Sunday, August 31, 2008

Triggate: daughter Bristol, not Sarah Palin is the mother of her newborn "son"?

Sarah Palin 7 months pregnant in 1989

Sarah Palin "7 months pregnant" in 2007

Is Sarah Palin not the mother of her newborn "son"? If this has even a whiff of truth to it--and it looks like it does--the Presidential race just got even more interesting. Daily Kos is claiming, along with other blogs and websites, that Sarah Palin claimed to be the mother of her recently born child, when in fact it was her 17 year old daughter's son.

More possible evidence?

If this is true, the next question is, how did they cover this up through the vetting process? Or were McCain's team so eager to get her on board, they didn't think it would be that big a deal? Is McCain himself part of a cover-up?

Check out the Daily Kos for more potential pictorial and video evidence...

When not even Matt Drudge has picked up the story, you have to wonder about its veracity...but on the other hand, the story on Kos is pretty convincing, and damning.

It may be time to call in Joe Lieberman!!!


Saturday, August 30, 2008

Alien Lore No. 137 - A Montage of alien hostages captured by the U.S.

This video reprises, with a suitably creepy score, many of the famous alien/grey/hybrid/Martian photos that have been circling the internet for many years now. You may have seen some them previously here in Alien Lore Nos. 1-136.


OK, they're not named Sunshine or Serenity, but Sara Palin's kids do sound like they were named by hippies

Sara Palin's kids sound like they were named by hippies (missing from picture: Trig):

Track, Bristol, Trig, Willow, and Piper.

Friday, August 29, 2008

Happy Birthday to Senator John McCain!

click to enlarge

Shocker: Sara Palin chosen by McCain for VP slot

Governor Sara Palin rolling out the new Alaska quarter...

By Pablo Fanque
All This Is That National Affairs Editor

Republican presidential candidate Sen. John McCain shocked almost everyone by choosing Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin as his running mate. Campaign officials fed the news to NBC News this morning. Senator McCain passed over Mitty Romney, Kay Hutchinson, Joe Lieberman, and Tim Pawlenty when he opted for Palin. Alaska Governor Sara Palin has only occasionally been mentioned as a VP possibility, and has not really appeared on the leaked "short lists" of late. What seemed to tip the scales is a) the female factor; b) her pro-life position; c) the babe factor; and d) the "common folk" factor ("Well, shucks, she's just people like you and me"). The anti-abortion governor has less experience than Barack Obama and is virtually unknown outside Alaska and the northwest. But she is Christian, she was mostly unexpected, she's pro-life, she's not a Mormon, was never a Democrat, and has never feuded with John McCain (which sank Hutchinson's chances).

Palin is also currently under investigation by an independent investigator the state legislature hired to find out whether she tried to have a state official fire her ex-brother-in-law from his job as a state trooper.

In an August interview with CNBC’s Larry Kudlow, she could not answer the question of whether she wanted the VP slot:

“until somebody answers for me what is it exactly that the VP does every day. I’m used to being very productive and working real hard in an administration. We want to make sure that that VP slot would be a fruitful type of position, especially for Alaskans and for the things that we’re trying to accomplish up here….”
She is the first woman and the first Alaskan on a Republican presidential ticket. Palin, 44, was elected Alaska's first woman governor in 2006.

Sara Palin has made at least one previous appearance on All This Is That:


November 4, 2008

November 4, 2008 - All I can say after this last inspiring week of the Democratic love-fest is that November 4th looms large and may well be my favorite day in the last 12 years (since November 5, 1996, when we voted in the last Democratic President).


The Hug: McCain hugs Bush and readies himself for four more years!


John McCain: "Senator, job well done." - Obama rocks the house in his acceptance speech

Senator McCain was in Ohio as Obama spoke, but after a series of negative convention week commercials, his campaign aired a one-night advertisement that complimented Obama and noted the speech occurred on the anniversary of King's famous address. Hey, this campaign showed just a hint of gracia, for the first time in a long time...

"Senator Obama, this is truly a good day for America. Too often the achievements of our opponents go unnoticed. So I wanted to stop and say, 'Congratulations,'" McCain says in the ad. "How perfect that your nomination would come on this historic day. Tomorrow, we'll be back at it. But tonight Senator, job well done."

Thursday, August 28, 2008

The worst wedding ever: the nightmare marriage of Maria del Pozzo della Cisterna to Amadeo, the Duke of Aosta and son of the King of Italy

I've been to some strange weddings over the years, but none matches what happened at the Princess Maria del Pozzo della Cisterna's marriage to Amadeo, duke of Aosta (and son of the king of Italy) on May 30th, 1867. On the day of Princess Maria and Duke Amadeo's wedding:

  • Her page (e.g., wardrobe mistress) hanged herself.

  • The gatekeeper of the palace where the wedding took place, slit his throat (possibly because he was in love with the page?). Slitting your own throat cannot be a cakewalk. But the gatekeeper did it, successfully.

  • The Colonel who led the wedding procession, collapsed with a "sun stroke," or heat exhaustion, and died.

  • After the marriage ceremony, the station manager was crushed beneath the wheels of the honeymoon train as it was leaving.

  • One of the king's advisers fell off his horse and died immediately.

  • The best man, presumably after witnessing all of this f**ked up stuff, shot himself.

  • Not long after the marriage ceremony, The Princess discovered her new husband was a degenerate philanderer with an eye for the gals. When she complained to his dad, the King of Italy, the King told her to pound sand.

Three years after this series of tragic events, Amadeo was elected the King of Spain. But Spain was so factionalized that he was unable to muster popular support, and his rule was punctuated by violent uprisings by and among the various warring political factions. He abdicated the Spanish throne in 1873 and went back to Italy. Maria della Cisterna died three years later, nine years after their disastrous wedding.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

The last playground ditty: "On top of spaghetti"

Interestingly, the last playground rhyme I can remember is probably the most violent one. And it's always the teachers and principals who get the harshest treatment. I can't say I'm proud we sang these songs, but that's life; we did. And of all the people I went to school with, I don't recall any of them committing an act of violence (except the occasional knuckle-head fight in a bar or in the alley). Like I said earlier, I think these songs now would be cause for suspension or even expulsion. Back then, the songs were sick fantasies. Today, they could well be scripts or dress-rehearsals. . .

[to the tune of "On Top Of Old Smokey"]

On top of spaghetti, all covered in blood,
I shot my poor teacher with a 40 foot stud.

I shot her with glory, i shot her with pride,
I couldn't have missed her she was 40 feet wide.

I went to her funeral, I went to her grave,
Some people threw flowers, I threw a grenade.

I opened her coffin--she wasn't quite dead,
So I took a bazooka and blew off her head!


Barack's dispatch on "The Speech" by Michelle Obama & the speech video

Barack sent an email to the faithful, or at least those of us who have signed up, about his wife's excellent speech last night. Interestingly, my wife Keelin thought Michelle's speech paled in comparison to Senator Clinton's the next night (I am just about to watch it, in case you thought this was some sort of Frenchified Real Time Blogging®). I'm not so sure...although Hillary is fully capable of hitting it out of the park for Obama. I think she probably will. Whatever you think of Hillary and The Clintons in general, I think you know in your heart of hearts she will come out slugging and she will come out hard-core and absolutely for Barack Obama. Let's face it...there are very few core values Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama do not share. Tonight's the night for her to convince that curmudgeonly, recalcitrant, and intractable 30% of her supporters that can't get behind nominee Obama that they would not only be betraying Clinton herself, but the Democratic Party, and everything they fought for as Obama supports as well. Hold tight; let's see.

Obama's email:

Jack -

I am so lucky to be married to the woman who delivered that speech last night.

Michelle was electrifying, inspiring, and absolutely magnificent. I get a lot of credit for the speech I gave at the 2004 convention -- but I think she may have me beat.

You have to see it to believe it.

And make sure to forward this email to your friends and family -- they'll want to see it too.

You really don't want to miss this.

And I'm not just saying that because she's my wife -- I truly believe it was the best speech of the campaign so far.


Here is the video of the speech, in case you missed it:


Senator John McSame: The Double-talk express video & The Real McCain video

The great thing about John McCain is that you don't really have to rant, or write anything at all. You just let him do the work for you. Check out these video compilations of The Senator talking. . .

Florida man, angry at Michell Obama speech has an armed standoff with SWAT Team

A New Port Richey, FLA man who was angered by Michelle Obama's speech at the DNC in Denver was arrested after a six-hour standoff with SWAT team members.

A Sheriff's office spokesman--Kevin Doll--said the man will undergo a psychological evaluation.

The standoff started after the man ran out of his RV, yelling and firing a gun.

The SWAT team fired riot gas into the man's home, but he stayed in the house until about 5 a.m. Tuesday. I thought the speech was quite good, myself.

Poem: The islands from eight miles high

Beneath a cerulean blue chiseled frieze,
The islands recede into the sea
Or settle down to the sea floor

Like an archipelago of Atlantises.
Islands come and go,
Bobbing up and bobbing down

Like corks lost in the ocean,
Drifitng around the seven seas
And threading through seven continents

And millions of other islands and straits.
They sail along, cresting the waves
Beneath gathering clouds

And flocks of birds
Circumnavigating the globe,
Shuttling from landfall to landfall.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

I didn't want to talk about politics today - But Michelle Obama's speech changed that

I was thinking about folklore, aliens, or posting some poetry today. Instead, I wrote down all the childhood rhymes I could remember...and it turned out to be about 15 or so! It felt pretty good ignoring politics. I was feeling sluggish about politics in general, even though I've been a convention junkie since 1968. And then I listened to, and watched, Michelle Obama's speech tonight. Content: 100%; Tone: 100%; Inspiration: 100%. Was her speech the pivot of the entire Obama campaign? I don't know, but it felt like it was. And I wonder how he tops this magnificent oratory. Whoever wrote this speech, Barack, it's probably time to give them a serious bump. I came into this as a Michelle Obama doubter. I've watched her and read about her. Tonight she absolutely and forever convinced me she is the real deal.

Playground rhymes from my youth: Popeye the sailor man

I'm Popeye, the Sailor Man
I live in a Garbage Can.
I eat all the worms
And I spit out the Germs
I'm Popeye, the Sailor Man.

I'm Popeye, the Sailor Man
I live in a frying pan
I turn up the heat
And I burn up my feet

I'm Popeye, the Sailor Man
I live in a frying pan
I turn up the gas
And burn off my ass
I'm Popeye, the Sailor Man

I'm Popeye, the Sailor Man
I like me spinach and eggs
I like to go swimmin'
With bow-legged women
And swim between their legs!

Short playground rhymes from my youth in the early 1960's

Everybody's doing it, doing it, doing it.
Picking their nose and chewing it, chewing it, chewing it.

Jingle bells,
Batman smells,
Robin laid an egg.
The Batmobile lost a wheel
And Joker took ballet.

Engine Engine Number Nine
Going down Chicago line
If the train falls off the track
Do you want your money back?

Whistle while you work.
Hitler is a jerk.
Mussolini bit his weenie.
Now it doesn't work.

Whistle while you work
Hitler is a jerk
Rosellini bit his weenie
And now it will not squirt.

[Albert Rosellini is now 98 years old, and at least a couple of years ago was still practicing law in Seattle! He was governor of Washington State in my formative years from, 1957-1965.]

Tra la la boom de-ay
There was no school today.
Our teacher passed away,
She died of tooth decay!
Tra-la-la Boom de ay!
I took your pants away...
Tra-la-la Boom de ay!
Baffaro passed away
We threw him in the bay
And watched him float away.

[Peter Baffaro was the longtime principal of Kent Elementary, Kent, Washington]

Pants are on fire!
I don't care,
I don't care!
I can buy another pair!

Row, row, row your boat, gently down the stream
Throw the teacher overboard and listen to her scream!

School's out, school's out,
The teacher let the monkeys out.
One went in, and one went out,
And one fell in the sauerkraut.

[At around the time I heard, and sang this ditty, Kent, Wash. was one of the largest sauerkraut producing regions in the country. I remember taking several tours of the Libby Sauerkraut plant. And they weren't alone...there were others. Not many Germans or Eastern Europens lived in Kent, so I have to assume it was because Kent was a prime cabbage-growing area.]

It's Howdy Doody time
It ain't worth a dime
We'll turn to Channel Nine
And watch Frankenstein

Lincoln, Lincoln, I've been thinking,
What the hell have you been drinking?
Taste like beer smells like wine.
Oh my God it's Turpentine.

Post-Columbine/Virginia Tech - 1960's playground rhymes from Kent, Wash. - Mine eyes have seen the glory

I suppose, in a post-Columbine/Virginia Tech. world, our song would, in all likelihood, get you expelled. We sang this at Kent Elementary in the early 1960's.

Mine eyes have seen the glory
Of the burning of the school
We have tortured all the teachers,
We have broken every rule
We have barbecued the principal,
And destroyed the PTA,
Our school keeps burning on.
Glory, glory hallelujah.
Teacher hit me with a ruler.
I met her at the door with a loaded .44
Now she won't be teaching anymore!


Playground rhymes from my youth: Johnny had a steamboat

I remember this ditty from Kent Elementary, now a suburb of Seattle, from the early 1960's. As it turns out, there are variants (some quite different) from regions all around the country.

Johnnie had a steamboat, johnnie had a bell,
Johnnie pulled the wrong cord and blew it all to
Hello operator, give me number nine,
If you disconnect me, I'll kick you in the
Behind the 'fridgerator, there's a piece of glass,
Johnnie slipped on it, and it went up his
Ask me no more questions, tell me no more lies,
If you ever get hit with a bucket of s**t
Just be sure to close your eyes.


Monday, August 25, 2008

Popular Photography ages the current crop of candidates for President

Before, and after photos of the current President

Popular Photography online has a fascinating article, The Candidates: How will they look in four years? They took photos of Obama, Hillary Clinton, and John McCain and applied various aging (e.g., wrinkling, filling out, greying, sagging) to them to show how they might look in the future.

I've seen editors "unage" people before, and I've seen police sketches where they tried to show what a missing child or criminal might look like many years later. In any case, this is utterly fascinating. Go to the article and roll over the photos to see the effects of age. Of course, we do know that some of the tabloid photo editors do their best to emphasize the bad over the good, but in this case, of course, older is not worse. It's just older. Obviously in a race where one candidate is 20+ years older than the other, there will be some visible wear and tear!

This is really incredible work. You probably don't want to see your own pumpkin given the same treatment, do you?


Photo: The Contenders - Senators McCain and Obama

Click to enlarge Obama and McCain

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Senator John McCain floats Dwight Eisenhower as possible running mate

In response to a reporter's question about running mates today at a press conference in Altoona. Pennsylvania, Republican Presidential candidate John McCain wondered aloud about bringing Ike out of retirement. "I wonder if, uh, uh, Ike, President Eisenhower, would consider joining the ticket?," the senator said in response to a question from Pablo Fanque. "Who better to take over if something--God forbid--were to happen to me than someone who has actually done the job. And done it admirably, I might add. We should talk to Ike's people...if we've ever needed the General, it's now. It may be tough to get Mamie on board 'though..."

As reporters chuckled, Senator McCain said "Who is better suited for the job? Any of you guys notice it's getting dark in here?" Two aides urged McCain offstage while a spokesman told the press corps that "The Senator is already behind schedule, and we'll catch up with the press after the rally in Bayonne, New Jersey."

According to our national affairs editor, Pablo Fanque, who attended the press "briefing" in Altoona, stunned reporters were quiet at first and then exploded in a frenzy of typing and cell-phone dialing.

"In New Jersey," Fanque wrote this morning, "after the press plane landed, yet another aide explained to the press corps that the Senator was "adjusting his schedule to spend some 'quiet time' before continuing his campaign swing."

Map of where I've been in the world

Click to enlarge. Isn't it nice they didn't use the Mercator projection?

This is from the facebook application, "where I've been." This is by country and state. The city map, I am struggling with...anyhow, where I've been is dark, and where I haven't been (but mostly hope to go) is grey...

More on Joe Biden & four choice Joe Biden video clips

Despite what the Republicans may tell you about Smilin' Joe, this is a great pick by Obama, and it has to have them running scared. I can't tell you how happy I am that he is running, albeit just a little sad that he isn't at the top of the ticket. Joe is extremely bright, funny, articulate (yeah, and a little long-winded), has been great on the Judiciary Committee as well as the Foreign Relations committee, and is skilled politically, while still being able to get things accomplished. Joe Biden is a brawler in the best sense of the word. He knows how to play hardball. He brings depth, experience, knowledge, and humor to the ticket, and it will be a pleasure to see him debate, and act as the designated attack dog. Run Joe Run!

The Republicans will remind you that he plagiarized a couple of lines from Neil Kinnock speeches in the 80's. Yeah, he did. Once. The other times he used the lines in speeches, he attributed Kinnock. He didn't once, and it cost him his run for the Presidency. (You don't believe me? is the Wikipedia note on it: Then in September 1987, the campaign ran into serious trouble when he was accused of plagiarizing a speech by Neil Kinnock, then-leader of the British Labour Party.[26] Though Biden had correctly credited the original author in all speeches but one, the one where he failed to make mention of the originator was caught on video; the New York Times reported "Senator Biden began his remarks by saying the ideas had come to him spontaneously on the way to the debate."]

Most people don't know it--but they will soon--that Joe is not the Washington insider you might have heard. Well, he is and he isn't. He has commuted to D.C. an hour a half each way since 1973! He was elected at the age of 29 and became the fifth youngest Senator ever. He was elected in November, but before he even took office, his wife and daughter were killed, and his two sons were seriously injured (but later recovered) in a car accident.

He was talked out of resigning office, and ended up taking the oath of office at his sons' bedsides in the hospital. And to stay close to his family in their own home, he began his lifelong habit of commuting. I suspect he will move to the Naval Observatory (the traditional VP residence) once they air the place out and get rid of the Cheney vampire stench. Finally, I think you'll find that Joe Biden only owns one house.


Saturday, August 23, 2008

The long-awaited VP text message from Senator Obama

They didn't quite keep the the news of Obama's VP selection bottled up until the very end. The story had to spread beyond the tight inner cir4cle of the campaign, and by late Friday night, the story was being confirmed by various parties and news sources. Therefore, we got the text message at 1:56 AM...

From: Barack Obama []
Sent: Sat 8/23/2008 1:56 AM
To: Jack Brummet
Subject: The Next Vice President

jack --

I have some important news that I want to make official.

I've chosen Joe Biden to be my running mate.

Joe and I will appear for the first time as running mates this afternoon in Springfield, Illinois -- the same place this campaign began more than 19 months ago.

I'm excited about hitting the campaign trail with Joe, but the two of us can't do this alone. We need your help to keep building this movement for change.

Please let Joe know that you're glad he's part of our team. Share your personal welcome note and we'll make sure he gets it:

Thanks for your support,


P.S. -- Make sure to turn on your TV at 2:00 p.m. Central Time to join us or watch online at

Paid for by Obama for America

Friday, August 22, 2008

It's Joe! Obama picks Biden for VP slot as John McCain runs marbles through his hands like Captain Queeg

As All This Is That revealed early this week, in an article by our National Affairs Editor Pablo Fanque, Barack Obama has selected his fellow senator, Smilin' Joe Biden as his running mate.

The Associated Press broke the story Friday evening. The selection of Biden will be public unveiled tomorrow morning as Biden joins Obama at a rally in Illinois. Those of us who signed up with the Obama campaign will receive a text message announcing his choice early tomorrow morning. [ed's note: we received the text message from the Obama campaign this morning at 1:56 AM Pacific Time...just after the story was being confirmed by MSNBC and other news services. ]

All This Is That was right. Hats off to Pablo Fanque for his always excellent reporting!

The Associated Press story that ran Friday night said:

"Barack Obama selected Sen. Joe Biden of Delaware late Friday night to be his vice presidential running mate, according to a Democratic official, balancing his ticket with an older congressional veteran well-versed in foreign policy and defense issues."
"Biden, 65, has twice sought the White House, and is a Catholic with blue-collar roots, a generally liberal voting record and a reputation as a long-winded orator."

"Across more than 30 years in the Senate, he has served at various times not only as chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee but also as head of the Judiciary Committee, with its jurisdiction over anti-crime legislation, Supreme Court nominees and Constitutional issues. "

"In selecting Biden, Obama passed over several other potential running mates, none more prominent than former first lady Hillary Rodham Clinton, his tenacious rival in dozens of primaries and caucuses. "

"The official who spoke did so on condition of anonymity, preferring not to pre-empt a text-message announcement the Obama campaign promised for Saturday morning. "

A compilation of scenes from great political movies

This video is a compilation of scenes from the great (and not so great) political movies, including Primary Colors, Redford's The Candidate, Mr. Smith goes to Washington, Man of the year, Head of State, Dave, The American President, Bulworth and TV shows, like The West Wing...


Trailer from Warren Beatty's Bulworth

The trailer from one of my favorite films, by one of my favorite directors and actors...


Painting: The Contenders

Thursday, August 21, 2008

McCain campaign office evacuated over white powder (that turned out to be John McCain's Polident)

A suburban Denver campaign office of presidential candidate John McCain was evacuated this afternoon, and several people went to a hospital (presumably as a cautionary measure) after receiving an envelope containing a threatening letter and an unidentified white powder.

Our All This Is That stringer in Denver, rooted out the actual story a little later. According to Mary Houlihan, our mid-west correspondent, there was no threatening letter at all. That was just a cover story after someone called police and Homeland Security when they found the powdery substance. The story was soon picked up by the press.

The reason you haven't seen a correction or retraction of the story--that seems to imply a terrorist angle--is that it was, in fact, the Senator's monthly supply of Polident that had broken open. . .which the campaign does not want to announce or admit, especially after the implied possible terrorist/anthrax angle. The McCain campaign has struggled in recent months to portray the Senator as a vigorous 70 year old, and any Polident talk will not bolster that image, according to a low-level staffer's conversation with All This Is That's stringer.


Two photographs: Dr. Juma, and latrine snorkeling

click to enlarge

click to enlarge

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Holy S**t!!! McCain pulls ahead of Obama by 5 points in national poll

According to a Reuters/Zogby poll released today, Republican John McCain has opened up a 5-point lead on Barack Obama in the U.S. presidential race. McCain leads Obama among likely U.S. voters by 46 percent to 41 percent, wiping out Obama's solid 7-point advantage in July and taking his first lead in the monthly Reuters/Zogby poll.

"There is no doubt the campaign to discredit Obama is paying off for McCain right now," pollster John Zogby said. "This is a significant ebb for Obama."

I can't tell you how many Democrats have told me over the last few months that this race is in the bag. Unfortunately, it appears to be the air-sickness bag. I remember when McGovern, Humphrey, Mondale, Dukakis, Gore, and Kerry had it "in the bag." Laugh all you want about John McCain. . .he is a threat and the threat will only grow stronger as some degree of Obama fatigue inevitably sets in (and/or he makes his first serious mistakes).

A broken pine-tar covered bat comes flying into the stands. What do you do?

A broken pine-tar covered bat comes flying into the stands. What do you do? You put up your arms in hopes of deflecting it. This photograph is an interesting study in crowd reflex.

click to enlarge...

All This Is That's Dead Celebrity Cook-off: President Dwight Eisenhower's vegetable soup vs. Linda McCartney's vegetable soup

President Dwight D. Eisenhower, who took office eight months before I was born and was the first President of all 50 states, gave this nearly 900 word recipe to the Women of Christ Episcopal Church, back in the 1950's. Wiki Answers calls it "the best recipe for vegetable soup."

We have to give Ike a generous mulligan on this one. Back then, you could still call a soup made with a beef bone ("the bigger the better"), chicken parts, and "a couple pounds of ordinary soup meat, either beef or mutton" a vegetable soup. Linda McCartney's soup, on the other hand, is even vegan. You do have to give Ike a point for using such a hip ingredient as nasturtiums. Linda McCartney's soup is magnificent: the best I've had and the only pure vegetable soup I make. Her much briefer recipe follows DDE's. Ike was well-known for his cooking and grilling, particularly for his steaks, cornmeal flapjacks, and his "vegetable soup."

First up, Ike's recipe, verbatim:

"The best time to make vegetable soup is a day or so after you have had fried chicken and out of which you have saved the necks, ribs, backs uncooked. (The chicken is not essential, but does add something.)

"Procure from the meat market a good beef soup bone, the bigger the better. It is a rather good idea to have it split down the middle so the marrow is exposed. In addition, buy a couple pounds of ordinary soup meat, either beef or mutton, or both.

"Put all this meat, early in the morning, in a big kettle. The best kind is heavy aluminum, but a good iron pot will do almost as well. Put in also the bony parts of the chicken you have saved. Cover it with water, something on the order of 5 quarts. Add a teaspoon of salt, a bit of black pepper and, if you like, a touch of garlic (one small piece). If you don’t like garlic put in onion. Boil all this slowly all day long. Keep on boiling until the meat has literally dropped off the bone. If your stock boils down during the day, add enough water from time to time to keep the meat covered. When the whole thing has practically disintegrated pour out into another large kettle through a colander. Make sure the marrow is out of the bones. Let this drain through the colander for quite awhile as much of the juice will drain out of the meat. (Shake the colander to help get out all the juices.)

"Save a few of the better pieces of meat just to cut up a little bit in small pieces to put into your soup after it is done. Put the kettle containing the stock you now have in a very cool place, outdoors in the winter or in the ice box; let it stand all night and the next day until you are ready to make your soup.

"You will find that a hard layer of fat has formed on top of the stock which can usually be lifted off since the whole kettle full of stock has jelled. Some people like a little bit of the fat left on and some like their soup very rich and do not remove more than about half of the fat.

'Put the stock back into your kettle and you are ready to make your soup.

"In a separate pan, boil slowly about a third of a teacupful of barley. This should be cooked separately since it has a habit, in a soup kettle, of settling to the bottom and if your fire should happen to get too hot it is likely to burn. If you cannot get barley, use rice, but it is a poor substitute.

"One of the secrets of making good vegetable soup is not to cook any of the vegetables too long. however it is impossible to give you an exact measure of the vegetables you should put in because some people like their vegetable soup almost as thick as stew, others like it much thinner. Moreover, sometimes you can get exactly the vegetables you want, other times you have to substitute. Where you use canned vegetables, put them in only a few minutes before taking the coup off the fire. If you use fresh ones, naturally they must be fully cooked in the soup. The things put into the soup are about as follows:

"1 quart of canned tomatoes
1/2 teacupful of fresh peas. If you can’t get peas, a handful of good green beans cut up very small can substitute
2 normal sized potatoes, diced into cubes of about 1/2 inch size
2 or 3 bunches of good celery
1 good sized onion, sliced
3 nice-sized carrots diced about the same size as potatoes
1 turnip diced like the potatoes
a handful of raw cabbage cut into small pieces
Your vegetables should not all be dumped in at once. The potatoes, for example, will cook more quickly than the carrots. Your effort must be to have them all nicely cooked, but not mushy, at about the same time.

"The fire must not be too hot but the should should be kept bubbling.

"When you figure the soup is about done, put in your barley, which should now be fully cooked, add a tablespoonful of prepared gravy seasoning and taste for flavoring, particularly salt and pepper, and if you have it, some onion salt, garlic salt, and celery salt. (If you cannot get the gravy seasoning, use one teaspoonful of Worcestershire Sauce.)

"Cut up the few bits of meat you have saved and put a handful in the soup.

"While you are cooking the soup do not allow the liquid to boil down too much. Add a bit of water from time to time. If your stock was good and thick when you started, you can add more water than if it was thin when you started.

"As a final touch, in the springtime when the nasturtiums are green and tender, you can take a few nasturtium stems, cut them up in small pieces , boil them separately as you did the barley, and add them to your soup."

And now, Linda McCartney's justly famous vegetable soup:

Linda McCartney was born 12 years before me, and eventually married one of our generation's great heroes: Paul McCartney. She was a photographer, and later a highly-regarded vegetarian cook, and food entrepreneur.

This recipe is from her excellent cookbook, Linda McCartney's Home Cooking (Arcade Publishing, 1989). When I make this soup, I only change a couple of things: I add a couple more cloves of garlic (I'm an addict), I peel the potatoes, and I probably use a heavier hand with the parsley and thyme. The recipe doesn't mention it, but after you add the tomatoes, I usually only cook the soup about five more minutes. I like this recipe because it tastes great and it is open-ended. However, she got it right, so you don't want to not stray too far from her instructions.

Linda Macca's Vegetable Soup
Total time: 1 hour 30 minutes
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 large onion, peeled and chopped
2 cups trimmed (greens included), cleaned and sliced leeks
2 cups chopped celery
1 clove garlic, crushed
1 1/2 cups unpeeled, sliced carrots
1 cup shredded cabbage
2 cups unskinned cubed new potatoes
1 teaspoon fresh thyme
1 teaspoon fresh rosemary
1 teaspoon fresh parsley
6 cups vegetable stock (fresh or canned)
8 medium tomatoes or 1 16-ounce can of crushed tomatoes
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste.

1. Heat the oil in a soup pot over medium flame, and saute the onions, leeks, celery and garlic for 5 minutes. Do not brown the garlic.

2. Add the carrots, cabbage and potatoes. Stir well. Add the thyme, rosemary and parsley. Cover with vegetable stock and simmer, covered, for 1 hour. Stir occasionally, adding water if evaporation is excessive.

3. If you are using fresh tomatoes, place them on top of the simmering liquid for about 2 minutes, or until their skins can be easily peeled away. Remove the tomatoes with a slotted spoon, and when they are cool enough to handle, remove the skins. Gently crush the whole skinned tomatoes and stir them into the soup. If you are using canned tomatoes, stir them, liquid and all, into the soup.

4. Season to taste. Serve hot.

Ralph "Dingbat" Nader says Obama will pick Hillary as his running mate

By Pablo Fanque,
All This Is That National Affairs Editor

Ralph "Dingbat" Nader called today to tell them he didn't think Barack Obama would select Senators Joe Biden, Evan Bayh, or Virginia Governor Tim Kaine as his running mate. The political mastermind--who these days is perhaps best known as the spoiler in the 2000 election who allowed George Bush to become President--offered his bizarre theory that Hillary Clinton has the VP slot in the bag.

"I don’t think he’s that dumb,” said Nader, commenting on public "short list" of Obama’s choices.

"The smart pick, " Nader said, "is Hillary Rodham Clinton."

Nader phoned Politico Tuesday afternoon to prediction a surprise choice of Clinton is what Obama has had in mind all along. But what about their apparent distrust and distaste for each other after the bruising primary battled? “He just has to swallow hard and do what JFK did” when he chose rival LBJ as his running mate in 1960.

The liberal "activist" and maverick (renegade, rogue?) presidential candidate has spoken. Was my article about Joe Biden yesterday wrong? No way. . .and if you believe anything that comes out of his piehole, well then friendo, I have some land in Florida I'd like to sell you.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Another All This Is That List: A few things you didn't know about the President of the United States

click to enlarge...

John Quincy Adams, our 6th President, often skinny-dipped in the Potomac River on summer mornings. [See All This Is That: POTUS 6: President John Quincy Adams - First Son Of A President To Become President And The First President To Become A Congressman Post-White House]

William Henry Harrison was inaugurated on an extremely cold day and "caught a cold that developed into pneumonia" [ed's note: hmmmm...we know now that cold weather neither causes colds or pneumonia]. He died exactly one month after becoming the 9th President. [See Jack's portrait and biography of Harrison here: 166 Years Ago Today, William Henry Harrison Became The Fastest President Ever.]

John Tyler, POTUS No. 10, fathered 15 children with two wives. Number 15 arrived when he was 70. [See Jack's portrait and bio of Tyler here: POTUS 10: Pres. John Tyler - The First Accidental President]

The 11th president of the United States James Polk survived a gall bladder surgery when he was 17. The only anaesthetic was brandy. [See All This Is That: POTUS 11: Pres. James Polk - The Man With The Mullet]

Lanky Link a/k/a Abraham Lincoln, the 16th President, often carried letters, bills, and notes in his stovepipe hat. [See All This Is That: POTUS 16: Pres. Abraham Lincoln - The Most Beloved President?]

The 17th U.S. president Andrew Johnson never went to school. Ever. His wife, Eliza McCardle, taught him to write when he was 17. [See All This Is That: POTUS 17: Pres. Andrew Johnson - The Worst President Ever]

James Garfield was ambidextrous and multilingual. The 20th president of the United States could write--[ed's note: is this cool, or what?] at the same time--Greek with one hand and Latin with the other. [See All This Is That: POTUS 20: Pres. James Garfield]

The ubiquitous toy, the teddy bear, arose from 26th U.S. president Theodore ("Teddy") Roosevelt's refusal to shoot a bear with her cub on a hunting trip in Mississippi. [See All This Is That: POTUS 26: President Theodore Roosevelt - The Roughrider]

32nd president of the United States Franklin D. Roosevelt was related, either by blood or by marriage, to 11 former presidents. [See All This Is That: POTUS 32: President Franklin Delano Roosevelt - The Man In The Wheelchair Who Lifted The Country On His Shoulders; The Only POTUS To Win Four Terms]

The letter "S" in the 33rd president's name, is just that. His middle name is S. Harry S. Truman's middle name came from two of his grandfathers, whose names both had "S" in them. [See All This Is That: POTUS 33: President Harry Truman - "The Buck Stops Here"]

Military leader and 34th president of the U.S. Dwight D. Eisenhower loved to cook; he developed a recipe for vegetable soup that is 894 words long and includes the stems of nasturtium flowers as one of the ingredients. See, separate post today, that includes his recipe. [For more detail on President Eisenhower, see All This Is That: POTUS 34: Pres. Dwight D. Eisenhower - A Most Detached President]

40th president of the United States Ronald Reagan broke the so-called "20-year curse," in which every president elected in a year ending in 0 died in office. Ronald Reagan broke the curse, and George Bush looks like he will carry on the tradition! [See All This Is That: POTUS 40: Pres. Ronald "Dutch" Reagan - B Movie Actor To President]

George W. Bush, 43rd president of the United States, and his wife Laura were married three months after meeting each other. [See All This Is That: POTUS 43: Pres. George W. Bush - One Of The Nearly 5% Of Presidents Who Are Sons Of Presidents]

Obama settles on Joe Biden for his Vice-President

By Pablo Fanque
All This Is That National Affairs Editor

Senator Barack Obama is ready to announce a running mate, according to an article by Adam Nagourney and Jeff Zeleny in the New York Times/International Herald Tribune.

Barack Obama has settled on his choice for a running mate and set the stage for a multi-pronged, multimedia rollout that begins with a crack of dawn alert to supporterss via a wide-spread text message to be transmitted to cell phones and Blackberries around the country.

The article said "Aides said perhaps a half-dozen advisers were involved in the final discussions in an effort to enforce a command that Obama issued to staff members: that his decision not leak out until supporters are notified."

The Senator has focused in recent days on two Senators and a Governor: Senator Evan Bayh (IN), Governor Tim Kaine (VA) and Senator Joseph Biden Jr. (DE). Falling off the list were Hillary Clinton (on the list because "She'd be on anyone's short list"), Governor Bill Richardson (I how Richardson ended up in the doghouse? and Kansas Governor Kathleen Sebelius, who has been a very strong contender, but in the end her selection would only have riled up the pro-Hillary faction of the party, in addition to being virtually unknown in the rest of the country (not unlike Governor Kaine).

The Obama machine may be virtually leak-proof, but I hold in my hands an email sent to us through a circuit of anonymous internet remailers. The email was originally sent from an Apple Macintosh at a Kinkos in McLean, Virginia and includes just enough detail to leave no doubt about its veracity. The email informs us that Barack Obama has selected fellow congressman, Senator Joe Biden as his running mate.

And if you doubt our veracity, you'll just have to wait until Wednesday morning, when Barack Obama unveils his choice. For our part, it's a great choice. It will be most interesting to watch Obama attempt to keep the ebullient, gregarious and oh-so-talkative Joe Biden in check. With Obama increasingly under fire from the Republicans on defense matters, and not making any headway in the national polls, he had no choice but to select Biden. Biden presided over two of the most fractious Supreme Court nominations ever (Clarence Thomas, and the Robert Bork fiasco), in addition to being a prominent, active, and thoughtful member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee

We know Senator Biden will accept the post. He said so in a June 22, 2008 interview on NBC's Meet the Press.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Video: Be a game tester!

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Japanese African-American Slang Dictionary

Randall C. Miller, Jr. has published a book of African-American slang for the Japanese audience. Here are some of the more family-friendly of the pages in the book: