso machine crapped out a while back, and I’m taking it as a sign from the heavens. I’m down to half a cup of drip brew today. Drinking lots of agua to flush out the system. Hopefully I won’t put on too much weight or lose my edge on the ice.

Wish me luck.

Bronze in a shutout

by Steve, February 20th, 2006

Katie King
With an Olympic hat trick, veteran Katie King just led the US women to a 4-0 win in the bronze medal game. Chanda Gunn made 14 saves to get the shutout.

I tried watching the US men vs. Slovakia tape-delayed, but I had already heard the score. I just couldn’t get into the game. Same with US men vs. Sweden. Ya know, they’re just a bunch of NHLers, and this tournament just isn’t a big deal for men’s hockey. I really can’t get into it until the medal round, I guess.

Women’s gold game (Canada vs. Sweden) is on NBC in just a couple short hours. That I’m gonna watch, even if I hear the score.