Saturday, February 28, 2009

Easy Artisan Bread

Big hat tip to the folks over at Zombie Squad for finding's a really quick and simple bread recipe, and it sounds great...I'm going to have to try this.
(I can't link directly to the video, just follow the link)
Here is the link to the topic over at Zombie Squad. If you go to the second page, bae has a couple of variations on how to cook this that sound a little bit easier (especially if you don't have a pizza stone). One has directions for dutch oven cooking, so this could be a great recipe for scouting trips or camping out.


EDIT (March 8, 2009)

Emily and I have made this recipe since I posted this, and I used wheat flour instead of white flour (it looked kinda white...ish to me); it worked well, and tastes fine. I think that the next batch we will reduce the salt in the recipe, and maybe add a little bit of sugar to change the taste a little. Either way, this bread did not last long. Yum yum!!!

Sunday, February 15, 2009


Burris confirms request for Blagojevich donation

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. – Raising fresh questions about his appointment to Congress, Sen. Roland Burris admitted in a document released Saturday that former Gov. Rod Blagojevich's brother asked him for campaign fundraising help before the governor named Burris as Illinois' junior senator.

The disclosure reflects a major omission from Burris' testimony in January when an Illinois House impeachment committee specifically asked if he had ever spoken to Robert Blagojevich or other aides to the now-deposed governor about the Senate seat vacated by Barack Obama.

State Rep. Jim Durkin, the impeachment committee's ranking Republican, told The Associated Press that he and House Republican Leader Tom Cross will ask Sunday for an outside investigation into whether Burris perjured himself.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid of Nevada also said he was reviewing the disclosure, the latest twist for Senate Democrats in Washington who only consented to seat Burris on the condition that there were no "pay to play" promises exchanged in the appointment.


I don't know how things work in Illinois, but I call that lying. I shouldn't be surprised, but I'll admit that I was.

What other surprises are going to come out of this debacle?

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Check this out if you're in the DC area

"Arms discourage and keep the invader and plunderer in awe, and preserve order in the world as well as property. . . Horrid mischief would ensue were the law-abiding deprived of the use of them." -- Thomas Paine, Thoughts On Defensive War, 1775

Saturday, February 7, 2009

John Kerry: You Know What's the Problem With Stimulus Tax Cuts? All That Freedom.

Sen. John Kerry took to the Senate floor today to pace, rant, and raise his voice in a monotone simulation of human passion as he spoke up for the massive spending bill the Democrats want to pass today under the guise of "stimulus."

During his speech, he addressed the argument made by fellow senators and many economists that tax cuts might be more helpful to stimulating the economy than long-term government spending. The American people are also coming around to that view, according to a recent CBS poll, which found only 22 percent of them favor more government spending over tax cuts as stimulus.

His argument against tax cuts for Americans during these hard economic times was illuminating:
I've supported many tax cuts over the years, and there are tax cuts in this proposal. But a tax cut is non-targeted. If you put a tax cut into the hands of a business or family, there's no guarantee that they're going to invest that or invest it in America. They're free to go invest anywhere that they want if they choose to invest.

Indeed, people with their own hard-earned money in their own pockets are free to spend, save, invest, or not wherever they please. Kerry betrays the fear that haunts every good liberal— that the American people won't spend their money on exactly what good liberals would spend it on. Good liberals must, therefore, advocate for forcibly relieving the American people of the better part of a trillion dollars of their own money to fund things like STD education, welfare programs, and water parks.

Senator Kerry pulls off the classic "Let us spend your money for you, you can't be trusted to make good decisions with it" line. Gosh, I love liberals.

I will concede one point--if the people that continue to vote for people like Kerry spend their money as intelligently as they vote, they really are idiots.

Oh boy...

Today's Financial News

Thanks to the great folks at for a good laugh.

Friday, February 6, 2009

How often do we think about...

This:,11664,7446-1,00.html ???

Drinking Water

Store drinking water for circumstances in which the water supply may be polluted or disrupted.
If water comes directly from a good, pretreated source, then no additional purification is needed; otherwise, pretreat water before use. Store water in sturdy, leak-proof, breakage-resistant containers. Consider using plastic bottles commonly used for juices and soft drinks.
Keep water containers away from heat sources and direct sunlight.

I plan on blogging more about food storage and related subjects in the future, particularly as this is something that I am working on, myself. As much as we think about food storage, most of us probably don't think much about water.

We need to.

We can live a lot longer with no food than we can with no water.

A good long-term supply of water is going to be VERY HEAVY (at 8 pounds/gallon, plus the weight of storage containers), in addition to taking up A LOT of space...we may not be able to store months and months of drinking water (not to mention enough water to use for hygiene and washing clothes, dishes, and the like--the gray water left over from washing dishes and clothes can be "recycled" and used to flush the toilet in a situation where we need to conserve water to that extent).

We may not be able to do anything like this:, but what can we do?

A few things that are worth consideration:

  1. Water filtration. If we can't store 700 gallons of water (FEMA recommends one gallon of water per person, per day for drinking, cooking, and hygiene, on average), and let's face it, that's a LOT--over 2 1/2 TONS of water--then we need to find a way to come up with more water. A good filtration system may be the way to go.,11666,8207-1-4531-1,00.html

  2. We may need to look for other sources of water. While it would be great to have a reliable source of well water, that may not be available. Rain barrel? You'll definitely need to purify that--how often do you clean your gutters? How often does it rain in your area, and how much? I'm not trying to say I have all the answers, but maybe someone will think of something that I missed.

  3. Foods with a lot of water may help reduce our daily water use in an emergency situation. Canned fruits can help. The water in canned vegetables can replace some of the water required in recipes. If you need water, don't dump the water from the can down the sink! Use it!

For most of us, at least in the short-term, smaller water storage containers may be our best bet. Stay away from milk jugs and other similar containers, as the thin plastic is not terribly durable, the cap can pop off fairly easily, and the plastic is not going to last long-term. Something like this: might be a good way to go. The jugs hold a good amount of water, and are easier to acquire, move, and utilize than 55 gallon drums. This might work, too.

In addition to the grade of plastic used, keep in mind the amount of space this will take up. Are we using containers that can be stacked, or otherwise minimizing wasted space?

Be sure to keep in mind things such as storage temperature--you don't want your jugs freezing and bursting.

Prolonged exposure to the UV rays in sunlight can weaken plastic and make your storage worthless.

If anybody has any other ideas, please comment.

If you can find room for some larger containers, this site may be of some use to you:

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Clear and Present Danger

At any rate, in May 15, 2007, then Congressman Rahm Emanuel (D-IL), now Chief of Staff for Obama Administration, spoke at DC's annual Stand Up For a Safe America event sponsored by the Brady Center *gag*, and said that if your name is on the terrorist no fly list you should not be allowed to own a gun.

On its face, that doesn't sound like a horrible idea, right? We don't want bad guys to be able to buy guns. Fair enough. But think about this:
  • How many violent crimes are committed with legally purchased guns?

  • Does anybody honestly believe that criminals are able to acquire guns illegally, through illegal purchase, like on the black market, or by stealing them? I don't generally tend to hang out with the violent criminal type, it's just not my scene, but I look at it like this:
  • Drugs are illegal. Nobody can go out and buy illegal
    drugs, right?
  • Surely nobody was able to buy alcoholic beverages during
    Prohibition, right?
  • A person planning to murder (a criminal act), or martyr
    himself by carrying out an act of terror (again, against the law), will
    obey the law not to purchase a firearm?

I shudder to admit it, but I actually agree with the ACLU on this issue:

Why are there so many names on the U.S. government's terrorist list? In September 2007, the Inspector General of the Justice Department reported that the Terrorist Screening Center (the FBI-administered organization that consolidates terrorist watch list information in the United States) had over 700,000 names in its database as of April 2007 - and that the list was growing by an average of over 20,000 records per month.1 (See also this new March 2008 report.2 )
By those numbers, the list now has over one million names on it. Terrorist watch lists must be tightly focused on true terrorists who pose a genuine threat. Bloated lists are bad because they ensnare many innocent travelers as suspected terrorists, and
because they waste screeners' time and divert their energies from looking for true terrorists. Small, focused watch lists are better for civil liberties and for security. The uncontroversial contention that Osama Bin Laden and a handful of other known terrorists should not be allowed on an aircraft is being used to create a monster that goes far beyond what ordinary Americans think of when they think about a "terrorist watch list."
This is not just a problem of numbers. The numbers are merely a symptom. What's needed is fairness. If the government is going to rely on these kinds of lists, they need checks and balances to ensure that innocent people are protected. (See ACLU
Backgrounder on Watch Lists
for more)

There have been significant issues with the watch list. People with similar names to suspicious individuals have found themselves on the list. Ted Kennedy, for example...wait, maybe not the best example... Again, from the ACLU website:

Marine Staff Sgt. Daniel Brown was blocked from flying while on his way home from an 8-month deployment in Iraq. He was listed as a suspected terrorist due to a previous incident in which gunpowder was detected on his boots, most likely a residue of a previous tour in Iraq.

There's no denying that this is a shining example of blatant stupidity.The point is, there are no clear standards published that indicate why you or I could end up on "the list," and it's even less clear how we would clear our names. Using that standard to deny American Citizens of their Right to Keep and Bear Arms is a mockery of justice.

Credit given where credit is due...

It simply amazes me that Nancy Pelosi, Barney Frank, and their fellow Democrats in Congress can sit back and say that Republicans are to blame for the financial crisis.

Yeah, those same Republicans that were trying to fix the problem FOUR YEARS AGO, while the Democrats said that there was no problem.

And the voting public rewarded the Democrats for their hand in all of this. Hooray.

Edited to add: In response to the question WHY, read for more information at

Top Recipients of Fannie Mae and Freddie MacCampaign Contributions, 1989-2008
Name Office Party/State Total
1. Dodd, Christopher J S D-CT $133,900
2. Kerry, John S D-MA $111,000
3. Obama, Barack S D-IL $105,849
4. Clinton, Hillary S D-NY $75,550
5. Kanjorski, Paul E H D-PA $65,500
6. Bennett, Robert F S R-UT $61,499
7. Johnson, Tim S D-SD $61,000
8. Conrad, Kent S D-ND $58,991
9. Davis, Tom H R-VA $55,499
10. Bond, Christopher S 'Kit' S R-MO $55,400
11. Bachus, Spencer H R-AL $55,300
12. Shelby, Richard C S R-AL $55,000
13. Emanuel, Rahm H D-IL $51,750
14. Reed, Jack S D-RI $50,750
15. Carper, Tom S D-DE $44,389
16. Frank, Barney H D-MA $40,100
17. Maloney, Carolyn B H D-NY $38,750
18. Bean, Melissa H D-IL $37,249
19. Blunt, Roy H R-MO $36,500
20. Pryce, Deborah H R-OH $34,750
21. Miller, Gary H R-CA $33,000
22. Pelosi, Nancy H D-CA $32,750
23. Reynolds, Tom H R-NY $32,700
24. Hoyer, Steny H H D-MD $30,500
25. Hooley, Darlene H D-OR $28,750

Includes contributions from PACs and individuals. 2008 cycle totals based on data downloaded from theFederal Election Commission on June 30, 2008.

You may recognize some of those names from the video. Hmm...

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Iraqi, U.S. Soldiers Detain Suspects, Find Weapons

American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Jan. 30, 2009 – Iraqi security forces, aided by their U.S. partners, detained suspected criminals, seized illegal weapons and found and destroyed a “sticky bomb” in Jan. 28 operations, military officials reported.

Iraqi National Police officers on a combined operation with Multinational Division Baghdad soldiers detained a suspected criminal in the Jihad community of Baghdad’s Rashid district. The combined patrol transported the detainee, who was wanted for alleged car-bomb activity, to a joint security station for processing.

Meanwhile, another combined patrol captured a bomb-building suspect in the Zubaida community.

In another operation, Iraqi security forces acted on information provided by a detainee who had knowledge of recent attacks to arrest two suspects believed to have conducted hand-grenade attacks on civilians resettling in northern Baghdad’s Ghazaliyah neighborhood.

In Baghdad’s Rashid district, Iraqi security forces and Multinational Division Baghdad soldiers seized weapons and found a bomb and unexploded ordnance in various operations:

-- Police and U.S. soldiers found a magnetic “sticky bomb” in the district’s Jazeera community and called in an Iraqi explosive ordnance disposal team to dispose
of it.

-- Forces confiscated 15 AK-47 assault rifles in the Saydiyah community.

-- Iraqi police and U.S. soldiers found a bomb made of a 2.75 inch rocket and a 60 mm mortar round in the Masafee community.

-- In the Abu Tshir community, a combined patrol found a rocket-propelled grenade round that had been fired but hadn’t exploded.

-- Iraqi and U.S. soldiers found an 81 mm white-phosphorus mortar in the Arab Jabour community. A coalition EOD team secured it.

(Compiled from Multinational Corps Iraq news releases.)

Good news out of Iraq is more and more common these days. In accordance with the recent security agreements between the Iraqi and US governments, Iraqi troops are increasingly taking the lead in security operations, and they're really doing pretty well. Expect to see more and more stories like this, particularly as the media seem to be more willing to release good nes these days.

And in case the Iraqi Army is looking for a good home for those AKs, I might be able to make some room in the closet for them.

Infinite monkey theorem

The theory states that given time, a monkey hitting keys on a typewriter will eventually type the works of William Shakespeare. That being the case, surely I can give blogging a try.