Holiday


Let’s be honest – regardless of what label one applies to him, Gov. Mark Sanford (R-SC) manages to make that entire group look bad. In case anyone wanted a list of his potential rules violations, the NYT has cordially provided it. My favorite highlights are included below
These include:

–Approval of the purchase of four first- and business-class commercial airline tickets for a June 2008 trip during which he met with his mistress in Argentina.

— Personal use of state-owned aircraft for trips such as the birthday party of a campaign contributor in Aiken, and flying from Myrtle Beach to Columbia for a ”personal event,” including a haircut.

— Reimbursing himself nearly $3,000 using campaign contributions, including about $900 for expenses to attend a Republican Governors Association meeting in Miami and a hunting trip in Dublin, Ireland, several days later.

As Angry Diesel Engineer astutely noted: “What an idiot! You can’t take the gubernatorial helicopter to Supercuts, because your new do will get all messed up when you get back in the thing!”

The bigger news is that my good friend Angry Overeducated Catholic has begun his descent to madness. Rather than condemning Sanford’s inability to follow the laws of the state he governs, AOC has been reduced to shouting “ZOMG Democrats are teh sux0r!” Witness gems like:

AOC on Sanford’s purchace offirst/business class tickets to meet his mistress:
Note that this would apparently have been legal if he’d flown coach. (Or used his own money, naturally.) Well, or, let’s be honest, if he’d been a Democrat, although possibly only if he’d also chartered a private jet instead.

AOC on Sanford’s personal use of aircraft:
Of course, again, all of this is legal and standard for Democratic Congressmen. Remember the giant Midwestern funeral which was also a giant Dem campaign rally! Sadly, poor Sanford had the bad sense to join the wrong party for those without ethics.

AOC on Sanford going to Miami, and Dublin on campaign funds:
That is odd, since you’d think that attending the Governors Association would generally be covered by good old taxpayer funds, as it is in states where Democrats are governors. But he might also have used monies or goods provided by a “good friend”, another SOP across the aisle. And a decent Democrat would certainly have successfully argued that a trip to Ireland was for “economic development” for his state (hey it works for Daley).

So, as I suspected, Sanford’s real crimes: being a Republican and an asshat. Fool that he was, Sanford forgot to switch parties before defrauding folks and sleeping around. Bad for him, but good for us, since he got exposed, deposed, and now indicted…none of which would have happened to Gov. Sanford (D).*

*Well, he might have resigned. I should be carefl here, as some Democrats actually do resign when their shady deals are exposed. I’m just presuming that since this guy was such an asshat, he wouldn’t have done the right thing even when outed. Instead he would just emulate Kennedy, Jefferson, Clinton, Frank, Reid, etc. and bulled on through.

Though Republicans are chomping at the bit to eviscerate each other for being insufficiently conservative, evidently flagrant ethics violations only get a “But Democrats are worse!” It’s just one of those reasons why the Republicans are headed into permanent minority status. Well, that, and assclowns like Tom Tancredo who make hating mis amigos an article of faith. You know, just like the Anglo Jesus said, “Love your neighbor as yourself; unless, of course, he is a filthy Mexican.”

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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.

As is traditional we put aside our usual bickering, pissing and moaning for national holidays. As my comrades are being lazy of late, I’m going to post my list and people should add comments or just edit.

Mildly Piqued Academician is thankful for a lot of things this year. Aside from the usual stuff:

  1. That his brother fully recovered from what was supposed to be major but routine surgery but which turned into life-threatening internal bleeding…
  2. That he’s got a stable job in a decidedly unstable time, with very good colleagues and students…
  3. That his retired parents pulled their money out of the stock market six months ago…
  4. That certain important deadlines were—finally—set… and met. 🙂

The Angry Immigrant is thankful…

  1. for safe travel across country to visit family back in the old country.
  2. for fun visiting little nephew #1 and little nephew #2
  3. for fun building breakfast and lunch meals for the homeless for today. All those years of making sandwiches for school lunch came in very handy.
  4. that my latest project appears finished, so I can spend evenings at home instead of at the movie studio.

The Angry Midwesterner is thankful…

  1. That he is spending the holiday in the Midwest.
  2. For loving family, all across the country.
  3. Open roads lined with farms, and a sky free of pollution.
  4. Good friends, good fellowship and good food.

The Angry Political Optimist is thankful…

  1. That the election is over and that the cumulative exhaustion is finally wearing off
  2. That, in spite of Libor peaking on November 17th, the day his ARM reset, his interest rate went down
  3. That the silver lining of the economic meltdown is that people are taking the time to reassess their goals and turning away from rampant consumerism
  4. That the price of oil is less than $50/barrel and gasoline is $1.56 a gallon; and that Chavez, the Saudis, and Medvedev/Putin are scrambling so hard to right their respective boats that they aren’t causing trouble
  5. That all those people who were wishing secretly and not so secretly for the United States to crash and burn, have decided that “eh, maybe not” such a good idea

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!

To all those who have died so that we may be free: Thank you.

For the families with a neatly folded flag instead of a child or spouse: Thank you.

To everyone else: Remember to visit a memorial in honor of the day.