Monday, March 2, 2009

If I Were You, I Wouldn’t Miss These…

After a delightful Sunday morning of reading, I’m telling you I wouldn’t miss these items if I were you!
by Charlie Leck

Start off with something delightful by reading this wonderful story in the NY Times about a very creative gardener and chef in Atlanta… and then, if you get to Atlanta, for heaven’s sake, don’t miss going to the restaurant [click here to read this NY Times story]. I enjoyed this news story so much I emailed it to a bunch of my best friends who might somehow, someway end up in Atlanta at some time.

If you, like I, are out there trying to figure out what really good flick to go see, be sure to read the 21 Feb 2009 edition of Beyond the Multiplex by Andrew O’Hehir about newly released films that will be showing up in the more ‘artsy’ type theaters. Doesn’t do you much good if you live in a hick town like Plantationville, Georgia.

Yesterday I blogged a bit about Amazon’s new and amazing Kindle2. This morning I came across Farhad Manjoo’s interesting article about the eBook reader on If you want and/or need confirmation that Kindle2 is an amazing device, I suggest you read this commentary.

“The Kindle is the future of publishing. And that's what scares me. Amazon's reader is a brilliant device that shanghais book buyers and the book industry into accepting a radically diminished marketplace for published works. If the Kindle succeeds on its current terms, and all signs suggest it'll be a blockbuster (thanks Oprah!), Amazon will make a bundle. But everyone else with a stake in a vibrant book industry—authors, publishers, libraries, chain bookstores, indie bookstores, and, not least, readers—stands to lose out.” [Farhad Manjoo in the article cited above]
David Pogue contends that there will be no “ultimate showdown” for printed books. As good as Kindle2 is, he says, the printed book will survive. [Watch his NY Times Video]

Garrison Keillor’s 24 Feb 2009 column, Cold Comfort, is well worth the read – especially if you are from the warm South, or the cold North, or those places in between. He opens the column this way:

“Some friends from the Confederacy came to visit us in St. Paul last week when the temperature was around zero and so we had to haul out electric blankets and crank the thermostat up to 68, but they still felt 'chilled' and so I made them go for a walk outdoors, and when they returned, they felt warmer. They only needed to get perspective. Cold is not so cold if you compare it to actual death.”
One of my kids put me on to this one – from my very favorite cook in the world, the Minimalist. It’s a video recipe for Beet Salad with Garlic-Walnut Sauce. If you’re looking for good, unusual salad ideas, be sure to give this one a try.

I’m hooked on the above character – the Minimalist – and watch his videos all the time and try many of them. As a result, I can now make a home-made pile of crackers that are likely better than anything you can buy in your favorite grocery store – and it’s easy. Go take a look at the archive of Minimalist videos and watch a few (they are only a few minutes each) and you’ll probably get hooked on him, too.

Okay! There you go! I’ve given you a whole bunch of feel good stuff to get your week going. If you insist on a downer then, in a much more disturbing vein, I’d make sure, if I were you, to read Jeff Greenwald’s thorough blog of 28 February 2009 that discloses things about Obama’s Justice Department that we might not want to know. The more liberal of you, those who support organizations like the ACLU, will definitely not want to miss this blog. [click here to read this blog on] Here’s a little teaser from the blog:

“One of the worst abuses of the Bush administration was its endless reliance on vast claims of secrecy to ensure that no court could ever rule on the legality of the President’s actions. They would insist that ‘secrecy’ prevented a judicial ruling even when the President’s actions were (a) already publicly disclosed in detail and (b) were blatantly criminal – as is the case with the NSA warrantless - eavesdropping program, which The New York Times described on its front page more than three years ago and which a federal statute explicitly criminalized. Secrecy claims of that sort – to block judicial review of the President’s conduct, i.e., to immunize the President from the rule of law – provoked endless howls of outrage from Bush critics.
“Yet now, the Obama administration is doing exactly the same thing. Hence, it is accurately deemed ‘a blow to the Obama administration’ that a court might rule on whether George Bush broke the law when eavesdropping on Americans without warrants. Why is the Obama administration so vested in preventing that from happening, and – worse still – in ensuring that Presidents continue to have the power to invoke extremely broad secrecy claims in order to block courts from ruling on allegations that a President has violated the law?”

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