-Haven't had much to say regarding who is guilty or innocent in the shooting of Michael Brown. I'm not going to either until whatever evidence is available is presented in a complete and transparent way. What we're getting now is mostly rumor and speculation that lets the pundits pundit and the talking heads talk. If you read or listen carefully though, most of it is one side or the other playing up the evidence that suits their case. Not really a surprise, but it unfortunately sets up various false narratives that will be turned to stone by the time the real evidence is presented. I'm not going to waste my time.
“To be honest, if they don’t come and restore these neighborhoods for these people, like when you gotta go travel miles to Walmart and to get gas and stuff like that, it should be right here. If they don’t restore this community for people who stay here it’s gonna be hell to pay…"
So if somebody doesn't come in and rebuild the gas station that was torched and looted, you'll what? Burn some more businesses down? That sounds inspiring to me. Not.
-I think I'll buy a Whopper today(and some onion rings). I'm tired of the whining about companies taking advantage of completely legal tax reduction strategies, the latest being Burger King. How many of the whiners voluntarily paid more taxes than they had to last year? Not that companies moving their headquarters out of the country isn't a problem, but the solution is to bring our tax rate in line with the rest of the world. And clean up the tax code with its mess of loopholes and credits at the same time. That would require real leadership from our political elites when all they are really capable of is posturing and whining.
-Looking forward to heading up north this week. Going to get out on the big water for the first time in awhile.
-Got into it a little the other day with someone who insists that the only job creators out there are consumers, who create jobs by their demand. Demand for their product(s) or service(s) is an important condition for the success of most companies, but demand does not satisfy itself. Someone has to create the supply, generally by building a company, hiring workers, buying supplies, etc. However, I think he was too invested in the "You didn't build that" narrative to give an inch. In his mind, if the consumers are the real job creators then the capitalists aren't really entitled to their evil profits, so we can take them. In the real world, that, of course, mean less investors, less goods, less jobs, and more poverty. I get the sinking feeling though, that more and more people are buying into the fantasy.
Anyone looking for a spaghetti meat sauce that is gluten/msg free, here's one variation I made this past weekend.
2 to 2.5 lbs of 80 to 85% ground beef.
1 small or 1/2 of a large green pepper.
1 medium white onion.
3 to 4 ounces of baby bella(or white) mushrooms.
2 tablespoons of butter.
1 6 oz can of Hunt's tomato paste.
1 29 oz can of Hunt's tomato sauce.
3 cloves of garlic(diced or from a garlic press). or 3/4 tsp of garlic powder.
2 tsp Italian seasoning.
1 tsp salt
1 tsp sugar
Small chop the green pepper, onion, and mushrooms. Over low-medium heat, melt the butter in a medium-sized frying or saute pan. When the butter is melted, mix in the pepper, onion, and mushroom and cover, stirring every few minutes for the next half hour. The goal is to soften the vegetables, not brown them.
After the veggies have lightly sauteed for half an hour, brown the ground beef in a separate 5-qt. sauce pan over medium heat, stirring frequently and breaking it up into fine pieces. When the ground beef is just browned, but not totally cooked, drain 2/3 to 3/4 of the fat and juices and resume browning. Add the Italian seasoning, salt, and the garlic and continue browning the ground beef by stirring frequently for several minutes until fully cooked. If you do want the veggies slightly caramelized, turn the heat up on them now(but watch them closely).
Add the tomato sauce, paste, and sugar to the ground beef and stir in completely. Bring that sauce back to a strong simmer and then toss in the pepper/onion/mushroom mix, including all the butter/juices, and mix well.
Reduce heat to a low simmer and cover. Stir occasionally for the next hour, remixing any moisture that collects on the lid. Remove from heat for about five minutes before serving over spaghetti. Barilla has a good gluten free spaghetti that I've used in the past.
It also makes a good sloppy joe mix if cooked down to that consistency and topped with some cheese, or mixed 50-50 with rice it makes what my mom called Spanish rice when I was a kid.
Minnehaha Creek begins at the Gray's Bay dam on Lake Minnetonka and winds its way 22 miles east to the Mississippi. It passes through some very fine parts of the the Twin Cities along the way, and when the water levels are right it can be a very enjoyable raft or canoe trip.
When my parents first moved back to Minneapolis in 1968 they bought a house only two blocks from Minnehaha Park and the falls there. My friends and I(and siblings) spent many summer days roaming the park and following the creek down to the river. Even though we were only 7 or 8 at the time there was no adult supervision. We all knew about when we should be home and we all looked out for each other. The four years we lived in that house and played in the park, not one of us was accosted by a stranger or had to be rescued. Sure, there were some skinned knees and our share of bumps and bruises, but that just came with the territory of being a kid.
After a two year stint in a suburb outside of Atlanta, my parents moved us all back to south Minneapolis and the creek again, only this time about 4 miles west of the first house. Minnehaha Park was too far away to visit every day, but the bike and foot paths along the creek and through various woods from Lake Nokomis to Lake Harriet made up for that.
We went back to Minnehaha Park again when family came into town the first week of August. Remember how Minnehaha Falls looked back in July?(click on any pic to enlarge)
Here's what it looked like four weeks later:
Not quite the same angle, but in July there was 300cf/s going over the dam at Gray's Bay and in August that was down to a still healthy 200cf/s. It shows.
That's my nephew Liam in the middle and one of his first casts as a fisherman. That's my sister Nancy supervising on the left after she rigged Liam up with a leech and a bobber. That's Dad on the right, keeping an eye on his own setup.
We only got two keeper crappies that day, but we caught lots of smaller fish and everyone had fun. We did better the next week.
A teenager is fatally shot by a police officer; the police are accused of being bloodthirsty, trigger-happy murderers; riots erupt. This, we are led to believe, is the way of things in America.
It is also a terrible calumny; cops are not murderers. No officer goes out in the field wishing to shoot anyone, armed or unarmed. And while they’re unlikely to defend it quite as loudly during a time of national angst like this one, people who work in law enforcement know they are legally vested with the authority to detain suspects — an authority that must sometimes be enforced. Regardless of what happened with Mike Brown, in the overwhelming majority of cases it is not the cops, but the people they stop, who can prevent detentions from turning into tragedies.
Brushing aside the fact that some cops, like in all professions, turn out to be murderers, the above is generally true. But then the writer, after a few reasonable points, goes downhill, resulting in this:
Even though it might sound harsh and impolitic, here is the bottom line: if you don’t want to get shot, tased, pepper-sprayed, struck with a baton or thrown to the ground, just do what I tell you. Don’t argue with me, don’t call me names, don’t tell me that I can’t stop you, don’t say I’m a racist pig, don’t threaten that you’ll sue me and take away my badge. Don’t scream at me that you pay my salary, and don’t even think of aggressively walking towards me. Most field stops are complete in minutes. How difficult is it to cooperate for that long?
Hmmm...let me think about that. You know, carefully consider it. And after carefully considering it, here's my response to the writer, an LAPD officer and "professor of homeland security":
Don't argue with you? Don't call you a name? Or what? I'm going to get "shot, tased, pepper-sprayed, struck with a baton or thrown to the ground"? Am I among the citizens you have sworn to protect and serve or am I a subject who must abjectly submit and obey your every command? Because here's the deal, I've never argued with a cop or called him/her a name, but that's out of respect for the job they have to do and the often difficult role they play in our society, not fear. If that chucklehead, or any other cop, thinks he's going to instead get my cooperation by instilling fear in me he's heading down a bad, bad, road for both of us.
There are lots of things I've been mulling over about police/citizen interactions in the wake of events in Ferguson, MO. I want to be fair to both the police and the communities they serve across the country. That editorial helps the police side of that not one bit.
Been busy with family stuff the last few days. All of my siblings made it into a town for a family reunion on my dad's side this past Sunday down in Lake City, MN. Most of that side of the family lives on farms or in small towns in SE Minnesota and we've stayed in contact, but not real close contact, especially with the kids and now grandkids of our cousins. If I understand it correctly, the latter would be our first cousins once and twice removed respectively. But correct me if I'm wrong.
The reunion went great, as have the other events and tourist stuff we did the last week. Two sisters, one nephew, and one BIL are leaving today. The other nephew and another sister leave Thursday. We should be able to get one more day of fishing in tomorrow before they head back east for work and college.
We went back to Lock and Dam #1 yesterday and the difference in the river compared to July is dramatic. I'll try to post some pics tonight.
Thus it was they journeyed homeward; Thus it was that Hiawatha To the lodge of old Nokomis Brought the moonlight, starlight, firelight, Brought the sunshine of his people, Minnehaha, Laughing Water, Handsomest of all the women In the land of the Dacotahs, In the land of handsome women.