The Fix! The “Patriotic Retirement Plan”:

A Bloodless Coup! The Supreme Court’s sale of America

I’m leaving on a jet plane…

Luzzat, Rogers Park’s Hidden Gem of Indian Fare

The Fix! The “Patriotic Retirement Plan”:

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The Fix
There recently was an article in the  St. Petersburg Fl. Times. The Business Section asked readers for ideas on:  ”How Would You Fix the Economy?”
I think this guy nailed it!

Dear Mr. President,

Please find below my suggestion for fixing America ‘s economy.

Instead of giving billions of dollars to companies that will squander the money on lavish parties and unearned bonuses, use the following plan. You can call it the “Patriotic Retirement Plan”:

There are about 40 million people over 50 in the work force.  Pay them $1 million apiece severance for early retirement with the following stipulations:

1) They MUST retire.  Forty million job openings – Unemployment fixed..

2) They MUST buy a new American CAR.  Forty million cars ordered – Auto Industry fixed.

3) They MUST either buy a house or pay off their mortgage – Housing Crisis fixed.

It can’t get any easier than that!!

P.S. If more money is needed, have all members in Congress pay their taxes…

Mr. President, while you’re at it, make Congress retire on Social Security and Medicare. I’ll bet both programs would be fixed pronto!

If you think this would work, please forward to everyone you know.

If not, please disregard.

drenar @ February 1, 2010

A Bloodless Coup! The Supreme Court’s sale of America

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January 21st 2010, a date marked in history as the day the United States of America was sold to the highest bidder. With the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn an almost century old law prohibiting corporations and unions from funding elections, the flood gates have now been thrown open. Special interest groups, corporations and even foreign held entities can now spend as much money as they see fit to sway elections in the USA.  Democracy died today. We have been invaded by a power greater than anything we have ever faced before. And not a shot was fired!

“Today the business once transacted by individuals in every community is in the control of corporations, and many of the men who once conducted an independent business are gathered into the organization, and all personal identity, and all individualities lost. Each man has become a mere cog in one of the wheels of a complicated mechanism. It is the business of the corporations to get money. It exacts but one thing of its employees: Obedience to orders. It cares not about their relations to the community, the church, society, or the family. It wants full hours and faithful service, and when they die, wear out or are discharged, it quickly replaces them with new material. The corporation is a machine for making money, but it reduces men to the insignificance of mere numerical figures, as certainly as the private ranks of the regular army. ~ Fighting Bob La Follette, speech on the Dangers Threatening Representative Government, Mineral Point, Wisconsin, July 4, 1897

drenar @ January 23, 2010

I’m leaving on a jet plane…

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JetPlaneThree days before I leave for Madrid and I’m actually a bit nervous.

My wife and I have decided to travel to Europe separately this time because we were able to redeem credit card points and get round trip tickets for free. The  catch was that we only had enough points on our credit cards to get tickets on different airlines. So on Sunday, I will travel by myself to Madrid, check into the hostel that we’ve reserved and take in the surrounding sites alone. The next day I’ll meet my wife at the airport and we’ll begin our Europe trip 2009 together.

The reason for my nervousness is that for that first day I won’t have my GPS enabled wife with me when I land in Madrid. I’ve become so used to having my beloved, “Cat Cat”, (in reference to Tom Tom) to guide me through unfamiliar territory that I find my own sense of direction beginning to fade. Cat, (my wife) has an almost GPS quality sense of direction that I’ve come to absolutely  rely on through our many trips. She points and I turn! It’s a simple system. We rarely if ever get lost and if we do, (get lost that is), it’s usually my fault.

So to combat my temporary lack of Cat Cat, I’ve looked up the area that I’m going to be staying in and have begun to familiarize myself with the routes and surroundings all through the magic that is Google! By entering in the address of the hostel, I not only found the best route to take to get there, but have also been able to do a virtual walk around the neighborhood to familiarize myself with those surroundings.

At first I was a bit surprised by what I saw. Graffiti was everywhere! Did we just book ourselves into a gang infested area? If this were Chicago, I would assume that we did, but by doing the virtual walk, I realized that the area seams to be pretty good. Graffiti didn’t seem to be an indicator of the safeness of the area.

After spending a couple of hours, “walking around” Madrid online, I feel fairly comfortable that I know the area. I’ve spotted several restaurants that look promising and walked through areas that from an arial view looked great but on the ground really didn’t look that special.  Ahhhh Google, as the, “Wildwood Weed” song lyrics say, “we all thought it was kinda handy, take a trip and never leave the farm”! Thanks to Google Maps, I have a pretty fare understanding of the neighborhood now. I will print out those maps, and be able to explore a bit before my wife joins me and I go back to our fool proof system of she points and I turn.  Next stop, Madrid

drenar @ October 15, 2009

Luzzat, Rogers Park’s Hidden Gem of Indian Fare

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To think, Luzzat is less than a block away and I had never tried it until tonight. This hidden gem on Jarvis Avenue in Rogers Park came recommended by one of the other shop keepers in the neighborhood, and I had been meaning to try it, but it always slipped my mind. What a fool I’ve been to have waited so long.

Luzzat is a wonderfully quaint little Indian restaurant tucked away one block west of Sheridan Avenue on Jarvis and right off of the Jarvis Red Line El stop in the East Rogers Park area of Chicago.  There are only six or so tables as well as a carry out window. Nothing fancy, but the place was clean and well kept. The first thing that you encounter when you walk through the door is the delicious aroma of curry and exotic Indian spices. They have some posters of India on the wall and some other decorations as well as soft Indian music playing. Like I said, it’s not fancy. It’s a bit like being invited into someones home. You can feel the love and pride that is used to prepare the food.

Luzzat is BYOB, (bring your own bottle), and there is no corkage fee. Across the street is a great little wine shop called Taste just in case you happen to forget to bring a bottle.

Tonight’s special was Chicken Curry, which I happen to really like, so I ordered that along with a vegetarian samosa and hummus.  My wife Cat, had  a craving for spinach so she ordered the Palak Paneer which is spinach and home made cheese bits simmered in spices and gravy. She also ordered the Sag Chicken which is basically the same as the Palak Paneer, except it has Chicken in spinach instead.

The hummus came with naan, a delicious Indian flat bread which had just been grilled as well as a cilantro based dipping sauce and a sweet red sauce. The hummus was creamy and smooth with a hint of garlic and was topped with a light oil, (I presume olive oil), and some slightly hot peppers  slices and olives.  The vegetarian samosa was a piping hot and steamy crispy pastry with a filling of potatoes, peas and coriander leaf, (cilantro).

The entree’s were served next accompanied with  a good amount of deliciously aromatic basmati rice.  My Chicken Curry was cooked to perfection. It had just the right amount of spiciness to it and the curry sauce was creamy and delicious. Cat’s two spinach dishes were also delicious.  The only difference that I could notice between the two was that one had these large bits of the home made cheese, (the Palak Paneer), while the other, (the Sag Chicken), had bits of chicken instead. Both were flavorful and came in abundant portions.

I can honestly say, this is the best Indian food I have ever had! The cook took great pride and care in the preparation of her food. As mentioned above, it almost had the feeling like we had been invited to dine at someones home where the cooking is done for the love of it, not just to make money. The staff was small with the feel of a family business.

I highly recommend Luzzat Indian Resturant whether it be for a quick bite or a nice homey sit down type of meal. The prices are very good, (we spent a total of $32.00 between the two of us),  and ended up taking home quite a bit of left overs.  It’s not a fancy place, but the food is so good that even if I didn’t live right around the block, I would make it a point to travel up here to eat at this wonderful gem of a resturant.

Luzzat is located at 1505 W. Jarvis Ave in the East Rogers Park area of Chicago. Their hours are from 12 noon to 9 p.m Wednesday through Monday. They are closed on Tuesdays.  While at this point reservations are not needed, if you want to call to order take out, the number is 773-764-1065.  Map

If you enjoy Indian food, heck if you enjoy food in general, you have to try Luzzat.

drenar @ September 24, 2009

Who’s Sceptre is Bigger Anyway?

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The queen of day time talk, Oprah Winfrey has decided that she want’s to take over one of the busiest shopping districts in Chicago, as well as a major arterial street into the business district of Chicago for two full days to launch her new “Oprah Winfrey’s 24th Season Premier”. What’s wrong with that? Well, considering the citizens of Chicago have paid for a multi-million dollar venue called, “Millennium Park”, that is equipped with some of the finest sound equipment and acoustics and can accommodate over 10,000 people, I have to ask, why Michigan Avenue instead? Why purposefully inconvenience thousands of people? Just because you can?

Could it be solely that what the queen wants the queen gets? And Queen O wants Michigan Avenue damn it!!! After all, any other production can use the Millennium Park facilities, but who but Oprah can get Michigan Avenue closed for two full days? Even the Pope couldn’t do that! To top that off, Mayor Daley has come out and stated that he thinks, “This is a great thing we’re doing, I wish we could do this everyday in the city of Chicago.”

Sure it’s a great thing… for Mayor Short Shanks and his machine maybe! I suppose Queen Oprah kicked out a hefty sum of cash to pull this off. I know, that’s just speculation, but hey, when did the Daley administration do anything for anyone that did not benefit them directly. As for the rest of the citizens, you know the people that are paying the taxes, the ones that King Richard is supposed to represent, the little people that actually carry this city on their shoulders  in the, “city of big shoulders”, think of this? According to the recent Chicago Tribune Poll 80% of Chicago’s citizens think it stinks! Sort of like the LAZ parking meter fiasco that the Daley Administration pushed through as well!

Thanks, Mayor Daley, you’ve once again proven it’s all about you! You’re the finest Mayor money can buy!

drenar @ September 2, 2009