February 28, 2006

While in New Orleans, Mobile, Galveston, and Rio de Janeiro they’re historically counting down the minutes till Ash Wednesday and the season of Lent, today was always Shrove Tuesday when I was growing up. As a young Episcopalian, Shrove Tuesday was the one day you always got breakfast for supper, since – at least in my part of the world – that meant the traditional Shrove Tuesday pancake supper in the church hall. Why pancakes on the Tuesday before Lent, you might ask? I found this via the Pancake Parlour:

Perhaps the best known one is Shrove Tuesday or Pancake Day, which heralds the beginning of fasting in Lent. On this day (so the historians say) there were feasts of pancakes to use up the supplies of fat, butter and eggs… foods that were forbidden during austere Lent.

In England there arc several celebrations on this day but perhaps the best known one is the Pancake Day Race at Olney in Buckinghamshire which has been held since 1445. The race came about when a woman cooking pancakes heard the shriving bell summoning her to confession. She ran to church wearing her apron and still holding her frying pan, and thus without knowing it, started a tradition that has lasted for over five hundred years.

I guess the Anglican Church connection between the Episcopal Church of the USA and the Church of England made the Shrove Tuesday pancake supper a natural extension of the English tradition. Hmmm… if given the choice between eating a pile of pancakes in an austere parish hall setting or hurling my brains out in front of thousands of beaded partygoers in The Big Easy, I’d choose, ummm… neither!

Today’s CBS News poll showing the President’s approval rating falling to 34% is a joke. Although I have no expertise with polls and polling, K-Lo at National Review Online found someone who does, and his review of the poll’s internals is blistering:

· I believe the survey is among adults and not voters. In political polling no one cares about what adults think. They care only about what registered voters think. I can’t find data suggesting that this survey is anything BUT a survey of adults. CBS and most news orgs poll adults instead of reg. voters for two reasons (a) it costs less and (b) it makes the data more Democratic.

· The data set itself is dramatically more Democrat. It’s 28% Republican and 37% Democrat AFTER they weighted Republicans UP. In other words, the sample was even more Democrat when it came back. In fact, Democrats were 40% of the sample and Republicans were only 27%. Someone clearly knew having a sample that was 40-27 would be a tip-off, so they weighted Dems down into the 30%s in order to avoid extreme criticism. Why is the sample so Democrat? One reason may be because almost every question bangs the President and I would guess that the hang ups they get are vastly more Republican than Democrat. Think about it. Why would a Republican sit on the phone and answer loaded anti-Bush questions for 15 minutes?

· The survey is NOT being done for actual opinion research, but is being done for headlines. Most of the work I have done for 10 years – probably 90% of it – is NEVER released publicly. It isn’t being written for headlines, it’s being written to get the truth about how people feel. This survey is mostly done to zing Bush, Cheney and Republicans generally.

The mainstream media can cry all it wants about being made out to be the “bad guys” by the Bush administration, but it is in shameful actions like the moaning and wailing over the Veep’s hunting accident a couple weeks ago and the trumpeting of polls with obviously-skewed data that the MSM reveals just how little credibility they now have left. When Bush-hating becomes the motivator for shoddy reporting, disinformation, and concentrating on all things negative, is it any wonder that people are increasingly turning to blogs (rightly or wrongly) for their news and information. The mainstream media has let the American people down, and in the end we are all worse off for it.

Speaking of the mainstream media, what is it with the New York Times and their obsession with trying to reveal the nation’s security apparatus? At first, I thought they were just trying to do a reverse Woodward & Bernstein on the Washington Post in a feeble attempt to relive the days when the “mainstream” was the only stream, but now I’m truly beginning to wonder. Who’s really in charge there, and what are they really up to? Don’t they realize that we live in a technological age where the information they seek to have released can and will be shared by both predator and prey alike? I mean, weren’t these guys within shouting distance of the 9/11 attacks? Methinks the Old Gray Lady needs to revisit the horror of that day and reaquaint themselves with the kind of people we’re up against.

I hope you’ll excuse me two days in a row (I promise this will be the last time!) of Food Network links? This recipe is an absolute knockout. Try it, and you’ll feel as if you’re sitting in a quaint Boston North End restaurant sharing a basket of fresh Italian bread and a nice chianti with your significant other…

Finally (and here’s where the lagniappe comes in), I hope you find the links provided on the sidebar both interesting and entertaining. Between the House Rabbit Society (where today is the last day of Adopt-A-Rescued-Rabbit Month) and the UFO Filer’s Files (detailing recent UFO sightings over Alabama, Arizona, California, Connecticut, Florida, Illinois, Indiana, Maine, Maryland, Mississippi, New Hampshire, Nevada, New Mexico, New York, Ohio, South Dakota, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Washington, and West Virginia, as well as Argentina, Australia, Canada, India, Mexico, and the UK – and you thought we were alone!), there’s something for everyone!

Laissez les bons temps rouler…

Filed in: Politics & World Events,Religion & Culture by The Great White Shank at 11:36 | Comments (2)
2 Comments »
  1. GWS, As usual I have to compliment Your superb blog and its diverse subject matter. I have to agree with you on the attacks on our President from the msm. We are at war, whether they want to admit it or not. Their constant efforts to undermine our retaliatory efforts as well as their inability to blame the islamic fundamentalist for ANYTHING borders on treason.

    As You read this our aforementioned enemies are planning to deliver nuclear or chemical devastation upon us. This is a reality and must be dealt with immediately. We can not wait for it to happen and then unite. We must get on the same page today and strike at our enemies with the same ferocity that won WW II. There was no talk of collateral damage back then. The citizenry shall suffer for the actions of their leaders. It is that simple. My thoughts may sound excessive, if not extreme, but it is the harsh truth. And the msm had better get on board soon and stop fucking whining about abu grhaib and gitmo. Those situations will not even be a blip on the morality radar if the above scenario unfolds.

    Keep up the great writing. God Bless America.

    Dollar Bill

    Comment by Dollar Bill — March 1, 2006 @ 10:23 am


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