Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Book: Johnny Got His Gun

Johnny Got His Gun, by Dalton Trumbo

Rightly considered an anti-war novel masterpiece. One of those works that should be read by all Americans, heck, all Humans. Even if you consider yourself a hawk, you should read this to get an idea where 'those crazy anti-war peaceniks' are coming from.

It's a quick read / page turner. I give it 5 stars, no hesitation.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Money is like Manure?

Heard this from the documentary film "Red State Road Trip 2"

"Money is like manure...
If you make a big pile of it, it sits there and stinks up the area.
If you spread it around all thin, little flowers begin to grow..."

A very interesting analogy that seems to support income redistribution. Surely a rich person can afford much more than the basic necessities of life, fine. He can afford many of the nicer things of life too. But isn't there a point where a rich person has even more than he really needs? Especially when there are so many who are struggling for those basic necessities? I think this is a decent argument for progressive income taxes, if we need to keep income taxes at all. (I think I lean more toward a consumption based tax system.)

Friday, July 11, 2008

Book: In Defense of Food

In Defense of Food, by Michael Pollan
Eat Food, Mostly Plants, Not Too Much. A 7 word summary of the book that sure makes it sound simple. And in a way, it IS that simple. Once you realize what is REAL food versus 'foodlike edible substances', and lot's of other basic guidelines. Oh, but how we have been hoodwinked by Mega Food companies, our own FDA, and misled by well-meaning but unreliable 'nutritionists'. I give it 4.5 stars. Very important, very educational.

Here's a good video of the the author, discussing the book:

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Patriotic Dissent

Dissent is not unpatriotic. It's important to learn about the flaws and blunders of American history. It is patriotic to dissent about it's current mistakes and it's dark sides. America should not attempt to conceal it's mistakes and flaws from either the world or it's own citizens. We have to recognize the flaws before we can address them. I'm no big fan of Bill Clinton, but he said "There's nothing that's wrong with America that can't be fixed by what's right with America." And one of the things that is 'right with America' is the right of the people to protest, dissent, and change America. Slavery's end, voting rights, workers rights, etc. etc. have all come about because the American people had the right to push against the status quo. Unpopular wars can and should be railed against and stopped.

It is false patriotism to adhere to the "America, love it or leave it" mentality. Those who adhere to this turn a blind eye to America's faults. How will we ever address them if we do not allow ourselves to even see them?

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Chilled Cucumber Salad

The earthbox cucumbers are producing well. About 7 so far. Need... to... eat... more... cukes! :)

Heres a cuke recipe that I made yesterday, Julie tried some and liked it a lot.
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Chilled Cucumber Salad Recipe

Submitted by: mary-beth
Ingredients:

2 cups thinly-sliced chilled cucumbers
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup thinly-sliced fresh onions
1/4 cup vinegar
1/4 cup water
1 tablespoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon dill weed
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1 dash cayenne

Directions:

Place cucumber slices in medium-size glass bowl and sprinkle with salt. Stir in onions.

Place remaining ingredients in 2-cup glass measure and beat with fork to combine. Pour over cucumbers and onions and toss lightly. Refrigerate at least 30 minutes. Stir before serving.

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I didn't have any cayenne, so left that out. And I used some fresh dill from the garden... mmm!