Condaleezza Rice is a Human Freak… the Case for Hezbollah by Our Friend Norman Finkelstein

Posted in Uncategorized on April 7, 2009 by darinrhall

Norman Finkelstein, doing what he does best… speaking the truth in a world where speaking the truth often has serious consequences.  Why should we respect Hezbollah?

“Its a choice the Lebanese have to make:  Who they want to be their leaders, and who they want to represent them.  But there is a fundamental principal.  People have the right to defend their country from foreign occupiers, and people have the right to defend their country from invaders who are destroying their country.  And that to me is a very basic, elementary, and uncomplicated question.”

July 22nd, 2006 – Condoleezza Rice described the plight of Lebanon as a part of the “birth pangs of a new Middle East” and said that Israel should ignore calls for a ceasefire.

Norman Finkelstein’s opinion on the Secretary of State’s description… “The Secretary of State said it was the birth pangs of a new Middle East.  That’s the statement of a freak.  A human freak would compare the birth of a child with the destruction of a country.”

And about Hezbollah’s militant resistance?  Why not support those Lebanese willing to accept terms dictated by Israel and the United States (meaning disarmament and marginalization of Hezbollah)?

Finkelstein hammers the point home again… to those who would welcome George Bush into their country less than two years after the war was over “Who the hell cares if George Bush was coming?  You should have declared him a persona non grata.  He’s not welcome here.  He destroyed your country.  He was responsible for the war.  You know full well that resolution could have been passed three weeks earlier.  He destroys your country and you couldn’t wait to greet him.  You have no self respect!  How can you expect people to respect Arabs if you don’t respect yourself?”

“I respect the Jews a thousand times more.  Never to forgive, never to forget.”

His comparison is to the European resistance to the Nazis during WWII, most countries in Europe chose to live under Nazi rule rather than to resist.  And he goes on to say that looking back we honor the resistance movements, not the appeasers.  Although Hezbollah does get some support from the Arab world, I would hardly compare it to the situation in WWII where the English and the Americans were at war with the Nazis.  Its more like the situation the Native Americans faced.  You can honor the ones who resisted all you want, but they perished at the hands of the US Army.  Those who accepted peaceful treaties had everything taken from them, but at least they survived.  Kind of a hard choice to make.

“Mad” As Hell…

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , on March 29, 2009 by darinrhall

Sorry, for all of those who have been checking this blog and asking me to add more content, I’ve got a lot of unfinished work that I’ve done for the blog, including 1000 words on the situation in the Middle East that decomposed into sewage and has therefore been abandoned, 340 words on the Economy vs. the Environment and whether manufactured economic recovery is really set to bring us to a viable long term solution or is it  just prolong the inevitable?  As well as a current events spinoff about South Africa’s decision to deny entry to the Dali Lama, and whether China’s economic influence is beginning take on the characteristics of the influence of the Americans since WWII.  I tell you this not to make excuses, but rather to tell you that like this blog my writing is a work in progress.  I’m much better at starting an article than finishing one, once the guts have been placed out all on the table.  I hope to have a clearer vision of what the end product will look like once the idea is spawned but at the moment I’m sloshing through the tenth circle of hell, which is trying to find your voice in print.

The following rant by Peter Beale is from the 1976 satire “Network” by Sidney Lumet, and I’d like to include it here as a post modern (i.e. stolen) video portrait of of the editorial side of my blog, which has been so kindly described as “rants” by those in my family.

Or maybe Charles Manson’s Epic Question is a better fit, you decide…

A Taste of Argentine Music

Posted in Argentina with tags , , , , , on March 9, 2009 by darinrhall

My friend Matt has a great page on his site Expose Buenos Aires dedicated to popular music from Argentina, rather than blantantly plaguerizing it, I thought I’d just link to it instead.  He’s got about a dozen music streams so check it out and brighten your day with some rockin’ Argentine music.

This link takes you to Matt's Argentine music page

This link takes you to Matt's Argentine music page

Update: Matambre de Cerdo Roast

Posted in Argentina with tags , , , , on March 9, 2009 by darinrhall

Well, the Matambre de Cerdo Roast came out quite nice, the meat was really succulent and the vegetables were delicious.

You lika the juice?

You lika da juice?

I cooked it in a pan with vegetables for about an hour and a half, adding only paprika, parsley, salt, pepper, and white wine.

Mario Says: I lika da juice!

Mario Says: I lika da juice!

I think I’ll try it again sometime soon, but I’d like to either salt crust the pork, or add some hot peppers and fresh pineapple to the mix.

The pig is a magical animal.

The pig is a magical animal.

The vegetables really turned out wonderful, the fat from the pig really mixed well with the white wine and made a delicious juice, which really soaked into the vegetables, giving them a lot of extra flavor.  Though the arsonist in me would really love to see this sucker cook over hot coals, I think the smokey flavor would really go well with the panceta and prunes.  Gloria is a genius!

A Date with Gloria

Posted in Argentina with tags , , , , on March 7, 2009 by darinrhall
finished-productsmall

Gloria is pictured here with a Matambre de Cerdo roast

This morning I had a date with Gloria, the Master of Meat… more specifically the Master of Pig, Lamb, and Guts.

Yesterday she agreed to prepare me a matambre de cerdo roast, of her own speciality stuffed with panceta and prunes, so today I went to visit her.  She was right in the middle of putting it all together for me, which was great because I got a couple of pictures during the process.

Now, I should explain that “matambre de cerdo” is nothing like the other matambre, which is made from beef and is essentially shoe leather.  Matambre de cerdo is a pork flank steak, which can be prepared over a parilla or cooked in the oven as I am preparing to do tomorrow.  Matambre de cerdo is not nearly as commonly found, and not available in every butcher or grocery store in Argentina which is a real shame because this is some of the most flavorful and delicious meat I have ever eaten.

tying-it-togethersmall

Here she is stuffing it and tying it together

When Gloria told me how she prepares it I told her I would love to try it, and her eyes lit up.  A few days before I had passed her shop and spotted her “solomillo de cerdo”, which is pork tenderloin, and she spent a good 10 minutes telling me how to prepare it with sweet potatoes, green onions, and white wine.  Needless to say I followed her directions to the tee, and it turned out delicious.

This is the panceta which goes right inside

This is the panceta which goes right inside

One thing I love about Gloria is that she is passionate about meat, and you can really tell that this woman has been doing this for a many years.

Here you can see her menu, which includes a number of items straight out of the Travel Channel show “No Reservations” with Anthony Bourdain… such as liver, kidneys, intestines, sweet breads,tripe, toungue, brains, heart, pigs feet, and blood sausage.

All kinds of good stuff!

All kinds of good stuff!

Now, I’d never been the biggest fan of organs, until recently when a friend of mine took me to a a great parilla and we shared a “tabla de anchuras”.  A tabla de anchuras consists of chorizo (sausage), morcilla (blood sausage), chinchulines (intestines), rinones (kidneys), and mollejas (sweet breads).  I had wanted to try these things for the adventure of it more than anything and I have to say that with the exception of the kidneys, I really loved every bite.  These savory organs are rich and delicious, especially the morcilla, chinchulines and my personal favorite mollejas.

Here you see: sausage, lamb tongues, lamb intestines, and a giant beef liver

That being said, when I was asking Gloria about her morcilla, she asked me if I had ever tried it with green onions, and when I said no, she promptly cut me a piece to try right off of a raw morcilla sausage.  And with her unwashed hands that had just been preparing pork no less!  I was terrified but didn’t have the courage to say no, and actually it was delicious though I had visions of a trip to the emergency room.

A Trip to Mercado San Nicolas

Posted in Argentina with tags , , on March 7, 2009 by darinrhall

This indoor marketplace is only two blocks from my apartment, and is a great place to shop for fruits and vegetables, spices and other dried goods, deli items, as well as any kind of meat product you can imagine.

The Deli Counter

Last week was the first time I took my dog in there with me, and was a little worried that someone would say something to me, but the funny thing is that this morning I was in there, and didn’t have my dog with me, and they were all asking about him.  Its a lovely alternative to the supermarket, the people are really friendly, and there’s something about buying meat from butcher, buying deli meats from a deli man, and fruit from a fruit man, that really appeals to me.

The Fruit Stand

I ran into the lady who does my laundry at the spices, grains, and dried fruit and nut stand.  She was also asking about my dog, and I’m starting to realize that I’m known in my neighborhood as the big Yanqui with the little dog.

The Spices Lady

Hillary Clinton’s First Trip to the Middle East as Secretary of State

Posted in Politics with tags , , , , on March 7, 2009 by darinrhall
Secretary Clinton in the Middle East

Secretary Clinton in the Middle East

In Secretary Clinton’s first visit to the Middle East, she made a two day visit to Israel and met with Israeli Prime Minister-Designate Benjamin Netanyahu as he is busy trying to put together a new and ultra right wing government.  Her spokespeople emphasized that as this was her first trip as Secretary of State it would be “a familiarization tour, a listen and learn experience”.  She made it clear during her visit to Egypt that Washington is committed to pursuing a two state solution, which is clearly a great first step for the Obama administration to become involved in peace process during an extremely heated period in the region, in the wake of the destruction of Gaza and a report showing that Israel has plans to build an additional 73,000 homes in the occupied West Bank.  But is “the two state solution” really on the agenda or they just paying lip service to the peace process?  Is this really about trying to foster some kind of stability in Israel and Palestine while they really focuse on Afghanistan, Iraq, and Iran?  I’ll be keeping an eye on this topic during the upcoming weeks/months.