Daily Archives: September 6, 2010

A odd defense of States Rights in the Globe and Mail

It was bizarre to come across this article in the Globe and Mail today (1863 and all that: The issue of where federal authority ends – The Globe and Mail). What was the point of it, I thought, as it recalled some very specific occurrences of events that happened in American history, back to and including the U.S. Civil War. Towards the end of the article was this passage:

In the midst of the self-perpetuating slaughter in Missouri and Kansas, slavery was indeed an issue: Missouri was a slave state. But states’ rights were an authentic issue, too. The Civil War definitively answered the first question. It did not definitively answer the second. Now many Americans are beginning to ask it again. It took exceptional intrusion by federal forces to make this happen.

Fox News commentator Glenn Beck, in his revivalist rhetoric, invokes a historic resistance to the simple phrase “federal forces.” In his big rally the other day at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, he implicitly asks the very question that motivated the Confederate raiders: Where does the authority of the federal government end? Or does it?

From what I can tell, the author started with Glenn Beck’s rally and worked backwards. The ending question in bold and non-italics is a valid one. Americans – indeed, anyone living in a modern state – has reasons to question the authority of a central government and how much power it has over individuals. But to invoke States’ rights is a poor way of doing it. States’s rights are associated with efforts to prolong slavery, provoke the Civil War, uphold Jim Crow laws and foster racial segregation. Why anyone would want to bring them up I can’t tell, unless they were ignorant or racist.

As to the other phrases I put in bold italics, I highlighted those because it is a terrible way of elevating the issue of States’s Rights. There is an implied equation when in fact there is no such equation: slavery as an issue, as an evil, vastly outweighs any issue concerning the rights of States. I am surprised to see it stated like that. At best phrasing it that way is lazy thinking.

Vegan desserts

If you aren’t vegan and you think of a vegan diet, yummy desserts are not likely the first thing that comes to mind. Well expand your mind, because as this article in the  NYTimes.com  shows, you can make some fantastic desserts for vegans. See the article for lots more good information. Yum!

On my new egg dish: eggs a la puttenesca! :)

I have made this for a few days now, and I love it. I gently fry some
chopped salami, a couple of tablespoons of onion, a chopped olive together
until the onion is soft and the salami has softened. Then I beat 2-3 eggs
together and either make ’em scrambled, an omelet, or something resembling
a frittata.

I call it ‘a la puttanesca’ because while it reminds me of puttanesca
sauce, the ingredients differ. The spirit is the same though, since it uses
earthy ingredients easily available and thrown together.

I also put some homemade tomato salsa with it, though it is not much more
than sauteed onions and garlic and a cup of diced tomatoes cooked and then
tossed with some cilantro. Just enough to moisten up the eggs if they get
dry from cooking, and also to add more robust tomato flavour.

I generally like eggs with cheese and marjoram, but that is a richer and
subtler taste. This is a basic and more rustic taste. Both are good,
depending on your mood.
Sent from my BlackBerry Handheld.