Not So Polite Dinner Conversation – they’ll still be here, and that’s fine – now we remember

The fellow is Ted Nugent, who once had a mildly popular rock song. He was sure that he was on some hit lit by Obama et al. His prediction failed too. Now emblematic of many Trump supporters.

The fellow is Ted Nugent, who once had a mildly popular rock song. He was sure that he was on some hit lit by Obama et al. His prediction failed too. Now emblematic of many Trump supporters.

Even though I have known that the US had people who were ignorant and hateful, they were always in the background. In my lifetime, which consists of the late 60s and onward, we kept moving forward, incrementally sure, but we did move. The David Dukes, the vast majority of both my spouse’s and my rural white ill-educated families, the fearful and ignorant conservatives I overhear at work, they were always there, but I was sure that they’d always be a minor thing, some humans will always be dumb. This is a post about what’s going on in the US politically, in case you didn’t guess.

Then came the wannabee despot, and all of these people were more than happy to follow him, a pied piper calling the rats out of the sewers. They want to think themselves something special but they aren’t; we’ve seen them waving flags on newsreel tapes from Nuremberg, from Red Square in Moscow, etc.   There are a certain fraction of people who want to be led, to be told that they are special and that they deserve better. That will believe claims that the demagogue of the day will grant “every dream you ever dreamed”.   You’d think humans would get it by now.

But oh no.

We have Republicans who are horrified that they are associated with this wannabee despot. S.E. Cupp, a commentator who has been on CNN and I think on MSNBC is upset that Republican women get it from “both sides”. Ms. Cupp, if you are getting abuse from Republicans, then you might want to consider why? Is it that the party is not friendly to women?   Your complaints are about as interesting as a homosexual person who is Republican who complains that the party doesn’t support them either. I’ve never been able to figure out the Log Cabin Republicans. Who is using who?

Oh and I’d consider being called a loser by an idiot like Trump a badge of honor. I have no idea why you would care or would complain about being called such a thing by such a twit. (and yes, Ms. Cupp is one big ol’ hypocrite as she has been for as long as I’ve been aware of her. She is an atheist but says she “really aspires to be a person of faith some day”. When she invents her own god that she can be proud of?).

Of course, we do have Republicans, who in theory should know better, but have no problem in following Trump and espousing his nonsense, which would indicate that no, they didn’t know better and were for this crap all along. We have more lies by a Christian, Newt Gingrich, that lovely fellow that ignores Christianity when convenient, that as soon as Democrats get into power, that somehow magically Ms. Clinton will remove “our father” from the Lord’s Prayer. This was in a speech to the Association of Mature American Citizens, a particularly fearful selection of senior citizens who evidently are sure that there was a magical golden age when they were young, forgetting the hatred given to people of different ethnicities, women, LGBTQ, etc. Ah, but these folks who so hate government (horrors if anyone gets healthcare through the Affordable Care Act) are really really concerned that this government that they are sure shouldn’t exist might not give them their Social Security payments and Medicare. Yep, these are the greedy twits that are your ignorant uncle at the table. I do have to wonder if the whole thing is a scam because it’s such a stereotype of your average Baby Boomer. Hmm, Newt and now Donny, both who have done many things against what are supposedly conservative Christian morals. Now, why would such people support those that make a mockery of their religion? Could it be that they are more interested in power than their supposed savior? Continue reading

From the Kitchen – port peppercorn sauce and a petit beef tenderloin filet

steakAlthough we’ve wandered a bit off of the South Beach diet lately, we are doing pretty well in keeping any new weight from being added back on.   It does help us to weigh ourselves every day, just to keep an eye on things.  We also got back some lab reports and everything is better, including cholesterol (your mileage may vary).

One of the things we started when losing weight is buying a whole beef tenderloin, doing a little butchering ourselves, and keeping easy to cook filets in the freezer. I did a stint in the meat department of a fancy grocery store and gained the skill of being able to take apart a tenderloin e.g. removing the silverskin, and knowing how the multiple muscles run to get the best result (I also became a good hand at discombobulating a whole chicken. Get a set of kitchen scissors, but a sharp knife also works fine). Out of a whole tenderloin, I generally get around a pound of inedible scraps, a pound or two of scraps I can use in stirfry or stroganoff, and, depending on the size of the tenderloin, 10-13 nice filets.

The steaks were simply cooked at high heat in butter. I do like mine “Pittsburgh style”, very brown on the outside and damn near raw otherwise.   We often use cast iron but a heavy non-stick frying pan also works if you pay attention.

The side was a baked potato, done a la the Joy of Cooking method (slick potatoes with oil or butter, then 40O F for 20-30 minutes, then pierce and put in for another 20-30 minutes). We didn’t have sour cream but we did have a nice purchased tzatziki from Cedar’s (a little more dill in it than I generally put in my own but not bad at all).

The sauce is something I’ve been wanting to try for years. When I was in college, I went to a nice restaurant in the Shadyside area of Pittsburgh called Pasta Piatto (or at least I think that was the name). They had this steak absolutely crusted with coarsely crushed black peppercorns with this fabulous slightly sweet red wine sauce on it. I spent an entire month’s allowance (for extra things I might need at college) on this. I also learned that one should make sure that one’s hosts are indeed going to pay for your dinner rather than assuming it.

There are quite a number of versions of this on the internet. This is my take on it: Continue reading

Not So Polite Dinner Conversation – insisting on apologies for telling the truth

no-evidence-no-respectThere’s an op-ed by Christine Flowers, a conservative Catholic with a problem. She isn’t happy that her religion is presented in a less than favorable light by some emails that are supposedly from the Clinton campaign, released by Wikileaks. She demands that Ms. Clinton apologize for what one of her staffers said. Let’s see how this plays out.

Ms. Flowers is aghast that anyone would point out that her church is rather medieval in its outlook, and sophist in its approach. She, like many American Roman Catholics, has invented her own Catholicism, picking and choosing what she obeys. However, if you show that she and her church are without base for their claims and hypocrites, then the wagons get circled immediately. She claims she can’t bear to actually post what was said except for one excerpt, but we can do that easily enough.

This is the excerpt she posted “Many of the most powerful elements of the conservative movement are all Catholic (many converts) from the (Supreme Court) and think tanks to the media and social groups. It’s an amazing bastardization of the faith. They must be attracted to the systematic thought and severely backwards gender relations and must be totally unaware of Christian democracy.”

Hmmm, now, is there anything untrue about this? Well, there is and it’s from the fellows assuming that there is anything called “Christian democracy” since that term is never supported or mentioned by the bible’s Christianity nor by the Roman Catholic Church. Some more liberal Christians from various sects (including Catholics) do go by this, but it is an invention to match modern mores, not biblical standards. The truths stated are that the RCC has very systemic thought (going all the way back to the Church fathers aka Thomism amongst others) that is still considered dogma, and the completely ignorant ideas about women and homosexuals that the RCC tries to instill as law in any country they can. We have blasphemy laws still on the books in majority Catholic countries, and we have such wannabe theocracies like El Salvador where the RCC is so strong, a woman can’t get an abortion for any reason and children are forced to have babies or die in the attempt. We also have the RCC’s efforts to prevent sex education and their concerted effort in countries in Africa where AIDS is rampant to prevent anyone from taking any precautions at all, including wearing condoms. Continue reading

Not So Polite Dinner Conversation – “I’m shocked, shocked…..”

(addendum: unsurprisingly, we have some of those “shocked” people now insisting that Trump is perfectly fine now, including a number of pastors.  Thanks folks, nothing like showing the religious right is simply cowards and hypocrites)

“I’m shocked, shocked that gambling is going on in here.”

“Your winnings, sir.”

Just finished watching CBS Sunday Morning, where it had Ben Stein being just as sincere as Captain Renault in his indignation about how bad Donald Trump is. Ben Stein, as a lot of you know, is the same fellow who was involved with the nonsense “Expelled” about creationism in schools.

He’s just the latest in a long line of Republicans who are now condemning Trump, despite having no problem with Trump saying things about women, immigrants, Mexicans, veterans, etc, all disgusting and all lies. We have two choices in what they say here: it’s just hypocrisy, or it is people who made a terrible choice and now have finally come to their senses, and it took Trump touting how great sexual assault is to do it. Neither conclusion reflects well on these people, but if it is the second, at least they did come to their senses, like Captain Renault does in Casablanca.

Of course we still have Republicans who are saying that what Trump says is just fine, including people who self-describe as conservative Christians. They say that their god is using Trump. Well, if this god can’t come up with a better tool than Trump, then it isn’t much of a god, is it?

Trump apologized for something 11 years ago. And never once changed his actions or his words in those intervening 11 years right up to now, consistently treating women, and everyone else, like the bully he is. There is no reason to accept the crocodile’s tears.

What the Boss Likes – we got really cool upholstered chairs!

As the title says, we got really cool upholstered chairs.   Some background on this,  my husband’s parents once did upholstery.  And when my mother in law was dying from colon cancer, she asked what we would like.  We got a pair of decrepit chairs that my husband loved because they were so comfortable, and a gold painted mirror, shelf and candle sconces from circa 1970.  The gold set is now at the base of our staircase.

front-preupholsteryside-preupholsteryThe chairs were in desperate shape 20 years ago, and weren’t getting any better.  But we wanted them to be a nice as possible when we finally shelled out the cash to get them done.   They left clumps of ancient cotton batting, horsehair and decaying bits of fabric everywhere.  There had been this very nice upholstery shop I walked past every day at work, Neil Choquette Fine Upholstery.  They had an old store front that had great glass display windows in front, always filled with such lovely vignettes of what was currently finished.  I always hoped we could get them done there.  Then they vanished.

Years passed…

And finally we had the funds to get them done.  As luck would have it, we read about the long lost upholsterers and found out that they were near-by.  So we contact them.  And couldn’t be happier.   This was not a cheap undertaking.  We got the fabric we wanted, not what was inexpensive.  With all of the insane pleating and buttons and every other upholstery term I don’t know,  it took ten yards of fabric that was $100+/yard, a lovely sculpted velvet that is a deep marine blue, the color of the ocean as seen from the lovely windjammer clipper we vacationed on in Maine a few years back.  The frames, sticky and opaque with decades of Pledge, were stripped and rehabbed by a Mennonite fellow that Neil works with.  I think they are maple and are now a lovely caramel color, gleaming with the deep sheen that good wood has.  Neil thought they were probably 1940s or so.  He did a very clever thing to the chairs. On the seat under the cushion, instead of using just heavy muslin or some such, he used the velvet and reversed the hand so the velvet from the cushion would catch and the cushion wouldn’t always go slipping off.

Feast your eyes.  This pair are as identical as could be made, an incredibly impressive feat.  They are essentially a 50th birthday present for my husband and a 25th wedding anniversary present for the both of us.   Someone will have a great pair of chairs when our estate is dispersed with after we leave this mortal coil.

Of course Muffin had to give her approval. 🙂




What the Boss Likes – a vigilant always remember to change your passwords often

well, my amazon account got hacked somehow.   But thanks to the friendly folks at amazon, it was caught.  Now, it’s just pure stupid to hack amazon since if you want something other than an electronic document or mp3, you need to put your address in.

The address used was to an international courier place:  Aramex International Courier, 182-21 150th Ave, Jamaica, NY 11413  And it was for playstation games.  Heck, isn’t just easier to buy a pirated copy of something like that?   Ah, but criminals are often morons. 

I hope Amazon rains fire and brimstone down on such idiots. I’d personally enjoy putting their heads on pikes as a warning to the next ten generations that some stupidities come with too high a price.  But as a reminder to everyone, make sure you change your passwords often so you don’t have as much of a chance of getting hit.

Not So Polite Dinner Conversation – a response to Dale re: prayer and free will

021-you-burnt-us-at-the-stake-650x402(10/20/2016 – I’ve had a lot of Christians follow recently and like this post, as well as other posts about how religion fails.  Not sure why this is, but I’m more than happy to see people approve and agree with my posts.)

I’ve encountered a new Christian apologist on a friend’s website.  I’ll first put up his post and give a little background.  Ark has asked Christians to explain a couple of things in their religion.  SailorDale has said he would do so, with some caveats.  I’m not sure if he will answer or not (and I’m assuming he is a he.)   We went off topic a little and I thought I’d post here to not take up time and space on another’s blog.  Now, for my readers who have been around for a while, this is more making of the pate de cheval and yep, you’ve see the discussion before.

Sailordale writes: OK, First let me say that you have the choice (free will) to accept or reject Jesus. Ultimately, that is your decision, and yours alone. Everyone has some knowledge of God, and thus no one will be without excuse when we are standing before God to give an account for our lives. We will not be able to say “I didn’t know” So I do hope that you will seriously consider Christianity! And I highly recommend the page- That is a great place to seek answers to your unresolved questions about God & Jesus. And the Bible is the best interpreter of itself. Keep on reading it, the answers are all there. And as for the Prayers- Yes, Prayer DOES work, and all prayers will be answered! But, they may not be answered exactly as the asker is wanting. You are misunderstanding the prayers that you mentioned in your post. Never did Jesus say that all our prayers would be granted as we wish. We must pray according to God’s Will. If we pray for something that is against the will of God, that prayer will always be answered with a NO. God knows us better than we know ourselves, and He will not give us something that will not good for us. And if your mind is set on not becoming a Christian, then God will NEVER force Himself on anyone! That choice is yours. God knows everything, past, present, & future. If He knows that one will never accept Him, and His Son’s payment for all sins, then God will leave you alone. God knows all that are His, and not a single one of His will be lost. God most certainly DOES exist, and He Loves YOU more than anyone can comprehend! He also knows if you will accept or reject Him in the future. (He knows your choice, and He will honor your choice, whatever you chose…”

Free will

Dale, your reply indicates that you don’t know what the bible says and that is not an uncommon thing when it comes to Christians.  Where in the bible does it say one has the free will to accept or reject Jesus?  I’m very familiar with the bible, having read it in its entirety as a Christian and as not, and I don’t recall where it says there is free will.  You are most welcome to show me wrong.  I do remember where it says that God chooses some people to believe and some people not to believe (Romans 9) and where the character JC says that he/his god intentionally makes it impossible for some to accept and understand his words. This would not indicate free will.  There are also the many instances of this god interfering with humans which also indicates no free will (I’m going with the often used definition that we somehow can make decisions and act without influence of any kind or at least no superpowereful divine influences).   Considering that this god controlled the actions of many e.g. Pharoah, and removed the choices from many e.g. David’s son, there is again no evidence for free will. Perhaps you define free will differently. Please do explain. Continue reading