609 – Chorka • 18

The earthquake disaster that hit (and is still hitting) Haiti is obviously a horrible, horrible thing to happen. Port-au-Prince is wrecked, the government is in shambles, the dead are stacked in the streets, and the hospitals are hopelessly overwhelmed. (What remains of them.) It would be unthinkable to kick these people now, when circumstance has already brought them so low.

Or is it?

While you or I would never stoop to such obscene behavior, the lord our god has chosen men of sterner fiber for the carrying of his message. (May we bask in his forgiveness.) Enter one of my favorite representatives here on earth of the true divine perfection, Pat Robertson. Now Pat talks to god. We know this because Pat knows things only god could know. For instance, Papa Pat refers in the quote below to a certain event that occurred in Haiti in or slightly before 1791. Now I looked, and there is no actual history on this, no eyewitness accounts, no first person records, and no evidence of any kind. Only a singular man who believes he talks to god could know for certain.

But I’ll let Pat tell you about this in his own words.

“It may be a blessing in disguise. … Something happened a long time ago in Haiti, and people might not want to talk about it. Haitians were originally under the heel of the French. You know, Napoleon the third, or whatever. And they got together and swore a pact to the devil. They said, we will serve you if you will get us free from the French. True story. And so, the devil said, okay it’s a deal. Ever since they have been cursed by one thing after the other.” –Pat Robertson, on the earthquake in Haiti that destroyed the capital and killed tens of thousands of people, Jan. 13, 2010.”

Isn’t that amazing? I think it might have sounded a little more convincing if god had let Pat know that Haiti successfully revolted from France under Napoleon the First, and not the Third… but I guess god can’t be expected to keep track of everything. But you know it makes so much more sense that this horrible catastrophe is Haiti’s own fault! Why, that being the case, we don’t even have to feel bad about it! Thought you should send money for relief the way the whole friggin’ world pitched in to help us when Katrina hit? Fuggedaboudit. If you have a nice TV, that means god loves you more, and you don’t have to do anything to help anyone.

Yay!

Update: Here is an excerpt from Maggie Koerth-Baker on Boingboing.net, concerning the real reasons for Haiti’s poor fortunes.

Summary: Haiti was forced to pay France for its freedom. When they couldn’t afford the ransom, France (and other countries, including the United States) helpfully offered high-interest loans. By 1900, 80% of Haiti’s annual budget went to paying off its “reparation” debt. They didn’t make the last payment until 1947. Just 10 years later, dictator François Duvalier took over the country and promptly bankrupted it, taking out more high-interest loans to pay for his corrupt lifestyle. The Duvalier family, with the blind-eye financial assistance of Western countries, killed 10s of thousands of Haitians, until the Haitian people overthrew them in 1986. Today, Haiti is still paying off the debt of an oppressive dictator no one would help them get rid of for 30 years.

The rest of the world refuses to forgive this debt.

So, in a way, maybe Robertson is right. Haiti is caught in a deal with the devil, and the devil is us.

BTW, as promised, I am including a blurb here about mine and Lena’s efforts at weight loss. So far so good. We are about two weeks into our endeavor and I have already lost to my 10% mark. (I think Lena’s somewhere between 5% and 10.) We’re exercising every morning and while Lena is in charge of enforcing bed times so we wake up refreshed and energized, I am in charge of making us good things to eat. Lots of greens, veggies, fruits, nuts and grains, fish and some chicken. I’ve been combing the websites of some of my favorite chefs to find fun and delicious recipes, and so far we’ve managed not to feel deprived. (Something that has often been our downfall in the past.)

Well that’s the what for now, I’ll check in again with you next week!

26 Responses to 609 – Chorka • 18

  1. Pat Robertson’s an Asshat, but we all knew that…

    Someone needs to rip the tinfoil hat off his head and give him a good slap, like Moe slapping curly when he says something stupid.

  2. Not all Masons are evil; but Pat is. In point of fact the successful slave revolt and takeover of Haiti scared the shit out of white people in the American South, so they all agreed not to talk about it, especially around slaves. A fine southern tradition that Pat continues to this day. Imagine you sit through the civil war in Haiti: “I don’t care, I’m NOT moving!” Then your house falls down by itself. Personally I’d sail to Jamaica. But, then, God saw fit to level all of Port Royal with an earthquake back in the day when it was a naughty pirate town, much to the delight of preachers. It’s almost as if God hates the Caribbean so much so that he surrounded it with big tectonic plates, as shown here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Tectonic_plates_Caribbean.png

      • Um…if the Caribbean is so hated by God, then…definitely Puerto Rico isn’t part of the Caribbean. I mean, sure, it’s got Hugo and Georges, and an earthquake at the start of the century, but…so far, the only thing the island is accursed with is corruption and inept governments.

        *knocks on imaginary online wood to prevent invoking the fury*

  3. Good on you to have taken up a healthier lifestyle. I would just like to add my two cents. Throw away the scales. Scales are a very poor measurer of our physical condition. Instead, focus on your new-found well-being – whatever it may appear as (more frequent walks, new type of food, an enhanced joy of living, etc…) While some may advocate to only look at the weight as a means of motivation, be mindful that achieving a goal may result in contentedness, and then, remaining at that goal might result in a feeling of struggle, and noone likes struggling.

    I wish I had a better handling of words and hope I didn’t come off as patronizing. If I did, I am sorry. I wish you both the best of luck in feeling better with yourselves.

    • I didn’t take it that way Alrek. No worries. 😀

      We have already discussed between the two of us that the scales are not the true yardstick of our ultimate goals. That being feeling better, being healthier, living longer, and the ability to wear extremely slutty clothes. (That last one is all Lena. Well, mostly Lena.) However, it is difficult to offer an appraisal of relative progress with longevity and well being when discussing amongst friends. Weight translates well and everyone knows what you’re talking about.

      Still, your points are well made and I appreciate your concern.

    • The important thing is that your body transforms excess fat into muscle mass. Weight is a very poor measure of that. And a certain amount of fat is needed by the body as energy storage to be healthy. There’s a rare condition where people’s bodies do not create fat cells; these people appear thin as a board, but often suffer from diabetes and cholesterol and have to keep a strict diet because their bodies have no way to store carbs they’ve eaten anywhere for later use, so the sugars keep floating around in the blood stream. And medical scans found that some outwardly slender people can have dangerous amounts of fat inside their body surrounding the organs, which you don’t see from the outside.

      Proper sleep is important, too.

  4. Take a look at Wegman’s magazine recipies. They are usually healthy, delicious, and most important, easy and quick to make. No you don’t have to buy their specific ingredients although it does make it easier.

    What is happening in Haiti is awful, I donated to the Red Cross, with me blood and money. I have delicious 0- blood type so there is always someone looking for a meal.

    Pat can suck a brick…

  5. Hm, I just clicked back here after commenting on last page’s comments some more.
    But for some reason I can’t find anything to say about today’s comic page except…. “Tuna”? Oh, ew. 😕
    I hope the teddybear steps on Enkidu and the player is forced to make a new character. But then of course the new character would have a mind just as gross as the old one.

      • You know what makes me happy? The thought that while Bunker and Freya are out being chased by a giant “snow polar bear” and hopefully getting some experience points out of it (before Enkidu turns up and manages to drive Chorka away by going topless), Martin is sitting on his butt at the opera, bored, and not getting any (any XP, any sex with fleece, satisfaction of zapping someone, etc.). Remember way back when Bunker and Freya got drunk at the bar while Martin and Fleece 1.0 had a solo adventure and got to level-up when no-one else did? Karmic revenge may be late, but it delivers. :mrgreen:

        In fact, if Martin comes out of the opera house only to be stepped on by a giant bear and be laminated to the pavement, he will actually lose a level after Morty has resurrected him. Har har har. 😆 (Wait, I keep forgetting they’re playing 4E now. Does resurrection and level loss from death still exist?)

        The only people who lose out without a fault of their own are troll-Morty (once again) and that genderconfused druid guy who’s too hot for his pants. What a pity. 😉

        • Martin and Fleece also leveled solo with the dragon turtle, and are in fact two levels higher than the rest of the party.

          Rez no longer affects level at all. (In first edition, BTW, you actually received 1,000 XP for dying. I liked that a lot better than the level loss, which I typically ignored.)

    • Worse, this time it may actually make an attractive female…who just happens to be half-orcish and a swordmage, along with multiclassing to Wizard (and probably paragon Wizard multiclassing).

      Then again…aside from Martin, no one seems to be much of an optimizer in here…

  6. My wife picked up a cookbook the other day called Deceptively Delicious that has some good recipes in it. She made fried chicken last night rolled in sweet potato flakes that was effing delicious!!! But then I’m a fiend for chicken of any sort, sooo… Anyway the things she has made out of the book have all been damn tasty so far, and the deceptive part is that they are all good for you. You might check it out. And “sex-yoo-ality” made me laugh.

  7. Here’s something to make that is healthy, tasty, and tweakable into many forms: Glenn’s 5-can Black Bean Salsa.
    2 (used to be 16oz) cans black beans
    1 (used to be 32oz) can diced tomatoes (petite if you want small chunks, regular if you want larger) or Whole and dice yourself
    2 4oz cans Salsa Verde
    1 bunch cilantro
    1 med-lg sweet onion
    cumin
    chili powder
    red wine vinegar
    optional things to add:
    2 jalapenos
    1 (used to be 16oz) can of corn
    red/green leaf lettuce, or endive or whatever

    I can’t be specific on the ingredients, you have to “wing it” and follow your taste buds.

    1) Casually drain but do not rinse the black beans and dump in a big bowl – this is a big recipe. The bean juice is nice and thick so don’t worry about getting every last drop out, a little is good for the recipe. (No, the juice is not the source of flatulence – that is the bean itself being digested later in your body where bigger tools are used that create “side-effects”.)

    2) Drain the tomatoes (and save the juice for some other recipe, like soup or chicken marinade!) If whole, cut in half and remove some of the seeds – they actually add a bitter taste – not a big deal for this recipe though, so I am usually lazy and don’t pick them out) – add to bowl.

    3) add salsa verde.

    4) dice oinon fairly small and added to bowl.

    5) Stir bowl, watch the liquid content. The thick bean juice will help “glue” things together, the thin tomato juice will only make it soupy.

    6) Rinse your fresh cilantro and chop it up – stems and all. (I chop the stems very small so there is not a texture of “sticks” in there, just good cilantro flavor. Cuts get bigger when I get to the leaves). add to bowl and stir.

    7) Add some vinegar – the better the vinegar, the better the flavor. This is a personal taste aspect so add a couple of tablespoons at first (don’t measure, just pour!) and stir. I’m picky and usually use Alessi Italian Red Wine Vinegar for this – it’s not too expensive but has a great flavor for the price. Careful not to add too much and make it too watery.

    8) Add your spices – it will take AT LEAST 3-4 tablespoons of chili powder and 2-3 tablespoons of ground cumin. Stir.

    9) Add some more wine vinegar and stir. Don’t let it get too soupy!

    10) Grab a tortilla (chip) and taste. You should be able to feel a hint of chili powder but it should not be HOT, this is a mild recipe. Do this before adding the jalapeno so you can distinguish the chili powder. Add more cumin and chili powder and vinegar to taste. DO NOT LET IT GET TOO SOUPY!

    OPTIONAL: slice jalapeno into quaters length-wise and remove all seeds and white-ish part inside – that is the worst of the heat and flavor. Jalapenos are meant to be sweet. Chop into fine pieces and add to bowl.

    OTHER VARIATIONS:

    Grill fresh tomatoes (about 4 cups) and jalapenos before dicing.

    Add 1 can corn (prefer unsalted)

    Add 1-2 ears of grill-roasted corn – soak in water, cook on grill, pull back husk and allow it to blacken slightly. Cut off kernels and add!

    Cut back to 1 (used to be 16oz) can tomatoes, 1 can black beans and 4oz Salsa Verde for a smaller batch – I never do because it gets eaten long before it hasa chance to spoil.

    HEAT – add the heat of your choice – maybe get a hot tomatillo sauce or add grilled habanera.

    SALAD – simply put on a bed of lettuce and enjoy as a salad. The corn can add another color and texture to the salad.

    Bon appetito!

    • That sounds awesome!

      BTW, a little tip we picked up that helps unexpectedly well when making salsa. After you’ve diced your onion, rince it in cold water before adding it to the mix. This gets all the onion juice off of it and keeps your whole salsa from tasting onion-ey, and makes each little bit of onion you crunch into distinct and wonderful.

      Thanks for the recipe!