Dennis Rodman unofficial visit to North Korea

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Last week, Rodman went to Pyongyang, North Korea with the Harlem Globetrotters basketball team and a camera crew from the upcoming HBO series, VICE. He hung out with Kim, sitting next to him at a basketball game and attending a party at the dictator’s palace. Rodman’s visit comes amid heightened tensions between North Korea and the United States.

Despite the threats, President Obama vowed to impose further sanctions on the country, whose citizens already suffer from crippling economic and social conditions, in attempt to isolate the regime. North Korea has said it intends to move forward with more long-range rocket and nuclear weapon testing.

The administration has faced criticism from GOP lawmakers who have urged a tougher approach against Kim. Administration officials also acknowledge there is still much they do not know about the new North Korean leader, who assumed power in 2011 and his intentions.

The State Department, though, has sought to distance itself from the basketball star’s trip, saying it has no plans to de-brief the star following his return. Rodman has spent more time with Kim since any other American since he succeeded his leader as father.

Rodman suggested that the North Korean leader had been misunderstood and did not seek conflict with Washington.

“He said, ‘If you can, Dennis – I don’t want [to] do war. I don’t want to do war.’ He said that to me,” Rodman said.

However, in January, after the U.N. Security Council voted to condemn the North’s successful rocket launch in December and expand penalties against Kim’s government, his National Defense Commission said in a statement that “settling accounts with the U.S. needs to be done with force, not with words.” The statement also promised “a new phase of the anti-U.S. struggle that has lasted century after century.”

North Korea and the U.S. fought on opposite sides of the three-year Korean War, which ended in a truce in 1953. The foes technically remain at war. They never signed a peace treaty and do not have diplomatic relations.

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Although bad, its in your refrigerator

You know you’re courting nutritional disaster if you order the fettuccine Alfredo or double bacon cheeseburger when you’re eating out. But what about unhealthy foods right in your own refrigerator? If you’re like most of us, your fridge probably holds some basic food products that are adding extra calories, salt, fat, and sugar to your everyday diet — perhaps without you even realizing it.

To make my list of unhealthiest foods, the products had to be commonplace, and they had to be high in trans fats, saturated fat, sugar, or salt. Here are three of my top favorites:

1. ImageMayonnaise

It’s really easy for the calories and fat to add up when you’re slathering on the mayonnaise.

The truth is that regular mayo isn’t too bad if you’re talking about a teaspoon or two. But most mayo users spread it on thicker than that. And if you’re a true mayonnaise lover, you can rack up 360 calories and 40 grams of fat in a 1/4-cup serving.

Mayo maniacs have three better options. They can use a lower-calorie condiment instead of mayonnaise such as mustard, BBQ sauce, salsa, or taco sauce. They can switch to a light mayonnaise with 35 calories and 3.5 grams of fat per tablespoon. Or they can pare down their portion of real mayonnaise to a couple of teaspoons which has 60 calories and 6.7 grams of fat.

2. ImageSoda and Other Sweet Drinks

Sugary drinks are everywhere. Not only are they standard fare in restaurants and vending machines, but the drinks sold in supermarkets — bottled teas, fruit drinks, sports and energy drinks — are usually sweetened as well.

Soda, sweet tea, and fruit drinks generally contribute no nutrients but add plenty of calories. And recent research shows that we don’t tend to compensate by eating less when we drink sweet drinks.

Plain water is best for rehydrating the body and should make up most of what we drink each day. But there are several beverages without calories, like green and black teas, that not only hydrate but contribute healthy antioxidants. And although skim or 1% milk has some calories, milk also has key nutrients, such as calcium, vitamin D, B-12, potassium, and magnesium.

3.  alcohol Alcoholic Beverages

From a nutritional standpoint, there are definitely better beverages you can have in your fridge.

Alcohol calories are empty calories because the body can’t use them as energy. The liver is forced to break alcohol down into fatty acids, which then accumulate in the liver. In fact, fat accumulation can be seen in the liver after a single night of heavy drinking. Liver cells and brain cells actually die with excessive exposure to alcohol.

And then there are the calories. One glass of wine (8 ounces) has around 170 calories, and a bottle of beer (12 ounces) has 150. Each 1.5-ounce shot of liquor (gin, rum, vodka, whiskey) has about 105 calories, not including any soda or mixers you might drink along with it.

If you’re going to drink, do so in moderation. At parties or happy hours, instead of alcoholic drinks, consider drinking mineral or soda water with a wedge of lemon or lime, hot or iced coffee or tea, or diet soft drinks in moderation.

Yes, reform is needed. It’s a travesty that people are viewing others discriminately. Such is a part of the American history and culture. Have we forgotten that this country was built on the backs of immigrants?

janetw525

According to an article in the Washington Post, White House Chief of Staff Denis McDonough reiterated that President Obama will be prepared to offer his own immigration reform proposal if a bipartisan effort on Capitol Hill fails. McDonough’s comments followed a recent USA Today report that said the White House is drafting a proposal to allow illegal immigrants to seek permanent legal residency within eight years.

The reality is that any politician who looks at the issue seriously comes to the same conclusions (and this includes GWB whose immigration plan was sensible, but shot down by the republican controlled congress).  In short, the plan that is actually workable and does not include crazy people absolutes includes:

1.  limited amnesty for those who are here a long time and are willing to enter into agreements to pay back taxes and perhaps fines (spread over a few years)

2.  strict border controls along the southern…

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Response to Stacey:
Wow, what an interesting perspective from your life. In fact, you’re not alone as people steering clear of others that are different from them. However, I was fortunate in my up bring. I grew up in a diverse neighborhood. Lucky for me that I’ve heard most sides of people’s views. Unfortunately, for me, I never experienced the harsh reality of ignorance until I became an adult. Yikes! However, I learned to work with people who have opposing views. I will add that I’ve open my eyes to an abundance of information to other cultures and view. It was my ah-ha moment.

stacygooden

I know we are suppose to blog about the media and what we think of the news, but I have something to say about my college experience. I grew up in a white Republican middle class household in rural Pennsylvania. My whole family for generations back were Republican–on both sides. They were coal miners, steel workers, factory laborers, country store owners, homemakers–just your average joes and josephines. I married someone just like me–white, middle class and Republican for generations back on both sides. I thought everyone thought and lived like me the whole time I was growing up. The first encounter I had with someone who didn’t agree with me politically was when I was employed as a nanny in New York during the Bush/Dukakis campaign in 1988. I was watching the news alongside the family I was working for and a story came up about Dukakis’ stand on abortion, which was…

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Thanks! There’s a lot of information we need to know. Best of luck to you as well.

stacygooden

Good luck everybody on our first Political Science test tomorrow. Of course, by the time you read this it will probably be over. Don’t forget to have fun! A great piece of advice from my 11-year old.

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Each year we celebrate various holidays that represent different significant events. As an African American female, sometimes I feel over looked in my quest for universal freedom. However, I do think it’s important to recognize ALL ethnicities, genders etc. At the same time, I can relate to the comment of “Now you get it.” Are we so over sensitive to this salad bowl on issues Have we, as American, found minute reasons to recognize the various groups? However, history cannot be wiped off the earth with a swipe, making everything just OK because some people want it to be. Resentments on all sides that have built up and are continuing to be acted upon cannot be wiped clean. Black/white relations have a long, long way to go. Yes, things are so what better but far from “fixed.” Unfortunately, there are the ranters like Al Sharpton who keep the limelight and who keep a minority of black people very loudly up in arms. Unfortunately, the vocal ones on the other side latch on to THIS group to judge black people overall just like white people are judged by THEIR vocal minority, (Hannity, Limbaugh). The loud ones on any side, be it this issue or another, are the ones that are noticed. Some people tend to only think of the ranters and judge most black people are not like the ranters. There are also ranters of ALL ethnicities, which sometimes get lost in the shuffle as well.

spiritualgunowner

Good for everybody

The gains in society made by blacks, women and gays in baby boomers’ lifetimes are extraordinary, perhaps unprecedented – is the description of this article. I was looking forward to reading a positive article but I think they played the old “Bait and Switch” on the readers.

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Response to Mrs. Brown’s post

I read Mrs. Brown’s post regarding Rizana Nafeek, the 24 year old, Sri Lankan maid who was executed by the Saudi Arabia government after being accused of the killing of her employers’ infant 7 years ago. From what I’ve read about this case, its tragedy all around. To start the entire episode of Nafeek is sad. To start, Ms. Nafeek was sent to Saudi Arabia on false documents by employment agents to work as a domestic assistant, though she was under age. She was sentenced to death in 2005, despite having no access to a lawyer, after her employer’s four-month-old daughter was found dead in unexplained circumstances. Additionally, Nafeek spoke no Arabic, was reported to have initially “confessed” to the murder during interrogation, but has since retracted her statement, arguing it was made under duress following a physical assault. She said the baby died after choking while drinking from a bottle. Furthermore, only three countries execute individuals for crimes committed when minors: Saudi Arabia, Sudan, and Iran. Sixty-nine executions were carried out in Saudi Arabia last year, the third-highest number of executions worldwide. Millions of migrants from Sri Lanka and other south Asian countries work in menial jobs in Saudi Arabia where they can earn much higher salaries than in similar jobs at home, though there are many reported cases of abuse. Such a travesty for both families.