From a few hours ago, Isaiah's latest THE WORLD TODAY JUST NUTS "Junior Topless, Nips To The Wind." It's true. If he had any real ideas, Junior could get attention with them. Instead, like Putin, he poses without a shirt.
Now for food. Carl found a recipe for easy round steak at Food.Com:
1 - 1 1/2 lb round steak
2 10.5 ounce cans cream of mushroom soup
1 10.5 ounce can of water
1 medium onion
- Cut off fat from round steak and cut into 3 x 3 inch pieces.
- Whisk water and mushroom soup together in a bowl, then pour just enough to thinly coat the bottom of a 13 x 9 pan.
- Place the pieces of round steak evenly around the pan.
- Cut onion into slices and place them evenly on top of the meat.
- Pour the rest of the mushroom soup mix on top of the round steak and onions.
- Cover with foil and bake at 325 degrees for 2 1/2 to 3 hours.
New Orleans doctor says the Louisiana legislature's anti-LGBTQ+ bills are pushing him and his family away from New Orleans. They have made the difficult decision to leave the state.
"I was not expecting our story to hit home with so many people. I think it is important for people to hear our story,” Dr. Jake Kleinmahon said. “Our hearts have been poured into Louisiana and New Orleans. It’s time for us to leave.”
Cherished moments with his husband and two children are now going to be made in New York.
Kleinmahon said his decision to pack up comes after Louisiana lawmakers passed anti-LGBTQ+ laws. Three were vetoed by the governor, but lawmakers were successful in overriding the one banning gender-affirming care for minors.
"In my worst nightmare, I could never imagine a situation where I felt like we were living somewhere in the United States our family was no longer welcome,” Kleinmahon said.
Klenmahon said he has lived in Louisiana for 12 years. He worked his way up as a pediatric cardiologist at Ochsner, eventually landing as the director of the pediatric heart transplant program.
PLANO, Texas – August 1, 2023 – Frito-Lay has issued a voluntary recall of a limited number – less than 7,000 bags – of 14.5 oz and 1 oz Doritos Nacho Cheese Flavored Tortilla Chips that may contain undeclared soy and wheat ingredients from spicy sweet chili tortilla chips. Those with an allergy or severe sensitivity to soy or wheat run the risk of illness should they consume these products.
The products covered by this recall were distributed at retail stores only in Pennsylvania and other outlets, such as foodservice locations and vending machines. Consumers would have been able to purchase the chips as early as June 29, 2023.
No other Frito-Lay or Doritos products, flavors, sizes, or variety packs are recalled.
No allergic reactions related to this matter have been reported to date. If consumers have an allergy or severe sensitivity to soy or wheat, they should not consume the product and discard it immediately. Frito-Lay has informed the FDA of this action.
Consumers with the product described below can contact Frito-Lay Consumer Relations at 1-800-352-4477 (9 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. CST, Monday-Friday).
The specific recalled product information is listed below:
Code Date &
|0 28400 09089 6
|Must have BOTH
Guaranteed Fresh Date Of
26 Sept 2023
X 22:47 - 22:54
|0 28400 51779 9
|Must have BOTH
Guaranteed Fresh Date Of
26 Sept 2023
EITHER one of the following
Two Manufacturing Codes/
X 22:47 - 22:59
X 23:00 - 23:06
Company Contact Information
- Frito-Lay Consumer Relations
Be sure to check out Kat's "Collecting vinyl" -- it was a really good essay.
This is C.I.'s "Iraq snapshot" for Wednesday:
Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese said Tuesday his government stands firm against the United States over the prosecution of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, an Australian citizen fighting extradition from Britain on U.S. espionage charges.
Albanese’s center-left Labor Party government has been arguing since winning the 2022 elections that the United States should end its pursuit of the 52-year-old, who has spent four years in a London prison fighting extradition.
U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken pushed back against the Australian position during a visit Saturday, saying Assange was accused of “very serious criminal conduct” in publishing a trove of classified U.S. documents more than a decade ago.
“I understand the concerns and views of Australians. I think it’s very important that our friends here understand our concerns about this matter,” Blinken told reporters.
On Tuesday, Albanese said, “This has gone on for too long. Enough is enough."
Seeing that Australia is now rapidly moving into the US orbit of client status – its minerals will be designated a US domestic resource in due course – and given that its land, sea and air are to be more available than ever for the US armed forces, nuclear and conventional, nothing will interrupt this inexorable extinguishing of sovereignty.
One vestige of Australian sovereignty might have evinced itself, notably in how Canberra might push for the release, or at the very least better terms, for the Australian national and founder of WikiLeaks, Julian Assange. The publisher faces 18 counts, all but one of them pertaining to the Espionage Act of 1917, an archaic, wartime act with a dark record of punishing free speech and contrarians. The Albanese government, eschewing “the hailer” approach in favour of “quiet diplomacy” and not offending Washington, has conspicuously failed to make any impression.
After a rather extraordinary month of steadily escalating defence PR and conspiracy opportunities, Australia was sat on its backside over the weekend and reminded to know its subservient place.
As the culmination of media beat-ups, photo ops, military exercises and top-level ministerial talks grew, Australia was delighted to be told it could become an even more integrated cog of the US military machine, a bigger American base and that American pride was much more important than granting a small favour to a compliant client government.
The last bit effectively is what the US government means by yet again snubbing the Albanese government’s mimsy request for Julian Assange’s case to “be brought to a conclusion”, or, you know, something.
That our government is incapable of even saying it wants the US to drop its prosecution of Assange is an indication of just how subservient we are.
To put it in plain English would make it more embarrassing for Prime Minister Anthony Albanese and Foreign Minister Penny Wong when the US raises a middle digit in reply.
In an interview with the New York Times, Kemar Jewel, a director and choreographer who worked with Sibley, said that Otis Pena, who was among Sibley’s friends at the gas station, had described the scene to him. Pena said that he and Sibley had told the other group of young men, “Stop saying that. There is nothing wrong with being gay.”
Another witness, Summy Ullah, told the New York Daily News that the young men cited their Muslim faith in objecting to Sibley and his friends’ dancing.
Law enforcement sources told NBC New York that the suspect, who was reportedly known for causing trouble at the station, fled the scene in a black SUV and remains at large. According to CBS New York, investigators now know the name of the suspect, though they have not released that information to the media.
Sibley was rushed to Maimonides Medical Center where he was pronounced dead.
“They murdered him because he’s gay, because he stood up for his friends,” Pena said in an emotional video posted to Facebook. “We as a community don’t deserve this. We may be gay, but we exist. We’re not going to live in fear. We’re not going to live hiding.”
Elon Musk reinstated a Twitter (now called X) account that shared a screenshot from a child sexual abuse video; in doing so, Musk caved to right-wing pressure, undermined the platform's “zero-tolerance” child sexual exploitation policy, and added to Twitter's toxic advertising environment.
After Twitter rebranded and replaced its logo on July 24, Musk reinstated the account of conspiracy theorist Dom Lucre, which had been suspended less than a day earlier for sharing an image from a notorious child sexual abuse film. Musk’s reinstatement of the account — amid pressure from right-wing accounts — contradicts Twitter’s “zero-tolerance” policy regarding content that sexually exploits children and his previous pledges that it was “priority #1” to rid Twitter of child sexual abuse imagery.
Multiple outlets have also reported that child sexual abuse material is still a problem on Twitter, with some pointing to Musk’s gutting of Twitter’s platform-safety teams as a contributing factor. And it is clear that little has changed on the platform since Musk brought on advertising executive Linda Yaccarino as CEO and launched a full corporate rebrand in a desperate attempt to attract advertisers back to a platform that has been hemorrhaging advertising revenue. The platform continued to serve as a bastion for anti-LGBTQ hate speech (some even coming from Musk himself) during Yaccarino’s first month as CEO, undercutting her own claims that Twitter is making progress in combating hate speech.
Despite all this, a major advertising agency has recently removed Twitter’s “high risk” status, and major advertisers continue to finance Musk’s toxic platform. According to recent advertising data from Sensor Tower, advertisers that spent the most on Twitter ads so far in July — between July 1 and 25 — are Apple Inc. ($2,432,700), FinanceBuzz.io ($1,711,200), Amazon ($1,460,600), Mondelez International ($1,456,200), and Hewlett Packard ($1,174,300).
Collectively, these advertisers earned over 2.3 billion impressions on their ads during the time frame. Meanwhile, previous Media Matters research has shown that ads from major companies have appeared next to tweets from previously banned accounts, including right-wing extremists, COVID-19 misinformers, and Holocaust deniers. And even after Musk’s rebranding, Media Matters also identified ads for major companies such as Deloitte, Dick’s Sporting Goods, and USA Today appearing on the account of a known neo-Nazi.
The word itself, Mesopotamia, means the land between rivers. It is where the wheel was invented, irrigation flourished and the earliest known system of writing emerged. The rivers here, some scholars say, fed the fabled Hanging Gardens of Babylon and converged at the place described in the Bible as the Garden of Eden.
Now, so little water remains in some villages near the Euphrates River that families are dismantling their homes, brick by brick, piling them into pickup trucks — window frames, doors and all — and driving away.
“You would not believe it if I say it now, but this was a watery place,” said Sheikh Adnan al Sahlani, a science teacher here in southern Iraq near Naseriyah, a few miles from the Old Testament city of Ur, which the Bible describes as the hometown of the Prophet Abraham.
These days, “nowhere has water,” he said. Everyone who is left is “suffering a slow death.”
You don’t have to go back to biblical times to find a more verdant Iraq. Well into the 20th century, the southern city of Basra was known as the “Venice of the East” for its canals, plied by gondola-like boats that threaded through residential neighborhoods.
Indeed, for much of its history, the Fertile Crescent — often defined as including swaths of modern-day Iraq, Israel, Lebanon, Syria, Turkey, Iran, the West Bank and Gaza — did not lack for water, inspiring centuries of artists and writers who depicted the region as a lush ancient land. Spring floods were common, and rice, one of the most water-intensive crops in the world, was grown for more than 2,000 years.
Climate change and desertification are to blame, scientists say. So are weak governance and the continued reliance on wasteful irrigation techniques that date back millenniums to Sumerian times.
Climate change is destroying Iraq right now. It needs to be addressed. The whole world is at risk, Iraq's just further up in line. And nothing's being done. At FOREIGN POLICY, Winthrop Rogers reports:
On a Friday in March, Nabil Musa led a group of young people out into nature for a hike. It was, for him, an ideal way to teach them about their important role in protecting the area’s increasingly fragile ecosystem—just one of the many small actions he has undertaken to help his community reckon with the effects of climate change, pollution, and drought.
Formally, Musa is the waterkeeper for Iraqi Kurdistan as part of a group known as the Waterkeeper Alliance, a worldwide grassroots network of environmental activists that has its origins in a group created in 1966 by fishers in New York to clean up the Hudson River. He also runs a local initiative called Experience Wilderness, which helps people connect with the natural world, and is active in the local art scene.
His group that day consisted of 15 refugees from Qamishli, a predominantly Kurdish town in northeastern Syria. They currently live in the Arbat camp in Sulaimaniyah governorate, where approximately 9,000 internally displaced Iraqis and Syrian Kurdish refugees who fled the Islamic State and Turkish military interventions have settled. Many have been there for years with little prospect of returning home.
Musa led the teenagers on a day hike through Kani Shok, a dramatic gorge that cuts through a mountain ridge an hour’s drive north of the camp. “It’s going to be tough,” Musa warned them. He wore gray hiking pants and a blue tie-dye quick-dry shirt for the outing, while the teens followed him in clunky tennis shoes and jeans.
[. . .]
After 10 years, he returned to Sulaimaniyah to be closer to his family, but he found it a changed place. The birds and willows were gone, and the Sarchinar River no longer flowed in the summer. This sense of profound loss pushed him to become an activist. “It was heartbreaking to see it in this shape,” he said. “It was not the river I left, and all my dreams were gone.”
As we made our way to the gorge, we crossed a bridge over the Sarchinar River. Musa remarked that the water level was very low for March, just a slim current meandering through the deepest parts of the gravel bed. It had not rained much over the previous three years, creating a persistent drought, and a rainier winter this year had only begun to chip away at the deficit.
“This water is vulnerable,” he said. “When we neglect and abuse it, the water cannot shout, and the water cannot say, ‘Don’t do this to me.’”
The rivers that feed the Mesopotamian Basin are heavily dammed by Turkey, Iran, Syria, and Iraq, with downstream communities suffering from significantly reduced water flow. Blocking the watercourses also changes their ecology, altering temperature and chemical composition and destroying the habitats of the fish and other wildlife that need the rivers in order to live. Activists from across the region are sounding the alarm about the accumulating damage of climate change, drought, and pollution to the environment and local populations. A change to one part of the watershed inevitably affects all the others. What upstream communities choose—or fail—to do can mean that those who live downstream end up bearing the cost.
In a phone interview, Salman Khairalla, an Iraqi environmental and human rights activist who frequently collaborates with Musa, said, “We talk about the environment from political, economic, and social perspectives.” Khairalla is co-founder and CEO of the water advocacy group Humat Dijlah—“Protectors of the Tigris” in Arabic—which is largely funded by foreign foundations. “When we talk about water and the environment, we link those topics with job opportunities, counterterrorism, and infrastructure,” he said. “We link it with what the people want.”
Iraq is at the front line of climate change. What's taking place is happening there first and what's really sad is that, even with the change and destruction staring them down, the Iraqi leaders are as inept as every other leader in the world. You'd think those most at risk right now would have leaders who demanding action but that is not the case. Meanwhile, Stefan Lukas (IPS) reports:
The United Nations representatives who took the microphone in Baghdad in early June 2023 to talk about Iraq’s current drought had little reason to be optimistic. While Germans and Central Europeans were moaning about one of the year’s first heatwaves with temperatures from 30-34 degrees, in southern Iraq, prolonged temperatures above 50 degrees and long overdue rains have been destroying its marshlands, the ecosystem at the heart of the Middle East’s ‘fertile crescent’. Other stretches along the Euphrates and Tigris are also facing huge challenges: if climate change in the region continues like this, by 2050 it will suffer more than 300 sandstorms a year. Evaporation, reduced water flow and lack of rainfall will reduce the entire country’s water capacity to a minimum. Too little water stored in the soil available for agriculture has serious consequences for both rural and urban populations. More than a year ago, Iraqi Minister of Environment Jassim Abdul Aziz al-Falahi hinted at what scientists had predicted much earlier. What has already begun to happen will, within the next decades, also impact the surrounding countries and the European community.
As in other Middle Eastern countries, ever more critical climatic conditions are affecting the daily lives of much of Iraq’s population, which still needs the same regular access to fresh water that allowed advanced civilisations to flourish there centuries ago. But precisely that is becoming increasingly difficult – because of multiple factors over which Iraq has only limited influence.
At the turn of the 20th century, water flow of 1,350 cubic metres per second was normal. Today it’s just 149. The tributaries of the large Euphrates, Tigris and Diyala rivers are increasingly drying up. Apart from the drought plaguing Iraq’s mountainous regions, Iran and Turkey are constructing dams and other retention basins and taking more and more water for their own needs. In particular, Turkey – the source of nearly 70 per cent of Iraq’s fresh water – has escalated repressive policies to force through its own interests in Iraq’s (Kurdish) north. This, despite the 2021 agreement between Ankara und Baghdad on increased water flow.
The now minimal water flow is further aggravated by evapotranspiration, which causes 14.7 per cent of Iraq’s surface water to evaporate each year. Grain-growing regions along the rivers and in the southern marshes are almost completely drying up. Some bodies of water, like the Hamrim reservoir and the Umm Al-Binni lake have already lost more than 50 per cent of their volume and are expected to turn into desert in the next years. This is causing local, often agricultural, communities to lose their livestock and livelihoods. These Iraqis, some of whom who have lived in the country for centuries, have no choice but to migrate to bigger cities, where they also have to struggle to survive.
In 2022 alone, according to the Iraqi Ministry of Migration and Displacement, more than 7,000 farmers and their families left rural areas. Iraq’s high level of urbanisation had dipped in the late 1990s but has been rising due to climate change: in 2021, 71.2 per cent of its population lived in cities like Baghdad, Basra, Najaf and Mosul. The rural exodus thus has other ramifications, including the growing difficulties that many municipalities have in maintaining their dilapidated water and electricity infrastructures. All this as the country lurches from one political crisis to another.
What's taking place is taking place in the open. It's not hidden. And yet there is no action.
ARAB NEWS noted last week, "The country is now considered the fifth most vulnerable to the climate crisis by the UN. According to the United Nations, 90 percent of the country’s rivers are polluted and Iraq will meet only 15 percent of its water demand by 2035. Almost 70 per cent of the marshes are dry, putting many species of fish at risk of extinction." Yet no action, no move to address what's taking place.
If the Iraqi government isn't going to address this, what hope do the rest of us in other countries have?