Entries Tagged as ''

recipes & food

Homemade Cornbread (so easy!)

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Butter a metal loaf pan. Mix 1 1/3 cups of coarse yellow cornmeal, 1 cup of flour, 1/3 cup of sugar, 2 teaspoons baking powder, and a pinch of salt in a large bowl.

In a separate bowl, combine 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons buttermilk, 9 tablespoons melted butter, and one beaten extra-large egg. Add this to the dry ingredients. Stir with a wooden spoon until well blended. Let it sit for 15 minutes.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Pour the batter into the loaf pan. Bake about 40 minutes. Let it rest in the pan for 5 minutes then remove from the pan and let it cool on a rack.


educationends & odd

a civil war journey

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I recently returned from a four-day road-trip (with my nephew Noah and his parents, traveling separately) to some of the Civil War battlefields. It’s a pilgrimage I’ve made more than once over the years, a way of embracing both nature and history. (Those blood-drenched meadows look terrific in the spring.) Done right, it can almost feel like time-travel.

Confederate cemetery at Appomattox

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art & entertainmentpolitics & government

The real reason Superman is renouncing his US citizenship – copyright law

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In the most recent issue of Action Comics, the fictional superhero character Superman, who flies around in a blue leotard with red underwear on the outside and a big red cape, renounces his US citizenship.

The key scene takes place in “The Incident,” a short story in Action Comics #900 written by David S. Goyer with art by Miguel Sepulveda. In it, Superman consults with the President’s national security advisor, who is incensed that Superman appeared in Tehran to non-violently support the protesters demonstrating against the Iranian regime, no doubt an analogue for the recent real-life protests in the Middle East. However, since Superman is viewed as an American icon in the DC Universe as well as our own, the Iranian government has construed his actions as the will of the American President, and indeed, an act of war.

Superman is going to finally take a real stand. At the UN.

Superman made his first appearance in the first issue of Action Comics in 1938. Since that time, the United States government has rounded up and jailed people because of their Japanese heritage, dropped atomic bombs on Japan, knowingly infected Guatemalans with STDs to study their effects, fought against the civil rights of its own black citizens, entered the Vietnam war based on the “Gulf of Tonkin” lie, used chemical warfare against the Vietnamese, provided millions of dollars to Middle Eastern dictators in the name of “stability,” and fought a “war on drugs” that allows government agents to break into peoples’ homes and is directly causing the deaths of tens of thousands of people all over the world every year. Our current president has engaged the United States in yet another war in the Middle East, and claims to have the power to kill US citizens without a trial. And that’s just off the top of my head. [Read more →]

politics & governmenttravel & foreign lands

Cirque du Conspiracy

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moneypolitics & government


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So what else happened Wednesday? Believe it or not, there was a tiny smudge of good news revealed at another of the historical firsts that are coming so fast and furious that the day’s incidence of historical firsts is itself a historical first. This first was the first ever press conference by the Federal Reserve. Sure, you’ve seen Ben Bernanke on the news before squawking about this or that but this was the first time the Fed apparatus has ever had a presser just like Barack Obama or Orly Taitz where it is convened for the communication of specific info with questions attending. This might seem to be a rather threadbare “first” until you understand that the Chairman of the Federal Reserve and even the dozens of lesser figures who make monetary decisions have a power to influence markets that, believe me, they often wish they did not. The business press is always rumbling with the seismic analysis of Bernanke’s footsteps. How does he look? Chipper? Dour? Conscious? Did he get the thai chicken or a steak? Is he out shopping for new suits? Custom? Please god, tell me he’s not buying off the rack!

Fortunes are made and lost by the labors of the business paparazzi because Bernanke’s whims make dollars worth more, or less. Overnight. Like Midas, he turns things to gold. And also kills. [Read more →]

art & entertainmentpolitics & government

Econ Rap

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Economics has long been referred to as the “dismal science” because, well, most people find it all so dry. Some creative economists over at George Mason University and elsewhere are challenging that view and having a little fun making rap videos full of economic lessons. I’ve linked the most recent installment below.

Granted, if you’re completely clueless of the arguments they’re making, a lot won’t make sense, but they’re fun to watch regardless.

Fight of the Century: Keynes vs Hayek (Rd 2)

books & writing

Lisa reads: Last Snow by Eric Van Lustbader

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Last Snow, Eric Van Lustbader’s new political thriller, picks up right where First Daughter left off.  Edward Carson is now the President.  First daughter, Alli, is recovering from her kidnapping ordeal, and Jack McClure is still talking to his dead daughter. The President is in Russia, negotiating an arms deal, when an important administration ally turns up dead. President Carson is counting on Jack to untangle a web of lies and keep Alli safe — which would be easier if he had some idea who was after them. [Read more →]

politics & governmentrace & culture

Birthers at State?

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The racist loons infesting the Republicans and the Republic have truly achieved a frightening prominence. Consider these impolite and impolitic questions they are raining upon our beloved President:

First they demand a Full Name… FULL! With the middle, any suffixes, prefixes, titles, assignments, hyphenations… the full boat. The date of birth, place of birth and social security number. This the President must supply without fail. This may not seem too audacious but just you wait.

Then they demand a listing of all relations, living and deceased and their citizenship status. Stepfathers and mothers are as requisit as those who actually contributed a chromosome. The President’s well known herd of half brothers and sisters left by his father across every land and nation you could name is attacked, obviously and maliciously with this outrageous inquisition.

Then these freaks go from deranged to depraved with the following demands: [Read more →]

fashion & clothingpolitics & government

Slaves to fashion

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I was in Washington, D.C. recently on a family vacation. At the Smithsonian American History Museum we saw a display of large model ships. A black woman was pointing out the cargo hold in one of the ships to her daughter, telling her about how slaves were transported in the ships and how terribly human beings treated fellow human beings. Next to them, not five feet away, and without any apparent awareness of the Gulag or a wall people risked being shot to climb over, an ignorantly hip white boy-man of about 19 was wearing this shirt.
Nice shirt, jackass

artistic unknowns by Chris Matarazzocreative writing

Still, we create

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The other night, I caught the last hour of a movie masterpiece on TV: Sidney Lumet’s 12 Angry Men. It is an inspiring film to watch, in and of itself, and it is full of that 1950’s mixture of sinewy intellect and bongo-driven, twelve-tonal avant-gardeness. It is a film that simultaneously, as much of the art of that period did, praises and condemns the register of human action and tendency. 

But the old stream-of-consciousness kicked in when I again saw Lee J. Cobb, the disgruntled father who wants a young man to hang as a result of his own feelings against his own rebellious son. Seeing Cobb made me think of Arthur Miller’s Death of a Salesman, in which he played the first Willy Loman. [Read more →]

animalsfamily & parenting

Time to buy a leash…for my child

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A few months ago, I got pretty high and mighty about other people calling my son a dog. I was a little offended that another woman had the audacity to compare my child to her puppy. And now, I am heading out to buy him a child harness. Also known as a leash. Yes, dear reader, I’m buying my child a leash. Karma can be a real bitch, no?. [Read more →]


Marty Digs: Buffalo Tom

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I have been waiting for this week for months. On Thursday, my friend John L. and I will be traveling to New York City and meeting my buddy Johnny to see Buffalo Tom play at the Bowery Ballroom. Then on Friday I will be seeing them in Philly with my buddy Dennis Doc. This is my favorite band of all time and I will be seeing them twice with some of my closest friends. The nostalgia is kicking in so hard that I might not bring my cell phone and bring a disposable camera to get a genuine 90’s feel. And to kick things off, last night Cailin and I ordered take-out food from the Colonial Diner – which was the ultimate late night after party destination in South Jersey for me from 1992-2007. [Read more →]

bad sports, good sports

Bad sports, good sports: NFL owners and players have stopped talking

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The owners and players that make up the National Football League only need to do one thing to keep the fans from completely deserting them. They need to keep talking. It’s a very simple concept, really. It’s obvious that major differences remain between the two sides, and I still have not examined their positions closely enough to form a real opinion, as far as on whose side I am. It is clear to me, though, that as long as they keep talking, I can believe that there will be a normal NFL season this fall. What is clear to me must not be clear to them, though. On Wednesday, the two sides announced that talks would be adjourning until May 16th. [Read more →]

ends & oddpolitics & government


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What’s the Hillary Special at Popeye’s? Two large thighs, two small breasts and a left wing. If that doesn’t take you back, brother, you were never there. Yes, the grizzled Secretary of State now enamored of Assad Jr as a “reformer” as well as the spontaneous human combustion of anonymous goatherds in Afghanistan (and Pakistan, too!) was once far more true to the politics of her loopy commencement address at Wellesley that received a Stalin-esque ovation from that crowd lasting seven minutes. The crowning glory of her political career (before she was elected to shit) was to be Hillarycare; a massive overhaul and expansion of Medicare/Medicaid that would inundate medical delivery systems as we knew them in the barbaric days of 1993, leaving that segment of our economy socialized in all but name. Sound familiar? But Hillary became the Centrist once a certain Senator from Illinois maneuvered into that sliver of atmosphere existing between her Left and the outright commies. Hillary had sought total control through the doctors: the practice of medicine outside the embrace of Hillarycare was to be a criminal offense. Obama stole a march by making criminals out of any patients escaping, however fitfully, the smothering grasp of Obamacare. Of such distinctions are great careers made. [Read more →]

art & entertainmentmovies

Not a Review of Atlas Shrugged-The Movie

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I’m not going to review the film. That’s been done and done and done.

And it’s true, the movie is just ok. The characters are one dimensional. The script is overly didactic. The cinematography made-for-TVish.

Instead I’m going to share my reaction to the film, my emotional reaction: frankly, it depressed me. Not because of my disappointment in the film’s quality, or because of the film’s all-too-real dystopian setting.

No, it depressed me because, unlike most movies wherein one must rely on the suspension of disbelief to accept the hero’s actions, this movie portrays heroes acting in ways many of us could achieve. It depressed me because I haven’t started a successful business; therefore, I haven’t benefited society as much as maybe I could have. It depressed me because I haven’t honored or appreciated as I should those entrepreneurs who have.

The bottomline message of Atlas Shrugged part 1 is that if you want to help the poor, start a business; create wealth; create jobs. If you haven’t done this, it might depress you; but don’t assuage your depression by supporting government redistribution schemes. Do it by encouraging and supporting entrepreneurs and small business owners–and thank them for their service just as you do those men and women in our armed forces. They deserve it.

adviceBob Sullivan's top ten everything

Top ten suggested wedding gifts for Prince William of Wales and Kate Middleton

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10. A gift certificate to Scepters R Us

9. The latest CD from Prince

8. Gold bricks

7. An English-American dictionary

6. An athletic cup to protect the crown jewels

5. The illusion that their family still has some power

4. A nightie from Queen Victoria’s Secret

3. A sobriety test for the future Princess Kate’s personal driver

2. Something to read on the throne

1. Nothing (what could you possibly get them that they don’t already have?)

Bob Sullivan’s Top Ten Everything appears every Monday.

religion & philosophy

A promise kept

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As we come to the end of Holy Week, a week where Christ-related news stories involved church bombings, sex abuse by clerics and protecting hate speech by Christian fundamentalists – with breaks devoted to ads for Easter candy and holiday sales events – it’s good to remember the biggest news story of all …

He is risen …
Christ is risen, indeed …

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environment & naturepolitics & government

Earth RIP 4.54 Billion B.C. – 2011

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sportsvirtual children by Scott Warnock

“If only they’d listen”—but of course

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If you attend youth sporting events, you’ll see a familiar sight: A red-faced parent or coach shaking his head, frustrated, after a child competitor fell short. “She knows all the [insert things that one can know about sports],” the befuddled adult says. “But if only she’d listen!” [Read more →]

art & entertainmentpolitics & government

We’ll pay the devil to replace her

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Aren’t Hall and Oates gay? I think so though perhaps not with each other. By acclamation Hall is just out of Oates’ league. But whatever the domestic situation these two men’s men have written passionately about women for decades. This one is from ’73 and we all remember many others. Was homophobia so rampant back then that only Freddy Mercury could openly flaunt his glory in denim chaps? Maybe. Maybe Sarah Smile was really Sammy Slim. Or maybe it is that everyone with a serious claim to humanity pretty instinctively imbues all things valuable, fragile, volatile and tragic with a female animating force. Ships get the treatment. Hurricanes did for years until some pansy somewhere decided either women were being insulted or men were being slighted and gave us Hurricanes Andrew and Gustav but it fools none but the  foolish. We have Mother Earth and the naked Muses. Those in the habit of cursing or coaxing their cars almost always see them as female. America, of course, is the Big She; the land of milk and honey to a starving globe. The mother. The teacher. The sister. The whore. And baby, she’s gone. [Read more →]

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