Later On

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

Archive for October 4th, 2019

Get your flu shot

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From the Friday evening news briefing newsletter from the NY Times:

Australia just had a bad flu season, which may foretell a bad one is on its way to the U.S., public health experts said.

This year’s Australian outbreak began two months early, and led to more flu-related deaths than usual. Its terrible 2017 season presaged an American season in which 79,000 died. [Emphasis added for those who don’t understand why it’s a good idea to do you can to avoid getting the flu. – LG]

The flu is unpredictable, and experts advise getting the shot soon (your Briefing writer got hers today). “We know it isn’t perfect,” one doctor said, “but we need to emphasize the importance of partial protection.”

Written by LeisureGuy

4 October 2019 at 4:08 pm

Posted in Daily life, Health, Medical

House Democrats Are So Focused on Ukraine That They’re Overlooking Another Impeachable Offense

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David Corn writes in Mother Jones:

This is the way things work now: Donald Trump is credibly reported to have given aid and comfort to an enemy that attacked the United States—and this allegation, several days later, is not part of the news cycle or the scandal that is fueling the impeachment drive on Capitol Hill. The story of the most profound betrayal a president can commit has vanished from the national discourse. And that is partly because of the Democrats.

Last Friday night, the Washington Post published a stunning article reporting that during an Oval Office meeting in May 2017, Trump told Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and then–Russian ambassador Sergey Kislyak that Trump was unconcerned about Moscow’s attack on the 2016 presidential election. Trump noted the Russians that their assault on the United States was no big deal because the United States did the same in other countries, according to three former officials. It was at this meeting that Trump, as had been previously reported, revealed highly classified information to his Russian visitors and said that his firing of FBI chief James Comey the previous day had relieved “great pressure” on him. Yet Trump’s comments dismissing the importance of the Russian attack—which, according to the US intelligence community, was mounted in part to help Trump win the White House—now stands as the most significant moment of that gathering, where Trump and the two Russians were photographed smiling.

The Post noted that after this discussion, White House officials took steps to keep Trump’s comments from becoming public, and limited distribution of a memo summarizing the conversation to only a few officials with the highest security clearances. The memo was kept from officials who normally would have access to this sort of report. (The newspaper also reported it was unclear whether the memo was hidden in the supersecret White House server, as were documents related to those Trump interactions with Ukraine that are now the subject of the impeachment inquiry.)

It has long been assumed that Trump’s meeting with Lavrov and Kislyak was in keeping with Trump’s stated desire to get past the 2016 election and Russia’s interference. But Trump telling the Russians he did not care about the attack goes much further. That would mark a dereliction of his primary duty as president: to protect the nation. The US intelligence community, the report of special counsel Robert Mueller, and two congressional investigations (led by Republicans) have each declared that Moscow covertly waged extensive information warfare against the United States to subvert American democracy. Yet here was Trump sending a message to the foreign adversary that staged this attack that he was indifferent about it—that Russia could get away with it and perhaps do so again. Certainly, Moscow could have read Trump’s I-don’t-care comment as an invitation for future underhanded intervention.

Numerous national security officials in Trump’s own administration, including current FBI chief Chris Wray and former Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats, have said Russia poses a serious threat to the 2020 elections. On Wednesday, when asked if Moscow would target the coming US election, Russian leader Vladimir Putin joked, “I’ll tell you a secret: Yes, we’ll definitely do it.” And he added in a stage whisper, “Just don’t tell anyone.” But Trump, who has denied or discounted the Russian attack ever since the campaign, has never echoed concerns about a Russian assault in 2020, and he has not signaled that thwarting another Moscow attack (or an attack on US elections from any other source) is a priority for him.

At that Oval Office meeting with the Russians, Trump was abandoning his primary responsibility as commander in chief. . .

Continue reading.

Written by LeisureGuy

4 October 2019 at 4:00 pm

Semi-hummus: Quite tasty

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I used a size of can I never saw in the US: 540ml. Google helps by pointing out “1 19oz (540ml) can, undrained = 14.5 oz (410g) by weight, drained.” The usual can in the US in 16 ounces, and I also found this: “16 oz can = 1.5 cups cooked beans 19 oz can = 2.25 cups cooked beans.”

That’s just background so you can adjust proportions. I definitely use “no salt added” beans, and I recommend you do the same.

In my little food processor I put:

• 1 19-oz can of garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed well
• 1 lemon, peel cut off, cut into slabs, seeds removed
• 1.5 tablespoons macadamia nut oil (excellent omega-6 to omega-3 ratio: 1:1)
• 1.5 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil (Partanna, a reliable brand)
• 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
• 1 tablespoon dried mint

Process that. I actually use 2 tablespoons of each of the oils and the result was a little thin, so next time I’ll use the 1.5 tablespoons shown here. To thicken it a bit, I’m going to mix in 2 tablespoons chia seed.

It has a very nice light taste, quite different from hummus, though the relationship is obvious: garbanzo beans + lemon juice + oil + cumin.

Since EVOO has a 13:1 omega-6 to omega-3 ratio, I think next time I’ll just use 3 tablespoons of macadamia nut oil and leave out the EVOO. Adjust amount of oil to the size can you have (or the amount of cooked garbanzo beans you prepare).

Obviously, you can do this with any bean. Maybe I’ll try it with green lentils.

Written by LeisureGuy

4 October 2019 at 3:18 pm

Whole-food plant-based diet for diabetes

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Written by LeisureGuy

4 October 2019 at 12:36 pm

Easy chicken soup

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Though I follow a whole-food plant-based diet, The Wife does not, and when she started to show signs of coming down with a cold, a chicken soup seemed a good idea. I had read an interesting idea of making chicken stock, so I thought I’d try it.

• 1 rotisserie chicken, hot from the supermarket

Let chicken cool a bit and then pick the meat off the bones, putting the bones into a pot. (I used my 4-qt pot, which was a comfortable size.) The breast I pulled off intact and refrigerated that: two salads for later. The other meat and the skin I used kitchen shears to cut into small pieces. I definitely wanted to include the skin for the flavoring that it had been roasted with.

• 1 quart broth or stock plus about a cup of water — I used vegetable broth, but chicken stock would be better
* 1 quite large carrot cut into 1″ segments
• 1 yellow onion, peeled and quartered
• juice of 2 lemons—could substitute some vinegar, but you want some acid for the bones

I brought that to a boil, reduced heat and simmered it for an hour. While it simmered, I cut up:

• 3 small parsnips: thick part quartered lengthwise, rest halved lengthwise, then cut across into 3/4″ (approx) sections
• 1 largish carrot, treated the same way
• about 1.5 cups celery chopped fine, with leaves if possible
• 1 bunch Italian parsley, chopped
• 1 bunch large scallions, chopped including leaves
• 1 Parmesan rind (optional — but adds good umami)
• 2 teaspoons (approx) ground black pepper
• 1/3 – 1/2 cup hulled barley (intact whole-grain barley) or pot barley (steel-cut barley) — you can substitute pearled barley, but it lacks fiber
• 2 teaspoons Penzeys chicken soup base
• a little water if more liquid is needed

After the hour of simmering, I used a large slotted spoon to remove all bones and vegetables from the stock and discard those. Then I added the chicken meat (except for the breast) and the above and simmered until the vegetables were tender, which was around 1.5-2 hours.

  • 1/4 cup sherry or Shaoxing wine

Stir in the sherry, and it’s ready. I had a cup to test. It seemed good to me.

Written by LeisureGuy

4 October 2019 at 12:19 pm

D.R. Harris lather every bit as good as Mama Bear lather

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I forgot to use Col. Conk this morning, so I’ll try for tomorrow. In the meantime I went with another shave stick and carried forth the wood-fragranced theme with D.R. Harris Marlborough. D.R. Harris has always for me produced a top-notch lather, and this morning was no exception. The RazoRock Keyhole brush worked up a lather that compared quite favorably to the lathers I’ve been getting with Mama Bear soaps—and I’ll try that Kell’s Original I have, which is on a par.

Three passes with the wonderful Eros slant left my face totally smooth and ready for the splash of Marlborough aftershave, and now at last Friday gets underway, a little late.

Written by LeisureGuy

4 October 2019 at 10:31 am

Posted in Shaving

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