You vote: excerpt or full text?

Readers, for the last year or so I’ve set the blog to show a summary of each post which you then click into as shown below.

For the years before that I just showed the full text like you see now.

I personally engage more with full text displays because I read as I scroll, so even if I’m skipping, I do at least pick up the gist of the post.

Do you have a preference? Does one view “feel easier” to you?

Let me know.

How we defeat the Global Jihad

Great video of a speech by Dr. Sebastian Gorka about defeating Global Jihad below. A few excerpts before you watch, bold emphasis is mine.

The White House was telling us publicly, “Not a problem, ISIS is fine, not an issue.” But our friends, especially inside the FBI, were saying we have a problem, and as a result, we sat down and for 3 months we collected all the unclassified information on what ISIS is doing in American, and here are the facts.”

“Have a look at that chart. It is a bar graph of every terrorist Jihadi plot in America in the last 15 years. Do you see the problem? The graph is going in the wrong direction. They’re doing more, not less.”

“…body bags are not a good metric of success. They weren’t during that little tete-a-tete in South Asian called the Vietnam War and they’re not much of a better metric today. This war should only be fought about 25 percent in the physical domain. Ultimate victory will happen where? In the mental and spiritual when the enemy no longer believes their own ideology and therefore loses the will to fight us just as happened with the Soviet Union.”

Which is why the kill-the-leaders-of-Al-Qaeda-with-drone-strikes plan all by itself will never win this war.

“…We are not at war with Islam. That is a fallacious and dangerous concept. Why? No. 1, do you remember the video of the fighter pilot in the cage burnt alive? Yes. What religion was he? Was he an Episcopalian? No. He was a Muslim. In fact, if you run the numbers, the majority of victims of Jihadis in the world today are in fact Muslims. Yeah. I mean, they’ve decimated Christian, Yazidis, Jews, yes, but by sheer numbers and proportions they are far more likely to kill you if you’re a Muslim who disagrees with them than anybody else. So we have to do what? We have to empower those Muslims who want to be our friends to help defeat them. The Jordanians, the Egyptians, those countries who for the last seven-and-a-half years have been betrayed by this administration. It is not tenable to have white skin or black skin or yellow-skinned Americans be the face of victory against the Jihadists. We want it to be fellow Muslims. We want it to be the King of Jordan. We want it to be President Sisi. That’s when you get victory. When the Muslims destroy the Jihadis.

“…The way I explain this in terms of visualization is, imagine if one of you, right now, left this building and went to downtown Miami and walked down the largest boulevard waving a giant swastika banner. Okay. You would not be cool to say the least. Okay. We have to do the same thing for the black flag of Jihad. It is a counter-messaging issue. We have to make it unattractive. Whether or not the end state is transcendentally informed or not is irrelevant. We have to associate that image with failure. Once we have done that we will be winning.”

For more: http://thegorkabriefing.com/defeat-global-jihad

Faithful Readers, Nominate Awful Intent for the Whitneys before Dec 31st!

Awful-Intent-originalSend Frank, Sheriff Hood, and the Knitters of Death club to kick some award patootie!

Here’s how: go to: http://whitneyawards.com/ and click “Nominate” at the top.

Enter a bit of info and boom! But this needs to happen before December 31st.

The Whitney Awards are open for the public to nominate books they think are great and which are written by LDS authors (this is where your voice is heard, Faithful Reader). Those books that get at least 5 nominations are read and rated by a panel of judges. The judges then send on the finalists in each category to the Academy for voting.

Servant won an award in 2009. Awful Intent is doing well, and if the reviews piling up are any indication, it could win another.

Please take a few moments to send Frank to kick some award patootie.

It’s time for Frank to bring home a trophy.

Billenkoek

netherlandsSo I lived for almost two years in the Netherlands and Belgium and learned the Dutch language, which is full of delights. Today’s delight is billenkoek.

Now koek means cake. A koekje (small cake) is a cookie. Boterkoek is butter cake, this delicious sweet, to-die-for Dutch version of shortbread.

So what does billen mean?

Back in the day when I’d visit various Dutchies (the people, not political territories), they’d always ask if I was thirsty. And very frequently when I’d ask for water, someone would say, “Water? The frogs wash their billen in that.”

Billen means bum as in behind, butt, buttocks. Bil is singular, one half of the full billen, if you will.

So what do you think a billenkoek is?

No, not that.

It’s a spanking.

“Honey, you’ll clean the dishes, or you’re going to get a little bum cake. What will it be?”

Gotta love the Dutch.

Good Stuff! Savory Thai, Planters Medley, Everest, The Arrival

I love finding little, non-chain restaurants with excellent, reasonably priced food. And I just found another one this week. It’s called Savory Thai, and it’s on 182 W Center Street in Orem, UT.

Oh, baby. If you decide to go, you are in for a treat. We ate there in celebration of my third daughter’s call to do missionary work in the middle and western Pennsylvania area (go Steelers, Amish, and “yous all”).

I learned to love Thai food because it’s so close to Indonesian food. And I learned to love that because I lived in the city of Nijmegen in the Netherlands for five months and in Amersfoort, which is maybe an hour away, for seven. In Nijmegen, I lived in the attic of a row house with a series of missionary companions. In Amersfoort, I lived in a spare bedroom with another series of companions. Both homes were owned by Indonesian grandmothers who cooked one or two Indonesian meals a day for us. Think about that—home cooked Indonesian food every day. It was marvelous. When I came back to the States, Indonesian restaurants were few and far between, but to my delight I found that the Thai cuisine is very close, and so that became my stand in.

If you’ve never had Thai food, it’s kind of like Chinese, but it’s got curries, so it’s a little like Indian as well, but that doesn’t describe it either because it has its own separate taste that’s entirely wonderful.

This place is in a little strip of stores. It’s small enough that you could drive right past and never know it existed. But when you walk in, you’ll see that they know how to make a good first impression. It’s clean, smells good, and the host is friendly, but these guys go farther than that. You’ll notice, of all things, the menu cover. Instead of handing out some flimsy paper or laminated thing, they hand out these thick menus covered in what looks like some kind of leather. It gives a feel of permanence, of solidity, as if the restaurant has been there for years (it’s two months old). But of course we weren’t there for menus or friendly servers. We were there for the food. And we were not disappointed.

I can happily report that their green curry (spicy), pineapple curry, massaman curry (a lovely peanuty sauce), orange chicken, chicken cashew, fried rice, and pad Thai were all excellent. They use no MSG, cook it fresh, and keep it reasonably priced, $8-$10 per dish. I can promise you that we’ll be back.

If you’re in the area and want some great food, stop at Savory Thai.

*

I love almonds and have been for many years a big fan of the W?nderful brand bags of roasted and salted almonds you can find in Sam’s Club. However, this last week, I came across something new from Planters called their Almond Lover’s Medley, which is a blend of four different varieties of almonds, dry roasted and unsalted. It includes the Marcona, Nonpareil, Fritz, and Butte-padres, which is the variety used in the W?nderful bags. I can report that this mix from Planters is delicious. The differences in taste and texture between the varieties is subtle, but real. And I was surprised at how much I enjoyed them unsalted. If you love nuts, you’ll want to give this blend a try.

*

I did not want to watch a movie about climbing Mt. Everest. Everest? Were you kidding me? I couldn’t think of anything more boring, but this is what my daughters wanted, and it was Thanksgiving weekend, and so we watched Everest, the 2015 movie.

I am happy to report that it ended up being a great, disaster thriller, based on a true story, which was captured in the book Into Thin Air by Jon Krakauer. I cared about the characters, was on pins and needles during great portions, and exclaimed out loud during a number of tense parts. And after all that sweating, the story made me think about the things we do and how to prioritize when life is on the line.

If you like stories about survival, you’ll love this. If you don’t, I still think there’s a good shot you’ll really enjoy it.

*

My wife is a sport. We were in the big city to watch a movie with our youngest daughter who is in high school. Our daughter, with her teenage brain, had the wild idea of a double-feature. My original man brain thought that sounded capital—how long had it been since we’d squandered five or six hours watching movies! The wise man brain didn’t think it was a very practical idea, and suggested it would be much better to do a double-feature next week we we could start at three in the afternoon. But the wise man brain was outnumbered and soon succumbed. And then all of the crazy brains ganged up on my wife, who graciously relented, and so we watch The Arrival and Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them and got home at like 1:30 am.

As for Fantastic Beasts, if you like Harry Potter stuff, you’ll love it. If you’re not mad for Harry Potter, it’s not going to rock your world (although you still might have a good time). Enough said.

What about The Arrival?

This is a movie about the arrival of aliens, but it’s not a shoot-em-up like Independence Day or War of the Worlds. It’s more like Contact, the one with Jodie Foster. It’s a film that makes you think and is for those who are willing to be a little patient. If you can slow down and just enjoy the film, I think you’ll end up loving it because it’s about far more than meeting mysterious creatures. It ends up being about the choices a woman makes about her family. If you go and give it the space it needs, I guarantee you’ll chat about it and savor it afterwards.

I won’t tell you anything more because you’ll only understand what’s going on in the woman’s life when you get to the last fourth of the movie, and I don’t want to spoil the delicious revelation for you. So just know that the alien tech and the alien themselves are strange and mysterious and cool, but that this movie is about so much more.

If you liked Contact or even Inception (sans the frustrating non-ending), you’ll love this.