Friday, May 06, 2011

Mindless Republicans

Are there no Republicans at all who think for themselves? Now all 44 Republican Senators have signed a letter (or something) saying they will not vote for anyone to be Director of the New Consumer Finance Protection Bureau (unless it is made essentially powerless). I find it impossible to believe there is not a single Republican Senator who believes in consumer protection. How can this be? This is the same thing they did earlier when they voted as a group for Ryan’s budget plan to gut Medicare. Was there really not a single one who was opposed to doing away with Medicare? They have been doing this all along, at least since President Obama was elected, when they said, again as a group, they would vote “no” for everything he wanted, and for the most part, they did. There is something very strange about this behavior. Senators enjoy a great deal of power, they are important people, one would assume that no one would be elected to the Senate if they were not believed to have a mind of their own and act according to their conscience and/or what is best for the nation. But they don’t. They don’t seem to think it is necessary to think for themselves. They do what they are told. I don’t believe this is what the Founding Fathers envisioned, nor do I believe most Americans think this is a proper way for Senators to behave. They are by now so much financed (bribed) by corporations, pharmaceuticals, big oil, big agriculture, etc. they apparently cannot act independently at all. Big business does not want consumer protection so Republicans are going to insure (if they can) there will not be any. I guess the only positive thing about this is it will apparently give President Obama an opportunity to make a special appointment for Elizabeth Warren who is clearly the best person for the job.

I must say I find it interesting that after three attempts Florida has finally passed an anti-beastiality law. I mean, how could anyone be opposed to such a law? But, then, has beastiality become so commonplace in Florida that it requires a specific law against it? Aren’t there laws against animal abuse that would cover such (presumably rare) cases? Or is beastiality much more prevalent than I think it is? Oh, well, it is Florida.

As it appears we will never know the truth about anything again, and the lies and misinformation about the death Of Osama bin Laden continue, I have decided to ignore it for a time. It is Springtime (more or less) here at Sandpile (I mean Sandhill), time to plant the garden and such. The weather has not been cooperative so I have had to take advantage of the rare moments of rainless days and do what I can. I’ve managed to plant peas, carrots, beets, and spinach so far. Today I planted some asparagus roots as most of our original asparagus plot was destroyed by unusually cold weather two years ago. Most of the raspberries we replanted last year seem to have survived and are beginning to grow. The Green Gage Plum I planted, that the deer virtually destroyed, appears to still have some life in it and is coming back. I will soon be planting the leeks that I started five weeks ago. The huge old cherry tree that bears spectacularly year after year will do so again this year, and the Bosch pears the same. Our blueberry bushes that have never done very well are showing signs of life and all in all, if we get some decent weather this year should be much better than last (never count your chickens…).

More importantly, perhaps, our time has been taken up by charcuterie. My wife is involved in a contest, “Charcutepalooza,” that involves 300 contestants from all over the world. Each month for twelve months there is a different task the entrants are required to attempt. First we did salting and curing and made our own pancetta, then we did smoking and smoked pork sirloin and pork hocks. This month’s task is sausage. Yesterday and today we were occupied making sausage, something we have never done before. We completed this afternoon small amounts of four different kinds of sausage: Italian, Garlic, Fennel, and Merguez (having never tried it before we wanted to see which ones we might like the best and didn’t want to risk wasting a lot of pork and lamb). I am pleased to report, indeed, even proud to announce, that all four of these sausages proved to be quite outstanding (I swear my wife was born to do this kind of stuff). We cooked small amounts of each of them to taste. I thought the fennel and the merguez were the best but they were all delicious. Obviously we are caught up in a movement to grow your own food, and avoid fast foods and factory produced meats and vegetables loaded with chemicals of all kinds. Of course they are also now becoming so expensive one can barely afford them. We are blessed by having friends that raise Highland beef cattle with no chemicals, lambs with no chemicals, and a large meat company that raises both beef and pork completely chemical free. We also have a fine farmer’s market in the summer that supplements our own organic garden. The biggest problem living here has to do with the lack and variety of fresh fish. We do get marvelous flash frozen wild salmon and halibut every year but not much else (we can, of course, get shrimp, oysters, clams and crab sometimes, but never really fresh). We make up for it by occasional trips to the Washington and Oregon coasts.

Such is life here in (alas) Republicanville.

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