May 2, 2014 archive

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.

Quiche Meets Whole Wheat

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My quiches are delicious vehicles for vegetables. Right now this means fat spears of asparagus and sweet spring onions, green garlic and lush bunches of spinach. I also slipped in a few other vegetables that we can get year-round in the supermarket, like cabbage and red peppers. I used lots of scallions too, but they were fat ones from the farmers’ market, not the thin scallions from the supermarket, though they work too; you just need more of them.

These tarts have everything necessary for a satisfying main dish – protein from the dairy, delicious vegetables cooked in olive oil with fresh herbs, and a little bit of indulgence in the presence of an almost classic French pastry (though with a nutty whole-wheat twist).

Martha Rose Shulman

Whole-Wheat Pie Dough

This dough, made with half whole-wheat flour, has a nutty, rich flavor that works well for a savory tart.

Quiche With Red Peppers and Spinach

Spinach is plentiful and gorgeous this time of year, and slow cooking makes even the blandest red peppers sweet.

Cabbage and Spring Onion Quiche With Caraway

Seasonal onions and a winter stalwart, cabbage, make a deliciously sweet filling.

Scallion and Celery Quiche

An underappreciated vegetable, celery, is the star of this tart.

Roasted Asparagus and Scallion Quiche

Roasting asparagus makes it succulent even when it’s hidden inside a quiche.

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Another one of my versions of The Town:

The Town starts out the exact same way, with Claire, the good-looking bank manager, being forced to open the vault and hand over the money at gunpoint by Doug MacRay and his men while they were wearing skull masks and ninja outfits, the assistant manager gets butt-rifled to death by Jem, Claire is taken hostage, blindfolded, abducted and then let go, she and Doug meet “by chance’ in a laundromat, they begin dating, etc.

In addition to being interested in gardening, Claire also owns a beautiful pet Moluccan cockatoo named Rhumbi, who’s very affectionate, and yet protective of her territory, as well as her owner. Claire has a way of carrying Rhumbi on her shoulder, on a harness, on sunny days, so when Claire and Doug are out on a lunch date one afternoon, at a Pizzeria, Claire has Rhumbi, who is very tame, harnessed, on her shoulder. Doug admires and pats Rhumbi, with no ill affects–Rhumbi the cockatoo has taken to Doug immediately. As in the original story, Claire, at one point, disappears for afew minutes, with Rhumbi, inside, to use the bathroom and freshen up. As in the original story, she comes back and finds “Jem” sitting in her seat, they make brief introductions, but, then, Ohhhhh! disaster strikes! As Jem puts his hand out to pat Rhumbi , he receives a hard bite from the cockatoo–hard enough to take part of his index finger off! Enraged and bleeding, but somewhat disoriented,  Jem doesn’t know what to do, but somebody else eating outside the pizzeria calls an ambulance, puts the avulsed part of Jem’s index finger back in place,  stems the bleeding with a small tourniquet/bandaid, and then wraps Jem’s injured/avulsed finger in a damp cloth to keep it moist. Jem is rushed to the MGH emergency room, where his avulsed finger is re-attached by a surgeon on call. Hours later, Jem arrives from the MGH emergency room, with his injured finger in a bulky bandage, and his arm in a sling.  

The Breakfast Club: 5-2-2014

Welcome to The Breakfast Club! We’re a disorganized group of rebel lefties who hang out and chat if and when we’re not too hungover  we’ve been bailed out we’re not too exhausted from last night’s (CENSORED) the caffeine kicks in. Join us every weekday morning at 9am (ET) and weekend morning at 10:30am (ET) to talk about current news and our boring lives and to make fun of LaEscapee! If we are ever running late, it’s PhilJD’s fault.

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This Day in History


On This Day In History May 2

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.

Click on images to enlarge

May 2 is the 122nd day of the year (123rd in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. There are 243 days remaining until the end of the year.

On this day in 2011, Osama bin Laden, the head of Al Qaeda and mastermind of the 9/11 attacks on the United States, died . He was killed in an attack on the compound where he was hiding outside the Pakistan capital of Islamabad. U.S. President Barack Obama announced on national television that bin Laden had been killed in Abbottabad, Pakistan by American military forces and that his body was in U.S. custody.

The raid began around 1 a.m. local time, when 23 U.S. Navy SEALs in two Black Hawk helicopters descended on the compound in Abbottabad, a tourist and military center north of Pakistan’s capital, Islamabad. One of the helicopters crash-landed into the compound but no one aboard was hurt. During the raid, which lasted approximately 40 minutes, five people, including bin Laden and one of his adult sons, were killed by U.S. gunfire. No Americans were injured in the assault. Afterward, bin Laden’s body was flown by helicopter to Afghanistan for official identification, then buried at an undisclosed location in the Arabian Sea less than 24 hours after his death, in accordance with Islamic practice. [..]

A break in the hunt for bin Laden came in August 2010, when C.I.A. analysts tracked the terrorist leader’s courier to the Abbottabad compound, located behind tall security walls in a residential neighborhood. (U.S. intelligence officials spent the ensuing months keeping the compound under surveillance; however, they were never certain bin Laden was hiding there until the raid took place.) The U.S. media had long reported bin Laden was believed to be hiding in the remote tribal areas along the Afghan-Pakistani border, so many Americans were surprised to learn the world’s most famous fugitive had likely spent the last five years of his life in a well-populated area less than a mile from an elite Pakistani military academy. After the raid, which the U.S. reportedly carried out without informing the Pakistani government in advance, some American officials suspected Pakistani authorities of helping to shelter bin Laden in Abbottabad, although there was no concrete evidence to confirm this.

Muse in the Morning

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Muse in the Morning

Trying to memorize every line

More To Good To Be True

Why Does Refusing to Put Fraudulent Banks into Receivership Help the Economy?

by William Black, New Economic Perspectives

Posted on April 30, 2014

Conservative economists love “creative destruction.” They can’t wait to “get their Schumpeter on” when a business fails and thousands of workers lose their jobs. There is no more “creative destruction” conceivable than when we put a bank that has become a fraudulent enterprise into receivership, remove the controlling officers leading the fraud, and sell the bank through an FDIC-assisted acquisition. Indeed, the pinnacle of creative destruction would be doing this with a systemically dangerous institution (SDI) through a process that split the supposedly “too big to fail” bank into smaller components that (1) were no longer large enough to pose a systemic risk, (2) were more efficient than the bloated SDI, (3) no longer extorted a large (implicit) government subsidy that made real competition impossible, and (4) no longer had dominant political power via crony capitalism. Unlike the situation in which an SDI collapses suddenly in the midst of causing a global crisis when its frauds cause a liquidity crisis, it is vastly easier to put fraudulent SDIs in receivership in today’s circumstances. Unlike Arthur Anderson, the receivership power allows us to keep the enterprise alive and create more competitors rather than fewer.

As I often remarked, it is a testament to the financial and moral sophistication of our successors as financial regulators relative to our primitive era that they have realized that keeping fraudulent CEOs in charge of our largest banks – and virtually never putting such banks into receivership however massive and damaging their serial felonies – is the key to achieving financial stability. Their system, it must be admitted, has proven far superior. GDP losses are merely far more than 100X greater in the current crisis than in the savings and loan debacle. The jihad against effective regulation and prosecution of elite control frauds has been an enormous success. The primary question is whether to classify the resultant epidemics of accounting control fraud as “unintended consequences” of the three “de’s” (deregulation, desupervision, and de facto decriminalization) or as a very “intended consequences.”

Lanny Breuer’s infamous “lamentations” speech (while head of DOJ’s Criminal Division) underscored how he fell hook, line, and sinker for the absurd claims of economists hired by today’s most elite fraudulent banksters that banks (and bankers!) should be “too big to prosecute.” By Breuer’s own bumbling admission, he lay awake at night for fear that his (always hypothetical) prosecutions of the major banks might “cause” a fraudulent bank to “fail.” This is, of course, heresy under the Schumpeterian creed of “creative destruction,” but theoclassical economists are very forgiving of their co-religionists who get rich by spreading heresy in the service of fraudulent elites.

Breuer was so bad that he obscured what we primitive regulators and white-collar criminologists had emphasized for decades. First, no banker is “too big to jail.” They are easily replaceable and removing a fraudulent bank CEO from power is the single most productive act that regulators and prosecutors can accomplish. Breuer and Attorney General Eric Holder were involved in a con when they claimed that their failure to prosecute the senior bank officers leading the frauds was in any way related to “too big to fail.” Hilariously, they even applied the “rationale” for non-prosecution to former bank officers – as if a bank would fail “because” its former officers were prosecuted. It is a testament to the weakness of the reportage that this claim was not treated with ridicule.

The Bush and Obama administration have already allowed the statute of limitations to run on vast numbers of frauds led by the CEOs of mortgage bankers and the 10 year statute of limitations applicable to federally insured banks (which we obtained in response to the S&L debacle) is rapidly running. The recent DOJ IG report documented the hollow nature of the FBI investigations related to the crisis. Even when the statute of limitations has not run it becomes very difficult to try “old” cases because of the loss of documents and memory and the feeling of judges and juries that the matter cannot have been terribly grave if the FBI ignored it for eight years. Even if Holder had a “Road to Damascus” conversion today and tried to prosecute the elite bank frauds that drove the crisis he would be far too late. The DOJ will commit its greatest strategic failure to uphold the rule of law. That does not mean that it could not bring a dozen prosecutions against the most destructive and fraudulent bank CEOs during the waning years of the Obama administration, but there is no evidence that the FBI is even investigating those frauds.

Instead, Holder has given up on prosecuting the CEOs that led the frauds that caused our crisis. The new DOJ press leak indicates that DOJ may charge two foreign banks with committing frauds unrelated to the financial crisis. This is hardly a major accomplishment, but it is all that Holder can bring himself to do so it was ballyhooed in “Deal Book” under this sad title “2 Giant Banks, Seen as Immune, Become Targets.

Deal Book has written another article praising a moral and policy travesty. Read beyond the article’s propaganda and you will find that it actually contains admissions by senior DOJ officials confirming that our description of the disgraceful policies that we charged that DOJ and the anti-regulators were following was correct and confirming that our conclusion that such policies were deeply criminogenic had proved correct. Bharara admitted that the GBH Doctrine created a “gaping liability loophole that blameworthy [controlling bank officers] are only too willing to exploit.” Until we appoint regulators with the spines, integrity, brains, and courage to realize that our paramount function is to place banks led by frauds into receivership and end the CEO’s ability to lead a control fraud we will fail to have a sound banking system and we will fail to restore the rule of law.

TDS/TCR (Das Kapital)

TDS/TCR (Das Kapital)


Pride of the North East

Even Connecticut, and let’s be honest, who nobody else from the region likes or respects.

2014, feel the excitement

Web Exclusive Extended Interview below.

The Internationale

Why Aren’t North American Workers More Militant?

May Day 2014: Reflections On Oligarchy

By: DSWright, Firedog Lake

Thursday May 1, 2014 9:28 am

Despite the origins of the holiday coming from events in Chicago the holiday is officially ignored in the USA. Outside the US celebrations are common in most major capitals in the world.

After the questionable trial and execution of anarchists for alleged involvement in a bombing in Haymarket Square in 1886, solidarity movements sprang up around the world and International Workers’ Day or May Day was born. The US government recognizes Labor Day in September a behavior started by President Grover Cleveland in 1887 to thwart attempts at linking May Day with the labor movement in America.

Workers and activists who protested in Chicago in 1886 were objecting to the economy and conditions of the Gilded Age – where the top 1%’s wealth and consequential political power so dwarfed the 99%’s that the American people questioned whether they had a functioning republic. Sound familiar?

Social science has advanced somewhat since the 19th century so today we have clear evidence the sepsis of plutocracy that effected the Gilded Age has flared up again. A study by Princeton University demonstrates thoroughly that the US has become a de facto oligarchy while field experiments confirm that donors rather than voters have the power. All this while the Supreme Court, a body ruled by nine lawyers who have never successfully run for public office, continues to gut restraints on money in politics.

We are in a new Gilded Age without a doubt so will there be another social movement that lays the groundwork for a Teddy Roosevelt to take on entrenched moneyed interests? Or has the resilience of corporate power and imperialism sucked America into a death spiral with which there is no escape?

Should we keep fighting or is it time to embrace the suck?


The Internationale

Arise ye workers from your slumbers

Arise ye prisoners of want

For reason in revolt now thunders

And at last ends the age of cant.

Away with all your superstitions

Servile masses arise, arise

We’ll change henceforth the old tradition

And spurn the dust to win the prize.

So comrades, come rally

And the last fight let us face

The Internationale unites the human race.

No more deluded by reaction

On tyrants only we’ll make war

The soldiers too will take strike action

They’ll break ranks and fight no more

And if those cannibals keep trying

To sacrifice us to their pride

They soon shall hear the bullets flying

We’ll shoot the generals on our own side.

So comrades, come rally

And the last fight let us face

The Internationale unites the human race.

No saviour from on high delivers

No faith have we in prince or peer

Our own right hand the chains must shiver

Chains of hatred, greed and fear

E’er the thieves will out with their booty

And give to all a happier lot.

Each at the forge must do their duty

And we’ll strike while the iron is hot.

So comrades, come rally

And the last fight let us face

The Internationale unites the human race.

The Internationale is a famous socialist, communist, social-democratic and anarchist anthem.  It is sung traditionally with the hand raised in a clenched fist salute.

A DocuDharma tradition now at The Stars Hollow Gazette.

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