Archive for July, 2007

Diet Sodas Not The Best Idea, Folks…

Monday, July 23rd, 2007

Sorry, gang…diet sodas are crap. Do what I did, cut out all but the very occasional soft drink (I stick to the “clear” sodas when I do have one; Sprite, 7-Up, etc.) You’ll lose lots of weight and feel better. Cutting out soft drinks helped me lose 20 pounds. Trust me!

Excerpt  From Reuters:
Sodas — even diet ones — may be linked with increased risk factors for heart disease and diabetes, U.S. researchers said on Monday.

They found adults who drink one or more sodas a day had about a 50 percent higher risk of metabolic syndrome — a cluster of risk factors such as excessive fat around the waist, low levels of “good” cholesterol, high blood pressure and other symptoms.

“When you have metabolic syndrome, your risk of developing heart disease or stroke doubles. You also have a risk of developing diabetes,” said Dr. Ramachandran Vasan of Boston University School of Medicine, whose work appears in the journal Circulation.

Prior studies have linked consumption of sugar-laden sodas with multiple risk factors for heart disease, but Vasan and colleagues also found the link extends to diet sodas.

The study included about 6,000 middle-aged men and women who were observed over four years.

Those who drank one or more soft drinks a day had a 31 percent greater risk of becoming obese.

They had a 30 percent increased risk of developing increased waist circumference — which has been shown to predict heart disease risk better than weight alone.

They also had a 25 percent increased risk of developing high blood triglycerides as well as high blood sugar, and a 32 percent higher risk of having low high-density lipoprotein or “good” cholesterol levels.

Official takes blame for passport mess

Monday, July 23rd, 2007

Official takes blame for passport mess - Travel News -
The current passport mess is rare among government foul-ups: A top federal official has publicly taken the blame and expressed regret.

“Over the past several months, many travelers who applied for a passport did not receive their document in time for their planned travel. I deeply regret that,” says Assistant Secretary of State Maura Harty, who is in charge of passports for U.S. citizens. “I accept complete responsibility for this.”

In an effort to thwart terrorists, the government implemented new rules on Jan. 23 requiring more Americans to have passports. By summer, more than 2 million Americans were waiting for passports; half a million had waited more than three months since applying for the travel identification that historically has been ready in six weeks.

The massive backlog has destroyed summer vacations, ruined wedding and honeymoon plans, disrupted business meetings and educational trips. Individuals have lost days of work waiting in lines or thousands of dollars in nonrefundable travel and lodging deposits. And Congress has been overwhelmed as constituent pleas for passport help soared from dozens a year to hundreds a month in many offices.

The culprits have variously been identified as inept planning, underfunded preparations, popular misunderstanding of poorly crafted government advertising, unanticipated effects of public debate over immigration, tardy and ill-considered responses to the developing crisis, and even partly on Hurricane Katrina, which damaged the New Orleans processing office.

Some in Congress wonder if the effort hasn’t actually harmed security. Others question whether more passports actually contribute much to security at all.

The Police Deliver Arresting Shows

Sunday, July 22nd, 2007

The show in St. Louis was transcendent…click below for reviews of other venues. If you can catch this show, do it. It’s a memory you’ll treasure.

“Songs like ‘De Do Do Do, De Da Da Da’, ‘Roxanne’, and ‘Every Little Thing She Does is Magic’ have lost none of their shine and energy. With a catalogue of songs that is the envy of any band, The Police could play for hour after hour without repeats. As it was, they packed everything into a concise, well-tuned couple of hours, including encores.”
- The Windsor Star

Plane lighter ban to be lifted…Breast Milk Policy Also Changes

Sunday, July 22nd, 2007

Plane lighter ban to be lifted - U.S. Security -
Airline passengers will be able to bring many types of cigarette lighters on board again starting next month after authorities found that a ban on the devices did little to make flying safer, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) said Friday.

The agency also announced that it was changing its policy on breast milk, and will allow mothers with or without children to carry more than three ounces onto planes.

Starting Aug. 4, air travelers will be allowed to carry disposable butane lighters, such as Bics, and refillable lighters, including Zippos, the TSA said. A prohibition will continue on torch-style lighters, which have hotter flames.

The EuroSatan Black T-Shirt …On Sale Now!

Saturday, July 21st, 2007

The EuroSatan Black T-Shirt > SoonerThought | CafePress

Get the Podcast’s favorite satirist on your chest!



Saturday, July 21st, 2007

Wordfaery predicted this…that they would come for the poets and literate first.

PRINTERS BALL GETS BUSTED :: :: The Center of Chicago’s Cyberspace Poetry
For the moment, I think I am in a poetry paradise. The party is only beginning.

And then a swarm police wearing bulletproof vests with badges on ropes around their necks like characters from The Shield illegally storm into this private art gallery. Without so much as a search warrant or even an explanation, five of them surround the DJ and demand he turn off Mark Morrison’s “Return of the Mack.” Issuing uncompromising threats, they force the DJ to announce over the microphone that without so much as a discussion EVERYONE MUST LEAVE THE PREMISES.

Like a scene out of Robocop, a small army, in ominous black bulletproof jumpsuits with CHICAGO POLICE in big white letters across their chests, arm the exits as hundreds of literate citizens file out into the night.

Thus ends this year’s Printers Ball, which took who knows how long to plan and which apparently offended the authorities by putting some literature into its party. One has to wonder what has gone wrong with the City of Chicago at times like this. Does this city simply have too many narcs? Do these roughnecks have to keep busy to justify their paychecks? Are the Chicago Police that daft that they can’t tell a book giveaway from a rave? Is this a sign of intellectual cleansing in preparation for the Olympics? Or perhaps there is a legitimate concern like a bomb threat but we the people are to ignorant to have it explained to us.

US companies cut junk food ads on kids’ shows

Saturday, July 21st, 2007

US companies cut junk food ads on kids’ shows - Yahoo! News
Eleven big US producers of chocolates, fries, sodas and sugary cereals pledged to cut back advertising aimed a kids to help fight child obesity.

Is This Heaven?

Friday, July 20th, 2007

A fascinating blog…

Is This Heaven?

Live by the code … of cordiality

Friday, July 20th, 2007

Good advice here…

Live by the code … of cordiality - Well-Mannered Traveler -

Bill Clinton criticizes Bush on Iraq

Thursday, July 19th, 2007

Bill Clinton criticizes Bush on Iraq - Yahoo! News

Former President Bill Clinton on Thursday criticized President George W. Bush’s administration for failing in Iraq, saying their was no evidence of much-needed political or diplomatic progress.

“The point is, that there is no military victory here,” he said in an interview on ABC’s Good Morning America.

Clinton’s wife Hillary is running for the Democratic nomination for president and she has been calling on Bush to pull troops out of Iraq.

“There is no evidence that, whether we have a good day in a particular community or region in Iraq, that we have either the political reconciliation process within the country working or any diplomatic process that’s got a chance to help with the neighbors,” the former Democratic president said.

Washington has been urging Iraq for months to pass important laws aimed at reconciling majority Shi’ites and minority Sunni Arabs. So far only one of the draft laws aimed at drawing Sunnis more firmly into the political process has reached the Iraqi parliament.

Bush, who has been under pressure to change the course of the increasingly unpopular war, has said he is waiting for a September progress report from his U.S. commander in Iraq, Gen. David Petraeus.

“I believe that Gen. Petraeus is a very able man and I don’t have any doubts that they’ll win some battles,” Clinton said. “I hope this works. I think every American hopes this works. But it can’t work beyond winning a few battles. It has to be accompanied by … progress on the political front.”

On Monday, Bush’s fellow Republicans in the Senate blocked a Democratic proposal to force a withdrawal of American combat troops from Iraq.

Max Blumenthal: Generation Chickenhawk: the Unauthorized College Republican Convention Tour

Thursday, July 19th, 2007


Max Blumenthal: Generation Chickenhawk: the Unauthorized College Republican Convention Tour - Politics on The Huffington Post
On July 13, 2007, I visited Section 60 of Arlington National Cemetery, where the bodies of American soldiers killed in Iraq were freshly interred. Afterwards, I headed across the street to the Sheraton National Hotel, owned by right-wing Korean cult leader Sun Myung-Moon, to meet some of the war’s most fervent supporters at the College Republican National Convention.

In conversations with at least twenty College Republicans about the war in Iraq, I listened as they lip-synched discredited cant about “fighting them over there so we don’t have to fight them over here.” Many of the young GOP cadres I met described the so-called “war on terror” as nothing less than the cause of their time.

Yet when I asked these College Repulicans why they were not participating in this historical cause, they immediately went into contortions. Asthma. Bad knees from playing catcher in high school. “Medical reasons.” “It’s not for me.” These were some of the excuses College Republicans offered for why they could not fight them “over there.” Like the current Republican leaders who skipped out on Vietnam, the GOP’s next generation would rather cheerlead from the sidelines for the war in Iraq while other, less privileged young men and women fight and die.

Along with videographer Thomas Shomaker, I captured a vivid portrait of the hypocritical mentality of the next generation of Republican leaders. See for yourself.

Now That’s Some Straight Talk: McCain ‘Finished’ discussing campaign «

Thursday, July 19th, 2007 - CNN Political Ticker McCain snaps: ‘Finished’ discussing campaign «
A frustrated Sen. John McCain snapped Wednesday when asked by CNN about his troubled presidential campaign and vowed he would no longer answer questions on that topic.

“I’m not going to talk about my campaign anymore,” McCain said in a sharp tone. “I’m finished with talking about it. I’ve talked about it for two weeks. I will not discuss it or any aspect of it. Thank you.”