Later On

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

Archive for November 17th, 2015

Sobering insight about Ben Carson

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Just read it. Kevin Drum in Mother Jones.

Written by Leisureguy

17 November 2015 at 3:32 pm

Made Miso Chicken: Easy, interesting, and messy in a good way

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In a good way if you ever enjoyed playing with mud pies that are close to clay in consistency, a wet clay. Come to thing of it, it’s probably part of the pleasure potters pursue.

I’m referring to the making and applying of the wet rub in this recipe. I made it last night—used a rimmed baking sheet lined with nonstick aluminum foil—and the only thing I might experiment with is lowering the temperature a tad: I would go 350ºF for 50 minutes instead of 425ºF for 30 minutes (and 330 minutes was all it took: I turned them once, to put the skin side down, and the skin side continued to brown from the heat of the baking sheet.

I did one experiment willy-nilly: I didn’t have enough white miso on hand to fill 1/2 c so I had to use some red miso, about a third of it. So next time I’ll do just white miso and see how it goes.

BTW, if you’re shopping for gifts, remember that White River Miso fills orders during the winter, and they have interesting misos. I like the Garlic Red Pepper, but the Dandelion Leek is pretty good, too. It would be interesting to make the Miso Chicken recipe using duck and the Garlic Red Pepper miso.

Written by Leisureguy

17 November 2015 at 12:11 pm

Posted in Food, Recipes & Cooking

Worth watching: The Worricker Trilogy, a 3-part miniseries on Amazon Prime

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The BBC can certainly turn out a polished production. The Worricker Trilogy stars Bill Nighy, who is always fun to watch, but also with Judy Davis, Ralph Fiennes, Rachel Wiecz, Michael Gambon, Rupert Graves, Winona Ryder, Helena Bonham Carter, Christopher Walken, and so on. The three parts are Page Eight, Turks and Caicos, and Salting the Battlefield.

Great story, gripping and intriguing. This is my second go-around.

Warning: the 3 episodes that comprise the series are augmented by two “making of” sort of things: chats with cast and crew. The superfluous episodes are no. 3 and no. 5:

  1. Page Eight
  2. Turks and Caicos
  3. Padding – skip
  4. Salting the Battlefield
  5. Padding – skip

Well worth watching. Or did I already say that?

UPDATE: I was just thinking the way in the series that various women reveal that they loved him, including a few in whom we see the first flowerings of love.

No love for Tony Blair in this movie, though.

It’s interesting to see how the deep state works. See also National Security and Double Government, by Michael Glennon. Just read the introduction using Amazon’s Look Inside feature.

And see also this article on how the plot’s machinations exist in American history.

Written by Leisureguy

17 November 2015 at 11:56 am

Posted in Movies & TV

Machining a baseplate

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When I read about “precision machined” stainless razors, I somehow picture a guy standing at a metal lathe/milling machine. But that was (probably early) in the 20th century. This brief video shows the Blackbird baseplates being machined. (Note: Sound is electronic music and distracting. You can observe better if the sound is off.)

Written by Leisureguy

17 November 2015 at 11:20 am

Posted in Shaving

Police have no search warrant, man closes door on them, police break down door and kill the man

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Here’s the story, and here’s the kernel of it:

. . . Clayton Carroll told WNCN that his roommate, 33-year-old John Livingston was shot several times by a Harnett County Sheriff deputy during the incident.

Carroll says sheriff’s deputies knocked on their door around 3:30 a.m.

Carroll said they were looking for someone that no longer lived there. When deputies asked Livingston if they could search the trailer, Livingston said “not without a search warrant,” according to Carroll.

Livingston then closed the door.

“The cop kicked in the door, got on top of him, started slinging him around beat him…” Carroll said.

Carroll said sheriff’s deputies then started spraying mace on Livingston and using the Taser, according to the roommate. . .

Livingston was then shot to death.

Written by Leisureguy

17 November 2015 at 10:40 am

Posted in Law Enforcement

Please recall the lessons of the Iraq War

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Kevin Drum has a good post at Mother Jones:

Jeff Guo writes about the likelihood that the Paris attacks will inspire reprisals against Muslims:

“This is precisely what ISIS was aiming for — to provoke communities to commit actions against Muslims,” said Arie Kruglanski, a professor of psychology at the University of Maryland who studies how people become terrorists. “Then ISIS will be able to say, ‘I told you so. These are your enemies, and the enemies of Islam.’”

….The researchers see the Paris attacks increasing radicalization in two potential ways. First, the killings project power and prestige, burnishing ISIS’s image and attracting those who want to feel potent themselves.

Second, the attacks will escalate tensions between Muslims and non-Muslims. They have already led to some anti-Muslim activity, and will likely provoke more. Not only will these events make Muslims in the West feel marginalized, but they will also provide extremist propagandists with examples of Western oppression.

What really gets me about this is not just that it’s true. It’s that we’ve seen this movie before with Al-Qaeda. We know perfectly well that it’s ISIS that wants to turn this into a war of civilizations, just as Al-Qaeda wanted to do. It’s no secret. Why are so many conservative hawks so willing to play along with this?

More generally, it’s astonishing—or depressing, take your pick—how soon we forget what we learned just a few years ago. Should we send a massive force into Anbar to crush ISIS once and for all? Well, we’ve tried that before. Remember? We sent a massive force into Iraq and, sure enough, we toppled Saddam Hussein regular army units pretty quickly. Then, despite a huge military presence, the country fell apart. The Sunni insurgency lasted for years before it was finally beaten back. Then the Shiite government of Iraq decided that fealty to its Shia supporters was more important than uniting their country, and before long Anbar was in flames again, this time with ISIS leading the charge.

You want to take out ISIS? Me too. But if you want to do it fast in order to demonstrate how tough you are, it’s going to require 100,000 troops or more; it will cost hundreds or thousands of American lives; and the bill will run to tens of billions of dollars. Remember Fallujah? . . .

Continue reading.

And in the same vein Mutaza Hussein notes in The Intercept:

IN A STATEMENT PUBLISHED in its online magazine, Dabiq, this February, the militant group the Islamic State warned that “Muslims in the West will soon find themselves between one of two choices.” Weeks earlier, a massacre had occurred at the Paris offices of the satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo. The attack stunned French society, while bringing to the surface already latent tensions between French Muslims and their fellow citizens.

While ISIS initially endorsed the killings on purely religious grounds, calling the murdered cartoonists blasphemers, in Dabiq the group offered another, more chilling rationale for its support.

The attack had “further [brought] division to the world,” the group said, boasting that it had polarized society and “eliminated the grayzone,” representing coexistence between religious groups. As a result, it said, Muslims living in the West would soon no longer be welcome in their own societies. Treated with increasing suspicion, distrust and hostility by their fellow citizens as a result of the deadly shooting, Western Muslims would soon be forced to “either apostatize … or they [migrate] to the Islamic State, and thereby escape persecution from the crusader governments and citizens,” the group stated, while threatening of more attacks to come.

Last Friday, at roughly 9:20 p.m. local time in Paris, the Islamic State delivered on that threat. A group of young men pledging allegiance to the group, armed with firearms and explosives, carried out a series of coordinated bombing and shooting attacks on civilians in the heart of the city. Suicide bombers, wearing explosive vests packed with nails in order to maximize casualties, detonated themselves among crowds of young people, while men armed with assault rifles shot dead concertgoers and patrons in a restaurant.

By the time the attack was over, 132 people had been killed and hundreds more wounded in what was the worst terrorist attack in France’s modern history. In a statement issued online, ISIS claimed responsibility, stating that its operatives had “set out targeting the capital of prostitution and vice.”

It is tempting to view such violence as senseless and nihilistic. However, taking into account the Islamic State’s history, it is clear that such a determination would be a mistake. By launching increasingly shocking attacks against Western targets, the Islamic State is pursuing a specific goal — generating hostility between domestic Muslim populations and the broader societies that they live in.

Despite its dire connotations, such a strategy is achievable for the group. In fact, some group members have successfully implemented it before, in Iraq, when the Islamic State’s predecessor organization, al Qaeda in Iraq, purposely provoked a sectarian civil war in that country following the 2003 U.S. invasion.

In a 2004 letter to Osama bin Laden, Abu Musab Zarqawi, the Jordanian-born leader of al Qaeda in Iraq, laid out his proposal for provoking such a conflict, calling for terrorist attacks against the Shiite majority population that would lead to a harsh crackdown on the Sunni minority. In such a scenario, his group could then coerce the Sunni population into viewing it as their only protector. “If we succeed in dragging them into the arena of sectarian war,” Zarqawi wrote, “it will become possible to awaken the inattentive Sunnis as they feel imminent danger and annihilating death.”

The climax of this depraved strategy came in 2006, when an attack by al Qaeda in Iraq operatives succeeded in destroying the Al-Askari mosque in Samarra, one of the holiest sites in Shiite Islam. The attack, which shocked Shiite Muslims across Iraq, ultimately succeeded in triggering a full-blown civil war that has not fully abated to this day.

The Islamic State has little hope of achieving that level of disastrous success in Western Europe or North America. But what the group is seeking to accomplish nonetheless mirrors its strategy of divide-and-conquer in Iraq. Through increasingly provocative terrorist attacks, hostage executions, and provocative threats, the Islamic State is consciously seeking to trigger a backlash by Western governments and citizens against the Muslim minorities living in their societies. By achieving this, the group hopes to polarize both sides against each other, locking them into an escalating spiral of alienation, hatred and collective retribution. In a such a scenario, the group can later attempt to pose as the only effective protector for increasingly beleaguered Western Muslims.

Following the deliberately shocking attacks in Paris, some nativist politicians in both Europe and the United States have already responded with calls to collectively punish Muslims en masse through discriminatory migration policies, restrictions on religious freedoms, and blanket surveillance by law enforcement.

While politically popular among some, such measures, effectively holding Muslims collectively to blame for the atrocities in Paris, would be self-defeating. The Islamic State is deeply unpopular among Muslims. Like their non-Muslim compatriots, French Muslims recoiled with disgust at the recent atrocities in Paris. Indeed, several of them were killed in the attacks.

As such, it would be both perverse and counterproductive to lump them together with ISIS and blame them for the group’s actions. Similarly, . . .

Continue reading.

Written by Leisureguy

17 November 2015 at 10:30 am

Posted in Mideast Conflict

WSP’s Baroness Silvertip, Seifenglatt’s wonderful pumpkin soap, and the OneBlade Razor

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SOTD 17 Nov 2015

A while back Seifenglatt, now known as Soap Smooth, made a wonderful pumpkin soap. It was a limited edition, but perhaps it will return during the holidays from time to time. The fragrance is wonderful, as is the lather, which I worked up easily using the ($40) Baroness brush from Wet Shaving Products, a very nice brush at a very good price.

Mark Herro of Sharpologist, aka Mantic59, has loaned me his OneBlade razorBlade for OneBlade, and today is my first shave. I’m going to use it over the next several shaves to get a feel for it. It uses (as the name suggests) only one specific single-edge blade, made by Feather (that’s the One Blade at the right). The razor loads easily, like loading a CD in a car stereo: slide the blade into the slot at the back of the razor’s head, and the blade easily clicks into place securely. The (dull) back edge of the blade protrudes a bit from the head, so the blade is easily removed as well: exert a little upward pressure, and the blade slides out easily as you pull it.

The head pivots, so maintaining the correct angle will be easy—easy, that is, once you are accustomed to the razor. I had a little trouble finding the right angle in this first shave, since it’s not at all like a DE angle—closer, I think, to a cartridge razor angle.

Despite lack of experience with the razor, I had not cuts or razor burn, and I think this razor will minimize those. OTOH, I did not get so close a shave as I normally do, but I think that was because I was not using the correct angle throughout. Still, it was a damn fine shave, and I look forward to tomorrow’s shave in hopes that my skill with the razor will improve.

So: three passes, no problems, good result. A splash of Alt-Innsbruck—pretty much the end of the bottle—and the day begins.

Written by Leisureguy

17 November 2015 at 9:04 am

Posted in Shaving

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