November 21, 2011 archive

Occupy Wall St.: You Cannot Evict An Idea

Cross posted from The Stars Hollow Gazette

Try as they may, the 1% and their elected and appointed puppets cannot evict an ideas whose time has come. Allowing the police to use strong arm tactics, chemical sprays and other “non-lethal” weapons against peaceful, passive demonstrators flies in the face of logic, constitutional and principles. Curling up in a ball or moving your arms to protect yourself will now warrant you a beating with a baton before you are picked up and arrested.

The latest incident last Friday at the University of California Davis Campus produced massive outrage across the country and around the world over the weekend as millions watched the campus police use military grade pepper spray against students sitting, arms linked, peacefully in a circle. Yes, they surrounded police who claimed the students were threatening. But, in order to spray the students, the officer had to step over the students, leave the circle to get the spray. What cowards.

UC Davis Chancellor Linda P.B Katehi had to walk back her initial statement of support for the campus police actions and held press conference Saturday late Saturday afternoon calling for an investigation of the incident. Outside the building where the presser was held, students had assembled around the building chanting “we are peaceful” and “just walk home.” The chancellor stayed inside for over two hours in an attempt to make it appear that the students were holding her hostage. After student representatives had the students stop chanting and form a three block long corridor, Katehi left the building accompanied by student representatives and an investigative reporter Lee Fang who asks her “Chancellor, do you still feel threatened by the students?” She replies “No. No.”. The video, “Walk of Shame”, the silence of the students speaks volumes:

Chancellor Katehi, under pressure to resign, has now suspended two of the officers involved and ordered the investigation to be completed in 30 days, not the 90 she original stated.

H/T John Aravosis at AMERICAblog, Lee Fang at Second Alarm and Jon Weiner at The Nation

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Crusader Rabbit, Crusader vs. the State of Texas- Episode 8 of 15

Tahrir Square

24 dead in 3 days of Cairo anti-military protests

By MAGGIE MICHAEL, Associated Press

34 minutes ago

The night before saw an escalation of the fighting as police launched a heavy assault that tried and failed to clear protesters from the square. In a show of the ferocity of the assault, the death toll leaped from Sunday evening until Monday morning. A constant stream of injured protesters – bloodied from rubber bullets or overcome by gas – were brought into makeshift clinics set out on sidewalks around the square where volunteer doctors scrambled from patient to patient.

(T)he vote has been overshadowed by mounting anger at the ruling Supreme Council of the Armed Forces, which will continue to hold power even after the vote. Activists accuse the generals of acting increasingly in the same autocratic way as Mubarak’s regime and fear that they will dominate the coming government, just as they have the current interim one they appointed months ago.

“What does it mean, transfer power in 2013? It means simply that he wants to hold on to his seat,” said a young protester, Mohammed Sayyed, referring to the head of the Supreme Council, Field Marshall Hussein Tantawi.

“I will keep coming back until they kill me,” he said. “The people are frustrated. Nothing changed for the better.”

CLGC Memo (.pdf)

Video continues after commercial break.  You have to pause manually.

U.C. Davis Calls for Investigation After Pepper Spraying

By BRIAN STELTER, The New York Times

November 19, 2011, 7:44 pm

In one of the videos, the officer steps over a line of seated protesters, holds the pepper spray bottle in the air, then sprays it in the protesters’ faces in a coordinated fashion as eyewitnesses gasp and shout, “Shame on you.” Most of the protesters remain seated; police officers then forcibly remove and arrest them.

In a video taken from another direction, two officers can be seen dousing protesters with pepper spray at the same time. Though not visible in the videos, the operator of the Facebook page for the Occupy U.C. Davis organization claimed that one police officer “shoved a pepper spray gun down a student’s throat and pulled the trigger.” On Saturday afternoon, the Facebook page announced that protesters would be working with attorneys to pursue legal action.

A spokesperson for the U.C. Davis police did not respond to a request for comment Saturday. Annette Spicuzza, the U.C. Davis police chief, told The Sacramento Bee that the officers used pepper spray on Friday because the police were surrounded by students. “There was no way out of that circle,” she told the newspaper. “They were cutting the officers off from their support. It’s a very volatile situation.”

The videos, however, show officers freely moving about and show students behaving peacefully. The university reported no instances of violence by any protesters.

Eyewitnesses uploaded their recordings late Friday. In a statement on Saturday that acknowledged the role of the eyewitnesses in raising awareness about the police’s behavior, the university’s chancellor, Linda P.B. Katehi, said she was saddened by “the events.”


Crossposted from The Stars Hollow Gazette

You see, it’s all about easing dependence on “foreign” (brown people) oil-

Canada pipeline firms sprint to end U.S. oil glut

By Anna Driver and Scott Haggett, Reuters

22 hrs ago

The companies are racing to unlock a glut of crude in the U.S. Midwest, which has built up over the year due to rising supplies from Canada and North Dakota. They aim to ship it to the Gulf Coast where it will fetch a hefty premium.

It may end a period of dramatic upheaval in the U.S. oil market that handed Midwest refiners an unexpected windfall of cheap feedstock, robbed northern producers of richer profits, revived an era of rail-oil freight, roiled airline efforts to hedge fuel costs and threatened to erode the U.S. futures contract’s preeminence as the world’s most-traded benchmark.

Lies.  It’s all about extracting more money from the pockets of the middle class.

On this Day In History November 22

Cross posted from The Stars Hollow Gazette

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.

November 22 is the 326th day of the year (327th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. There are 39 days remaining until the end of the year.

On this day in 1990, Margaret Thatcher, the first woman prime minister in British history, announces her resignation after 11 years in Britain’s top office.

Margaret Hilda Thatcher, Baroness Thatcher, LG, OM, PC, FRS (born 13 October 1925) served as Prime Minister of the United Kingdom from 1979 to 1990 and Leader of the Conservative Party from 1975 to 1990. Thatcher is the only woman to have held either post.

Born in Grantham in Lincolnshire, United Kingdom, Thatcher went to school at Kesteven and Grantham Girls’ School in Grantham, where she was head girl in 1942-43. She read chemistry at Somerville College, Oxford and later trained as a barrister. She won a seat in the 1959 general election, becoming the MP for Finchley as a Conservative. When Edward Heath formed a government in 1970, he appointed Thatcher Secretary of State for Education and Science. Four years later, she backed Keith Joseph in his bid to become Conservative Party leader but he was forced to drop out of the election. In 1975 Thatcher entered the contest herself and became leader of the Conservative Party. At the 1979 general election she became Britain’s first female Prime Minister.

In her foreword to the 1979 Conservative manifesto, Thatcher wrote of “a feeling of helplessness, that a once great nation has somehow fallen behind.” She entered 10 Downing Street determined to reverse what she perceived as a precipitate national decline. Her political philosophy and economic policies emphasised deregulation, particularly of the financial sector, flexible labour markets, and the selling off and closing down of state owned companies and withdrawing subsidy to others. Amid a recession and high unemployment, Thatcher’s popularity declined, though economic recovery and the 1982 Falklands War brought a resurgence of support and she was re-elected in 1983. She took a hard line against trade unions, survived the Brighton hotel bombing assassination attempt and opposed the Soviet Union (her tough-talking rhetoric gained her the nickname the “Iron Lady”); she was re-elected for an unprecedented third term in 1987. The following years would prove difficult, as her Poll tax plan was largely unpopular, and her views regarding the European Community were not shared by others in her Cabinet. She resigned as Prime Minister in November 1990 after Michael Heseltine’s challenge to her leadership of the Conservative Party.

Thatcher’s tenure as Prime Minister was the longest since that of Lord Salisbury and the longest continuous period in office since Lord Liverpool in the early 19th century. She was the first woman to lead a major political party in the United Kingdom, and the first of only four women to hold any of the four great offices of state. She holds a life peerage as Baroness Thatcher, of Kesteven in the County of Lincolnshire, which entitles her to sit in the House of Lords.

On this Day In History November 21

Cross posted from The Stars Hollow Gazette

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.

November 21 is the 325th day of the year (326th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. There are 40 days remaining until the end of the year.

On this day in 1934, Ella Fitzgerald wins Amateur Night at Harlem’s Apollo Theater. A young and gangly would-be dancer took to the stage of Harlem’s Apollo Theater to participate in a harrowing tradition known as Amateur Night. Finding herself onstage as a result of pure chance after her name was drawn out of a hat, the aspiring dancer spontaneously decided to turn singer instead-a change of heart that would prove momentous not only for herself personally, but also for the future course of American popular music. The performer in question was a teenaged Ella Fitzgerald, whose decision to sing rather than dance on this day in 1934 set her on a course toward becoming a musical legend. It also led her to victory at Amateur Night at the Apollo, a weekly event that was then just a little more than a year old but still thrives today

Ella Jane Fitzgerald (April 25, 1917 – June 15, 1996), also known as the “First Lady of Song” and “Lady Ella,” was an American jazz and song vocalist. With a vocal range spanning three octaves (Db3 to Db6), she was noted for her purity of tone, impeccable diction, phrasing and intonation, and a “horn-like” improvisational ability, particularly in her scat singing.

She is considered to be a notable interpreter of the Great American Songbook. Over a recording career that lasted 59 years, she was the winner of 14 Grammy Awards and was awarded the National Medal of Art by Ronald Reagan and the Presidential Medal of Freedom by George H. W. Bush.

What’s Cooking: Autumn Succotash, Not Your Usual Suspect

Cross posted from The Stars Hollow Gazette

OK. We have covered the Main Event, The Turkey, and two ways you can cook him (or her, if you get a hen), baked or fried so that he’s not just very pretty but very tasty. And we have written about two of the favorite side dishes, dressing , the unstuffed, and sweet potatoes with a new kick, as well as a couple of twists on traditional desserts, pumpkin and meatless mince.

It’s now time to discuss the least, popular dish on the table, vegetables. At our house, my son-in-law has his favorite green been casserole with those crunchy onion crumbles on top, which is not on the top of my list for flavor. This year a Trader Joe’s opened near us and the s-i-l has found a new variation on his favorite dish, which he promises, I’ll like. I will let you know.

My aunt loves succotash but nobody else like the tasteless, gritty, mushy lima beans. When I was a kid that would be the only thing left on my plate. Last year, when she came up for a surprise visit, my daughter, her favorite great niece (and her only one), found a variation on the old standard that our dear aunt loved and I ate.

The recipe calls for edamame. For those of you who aren’t familiar with edamame (the web site is cute) is an immature soy bean that has been harvested before it starts to harden:

The word Edamame means “Beans on Branches,” and it grows in clusters on bushy branches. To retain the freshness and its natural flavor, it is parboiled and quick-frozen. In East Asia, the soybean has been used for over two thousand years as a major source of protein. Edamame is consumed as a snack, a vegetable dish, used in soups or processed into sweets. As a snack, the pods are lightly boiled in salted water, and then the seeds are squeezed directly from the pods into the mouth with the fingers.

Like all soy beans, edamame are a nutritional power house containing carbohydrates, protein, dietary fiber, omega-3 fatty acids and micronutrients, particularly folic acid, manganese and vitamin K. The edamame beans contain higher levels of abscisic acid (a plant hormone), sucrose, and protein than other types of soybean, and may contain carotenoids, which acts as an anti-oxident.

All right enough with the educational blather. You can find edamame in the frozen section of most large supermarkets, like Stop ‘n Shop, ShopRite, etc. The s-i-l found then in Trader Joe’s frozen section already pealed. Woo-hoo! Less work.

Autumn Succotash


  2 slices thick-cut bacon (about 2 ounces), chopped

   1 shallot, finely chopped

   2 cups fresh edamame or thawed frozen edamame or one 10-ounce package frozen baby lima beans, thawed

   1 pound frozen corn kernels, thawed

   1/4 cup water

   1/4 cup chopped fresh Italian parsley


Heat heavy large skillet over medium-high heat. Add bacon and sauté until fat begins to render, about 1 minute. Add shallot and sauté until bacon and shallot begin to brown, about 3 minutes. Add edamame, corn, and 1/4 cup water and cook until vegetables are tender, about 5 minutes. Transfer to bowl and sprinkle with parsley.

Muse in the Morning

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Muse in the Morning

Time for a break from poetry…in order to create some art.

Life is to be lived. If you have to support yourself, you had bloody well better find some way that is going to be interesting. And you don’t do that by sitting around.

–Katharine Hepburn


Late Night Karaoke

Pique the Geek 20111120: The Neurochemistry of Love

The subject of love has been investigated by philosophers, writers, dreamers, theologists, and a whole host of others throughout the ages.  With the advent of the “science” of psychology, the question was even further muddled.  Please do not get me wrong, I have the utmost respect for ethical psychologists, but some of the hypotheses that the likes of Freud proposed were just plain wrong and just confused the issue.

We are just beginning now to solve some of the puzzle, and it turns out that there is quite a lot of biochemistry (and not just neurochemistry) that is involved.  With modern chemical analytical techniques, precise measurements of various neurotransmitters can be made, and with functional magnetic resonance imagining (fMRI) actual images of the human brain in action can be had.

Using a combination of observations about how people behave during different stages of love and some results from these methods, let us take a look about how love works, how it can be one of the most exhilarating experiences that is, and how it can be so terribly hurtful when it goes wrong.  Are you ready?

The Goldman Sachs Project to take over the world

  Sometimes a person or organization becomes so powerful and Evil that they appear cartoonish.

  It might seem impossible to find a similar character outside of a James Bond movie. After all, who really wants to take over the world and has a plan to do it, right?

  So attributing truly Evil intentions to a public organization, and voicing those concerns, automatically puts one into the land of tinfoil-hat, konspiracy lunatics.

  And yet there is an ongoing theft taking place in global finance on such a scale that is threatening the concept of democracy itself, and Goldman Sachs has their fingerprints all over the crime scene.

  At what point do we suspend our disbelief and embrace reality? These guys really are Evil.

“We are doing God’s work.”

 – Lloyd Blankfein, CEO Goldman Sachs

  The Independent had a great graphic recently that displayed the New Reality in Europe.

  As the financial crisis has deepened in Europe, Goldman Sachs has taken over the halls of power.