Daily Archive: 04/06/2013

Apr 06 2013

Random Japan

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POLICE BLOTTER

Cops in Toshima-ku arrested four operators of a brothel called the Otsuka Cosplay Academy for employing a 14-year-old girl as a sex worker.

Authorities in Hachioji believe that a serial arsonist is setting fire to local vending machines in an effort to “steal change.”

A 35-year-old lieutenant commander in the Maritime Self-Defense Force was arrested for “touching a 20-year-old female college student’s lower body” on the Keikyu line.

An Osaka woman was busted for getting her 6-year-old daughter addicted to sleeping pills. The woman told officials that she wanted the girl to go to bed at the same time she did.

Apr 06 2013

Health and Fitness News

Welcome to the Stars Hollow Health and Fitness News 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.

Follow us on Twitter @StarsHollowGzt

One Fish, Two Fish

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This week I made five different fish dishes and did not use any of the favorite four. I turned, as I always do, to the Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch pocket guide (they also have an app) for advice about best choices and good alternatives, and bought my fish from a fishmonger at my farmers’ market, from Trader Joe’s, and from Whole Foods. I avoided farmed fish, especially farmed fish from far away. The species I cooked included local Pacific sole, mahi mahi, arctic char, and Pacific halibut. Other good seafood choices are clams and mussels, striped bass, sardines, and rainbow trout.

~Martha Rose Shulman~

Oven-Poached Pacific Sole With Lemon Caper Sauce

A fish piccata of sorts, this dish is easy to make and the sauce is perfect for delicate fish like sole or flounder, as well as more robust fish like swordfish.

Greek Baked Fish With Tomatoes and Onions

The robust flavors in the tomato sauce work well with a variety of white fishes.

Oven-Steamed Arctic Char With Piperade

A sauce that works on just about any fish is particularly delicious with Arctic char.

Striped Bass or Mahi Mahi With Fennel, Leeks and Tomatoes

A sauce similar to a vegetable ragout works over any firm white fish.

Broiled Fish With Chermoula

In Morocco, chermoula is traditionally used as a marinade for grilled fish.

Apr 06 2013

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”.

Follow us on Twitter @StarsHollowGzt

Robert Naiman:#ChainedCPI? For Every Social Security Judas, a Primary Challenge

The moment of truth has arrived. According to press reports, President Obama has openly embraced cutting Social Security and veterans benefits by imposing the “chained CPI” cut on cost of living increases, which is like signing in blood the idea that the federal government’s priorities should be owned by the 1 percent rather than by the 99 percent. The war in Afghanistan will continue, the boondoggle F-35 “Bankrupter” fighter plane will continue, the $83 billion annual taxpayer subsidy to the “too big to fail” banks will continue, but the earned benefits of America’s working families, including disabled veterans and their survivors, will be cut if President Obama has his way. [..]

If there is no “grand bargain,” then under the sequester, the Pentagon budget will be cut and Social Security benefits will be protected. If there is a “grand bargain” – a “Grand Betrayal” – Social Security benefits will be cut and the Pentagon budget will be protected. Thus, to be only a little bit crude, the “grand bargain” is about cutting Social Security to protect the Pentagon budget. Raising taxes on the 1 percent as part of a deal to cut Social Security and veterans’ benefits and protect the Pentagon budget for wars and useless military junk is a bad deal for the 99 percent.

(emphasis mine)

Richard (RJ) Eskow: Have Wall Street’s “Third Way” Democrats Ever Been Right About Anything?

Have the Wall Street Democrats of “Third Way” or their predecessors in the Clintonite “Democratic Leadership Council” ever been right about an important economic issue?

That’s not meant as a thoughtless insult or flippant one-liner.  We consider it a legitimate line of inquiry, especially at a time when their pronouncements are being used as ammunition for an aggressive campaign against Social Security, Medicare, and other vital government programs.

We can omit topics of limited economic importance from our investigation. The “centrist” Democrats often adopt the ‘liberal’ line on social issues like gun control or gay marriage — which, coincidentally or not, are also issues which have little or no financial impact on their corporate and high-net-worth individual sponsors.

But what’s the verdict on the core economic issues of our time?

RobertReich: The Big Stall

Bad news on the economy. It added only 88,000 jobs in March — the slowest pace of job growth in nine months.

While the jobless rate fell to 7.6 percent, much of the drop was due to the labor force shrinking by almost a half million people. If you’re not looking for work, you’re not counted as unemployed.

That means the percentage of working-age Americans either with a job or looking for one dropped to 63.3 percent — its lowest level since 1979.

The direction isn’t encouraging. The pace of job growth this year is slower than its pace last year.

What’s going on? The simple fact is companies won’t hire if consumers aren’t buying enough to justify the new hires. And consumers don’t have enough money, or credit, or confidence to buy enough.

David Sirota: A Victory Against the Language of Bigotry

As one of the world’s largest news outlets, The Associated Press’ linguistic mandates significantly shape the broader vernacular. So when the organization this week decided to stop using the term “illegal immigrant,” it was a big victory for objectivity and against the propagandistic language of bigotry. [..]

“Illegal,” of course, has been used as more than a mere label-it has for years been used as an outright epithet by xenophobes. They abhor the notion of America becoming more diverse-and specifically, more non-white-and so they have tried to convert “illegal” into a word that specifically dehumanizes Latinos. Thus, as any honest person can admit, when Republican politicians and media blowhards decry “illegals,” they are pretending to be for a race-blind enforcement of immigration laws, but they are really signaling their hatred of Latino culture.

Apr 06 2013

On This Day In History April 6

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.

April 6 is the 96th day of the year (97th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. There are 269 days remaining until the end of the year.

On this day in 1896, the Olympic Games, a long-lost tradition of ancient Greece, are reborn in Athens 1,500 years after being banned by Roman Emperor Theodosius I. At the opening of the Athens Games, King Georgios I of Greece and a crowd of 60,000 spectators welcomed athletes from 13 nations to the international competition.

The 1896 Summer Olympics, officially known as the Games of the I Olympiad, was a multi-sport event celebrated in Athens, Greece, from April 6 to April 15, 1896. It was the first international Olympic Games held in the Modern era. Because Ancient Greece was the birthplace of the Olympic Games, Athens was perceived to be an appropriate choice to stage the inaugural modern Games. It was unanimously chosen as the host city during a congress organized by Pierre de Coubertin, a French pedagogue and historian, in Paris, on June 23, 1894. The International Olympic Committee (IOC) was also established during this congress.

Despite many obstacles and setbacks, the 1896 Olympics were regarded as a great success. The Games had the largest international participation of any sporting event to that date. The Panathinaiko Stadium, the only Olympic stadium used in the 19th Century, overflowed with the largest crowd ever to watch a sporting event. The highlight for the Greeks was the marathon victory by their compatriot Spiridon Louis. The most successful competitor was German wrestler and gymnast Carl Schuhmann, who won four events.

After the Games, Coubertin and the IOC were petitioned by several prominent figures including Greece’s King George and some of the American competitors in Athens, to hold all the following Games in Athens. However, the 1900 Summer Olympics were already planned for Paris and, except for the Intercalated Games of 1906, the Olympics did not return to Greece until the 2004 Summer Olympics, some 108 years later.

Reviving the Games

During the 18th century, several small-scale sports festivals across Europe were named after the Ancient Olympic Games. The 1870 Olympics at the Panathenaic stadium, which had been refurbished for the occasion, had an audience of 30,000 people. Coubertin adopted Dr William Penny Brooke‘s idea to establish a multi-national and multi-sport event-the ancient games were in a sense international, because various Greek city-states and colonies were represented, but only free male athletes of Greek origin were allowed to participate. In 1890, Coubertin wrote an article in La Revue Athletique, which espoused the importance of Much Wenlock, a rural market town in the English county of Shropshire. It was here that, in October 1850, the local physician William Penny Brookes had founded the Wenlock Olympian Games, a festival of sports and recreations that included athletics and team sports, such as cricket, football and quoits. Coubertin also took inspiration from the earlier Greek games organized under the name of Olympics by businessman and philanthropist Evangelis Zappas in 1859, 1870 and 1875. The 1896 Athens Games was funded by the legacies of Evangelis Zappas and his cousin Konstantinos Zappas and by George Averoff who had been specifically requested by the Greek government, through crown prince Constantine, to sponsor the second refurbishment of the Panathinaiko Stadium. This the Greek government did despite the fact that the cost of refurbishing the stadium in marble had already been funded in full by Evangelis Zappas forty years earlier.

On June 18, 1894, Coubertin organized a congress at the Sorbonne, in Paris, to present his plans to representatives of sports societies from 11 countries. Following his proposal’s acceptance by the congress, a date for the first modern Olympic Games needed to be chosen. Coubertin suggested that the Games be held concurrently with the 1900 Universal Exposition of Paris. Concerned that a six-year waiting period might lessen public interest, congress members opted instead to hold the inaugural Games in 1896. With a date established, members of the congress turned their attention to the selection of a host city. It remains a mystery how Athens was finally chosen to host the inaugural Games. In the following years both Coubertin and Demetrius Vikelas would offer recollections of the selection process that contradicted the official minutes of the congress. Most accounts hold that several congressmen first proposed London as the location, but Coubertin dissented. After a brief discussion with Vikelas, who represented Greece, Coubertin suggested Athens. Vikelas made the Athens proposal official on June 23, and since Greece had been the original home of the Olympics, the congress unanimously approved the decision. Vikelas was then elected the first president of the newly established International Olympic Committee (IOC).

Apr 06 2013

More on the 1960’s:

The other night, I found the full movie of “The 60’s” on youtube and decided to watch all of it.  It took awhile, but I began to recognize it as a movie that i’d seen on TV a number of years before.  Here it is:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v…

Apr 06 2013

Reclaiming The Republic

We the People, and the Republic we must reclaim

There is a corruption at the heart of American politics, caused by the dependence of Congressional candidates on funding from the tiniest percentage of citizens. That’s the argument at the core of this blistering talk by legal scholar Lawrence Lessig. With rapid-fire visuals, he shows how the funding process weakens the Republic in the most fundamental way, and issues a rallying bipartisan cry that will resonate with many in the U.S. and beyond.