And usually I just talk about bread

Yes, I’ll get back to that. I even have a photo and a story about strange yeast.

But the horror of the attempt Repug coup has overwhelmed me. I couldn’t imagine my country would even think for a second a fascist coup. But TV and worse Twitter has allowed the most creative (the only complement I’ll give) demagogue to brainwash a lot of people. Destroying the world’s greatest democracy just to serve the ego of this insane person kinda overwhelms ordinary things like baking bread or learning Spanish.

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Just like another school shooting

Events have been so awful I couldn’t possibly blog enough outrage. In fact, I’ve been immobilized by the coup of the Republican Party. As bad as I can think things are, or could be, I’m incapable of thinking of how bad it really is. Reality is more bizarre and extreme than imagination.

Late on Sunday with Fox (TrumpTV) trying hard to find some spin and all the other news just piling on how awful this coup was and how much the Trump crime family made this happen the outrage just isn’t enough.

But what it reminds me of is all this mass shooting, all too many in the past few years. Real news, real TV, with real pictures show us the carnage (not the crap Trump said in his Inaugural, actual right-wing gut nut carnage) and the crushed bodies and the blood and all that. Everyone, at least anyone sane or with a conscious, is outraged and it looks really awful. The NRA is about to be beaten, something will happen, enough is too much, too many dead children will finally do something.

And it never happens.

The Repugs, slowly regaining the propaganda initiative, turn it around. The people who are outraged go back to work or school or whatever, Weeks later it’s all forgotten.

Or killing helpless innocent black people by white supremacists cops. Outrage. Now things will change. And the days go by and we are numb and the bad guys put out their spin and recruit their Repug followers and nothing happens.

Fox wins (and now with their even more extreme fellow travelers).

Repubs win (more tax cuts and more anti-women judges take center stage).

And we do nothing. The Fascists are winning, Rome is burning and McConnell is fiddling. Sure, due to amazing grassroots work in Georgia the Dems make McConnell the minority leader, but it won’t last. An erosive and dedicated takeover of USA has lost a battle, but they will reorganize for their return.

We shouldn’t impeach Trump. We should declare the entire Repug party to be a terrorist group, a seditious plot to undermine democracy. And their even more fascist skinhead, stupid thugs who just want to kill, should be declared to be the same as Al Qaida. Osama bin Laden is a less effective attack on the USA than Donald Trump is.

When we the rest of us realize this isn’t just politics as usual. We have a fascist political party that will do what it must to take over as a full dictatorship. Sure, the optics on TV are not so great for them right now. But they know nothing will really happen.

Just recently a guy who drove his car through a crowd in Iowa City, because they needed an “attitude adjustment” was released with nothing, just a promise to be a good boy (and only for three years). Because he was incompetent, plus after Charlottesville murder by car the protesters knew to get out the way, so the Iowa white cops and judges let the asshole off.

btw, I’m white, not some black militant. I just happened to be old enough to have grown up in the South, or at least the strange fusion of south and cowboy, i.e. Texas, to have seen real, legally enforced segregation. As a brainwashed white kid I never thought about it, just the way it was. I had to grow up a bit and get my head out of the Texas gutters to learn the sins of my cult.

Make no mistake. Trump and his thugs are just trying to protect white privileges, male privilege, money privilege. And I know. I’ve benefited from a lot of that. But not all white old males are incorrigible criminals like the monsters that invaded the Capitol, or even worse the orangutan monster in the White House that happens to have been born in the same year as me. I may be old, but unlike them I’m not insane or an authoritarian and I deeply regret to have the same demographics as those horrible people who would destroy this country.

A lot of Germans, after a total defeat, denied they were part of the horror. Well, I kinda understand a few of them (the ones who aren’t just lying to save their ass). Too many (though as radical democrat since 1968 freedom marchers) of us haven’t done enough (just typing on a keyboard is pretty minor, even writing checks to campaigns, still not enough). The evil is out there and it’s winning, despite its temporary setback. A few of the more stupid ones will get arrested and then get the nothing sentence like the guy in Iowa. Hey bullies who actually sometimes do use their fists or take a blow, guess how much that scares them. The slap on the wrist and a fine won’t stop the coup against the US.

We will. People of real faith (not heretic tent preachers), of real decency, of real belief in the Constitution must totally denounce the evil Repugs, drive them from any office, make the world Republican as evil as Nazi. This horror must end.

I used to really mostly just care about environment and climate change, tame liberal ideas. But an attack on democracy now is really the issue of the day. I’m too old to man the barricades, but fortunately it looks like young and vigorous and optimistic people, in Georgia and elsewhere are up to the task. They just have to realize it’s not just politics and one election in one year – the evil is there and they have to destroy it. Don’t let the system co-opt you, understand this is a fight between good and evil. Look at those pictures of idiots in the Capitol. They would kill you if you gave them a chance.

Don’t let them. Use peaceful and democratic means, but this is a fight to the death. Stop them.

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Told yah

I can’t watch the news since it makes me so furious.

I didn’t need to watch the news because it was all so predicable, maybe not every detail, but the basic point.

Lindsey Graham, who is now a total idiot since McCann died and isn’t keeping him sane says he’ll vote for whoever the nominee is. IOW, just so long as Repugs acquire dictatorial power it’s fine.

The Dumpster says he won’t leave, big surprise. Of course he won’t need to because his new nominee was vetted to promise to do whatever Trumpidot wants.

Democracy is gone, welcome to our new (soon to be official) overlords. Trump will screw more people, like the elderly by killing their Social Security just for the fun of it, like he enjoys seeing people get and die from COVID. He’s acting like the little boy he is, burning us ants with a magnifying glass and laughing in glee. Meanwhile the apparatchik continues to move us, steadily to one party control, like Iran and China.

Anyone who votes for Trump is voting to abolish the Constitution. At least for the Religinut Right, that’s fine, as long as their religion gets control of the country. Wait until that happens and then they’ll start feuding among themselves and then we’ll have the public spectacles of auto-da-fé reruns. The MAGAs will finally own the libs and get their revenge and then crawl back in their holes of poverty and guns satisfied they crushed the “others” and then finally notice they’re poor and there are not jobs since Dumpsters friends shipped even more to China.

The right will win its dictatorship and then find out what that really means.

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Checkmate! Welcome to Republican Dictatorship of America

My last chance at free speech but it will be a while before they get around to arresting me.

I want to be the first to say it as I’m sure others are already thinking about it, some now writing about it and in the coming weeks it will soon be apparent. The Dems have been so preoccupied with SJW issues they have forgotten the Repugs believe in bare-knuckled winner-take-everything, win-at-all-costs, everything is fair in a dirty fight. The assumption the Repugs have ever believed in anything except absolute power and an end to democracy is naïve thinking. Trump just brought it in sooner than expected, but it is the Republican Commissariat who has always sought to take absolute control.

And now they have. All over except the shouting.

The election of 2020 is now irrelevant as the Repugs achieved their coup d’état already. RIP in peace RBG and RIP in peace the Constitution of the United States. It was nice while it lasted but now it’s all over. Some will try to find a few moves to avoid checkmate but there is no way out.

So it’s simple, here’s how it plays. Forget any notion McConnell will worry about the hypocrisy of denying Garland vote just before the election or any rules at all. He will now ramrod through, at lightning speed, crushing any procedure stuff the Dems can do. He has the votes and even without the votes he’ll just do a full takeover of the Senate process. Due Process, forget about it, the Repugs have already won their dictatorship and now have nothing to fear, no restraint at all, just brazen putsch. What can stop them, a Dem lawsuit to be decided in now 4-4 vote in SCOTUS and thus no override and Senate/McConnell gets his way.

So a total Republican Party loyalist and the last traitor to the United States of America gets voted in in record time and sworn in time for the election. CHECK!

Then no matter who wins, either popular (for sure Biden) or electoral (likely Biden) Trump will declare the entire election invalid. The Dems will scream and yell but they’ll be opposed by Barr who will: a) invalidate the vote wherever he needs to give Trump the Electoral College (he does have to avoid the vote being thrown into the House), and, b) make sure no standing is granted in any court to the Dems.

But the legal maneuvering to install the Repug dictatorship will probably fail, so eventually that goes to SCOTUS who now with their fifth vote declares Trump the winner. MATE!

Then all the retribution will begin. All the House races will be contested, go to the courts, and lots of Dem winners will lose. But 20Jan2021 Repug dictatorship will be in firm control of all branches of the Federal government and now they get Barr to start arresting Dem governors and such. By the end of 2021 they will have the votes in the states to abolish term limit for president, plus a ton of other stuff.

And there we have it. This is how the United States of America dies. The British couldn’t beat us in 1812, the racist south couldn’t beat us in 1861, the Nazis couldn’t beat us in 1941 and the Russians, now the much delayed winners, couldn’t beat us in the 1980s.

Democracy is dead. The bloodbath begins.

Get over it and welcome the Republican Dictatorship of White America.

Come on, do you really believe that the Repugs (not just Trump) want anything but unlimited power and greed!

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Amazing, bread is the new fad

It’s amazing to see that people staying home has created a fad for baking bread. Who could have imagined that yeast would be in short supply, perhaps one reason searches for information on creating sourdough starter is sky high. And to imagine, just recently hostility to bread, either the anti-gluten crowd or the don’t eat anything white crowd dominated the thinking about bread – now there is a shortage of flour.

I actually don’t quite get it. Making bread is not that time consuming so why now? Just because people are stuck at home unless you’re doing some complex shaping or other complexity in making bread it’s actually rather quick. People had plenty of time to make bread before being stuck at home.

I’ve been inactive about new posts on this blog, of recent, but meanwhile my hits, almost entirely on my blog posts, have really peaked. I guess some of my posts are high enough in search results people are stumbling on them, so I hope my posts have helped.

I don’t see a pattern and I’ve never directly said much about Jim Lahey’s method, but that is really quick. When I do it, it takes me under five minutes to make the dough (having a couple of special tools helps and a digital scale, plus lots of practice helps). Then shaping the dough is another five minutes (again a teflon scraper and a good board help a lot). A bit of preheating the oven, with my baker to get it hot, and then three minutes to put the bread in. Admittedly while the work is not much it is about a 1.5 hour elapsed time but that can easily be overlapped with some binge TV watching.

Even the other techniques are still fast. And I wonder how many people are just using machines which is even quicker.

So having time to do it is only part of the explanation. And homemade bread which necessarily doesn’t have preservatives only lasts two days so if you’re a bread fan and don’t want to buy pre-made bread, yep, a few hours a week.

I hope people enjoy this experience and then expand into many mores ways to bake. I can’t find any statistics but I wonder how sales of the better bread making books are going.

If any new bakers did get anything useful from this blog and are now looking here for tips, please do some comments about why now and if you’re enjoying it.

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Animales en el menú

I’m going to cross-post from my blogs a bit as I don’t feel like just copying the post itself and presenting it as new. In my Spanish menu and Camino blog I, sometimes, have some interesting material so I’ll just reference it here.

Thanks for reading.

Yo traduzco comida

Just in case you ever dine at some restaurant in a Spanish speaking country where some more unusual animals might appear on the menu I thought I’d give you a list.

I like making lists and this was a fairly easy one as there were numerous sources with only a few contradictions. Of course a constant challenge with picking up Spanish words from the Net is some of these might be regional. And while I like crunching through lists (and now I think this one here is the largest one you’ll find) it’s a lot more work (than I want to do now) to research these palabras and see if they’re really 100% accurate, at least according to authoritative sources.

Note: While I list the sources (first column) in this table, just to show how frequently a word appears in various lists, I don’t actually provide the sources, so this…

View original post 1,661 more words

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Pictures just make some of us feel alone

There was a time before pictures were digital. I should know. Before there were ANY digital cameras I was lucky enough to have a job that allowed me to have access to a system costing over 100K$ (about 1M$ in today’s money) that could actually do real color photos. And very few people had any clue about digital photos. And no one today could care less, selfies galore, more megapixels, more stupid lenses on the latest phone. So now images are ordinary and totally unremarkable and thus totally meaningless.

But, were they ever meaningful?

So here’s my picture. Any clue what it is? Pretty unexciting, not visually interesting. However, probably most of the digital photos uploaded today are no better, maybe not even as good. But who could care about such a mundane photo, not even marveling at the technology that makes it possible to see this.

This spot, totally undistinguishable, is actually in a less visited USA National Park, that is Theodore Roosevelt NP in North Dakota, Cottonwood Campground to be more specific. While not heavily visited probably 50-100 people have stayed in this campsite every year, so literally thousands since I took this picture of my campsite. In the whole campground, maybe 10,000 people have stopped by but I doubt any of them will see this.

And so what, what is this photo. An unremarkable campsite, unremarkable tent (from Bass), a second Gozebo (to sit outside and keep out the bugs, stomped down by the nearby bison that invaded my spot) and some miscellaneous camping gear on the totally ordinary picnic table. Not an image worth a second glance (or even a first glance).

But it meant something to me. I can still remember this spot, how I felt physically, how I felt emotionally, how I happened to end up in this spot, of all places just in the USA I might have gone.

But it’s a blah photo, nothing of interest, one of millions today just as visually unexciting or having any interesting story.

So is this life? Is this day, which meant something to me, and to absolutely no one else, even vaguely, remotely relevant, even to me, much less to any other person on this planet?

Of course not, nor is any photo, that I am not looking at the millions of other photos, that mean something to their creators. It’s all just a big nothing.

So now, with the horrible destruction of the USA by our current dictator, which is affecting millions in horrible ways, but not yet at my doorstep, how could anything mean anything. Soon this beautiful place will be lost to global climate change or the nearby fracking (just outside the National Park) and some zillionaire will have a few more bucks. They’ll hold some event with thousands of people looking at their photos and they’ll be just as irrelevant. In the end they’re dust just like me, their obscene piles of money from raping this planet won’t save them for the end. Too bad, they have to go to some $5000/night resort in Switzerland when such a beautiful spot like this still exists.

But no one cares (or at least not many). Fan, money, glory and power are what rules human existence. So an uninteresting photo like this is really only uninteresting due to your values (and if you have your own photo like this, then to mine). When we only care about the glamorous and flashy things, and expensive and exclusive things, then we really forget what is important.

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This is how I feel now – COLD!

I haven’t posted any photos for a while and meanwhile am sitting around in my workout clothes literally shivering. So it made me think of this:

BF91

We encountered this spot while geodashing in midwinter over in Iowa. Actually just two days ago we were also geodashing and went through a bit of Iowa, but mostly avoided this kind of road because it was fairly warm and thus all the snow and ice were melting and the roads were rapidly becoming difficult. Having once made the mistake of going out for a quick geodash, yes in Iowa again, we got completely stuck and ended up spending the night in Shenandoah. Come to think of it that was a primary year too. Surprisingly we saw zero evidence of political activity which is a surprising contrast to previous years.

So writing about this was fine but not enough exercise to warm up any at all.

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A year with Duolingo learning Spanish

via A year with Duolingo learning Spanish

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Some chance photos

Sometimes, while geodashing we stumble on something unexpected like these photos:

and

No, not a explosion or war, just a tornado. We live close to the center of tornado alley and so get used to hearing about some tornado nearby but it’s rare we actually see anything. We were geodashing and passed through the town of Wayne Nebraska, just a week or so after there had been a tornado. At first we didn’t remember we had heard about it on the weather reports but driving into the town we saw a swath of damage.

Much of it occurred out near the small airport. In addition to the smashed planes like many airports it was an industrial zone of fragile frame and metal buildings, several of which were really smashed to pieces (don’t have shoots of those). The area where the tornado passed through was a bit north of the main part of town so there was relatively little damage to houses, but one motel along the main road was demolished.

When you did see damage like this (or even the worse stuff on news) it reminds one of how fierce nature can be. The tornado doesn’t care what it destroys.

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