March 16, 2007
I find I'm equally appalled that there are people one could call Bushies, who are loyally following Our President's ideology (such as it is), and that these Bushies actually seem to call themselves "Bushies". Jeez.
These Bushies are the ones behind the movements to forbid abortion, forbid stem cell research, forbid homosexuality, forbid the teaching of evolution, forbid the recognition of global warming or of America's sordid imperial past, and many other social nuisances of the recent past.
Just as the Allies had to resort to "denazification" to rid German society and government of Nazi ideologies, it appears that rhe citizens of the United States are going to face something like the same ordeal when the Bush administration takes its place of honor in history.
How deep does the rot go? Everybody who was hired by the Federal (and some States') Government during the period between 2000 and 2008. How are we going to be able to tell the Bushies from the others?
December 11, 2006
Last week in the New York Times there was a piece about all the problems inherent in voting technology, and the fact that some Federal Commission (Republican, of course) had once again failed to deal with them, this time under the rubric of not wanting to "overwhelm state voting officials."
A couple days later there was an Op-Ed piece pointing out the glaring fact that vote-by-mail has been a runaway success in many states.
I now vote in Washington State, in one of the counties that are 100% mail voting, like Oregon. I'd voted in Washtenaw County, Michigan, for years as an "absentee", but in Whatcom County, Washington, all votes are mail votes.
It really seems like a good idea. Why does the USA need another divisive holiday? Let the former Election Day be the day when the votes are counted and announced. The next day can be the holiday, for celebration or recrimination, those two American sacraments. /ʔɪnʃaʕaɭɭaħ/.
November 24, 2006
Chipotle Sweet Potatoes
Well, it's The Day After Thanksgiving, here in the US (I doubt that I have any readers outside the US, but it never hurts [_] to remind outselves that the Web is international (and anyone who'd like to specify the rule that deletes the subject [_] of the preceding infinitive clause is invited to submit their version)).
Anyway, I had a lovely Thanksgiving dinner with my old friends Anthony Aristar and Helen Aristar Dry, the co-moderators of the LINGUIST LIST, who live in Ann Arbor and who are usually so busy that their friends can only snatch a few moments with them. Since they're real linguists, they're great cooks, and the dinner was wonderful.
My own contribution to the pot-luck included a side dish that I'd like to recommend here, since it solves a problem faced by anybody (like me) who's become entranced with Chiles Chipotles en Adobo, namely what to do with the chiles remaining in the can.
Chiles chipotles (which are merely smoked chiles jalapeños, though it seems they only pick very hot ones to smoke) are so hot that no recipe I've ever seen for a family-sized group ever uses more than a 2 or 3, while there are always 5 or more chiles in any small (7 oz) can that I've been able to find in groceries.
The side dish I recommend is absolutely perfect for US Thanksgiving, but also for Christmas/Kwanzaa/Chanukah: Chipotle Sweet Potatoes.
Here it is, in toto:
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2 large sweet potatoes, peeled and cubed
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 whole canned chipotle pepper in adobo sauce, chopped
1 teaspoon adobo sauce from can of peppers
1/2 teaspoon salt
Put cubed potatoes into steamer basket and place steamer into a large pot of simmering water that is no closer than 2 inches from the bottom of the basket. Allow to steam for 20 minutes or until the potatoes are fork tender.
Add butter to potatoes and mash with potato masher. Add peppers, sauce, and salt and continue mashing to combine. Serve immediately.
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I used 3 large sweet potatoes, 3 tbsp butter, and 2 chopped chiles chipotles (plus adobo to taste), and I'm here to tell you that:
- the ratio of 1 tbsp butter per large sweet potato is correct
- you don't need to keep the steamer bottom 2 inches from the water
- you don't need to serve it immediately; they can be kept warm in the oven until needed
- salt can be added by the guests (though it does need some salt)
- linguists like it hot, but non-linguists might not
- it's very good.
November 16, 2006
Read'em and weep
If it's true, as I often claim, that all real linguists are Oral Personalities, then this site may be hazardous to your health if you show any of the Seven Warning Signs of Incipient Linguistics. I've already had two people complain that they've injured themselves laughing at the stuff there.
I won't say anything more about it, but remember: You Have Been Warned.
(hat tip to Emily Birr)