Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Far East Fish and Rat Farming Practices

Do you buy frozen catfish and eat them, thinking that they're safe to eat? Maybe that they are healthy? 85,000,000 lbs Vietnamese catfish was sold to the US in 2009.

It's not a good idea to consume fish that are raised in the Far East. Often when ordering a fish in Asia, the live fish will be brought to your table for your approval, it will be cleaned and cooked table-side so that another fish can't be substituted. 

I know of a company that tried to sell frozen rats to the USA, and was shocked when he found that there was no market for his wares. 

Before cooking

After cooking

There may be a lesson in this.

h/t BR Man

Monday, March 25, 2013


Some music in the late 1970's and through the 1980's carried with it a style that I can only describe as magical.

Mick Jones led Foreigner since its inception. The first release came with Foreigner in 1977 and featured such songs as "Feels like the First Time"and "Cold as Ice". They released Double Vision in 1978 with "Hot Blooded" and "Double Vision". Head Games came in 1979. Urgent debuted in 1981, which included "Waiting for a Girl Like You", "Juke Box Hero" and "Break it Up". They released their last album, Agent Provocateur in 1984 with "I want to Know What Love Is".

Music is like a time machine. You play the song that you heard whenever and it evokes a memory.

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Irish War Tunes and St. Paddy's Day Toasts

Happy St. Patrick's Day - 2013 

(The Year of the Shamrock -- but yes, in Ireland, it's always the Year of the Shamrock)

As you slide down the banister of life, may the splinters never point in the wrong direction.

May you get to heaven a half hour before the devil knows that you're dead.

May your neighbors respect you, trouble neglect you, the angels protect you, and heaven accept you.

While you're swilling green beer and eating corned beef and cabbage, you can watch some of these YouTube videos - if your vision is not blurred.

I personally feel as if the war tunes are a lot more interesting than the tear-jerkers such as "Oh Danny Boy". But once past all that, many will argue that if it wasn't for whiskey, the Irish would rule the world. And what's more, the Irish usually agree.

He who loses money, loses much; He who loses a friend, loses more; He who loses faith, loses all.

May the Lord keep you in His hand and never close His fist too tight.

May the hinges of our friendship never grow rusty. And our ale never turn musty.

May the road rise up to meet you, may the wind be always at your back, may the sun shine warm upon your face, and the rain fall soft upon your fields, and until we meet again...May God hold you in the palm of His hand.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Better than the Zoo

This comes to us from my friend (and WoFat's friend), M. Cordell Hart, with whom I work at the Center for Asian Crime Studies, a Bethesda, Maryland based think tank.

A comment frequently heard in the United States is that “all Chinese look alike.” 

It proceeds, of course, from most Americans’ unfamiliarity with Chinese features--and the same is true about Chinese who say the same thing about Westerners. Standing in Beijing’s Tiananmen Square one freezing morning in November 1978, I learned just how unusual we Westerners appear to Chinese.

Sensing someone looking at me, I glanced to my left and saw at arm’s length a strikingly handsome Chinese girl staring at me with an unblinking expression of wonderment on her face. She was fully six feet tall, with the broad and flat face common among Chinese from the northeast provinces, and dressed in heavily padded peasant clothes and a huge fur hat. Speaking in Mandarin, I asked her if I was the first foreigner she had ever seen. Not at all to my surprise, she said I was. 

LL - in Shanghai with the PRC Public Security Bureau
Note: I am not in custody.
In continuing conversation she explained that she had come to Beijing from Heilongjiang Province, for the first time, as a tourist. Her friends had advised her, she said, to go to the Beijing zoo, but she added--with the wonderful candor of a country girl-- “I’ll just stay here. You foreigners are more queer-looking than anything I could see at the zoo.”

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Game of Drones

I do understand that military drone aircraft are the way of the future for a wide number of reasons. However, having them patrol the nation's sky - armed -  is very disconcerting. With the political push-back that the Democratic Party has received for their initial refusal (now "clarified") to rule out attacks without warning and without warrant on unarmed and innocent American citizens, there has been a realignment. 

BUT even with that, the concept of limited government keeping us safe from zombies is much preferred to an aggressive big brother society that's bent on disarming America and controlling all aspects of our lives.

The way it's stacking up, if you want somebody to tell you what portions to eat and how much of a beverage that you can drink (at a time), etc. New York City will babysit you. Yes, Americans need better eating habits, they need to sleep more and they need to spend quality time with their loved ones. But it's a PERSONAL CHOICE.

The concept of a sovereign individual, able to make free choices, is what set "the free world" apart from the "slave states" of the former Soviet Russia, and the present Democratic People's Republic of Korea - to name but two.

Brilliance and creative progress only operate in an environment where they are tolerated and to some extent, rewarded. There are always blind alleys in the road to enlightenment, but it's ok to explore them (without a drone circling overhead sending a video feed to somebody who is second guessing your life).

Twitter Suggestion:  #ReplaceMovieNameWithDrone

Dr Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Drone
Schindler's Drone
The Perfect Drone
All the President's Drones
Droning Miss Daisey
Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Drone
Dude, Where's My Drone?
Drones Know what you did Last Summer

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Drone Killings

Senator Rand Paul stood on the floor of the US Senate and filabustered for thirteen hours today. The Obama Administration will not rule out using armed drone aircraft to attack US Citizens on American soil without a court order and without warning. This is very disturbing. Senator Paul is disturbed and yet so much of cynical Washington is not.
Senator Paul - “I will speak until I can no longer speak. I will speak as long as it takes, until the alarm is sounded from coast to coast that our Constitution is important, that your rights to trial by jury are precious, that no American should be killed by a drone on American soil without first being charged with a crime, without first being found to be guilty by a court,” Paul began. 
“That Americans could be killed in a cafe in San Francisco or in a restaurant in Houston or at their home in Bowling Green, Kentucky, is an abomination. It is something that should not and cannot be tolerated in our country,” he said. “I don’t rise to oppose John Brennan’s nomination simply for the person. I rise today for the principle.” 
The filibuster against the CIA director nomination began at 11:47 a.m. 

“I will speak today until the president responds and says no, we won’t kill Americans in cafes; no, we won’t kill you at home in your bed at night; no, we won’t drop bombs on restaurants. Is that so hard?” Paul said. “It’s amazing that the president will not respond. I’ve been asking this question for a month. It’s like pulling teeth to get the president to respond to anything. And I get no answer.”
Elections have consequences, and it would seem that this past one is no different.

And if what the Attorney General said in a (subsequently published) letter to Senator Rand Paul today is that the ObamaNation is not ruling out the need to kill Americans who the president wants to see dead without judicial oversight and without warning.

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Twitter Feed: Obama NOT a Dictator

This is a trivial sampling of the current Twitter Feed: #*YouMightBeADictator*
  1. When you get 110% of the vote in some areas.. The most Saddam was able to get was 99%.
  2. If you think it's cool to sell assault weapons to drug cartels but want to take them away from combat veterans.
  3. If your family costs the American public $1.4 Billion a year to endlessly campaign and vacation.
  4. If the press is not allowed to report the truth without fear of being denied WH access.
  5. You have a forged birth certificate, a 105 year old dead man's Soc Sec #, forged Selective Svc doc, but stay in the White House.
  6. You hid your background to get elected President, but couldn't have passed an FBI security check to be a White House dishwasher.
  7. If you say “American families have been getting battered pretty good over the last 4 yrs” like someone else was in charge…
  8. If you tell the guy who works 16 hours a day that you helped him build his business.
  9. If you have to convince yourself and others that you aren't a dictator,
  10. If you believe you can spend your way out of debt using the people's money
  11. If you don't understand how upsetting it is to hear your wife say "All this for a damn flag"
  12. If you lawlessly allow foreign criminals free on your own soil, just to make a point
  13. If you divide the country into race, class, and party to cause civil unrest!
  14. If your DHS is buying & stockpiling weapons & ammunition while you deny the same to law-abiding citizens.
  15. You always use a teleprompter to ensure you won't actually say what you really mean.
  16. If your wife has more personal assistants than the Queen of England.
  17. If you want to "make it clear" that you're not a dictator.
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