October 2014 archive

The Breakfast Club (The Witch’s New Year)

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.

Samhain: The Thinning Of The Veil

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Samhain is one of the eight festivals of the Wiccan/Pagan Wheel of the Years that is celebrated as the new year with the final harvest of the season. It is considered by most practitioners of the craft to be the most important of the eight Sabats and one of the four fire festivals, Imbolc, Beltane and Lughnasadh. Beginning at sundown on October 31 and continuing through the next day, fires are lit and kept burning to recognize the shortening of days and the coming of winter’s long cold nights. [..]

It is also the time of the year that we reflect and honor our ancestors and especially those who have departed since last Samhain. According to Celtic lore, Samhain is a time when the boundaries between the world of the living and the world of the dead become thinner, allowing spirits and other supernatural entities to pass between the worlds to socialize with humans. The fires and the candles burning in western windows are believed to help guide the spirits of the departed to the Summerlands. Like all Wiccan festivals, Samhain celebrates Nature’s cycle of death and renewal, a time when the Celts acknowledged the beginning and ending of all things in life and nature. Samhain marked the end of harvest and the beginning of the New Celtic Year. The first month of the Celtic year was Samonios – ‘Seed Fall’. [..]


This Day in History

‘War of the Worlds’ spooks Americans on Halloween Eve; A deadly mudslide hits Nicaragua after Hurricane Mitch; Muhammad Ali beats George Foreman in the ‘Rumble in the Jungle’; Comedian Steve Allen dies.

Breakfast Tunes

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On This Day In History October 30

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 30 is the 303rd day of the year (304th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. There are 62 days remaining until the end of the year.

On this day in 1938, Orson Welles scares the nation.

The War of the Worlds was an episode of the American radio drama anthology series Mercury Theatre on the Air. It was performed as a Halloween episode of the series on October 30, 1938 and aired over the Columbia Broadcasting System radio network. Directed and narrated by Orson Welles, the episode was an adaptation of H. G. Wells’ novel The War of the Worlds.

The first two thirds of the 60-minute broadcast were presented as a series of simulated “news bulletins”, which suggested to many listeners that an actual alien invasion by Martians was currently in progress. Compounding the issue was the fact that the Mercury Theatre on the Air was a ‘sustaining show’ (it ran without commercial breaks), thus adding to the program’s quality of realism. Although there were sensationalist accounts in the press about a supposed panic in response to the broadcast, the precise extent of listener response has been debated. In the days following the adaptation, however, there was widespread outrage. The program’s news-bulletin format was decried as cruelly deceptive by some newspapers and public figures, leading to an outcry against the perpetrators of the broadcast, but the episode secured Orson Welles’ fame.

Muse in the Morning

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Muse in the Morning

Science is mankind’s brother

Late Night Karaoke



Great Country Song or Greatest Country Song Ever?

War on Halloween

The real news, the Web exclusive 2 part extended interview with Joaquin Castro, and this week’s guests below.

2014 World Series Game 7: Giants at Royals

Well, last night’s game was very disappointing.  More disappointing than that is that Bochy is not planning on starting Bumgarner.

Yes, you heard me right.

Now if I had my way Bochy would already be playing golf because he didn’t start Bumgarner in Game 4 on 3 days in which case he’d have been available on the same 3 days for yesterday.

Suck it up you pampered preening pets, plenty of Managers have used a 2 man rotation.  To now hear that Bumgarner “is only human and we’ll have him in the bullpen”…

He, like you Bochy, will have plenty of time to play golf in the off season.  What are you saving him for?  Do you want to win The World Series or not?

Now I have my beefs with George Steinbrenner including his illegal campaign contributions and the fact that he traded my Uncle (yup, no fooling), but I never doubted that he was a man who absolutely understood that professional sports is not a business in the traditional sense.  It’s a Billionaire’s ego toy and either you pay what you need to win or you’re just another loser and he didn’t tolerate losers lightly.  If George owned the Giants are, Bumgarner would have already plaed 3 times and been ready in relief tonight and if any of his “Baseball People” disagreed they’d be gone.

Last night’s action-

Bottom 2nd, Leadoff Single, Single, Runners at Corners, RBI Double, Single, RBI Single, 2 RBI Single, Wild Pitch, 2 RBI Double, RBI Double.  Royals 7 – 0.

Bottom 3rd, Double, RBI Double.  Royals 8 – 0.

Bottom 5th, Leadoff Single, RBI Double.  Royals 9 – 0.

Bottom of 7th, Solo Shot.  Royals 10 – 0.

Game Over Dude.

Starting tonight for the Royals is Jeremy Guthrie (R, 13 – 11, ERA 4.13).  Post Season he has 1 Win with an ERA of 2.70 based on 10 Innings Pitched with 7 Hits, and 7 Runs scored.

He will be matched for the Giants by Tim Hudson (R, 9 – 13, ERA 3.57) who has 1 Post Season loss with an ERA of 3.72 based on 19.1 Innings Pitched with 18 Hits, 1 Home Run and 8 Runs scored.

Bumgarner has said he could pitch 200 Innings, but he won’t because Bochy is an idiot.  The Royals Bullpen is fully rested.

2014 World Series: How did we get here?

Well, Game 7 of The World Series.

I thought it might amuse you to see the path we took through the Wild Cards, and Division and League Championship Series.

Details below the fold.

Carving Pumpkins 101

First published 10/27/2012

Rather than try to explain how to carve a pumpkin here is a video that is a handy 5 minute guide.

How to Carve a Killer Pumpkin with Leah D’Emilio

And for the more ambitious and artistic pumpkin carvers among us, here is some inspiration with seasonal music.

Amazing Halloween Jack-O-Lanterns


TBC: Morning Musing 10.29.14

I have 3 articles for your perusal this morning.

First, an accurate treatise on the state of ‘we the people’ in this country:

So Long, Liberty: 10 Ways Americans Have Lost Their Rights

Our most fundamental rights-to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness-are under assault. But the adversary is Big Wealth, not Big Government, as conservatives like to claim…


These changes didn’t just happen. Wealthy individuals and corporations made it happen – and they’re still at it. Meanwhile, Corporate America’s wholesale theft of your individual liberties has been rebranded as a fight for … the corporation’s individual liberty.


On This Day In History October 29

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 29 is the 302nd day of the year (303rd in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. There are 63 days remaining until the end of the year.


On this day in 1787, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s opera “Don Giovanni” makes its debut in Prague at the Estates Theater. It is an opera in two acts with the music by Mozart and with an Italian libretto by Lorenzo Da Ponte. It is about a “young, arrogant, sexually prolific nobleman who abuses and outrages everyone else in the cast, until he encounters something he cannot kill, beat up, dodge, or outwit.” The opera is sometimes characterized as comic because it combines comedy, drama and the supernatural. It is among the top 20 operas performed in North America.

Ebola: Health Care Heroes Become Political Football

Cross posted from The Stars Hollow Gazette

Epidemiology experts agree that there is no medical reason to quarantine asymptomatic health care workers who have been exposed to Eboli. Despite all the information available about how this virus is spread and the fact that it is not airborne, the governors of several states have decided to err on the side of panic that has been fostered by some media outlets, imposing unnecessary, and quite possibly, detrimental 21 one day quarantines on health care workers returning to the United States from regions of the world where they may have cared for patients with Ebola virus disease.

On Friday, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) rolled out aggressive policies requiring quarantines for individuals who have had direct contact with Ebola patients in Liberia, Sierra Leone or Guinea. After federal officials and the medical community slammed the policies as scientifically unnecessary, the governors clarified on Sunday that the 21-day quarantine could be completed at home.

Though New York and New Jersey have received the most press attention, they’re not the only states that have done an about-face recently. Illinois, which on Friday implemented a mandatory stay-at-home quarantine policy, clarified on Monday that the policy excludes “medical workers who wore protective clothing,” the Chicago Tribune reported. But high-risk medical workers who have had direct contact with the skin or bodily fluids of an Ebola-infected person are still required to stay home in quarantine. [..]

Not all states have moved to a mandatory policy. Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe (D) announced on Monday that the state would be actively monitoring travelers from West Africa, but said quarantine for high-risk patients is voluntary for now.

That some states are going above and beyond the CDC’s recommendations certainly hasn’t escaped Frieden’s notice. On Monday’s call, he offered a word of caution about unintended consequences. Quarantines, he argued, would end up discouraging health care workers from going to West Africa in the first place. And should the disease continue to ravage that part of the globe, “the risk to us will increase,” he said.

“We will only get to zero risk by stopping it at the source,” said Frieden.

Since then the governors of Florida, Maryland and Maine, where Nurse Kaci Hickox, who has tested negative for Ebola lives and will be confined, have imposed similar draconian, irrational policies. Two weeks ago Connecticut Governor Dannel Malloy declared a health care emergency giving  the state’s public health commissioner broad power to quarantine anyone exposed to or infected with the Ebola virus. Why? Because, you know, it’s an election year. It is a despicable tactic playing on the unfounded fear that something might happen. This is making the heroes in the battle to save lives and halt the epidemic in West Africa pariahs. If this sounds familiar, it is. It is precisely what happened after 9/11. The fear that there would be another terror attack let to Americans forfeiting many of their freedoms in the name of some false security.

MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow described the confusion over Ebola quarantine policy for people returning to the US from countries crisis with Ebola as state governors abandon science-based recommendations and scramble to appease irrational public fears.

Ryan Boyko, a Yale student quarantined by order of the state of Connecticut despite having tested negative for Ebola and having no symptoms of the disease, talks with Rachel Maddow about inconsistent and irrational Ebola quarantine rules in the U.S.

Unfortunately, as Peter van Buren points out in his article at FDL’s The Dissenter, this is all legal under the Commerce Act of the Constitution and the Public Health Service Act:

The federal government derives its authority for isolation and quarantine from the Commerce Clause of the Constitution. Under the Public Health Service Act, the Secretary of Health and Human Services is authorized to take measures to prevent the entry and spread of communicable diseases.

The authority for carrying out these measures is been delegated to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Under 42 Code of Federal Regulations parts 70 and 71, CDC is authorized to apprehend, detain, and examine people arriving to the United States and traveling between states who are suspected of carrying communicable diseases. [..]

That said, the power to detain and quarantine often is left to the states, and both New York and New Jersey law provide for it. New York allows the decision to be challenged in a magistrate court; New Jersey does not have a similar law, though technically any form of detention can be broadly challenged under habeas corpus. But good luck with that- the Florida Supreme Court laid down the precedent in saying “The constitutional guarantees of life, liberty and property, of which a person cannot be deprived without due process of law, do not limit the exercise of the police power of the State to preserve the public health so long as that power is reasonably and fairly exercised and not abused.”

Peter also points out the ineffectiveness of this quarantine and the obvious political ploy to gain votes from a panicked public:

The New York and New Jersey quarantine laws at present only apply to a) health care workers b) returning from African “hot zone” countries through c) only two airports, JFK and Newark who d) had contact with ebola. That’s a very select group, chosen largely because New York’s sole ebola patient fit that exact profile. Persons such as regular travelers who fit the same profile,or persons who just flew internationally with the profiled individuals, are not included.

In addition, the New York and New Jersey plans seem to rely 100 percent on individuals who fit the profile self-identifying themselves for the mandatory quarantine. Anyone who wished to avoid it, especially a health professional who knew s/he was not an active carrier based on clearly identifiable and well-known symptoms such as a high fever, could just dummy up at the airport. Alternately, s/he could route flights to land somewhere else and take the bus home to Manhattan. [..]

Quarantining actually infectious people, who may indeed be a danger to public health is one thing. But like taking off our shoes and other security theatre that followed 9/11, the quarantine plan seems designed more for show than any hint of practicality.

Is it just a political ploy to garner votes from a panicked public?

Oh my yes. All of the state governors who pushed the plan through without the endorsement of the CDC or New York’s mayor are in election battles. The governors of New York, New Jersey, Illinois and Florida are up for reelection in about a week, and New Jersey governor Chris Christie is famously testing the waters for a possible 2016 presidential run. New York’s mayor is not up for reelection for years.

Fear-mongering works; ask any politician who has beaten the drum of “9/11, 9/11, 9/11″ since, well, 9/11. People are scared, mostly based on ignorance fanned by media who themselves seek to profit from fear.

That sort of disease seems more dangerous in the long run than a handful of ebola patients.


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