Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Bear Bryant

Some Observations by Coach Paul W. (Bear) Bryant):

Show class, have pride and display character. If you do, winning takes care of itself.

If anything goes bad, I did it. If anything goes semi-good, then we did it. If anything goes really good, then you did it. That's all it takes to get people to win football games.

Don't give up at half time. Concentrate on winning the second half.

It's not the will to win, but the will to prepare to win that makes the difference.

Winning isn't everything, but it beats anything that comes in second.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Lord Acton Quotes

John Emerich Edward Dalberg-Acton, 1st Baron Acton was an eminent nineteenth century Catholic historian.  He is remembered for his lucidity nd his aphorisms.  Here are a few:

Men cannot be made good by the state, but they can easily be made bad.

Morality depends on liberty.

Liberty consists in the division of power. Absolutism, in concentration of power.

Bureaucracy is undoubtedly the weapon and sign of a despotic government, inasmuch as it gives whatever government it serves, despotic power.

Bureaucracy tries to establish so many administrative maxims that the minister is as narrowly controlled and guided as the judge.

Power tends to corrupt and absolute power corrupt absolutely. Great men are almost always bad men, even when they exercise influence and not authority; still more when you superadd the tendency of the certainty of corruption by authority.

Despotic power is always accompanied by corruption of morality.

Everybody likes to get as much power as circumstances allow, and nobody will vote for a self-denying ordinance.

Limitation is essential to authority. A government is legitimate only if it is effectively limited.

The central idea of Machiavelli is that the state power is not bound by the moral law. The law is not above the state, but below it.

Official truth is not actual truth.

There is another world for the expiation of guilt; but the wages of folly are payable here below.

The great novelty of the American Constitution was that it imposed checks on the representatives of the people.

Live both in the future and the past. Who does not live in the past does not live in the future.

It is bad to be oppressed by a minority, but it is worse to be oppressed by a majority.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Hooray for Grits!

We have a lot of great comfort food in the South; some of which is truly iconic.

There's barbecue; whether you favor pork, beef, or whatever four-footed creature your grill will accept.  Whether you prefer the Memphis dry rub, the Taxas sauces, or the Carolina mustard-based sauces, it's hard to miss.  [But not with those mayonnaise-based sauces that some people use; did a fine pig die for that?

There's banana pudding, a favorite with barbecue joints.  There's red beans and rice.  Or jambalaya.  And fried chicken.  Frankly, Popeye's kicks KFC's and Church's pasty hineys on that, in my opinion.

But the true Southern food has to be grits!

Yes!  Whether you use white grits, or yellow girls, use Quick Grits -- not that Instant crap!  Making grits is a zen activity.  And, while you're at it, make a serious-sided serving.  It's so easy, even a Yankee can do it.

Here's what  do: 

Put 1/4 cup of grits in 8 oz. of water.
Microwave it on high for four minutes.
It's come out agreeably runny.

Salt and butter to taste.  If you want to be a hero, try it with a few dashes of Tabasco sauce.  You can do it gourmet: add a little cheese.Or do it, Charleston-style: use milk instead of water.  My point is this: grits is not a mere side dish; it's the big part of a meal.

While purists say it's a breakfast food, I say breakfast can be served any time of day.  When you have a good thing going, play it!  A big bowl of grits and biscuits will do body and soul nicely.  Or croissants and honey.  With those, I'm one happy man.

Having sung the praises of grits, I will indulge now in a little iconoclasm:  Sweet tea is overrated and bogus as a Southern tradition.  Don't get me wrong; I like tea; and even add a bag or two if I'm in the mood.  But the cloying sweetness found in sweet teas served in restaurants is too much!

Here's a Grits Map from CNN.  If you live above that dark line above Kentucky, you will be hard-pressed to fine it offered in restaurants.  Likewise, bring your own in Miami or NYC.