In theory, deterministic chaos suggests a paradox because it connects “two notions that are familiar and commonly regarded as incompatible.” In other words, we are taught to expect the unexpected.
Examples of chaos theory ran rampant this week, from the gibberish escaping the mouths of Ryder Cup participants (both past and present) about God-only-knows-what to the gibberish tumbling from the mouths of many of our elected members of Congress about shutting down The Government.
The Ryder Cup golf tournament controversies had something to do with the caps the millionaire golfers are required to wear during competition. And the commentaries by former pro golfers suggest a difference between patriotism (USA) and nationalism (Europe). Unless all of the governments of Europe had folded into one, nationalism is hardly the correct term for the golfers’ emotional connections to politics and geography.
I’m generally opposed to patriotism as it seems to focus initially on waving a flag or banner. From that grows nationalism, which seems to suggest elements of politics that lead to war. I’m pretty much against war.
Congress is generally more simplistic. A shutdown comes when the parties in control can’t gather enough votes to do what it wants the government to do. Shutting down The Government, closes federally operated stuff, with millions of government workers not getting a paycheck, being furloughed, or, in the case of essential workers—most of whom work in support of the airline industry—being forced to work without the benefit of wages.
In another time, the latter job description would include the word “slavery.”
One Republican defended his not refusing a paycheck by saying that he was coming to work every day and therefore deserved to be paid. He later recanted his position after one of his staff press agents pointed out that air traffic controllers and TSA agents would be working everyday with no possibility of reward, let alone any choice in the matter.
The whole drama on the Hill was courtesy of House Speaker Kevin McCarthy, a spineless Republican from California who traded fifteen of his governing dreams for fifteen Republican votes to gain the office. One of those traded votes was with Matt Gaetz, the junior Nazi from Florida. In return, Gaetz decided he would try to take over control of Congress by demanding that McCarthy’s seat would be vacated.
A last-minute passing of a measure to keep The Government from shutting down was followed by a quick adjournment, thereby keeping McCarthy in place until at least Monday.
But let’s turn our attention to the important work of the Republicans in their effort to impeach Joe Biden for his high crimes and misdemeanors. The only thing the GOP has actually found is that once, in the early-‘70s, Biden kept the change from a telephone booth that was mistakenly returned to him after his completing a call home.
Somewhere in this mix of cheap shots was the Republican primary “debate.”
I took a mandatory speech-and-debate class in my sophomore year. Nothing I learned in that class has ever been demonstrated by the professional politicians. I remember getting a subject matter to study and then role play as pro or anti to a classmate on the other side. Nobody yelled out insults or promises. We were cordial and didn’t interrupt. That perhaps is also because the topics we presented focused on such things as Alligator or Crocodile: You Decide.
Congress had its moments on Friday when we learned of the death of Dianne Feinstein, the longtime Democratic Senator from California. One of the great political minds of our time, her law-making efforts were humanistic—favoring gun control, abortion, and LGBT rights. Most members of Congress eagerly crossed the aisle to sing her well-earned praises.
It’s doubtful that many will be singing any praises of Sen. Tommy Tuberville, the former football head coach at Auburn. Tuberville, whose name translates to “potato town,” never served in the military but somehow thinks he should hold sway in its operation. He’s holding up promotions and appointments until some abortion issue is stricken from the military’s list of services.
“Our military is not an equal opportunity employer,” the Alabama Republican said in an interview with Bloomberg Television. Had he researched his subject, he’d have learned that President Harry S Truman, in 1948, signed an executive order desegregating the military and guaranteeing “equality” to all without regard to race, color, religion or national origin.
Finally, Congress is wrestling with its enforcing of or creating a dress code. Yep. You read that right. A dress code. Apparently, there are some people who think that Rep. Jim Jordan should invest in a suit jacket and then wear it. The Senate passed a resolution defining a dress code requiring its members dress in business attire. John Fetterman, the 6’8” junior senator from Pennsylvania who typically wears shorts and hoodies, was clearly the target of the resolution.
The code will be extended to Volodymyr Zelenskyy, the 5’7” Ukrainian president who typically wears T-shirts and fatigues when he comes seeking support to defend his country from the illegal Russian invasion.
We need to support his effort.
Photo illustration by Courtney A. Liska
The Italian hunter’s chicken is easy and delicious. Adjust the seasonings to your taste.
8 chicken thighs
freshly ground black pepper
all-purpose flour, for dredging
1 large red bell pepper, chopped
1 large green bell pepper, chopped
1 large onion, chopped
2-3 stalks of celery, chopped
3-4 garlic cloves, diced
1 cup dry white wine
1, 28-oz. can diced tomatoes with juice
1 cup chicken stock
1 1/2 tsp. dried oregano leaves
1/4 cup coarsely chopped fresh basil leaves
Generously season the chicken with salt and pepper.
Dredge the chicken pieces in the flour to coat lightly.
In a large heavy sauté pan, heat the oil over a medium-high flame. Add the chicken pieces, skin side down, to the pan and sauté just until brown, about 5 minutes per side. Transfer the chicken to a plate and set aside.
Add the peppers, onion and celery to the same pan and sauté over medium heat until the onion is softened, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook another minute or two. Season with salt and pepper. Add the wine and simmer until reduced by half, about 3 minutes.
Add the tomatoes with their juice, broth, and oregano. Return the chicken pieces to the pan and turn them to coat in the sauce. Bring the sauce to a simmer. Cover and continue simmering over medium-low heat until the chicken is just cooked through, about 30 minutes.
Transfer the chicken to a platter. If necessary, boil the sauce until it thickens slightly, about 3 minutes. Spoon the sauce over the chicken, then sprinkle with the basil and serve.