09/19/2015 archive

Rant of the Week: Stephen Colbert – Marathon GOP Debate

Stephen Colbert: ‘This Wasn’t A Debate. It Was An Intervention.’

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 Fresh Vegetables


Stir-Fried Broccoli, Red pepper and Chicken

Over 50 percent of this colorful chicken stir-fry is composed of vegetables.

Spicy Stir-Fried Japanese Eggplant and Cucumber

Crunchy, water cucumber contrasts nicely with soft eggplant in this stir-fry.

Spicy Stir-Fried Tofu With Corn, Green Beans and Cilantro

This stir-fry is a light meal, sweet and spicy.

Stir-Fried Brown Rice With Poblano Chiles and Edamame

The rich, nutty taste of brown rice adds a satisfying note to this dish.

Rainbow Peppers and Shrimp With Rice Noodles

For a vegetarian version of this dish, try it with tofu instead of shrimp.

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”.

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Trevor Timm: The US decision to send weapons to Syria repeats a historical mistake

Why does the US continually send deadly weapons to the Middle East, make things even more chaotic than they were before and expect better results the next time?

As pretty much everyone who was paying attention predicted, the $500m program to train and arm “moderate” Syrian rebels is an unmitigated, Bay of Pigs-style disaster, with the head of US central command admitting to Congress this week that the year-old program now only has “four or five” rebels fighting inside Syria, with dozens more killed or captured. [..]

Sadly, instead of a debate about whether we should continue sending weapons to the Middle East at all, we’ll probably hear arguments that we should double down in Syria in the coming days and get US troops more cemented into a war we can call our own (that still to this day has not been authorized by Congress). There are already reports that there are US special operations forces on the ground in Syria now, assisting Kurdish forces who are also fighting Isis.

When the vicious and tragic cycle will end is anyone’s guess. But all signs point to: not anytime soon.

Michelle Chen: Europe’s Handling of the Migrant Crisis Shows Just How Morally Bankrupt It Has Become

This week, Hungary attempted to seal off its border to throngs of desperate refugees with a crudely constructed wire fence. A flimsy prison gate cordoning off Fortress Europe: there could be no clearer metaphor for the absurd small-mindedness of a political bloc that once prided itself on its humanitarian vision.

Families scrambled at the gates at the stroke of midnight. Security forces tried to push back crowds who had traversed continents and oceans, only to see their last hope for sanctuary dissolve in an acid hail of riot police and tear gas.

It’s not as if Europe has no experience with these obligations. Sixty years ago the continent was awash in refugees created by social upheaval and two world wars. But the 20th century humanitarian regime has failed the refugees produced by today’s social calamities, leaving Europe unraveling at the seams.

Robert Borosage: The Republican Foreign Policy Consensus: Lunacy

Before turning on the Republican debate on Wednesday night, I had begun writing an article on Hillary Clinton’s alarmingly bellicose foreign policy ideas. But Hillary’s hawkish stance is a portrait of restraint in contrast to the adolescent muscle flexing and locker room taunts that mark the foreign policy exchanges of the Republican presidential contenders in their most recent debate.

The competitive bluster got so fierce that Donald “I am the most militaristic person” Trump turned out to be one of the least unhinged in the claque. After 14 years of costly, destabilizing war in the Middle East, these candidates pledge, you ain’t seen nothing yet. [..]

If you want a president to lead us into constant wars “anywhere in the world,” Republicans have your man.

America, of course, must lead this effort. Republicans disagree about how many troops are needed, or whether we can simply train and arm our surrogates while raining bombs from drones across various regions.  [..]

There is a dangerous vacuum on foreign policy – a vacuum caused by the withdrawal of common sense and prudence, and filled with unhinged bluster and blind belief in the military. Listening to Republicans, one can only shudder at the fate of our country.

Ralph Nader: General Motors: Homicidal Fugitive from Justice

Yes, it’s official. General Motors engaged in criminal wrongdoing for long knowing about the lethal defect in its ignition switch that took at least 174 lives and counting, plus serious injuries. At least 1.6 million GM cars – Chevrolet Cobalt and other models – hid this danger to trusting drivers, according to the Center for Auto Safety (http://www.autosafety.org/).  Corporation executives who lie to or mislead the federal government violate Title 18 of the federal code, and risk criminal penalties.

But, the long-mismanaged automaker was not required by the Justice Department to plead guilty at all. Preet Bharara, the U.S. Attorney from New York, and Attorney General Loretta Lynch did not bring an indictment against either General Motors or known culpable officials in GM, including top GM lawyers and safety directors, who participated in the cover-up year after year, while lying to federal officials and not reporting these defects.

Eric Margolis: Russian Mouse Threatens US Elephant

The Russians are coming! The Russians are coming!”  So echoed the cry this week from the Pentagon, the US media and  Republican candidates for president.

How silly.  It seems the Russians have sent six tanks to Syria, some medium artillery and a bunch of military technicians to two bases on Syria’s coast near Latakia.   According to Republican warmongers, the wicked Soviets…ooops, sorry, Russians…are intervening militarily in the five-year old Syrian War and planning new bases in the strategic Mideast nation.

Talk about the pot calling the kettle black.  The United States has about 800 bases and military installations around the globe. Russia has only a handful of small bases near its borders.

The exception is in Syria where Russia has had a small naval supply/repair facility in Tartus and an electronic listening post for almost 50 years.  Moscow has long been Syria’s principal foreign ally and arms supplier.

While the US ruled almost the entire Mideast – what I call the American Raj – Syria was regarded as a limited  Soviet/Russian sphere of influence.   No more.

John Nichols: Debaters a Tutorial on Democratic Socialism

The Republican candidates had a lot to say about the senator, and he has something to say to them.

Bernie Sanders earned quite a few mentions in the second round of Republican debates, which at the very least offers a measure of the extent to which the senator from Vermont has become a factor in the 2016 presidential race.

Sanders was not generally referred to by name, but his democratic socialism came up frequently enough.

Republicans in both debates on Wednesday night noted the fact the Democratic presidential race has been shaken up by “a socialist” – employing a term that at the Reagan Presidential Library is still considered a choice epithet.  [..]

Sanders followed the debate on social media. His humorous, mildly-sarcastic tweeting of the main Republican debate went viral. And his Facebook post on the debate “garnered over 176,000 likes and 35,000 shares,” which according to The Hill newspaper was better than for any of the Republican contenders.

“The evening was really pretty sad. This country and our planet face enormous problems. And the Republican candidates barely touched upon them tonight. And when they did, they were dead wrong on virtually every position they took. The Republican Party cannot be allowed to lead this country,” observed Sanders on Facebook. “That’s why we need a political revolution.”

It Be International Talk Like A Pirate Day!

The Pastafarian Service Council wants to remind you that today, September 19th, be International Talk Like A Pirate Day.

As Slushy the Polar Bear says-

“Only you can prevent Global Warming.  Arrgh.”

PhotobucketAhoy mateys.  It be Cap’n Hank Bloodbeard hijacking your blog ag’in.  Since the establishin’ of International Talk Like a Pirate Day in 1995, the number of Pirates has increased gratifyin’ly thereby proving the success of our Pastafarian Pirate Recruitin’ Program and confirmin’ the link between increased piracy and declinin’ Global Warmin’.

But wait ye say, Global Warmin’ has gotten worse and Pastafarianism is a made up religion contrived out of equal measures of ennui, ignorance and Rum!

WHY IS THERE NEVER ANY RUM!  Oh, that’s why.

Ye scurvy dog, them be fightin’ wards.  Ye’ll walk the plank. I’ll keelhaul ye.  I’ll see your black hearted soul in Davey Jones Locker (the one ‘e shares w’ Peter Toth).

We used to worry about that too until we took up w’ a crew o’ Freshwater Pirates from the Chicago School who explained that it doesn’t matter how consistently and thoroughly wrong ye are if ye suck up to rich people enough and parrot their prejudices, beat down the po’ folk until morale improves, and kiss their ass long and hard.  Take what ye can, give nothin’ back, yo ho.

Polly want a grant?

E’en on these shores Cap’n Bloodbeard (aside from really enjoyin’ referin’ to hisself in the thard person) be known for ‘is trail of terror and carnage and really bad puns.

I generally celebrate International Talk Like a Pirate Day by telling the 3 Pirate Jokes.  There are only 3, all the others are just variations.  As Cap’n Slappy says:

Thar be only three pirate jokes in the world. The biggest one is the one that ends with someone usin’ “Arrr” in the punchline. Oh, sure, thar be plenty o’ these, but they’re all the same damn joke.

“What’s the pirate movie rated? – Arrr!”

“What kind o’ socks does a pirate wear? – Arrrrgyle!”

“What’s the problem with the way a pirate speaks? – Arrrrticulation!”

…and so forth.

The second joke is the one wear the pirate walks into the bar with a ships wheel attached to the front o’ his trousers. The bartender asks, “What the hell is that ships wheel for?” The pirate says, “I don’t know, but it’s drivin’ me nuts!”

And finally. A little boy is trick or treatin’ on Halloween by himself. He is dressed as a pirate. At one house, a friendly man asks him, “Where are your buccaneers?” The little boy responds, “On either side o’ me ‘buccan’ head!”

And there ye have it. A symposium on pirate humor that’ll last ye a lifetime – so long as life is violent and short.

If ye steer a course to the official website of International Talk Like A Pirate Day, ye may wish to read the FAQ, to help ye splice the mainbrace proper like.  Then ye’ll be ready to talk like a pirate.

Talking like a pirate, however, doesn’t just mean running through the hallways yelling “yarr!” at everyone. To get more in touch with one’s inner pirate, here is a short list of useful terms that may help readers throughout their day of pillaging and searching for buried treasure.

I also spend this day in Worship at Church and emulate the manners, customs, and language o’ me Pirate forbearers (I have the good fortune to be 1/4 full blooded Pirate through my Viking ancestors, indeed Viking is a verb which means ‘Pirate’) and singing some Pirate Carols.

There will come a time when you have a chance to do the right thing.

I love those moments. I like to wave at them as they pass by.

On This Day In History September 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.

September 19 is the 262nd day of the year (263rd in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. There are 103 days remaining until the end of the year.

On this day in 1796, President George Washington’s Farewell Address to the Nation is published.

George Washington’s Farewell Address was written to “The People of the United States” near the end of his second term as President of the United States and before his retirement to Mount Vernon.

Originally published in David Claypoole’s American Daily Advertiser on September 19, 1796 under the title “The Address of General Washington To The People of The United States on his declining of the Presidency of the

United States,” the letter was almost immediately reprinted in newspapers across the country and later in a pamphlet form. The work was later named a “Farewell Address,” as it was Washington’s valedictory after 45 years of service to the new republic, first during the Revolution of the Continental Army and later as the nation’s first president.

The letter was originally prepared in 1792 with the help of James Madison, as Washington prepared to retire following a single term in office. However, he set aside the letter and ran for a second term after his Secretary of the Treasury, Alexander Hamilton, and his Secretary of State, Thomas Jefferson, convinced him that the growing divisions between the newly formed Federalist and Democratic-Republican parties, along with the current state of foreign affairs, would tear the country apart in the absence of his leadership.

Four years later, as his second term came to a close, Washington revisited the letter and with the help of Alexander Hamilton prepared a revision of the original draft to announce his intention to decline a third term in office; to reflect the emerging issues of the American political landscape in 1796; and to parting advice to his fellow Americans, express his support for the government eight years following the adoption of the Constitution; and to defend his administration’s record.

The letter was written by Washington after years of exhaustion due to his advanced age, years of service to his country, the duties of the presidency, and increased attacks by his political opponents. It was published almost two months before the Electoral College cast their votes in the 1796 presidential election.

The Daily Late Nightly Show (Bernie)

You know, it seems like only yesterday I dealt with a lot of “pragmatists” who were convinced Bernie Sanders was too much of a Democrat to succeed in being elected.  That enthusiasm and motivation could never break the stranglehold of neoliberal (conservative) policies over the fundamentally center-right United States and the only hope for change (remember that?) was incremental and instead we should embrace the suck.

I’m genuinely pleased that we have 2 candidates who have blown that tired old trope out of the water.

I don’t like The Donald, I think he’s important from the standpoint of demonstrating that the D.C. Villager consensus is universally hated, even by the Republicans it benefits.  Yes he and his supporters are horrible people for the most part (though Trump is surprisingly liberal on some issues), but what it should indicate to the Plutocrats and the Politicians that support them is that Spring is fading fast in Versailles and a long hot summer of discontent with pitchforks, torches, and the National Razor is closer than they think.  Gravity is a wonderful thing.

I hear that Bernie was on the CBS morning show and and despite the open hostility of the toady class knocked it out of the park.

I’m not surprised after the Rachel interview.

I’m fairly hopeful he gets better treatment from the Late Night franchise.  Stephen’s other guests are Lupita Nyong’o, Christopher Wheeldon, and Robert Fairchild and Leanne Cope of American in Paris.