Friday, April 19, 2019

One Pot Pressure Cooker Pasta Bolognese in the Kitchen

Lindsay e-mailed this Instapot recipe.

  • ½ pound (227 grams) ground beef
  • 1 pound (454g) penne rigate
  • 12 white mushrooms, sliced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 celery, chopped
  • 1 small onion, sliced
  • A dash of sherry wine
  • A pinch of dried oregano
  • A pinch of dried basil
  • Kosher salt and black pepper to taste
  • Olive oil
Pasta Sauce:
  1. Prepare Pressure Cooker: Heat up your pressure cooker (Tatung: press Meat/Chicken button or Instant Pot: press Sauté button and click the adjust button to go to Sauté More function). Make sure your pot is as hot as it can be before placing any ingredient in the pot (Instant Pot: wait until indicator says HOT).
  2. (Flavor Enhancement Step) Brown Ground Beef: Add 1 tablespoon of olive oil in the pressure cooker. Ensure to coat the oil over the whole bottom of the pot. Add in ½ pound of ground beef and season with kosher salt and ground black pepper. Moisture begins to come out of ground beef. Let the moisture evaporate. Browning begins due to maillard reaction. Remove & set aside.
  3. (Flavor Enhancement Step) Sauté the Onion, Garlic, Celery and Mushrooms: Add 1 tablespoon of olive oil in the pot. Add sliced onion, sauté. Add a pinch of kosher salt and ground black pepper to season. Stir occasionally until slightly browned. Then, add minced garlic and stir for roughly 30 seconds until fragrant. Add sliced mushrooms, chopped celery, a pinch of dried oregano, and dried basil. Cook for another minute. Taste seasoning and adjust with more kosher salt and ground black pepper if necessary.
  4. Deglaze and Create Pasta Sauce: Pour in a dash of sherry wine and deglaze the bottom of the pot with a wooden spoon. Add browned ground beef, 1 cup of unsalted chicken stock, 2 cups of water, 2 tablespoons of light soy sauce, 1 tablespoon of fish sauce, and 1 tablespoon of Worcestershire sauce. Mix everything together.
  5. Pressure Cook Pasta: Pour 450 g of Penne pasta into the sauce. Place 156 ml tomato paste on top of the pasta. Mixing 156 ml tomato paste with 3 cups of liquid should be completely safe. However, avoid mixing the tomato paste if you are afraid of scorching. Taste and adjust with more kosher salt and ground black pepper if necessary, as it is harder to adjust the seasoning after.
    Ensure all the Penne pasta are completely submerged into the sauce. Close lid and pressure cook at High Pressure for 4 minutes. Turn off the heat and wait 5 minutes before doing a Quick Release. Open the lid carefully.
  6. Serve: Give it a quick stir and everything should blend together. Taste one of the Penne pasta. If you find the texture too hard (ours came out al dente), close the lid and let the leftover heat cook them until desired doneness. Sprinkle some freshly grated Parmesan cheese to kick it up a notch. Serve immediately. Enjoy! 🙂

If you like the above recipe and/or are interested in more, please visit Amy and Jacky's site where they have nearly fifty Instapot recipes.

Lindsay asked about omelets as well (or omelette, to offer another spelling).  I'm not the best person to ask.  I'm not a snob about cooking.  Except maybe on this.  I learned to cook an omelet from my father who makes the best ones.  I make a pretty good one myself but I make it as he taught me.

Somewhere around the late 70s, I started noticing everyone was folding omelets.  I don't fold it.  I don't like them folded.  In most cases, folding them as part of the cooking leaves undercooked portions -- sometimes even gooey ones.

So I make mine the way I was taught and if someone's going to make one for me, I explain that if it's folded, I'd rather have scrambled eggs, thank you.

The reason they're folded is because it used to be very difficult for a lot of people to make omelets without tearing them apart in the removal from skillet to plate.

It's not anymore.  You use the spray Pam, for example, and/or one of the copper skillets.  If you do that, you can easily cook an omelet without ripping it in the transfer to plate.

First, spray a copper skillet with Pam.  Then put the skillet on the burner (have the burner on the lowest heat possible).  Now mix your eggs, I use three eggs for a single omelet -- four if I'm cooking it for a hungry eater.  You mix the eggs in a bowl -- I prefer plastic bowls on this.  You can just use whites if you want but I use whites and yolks.  If you don't have a whisk, you can whip them up with a fork.

You want it to be fluffy so I whip first and then either immediately add my other ingredients or do so after I have place the mixed eggs into the skillet.

So add other ingredients (if you want, you can make a plain omelet all by itself) either to the bowl after mixing or to the skillet after you've poured the mixture into the skillet.

Olives and mushrooms and jalapeno peppers are things that generally go into the omelets I cook just because I always have them on hand in some form (olives and mushrooms, usually are in cans).  I also use cheese and I always have shredded cheese on hand.  In addition to that, you can add bell peppers (strips of bell peppers or chopped bell peppers), onions (strips, rings or chopped -- and red, white, yellow whatever), green onions, meat (bacon pieces, ham, pepperoni, Canadian bacon, etc.).  It's whatever you want to add -- if you want to add anything.  And it can be just adding cheese if you want or making it even more in depth.

You're going to turn the heat under the skillet up to medium heat and we're looking at five to seven minutes.  You can use a spatula to go around the edges -- around and under -- before you prepare to plate the omelet.  Once you've done that, hold the plate over the skillet and then flip.  It will be perfect.

The non-stick copper skillets and Pam spray have ensured that there's no real difficulty to making unfolded omelets anymore.

New topic, this is from Patrick Martin (WSWS):

The release Thursday morning of the report of Justice Department Special Counsel Robert Mueller has become the occasion for a full-scale resumption of the political warfare in Washington between two equally right-wing factions—the Trump administration, with its fascistic base of support, and the Democratic Party, aligned with dominant sections of the US military-intelligence apparatus.
Within minutes of the issuance of the slightly redacted document, congressional Democrats were claiming confirmation of their charges of Trump’s collaboration with Russia, while the White House and Fox News were hailing the president’s complete vindication. Both sides found ammunition for their claims in the 448-page report.
Mueller’s nearly two-year-long investigation focused on alleged Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election, possible collusion with Russia by the Trump campaign, and Trump’s subsequent efforts to block and shut down the investigation. The Mueller report is divided into two books—one on the claims of Russian intervention, the other on possible charges of obstruction of justice.
The Mueller report accepts as good coin the assertion by US intelligence agencies that Russian hackers stole documents from the Democratic Party and delivered them to WikiLeaks, which published them in July and October of 2016. These documents demonstrated that the Democratic National Committee sought to rig the primary campaign for Clinton against her main challenger, Bernie Sanders, and revealed the text of speeches Clinton delivered behind closed doors to Wall Street audiences, assuring the bankers that a Clinton administration would serve their interests.
Far from representing illicit intervention by Moscow, the WikiLeaks revelations were a rare injection of truth into an election campaign dominated by the endless lies of both sides, each claiming to represent the interests of American working people when both parties, the Democrats as much as the Republicans, represent big business and the financial aristocracy.
The revelations about Clinton had considerable impact, but they hardly decided the outcome of the election, in which Clinton demonstratively refused to make any appeal to the working class, relying instead on her support from the national security establishment.
As for the social media campaign, the other supposed component of Russian election interference, it was trivial in its impact. By one calculation, Russian entities spent $75,000 on Facebook ads, emails and texts, a drop in the bucket for an election campaign in which the Democrats, Republicans and billionaires backing one side or the other spent close to $5 billion.
The report’s categorical declaration that the Russian intelligence agencies were the source of the leaked emails published by WikiLeaks—a claim that cannot be verified by any publicly-available evidence—will set the stage for an escalation of the bipartisan efforts to criminalize WikiLeaks, jail its publisher Julian Assange, and drastically crack down on the freedom of expression on the internet.
After reviewing in detail the incidental contacts between Trump campaign aides and Russians, both government officials and private citizens, the Mueller report concludes that no Trump aides worked on behalf of the Russian government and that there was no conspiracy between the Trump campaign and Russia to collaborate against Clinton (Mueller rejected the word “collusion” as legally meaningless).
This finding refutes the core of the anti-Russia campaign waged by the Democrats and their media allies for the past two years—three years if one includes the claims of Russian support for Trump by Clinton’s own campaign. In the most fevered version, Trump is an agent of Vladimir Putin in the White House.

There was no collusion, no collaboration, no whatever you want to call it.  I am not a fan of Donald Trump.  I wouldn't call myself  a supporter even. This witch hunt should be over.

And this nonsense of saying Russia gave Julian Assange the e-mails?  No.  And not only that, there's a point that Patrick Martin forgets.  Julian, while in the embassy, had made the offer to speak to the investigation about those e-mails.  He, and others, have maintained that a source with the DNC gave them the e-mails.  Refusing to even speak with Julian is a huge mark against Mueller and his investigation.

Julian Assange is being persecuted and that needs to end immediately.

This is C.I.'s "Iraq snapshot" for Friday:

Friday, April 19, 2019.  Corporate media covers real events . . . many years after they've passed.

Alex Lantier (WSWS) reports:

The burning of Notre-Dame is a horrifying manifestation of destructive processes capitalism has unleashed in every country. The period since the Stalinist dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1991, and particularly since the 2008 Wall Street crash, has seen relentless austerity combined with feverish rearmament across Europe. Macron presides over multi-trillion-euro European Union bank bailouts, plans to spend €300 billion on the army by 2023, and billions in tax cuts to the rich.
As a result, every truly vital program is under-funded and every corner is cut. The intended result, deemed perfectly natural by the corporate media and the powers-that-be, is the systematic impoverishment of working people, the slashing of social services, and the de-funding of cultural institutions. At times, however, the reckless, selfish and parasitic character of the policies pursued by the financial aristocracy find expression in the destruction of great monuments of human culture.
During the illegal US-led invasion of Iraq in 2003, American occupation troops encouraged the looting of the Iraqi National Museum and stood by as it occurred, leading to the loss of 50,000 artifacts dating back 5,000 years and the destruction of the museum’s catalog of its holdings. Then-US Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld endorsed the looting, declaring, “Free people are free to make mistakes and commit crimes.”
The burning of Notre Dame is not in the final analysis separate from such bloody acts of plunder, including the looting of the old city of Palmyra by NATO’s Islamist proxy militias in the Syrian war. It flows from policies carried out by the same ruling class, with the same essential aims.

Macron, despised by workers in France as the “president of the rich,” subordinates every question to the financial aristocracy’s drive for self-enrichment. His tax cuts for the rich allowed billionaire Bernard Arnault to increase his personal wealth by over €22 billion last year alone.

There's an ideology that puts us all at risk, all around the world.  Barack Obama's friend Emanuel Macron carries out the same destructive plans Barack did.  No one is safe with this ideology and it's the ideology of Neera Tanden and others.  It will be widely discredited ideology in another ten years and the same US publications that give Neera and others a pass today will be explaining how awful she and her kind were.  Some of the same reporters may still be around then and they'll act like they always found Neera appalling.

But they didn't.

It's like the robber-baron class of 19th century.  That they were destructive and liars and cheats?  Not a big surprise.  But while the press could look the other way, it did.  That's what they always do.  The American press is not a people's press and never has been.  That's why the corporate press went along with Harvey Weinstein, for example.  He was hideous.  Each year the Academy Awards got worse because of him as he tried to smear and attack, tried to turn an artistic award into a blood sport, tried to destroy Ron Howard and many others.  And did anyone comment in the press?  No, not against Harvey.  They were happy to repeats his smears and lies as truth, they were happy to do his work.

And it's the same today with the people who are destroying our country, who are destroying our world.  The US press does not exist to expose them, it exists to advance them up until the point when a Harvey finally becomes a liability.  Then?  It's, "Oh, he was always awful."  And, sadly, we don't loudly shout the needed follow up question:  Why did you cover for him all those years.

The American people did not go to war with Iraq, the US government did and it continues this war.  Bully Boy Bush, Barack Obama and Donald Trump have all overseen this wave of the war that began (this wave) with the 2003 US-led invasion.  Barack Obama campaigned for the presidency publicly promising to end the Iraq War.  But he left office with it still raging.  Donald Trump said he was against forever wars but he's now in the third year of his presidency and I'm not seeing a single war he's ended.  He said he was ending the war in Syria but what happened?  He lost the will to end it?  He's not in charge and is overruled by the people working for him?  The Afghanistan War has not ended.  Despite Congressional efforts (finally) with regard to Yemen, he refused to end that.  And, of course, the Iraq War hasn't ended.

When these never-ending wars do end, that's the time the US corporate press will allow a little bit of honesty in their reporting -- while pretending they offered it all along.

Last week, the founder and publisher of WIKILEAKS, Julian Assange, was arrested in London. Legal scholar Jonathan Turley (USA TODAY) has pointed out:

He disclosed a massive and arguably unconstitutional surveillance program by the United States impacting virtually every citizen. He later published emails that showed that the Democratic National Committee and the campaign of Hillary Clinton lied in various statements to the public, including the rigging of the primary for her nomination. No one has argued that any of these emails were false. They were embarrassing. Of course, there is not crime of embarrassing the establishment but that is merely a technicality.

For the US government, the first extreme bit of embarrassment came on Monday April 5, 2010, when WIKILEAKS released  military video of a July 12, 2007 assault in Iraq. 12 people were killed in the assault including two REUTERS journalists Namie Noor-Eldeen and Saeed Chmagh.  Not only was the US government responsible for that attack, they were responsible for the lies and the coverup that followed.  When WIKILEAKS published the video, the truth was known.

Oscar Grenfell (WSWS) details some of the truth WIKILEAKS has reported:

In reality, Assange’s record as a journalist is unparalleled in the contemporary period. As world-renowned investigative journalist John Pilger told a Socialist Equality Party rally in June, 2018: “No investigative journalism in my lifetime can equal the importance of what WikiLeaks has done in calling rapacious power to account.”
When a full record of WikiLeaks investigative exposures is published, it will span volumes.
In a 2006 essay, written shortly after the founding of WikiLeaks, Assange, then the publisher’s editor-in-chief, explained some of the conceptions underlying the project.
He wrote: “Authoritarian regimes create forces which oppose them by pushing against a people’s will to truth, love and self-realization. Plans which assist authoritarian rule, once discovered, induce further resistance. Hence such schemes are concealed by successful authoritarian powers until resistance is futile or outweighed by the efficiencies of naked power.”
In August, 2007, WikiLeaks published the secret report of a Kenyan government investigation into official corruption. The document, produced in 2004, revealed that previous US-backed President Daniel Arap Moi and his closest associates had looted the impoverished country’s economy to the tune of hundreds of millions of dollars. Its publication sparked mass anger and impacted on the Kenyan national election held in late 2007.
In November 2007, WikiLeaks published a 2003 copy of “Standard Operating Procedures for Camp Delta,” outlining official US army policy at its brutal Guantanamo Bay prison, where individuals have been illegally detained after rendition operations. The document indicated that the US was preventing the Red Cross from accessing some of the prisoners, a claim the government had previously denied.
In February 2008, WikiLeaks released records of the Cayman Islands branch of Swiss bank Julius Baer. The material, detailing the accounts of 2,000 corporations and ultra-wealthy individuals, including 40 politicians, resulted in allegations of tax avoidance on a vast scale.
The bank responded by suing WikiLeaks and securing an injunction in the US which took down its main website. The decision was subsequently overturned on appeal by a judge, who cited the freedom of the press provisions in the First Amendment of the US Constitution. Swiss prosecutors charged and jailed Rolf Elmer, a bank manager who was the source of the material.
During 2008, WikiLeaks also published exposures of the extreme right-wing British National Party, and material on the Republican vice-presidential candidate Sarah Palin.
The US response to WikiLeaks’ early publications was swift and brutal.
A secret memo, issued by the Cyber Counter-intelligence Assessments Branch of the US Defence Department on March 8, 2008, detailed a plan to destroy the organisation. It was headlined: “—An Online Reference to Foreign, Intelligence Services, Insurgents, or Terrorist Groups?” The document called for measures to undermine the “feeling of trust” that is WikiLeaks’ “centre of gravity,” including through threats of “exposure [and] criminal prosecution.”
In 2009, the number of WikiLeaks publications expanded dramatically.
In January, the organisation published intercepts of the phone conversations of Peruvian businessmen and politicians implicated in a corruption scandal relating to oil contracts the previous year.
In the middle of that year, it released official Iranian reports into a major nuclear accident at the country’s Natanz nuclear facility the previous year. The details of the disaster, which occurred amid stepped-up US and Israeli war threats against Iran, led some to suspect that the accident may have been caused by a malicious computer virus originating from Western intelligence agencies.
Other publications exposed the transfer of vast sums of money from Icelandic banks to their executives and the writing off of major debts on the eve of the country’s 2008 financial crisis; a British Ministry of Defence document outlining measures to prevent leaks; evidence of corporate dumping of toxic material in the Ivory Coast; documents relating to the September 11 terrorist attacks, and the list of websites banned by the Australian government. The latter included news and political sites, exposing the fraudulent character of government claims that the blacklist only targeted child pornography and other illicit content.
In February 2010, the year that WikiLeaks came to the attention of millions of people around the world, the organisation published a US diplomatic cable dubbed Reykjavik 13. It was the first material released, which had been leaked by the courageous US army whistleblower Chelsea Manning.
The document detailed previously hidden information about the diplomatic dispute, known as Icesave, that followed Iceland’s financial crisis.
Landsbanki, one of the country’s three largest banks, went bankrupt in 2008. With the national financial authorities rejecting a bailout, over 340,000 retail deposits from the UK and other European nations lost an estimated €6.7 billion in saving, triggering diplomatic recriminations, and a coordinated attempt to mitigate public anger.

In April, WikiLeaks published the infamous “Collateral Murder” video, showing a July 2007 US army helicopter airstrike in Baghdad. It documented US soldiers firing on unarmed civilians. The brutal attack resulted in up to 18 deaths, including two Reuters journalists. After their initial attack, the US forces shot at a group of people who had come to collect the bodies and tend to the wounded.

That is reporting.  That is journalism that matters, journalism that impacts our lives.


This is an incredible speech by Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Mairead Maguire at the European Parliament, accepting the GUE-NGL Award for Journalists on Julian Assange's behalf, earlier this week.

Many could speak up for Julian but many don't.  Of those who don't, some (the whores) choose to attack Julian and some are even more cowardly and choose to just look the other way.  Whores aren't cowardly, they're craven.  They'll do anything so that their own ass can profit.  That includes actively participating in the persecution of Julian Assange.

Justin Raimondo (ANTIWAR.COM) observes:

There’s only been one person – so far – who suffered for the sins of the world and either saved us a lot of trouble or else caused us a lot of unnecessary grief. All I know is that a lot of people are hoping for His return – and for a better outcome.
As for myself, I fully expect a repeat of the previous scenario: the message, the betrayal, the persecution, and a torturous death.
They isolated Julian in the days before they hauled him out for the public display of his martyrdom. No crucifix this time. No crown of thorns. Just a penumbra of the deepest silence, which grips the very air: yet still he remains unbowed, his head held high.
The liberals who claim to be sympathetic to his cause seem more concerned about his persecution’s effect on their careers, that is on their ability to publish, than on Assange personally. Seven years in the Ecuadorian embassy, pursued around the globe by governments eager to win Washington’s favor, denounced by leading Clintonite apologist Neera Tandem as a "fascist," and excoriated by conservatives as a "traitor." He is a man alone.

One day these spoiled children of the oligarchy are going to have to face down some real fascists, and it isn’t going to be pretty.

Let's hope that day comes very soon.

The Extinction Rebellion consuming London streets is an inspiration. This is real politics. Imagine the same rebellion in support of Julian Assange. Now is the time to show the thugs who rule and arrest and their tame Vichy journalists that "ye are many, they are few".

Amnesty International has issued the following:

Following the announcement of Julian Assange’s arrest, and request for extradition to the United States, Massimo Moratti, Amnesty International’s Deputy Director for Research in Europe, said:
“Amnesty International calls on the UK to refuse to extradite or send in any other manner Julian Assange to the USA where there is a very real risk that he could face human rights violations, including detention conditions that would violate the absolute prohibition of torture and other ill-treatment and an unfair trial followed by possible execution, due to his work with Wikileaks.
“We are aware of allegations of rape and other sexual violence against Julian Assange, which should be properly investigated in a way that respects the rights of both the complainants and the accused and be brought to justice if there is sufficient evidence against him. If Sweden decides to pursue an extradition of Mr. Assange from the UK, there must be adequate assurances that he would not be extradited or otherwise sent to the USA.
“It remains unclear what formal process took place to allow the UK authorities to enter the Ecuadorian embassy and detain Julian Assange, who had reportedly had his Ecuadorian citizenship suspended yesterday. We urge the UK authorities to comply with the assurances provided to Ecuador that he would not be sent anywhere he could face the death penalty, torture or other ill-treatment.”

If every journalist did only 1/4 of what Julian's done, the Iraq War would have ended long, long ago.

Instead?  It continues.

And life for Iraqi girls and women continues to get worse.

AFP reports, for example, on how those forcing women into marriage were punished under Saddam Hussein but get away with it today:

 Women and girls often suffer under these patriarchal systems, with many forced to marry against their will, subject to domestic abuse and deprived of an education.
The southern provinces of Misan and Basra, where tribal influence is widespread, have the highest rates of child marriage in Iraq, the UN’s children’s agency UNICEF said in 2018.
In Misan, 35 percent of married women between 20 and 45 said they wed as teenagers, and in Basra the rate is 31.5 percent.

In one tribal custom known as “fasliya,” women are married off as restitution for blood spilt between two tribes.
[. . .]
 A 2017 study of 62 attempted self-immolation cases in Basra found that family problems, including marital issues, were the precipitating factor in 80 percent of the cases.
Authorities in Misan said 198 women had attempted suicide over the past two years, and 14 of them lost their lives.

In all things big and small, the Iraq War has destroyed and is destroying the lives of the Iraqi people.

In Basra, protests have taken place for nearly a year and now many in Basra are demanding independence from the Baghdad-based government.

Basra renews autonomy campaign.  As the summer's brutally hot weather approaches, has there been any progress on electricity delivery to Basra & the surrounding region?  Will we see mass protests begin w the hot weather? via

The following sites updated:

  • Medicare For All

    1. If by “destabilize,” he means “disrupt for-profit insulin schemes bc the discovering scientist freely gave away the patent bc he didn’t want us to price-gouge life saving medicines,” then yes. (PS: is ’s bill, not mine - and am I proud to cosponsor it!)
    2. Medicare for All means: ✅ No copays ✅ No deductibles ✅ Freedom of choice in doctors and hospitals ✅ Coverage for every American The function of our current system is to make billions of dollars for the insurance and drug companies. That is what instability looks like.
    3. Current free-fall in health insurance stocks (Anthem, UnitedHealth, Centene, Humana etc) marks beginning of end of for-profit health insurance’s business model of seeking healthy people and avoiding sick people. Sign that Medicare-for-All is real.

    This is C.I.'s "Iraq snapshot" for Thursday:


    Thursday, April 18, 2019.  As Julian Assange is persecuted, notice the useless who can't defend him.

    Last Thursday, the founder and publisher of WIKILEAKS, Julian Assange, was arrested in London. Legal scholar Jonathan Turley (USA TODAY) has pointed out:

    He disclosed a massive and arguably unconstitutional surveillance program by the United States impacting virtually every citizen. He later published emails that showed that the Democratic National Committee and the campaign of Hillary Clinton lied in various statements to the public, including the rigging of the primary for her nomination. No one has argued that any of these emails were false. They were embarrassing. Of course, there is not crime of embarrassing the establishment but that is merely a technicality.

    For the US government, the first extreme bit of embarrassment came on Monday April 5, 2010, when WIKILEAKS released  military video of a July 12, 2007 assault in Iraq. 12 people were killed in the assault including two REUTERS journalists Namie Noor-Eldeen and Saeed Chmagh.  Not only was the US government responsible for that attack, they were responsible for the lies and the coverup that followed.  When WIKILEAKS published the video, the truth was known.

    The Iraqi people always knew the truth.  That's why they wanted all foreign forces (including the US) out of their country.  They lived with the violence on a daily basis.  What Julian did was publish something that forced an apathetic world playing on-the-one-hand-and-on-the-other to acknowledge what actually happened in Iraq.

    As US officials make gleeful comments (Senator Joe Manchin: "He is our property"), you'd expect to see more protest and outrage in the US.  What you see instead is trash revealing its true nature.  Margaret Kimberley (BLACK AGENDA REPORT) writes of the great do-nothings who can't speak up for Julian:

    This resistance is little more than a collective hissy fit from dead ender Democrats who insist on following a party that can’t even reliably stay in office.  They have spent the last three years railing against Trump but bite their tongues when he commits an act that reeks of fascist ideology.
    The kindest thing that can be said is that they have been hypnotized by a combination of Democratic Party and corporate media lies. It is very difficult to determine the truth in a culture saturated with all the deformities of an imperial state in panic mode. One has to act as a detective and know which web sites to read or whom to follow on social media in order to learn anything outside of the confines of state propaganda. Ever since election night in November 2016 the public have been subjected to a relentless campaign meant to deflect righteous anger away from the Democrats while furthering imperialist goals at the same time. 

    Julian Assange has become the poster child for the big lie. His leaks of Democratic National Committee emails are blamed for Hillary Clinton’s defeat. But there was no computer hack of the DNC at all. Assange received leaked materials from an insider and used Wikileaks to publish it.
    But that is only a partial explanation. The reality is far worse. Liberals are just as much true believers in imperialism as the right wing they claim to oppose.They are nothing if not consistent. When the Trump administration announced the coup attempt against the Venezuelan government the resistance didn’t resist at all.
    Instead they repeated talking points from the New York Timesand National Public Radio which labeled the elected Venezuelan president a brutal dictator. They didn’t question the United States claim of a right to undo the will of people in another country. Some gave wishy washy criticism of military intervention but none of them questioned an intervention which is fascist by any definition.
    These people will never defend Julian Assange. According to their world view he doesn’t deserve to be defended. He revealed government secrets, which runs counter to their support of the imperialist state, and they think he deprived them of a second Clinton presidency.

    The useless trash includes David Cay Johnston as Betty notes.  And let me be clear on something, the public e-mail was created for this site.  Anyone else can use it, fine, in the community.  But it's mine.  Not David Cay Johston's and he can stay the f**k away from it.  I've read his endless e-mail to Ruth (see Ruth's "F**k off, David Cay Johnston a woman hating piece of crap who thinks he can boss us around") and I'm not in the mood for liars.

    I try to be nice but I have been very clear that I am not a nice person.  When David e-mailed this site -- and, yes, piece of trash, David, you did -- I first wrote a blistering post.  Like the one about a neocon, I didn't publish it.  I'd spent sixteen hours on that post about Richard Perle.  Now that piece and the one responding to David were not published.  They were not trashed.  They were saved to draft.  They can be published at any time.

    I tried to high road it and just change a little bitch's spelling -- we pulled a quote from THE DAILY HOWLER and that quote had David's name wrong -- and even be kind enough not to say, "Can you believe this stupid ass has nothing better to do than police the internet looking for how his name is spelled?  Can you believe anyone could be so vain?  Who has that kind of time!"  I tried to be nice  and move on.

    But I'm not a nice person.  I don't need to hear from you, David.  Didn't need to hear from you to begin with.  Demi Moore is a friend.  Her name is not pronounced "Demmy." But she's not e-mailing everyone about how to pronounce her name.  Your life is so pathetic that if a "j" is left out of your last name, you hound everyone.  Grow the hell up.  No one gives a damn about you.  No one gave a damn about you when you wrote your boring pieces that were semi-fact based.  Certainly, now that you've gone off into conspiracy nonsense and made it your goal to whip up hysteria, no one gives a damn about you.  Martha and Shirley have been asked to delete anything you e-mail and to do it without reading it.  You are not going to hijack this community and you are not ever again going to lecture a woman who never needed a lecture from your fat ass to begin with.  Not in my public e-mail account, not in the community that I created.  Go f**k yourself, David, no one needs to hear from you.

    And let's be clear, ego maniacs like David?  They're more concerned with how their name got spelled than in standing up for Julian Assange.  That tells us everything we ever need to know about that piece of garbage.

    It's the garbage of David and his useless peers that are responsible for the Iraq War.  That's probably why they hate Julian.  Julian didn't lie and sell the Iraq War.  They and their outlets did (David once worked for THE NEW YORK TIMES).  They sold the war with lies to start it, they sold the war with lies to continue it.  Will anyone miss John Burns when he dies?  Nope.  He's just another cheap hustler who sold war.  The war that they sold continues -- as does the suffering of the Iraqi people.  Human Rights Watch notes today:

    (Erbil, April 18, 2019) – Iraqi officers have committed torture at a detention facility in Mosul at least through early 2019, months after Human Rights Watch reported on the abuses and shared information about those responsible, Human Rights Watch said today. The Iraqi government did not respond to two Human Rights Watch letters requesting an update on steps taken to investigate the allegations.
    “If the Iraqi government ignores credible reports of torture, it’s no wonder that the abuses persist,” said Lama Fakih, deputy Middle East director at Human Rights Watch. “What will it take for the authorities to take torture allegations seriously.”
    In August 2018, Human Rights Watch published a report alleging the use of torture in three facilities under the Interior Ministry in and around Mosul. It was based on statements from two former detainees and the father of a man who died during interrogation. One former detainee, who was held at the Faisaliya detention facility for four months, provided Human Rights Watch with the names of four interior ministry officers whom he said he saw torturing detainees.
    Before publishing its report, Human Rights Watch sent detailed allegations including the names of the four officers implicated to the human rights adviser in the Prime Minister’s Advisory Commission. In February, Human Rights Watch wrote to Foreign Minister Mohamed Alhakim and the Interior Ministry Inspector General, Jamal al-Asadi, asking whether the government had investigated the Human Rights Watch allegations. Human Rights Watch received no reply to either letter.
    A former prisoner, whose name and identifying details have been withheld for his security, described what he saw at Faisaliya detention facility in early 2019.

    He said that guards took him to a section behind a metal door cut off from the rest of the cells on the evening he arrived. His description matched that of other former detainees who spoke to Human Rights Watch.
    He said he saw eight detainees standing naked. Four guards were throwing water at them from a bucket, after which they pushed the detainees to the floor one by one, lifted their legs, and placed their feet through two rope loops attached to a wooden stick to keep the feet in place. He said he watched as the guards took turns beating each of the detainees on their feet with plastic piping for about 15 minutes nonstop. He said that after the beatings, six of the detainees confessed to being affiliated with the Islamic State (ISIS), with each negotiating the length of their membership they would confess.
    The guards used a form of “waterboarding,” referred to as al-safina (“boat” in Arabic) on the two detainees who had not confessed, he said. Five guards and an officer strapped each detainee in turn, still naked, onto an orange gurney and tipped it backward, so that the detainee’s feet were raised above his head and covered his face with a towel. For about five minutes, they beat each one with plastic piping while pouring water over his mouth.
    He said that the guards then bound the men’s hands behind their backs and suspended them from the ceiling using a hook and pulley, in a position referred to as bazoona (the word for cat in Iraqi dialect) for about one hour. He said the men had all confessed by around 2 a.m. and were taken back to their cell.
    An hour later, he said, when he and the 12 other detainees were in the group cell he shared lying down, three or four guards came in and stamped on them with their boots, while singing a well-known ISIS song.
    He named three of the four Interior Ministry officers overseeing that section of the detention facility, whom Human Rights Watch had identified in its August report. He also gave the name of another officer he said had overseen the torture. He said that all four officers directly participated in the torture.
    Iraqi judges, despite the extensive credible reports of torture in detention, routinely fail to investigate torture allegations. On April 1, 2019, Iraq’s High Judicial Council replied to a Human Rights Watch inquiry into the judiciary’s response to torture allegations, stating that a range of Iraqi courts had investigated 275 complaints against investigative officers by the end of 2018. The High Judicial Council stated that 176 of the cases have been “resolved” while 99 were still being addressed. The council did not indicate how many of the 176 cases were being further investigated or had been dismissed.
    Inspector General Jamal al-Asadi should promptly investigate the allegations at Faisaliya detention facility, including the officers implicated in past Human Rights Watch reporting
    Iraq’s High Judicial Council should issue guidelines on the steps judges are obliged to take when a defendant alleges torture. Judges should investigate all credible allegations of torture and the security forces responsible, and order transfers of detainees to different facilities immediately after they allege torture or ill-treatment, to protect them from retaliation. Parliament should pass the draft Anti-Torture Law, which would require judges to order a medical examination of any detainee alleging torture within 24 hours of learning of the allegation.
    Iraq’s foreign minister should also urge parliament to ratify the Optional Protocol to the Convention Against Torture, which would allow prison visits by the United Nations Subcommittee on Prevention. Pending ratification, the government should commit to setting up a national unit to prevent torture, known as a national prevention mechanism, with the authority to inspect all detention centers in Iraq and to set up an effective complaint systems for authorities and facilities involved in detention and interrogations.
    The heads of the federal intelligence agency, NSS, and the new interior minister, once appointed, should issue statements to their subordinates prohibiting the use of torture and other ill-treatment, and making clear that they will punish those responsible. Prime Minister Adil Abdul-Mahdi should publicly condemn the use of torture by all law enforcement, security, and military personnel.

    “Prime Minister Abdul-Mahdi’s government should demonstrate to the Iraqi people that it is serious about ending torture in Iraq’s detention facilities,” Fakih said. “Strong actions are needed.”

    Why is Human Rights Watch noting this?  I'm glad that they are.  My point here is where are the news outlets?  I don't mean repeating what HRW has documented, I mean why are they reporting this on their own.  When Ned Parker was at THE LOS ANGELES TIMES, he did serious reports like this.  But he was not the norm.  And when Ned was persecuted by the Iraqi government we saw that the David Cay Johnston's couldn't speak up for him anymore than they could speak up for Julian Assange.

    They can spend forever whining to anyone and everyone that a letter was left out of their name -- because, to them, this is the greatest crime.  They can't spend even a Tweet defending the Iraqi people who have suffered through never-ending wars.

    "Someone forgot a J in my name!" is the ultimate outrage to those useless types.

    Let's start winding down with this -- an event on Saturday:

     South Central Michigan Greens
    Calhoun, Hillsdale, and Jackson Counties Local
    Peace, People, and Planet Over Profit

    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:  April 10, 2019

    For more information:
    Monika Dittmann Schwab, Local Contact/SCMiGreens

    South Central Michigan Greens to Meet 1-3pm
    Saturday, April 20 at Jackson Coffee Company

    The South Central Michigan Greens local will hold its monthly meeting 
    1-3pm on Saturday, April 20 at the downtown Jackson Coffee Company (201 
    South Mechanic Street in Jackson).

    The meeting is an event on Facebook:

    The local serves Jackson, Calhoun, and Hillsdale Counties.  But anyone 
    who supports the Green Party platform of Peace, Planet, and People Over 
    Profit -- or wants to find out about the #realDeal, the Green Party's 
    decade-old original version of the Green New Deal -- is welcome to attend.

    We will discuss upcoming local activities and opportunities to get 
    involved -- including a pollution remediation proposal being started in 
    Jackson this spring, proposed natural-gas mega-plants in the area, and 
    this year's spring Labor History Walk in Marshall on Saturday, May 4, 
    the weekend after international Labor Day (May 1).

    Co-founder John Anthony La Pietra will report on a celebration of "the 
    other MLK Day" held April 4 at the Marshall District Library.  Local 
    officers and by-laws, and the results of the recent statewide membership 
    meeting March 16 in Muskegon, are also expected to be on the agenda.

    A map of the location is available here:

    For more details and news about the local, please visit its Facebook page:

    #  #  #

    The Four Pillars of GPMI:
        Grassroots Democracy
        Social Justice
        Ecological Wisdom
    For our Ten Key Values, add:
        Community-Based Economics
        Future Focus/Sustainability
        Personal and Global Responsibility
        Respect for Diversity

    The following sites updated: