Daily Archive: 08/01/2015

Aug 01 2015

Random Japan

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Feast your eyes on yet more adorable 8-bit GIFs depicting daily life in Japan

evie lund

A while back, we shared a series of super-cute 8-bit GIFs created by talented Tumblr user 1041uuu which depict everyday scenes of life in Japan in a whimsically awesome, old-school way. Now we’re happy to report that the artist has been busy creating even more GIFs in the same great style!

Get ready for some super sweet moving pixel art!

Aug 01 2015

The Breakfast Club (Sailin’ Up, Sailin’ Down)

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.

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Breakfast Tune: Sailin’ Up, Sailin’ Down – Pete Seeger (Banjo), Lorre Wyatt & Friends live on The Clearwater


Published on Sep 30, 2010

On morning of August 21, 2010 Pete Seeger, Lorre Wyatt and friends gathered aboard the Hudson River Sloop Clearwater to film their performance of the new song “God’s Counting on Me, God’s Counting on You.” After the filming, while the Clearwater was docking, they had an impromptu jam session that included this song “Sailin’ Up, Sailin’ Down.” Pete Seeger played banjo and took two solos. Lorre Wyatt played acoustic guitar and sang a verse. Some refer to this song as Sailing up, Sailing Down nut the actual title has no G’s.

Today in History


A shooting rampage takes place at the University of Texas clock tower; Germany declares war on Russia in World War I; Adolf Hitler opens the Berlin Olympics; Author Herman Melville born; MTV debuts.

Breakfast News & Blogs Below

Aug 01 2015

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

Chris Bostic and John Stewart: US Chamber of Commerce is in Big Tobacco’s thrall

Its political interference on behalf of the tobacco industry threatens public health measures abroad – and at home

A flurry of news articles, opinion pieces and blog posts have followed a June 30 New York Times investigation detailing how the U.S. Chamber of Commerce uses its clout to undermine public health measures that restrict tobacco use, sale and uptake, as mandated by the World Health Organization’s global tobacco treaty, the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control. While the coverage has highlighted the Chamber’s faculty for undermining tobacco control internationally, it has largely omitted the organization’s political interference in the United States on behalf of Big Tobacco.

One of the clearest ways the Chamber of Commerce has peddled the tobacco industry’s interests at home is through trade negotiations. The U.S. is on the verge of completing what would be the world’s largest trade and investment treaty, the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). Many critics have opposed this deal, among the U.S. and 11 other Pacific Rim countries, over concerns about its possible effects on public health, the environment and workers’ rights. [..]

The global community is on course to curb the tobacco epidemic, in large part because of the World Health Organization’s global tobacco treaty. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce should be ashamed to do Big Tobacco’s dirty work, and governments, including ours, would be wise to reject its lobbying on any issue.

Now that the Chamber’s relationship with Big Tobacco has been exposed, the U.S. must look skeptically on the rest of the organization’s agenda. With the tobacco industry responsible for the loss of more than 6 million lives every year, there appear to be few, if any, ethical boundaries to the Chamber’s operations.

Amy Goodman and Denis Moyhihan: Cincinnati and the Murder of Samuel DuBose

A stunning indictment has been handed down in Cincinnati, focusing attention again on police killings of people of color. Hamilton County Prosecutor Joseph T. Deters announced that University of Cincinnati Police Officer Ray Tensing has been charged with murder, for the July 19 shooting death of Samuel DuBose, a 43-year-old African-American man. Tensing pulled over DuBose because he was driving a car without a front license plate. As Deter said in his news conference: “He was dealing with someone without a front license plate. This is, in the vernacular, a very chicken-crap stop.” Tensing wanted to see DuBose’s driver’s license. When DuBose said he didn’t have it, Tensing made a motion to open DuBose’s car door. Within seconds of this interaction, Tensing’s right hand swung into the video frame with a pistol. He fired a single shot into DuBose’s head, which sent the car, with DuBose dead behind the wheel, rolling down the street, where it crashed to a halt. Before Tensing’s body-camera video was released, the officer claimed that his arm had been caught in the car, and he was dragged down the street. Another officer, Phillip Kidd, reported he saw the same thing. The video clearly debunked their version. Kidd should be arrested, too. Prosecutor Deters released Officer Tensing’s body-camera video, stating, “This is without question a murder.” [..]

Cincinnati is a start for accountability and justice. Cleveland should pay attention. As the thousand people gathered there last weekend said clearly, “Black Lives Matter.”

Ellen Brown: The Greek Coup: Liquidity as a Weapon of Coercion

In the modern global banking system, all banks need a credit line with the central bank in order to be part of the payments system. Choking off that credit line was a form of blackmail the Greek government couldn’t refuse.

Former Greek finance minister Yanis Varoufakis is now being charged with treason for exploring the possibility of an alternative payment system in the event of a Greek exit from the euro. The irony of it all was underscored by Raúl Ilargi Meijer, who opined in a July 27th blog:

   The fact that these things were taken into consideration doesn’t mean Syriza was planning a coup . . . . If you want a coup, look instead at the Troika having wrestled control over Greek domestic finances. That’s a coup if you ever saw one.

   Let’s have an independent commission look into how on earth it is possible that a cabal of unelected movers and shakers gets full control over the entire financial structure of a democratically elected eurozone member government. By all means, let’s see the legal arguments for this.

So how was that coup pulled off? The answer seems to be through extortion. The European Central Bank threatened to turn off the liquidity that all banks – even solvent ones – need to maintain their day-to-day accounting balances. That threat was made good in the run-up to the Greek referendum, when the ECB did turn off the liquidity tap and Greek banks had to close their doors.

Eugene Robinson: ‘Twas the Week Before the Republican Debate

I feel like a kid the week before Christmas. There’s just one present under the tree, but it’s all a columnist could ever hope for: the first Republican debate!

How could next Thursday night in Cleveland fail to be one of the most entertaining political spectacles we’ve seen in a long time? There are, far as I can tell, 17 candidates for the GOP nomination. Nobody’s quite sure which 10 will qualify for the prime-time clash, with the rest relegated to an earlier also-rans debate. Fox News, which is organizing the festivities, says it will use an average of national polls to make the cut, but won’t say which polls.

One hopes the poor candidates at least hear the good or bad news before they arrive in Cleveland. Imagine the phone call Rick Perry’s campaign might get: “Um, has the governor’s plane landed yet? Because it turns out we need him on stage quite a bit earlier than we thought.”

Joe Conason: Which ‘Senior Official’ Smeared Hillary Clinton?

In the aftermath of that famously discredited New York Times story about a “criminal referral” regarding Hillary Clinton’s emails, a few important questions stand out, among many that remain unanswered.

Exactly who told Times reporters Michael S. Schmidt and Matt Apuzzo that the referral to the Justice Department-concerning whether information in her emails that wasn’t classified should have been-was a matter for criminal investigation? And when will the Justice Department track down, reveal, and discipline those who made these false statements to the Times and later to other news outlets?

These unpleasant questions arise from the Times editors’ explanation of an error that is enormously troubling (and the most consequential of several substantive mistakes littered throughout Schmidt and Apuzzo’s article, as catalogued superbly by Kurt Eichenwald in Newsweek). Never was there any criminal referral, only a “security referral” prompted by the appearance of retroactively classified material in a sample of Clinton emails released by the State Department.

In short, Clinton did nothing wrong, and the ensuing journalistic firestorm was, in reality, no more than a boring bureaucratic dispute over what should or should not be kept secret.

John Atcheson: Bush-Clinton Is Not Inevitable

A funny thing happened on the way to the oligarch’s quadrennial choice between tweedle-de and tweedle-dum.  Two renegade candidates decided to ignore the script.  One, a right-wing lunatic with a boatload of money; the other a socialist/democrat relying on small contributions, which are pouring in.

As a result, the fat-cat funded ordination of Ms. Clinton and Mr. Bush is in danger of being derailed, and the old scripts are in danger of being tossed aside.  The consequences of this are different for each Party, and the stakes for the country couldn’t be higher.

In a sense, we have an epic contest shaping up right now.  To paraphrase Lincoln, it is a struggle to determine whether “… that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.”

Or, to put it more mundanely, we’re struggling to see whether votes can ever trump money; whether we’ll choose to continue to live in an oligarchy or choose instead, to reclaim the Republic.

Aug 01 2015

On This Day In History August 1

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

August 1 is the 213th day of the year (214th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. There are 152 days remaining until the end of the year.

On this day in 1981, MTV, Music Television, goes on the air for the first time ever, with the words (spoken by one of MTV’s creators, John Lack): “Ladies and gentlemen, rock and roll.” The Buggles’ “Video Killed the Radio Star” was the first music video to air on the new cable television channel, which initially was available only to households in parts of New Jersey. MTV went on to revolutionize the music industry and become an influential source of pop culture and entertainment in the United States and other parts of the world, including Europe, Asia and Latin America, which all have MTV-branded channels.

In MTV’s early days, its programming consisted of basic music videos that were introduced by VJs (video jockeys) and provided for free by record companies. As the record industry recognized MTV’s value as a promotional vehicle, money was invested in making creative, cutting-edge videos. Some directors, including Spike Jonze (Being John Malkovich, Three Kings) and Michel Gondry (Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind), worked on music videos before segueing into feature films. In the 1980s, MTV was instrumental in promoting the careers of performers such as Madonna, Michael Jackson, Prince and Duran Duran, whose videos played in heavy rotation.

Aug 01 2015

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

Smoky, Juicy Mussels and Clams Pop on the Grill

Grilled Clams and Mussels with Garlic, Almonds and Mint

Grilling clams and mussels gives them a smokiness you can’t get inside on your stove. Use hardwood charcoal if you can; it gives the best, smokiest flavor. [..]

And don’t forget to pour the heady pan juices on top of the shellfish; dunking grilled bread into that garlicky pool may be the best part of the dish.