Welcome to the neighborhood

It’s nineteen hours into the new year, and I’ve received our first present from the far right fringe hate groups. In a plastic bag, tied with a white twist-tie and weighted with a piece of slightly red-tinged granite, a flier greeted me when I took the dogs out tonight:

Don’t Have Sex With Blacks
Avoid AIDS!

The flier then showed a mug shot of a young black man, and the names and counties of three accused black “sexual predators” who “lied about being HIV positive and had sex with dozens of White Women!” (emphasis in the original). The flier was signed by the National Alliance (note my disapproving vote attribute in the link). Googling the text led me to this file.

I frankly feel sick to my stomach. And I don’t know what recourse I have. The leaflet text is protected by the First Amendment; a similar offense in Princeton was prosecuted as littering last year. A similar incident was reported at Rice in 2000. I suppose I should take some comfort in seeing that in four years the racist minds behind this haven’t been able to come up with any additional attacks, but I can’t.

The only constructive action I can think of is to talk to other people in the community and figure out how to coordinate a response.

Family updates

I updated the genealogy section of the site; this long overdue update added in all my living Brackbill second and third cousins. I had never had a chance to transcribe the Brackbill Book, the 1989 compilation of our family tree from Great-Grandfather Harry on down, and so I was in the embarrassing position of having tons of information about people born in the 17th, 18th, and 19th centuries and no representation of my living cousins. The updated genealogy has been uploaded to the site; as always, please note the caution about the Freeman data.

Cotechino? Cotechini? Zamponi?

We had Charlie and Carie over last night for a traditional New Year’s meal of cotechino and lentils—we upped the ante by serving them over homemade pappardelle in a sauce that also featured fresh sage, onions, and pancetta. (Skip’s Italian Food Blog: Felice Capo d’Anno talks a little more about the tradition).

Interestingly, Lisa had trouble communicating with our normally simpatico Abruzzese butcher to get the cotechino. They went back and forth for three or four different dialect variations until they settled on cotechini—which I suppose is just a plural, after all. But it didn’t resemble what we remembered—the sausages were much smaller, while we remembered great big 2-inch-diameter sausages. I think what we had had before was zampone, which is the same filling in a larger skin. It was delicious anyway.