Saturday, November 26, 2005

Bush Family Vacation

The Bush family during a recent vacation in New Orleans. (Who knew you could catch such a nice striped bass in the French quarter?)

As Cindy Sheehan and the normal group of True American Patriots descend upon Crawford, Texas for yet another attempt to explain the opinion of the majority of Americans to President Bush, I wonder if the president is planning another vacation in the area for the holidays. As most unpatriotic Americans are preparing to enjoy a non-political holiday with friends and family, these heroes are doing what they can for the rest of us poor, unenlightened sheeple. I certainly thank them for their generous use of their precious time. Kind of gives a little real meaning to the much commercialized idea of Thanksgiving, doesn't it?

What would we do without these patriots? Probably just go on living our lives in an unaware manner, happy to let others (well-trained and voluntarilly doing the job) make our lives safer and more secure. The dangerous people in the world need to be kept in check by these freedom fighters. Most of us are too busy actually living our lives to take on the challenge, but Cindy and her friends are there to take up our slack! How else would we be able to enjoy street theater portrayals of our president as a madman, bent on destroying and subjugating the poor people of the world, or see lovely handmade signs and banners, artfully describing our armed forces as the tools of a misguided colonialist, imperial power? Let's not forget the wonderful musical renditions of such patriotic ideals as "America hates poor minorities, every one" and "We support our troops even when they are fighting for a lie".

I know many of you feel that you are safer this holiday season and more secure in your freedom because of our efforts abroad on behalf of our volunteer military. Be assured, though, that Cindy and her friends know better. It is a volunteer force of patriots that is keeping you safe but not the one you're thinking of. It is the Army of Dissent, backed up by the supporting forces of political haymakers, that is truly securing our future in this world. And what a future it is...

Friday, November 25, 2005

Lions Eaten at Colliseum!

OK, it wasn't at the Colliseum, but the Lions were eaten by the Falcons yesterday. I liken the Lions performance in this critical game to the Democrats' ideas of how to conduct a difficult campaign against insurgents in Iraq. Just give up, it's a debacle! Well, they tried some changes to make it look like they wanted to win but almost no results accrued. A different quarterback makes little success when he is "protected" by the same, lame offensive line. Michael Vick, the Zarqawi of the Falcons, was emboldened by this cut-and-run strategy to tromp accross the filed as though he was playing the football equivalent of the New York Nationals/Washington Generals of the NFL. Itwas no contest.

Steve Mariucci, the John Kerry of the Lions (has successfully engaged other enemies in other conflicts, but seems hellbent to failure in this one), continued his practice of having his quarterback pass for eight yards when they need ten for the first down. Perhaps he was listening to Jack Murtha (the offense was placed in an over the horizon position-but ready to strike when needed)?

My favorite moment of the game was when, after the crowd began filing out of the stadium in the early fourth quarter, Aikman commented that the crowd was leaving but they were leaving "a great stadium"! That was hilarious! It doesn't hurt a fan when the commentator lets them know that, while they have a worthless team, they DO have a nice stadium. I guess that comment was done for PR purposes. After all, the Super Bowl, an event the Lions have never attended, will be held at Ford Field in January. Lions owner, William Clay Ford, really knows how to build a stadium, if not a team.

Well, anyway the food was great-thanks to my lovely wife, the incomparable Mrs. Beerme-and the beer was great-thanks to me-so the entire day wasn't lost. The Red Wings will play today in an attempt to regain some of the lost respect of the hometown fans.

Friday, November 18, 2005

Lies and the lying liars that tell them

Please excuse me for using the title of an Al Franken book to describe the behavior of the liberal Democrats in our legislature this year. I felt it was appropriate and a bit ironic that the title of a liberal Bush-basher's book would so accurately describe the Democrat leadership in our Senate. What am I so upset about? Mainly the behavior of Senators Reid, Kennedy, Biden, Durbin and Kerry, but to a smaller degree the Republicans who seem content to let them rail on about what they call deceit and treachery, without nary a retort or explanation as to why the railing is wrong and traitorous.

I feel it is because the President's poll numbers are down that these partisan hackjobs are so emboldened to spread their lies. Now that they see W's blood in the water (Libby's indictment, dissatisfaction with the war, big oil's big profits, the Katrina debacle, etc.), they are like sharks surrounding the wounded.

First of all, it is a given that there is NO truth to the claims that Bush lied to the American people or the congress about the reasons for going to war in Iraq. If, as Ted Kennedy has said, "What was said before does matter. The President's words matter", then I presume that what Ted has said before also matters. I will not trot out all of the quotes of Durbin, Reid, Kennedy, Kerry and Pelosi to prove the fact that all of them said much the same things about Hussein and Iraq as was said by George W. Bush prior to the Iraq War. Most of you have seen it before. Perhaps, though you could remember Hillary Clinton's words the next time some liberal tells you that there was no connection between Hussein and Al Quaeda, "In the four years since the inspectors left, intelligence reports show that Saddam Hussein has worked to rebuild his chemical and biological-weapons stock, his missile-delivery capabililty, his nuclear program. He has also given aid, comfort, and sanctuary to terrorists including al-Qa'ida members. It is clear, however, that if left unchecked Saddam Hussein will continue to increase his capacity to wage biological and chemical warfare and will keep trying to develop nuclear weapons...I can support the President because I think it is in the long-term interests of our national security". This quote indicates that all of the intelligence suggested that Hussein was not only holding chemical and biological weapons, and developing a nuclear program, but that the world intelligence community believed, rightly, that he would use them. NO LIES!

What brought about the change of heart for these Democrat senators? Well, that's a toughie. Because it is hard to say when these people are being truthful and when they are dissembling (I know, just watch their lips!). I mean, was Senator Clinton being truthful when she declared that she knew that Saddam had all these weapons and it was right to go to war against him? Perhaps, as Clintons are won't to do, she had consulted the polls and found that Americans were solidly in favor of backing the President in his decision to go to war. This fact, make no mistake about it, was more important to her than any grandiose ideas of Truth or Patriotism.

Now we see the polls have changed. Blame it on the non-stop liberal leaning media efforts to discredit the President or on the lack of backbone in the Republican congress to ignore polls and do what is right, but the fact is the country is swinging against the war. What used to be said by only socialist dingbats and Michael Moore, is now becoming regular Senate floor dialogue, "Bush lied", "No war for oil", etc. Because of this, and because Bush has not been as responsive to his base as he should have been, not only are his enemies ("the smile in your face" back-stabbers like Hillary and her friends) saying these things, but even his friends (Republicans) are either distancing themselves from him or at the very least not fighting back when these things are said.

It was high time for Bush to start fighting back when he made the speech last week, saying the folks I'm talking about here were "deeply irresponsible". Of course he was being too kind. They are treasonous. Where are the others in the Republican Party when the president needs him? I'm not talking about blindly following the President's views on every decision. Heck, I applauded the membership when they criticized the Harriet Miers pick and I've been very critical of many things Bush has done and not done. To hear these hypocrits lie about Bush everyday and not at least try to set the record straight, though, is reprehensible! This is a time when the party membership must stand up for their leader and back him! Start pointing out the statements these people made during the Clinton administration, before the war and during the preparations for war. Remind the people that the intelligence was largely inherited from Clinton. Remind people that WMDs were found in Iraq and that Saddam probably spirited much of his cache in Iran and Syria before the war. Repeat these things as often as possible to as many news agencies as possible. Nothing is off limits when Senators are standing up in the senate and calling the President a liar. This behavior is unprecedented and requires strong admonition.

When the President was sporting a seventy percent approval rating, these Republicans would knock their mothers over in an effort to have their picture taken beside him. With the poll numbers down now, do any of them have the balls to stand up for him when he needs them?

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Anker's Away!

I realized today that, while I have written articles about the making of beer, I have never celebrated the act of finishing the stuff (No, I don't mean the drinking of the beer, silly). Yesterday I finished bottling the anker of beer I made last month. An anker, you'll recall, is ten gallons of beer. I treated each five gallon half of the anker in a slightly different manner. In the first half I bottled, I added 12 ounces of tamarind paste to the secondary fermenter. Tamarinds are a tropical fruit that is sweet/sour to taste. Both halves of the anker were brewed with coriander seeds (homegrown in my garden and crushed), three stalks of fresh lemon grass and sweet orange peel.

The idea of using tamarinds and lemon grass in a beer came to me as I was hankering for some of my favorite food: Thai. Thai foods often include lemon grass and tamarinds. If I were to do this again, I would include something with a sweeter post-fermentation profile. The tamarind beer is quite tart. The trick is to use a sweetener that will not ferment. Malto-Dextrine is one example. Another Thai addition would have been some chili peppers. I may try to doctor a beer up with some pepper juice to see what it would taste like. Hey, ya never know!

Anyway, the beer is a classic American wheat beer with the additions of the spices and other adjuncts mentioned above. It came out very nicely. The tamarind version finished at a specific gravity of 1.012, while the non-tamarind version finnished at 1.008. These beers will be about 5.5% and 5.25% alcohol by volume, respectively. The tamarind version is ready to drink now, and I've had one of them. It is a bit tart for me but my son liked it well enough. I bottled the non-tamarind version yesterday. It will be ready in a week or so.

I'm looking forward to getting some feedback from my beer drinking friends on the two beers and perhaps I'll submit them to a competition. Stay tuned!