Saturday, November 04, 2006

Meatloaf in the Kitchen

Okay, this week's recipe is one Cedric asked for last month. He was in a rush because he's working on turn-out-the-vote drives and he needed something that would be easy to cook, that he could munch on and enjoy as leftovers, and that would enjoy hot from the oven as well. He was very clear that he wanted something to bake so he didn't need to stand at the stove.

I asked him what he thought of meatloaf and, it turned out, he loves meatloaf but had never made it himself. I adapted this recipe for quickest and more time so if, in looking over the ingredients and directions, you start thinking, "I'm not using all of that or doing all of that" remember that there's also an easier way to make it. Ingredients with "*" are optional if you are in a rush and don't have them on hand.

1 cup of finely chopped onion
1 bell pepper chopped*
1/2 cup of chopped green onions*
1 15 ounce can of tomato sauce
3/4 pound of meat (ground beef, ground turkey, sausage)
at least 1 cup bread crumbs (some people enjoy more -- my youngest daughter will shred an entire loaf of bread if she knows I'm going to be making meat loaf because she enjoys the bread factor)
2 large eggs, beaten slightly

Before you begin chopping or mixing anything, preheat oven to 350 degrees F so it will be warm and ready.

If you have a bit more time you will cook, in a skillet, the onions and bell pepper, on a medium stove setting, for three to five minutes. You will salt and pepper for taste (or not, if you don't care for either or if you're on a low sodium diet you can skip the salt).

If you are a rush, you will not use the skillet, you will not cook the onions and bell pepper. Chop them and set them aside. (They will bake in the oven while the meatloaf is cooking.)

You will beat two eggs (whites and yolk unless you're watching cholesterol, in which case, use only egg whites). I use a wisk. If you don't have a wisk, use a fork.

You really need a big bowl to mix in, however, my second oldest son, after he moved out, was happy to discover he could mix in the same dish he was cooking in. If you're short on time or want to avoid one less pan to clean up, go for it. You can use a rectangular pan or a loaf pan. I use clear glass so I can see all of it. You can use whatever you like. But, if you're using an aluminum pan (not recommended for health reasons), please make sure that it's not flaking off. Those things do not last forever. When it's time to toss them out, toss them out. I don't cook in them (or teflon coated pans). But a friend once cooked a meat loaf in one and had little bits of 'silver' on the bottom and sides of the meatloaf. General rule, if the ingredient isn't listed in the recipe, your pans shouldn't be adding it to the dish.

In the bowl (or pan you're cooking in), combine the eggs, the meat, the bread crumbs, the onions and the bell pepper. Add in the tomato sauce. You can be really dainty and use a large spon to attempt to mix it, I use both hands. (Make sure you washed them first. You'll be washing them right after, but no one will need to remind you. Your hands will be covered and you'll know to wash them.) There are people who spend forever shaping it in the bowl. I don't. I mix it and am left with a round object at the end. I transfer that into the cooking dish and make sure, whether it's a square or a loaf pan, that it's evenly distributed by pressing it to fit the pan.
How much do you love catsup? That's your decision to make it here. I usually add a streak. My second oldest son adds a layer. (Like he's icing a cake only very thickly.) That's your call.
Allow the meatloaf to bake (and move the oven setting from 'preheat' to 'bake' if your oven has that option, it it doesn't you're already in bake mode) for one hour.

Remove from oven. Stick the meat loaf with a toothpick to be sure it's cooked through. (If it's not, you'll see a lot of moisture on the toothpick. If you don't have a toothpic handy, you can use a fork.) If it's done, serve and eat. If it isn't done, bake for ten minute more. (No more than ten, or you'll burn it.) (If you have used a glass, microwaveable pan, you can also put it into the microwave if the toothpick test says it isn't done. I'd try burst of five minutes, checking after each five minute period.)

The illustration, done by The Third Estate Sunday Review, is of Kyle Snyder. Rebecca's in the kitchen sipping coffee so she was talking me through posting but she didn't know how to make the illustration appear anywhere but at the top. Wally's mother called and I asked if Wally was there and, if so, was he busy? He wasn't and he talked us through 'floating' the picture. (He said that's what he and C.I. call it but it's probably not a technical term. They played around with their posts for sometime to figure out how to do this and couldn't. Then one day, Wally was doing an e-mail entry and it 'floated.' They decided to look at the language code and see what the difference was. The difference, Wally says, is only where the "a href" directions are in your post. So we just copied the language from the top where the illustration went when Rebecca and I got it into this post and moved it down to the midway point.)

Kyle Snyder is a US war resister. Yesterday, he was interviewed on Democracy Now! and I want to note the section of the interview where he explains how he ended up in the military and what happened in Iraq:

AMY GOODMAN: Kyle, can you talk about why you joined the military and when you joined?
KYLE SNYDER: Yeah, no problem. I had joined the military October 22, 2003, and I had originally joined for, basically, the verbal promises that were given to me at the time then, too. I was 19 years old. I wanted all of the things that this recruiter was promising me. I wanted military benefits. I wanted the $5,000 sign-on bonus. I wanted college. I wanted to continue my education. I had a fiancee at the time. We were planning on having a child. How am I going to take care of this child if I have one? So, for many reasons, but mainly the materialistic benefits that the military recruiters had promised, had persuaded me to sign the contract.
And it’s basically the same thing that’s happening now. They can verbally promise anything, but once you are in their custody, they can do anything that they want with you, which is completely the opposite of what a lot of these military officials are verbally promising, so --
JUAN GONZALEZ: And once you ended up in Iraq, could you talk to us about the changes that you went through that led you to the decision not to return?
KYLE SNYDER: Yes. And I actually had problems with the Iraq war before I had requested a discharge, actually. And sorry to get off of that subject, but I requested a discharge through my chain of command before deploying to Iraq, for medical reasons of manic depression. I had just lost a child. But I was in an engineering unit, and I wanted to reconstruct the civilization of Iraq, and I figured that's what an engineering unit in the United States military would be doing in Iraq or building roads, and we wouldn’t be patrolling the way that we were.
So, shortly after arriving in Kuwait in late December 2004, they quickly switched my MOS as a heavy construction equipment operator into that of a 50-cal. gunner, which is the huge machine gun mounted on top of the 1114 Humvees. And I knew something was changing, and I figured, okay, well, I'll go with the flow for a little bit. I'll do my duty, and I wanted to make sure that my friends got to point A to point B safely. And I did that until, I'd say, three months into my deployment.
One of the soldiers from my unit had shot an innocent man, who was injured. He was not killed. A lot of papers are saying that he was killed, but he was just injured. The man can no longer walk anymore, as I can recall. I'm the only soldier that even looked into his well-being after the mission. We wrote mission statements on this, and it was not properly investigated, as it should have been. There was no firefight. The soldier had fired upon an innocent civilian, and I wanted to know why five shots were coming from my vehicle. It couldn't be answered to me, so shortly after that I can't operate as a soldier, or I can't be in that military anymore, if that's the way that they operate in country.

I wanted to highlight that section because it's important. C.I.'s highlighting other important sections in the snapshot. The above has been covered in snapshots and at The Third Estate Sunday Review but I'm not sure the snapshots I've posted in my one week entries have covered it. If you click on Kyle Snyder, you're taken to the editorial they did on October 22nd about Synder and they note the man lost his leg. This week, when seeing some reports on Snyder, I did see that the Iraqi had 'died.' I wondered where they were getting the information? (The editorial the gang did provided links to show you exactly where the information was coming from which is probably why they knew that the man didn't die.) Since that was important to Synder and since I didn't post the editorial here (I should have), I wanted to include that as well.

Something Rebecca and I just found this morning while surfing around the net was the
Feminist Wire Daily's "AAUP Report Highlights Gender Inequities in Higher Education:"

The American Association of University Professors (AAUP) released a report last week that draws attention to disparities among female and male faculty in higher education. According to the report (PDF), women are obtaining doctoral degrees at record rates, but represent only a small portion of tenured faculty. The report notes nine doctoral institutions where women account for less than 10 percent of full professors, with women accounting for a mere 6.4 percent of tenured faculty at Polytechnic University. The report also illustrates the salary gap among women and men professors; at the University of Houston, the average salary for a woman assistant professor is only 79.4 percent the salary of a man. Martha S. West, a professor of law at the University of California at Davis and co-author of the report, said, "I think the significant thing is that we are releasing the data for individuals schools around the country, so people at their own schools can compare how their school is doing compared to others… Hopefully we'll generate some significant attention all over the country."
about the Feminist Majority Foundation's Education Equity Program

That really shocked me. All this time later, and there's still no change? I believe it was Susan Faludi's Backlash that disproved the lie that women were taking over universites and demonstrated that, despite Alan Bloom's crackpot rantings, women were still struggling for tenure and posts. That book came out in 1991. That the situation hasn't changed honestly did shock me. The make up of students has been changing for some time. Female students are now in the majority. But in terms of representation on the teaching side, they're still in the minority. Hopefully, other people, men and women, were already aware of this but I wasn't. Awareness is the first step towards action so I wanted to share the above in case anyone else was under the mistaken impression that I was, that the situation must have improved since it's been repeatedly identified for decades and since Faludi rightly disproved the lie that women were being represented (the Bloom crowd argued over represented) in academia.

Two things I want to note quickly, read "Kat's Korner: The death of Ani DiFranco?" and Betty's latest "Thomas Friedman enlists."

Now here's C.I.'s "Iraq snapshot:"

Friday, November 3, 2006. Chaos and violence continue in Iraq, US war resister Kyle Snyder tells his story to Amy Goodman and Juan Gonzalez on Democracy Now!, the Giddiest Gabor in the Green Zone mistakes himself for Jackson Pollock, Bully Boy finally wins at a poll but it's doubtful he'll be happy, nearly 60 corpses are discovered in Baghdad, eight US troops have died since Wednesday, John Dimitri Negroponte heads to Iraq for a surprise visit, and the US air force goes on a spending spree because, hey, it's not their money.

On Saturday, US war resister
Kyle Snyder returned to the US from Canada where he'd self-checked out to in April 2005. Tuesday, he turned himself in at Fort Knox only to learn that the arrangement between the US military and his attorney, James Fennerty, was being tossed aside. At which point, Kyle Snyder self-checked out again.

Today, he
spoke with Amy Goodman and Juan Gonzalez for Democracy Now! detailing his experiences in Iraq and Canada. Synder detailed the promises of recruiters and how they mirrored the empty promises of the agreement the military offered Synder's attorney: "They can verbally promise anything, but once you are in their custody they can do anything they want with you." Between the broken promises of recruitment and return came the assignment to tasks he wasn't trained for. This is the point of the stand Melanie McPherson has taken. McPherson was trained to be a journalist for the military (at Fort Meade, MD) in April 2000 and then, just as her contract was winding down, she gets orders to report to Fort Bliss to ship out to Iraq. She reports on July 23 of this year and discovers she'll be serving in Iraq as a military police officer, something she has not been trained. McPherson tells her own story here (scroll down).

Jim Fennerty was also a guest and he explained that the military wants to send him (Snyder) to Fort Knox (KY) and that he can't get a call returned from Fort Leonard Wood (MO). Fennerty also addressed the issue of another of his clients, Ivan Brobeck. Brobeck is from Virgninia and went o Canada after serving seven months in Iraq. Like Synder, Brobeck arrived in Canada in April 2005. Unlike Snyder, Brobeck is in the Marines. Fennerty spoke of the different processes in the different branches of the US military and that "Ivan will be taken into custody" and "he'll be placed in the brig" at which point he would most likely face a court-martial.

Snyder stated to the following when asked by Goodman what he would say to other soldiers: "To the soldiers that are in Iraq, for the third or fourth time. A lot of them are scared to make decisions about moral and consientious choices, they're told by their commanders that they can't make these decisions Just follow your heart if you feel that you need to be in Iraq and that you're doing the right thing, that's fine and I understand that. But if you feel like you're doing the wrong thing, please speak out. The G.I. resistance is very important in changing the policits of this country right now and I feel that as G.I.s start coming out that's what's going to stop this war. And that's the only thing that's going to stop this war. As far as the soldiers that are in Canada right now, I love every single one of you, just know that whatever happens here, just keep that in mind, and I'll be keeping in contact with them."

On those still in Canada,
Brett Barrouqere (AP) spoke with US war resisters Corey Glass and Patrick Hart who are currently in Canada. Glass is now reconsidering his own decision to return from Canada and both Glass and Hart consider the war to be based on lies. Glass states, "After what they did to him [Kyle Snyder], I don't see anybody going back." Hart says, "I could see going back under some kind of amnesty program or something like that. But I don't trust them."

More information on war resistance within the military can be found at
Center on Conscience & War, The Objector, The G.I. Rights Hotline, and the War Resisters Support Campaign. In addition Courage to Resist offers information on all public war resisters. On the latter, Courage to Resist is asking supporters to call 502-624-2707 to speak to Major General Robert M. Williams and tell him "Discharge Kyle Snyder!"

In other news of deployment status,
Jamie McIntrye (CNN) reports that Santos Cardona will be sent to Kuwait and not Iraq, the Army has decided, due to the fact that Cardona was the "U.S. Army dog handler who was convicted of abusing detainees at Abu Ghraib prison". As to how he's been allowed to remain in the service? In June, Santos was "sentenced . . . to 90 days hard labor and a reduction in rank . . . found guilty of derelecition of duty and aggravated assault" (AP). The prosecution had recommended a discharge for bad conduct but apparently the actions fit into someone's understanding of 'service' and Cardona has managed to remain in the military instead of being drummed out of the service. On a similar note, AP reports that Steven D. Green has been indicted in a civilian court (he was discharged from the military before the allegations were public) in Kentucky for the "premeditated murder in the death of Abeer Kassem Hamza al-Janabi, her father, mother and 6-year-old sister in the central Iraqi town of Al-Mahmudiyah. Green is accused of raping the teen and then killing her after rounding up and killing her family with the help of other soldiers in his unit."

And in Iraq today.


CNN reports that mortar rounds in Baghdad claimed the lives of three and left six wounded. Reuters notes four police officers dead in Madaen from a roadside bomb, two young males dead from a landmine in Kut, and three people dead from a roadside bomb in Baghdad. (CBS and AP note: "Police Lt. Thaer Mahoud said the death toll in the rush hour bombing of a crowded market in Baghdad's Sadr City district Thursday had risen to 11 on Friday, with 51 reported wounded." Yesterday, the known dead from that bombing was seven.)


Reuters notes that "Resan al-Sayab, a local singer" was shot dead in Baghdad, while, in Kirkuk, a preacher (Sunni) and a gas station worker were shot dead (the preacher Thursday night), the shooting death of "a bodyguard of Shiite cleric Sadiq al-Hakim" near Najaf, and a cab driver shot dead in Baghdad.


Sinan Salaheddin (AP) reports that 56 corpses were discovered in Baghdad. Reuters notes that the corpse of Abdul Majeed Ismael Khalil, freelance journalist, was discovered in Baghdad in addition to the 56 other corpses and that a severed head was found as well.

Today the US military announced "
Three Marines assigned to Regimental Combat Team 7 died Nov. 2 from wounds sustained due to enemy action while operating in Al Anbar Province," "One Marine assigned to Regimental Combat Team 5 died from injuries sustained due to enemy action Thursday while operating in Al Anbar Province," "Three Multi-National Division -- Baghdad Soldiers died at approximately 2:15 p.m. Thursday when the vehicle they were riding in was strcuk by an improvised-explosive device in eastern Baghdad." That makes eight reported deaths for US troops since Wednesday. Iraq Coalition Casualties currently lists the toll for the month thus far as 11 dead (and 2829 dead since the start of the illegal war) which would indicate more announcements will be made later today or tomorrow. All as Italian troops prepare to leave Iraq and the so-called coalition continues to suffer from shrinkage.

Activst, author and Vietnam vet
Ron Kovic (Truthdig) reflects on the wounded US troops in Iraq, noting that he was paralyzed January 20, 2968 while serving in Veitnam, and describes the moments after: "They are being put on a helicopter, with the wounded all around them. They try to stay calm. Some are amazed that they are still alive. You just have to keep trying to stay awake, make it to the next stage, keep moving toward the rear, toward another aid station, a corpsman, a doctor a nurse someone who can help you, someone who will operate and keep you alive so you can make it home, home to your backyard and your neighbors and your mother and father. To where it all began, to where it was once peaceful and safe. They just try to keep breathing because they have got to get back. . . . They are alone in their rooms all over this country, right now. Just as I was alone in my room in Massapequa. I know they're there -- just as I was. This is the part you never see. The part that is never reported in the news. The part that the president and vice president never mention. This is the agonizing part, the lonely part, when you have to awake to the wound each morning and suddenly realize what you've lost, what is gone forever. They're out there and they have mothers and fathers, sisters and brothers, husbands and wives and children. And they're not saying much right now. Just like me they're just trying to get through each day."

As for the man responsible for so many US troops wounded and dead, for so many Iraqis wounded and dead, the polls haven't been very kind to him of late. However,
Guardian of London is reporting that Bully Boy is 'Top of the Pops' in a new poll [ICM polled Isreal, Canada, Mexico and England for the poll]. Before Laura breaks out the good china and heats up the Frito Pie, the survey found that 69 percent of British respondents "believerd US policy had made the world less safe since 2001"; that 71 percent of British respondents felt the illegal war "was unustified, a view shared by 89% of Mexicans and 73% of Canadians"; and it "ranked President Bush with some of his bitterest enemies as a cause of global anxiety."

Anxiety was in the air as John Negroponte made a surprise visit to the heavily fortified Green Zone area of Baghdad. What exactly was the Director of National Intelligence doing in Iraq? Advising the death squads? Paying them off? He was a long way from Honduras or Nicaragua.
John O'Neil (New York Times) reports that Negroponte had no public statements (proving he's smarter than the Giddiest Gabor in the Green Zone). Al Jazeera reminds that Negroponte "had served as the American ambassador to Iraq before the current envoy Zalmay Khalilzad." For those who've forgotten, it was his security detail that fired at the car carrying Giuliana Sgrena who had just been freed from her kidnappers. Nicola Calipari was in the car and killed. Sgrena sustained serious injuries. As AFP notes, the trip followed Stephen Hadley's (National Security Advisor for the Bully Boy administration) trip by three days and followed the video conference held last Saturday.

Staying in the Green Zone for news of the Giddiest Gabor, as
Amy Goodman (Democracy Now!) noted, Willie Caldwell made a surprising remark yesterday. Apparently inspired by the 140 million dollars a painting by Jackson Pollock fetched the other day, Little Willie decided to jazz it up a bit. Briefing the press yesterday, the Giddiest Gabor began with a presentation including slides ("Slide please"). The presentation included the following prepared remarks (note, this was not in response to a question, this was part of the presentation): "A transition is not always a pleasant thing to watch as it happens. But when common goals are achieved, speed bumps and differecnes of opinion along the way are soon forgotten. Every great work of art goes through messy phases while it is in transition. A lump of clay can become a sculpture; blobs of paint become paintings which inspire." As most know, there's no scarier stage than when a starlet fancies herself an artist.

Meanwhile, after requesting what Reuters called "
a staggering 50 billion in emergency funding for fiscal 2007," the US air force quickly handed out contracts. Lockheed Martin got 30 million, DRS got $6.3 million, L-3 got $42 million and Boeing got a whopping $229.8 million. The whisper-it-to-the-press-but-don't-attribute 'reason' for the request in emergency funding is that, otherwise, wounded and dead US troops might not make it home. The shopping spree calls that 'reasoning' into question.

In more money being burned news,
Thom Shanker and David S. Cloud (New York Times) report that the Pentagon is created a new office which will include the "rapid response unit" that they hope and pray will make all the reality vanish the way those waves of Operation Happy Talk used to. Remember the discolored fingers? Remember the any-day-now turned corner? Even most of the press sees new attempts at waves as a wipe out so the Pentagon intendes to dispense with the messenger and lie directly to the people.

Until then, some reality news still comes out.
James Glanz (New York Times) reports that Stuart W. Bowen Jr. will be outed from his post as Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction next October as a result of Congressional legislation that no one in Congress appears able to explain or even able to figure out when that section entered the bill.

In election news,
Carol Britton Meyer (TownOnline) reports that, in Massachusetts, Mary Sochacki, Shirley Brown, Katharine Sangree, and Chartis Tebbetts were among those members of the South Shore Peace Forum gathering signatures to put a resolution on next Tuesday's ballot "calling for an immediate end of the war in Iraq".

In other peace news,
US war resister Mark Wilkerson reflects on his time in Iraq and notes: "Before I deployed to Iraq during OIF1, I was full of optimism for what we could do to help the people of Iraq. One of our missions, after all, was to 'win the hearts and minds of the Iraqi people.' And in that regard, we have failed miserably. In the year I was in Iraq, I saw kids waving American flags in the first month. Then they threw rocks. Then they planted IEDs. Then they blew themselves and others up in city squares full of people. The only conlcusion I can come up with as to why this happened is the way the American troops have treated the Iraqi people as a whole. From random raids of whole city blocks, to checkpoints that interrupted the daily lives of the Iraqis, to incidents of torture and even massacres, a majority of Iraqis now feel as though the American soldiers, once hailed as heroes and saviors, are now seen as conquerors." Wilkerson still awaits news on what the army intends to do now that he's returned from his self-check out.

Wilkerson isn't the only war resister who has said no to war and still awaits a decision/ruling. Keeping the issue front and center,
Ehren Watada's father Bob Watada and his step-mother Rosa Sakanishi continue their speaking tour to raise awareness on Ehren -- the first commissioned officer to refuse to deploy to Iraq. Upcoming dates include:

Nov 3, TBA St. Paul MN. Location: Quaker Peace Center -- 1725 Grand AvenueSponsors: Veterans for Peace Chapter 27 Contact: Barry Reisch, (H) 651-641-1087 © 612-269-8934

Nov 4, 11AM Milwaukee, WI. Location: Great Lakes Arlington EventContact: Mark Foreman, 441-760-9991,
bethmark@execpc.comSponsor: VFP Chapter 102 * See the unveiling of a new "Arlington"
Nov. 5, 2PM Boston, MA Encuentro 5 33 Harrison Ave. 5th floor (Chinatown)Sponsors: Asian American Movement Ezine Asian American Resource Workshop Boston Hawaiian Club Chinese Progressive AssociationMassachusetts Global Action New England Japanese American Citizens League
Nov 5, 7PM Cambridge, MA. Location: Unitarian Church, Harvard SquareSponsor: Veterans for Peace Chapter 9, Smedley Butler Brigade and Chapter 45, Samantha Smith Chapter Contact: Lee VanderLaan, 978-257-2350
Nov 6, 2-4:30PM Boston, MA Location: University of Massachusetts/BostonSponsor: The Institute for Asian American Studies William Joiner Center for the Study of War and Social Consequence Time: 2-4:30 pm
Nov 6, 7PM Worcester, MA. Location: Clark University University Building, Lurie Room Sponsors: Veterans For Peace Chapter 10 Contact: Bob Flanagan, 508-755-1479,

Nov 7, 4:30PM Portland, ME Location: Meditation Center Sponsor: Veterans for Peace, Chapter 1 Contact: Doug Rawlings, 207-293-2580,,
Nov. 7, 6-9PM Brunswick, ME Location: Morrill Room, Curtis Memorial Library, 23 Pleasant Street Pot luck supper and speaking engagement Time: 6 - 7:30pm
Nov 8, 7PM Albany, NY Sponsor: VFP National Location: TBAContact: Elliot Adams, 518-441-2697,

full schedule can be found at Veterans for Peace and those interested in hosting a Bob Watada speaking engagement in their area are urged to contact Doug Zachary.