Daily Archive: 03/05/2011

Mar 05 2011

Evening Edition

Evening Edition is an Open Thread

Now with 32 Top Stories.

From Yahoo News Top Stories

1 Kadhafi forces accused of ‘massacre’ as battles rage

by Samer al-Atrush, AFP

1 hr 19 mins ago

BIN JAWAD, Libya (AFP) – Moamer Kadhafi’s forces were accused of a massacre during a heavy assault on a key city on Saturday, as rebels pushed towards Tripoli and declared themselves Libya’s sole representative.

As battles raged east and west of the capital and casualties rose on both sides, the national council — the embryonic provisional government — made the proclamation at its first formal gathering.

“The council declares it is the sole representative all over Libya,” former justice minister Mustafa Abdel Jalil said after the meeting in Benghazi, the rebel stronghold in the east of the strife-torn North African country.

Mar 05 2011

from firefly-dreaming 5.3.11

Regular Daily Features:

mishima steps into the Twilight Zone in Late Night Karaoke

Gha!

Six Brilliant Articles! from Six Different Places!! on Six Different Topics!!!

                Six Days a Week!!!    at Six in the Morning!!!!

Essays Featured Saturday, March 5th:

Popular Culture (Music) 20110304. Deep Purple Mark I from Translator

Saturday Open Thoughts are tardy- Doctor My Eyes from Alma Ria

davidseth continues the call- Let’s Support Wisconsin’s Workers

A new piece of Saturday Art! from mishima‘s talented hands.

join the conversation! come firefly-dreaming with me….

Mar 05 2011

Random Japan

Stats

¥4,800 Price of a one-way ticket from Tokyo to Bangkok offered by travel agency H.I.S. from March 15 to May 8

¥68 billion Estimated sales of e-books in Japan during fiscal 2010, according to the Tokyo-based Yano Research Institute

216.8 million Number of appliances and electronics disposed of in Japan last year, according to the environment ministry

840 Students at an elementary school in Iwamizawa, Hokkaido, stricken with food poisoning after eating a school lunch of “potato-miso soup, salad… and radish

Government By Tweet  

Yea, That Will Work  

These Tests May Seem Important  

Truthfully They’re Pointless

Eels He Imported Fake Eels  

Fake Eels?  

How-to books on living comfortably on welfare selling well





TOKYO  

A healthy economy affords almost everyone a livelihood. For those who fall through the cracks, there’s welfare relief. An unhealthy economy swells the welfare rolls. Japan’s current economy is extremely unhealthy. The welfare system is strained to the breaking point. “Strange world,” muses Shukan Shincho (March 3), referring to a recent spate of briskly-selling how-to books offering advice on milking welfare for all it’s worth and more. Why struggle? is the implied message. You can live pretty comfortably on welfare, if you know the ropes.

By 2005, the nation was some 15 years into its ongoing “lost decade,” and 1 million households were on welfare. By last November 1.42 million households were – 1.97 million individuals. Welfare payments in 2009 came to 3 trillion yen.

Mar 05 2011

Health and Fitness News

Welcome to the Stars Hollow Health and Fitness weekly diary. It will publish on Saturday afternoon and be open for discussion about health related issues including diet, exercise, health and health care issues, as well as, tips on what you can do when there is a medical emergency. Also an opportunity to share and exchange your favorite healthy recipes.

Questions are encouraged and I will answer to the best of my ability. If I can’t, I will try to steer you in the right direction. Naturally, I cannot give individual medical advice for personal health issues. I can give you information about medical conditions and the current treatments available.

You can now find past Health and Fitness News diaries here and on the right hand side of the Front Page.

Whole Grain Goodness, Straight From the Oven

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The muffins available in most coffee shops and cafes are like oversize, unfrosted cupcakes: too sweet and too big. But muffins don’t have to be cloying – a bit of natural sweetener is all that’s required to make them taste like a treat. And they don’t have to be calorie-laden confections.

This week, you’ll find it’s possible to make muffins with a number of nutritious ingredients, particularly whole grains. Muffins made with buckwheat or cornmeal offer great taste and nourishment – without the feeling that you’re chewing on rocks.

Even if you don’t think of yourself as a baker, take a stab at this week’s recipes. They’re easy and come together quickly.

Buckwheat and Amaranth Muffins

Carrot Cake Muffins

Steel-Cut Oatmeal and Blueberry Muffins

Rye and Cornmeal Muffins With Caraway

Savory Cornbread Muffins With Jalapeños and Corn

Mar 05 2011

Punting the Pundits

“Punting the Pundits” is an Open Thread. It is a selection of editorials and opinions from around the news medium and the internet blogs. The intent is to provide a forum for your reactions and opinions, not just to the opinions presented, but to what ever you find important.

Thanks to ek hornbeck, click on the link and you can access all the past “Punting the Pundits”

Eugene Robinson When Cuts Don’t Cut It

After slamming Democrats for not focusing on “jobs, jobs, jobs,” Republicans have decided to ignore their own winning message in favor of “cuts, cuts, cuts.” This is bad economics-and bad politics.

If you don’t believe me, read a new NBC/Wall Street Journal poll, published Thursday, that has what should be sobering news for Republicans who keep telling us that their radical assault on the size and scope of government has the support of “the American people.”

It doesn’t, according to the survey-not even philosophically. When asked whether government, in general, is trying to do too much or not doing enough, 51 percent said government should do more. That’s not exactly a mandate for slashing federal, state and municipal programs and trying to turn public employees into a caste of untouchables.

Bob Herbert: College the Easy Way

The cost of college has skyrocketed and a four-year degree has become an ever more essential cornerstone to a middle-class standard of living. But what are America’s kids actually learning in college?

For an awful lot of students, the answer appears to be not much.

A provocative new book, “Academically Adrift: Limited Learning on College Campuses,” makes a strong case that for a large portion of the nation’s seemingly successful undergraduates the years in college barely improve their skills in critical thinking, complex reasoning and writing.

Gregg Mitchell Bradley Manning and the Tomb of the Well-Known Soldier

Ten  months after he was arrested for allegedly leaking classified material, including diplomatic cables, Army Pfc. Bradley Manning was very much in the news this week — with the military bringing 22 new charges against him, including “aiding the enemy” (unspecified) to being stripped naked for seven hours at the prison the past two nights.  His supporters and attorney David Coombs continued to charge that the conditions of his confinement were overly harsh and punitive, while the Pentagon continues to deny that.

With Manning gaining wide attention now, it’s worth recalling that three months ago he was largely forgotten. How did so much change?  Here’s some background if you have just tuned into Manning’s case recently:

Mar 05 2011

Let’s Stand With Wisconsin Workers Today!

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The AFL-CIO has called for another massive demonstration today in Madison, Wisconsin.

If you’re too far away from Madison to participate in person, please stand in Solidarity with the demonstrators by doing something to show your support.  Buying pizza is always good.  Posting on a blog is good. Organizing your own demonstration is great.  You get the idea.  Let’s do it.

Mar 05 2011

On This Day in History March 5

This is your morning Open Thread. Pour your favorite beverage and review the past and comment on the future.

Find the past “On This Day in History” here.

March 5 is the 64th day of the year (65th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. There are 301 days remaining until the end of the year.

On this day in 1770, a mob of angry colonists gathers at the Customs House in Boston and begins tossing snowballs and rocks at the lone British soldier guarding the building. The protesters opposed the occupation of their city by British troops, who were sent to Boston in 1768 to enforce unpopular taxation measures passed by a British parliament without direct American representation.

The Incident

The event began on King Street, today known as State Street, in the early evening of March 5, in front of Private Hugh White, a British sentry, as he stood duty outside the Custom house. A young wigmaker’s apprentice named Edward Gerrish called out to a British officer, Captain Lieutenant John Goldfinch, that Goldfinch had not paid the bill of Gerrish’s master. Goldfinch had in fact settled his account and ignored the insult. Gerrish departed, but returned a couple of hours later with companions. He continued his complaints, and the civilians began throwing rocks at Goldfinch. Gerrish exchanged insults with Private White, who left his post, challenged the boy, and struck him on the side of the head with a musket. As Gerrish cried in pain, one of his companions, Bartholomew Broaders, began to argue with White. This attracted a larger crowd.

As the evening progressed, the crowd grew larger and more boisterous. The mob grew in size and continued harassing Private White. As bells, which usually signified a fire, rang out from the surrounding steeples, the crowd of Bostonians grew larger and more threatening. Over fifty of the Bostonian townsmen gathered and provoked White and Goldfinch into fight. As the crowd began to get larger, the British soldiers realized that the situation was about to explode. Private White left his sentry box and retreated to the Custom House stairs with his back to a locked door. Nearby, from the Main Guard, the Officer of the Day, Captain Thomas Preston, watched this situation escalate and, according to his account, dispatched a non-commissioned officer and seven or eight soldiers of the 29th Regiment of Foot, with fixed bayonets, to relieve White. He and his subordinate, James Basset, followed soon afterward. Among these soldiers were Corporal William Wemms (apparently the non-commissioned officer mentioned in Preston’s report), Hugh Montgomery, John Carroll, James Hartigan, William McCauley, William Warren and Matthew Kilroy. As this relief column moved forward to the now empty sentry box, the crowd pressed around them. When they reached this point they loaded their muskets and joined with Private White at the custom house stairs. As the crowd, estimated at 300 to 400, pressed about them, they formed a semicircular perimeter.

The crowd continued to harass the soldiers and began to throw snow balls and other small objects at the soldiers. Private Hugh Montgomery was struck down onto the ground by a club wielded by Richard Holmes, a local tavernkeeper. When he recovered to his feet, he fired his musket, later admitting to one of his defense attorneys that he had yelled “Damn you, fire!” It is presumed that Captain Preston would not have told the soldiers to fire, as he was standing in front of the guns, between his men and the crowd of protesters. However, the protesters in the crowd were taunting the soldiers by yelling “Fire”. There was a pause of indefinite length; the soldiers then fired into the crowd. Their uneven bursts hit eleven men. Three Americans – ropemaker Samuel Gray, mariner James Caldwell, and a mixed race sailor named Crispus Attucks – died instantly. Seventeen-year-old Samuel Maverick, struck by a ricocheting musket ball at the back of the crowd, died a few hours later, in the early morning of the next day. Thirty-year-old Irish immigrant Patrick Carr died two weeks later. To keep the peace, the next day royal authorities agreed to remove all troops from the centre of town to a fort on Castle Island in Boston Harbor. On March 27 the soldiers, Captain Preston and four men who were in the Customs House and alleged to have fired shots, were indicted for murder.

The Trial of the Soldiers

At the request of Captain Preston and in the interest that the trial be fair, John Adams, a leading Boston Patriot and future President, took the case defending the British soldiers.

In the trial of the soldiers, which opened November 27, 1770, Adams argued that if the soldiers were endangered by the mob, which he called “a motley rabble of saucy boys, negroes, and molattoes, Irish teagues and outlandish jack tarrs,” they had the legal right to fight back, and so were innocent. If they were provoked but not endangered, he argued, they were at most guilty of manslaughter. The jury agreed with Adams and acquitted six of the soldiers. Two of the soldiers were found guilty of manslaughter because there was overwhelming evidence that they fired directly into the crowd, however Adams invoked Benefit of clergy in their favor: by proving to the judge that they could read by having them read aloud from the Bible, he had their punishment, which would have been a death sentence, reduced to branding of the thumb in open court. The jury’s decisions suggest that they believed the soldiers had felt threatened by the crowd. Patrick Carr, the fifth victim, corroborated this with a deathbed testimony delivered to his doctor.

Three years later in 1773, on the third anniversary of the incident, John Adams made this entry in his diary:

The Part I took in Defence of Cptn. Preston and the Soldiers, procured me Anxiety, and Obloquy enough. It was, however, one of the most gallant, generous, manly and disinterested Actions of my whole Life, and one of the best Pieces of Service I ever rendered my Country. Judgment of Death against those Soldiers would have been as foul a Stain upon this Country as the Executions of the Quakers or Witches, anciently. As the Evidence was, the Verdict of the Jury was exactly right.

“This however is no Reason why the Town should not call the Action of that Night a Massacre, nor is it any Argument in favour of the Governor or Minister, who caused them to be sent here. But it is the strongest Proofs of the Danger of Standing Armies.

Mar 05 2011

Six In The Morning

Gadhafi’s forces break through Libya rebel lines



Opposition appear to be losing in Zawiya in west, but their flag flies over new city in east

NBC, msnbc.com and news services  

Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi’s forces broke through rebel defenses at the city of Zawiya Saturday, witnesses said after a battle in which dozens of people were killed.

The attack on the city, about 30 miles west of Tripoli, saw an improvised force of rebels armed with hunting rifles and swords take on troops from the elite Khamis Brigade – named after the son of Gadhafi who commands it.

The witnesses said that forces loyal to the regime had overcome rebel positions with tanks, heavy mortar shelling, machinegun fire.

The rattle of gunfire and explosions could be heard as they spoke to The Associated Press by phone. They did so on condition of anonymity because of fears for their safety.

Mar 05 2011

In Other Formula One News

I’ll assume everyone who cares already knows that the March 13th Bahrain Grand Prix, the opening race of the 2011 season, and associated testing has been canceled because of domestic unrest right?

You might not have heard about this one-

Kickback Probe Tests CVC’s Ties With F-1’s Ecclestone

By Anne-Sylvaine Chassany, Karin Matussek and Alex Duff, Bloomberg BusinessWeek

February 15, 2011, 9:56 PM EST

Feb. 16 (Bloomberg) — Banker Gerhard Gribkowsky may have taken a $50 million kickback for engineering the sale of Formula One, the world’s most-watched motor sport, German prosecutors say. Who paid that suspected bribe, they aren’t saying.

That mystery has thrown a spotlight on the partnership between 80-year-old Formula One Management Ltd. Chief Executive Officer Bernie Ecclestone, a fixture of London’s tabloids, and the company’s buyer, CVC Capital Partners Ltd., one of Europe’s largest and most-private buyout firms.



The investigation is focused on the 2005 sale of a 48 percent stake in London-based Formula One to CVC by Bayerische Landesbank in Munich, which received a 10 billion-euro ($13.5 billion) government bailout following losses on U.S. subprime mortgages. That investigation is adding to uncertainties about Formula One’s future, making an exit more difficult for CVC, which manages 31 billion euros, including Europe’s second- largest buyout fund.



“According to the current findings, the suspect, in turn, received $50 million in payments disguised via two consultancy agreements,” Munich prosecutors said in the statement. A spokesman for the prosecutors declined to say who may have made the payments. No charges have been filed against Gribkowsky, who is being held while the probe continues. Ecclestone hasn’t been accused of wrongdoing.



The kickback case “has been a ticking bomb for at least a year now,” said Klaus Fleischer, professor of banking and finance at the University of Applied Sciences in Munich. “BayernLB is a money sink and is under enormous political pressure to clean up the whole mess of subprime, Hypo Alpe-Adria and Formula One.”

Gribkowsky didn’t run a competitive auction when BayernLB sold its 48 percent stake, two people with knowledge of the deal said. Kirch’s lawyers say the sale undervalued Formula One, according to a letter sent to the bank on Jan. 6.



Since the CVC acquisition, Formula One has been plagued by a cheating scandal, and the global economic slump led Honda Motor Co., Toyota Motor Co. and Bayerische Motoren Werke AG to quit. The average race audience fell to 44 million in 2009 from 52 million in 2004 as younger people watch less TV, according to London-based Future Sport & Entertainment.

The sport is betting on growth in Asia and the Middle East after France was dropped from the schedule because it couldn’t meet the costs and Italy and Germany lost one of their two annual races. This year, the championship has 20 races, including one hosted by India for the first time.

Mar 05 2011

DocuDharma Digest

Regular Features-

Featured Essays for March 4, 2011-

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