Thursday, January 28, 2010

More low-carb stuff you don't care about

Broiled salmon with lemon-pepper rub and wasabi mustard for lunch, with a side of those green pepper . . . . things from last night. Why did I ever stop doing this?

Oh, right. Sandwiches and Oreos.

Low Carb Time

Going back to the only "diet" that ever really worked well for me after the kids came along (if you don't think dad puts on baby weight, look around next time you're at a short-people basketball game or dance recital.)

Right now I'm actually really enjoying it. I'm in that phase where the cravings for sugar and bread and rice start to subside, and I'd forgotten how much fun it is to get up and make a big sloppy omelet with cheese and onions and peppers and ham and pepper sauce and black coffee . . . . "diet food." Last night I made some sort of concoction of orange, lemon, pineapple and honey to glaze chicken and rice for the family, and I had two chicken breasts rubbed with lemon-pepper and a green pepper, quartered and sprinkled with chopped onions, parmesan, mozzarella and some green-olive-based stuff that The Boss over at TFL sent in a Christmas basket--it's like bruschetta without all the tomato. Delicious.

I doubt I'll lose much at this time. It's later, when the diet leads you to eat less and less, that you really shed pounds. In my experience, there's no "magic" to this diet the way the "eat more, lose weight!" crowd paints it. Instead, I found that after a week or two of splurging on cheese and bacon and steak, I ended up consistently eating under 2000 calories per day, most of them from protein, some from fat, and almost none from starch or sugar. Not magic, but it works.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

From Comments: Stay off my side, hippie.

So Andy Martin stopped by to leave a comment on the post about Scott Brown's upset in Massachusett's Senate race:
My campaign is the big winner from the “Massachusetts Message,” because we are the only campaign nimble enough to react quickly. We will have a new statewide ad up this Friday. Patrick Hughes is dead in the water.

Andy Martin

Right. What Mr. Martin didn't mention is that his "nimble" campaign will probably, if history is a guide, "react quickly" with an ad explaining that only a vote for Andy Martin can prevent the Jew World Order from building its alliance with Barack Obama's secret Muslim terrorist brotherhood. There's no point in re-hashing all the insanity here, since Media Matters has been nice enough to compile most of the craziness in one place. See? I told you I could be independent. Don't stop reading before you get to the bottom, or you'll regret it. The highlights go something like this:

  • Andy Martin used to be Anthony Martin-Trigona.
  • Andy Martin graduated from the University of Illinois law school, but was denied admission to the bar because he did some weird, unprofessional things in courts and because the Selective Service had declared that he suffered from mild mental illness.
  • Andy Martin has filed hundreds of lawsuits, maybe thousands, spanning decades. He sues the other party, but is known for then vindictively suing the judge, opposing lawyers, their families . . . . this is not an exaggeration on my part, but is well documented in court decisions.
  • Remember when the Birthers were saying that Islamic law states that you're Muslim if your father was a Muslim, so Barack Obama has to be a Muslim even if he renounced the faith or even never practiced it because he just is, OK? Yup, that came from Andy Martin (that is to say, he takes credit for it.)
  • Andy Martin believes (or believed?) that there is a widespread Jewish conspiracy to bankrupt him and steal his property, and that the evil Joos work as a "wolf pack" within a "national network" of Jews. Opposing this "herd instinct" of "slimy Jew" thieves is so exhausting and frustrating, he wrote, that it brought him around to understanding why the Nazis committed the Holocaust and prevented him from feeling regret that it happened.
In short, I hope you get the help you need someday, Andy Martin. You do not appear to be operating with your faculties in good working order. I think you'd be shocked how much your life would change if you took a year or two off from running for the Senate and sending out wacko emails and just concentrated on finding a professional to talk to about your life.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

I have good news and bad news

The good news is that Bushmaster is saying the ACR (neƩ "Masada") rifle vaporware is finally going to precipitate. The bad news is that they've disclosed the price.

Hat tipped to Tamara . . . . this is honestly the best use of the Hitler scene I've seen yet. They use "Steiner" and "Stalin" at the right times, and I LOL.

New Woodsman .22 pistols? Great, but . . . .

Will USFA be selling new magazines separately? That's what I've been waiting for.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

"It's not Obama's seat, it's the people's seat?"

They should be. Scott Brown has defeated Martha Coakley, but I bet you knew that.

This makes me think of Illinois politics . . . . because everything brings me back to Illinois politics sooner or later. Here's the thing . . . Illinois has not had quite the streak of Democrat Senators that Massachusettes has . . . . but we're a blue state, no doubt about it. And we happen to be holding an election to replace a liberal icon of our own; if you haven't heard, the seat occupied by Barack Obama before we foisted him off on the rest of you is up for grabs in a contested election. It seems to me that the Illinois campaign should be able to use a lot of what Scott Brown's campaign did well . . . particularly, running against the Obama agenda and tying the Democrat candidate to Obama. To be sure, the Democrats should be a lot more serious in the Illinois race than Coakley was in Massachusettes, but their candidate will probably be Alexi Giannoulias, whose main claim to fame is that he played pro basketball in Europe and now plays pickup one-on-one with Barack Obama. I'm sure his people are weighing options, but I see no way for him to distance himself from Obama. On the other hand, Obama is still hugely popular among Chicago Democrats as far as I know.

Of more interest to me at the moment is the Republican primary set for February 2nd. Does the Scott Brown campaign affect that race? I think it does. How?
Oooh . . . . good question. Here are a few possibilities:

1. Patrick Hughes gets a boost.
Hughes is not the GOP leadership's choice . . . that would be Mark Kirk, a "moderate" candidate from the northern Chicago suburbs. Kirk has great name recognition, especially in Chicago, and polls well against Giannoulias. But Kirk is widely despised by Republican base factions (see below) and so several "conservative" candidates have sprung up to nip at his heels. Patrick Hughes claims to be the best organized and funded, which he may very well be, but he's also derided by the other candidates as a wannabe who never voted in Republican primaries before 2008. However, he's strongly conservative, pro-gun, and in person does a good job of bringing across a Constitution-based political philosophy . . . . and in a time when the former head of the Illinois GOP is running as "the outsider," Hughes undeniably is a real outsider. He's also endorsed by several Tea Party groups. How much does that help? Well, it depends because maybe . . . .

2. Mark Kirk gets a boost.
Here's the thing: the Republican base is none too fond of Mark Kirk. Kirk is a Congressman from a fairly lefty district just outside Chicago. Not to pass judgment, but my college roommate, who couldn't change a tire and was astounded and frightened at his move downstate because "it gets really dark at night down here," was from Kirk's district. The rugged prairie it ain't.
But the GOP leadership in this state loves 'em some Kirk. Sure, he sponsored the 1993 Clinton Assault Weapons Ban (in 2008!) But who hasn't? And, OK, fine, he voted for "Cap and Trade" despite the fact that it slits the throats of all the coal miners in Illinois, but those guys are all in Democrat unions anyway, right? And, hey, he crossed his fingers when he done it, and when he announced for Senate he explained that he was only pandering, so no hard feelings. Everyone at the cocktail parties in Chicago agrees that the downstate hicks should stop shouting "Cap'n Traitor!" at Kirk during parades now that he's promised to pander the other way. And after all, he says he's against the Obama health care bill, and shipping Guantanamo Bay prisoners into Illinois, so the Tea Bag Nuts should probably move on pretty soon, right? And let's face it; if you believe the official "cash on hand" numbers, Kirk has almost seven times as much money to spend as Hughes does.
But how could the Massachusettes Incident benefit Kirk? Well, there are those who say that Scott Brown won because he's a RINO. They say that if he weren't pro-choice and . . . . well, that's pretty much all they've got, but they say he's a moderate and that's how he pulled it out. If the Illinois race follows the trend, that argues for Kirk as the moderate choice who can pull off the upset.

3. Alexi Giannoulias gets a boost.
This sounds a little counter-intuitive, but bear with me. What will be the Democrat reaction to "The Massachusettes Incident"? If they're smart (and some of them are awfully smart) they've already been looking around for other races that could get embarrassing. They should not get caught napping again. Anybody who pulls off an upset against another Democrat candidate this year is going to have to earn it against overwhelming odds. If he ever thought he could, Giannoulias is surely now aware that he won't be taking a vacation after the primary a la Coakley. The White House will send whoever they have to send, and Chicago is not Boston . . . . Obama is the local boy (of sorts) who made good, as far as Chicago's Democrat faithful is concerned, and although Mayor Menino of Boston has been in office longer, he's a piker at Machine politics compared to Mayor Daley and his brother-from-another-mother, House Speaker Mike Madigan. If Rahm Emanuel has to bust some heads, he will (not literally . . . . unless he can get away with it.)

Friday, January 15, 2010

Yet another reason We Can't Have Nice Things

Xavier is finally fed up with the dumbasses who want to pick fights with him every day. People sometimes forget that the entertainers they think are dependent on them really aren't, and people who are providing free entertainment because they enjoy it really have no stake in the game to keep them coming back for abuse. So Xavier's blog is ending for the rest of us, although he'll still have it around.

He should try obscurity. It's much more peaceful.

(That link won't be good forever.)

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Chicago's Real Crime Story by Heather Mac Donald, City Journal Winter 2010

Chicago's Real Crime Story by Heather Mac Donald, City Journal Winter 2010

Heather Mac Donald has written a devastating (and I mean that--it's hard to read to the end, but you should) but insightful account of the role of what should be the obvious cause in Chicago's violent culture--the lack of fathers and families in many Chicago neighborhoods. She makes a compelling case not only for the problems that arise when 79% of black children across a city/county are born without fathers, but for a frightening "next step" that has already begun to show itself--the lack of any parents at all.

The implications go far beyond gun rights; in fact, I'll risk being presumptuous and guess that Mac Donald supports at least what she would call "reasonable gun control." The tragedy of the complete destruction of the family in Chicago's black neighborhoods is, she argues compellingly, compounded over and over by "community organizers" like Barack Obama who insist on Saul Alinksy's strategy of demanding help from outside the neighborhood for problems created by behavior inside it. Mac Donald cites, for instance, Obama's overweening pride at talking the city government into opening a job office and investing in asbestos removal in areas that were too deadly for bus service because of roaming packs of fatherless children and teenagers who would kill over bragging rights to half a block of blighted street.

The ultimate expression of this "let's bend these people over and help them harder until they become model citizens" mindset, Mac Donald explains, is the new plan from the Chicago Public Schools. Using the magic of statistical analysis and data mining and, let's face it, profiling, Huberman's minions identified a few hundred Chicago students who are statistically almost certain to be killed on Chicago streets in the next few years. Each of the 300 students has now been assigned an advocate/social worker whose full-time job is to meet with the little angel and his parents, if any, and provide any help they need. No kidding; "any" help here means any. Mac Donald observes:
Now, perhaps if Huberman’s proposed youth “advocates” provided their charges with opportunities to learn self-discipline and perseverance, fired their imaginations with manly virtues, and spoke to them about honesty, courtesy, and right and wrong—if they functioned, in other words, like Scoutmasters—they might make some progress in reversing the South Side’s social breakdown. But the outfit that Huberman has picked to provide “advocacy” to the teens, at a reported cost of $5 million a year, couldn’t be more mired in the assiduously nonjudgmental ethic of contemporary social work. “Some modalities used in this endeavor,” explains the newly hired Youth Advocates Program (YAP), “include: Assess the youth and his/her family to develop an Individualized Service Plan (ISP) to address the individual needs of each youth.” The Youth Advocates Program’s CEO tried further to clarify the advocates’ function: “If a family needs a new refrigerator or a father needs car insurance, it’s the advocate’s job to take care of it,” Jeff Fleischer told the Chicago Tribune. The reference to a “father” is presumably Fleischer’s little joke, since almost none of the Chicago victims-in-waiting will have their fathers at home. It’s not a lack of material goods that ails Chicago’s gun-toting kids, however, or their mothers’ lack of time to procure those goods. Providing their families with a government-funded gofer to carry out basic adult tasks like getting car insurance will not compensate for a lifetime of paternal absence.

Read the whole thing if you dare.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

So, let me get this straight . . .

The media and the gossip columnists want to gut the candidate for Ted Kennedy's seat because he posed for a Cosmopolitan centerfold rated somewhere between PG-13 and R in 1982?

So, if you cheat on your wife and murder one of the mistresses, you have an inspirational story of overcoming obstacles in your life--and when you're done, people will actually speculate that maybe your victim would have said it was worth it for her to drown in cold, dark water as long as you were able to overcome her death's political implications to fight for abortion rights and "free" health care. But if you won a beauty contest and posed for one nude photo, Gawker will announce that you're a "vintage porn star" and make fun of your party for considering you--even if you're already a state legislator with a real record, and running within ten points of the Democrat candidate in Ted Kennedy's district.

Oh, did I forget to mention that we're talking about Scott Brown, the Republican candidate? No big deal; you might not have known Scott Brown's name, but I'm sure you knew I wasn't talking about a Democrat. I think I also forgot to mention that the Republican party appears to be rolling over and offering Brown up as a sacrificial lamb . . . . but I bet you aren't surprised at that, either.

Monday, January 4, 2010

Fun Show!

I went to the gun show yesterday. That probably seems like no big deal to most of the people who may see this, but I don't get out to the shows very often. I don't have a lot of cash to spend and I do have a lot of work to do around here, not to mention two teenagers and a toddler who are competing to see who can throw the most red-faced stomping fits per day.

But this time, a friend called me up and asked me to man the Sangamon County Rifle Association table, so I had a good excuse. It would have been a good time to take the two oldest boys off my wife's hands for awhile, but they decided to melt down and try to kill each other shortly before I left, so they were stuck stewing on their beds as I snuck out the door before My Bride could stop me. I suggested that she use our movie theater gift cards to take the boys to the movies and sit in a separate theater, but I gather their behavior never recovered.

That was all too bad for her, but I had a great time. The show was surprisingly well-attended for a Sunday afternoon with a wind chill below zero, and the people I talked to were all enthusiastic about gun rights. McDonald v. Chicago is creating a lot of excitement, and Illinois has primary battles for Governor and Senator going on right now. And I worked the table with Tom Shafer, a former city firefighter with a cable access show and a story for every occasion. Tom never disappoints; he'll make the time pass. Actually, I can admit now that Tom was the guy who used a Glock to stop a home invader back in November; his assailant pled guilty and has been dealt with by the law at this point, so everything is settled. Those of you who are familiar with Tom will realize how dumb it was to try to break in his door in the middle of the night.

Tom was the one who told me about the local news (WICS Newschannel 20) report on the gun show. Now, Channel 20 is the station that thought the most important thing to find out about the IGOLD event last March was whether the Capitol security had caught any of the 3-5,000 gun owners who marched "trying to sneak a gun into the Capitol." That was a step up from the year before, when 2500 marched and WICS declined to cover the event. We're used to this, of course, but we've always understood that we had no friends at Channel 20 and why.

But things are changing all over, and it looks like maybe the news room at TV 20 can feel a change in the wind. They put out this fluffy puff piece on this weekend's show, and I still don't know why. But I approve.