phynedyning

Archive for August, 2013|Monthly archive page

Fail: OXO Steel Chef’s Mandoline Slicer

In Reviews on August 14, 2013 at 3:13 pm

th-8

I rarely devote a column to products that don’t meet my expectations (government excluded). But, this time, a product I tried was so abysmally designed that it warrants a few pixels.

The failing product is OXO’s Steel Chef’s Mandoline Slicer.

It’s a bit painful writing this review. I have always trusted OXO kitchen tools. Most of my gadgets and really useful stuff has been made by OXO. The brand enjoys endorsements by the folks at America’s Test Kitchen and (among others) Chef Jacques Pepin.

First, a little bit of background on mandoline-style slicers.

The mandoline slicer is sort of a horizontal guillotine. Fruit or vegetables are slid down its upper surface where they contact a fixed blade. The blade slices off a bit of the food item each time the operator passes the food over the blade. The device can be adjusted to cut foods in almost any thickness. Mandolines are extremely helpful when the cook needs to slice a large quantity of foods or if the slices must be uniform and the cook has less than average knife skills. Think of the device as an upside-down wood plane.

I was introduced to mandoline slicers as a professional cook. In those days (and in many pro kitchens today) the food was pushed on the slicer by a hand protected with a folded towel or flour sack.

Nowadays, many professional mandolins and virtually all home models come with a food pusher designed to hold the food and protect the operator’s hand from the razor-sharp slicing blade.

The pusher (or ‘food holder’) on the OXO Steel Chef’s Mandoline Slicer fails to hold the food because the blade is poorly designed.

The holder has a dozen or so small plastic nubs molded into it’s base. It also has about six thin, steel pins that retract as the food gets thinner from slicing. In the case of the $100 OXO slicer in question, the food starts past the blade and then quickly jams. The food pusher rips right out of the food. The food jams, because the blade of the slicer reverses to a toothed side designed to slice soft foods (such as tomatoes) and, as a result, the blade has a small ‘step’ where the two blades join.

Getting the jammed food out of the slicer is like arm-wrestling Edward Scissorhands. There is no way you’re going to finish the event without getting cut.

Usefulness aside, the OXO slicer is an elegant piece of kitchen equipment and its construction is quite sturdy.

It simply does not work. Kitchen tools need to work.

I tried to julienne carrots and daikon for a batch of kim chee and I could not complete more than three passes with either food before my slicing came skidding to a halt. I switched the blade to simply slice the food and hoped to complete the julienne cuts by stacking the sliced food and then cutting it with a knife. The same problem manifested. The slicer jammed after 2 or 3 passes and the pusher ripped right out of the food.

Once the food is ripped out of the pusher/holder, it cannot be replaced and the cut re-tried. The metal pins designed to hold the food, thoroughly rip the food to ribbons in sort of an ironic mockery of slicing.

I finished my kim chee using a kitchen utility knife. But, not wanting to concede defeat, I used a spare potato to see if the OXO slicer could be salvaged to make fries.

It could not.

The slicer was carefully cleaned, re-boxed, and returned to the seller.

What a shame.

I think the product is worthy of a re-design. The most simple change would be to package the slicer with four, individual blades. Doing so would eliminate the sharp ‘step’ present on the reversible blade and such a design would likely put an end to food jams.

For just over $50 more, I purchased a Bron professional mandoline. Except for the folded flour sacks, the Bron on order is virtually identical to the one I used professionally nearly forty years ago.

Bron: OXO's replacement.

Bron: OXO’s replacement.

I promise to give a review.

Advertisements

Heavyweight winners: George Foreman countertop grills

In Shameless plug on August 7, 2013 at 3:27 pm

It’s been some time since the Phyne Dyner offered up a ‘shameless plug’. While grilling purists will likely ‘pishaw’ and raise contemptuous noses at George Foreman’s offerings in countertop grills, these little guys pack a big punch for a very modest cut of your hard-earned prize money. Enjoy!

th-7

My friend, Danny, called me yesterday morning to ask if I wanted to tag along with him “grill shopping”.

Danny is a vegetarian.

“Planning a steak dinner for Labor Day?” I asked wickedly.

Silence.

Danny lives in a condo. Charcoal and wood-fired grills are prohibited where he lives and even gas grills are as popular with his HOA as Louisville Sluggers at a baby seal convention.

He was perplexed. “Do you know anything about electric grills? Connie (his girlfriend) wants to grill some summer squash and carrots. She said we’d go to Costco this weekend to look at an electric model.”

I cringed. I had seen one at the big box store where I shop. It was a wimpy, robin-egg blue gizmo that stood on a spindly pedestal. My wife called it “adorable’. I thought it was to grilling what a blowup doll is to sex.

Research has proven that enormous, stainless steel barbeque grills can elicit ¾-inch beard growth in neutered men and in female members of the Brady Coalition.

I closed my eyes and laid bare my soul: “I have a George ForemanGrilling Machine.”

After outing myself, I decided to make the best of it.

I had purchased the glorified hotplate on a whim. It was cold and snowy, with occasional showers of freezing urine. (A typical Iowa early spring.) I was coveting a steak dinner and my wood/charcoal behemoth was still buried under three feet of snow. I reasoned the $25 Foreman grill would do as good as my trusty iron skillet on a steak. “What’s to lose?”

That was eight years ago. I still use the countertop grill for an occasional hamburger, veggie patty, grilled zucchini, and to toast buns and hotdogs. It also continues to see steak-grilling service when the weather sucks…about ten months out of every Iowa year. It sees a lot of duty time preparing grilled vegetables for side-dishes.

It does a nice job on each task I assign to it.

Just let the grill pre-heat and toss on the food. You even get some pretty sweet grill marks if such things matter to you. Cleanup is reasonably easy. But mine is an older model using permanently attached grill plates. That’s kind of a bummer because the grill cannot be immersed for cleaning. Most of the newer models come with removable plates. Even so, the non-stick coating on my old grill has held up well and the whole thing wipes clean with a few paper towels and soapy water.

The grill folds to cook both sides of the food at one time, so there’s no spatters of grease like from an open cast iron skillet. The temperature of the grill, while adequate to provide a reasonable char on meat, does not get so hot that it fills the kitchen with smoke.

I suggested that we go look at Foreman’s offerings first. He could pick something out and take it home ‘on approval’. If Connie didn’t like it, he could take it back. Before I picked him up, Danny had gone online and made a list of different grills to check out.

Let’s pause here so I can make a quick observation: Electric countertop grills and panini presses are virtually identical. So, what’s the difference?

You can buy a Foreman grill for $20 to $100. A panini press with grilling capability (high enough grilling temperature and ridged plates) will set you back $50 to $250. I paid $29 for my Grilling Machine in 2006.

I stood back while Danny picked out the newer version of the model I have. It set him back $36.95, plus tax. As we made our way to the checkout, Danny began to fidget with the box. He grinned at me.

“I’d really like to try it out.”

“Great!” I said, “Let’s buy a couple pounds of hamburger.”

We ended up buying a package of Morningstar Mediterranean-style vegetable patties. Connie would be home in about an hour and Danny asked me if I would help him fix their supper. I agreed.

Danny has a pretty well equipped kitchen. Cooking is also a bit of a hobby for him. I began to set out the items we’d need. Danny started working up side salads.

[Cook’s Note: The falafel spices and tahina are available at Middle Eastern markets and in most grocery stores in populated areas. The sesame oil* and olive oil* are best dispensed from Misto oil sprayers.]

1 Morningstar Mediterranean-style vegetarian patty per person

½ sweet onion, coarsely chopped

2 C button mushrooms, thick sliced

1-2 TBS falafel spice blend

toasted sesame oil*

olive oil*

1 whole wheat bun per veggie patty

tahina

Pre-heat the countertop grill according to its instructions. When the grill is hot, place the chopped onion and the mushrooms on the grill surface, spray with a bit of sesame oil and season with a teaspoon or so of the falafel spices. Cook until well browned and then remove to a plate. Place the vegetable patties on the grill and spray their upper surfaces with olive oil. Season generously with falafel spices. [You may have to ‘stack’ the patties if the grill does not press down on the top surfaces. Just ‘rotate’ the patties by flipping them so both sides get some grill-time.] Remove the patties when cooked through (about 4 minutes).

Spray the cut surfaces of the buns with sesame oil and place them on the grill and close it. Grill them for 3-4 minutes or until the rolls have nice, toasty grill marks.

Remove the buns from the grill and turn it off. Scatter some of the cooked onion and mushroom on the bottom bun, lay on a patty, and scatter a bit more of the onion mixture on top of the patty. Finish off the sandwich by drizzling it with a tablespoon (or two) of tahina. Serve with salads, olives, and pickles.

The George Foreman countertop grills perform very well and give cash-strapped consumers an inexpensive, all-weather alternative to charcoal or gas grills.

Take seven! (Herbs…and make a tasty pasta dish.)

In Recipies on August 6, 2013 at 2:09 pm

I’m going to let my readers come up for air. I used myself as a ‘misery barometer’ and decided it was time to take a break from articles about the state’s Praetorians killing 95 year-old men and 2 week-old fawns.

Long time readers already know that I fancy herbs. I grow pounds of them each year. My herb crop is carefully tended, painstakingly harvested, meticulously cleaned, and thoroughly dried for my kitchen and to give as gifts to people I know.

About 80% of my herbs are grown in large pots on my patio deck. The rest are planted among my cucumbers, tomatoes, eggplants, and other veggies and flowers.

My morning routine involves an hour of meditation. If the weather is suitable (and it is most summers), I drag my cushion to the deck. The slightest breeze raises the aromatic oils of my basil, rosemary, oregano, mint, and thyme…creating all-natural aromatherapy. I finish the session with a bit of ‘working kin hin’, or ‘walking meditation’.

Although I have adequate lengths of garden hose, I carry water to my row crops in large buckets. It’s meditation at its best to mindfully water each growing plant, one at a time. I (with some regret) pick pests off of plants as I work, since I use no pesticides in my garden. I (with much thanks) remove any ripe fruits and veggies at the same time. My morning repast of brown rice and homemade kim chee sustains me as I work.

This year, as in all years, my herbs are producing useable growth faster than my dehydrator can process it. Consequently, I’m always on the lookout for recipes that make use of quantities of fresh herbs.

I found one written by Mel Bartholomew, the Square Foot Gardener. I adapted it to meet my needs and you can adapt it to yours.

Let’s go!

You’ll need (use all FRESH herbs, not dried):

1 stick salted butter

3 large cloves garlic, minced

½ tsp Aleppo pepper (or any red pepper flakes)

½ C (packed) basil leaves, minced

¼ C (packed) chives, chopped

½ tsp fennel seed, cracked

1 TBS (packed) oregano, chopped

1 TBS (loose packed) rosemary, chopped

1 TBS (loose packed) tarragon, chopped

2 tsp thyme leaves

salt and freshly ground black pepper

1 lb dry farfalle (bow tie) pasta

3oz goat cheese crumbles (optional)

2 stems curly-leaf kale, washed

1-2oz pecorino Romano, grated

 Add 1 TBS of kosher salt to 5 qts water in a large pot. Heat to a gentle boil. Tear the kale into bite-size pieces, removing the leaves entirely from the stems. Toss the kale into the boiling water for 3 minutes. Remove the kale to a colander by using a slotted spoon. You will re-use the kale water (and its nutrients) to cook the pasta. Run the kale under cold tap water and then squeeze as much water from it as possible, forming the kale into a compact ball. Use a sharp knife to chop the kale ball.

Cook the pasta in the kale water until firm, about 12-14 minutes.

While the pasta is cooking, melt the butter in a shallow skillet over medium-low heat. Stir in all of the herbs, the garlic, the pepper flakes, and the fennel seed. Cook gently for about 2-3 minutes. Toss in the goat cheese crumbles, if used.

Drain the pasta and rinse it well. Return it to its pot and toss with the chopped kale. Gently fold in the herb/cheese mixture. Serve in large bowls or on large plates. Generously sprinkle the pasta dish with grated Romano. Serve with a garden salad, dressed with a good-quality olive oil…and a bottle of crisp, white wine.

Jennifer Niemeyer & Cathy Stepp: The softer, more feminine side of state terrorism…

In General Information on August 5, 2013 at 3:14 pm

If Hell exists, it exists for the purpose of being the eternal place of repose for Jennifer Niemeyer and Cathy Stepp. My rabbi always warns me, “Never say that it couldn’t be worse, because it can get worse…and it will.” Friends, I thought the police killing of a 95 year-old veteran was at the absolute bottom of the cesspool of the Amerikan Soyuz’s monopoly on violence. I was wrong. What kind of monster deliberately inflicts mental cruelty in the manner sanctioned by Niemeyer and Stepp?

[Editor’s note: After publishing this, I decided to look into what kind of people can do this kind of thing. The Wisconsin State Journal (30 December 2010) gave me the information I was seeking. Stepp was appointed by Governor Scott (Sieg Heil!) Walker. She is (of course) a Republican. Her appointment drew immediate fire from Democrats and Brett Hulsey (D-Madison) said, “Putting Cathy Stepp in charge of the DNR is like putting Lindsay Lohan in charge of a rehab center.” His words were (unfortunately for ‘Giggles’) sadly prescient. Of his then nominee, Walker said, “I wanted a person with a Chamber of Commerce mentality.” (Translation: Business uber alles!). Stepp, herself, said this about the agency she was about to head: “The people who work at the DNR tend to be “anti-development, anti-transportation, and pro-garter snakes, karner blue butterflies, etc.” Yeah, Cathy…fuck wildlife. Just the kind of person we need in charge of baby deer.]

I was aghast when I finished watching the WISN-TV link sent to me by a fellow Phyne Dyner.

If you have a strong stomach, click on this link: http://www.wisn.com/news/armed-agents-raid-animal-shelter-for-baby-deer/-/9373668/21272108/-/wvh1n7z/-/index.html

If you do not have a strong stomach, here’s the abbreviated story:

About two weeks ago, agents of the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources and local sheriff’s deputies executed a military-style assault/raid on a no-kill animal shelter operated by the Society of St. Francis. The shelter is staffed by volunteers, many of them well into the years of senior citizenship. During the raid, the shelter staff was herded into the facility’s picnic area and DNR agents ‘tranquilized’ the two week old fawn the old folks had named, “Giggles”. In an action that speaks volumes in depravity, these brave police ‘heroes’ tossed Giggles’ across their shoulders and paraded her limp form past the horrified volunteers. Officials say the fawn was removed from the premises and was “humanely euthanized”.

The issue is not a dead deer.

The issue is the horrific manner in which the sheriff’s goons and the DNR jackboots willfully terrorized the staff at the St. Francis shelter. The staff had taken turns feeding the fawn with a bottle, given her a little wicker bed, and fitted her with a cute collar. The actions of the goons was a deliberate message not to trifle with the state and its zero-tolerance laws. The Wisconsin DNR’s goal was the goal of all terrorists: to create fear of the terrorist’s power and to intimidate others from behaviors not sanctioned by the terrorist organization.

Niemeyer

Niemeyer

Local reporters contacted Jennifer Niemeyer, the supervising DNR warden for the case, and asked her about the necessity of executing a military assault on the shelter. Niemeyer

Stepp

Stepp

(pictured) responded:

“If a sheriff’s department is going in to do a search warrant on a drug bust, they don’t call them and ask them to voluntarily surrender their marijuana or whatever drug that they have before they show up.”

Niemeyer’s comments are in the best of examples to be found in the ‘us versus them’ mentalities of contemporary, American jackbooted stormtroopers. The public, even animal-loving seniors, are potential threats in need of SWAT-swarming. It is the kind of thinking that holds that an elderly woman with a fawn is the same as a deranged man with a gun.

Niemeyer even demurely played the ‘I vas choost following ordahs’ from the Schutzstaffel of the last century. She deferred that Wisconsin’s DNR secretary, Cathy Stepp (also pictured) personally authorized the raid and execution of the fawn.

The incident and the callousness of these two women has properly outraged the public. Both women and their agency are receiving death threats.

Death threats are wrong. Any threat of violence is wrong.

However, it is not wrong to let the children, the parents, and the neighbors of these two females know that they are both monsters on par with Ilse Koch, AKA “The Bitch of Buchenwald”.

They are not to be despised for killing a fawn.

They are to be despised for terrorizing the people who dared break the law by caring for a defenseless baby deer. They are to be despised for being the agents who imprinted traumatic memories by acting in a willful manner designed solely to terrorize and intimidate the kind-hearted souls who dared to violate holy state wildlife policies.

May Jennifer Niemeyer and Cathy Stepp live to ripe, old age. May they always be reminded that they were the softer and more feminine side of state terror. They, and they alone, decided to turn in their Humanity Card and, by doing so, have been deemed not to be able to claim a place among civilized men and women. Out of a kindness these two, inhumane bitches denied to the staff at St. Francis…

…they must be allowed to live in peace, but they should reviled by all that is good in mankind.

A closing Editor’s note: I almost refused to cover this story. Often, coverage of organized brutality is exactly what a brutalizing state most desires. Every tyrant knows that you don’t have to kill or torture every dissenter…you need only kill or torture a few…in public, and with the cameras rolling. A reputation of ruthlessness is as valuable as absolutely ruthless behavior. I chose to publicize this story to bring Niemeyer and Stepp out into the disinfecting sunlight and so their friends, neighbors, their children, and their grandchildren can see them for the horrible monsters that they are.

Police ‘heroes’ taze and shoot 95 year-old WWII vet…killing him.

In General Information on August 2, 2013 at 3:07 pm

“The Japanese military couldn’t get him at the age when he was touchable, in a uniform in the war. It took 70 years later for the Park Forest police to do the job.” – Wrana family attorney, Nicholas Grapsas

When John Wrana was a young man, fit and strong and fighting in World War II with the U.S. Army Air Corps, did he ever think he’d end this way?

Just a few weeks shy of his 96th birthday, in need of a walker to move about, cops coming through the door of his retirement home with a Taser and a shotgun.

The old man, described by a family member as “wobbly” on his feet, had refused medical attention. The paramedics were called. They brought in the Park Forest police.

First they tased him, but that didn’t work. So they fired a shotgun, hitting him in the stomach with a bean-bag round. Wrana was struck with such force that he bled to death internally, according to the Cook County medical examiner.

“The Japanese military couldn’t get him at the age he was touchable, in a uniform in the war. It took 70 years later for the Park Forest police to do the job,” Wrana’s family attorney, Nicholas Grapsas, a former prosecutor, said in an interview with me Thursday.

Wrana’s family wants answers. The Illinois State Police are investigating the horrific incident but won’t comment, and neither will the Park Forest police pending the outcome of the inquiry.

I wasn’t at the scene, and maybe the police have a good explanation. But common sense tells me that cops don’t need a Taser or a shotgun to subdue a 95-year-old man.

And after doing some digging, I found there are two versions of events: The police version, and a new picture that raises questions of whether John Wrana was killed unnecessarily.

The Park Forest police version is that on the night of July 26, John Wrana, a resident of the Victory Centre senior living facility, threatened staff and paramedics with a 2-foot-long metal shoehorn and a metal cane. The police statement neglects to mention that the old man also used a walker, at least according to photographs supplied by Grapsas.

“Attempts were made verbally to have the resident comply with demands to drop the articles, to no avail,” the police statement reads. “The resident then armed himself with a 12-inch butcher type kitchen knife.”

But lawyer Grapsas says that Wrana’s family never saw a knife in his room and that staff also told him Wrana didn’t have such a knife.

“So where did the knife come from?” Grapsas asked.

The police statement leaves the impression that the staff was under threat, leaving police with no choice other than to shoot him.

But according to Maria Oliva, an executive with Pathway Senior Living, the staff was kept out of the room after police arrived. So there was no imminent threat to staff.

“The staff was not inside once the police were on the scene,” Oliva told us. “At different times the staff were in there, but not when they were called. They (the police) were in charge at that point.”

Police said there had been threats made against the staff. But Grapsas said he was told that staff begged to be allowed to try to calm down the old man.

“If there were threats to the staff, why did the staff want to intervene and say, ‘Let us handle this; we’ll get him calmed down’?” he asked.

Grapsas says he was told that police used a riot shield to come through the door before shooting bean-bag rounds at the old man as he sat in his chair.

Riot shields are used to push back mobs of angry young protesters in the streets, or against dangerous convicts in prison cells, not to subdue an old, old man in a chair.

“At some point, I’m told there were between five and seven police officers, they went back to the room with a riot shield in hand, entered the door and shot him with a shotgun that contained bean-bag rounds,” Grapsas said.

Dear NSA and FBI, Fuck you…and the APC you rode in on!

In Editorial, General Information on August 1, 2013 at 3:18 pm

The following appeared today (1 August 2013) in the Atlantic Wire under the byline of Philip Bump. My commentary will appear in italics and in the color you are now reading. If you didn’t think (or know) that our free Republic had been finally and totally euthanized, this article should remove all doubt.

[2 August 2013 Editor’s Note: News sources are now reporting that it was the Catalano’s husband’s employer, Speco Technologies, who triggered the visit by joint task force goons. The new information was obtained from the Suffolk County Sheriff’s Office and has been confirmed by Catalano. Therefore, it was not an NSA dragnet or Google who set the events in motion. It was the victims former employer.]

Michele Catalano was looking for information online about pressure cookers. Her husband, in the same time frame, was Googling backpacks. Wednesday morning, six men from a joint terrorism task force showed up at their house to see if they were terrorists. Which begs the question: How’d the government know what they were Googling?

Catalano (who is a professional writer) describes the tension of that visit…

“…[T]hey were peppering my husband with questions. Where is he from? Where are his parents from? They asked about me, where was I, where do I work, where do my parents live. Do you have any bombs, they asked. Do you own a pressure cooker? My husband said no, but we have a rice cooker. Can you make a bomb with that? My husband said no, my wife uses it to make quinoa. What the hell is quinoa, they asked. …

I actually burst out laughing at ‘What the hell is quinoa?’ My mirth was short-lived when I realized that such was the depth and breadth of knowledge among Praetorians who are empowered to snuff out my life, kill my dog, and ransack my house.

“Do you have any bombs?” Well shit, their job just got easier. Real terrorists would say something like, “Yes. It’s in the pantry, next to the quinoa.”

Thank Heaven they (the liberty-trampling goons) are neither efficient nor smart.

Have you ever looked up how to make a pressure cooker bomb? My husband, ever the oppositional kind, asked them if they themselves weren’t curious as to how a pressure cooker bomb works, if they ever looked it up. Two of them admitted they did.”

Notice, only the elites and their Praetorians are assumed to have looked at ‘forbidden’ material without mal intent…just like Orwell’s members of the Inner Party.

The men identified themselves as members of the “joint terrorism task force.” The composition of such task forces depend on the region of the country, but, as we outlined after the Boston bombings, include a variety of federal agencies. Among them: the FBI and Homeland Security.

Goons from various ‘joint terrorism task forces’ often come from numerous agencies which are supposedly under local control and supposedly answer to the citizens of the jurisdictions that pay them. Since the goons are never identified and their agencies are never named, we’ll just assume they are Amerika’s Secret Police, or Geheimstaatspolizei Amerikan.

Ever since details of the NSA’s surveillance infrastructure were leaked by Edward Snowden, the agency has been insistent on the boundaries of the information it collects. It is not, by law, allowed to spy on Americans — although there are exceptions of which it takes advantage. Its PRISM program, under which it collects internet content, does not include information from Americans unless those Americans are connected to terror suspects by no more than two other people. It collects metadata on phone calls made by Americans, but reportedly stopped collecting metadata on Americans’ internet use in 2011. So how, then, would the government know what Catalano and her husband were searching for?

Connected to terror suspects. Okay folks, even the people infatuated with the Kardashians and Mama June (Honey Boo Boo’s mommy) should know the difference between a ‘suspected terrorist’ and a ‘terrorist’. And, exactly HOW would the government know what the Catalano family was looking up online? Snowden only told the truth.

It’s possible that one of the two of them is tangentially linked to a foreign terror suspect, allowing the government to review their internet activity. After all, that “no more than two other people” ends up covering millions of people. Or perhaps the NSA, as part of its routine collection of as much internet traffic as it can, automatically flags things like Google searches for “pressure cooker” and “backpack” and passes on anything it finds to the FBI.

More likely, the link (if any) never existed. Millions of people have been denounced speciously and have been deported (or worse) in earnest.

Or maybe it was something else. On Wednesday, The Guardian reported on XKeyscore, a program eerily similar to Facebook search that could clearly allow an analyst to run a search that picked out people who’d done searches for those items from the same location. How those searches got into the government’s database is a question worth asking; how the information got back out seems apparent.

But…but…but…they’re not even looking. Right?

It is also possible that there were other factors that prompted the government’s interest in Catalano and her husband. He travels to Asia, she notes in her article. Who knows. Which is largely Catalano’s point.

Who knows, ain’t talkin’.

“They mentioned that they do this about 100 times a week. And that 99 of those visits turn out to be nothing. I don’t know what happens on the other 1% of visits and I’m not sure I want to know what my neighbors are up to.”

One hundred times a week, groups of six armed men drive to houses in three black SUVs, conducting consented-if-casual searches of the property perhaps in part because of things people looked up online.

They do this about 100 times a week? That’s 5,200 rights violations committed by law enforcement per year. That means 5,200 people should greet the goons at the door, tell them to leave, and explain to the goons how warrants work. That means, 5,200 times a year, the goons should hear only: “I have nothing to say. I will say nothing until I speak with legal counsel.” Why are people talking to the goons? Why aren’t the goons warming a bunk at the House of Involuntary Sodomy?

But the NSA doesn’t collect data on Americans, so this certainly won’t happen to you.

You can go back to sleep now.