April 27, 2013 archive

On This Day In History April 27

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.

April 27 is the 117th day of the year (118th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. There are 248 days remaining until the end of the year.

On this day in 1805, Naval Agent to the Barbary States, William Eaton, the former consul to Tunis, led an small expeditionary force of Marines, commanded by First Lieutenant Presley O’Bannon, and Berber mercenaries from Alexandria, across 500 miles to the port of Derna in Tripoli. Supported by US Naval gunfire, the port was captured by the end of the day, overthrowing Yusuf Karamanli, the ruling pasha of Tripoli, who had seized power from his brother, Hamet Karamanli, a pasha who was sympathetic to the United States.

Lt. O’Bannon raised the US flag over the port, the first time the US flag had flown over a foreign battlefield. He had performed so valiantly that newly restored Pasha Hamet Karamanli presented him with an elaborately designed sword that now serves as the pattern for the swords carried by Marine officers. The words “To the shores of Tripoli” in the Marine Corps official song commemorate the battle.





Late Night Karaoke

Random Japan

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A Japanese man who traveled to Malaysia to marry a woman he met over the internet was rescued by police after being kidnapped by three Nigerians at the airport.

Officials in Hyogo suspended a prefectural employee for three months for “stuffing his backpack full of food at an all-you-can-eat buffet and trying to take it home.”

The Supreme Court upheld a lower court’s decision ordering a deadbeat mom to pay ¥50,000 to her ex-husband for “each time she denied him access to their daughter.”

Police in Kawasaki arrested a 19-year-old man for murdering his mother after finding “a head, a left arm and other body parts” in the apartment the two shared.

From Spies to Assassins: The CIA Since 9/11

Cross posted at The Stars Hollow Gazette

The original mission of the Central Intelligence Agency was to provide national security intelligence assessment to senior United States policymakers. The National Security Act of 1947 established the CIA, affording it “no police or law enforcement functions, either at home or abroad“.

The primary function of the CIA is to collect information about foreign governments, corporations, and individuals, and to advise public policymakers, but it does conduct emergency tactical operations and carries out covert operations, and exerts foreign political influence through its tactical divisions, such as the Special Activities Division.

There has been considerable criticism of the CIA relating to: security and counterintelligence failures, failures in intelligence analysis, human rights concerns, external investigations and document releases, influencing public opinion and law enforcement, drug trafficking, and lying to Congress.

The Way of the Knife: NYT’s Mark Mazzetti on the CIA’s Post-9/11 Move from Spying to Assassinations

In his new book, “The Way of the Knife: The CIA, a Secret Army, and a War at the Ends of the Earth,” Pulitzer Prize-winning New York Times reporter Mark Mazzetti tracks the transformation of the CIA and U.S. special operations forces into man-hunting and killing machines in the world’s dark spaces: the new American way of war. The book’s revelations include disclosing that the Pakistani government agreed to allow the drone attacks in return for the CIA’s assassination of Pakistani militant Nek Muhammad, who was not even a target of the United States. Mazzetti’s reporting on the violence in Pakistan and Afghanistan – and Washington’s response – won him a Pulitzer Prize in 2009. The year before, he was a Pulitzer finalist for his reporting on the CIA’s detention and interrogation program. [includes rush transcript]

Health and Fitness News

Welcome to the Health and Fitness News, a weekly diary which is cross-posted from The Stars Hollow Gazette. It is 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.

Rice, No Bowl Needed

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I’ve always been a big promoter of brown rice, and I was happily testing recipes last week for short-, medium- and long-grain varieties when I remembered that there had been reports in the past year about dangerous arsenic levels in rice, particularly in brown rice. I thought about shelving the recipe tests and choosing another subject for this week’s Recipes for Health, but then I decided to take a closer look at the reports to see if there was a way to make rice viable for health-conscious rice lovers.

The study and report, both by Consumer Reports, are disturbing. It is clear that the levels of inorganic arsenic in rice and rice products are high, and that we and especially children, babies and pregnant women should limit our intake of rice and rice products such as cereals, rice cakes and rice beverages. Rice cereal for babies should not be the go-to baby food that it has been for years.

The better news is that the extensive testing by the Consumers Union of many brands of rice and rice products shows that some products are considerably lower in arsenic than others.

~Martha Rose Shulman~

Beet Greens and Rice Gratin

This Mediterranean-style dish is delicious hot or cold.

Beet Green, Rice and Ricotta Blinis

These are chunkier than pancakes because of the rice, but they are more cake than fritter.

Chard Leaves Stuffed With Rice and Herbs

The chard stems are not wasted, adding texture to the flavorful filling for these rolls.

Frittata With Brown Rice, Peas and Pea Shoots

The nutty rice makes this seasonal frittata especially substantial.

Stir-Fried Brown Rice With Kale or Frizzy Mustard Greens and Tofu

This recipe showcases some unusual greens, but plain kale makes a fine substitute.

Privacy in Idaho

Idaho’s transportation department has made the surprising decision (because this is, after all, Idaho) to amend its policy on driver’s licenses to allow transgender people to change the sex designation on their licenses without confirmation from a surgeon that they have had sex reassignment surgery.

The ACLU of Idaho had expressed concern in support of two transgender Idaho residents who had changed the sex designation to match their gender identities only to have the state turn around and cancel their licenses when it was realized that proof of surgery had not been provided.  ACLU of Idaho Executive Director Monica Hopkins said the state “did the right thing in updating its policy.”

From our standpoint, [the] surgical reassignment is not necessary to operate a motor vehicle on the highway.