Reparations for Slavery?

So… The subject of reparations for slavery has come back up in the media and in Congress. It usually comes up when it is election time and candidates are trying to pander to black voters. (they tend to ignore black voters between elections) its the same thing every election cycle and anyone with open eyes can see it.

Let’s go back in history to that democrat icon, Franklin Roosevelt. He signed Executive Order 9066.From 1942 to 1945, it was the policy of the US Government that people of Japanese descent would be interred in isolated camps. (History Channel) All together there were about 117,000 people of Japanese descent (most of them American Citizens) relocated into internment camps around the country. Star Trek actor, George Tekei and his family were among those interred.


In 1988, President Reagan signed the Civil Liberties Act to compensate more than 100,000 people of Japanese descent who were incarcerated in internment camps during World War II. The legislation offered a formal apology and paid out $20,000 in compensation to each surviving victim. The law won congressional approval only after a decade-long campaign by the Japanese-American community. These reparations were paid to those who were actually interred.

The argument seems to be that no one alive today lived through that time of slavery in America so there is no one to whom reparations should be made. Others say that white people today are much better off due to the suffering of black slaves so their ancestors should receive the reparations.

OK… Say that congress passes a law and the President signs it and reparations are going to be paid for slavery. HOW WOULD IT BE PAID? Say you are only half black (like Obama of instance) would you only get half the money? What if your family came from Africa long after slavery (like Obama for instance) would you still get paid?

At the height of slavery in America only about two and a half percent of white Americans owned slaves and many slaves were owned by black plantation owners. Do all white people have to pay for what a small percentage of white people did? Do the descendants of those black slave owners have to pay as well? Do you have to prove when your forbears arrived in America or that they were, indeed, slaves? I happen to know that on one side of my family there were slave owners and dealers, but not on the other side. Should I only have to pay half as much? Do you just have to show up and display your skin color to get your check?

Millions of black (and white) people are in slavery around the world today but a certain industry (The Victim Industry) in America can’t make any money off them, so THEY DON’T COUNT. There are certain people, I’m sure I don’t have to name names here,
that give themselves “titles”, fly around in jets and ride in limos to wherever the money looks good. They have never worked an honest day in their lives, but they stand up in front of cameras looking solemn or angry, point to the crowd and cry “VICTIM!” The people, assured that they are victims, go out and riot, loot, burn, get arrested or shot with rubber bullets or blasted with water canons, and the man who incited all this activity is nowhere near the action. I call these people “Race Pimps”. A pimp is a person who puts his people out in the streets. The people get screwed and the pimp gets rich.

Although millions of black people are in slavery around the world today, slavery ended in America. In fact over 620,000 white people died to end slavery in this country.

You’re Welcome…

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Practical Jokes

Pranks, gags, practical jokes, call them what you want, but they happen every day around the world any time of the day or night. Some people really get serious about their pranks, some consider themselves to be an “aficionado of the art form”. Some will even go to extravagant extremes to fulfill their need for a laugh. Most of the time there is a specific person being targeted, but, as we have seen on TV, the target can be any unfortunate person that happens to walk by.

Back in 1947, Allan Funt started the ball rolling on early radio with “Candid Microphone” but then moved to television with “Candid Camera“. That was a hidden camera program in which people found themselves in strange or unusual situations and their humorous reactions were caught on camera and later broadcast.

Allan Funt. The Father Of The Practical Joke

Later, in the 80′s he did a series of “adult oriented” like What Do You Say To A Naked Lady? and films called “Candid Candid Camera”. Allen’s son, Peter appeared in many episodes and took over as host in 1987. He carries on the family tradition and is the current president of Laughter Therapy Foundation, a non-profit organization started by his father in 1982. Candid Camera can still be seen on youtube hosted by Peter Funt and Myam Bialik

Others have tried to copy the success of Funt’s program with shows like “Punk’d”, but they don’t seem to have the same magic. The new shows seem to be more about cruelly embarrassing someone instead of just getting a laugh. I should give mention to April Fools jokes and pranks. They can be fun, but, if you re a true prankster, I believe you should take that day off and leave it for the amateurs.

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Brown VS Board of Education

In 1951, thirteen families in the small community of Topeka, Kansas got together to do something about an unjust situation. The board of education of their community was allowing racial segregation in the school system based on an out of date 1879 law. The leader of this group of concerned parents was Oliver J. Brown and the outcome of what started out as a few parents trying to make life better for their children became one of the most infamous and influential supreme court cases in history known as Brown versus the Board of Education.

Linda Brown. Her father started the battle to get his daughter a good education

The practice of school segregation had become a common and accepted practice in American society despite many movements in the history of civil rights to stop the separation of black society from white. The justification that segregation provided a “separate but equal” setting which benefited education, the truth was it was a thinly veiled attempt to deprive African American children of the quality of education that all people need to excel in the modern world.

The case continued to gather momentum until it came before the Supreme Court in May of 1954. The decision was stunning and decisive when it came back 9-0. The statement of the court was brief, eloquent and to the point stating that “separate educational facilities are inherently unequal.”

Now even such a definitive statement from the Supreme Court did not end the struggle between segregationists and those who would end the practice that deprived African American children of quality education. In 1957 the Arkansas governor tried to block the integration of schools in his state and the only thing that could stop him was the intervention of federal troops sent by President Eisenhower. A similar but much more well publicized event occurred in Alabama where Governor George Wallace physically blocked black students from entering the University of Alabama. It took the intervention of federal marshals to physically remove him to assure that the law of the land, as mandated by The Supreme Court, was carried out. And the law of the land then and forever since then was that segregation was illegal in this country.

Acceptance wasn’t immediate. US Marshals had to escort young Ruby Bridges for her safety

Since this landmark decision, there have been other more crafty attempts to resurrect segregation. But over the decades, attitudes have shifted to where such views on how our social institutions are set up are considered old fashioned and uneducated.

The integration of the schools was an important step in the ongoing struggle to create a truly equal society and to improve the chances of black children to grow up with the same opportunities as all other children in this country. As more and more African American children became well educated, the black population has been able to make a strong contribution to the culture and to the advancement of knowledge in every discipline of learning. Further, the growing educated black population brought about the black middle class which equalized society from an economic point of view. As African Americans began to participate in all of the economic opportunities that middle class prosperity afforded them, the chances for whites, blacks and people of all races and cultures to mix has been healthy to heal the scars of racism and slowly erase divisions in the culture.

But maybe the most important outcome of integration of the schools is the opportunity it has given for children of all races to learn, play and grow together. As young black and white students have attended classes, gone to football games and hung out at pep rallies together, they have become friends. They have had chances to work together on teams and socialize under many situations and as that has become the social norm, racism began to evaporate from the hearts of young America.

As a result, youth of modern times look on racism as a strange and primitive viewpoint from long ago and not in step with an up to date view of the world. This kind of true acceptance both by whites toward blacks and by blacks toward whites will go further to finally end racial separation and intolerance more than any riot or protest or march or even ruling from the Supreme Court could ever do. And we have Oliver Brown and that small group of parents from Topeka, Kansas to thank for this. By doing what was best for their kids, they did something wonderful for all of America’s children both now and for generations to come.

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Modern Eating Disorders

The term bulimia means excessive or abnormal desire for food which is also described as ox-hunger. Bulimia Nervosa disorder has the characteristic of repeated occurrences of binge eating and leaves the sufferer with sense for having no control over eating behavior. It then tends to encourage self-induced vomiting and the use of laxatives and drugs to get rid of food consumed.

There are three main types of eating disorders; Bulimia Nervosa, Anorexia Nervosa and Binge Eating Disorder. They involve long lasting and obsessive eating patterns in the person suffering from these eating disorders. From the past 20 – 30 years, the number of people suffering from these diseases is increasing at an alarming pace.

Anorexia nervosa is a disorder which compels people to starve themselves in an obsession of becoming thin. This disorder mainly affects teenage girls but men are no longer the exception. It has almost become the norm in the modeling world.

Karen healthy and anorexic

Bulimia Nervosa, usually just referred to as Bulimia, is a disorder where an individual goes through the binge-eating session, followed by their worsening health. They often develop the habit of self-induced vomiting and feelings of guilt for having eaten so much. People suffering from bulimia tend to develop the following symptoms; they usually suffer from a preoccupation with gaining weight, yet will greedily consume food in huge quantities in an attempt to get rid of their stress and in order to deal with their feelings of anxiety. Bulimia nervosa affects each individual physically as well psychologically with problems of self image issues, self consciousness and lack of food control. Therefore, bulimia treatment is essential for a person suffering from this disorder.

People having binge eating disorder consume high caloric foods but do not induce vomiting, unlike people with bulimia. Studies and research have reported that binge eating disorders are likely to run in families, so there are obviously genetic links as well as environmental issues. This is a psychological disorder that mostly affects women but occasionally men.

John Candy literally ate himself to death

Because the sufferer never wants to admit there is a problem, they often develop a tendency to hide their eating habits.

Becoming embarrassed is another issue they have but this disease can prove to be extremely hazardous effect to their physical health. If immediate bulimia treatment is not given to the person, he/she may begin to have problems such as electrolyte imbalance, esophageal tears, cardiac problems, gastrointestinal disorders, stomach disorders and dental problems. In the later stage of the disease it becomes difficult for the person to lead a normal life and will become more prone to illnesses and colds. They may also bruise easily and may tend to have more broken bones from a simple fall.

There are many options for treatments a person suffering from bulimia nervosa can adopt. They include medications, psychological treatment and support treatments for in patient and out patient as well as dental treatments and exercise. While going through a treatment, the person needs put away him/herself from overeating and night eating habits.

If anyone you know is suffering from Anorexia Nervosa, Bulimia or Binge Eating Disorder, it is important that support them in any way you can. Treatment is needed, but support from friends and loved ones is essential for successful results.

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Freaks…?

When I was a child growing up in a farming community in Iowa life was alright, but nothing very exciting happened. That all changed for me when the Barnum and Bailey Circus came to town. I had seen “The Greatest Show On Earth” on TV and was especially looking forward to seeing the clowns. In the Big Top we saw the animals and acrobats, trapeze and high wire acts and it was all amazing and great fun. Then my father steered us to a separate tent in the midway called the Side Show!

                                 

Inside was a strange assortment of people and displays meant to amaze one and all. A couple of displays seemed to be obvious fakes, but the humans on display were for real. I saw the fattest woman I had ever seen (up to that time), dwarves and the man who started a lifelong fascination with what most refer to as “freaks”, Sealo the Seal Boy!

                        

I actually had a few minutes to talk with him (he seemed to genuinely like talking with us children) and he showed us that he could do most of the same things we do, just a little differently. Then he gave me his autograph and I was one happy little boy!

Throughout the years since then I have read and collected real life stories of many of these “Freaks”. The first book I read was a book of freaks written by a freak, “We Who Are Not As Others” By Daniel P. Mannix , a giant.

                                  

I have bought and read several more books over the years and and have been fascinated by many of their life stories, some who had great careers and others who died in utter poverty. From Aesop’s Fables, written by a macrocephalic, hunch back dwarf who was killed for his writings to The Lobster Boy who became a murderer and was killed by a hit man, The Elephant Man who died because he wanted to lay down on a bed like a normal person and Lucia Zarate, a primordial dwarf, who froze to death while on tour. 

So many throughout history that worked the sideshows because they couldn’t get a normal job to support themselves, but many in the later 1900’s lost their incomes because of liberal do-gooders who cried that these people being exploited. Yes. Some were being exploited, but many of them WANTED to be exploited in ordered to make a living. Some can live mostly normal lives, but others…?

Sideshows today aren’t allowed to have any real freaks. You may see some dwarfs but other than that, all the “freaks” are self made body modifiers, overly tattooed and pierced, blockheads and sward swallowers.

The world of the Sideshow is sadly long gone…

 

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The Separation Clause Rant

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

(First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution)


I’m tired of atheist carrying on the lie that there is a separation of church and state in the constitution, just because democrats say so. The first amendment says that the Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion. Can you show me a law that congress has made to establish ANY religion? Some God haters claim that “Under God” and “In God We Trust” is the government forcing a religion on the people. There are over 100,000 religions in this world, so tell me, what official religion are they establishing?

I don’t mean to get off on a rant here, but the first amendment also says that the free exercise of religion shall not be prohibited. Why is it that the religion of atheism (and it is to the level of a religion) gets to trump all other religions? Statistics show that only 4% of Americans describe themselves as Atheist, and only 2.3% worldwide. Why should a very small minority over rule the vast majority? Maybe the pledge of allegiance should say “One Nation 96% Under God” or our money should say “In God 96% of Us Trust” just so everyone will know that we aren’t talking about YOU.

96% Believe there is a God

The Establishment Clause prohibits the federal, state or municipal establishment of an official religion or other preference for one religion over another, non-religion over religion, or religion over non-religion. Originally, the First Amendment applied only to the federal government. Subsequently, Everson v. Board of Education (1947) incorporated the Establishment Clause (i.e., made it apply against the states). However, it was not until the middle to late twentieth century that the Supreme Court began to interpret the Establishment and Free Exercise Clauses in such a manner as to restrict the promotion of religion by the states.

 
It’s bad enough that our current administration is pandering to the religion of Islam to the detriment of the nation. Why is Hillary Clinton’s State Department, with the blessings of Obama, sponsoring a pro-Islamic trip to the Middle East by the Imam who wants to build a mosque at ground zero? Why are American tax dollars promoting the building of a mosque and sending this Imam on a “Goodwill Tour” of the middle east. Why aren’t the Atheists raising a stink about the separation of church and state about this? Is it because Atheists are only against Christianity and Judaism, or is it because Christians and Jews don’t want to blow you up if you disagree with them?

I see that there are three kinds of atheists; there are the people who just don’t believe in any god and leave you alone. Then you have your God haters who maybe believed in God but never lived for Him, then when they have a personal crisis, the pray for the first time and God didn’t do a magic trick for them. “God didn’t give me what I want so I hate him!”

 Then you have the radical atheists who are like a spoiled child who pops another child’s balloon. Their message is, “If I don’t have it or want it, you can’t have it either!” Talk about trying to force your beliefs on others, their belief says “no” to the majority’s beliefs.

 

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Changes – Losing An Entire Person

People go through changes in life; some for better, some for worse. On this blog, I want to get a little personal about myself. Some people have asked me how I lost an entire person, so here’s the story…

After I retired from 22 years in the Army, I went to work right away. I had been used to Physical Training (PT) on a regular basis, usually beginning at 6:00 AM. When I retired, I went to work for a major electronics company and they were working everyone at “unlimited overtime”. I was on the clock at 5:00 AM and usually worked until 8:00 PM six days a week and we took off half a day on Sunday afternoons. There was no time for the daily PT and I ate a lot of fast food to save time. The result? I started to gain weight.

 

I didn’t really notice the weight gain at first, but then I started needing some larger sized pants. Then, one year after I retired from the Army, I stopped smoking. Many people will tell you that you will gain weight when you quit smoking because you are so used to putting something in your mouth. I discovered a totally different reason. Twenty-five years of smoking deadens your taste buds to the point that you are using more and more seasonings in your food, or drowning everything in Tobasco to enjoy the flavor. Once you have quit smoking, your taste buds begin to recover from all the years of abuse you have been giving them. Food starts to taste good again; you are noticing subtle flavors you hadn’t noticed in years. I found myself saying things like, “Hey! I don’t remember that tasting so good… let me have another piece.” or another steak, or some more pie or a second double whopper with bacon and cheese. (I think I just gained two pounds writing this paragraph)

My maximum allowable weight for my height and age by Army standards was 168 lbs. When I finally got on a scale, I discovered I was over two hundred. Still working a hard schedule, I started looking for easy ways to lose the weight. Diet pills, diet drinks, low calorie beer, South Beach, Atkins, all vegetable diet, all meat diet, all were useless because I didn’t have the time or will power to follow all the rules. At one point I read the mouse print on one of the bottles of pills. “Take one pill before each meal and follow a healthy diet and exercise routine”. So then I looked at the backs of the bottles of several “Miracle Diet Pill” programs and each said the same thing, just in different words.

IF I FOLLOWED A HEALTHY DIET AND HAD A REGULAR EXERCISE ROUTINE, I WOULDN’T NEED YOUR PILLS!

                           

The more I tried the silly diets, the more weight I gained, until December 2006. It was my birthday and my family took me out to an Asian all-you-can-eat seafood buffet with sushi, king crab legs and a big variety of red meat cooked to your order. After the meal they brought out a birthday cake and someone took a picture of me with the cake. It wasn’t until January that I actually saw the picture and, to this day, I call it “The Picture That Changed My Life.” and I keep it with me in my cell phone, my computers and wallet to remind

me of where I was and where I never want to be again. When I joined the Army, I weighed in at 117 lbs. At my birthday dinner I weighed 260. A guy 5’6″ has no business weighing 260. I went to my doctor for the complete picture: I was type II diabetic taking 2 kinds of pills and shooting myself four times a day with insulin. I had high blood pressure (took pills), high cholesterol (took pills), sleep apnea (CPAP Machine), gastric reflux (took pills and tums), hemorrhoids (suppositories) and a fatty liver. My triglycerides, which should be at 150, were 4830. I was a mess heading for an early grave. My doctor recommended I see a nutritionist.

Her name was Rachel and she saved my life. We sat down and talked for over an hour, with me taking notes. We talked about what time I wake up, what time do I eat, what and how much do I eat, what time do I snack, what do I snack on, what time I eat lunch, what and how much do I eat, what time do I snack in the afternoon, what time I eat dinner, what and how much I normally eat, what about snacks in the evening and what time I go to bed, what and how much liquids do I drink at what times of the day. I told her that I don’t snack between meals or at night, she told me I need to. I told her I sometimes skip a meal, she told me that was the worst thing I could do. She showed me where and how I could make small changes (and a few big changes) in my diet. She said the six most important words to remember are;

chew, chew, chew and walk, walk, walk.

                  

Digestion actually begins in your mouth, your saliva starts breaking down the food that you eat. The better the food is digested by chewing before you swallow, the less time the food sticks around in your stomach with a chance turning into fat. The walking is because I have a bad back and a bad knee (so running was out). Walking at a brisk pace can give you a good workout and raise your heartbeat without being high impact and causing further damage to your injuries.

Following her direction, I began eating 8 – 9 times a day. Small portions at regular intervals. I was eating 3 – 4 ounces at a time, about 8 times a day.

I explain: People who skip meals are telling their body to go into “Starvation Mode” and it begins storing up fat for the lean times. By eating every 2 – 3 hours, you are telling your body that this is a time of bounty and it’s ok to burn off the extra fat that is stored up. You have the brain, your body doesn’t, which makes it easier to to fool the body.

Following her directions and suggestions, I started losing 12 – 15 pounds per month and I did it without ever feeling hungry.

So… What’s the score now? First and most importantly, my diabetes is gone. I haven’t taken pills or used insulin in over 3 years, My blood pressure is fine (no more pills), my cholesterol is normal. CPAP Machine? What’s that? Gastric reflux is no longer a problem, no hemorrhoids and my triglycerides are under 200. All together I dropped from 260 lbs to 135 pounds before the doctor told me it was too much, too fast. I was actually told to put more fat into my diet, (How many people do you know who’s doctor told them to put more fat in their diet?) I went from 117 to 260, then from 260 to 135, then back up to 150. I now hover around the 145 to 150 weight.

So… I strongly suggest you stop using fad diets and see a nutritionist. Ask your regular doctor for a suggestion or a referral, look in the phone book or online, because It can save your life.

Look at me… at a 135 lb loss, I lost an entire person!

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No Rules For Cassaroles

 

What is a casserole anyway? Casserole is from the French meaning “Sauce Pan”, a large, deep dish or vessel. It is also the name given to the food cooked in such a dish. Now that the definition is out of the way, what really makes up a casserole?

If you are going to present a classic dish, you really have to follow an exact recipe. If you say the dish is Coq au vin, it had better taste like Coq au vin. Those who have eaten it before know what it is supposed to taste like. There are “rules” to cooking classic dishes if you are going to present them as such. You can’t just slap together a cold potato soup and call it Vichyssoise. When it comes to making a casserole though, you can throw the rule book out the window.

Although I’m telling you there are no rules, there are some basics you have to consider. First, there will be meat. I know, the vegans cringe when they hear the word, but to me, an entree isn’t food unless there is a dead animal involved. Any red meat (beef, venison, buffalo, squirrel etc) can be used and cut into cubes, thin strips or be ground, depending on your preference or whim. Through most of my cooking career, though, casseroles have usually been made with chicken or tuna, but sometimes pork. (OK, you vegans out there, you can make a vegetable casserole, but it’s just not right.)

The next thing is the veggies. When it comes to vegetables, I only go with fresh, but in a pinch you can use fresh frozen, never canned. Canned vegetables are already cooked and will just turn to mush in your casserole. Use crisp, fresh carrots, a diced potato or any other starchy root food, after all, these will help to thicken everything up. Consider next what kind of liquid you are going to use. The liquid can be water, wine, milk, crushed stewed tomatoes, I have even heard of using Gin. (If you like the idea of a tomato taste, consider trying some V-8 Juice.) You don’t want to over use your liquid of choice because a casserole just isn’t right if you have to use a spoon to eat it. Somewhere during this process, choose seasonings to your own tastes. You also need some egg noodles, elbows or some other kind of pasta, maybe even rice.

Got all your ingredients together? It’s time to start cooking. Make sure your meat is cut into same size pieces, as this will help it all cook evenly. Brown off your meat using little oil, a casserole should not be greasy. Once that step is done, sprinkle with flour and form a roux and remove it from the heat.

Combine the rest of your solid ingredients with the meaty roux and blend it all well and evenly. When you have the perfect look, pour your liquid of choice over the dish you have created, the top it all off with something crispy. Bread crumbs, or crushed crackers are good, but I like those crispy fried onions that come in a can.

Cover your dish and place in your preheated oven for about 40 minutes. Remove the cover and continue to cook for about 15 to 20 minutes to crisp the top. Call in your family and friends and dig in.

So, that’s about it. These are just general guidelines to get you through, use them or ignore them. When it comes to casserole you should just go crazy and use your imagination, thinking of all the tastes you would like to try together. What? That’s not the way you were taught? Hey, when it comes to casserole, there are no rules.

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Puerto Rican Cuisine

 

Puerto Rico is an island nation that is officially a territory of the United States. Puerto Rican cuisine has evolved from several strong influences, including those of the original peoples, such as the Tainos, and the Spanish conquerors that drove most of the natives out and enslaved the remaining. African and Caribbean influence is also reflected in the cuisine of the island, which has also been shaped significantly by its climate and geology.

 

Cocina criolla, one of the main cuisine styles particular to the island has deep roots, extending far back to the native Tainos and Arawaks. Their culinary traditions were based tropical fruits, native vegetables, seafood, and corn. With the Spanish came a host of other ingredients that expanded the criolla style. These included olive oil, rice, wheat and meats, such as pork and beef. As enslaved African peoples were imported for work on the sugar cane plantations, their culinary traditions took root as well, and their contributions, which included taro and okra, became assimilated into the whole of criolla cuisine.

 

Many of the island’s main dishes are seasoned with adobo and sofrito, spice mixtures that impart those flavors that the island is so well known for. Adobo, which can vary from cook to cook, or if bought prepared, from manufacturer to manufacturer, generally consists of black peppercorns, oregano, salt, garlic, olive oil, and lime juice. When bought prepared in powdered form, most include salt, powdered garlic, citric acid, pepper, oregano, turmeric and MSG, which is a good reason to spend a little time making your own if experimenting with Puerto Rican cuisine at home. While generally used for seasoning meats, it is considered to be a sort of all-purpose seasoning mixture.

 

       Sofrito                                                                     Chicken and pork adobo

Sofrito is made from onions, garlic, cilantro, peppers, and often includes achiote, which is from the seeds of the annatoo plant, and helps to produce a bright yellow color in the finished product. This, too, is used in a variety of dishes, ranging from meat dishes to soups to standard forms of beans and rice.

One pot dishes, or stews, are common to Puerto Rican cuisine. These are often made of meats, and flavored with a variety of spices and ingredients in addition to adobo and sofrito. Among these are Spanish olives stuffed with pimiento, sweet chili peppers, capers, potatoes, onions, garlic, fresh cilantro, and occasionally raisins.

Chicken with rice is a dish that has become a Puerto Rican specialty, with many families having their own special style, handed down from generation to generation. Chicken is a main ingredient of many criolla dishes, and these dishes, while careful attention is given to spicing techniques, rarely are they what could be termed hotly spiced.

Naturally, seafood is an important part of the island cuisine. Fried fish is often served with a special sauce made of olives, olive oil, onions, pimientos, capers, tomato sauce, vinegar, garlic and bay leaves. Broiled, steamed or grilled fish is lightly seasoned, if at all, during the cooking process and served with a splash of lime juice with perhaps just a hint of garlic.

Puerto Rican cuisine has many facets, arising from the island’s long, complex history. The blend of native culinary traditions with those of the European settlers and the enslaved African populations that they brought with them has resulted in a unique and flavorful cuisine that is beloved by many.

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David, The King

“This day will the Lord deliver thee into mine hand; and I will smite thee, and take thine head from thee; and I will give the carcasses of the host of the Philistines this day unto the fowls of the air, and to the wild beasts of the earth; that all the Earth may know that there is a God in Israel.”
– 1 Samuel 17:46

The stories of King David of the old testament are usually taught to children starting with the story of his defeating Goliath of Gath. It teaches them that size is not important when you have God on you side. A bit of the story is sometimes left out, like the grizzley removal of Goliath’s head (I never heard the whole story until I was much older). As in the passage above, David told Goliath straight up, “I’m going to kill you, I’m going to cut your head off, and I’m going to leave your rotting carcass out here on the battle field for the birds and the beasts to eat.” and furthermore, he would do these things just to let everyone know that God is with Israel. Goliath didn’t believe him and run away, so the rest is history.

I remember as a child, the story of a young David, while tending his father’s sheep, killed a lion with just a stick to protect a single lamb.
David was also a musician of the highest order, and his harp playing brought him great renown and great favor with the king. He is known as the primary writer of the book of Psalms and the word “Psalms” actually means “a song to the harp”. Several verses in the book end with the word “Selah” which actually means “a crashing of the cymbals”. The original Psalms, if heard from the original artist, would not be quotes and poetry, but a musical arrangement; a concert, if you will.

later stories of his life, I didn’t hear until I was a bit older, like his love affair with a married woman named Bathsheba. It started out as a little “Peeping Tom” episode while she was bathing, which later turned into a fling. She became pregnant so David planned to kill her husband, Uriah. He wouldn’t actually kill Uriah himself, but he did send him off to war, so that the enemy would kill him.

Not the best example to set for future generations, but the remorse and repentance afterward is the story there. They did get married, but the baby died. Her next child, however, became the most famous kings of the Old Testament, Solomon.

(Susan Hayward as Bathsheba)

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