December 2011 archive

Dec 31

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Dec 31

A free birthday dinner!

(crossposted from Green Mountain Daily)

So I just looked out in my mailbox, and saw a letter.

You’ve got mail!

Opened it up, and was pleased to read:

Happy Birthday!

Here’s your FREE dinner valued up to $18.99!

With Absolutely No Strings Attached!

Neato! Tuesday IS, in fact, my birthday. And so I read on. Some quotes from past customers appeared in the letter:

Dec 31

Towards Awake and Aware in 2012

For me year end is akin to the sappyness of 911 day.  Fortunately alternate news picks up the slack/gigantic sink hole of info-corpo-tainment social engineered “news”, ie lamestream media leaves behind.  When looked at properly lamestream is one huge horsemanure pile.

Dec 31

Victoria Jackson, Aliens, and Jesus

(h/t Omnipotent Poobah)

Dec 31

Cartnoon

This week’s episodes originally aired January 25, 2005.

MMORPD & Old McDodgers, Episodes 15 & 16 of Season 2, Part 1 of 2

Dec 31

On this Day In History December 31

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.

December 31 is the 365th day of the year (366th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. The last day of the year in the Gregorian calendar, it is widely known as New Year’s Eve.

On this day in 1759, Arthur Guinness signs a 9,000 year lease at £45 per annum and starts brewing Guinness.

Guiness is a popular Irish dry stout. Guinness is directly descended from the porter style that originated in London in the early 18th century and is one of the most successful beer brands worldwide.

A distinctive feature is the burnt flavour which is derived from the use of roasted unmalted barley (though this is a relatively modern development since it did not become a part of the grist until well into the 20th century). For many years a portion of aged brew was blended with freshly brewed product to give a sharp lactic flavour (which was a characteristic of the original Porter).

Although the palate of Guinness still features a characteristic “tang”, the company has refused to confirm whether this type of blending still occurs. The thick creamy head is the result of the beer being mixed with nitrogen when being poured. It is popular with Irish people both in Ireland and abroad and, in spite of a decline in consumption since 2001[1], is still the best-selling alcoholic drink in Ireland where Guinness & Co. makes almost €2 billion annually.

The company had its headquarters in London from 1932 onwards. It merged with Grand Metropolitan plc in 1997 and then figured in the development of the multi-national alcohol conglomerate Diageo.

Arthur Guinness started brewing ales from 1759 at the St. James’s Gate Brewery, Dublin. On 31 December he signed (up to) a 9,000 year lease at £45 per annum for the unused brewery. Ten years later on 19 May 1769 Guinness exported his ale for the first time, when six and a half barrels were shipped to England.

Guinness is sometimes believed to have invented stout,[citation needed] however the first known use of the word stout in relation to beer appears in a letter in the Egerton Manuscript dated 1677, almost 50 years before Arthur Guinness was born.

Arthur Guinness started selling the dark beer porter in 1778. The first Guinness beers to use the term were Single Stout and Double Stout in the 1840s.

The breweries pioneered several quality control efforts. The brewery hired the statistician William Sealy Gosset in 1899, who achieved lasting fame under the pseudonym “Student” for techniques developed for Guinness, particularly Student’s t-distribution and the even more commonly known Student’s t-test.

Guinness brewed their last porter in 1974.

Guinness has also been referred to as “the black stuff” and as a “Pint of Plain” – referred to in the famous refrain of Flann O’Brien’s poem “The Workman’s Friend”: “A pint of plain is your only man.”

Dec 31

Late Night Karaoke

Dec 31

Random Japan

Photobucket

CAT FIGHT!

An endangered Tsushima wildcat named Takara had to have its paw amputated at a zoo in Sasebo after it got into a vicious scrap with an Amur leopard cat in an adjoining cage.

Headline of the Week: “Noisy gay orgy in Shinjuku prompts raids by cops” (via The Tokyo Reporter)

The aforementioned orgy allegedly took place at a well-known gay bar in the area called Destruction and cops were alerted “by the raucous animal-like screams being emitted” from the joint. Destruction indeed!

Another headline winner: “Serial killer’s accomplice says she now understands meaning of life” (via The Mainichi Daily News)

Tokyo police confirmed that a man found hanged to death in a public toilet at a Tokyo park in April was, indeed, 62-year-old TV news reporter Eishi Okuyama.

A Chinese man was arrested for trying to sell a stuffed endangered panda to tourists out of his house in Ota-ku, Tokyo.

Dante Carver, a 34-year-old actor and model from New York who has gained fame in Japan by starring in several Softbank TV commercials, was in trouble after being pulled over in Shibuya and presenting an invalid international driver’s license to cops.

A 31-year-old former Tokyo primary school teacher got 28 years in prison for sexually assaulting 12 girls, including raping an 11-year-old and a 13-year-old.

Dec 31

Montanans Move To Recall Congressional Delegation

Cross posted from The Stars Hollow Gazette

Montana residents William Crain, an artist and Stewart Rhodes, an attorney, have launched a petition to recall the state’s congressional delegation, Sen. Max Baucus (D), Sen. Jonathan Tester (D) and Rep. Denny Reberg (R) over their vote for the National Defense Authorization Act that explicitly authorized the indefinite detention of terrorism suspects, including American citizens. Montana is one of nine states that has provisions to recall its elected federal officials. Under the Montana Recall Act all state officials in Montana are subject to recall for physical or mental lack of fitness, incompetence, violation of the oath of office, official misconduct, or conviction of a felony offense. The Montana petitions (there is one for each of the three), states the following “reason for recall”:

   1. “The Sixth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution guarantees all U.S citizens: “a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the State and district wherein the crime shall have been committed…”

   2.  The National Defense Authorization Act of 2011 (NDAA 2011) permanently abolishes the Sixth Amendment right to a jury trial, “for the duration of hostilities” in the War on Terror, which was defined by President George W. Bush as “task which does not end” to a joint session of Congress on September 20, 2001.

   3.  Those who voted Aye on December 15th, 2011, Bill of Rights Day, for NDAA 2011 have attempted to grant powers which cannot be granted, which violate both the spirit and the letter of the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence.

   4.  The Montana Recall Act stipulates that officials including US senators can only be recalled for physical or mental lack of fitness, incompetence, violation of the oath of office, official misconduct, or conviction of a felony offense.

   5. Section 1021 of the National Defense Authorization Act reads in substance: “Congress affirms that the authority of the President to detain …A person who was a part of or substantially supported al-Qaeda…or associated forces…including any person who has…directly supported such hostilities in aid of such enemy forces…The disposition of a person…may include…Detention…without trial until the end of the hostilities…”

   6. “Substantial support” of an “associated force” may imply citizens engaged in innocuous, First Amendment activities.  Direct support of such hostilities in aid of enemy forces may be construed as free speech opposition to U.S. government policies, aid to civilians, or acts of civil disobedience.

   7. Section 1021 reads: “Nothing in this section shall be construed to affect existing law.”  But “existing law” may be construed to refer to Padilla v. Rumsfeld in the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals, which upheld the government’s claim of authority to hold Americans arrested on American soil indefinitely.

   8. Thus Senators Bacus, Tester, and Congressman Rehberg who voted Aye on December 15th, 2011, Bill of Rights Day, for NDAA 2011 have violated his Oath of Office to protect and defend the U.S. Constitution which guarantees all citizens the right to a jury trial “In all criminal prosecutions.”

According to the press release, Mr. Rhodes stated:

These politicians from both parties betrayed our trust, and violated the oath they took to defend the Constitution. It’s not about the left or right, it’s about our Bill of Rights. Without the Bill of Rights, there is no America. It is the Crown Jewel of our Constitution, and the high-water mark of Western Civilization. [..]

Two time Medal of Honor winner Marine General Smedley Butler once said “There are only two things we should fight for. One is the defense of our homes and the other is the Bill of Rights.” Time to fight.

It’s not clear if the courts will allow states to recall their federal politicians. It hasn’t gotten very far in the past. In 1967, a recall campaign was waged against Sen Frank Church by Ron Rankin, a Republican county commissioner in Kootenai County in northern Idaho. The U.S. District Court for Idaho ruled that the state’s recall laws did not apply to U.S. senators and that such a recall would violate the U.S. Constitution. Since Idaho’s State Attorney General Alan Shephard decided to accept the court’s ruling, writing that “It must be pointed out that a United States senator is not a state officer but a federal officer whose position is created by Article I, Section I of the United States Constitution. There seems to be no provision for canvassing the votes of a recall election of a United States senator.”

However, it can be argued that since there is no provision provided in the Constitution to recall members of congress, that right is preserved for the states under the 10th Amendment which states:  

The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.

Leaving Mr. Rhodes’ affiliation with The Oath Keepers, a group that has been criticized in the past for adopting extremist views and language, and for their supposed ties to white supremacist and militia groups, the petition drive does have some merits. If successful, it could lead to other states passing laws to provide for the recall of elected federal officers who think that the Constitution is quaint. Good luck to them and perhaps good riddance to Baucus, Tester and Reberg.

Dec 31

Popular Culture (Music) 20111230: A Brief History of The Who

Last week we finished up 1970, which to date had been by far the best year for The Who insofar as commercial success goes.  Sales of Tommy were still good, and Live at Leeds was very well received both critically and in sales figures.

Now, what to do?  Townshend was at sort of a crossroads, knowing that he had to do something to show that Tommy was not just a fluke.  The answer to this, at least in his mind, was turned out to be the ill-fated Lifehouse project.  Since I did a standalone piece about Lifehouse here, I shall concentrate on other aspects of 1971.

I suggest that you read this chronological treatment of other things from 1971, then take a break and read the Lifehouse piece, then come back.  It’s OK, I can wait!  I have some snacks and can answer comments all night!

Dec 31

Meet Mel Wymore

Mel Wymore is running for the District 6 City Council seat for 2013 in New York City.  District 6 is also known as Upper Clinton, Lincoln Square, and the Upper West Side.  Now I don’t live in NYC…or even in the state of New York, but rather across the Hudson in north Jersey, though we often travel to or through those neighborhoods to visit places like the American Museum of Natural History (we were there yesterday as a matter of fact).

Democratic Councilwoman Gale Brewer is retiring and Mel wants to succeed her.

He’s well qualified, having served on Community Board 7 for over a decade.  Mel ran for Chair of CB7 in the 90s and lost, but didn’t give up, running for Chair again in 2009 and winning.

Mel has lived in the neighborhood for 24 years, moving to The City from Arizona at the age of 26.

I have gone through three lives of my own since I’ve been here.  I came here, got married, and had two children. We lived as a nuclear family on the Upper West Side.  Then we divorced, and I came out as a lesbian.  Then I realized, ‘transgender,’ and I’m now in a different stage of life.

If elected, Mel would become the first known transgender person elected to public office in New York.

Look, I’m the qualified candidate here, but I happen to be transgender.  I do realize, however, that I’m an exemplar of a certain kind of difference that’s in a very small minority, so recognizing that, I have a particular responsibility and a voice to speak about difference and inclusion.

Dec 30

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