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Erich Bloodaxe BSN

Erich Bloodaxe BSN's Journal
Erich Bloodaxe BSN's Journal
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.

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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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