December 04, 2006
And I just found out that Conservative Grapevine is back in business! I loved this site because it was a great way to read blogs I'd never seen before. Check it out if you're looking for a directory of interesting blog posts.
December 02, 2006
But I'm kinda bummed that I now live in a place where I can't wear sweaters. Two seconds after taking this photo, I had to rip the sweater off before I suffocated. It's so danged hot here. Not that I'm complaining: my parents have been snowed into their house in Illinois for two days. Literally. They can't get out of the driveway.
But now I'm a knitter with a closet full of sweaters and scarves, and it's 76 degrees in December.
Islamic countries, moreover, are not rejecting Western democracy because they havent experienced it. They reject it on principle. For them, the presidents euphonious rhetoric about democratic empowerment is offensive. They believe, sincerely, that authority to rule comes not from the people but from Allah; that there is no separation of religion and politics; that free people do not have authority to legislate contrary to Islamic law; that Muslims are superior to non-Muslims, and men to women; and that violent jihad is a duty whenever Muslims deem themselves under attack no matter how speciously.
These people are not morons. They adhere to a highly developed belief system that is centuries old, wildly successful, and for which many are willing to die. They havent refused to democratize because the Federalist Papers are not yet out in Arabic. They decline because their leaders have freely chosen to decline. They see us as the mortal enemy of the life they believe Allah commands. Their demurral is wrong, but it is principled, not ignorant. And we insult them by suggesting otherwise.
Democratizing such cultures in anything we would recognize as democracy is the work of generations. It is a cultural phenomenon. It is not accomplished by elections and facile constitution writing especially, constitutions that shun Madisonian democracy for the State Departments preferred establishment of Islam and its adhesive sharia law as the state religion.
Having just read about the Constitutional Convention in my A Pocket History of the United States, I simply can't wrap my brain around this.
December 01, 2006
I sent lots of cookies to my boys during the deployment. Usually I'd buy those bags of pre-measured stuff and send cookies down to my husband and his platoon, and also to Red6 and his guys. But one time I had to make "real" cookies for an event back home, so I set aside a few and sent a little baggie to my husband and to Red6. And I got the following letter back from Red6:
I used to be bamboozled by the Terminator paradox...you know, Reese being the father of John Connor but also being sent back by John Connor? Well, now I'm bamboozled by your cookies. How the heck did you make those? They were incredible. I couldn't figure 3 cookies 16 ways, so I ate 'em all myself.
So now we lovingly refer to these as The Terminator Cookies.
2 sticks butter, softened
1 cup creamy peanut butter
1 cup light brown sugar
1 cup sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
3 ½ cups all purpose flour (sifted)
1 tsp. baking soda
½ tsp. salt
1 package Dove candies
Combine the butter, peanut butter, and sugars using a mixer on a medium to low speed until light and fluffy. Slowly add eggs and vanilla until thoroughly combined. Then mix in flour, salt, and baking soda. Cover and chill dough for 2-3 hours. Unwrap all the candies. Remove dough from refrigerator. Divide into 1 Tbsp balls and flatten. Place a candy in the center of each piece of dough and form the dough into a ball around the candy. Place on a greased cookie sheet and bake at 300° F for 15-17 minutes or until tops of cookies start to crack. Let cookies cool on a baking rack or waxed paper.
Enjoy the bamboozling deliciousness.
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