Daily Archive: September 4, 2011

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Health and Fitness News

Welcome to the Health and Fitness 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.

The Squashes of Summer

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Pan-Cooked Summer Squash With Tomatoes and Basil

This Proven├žal summer dish is delightful as a starter or as a side dish with fish, chicken or cooked grains.

Spicy Grilled Zucchini

This mildly spicy dish from southern Italy can serve as an appetizer or side. Cut the zucchini on the diagonal into long, thin slices, or cut it lengthwise.

Cumin-Scented Summer Squash Salad

The summer squash is lightly steamed in this North African salad.

Marinated Zucchini Salad

Raw zucchini can be a dull ingredient, but when it’s very thinly sliced it marinates beautifully, especially in lemon juice.

Shells With Summer Squash, Corn, Beans and Tomato

You can use canned beans for this dish, but if you happen to have cooked pintos or borlottis in broth, use the broth for the pasta sauce.

Calm like a Bomb

  It’s taken a very long time, but the easily predictable implosion to Europe’s sovereign debt crisis is finally approaching.

  The same day that thousands of protestors against austerity measures returned to the streets in Athens, the Greek bailout talks also collapsed.

 “I expect a hard default definitely before March, maybe this year, and it could come with this program review,” said a senior IMF economist who is keeping close tabs on the situation. “The chances for a second program are slim.”

 Europe’s financial leaders want Greece to cut its budget further in order to make up for the gap that has been caused by the deepening recession. Of course the cuts are making the fiscal gap worse by slowing the economy further.

  Meanwhile, yields on 1-year Greek bonds have hit 70%, a level so far above affordable that a Greek default is already priced into.

Cartnoon

Detained Duck Episode 10 Season 1

Obama’s War On American Values

Cross posted from The Stars Hollow Gazette

In June of 2007, John A. Rizzo had been the C.I.A’s acting general counsel on and off for most of the past six years, including the period in 2002 when the Bush administration was constructing a legal foundation for the agency’s then secret detention and interrogation program. As acting council, it was Mr. Rizzo has guided many agency leaders on the legal labyrinth of clandestine operations and the often ensuing investigations.

During his confirmation hearing’s for the permanent post before the Democratic controlled Senate Intelligence Committee, Senate Democrats pressed Mr. Rizzo about whether he agreed with a 2002 Justice Department memorandum that gave legal guidance to the C.I.A. program. The memorandum argued that nothing short of the pain associated with organ failure constituted illegal torture. The memorandum had been issued at the request from the agency on the use of interrogation techniques, such as waterboarding, in secret detention centers overseas. While Mr, Rizzo testified that at the time he did not object to the memorandum, he told the Senators that he now felt that it was overly broad. In September, just before the was to vote to reject him for the position, the White House withdrew the nomination without explanation. Mr. Rizzo remained in his position until the Summer of 2009 when he retired after 30 years.

Now two years since his departure, Mr. Rizzo granted an interview to PBS’s Frontline, “Top Secret America” on September 6 and what he is saying further confirms that President Barack Obama has lied, and continues to lie, to the American people about the CIA’s secret programs and who knows what else.

   I was part of the transition briefings of the incoming Obama team, and they signaled fairly early on that the incoming president believed in a vigorous, aggressive, continuing counterterrorism effort. Although they never said it exactly, it was clear that the interrogation program was going away. We all knew that.

   But his people were signaling to us, I think partly to try to assure us that they weren’t going to come in and dismantle the place, that they were going to be just as tough, if not tougher, than the Bush people.

snip

With a notable exception of the enhanced interrogation program, the incoming Obama administration changed virtually nothing with respect to existing CIA programs and operations. Things continued. Authorities were continued that were originally granted by President Bush beginning shortly after 9/11. Those were all picked up, reviewed and endorsed by the Obama administration.

As a candidate, President Obama had promised “a top to bottom review of the threats we face and our abilities to confront them.” He pledged to overhaul of the Bush administration’s war on terror, which he criticized for compromising American values. He had also promised in 2008, that he would filibuster the reauthorization of FISA without major reforms. He lied then, too, voting for the act’s renewal and “promising”to say, to fix it later. Needless  FISA not been “fixed” nor has the Patriot Act which has been extended for four years, unamended, at the president’s request. For this Mr. Obama has garnered the approval of admitted war criminal and former Bush Vice President, Dick Cheney who proudly proclaimed in an interview with Politico’s Mike Allen

“[Obama] ultimately had to adopt many of the same policies that we had been pursuing because that was the most effective way to defend the nation.”

Obama has continues these core Bush/Cheney Terrorism policies, strengthening them and  converting them from right-wing dogma into bipartisan consensus. Dick Cheney must be so proud.

 

Happy? Labor Day

Crossposted from The Stars Hollow Gazette

Zero Job Growth Latest Bleak Sign for U.S. Economy

By SHAILA DEWAN, The New York Times

Published: September 2, 2011

August brought no increase in the number of jobs in the United States, a signal that the economy has stalled and that inaction by policy makers carries substantial risk.



Mr. Obama, who instructed the Environmental Protection Agency on Friday to pull back on more stringent standards on ozone emissions in response to complaints that they would hurt hiring, is expected to propose tax incentives to promote hiring and infrastructure spending. He also is expected to renew the payroll tax cut and extend unemployment benefits, both of which are set to expire.



Much of the movement that did appear in the jobs report went in the wrong direction. Revised numbers showed that job growth in June and July was smaller than previously indicated. In August, wages fell and the average number of hours worked inched down – a sign that businesses had less for employees to do.

Governments continued to cut jobs, the Labor Department reported. Small gains at the state level were attributed in part to the return of workers from the government shutdown in Minnesota. Local governments lost 20,000 jobs as they continued to struggle with budget shortfalls and the disappearance of federal stimulus money.

Black unemployment: Highest in 27 years

By Annalyn Censky @CNNMoney

September 2, 2011: 3:13 PM ET

Black unemployment surged to 16.7% in August, its highest level since 1984, while the unemployment rate for whites fell slightly to 8%, the Labor Department reported.



Overall, black men have it the worst, with joblessness at a staggeringly high 19.1%, compared to 14.5% for black women.

Black unemployment has now remained above 10% for four straight years, and the given current economic sluggishness, some experts say it’s safe to predict the rate will remain above 10% for four more years.

White House Expects Persistently High Unemployment

By JACKIE CALMES, The New York Times

Published: September 1, 2011

The White House budget office forecast on Thursday that unemployment would remain at 9 percent through the 2012 presidential election year, an outlook that it said calls for the sort of the job-creating tax cuts and spending President Obama will propose next week.

The unemployment outlook for the next 16 months reflects a 9.1 percent rate this year, down slightly from the 9.3 percent forecast when President Obama made his annual budget request in February. Next year, the projected jobless rate is 9 percent, up from 8.6 percent in the February forecast.

Unemployment will not return to the 5 percent range until 2017, the budget office said, reflecting the intensity of the hangover from the most severe recession since the Great Depression.

While the budget office’s unemployment forecast for 2012 is no surprise given similar private sector projections, it amounts to the White House’s official acknowledgement of the political hurdle in Mr. Obama’s path to re-election.

Labor unions adjust to new reality under Obama

By SAM HANANEL, Associated Press

3 hours ago

It’s a far cry from the early optimism unions had after Obama came into office. Back then, unions hoped a Democratic-controlled Congress would pass legislation to make it easier for unions to organize workers. But business groups fought that proposal hard, and it never came to a vote.

Union leaders grew more disappointed when the president’s health care overhaul didn’t include a government-run insurance option. Then Obama agreed to extend President George W. Bush’s tax cuts for the wealthy.

Obama came out in favor of trade agreements with South Korea, Colombia and Panama that most unions say will cost American jobs. Despite campaigning in favor of raising the minimum wage from $7.25 to $9.50 an hour, Obama hasn’t touched the issue since taking office.



(L)abor’s frustration with Obama reached new heights this summer as Trumka accused him of working with tea party Republicans on deficit reduction instead of “stepping up to the plate” on jobs.

Labor unions and other liberal groups want Obama to push a major stimulus bill with hundreds of billions of dollars in new spending on infrastructure projects like roads, bridges and transit systems. Even if it’s rejected in the GOP-controlled House, unions want to see Obama show more leadership and take a bold stand in favor of stimulus spending.

That’s not likely to happen.



(U)nions have begun shifting money and resources out of Democratic congressional campaigns and back to the states in a furious effort to reverse or limit GOP measures that could wipe out union rolls.

The AFL-CIO’s president, Richard Trumka, says it’s part of a new strategy for labor to build an independent voice separate from the Democratic Party.

Union donations to federal candidates at the beginning of this year were down about 40 percent compared with the same period in 2009, according to the Center for Responsive Politics. Last month, a dozen trade unions said they would boycott next year’s Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, N.C., over frustration on the economy and to protest the event’s location in a right-to-work state.

Good luck with that Labor vote Barack.  Thanks for nothing.

On This Day In History September 4

Cross posted from The Stars Hollow Gazette

Find the past “On This Day in History” here.

On this day in 1886, Apache chief Geronimo surrenders to U.S. government troops. For 30 years, the mighty Native American warrior had battled to protect his tribe’s homeland; however, by 1886 the Apaches were exhausted and hopelessly outnumbered. General Nelson Miles accepted Geronimo’s surrender, making him the last Indian warrior to formally give in to U.S. forces and signaling the end of the Indian Wars in the Southwest.

While Geronimo (Chiricahua: Goyaale, “one who yawns”; often spelled Goyathlay or Goyahkla in English) said he was never a chief, he was a military leader. As a Chiricahua Apache, this meant he was one of many people with special spiritual insights and abilities known to Apache people as “Power”. Among these were the ability to walk without leaving tracks; the abilities now known as telekinesis and telepathy; and the ability to survive gunshot (rifle/musket, pistol, and shotgun). Geronimo was wounded numerous times by both bullets and buckshot, but survived. Apache men chose to follow him of their own free will, and offered first-hand eye-witness testimony regarding his many “powers”. They declared that this was the main reason why so many chose to follow him (he was favored by/protected by “Usen”, the Apache high-god). Geronimo’s “powers” were considered to be so great that he personally painted the faces of the warriors who followed him to reflect their protective effect. During his career as a war chief, Geronimo was notorious for consistently urging raids and war upon Mexican Provinces and their various towns, and later against American locations across Arizona, New Mexico, and western Texas.

snip

In 1886, General Nelson A. Miles selected Captain Henry Lawton, in command of B Troop, 4th Cavalry, at Ft. Huachuca and First Lieutenant Charles B. Gatewood to lead the expedition that captured Geronimo. Numerous stories abound as to who actually captured Geronimo, or to whom he surrendered, although most contemporary accounts, and Geronimo’s own later statements, give most of the credit for negotiating the surrender to Lt. Gatewood. For Lawton’s part, he was given orders to head up actions south of the U.S.-Mexico boundary where it was thought Geronimo and a small band of his followers would take refuge from U.S. authorities. Lawton was to pursue, subdue, and return Geronimo to the U.S., dead or alive.

Lawton’s official report dated September 9, 1886 sums up the actions of his unit and gives credit to a number of his troopers for their efforts. Geronimo gave Gatewood credit for his decision to surrender as Gatewood was well known to Geronimo, spoke some Apache, and was familiar with and honored their traditions and values. He acknowledged Lawton’s tenacity for wearing the Apaches down with constant pursuit. Geronimo and his followers had little or no time to rest or stay in one place. Completely worn out, the little band of Apaches returned to the U.S. with Lawton and officially surrendered to General Miles on September 4, 1886 at Skeleton Canyon, Arizona.

The debate still remains whether Geronimo surrendered unconditionally. Geronimo pleaded in his memoirs that his people who surrendered had been misled: his surrender as a war prisoner was conditioned in front of uncontested witnesses (especially General Stanley). General Howard, chief of Pacific US army division, said on his part that his surrender was accepted as a dangerous outlaw without condition, which has been contested in front of the Senate.

In February, 1909, Geronimo was thrown from his horse while riding home, and had to lie in the cold all night before a friend found him extremely ill. He died of pneumonia on February 17, 1909 as a prisoner of the United States at Fort Sill, Oklahoma. On his deathbed, he confessed to his nephew that he regretted his decision to surrender. He was buried at Fort Sill in the Apache Indian Prisoner of War Cemetery

Six In The Morning

On Sunday

U.S. Appeals to Palestinians to Stall U.N. Vote on Statehood

 

By STEVEN LEE MYERS and MARK LANDLER  

WASHINGTON – The Obama administration has initiated a last-ditch diplomatic campaign to avert a confrontation this month over a plan by Palestinians to seek recognition as a state at the United Nations, but it may already be too late, according to senior American officials and foreign diplomats.

The administration has circulated a proposal for renewed peace talks with the Israelis in the hopes of persuading the Palestinian president, Mahmoud Abbas, to abandon the bid for recognition at the annual gathering of world leaders at the United Nations General Assembly beginning Sept. 20.




Sunday’s Headlines:

The hunt for Gaddafi – and his victims – goes on

‘It Is Possible to Pull the Plug’

Elections to be held by March 2012, says Mugabe

Witness to a decade that redefined Southeast Asia

India’s Anna Hazare, from village activist to national campaigner

Six In The Morning

On Sunday

U.S. Appeals to Palestinians to Stall U.N. Vote on Statehood

 

By STEVEN LEE MYERS and MARK LANDLER  

WASHINGTON – The Obama administration has initiated a last-ditch diplomatic campaign to avert a confrontation this month over a plan by Palestinians to seek recognition as a state at the United Nations, but it may already be too late, according to senior American officials and foreign diplomats.

The administration has circulated a proposal for renewed peace talks with the Israelis in the hopes of persuading the Palestinian president, Mahmoud Abbas, to abandon the bid for recognition at the annual gathering of world leaders at the United Nations General Assembly beginning Sept. 20.




Sunday’s Headlines:

The hunt for Gaddafi – and his victims – goes on

‘It Is Possible to Pull the Plug’

Elections to be held by March 2012, says Mugabe

India’s Anna Hazare, from village activist to national campaigner

Late Night Karaoke