Thursday, October 13, 2022

Racial Groups Interact

 ... and if the only interactions you ever thought would happen were People of Color (PoC) and whites, you were being hopelessly naïve. From Powerline comes this.

Appalling ignorance, racism, corruption and political greed came to light when someone recorded a conversation among three members of the Los Angeles City Council and the city’s most powerful labor leader. The Los Angeles Times covers a story that must be painful for the paper, since everyone involved is a Democrat:

Three Latino members of the Los Angeles City Council and a top county labor official held a conversation last fall that included racist remarks, derisive statements about their colleagues and council President Nury Martinez saying a white councilman handled his young Black son as though he were an “accessory,” according to a recording of the meeting reviewed by The Times.

Martinez, while discussing Councilman Mike Bonin’s child, said, “Parece changuito,” or “He’s like a monkey,” soon afterward.

A few minutes after Martinez discussed Bonin’s son, the topic of conversation moved to Los Angeles County Dist. Atty. George Gascón, who was facing growing political opposition.

“F— that guy,” Martinez said, followed by something inaudible. “He’s with the Blacks.”

Formatting in the original.

How can this be a surprise to anyone? When you insist that everyone be classified by race because you think you can keep them all in their little, Marxist boxes labeled "Victims" and "Oppressors," this is bound to happen.

For me, this wasn't the really disturbing part. That came on Twitter. In prolonged comment threads on tweets by news outlets or influencers, people began to argue about the races. One fight in particular was about whether or not Hispanics considered themselves to be white. Are they really brown after all or is that just a convenient moniker for them?

I know that Twitter isn't real life, but it does capture mindsets and the dynamics of particular arguments. In this case, there were plenty of accusations back and forth about which race was the oppressor and which was the oppressed. Or maybe it was who deserved to be oppressed. Whatever it was, no one was an individual, everyone was in their tribes whether they liked it or not.

It was the Bodega guy vs. the robber all over again.

In a multi-ethnic country like our own, this is where racialism simply must lead. The everyone-against-straight-white-men thing only works until "people of color" come into conflict. At that point, no matter which way you go, the judgment will come out as evidence of racial ranking.


Tobacco Mold

My aquarium heater tobacco fermenter was a major failure, as I suspected it would be.

It only took a week or so for the mold to arrive and ruin these Virginians.

As you can see from the sides of the bin, water was condensing everywhere inside of it. Plenty condensed on the lid and then dripped down onto the tobacco. With the internal temperature of the chamber at about 92 degrees, it was like sending engraved invitations to the mold.

My conclusion is that the moisture is there only to keep the leaves supple as they ferment. That means you don't need massive amounts of water, you just want enough to prevent the leaves from crisping. For my next experiment, I'll use a 40W bulb with a thermostat in the bin to keep the temperature around 115-120. I'll wrap the leaves in cheesecloth and spray them with a mister bottle daily. I might put an open glass jar with water in the container to see if I can get the humidity to stay in the 60% range.

Interestingly, the next batch of leaves I'm going to ferment already smell like my mom's cigarettes from back in the day. Before the disco era, she smoked True and I can still recall the smell of her tobacco. I thought this was a good sign as the tobacco leaves don't smell that way at all when they're green.

I'm also going to take one of the leaves, shred it and smoke it in a pipe without fermentation to get a sense of how they start so I have a reference point down the road. I'll be pulling another leaf out and smoking it every week to note the progress.

After this set of Virginians, I still have a substantial amount of Tennessee in case this fermentation method fails.


tim eisele said...

The Kentucky Cooperative Extension Service has a fact sheet on tobacco mold, and it sounds like this is not really a solved problem in the industry. The best they seem to be able to recommend is a rinse with alcohol or a bleach solution to kill the mold spores, followed by sufficient ventilation to keep water droplets from condensing on the tobacco leaves.

I still think that the problem is that they call it fermentation, but it isn't really fermentation. It sounds like it is more of a controlled cooking process, heating up the tobacco enough to break down and release the ammonia. To the extent that any fermentation is happening, it is just generating heat to cook the tobacco for a long time at a moderate temperature. I suspect that the best solution to your mold problem is to get it just hot enough to kill mold (about 140-160 degrees F), which will incidentally also provide the heat to cure the tobacco.

Basically, don't think "fermentation". Think "making jerky".

I also kind of wonder what would happen if you put the tobacco in your smoker, which would both slow-cook it and make an environment hostile to mold. Not sure what you would call it then, though. Pre-smoked tobacco, maybe?

tim eisele said...

Also, these guys recommend building a "kiln", which they say is more suitable for "small operations"

They also say "Smoking uncured tobacco is unpleasant and dangerous as the nicotine and ammonia contained can be fatally high, not to mention it will taste like you're smoking leaves from your front yard." That "fatally high" bit is concerning. Ammonia is pretty toxic when inhaled, and the symptoms often don't come on right away. Meaning that it is easy to inhale a damaging amount of it before you start showing symptoms, and then you end up in the hospital some hours later with lung edema. And layering the toxicity of nicotine on top of the damage from the ammonia can't be good.

Mostly Nothing said...

When this news first came out; my cynical mind immediately went to remembering that BLM, the left, and MSM all have told us whenever a minority made hateful remarks about whites was in fact not racism, because minorities can't be racists.

K T Cat said...

Thanks for the heads up, Tim. The kiln is what I'm creating with my thermostat and light bulb.