September 14, 2013 archive


On This Day In History September 14

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.

September 14 is the 257th day of the year (258th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. There are 108 days remaining until the end of the year.

On this Day in 1901, U.S. President William McKinley dies after being shot by a deranged anarchist during the Pan-American Exposition in Buffalo, New York.

President and Mrs. McKinley attended the Pan-American Exposition in Buffalo, New York. He delivered a speech about his positions on tariffs and foreign trade on September 5, 1901. The following morning, McKinley visited Niagara Falls before returning to the Exposition. That afternoon McKinley had an engagement to greet the public at the Temple of Music. Standing in line, Leon Frank Czolgosz waited with a pistol in his right hand concealed by a handkerchief. At 4:07 p.m. Czolgosz fired twice at the president. The first bullet grazed the president’s shoulder. The second, however, went through McKinley’s stomach, pancreas, and kidney, and finally lodged in the muscles of his back. The president whispered to his secretary, George Cortelyou  “My wife, Cortelyou, be careful how you tell her, oh be careful.” Czolgosz would have fired again, but he was struck by a bystander and then subdued by an enraged crowd. The wounded McKinley even called out “Boys! Don’t let them hurt him!” because the angry crowd beat Czolgosz so severely it looked as if they might kill him on the spot.

One bullet was easily found and extracted, but doctors were unable to locate the second bullet. It was feared that the search for the bullet might cause more harm than good. In addition, McKinley appeared to be recovering, so doctors decided to leave the bullet where it was.

The newly developed x-ray machine was displayed at the fair, but doctors were reluctant to use it on McKinley to search for the bullet because they did not know what side effects it might have on him. The operating room at the exposition’s emergency hospital did not have any electric lighting, even though the exteriors of many of the buildings at the extravagant exposition were covered with thousands of light bulbs. The surgeons were unable to operate by candlelight because of the danger created by the flammable ether used to keep the president unconscious, so doctors were forced to use pans instead to reflect sunlight onto the operating table while they treated McKinley’s wounds.

McKinley’s doctors believed he would recover, and the President convalesced for more than a week in Buffalo at the home of the exposition’s director. On the morning of September 12, he felt strong enough to receive his first food orally since the shooting-toast and a small cup of coffee. However, by afternoon he began to experience discomfort and his condition rapidly worsened. McKinley began to go into shock. At 2:15 a.m. on September 14, 1901, eight days after he was shot, he died from gangrene surrounding his wounds. He was 58. His last words were “It is God’s way; His will be done, not ours.” He was originally buried in West Lawn Cemetery in Canton, Ohio, in the receiving vault. His remains were later reinterred in the McKinley Memorial, also in Canton.

Czolgosz was tried and found guilty of murder, and was executed by electric chair at Auburn Prison on October 29, 1901.

Late Night Karaoke

Random Japan

JR Kyushu shows off new luxury train

Kyushu Railway Co. on Friday unveiled the ¥3 billion Seven Star luxury sleeper train ahead of its inaugural run on Oct. 15.

The event, held at a rolling stock factory in Kitakyushu, followed the signing a day earlier of a charter service contract with a Hong Kong travel company, the first overseas client for the new train, which boasts stylized interior pieces and furnishings.

JR Kyushu allowed the media to see the first three of the seven cars of what it calls the nation’s first cruise train. It will depart from, and terminate at, Hakata Station in Fukuoka, taking passengers through scenic spots in Kyushu as part of a one-night, two-day package, or a three-night, four-day package.

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Measles and the Truth about Vaccines

Cross posted from The Stars Hollow Gazette

Vaccinations are perhaps the greatest discovery in modern medicine. Over the one hundred plus years they have prevented the spread of deadly deadly diseases caused by bacteria and virus, and, as in the case of smallpox completely eradicating the disease. Polio, too, is on the verge of being eliminated, except for pockets of resistance in some areas that are plagued by the ignorance of fanatic religiosity and politics.

Measles is a dangerous disease that is completely preventable with a vaccination. It is not a disease to be “screwed around with” as Phil Plait of Slate’s Bad Astronomy blog asserts:

Out of 1,000 people who contract it, one or two will die, and many more will require hospitalization. In general, those at risk are seniors and infants too young to be vaccinated. Approximately 100,000 children a year worldwide die of measles. That’s more than the entire population of my hometown of Boulder, Colo. Imagine an entire city of children dying from a preventable disease, and perhaps you can understand why I’m so vocal about this.

The vaccine for measles is safe. Phil debunks the misinformation and myths about the Measles/Mumps/Rubella vaccine (MMR) and other vaccines at his other blog AntiAntiVax: The Truth About The Evils Of Vaccination

  • Some in the anti-vax movement claim that the MMR has/had mercury in it. However, the MMR vaccine does not and never has had any mercury in it.
  • The basis of the “MMR vaccine causes autism” argument is a flawed study (retracted by The Lancet on February 2, 2010) by Andrew Wakefield, who had several ethics breaches, including failure to disclose financial compensation from a lawyer representing families claiming MMR cause their children’s autism, failure to disclose financial interests in patents for MMR alternatives, failure to include data which contradicted his conclusions, use of contaminated samples to support his conclusions.
  • A 2009 study, titled “Lack of association between measles-mumps-rubella vaccination and autism in children: a case control study” examined whether there was a relationship between MMR and autism and concluded that there was no association.
  • Independent studies trying to replicate Wakefield’s results have come up negative. To date, no properly controlled study has shown a causal link between vaccines and autism.
  • Many opponents of the MMR will claim that the diseases prevented are mild and not dangerous.  This is not the case, as can be seen in numerous outbreaks around the world.  Measles can lead to encephalitis (swelling of the brain) in about 1 of every 1,000 individuals, possibly leading to death.  Mumps can lead to sterility in adult men, swollen ovaries or breasts in adult women and miscarriage in pregnant women, as well as encephalitis.  Rubella (German measles) can cause encephalitis, as well as birth defects if contracted by a pregnant woman.  There is also some evidence to suggest that infection with rubella while pregnant is the cause of some cases of autism.


Yet there is still resistance to vaccinations, even here in the US, where there is an anti-vaccination movement led mostly by religious fundamentalists and faith healers.

Measles Outbreak Hits Texas Church That Preached Against Vaccines

A Texas megachurch known for preaching against the use of vaccines has been hit by an outbreak of measles, a highly contagious virus for which there is no known cure. Measles can be prevented by vaccination.

So far, at least 16 people have contracted measles, all of whom are connected to Eagle Mountain International Church in Newark, Texas. Per USA Today, the church’s senior pastor, Terri Pearsons, has been critical of measles vaccinations in the past.

In a segment on his MSNBC show All In, host Chris Hayes discusses the outbreak, the larger culture of information, and misinformation around vaccinations, as well as, the anti-vaccination crowd’s impact on vaccination culture, with Arthur Caplan, Professor of Bioethics and Director of the Division of Medical Ethics at New York University and  Seth Mnookin, author of the book “The Panic Virus: A True Story of Medicine, Science, and Fear.”

See your doctor or health clinic. Vaccinations are free under the 2010 Affordable Care act. Get you and your family vaccinated.

More Poison Please

Monsanto Wins Case Of Seed Patents; Planting Your Own Legally Purchased & Grown Seeds Can Be Infringing

by Mike Masnick, Tech Dirt

Mon, May 13th 2013 12:49pm

(T)he key things here. Bowman did not break any license agreement over seeds that he bought. He also legally purchased other seeds that had been legally provided to grain elevators to be sold. All he did was plant those legally purchased seeds, for which he was not violating any license agreement, and then harvest and replant the seeds that came from them. And this, apparently, is illegal under our patent system.

Given the fire power that came out in support of Monsanto — including the federal government — it shouldn’t come as a huge surprise that the Supreme Court just gave a complete and total victory to Monsanto. The key issue was whether or not this was a case of “patent exhaustion.” There was a key case a few years ago that mostly said that once a patent holder sells a product, the patent is “exhausted” so that the patent holder can’t demand licensing fees up and down the supply chain. However, they distinguish this case by saying that this is different because it’s a “copy” of the legally purchased seed. I could see how that would make sense if we were talking about someone building a copy of a machine in a garage or something, but this is a seed. Copying itself is what seeds do. That’s kind of their entire purpose.

Yet, throughout the decision, the court (with a decision written by Justice Kagan) acts as if Bowman just built a replica. But that ignores the fact that this is nature we’re talking about seeds that replicate themselves naturally, because that’s what seeds do. The court has no problem with this, but it seems somewhat ridiculous that someone can legally buy something, have it do what it naturally does (and has done for nearly all of history) and then be told that violates a patent. When addressing Bowman’s point concerning the fact that seeds by nature, replicate themselves, they basically brush that aside by noting that Bowman then harvested them. As if he’s supposed to ignore what’s happening?

Another thing to note is that the bio-engineering in question is the so-called “Roundup Ready” gene that renders plants immune to one of Monsanto’s main products, the herbicide “Roundup”.  You can decide for yourself how much you like poison saturated produce.

People have been lied to so many times…

Rania Masri and Chris Hedges On Obama’s Syria Address


Chris Hedges and Rania Masri On What the Future May Hold For Syria


Exclusive: Interview with Congressman Grayson on Syria


Curveball II

Kerry And McCain’s Source For Moderate Syrian Rebel Claim Fired For Fraud

By: DSWright, Firedog Lake

Wednesday September 11, 2013 10:39 am

The parallels to the run up to the Iraq War just keep coming. A key source for both Secretary of State John Kerry and Senator John McCain on the “moderate” rebels in Syria, Elizabeth O’Bagy, has been fired for fraud. Somewhere Curveball is smiling.

But not just lying on her resume about her qualifications but also about her connections to said “moderate” rebels. Her WSJ piece failed to make the disclosure that she worked and was essentially lobbying for the Syrian rebels.

If you needed yet another reason to back off this aggressive war here it is – the opposition is heavily influenced by Al Qaeda and those telling you different have been caught lying. Although it could be reasonably argued the lack of a coherent justification for American military involvement should also be considered.

The more we learn about the claims being made to justify this war the more unconvincing it is.

WSJ op-ed writer Elizabeth O’Bagy fired for resume lie


9/11/13 12:49 PM EDT

The Syria researcher whose Wall Street Journal op-ed piece was cited by Secretary of State John Kerry and Sen. John McCain during congressional hearings about the use of force has been fired from the Institute for the Study of War for lying about having a Ph.D., the group announced on Wednesday.

“The Institute for the Study of War has learned and confirmed that, contrary to her representations, Ms. Elizabeth O’Bagy does not in fact have a Ph.D. degree from Georgetown University,” the institute said in a statement. “ISW has accordingly terminated Ms. O’Bagy’s employment, effective immediately.”

O’Bagy’s op-ed piece for the Journal, “On the Front Lines of Syria’s Civil War,” was cited by both Kerry and McCain last week. McCain read from the piece last Tuesday to Kerry, calling it “an important op-ed by Dr. Elizabeth O’Bagy.” The next day, Kerry also brought up the piece before a House Foreign Affairs Committee hearing and described it as a “very interesting article” and recommended that members read it.

But the piece had also come under fire for misrepresenting her affiliations. Originally the op-ed only listed O’Bagy, 26, as only “a senior analyst” at the ISW, later adding a clarification that disclosed her connection to a Syrian rebel advocacy group.

“In addition to her role at the Institute for the Study of War, Ms. O’Bagy is affiliated with the Syrian Emergency Task Force, a nonprofit operating as a 501(c)(3) pending IRS approval that subcontracts with the U.S. and British governments to provide aid to the Syrian opposition,” the WSJ added in its clarification.

O’Bagy, who has traveled widely with rebel forces in Syria, had been a senior research analyst with ISW. Her biography on the site before she was fired, according to a Google cache from Sept. 4, stated that “Dr. Elizabeth O’Bagy is a Senior Research Analyst and the Syria Team Lead at the Institute for the Study of War, where she focuses on Syrian politics and security. Her major reports on the Syrian opposition include: The Free Syrian Army, Jihad in Syria, and Syria’s Political Opposition.” Her online bio was also updated last Friday in response to the online furor – spurred in part by a report in The Daily Caller about her affiliation with the SETF – over the WSJ piece to read: “I work with the Syrian Emergency Task Force in an advisory capacity on a number of humanitarian aid and governance building contracts.”

On Monday, O’Bagy responded to critics of her work on Syria.

“I’m not a war monger,” she told POLITICO. “I’m not advocating the United Staets start a war or get in the middle of one. At heart, I’m just a researcher. I love being in the field. I love doing the interviews and collecting the data.”

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.

A Cool Classic, Sliced and Diced

Cucumber and Radish Salad photo recipehealthpromo-tmagArticle_zpscce173f9.jpg

Cucumbers are high in three types of phytonutrients – cucurbitacins, lignans and flavonoids – that have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. They’re a good source of vitamin C, beta-carotene, potassium, magnesium and manganese, and an excellent source of vitamin K. They also contain the mineral silica. They’re hydrating and great for the skin, a perfect food for hot end-of-summer days. Try to find unwaxed organic cucumbers so you don’t have to peel them.

~Martha Rose Shulman~

Cucumber and Radish Salad With Yogurt and Cumin

Based on a recipe from Mark Peel’s “New Classic Family Dinners.”

Salmon and Cucumber Tartare With Wasabi Sauce

A delicious fish dish that can be either an appetizer or a light supper.

Cucumber, Melon and Watermelon Salad

This dish provides a sweet and savory mix of crunchy, thirst-quenching fruits and vegetables.

Cucumber Salad With Asian Flavors

This pungent Asian salad goes very nicely with fish and stir-fries.

Cucumber Raita

This side dish is spicy and cooling at the same time.

Friday Night at the Movies