Joseph Thiebes portland, oregon | art | science | philosophy | politics | food


Doddering Democracy: Expediency and Idealism in the “Occupy Wall Street” Movement

A funny thing happened on the way to the General Assembly. It was the first time I had attended such a meeting at “Occupy Portland, Oregon,” the local protest corresponding to the “Occupy Wall Street” protests in New York City. The protests had already been going on for a couple of weeks and it was the first opportunity I had to spend any time at one. I attended principally because I was interested to learn more about the concerns of local protesters and how the protest was being organized.  As someone interested primarily in listening, I didn’t speak, and I learned more than I imagined I would, on an unexpected subject—democracy, and how it differs in application when utilized as an organizational tool, as opposed to idealized as a panacea. Two encounters in particular at this meeting have given me much to consider on this subject, and have shaped my thoughts concerning the nationwide “Occupy” movement as a whole.


A Humble Proposition

Militarized law enforcement as entertainment

Militarized law enforcement may provide a valuable form of entertainment

A Humble Proposition
for preventing the unemployed in the United States of America, from being a burden on their country, and for making them beneficial to the public

It is a melancholy object to those, who walk though the great city of New York, or travel to nearly any other city in this great nation, when they see the parks crowded with unemployed youth, veterans of combat, and aging drug users, granola crunchers, and brassiereless females, all in soiled, malodorous clothing and harassing every passerby (Roberts et al.). These people instead of working for their honest livelihood are content to employ all their time complaining about the accomplishments of others and beg for debt relief while they thieve and rape for want of work and love (Lomax), or they may indeed leave their dear native country, to fight as terrorists against civilized society (Vermillion).


Comical Candidacies: Controversy in Political Satire

Joseph Thiebes and Vermin Supreme after the AC2012 debate

Joseph Thiebes and Vermin Supreme after the debate

Three hours later than planned, after a 6-hour flight and a hurried drive through the suburbs of Boston, I finally arrived in Salem, Massachusetts to find the media team nearly ready for the event that had been anticipated jokingly as perhaps “the most important political event of the year,” (Bernstein) and would later be called “the best fake presidential debate Massachusetts has seen in a generation” (Carioli). I donned my newly fitted black tuxedo with a red bowtie and matching pocket square, and sat down at a table on stage next to a man in the process of fastening a boot to his head. It was Halloween weekend, but the boot was not exactly a costume. Hearing the excited cheers of audience and members of the media team, Vermin Supreme acknowledged that this trademark fashion accessory brings more media attention than any of his other antics.


New Prints & Etsy Shop

I've begun offering a few of my artworks in limited edition giclée prints on canvas. Each print is enhanced with acrylic painting by my own hand, making each print unique. The first few of these are now available on my new Etsy shop

Qabalah of the Chinese Cosmos

Qabalah of the Chinese Cosmos, by Joseph Thiebes


Perfect Whole Wheat Chocolate Chip Cookies

Perfect Chocolate Chip Cookies

This is my recipe for perfect chocolate chip cookies, with all the fiber and nutrients of 100% whole wheat flour.


A light quiche

Spinach and pepper-jack quiche

Tonight I attended a party and brought a quiche with cheddar, peas and carrots. A few people marveled at how it was pleasantly lighter than what they were accustomed to, and asked for my recipe, so I thought I'd just post it.

Quiche is one of the easiest things in the world to make. Once you know the basics, you can improvise a lot to make different kinds of quiche. So I'll tell you my template, and you can experiment with different ingredients.


  • 1 frozen pie crust
  • 4 eggs
  • plus milk to equal 1¾ cups with eggs
  • ¼ cup yogurt
  • 8 oz cheese, grated
  • 10 oz frozen vegetables, chopped

A few words about the ingredients:

You can make your own pie crust of course. I find frozen to be just as good, and far easier. For my typical, day-to-day quiche, I don't even bother with pre-baking the crust. If it's a special occasion, I'll get the all-butter crust from Grand Central and pre-bake it according to their directions. Whether you use it frozen or pre-bake it, keep it frozen until right before you plan to put it in the oven.

Try to buy eggs that are local, or close by. I hope during this crisis in the Gulf of Mexico that it is obvious why buying food close to the source is a good idea. Less distance between you and your food means less gasoline used in getting it to you. Moreover, keep that money close to home where it counts for you.

Using 1% milk and whole milk yogurt gives good results. You might experiment with different fat levels. I find that going completely nonfat is a little too light for my taste. There is no reason not to experiment though. In a pinch, I have completely replaced milk with yogurt. It was strange, but tasty. It's hard to really fail here.


Preheat oven to 325°.

If you have frozen vegetables, put them in a small saucepan with a half cup of water. Boil covered until they are completely thawed. Drain thoroughly and give them a chance to cool a bit before putting them in the custard.

Whisk together the eggs, milk and yogurt. Then, stir in the cheese. I usually do this step while the veggies are cooking. Mix in the vegetables last.

Spoon the custard into the pie crust, and bake about 40 minutes, until toothpick or knife-tip comes out clean.

Suggested Combinations & Variations

  • peas, carrots, & cheddar
  • broccoli &cheddar
  • spinach & pepper jack
  • spinach & swiss (emmental and gruyere are excellent), with a dusting of nutmeg on top
  • the spinach & swiss is also great with some chopped bacon added into the custard
  • experiment and enjoy!