I became insane with long intervals of horrible sanity.
Edgar Allen Poe
The trouble with fighting for human freedom is that one spends most of one's time defending scoundrels. For it is against scoundrels that oppressive laws are first aimed, and oppression must be stopped at the beginning if it is to be stopped at all.
- H. L. Mencken
Many people would sooner die than think; In fact, they do so
What I have been telling you, from alpha to omega, what is the one great thing the sigil taught me — that everything in life is miraculous. For the sigil taught me that it rests within the power of each of us to awaken at will from a dragging nightmare of life made up of unimportant tasks and tedious useless little habits, to see life as it really is, and to rejoice in its exquisite wonderfulness. If the sigil were proved to be the top of a tomato-can, it would not alter that big fact, nor my fixed faith. No Harrowby, the common names we call things by do not matter — except to show how very dull we are ...
-James Branch Cabell
October 10, 2017 - 11:37 a.m.
Yesterday I left you to try a culinary experiment, I now have to report on the result, it will change your life. Sausageeggandcheese rolls are a breakfast mainstay. WFUV orders them for the volunteers all the time as they are easy to make and eat. I upped the game inspired by not having American cheese to use on it. I use lavash for my rolls. My new twist was turning into garlic lavash. I prepared it just as I do garlic bread. I mixed melted butter, olive oil, and garlic powder and brushed it on the lavash. I topped it with a mix of shredded Monterey Jack and Cheddar. I did not bake it as long as I would garlic bread as I needed it to stay supple so it could be rolled. I put it in the toaster oven at 350°F for three minutes. I made too much garlic butter so I put the leftovers in my frying pan and cooked the eggs in it; serendipity. The sausages were just brown and serve that I defrosted in the microwave for 30 seconds then browned in the frying pan. I rolled it all together and it was heavenly. If you are vegan, don't worry, just put the garlic powder in olive oil and heat it in the microwave and put whatever you want in the roll. If you can fry it in the garlic oil so much the better. The biggest issue is the cheese substitute but if you're a vegan you have your go to. Has this become a cooking column? No, file this under me sharing what I love, just as when I write about music.
Now to move on to arguing politics. I'm not going to argue, I'm going to discuss how people argue. Who remembers Air America, the liberal alternative to right-wing talk radio? The best one on it was Al Franken, now Senator Al Franken. It's what convinced me that he'd make a great senator. He had all the virtues I look for in a statesman. It wasn't just that I agreed with him on most policy but how he came to his positions and how he argued them. He is always reasonable. He argued facts not emotions. He didn't try and inflame. He was also as funny as all hell. One regular feature on the show was the gameTruth, Lie, or Weasel. He's read a statement by some right-winger, was it usually Bush? I think so, and the contestant would have to guess if the it was a true, a lie, or weasel words; things which are technically true but meant to deceive. There was a bonus category, liesel, halfway between a lie and a weasel. He would play the "Lonely Goatherd" whenever he said it. God, I miss that show.
The other day I posted a meme on FB that was a liesel, not by the right but from the left.
"This is making the rounds. It's a lie. The picture is of Nikki Haley the American ambassador to the UN. I didn't have to do any research to know this wasn't true. The UN doesn't have the power to enact the death penalty for anything. Even if it did, not even Trump or the GOP congress would support it. What i did have to research is what the kernel of truth this lie was fabricated from. It took me all of 10 seconds to find it and an explanation from Jessica Stern, executive director of OutRight Action International, a global LGBTQ human rights organization. The US voted against a blanket condemnation of the death penalty just as it did every year under Obama. As long as the US has the death penalty it would be voting to condemn itself. I condemn the death penalty and think the US should get rid of it but that's another issue. So how was it construed as voting to support the death penalty for LGBTQ people? This year the bill added language that some countries prescribe the death penalty for homosexual acts, it is not the thrust of the bill and doesn't change the reason the US voted against it and would still have if Obama were president.This resonated enough that two of my friends, Erika and Peter quoted or reposted this. While most agreed there were some that defended the meme. They made contorted arguments why it's not a lie. They thought it was just a liesel and liesels are fine. If I had hair I'd tear it out. I kept reminding myself that this was just a few people and in general the response was positive. Even the worst comments did some good, they sharpened my thinking and I came up with the argument version of the golden rule. Don't make an argument that you'd find hateful if used by someone that disagreed with you. Saying that Nikki Haley supports the death penalty for gays is the equivalent of an anti-abortion crusader saying that a legislator that votes against a bill that defunded Planned Parenthood and made late term abortions illegal supported infanticide.
When discussing politics keep the Golden Rule of Arguments in mind. Picture an equivalent argument by Right to Lifers and how you'd feel about it. If it offends you, don't make the argument.
Now to make another delicious breakfast. Tonight, I'm off to see John Platt's On Your Radar. Come and join me.
Peace with Honor or May the Schwartz be with You - October 23, 2017
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