cooking in the backyard

I used our handy dandy outdoor gas grill yesterday so I wouldn’t heat up the kitchen.

I put creamed corn and water in a small pot. One of the burners on my grill works like a stove top burner. I put the corn on that. Meanwhile I grilled sliced potatoes, onions and mushrooms. When the corn was done, I heated up the left over green beans.

When Eileen came home, she picked some more basil and we added it to the pesto I had been making in the food processor. This was excellent. I had it on my potatoes, Eileen ate it on crackers.

I served all this with a plate of fantastic sliced tomatoes dressed with olive oil, Parmesan cheese and more basil.

For dessert we had pitted cherries, blueberries and peaches with ice cream.

Life is certainly rough at casa Jenkins.

I have been very discouraged by the behavior of our leaders in Washington.  I follow Lewis Black in that he voted for Obama but  noticed a telling feature about him. He is a Democrat. He says that if Republicans stink up Washington by farting , the Democrats simply waft the aroma to their noses and go “Ahhhh.”

My congressman, Huizenga, is so far to the right of me, I have quit bothering with the letters and emails. He votes the opposite of the way I would like to see on almost every issue. He seems pretty much in lockstep with  the inexperienced, freshman reps.

It’s hard to tell how dishonest these people are being about the budget or if its sincere misreading of the situation. I still suspect at least some of them have no belief in government and simply want to kill it. Others represent interests which I am sure benefit from their presence in Washington. I am thinking mainly of business interests but I’m sure there are others.

I yelled at the television last night over my excellent supper.

The House is stalled over a bill that the Senate has vowed not to pass and the President has promised to veto.  So the actions of the House and the reporting on it seem like theater to me.

My response is to read more in two books I have been reading.

Team of Rivals by Doris Kearns Goodwin

and the Political Mind by George Lakoff.

I am convinced that the paucity of the political discussion and the reporting on it results at least in part from people who are not educated in any sense I can recognize.

By this I mean they cannot reason well, they “believe” things in their hearts that are more about their emotions and anger than reality.

Kearns tells a intricate story of Lincoln’s abilities. They are heartbreaking to read about now since America has no leaders of any real quality. I do continue to support Obama, but I do not understand much of what is happening right now and cannot coherently evaluate what he is doing. I can see coherence in his rhetoric. At the same time I am convinced that much of the rabid opposition to him is squarely seated in racism and self serving positions if not out and out corruption.

Lakoff’s book is an argument for a New Enlightenment which combines traditional American rational values like government as a societal force that protects and empowers citizens with the necessary emotional framework of a morality based on empathy not authority.

Half way through the book he starts to sound like a wild eyed idealist. I find it both attractive and sad. I think I’m one myself.


Should we teach examples of scientists falling for unscientific practices? | Code for Life

I found this link on my Twitter feed. The answer, by the way, is yes we should teach this idea since there is so much misinformation and bad science in the mix these days. It even comes from scientists. Badly educated ones.


President on Sidelines in Critical Battle Over Debt Ceiling –

Despite the headline, like so much criticism I read these days, this author doesn’t only hold the President responsible for the current crisis.


Human Run-Ins With Bears May Portend Deeper Changes –

The basic insight in this article is that it’s not just bear populations that are changing the interaction between humans and bears. It’s much more complex and includes larger human populations and different bear behavior.


This Is Called ‘Small’ Government –

This editorial outlines the recent debacle at the F.A.A. courtesy House Republicans.  Maybe you’ve heard about it.


Obama and His Discontents –

The author of this article, Ta-Nehisi Coates, critically if sympathetically analyzes a historical metaphor Obama used in a recent speech, namely the Emancipation Proclamation.


Keeping Abloom the Inspiration for Monet’s Masterpieces –

Monet’s actual garden.


Hard Times Causing Rifts Among Mariachi Bands in Los Angeles –

It’s 50 bucks an hour for the good musicians, $30 an hour for the less good.


America’s own Taliban – Opinion – Al Jazeera English

A frightening lengthy look at “dominionism”. Crazy scary stuff.


Saturn’s water mystery finally ‘solved’ – The Times of India

Water is gushing from one of Saturn’s moons to the planet. Only known instance of water coming from space to a planet in this manner. Very cool.


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