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Armstrong Economics Blog/Opinion

December 25th & Holidays


QUESTION: Hi Marty. I was wondering if you knew about the ancient Roman

holidays? I was wondering if they had a big commercialized Holiday
like Christmas but pagan Roman? I figure since you fund a lot of
research you might have the best answer.
N
ANSWER: Yes, it was December 25th which was the feast of the sun god Sol. Here is a gold medallion of Constantine with Sol. Nobody knew the say Christ was born, so with most holidays, they rapidly lose their meaning. We have Veteran’s Day and Labor Day but they are just party days for most people. They lose their original meaning. That was the case with Sol. You could not remove a holiday that was always celebrated so they made it Christmas. The connection between Sol and Christ was that both were seen as supreme. Sol was names Sol Invictus meaning invincible for he appeared every day to give warmth and life..
As far as exchanging gifts or small figurines known as sigillaria, took place on the Holiday of  Saturnalia which was the feast of Saturn celebrated on December 17th. The two holidays became merged in December 25th with the commercial aspect of gift giving. The image of Sol became the Statue of Liberty.

Germany’s Most Beautiful Policewoman Told to Be a Cop or a Model


One of the clear cultural differences between Europe and the United States is that they even have the “hottest” female police officer – Adrienne Koleszar. That is something they just would not do in the United States. We hold Senate hearings because Janet Jackson’s breast popped out on TV at the Super Bowl. It is interesting that from the outside looking in, America is viewed as being prudish, to put it mildly.  Yet Adrienne’s boss told her she had to choose between being a cop or a model.

I appeared in Dresden but the police who were there to keep the crowds in line certainly did not look like her. The people were very warm and they even handed me a bouquet of flowers at the end of my presentation. Never had that in any other city I have ever made a presentation.

Merkel Says Goodbye as Leader of CDU


Merkel said goodbye at the CDU meeting today. She intends to remain as Chancellor until 2021. However, the victor will be positioned to succeed Merkel as chancellor and influence whether she stays or bows out before her term ends in 2021. Although Merkel is widely known for her caution and changing positions with her internal poll team, she has been a shrewd disrupter of the German party system and has moved the CDU to the middle of the political spectrum. Her downfall has been her opening up Europe to all the pretend “refugees” that poured in from everywhere but Syria. The rushed into Europe for the welfare system with no requirement for skills or language. About 70% were just young males, not families with children as the press only photographed. That single decision has been the most destructive for the European project.

The frontrunners in this election today are Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer, who is a Merkel protege and is seen as the continuity candidate who will change nothing, so the CDU would change the face but nothing else. Then there is Friedrich Merz, who has been a Merkel rival questioning the constitutional guarantee of asylum to all “politically persecuted” and believes Germany, Europe’s biggest economy, should contribute more to the European Union. These are very stake differences in policy but this is NOT a public election but politicians who decide. Party leadership is typically the springboard to the chancellorship so this is really a critical decision for the CDU

Nigel Farage v Juncker


Woman Sent to Prison for 10 years for Lying about Graduating Elementary School to Get a Job


A Greek cleaning lady was sentenced to 10 years in prison for lying about her elementary school record in a court ruling. Her sentence has outraged the people and rightly so. The 53-year-old woman had worked at a publicly-funded nursery for 15 years until a review in 2014 revealed she had doctored a certificate documenting her primary education. The judge held that the sentence was based upon defrauding the public. What about the politicians who conspired with Goldman Sachs to hide losses that have really defrauded the Greek people?

The Annual Best Of The Best Treeper Thanksgiving Recipe Thread


Re-Posted from The Conservative Tree House on November 21, 2018 by Menagerie

Great Preference Given To Dishes Featuring Bacon and Jack, Super Foods!

It’s that time of year again! Pull up a log and sit a spell. We have snacks and drinks, a warm, toasty fire and fine friends gathered round. In two weeks we will celebrate our  wonderful American holiday, Thanksgiving. I know that it is a great favorite for almost all of us, and perhaps your family, like mine, has the best feast of the year on that day. Our family has four generations come together, sometimes forty or fifty people. We have been doing this for years, and we never even discuss the menu any more, haven’t for probably twenty years or more. We each bring two or three dishes that we do best, and it is the best meal of the year. We even have the specialties of loved ones long gone, recipes saved and lovingly prepared by granddaughters and even great granddaughters, and a few of the guys too! Although they sure do shirk cleanup!

However, it  makes a holiday special, that wonderful combination of old and new. In honor of that, here’s my new find for you guys. I cant wait to try it myself.

From Oasis in a Gastronomic Wasteland Blogspot I bring you Uncle Jack’s Whiskey Brined Turkey.

Brought to you (again) this year by popular demand. Mine.

Uncle Jack’s Whiskey Brined Turkey

BY: Samuel Parks

(November 2011)

After 5 years of trial, error, and a lot of tryptophan, I have finally perfected my recipe!  Thanks to all of my friends and family who have been “willing” volunteers.  This recipe may take some prep work, but believe me it’s totally worth it.

INGREDIENTS

Brine

  • 1 cup Kosher salt
  • ½ cup white sugar
  • ½ cup molasses
  • ¼ cup clover honey
  • ½ gallon fresh apple cider
  • 1 gallon chicken stock
  • ½ Tbs. dried thyme
  • 4-6 fresh sage leaves
  • 2 sprigs fresh rosemary
  • 1 stick whole cinnamon
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 Tbs. whole peppercorns (slightly crushed)
  • 1 Tbs. whole allspice berries (slightly crushed)
  • 1 Tbs. candied ginger
  • 1 cup Tennessee Whiskey (Jack Daniels)
  • Ice water

Pop over there for the rest of the recipe. Sure looks excellent!

We hope you will consider contributing your favorite recipes while we still have time to go out and shop this week, or this weekend. Happy baking, Treepers. Remember, every recipe is enhanced by judicious applications of bacon and Jack.

The Ant and The Contact Lens


This is a repost of an old one I did. I ran across it and still like the message. Like I said, sometimes I just need to hear things a few times to get it. Maybe that’s true for you also.

Sorting through some old papers I had stashed away, today I came upon this story I had printed out from an email I received on October 11, 2004. The original source for the story is the book Keep A Quiet Heart by Elisabeth Elliot, published in 1995. It became attributed to Josh and Karen Zarandona when they passed it on in an email. Supposedly, the original story came to Ms. Elliot from a Brenda Foltz, of Minnesota.

I found the story just as thought provoking as I did in October of 2004. I really wish that I were writing this story as an illustration of a moment and a revelation that changed my life. Unfortunately, having a penchant for truth, I’ll confess that did not happen. I wish it had. Sometimes I need to be reminded – over and over – of the lessons I need to learn in life. I share this with you in that spirit. I suppose most of you may have seen this in the past, but perhaps a few of you, like me, could enjoy it again.

The Ant and the Contact Lens

Brenda was a young woman who was invited to go rock climbing.

Although she was scared to death, she went with her group to a tremendous granite cliff. In spite of her fear, she put on the gear, took hold of the rope, and started up the face of that rock. Well, she got to a ledge where she could take a breather. As she was hanging on there, the safety rope snapped against Brenda’s eye and knocked out her contact lens. Well, here she is on a rock ledge, with hundreds of feet below her and hundreds of feet above her. Of course, she looked and looked and looked, hoping it had landed on the ledge, but it just wasn’t there.

Here she was, far from home, her sight now blurry. She was desperate and began to get upset, so she prayed to the Lord to help her to find it.  When she got to the top, a friend examined her eye and her clothing for the lens, but there was no contact lens to be found. She sat down, despondent, with the rest of the party, waiting for the rest of them to make it up the face of the cliff. She looked out across range after range of mountains, thinking of that Bible verse that says, “The eyes of the Lord run to and fro throughout the whole earth.” She thought, “Lord, You can see all these mountains. You know every stone and leaf, and You know exactly where my contact lens is. Please help me.”

Finally, they walked down the trail to the bottom. At the bottom there was a new party of climbers just starting up the face of the cliff. One of them shouted out, “Hey, you guys! Anybody lose a contact lens?” Well, that would be startling enough, but you know why the climber saw it? An ant was moving slowly across the face of the rock, carrying it. Brenda told me that her father is a cartoonist. When she told him the incredible story of the ant, the prayer, and the contact lens, he drew a picture of an ant lugging that contact lens with the words, “Lord, I don’t know why You want me to carry this thing. I can’t eat it, and it’s awfully heavy. But if this is what You want me to do, I’ll carry it for You.”

At the risk of being accused of being fatalistic, I think it would probably do some of us good to occasionally say, “God, I don’t know why you me to carry this load. I can see no good in it and it’s awfully heavy.  But, if you want me to carry it, I will.” God doesn’t call the qualified, He qualifies the called.

BREXIT v EU


Dominic Raab, who was the negotiator in BEXIT told the chief whip straight after cabinet yesterday that he would quit. He said the prime minister could still change course and should be ready to walk away with no deal. Naturally, Prime Minister May defends the deal and this is indicative of someone who never supported BREXIT, to begin with.

Meanwhile, Chancellor Merkel said talks to amend the draft agreement were unlikely as a deal was “on the table” and Britain should just walk away and let Europe see the stupidity of their actions. Britain is the biggest market for German cars in Europe. A no deal will devastate the German economy at a critical time when it needs that trade the most.

Perfect – Trump Tells Macron: “They were starting to learn German in Paris before the U.S. came along”…


This is what I call representing the red-blooded patriotic American.  Plain-speak, direct truth; what every middle-American would say to in the same or similar circumstance. And ironically, this is also (almost verbatim) one of the reasons Donald Trump earned my support in 2015:

(link)

The blood of Americans, provided the current freedom of France. Period.

Our inherent American DNA strain is liberty and freedom.  Within that core we achieve, drive, and transfer our united national essence into everything we do.  Even the wealth and economics of our nation are dependent on this cornerstone; it drives our entrepreneurial existence.  We know how to do things, create things, and think completely outside the box on new and innovative ideas for things.

Yes, we are exceptional like that.

Reminder:

  • Florida Power and Light won the prestigious International Edward Demming award for excellence in multi-platform engineering and efficiency superiority. They didn’t blow every global PhD business intellectual out of the water with slide rules, CAD programs and engineering acumen. They did it with hard hats and dirty fingernails.

Because they lost the award, the Japanese spent 6 months studying FP&L and later published a 1,000 page dissertation essentially saying FP&L “wasn’t really good, they were just lucky”….. FPL field leadership laughed, took out markers and wrote on the back of their hard hats: WE’RE NOT GOOD, WE’RE RUCKY….

  • When every single Kuwaiti oil field was blown up by Saddam Hussein, they said it would take 5 years to cap them all off and restart their oil pumping industry. The Kuwaiti’s and Saudi’s called Texans, who had them all capped and back in working order in 6 to 10 months.

We are a nation that knows how to get shit done.

  • When the Northern Chile mine workers were trapped two miles underground, they said no-one could save them. Who did they call for help? A bunch of hick miners from USA coal country who went down there, worked on the fly, engineered the rescue equipment on site, and saved everyone of them….

That’s our America.

  • When a half-breed Islamic whack job, armed with an AK-47 and a goal to meet his virgins, began opening fire on a train in France – the Americans on board didn’t run to the nearest safe room and hide themselves amid baguettes and brie. They said “let’s go”, and beat the stuffing out of that little Islamic nut with a death wish.

Legion d’Honneur or not, that’s us.  That’s just how we roll.

Lady Liberty can stroll along the Champs-Elysées with a swagger befitting Mae West because without her arrival they’d be speaking German in the Louvre.  Yet for the better part of the past decade a group of intellectual something-or-others have been teaching an insufferable story-line that it’s better to be sitting around a campfire eating sustainable algae cakes and picking parasites off each other.

Enough.

When I hear Donald Trump say “Let’s Make America Great Again”, I also hear the familiar echo “cowboy up” people.

It’s high time we stop being embarrassed about our exceptional nature, and start being proud of it again.   Because when it matters most, when it really counts, when it’s really needed, there’s a whole bunch of people all around this world of ours that are mighty happy when swagger walks in to solve their problems.

Yeah, “let’s make America great again”.

Swagger on !

Donald J. Trump

Donald J. Trump