Thursday, September 23, 2021

Meme Of The Day

I saw this on Twitter and loved it. I had something else in mind for today's post, but there was a lot of yelling at work and I had to deal with that instead of going tappity-tap on the keyboard. Oh well.


Bonus Content

From yesterday's Tucker Carlson Show comes this mention of Article 4 Section 4 of the Constitution, which further supports my semi-contention that any state wishing to secede has pretty decent grounds to do so.

Wednesday, September 22, 2021

It's Not Secession If You're Not Part Of Any Country

What follows is a mental exercise to which I don't really have an answer. 

What makes a nation? I can think of a couple of crucial characteristics.

  1. A border. That would seem to be the very top of the list. No border, no country.
  2. A set of laws. No laws means no rules for the inhabitants.
  3. A currency.
  4. A common language.
  5. A governmental structure.

As I watch the border "crisis*" unfold, I keep thinking that secession is a decent solution and that needs to be executed before all systems have completely failed. Today, I began to wonder, from what would states secede?

We don't have a border any more.

The Haitians at Del Rio have begun making lean-tos. On the plus side, there are no kids in cages. On the minus side, they're being released into the "United States," whatever that is, with only the most dilatory requests to file some paperwork, somewhere, at some time in the future. That means their constructions are probably not worth the effort.

Can you really say you have a set of laws if they only apply to some people and not to others? See: vandalism, arson, looting, murder, etc. during the BLM riots.

We have a currency, but its debasement continues apace with the Fed printing like mad.

We sort of have a common language, English, but here in San Diego, you could make a strong case for there actually being a pair of official languages, Spanish and English.

We have a governmental structure, but given the fact that our border laws, legally enacted by our democratically-elected legislature mean nothing, what is the actual form of government? President Biden is claiming he can create a vaccine mandate without any voting by the legislature at all. Isn't that at odds with our understanding of how the government is supposed to work?

If a state wanted to secede, from what would it be seceding? Would you say, "Texas, you may not secede. You must stay and have your land overrun by non-citizens. You must obey laws that people all around you do not obey. You must use a currency that is being generated out of thin air. You must communicate to us in English. You must send us two senators and n congresscritters to represent you in an near-powerless legislature. Finally, you must accede to the wishes of our judiciary, whatever those wishes happen to be at the moment."

It seems to me that the US, as presently composed, is not nearly as solid and well-defined of a thing as one might think.

* - It's not a crisis if it's intentional.

Tuesday, September 21, 2021

You Never Know What You've Got Until It's Gone

 ... and if it comes back, great is the rejoicing!

I blogged before about arthritis issues in my knee. I thought I'd never again walk without a limp and definitely never thought I'd run again. When I realized that it wasn't going to get better, I went back to weightlifting, thinking it was my last chance at it.

Well, after about three months of serious work with the weights, going to the gym almost every day, the knee pain is not only completely gone, I can also jog again. Booyah!

I think there's a lot to be said for getting in shape to stay generally healthy, but I never really practiced it before. Having been given a reprieve, I won't take this for granted again.

Never again.

Monday, September 20, 2021

Why Is The Border Out Of Control?

Watching the unfolding "crisis*" in Del Rio, Texas, I kept wondering what might happen if we had a wall and sufficient Border Patrol resources to completely control the border. It wouldn't have to mean a shutdown of immigration, would it? I mean, if we chose to do so, we could allow 1,000,000 Haitians, 2,000,000 Hondurans and 10,000,000 Mexicans to come into the country every year. We could specify any mix we chose and any numbers we chose.

Securing the border is independent of immigration limits.

If the border is out of control, then we can't specify any limits at all. We can vote every three months** to elect new representatives. They could go meet in session in Congress and enact any immigration bills they wished. The president could sign them into law. Nothing would change because the border is a sieve.

Why is the border a sieve?

It's a sieve so we don't have the ability to set any limits. The elimination of border control is not about the border, it's about us. Just like the Supreme Court's rulings on abortion and gay marriage, we are seen by the Elites as too stupid, too ignorant and too bigoted to be allowed to make choices about these things. I mean, just imagine what we might do if we were given political power. Why, we could limit immigration, enshrine one man - one woman marriage and even make our own decisions about when life begins! Horrible!

We are unworthy of the right to vote. Since they can't take that away, they simply remove the linkages between voting and real results.

Our elections are the equivalent of this toddler's driving toy. We can pretend to drive just like mommy does, but in reality, we aren't doing a thing.

* - In my book, it's not a crisis if it's intentional.

** - I've ingested the message that voting is the most important thing you can do to the point that I now think our political season should never end and we should have elections as often as possible.

Sunday, September 19, 2021

I'm A Brisket Fraud

Since I use this blog to store recipes and cooking tips, I thought I'd summarize my best practices for briskets. I made one the previous night for a party the next evening. Here's what I learned.

Tip 1: Don't cook it at night. Get some sleep instead. 

By the time evening rolls around, I'm not at my best. I made one serious mistake, shown below, because I wasn't thinking and didn't take the time to review the plan. Also, briskets are notoriously unreliable with cooking times. The first breakpoint, 165 degrees, should have taken 6 or so hours to reach. This one reached it after 4. When I got up in the middle of the night to check it, I found it had gone up to 180 and I was late wrapping the thing.

Tip 2: Use this rub from Southern Living. It's awesome.

Tip 3: Use this recipe for the mechanics of cooking the brisket from Hey Grill Hey. The paper wrap for the second phase is crucial.

Tip 4: PUT THE BRISKET IN A FREAKING ALUMINUM PAN, YOU IDIOT! I didn't and so I lost all the glorious drippings. Also, the paper stuck to the bottom of the brisket after I wrapped it at 1 AM. See Tip 1, above, for why 1 AM is a stupid time to be wrapping a brisket. 

In any case, start it in a pan, wrap it in a pan, store it in a pan. It's the pan part that made me a fraud. I didn't add it until the smoking was done and when I reheated the brisket for our guests, I added some homemade beef stock to simulate the drippings.

Lies, lies, all lies! I feel so dirty!

The brisket, as carved for dinner. The reddish-pink rings make it look like a proper brisket. Hah! It wasn't. Lies!

Look, it's in a pan! There are juices!
More lies!

Here it is, the fulsome, scurvy truth. It's in the smoker with rich, nourishing juices simply running out and burning up in the fire. Horrible! Unconscionable! Inexcusable!

In all seriousness, the next time I do a brisket, I'll look it up on the 'Post and find these notes and do it right. Our guests raved about the dinner, but I knew it could have been much, much better. Oh well. Live and learn.

I hope you're having a great weekend.

Saturday, September 18, 2021

Not All Border Walls Are Equal

Instapundit linked to this article, howling about how the Federal government is funding a border wall in Tajikistan, but not one in Texas.

While the Biden administration halted construction of the border wall along the U.S.-Mexico border, the United States is funding border security efforts for Tajikistan, a former Soviet republic trying to keep Afghan insurgents and refugees out.

One day after the Biden administration's Aug. 31 deadline to withdraw from Afghanistan, the U.S. Embassy in Dushanbe, Tajikistan, announced that it had launched a project to construct new facilities for a Border Guard Detachment in Ayvoj, along the Tajik-Afghan-Uzbek border. 

That facility is designed to help Tajik security forces better respond to Afghans seeking to flee Taliban rule or insurgents seeking to cause mischief to its neighbor.

As usual, there are cries of "Hypocrisy!" from the right. They're wrong. This isn't hypocrisy at all, it's the concrete realization of the progressive world view. Dig this from Ivy-League Princeton.

Princeton University required all incoming freshmen to watch an hour-long video that likened personal denials of racism to segregation, urged the students and university to do more for “undocumented immigrants,” and warned that those who protested the 2020 presidential election bear some resemblance to Confederates.

The purpose of the video was to grapple with “systemic racism and Princeton University,” according to the video’s subtitle.

I sampled a bit of the video, which you can find at that link, and it was about what you'd expect once you realized that the people running Princeton hate America and want to see it fundamentally changed. It's a litany of evils, bereft of context or comparison.

Incidentally, we could make the same video about the people running Princeton, using horrors pulled from abortion, black-on-black crime, the poisoning of sexually-demented trans children, child pornography and much, much more. It dawned on me as I watched some of that video that such a response is precisely what is needed - a story told with the same world-weary, intellectual, matter-of-fact tone.

In any case, the progs see Tajikistan as righteous and deserving of a nation. They do not see the US in the same way.

This invasion, allowed because it will change the racial demographics of the country, is a moral good to the people running Princeton.

Friday, September 17, 2021

Money For Nothing And Your Neuroses For Free

We know a family with a kid who caught a cold. The kid was banned from school and ordered to take a Wuhan Flu test. This despite the fact that, as a kid, he was statistically more likely to be shot in Chicago than die of the WuFlu.

Where I work, the physical security office only lets one person come in at a time and has one of those utterly pointless plexiglass shields up, covering only 1/3 of the person's body, with huge gaps at the top and sides, so when you talk to the clerk, you talk through the shield, but the virions travel around the shield to get the clerk anyway. Yesterday, I posted Brown University's insane masking and social distance policies for their student body, which is 95%+ vaccinated.

I would argue that we can indulge our neuroses because we're printing money. We don't have to perform up to normal because we're backstopped with mountains of cash.

Under normal circumstances, when you face stresses or setbacks, you can't wallow in self-pity or hide under your bed in fear because you've got bills to pay. You've got to suck it up and get back to work. All of this printed money being handed out by the government gives us the opportunity to turn into full-blown head cases.

And boy howdy, have we done that.

It's not enough for us to be neurotics, we're teaching our kids to be neurotics as well.