All posts by letter writers

Letters to Slingshot

Hello,

I was just reading the “Urban Harvesting” story in issue 93 and decided to share some information.

Your article referenced wanting to learn how to can produce, so I thought I’d share a great resource with you- the Ball Blue Book of Preserving. It’s printed by Ball, the can manufacturer, and is absolutely marvelous. I think it cost $7. Most of the recipes are vegan, and are very easy to follow. These recipes are great because Ball has figured out the ratios of acids necessary to help preserve foods, so you end up with very few fermented cans. The recipes include salsas, jams, pickles, canned fruit- everything you could imagine. The cans (glass jars) can be purchased for less than a dollar each, and can be reused forever. The only thing you need to continue to purchase is the lids, which cost less than 10 cents.

The canning process is relatively easy, and you only need a pressure canner for low acid foods. For things like jam and tomato sauce you can can in a normal cooking pot. The book outlines everything, and is focused towards the low budget DIYer– maybe initially directed at an audience other than punk kids– but the ideas remain the same, and if you ever need to learn how to can squirrel– this is your resource– ha-ha.

Another great resource for food to can is your local farmers’ market. This past summer I was without a garden, so I purchased tomatoes from the market- I bought around 40 pounds, and they charged me something like $1.50 a pound for local, organic heirloom tomatoes. I cooked these down into sauce, and canned around 20 or so jars of tomato sauce- no buying shitty store bought sauce all winter! This would work even better if the tomatoes came from your own garden, as they would be free. What a great way to insure the quality of your food, and remove the necessity of relying on exploitation of factory workers to help you eat through the winter.

Shawn

This is a response to “Put That Bottle Down” by Magnolia in issue 92.

The reason to filter your tap water, even in areas that do a good job of providing supposedly good water, is that the water agencies add chemicals to the water. There is virtually nothing you can do about fluoride, because it takes a special filter to get rid of it, and because filtering it would also filter minerals which, if not present, would cause the water to leach them out of your body. Fluoride is a waste product of the aluminum industry, which convinced the government to add it to water so they could sell it instead of paying to have it hauled to toxic waste dumps. It is inconclusive whether fluoride helps with tooth decay (http://www.fluoridealert.org/news/2520.html), but fluoride can cause osteoporosis and other medical problems. It should be avoided if possible, but the only way to do so is to buy spring water, which means consuming those environmentally destructive plastic bottles, which also are not healthy to drink from. Such is the dilemma of an environmentalist who wants to avoid ingesting chemicals!

However, in order to prevent cholera, East Bay MUD and San Francisco add chloramine to their water. Chloramine is a combination of chlorine and ammonia, but is much longer lasting than chlorine and does not smell anywhere near as much. For those who do not wish to ingest any more chemicals than we can reasonably avoid, filters that take the chloramine out of the water — they don’t all do, you have to check — are a good option. Depending on how much water you use, filters generally last one year, so you don’t have to consume a bunch of plastic bottles, just one replacement filter yearly.

There are many misconceptions about drinking water and bottled water, due both to the lies in advertising and to people’s priorities in what they wish to avoid or don’t care about avoiding. I just hope this clears some of those up.

Wolverine

Hey,

i noticed that in this year’s planner (2007) you commemorated march 24, 1918 as the date that Canadian women won the right to vote. This is only partially accurate, and i thought it was important to clarify. 1918 applied only to non-indigenous women, and even then, only on a federal level, not provincially. Non-indigenous women still could not vote in the eastern provinces/territories (the Maritimes) and northern provinces/territories until 1922, and non-indigenous women in Quebec could not vote until 1940. First Nations women finally won the right to vote in the 1960s. i am not sure of any exact days, but i could find out for y’all if you’re interested.

Anyway, thanks for all your work, and for the planner. Its great. Have a lovely day.

solidarity,

MR Montreal QC

Letters to Slingshot

My dearest Slingshot:

Please use these portraits of dead slave owners/Indian killers to keep up the bulk delivery. Issue 90 is circulating across middle eastern New Jersey like disease in a factory farm.

Also, if it makes anyone happy to know, I am a substitute teacher and I have used several articles in the last issue to make emergency lesson plans when left unprepared and unsupervised. Period 5 Spanish IV learned a lot about biodiesel the other week . . .

– Mike

Dear Brothers and Sisters:

Hi there. My name is James Trimble and I am an inmate on death row at Youngstown, Ohio. I am writing to thank you for sending me a copy of the Slingshot. It really made my day. You all are right on with your views and stories. I am from West Virginia and have seen the horrible effects of mountaintop removal firsthand. The first time I saw it, I got sick to my stomach. It’s like a bomb had exploded on top of the mountain that I had hunted on as a child. I hunted not to kill but to help feed our family. Sometimes what I brought home was all we had to eat. The coal companies are destroying some of the most beautiful forests and streams on the East coast just to fuel our ever increasing need for energy. The Bush administration cares about nothing but making the rich richer at the cost of the country. They are selling our heritage for a few dollars. I gave my copy of the Slingshot to my mom. She’s 71 and she thought you folks kicked ass. So you folks have a lot of support from people you might not even think are on your side. Also, the article on biofuels was very eye-opening. People just don’t understand where are they going to get all this new farm land to grow all this corn and soybeans. Cut down what remaining forest we have, I’m sure that’s George Bush’s answer.

Your comrade, James

Dear Slingshot:

Bill “Knights” Templer is a crusader, determined to build a New Jerusalem in, well, the old Jerusalem. Crusading has always appealed to those who are frustrated at home. The anarcho-syndicalist lives in a lonely world on the fringe of the campus. The workers whom he would organize and liberate have never heard of him, and when they do, they laugh. Syndicalists are truly farsighted: workers look better at a distance. In Bolivia, or Nepal, or … in Palestine, where the Chelmer Rebbe and the Old Man of the Mountain are practically comrades already.

From afar, paradoxes dissolve in a blinding vision of peace, freedom, and full employment. “Beyond the dead end of the two-state solution,” Templer describes the open end of the one-state solution, which is actually a no-state solution. In a region devoid of syndicalists, syndicalism is, as always, about to burst from the class struggle, something else the region is devoid of.

Templer credits the HAMAS victory to “the vote by the Palestinian working masses,” then cites statistics showing that most Palestinians don’t work. Most who do, work for the government, so if the working masses elected the HAMAS government, they have elected their own employers, so they have syndicalism already!

Templer crusaders long ago learned word magic in the Holy Land of Kabbalists and Hashishin, and this one returns the favor today. HAMAS as an organization is nationalist, bureaucratic, authoritarian, terrorist and fundamentalist–but that is only the exoteric HAMAS. HAMAS, the acronym, the esoteric HAMAS, decoded, contains the word Resistance! (Also the word “Islamic,” which means, in addition to a certain unsavory religion, “submission,” but that is just literalist quibbling, like saying that “workers” are the people who work, not the people who write about them. Similarly, formulations like “Death to the Jews!” are actually occult references to “a veiled dictatorship of 15 families over the Israeli economy, media and politics.”)

The line is clearly drawn (in the sand, where else?). One the one side, “an entire population,” “ordinary people,” “a people,” and “the working masses.” On the other, “the Israeli plutocracy,” “the Israeli military and political class,” “the Israeli political elite,” and “a veiled dictatorship of 15 families.” Syndicalist class analysis does not get much more sophisticated than this, and I mean that sincerely. There are no elites in Palestine, no masses in Israel, but workers everywhere, except in the IWW.

Do the math:

Nationalism + Syndicalism = Fascism.

None of the above, i.e., Allah them are full of Shi’ite, — Bob Black, 3500 Main St., Suite 130-132, Amherst NY 1426, Abobob51@peoplepc.com