Daily Archives: October 4, 2014

Dollar Bill and his contemporaries’ approach to everything

Welcome to Newark; lease enjoy your stay, and if there's anything we can do to make tour visit more pleasant, please ask your flight attendant

Welcome to Newark; enjoy your stay, and if there’s anything we can do to make your visit more pleasant, please just ask your flight attendant

There are proposals floating about calling for the quarantine of all travelers coming in from African countries where Ebola is raging. That could be a good idea or a bad one, but NY Times readers can only discuss it in terms of racism. It’s the same treatment they accord every issue: social security, national defense, global warming, you name it, the DBs of the world frame everything within a politically correct world.

So they are incapable of discussing, intelligently, how to respond to incidents like today’s where yet another Liberian landed, this time in Newark, vomiting, coughing and with a fever. And of course, for the same reason, Obama can’t deal with it either.

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One more poster

Meatless Mondays’ predecessor from WW I

boozless mondays

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Same propaganda, new mission

While searching for a suitable picture to illustrate the post below, I stumbled across old posters from war propaganda campaigns. Looking at the posters for the public, it occurred to me that the exact objectives: local produce, no sugar, no beef, and eat your vegetables are in vogue today, only this time the global enemy is global warming, not the Hun.

But it’s really about, and always has been, controlling the unruly masses. The difference, though, is back then there was scarcity, and the government used it as a tool to manipulate and distribute as it saw fit; today’s crew wants to create scarcity, so they can manipulate and distribute it as they see fit.

“We’ll make them all beggars ’cause they’re easy to please.”

Eat more fish 3g13225u-1482 save wheat No cars for pleasure rationing_wwii_propaganda_poster oil Waste

It's your patriotic duty, damn it!

It’s your patriotic duty, damn it!

quiet

 

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Who knew? Fish and Chips is a Jewish delicacy

It's your patriotic duty, damn it!

It’s your patriotic duty, damn it!

Or part of a grand conspiracy between bankers, media types and fishmongers, but regardless, there seems no dispute that the quintessential British meal was brought to the island by Jewish refugees.

Claudia Roden’s 1996 The Book of Jewish Food, the ultimate authority, says battered fried fish “was a legacy of the Portuguese Marranos (crypto-Jews) who came to England in the 16th century, many of them via Holland”. Nominal Christians, they were secretly practising Jews, who fried their fish on Friday (the Christian world’s fish day) and ate it cold on their Sabbath later that night or the next day, when they were forbidden to cook or even light a fire.

There is a wealth of references to back this up, including Manuel Brudo writing in 1544 “that the favourite diet of Marrano refugees” [from the Inquisition] was fried fish, sprinkled with flour, dipped in egg and breadcrumbs; Hannah Glasse writing in 1781; Lady Montefiore, who anonymously wrote the first Jewish cookery book in English (in 1846) and recommended frying fish in “Florence oil” – olive oil; Eliza Acton in 1845; and President Thomas Jefferson, whose niece Virginia put together a collection of his favourite recipes, including Alexis Soyer’s 1855 instructions for fish fried in the Jewish manner.

From Dickens and Mayhew we know it was at about this time that chipped potatoes became the invariable accompaniment to battered fish. The marriage of fish and chips was actually a gradual merger. Except for the aristocracy and those living on the coast or near inland waterways, Britons didn’t eat much fresh fish anyway, until the coming of the railways made transporting it practical and cheaper.

The first record of a fishmonger, says Panayi’s new book, was in 1154. Potatoes had definitely arrived from South America by 1580, and possibly 20 years earlier, but remained a luxury crop during the 17th century, though the Irish peasantry accepted it and made it a staple crop earlier, because it suited their soil and climate. (Its monoculture was coupled, paradoxically, with a reluctance to eat fish. During the late 1840s famine there was fish rotting on the beaches, and Mairtin Mac Con Iomaire told the 2005 Oxford Symposium on Food and Cookery that as late as 1932, Irish “fish consumption was estimated at approximately 4.5 lbs per capita, compared with 32 lbs per capita in Great Britain at the same time”.)

Fried fish and chipped (or sometimes jacket) potatoes were for a long time sold separately. Joseph Malin, an Ashkenazi Jewish immigrant, who opened a shop in Bow in 1860, gets the honours for being first to vend them together.

Eating cold fried fish required a superior batter to protect the fish from spoiling and the fat from penetrating the fish, plus good quality oil (or dripping) with no “off” flavours. The not terribly rational Jewish dietary laws excluded fish without scales or fins, and meant that if fish was to be eaten with dairy products, it had to be fried in oil, not dripping.

As East End Jews moved to north London and became doctors and solicitors, subsequent waves of immigration took over the trade, and after 1945, Chinese, Italian or Greek Cypriot cooks fried our fish. In my own Oxfordshire village, our handsome new chippie is owned by the Indian family who formerly ran our post office.

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It’s not so much the fraud that’s impressive, it’s that governments bought it

Alpha 6  £25,000

Alpha 6 £25,000

Fraudsters who sold “object detection devices” to governments around the globe are sentenced: they peddled what was basically a plastic box stuffed with

Thermapen Meat thermometer

Thermapen Meat thermometer $96

newspaper, collected £80 million (!)

A pensioner who manufactured fake detectors which he claimed could locate ivory, bombs and even help find missing Madeleine McCann, has been jailed for three and a half years.

Samuel Tree, 68, had the devices made China before assembling them in his garden shed in Dunstable, Bedford, along with his wife, Joan, 62, who was given a suspended two year jail sentence.

The couple were the final pair to be found guilty in a fraud case stretching back to 1999 which is thought to have netted a gang of con artists up to £80million.

The crooks claimed the detectors could locate oil, drugs, and explosives up to three miles away, when in fact the devices were nothing more than empty plastic boxes filled with shredded paper.

The device came with a label attached to it listing the item it was supposed to look for, and the Trees claimed it used the body’s static electricity to power an aerial which would point to the object.

Despite the ‘Alice in Wonderland’ science behind the device, known as Alpha 6, the Egyptian government placed an order worth £1million, while Thai officials paid £25,000 for a single unit.

The device even duped Giles Paxman, brother of journalist Jeremy Paxman, who championed it while he was the UK’s ambassador to Mexico.

Units of Alpha 6 were bought by Saudi Arabia, India, Pakistan, China, and were also sold for use in the Green Zone in Iraq while British troops were serving there.

Without revealing embarrassing family secrets, I will merely remind my two younger brothers of our own criminal enterprise selling “combusti-ons”, but at least we were all under 12, and sold them to other juveniles. One likes to think governments are run by slightly more sophisticated people than our victims, but …

 

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