Daily Archive: 05/24/2014

May 24 2014

Random Japan

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New Sailor Moon’s premiere event excludes men – Unless accompanied by women

   Anime News Network

The official website for the 20th anniversary of the Sailor Moon franchise announced on Friday that there will be an advance premiere screening event for the Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon Crystal anime series. The women’s fashion magazine ViVi is collaborating on the June 30 event to celebrate the heroine Usagi’s birthday.

The “birthday party” will feature ViVi models and “secret guests.” The Zepp Diver City facility in Tokyo will host the screening of the new anime’s first episode on June 30 at 7:00 p.m. However, the staff caution that the time is subject to change. Moreover, male attendees will not be allowed – unless accompanied by a female attendee.

Details on ticket sales and other information for the “Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon Crystal Advance Premiere Screening Event: Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon Usagi Tsukino’s Birthday in Special ViVi Night” will be announced on May 28.

The anime’s website gave a synopsis of the story inspired by Naoko Takeuchi’s original manga:

May 24 2014

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

Blueberries for All

>Blueberries for All photo recipehealthpromo-tmagArticle_zps2b5ab845.jpg

I don’t put much stock in the concept of “super foods,” but if you do, blueberries should be on your list. Their health benefits are well documented in the scientific literature. One study, published last year in BMJ, showed a correlation between the consumption of blueberries, apples and grapes, but especially blueberries, and a significantly lower risk of Type 2 diabetes. Scientists who are looking at foods that contain fibers that nourish probiotics, or beneficial microflora, in our lower intestines are finding that blueberries and other berries have a lot of potential in this area. [..]

One great thing about blueberries and blackberries is that they freeze exceptionally well, especially blueberries. All you have to do is make sure they are dry and seal them airtight in freezer bags or containers. You can throw them, frozen, right into baked goods. Toss them first with a very small amount of flour if you don’t want them to bleed when they bake.

~Martha Rose Shulman~

Cornmeal and Buckwheat Blueberry Muffins

These muffins are the antithesis of the blueberry muffins on the counter in coffee shops, with plenty of fruit.

Blueberry or Blackberry Compote With Yogurt or Ricotta

An easy compote can transform plain yogurt or ricotta into a substantial breakfast or even a dessert.

Whole-Grain Blueberry Buckle

Topped with oats and quinoa flour, this old-fashioned cake is no longer traditional at all.

Beet and Arugula Salad With Berries

The sweet-tart flavor of berries make a lovely contrast to the pungency of arugula and the earthy sweetness of beets.

Berry Clafoutis

Not very sweet, this clafoutis works for either breakfast or dessert.

May 24 2014

The Greatest Show On Earth



Tom Englehardt this morning on Facebook:

Can it be? More than a decade later, is it possible that somewhere in the world of power in Washington there are actually officials who have finally grasped that the drone war on terror is a war of terror, that no matter how many “militants” and “leaders” of al-Qaeda and al-Qaeda wannabe organizations it kills, it kills enough others to create whole ranks of people — family members, tribal associates — who want revenge. It’s been obvious for such a long time that the drone wars are a machine for the creation of more enemies and for the destabilization of societies, just not in Washington. Now, Reuters reports that some in Washington are starting to wonder about the efficacy of drone attacks (even as the use of drones, mostly but not totally unarmed ones) is spreading across Africa. I guess it’s never too late. Tom

“[A recent drone attack in Yemen with civilian casualties] was a stark reminder that a year after Obama laid out new conditions for drone attacks around the world, U.S. forces are failing to comply fully with the rules he set for them: to strike only when there is an imminent threat to Americans and when there is virtually no danger of taking innocent lives.

“Although Obama promised greater transparency in his speech at the National Defense University, U.S. lawmakers are increasingly critical of the secrecy surrounding the operations. Despite some spectacular drone hits that took out militant leaders in places such as Yemen and Pakistan, there are growing concerns in Washington that the net effect of the targeted-killing program may be counterproductive. ‘Collateral damage’ is seen as an al Qaeda recruiting tool that undercuts the main rationale for the drone campaign – to make Americans safer.

“‘It’s never a good idea to make more enemies than you get rid of,’ a former U.S. national security official said.

“In his speech on May 23 last year, Obama defended the drone program as effective while promising to narrow its scope, but he is showing no sign of relinquishing what has become his counterterrorism weapon of choice since he took office in 2009.”

Obama’s Drone War Shows No Signs of Ending

May 24 2014

The Breakfast Club (Tethys Sea)

The Breakfast Club Logo photo BeerBreakfast_web_zps5485351c.pngI assume everyone on this site is well enough informed that they don’t seriously contend that Dinosaur bones are “God’s Test of Faith” though some of their other beliefs seem to be…

Not reality based, shall we say.

Oh, the obligatories-

Welcome to The Breakfast Club! We’re a disorganized group of rebel lefties who hang out and chat if and when we’re not too hungover  we’ve been bailed out we’re not too exhausted from last night’s (CENSORED) the caffeine kicks in. Join us every weekday morning at 9am (ET) and weekend morning at 10:30am (ET) to talk about current news and our boring lives and to make fun of LaEscapee! If we are ever running late, it’s PhilJD’s fault.

I would never make fun of LaEscapee or blame PhilJD.  And I am highly organized and pay no attention to any restrictions or formats whatsoever, including my own.

This confounds my friends, enemies, and therapists (both amateur and professional), yet all must bow before Eddington

The law that entropy always increases holds, I think, the supreme position among the laws of Nature. If someone points out to you that your pet theory of the universe is in disagreement with Maxwell’s equations – then so much the worse for Maxwell’s equations. If it is found to be contradicted by observation – well, these experimentalists do bungle things sometimes. But if your theory is found to be against the second law of thermodynamics I can give you no hope; there is nothing for it but to collapse in deepest humiliation. – Sir Arthur Stanley Eddington, The Nature of the Physical World (1927)

The fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars, but in ourselves, that we are underlings.

Julius Caesar (I, ii, 140-141)

This Day in History

May 24 2014

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 York Times Editorial Board: Pfizer’s Ploy and the Porous Tax Laws

Pfizer’s $119 billion offer to buy AstraZeneca, the British drug company, is driven largely by its desire to cut its tax bill. It is a ploy made possible by porous tax laws in the United States that encourage corporate tax avoidance and by laws in Britain and elsewhere that abet it. [..]

The Pfizer move is called an inversion, in which an American company is able to incorporate abroad by acquiring a foreign company. The buyer, in effect, becomes a subsidiary of a foreign parent – even though American shareholders own most of the merged company and the company’s headquarters and top executives stay in the United States. Incorporating in one country and being based in another creates opportunities to play the tax laws of one nation off against another’s; conceivably, profits might not be taxed in any country. Some 25 companies have used inversions since 2008.

The White House wants to block the practice, and legislation to do so has been introduced by Senator Carl Levin, Democrat of Michigan. But until Congress actually changes the law, inversions will continue, reducing revenues and undermining the whole notion of tax fairness.

Heidi Moore: Jamie Dimon’s charm offensive may rub struggling customers the wrong way

JP Morgan has to prove that it’s doing business in a way that it can be proud of, not just donate money to good causes

Can you buy better karma? JP Morgan wants to give it a shot with a money-backed charm offensive of late – including a $100m package of support to the City of Detroit and a pledge of $20m over the next five years to help military veterans and their families.

The residents of Detroit and those military families may not want to look a philanthropic gift horse in the mouth, and understandably so. But is JP Morgan just doing public relations? Perish the thought – says JP Morgan.

“The cynic would be wrong,” CEO Jamie Dimon told the Today Show’s Matt Lauer about anyone who would see the Detroit investment as merely good PR for his bank. “We invest and develop communities around the world. And we’ve been doing this since our heritage started 200 years ago. So that’s what banks do.”

It is unlikely that Dimon’s sense of largesse will challenge that of Pope Francis.

Joe Nocera: Credit Suisse Gets Off Easy

The sham continues.

Back in the fall of 2009, in the wake of criticism that it was failing to prosecute executives of the companies that had brought the financial system to the brink of disaster, the Justice Department established the Financial Fraud Enforcement Task Force. Its purpose, said Justice, was “to hold accountable those who helped bring about the last financial crisis.” It promised to “prosecute significant financial crimes, ensure just and effective punishment for those who perpetrate financial crimes, recover proceeds for victims” and so on. [..]

Now comes the Justice Department’s latest exercise in public relations: the Credit Suisse settlement that was announced earlier this week. The Swiss bank’s crime was systematically setting up, well, Swiss bank accounts, allowing Americans to evade taxes. According to the Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations, the bank had 22,000 private accounts for American customers worth as much as $12 billion as of 2006. In meting out the punishment, the Justice Department, for the first time since the financial crisis, demanded that a major financial firm plead guilty to a criminal count. That is what the headline writers highlighted – and what Attorney General Eric Holder Jr. stressed. [..]

Fourteen months ago, testifying before the Senate Judiciary Committee, Holder said that “the size of some of these institutions becomes so large that it does become difficult for us to prosecute them” without endangering the economy. This became known as “too big to jail.”

In attempting to use the Credit Suisse guilty plea as proof that it is tough on financial crime, Justice has done just the opposite: It has shown, yet again, that big financial firms are too big to jail.

Gail Collins: It’s No Picnic in the Senate

Happy Memorial Day Weekend! Time for summer fun! So let’s discuss Congressional gridlock.

Really, what did you expect? If you want a barbecue, go light some charcoal.

It’s been a while since we’ve talked about Congress. Do you remember when we used to complain all the time about how our legislators can’t get things done? Now we can go for weeks – months! – without even wondering what the little devils are up to. [..]

In the Senate, which is always the more interesting spot, the Republicans say they have to stall things because they’re protesting the way the majority leader, Harry Reid, bullies them around and won’t let them offer amendments.

It is definitely true that Harry Reid is not the most adorable personality on the planet. If Congress was a school, he would be the teacher nobody wants for homeroom. However, the Republicans’ complaint isn’t actually that they can’t propose any changes. They’re demanding their historic prerogative to propose changes that have nothing whatsoever to do with the subject at hand.

George Zornick: Politicizing the VA Isn’t the Answer to Scandal

The ongoing scandal into extensive problems at Veterans Affairs hospitals erupted briefly on the Senate floor Thursday, when Senator Marco Rubio asked for unanimous consent to pass a VA “accountability” bill that cleared the House by a wide margin a day earlier. Senator Bernie Sanders blocked the request, and it’s worth unpacking why.

At first blush Sanders’ objection seems unreasonable-the bill is not opposed by the White House, and got 390 votes in the House from legislators on both sides of the aisle. Only thirty-three members voted against it. So why did Sanders, with the implicit backing of Senate Democrats, object to quick passage?

The legislation, which is only three pages long, is straightforward: it gives the VA secretary the power to fire anyone in senior executive service at the department. These are the highest-ranking civilian federal employees, who normally enjoy a great deal of job protection under federal civil service rules. But this bill would give the VA secretary the power to dismiss them hastily, as the Defense secretary can do with generals, or as a CEO in the private sector could do to his or her employees.The ongoing scandal into extensive problems at Veterans Affairs hospitals erupted briefly on the Senate floor Thursday, when Senator Marco Rubio asked for unanimous consent to pass a VA “accountability” bill that cleared the House by a wide margin a day earlier. Senator Bernie Sanders blocked the request, and it’s worth unpacking why.

At first blush Sanders’ objection seems unreasonable-the bill is not opposed by the White House, and got 390 votes in the House from legislators on both sides of the aisle. Only thirty-three members voted against it. So why did Sanders, with the implicit backing of Senate Democrats, object to quick passage?

The legislation (pdf), which is only three pages long, is straightforward: it gives the VA secretary the power to fire anyone in senior executive service at the department. These are the highest-ranking civilian federal employees, who normally enjoy a great deal of job protection under federal civil service rules. But this bill would give the VA secretary the power to dismiss them hastily, as the Defense secretary can do with generals, or as a CEO in the private sector could do to his or her employees.

Eugene Robinson: GOP Still Swallowing the Tea

What’s happening in the Republican primaries is less a defeat for the tea party than a surrender by the GOP establishment, which is winning key races by accepting the tea party’s radical anti-government philosophy.

Anyone who hopes the party has finally come to its senses will be disappointed. Republicans have pragmatically decided not to concede Senate elections by nominating eccentrics and crackpots. But in convincing the party’s activist base to come along, establishment leaders have pledged fealty to eccentric, crackpot ideas. [..]

Nothing I’ve seen in the primary results so far suggests the Republican Party is tempering its views or weakening its implacable opposition to anything the Obama administration proposes. To the contrary, the GOP slate promises to display a remarkable degree of far-right ideological purity. Republican candidates simply cannot risk being called “moderate.”

Democrats can, though. The Republican Party’s move to the right opens political space for Democratic incumbents and challengers trying to win in red states. Candidates such as Grimes and Nunn can emphasize local issues while maintaining some distance from Washington-and, in the process, make Republicans play defense.

Democrats must not let voters be fooled. Yes, tea party candidates are going down. But the tea party’s extremism and obstructionism live on.

May 24 2014

On This Day In History May 24

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.

May 24 is the 144th day of the year (145th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. There are 221 days remaining until the end of the year.

On this day in 1775, John Hancock is elected president of the Second Continental Congress.

ohn Hancock is best known for his large signature on the Declaration of Independence, which he jested the British could read without spectacles. He was serving as president of Congress upon the declaration’s adoption on July 4, 1776, and, as such, was the first member of the Congress to sign the historic document.

John Hancock graduated from Harvard University in 1754 at age 17 and, with the help of a large inherited fortune, established himself as Boston’s leading merchant. The British customs raid on one of Hancock’s ships, the sloop Liberty, in 1768 incited riots so severe that the British army fled the city of Boston to its barracks in Boston Harbor. Boston merchants promptly agreed to a non-importation agreement to protest the British action. Two years later, it was a scuffle between Patriot protestors and British soldiers on Hancock’s wharf that set the stage for the Boston Massacre.

Hancock’s involvement with Samuel Adams and his radical group, the Sons of Liberty, won the wealthy merchant the dubious distinction of being one of only two Patriots-the other being Sam Adams-that the Redcoats marching to Lexington in April 1775 to confiscate Patriot arms were ordered to arrest. When British General Thomas Gage offered amnesty to the colonists holding Boston under siege, he excluded the same two men from his offer.

President of Congress

With the war underway, Hancock made his way to the Continental Congress in Philadelphia with the other Massachusetts delegates. On May 24, 1775, he was unanimously elected President of the Continental Congress, succeeding Peyton Randolph after Henry Middleton declined the nomination. Hancock was a good choice for president for several reasons. He was experienced, having often presided over legislative bodies and town meetings in Massachusetts. His wealth and social standing inspired the confidence of moderate delegates, while his association with Boston radicals made him acceptable to other radicals. His position was somewhat ambiguous, because the role of the president was not fully defined, and it was not clear if Randolph had resigned or was on a leave of absence. Like other presidents of Congress, Hancock’s authority was limited to that of a presiding officer. He also had to handle a great deal of official correspondence, and he found it necessary to hire clerks at his own expense to help with the paperwork.

Signing the Declaration

Hancock was president of Congress when the Declaration of Independence was adopted and signed. He is primarily remembered by Americans for his large, flamboyant signature on the Declaration, so much so that “John Hancock” became, in the United States, an informal synonym for signature. According to legend, Hancock signed his name largely and clearly so that King George could read it without his spectacles, but this fanciful story did not appear until many years later.