Wednesday, August 25, 2010

For The Record

The Fishtown Community Branch
of the Free Library of Philadelphia
was closed today, Wednesday, Aug. 25th,
due to the lack of a security guard.

In the Blogosphere

Excerpt: Kilpatrickism by Thomas Sugrue (The Atlantic)

James Jackson Kilpatrick, conservative columnist, segregationist crusader, and celebrated wordsmith, is dead. The Oklahoma-born journalist quickly rose to the top of the Richmond News-Leader but became a nationally-known figure for his call for massive resistance to Brown v. Board of Education and later the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which he denounced as an un-American threat to "the right to own, possess, and manage property." If "the citizen's right to discriminate" should "be destroyed, the whole basis of individual liberty is destroyed."

In his waning years, Kilpatrick distanced himself from his segregationist past. He renounced racial discrimination and attributed his segregationism to youthful excess. Youthful excess or not, the man who once described himself as "only a little to the South of John C. Calhoun" played a vital role in facilitating the rise of a right-wing, free-market ideology--one that was born of opposition to even the mildest laws restricting racial segregation. Historian Nancy MacLean (who has written persuasively about the link between the free market economics and Jim Crow--some of the above Kilpatrick quotes come from her work) shows how Kilpatrick influenced William Buckley and the National Review (even helping provide the NR with membership lists from the racist White Citizens Councils to expand the magazine's subscriber pool) and laid the groundwork for the inroads that the Republican Party made in the Land of Dixie in the 1960s and beyond. ...

Whites are victims of discrimination. Opposition to "miscegenation"is a legitimate religious belief. AIDS victims brought it on themselves
: Kilpatrickisms still shape the vision of America's cultural warriors--witness the "black racism" charges involving the minuscule New Black Panther Party or the brouhaha around Shirley Sherrod.

But Kilpatrickism--its faux color blindness and its uncompromising faith in the market--is his most poisonous legacy. Kilpatrick's paeans to color blindness and his suspicion of integration are echoed in current conservative jurisprudence. Read Chief Justice John Roberts's opinion in Parents Involved (the Supreme Court case that struck down voluntary school integration programs in Seattle and Louisville) if you want to see Kilpatrickism redux. And it infuses the antigovernment, pro-business rhetoric of the right.

Whether or not Kilpatrick rests in peace, it will be a long time before his ideas are buried and gone.


Excerpt: Unjust Spoils by Robert Reich (The Nation)

Wall Street's banditry was the proximate cause of the Great Recession, not its underlying cause. Even if the Street is better controlled in the future (and I have my doubts), the structural reason for the Great Recession still haunts America. That reason is America's surging inequality. ...

Each of America's two biggest economic crashes occurred in the year immediately following these twin peaks—in 1929 and 2008. This is no mere coincidence. When most of the gains from economic growth go to a small sliver of Americans at the top, the rest don't have enough purchasing power to buy what the economy is capable of producing. America's median wage, adjusted for inflation, has barely budged for decades. Between 2000 and 2007 it actually dropped. Under these circumstances the only way the middle class can boost its purchasing power is to borrow, as it did with gusto. As housing prices rose, Americans turned their homes into ATMs. But such borrowing has its limits. When the debt bubble finally burst, vast numbers of people couldn't pay their bills, and banks couldn't collect. ...

The problem isn't that typical Americans have spent beyond their means. It's that their means haven't kept up with what the growing economy could and should have been able to provide them.

Note: Best of the Blogs via The Philadelphia Inquirer (Sunday, Aug. 22nd)

Monday, August 23, 2010

On This Date

Monday, August 23rd
The 235th day of 2010.
There are 130 days left in the year.

On Aug. 23, 1927, Italian-born anarchists Nicola Sacco and Bartolomeo Vanzetti were executed in Boston for the murders of two men during a 1920 robbery.

On Aug. 23, 1912, Gene Kelly, the American dancer and choreographer, was born.


On this date in:

1754 - France's King Louis XVI was born at Versailles.

1775 - Britain's King George III proclaimed the American colonies in a state of open rebellion.

1926 - Silent film star Rudolph Valentino died at age 31.

1939 - Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union signed a non-aggression treaty.

1960 - Broadway librettist Oscar Hammerstein II died at age 65.

1979 - Soviet dancer Alexander Godunov defected while the Bolshoi Ballet was on tour in New York.

1989 - Yusuf Hawkins, an African-American teenager, was shot dead by white youths in Brooklyn.

2000 - The first season finale of the reality show "Survivor" aired on CBS, with contestant Richard Hatch winning the $1 million prize.

2003 - Former Roman Catholic priest John Geoghan, a convicted child molester, was killed by a fellow inmate in a Massachusetts prison.

2005 - Israeli forces evicted militant holdouts from two Jewish settlements, completing a historic withdrawal from the Gaza Strip and part of the West Bank.

2008 - Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama introduced his choice of running mate, Sen. Joe Biden of Delaware.

Friday, August 20, 2010


Deep-Fried Chicken

The brining and chicken prep steps shouldn't be skipped for the most flavorful chicken and the best results. These steps can be done a day in advance or before leaving for the day, if you want fried chicken for dinner.

2 tablespoons table salt
2 tablespoons poultry seasoning
2 tablespoons hot sauce
3 bay leaves
1 quart low-fat buttermilk
1 whole chicken (about 3 1/2 pounds, giblets discarded, washed and cut into pieces -- breast pieces in half)
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon poultry seasoning
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon paprika
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
Refined peanut oil or vegetable shortening (about 12 cups)

To Make the Brining Mixture:

In a large zipper-lock plastic bag, combine salt, poultry seasoning, hot sauce and bay leaves. Shake the bag to mix the spices thoroughly. Add 3 3/4 cups of the buttermilk into the bag, reserving 1/4 cup. Stir or shake with the bag sealed until the salt is completely dissolved. Immerse the chicken in the mixture. Place the bag of chicken pieces in a large baking pan to prevent leaks. Refrigerate 1 hour or up to 8 hours to allow the pieces to become fully seasoned.

To Prepare the Chicken:

Remove the chicken from the buttermilk brine and shake off excess. Place the pieces in single layer on large wire rack set over a rimmed baking sheet. This step will dry the skin slightly to allow it to become crispy when frying. Refrigerate, uncovered, for 2 hours. (After 2 hours, the chicken can be covered with plastic wrap and refrigerated up to 6 hours longer, if needed).

Coating and Frying the Chicken:

1. Mix together the flour, poultry seasoning, baking powder, salt, black pepper, paprika and cayenne pepper in a large, shallow dish. Stir in the remaining 1/4 cup buttermilk. Combine the ingredients with your fingertips. The buttermilk will make the flour mixture thick and slightly lumpy. Working in batches of 3, drop the chicken pieces in the flour. Press both sides of the chicken pieces into the flour and lumpy pieces to coat. Gently shake excess flour from each piece.

2. Adjust oven rack to middle position, set second wire rack over second rimmed baking sheet, and place on oven rack. Heat the oven to 200 F to keep chicken warm while frying in batches. Line a large plate with double layer of paper towels to drain the fried chicken pieces on after removing them from the oil.

3. Pour 3/4-inches of oil in a large, 8-quart, cast-iron Dutch oven with a diameter of about 12 inches or into a deep-fat fryer. Heat the oil to 375 F over medium-high heat. Place a few of the dark meat chicken pieces, skin-side down, in the oil. Do not crowd the chicken. Cover with a heavy lid. Reduce the heat to medium, and fry.

4. After about 3 minutes, lift the chicken pieces with tongs to check for even browning; rearrange if some pieces are browning faster than others. Check the oil temperature with a thermometer after the first 6 minutes of frying. The oil should be about 325¡F., adjust the temperature by turning the heat up or down as necessary. Continue cooking for another 4 to 6 minutes, until the chicken is golden brown.

5. Turn the chicken pieces over and continue to fry, with the pan uncovered, until chicken pieces are deep golden brown on the second side, 6 to 8 minutes longer. Using tongs, transfer the chicken to a paper towel-lined plate; let stand 2 minutes to drain, then transfer to rack in warm oven.

6. Replace paper-towel lining on plate. Return oil to 375 F and fry remaining pieces, transferring pieces to paper towel-lined plate to drain, then transferring to wire rack. Cool chicken pieces on wire rack (outside oven) about 5 minutes and serve. Serves 4 to 6.

Recipe by Angela Shelf Medearis

Originally printed in the Northeast Times (Philadelphia)


Philly's latest best fried chicken
by By Rick Nichols - Philadelphia Inquirer Food Columnist

CORRECTION: Everything old is new again, as they say. Like fried chicken. It's hot and re-happening. Hey, if Mad Men can be cool again - skinny ties and '60s martinis, the uptown picture of retro - why not a shout-out for its country-picnic cousin?

Why not, indeed? I chewed over this question. All over town. The results were published in this space more than a month ago.

I did not try every establishment's chicken. But I put a pretty big bite in what was out there - crunchy thighs slicked with spiced honey at Resurrection Ale House, served with great German potato salad. West Side Gravy's OK version in Collingswood. Jay Henson's classic bird at Silk City Diner. Jones', which riffs off KFC. At Ms. Tootsie's, the soul foodery on South, I had a notably crisp, abidingly juicy bird; it was my hands-down blue-ribbon nominee.

Ahem, I'd like to amend my remarks. Not retract them, exactly. But since then, two new chicks have landed on the block. And Lord have mercy, they're messing big-time with the pecking order...

Click Here For Complete Article

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Monday, August 16, 2010

Urban Blight Update

Graffiti White-Wash
Corner of E. Thompson St. & Seltzer
Northeast Philadelphia

Graffiti Remnant

Previously: (*) House Rep. Spillover Stains Philly

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

(*) House Rep. Spillover Stains Philly

Note: Footage taken at corner of E. Thompson St. & Seltzer - Northeast Philadelphia

(*) Louie Gohmert, House of Representatives, (R-Tx)

Tuesday, August 10, 2010


"Let me see if I've got this straight: Here we are in the smoldering ruins of an economy recently wrecked by Wall Street greed, in a country where for 30 years almost all income growth has been concentrated among the richest 1 percent of Americans. ... Meanwhile, the Republican Party defends massive tax breaks for the wealthy while blocking aid to the unemployed, fights bitterly against regulations designed to prevent a repeat of the Wall Street meltdown, blocks legislation that would at least require corporate and special interests to identify themselves when they invest in elections and does all that while proclaiming itself to be the party of the little people. Do I have that right?"

-- Jay Bookman of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution

[Hat-Tip: Jeffrey C. Billman - City Paper]

Friday, August 6, 2010


Poetry Volume by Nathaniel Brennan
Title of Book: Not Known
Published: ?

Various Versions of Cover Artwork by Automotive Acne (Productions)
Submitted Sept. '08

Original Drawing by A.A.(P.)

Original Photograph by A.A.(P.)

Thursday, August 5, 2010


Bridge by Frank Stewart - Sunday, Aug. 1st

"Look at the dummy Harlow bought on this deal," Unlucky Louie grumbled to me.

The player we call Harlow the Halo is fortune's favorite. While rain clouds of bad luck shadow Louie, good luck shines in Harlow's face like good health. His finesses win, his key suits break well, and his errors never cost.

Louie had opened one spade as West. North tried two diamonds, reasonably enough, and East doubled for penalty.

"If I had run to three clubs on the South cards," Louie told me, "it would have meant the fire instead of the frying pan. But the Halo bid three clubs with serene confidence."

Louie doubled three clubs, expecting to beat it badly. He led the king of trumps - and was stunned when dummy appeared.

"I continued with the ace and a third trump," Louie said. "Harlow won in dummy and let the eight of spades ride to my jack. When I shifted to a heart, he took the king and led the queen of spades: king, ruff. He cashed the ace of diamonds, ruffed a diamond, conceded a spade to my ace, and claimed. I was minus 670."

Louie didn't realize it, but he had three opponents. Most pairs now use "negative" doubles at low levels, but even if East's double was for penalty, it was an error. East needed some high-card strength to double, not just good diamonds. The problem was that if the opponents ran to a different contract, West might double, expecting East to have more values.

East should have raised to two spades. Then East-West might have reached their cold game at hearts.

Sun., July 25th:

Note to Readers

Beginning next Sunday, The Philadelphia Inquirer will make some important changes to the Sunday newspaper.

First, we have heard you loud and clear, and your favorite comics will return to full size in a four-page, reader-enhanced, color broadsheet section.

In addition, we've decided to change with the times as our readers' habits have changed. Because television viewers now use their remotes to access up-to-the-minute schedules through their cable providers, we are discontinuing our Sunday TV section. However, the Sunday prime-time TV listings will move to the Sunday Arts & Entertainment section, while daily TV listings will continue to run in the features sections.

For our puzzle lovers, we will continue to publish four puzzles in the Sunday paper, including the popular TV crossword and Sudoku. Both puzzles also will move to Arts & Entertainment.

Last, we will no longer publish the daily and Sunday bridge column.

Sat., July 31st:

To Our Readers

As we announced last weekend, The Inquirer is making some important changes to the Sunday paper. However, we've modified our plan to address some of your concerns.

Because of high reader interest, we will continue to publish the daily and Sunday bridge column.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Cheesesteak Wit Out

Comment Submitted to The Big Talker 1210AM

Allan Smithee
July 29, 2010 10:13 am

Your comment is awaiting moderation.

Where can I find an audio clip of Joey Vento’s short commentary (around 20-30 seconds) that ran on the Big Talker yesterday? In it, he talks about using a bucket for a leaking roof (re: health care) and also makes fun of the left by suggesting they also describe drug dealers as unlicensed pharmacists (re: undocumented aliens vs illegal aliens).

Click Here for other J.V. clips

Vento Update via


Monday, August 2, 2010

Where's George?

One Dollar Bill
Serial# A0350---7C Series: 2006

This bill has travelled 221 Miles in 1 Yr, 217 Days, 22 Mins at an average of 0.38 Miles per day.

It is now 218 Miles from its starting location.

This list is in reverse-chronological order


02-Aug-10 10:04 AM
Philadelphia, PA
1 Yr, 93 Days, 11 Hrs, 19 Mins 162 0.35

User's Note - Change: Bought two 12 oz. sodas of coke ($0.50 each) at the neighborhood deli - Port Richmond - Philadelphia.

30-Apr-09 10:44 PM
Durham, CT 123 Days, 13 Hrs, 3 Mins 59 0.48


28-Dec-08 08:41 AM
Coventry, RI Initial Entry n/a n/a

User's Note - Put on a happy face. :)