Thursday, December 16, 2021

Eggplant Parmesan in the Kitchen

Meg asked me to note this cooking video for eggplant parmesan.



The lady in the video is Gina Young and she's got a style and energy that really wins you over.  Thank you, Meg, for passing on the video.


I'm tired tonight and have a headache that feels like a vice is squeezing both sides of my head so I'm just going to pair that with Danny Sjursen's (In These Times) reporting:


n December 15, the U.S. Senate passed a gargantuan, single-year, $768 billion defense bill on an 88 – 11 vote. The passage clears the way for President Biden’s signature, after the bill moved through the U.S. House with a landslide 363 – 70 vote earlier in the month. The agreement reaffirms that the only truly bipartisan issue in Washington is militarism. 

The lopsided vote for the military budget, which includes even more funds for America’s nuclear arsenal, stands in stark contrast to President Biden’s Build Back Better bill, which includes some important people-centric programs, but is currently languishing in Congress, with news reports claiming the bill will be shelved” for the foreseeable future. 

Since 9/11, questioning any aspect of America’s military machine has become associated with paltry patriotism and lack of support” for U.S. troops. Nevertheless, the tide is slowly turning, as even military members and veterans — including myself — begin to question the United States government’s wars and spending priorities. 

As a former career soldier and retired two-war combat vet, I could personally benefit from the 2.7 percent pay raise for service-members that’s included in the latest defense bill. Still, soldiers are first and foremost citizens of this nation, as well as sons, daughters and spouses of families that increasingly struggle to make ends meet. 

In other words, we are the folks who stand to gain from the social programs in Biden’s bill — including paid family leave—that Republicans and a number of moderate” Democrats are now opposing. America is the only major wealthy country that provides zero weeks of paid benefits to new parents, leaving them at the mercy of state governments or often unsympathetic private employers. Working people, including soldiers and vets, deserve time off to be with their new families. 


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


Wednesday, December 15, 2021.  The continue persecution of Julian Assange is met with a lot of continued silence and LAT decides to make clear that women and girls in Iraq don't matter to them.


Starting with this from John Pilger's latest at MINT NEWS PRESS:


“Let us look at ourselves, if we have the courage, to see what is happening to us” – Jean-Paul Sartre

Sartre’s words should echo in all our minds following the grotesque decision of Britain’s High Court to extradite Julian Assange to the United States where he faces “a living death”. This is his punishment for the crime of authentic, accurate, courageous, vital journalism.

Miscarriage of justice is an inadequate term in these circumstances. It took the bewigged courtiers of Britain’s ancien regime just nine minutes last Friday to uphold an American appeal against a District Court judge’s acceptance in January of a cataract of evidence that hell on earth awaited Assange across the Atlantic: a hell in which, it was expertly predicted, he would find a way to take his own life.

Volumes of witness by people of distinction, who examined and studied Julian and diagnosed his autism and his Asperger’s Syndrome and revealed that he had already come within an ace of killing himself at Belmarsh prison, Britain’s very own hell, were ignored.

The recent confession of a crucial FBI informant and prosecution stooge, a fraudster and serial liar, that he had fabricated his evidence against Julian was ignored. The revelation that the Spanish-run security firm at the Ecuadorean embassy in London, where Julian had been granted political refuge, was a CIA front that spied on Julian’s lawyers and doctors and confidants (myself included) – that, too. was ignored.

The recent journalistic disclosure, repeated graphically by defence counsel before the High Court in October, that the CIA had planned to murder Julian in London – even that was ignored.

Each of these “matters”, as lawyers like to say, was enough on its own for a judge upholding the law to throw out the disgraceful case mounted against Assange by a corrupt US Department of Justice and their hired guns in Britain. Julian’s state of mind, bellowed James Lewis, QC, America’s man at the Old Bailey last year, was no more than “malingering” – an archaic Victorian term used to deny the very existence of mental illness.

To Lewis, almost every defence witness, including those who described from the depth of their experience and knowledge, the barbaric American prison system, was to be interrupted, abused, discredited.  Sitting behind him, passing him notes, was his American conductor: young, short-haired, clearly an Ivy League man on the rise.

In their nine minutes of dismissal of the fate of journalist Assange, two of the most senior judges in Britain, including the Lord Chief Justice, Lord Burnett (a lifelong buddy of Sir Alan Duncan, Boris Johnson’s former foreign minister who arranged the brutal police kidnapping of Assange from the Ecuadorean embassy) referred to not one of a litany of truths aired at previous hearings in the District Court – truths that had struggled to be heard in a lower court presided over by a weirdly hostile judge, Vanessa Baraitser. Her insulting behaviour towards a clearly stricken Assange, struggling through a fog of prison-dispensed medication to remember his name, is unforgettable.

What was truly shocking last Friday was that the High Court  judges – Lord Burnett and Lord Justice Timothy Holyrode, who read out their words – showed no hesitation in sending Julian to his death, living or otherwise. They offered no mitigation, no suggestion that they had agonised over legalities or even basic morality.

Their ruling in favour, if not on behalf of the United States, is based squarely on transparently fraudulent “assurances” scrabbled together by the Biden administration when it looked in January like justice might prevail.


Are we still pretending we have an independent media in the US?  Not talking about corporate media.  I'm talking about Panhandle Media -- send money, send money, we tell the truth, send money, send money.

Scan around looking at various websites and grasp the garbage your money has kept afloat.


THE PROGRESSIVE?  The words "Julian Assange" are apparently unknown to them.  Worse is the current front page of THE NATION which also ignores Julian Assange but does make time for many useless bits of garbage -- which would include John Nichols' attempt to refurbish dead Bob Dole into a 'good guy.'  That's how John Nichols chooses to waste his -- and your -- time.  From  MOTHER JONES back in 1996, here's all you need to know about the Bob Doles that John Nichols is going down on:


He opposes labor laws, consumer protection legislation, medical price controls, environmental regulations, and campaign finance reform. His cultural orthodoxy is paleo-American, not Christian: He gets more exercised about rap music, bilingualism, and self-critical American history textbooks than about abortion. Likewise, on foreign policy, he’s an ultrahawk and a frequent ally of Jesse Helms.


John Nichols wastes everyone's time and tht's really become a hallmark of THE NATION and their columnists who pretend to cover politics but really just offer lifestyle pieces.   Counting on IN THESE TIMES to tackle this issue of the continued persecution of Julian Assange?  Think again.  Mid-week and they still have other things to do.  I scanned the headlines at TRUTH OUT and, apparently, truth is out -- at TRUTH OUT -- as they offer nothing on Julian Assange.  


At JACOBIN, their front page goes back to 12/8 (further if you count the bad article that they published in November -- poorly written, there might be a story there but they can't find it -- that they continue to highlight and front page).  Gues what you won't find? Julian Assange.  But they do gush over Noam Sellout Chomsky and Fraud Squad leader AOC -- the most important member of Congress, they insist, not grasping how little that says about Congress.


THE NATION wants you to know that Jessica Cisneros is the face of the Democratic Party!!!!  A lot of glorigying politicians, not much reality and mot much that actually matters to your lives but, please, send money, sned money.  Otherwise they might have to get real jobs.

Maybe after both Julian Assange and press freedom have died at the hands of Joe Biden, we'll be able to get coverage from Panhandle Media?


Probably not.  Probably around that time, Katha Pollitt will be breaking new ground with such strong pieces as "Fatten Your Ass in Five Minutes a Day with These Sastisfying Snacks."


Kate Halper Tweets:



youtube.com
Free Assange! Marianne Williamson, Krystal Ball, Katie Halper, Kyle...
Katie Halper, Krystal Ball, Marianne Williamson & Kyle Kulinski join forces to host a livestream to free Julian Assange, the radical truth-teller and champio...


Sarah Abdallah Tweets:

Joe Biden is actively conspiring to murder a journalist for telling the truth.
Image


And before some misinformed soul dashes off an e-mail about how awful corporate media is, I know that already and we call them out regularly.  


Like right now.  WHy is the Pulitzer Center donating money to fund 'investigative reporting' that is nothing but sexism?  And why is THE LOS ANGELES TIMES paying pig Nabih Bulos?  Let alone publishing him?

His hideous article is entitled "Invasion Generation: Iraq's children of war come of age with little hope."


They do.  They do come of age with very little hope.  Especially if they're girls and women.  Especially if they were counting on THE LOS ANGELES TIMES.


I spent how many years in the early days of the Iraq War calling out this b.s. -- stories about the 'people' of Iraq that do not includ women?  And now, 2021, THE LOS ANGELES TIMES publishes this garbage. 

How many female students get quoted?  Zero.  How many males?  I stopped counting after five.


Women don't exist in the press portrayals of Iraq.  


It's a land of widows and orphans but the western press is determined to disappear all the women and girls.


Sis paragraphs from the end of this long garbage the following appears:


[. . .] said Miguel Mateos Mun├Áz, UNICEF’s chief of communication in Iraq. He added that the most affected are the vulnerable, including young women, youths with disabilities and those facing extreme levels of poverty.


Wait, young women are especially vulnerable?


Then maybe that should have been the damn focus of the article and not instead speaking to only boys and passing their lives off as the norm and the uniersal.


LAT should never have published this garbage.  That it did goes to their own seixm as well as the sexism of the reporter.  It is outrageous.  

Pretend otherwsie and don't expect anything to ever change. 

Over at ALJAZEERA,  Kamaran Palani offers:


On November 30, Iraq’s Electoral Commission finally announced the results of the October 10 legislative elections. It confirmed that Shia cleric Muqtada al-Sadr’s political bloc had secured 73 out of 329 seats in Parliament, thus emerging as the election winner. Meanwhile, its rival the Shia al-Fatah alliance – which is affiliated with Iran-backed militias of the Popular Mobilisation Forces (PMFs) – lost ground in the vote and has decided to reject the results.

These tensions within the Shia political elite have opened the door for a new political arrangement in which Iraq’s leading Kurdish parties could play a significant role. Sadr has already indicated that he will not deal with some groups within al-Fatah and the State of Law party of former Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, and will instead seek “a national majority government” through an agreement with the main Sunni and Kurdish political forces.



Still no government.  All this time after the election. 


 



The following sites updated: