06/22/2013 archive

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

Bean Salads for Summer

Black eyed Pea Salad photo 17recipehealth-articleLarge_zps44c2370e.jpg

Beans never cease to astound me with their versatility. As the weather heats up and our hunger for comforting stews gives way to a desire for lighter fare, beans can still be the backbone of a meal, but I’m more inclined to make them the focus of a main dish salad than a simmering ragout. I love the way they soak up tart salad dressings and the way their velvety textures play against the crunch of other salad ingredients, like fresh green beans, celery or fennel. [..]

Beans are an important source of plant-based protein. In her interesting new book, “Eating on the Wild Side,” Jo Robinson, a health and nutrition writer, cites a 2004 federal Agriculture Department survey of the phytonutrient content of 100 of our most common fruits and vegetables. Three of the four top-ranked foods were legumes (only blueberries were higher). Lentils were second, followed by black beans and red beans. The study found that a cup of cooked pinto beans had six times the amount of antioxidant activity as a cup of cauliflower and 12 times as much as a cup of carrots.

Black-Eyed Pea Salad With Fennel and Dill

A great dish that can be made with or without tomatoes.

Lentil Salad With Fresh Favas

This antioxidant-rich dish gets a kick from a tart cumin-scented dressing.

Red Bean, Herb and Walnut Salad

This Georgian-inspired dish can be made a day ahead.

Red Bean and Green Bean Salad

Whether you use dried or canned red beans, copious herbs and bright green beans add a fresh note.

Fava Bean and Asparagus Salad

Thick asparagus spears are best for this flavorful, intensely green salad.

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: The Fantastic Feinstein: How To Make Privacy Disappear While Appearing To Defend It

Civil libertarians have long viewed Senator Dianne Feinstein (D.,CA) as a menace to privacy and civil liberties in her role on the  Senate Intelligence Committee. She has worked to blocked investigation of torture while supporting warrantless surveillance of our own citizens. Recently, many Californians became aware of her role in seeking ever-expanding powers for the security state. Feinstein desperately tried to get citizens to embrace a new model of privacy that allows for their continual surveillance in the latest scandals under her tenure. That has not worked particularly well so now Feinstein is taking a new approach: she is proclaiming her concern over the dangers of privacy posed by . . . drones. That’s right. Like the street magicians distracting an audience, Feinstein is trying to get citizens to focus on the use of drones for surveillance and promising some form of “regulation” in the future. The obvious intent behind yesterday’s carefully constructed scene was to present Feinstein in the light of a fighter for, rather than an attacker of, privacy rights. [..]

Feinstein appears to be taken advice from street magicians: [..]

I hear that her next trick will be to saw the Separation of Powers in half by further supporting the unchecked powers of the President.

Gary Younge: Is Obama Worse Than Bush? That’s Beside the Point

Obama’s transformation from national security dove to hawk is the norm: any president is captive to America’s imperial power

Not long after the story into the National Security Administration’s spying program broke, US president Barack Obama insisted the issues raised were worthy of discussion:

   “I welcome this debate and I think it’s healthy for our democracy. I think it’s a sign of maturity because probably five years ago, six years ago we might not have been having this debate.”

In fairly short order, a YouTube compilation appeared, showing Obama debating with himself as he matured. Flitting back and forth between Obama the candidate and the Obama the president, we see the constitutional law professor of yore engage with the commander-in-chief of today. [..]

What makes these clips so compelling is that they show not evolution, but transformation. On this issue, at least, Obama has become the very thing he was against. They’re not gaffes. These are brazenly ostentatious flip-flops. And regardless of how much they cost him, Obama has clearly no intention of taking them back.

Laura K. Donohue: NSA surveillance may be legal – but it’s unconstitutional

The National Security Agency’s recently revealed surveillance programs undermine the purpose of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, which was established to prevent this kind of overreach. They violate the Fourth Amendment’s guarantee against unreasonable search and seizure. And they underscore the dangers of growing executive power. [..]

Americans reasonably expect that their movements, communications and decisions will not be recorded and analyzed by the government. A majority of the Supreme Court seems to agree. Last year, the court considered a case involving 28-day GPS surveillance. Justice Samuel Alito suggested that in most criminal investigations, long-term monitoring “impinges on expectations of privacy.” Justice Sonia Sotomayor recognized that following a person’s movements “reflects a wealth of detail about her familial, political, professional, religious, and sexual associations.” [..]

Congress has an opportunity to create more effective checks on executive power. It could withdraw Sections 215 and 702 and introduce new measures to regulate intelligence collection and analysis. There are many options.

Richard (RJ) Eskow: ‘B.S. It’s What’s For Dinner’: Conservatives and Cattlemen Coddle Rich Kids, Stiff Seniors

I always liked those scenes in old Westerns where the ranchers get together to face a common threat to their livelihood, usually some greedy family dynasty that’s scheming with a big bank, railroad, or mining operation. The scene always starts the same way:

“Boys, we’ve got ourselves a problem!”

Organizations like the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association are supposed to help their members by making sure people can and do buy their products.  That’s why the NCBA created its famous ad campaign: “Beef. It’s what’s for dinner.”

So why aren’t they fighting the pro-rich-people austerity policies that are killing the market for beef?

Ralph Nader: Corporatizing National Security: What It Means

Privacy is a sacred word to many Americans, as demonstrated by the recent uproar over the brazen invasion of it by the Patriot Act-enabled National Security Agency (NSA). The information about dragnet data-collecting of telephone and internet records leaked by Edward Snowden has opened the door to another pressing conversation-one about privatization, or corporatization of this governmental function.

In addition to potentially having access to the private electronic correspondence of American citizens, what does it mean that Mr. Snowden-a low-level contractor-had access to critical national security information not available to the general public? Author James Bamford, an expert on intelligence agencies, recently wrote: “The Snowden case demonstrates the potential risks involved when the nation turns its spying and eavesdropping over to companies with lax security and inadequate personnel policies. The risks increase exponentially when those same people must make critical decisions involving choices that may lead to war, cyber or otherwise.”

David Sirota: Power Killer

This is a tale of two presidents-the one we hope we have and the one we actually have. It is also a tale of two kinds of violence-the surgical and the indiscriminate-and how the latter blurs the distinction between self-defense and something far more sinister.

This story began last year, when the White House told the New York Times that President Obama was personally overseeing a “kill list” and an ongoing drone bombing campaign against alleged terrorists, including American citizens. Back then, much of the public language was carefully crafted to reassure us that our country’s military power was not being abused. [..]

The unstated deal being offered to America was simple: Accept a president claiming unprecedented despotic authority in exchange for that president promising to comport himself as an enlightened despot-one who seeks to limit the scope of America’s ongoing violence.

On This Day In History June 22

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.

Click on images to enlarge.

June 22 is the 173rd day of the year (174th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. There are 192 days remaining until the end of the year.

On this day in 1944, President Franklin D. Roosevelt signs into law the Servicemen’s Readjustment Act of 1944, commonly known as the G.I. Bill.

The G.I. Bill was an omnibus bill that provided college or vocational education for returning World War II veterans (commonly referred to as G.I.s) as well as one year of unemployment compensation. It also provided many different types of loans for returning veterans to buy homes and start businesses. Since the original act, the term has come to include other veteran benefit programs created to assist veterans of subsequent wars as well as peacetime service.

By the time the original G.I. Bill ended in July 1956, 7.8 million World War II veterans had participated in an education or training program and 2.4 million veterans had home loans backed by the Veterans’ Administration (VA). Today, the legacy of the original G.I. Bill lives on in the Montgomery G.I. Bill.

Harry W. Colmery, a World War I veteran and the former Republican National Committee chairman, wrote the first draft of the G.I. Bill. He reportedly jotted down his ideas on stationery and a napkin at the Mayflower Hotel in Washington, DC.[2] U.S. Senator Ernest McFarland was actively involved in the bill’s passage and is known, with Warren Atherton, as one of the “fathers of the G.I. Bill.” One might then term Edith Nourse Rogers, R-Mass., who helped write and who co-sponsored the legislation, as the “mother of the G.I. Bill”.[citation needed] Like Colmery, her contribution to writing and passing this legislation has been obscured by time.

The bill was introduced in the House on January 10, 1944, and in the Senate the following day. Both chambers approved their own versions of the bill.

The bill that President Roosevelt initially proposed was not as far reaching. The G.I. Bill was created to prevent a repetition of the Bonus March of 1932 and a relapse into the Great Depression after World War II ended.

An important provision of the G.I. Bill was low interest, zero down payment home loans for servicemen. This enabled millions of American families to move out of urban apartments and into suburban homes. Prior to the war the suburbs tended to be the homes of the wealthy and upper class.

Another provision was known as the 52-20 clause. This enabled all former servicemen to receive $20 once a week for 52 weeks a year while they were looking for work. Less than 20 percent of the money set aside for the 52-20 Club was distributed. Rather, most returning servicemen quickly found jobs or pursued higher education.

Make your own fun day!

As attentive readers may have observed I rarely provide explanations for unexpected absences or temporary unavailability, or even much notice for that matter.

Nor am I doing so now.

So I’m off feeding kittens and puppies (really cute ones too) to alligators out of pure spite merely to maliciously deprive you of my photonic presence.


Around the Blogosphere

 photo Winter_solstice.gifThe main purpose our blogging is to communicate our ideas, opinions, and stories both fact and fiction. The best part about the the blogs is information that we might not find in our local news, even if we read it online. Sharing that information is important, especially if it educates, sparks conversation and new ideas. We have all found places that are our favorites that we read everyday, not everyone’s are the same. The Internet is a vast place. Unlike Punting the Pundits which focuses on opinion pieces mostly from the mainstream media and the larger news web sites, “Around the Blogosphere” will focus more on the medium to smaller blogs and articles written by some of the anonymous and not so anonymous writers and links to some of the smaller pieces that don’t make it to “Pundits” by Krugman, Baker, etc.

We encourage you to share your finds with us. It is important that we all stay as well informed as we can.

Follow us on Twitter @StarsHollowGzt

This is an Open Thread.

The AMA has decided obesity is a disease but fail to acknowledge that the biggest cause of obesity is poor diet. Calories are the biggest cause of obesity but doctors very rarely ever talk to their patients about nutrition.

I wonder if the AMA would consider making violence against women a disease now that the WHO has reported that it’s “global health problem of epidemic proportions”

h/t lambert at Corrente who continues to update on ObamaCare Clusterf**k.

Kevin Gosztola at FDL The Dissenter has the up dates for Day 7 and Day 8 of Bradley Manning’s trial and reports that Edward Snowden has become the 8th person to be indicted for espionage by the Obama Justice Department.

At FDL Action, Jon Walker tells us how Senate Minority Leader, Mitch McConnell tried to scare Democrats by threatening to actually making the Senate functional. Harry Reid will never stand for that.

Just for laughs, Sen. McConnell thinks that a constitutional amendment that would establish that corporations are inhuman not people with constitutional rights is absurd. I guess he’s worried that the next amendment would be to deny human hybrid turtles the right to hold elected office.

At the FDL News Desk, DSWright has an open letter to the Secret Service regarding the Aaron Swartz file and tells us that sources are not talking to the Associated Press.

At Hullabaloo, digby said something:

One of the most laughable comments the NSA program supporters have been making is the one insisting that the FISA court is “transparent.” It’s rulings are secret as are the government’s interpretations of the law and those rulings. If that’s what we call due process these days, we might as well just officially institute a Star Chamber and call it a day.

Atrios wants to know if there is any reason that the defeat of the farm bill is bad news?

Oh Cool! The Rude Pundit think that “David Brooks is the Paula Deen of the Times” op-ed page and tears him a new one as only he can.

At Esquire’s Politics Blog, Charlie Pierce rips into President Obama for his ludicrous argument defending the transparency of the FISA court.

And the last words go to watertiger at Dependable Renegade for her tribute to James Gandolfini on his death at 51 from a sudden heart attack while on vacation in Italy:

And yet, Dick Cheney is still alive.

Only the good die young. R.I.P. James and Michael.