You are currently browsing the Breaching The Web blog archives for September, 2004.


September 28th, 2004

More noise from the tobacco suit. Industry lawyers are attempting to prevent the government from using a 1990 memo in the case — this particular memo could be important because it contains suggestions and advice about document destruction. Since this is a fraud case, any suggestion of intentional document destruction to keep certain facts out of the public eye could be quite explosive.


September 28th, 2004

In other news, the state of Iowa is suing several small cigarette companies because they are not making payments required by the 1998 tobacco settlement. The state has been using funds from the tobacco settlement to pursue legal action against these and other small companies, thus taking money away from the prevention, education and treatment activities for which the funds were intended. It’s a damn shame.

Tobacco Cessation

September 22nd, 2004

Yesterday, the U.S. brought the largest civil racketeering suit ever by the Justice Department — it is against U.S. tobacco companies. The suit alleges that, among other things, the tobaco companies conspired to hide research linking lung cancer to cigarette smoking. The suit uses the industry’s own documents against it, and is seeking to force the industry to relinquish $280 billion in ill-gotten gains.

Although the Bush administration tried to kill the suit (which was originally filed 5 years ago under Clinton), they nevertheless patted themselves on the back yesterday, with Ashcroft saying he looked forward to the day when the tobacco companies had to pay a penalty for their deceit. Uh huh. I’m sure Bush is happy to see his buddies in the tobacco industry (who, by the way, donated $7 million to his campaign in 2000), getting their due.

I’m going to be keeping an eye on this trial — I think it is potentially very important.


September 11th, 2004

I’ve posted a review of Art Spiegelman’s new book over on Virtual Marginalia — I think BtW readers might find it interesting. It’s a moving and thoughtful reflection on the events of September 11 and beyond.

Seeing is believing

September 10th, 2004

From San Francisco’s Exploratorium: an extremely detailed (and graphic) step-by-step description of how to dissect a cow’s eye. If you can get past the ick factor, there’s a lot of cool information here about how eyes work — this would be a neat project to do with a kid.


September 4th, 2004

My food blog is a thing of the past (it died from lack of attention), but I want to share my recipe for a breakfast smoothie, based in part on a recipe in this book and further developed through encouragement from L and trial and error.

Breakfast Smoothie
1 cup frozen, unsweetened fruit (peaches, strawberries, blueberries, whatever)
2 teaspoons flax seeds or oat bran (optional)
1/2 a banana
2-3 ounces organic tofu (firm or silken, it doesn’t much matter)
1 cup soy milk (I like vanilla, but other kinds can be used)
1 drop liquid stevia (or use the sweetener of your choice)
cinnamon, to taste
1 teaspoon organic, unsweetened cranberry concentrate (optional)

Put the frozen fruit and flax seeds into your blender and chop as much as your blender will allow — if your blender has an ice crusher feature, use that. Add banana and tofu, broken into small chunks, and all remaining ingredients. Puree until smooth.

I don’t measure the cinnamon — I add two good shakes. If you add the cranberry concentrate, increase the stevia to 2-3 drops. If you don’t like or don’t use stevia, use the sweetener of your choice.

The resulting smoothie will be about 20 ounces, and will have about 300-350 calories. It will also have around 7 grams of fiber and 15 grams of protein, as well as 41% of the daily recommended calcium, 20% of iron, a whole lot of B vitamins (including 15% of the daily folic acid requirement). You’re also getting between 2 & 3 “servings” of fruit (as in “5 servings a day”).

It is a bit high in dietary sugars — around 23 grams if made with frozen blueberries. If this is a problem, you can leave out the banana and increase the tofu a bit (which would bring the sugar down to 14 grams) or use strawberries (down to 20 grams) or both (down to 11 grams).

If the overall calorie profile is too high for you, reduce the frozen fruit and soy milk to 3/4 cup and leave out the banana. The resulting smoothie will be about 200-250 calories with around 10 grams of sugar, 12 grams of protein, 10 grams of sugar, and 33% of your daily required calcium (all the other vitamins will be a bit reduced, since they are mostly from the soy milk). It may need a bit more sweetener, since bananas are really sweet. This smoothie is good, but I don’t find it satisfying enough. It’s worth the extra calories to me to not get hungry before lunch time.

This nutritional information is an estimate gleaned from this database based on a smoothie made with frozen blueberries and without cranberry juice or flax seeds.

This smoothie tastes good, has enough calories to satisfy you until lunch, but not enough to bust your diet, and is crammed full of healthy goodness. What’s not to like?

composition book

September 2nd, 2004

You do read Ghost in the Machine, right? If you don’t, head over there right now and start. If you need a reason why, read this entry from September 1 (quoted here, without permission, in its entirety, because it is so good):

“If you believe that government should be accountable to the people, not the people to the government, then you are a Republican.” If you believe that rich people deserve tax breaks while the middle-class struggle harder and the poor send their kids to war, then you are a Republican. If you believe that cutting First Responder, Homeland Security, and Nunn-Lugar funding, lying bald-faced to our allies before the UN, letting Osama Bin Laden disappear into the caverns of Afghanistan, and contriving a casus belli to start a war in Iraq that has further alienated the moderate Muslim world is sound anti-terror strategy, then you are a Republican. If you believe an extramarital blow job is an impeachable offense, but dissembling to the American people about war is hunky-dory, then you are a Republican. If you believe God loves you, but He hates gays, liberals, and foreigners, then you are a Republican. If you’re an immigrant bodybuilder who made it to the top of his field through hard work, discipline, and the judicious application of enough steroids to kill a small horse, then you are a Republican. And if you’re a serial groper who was befuddled enough to think Nixon was a good idea in 1968 and who somehow earnestly believes that the GOP hasn’t moved much further right since the days of Tricky Dick, then you are Arnold Schwarzenegger.