USA


The Economix blog over at the NYT turned me on to how the Midwest is the “Beer Belly” of America, where bars outnumber grocery stores. You see, the folks at floatingsheep.org have done all sorts of exciting things, such as the awesome “pizza map” which shows whether your region prefers pizza, guns, or strippers. I was very surprised by the small number of Southerners who liked strippers. But Angry Overeducated Catholic put me straight…

Angry Overeducated Catholic

Well, remember that this doesn’t really show that Southerners don’t like strippers…only that they like guns (or pizza) more.

Also, we should always remember that one stripper can “service” a goodly number of customers, and strip club customers may not mind driving for 20-30 minutes to the club, since they plan to spend hours there….thus we should expect pizza places to be more numerous, because nobody wants to wait an extra half hour for pizza (except Chicagoans)…

The real apples to apples are strip clubs to gun shops, as:

  • both have obsessive customer bases which love to spend hours and hours at the establishment and have a significant subset of “creepy” customers
  • both cater to both the weekend regulars and the once-in-a-blue-moon customers
  • the once-in-a-blue-moon customers usually need some handholding and instruction in the etiquette of the place
  • both employ security…for obvious reasons
  • both are subject to harassment and busybody cops
  • both tend to be located on the sketchy outskirts of town (okay, that’s true for pizza places frequently too)
  • both are defended vehemently by ideological purists who would, quite frankly, be horrified by a large subset of the actual customers

[I have been gone for some time, and perhaps the loss of lackluster McCain and subsequent abandonment of “moderate” Barack Obama to the machinations of Pelosi, Reid, et. al., affected me more than I knew. But if so, Brown’s victory has revitalized me! Or, equally likely, I was just a lazy ass who got distracted and wandered off for no good reason and am now back, again for no good reason. Your choice, I guess. — AOC ]

Back in the summer of 2009, while celebrating a notable birthday of a good friend, I was chatting with two of the birthday boy’s very liberal, very activist friends. They were naturally overjoyed by Obama’s election (and, in fact, by Biden’s selection—being that rarest of things: Biden groupies), and were certain it was just the start of a sweeping demographic and electoral shift to a permanent progressive majority. Not unlike our own Angry New Mexican (well, except for ANM’s odd infatuation with Her Thighness and low opinion of our President).

Having had some of the same experience a certain number of years before (remember that coming permanent Republican majority?) I expressed skepticism. I told them that the Democrats had arrogantly assumed that the electorate’s mandate for reform and fiscal responsibility was a mandate for sweeping progressive changes, despite the massive evidence to the contrary. And the public was, I told them, becoming angry at this apparent disconnect and the apparent arrogant disregard for Main Street’s traditional center-right views.

They were scornful, and in the fullness of time we made a little bet. In our conversation, we had each agreed that the GOP would gain some seats in the House during 2010, but not enough to pick up a majority. But we disagreed on what would happen in the Senate in 2010. So I bet that the GOP would pick up enough seats to end the super-majority (but not retake the Senate) and my counterpart bet that the Democrats would pick up at least one additional net seat, increasing their super-majority. We agreed to a push if things remained 60-40.

I’m not going to assume victory just now, as there’s plenty of time for the GOP to screw up or for the Democrats to get their act together, but I have to say that my fine dinner at an excellent restaurant on my liberal acquaintance’s dime is looking pretty solid. And, even more gratifying, for the reason I mentioned: the sheer arrogance and incompetence of the Democratic leadership. (The mirror image, to be fair, of the Republican arrogance and incompetence that lost the GOP the whole shebang in 2008.)

Witness Brown, a moderate, country-club style republican in the mode of a McCain or Olympia Snow, become a rallying point for libertarian and Tea Party money. And doing it not by concealing who he is, but by emphasizing who he’s not. He is a moderate, center-right guy, he is not a progressive lackey of Pelosi and Reid. That was enough, even running for Ted Kennedy’s hereditary seat in Massachusetts, and it will be enough for lots of other folks in the elections to come. Unless the Democrats change course—which they won’t (as a party, at least—many of the reform-minded Dems who ran in 2008 may take action to remind folks why they got elected, and that’s a good thing).

Oddly, this could all actually end up working out well for Obama in 2012, if he sees the writing on the wall and, like Clinton before him, reinvents himself to be what folks like Angry Midwesterner assumed he was in 2008: a fiscally responsible reform minded candidate who wants to change a broken corrupt system. As I said at the time, he really did have an historic opportunity to accomplish great things, if indeed he was the moderate reformer he claimed to be.

Conspiratorial folks might even whisper he was always that and this was all a grand scheme to depose Witch Queen Pelosi and Crown Price Harry from their thrones…but I think that misses the true tragedy. Obama was always both a reform minded candidate and a progressive true believer. He was seduced into believing that the 2008 election had given him the historical opportunity to move beyond simple reform and enact the Second Bill of Rights of his hero, FDR. He thought he could follow through on Saul Alinsky’s goal to radically transform society without all the blood and revolution and slaughter of the enemies of the people. So he allowed himself to be used by Pelsoi (another true believer) and Reid (a corrupt bastard) in a shameless attempt to grab power over most of the American economy (by effectively nationalizing the financial, heavy industrial, and medical industries). For our own good, of course.

And now, the people have reminded him that that’s not really what America is all about. Perhaps now he can refocus on doing the things that really do need to be done and that he said should be done: bringing transparency and fiscal responsibility back to the Federal process, finding a way to keep health care affordable for the average American without breaking the economy, restoring America’s image around the world, and working with our international partners to help spread prosperity and rule of law wherever we can. Those are truly great goals, and worthy of real bipartisan effort.

Which we may now, finally, actually get.

The folks over at Slate have written up a history of holding your gun sideways. As you might have expected, the Angry Men added some interesting commentary.

Angry Military Man
Unprofessional jackasses. This is one cultural trend that seriously pisses me off, I had a devil of a time trying to teach people how to properly hold a fucking pistol. They were always trying to be gangsta.

Angry Overeducated Catholic
But AMM why does this annoy you? I mean, I understand that this idiocy by your students annoyed you, sure. But how is this outcome anything but welcome:

As police chased Raymond “Ready” Martinez through Times Square on Thursday, the street hustler and aspiring rapper fired two shots, holding the gun sideways “like a character out of a rap video.” According to the New York Post, Martinez’s side grip caused the gun to jam, enabling police to shoot and kill the suspect.

By all means, let’s do whatever we can to encourage this sort of poor gun control by our criminal classes. If they’re going to abuse their rights, at least let them abuse them in a way that minimizes their danger to others and maximizes their danger to themselves.

I want a lack of professionalism in my would-be professional criminals!

Angry Immigrant
In that case…

I would like to propose a new gangsta style grip that involves holding the pistol upside down next to the head, barrel pointing forward. This would allow the spent casing to bounce “awesomely” off of the temple of the shooter, signifying toughness and promote true “def” style hearing loss.

Sighting the barrel directly next to the eyes should maximize the shooter’s conception of aiming accuracy, as it brings a point-and-shoot cyborg mentality for the shooter.

This new all-def method makes no claims of actual accuracy improvement. In case of a gun jamming, this may cause grievous explosive injury to the shooter, but that’s the risk of being tru-4-life.

Angry Libertarian
We can do better and have.

A suspect in the rape and armed robbery of several woman in River Forest accidentally shot himself in the head during a police chase Monday night in Oak Park. The suspect died several hours later.

Angry Overeducated Catholic
Well, yes, but of course in this case do we have any certain knowledge that he was in fact holding his gun when he shot himself in the head? There may have been a little officer-assisted suicide going on…this is River Forest we’re talking about.

On the other hand, it’s pretty clear that this guy was one of the dullest knives in the drawer. Of course there’s the inevitable tagline in modern America:

Patillo had convictions for aggravated unlawful use of a fire arm and drugs. He was paroled April 25 from the Sheridan Correctional Center.

Gosh, a parolee is released and within a year escalates to even more dangerous and violent offenses? What a shocker!*

Be interesting to find out whether this guy was off as part of Governor Quinn’s early release programs to save money…apparently they’re quietly releasing increasingly dangerous types because of funding issues.

Yippee!

*Note that this crap also makes the lives of actual reformed ex-cons even harder. Now that everyone knows that parole is a “get out of jail to rape and murder for free” card, there’s even less chance given to actual honest parolees who earned their parole through actual reform. When you make an earned privilege a natural right, you cheapen it 9 times out of 10.

John Brown

John Brown: Angry Man of the Week

This court acknowledges, as I suppose, the validity of the law of God. I see a book kissed here which I suppose to be the Bible, or at least the New Testament. That teaches me that all things whatsoever I would that men should do to me, I should do even so to them. It teaches me, further, to “remember them that are in bonds, as bound with them.” I endeavored to act up to that instruction. I say, I am yet too young to understand that God is any respecter of persons. I believe that to have interfered as I have done as I have always freely admitted I have done in behalf of His despised poor, was not wrong, but right. Now, if it is deemed necessary that I should forfeit my life for the furtherance of the ends of justice, and mingle my blood further with the blood of my children and with the blood of millions in this slave country whose rights are disregarded by wicked, cruel, and unjust enactments, I submit; so let it be done!”
-John Brown’s Last Speech, November 2nd, 1859

As men go, John Brown was sure Angry. And the source of his anger was a righteous one. The utter barbarism that the “civilization” of what would become the treasonous Confederacy was based on: Slavery. After the murder of Reverend Elijah Parish Lovejoy by a pro-slavery mob in Illinois in 1837, John Brown had found his cause and the meaning that would define his life. He is reported to have vowed publicly,
“Here, before God, in the presence of these witnesses, from this time, I consecrate my life to the destruction of slavery!” There are few purposes more noble for an Angry Man.

Yes, he committed treason in his raid on the federal armory at Harper’s Ferry. But a little thing like “treason” didn’t stop certain losers and douchebags from idolizing the Confederacy. And even if you have the stars and bars in your bedroom, you still have to admit John Brown was twice the man Jefferson Davis ever was. As this week commemorates the 150th anniversary of Brown’s raid, we have chosen to dub him Angry Man of the Week.

My good friend, and fellow hater of Confederate swine, Angry Overeducated Catholic, had a good comment to add to my rant. I reproduce it here in full:

John Brown was a wackjob murderous fundie, but he did have a point. And he did manage to inspire additions to a kick-ass song that provided a marching cadance as the farms and cities of millions of traitorous losers were deservedly burned to ashes. Hip, Hip, Hip, Hip, Hurrah!

(Best verse, though, has nothing to do with either John Brown:

They will hang Jeff Davis to a sour apple tree!
They will hang Jeff Davis to a sour apple tree!
They will hang Jeff Davis to a sour apple tree!
As they march along! )

Glory Hally Hallelujah!

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.

The White House today rebuffed pleas from California for cash. California, as anyone not living under a rock knows by now, carries an estimated $24 billion deficit and is in dire economic peril. Now they expect the rest of us to bear the penalty of their excess for them, and pay for the irresponsible behavior for which they reaped all of the rewards. Something must have hit Obama in the head this morning because for once he made the right choice.

He told those lazy, good for nothing, deadbeat, pot smoking, California Hippie Losers to bug off. Three cheers for Obama!

California has the largest GDP in the US, at over $1.8 trillion, one of the highest levels of taxation in the country, an annual tax revenue of over $114 billion, and one of the highest levels of tax revenue per capita. They have all the resources necessary to solve their own problems. The reason they cannot pay their bill is that, much like a bunch of trailer trash Wal-mart shoppers, they’ve lived beyond their means and run up a debt funding ridiculous programs, propositions, and other such folly to a point that no one in the damnable state even knows where or how the money is being spent. A full 50% of their yearly tax revenue is earmarked for propositions even before the budget is set, that’s more revenue than the total taxes brought in by 48 of the 50 states. And yet visit California and you’ll find a third world nightmare of poorly paved roads, one of the worst school systems in the nation (ranked 48th of 50), no public transportation worthy of the name, scant police coverage, and a wash of crime and poverty that stretches 800 miles from north to south.

California isn’t too big to fail. It’s too irresponsible, stupid, and mismanaged to succeed. Its practices, culture, and above all the arrogance of its people make it one of the largest threats to the American way of life in the world. So now California, we’re cutting you off and it’s time for you to reap what you have sown. Obama should strip your state of its sovereignty and readmit it as a federal territory.

-Angry Midwesterner


Seldom does a day go by when someone or other doesn’t pronounce the American lifestyle doomed. Our cars will kill the planet, our cities will kill the planet or our very existence will kill the planet. We’re just wrong, wrong, wrong and we some person who is “right” feels the need to tell us what to do to save ourselves and everybody else.

Let me say first off, I have no sympathy whatsoever for the overpopulation alarmists. Nine times out of ten they’re crypto-eugenicists who are absolutely terrified of the countries where people are still having children above the replacement rate (places where people have dark skin… coincidence? I think not!). These are the very same people who feel that we ought to blanket all of Africa in a layer of latex to prevent “them” from ever being a threat to our self-indulgent existence. These folks are worse than the hippies — at least the hippies are willing to put their money where their mouth is when it comes to sustainable living (even though I’d rather see the hippies compromise when it comes to hygiene) — these folks think that shopping at Whole Foods and posting child-hating comments on blogs fulfills their duties as stewards of the earth (unless they’re not shopping at Whole Foods because corporations are evil. Lucky for us the Zero Population Growth crowd is a self-correcting problem in the long term… we just have to live with their blatant hypocrisy in the interim.

More reasonable opponents of the American lifestyle fall into two categories. The first are what I’ll call “Walden Pond Hippies.” They think we need to go back to the land and leave our cities and suburbs to fallow. While they certainly have sympathies with the crypto-eugenicists, and share their distaste for homo sapiens sapiens, the Walden Pond Hippies envision a new America based on a return to farming small towns and local commerce. And in a sense, the Hippies aren’t too far off from a livable idea — the Amish already live the life they foresee in a fairly complete way. And you can’t find people who more honestly live a substantial portion of the American dream than the Amish. Not to mention, the Amish do Steampunk in real life. In no other country could you find people like this. It just would not work.

Unfortunately, the WPH’s still want things modern things like electricity, which is where their plan (as opposed to the Amish) starts to break down. Rural living is hideously energy inefficient. There’s a reason why New York City is the most energy efficient portion of the United States, no matter how much the WPH’s despise it — density breeds efficiency. Even the Amish would have to change their lifestyles in “Hippymerica,” as they don’t oppose technology like Luddites, they just don’t want to let technology disrupt their community life. They still profit from our fancy American lifestyle, albeit indirectly. In “Hippymerica” this would no longer be possible.

The second group of opponents to the American lifestyle are what I’ll call “Effete Europeans.” Noting the flaw in the WPH argument — their proposed alternative is profligate in energy — the Effete Europeans insist on urban living as the real answer. Goodbye Levittown, hello Hell’s Kitchen. The problem with this argument is again all in the density — people who don’t have space generally don’t reproduce. There are a number of reasons why fertility rates in Europe are in the toilet but the one I want to harp on here is simple — when you’re stuck living in your tiny apartment (or worse still your parents’ tiny apartment, which appears to be the European norm), you’re not going to have kids. Which two European countries have the highest fertility rates? Ireland and France the two countries whose love affair with the land (and in France’s case, with farming specifically) hasn’t been consumed by faceless urbanism. “Euramerica” would look just like the worst parts of Amsterdam only with more cynical gun-toting conservatives. Call me unimpressed.

And so we’re left with America’s Choice: The Suburb. Sure it’s energy intensive — but not as bad as “Hippymerica” and we’ll for sure have a lot more space for the kids necessary to preserve Western Civilization than in “Euramerica.” Truth, Justice and Subdivisions. We have a long way in terms of things like energy efficiency, but if saving the planet means living in Walden or Amsterdam, then I’m all for investing heavily in space travel right now. I hear that real estate on Mars is pretty cheap these days and the views are out of this world…

Next Page »