Later On

A blog written for those whose interests more or less match mine.

Archive for August 12th, 2020

Sopa de Ajo — I must make this

leave a comment »

Here’s the description and recipe, and here’s the video:

Written by Leisureguy

12 August 2020 at 7:53 pm

Posted in Food, Recipes & Cooking

The campaign begins: The role and responsibility of journalists covering the campaign(s)

leave a comment »

Kyle Pope writes in the Columbia Journalism Review:

JOE BIDEN’S SELECTION OF KAMALA HARRIS AS HIS RUNNING MATE—a thrillingly historic choice, no matter your politics—has delivered a restart of the 2020 campaign cycle. Since March, election reporters have mostly been sitting on their hands, watching the pandemic subsume their beat. Now their instinct is to pick up where they left off—to wallow in the trivia of the candidates’ personalities and polls. My advice: don’t do it.

You could see the muscle memory kicking in on day one of the Harris coverage. First came the ridiculous speculation on media Twitter, based on flight data, about whose private planes were descending into Delaware. Once Biden made his announcement—which, notably, not a single political reporter scooped—the game was on. Did Harris apologize during the vetting for ripping Biden over his opposition to integrating schools through busing? How many candidates were interviewed and by whom? What would choosing Harris mean for the 2024 and 2028 presidential campaigns? In the New York Times, an examination of Harris’s policy stances was treated like a sidebar. CNN carried Donald Trump live as he gave his reaction to the press and, instinctively, used a sexist slur to describe Harris; more vileness is no doubt forthcoming. Acolytes of the president foreshadowed that the next three months would involve a radical takeover of the Democratic Party.

Must we go back to where we were early this year, before the coronavirus and Derek Chauvin, a white police officer, brutally killed a Black man named George Floyd? America is in the midst of a deadly pandemic and an uprising for racial justice—why should journalism act as if the spring and summer never happened?

It doesn’t have to be this way. On the eve of Trump’s inauguration, I wrote an open letter, with misguided optimism, about what to expect from a newly energized, independent White House press corps. We would set the ground rules, I wrote then. We would shape the narrative. We would decide which stories most needed telling. How naive I was. Within weeks of Trump taking office, the status quo of political reporting resumed and grew ever more insidious. For too many newsrooms, Trump’s Twitter feed became the assignment desk. Trump’s lies—and those of his lackeys (including at Fox News, which became the nation’s most-watched cable network)—were given credence they never deserved. Political reporting, especially on television, became an exercise in hate-watching. The spectacle reflected nothing about the experience of living in a torn, dysfunctional country.

By placing Trump at the center, the press was beholden to his whims and follies and cultivated distractions. He is a fount of misinformation; covering his every move is perilous. That is not a problem new to Washington, of course—as Michael Herr, who was the Vietnam correspondent for Esquire, wrote in his 1977 book, Dispatches, “It was inevitable that once the media took the diversions seriously enough to report them, they also legitimized them.” He went on, “The press got all the facts (more or less); it got too many of them. But it never found a way to report meaningfully about death.” His subject was a war; ours is the ongoing epidemic of police brutality against Black people and now the coronavirus.

Recently, when the pandemic froze the campaign and protesters filled the streets, we experienced a reprieve: officialdom was stripped of its agency. Journalists recognized the futility of reporting on an emergency from inside an administration that tells us the opposite of what we see happening in our hospitals. Police information—never all that worthy of trust—was deemed an unreliable source on the demonstrations. As five million people became sick, and more than 162,000 died, many reporters decided to focus less on stock-market analysis than on the human beings facing destitution. The disinformation streaming from officials was rightfully hectored, then ignored.

For those of us disillusioned by the status quo of political reporting, the past five months have been, in that one sense, freeing, as we’ve been spared the vacuous town halls and inane analysis and empty prime-time speculation. Instead, we have seen some magnificent journalism that takes America’s problems seriously. . . .

Continue reading for the examples (with links) he provides of journalistic excellence.

Written by Leisureguy

12 August 2020 at 2:51 pm

Posted in Election, Media, Politics

53 violinists play Vivaldi

leave a comment »

Written by Leisureguy

12 August 2020 at 2:41 pm

Posted in Music, Video

New stew

leave a comment »

I made a new batch of stew, drawing from ideas in this template. I used the 6-qt All-Clad wide-diameter stockpot. Briefly:

about 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
the onion in the photo, diced
1 good-sized leek, sliced (including all the green part, and this one had quite a bit)

I sautéed that until the onion was translucent, then added

cloves from two heads of red Russian garlic, chopped small

I let that cook a while, then dumped in the contents of the bowl that held:

red bell pepper (from photo), chopped
2 eggplants (from photo), diced
2 large jalapeños, chopped small, including core and seeds
2 carrots, diced
5 large mushrooms, cut into largish pieces

After that cooked a while, I added:

1/2 head red cabbage, chopped/shredded
2 packages frozen spinach (300g each)
about 1/2 cup frozen cranberries (just wanted to use the up, but they worked well)
3 Roma tomatoes (from photo), diced
1 can original Ro-Tel tomatoes
1 small can no-salt-added tomato paste
Shaoxing wine (or sherry) — I used the empty tomato paste can to measure: 1 can full
1 small can chipotles in adobo (chipotles cut up with kitchen shears after adding to pot)
about 3 tablespoons Bragg’s apple cider vinegar

These herbs, which I just estimated

1/2 cup very fresh curly-leaf parsley, chopped small
3 tablespoons marjoram
3 tablespoons mint
2 tablespoons thyme
2 tablespoons black pepper

I covered the (pretty full) pot and simmered the stew for half an hour, stirring twice and breaking up the bricks of spinach.

I served it with a good sprinkling of nutritional yeast flakes. Quite tasty.

I’ll normally serve this over cooked kamut and cooked black beans (or some other grain and bean combination). The pictured produce is all local and very fresh.

Written by Leisureguy

12 August 2020 at 10:01 am

The splendid Cavendish CK-6 and the redoubtable Dorco PL602

leave a comment »

Phoenix Artisan’s CK-6 formula is wonderful, and I do like their Cavendish fragrance — definitely a pipe tobacco and not (like Van Yulay’s Puros la Habana) a cigar tobacco. With my Copper Hat silvertip (with its nifty Delrin® handle), I got a wonderfully thick and creamy lather. I that the tips of this brush are extremely soft — hooked bristles, I’m sure. As I brushed my stubble, enjoying the sensation and fragrance of applying the lather I made, I reflected on the extremely limited and pallid range of fragrances available to those poor souls who use canned foam. Using canned foam in comparison to a good shaving soap and brush is like dining on photographs of food instead of a real meal — and black-and-white photographs at that.

The Dorco PL602 maintains its position near the top of my razor rankings. I’m wondering whether Italian Barber’s new BBS stainless steel razor, whose head seems (like the Dorco and the Baby Smooth) to put an extreme curvature on the blade might also share the excellence of those razors. Perhaps one day I’ll order one.

Three passes left perfect smoothness with nary a hint of trouble — the Dorco is an extremely comfortable razor. A good splash of Cavendish aftershave to carry me through the day finished the job.

Written by Leisureguy

12 August 2020 at 8:04 am

Posted in Shaving

%d bloggers like this: