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Archive for August, 2013

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School District hires company to monitor students’ Facebook postings

What’s for Dinner 

Grilled Marinated Flank Steak Recipe


Marinade Ingredients

  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 Tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 1/3 cup soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Other ingredients

  • 2 pounds flank steak
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground pepper


grilled-flank-steak-1.jpg grilled-flank-steak-2.jpg

1 Score the surface of the steak with 1/4 inch deep knife cuts, about an inch apart, across the grain of the meat. Combine the marinade ingredients. Place steak and marinade ingredients in a large freezer bag. Coat the steak well with the marinade. Seal the bag and place in a bowl. Chill and marinate for at least 2 hours and up to overnight.

2 Using olive oil soaked onto a paper towel, coat the grill rack of your grill with olive oil. Preheat the grill with high, direct heat. The grill is hot enough when you hold your hand about an inch over it and you can only hold it there for about a second.

3 Take the steak out of the marinade bag and sprinkle generously on all sides with coarse salt and freshly ground pepper. The salt and pepper will help form a savory crust on the steak. Place steak on the hot grill. If you are using a gas grill, cover the grill. Grill for 4-6 minutes on each side. Half way through grilling on each side, turn the steak 90° so that you get more grill marks.

How do you know if the steak is done? The best way to tell is to poke it with your finger tips. While the steak is still raw, test it with your fingers; it will be quite squishy. That’s what a very rare steak feels like. As the steak cooks the muscles contract and firm up. Touch the tip of your nose and that’s what a very well done steak feels like. Here’s a visual guide, the finger test to check the doneness of steak.

4 Flank steak is best eaten medium rare; well done will make it too tough. When the steak has cooked to your preferred level of doneness, remove from the grill and place on a cutting board. Cover with aluminum foil to hold in the heat and to keep the steak from drying out, and let rest for 10 minutes.

5 Make very thin slices, against the grain, and at a slight diagonal so that the slices are wide.

If you want, you can take the excess marinade and bring it to a boil, simmer for several minutes, and serve with the flank steak. Great also with salsa or horseradish sauce.

Serves 6.

Civics for Kids / News.ComAU

Green activists hope to replace your steak with … edible algae

The latest innovation in urban farming: fresh spirulina paste being placed into jars in Bangkok.

AFP/Getty Images

The latest innovation in urban farming: fresh spirulina paste being placed into jars in Bangkok.


On a hotel rooftop in Bangkok, dozens of barrels of green liquid bubble under the sun – the latest innovation in urban farming.

Proponents of the edible algae known as spirulina say it could help provide a sustainable source of protein as an alternative to meat.

Three times a week, Patsakorn Thaveeuchukorn harvests the green algae in the barrels.

“The algae is growing so fast, normally the doubling time is around 24 hours,” said Patsakorn, whose employer EnerGaia uses Bangkok’s rooftops to grow spirulina.

With its high levels of protein and nutrients, “it is beneficial to food security,” he told AFP.




That Fine Line

So many of us middle aged mothers saw Madonna’s half-time show at the Super Bowl

as empowering. There she was a 50 year old woman not just rocking her stuff but rocking

her woman owned enterprise and the life she had created for herself. So what was it 

about Miley Cyrus’ performance at the Video Music Awards that caused the very same 

women to issue a collective cringe. Watch it and decide. I know what it was for me but

would love to know what triggered that reaction in other Mothers. 


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Did Assad use chemical weapons on Syrian Rebels? 

Has the Tea Party Tiger lost its Teeth

Yosemite Fire as big as Chicago 

A Community Organizer for the Muslim Brotherhood? Whaaat?

I could not believe my eyes when I opened up this article in the New York Times that

says Tea Party henchmen are calling Sen. Lindsey Graham a “community organizer for 

the Muslim Brotherhood.”  Instead of putting his face on cartons of milk and asking where

the lost Senator has gone, the reasonable people of the state of South Carolina should

be applauding a Republican who sees immigration needs to be dealt with and is willing

to reach across the aisle to get something done. I’ll let you read this article and decide.

Challengers to South Carolina Senator Are Lining Up on the Right

Alex Wong/Getty Images

Senator Lindsey Graham, shown in Washington this summer, has been criticized by some Republicans and targeted by Tea Party supporters.


Published: August 25, 2013 27 Comments
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LAKE WYLIE, S.C. — Some of the early shots in the Republican primary battle against Senator Lindsey Graham have been fired from this tiny community on the northern border of the state where the Civil War began.

John W. Adkisson for The New York Times

Mr. Graham’s challengers so far in the Republican primary campaign include Nancy Mace, the first woman to graduate from the Citadel.

Stephen Morton for The New York Times

Another challenger, State Senator Lee Bright, tends to support extremely conservative legislation.

Readers’ Comments

A small group called Carolina Conservatives United, one of dozens organized loosely under the flag of limited government, low taxes and strict adherence to the Constitution, sent out images last week of a milk carton bearing Mr. Graham’s face and asked Gov. Nikki R. Haley to issue the state’s version of an Amber Alert to find its missing senator.

“Lindsey Graham has not been seen in the state of South Carolina for most of the last two years,” said Bruce Carroll, the chairman of the group.

Conservatives in South Carolina are eager to oust Mr. Graham, who has enraged the far right for, among other things, reaching across the aisle on immigration and supporting President Obama’s nominations for the Supreme Court. Tea Party supporters called him a community organizer for the Muslim Brotherhood when, instead of heading home for the Congressional break this month, he went to Egypt at the request of the president.

But to stand a chance against the politician who succeeded Strom Thurmond in 2003, conservatives will have to win a civil war of their own. At least 40 groups align themselves along Tea Party and Libertarian lines, and trying to unify them to topple the state’s senior senator will be no easy task.

So far, three people have stepped forward to challenge Mr. Graham in the June primary: State Senator Lee Bright; Richard Cash, a former Congressional candidate; and Nancy Mace, the first woman to graduate from the Citadel and, at the moment, the challenger whose political star is rising the fastest.

Ms. Mace, the owner of a public relations firm in Charleston, prides herself on her social media skills. She has never run for office, but her story is familiar to many here. For a time, she became the face of gender integration when she graduated from the Citadel in 1999, an experience she followed with a 2001 book, “In the Company of Men: A Woman at the Citadel.”

Toughing it out at the formerly all-male military college makes her a perfect candidate for voters seeking a true conservative, she said.

“I feel like they are looking for someone who is very strong and who won’t waver,” she said in an interview last week. But Ms. Mace is also the biggest target so far, in part because of her connection to a political gossip Web site called FitsNews, which she helped create in her role as a Web designer and media manager.

Will Folks, once a press secretary for Representative Mark Sanford and a former political consultant for Governor Haley, runs the site, which consistently attacks the governor. In 2010, Mr. Folks claimed to have had an “inappropriate physical relationship” with Ms. Haley two weeks before the election in her highly competitive bid for governor.

The claims were never proved, and Ms. Haley, who is heading into a campaign for her second term next year, has long said it was just another example of underhanded South Carolina politics.

Suggestions of a connection to the Web site can quickly throw Ms. Mace off message.

“My opponents’ political operatives have started smearing me,” she said. “I’m talking about all of them. It says more about my opponents than it does about me.”

The smears, she said, began in Mr. Graham’s camp two months before she announced her candidacy. The others have joined in.

One is Mr. Bright, who endorsed Ron Paul in the state’s presidential primary and has used the Web site connection to attack Ms. Mace. He has also been at odds with Ms. Haley over ethics changes and strategies to keep Mr. Obama’s health care law from being implemented in the state. Mr. Bright tends to support extremely conservative legislation and introduced a bill in 2011 to have the state create its own currency if the Federal Reserve system collapsed.

Ms. Haley said she was not jumping into the battle over who should replace Mr. Graham. Speaking this month at the annual Red State gathering, organized by Erick Erickson, the founder of the conservative blog, the governor said: “I controlled Tim Scott. We’ll see what you do with the other one.”

She was referring to former Representative Tim Scott, a Tea Party favorite she appointed this year to the Senate seat vacated by Jim DeMint, who left to head the Heritage Foundation.

The Senate Conservatives Fund, which Mr. DeMint founded in 2008, took on Mr. Graham last week for suggesting that a government shutdown as a way to fight the Obama administration’s Affordable Health Care act would be “a bridge too far.”

Mr. Cash, a businessman and a social conservative from Piedmont in the vote-rich upstate region, is considered a sleeper in the race, said David Woodard, a longtime South Carolina political consultant who ran Mr. Graham’s Congressional campaign in 1994 and wrote the 2006 book “The New Southern Politics.”

“You got to look at their money, and the guy with the most money is Richard Cash,” Mr. Woodard said.

According to recent campaign finance records, Mr. Cash had about $250,000, including at least $200,000 of his own money. Ms. Mace said she raised more than $100,000 in her first two weeks. Mr. Bright has not filed any campaign finance papers.

Mr. Graham has $6.3 million. Although he declined to comment on his opponents, his campaign staff pointed out that tough opposition in a primary is nothing out of the ordinary in South Carolina.

“Lindsey Graham is a strong fiscal, social and national security conservative with the record to back it up,” said Tate Zeigler, a campaign spokesman.

But Mr. Cash is staking out a position as the most anti-abortion, Christian constitutionalist in the race.

He is certainly the most seasoned campaigner among the challengers, even though his first race was not until 2010, when he was one of six Republicans trying to capture an open Congressional seat. Although he was not well known, he ran a disciplined campaign that moved him into a runoff against Representative Jeff Duncan, Mr. Woodard said.

In meetings with Tea Party groups, Mr. Cash repeats a carefully honed slogan about his candidacy, which he says is built on three C’s: capitalism, Christianity and the Constitution.

The state’s traditional Republican leaders and political consultants say that it will take a deeply unified effort to mount a successful campaign against Mr. Graham, but that in South Carolina, an unpredictable state with one of the country’s largest number of prominent Tea Party politicians, it is not unthinkable.

The key is for one candidate to find a way to harness that power.

“Anybody who wants to look at all those groups with a broad stroke should think again,” said Matt Moore, the chairman of the state’s Republican Party.

This summer, dozens of conservative groups talked about finding the state’s Ted Cruz — a reference to the Texas senator whose long-shot, grass-roots victory in 2012 is considered a model among Tea Party supporters.

It remains to be seen whom that should be, said Paul Anderko, the president of the GPS Conservatives for Action PAC.

“We know it’s not going to be an easy fight, and people are just listening and waiting to find the right candidate,” Mr. Anderko said. “But South Carolina is a funny state. Sometimes incumbents do go down in flames.”

A version of this article appears in print on August 26, 2013, on page A11 of the New York edition with the headline: Challengers to a Senator Are Lining Up on the Right 



Civics for Kids

This is a great talking point for kids. Ask them what they think about the following 

story. Was the Congressman wrong? 

Anti-Immigration Crowd Applauds Congressman’s Assurance That Young Girl’s Father May Be Deported


dont deport my dadAt a town hall in Mursfreeboro, Tenn., 11-year-old U.S. citizen Josie Molina approached the stage to ask anti-immigration reform Congressman Scott DeJarlais (R-TN) whether there was anything she could to do stop her father’s imminent deportation proceeding. “I have a dad who’s undocumented and what can I do so that he can stay with me?” she asked as her voice trembled. But when DesJarlais broke the news to her that “we have laws that we need to follow,” the crowd broke into rousing applause.

DesJarlais fielded questions about undocumented immigrants who want to serve in the military and from so-called DREAMers, who are undocumented youths brought to the country by their parents. But at all times, DesJarlais remained adamantly opposed to immigration reform, each time making border security and law-breaking the focal points of his argument. When Molina asked her question, DesJarlais responded just the same.

JOSIE MOLINA: I have a dad who’s undocumented and what can I do so that he can stay with me?

REP. DESJARLAIS: Joanna, thank you for being here and thank you for coming forward to speaking to us. This is a big intimidating crowd, and I appreciate you coming forward to ask your question. But the answer still kind of remains the same that we have laws and we need to follow those laws and that’s where we’re at.

Watch it:


According to some reports, both Tea Party members and numerous immigration advocates attended the packed event. But it was the Tea Partiers who applauded when DesJarlais told Molina that people need to follow the law.

But the law is not as cut and dry as DesJarlais suggests. The Obama administration implemented a policy to limit enforcementthat includes consideration of whether an individual has a U.S. citizen child or spouse. The policy also allows Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents to focus deportations on criminal immigrants.

The immigration bill that passed the Senate would provide a path to citizenship for many undocumented immigrants, and allow parents to make decisions about their child’s care before they are deported. The bill is pending before the House, with many Republicans like DesJarlais withholding their support. In the absence of such reform, more than 205,000 parents of U.S. citizen children like Molina, have been deported between 2010 and 2012.

Grilled Salmon and Peaches

From Real Simple Magazine: 

Read Reviews or Write Your Own
Serves 4| Hands-On Time: | Total Time: 




  1. Heat grill to medium-high. In a small bowl, combine the vinegar, ginger, thyme, 3 tablespoons of the oil, and ¼ teaspoon each salt and pepper. Set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, gently toss the onions, peaches, remaining 1 tablespoon oil, ½ teaspoon salt, and ¼ teaspoon pepper.
  3. Season the salmon with ½ teaspoon salt and ¼ teaspoon pepper.
  4. Grill the salmon and onions until salmon is opaque throughout and onions are tender, 5 to 6 minutes per side.
  5. After flipping the salmon, place the peaches on the grill and cook until tender, 3 to 4 minutes per side.
  6. Drizzle the salmon with the vinaigrette and serve with the onions and peaches.

By Sara Quessenberry and Kate Merker , August, 2008

See Nutritional Information for this recipe »

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No Injuries after 5 year old fires gun in school 

At the Chiropractor, Well-Adjusted Pets

Mark Wilson/Getty Images
A dog gets a chiropractic assessment at the Tufts University School of Veterinary Medicine.
One morning last August, Mary Arabe’s 9-year-old gray and black tiger cat, Leo, came home from a night out exploring with a severe limp and an elbow swollen three times its normal size. He was clearly in pain; Ms. Arabe thought he had dislocated his shoulder during a fall.

“He kind of lay around the barn that day; you could tell he was hurting,” said Ms. Arabe, who lives on a 25-acre farm in Rogers, Ohio, with 10 chickens, three horses, three cats and two dogs. “He was in so much agony I thought, ‘If someone can’t remove this animal’s pain I have to put him down.’”

She took Leo to the veterinarian, who said he could do nothing for him. Despondent, she took him to Rick Tsai, a chiropractor in Darlington, Pa., who a few years earlier had adjusted Ms. Arabe’s puggle, Bustar, after a head and neck injury.

An X-ray found no broken bones, but there was a large amount of swelling and fluid retention. Dr. Tsai couldn’t make any promises, but he placed his hands on the cat’s spine, hips and neck and manipulated the joints until they popped.

“We brought the cat home, and the next day he was walking fine,” said Ms. Arabe. “Two thirds of the swelling in the arm was gone. Whatever Dr. Tsai adjusted, it worked. He healed him.”

Millions of people swear by their chiropractors, and chiropractic has long been a mainstay in the equine world, especially among show or racehorses. Now it is gaining popularity among pet owners, as a way to treat household pets suffering from arthritis, sprains, joint pain and other ailments.

Animal, or veterinary, chiropractic originated around 1895, when human chiropractic first began. But it did not gain wider appeal until 1987, when the late Sharon Willoughby-Blake, a veterinarian and chiropractor, started Options for Animals in Hillsdale, Ill., which taught vets and chiropractors how to adjust animals. Two years later, the American Veterinary Chiropractic Association, a professional membership group and the main certifying agency in North America, was formed.

According to Robbie Hroza, vice president of operations for Options for Animals, about 2,000 students have gone through their program. Over the last two years, student enrollment has increased by 50 percent; a good portion are recent graduates of veterinary or chiropractic schools, she said.

Still, the practice remains controversial, in both people and pets. While some studies have found that chiropractic care can be more effective than medications for people with problems like neck pain, others have linkedforceful neck manipulation to strokes. Other researchers have found that unfavorable chiropractic outcomes are under-reported in medical trials.

There are only a few scientific studies about chiropractic’s efficacy on animals, and tensions exist both within and between the chiropractic and veterinary communities. The American Holistic Veterinary Medical Association, a trade organization, reports that in 2012 about 900 of the estimated 97,000 veterinarians in the United States practiced some type of animal adjustment.

In some states a chiropractor is not allowed to touch an animal without either a veterinarian’s referral or direct veterinary supervision. And in itspain management guidelines for dogs and cats, the American Animal Hospital Association and the American Association of Feline Practitioners caution, “chiropractic methods potentially can cause injury through the use of inappropriate technique or excessive force.”

“There is currently insufficient published evidence of efficacy in dogs and cats to make specific recommendations about the use of chiropractic intervention,” they add.

Indeed, since 1994, the American Chiropractic Association’s position has been that the term “veterinary chiropractic” is a misnomer and should “not be used to refer to the application of manipulative techniques to animals.”

To get around it, many veterinary practitioners use other monikers, at least for official purposes. At The Healing Oasis Wellness Center in Sturtevant, Wis., students are trained in “veterinary spinal manipulative therapy”; enrollment has tripled since opening in 1993, according to co-owner Michelle Rivera.

The American Veterinary Chiropractic Association calls the 1,000 plus vets and chiropractors that have gone through its training “AVCA certified doctors.”

Dr. William L. Inman, a veterinary surgeon and head of the International Association of Veterinary Chiropractitioners (also known as the American Animal Adjusting Association) in Coeur D’Alene, Idaho, offers “veterinary orthopedic manipulation,” or VOM, which involves applying a six-inch long, stainless steel, rubber-tipped Activator-like device on an animal’s spinal column. The 8,300 people who have gone though his course earn the title of “certified veterinary chiropractitioner.”

Many chiropractors think the rules are unfair to pet owners. “A person should be allowed to take their animal anywhere they want if they think it benefits them,” said Dr. Tsai, the chiropractor who treated Ms. Arabe’s cat. He has worked in tandem with veterinarians over the years, but acknowledges that many of them don’t like his field because it takes business away from them.

“Do you really think that a few weeks course can possibly teach a vet the skills that has taken a good chiropractor years to learn?” said Dr. Tsai, who has adjusted everything from raccoons to owls out of his home office in East Palestine, Ohio.

Gene Giggleman, a veterinarian, animal chiropractor and a professor of anatomy at Parker University College of Chiropractic, in Dallas, which has trained more than 400 vets and chiropractors in animal chiropractic, thinks it’s more about a lack of knowledge. “My philosophy as a vet is ‘chiropractic first, drugs and surgery second,’ but a lot of vets don’t understand or know about animal chiropractic, and so they don’t refer people,” he said.

Other veterinarians say their reservations are more about the health of the animal.

Dave Geiger, a veterinary neurologist near Santa Fe, believes that animal chiropractic has the potential to be harmful because “it’s performed by practitioners who often have very little background knowledge of veterinary neurology — or veterinary medicine at all — and thus are unable to fairly evaluate the theoretical or actual effects of their practices.”

“Some practitioners even promote veterinary chiropractic for conditions that it is potentially dangerous for, like degenerative disc disease,” he added. “It should be clearly identified as an unproven therapy, and practitioners should be prevented from making claims about its effects.”

Still, as with most kinds of alternative therapy, adherents often can’t be swayed.

“If it’s good enough for us, why not them?” said Dee Hayes, a yoga instructor in San Diego who shared the same chiropractor with her cocker spaniel, Charlie, for six years.

Patricia Kallenbach, a holistic veterinarian in Crystal River, Fla., said the field is growing because the client base demands it. “They’re saying, ‘If I’m going to eat better, I’m going to get my pet to eat better,’” she said. “‘If I can benefit from chiropractic care on my body, so can my pet.’”

Chiropractic also tends to be much cheaper than veterinary care, with visits costing as little as $35, depending on the type of animal and, of course, the practitioner.

To that end, learning another modality is beneficial to veterinarians, many of whom have been struggling financially. “It’s a practice builder in that you can offer another service without a huge amount of training,” said Dr. Kallenbach, who recently added chiropractic, massage therapy and acupuncture to her practice (in addition to massage for humans).

Maureen Wilkins and her 6-year-old Russian Peterbald cat, Isak, both get adjustments from Shannon Gaertner-Ewing, a chiropractor in Nampa, Idaho. Ms. Wilkins, 60, had been seeing Dr. Gaertner-Ewing herself on a weekly basis and started bringing in Isak three years ago.

“Isak is inclined to get grumpy, and it’s my understanding that’s usually because he’s hurting,” said Ms. Wilkins, a retired teacher who pays $20 per visit. “So, when Isak gets particularly grumpy and starts beating up on his feline brother or he jumps someplace and then falls off, we take him to Dr. G. She adjusts him, and it’s like Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. His attitude improves, he becomes Mr. Cuddles. He can’t get enough affection.”

Ms. Wilkins maintains that Isak can sense in advance when it’s time to visit Dr. Gaertner-Ewing. “When I put down the car carrier he’ll leap into it,” she said. “He is thrilled to go. As soon as he sees her, he’s practically drooling.”