Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Saying it all

A letter in The New York Times exposes the foolishness of those who believe that Wikileaks' disclosure of American diplomatic traffic is a welcome example of transparency. Thanks to Ilya Shlyachter of Cambridge, Massachusetts:
You seem to believe that disclosing diplomatic conversations will not have a dangerous chilling effect on the diplomats’ work. But are you willing to have your internal editorial discussions published? To have others decide what will and what won’t compromise your news-gathering methods? Would that not chill your ability to work.

We’ll know the answers when WikiLeaks publishes a trove of secret New York Times documents.


What am I missing?

Why doesn't President Obama simply announce that he will veto any tax bill that includes continued tax relief for people earning more than $250,000?

If he did that, he would call the Republicans' bluff.

Are the Republicans willing to go to the nation and say, "Yes, we raised your taxes, because the President would not agree to tax relief for the wealthy?"

I say, Let them.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

The secret to delicious Thanksgiving turkey

I know that regular readers come here for iconoclastic commentary on politics and public affairs, but in this era of national anxiety, I thought we would do our part to allay that concern by providing the solution to what worries millions and millions of Americans at this time of year: How to make that perfect Thanksgiving turkey. As it happens, TONE knows the secret, and we conceive it to be our duty to share it with the nation. Indeed, with the world, the Internet being what it is.

So, go get a pencil and a piece of paper, because we're only going to say this once.

Here it is:

Remember to defrost the turkey early enough to get the bag of innards out of the cavity before you put it in the oven. Oh, yes, and remember to reach in and pull the bag out.

That's it.

For all the debate about brine, bags, deep-frying, whatever, the truth is that turkey is just about the easiest dish you can cook. Turn on the oven and let it heat to 325 or 350 degrees, put the bird in and, after a sufficient amount of time, take it out. Remember that, and don't get caught up in all that dithering about how to cook the turkey.

OK, a couple more hints: You can start the bird at 425, then turn the heat down after 30-45 minutes, to get the outside crisper. you can also help a crisp exterior, and maintain a moist interior, by basting the turkey every 15-25 minutes. Use whatever oil you prefer: canola, olive, peanut, motor....

One more thing: If you don't get soften the bird sufficiently to pull the bag out before it goes in the oven, roast it for an hour or so, then take it out and pull it out then. You won't notice the difference.

Oh, and if you feed your guests enough wine, beer, hard cider (TONE's preference, an authentic early American touch) or whiskey, they won't care what the turkey tastes like.

Happy Thanksgiving.

Wednesday, November 03, 2010

The hangover

Now comes the hangover. Like someone who has gone on an epic bender, the voters are sleeping it off; they probably will be in a stupor for some months. Slowly, they'll begin to wake, and as they do the awful uncertainty in the gut, followed by nausea, will make itself known. Then the headache will begin to pound, and voters across the nation will ask themselves, What have we done?

The hangover will last two years, at least. Let's hope that, like the person who comes to realize that drinking too much is no fun, the electorate will sober up for 2012. I, for one, am confident that we will.

(Note to readers: This is likely to be the last post for a while. I am preparing to conduct a trial that seems likely to last until Thanksgiving. Trying cases is an all-consuming occupation.)