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Their freedom of speech laws aren't as strong as the USA's laws which as others alluded to are among the strongest, if not the strongest, in the world. In the February 14 meeting in the Oval Office, Trump expressed frustration about news stories detailing his private conversations with the leaders of Mexico and Australia the previous month, saying Comey needed to go after the leakers, the source said.

When Comey tried to explain to the President that leak investigations are difficult to pursue because law enforcement officers often end up having to threaten to jail journalists, Trump said he should throw the journalists in jail, the source said. A peachy reference. I've always wanted and never been able to find a good reference for a fairly complete and reliable list of FauxNews advertisers to boycott, but I'm halfway afraid I'd run out of things I can buy.

The "Boycott Trump" app seems to have all the advertisers on The Apprentice and the other shows from the same production company Are you able to assist in this matter? The "top intelligence officials" don't have to give these stories to the press. It looks to me as if they're coordinating with each other for political ends. That's not good, even if the Trump presidency is worse.

From the WaPo boom of the day: "Senior intelligence officials also saw the March requests as a threat to the independence of U. If saving the country from destruction by its enemies is "political ends," then sign me up. It's bad precedent, to be sure, but I'm not certain what the better alternative is. Maintain silence in the face of bald-faced lies from the administration? The WaPo article suggests to me that they wanted to stay out of it in public, but now they're giving these stories to the press in an effort to maintain and protect their independence from the administration.

The political end here is maintenance of our institutions. I mean, yes, top intelligence officials coordinating to take down a President is indeed disturbing. Top intelligence officials revealing that the President asked them to do things that they found to be deeply improper if not illegal, on the other hand. That's exactly what's happened again here. And conducting some semblance of the oversight function that the Republican congress has utterly refused to fulfill. Strange at PM on May 22, [ 15 favorites ]. Particularly since the nature of the inquiry and the identity of the person sitting in the Attorney General's office means that they have to question who else is already compromised.

The problem is they're all perfectly capable of saying, "The news the government doesn't WANT you to hear" and then their viewership doubles. Republicans are willing to overlook massive transgressions by Trump, but it's possible that there's a limit. Information like this serves to push them closer to that limit. How the heck are things so bad that the bit about the White House doing the exact same thing Nixon did during Watergate trying to get intelligence officials to get the FBI to back off is buried in paragraph 13 of the story?

I'm still Tehhunding through the dredges of the last thread, but it's my birthday, so according to age old MeFi custom because what is time anymore?

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It's not much, just that my Kid doesn't have to live in an Cormac McCarthy wasteland. That is all. The really outrageous bit about "doing the exact same thing Nixon did during Watergate" is that we're now operating in the post-Church Committee intelligence world. That would, I suspect, make the mere suggestion that the e. CIA could or would just put the screws to a domestic law enforcement agency distasteful in the extreme. The limit is the analysis that Trump is causing so much damage to the Republican Brand that it will lose them Congress and a lot of local races. A solid Ossoff win in a fairly-Red part of Georgia is a large step in that direction.

The limit also has to do with trying to calculate how bad it will get- if donnie goes down for treason, spying, or laundering sex trade money, those who broke away sooner will have less of the stench on them. There will be a tipping point where it will be too late to defend him, or even equivocate. Highlighting because it's an important qualifier. They doubled down and undermined Obamacare, got away with stealing a Supreme Court seat, and ultimately got the White House. So far the lesson they've all gotten is to just keep pushing and things will turn out for them.

I really hope we'll eventually see some breaks in the ranks, but I won't be shocked if they stick with it 'til the bitter end. The incident in Manchester may overshadow the rest of trump's trip. Finally, finally, I reach the end of the current thread! My actual birthday party is next weekend -- does that count? If so, you know what I want. Let me add a resounding Ossoff victory to that belated birthday wish.

I don't mind that the present will be late. I'm OK with that. And the outright ratfucking has begun in my fucking home state. Got it! Bridgegate isn't why Reek got the boot - this is. Come for the picture, stay for the hindsightilicious body: Retired Army Lt. Michael Flynn, who attended a recent classified security briefing as an advisor to Donald Trump, interrupted intelligence officials so many times that Chris Christie had to intervene, according to a Thursday report from NBC News.

The Aug. Both presidential candidates have received classified intelligence briefings in recent weeks. An anonymous source told the network that officials are even trained not to allow their body language to betray their personal opinions, as Trump claimed at the forum. Critics also slammed Trump for discussing the content of the briefing at all. Reek was mean to Flynnsie! He ought to eat submission meatloaf! Also, "Note to self, leak everything they tell me from the get-go" posted by petebest at PM on May 22, [ 4 favorites ].

How about the years of racist Birther bullshit? They should be embarrassed for working at Fox News, period. I'm so angry that this isn't slapped down immediately at every turn. Last I checked, ignorance of the law was not a valid defense. Beyond that, how many times has Trump been involved in lawsuits? He's He's allegedly educated. He has people advising him. That fucker does not get to claim he doesn't know better.

He can't believe Washington isn't as corrupt as his own operations are. It's genuinely hard for him, I bet, to believe that other people aren't as snakey as he is. Mueller briefed on secret Comey memos, source says posted by and they trembled before her fury at PM on May 22, [ 4 favorites ]. Chaffetz is resigning for a reason. The actual law is catching up with Republican unwillingness to follow said laws. Or to quote IrvineWelsh: "Terrible stuff from Manchester. I wish all the creepy twitter ghouls who already know all the causes of this would fuck off. Still there is a lot of people pitching in as well: For all updates on the incident at Manchester Arena please follow gmpolice on Twitter Holiday Inn Manchester is taking in children without parents.

One love. For the office of the President of the United States? An office that can be held, however poorly, by Donald Trump? How do you respect something like that? I don't know about Hebrew, but in Yiddish, I believe it's "Gey kaken afn yam. Sessions' Senate testimony canceled this week. They're citing a "scheduling conflict," but I don't know you guys. It's almost like they're trying to avoid questions or something. Turnover at large for-hire fleets hauling freight by the truckload — the backbone of the industry — runs an astonishing 80 percent a year, according to a trade group.

Plausible deniability sure I used a slur, but my intentions were pure! He described the homicide as a tragedy and said prosecutors had assumed it was a hate crime because it happened four days after Donald Trump was elected president. My expectation that officials refrain from political manipulation may be unrealistic under the circumstances, with a compromised Administration and a legislature that's unwilling to investigate.

I believe the USA will get past this, but if you allow security officials to manipulate the political process on this occasion, how do you put the genie back in the bottle? If you rely on security officials' discretion, then how can you keep them constrained when they abuse it? Vladimir Putin notoriously rose to power through his earlier positions in the FSB successor to the KGB ; a rogue security establishment is at least as dangerous as a rogue President, because you don't get to vote for intelligence officials and they can potentially install or bring down Presidents of their choosing.

I'm kind of glad that these guys are coming forward, but at some point there will have to be a house-cleaning and for the good of the Republic they're going to have to go. I've spent Kid's entire life wishing for something better than a Cormac McCarthy wasteland. Not sorry for using my MeFi birthday wish on that. I'm going back to the Fanfare threads now, because it's my birthday and I want to be happy for once. Wait, now they're embarrassed? How about their very start: the Clinton impeachment.

Some analysis on the latest WaPo article. This quote from the analysis was of interest to me: The increasingly alarmed comments from people on the inside of this unfolding drama suggest they, too, would like to see some kind of accountability for the president's recent actions. If the current wave of bombshell stories is in any way planned, or a concerted effort to shape the narrative, I can't help but wonder if it's meant to be a series of questions: is this enough?

Eventually the do-nothing Republicans might be implicated. I believe you have misunderstood on which side of the hellmouth Mar-a-Lago is located. These will be interesting questions to ponder if we get through the existential crises we are facing in the present. I know we're not supposed to compare Donald to children, but his comments about peace in the middle east being "the toughest" deal of all reveals a cartoon like understanding of, well, everything. His comments about "good versus evil" were also just totally not thoughtful.

Every thing he thinks is automatically good. People who disagree with him are automatically bad, I think. We keep being surprised by this but we have to remember that Trump's brain doesn't work like a normal person's and his perception of reality is VERY different than ours. You just need to follow a chain of logic that results in the conclusion that Trump is the greatest and ignore any facts that disagree with that conclusion. Even if they don't, it is objectively the best way to run any organization because I would run it differently if there were a better way to run it and I don't so it must be the best.

So I guess those folks must not have worked at truly successful organizations otherwise they'd have worked in an organization that runs like his. Like, when people tell him things that he doesn't understand, I think he assumes that they don't understand it either and are just making things up to try to appease him. After all, if he doesn't understand it, no can since he's the best. Any time objective reality gets in the way, he invents some excuse like that.

He started on 3rd and thinks he hit a triple, every time he tries to steal home he gets another shot and they've been scooching 3rd base close to the plate a little at a time his whole life. The whole time everyone close to him has been telling him he's the greatest to ever play the game. It's resulted in a person that simply doesn't think like a human rational human being.

In my feverish utopian dreams this whole thing makes people go "wow we need to roll back the powers of the executive branch NOW" like a roll back to would be fine, really, but stripping away the respect and mystery of the office would be great. It's a little after am in Israel. Well, I feel safer already. Sorry, no news right now, I'm exhausted. Low grade anxiety nausea I just can't quit you. A preview of how he handles the proverbial am phone call in the US?

Hopefully someone had the sense to tiptoe up to his door and whisper the briefing in the keyhole, so they could tell reporters he'd been briefed without him actually, you know, getting involved. Already seen racist cultures circling around this one, no doubt the shithead in chief will be joining them shortly. Jinx Emperor SK. There's video from Trump's "back from the Middle East" comment, and you can see someone almost do a facepalm, then think better of it and do a hair flip instead.

Pre-emptive note here, if other people are saying terrible racist shit, we don't need to reproduce that here, and please skip the anti-Ariana Grande remarks, wtf. Trump only watches Fox, right? Israeli ad spoofs Trump after speech video translation in the body of the article posted by Joe in Australia at PM on May 22, [ 4 favorites ]. I know we were asked not to, but I felt this orb photoshop needed to be shown here just to show that it's really, really creepy.

What changed, mephron? I can't see a difference from earlier. The current crisis, which has come from the right, in the form of a man who thrives on creating crisis, threatens to drag language with it into the abyss. For Trump, the social norms are always just breaking, so the response is always to rush the line.

Prediction: Trump uses the tragedy in Manchester as an excuse to cut short his trip. Well, fuck HIM. Philip Kennicot, that is. Vox had a story today that highlighted some of the polling on this based on a KFF poll from last year. Even though many people would come out ahead on the deal compared to the premiums they pay now, it's a tough sell.

The price tag doesn't mean single payer is a bad thing, but it does mean we have to have an honest conversation around where the money is coming from, how much of the cost is picked up by employers, and how the resulting system will be administered. The response to these numbers should be "ok, how do we make it work?

The wildly optimistic projections balance Mr. To compensate, the package contains deep cuts in entitlement programs that would hit hardest many of the economically strained voters whose backing propelled the president into office. It is just as much a sign of Mr. Bixby, the executive director of the Concord Coalition, a nonpartisan organization that promotes deficit reduction.

So, it does seem bizarre that the president is out of the country. I'd love it for once if a slow news day actually meant a slow trump thread Heh, slow news day. That WaPo article would have blown everyone's mind two weeks ago. The resistance, by indulging profanity, has taken the bait and fallen into a trap. You've got to be fucking kidding me. That's the stupidest fucking argument I have ever heard. Also, I indulged profanity before Trump. I indulge profanity because sometimes profanity is fucking awesome.

Or at least the best way to convey whatever it is I want to convey. God help us all if this is what counts as a slow news day moving forward. This pisses me off so much. This is the problem: The people on the right who try to draw attention to this greatly overlap "so much for the tolerant for the left" on the old venn diagram. There is not one person that exists that would be leftist if not for all the naughty things some leftists say.

Not one. They're not actually trying to make a point in good faith. They're just looking for something to pick apart because their rhetorical strategy is always to be on the attack. They never let up, they have no intellectual honesty, and they have no sense of shame. And we have commentators that fall for it hook, line, and sinker as some sort of plea.

Like the poor and sick may as well be all "hail conservatives, we who are about to die will maintain decorum". They have a fucking right to be pissed off. Their lives, their livelihoods, they all depend on these shitty sports style political games. But since a college student wrote "fuck" on a sign or a late night comedian went blue we lost the game and now millions of people now at least have a "valid" reason to die in the gutter, right? Fuck these people. Slow News Day it ain't. See, this is what I'm talking about. Heh, slow news day. I've got no clue what the heck you're talking about because we're comments in to a shiny new thread and it's mostly jokes.

I'd really, really appreciate it if people could take them to a forum more amenable to that. Some of us use this thread as a news and commentary source. Ignoring Manchester, which is certainly significant news but also not really on-topic, it bears repeating in as clear language as possible: the White House tried to get the intelligence agencies to interfere with an FBI investigation into whether his campaign colluded with a hostile foreign power.

They're about to release a budget proposal that is centered around denying food and healthcare to the poor on a massive scale. The former National Security Advisor announced he'll invoke his 5th Amendment rights. Trump randomly announced that he never told the Russians the word "Israel," much to the surprise of the Israeli Prime Minister standing next to him.

It's not a slow news day. Today would have been the single worst day in the Presidency for most Presidents which didn't involve an attack or something which killed a ton of Americans. And I'm ignoring stories like the White House backtracking on whether Abbas is "of Palestine" or "of the Palestinian Authority" or the shift to "Islamic extremism" because the President was "exhausted" that would normally trigger days of outrage over whether this stuff represented massive shifts in government policy, since everyone just knows nobody in the White House thinks before they open their mouths so the details don't matter.

The world may be entirely consumed by crisis, but language must stand apart. Thanks asshole, now I've gone and dropped my fucking monocle into my fucking tea. This article is a cartoon dog sitting in a burning house, except instead of "this is fine," he's shocked to the core because someone said a swear. Ignoring Manchester, which is certainly significant news but also not really on-topic It shouldn't be, but it's going to be, both for the Trump circus and UK election. Anyhoo: Radio Manchester - late night call in show keeping it sane and positive posted by Buntix at PM on May 22, It's just tone policing, which women have dealt with forever.

Today would have been the single worst day in the Presidency for most Presidents In we just call that Monday. God I've missed Spicey Lunch Hour. It's gonna be a doozy when he gets back. I'm not sure he's coming back for the daily briefings. The fatigue created by Trump has peaked a bit for me. This is a big news day, but it feels that everything is exhaustedly waiting for Trump to return, before it all explodes or not?

The policies and budgets put forward today by the White House are exceedingly, shockingly terrible: Attacks on the poor, government institutions run roughshod, and again, strangely, a big push for cuts to the NIH and CDC Why??? For me the catastrophic scale of the situation is moving beyond the sensible, and the air is being completely sucked out.

Call it fatigue, call it living in the Trump bell jar, whatever it is, it's real and it's noise that dampens the reflexes and dulls the senses. Hopefully, when the substance of these various government investigations comes to the light of day, we can cut through that noise.

But a hammer needs to drop, and soon. This will help, right? It's hard for me to imagine a situation that could possibly be improved by adding Corey Lewandowski. And when it does drop we're having a party with Submission Meatloaf and Im-Peach-Mint pie topped with 2 scoops of vanilla ice cream served with my finest diet coke. Robert Lewandowski , on the other hand Bonus points if they get him to say that he's better than W. I would love to have that soundbyte playing as a contrast. I don't think so.

This shows that on Face the Nation, Mulvaney was merely seeding the landscape with a rank deception. Strange at PM on May 22, [ 50 favorites ]. I know this is so sixteen hours ago, but I feel collectively embarrassed for white people when watching this. We're historically bad at finding the beat and dancing, yes. We are raised this way. Wait, did they seriously think this was possible? Nobody knew that the Middle East could be so complicated posted by chris24 at PM on May 22, [ 64 favorites ]. Nobody who'd written a book titled "The Art of the Deal" Well, I've been surviving on Social Security Disability for 11 years I had never heard of One America News Network, so I googled it a little and found an interesting sideways source for information: GlassDoor.

Very interesting reading. Herring is a controlling asshole. Some funny quips. No, corb, they thought the only reason it hasn't been done is because the anointed Dealmaker Trump had yet to bestow his blessed Art upon the unwashed masses. Strategic Oil Reserve This seems like a great idea that will not hasten the collapse of american civilization. I do agree with Ragtag that it was a little hard to pick out the actual news of the day from between the endless orb and hole jokes.

The beginnings of threads are always like that though. I actually dread New Thread Day. One other great thing about the insane, and profoundly stupid, idea that "government should be run like a business" is that American businesses are almost entirely incapable of long-term planning these days, thanks to wall street and pressure for "good quarterly numbers". So if and when you get a CEO-type jerkoff into office, they have no concept or interest in what effect their proposed policy changes will have in 10 years, or even two.

They have no idea you can actually invest in an idea and nuture it to fruition. They do know their mission is to sell whatever actual assets are present, pocket the money, and pull the rip cord on their gold parachute as the agency they were in charge of collapses. Which is to say, I like that these threads are both my best resource for the news of the day, and the funniest political commentary I've found anywhere. The jokes are part of the character of the place; it wouldn't be Metafilter without them. It's there to protect America's interests im case of a further embargo or national disaster threatening US oil supplies.

It also, incidentally, makes the US less vulnerable to market manipulation. I don't think it costs much in comparison to the insurance it provides, but I'm pretty sure that both Russia and Saudi Arabia would be happy to see it go. I agree! My twitter list is my place for a constant stream of news; this is where I want to hang out and have a conversation with my community. Strategic Oil Reserve Classic Republican move. Sell off irreplaceable arrests to make your faulty budget plans look good in the short term. Jindall did this more than once in Louisiana.

In an administration packed full of cartoon villains, Mick Mulvaney always manages to be a real standout. I gotta admit, dying of compassion and success does sound more dignified than dying of starvation and untreated illness. Compassionate conservatism is back from the dead and hungry for human flesh. I thought Jesuits were the nice catholics. They often experience disbelief when encountering honest people thinking the honesty is a long con of some sort.

They seriously did. Try setting the situation at the sinkhole. Trump budget seeks huge cuts to disease prevention and medical research departments [WaPo]: President Trump's budget request to Congress seeks massive cuts in spending on health programs, including medical research, disease prevention programs and health insurance for children of the working poor. The Federal Reserve estimated in March that the maximum sustainable pace of economic growth is around 1. The Congressional Budget Office puts the ceiling at 1.

Those are low numbers by historical standards, but growth is determined by the expansion of the work force and the improvement in the amount that workers can produce. The growth of both the working-age population and productivity have slowed in recent years.

© Copyright by T.L. Winslow. All Rights Reserved.

That would leave two possible outcomes: deeper spending cuts or larger deficits. As that article and other analysts have noted, the budget contains virtually no details on the massive tax cuts that are coming, except to claim that they'll essentially pay for themselves, despite the fact that has never actually worked. The budget assumes they exist, but they still have no tax plan besides that one-page thing that was hatched on a napkin in a bar in a week in April after Trump surprised everyone by saying they'd release it soon.

If you are on disability insurance and you are not supposed to be, you are not truly disabled, we need you to go back to work. We need everybody pulling in the same direction. And, you know, it's food, which you need to live, and hunger doesn't really care if you have a job. One important thing is this article is that it reveals that a chunk of Trump's budget magic actually relies on leaving defense spending alone. Politico: Trump's budget hits his own voters hardest. Who'd have thunk that it would be all Mulvaney and none of that populist stuff? Hal Rogers R-Ky. I think we do need welfare reform.

William Hoagland, a former long-time Republican Senate budget aide. I would be concerned about that being a state that has a lot of people who utilize Medicaid, not only normally but due to the decision I made in to expand Medicaid. But they also represent substantial reductions in payouts for the estimated 70, federal retirees each year, along with the hundreds of thousands more already collecting their pensions.

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FERS employees are, but those government pensions still make up a significant portion of their retirement income. Strategic Oil Reserve At last Trump reveals the secret of his business success: Buy high, sell low, make it up in volume. He was probably just negging the Saudis though. Well, I finally gave in and read New Orleans mayor Mitch Landrieu's speech on the removal of some of the city's Confederate monuments, and it's very, very worth reading.

It is self-evident that these men did not fight for the United States of America, They fought against it. They may have been warriors, but in this cause they were not patriots. These statues are not just stone and metal. They are not just innocent remembrances of a benign history.

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These monuments purposefully celebrate a fictional, sanitized Confederacy; ignoring the death, ignoring the enslavement, and the terror that it actually stood for. Lee is and why he stands atop of our beautiful city. Can you do it? Lee is there to encourage her? Do you think she will feel inspired and hopeful by that story? Do these monuments help her see a future with limitless potential? Have you ever thought that if her potential is limited, yours and mine are too?

I don't know if I've mentioned this in one of the other threads, but this budget proposal makes me want to remind everyone who has not read or listened to The Iron Heel, by Jack London, written in I know Jack London isn't who comes to mind when thinking about socialist manifestos in a deeply, deeply dystopian world controlled by the plutocracy, but there you are, none the less.

I have found the audio, by Matt Laur to be a lovely way to absorb the story. It's rather frighteningly prescient. Well, the good thing is that fascist governments tend to rely on the unquestioning support of people whose loyalty has been bought by government pensions, insurance, housing and so forth. I find it hard to believe, but the current administration is going out of its way to be the literal negation of economic populism. I just came in to post this as Sean Hannity is currently having yet another incoherent public Twitter meltdown.

I'm no longer astonished by it, but I just had a bit of a mind boggle about how no one except Clinton herself has been able to let go of the election. I mean, the electoral victory thing President Insecure keeps pushing is just plain nuts, and on the other side, the bros will, at a drop of a hat, re-litigate the democratic primaries.

I can recall no other election, including the hanging chads supreme court gift to GWB, that has lingered for so long. It's pathetic. Someone may have already beat me to it, but I just did a thing I thought might give folks here a chuckle. Link goes to the YouTube video of same. Again, nothing most of us don't already know, but certainly worth reminding ourselves of who we're in bed with.

In that case, I eagerly await the blonde teenager with superpowers to come through it and put all us demons out of our misery. Today I recalled one of the interviews Trump gave where he was asked if he asked Comey for loyalty and he said he did not but that it would be a good question to ask -- for loyalty to the country, etc.

It just occurred to me how utterly dumb this exchange is. He is denying it while at the same time transparently setting up an alternative defense that it could have been asking about loyalty to the country. Why in the world would you do that unless you actually did ask that question? What could be more inane than asking the FBI director if he's loyal to the country?

Good, good, by the way are you a traitor.. He used to be pretty good. It's almost as if his heart is not in it anymore. I enjoyed it and my Montana born and bred boyfriend loved it. I'm so tired of headlines referring to "Trump's budget" and "Trump's plan" and "Trump proposes," as though he gives enough of a shit about anything besides himself to have an opinion about it. He's a malevolent disorder in a skin suit that people keep trying to ascribe motives to. Do they tell Trump about Trump's Plan ahead of time, or does he hear about it when the rest of us do?

He's frustrated he can't say whatever he wants to whomever he wants, he's frustrated he can't hire whomever he wants, he's frustrated there are rules about what he can do, he's frustrated that Congress and the judiciary won't bow to his whims. I would guess that someone had to explain to him that loyalty to the POTUS and loyalty to one's country are two different things, and he's probably still working through that concept. He heard somebody say "To Queen and Country" at some point, and assumed the conflation of the two things worked the same way in the USA.

So Trump is a Cylon? If there was one thing Cylons had, it was plans. But cylons believed in god. Well, the scientific community is still hesitating about calling him a fungus because at least a fungus can be useful. Sometimes even delicious. Some have proposed the word algae but there was a lot of pushback from the marine biologists, and we can't just use "slime" because Ted Cruz locked that one in for life a long time ago. Entomologists have also argued energetically that even cockroaches and tapeworms are pretty awesome relatively speaking. Even the gastroenterologists aren't willing to loan any useful words from the scatological end of things, declaring the comparison utterly insulting, though we're waiting to hear back about what possible use a dingleberry could possibly be.

So far the best suggestion anyone can come up with is just writing in a new dictionary entry for the matter that is Trump as simply "trump", and roughly defines it as "A noisome, useless and often dangerously noxious goo that is appears to be some form of a non-Newtonian oobleck. And when all else failed, Fox personalities dismissed the scandals as silly, suggesting that other news networks were overreacting. Informative video with too many shots of Hannity's literal low brow.

My head just exploded at the mind boggling stupidity of selling off the SPR. Not only from the national security point of view cited above, but because of what extra volume on the market actually does for a commodity- depresses the price even further. OPEC, and particularly the Saudis have been over producing to intentionally keep the price low. The whole purpose of this is to drive out American tight oil. The American in the ground reserves that were being developed recently are massively expensive and require a significant lead time to get up and running.

The Saudi reserves are extremely inexpensive to access- they basically just scratch the surface with a fingernail. And there's a whole other aspect here with Russian gas reserves that I won't even go into because I have to go access my own strategic bourbon reserves because GRAR. It shows, in precious stones, the oil reserves and their depth different stones for different depths. This visual really drives home how much there is and how incredibly easy it is for them to get.

At last Trump reveals the secret of his business success: Buy high, sell low, make it up in volume. And now I'm wondering if this wasn't actually a part of the plan all along. So I have to go fashion a tin foil hat while accessing my bourbon reserves. Selling strategic oil reserves is a fantastic way for people with the right connections to make a shit ton of money. Whenever I start to feel burnt out on food built on buzzwords and restaurant groups with armies of publicity writers which is increasingly often, if I'm being honest I go back to the basics: those unassuming neighborhood spots where the food is decently priced and the cups of coffee are typically bottomless.

However, while I always appreciate a good ol' standby, rarely do I find myself daydreaming about the meal I had at the local greasy spoon although it's certainly not outside the realm of possibility. When I first met Juan, the one-man front-of-house talent at the helm of Nini's Deli, we bonded over our love of good food and cool restaurant aesthetics. He urged me to come try out his family's spot, and scrolled through the Instagram account that he says serves as the biggest form of advertisement for Nini's: photo after photo of the sun-streaked interior, plump sandwiches wrapped in checkered paper, and mason jars of multicolored lemonades.

Not exactly what I'd expect from a typical neighborhood deli. I promised to come check it out. Executive Chef Amanda Downing has created five over-the-top creations paired with fries using flavor profiles from the featured burgers. Besides the tree in front of my house dropping little gifts of bloom on my car, there's another way I can tell spring has sprung.

Iconic Italian lemonade stand Mario's is open for business. RIP would have wanted when the stand opened around While most of Chicago approaches Sunday thinking about brunch, mK wants you to consider thinking about the meal after that -- supper. The atmosphere at mK is chic, classy and calm and even on a busy night for Chicago Chef Week, I didn't feel overwhelmed. The waiter took notice of my dinner companion cozied up in a black leather lounge chair. He sums up everything we're trying to do with Sunday Supper. You sit back and relax, we bring the food.

The only thing you need to stress about is what wine to pair with it. If you're among those who miss having breakfast at Ina's in the West Loop, you have a one-day reprieve. Diners are invited to come and meet "The Breakfast Queen;" Ina will be signing copies of her new book, Taste Memories. Prairie Grass Cafe's Chef Sarah Stegner will make some of her favorite Ina recipes, including Heavenly Hots pancakes, that will be added to a featured brunch menu.

Reservations are recommended. Some might call it impossible. The restaurant is considered the political and arts cornerstone of the area. One of the unspoken duties that come with living in the neighborhood is having a working knowledge of the iconic restaurant's nearly year history. Many will recall back in when it was reported that the restaurant was perilously close to shutting its doors for good.

The unorthodox move worked and the restaurant continues to assert its influence, but the story doesn't end there. More recently the restaurant was purchased by Tom Rosenfeld, a longtime resident of Rogers Park. Can any marriage be an equal partnership?

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Bottlefork, a New American restaurant concept from Rockit Ranch Productions opening today in River North, intends to achieve a culinary marriage where food and beverage play an equal role. If you live anywhere near Rogers Park, then you know how important it is when a new restaurant moves into the neighborhood. For many years your friends and neighbors living on the way far North Side have subsisted with very few restaurant options.

Taking a walk through the hood lately, though, it's easy to see that's changing. The latest addition to Rogers Park's growing culinary selections is the highly anticipated Bullhead Cantina. The whiskey and taco bar, owned by Francisco "Paco" Ruiz, opened its first location in in Humboldt Park. The Cantina, revered for its atypical taco selection, opened its second location at W. Morse Avenue on Valentine's Day. Cicchetti is an Italian word for a snack or a small bite. In Venice, there is a great tradition of stopping by the local bacaro Ventian tavern for a glass of wine and cicchetti, exquisitely-made small plates.

It is from this tradition that the new Streeterville restaurant, Cicchetti, was born. Upon entering Cicchetti, the newest effort from one of the chefs from Trencherman, Michael Sheerin, the first word that enters the mind is warm. The bar and the main entry exude warmth. From the dark-stained timber beam construction to the modernist aesthetic to the backlit bar, the space emanates both charm and sophistication with a tip of the hat to innovation. The bar menu is full of interesting and varied spirits, including a long list of grappas or fruit brandy and an extensive list of gins, whiskeys and ryes.

The wine list is similarly long and lively. How's a girl to choose? But tucked in this gargantuan list are a handful of mostly smaller affairs and wine bars, spots where I've grabbed a cocktail or two or a glass of wine with some friends afterwork. Though Restaurant Week is the perfect opportunity to check out a restaurant I've been meaning to get to, at a more reasonable price, it's also a chance to explore more of the cuisine served at a place I mostly just drink, a place I know I already like.

Again, how's a girl to choose? Erika Stone-Miller proves that you can be a food truck owner, novice architect, self-trained chef, and run a successful pop-up at the same time. My multitasking aptitudes are less impressive--I can listen to good music, smile at people, and consume food. And that's exactly what I did at The Octagon Mode , a communal dinner party emphasizing modern fine dining.

Located in Uptown, the restaurant name pays tribute to Orson Squire Fowler , a 19th century architect whose octagonal houses were more environmentally friendly than traditional buildings. This obscure architectural title references Erika's major in architecture, although she spent more than 20 years working front of the house in Chicago's finest restaurants, including L2O and Blackbird. When Erika temporarily closed down her ice-cream truck, Ice-Cubed , for the Chicago winter, she decided that an underground supper club would fare better than an ice-cream parlor in cold weather.

Now that we've collectively survived the coldest recording temperatures in Chicago history the coldest! Maybe not literally. Either way, around mid-January everyone starts to get a bit cabin feverish, and those who choose to brave the cold will find themselves richly rewarded with an array of neighborhood comfort food options-- all the richness and familiarly of all of that holiday season fare, without the pushy relatives. Sunshine Cafe , Andersonville Quiet, cozy and unassuming, this family-run Japanese restaurant is working hard to push Japanese cuisine to the top of the "comfort food" directory.

Indulge in seemingly bottomless bowls of steaming hot, deeply flavorful noodles, donburi rice bowls , and traditional Japanese home-cooked snacks such as shrimp shumai and gyoza "Japanese potstickers". Wash it all down with a mug of grassy green tea and wonder what all the sushi hype is about, anyway. Next unveiled its latest promo video this morning ahead of the debut of its "Chicago Steakhouse" concept's debut tonight. While most of the ever-changing restaurant's previous concepts sold out most seatings almost immediately, there are plenty of tickets available for early and late seatings this time around.

Co-owner Nick Kokonas told Crain's he thought the weather and the weekend release of reservations tickets went on sale Jan. Even if this week is about polite, tense smiles over eggnog and awkward conversation, you can strive high for good eating. Here's a breakdown of suggestions for the week:. Osteria via Stato N. If fish isn't your thing, Big Jones N. Archer; a second location is in Uptown at N. Broadway , MingHin S. Archer and Go 4 Food W.

On Christmas Day, hotel restaurants are your best bet: Allium E. Delaware , Drake Brothers E. Walton , Balsan 11 E. Walton , Aria N. Columbus Dr , and Florentine W. Adams are solid choices you might as well get a room while you're at it, right? If you prefer to stay out of downtown, Ann Sather , Deleece N. Southport and Andies N. Clark will be open. Throughout this month, Drive-Thru staffers will be writing about their favorite bars and restaurants to celebrate the holiday, as so much of the holiday is not the day itself, but the days that come before -- the places you end up at after a holiday party, a day of errands and shopping, or just to hide away from the shorter days and colder weather.

It's hard not to think back to summertime and miss having dinner and drinks on their great patio. Though, who doesn't want to hide away with a pint this winter in their back room near the fireplace? Lady Gregory's is always in season. With its warm and cozy Irish Pub feel, it's almost impossible to not think that you've been magically teleported to the Emerald Isle. They have an extensive beer list which includes beers and therefore something for everyone along the beer spectrum.

There's also a full bar for those who prefer to get into the Holiday Spirit in other ways. I recently asked to see their "Beverage Book" as is suggested by their drink menu. You must do this!

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I was greeted with a huge and gorgeous wooden binder showcasing their Whiskeys. I was all excited to join a few friends at Quartino for a holiday dinner until I found out there'd be 12 of us total. I saw our reservation stretch on and on for two, three, four hours before we'd be able to leave. Don't get me wrong, four hours of eating is fantastic fun-when most of that time is actually eating. But with huge parties, much of the time is long pauses dragging on between drinks and ordering before the entrees arrive.

Getting the bill settled with that big of a group feels like an hour in itself. I didn't need to worry at Quartino. The small, sharable plates and pizzas came out quickly and steadily shortly there after it took more time for me to walk up to the second floor bathroom then it did for our wine to arrive so we weren't bothered by grumbling stomachs between courses or the sumptuous smells of our neighbor's entree wafting around while we waited for our food.

The menu strikes an excellent balance between diverse options that doesn't overwhelm with choices, and it's full of warm, hearty dishes to keep the winter chill at bay: house-made pastas cavatelli, gnocchi with arugula pesto, ravioli with braised pork, speck and fava beans , eggplant Parmesan, shrimp risotto, salmon, osso buco. With a huge group, you get to taste all of these. A big table passing plates of food around adds to the slightly chaotic, convivial atmosphere that Quartino encourages.

Tables are cluttered with stacks of small white plates, glass bottles of water, carafes of wine, olive oil, Parmesan cheese. There's no raucous music and the TVs playing black-and-white Italian movies are muted so the noise level is actually people just talking to each other.

Quartino turned out to be the perfect spot for group gatherings, during the holidays or otherwise but especially on the holidays. Sharing good food and conversation take center stage here, where even a huge group can relax with their wine, taste lots of food, and sip coffee with dessert. All this within an enjoyable, surprisingly short two hours. Cicchetti , the Venetian small plates concept with executive chef Michael Sheerin Trencherman , opens today at N.

Clair St. Besides small plates, dishes include the Venetian seafood stew specialty plus pasta, risotto, meat and fish. The restaurant has a Green Seal certification and is making good use of its sustainable materials with reclaimed wood features. The minimally-decorated bar alludes to a train station, the kind you wouldn't mind waiting in, with the ceiling-high clock facing the door and the tall metal and wood shelves back-lit by bold yellow-orange lights. Throughout this month, Drive-Thru staffers will be writing about their favorite bars and restaurants to celebrate the holiday, as so much of the holiday is not the day itself, but the days that come before--the places you end up at after a holiday party, a day of errands and shopping, or just to hide away from the shorter days and colder weather.

Gruesome history aside, the restaurant is an experience. Made of cozy, cramped pine booths and a small bar, the place specializes in pizza pot pies that are inverted at the table from their baking pan to reveal a delicious, rich little delight that makes all the frozen discs in the fridge at home cry with envy. THe place also serves oversized grinders; while I was more focused on the pot pie, it was clear that lovers of warm sandwiches will find a friend at this place.

The appetizer, however, is a must-have: the Mediterranean Bread pictured , a large expanse of thin dough brushed with oil and topped with a blend of cheese, herbs, more cheese, and sun-dried tomatoes that hangs dangerously over its plate. The room is dark, save for the garland and lights that greeted me this past weekend, but the place was packed with people taking a break from turkey leftovers and televisions.

The food is delicious, the room is charming and has low lighting: I'm sold. Chicago Pizza and Oven Grinder Co. Clark Cash only. Brunch is, objectively, the best meal of the day. It's the lazy meal meant to be enjoyed late and eaten slowly with a breakfast cocktail because today you don't have to rush anywhere. I don't get to enjoy my favorite meal too often because I have one of those nine-to-five office jobs, which means I rush out the door with a slice of toast in my coat pocket. Turns out, a few retired people, a couple executive-types, and a smattering of others including this lucky soul who took the day off because her mother was in town from Minnesota take advantage of the laid back vibe at a weekday brunch spot.

Wells St , where we cozied up from the chilly day in one of their milk chocolate-colored booths. I quickly encountered my Big Brunch Dilemma: sweet or savory? I'm always drawn to the sweet side stuffed French toast, Kanela chip pancakes, strawberry waffle! I sometimes manage to talk myself into eggs but savorier plates just don't have the magnetic pull for me that French toast and waffles do. I'd like to let everyone in on a little secret. Southport Grocery also serves dinner twice a week and you should definitely figure out how to get there to enjoy it.

The restaurant, located in the popular Southport Corridor neighborhood at North Southport, is celebrating their 10th anniversary by offering their trademark comfort food for dinner on Thursday and Friday evenings from 5 to 10 pm. I visited Southport Grocery recently to sample a few of their new dinner offerings and was not disappointed.

The meal began with an apple salad, lobster bisque and a green bean poutine. If I had to pick a favorite of these three I would go with the apple salad. It was a wonderful mix of flavors. The thinly sliced apples combined with pickled pears, kale, peppered pecans, vintage Gouda and smoked onion marmalade which you can buy in the grocery was a dream. Lately Chicago's restaurant scene has been exploding all over the map, with hot new restaurant concepts putting down roots in some off-the-beaten-tracks neighborhoods: Honey Butter Fried Chicken in Avondale, A10 in Hyde Park, Dusek's in Pilsen.

However, a recent trend has seen some notable new places spreading across the Western Avenue border. Get ready to make the trip west to some fantastic new food -- if you haven't already. The Chop Shop : W. North Ave. However, the food and drinks program refuses to be overshadowed: chef Joshua Marrelli of Urban Union has created a hearty gastropub-style menu with prime butchers' cuts as the stars and The Bedford's Dan De Los Monteros orchestrated a cocktail menu based on upgraded classics. Basically, this is your one-stop-shop for food, drinks, and entertainment this winter.

Owner Pablo Ruiz, also behind Bullhead Cantina, takes his newest concept to the Humboldt Park area, where his dining-destination neighbors include Kai Zan and Rootstock. The space itself is simple but cozy, with woodsy tones and even featuring a separate downstairs lounge. Leghorn : N. Western Ave. While Lula Cafe vamps er, zombies as Fat Rice today, Real Kitchen , a gourmet-to-go spot in a Lakeview shopping strip, took to the internets to dress up as Alinea for Halloween.

The video shows Real Kitchen's chefs doing such things as juicing chicken to concentrate the flavor, using superglue as a "molecular gastronomy" chemical, and recreating Alinea's infamous tabletop dessert on the front counter and squeegeeing it into a takeout container. Although it's just a spoof, Real Kitchen is giving away free cupcakes today. Stop in at W. Montrose Ave.

This Saturday, Sept. Elston Ave. Southport Ave. When Honey Butter owners Christine Cikowski and Joshua Kulp open the doors at 5pm, expect crispy fried, locally sourced chicken, served with the restaurant's signature honey butter, plus "farmer's market-driven veggie side dishes," desserts and a small selection of craft beers from local microbreweries, along with wine and a few cocktails. Jeni's opens at 11am Saturday, with a full complement of its signature gourmet ice cream, sorbet and frozen yogurt flavors -- including a tamarind-whole goat's milk yogurt that's a nod to Rick Bayless.

There's a preview party Friday night from 7 to 10pm, with free samples for everyone and commemorative posters for the first 50 attendees, and owner Jeni Britton Bauer will be in attendance. Next intended to debut its new menu, Bocuse d'Or, on Saturday, Aug. However, dining is back on track and reservations are open if you can land one. Here's a preview. Chef Grant Achatz was one of the coaches of this year's team, which finished a disappointing seventh in the highly competitive contest. The Bocuse d'Or is as much about presentation as it is about taste, and the preview video demonstrates how carefully crafted each platter will be prepared for lucky diners.

I'm a sucker for places with a farm-to-table ethos and has a convincing one. Their herbs, edible flowers, and strawberries are grown in the restaurant's own rooftop garden. The location, on the fourth floor of the Omni Hotel on Michigan Ave. The full, east-facing windows overlook Michigan I had a prime view of the Apple Store , which the restaurant wisely let do the brunt of the lighting, creating a soft ambiance in the restaurant. The downtown bustle, plus the activity in the open kitchen served as focal points, the primary "decor" so-to-speak, since no one would pay much attention to any fine art with so much movement going on.

The menu's odd ingredient pairings also piqued my interest: brussels sprout flatbread; veggie meatballs, squash noodles, romesco, and basil. I knew full well that whatever image I sketched of, say, squash noodles would barely outline what appeared on my plate. Faced with all these options, I couldn't decide what to actually order. So I did what anyone else would do: asked someone to pick for me. Ditto for the drinks, where my companion and I asked for wine pairings with our three courses, plus coffee with dessert.

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A dozen restaurants across Chicagoland are featuring attractively-priced menu specials and prix fixe options with a nod towards French classics perfected by Julia. Be a part of the celebration at Mexique, Bistronomic, or one of the other participating restaurants-- find the full listing here. Absinthe is the Sweeney Todd of liquors: complex, misunderstood, and seductively dangerous. Distilled from three primary ingredients anise, fennel, and wormwood , this green-fairy drink was maligned by the temperance movement and other liquor competitors as a psychoactive drug containing a dangerous substance called thujone.

By the time scientists disproved such shenanigans, most countries including the US had banned it. But thanks to a little something called human perseverance, absinthe quickly made its way back onto the shelves of bars across the world. In fact, one of the largest collection of absinthe in the United States resides within a discreet restaurant in Chicago's hipster Wicker Park neighborhood: the Savoy. If you're the type of person who is happiest determining where you'll eat they day you're going out, instead of making plans, days, weeks, or months in advance, then you might like TableSAVVY.

This new website, partnered with Chicago Magazine, permits you to pick a neighborhood, a cuisine, a time, and the size of your party and find all of the restaurants that fit your needs and make a reservation for you. Not a bad deal for those who tend to procrastination. So you think you're a fan of Kuma's -- who isn't? Sure, you love the loud metal, the whiskey on tap, and the outrageous burgers. You may even nod approvingly at the tatted-up staff. But only true fans could pick out whose body art is whose, and only the most hard core aficionados could match the chefs to their respective burger philosophies.

And with that, we throw down a challenge. Match the tattoo to the right Kuma's staff member and you're a legit fan But correctly match the staff member to the tattoo and what burger topping they would be in an ideal world You require a pile of napkins and a hearty IPA to wash down. You're the kind of fan they might name a burger after -- if you were named after a Def Leppard song. If I could move to any neighborhood in Chicago, it'd be Andersonville. It's a little microcosm of diversity, with its Swedish roots, fabulous LGBT community, 2-kid-n'-dog families, and thriving Middle Eastern population.

Where else can I experience Lakeview without actually having to live there? Where else can I hit up Edgewater elotes and Argyle pho without having to drive more than five minutes? That's fucking right--Andersonville. So when I got invited to the Taste of Andersonville, I wept in glorious happiness because not only did it give me an excuse to dine in one of my favorite neighborhoods, but also because the event is an interactive experience. You see, it's like a culinary scavenger hunt, where participants meander up and down North Clark Street for restaurants mapped on their "passports.

It's tricky to put your finger on why one place, bar, restaurant feels comfortable, why you find yourself lingering at one more than another. It's not much to look at, but that could be part of it too. The unassuming decor of dark woods with flairs of red here and there, wide windows, and music humming as unobtrusively as the TVs above the bar, make this the sort of space you can relax into.

It's small, yet lively, with a mishmash of people. The guys in baseball caps eating at the bar, two women with laptops and drinks at a high table, a family eating and friends relaxing outside. I can see myself hanging out at the bar with a book, sipping a glass of wine, or a Kir Royal. I like restaurants where it's OK to eat solo. I like settling into a bar stool, I like anchoring my book to the countertop so I can read hands-free, I like coffee served in a vessel that straddles the subtle line between "cup" and "bowl.

I like the anticipation -- especially when you know it's gonna be good -- fueled by bottomless refills of aforementioned coffee. This new Roscoe Village spot, opened and operated by sibling duo Enoch and Caleb Simpson, has been on the receiving end of flurries of press--most of which heralds Enoch's signature donuts as the newest heroes of Chicago's donut scene. To me, this was exciting, but ultimately misleading: Endgrain features some standout donuts, sure; but don't let the full brunch menu stand by in supporting role.

Chef Enoch is also a master of biscuit sandwiches, weaving creativity through the stronghold of tradition, as exemplified in his marbled rye biscuit topped with caraway seeds and piled high with smoked trout. While hardly local--the new exclusive oyster breed grows in the cold waters off southern Virginia, not lake Michigan this is a good thing --presenting distributor Fortune Fish and Gourmet is. The name derives from CEO Sean O'Scanllain's old family brewery, and is meant to hark back to the days of simple protein trade between the stockyards of Chicago and the seabeds of the Atlantic coast.

June, July, and August are not "R" months, but there is something wonderfully refreshing about slurping oysters in the summer. Briny and meaty, they're surf and turf in a single slippery bite, served ice cold or off the grill as soon as their shells pop from the heat.

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Old are a welcome addition to the kumamotos and wellfleets you may already know. Funky and rich, with a buried sweetness, they're deep-cupped, so you get a good slug of seawater with each. With all that salt, you need something to drink, of course. I asked Brooks Reitz from The Ordinary , Charleston South Carolina's buzzy seafood mecca, what he suggests to serve along with oysters. This past Friday was the first official day of summer, as you could probably tell from the stickiness of the air since then.

And I'm happy to announce that along with the humidity and heat, the summer drinking series has returned to Gapers Block! We kicked things off on Friday with a few beers at the Hopleaf , that venerable Chicago drinking establishment, which is benefiting from its expansion to include a second dining room. A less packed bar makes grabbing a beer and frites much more bearable in the heat, especially since the air-conditioned rear dining rooms escape the wet gasp of air every the door opens--which at Hopleaf, is often.

For my inaugural summer quaff, I ordered a Sofie Paradisi , one of over 60 possible drafts, and a spin on my very favorite Goose Island offering. For this special summer beer, the usual saison-style Sofie is aged in its requisite wine barrels with grapefruit peel and juice, rather than the more traditional orange peel. Grapefruity beer is a trend I first noticed last summer, with Steigel's Grapefruit Radler , and which I heartily endorse.

The bitterness of the grapefruit esters seem perfectly suited for a lightly sour saison, and with Sofie Paradisi, the resulting brew is a lovely addition to the beer drinker's ever-expanding fruity summer palate. It paired nicely with Hopleaf's sweet crab and smoky endive salad with grapefruit segments! Aaaaahhhh, summer. Welcome back. The Andersonville location of Jerry's Sandwiches , N.

Clark St. The multi-level, well-landscaped space has seating for 65 right now, and will eventually be able to accommodate Jerry's is open till 1am, and full menu is available outside. A good sandwich is about more than what's in between the bread: local Chicago eateries have begun to take the notion of a quick "fast food" lunch and use it as a springboard for change. Sustainable, low-waste concepts were quick to catch on in the realm of fine dining, where guests were willing to shell out a bit more for the promise of environmentally-nurturing grub.

However, a handful of passionate "green" chefs and restaurateurs have started to apply the same ideas to a more egalitarian canvas: the humble lunchtime sandwich. Sandwich Me In - Lakeview. Chef Justin Vrany has an impressive food pedigree--he has previously worked in high-profile spots such as Mindy's Hot Chocolate and the Ritz Carlton. However, his aim with Sandwich Me In is to pare down ingredients to the freshest and most local, and to whip up every menu item in-house. Nearly everything, from the bread to the beverages, is made from scratch.

Even more impressively, over the course of a year, the restaurant only generated eight gallons of garbage. In case you didn't know, cerebral palsy is a "disorder of movement, muscle tone or posture that is caused by injury or abnormal development in the immature brain, most often before birth People with cerebral palsy often have other conditions related to developmental brain abnormalities, such as intellectual disabilities, vision and hearing problems, or seizures.

UCP has been helping CP individuals and their families since , providing a variety of different services including professional development and educational programs: "We help a child with cerebral palsy use technology that lets her speak for the first time. We help a man unable to use his hands or arms learn to do his own laundry and prepare his own meals.

We help a woman in a wheelchair roll down her new ramp and back into the community. The organization does amazing things for the CP community, and their food lineup did not disappoint. There were nearly 40 different participants, and while I could go on and on about each, some of my favorite highlights can be found after the jump Despite the mass popularity of the vegan and vegetarian food movements, meat is making a mighty comeback. The recent head to tail movement focuses on utilizing the entire animal by consuming the usually-discarded parts of the animal, especially the organs.

In fact, with the rise of artisan butcher shops e. Red Meat Market , it's become the latest foodie trend. The chefs at Next went on a ingredient heist at a few of their favorite restaurants for their upcoming vegan menu, which begins today and runs through late August. Wicker Park's Hash has all of the ingredients for brunch success: an inventive menu centered around a breakfast favorite, comfy prices, and a lot of local flavor.

Their namesake offerings, a selection of six different hash brown-centric plates, come in two different sizes and draw inspiration from the neighborhood's eclectic population: the "Ukie" features pork sausage and kraut, while the "Humboldt" includes fried plantain and a choice of chorizo or meatless "soyrizo.

The restaurant space itself is open and homey, full of retro patterns and natural light that encourage lingering over your cup of coffee Dark Matter , one of my local favorites. The easily-customizable menu sprawls across the back wall in chalk script, and counter service is--in my experience--quick and friendly. Delivery is also available! Hash N. Last month, Big Delicious Planet Catering and Canteen became the first caterer in the country to be awarded four star Certified Green Restaurant status by the Green Restaurant Association , and only the third restaurant in Chicago to achieve a four-star rating.

The approach to the host's stand at a restaurant can often be an awkward exchange--party of three, how long is the wait, can we have a drink the bar--but walking into the circular marble foyer of Spiaggia , there's no ambiguity: reservation or not, they know you're coming. At least, that's what the meticulously prepared food led me to believe. My friend and I showed early on a Saturday evening, expecting to be one of the few diners present for dinner when the sun was still going strong outside; however, as we entered the restaurant's high-ceilinged main room, our table was one of the few open seats in the place.

Spiaggia, which expands over several floors in an otherwise nondescript building that looks like it was intended to house a galaxy of conference rooms, has a clear view of the point when a part of Lake Shore Drive splits into the staccato of Michigan Avenue. Thousands of cars swirled by the large, clear windows as we dove into Spiaggia's tasting menus. North Center's Bad Apple , like so many restaurants, has jumped on the all-natural bandwagon. The restaurant is free of chemicals, pesticides and preservatives, and has been since it opened almost four years ago.

Everything has been all natural and as-local-as-possible since the day the restaurant opened its doors. Well, everything except for the ketchup. Chef and owner Craig Fass opened Bad Apple with a mass-produced ketchup but quickly converted to making their ketchup in-house. This housemade ketchup is made two to three times a week, 15 gallons at a time, producing over gallons a month.

The pot, larger than most toddlers, sits on the stove for six hours. If you're a cook at Bad Apple, here's your routine: put a burger on the stove, stir the ketchup, flip the burger, stir the ketchup, put the burger on a bun, stir the ketchup, add toppings to the burger, stir the ketchup. Get the idea? It's a time-consuming process. The John Hancock Building is basically Chicago's answer to the Eiffel Tower, with all of the same reasons for renown: it's a landmark seen across the city boasting spectacular views and a swanky restaurant at the top.

However, in the past said restaurant -- the Signature Room on the 95th, so named for its roost 95 floors above ground -- has delivered more impressively on window seats rather than on actual menu fare. The Signature Room celebrates its 20th anniversary this summer and has marked the occasion with the addition of a new executive chef: Rosalia Barron, previously of Frontera Grill and NAHA -- the Signature Room's first female chef.

I was invited to come sample some of the new offerings. When I was around 10, I went through a long phase where I refused to eat anything normal year-olds ate. Birthday cake? Hell no. Not unless it has fancy toppings on it, so basically, no. When I was first introduced to barbeque chicken pizza, it felt like it arrived accompanied by choirs of singing angels, not to mention the relieved sighs of my parents -- no marinara sauce, no spicy meat products, plenty of cheese and sticky sweet chicken.

But childhood memory can be a bitch -- for a long time, no real BBQ chicken pie has lived up to mistily shrouded recollections of picky year-old eater bliss. Until I tried the Knife and Forker at the new Homeslice Wheel House , Lincoln Park's grown-up refuge from the college-student inundated pizza and beer scene. And McGee's and those snobs at the Local Option had best watch their backs. Homeslice's version is like the Platonic form of barbeque chicken pizza: shredded chicken bolstered with spicy pepperoni, dark sweet barbeque sauce and finely sliced red onion for just a touch of acidity, draped with perfectly blistered cheddar, mozarella and provolone.

This, with 12 beers on tap and a cocktail menu! My childhood heart be still, my grown-up liver rejoice. After the holiday season, it's not uncommon for me to find myself abysmally broke. Going out to eat, usually my most prolific hobby, becomes increasingly uncomfortable as my pocket change dwindles and then finally disappears altogether. Luckily, there are options. When times get financially tough, I choose to live vicariously through the experiences of others, and I have yet to encounter a better medium for exploring the various microcosms of Chicago restaurants than through cookbooks.

My favorite cookbooks are not only compendiums of recipes, but also capture the culture of the restaurant itself--the behind-the-scenes lifeblood that you might normally not experience as a diner. These cookbooks showcase the Chicago food scene at its finest. And all of these titles can be found at your friendly local library branch!

Within you will find some of the best recipes sourced directly from some of the best restaurants in Chicago: street food to white tablecloth, it's all here. The Preservation Kitchen by Paul Virant Chef Virant's Chicago-based restaurant, Perennial Virant, relies on in-house pickling and preserves to create signature dishes that showcase produce at its prime. The Preservation Kitchen makes these techniques accessible to the home cook, with a beautiful balance of the scientific and the sensory.

V-Day is on the horizon, and there's not better day to romance someone through their stomach. We've selected a few places that are bound to impress that special someone. All you have to do is make a reservation and show up. And don't forget the flowers. Grass Fed Opt for a romantic candlelight dinner at Bucktown's quaint go-to for delicious beef sourced from Wisconsin grass-fed farms. And what's sexier than steak? While I don't always agree with his solutions e. I disagree with the value of link titles this is a goldmine for everybody willing to take some time and trouble to make their website accessible for all people, including those of us with disabilities.

I've already implemented the above trick in my own weblog and will use it for other table based webpages on the site as well. A big shoutout to John Robinson, via whose weblog I found this. Some good news and some bad news from the US led War on some Drugs today. First, the good news. ABC News ran the following story on their website yesterday:. For Jennifer Wallace, the revelation came four years ago, after she found out that a friend of hers who she knew came from a devout Christian family smoked marijuana, and she became worried about the young woman.

Wallace, a devout Christian herself, started looking into the research on marijuana and what she found surprised her. She said she found no evidence to back up the horrible things she had heard about the drug, and when she searched the Bible for any reference to it she found nothing at all. So she began to wonder why some religious leaders seemed to favor stiff penalties for marijuana users. The article then goes on to tell about other Christians and Christian groups coming out in opposition to the War against Drugs, some because they don't see the danger in drugs like marihuana, but most because the war leads to unnecessary suffering and doesn't work.

It's heartening to see support for alternative ways of dealing with drug abuse broadening. The other news was not as positive. The Supreme Court approved random drug tests for many public high school students Thursday, ruling that schools' interest in ridding their campuses of drugs outweighs an individual's right to privacy.

The decision would allow the broadest drug testing the court has yet permitted for young people whom authorities have no particular reason to suspect of wrongdoing. It applies to students who join competitive after- school activities or teams, a category that includes many if not most middle- school and high-school students.

Once more basic civil rights have to bow down before the all important War on Drugs. The land of the free indeed. You will probably not have heard of his wife, Gretta Duisenberg. Even I hadn't, really, apart from her being "the wife of". The Palestinian question has her special attention, so much so she took part in the big demonstration against the Israeli policies in the Occupied Territories on April 13th this year.

For this demonstration she bought a Palestinian flag and walked with it in the demo. So far, nothing serious. Her troubles began when she hung the flag from her balcony of her house in the posh Amsterdam Rivierenbuurt. Her next door neighbours, Ron and Rosa van der Wieken did not like this, especially when it became clear she wasn't going to take it down soon. Understandably, since those neighbours where Jewish and had family living in Israel. To them, the flag was a symbol of " a bloodthirsty regime " [ 1 ] so they complained to Gretta.

She however found this to be an overreaction: "Palestinians have to look at the Israeli flag and in the barrels of Israeli tanks every single day. In the freedom of Zuid-Amsterdam you must then not be so sensitive. Ron van der Wieken was supposed to have said that " she was a salon bolsevik " and "was partly responsible for what haappens to his children. She from her side was to have said that " rich Jews " [ 1 ]were partly responsible for the repression of the Palestinian people. So far, I would say, and so would most sensible people I hope that both parties were ummm not at their most intelligent so to speak.

They let their politics and their emotions get the better of them. But of course it didn't stay with that. The van der Wieken were not satisfied with the outcome and complained in an article in Het Parool , the Amsterdam evening paper. This was read by H. Loonstein, the chairman of Federatief Joods Nederland , who immediately pressed charges presumably based on article of Dutch criminal law which forbids discrimination and is overtly broad in its reach. Loonstein stated that Gretta Duisenberg's remarks were " a classic anti-semitic image ": " making rich Jews responsible for the suffering of the world " [ 2 ].

If you ask me, slightly over the top. Yes, it is an anti-semitic stereotype, but that does not mean Duisenberg was antisemitic or even made anti-semitic remarks. But the most bizarre twist is still to come. To combat this anti-semitic behaviour, what did Loonstein also do? This is not confirming an anti-semitic stereotype?

Let's call in extra legal pressure to be sure we win? Oy gevalt. Just a quick note that I've once again updated my booklog, adding a review of the non fiction book Missing , the story of how Charles Horman, an US citizen got caught up in the coup in Chile led by Pinochet. He was arrested, killed and very likely tortured because he accidentaly learn of the US support for and involvement with the coup. He was of course not the only one, thousands more, Chileans as well as foreigners would disappear, be tortured and eventually murdered by the brutal Pinochet regime with the full knowledge and often support of various US governments.

But at least Chile was out of the hands of that dangerous Marxist, Allende. For those of you who have wondered in all innocence why the rest of the world seems so suspicious of the US's "War against Terror", this is one of the reasons why. Want more information on Chile? Read this overview of Chile under Allende's government, take a look at the Chile documentation project , read Christopher Hitchens on Henry Kissinger. Last time I wrote about the aftermath of the parliamentary elections was on May 21st high time to take another look at what's been going on.

There is also some older news I hadn't found the opportunity yet to comment on, so let's kill two birds with one stone. In the previous post about the elections I wrote about several MPs from the losing parties drawing their conclusions and leaving the Tweede Kamer, but they were not the only ones. Leon Geurts of the Lijst Pim Fortuyn LPF was number 27 on the LPF election list, the last one elected but withdrew his application two days afterwards because he had lied about his quailifications.

According to an article in Limburgs Dagblad [ 1 ]he lied about having an university level degree when in fact he still had to finish his study. He got into trouble because he couldn't remember under which professor he did his thesis and because he insisted he got his degree in -- when he was fifteen years old Every other possibility is either incredibly unrealistic or leads to a minority government. Yet until recently the VVD swore it would not and could not take part in the new government.

Piously their current leader, ex-minister of fiance Gerrit Zalm explained that the voters did not want the VVD in the government because the VVD had lost so heavily in the elections. This was of course so much bullshit. Zalm is an experienced politician and he knows he holds the aces in these coalition negotiations. His party has little to lose. Especially since any coalition not including them would be a weak or evne a minority one. After eight years of wandering aimlessly through the desert of opposition, blundering from one crisis to another they hunger for their reward.

Not being in government this time would be unthinkable. This of course means the CDA has the disadvantage in any negotiations. Their own strength lies in their being the biggest party, without whom no real government is possible either. For the LPF, their massive victory, coming from nothing to 26 seats in parliament is both a blessing and a handicap.

Fast growing new parties do not tend to last long in Dutch politics. If they went in opposition they would both lose voter support since they then cannot deliver what they promised as well as run a very real risk of disintegrating, going under in internal squabbles. The example of the senior citizens parties, who made a good showing in the elections, but then all but disappeared in the elections and who this time are gone for good , should be burned in their members' brains. Even in government it will be difficult enough to survive and keep the support of the voters. In my view, it will be difficult anyway for the LPF to make their voice heard in this coalition.

Any third party runs the risk of being mangled between them. The LPF itself can be summed up in one word: inexperienced. They blundered already this weekend, when several prominent LPF members called for a general amnesty for all illegal migrants in the Netherlands, whose number is estimated to be around , This, according to party spokeswoman Zeroual, responsible for the LPF's migrant policies, was what the LPF had always had as their policy. It's one example of the inexperience of the new party and its leaders.

It makes sense for Zalm to want to profit as much as possible from both parties weaknesses. By playing hard to get, he got a that much better negotiation position then he would have if he was too eager even if everybody knows it's a farce. His policy is an understandable one, but somewhat reprehensible, symbolic of old style politics that should vanish in the Brave New Era of political openness the LPF was supposed to usher in. It's not quite there yet Yesterday I tried to write a comprehensive and insightful overview of the weblog phenonemon and the philosophy behind my own little weblog.

As you may have noticed, nothing much came from it. Instead I'll highlight some aspects of blogging I feel particularly strong about and how they relate to this site. To kick off, you may have noticed that I don't have a comment system at all. This is for simple reason that while I like getting reactions to what I post, I don't want them on my site. This is my own voice, undilutated by anything else.

The proper place to comment on my posts is by either dropping me a note in e-mail at wissewords cloggie. This spot is reserved for me and me alone. Another feature you're not likely to see on here is the well known Amazon or Paypal begging bowl. I don't need the money, I don't think you should feel obligated to pay for something that's done purely as a hobby and I don't like to have a commercial relationship, no matter how slender between me and my readers.

Frankly I dislike the omnipresent attitude that anything that's worth doing should be done for commercial gain, that you should attempt to get some money out of everything that you do, that you are a sucker if you don't. If I recommend you books, I want to do it because I think you'll like them, not because you'll buy them at Amazon and I'll get a kickback.

If I write a controversial post, I want to do so because I feel strongly about it, not in the hope of getting more traffic and more donations. A common weblog feature you will and in fact do see here is the list or blogroll of other weblogs honoured with a place in the left column of this site. I think it's important to support sites I find important this way, but I won't put just any site there. My policy regarding the blogroll is fairly simple. The third category I bookmark, the fourth I put on the blogroll. So what is this "style of blogging I feel should be the norm" then?

Reasoned argument. It's writing that doesn't rely on the demonising of its opponents, doesn't use shopworn cliches and political stopwords like " leftist ", " fascist " or " statist ". It doesn't rely on quoting out of context, or misrepresantation of its opponents, on personal attacks. They have read and understood George Orwell's Politics and the English Language and have absorbed its lessons. That's the style of writing I try to conform to and that's the style of writing present in the list of weblogs to the left. Any blog that doesn't adhere to this standard will not enter this list.

That Usenet post I refered to in the 24 april entry got some followups, one of which included a link to an interesting overview of the history of socialism and the struggle between top-down and bottom-up socialism: the two souls of socialism. This week, Shelley of Burningbird has been blogging for two years.

To commemorate this, she provided a little history of her blog, doing the usual musing one does at those events, in the course of which she wrote this:. I can understand where Shelley's coming from, but I think she's wrong here. Has it ever been possible to "write unemcumbered by the real world", without shutting your eyes to it? I never had this golden age, as the weblogs I followed from the beginning were all too involved with the real world of politics and war, as my own are too. What's happening now is not new; though it is certainly more pervasive.

In a few months there will be local elections in the UK. To mark the occasion Iain Coleman has presented his Rules of Letterboxes:. As an ex-postie, I can only agree, especially about 5. I used to dread one particular house on my route, as they had a dog the size of a small mammoth, judging from the way the ground shook when it came running to the door and the way the door bulged when it lunged at the mail and my hand Was always afraid one of those days the door would not stop it But not if you're poor, black or living in the wrong neighbourhood.

In Wilmignton, Delaware police have set up an database of people voted most likely to break the law in the future. How and why you end up on the list is unclear, but as the Nando Times [ 1 ] reports "most of the people included in the file have been minorities from poor, high-crime neighborhoods". Funny that. Responding to criticism from American Civil Liberties Union and local defense lawyers, Wilmington's mayor called it asinine and intellectually bankrupt.

I don't care what anyone but a court of law thinks. Until a court says otherwise, if I say it's constitutional, it's constitutional". The way in which the "presubjects" have been entered in the database is a bit ddgy, to say the least. According to the Guardian : The individuals, mostly black men, were photographed by "jump- out squads" of police officers, who cruise high-crime neighbourhoods in the city, often in unmarked cars, then jump out at street corners to round up and search people gathering there. Posted by Martin Wisse Permalink End of post. Socialism in an Age of Waiting is the new Spiked Online.

That is, a group of ex-socialists trying to transform themselves into some sort of influential thinktank and making a name for themselves by injecting socalled controversial but in reality just ordinary conservative ideas in their own debased strain of socialism. Case in point: they are now busy slapping themselves on the back for noticing my little post about them, as well as having the vapors about me using bad words I know, I should stop paying attention to them, but you just know that the loony right is going to use them as " even the socialist Bloody hell, I really hope this article is wrong:.

It's hard for me to express the utter wrongness of those plans, the utter depravity of this. The reality of Camp X-Ray is bad enough as it is, a black hole in which to put these socalled "enemy combattants" the US government doesn't want to give either the protections due prisoners of war or the legal safeguard any common criminal recieves. Since there was such a clear and present danger to the US they further argued, we need to be able to circumvent the laws, because to do otherwise risks another WTC-scale attack.

It's the doctrine of exceptionalism: because of the exceptional circumstances we're in, normal procedures should be abrogated; they're inadequate responses to these changed situations and we cannot afford the luxury of civil rights anymore. With this doctrine you can justify everything, including holding secret trials and secret executions.

Which is remarkably like how the first concentration camps got started in Germany, as warehouses for "enemies of the state". Norman Geras says , in the course of writing about Bush's war:. Whereas I don't think, to give another crude analogy here, that a Mob war should be thought of as a public service, even if it clears the streets of some deserving scumbags.

Let's rag on the BBC for a bit then, eh? There are a few things about the BBC that cheese me off no end. For one thing, for a non-commercial organisation they sure do put a lot of ads. Why the fuck do we need to be reminded forty times a day that this new exciting programme will premiere in two days? By the time it finally comes on I'm sick of it already. Not to mention that usually they're so obnoxious that you want to shoot everybody involved after the second time you'd seen them. And the programmes being advertised are often no better. How many fucking shows do we need to have where some nice upper middle classwhite couple gets their room redecorated, their garden done, their clothes revamped or their life sorted out?

Yes, they can be entertaining and obviously are cheap to make, but after the fifth variation on a theme I'm sick of them. Another cheap format that should've been discontinued by now: celebrity quiz shows. When it was good, it was very very good, but it only looks tired now. The same goes for Buzzcocks , which has had all of the interesting music celebrites by now and is now reduced to the third backup singer for Atomic Kitten.

A related format is that of the celebrity nostalgia shows. I Love ? What the fuck? Various non-entities talking about how much they liked four years ago? Or what about Grumpy Old Men? Various baby boomers whinging about all the predictable stuff you've heard your parents whinge about too often already. The latter is what I first read of her and are also the books with which she first gained promince. However, some of her more obscure and less accesible books also deserve a wider audience, but apparantely are too difficult or too weird to have gained one.

They take place in a sort of alternate 17th century England, where the compass has a fifth direction to it, and the directions are all still 90 degrees apart , a female Charles Stuart and Olivier Cromwell, a magic system based on alchemy. And yet their author still insists they are science fiction rather than fantasy. It's no wonder then that Mary Gentle has just as outspoken ideas about her role as a science fiction writer :.

John Laughland writes about conspiracy theories in the Spectator , an UK conservative political magazine:. Firm science fiction[ 1 ] writer Wil McCarthy is offering the sequel to his recent The Collapsium as a free for download audiobook from his website :. I've read his novel Bloom and only just bought The Collapsium --this seems like a neat way to try out the sequel too. On the metroline I take every weekday to work, there's one station which has a very bad reputation as a hangout for bored teenagers, as well as a prime place for pickpockets.

It's a place with a lot of aggro happening and has therefore recently become the focus of a police and public transit authority GVB effort to clean it up. What they did is putting ticket inspectors at all entrances to the station to combat fare dodgers. These are there nearly every day and also function as a check on the worst excesses by providing permanent social control. To make the station even less attractive for troublemakers, the police and GVB also irregularly but fairly frequently hold massive spot checks of fares; not just of people getting on but also getting off the metro.

If you don't have a ticket, you are immediately fined. One such operation was underway when I passed the station tonight on the way back home. There were about twenty police officers and a similar number of GVB inspectors present, checking everybody for tickets.

Now imagine you're a fare dodger and have to get off at this station. As you approach the station you see this happening and you see the police writing fines to people caught without tickets. Would you get off? Course not. Better to just ride to the next stop and get off there. Not so two slightly less bright fourteen year or so old boys getting off there without a valid ticket. Must have thought to bluff their way out, but no such luck. As somebody who pays a fair amount of money for my travelcard, I felt just a little bit of schadenfreude.

When I came home, I had to wait a little while for the elevator to come down I live on the eleventh for USAnians, the twelfth floor of a big appartement complex and noticed yet another flyer of our resident kook tacked on the notice board:. This guy has been doing this for years, hanging up flyers talking about how atoms are made of space ships and planets and solar systems and are filled with intelligent life, 10,,,, years ahead of us I may have missed a couple of zeroes. He says they are the reason our bodies work; cause they built us like we built roads and buildings and stuff.

He also states that we will do the same as they in the logn term: fill the universe with our space ships and colonies and live for 10,,,, years clearly a lover of big round numbers. What I like about him is that unlike your average internet kook Timecube anyone? His grasp on scientific reality may have slipped he does show an attractive future of mankind spread throught he universe without strife or worries. Also nice are the little drawings he includes of himself in spacesuit connected to a spaceship against a background of stars.

Maked me all cheerful wehn I saw it. Dorothea of Caveat Lectorzilla , who I've been dithering about putting on the blogroll, had a small rant recently about Richard Florida's The Rise of the Creative Class. Which is apparantely one of these books which evangelises about how all our lives are going to meaningful soon because we will all work creative, fulfilling jobs. She disagrees with his conclusions a bit, as you will see:. It didn't especially convince me --I can accept his data but not all his conclusions -- but I had a true fire-book-across-room moment while perusing his final chapter.

No, I didn't fire book across room. I don't do that to library books. I just snarled and wanted to. See, Florida points out that a Creative Class-based economy leaves non-Creative-Classers in the dust, in service jobs that pay a wretched benefits-less pittance. He's right. His solution? Not revaluing service jobs as vital parts of tolerable living.

Not valuing human time and energy enough to pay a decent minimum wage, to ensure a minimum standard of health care. Oh, no. The answer is to move everyone into the Creative Class! Clueless, elitist moron --I really wanted to fire that book into a wall, hard. Maybe I am a drudge; maybe I do deserve no more than the pittance I'm paid. Move me out of my drudgery into the lighthearted, self- absorbed Creative Class, though, and David's in immediate trouble.

I may be a drudge, but I am a necessary drudge. It's an old, old idea, that "creative" work or at least intellectual work is far superior to mere physical labour. The Ancient Greeks had more then a touch of it: physical labour was for slaves, a gentleman did not busy himself with vulgar matters. One of the factors I'm convinced led to the global dominance of Europe was that a great part of European culture s managed to escape this attitude. I've done hard, physical labour, in exactly the sort of service job Florida talks about: working twelve hour or longer shifts in a fast food joint, cleaning toilets in a camping at 6 AM.

Hard work, dirty work, certainly not creative work, but not unpleasant work either. Because these were part time summer jobs, in a province dependent on tourism, these jobs paid well and the bosses treated their workers as human beings, instead of interchangable cogs. Which is the essence of what makes a job bearable or even fun to do. There's nothing wrong with drudge work, with a service job, as long as you're treated right. If you get paid enough to live on and a bit more, not worked to death trying to keep impossible schedules, not cheated out of your dignity a hundred different ways each day then even a job as cleaner is not a bad job at all.

To insist that everybody instead should do something creative is just silly. If only because all of us in our oh so creative jobs are very much dependent on all those people consigned to socalled drudge work. Kevin Batcho hasn't updated his blog, Beyond the Wasteland for more then a month, for good reasons: his wife was almost due to give birth. This thursday it finally happened and they are now the proud parents of two bouncing I hope not Congratulations on having achieved prefect nuclear family status in one go, you two! Hope everything goes well and your wife plus children will be home soon.

Incidently, it has always amused me that my English teacher in secondary school had never heard of the expression nuclear family. Amsterdam, 25 february, It had been almost a year since the Nazis had invaded and occupied The Netherlands. It would be almost a year before the USA entered the war. On the other side of the North sea was the only free fighting country in Europe, still fighting for survival. Just two days before, the first large scale razzias had been held in the traditionally Jewish neighbourhoods of Amsterdam. Tensions were high. Already there had been sporadic resistance against the Jewbaiting practised by the occupier and their Dutch collaborators.

The razzias had been revenge for this. But Amsterdam was never a city to cower in the face of brutality. Nor did it this time. On 25 februari, exactly 62 years ago, a general strike broke out in the city, to support its Jewish inhabitants. All trams stopped; those who did attempt to ride were pelted with stones and chased back to their garages. Other council services also striked and Amsterdam workers took to the streets, chasing the German ordnungspolizie out of the city.

The strike went beyond the Amsterdam borders, to other parts of the province of Noord-Holland. For a moment it seemed it would be succesful and then the Nazis struck back, mercilessly. Several of the organisers and participants were arrested, tortured and killed. Who they were? They were Communist. It was the Dutch Communist Party who started the strike, who were amongst the first to go into resistance against the occupiers and many of whom paid the ultimate price for it.

Today we remember them and all those others who fought beside them against the Nazi oppression during those late february days in I'm sick and tired of socalled "decent" leftists, those sellouts who supported the war for Halliburton because it appealed to their patronising imperialist dreams of spreading democracy by the sword. I'm sick and tired of those useful idiots who supposed the war on Iraq was fought to liberate the Iraqi people while wilfully blinding themselves to the obvious truth about George Bush, who never had been a friend of democracy.

I'm sick and tired of those who gave Bush and his cronies another chance to screw up a country, after it had already become clear what he had wrecked in Afghanistan. I'm sick and tired of everybody who wrapped themselves in the flag of righteousness while supporting the killing of innocent. If you supported the war on Afghanistan, you were wrong. If you supported the war on Iraq you were doubly wrong. If you still support the war on Iraq, you're a fool. We said nothing good would come from this and indeed, nothing good has come from it.

The reasons Bush gave why this war was necessary were lies from start to finish, as any fool could see: Saddam Hussein's Iraq was boxed in, did not even control its own airspace, had long ago lost any weapons of mass destruction it still had and the idea that Iraq had any connections with Al Quaida or any involvement with the September 11 attacks is too absurd for words. Yet these were the reasons given both by the Bush and the Blair administrations.

If you supported the war because of those reasons, you were duped. You're in good company: US congress and UK parliament were also duped. If you supported this war knowing those reasons were fake, but for reasons of your own, you were an useful idiot, unless you are an oil executive, own stock in Halliburton or wanted to avenge your daddy. If you supported this war because ou saw this as a chance to spread democracy to Iraq and liberate the country from Saddam Hussein's dictatorship, what were you thinking? Didn't you see what had happened in Afghanistan, another war you probably also supported?

When all the cool bombardments had stoppedand the tv cameras were switched off, all the fancy talk about building a better future for the country turned out to be so much hot air. There wasn't even any money put aside in this year's budget for it, until Congress made Bush! And you thought you could trust Bush not to fuck up the far harder task of liberating Iraq? Didn't you ever question whether someone who resorted to such obvious lies to get the war he wanted had the same motives as you? Why were you so gullible? Just to underscore my last post comes this case study:.

It's not as much the nascent fascism of the Bush regime which frightens me, as it's the complacency of the US media and people about it. There isn't any real opposition to the Bush powergrab and the only "realistic" opposition, the Democratic Party still seems to treat politics as a fucking game, in which it's more important to play by the rules and be nice than it is to win. It shows how the police and the Italian secret service s knew of the coming of the violent hooligans of the socalled black blocs. It again shows how the hooligans could roam freely, on a rampage of violence and destruction, while at the same time the real, non-violent protestors as well as several inconvenient journalist were brutally attacked and arrrested.

It became clear very early during the Genova demonstration that the Italian police had infiltrated the black blocks and used them to discredit the alterglobalist movement. It was only afterward that it became clear that the violence of both the black blocs and the police was orchestrated from the beginning, was not the result of the protest getting out of hand but planned from the beginning.

For most people this is of course hard to believe. Surely things like this don't happen there? But as this documentary shows, it did. And it's hard to discredit the ARD as leftist scaremongers Below the discription of the documentary in the online tv-guide of the ARD. Normally I would give a link instead, but since I'm afraid this will disappear quickly, I'll quote it below:.

Noch nie hatten sich so viele Menschen zu einem Protest gegen die herrschende Weltordnung versammelt, und noch nie war die Reaktion der Polizei so scharf wie in Genua. Die Regierung Berlusconi, seit wenigen Wochen im Amt, hatte Die Autoren sprechen mit Politikern und Betroffenen vor Ort.

Auch hochrangige Polizeibeamte nehmen dazu kritisch Stellung. That's on top of other fees already paid to other music industry groups. What it means is that almost every US internet radio broadcaster not supported by a big commercial organisation will shut down soon or has done so already, simply because they cannot affort those fees.

In a country where big companies like Clear Channel own most of the radio stations and use it to play the same bland commercial pop music, internet radio was often the only way you could actually discover new bands. Now that's no longer possible. One of the victims is Perkigoth which I just had discovered thanks to Charlie. As they put it:. To say we are disapointed is an understatement. How much are those fees? Seven dollar cent per listener, backdated to november ! In other words, any moderately popular net radio has to put a huge chunk of money on the table at the start to be able to continue their broadcasts, plus continuing fees for every performance, ie any time somebody starts up their broadcast.

Not only that, they also have to pay ephemeral licence fees worth 8. Ephemeral fees are charged for the "priviledge" of storing the music for broadcast. And the decision was taken by the Librarian of Congress, a nonelected bureaucrat.