Daily Archive: 04/27/2013

Apr 27 2013

Random Japan

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STRANGE BUT TRUE

A Japanese man who traveled to Malaysia to marry a woman he met over the internet was rescued by police after being kidnapped by three Nigerians at the airport.

Officials in Hyogo suspended a prefectural employee for three months for “stuffing his backpack full of food at an all-you-can-eat buffet and trying to take it home.”

The Supreme Court upheld a lower court’s decision ordering a deadbeat mom to pay ¥50,000 to her ex-husband for “each time she denied him access to their daughter.”

Police in Kawasaki arrested a 19-year-old man for murdering his mother after finding “a head, a left arm and other body parts” in the apartment the two shared.

Apr 27 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

Pastas of Spring

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    The beautiful, sweet vegetables of spring ― artichokes and peas, favas and tender young asparagus, spring garlic and sweet spring onions ― come and go so quickly that I find myself impulse buying at the market and using them up in the simplest of dishes. They beg nothing more than pasta, and that’s a good thing because many of these vegetables are labor-intensive. It’s worth the time it takes to shell the peas, to free the heart of the artichoke from its leaves, to shell and skin favas. Then little more is required than a quick sauté or simmer with aromatics. You can always embellish, though, as I am doing this week with some recipes, with a pesto or, in the case of a baked orzo pastitsio with artichokes and peas, a béchamel.

~Martha Rose Shulman~

Whole-Grain Pasta With Mushrooms, Asparagus and Favas

This dish has heft and depth, but still showcases the delicate flavors of spring.

Orzo With Peas and Parsley Pesto

This is like a pasta version of the classic rice and peas risotto, risi e bisi.

Baked Orzo With Artichokes and Peas

A light yet comforting Greek-inspired dish enriched with béchamel.

Farfalle With Artichokes, Peas, Favas and Onions

The vegetable ragout is a simplified version of a classic Sicilian spring stew.

Penne With Peas, Pea Greens and Parmesan

A beautiful springtime pasta that makes the most of the pea plant.

Apr 27 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

New Tork Times Editorial Board: Congress Rushes to Aid the Powerful

Congress can’t pass a budget or control guns or confirm judges on time, but this week members of both parties found something they could agree on, and in a big hurry: avoiding blame for inconveniencing air travelers. The Senate and House rushed through a bill that would avert furloughs to air traffic controllers, which were mandated by Congress’s own sequester but proved embarrassing when flights began to back up around the country.

Then lawmakers scurried out of town, taking a week’s vacation while ignoring the low-income victims of the mandatory budget cuts, who have few representatives in Washington to protest their lost aid for housing, nutrition and education. Though they are suffering actual pain, not just inconvenience, no one rushed to give them a break from the sequester, and it is clear that no one will.

Charles M. Blow: The Morose Middle Class

The Middle Class is in a funk, its view of the future growing dim as fear rolls in like a storm.

An Allstate/National Journal Heartland Monitor poll released Thursday found that while most Americans (56 percent) hold out hope that they’ll be in a higher class at some point, even more Americans (59 percent) are worried about falling out of their current class over the next few years. In fact, more than eight in 10 Americans believe that more people have fallen out of the middle class than moved into it in the past few years.

The poll paints a picture of a group that is scared to death about its station in life.

Eugene Robinson: Stains on a Legacy

In retrospect, George W. Bush’s legacy doesn’t look as bad as it did when he left office. It looks worse.

I join the nation in congratulating Bush on the opening of his presidential library in Dallas. Like many people, I find it much easier to honor, respect and even like the man-now that he’s no longer in the White House.

But anyone tempted to get sentimental should remember the actual record of the man who called himself The Decider. Begin with the indelible stain that one of his worst decisions left on our country’s honor: torture.

Tim Radford: Fast-Moving Climate Zones Speed Extinction

LONDON-As global temperatures rise, climate zones will shift at greater speed, according to new research in Nature Climate Change.

If greenhouse gas emissions carry on increasing, then about 20% of the land area of the planet will undergo change – and the creatures that have made their homes in what were once stable ecosystems will have to adapt swiftly, or face grim consequences. [..]

Such fears are not new: in the past two decades biologists and ecologists have repeatedly warned that vulnerable species were at risk from climate change.

But vulnerable species are at risk anyway, just from pollution, habitat destruction and the spread of humanity across the habitable globe. What Dr Mahlstein and her colleagues have done is to look at geography’s mosaic of climates and landscapes and measure the rates of change in these.

David Sirota: A Cronkite Moment for the Blowback Era

“The stuff we have done overseas is now brought back into our own front yards. America’s chickens are coming home to roost.”-Reverend Jeremiah Wright

In 2008, the hysterical backlash to the above comment by Barack Obama’s minister became a high-profile example of one of the most insidious rules in American politics: You are not allowed to honestly discuss the Central Intelligence Agency’s concept of “blowback” without putting yourself at risk of being deemed a traitor to country.

Now, five years later, with America having killed thousands of Muslim civilians in its drone strikes and wars, that rule is thankfully being challenged-and not by someone who is so easily smeared. Instead, the apostate is one of this epoch’s most revered journalists-and because of that, we will see whether this country is mature enough to face one of its biggest national security quandaries.

Richard Reeves: Bipolar Nation: The Rich Get Richer

Times are tough. Do the numbers: Chief executive officers (CEOs) of the country’s biggest companies experienced pay increases of a minuscule 15 percent in 2012, compared with the 28 percent their pay rose in 2011.

Only 15 percent. Ah! I’m sure they’ll make it up in bonuses and stock options this year. The rich will get richer and the poor will get porridge, cold porridge.

Those statistics are from GMI, Global Market Insite. Meanwhile, the earnings of workers (adjusted for inflation) declined by 2 percent, according to the U.S. Department of Labor.

Apr 27 2013

On This Day In History April 27

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 27 is the 117th day of the year (118th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. There are 248 days remaining until the end of the year.

On this day in 1805, Naval Agent to the Barbary States, William Eaton, the former consul to Tunis, led an small expeditionary force of Marines, commanded by First Lieutenant Presley O’Bannon, and Berber mercenaries from Alexandria, across 500 miles to the port of Derna in Tripoli. Supported by US Naval gunfire, the port was captured by the end of the day, overthrowing Yusuf Karamanli, the ruling pasha of Tripoli, who had seized power from his brother, Hamet Karamanli, a pasha who was sympathetic to the United States.

Lt. O’Bannon raised the US flag over the port, the first time the US flag had flown over a foreign battlefield. He had performed so valiantly that newly restored Pasha Hamet Karamanli presented him with an elaborately designed sword that now serves as the pattern for the swords carried by Marine officers. The words “To the shores of Tripoli” in the Marine Corps official song commemorate the battle.

Sources:

Wikipedia

About.com

 

Apr 27 2013

CISPA IS Dead, For Now

CISPA Kitty photo blog_cispacat_zps96b502e5.jpgThe Senate will not vote on the Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act, CISPA, that was passed by the House last week.

Sen. Jay Rockefeller (D-W.V.), who is chairman of the Senate Commerce Committee, “believes that information sharing is a key component of cybersecurity legislation, but the Senate will not take up CISPA,” a committee staffer told HuffPost.

A staffer for the Senate Intelligence Committee said the committee also is working on an information-sharing bill and will not take up CISPA.

“We are currently drafting a bipartisan information sharing bill and will proceed as soon as we come to an agreement,” Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), chairwoman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, said in a statement Thursday.

CISPA Is ‘Dead for Now,’ Thanks to a Left-Right Coalition for Online Privacy

by John Nichols, The Nation

What brings the most seriously libertarian Republican in the US House, Michigan’s Justin Amash, together with Congressional Progressive Caucus co-chair Keith Ellison, D-Minnesota?

What unites long-time Ronald Reagan aide Dana Rohrabacher, R-California, with liberal firebrand Alan Grayson, D-Florida?

What gets steadily conservative former House Judiciary Committee chair James Sensenbrenner, R-Wisconsin, together with progressive former House Judiciary Committee chair John Conyers Jr., D-Michigan?

The Fourth Amendment to the Constitution, which has for 222 years promised that “the right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.”

That’s an old commitment that members of Congress swear an oath to uphold. [..]

CISPA actually won 288 “yes” votes in the House, but the 127 “no” votes-coming from principled members on both sides of the aisle-sent a strong message to the more deliberative Senate. In combination with a grassroots campaign spearheaded by tech-savvy privacy activists and a threatened veto by President Obama, the bipartisan House opposition appears to have convinced Senate leaders have signaled that they plan to put the legislation on hold. The American Civil Liberties Union on Thursday suggestion that CISPA looks to be “dead for now.”

ACLU: CISPA Is Dead (For Now)

By Jason Koebler, US News

The Senate will not take up the controversial cybersecurity bill, is drafting separate legislation

“I think it’s dead for now,” says Michelle Richardson, legislative council with the ACLU. “CISPA is too controversial, it’s too expansive, it’s just not the same sort of program contemplated by the Senate last year. We’re pleased to hear the Senate will probably pick up where it left off last year.”

That’s not to say Congress won’t pass any cybersecurity legislation this year. Both Rockefeller and President Obama want to give American companies additional tools to fight back against cyberattacks from domestic and foreign hackers.

But cybersecurity legislation in the Senate, such as the Cybersecurity and American Cyber Competitiveness Act of 2013, has greater privacy protections than CISPA does. Richardson says that bill makes it clear that companies would have to “pull out sensitive data [about citizens]” before companies send it to the government and also puts the program under “unequivocal civilian control,” something CISPA author Rep. Mike Rogers, R-Mich., was unwilling to do.

Even if the Senate gets something done, Rogers and other CISPA supporters will likely have to compromise more than they’ve been willing to over the past year as Obama has made it clear he will veto legislation that doesn’t have more privacy protections.

CISPA Is Dead. Now Let’s Do a Cybersecurity Bill Right

by Julian Sanchez, Wired

Americans have grown so accustomed to hearing about the problem of “balancing privacy and security” that it sometimes feels as though the two are always and forever in conflict – that an initiative to improve security can’t possibly be very effective unless it’s invading privacy. Yet the conflict is often illusory: A cybersecurity law could easily be drafted that would accomplish all the goals of both tech companies and privacy groups without raising any serious civil liberties problems.

Few object to what technology companies and the government say they want to do in practice: pool data about the activity patterns of hacker-controlled “botnets,” or the digital signatures of new viruses and other malware. This information poses few risks to the privacy of ordinary users. Yet CISPA didn’t authorize only this kind of narrowly limited information sharing. Instead, it gave companies blanket immunity for feeding the government vaguely-defined “threat indicators” – anything from users’ online habits to the contents of private e-mails – creating a broad loophole in all federal and state privacy laws and even in private contracts and user agreements.

Given that recent experience has shown companies shielded by secrecy often err on the side of oversharing with the government, that loophole was a key concern. So why the gap between what the law permits and its supporters’ aims?

It’s a principle wonks call tech neutrality. Nobody wants to write a bill that refers too specifically to the information needed to protect current networks (like “Internet Protocol addresses” or “Netflow logs”) since technological evolution would render such language obsolete over time.