February 21, 2015 archive

A Bird in the Hand

In remarks on foreign policy before the Chicago Council on Global Affairs, potential 2016 GOP presidential hopeful, former Florida Governor Jeb Bush attempted to distance himself from his brother President George W. Bush and his father, Pres. George H. W. Bush, insisting that he is “his own man.”

He pretty much stumbled and fumbled, even with the telepromter, and, quite obviously isn’t ready for prime time on foreign policy.

One way he unmistakably resembles his father and brother is in his apparent discomfort with a prepared text. He appeared far more at ease answering questions than delivering his speech, which he read quickly, without the authority he has often shown when discussing domestic issues.

Still, his responses were not mistake-free: When he sought to attack President Obama, he inflated the number of Islamic State fighters, saying in his remarks that there were 200,000. A spokeswoman for Mr. Bush later clarified that he had meant to say 20,000. At another point, he pronounced Boko Haram, the Islamist militant group based in Nigeria, as “Boku Haram.”

Mr. Bush said his formative experience on foreign policy had come not from watching his brother or father serve as commander in chief, but as a 20-something working and starting a family in Venezuela, and then as the governor of a state actively involved in foreign trade.

He recalled how many times he had visited Israel (five) and noted that he had “forced” himself to visit Asia four times each year.

Despite explaining how his biography differed – he recalled the high price of Pampers in Caracas – Mr. Bush is benefiting from the former presidents Bush.

As bad as his appearance was, the real problem is that someone forgot to tell his staff that it might not be a good idea to release the list of foreign policy advisers that Jeb has decided to be on his team.

The list represents the full spectrum of views within the Republican foreign policy establishment – from relative moderates, including former secretaries of state George P. Shultz and James A. Baker III, to staunch neoconservatives such as Iraq war architect Paul D. Wolfowitz.  [..]

Among Bush’s announced advisers are several viewed as staunch defenders of the CIA, including former director Michael V. Hayden, who came under heavy criticism in a recent Senate Intelligence Committee report about the agency’s interrogation techniques.

Just as telling were those missing from the official list.

Although former secretary of state Condoleezza Rice is at least as close personally to the Bush family as anyone on the list – and has consulted with the former Florida governor – the absence of her name suggests that he is sensitive about being seen as a carbon copy of his brother.

Al the Bushes Men (and women) photo BushMenv4_zps72021e63.png

Click on image to enlarge

The apple didn’t fall too far from the tree or that far from his older bother.

Cartnoon

On This Day In History February 21

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.

February 21 is the 52nd day of the year in the Gregorian calendar. There are 313 days remaining until the end of the year (314 in leap years).

On this day in 1965, Malcolm X, an African American nationalist and religious leader, is assassinated by rival Black Muslims while addressing his Organization of Afro-American Unity at the Audubon Ballroom in Washington Heights in New York City.

Assassination

Malcolm X began to speak to a meeting of the Organization of Afro-American Unity when a disturbance broke out in the crowd of 400. A man yelled, “Nigger! Get your hand outta my pocket!” As Malcolm X and his bodyguards moved to quiet the disturbance, a man rushed forward and shot him in the chest with a sawed-off shotgun. Two other men charged the stage and fired handguns, hitting him 16 times. Furious onlookers caught and beat one of the assassins as the others fled the ballroom. Malcolm X was pronounced dead at 3:30 p.m., shortly after he arrived at Columbia Presbyterian Hospital.

Talmadge Hayer, a Nation of Islam member also known as Thomas Hagan, was arrested on the scene. Eyewitnesses identified two more suspects, Norman 3X Butler and Thomas 15X Johnson, also members of the Nation. All three were charged in the case. At first Hayer denied involvement, but during the trial he confessed to having fired shots at Malcolm X. He testified that Butler and Johnson were not present and were not involved in the assassination, but he declined to name the men who had joined him in the shooting. All three men were convicted.

Butler, now known as Muhammad Abdul Aziz, was paroled in 1985. He became the head of the Nation of Islam’s Harlem mosque in New York in 1998. He continues to maintain his innocence. Johnson, now known as Khalil Islam, was released from prison in 1987. During his time in prison, he rejected the teachings of the Nation of Islam and converted to Sunni Islam. He, too, maintains his innocence. Hayer, now known as Mujahid Halim, was paroled in 2010.

Funeral

The number of mourners who came to the public viewing in Harlem’s Unity Funeral Home from February 23 through February 26 was estimated to be between 14,000 and 30,000. The funeral of Malcolm X was held on February 27 at the Faith Temple Church of God in Christ in Harlem. The Church was filled to capacity with more than 1,000 people. Loudspeakers were set up outside the Temple so the overflowing crowd could listen and a local television station broadcast the funeral live.

Among the civil rights leaders in attendance were John Lewis, Bayard Rustin, James Forman, James Farmer, Jesse Gray, and Andrew Young. Actor and activist Ossie Davis delivered the eulogy, describing Malcolm X as “our shining black prince”.

   There are those who will consider it their duty, as friends of the Negro people, to tell us to revile him, to flee, even from the presence of his memory, to save ourselves by writing him out of the history of our turbulent times. Many will ask what Harlem finds to honor in this stormy, controversial and bold young captain-and we will smile. Many will say turn away-away from this man, for he is not a man but a demon, a monster, a subverter and an enemy of the black man-and we will smile. They will say that he is of hate-a fanatic, a racist-who can only bring evil to the cause for which you struggle! And we will answer and say to them: Did you ever talk to Brother Malcolm? Did you ever touch him, or have him smile at you? Did you ever really listen to him? Did he ever do a mean thing? Was he ever himself associated with violence or any public disturbance? For if you did you would know him. And if you knew him you would know why we must honor him.

Malcolm X was buried at Ferncliff Cemetery in Hartsdale, New York. At the gravesite after the ceremony, friends took the shovels away from the waiting gravediggers and completed the burial themselves. Actor and activist Ruby Dee (wife of Ossie Davis) and Juanita Poitier (wife of Sidney Poitier) established the Committee of Concerned Mothers to raise funds to buy a house and pay educational expenses for Malcolm X’s family.

The Breakfast Club (Let us pray with Aphrodite)

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.

 photo 807561379_e6771a7c8e_zps7668d00e.jpg

Breakfast Tune: Old Time Religion (Arlo Guthrie/Pete Seeger – Precioius Friend)

Today in History



This day in history: Malcolm X assassinated; President Richard Nixon visits China; Televangelist Jimmy Swaggart makes a tearful confession; Steve Fossett is the first to fly across the Pacific Ocean in a balloon.

Breakfast News & Blogs Below

Late Night Karaoke

Random Japan

 photo gm-1_zps274f968c.png

Want your mecha models to look amazingly realistic? Don’t stop at the robot – Make the buildings!

 Casey Baseel

Whoa, hold on a second! We know Amazon Japan now sells giant robots, but we didn’t know someone else had made something this big! This mecha looks like it’s at least twice as tall (and three times as awesome) as the one offered by the online retailer. Don’t you need a permit to build something that huge?

Actually, the only legal paperwork involved in this photo was for model-making supplies, as that’s not a real giant robot, but a scale replica. What’s more, the way it appears to be standing with its head almost in the rafters of the structure housing it isn’t thanks to a mere trick camera angle, but rather the considerable skills of the modeller who also crafted a miniature hanger for his compact mobile suit.

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.

Not Your Bubbe’s Kasha

 photo recipehealthwell-tmagArticle_zps97de01d0.jpg

On Sunday I cooked up a big pot of nutty-tasting kasha, the cooked cereal made with toasted buckwheat groats. I enjoyed it all week. I stirred some into a frittata along with leeks and spinach, added it to two different salads and to buckwheat pancakes. I ate it plain, with a little milk and maple syrup as porridge for breakfast, and made a dinner in a bowl of kasha topped with mushroom ragout and kale. [..]

But this week everything changed when I bought a box of medium-grain kasha at the supermarket and took another stab at it. These groats were cracked, like bulgur, something I hadn’t seen before. (Indeed, I had reported years ago in this column that it was the medium cut of the grain that made them mushy; now I am convinced that I had it wrong, and that the cooking method also plays a key role). Cracked kasha (the package says “medium granulation”) is still a whole grain – nothing has been removed – but the grains have more exposed surfaces and are smaller than the whole pyramid-shaped buckwheat groats that I usually cook. I followed the directions on the box, mixing the buckwheat with a beaten egg and toasting it in a dry pan over high heat before adding hot water, salt and a little butter and simmering for 10 minutes. Then I did what I always do when I cook grains (and this instruction isn’t on the package): I let them sit for 10 minutes with a tea towel placed between the top of the pan and the lid to absorb steam from the grains. The kasha turned out perfectly – dry and fluffy, with the wonderful nutty/earthy buckwheat flavor I love.

Kasha

I used my kasha all week for various dishes, including the big bowl with mushroom ragout and kale that follows these basic cooking instructions.

Frittata With Kasha, Leeks and Spinach

Adding kasha to a frittata contributes a wonderful nutty flavor, and just the right amount of bulk.

Endive, Apple and Kasha Salad

Nutty, earthy grains mix with crunchy, juicy apples for a great salad that holds up well on a buffet.

Double-Buckwheat Blueberry Pancakes

Cooked kasha contributes great texture and flavor to pancakes.

Spinach and Endive Salad With Kasha and Mushrooms

A substantial leafy green salad enlivened by the nutty flavor of kasha.

When Chapters Collide: a mash-up

What would happen if two of my selected writings collided?

I thought I might as well see.  One of the pieces (Of the Greataway) is from a story I had been working on roughly called The Weavemothers. The other (On the Thickness of Skin) was an entry in my now defunct feature called Café Discovery that once appeared on Sundays at Docudharma.