Saturday, June 5, 2010

The Pro-Hole Agenda

The almost tragic Arizona bacon story

I'm spending about a week and a half in Arizona, filling in for another guy at the Phoenix Jukt Micronics warehouse.  Most of our Texas transplants are staying at The Marriott TownePlace Suites since the rooms are more spacious, have kitchens, and are a little easier to live in for 6 months.  There are lots of good folks working there at the TownePlace Suites, and I owe them a lot. 
Here's why:

I've worked in manufacturing for so long that I have a hard time doing anything in small quantities.  If I buy laundry soap, I get a 3-month supply.  When I cut my food, I generally slice everything on my plate and THEN start eating.  It's called "batching your tasks".  You don't have to handle your tools so many times. 

So when I cook bacon, I throw an entire package in the skillet, stir it around for about 15 minutes and then put it in a ziplock bag.  I'm through cooking bacon for the week. 

The good people at the Marriott TownePlace Suites (Phoenix) provide each resident with a couple of small skillets, but those aren't big enough for a full production run of bacon. 
The other option would be to purchase microwaveable bacon, but that's against my general philosophy.  Bacon is meant to be fried. 

That left me with only one choice.  The dutch oven. 
The Dutch Oven provided by the Marriott TownePlace Suites (Phoenix) is not as sturdy as the one shown above, but it would do in a pinch.  I opened up the meat package, sorted out the slices of bacon into the pot, and then concentrated on scrambling eggs. 
So you can visualize the next few minutes of crisis, here's what a Marriott TownePlace Suites (Phoenix) kitchen looks like:

If you're cooking an entire package of bacon at once, some strips will get ready before others.  You just fish 'em out with a fork, throw them on a paper towel, and wait on the slackers to catch up.  By the time an entire package is done, there's at least an inch of boiling grease in the bottom of the skillet.  Even more if you're using a small Dutch Oven instead of the traditional wide skillet. 

I was almost through with the bacon.  Maybe 2 or 3 strips weren't done yet.  All of a sudden the grease started bubbling violently and dark smoke started coming out of the Dutch Oven.  I dredged out the last few pieces of bacon just in time to see the grease go up to the halfway mark inside the pot.  A black cloud started coming out of the Dutch Oven, a cloud so big that it  looked like Israelites should be following it through the wilderness for 40 years. 

All I could think of was "what if the fire sprinklers go off?" 

I moved the pot to an empty burner, but the grease didn't show any signs of settling down, and I was afraid it would spontaneously ignite. 

So I put the lid on it. 

The grease settled down within a few seconds.  Then I tried to remove the lid so I could dispose of the grease (the room was full of smoke, BTW). 

The lid wouldn't budge.  Putting the lid on top of all that heat had created a vacuum inside the Dutch Oven.  I got a fork and tried to pry it off, but got nowhere.  

Next I tried putting some Mississippi physics to work on the problem, reasoning that if heat had created the vacuum, cold might eliminate it.  I put the whole cluster o' metal and grease in the sink and slowly ran cold water over the lid.  

I heard creaking and groaning from the lid.  The pot then pulled the lid into itself about two inches, the metal going from convex to concave before my eyes.  With all the smoke and bubbling I almost expected a Linda Blair voice to come out of the Dutch Oven, saying "THE LID IS MINE, PRIEST ! ! !"   

When the going gets tough, the tough eat their breakfast.  I sat down in my smoke-filled room....

....and ate my scrambled eggs and hard-earned bacon. 
Before I left for work, I made a point of opening the windows and leaving the vent-a-hood and air conditioning turned up to "Geronimo".  I left the satanic Dutch Oven in the sink. 

Ten hours later which I got back to the room, the bed was made, the countertops were wiped down and everything seemed normal, except the place still smelled like someone had turned a pyromaniac loose in the Chicago Stockyards. 

I can't imagine what the housekeeping crew thought when they walked into that horrific room.  I have no idea how they pried the lid off the Dutch Oven, but there it was in the drawer with the other cookware, misshapen lid and all.  I owe them big-time. 

I might invite all of them over to eat tonight.  I'm cooking lasagna.   

Friday, June 4, 2010

John Stossel on how to fight bigotry without government

Here's John Stossel, weighing in on how to fight bigotry without government:

"Backwards and hateful ideas ... oust John Stossel," said

In a newspaper, the organization went on:

"It's time that FOX drop Stossel ... we'll go directly after the network with a public campaign unlike anything we've pursued to date."

Media Matters joined in: "By airing Stossel's repugnant comments, Fox legitimizes his indefensible position."

What "indefensible" position did I take?

I said this: "Private businesses ought to get to discriminate. I won't ever go to a place that's racist, and I will tell everybody else not to, and I'll speak against them. But it should be their right to be racist."

Read that carefully: I condemned racism. I said I'd speak out against and boycott a racist's business. But to some people, I committed heresy. I failed to accept the entire catechism. I didn't say that we need government to fight racism and prohibit racist policies in private establishments.

For this, they demand that I be fired.

This controversy started when Rand Paul, who had just won a senatorial primary, told TV talker Rachel Maddow that the part of the Civil Rights Act that bans discrimination by private business is improper interference with property owners' rights. He, too, condemned racism.

But the chattering class's reaction to Paul's statements must have made him uncomfortable. The next day, he issued a statement saying that he would have voted for the entire act because federal intervention was needed.

Maybe. At the time, racism was so pervasive that such an intrusive law may have been a good thing. But, as a libertarian, I say: Individuals should be surrounded by a sphere of privacy where government does not intrude. Part of the Civil Rights Act violates freedom of association. That's why I told Fox's Megyn Kelly, "It's time now to repeal that part of the law."

You can't say that in America?

America's fundamental political philosophy has deteriorated quite a bit if we can't distinguish between government and private conduct. I enthusiastically support the parts of the civil rights act that struck down Jim Crow laws, which required segregation in government facilities, mass transit, and sometimes in private restaurants and hotels. Jim Crow was evil. It had no place in America.

Racist policies in private restaurants are also evil, but they do not involve force. Government is force, so it should not be used to combat nonviolent racism on private property, even property open to the public.

I just don't trust government to decide what discrimination is acceptable. Its clumsy fist cannot deter private nonviolent racism without stomping on the rights of individuals. Today, because of government antidiscrimination policy, all-women gyms are sued and forced to admit men, a gay softball team is told it may not reject bisexuals and a Christian wedding photographer is fined thousands of dollars for refusing to take photos of a homosexual wedding.

I'll say it again: Racial discrimination is bad. But we have ways besides government to end it. The free market often punishes racists. Today, a business that doesn't hire blacks loses customers and good employees. It will atrophy, while its more inclusive competitors thrive.

In the pre-1964 South, things were different. But even then, private forces worked against bigotry. White owners of railroads and streetcars objected to mandated segregation. Historian Jennifer Roback writes that in 1902 the Mobile Light and Railroad Company "flat out refused to enforce" Mobile, Alabama's segregation law.

In cities throughout the South, beginning in 1960, student-led sit-ins and boycotts peacefully shamed businesses into desegregating whites-only lunch counters. Those voluntary actions were the first steps in changing a rancid culture. If anything, Washington jumped on a bandwagon that was already rolling.

It wasn't free markets in the South that perpetuated racism. It was government colluding with private individuals (some in the KKK) to intimidate those who would have integrated.

It was private action that started challenging the racists, and it was succeeding—four years before the Civil Rights Act passed.

Government is a blunt instrument of violence that one day might do something you like but the next day will do something you abhor. Better to leave things to us—people—acting together privately.

Well said, Mr. Stossel.  For those of you who aren't living and working out of Arizona hotels that don't carry the Fox Business Network, John Stossel can be seen on Thursday nights.  Each installment is shown several times throughout the week.  Easily the best libertarian program on the tube. 

I'm going out to find someplace to fight racism sobriety.  Y'all have a good night ! 

What's so bad about living and working in Mexico?

I'm working in Arizona for the next couple of weeks. 
There are some great folks out here. Unfortunately, some of them aren't legal. 
(The more I think about it, calling someone an illegal is kinda like the old days when we used to call some children illegitimate.) 

Arizona has decided to enforce the laws that are already on the books at the Federal level. 

This has pissed off the Statists, since they generally rely on Hispanic votes. 
This has motivated the Republicans, since they generally favor Law'n'Order, unless it's the laws that the ACLU supports. 
Most all of which frustrates the libertarians, who generally favor clogging the Rio Grande with copies of the tax code, import/export documents, Nancy Pelosi's autobiography, and let everyone who wants to do so walk into Arizona, California, New Mexico and Texas on dry paper.  

Here's CNN on Obama and Arizona governor Jan Brewer's recent sit-down about immigration:

President Barack Obama emerged Thursday from a meeting with Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer proclaiming limited progress on the immigration issue that divides them, but sticking to his opposition to her state's controversial immigration bill.

Here's the rub:  Say that someone is arrested in Virginia or Maryland.  The person has no identification.  Fingerprints reveal that the arrestee is here illegally from, say, Lichtenstein.  Should the Virginia or Maryland authorities deport the person, as the existing laws say they should, or should they release him?  Is there anything more to it than this? 

"I've told Governor Brewer that we've already put more resources into border security than we ever have," Obama told CNN's Larry King in an interview to air at 9 p.m. Thursday.

"Resources" is one of those words that makes my bullshit detector go off.  (Another is "persons" used in place of the perfectly good word "people".)  In spite of the resources, people are still coming across by the thousands.  Daily. 

"We have got more border guards in Arizona than we ever have. We just made decisions to put in additional National Guards. But without comprehensive immigration reform -- that is Congress' responsibility -- we are not going to solve this problem and that's what we have to do."

Barry, Barry, Barry....what part of the situation needs "reform"?  (That's another word that is starting to alarm me.  I've written elsewhere about icebergs being used as "Titanic reform".) 
Do we need to tighten up the existing policy of DON'T CROSS THE DAMN RIVER WITHOUT PAPERS?
Or do we need to let people come here to work and contribute to the economy by creating and consuming? 
Pick one.  Just saying reform reform reform reform isn't working. 

....Although I understand the frustration of the people of Arizona when it comes to the inflow of illegal immigrants (saith the Teleprompter), I don't think this is the right way to do it. I think this puts American citizens who look Hispanic, are Hispanic, potentially in an unfair situation."

More importantly, he said, "it also creates the prospects of 50 different laws in 50 different states when it comes to immigration."

(Note to the Teleprompter Programmer: Barry is supposed to be a constitutional law perfesser.  Do some reading on the 10th Amendment, or people are going to start questioning your typing skills.  50 different laws in 50 different states is what most of The Founders hoped for.  Well, 13 different laws in 13 different states.  You get the idea, I'm sure, even if Barry doesn't.  As long as the Feds don't distort the process, it's the best way to find out which policies are best.  Just think if every state had identical laws and policies, and they all had to match.....California's.)

So here are the big questions that no one is asking. 
The Teleprompter can say reform reform reform until it shorts a circuit.  The U.S. can continue building bigger and better useless fences.  The Republicans can hold rallies.  The Democrats can hold hands and march in solidarity with their oppressed brethren.  But is anyone, anyone at all, asking why the U.S. is so much better than Mexico?  Is anyone asking what's wrong with Mexico?  And if we know the answer, are we doing anything to ensure that we don't make the same mistakes as Mexico?

I don't think so. 

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

My favorite drummer of all time

This is my favorite drummer of all time.  He gets cranking around the 1:00 mark.  By 1:30 you'll fear for his health. 

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Chicago's Victim Disarmament Laws once again achieve their purpose. 25 in 30.

Chicago's Victim Disarmament Laws are proving to be highly effective.  Here's ABC News, from a link provided by NewsAlert:

May 30, 2010 (CHICAGO) (WLS) -- It has been a violent weekend in Chicago: in a 30 hour period, 25 people were shot, and one man died from his injuries.

The fatal shooting happened early Sunday in the 5100-block of S. Laflin.
Darius Murphy, 19, died after he was shot in the head.
Chicago Police Superintendent Jody Weis said nearly half of the shootings appear to be gang-related.
He said there are no suspects in any of the cases.

Also from NewsAlert....You can go here to learn why Chicago Alderman Fred Rotti was so enthusiastic about preventing citizens from defending themselves. 

The sign came from here. If you hit the link, check out his "celebrate diversity" sign. 

Monday, May 31, 2010

Memorial Day Hypothetical Question

We've been putting in 60-70 hour weeks at Jukt Micronics.  We've worked all weekend, and I'm working a small crew today (Memorial Day) getting a major project out the door. 
Assorted Vice Presidents and Operations V.P.'s have come by every day bringing lunch for my crews. 
The Sales V.P. who came by today didn't bring enough ice so I went a few miles up the road to a convenience store to pick up some.  Since I'm fundamentally a lazy person I took my time getting back to the warehouse, driving through a couple of Richland Hills TX industrial parks to see if anyone else was working on the holiday. 

Instead of the hundreds and hundreds of cars and trucks outside the warehouses, this is what I saw:

In front of one warehouse I saw a Mercedes-Benz. 
Parked in front of another was a Jaguar. 
Further down, nobody was working except one more Mercedes owner. 
In the next row of warehouses, there was one beautifully restored 1960's (?) era Cadillac. 
Finally, there was a Ford F-250 with all the bells and whistles, the kind I'm going to buy if The Aggie ever gets out of college. 

I get a  feeling that these vehicles don't belong to the forklift drivers. 

So here are some hypothetical questions for your holiday weekend.

1) Do you think there is a correlation between working ridiculous hours (like holidays) and getting to own a Mercedes, Jag, Cadillac, or mid-life crisis F-250?
2) Chances are, these Mercedes, Jag, Cadillac, and F-250 owners are the ones who took the risk of starting the companies where they're now spending their holiday today.  What do you think?
3) And finally, since the Mercedes, Jag, Cadillac and F-250 owners are "more fortunate", how much do they owe the people who are spending their holiday in their back yards or at the lake? 

Here's our Secretary Of State on that subject:

I hope you'll ask yourself how much longer the Mercedes, Jag, Cadillac, and F-250 owners will continue working holidays if a larger and larger percentage of their potential profit is going to be confiscated by this idiot.
Have a good holiday !   Some of us are still out there SAVING AND CREATING JOBS ! ! !