MasterAdrian’s Weblog

  • Dutch minister [Secretary of State] slams Pope for gay hate Christmas message « MasterAdrian’s Weblog

    Dutch minister [Secretary of State] slams Pope for gay hate Christmas message
    Netherlands foreign affairs minister Frans Timmermans blasts head of the Catholic Church for gay marriage attack
    24 December 2012 | By Matthew Jenkin
    Netherlands foreign affairs minister Frans Timmermans blasts Pope for gay marriage attacks

    Dutch foreign affairs minister Frans Timmermans has slammed the Pope for attacking gays in his annual Christmas message.

    The head of the Catholic Church is calling on faith groups to unite against same-sex marriage, saying the legislation which is being passed around the world is a threat to the survival of the human race.

    However, Netherlands foreign affairs minister Frans Timmermans has blasted Pope Benedict XVI over his continuing homophobia.

    ‘If every person is unique, as the Pope’s representative said in Dublin last week, then why should that unique person not have the right to stand up for their own sexual orientation?’ Timmermans told RTL.

    ‘Why can Romeo marry Juliet but not Julius?

    ‘Marriage between two people of the same sex is having respect for the uniqueness of the individual.’

    The Netherlands was the first country in the world to legalize gay marriage in 2001.

    Gay rights group COC is urging Timmermans to campaign to have the Vatican lose its special position within the United Nations.

    A Dutch Facebook group called ‘No flowers for the pope’ has also been set up calling on the Netherlands to stop its tradition of sending flowers to the Holy See at Easter.

    In his festive speech, the pope said the ‘traditional family’ must be protected, and stressed all faiths, even non-Christian religions, must come together to stop marriage equality.

    He added that gay and Trans people were destroying humanity itself, saying they are ‘manipulating their God-given gender to suit their sexual choice’ and destroying the ‘very essence of the human creature’ in the process.

    Earlier this month, in comments released for the upcoming World Day of Peace 2013 in January, the Pope said gay people, like abortion or euthanasia, was a threat to justice and world peace.

  • Calif. Judge Says Victims’ Body Can Prevent Rape‏ « MasterAdrian’s Weblog

    Calif. Judge Says Victims’ Body Can Prevent Rape‏
    December 15, 2012

    SANTA ANA, Calif. (AP) — A Southern California judge is being publicly admonished for saying a rape victim “didn’t put up a fight” during her assault and that if someone doesn’t want sexual intercourse, the body “will not permit that to happen.”

    The California Commission on Judicial Performance voted 10-0 to impose a public admonishment Thursday, saying Superior Court Judge Derek Johnson’s comments were inappropriate and a breach of judicial ethics.

    “In the commission’s view, the judge’s remarks reflected outdated, biased and insensitive views about sexual assault victims who do not ‘put up a fight.’ Such comments cannot help but diminish public confidence and trust in the impartiality of the judiciary,” wrote Lawrence J. Simi, the commission’s chairman.

    Johnson made the comments in the case of a man who threatened to mutilate the face and genitals of his ex-girlfriend with a heated screwdriver, beat her with a metal baton and made other violent threats before committing rape, forced oral copulation, and other crimes.

    Though the woman reported the criminal threats the next day, the woman did not report the rape until 17 days later.

    Johnson, a former prosecutor in the Orange County district attorney’s sex crimes unit, said during the man’s 2008 sentencing that he had seen violent cases on that unit in which women’s vaginas were “shredded” by rape.

    “I’m not a gynecologist, but I can tell you something: If someone doesn’t want to have sexual intercourse, the body shuts down. The body will not permit that to happen unless a lot of damage is inflicted, and we heard nothing about that in this case,” Johnson said.

    The commission found that Johnson’s view that a victim must resist to be a real victim of sexual assault was his opinion, not the law. Since 1980, California law doesn’t require rape victims to prove they resisted or were prevented from resisting because of threats.

    In an apology to the commission, Johnson said his comments were inappropriate. He said his comments were the result of his frustration during an argument with a prosecutor over the defendant’s sentence.

    Johnson said he believed the prosecutor’s request of a 16-year sentence was not authorized by law. Johnson sentenced the rapist to six years instead, saying that’s what the case was “worth.”

  • Footballers protest Israel hosting #UEFA Euro #U21 « MasterAdrian’s Weblog

    Footballers protest Israel hosting #UEFA Euro #U21
    December 1, 2012
    Footballers protest Israel hosting #UEFA Euro #U21

    by occupiedpalestine

    Footballers protest Israel hosting UEFA Euro U21:…— Frédéric Kanouté (@FredericKanoute) November 30, 2012 November 30, 2012 09:46 PM By Rob Harris | The Daily Star LONDON: Dozens of leading footballers have signed a statement protesting UEFA’s decision to stage the European under-21 championship in Israel next year following the country’s recent military offensive in [...]

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  • MasterAdrian’s Weblog

    A Horse Named Reckless

    Reckless was a pack horse during the Korean war, and she carried recoil-less rifle ammunition and supplies to Marines. Nothing too unusual about that, lots of animals got pressed into doing pack chores in many wars.

    But this horse did something more…. during the battle for a location called Outpost Vegas, this mare made 50 trips up and down the hill, on the way up she carried ammunition, and on the way down she carried wounded soldiers…

    What was so amazing?

    Well she made every one of those trips through enemy fire and without anyone leading her. Here’s her story and photos to prove where she was and what she did.


  • MasterAdrian’s Weblog

    Radio station in UK fined after presenter calls gay people ‘evil’ and should be ‘beaten up’
    Fever 107.3 FM received complaints after comments made by Sister Ruby
    23 November 2012 | By Greg Hernandez

    A radio station in the UK has been fined £4,000 after one of its presenters said that gay people are ‘evil’ and should be beaten and tortured.

    ‘Sister Ruby,’ whose real name is Rubina Nasir, made the comments in August 2011 on Fever 107.3, a station serving South Asian communities in Leeds.

    According to Digital Spy, Nasir said: ‘What should be done if they do it? [practice homosexuality]. If there are two such persons among you, that do this evil, the shameful act, what do you have to do? Torture them; punish them; beat them and give them mental torture.’

    She added: ‘Allah states, ‘If they do such a deed [I.e. Homosexuality], punish them, both physically and mentally. Mental punishment means rebuke them, beat them, humiliate them, admonish and curse them, beat them up. This command was sent in the beginning because capital punishment had not yet been sent down.’

    Ofcom, the independent regulator and competition authority for the UK communications industries, levied the fine after receiving complaints from listeners.

    It said Nasir’s statements were ‘likely to encourage or incite the commission of crime.’

  • HRC Launches Municipal Equality Index « MasterAdrian’s Weblog

    HRC Launches Municipal Equality Index
    November 28, 2012
    HRC Launches Municipal Equality Index
    The Human Rights Campaign today debuted its Municipal Equality Index, a ratings list of U.S. Cities that evaluates local LGBT rights and anti-discrimination laws. The index operates much like the HRC’s heavily-followed Corporate Equality Index. Via press release:

    The Municipal Equality Index (MEI), the first ever rating system of LGBT inclusion in municipal law, finds that while many U.S. Cities lag behind in protections for LGBT people, some of the most LGBT-friendly policies in the country have been innovated and implemented at the municipal level, including in states with laws that are unfriendly to the LGBT community. The MEI was issued in partnership with the Equality Federation Institute and the Gay and Lesbian Victory Institute.

    Key findings from the MEI create a snapshot of LGBT equality in 137 municipalities of varying sizes drawn from every state in the nation – these include the 50 state capitals, the 50 most populous cities in the country, and the 25 large, 25 mid-size, and 25 small municipalities with the highest proportion of same-sex couples. Seattle and other 100-point cities serve as shining examples of LGBT inclusivity, with excellent policies ranging from non-discrimination laws, equal employee benefits, and cutting-edge city services.

    As America moves forward in support of LGBT equality, cities across the country are on the forefront of this movement. Cities in every region of the country are fighting for equality at the most intimate level of government. At the same time, cities across the country also have room for improvement. The MEI articulates a path forward and celebrates the success of cities doing this important work.

    The cities that received a 100% score are Los Angeles, San Diego, San Francisco, Long Beach, Boston, Cambridge (MA), St. Louis, New York City, Portland (OR), Philadelphia, and Seattle. Check your town.

  • ‘The Supreme Court’s Marriage Precedents’ « MasterAdrian’s Weblog

    ‘The Supreme Court’s Marriage Precedents’
    November 28, 2012

    Prop 8 Trial Tracker has posted a new item, ‘The Supreme Court’s Marriage Precedents’

    By Matt Baume

    At AFER, we often talk about how the United States Supreme Court has ruled fourteen times that marriage is a fundamental right.

    But what are those fourteen cases, going all the way back to the 1880s? Let’s take a closer look at exactly what they were about, and how they bolster the case to […]

    You may view the latest post at

    You received this e-mail because you asked to be notified when new updates are posted.

    Best regards, Adam Bink & the Prop 8 Trial Tracker team

  • DEA SCAM ALERT — EXTORTION SCHEME « MasterAdrian’s Weblog


    The Drug Enforcement Administration continues to warn the public about criminals posing as DEA special agents or other law enforcement personnel. This criminal activity continues to occur, despite significant public attention to the illicit scheme. DEA offices nationwide regularly receive telephone calls from concerned citizens who are the victims of this extortion effort.

    The criminals call the victims (who in most cases previously purchased drugs over the internet or by telephone) and identify themselves as DEA agents or law enforcement officials from other agencies. The impersonators inform their victims that purchasing drugs over the internet or by telephone is illegal, and that enforcement action will be taken against them unless they pay a fine. In most cases, the impersonators instruct their victims to pay the “fine” via wire transfer to a designated location, usually overseas. If victims refuse to send money, the impersonators often threaten to arrest them or search their property. Some victims who purchased their drugs using a credit card also reported fraudulent use of their credit cards.

    Impersonating a federal agent is a violation of federal law. The public should be aware that no DEA agent will ever contact members of the public by telephone to demand money or any other form of payment.

    The DEA reminds the public to use caution when purchasing controlled substance pharmaceuticals by telephone or through the internet. It is illegal to purchase controlled substance pharmaceuticals online or by telephone unless very stringent requirements are met. All pharmacies that dispense controlled substance pharmaceuticals by means of the internet must be registered with DEA. By ordering any pharmaceutical medications online or by telephone from unknown entities, members of the public risk receiving unsafe, counterfeit, and/or ineffective drugs from criminals who operate outside the law. In addition, personal and financial information could be compromised.

    Anyone receiving a telephone call from a person purporting to be a DEA special agent or other law enforcement official seeking money should refuse the demand and report the threat.

  • Israel trying to prevent Palestine joining ICC « MasterAdrian’s Weblog

    Report: Israel trying to prevent Palestine joining ICC

    by occupiedpalestine

    Maan News Agency | Nov 27, 2012 TEL AVIV, Israel (Ma’an) — Israel is seeking the addition of a clause in the PLO’s UN bid rejecting membership of the International Criminal Court, the Israeli daily Haaretz reported Tuesday. The UN General Assembly is expected to vote on Thursday on a resolution upgrading the PLO’s status [...]

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  • EMOHR in Geneva calls for documenting and prosecuting the Israeli war crimes « MasterAdrian’s Weblog

    EMOHR in Geneva calls for documenting and prosecuting the Israeli war crimes

    by occupiedpalestine

    [ PIC 26/11/2012 - 12:36 PM ] GENEVA, (PIC)– The Euro-Mediterranean Observatory for Human Rights (EMOHR), based in Geneva, called for documenting the abuses and crimes committed by the Israeli army during the recent aggression on Gaza and to prosecute these violations in international courts. EMOHR said, in a statement issued on Sunday, that the [...]

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  • Twelve men to be executed by Libyan militia for allegedly being gay « MasterAdrian’s Weblog

    Twelve men to be executed by Libyan militia for allegedly being gay
    An extremist Salafist militia in Libya captured twelve men promising to mutilate and kill them for allegedly being gay
    25 November 2012 | By Dan Littauer
    A Libyan militia threatens to mutilate and kill 12 allegedly gay men

    Twelve men face mutilation and execution for allegedly being gay after being captured by an extremist Libyan Islamist militia.

    The twelve men were, apparently, having a private party in Ain Zara, a suburb of Tripoli, the country’s capital, when the militia captured them, late on Thursday night (22 November).

    The group boasted by posting the pictures of the men on Facebook, describing them as the ‘third sex’ (a term used in the Arab Gulf area to denote ‘queers’) including one of the men who had a henna ‘tattoo’ on his back.

    One of the pictures was accompanied by the Quranic call ‘there is no power but the power of Allah!’

    At the time of writing, the picture of the men received 121 likes, 118 shares, and mainly violent comments such as ‘flog them hard!’, ‘let them see bullets!’, ‘free Libya! [I.e. From gays]’, ‘ride them like camels’ and so on.

    Human Rights Watch Libya left a comment saying the organization hopes the men will not be treated inhumanely and called upon the militia to hand the men to the civil authorities (the comment received no likes).

    The militia Facebook page entitled as the ‘special deterrence unit’ boasted that the men were captured doing the ‘practices of the people of Lot’ (I.e. Gay sex) and that they are to be mutilated and executed.

    The militia also claim they have now become a legal part of the Libyan Ministry of Interior.

    The group states its mission is to remove ‘corruption’, ‘vice’, alcoholic drinks and now gays from the streets of Libya.

    Human Rights Watch Libya identified the group as the Al-Nawasi militia, who are considered to be extreme Salafists.

    The militia has been previously been reported as being responsible for attacks against Sufi (moderate form of Islam) shrines and followers.

    Gay Star News has, so far, not been able to independently verify the reports.

    Speaking with Gay Star News, a Libyan LGBT activist nicknamed Khaleed stated: ‘We never had any gay nightclubs in Libya, so it is not uncommon for Libyans – straight, bisexual and gay men to party in a private space, drink, dance, have fun and sometimes even have sex.

    ‘That fact that they were captured by this extreme Salafist militia is very worrying.

    ‘The situation for LGBT people after the revolution generally improved, people can meet each other more easily than under the Qadaffi [Gadaffi] regime, although, of course we still have to be very discreet and careful.

    ‘Many of us fear that some of the militias [there are over 250 of them in the country], which are extreme Islamists who are very well armed and financed, will focus on the LGBT community and hunt us down.

    ‘The police is largely absent or powerless so Libyan civil society has a real problem; the militias often take the law onto their own hands.

    ‘That the Al Nawasi militia claims they are now part of the Ministry of Interior is very worrying; this move should be unacceptable to the public and to civil society groups.’

  • Could Egypt’s Pyramids Be Destroyed? « MasterAdrian’s Weblog

    Could Egypt’s Pyramids Be Destroyed?
    November 24, 2012

    Could Egypt’s Pyramids Be Destroyed?

    by Kristina Chew
    November 23, 2012
    11:00 am

    Destroy the Giza pyramids and the Sphinx? Murgan Salem al-Gohary, a leader of Egypt’s ultra-conservative Salafist party, recently called on Muslims to do just this on Egyptian Dream TV. According to Gohary, Egypt’s iconic cultural treasures must be eliminated as a “religiously mandated act of iconoclasm,” for the same reasons as Mullah Omar and the Afghan Taliban destroyed the Buddhas of Bamiyan in March of 2001.

    Claiming that he had indeed participated in blowing up the Buddhas, Gohary said:

    “The idols and statutes that fill Egypt must be destroyed. Muslims are tasked with applying the teachings of Islam and removing these idols, just like we did in Afghanistan when we smashed the Buddha statues.

    With the sight of the majestic Buddha statues being blasted with dynamite still fresh, the thought of a similar fate occurring to the pyramids is chilling. In Foreign Policy, Ian Straughn suggests that Gohary’s threat is certainly geared to grab media attention and all the more in today’s post-Arab Spring Egypt, where the Muslim Brotherhood and the Salafists are in power and while debates about the status of women and of minorities and about Egypt’s relations with the West are ongoing.

    The Pyramids Have Faced Threats To Their Existence For Centuries

    The pyramids have faced numerous threats since they were erected by the pharaohs. In the ancient world alone, Egypt was under the rule of the Persians and the Romans. In medieval times, the pyramids’ limestone casement was pillaged to build cities (including Cairo).

    Starting in the 19th century, amateur archaeologists helped to awaken the world to the artifacts hidden in tombs in Egypt. But they also oversaw the transporting (some would say pillaging) of numerous archaeological finds into foreign museums, many of which are now in awkward disputes with Egypt’s government over repatriating objects. Today, pollution of a sort the ancients could never have fathomed threatens numerous ancient sites.

    Many of us in the West were riveted by the image of Egyptians guarding the Egyptian Museum near Tahrir Square during the protests that would lead to the fall of Hosni Mubarak. Those archaeological treasures, and the Sphinx and the pyramids, are part of the world’s cultural heritage and must be protected not only by Egypt’s Supreme Council for Antiquities but also by international governments. This is common knowledge if not common sense to many of us.

    Reconciling the Pyramids and Muslim Beliefs

    As Straughn details, since the medieval age, Islamic scholars and others have sought to understand — to reconcile their religious beliefs to — the pyramids and other remains of Egypt’s long past. On seeing the destruction of antiquities, al-Masudi, a 10th century Muslim traveler in Egypt, argued that respecting these is “not incompatible with Islam.” Ancient structures and objects indeed “strengthen the Quranic injunction to search out and contemplate the lessons (‘ibar) which the divine has left for believers in the landscape.”

    Today, even while very much aware of “the role that these ruins play in the economy and various state efforts to represent Egypt as a modern-day heir to one of the world’s great civilizations,” Straughn notes that there is “a palpable discomfort with this promotion and glorification of a pre-Islamic past.” It could be said that, as in Italy, there is something of a “love-hate” push-and-pull with the country’s archaeological heritage, which engulfs tremendous amounts of resources “at the expense of the welfare of an Islamic past, present, and future.”

    Tourism accounts for more than 11 percent of Egypt’s economy, which has struggled in the post-Mubarak era; the importance of the pyramids and other ancient sites is certainly understood. The pyramids, in Straughn’s estimation, are not likely to suffer the fate of the Buddhas of Bamiyan; Gohary’s call to destroy the pyramids encapsulates “the broader debate within the religion [of Islam] over how to orient itself after the Arab Spring.”

    The recent collision of a schoolbus with a train — resulting in at least 50 dead, most young children — suggests that Egypt still falls short in addressing issues like safety on its roadways. The pyramids are likely to remain a point of debate and even contention so long as Egypt remains a place that many associate more with its past than the very real demands of its present.

    Read more:

  • Breaking News: Egypt announces cease-fire between Israel, Hamas « MasterAdrian’s Weblog

    Breaking News: Egypt announces cease-fire between Israel, Hamas
    November 21, 2012
    Egypt announces cease-fire between Israel, Hamas
    Los Angeles Times | November 21, 2012 | 9:38 AM

    Egypt announced a cease-fire agreement between Israel and Hamas effective Wednesday evening, the Associated Press reported.

    For the latest information go to

  • MasterAdrian’s Weblog

    Boy, 14, ‘sodomized by high school soccer players during team hazing ritual sanctioned by coaches’

    Mother of the freshman at Maine West High School in suburban Chicago is suing the school district
    Two other boys allegedly sexually assaulted, as well
    Attack was part of hazing tradition that dates back four years, according to boy’s attorney

    By Michael Zennie

    PUBLISHED: 08:04 EST, 20 November 2012 | UPDATED: 08:27 EST, 20 November 2012 A 14-year-old boy says he was sodomized by fellow players on his suburban Chicago high school soccer team as part of a horrific hazing ritual that dates back four years.

    The student’s mother is suing Maine West High School in Des Plaines, Illinois, claiming that the coaches sanctioned the sexual assault of her son and at least two other boys in September, during school hours.

    The furious parent appeared in a dramatic press conference on Monday wearing sunglasses and a baseball cap pulled low across her face to hide her identity and protect the anonymity of her child.

    Scroll down for video
    Furious: The mother of the high school freshman wore a hat and sunglasses at a press conference in an attempt to hide her identity and protect her child’s anonymityFurious: The mother of the high school freshman wore a hat and sunglasses at a press conference in an attempt to hide her identity and protect her child’s anonymity

    Ritual: The attorney for the boy and his family says the Maine West High School soccer team has done the hazing ritual for the past four yearsRitual: The attorney for the boy and his family says the Maine West High School soccer team has done the hazing ritual for the past four years

    ‘I thought my son would be safe at school,’ she said, her voice quivering. ‘You think when you drop off your son, it’s a safe place to be. But I feel like the coaches should have kept him safe on the soccer field, and they didn’t do that.’

    Her lawyer, Antonio Romanucci, says the high school freshman was attacked on September 27 on school property when he and two other boys were promoted to the varsity soccer team, according to ABC7 TV in Chicago.
    Discipline: Head coach Mike Divincenzo and four other coaches have been fired or reassignedDiscipline: Head coach Mike Divincenzo and four other coaches have been fired or reassigned

    He claims that the teens were shoved to the ground and beaten by the older members of the varsity team. The players then held them down, pulled down their pants, tore off their underwear and sodomized each of them.

    The coaches supported the hazing ritual, Mr Romanucci says, by ordering a ‘campus run’ after the three freshman made the senior team, the Daily Herald reports.

    A Des Plaines police investigation of the incident led to six students being sent to juvenile court to face hazing charges.

    The school district said it has disciplined ten students.

    Two coaches who are also teachers at the high school, head coach Mike Divincenzo and varsity coach Emilo Rodriguez, have been transferred with pay, pending the outcome of a school district investigation.

    Three other coaches have been fired.

    Mr Romanucci, the attorney who filed the lawsuit on behalf of the student and his parents, said the hazing practice has taken place at the school for the last four years.

    ‘That behavior, in today’s society, is disgusting,’ he said. ‘It should never be condoned. It should never have happened.’

  • US soldiers in Afghanistan camp it up with Call Me Maybe « MasterAdrian’s Weblog

    US soldiers in Afghanistan camp it up with Call Me Maybe
    A new video is going viral on YouTube. It shows American militaries dancing and singing like the Miami Dolphins cheerleaders
    21 November 2012 | By Daniele Guido Gessa
    American soldiers in Afghanistan: singing and dancing is their new job.

    American soldiers in Afghanistan have been taking a break from conflict by recreating the Miami Dolphin Cheerleaders’ Call Me Maybe.

    Without fear of the Taliban, the group of soldiers shoot missiles and show off their guns, while imitating the cheerleading squad of the National Football League’s Miami Dolphins.

    The cheerleaders covered Carly Ray Jepsen’s gay anthem this year and clearly won a few American soldiers as fans.

    Of course, being in Afghanistan is dangerous and the risk of being shot is high. But these soldiers celebrate the beauty of life, the beauty of male bodies and the happiness of staying together.

    GSN loves this song. And GSN loves these soldiers!



    [Lisa Biron via FB</p> <p> page” alt=”Lisa Biron</p> <p> via FB page” src=” height=”345″ width=”615″ /></span></h1> <div align=] (above): Lisa Byron

    Federal agents arrested a Christian New Hampshire lawyer Saturday and accused her of allegedly driving a teen girl to Canada and cajoling her into allowing her to film her having sex. The Concord Monitor reported that Biron was arrested by FBI officials Friday before a scheduled hearing on child pornography possession charges stemming from an Oct. 9 arrest. The federal indictment against Biron — who has been linked to Alliance Defending Freedom, a right-wing lawyers group that says on its website it advocates for “religious liberty, the sanctity of life, and marriage and family” — includes charges of not only possessing child pornography, but five counts of sexually exploiting a child and one count of transportation with intent to engage in child pornography.

    According to the New Hampshire Union Leader, Police had been investigating Biron since September, when they received a tip that she had child pornography on her computer. That led to the Oct. 9 arrest, and seven subsequent counts of child pornography possession at the district level. But the FBI pursued the search further, and federal prosecutors are also accusing Biron of driving the girl to Ontario, Canada, and recording four digital videos of her having sex and taking a digital photograph between May 25 and May 28. A U.S. District Court judge ordered Biron to be held without bail in part due to violations of bail conditions from the earlier charges. Biron was found to have disobeyed orders to only use her laptop for work purposes and to not have any weapons; agents discovered 200 rounds of ammunition, though no gun, at her home.

  • Faggots recipe « MasterAdrian’s Weblog

    Faggots recipe

    A classic British recipe, perfect with some good mash, peas and some pokey English mustard

    Share 23

    Valentine Warner, Friday 30 September 2011 11.05 BST

    Faggots View larger picture

    Faggots from Valentine Warner’s The Good Table. Photograph: Jonathan Lovekin/Mitchell Beazley

    Faggots remind me of the less-comfortable pubs that are better for it: hard, dark-wood bench seating, whitewashed walls and a low ceiling, a small crackling fire and the low murmur of locals leaning against the bar. I come alone and like a corner table and a pint of bitter with a pickled egg. The faggots are quietly set down as I read the paper and I’ll probably have to ask for some mustard. Lunch will bring a quiet smile and then it’s back out into the drizzle. I like the old things.

    The Good Table
    by Valentine Warner
    Buy it from the Guardian bookshop

    Search the Guardian bookshop

    Tell us what you think: Star-rate and review this book

    Makes 12 faggots

    50g butter
    1 medium onion, finely chopped
    1 tablespoon chopped thyme leaves
    12 sage leaves, finely chopped
    1 teaspoon ground mace
    2 teaspoons black pepper
    500g minced pork belly
    100g minced bacon
    4 lamb’s kidneys, rinsed, skinned,
    cored and finely but roughly chopped
    150g pork or lamb’s liver, finely but roughly chopped
    1 level tablespoon flaked sea salt
    (½ tablespoon if using fine salt)
    100g coarse white breadcrumbs,
    made from stale bread
    100ml whole milk
    200g beef caul

    For the gravy:
    2 large onions, finely sliced
    1 tablespoon soft dark brown sugar
    2 tablespoons malt vinegar
    1½ level tablespoons plain flour
    500ml good dark beef stock, or a can of consommé mixed with water
    flaked sea salt and black pepper

    To serve:
    good mash
    cooked frozen peas
    English mustard

    Melt 30g of the butter in a frying pan and in it sweat the onion with the thyme, sage and spices over a medium–low heat for about 15 minutes, or until very soft. Add the mixture to the meats and salt in a big bowl, and mix all together well, then add the breadcrumbs and milk. Get your hands in there and squish the mixture through them until it is really well combined. Take a little of the raw mixture and fry it to see how it tastes; correct the seasoning accordingly.

    Tenderly open up the caul and hold it up to the light to see where any holes might be (to avoid when assembling the faggots), then spread it out on the work surface. Take an open fistful of the mixture and place it on the caul so that you can cut a sheet around it to the size of two-thirds of a piece of A5 paper. Fold the caul over the top of the meats as if you were wrapping up treasured possessions in a handkerchief. All the corners should overlap and the meats be tightly surrounded. Turn the faggot over. Repeat until all are done.

    Heat some more butter in a frying pan over a medium–high heat and put the faggots in, fold-side down. Briskly fry until brown, taking care not to burn them. Turn over and gently fry on the other side. They should not open, but if they do, place a plate over the top of the batch to secure the folds. Repeat until all are good and brown. Transfer them to a board.

    In the same frying pan, fry the onions in the leftover faggot fat over a medium–low heat for 30 minutes or so until richly coloured. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 160C fan/180°C/Gas 4. Add the brown sugar and malt vinegar to the frying pan and cook until the vinegar has evaporated completely. Then sprinkle in the flour and cook gently, stirring, for a further minute or so. The flour must not burn. Start adding the beef stock or canned consommé, bit by bit, stirring constantly. Taste for seasoning, remembering that the faggots are highly seasoned.

    Place the faggots in a good-sized, shallow casserole and cover with the gravy, then the lid. Bake gently for 1½ hours. For the last 20 minutes, remove the lid. What else could you serve it with but some good mash and some frozen peas? Oh! And, of course, some pokey English mustard.

    • This recipe is taken from The Good Table by Valentine Warner (Mitchell Beazley, £25). To order a copy for £20 visit the Guardian bookshop

  • The Great British faggot « MasterAdrian’s Weblog

    The Great British faggot

    Faggots are a cheap and delicious dish, especially served with mash and mushy peas. You’ll need a mincer for this recipe and a good butcher.

    500g /1lb 2oz pig’s liver, lungs and heart, diced
    500g/1lb 2oz pork belly
    2 onions, diced
    few fresh sage leaves, chopped
    few fresh thyme sprigs, leaves picked
    2 garlic cloves, minced
    6 fresh bay leaves
    300g/10½oz caul fat
    1 litre/1¾pints dark chicken stock

    Preparation method

    Bring a large pan of water to the boil and add the diced meat. Return to the boil, then drain the meat and set aside to cool.
    Preheat the oven to 150C/300F/Gas 2.
    Mince the meat, add it to a bowl and stir in the onion, herbs and garlic until well combined.
    Shape the mixture into six balls, lay a small bay leaf on top and wrap in the caul fat.
    Sit the faggots in a roasting tray and pour in the stock. Cook the faggots in the oven for one hour.

  • Extremely Rich Wall Street CEO Wants Americans to Work Longer « MasterAdrian’s Weblog

    Extremely Rich Wall Street CEO Wants Americans to Work Longer
    Pat Garofalo
    Think Progress / News Report
    Tuesday 20 November 2012

    Lloyd Blankfein — evidently taking a break from doing “god’s work” as the CEO of Wall Street behemoth Goldman Sachs — told CBS News’ Scott Pelley that he believes the retirement age needs to be raised because “in general, entitlements have to be slowed down and contained”:

    BLANKFEIN: You’re going to have to undoubtedly do something to lower people’s expectations — the entitlements and what people think that they’re going to get, because it’s not going to — they’re not going to get it.

    PELLEY: Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid?

    BLANKFEIN: You can look at history of these things, and Social Security wasn’t devised to be a system that supported you for a 30-year retirement after a 25-year career. … So there will be things that, you know, the retirement age has to be changed, maybe some of the benefits have to be affected, maybe some of the inflation adjustments have to be revised. But in general, entitlements have to be slowed down and contained.

    PELLEY: Because we can’t afford them going forward?

    BLANKFEIN: Because we can’t afford them.

    Maybe working until a later age is fine for a Wall Street CEO whose net worth is $450 million. But it’s simply nonsense to assert that the retirement age needs to go up because Social Security is no longer affordable.

    For starters, Social Security can pay full benefits for decades without any changes at all. (Imagine the accolades that would received if any other federal program had guaranteed funding for that stretch of time.) One simple change, raising the cap on the payroll tax, can guarantee that the program will pay nearly full benefits for three-quarters of a century. In the meantime, Social Security is statutorily barred from adding one dime to the federal deficit, so cutting it doesn’t change the nation’s deficit or debt picture.

    Raising the retirement age, meanwhile, adversely impacts those workers most in need of a robust social safety net. While a year or two of extra work may not seem like much to a Wall Street CEO with his cushy corner office, for a factory worker or janitor, it can mean real problems. Life expectancy is only increasing for wealthier workers in non-physical jobs. Poorer workers doing physical labor have not seen the same gains. Overall, raising the retirement age to 70 would “cut benefits for the average retiree by 19 percent.”

    Pat Garofalo is Economic Policy Editor for at the Center for American Progress Action Fund. Pat’s work has also appeared in The Nation, U.S. News & World Report, The Guardian, the Washington Examiner, and In These Times. He has been a guest on MSNBC and Al-Jazeera television, as well as many radio shows. Pat graduated from Brandeis University, where he was the editor-in-chief of The Brandeis Hoot, Brandeis’ community newspaper, and worked for the International Center for Ethics, Justice, and Public Life.