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Profile Information

Gender: Male
Hometown: Austin, TX
Home country: USA
Member since: Tue Sep 18, 2012, 03:36 PM
Number of posts: 18,253

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

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.

Help me out with the polls...

I have heard ad nauseum about Clinton's "big lead" over Sanders in SC. That may well be. But does Anyone have composite polling showing the trend over one month, two months, three months or more? I saw a recent poll which has Sanders at 38%. Yet, he was well in the 20s at the end of the year. This would suggest a trend, but what I'm seeing over and over is Clinton's "big lead" as if it were some static juggernaut.

Has there been any trend or change?

I figured thrusters would be used, like car ferries now.

The "News Narrative:" The Socialist -v- The Billionaire.

That's what the big Newz Media players are dubbing it.

BBC calls it the "Leftist" -v- the Billionaire. NPR calls it the "(d) (D) Socialist" -v- the "Billionaire." One candidate is defined by a political label, the other by an increasingly generic monetary status. However one might construe the meaning of these labels, one thing is for sure: MSM seems comfortable shirking its duty to tell us about the politics one one of the candidates, forcing the voter to puzzle over a Gates strain of billionaire, or a Bloomberg strain, or a Carlos Slick, or an UberFacedMadoff strain. If pressed, the "Billionaire" is inflammatory, or riding a "wave of dissent and anger" who should "dial it back 20%." No mentioned on of racism, sexism, sink-or-swim economics, or sword-rattling.

But the other is still a socialist.

I'll say it again: Bernie is opposed by MSM, the Democratic Party, the economic elites, and our present administration. And I'll say again as well, at some point soon, progressives WILL talk to the TPs and the disaffected GOP tRump depends on. To win, we have no choice.

CBS has Bernie by one (1) point in Iowa.

No link, but as of 1 hour ago.
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