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Archive for November, 2013

Slavery works as a public fantasy through which the real problems of the world can be pushed to one side and replaced with…“evil slave-owners” who allegedly lurk behind such phenomena.  –  Frank FurediSWAT thugs

The Slave-Whore Fantasy

Many organizations…receive inquiries from potential volunteers whose primary desire is to kick in doors and rescue…victims…once a potential volunteer learns that the organization does not have a covert SWAT team…they seem shocked and in disbelief.  The concept of private entities using…armed…[“rescue”] teams…is fueled by Hollywood and…non-governmental organizations…who play DVDs at anti-human trafficking events indicating their organization uses [such] teams…some even indicate their activities are unhindered by the bureaucracy of governments…

Handy Figures

I find this number very credible, given that 1% of comparatively-prudish Western women have worked as whores, plus an unknown (but certainly larger) number in other kinds of sex work:

…economist Yasuyuki Iida…says that five percent of women in Japan have [done some kind of sex work.  He]…begins by estimating that there are 10,000 clubs, bars and parlors offering sex nationwide… “each employs 30 women on average…That puts the number of women…at 300,000”…Iida settles on 10 years as the average tenure…based on data from the Ministry of Justice…the average woman enters the biz between the age of 25 and 29.  Census data…indicates that a total of 700,000 women fall within…that…group.  If 30,000 women [per year]…enter the fuzoku trade, that would represent…4.29[%] of that total…

The Course of a Disease

The Vietnamese government has just passed a decree under which clients of prostitutes will be punished more severely than the call girls…sex buyers will be fined VND500,000-VND1 million (US$23.7-$47.4)…prostitutes…will be issued a warning…in less severe cases or a monetary fine of VND100,000-VND300,000 (up to $14)…If the prostitutes are foreigners, they can be deported from Vietnam…

Legal Is As Legal Does (TW3 #7)

Another example of the need for eternal vigilance:

A delegation of former prostitutes…[and] advocates have appeared before…Parliament calling for a change to prostitution laws…the organisation Freedom from Sexual Exploitation (FFSE)…says…”the Prostitution Reform Act…not only encouraged more men to buy sex, but transformed prostitution into an acceptable, even attractive job for young, poor woman in New Zealand”…FFSE is asking the government to…[criminalize] the purchase of sexual services…

Above the Law

Three more “isolated incidents”:

Nearly twenty years after two young women were shot and stabbed to death at a Kentucky massage parlor…former [cops]…Edward Carter and Leslie Duncan are among three men charged…Tammy Papler, the woman who once ran the parlor, claimed years ago that she had been bribing police…and that the killings took place after she stopped paying.

Of course, it isn’t only whores they target:

A…San Antonio [cop raped a young woman]…Jackie Len Neal pulled [her] over…[on the pretext] that her car was reported stolen.  Even though [she] produced a sales slip…Neal insisted on patting her down…[then] placed [her] in handcuffs…[in] the back of his patrol car…[and raped her]…video cameras mounted in Neal’s cruiser were not functioning…[but] a GPS tracking system did corroborate that…[it] was parked for 18 minutes…as the woman had claimed…

And an update from the original “Above the Law”:  “A victim of a…Pittsburgh police officer…filed a federal lawsuit…Adam Skweres…failed his psychological examination before [hiring and]…the city [allowed him to keep working]…after it received complaints against him…[for] three years…Frankenstein - angry mob

The Widening Gyre

You know a moral panic is nearing its zenith when you start seeing mobs with torches:

Hundreds of people [gathered]…on Long Beach Boulevard in Compton to march against the sex trafficking of children and teenagers along the notorious strip.  The march…[followed] the route often used by johns and pimps in buying and selling young victims…”We are marching tonight to shine a light in the darkness and let these men know we see them,” [politician Mark] Ridley-Thomas said…”And to let businesses that profit from this vile trade…know that we’re coming for them”…

A Tale That Grew in the Telling (TW3 #34)

Don’t believe our data; believe our dogma instead!

In Maine…its hotline netted 19 of what Polaris Project defines as high- or moderate-level indicators of trafficking in the most recent year…Destie Sprague…[of] the Maine Coalition Against Sexual Assault, said…Mainers should not reach the conclusion that only 19 people in the state were victims of trafficking in the past year…the number is in reality much higher…

Lower Education

The federal government is backing away from the nationwide “blueprint” for campus speech restrictions issued this May…the new head of the Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights (OCR)…said that “the agreement in the Montana case represents the resolution of that particular case and not OCR or DOJ policy”…the Montana agreement included an overly broad definition of punishable sexual harassment: “any unwelcome conduct of a sexual nature,” including “verbal conduct” (i.e., speech)…Serious First Amendment and due process problems remain with…other recent OCR pronouncements…

The Crumbling Dam (TW3 #326)

Wouldn’t you love to see articles like this in the US?

Media organizations worldwide have been busy crucifying Rob Ford for his alleged crimes and intoxicated buffoonery…but mainstream outlets in Canada…need to apologize for repeatedly presenting Ford’s crimes in conjunction with allegations of “prostitution”…Having sex for money is not a crime in this country.  Even though many activities associated with it remain illegal, having sex for money…is a job…Every major mainstream media source in the city latched onto the “hanging out with suspected prostitutes” allegations…what makes someone a “suspected prostitute,” anyway?  Fishnets?…

Backwards into the Future (TW3 #329)

Though registration is a poor idea because of the inevitable bottleneck, the general tone of this article is far more sensible than anything from the US:

…Swaziland’s sex workers are not a major contributor to the spread of HIV…[it] is spread widely by people in [unpaid] sexual encounters …However…if HIV is to be contained in any country the need to protect sex workers from HIV is a requirement…Identification of sex workers is the first step, allowing a registry of sex workers for contact and communication.  Thus reachable, these individuals can receive advice on health issues, HIV testing…counselling…treatment …and a supply of condoms…public health crises require realism…

Migliorini in PlayboyLittle Boxes (TW3 #332)

A woman who sold her virginity…for $780,000 but was unable to consummate the transaction has decided to put herself back on the market…Catarina Migliorini  was initially promised to a 53-year-old Japanese millionaire, but the deal fell through after Natsu ended up being a 21-year-old who looked nothing like his online profile.  She also had a falling out with the documentary filmmaker who recruited her…

Decentralization (TW3 #334)

Another example of “sex trafficking” as default bogeyman:

…bitcoin…is not backed by any central bank or government and can be transferred “peer to peer” between any two people anywhere…By largely eliminating intermediaries, bitcoin allows individuals to conduct transactions without being subject to anti-money laundering controls, which makes it an attractive currency to criminals — particularly those who prey on the weak.  Sex slavery and human trafficking generate $9.5 billion yearly in the United States alone, with each trafficked child yielding between $150,000 to $200,000 to her pimp, who controls four to six girls on average…

It’s That Time Again (TW3 #334)

The cuckoo clock is striking 13:

Cindy McCain slammed the National Football League…for not being “willing to deal” with the issue of sex trafficking at the Super Bowl…McCain…said the Super Bowl is the “largest human-trafficking venue on the planet,” but she will be working to tackle the issue in [Arizona] in 2015…McCain emphasized the necessity of bringing the issue to…Congress.  “This issue’s not sexy on Capitol Hill yet, but we’re going to make it sexy”…

Given all the one-handed writing politicians do about “child sex slaves”, I’d say they already find it plenty sexy.  But McCain’s comments, however idiotic, are at least coherent, which is more than I can say for those of her sidekick:

…Saada Saar spoke about her involvement in shutting down “adult services” ads on Craigslist in 2010…“I will never forget that morning getting calls from some of the girls who were still out there saying, ‘Oh my God!  The pimp’s [sic] are losing their minds because they can’t put us up for sale.  We are no longer for sale’…”

Imaginary Evils

Slaves found in London 'tip of the iceberg' Daily MailI knew this would turn out to be bogus, but I’m very pleased that it came apart so quickly:

The first stories in the London slavery reports…all gave the same horrifying account:  three women had been rescued by police after thirty years held against their will…But as details emerged, it seemed to be an entirely different affair…after contacting the charity, the women were encouraged to leave the house, which they did…with no dramatic police raid…[they] had joined a radical Marxist collective…which…was like a microcosm of a Soviet state- workers toil unrewarded for the benefit of the leader…”social services, education and housing departments had all had contact with the household” and…both the leaders had been previously arrested.  The presence of these women in the house was not a new discovery by any means…

And in Spiked, Frank Furedi uses the incident as a springboard for a strong criticism of the way the word “slavery” is used to describe phenomena which are absolutely nothing like chattel slavery.

Everything Old is New Again

Here are two more stories in which “sex trafficking” is described using ludicrous Victorian phraseology; this one from Ohio tells us that the mustache-twirling villains behind the “perfidious crime” are not usually stopped by “swift apprehension”, and that arresting sex workers “[fights] the vexing scourge” by “helping to restore a semblance of normalcy to [their] lives”.  The other, from California, gasps in horror at the idea of “children…at risk” from people having sex “in a home right across the street from an elementary school,” opines that “the horror of human trafficking…has destroyed the meaning of what it means to be ‘safe’ in a free world,”  and tells us that “expanding shackles” (presumably, a technology related to “invisible handcuffs”) are “fueled” by “assumptions that these are consensual interactions with women flaunting their sexual desire alongside pimps in outlandish suits with expensive cars.”

Meanwhile, if you click back to the original column by this name you’ll see something about how New Port Richey, Florida has a scheme to allow “authorities” to persecute “known prostitutes” at will.  Well, here’s an open letter to the town from its most famous daughter, Dr. Brooke Magnanti:

…Profiling has a false positive rate greater than zero, and some of those false positives will no doubt lawyer up.  Also, picking up people because you think they might possibly commit a crime in the future is not the same as detecting people who are actually breaking the law.  It is – hm, how you say? – oh yeah, now I remember the word.  “Unconstitutional.”  (My time in Florida’s schools did not go to waste, as you can see)…

Think of the Children! (TW3 #346)

Buried down near the bottom of this farrago of pearl-clutching nonsense about a persecuted Calgary massage parlor:  “Human trafficking is not a widespread problem among sex workers in Calgary massage parlours, police say…Mary Ann Franks threatens to beat up website owners

Shame, Shame

Activists seeking to criminalize “revenge porn” say they are…[preparing] federal legislation that would force Internet companies to take [it] down…law professor Mary Anne Franks…is helping draft the bill…”Going after intermediaries is a really bad idea,” says Matt Zimmerman…[of] the Electronic Frontier Foundation.  “The entire speech ecosystem…[suffers] because those service providers…decide what people can and cannot post”…Internet companies would likely respond to such a law by removing content any time there’s a complaint, to reduce their liability and…save time…

Hard Numbers (TW3 #347)

This ugly exercise in arse-backwardness repeats lurid nonsense about “sex tourism” in Brazil using Justin Bieber clickbait while describing dry stories about sex workers’ language lessons and business improvements as “titillating”; it then dismisses UN recommendations for decriminalization in a flurry of “sex trafficking” hoo-hah (describing the fringe group Equality Now as “many NGOs”), and adds insult to injury by mentioning Gabriela Leite’s Davida without stating that it’s a sex worker rights organization.  Compare it with this one, which despite being fixated on “grittiness” is at least basically honest.

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It’s the most wonderful time of the year!
With the kids jingle belling
And everyone telling
You “Be of good cheer”…
It’s the most wonderful time of the year.

It’s the hap-happiest season of all!
With those holiday greetings
And gay happy meetings
When friends come to call…
It’s the hap- happiest season of all.
  –   Edward Pola and George Wyle

Macy's parade Santa ClausWhen I was a wee lass, and the song which provides today’s title and epigram was a recent holiday hit rather than a hoary standard, today would be the first day in the American calendar year that one might be likely to hear it in a public place.  For most of the 20th century and perhaps earlier, the day after Thanksgiving was the agreed-upon beginning of the Christmas season in the United States; since most people (outside of retail) were off from work that day, it was a convenient opportunity to put up decorations, obtain and trim a tree or even go shopping.  Macy’s department store in New York has reinforced this every year since 1924 (with the exception of 1942-44) by the inclusion of Santa Claus in its popular Thanksgiving Day parade, heralded as the “official” kickoff of Yuletide festivities.

But as the years rolled by, marketing became a science and advertising became ever more aggressive.  Merchants began erecting early Christmas displays even before Thanksgiving, and were it not for Halloween’s growing popularity as an adult drinking holiday they might have broken into October by now.  On November 1st every large retail chain (anxious to sweep away any lingering thoughts of mortality which might have entered less-impenetrable consumer skulls from the rare horror imagery among the sexy Muppets, sexy foodstuffs, sexy police-state functionaries and sexy superhuman serial killers) rips down the Halloween décor, shoves it into closeout bins and plasters the entire premises with red and green, fake snow, creepy Saint Nicholas caricatures, incessant Christmas and winter-themed music (including modern arrangements of the eponymous tune), and unrelenting encouragement to buy, buy, buy!  But the traditional launch date hasn’t been forgotten, oh no!  Now it’s become “Black Friday”, the worldwide festival of conspicuous consumption which started out as an in-joke among Philadelphia retailers in the 1960s.  Thanksgiving has been reduced to a sideshow, one of the less important events of “Black Friday Week” as advertising trash infuriatingly insists on calling it; those unfortunate enough to depend on retail employment for their livelihoodBlack Friday mob are forced to skip the day altogether as their employers shift “Black Friday Sales Events” back further and further into Thursday and demand that the wage-slaves be on hand to deal with hordes of drooling morons who lack the sense to stay home and enjoy the sorts of activities that Christmas songs still pretend characterize the season.

As you can probably tell, I most certainly do not approve.  We’ll be spending the day as we always do:  finding a Christmas tree on our property and decorating it, and having Thanksgiving leftovers for dinner.  Unless there’s some dire emergency, none of our vehicles are going farther than the mailbox, and we aren’t going to do any online shopping either, not today and not on the newest pseudo-event, the even-more-stupidly-named “Cyber Monday” (and no, not on Boxing Day either).  I’ve already bought most of my presents, and will obtain the rest on my trip to New Orleans week-after-next; and though I do love this season for the festivities and the visiting and the gift-giving and the donations to Toys for Tots (my favorite charity), I will be staying as far away from retail establishments as is humanly possible for the next month.  I also won’t be donating to the Salvation Army, who as I’ve explained before were one of the originators of “sex trafficking” hysteria and are still among its most vociferous and dishonest proponents.  By all means, donate to the needy during this season of goodwill, but there are plenty of charities who manage to accomplish that without also funding crusades against human rights. Salvation Army donation

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Thanksgiving 2013

Thanksgiving has wings and goes where it must go.  –  Victor Hugo

Harvest GoddessToday in the United States is Thanksgiving Day, a day specifically set aside to be thankful for what one has.  One would hardly know it nowadays; as with nearly every other American holiday, it is thought of more for the way it is celebrated than for the ideas it was established to commemorate.  And so Independence Day has become a day to barbecue, impossible to distinguish from Memorial Day and Labor Day except for the presence of fireworks; New Year’s Day and Halloween are days to get drunk; Christmas is the day one gives gifts for which one has shopped for over a month, and Thanksgiving is merely an excuse for eating like a pig before rushing out the next day (or even that night) to join a mob which will trample children, old people and store employees in an idiotic quest for a few bargains the merchants take a loss on so as to drag the hordes into their facilities.  Even the word is vanishing from the calendar; chain stores put up their Christmas decorations on the Day of the Dead, Thanksgiving week is called “Black Friday Week“, and even the day itself is eclipsed by the traditional entree served at the feast, so the Philistines all go about belching “Happy Turkey Day!” at one another.  Ugh.  Please, American readers, allow me to repeat the advice I’ve given y’all for the past two years:  “celebrate this day…with those you love, giving thanks for what you have rather than just stuffing your face and planning to buy more tomorrow.”  And though my readers outside the US don’t officially celebrate this as a holiday, I wish all of you peace, prosperity and good fortune as well.  Blessed Be!

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I have been seeing professionals for several years, mostly through an Asian escort service.  I really enjoyed some of the girls, but they travel a lot so sometimes none of the girls I like  are available, and it’s always hit or miss with someone new.  Plus, though I love Asian ladies I also like variety, so I decided to try some independent escorts, and boy has it been a flaky and unreliable experience.  I registered with P411, picked only well-reviewed providers, etc, yet nothing has gone right.  The first independent I tried cancelled twice at the last minute for ridiculous reasons, then we finally connected and the service was excellent…but when I tried to reschedule she flaked again.  So I tried another girl; this one didn’t answer when I tried to confirm on the day of the appointment as she had requested.  The next one double-scheduled and called me 15 minutes before the appointment trying to reschedule; a fourth one made an appointment but wouldn’t confirm, then told me to “Fuck off” when I emailed to ask if we were still on for that day.  What am I doing wrong?  I never had this trouble with the agency.

flaky womanIt’s strange that you’ve had so many bad experiences, so I think you need to look at what the unifying factor might be.  Were all of these girls very young?  Because young girls are often quite poor at what hobbyists call “TKB” (taking care of business).  Also, you said they were all well-reviewed; did any of their reviews mention this flakiness?  Because if they didn’t, it may be that you’re somehow doing something to encourage this sort of behavior without realizing it.  I suggest you try looking at ladies who have been around a bit longer; if you still have similar problems with escorts who have been in the business for years, it’s definitely something you’re doing that did not affect you when you were dealing with the agency, but causes problems with independent escorts, such as some sort of screening issue that’s making them nervous.

PostscriptThis reader later wrote back and confirmed that all of the girls were indeed young, and he suspected that his preference for early appointments might be part of the problem if these girls enjoyed staying out late.  He said he would try more mature escorts.

I’ve been seeing an escort I’m extremely attracted to, but all three sessions I’ve had with her were very substandard because she has this rush-rush attitude; by the third time I was so stressed by it I couldn’t even get hard for her.  Yet for some reason, I feel compelled to go to her.  What should I do?

If she’s rushing you and it isn’t working out, you definitely need to see someone else.  I think you’ve inherited a misguided sense of loyalty from your experience with girlfriends, but an escort is not a girlfriend; she is a service provider, and if she’s not making you happy you need to move on, just as you would with a barber who wasn’t doing a good job on your hair.

(Have a question of your own?  Please consult this page to see if I’ve answered it in a previous column, and if not just click here to ask me via email.)

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How do they know that 99 were pimps?  Were they wearing garish clothes and funny hats?  Or perhaps they had ID cards in their wallets which said “pimp”?  –  “Reading Between the Lines

Death of Jezebel, Gustave DoreThings really began to pick up in November of 2010.  I was getting lots of new readers, and my traffic was increasing dramatically; though each month up to that point had increased by a sizeable fraction over the month before, November’s traffic was more than triple that of October.  Yes, the sum total for that whole month (7893) is less than three average days’ tally now, and in fact my busiest single day so far exceeded that by over a thousand.  But I was beginning to see a lot more incoming links, and I could already tell that the popular columns I mentioned in the September back issue were going to be consistent attractors of attention.  It was one of November’s columns, however, that first “put me on the map”, as it were:  “Hidden Hordes of Hookers”, my very first debunking of the “gypsy whores” myth, drew the attention of several reporters and won me my first mainstream interviews the following January.  That was by no means the only current event column for the month; “Reading Between the Lines” was my first dissection of an FBI “sex trafficking sting” press release, “Unreal Princesses” used the outing ofdrama queen fake escort blogger “Alexa di Carlo” as the hook for a discussion of “cyberdrag”, and “Something Rotten in Sweden” chronicled the beginning of American police departments’ turn toward Swedish-flavored rhetoric, a development I had predicted nine days earlier in “Sea Change” (wherein we saw the beginning of the UN’s move toward decriminalization which finally came to fruition almost exactly two years later).

two-women-and-one-manBesides those full-column news analyses there was also the two-part “November Miscellanea” and “What a Week!”, the first weekly synopsis column. It really isn’t the direct predecessor of today’s TW3 feature, though; if you take a look at it you’ll see that it’s written in a sort of conversational style rather than presented as a series of short items.  I was already trying to move away from the long block quotes which characterized my update and miscellanea columns at that time, but I wasn’t sure how to do it yet and that gossip-column-like format was one of my experiments.  I also used it in “Jezebel” and in December’s “Bits and Pieces”, but only a few times after that.  Another experiment was an early, clearly-divided version of the essay/news hybrid which later became one of my staples; this month’s “Drama Queens” is one of the few examples of this now-extinct transitional form.  Other column types, however, either still exist in the same form (this month’s harlotography was “Mata Hari” and its fictional interlude “Ripper”), or existed thus for quite a while; though I now present both reader questions and book reviews one at a time, I used to post them in batches as seen in “November Book Reviews” and “November Q & A”.  Of course, I still do holiday and special-occasion columns as well, and this month had “Election Day”, “Guy Fawkes Night”, “Happy Birthday, Devil Dogs!” and “Thanksgiving”.

chained princessBy November, I was drawing on my own experience for far fewer columns; other than “Pam” (which describes the awful owner of the first escort service I worked for) and “License to Rape” (which in part describes my own assault by cops), the subject matter was becoming a lot more far-ranging than in previous months:  “Amsterdam” is self-explanatory, “Meretrices and Prostibulae” is a glossary of sex work in ancient Rome, “Plaçage” describes a form of concubinage practiced in early New Orleans, “Lying Down With Dogs” looks at the list of other countries beside the US which criminalize prostitution, and “The Lesser of Two Evils” describes the Catholic Church’s historic tolerance of it.  I also wrote on “Wife Swapping”; the psychological defense mechanism called “Reaction Formation”; the deep hypocrisy of feminists who insist on a woman’s right to abortion but deny her right to do sex work (“My Body, My Choice”); and women who want payment for sex, yet insist they aren’t whores (“Halfway Whores”).  And finally, in “As Young As Possible”, I vivisected a bogus “sex trafficking” study, as I would many more times in the years to come.

Full metal jacket whore

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There is no spectacle on earth more appealing than that of a beautiful woman in the act of cooking dinner for someone she loves.  –  Thomas Wolfe

What's Cooking by Gil Elvgren (1949)I’ve often said that though I’m fairly good at many things, there are only three that I’m really good at.  The first one is the reason so many of y’all think this blog is worth reading; the second is the one that allowed me to make a career out of my primary topic.  And the third is one I have used nearly every day, year in and year out, without fanfare, since my late teens; it’s the only one of the three I’ve never been paid to do, and the only one I wouldn’t even consider a job in because unless one is strikingly proficient at it, nobody’s going to offer enough money.  But that’s probably because unlike the other two, nearly anyone with the desire and the practice can get good at it.  At this time of year I usually do a lot more of it than the second and somewhat more than the first, and so I’ve decided to write about it today.

I am speaking, of course, of cooking.  Unlike many good cooks, I do not embrace pretension; I roll my eyes when a recipe insists that sea salt or vanilla pods will make a major difference in the taste of the finished product, and though I do indeed prepare a lot of dishes with French names I do not believe that the presence of such a name improves it.  Few of the dishes I prepare often use any ingredients unavailable from a typical supermarket, and virtually none use anything more exotic than tahini or fish sauce (i.e. easily obtained at an ethnic market).  And though a number of my family’s favorites do have foreign names (such as kang Musmun, moussaka, gnocchi and enchiladas), few of them would be considered “gourmet” in their countries of origin; they are generally humble dishes with humble ingredients, and require no advanced culinary techniques for their preparation.  A typical week of dinners at my house (starting on Sunday) might be fried chicken, red beans and rice, sandwiches and soup, creamed ground beef on toast, lasagna, fish & chips, burritos (Tuesday is my traditional “night off” from doing a full dinner).  And the dessert is much more likely to be apple pie, bread pudding or cookies than crème brulee or doberge cake…though I can prepare those if requested.

Over the last few years I’ve already shared a number of my favorite recipes, so if you’d like to try chicken and andouille gumbo, turkey soup, potato salad, real (non-microwave) popcorn, chicken paprikash or king cake, I’ve got you covered.  I’ve also shared my recipes for chili and fried chicken via email, and would be happy to publish them if asked.  But today I’m going to share two very simple, homely recipes, the first in response to the season and the second in response to some folks who were concerned about the poisoned Chinese-made pet treats we read about last month:  cornbread stuffing and dog biscuits.

Cornbread Stuffing

This recipe is intentionally small so it’s easy to multiply.  Prepare it as is for very small birds, double it for a 10 to 12-pound one, and quadruple it for a large one (or if your family really likes stuffing).  Just in case you don’t have a recipe for cornbread, I’ve included the one I use at the bottom of the stuffing directions.  Leftover cornbread is actually best, but if you’re making a quadruple batch you’ll need a whole pan.  If you don’t have granulated garlic, use half as much garlic powder or twice as much finely-minced garlic or garlic flakes.  If you’re using this for a goose rather than a turkey or chicken, double the sage and omit the garlic.

2 cups (480 ml) crumbled cornbread
1 cup (240 ml) chicken bouillon or broth
¼ cup (½ stick, 60 ml) butter
¼ teaspoon (app. 1 ml) each pepper, paprika, granulated garlic, thyme, sage, rosemary & tarragon

Heat bouillon, spices and butter over medium heat until boiling.  Remove from heat, add cornbread, stir to moisten, then let sit (covered) for 10 minutes before stuffing bird.  Yes, it’s safe to stuff a bird no matter what the nannies now claim; just make sure it’s completely thawed before cooking and cook it for roughly 3 extra minutes per pound.

Cornbread:  Preheat oven to 425o Fahrenheit.  Combine 1 cup (240 ml) flour, 1 cup (240 ml) cornmeal, 2 tablespoons (30 ml) sugar, 1 tablespoon (15 ml) baking powder, and ½ teaspoon (2.5 ml) salt.  Beat 2 large eggs; mix in 1 cup (240 ml) milk and ¼ cup (60 ml) cooking oil, then add mixture to dry ingredients and mix until combined.  Pour into greased square pan, bake for 20 minutes.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Dog Biscuits

2 cups (480 ml) flour
½ cup (120 ml) cornmeal
½ tbsp (7.5 ml) granulated garlic
2/3 cup (160 ml) beef bouillon
6 tablespoons (90 ml) oil

If you don’t have granulated garlic, see recipe above.  Though dogs like garlic more than you might think, you can skip it entirely if you like; it helps protect them from fleas but inside dogs need that less.  I use a small cutter, about tea-cookie size, but you can use a larger one or a bone-shaped one if you like. You can substitute beef stock or any other meat-flavored liquid for the bouillon. For the oil, bacon grease or used fryer oil is best, but any cooking oil will do.

To prepare, mix all dry ingredients, then add bouillon & oil and mix well. Dump the dough out onto a clean counter and knead with your hands just until it’s all mixed and even-looking, then roll or pat it out to about ¼ to ½” (about 1 cm) thick and cut with the biscuit cutter. Gather the leftover dough together, roll out and cut again until it’s all used up. Bake the biscuits at 350o Fahrenheit for 30 minutes, then cool on a wire rack for about 15 minutes. Store in a sealed container in a cool place; you can refrigerate them or even freeze them for longer storage. I have never met a dog that did not LOVE these, and since there’s nothing weird in them you might even like them yourself (I’ve caught Grace sneaking them on occasion).

That’s all for today, but I’ll keep sharing other recipes from time to time, and if you need a particular one please don’t hesitate to ask.

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When I look at what we are proposing, it is simply good design.
–  Will Johnston

The competition for the top spot was very tight this week:  though Mike Siegel squeaked the others out, Jesse Walker contributed three (“bullshit”, “roots” and “Miami”) and four others two each.  The first video (via Lenore Skenazy) mocks people panicking over incredibly-unlikely events, and the second (via Neil Gaiman) is a performance of a unique musical instrument designed by Leonardo da Vinci but never before built until now.  The links between the videos were provided by Radley Balko (“mutants” & “update”),  Pencil Bloke (“headline”), Popehat (“burrito” & “doorknobs”), Walter Olson  (“Etsy”), Cop Block (“puppycide” & “watering”), Aspasia (“38”), Merkin O’Grady (“Yakety Sax”), Grace (“ticket” & “paraplegic”), and Jason Kuznicki  (“time machine”).

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