Daily Archive: 06/01/2013

Jun 01 2013

Random Japan

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HEAVY METAL

he SDF installed a Patriot anti-missile battery at its headquarters in downtown Tokyo, aka the most densely populated place on Earth.

A customs officer at Fukuoka Airport busted a pair of Japanese men for attempting to smuggle 8kg of gold from Thailand.

A “natural history study group” made up of citizens dedicated to the Izu islands say that the endangered black-footed albatross is making a comeback on an uninhabited island near Hachijojima.

Meanwhile, a strong earthquake ruined a popular rock-climbing cliff on Miyakejima that was hailed as sparking interest in free-climbing on the island.

Jun 01 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

New Ways to Use ‘Ancient’ Grains

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Some of these have fed people in far-flung parts of the world for a very long time but have been of little interest as a food on the American market. Grains like sorghum have been grown here but fed primarily to animals, whereas sorghum has been a staple for centuries in Africa and India. [..]

These are chewy, hearty grains. They’re good with vegetables and with beans. Barley is wonderful in soups, and all of the chewy grains lend themselves to salads and to being stirred into cold yogurt soups along with other vegetables and herbs.

~Martha Rose Shulman~

Yogurt or Buttermilk Soup With Wheat Berries

On a hot day, a soup like this one is both refreshing and substantial.

Sorghum Bowl With Black Beans, Amaranth and Avocado

The firm, round grains of sorghum stand up against the soft, brothy beans in this stew.

Sorghum Salad With Cucumbers, Avocado and Cherry Tomatoes

Cooking the grains until they splay helps them absorb the dressing.

Barley and Spring Onion Soup With Fava Beans

A light, sweet soup that makes good use of spring’s tender vegetables.

Wheat Berries With Spinach and Spring Onion

Any of the ancient wheat varieties work well here, and you can use any greens you like.

Jun 01 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

Jonathan Turley: Fire Eric Holder

Recently, Attorney General Eric Holder appeared before the House Judiciary Committee to answer questions about the administration’s sweeping surveillance of journalists with the Associated Press. In the greatest attack on the free press in decades, the Justice Department seized phone records for reporters and editors in at least three AP offices as well as its office in the House of Representatives. Holder, however, proceeded to claim absolute and blissful ignorance of the investigation, even failing to recall when or how he recused himself.

Yet, this was only the latest attack on the news media under Holder’s leadership. Despite his record, he expressed surprise at the hearing that the head of the Republican National Committee had called for his resignation. After all, Holder pointed out, he did nothing. That is, of course, precisely the point. Unlike the head of the RNC, I am neither a Republican nor conservative, and I believe Holder should be fired.

Glenn Greenwald; Obama’s New FBI Chief Approved Bush’s NSA Warrantless Wiretapping Scheme

James Comey becomes just the latest symbol of the Obama legacy: normalizing what was very recently viewed as radical

What was once deemed radical is now normal. Bush officials who formally authorized programs once depicted by progressives as radical and criminal are now heralded by those same progressives as Champions of the Constitution. The politician elected on a pledge of Change and Restoration of Our Values now routinely empowers exactly those Washington officials who championed the policies against which he railed. It’s one thing to watch Obama shield and protect all Bush officials who enabled this illegal warrantless domestic surveillance scheme. It’s quite another to watch him put in charge of the FBI the very official whose signature deemed it to be legal.

James Comey is far from the worst choice to lead the FBI. I doubt it will change much of anything one way or the other, and there are undoubtedly worse people within the senior ranks of the Democratic Party who would be the likely alternatives. But it’s still a potent symbol of how little has changed in the right direction and how much it has changed in the wrong direction. If you had told progressives in 2008 that the Bush lawyer who approved the NSA program would be named by Obama as the FBI Director, they would scoff in disbelief. Now they’ll cheer. That is what has changed.

Glen Ford: Perpetual War – and Obama’s Perpetual Con Game

Barack Obama is a master trickster, a shape-shifter, and a methodical liar. The man who has arrogated to himself the right to kill at will, anywhere on the globe, accountable only to himself, based on secret information and classified legal rationales, now says he is determined that Washington’s “perpetual war” must one day end – sometime in the misty future after he is long gone from office. He informed his global audience of potential victims that he had signed a secret agreement (with himself?) that would limit drone strikes to targets that pose “a continuing, imminent threat to Americans” and cannot be captured – a policy that his White House has always claimed (falsely) to be operative. He promises to be more merciful than before, “haunted” as he is by all the nameless deaths, although he admits to having done no wrong. [..]

Such conflicts, we must understand, are necessitated by the “imminence” of threats posed to U.S. security, as weighed and measured by secret means. His Eminence is the sole judge of imminence. He is also the arbiter of who is to be detained in perpetuity, without trial or (public) charge, for “association” with “terrorists” as defined by himself. He has no apologies for that.

Marcy Wheeler: American Drone War: Murder and Democracy

In his post on the drone killing of Waliur Rehman Mehsud earlier this week, Jim noted that CIA has sworn revenge for the 2009 Pakistani Taliban supported suicide attack on CIA’s base in Khost.

Sure enough, one of the things Press Secretary Jay Carney mentioned when asked about the strike yesterday was Rehman’s role in the “murder” of 7 CIA officers in Khost in 2009. [..]

Now, I’m sorry that 7 CIA officers died, but let’s consider what it means that the US continues to call the attack murder. [..]

And it’s not just with this drone killing.

Both in Pakistan and Yemen (not coincidentally, the places where we use what we call signature strikes but might just be side payment strikes), we have taken out more than a few people who – like Rehman – were either amenable to negotiations or had served as mediators between the government and extremist forces in the past.

John Stolz: McCain Poses With Alleged Terrorists — Proof That Involvement in Syria Is a Bad Idea

The photo of John McCain posing with terrorists and kidnappers in Syria encapsulates, perfectly, everything wrong with the position of McCain and others that the U.S. ought to insert itself into Syria’s civil war. [..]

It was revealed this morning that McCain, during his personal mission to Syria to meet with rebels, appeared in photos with Mohammed Nour and Abu Ibrahim, two members of the Sunni “Northern Storm” brigade, which kidnapped 11 Lebanese Shia pilgrims, who were on their way back to Lebanon, from Iran. The group is still holding nine of the hostages.

This should give everyone pause when it comes to ramping up support for the rebels by arming them.

Robert Reich: Economic Storm Clouds Ahead

Economic forecasters exist to make astrologers look good. But the recent jubilance is enough to make even weather forecasters blush. “Just look at the bull market! Look at home prices! Look at consumer confidence!”

Please.

I can understand the jubilation in the narrow sense that we’ve been down so long everything looks up. Plus, professional economists tend to cheerlead because they believe that if consumers and businesses think the future will be great, they’ll buy and invest more — leading to a self-fulfilling prophesy.

But prophesies can’t be self-fulfilling if they’re based on wishful thinking.

The reality is we’re still in the doldrums, and the most recent data gives cause for serious worry

Jun 01 2013

On This Day In History June 1

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.

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June 1 is the 152nd day of the year (153rd in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. There are 213 days remaining until the end of the year.

On this day in 1980, CNN (Cable News Network), the world’s first 24-hour television news network, makes its debut. The network signed on at 6 p.m. EST from its headquarters in Atlanta, Georgia, with a lead story about the attempted assassination of civil rights leader Vernon Jordan. CNN went on to change the notion that news could only be reported at fixed times throughout the day. At the time of CNN’s launch, TV news was dominated by three major networks–ABC, CBS and NBC–and their nightly 30-minute broadcasts. Initially available in less than two million U.S. homes, today CNN is seen in more than 89 million American households and over 160 million homes internationally.

CNN was the brainchild of Robert “Ted” Turner, a colorful, outspoken businessman dubbed the “Mouth of the South.” Turner was born on November 19, 1938, in Cincinnati, Ohio, and as a child moved with his family to Georgia, where his father ran a successful billboard advertising company. After his father committed suicide in 1963, Turner took over the business and expanded it. In 1970, he bought a failing Atlanta TV station that broadcast old movies and network reruns and within a few years Turner had transformed it into a “superstation,” a concept he pioneered, in which the station was beamed by satellite into homes across the country. Turner later bought the Atlanta Braves baseball team and the Atlanta Hawks basketball team and aired their games on his network, TBS (Turner Broadcasting System). In 1977, Turner gained international fame when he sailed his yacht to victory in the prestigious America’s Cup race.

Early history

The Cable News Network was launched at 5:00 p.m. EST on Sunday June 1, 1980. After an introduction by Ted Turner, the husband and wife team of David Walker and Lois Hart anchored the first newscast. Burt Reinhardt, the then executive vice president of CNN, hired most of CNN’s first 200 employees, including the network’s first news anchor, Bernard Shaw.

Since its debut, CNN has expanded its reach to a number of cable and satellite television companies, several web sites, specialized closed-circuit channels (such as CNN Airport Network), and a radio network. The company has 36 bureaus (10 domestic, 26 international), more than 900 affiliated local stations, and several regional and foreign-language networks around the world. The channel’s success made a bona-fide mogul of founder Ted Turner and set the stage for the Time Warner conglomerate’s eventual acquisition of Turner Broadcasting.

A companion channel, CNN2, was launched on January 1, 1982 and featured a continuous 24-hour cycle of 30-minute news broadcasts. A year later, it changed its name to “CNN Headline News”, and eventually it was simply called “Headline News”. (In 2005, Headline News would break from its original format with the addition of Headline Prime, a prime-time programming block that features news commentary; and in 2008 the channel changed its name again, to “HLN”.)