November 28, 2008 archive

Tales From The Larder: Reading Labels Can Save Your Life

Being born into a family of hoteliers had some advantages, to be sure. As a kid I used to spend most of my winter time reading in the hotel larder because it was quiet, the overhead lighting was good and the smells were reassuring. And it was also a place where I could sneak in a few slices of bread and hack a bit of hard cheese, sit on my chair and dream about the origins of all the products we managed to store between bouts of reading. René Descartes liked to do his thinking in bed, I did mine in the larder. It was my domain throughout the winters and certainly not the place to be in the summertime as the hotel was taken over from April to October by a brigade of noisy, fellow loons.

So it was in that larder that I became seriously interested in food and I made a point of scrutinizing and itemizing every tin, bottle, bag, boxed spices, jars, blocks of cheese, preserves and all the hanging charcuterie; the country hams from various regions, the army of salamis, the rings of smoked sausages…I became an expert in label reading and developed a nose for sniffing out rancidity and spoiled goods.  

Four at Four

  1. The NY Times reports 5 Hostages Die as Mumbai Siege Persists.

    As the crisis in Mumbai approached its third day, Indian commandos fought running battles with militants on Friday, still struggling to end the murderous assault on India’s financial capital that has shaken the nation and raised perilous regional tensions with neighboring Pakistan.

    Two Americans were confirmed killed, among a total of at least eight foreigners who the Indian authorities said had died during the attacks. In addition, five bodies of Israeli citizens were removed from a Jewish center, Chabad House, after Indian commando units stormed the attackers inside the building, Israeli officials said. The terrorists had executed the hostages during the commando raid, the Indian military said.

    Shortly before night settled over the stricken city, the police said the death toll had reached 143 with the discovery of 24 bodies in the luxury Oberoi hotel, where the police had finally taken control and many guests were set free on Friday.

    Spiegel contributes with Struggling for control in the Mumbai war zone. Mumbai is India’s most progressive city. “Just days ago, Colaba, [a part of the city,] was still a relaxed café and restaurant quarter, a favorite in Mumbai, India’s most progressive city. Now, it is a war zone.” The “ongoing violence has the population wary and afraid. And nobody knows how it will end.”

    A few people in my circles are asking what if this happened in the United States?

Below the fold is a smorgasbord of five more Four at Four stories.

Help APA Anti-Torture Candidate Win Election

Monday, December 1, will be the last day members of the American Psychological Association can vote for president of the organization. Members can vote online at this link. They should cast their vote for the only progressive candidate standing for election, Steven J. Reisner, Ph.D.

According to the ranked nature of the APA ballot, members must mark Dr. Reisner #1 on the ballot. In a letter to his supporters, Steven describes his opponents’ tactics:

To be imperfectly their own or imperfectly ours

We all might have assumed that Sean has been busy making the movie Milk (which I hope to see over the weekend). But I just learned that he recently paid a visit to both Hugo Chavez and Raul Castro because he’s written about it in The Nation Magazine. And before I say anything more about this particular piece, I’d like to state that Mr. Penn is an amazing writer! So I urge you to go check out the whole thing.

Here’s an introductory video from The Nation (my title comes from here).

Redefining “The Bad Guys”

Just brief thought on the day after Thanksgiving.

Now that Bush is gone and we can begin to take an intelligent law and order approach to terrorism, which as horrible as we all agree it is, will always be with us to some extent, we will ‘need’ a new enemy.

Human nature demands it. It demands that we have someone or some thing on which to focus our ire. Sad but true. Sure, terrorist blow people up and we should do all we can to prevent that from happening….without giving them exactly what they want, which is for us all to live our lives in fear and to change our society for the worse because of that fear. We cannot let them turn our world into a police state to prevent the relatively few deaths they cause.

Of course the ideal would be to transform ourselves into a totally just and equitable world so that terrorists have nothing to blow people up for. While we are waiting for that to happen, or perhaps as part of that effort, we can redefine who the bad guys are.

We are facing a financial crisis, and we are facing a climate crisis, and of course we are facing the seemingly eternal ‘injustice’ of the rich living high on the hog while children starve. Perhaps we need a Global War On Robber Barons? A Global War on Polluters? A Global War on Poverty? A Global War on Greed?

Somewhere around 4 million people actually starve to death a year. Compared to perhaps 20, 000 deaths from terrorism. Yes, that IS comparing apples to oranges, but…..When you are watching your people starve to death it is very easy to become a terrorist. Especially if you are also watching, say American teevee shows that portray, shall we say, an alternate lifestyle to the one you see around you. And as Climate Crisis accelerates more and more people will face both these fates. Starvation and the desperation and helplessness that leads people to blow other people up. Not all terrorism stems from starvation of course, just as not all crime stems from poverty. Some folks are just ….bad. But most terrorism is not born in a vacuum.

How about addressing the causes of terrorism, not just the symptoms? Yes it is a simplistic thought, nearly as simplistic as the thought of invading Iraq to end terrorism. But in my opinion, it is at least a thought moving in the right direction. And moving in the right direction is about all that we can hope for, in this complex world where there are no quick and easy solutions to the problems we face.

The American citizen: programmed to hell and gone



Ahhhhh ha ha ha ha ha ha haaaaa…

ABC News:

In a personal and wide-ranging interview conducted by his sister about his legacy, his faith and the influence of his father, President George W. Bush said he hopes to be remembered as a liberator of the Iraqi people.

“I’d like to be a president [known] as somebody who liberated 50 million people and helped achieve peace,” Bush told his sister, Dorothy Bush Koch, in a conversation recorded for the oral-history organization StoryCorps for the American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress.

An excerpt of the interview was aired on National Public Radio Thursday, and the White House released additional excerpts with both the president and first lady Laura Bush today.

“I would like to be a person remembered as a person who, first and foremost, did not sell his soul in order to accommodate the political process,” Bush said, according to White House excerpts.


Bush said his No Child Left Behind policy, which has been widely criticized by educators as too focused on test scores, is one of his significant achievements.

“I think the No Child Left Behind Act is one of the significant achievements of my administration because we said loud and clear to educators, parents and children that we expect the best for every child, that we believe every child can learn, and that in return for Federal money we expect there to be an accountability system in place to determine whether every child is learning to read, write, and add and subtract,” he said.


“I would advise politicians, however, to be careful about faith in the public arena,” he said.

Read it all here, if you can stand to…

where do we feel empty?

Time for me and Aero to come clean. We have issues with portion control and nibbling. You can see she’s a big girl in this shot.Photobucket

The vet just verified she’s my 2nd biggest pootie ever at 14 pounds ( I once had a 16 pound female-very large frame but still too heavy) As for me, the waistline isn’t budging, though the rest of me seems to be maintaining a toned look better than last winter.

As noted in previous diaries, I have a healthy diet and good exercise habits. And I still think stress promoting the fat storage is a factor. However, the clue that I really still eat more than I need came in an unexpected way.

(crossposted at the GOS)

Michael Medved And Genocide Denial, AGAIN

“Few opinions that I will express” are more certain that Michael Medved denies genocide. No, it is not an opinion, he literally denies genocide (1st article from 2007).


Reject the Lie of White “Genocide” Against Native Americans

Few opinions I’ve expressed on air have produced a more indignant, outraged reaction than my repeated insistence that the word “genocide” in no way fits as a description of the treatment of Native Americans by British colonists or, later, American settlers.

Consequently, Medved has a current egregious example of his genocide denial.

Docudharma Times Friday November 28

Black Friday?

Perhaps Its The Wrong Kind Of

Black Friday  

Friday’s Headlines:

Area’s Other Obamas Revel in Rare Moniker

Besieged prime minister declares state of emergency in showdown with protesters

Japanese Prime Minister Taro Aso condemns ‘hobbling malingerers’

Smugglers run rife on the new frontline between east and west

New palace leaves Berlin divided again

The desperate search for Congo’s hidden victims

Sierra Leone navy battles pirates

Foster and Hadid in running to remake Mecca

With Iraqi parliament approving pact, Maliki’s stature grows

Live feed from IBN=CNN India

Indian Commandos Storm Jewish Center


Published: November 28, 2008

MUMBAI, India – Indian commandos slid down ropes from a hovering army helicopter Friday morning as security forces stormed a Jewish center that had been seized by terrorists during a coordinated series of attacks on Mumbai, India’s commercial and entertainment capital.

The blue-uniformed commandos landed on the roof and soon made their way inside Nariman House, home to the Orthodox Jewish group Chabad-Lubavitch. A gunbattle then broke out inside the building, with hundreds of shots being fired over the next four hours.

Elsewhere in the city, Indian Army and paramilitary commandos made their way through two charred luxury hotels, searching for survivors of the bands of gunmen who unleashed two days of chaos beginning Wednesday night.

Home-grown militants are prime suspects

Raid involving the taking of hostages suggests only marginal link to al-Qaida

Jason Burke, Friday November 28 2008 00.01 GMT

The Mumbai attacks are unique in the history of recent violent militancy, Islamist or otherwise. As Indian security agencies race to work out who was behind them they will be negotiating a maze of conflicting clues.

A group calling itself the Deccan Mujahideen claimed the operation. The name indicates a local group – the Deccan is the central Indian plateau – and a probable link to the Indian Mujahideen who started a bloody bombing campaign a year ago.

It is this group, too, that threatened the people of Mumbai with “deadly attacks” two months ago and has credibly claimed responsibility for the series of attacks in recent months.



Cyber-attack on Defense Department computers raises concerns

The ‘malware’ strike, thought to be from inside Russia, hit combat zone computers and the U.S. Central Command overseeing Iraq and Afghanistan. The attack underscores concerns about computer warfare.

By Julian E. Barnes

November 28, 2008

Reporting from Washington — Senior military leaders took the exceptional step of briefing President Bush this week on a severe and widespread electronic attack on Defense Department computers that may have originated in Russia — an incursion that posed unusual concern among commanders and raised potential implications for national security.

Defense officials would not describe the extent of damage inflicted on military networks. But they said that the attack struck hard at networks within U.S. Central Command, the headquarters that oversees U.S. involvement in Iraq and Afghanistan, and affected computers in combat zones. The attack also penetrated at least one highly protected classified network.

Military computers are regularly beset by outside hackers, computer viruses and worms. But defense officials said the most recent attack involved an intrusive piece of malicious software, or “malware,” apparently designed specifically to target military networks.

One-stop Employment Service


Every state has them.  They are funded by your tax dollars, and all of the services and programs are free.  If you need a job or retraining, this is the place to start.  What can you get???  Follow me below.

Muse in the Morning

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State of the Onion XVI

Art Link



Each time

a class of people

is defined

humanity is divided

hewed like an old log

Just like that log

destruction occurs

at the point

where the axe strikes

But the damage done

to the people

in the path of the cut

is much more serious

than the harm done

to some old wood

Race cuts like a saber

through individuals

of mixed ancestry

Can you feel their pain?

How feels the slice

of the katana

of ethnicity

to someone

whose grandparents

hail from four different cultures?

Blood spurts

from the laceration

of the gender scimitar

through those

not exactly

men or women

I live

on the edge

of that blade

–Robyn Elaine Serven

–March 30, 2006

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