Later On

A blog written for those whose interests more or less match mine.

Archive for January 6th, 2015

Very rich-tasting—and very easy—mushroom soup

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I made this soup, with these notes:

I used 1 oz dried porcini, not 1/2 oz.

Used 1.5 lb domestic white mushrooms—might go for 2 lb next time.

I then followed the recipe (including using the 1/3 c medium-grain rice) except I did add 1 Tbsp Red Boat fish sauce with the soy sauce: double-umami. Also, I added the 2 Tbsp sherry as suggested.

I used an immersion blender. It was slow starting but then did quite well. I used a 4-qt pot, which was plenty big enough.

I used heavy cream instead of milk.

It’s incredibly rich tasting, but it has relatively little oil. But then, think of how much umami: the soy sauce, the fish sauce, and mushrooms themselves are all very high in umami. No wonder it tastes so rich.

Written by LeisureGuy

6 January 2015 at 6:12 pm

Posted in Daily life, Food, Recipes

The UK does not free speech as a specific right—so they don’t respect the right

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Convicting people of the “crime” of free speech: the UK today. It really is moving in the direction Orwell predicted—just look at all the CCTV cameras to assist Big Brother in watching you. And of course, thought police pounce on speech they not like and convict people of the crime of saying something offensive. (Obviously, their actions are also offensive—therefore also criminal?)

You can see why Jefferson thought that a bill of specific rights to protect individuals against the government was so important. Needless to say, those rights are being discarded: the right to be protected against unreasonable search and seizure is long gone at this point. But I would say the UK is even worse.

Glenn Greenwald reports at The Intercept:

On March 6, 2012, six British soldiers were killed in Afghanistan by a roadside explosive device, and a national ritual of mourning and rage ensued. Prime Minister David Cameron called it a “desperately sad day for our country.” A British teenager, Azhar Ahmed, observed the reaction for two days and then went to Facebook to angrily object that the innocent Afghans killed by British soldiers receive almost no attention from British media. He opined that the UK’s soldiers in Afghanistan are guilty, their deaths deserved, and are therefore going to hell:

azhar

The following day, Ahmed was arrested and “charged with a racially aggravated public order offense.” The police spokesman explained that “he didn’t make his point very well and that is why he has landed himself in bother.” The state proceeded to prosecute him, and in October of that year, he was convicted “of sending a grossly offensive communication,” fined and sentenced to 240 hours of community service.

As demonstrators demanded he be imprisoned, the judge who sentenced Ahmed pronounced his opinions “beyond the pale of what’s tolerable in our society,” ruling: “I’m satisfied that the message was grossly offensive.” The Independent‘s Jerome Taylor noted that he “escaped jail partially because he quickly took down his unpleasant posting and tried to apologize to those he offended.” Apparently, heretics may be partially redeemed if theypublicly renounce their heresies.

Criminal cases for online political speech are now commonplace in the UK, notorious for its hostility to basic free speech and press rights. As The Independent‘s James Bloodworth reported last week, “around 20,000 people in Britain have been investigated in the past three years for comments made online.”

But the persecution is by no means viewpoint-neutral. It instead is overwhelmingly directed at the country’s Muslims for expressing political opinions critical of the state’s actions.

To put it mildly, not all online “hate speech” or advocacy of violence is treated equally. It is, for instance, extremely difficult to imagine that Facebook users who sanction violence by the UK in Iraq and Afghanistan, or who spew anti-Muslim animus, or who call for and celebrate the deaths of Gazans, would be similarly prosecuted. In both the UK and Europe generally, cases are occasionally brought for right-wing “hate speech” (the above warning from Scotland’s police was issued after a polemicist posted repellent jokes on Twitter about Ebola patients). But the proposed punishments for such advocacy are rarely more than symbolic: trivial fines and the like. The real punishment is meted out overwhelmingly against Muslim dissidents and critics of the West.

Continue reading. It is a good article. Later in the article:

Perhaps the most potent example yet was the most recent Israeli attack on Gaza, where, for the first time, the full brutality and savagery of Israeli aggression was publicly conveyed. That’s because, despite their poverty, many ordinary Gazans now have video cameras on their cellphones and a Twitter account, which meant they were regularly uploading horrific video of Israeli bombs and tanks destroying hospitals, schools and apartment buildings, which in turn prevented Western journalists from ignoring or diluting the civilian carnage.

gaza-540x326

Perhaps the most potent example yet was the most recent Israeli attack on Gaza, where, for the first time, the full brutality and savagery of Israeli aggression was publicly conveyed. That’s because, despite their poverty, many ordinary Gazans now have video cameras on their cellphones and a Twitter account, which meant they were regularly uploading horrific video of Israeli bombs and tanks destroying hospitals, schools and apartment buildings, which in turn prevented Western journalists from ignoring or diluting the civilian carnage.

He points out later in the article that the US is not living up to its Constitution:

Despite frequent national boasting of free speech protections, the U.S. has joined, and sometimes led, the trend to monitor and criminalize online political speech. The DOJ in 2011 prosecuted a 24-year-old Pakistani resident of the United States, Jubair Ahmad, on terrorism charges for uploading a 5-minute video to YouTube featuring photographs of Abu Ghraib abuses, video of American armored trucks exploding, and prayer messages about “jihad” from the leader of a designated terror group; he was convicted and sent to prison for 12 years. The same year, the DOJ indicted a 22-year-old Penn State student for, among other things, posting justifications of attacks on the U.S. to a “jihadi forum”; the speech offender, Emerson Winfield Begolly, was sentenced to 8 1/2 years in prison.

Countless post-9/11 prosecutions for “material support of terrorism” arecentrally based on political views expressed by the (almost always young and Muslim) defendants, who are often “anticipatorily prosecuted” for expression of ideas political officials find threatening. There is no doubt that the U.S. government has even used political speech as a significant factor in placing individuals on its “kill list” and then ending their life, including the U.S.-born preacher Anwar Awlaki (targeted with death before the attempted Christmas Day bombing over Detroit which was later used to justify Awlaki’s killing). Anti-American views by Muslims–meaning opposition to U.S. aggression and violence–are officially viewed as evidence of terrorist propensity, which is why this passage, flagged by the ACLU-Massachusetts’ Kade Crockford, appeared in a CNN article yesterday about the trial of Boston Marathon bombing defendant Dzhokhar Tsarnaev:

cnn1-540x64

As is true for all War on Terror abuses, this American version of criminalizing speech is spreading far beyond its original application, and is increasingly applied domestically. Anti-police messages are now being subjected to the same criminalizing treatment as anti-military and anti-U.S.-foreign-policy ideas.

And look at this:

ap-540x227

Meyer notes that – in the wake of increasing controversy over racist and abusive police misconduct – “police departments throughout the United States are arresting people for making alleged threats against officers online with little, if any, investigation,” and lists numerous prosecutions as dubious as the DiRosa case, if not more so. DiRosa himself was formally summoned within hours of posting his Facebook message. Yet here is a case of a former police officer urging his fellow officers to kill a specific person, with the person’s picture posted, and there have been no charges filed. As Meyer argues, “compared to the others who were either arrested or threatened with arrest, [the ex-officer’s] comment was the one that came closest to a threat, so not taking action will further prove that cops are above the law.”

It’s a lengthy article—there’s more—but it’s also an important article as the US continues to shed Constitutional freedoms. Not that the US record heretofore has been unblemished: recall how the Dixie Chicks were treated for their strong objections to the Iraq War—which, indeed, turned out to be a terrible war: based on lies, costing trillions of dollars and hundreds of thousands of lives, totally destroying the nation that we claimed to be “rescuing.” More should have spoken out against that war.

Read the whole thing.

Written by LeisureGuy

6 January 2015 at 10:19 am

Super shave with Wee Scot, Chai Tea, and iKon slant

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STOD 6 Jan 2015

Very smooth shave. Chai Tea is the fragrance of the Maggard soap I used, and it’s spot on. The Wee Scot made a very nice lather indeed: I loaded the brush well and then worked in a couple of driblets of water as I worked up the lather on my beard. The little guy had no problem at all in holding enough lather for a three-pass shave (and could have continued for more passes).

The iKon slant—their first model—is a wonderful razor. I had to work a little too hard in the final pass and so replaced the blade after the shave, but the result was BBS and the shave was enjoyable and nick-free.

A splash of Fine’s Fresh Vetiver, and the day begins.

I have a couple of new brushes and intended to use one today, but Molly got to playing with them (being deliberately bad to show she wanted something, usually food), so I put them up out of the way and thus was not reminded. Tomorrow…

Written by LeisureGuy

6 January 2015 at 9:39 am

Posted in Shaving

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