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Erich Bloodaxe BSN

Erich Bloodaxe BSN's Journal
Erich Bloodaxe BSN's Journal
December 16, 2014

No 'What's for Dinner?' tonight?

I admit I have no idea how this is organized, or even if it is organized, but I was really looking forward to posting my 'Chicken parm you taste so good...' comment in tonight's 'WFD', since I almost never actually have chicken parm, but did tonight.

Also getting most of the rest of the holiday tray items together for our vet and her staff, the folks at our local bird food supply store, and a few other local small businesses we frequent. Did the chocolate-dipped strawberries tonight, and finishing baking up a few more batches of cookies to go along with the jam. That finally frees up the kitchen for me to get started on springerle, which mostly go to friends and family. I've been gifted with several new springerle molds to try out this season, so I'm looking forward to doing some non-traditionally flavoured peppermint wreaths, maybe do some in orange or coffee or maple for the sleigh mold.

December 7, 2014

People who say 'DU does not reflect Dem voters' are right.

But probably not in the way they mean it.

I keep seeing that statement used to attempt to proclaim that 'liberals' are 'too far left', and that the Party needs to be much farther to the 'right' to win elections. But the reality isn't a matter of 'left' or 'right'. It's a matter of what folks consider when they vote.

People who are more 'active' politically, more 'wonky', are more issue driven, and usually not 'single issue' even then, even if they strongly believe in prioritizing the issues the country faces.

But your run of the mill voter just isn't. They're not choosing who they vote for based upon some imaginary 'right-left spectrum'. They don't go to the polls and say 'I'm going to vote for the most liberal candidate' or 'I'm going to vote for the most conservative candidate'.

In large part, they first go to the polls and vote for incumbents. An incumbent, no matter how godawful they may be, has proven that they were able to get elected, which gives them a major advantage, both in primaries and generals. In the primary, no matter what they did while in office, they already can say 'I can win, I did it before'. Not to mention they're going to start off with more name recognition and probably a decent sized 'warchest' to help them outspend opponents. So it's no surprise that a Mary Landrieu can win her primary, both against more conservative or more liberal opponents. Her primary win doesn't really have much to do with her degree of 'conservativeness' or 'liberalness'. In the general, they still have several advantages - name recognition and money being the biggest ones, but they've already run the campaign before - they know what helped and what hurt.

But the people who can vote, who might vote, who will vote... Vote for a variety of reasons. Some do indeed vote on a scale of 'right vs left', but they're not the only voters out there by far, and you can't consistently win elections simply by chasing that one subset of voters. You have to also win the votes of voters who aren't wonks, who aren't activists, who aren't, in fact, largely 'issues driven'. People who vote based on personal charisma, personality, apparent confidence and competence, and all the other factors that go into the 'optics' of politics. The voters who can be drawn into voting against their own best interests by a warm smile, a line of patter about 'compassionate conservatism' or other non-issue, non-reality based reasons.

And this is where the 'We've got to run more conservative candidates in these districts/states' people simply miss the boat. They're focused solely on the 'left/right' spectrum, and don't think optics actually matters much. They think "progressives" 'can't win' because they're 'too far left', and completely ignore all of the voters who vote for reasons other than issues. But every election, voters come out and vote for people who are, on the issues, absolutely lousy in terms of representing those voters.

Why? Because those winning candidates actually cared about optics. They presented themselves as strong-willed, firm in resolve, willing to stand behind their beliefs. It doesn't matter that some of those beliefs are totally insane. They're actually willing to embrace them, and to proclaim that they'll DO something. Even if that something is going to hurt the same people who turn around and vote for them.

So sure, they'll lose the votes of 'issues voters' who disagree with them on the issues, but they'll win the votes of those voters who may disagree with them on issues, but see them as having the better 'character', not being a wishy washy type who weasels around and doesn't actually believe in the very things they say they're for.

So no, DU doesn't really reflect the voting public, not because 'We're too far left', but because we focus a lot more on issues and the 'left-right spectrum' than the average voter.

November 30, 2014

Cookies and Jam. (or Jelly)

Well, the housemate has started her Holiday baking cycle, so she pulled out another two gallon bags of black raspberries from this summer's crop from the freezer to 'make room'. Which meant I had to process them into jam... But she got out of the (darn small) kitchen so late that I'd be up late into the night if I'd gone for the 3-4 batches of jam those would make. So I decided it was time to finally fire up the food mill.

I got an 'original, all-metal Squeezo strainer' (Made in the USA) with the additional screens, including the berry screen, as a Christmas gift last year from the housemate's parents, and had yet to use it til tonight.

Setup was really simple, it clamped nicely onto our dining room table, and all I needed to do was rinse the parts off, put it together, put a large bowl under the end spout to catch the discarded 'mash', and a container under the drain pan to catch that lovely antioxidant-rich juice. Oh yeah, and crank the handle a lot Once done, it cleaned up quickly and easily.

The two gallon bags of berries ended up making right about 64 ounces of black raspberry juice, and a couple of large bowlsful of seeds and mash to put out for the birds in under half an hour. The food mill worked wonderfully, the juice went into the fridge for tonight, and I'll work on making jelly instead of jam either tomorrow or the next day, rather than spending the next six hours or so making multiple batches of jam. If I can find a mold at the craft store, I'm thinking of trying my hands at making jel sticks that I can then dip in dark chocolate. I've bought orange and red raspberry ones before, and I think making my own would be fun.

So it's two thumbs up for the 'All-metal Squeezo strainer' food mill. I just wish we'd had an apple crop on the trees this year so I could have done apple butter and apple sauce as well.

November 25, 2014

Pete Peterson Foundation starting the ads again.

Just this morning saw an ad from Pete, about how 'Now that the elections are over, it's time to' work on reducing the national debt, ie, it's *AUSTERITY* time again! Slash social programs, slash the safety net, let grandma die, all in the name of 'Fixing the Debt'.

Get ready to tighten that belt, folks, if you've even still got a belt to tighten.

November 10, 2014

The Man Who Made the Democratic Party What It Is Today (Al From), from DK


Some key excerpts.

[Al] From was one of the key organizers of this anti-populist movement, and he lays out [in his new book] in detail his multi-decade organizing strategy and his reasons for what he did.... In 2000...Clinton said of From, “It would be hard to think of a single American citizen who, as a private citizen, has had a more positive impact on the progress of American life in the last 25 years than Al From.”...

This, um, counterintuitive take on government giving a hand up to historically economically oppressed minorities is how From and his DLC try to claim that undoing the progressive social policies of the the past century are not a rejection of them but in fact a direct inspiration and positive development of them.

To all the people wondering why Dems didn't run on raising the minimum wage in 2014, an obviously wildly popular idea, or why economic populism is something Dem strategists and politicians run from like a vampire runs from sunlight, there is your answer. Because the party has over a couple of generations now been bred to reject and fight those ideas like an immune system rejects and fights invading germs.

NAFTA. Privatization. The Imperial Presidency. The destruction of organized labor. Spending cuts. Handing power to corporations. Charter schools. Think of a bad idea promoted by the Democratic Party over the past generation or so, and you'll find Al From and his DLC behind it.

The whole thing is worth a read, and I tip my hat to 'Th0rn', who posted it over at Daily Kos.
November 7, 2014

The Real Story of the 2014 Election: Who Lost

From gjohnsit at Daily Kos: http://www.dailykos.com/story/2014/11/06/1342721/-The-Real-Story-of-the-2014-Election-Who-Lost

Everyone is talking about why the Democrats lost, but almost no one has looked at who lost.

To put it simply, look at this:

Having comprised 10 % of the Democratic Party's caucus in the 113th Congress, the Blue Dogs will have accounted for 50% of the Democratic Party's lost seats (7 of 14 seats) during the 2014 midterms. Members of the centrist New Democrat Coalition account for the balance of lost seats. The largest membership organization within the Democratic Caucus, the Congressional Progressive Caucus, lost no seats to Republicans.

That's a pretty powerful message. This is the coalition that helped push through the 2005 Bankruptcy Reform bill with the help of Hillary Clinton and Joe Biden.
On Tuesday the Democrats biggest upset losses were from here.

There are links in there I didn't cut and paste back into the excerpt, but one deserves the link in particular - Blue Dog ranks to shrink in new Congress from The Hill.

Both articles are both reading in whole, but to 'pre-but' the usual reply, one more cut from gjohnsit's story, in a rebuttal of his own

A lot of people have correctly pointed out that the Blue Dogs have generally run in purple and red districts, and that is why they are being shellacked.

However, that's not much of a excuse because...they are being shellacked.
The Blue Dog Caucus has gone from 54 in 2008 to 12 in 2015. If they were a college basketball team with that record they would have gone from NCAA Division 1 to the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA).
And yet some still don't want to fire the head coach.
Running DINOs in purple districts is a losing strategy, and a losing badly one at that. So why should we keep investing in a losing strategy - running Democrats that look like Republicans in conservative districts?

That pretty much says it all. Even in Conservative districts, running candidates who don't want to be proudly Dems is a losing battle, unless they can coattail in on a wildly popular Presidential candidate. But even then, when they come up for re-election without a President on the ticket, we just lose the seat again.
November 5, 2014

"Democrats have their Schlitz Beer Reckoning" from over on Daily Kos


The Schlitz Beer saga, the story of how America's once favorite beer altered its hallmark recipe disastrously while seeking short term profits at the expense of quality and reputation, has always seemed to me to be analogous to the modern Democratic Party of the last decades.

I have often wondered these past few years - when will the message and role of the Democratic Party become so watered down, so diluted, so unpalatable and unrecognizable from its former self that the public, even the most loyal customers, simply stops buying it?

I think we're there.

Don't blame the public, Democratic Party - blame your own executives for short-sighted expediency, blame substituting inferior ingredients and blame changing your brewing process. In short, you have failed at every level.

Learn from this debacle, or repeat it.
November 3, 2014

Getting ready for 2015.

Got my garlic in the ground last week, and bought a hay bale this weekend to spread over it, in hopes of not losing over half of next year's crop to a brutal winter like I did this year's crop.

I also bought cotton seeds to plant in the spring. I read somewhere a description of how it's actually one of the lousiest crops ever to try and harvest, both on height of plant and the jagged sharp pod edges that slice up your hands as you try to get the cotton out. It suggested that everyone should try picking some at least once, to get a visceral appreciation for even that particular sucky part of slavery in the US. I'll give it a shot, even though I actually decided to try growing it to provide winter nesting fibers for the birds and squirrels. Since I'm not after the cotton to use myself and just leaving it for the birds, I went with the more ornamental 'black beauty' cotton, which has a purplish-black foliage as opposed to one of the 'extra long strand' varieties.

Also did some weeding in the strawberries, although I need to do a lot more still.

October 4, 2014

Dear white folks,

Dear white folks:

I'm a white guy too, and I've got a few things to say about race and denial.

Too many of us are going around using thinly-veiled excuses to continue to to reinforce the status quo, with white people as 'first class citizens' and people with darker skin tones as second class citizens. One of the most common is the 'reverse racism' meme. First, 'reverse racism' simply doesn't exist in America on any serious scale. Racism requires power. Anyone can be racially bigoted, but racism is about who has the power to disadvantage other 'races'. And that power is tied to our institutions, our social and power structures - structures that were set up by white people, for white people, hundreds of years ago, and have been maintained that way mostly unchanged for all of that time.

So you just can't say 'they do it to us too'. They don't, they *can't*. Not until people of colour not only are in the majority in holding offices with power, and actually are using that power to set up systems to disadvantage whites. And even thinking that they'll want to do so is pretty damn paranoid. If you actually think they'll 'get whitey' as 'revenge', I think you need to get out and actually meet more people with darker skins and realize that they're just like those of us without a lot of melanin.

They simply want the same things you or I want.

To not worry that they'll be pulled over by cops for 'being in the wrong place', 'being in a car that looks too expensive', 'being "the kind of people" cops assume are criminals' based on nothing more than a dark skin. To not be disproportionately arrested for minor crimes, and not to be strangled to death over misdemeanours. To not worry that they'll be shot by police when they obey police orders during a traffic stop because police simply assume they're 'lunging for a weapon' when they reach for their wallet, or that ANYTHING in their hands is a weapon, that ANY movement even slightly towards the cop is an 'attempt to charge' that will result in a hail of bullets.

To be able to rush their pregnant wives to the hospital without worrying about being gunned down. To be able to go up to a house and knock to ask for someone to call 911 after an accident without simply being gunned down. To be able to play their own music in their own car, without being gunned down.

To be able to walk around stores without being followed or watched by clerks constantly, under the assumption that they're shoplifters. To not be stopped for 'credit card theft' when they use their very own credit cards to buy high-priced merchandise. To not simply be told by clerks that 'they can't afford that' when they show an interest in some item without a clearly marked price.

To be able to send their children to schools that aren't falling apart. To have teachers who don't suspend their children or give them detention at rates far higher than their white fellow students for the exact same behaviours. To have their children given the same extra tutoring if it's available, for them to not be dismissively told that they won't ever amount to anything, or that they won't do well.

To be able to have the same chance to get a job interview as us white folks, even if they have 'black sounding' names. To be hired for jobs based on their experience, their abilities, their own attitude towards work. Not to have it assumed that they will be 'lazy' or 'trouble' or prone to missing work.

To be able to get loans based on their credit rating, and houses or apartments in any neighbourhood, without people complaining that they'll 'bring down property values', without realtors trying to 'guide' them into 'appropriate' neighbourhoods. And to have their new neighbours welcome them, and smile at their children when they're walking down the street to get candy at the local store. Not to call the police on them, stalk them, and murder them for the crime of simply being in an area where burglaries have taken place of late.

They don't dream of enslaving you, of having cops who shoot you for no reason other than 'they're scared' of white people. They don't deserve what's happening to them day after day, week after week, month after month, because white people are 'scared' and too damn quick to pull a gun out of fear. They don't want to turn the tables on us. They simply want to join us in being able to live in dignity and without fear. And there is simply no way to 'justify' the way black people, Hispanic people, American Indians are mistreated in America. Even if you can find some black guys somewhere who ARE criminals, who are worth being 'scared' of, it simply doesn't justify the mistreatment and mistrust of EVERY black person, any more than they should mistrust EVERY white person because the Aryan Brotherhood exists.

There is no justification for collective guilt. None. Each and every person should be judged in and of themselves, not based on their skin tone, their ethnicity, their religion. And if, IF, some legal issue arises, it should be dealt with by law enforcement who do not look to 'skin tone' to judge the seriousness of a crime, or how 'bad' any alleged perpetrator is. Not by cops who assume 'black = bad' and not by wanna-be vigilantes. And even then, those individuals should not be mistreated, ever. The MINIMUM amount of force possible should always be used, and police should be trained to de-escalate tense situations, not to jump to lethal force if an alleged perpetrator has dark skin.

They want what we want. Because we're all humans together, with the same needs. And one of those needs is not to live every day in fear that any minor thing you do or someone imagines you do is going to get you killed.

So now let's talk white privilege. Over and over again, people circle around to the argument that bringing up 'white privilege' is racist. Wrong again. Pointing out things that exist, and pointing out how they need to change is not racist, even when it's directly tied to race.

(I'm leaving some of the original text with only minor changes here.)

Complaining about white privilege is not the same as assigning collective guilt to white people. White privilege is a pervasive feature of our society and our legal system. It's hard to see if you're white (and you're not looking or actively trying not to look), but it is real, it is powerfully destructive, and if global warming had the kind of statistical support that evidence of white privilege has, Bill O'Reilly would be haranguing FOX News viewers to install solar panels.

And here's the subtle point that many white folks either can't or won't grasp. White privilege is especially the responsibility of white people to fix right now, not because we're all racially bigoted schlubs, but because white privilege itself means that we're the ones who have the power to change it. Black people don't have that power, and won't until or unless they finally wind up with enough elected offices and hold enough key positions in business and organizations. Until that point in time, it's our problem and our responsibility as white people to fix not because whites are collectively guilty, but because we still hold the reins of power.

It is the responsibility of ALL PEOPLE to fight for decent treatment for ALL PEOPLE. It just happens that, because of the historical nature of people with 'white' skins to be the exploiters, rather than the exploited, throughout history, we white people are the ones who can do something about it. When the finger on the trigger is white, it's pointless to ask a black guy to lower the gun.

And quite frankly, given all the shit that our black fellow citizens have put up with, and all the shit they have to deal with every. fucking. day., if some of them lose their tempers and say things that make you feel defensive, is that actually surprising? You lose your minds when black people just complain verbally about being kicked. Imagine how tough it would be for you to keep your cool if someone was actually doing something to you instead of just talking.

I'd like to think that this made you think a bit. Made you reconsider the automatic denial that any of us feel when we think we're being 'accused' of something, the denial that you and I have the 'privilege' of not being treated poorly, insulted, or even murdered that darker skinned people do not. As long as people of colour are being murdered by the state, given draconian sentences for crimes that in many cases they haven't even committed, and being held in poverty and privation and a constant state of fear, you'll keep hearing about racism and white privilege. Because until that day comes, if it ever does, these talks will be necessary.

Your fellow privileged white guy

September 25, 2014

People Behind The Emma Watson Leaked Photo Claims Have Been Identified

People Behind The Emma Watson Leaked Photo Claims Have Been Identified

This week a website appeared online claiming that in just a matter of days, private images of Emma Watson would be leaked to the world.

However, in a surprising turn of events, the person or rather, the people responsible for these threats have been identified - as a marketing company.


At first this mysterious website claimed to be 'brought you by 4chan' and implied it was the same individual responsible for the iCloud hacks which saw private photos of Jennifer Lawrence and Rihanna posted online.

Now though, Rantic Marketing have confessed that it was them and have attempted to explain that they did it in an attempt to ralley an attack against 4chan itself. They have even begun referring to the users as terrorists.

Interesting plot twist if true.

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Member since: Sat Mar 15, 2014, 09:23 AM
Number of posts: 14,733

About Erich Bloodaxe BSN

Erich S Bloodaxe, PhD, MS, BS, BA, BSN, ADN, RN. (It took me a while to figure out what I really wanted to do with my life ;) Democratic socialist by nature, if not by registration atm. Spent a lot of of time on Daily Kos, decided I needed to branch out a bit. Currently spending more time at jackpineradicals.org
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