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Showing posts from September, 2015


This is what two dozen oysters, shrimp for three, and some odds and ends look like. We wound our way through Gruissan on a gorgeous September Sunday, headed through the seaside town to the Med and La Perle. Friends had recommended La Perle to us as the place to go for seafood fresh off the boat. Cathey and Connie had yet to have their first R-Month oysters, so off we went. The parking lot was full. This is not your typical restaurant where you find a table, read a menu, wait for the wait staff, and place your order. Instead, we joined a line snaking past tubs of fresh oysters for sale and tried to figure out how things worked. As the line advances, you come to a chalkboard with prices and a guy who asks what you'd like. If you appear to be a newbie, he prompts you. We wanted a couple of dozen oysters, shrimp for three, and a few raw mussels to taste. Did we want lemon? Yes. Mayonnaise or aioli? Aioli. Wine? Yes, a liter of white. He gave us a numbered, handw


Just down the road from us is the Disneyesque Château Les Carrasses. It's a hotel - and several rooms have their own lap pools. It's a restaurant, trying to be a gourmet stop and almost succeeding. And there are always events. On this late September Sunday, we attended the autumn craft market. Shiny, sweet smelling, hand-made crafty things to see and to buy. Worth a stroll for an hour or so on the way to the Med and seafood for lunch.


CLOCK BOMB So the school in Texas thought that the Muslim kid had built a bomb? Did they isolate the device? Did they call the bomb squad? Did they evacuate the school? No. They stayed in the same room with the device while they waited for the cops. When the cops came, they didn't call the bomb squad. They transported the device in their car with the kid, unprotected, and they kept it in the station house unprotected.  The school administration and the cops either knew that the device wasn't a bomb or, if they did think that it was a bomb, they are too stupid to have the responsibility to protect children. BOGUS SCIENCE Check out any discussion of global warming and the deniers are bound to make the case that there has been absolutely no warming for the past 18 years. Last year, they pointed out that there had been no warming for 17 years. Next year, they'll say that there has been no significant warming for 19 years. Get the picture? The denie


DEMOCRATS Hillary gets one more month. Maybe just one. Have you folks in the States heard of Jeremy Corbyn? If you are into Bernie, check it out. Is it a good thing? I don't know. But it just may be a thing after all. There is one change to my predictions from the previous two months. Bernie has sucked up all of the air available for Elizabeth Warren at the Leftest end of the spectrum. Biden, at least for the time being, takes her spot. I don't think he'll run. Is there enough fire in the belly? We'll see. September, 2015 Favorite: Hillary Clinton Long Shot: Bernie Sanders Wild Card: Joe Biden Prediction: Hillary Clinton July, 2015 Favorite: Hillary Clinton Long Shot: Bernie Sanders Wild Card: Elizabeth Warren Prediction: Hillary Clinton REPUBLICANS No changes from last month. I still find it difficult to believe that The Donald has the legs to last through the entire primary season. He's just too easily distracted. And we see some of the same in


NETANYAHU WINS Iran's nuclear program, assuming that it was ever intended to culminate in the creation of a nuclear weapon, has been set back years. For the first time, Iran will allow itself to be limited by the international community on what it can and cannot do. Good work, Bibi. Now, quit bitching and get on with partnering with a Palestinian Arab state on the West Bank and Gaza. (It's all in your perspective, ain't it?) FIORINA'S LOOKS I don't give a flying frack what Carly sees when she looks in the mirror unless it's her reflection telling her that failing at HP does not qualify her for the Presidency. PERRY QUITS The conventional wisdom is that Perry was forced to quit because Trump has sucked all of the oxygen out of the Republican primaries. I don't buy it. Perry quit because even the troglodytes who now make up the Republican base realized that putting on horn-rimmed glasses did not increase Perry's IQ. I'm no anthropologi


RALLY AGAINST DEAL WITH IRAN Trump, Cruz, and Palin held a rally today to denounce to Iran deal negotiated by the 5+1 countries. MUSLIM BARTENDER Given my Russian Jewish heritage, I am more than sympathetic to claims of religious persecution. To this day I bear scars on my knuckles, the result of schoolyard brawls in defense of my tribe. Then there's the case of the airline stewardess who converted to Islam and refused to serve alcoholic beverages. The airline tried to accommodate her by requiring other stewardesses on her flights to serve booze for her. But then one of those stewardesses complained about the extra work and the Muslim was put on unpaid leave. I feel a lawsuit coming on. Next? Christian Scientist pharmacist who refuses to prescribe drugs? Amish DMV clerk who refuses to register motorized vehicles? Hindu deli worker who refuses to serve beef? Jewish health inspector who refuses to license restaurants that serve pork? The possibilities are endless...


SCALIA AND YOGA It begins with a guy named Scalia who says that the Constitution is a dead document. "If you somehow adopt a philosophy that the Constitution itself is not static, but rather, it morphs from age to age to say whatever it ought to say — which is probably whatever the people would want it to say — you've eliminated the whole purpose of a constitution. And that's essentially what the 'living constitution' leaves you with."  What about precedents that Scalia believes are wrongly decided? "I just say, 'Let's cut it out. Go back to the good, old dead Constitution'." Clear as crystal, correct? So you tell me. How do we get to the point that corporations are people if we begin with the good, old dead Constitution? And even if we accept that corporations are people based on corporate law precedent, where does the Constitution so much as imply that money equals speech? Apparently, it does. At least, Scalia bel


Bages is a pretty little touristy village on the etang (salt-water bay) south of the city of Narbonne. There's a fantastic view of the Narbonne cathedral several kilometers across the etang from a lookout point at the top of the village near the village's little church. During high season, Bages is a hopping place but at other times it's a quiet, peaceful town with pretty facades to stroll past and a fine restaurant or two in which to pass a relaxed luncheon. One of those restaurants is Les Jardins de Bages just across from the cafe Les Beaux Artes, another fine choice, by the way. We sat outside under the shade of a tree heavy with ripening olives. We had no reservations for our Sunday luncheon but it was the very end August, the high season was virtually finished, so there was no problem being seated. Service was crisp, timely, and helpful. There were four menus, starting at 18 euros for your choice of two plates (starter, main, or dessert) and going up