Nothing Left, to Say...

Where We Shed Light on the Right, We respect governance by the 2C's, Common Sense and the Constitution, where we never have anything say...We are also the home of the (almost) weekly Rant and Recipe...

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Hey there fellow conservative travelers, lurkers and lib'ruls who must be lost. Just wanted to drop by and let you all know that I will be taking a week or so off to travel deep behind enemy lines in the People's Republik of Kalifornia. If your jonesing for some trenchant political commentary while I'm gone, you can always check out the links on my site and give Spider's Web a try. My old friend from Texas doesn't post too often but what he lacks in quantity is more than made up for by quality and also by the incredible number of adjectives that he employs to describe lib'ruls. If you need a recipe in the meantime, well you can always hit up Food TV.

Now before I hit the road, I wanted to address a line or two to the anonymous lurker who sent me a diatribe a couple weeks back. Hoss, I don't post comments from anyone who isn't forthright enough to identify themselves. If you don't like my blog, get your own, if you question the style in which I write, well like they say in the Mexican Marines, "El tougho shitto". If you think that my style is offensive to my readers, well then, surprisingly none have complained over the last few years and of course you can always elect NOT to visit. Lastly, if you think I moved to Nevada because I couldn't "run with the big dogs" so be it. That was 20 years ago junior and even then it was apparent to me what the future held in store for the People's Republik. I'm a Nevadan by choice. American by the grace of God, whom you no doubt do not believe in, but then thats all right because I know what I am all about, but you sir or madam, are clueless.

Smilin' Paul Villa U.S. Senate 2010
cyber-Congressman, R-Reno
Proud Member of the Vast Right Wing Conspiracy and 2 SUV Family

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

In my line of work I've been blessed to have met many important persons. Working the occasional dignitary protection detail and working with the Police Association, I've been fortunate enough to have met Presidents, Vice Presidents, Senators, a First Lady, Congressmen and Governors. None of them have ever made the impact upon me that John Finn did. I can hear many of you asking yourselves now, who in the hell is John Finn. Well sports fans, in the words of renowned Reno Police Detective Jay Brown, "John Finn is a national treasure."

You see, on a bright Sunday morning, in December 1941, when he should have been enjoying a leisurely breakfast with his wife, John Finn was instead thrust into World War II. And what an entrance he made. The Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor had just begun and John Finn left his home, driving like a madman to reach his station at Kaneohe Bay Naval Air Station, Territory of Hawaii that morning and once there, he manned a .50 cal machine gun in a completely exposed portion of the seaplane parking ramp. How exposed? Exposed enough that he was wounded 22 times from Japanese strafing attacks and shrapnel from bomb bursts. John Finn could have quit and sought first aid. No one would have blamed him. Instead he continued to man his post until the Japanese attack was over and he was ordered to seek medical attention. His actions are credited with downing at least one Japanese plane that morning but he downplays his shooting skills, claiming he's not so sure he shot anything down. Still not ready to quit, he got himself bandaged up and then proceeded to his aircraft hangar to initiate salvage operations and organize defenses for potential further raids. For his actions that morning, John Finn was awarded the Medal of Honor, the highest military decoration awarded for valor. You can read his official citation here.

John Finn came to Nevada last week for a military veterans convention, and he was escorted by an honor guard of about 50 local law enforcement officers who met him as he deplaned in Reno. The gathering was largely the work of the Transportation Security Administration and the Reno Police Honor Guard who made the effort to alert local media about a national treasure coming to River City and who also notified local law enforcement agencies. Since I happen to work in a unit with members of the Honor Guard, I had access to the information and planning that went on and which included organization of a Reno Police Motorcyle Escort from the airport to the hotel for Mr. Finn. All of the officers volunteered to be there, putting aside other duties or giving up their personal time.

The officers who went to the airport formed two ranks on either side of the airport gate and rendered a snap salute as Mr. Finn passed us, smiling and returning our salute. The crowd at the gate broke out in a cheer and applause. Mr. Finn was then met by local media and he gave an interview that shows what kind of straight shooter he is. The type of interview that gets heavily edited in this politically correct era. The type of interview you'll never see on the evening news. When asked by a reporter what he first remembers about that Sunday, December 7, 1941, Finn replied "I remember waking up in bed with a beautiful blonde!" (The blonde was his wife Alice) When the reporter asked Finn what he had done to be awarded the nation's highest military honor, he said simply that "I didn't have the good sense to come in out of the rain, the damn Japs were bombing our base and I was angry and I got paid to fight!" When asked about his wounds, Finn said, "I wasn't hurt so bad, the guys that were hurt bad were dead, I was still moving so I knew I wasn't hurt bad!"

(Finn's wounds required a month's worth of convalescence at the hospital after the attack so these wounds were not of the John Kerry variety.)

Did I mention that John Finn is 98 years old? He is the nation's oldest living recipient of the Medal of Honor. When we arrived at the airport to escort him, many people in the terminal and gate areas were initially very nervous seeing so many police around. Some asked what was going on and when we explained to them that we were there to honor the man who is a national treasure, the oldest living recipient of the Medal of Honor they quickly broke out their cameras. Escorting John Finn through the airport was an absolute thrill. The shouts and applause for this man and many photos taken reminded me that there are those in America still ready to honor a hero, and who still believe in the greatness of this nation, especially here in flyover country. People were coming up just to shake his hand, to touch him, to connect to history through him. As he addressed the crowd, I'm not ashamed to say that a tear or two came cascading down my cheek. And I wasn't the only cop there running the waterworks. I'm one of those guys who chokes up at history. I once stood with a Texan on the battlefield at Chancellorsville, at the spot where Robert E. Lee and Stonewall Jackson last met. We stood there and cried like babies for several long minutes, too caught up in the history of the spot to care who saw us. It was just like that meeting John Finn.

Sure, I may meet a few more dignitaries in my career, but none of them will have the dignity of John Finn nor will any of them make the impression on me that he did. I was able to salute and thank a man who did more for his country in two hours, over 65 years ago, than the entire Congress has done in the past 60 years. I pray to God that John Finn can come to Reno again next year, because I can assure you that if he does, we'll have even more officers there to pay him our respects. It was my very great honor and privilege to have met this gentleman last Thursday and I owe that honor to the Transportation Security Administration. It is fashionable to bash these folks, most of whom are just like you and me, working hard to do their job, which happens to be protecting us. It was TSA officials who let us know that John Finn was coming to Reno. Without that advance notice, we could not have arranged the reception for him that we did. So I want to publicly thank the TSA and especially Jim Deal who gave us the heads up.

Smilin' Paul Villa U.S. Senate 2010
cyber-Congressman, R-Reno
Proud Member of the Vast Right Wing Conspiracy and 2 SUV Family

Saturday, July 07, 2007

Hey there sports fans as I told you all earlier this week, we're gonna get caught up around here by starting off with some recipes. I expect that by now, all of the surplus ribs and burgers and potato salad leftover from your Independence Day celebrations have all been consumed. By now y'all could probably use a little lighter fare from your grill. As always, Smilin' Paul is here to accomodate you. Terry, I hope you still drop in, if so tell Richie that he'd best enjoy this supper.

Now the best salmon I've ever had was in Seattle last year and that shouldn't come as any surprise, hell the Pacific Northwest is better known for salmon than it is for leftist America hating congresscritters, of which it has no shortage. This recipe I'm posting today is from my favorite Georgia Peach, Paula Deen. I tried it a few weeks ago and have been making it weekly since. This salmon is absolutely killer, sweet and flavorful and it comes off the grill just beautifully caramel in color. We've been enjoying it here with late season asparagus and some white and wild rice. Serve it up with a nice green salad and some french bread.

4 (6-ounce) salmon fillets

Marinade: 1 tablespoon maple syrup, 1 tablespoon teriyaki sauce, 1 tablespoon pineapple juice, 1 teaspoon minced fresh ginger, 1 clove garlic, mashed and most importantly, 1 tablespoon of good bourbon whiskey

Pineapple Salsa, recipe follows

Place salmon filets in a resealable plastic bag. Combine marinade ingredients in a non-reactive bowl or measuring cup. Pour marinade over fillets and refrigerate from 1 to 24 hours. (I found overnight to be best...really gives the marinade a chance to penetrate the fish and yet it doesn't overpower the salmon.)

In a grill basket sprayed with cooking spray, grill the salmon, skin side down, over hot coals. Flip after 2 to 3 minutes and cook for another 1 to 3 minutes, or until desired doneness. Serve with pineapple salsa spooned on the side.

Pineapple Salsa: 1 medium size ripe tomato, chopped into small cubes 1/4 cup chopped red bell pepper 2 pickled jalapeno pepper slices, deseeded and finely chopped 1/2 cup pineapple chucks, fresh or canned 1 teaspoon salt 1 tablespoon sugar

Place all ingredients in a small, non-reactive saucepan. Simmer over low heat for about 5 minutes. Cool. Refrigerate until ready to serve with the salmon.

And don't forget the ice cold beer on the side...and good eatin' on ya...

Smilin' Paul Villa U.S. Senate 2010
cyber-Congressman, R-Reno
Proud Member of the Vast Right Wing Conspiracy and 2 SUV Family

Monday, July 02, 2007

It's about to get Western...around here tonight...

Actually, it already got western, we welcomed the annual Reno Rodeo to town a couple weeks ago and I managed to make it out to the arena 3 times during the 10 day run. My son thoroughly enjoyed his first rodeo and why not? It's been some time since I harped on it but I tellya folks, for pure family entertainment, with a large dose of patriotism on the side, you're hard pressed to survey the American sports scene and find anything to equal a good rodeo. Where else do you get the Star Spangled Banner along with John Wayne's "America, Why I Love Her", and get honest to God prayer. Try that at a WNBA game and you'll have a team of ACLU attorneys crawling so far up the league's backside, it would take the switchboard operator a month to get an outside line for long distance. Rodeo on the other hand is like a silver cross to a vampire. Hell if an ACLU type even showed up, he'd probably be first out of the chute and run down by some steer wrestler from San Angelo, TX. But don't feel too bad for the poor fella, he gave that cowboy a record run, ACLU attorneys not being known for fleetness of foot.

Ok, admin details. We're done with schoolin' for a few weeks so we're gonna get caught up around here. First off that means recipes. I know some of y'all are waiting for the latest keen insights on the political scene. Keep your britches on, the election is still 16 months away. So lets get some recipes out there now and the rest will fall into place. After all, only serious political junkies are paying attention to the 2008 election at this point. Of those who are paying attention, you can discount half of them since you can't take democrats seriously anyway. At least I'd hope not, but I've seen some disturbing signs among friends of mine, behind enemy lines in the People's Republic of California. I mean you think you know some folks after 30 years but then they spring something on you like "Obama is intriguing"...what the hell? Intriguing like a case of genital warts? So with that kind of disturbance in the sphere of Smilin' Paul's friends, I'm trying to write it off as a case of summer fever. We'll revisit that topic only if truly needed.

In any event sports fans, summer is here and the 231st anniversary of our Nation's birth is just a couple days away. When I was a kid, the 4th of July was always my favorite holiday. Mostly because it meant fireworks and patriotic displays, parades without alternative lifestyle floats and of course good chow. I mean after all, when your momma is a Mexican from Texas, you can't help but eat good. Speaking of women in the family who can cook, my sister Cris was always pretty darn good in the kitchen her ownself. Over the years, Cris and I have had many a good discussion on various recipes. Now one thing we both agree on is that nothing screams summer like good ol' fried chicken. Cris has her own recipe and me? Well I shamelessly stole mine from that most famous of Georgia Peaches, Ms. Paula Deen. I've thrown down some fried yard strutter in my time and this is absolutely the best. Like Larry "Bull" Smith always says, it's so good it'll make you slap your grandma..."

I like to make at least a dozen pieces and this recipe will crank out 18 if you want to go that high. Usually I just cook thighs and legs since we like dark meat around these parts but you can easily use breasts here too.

Make up a batch of Paula's Deen's house seasoning. I use this stuff for everything from chicken to chops and even catfish. It's hard to beat for versatility.

1/2 cup of salt

1/8 cup of black pepper

1/8 cup garlic powder

Shake it all together.

Sprinkle the seasoning generously over your chicken pieces and place them into resealable plastic bags for at least 6 hours, overnight is even better.


2 cups of all purpose flour

1/3 cup of whole milk

3 eggs

I use an old jelly jar to store the seasoning and keep it right near the stove.

Early in the moring you're going to cook, or even the night before, liberally season the chicken with the house seasoning, place it in resealable plastic bags and store in the refrigerator.

When you're ready to cook. Get out a good stock pot, I use my stainless steel one myself. Pour about two inches of vegetable oil into it. Now let me suggest here that you get a candy thermometer, it will save you a lot of heartache and never fails to turn out perfect chicken. I turn the burner onto medium high and let it go. I want the thermometer to read about 375 degrees before I put in my chicken. While you're waiting on the oil to come to temp, get your batter ready.

1/3 cup whole milk

3 eggs

Lightly beat this mixture.

Take the 2 cups of all purpose flour and pour it into another resealable bag. I usually add a generous shake of the house seasoning to the flour but it isn't necessary. Now take a piece of chicken and dip it into the egg batter, then place it in your bag with the flour. I usually get four to six pieces of chicken in there at a time. Seal the bag and shake it to coat each piece. Now once the oil has come to 375 degrees, place the chicken into the oil, CAREFULLY, one piece at a time. The temp of the oil is going to come way down. I usually wait until the temp has come back up to about 360 degrees and then I pull the chicken out and drain it on paper bags. Of course with legs and thighs, it takes a bit of time, even deep frying but my rule of thumb is that they are done when golden brown and have been in the oil for at least 15 and usually closer to twenty minutes. You can always take a piece out, chop it in half and make sure the meat is uniformly white and that the juices run clear. Then you know it's done.

Now during the summer, I like to serve up my fried chicken with Pancho's Po' Salad, corn on the cob and buttermilk biscuits. In the winter, you just substitute masked potatoes for the potato salad. The biscuits stay. How about a picture or two of this wonderful chicken?

Smilin' Paul Villa U.S. Senate 2010
cyber-Congressman, R-Reno
Proud Member of the Vast Right Wing Conspiracy and 2 SUV Family