Daily Archive: 09/17/2011

Sep 17 2011

Random Japan

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AND THE WINNER IS…

A Japanese director named Takahisa Zeze won an Innovation Award at the Montreal World Film Festival and captivated the crowd when he started his acceptance speech with the words, “I am Japanese. Are you doing good?”

Another attending Japanese filmmaker in Montreal, Masato Harada, was doing pretty well as his movie Chronicle of My Mother took the Special Grand Prix.

In the wake of entertainer Shinsuke Shimada’s abrupt retirement from his TV career over ties to the yakuza, one top police official noted in The Yomiuri Shimbun, “It seems many showbiz types’ first interaction with crime groups comes when they ask the gangs to solve problems for them, such as collecting unpaid appearance fees or breaking off relationships with members of the opposite sex.”

Former Japan soccer coach Zico has a new gig after the Brazilian legend was named coach of Iraq’s national team.

Meanwhile, the unfortunately named Dunga, another former Brazilian soccer star who, like Zico, once played in the J. League, was also reported to be getting a new job.

Dunga was set to take the helm of a club team in Qatar.

Sep 17 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 oHartocollisn the right hand side of the Front Page.

Learning to Love Okra

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{}(C)ooks in the eastern and southern Mediterranean treat this popular vegetable: they cook it whole, after tossing it with salt and vinegar and marinating it for an hour to make it less, well, slimy. Some regional cooks dry okra in the sun after salting it.

Okra is low in calories, very high in dietary fiber, and a great source of vitamin A, vitamin C, B vitamins and the phytonutrients glutathione, xanthin, lutein and beta carotene. For the best texture and flavor, buy the smallest pods you can find.

Roasted Okra

When okra is roasted, there’s no need to marinate it in salt and vinegar.

Turkish Chicken and Okra Casserole

Okra stewed with lamb or chicken is a Turkish staple.

Okra, Avocado and Tomato Salad With Chili and Lime Juice

This lively combination is inspired by a favorite Mexican cactus salad.

Algerian Okra, Potato and Tomato Tagine

Make this stew in any sort of heavy casserole, but an earthenware tagine works best.

Mediterranean Okra and Tomato Stew

Okra is stewed with tomatoes and onions throughout the Middle East and in Greece.

Sep 17 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”.

Joe Conason: Preserving Life (Unless It’s Uninsured)

Watching the Republican presidential candidates and their agitated tea party supporters at the CNN/Tea Party Debate, an ordinary citizen might feel confused. Those people sound angry, but exactly what do they believe our government should (and shouldn’t) do on behalf of its citizens?

Ensuring affordable health care for everyone seemed to be on the forbidden list, even for Mitt Romney, who had tried to do exactly that as governor of Massachusetts. Every one of the candidates vehemently insisted, to predictably enthusiastic applause, that President Obama’s health care reform must go, immediately, if not sooner. And just as predictably, none of them suggested how to provide affordable health care to the roughly 50 million Americans who lack coverage-a number that reached a new record last month.

Indeed, when CNN anchor Wolf Blitzer asked whether a young man lacking private health insurance should simply be allowed to die if he suddenly suffered an accident or illness, some audience members screamed “Yes!” Many of the rest cheered, while the would-be presidents stood by woodenly, without the dignity of a demurral.

Glen Ford: High Stakes Testing in Schools: Who’s Cheating Whom?

Corporate school privatizers feign disgust with teachers that cheat the standardized tests. But big business theft of public education is by far the greater sin.

The school privatizers now headquartered in the Obama administration are all pitching a morality fit over teachers that cheat by altering answers on standardized tests. Corporate privatizers, of course, have no real sense of morality beyond profit and loss: their own profit, and to hell with those that lose. But, when attacking institutions so historically revered as public education and the teaching profession, one must play dirty. You’ve got to get them on a morals charge.

The assault on public schools began with the blanket assertion that teachers – or, more precisely, teachers unions – are out for themselves; that they are sinfully selfish. Strange words, from the lips of corporate executives and free marketeers who preach that the highest virtues are revealed in the cutthroat corridors of commerce. Then again, pots and kettles are always calling everybody else black.

New York Times Editorial: Borderline Ridiculous

The United States is home to 11 million illegal immigrants. The undocumented hold jobs, have children, pay taxes, use government services – and too often live in fear. What is to be done about them? It’s a difficult question, and one the Republican presidential candidates in the last two debates spent a great deal of effort avoiding.

Unlike Ronald Reagan, none of these Republicans favor “amnesty,” and President George W. Bush’s comprehensive solution – tougher enforcement and legalization, with penalties – has gone nowhere. Comprehensive reform is President Obama’s answer, too, which means no Republican today dares support it.

John Nichols: US Supreme Court Blocks Rick Perry From Executing Man ‘Based on the Color of His Skin’

Texas Governor Rick Perry uses his state’s reputation for killing without question to gain applause for his presidential bid from Tea Party audiences that cannot contain their bloodlust. Perry, the frontrunner for the Republican party’s 2012 nomination claims he “never struggled” with questions of justice and injustice, right and wrong, when it comes to approving the executions of Texans.

That’s because, Perry says, “the state of Texas has a very thoughtful, very clear process in place.”

On Thursday night, that “very thoughtful, very clear process” was due to execute the 236th inmate to die on Perry’s watch.

But the latest victim, Duane Edward Buck, had been sentenced to death after an “expert witness” told jurors in Houston that Buck posed a greater threat to public safety because he was African-American.”

David Sirota: University of Hypocrisy

In the firmament of celebrated Americana, there is Mom, apple pie, football and beer-but there most certainly is not marijuana. As it relates to drugs, this bizarre culture has us implicitly accepting that people will inevitably use mind-altering substances. But through our statutes, we allow law-abiding citizens to use only one recreational substance-alcohol-that just happens to be way more hazardous than pot.

Such idiocy is the product of many variables. There’s been interest-group maneuvering and temperance-movement hypocrisy. There’s been hippie-hating rage and reefer-madness paranoia. And, most invisibly, there’s been college.

Though little noticed for its role in America’s selective War on Drugs, the university system has now become a key player shotgunning the oxymoronic “alcohol is acceptable but pot is evil” mentality down the beer-bong-primed throats of America’s youth. To see how it all works, consider the University of Colorado (CU).

Eugene Robinson: Where Are the Compassionate Conservatives?

We heard plenty of contradictions, distortions and untruths at the Republican candidates’ tea party debate, but we heard shockingly little compassion-and almost no acknowledgment that political and economic policy choices have a moral dimension.

The lowest point of the evening-and perhaps of the political season-came when moderator Wolf Blitzer asked Ron Paul a hypothetical question about a young man who elects not to purchase health insurance. The man has a medical crisis, goes into a coma and needs expensive care. “Who pays?” Blitzer asked.

“That’s what freedom is all about, taking your own risks,” Paul answered. “This whole idea that you have to prepare and take care of everybody … ”

Blitzer interrupted: “But Congressman, are you saying that society should just let him die?”

There were enthusiastic shouts of “Yeah!” from the crowd. You’d think one of the other candidates might jump in with a word about Christian kindness. Not a peep.

Sep 17 2011

I Am Troy Davis

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On September 21, 2011, the State of Georgia plans to kill Troy Davis by lethal injection.  Again.  This is the fourth time the State of Georgia has scheduled Davis for death.  In 2007 he was spared with less than 24 hours notice.  In September 2008, the hearse was waiting at the door and he was less than two hours away from the gurney.  A month later the execution was halted three days before execution.  And now, the rollercoaster from hope to despair has come to September 21, 2011.

Troy Davis’s conviction stems from the 1989 death of a Savannah police officer, Mark Allen McPhail.  The rollercoaster, for Troy Davis and his family and for the family of the officer, has been lurching back and forth for 22 years.  And with each year, doubt about the conviction has grown as witnesses have recanted and as jurors speak their unresolved doubts.  Lurking in the background is alarming possibility that the wrong man is waiting for the needle and that the real murderer has escaped.

The Atlanta Journal Constitution reports:


With only days before his scheduled execution, an effort to spare convicted killer Troy Davis is gathering thousands in rallies, vigils and other last-minute events from Atlanta to Peru to Berlin.

Citing doubts about his guilt, national leaders of the NAACP and Amnesty International led hundreds in a protest Friday against executing the man a Georgia jury said killed a Savannah police officer in 1989. Amnesty International declared a Global Day of Solidarity for Troy Davis, with 300 events across the United States and the globe, including in New York, Washington D.C., San Diego, Paris and Oslo.

Former President Jimmy Carter, Pope Benedict XVI and Nobel laureate Desmond Tutu are among those calling for his execution to be halted. And this week, Davis supporters presented 663,000 petitions to the Georgia Board of Pardons and Paroles asking for his life to be spared.

Troy Davis has one last chance to ask for leniency. The Georgia Board of Pardons and Paroles, which has the sole authority in Georgia to commute death sentences, will meet Monday to consider Davis’s case.

That means that this weekend is the last opportunity to sign a petition and to stand with more than 600,000 others for sparing Troy Davis.

The petition is here.

Details about the case are here from 2006 and here from 2008.

An excellent first person view is here (h/t OPOL).

——

cross-posted from The Dream Antilles

Sep 17 2011

On This Day In History September 17

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.

September is the 260th day of the year (261st in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. There are 105 days remaining until the end of the year.

On September 17, 1787, the Constitution was signed. As dictated by Article VII, the document would not become binding until it was ratified by nine of the 13 states. Beginning on December 7, five states–Delaware, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Georgia, and Connecticut–ratified it in quick succession. However, other states, especially Massachusetts, opposed the document, as it failed to reserve undelegated powers to the states and lacked constitutional protection of basic political rights, such as freedom of speech, religion, and the press. In February 1788, a compromise was reached under which Massachusetts and other states would agree to ratify the document with the assurance that amendments would be immediately proposed. The Constitution was thus narrowly ratified in Massachusetts, followed by Maryland and South Carolina. On June 21, 1788, New Hampshire became the ninth state to ratify the document, and it was subsequently agreed that government under the U.S. Constitution would begin on March 4, 1789. In June, Virginia ratified the Constitution, followed by New York in July.

On September 25, 1789, the first Congress of the United States adopted 12 amendments to the U.S. Constitution–the Bill of Rights–and sent them to the states for ratification. Ten of these amendments were ratified in 1791. In November 1789, North Carolina became the 12th state to ratify the U.S. Constitution. Rhode Island, which opposed federal control of currency and was critical of compromise on the issue of slavery, resisted ratifying the Constitution until the U.S. government threatened to sever commercial relations with the state. On May 29, 1790, Rhode Island voted by two votes to ratify the document, and the last of the original 13 colonies joined the United States. Today, the U.S. Constitution is the oldest written constitution in operation in the world.

Sep 17 2011

Kitty Stars Wars

Sep 17 2011

DocuDharma Digest

Regular Features

Featured Essays-

DocuDharma

Sep 17 2011

Popular Culture (“Music”) 20110916: Ray Stevens

Those of you that read this regular column know that I sometimes give space to what I do not like.  More often I write about things that I do like, but just to mix it up, now and then I have to be the author of a critical piece.

This is one of those.  The career of this hack has been rife with nothing but luck and I think that he has been more detrimental to musical art than he has contributed.  Why would I take on one of the most honored icons of pop music?  Because he is a shallow and an opportunistic person.  Can you say Tea Partier?  Sure you can.

His entire life is pretty much a lie.  We shall start with his name, and go further.  Ready?