what nick gillespie said

Though limited to voters in a single state, Prop. 19 is the only policy matter on the table with the potential to restructure the lives of virtually all Americans. If Prop. 19 passes, it will force, at long bloody last, an honest reconsideration of failed prohibitionist policies throughout the United States. In fact, given the drug war's influence on our foreign policy in Latin America and central Asia, Prop. 19's reverberations would even be felt far outside our borders.

There's much more. Read the whole thing..


idle thoughts

What do you think Clarence Thomas did to piss his wife off so badly that she had to open that old wound? Surely she knew that little phone call was going to go public, right?

It's funny to me how easily you can predict whether or not someone believes Anita Hill's allegations based on whether they are sympathetic to Justice Thomas' judicial philosophy. That's stupid. The facts have nothing to do with strict constructivism. That a powerful judge could be a sexual harasser or a former clerk could have an ax to grind strike me as equally probable scenarios. I have no idea. And neither do you...unless you are Clarence Thomas or Anita Hill.



The American embargo of Cuba is 50 years old today.

In the interval, the USSR collapsed. The Chinese embraced capitalism (at least as an economic system.) Libertarians extol the virtues of Estonia. Myself, I've shared drinks with Russians in what was once the place everyone thought would be the front of WWIII (and close to where my father spent most of his military career, hoping--I assume--that it wouldn't come to that), and gone on vacation in the country pretty much everyone in his generation was trying like hell to stay out of.

The Castros, on the other hand, are still standing.

I'm sure it's going to work any day now.


plenty of that to go around

I gotta say...I have a hard time taking anyone in the Pentagon seriously when they get sanctimonious about "the blood of some young soldier or that of an Afghan family" that might (but by their own admission has not, so far) end up being on Wikileaks' hands.

By all means, if Wikileaks is making it hard to do your job, feel free to bitch about that. But let's not pretend that being the United States of America absolves us of any and all moral repercussions of our own policy.

what do you get when you combine christian fundamentalism with northwestern hypersensitive douchiness?

This guy, pretty much:

I would ask that you make a public apology for this statement for offending me, and the Church. I am getting sick and tired of the finger pointing at the Church when it is just a few who make it look bad for the masses. I am also considering contacting the ACLU and getting legal advice to see if this is deemed Hate Speech, because your statement affects me as I am in Bible College and looking at a Pastoral Ministry life ahead. This type of speech concerns me, and should be done away with.


confidential to rw

You know what? You were right about Citizens' United.

The campaign ads right now aren't just making me rethink my reflexive libertarianism...at this point I'm actually wondering if we didn't give that whole monarchy thing a fair shake.


(in which a white guy stumbles onto a flavor vaguely resembling authentic vietnamese food)

I've been working on my stir-frying skills a lot lately, spurred on by: 1) a profusion of vegetables arriving in our crisper every week because we subscribed to a CSA box, 2) my introduction to the Tahnanh Son Tofu Manufacturing store, a few blocks from where I work, where fresh (still warm!) tofu that is 100 times better than anything you will ever find in a supermarket can be had for $1.25/pound, and 3) the realization that this combined with the uber-cheap noodles to be had at any number of stores in the ID makes for quick, healthy, and very affordable meals.

Last night I think I nailed it to the wall.

Brian's as-yet-nameless awesome tofu dish:

(all measurements are approximations)

1 lb tofu, cut into 1/2" cubes

1 Tbs fried chili paste (less if you have a sensitive stomach...seriously)
1 Tbs natural peanut butter (i.e., just smashed peanuts with no oils added)
a few shakes of fish sauce
1 tsp sugar
juice of 1 lime

2 cloves garlic, diced
1 inch ginger, diced
1 head of broccoli, chopped medium-fine
1/2 yellow onion, sliced
1/4 large or 1/2 small head of red cabbage, sliced(I'm sure green would be fine, too, or some chopped bok choy)
1 green bell pepper, cut into 1/2" squares
a couple of handfuls mung bean sprouts

peanut oil
soy sauce
fresh ground black pepper
corn starch

1. Whisk chili paste, peanut butter, fish sauce, sugar, and lime juice together in a bowl until more or less homogeneous. Toss with tofu. Set aside while prepping the vegetables.

2. Whisk a couple pinches of corn starch together with just enough water to make a slurry, and set aside.

3. Heat a large wok on high until a drop of water boils away on contact. Then add enough oil to liberally cover the bottom, and heat until nearly smoking (if you heat the wok propperly first, this should take no more than a minute.)

4. Shaking off (but reserve) excess marinade, add the tofu to the wok. There is a lot of water hitting a lot of oil here, so BE CAREFUL. (I recommend rolling a few pieces down the side of the wok at a time...don't just plunge it all straight into the oil at once.) Fry in the oil, for several minutes, turning periodically, until the tofu is browned on all sides.

5. Push the tofu to the edges and make a well in the middle. Add the garlic and ginger, and fry that for 20-30 seconds (do not let it brown!).

6. Add all of the veg except the sprouts, and stir fry that until the onions and cabbage start to wilt. Everything should be well-coated in the chili/peanut/oil mixture at this point, with little to no liquid in the pan. Add the sprouts, a few shakes of soy sauce, and pepper to taste, and stir fry another minute or so. Then add the reserved marinade and the cornstarch slurry, and stir fry another minute. Remove immediately to a (heat-safe!) bowl.

7. Serve over noodles (or rice) and top with fried shallots (a bit of a specialty item, but available in Vietnamese-oriented grocery stores.)