Thursday, September 02, 2021

Chicken In A Pot in the Kitchen

What the heck is a bacon rasher?  I wondered that when I saw that in the recipe Anna e-mailed asking me to highlight.  A bacon rasher is a very thin slice of bacon.   This recipe requires a microwave safe container/casserole dish and a microwave in addition the ingredients.  


  • 1 1/2 kg chicken thighs
  • 1/4 cup plain flour
  • 2 bacon rashers finely chopped
  • 1 green capsicum diced
  • 1 onion finely chopped
  • 425g canned whole tomatoes peeled
  • 2 tbs tomato paste
  • 2 chicken stock cubes
  • 1 tbs soy sauce
  • 1/2 tsp salt and pepper
  • 200g mushrooms


  1. Coat chicken thighs in flour.
  2. Combine all ingredients, except for mushrooms, in a 3 Litre casserole dish.                 
  •                      Cover and cook for 27-30 minutes on medium-high. Stir 2-3 times during cooking.
  • Add mushrooms, then cook uncovered, for a further 5-7 minutes.                 

  • That's a simple enough recipe.  It'll keep the kitchen from heating up since you're not using the regular oven.  It's a solid recipe.  Thank you, Anna, for suggesting it.  

    On the labor front, Tom Hall (WSWS) reports:

    Dana Inc. auto parts workers rejected the sweatshop contract proposed by the UAW and USW yesterday, with major plants voting the contract down by as much as 97 percent. Although the contract has now been officially rejected, the UAW and USW are still telling workers to report to work under endless “day-by-day” extensions.

    Workers are rebelling against a sweatshop contract, which includes wage increases below the rate of inflation, increases to medical co-pays, new corporatist union-management “partnerships,” including a new committee for outsourcing jobs, and the potential reduction of overtime pay through the introduction of a new Alternative Work Schedule. Most of all, workers are outraged over their inhuman working hours. They are often forced to work for weeks on end without a single day off, for up 12 hours per shift, conditions which hearken back to the earliest days of the Industrial Revolution in the 1820s.

    Several major plants voted “no” in the last 48 hours, including Louisville and Dry Ridge, Kentucky and St. Clair, Michigan.

    Workers in Louisville voted 75 percent “no” in balloting Tuesday night and early Wednesday morning. Later in the afternoon, workers at St. Clair, Michigan voted down the global agreement by a staggering 145 “no” votes to 4 “yes.” This shatters the previous record of a 9-to-1 “no” margin set by workers at Fort Wayne, Indiana, a record which St. Clair workers had said they were eager to beat. Late Wednesday, results from Dry Ridge showed a 71 percent “no” vote.

    Do you realize that you could do a 24 hour 7 day a week cable news channel with strike coverage?  Do you realize how many workers -- here, but also around the world -- are standing up these days? 

    David Bacon is a labor reporter (as well as a photographer whose work is gallery quality) who wrote about the Afghanistan War this week:

    Many in the U.S. media continue to credit the good intentions of the U.S. war in Afghanistan, while belaboring its failure over 20 years to achieve any of them.  But to say that the United States wanted a progressive, liberal democratic, and secular government in Afghanistan can only be believed by those who refuse to remember what Washington did when Kabul actually had one.

    In the days following the attacks on September 11, the United States was called on to declare war against an enemy those in Congress who voted for it couldn't even name.  Policymakers asked American citizens to sacrifice civil liberties for security and give the military money that was so desperately needed to solve the country's social problems.

    Congress did those things with only one dissenting vote: Barbara Lee's. Now it's time to look at historical truth, to understand how the United States got this 20-year war, with its ignominious end at the Kabul airport, and how the overarching framework of U.S. policy was responsible for creating it.

    Other countries facing similar traumatic changes wrenching them from the past have pioneered a way to examine their own history. El Salvador, Guatemala, South Africa, and elsewhere established truth commissions to probe into and acknowledge each country's real history.  Such public acknowledgement is a necessary step towards change.

    The United States is no stranger to this process. After the end of the Vietnam War (or the American War, as the Vietnamese call it), Senator Frank Church held watershed hearings that brought some of the Cold War's ghosts to public attention. But the process was cut short, the policies responsible for Cold War atrocities never fully questioned, and as a result, the ghosts were never laid to rest. Those ghosts still haunt the United States, and in Afghanistan hundreds of thousands died for them.

    The massive social upheaval at home following the Vietnam War- and the deaths of over a million Vietnamese and 40,000 US soldiers-forced Senator Church's examination. Before the people of this and other countries pay a similar price in yet another war, the United States need to reexamine that history.

    The roots of the terrorist attacks in New York and Washington lie in the Cold War.  Without truly ending it and untangling its consequences, there will be no security for us.

    The groups accused of responsibility for the attacks of September, which set off the most recent Afghan war, have roots in the forces assembled in Afghanistan to fight the Soviet Union. That much, at least, has become openly discussed. But why did Washington seek to bring these forces together, including Osama bin Laden, then an upper-class Saudi youth?

    In the 1970s, a moderately reformist government came to power in Afghanistan, a leftwing populist movement seeking to democratize Afghan society. It mounted literacy campaigns and built schools and clinics in rural areas. It sought to end restrictions on women in education and employment, and discouraged the use of the purdah, a practice that separated men from women and veiled the latter. It talked, although often little more than that, about land reform.

    That was enough to earn it the enmity of traditional elements of Afghan society, which began organizing armed attacks on government officials, literacy workers, and people associated with the values the government promoted. Perhaps in another era, Afghans themselves might have resolved those internal conflicts. The forces of right-wing religious extremism might not have come out the better for it.

    But Afghanistan's common border and friendly relationship with the Soviet Union made it an attractive target for Cold War destabilization. British and U.S. intelligence agencies funneled money through the Pakistani intelligence service to groups opposing the government. When real civil conflict broke out, the Afghan government appealed for Soviet military help, and the war was on.

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

    Thursday, September 2, 2021.  We look at Iraq's upcoming elections

    Next month, Iraq is supposed to hold parliamentary elections.  AL-MONITOR Tweets:

    Hundreds of international observers are gearing up for the legislative elections in Iraq on Oct. 10 in an attempt to help Iraqis conduct transparent and fair elections

    Many obstacles remain to a fair election.  THE NEW ARAB reports:

    Facebook is restricting advertisements for Iraqi political parties and candidates in the run-up to the country's parliamentary elections, an official has told The New Arab's Arabic-language sister site.

    Iraq's judiciary council requested that Facebook take down posts that relied on "defamation" and "fuelled sectarianism", the official from the Media and Communications Commission, a state agency, told Al-Araby Al-Jadeed.

    The United Nations mission in Iraq last week called on Iraqi election stakeholders and the media to avoid misinformation in the run-up to the vote, which takes place on 10 October.

    Officials are hoping to avoid a repeat of the 2018 election, which faced widespread accusations of fraud.

    2018 is not the election that needs to concern anyone.  2010 is the election that should trouble.  Back then, Joe Biden was the vice president of the United States.  The Iraqi people turned out in March of 2010 to vote.  They got a prime minister in . . . November.  Why the long delay?  Nouri al-Maliki was the incumbent.  They voted him out of office.  He refused to step down.  This brought things to a standstill and was known as the political stalemate.  It lasted for over eight months.  Instead of demanding that the vote be respected, the US government went around the voters.  They negotiated a contract known as The Erbil Agreement.  It overturned the results and gave Nouri al-Maliki a second term.  That's the election that should concern observers today.

    But to many avoid the topic.  To this day, 'expert' Patrick Cockburn has never written of The Erbil Agreement -- despite the huge ramifications this had on Iraq which include -- but are not limited to -- the rise of ISIS in Iraq, fostering a mistrust of voting among the Iraqi people . . .

    In 2016, certain parts of the US media and certain parts of the US political sector would whine and outright lie about Russia and and the 2016 election.  These same elements never once expressed outrage over the US government overturning Iraq's 2010 election.  

    Nor did they express outrage over the person being given that second term -- a person known for torturing and for secret prisons.  Nouri was chosen by Bully Boy Bush originally in 2006 because it was thought that he would be easy to manipulate based upon his CIA assessment which rightly noted that he was extremely paranoid.  (We noted that finding here years before WIKILEAKS published the State Dept cables -- check the archives.)  His paranoia was what made him so dangerous to the Iraqi people but clearly that was never a concern to the US government -- the safety of the Iraqi people.  

    To this day, the ramifications of the US imposing Nouri for a second term are not dealt with or acknowledged by many.  A sort of xenophobia ('what do those kind of people deserve anyway!') cloaks what took place.  It's also minimized due to the large number of whores who lied.  Quil Lawrence is only one example of someone practicing something other than journalism -- as he took to NPR airwaves to declare Nouri the winner before ballots were even counted.  Lovely Quill still has his job -- for NPR, I mean.  Don't know if he was ever paid by the US government -- he might have just been donating his services.  Deborah Amos, by contrast, did do actual reporting.  She did an analysis, in fact, about the election.  Anyone paying attention and interested in honesty would have known Nouri was not cruising to an easy victory as so many in the US press were insisting in late 2009 and early 2010. 

    Arziz Kader offers a Tweet with wisdom:

    With elections eventually looming in Iraq, get ready for the "We started a million new projects" schtick suddenly by ruling parties.

    That's right.  The lead up to the elections are when politicians pretend to care.  I especially loved how, a month before the 2010 elections, Nouri brought large ice to a village without potable water -- had been that way all throughout his first term but when he needed votes, he brought them ice.  

    The western press is working overtime to re-elect Mustafa.  Mustafa is the White House's choice for prime minister so the western press has taken to portraying him as successful.  He was part of another do-nothing conference over the weekend and, like the one only months ago, it accomplished nothing but we're supposed to see it as his success and he's so powerful and he's so . . .  He's nothing.  He's accomplished nothing.  But the press is working overtime to pretend otherwise.  It's as though someone's cloned Quil Lawrence and we now have thousands of Quils.

    Ariz also observes:

    I've never seen Slemani roads etc look as good as right before an election for example. It is the one time of the election cycle where some surface investments actually get made.

    When not harming the Iraqi people, Mustafa goes after harming the world. Akshat Rathi and Khalid Al Ansary (BLOOMBERG NEWS) report:

    Satellites detected a large release of super-warming methane gas over southern Iraq last month.

    The methane cloud, spotted by geoanalytics firm Kayrros SAS using European Space Agency satellite data, was halfway between Baghdad and Basra, an oil and gas hub in southern Iraq. The rate of release was about 130 tons per hour, which has approximately the same climate-warming impact as 6,500 U.K. cars running for a year.

    Remember, no real regulation in Iraq -- that's why the hospital fires keep happening -- Mustafa has everyone on the honor system -- and the Iraqi people and the entire world pay the cost.

    On next month's expected elections, Mustafa Saadoon offers:

    It seems the international community is trying as much as possible to help create a stable electoral atmosphere,paving the way for the formation of a new government and parliament capable of restoring the situation to what it was before the protests of Oct

    Restore it to what it was before The October Revolution?  What it was before the protests began was a corrupt system?  I hope that Twitter's character limit explains that Tweet.  I hope that's not a fully formed thought being expressed but one narrowed due to character limits.  Yes, Mustafa al-Khadimi is an awful prime minister; however, dropping back to October of 2019 is not an improvement, that was just another disaster.

    The upcoming elections have caused a lot of stress and a lot of tensions.  That's been apparent everywhere including in the KRG and in one of their political dynasties: The Talabanis.  Lorraine Mallinder (IRISH TIMES) reports:

    It was a great story. Lahur Talabani was the south London boy who brought the fight to Islamic State in his native Kurdistan, playing a leading role in intelligence and counterterrorism. A staunch Kurdish nationalist, he called out the corrupt elites and stuck his neck out for his fellow Kurds in Syria and Turkey.

    At least, that was the image. Lahur was feted by the rank and file of his Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK), the party he led with Surrey-raised cousin Bafel Talabani. In the city of Sulaymaniyah, the PUK’s power base in eastern Kurdistan, he wielded this star power on social media. But it all fell apart when team Bafel started lobbing accusations of smuggling, extortion and spying at him – to name some of the milder claims.

    Now Lahur’s home is surrounded by armed men, with checkpoints set up in the surrounding neighbourhood. His media outlets, apparently a must-have for all leading politicians here, have been shuttered. He “temporarily” handed all power to his cousin – to no avail. Under pressure to leave the country, he has sought recourse in the courts, professing a possibly misguided faith in the independence of Kurdistan’s judiciary on his Facebook page.

    This unseemly bust-up in the filthy rich political clan, second in power only to the mighty Barzanis, who control the dominant Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP), would have locals on the edge of their seats, were they not preoccupied with more pressing matters – such as rampant poverty, power outages and this summer’s acute water shortages. This, in a region pumping out about half a million barrels of oil a day.

    With neighbouring Turkey and Iran taking an interest, there could be more to this than meets the eye. But the consensus seems to be that it’s merely a spat between two power-hungry cousins slugging it out for supremacy, following the death of party granddaddy Jalal Talabani – Lahur’s uncle and Bafel’s dad. 


    On the candidates, we'll note this Tweet:

    “The #KDP has nominated 17 women out of 52 candidates in the upcoming parliamentary #elections in #Iraq”: Dr. Viyan Suleyman, Secretary of #Kurdistan #Women’s Union.

    STRATEGY PAGE offers these observations:

         Iraq’s Shia controlled government faces more dangerous threats locally; internal corruption and Iranian efforts to turn Iraq into a client state or unofficial part of the Iranian Shia Islamic empire. The current situation is that you have about 90 percent of Iraqis opposed to corruption, many of them very opposed. Since 2015, there have been repeated public gatherings that evolved into large anti-corruption demonstrations that continue. Many of these demonstrations are anti-Iran as well. While corrupt Iraqi officials and pro-Iran Shias are on the defensive, they are still a major factor in Iraq and Iraqis in general don’t want this to degenerate into another civil war. They just want less corruption, an improved standard of living and a major reduction in Iranian efforts to control Iraq.

    The religious dictatorship in Iran is now dominated by the extremists, or “radicals”. Most of the extremist attitudes come from the IRGC (Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps) who suffered greatly from the return of economic sanctions in 2017. Because of these sanctions the IRGC Quds force, which handles foreign wars and terrorism, saw its budget cut by half since 2017, forcing major reductions in Quds activities in Iraq, Syria and Lebanon. The IRGC was created in the 1980s to protect the new religious dictatorship and suppress, with violence, if necessary, local opposition to the new religious overlords. The IRGC has become increasingly assertive in backing radical solutions to problems and that has created a growing number of nationalist clerics, including some eligible to be one of the twelve senior Shia clerics who run the Guardian Council. The senior clerics have become divided into mutually antagonistic factions. The “moderates” are those who want to put Iran’s interests first and concentrate on the economy and reducing the poverty that is visibly turning more Iranians against their government, Islam and all the foreign wars the radicals have dragged Iran into. These “realists” are also nationalists and often called “moderates” by foreigners. The IRGC believes force is the key to Iranian power and all Iranians must support that. Most Iranians do not support the IRGC and for over a decade have become increasingly open about that opposition. The IRGC has killed over a thousand of these protestors over the last few years. As a result of this the Guardian Council has blocked nearly all “nationalist” candidates from running in the latest national elections. This meant the new parliament and senior leaders were dominated by IRGC and Quds Force veterans, including several recognized as terrorists or guilty of war crimes.    

    Glenn Greenwald Tweets:

    One of the most hilariously deranged behavioral tics of Democrats is that they insist their loss in 2016 is more than fault of

    than Hillary Clinton. Susan is trending today - 5 years

    Click here for the full thread.

    No, Hillary's loss is not Susan Sarandon's fault. Shame on whores like Jill F who insist otherwise.  What we know about Jill is that while people were fasting for peace and Iraq was being ethnically cleansed, 'feminist' Jill was posting bikini selfies to her website as she took a much 'needed' vacation.

    She's not to be taken seriously.  Susan Sarandon is a kind hearted person who puts her principles on the line.  Applause to Sue

    The following sites updated: