Friday Homestead Dispatch

Compelling Arduous Leftovers

Let’s start with some art today.

Lots of pearl clutching concerning the Virginia Governor’s race this week. Yes, people who voted for Biden in 2020 and then voted for Youngkin in 2021 should seek therapy; “Shucks, y’all, we don’t mind screwing everyone by approving Trump’s agenda for another four years. Nope. Love that racism thing of his, and abortions? Fuggedaboudit.”

But here are some fun facts that may relieve some of that migraine headache…

In George H.W. Bush's first year as president, Republicans lost Virginia's and New Jersey's gubernatorial races. In Bill Clinton's first year as president, Democrats lost Virginia's and New Jersey's gubernatorial races. In George W. Bush's first year as president, Republicans lost Virginia's and New Jersey's gubernatorial races. In Barack Obama's first year as president, Democrats lost Virginia's and New Jersey's gubernatorial races. In Donald Trump's first year as president, Republicans lost Virginia's and New Jersey's gubernatorial races. See what’s happening here?

Bucking the trend, it appears that Democratic Gov. Phil Murphy of New Jersey has won the day.

Biden’s approval rating of 42% right now is still higher than Trump’s ratings were at the nine month period (38%). People are discouraged that the Dems are getting nothing done, nothing passed. Well, duh. Some universal pre-k and paid family leave would clear that right up if somebody spanked the two hold-outs-whose-names-will-not-be-mentioned, who have done nothing but provide contradictory and incoherent objections to every move made to get shit done.

Keep in mind that this administration is on the verge of passing both a $1.2 trillion infrastructure plan and a $1.75 trillion package including investments in green energy, universal prekindergarten, a generous child-care subsidy, improved senior care, expansion of Affordable Care Act subsidies, an extension of refundable child tax credits, a significant housing investment, hearing benefits for Medicare and possibly even a prescription drug cost reduction for patients on Medicare.

This is the stuff that will actually help all Americans, especially the ones who continue to support the previous shit-stain that held the office of president, think that the January 6th insurrectionists were very fine people, believe that Dems are plunging the country into a socialist hellhole, and teaching actual history to kiddies will taint their minds. No, eating at McDonald’s every day will do that just fine. These are the people who are against an agenda that will help them.

As Michael Moore (love him, hate him–doesn’t matter) pointed out in his post on October 31st, even though European countries certainly have their own problems, what they do have are policies that help their own people.

Every one of the E.U. countries has:

– Universal free health care
– Free or nearly-free college
– Paid family leave for at least four months
– Complete care of all elderly
– Robust funding of schools
– All sorts of help for the jobless and poor
– Mandatory paid vacation with a minimum of four weeks off
– Women have full equal rights. Abortion and birth control is legal and easily available in all but two E.U. countries (Malta and Poland).

Moore goes on to say that the Europeans “…pity us. ‘Those poor Americans!’ Most people around the world actually like us. They admire our creativity and inventiveness. Which makes their incredulity even worse — they simply can’t figure out why in a democracy we allow this misery to continue! Why we haven’t thrown the bastards out. Why 50+1 votes out of 100 senators isn’t called a majority. American math says 60 out of 100 is the majority. We look like idiots. The Europeans, the Japanese, the Australians, the Argentinians, the South Africans — they don’t hate us. They pity us and they cannot friggin’ figure us out.” And. I’ll add, we don’t use bidets!

In the end, under the Democrats’ plan, the rich would pay more, and virtually all the economic benefits would go to struggling families. Why can’t the Dems just say this? And why can’t they just say that Republicans want tax cheats to prevail and billionaires and big corporations to avoid taxes? As Lee Papa points out, “What that means is that Democrats have to come up with a way to counter the weird-ass anti-Democratic media spin, including the antagonism to the Afghanistan withdrawal and the discussion of CRT in schools that leaves out the fact that it's not fucking real.” And, he says, “Finally, for fuck's sake, blame Republicans, blame Republicans, blame Republicans for being unwilling to even negotiate about the things that Americans want. It's not just Trump. It's the entire depraved, vile, anti-American party. Fuck them up they way they fuck us up.”

…and pass these damn bills.

Speaking of Republicans and racists, have you heard of Drapetomania? In 1851, when slavery was in full swing in the American South and some parts north, a ‘physician’ by the name of Samuel A. Cartwright concocted a disorder called Drapetomania
described as “The disease causing negroes to run away. It is unknown to our medical authorities, although its diagnostic symptom, the absconding from service, is well known to our planters and overseers.”

More from the link above: “If the white man attempts to oppose the Deity's will, by trying to make the negro anything else than ‘the submissive knee-bender,’ (which the Almighty declared he should be,) by trying to raise him to a level with himself, or by putting himself on an equality with the negro; or if he abuses the power which God has given him over his fellow-man, by being cruel to him, or punishing him in anger, or by neglecting to protect him from the wanton abuses of his fellow-servants and all others, or by denying him the usual comforts and necessaries of life, the negro will run away; but if he keeps him in the position that we learn from the Scriptures he was intended to occupy, that is, the position of submission; and if his master or overseer be kind and gracious in his hearing towards him, without condescension, and at the sane time ministers to his physical wants, and protects him from abuses, the negro is spell-bound, and cannot run away.”

Jeebus. Well, we certainly don’t want to teach our precious white kids this stuff…they might make the leap that certain white folk still think that way today, which, we all know, is ludicrous.

And in local news, according to the Tucson Sentinel, “Tucson minimum wage increase wins 2-1, Democrats dominate Council elections.” Not a huge surprise here as it’s one of the many reasons we love living in Tucson. Democrat Kevin Dahl is the newest member of the council, a conservationist who serves as the Arizona Senior Program Manager at the National Parks Conservation Association. He’s also led Native Seeds/SEARCH and the Tucson Audubon Society, two groups dedicated to environmental protection. His top issues over the next four years will include addressing climate change by ensuring the city stays true to its climate initiatives. Another key issue for Dahl is affordable housing whose strategy could include repurposing vacant homes to increase housing options.

And, in even more local news, we now have an Instant Pot®, thanks to our neighbors’ generosity. (Long story short, it was in trade for an item of mine they wanted)

We decided to make our first stew/soup of the season using the ingredients seen below.

Beef stew meat from the U of A Food Products and Safety Laboratory, raised by real 4H youngsters.

I think we’ll keep this thing as 1) it only took a couple hours including the slicing and dicing, and 2) it was darn tasty!

And now…