Angry Man Staff Rants


Welcome to our first regular installment of “Fixed That For You!”.

A little known fact about the 12 Angry Men is that we have an internal e-mail list wherein we discuss potential stories, troll one another, and in general have a good time. One of the frequent memes that tends to crop up is the comment “Fixed That For You!” followed by an edited version of someone’s statement. These tend towards gross misrepresentation, and hilarity, so we’ve decided to share them with you, dear readers!

This week’s topic began as a debate on whether the government or private industry was better suited to serve the needs of the public.


Herein lies the problem. Government types, especially LIBERAL government types believe they are smarter than your average American, and that they know what is best for you better than you do. It’s a sick and arrogant version of the “white man’s burden”, and they don’t even seem to realize how condescending it is. When coupled with corrupt government officials out for their own pocketbook, it creates an absurd system. Promising the moon, charging for the sun, and pocketing so much that you only deliver next to nothing.
-Angry Midwesterner
 

Excellent rant. But let me fix that for you! Here’s the Subprime Crisis edition:

Herein lies the problem. CEO types, especially conservative CEO types believe they are smarter than your average American, and that they know what is best for you better than you do. It’s a sick and arrogant version of the “white man’s burden”, and they don’t even seem to realize how condescending it is. When coupled with corrupt CEOs out for their own pocketbook, it creates an absurd system. Promising the moon, charging for the sun, and pocketing so much that you only deliver next to nothing.
-Angry New Mexican
 

Now, now, let’s give Barney Frank and Chris Dodd their due, please.

Herein lies the problem. Congressmen, especially Democratic Congressmen believe they are smarter than your average American, and that they know what is best for you better than you do. It’s a sick and arrogant version of the “white man’s burden”, and they don’t even seem to realize how condescending it is. When coupled with corrupt Congressmen out for their own pocketbook, it creates an absurd system. Promising the moon, charging for the sun, and pocketing so much that you only deliver next to nothing.

There, fixed that for you.
-Angry Overeducated Catholic
 

Let’s give Barney Frank and schloads of Republicans their… *ahem*, “due”, please.

Herein lies the problem. Congressmen, especially Democratic Congressmen believe they are smarter than your average American, and that they know what is best for you better than you do. It’s a sick and arrogant version of the “gay man’s burden”, and they don’t even seem to realize how condescending it is. When coupled with corrupt Congressmen out for their own pocketbook, it creates an absurd system. Promising the moon, charging for the sun, and pocketing so much that you only deliver next to nothing.

There, fixed that for you.
-Angry Midwesterner
 

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There’s nothing that says “God Bless America” like firing up the ol’ grill, making some thick, juicy, burgers and watching some fireworks. After all, it’s how we celebrate all our secular holidays in America — Grilling! But not those stupid hockey pucks of frozen, pre-formed meat one buys in a sleave at the local WalMart. The Angry Men know how to grill… and this 4th of July, we’re throwing on our angry chef hats and revealing our BBQ secrets for you, our loyal readers.

Angry New Mexican

The New Mexibuger is best made by mixing a little green chile (or red chile salsa, if you prefer that way) into the ground beef during prep, as well as an egg for binder. You’ll need something to soak up some of the fluids from the chile, so breadcrumbs or oatmeal are de rigeur. Melt a bit of Monterrey Jack cheese on top during the last few minutes of cooking and serve on a warm, toasted bun topped with some salsa and freshly made guacamole. Now that’s eating New Mexico style!

Angry Diesel Engineer

My burger of choice is made as follows:

Mix 2 parts ground beef with 1 part ground turkey.  Yes, I know, turkey is less manly than beef, but it is Americanized by being put through a food grinder.  Besides, the turkey helps to maintain the lightness of the patty.  Mix your dead animal together in a mixing bowl together with the secret ingredient – 1 packet of Lipton’s (or similar) onion soup mix powder per 2 pounds of meat.

Form 1/4 to 3/8 pound patties, and press your thumb into the middle to get a little dimple to collect the delicious dead animal juice which will ooze out upon cooking.

Charcoal grills are superior in all aspects to propane if you have the patience and know-how to use them.  Keep the charcoal piled mostly in the middle.  Put the patties on the hot part of the grill for about 3 minutes on each side to sear the outside, then transfer them to a cooler part of the grill, and put the lid on!  The lid is crucial, as it helps cook the meat through radiant heat transfer rather than just the convection from the coals, and it prevents grease fires from turning your delicious meat patties into little scorched fritters.

These burgers cooked to your done-ness preference can then be served on french freedom bread to bring out the lightness in the meat and the oniony goodness.

Enjoy!

Angry Political Optimist

I thought I’d chime in here with a little something for those who abhor red meet (not me). The APO salmon burger. You will need:

  • Salmon fillets
  • Cucumber
  • 1 c Miracle Whip or Mayonnaise
  • 1/4 c Kalamatta olives
  • 2 tsp capers
  • fennel, rosemary, marjoram
  • olive oil
  • Old Bay seasoning
  • Some fresh burger rolls/buns
  • Slices of pepperjack cheese

First prepare the condiment. Use about 3/4 to 1 cup Miracle Whip or Mayonnaise. Place in mixing bowl. Take some Kalamatta olives (without pits, or remove the pits) and chop them up – about 1/4 cup will do. Fold into the Mayonnaise until evenly distributed. Add some capers. Use the smaller kind. Blend these in. Add pinches of the spices (fennel, marjoram and rosemary). Set aside.

Peel and slice up a cucumber into 1/8-3/16 inch slices. Set aside.

Start with a nice fillet of salmon. I always broil the fillet first with the skin side against the heat, or up if you are using an oven broiler, for about 3 minutes. Remove from the heat and gently peel the skin from the meat. Use a fork to separate it. Broiling it makes this easy. Then using a fillet knife, slice the section of salmon so as to reduce the thickness in half. You want the resultant fillet to be even and about 1/2 to 3/4 inch thick. Place the thinned fillets on some foil and apply olive oil over the salmon rubbing it evenly over the fish. Then sprinkle Old Bay seasoning and rub that in. Place them over the fire and cook evenly. After the edges turn from bright pink to white-ish, remove from the heat and flip over. Rub olive oil and Old Bay on that side also. Place back on the fire. After a couple of minutes, lay the slices of pepperjack cheese over the fillets so that they begin to melt. Do this at the end of the cooking so that the cheese is soft but not melted. (For those who can’t tell, the cheese should look like a limp slice, not a lava flow).

The trick here is to get the salmon cooked just enough. The olive oil helps preserve the juice. Under-cooking is not that bad (think sushi). I always split the rolls and throw them on the grill to toast them. By the time you place the last roll on the grill the first one can come off.

Now take your toasty rolls and slab on some condiment. Place the salmon fillet and cheese on the prepared roll and add three or four slices of cucumber. Close that sucker up and present them warm to your friends.

Warning: These can easily lead to you being the designated cook for your next get together.

What is it about Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics that attracts the socially inept? I’m not just talking about the lack of hygiene issues some dorks have, the tendency of geeks not to bathe, or even the very disturbing lack of respect for personal space some open source weenies display. Specifically I’m talking about the inability of many dweebs, especially in technology, to understand when and where certain types of jokes or behaviours are appropriate. It has lately come to my attention that the cadre of foul smelling basement trolls, behind the (incredibly useful) open source plotting tool gnuplot, have decided it’s perfectly professional to throw up a pornographic picture on their tool’s manual. Sure it’s “just a line drawing”, but it’s the kind of line drawing that if you used as your background at work would get you sued for sexual harassment, and rightly so.

Evidently the nerds behind gnuplot don’t get out of their filth ridden cave very often, or if they do, rarely see beyond their bristly neck beards, because otherwise you’d think they would realize that this sort of objectification of women, *especially* in a field where women are under represented, and often intimidated by the chauvinistic exclusionism which pervades the field, is not cool in a professional context. I’ve talked to many people who are angry about this particular infantile prank, and the worst part is, it seems the folks at gnuplot have been asked several times to take down the image, or move it off of the professional portion of the site. A quick Google search turns up a lot of irate messages from people who have been trying to get the gnuplot folks to have shred of adult conscience with no avail.

I’d like to ask our readers to write to the gnuplot dev team (gnuplot-beta@lists.sourceforge.net), and ask them to move this image off of their tool’s site. It’s degrading to women, disrespectful to professionals in the field, and utterly unprofessional. I’ve sent my own message, and if I don’t see some change, will likely be reporting their behaviour to the IEEE and ACM, both of which have codes of conduct which prohibit this sort of behaviour in professional contexts.

Hopefully this is a very poor representation of the men in the field. I’d like to believe professionals in technology have grown up a bit, but displays like this one make me doubt the maturity of anyone who works with computers. Left unanswered, stunts like this reinforce the unfortunate opinion that behavior like this acceptable in a professional context. Its no secret that the field of CS is currently lacking in raw talent, there simply aren’t enough Computer Scientists at the present as evidenced by the current trend of outsourcing amongst top companies. The field needs more creativity, diversity, and skilled professionals. By behaving in a way that excludes women, the socially ept, and men with an adult sense of humor these bozos are pretty much ensuring CS won’t be recruiting the kinds of people it needs.

Money down the Drain

Do your pockets feel a little lighter than they used to? Perhaps about $7,000 lighter? Well don’t worry, that’s just the cost of the economic stimulus for each tax paying American! That emptiness you feel is just feeling of our economy being stimulated by Obama’s package! So now that we’re out $7,000 each the question is, will it work? Will our economy finally get the treatment it needs to get up again? Will we be driven into the cold deadly arms of Socialism? Is Obama’s $825 billion package really as big as everyone seems to think it is?

The Angry Men weigh in on the issue, and hopefully you, dear reader, will as well. We want to know, what do you think of Obama’s package?


Angry Midwesterner

Despite having voted for Obama over McCain, I have to agree with McCain on this issue, the so called “stimulus package” is mostly pork. Even the slightest bit of research shows us that only around 3% of the stimulus money will be spent in the next year, and in two years time only 16% of that money will be spent. A huge chunk of the money isn’t even marked to spent before 2011. So how exactly is this the crucial time sensitive stimulus it was sold as? How does it help America if the money isn’t even being spent? This isn’t about reviving our economy, it’s about never letting a crisis go to waste, as Rahm Emanuel has mentioned, many times.

The worst of it is, the pork isn’t even good pork. It’s mostly wasteful spending probably driven by lobbyists. If Obama really wanted to pork the US so badly, I at least wish he’d had the decency to not lie to us and claim it would stimulate our economy while the special interest groups he is beholden to got theirs too. This stimulus package is a violation of the trust America put in Obama, and is most definitely not the change we voted for.


Angry Diesel Engineer

 
I don’t see how this massive piece of legislation (almost 500 pages in the form Obama signed) is supposed to “spend us out of our recession.”  

While I completely disdain Obama’s socialist utopia (believing that I am better suited to manage my affairs than Uncle Sam), I am interested to see what happens with all this oversight that gets put in place.  If you haven’t checked it out yet, Recovery.gov is an interesting website, with lots of ambiguous statements about how our crazy reckless spending is going to help everyone keep their job.  I am disappointed that millions of dollars are going to create government bureaucratic jobs for said oversight positions though.

I am interested to see where this takes us especially with health care.  I’m not sure how making all medical records electronic will help save jobs (unless you get a job on the H.I.T. board).  All in all, I have great distrust in the government making health care decisions for me.  If they were making decisions for you over  100 years ago, your free health care would have been mandated by the gov. to let your blood.  In a field that is constantly improving in technique and knowledge, free market is the only logical way to go.


Angry Overeducated Catholic

 

I think Angry Midwesterner’s boiling it down to $7000 per taxpayer is a great way to think about this. Another is how much money is being spent per job created (about $300,000 if I recall). And a third is to note the areas most impacted by the current economic woes, the areas where the most money is going, and then notice that they don’t really line up:  

http://money.cnn.com/news/storysupplement/economy/stimulus_jobs/

At first glance, Nevada, for example, should be up in arms. In fact, that map doesn’t look at all like the map of a package intended to help out those hurt by the recession. Actually, though, the per-capita map shows you that it’s not really that bad, but it’s still somewhat disconnected from the unemployment rate.

Because, after all, it’s not really about helping those hurt by economic turmoil…it’s about buliding the Great Society v2.0 (aka New Deal v3.0).

And that $7000 price tag? Only going to go up folks, or should I say, suckers! You tax-paying, hardworking chumps whose money will be systematically confiscated and transferred to the ne’er-do-wells, luckless souls, aging Boomers, shiftless bums, and criminal classes across this great land! The Democratic leadership views you as so many stupid hick sheep to be sheared for the Greater Glory of the People’s Government. It’s just the start!

Remember: Obama is going to cure cancer…with your money, all of it if that’s what it takes.


Angry Political Optimist
 

The size of the stimulus package is not so much of an issue. At the end of World War II, the debt as a fraction of GDP approached 100%. Even if the dire predictions of the Republicans bear out, and Obama’s administration creates a $4T running deficit, a functional United States of America can recover in less than ten years. 

What should be worrying people is the implicit surrender of what makes America great that is embedded in these packages. Since when do Americans look to the government for assistance? Remember when people listed the classical set of great lies and number two on the list was “I’m from the government and I’m here to help you?” Americans need to look inwards to themselves and to each other for support, not to Obama and his minions. If we accept what Obama and the Congress tells us we are — what is implicit in this package — then we will NEVER recover as a nation.

As a practical matter, spending money requires an efficient bureaucracy, even if they only spend on themselves. Bush’s Katrina fiasco was caused not by an unwillingness to assist black residents but by the total unwieldiness of the FEMA distribution system. Wal-Mart, and for that matter, the US Military were on site and assisting within days (only to be rebuffed and hindered by FEMA). Does anyone really think that doubling down on the bureaucracy in Washington will allow them to spend the stimulus money. Do the math. You have to distribute $2.2B a day. (I realize that this is not the way it works, but really, by 2010, I bet that most of the money is still just an allocation on the liability side of the balance sheet. One that can be wiped away with a stroke of a pen in 2010 I might add.)

Obama and the Congress have shown their true colors. They make the Republican porkers look like pikers. Let them have their day in the sun, and then in two years bury the bastards for another 40.

It’s a tough world out there — murderous jihadists, a Russian premier who fancies himself the next Tsar, recession throughout the developed world and the latest Kanye West album. Tough stuff. John McCain must’ve breathed a sigh of relief when he lost the election — Barack Obama certainly has his work cut out for him. But like him or not, he’s still about to become the POTUS, and so we all decided to wish him good luck.

Angry New Mexican
You’ve done well so far to pick a moderate cabinet that looks like Bill Clinton’s third term. With a substantial majority in both the House and the Senate, it would be really easy for you to turn into Bush’s third term — rule by the majority of the majority, shutting out the other guys. But that’s not the vision of America you laid out on the campaign trail. Walk that talk. Make us proud.

Angry Immigrant
You’re entering into the the hardest job in the world with the highest presidential expectations in a generation. There are troubles foreign and domestic created by both parties, and exacerbated by their partisan feuding. It’s not your task to heal all of those wounds, but you have that opportunity. Good Luck, Mr. President.

Angry Overeducated Catholic
Congratulations, Mr. President, on showing the world what a vibrant society America remains! An immigrant’s son, whose father—as you so eloquently said—would have been thrown out of many places in his youth now takes the highest office in the land! May you lead wisely and well, and remind us that it is We, the People, who will save or lose the nation. Hold true to the principle of subsidiarity: have the government do nothing that the private market can do well and have the Federal government do nothing that the states can do well. Do that, find those places where government must act, and hold it accountable and you will truly fulfill the promise of Hope and Change. Best of luck, and God bless you and God bless America!

This is the kind of thing that I think frankly separates the men from the boys in leadership. Do you have the testicular virility to make a decision like that knowing what’s coming your way? I say I do.”
-Rod Blagojevich

I think the quote speaks for itself. No wonder he got arrested.

Today is a special, solemn and happy day in America. On this day in 1776 the United States of America declared its independence from the tyranny of Great Britain. On this, our 232rd year as the last bastion and hope of freedom in a world of suffering, we have decided to share what we love about America with you.

Angry Midwesterner
What do I love about America? I love that we are truly a land of many colors, races, and cultures. While racism, classism, and other bigotries still raise their heads from time to time in our country, we still offer more freedom and opportunity regardless of race, creed, or nation of origin than any other country on the planet.

I love that in this diverse nation of 50 sovereign states, we have a diversity of regional cultures, politics, and lifestyles, despite the myth of the American mono-culture, and that we allow our states to decide many of the big issues, realizing that in a nation as large as ours, it is best to let the local governments decide for themselves rather than enforce federal tyranny.

I love our commitment to science and engineering. Despite foreign criticism about our science programs, and false accusations about the level of belief in creationism in this country, foreigners still come to the US for training in science and engineering. The US doesn’t just lead in science and engineering, it dominates. According to Newsweek 80% of the top 10 schools, and 75% of the top 20 schools are in the United States of America. But don’t just take the word of a US based rankings. China’s Shanghai Jiao Tong University’s Institute of Higher Education produced rankings with even heavier US dominance with the good old Red, White, and Blue taking 80% of the top 10, and 85% of the top 20. According to the École des Mines de Paris, the US produces the majority of CEOs at top corporations world wide, regardless of the location of their headquarters. It’s pretty clear that no matter who is doing the ranking, the US of A comes out on top every time.

But what I love most of all about America is the Midwest. From the Stately tops of the Shawnee Hills to the glittering white shores of Lake Michigan, from the proud pinnacles of the Ozarks to the wide bends of the Mighty Mississippi. From the white waters of the Ohio, rushing through the Allegheny Mountains, to the pristine coast of the Apostle Islands, from Chicago’s staggering heights, to the quiet and peaceful farms of the heartland. The Midwest is a beautiful place. God Bless the Heartland, and God Bless the USA.

Angry Political Optimist
What do I love about America? I was in the souks of Semarang, Indonesia when the Gulf I air war kicked off. (January 1991, I believe). Several hundred people were holding up signs of Saddam Hussein and chanting “Down with America”. I walked up to a couple of these young men and said “Hi – I’m an American”. The men in question looked abashed and quickly noted that they really liked America and Americans as a people but were protesting because it was a big non-Muslim country picking on a little Muslim county. They had no idea of the history of Saddam and what he did to the Kurds and the Shiites. It was big powerful vs. little for them. Why do they like Americans. In the 1960’s when we were in Vietnam, we were also in Indonesia, which was the 4th largest communist country under Sukarno. While Russia was providing tanks and guns to Sukarno, America was providing water pumps, irrigation assistance and rice hybrids to the local farmers. After the night of the generals, September 30, 1965, when Sukarno’s PKI attempted a coup and executed eight top generals, Major General Suharto purged the communists and Indonesia became non-communist almost overnight. This occurred primarily because the grass-roots population of Indonesia, and the local Army commanders trusted America and the freedoms she represented more than the rhetoric of the PKI. When the tsunami devastated Aceh Sumatra December 26, 2004, it was the Americans there first with CH-47s dropping food and medicine. When Iran experienced a 6.6 earthquake at Bam on December 26, 2003, the United States was there with assistance.

Look at America in the late 1950s: Jim Crow laws; black lynchings; ‘colored’ water fountains; back of the bus seating. Today we have a black presidential candidate, a black woman Secretary of State, and a black Supreme Court Justice, box office record breaking black actors, and one of the richest persons in the United States: a black woman with a company called Harpo. I can tell you flat out that this would not have happened in Japan, Serbia or even France. America has learned and overcome its bias. All the more impressive because this ‘us vs. them’ bias is undoubtedly an ingrained evolutionary survival trait remnant. People in the United States, offended by what passes as prejudice here, would be aghast at what occurs routinely in Japan. Call a Japanese man a Korean accidentally and see what happens. Sitting in a pub in England, I was listening to two Irishmen talking about some lady who was murdered, and assigning blame on the English. Remembering the morning newspaper, I was slightly confused — there was no such headline. Then it became clear that they were discussing an event which occurred 800 years ago — as if it occurred yesterday. And they could not forget or forgive. American is not like that. Ask the Germans or the Japanese, or the Iraqis for that matter.

Is America perfect? — Hell no. And everyone in the world understands that. What makes America unique is its optimism that one person can change the world — that one person, working from nothing can become rich and influencial. For all the rhetoric and venom cast at America, when people of the world want that chance to succeed, they head for the United States. Do they succeed? Not many of them, but they understand that also. Any chance is better than the no chance they have where they are.

Angry New Mexican
What I love about America? That the French dude next door drives a red Ford Mustang, since he obviously can’t do that at home without incurring the wrath of cheese-eating surrender monkeys!

That and green chile. Gotta have the green chile.

Angry Libertarian
What do I love about America? Freedom.

Angry Overeducated Catholic
What do I love about America? Well, so many great points have been made already, and I’d agree 110% with all of them. But let me add that I love the American spirit of pragmatism and procrastination. We’re not a nation of thinkers so much as doers, and usually “doers-at-the-last-minute”. We don’t go in for the nicely laid out, well planned, ideologically correct technocratic solution, we tend to blunder ahead with minimal planning—reacting rather than acting. Yet, somehow, we’re usually in the vanguard when it comes to solving the world’s problems. How does that work?

It works because beautiful, theoretically solid, long-range, centrally managed plans usually don’t—not in our crazy, mixed up world. Just look at the Kyoto Protocol: the US gets pilloried for not signing on in bad faith, but a few years later, who’s actually reducing emissions as a percentage of GDP? That’s right, US. Other countries’ Green parties stage massive rallies against corporate greed. Our environmental groups partner with those same corporations to get hybrid fleet trucks out on the street. Others propose a choice between economic growth and environmental impact, but our economy is slowly, fitfully retooling to reduce impact and fuel growth through the same transformative technologies. It will be more of a drunken stagger than a smooth curve, but we’ll get there!

So here’s to America, the ideologically naive, intellectually lazy, irresponsibly late Colossus, whose shortsighted, blundering, ad-hoc actions still produce more good in a year than most countries do in the entire history of their carefully planned, immaculately managed, responsibly executed lives!

Angry Virginian
Besides the obvious (the First Amendment, free soda refills, 24-hour store hours, and our vast technological and economic superiority), I like the food and the movies, which I was busy eating and watching while the other Angry Men were exchanging emails and planning a group post on what we love about America.

Angry Biologist
(Sadly, due to his remote field location, apparently Angry Biologist was unable to actually send in a timely report. So, we’ve filled in his position from the large body of his commentary on our super-secret mailing list.)
What do I love about America? I love our President George W. Bush, and stand by and support all of his decisions. I love that many Americans, like myself, have chosen to reject the lies of evolution, but most of all I love that, thanks to the legalization of gay marriage, bestiality can’t be far behind!

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