Monday, April 30, 2012

may day trails

courtesy of wikipedia
photographer:  Plàcid Pérez Bru
almond tree with ripening fruit,
majorca, spain

simple may day trails mix snack


1 zip lock baggie per demonstrator (alternatively, 1 small tuperware container, paper bag, or cloth satchel)


one or two handfuls of the following:

almonds (any variety; roasted, raw, etc.)
dry cranberries
chocolate or carob chips


1.  wash your hands and put your handfuls of each ingredient in the zip lock container/s, zip, and distribute. 

enjoy, and have an energetic and healthy may day!  this fast food snack goes well with a nutricious banana or apple. 

teach in

today's teach-in, via films for action and positivemoneyuk, is Why Banks Make So Much Money.

Sunday, April 29, 2012

we are the 99

musician and folk artist rick harris tells it like it is, in We Are the 99.

outstanding bills

courtesy of voice of detroit
photographer:  Jataveyis Price
detroit demonstrator at 4.25.12 GE protest

a 26.5 billion dollar outstanding bill:  that's the amount thousands of Detroit demonstrators say GE owes the United States in a march composed of city residents and busloads of outraged citizens from around the midwest - and there at GE's annual shareholder meeting to collect! 

the bill is reportedly based on a 35% statutory rate.  GE spokespeople retorted, the company paid 2.9 billion globally. 

below, youtube excerpts from the demonstration:

voice of detroit reports marchers headed to the GE Annual Shareholder Meeting at the Detroit Marriott Renaissance, and heading on both east jefferson and the riverfront side.  a couple of dozen shareholders - including Pastors William Rideout, Homer Jamison and Walter Starghill of Detroit and Inkster - were led out of the company's meeting after they presented the outstanding bill and demanded GE pay their fair share of taxes.   the paper reports no one arrested, although police attempted to instigate the crowd with horses brought dangerously close to bear upon marchers.

detroit is just the beginning of numerous coordinated shareholder actions planned across the country, and as part of the dubbed "99% spring."  per the center for democracy and media's pr watch:

[..] retirees who lost their pensions, families whose homes are underwater, students with impossible debt, the unemployed and underemployed, family farmers, immigrants, vets and more will be knocking on the doors of corporate boardrooms, holding CEOs of major American firms responsible for crashing the economy then turning their backs on their fellow Americans. With hundreds of shareholders on the inside and thousands of folks on the outside, the largest shareholder demonstrations in U.S. history are underway and spreading across the land.
in san francisco, thousands also surrounded a wells fargo shareholder meeting with a giant inflatable rat; about 24 people were arrested inside and outside the building where police escorted shareholders in, while barring entry to other shareholders, including 100 clergy from around the country also there to voice discontent.

courtesy of reuters
photographer:  robert galbraith/reuters
protester arrested at 4.25.12
Wells Fargo shareholders meeting

courtesy of abc
SKY7-HD captured this shot of a giant inflatable rat
outside the protest at the annual Wells Fargo shareholders meeting
in San Francisco on April 24, 2012.

pr watch reports that "not even a single remaining shareholder squeeked as his [CEO John Stumpf] $20 million dollar bonus package was approved" - and - "The giant rat escaped the cuffs."
Ross Rhodes, 53, of San Francisco clutched his proxy shareholder letter with the hopes he could talk with Stumpf about his struggle to save his family's home of nearly 50 years from foreclosure, but hundreds were blocked from entering. Larry Ginter, who traveled all the way from Rhodes, Iowa, managed to get inside, but Stumpf would not yield.
from reuters, 
At the Wells meeting, more than 96 percent of shares cast were in favor of the bank's pay plan. Stumpf received $19.8 million in total compensation in 2011, an increase of about 5 percent from the previous year. Citigroup CEO Vikram Pandit's pay rose to $14.8 million in 2011, up from a token $1 the year before.
a lot more outstanding bills to collect, for sure.

pr watch reports 32 shareholder actions planned including Bank of America, Morgan Stanley, Sallie Mae (student loans focused), Verizon, Wal-Mart, WellPoint (health care focused), Occidental, and Peabody Coal. 

99% Spring trainings have been taking place "in church basements, community centers, big cities and small towns across America."

more blogging on spring training here and here.

Saturday, April 28, 2012

i know of a place

from occupytv, more footage from the occupy wall street press conference on solidarity blogged earlier for the may 1st nationwide/worldwide general "strike," or "day without the 99%."  dozens of representatives from a coalition of labor, civil and immigrant rights groups speak out:

from the earlier exerpt, a partial poetic transcription (poetic license taken by the blogger*) from the eloquent, self-described "citizen of the world" 's statement:

i know of a place

"I know of a place
a place that we all

have the keys to

I know of a place

a place where your economic class

does not determine your social worth

I know of a place

where there is not charity

but radical mutual aide

I know of a place

where each conversation

has revolutionary potential

I know of a place

where comprehension

has not been short-circuited

I know of a place

where we have not been blinded in tricks

into thinking that the world has to be this way

we’ve all felt

this place

on may 1st

let’s go
to this place


let’s not walk

let’s march


let’s not sit

let’s dance


worker, student, mother,

sisters and brothers

black, brown, white,

purple, and yellow

we say MAY 1ST
we say MAY 1ST

let’s all


and take the streets!"

* to the extent that google blogspot editing capabilities allow me to format lines the way i type them, not the way their program randomly posts, and no matter how many times bloggers report it.  with all their sophisticated programming capabilities, can't they fix this simple, little posting "glitch" ?

Friday, April 27, 2012

m1gs preparations

nationwide, preparations are underway for a may 1st general "strike" in support of occupy wall street, also dubbed "a day without the 99%."  reportedly, there are many ways to participate, including demonstrations, biking-only, not attending school or work, and not doing any housework.  high school and college students have called for a walk-out. 

everyone is urged not to spend any money. 

the occupy wall street website has published a directory for may 1st general strike activities in your chosen geographical area.  or references for planning activities in your own.  a full roster of new york city activities are now published here

immigrant and labor rights activists are planning events, and in a number of cities.  below, part of an OWS press conference on solidarity:


c.u.n.y. faculty have released a statement of support, decrying the increasing burden of tuition, fees, and student loan debt, as well as modeling c.u.n.y. "on corporate structures — from excessive executive compensation to the exploitation of contracted and adjunct labor. "

the may 1st general strike (M1GS) is being supported by single payer health-care-for-all activists.  [single payer is basically an improved medicare extended to age zero (read h.r. 676 here).]  health-care now! invites supporters to download flyers and petitions to pass out on M1GS at this link.

in the youtube below, occupy los angeles presents its stunning "4 winds" strategy for M1GS. 

in the next video, anonymous announces support for a global M1GS.


poet noah gauthier sharing his work, Livin' in the Land Where the Whip Still Cracks at occupy denver:

Thursday, April 26, 2012

wheatberry salad

courtesy of wikipedia
photographer:  Photographer2008
wheat and blue sky, Czech republik

wheatberry and bulgar salad with cranberries


1 or 2 pots for preparing grains in water
large spoon
bowl for mixing and serving salad
cutting board and knife

courtesy of wiki
photographer:  Joyous!
uncooked bulgar wheat


1 cup of wheatberries, 3 cups of water
1 cup of bulgar, about 2 1/2 cups of water

1 or 2 handfuls of dried cranberries

about 1/4 cup of feta cheese

a few dates, pitted and cut into small pieces

1 or 2 handfuls of chopped almonds, of any type (alternatively pecans or walnuts)

chopped sweet red pepper, amount to taste

1 finely chopped persian cucumber (alternatively, about 1/4 of a regular cucumber)

mixed greens, amount to taste and compliment (not overpower), such as baby spinach, green or red leaf lettuce, so on

a handful of cherry tomatoes, whole or halved (alternatively, sun dried tomatoes)

oil & vinegar dressing, or a cesar salad dressing

optional, fresh chopped basil

courtesy of friend wiki
photographer:  Keith Weller
a coastal washington cranberry bog


1.  prepare your two types of grain separately;  boil water for each, add grains, stir, and lower to a simmer.  Bulgar should be ready in about 15 minutes;  the wheat berry, about 45.  If any water remains for the wheat berries, drain in the collander.

2.  while wheat is cooking, clean and prepare any additional raw vegetables;  chop your almonds (or pecans or walnuts).

3.  toss a few large scoops of your warm grains in the bowl with the desired dressing, cranberries, nuts, dates, feta cheese, red pepper, chopped cuc, fresh greens, and tomatoes.  any optional basil.

serve and enjoy!

courtesy of wiki
photographer:  zandland
uncooked wheatberries

more stuff

refrigerate the rest of your grains so they are ready to throw into any salad combination throughout your week.  this recipe, however, is very nice served with the grains warm in the salad. 

if you're wondering where to get some of this stuff (like the grains and cranberries), I recommend trying the bulk section of a local food coop for broader selection, quality, amount, and affordability.  if you are in one of our nation's many food deserts, i suppose you can find all three online, and sun dried tomatoes, as an alternative to fresh tomato. 

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

teach in

in lieu of the democracy now! 4 part surveillance series posted earlier - - today's teach-in is the one on surveillance mentioned by amy goodman in the course of the interview, and with her earlier guests:  NSA whistle blower william binney, hacker jacob appelbaum, and filmmaker laura poitras.  courtesy of youtube's bewareofyak -

part one:

part two:

part three:

part four:

part five:

Tuesday, April 24, 2012


from greenthumbnails, a display of great sign art for this upcoming may 1st 2012 nationwide strike - also worldwide - and set to spring from antonio vivaldi's four seasons - itzhak perlman on the violin with the london philharmonic orchestra.

more blogging on the may 1st 2012 general strike here.

"be there or be square."


courtesy of Business Insider
protester carrying sign,
"End Corporate Welfare - Forgive Student Loan Debt"

tommorow, reports occupy wall street, wall street pops the champagne as student debt tops 1 trillion dollars.

protesters invited to various locations around the nation.

more blogging on student loan debt here and here.


via new york magazine, a manhattan judge has ruled that your tweets belong to twitter, not you:
 [...] Malcolm Harris will not be able to prevent prosecutors from demanding "any and all user information" tied to his Twitter account. Harris was one of about 700 demonstrators arrested in last fall's march over the Brooklyn Bridge, only to have his social media profile subpoenaed by the district attorney's office. As the Wall Street Journal reported last month, "prosecutors have turned one of the movement's principal organizing tools — social media such as Twitter — against the defendants."
Harris sought to fight the subpoena, the New York Times reported in February, arguing "that the request for 'any and all information' could be interpreted as asking for private messages between Mr. Harris and others, as well as a host of data collected by Twitter, including e-mail addresses and phone numbers used by Mr. Harris, Web pages he has visited and information about his physical location at different times." But a judge said today that the information is fair and relevant. "Twitter's license to use the defendant's Tweets means that the Tweets the defendant posted were not his," the decision said
according to the washington post last month, the assistant d.a. claimed malcolm harris' tweets would be helpful because they "made clear…that he was well aware of the police instructions that day, and acted with the intent of obstructing traffic on the bridge."

let's look back at that key day on the brooklyn bridge, as blogged.

police were clearly photographed by davids camera craft leading protesters on to the bridge, and as filmed by the motorist, prepared to pen them in, from the other end, i gather - in the ensuing hours that saw 700 patriotic americans arrested for standing up for the Constitution.

these youtubes, as well, show N.Y.P.D. in action - a whole contingent of officers leading thousands into the traffic lane - hardly the result of a tweet -

Monday, April 23, 2012


in a four-part series on growing state surveillance, Democracy Now! interviews NSA whistle blower William Binney and two individuals targeted for government surveillance - filmmaker Laura Poitras and hacker Jacob Appelbaum.  

part one:

part two:

part three:

part four:


poet and musician Yussef Ahmed in Poetically Correct.


courtesy of wikipedia
photographer:  ish-ka
simple miso soup

simple miso with soba, sautéed crimini mushrooms, and scallion


pot and large spoon
frying pan

cutting board and chopping knife


courtesy of wikipedia
photographer:  Jurema Oliveira


2 tablespoons organic brown rice miso paste for every 2 cups of water, or according to container directions 

a couple of bundles of soba noodles, more or less, depending on how thick with noodles you like your broth

a batch of green onion or scallion, cleaned and chopped, with root tip (but not bulb) and other end removed

a tiny scraping of fresh ginger root, about the equivalent to one very thin slice, minced

sautéed crimini mushrooms - prepared as blogged earlier, with the addition of sautéed chopped garlic (discussed below in procedure), and the omission of any salt.

courtesy of wikipedia
photographer:  Jonathunder
A batch of scallions/green onion (Allium fistulosum)
at an outdoor farmers' market in Rochester, Minnesota.


1.  put a pot of unsalted water on to boil for your soba noodles. (if you are a stickler about your noodles sticking, add a little canola oil instead.)

2.  while water is heating, prepare your crimini mushrooms, as blogged earlier - except start your chopped garlic in the olive oil of that recipe first, and brown slightly, so that the garlic doesn't "boil" in the water released by the mushrooms. also - leave out the salt.

3.  when your soba water boils, add noodles, stir, and cook for about 3 minutes or according to directions on that packet.

4.  drain your noodles in a collander, rinse with cold water, and put aside.

5.  put desired amount of water in pot for miso soup, your miso, and chopped onions, fresh ginger scraping, stir and bring to a boil.

6.  lower to a simmer for about 10 minutes;  in the last few minutes, add your mushrooms, garlic, and soba noodles.

serve and enjoy!  do not forget to appreciatively slurp your noodles as is a customary courtesy in japan.

courtesy of wikipedia
photographer:   Kurt Stüber
a buckwheat flower

more stuff

this simple soup recipe has many easy variations since you can successfully add so many different meats or vegetables.  and, of course, tofu is a favorite, as well.  other ideas include left-over meats, cooked shrimp, various greens, hard boiled egg, carrot, celery, yellow onion, white beans.  you can sauté raw ingredients like yellow onion or celery in a little olive oil at the bottom of the pot prior to adding your water and miso paste, and in lieu of scallions.

if you can't find miso paste at the store (rather, some instant packets) - try a local food coop.  i was only able to purchase them there, although the soba noodles were available in the asian food section of a regular grocery store.  on a quick google, i see that you can buy it online.

wiki reports miso high in nutritional benefits, especially in combination with tofu, scallions, or other vegetables, and bbc reported in 2003 that japanese researchers found that regular consumption of miso may lower women's risk of breast cancer.  brown rice miso paste is a mixture of soybean, brown rice, water, and salt.  there is a reportedly a wide variety of japanese miso depending on grain type, but as far as I found shopping, only a few types, such as red miso or white miso (made with white rice).

buckwheat, in the soba noodles, is also beneficial to your health, a grain that is linked to lowering cholesterol and high blood pressure.

one drawback to miso is sodium - so leave the salt out of your recipes since the miso paste has plenty!  on a quick google, i do see low sodium miso pastes available on line.  you can add miso to a chicken broth - or vegetable and beef stock, but be aware that this may not a good combination if your stock is already salted or your selected miso paste has a high sodium content.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

teach in

today's teach-in comes from uc berkeley professor robert reich at occupy l.a., and on why we must take back our democracy.

Friday, April 20, 2012

last night i had the strangest dream

arlo guthrie and shenandoah singing for peace - like soldiers.

bird's eye

waging non-violence takes us "bird's eye" to the slept-on sidewalks by the stock exchange.


courtesy of reuters slideshow
photo credit:  reuters/pool
george zimmerman in court, april 20, 2012,
for a bail hearing, and for murder in the 2nd degree, 
in the killing of unarmed minor, trayvon martin 

george zimmerman made his first public appearance in court today where florida judge kenneth lester set bail at $150,000 in a two-hour hearing described as "sometimes contentious."  defense requested bail set at $15,000, and prosecutors who opposed his release at all, suggested bail set at a million.

zimmerman made an apology statement to the family, claiming that he didn't know how young trayvon was, and whether or not he was armed, while zimmerman's wife, questioned by the judge by telephone, said that she did not believe her husband was violent.  his wife - who doesn't know that he's violent - is entrusted with contacting authorities if he disappears. 

does the judge think she'll notice if he does? 

the los angeles times reports that
attorneys for the state repeatedly brought up two incidents from Zimmerman's past. The first was an arrest for assaulting an undercover officer during an underage-drinking crackdown; the second was an injunction filed by a former girlfriend who said Zimmerman struck her.
still, said zimmerman's father in more theatre of the absurd, and in another telephone testimony for the hearing - (another family member the court hopes will keep an eye out?) - "I've never known him to be violent at all, unless he was provoked, and then he would turn the other cheek."


according to the new york times, zimmerman will be released in several days pending arrangement of electronic monitoring. he is only confined to his residence during the evening, and only responsible for contacting authorities every three days.  his attorney even requested permission to leave the state, a matter the florida judge refered to .. their local police department?  for the time being, the judge finally took away zimmerman's gun rights.

benjamin crump, attorney for the trayvon martin family, said the family was "completely devastated" by the bail decision.  he said that tracy martin had tears in his eyes throughout the hearing. 

"And it was devastating that he [zimmerman] got to give a self-serving apology to help him get a bond," said Attorney Crump. "They (the parents) were very outraged at that."

courtesy of the new york times
photographer:  Brian Blanco/European Pressphoto Agency
Tracy Martin and Sybrina Fulton, Trayvon Martin's parents, attend the bail hearing for George Zimmerman on Friday.   Family attorney Benjamin Crump in the red tie.

reuters reports:
Assistant State Attorney Bernie de la Rionda was limited in his cross-examination of Zimmerman to the apology and prohibited from delving into the facts of the case. But he made a point of locking Zimmerman into his statement that he also told police he "felt sorry for the family" about the death of Trayvon.
Zimmerman also testified he never changed his story in three separate statements to police.
the los angeles times reports that zimmerman's lawyer focused on the state's probable cause affidavit:
The affidavit says Zimmerman "confronted" Martin, after which a struggle ensued. In a likely preview of the defense strategy at trial, O'Mara questioned the use of the word "confronted."

"Do you know who started the fight?" he asked the investigator at one point.

"Do I know? No," Gilbreath said.

"Do you have any evidence that supports who may have started the fight?"

"No" Gilbreath said.
school yards vs murder

excuse me, but was there "a fight"? 

zimmerman's lawyer makes it sound like a school yard altercation with two parties in the wrong. 

not to mention that, even in a school yard altercation, if a bully attacks a student at school and beats him up - is there "a fight," or just a bully who beats someone up?

similarly, but much more serious, of course - we don't have "a fight" - we have a killer and a victim.

there's only one person who commited a crime here:  a grown man (uh - accountable under the law) with a gunhis client, george zimmerman, and in the course of stalking an innocent, unarmed teenager walking home, talking with a friend on the phone, with some skittles and a can of ice tea. 

his client - also disobeying a direct instruction by the police not to follow.


The students of Paul Robeson High School announce a May 1st Student Walk-Out.

The text of their transcript, as follows:

Dear New York City,
We, the students of public education, are here to inform you about the injustice that is taking place in our school system:
* The privatization of our school system
* The budget cuts
* Lack of appropriate leadership
* Malicious closings/phasing out of schools against the communities’ wishes.
* Cell phone policies
* Overcrowded classes & abuse of SAFE rooms
* Over policing of our schools and the criminalization of our youth
We feel that these issues are setting our students up for failure, and we DEMAND a change! We believe that trying to control our schools is just another symptom of the blatant racism in our country similar to the government’s response to the senseless killing of Trayvon Martin.  
Because of this, our first action will be a mass student walkout on May 1st at 12pm to Fort Greene Park. We will be holding teach-ins, teen summits & other peaceful events.  
Please add your name to our letter and support us in our struggle for our education.
Signed, Student Leadership Paul Robeson HS
More information here on the facebook page for the May 1st Student Walk-Out.

Occupy Wall Street is sharing further information at their website on the National May 1st Strike.

Thursday, April 19, 2012


Helen of the Hinterland

"Look," she pointed to herself, "This is a face that can launch
a thousand ships."

Helen was not drunk. She had just spent a night in jail for
drunken driving. Steam and smoke mingled into abstract
landscapes inside the half-lit bar.

Her friend, a beautiful woman, was unnerved by the gazes of
men with hungry looks. "Have you noticed how they stare at
me," said Helen.

Helen had two children by the same married man.
The first was an accident. The second, to trick him.

Sitting cross-legged, Helen blew a mouthful of smoke in her
friend's face.

by Yun Wang

from The Book of Jade, Winner of the 15th Annual Nicholas Roerich Poetry Prize, Story Line Press, Ashland, Oregon, 2002

See and hear Yun Wang reciting poetry from The Book of Jade on youtube here, here, and here - at the 2009 Mark Allen Everett Poetry Series at the University of Oklahoma.

* Image credit, Woman's Face, by Henri Matisse, 1948

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

sautéed mushrooms

courtesy of wikipedia
"Mushroom Picking"
artist: Franciszek Kostrzewski (1826–1911)

simple sautéed crimini mushrooms


frying plan & large spoon

cutting board & knife


a batch of crimini mushrooms, cleaned and sliced

a tablespoon or two of olive oil


sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Crimini Mushrooms Growing
At White Crest Mushroom Farm In Ontario, Canada


1.  oil and heat your heat your pan on a medium flame.

2.  add mushrooms, salt and pepper, watch and stir regularly for a few to several minutes until they have browned to desired consistency, releasing a certain amount of water.

enjoy!  serve sautéed crimini mushrooms over rice, baked red garnet yam (or a simple baked russet), a meat, fowl, or fish entrée, in a grilled panini with other vegetables - combining beautifully with eggplant or zucchini.  Or simply put your mushrooms in a sandwich with greens, tomato, top with a sharp or mild cheese (your preference), put in the oven or grill for a few moments to melt the cheese on top and hold the ingredients together.  your sautéed crimini mushrooms are also lovely to add to a simple pasta tossed in egg sauce as blogged here or here, combining with any of those ingredients, or as an alternate.  You can top any number of soups with our versatile sautéed friend - for example - miso, onion, or a simple chicken or beef broth.  And sure, we love sautéed crimini mushrooms on pizzas, whether you improve on an easy ready-made, or create everything from scratch.  lest i forget - add them to this baguette and sausage combination, also as blogged earlier, or your food of antiquity omelette (add a little more oil when your mushrooms are finished, and then add your egg et al).

other stuff

many eatable mushrooms can be substituted here, though cooking time and preparation may vary.  mushrooms can also be foraged in the wild.  wiki reports mushroom foraging popular in "most of Europe, including the Nordic, Baltic, and Slavic countries and the Mediterranean Basin, as well as in Australia, Japan, Korea, Canada, and the northwestern, Midwestern and Appalachian United States."

if you are interested in foraging wild mushrooms, seek expert advice as some varieties are poisonous and not always quickly distinguished from the safer kind.  some folks have workshops, taking people out to forage in groups, and there are wild mushroom foraging clubs and forums.

below, feral kevin takes us foraging for wild chantarelle mushrooms in the california bay area:

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

teach in

Today's teach-in topic is single payer health care - basically an improved Medicare expanded to age zero - what it is, and how and why it works.  The video is a 2008 entry from an H.R. 676 video contestWhat Is Single Payer is written by Katie Robbins and directed by Philip Swift.  (Keep in mind that the figures used in the video are from 2008 - so these statistics have only gotten worse.)  Read the 30 pages of H.R. 676 here and decide for yourself.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Hit 'Em Up Style

Carolina Chocolate Drops shows how, in Hit 'Em Up Style.

Sleeping On Sidewalks

Courtesy of Metro
Photographer:  Cassandra Garrison/Metro
April 13th 2012 OWS Protesters Sleep On Financial District
Sidewalks To Express Their Political Views

Courtesy of Gothamist
Photographer:  Mark Lyon
April 13th 2012 OWS Protesters Sleep On
Financial District Sidewalks To Express Political Views

N.Y.P.D. confuses the branches of our government yet again, as Occupy protesters were arrested this morning for sleeping on the sidewalks down at the Manhattan Stock Exchange.  As blogged earlier, a 2000 court decision allows sleeping on sidewalks to express political views.

The New York Times reports an officer stating to 100 demonstrators a little after 6 A.M.:   “Sitting or lying down on the sidewalk is not permitted.  Anyone who is sitting or lying down must now get up or be subject to arrest.  Also, it is unlawful to leave moveable property on the sidewalk.”

The Times reports that one officer punched a man in the face and then arrested him after the man swung his bag at a video camera the policeman had stuck in his face.  Another man was arrested (presumably, and also, for resisting an implied arrest of a potential protest sign?) when the officer grabbed a piece of cardboard from the man:
“That’s my cardboard,” the man said, trying to grab it back.
“You’re going to resist?” the officer said before arresting him [the man]. A few feet away, officers arrested a woman sitting on a curb.
A total of 4 persons are reported arrested.  A civil rights attorney for the group, Norman Siegel, said the clearing of the sidewalks “raises serious and substantial constitutional and First Amendment issues.”

Below, Tim Pool livestreams events unfolding at Federal Hall where protesters have been gathering during daytime and countering the closing of the New York Stock Exchange with a "People's Gong."  At the time of this blog posting, the National Park Service reportedly asked protesters to fill out an application to rally on the steps.  Livestream reporters hear that a filing is going through the courts to allow them to stay;  the Parks Department states that they are "all right with it until 5:00."  Federal Hall is part of the National Parks - why (if you watched the youtube at the earlier blog post) you see an employee in a green Parks Department uniform in addition to N.Y.P.D.  George Washington was inaugurated at this site, and the Bill of Rights introduced in the 1st United States Congress by James Madison:


As of 5:00 P.M. Eastern Time, the Parks Department announced that protesters could not sleep on the steps of Federal Hall.  They did not, however, tell them that they had to leave.

Sunday, April 15, 2012


Courtesy of MSNBC
Photographer:  Nick Ut/AP
People wait in line for a chance to get free medical care
 after spending the night at the Los Angeles Memorial Sports Arena
on Monday Oct. 17,2011

Mother Jones reports on another kind mandate.  The mandate to provide all people access to quality health care.  From writer, Adam Server:
Marla Tipping's 14-year-old son, Cam, has to have his blood cleaned every two weeks. He has a rare condition that makes his body produce too much cholesterol.
Tipping says her family has had "to be absolutely vigilant in never having a lapse in coverage…because many carriers would never carry you with a preexisting condition again."
That was the case before the passage of the Affordable Care Act. Now, children like Cam cannot be denied coverage because of a preexisting condition. (Similar protections for adults are set to start in 2014.) While Tipping says she and her husband still pay between $20-25,000 out of pocket every year for costs their insurance won't cover, the ACA at least guarantees that they'll be able to find some kind of policy for Cam, even if they are forced to leave their current plan.
Likewise, Stacie Ritter, a mother who participated in protests supporting the ACA's passage, no longer has to worry if her twins, who have a rare form of leukemia, will be denied coverage if they have to change insurance providers.
"This law protects them from being discriminated against if my husband lost his job," Ritter says. "Right now what's protecting us is the fact that my girls can't be discriminated against; we don't have to fear that we don't have access to insurance. That's a really scary thought if the law is repealed."
Although some say that the USSC could eliminate the mandate without "touching" the rest of the legislation,  Don Berwick, former administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, and "who also helped implement early provisions of the Affordable Care Act," states that this is just not possible.  For one, the legislation is so complex (or convoluted?), axing the mandate creates an administrative nightmare that would inevitably topple other parts of the bill.  Indeed, conservative Justice Scalia seems to have suggested doing so for exactly that reason:  "My approach would say if you take the heart out of the statute, [i.e. the mandate] the statute's gone."

Courtesy of Reuters
Photographer:  Shannon Stapleton/Reuters
People wait in line to enter a free health clinic
at the Wise County Fairgrounds
in Wise, Virginia, July 25, 2009.

Some people are discussing whether axing the mandate - or the legislation - makes single payer more or less "inevitable."  As blogged earlier, AETNA CEO, Chaiman, and President Mark Bertolini asserted that the legislation posed a reckoning for the health insurance industry - with or without the mandate - because health insurance companies will have to accept everyone.  (Though this was stated without the explicit understanding that removing the mandate basically destroys the whole bill.)  Of course, if they don't have to do that (accept everyone), the "inevitability" of their demise seems predicated on the ability of citizens to pressure a Congress controlled by the health insurance lobbyists to expand an improved Medicare to age zero.  Or to pressure them to impose upon themselves campaign finance reform laws adverse to the interests of the lobbyists who maintain them in their jobs.  As health insurance premiums continue to climb, and more people lose their coverage.

IOW, we have the same problem as before, with the real mandate, a moral mandate, still being ignored by many of our lawmakers:

Health care for all, now.

Courtesy of Voice of Detroit

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Stock Exchange

Wall Street Journal/Associated Press reports that Occupy is now sleeping out on the sidewalk at the New York Stock Exchange and in front of nearby banks.  "We really are literally occupying Wall Street for the first time,"  said spokesman Karanja Gacuca.  According to the Lawyer's Guild, occupiers are protected from arrest because a 2000 court decision allows sleeping on sidewalks to express political views.

Democracy Now! speaks with some of the demonstrators sleeping out to express their political views:

Below, from OccupyTV, April 13th 2012 protesters gather during daylight at Federal Hall - the site of George Washington's inauguration - to counter the closing bell of the New York Stock Exchange with "The People's Gong."  Police make arrests - one man arrested repeatedly states, "George Washington would not approve!"  As the tape ends, the crowd is vigorously chanting, "One, We Are The People - Two, We Are United - Three, This Occupation Is Not Leaving!"

Thursday, April 12, 2012


From MTSU and Imperial Lighthouse Productions - I Am Trayvon Martin - a poem and film tribute to Trayvon Martin.  Zimmerman written and portrayed by Tilmon KeatonTrayvon written and portrayed by Ryan Carson.  Jasmine White as Trayvon's girlfriend.  Filmed and edited by Jairus Burks and Ramon Johnson.


courtesy of wikipedia
asparagus officinalis
1885 german botanical illustration

sautéed asparagus with almonds


large spoon or stirring utensil
cutting board
chopping knife


batch of fresh asparagus, cleaned
a few garlic cloves, peeled and sliced
a handful or two of unsalted raw or roasted almonds, chopped
a tablespoon or two of canola oil

seasonings, to taste

sea salt (alternatively, soy sauce)
freshly ground black pepper

note:  if you only have salted almonds in the pantry, go ahead, but be careful with any additional salt or soy sauce. just leave either out altogether.

courtesy of wikipedia
photographer:  muffet
batches of asparagus


1.  on a cutting board, cut off the ends of your lovely asparagus stalks.  then cut the stalks into two or three sections, depending on your preferences.

2.  oil your wok with the canola oil and heat on a medium to high flame. 

3.  when your wok is hot, add your chopped garlic, and stir and brown just slightly before adding your asparagus stalks.

4.  add asparagus stalks, chopped almonds, salt, and pepper, and stir and toss regularly for a few minutes or more, depending on desired tenderness.

Serve up and enjoy! 

Pleasant on brown rice, by itself, on salads with Provençal Aioli, with an omelette, or as an accompaniment to just about any meat, fowl, or fish entrée. 

Now I am thinking about white wine ..

courtesy of wikipedia
photographer:  Longhair
asparagus growing in mildura,
victoria, australia

other stuff

i thought of asparagus recipes because today's seattle times reports  the asparagus harvest underway in eastern washington due to rising temperatures.

according to wiki, asparagus is high in antioxidants, vitamin C, and a low calorie source of folate and potassium.

does your pee smell after you eat it? 

wiki reports studies indicating that it does, indeed, but not all people have the olfactory mechanisms to smell it (the way some people have inny belly buttons and some people have outty belly buttons - or the way some people can curl their tongue, and others cannot - etc).  there are some contradictory findings, however - if you don't smell it, you may be among a minority that does not produce this odor.  science has yet to draw firm conclusions here!

some of the "volatile organic compounds" responsible for the smell are

  • methanethiol

  • dimethyl sulfide

  • dimethyl disulfide

  • bis(methylthio)methane

  • dimethyl sulfoxide

  • dimethyl sulfone

  • with methanethiol and dimethyl sufide the most "pungent" and dimethyl sulfoxide and dimethyl sulfone the "sweetest."  says wiki,

    These compounds originate in the asparagus as asparagusic acid and its derivatives, as these are the only sulfur-containing compounds unique to asparagus. As these are more present in young asparagus, this accords with the observation that the smell is more pronounced after eating young asparagus. The biological mechanism for the production of these compounds is less clear.

    the odor was first scientifically investigated by polish chemist and doctor, Wilhelm Marceli Nencki, 1847-1901, whose main scientific interests revolved around "the chemistry of purines and the biological oxidation of aromatic compounds."  He attributed the smell to methanethiol. 

    courtesy of wikipedia
    Wilhelm Marceli Nencki, 1847-1901
    polish chemist and doctor
    who first scientifically investigated
    the reasons for smelly urine excreted by humans
    after eating asparagus

    and a most interesting fellow, engaged in a peaceful pursuit!

    - o.s.r.