Wednesday, October 24, 2007

A shameful admission

I've long harbored a poor opinion of many casual dining restaurant chains. Don't get me wrong, it's not a matter of principle. Chili's, Outback, or even Olive Garden have very good choices (even if they don't represent authentic cuisine from Italy, Australia or... um... Chile?). But I've had nothing but bad experiences, for the most part, with places such as Applebees and Ruby Tuesdays (with the exception of going specifically for its salad bar). Don't ever order a steak at either place. But, because of the salad bar at Ruby Tuesdays, it is a good option for when my girlfriend and I are looking for a place to eat.

So we're at Crabtree Mall tonight, and we settle on the Ruby Tuesdays there. I'm not in the mood for a salad, and I recall seeing numerous commercials for their triple prime burger. It's ground from three prime steak cuts: sirloin, filet, and I think ribeye. Probably in sirloin heavy proportions, but it's still a good concept, as I once learned from watching a cuilinary cuilanary culinary cooking genius.

I have to say, it was delicious. The cheddar was too sharp, and overpowered the meat flavor. So I peeled it off. So it was just lettuce, tomato, and garlic mayo. But it was good. Like real good. Like I'm-so-ashamed-I-liked-a-Ruby-Tuesdays-offering-this-much-but-I-feel-like-telling-someone good. Seriously, I want to keep hating them. Especially THIS Ruby Tuesdays. This is the Ruby Tuesdays that, on the day of my 21st Birthday (for a friend's 21st birthday celebration.... mine was the day before), gave me what had to be, at most, a 4 oz sirloin. And no, I was informed, they did not actually bring me the petite sirloin that was on the menu. I seriously had as much meat on my burger tonight as I had on my plate that night. And it tasted better tonight. So next time you're at Ruby Tuesdays because your girlfriend/wife/parole officer wants to get a salad, give it a try.

Monday, October 22, 2007

More libertarian misconceptions

If you repeat it enough, it might as well be true.

The surprising fund raising numbers for Rep. Ron Paul are causing people to take notice of the libertarian movement. Unfortunately, the wrong ideas many people have about libertarianism are beat into their heads through repetition. And why not? The entrenched political elite on either side of the aisle are so engrossed in their Zoroastrian struggle that any deviation from The Way is heresy. So whether you're reading Time or even the Wall Street Journal (which is going to be as sympathetic as any big media outlet), you can't be surprised to hear the same old canards.

The following piece appeared in Time magazine. I saw it linked by Mitch Kokai over at the Locker Room.,9171,1673265,00.html

I'll just quote from my email discussing the article with Mr. Kokai:

It does have some interesting political commentary, but again libertarianism comes off as horribly misrepresented in a MSM publication. Now the author does go out of his way to note that he’s speaking in completely unfair generalizations, but that’s no excuse for trotting out the tired, “Libertarians are against government in all its manifestations.” You can also learn from the article that being against or skeptical of pre-emptive, foreign military intervention makes one an isolationist (which I’m sure would come as a shock to the trade policy folks at the Cato Institute), and that government and society are essentially the same thing (which I’m sure would come as a shock to Alexis de Tocqueville).

Of course, reading such in Time was not nearly as disappointing as reading hints in an Opinion Journal piece that Libertarianism is essentially a sort of amoral, free-wheeling nihilism; a notion that a moderately libertarian conservative / very serious Christian such as myself finds particularly noxious.

My thanks [for linking] was not at all sarcastic. It is good to see that libertarianism is getting some publicity, perhaps largely because of the surprisingly serious campaign of Ron Paul. But the article also shows that some misconceptions will take silver bullets and wooden stakes.

The Opinion Journal piece can be found here.

So: libertarians are not the same as libertines. The protection of rights cannot be achieved through anarchy. And the desire to keep troops close to home in most all circumstances (a far from certain tenet of libertarianism to begin with) has not the first thing to do with protectionism/isolationism.

Sunday, October 07, 2007

NC Lotto Highlighted in NY Times

Article found here.

The article mentions the lackluster revenues from the lottery compared to predictions, and how higher payouts (and thus, lower returns) will be used to bring in more customers.

A couple of highlights:
States including Georgia, Oklahoma and South Carolina have enacted laws that prohibit substituting lottery dollars for money that would have otherwise gone to education. But such laws have not stopped legislators.
Somehow, that sounds familiar.

States are also trying to bolster the number of “core” players, according to interviews with lottery officials in several states. Such players typically represent only 10 percent to 15 percent of all players but account for 80 percent of sales, according to Independent Lottery Research, which does research and marketing for state lotteries.
I wonder. Will targeting that demographic be a regressive or progressive revenue grab?

It's definitely worth a read. H/T: JLF LockerRoom.

Thursday, October 04, 2007

Pro Choice? Really?

Something occurred to me today about the candidates out there for President. I'm sure pretty most all of the Democratic choices would describe themselves, with varying degrees of certainty and pride, as pro choice.

Lets examine that.

Choice as to how you pay for your health care? Nope.

Choice as to how and when you actually receive your health care?

In one case, no. But for others, it's an inevitable slippery slope.

How about letting proprietors decide if their establishment will allow people to smoke? Or allow consumers or workers to choose which such establishments to patronize / work in? Surely you jest.

Choice at the grocery store? Choice as to what candidates your money supports? Choice as to what views and opinions you listen to / watch / read?

Not in their America. But you can choose to end the life growing inside of you if you're a pregnant woman. And apparently that's enough to make you pro choice.

BTW, this phenomenon can be found on the 'GOP' side as well.

The supreme irony of all of this is that the candidate in either primary that most supports choice is the 0% NARAL rated OB/GYN from Texas who has delivered numerous babies.