11/24/23 - Open Thread from an Empty Head

Good morning, friends!

This is the day after Thanksgiving, a our feast of homemade pizza highlighted the occasion.

War news runs a tight gamut from seeming to draw to an end in Ukraine, to potential escalation into a huge regional war in the Place Where Oil Is. Over and over, I am reminded of the guide on my tour of Jordan. He had to laugh about Jordan having no history of invasions, since they have no natural resources anyone wants, except a bit of tar. His people take pride in that, since they can always be peace negotiators with nothing to gain, nothing to lose. They have far fewer problems being a poor country than we do being the Exceptional Country. Jordan's history is proof Smedley Butler knew what he was saying...war is a racket.

Perhaps it is due to my having visited so many countries, being constantly amazed or surprised, sometimes unpleasantly, that nowadays, developing a totally different mindset about travel, I want simple pleasures and no real surprises. If anything, I want destinations to be more beautiful, more interesting than what Tripadvisor says.

I am in the same ranch cottage in the Texas Hill Country for the 5th time. I already knew before I left home to pack dish washing liquid, pizza pans, and a bar of soap. I knew there would be coffee, biscuits, butter, and bacon. Thus, I knew to pack orange marmalade for the glamping style breakfasts. Lowers the stress from life in these times of constant stress like I have never experienced before. Everyone deserves a break. I might add, everyone NEEDS a break.

The concert last night, Dale Watson and his band, featured many covers of famous songs from my youth. Almost every song, covers of Ray Price, to Willie Nelson, Merle Haggard, Waylon Jennings, I had heard in live performances by the original singers. Hell, it was so easy then. Drive 40 miles to the dance hall, and enjoy. On the other hand, I had to cut short a visit with a friend in San Fransisco years ago to get back to Houston to see a Pavarotti performance in Houston.

Well, I gave thanks to what I can verify, not some heavenly power that is omnipotent, but can't save babies in Gaza, or cure cancer. Or, eliminate whatever drives evil.

I give thanks to my friends for always being there. I thanked the musicians for enriching my life and giving me a great memory. I thanked the bartenders. I thanked the cashier at the convenience store.

And I meant it.

And I thank all of you for the incredible information and ideas you share.

Now, what is on your great minds today? Did the turkey give you brain fog? Let's see!

Let 'er rip!

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Did anybody over eat and make a pig of themselves on yesterday's delicious recipes?
Got fun plans for the weekend?
Reporters have 4 days to go in to Gaza and see what the hell is going on.
It is an open thread, open to whatever is on your mind.

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"We'll know our disinformation program is complete when everything the American public believes is false." ---- William Casey, CIA Director, 1981

Stuff your spirit with good music
and pour pizza gravy over your heart

had a fun gathering yesterday
Molly the springer spaniel licked-off
my cheese and crackers plate - oops
so I took her outside for a release run

enjoy your holiday and thanks for the
foggy Friday OT!

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@QMS And who is to blame? I am on hungry Mollie's side! Lol!
Sounds like you had a fun gathering and good food, to which Mollie can attest.
Yeah, the concert was good, the ambiance unbeatable. The last Dale Watson concert we saw was different. He had a big back up band, a woman singer, and he mostly sang his songs. At this concert, he had 4 back up players, and performed true standards, throwing in his biggest hits occasionally. It was dance night. Every song drew a full floor. People who didn't know how to dance got out there and tried. We shared a table with a couple who make this concert every year. They were from Dallas, stayed in an RV park, hang around for the concert, then go to T-Dinner with the wife's Mom. I mentioned all we country folks went to the dance halls every weekend, and kept it to ourselves when around the Baptist preacher. She said her Mom was a minister, but they have had "that talk", so they do not argue about the sin of drinking and dancing anymore. We agreed we would get together at that same table next year.
Years ago, I made a cake. I set it on the kitchen counter, intended to serve it with coffee. I stepped away, returned minutes later, and the cake looked mauled. Wtf? And then, I saw my coon hound, Willie, sitting on the kitchen floor with his loveliest innocent face, cake crumbs all over his chin. I made another cake, gave him the mauled one. sigh...

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"We'll know our disinformation program is complete when everything the American public believes is false." ---- William Casey, CIA Director, 1981

Lookout's picture

Glad to hear your holiday is going well. We visited with both families yesterday.
One family has a 1 YO and a 3YO. They were the center of attention. I'm glad we could spend some time with them and build a relationship as they age. It was nice to see my 92YO Mom at the same time.
The other family has young adults as kids. I've been helping one of them with their chemistry class. The other great nephew is in his first post college job and doing well.
We rarely get down to the Ham. The 2 hour drive home in the dark is challenging. Don't know how many more years we will do it. Probable as long as my Mom hangs in there.
Of course we ate too much going to two large meals. Going easy today.

We can celebrate a break in the genocide for a few days at least. Something to be positive about. Y'all enjoy the rest of the holiday!

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“Until justice rolls down like water and righteousness like a mighty stream.”

@Lookout A large family came to the concert. G'parents, parents, their 2 little girls maybe 2 to 4 years old. They were in beautiful identical dresses and gold western boots. A parent or grandpa had one or both out there on the dance floor every single tune. Everything suggested this is their family tradition. It was beautiful to watch.
If you were driving on the busy freeway returning home, it would be damn dicey after dark. Lots of traffic!
We only had a 20 minute drive back to the cabin after the concert, but we had to be very careful of running deer.
This part of Texas is alive with deer. I saw a dozen yesterday. The country roads to both Albert Hall and Luckenbach are cut throughs, with cattle ranches on both sides, deer feeders everywhere.
Knowing you, you will work off those extra calories in no time!
Take care, friend!

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"We'll know our disinformation program is complete when everything the American public believes is false." ---- William Casey, CIA Director, 1981

enhydra lutris's picture

and I'm definitely ready for some pizza, but not leaving the house today to get more mushrooms and such.

Didn't overeat or get brain fog, but have all day cleanup ahead. Ah well. Bread Making weekend anyway, so enough to do without pizza making. The grazing begins. Already had leftover Turkey on leftover dinner roll with morning coffee.

be well and have a great one.

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That, in its essence, is fascism--ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power. -- Franklin D. Roosevelt --

@enhydra lutris Pizza made that chore pretty damn easy. Confession time: I can make a pizza crust and sauce, from scratch. We have latched on to a pre-baked ultra thin crust that is delicious, containing non-GMO wheat. The brand is Golden Home. The sauce is Rao Marguerite Pizza Sauce. The tomatoes are Italian, and it has no additives. From start to finish, the meal was on the table in 20 minutes. It did not interrupt the episode of Gunsmoke.
Next confession: Mom expected me to grow up and hire a cook. She refused to teach me anything. I took one year of home economics as a high school freshman. I sort of learned how to bake a cake, brownies, cornbread, pie crust, and pancake batter. I never was taught anything about kneading, yeast rising, starters, etc... I still am unsure what texture kneaded dough should feel like or look like. Thank goodness for bread machines!
Have a great weekend, friend!

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"We'll know our disinformation program is complete when everything the American public believes is false." ---- William Casey, CIA Director, 1981

TheOtherMaven's picture

@on the cusp

who expected us girls to know everything about household maintenance: how (and what) to cook, how to sew, how to clean, etc. (She didn't bother to teach my brother, probably figuring he would grow up and marry a wife who knew all these things. Didn't work out quite that way, but he learned to be a good cook all on his own anyway.)

Speaking of household maintenance, we owe extensive knowledge of 14th century middle-class French living to an anonymous Parisian who wrote up a detailed multi-page guide, allegedly by an older man advising his teenage wife. It's called Le Ménagier de Paris and has been translated into English under various titles, most recently The Good Wife's Guide. Many contemporary recipes are included, but, as usual for the time, without details of measurements or cooking time (standardized kitchen measurements were a long way in the future, and as for cooking times, open hearth cookery has never been and never will be precisely quantifiable).

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There is no justice. There can be no peace.

@TheOtherMaven had no clue what the future would look like for the young'uns, did they?
I was lucky to have a next door neighbor in a Houston town home complex where I lived for 6 or 7 years that had worked as a caterer. She had no problem explaining to me that cooking was just a process of applying heat to raw food. From there, off she went on types of pots or pans to use, temperatures required, and she also introduced me to an array of spices.
Well, that Parisian man giving his young wife instructions on how to be a good wife strikes me as odd. How would he know unless she was replacing a prior good wife. lol!
I would love to see some of those recipes.
Thanks for the info!

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"We'll know our disinformation program is complete when everything the American public believes is false." ---- William Casey, CIA Director, 1981

TheOtherMaven's picture

@on the cusp

https://archive.org/details/in.ernet.dli.2015.166239/page/n323/mode/2up

Since it dates from 1928, the language is a bit deliberately Olde Timey but stil pretty clear.

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There is no justice. There can be no peace.

@TheOtherMaven Thanks, chica!

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"We'll know our disinformation program is complete when everything the American public believes is false." ---- William Casey, CIA Director, 1981

Cassiodorus's picture

‘Pipe down’: Biden allies step up calls for Dems to rally around president

Because nothing says "vote for Biden" like "shut up." Of course, the reality is even more hilarious than the author of this piece, Alex Gangitano, suspects. Here's the thesis:

But some Democrats say comments like Axelrod’s aren’t helping especially as Biden continues to face poor polling numbers, encouraging the party to instead coalesce around the president to give him a boost.

Winning over reluctant voters? The strategy appears to be "let's not talk about that."

“We gotta pipe down the moaning and groaning and all the whining. There’s too much of that,” said former Rep. Joe Crowley (D-N.Y.), a former House Democratic Caucus chair. “I think that leaches into the psyche of the voters as well. That’s got to stop and I think at that point, you’ll start to see Biden’s numbers improve, certainly amongst Democrats, but I think voter-wide they’ll start to improve.”

Yes, let's wait for the numbers to improve. Certainly they'll improve someday, like when drought-stricken farmers think: "certainly it will rain someday."

It's the same kind of hope, no?

Senate Democrats are also now pushing back hard on criticism from within their own party, dismissing concerns about Biden’s electability as counterproductive.

Translation: "We can't improve the product, so criticizing it won't help."

Biden aides lean into attacks on Trump, ramping up the offensive by rolling out daily memos that outline what a second term would mean for issues from the economy, abortion, and immigration.

We know what a second Trump term would bring from the first one. Not a whole lot.

Trump Could Be Our Laziest President Ever, According to Leaked Schedules

Also abortion, a matter for the states now, and immigration.

Joe Biden’s Rightward Pivot Isn’t Increasing His Popularity

Biden also faces some primary challengers, including Minnesota Rep. Dean Phillips (D) and Marianne Williamson.

Having the DNC crush them will doubtless only increase Biden's popularity /snark. Such fun!

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'French theory is a product of US cultural imperialism." -- Gabriel Rockhill

@Cassiodorus who lashes out at any break in the party's cohesion. In her opinion, Rs stick together and that is how they win. She seemed to have missed the split Trump caused, but I digress.
The silent routine should quickly backfire. What we do not need is silence as we fill up our cars with expensive gas, try to feed our family with exorbitant food prices, the constant struggle to pay for health care. Not to mention, utilities have doubled in cost. It is perfectly fine and normal for mass layoffs to occur in the tech and financial industries. And competing for lowering wages with immigrants if fine for capitalism.
No, let's not discuss that at all. Let's keep paying for healthcare and pensions for the Ukies, and support the genocide of the Gazans. Shhhh....
Have a good weekend, Cass!

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"We'll know our disinformation program is complete when everything the American public believes is false." ---- William Casey, CIA Director, 1981

Cassiodorus's picture

Is a piece called "On Sub-Imperial Power," quoted from someone named Arnaud Bertrand, about a book by someone named Clinton Fernandes.

Of course, when you try to do International Relations theory without thinking carefully about capitalism, you come to conclusions like "all states do X all the time." The interesting comparison would be between states that had been granted "core" roles in the neoliberal capitalist world order and those that had "periphery" roles within that same order. If you want to start with International Relations theory which incorporates a theory of capitalism, I would recommend Global Rivalries from the Cold War to Iraq.

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'French theory is a product of US cultural imperialism." -- Gabriel Rockhill

@Cassiodorus Mearsheimer has been knocked off his perch here of late.
Good.
Example: our presence in Syria is to enrich Big Oil. At present, only our troops there are dying. It could easily spread to our shores though the daily illegal penetration of our borders. But, immigrants have caused lower wages, so it is all good for corporate profit margin. So, a little terrorist bomb goes off somewhere in the US. We will be just fine.

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"We'll know our disinformation program is complete when everything the American public believes is false." ---- William Casey, CIA Director, 1981

for the first time last night.
News reporting sucks.

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"We'll know our disinformation program is complete when everything the American public believes is false." ---- William Casey, CIA Director, 1981

soryang's picture

...a week ago at the Hoover Institution sponsored event at Stanford. The signs are in Korean and English. There are a couple in Japanese. There are anti-Yoon signs, anti-Fukushima radioactive waste water dumping, anti-tri-lateral alliance signs etc. The relatively small demonstration was sponsored by the Coalition for Peace in the Pacific. There were pictures of some victims of US military crimes and accidents in the respective countries. There were pro-Palestinian signs as well. The source of the video shown on the bottom in some frames is LA candlelight movement.

Condoleezza Rice was the moderator of the summit discussion at Sanford. This is what gets me about the promotional material, it describes the current relationship of Yoon and Kishida as "unthinkable" a year ago. Guess what? It's still "unthinkable." It's totally out of step with political reality in South Korea.

A Summit Discussion with Prime Minister Kishida Fumio of Japan and President Yoon Suk Yeol of the Republic of Korea

Yoon said Kishida is, "the one closest to me in the international community." Even if he meant only geographically, (which I doubt) this is a huge gaffe politically at home. However, Yoon is trying to satisfy pro-Japanese chaebol elites many of whose families earned their initial fortunes collaborating with the Japanese overlords in the first half of the 20th Century.

Meanwhile a South Korean appeals court overruled a lower court ruling rejecting the Japanese "sovereign immunity" defense to war crimes committed against Korean women during WWII which included forced prostitution whereby young Korean women were taken abroad to be raped as many as two hundred times a day by Japanese soldiers. At the end of WWII, many of them were murdered by retreating Japanese forces.

South Korea court orders Japan to compensate 'comfort women', reverses earlier ruling

SEOUL, Nov 23 (Reuters) - A South Korean appellate court on Thursday ordered Japan to compensate a group of 16 women who were forced to work in Japanese wartime brothels, overturning a lower court ruling that dismissed the case and prompting a stern protest from Tokyo.

The legacy of Japan's 1910-45 colonial rule of the Korean peninsula remains politically sensitive for both sides, with many surviving "comfort women" - a Japanese euphemism for the sex abuse victims - still demanding Tokyo's formal apology and compensation.

"It is reasonable to consider that there is a common international law which does not recognize state immunity for an illegal act ... regardless of whether the act was a sovereign act," the appellate court said in a statement.

The court also said the case falls within South Korea's jurisdiction as the plaintiffs live in the country and sought compensation over the acts that are deemed "unlawful" under its civil law

I noticed a couple of "comfort women" in photos at the Stanford demo against Yoon and Kishida.

Thanks for the OT @onthecusp. I don't know anyone around here who has an empty head. I wish I could empty mine more often. While I binge on A Jewel in the Palace, for the second time, I can space out for a time on the entertaining historical romance, beautiful sets, cinematics and comedy. The main character an orphaned girl who becomes a palace maiden is extraordinarily engaging. She is something of a medieval forensic pathologist. Other than this I've been alone with the dog.

Ms. So encountered some of the demos in Seoul last weekend. At Gwanghwamun, there was a far right Taeguki demo. Earlier there was a pro-Palestinian demo in Itaewon. She encountered a labor demo at Sinsaegae Building near Seocho. The Sinsaegae corporation's major shareholder leads far right Yoon supporters. It's a major retail business, department store, sporting goods, etc.

I watched the candlelight demo against Yoon's administration and generally in support of peace at Yeouido last Saturday. It wasn't near as big as some of the previous labor union and teacher demos there.

I think that people may be getting complacent as they may feel the Yoon administration is on the ropes before the next election campaign period, and the legislature has a proposed special investigation of his wife's corruption and the so called "50 ak won club." (50억 클럽) The name of the scandal derives from the about four million in bribes for participants in the Busan Savings Bank /DaeJangdong real estate development scandal. Yoon is peripherally related to this, having covered up the bank's improper loans as an investigating prosecutor. His former boss, was allegedly, a 50 ak club participant, and was close to Yoon. Yoon's prosecution cadre have also been stonewalling an investigation into the first lady's brother. After Yoon took office, (allegedly) Yoon's wife and her brother moved a major expressway extension project so it could exit next to land he owned. National Assembly bills for special dual investigations of Yoon's wife and the 50 ak club, are likely to be vetoed by Yoon. This isn't going to score any points with the public.

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語必忠信 行必正直

@soryang solidarity with the protesters. Yoon must be feeling his days are over and his luck at avoiding being prosecuted is running out. Of all times to buddy up to Japan, just as Japan is releasing radioactive water into the ocean to poison fish and people for how long? And if his wife and bil aren't prosecuted, there will be as much fall out from that as there is in the sea!
I bet you are looking forward to the return to Ms. So, but at least you have a movie and a dog. I hope the protest in her vicinity remain non-violent.
Reparations for the "comfort women" war crime is justified, dammit! War brings out the beast in man, always. No country can say they have clean hands and a clean record.
We will enjoy our last evening in the Hill Country, head home tomorrow. I was treated to a sighting of 8 enormous wild turkeys this afternoon, as well as 2 blue heron that stopped to get a drink in the pond at the back of this cottage property. That will hold me until next trip.
Thanks for your unique news and opinion about SK and the goings on in those parts.
Have a wonderful weekend, So, and please give the dog a good scratch behind his ears for me, ok?

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"We'll know our disinformation program is complete when everything the American public believes is false." ---- William Casey, CIA Director, 1981

soryang's picture

@on the cusp ...of Texas life are very interesting. I wish I had seen some of this when I was stationed there years ago (for almost 3 years). I pretty much only saw the military base community in the area, which left a lot to be desired.

Went to San Antonio a few times, saw the river walk and visited the Johnson ranch, that's about it. Visited the Alamo. One of my attorney colleagues in the Army there was the only real Texas person I knew. I can see from your descriptions I know nothing about Texas. Drove through there many times in the big rig, too, but truck stop life about the same low quality experience. A couple of friends sold their business there packed up everything, and bought one of those fancy bus sized camper things and are driving around the US now.

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語必忠信 行必正直

@soryang We won a revolution, we created a country. 6 Flags of Texas bears many political and social faces.
I will say that the southern charm, southern social traditions of friendliness and hospitality is permeated throughout the state.
But, given our unique history, so is defiance. "Come and get it!".
Throw in the King Ranch model, (home of the Quarter Horse) wild West sort of thinking, along with the deadliest NA tribe of all, the Comanche, thinking, and culture, it persists to this day, and is not the zeitgeist to be found anywhere in the US.
In no way do I think we are perfect, (joining the Confederacy comes to mind),but in times of turmoil, unrest, and uncertainty, I want to be here.

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"We'll know our disinformation program is complete when everything the American public believes is false." ---- William Casey, CIA Director, 1981

@on the cusp

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@QMS The dumb ass could have been a superstar.
I haven't heard that in a while, so thanks! Great live version!

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"We'll know our disinformation program is complete when everything the American public believes is false." ---- William Casey, CIA Director, 1981