Saturday, May 25, 2013

Cooked up some vegetables and a whole lot of good health!

I'm a huge fan of throwing together random vegetables for a meal. Of course, it helps that I'm a vegetarian. I like to take pics of what I cook so I can share with others. I'm not a chef, I just like to cook healthy meals for myself.  

Today I decided to sautee minced garlic in olive oil, then added kale.  I set it aside and sauteed baby carrots, squash zucchini, and tofu then mixed it all together.  There are so many health benefits to this combination. It's filling, satisfying and very energizing



Here are just some of the benefits of the ingredients:

Kale is rich in ß-carotene, lutein and zea-xanthin, vitamin A, vitamin-K; vitamin B-6 (pyridoxine), thiamin, pantothenic acid and essential minerals like copper, calcium, sodium, potassium, iron, manganese, and phosphorus. Kale provides rich nutrition ingredients that offer protection from vitamin A deficiency, osteoporosis, iron-deficiency anemia, and believed to protect from cardiovascular diseases and colon and prostate cancers.
 
Carrots are rich in anti-oxidants, vitamins and dietary fiber; carotenes and vitamin-A, poly-acetylene antioxidant falcarinol,vitamin C; folic acid, vitamin B-6 (pyridoxine), thiamin, pantothenic acid, and minerals such as copper, calcium, potassium, manganese and phosphorus. 

Zucchini is a good source of dietary fiber, contains a high anti-oxidant value and isrich in flavonoid poly-phenolic antioxidants such as carotenes, lutein and zea-xanthin, folates, potassium, vitamin A, vitamin C, thiamin, pyridoxine, riboflavin and minerals like iron, manganese, phosphorus, and zinc.

Squash contains many vital poly-phenolic anti-oxidants. Contains high levels of vitamin A as well as α and ß-carotenes, cryptoxanthin-ß, lutein, folates, riboflavin, niacin, vitamin B-6 (pyridoxine), thiamin, and pantothenic acid as well as iron, zinc, copper, calcium, potassium, and phosphorus.

Tofu contains protein, isoflavones, and fiber, all thought to provide health benefits. Soy is an excellent source of dietary protein, including all essential amino acids. Soy is also a source of lecithin or phospholipid. Soy isoflavones and lecithin have been studied scientifically for numerous health conditions.  Soy contains protein, isoflavones, and fiber, all thought to provide health benefits. Soy is an excellent source of dietary protein, including all essential amino acids.  

Garlic is thought to help improve iron metabolism and is a good source of selenium. Garlic has cardioprotective benefits due to its production of hydrogen sulfide gas. Our red blood cells can take sulfur-containing molecules in garlic (called polysulfides) and use them to produce this gas which in turn helps our blood vessels expand and keep our blood pressure in check. Some research shows that garlic consumption may actually help to regulate the number of fat cells that get formed in our body.  Garlic is also thought to be a natural antibiotic and good for helping deal with high blood pressure and high cholesterol.

Olive oil protects from heart disease, promotes healthy digestion, eases symptoms of ulcers and gastritis, lowers gallstone formation and balances fatty acids in the body.  Olive oil is a monounsaturated fat, and is considered a good fatty acid which helps protect against bad cholesterol. It contains vitamin K, vitamin E, phenols which are known to be anti-inflammatory, anti-oxidant and anticoagulant, oleocanthal which is a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory and anti oxidant, squalene which is a natural organic compound that regulates sebum which is secreted through our pores and forms a coating ont he skin that inhibits the grown of microrganisms and lubricates skin and hair, and chlorophyll which is a photosynthetic pigment found in plants and algae which is an anti-aging substance that promotes the healing of skin sores and wounds.
  
There you go....all those benefits in just one meal. Being creative with vegetables can be fun and good for your health!

House Committee hearings on the IRS: Kudos to the gentleman from Massachusetts

Below is part of the opening statement of Representative Steven Lynch, (D) Massachusetts, at the House Committee hearing on the Internal Revenue Service Scrutiny of Non-Profit Groups:

"But there's something else at play here. If we don't get...if this committee is prevented by obstruction or by refusal to answer the questions that we need to get to the bottom of this, you will leave us no alternative but to ask for the appointment of a special prosecutor or appointment to a special counsel to get to the bottom of this. This is a very serious matter, we would like to handle in in this committee.  But if...I watched the last hearing where the witness for the IRS had no names and no direction as to who led these investigations, who chose the terms to be used and basically stonewalled the committee. That cannot continue. We know where that will lead. It will lead to a special prosecutor,  it will lead to a special counsel being appointed to get to the bottom of this. So I hope that is not the approach the of the IRS going forward because there will be hell to pay if that's the route that we choose to go down."

As you can see, this isn't just a Republican issue.

Friday, May 24, 2013

Willingly throwing yourself into the public eye has its consequences.

I had a conversation with a friend recently regarding a guy who expressed his disdain about a comment containing alleged "unsubstantiated information" that was written in response to a published news human interest story about him.

My response is simple. Willingly throwing yourself into the public eye has its consequences. With the attention and the spotlight, comes the possibility of scrutiny. There's always that chance someone out there is going to read what's written about you and want to comment on it in a way that you don't like.  If someone makes a statement about you and it meets the state's requirement for libel or slander, then you can take legal action but if it doesn't, then you can either live with it or choose to challenge alleged false information with the truth, because the truth never lies.

However, if the statement made about you is true and it can be corroborated and substantiated, the last thing you want to do is indulge in threats and harassment. Sometimes it's probably best to just let it go and move on so as not to make a total ass of yourself.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Today, Dustin Inman would've been 29 years old.

Dustin Davenport Carter Inman, the only child of my cousin Kathy and her husband Billy, from Woodstock, Georgia, would have been 29 years old today.

On June 16, 2000, Dustin and his parents were on their way to their weekend retreat in the mountains of North Georgia, to celebrate Father's Day. Dustin and his beloved dog Lucky died on impact in a car accident in Ellijay, Georgia. A vehicle driven by a man named Gonzalo Harrell-Gonzalez struck the family from behind at full force as they waited at a stoplight. It was later determined the driver had fallen asleep at the wheel.

The man who killed Dustin, disabled Kathy for life, and scarred an entire family forever, is an illegal alien who had in his possession at the time of the accident, a North Carolina driver license which he obtained legally with a Mexican consular card. Gonzalez was treated at a local hospital immediately after the accident and because he was not being watched by police, he fled the hospital. Despite numerous features on "America's Most Wanted", Gonzalez remains at-large.

Dustin was a beloved son, grandson, nephew, cousin and friend and he will never be forgotten.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

The truth about libel...

I had a discussion with a fellow writer recently about libel. I learned quite a bit about it in my Mass Comm Law class and it's worth sharing...

What exactly is libel? Well, libel laws vary from state to state but as a general rule, it is the published defamation of character which can include written texts, graphics and pictures. Libel may expose a person to shame, contempt, embarassment, injures their reputation or harms them in their occupation. There are some elements one must prove in order to establish libel. The most common are publication, identification, harm, and fault. If any of the legally established elements can't be proved, then the statement is not considered libelous.

  • Publication is a statement communicated to a third party other than someone whom the statement is about.
  • Identification is when the statement identifies a person or "of and concerning" that person.
  • Harm is when a statement seriously shames, ridicules, disgraces or injures a person's reputation. According to the SPLC (Southern Poverty Law Center), statements which are "mildly embarassing, confusing or inaccurate" do not meet the harm test.
  • When establishing fault, the person suing has to prove the person who made the statement failed to do something they should've done which includes checking sources, fact-checking, etc.

There are also elements of defense in a libel case including privilege, fair comment and criticism, libel-proof, rhetorical hyperbole, and truth.

  • Privilege is the accurate reporting of a proceeding, such as a jury trial.
  • Fair comment and criticism is the expression of opinions no matter how critical.
  • Libel-proof plaintiff argument can be used when some plaintiffs already have bad reputations. One can't be harmed if their reputation is already damaged.
  • Rhetorical hyperbole such as humor and satire which is normally understood to be interpreted as figurative and not literal.
  • Truth. That one certainly doesn't need explanation. And by the way, even if a statement hurts a person's reputation, it is not libelous if it can be proved true. 

Writers should do their best to avoid libelous statements. Yes, it's true, we all screw up, but for the most part if we trust our gut (it's usually right), check our sources, and use good judgment,  we'll be okay.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Epic fail

"My Administration is committed to creating an unprecedented level of openness in Government. We will work together to ensure the public trust and establish a system of transparency, public participation, and collaboration. Openness will strengthen our democracy and promote efficiency and effectiveness in Government."

Dear Mr. President,

I don't think your peeps read the memo.

Sincerely,

The American People