Daily Archive: 07/19/2014

Jul 19 2014

Random Japan

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Can I have some more fries? For the next 60 minutes, you can have as many as you want!

    KK Miller

Japan is home to some of the strangest collaborative promotions you will ever find. There’s been everything from Mountain Dew combining powers with a chip company to convenience store teaming up with a menstruation website. Many times the promotions are endless and maybe even seem pointless! But the new collaboration between Docomo, the cell phone company, and Lotteria, the burger shop, is a month of blood clot-forming, salt-coma inducing greatness. This campaign is going to make people who like to talk on their phones and also people who like to stuff their face with French fries very, very happy!!!

Beginning on July 24 and lasting until August 31, customers at Lotteria can buy a medium French fries at 270 yen (US$2.66), or a combo that includes a medium fries, and get all-you-can-eat French fries for 60 minutes!

Jul 19 2014

Saturday Night Movie

Jul 19 2014

Health and Fitness News

Welcome to the Stars Hollow Gazette‘s 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

Stir-Fries With a Touch of Thai

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I love my summer stir-fry weeks. The list of ingredients sometimes looks daunting, but think of the effort required to put a stir-fry together as family time. Start the rice, pour yourself a glass of wine, put others to work measuring and chopping, and visit while you prep. Once your mise en place is ready, have the others set the table while you make the stir-fry in under 10 minutes. You barely heat up the kitchen.

Martha Rose Shulman

Stir-fried Rice With Amaranth or Red Chard and Thai Basil

This is another Thai-influenced dish, spiced with sriracha and featuring the beautiful green vegetable amaranth.

Stir-Fried Beans With Tofu and Chiles

This crunchy, colorful stir-fry has an added kick from serrano chiles.

Corn, Squash, Red Onion and Tomatoes Stir-Fried in Coconut Oil

Coconut oil gives this dish fragrance without heaviness.

Stir-Fried Turkey Breast With Snap or Snow Peas and Chard

Turkey cutlets are easy to prep and cook quickly, and young snap peas can be almost as tender as the more traditional snow peas for stir-fries.

Sweet and Sour Stir-Fried Radishes With Their Greens

The bitterness of radish greens pairs wells with a sweet-and-sour sauce in this stir-fry.

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Jul 19 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

Trevor Timm: More people than ever oppose the NSA practices Edward Snowden revealed. Why should he spend his life in prison?

The justice system would never allow Snowden to present a real defense at trial. That’s just one reason to give him amnesty

The Guardian’s riveting video interview with Edward Snowden this week ended with one of the biggest unresolved question in the debate over Snowden’s decision to leak classified information about the NSA to journalists more than a year ago: what will happen if and when he can ultimately return to the United States?

   Alan Rusbridger: Are you confident that if you went back to the US and were tried in front of a jury of your peers that you would be acquitted?

   Edward Snowden: I think it would be very difficult to find any 12 Americans in the United States right now who would uniformly agree that the last year’s revelations about the NSA’s unconstitutional surveillance programs did not serve the public interest.

It’s hard to disagree with Snowden’s characterization. The reporting on the Snowden files has ]led to a sea change http://www.theguardian.com/com… in public opinion about privacy and, more than a year later, opposition to some of the NSA’s most controversial practices is at an all-time high. [..]

The top humans rights official at the United Nations praised Snowden’s actions this week and suggested that he should not be forced to stand trial in the US. It’s time for those in the US media and the DC establishment to do the same. Why, at the same time we are having a historic debate that so directly affects democracy, would we allow the citizen who is responsible for that debate to serve decades in jail?

David Sirota: A Local Fight for the Future of the Internet

The business lobby often demands that government get out of the way of private corporations, so that competition can flourish and high-quality services can be efficiently delivered to as many consumers as possible. Yet, in an epic fight over telecommunications policy, the paradigm is now being flipped on its head, with corporate forces demanding the government squelch competition and halt the expansion of those high-quality services. Whether and how federal officials act may ultimately shape the future of America’s information economy.

The front line in this fight is Chattanooga, Tennessee, where officials at the city’s public electric utility, EPB, realized that smart-grid energy infrastructure could also provide consumers super-fast Internet speeds at competitive prices. A few years ago, those officials decided to act on that revelation. Like a publicly traded corporation, the utility issued bonds to raise resources to invest in the new broadband project. Similarly, just as many private corporations ended up receiving federal stimulus dollars, so did EPB, which put those monies into its new network.

Richard Reeves: The Children of the Border

Last Monday, a chartered flight took 38 mothers and children, who had been held in a detention center in Artesia, New Mexico, to San Pedro Sula in Honduras. That’s a tough town of drug dealers, violence and children soldiers, sometimes called “The Murder Capital of the World.”

The deported Hondurans are among the flood of women and children, including 57,000 unaccompanied children, from Central America who have been entering the United States illegally. They are all classified as “illegal immigrants,” meaning they are seeking family and better lives in our country. If they were called “refugees,” that is people fleeing violence or war, they would be kept in refugee camps, like more than 16 million unfortunates in 125 countries around the world, from Pakistan with 1.6 million to Madagascar with just nine. If internally displaced persons, such as Syrians on the run from war and Palestinians in camps in the Occupied West Bank, are included, that number of displaced people rises to more than 50 million.

Faiza Patel: Post-9/11 overreach of secret federal court must end

Greenwald scoop on surveillance of Muslims brings Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court into question

After weeks of hints and previews, National Security Agency muckraker Glenn Greenwald reported on the agency’s surveillance of five American Muslim men who seem more like political activists than terrorists. The story raises new questions about whether the secret Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC) can be trusted to serve as a bulwark against government overreach.

It’s no secret that, in the last decade, law enforcement agencies such as the New York Police Department and the Federal Bureau of Investigation have targeted American Muslims for surveillance in the places where they gather, such as mosques and student groups. But to target an individual for electronic surveillance, law enforcement must typically convince a magistrate that there is probable cause to believe that she has engaged or is about to engage in criminal activity. We trust that our courts will not issue a warrant for our private communications without reason. As a lawyer working on surveillance issues, I am careful about where I conduct sensitive conversations. But I have never seriously believed that a judge would sign off on a warrant to monitor my emails or phone calls.

This story changes my calculus. It appears that the FISC authorized the surveillance of most of the men Greenwald named. The standard for such an order is more malleable than the familiar probable-cause yardstick. For an American citizen or legal permanent resident, the government must demonstrate probable cause to believe that he or she is an “agent of a foreign power.”

Aaron Cantú: The growing criminalization of homelessness

How developers and politicians create urban ‘social hygiene campaigns’

As the number of homeless people in America’s major cities has increased, so have ordinances criminalizing homelessness and pushing homeless families and individuals into the criminal justice system. Criminalization has become a tactic with which politicians have reconfigured cities to serve wealthier citizens and tourists, at the considerable expense of the poor. These politicians are rarely challenged, and developers, businesses and city officials have partnered with police and private security forces to “cleanse” urban spaces by any means necessary.

A new report from the National Law Center on Homelessness and Poverty found the number of cities imposing penalties for camping, begging, sleeping, sitting or eating in public has risen sharply in the last two years. There are now laws against feeding the homeless in over 50 cities. Ordinances prohibiting sleeping in cars – specifically targeted at the destitute – have more than doubled nationwide since 2011. In Denver the City Council passed a controversial “urban camping ban” in 2012 to clear space for the continued development of its downtown into a “millennial playground,” complete with nightclubs, restaurants and a miniature-golf course. Honolulu’s mayor told The New York Times he had renewed a crackdown on the homeless because tourists “want to see their paradise … [not] homeless people sleeping.” And Phoenix announced the creation of “a new organization focused on downtown’s revitalization,” while at the same time launching an initiative to arrest street people with misdemeanor warrants.

This crackdown is happening without equally forceful measures to develop the nation’s supply of affordable housing, which has fallen by 12.8 percent since 2001 because of fewer subsidies for federal housing. The U.N. Human Rights Committee even condemned the trend as “cruel, inhuman, [and] degrading” in a recent report on the United States.

Philip Pilkington: The fight to reform Econ 101

Economics is a dismal nonscience, but it need not remain that way

During the last weekend of June, hundreds of students, university lecturers, professors and interested members of the public descended on the halls of University College London to attend the Rethinking Economics conference. They all shared a similar belief: that economics education in most universities had become narrow, insular and detached from the real world.

For a brief period after the financial crisis of 2008, the shortcomings of the economics profession and the way it is taught were recognized. Many economists offered up mea culpas of various kinds and conceded that since they did not foresee the biggest economic event since the Great Depression, there was probably something seriously wrong with the discipline. But as time passed and many economies began to experience gradual, somewhat muted recoveries, the profession regained its confidence.

Joe Conason: [Border Crisis Tests Religious Faith-and Some Fail Badly Border Crisis Tests Religious Faith-and Some Fail Badly]

Flamboyant piety has long been fashionable on the political right, where activists, commentators and elected officials never hesitate to hector us about their great moral and theological rectitude. Wielding the Scriptures like a weapon, these righteous right-wingers are always eager to condemn the alleged sins of others but reluctant to examine their own. They seem to spend far more time in posturing and preening than spiritual reflection. Rarely does anyone call them out on their failures to fulfill their proclaimed devotion, because, in this country, that is considered rude.

But occasionally something happens that separates the people of faith from the sanctimonious fakers. With thousands of defenseless children now gathered on America’s southern border, seeking asylum from deprivation and deadly violence, something like that is happening right now.

Jul 19 2014

The Breakfast Club (Eshew Tonality)

breakfast beers photo breakfastbeers.jpgYou may well ask why I’m concentrating on French composers (those of you who’ve noticed) and the answer is of course 2 words- Le Tour.  At the turn of the century there were few names more closely associated with French classical music than Claude Debussy (the other would be Maurice Ravel and you can hardly write about him without everyone asking, “Where’s Boléro and Bo Derek?”).

Just don’t call it Impressionist because he hated that.

He wrote only one Opera, Pelléas et Mélisande, based on a Symbolist play of the  same name by Maurice Maeterlinck.  It’s in five acts rather than the traditional 2 or 3 and according to Wikipedia the plot goes a little something like this-

Prince Golaud finds a mysterious young woman, Mélisande, lost in a forest. He marries her and brings her back to the castle of his grandfather, King Arkel of Allemonde. Here Mélisande becomes increasingly attached to Golaud’s younger half-brother Pelléas, arousing Golaud’s jealousy. Golaud goes to excessive lengths to find out the truth about Pelléas and Mélisande’s relationship, even forcing his own child, Yniold, to spy on the couple. Pelléas decides to leave the castle but arranges to meet Mélisande one last time and the two finally confess their love for one another. Golaud, who has been eavesdropping, rushes out and kills Pelléas. Mélisande dies shortly after, having given birth to a daughter, with Golaud still begging her to tell him “the truth”.

What is truth? (John 18:36)  Eh, crucify him.

Now among French composers this particular work was almost as influential as Wagner of whom Debussy was for a time (as were many) a great admirer, though it is hard to imagine a style more different and fundamentally innovative.  As far as I’m concerned Wagner was a derivative hack who never had a musical thought he didn’t steal from Beethoven.

Pierre Boulez is still alive as far as I know and was conducting as recently as 2008.

Obligatories, news and blogs below.

Jul 19 2014

Le Tour 2014: Stage 14, Grenoble / Risoul

Le.  Tour.  De.  France.

Bad day for Sky.  As of today Le Tour is 2/3rds done and yesterday was not a good one for their emergency team leader, Riche Porte, who started fading with 25 km to go ending up 11 minutes behind stage winner and maillot jaune Vincenzo Nibali.  After Le Tour Dave Brailsford, the General Manager, may be looking for other employment as the decision to drop Bradley Wiggins looms large.  James Murdoch will, of course, never be replaced- nepotism.

What?!  You didn’t know Team Sky was part of Rupert’s media empire (a minor one to be sure)?  I find it hard to feel too badly for them.

Stage results- Vincenzo Nibali, Rafal Majka (:10), Leopold Konig (:11), Alejandro Valverde BelMonte (:50), Thibaut Pinot (:53), Tejay Van Garderen and Romain Bardet tied at (1:23), and Laurens Ten Dam (1:36).  Jean-Christophe Péraud, Frank Schleck, and Bauke Mollema tied at 2:09, Pierre Rolland and Rui Alberto Costa tied at 3:01, Michael Rogers (3:07) and Christpher Horner (3:11).  Ben Gastauer (4:02) and Michal Kwiatkowski (4:12).  Everyone else was almost 6 minutes behind or more.

In the General Classification, Vincenzo Nibali,  Alejandro Valverde BelMonte (3:37), Romain Bardet (4:24), Thibaut Pinot (4:40), Tejay Van Garderen (5:19), Jean-Christophe Péraud (6:06), Bauke Mollema (6:17), Jurgen Van Den Broeck (6:27), Rui Alberto Costa (8:35), Leopold Konig (8:36), Michal Kwiatkowski (8:51), Lauren Ten Dam (9:18), and Pierre Rolland (9:48).  Everyone else is over 10 minutes behind.

For the Points Championship it’s Peter Sagan (341), Bryan Coquard (191), Alexander Kristoff (172), Marcel Kittel (167), Mark Renshaw (118), André Greipel and Vincenzo Nibali tied at 117, Greg Van Avermaet (115).  Everyone else is over 28 points behind.

In Climbing competition we have Vincenzo Nibali (again) (70), Joaquim Rodriguez (53), Thibaut Pinot (41), Alejandro Valverde BelMonte and Rafal Majka tied at 40.  Everybody else at least 6 points behind.  Between the Teams it is AG2R, Belkin (9:24), Sky (23:46), Astana (29:20), BMC (33:31), Movistar (45:25), and EuropCar (55:33).  Omega Pharma leads a group of 10 teams at under 2 hours behind and the rest are over 3 hours back.  In the Youth Contest it is Romain Bardet, Thibaut Pinot (:16),  Michal Kwiatkowski (4:27), and Tom Dumoulin (37:50).  Everyone else is over an hour behind.

Today’s stage is 110 miles long.  Mercifully for the sprinters the Sprint Checkpoint is early before any of the climbs.  There are 2 Category 1s and 1 Beyond Categorization.

Distance Name Length Category
Km 82.0 Col du Lautaret (2 058 m) 34 km @ 3.9% 1
Km 132.5 Col d’Izoard (2 360 m) – Souvenir Henri Desgrange 19 km @ 6% H
Km 177.0 Montée de Risoul (1 855 m) 12.6 km @ 6.9% 1

What they are chiefly is very, very long and the finish up hill.  It is our last day in the Alps, tomorrow will be a day for the sprinters if any of them are left.

Jul 19 2014

On This Day In History July 19

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.

July 19 is the 200th day of the year (201st in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. There are 165 days remaining until the end of the year.

On this day in 1848, a two-day Women’s Rights Convention opens in Seneca Falls, New York. There the “Bloomers” are introduced.

The Seneca Falls Convention was an early and influential women’s rights convention held in Seneca Falls, New York, July 19-20, 1848. It was organized by local New York women upon the occasion of a visit by Boston-based Lucretia Mott, a Quaker famous for her speaking ability, a skill rarely cultivated by American women at the time. The local women, primarily members of a radical Quaker group, organized the meeting along with Elizabeth Cady Stanton, a skeptical non-Quaker who followed logic more than religion.

The meeting spanned two days and six sessions, and included a lecture on law, a humorous presentation, and multiple discussions about the role of women in society. Stanton and the Quaker women presented two prepared documents, the Declaration of Sentiments and an accompanying list of resolutions, to be debated and modified before being put forward for signatures. A heated debate sprang up regarding women’s right to vote, with many including Mott urging the removal of this concept, but Frederick Douglass argued eloquently for its inclusion, and the suffrage resolution was retained. Exactly 100 of approximately 300 attendees signed the document, mostly women.

The convention was seen by some of its contemporaries, including featured speaker Mott, as but a single step in the continuing effort by women to gain for themselves a greater proportion of social, civil and moral rights, but it was viewed by others as a revolutionary beginning to the struggle by women for complete equality with men. Afterward, Stanton presented the resulting Declaration of Sentiments as a foundational document in the American woman’s suffrage movement, and she promoted the event as the first time that women and men gathered together to demand the right for women to vote. Stanton’s authoring of the History of Woman Suffrage helped to establish the Seneca Falls Convention as the moment when the push for women’s suffrage first gained national prominence. By 1851, at the second National Women’s Rights Convention in Worcester, Massachusetts, the issue of women’s right to vote had become a central tenet of the women’s rights movement.

Jul 19 2014

Draft

The Breakfast Club (Eshew Tonality)

breakfast beers photo breakfastbeers.jpgYou may well ask why I’m concentrating on French composers (those of you who’ve noticed) and the answer is of course 2 words- Le Tour.  At the turn of the century there were few names more closely associated with French classical music than Claude Debussy (the other would be Maurice Ravel and you can hardly write about him without everyone asking, “Where’s Boléro and Bo Derek?”).

Just don’t call it Impressionist because he hated that.

He wrote only one Opera, Pelléas et Mélisande, based on a Symbolist play of the  same name by Maurice Maeterlinck.  It’s in five acts rather than the traditional 2 or 3 and according to Wikipedia the plot goes a little something like this-

Prince Golaud finds a mysterious young woman, Mélisande, lost in a forest. He marries her and brings her back to the castle of his grandfather, King Arkel of Allemonde. Here Mélisande becomes increasingly attached to Golaud’s younger half-brother Pelléas, arousing Golaud’s jealousy. Golaud goes to excessive lengths to find out the truth about Pelléas and Mélisande’s relationship, even forcing his own child, Yniold, to spy on the couple. Pelléas decides to leave the castle but arranges to meet Mélisande one last time and the two finally confess their love for one another. Golaud, who has been eavesdropping, rushes out and kills Pelléas. Mélisande dies shortly after, having given birth to a daughter, with Golaud still begging her to tell him “the truth”.

What is truth? (John 18:36)  Eh, crucify him.

Now among French composers this particular work was almost as influential as Wagner of whom Debussy was for a time (as were many) a great admirer, though it is hard to imagine a style more different and fundamentally innovative.  As far as I’m concerned Wagner was a derivative hack who never had a musical thought he didn’t steal from Beethoven.

Pierre Boulez is still alive as far as I know and was conducting as recently as 2008.

Obligatories, news and blogs below.

Jul 19 2014

Party at SHG- She’s A Rainbow

Hey there Party People, welcome! This week at the Party we’re going to get colorful. That’s right, songs, lyrics, groups or individual artists, if there’s color, then we’re good to go~

She’s A Rainbow

Jul 19 2014

Stop Listening to Morons

Surface To Air Missiles Kill People

I know I’m a silly and naive hippie. Very Serious People know the importance of arming the rebels, and the rebels of the rebels, and of the governments fighting the rebels, and of the random people who might just be good guys today but who knows about tomorrow, because it’s what we know how to do and our friends get rich in the process.

But, you know, weapons kill people. That’s what they’re for.

Atrios

We need to stop arming morons but most of all we need to stop listening to them.

In the wake of the tragic crash of Malaysian Air Flight 17 yesterday that took the lives of 290, there is a lot of ranting and finger wagging among war hawk conservatives who believe this tragedy could have been averted of we had just given the new Ukrainian government weapons. Considering the clear possibility that the plane was taken down by a Russian made Soviet era surface to air missile, the logic of these neo-cons is baffling. The US backing, arming and training rebels and rogue governments hasn’t worked very well in the past and isn’t working out very well today in either the Middle East or Latin  and South America

Charlie Pierce thinks we should stop listening to morons, in particular a couple of our elected morons, who have never seen a war they didn’t like or a terrorist under every rock, want more weapons and more war. Sen. John “Bomb, Bomb, Bomb Iran” McCain (R-AZ):

“It’s just been cowardly,” McCain said. “It’s a cowardly administration that we failed to give the Ukrainians weapons with which to defend themselves.” He speculated that the Russian separatists who allegedly shot down the plane “may not even have occupied and had access to these weapons, which apparently they got at an airfield,” [..]

“First, give the Ukrainians weapons to defend themselves and regain their territory. Second of all, move some of our troops in to areas that are being threatened by Vladimir Putin, in other countries like the Baltics and others. Move missile defense into the places where we got out of, like the Czech Republic and Poland and other places. And impose the harshest possible sanctions on Vladimir Putin and Russia. And that’s just for openers.”

This from the man who wanted to arm the Syrian rebels who were affiliated with Al Qaeda, some of whom are now trying to overthrow the American backed Iraqi government. John, please, just please, retire.

And of course the call for throwing more weapons into the mix wouldn’t be complete without some good ol’ fear mongering for Rep. Peter King (R-NY)

“[W]e need more leadership from the president,” King, a member of the House Homeland Security Committee, said on MSNBC. “He gave this a passing reference in his speech in Delaware, then went on to tell Joe Biden jokes and take the usual shots at Republicans – which is fair game, but not on this day – and then to go to New York and go to two fundraisers. I mean, I can’t imagine [former Presidents Dwight] Eisenhower or [John F.] Kennedy or [Ronald] Reagan doing that.”

Ronnie Reagan? Seriously. The man who slept through the downing of Korean Air Lines Flight 007 over the Kamchatka Peninsula by Soviet forces in 1983 and took three days to make a statement? Pete, get a grip

More of what Charlie said about arming morons:

I often refer to the scene featuring the great character actor Philip Bosco, as a judge in the small upstate New York town that is the setting for the vastly underrated Paul Newman movie Nobody’s Fool. Newman is before the judge because he has punched a local cop — played by the late Philip Seymour Hoffman — and, in response, the cop had fired off a warning shot that frightened an old woman a few blocks over. Bosco listens to the story and then addresses the police chief. “You know my views on arming morons,” Bosco says. “If you arm one, you have to arm them all. Otherwise, it isn’t good sport.”

It is becoming plain that the atrocity visited on the Malaysian jetliner is a direct result of arming morons. The New York Times obtained audiotape, allegedly from the people who shot down the plane, and these guys sound like they shouldn’t be trusted with a lemon zester, let alone a surface-to-air missile. And it is quite plain that the one thing this situation doesn’t need is to arm more morons, or to have another superpower come bungling in. Either by accident or by design — and Josh Marshall is right to point out that, if it’s the former, that’s infinitely worse — Vladimir Putin is responsible for a horrendous crime, and one that weakens his international standing. The only thing that would bail him out would be a flood of American arms to our own set of morons. The only thing that would bail him out would be if we all started listening to John McCain again.

We do know that the separatists in Eastern Ukraine have been armed by the Russians and have taken credit for bring down other planes over the last several weeks. If this is true, the culpability for this tragic loss of lives lies directly at the feet of Vladimir Putin, he alone has the power to stop this. Like Putin, the US needs to stop arming morons and stop listening to them as well.