Later On

A blog written for those whose interests more or less match mine.

Archive for May 21st, 2007

Good point: it would make a good movie (or two)

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And it probably will, in time, if that is still allowed:

Written by Leisureguy

21 May 2007 at 4:18 pm

America: best healthcare system in the world

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Not. Take a look at this scene from Michael Moore’s new film Sicko:

Written by Leisureguy

21 May 2007 at 4:10 pm

Vegans don’t eat enough meat

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Good article on the drawbacks of veganism (UPDATE: And an even better rebuttal, which points out the fatal flaw of Planck’s providing no sources for her statements—except the one about the cautions against soymilk for babies, which turns out to be false.):

When Crown Shakur died of starvation, he was 6 weeks old and weighed 3.5 pounds. His vegan parents, who fed him mainly soy milk and apple juice, were convicted in Atlanta recently of murder, involuntary manslaughter and cruelty.

This particular calamity — at least the third such conviction of vegan parents in four years — may be largely due to ignorance. But it should prompt frank discussion about nutrition.

I was once a vegan. But well before I became pregnant, I concluded that a vegan pregnancy was irresponsible. You cannot create and nourish a robust baby merely on foods from plants.

Indigenous cuisines offer clues about what humans, naturally omnivorous, need to survive, reproduce and grow: traditional vegetarian diets, as in India, invariably include dairy and eggs for complete protein, essential fats and vitamins. There are no vegan societies for a simple reason: a vegan diet is not adequate in the long run.

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Written by Leisureguy

21 May 2007 at 3:16 pm

Posted in Daily life, Food, Religion

:sigh: Corruption crosses the aisle

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When power enters, can corruption be far behind? Read this depressing story:

Today Rep. Mike Rogers (R-MI) will introduce a motion to rebuke Rep. John Murtha (D-PA) for breaking a House rule. The charge? Rogers says that Murtha threatened to deny Rogers’ earmarks for “now and forever” in retaliation for Rogers’ opposition to one of Murtha’s pet projects. That’s a real threat coming from Murtha, who’s one of the senior appropriators in the House.

The thing is, Republicans used to do this all the time when they were in power. And that’s why the Democrats instituted the new rule this January, which prohibits denying or awarding earmarks (members’ targeted spending projects) based on a member’s vote.

But Murtha is, if anything, a creature of the old order, a lawmaker who opined to The New York Times that “deal making is what Congress is all about” and called the Democrats’ ethics reform bill “total crap.” You might say that Rogers’ allegation has the weight of credibility behind it. Murtha has declined to respond to the allegation, and Rogers, a former FBI agent, says he has a number of witnesses.

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Written by Leisureguy

21 May 2007 at 12:10 pm

Posted in Congress, Democrats

Very nice lunch

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Here it is:

1/2 yellow onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, mashed and chopped
1 red bell pepper, seeded and chopped
good shaking of crushed red pepper flakes
freshly ground black pepper

Sauté those in olive oil in small sauté pan. Add:

4 Roma tomatoes, chopped
Juice of 1 lemon
1/4 cup red wine
About 1.5 Tbsp of the chile-garlic paste

Simmer over medium-high heat for a few minutes, then add:

2 oz. mini-penne pasta
About 7 oz fresh catfish nuggets (trimmings from filleting catfish)
2 Tbsp Trader Joe’s Cuban-style black beans

Reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Yummy. In fact, there’s enough left for dinner. Quick and easy.

After reading the stories about imported food, I was careful not to buy the catfish until I learned that it was imported from Canada. I don’t want food produced in China, thanks.

Written by Leisureguy

21 May 2007 at 12:06 pm

Impeach Alberto

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White House spokesman Tony Fratto mentioned that “no-confidence” votes are a part of a parliamentary system and don’t really have a role here. And, on the whole, I agree. The proper course, given that Congress really doesn’t have confidence in Gonzales and is aware of the damage Gonzales is doing, is to impeach him.

Written by Leisureguy

21 May 2007 at 8:58 am

Lies, lies, lies. Then more lies.

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Read Glenn Greenwald’s column today for particularly egregious and obvious lies about FISA. You have to ask yourself, “Why do the Republicans continually lie? Why won’t the truth serve their purposes?”

Written by Leisureguy

21 May 2007 at 7:27 am

2 Republican governors attack EPA as obstructionist

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Arnold Schwarzenegger (California) and Jodi Rell (Connecticut) don’t mince words:

It’s bad enough that the federal government has yet to take the threat of global warming seriously, but it borders on malfeasance for it to block the efforts of states such as California and Connecticut that are trying to protect the public’s health and welfare.

California, Connecticut and 10 other states are poised to enact tailpipe emissions standards — tougher than existing federal requirements — that would cut greenhouse gas emissions from cars, light trucks and sport-utility vehicles by 392 million metric tons by the year 2020, the equivalent to taking 74 million of today’s cars off the road for an entire year.

Since transportation accounts for one-third of America’s greenhouse gas emissions, enacting these standards would be a huge step forward in our efforts to clean the environment and would show the rest of the world that our nation is serious about fighting global warming.

Yet for the past 16 months, the Environmental Protection Agency has refused to give us permission to do so.

Even after the Supreme Court ruled in our favor last month, the federal government continues to stand in our way.

Another discouraging sign came just last week, when President Bush issued an executive order to give federal agencies until the end of 2008 to continue studying the threat of greenhouse gas emissions and determine what can be done about them.

To us, that again sounds like more of the same inaction and denial, and it is unconscionable.

Under the Clean Air Act, California has the right to enact its own air pollution standards, which other states may then follow, as long as the EPA grants California a waiver. The waiver gives California, and other states, formal permission to deviate from federal standards. California has requested more than 40 such waivers over the past 30 years and has been granted full or partial permission for most of them.

By continuing to stonewall California’s request, the federal government is blocking the will of tens of millions of people in California, Connecticut and other states who want their government to take real action on global warming.

The EPA is finally holding the first of two hearings on the waiver request tomorrow, and we welcome the opportunity to call attention to the harmful effects that global warming is having on people and the environment.

But we are far from convinced that the agency intends to follow the law and grant us our waiver.

If it fails to do so, we have an obligation to take legal action and settle this issue once and for all.

More at the link. Do you get the feeling that they are angry and frustrated?

Written by Leisureguy

21 May 2007 at 6:31 am

Ah, the Monday shave

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D.R. Harris Almond shaving stick—not very almond, so far as I can tell, but definitely produced a great, thick, wonderful lather with the Simpsons Keyhole 2 Best Badger. Really nice. And then I picked up the Slant Bar, since the stubble was thick and dense after missing a shave. The usual: effortless, close shave, even more exceptional than the regular shave: totally smooth, no nicks. Finished with alum block and Florida Water as the aftershave.

Written by Leisureguy

21 May 2007 at 6:14 am

Posted in Shaving

Gays in the military: not a problem

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Not a problem, that is, unless you take the homophobic approach the US has used. Of course, there have always been gays in the military. But the US was special in seeing that as a problem in itself. Great Britain (and 24 other nations) have gone a different route:

The officer, a squadron leader in the Royal Air Force, felt he had no choice. So he stood up in front of his squad of 30 to 40 people.

“I said, ‘Right, I’ve got something to tell you,’ ” he said. “ ‘I believe that for us to be able to work closely together and have faith in each other, we have to be honest and open and frank. And it has to be a two-way process, and it starts with me baring my soul. You may have heard some rumors, and yes, I have a long-term partner who is a he, not a she.’ ”

Far from causing problems, he said, he found that coming out to his troops actually increased the unit’s strength and cohesion. He had felt uneasy keeping the secret “that their boss was a poof,” as he put it, from people he worked with so closely.

Since the British military began allowing homosexuals to serve in the armed forces in 2000, none of its fears — about harassment, discord, blackmail, bullying or an erosion of unit cohesion or military effectiveness — have come to pass, according to the Ministry of Defense, current and former members of the services and academics specializing in the military. The biggest news about the policy, they say, is that there is no news. It has for the most part become a nonissue.

The Ministry of Defense does not compile figures on how many gay men and lesbians are openly serving, and it says that the number of people who have come out publicly in the past seven years is still relatively low. But it is clearly proud of how smoothly homosexuals have been integrated and is trying to make life easier for them.

“What we’re hoping to do is to, over a period of time, reinforce the message that people who are gay, lesbian and the like are welcomed in the armed forces and we don’t discriminate against them in any way,” a Defense Ministry official said in an interview, speaking on condition of anonymity in accordance with the ministry’s practice.

More at the link.

Written by Leisureguy

21 May 2007 at 5:29 am

Posted in Military

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