Friday, November 24, 2006

The dust has settled. The house is clean again. The family has all left. My stomach finally feels close to normal. I actually feel a little like eating again.

Thanksgiving was a great hit this year. My kid was "on," the food was fantastic. My second attempt at deep-frying a turkey was a huge hit.

Of course, I fried it in peanut oil, heated to 365 (with about a 15 - 20 degree drop once the turkey hit it, and it only took a few minutes to get it back up to 350). The rub consisted of 1/4 cup of garlic powder, 1/4 cup of white pepper, 1 T of salt, 2 T of garlic salt, 2 T of sugar...simple, simple, simple.

But for the important part, the beer:

As an apertif, we had Sam Adams Boston Lager. Plain and simple, forward hops to tickle the tongue and a strong malt finish.

With the appetizers, we had Sierra Nevada Pale Ale. Big hit. It went incredibly well with the goat cheese and bakers chocolate-stuffed dates, the shrimp and spinach dip and especially the avocado and mango salsa (seasoned with cilantro and lime juice). The citrus hops and light-ropasted malt finish just cleaned-up, and the hops temselves cleansed the tonue so that each bite was like new. Perfect.

For dinner (deep-fried trukey, bread stuffing, meat stuffing, sauteed squash, sweet-potato/potato caserole, blanched and breaded green beans, carnberry sauce of all kinds and even some dishes that are a blur in the feeding frenzy), we drank Ommegang Hennepin and La Chouffe. Both of those Belgian-style Golden Ales went quite well with every dish. The 8% abv helped cut through the fats of each dish. The sweetness of the candi sugar and choice of malts for each beer blended perfectly with the residual sweetness in each dish (except the meat dressing, but the cloves in the dish fortunately made just enough of a match).

For dessert, besides for the standard pumpkin pie, we also had a pot-de-creme of very bitter, dark chocolate. We drank Rogue Chocolate Stout. The stout itself is amazing, but the chocolate flavor in it was completely overpowered by the strength of the chocolate in the pot-de-creme. Oh well. So we really couldn't taste the beer as much as we could have (or did with the pumpkin pie...that beer with pumpkin pie is like an especially beautiful marriage) otherwise. Next time, especially with such a potent dessert, I will try the Rogue Shakespeare stout. The bigger roasted malts and coffee-like flavors would probably stand out much better against such a rich chocolate.

As a digestif, as our stomachs rumbled and we drifted in and out of consciousness, we enjoyed Sierra Nevada Bigfoot barleywine-style ale. Big, robust, syrupy...quite like a port wine in every sense of consistency and taste. The perfect beer to put us into the post-dinner snooze.

All in all, the dinner and the beers were a huge hit, with the near-miss on the Chocolate stout. Can't always be perfect, but with the closeness of my family and the fun we all had, it really didn't matter.


Beer Tasting, BJCP-Style

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

A good friend of mine, Mark, gave me an interesting beer from Lithuania and asked me to do an "official" beer tasting about it. The only way to be truly as objective as possible is to use the BJCP guidelines in order to rate the beer.

Following the guideline-style "adjudication" of the beer, I will add my own much more subjective editorial comments, full of snobbery to be sure.

Without further ado, my subject for tasting this evening, supplied by my good friend Mark, is Zhiguly Beer Grand, from Gubernija brewery in Siauliai, Lithuania.

The hard part here is that the BJCP Guidelines don't cover for what this style of beer is, which is a Euro Strong Lager. American Light Lager doesn't quite fit. Closest beer-wise would be a Bohemian Lager, in my opinion. Technically, this is European malt liquor...the Euro version of King Cobra or Colt 45. But given the region and brewing technique, I'd put this in the Bohemian Lager camp.

Presentation: Green glass 16.9 oz. bottle, boasting a 9.5% abv, poured into a British Imperial Pint glass. No freshness date apparent on the bottle. With 9.5% abv...who needs fresh?

Appearance: Pale gold, almost brilliantly clear. Yielded a 1" slightly off-white head; vaguely cream-colored. Shrank quickly to about 1/4" and dissipated from there. Very dense, but ultimately poor retention. 2/3

Aroma: The famous Saaz hop is present right up front; very typical Bohemian Pils smell right away. Earthy, somewhat cornhusk-scented; noticeably adjunct-heavy (I'd say corn). There is a lingering sweetness in the distant background. Mostly, however, what you get is huge alcohol. The alcohol pretty much burns away whatever else there was that is truly pleasant about a typical lager of this style. Way too much alcohol. 5/12

Flavor: Big earthy, spicy hop up front, as I'd expect from a beer of this general style. Definite cornhusk graininess, but that Bohemian "skunky-funk" like Pilsner Urquell (a wonderful commercial example...the gold-standard of Bohemian Lagers) is present. Then the alcohol hits. This is more of an alcohol warmth like you get in a solid stout or even an Imperial Pilsner or Double IPA. This is like a shot of vodka in a light beer. The hops and sweet malt backbone are completely overshadowed by a massive alcohol burn. 7/20.

Mouthfeel: Lighter-bodied than a true beer of this style, most likely from the use of adjuncts to lighten the beer and boost the alcohol content. Despite the big alcohol, it was not dry. Medium carbonation, appropriate to style. Leaves an unpleasant alcohol taste in the back of the throat with a strange, cloying sweetness. 3/5.

Overall Impression: This was tough, but no matter if I compared this to an American Light Lager, a German Pilsner or any other similar lighter lager, I'd get near this result. This is a European malt liquor for all intents and purposes, with a rushed fermentation. Alcohol of this proportion for a lighter beer than a porter or stout is better suited for the crazy American Double- and Triple-IPAs, or the newer Imperial Pilsner style (which Sam Adams does quite well). This beer deviates from American Light Lager and Standard Lager, especially in even with those, this beer is so unbalanced by the alcohol with absolutely nothing to compete with it. The "by-the-book" flavors of a Bohemian Pilsner were there, they were just utterly decimated by the alcohol and adjunct tastes. 4/10.

Total Score: 21/50. Drinkable, but there are serious flaws.

This beer is fine if you are out to get sloshed. There's not enough to taste here to make this a beer you sit and drink and enjoy. Like malt liquor, this beer's goal is to get people drunk. I sincerely hope that the procurer of this beer for me didn't pay more than $1.50, because this is imported as a .99 cent beer. And that's about says it.


And Speaking of Turkey Neck...

Cop humor strikes me as extremely similar to military humor; it's all about the well-placed and well-timed joke, usually of an insulting, disgusting or demoralizing nature. With professions like that, you just have to laugh at the things you're given, or you go nuts. Out of necessity, death, drugs, guns...all become part of what needs to be funny.

Take a look at the attached video clip. Did that cop really just happen to be leaving the house at that very moment? Or did he wait for the camera to go up on the shoulder and the reporter to start blabbing? Was there a fight inside that house about who got to walk out with the...implement on camera? Why was it put in the box (no pun intended) the way it was, instead of flat?

Cop humor. Love it.


Your Turkey Wants a Beer

Monday, November 20, 2006

As I begin, let me suggest that you readThe Brewmaster's Table by Garrett Oliver. The whole book is about tasting beer and pairing different beers with different foods. Excellent for so many reasons.

I bring this up because a common question around Thanksgiving, especially for people who are invited guests to such a dinner, is "what wine goes best with Turkey?"

The right answer is beer!

Beer was absolutely the staple beverage of the Pilgrims, being the most ship-worthy beverage in terms of being able to be produced in a large enough quantity to be the beverage of choice for the 4 - 6 month voyage. It has also been dicovered in reading the ship logs of the Mayflower that they put ashore in Plymouth (which was not their target destination) because beer supplies ran low.

When the Pilgrims landed and began to settle, a brewery was one of the first buildings to be erected. The reason: they were suspicious of water -- which was often tainted back in Europe -- and wine and spirits in the Mayflower's era were medical provisions and not for the table. Beer was a way, because of the alcohol content, to purify water to make it drinkable. This form of water purification goes even farther back.

So did the "first settlers" drink wine at the "first Thanksgiving?" Hell no! They drank beer!

We benefit now from such a massive variety of specialty craft beers to choose from that we can pair different courses with different beers. Following are my own recommendations for beer-food pairings. If you're looking for something to pair with the Bird other than a boring Chardonnay, consider some of these.

Nothing huge here; we don't want massive alcohol contents, huge hops or tons of roasted barley to kill the tongue so that we can't enjoy our dinner. For this course, as guests arrive, consider a nice light Pilsner or Lager; something lightly grainy and vaguely hoppy to give the tongue a little tease. Consider:

  • Warsteiner Premium Verum
  • Sam Adams Boston Lager
  • Brooklyn Brewery Lager
  • Weihenstephaner Original Lager

    Hors d'Oeuvre Hour
    Turn on the hops a little more for this course, as you will have probably several different appetizers of varying taste, oiliness, fattiness and complexity (even if it's just chips-n-dip and salsa!). The hoppy character in Pale Ales will go really well greens, cheeses, fruits and the like without overwhelming what you're eating (you never want your drink to be the star over your food). Try:
  • Sierra Nevada
  • Pale Ale
  • Anchor Liberty Ale
  • Great Lakes Burning River Pale Ale
  • Bass Pale Ale

    And now for the bird. And the stuffing. And the potatoes. And... Now's the time to hit a strong-tasting ale with some residual sweetness to compliment the latent sweetness of the bird and the feast. Also, you want a boosted alcohol content, because the higher alcohol concentration will help cut through fats and starches to help you taste the beer and will cleanse the palate between bites. Try some Belgian-style beers here:
  • La Fin Du Monde
  • Delirium Tremens
  • Michigan Brewing Company Celis Grand Cru
  • Ommegang Hennepin or Rare Vos
    You could also look at more lagers (not American Light spiciness or taste), since the higher carbonation and hoppiness in lagers cleanses the palate between bites and the spicey hops compliment the dishes well. For instance, try Pilsner Urquell, which features the wonderfully-spicey Saaz hop. Peppery.

    The best course, in my opinion, for beer pairings is dessert. This is mainly because I am a massive fan of Stouts and Porters. Think big, huge and rich:
  • Founders Breakfast Stout
  • Great Divide Yeti or Oak Aged Yeti
  • Rogue Chocolate Stout or Shakespeare Stout
  • Samuel Smith's Oatmeal Stout

    This is the kick-back, sip and relax drink, where belts and pants-buttons are undone and you watch your favorite football team lose terribly as you nod-off to a restful triptophan-induced slumber. Think smooth and numbing:
  • Dogfish Head Raison d'Extra
  • Sierra Nevada Bigfoot Barleywine
  • Rogue Old Crustacean
  • J.W. Lee's Harvest Ale (look for a vontage older than 1 year, so '04 or older)

    Again, this is by no means definitive, but hey, if you've never done this or are looking for something more interesting than the $9 sale wine at the local grocery, give this a shot.

    And be thankful to the Pilgrims for establishing a fine tradition of drinking beer with your feast!

  • The Unwanted Vacation

    Friday, November 17, 2006

    Posting is light today. Wife and kid are both sick with the barfs and the watery poops, so all I am doing is comforting sick people and cleaning up my son's barf and sodden diapers.

    Back next week with beer reviews, a Thanksgiving turkey recipe that involves beer, and bad political discourse.

    Wish me luck.


    Fridays Are For Beer

    Friday, November 10, 2006

    Yet another lovely Friday in late Fall in Michigan can only mean it's time for today's Friday beer selection.

    To mix things up a little today, I thought I'd do an Overrated/Underrated beer selection. Which beer doesn't stand up to the hype? Which is the best beer you're not drinking?

    The most overrated beer may surprise you. It surprised me, for certain, as I lined-up beers and tried to figure which one, while still good (it is beer, afterall), just doesn't live up to the image it has portrayed.

    This beer is a solid beer with a long history; over 300 years of history to be exact. It is drinkable, and is generally considered a "session" beer, meaning you can sit down and quaff one after another all night.

    Don't get me wrong: this beer is a fine beer, but the image attached to it by millions in advertising dollars just doesn't hold up. It is the beer of choice for drinking establishments across the country (the world for that matter) who want to appeal to a more "sophisticated" drinker because this is marketed in a more sophisticated manner (even though it has a goofy ad campaign, it is based on a self-depricating humor meant to appeal to a "smarter" drinker, not a "farts-are-funnier" kind of drinker....farts are funny and always will be, by the way).

    It also comes with a very cultural, simple feel but was honestly, from its very conception, absolutely meant to dominate an entire country's drinking habits.

    For all that makes it (especially in the version available in the States) vaguely watered-down and lacking complexity among its closest competitors, it is still a drinkable beer that I enjoy in amazing amounts every week. It just doesn't live up to its "sophisticated" image nor its "uniquely homey" image and has honestly joined the world of the Macro-brews, which it was always meant to.

    Most Overrated beer: Guinness.


    The most underrated beer is one that ought to be proclaimed from the mountaintops, but is strangely hard to find despite how prolificly it is brewed.

    This beer is from a brewery in Michigan that continually gets overlooked, but regularly has huge hits. It falls victim to the prolificness of Dragonmead, the challenge of Founders and the distribution power of Bells.

    This beer is hugely complex. Pure dark roasted barley, big roasted flavor, backed up by a Chardonnay-oak flavor. Sticky-sweet vanilla with a hint of bourbon. Pure black, thick lacing. Imagine a vanilla latte.

    Fine by lots of standards. The brewery itself projects no image at all, but stands by its truly impressive beers. The beers define who they are, not overmarketing. They are tragically underrepresented even in Michigan's beer market.

    The best beer you're not drinking, but you damn-well better start:

    New Holland's Dragon's Milk.

    Of course, Blogger is not accepting images right now, but bear with me.

    Buy this beer. Support this brewery. These guys need to know how outstanding their beers are. The microbrew market is a tough market, and guys with real winners need all the support and love they can get.
    Check them out here.


    There is a Song for This...

    Wednesday, November 08, 2006

    What's the name of that song? The one where you would use it to wish someone goodbye? I think you can hear it from the Whitehouse lawn...

    So Bush says it's a decision they came to as they continually reassess Iraq. Mm Hm. Sure it is, Mr. President. And that they discussed this over the weekend but decided to wait until today to announce it so it didn't interfere with elections.

    No...I see they did it because of the elections.

    Some good news, at least.


    So, Now What?

    I guess I have to divorce my wife, marry my buddy Greg, get a cloned baby, murder another one for its stem cells so we can get paid by underground scientists for them, give all our money to the government and offer my job to the first illegal immigrant I see.


    More Election Night Bullshit

    Tuesday, November 07, 2006

    So here I am at home with my kid in bed as my wife galavants from victory party to victory party. Couldn't get a sitter. So I have CNN, NPR, Fox, and my computer on all at once. This is a real war room over here, covered in scraps of paper and empty beer bottles. It smells vaguely of sweat and fart.

    At about 8:15, my buddy in Colorado called. Apparently, all of the voting computers in Denver shut down. He stood in line for 2 hours. As of right now, as I type this, they are still down. Voters in Denver have gone home.

    9:23 CNN calls the Stabenow - Bouchard race in Michigan. Debbie apparently retains her seat. I think it's a little easrly since the good numbers aren't in yet.

    9:40 My buddy Hoss from Colorado calls. Screams into the phone (that's just his natural tone of voice) that he thinks Dems take 7 Senate seats (I said 5) and 32 House seats (I said 22) on the federal level. Well, with Santorum and a few others down, that really leaves Montana as the big swing, maybe Tennessee. He says Dems take those 2, plus Colorado, putting them at 7. I tell him to go smoke more rope.

    9:52 The supporters of the K-16 ballot initiative in Michigan concede defeat. Prop 2, the anti-affirmative action initiative, is still too close to call.

    10:07 In Michigan, it seems Republicans on the state level have conceeded a few of the seats they thought they'd lose, but are retaining some of the seats that were in danger. Looks like state house/senate may be a wash...

    10:15 On my 3rd Dogfish Head 120 Minute IPA. 21% ABV, by the way. It's getting hard to type.

    11:00 Dems in the Michigan House stand to gain 4 seats. Jesus.

    11:14 Make that 5.

    11:45 6? Fuck off.

    12:10 So, on the national level, I see that Dems have 18 of the 15 needed for the House and 3 of the 6 for the Senate. I never thought that the national-level grumpiness would ever have trickled down to the state level.

    1:06 Hammered. Going to bed.


    Election Day Pundit Bullshit

    Allow me to firmly place the Hat of Self-Importance upon my brow and project a few ideas on election day wit and wisdom as it progresses along.

    By way of qualifications and resume', given my particular line of work, I am great at sounding like I know what I am talking about when I truly don't. So take this with a grain of salt. And by grain, I mean one of those Morton's cardboard containers with the little metal flippy top.

    Dems will take 22 seats, up 7 from the 15 they need to take control of the House. Comfortable margin indeed. Split power in the Senate? No. Dems miss it by 1. Racism wins the day in Tennessee.

    In Michigan's races, for the federal level, all incumbents win. The only close-call is the Walberg seat. Schwarz made the cutoff date to register as a write-in. This sends his base into a tizzy, and reduces the total votes Walberg gets. It could put Renier in striking distance. Not holding my breath, but there is an outside chance.

    BUT: it's raining in Michigan. More exactly, it's raining in the Democratic strongholds of Lansing and Detroit. Dems stay home, because that's what they do when it rains (no kidding). Where is it sunny today in Michigan? Grand Rapids. Of course.

    Given that, Granholm, the Democratic Governor, wins reelection by a narrow margin; maybe the same margin she won by 4 years ago against challenger Dick Posthumus, which was about 4 points. When you win by a margin that small, there is plainly no "mandate" set by the voters. I'm talking to you, W.

    Attorney General Cox and Sec'y of State Land retain their posts without much of a problem. Land has done an amazing job with Michigan's antiquated voting systems. Also, she has reduced the cliche'ed lengthy visits to the Secretary of State offices from a total and wild tragedy to only a minor inconvenience; from two broken legs to a couple of badly-placed mosquito bites. She's done this by offering as many services as possible, including license renewals of all sorts, online.

    General Cox's messaging around deadbeat dads and other issues plays very very well, even though that's not really what an AG is for. But since nobody knows what the Hell an AG is for, he's doing a fine job by all accounts, and he really has. Lots of revenue into the state and has streamlined the department quite well. Plus, lotsa deadbeat dads are paying their due, which is fine by me.

    Control of the House and Senate on the state level remain in Republican control. All of the movement and grumpiness in Washington does not at all translate to the local level where people see their Reps doing a fine job of scaling-back spending and cutting taxes but providing smart services. For all the complaining and bashing, the Guv and State Legislature have done a decent job of passing policy compromises that generally make sense, except for the stuff about a month before they took a break for the elections. But everyone has to campaign on something. The House and Senate Dems are able to narrow the margin a bit more, making it a little harder to be completely blown-off.

    Proposal 1 fails. It is weird and complicated to some voters, and on ballot initiatives, the rule of thumb is when in doubt, vote no.

    Proposal 2 fails by the slimmest of margins. There are enough people who find value in affirmative action programs and enough people confused enough by it (remember, confusion = no) to have the "no" prevail by a slim margin.

    Proposal 3 fails. I think it's dumb. The legislature and the Guv already said "yes" by passing and signing the ability to hunt Mourning Doves. But it will fail. There are enough folks that think it's silly to hunt 2.5 ounces-worth of meat.

    Proposal 4 passes. Keep the Government's hands off my damn property.

    Proposal 5...passes. For all the trouble and chaos it will create in upcoming budgets, with having to plug a $500 billion gap (on top of the $1.9 billion gap created by the elimination of the Single Business Tax) in the state budget to cover it, enough people will want to bolster and constitutionally protect education funding to pass it.

    This is all bullshit. I am guessing and am flinging averages between polls I have read to come up with my thoughts. I have also added about every rumor I agree with into these thoughts. We'll see after 8:00.


    Go Vote

    If you are here, reading my blog, and haven't voted yet, go vote.

    Then come back and read my astounding wit and wisdom. Until then, you are not allowed to read my blog until you vote.

    I'll blog later with thoughts and general punditry.

    Go vote.

    Live in Michigan and don't know your polling location? Go here.


    News Round-Up and Open Thread

    Monday, November 06, 2006

    For all 7 of my readers (and all 2 of you who care enough to leave comments):

    There is so much going on today that I can't fully blog each one, but there are several things that all bear at least a mention and a snark.

    As Bush stumps for candidates, he is pretty unwelcome in states where the race is close enough that his presence could actually hurt the Republican. Solid strategy from the politicos, but how sad are things for you when your own party has to worry about whether or not the President of the United States will hurt your chances for victory?

    So Hussein was sentenced to death on Sunday. I have heard great arguments from both sides...not whether or not he is a guilty fleabag of contempt - that's a done deal. He sucks. But from the camp that believes his death is an important gesture, befitting someone as dangerous and connected as he, and the side that says that violence is no solution to violence, and his death may spark more violence. For example, this from a Sunni (who don't want him killed, by the way):

    "Today's sentences were a death sentence on righteousness, and this makes it obligatory to take the revenge for Iraq," said the man, 29-year-old shopkeeper Ibrahim Yahya, joining other Sunnis in jabbing rifle muzzles and pistols in the air in angry protest.
    What do I think? He's better off dead. Why? This:
    AA white-haired, gray-robed man in his 50s, who identified himself only as Abbas, walked among them holding up the swaddled bones of his son Hassan. "Saddam took my sons from me," Abbas said. He began crying. "What was the crime that my son committed? He was only 4."

    Color me doubtful:
    Hussein, as he was read his verdict:
    "Long live the nation! Down with the criminal invaders! Down with the spies! Down with the occupiers!" Hussein declared, thrusting his finger in the air, his body shaking with rage.

    "Go to hell! You and the court!" Hussein shouted. "You don't decide anything, you are servants of the occupiers and lackeys! You are puppets!" [from WaPo]
    Then later, from Hussein's lawyers:
    Saddam "knew that he would be sentenced to death and wanted me to pass on this message to the Iraqi people and to the whole world after the verdict was announced," Khalil al-Dulaimi told The Associated Press in a telephone interview from Baghdad. "His message to the Iraqi people was 'pardon and do not take revenge on the invading nations and their people'," al-Dulaimi said. [USA Today]
    Yeah. I bet that's exactly what he saidd

    From WaPo: It's Official. The campaign season and all of its ads and robo-calls will become completely intolerable tonight. I don't think I will turn the TV on. Speaking of robo-calls, check this our from Balloon Juice. True? Big deal?

    From Yahoo News: The title of the article says it all: Naked Man Arrested for Concelaed Weapon. There is only one option for concelment in that case, folks. But the horrid part is that the firemen were called, and one of them, cross-trained as an EMT like so many local governments do, had to remove it. "Hey Newbie! I got a job for ya. Bring the gloves..."

    From the New York Times: Apparently, the U.S.S. Intrepid wouldn't make it out of the harbor in NYC today. There's a joke in here somewhere about the Intrepid's trepidation.

    Fun stuff.


    Stop Trying to Help

    Thursday, November 02, 2006

    I thought about a few more titles for this post, which included "Fuck This Guy." Thanks to John Cole over at Balloon Juice for bringing to our attention this greasy little fuck named Sey[mour] Hersh.

    This is the guy who, in the 60s and covering the Vietnam War as an investigative journalist, uncovered some "atrocities" being committed by AMerican Servicemen and used the footage and reports to turn American sentiment against the war. Of course, the side effect was turning American sentiment against many of the Servicemen as well, but hey. I bet Mr. Dickbag was willing to ignore that consequence as he climbed up the ladder of fame.

    Well, here he is again, now trying to turn sentiment against the War in Iraq by shocking footage of American "atrocities." Here's a little gem for you:

    If Americans knew the full extent of U.S. criminal conduct, they would receive returning Iraqi veterans as they did Vietnam veterans, Hersh said.

    “In Vietnam, our soldiers came back and they were reviled as baby killers, in shame and humiliation,” he said. “It isn’t happening now, but I will tell you – there has never been an [American] army as violent and murderous as our army has been in Iraq.”
    First of all, Hersh, thanks but no thanks. I don't know if you've seen the 32% approval rating for Bush and the disappointment expressed by Americans at the job he and Rummy are doing in Iraq, but sentiment is pretty much turned over here already. We don't need your fucking help.

    Second, this is not about our troops. This is never about our troops. Turning sentiment in a war...a not about a "scathing expose'" on American troop conduct. It's about the conduct of the people who are accountable for a miscued war: the President, his appointees and the Legislature who enabled it. Blame for anything belongs there, not with people who bleed, cry, pray, vomit, sweat and starve every day to simply hope that they won't be the one who dies that day.

    This is not about American troops gone awry, and it never was Mr. Hersh. Take your fucking Pulitzer (a Pulitzer won, by the way, by villifying our troops) and stick it as far up your wrinkled ass as you can.

    Cole then supplies us with this article from the New York Times. This article is a deeply moving, accurate picture of the mentality of our troops and what they face. More importantly, it's about how they truly conduct themselves. Read it. It's worth it. It nearly moved me to tears. Every Marine who has been activated...every single one...remembers, among many things, their platoon's Doc. That'll make sense when you read the article.

    So there you go, Hersh. Thanks for all your help turning the tide against something for which tide turned a year ago. Thanks for all your help to try to reestablish American civilian hatred of our servicemen. Felt good to you during the Vietnam conflict to do that? Did it?

    Kerry's comments certainly paled in comparison to this sludge's comments. Kerry's no danger, he's just aloof. This guy, this egotist, is the one that hurts. Make sure he fully understands that he is not in my camp, your camp, or anyone's camp. He's alone.



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