Saturday, June 27, 2009

Head Cheese

No, it is not really cheese per se. It does have a formed-curd kind of look to it, though. Head cheese is made from, yes, a pig's head, as well as the trotters (lower legs with hooves) and in this case which I shall describe for you, a beef tongue.

Recently, I had the delicious opportunity to prepare this wonderful delight from the world of charcuterie thanks to the hayseed-encrusted and (allegedly) manure-splattered Smallholder. Proper celebration at a recent family event required the roasting of a whole pig carcass (and the drinking of beer during said roasting). The head and trotters from this pig were delivered to me fresh from the slaughter after riding in the Maximum Leader's lap, assisted by the Minister of Propaganda, in Smallholder's truck. It was almost as disgusting as it sounds:

I used the recipe from the great book Charcuterie by Ruhlman and Polcyn. As they allow for the omission of pink salt in the recipe, I used a fresh beef tongue instead of a cured one as the recipe instructs.

The first step is the cure, accomplished by brining:


Next, a simmer in an aromatic bath for about 3 hours:

(Note: the streaks on the head, apparently a blood stain, were scrubbed in vain.)

Now for the dissection and chopping of the meats:

Into the mold they go, to be covered with the now highly gelatinous bathwater.

Molded and set, ready to eat:

A lot of time and effort went into making this two-and-a-half pound loaf. But even the finest deli would have trouble equaling the taste. Delicious.

While we are on the subject of charcuterie: We wants it, my precious!

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

In Defense of Freedom

Our President is now "moved" by the protest in Iran. Perhaps He should wait until he is in he bathroom...

Other countries, including France, have condemned the violence and repression being used against those protesting the sham election in Iran. Why can't we? Where is our president on the issue? His wait-and-see attitude betrays his cowardice, and demonstrates his lack of education and experience with the concept of ordered liberty. He does not value freedom, and cannot recognize its importance to the civil society and moral order.

It is important to realize the Iranian election itself, not the results, is the sham. To the religious kooks running Iran, the candidate is irrelevant. The winner is whomever they want it to be.

Those in Iran who are protesting, and I would wager a large majority of Iranians, want freedom. They want to be free to pursue their own interests without the heavy hand of a repressive regime directing and dictating their every move according to a strict religious dogma. We should support them, at least in the moral sense. And so should our president.

We don't want them to think we are going to come fight for them.

We do not have to use our military to support a freedom movement in Iran. We can express our support of freedom, while at the same time condemning the rulers in Iran who would deny freedom to its people. Think of what Ronald Reagan said in 1981 about Poland:

Our President may have blown an opportunity. Instead of being "moved," he should have taken his cue from Reagan and issued a similar statement. It may now be too late, the momentum in Iran may be waning. Instead of challenging the rulers of Iran, Obama is busy producing his own prime-time special on his plan to destroy the health care industry in the United States while the struggle for freedom has its throat cut.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Back from the Dead

My wonderful wife gave me an antique pocket watch this past Christmas. It is a Waltham model 1857, manufactured in 1872. Waltham was the premier American watch manufacturer at the time, and the model 1857 was the finest grade of its day. It is a massive size 18, key-wind and key-set, with 17 jewels. The pictures speak for themselves:

I have always been fascinated with pocket watches, and the tiny mechanical wonders which make them run. My watch ran for a brief period, but stopped one day and would not start again. I had it cleaned and lubricated by a local jeweler who specializes in antique watch repair. After a week under his care, my watch once again ran perfectly, the tiny flywheel spinning like mad and the escapement making the beautiful ticking sound absent in any modern timepiece.

In late April, my family went to Chesapeake to visit Mrs. Polymath's family at her brother's house. They have a large pool in the back yard. Number 1 son, not heeding his non-swimsuited father's admonition to stay away from the deep end (and especially the diving board), could not wait for the rest of the family. His six-year-old brain decided its desire to jump in alone was greater than any notion of punishment or perception of danger. The water was cold and over his head. The former lifeguard in me thought in an instant "reach-throw-row-go!" There was no pole or rope, so I ran over to the ladder on the side. Getting my shoes wet standing on the topmost rung and leaning out as far as possible, I was a few inches short of reaching him. I could see in his eyes that he was panicking. I had no choice but to jump in and grab him.

He was fine, and I would gladly sacrifice anything to protect his life. I did not think about it at the time, but I had my watch, cell phone, wallet, etc. in my pockets. The wallet was fine after a little drying. The phone was fried. My watch was still running. I immediately opened its case front and back, the crystal, and the cover over the "works." I tried to get as much of the water out of it as possible, and set it in the sun to dry.

Eventually, the watch slowed and finally stopped. I returned to the jeweler's, sure that it was ruined. He said it was repairable, but would take a long time in order to disassemble and clean all the tiny parts. He also mentioned that the hairspring may break, and finding a new one would be difficult because of the watch's age.

The hairspring did not break. My watch was repaired, and has been keeping good time for the two and a half days I have had it back. I will never again take it anywhere near a swimming pool!

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Breaking Down the "47 Million Uninsured People in America" Number

From Liberty and Tyranny by Mark Levin:

"In 2006, the Census Bureau reported that there were 46.6 million people without health insurance. About 9.5 million were not United States citizens. Another 17 million lived in households with incomes exceeding $50,000 a year and could, presumably, purchase their own health coverage [1]. Eighteen million of the 46.6
million uninsured were between the ages of eighteen and thirty-four, most of whom were in good health and no necessarily in need of health-care coverage or chose not to purchase it [2]. Moreover, only 30 percent of the nonelderly population who became uninsured in a given year remained uninsured for more than twelve months. Almost 50 percent regained their health coverage within four months [3]. The 47 million "uninsured" figure used by [Speaker of the Houe Nancy] Pelosi and others is widely inaccurate."
Allowing about half of the 18 million (ages 18 to 34) as part of the 17 million (household income > $50K), 9.5 million + 17 million + 9 million = 35.5 million. 46.6 million - 35.5 million = 11.1 million potentially "uninsured."

The real number of "uninsured Americans" is less than 4% of the total U.S. population. As usual, this is a tempest in a teapot designed to give the Statist even more control over your life.

I would wager that the 9.5 million non-citizen number is actually higher. As far as I know, these numbers do not take medicare, medicaid, and VA benefits into consideration. So the real number is likely to be even smaller.

OMG!!! Barry on ABC June 24!!! Prime Time!!!

Yay! ObamaCare Now! YAY! YAY!

It's great to be Chairman Maobama!

What if He had His own prime time special, and nobody watched?

Monday, June 15, 2009

You Are Too Stupid to Decide for Yourself.

So Chairman Maobama will decide for you.

47 million "uninsured Americans" can't be wrong!

Friday, June 12, 2009

The Passing of the Gipper, 5 Years Ago

From Mark Steyn.

North Korea

Please read this from Conservative Propaganda. You will learn all you need to know about Kim Jong Menatally Ill and the evil of the Noth Korean government.

This means you, Barry. Get a clue.

Monday, June 08, 2009

Too Late to ReFi?

Rates have gone up to 5.29%, the highest since December.

From the Associated Depressed:

NEW YORK (AP) - The Federal Reserve announced a $1.2 trillion plan three months ago designed to push down mortgage rates and breathe life into the housing market.

But this and other big government spending programs are turning out to have the opposite effect. Rates for mortgages and U.S. Treasury debt are now marching higher as nervous bond investors fret about a resurgence of inflation.


After Fed policymakers this spring said they would buy billions of dollars of government debt and more than $1 trillion of mortgage securities, 30-year fixed mortgage rates fell to 4.78 percent in April, the lowest since Freddie Mac started surveying rates in 1971.

Sales of new and existing homes began to trend higher. Mortgage refinancings also jumped, allowing borrowers to lock in lower rates. Fee income from this activity helped lift profits at many battered banks and gave consumers more disposable income to spend, which helped lift their confidence about the economy's prospects. All that was good for the nation's businesses.

But now, surging mortgage rates are threatening to undermine all that. Seventy percent of refinancing activity could be knocked out as rates close in on 5.5 percent, according to Mark Hanson, a managing director at the independent research firm Field Check Group of Menlo Park, Calif.

That's because homeowners wouldn't get much of a benefit if a refinancing only reduces monthly payments a tiny bit while they are stuck paying closing costs that typically run about 2 percent of the loan amount.

Also, many homeowners who wanted to refinance didn't lock in the super-low rates in April when the refi boom took off. "Half the deals in the pipeline are dead," Hanson said. "People were applying to refinance to improve their situation, but now they are seeing it won't be much improved."

All this means that even though mortgage rates are still low by historical standards, many of the trends that seem to be pointing to economic recovery in recent months could be undone fast.

Here's the kicker (emphasis mine):
The White House estimates that the government will rack up an unprecedented $1.8 trillion budget deficit this year - more than four times last year's all-time high.

We are monetizing our debt, which is growing at an exponential rate. Inflation will continue, most likely unchecked. Our new paper money will have its denominations written in scientific notation.

A Solution in Search of a Problem

Via Adam Smith Institute: Brit government to "get tough" on home education.

As has been pointed out, this decision will have implications for everyone, because it destroys the principle that parents are responsible for their children's education.


The problem is of course, that nobody seems to have identified anyone who has "slipped through the net". There just don't seem to be any instances of home ed being used as a cover for abuse. This underlying purpose of the review seems not to have been about child protection. Instead, it's about expansion of bureaucratic empires. It's a "solution" in search of a problem.

Since we are about to import British-style health care, it stands to reason that we will import this attitude towards home education as well.

The only choices the Statist will to leave up to the individual is sexual orientation, and whether or not to have an abortion.

Sunday, June 07, 2009

What You Will NOT Hear Reported by the State Controlled Media

Eight weeks at #1 on the NYT (or, as Mark says, the New York Slimes) best seller list, and not even a whisper. Meanwhile, books featuring carrot cake recipes are front-and-center on the Today show.

I highly recommend this book.

Defying the One

The Jerusalem Post reports that Jewish settlers, in direct defiance of the World Community Organizer, have rebuilt a dismantled outpost in the "occupied territories":

At the outpost, which they named Oz Yehonatan, the settlers built a wooden structure they mockingly called the "Obama Hut," saying it was a sign of appreciation for the US president for his actions that had led to a dramatic rise in the number of outposts.

On Thursday, settlers and right-wing activists once again rebuilt the illegal Maoz Esther outpost that was dismantled on Wednesday by security forces.

Among the structures erected was a synagogue in which activists placed a Torah scroll dedicated in the name of Yohonadav Hirschfield, who was killed in last year's terror attack at Jerusalem's Mercaz Harav Yeshiva.

Israel is the lone outpost of freedom and religious tolerance in a sea of Islamo-Facist authoritarian thug dictatorships. Israel "occupies" the "occupied territories" because they were won in battle against those who would destroy the Jewish State.

President Obama should remember that fact instead of trying to portray the United States as a Muslim nation to the Islamic world. Rather, He chose to deflect criticism from Statist American Jews by appearing to His worshippers (aka the Statist Media) at Buchenwald. What courage!

Obama also appeared to His worshippers at Normandy, but I was too disgusted with the whole "Screw the Jews (Sort Of) World Tour" to listen to His speech. I am sure it was inadequate and lacking in proper humility to all but His worshippers.