Hermione Luck / Chief Columnist
Stop The Leak
With the world not being flat,
we can’t always see what is coming …
Take this new round of Covid with its wonderful Omicron variant. Maybe we didn’t see this new virus actually coming, but c’mon, didn’t we sense something just around the corner? Didn’t we intuit our truce with this pandemic was inherently fragile? If once again we have to hunker down for the winter, how do we do this as a culture? What did we learn from previous battles? What seemed to work last time and what didn’t?
Let’s begin by stating the obvious – even before Covid, trust in government has been dead on arrival for decades. We’ve been mired in an age of social and political polarity featuring both political belligerence and social entitlement, and the opportunity schism that keeps them far apart. The belligerence side comes from so many of us either being left out, overwhelmed, overdrawn, the wrong color, the wrong sex, standing up to be heard, or standing in line for our meds … all while the far less populated side of entitled Americana eats at expensive restaurants, drives elitist cars, sends their children to pedigree colleges, and pays $400 to see the Lakers. So what is the answer? Anyone with some good ideas?
I’m told that America wants to be great again. That sounds good. There are so many of us who fear for our children and our children’s children that the best will no longer be ‘yet to come’. How can we get back on the right track? Where do we start? Is there any way we can make better use of our lemons?
If we do want the best to come, may I suggest while we’re making America great again, why not make Science great again as well? That’s my New Year’s resolution, to be part of a clear and passionate voice helping to make Science a respected and vital player in life, something akin to truth but open to and seeking improvement. Truth and improvement – ah yes, we can dream a little can’t we?
Let’s get back to what worked during the first Covid winter – a few possibilities come to mind. Look at what big deals very simple things became. Like taking a walk. Reading a book. Enjoying a new recipe. Having a friend. Who would have thought such simple acts would stake their claim to be the golden rings on the carousel?
Those insights and the possibility of a place in our lives for humility are important because here are the ongoing problems that await us, intent upon continuing to divide us even if we defeat the virus – racism, sexism, school shootings, a huge national debt, and the most formidable of all, climate change … there are no vaccines for any of this.
And this whole thing about life being a glass half empty or half full? It’s no longer a matter of which half we choose. It’s a matter of whether we have the actual wherewithal to keep the glass from leaking … whether we are up to the task of preserving the usefulness of the glass itself, as in the challenge of climate change and whether we are capable of not squandering the future.
How do we do keep the glass from leaking? I hate to use the word ‘duh’ here, but the first step to Stop The Leak is to get vaccinated. Then, after we hopefully wade through this self-made political sewer, we can move on to the plethora of systemic problems we faced before viruses made us their bitch.
Those are my thoughts for the day and a new year … and now that I review them, I’m starting to figure out why I don’t date much.
All the best, Hermione
Reporter Agnes Killjoy
The subject of Presidential Executive Privilege has been a hot topic for almost a year now. What can you say to the American people to convince them that as a former president, you have the right to keep private all of your administration’s information pertaining to the January 6th insurrection?
The Mar-a-Lago Reply
Look Agnes, I can call you Agnes can’t I? I can call you Agnes, yet somehow you feel comfortable calling me the ‘former’ president – just like the people you work for, your editors and that name they call me, ‘the former’, who are very bad people by the way, the people you work for, very bad. They should be in movies those people, and I can tell you, they’re the kind of people good people love to hate, myself included.
Let me pass along something about the real world, Agnes. Life is not a love-in, no it’s not, it’s not a love-in. And if things go wrong like they do for so many people, for so many fabulous people … people need to hate things, they need to, and there are so many people without a voice out there. If they don’t have someone to hate for them, then what? Think about it. Then what?
What if, I mean, we can do other things when we get up in the morning, orange juice maybe, but hating the enemy is part of life. When I get up, the first thing I do is think about my enemies. I do it instead of working out.
So you call me the former president. Look at me, do I look like a ‘former’ anything?My memory is like flypaper it’s so good. My hair is still orange, my doctor says I’m not obese, what’s there not to … I love the Jews by the way. Do I look like any kind of former? Look close, but don’t touch me. Have people ever really needed to touch one another? I was so far ahead, so far ahead of Covid.
Agnes, face it … half the country still considers me the real president. What can I say? The people love me, they love me, they’re very very incredible, don’t you think? The people? It’s like a rock star except I don’t have to do the drug part. And I also like the word very very, it’s one word right? I don’t know why, I just really love that word.
So let me ask you this – what are you going to do with all those people who love me and consider me their president? My people. What are you going to do with them once people like you make this country communist? Half of this country, they hate you, they don’t trust you, they know that you and the Press lie to make a living. Look Agnes, I can appreciate stretching things a bit – I’m in Real Estate – but what are you going to do with my people?
Killjoy: We are off-topic here, my question is about executive privilege.
Trump: You really want me to talk about executive privilege? I can do that. I can talk about executive privilege. No one knows more about executive privilege than I do. In the old days, executive privilege meant you had your own bathroom. We’re not just talking about special bathrooms though, are we Agnes? Let me put it this way, I think that all executives and what they do in their bathrooms is up to them.
And when you think about it, politics is just one big bathroom, isn’t it? Politics is this one big bathroom with rows and rows of stalls where elected officials dump their agendas and try to make believe the place doesn’t stink.
As far as what is recorded, my papers, what I said or might have said, look – ‘what I say’ and ‘when I say it’ has always been a mystery to me. I have no idea what I’m going to say next, and frankly, I don’t believe I said what I just said! That’s why people love me. That’s why I love myself. Some people say it’s a sign of being very, very smart and I agree with them. Not all of us can be wrong. That’s just who I am, not being wrong.
You call it an insurrection, I call it patriotism. If good citizens want to protest at the Capitol, that’s their right. So a few of them get pushy. Kids at rock concerts get pushy too. People at rock concerts die too. Are you going to charge everyone with treason?
Confiscating my administration’s information is stealing. The Democrats are thieves, pure and simple. There’s a website with Democratic family trees that shows their relatives were thieves also. That’s how it happens, through gene stuff, the stealing thing. They can’t be trusted with our money, or with our information. Does that answer your question?
- Maybe this – here’s what I’ll do, Agnes … half of America thinks I’m the president. So I’ll give the Democrats half my papers. I have a lot of papers. I’ll give them half. It’s the art of the deal.
AMY’S GUIDE TO STAYING IN
Amy Lighthouse is a self-described over-achiever, who worked at Snapchat and Apple before going into venture capital. During the initial Covid onslaught, she wrote for The Lemonade Stand offering strategies of how to cope with quarantine and staying in. Her recipes and cable television suggestions have boosted the spirits of numerous households who credit Amy with keeping a number of families from harming each other.
GREEK LEMON CHICKEN BOWLS WITH SIZZLED MINT GODDESS SAUCE
- Prep Time: 20 MINUTES
- Cook Time: 20 MINUTES
- Total Time: 40 MINUTES
- Servings: 6
- Calories Per Serving: 556
- 2 pounds boneless skinless chicken breasts cut into bite size chunks
- 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- 2 teaspoons smoked paprika
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh oregano (or 1 tablespoon dried)
- 1 small shallot, chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, minced or grated
- zest and juice of 1 lemon
- 1 pinch crushed red pepper flakes
- kosher salt and black pepper
- 2-3 cups cooked orzo or couscous, for serving
- 1 roasted red pepper, sliced
- 8 ounces feta cheese, cubed or crumbled
- sliced avocado, Persian cucumbers, olives, and basil, for serving
Sizzled Mint Goddess Sauce
- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh mint
- 1 cup plain Greek Yogurt
- 1/2 cup fresh basil or parsley, chopped
- juice from 1 lemon/1 jalapeño, halved and seeded
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- kosher salt
1. In a gallon size zip top bag, combine the chicken, olive oil, balsamic vinegar, paprika, oregano, shallots, garlic, lemon juice, lemon zest, crushed red pepper, and a large pinch of salt. Marinate for 15 minutes or up to overnight in the fridge.
2. Meanwhile, make the yogurt. Heat the olive oil in a small skillet over medium heat. When the oil shimmers, remove from the heat and stir in the mint, it will sizzle up. Then set aside.
3. In a medium bowl, combine the yogurt, basil, lemon juice, jalapeño, cumin, and a pinch of salt.
4. Set your grill, grill pan or skillet to medium-high heat. Take skewers and thread the chicken pieces on. Alternately, you can roast the chicken at 400 degrees for 20-30 minutes.
5. Grill the skewers until lightly charred and cooked through, turning them occasionally throughout cooking, about 10 to 12 minutes total.
6. To serve, spread the yogurt sauce onto plates and drizzle with the mint oil. Add the orzo, peppers, feta, avocado, cucumbers, olives, and chicken. Sprinkle on some greens and herbs. Enjoy!
The Lemonade Stand
The Lemonade Stand is proud to announce the availability of a new novel.
For most of his life, 44-year-old Henry Drudge was the epitome of being ordinary. Tethered to his insecurities, he often found himself residing in a perpetual whirlpool of self-doubt, consequently becoming a man who made no one’s speed dial. This would all change when Henry gathered the courage to make a citizen’s arrest.
During the Covid pandemic of 2020, Henry travels along the lower half of the California coastline from Monterey to Big Sur to La Jolla, intent upon breaking up an underage sex ring centered in his hometown of Santa Barbara. Henry would first have to buy a gun as backup, and then figure out who to arrest. He never claimed he knew what he was doing.
Chapter One – Virgin Rodeo (link)
This book is exclusively available at Chaucer’s book store in Santa Barbara.