Tuesday, January 31, 2023

Turkey and Bean Tostadas with Avocado-Tomato Salsa in the Kitchen

Salsa Ingredients

  • 2 cups chopped tomatoes (about 2 medium tomatoes)
  • 1 medium avocado, halved, pitted, and diced (optional)
  • 1 large ear of corn, husks and silk discarded, and kernels removed from the cob
  • 1 cup frozen whole-kernal corn, thawed and drained (optional)
  • 1 to 2 medium fresh jalapeƱos, seeds and ribs discarded, finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped red onion
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice


  • Tostada Ingredients
  • Cooking spray
  • 5 6-inch corn tortillas
  • 8 ounces ground skinless turkey breast
  • 2 teaspoons chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1 15.5-ounce can no-salt-added black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 2 tablespoons water


  1. In a small bowl, stir together all the salsa ingredients. Set aside.
  2. Preheat the oven to 400°F. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil. Lightly spray the foil with cooking spray.
  3. Place the tortillas on the baking sheet. Lightly spray the tortillas with cooking spray. Using a fork, pierce the tortillas a few times to prevent them from filling with air. Bake for 5 to 6 minutes on each side, or until golden brown.
  4. Meanwhile, in a medium nonstick saucepan, cook the turkey, chili powder, cumin, and coriander over medium-high heat for 5 to 6 minutes, or until the turkey is no longer pink, stirring occasionally to turn and break up the turkey.
  5. Add the beans and water. Cook for 5 minutes, or until the beans are heated through. Using a potato masher. coarsely mash the beans. Remove from the heat.
  6. To assemble the tostadas, spread the turkey mixture over each tortilla. Spoon the salsa over all.

This is a good recipe but remember that you are the cook.  Meaning, if you are no-meat or using the above recipe on a no-meat day, you don't need turkey in it.  Or if you're eating meat but don't have turkey, chicken can be substituted.  I read the recipe and made it a few minutes ago without meat.  I didn't have turkey in my own kitchen.  But I love tostados.  And I'm reading along the ingredients and have everything else so I just made it without the meat.  

This is from WSWS:

On December 20, rank-and-file socialist candidate for UAW president Will Lehman filed a protest over the UAW bureaucracy’s deliberate efforts to suppress the vote in the first ever direct election for national union officers. The Monitor has not substantively responded and is instead going forward with a second round between Ray Curry and Shawn Fain, two candidates who each received votes from less than 4 percent of eligible voters.

On January 23, the UAW Monitor sent an email asking Lehman for additional information, but only about a small element of Lehman’s initial report. The Monitor’s letter read, in part:

As relayed to you in this prior correspondence, the Monitor’s Office has received and is currently evaluating your protest and will issue our ruling when our review is complete. In connection with our evaluation of your protest, we are requesting additional information in support of some of your claims. Specifically:

Regarding your claim on page 36 of your protest that “UAW officials called security to remove campaign volunteers engaged in protected election activity” at specific workplaces on various dates, please provide additional information regarding each incident so that we may fully evaluate this claim.

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

Tuesday, January 31, 2023.  Krystal Ball has taken it on herself to attack others because she thinks they're not as smart as she is.  Reality: Krystal's not smart.  Reality: Krystal is advocating for the same logic that led to the Iraq War.  Reality: What follows below is not sweet or kind or intended to be.

I'm not in the mood for stupid.  Grow up, Krystal Ball snarled at those who don't want to join her sexual fetish with Marianne Williamson.

Grow up?

Okay, Krystal, you first.  Are we playing the truth game?  I haven't played it on such a large scale since   I left Julia Ormond in tears.  But, okay, I'll bite.  Just don't be surprised by the puncture wounds.

On a scale of one to ten, Krystal Ball, you're a five.  You're never going to be better than that because plastic surgery can't do a thing with that pointed head and you have ugly eyes.  That's reality.  Grow up.  You're involved with an attractive man.  That's probably not going to work out well. He's good looking and, as evidenced by his recent hair color change, he's ready and willing to do other things to make himself even more attractive.

We're not done with you yet, dear.  

MSNBC was your last chance at fame and fortune.  You failed.  There's not another chance for a woman your age coming down the road.  Even if society changes, it will change for future female generations.  Your time will have passed and you've aged out of opportunity.  You're now on a popular YOUTUBE program where your male co-host is also prettier than you and has a decade or two to prove himself because of the way sexism works.  While you're career's winding down, his is just beginning.

Ready to grow up yet?

No real career prospects beyond what you have now.  You've reached the highest level you will ever reach and, from here on out, it's all downhill.   Grow up.  Kids?  Well you're forty-one, I don't think you can wait too much longer unless you want people to think they're your grandkids?  That'll be fun won't it, Kyle looking young and handsome and you looking like a grandma while other parents assume Kyle's wife passed away and he's got his mother helping him with the kids.

Want to grow up today, Krystal?  Want to face just how awful your future is?  Marry Kyle and spend the rest of your life wondering if he can really love you and really be attracted to you?

I can play the truth game all day long.  It never leaves me in tears.

And maybe next time when you think you have knowledge, grasp that you are a blithering idiot.

Now I don't think I'm all that smart.  I work from the belief that I'm the least intelligent person in any room.  When people don't know some basic fact, I don't think, "I know it! I'm so smart!" I think, "Wait, I know this.  If I know it why the hell don't you?"

And I don't present as an expert.  You know that you self-present as an expert despite knowing nothing.

Here's what we learned about Krystal in that video: She has a pointed head and really can't carry off a middle part and has no real friends who'll tell her that to her face.  But mainly what we've learned is that she's not a journalist.

She's not a journalist.  She's not here to inform.  She's a whore for a political party.  That's all she is because her tiny little mind can't expand to allow her to become anything else.

So she wants to hector people about how to vote.  You know, Krystal, grow up because grown ups don't need you.  No one does.  

You don't know politics and you don't know history.  You're a raving lunatic making fun of others and thinking you sound informed.  You don't.

Every election cycle it gets worse.  The whoring, yes.  But I'm actually talking about the results.

Krystal wants you to know that there's no point to a third party.  Grow up.  Grow up.  People are suffering.  


Not Krystal, of course, but you know people.  This free floating concept of people -- people she doesn't know, people she's never met and never will.  Certainly not anyone she'll bring on BREAKING POINTS -- or RISING before that.  Because she doesn't care about the poor, for example.  She bare knuckled it through college as an economics major and they may be the only thing worse than a general studies major.

People will suffer!!!

People always suffer, you stupid idiot.  

And you do nothing to help them so stop lying to yourself.  Hop off that high horse before life knocks you off it.

The idiot she speaks with says -- and she agrees -- we got close with Bernie Sanders.  No, that didn't happen.  There was no close and this isn't horse shoes.  Bernie turned tail and ran which really is the story of his life.  He's a con man.  I called him out here long, long ago.  We've got a VA scandal -- to just give one example -- where people are dying, veterans are dying because they can't get VA care and the VA is using two sets of books to hide the long delays in treatment.  This emerges in the mainstream media.  And does so hours before a Senate VA Hearing.  And yet?

Bernie announces, as chair of the Committee, that they're not going to discuss that.  They'll be time for it later.  Now let's instead focus on holistic treatments and alternative therapies and . . .

Yeah, he's that pathetic.

He's a con artist from long ago.  He conned in the House (I have to run every two years so I can only go so far left) then he finds a new excuse when he gets in the Senate.

Many of Hillary's attacks on him in the campaign for the Democratic Party's presidential nomination came from here because I'd already documented it and because I knew Hillary's team.  Years and years ago, once he betrayed veterans, we'd made a point to note how he never accomplished anything.

And that is the reality.  In Congress since 1991 and what can he really point to?  Naming some post offices?

These same idiots who pimped Bernie (Krystal) are now trying to pimp Marianne Williamson.  I know Marianne, I even like her.  How's she going to be president?  Marianne goes through staff rather quickly.  And she's never been a leader outside of her New Age cult of the 80s and 90s.  When the press slammed her for her 'answer' of positive thoughts when she was running last time?  Let her try to be the front runner and you're going to find out a lot of things that aren't going to be pretty.  She's protected by that fact that outside of the cult she built up in the 20th century, few could get through those meandering books.  Meaning most people don't know what was in them.

Here's Liz Moore at BUSTLE in July of 2019:

After the Democratic debates, Marianne Williamson quickly became quirky meme fodder across the internet. She has bold ideas regarding reparations, yes, but does that mean we should elect this crystal-loving woman to the Oval Office? Williamson's platform of love and positivity might seem appealing, but abled people would benefit from listening to disabled people, because we can see the dangers Williamson poses to our community.

In Williamson’s 1996 book A Return to Love, she reasoned that when it comes to taking medication, “the healing doesn’t come from the pill. It comes from our beliefs.” Let’s take this to its logical extreme. If a pill doesn’t work, is it because our beliefs are not strong enough? Incorrect? Full of hate? She wrote that “sickness is not a sign of God’s judgement on us, but of our judgement on ourselves. ... Sickness is an illusion and does not exist.” On Twitter, Williamson described depression as a “spiritual disease.” In her 2012 book A Course in Weight Loss, she wrote that men who have AIDS should forgive people in order to heal, comparing it to how a cancer patient would complete chemotherapy.

Should we go on?  The woman who wrote that nonsense is the 'answer' per Krystal and others.  Kids, that's only two books.  Her body of work does not propel her to the top of the ticket.  You're an idiot if you think it does.  EARTH IN THE BALANCE harmed Al Gore and he was lower on the ticket (vice presidential nominee in 1992).

Elections change very little of what happens.  That's reality.  FDR was a transformative president.  He was called a class traitor.  But he made the moves he did to keep the system going.  Not out of the good of his heart.  He did it to keep factories going and to keep workers working and that is what this system cares about more and more and more.  

And that is why we pretend that the pandemic is over.  The country had endured as much as it was going to -- or rather, those in charge of industry had endured as much as they were going to so back to work we go, whether it's safe or not.

We have been told, as a people, over and over that voting matters but Emma Goldman was right, "If voting changed anything, they'd make it illegal."

Bully Boy Bush sent troops into Iraq in 2003.  Since then?  We've had two terms of Barack Obama (Democrat), one term of Donald Trump (Republican) and now Joe Biden (Democrat).  Guess what?  US troops are still on the ground in Iraq.  It'll be 20 years in March.  

Now Krystal can never deal with that (Iraq) because it's reality and she's a cheap whore with a cheap product -- she pretends she's doing news but she's not.  She's as bad a public affairs host as anyone who ever hosted MEET THE PRESS.  

You want change?

The powers-the-be need to be fretting that you'll be in the streets and disrupting production.

Idiots like Krystal are the reason Donald Trump did whatever he wanted.  As I noted early on here, We The People held Ronald Reagan in check -- and the media was on Reagan's side.    Donald Trump did not have Reagan's communication skills.  It would have been easy to circumvent Donald.  But instead of doing that we did theater and virtue signaling.   

We'll come back to that but let's deal with Krystal's nonsense about the Green Party.  

'They didn't win in 2020 so shut up. ' That's her argument.  

Well they didn't have all the YOUTUBE programs, did they?  They weren't part of an echo chamber, were they?

A bunch of whores told people to vote for Joe Biden -- a huge bunch of whores --  and even doing that Joe only squeaked by.  With all that whoring from the large echo chamber, that's all you accomplished.

What if the Green Party had even half that online presence.

They really had none in 2020. 

They do now via Howie Hawkins, they have a presence because of him.

I'm confused about which Democrat running for the presidential nomination accused Joe Biden of stealing it?  

It wasn't stolen, it was gifted to him, I know.  But I'm noting Cindy Sheehan and others were happy to bring on Dario Hunter -- useless piece of crap -- and let Dario tell you that Howie stole the nomination.  He didn't steal it from you, Dario, you refused to get off your lazy ass and work for it.  Dario was another Princess Hillary who felt he should be gifted with the nomination.

So not only did we not see a 2020 media presence that would not  promote the Green Party presidential candidate, we also saw non-Democrats on the left, like Cindy Sheehan, use their platforms to tear apart the Green Party nominee ahead of the election -- to spread rumors and talk -- online -- about what they 'knew' but couldn't share.

Imagine if instead of whoring, people like Krystal actually tried to educate.

The country would be much better.  

We'd know, for example, how other countries have better health care.  We'd know real issues and not just the talking point that the Democrats want us to repeat this week.

Donald Trump tapped into the reality, that the game is dirty and the rules are rigged.  And that's why a large number of people responded to him.  

I don't think he's the one who can fix or correct.  But he tapped into the sentiment.

And he wasn't wrong.

Year after year, the average American's income gets smaller and smaller while the percentage going to the top gets greater and greater.  

And whoring for elections speeds up this decay.

Educating on actual issues could slow the decay, might even turn it around. 

But instead of education we get ahistorical claims.

We're going to do it this election cycle, spirit bunnies, this is the one and now we'll take over the party!!!

Do you know how many generations have said in the last 50 years and it's never happened.

I believe that back in 2019, we were being told that Kyrsten Sinema was the answer.  She was our left hope, we were told.  How'd that work out, help me out on that?  Did Sinema become the next Paul Wellstone?  What happened to her?

Krystal keeps looking for her savior and then whoring for him/her to try to get votes and it never goes anywhere and it never will.

Krystal's proud that she helped Joe into the White House.  

Help me out with what we've got from that.

I'm not seeing serious efforts to address climate change.  I see no increase in the minimum wage.  I see no rent control efforts (Joe's remarks last week were an insulting joke).  ROE could have been codified.  LBJ could have gotten it done if he felt pressure. 

I don't see much worth bragging about.

And I've seen this over and over in one election after another.

So maybe Krystal can learn history before she next screeches at others to "Grow up!"

People lives are at risk, Krystal, right now.  That includes immigrants.  Do you know any immigrants to this country because I don't see them on your show.  I don't see anything on your show but a lot of whoring.

We are the change.  We make change or we don't. 

And the only change you help with is the changing of the guard -- each and every hour.

Now more than ever, the needs of the people are not being met and here's Krystal fretting over who's going to be home coming queen.

Before Frank Capra became known for Capra-corn, he actually made some good films, great even.  MEET JOHN DOE has a lot to say about the world today.   But the one that really angered some at the top was MR. SMITH GOES TO WASHINGTON with Jean Arthur and Jimmy Stewart.  It wasn't just movie censor Joseph Breen that objected to the film early on -- how it will damage our system of government. The DC press called it unAmerican for the way it portrayed corruption in the US government. JFK's father Joseph Kennedy, then the US Ambassador to the UK, deemed it "Nazi propaganda" and offered to purchase the negative and destroy the film.  We could go and on for hours about the reaction -- of those in power -- to that film -- including the various responses in the US Senate.

Can Krystal speak to that?  

No, because she's an uninformed idiot who thinks she can weigh in without having any knowledge base at all.  And she can't tell the truth because she's a cheerleader for the system at play.  Anything that threatens her must be attacked -- in 1939, she would have been attacking MR. SMITH GOES TO WASHINGTON.

This week, she attacks anyone who won't do what she tells them to -- this week she's telling them to get on board with kooky, non-scientific Marianne Williamson.

Let's pause for a moment on that.  

What did brave Marianne Williamson do in 2020?

Urged everyone to vote for Joe Biden, yeah, I know.

But she did something else.  I remember it because Ava and I called out in real time (see September 11, 2020's "TV: Leftists seeking public affairs programming").  Krystal doesn't seem to remember it.

Maybe because Krystal was whoring in real time?

Marianne did it right in front of Krystal on RISING.  The general election was around the corner and Marianne was the guest on RISING.  Time to churn out -- not turn out -- the vote.  And in the segment, Marianne let slip that many dirty things had been done to her by the DNC during her now ended campaign.  Such as?

Because ears perked up to that reality.

A real journalist would have pursued it.

But Krystal wasn't trying to inform, she was attempting to churn out the vote.  So she let Marianne get away with promising to come back on the show after the election -- we mustn't get distracted before the election, Marianne insisted -- and she'd spill the tea then.

Of course, that day never came.  Those days never come with people like Krystal.

She's this cycle's Laura Flanders.   And, like Laura before her, she's bleeding out from self-imposed wounds.  

Laura got on board with Barack Obama early on in 2007.  The semi-closeted lesbian held her tongue when Barack put homophobes on stage and didn't carry that they were proponents of conversion therapy.  Never addressing that issue, she did insist about many other issues that we had to get  Barack the presidential nomination and then we could hold his feet to the fire.

Barack got the nomination and then Laura was telling us we'd hold his feet to the fire . . . after the general election.  We couldn't risk holding his feet to the fire right now.

Barack won the election and then Laura and her ilk were telling us -- for eight years -- that we had to defend Barack.

I kind of thought that was the Secret Service's job.

So instead of making demands, Laura's ilk made every day about defending Barack -- criticism of a tan suit took up nearly a whole week on so-called left websites.  

No one would demand that he codify ROE.  Remember that?  It was his promise.  If he had done that, DOBBS would never have happened.  He promised he would.  Not only did he promise that, he promised it would be the first thing he did as president.

 But he shrugged it off and they let him.

That's because they're not about the people.  They're about some personality that they latch onto.  They're about silencing all criticism of him/ her, getting him/her elected and then continuing to waste time on defending the object of their desire instead of making demands on a public servant.

Their where-else-are-you-going-to-go attitude is not just bad for election cycles.  It's also what they do once the person's elected.

And it degrades our rights and our possibilities.

But she wants to lecture others?

And grasp that Krystal is doing that in January of 2023.  We're having to endure that garbage in 2023.  We're not even waiting for an election year.

It never ends with them.

They suck out all the oxygen in the room.

Real issues can't be addressed because they're always in election cycle mode.

And it's never the time for reality or issues when you're constantly in election cycle mode.

Krystal thinks she's the serious adult in the room and maybe that makes her feel better about her so-so looks -- "I'm serious now, I don't have time to even try to look passable!" -- but it shouldn't.  And she shouldn't fool herself that she's working at anything.

All these troubles and problems she insists that people -- ones she never speaks to -- suffer from?  Why are we waiting for an election to 'address' them?

We're not addressing them with an election.  We're using them as propaganda to churn out the vote.

 But if they're so damn important, why aren't we addressing them?  Why are we pretending that the answer to immigration is how we vote in November of 2024?

If you think that's a serious issue and that are people are suffering, why are you willing to let them suffer for nearly 21 months more before that election arrives?

You don't care about immigrants or about climate change or about ending wars or about providing children with the food they need or anything else.  If you did, that's what you'd be talking about, that's what you'd be putting on your show, that would be your focus.

Instead, you're made your focus hectoring and bullying others to try to force them into joining you in supporting a snake-oil-saleswoman who just know will do everything you need.

And what you know is not based on reality.  There is nothing in Marianne's personality or her public record that suggests that she can or will stand up to the DNC.  She still can't even tell us how they did her wrong.  She was going to tell us after the 2020 election, she insisted, but she still can't go there, still won't go there.

One of the things we popularized with this site and with all the talks on the mainland and Hawaii that we took part in for years and years (from February of 2003 until the pandemic hit and then we moved to zooms) was that you own your vote.  You don't owe your vote to anyone.  It's up to a politician to earn your vote.

That concept is beyond Krystal's highly limited vision.  

It's beyond the limited vision of those Democrats (Al Franken) who sold the Iraq War to others.  He was not in the Senate but he was using his connections in New York to meet with various Democrats and tell them to vote for the 2002 resolution.  They had to, he insisted, in order to get re-elected.

And that is the most important thing to these people: Not what you do in office, but that you get into office.

It is a disgusting cycle and Krystal Ball is not  grown up, is not a person of intelligence and is not worth listening to.  

For more on the actual issue of how people see the world, you can see Jim's "Conflict: REVOLUTIONARY BLACKOUT NETWORK and THE VANGUARD" at THIRD.

The following sites updated:

Monday, January 30, 2023




From Saturday, that's Isaiah's THE WORLD TODAY JUST NUTS "THE PEW stinks"

Other than that funny comic, I really just want to emphasize one thing.  At Newsweek, Kevin Bass writes:

As a medical student and researcher, I staunchly supported the efforts of the public health authorities when it came to COVID-19. I believed that the authorities responded to the largest public health crisis of our lives with compassion, diligence, and scientific expertise. I was with them when they called for lockdowns, vaccines, and boosters.

I was wrong. We in the scientific community were wrong. And it cost lives.

I can see now that the scientific community from the CDC to the WHO to the FDA and their representatives, repeatedly overstated the evidence and misled the public about its own views and policies, including on natural vs. artificial immunityschool closures and disease transmissionaerosol spreadmask mandates, and vaccine effectiveness and safety, especially among the young. All of these were scientific mistakes at the time, not in hindsight. Amazingly, some of these obfuscations continue to the present day.

But perhaps more important than any individual error was how inherently flawed the overall approach of the scientific community was, and continues to be. It was flawed in a way that undermined its efficacy and resulted in thousands if not millions of preventable deaths.

What we did not properly appreciate is that preferences determine how scientific expertise is used, and that our preferences might be—indeed, our preferences were—very different from many of the people that we serve. We created policy based on our preferences, then justified it using data. And then we portrayed those opposing our efforts as misguided, ignorant, selfish, and evil.

We made science a team sport, and in so doing, we made it no longer science. It became us versus them, and "they" responded the only way anyone might expect them to: by resisting.

We excluded important parts of the population from policy development and castigated critics, which meant that we deployed a monolithic response across an exceptionally diverse nation, forged a society more fractured than ever, and exacerbated longstanding heath and economic disparities.

Most important part:

When former President Trump pointed out the downsides of intervention, he was dismissed publicly as a buffoon. And when Dr. Antony Fauci opposed Trump and became the hero of the public health community, we gave him our support to do and say what he wanted, even when he was wrong.

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

Monday, January 30, 2023.

History is the life that has been lived and information is not static, we learn new things about the past all the time.  Starting with news of discoveries in Iraq, Michele W. Berger (PENN TODAY) reports:

When Holly Pittman and colleagues from the University of Pennsylvania and University of Pisa returned to Lagash in the fall of 2022 for a fourth season, they knew they’d find more than ceramic fragments and another kiln. With high-tech tools in hand, the team precisely located trenches to excavate a variety of features of a non-elite urban neighborhood from one of southwest Asia’s earliest cities.

What surprised the researchers most was the large “tavern” they uncovered, complete with benches, a type of clay refrigerator called a “zeer,” an oven, and the remains of storage vessels, many of which still contained food. “It’s a public eating space dating to somewhere around 2700 BCE,” says Pittman, a professor in Penn’s History of Art department, curator of the Penn Museum’s Near East Section, and the Lagash project director. “It’s partially open air, partially kitchen area.”

The find provides another glimpse into the lives of everyday people who dwelled some 5,000 years ago in this part of the world, an area Penn researchers have studied since the 1930s when the Penn Museum teamed up with Leonard Woolley and the British Museum to excavate the important archaeological site of Ur about 30 miles to the southwest. In 2019, the latest round of Lagash excavations began, and despite a short pandemic-necessitated pause, the project has real momentum, with four field seasons now complete.

To excavate most effectively, the researchers are employing cutting-edge methodologies, including drone photography and thermal imaging; magnetometry, which captures the magnetic intensity of buried features; and micro-stratigraphic sampling, a surgically precise type of excavation. To understand the city’s environmental context, they’ve also extracted sediment cores that reflect millennia of ecological development.

“At more than 450 hectares, Lagash was one of the largest sites in southern Iraq during the 3rd millennium,” Pittman says. “The site was of major political, economic, and religious importance. However, we also think that Lagash was a significant population center that had ready access to fertile land and people dedicated to intensive craft production. In that way the city might have been something like Trenton, as in ‘Trenton makes, the world takes,’ a capital city but also an important industrial one.”

The past expands our knowledge of the present -- unless you're an anti-LGBTQ+ lawmaker in Florida -- and helps us appreciate accomplishments of those who came before.  Of the latest discovery, Mihai Andrei (ZME SCIENCE) adds:

Some 5,000 years ago, the city of Lagash was one of the best places you could be in the world. Close to the junction between the Tigris and the Euphrates, it evolved and developed in an area we now consider a cradle of civilization. But many of its mysteries are now covered by the shroud of time. Holly Pittman from the University of Pennsylvania is one of the researchers working to uncover that shroud.

Lagash is one of the largest archaeological sites in the region, measuring roughly 3.5 kilometers north to south and 1.5 kilometers east to west. Previous surveys found that Lagash was a bit like Venice — it developed on four marsh islands, some of which were gated. Subsequent archaeological digs have resulted in the discovery of urban neighborhoods, tens of thousands of pottery sherds, and much more. 

[. . .]

But perhaps the most intriguing find was a large “tavern”. The building featured benches, an oven, and a type of clay refrigerator called a “zeer.” The zeer used an external clay layer lined with wet sand that contained an inner clay container within which the food or drinks were placed. The evaporation of the outer liquid draws heat from the inner pot and keeps the container cool while only requiring a source of water.


According to a 2022 article in Ancient Origins , the city of Lagash, known today as Tell al-Hiba, was located in ancient Mesopotamia, and is believed to have been established between 4,900 and 4,600 years ago and abandoned 3,600 years ago. This makes it one of southwest Asia’s earliest cities.

It has now been more than 40 years since excavations started in Lagash, a city of marsh islands . The latest round of excavations began in 2019, and despite pandemic-induced interruptions, has completed four intense seasons. 

In other news, the PRESS TRUST of INDIA notes:

The dreaded terror outfit Islamic State of Iraq and Levant in South-East Asia (ISIL-SEA) has been designated as a global terrorist organisation by the United Nations Security Council.

The Security Council's 1267 Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant and Al-Qaida Sanctions Committee added the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant in South-East Asia to its list of designated entities last week, subjecting it to assets freeze, travel ban and arms embargo.

The outfit, also known as Islamic State East Asia Division and Dawlatul Islamiyah Waliyatul Mashriq, was, according to the UN website, formed in June 2016 “upon announcement by now-deceased Isnilon Hapilon” and is associated with Islamic State in Iraq and Levant, listed as Al-Qaida in Iraq.  Hapilon was the leader of Abu Sayyaf, a group affiliated with ISIL, and was killed in 2017.

I guess we could have led into that topic by saying, "Staying with ancient history . . ."  Seven years?  It took seven years for them to make that designation?  Amr Salem (IRAQI NEWS) notes that the UN has a new post in Iraq:

The United Nations Under-Secretary-General for Political and Peacebuilding Affairs, Rosemary DiCarlo, said that the Secretary-General of the United Nations decided to create a new position in Iraq, which is the advisor on climate change and security, the Iraqi News Agency (INA) reported.

The announcement of the new decision took place after the Iraqi President, Abdul Latif Rashid, received DiCarlo, in Baghdad, in the presence of the Special Representative of the Secretary-General of the United Nations in Iraq, Jeanine Hennis-Plasschaert, according to a press statement issued by the Iraqi Presidency.

DiCarlo stressed that the United Nations is keen to help Iraq face the challenges of climate change, and emphasized the United Nations readiness to cooperate to reduce the risks of drought and water scarcity.

As climate change damages Iraq, Gaith Abdul-Ahad (GUARDIAN) reports:

Small gangs of buffaloes sat submerged in green and muddy waters. Their back ridges rose over the surface like a chain of black islets, spanning the Toos River, a tributary of the Tigris that flows into the Huwaiza marshes in southern Iraq.

With their melancholic eyes, they gazed with defiance at an approaching boat, refusing to budge. Only when the boatman shrieked “heyy, heyy, heyy” did one or two reluctantly raise their haunches. Towering over the boat, they moved a few steps away, giving the boatmen barely enough space to steer between a cluster of large, curved horns.

On the right bank of the river stood a cultural centre built in the traditional style of southern Iraq, with tall arches made of thick bundles of reed tied together. It catered to a large number of Iraqi tourists and a handful of foreigners who have flocked to visit the marshland region since it was named a Unesco world heritage site in 2016.

A couple of hundred metres past the cultural centre, however, the engine of the boat sputtered, and its bottom scrapped against the mud as the river dwindled into a shallow swamp, where small herons and grebes stood in water barely reaching halfway up their stick-like legs.

The foliage on the two banks also disappeared, revealing a devastating scene: what two years earlier was a great expanse of blue water, a lagoon teeming with wildlife, fish, and home to large herds of water buffaloes, had turned into a flat desert where a few thorny shrubs sprouted.

Under the scorching sun, the hot wind kicked tumbleweed across parched yellow earth, scarred with deep cracks and crumbling into thin dust under the feet. Rising above the ground were mounds of dead reed beds upon which the marsh dwellers had built their homes. A few relics of their former life lay scattered around: broken plastic buckets, some rusting metal pipe, and a kettle.

The Iraqi government is still refusing to seriously address climate change -- even as the impact is evident.  Instead, they spend their time with nonsense like taking offense at criticism.  For example, the Iraqi courts have always concerned themselves with the actions of others -- even when it meant violating the law.  They're now violating the Constitution.  RUDAW reports:

A court in Baghdad on Sunday issued a summons order for the second deputy speaker of the Iraqi parliament, Shakhawan Abdullah, following a statement he made criticizing the decision from Iraq’s top court to not pay the Kurdistan Region’s financial entitlements.

The Iraqi Federal Supreme Court on Wednesday ruled against the payment of the Kurdistan Region’s financial entitlements by Baghdad, claiming it violates the 2021 Iraqi Budget Law.

The decision was criticized by top Kurdish officials, including Abdullah, who accused “a party within the Running the State coalition” of directing the Federal Court to issue the recent decision against the Kurdistan Region, ordering the court to deem the Region’s oil and gas law “unconstitutional” last year, and being responsible for the fluctuation of the Iraqi dinar’s exchange rate with foreign currencies in recent months.

“Rest assured that there will be an end to the overstepping by the Federal Court,” said Abdullah in his statement.

The Iraqi Federal Supreme Court on Sunday said that Abdullah was being summoned for his “infringement of the judiciary authority’s independence, and his interference in the work of the Federal Supreme Court, his transgression of it, and the violation of the sanctity of its decisions contrary to the constitution and the law.”

Oh, they don't like what a member of Parliament said about them.  Boo hoo.  They might try referring to the Iraqi Constitution, maybe start with Section 2, Article 36: "The state guarnees in a way that does not violate public order and morality: a) Freedom of expression, through all means. b) Freedom of press, printing advertising, media and publication.  c) Freedom of assembly and peaceful demonstration.  This shall be regulated by law."  They could also check out Section Two of Article 38 as well.

 They're in violation.  

RUDAW also notes:

Iraq’s Prime Minister Mohammed Shia’ al-Sudani on Sunday appointed Nima al-Yasiri as his advisor on constitutional affairs, in a step towards amending constitutional articles that hindered the formation of a new government in the country for over a year.

The newly appointed advisor will hold meetings with executive and legislative officials, in order to “chart the roadmap for making the required constitutional amendments,” according to a statement from Sudani’s office.

The statement from the premier added that the step is part of the new government’s ministerial program which was approved by the Iraqi parliament in October, in an effort to prevent the recurrence of political deadlocks, similar to the one that plagued the country following the 2021 parliamentary elections.

I don't understand.  Why go to all the trouble?  Why not just ignore the Constitution the way the Court does?  

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