Saturday, March 09, 2019

Swiss Steak in the Kitchen

Thomas e-mailed wanting to know about using a dry rub on steaks.  Easy enough.  Then he said that it was for his George Foreman Grill.  Okay, I can't help.  But my husband can.  Per him, you use a dry rub like you'd use pepper or salt.  A dash.  You are not smothering the steak.  If you smother it, you're going to have some gooey, sticky bad steaks.  The trick is a dash and then it cooks into the meat.  You overdo it and it crusts the meat. 

It was steak in the e-mails this week.  Trish e-mailed to say she'd found a Swiss steak recipe "that is just like my grandmother used to make."


  • 2 to 3 pounds boneless chuck steak (lean, or bottom round)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper (freshly ground)
  • 3/4 to 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3 to 4 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 2 medium onions (quartered and sliced)
  • 1 (28-ounce) can tomatoes (undrained, chopped)
  • Optional: 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour mixed with 1 tablespoon water

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.
  2. Heat the oven to 324 F
  3. Trim fat from steak
  4. Seaon meat with salt and pepper and put on well-floured cutting board. Sprinkle more flour over steaks and pound with meat hammer to tenderize.  Continue to turn, flour and pound until most of the flour is used.
  5. Heat a large, heavy ovenproof skillet or Dutch oven over medium heat.  Add 3 tablespoons of vegetable oil to the pan. 
  6. When the oil is hot, but not smoking, add the sliced onion.  Cook stirring until the onion is translucent and lightly browned.  Remove the onion to a dish with a slotted sppon.
  7. Add another tablespoon of oil to the pan if needed to cover the bottom of the pan.
  8. Cut steak into 6 pieces and place them in the hot oil, working in batches as necessary.
  9. Place the onion on the top of steaks, add the tomatoes, and then cover the pan and bake for about 1 1/2 to 2 hours, or until the steaks are tender.
  10. Remove steak, tomato, and onions to a hot serving platter.
  11. If the sauce is too think, place the pan over medium heat.  Combine 1 tablespoon of flour with 1 tablespoon cold water.  Stir until no lumps remain.  Stir into the simmering sauce and cook, stirring until thickened.
  12. Pour sauce over steak, tomato, and onions on the platter.

Two more things.  First up, Barry Grey (WSWS) reports:

In a revolting spectacle of hypocrisy and reaction, the Democratic leadership in the House of Representatives pushed through a resolution on Thursday condemning remarks by Minnesota Democratic Rep. Ilhan Omar critical of Israel and the Israel lobby in the US, branding her statements as “anti-Semitic.”
The resolution was the product of a fractious debate within the House Democratic caucus between hard-line Zionists and so-called “progressives” who objected to singling out Omar, one of two female Muslim Democrats elected to the House in last year’s midterm elections. The other is Rashida Tlaib of Detroit.
The resolution was overwhelmingly passed in a bipartisan vote of 407 to 23, with all House Democrats, including Omar and Democratic Socialists of America members Tlaib and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, voting in favor.
With this vote, the Democratic Party has capitulated to and joined with the Republicans and right-wing forces internationally in prosecuting a witch-hunt against a fabricated growth of “left-wing anti-Semitism.” Media commentators prosecuting the attack on Omar specifically and repeatedly associated her supposed anti-Semitism with the influx of younger Democrats running as “progressives” into the Democratic House caucus and the supposed anti-Semitism of the British Labour Party and its leader, Jeremy Corbyn.

That is very, very sad.   And shameful.  There is no leadership in the House and that reflects poorly on Nancy Pelosi.
Second, C.I. posted something I want to note here "Marianne Williamson discusses our food issues:"

Marianne Williamson is seeking the Democratic Party's presidential nomination.  Below she discusses the issues regarding our food supply:


Over the past century, the advent of modern farming techniques, the corporatization of agriculture, the use of petrochemical-based fertilizers, and the subsidizing and encouragement of the growth of genetically modified foods have collectively created a poisonous brew that is now affecting our health and well-being in critical ways.
The function of protecting America’s food supply was given in 1930 to an agency called The Food and Drug Administration (FDA).  Most of us have grown up believing the FDA to be a watchdog on the look-out for threats to our health and well-being.
It’s not.  
In fact, the deregulatory trend that began in the 1980s as a financial boon to corporations has resulted in what is now a drastically underfunded and under-resourced FDA. More significantly, it has been turned into a toothless tiger with drastically diminished authority to actually put a stop to the kinds of abuses our government should be protecting us from.
A way-too-cozy relationship between the US government and its corporate benefactors has become the order of the day. In what is commonly called a “revolving door” practice, former corporate leaders now routinely move into positions of governmental authority.

Sources of corruption in our food include the following:

  • Excessive pesticides/herbicides/fertilizers
  • Genetically modified organisms (GMOs)
  • Air and water pollution
  • Crowding of animals – chickens, cows, pigs – and feeding them antibiotics and growth hormones
  • Food processing
  • Weak monitoring of and enforcement relating to food borne pathogens
  • Outdated food pyramid guidelines.


Many of our health problems, including obesity, can be traced to the corruption of our food supply. We experience a lack of vitality in our food and, thus, our bodies, from processed foods with poor quality calories, weak in nutrients, containing residue of poisons from chemical farming.

We heavily subsidize unhealthy mass-produced foods like corn syrup and hydrogenated oils, when we need to be supporting the production of healthy, whole foods, making them more affordable and available. We must also update our nation's outdated nutrition guidelines and our food pyramid, which have not caught up to the science of what constitutes healthy food.

While its manufacturers claim that GMOs increase yield and, thus, help feed the starving of the world, scientists question whether that assertion is true. In fact, GMOs contaminate our gene pool, can be poisonous to birds and other living things, and have led to the production of increasingly dangerous herbicides such as Roundup.

Roundup is linked with sterility, hormone disruption, birth defects and cancer. It has been shown to cause birth defects in amphibians, embryonic deaths and endocrine disruption, and organ damage in animals even in very low doses.

Due to these and other concerns, over 39 (as of 2016) countries have banned the production of genetically modified foods. Yet the United States, one of only 26 countries that grow GMO crops, has over 180 million acres of GMO crops under cultivation. More than 70% of all U.S. cropland is already planted with GMO crops, and 70% - 80% of all foods sold in the US now contain GMOs – especially processed and non-organic foods.

We should at least know when we are eating food made from GMOs. While the Big 6 pesticide makers – particularly Monsanto and Dupont – spent tens of millions of dollars to defeat GMO labeling propositions in both California and Washington State, as president I would seek to limit their power. I would work to label all GMOs, and to strengthen consumer protection by the FDA and USDA.


A Williamson administration will support local, small family farmers and ranchers far more than we currently do. They have been especially hard hit by the current administration's trade policies, as well as by the impacts of climate change. My presidency will support regenerative, sustainable agricultural practices that not only have highly profitable yields, but can also help turn the tide on climate change.

Once again, until we have limited the influence of moneyed interests on the functioning of our government, we will always be fighting for the interests of the American people against encroachment by huge multinational corporate interests such as Big Ag, Chemical companies and so forth. 
We are no longer a functioning democracy when money gets to talk more than we do.
Republicans in Washington are also currently trying to rid the United States of food stamp programs. For many of our children, our disabled, our elderly, and even members of our military, food stamps make a daily difference in their lives. The idea of stealing from the poor in order to make it easier for the rich is not, in my mind, the way to cut America’s deficit. A moral deficit is as serious as a financial one.
Furthermore, the mistreatment of animals is damaging to the American soul. As custodians of this planet, we are intended to care for the animals that share the land with us. The meat and dairy industry needs to better take into account the treatment of animals. We need to find a way to better respect animals, and stop what in some cases is inhumane treatment—all the while, supporting our farmers and ranchers, financially and otherwise, to help make it so. Each of us must examine, carefully and soulfully, how our dietary choices not only affect our bodies and our planet, but how they literally affect the animals, themselves.

Food safety is something we touch on here repeatedly.  I'm glad at least one candidate is noting the issue, it's a serious one.

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

Friday, March 8, 2019.  It's International Women's Day.

“Because I fled from my home in and saw first-hand the havoc that war causes, I am reminded that kindness and empathy are fundamental characteristics that an obstetrician and gynecologist should possess.”

- Dr. Saba, an obstetrician and gynecologist.

Today's International Women's Day.

First adopted by the UN as an international day to advance womens rights and gender quality in 1975, International Womens Day is celebrated across the world. There are a number of events scheduled across Iraq and the Kurdistan Region on Friday.

I gotta find peace of mind
I know another cord
I gotta find peace of mind
See, this what that voice in your head says
When you try to get peace of mind
I gotta find peace of mind
I gotta find peace of mind
He says it's impossible, but I know it's possible
He says it's impossible, but I know it's possible

-- "I Gotta Find Peace of Mind," written by Lauryn Hill, first appears on her MTV UNPLUGGED  NO. 2.0

Zainab met Zainab in Mosul.
Both women lost a leg during Iraq's war.
Neither are giving up on life.

Their courage inspires us. Which women inspire you?



An early observation event took place in Baghdad yesterday:

Deputy Special Representative of the United Nations Secretary-General (DSRSG) Alice Walpole addressed the meeting, along with Dr. Mahdi Al-Allaq, Secretary-General of the Council of Ministers, who represented the Prime Minister; Dr. Thikra Alwash, Mayor of Baghdad and Chair of the Standing Committee on the Advancement of Women; UN Women’s Representative, Ms. Dina Zorba and UNFPA Representative, Dr. Oluremi Sogunro; as well as the Director-General of the Directorate for the Empowerment of Iraqi Women, Dr. Ibtisam Aziz.
In her remarks, DSRSG Walpole welcomed the upcoming discussions in Parliament on updating the Anti-Domestic Violence Law. “We need to acknowledge that domestic violence diminishes and shames all of society; it is a threat not just to women but to society itself,” she emphasised.
Reflecting on the challenges facing displaced women across Iraq, DSRSG Walpole noted that “They continue to suffer the brutal consequences of the recent conflict”.

Domestic violence is global.  It's also terrorism.  US House Rep Karen Bass, on Thursday, chaired the House Judiciary Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism and Homeland Security.  Her opening remarks included the following:

“I am pleased that the Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism, and Homeland Security is holding our first hearing of this 116th Congress about our critical duty to reauthorize the Violence Against Women Act.  This law has been successful at attempting to change policies that have led to injustices, and too-often indifference to victimization and suffering, throughout our country’s history.
“It is important to review how we arrived at this moment.
“This month has a special significance that is relevant to this hearing because it is celebrated as Women’s History Month. In 1980 President Jimmy Carter first designated March 2nd through the 8th, as Women’s History week.
“Seven years later in 1987, Congress passed Public Law 100-9, designating March as “Women’s History Month.”
“Seven years after that in 1994, Congress passed Public Law 103-322, the Violence Against Women Act of 1994, which we call “VAWA,” a landmark piece of legislation, which began with bipartisan support in both the House and in the Senate. 
“This year we celebrate the 25th Anniversary of VAWA, since President Bill Clinton signed the first VAWA into law on September 13, 1994.
“On this day, March 7th, President Barack Obama signed our last VAWA in 2013.
“And today, on the 6th year anniversary of VAWA’s last passage, we are holding this hearing to address the urgency of now in reauthorizing this vital legislation, which addresses the needs of all victims and survivors of domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, and stalking.
“As a result of this historic legislation, which has unarguably proven critical in the lives of so many survivors, every state has enacted laws making stalking a crime and strengthened their criminal rape statutes.
“While this legislation is named the “Violence Against Women Act”, this is a gender neutral legislation, which responds to the needs and care of all survivors—men, women, and children alike.
“For centuries, women have fought vigorously to demand changes in our federal laws, not simply for their own benefits, but for others as well, because they sought progress.  VAWA is no exception in that regard.
“As Shirley Chisolm once said, you don’t make progress by standing on the sidelines, whimpering and complaining.  You make progress by implementing ideas.
“We have made progress in VAWA 2000, 2005, and 2013 – but the statistics remain alarming and unacceptable.
“Domestic violence claims at least 2,000 lives each year. Seventy percent of the victims are women. Most “intimate partner” homicides, in which a person targets a spouse, boyfriend or girlfriend, are committed with firearms.
“An astounding 17,500 victims disclosed the use or threat of firearms being used during abuse.

The story hit the news
From coast to coast
They said you beat the girl
You loved the most
Your charitable acts
Seemed out of place
With the beauty
With your fist marks on her face
Your buddies all stood by
They bet their
Fortunes and their fame
That she was out of line
And you were not to blame
Six hundred thousand doctors
Are putting on rubber gloves
And they're poking
At the miseries made of love
They say they're learning
How to spot
The battered wives
Among all the women
They see bleeding through their lives
I bleed
For your perversity
These red words that make a stain
On your white-washed claim that
She was out of line
And you were not to blame
"Not To Blame," written by Joni Mitchell, first appears on her TURBULENT INDIGO

In the face of adversity, women persevere.  That is especially true of Iraqi women.  The ongoing war is largely forgotten by the news media.  They live in war zones, Iraqi women, they face non-stop attacks on their rights.  In January, a fire killed 8 women.  And the media dithered over how to term the facility.  "Women's shelter" was offered.  How bloody noble.  No, it was a prison.  The 'crime' -- the women were homeless.  "Lock them up"?  By the time reality had intruded on the tale, momentary media attention had largely moved on.  The moment of justifiable outrage was missed as the media 'kindly' named a prison a "women's shelter."

Dropping back to January 5th:

ALJAZEERA typed the following:

A fire at a women's shelter in Iraq's capital has killed several lodgers, according to police, who gave conflicting accounts of the tragedy.
Mohammed Jihad, Baghdad's police lieutenant colonel, called the incident a "group suicide" caused by women rioting in the shelter on Friday.

Why are women in a shelter rioting?

Apparently, they weren't in a shelter, they were in a women's prison. Whether they rioted or not is not clear.  But MIDDLE EAST MONITOR reports:

In a statement to Anadolu Agency, Police Captain Ahmed Khalaf said that the prison – which was specifically for homeless female prisoners – experienced riots, though he did not elaborate on the cause of the disturbance. The riots then seem to have sparked a fire, causing an unspecified number of inmates to suffocate.
[. . .]
Iraqi security forces take all displaced or homeless people from the streets and places them in a prison, which is run by the Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs.

In addition, this prison also imprisoned women who had children but were not married.  How the hell do prisons like that exist in Iraq?

It's one battle after another for women in Iraq. EURONEWS notes the killing of high profile women in Iraq:

Hanaa Edwar, a women’s rights activist and co-founder and chair of the Iraqi-Amal Association for human rights, thinks it is disturbing that months after Fares' death, investigations have yet to produce any results. “Why this silence on women’s issues?” asks Edwar.
She remembers that an Interior Ministry official stated on Iraqi TV that he was aware of who was behind Fares' murder.
“He said very clearly that we know who killed Tara Fares,” says Edwar.
Iraq’s biggest militia groups are often connected to political parties and operate with a large degree of impunity.
Edwar believes that the reason Fares' murder remains publicly unsolved is because she was killed by a militia.
“I don't know exactly who, but it seems that it [the murder] was an intervention by one of the non-state groups that influence the Iraqi state.”
Edwar adds that she believes that Fares was killed by conservative groups who were angry at how freely Fares lived her life.

In the video above United Nations General Assembly President Maria Fernanda Espinosa states, "And we need more women leaders, participating in public life and taking decisions."

In the US, six women are currently seeking the Democratic Party's 2020 presidential nomination:

  • Coming up in 15 minutes on the Karen Hunter show!

    Listen to my conversation on the WICKED Podcast. Episode 7.

    Join me for campaign events in Nevada on March 14 and March 15! RSVP here:

    Truth emerges from deep within, like a small seed within our consciousness which, if nurtured and sustained, will grow into the biggest tree. A political truth-teller is someone who throws around the seeds; the soul of a citizen is the ground in which it grows.

    Join us as we work for a —taking the trillions spent on regime change & nuclear arms race & investing them to ensure for all, combat climate change, rebuild our infrastructure, & meet the needs of all Americans. Donate today.

    Thank you, , for your service to our country and for your courage in coming forward to share your story in the mission to put an end to military sexual assault.

    It's really hard for scientists to research marijuana, but 's bill could fix that.

    # of people arrested for marijuana law violation in 2017: 659,700

    # of those charged with marijuana law violations arrested for possession only: 599,282 (90.8 percent)

    I intro'd bipartisan bill today to END THE FEDERAL MARIJUANA PROHIBITION. Congress must act now

    As a society, we cannot play politics with fundamental rights. Make no mistake: affordable and meaningful health care should be thought of as a human right and civil right.

    97% of Americans support universal background checks. 97%. These background checks can save lives. My colleagues and I are calling on Republican leadership to hold critical hearings on the background check bill that passed the House.

    People in power are trying to convince us that the villain in our American story is each other. I reject that. I believe when we come together to fight for what’s morally right, we can create change in every part of our country.

    On March 7, 1965, peaceful protestors were unjustly beaten back by state troopers as they attempted to cross the Edmund Pettus Bridge in the fight for voting rights. A brighter future requires acknowledging our painful past. Their fight for social justice lives on through us all.

    It’s time for my colleagues across the aisle to do the right thing for our country: say no to the President’s unconstitutional emergency declaration.

    My view on Manafort sentence: Guidelines there for a reason. His crimes took place over years and he led far from a “blameless life.” Crimes committed in an office building should be treated as seriously as crimes committed on a street corner. Can’t have two systems of justice!

    Today is the 54th anniversary of the bloody march in Selma. I will never forget how moving it was to commemorate this day with march leader at the Edmund Pettus Bridge in 2013.

    Let’s follow his example and continue to fight for voting rights for all.

    . and I came into the Senate together and I ended my book with a Sherrod story because there is no one who better exemplifies what we SHOULD be doing in DC than him (and for that matter ).  Look forward to standing with him to uphold the dignity of work

  • Some military families have been living in toxic homes while the private companies that oversee them make a guaranteed profit. I’m working on a new bill to fix that broken system. In the meantime, needs to start enforcing the rules that are already on the books.

    0:03 / 7:04

    Are they joking? didn’t take data security seriously because it had no financial incentive to do so. That’s why we need my bill with to impose automatic fines for data breaches at companies like Equifax & stop this from happening again.

    The average student in Massachusetts graduates with $32,065 in student loans. Instead of jump-starting their lives and careers, they’re being weighed down by debt. I’m co-sponsoring ’s bill to make sure every student can build an economic future.

    DHS testified today that “never purposely put a child in a cage." False.

    I went to the processing center in McAllen, TX. I saw cages of people with my own eyes. Men, women, and children treated like animals. We must hold the Trump Admin accountable.

    is more than a celebration—it's also a call to action. As far as we've come, we still have barriers to tear down so we can all have equal opportunity and respect. Let's keep marching, and with every step, let's reach back and pull others up with us.

    In our modern society, a free and neutral internet is not a nice-to-have—it's a lifeline for opportunity and innovation, and a necessity for connecting to each other. We can't let corporate greed get in the way.

    President Trump's relentless and dangerous attacks on women's constitutional rights—and interference in doctors' ability to care for their patients—cannot go unanswered. If his Title X gag rule isn't overturned in the courts before then, I'll undo it on day one of my presidency.

    Voting is the backbone of our democracy. Every eligible voter should get to participate, period. Let's make Election Day a federal holiday so you don't have to take time off work to exercise your rights.

    Let's note this:

    “We are women from 🇮🇶, from Falluja, the city of 🕊️. The women of Al-Anbariya are the leaders+mentors of homes and society.

    I congratulate the courageous 👩, the teachers, the doctors, all Iraqi women. We, as women, want change to happen in our societies.” Said Jinan

    No walls, no war
    No cause, no weapon is formed
    No law, what for?
    You are where I go to hide
    You are where I go to heal
    You are where I go to feel
    To remember what is real, ooh
    You are my favorite place
    You are my sacred space
    Yes you are, yes you are, yes you are