Monday, June 30, 2014

From Mother Jones (Supreme Court Hobby Lobby Decision)

The 8 Best Lines From Ginsburg's Dissent on the Hobby Lobby Contraception Decision

| Mon Jun. 30, 2014 11:32 AM EDT

Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg

On Monday, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg penned a blistering dissent to the Supreme Court's 5-4 ruling that the government can't require certain employers to provide insurance coverage for methods of birth control and emergency contraception that conflict with their religious beliefs. Ginsburg wrote that her five male colleagues, "in a decision of startling breadth," would allow corporations to opt out of almost any law that they find "incompatible with their sincerely held religious beliefs."
Here are seven more key quotes from Ginsburg's dissent in Burwell v. Hobby Lobby:
  • "The exemption sought by Hobby Lobby and Conestoga would…deny legions of women who do not hold their employers' beliefs access to contraceptive coverage"
  • "Religious organizations exist to foster the interests of persons subscribing to the same religious faith. Not so of for-profit corporations. Workers who sustain the operations of those corporations commonly are not drawn from one religious community."
  • "Any decision to use contraceptives made by a woman covered under Hobby Lobby's or Conestoga's plan will not be propelled by the Government, it will be the woman's autonomous choice, informed by the physician she consults."
  • "It bears note in this regard that the cost of an IUD is nearly equivalent to a month's full-time pay for workers earning the minimum wage."
  • "Would the exemption…extend to employers with religiously grounded objections to blood transfusions (Jehovah's Witnesses); antidepressants (Scientologists); medications derived from pigs, including anesthesia, intravenous fluids, and pills coated with gelatin (certain Muslims, Jews, and Hindus); and vaccinations[?]…Not much help there for the lower courts bound by today's decision."
  • "Approving some religious claims while deeming others unworthy of accommodation could be 'perceived as favoring one religion over another,' the very 'risk the [Constitution's] Establishment Clause was designed to preclude."
  • "The court, I fear, has ventured into a minefield."
You can read the full dissent here. (It starts on page 60.)

A Cover of Gram Parson's "Hickory Wind" by Aissa AJ Lee with the Tuttles

AJ was only 13 when she performed this song with the Tuttles back in May of 2011.

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Poynton Regenerated

Published on Jan 31, 2013

A community in decline, divided by decades of anti-social traffic engineering, is reunited and revitalised by streetscape redesign.

Sunday, June 1, 2014

From bit of earth blog: Mini Date-Banana-Maca Buckwheat Cakes

New post on bit of earth blog

Mini Date-Banana-Maca Buckwheat Cakes | no gluten, oil, or refined sugar!

by Hannah
So easy. So yummy. No gluten, oil, or refined sugar.
How can that be, you may ask?
Well. I'm entirely not sure. But I'm not one to doubt delicious things.
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Just sweet bananas, moist and flavorful buckwheat, malty maca, and caramel-y dates.
Yep, every single ingredient in this recipe is pretty darn good for you.
Is that justification for going back for seconds? Oh, yes.
Is that justification for lingering over the pans while they cool, for smothering each bite with peanut butter, for licking your plate clean? Mmm, definitely.
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Everything's good! See, look!
Bananas— A great source of complex carbohydrates (meaning bananas are: easily digested, will supply you with sustained energy and keep you full). Also, bananas are high in potassium, an important nutrient to keep your muscles functioning well and your nervous system on track. And, like all plant foods, bananas have fiber!
Flax— A great veg source of omega-3 fatty acids, which keeps your brain healthy. Flax seeds also help to lower cholesterol, while stabilizing blood sugar and decreasing inflammation. Plus, a single 3 tablespoon serving has 10g of protein and half of your daily recommended fiber intake.
Coconut Sugar— There is a lot of debate about the health benefits of sugar/really any type of sweetener, but I'm definitely a fan of coconut sugar. It has a low glycemic index (meaning it won't spike your blood sugar) and it retains a good chunk of the vitamins and minerals of the coconut palm from which it is derived. Unfortunately, similar to honey, coconut sugar is almost 50% fructose. Fructose is metabolized differently than glucose (glucose is a natural form sugar that our bodies produce and is necessary for us to live), and eating too much fructose is hard on our livers and can lead to various health problems. But, if not consuming it in excess, I see no problem with it. It is a great alternative to white sugar (which is usually not vegan), can easily replace white sugar in recipes, while also providing some vitamins and minerals.
Buckwheat Flour— Despite the name, buckwheat is not wheat. So yes, it's completely gluten-free! It's actually not a grain but a fruit seed, and is closely related to rhubarb, huh! Buckwheat is a great source of protein! It has all eight essential amino acids and gives you almost half of your daily recommended intake with just one cup. Plus, it is easily digestible, a good source of B vitamins, and has also been said to lower cholesterol and blood pressure levels.
Maca— Maca is high in B-vitamins, helps reduce stress and decreases inflammation. Also, incorporating maca into your diet has been shown to help balance hormones, as well as to increase fertility and libido in both males and females (uhh, sweet). I’ve read that it acts as an “adaptogen,” meaning if you are running low of a given hormone, maca will increase your body’s production of that specific one; if you are producing too much of another hormone, it will decrease its production and balance everything out. So, it’s a great nutritive tool if you’re struggling with symptoms of PMS or menopause. Super cool.
Dates— Dates are high in glucose, a natural form of sugar. Glucose is especially valuable if you’re active, as your muscles convert glucose into glycogen and use it for energy. Dates aid the growth of good bacteria in your intestines and stimulate digestion. They also have high levels of iron, which increases strength and fights fatigue.
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Mini Date-Banana-Maca Buckwheat Cakes
Sweet bananas, moist and flavorful buckwheat, malty maca, and caramel-y dates. And don't forget the peanut butter. I mean it.
  • 3 large overripe bananas
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 tbsp flaxseed + 5 tbsp water
  • 2 tbsp applesauce
  • 1/2 cup coconut sugar
  • 1/2 tsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 1 1/2 cups buckwheat flour
  • 2 tbsp maca powder
  • 5-6 dates, chopped
  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Spray ramekins or small loaf pans with non-stick spray or coconut oil.
  2. Mash the bananas with a fork, then add the vanilla extract, flaxseed mixture, applesauce, water, coconut sugar and vinegar. Whisk vigorously. In a separate bowl, combine the baking powder, salt, buckwheat flour and maca. Add the dry mixture to the wet and stir until well combined.
  3. Pour into prepared pans, top with chopped dates and bake for 30 minutes. If using loaf pans, bake for 35 minutes.
  4. After the cakes/loaves are cooked through (check with a knife in the center), let them cool in the pans for a bit then remove them to cool completely— or go ahead and eat! (Do not forget to top them with peanut butter!!!)
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