10/05/2013 archive

Random Japan

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13 awesome things you can make with Oreos

Master Blaster

It’s been just over a century since Oreos first hit the market and now the black and white cookie has become firmly entrenched in most corners of the world. Along with such fame come the innovation and creativity of Oreo’s legions of fans.

The following is a baker’s dozen of dishes created from the iconic cookie. Don’t worry though, even if you have no kitchen skills whatsoever you can probably pull off half of these surprisingly simple ideas. We’ll present them in order of difficulty starting with the easiest.

Health and Fitness News

Welcome to the Health and Fitness NewsWelcome 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

Pasta Dishes With Vegetables as Stars

Perciatelli With Baby Broccoli, Tomatoes and Anchovies photo 30recipehealth-articleLarge_zps89eb58a7.jpg

It’s been a busy week for me and whenever my schedule is tight I veer toward pasta. In some of this week’s Recipes for Health you will be able to prepare the vegetable accompaniment in the time it takes to heat the water and cook the pasta: the same water is used to blanch vegetables in the dish. I made one dish with perciatelli, baby broccoli and tomatoes and blanched the baby broccoli in the water that I then used for the pasta, and when I made orecchiette with pesto and green and yellow string beans, I just threw the beans into the pot with the pasta halfway through the pasta’s cooking time.

~Martha Rose Shulman~

Perciatelli With Baby Broccoli, Tomatoes and Anchovies

This Southern Italian pasta is inspired by a dish that calls for the light green cauliflower used in Sicily.

Orecchiette With Basil and Pistachio Pesto and Green and Yellow Beans

Cut the beans into small lengths so that everything is bite-size.

Farfalle With Roasted Peppers, Peas, Feta and Yogurt

This dish is inspired by Greek and Turkish ways with pasta and yogurt.

Whole Wheat Penne or Fusilli With Tomatoes, Shell Beans and Feta

Shell beans are a rare treat, soft and velvety, to be savored during their short season.

Lasagna With Pistou and Mushrooms

There will be a day when the weather suddenly cools and my basil plants and those at your farmers’ market stop thriving, but that day hasn’t come yet.

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 thea Pundits”.

Follow us on Twitter @StarsHollowGzt

New York Times Editorial Board: Now Republicans Want a ‘Dialogue’

Republicans are now simply flailing. Because they lack any plausible explanation for their irresponsible conduct in creating and prolonging the government shutdown, they are inventing new demands by the hour.

“Defund Obamacare!” they cried at the beginning, stating their condition for reopening the government. Then they moved to delaying health care reform, delaying the individual mandate and repealing one of the health care law’s taxes. Then they started talking about another grand bargain on the budget, tax reform and entitlement cuts. When nothing worked, they simplified their ransom note, saying President Obama and the Democrats had to sit down with them and negotiate something, or anything.

Charles M. Blow: A Terrible, Tragic Game

Speaker John Boehner barked Friday about the government shutdown: “This isn’t some damn game.” Speaker John Boehner barked Friday about the government shutdown: “This isn’t some damn game.”

The House leader was responding to an anonymous “senior administration official” who was quoted in a Wall Street Journal article, saying: “We are winning. … It doesn’t really matter to us’ how long the shutdown lasts ‘because what matters is the end result.’ ” [..]

That said, the speaker is wrong once again. This unfortunately is a game. It’s a game that he allowed himself to be pushed into playing and one he can find no easy way out of. It’s a game in which he thought the president would blink. But President Obama is staring straight ahead, wide-eyed like a long-haul trucker at 3 in the morning. This is a game in which the speaker cared more about keeping his job than about keeping the American government running, the people who work for it and those who depend on it.

It is most definitely a game, a terrible, tragic game that House Republicans are playing in the People’s House.

Gail Collins: Frankenstein Goes to Congress

Our question for today is: Why don’t the Republicans just throw in the towel? Really, this is not going well for anybody.  

Lots of reasons. There’s Senator Ted Cruz of Texas, the General Patton of the government shutdown. And people like the Republican in the House who said he and his colleagues “have to get something out of this. And I don’t know what that even is.” Also, Ted Cruz. [..]

But here’s my long-term theory. Over the past few years, Republicans have terrified their most fervent followers about Obamacare in order to disguise the fact that they no longer knew what to say about their old bête noir, entitlements. Now they can’t turn the temperature down.

Joe Nocera: A Fracking Rorschach Test

A few weeks ago, a group of scientists led by David T. Allen of the University of Texas published an important, peer-reviewed paper in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. The subject was our old friend hydraulic fracturing – a k a fracking – that infamous process that allows companies to drill for natural gas trapped in shale formations deep below the earth’s surface.

Thanks to the fracking boom, America is on the verge of overtaking Russia as the world’s largest producer of oil and gas, as The Wall Street Journal pointed out a few days ago. Supporters of fracking (like me) tend to focus on the economic and foreign policy blessings that come with being able to supply so much more of our energy needs in-house, as it were. Critics, however, fear that fracking could have grave environmental consequences. And they worry that the abundance of natural gas will keep America hooked on fossil fuels.

Ralph Nader: Giant Pentagon Budget Is Unauditable Year After Year

The federal government is currently in a state of shutdown thanks to a small faction of extremist Republicans who vehemently bellow that the Affordable Care Act (ACA) will have a catastrophic economic effect on our country. These members of Congress are so irrational about the ACA that they have caused the furlough of nearly 800,000 federal workers — some of whom handle vitally important tasks such as safety inspections, monitoring our food supply and detecting epidemic outbreaks. Congress, however, has failed to address the worst excesses in the federal budget — the bloated, highly wasteful military budget. More than half of federal discretionary spending now goes to the military budget. Many more taxpayer dollars are devoted to the Department of Defense than to the critical needs of our citizenry, including the flawed Obamacare which should be replaced with single payer — full Medicare for all.

Unfortunately, curbing the worst excesses of an out-of-control military industrial complex is not a front burner issue for the 40 or so Tea Party Republicans currently stomping their feet in Congress about health care reform. Instead, Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX), who has recently emerged as the de-facto leader of the opposition to Obamacare, has accused his opponents in Congress of “holding the military hostage” by not giving in to the demands of the extremists in his party.

Mark Weisbrot: President Obama’s Defeats May Turn Out to Be More Important Than His Likely Victory Over Republicans

Looking past the shutdown and budget battle, the big picture is that America’s four decade-long drift to the right is decisively over

If we step back a moment from the government shutdown – an assault on millions of federal workers and people who need the services of the national government at this time – and the Republicans’ over-hyped and largely empty threat to trigger a default on the national public debt, there are more significant recent political developments that will continue long after this damaging political theater is over.

President Obama was twice defeated last month on matters of national and international importance, by grassroots opposition and resistance from within his own party. The first was over his planned bombing of Syria; the second was over his attempt to appoint Larry Summers as chair of the Federal Reserve.

On This Day In History October 5

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 5 is the 278th day of the year (279th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. There are 87 days remaining until the end of the year.

On this day in 1877, Chief Joseph of the Nez Perce Indians surrenders to U.S. General Nelson A. Miles in the Bear Paw mountains of Montana, declaring,

“Hear me, my chiefs: My heart is sick and sad. From where the sun now stands, I will fight no more forever.”

Chief Joseph (March 3, 1840 – September 21, 1904) was the chief of the Wal-lam-wat-kain (Wallowa) band of Nez Perce during General Oliver O. Howard‘s attempt to forcibly remove his band and the other “non-treaty” Nez Perce to a reservation in Idaho. For his principled resistance to the removal, he became renowned as a humanitarian and peacemaker.

Joseph the Younger succeeded his father as chief in 1871. Before his death, the latter counseled his son:

“My son, my body is returning to my mother earth, and my spirit is going very soon to see the Great Spirit Chief. When I am gone, think of your country. You are the chief of these people. They look to you to guide them. Always remember that your father never sold his country. You must stop your ears whenever you are asked to sign a treaty selling your home. A few years more and white men will be all around you. They have their eyes on this land. My son, never forget my dying words. This country holds your father’s body. Never sell the bones of your father and your mother.”

Chief Joseph commented “I clasped my father’s hand and promised to do as he asked. A man who would not defend his father’s grave is worse than a wild animal.”

The non-treaty Nez Perce suffered many injustices at the hands of settlers and prospectors, but out of fear of reprisal from the militarily superior Americans, Joseph never allowed any violence against them, instead making many concessions to them in hopes of securing peace.

In 1873, Chief Joseph negotiated with the federal government to ensure his people could stay on their land in the Wallowa Valley. But in 1877, the government reversed its policy, and Army General Oliver Howard threatened to attack if the Wallowa band did not relocate to the Idaho Reservation with the other Nez Perce. Chief Joseph reluctantly agreed.

Before the outbreak of hostilities, General Howard held a council to try to convince Joseph and his people to relocate. Joseph finished his address to the General, which focused on human equality, by expressing his “[disbelief that] the Great Spirit Chief gave one kind of men the right to tell another kind of men what they must do.”

Howard reacted angrily, interpreting the statement as a challenge to his authority. When Chief Too-hul-hul-sote protested, he was jailed for five days.

The day following the council, Joseph, White Bird, and Chief Looking Glass all accompanied General Howard to look at different areas. Howard offered them a plot of land that was inhabited by Whites and Indians, promising to clear them out. Joseph and his chieftains refused, adhering to their tribal tradition of not taking what did not belong to them.

Unable to find any suitable uninhabited land on the reservation, Howard informed Joseph that his people had thirty days to collect their livestock and move to the reservation. Joseph pleaded for more time, but Howard told him that he would consider their presence in the Wallowa Valley beyond the thirty-day mark an act of war.

Returning home, Joseph called a council among his people. At the council, he spoke on behalf of peace, preferring to abandon his father’s grave over war. Too-hul-hul-sote, insulted by his incarceration, advocated war.

The Wallowa band began making preparations for the long journey, meeting first with other bands at Rocky Canyon. At this council too, many leaders urged war, while Joseph argued in favor of peace.

While the council was underway, a young man whose father had been killed rode up and announced that he and several other young men had already killed four white men, an act sure to initiate war.

Still hoping to avoid further bloodshed, Joseph and other Nez Perce chiefs began leading his people north toward Canada.

With 2,000 U.S. soldiers in pursuit, Joseph and other Nez Perce chiefs led 800 Nez Perce toward their friends the Crows, but when the Crows betrayed them and joined the United States army for money, the Nez Perce went towards freedom at the Canadian border. For over three months, the Nez Perce outmaneuvered and battled their pursuers traveling 1,600 miles (2,570 km) across Oregon, Washington, Idaho, Wyoming, and Montana. General Howard, leading the opposing cavalry, was impressed with the skill with which the Nez Perce fought, using advance and rear guards, skirmish lines, and field fortifications. Finally, after a devastating five-day battle during freezing weather conditions with no food or blankets, Chief Joseph formally surrendered to General Nelson Appleton Miles on October 5, 1877 in the Bear Paw Mountains of the Montana Territory, less than 40 miles (60 km) south of Canada in a place close to the present-day Chinook in Blaine County. The battle is remembered in popular history by the words attributed to Chief Joseph at the formal surrender:

“Tell General Howard I know his heart. What he told me before, I have it in my heart. I am tired of fighting. Our chiefs are killed; Looking Glass is dead, Too-hul-hul-sote is dead. The old men are all dead. It is the young men who say yes or no. He who led on the young men is dead. It is cold, and we have no blankets; the little children are freezing to death. My people, some of them, have run away to the hills, and have no blankets, no food. No one knows where they are-perhaps freezing to death. I want to have time to look for my children, and see how many of them I can find. Maybe I shall find them among the dead. Hear me, my chiefs! I am tired; my heart is sick and sad. From where the sun now stands, I will fight no more forever.”

Galbraith: Government Doesn’t Have to Borrow to Spend

cross-posted from Voices on the Square

James K. Galbraith in Government Doesn’t Have to Borrow to Spend quite clearly and without economic jargon explains why the debt ceiling debate is puppet theater:

The debt ceiling was enacted in 1917 for one purpose: to fool the rubes back home. Just as Congress started running up debts to pay for the war, they voted in the ceiling to pretend otherwise. And that is why whenever reached, it must be raised.

In the modern world, when the Treasury writes you a check, your bank credits your account. That’s how money creation works. The Treasury then issues bonds to absorb that money. Banks like this because bonds pay more interest than reserves. But there is nothing economically necessary about the bonds. This is obvious since the Federal Reserve buys back many of them, leaving the public with the cash it would have had in the first place.

Under present law, Jack Lew could even pay off public debt held by the Federal Reserve by issuing a high-value, legal-tender coin – so long as the coin happened to be platinum. A coin is not debt, so that simple exchange would retire the Fed’s debt holdings and lower the total public debt below any given ceiling.

James Galbraith admits that this is a gimmick … but then, so is the debt ceiling, so it would be one gimmick fixing the fact that one faction of one political party is holding the faith and credit of the US government hostage over what was originally and has always been since a gimmick.

2013 Junior League Division Series: Detroit @ Oakland

I just can’t help but feel a little sorry for the Tigers.  From a purely Baseball standpoint they’ve been thwarted a long time and for Detroit fans, they’re the best team in town (other than the Red Wings, but who counts Hockey anyway?).

And now I’m going to hear it from Pistons fans too, but the other burden Detroit labors under is their anti-democrati fascist Emergency Manager government which is starving the public good and auctioning off the commons to the highest bidder.

Oakland is a gritty, working class town also, so it’s hard to say that they’re not just as deserving of my sympathy, but I was born in Michigan so they get the nod.

Tonight the Tigers will be starting Max Scherzer (21 – 3, 2.90 ERA R) while the As will counter with Bartolo Colon (18 – 6, 2.65 ERA R).  While these guys are aces both teams have big bats so this could be a high scoring contest.