May 2010 archive

This Week in Health and Fitness

Welcome to this week’s Health and Fitness. This is an Open Thread.

Green Beans Bring Flavor to Pastas and Pilafs Alike


Green Bean and Mushroom Salad With Creamy Vinaigrette

Greek Stewed Green Beans and Yellow Squash With Tomatoes

Green Beans With Potatoes and Garlic

Warm Green Bean Salad With Frisée and Walnuts

Garlic Green Beans

As is now custom, I’ll try to include the more interesting and pertinent articles that will help the community awareness of their health and bodies. This essay will not be posted anywhere else due to constraints on my time. Please feel free to make suggestions for improvement and ask questions, I’ll answer as best I can.  

Save the Bronx Zoo Today

Cross-posted at DailyKos.

What a difference a year makes. About a year ago in my extremely popular  The Animals are Getting the Pink Slip (A Bronx Zoo photo and action diary) this is what big sister Moxie looked like;

Yesterday I took my camera to see the three new lion cubs at the Bronx Zoo. The diary is called Friday Evening Photo Blogging: Lion Cubs Today! I can hardly tell Moxie and her mama Sukari apart but I got some great photos of Moxie playing loving sister to three 25 pound cubs. Now the stars of the zoo are  Nala, Adamma and Shani;

What hasn’t changed is that both Bloomberg and Paterson are still screwing the zoo and many cultural institutions. This year much harder than last.

See below for what actions we the people have left.  

Weekend News Digest

Weekend News Digest is an Open Thread

From Yahoo News Top Stories

1 Bid to plug oil leak continues amid uncertainty

by Karin Zeitvogel, AFP

2 hrs 58 mins ago

NEW ORLEANS, Louisiana (AFP) – Engineers pushed forward with efforts to plug a disastrous Gulf of Mexico leak Saturday as locals and officials crossed their fingers that the untested “top kill” process would work.

A day after President Barack Obama visited the region for the second time since the oil spill began in April, energy giant BP could offer little but assurances that the bid was ongoing, but that it was too early to judge its success.

“It’s not a nice little black and white operation and they’ve got to take it as it comes,” said Robert Wine, a spokesman for the British firm.

Saturday I-Ching

Meet King Wen of Zhou:

King Wen

King Wen had a profound role in illuminating the I-Ching.  He began the Zhou Dynasty, which lasted for 800 years and 37 emperors.

But King Wen himself did not live to enjoy this victory over the evil King Zhou, Emperor of the Shang dynasty, who had imprisoned King Wen, fearing his influence (as he well should have!).

Today’s I-Ching reading made me think of King Wen.

The I-Ching provided Hexagram 34, “The Power of the Great” with two changing lines, transforming to Hexagram 30: The Clinging, Fire:

“I’m from America, and I’m here to help you.”

Ronald Reagan once claimed that “The nine most terrifying words in the English language are, ‘I’m from the government and I’m here to help.’

But of course that senile stooge for Big Money got it wrong. The nine most terrifying words in any language are…

“I’m from America, and I’m here to help you.”


My update of the Reagan Doctrine (insofar as that senile stooge ever had a “doctrine,” or even an idea, except stooging for Big Money) occurred to me when Baghdad was selected as the worst city in the world on the Mercer 2010 Quality of Life Survey.

After seven years of beneficent American occupation!

And Baghdad had to beat out some real humdingers among messed up cities to win that prize!

More messed up than Khartoum?


You betcha!

Baghdad copy

This was reminiscent of some recent headlines from Afghanistan, selected by Save the Children as the worst place in the world to be born. The worst place to be a mother! The worst place to be a child!


After nine long years of American “assistance!”

Senate Gives a Hearty F-U to Unemployed, Hungry & Sick, Breaks Early for Vacation

The Senate broke early, this past Thursday,  for their 11 day long vacation, kicked off with the Memorial Day Holiday upcoming on Monday.   They aren’t coming back into session until June 7 th.   They can’t “do” anything because of their arse kissing fillibuster rules until June 11th, 15 days after that.

HuffPo.  You need to read the entire story, but here’s a taste:…

On June 1, several programs, including extended unemployment benefits, will expire. By the end of the week, 19,400 people will prematurely stop receiving checks, according to data from the Department of Labor. How long will it take the Senate to finish the bill? With Republicans promising to stand in the way, leadership will need to file at least one time-consuming “cloture” motion to break the filibuster and to set up a vote by the end of the week in the best-case scenario. By the end of the following week, the number of premature unemployment exhaustions will climb to 323,400. The week after that, 903,000. By the end of the month, 1.2 million.

It will be the third time this year that lawmakers have allowed extended unemployment benefits to lapse, and the second time they’ve decided to leave town for recess fully knowing the lapse would cause panic and confusion among blameless layoff victims — not to mention what Katz calls a “huge” administrative burden on state workforce agencies.

But this is the first time the Democratic Party can’t even half-plausibly blame the Republicans for the lapse. “This isn’t being done because of Republicans, believe me.  This is done because there’s a group of us, we don’t have a majority, but they listen,” said Rep. Dutch Ruppersburger (D-Md.), who fought to shrink the size of the bill. “I think it’s really symbolic. We have a very diverse party and the party has come together… This is a real victory for the moderates and the Blue Dogs and the freshmen, that our party leadership is working with us to let this happen.”  

The difference between the Blue Dogs and the Progressive Caucus, as I have repeatedly pointed out, is that the Blue Dog contingent is already a sell out to the established domestic energy, pharma, and tobacco industries, from which it takes donations, and said industries also are the financial backers of the Tea Party movement, which is the Republican Party’s astroturf for non thinking, feel good libertarian type older voters already on government benefits.

The House sucked up to the Blue Dog contingent to get their version ready for the Senate, and the Senate, as usual, skeedadled out the door, without taking any action on it,  laughing at them again.   The House also just left the entire month of December 2010 out of the bill, so the budget “deficit hawks” in the flyover states, like Sen. Kent Conrad  (D, ND, Middle East Warmonger, Domestic Budget “hawk”) can look at it again.

“It’s so hard to know what the economic conditions will be at that point,” he said.

Remember that “health insurance reform” bill these clowns just passed with great fanfare a few months ago ?

They are cutting the unemployed COBRA’s benefits, too.  Any person laid off after this Monday, May the 31st, will not be able to get COBRA subsidies to continue to purchase health insurance.  Welcome to the open market and the Emergency Room, folks !  

Open Saturday


BP: Just Cut the Riser?

An update:

Yes, what they’re doing is cutting away parts of the riser, to make way for cutting it off for the 2nd cap.


It appears BP has just cut into the riser pipe with a robot.  Junk and oil is flowing all over the place right now. This means they have given up on the junk shots / top kill and moved on to a very risky plan–apparently they are going to try to attach another BOP to the top.  This means that oil will flow at a much higher rate, until they are successful.  How they are going to be able to see what they’re doing now that they’ve cut it, or attach the new BOP (scavenged from relief well 2) with all that pressure going out, no one seems to know.  

Of course, this might not be what they’re doing-but it looks that way. The other possibility is that they are trying to attach the 2nd cap (LMRP) to the riser, but they wouldn’t have needed to stop drilling relief well 2 for that, or take it’s BOP.

Also, the robot dropped it’s saw.  

BP: Wounding My Mother, Wounding Pachamama,

It begins as helplessness.  Nothing more, nothing less.  I watch as oil spews from BP’s well into the Gulf of Mexico, killing sea life, destroying the ocean, ruining the breeding grounds near the shore.  The Gulf of Mexico is becoming a vast petroleum gumbo garnished with oil soaked sea birds and drowned turtles.  I watch this.  I wish that all of the wise men and women of the world could find a solution, could stop the flow.  But as the time elapses, and the 48 hour periods to know whether the flow can be stemmed mount up, it should be obvious to me.  There may be no solution.  At least not for the foreseeable future.  And by then, by then what even BP is calling a “catastrophe” will be that much more enormous.  That much more irremediable.  The leak will have killed much of the Gulf of Mexico, and unchecked, it will continue to kill.

Keith Olbermann thinks that Obama should show more anger about this.  That, he thinks, will show people that Obama is with them.  Or something.  Personally, I have more than enough unproductive anger about BP.  I don’t need it to be mirrored.  Or extended.  No.  What I want is internal.  I want to understand what BP is doing and has done to my interior landscape.  I want to come to terms with that.  And to comprehend it in this way, I use what I know: I look at the mythic, and I look at myself.  It’s Shamanism 101.

Please join me on this voyage.  

Naomi Klein: “A Strange Corporate Oil State”

Author and activist Naomi Klein has been visiting Louisiana, and conducted a short on camera interview with Al Jazeera about her impressions of the disaster response to BP’s oil leak catastrophe…

Senator Dick Durbin once described Capitol Hill as being owned by the banks. He said the banks ‘own this place’ describing why it was so hard to get financial reform through in Washington, and  all I can say from having spent the week here in Louisiana is that it really feels like the oil and gas industry owns this place.

I think we’re dealing with two factors here. One is an election strategy for the Obama Administration, they want to keep some distance, they don’t want to own the disaster fully, they want to still have somebody to point fingers to. But then there’s also just this major attitude in this administration from day one really, to trust industry.

And so, even when the industry creates the disaster – I’m sorry to make these analogies with the financial sector, but we saw it with the banks as well – they melted down the economy but then we still heard from the Obama Administration as well as the Bush Administration starting with them but carried through from the Obama Administration, ‘we’re not going to tell the banks how to do their jobs, they’re the experts, we’re going to stand back’.

And now they’re doing the same thing with the response to the greatest, what looks like the greatest environmental catastrophe, or what could very well prove to be he greatest environmental catastrophe this country has ever seen. And I think people are very confused by this because this is clearly a national emergency, so why is it that BP is in charge of the whole operation?

Why Are We Allowing Congressional Vacations??

We are in the mist of not only a total devastating, ongoing, tragedy for the Gulf Coast area’s as well as the ecological damage being done in the Gulf Waters and the Coastal area’s that will effect Everyone for nobody knows  how long! We are also in a collapsed economy still, high unemployment, twos still ongoing Wars and Occupations of Choice, still infrastructure demands for fixes, immigration that is still and has been allowed to ignore the laws already on the books and sooooo much more!!

How many of you will not only see your representatives, or their staffs, but hear anything about what they are doing while ‘on vacation’ from their 24/7 jobs of representation!

I was LOST, and Always Found

I don’t know how many of my readers followed LOST; I would hope many of you did. For those who did not, reading on will not lose you, this is not just a show review.  I really hope you do read this, and offer your thoughts on either the show, or my conclusions.

Many of my co-workers did not, in fact could not watch LOST. It was too “complex” for a people breast fed on Survivor, Idol and Dancing with the Criminals. I found it more amazing that so many did become addicted to the show. What this show did, has not been done in my memory in any format other than full length film, is offer a up parable. A deep moral story. It was all about decisions.

They created a grown up Aesop’s Fable, more than a nuanced mystery. Sure, there are people bemoaning “unanswered questions,” but I think the handling was sublime: they left it open enough to let people draw conclusions based on their own beliefs.  Then they reached deep into the psyche of “this can’t be happening – but its happening” and made you suspend those very beliefs without jumping the shark errr, polar bear. They added both silliness, and seriousness while employing quotes from sages spoken by those named after the philosophers. It was a veritable candy store for the deep thinker.

Springsteen may have pointed out years ago that Adam raised a Cain; we got to see what happened when Jacob and Esau lived out their lot. It had men of science, men of faith, and men who were a combination of the two. There were maddona/whore temptresses, battling warriors for what they believed to be penultimate truths, intellectual ‘deciders’ and a Buddha whose sanity was always in question.


Let me tell you what the story told me: that I am never lost.

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