19 November, 2015

Grieving With People of France, Outraged by Militarism of Western Governments

Coordinated terror attacks claimed by ISIS Islamic terrorists of the Islamic State on Friday, November 13. 2015. in Paris, which resulted in hundreds of people killed and wounded, have caused a wave of solidarity by people across the globe with people of France.  Social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, Google + and others have been abuzz with generic messages of support for France, some of which included modifying profile pictures with French flag backgrounds.  Sites like Facebook even provided apps that make it easy for people to do so.

I personally fully identify with the innocent people of France for the horrible acts of terror by the Islamist jihadists. Killing of innocent people is inexcusable and needs to be condemned, regardless of how noble and holy the terrorists consider their cause to be.  However, what troubles me is the seeming universal quick knee jerk reaction by the masses, and their general lack of well reasoned perspective in regards to who all the guilty parties are.  While wrapping one's picture into the French colors of blue, white, and red is cool and visually may appear to speak louder than a thousand words, without providing specific supporting written thoughts it remains just a shallow convenience for the busy and the unthinking, but leaves crucially important unanswered questions to a thinking and reasoning mind.  I believe that this absence of intellectual effort on the part of the individual to think things through is part of the reason why the world is experiencing and will continue to experience this and other similar tragedies in the first place.

To defeat terrorism much more is needed than just solidarity with the immediate victims.  It requires an honest assessment of the problems at hand, which includes reevaluating our views about what creates terrorism, determining who all the real guilty parties are, and finding the proper solution. On the contrary, wrapping ourselves into French flags and providing little information as to what we really mean by that is an indicator of our shortsightedness, for there is an enemy of the French people also marching under its banner of red, white, and blue. The French flag associates to much more than just to the peaceful, cultured, hard working, and lovable French people.  In this particular case it also represents the French government, as an entity of its own, separate from the French people
To cut to the chase, whilst we grieve and stand in solidarity with people of France, we also ought to be outraged by militarism of Western governments, including the government of France.  But we cannot, for we have constantly been fed propaganda or are afraid of repercussions from being politically incorrect.  Therefore, we are either unable or unwilling to recognize the fact that terrorism on our shores is largely a blowback from regime change and nation building through military interventionism of the self-righteous rulers of the West. The great majority of the masses in the western world don't seem to know anything about criminal actions of their governments in the Middle East, especially over the past few decades.  Few are able to connect the dots that destroying countries, nation building, and propping up obedient dictators, all of which leads to unimaginable deaths and suffering of innocent people, leads to radicalization and creation of even more terrorists.

Western media has long been complicit in spinning a web of lies and propaganda, in order to keep the truth away from people and to prevent any serious criticism of the governments by the ignorant masses. There's only one thing that can break this cycle, however.  An open, well informed mind, unplugged from mainstream presstitute media and well versed in conducting some honest independent research.  If one digs honestly into actions of the French government in the Middle East in the past several years, many new horizons, which conflict with the interests of the French people and run counter with principles of free society which France prizes itself with, may suddenly come to light.  The only somewhat reassuring circumstance may be the fact that it is often done by and in concert with other powerful European and world governments.  But only when we are well informed about actions of our governments abroad can we stop the hate fueled by our fear and ignorance.
Wrapping our social media profiles in French flags will not save us from blowback of military interventionism around the world.  Ending preventive wars of aggression and ceasing of forcefully instilling our glorious democratic values on other nations will.  It will end when false flags no longer fly and when false excuses for going to war to "keep the world safe for democracy" excite nobody.  The first step in achieving that is being well informed, from perspectives long banished from the media by our rulers that finance and control them.  But no amount of direct evidence can possibly convince one as to the truth of such outrageous claims in one go. Coming to terms with the fact that our governments don't always have our best interests in mind requires time and effort in gathering and researching information.

For that purpose I invite you to do your own research and find your own truth outside of the mainstream media.  Here are just two recommended links to bookmark and pay attention to, which can help you discover many more.

I'll end with the following:
In our solidarity with the good innocent people of France and condemning the recent Paris terrorist attacks, let's also turn our attention to an unbelievable hypocrisy and terrorist acts of military aggression of western governments, flying military jets and dropping bombs all over the Middle East for purpose of destroying countries, nation building, and propping up obedient dictators, all of which leads to unimaginable deaths and suffering of innocent people and to creation of even more terrorists.  So let's have the courage to stand together in outrage and condemn preventive wars of aggression conducted by our governments, financed with our money, to protect us from imaginary enemies, created on false pretenses, and sold to us and maintained through lies and propaganda.

05 February, 2015

Libertarian cooking? Why not!

I don't want it to appear as if this blog has all of a sudden become all about cooking instead of libertarianism, but I do like to experiment with cooking all sorts of foods, and for this particular post I do have something that brings libertarianism and cooking together.  Just recently I was inspired by David Friedman's post about Icelandic Turkey medieval recipe, where he experimented with chicken instead of turkey, and decided to try it out myself.

If you aren't familiar with David Friedman and his work, I recommend that you first read his Wikipedia page and then check out and follow his blog and read his famous book The Machinery of Freedom, available as free download.  Last year I was lucky to meet Dr. Friedman here in Hong Kong and attend and film his lecture on Law Enforcement Without the State, given at the Chinese University of Hong Kong.  I even had the privilege to interview him about various difficult questions about libertarianism, an hour long conversation which you might find very interesting.

Back to the Icelandic Chicken.  Reading through Dr. Friedman's instructions and description of his cooking results and by following the original medieval recipe in his culinary book How to Milk an Almond, Stuff an Egg, and Armor a Turnip: A Thousand Years of Recipes, I decided to make some improvements in my own version according to my desired taste.

Since I prefer chicken to be crisp on the outside, I decided to leave the top part largely uncovered - no dough.  Only the underside and the sides of the 1/2 chicken used were wrapped in dough, with some of it purposefully sticking out with an intent to achieve bread like browning.  Another modification I did was to mix the dough with yeast an leave it rise for couple of hours before knocking it down and shaping into a pizza like dough.  Finally, since I like roasted potatoes with roasted chicken, I decided to add them to the pan as well.  For that I peeled potatoes, added some garlic, onions, salt, pepper, Croatian multi-spice Vegeta, and mixed in a bit of olive oil for reaching higher temperature and crispiness of the potatoes.

The main ingredients are ready.  Using only 1/2 chicken. The dough had been previously prepared and let to rise for couple of hours.

Knocked back dough and shaped like a pizza.  The leftover chunk can be used to cover the chicken completely from the top, as per the instructions.  I opted to keep the top of the chicken exposed for crispiness.  Used the leftover dough to make some bread later.

Bottom half and sides of the chicken wrapped in dough.

Peeled and spiced potatoes for roasting on the side.

Chicken and potatoes ready for roasting.

It is interesting to note that every ingredient used in this dish is from a different country.  None of it is from Hong Kong.  What ever happened to that "buy local" mantra, eh? Do you think such campaigns make any sense?  Just think about it for a sec!

Finished Icelandic chicken, with a Balkans twist.

What I got in the end was a chicken that was crispy on top, dough that was soft underneath and filled with extremely yummy drippings mixed with flavor from roasted onions and garlic, and browned on the sides with a nice yeasty pizza bread-like flavor, and lots of roasted potatoes on the side.  In a way, it is like roast chicken and potatoes on a pizza, all in one.  Dangerously tasty stuff!

Peeking through the dough.  Can you see the drippings juice?

The underside looks good too.  A bit crisp golden yellow bottom and soft inside.  My mouth is watering right now!

 Torn piece above looks and tastes like pizza with a flavor of chicken, bacon, garlic and onion.  Heaven!

Leftover dough made into some fresh bread for later consumption.

I have to admit that cooked in a baking tray instead of a pan, and being half covered with dough and with addition of potatoes instead of just being covered with dough completely, my version looks like a completely different dish.  Though in reality they are not that different.  Someone please tell me if I'm wrong.

Dr. Friedman's version and my version side by side.

In any case, it is a great tasting dish that is very easy and fun to make.  My Chinese wife loved it too.  She has already made the request for me to make it again soon.  Now, what else looks interesting in that medieval cookbook?