Monday, June 30, 2008

Recent Purchase

small oriental landscape painting (reproduction)

272 Mussel recipes

Oven Roasted Mussels


* 1/4 cup butter
* 2 tablespoons shallots, minced
* 1 tablespoon fresh Italian parsley, chopped
* 1 tablespoon chives, chopped
* 1 tablespoon lemon juice
* 2 garlic cloves, minced
* 2 teaspoons fresh thyme, chopped
* French bread, sliced
* 1/4 cup olive oil
* 2 lbs fresh mussels, debearded
* additional chopped chives (to garnish)


1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees.

2. Position 1 rack in bottom third of oven and the other rack in top third of oven.

3. Mix 1st seven ingredients in a small bowl; season with salt and pepper.

4. Brush bread on both sides with olive oil; place on top baking rack in oven.

5. Place mussels in wide oven-proof pot; cover and put on bottom rack.

6. Roast mussels until mussels open, about 5-9 minutes.

7. Watch bread until it is lightly toasted.

8. Remove any mussels that did not open.

9. Add herb butter and stir until melted.

10. Divide mussels and juices among bowls and sprinkle with remaining chopped chives.

11. Serve with bread.

bonus round:

Food by Patrick

Evening Breeze (Solstice Day)



New York Times Book Reviews By Holly Brubach (excerpt)

A Hacker’s Return to a Ruinous Sport.
By Carl Hiaasen.
207 pp. Alfred A. Knopf. $22.

It takes a certain kind of person to have fun playing golf. Carl Hiaasen is not that kind of person. The author of antic novels (“Strip Tease,” “Skinny Dip,” “Nature Girl”), Hiaasen writes books that are fun to read, and “The Downhill Lie” is no exception. But while the escapades of his fictional characters — a ragtag cast of slackers, drifters, drug runners, litterbugs, lobbyists, poachers and other indigenous forms of Florida lowlife — strike most readers as impossibly exotic, Hiaasen’s hilarious misadventures on the golf course are all too familiar to anyone who has ever flailed at the ball in futile attempts to conquer a sport that mercilessly strips us of our dignity.

Like many children looking to spend time with their fathers, Hiaasen took up the game at an early age, “too young,” he writes, “to realize that my disposition was ill suited to a recreation that requires infinite patience and eternal optimism.” In 1973, soon after his best round (an 88), he quit.

Now, after “a much-needed layoff of 32 years,” he’s back at it, and his slice is intact. He keeps a journal, recording his progress or the lack of it, remarking on new courses hemmed in by condos, familiarizing himself with rescue clubs and other equipment invented during his absence. A pro sizes up his swing and tells him his driver is too stiff. “That’s not what his wife says,” his wiseacre friend replies.

A new driver buys him extra distance off the tee, sending his slice careening even farther from the fairway. It quickly becomes apparent that Hiaasen’s psychological makeup is no better suited to golf now that he’s in his 50s. For one thing, he’s a knee-jerk perfectionist whose inner game rapidly lapses into a litany of self-reproach. Every flubbed shot is the outward sign of a flawed character. To make matters worse, Hiaasen, like most writers, is a solitary animal, and golf is a social sport. When he makes eagle — his first — there are no witnesses, thanks to his penchant for playing alone.

Consulting books by the experts, Hiaasen comes across this tall order from Bob Rotella, the sports psychologist: “On the first tee, a golfer must expect only two things of himself: to have fun, and to focus his mind properly on every shot.” A friend agrees to join him in a tournament on one condition: “Promise me you’ll have fun.” Meanwhile, his wife and son sign up for lessons and ... they think it’s fun! Hiaasen writes as if he were the only golfer out there who isn’t having a good time. Is golf fun? I wouldn’t know. In my experience, it’s a lot like writing — exhilarating when you get it right, and the rest of the time it’s torture.

While the journal format doesn’t allow Hiaasen much occasion to exercise his flawless ear for dialogue, it does give us a chance to hear the voice in his own head. His preoccupations emerge as themes here: a midlife awareness of the physical decay that aging brings, a stubborn resolve to prove himself the exception, memories of his father, hope in his son.

After the big tournament, he calls his mother to fill her in on his disappointing performance. So he didn’t have fun? she asks.

“Again with the fun.”


Art: Friends of Barnes keep up the good fight

To paraphrase the eminent metaphysician L.P. Berra, an event has not concluded until all activity associated with that event has ceased. By that measure, the 20-year struggle for the body and soul of the Barnes Foundation might still have wobbly legs, even if, legally, la guerre appears to be fini.

Although their last-gasp legal challenge to moving the fabulous Barnes collection to Philadelphia has been peremptorily swatted aside by Judge Stanley R. Ott, the Friends of the Barnes Foundation remain undaunted, at least for the record. "We have lost a battle, but we have not been defeated," said Walter Herman, a leader of the group.

The Friends and the three Montgomery County commissioners, who filed their own petition to reopen court hearings on the move, were rebuffed last month on a technicality. Ott opined that neither enjoyed sufficient legal standing, even though in a letter he had encouraged the Friends to take the action they did.

The Friends, who have been admirably persistent in challenging the logic, the morality and the practical ramifications of moving the collection, might be invisible to the law, but they have always enjoyed moral standing.

By filing their petition, they were representing the person who truly lacked standing, and whose historical and aesthetic legacy is being threatened by a cabal of interests that appear not to appreciate its essential nature.

That person is Albert Coombs Barnes, whose acumen, imagination, passion for art, and dedication to an ideal created the foundation. His values, and the opposition to them, ignited this long-running War of the de Mazia Succession.

In truth, the Barnes was transformed in a stroke on Sept. 20, 1988, when Violette de Mazia, the keeper of the Barnes flame since 1951, died age 89.

Control of the foundation passed to Lincoln University in Chester County, and 20 years of open warfare began between the foundation's nominal custodians and its alumni and other strict constructionists regarding the founder's intentions.

It seemed probable then that the Barnes could never be preserved in a way that seemed appropriate for a place that should be a National Historic Landmark. When the fractious trustee Richard Glanton seized operational control of Barnes affairs in 1990, it quickly became obvious that he envisioned a more commercial operation.

And now, with the track cleared for the most audacious art heist in American history, the real prospect of a more commercial incarnation is finally upon us.

The most cogent argument for not hijacking the Barnes to Philadelphia wasn't that it shouldn't be changed at all, that Dr. Barnes wouldn't approve. He has been dead for 57 years.

It was that the foundation represented a rare historical artifact, whose distinctive genius loci, like that of Bartram's Garden in Southwest Philadelphia, described a precious and irreplaceable historical context for novel innovations in art education.

Discount the validity of Barnes' philosophy today, which can always be adapted, improved, refined. After all, much of what the good doctor wrote about art and artists is gibberish. (Skeptical? Try to read a single page of one of his books.) But he did know how to acculturate ordinary people to looking at art, a rare achievement.

In any event, arguing a case for preserving the Barnes in the most rigorous meaning of the word must rest on a foundation of history and aesthetics. Unfortunately, in America, history isn't taken seriously unless it can turn a profit. As for aesthetics, it musters about as much force against a balance sheet as a ping-pong ball against a steamroller.

So all that the Friends have left in what I expect will be a continuing guerrilla campaign is the moral argument. Stalin, referring to the pope, famously defined their position: How many divisions do they have to put up against the Pew Charitable Trusts, the Lenfest Foundation, the Annenberg Foundation, Gov. Rendell, the Philadelphia Museum of Art, the Greater Philadelphia Tourism Marketing Corp., the state attorney general, and the foundation trustees themselves, all of whom appear to have standing? Oh, and Judge Ott.

Still, the Friends continue to ask whether this grandiose relocation plan, spending hundreds of millions of dollars for a new gallery building to house a tourist attraction that might not be able to support itself, is viable in the long run. There are too many imponderable variables. For instance:

How much is this project eventually going to cost? At the moment, no one can say. Is the 200,000-a-year visitor projection realistic for an unchanging collection? Can the foundation, now responsible for two "campuses" - the Merion gallery and a 137-acre estate in Chester County - avoid deficits? If not, who will cover them?

Three sugar-daddy foundations have been subsidizing the Barnes for several years; how much longer will they stay in the game? If they drop out, are city and state taxpayers on the hook? Probably, because already $107 million in tax money has been reserved by the state to facilitate the move of this private museum.

And if Barnes II fails, will Ott order the art returned to Merion? Not likely, because Barnes II will never be allowed to fail. Too many reputations are at stake.

The people who best understand and appreciate the significance of the Barnes collection and its educational program within the context of American cultural history have been ridiculed as cranks, crackpots and cultists. And yet they have been mostly right all along. They still are, despite the fact that momentum for the move, generated by powerful political, economic, social and cultural pressures, now appears too inevitable to overcome.

Ott's decision, coupled with that momentum, suggests that before the end of the year, the Parkway site will finally be cleared of the Youth Study Center so construction of Barnes II can begin. When that happens, the Friends will have to concede that the dreaded inevitable has arrived.

As for Dr. Barnes, he of no standing, I wouldn't be surprised if he were gradually air-brushed out of Barnes II, or at least marginalized, his philosophy reduced to a vestigial presence, if the courses are retained at all. He is, after all, often embarrassing about art and social etiquette.

The spotlight will shift, not to the artists he admired - Renoir, Cezanne, Matisse - but to the Barnes II architects, Tod Williams and Billie Tsien, and their marquee building. Before you know it, a unique bit of Americana will have become just another routine stop on the Gray Line tours.

-- Edward Sozanski
Contributing Art Critic
Philadelphia Inquirer
published Sun, Jun. 29, 2008

Saturday, June 28, 2008

In Memory of Megan Miller

June 13, 1982 - June 20, 2008

To all of Amble's friends,

We regret the loss of Megan Miller, co-owner of Amble Gallery and Books and a great friend.

Megan was loyal and driven. Although her life was short, she led a full life. When she put her mind toward something she never gave up. Her life was filled with sickness, but she never let it break her firey spirit and she valued her friends as members of her family. I loved her and cherished her as one of my greatest friends and she always will be.

Amble asks you to bare with us as we adjust and thanks you for your patience.


Concetta Barbera
Amble Gallery and Books
1001 n. 2nd Street, Suite 27
Philadelphia, PA 19123
(215) 764-5402

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Quick Picks

Great Reads

"Red Shifting" by Aleksandr Skidan.

Though Aleksandr Skidan has been publishing for years in Russia, "Red Shifting" is his first collection of poetry to be translated into English. Skidan has become fluent in American culture, and has carefully splayed it out in his poems. He deals with the subjects of censorship, displacement, and language with an unsettling ease, digs into himself and into his reader with abandon and uncovers things most of us would rather keep buried. Skidan's vocabulary of allusions requires many visits before it yields to the reader; his pieces alternate between a stark clarity and a calm aloofness that have few equals in their level of challenge. (Red Shifting, Ugly Duckling Press). - Blythe Boyer

Taking a break from the usual mystery and suspense writing, John Connolly presents his readers with a different kind of book called, "The Book of Lost Things". The book opens with a frightfully realistic way in which a child will view the way in which a terminal illness takes a life. Although David's mother dies from cancer, he finds comfort in her books because, as she always told him, books are alive and just waiting for someone to talk with them. David finds himself obsessed with this book in his stepmother's house. This book then takes him on an adventure of a lifetime in which he battles gnomes, werewolves, and finally the Crooked Man. -- Michelle Wittle

For a look at some new titles from small presses, check out Small Press Reviews.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

June 17th

Today's Highlights in History

On June 17, 1928, Amelia Earhart embarked on the first trans-Atlantic flight by a woman. She flew from Newfoundland to Wales in about 21 hours.

On June 17, 1882, Igor Stravinsky, the Russian composer, was born. Following his death on April 6, 1971, his obituary appeared in The Times.

1775 - The Battle of Bunker Hill took place near Boston during the Revolutionary War.

1789 - The Third Estate in France declared itself a national assembly and undertook to frame a constitution.

1856 - The Republican Party opened its first convention, in Philadelphia.

1880 - John Ward of the Providence Grays pitched a perfect game in a 5-0 victory over the Buffalo Bisons, less than a week after the first perfect game in major league history was recorded. (The next would not occur for 24 years.)

1885 - The Statue of Liberty arrived in New York City aboard the French ship Isere.

1940 - France asked Germany for terms of surrender in World War II.

1944 - The republic of Iceland was established.

1961 - Soviet ballet dancer Rudolf Nureyev defected to the West while his troupe was in Paris.

1963 - The Supreme Court struck down rules requiring the recitation of the Lord's Prayer or the reading of Biblical verses in public schools.

1972 - President Richard Nixon's downfall began with the arrest of five burglars inside Democratic national headquarters in Washington's Watergate complex.

1994 - After leading police on a chase through Southern California, O.J. Simpson was arrested and charged with murder in the slayings of his ex-wife, Nicole, and Ronald Goldman.

2005 - Former Tyco CEO Dennis Kozlowski and a second executive, Mark H. Swartz, were convicted of looting their company of more than $600 million. (Each was later sentenced to 8-1/3 to 25 years in prison.)

2006 - Officials in Chechnya reported police had killed rebel leader Abdul-Khalim Sadulayev by acting on a tip from within his network.

McCain wants to lift ban on offshore drilling

"The stakes are high for our citizens and for our economy, and with gasoline running at more than four bucks a gallon, many do not have the luxury of waiting on the far-off plans of futurists and politicians," John McCain will say Tuesday in Houston, Texas, according to excerpts of his speech released by his campaign.

"We have proven oil reserves of at least 21 billion barrels in the United States. But a broad federal moratorium stands in the way of energy exploration and production. And I believe it is time for the federal government to lift these restrictions and to put our own reserves to use."

Bullet Points:

*McCain wants states to be able to decide about exploring offshore drilling
*Current law bans drilling in most of the United States' coastal waters
*McCain would consider incentives for states that allow coastal exploration
*Obama calls McCain's stance "short-term political posturing"

Gasbagism continued:

Bush urges Congress to open up offshore drilling


Democrats reject Bush's call to lift ban on offshore oil drilling

Congress takes aim at oil speculators

Are Hillarycrats Insane?

Not so historic campaign for white women:

"I came here for the vote of every American, and our Democratic Party threw us down the tubes. I was a second class citizen before, now I'm nothing. Why? Because they think we won't turn and vote for McCain. Well, I got news for all of you: McCain will be the next president of the United States."

--Harriet Christen, an elderly woman from NYC protesting outside a meeting of the Democratic National Committee earlier this month

related article and comment:

Obama defends Clinton at Michigan rally


-- HM, June 17th, 2008 10:17 am ET


Monday, June 16, 2008

Gitmo Ruling: What Does It Mean?

"The laws and Constitution are designed to survive and remain in force in extraordinary times."

-- Justice Anthony M. Kenedy

Also voting in the Majority:

Justice David Souter
Justice Stephen Breyer
Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg
Justice John Paul Stevens

Supreme Court Justices voting in the minority:

John G. Roberts (Chief Justice)
Antonin Scalia
Samuel A. Alito, Jr.
Clarence Thomas

In one of two dissenting opinions, Justice Antonin Scalia predicted "devastating" and "disastrous consequences" from the decision. "It will almost certainly cause more Americans to be killed," he said. "The nation will live to regret what the Court had done today."


So what does it all mean? Here's a quick primer:

Q. What's the case all about?

A. There are some 270 foreign nationals who've been picked up around the world and detained by the United States on suspicion of terrorism in the weeks after the 9/11 attacks who are now held at Guantanamo Bay, a U.S. military base.

The detainees have been handled outside of the U.S. justice system, and only a handful have even had access to military proceedings during that long period. Lawyers for about 200 of the detainees have sought what are known as habeas corpus hearings in American courts, but these were blocked by laws passed by Congress and signed by Bush in 2005 and 2006.

Yesterday's ruling reverses that and allows the detainees to now challenge their status through hearings in federal court.

Q. What is habeas corpus, anyway?

A. Latin for "you [should] have the body." It's a legal principle in which individuals can't be rounded up and detained without the chance to appear before a judge and have specific charges made against them.

The principle is a standard in British law as far back as the 12th century. The Constitution says habeas corpus can't be suspended "unless when in cases of rebellion or invasion, the public safety may require it" - the clause invoked by Abraham Lincoln during the Civil War.

Whether the Bush-declared "war on terror" rises to that level was one of the issues before the high court yesterday.

Q. Is this the end of the Guantanamo terror-detention camp?

A. In the long run, almost certainly yes. Both major presidential candidates have pledged broadly that they will begin to close Gitmo after the winner takes office in January, and the pending court hearings could speed up that process as some of the 270 are sent to other countries or released.

"I think in some ways this is the death knell for Guantanamo," Michael Ratner, president of the Center for Constitutional Rights, said in an interview. The center supports habeas corpus cases.

Some experts believe that as few as 60 to 80 of the detainees will ultimately face terrorism charges, and Ratner said there may be a speedier push to deport or even simply release the rest - especially those who allege they were tortured or mistreated.

Q. What about the suspected 9/11 terrorists like Khalid Shaikh Mohammed?

A. Mohammed is one if 19 Guantanamo prisoners currently charged with war crimes and facing a trial before a military tribunal. Those trials are still slated for this fall, although some experts say yesterday's ruling could provide these 19 with new avenues for legal challenges.

Q. Is everyone happy with the ruling?

A. Not dissenting Justice Antonin Scalia - who said the ruling "will almost certainly cause more Americans to be killed. The nation will live to regret what the court has done today."

Q. What about the presidential candidates?

A. Democratic Sen. Barack Obama hailed the decision as "a rejection of the Bush administration's attempt to create a legal black hole at Guantanamo" but GOP Sen. John McCain said that while he also wants Gitmo closed, he still opposes allowing the inmates to challenge their detention.

more Reactions to the Court Ruling

Republicans expand their vocabulary

"gotcha" politics - noun/adjective phrase:

an accusatory or derogatory term used by pundits or voters of the conservative persuasion against opponents during a discussion or debate when the conservatives' opinion or political belief has been demonstrated as having no logical reason or justification.

usage example:

Metro editors are liberal radicals

via e-mail. "The opinion page of your 'newspaper' clearly endorses and sadly provides a forum for the far, far, far left liberal idealogy. Albeit an opinion page, your editors choose to select the most radical, factless and self-serving opinions to further your cause and to help the Democrat party play 'gotcha' politics. Your newspaper serves no other purpose than to indoctrinate a largely naive young voting group into your radical belief circle."

-- Tobias Borubon

unrelated humor:


Sunday, June 15, 2008

Every Day Prayer


"Pray For Peace!"

18th & Spring Garden (Highway Tabernacle - ASG)

Friday, June 13, 2008


America's laze of glory

The fear is that gas will get so expensive we'll have to change our transportation habits. And changing habits is America's least favorite thing to do. It took us centuries to break such enjoyable yet negative behaviors as smoking, bare-knuckle boxing and McCarthyism. In order to keep from losing another pastime, unnecessary driving, many are suggesting we increase domestic drilling. They're hoping to repeat the famed Clampett strike of 1962, though such a discovery is unlikely. The days when a farmer looking for some food can accidently stumble upon bubbling crude are long gone.

-- Elliott Kalan

more metro:

Pure speculation

[Non-Investors say] we've got to blame speculators for everything. Lehman's down? Speculators. Corn's up? Speculators. Oil's soaring? Speculators. AIG'S slumping? Speculators.

Give me a break.

-- Jim Cramer



Before we start the battle between the old white Republican guy and the young African-American guy, let's pause and remember how Michael Nutter and Ed Rendell really liked Hillary Clinton, and embraced her bosom to theirs, and how those guys have discarded her like some slut in a Hubert Selby novel. Men.

-- A.D. Amorosi


Naked City

George W. Bush has acted in a manner ... subversive of constitutional government.

-- Rep. Dennis Kucinich, from his 35 articles of Impeachment presented Mon., June 9

extra round:

Say What?

"There is not a liberal in this country worthy of kissing Bush's rear end, but the weakest members of the herd run from Bush. Compared to the lickspittles denying and attacking him, Bush is a moral giant."

-- Ann Coulter

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Say What?

"Karl, there's too much heat on you. It's time for you to go."

-- George W. Bush, firing Karl Rove during a church service


courtesy of Wednesday's Fox News broadcast...

During a segment discussing conservative attacks against Michelle Obama, wife of Democratic nominee Barack Obama, the Fox News Network used an on-screen graphic calling her "Obama's baby mama".


Gitmo detainees win round at Supreme Court, Bush says he will abide by decision


McCain blasts detainee ruling

Republican presidential candidate John McCain yesterday (Fri.) denounced the U.S. Supreme Court decision granting broader legal rights to the detainees at Guantanamo Bay as "one of the worst . . . in history" and blasted Democrat Barack Obama for endorsing it.

Right Up To Your Face And Diss You

Obama launches online campaign against smears

"What you won't hear from this campaign or this party is the kind of politics that uses religion as a wedge, and partriotism as a bludgeon -- that sees our opponents not as competitors to challenge, but enemies to demonize. Because we may call ourselves Democrats and Republicans, but we are Americans first. We are always Americans first."

Barack Obama, June 3, 2008

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Summer Wind (take two)


"The Difference"

John McCain, Hillary Clinton, and Barrack Obama were walking down a Washington DC street when they came upon a homeless man.

John McCain gave the man his business card and told him to come to his office for a job. He then took $20 out of his pocket and gave it to the man.

Hillary was very impressed, so when they came upon another homeless man, she decided to help. She walked over to him gave him directions to the welfare office, gave her business card, gave him $30, and told him to call for a job and how to ensure he could get medical benefits.

When they came upon yet another homeless man, Barak told him to "have hope....change is coming" and gave him nothing.

excerpted from the joke page of The National Organization of Ex-Hillary Clinton Supporters for John McCain

unrelated Fox News:

Off-Shore Off Limits?
Congress battles for fight over drilling rights

GOP leading drive to expand exploration, open new open-water fields; opponents claim new drilling won't help now

Fox News Update:

Dems Block Drill Plan

House subcommittee rejects Republican-led effort to open up more U.S. coastal waters to oil exploration

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

I Love You, I Hate You


You're so superior to me. you deleted me on myspace because I didn't send you enough comments. YOURE THE COOLEST 35YR OLD I KNOW!!! did you think I would be offended? I think its HILARIOUS! you would think someone that is your age would grow up by now and be out of the whole myspace phase and be confident with who they were and not take it as an insult when people have better things to do than to leave you a fucking comment. I guess not. regardless, you were starting to bore me anyways. we had NOTHING in common, and I was just curious. I hope you enjoyed deleting me because I'm enjoying the laugh!!!!!

Quick Vote

Which candidate would do more to improve the U.S. economy?

Sen. John McCain 35% 55334
Sen. Barack Obama 65% 101017

Total Votes: 156351
read related article »

This is not a scientific poll
Which candidate would do more to improve the U.S. economy?

Sen. John McCain 35% 55334
Sen. Barack Obama 65% 101017

Total Votes: 156351
read related article »

This is not a scientific poll

Fox News Rebuttal:

Can Taxes Ease Oil Crisis?

Senate Democrats push plan to impose windfall tax on oil companies, determine 'reasonable' profits, end tax breaks; GOP attacks plan, threatens filibuster

GOP Rebuttal:

• McCain: Obama's policies would be bad for small businesses

background information:

Candidates draw battle lines on economy

The economy is the No. 1 issue for voters, and John McCain and Barack Obama say they have vastly different plans to improve it. McCain is trying to paint Obama as a tax and spend Democrat. Obama is telling voters that McCain's plan "amounts to a full-throated endorsement of George Bush's policies."


GOP blocks tax on Big Oil


For Clinton, $$Millions in Debt and Few Options

Monday, June 9, 2008

Editor's Note

Noah Webster's poem "Meteor"
is featured this month on a letterpress postcard from the expert practitioners at YES Press. These folks have been making beautiful work for nearly a year now, in collaboration with independent artists and poets. Postcards are $3 at the YES Press shop.

Video (upload #3)

Sunday Night Mess - 9:04 p.m.

Are Hillarycrats Insane?

excerpted quotes:

"Women who have been the backbone of the Democratic Party feel our party has betrayed us - this was our time," said Cynthia Ruccia, 55, a Mary Kay cosmetics dealer from Columbus, Ohio, who formed Clinton Supporters Count Too, a protest group. "This campaign brought out some very ugly fissures."

She said she would vote for McCain. "Let's see them try to win without us," Ruccia said.

Jennie Walker, 45, went to Clinton's rally in New York City on Tuesday, the night Obama clinched. "I admire her for sticking it out," said Walker, who said she would consider voting for the Republican. The last days of the primaries were "absurd," she said. "No man would have been asked to quit. It's so gender-biased."

"I love her and will vote for her in 2012, but it's McCain all the way now," wrote one anonymous woman within moments of the former first lady's address.

What She Said:

Highlights from Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton's Saturday Speech


Grumbling Clinton supporters make some Democrats nervous

Easy Summer Food





bonus round:

Munchies & Music

A Little Too Literal (Art Criticism)

Lawyer: Museum guard 'snapped'

Timur Serebrykov, 27, a former Carnegie Museum of Art guard charged with vandalizing a $1.2 million painting, apologized and confessed, telling police that he simply did not like the painting. Concerns about his life and future caused Serebrykov, an immigrant from Azerbaijan, to use a key to slash Night Sky #2 by Latvian artist Vija Celmins on May 16th according to his attorney.

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Convicts & Republicans

Letters to the Editor:

HIGH GAS PRICES? How does it feel?

There are more than 2 million people incarcerated in the United States. Prisoners and their families routinely pay exaggerated prices for goods and services. Although the matter has been repeatedly brought to the attention of lawmakers and the public, nothing has been done to curb it.

In an age when you can call China for 2 cents a minute, prisoners and their friends and families are being charged anywhere from 50 cents to $1 per minute for an in-state phone call.

Now that the shoe is on the other foot, the public wants to cry that gas prices are too high.

I say that the gas prices should keep getting higher until laws are passed that will protect everyone from predatory pricing.

Had the public demanded that laws be made to protect prisoners, their friends and families from predatory pricing, those same laws would have protected the public from the fuel companies.

Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.

(name withheld)
Somerset (Pa.) State Prison

Blame Congress for gas prices

It is ironic that our Democratic-controlled Congress held hearings with America's oil companies principally to blame them for our rapidly increasing gasoline prices.

These Democrats conveniently can't remember that the United States now imports about 63 percent of its oil, and that the ability to tap into our own reserves has been severely limited by them and their environmental contributors.

The world's oil reserves have not kept up with increasing demand from such countries as India and China. Also, this makes our country more dependent on countries that do not like our freedom and democracy.

Another factor is the lack of sufficient refinery capacity for all of our gas-blending requirements now, much less than that for new production. No new refineries have been constructed during the last 30 years in the United States. Interdependency on existing refineries has been so great that every time there is a fire or broken pipe, up goes gas prices.

For various reasons, the relative value of a dollar internationally has been declining for more than 10 years. Our congressional Democrats don't appear to recognize the free market's law of "supply and demand" or to take responsibility for the long term ill-effects of their actions. They would rather blame the gasoline prices on the oil companies, place an excess profits tax on them and make less money available for oil exploration.

There were lots of warnings about the increases from President Bush and the oil industry.

The near-sighted Democrats are only looking to the next election and not interested in the good of the country.

No wonder Congress' approval rating is only 17 percent.

(name withheld)
Turnersville, N.J.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Culinary Science

Meals that promote good health don't have to taste like twigs and cardboard:

Spicy Gazpacho with Crab plus other recipes

related article & interview:

Chef-turned-doctor cooks up dishes that cure