Roll On New Hampshire

Let me say that again: Somebody who has worked long hours his whole life to save for his son’s college has to pay taxes at more than twice the rate as his boss. Where I come from, that man’s hard work means at least as much to the future of this country – not half as much – as what his boss does. After the biggest lapse in corporate responsibility in our lifetimes, we shouldn’t be letting a CEO who pays himself hundreds of times more than his workers pay lower taxes than the workers themselves.

Mr. President, I challenge you. Explain why you think a multimillionaire should pay 15% on his next million, while a fireman has to pay over 30% for each extra dollar of overtime. Mr. President, explain how you square that with America’s values.

John Edwards comes out fighting.

The Senate Commerce Committee starts to reverse the recent FCC ownership adjustments.

A guarded Hurrah! all round, I think.

currently playing: Billy Bragg - St. Swithin's Day

Brought To You By The Letters, D, H, and S

Terror Alert Level

The ITC has reported back on the complaints it received during the recent war in Iraq. Fox News has been cleared of all charges of bias. I'm in two minds about this; while I don't believe that Fox should be taken off air, the channel does have a definite bias, which is something that news channels in this country are not supposed to have. The ITC say that

Our own monitoring of Fox News suggests that a range of opinions are heard on the station.
Which is true, I suppose, but differing viewpoints do tend to be shouted down if they disagree with the Fox line. And I would be appalled if any news organization treated a guest in the way that Bill O'Reilly did a few months ago. So I'm a little baffled with parts of the ITC decision.

In other, possibly related, news, rumours are flying that Al Gore is looking to start up a new US news channel. The intriguing part is the suggestion that the new channel would rely on amateur footage and reporting; using mobile phones, digital cameras, and blogging tools to create a format so far yet unseen on a news channel. If there's any truth to any of this, we could be in for some interesting times in the near future...

currently playing: Oasis - Round Are Way

Robots!

More here.

currently playing: Iggy Pop - The Passenger

First In An Occasional Series

A glimpse at some of the songs currently rotating through my playlist:

The New Pornographers - Your Daddy Don't Know

Completely cheesy, over-the-top piece of power pop, featuring the sublime vocals of Neko Case. Almost guaranteed to put a smile on your face.

Yoz - Ripping Kids of Death

A bootleg mix of Saint Etienne's Cool Kids of Death and Michael Greene's speech from the 2002 Grammy Awards. It works surprisingly well; it's one of my favourite bootleg mixes.

Saturday Looks Good To Me - Meet Me By The Water

One of the standard theories of pop music is that after you turn 21, you no longer fall in love with bands with the same zeal that you did in your teenage years. This is, of course, complete gibberish. Hurrah! Welcome to my latest obsession. It's like Wes Anderson decided to make music. With hilarious consequences. This track is one of the highlights on their latest album, All Your Summer Songs. Swoon as the circuitry of the song disappears, the lyrics melt, and the acoustic guitar coda reaches infinity.

currently playing: The Polyphonic Spree - Hanging Around

A Recipe In Two Parts, Part Two

Chorizo Enchiladas
500g minced pork
500g minced beef
(Vegetarian option? Erm, pass…)
1 tablespoon olive
1 onion (again, optional)
1 tablespoon chili powder
1⁄2 teaspoon ground cumin
2 teaspoons dried oregano
A pinch of salt
50ml vinegar
250ml beef stock
Sauce from Part One
Oil for frying
8-10 corn or wheat tortillas
Lots of grated cheese
Crushed chilies

Put the beef and pork in a frying pan and cook until browned and crumbly, breaking up the meat with a spoon. Add the olive oil and onion, and cook until soft. Stir in the chili powder, cumin, oregano and salt, then add the vinegar and stock. Simmer for 10-15 minutes, then drain off the excess liquid. Remove from the heat and cool.

Spread a little of the chili sauce across the base of a large baking dish. Heat the oil in a frying pan and fry the tortillas quickly on both sides, trying not to crisp them up. Remove them and drain on kitchen towel.

Dip the tortillas into the chili sauce, and put about two tablespoons of the meat in the centre of each tortilla. Fold and arrange in the baking dish.

Pour the remaining chili sauce and meat over the top, and scatter with grated cheese. Sprinkle the crushed chilies over the dish. Bake in a preheated oven at 180˚C/350˚F for 20-30 minutes until bubbling and golden brown.

currently playing: Aimee Mann - Pavlov's Bell

A Recipe In Two Parts, Part One

Salsa Roja
5 small dried red chilies
425g canned chopped tomatoes
4 tablespoons oil
1 onion (optional)
4 tablespoons boiling water
3 tablespoons tomato paste
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground coriander
11⁄2 tablespoons wine vinegar
1 teaspoon sugar

Place the chilies and boiling water in a blender or food processor. Drain the tomatoes, keeping the juice, and add them to the blender. Blend until smooth. Heat the oil in a frying pan and sauté the onion until soft. Stir in the in the blended tomato mixture, the juice, the paste, cumin, coriander, vinegar, and sugar. Cover and simmer for 10 minutes.

currently playing: Neko Case - Set Out Running

Pop Will Eat Itself

The special edition of Hail To The Thief is a wonderful thing. The design is based on the style of McSweeneys, The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, and of course, the venerable and setter of trends that is The Weekly. And it has a fine gatefold poster, plus a Book of Lyrics that Gentlemen (or Ladies, if they so choose) may wise to peruse whilst listening to the audio recording.

Amusingly, however, the CD is not a proper CD. Instead, it is a Copy Controlled disc, that is intended to prevent people from ripping it to MP3 (a rather pointless move, considering that the album has been available on the Internet since March, but anyway). I discovered this after cdparanoia had happily ripped every single track. Back to the drawing board, lads…

Okay, who's with me?

currently playing: The Smiths - How Soon Is Now?

ComputerSelf

Yesterday was a computer day. I've upgraded the installation of Movable Type to version 2.64, and I spent the rest of the day working on an AppleScript program that allows me to upload and post pictures simply by selecting them in iPhoto and pressing a button. It started out as a simple idea, but of course took the best part of five hours to get working. Computers. Love them.

And no, I have absolutely no idea what the comments in the previous entry are going on about.

currently playing: Godspeed You Black Emperor! - Moya

Blowing Bubbles

currently playing: Mint Royale - Don't Falter

Scenes From A Barbeque

currently playing: Saturday Looks Good To Me - Ultimate Stars