Healthy aka yucky lunches spawn new breed of criminal…

Straight A student suspended for possession of…..Oregano.   From AOL news….

Seventh-grader Adam Grass and three other students at Hickory Middle School in Chesapeake, Va., were suspended last week after being caught with what teachers initially thought was a bag of marijuana but turned out to be a stash of oregano, The Virginian-Pilot reports.

Unfortunately for the disciplined boys, now facing expulsion, there isn’t much of a difference between Italian herbs and Mary Jane, at least in the state’s eyes. According to school board member Christie Craig, Virginia has a zero-tolerance policy against “imitation controlled substances.”

Adam is a straight-A student and National Junior Honor Society candidate, achievements his father, Patrick Grass, doesn’t want to see go up in smoke all because of a childhood prank….

…The elder Grass also explains that his son was merely holding onto the oregano for a friend, meaning he’s really just an innocent spice trafficker.

“Hey dude, don’t expell me man, it’s not my spice, I was just holding it for a friend, dude!”

With what the schools are offering as meals these days, can you blame a kid for trying? Oregano wouldn’t be my first choice of spice to bring – I think I’d sneak in some good old table salt but then I’d probably be booted for possession of imitation crystal meth or something. 

I bet  Michelle  didn’t realize the fall out of her healthy meals – taste prohibition spawns spice-easys in our schools…next thing you know the fighting will begin over control of the blackmarket Tobasco….

Amusing: GW was more concerned with China’s human rights violations than Obama?

Just sayin’.

From the UK Guardian on the budget-buster of a party a-coming to Washington this week:

The black-tie dinner at the White House on Wednesday night contrasts with George Bush’s workmanlike lunch in 2006. According to Chinese media reports at the time, Hu, who, like other Chinese leaders, places a lot of importance on protocol, saw Bush’s arrangements as insulting. Bush was unwilling to host a state dinner in part because he was conscious of US public concern over China’s human rights record.

How many times will wagyu appear on le menu?  Enter your votes in the comments.  Two, at a minimum. 

(Or will they have to rename wagyu to avoid offending the Chicoms?  The Obami, after all, are expert rebranders.)

(And is this bothersome to anyone else? Creepy!)

US and Chinese flags in front of the White House

Couple feeds homeless until government intervenes

Classic

Bobby and Amanda Herring spent more than a year providing food to homeless people in downtown Houston every day. They fed them, left behind no trash and doled out warm meals peacefully without a single crime being committed, Bobby Herring said.

That ended two weeks ago when the city shut down their “Feed a Friend” effort for lack of a permit. And city officials say the couple most likely will not be able to obtain one.

“We don’t really know what they want, we just think that they don’t want us down there feeding people,” said Bobby Herring, a Christian rapper who goes by the stage name Tre9.

The concern?  Foodborne illness.  Yes, really.

Anyone serving food for public consumption, whether for the homeless or for sale, must have a permit, said Kathy Barton, a spokeswoman for the Health and Human Services Department. To get that permit, the food must be prepared in a certified kitchen with a certified food manager.

The regulations are all the more essential in the case of the homeless, Barton said, because “poor people are the most vulnerable to foodborne illness and also are the least likely to have access to health care.”

Bobby Herring said those rules would preclude them from continuing to feed the 60 to 120 people they assisted nightly for more than a year. The food had been donated from area businesses and prepared in various kitchens by volunteers or by his wife.

The Herrings fed 60 to 120 people nightly who would not have otherwise had food.  Fed because people opened their hearts and home kitchens to feed people. 

No word yet if Michelle Obama didn’t approve of the food choices.

Way to go, government.  You can explain to the hungry folks why they’re still hungry.

UPDATE: linked as one of Pundette‘s “Recommended Reads.”  Thanks!

Candy Cane Carnage

Oh the horrors.  A group of 10 high school boys homegrown terrorists,  members of the nefarious Christmas Sweater Club, were accused of “‘maliciously maim[ing] students with the intent to injure”. 

What were their methods – Explosives? Poison?  Nay.  Far more heinous, my friends.  They are accused of….(I shudder to type the words….) tossing candy canes to fellow students as they entered the school.

And not just any ole’ candy canes.  These were the 2 whole inch ones - complete with sanitary plastic bags around them.  (I can imagine our FLOTUS nodding her head in sad acknowledgement – it was only a matter of time before something like this happened).

According to one of the accused, junior Skylar  “Sven” Torbett, also a junior (and possibly a  Lutheran) administrators told him, “They said the candy canes are weapons because you can sharpen them with your mouth and stab people with them.” 

I’ll pause while you reread that.   Yep.  You read it right the first time.  

The perpetrators were given a fairly light sentence as far as “zero tolerance” rules and regs go (considering they had those candy cane weapons on them)  - just a couple of hours of detention and cleaning.  The official note from the school limited their offenses to littering and creating a disturbance. The group does admit that littering was possibly one side effect of their attempts to spread Christmas cheer (darned old wrappers)  but denies disturbances since it happened before school started.

The parents thought the school went a tad bit overboard too. 

Mother Kathleen Flannery said an administrator called her and explained “not everyone wants Christmas cheer. That suicide rates are up over Christmas, and that they should keep their cheer to themselves, perhaps.”

Yeah! Because the last thing you want to do to someone who is depressed is to try to cheer them up or something…

The boys say they are  still spreading cheer.  Clearly unrepentant,  I have it on good authority that next year they are planning to leave a 12 inch Christmas tree out in plain sight.

Nanny state dreamin’

Does it ever end?

From the WaPo yesterday, the uptopian grandeur of life in DC sans air conditioning:

Washington didn’t grind to a sweaty halt last week under triple-digit temperatures. People didn’t even slow down. Instead, the three-day, 100-plus-degree, record-shattering heat wave prompted Washingtonians to crank up their favorite humidity-reducing, electricity-bill-busting, fluorocarbon-filled appliance: the air conditioner.

Bad, bad, bad air conditioning.  Fossil fuels.  Bad!

In a world without air conditioning, a warmer, more flexible, more relaxed workplace helps make summer a time to slow down again. Three-digit temperatures prompt siestas. Code-orange days mean offices are closed. Shorter summer business hours and month-long closings — common in pre-air-conditioned America — return.

Reminds me of summers in Europe as a kid.  Siestas and month-long closings also mean less profit for companies, which in turn would mean less pay for employees.  But that’s ok, right?  Who wouldn’t be willing to forgo a month’s worth of salary for a vacation, right?  Oh, you should still be paid the same yet want the month off?  Not so fast.

And lookie, he even thinks conservative “tea partiers” should rally ’round the idea:

In 1978, 50 years after air conditioning was installed in Congress, New York Times columnist Russell Baker noted that, pre-A.C., Congress was forced to adjourn to avoid Washington’s torturous summers, and “the nation enjoyed a respite from the promulgation of more laws, the depredations of lobbyists, the hatching of new schemes for Federal expansion and, of course, the cost of maintaining a government running at full blast.”

Post-A.C., Congress again adjourns for the summer, giving “tea partiers” the smaller government they seek.

You’re right.  Nancy and  Harry should ban air conditioning in the Capitol long before they pass cap and trade!

Lest you worry about some enterprising young thief with all of your windows open (since DC is notoriously crime-free):

In the air-conditioned age, fear of crime was often cited by people reluctant to open their homes to night breezes. In Washington, as in most of the world’s warm cities, window grilles (not “bars,” please) are now standard.

How quaint!  We’re even told the new vernacular!  (For liberals, that’s always a good idea). 

More:

Families unplug as many heat-generating appliances as possible. Forget clothes dryers –post-A.C. neighborhoods are crisscrossed with clotheslines. The hot stove is abandoned for the grill, and dinner is eaten on the porch.

Who, pray tell, will be hanging the laundry?   Oh, I forgot: since we’re all home from work on the month-long leave, we have the time to do it!  And when do our coupons for the grill come in the mail?

Just a thought: how many businesses would pack up as a result of a month-long shut down (or myriad “code orange days” are called as per the article, presumably by the government)?  Would they all migrate to cooler climes?  How long until the powers that be decide that Texans shouldn’t have AC, either, because “they didn’t have it 50 years ago,” either.  Brilliant logic, that. 

And where are the kids?

Children — and others — take to bikes and scooters, because of the cooling effect of air movement. Calls for more summer school and even year-round school cease.

Not because we’re behind in education or anything like that.  It’s simply too hot to have school, you see.   And the death rate among children in DC skyrockets (has anyone ever driven inside the Beltway? It’s not fun).

It was my choice to buy a house sans air conditioning because we moved to a dry climate where it cools off to 50 degrees every night.  I do laugh at my neighbor given that I hear the hum of her air conditioning through my open windows as I drink my coffee in the morning and note the killer temperature of 65 degrees.  I admit I like line-dried clothes.

But these are my choices, not dictates for all from on high.

Because liberals can’t do as they wish–AC for me, but not for thee–they hide behind the false promises of utopia: trust us, your lives will be better without it.

 H/T: Memeorandum.

“Beware the celery juice” UPDATED with recipe!

So reports Ianswife, a fellow Potluck blogress, regarding the “nitrate-free” claims of certain brands of bacon.  She writes:

Here’s a neat little trick.  Preying on needless fears of nitrites, food makers create “Nitrite and Nitrate-free” bacon using celery juice as an ingredient.  Of course, celery juice creates nitrite in bacon.  In fact, celery juice creates higher levels of nitrite in bacon than just regular bacon has.

She has the lab results via Cooks Illustrated (I ♥ Chris Kimball!)  here.

Heh.  Unintended consequences, all.  Make “healthier” bacon which creates more of what we’re supposed to avoid.  Liberalism in a nutshell.

In honor of Ianswife, we’re having BLTAs (plus avocado) for lunch.

**UPDATE**

So it wouldn’t be fair to have consumed the best BLT ever and not shared the experience.

Ianswife commented below with a handy way of cooking a whole pound of bacon in a low-mess, low-fuss way (and I ♥ Alton Brown, too.  He is the only reason I miss cable.)

I don’t usually cook a pound at a time (because we would consume it all).  I use pjHusband’s old George Forman grill (which I almost gave to goodwill).  You can cook bacon thawed or frozen, small quantities, and save the grease (because what self-respecting southern girl would throw away the best fat around for sauteing?)

I digress.  I realized I didn’t have any rémoulade, my usual go-to for BLTs.  We’re still stocking the pantry and fridge.   But I started making my favorite ranch (original recipe here at my favorite food blog, Our Best Bites) with a few substitutions and used some as a spread for our sandwiches.  Wow.  Will be a repeat.

Mix 1 c. mayo with

2.5 T buttermilk powder

1.5 t each parsley flakes and dried chives

.5 t dill

.25 t each garlic, onion powder, seasoned salt, black pepper, dry mustard

Spread on tasty crusty bread, add tomato slices salted and peppered, bacon, avocado, and bibb lettuce.

One disclaimer: if you’re using sliced bread, omit the seasoned salt from the spread.  We used hoagie rolls toasted in the oven so it all balanced out perfectly.

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