October 1, 2012 archive


Johnson: Presidential Politics Trumps Jets’ Fate

By LYNN ZINSER, The New York Times

October 1, 2012, 2:34 pm

(Jets owner Woody) Johnson, in a statement likely to irk Jets fans unhappy with the team’s 2-2 start, said: “Well, I think so you always have to put country first, so I think it’s very, very important, not only for us but for particularly our kids and grandkids, that this election come off with Mitt Romney and Ryan as president and vice president.”

In that statement, Johnson stepped back from throwing more fuel on a debate he has played a role in fanning in the past. While at the Republican National Convention, Johnson said in an interview with CNBC that, “I think you can never have too much Tebow,” despite Sanchez being acknowledged as the starter and the team trying to keep a quarterback controversy from breaking out with every Sanchez incompletion.

Colin Kaepernick of 49ers beats Jets’ Tim Tebow at his own game

By Matt Wilhalme, Los Angeles Times

October 1, 2012, 1:02 p.m.

Colin Kaepernick, the San Francisco 49ers backup quarterback, had the best game of his career in the team’s 34-0 blowout of the Jets, and looked more like how New York Jets fans might have envisioned Tim Tebow would be after their team traded with the Denver Broncos for him.

On five carries he rushed for 50 yards and scored on a 7-yard touchdown run from the wildcat in what would be the game-winning score in the second quarter.

Kaepernick’s only pass attempt of the day was an incompletion.

Tebow, on the other hand, connected with Dedrick Epps for a 9-yard pass — his first completion of the season — who subsequently fumbled the ball to the 49ers.

Tebow’s two rushing attempts of the day went for a combined total of 0 yards.


Direct Action: First Person- Keystone Tar Sands

Tar Sands Blockade: Why are they so frightened of us? (#NoKXL)

By: Benjamin Franklin, Firedog Lake

Monday October 1, 2012 8:49 am

When I remember what happened, I remember the beauty first. The blue sky, the soaring hawk, the oak sapling mangled by the backhoe we’d stopped. That oak was very inspirational to us as we awaited our fate. By surviving TransCanada’s clear-cutting, it symbolized our own plans to weather the forces marshalled against us.

It was Tuesday, September the 25th. I was anchored to the back of heavy machinery with someone I’d just met. We’d both travelled to East Texas to help derail TransCanada’s massive tar sands pipeline. Climate change is a global problem, but this terribly destructive project was coming right to our backyard; how could I sit idly by?

It started with the arrival of TransCanada’s senior supervisor. The regular employees became scarce as the supervisor called for a huddle with the police. The huddle broke and a phalanx of officers marched on us to announce that we were under arrest. Failing to unlock immediately was resisting, which would result in additional charges and justify the officers’ use of “pain compliance.” I suppose TransCanada had grown tired of waiting.

They started like schoolyard bullies – taunting us while twisting my arm behind me, and jumping on my back to put me in a choke hold. The lieutenant asked, “Is your goal just to go to jail? You can go to jail without the pain; it’s your stubbornness that’s making us do this.” I had to stop myself from replying, “I wish this cup would pass me by.” I didn’t say it because I was sure they would misinterpret it as blasphemously casting myself as Jesus, but I meant it; I wished there was another way to accomplish our goals. I wasn’t looking forward to what my time with the ACLU led me to expect they would do to us. But I don’t believe in giving in to terrorism; to follow one’s moral compass in spite of extreme challenges is the way we move forward.

A taser is sold as a weapon-tool for halting controlled motion: to make someone stop. While the torture device was on, I was able to remain standing and silent, but the pain was intense. I could not have gathered the concentration required to detach the carabiner even if the pipe hadn’t twisted it out of my grasp.

I had a few seconds to clear my head, then he switched to my upper left arm – the arm where they had handcuffed me. It’s hard to describe. The world was pain, and I repeated Valerie’s quote from V for Vendetta to myself as I heard the lieutenant speculate to the TransCanada supervisor that my fat was insulating me, making it harder for the taser to “bite into the meat,” which is why it wasn’t hurting me as much as they were hoping. The pain was fluid, and by the fifth second, my left pectoral muscle was tingling. But like all things, it passed. The pain, like the fear, washed through. The taunting, however, continued.

The officers informed us that I was too “mule-headed” to be chivalrous and spare Rain pain I had just experienced. When they moved on to torture Rain, the young Wood County deputy who had been selected to taser her was reluctant. He asked if he really had to; he interrupted his count to ask if she was sure she wouldn’t let go.

As soon as we were fully in custody, the TransCanada supervisor thanked the Wood County lieutenant for “a job well done.” The lieutenant’s reply? “If this happens again, we’ll just skip to using pepper spray and tasing in the first 10 minutes.”

TransCanada Urges Texas Police to Use "Aggressive Pain Compliance Tactics&quot on Keystone XL Blockaders

By: Jane Hamsher, Firedog Lake

Wednesday September 26, 2012 1:23 pm

I spoke with Sprague today about the use of physical force against two protesters, Shannon Bebe and Benjamin Franklin, who handcuffed themselves to equipment being used to cut down trees so that the southern leg of the Keystone XL Pipeline could be built.

According to Sprague, Bebe and Franklin began their peaceful protest yesterday at 10:30 am, along with several observers.  Sprague indicated that the group’s interactions with the police had been amicable and peaceful until TransCandada representatives showed up and encouraged the police to “run off” the observers.

Once there were no cameras in sight, Sprague says that TransCanada officials huddled with police.  Shortly thereafter, the police commenced putting Bebe and Franklin in stress positions by bending their free arms backwards as far as possible and twisting their handcuffed hands backwards, and holding them there for 10 minutes.

Police then tasered both Bebe and Franklin.  Franklin was tased a second time, and the two relented when police threatened to keep tasering them until they did so.  Sprague said that because of a heart condition, one of the protesters feared for their life.  Franklin described the pain as “immense and almost physically unbearable.”

There is no way to classify the use of such tactics against people who cannot defend themselves other than torture.  Which the protesters indicate was carried out, by the police, and the specific request of TransCanada.

I do not have the words to fully express my admiration for what Franklin and Bebe were willing to do in order to stop this pipeline from being (literally) railroaded through the country, against the will of its citizens – especially those whose lands are being seized.  They are true heroes and their courage and conviction are inspirational.

Keystone XL Body Blockaders Need Help

By: Jane Hamsher, Firedog Lake

Wednesday September 26, 2012 7:49 am

Activists climbed 80 feet to set up “Tree Village” and locked themselves to critical machinery directly in the path of the planned oil pipeline. They have pledged to stay there until construction has stopped once and for all, but living in a tree or chained to machinery, exposed to the elements, is no easy task.

Work on the Keystone XL pipeline can’t continue until the Blockaders have been removed, so Firedoglake is sending supplies to help demonstrators stay in the way for as long as possible.

TransCanada Tarsands Blockade Call Reports

By: Jane Hamsher, Firedog Lake

Thursday September 27, 2012 12:16 pm

Today we launched calls into TransCanada’s offices protesting the treatment of Tarsands Blockade activists, who report they were tortured by police after a huddle with TransCanda representatives.

You can sign the petition demanding TransCanada CEO Russell Girling denounce the torture of the Keystone XL Blockaders.

Then call TransCanada’s corporate offices to demand immediate action.

On This Day In History October 1

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.

October 1 is the 274th day of the year(275th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. There are 91 days remaining until the end of the year.

On this day in 1946, 12 high-ranking Nazis are sentenced to death by the International War Crimes Tribunal in Nuremberg. Among those condemned to death by hanging were Joachim von Ribbentrop, Nazi minister of foreign affairs; Hermann Goering, founder of the Gestapo and chief of the German air force; and Wilhelm Frick, minister of the interior. Seven others, including Rudolf Hess, Adolf Hitler’s former deputy, were given prison sentences ranging from 10 years to life. Three others were acquitted.

The Nuremberg Trials were a series of military, held by the main victorious Allied forces of World War II, most notable for the prosecution of prominent members of the political, military, and economic leadership of the defeated Nazi Germany. The trials were held in the city of Nuremberg, Bavaria, Germany, in 1945-46, at the Palace of Justice. The first and best known of these trials was the Trial of the Major War Criminals before the International Military Tribunal (IMT), which tried 22 of the most important captured leaders of Nazi Germany. It was held from November 20, 1945 to October 1, 1946. The second set of trials of lesser war criminals was conducted under Control Council Law No. 10 at the US Nuremberg Military Tribunals (NMT); among them included the Doctors’ Trial and the Judges’ Trial.

The Main Trial

The International Military Tribunal was opened on October 18, 1945, in the Palace of Justice in Nuremberg. The first session was presided over by the Soviet judge, Nikitchenko. The prosecution entered indictments against 24 major war criminals and six criminal organizations – the leadership of the Nazi party, the Schutzstaffel (SS) and Sicherheitsdienst (SD), the Gestapo, the Sturmabteilung (SA) and the “General Staff and High Command,” comprising several categories of senior military officers.

The indictments were for:

  1. Participation in a common plan or conspiracy for the accomplishment of a crime against peace

  2. Planning, initiating and waging wars of aggression and other crimes against peace

  3. War crimes

  4. Crimes against humanity


The Loyal Order of Alley Cats Mouse and Chowder Club!  Originally posted June 7, 2011.

Bell Hoppy

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Art Glass 30

What’s Cooking: Roast Pork

Cross posted from The Stars Hollow Gazette

One of the mainstays of many a Sunday dinner is Roast Pork. A favorite is one crusted with garlic and sprigs of rosemary and sage, served with roasted potatoes and carrots. Recent news that because of this Summer’s drought and the rising cost of corn feed, pork will initially be plentiful and inexpensive but the price will rise later. For those lucky enough to have a large freezer, buying a whole pork loin and other cuts, cutting the loin into 2 1/2 to 3 pound roasts and freezing would be an economical idea.

I’ve used this recipe for Roast Pork many times, preparing it both indoors and out on the grill over indirect heat. Hickory charcoal imparts a special flavor to pork. I also like to start the roasting at a high heat, 425ºF, for about 30 minutes to sear in the juices and impart a golden color to the roast.

Roast Pork Loin with Garlic, Rosemary and Sage

Roast PorkEquipment:

   Temperature probe

   Butcher’s twine

   13 x 9 x 2-inch roasting pan

   Aluminum foil


   4 large garlic cloves, sliced thin

   4 sprigs fresh rosemary

   4 sprigs fresh sage

     Vegetable oil, preferably canola

   1/2 teaspoons coarse salt, Kosher is good

       ground black pepper

   1 2 1/2 to 3 pound boneless pork loin roast, well trimmed


Preheat oven to 425°F. Line 13 x 9 x 2-inch roasting pan with foil.

Pat the roast dry with paper towels. Cut 4 to 6 lengths of Butcher”s twine, long enough to tie around the roast, excess twine can be trimmed, so better too long than too short. Space the ties under the roast but don’t tie them yet. Rub the roast with about a table spoon of vegetable oil. Sprinkle lightly with the salt and pepper. Place the garlic slices over the top of the roast, then lay the sage and rosemary sprigs over the garlic. Carefully tie it all into place, as snug as possible.

Place the roast in the foil lined pan and into the oven. Roast at 425°F for 30 minutes, then reduce oven temperature to 350ºF. Roast until thermometer inserted into center of pork registers 155°F, about 45 to 55 minutes longer. Remove from oven, tent with foil and let stand 10 minutes before slicing.

Serves 6 to 8, or 4 with leftovers for sandwiches.

To make this a one pot meal add red skinned potatoes and carrots to the pan with the roast.

Cut 4 medium potatoes and 4 carrots into 1 1/2 inch pieces tossed with a little vegetable oil, chopped garlic, rosemary, sage, salt and pepper. Add to the pan after temperature after the first 30 minutes of cooking. Or, place in a separate foil lined pan and roast during the last 45 to 55 minutes.

The roast can be served with some of extra Calvados Applesauce that was made for the Apple Tart.

Is LIBOR Fixable?

Cross posted from The Stars Hollow Gazette

Some regulators think LIBOR, the benchmark for short term interest rates that is fixed by a group of bankers in London, can be fixed. Others feel it is irreparably damaged and was a myth from the start.

Libor Rate ‘Needs A Complete Overhaul,’ But Not To Be Scrapped, British Officials Say

Britain’s top financial watchdog delivered a 10-point plan to fix Libor but stopped short of scrapping the benchmark interest rate in a much-awaited reform of a system plagued by scandal.

“The system is broken and needs a complete overhaul,” said Martin Wheatley, head of the Financial Services Authority (FSA).

Wheatley acknowledged problems with London interbank offered rates, but said Libor is so deeply entrenched in the financial system that it cannot be easily replaced. [..]


Multiple banks have been accused of trying to manipulate Libor, a series of rates set daily in London. Barclays in June agreed to pay $453 million to U.S. and British authorities to settle allegations that it tried to move Libor to help its trading positions.

Wheatley’s programme for reform includes auditing banks that contribute data used to calculate the rates, to ensure they are not submitting false rates to benefit trading positions. [..]


Rates that are infrequently referenced in trades, such as Australian and Canadian dollar rates, will be phased out, Wheatley said. Maturities that are infrequently used, such as four, five, seven, eight, 10 and 11 months, will also be ended.

The reductions will shrink the current number of Libor rates set daily to 20 from 150. Rates that are rarely traded are easier to manipulate.

More banks will be required to submit their borrowing rates. [..]

The Myth of Fixing the Libor

There were two implicit assumptions in Libor. One was that banks were virtually risk-free, or at least that their risk was small and would not vary much over time. The other was that there was a way to actually calculate what the rate was. Both assumptions turned out to be wrong.

Libor rates are calculated each day by the British Bankers’ Association, a trade group that makes good money from licensing the use of Libor rates. [..]

The scandal made clear that those reports were faked before and during the financial crisis by at least some of the banks. But what is not as widely appreciated is that there is substantial evidence that the deception goes on. Banks continue to report figures that strain credulity, both in their level and in their lack of volatility from day to day or week to week. [..]

The bank regulators believed the fiction. Banks that owned AAA-rated floating rate assets needed to keep virtually no reserves on hand to back them.

We all know what happened. It turned out that risks were far greater than had been realized. Banks failed or were bailed out. Investors in AAA securities suffered major losses.

Libor was manipulated by bankers long before the financial crisis, and it is still based on calculations that have little basis in reality. Mr. Wheatley assures us that more regulation can deal with conflicts of interest. There will, he promises, be a “clear code of conduct” and “clear rules,” enforced by a regulator with “extensive powers.”

Pollyanna lives.

Some folks just cling to their myths.

Pique the Geek 20120930: Sodium — You Can Not Get Away from It

Sodium, element number 11, is one of the most common elements in the crust of the earth.  Except for school laboratory demonstrations, few people have ever seen elemental (metallic) sodium because it is so reactive and actually has very limited consumer uses (that would be about zero consumer uses).

We have hinted at the concept of periodicity previously, like last week when we saw how similar the chemical behavior of helium and neon are.  The similarities betwixt hydrogen and lithium are much less marked than those betwixt lithium and sodium, mostly due to the extreme low mass of hydrogen, making quantum effects more pronounced.  Thus, sodium is the second alkali metal after lithium even though hydrogen is in the same column in the periodic table.

In other words, the two first row elements, hydrogen and helium, are aberrant because of their low masses AND because they have only the K electron shell in the ground state AND as a corollary, only the 1s orbital that is filled with only two electrons.  Starting with the second row, the L shell begins to be filled and it contains, in addition to the 1s orbital, a 2s and three 2p orbitals.  Row three elements, sodium being the first of which, also contain in addition to those orbitals, a 3s and three 3p orbitals, making them more like the second row than the second is to the first row.