Stationery

Since I have come to Japan I have found stationery stores to be fun. It is because Japanese are really into handwriting and have some of the best pens and pencils on the planet. I remember buying a mechanical pencil that advanced the lead in a new way. Instead of clicking the top one shook the whole pen. There is some neat stuff.

Not that I would ever need it but correcting things have gone through various stages. The first was the white liquid that dried to write over it. The second was a little correction tape cartridge to cover over the mistake. The third was a small roll of Post-it like paper to cover things and writing on the paper. Now, people use a new type of pen with ink that disappears when you rub it. The increase in temperature causes this.

The other thing different about Japan compared to America is the prevalence of plastic sheets put under paper so it is easier to write. Often these sheets have cartoon characters or decorative designs. English has such a simple written language that there is no need for these whereas Japanese characters can have a lot of details and need a better writing surface.

Little children love erasers. And the erasers can be made in any shape. I like the sushi shaped ones myself. (Just to look at.) The kids collect these. When I was young I remember three type of erasers, pink, an eraser with two ends for ink and pencil, and the crumbly art eraser not this.

Have you been to a stationery store recently?

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Muslim jihad in Africa June 2019

Ramadan ended on June 3rd this year. I posted with the overview the following week. There has been no abatement of murder and destruction. In fact, the pace of killing seems to be increasing.

This will not be reported in American mass media. Conservative niche media will only take notice of the most horrifying crimes. The murders of hundreds of Africans is only noted by Christian niche media. Most of the victims are Christians, of course, though plenty of Pagans are murdered by Muslims as well. Every now and then Muslims are killed in reprisals, and that is ten times as likely to get reported in western mass media as other violence.

If you do a search of any mass media news site, or any Big Tech news aggregator, you discover some interesting results.   The stuff I note below turns up on page three or four, or not at all.   If you search for “Muslim” you get pro-Islam stories.   If you search for these countries by name, you get stories about sports stars who come from these nations.   You also get articles about western NGOs and their work in these countries.   What you have to work really hard to find is reporting on jihad, which is a daily fact of life in much of Africa.

I determined to provide a snapshot of the ongoing death and destruction wrought by jihadis in Africa. This is an amazing tale that goes unreported. It should inform our understanding of the Islamic world, and the violence that accompanies Islam.   The following is simply a review of recent events.

Burkina Faso

I mentioned Burkina Faso in my Ramadan Bombathon post. There was an attack on a church every Sunday in Ramadan this year.

Cameroon

More than 80 people were killed, including 16 Cameroonian soldiers, during an attack by suspected Boko Haram Islamists in the north of the country, the defense ministry said.

Eight civilians and 64 fighters also died in the pitched battle in the Darak locality of Cameroon’s Far North Region on June 9, while another eight fighters were taken prisoner, Defence Minister Joseph Beti Assomo said in statement handed to reporters in the capital, Yaounde.

Here is an interesting bit about Cameroon, which is getting spillover from Nigeria. Boko Haram fighters cross the border either to stir up trouble or as they flee from Nigerian government forces.

Since 2014, the Far North region of Cameroon has experienced several devastating attacks displacing a total of 262,831 Cameroonians as of May 2019. As the country struggles to deal with this unprecedented number of internally displaced citizens within its borders, it is simultaneously hosting over 136,000 Nigerian refugees who fled to Cameroon as a result of the same conflict.

Cameroon also has internal strife. The two large English-speaking provinces have a separatist movement going on, claiming that the government has been stealing elections, which of course they have been. The government arrested 350 peaceful protesters in an escalation over this confrontation.

Central African Republic

The “3R” Fulani Muslim militia used a supposed peace deal as a pretense to host a meeting, then murdered their guests. May, 2019.

More than 26 people were killed on Tuesday and many were wounded when an armed group attacked two villages in northwestern Central African Republic, the UN’s peacekeeping mission said.

 

Chad

At least four Chadian soldiers and a television reporter were killed when their vehicle hit a mine on a road in eastern Chad, security sources said Sunday.

The victims were in a convoy on Saturday, May 25 headed towards an army position that had been attacked by elements of the Boko Haram insurgent group overnight, the sources said.

The timeline of events is unclear.

This delegation of the Chadian army was headed to N’Gounboua, where elements of Boko Haram had attacked an army position overnight, killing at least one on our side,” a security source told AFP.

Alwihda reported that 23 Boko Haram fighters were killed in Berkara, near N’Gouboua on Saturday night. N’Goubouais on the northeastern bank of Lake Chad, near the borders with Nigeria and Niger.

The Chadian Army cannot win every time, even with covert aid from America and France. Chad is about 44% Christian, but parts of Chad are 90% Muslim. The Christians of Kintchendi have a difficult choice to make:

On June 7, the  Islamic extremist group Boko Haram kidnapped a Christian woman in the village of Kintchendi in the Diffa region in southeastern Niger. She was released yesterday with a letter to all the Christians living in that area to “leave the town within three days or be killed.”

Egypt

A tourist bus was bombed near the Pyramids on May 20. 17 wounded.

This also happened in Egypt, but in Sinai near Gaza, so not technically in Africa:

Egyptian security personnel were killed Wednesday, June 5 in militant attacks on several security posts in the restive North Sinai region, according to media reports.

One of the checkpoints near the city of  Arish was run by Egypt’s Central Security Forces and two others by the military, according to the independent news  website  Mada Masr, which said 10 police officers had been killed.

The militants attempted to capture armored vehicles, according to reports on social media and AFP citing a security source. Police and Egyptian Armed Forces personnel were battling the attackers and killed a number of the militants, the reports said.

Egypt’s interior ministry later put the death toll at eight, including two officers, and said five militants were killed. The ministry said the attack targeted the Batal-14 checkpoint south of Arish, but did not confirm reports of two additional attacks.

Kenya

At least eight Kenyan police officers were killed on Saturday, June 15 when their vehicle was struck by an IED while on patrol in Wajir County near the border with Somalia, police sources said.Unnamed Kenyan officials earlier said those killed were among a group of officers who were pursuing gunmen who had kidnapped three police reservists in Konton centre in Wajir East, Al Jazeera  reported. Those sources said at least 10 police officers had been killed in the explosion.

Al-Shabab  claimed responsibility for the kidnapping, saying they had temporarily taken control of Khorof Harar village.

Mali

At least 95 people were killed Sunday evening when armed men attacked an ethnic Dogon village in central Mali, a mayor told CNN on Monday.

The gunmen set fire to the village and fired shots, fleeing at around midnight, the mayor, Ali Dolo, said. The attack was carried out by Fulani men, he said.

CNN took pains to point out that 134 Fulani had been killed in reprisal attacks in March. They did not explain the massacres that the reprisals were for. The word “Muslim” did not appear in their two articles about jihad in Africa this month.

Mozambique

Mozambique has experienced an upsurge in Islamicist violence in recent years, though much less than some of the other countries in Africa. This past April, Mozambique was slammed by a cyclone. The storm, storm damage, storm cleanup, and related matters crowded everything else out of the news.

Nigeria

Boko Haram continues its killing. More jihadi murders happened in Nigeria last year than in any other country except Afghanistan and Syria. There was a little blip of notice in conservative niche media because two Nigerian women spoke to Heritage Foundation on Tuesday, June 11. One of them is the mother of a girl who was kidnapped along with 110 other schoolgirls in Dapchi, back in February of 2018. Five of the girls died, and all but two of the rest were either sprung or released. Boko Haram is still holding two girls, including this woman’s daughter, because they refused to renounce Jesus. The thing that made it newsworthy was that the woman made it to America to appeal to President Trump for help.

On May 26, Christians were attacked just as they were leaving Sunday morning worship. Reports vary with between 7 to 30 murdered in several locations. Twenty homes of Christians were burned. These attacks, along with many others, were not included in a Boko Haram timeline posted by CNN on June 9.

There is some good news from Nigeria. I don’t know if this means real progress towards peace:

A total of 894 children, including 106 girls, were released from the ranks of the Civilian Joint Task Force (CJTF) in Maiduguri, north-east Nigeria today, as part of its commitment to end and prevent the recruitment and use of children.

The CJTF is a local militia that helps the Nigerian security forces in the fight against insurgency in north-east Nigeria. It was formed in 2013, with the aim of protecting communities from attack.

It is good that the anti-Boko Haram fighters are giving up their child soldiers. The government of Nigeria pledged to do more to fight Boko Haram. Most of those kids will probably end up as refugees either elsewhere in Nigeria or perhaps in Cameroon.

 

Niger

You may well wonder why I have Niger on this list, since it is 99.5% Muslim. But jihadis believe that most Muslims are not sufficiently adhering to Sharia, and they fight the government that occasionally tries to stop the Islamic State West Africa Province (ISWAP, a faction of Boko Haram) from crossing borders. You may also recall that a couple of Americans got killed while on a clandestine mission in Niger in 2017. Boss Mongo is a friend of a guy whose son was on that mission.

Not all military missions in Niger end in failure. The most recent one was a success.

Security forces in Niger foiled three weekend attacks in the capital Niamey and in the southeastern city of Diffa, the government said. … Five people including “two known terrorists” were arrested near Niamey’s international airport on Saturday, the defense ministry said in a statement read on state radio on Monday, June 3.

These terrorists intended to perpetrate attacks in the city of Niamey or its environs,” the statement said. On Sunday, two attacks were thwarted in the Diffa area, according to the ministry.

Overnight, four would-be suicide bombers were “neutralized,” one near a fuel depot and three at the Diffa airport, the ministry said. Local officials had earlier said all four militants were killed near the depot, which stores oil and gas for the region.

Also in Diffa, an attack on a church was averted on Sunday morning, the defense ministry said. “The suicide bomber and his guide were arrested outside the church. They had an explosives belt and its detonator” as well as a firearm and ammunition, it said.

Meanwhile:

On June 7, the  Islamic extremist group Boko Haram kidnapped a Christian woman in the village of Kintchendi in the Diffa region in southeastern Niger. She was released yesterday [June 10] with  a letter to all the Christians living in that area to “leave the town within three days or be killed.”

Somalia

Somalia has been torn by war for over 25 years.

a car bomb exploded near the Somalia parliament on Saturday, killing eight people, emergency workers said, hours after militia executed nine civilians from a clan with suspected links to al-Shabaab.

We have confirmed eight people killed and 16 others wounded in the blast,” the private Aamin Ambulance service said. A second blast on a key road leading to the airport of the Somali capital Mogadishu did not cause any casualties.

Al-Shabaab claimed responsibility for the attacks saying they were “they were targeting two checkpoints, one of them along the airport road and (the other) along the road that leads to house of legislators.”

According to security sources the second explosives-laden car a Toyota Noah, was spotted by security forces at a checkpoint. They opened fire and killed a man in the car, which then exploded. …

Earlier Saturday, police said local militia executed nine civilians after Al-Shabaab killed a police officer.

The revenge attack Friday just outside Galkayo – one of the most developed cities in the centre of the country – targeted the Rahanweyn clan, several of whose members are suspected to be Shabaab fighters.

This was a horrible incident, a gruesome killing against nine unarmed innocent civilians in southern Galkayo. All of the civilians belong to one clan and the gunmen shot them dead in one location a few minutes after suspected Shabaab gunmen killed” a policeman, said local police official Mohamed Abdirahman.

This is an unacceptable act and we will bring those perpetrators to justice,” said Hussein Dini, a traditional elder.

Their killing cannot be justified. It seems that the merciless gunmen were retaliating for the security official who they believe was killed by Al-Shabaab gunmen belonging to the clan of the victims.”

Sudan

Street protests that started in late 2018 led to a coup this past April. The generals removed Omar al-Bashir from power. The street protests continued, however, with protesters saying, essentially, “we wanted the generals to take over, but not these generals.” The guys in power are al-Bashir’s old cronies. Things turned really ugly when police fired on protesters at the end of Ramadan:

Hopes of a peaceful transition of power took a fatal blow on June 3, when soldiers and paramilitary groups opened fire on a pro-democracy sit-in in Khartoum, according to witnesses, killing dozens of people and injuring hundreds. About 40 bodies were found to have been dumped in the River Nile after the attack.

In this case the protesters are all Muslims, so this is not jihad; it is just a military junta oppressing their own people. Beatings, political imprisonment, rape and murder have all been charged. This is a story that has appeared a little bit in some American media outlets. Less than one percent of Sudan’s population is not Muslim, and the non-Muslims are keeping their heads down as best they can.

 

South Sudan

South Sudan was torn by a very long civil war that culminated in independence from Sudan in 2011. At the end of 2013 a power struggle plunged South Sudan into a new civil war. Sudan is divided seven ways, primarily tribally.  In the midst of this chaos Sudan has occupied large portions of South Sudan’s oil fields. Cross border incursions have led to friction with Uganda. There has been violence, but I did not see anything there that could be attributed to jihad.

 

Wrapup

I counted 247 persons killed since the end of Ramadan two weeks ago in jihadi attacks in Africa. The summary above adds up to more than that because I included murders that occurred back in May.

Media silence. American mass media is failing to inform us. We have to inform each other.

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Draining the agricultural swamp

Employees from two Department of Agriculture research agencies stood and turned their backs to Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue at an all-hands meeting Thursday to silently protest a decision to relocate the agencies halfway across the country.

Perdue announced earlier Thursday morning that the Economic Research Service, which provides research and statistical analysis for lawmakers, and the National Institute of Food and Agriculture, which allocates federal research funding, will be relocated to Kansas City from Washington, DC, the final announcement in a process that began last year.
Swamp dwellers are unhappy.   They are going to have to go to flyover country if they want to keep their jobs.   This will make it more difficult to work the system, and make it more difficult to collude with their pals in the activist community.
This is exactly the sort of remedy that I have been hoping for.
But outside observers, current employees and members of Congress have pushed back against the plan since it was first announced last year.
Kevin Hunt, acting vice president of the ERS Union, condemned the move as “cold-hearted” and that it “highlights his disregard for the rights and well-being of employees.”
The relocation plan has drawn opposition from House Democrats, who included language in their budget banning USDA from using funds allocated by Congress to relocate either agency outside the capital. A group of Democratic senators have also introduced legislation that would bar USDA from moving the research agencies.
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Shiite Shenanigans

Oil tankers were attacked in the Gulf of Oman. This is just over a month since the previous attacks in the Persian Gulf. Houthi rebels in Yemen, a client project of Iran, attacked oil wells and pipelines and an airport in Saudi Arabia.

The Mullahs of Iran are trying to raise the price of oil, to create a better market for their black market oil that they are trying to sell around President Trump’s sanctions.

Are they biting off more than they can chew? I saw that Prime Minister Abe of Japan happened to be in Tehran at the time of the attack, and tried to say some soothing but warning things about escalations.   One of the bombed ships is Japanese.

The Iranians are saying “it ain’t us,” but everyone knows it is them. They are saying that America bombed the ships in order to blame Iran for the provocation. Only the most virulent America-haters are going with the Iranian version, which means it is making the rounds on social media at three times the speed of truth.

 

The problem with Iran is that their theocracy puts the most ardent Mullahs in positions of power. Those guys believe their scriptures, and have internalized some prophecies that are specific to Shia Islam. They would like nothing better than to trigger the Final War that will bring about the sequence of events prophesied for the end of the world.

As a believer in sacred writings myself, I see their conviction as an admirable trait. Too bad they have determined to follow the wrong sacred writings. But I can understand them in a way that the pundits of Washington cannot. I relate to their conviction.

There is a limited number of ways to deal with Iran. Diplomacy is bound to fail unless it accompanies a strategy that addresses their religious ideas.

  1. First, convince them that now is not the time for that eagerly-sought Final War. That a war at this time would not be the eschatological end-times war, but a war that would bring the wrath of the West down on their heads and only set their cause back by a century or three. They would need to be convinced that the war that would come would be far more deadly and destructive than the wars they have observed in Afghanistan and Iraq.
  2. Alternatively, bring down the regime of the Mullahs, and install some other government that does not give primary place to religious ideologues.
  3. Third, and best, would be a conversion; a wave of Iranian people coming to Christ and rejecting the religion of false peace, peacefully replacing their own government with something good.

Any approach that simply expects more of the same; applying economic sanctions and occasionally setting their nuclear weapon ambitions back a little bit, is a bad approach. Eventually they will succeed.

I do not expect that they will succeed in triggering the wars that will bring about the End of Time. I do expect that could succeed in triggering a major war, with millions of people displaced and killed.

Lord, have mercy.

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It’s been 50 years already?

I got something in the mail the other day, it was a notice that if I wanted to attend my high school reunion I needed to remit $55 for myself and another $55 for my guest.

Huh? Where is it at etc….

Seems like the first letter, sent some time in February just didn’t make it to my mailbox. That is according to a phone call to one of the organizers.

But 50 years already! It seems like only yesterday… The old high school building is gone, burned down in the early 90’s.  A lot of memories went with that building.

I just can’t get over the time passing.

Well I’m going to attend.

Just as a topic of discussion, how many other Ratburgers found that they can’t get over the time passing ? How many attended a class reunion? Was it fun? Did they discuss what one did in one’s life? etc etc etc

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Book Review: The Case for Trump

“The case for Trump” by Victor Davis HansonThe election of Donald Trump as U.S. president in November 2016 was a singular event in the history of the country. Never before had anybody been elected to that office without any prior experience in either public office or the military. Trump, although running as a Republican, had no long-term affiliation with the party and had cultivated no support within its establishment, elected officials, or the traditional donors who support its candidates. He turned his back on the insider consultants and “experts” who had advised GOP candidate after candidate in their “defeat with dignity” at the hands of a ruthless Democrat party willing to burn any bridge to win. From well before he declared his candidacy he established a direct channel to a mass audience, bypassing media gatekeepers via Twitter and frequent appearances in all forms of media, who found him a reliable boost to their audience and clicks. He was willing to jettison the mumbling points of the cultured Beltway club and grab “third rail” issues of which they dared not speak such as mass immigration, predatory trade practices, futile foreign wars, and the exporting of jobs from the U.S. heartland to low-wage sweatshops overseas.

He entered a free-for-all primary campaign as one of seventeen major candidates, including present and former governors, senators, and other well-spoken and distinguished rivals and, one by one, knocked them out, despite resolute and sometimes dishonest bias by the media hosting debates, often through “verbal kill shots” which made his opponents the target of mockery and pinned sobriquets on them (“low energy Jeb”, “little Marco”, “lyin’ Ted”) they couldn’t shake. His campaign organisation, if one can dignify it with the term, was completely chaotic and his fund raising nothing like the finely-honed machines of establishment favourites like Jeb Bush, and yet his antics resulted in his getting billions of dollars worth of free media coverage even on outlets who detested and mocked him.

One by one, he picked off his primary opponents and handily won the Republican presidential nomination. This unleashed a phenomenon the likes of which had not been seen since the Goldwater insurgency of 1964, but far more virulent. Pillars of the Republican establishment and Conservatism, Inc. were on the verge of cardiac arrest, advancing fantasy scenarios to deny the nomination to its winner, publishing issues of their money-losing and subscription-shedding little magazines dedicated to opposing the choice of the party’s voters, and promoting insurgencies such as the candidacy of Egg McMuffin, whose bona fides as a man of the people were evidenced by his earlier stints with the CIA and Goldman Sachs.

Predictions that post-nomination, Trump would become “more presidential” were quickly falsified as the chaos compounded, the tweets came faster and funnier, and the mass rallies became ever more frequent and raucous. One thing that was obvious to anybody looking dispassionately at what was going on, without the boiling blood of hatred and disdain of the New York-Washington establishment, was that the candidate was having the time of his life and so were the people who attended the rallies. But still, all of the wise men of the coastal corridor knew what must happen. On the eve of the general election, polls put the probability of a Trump victory somewhere between 1 and 15 percent. The outlier was Nate Silver, who went out on a limb and went all the way up to 29% chance of Trump’s winning to the scorn of his fellow “progressives” and pollsters.

And yet, Trump won, and handily. Yes, he lost the popular vote, but that was simply due to the urban coastal vote for which he could not contend and wisely made no attempt to attract, knowing such an effort would be futile and a waste of his scarce resources (estimates are his campaign spent around half that of Clinton’s). This book by classicist, military historian, professor, and fifth-generation California farmer Victor Davis Hanson is an in-depth examination of, in the words of the defeated candidate, “what happened”. There is a great deal of wisdom here.

First of all, a warning to the prospective reader. If you read Dr Hanson’s columns regularly, you probably won’t find a lot here that’s new. This book is not one of those that’s obviously Frankenstitched together from previously published columns, but in assembling their content into chapters focussing on various themes, there’s been a lot of cut and paste, if not literally at the level of words, at least in terms of ideas. There is value in seeing it all presented in one package, but be prepared to say, from time to time, “Haven’t I’ve read this before?”

That caveat lector aside, this is a brilliant analysis of the Trump phenomenon. Hanson argues persuasively that it is very unlikely any of the other Republican contenders for the nomination could have won the general election. None of them were talking about the issues which resonated with the erstwhile “Reagan Democrat” voters who put Trump over the top in the so-called “blue wall” states, and it is doubtful any of them would have ignored their Beltway consultants and campaigned vigorously in states such as Michigan, Wisconsin, and Pennsylvania which were key to Trump’s victory. Given that the Republican defeat which would likely have been the result of a Bush (again?), Rubio, or Cruz candidacy would have put the Clinton crime family back in power and likely tipped the Supreme Court toward the slaver agenda for a generation, that alone should give pause to “never Trump” Republicans.

How will it all end? Nobody knows, but Hanson provides a variety of perspectives drawn from everything from the Byzantine emperor Justinian’s battle against the deep state to the archetype of the rough-edged outsider brought in to do what the more civilised can’t or won’t—the tragic hero from Greek drama to Hollywood westerns. What is certain is that none of what Trump is attempting, whether it ends in success or failure, would be happening if any of his primary opponents or the Democrat in the general election had prevailed.

I believe that Victor Davis Hanson is one of those rare people who have what I call the “Orwell gift”. Like George Orwell, he has the ability to look at the facts, evaluate them, and draw conclusions without any preconceived notions or filtering through an ideology. What is certain is that with the election of Donald Trump in 2016 the U.S. dodged a bullet. Whether that election will be seen as a turning point which reversed the decades-long slide toward tyranny by the administrative state, destruction of the middle class, replacement of the electorate by imported voters dependent upon the state, erosion of political and economic sovereignty in favour of undemocratic global governance, and the eventual financial and moral bankruptcy which are the inevitable result of all of these, or just a pause before the deluge, is yet to be seen. Hanson’s book is an excellent, dispassionate, well-reasoned, and thoroughly documented view of where things stand today.

Hanson, Victor Davis. The Case for Trump. New York: Basic Books, 2019. ISBN 978-1-5416-7354-0.

Here is an Uncommon Knowledge interview with the author discussing the book.

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Ramadan Bombathon report 2019

Ramadan ended last week.   Here is the tally.

No casualties in America this year.   A pretty big number overall.   911 killed and 1006 wounded.   Do you recall seeing any of this in the news?   Didn’t think so.

Continue reading “Ramadan Bombathon report 2019”

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Dearborn Al-Quds Day Rally

Iranian Shiites held a rally to celebrate Al-Quds Day.

“Many people from across the community and across the Muslim world at large have been swept away by the tide of American patriotism. They are proud of America, its freedom, its democracy, free speech, freedom of religion… At the same time, they look down upon the Islamic countries from the high horse of American exceptionalism. How these countries are backwards, corrupt, unorganized, and you have heard more… For that I would like to call the attention of those individuals – however they might hear this – that the amenities and luxuries that they are enjoying in this country are attained at the expense of the rest of the world.

“American military campaigns, economic sanctions, and political arrogance are the only things that keep America where it is. it has been so since they first came to slaughter natives and enslave Africans.

“We don’t point our fingers at the current idiot in the White House, but at all of the criminals and terrorists who held his position before him.”

“And I would like to make it clear to those individuals who like to sing the national anthem and claim that America has given us so much opportunity that America has not given us anything that Allah did not intend on giving us. Just as the Pharaoh did not do Moses a favor by raising him in his corrupt palace. Because the only reason Moses was there in the first place was because of Pharaoh’s slaughtering and enslaving of Moses’ people.

“Likewise, America has not given us anything that we would not have gotten in our homelands, in the company of our own people – were our lands not invaded and colonized and were our people not slaughtered and exploited.

Just another day in America.

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Big Brother Parking Lot

I just came back from a store. It has a parking lot that charges only after the first hour. It used to have the typical gate that opens and you take a card with a time stamp. NOW they take a picture of my car and its license plate. When I get done with shopping I go to a “Big Brother” machine and punch in my license plate number. After I put in the number it shows me a photo of my car and asks for money if I have parked over an hour. (I like free so I shop quickly. No dimes left my hands.) I then drive off the lot. There is no gate I have to pass through on exit but I am sure a camera gets a picture of my departure.

The system works by recording the car license. And if you didn’t pay the right amount and drove off, the police or collection agency would come after you. They probably put in this system because there is a sports stadium nearby and people were working the old system and paying the right amounts. Now they know exactly how long a car has stayed. Before you could switch time stamp cards with someone and get out of paying a lot.

I wonder how much Big Brother is tracking me and my car not just at this store but around town.

Do you have anything like this near you?

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64 means “mushi”

http://www.misaki.rdy.jp/illust/child/gakkou/mushiba/sozai/103.jpg

Well, this is for June 4th. In Japanese, numbers can make words easily. 6 can have the “mu” pronunciation and 4 can be “shi”. “Mushi” means dental cavity. So June 6th is Dental Cavity Day. Okay technically Fight Against Dental Cavity Day but I like the looser translation.

Happy Dental Cavity Day!!

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Monday Meals: 2019-06-03

Roast Goat Quarter

Roast goat quarter: ingredients

Easter dinner at Fourmilab is usually the traditional Swiss repast of roast leg of goat, served over rice with vegetables. This is an easy-to-prepare, can’t fail meal which is suitable for any occasion. Goat is considered a “red meat”, but I find it most comparable to turkey dark meat in flavour and texture. The taste is unique and not at all gamey. (Of course, this depends upon what the goat was fed. Swiss goats are usually fed on grass and forage; if your goat was fed on garbage and fish heads, all bets are off.)

Roast goat quarter: ready to cookStart with a leg of goat (it’s called «cabri quartier arrière» in the shops here—I don’t want to get into disputes between anatomists and butchers [is there a difference?]—I’m just reporting) between 600 and 1000 g including bones; this will serve two adults. The cut pictured above weighed 716 g, which is about average. Rub the meat with an ample amount of garlic purée (which I buy ready to use in a tube; if you can’t find this or insist on fresh, crush several cloves of garlic) and then sprinkle all over with salt and freshly-ground black pepper. Place in a glass casserole dish large enough to hold the entire leg (you may have to use some force to bend the joint in order to fit; in case it won’t go in, dislocate the joint and cut into two pieces). Peel a medium-sized onion, cut in half, and place the two halves on the top of the meat. A sprig of rosemary (supplied with the goat meat here) placed between the onions will add flavour as you roast the meat. Cover the casserole and place in the refrigerator for several hours (overnight is fine) to allow the garlic, salt, and pepper to season the meat.

Half an hour before you’re ready to start cooking, remove the casserole from the refrigerator and allow to come to room temperature. Preheat the oven to 220° C in circulating air mode if available. When the oven is at temperature, place the covered casserole in the middle of the oven. Make sure the lid fits well—otherwise the roast will dry out. (This is about the only thing that can go wrong with the recipe.) Roast goat quarter: cooked

Leave in the oven for 75 minutes. As you approach the end of the cooking time, make white rice the Fourmilab can’t fail way: take the desired quantity of just about any kind of rice (but not “wild rice”, which is actually grass seed), around ⅓ to ½ cup per person (I use “cup” to mean 250 ml), and place in a saucepan. (I prefer sticky short-grained risotto rice like Arborio or Carnaroli, as it readily soaks up the flavour of the juice from cooking.) Add twice the volume of cold water as rice and, if you like, a little salt. Stir the rice and water to sink any “floaters” then turn on the highest heat setting and wait until the water is boiling vigorously. Turn down the heat to the lowest setting (“simmer”) and cover the pan. Then do absolutely nothing for 15 minutes, at the end of which all of the water will have been absorbed and the rice will be perfect.

Roast goat: ready to serve

When everything is done, remove the casserole from the oven, place servings of rice into bowls, top with slices of goat meat and season with the liquid you’ll find at the bottom of the casserole, which will be a blend of the juice from the roast and onions. (Use a baster to transfer it from the casserole to bowls.)

When it’s time to clean up the casserole dish, soak it in warm water and dish detergent for a while, then use a stainless steel scrubber to remove any baked-on cruft, after which the dish grinder will finish the job.

Save the bones and any leftovers, place in a small sauce pan, cover with water, add a squirt of garlic purée and a tablespoon of vinegar, bring to a boil, and then turn down and simmer for around an hour. Remove the bones, place the stock in a container and refrigerate. The next day you can reheat the stock and serve as soup, as pure broth or after cooking cut-up vegetables in the stock. I usually add some starch-based sauce thickener to give the soup a little more body.

Bon appetit!

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Weekend Cruising

Sunday at 2pm one of us decided to go somewhere. This week, the adventure target was the Deschutes River Conservancy Area near Maupin , OR.
The other one decided it had potential, so off we rolled in the F150.

I love day trips. The weather was perfect, sunny along the whole route and all we needed to do was grab a travel mug of coffee (Try Black Rifle, I recommend highly) , a bag of beef sticks and grain free granola bars, the new camera and off we rolled. All else is in the truck at all times.

We had not done the run over Mt Hood in a while and it did not disappoint. The momentous presence held our gaze for miles as we drove over the southern side. We descended through the forest of ponderosa pine to the beginnings of the high desert as we crossed the Warm Springs Res.

We found Maupin, and I was able to out route the GPS by the unique human ability of looking at another map so we arrived just around 5pm at the Deschutes river.

River here was placid .

River here was not.

So we came home via the Columbia Gorge on I 84. Here is a shot upriver at near sunset.

And here is an unloaded coal barge heading back for another load shot downriver.

A good time was had by all.

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Willing to Negotiate

AMLO is “willing to negotiate.”

Of course he is.   President Trump will get just what he wants, too.   Mexico will dramatically reduce the flow of Salvadoran and Guatemalan “migrants.”   And the tariff will pay for the Wall.

Winning is fun.

“I believe we will be able to reach an agreement, because reason is with us,” Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador said at a news conference in Veracruz, insisting that Mexico wants to maintain a good relationship with the United States.
López Obrador said Mexico is not interested in a tariff war, but slammed Trump’s tariff proposal as unfair.
Yeah, of course; that is for domestic consumption in Mexico.   But he is not in a good negotiating position.   There are four key elements to the Mexican economy.   Drug gangs, money sent home by Mexicans in the U.S., oil money, and the maquiladoras that turn cheap parts from China into manufactured goods qualifying for NAFTA export to the U.S.
Mexico cannot withstand the pressure that President Trump is applying.   The pain will begin in about five minutes.
Opponents of Trump’s tariff proposal warn the move would hurt American consumers and undercut efforts to ratify the US-Mexico-Canada Agreement.
Of course they did.   That is the only part of this story that will get coverage by mass media.   Their fearmongering led to a stock market slump on Friday.   Expect more of the same.   They will wring as much negativity as they can from this story.   Then they will go silent when President Trump achieves his victory.
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