Sunday, October 02, 2022

Jiffy Corn Casserole in the Kitchen (and go see Bros)

Okay, we saw Bros today.  What's your excuse if you haven't?  Serious here.  I'm still pulling double shifts (I'm a nurse).  I'm as busy as anyone else.  But I told my family we'd see it Saturday as soon as I got up.  I got home Friday night -- actually already Saturday morning -- at almost 3 a.m.  


I got up, went for a walk around the neighborhood -- for exercise, yes, but also because I just felt so tired still and my limbs felt funny.  So I walked for 45 minutes and then came back, showered, grabbed some toast and a cup of coffee and we all went -- in three cars -- to see Bros.  (If you've just happened on this website, I am the mother of eight children.  They all went and so did their children.)  Along with my family, we had a packed showing -- so good for you, Boston, we were there, we showed up.

Bros is a funny movie.


I love to laugh.

But honestly, with my work schedule still, I have a lot of other things to do that matter to me more than a movie.  Why did Bros matter?

Because I have a gay son obviously.  Because I believe in a world of fairness and equality obviously.  And because I do not embrace, support or tolerate homophobia.  So our family went and we laughed our asses off because it's a great movie.  

I hope you'll go see it too.

We need to stand up with love in a world where hate remains a threat.


Laraine notes this recipe from Cook's:


1 (15 oz.) can whole kernel yellow corn, undrained
1 (15 oz.) can cream style yellow corn
1 (8 oz.) carton dairy sour cream
2 eggs, beaten
1 (8 1/2 oz.) box Jiffy corn muffin mix
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, melted

Mix all together and pour into large, lightly oiled casserole dish.

Bake at 350°F for 55 to 60 minutes.


Why, she wondered, don't I note  I don't go there.  I've never been there before and, honestly, wasn't aware of them until your e-mail.  If I'm noting something, it's usually The Mayo Clinic's recipe or Spark Recipes (which are healthy recipes).  Otherwise, I'm noting recipes that people are e-mailing (and, again, you're better off e-mailing me at because C.I. or Martha or Shirley will let me know about it and with the double shifts I'm really not going into the e-mail for this site that often).  So that's why it's never been noted.  No offense to it.

On the recipe above?  I probably wouldn't make it.  Sour cream.  I love sour cream.  But it never last in our fridge -- we all love it.  So that's an easy recipe but the ingredients I probably wouldn't have on hand due to the sour cream.  I'd have to plan for that one -- meaning buy sour cream just for the casserole and cook it immediately because we're Irish and someone's always popping a potato in the microwave.  

I'd be much more likely to make this recipe (also from Cooks):

8 oz. noodles (1/2 box)
4 qts. boiling water
1 1/2 tablespoons salt
3 tablespoons Crisco
3 tablespoons flour
3 cups milk
3 cups tuna, flaked
1/3 cup chopped pimiento
1/3 olives, chopped
3 cups cooked peas, drained
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1 cup (unsweetened) corn flakes
1 pat butter

Cook noodles in boiling salted water according to package directions or until tender (about 10-12 minutes). Drain. Mix with butter and set aside.

Melt Crisco in a saucepan, add milk and whisk in flour until no lumps remain. Heat until sauce boils and becomes somewhat thickened. Mix tuna, olives, peas, pimiento and salt and pepper.

Butter the bottom of a baking or casserole dish. Spread alternating layers of cooked noodles and tuna mixture in the baking dish, finishing with a tuna mixture layer on top. Sprinkle top with corn flakes.

Bake at 350°F for about 1 hour.

Recipe may be doubled.

I would sub -- I don't use Crisco so I'd use olive oil.  And I'd sub Special K flakes for corn flakes.  But that's a recipe I could easily use as a last minute one because I'd have everything on hand.  

Will Lehman is running to be the next president of the United Auto Workers.  This is the latest release:

I am Will Lehman, a rank-and-file worker at Mack Trucks in the United States who is running for president of the United Auto Workers (UAW). The 391,000 active and 580,000 retired members of the UAW represent one of the most powerful sections of the working class in America and the world.

The trade unions in America are a lot like those in Mexico. The bureaucrats who sit on top do the bidding of corporations and act as cheap labor contractors. They rob us of our dues and sap our strength by keeping us divided across generations, tiers, plants, industries, and countries.

Breaking free from these bureaucracies is our most urgent task so that we can fight the companies and tackle the main issues we face in both countries—rampant inflation, record inequality, the danger of nuclear war and dictatorship, the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and environmental catastrophe.

I am not running because I want a seat at the bureaucrats’ table. Rank-and-file committees will only form to the extent that workers fight to establish them at every plant.

This first-ever direct election for UAW president is only happening because it was ordered by the court-appointed monitor due to a corruption scandal that saw more than a dozen senior officials jailed for taking bribes and stealing our dues to finance their luxury lifestyles.

A fundamental issue that I’m raising in my campaign is that the nationalist strategy of the trade unions is dead under globalization. I’m sending this message to you, my brothers and sisters across Rio Bravo (Grande), because we must end the decades long efforts by the trade unions to pit us against each other.

I learned through the World Socialist Web Site that General Motors fired 20 workers at its Silao Complex in central Mexico for organizing against the corrupt union (called charros) of the Confederation of Mexican Workers (CTM). Many of these workers remain unemployed, without severance pay and blacklisted. One worker was forced to escape the country with her family due to violent threats.

GM’s Silao complex

I want to state my anger and opposition to these unjust firings. To those who were fired: I will campaign among American workers for your rehiring with full pay and benefits. I will also encourage and assist workers in Mexico to build a movement from below like ours and to encourage you to join the International Alliance of Rank-and-File Committees (IWA-RFC).

For American workers who are not aware, this is the situation: The GM Silao workers came to our defense in 2019 during the national GM strike and now they are being punished.

In 2019, as the company sought to counter lost production from the US strike through speedups and forced overtime at the Silao Complex, a rank-and-file group of workers organizing against the corrupt CTM union responded by voting to oppose speedups and overtime in support of strikers in America. Fearing a full-fledged rebellion across borders, GM intensified the firings but was ultimately compelled to shut down the Silao plant at the height of the strike.

Workers in Silao, I feel a special connection to your struggle. A group of my coworkers and I at the Mack Trucks plant in Macungie, Pennsylvania came up with the same idea during the 2021 strike at Volvo’s New River Valley (NRV) plant. The UAW forced its members in plants like mine to handle parts produced by scabs at NRV. In response, we formed a rank-and-file committee at Mack Trucks to organize a struggle against handling scab cabs and to break the isolation imposed by the union. We share a common history.

It’s worth noting that the fight in Silao began a few months after tens of thousands of auto-parts, electronics and other workers in the city of Matamoros in northern Mexico carried out wildcat strikes against the CTM unions and walked up to the border with Texas to call on American workers to “wake up” and join their struggle. Thousands were fired and blacklisted there, too. The Matamoros workers sent video greetings to workers in the US who were fighting the shutdown of GM plants in Lordstown and Hamtramck. Workers in Mexico stood up for us, so we must stand up for them.

The American bureaucrats in the AFL-CIO, which the UAW belongs to, did something worse than merely sit on their hands. They intervened both in Silao and Matamoros to actively enforce their nationalist strategy and keep us divided. They used our name and dues money to bribe and train a new layer of pro-company bureaucrats in Mexico claiming to lead “independent” unions, which have done nothing to defend the victimized workers and prevent future reprisals.

Several fired Silao workers, including those dismissed directly for supporting American strikers, said recently to the World Socialist Web Site that these new bureaucrats—hand-picked, trained and sponsored by the AFL-CIO—kicked them out and destroyed their own group to impose a union that is now acting no differently than the CTM.

No genuine class independence or international solidarity can be built through such operations of the American bureaucracy, which is working hand-in-hand with the corporations and the US government to suppress our struggles everywhere.

During a historic debate last Thursday among UAW presidential candidates, I declared, “The UAW likes to wave the American flag and say, ‘Only made in USA,’ when that divides us.”

The current UAW president, Ray Curry reacted with the chauvinist statement: “I’m proud to say that our products are made in the USA.”

I replied: “Mr. Curry ignores the global nature of production. The reality is that the parts on these vehicles are coming from all over the world. They try to divide us up—the working class—based on country, and that has seen nothing but losses for the working class. It is a flawed, old perspective coming from a bureaucrat who has made millions from our dues. The only division I’m sowing is: workers, not parasites.”

I happened to have been born north of the current border and I know enough about history to know that this border is an absurdity—the United States robbed most of Mexico’s territory in a war in 1846-48. The AFL-CIO and UAW have always promoted nationalism and this nationalism only facilitated the government’s decades-long policy of deporting millions of Mexicans and other immigrants searching for better and safer conditions for their families.

They have scapegoated Mexican workers for stealing “American” jobs while imposing one sellout contract after the other on us. All the while they are distracting us from the fact that it is the American owners, the CEOs, the bosses and the shareholders that gorge themselves on the profits of our labor. These are the real enemies of the working class, not our co-workers in Mexico who are putting in work to feed their families just like us.

My campaign is trying to change all that. Brothers and sisters in Mexico, it is wrong that you can’t vote in this election because it impacts you as much as us, but that is beside the point. If we are to fight to defend our jobs and living conditions, we need to end this segregation now and start forging links under an international strategy.

If you agree with this perspective, contact my campaign to begin this process.


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


Friday, September 30, 2022.   Terrorist, the catch all excuse for violence.

Yesterday, the State Dept's Deputy Spokesperson Vedant Patel conducted a telephone press briefing and we'll note this:

QUESTION: Thank you. Hi, Vedant. Thank you for taking my question. I have a question about Iran as well but not the sanctions. Regarding the possible fatalities in Iraqi Kurdistan due to the Iranian missile attacks, do you have any updates – have there – do you know of any Americans having been among those killed? Because we have gotten information on at least one individual, U.S. citizen. And also the second part of my question, yesterday, the Iranian president said that the demonstrations are part of a U.S. plot. Did the Biden administration ask the people to go out on the streets and demonstrate? Thank you.

MR PATEL: Thanks, Guita. First and foremost as it relates to the attacks, I want to reiterate that we condemn Iran’s violations of Iraq’s sovereignty and territorial integrity. And the genesis of your question – we can confirm that a U.S. citizen was killed as a result of a rocket attack in the Iraqi Kurdistan region yesterday, but due to privacy considerations I don’t have any further comments to provide.

And on your piece about the protests – these protests are not at all about the United States. This is about the Iranian Government and its efforts to cut or disrupt access to the internet, its efforts to crack down on peaceful protestors, its efforts to infringe on basic human rights. That’s what these protests are about. It is not about the United States.

The government of Iran claims it was attacking terrorists.  From PRESS TV:

The Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) Ground Force has defended the latest ballistic missile and drone strikes against terrorist bases in Iraq’s semi-autonomous Kurdistan region, stating that operations will continue until all anti-Iran separatist and terrorist outfits holed up in the rugged mountainous area lay down their arms and surrender.

 “In the wake of an uptick in the seditious acts of separatist and terrorist groups stationed in Iraq’s northern region (of Kurdistan), the proven role and involvement of some terrorist and separatist outfits in the recent riots that have gripped some Iranian towns and cities, the discovery and neutralization a major sabotage plot hatched by Komala terrorist group against Iran's nuclear facilities, and disregard of the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) officials for calls demanding the destruction of the terrorists’ bases, the IRGC Ground Force identified their command centers and headquarters, which were also instigating and supporting recent wicked acts, and heavily bombarded them in a decisive and retaliatory response,” it announced in a statement.

And, of course, the government of Turkey always claims it is targeting terrorists in Iraq.  IANS notes:

Turkish forces have destroyed 16 targets of the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) in Iraq, Defence Minister Hulusi Akar said.

The operation destroyed caves, bunkers, shelters and command posts of the PKK, a Kurdish militant political organisation which is outlawed by Ankara, in the Asos Mountain region of Iraq on Tuesday, the Minister told reporters on Thursday.

The targets were hit by airstrikes of the Turkish Air Force, Xinhua news agency quoted local media reports as saying.

Turkey respects the territorial integrity and sovereignty rights of all its neighbours, especially Iraq and Syria, Akar noted.

'Syrians are our brothers, Iraqis are our brothers. There is no problem with that. Our problem is terrorists. We are after terrorists. This struggle will continue until the last terrorist is eliminated,' he said.

And, don't forget, US troops are in Iraq and went there in the first place because of 'terrorism' (the US government and media falsely linked Iraq to 9/11 and the US government also falsely claimed Iraq had WMDs).

Yesterday was the International Day of Awareness of Food Loss and Waste:

BAGHDAD – On the International Day of Awareness of Food Loss and Waste (IDAFLW), the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) call for action to address food loss and adopt sustainable food waste management in Iraq.

IDAFLW aims to raise awareness about food loss, waste issues and possible solutions, to promote global efforts and collective actions toward meeting Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) target 12.3 that aims at halving per capita global food waste at retail and consumer levels and reducing food losses along production and supply chains, including post-harvest losses by 2030.

We call upon the Government of Iraq and the Kurdistan Regional Government to establish develop national targets and strategies in line with SDG 12.3. We also call on the government to encouraging supply chain collaboration with the aim to reduce food waste during production, processing and storage stages as well as support innovative behavioral changes to shift and reduce consumer food waste norms.

To reduce food waste in Iraq, efforts must be made to encourage improved behavioral practices among food providers and consumers, as well as increased investments in intra-regional trade and the modernization of food supply chains.

Globally, while more than 820 million people go to bed hungry each night, FAO estimates that one-third of global food production – estimated at 1.3 billion tons of food – is annually lost or wasted along the supply chain, amounting to a financial loss of about US$ 1 trillion annually. The food produced but never eaten would be enough to feed two billion people[RN1] . That’s more than twice the number of people on the verge of famine across the globe. 

Food production has environmental and monetary costs and has become increasingly difficult in the current climatic condition with an ever-increasing population is very difficult. Food waste and food loss drains valuable resources such as water, land, energy, labour and capital especially in the region; one of the world’s most affected by water scarcity.

The impact of food waste on the environment is also massive; it is estimated that food loss contributes 6-8% of all human-caused greenhouse gas emissions, effectively helping accelerate climate change. Most of the discarded food ends up in landfills, and as it decomposes it produces methane, a greenhouse gas that has 80 times the warming power of carbon dioxide.

FAO and WFP renew their commitment to work with both governments to develop and implement “awareness campaigns” and “food banks” to mitigate food waste by collecting unserved food and channeling it to people who need it and complement Iraq’s efforts to end poverty, reduce hunger and improve human health.[RN2]

Combatting hunger effectively, or climate change, or anything requires a functional government.  Iraq still doesn't have one.  

October 10th, elections were held.  Still no president, still no prime minister, still no Cabinet of Ministers.  Ten days away from a full year since the election and still nothing.

Two years earlier, in October 2019, young Iraqis across central and southern Iraq took to the streets to protest. This movement, known as Thawrat Tishreen – Arabic for October Revolution – did not call for the removal of a specific leader or party but instead for revolution against the system. They chanted: ‘We will never back off. No way. Let all parties hear us.’

Since elections only reinforced the toxic political order, its followers refused to vote and instead insisted that protest was the only way to be heard. Iraq’s ruling elite struggled to respond to Thawrat Tishreen. They could no longer convince the electorate that they represented their ethnic, sectarian or other communities, or that they promoted democracy and reform. Nor could they provide economic benefits, namely public sector jobs.

Ideologically and economically bankrupt, Iraq’s elite and the political machinery turned to direct violence to suppress the movement, killing hundreds of protesters and wounding thousands more.

Since then, the system has continued to employ violence to minimize free speech and protest. Someone familiar with this is Ahmed al-Bashir, the prominent Iraqi political satirist. To continue producing his Albasheer Show on television and YouTube, which reaches millions of Iraqis, Bashir lives and works outside Iraq because of threats to his life. ‘In Iraq there is no longer free speech,’ he said at Chatham House’s annual Iraq Initiative conference last year.

Demographic realities and shrinking public authority have exacerbated intra-elite fragmentation. One speaker close to the Sadrist movement has stated that Sadr wants none of the former leaders to be able to participate in elections or government formation.

Sadr’s attempt to form a majority government after his 2021 electoral victory was his solution to the crisis and a bid to regain some ideological power with his base and the wider, disenfranchised population.
Following its failure and this summer’s violence, the Sadrists seem unwilling to play by the rules of the game and form another consensus government.   

In response, Jeanine Hennis-Plasschaert, the UN Secretary-General’s Special Representative to Iraq, has struggled to bring together the elite, including Sadr and Nouri al-Maliki, to reach a consensus government to combat the direct violence. Following the clashes in August, the United Nations
Assistance Mission for Iraq issued a statement that ‘Iraqis cannot be held hostage to an unpredictable and untenable situation.’

However, Iraqis have not only been held hostage to the recent violent clashes, they have been hostages of the political order put in place after 2003, when the US-led coalition worked with returning exiled Iraqi political parties to establish muhasasa. Since then, this ruling elite has acquired its wealth and power through corruption.
Iraq’s political system has proved resistant to both grassroots revolutionary protest and attempts at manipulation by its elite. In their current efforts at stabilization, both Iraqi and international actors are again focusing on a short-term settlement within the elite. Their solution is to limit the direct violence that erupted this summer in the hope that this will lead to change.

But such a settlement will not address the everyday conflict consuming Iraqis. Instead, it will reinforce the status quo and once again ignore the dynamics of structural violence, which will continue to take the larger toll of lives.

Lastly,  Will Lehman is running for president of the United Auto Workers union.  Big Tech is opposing his campaign as evidenced by Twitter's latest move.

On Thursday morning at approximately 11 a.m. Eastern, Twitter locked the account of United Auto Workers presidential candidate and rank-and-file worker Will Lehman. The action against Lehman’s account, which Twitter falsely claimed was implemented in response to violation of its rules, is a flagrant act of censorship and attack on the democratic rights of workers.

The lock on Lehman’s account came without warning, Lehman’s campaign told the WSWS, occurring almost immediately after it tweeted a thread reporting on the support for his campaign among John Deere agricultural equipment workers.

The specific tweet in the thread that Twitter claimed violated its rules stated, “Equality is a central concern of workers, as this young worker at Deere Harvester says:”

The tweet included a short video of a young worker at Deere’s Harvester Works expressing his support for Lehman’s campaign.

In the video, a supporter of Lehman asks the worker, “So what do you think about what Will’s calling for, building a rank-and-movement of workers to put an end to the UAW bureaucracy and fight for what workers need?”

John Deere Harvester worker voices support for UAW presidential candidate Will Lehman

The worker replies, “I think Will’s doing a good job in putting into this. We need someone to step up in the union, to give us the chance to have equal rights, just like the salaried side. I think what Will is doing is good for the future of John Deere Harvester, and I’m right behind you Will.”

The following sites updated: