Drumwaster's Rants

February 2006
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Recent entries

Generation Gap
President's Day
Yum Yum Klum
This week's selection
Lock, Stock, and Two Smoking Files
Democrats, Republicans, Five Spice Salmon, and Cuba
Either this man is lying or the Democrats are
An odd question
Open Ports, Open Borders
More thoughts on Abu Ghraib



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There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies, and statistics. - Benjamin Disraeli

Monday, February 20, 2006

Generation Gap

Val Prieto has a link on his blog about a brave schoolteacher who takes it upon herself to challenge students who wear those t-shirts that have Che Guevara’s picture on them. It’s worth clicking over and reading Val’s other entries on the topic, but if you’re too lazy or just lack the time, you can find it here. In summary, the schoolteacher asks her students questions like whether or not they would wear a shirt with Hitler’s face on it, receiving looks from the students as if she was a two-headed serpent. I think it’s hard to people to understand how good we have it in the good ol’ U.S. of A. sometimes - face it, we’re spoiled. The vast majority of us realize how good we have it, and I think it’s displayed through our hard work and tenacity. You’d be hard pressed to find a modern country that works as hard as American’s have over the past 300 years or so, and you’ll be equally challenged in finding a country that has had as many developements as we have in such a short period of time. Hopefully we’re not losing our knack for creation, and I sure as hell hope that we can launch a better Olympic team within the next four years.

Anyway, speaking of Cuba, I was down at the Havana Beach Cafe over the weekend. It’s a bit of a drive from my house, but if you live in or around the central Los Angeles area, my estimates will put you in a seat in the restaurant in about 15 minutes. It’s well worth it, and after trying at least 10 Cuban restaurants in the Los Angeles and Orange County areas, this one takes the cake. I start off every meal with an order of Papas Rellenas. They’re potato-breaded balls filled with a seasoned ground beef, and they make every Cuban meal complete. Here’s a recipe I found and fine-tuned after being exposed to these guys a few years back:

Papas Rellenas

Red Onion Garnish:

1/2 cup lime juice
1 1/2 tsps. aji amarillo (hot yellow pepper, peeled, seeded and purèed)
1 1/2 tsps. sugar
4 1/2 cups red onions, very thinly sliced
as needed salt


1 lb., 4 oz. beef top round steak, well-trimmed
8 oz. onion, quartered
8 oz. tomatoes, quartered
1 each bay leaf
1 1/2 qts. water
2 tsps. vegetable oil
12 oz. diced onions
1 tsp. chopped garlic
4 tsps. all-purpose flour
2 tsps. dried oregano
3/4 tsp. paprika
Cayenne pepper, as needed
1 1/2 Tbsps. chopped green olives
1 1/2 Tbsps. raisins
Salt and pepper, to taste

Potato wrap:

8 lbs. white potatoes, peeled and quartered
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
Salt, as needed

1. For the red onion garnish: Whisk together lime juice, hot pepper and sugar. Pour over onions; season to taste with salt, and chill overnight. Drain before using.

2. For the picadilllo: In a stockpot, combine beef, quartered onions, tomatoes, bay leaf and water. Bring to a boil; reduce heat, cover, and simmer until beef is tender, about 2 hours. Cool; chop beef into 1/8” dice. Strain cooking liquid; reserve 3/4 cup. In sautè pan, heat oil until hot. Sautè diced onion and garlic until onion is soft, about 5 minutes. Stir in 4 tsps. flour, oregano, paprika and cayenne pepper. Add beef, reserved cooking liquid, olives and raisins; bring to boil. Reduce heat and simmer 5 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Cover and chill before using.

3. For the potato wrap: Place potatoes in a pot; cover with cold water and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer until potatoes are tender, about 15 minutes. Drain; pass hot potatoes through a ricer. Stir in 1 cup flour until blended; season to taste with salt. Cover and chill before using.

4. Flour hands well. Place 1/2 cup potato mixture in the palm of your hand; make an indentation for the filling. Add 2 Tbsps. picadillo mixture; wrap potato around filling to enclose completely. Shape into flat oval. Place on well-floured sheet pan. Repeat with remaining ingredients to form a total of 24 papas rellenas. Cover; chill before using.

5. For each serving: In a sautè pan, heat 1 Tbsp. vegetable oil; cook 1 papa rellena until browned on both sides and heated through. Serve with 2 Tbsps. red onion garnish.


Posted by Helo at 07:31 PM | (0) Comments | (0) Trackbacks
Category: Heroes |

President's Day

So… which of the 42 prior Presidents have been the best? Which were the worst?

And tell me why.

(I’m taking Dubya out of the running because he is still in the Hot Seat, and we won’t know all that facts for several years anyway.)

Posted by Drumwaster at 10:45 AM | (5) Comments | (0) Trackbacks
Category: Politics |

Sunday, February 19, 2006

Yum Yum Klum

I always enjoy optical illusions.

But these will get you in trouble if you are at work.

You have been warned

Posted by Drumwaster at 08:42 PM | (2) Comments | (0) Trackbacks
Category: Sports |

This week's selection

This week’s selection was a little ditty written by Bruce “The Boss” Springsteen, who had mild success with it. It was redone by Manfred Mann’s Earth Band, with a few minor changes to the lyrics and it went all the way to #1 of Billboard’s Hot 100 for 1977.

So I now present to you the extended version of “Blinded By The Light”.

Right-Click to save, and lyrics can be found below the fold…

(No, I don’t know what they are supposed to “really” mean.)

Posted by Drumwaster at 12:06 PM | (0) Comments | (0) Trackbacks
Category: Sunday Share |

Saturday, February 18, 2006

Lock, Stock, and Two Smoking Files

Can someone please explain to me why filing cabinets cost so darned much?

I’m not looking for a fireproof, metal filing cabinet. Even if I was, I would need to grab a twelve pack of Miller right afterward, because the metal variety cost about $250 bucks each. I want filing cabinets, at least two levels, in a light wood color, preferably without wheels.

Is that too much to ask? I checked out the usual spots such as Target, Wal-Mart, and IKEA, and all three of them have modular desks that cost less than a freakin’ filing cabinet.

I might go on a fantastic voyage to Home Depot, pick up some wood, and build a few filing cabinets of my own, although I imagine it’ll cost just about the same as if I buy them. Does anyone have any suggestions for a place that has filing cabinets for a decent price?

Posted by Helo at 11:07 PM | (2) Comments | (0) Trackbacks

Democrats, Republicans, Five Spice Salmon, and Cuba

In the event you couldn’t figure it out, eating is freakin’ expensive. A good portion of my already low paycheck goes toward stuffing my face, and considering that I’m on a constant diet so I can manage the infamous weight standards that California peace officers are required to maintain, I have no idea why my daily intake of lettuce and bits of chicken ravage my paycheck. To get passed this obvious problem, I started cooking and taking my lunch with me to work a few months ago. My paycheck has leveled-out a bit, and I’ve learned to cook some great stuff.

I’m going to start posting some recipes in-between rants about illegal immigration and stupid bloggers. There’s plenty of illegal immigration news on any given day, and Pajamas Media will never stop providing their own laugh track for me to broadcast to the world.

One thing that I’m absolutely sick of is politics. Democrats, if you intended to make voters too sick of the political process to run to the polls next time and vote for their favorite, you succeeded. Republicans, if you planned on making the Kool-Aids drinkers chase after your every thought, you succeeded, but the rest of us are going to hang out on the sidelines and worry about local issues. Honestly, I think that’s where the political process is heading to. The vast majority of us don’t care about national politics any longer because both sides of the aisle are full of crooks. If you think the Abramoff scandal was the biggest scandal of all time, you’re wrong. It isn’t going to make George W. Bush resign from office, and the damning photo of him standing within 500 yards of the president doesn’t make TIME Magazine look like anything other than the dopes they’ve been for the past decade or so. Oh well, I’d rather post a delicious recipe for Five Spice Salmon:

1 teaspoon olive oil
3 tablespoons soy sauce
3 tablespoons of white wine vinegar
1 tablespoon honey
1 tablespoon lime juice or lemon juice
1 teaspoon five-spice powder
1-1/2 pounds salmon fillet, skinned and cut into 1-inch strips
2 egg whites
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1-1/4 cups olive oil
6 green onions, sliced into 2-inch pieces
1/2 cup light fish stock, chicken stock or water
Lime wedges
Steamed white rice

In a large bowl, combine olive oil, soy sauce, white wine vinegar, honey, lime juice and five-spice powder. Add salmon strips and toss gently to coat. Let them marinate for 30 minutes. In a small dish, beat egg whites and cornstarch until soft peaks form. Add salmon strips and toss gently to coat completely.

Heat the olive oil in the wok until hot. Add the salmon, and make sure the pieces are moist. Fry them for 2 to 3 minutes until golden, turning once. Remove when they’re crispy, and set them aside. Add the green onions, stock and pepper sauce to the wok and simmer them in the leftover marinade for about 1 to 2 minutes. Add fish and turn gently to coat. Cook 1 minute until hot. Garnish with lime and serve with rice. Makes 4 servings, ready in 45 minutes.

The only reason I began to care about Cuba four or five years ago was because they had such great food. A Cuban girl dragged me to a restaurant and I immediately fell in love with it. Since then, I’ve been pissed-off at Castro for being a commie-nutjob who refuses to allow the rest of the world to experience the wonderful delicacies of Cuba without bowing down to the dying theory known as communism. I think we’re all going to have to face the facts that we, the United States, isn’t going to do anything about Cuba because Castro is so close to kicking the can. When he dies, there will be enough support from the citizens of Cuba to take a stab at the next guy Castro has lined up. At least that’s what we’re hoping.

So, in summary, it looks like we’re going to have less politics and more food coming from good ol’ Helo. That doesn’t mean I won’t speak up when I see something that amazes me, such as our ports being handed over on a silver platter to the Middle East, or a bunch of idiots running around screaming jihad over cartoons. I don’t think I could ever let that slide. I just wanted to point out that I’ll be posting some delicious recipes that should save you at least $150 bucks a month of crappy budget sit-down restaurant food.

Posted by Helo at 10:26 PM | (3) Comments | (0) Trackbacks
Category: Miscellaneous |

Either this man is lying or the Democrats are

Of course, given that this man, Mulla Dadallah, is a Taliban military commander, I’d be more likely to believe his statements, especially concerning their intentions.

"We Will Continue to Fight America Even If It Withdraws from Afghanistan"

Wait, I thought Murtha said that pulling out of the region would bring us peace with the Muslim extremists…

"Our terms for ending the war are that America withdraw from Iraq and Afghanistan, and that it unconditionally stop harming the Muslims. Then we will consider negotiating with them."

Oh, so we surrender and pull out, and then you’ll “consider” negotiating with us? Hhmmmmmmmmmmmm… No, I think we’ll just keep kicking your ass every chance we get and let you keep attacking the innocent civilians, because it seems to be working pretty well.

The infidels attacked the Islamic world

Lest we forget.

So I’ll tell you what, scumbag. Throw down your weapons, and you and all of your men walk backwards towards any American military grouping with your fingers interlaced atop your head, and we might let you live a long (although confined) life. Otherwise, fuck you, fuck Osama and fuck your distorted version of Mohammed, ‘cause we gonna throw down so hard you won’t even know you’re dead until Mohammed taps you on the shoulder and asks, “Deep-fried or extra-crispy?”.

Molon Labe, Murthafarkers!

Posted by Drumwaster at 06:57 PM | (1) Comments | (0) Trackbacks
Category: War on Terrorism |

Friday, February 17, 2006

An odd question

I was driving this morning and happened to hear a song I liked on the CD player, but I had missed the first few lines, so I flipped the “rewind” switch to send the player back to the beginning of the song. (Weird Al Yankovic. Why?)

Anyhow, it struck me that the switch would also send the radio scanning downward to the next station on the dial if I hadn’t been listening to a CD, which got me thinking.

That would make it a multipurpose contextual control, where what the switch does changes depending on the circumstances at the time the switch was activated, much like a mouse click will do different things, depending on where the pointer is at the time of the click.

My question is, when was this kind of thing first used? Was it for computers? Is this controlled by Boolean logic gates?

Anyone know?

Posted by Drumwaster at 03:53 PM | (2) Comments | (0) Trackbacks
Category: Miscellaneous | Weirdness |

Thursday, February 16, 2006

Open Ports, Open Borders

There’s something wrong with the world when Chuck Schumer and I happen to agree on something. In fact, I’m willing to admit that I think Schumer is more right than he’s ever been when it comes to the issue of Dubai Ports World taking over as the contractor for a number of large ports in the United States.

The U.S. government should urgently review the security implications of a $6.8 billion deal granting a Dubai-based company management over key ports including New York, U.S. lawmakers said on Thursday, citing terrorism concerns.

Analysts and port sources doubted the takeover of British company P&O by Dubai Ports World would have any impact on security. They cited multiple layers of screening and protection involved in global shipping, particularly among such major operators.

P&O shareholders voted on Monday in favor of the multibillion-dollar bid, giving the United Arab Emirates-backed firm control over the management of P&O’s global operations, including in the major U.S. ports of New York and New Jersey, Baltimore, Philadelphia, New Orleans and Miami.

The deal makes Dubai Ports World the world’s third largest ports group.

“Outsourcing the operations of our largest ports to a country with a dubious record on terrorism is a homeland security and commerce accident waiting to happen,” said Sen. Charles Schumer, a New York Democrat.

Treasury spokeswoman Brookly McLaughlin said the 12-agency Committee on Foreign Investments in the United States, chaired by Treasury Secretary

John Snow, had reviewed the transaction and did not object.

Snow is a former chairman of freight rail company CSX Corp., which sold its global port assets to Dubai Ports World for $1.15 billion in 2004—the year after Snow had left the company for the Bush administration.

Stewart Baker, assistant secretary of policy at the Department of Homeland Security, said Dubai Ports World had a solid security record.

“We could not find anything concrete that led us to believe that the transaction ought to be stopped for national security reasons,” Baker told Reuters.

This is pitiful. I know that you guys think that everything is fine and dandy right now, but if Chuck Freakin’ Schumer is yelling and screaming about Homeland Security, then you guys really need to rethink your strategy. Hopefully, your next plan won’t involve selling out your country to the lowest bidder in order to make a few extra bucks, all of the while allowing terrorists to infiltrate our borders.

Posted by Helo at 11:50 PM | (0) Comments | (0) Trackbacks
Category: War on Terrorism |

More thoughts on Abu Ghraib

If one was curious, one could hit this link and see what my opinions are on the subject. 

Our culture has taken to ‘victimizing’ the enemy.  Of course, this does not take away the onus of the pics I linked to here.  They are a public relations disaster for us....aided by the fact that the MSM and the leftist elements in the New Media are spreading them faster than avian flu. 

However, given all of that, there are some things that should give us some perspective.

1.  This happened two years ago.  This is actually old news, and people recognize this.  Most of the furor ths time around is being artificially stoked, right at a time where we might be getting new info on WMD’s from newly discovered tapes and documents.  If I was a conspiracy nut, I might say the two things are related, but I’m not.  I will say, though, that the publishing of these pics is a direct shot at Bush and the United States efforts in Iraq and the War on Terror.  This is a war that the Left hates, and wishes to end (with our defeat and/or our humiliation), so they will use anything to do that.  Hence the rapid and vast publicity given these pics and videos, and the blatant difference between the treatment of these photos and the silly-ass cartoons of Muhammed

2.  Those that committed the torture have been punished.  25 soldiers and other personnel have either had their careers wrecked (and their futures forever negatively disrupted), or have been sent to prison.  Aside from a lot of hyperbole from Andrew Sullivan and the rest of the left, there is no real proof that the Administration sanctioned or actively pushed such treatment as a standard operating procedure.  Memos from Rumsfeld of the Administration saying that our national policy cannot be limited by international convention aren’t a smoking gun here.  If we did that, we would have no defense or effective deterrent to the terrorists, who have clearly shown that they would just as soon bathe in pig urine than follow the rules of ‘civilized’ warfare.  We don’t have a license to torture, that is true, and we don’t sanction it, but we cannot hamstring our ability to have that as a last, if unappealing, option, no matter our moral take on the subject.  That is why we punish the people that did it, and that is why we self-investigated the allegations. 

3.  The leadership in Iraq have gotten over this.  They aren’t happy with what happened in this situation, but they have told the Iraqi people that these actions are in the past, that this is old news, and that the United States has punished those responsible.  Can I quote?

“Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld, testifying Thursday on Capitol Hill, said the soldiers responsible for the Abu Ghraib abuses have been “punished for the behavior that was unacceptable.”

Iraq’s prime minister condemned the new images of abuse, but said those responsible had already been punished.

The Iraqi government condemns the torture practices revealed through the recent pictures that show Iraqi prisoners being tortured,” Prime Minister Ibrahim al-Jaafari’s office said in a statement. It said, however, the Iraqi government welcomed the U.S. denunciation of the pictures.

In the Middle East, where there have been widespread anti-Western protests recently over caricatures of the Prophet Muhammad, reaction has been muted.”

This is not new to them...it’s old news.  They heard about it in 2004 and 2005, and the governments in the region realize that inflaming the populace won’t help the situation.  Maybe Iran and Syria will use these pics (with their allies in the Leftist media) to incite anti-American protests, but the Iraqi people see the differences in our treatment of their prisoners now. 

There are more points, but space and time are at a premium here.  Suffice to say, this is nothing....nothing....but an attempt to smear our efforts in the WoT.  The bias of these news groups and MSM outlets is obvious and blatant (Again, how many of these same outlets refused to show the cartoons?), and that, like these photos, might anger the consumer, but is nothing new to us. 

Posted by John Cross at 01:50 PM | (4) Comments | (0) Trackbacks

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

New Abu Ghraib Pics...the Irony

Did you notice that Reuters and CNN are running the ‘new’ pics from Abu Ghraib? 

Isn’t that shocking and insensitive?  Isn’t that incendiary?  Isn’t that going to spark riots? 

Didn’t you also notice that CNN refused to show those Danish cartoons that were images of Muhammed?  Can I quote them?

“CNN is not showing the negative caricatures of the likeness of the Prophet Mohammed because the network believes its role is to cover the events surrounding the publication of the cartoons while not unnecessarily adding fuel to the controversy itself.”

Is there something that I’m missing here? 


Oh...THAT liberal media.  No bias here.  Move along. 

Update:  Michelle Malkin, as always, right on it

UPDATE #2:  Looks as if Salon is going to run the Abu Ghraib pics now, obviously not caring if they are repeating old news and causing people to die in the Arab nations.  If I may:

The other compelling reason for publishing these pictures is that the system itself broke down over Abu Ghraib. Beyond the collapse of military discipline and adherence to the basic rules of civilized behavior, Abu Ghraib also symbolized the failure of a democratic society to investigate well-documented abuses by its soldiers.”

And your reasons for not showing the Islamofascists “...collapse of military discipline and adherence to the basic rules of civilized behavior...”?  Could it be that their behavior in this (killing, burning, destroying, screaming, wounding themselves) is just as indicative of their system as our behavior in this (investigating and punishing the guilty and changing our prisoner policy) is of ours?  The answer is “Yes”, but Salon’s point in this is not to be fair....it is to harm the United States and its standing around the world. 

This is just more proof of the audience that Salon aims for, and why the Left is not an ally in the War on Terror.  Again, the Left is against unfettered capitalism and economic liberty.....and, therefore, against a United States victory in the WoT.  They resist printing the pictures of Muhammed (and proving the emotional cripples that the Islamofascists and Wahabbists truly are), but leap...LEAP...at the opportunity to show the failings of American personnel or policies. 

Posted by John Cross at 01:50 PM | (1) Comments | (2) Trackbacks

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

I like Right Thinking.com

Lee is the reason I got into blogging.....to be perfectly honest.  He is a pure blogger (like Drummy) because he blogs about what he wants to, and he is able to accept debate on his positions.  He also holds debaters in contempt who cannot give serious rationale for their stand. 

I’ve always liked that.  Period.  If you have a blog, you control both your content and your response to comments.  Lee’s politics also tend towards mine....that might be a reason I hit his blog every day. 

What I want to do, however, is put into words my opinion on this post he made here.  I’m going to make lots of ponts on the way, so be prepared to read the whole thing. 

Posted by John Cross at 02:54 PM | (3) Comments | (0) Trackbacks

Monday, February 13, 2006

California Dreamin'

What’s up with the weather in Southern California? Am I the only one scared of some monster earthquake running through the region and tearing down my house? Where I’m from, we call this earthquake weather.

Posted by Helo at 10:56 PM | (0) Comments | (0) Trackbacks
Category: Miscellaneous |

Watching the 'Lympics

In case you’ve been living under a rock or something over the last few days, the 2006 Winter Olympics are going on…

A few points:

1. Bob Costas needs to be bound and gagged and left on the side of a snowy mountain somewhere. His voice is becoming more than just mildly annoying.

2. It’s a shame that Michelle Kwan couldn’t compete. She deserves one more shot.

3. I also feel a little bad about Apolo Ohno, but he tried to pass when he didn’t need to (they would have taken the top 2 and he was in a strong 2nd place with about 10 seconds left in the race), and paid the price for it, ending up losing control and finishing 4th.

4. Shawn “The Flying Tomato” White on the men’s Halfpipe competition continues to set the standard, and it was mildly disappointing that we couldn’t sweep the medals as we did in SLC four years ago.

5. I’m looking forward to the hockey games…

Feel free to comment.

Posted by Drumwaster at 06:58 PM | (1) Comments | (0) Trackbacks
Category: Sports |

Sunday, February 12, 2006

An instrumental selection

This week, I offer a song that is purely instrumental - but just two instruments. David A. Stewart (half of the Eurythmics) on zither, and Dutch musician Candy Dulfer on alto saxophone. It is the title song from a Dutch soundtrack for a movie called De Kassiere, aka “Lily Was Here”.

The song just jams, so enjoy!

Posted by Drumwaster at 09:53 AM | (0) Comments | (0) Trackbacks
Category: Sunday Share |
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