12/18/2010 archive

Random Japan


It was revealed that an ANA flight was about 30 seconds from crashing into a Hokkaido mountain before a warning went off, spurring pilots into quick action to avoid catastrophe. An air-traffic controller was blamed for the near mishap.

In another near-miss, an ANA flight taxied onto a runway where a JAL Express plane was about to land at Osaka airport in 2009 because a pilot misheard a flight number.

The Japan Coast Guard officer who made public controversial video footage of a collision with a Chinese fishing boat through YouTube, said he first sent the clip to CNN but they tossed the SD card in the trash because they didn’t know what was on it.

Now here’s a switch. Japan’s defense ministry apparently received notice from the Nagasaki government saying they’d be delighted to host some new submarines at the Sasebo base.

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.

Healthy Holiday Appetizers


Healthy Holiday Appetizers

Herb Crepes With Goat Cheese Filling

Marinated Salmon on Toothpicks

Salmon or Tuna Tartare

Potato and Onion Frittata

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”.

Bruce Fein American Exceptionalism Is Un-American

“American exceptionalism” — the narcissistic soundtrack of several presidential aspirants for 2012 — is Un-American. The boast betrays ignorance of the Founding Fathers and the tarnished history of the United States. In any event, to overlook faults because other nations are more flawed is juvenile, and leads nowhere.

Former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney scribbles in, “No Apology: The Case for American Greatness,” that, “This reorientation away from a celebration of American exceptionalism is misguided and bankrupt.” Congressman Mike Pence (R. Ind.) similarly addressed the Detroit Economic Club on “Restoring American Exceptionalism: A Vision for Economic Growth and Prosperity.” And the brilliant but sub-literate Sarah Palin, features a chapter in her book, America by Heart, entitled “America the Exceptional.”

Although none of the three specifically define the term, “American exceptionalism” conveys three wrong or empty ideas: that Americans are blessed with morally superior DNA which immunizes them from the vices or ill-humors of human nature; that the history of the United States is morally irreproachable; or, that the United States, despite its warts, is less immoral than other wretched countries.

John Nichols: Obama Gets His Tax Deal, Reanimating Reaganomics

Supply-side economics prevailed-at least politically-late Thursday, as the US House grudgingly approved President Obama’s deal with congressional Republicans to extend Bush-era tax cuts for billionaires, creates broad estate-tax exemptions for millionaires and shapes economic policies based on tax cuts rather smart investment in job-creating infrastructure projects, schools and an engaged public sector.

The House vote ended two weeks of wrangling over the deal that was generally popular with Republicans who almost giddy at prospect that a Democratic president would make tax cuts so central to his economic agenda, but was sharply criticized by leading Democrats and Vermont Independent Bernie Sanders as a reanimation of Reaganomics that would widen the gap between rich and poor, starve federal, state and local programs of needed resources, expand deficits and potentially undermined Social Security.

Gail Collins: The Gingrich Who Stole Christmas

The calendar is collapsing. Only a week until Christmas! Only a month until the beginning of the presidential election!

Yes, the race for the White House is practically under way. Already, there are at least seven Republican presidential primary debates on the schedule. The way this is going, the Republican presidential hopefuls will eventually be on television every single minute. Possibly they can be convinced to do something more entertaining than talk about earmarks. Maybe race around the world in teams of two, or compete at ballroom dancing, or agree to all be locked in a house together for several months with no contact with the outside world.

I know; you’re liking the last one already.

But today let’s look at their books. Almost every potential Republican presidential nominee has written at least one, and they could make excellent stocking stuffers for the public affairs mavens on your shopping list.

On This Day in History: December 18

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.

December 18 is the 352nd day of the year (353rd in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. There are 13 days remaining until the end of the year.

On this day in 1918, the House of Representatives passed the 18th Amendment to the Constitution, along with the Volstead Act, which defined “intoxicating liquors” excluding those used for religious purposes and sales throughout the U.S., established Prohibition in the United States. Its ratification was certified on January 16, 1919. It was repealed by the Twenty-first Amendment in 1933, the only instance of an amendment’s repeal. The Eighteenth Amendment was also unique in setting a time delay before it would take effect following ratification and in setting a time limit for its ratification by the states.

Section 1. After one year from the ratification of this article the manufacture, sale, or transportation of intoxicating liquors within, the importation thereof into, or the exportation thereof from the United States and all territory subject to the jurisdiction thereof for beverage purposes is hereby prohibited.

Section 2. The Congress and the several States shall have concurrent power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation.

Section 3. This article shall be inoperative unless it shall have been ratified as an amendment to the Constitution by the legislatures of the several States, as provided in the Constitution, within seven years from the date of the submission hereof to the States by the Congress.

The amendment and its enabling legislation did not ban the consumption of alcohol, but made it difficult to obtain it legally.

Following significant pressure on lawmakers from the temperance movement, the House of Representatives passed the amendment on December 18, 1917. It was certified as ratified on January 16, 1919, having been approved by 36 states. It went into effect one year after ratification, on January 17, 1920. Many state legislatures had already enacted statewide prohibition prior to the ratification of the Eighteenth Amendment.

When Congress submitted this amendment to the states for ratification, it was the first time a proposed amendment contained a provision setting a deadline for its ratification. The validity of that clause of the amendment was challenged and reached the Supreme Court, which upheld the constitutionality of such a deadline in Dillon v. Gloss (1921).

Because many Americans attempted to evade the restrictions of Prohibition, there was a considerable growth in violent and organized crime in the United States in response to public demand for illegal alcohol. The amendment was repealed by the Twenty-First Amendment on December 5, 1933. It remains the only constitutional amendment to be repealed in its entirety.

Morning Shinbun Saturday December 18

Saturday’s Headlines:

Assange begins mansion arrest, but his ‘source’ feels the heat


Soros vs Murdoch: The battle for the soul of America

Early Tests for Alzheimer’s Pose Diagnosis Dilemma


Europe’s big three form EU budget freeze pact

In hills outside Paris, tapping vast oil reserve presents risk but promises profit

Middle East

Baghdad Christians forced to flee homes

In Israel, a rabbi who argues that anti-Arab measures are un-Jewish


US envoy Bill Richardson warns of Korea tinderbox


Ki-moon: Gbagbo presidency a ‘mockery of democracy’

Mugabe vows retaliation against West

Latin America

Venezuela parliament gives Hugo Chavez more powers

Top CIA spy in Pakistan pulled amid threats after public accusation over attack

By Greg Miller and Karin Brulliard

Washington Post Staff Writers

Saturday, December 18, 2010; 1:20 AM  

U.S. officials said Friday they are increasingly convinced that Pakistan’s intelligence service deliberately exposed the identity of the CIA’s top spy in Pakistan, triggering death threats and forcing the agency to pull him from his post.

The allegation marks a new low in the relationship between the CIA and its Pakistani counterpart at a time when both intelligence services are under pressure to root out militant groups and the CIA is waging a vastly accelerated campaign of drone strikes.

The CIA officer was rushed out of the agency’s massive station in Islamabad on the same day that President Obama issued a new warning to Pakistan’s leaders that “terrorist safe havens within their borders must be dealt with.”

Popular Culture 20101217: Christmas TeeVee Adverts

Those of you who read this column know that from time to time I write about TeeVee adverts.  It seems as if some of the worst ones come out during the holiday season, many but not all connected with extracting money from you for gifts.

Before we get going on these new ones, please remember back a couple of months when I wrote about the Tide laundry detergent advert that featured the daughter asking her mum if the mum had seen her green shirt.  The mum thought back to wearing it and stained it with food.  Then she lied to her daughter saying, “Honey, that’s not my style”.  This advert has been modified and now the mum says nothing to the daughter about it.  I consider this a small victory for decency in advertising, and credit this column with at least a bit of influence.  Thank everyone for the support.

Prime Time

Yes Virginia, Frosty the Snowman (Jimmy Durante), Frosty Returns (Jonathan Winters).  Nutcracker again.  Mid-season finale of Sanctuary so I’ve been distracted trying to catch up with the storylines.  Evidently we’re now exploring the mysteries of ‘Hollow Earth’, a network of tunnels and caverns created by a race of beings at war with the Vampires and those who still carry ‘The Source Blood’ and battling Jekyll and Hyde for access (am I too old to be be a fanboy?  No, no not at all).  You know what’s the best thing about Fridays?  Prison Porn instead of O’Donnell.


Dave hosts Dustin Hoffman and Robert De Niro.  

When the left tire mark goes up on the curb and the right tire mark stays flat and even? Well, the ’64 Skylark had a solid rear axle, so when the left tire would go up on the curb, the right tire would tilt out and ride along its edge. But that didn’t happen here. The tire mark stayed flat and even. This car had an independent rear suspension. Now, in the ’60’s, there were only two other cars made in America that had positraction, and independent rear suspension, and enough power to make these marks. One was the Corvette, which could never be confused with the Buick Skylark. The other had the same body length, height, width, weight, wheel base, and wheel track as the ’64 Skylark, and that was the 1963 Pontiac Tempest.

Zap2it TV Listings, Yahoo TV Listings

Evening Edition

Evening Edition is an Open Thread

From Yahoo News Top Stories

1 WikiLeaks chief Assange fears US charges

by Beatrice Debut, AFP

2 hrs 45 mins ago

BUNGAY, United Kingdom (AFP) – Julian Assange said Friday it was “increasingly likely” the US would try to extradite him on charges related to WikiLeaks, as he spent his first day on bail on an English country estate.

The 39-year-old founder of the whistle-blowing website is fighting extradition to Sweden, where he is wanted for questioning over allegations that he sexually assaulted two women, which he denies.

But speaking outside Ellingham Hall, a friend’s mansion in eastern England, where he must live while on bail, Assange said he was more concerned about potential moves from US authorities.