Among those cocktails that are, for lack of a better term, non-standard--i.e., cocktails that are not necessarily widely recognized and well established (or non-well <cough>) throughout the U.S.A.--that I wish Hess had included in his book are:
*the Wibble, a cocktail he may not have included because it must be made with a true sloe gin, the only one of which I know is the expensive and hard-to-find Plymouth's Sloe Gin (typical sloe gin as bottled in the U.S.A. doesn't follow an accurate recipe and as a consequence makes a Wibble taste awful) and *the Red Lion, which, by the way, is not very red and, in my opinion, is best without the sugared rim some recipies call for. A dear friend of mine calls it the Creamsicle.* I call it great.
But Hess included many classic cocktails, some of which I think deserve to become standards alongside of the Manhattan, Martini, Gin and Tonic, Margarita, and the like, such as the Pegu Club and what is one of my absolutely favorite cocktails, a highball known as the Dark 'n' Stormy.
*It's a good name. The drink has a strong orange flavor and is more pinkish-orange than it is truly red. But, there's a regal (perhaps Britannic?) quality to this gin-based cocktail that "red lion" captures aptly. He also may indulge in the misnaming to annoy me. He knows I'm fussy enough to inwardly seethe if I encounter the term "vodka martini," which is perhaps a bit like the term "magic-based science." A martini is by definition gin based. Substitute vodka for the gin and the cocktail is the Kangaroo. It has a name that is different because it is a different cocktail and no more a type of martini than cranberry juice is a type of orange juice just because cranberries like oranges are a fruit.
Some religious leaders opposing same-sex marriage argue that it is an assault against them, and they say that churches would be forced to perform same-sex weddings. That would be miraculous indeed, since the Constitution of the United States guarantees religious freedom, and same-sex marriage is a civil contract, a government-issued contract, having nothing to do with religion. Same-sex marriage has nothing to do with religion and won't make churches, mosques, temples or synagogues do anything they don't want to; it has no effect whatsoever on any house of
worship or any single worshiper's beliefs or the devotional practices they share with others on holy days or anytime.
So, "SHUT UP!" are my only words to these religious leaders. It is high time to call them to account, and to call them what they are: either ignoramuses or liars. They are either too stupid to know what Freedom of Religion means or else they understand it but spread lies anyway, hoping to scare believers into thinking that suddenly they are being threatened somehow. Give me a break!
Americans United is an organization opposing a Constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage. We can take relevant text of their website and adapt it to same-sex marriage in general to get a clear idea of what perfidious nonsense these deceitful religious leaders are engaging in:
Arguments that...houses of worship could be forced to perform same-sex unions...are fallacious. Under the First Amendment’s Free Exercise Clause, houses of worship are free to limit marriage on whatever theological grounds they choose. Thus, a church may limit marriage to its own members, require marrying couples to promise to raise children in the faith, refuse to perform ceremonies for anyone who has been divorced or impose other types of limitations based on the group’s tenets and beliefs. The right of religious bodies to decide which couples they will marry and which they will not is already protected by the First Amendment.... [Opponents of same-sex marriage] have raised this issue as a scare tactic; it is wholly without merit.
That is what the arguments are that same-sex marriage threatens religious practice: "Wholly without merit."
At Union Square in Manhattan, I met Malathip Krihell, selling t-shirts for EcoPatterns.com, a company for which she is a designer. EcoPatterns produces "quality, eco-friendly apparel that is not only good to our planet, but looks pretty good on you too."
EcoPatterns' designs include fine line drawings fluidly merging-- sometimes seemingly stringing together--swirly and sharp decorative geometries evoking leaves, feathers, and features of animals, such as beaks, to create images of charming even elegant critters in a fairly distinctive but safely exotic and approachable style.
(Image: the "Proud Rooster" t-shirt available on the EcoPattern website and, apparently, at least some weekends at Union Square, Manhattan.)
Seventy years ago on May 22, 1939, Germany and Italy forged in Berlin a military alliance they dubbed the "pact of steel." This was the beginning of "the Axis," the alliance of nations during the Second World War opposed by "the Allies," consisting of the British Empire, the United States, the Soviet Union, and other nations.
Roughly 60,000,000 people died directly (combat, bombardment, genocide) or indirectly (starvation, disease, etc.) as a result of the Second World War, approximately 40,000,000 of them civilians.
(Image: frame from a film of a visit to Berlin by Italy's dictator Benito Mussolini to meet with German dictator Adolf Hitler.)
On the 17th of May 1939, Britain announced its intention to establish a unified independent Palestine, with Jewish immigration limited to 75,000 over the next five years and none thereafter, unless agreed to by the Arabs.
This came in the aftermath of the 1936–1939 Arab revolt against Jewish immigration, known as the Meoraot by the Jews and the Praot ("riots") and the "great uprising" by the Arabs. The revolt claimed the lives of 5,000 Arabs, 400 Jews, and 200 Britons.
Many historians see the multiple levels of disengagement in society--including economic disengagement--between the Palestinians and Jews after the revolt as a prime cause of Jewish settlers' self-sufficiency in Palestine.
(Photo: The "tower and stockade" settlement of Tirat-Zevi in the Beth-Shean Valley (1938); click to enlarge.)
I am disgusted by the unethical and self-destructive nature of our nation's "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" (DADT) policy. I am profoundly disappointed by you and your Administration's failure to work to reverse DADT and to allow Americans who merely happen to be gay to serve as soldiers in defense of the republic.
I strongly urge you to pressure the Congress to repeal DADT and by Executive Order to order the military to suspend DADT pending the review of the policy in light of its discriminatory nature and in light of the trend throughout the Western world--from Israel to the United Kingdom, Israel to Uruguay---to permit gay patriots to serve openly in the armed forces of their democracies.
The immorality of the DADT policy is inherent in its name: it requires individuals to lie to their government. DADT perpetuates dangerous discrimination against vital American soldiers and, by extension, all Americans who happen to be gay. What is more, Mr. President, any policy in peacetime or wartime is dysfunctional at best, self-destructive and even psychotic at worst, that would require America's defense to be weakened based on something that is a clear triviality--be it sexual-orientation or anything else. Sexual orientation is a triviality in light of both the professionalism of a soldier and the need his or her skills address.
The case of Lieutenant Dan Choi--a graduate of West Point, an Iraq veteran, and an Arabic linguist, no less--is illustrative. He is exactly the sort of soldier the republic needs, especially now, yet DADT has recently resulted in his dismissal. This is grotesque.
Imagine a military policy of rejecting off the assembly line any armored personnel carrier with a serial number ending in an even number instead of an odd number. In the final analysis, the logic of such a policy--one resulting in the military willfully denying itself an asset based on a triviality--is as unsound as is the logic of dismissing a valuable American soldier, such as Lieutenant Choi, based on his or her sexual orientation.
Additionally, Mr. President, DADT runs contrary to some of the key values behind the revolutionary political acts of our Founding Fathers. It is important to consider the antiquated and religion-based underpinnings of so much anti-gay bigotry, and to do so in light of the fault our republic's Founders found with religion-based realities like state churches and monarchies by divine right. DADT can be deemed an unenlightened, Levitical stain on the conscience of a liberty-based nation, something more similar to having the theocratic doctrines of the Taliban influence US military policy than the ideals of Thomas Paine's "Common Sense" or Thomas Jefferson's "Notes on Virginia" influence US military policy. Also, a powerful result of considering as conclusive and acting upon any supposedly practicality-based arguments, such as the "unit cohesion" argument, by DADT proponents, will be to sustain discrimination and hate against gay Americans generally and, in particular, to provide comfort to--a sense of validation among--many people whose bigotry against gay Americans is ultimately a religion-based animus.
It is far past time to begin the process of destroying DADT and standing up for civil rights for gay Americans and for commonsensical and not prejudice-based policy-making regarding US military troop recruitment and deployment.
Please reply, Mr. President, with an outline for speedily ending DADT.
Hat-tip to Andrew Sullivan. A retired Navy Commander who "came out" in '93 writes:
I ... won my DADT ["Don't Ask Don't Tell"] discharge hearing (using a defense strategy subsequently deemed illegal by the Pentagon). This enabled me to serve the final 14 years of my military career as an open lesbian.
The units in which I served those 14 years did not suffer impaired cohesion or morale due to my mere presence. If anything, my honesty enabled closer relationships with my shipmates because I no longer needed to distance myself from them due to fear of discovery and potential loss of my career. ..... My open service did not unduly expose the unit to an increase in sexual harassment complaints or issues. If anything, it decreased it.
Just a week before her now infamous inaccurate dating of the last swine flu outbreak, Congresswoman Michele Bachmann spit out a few more bits of historical hogwash, including a fake George Washington prayer, to bash the president. ..... Bachman then continued to display her incredible ignorance of American
history by saying that the founders signed the Constitution and the
Bill of Rights on the same day....