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In which I get curmudgeonly about political surveys and make salsa - Tactical Ninja

Feb. 18th, 2014

09:44 am - In which I get curmudgeonly about political surveys and make salsa

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For a brief second over the weekend I thought the tomatoes were slowing down. Then I realised that this is because last week I denuded them completely and gave a bunch away. This week, they are back up to speed, and yesterday I picked another 10.

At the start of the season, I planted 6 hybrid variety plain tomato plants and 8 heirloom yellow roma ones. Then a few weeks later I planted another 6 plain ones. The first lot are about half done fruiting, and the romas and second lot are about to start. They aren't as heavy (the heirloom ones in particular are obviously not as vigorous) but they still have about 20 tomatoes apiece.


I decided that this year I won't bottle stuff - partly because I don't really know what I'm doing, and partly because in my research to get to where I do know what I'm doing, I discovered that bottling requires equipment, which then has to be stored when you're not using it. This seems like an expenditure that's only worth it if you do a lot of preserving, and I've never done it so I figure I'd wait to see how keen I am over the course of a year or so before spending the money.

We do have a freezer however. It's a town one - a whole mutton would just about fill it - but we don't eat a lot of meat and there's lots of leftover space for other things (like my berley from Sunday for instance). So, freezing smallish quantities of stuff is not out of the bounds of possibility.

So I've had a think about what we're likely to eat in the preserved-tomato department, and I figure pasta sauce and salsa (for nachos and soups and things) are the two most likely options. Now, I know that freezing vegies does weird things to their texture, but for salsa that's used in cooking, that doesn't matter. So I duly got together the ingredients:



Tomatoes, garlic, onion, capsicum, olive oil, chili powder (stoopid chilis not yet fruiting!), salt and lemon juice. If I had tomatillos I would use them too, but that'll have to wait for next year.

Chopping, chopping, mixing, mixing... ta da, salsa!



And then bung it in some ziplock bags because they stack better than containers..



I figure making it mild and then adding spice as required is better than making it inedibly hot and then only having a small number of uses for it.

Next picking - pasta sauce. I have a basic recipe to which I can add various herbs from the garden to make different flavours. We shall see how that goes.

And I also unpressed my comb paper and set the cutter one to glue:



After this, all they will need is the edges trimmed up to the plate, then they'll be ready to go. Hoping for a better grind this time.

And I chased Dr Wheel around with armour as predicted. He obligingly let me catch him and take *ahem* measurements. So there may be progress on that this week too. Yay!


Meanwhile, Chris Finlayson (National Party MP) sent me a letter. I'd feel special, but he sent the YoT one too. In it there is a survey to glean what issues are important to me. I get to choose from things like:

Rolling out ultra-fast broadband, and investing in roads and rail.

You'll note how they've cunningly phrased is so if I want broadband I also have to agree to more roads. Interesting, that combination. I'm not sure what they have to do with each other, but he's prompted me to return the survey pointing out how manipulative this question is. Because I'm a shit like that.

Also: More elective operations and shorter waiting times.

What this means is that pombagira's surgery for endometriosis would get bumped further into 'elective' territory, because being crippled once a month is something you only 'elect' to fix. And because making more important but non-life-threatening surgeries elective is surely the only way to improve waiting times.

Oh wait. We could spend less on tax breaks for rich people, and more on health!

That's not an option according to Chris. But we can have 'tougher sentencing, parole, and bail laws', and 'reducing long-term welfare dependency , with a focus on work' - not, you'll note, reducing unemployment by creating more jobs, because we all know that the unemployed are to blame for their own unemployment, not neoliberal policy that increases inequality very deliberately in order to create competition for jobs and thus manipulate the working class into accepting reduced wages and conditions so that business owners can exploit them more easily...

I don't think Mr Finlayson really wants my opinion, eh? But he's going to get it anyway. *ahem* Here is a picture of my response. Yes, I really did say BAD SURVEY, NO BISCUIT. After I took the pic, I also added this:

"PS if you are not prepared to accept this survey with my altered answers, please throw it away and don't count it at all. And then take a long hard look at yourselves as representatives of the people."

I am going to be hell on wheels when I'm old. Oh fuck yes.

Comments:

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From:pombagira
Date:February 17th, 2014 09:16 pm (UTC)
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awsome lady!! National really is a pack of stupid, the non caring kind..

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From:tatjna
Date:February 17th, 2014 09:21 pm (UTC)
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I think those survey statements were deliberately worded to force you to choose things you don't want in order to agree to things you do. It's just so bloody blatant.

I don't think they're stupid, I think they're ideologically manipulative. Which, I guess, is what political parties are supposed to be. But we as a population shouldn't be stupid enough to fall for it.
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From:pombagira
Date:February 17th, 2014 09:32 pm (UTC)
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yes

and we shouldn't be stupid enough to fall for it.. perhaps national have realised that they are not going to get in this round.. and some of the 'swing' voters will be voting for more than just giving the other team a go now.. ?

*is hopfull*
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From:t_c_da
Date:February 17th, 2014 09:46 pm (UTC)
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There was a surprisingly honest statement on an NPR program about democracy that aired on RNZ National last week: "Political parties aren't interested in democracy, they're only interested in winning elections."

This seems to hold true for National at least around these parts.
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From:kotturinn
Date:February 18th, 2014 12:15 pm (UTC)
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awsome lady!!

Ain't she just! We (both hemispheres!) need more people who are going to be "hell on wheels" like that now and when they're old. Oh yes!
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From:tatjna
Date:February 18th, 2014 07:48 pm (UTC)
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Haha I'm not sure the folks collating the results would agree!
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From:dianavilliers
Date:February 17th, 2014 10:23 pm (UTC)
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Ah. You seem to have mistaken an advertising pamphlet for a survey. Actually I believe this sort of thing is used more to target their efforts toward undecided people who might able to be swayed toward this party, and I suspect that you've just stuck yourself firmly on their "complete no-hoper, don't even bother" list. Which, unless you wanted to do some trolling, is probably where you want to be so that's all good.

Also, I read "more elective operations" as increasing the number of actual operations - e.g. funding 15 hip replacements instead of 10, rather than "making more types of operation elective". I could be wrong.
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From:tatjna
Date:February 17th, 2014 10:28 pm (UTC)
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It was the 'shortening waiting lists' part that made me think they'd just be putting more surgeries into elective (ie, you can pay for it yourself if you don't want to wait), and thus shortening the waiting lists for surgeries deemed to be more vital.

I know that Mum never waited for any of hers, but I was on one for over a year for carpal tunnel surgery - which I never actually got in the end because I changed career to avoid being crippled in the meantime. I would really like such surgeries to come off the elective list, but that is unlikely to happen.

Meanwhile, what I'm trying to achieve is to have some mook that works in the survey collation department to see that not everyone is as stupid as they seem to think we are, and perhaps be a little swayed by that into putting a bit more thought into how they word surveys in their future career.

I also tilt at windmills in my spare time.
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From:richaarde
Date:February 17th, 2014 10:43 pm (UTC)
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Oh wait. We could spend less on tax breaks for rich people, and more on health!

It astounds me how hard it is to get people to vote for this in the US. It's totally beyond comprehension.
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From:tatjna
Date:February 17th, 2014 10:46 pm (UTC)
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I am regularly shocked by the fear of socialised healthcare that's been prevalant in the US, and can't think of any good reasons why people in this day and age would still harbour it.

All I can think is that the propaganda machine for the insurance companies is working really, really well.
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From:richaarde
Date:February 18th, 2014 12:06 am (UTC)
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It's exactly that. The right has an excellent propaganda machine. Further, they're using it as a carrot-and-stick that if we don't do this kind of stuff, maybe they'll be able to create more jobs. Total BS, but people are buying into it.
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From:tatjna
Date:February 18th, 2014 12:11 am (UTC)
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I have noticed that the neoconservative ideologists seem to have a knack for finding the most face-value incendiary topics to get people het up about - things that if you look into them critically they make you go "waaaaiiittt..." but that appeal to the populist opinion in the short term.

Like, tougher sentencing for crimes. Or getting folks off welfare. Or death panels.

Reasonable debate doesn't get people excited the way populism does, and the left could learn something from the neoconservatives about how to do that. Sadly, it seems that paying more tax for the sake of everyone having it a little bit better just doesn't inspire most people like vengeance-based criminal justice does.
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From:bekitty
Date:February 17th, 2014 10:51 pm (UTC)
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My cataract surgery (which is in ONE MORE WEEK, yay!) is categorised as "elective". It's my only working eye.

I suppose I should feel lucky that it's not considered "cosmetic"...
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From:tatjna
Date:February 17th, 2014 10:54 pm (UTC)
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Wouldn't you just love it if even more things were competing with your cataract surgery for the surgeon's time? Vote for Chris Finlayson and you'll get it!
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From:bekitty
Date:February 18th, 2014 02:56 am (UTC)
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It's the equipment and the support staff that would be competing, rather than the surgeon's time, but I see your point. Voting for National would make me feel dirty. And not the fun kind of dirty, either.
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From:fbhjr
Date:February 18th, 2014 12:27 am (UTC)
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There are places in my area where it is not safe to leave your car unlocked in late summer. People who have grown too many vegetables will come along and leave them in your car when you aren't there to stop them. Tomatoes are a big "offering" that way.

Maybe the survey is saying the roads should be wider?
They've confused broadband with wide roads?
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From:tatjna
Date:February 18th, 2014 12:31 am (UTC)
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Last week I was able to successfully sneak tomatoes and courgettes into presents of smoked fish as a package deal - no tomatoes, no fish.

Maybe that's what the survey's about. They have too many roads, so if you want more internet you have to take the roads along with them...
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From:meathiel
Date:February 18th, 2014 06:27 am (UTC)
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*lol* Not sure that a survey like that will go down well ... :D
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From:tatjna
Date:February 18th, 2014 07:47 pm (UTC)
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Hopefully it gets someone's attention and makes them think about what they've done. ;-)
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From:laughingmagpie
Date:February 22nd, 2014 05:33 pm (UTC)
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Augh - those surveys! My local member of parliament is a right-wing fool (even his own right-wing party sorta tries to ignore his existence, he is that egregious), and I get regular mailouts from him with these so-called surveys.

If I'm feeling spry I correct the grammar, spelling and leading-questions on them, but I've been worn down, so mostly I just pick whatever it is that will piss him off the most. Thing is I actually joined the party so that I can vote in nominations (in this constituency that's the only means of representation left, since this party has always, always won) and he can't take me off the mailing list ;-)
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