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Steve Gilliard, 1964-2007

It is with tremendous sadness that we must convey the news that Steve Gilliard, editor and publisher of The News Blog, passed away June 2, 2007. He was 42.

To those who have come to trust The News Blog and its insightful, brash and unapologetic editorial tone, we have Steve to thank from the bottom of our hearts. Steve helped lead many discussions that mattered to all of us, and he tackled subjects and interest categories where others feared to tread.

Please keep Steve's friends and family in your thoughts and prayers.

Steve meant so much to us.

We will miss him terribly.

photo by lindsay beyerstein


Dejah Thoris: "The Battle of the Bulge, Progressive Style"

Fat kitty

Thanks to Dejah Thoris for this great piece on weight loss - THANKS DT!

Along with the battle against idiocy in our government, stupidity in our White House, and lunacy in the Republican Party lately, a great many of us have been facing the battle of the bulge. Boomers are surrounded by the message that it's not too late for us to avoid death by hypertension, heart problems, high fat, low exercise, and all the sedentary lifestyle issues that, it is said, will doom us to an early grave. Our kids and grandkids are facing an obesity epidemic of their own, and it's almost as if the nation that was scared shitless on 9/11 is now fortifying itself to death, both literally and figuratively.

Here at Chez Thoris, we're facing the battle of the bulge by turning it into
a "stick it to the man" experience. For each pound we lose, each gram of fat
we avoid, we celebrate "stickin' it to the wingnuts" that would rather see
Americans fat, dumb, happy and consuming all kinds of low-nutritional value
food and misinformation instead of healthy food and good-for-you truth.

So, in that vein (so to speak), I offer the "Stickin' It to the Man" diet.
First, it helps to think of the rabid right (which can encompass pretty much
any of the Republican "luminaries" you want to include) as a big, heapin'
helpin' of high fat. Maybe they taste good in the short term, but long-term,
they're death on a plate. They're clogging up the workings of this country,
just as a high-fat diet is clogging up the arteries of so many folks. An apt
metaphor upon which to focus as one literally wrings the fat from one's own

How does this diet work? First, you dismiss the Reich Wing for the "fat"
that it is.
Then you take the freedom that engenders and use it dismiss the real fat
from your life. It's a sort of"Bind the figurative fat to the literal fat"
scapegoating process. Something to cheer you up each time you pass up the
corporate fat for the good, healthy stuff.

Sure, it's just a device to get one's self on the road to good health, but
by golly, what's good for individual Americans and their future health has
GOT to be good for the U.S. and the future health of our country and the

In my case, I started out by avoiding all the fat globules inherent in the
modern American diet: Big Macs, oversized restaurant portions of anything,
and my own home-grown abilities to make and eat more food than is healthy
for me. I read labels on food religiously. If it's high-fat, I only have a
little bit. Or none at all.

Remember that some fat is also literally good for us. So, some fat belongs
in the diet, just as some Republicans aren't too bad. Keep those. Discard
the animal fats (or as many of them as possible) and the saturated-fat
values of Wingnuttia.

Keep a few good things in your life to make you happy. For me, it's
chocolate. And the occasional French fry. (No dammit, they're NOT Freedom
Fries! That's another piece of Rethug fat to get rid of in the figurative
diet while allowing one's self to have a few REAL fries from time to time.)
The key is moderation. A word the wingnuts hate as much as they hate
"choice" and "freedom" and "respect for others' opinions and lifestyle."
But, I don't allow myself more than 30 grams of fat a day. PER DAY. Period.
And I don't suffer more than the minimum amount of lard that seems to
proliferate in wingnut ideas sprouting fully grown from the White House and
the right-wing side of the aisle in Congress and the Senate.

That's because I want to LOSE the excess fat and if I have a limited amount
then my body has to burn what it already has to keep me going. And, I want
to avoid the excess fat in stupid ideas emanating from the Reich Wing. Doing
that puts me and my mind on the road to health, baby.

The top limits for women are 40 and the top limits for men are 60 if you
want to lose weight and get those arteries into shape. If you eat that much,
you're probably still eating only half of what you did before. But, within
those limits, have what you want.

Let Them Eat Low Fat Cake (or Muffins)

Foodwise, low fat's a bitch, because a good slice of chocolate cake made
with cooking oil and whole eggs will bring you 15 or so grams of fat
depending on the size of the slice.

A piece of fried chicken from KFC? Depends on the piece, but you're not
going to get away for less than 25 or 30 grams of fat. How about a bagel?
All by itself, it may have no more than 3-5 grams of fat. But, load it up
with cream cheese or an egg and bacon? You're talkin' more fat than Dick
Cheney on a duck hunt.

Don't avoid the cream cheese or the bacon. Just adjust the portion size. If
it says 2 tablespoons of peanut butter, use a half of ONE tablespoon and
you're talking just a couple of grams of fat (again, depending on the peanut
butter) rather than 9 or 10 that would be a significant portion of your
daily allowance. You can stand a few Republicans (the few moderate ones and
no, I'm not talking about Joe Loserman). Okay, you can stand a little fat.
One slice of bacon satisfies MY lust for shredded pork strips. But not two.

The Obligatory Recipe

Okay, so, what's on the table at my place tonight?

Mixed lettuce salad with cherry tomatoes and a teaspoon of low-fat cranberry
dressing. (Don't knock it until you've tried it!) About 3 grams per serving

4-ounce slice of tilapia (fish) baked with cajun seasonings, a bit of PAM
spray, and some lemon juice.

Baked for 20 minutes, broiled for two to brown the top. 3 grams per serving

Side of Zatarain's black beans and rice cooked ONLY in water (no oil added).
0.5 gram per serving

Steamed veggies (zero fat) with a little salt on them.

1 chocolate muffin (see below). 4.0 grams per muffin

total fat: 10.5 grams including the muffin!

About that muffin: we took a Ghirardelli's Muffin Mix (box) and mixed up
only half of it. We

substituted applesauce for the cooking oil and Egg Beaters for the eggs.
Total fat per muffin depends

on how big you make your muffins, but ours came out to about 4 grams per
medium-sized muffin.

So, anybody else have any tasty low-fat recipes?

For those who want more specifics, check out the T-Factor diet. That's what
I'm really following...

- posted by Dejah Thoris

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