10/08/2011 archive

2011 ALCS- Tigers at Rangers Game 1

I was worried when the Yankees failed to advance I’d lose any minimal rooting interest in the Junior League.  Fortunately my distaste for all things associated with the execrable W is so profound that it allows me to overlook the numerous problems with the Tigers and focus instead on their pitiable record of failure and the deep depression of their host city to summon a small, tiny iota of sympathy.

There’s nothing like that about the Rangers.

One potentially telling statistic is the season long futility of the Rangers in close contests where they are exceeded only by the hapless Royals.  Their starter is C.J. Wilson was just terrible in Game 1 against the Devil Rays.

The Tigers are opposing with Justin Verlander who has been incredibly effective against the Rangers with an ERA of 1.29 and 3 – 0 record in Arlington and 2.61 and 6 – 2 overall.

The corporate shills at MLB are celebrating the defeat of all the major market teams and the ‘balanced’ competitiveness of the remaining field as a triumph of team work over payroll.

They’re full of shit.

What they should be mourning instead is what will be one of the lowest rated championships ever, regardless of how close the games or how long the series last.

But that’s modern capitalism for you, it doesn’t matter how crappy the product is or whether you have a market for it, it’s all about crushing the workers and minimizing your labor costs.

Coverage starts at 8 pm ET on Faux (where they were undoubtedly rooting for the Yankees).

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.

Feeding Teenagers With Cookies and Bars


Crisp Peanut Butter Sandwich Cookies

Inspired by two recipes in Maida Heatter’s “Book of Great Cookies,” these crisp treats may be the best peanut butter cookies you’ve ever tasted.

Coconut Granola Bars

These are crunchy and a little bit sticky. If you are vegan you can substitute agave syrup for the honey.

Chocolate Pecan Bars

This is like a toned-down pecan pie in bar form.

Sesame Coconut Bars

These heavenly bars are inspired by Sesame Dream Bars, from “Diet for a Small Planet” by Frances Moore Lappé.

Seeded Whole-Wheat Scones

These scones are not overly sweet and have a light, wonderful texture.

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”.

Sen. Bernie Sanders: Rein in Wall Street and Rescue the Middle Class

It’s time for us to end the financial oligarchy so destructive to our economy. If a bank is too big to fail, it is too big to exist

The protest movement called Occupy Wall Street has struck a nerve. The demonstrators’ goals may be vague but their grievances are very real. If our country is to break out of this horrendous recession and create the millions of jobs we desperately need, if we are going to create a financially-stable future, we must take a hard look at Wall Street and demand fundamental reforms. I hope the protesters provide the spark that ignites that process.

The truth is that millions of Americans lost their jobs, their homes and their life savings because of the greed, recklessness and illegal behavior of Wall Street. Even Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke agreed when I questioned him this week at a joint economic committee hearing that that there was “excessive risk-taking” by Wall Street. Bernanke also said the protesters “with some justification” hold the financial sector responsible for “getting us into this mess”, and added, “I can’t blame them.”

Malalai Joya: Message on the Tenth Anniversary of NATO’s War and the Occupation of Afghanistan

I would like to thank all supporters and anti-war movements around the world who are marking the dark day of occupation of U.S. and NATO in Afghanistan.

Respected friends – 10 years ago the U.S. and NATO invaded my country under the fake banners of women’s rights, human rights, and democracy. But after a decade, Afghanistan still remains the most uncivil, most corrupt, and most war torn country in the world. The consequences of the so-called war on terror has only been more bloodshed, crimes, barbarism, human rights, and women’s rights violations, which has doubled the miseries and sorrows of our people.

During these bloody years, tens of thousands of innocent civilians have been killed by occupation forces and terrorist groups. When Barack Obama took office in 2008, unfortunately his first news for my people was more conflict and more war. It was during Obama’s administration that civilian death tolls increased by 24%. And the result of the surge of troops of Obama’s administration is more massacres, more crimes, violence, destruction, pain, and tragedy. That’s why he has proved himself as a warmonger — as second even more dangerous Bush.

John Nichols: The Politics of ‘Occupy Wall Street’: Sanders and Progressives Endorse, Ron Paul Sympathetic, Obama Silent

The “Occupy Wall Street” movement’s political breakthrough came Wednesday as leaders of the Congressional Progressive Caucus and the Congressional Black Caucus joined Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., in endorsing the burgeoning national challenge to corporate greed and corrupt politics.

On a day that saw thousands of union members, community activists and supporters of New York’s Working Families Party rally in solidarity with the New York protests, Congressman John Larson, the Connecticut Democrat who is the fourth-ranking member of the party’s House Caucus, announced, “The silent masses aren’t so silent anymore.”

Of the demonstrators, Larson said, “They are fighting to give voice to the struggles that everyday Americans are going through.”

Not surprisingly, it was Sanders who offered the most full-throated support of the movement. At the Campaign for America’s Future “Take Back America” conference, he declared: “We have the ‘crooks’ on Wall Street, and I use that word advisedly – don’t misquote me, the word is ‘crooks’ – whose greed, whose recklessness, whose illegal behavior caused this terrible recession with so much suffering. We believe in this country; we love this country; and we will be damned if we’re going to see a handful of robber barons control the future of this country.”

Robert Naiman: We, the 99%, Demand the End of the Wars Now

After ten years of war, now is a perfect time to act to end the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. The Friends Committee on National Legislation has set up a toll-free number for us to call Congress: 1-877-429-0678. A Congressional “Supercommittee” is charged with coming up with $1.5 trillion in reduced debt over ten years, and the wars and the bloated Pentagon budget dangle before the Supercommittee like overripe fruit.

A recent CBS poll shows how far out of step with the 99% the Pentagon’s plans are. 62% want U.S. troops out within two years.

But the Pentagon wants to stay for at least thirteen more years.

So what else is new, you may say. The Pentagon wants to stay everywhere forever.

But here is a key political fact about the world in which we live: the Pentagon does not always get what it wants. The Pentagon did not want to eat a timetable for the withdrawal of all Pentagon forces from Iraq by December, but the Pentagon was forced to eat such a timetable anyway. Now, the Pentagon is trying to undo the timetable. But it is far from clear that the Pentagon will succeed. Already it has been forced to lower its sights to seeking to keep a force of no more than 5000 “trainers.” But even that lowered aspiration may well fail. The Iraqi government has said that it’s fine if thousands of “trainers” stay – as long as they don’t have immunity from Iraqi law. But the U.S. government says that’s a red line: in order to stay, the “trainers” must have immunity from Iraqi law. So less than three months before all Pentagon forces are supposed to leave Iraq, there is no deal. There well might never be a deal, and all Pentagon forces may well come out on schedule.

Dean Baker: Steve Jobs and Alan Greenspan

On the tragic passing of Steve Jobs, while still a relatively young man, it is interesting to juxtapose him to Alan Greenspan, one of the other iconic figures of our time. One made us rich, with a vast array of new products and new possibilities. The other made us poor with a long lasting downturn that could persist for more than a decade.

The two of them can be taken as symbols for the best and worst of modern capitalism. Jobs is the symbol of capitalism when it works. Again and again he broke through barriers, creating new products that qualitatively altered the market by making vast improvements over the competition.

Apple made personal computers a standard household product by developing a simple user friendly idiot-proof system that anyone could use. Jobs was a decade ahead of the Microsoft based systems, using menu driven computers in the mid-80s that were not matched by Microsoft until Windows was developed in the mid-90s. His later generation of computers continues to include features that make it far superior to the competition.

Bill Quigley: Report from Haiti: Where’s the Money?

Broken and collapsed buildings remain in every neighborhood. Men pull oxcarts by hand through the street. Women carry 5 gallon plastic jugs of water on their heads, dipped from manhole covers in the street. Hundreds of thousands remain in grey sheet and tarp covered shelters in big public parks, in between houses and in any small pocket of land. Most of the people are unemployed or selling mangoes or food on the side of every main street. This was Port au Prince during my visit with a human rights delegation of School of Americas Watch – more than a year and a half after the earthquake that killed hundreds of thousands and made two million homeless.

What I did not see this week were bulldozers scooping up the mountains of concrete remaining from last January’s earthquake. No cranes lifting metal beams up to create new buildings. No public works projects. No housing developments. No public food or public water distribution centers.

Everywhere I went, the people of Haiti asked, “Where is the money the world promised Haitians?”

Occupy Wall St. Livestream: Day 22

Watch live streaming video from globalrevolution at livestream.com


The resistance continues at Liberty Square, with free pizza 😉

“I don’t know how to fix this but I know it’s wrong.” ~ Unknown Author

Yom Kippur Service Taking Place At Occupy Wall Street

NEW YORK — It’s rare that Mae Singerman, a self-described secular Jew who grew up in a Reform family, observes Yom Kippur by praying, fasting or attending synagogue.

But at sundown on Friday, the 27-year-old from Brooklyn planned to join hundreds of other Jews at the Occupy Wall Street demonstration for Kol Nidre, the opening service of Yom Kippur that starts the holiest time on the Jewish calendar.

“For me, it’s about bringing my Jewish identity and my politics together,” said Singerman, who has participated in several anti-capitalism protests in recent years and visited the demonstration at Zuccotti Park for the first time last week. “Having a Jewish service or ceremony brings more Jews who wouldn’t necessarily come. I know people coming tonight who are pretty skeptical about Occupy Wall Street but are willing to give it a try because of the Yom Kippur service.”

Organized mostly via Facebook over the last week, the Kol Nidre service starts at 7 p.m. across from the downtown park where demonstrations have occurred since mid-September. Almost 500 people have RSVP’d on Facebook, although at least a few dozen of them are out-of-towners who are just showing their support.

The service, led by rabbis and students from several Jewish traditions, has been endorsed by Jewish organizations such as Jews for Racial and Economic Justice and the Shalom Center. The Rabbinical Assembly for Conservative Judaism has donated 100 prayer books for the service, and organizers say that the Battery Park Synagogue and Chabad of Wall Street have welcomed holy-day observers who spend the night at the protest camp to come pray at Saturday services. Similar Kol Nidre services have also been planned in Boston, Philadelphia and Washington, D.C.

On This Day In History October 8

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.

October 8 is the 281st day of the year (282nd in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. There are 84 days remaining until the end of the year.


On this day in 1871, flames spark in the Chicago barn of Patrick and Catherine O’Leary, igniting a 2-day blaze that kills between 200 and 300 people, destroys 17,450 buildings,leaves 100,000 homeless and causes an estimated $200 million (in 1871 dollars; $3 billion in 2007 dollars) in damages.

The Great Chicago Fire was a conflagration  that burned from Sunday, October 8, to early Tuesday, October 10, 1871, killing hundreds and destroying about 4 square miles (10 km2) in Chicago, Illinois. Though the fire was one of the largest U.S.  disasters of the 19th century, the rebuilding that began almost immediately spurred Chicago’s development into one of the most populous and economically important American cities.

On the municipal flag of Chicago, the second star commemorates the fire. To this day the exact cause and origin of the fire remain a mystery.

The fire started at about 9 p.m. on Sunday, October 8, in or around a small shed that bordered the alley behind 137 DeKoven Street.[3]  The traditional account of the origin of the fire is that it was started by a cow kicking over a lantern in the barn owned by Patrick and Catherine O’Leary. Michael Ahern, the Chicago Republican reporter who created the cow story, admitted in 1893 that he had made it up because he thought it would make colorful copy.

The fire’s spread was aided by the city’s overuse of wood for building, a drought prior to the fire, and strong winds from the southwest that carried flying embers toward the heart of the city. The city also made fatal errors by not reacting soon enough and citizens were apparently unconcerned when it began. The firefighters were also exhausted from fighting a fire that happened the day before.

After the fire

Once the fire had ended, the smoldering remains were still too hot for a survey of the damage to be completed for days. Eventually it was determined that the fire destroyed an area about four miles (6 km) long and averaging 3/4 mile (1 km) wide, encompassing more than 2,000 acres (8 km²). Destroyed were more than 73 miles (120 km) of roads, 120 miles (190 km) of sidewalk, 2,000 lampposts, 17,500 buildings, and $222 million in property-about a third of the city’s valuation. Of the 300,000 inhabitants, 90,000 were left homeless. Between two and three million books were destroyed from private library collections. The fire was said by The Chicago Daily Tribune to have been so fierce that it surpassed the damage done by Napoleon’s siege of Moscow in 1812. Remarkably, some buildings did survive the fire, such as the then-new Chicago Water Tower, which remains today as an unofficial memorial to the fire’s destructive power. It was one of just five public buildings and one ordinary bungalow spared by the flames within the disaster zone. The O’Leary home and Holy Family Church, the Roman Catholic congregation of the O’Leary family, were both saved by shifts in the wind direction that kept them outside the burnt district.

F1: Suzuka Qualifying

What drivers like about Suzuka is that other than Spa it’s the fastest track on the tour.

What pit crews hate about it is that the asphalt is abrasive and eats up tires.

The choices are Mediums and Softs.  Softs are about 1.6 Seconds a Lap faster, but they only last for 10 – 15 laps at all and drop off quite quickly after a mere 4 or 5 laps, barely enough to turn a hot one.  This will be magnified under heavy fuel so Pirelli expects that even some Q3 teams to switch to the Mediums at the end of Qualifying so they don’t have to pit extraordinarily early.

Mediums are good for 17 – 22 laps which means it’s technically possible to run a 2 pit strategy, but I wouldn’t count on it unless the driver is very easy on the equipment like Jenson Button.

Speaking of Button, his contract extension with McLaren kind of one ups Hamilton’s existing agreement so negotiations for next year could be interesting since McLaren has done nothing for 2 years now except fuck up his chances at a second title with bad pit decisions.

On the other hand McLaren has the second fastest car on the track and he likes to win and is unlikely to score a Red Bull ride.

About that championship, Vettel would have to park for the rest of the season to lose it and it’s highly likely that if he scores any points at all he’ll clinch this weekend and it will officially become The Race For Second Place.

Surprises (if any) below.

Popular Culture (Music) 20111007. The Who. Odds and Sods part II of II

We had a really good time with Part I last week!  I very much appreciated all of the comments and suggestions that folks sent.  Now we are ready for Part II, and it gets even better!

This week we shall look at the bonus tracks that were included on the 1998 remastered CD, some of them previously unavailable except as bootlegs.  Some of them are quite good, by the way.  Of course, there are several stories to go along with them so we had better get started.

2011 NL Playoffs- Cardinals at Phillies Game 5

“Don’t you think she looks tired?”

Those are the six words The Doctor uses to bring down Harriet Jones and they are what some people are saying about the Phillies.

Until reading that analysis I hadn’t realized how much they are like the Yankees and as we saw last night, All-Star teams are not as invulnerable as they look on paper.

Phillies fans might take solace from the fact that the team is working hard to keep any rogue Cardinal rally squirrels off the field.