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Behind the Aegis

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Member since: Sat Aug 7, 2004, 03:58 AM
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It has been two years...two long years, but I did it. Today is my 2 year Smokefree Anniversary!

I smoked for almost 30 years. By the time I quit, I was smoking at least two packs a day, sometimes, 2.5 packs. It was not easy for me at all, but eventually, more time passed and the cravings became less extreme. Sure, there are some days I want to punch someone in the throat just to have a couple of puffs, but usually it passes quickly. I also still have dreams where I am smoking, but they are more rare now; usually, when I am really stressed.

I have noticed a number of things since I quit, the first was I can now laugh, a good belly laugh, without breaking out into a coughing fit. I don't cough throughout the day, except when my damn allergies kick in full gear. My sense of smell is extremely heightened, which can be good sometimes and other times...ewwww . I could always smell quite well, even as a smoker, but when I quit, I could really smell things! I don't get winded when I am working or playing. My clothes don't smell!! My breath doesn't curdle wallpaper, except when I eat certain foods, which I can now taste! I also don't use as much salt as I used to use. Then there is the money I have saved...I have been putting what I would have spent on cigarettes into a savings account and used it to buy holiday gifts; made for some very expensive gifts!

I am not going to preach. I am not going to chastise. I am not going to lord my quitting over others. I will simply say, if I can do it, anyone can! If you are ready to quit, do it YOUR way! Make it YOUR experience! Celebrate your wins, and move past any setbacks. You can do it! I DID!


ETA: Thanks for all the "Kudos!", it is really appreciated. I am really glad others who have quit are also sharing.

ETA: Again, THANKS for all the positive comments! What a thread! Also, thank you to all the other former/ex-smokers for coming forward as an example to me and to others. If you are trying to quit, just read this thread. So many "quitters" have been that way for YEARS and YEARS! You can do it too! Look at all the people just waiting to cheer you on!
Posted by Behind the Aegis | Mon Apr 4, 2016, 02:46 AM (148 replies)

Navy bean and ham soup. HELP! Need advice. (Update)

OK, I actually know how to make this recipe. I keep really odd hours and this recipe calls for 8-10 hours in the crock pot. I never found a recipe that said I could go the 'fast' route and turn it on high, so I stick to the rules, as it were. I am not a great cook, so I am usually afraid to veer off of recipes until I make them many times. Anyway, I had everything ready to go, but because I have an odd sleeping schedule, and I wanted it for dinner, I asked my husband if he would put everything in the crock pot before going to work. He did. He followed my list to a "T" until the last line, PLUG IT IN! That's right, he put all the ingredients in and didn't turn the fucking crock pot on! Oh, the switch was set to low, but it wasn't plugged into the wall! I even thought he might be offended that I added that line, "plug it in", to the list. Seriously,

So, here's my question: Do I just throw it out? It was sitting, for almost 5 hours, covered by the crock pot lid, everything immersed in chicken stock, except a small top part of the hambone.

For now, I have turned it on (yes, I plugged it in). I searched the internet and most places say 2-3 hours left out is OK, after that toss it. But this was in a broth and covered, which according to some sites, gives it an extra few hours.

So, do I...

(ETA: When I took off the lid, the broth was ice cold, as if it had just come out of the fridge. It wasn't even room temp, which actually made me madder, but may be a good thing.)

(UPDATE: I did go ahead and make the soup. It will be dinner for tomorrow night. I tasted it and it came out pretty good. Thank you to everyone who responded!!)
Posted by Behind the Aegis | Wed Mar 30, 2016, 02:18 PM (10 replies)

Late Filipino President Honored for Role in Saving Jews

On Monday, the Anti-Defamation League will posthumously award Filipino President Manuel Luis Quezon the Jan Karski Courage to Care Award. Named for the Polish diplomat who visited the Nazi death camps and sought to warn the rest of the world about atrocities taking place, the award will be conferred on Quezon for welcoming 1,200 Jewish refugees into the Philippines during WWII.

In a letter to Quezon’s daughter, Maria Zeneida Quezon Avanceña, the ADL was quoted by globalnation.inquirer.net as saying it would be “very proud to posthumously present this award to your father… for his heroic efforts to save Jews during the Holocaust.”

The ADL learned of Quezon’s heroic efforts through the work of Filipino-American professor Sharon Delmendo, who is currently working on a book about the Filipino role in saving Jews during the Holocaust. Quezon’s role came to the ADL’s attention through a presentation Delmendo delivered in 2013.


Posted by Behind the Aegis | Fri Mar 25, 2016, 02:33 AM (0 replies)

ADL redirecting $56,000 in Trump donations to anti-bias programs

The Anti-Defamation League has redirected $56,000 in donations from Donald Trump — his total contributions over the past decade — to fund new anti-bias and anti-bullying education programs.

The announcement in a statement released Sunday came a day before Trump, the front-runner in the Republican presidential race, is scheduled to address the largest gathering of American supporters of Israel at the AIPAC annual policy conference in Washington, D.C.

“These undoubtedly were sincere gifts,” said Jonathan Greenblatt, ADL’s CEO. “But in light of the recent campaign, we have decided to redirect the total amount of funds that he contributed to ADL over the years specifically into anti-bias education programs that address exactly the kind of stereotyping and scapegoating that have been injected into this political season.”

ADL also called on other groups, philanthropies and nonprofits to consider redirecting charitable funds given to them by Trump into similar initiatives “to combat hate, promote tolerance, and build a stronger American community,” the statement said.


The donations are being redirected to "No Place for Hate".
Posted by Behind the Aegis | Fri Mar 25, 2016, 02:31 AM (0 replies)

Oberlin College professor's anti-Semitic Facebook posts are protected by the First Amendment, but vi


Oberlin College professor's anti-Semitic Facebook posts are protected by the First Amendment, but vile

Oberlin College Assistant Professor Joy Karega-Mason has made quite a name for herself recently. Echoing tropes common to the Nazi rag, Der Stürmer, her vitriolic anti-Semitic screeds have appeared on her Facebook page and been described in Oberlin's own newsletter, as well as in both national and international media.

Among Dr. Karega-Mason's asinine calumnies: Jews were responsible for 9/11, while the murders at the satirical French magazine, Charlie Hebdo, and the subsequent murders of Jews in a kosher deli in Paris were false-flag operations undertaken not by the people caught and killed but by unnamed Jews.

Those attuned to 9/11 conspiracy theories will note that Karega-Mason is parroting Nation of Islam leader Rev. Louis Farrakhan, who challenges Jews to prove that they were not agents of Osama bin Laden.

I would neither call on Karega-Mason to take down her postings nor call for her dismissal. The president of Oberlin College, Marvin Krislov, himself an observant Jew, did the right thing in defending her right to her opinions.

In contrast to President Krislov's quick defense of Karega-Mason's constitutional right, he was slow to address the substance of her postings. President Krislov said he is pained by Karega-Mason's vitriol. But the more apt response would have been embarrassment.


Always interesting to see the level of anti-Semitism out there and the almost complete unwillingness to discuss it, except when claiming Jews are "playing the anti-Semite card".
Posted by Behind the Aegis | Thu Mar 24, 2016, 01:32 PM (0 replies)

Religious liberty bill passes Georgia state legislature (Another win for homophobia!)

A religious freedom bill described by opponents as being discriminatory against same-sex couples passed the Georgia state legislature on Wednesday night in an 11th hour vote ahead of the session's close.

The legislation, dubbed the Religious Liberty Bill, still has to be signed by Georgia's Republican Governor Nathan Deal to become law. Deal has made clear that he will not sign a bill that allows discrimination, but his office did not immediately respond to request for comment on Wednesday night.

Similar bills in states like Indiana and Arkansas sparked storms of criticism last year, forcing many lawmakers to retreat from the provisions.

The Georgia bill, reworked several times by lawmakers amid criticism that earlier versions went too far, declares that no pastor can be forced to perform a same-sex wedding.

The bill also grants faith-based organizations – churches, religious schools or associations - the right to reject holding events for people or groups of whom they object. Faith-based groups also could not be forced to hire or retain an employee whose beliefs run counter to the organization's.

Opponents say the bill could be used to deny services and discriminate against same-sex couples.


Yet one more reminder, gay people are "fair" game. Thought the Supreme Court decision declaring marriage equality was the "end"?


Incidentally, Georgia also does not...again...DOES NOT protect GBLT in housing or employment. It is legal to deny housing or employment based on sexual orientation. The state also is NOT inclusive of sexual orientation or gender identity in state hate crimes law.
Posted by Behind the Aegis | Thu Mar 17, 2016, 04:46 AM (6 replies)

Ellen Page's Big Queer Trip Around The World Is Finally Here

The first episode of "GAYCATION," one of VICE's new shows on their television network VICELAND, dropped today. The project that follows out actress Ellen Page and best friend Ian Daniel on a queer trip around the world. The official release date is March 2.

"GAYCATION" will allow viewers to tag along as Page and Daniel visit locations as varied as Brazil, Jamaica and The United States to learn more about queer life and culture around the world.

This first episode, which you can watch above, focuses specifically on queer culture in Japan, where same-sex marriage is still illegal and identifying as queer can still carry a heavy social stigma.


I highly recommend this program. So far, I have only seen Japan and Brazil, (Jamaica was tonight, but didn't get to it yet). I thought it was just a "gay oriented travel program" but it is so much more! They discuss the climate for LGBT people, including homophobia, transphobia, and some of the interviews are very, very disturbing, some are really uplifting.

Posted by Behind the Aegis | Thu Mar 17, 2016, 02:34 AM (8 replies)

'When You're Accustomed to Privilege, Equality Feels Like Oppression'

I've never been punched in the face. Not in an actual fight, at least. I'm not much of a fighter, I suppose... more of an "arguer." I don't think I'm "scared" to get into a fight, necessarily -- there have been many times I have put myself in situations where a physical fight could easily have happened.

I just can't see myself ever being the guy who throws the first punch, and I'm usually the kind of guy who DE-escalates things with logic or humor. And one of the things about being that sort of person, is that the other sort of guy -- the sort who jumps into fights quickly -- tends to not really be a big fan of me. Not when he first meets me, at least. They usually like me later. Not always. You can't win 'em all...


And things started making a little more sense to me. All this anger we see from people screaming "All Lives Matter" in response to black protesters at rallies. All this anger we see from people insisting that their "religious freedom" is being infringed because a gay couple wants to get married. All these people angry about immigrants, angry about Muslims, angry about "Happy Holidays," angry about not being able to say bigoted things without being called a bigot...

They all basically boil down to people who have grown accustomed to walking straight at other folks, and expecting them to move. So when "those people" in their path don't move -- when those people start wondering, "Why am I always moving out of this guy's way?"; when those people start asking themselves, "What if I didn't move? What if I just kept walking too?"; when those people start believing that they have every bit as much right to that aisle as anyone else -- it can seem like their rights are being taken away.


Posted by Behind the Aegis | Thu Mar 17, 2016, 02:24 AM (6 replies)

Catholic League Tries to Shame ABC into Canceling The Real O'Neals in NYT Ad

You know how crazy, crackpot, Bible-thumping conservatives love to jump down the throat of a network about a show that has yet to premiere because of its perceived attacks on their cherished morals and values that they only use to apply to themselves and not to the world at large? Well, it's happening again: the Catholic League is facing off against Disney/ABC over its new LGBT-themed sitcom The Real O'Neals, which premieres this week.

The show, based in part on executive producer Dan Savage's life, follows a Catholic Irish-American family with a gay son, played by newcomer Noah Galvin. But Savage's track record—this is the man that gave us the gift of the Santorum, after all—didn't sit well with the Catholic League, so they came out swinging.

And how did the Catholic League launch its strike on the as-yet aired show? Why, with the time-tested, always successful and completely still relevant medium of print. The Catholic League took out a full-page ad in The New York Times denouncing The Real O'Neals, Dan Savage and his "maniacal hatred of Catholicism."

Well, they tried to take out a full-age ad, but it was "turned down" by The Times because the "obscenities" that they quoted from Savage were "deemed too incendiary" for readers—"even with the use of asteriks in place of letters." That italicized emphasis is all theirs. Though the only thing the NYT deprived us of was the chance to fill in the blanks, à la Wheel of Fortune. One guess what's missing from "************* Power-Hungry, Self-Aggrandized Bigot."

The Catholic League argues, with no trace of irony or...sanity, that Dan Savage producing a show about a Catholic Irish-American family is akin to former KKK leader and Donald Trump bestie David Duke producing a show about African-Americans. Actually, it's worse, because Savage is a potty mouth, while Duke is just a raging white supremacist. So he gets a pass because his hatred is family friendly.


Anyone in the least bit surprised?!
Posted by Behind the Aegis | Sun Mar 6, 2016, 06:30 AM (10 replies)

New Polpular Idol Rises in Bavaria (Published: 11-21-1922)

Hitler Credited With Extraordinary Powers of Swaying Crowds to His Will.


Armed With Blackjacks and Revolvers and Well Disciplined, They Obey Orders Implicitly.


Is Anti-Red and Anti-Semitic, and Demands Strong Government for a United Germany


Chief Points of His Program.

Hitler's program is of less interest than his person and movement. His program consists chiefly of half a dozen negative ideas clothed in generalities. He is "against the Jews, Communists, bolshevism, Marxian socialism, Separatists, the high cost of living, existing conditions, the weak Berlin Government and the Versailles Treaty." positively he stands only for "a strong united Germany under a strong Government."

He is credibly credited with being actuated by lofty, unselfish patriotism. He probably does not know himself just what he wants to accomplish. The keynote of his propaganda in speaking and writing is violent anti-Semitism. His followers are nicknamed the "Hakenkreuzler." So violent are Hitler's fulminations against the Jews that a number of prominent Jewish citizens are reported to have sought safe asylums in the Bavarian highlands, easily reached by fast motor cars, whence they could hurry their women and children when forewarned of an anti-Semitic St. Bartholomew's night.

But several reliable, well-informed sources confirmed the idea that Hitler's anti-Semitism was not so genuine or violent as it sounded, and that he was merely using anti-Semitic propaganda as a bait to catch masses of followers and keep them aroused, enthusiastic, and in line for the time when his organization is perfected and sufficiently powerful to be employed effectively for political purposes.

A sophisticated politician credited Hitler with peculiar political cleverness for laying emphasis and over-emphasis on anti-Semitism, saying: "You can't expect the masses to understand or appreciate your finer real aims. You must feed the masses with cruder morsels and ideas like anti-Semitism. It would be politically all wrong to tell them the truth about where you really are leading them."


Also see: The New York Times' first article about Hitler's rise is absolutely stunning here at DU for the modern implications.

Posted by Behind the Aegis | Fri Mar 4, 2016, 03:18 AM (1 replies)
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