Something to think about

Warning: Lots of profanity is on this video. I personally think it is appropriate given the obscene tragedy of the war but I thought I should warn folks none the less.


CNN: Troops mourn teenage comrade who insisted – ‘I ain’t no baby’

Read this story and look at Army Spc. Christopher D. Kube’s picture. He was just a kid and he is now dead. He enlisted at age 17 and went through the utter brutality and dehumanization of Army basic training (he enlisted with his parent’s signature only a month after turning SEVENTEEN) and was in Iraq only a month after turning 18.

I’m sorry but this is child abuse. I don’t blame his parents (they probably thought they were doing the right thing by signing the papers to let him enlist), but I do blame the Army’s killing machine, that doesn’t care about the individual soldier and doesn’t care that it is unconscionable to subject a young person to the evils of military training (which frankly is inhumane to adults too, but children! How can these people sleep at night! This is too much to even possibly believe.)

The Army killed Christopher Kube, and the leaders of the Army and our nation are responsible for his needless death. I don’t know if there will ever be justice for his death but I hope to God that the day will come when we will stop this killing machine once and for all.



NY Times: Summer Express — 101 Simple Meals Ready in 10 Minutes or Less

Here are a few of my favorites (I must confess though that only the last one have I made before, but all of these sound quite yummy)…

6 Heat a quarter-inch of olive oil in a skillet. Dredge flounder or sole fillets in flour and fry until crisp, about two minutes a side. Serve on sliced bread with tartar sauce.

9 Pan-grill a skirt steak for three or four minutes a side. Sprinkle with salt and pepper, slice and serve over romaine or any other green salad, drizzled with olive oil and lemon.

21 While pasta cooks, combine a couple cups chopped tomatoes, a teaspoon or more minced garlic, olive oil and 20 to 30 basil leaves. Toss with pasta, salt, pepper and Parmesan.

22 Make wraps of tuna, warm white beans, a drizzle of olive oil and lettuce and tomato.

24 Dredge thinly sliced chicken breasts in flour or cornmeal; cook about two minutes a side in hot olive oil. Place on bread with lettuce, tomato and mayonnaise.

30 Quesadilla: Use a combination of cheeses, like Fontina mixed with grated pecorino. Put on half of a large flour tortilla with pickled jalapenos, chopped onion, shallot or scallion, chopped tomatoes and grated radish. Fold tortilla over and brown on both sides in butter or oil, until cheese is melted.

31 Fast chile rellenos: Drain canned whole green chilies. Make a slit in each and insert a piece of cheese. Dredge in flour and fry in a skillet, slit side up, until cheese melts.

32 Cobb-ish salad: Chop bacon and begin to brown it; cut boneless chicken into strips and cook it with bacon. Toss romaine and watercress or arugula with chopped tomatoes, avocado, onion and crumbled blue cheese. Add bacon and chicken. Dress with oil and vinegar.

54 Brown small pork (or hot dog) chunks in a skillet. Add white beans, garlic, thyme and olive oil. Or add white beans and ketchup.

64 Pasta with fresh tomatoes: Cook chopped fresh tomatoes in butter or oil with garlic until tender, while pasta cooks. Combine and serve with grated Parmesan.

66 Salmon (or just about anything else) teriyaki: Sear salmon steaks on both sides for a couple of minutes; remove. To skillet, add a splash of water, sake, a little sugar and soy sauce; when mixture is thick, return steaks to pan and turn in sauce until done. Serve hot or at room temperature.

67 Rich vegetable soup: Cook asparagus tips and peeled stalks or most any other green vegetable in chicken stock with a little tarragon until tender; reserve a few tips and purée the rest with a little butter (cream or yogurt, too, if you like) adding enough stock to thin the purée. Garnish with the reserved tips. Serve hot or cold.

71 Press a lot of coarsely ground black pepper onto both sides of filet mignon or other steaks or chopped meat patties. Brown in butter in a skillet for two minutes a side. Remove steaks and add a splash of red wine, chopped shallots and a bit of tarragon to skillet. Reduce, then return steaks to pan, turning in the sauce for a minute or two.

72 World’s leading sandwich: prosciutto, tomato, butter or olive oil and a baguette.

84 Cook chopped tomatillos with a little water or stock, cilantro and a little minced fresh chili; serve over grilled, broiled or sautéed chicken breasts, with corn tortillas.

85 A winning sandwich: bresaola or prosciutto, arugula, Parmesan, marinated artichoke hearts, tomato.

88 Cut the top off four big tomatoes; scoop out the interiors and mix them with toasted stale baguette or pita, olive oil, salt, pepper and herbs (basil, tarragon, and/or parsley). Stuff into tomatoes and serve with salad.

101 Hot dogs on buns — with beans!


Life is crazy

Sorry to not post much lately. I’ve started several posts but haven’t had time to finish them.

Mostly my work has been consumed with my legal work and trying to keep my own spirits on a somewhat even keel. Overall I’m enjoying me work very much but am also struggling to maintain some tiny semblance of a work-life balance and trying to take care of my own self the best I can.

So anyway, I’ll be back in the near future with more bloggage but didn’t want folks to think that I haven’t fallen off the end of the earth or anything.

Lastly, I do have to say that my belief in the absurdly tragic nature of the war, and in the immorality of war itself, is being daily confirmed for me in conversations with my clients. Almost all of them testify to the incredible dehumanization and brutality of military training, and to the complete and utter ineptitude and absence of military leadership.

Those soldiers who’ve been to Iraq (and who are fighting to not have to go back) tell me that the war is hell, both for the American soldiers and for the Iraqi people. They say that there is NO reason for them to be there and that they are ordered to commit crimes against their conscience on a regular basis. They say that at every level of the military machine, that there is a complete and total lack of morality or conscientious thought.

And most of all they tell me that our government doesn’t care one whit about the safety and wellbeing of soldiers and their families. Maybe other branches aren’t as bad, but the Army is hellbent on its mission even if it means that marriages will fail, parents will lose their children, or soldiers with severe psychological problems will hurt themselves or others.

All of the yellow ribbons on cars and parades and waving flags and similar crap mean nothing. America doesn’t support the troops or we would never put our young men and women through this kind of living hell for no good reason at all, and our nation (if it actually cared) would make sure that every soldier who returns from the war received adequate psychological counseling and on-going care.

It’s time for America to wake up and start giving a **** about the troops.



I saw this quote on the Catholic Peace Fellowship’s email newsletter and I thought it was quite profound (and echos much of what my favorite author, Wendell Berry has said on the subject):

“Patriotism is a love for everything to do with our native land: its history, its traditions, its language, its natural features….The cultural and historical identity of any society is preserved and nourished by all that is contained within this concept of a nation.”

“Whereas nationalism involves recognizing and pursuing the good of one’s own nation alone, without regard for the rights of others, patriotism, on the other hand, is a love for one’s native land that accords rights to all other nations equal to those claimed for one’s own. Patriotism, in other words, leads to a properly ordered social love.”

-Pope John Paul II, Memory and Identity: Conversations at the Dawn of a Millennium, 2005


CommonDreams.org: Injustice in Jena: The ‘White Tree’, A White Judge, White Jury, and White Prosecutor Calling White Witnesses Leads To Conviction of Black Youth —by Bill Quigley

Wikipedia: Picture of the “white tree” in Jena, Louisiana (taken from: Wikipedia: Jena, LA)

This story is unbelievable. White kids go unpunished for massive hate crimes, yet black kids are given extreme sentences for defending themselves against the white racist kids, and not only that are convicted by an ALL-WHITE jury, a WHITE judge, and a system of systematic racism in LaSalle Parrish.

I don’t know what to say except that I don’t think I can find it in my heart to even think of celebrating our nation’s supposed freedom tomorrow. None of us are free when some of us are slaves, and the truth is that Jena, Louisiana (and in a bunch of other places in America), black folks aren’t free.

I also do recommend calling the racist prosecutor in this case. Here’s his phone #: (318) 992-8282. Don’t be hateful or threatening when you call, but I do think it is appropriate to remind him that he will face judgment for his actions, either in the courts someday or by God who is always on the side of the little guy.

Shame shame shame on our racist country for allowing this kind of injustice to occur.


Thanks to the trip I got back from (an amazingly revelational and uplifting trip with a church youth group to Charlotte, NC for a church mission trip — which included a sidetrip to Myrtle Beach, SC), here’s my newly updated map of the states I’ve been to. Some of the states of course are for very short visits (about 10 miles of Georgia on this trip thanks to a wrong-turn, and airport layovers in Minneapolis, Salt Lake City and Las Vegas) but all of the states are ones I’ve at least been to in some form of fashion.

On this particular trip, my new states to add to the list were the Carolinas and Georgia.

create your own personalized map of the USA


I haven’t posted anything about this in awhile, but did want to give the headsup for any new readers about this project that I play a a very small role in…

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