Sunday, January 10, 2010

Harry Reids comments on Barak Obama or the Green Revolution... What should we really be paying attention to?

So it's Sunday and I'm watching all the Sunday shows and it seems that not one of them can ignore the comments by Harry Reid about Barak Obama's race and how it would effect his chances of becoming president. No one seems to be commenting on how this is really OLD news. The president himself would rather move on to more important things. But the mainstream media is fixated.

This is what I call a shiny object. Something that we are paying attention to that is diverting our attention from something else we should be really concerned about. Often it is diverting our attention from MANY things we should really be paying attention to. Health care reform, the deficit, the war on terror, what's going on in world news that rarely gets covered in the main stream media, these are all things that are more important and deserve more media air time than Harry Reids comments.

I'm mention one this morning that you should maybe spend a bit of time checking out. Thomas Friedman's excellent commentary on the China and The Green Revolution. Here is the opening sentence to his commentary "Who's Sleeping Now" in yesterday's NY Times :

C. H. Tung, the first Chinese-appointed chief executive of Hong Kong after the handover in 1997, offered me a three-sentence summary the other day of China’s modern economic history: “China was asleep during the Industrial Revolution. She was just waking during the Information Technology Revolution. She intends to participate fully in the Green Revolution.”

Okie dokie then.... Let's cogitate on that for a moment...

Later in the article Mr. Friedman refers to an email from Bill Gross, who runs eSolar, a promising California solar-thermal start-up:

On Saturday, in Beijing, said Gross, he announced “the biggest solar-thermal deal ever. It’s a 2 gigawatt, $5 billion deal to build plants in China using our California-based technology. China is being even more aggressive than the U.S. We applied for a [U.S. Department of Energy] loan for a 92 megawatt project in New Mexico, and in less time than it took them to do stage 1 of the application review, China signs, approves, and is ready to begin construction this year on a 20 times bigger project!”

*Sigh* Suddenly I see the appeal in a one party system. Not saying we should switch but it is interesting how quickly they can get things done. The U.S. seems to be a slow moving dinosaur in the Green Revolution. If we don't get up off the mat soon we're going to get our clock cleaned.

America is indeed a great country. But we are NOT the best at everything... UNLESS we choose to be. We can not just sit and expect that it will come. we need better schools, we need more scientists, we need to do away with the "Drill Baby Drill!" mentality and look to the future. We need to plan our path towards growth and prosperity.

Thoughts? Leave me a comment!

Friday, January 8, 2010

Maple Gingersnaps

These are the cookies I made for my son's recent sleep over.

They loved them! But they are 16 yo boys and will eat anything! LOL

Still I've made these for years and they are yummy!

From Yankee Magazine's Great New England Food Festival Recipes (Around 1995?)

Recipe from Steven Zakon, East Sullivan, New Hampshire

The cookie jar is never empty at the Dublin School, where Steve, the chef and kitchen manager, makes sure 130 students and faculty are well fed. Steve created this cookie recipe using Crisco Butter Flavored Shortening.

Maple Ginger Snaps

1 1/2 cups butter flavored shortening

1 1/2 cups sugar

1 cup dark-grade maple syrup

2 Eggs

4 1/2 cups all purpose flour

2 1/2 teaspoons baking soda

2 teaspoons cinnamon

2 teaspoons ground cloves

4 teaspoons ginger
1/2 cup sugar plus 1 tablespoon cinnamon for rolling.

Cream shortening and sugar. Whisk in the syrup and Eggs. Sift together the dry ingredients (except the sugar and cinnamon for rolling) and add to the egg mixture. Chill batter well. Roll into balls approximately 1 " in diameter. Roll balls in mixture of sugar and cinnamon and place 2 " apart on greased cookie sheets. Bake at 350F for 15 min. Remove from oven let rest for 1 minute, then remove to rack.

(For a smaller batch of cookies, recipe may be halved, or half of the dough may be wrapped and frozen for later use.)

Makes 6 to 7 dozen

Note from Anne: I used butter instead of the Crisco butter flavored shortening with good results. I could not find the Butter Flavored Crisco in Canada. (This recipe from a booklet I had in the mid 90s...)