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Profile Information

Gender: Male
Hometown: Austin, TX
Home country: USA
Member since: Tue Sep 18, 2012, 04:36 PM
Number of posts: 17,674

About Me

I have been on DU since 2006 under \"SteveM\" and later \"SteveW.\" Due to an account mix-up and a computer crash, I have \"rejoined\" as Eleanors38, but my history at DU includes the names cited.

Journal Archives

Wow, the bottom dropped out on gunz topics over in GD.

Must be the gross violation of Narrative.

I renew my proposal to discuss the phenomenon of mass murder in the context of Celebrity Culture (and politics as necessary). I have noticed a number of criticisms of MSM on line which center on its rather narrow, oft-repeated gun-ban outlook as a lens for analysis. One critic pointed to the laudatory comments of one mass murderer; the attention received; the coverage, the history-making, etc. The person who authored those admiring comments was the next murder junkie.

Looking at these events with a wider field of view might be instructive not only to MSM, but to the rest of us who who "consume" news of these events. As a starter, I suggest not mentioning the name of the punk-stink who does the killing, or dwelling on his/her "philosophy," recently-grafted-on religiosity, or feelings of power, etc. This is not to say we should curtail investigations, study, etc. An impossible idea anyway. But I support changing the zeitgeist from wide-eyed amazement at the actions of some skid mark, and substituting an atmosphere of casual dismissal, denigration and de-personalization of the slaughter-boy. Let's reduce the postmortem glory these crap sacks enjoy before-hand (lord knows the script is lovingly laid out for them, predictable as a Fifties Western), and give them nothing to act on in the first place. Life means nothing to them, only celebrity and a measure of immortality (admittedly, of some value these days). So let us not afford them even that.

MSM handles this stuff the same way every time, so its no wonder folks just bow deeper to their hand-helds and say "I don't want to talk about it." Let's take some individual action, however meager, to establish "community" in an online world which is anathema to such. Maybe it will catch on and be supported by those who grind out the news.

Good thoughts, everyone.

WOW! 90-day dove season aproved in Texas, longest in 80 years!

Texas Parks and Wildlife Department approved extended dove seasons for the state in April. The Central Zone (including Austin) will start as usual on September 1st, but continue through November 6th (2 weeks longer than last year). It resumes in mid-December and ends January 8th. That's 90 days! Most of the extra time is in late Oct and early Nov when hunting for white wings and mourners is still pretty viable. Yea! (Deer season most likely starts the next day, Nov. 7.)

Haven't read what the reasoning is, but huge rains have caused asphalt to bloom, and grain is plentiful. Most of the camp fire talk goes with
the idea that if rains slacken off for the last 2 months of summer, excess water (which diffuses birds geographically) will dry up, concentrating birds. Also, the caliche won't suck the soles off your shoes!

Deer season regs were also approved in March, with changes which extend and encourage more antlerless take, including "doe days," mainly in central-east Texas. This counters the national trend which has seen deer numbers slope off. That usually means restrictions on doe takes, a reversal in conservation policy in place for several years.

Both seasons have good prospects.

No problem. That's why I limited my remarks to use and possession of full-auto.

The rest of the laws in the U.S. would apply for all other weapons. The Swiz full-auto restrictions you mention are certainly less restrictive than those in the U.S.

Lest there be any doubt about the intent of "Under the Gun's" silent treatment...

From 'Under the Gun': Sundance Review - Hollywood Reporter (google this as I can't link)

"A group of blustery members of the Virginia Citizens Defense League, however, suddenly remain painfully quiet when Couric asks them the hard questions."

The review has a so-so opinion of the longish documentary (like a "supersized 60 minutes), but considers the film more "rigorously journalistic" than Michael Moore's Columbine. I wonder what the Reporter thinks of journalistic "rigor," now.

What Ali meant to me.

When Muhammad Ali was in full command of the boxing world, and much of the entertainment culture, I was amused. I also respected his stand-up character in a time of racial upheaval. But what stuck with me was his actions regarding the Vietnam war. At the top of his game, with millions on the table, and probably with enough wherewithal to dodge the draft, he announced he would not be inducted, took jail time, lost his title and receded into the background. I was puzzled. Not just about why he did this, but his seeming indifference to wealth, fame and celebrity; the very soul of modern America. But I looked beyond my confusion and some anger and saw that taking a moral stand cannot be conditioned by the trappings of security. Such actions are stand alone.

Later, of course, he worked his way back up and became even more influential and, yes, entertaining. And his credibility was as deep as any man's or woman's. As I began my leftist activism -- the most career-oriented activity in my life -- I was informed and moved by Ali and his contemporaries: King, Chavez, Malcolm X, Berrigan, and a host of unknowns who put down what they were doing and joined in with the struggle for equal rights, for de-militarization, and for economic security. It was no longer just about passing out bumper strips, putting up yard signs and stuffing envelopes. It was also about civil disobedience, working for causes which would get you a file, and knowing at some time and in some way you would be outside the system. And you would face consequences. Ali was a living object lesson in those realities and dangers. And that was, and still is, comforting.

Rest in Peace. Muhammad Ali.

Re-cycling plastic bottles to use in hunting/outdoor excursions:

If you are like me, you don't bother with the bladder & tube re-hydration system in many hunting day packs. To me, they seem overly complex and tedious to remove for washing and maintenance. Instead, I re-cycle plastic bottles. But not all of these bottles are the same.

The concensus among those who have looked at the health consequences of re-cycling is that #1 bottles are safest in terms of preventing leach off of harmful chemicals into your water. Indeed, all the bottled water bottles I have seen are marked #1 (look at the base of the bottles). Trouble is, the water bottles are made of very thin plastic which will snap, crackle and pop once they are empty or partially so. Deer will rightly conclude some human doofus is in the field. Draining the bottles in one sitting -- recommended both for meaningful rehydration, and for preventing the noisy slosh of half-empty bottles -- is no solution as packed out empties are noisiest of all, even tucked deep below rags and a roll of toilet tissue. What to do?

Try a Coke, Pepsi, or other pop bottle which has a thicker hull, but still rated #1. The thickness may be due to the need to withstand the pressure of carbonation. These bottles don't crackle when partially or fully empty on the tote out. If you have doubts, just squeeze the Charmin.

The only other concern is proper cleaning. Some have suggested that using very hot water and excess dishwashing chemicals more than offset any lessening of environmental degradation attendant to repeated purchases of new bottles. I think this is specious. Just begin your nightly (weekly??) dishwashing regime by soaking in the usual heated solution, scrubing around the cap threads, and within the caps themselves. Now, wash your dishes in the soapy water as you would normally. Finally, rinse in the usual manner. No special purpose washing needed, and no more tipping off deer at a hundred yards!

Quail populations rebounding in Texas & other locations.

According to the latest issue of Outdoor Life, bobwhite quail have increased in numbers over the last two years, marking a reversal in the bird's generally dismal fortunes. The reason is increased rains in Texas and elsewhere. The numbers are still a fraction of what they were a few decades ago. The rains seem to be more a transient phenomenon as numbers in the deep South are still low, but rain is abundant. Here, a greater problem is at work: Land use. As old ag practices (leaving land fallow with attendant quail-favorable regrowth of desired foliage) are abandoned in favor of center pivot agriculture, land does not go fallow, and native grasses are not regenerated. Rain has limited effect if land conditions are unfavorable.

Not memtioned are the big fires in Texas a few years back which burned off improved cattle grasses and a lot of mature timber growth. Subsequent regrowth has made for grass which quail can negotiate (they are primarily a "running" bird) and use as protective cover. In other parts of Texas and the Southwest, scaled quail have also bounced back.

I used to hear quail in some places in Texas 10+ years ago, but things have gone silent. Now, I hope to hear them again. Maybe we will come closer to the day when you could kick quail up in North Florida without even the use of a dog!


100,000 protestors
Animal eyes shining
Tonight, we make love.

Just a note: I contributed $20 this morning to the Sanders campaign...

It's not much, though I have contributed several times.

Odds are, he won't win the nomination.

He has millions of contributors doing the same, so why?

Because his campaign is our campaign. As such, it must persist through the nomination process, through the general election, through the next administration. Of all the groups out there vying to pick up or create anew the banner for popular progressive reform, the Sanders campaign is the strongest outfit by far. It needs to be institutionalized for the long haul: The old hierarchy of the Party must be supplanted, local (not just on social media) presence must be established, candidates recruited, funds raised, and credibility strengthened through Winning primaries and elections.

For now, we need to develop the attitude that the Sanders Campaign is merely a prototype. The real campaign has yet to come.

WNYC: "It's official: Arab city [Dearborn] feels the Jewish Bern." ??

Since the pundits filled their respective pants over Michigan, some have taken to figuring out how they missed any trends in heavily-Muslim cities.

Uh, maybe they didn't ask the folks living their, but instead relied on assumptions and stereotypes about people they hardly know.

Just a guess.

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