The best pizza in the world, for me, is anchovy pizza. One of the reasons I love Papa John's Pizza is because they will make it or add anchovies to a supreme pizza if you ask.
I grew up on anchovy pizza. My parents loved it and I grew up loving it. But somewhere in the 90s, around 1995, I think, I remember trying to order one from the local Domino's -- where I'd ordered that pizza many times before. And some idiot guy telling me on the phone, "No, we're not going to pen a can for just one pizza." A month later, they wouldn't even for an order of two and then they dropped it completely.
It was during that time that I learned to make an anchovy pizza myself. I'm not Trina, I didn't make it from scratch. I bought a little square box of anchovy filets and a I bought a cheese pizza. I put the anchovies on the pizza, pop it in the oven and it's delicious -- even if I forget it and it gets a little dark and crispy, it's still delicious.
There's just something so wonderful about the taste, the smooth cheese and the salty anchovies.
Seven years or so ago, we had pizza at work. My boss ordered a variety. I took a pass and just had salad and then she came over and asked if I didn't eat pizza? I said that I do but I love anchovy and you just can't get it. She said there was an entire anchovy pizza on the table in one of the boxes. That's when I learned that Papa John's will make anchovy pizzas. Now we exclusively use Papa John's -- my girlfriend and I -- because they will make the pizza. Even so I always have at least one cheese pizza in the freezer and a little box of anchovies in case I get a really late night craving.
Here's C.I.'s "Iraq snapshot:"
Monday, January 15, 2021. Protests continue in Iraq, AOC tries to justify fake assery with more fake assery, COVID continues to mutate and much more.
Starting with the pandemic, Iran is putting a temporary halt to flights from Iraq. MENAFM notes, "According to a statement by the Iranian Civil Aviation Organization, starting Sunday, Mar. 14 all the flights coming Iraq to the country were halted for one week." LASTLY adds, "This decision was made on Sundat as a pre-emptive measure to protect the the Iranian citizens against the variant which was first detected in Britain late last year, Xinhua news agency quoted the Organization as saying in a statement." New variant? That's right, the virus is mutating. Which makes US President Joe Biden's remarks last week even more ridiculous. Niles Niemuth (WSWS) observed:
On May 1, 2003, then President George W. Bush delivered a televised speech on the USS Abraham Lincoln just two months into the bloody invasion of Iraq. Under a banner that read “Mission Accomplished,” Bush proclaimed that “major combat operations in Iraq have ended.” His proclamation was followed by an imperialist occupation that resulted in the deaths of one million Iraqis and nearly 4,500 American soldiers.
US President Joe Biden’s prime time speech Thursday evening, on the occasion of the one-year anniversary of the coronavirus pandemic, had a similar character. Striking the pose of kindly old grandfather, Biden presented the pandemic as if it were now under control with the Democratic Party at the helm. He reassured Americans that they are on track to defeat COVID-19, encouraging Americans to “mark our independence from this virus” by gathering with their friends, families and neighbors on July 4.
Biden made these remarks as scientists in the US and around the world are raising the alarm about the need to take action to halt a deadly new wave of the pandemic, as more infections and deadly variants spread and limited global vaccination efforts threaten a “hurricane” surge. However, governments all over the world, including the Biden administration, are removing whatever restrictions are still in place to stop the spread of the virus.
“Look,” Biden declared, “we know what we need to do to beat this virus: Tell the truth.” However, his entire remarks were based on a series of misleading, distorted and outright lying claims.
This morning at WSWS, Bryan Dyne notes:
As the different variants of the SARS-CoV-2 virus continue to spread, particularly those originating in the United Kingdom, Brazil, and South Africa, reported cases of the coronavirus have again begun to rise.
Since February 20, the number of daily new cases worldwide has increased steadily, from 361,000 cases then, to more than 422,000 cases now, up 17 percent. The increase is being driven in countries across the world. Currently there are more than 22,000 new cases each day in India (an 80 percent increase), just under 25,000 in France (a 24 percent increase), and 22,000 in Italy (an 83 percent increase). The main driver of the new wave is Brazil, where there are at least 66,000 new cases each day (a 36 percent increase) and climbing.
The total number of cases worldwide has now exceeded 120 million, with more than 2,660,000 dead.
Numerous other countries have also seen steady, and in some cases sharp, increases in their case counts, including Chile, the Czech Republic, Ethiopia, Germany, Iran, Paraguay, Poland and the Philippines. And in the United States, where the decline in cases has largely plateaued, there is still an average of more than 55,000 new reported cases each day.
There is every indication that this new wave, if allowed to continue, will be the worst yet. The previous wave was spurred on by relatively limited school and workplace reopenings, driving the number of new cases each day from just under 300,000 at the beginning of October to 745,000 at the beginning of January. Globally, more than 900,000 people died during that three-month period.
While we're speaking of Joe Biden and the region, let's drop back to that attack last month. Joe Biden ordered a bombing on Syria. What did Syria do? Well, follow the 'logic,' Joe felt that Iran was behind attacks on US interests in Iraq. So? So he bombed Syria. No one ever claimed Joe Biden's bread was fully baked. The Iranian government now has an official response. TASNIM NEWS AGENCY reports:
In a letter to the United Nations secretary general, Iran’s UN ambassador dismissed the accusations that Tehran has had a role in recent strikes against the US bases in Iraq.
In the letter to Antonio Guterres and the rotating president of the UN Security Council, Iran's ambassador Majid Takht Ravanchi categorically denied his American counterpart's efforts to accuse Iran of supporting the so-called "non-governmental militia groups" in Iraq.
"The Islamic Republic of Iran has not been directly or indirectly involved in any armed attack against any US individual or body in Iraq," he noted.
In his Sunday letter, Takht-Ravanchi also noted that Iran condemns the US' unlawful attack on 25 February against Iraqi forces along the Syrian border.
"Such dangerous measures, which are wrongly justified based on an arbitrary interpretation of the article 51 of the UN charter, are considered violation of the sovereignty of regional countries, and a symbol of blatant breach of the international law and the UN charter," he noted.
He warned that such attacks only exacerbate the already tense situation of the region, and in effect only serve the interests of terrorist groups in these countries.
The US airstrikes killed one member of the Iraqi resistance forces.
It was US President Joe Biden’s first illegal military action on the Iraqi-Syrian border to target the facilities of PMU fighters.
Observers compared Biden’s militaristic approach to that of his hawkish predecessor, Donald Trump. The attack killed one and wounded four others.
The attack on Syria was called out in Congress by . . . Senator Tim Kaine. Not a member of the squad there. AOC, where was she? Where is she ever, standing in front of her mirror or a camera trying to look pretty. She's a Bratz doll nothing else. Fiorella and Craig take on AOC in CONVO COUCH video below.
"There are only so many hours in a day," she insists. 24, AOC, twenty-four hours. Is counting that hard for you? "The more progressives we get, the more progress we get." Save it for the Bratz movie, Alexandria. She tries to force her work off on others -- others who aren't in Congress. And her fans will lap it up but anyone with a thinking brain gasps just what a fake ass she is. I would love it if she were genuine or had become genuine. But she never was. She lied from the start -- including about her background of privilege. She was a fake ass and we called her out at the beginning. She remains a fake ass. I don't know what's more irritating when listening to her speak -- her repeated lies or that a 31-year-old female tries to speak in a little girl voice? Grow the hell up and members of Congress need to spend less time putting on make up and more time getting off their lazy butts and getting to work.
They're not buying AOC's tired act on Twitter:
On the subject of fake assery, let's move over to Iraq's government. THE NEW ARAB notes:
Around this demand a protest movement crystallised, forcing then-prime minister Adel Abdul Mahdi to resign.
His successor, ex-intelligence chief, Mustafa al-Kadhimi, is seeking a truce, promising early elections scheduled for October 2021 in the hope of quenching protesters' demands.
Kadhimi's promise reads as an admission that the system under his rule is "bent, but not broken," vowing to rescue a structure caving under the weight of 15 years of inaction and poor governance.
It will be a tough sell. Tolerance towards the status quo and commonplace corruption has worn thin. The promise hinges on his ability to prorogue parliament, as the constitution demands, and cross-party consensus.
This is not without risk. Early elections would require parliamentarians to surrender their seats, but the glitter of power may blind their judgment on whether to stand with or against Kadhimi.
Kadhimi's predecessor, Mahdi, made similar promises, but failed to secure full-spectrum political support to prorogue parliament. At the time, bubbling public anger (against misrule) and Mahdi's abandonment by US and Iranian sponsors, reduced his options to nil. The head of the system was replaced, its body unchanged.
The head of the system was replaced, its body unchanged. Applies to Iraq. Applies to the US. It's universal.
Protests continued Saturday in Iraq. ALMADA reported that protesters in Najaf, on Friday, began calling for Governor Luay al-Yassiry to be dismissed. Protester Ali al-Dabhawi tells the newspaper that the approximately 3,000 protesters shut down six streets in their protests. The protests continued on Saturday and ALSUMARIA offerd a photo essay. BASRA TODAY Tweeted:
Protests also continued in Nasiriyah where the protesters today, ALSUMARIA reports. They are demanding a new governor from a list of proposed candidates.
Protests continued Sunday. Sura Ali (RUDAW) reports:
Violent clashes between protesters and security forces resumed on Sunday
in central Iraq’s city of Najaf for a second day in a row, activists
confirmed to Rudaw English, calling for the local government’s
Protesters have for two days gathered near the Najaf governor building, demanding the resignation of the local government for its failure to provide basic services and corruption. Others blocked several of the city’s main streets in the province, burning tires.
On both days clashes erupted between security forces and the demonstrators, leading to the injuring of dozens, as well as random arrests, activists say.
"The demonstrations will continue until the dismissal of Luay Al-Yasiri [the governor] and his deputies," Najaf activist Saif al-Mansouri told Rudaw English on Sunday, saying they have received no indication from the government that it appears to heed their calls.
Najaf was not the only scene of protests in Iraq today. NRT Tweets:
As journalist Rasha al-Ageedi notes, this violence in Najaf (security forces shooting at protesters) took place one week after Pope Francis' visit to the city. Protests continue today. BAS NEWS notes:
People took back to the streets on Monday in four provinces in southern Iraq to protest government’s failure in providing basic services.
According to local reports, scores of young men set tires on fire to block a main road in Nasiriyyah, the capital city of Dhi Qar province.
They also closed the mayor’s office in Jabab subdistrict of the province.
Elsewhere in Basra, Wasit, and Missan provinces, protesters including farmers and university graduates, staged demonstration to call for better public services and jobs.
Ryan Grim is supposedly back on the Tara Reade beat. He's not. He's a pathetic embarrassment. Tara Reade did not lie about her academic background. The proof, as we noted long ago, was no charges were brought against her. As we noted in real time, they wouldn't be. A Democratic Party member in California pretended she was guilty of something and said so allowing the press to run with it and pretend like she'd been discredited. As I noted in real time, the same trick was done in 2008 to silence a Barack Obama critic. (Republicans just keep you in prison without visitors -- ask Dan Quayle's alleged pot dealer.) Yeah, in 2008, a man who knew his way around a cock (yeah, piss me off and I'll out some non-talking points that have been kept hidden) went after a critic of Barack who was due to hold a press conference. The press immediately dropped any coverage and any plans to coverage. And no arrests ever came from that either. It's just what they float to tear apart someone's character and they know no one will ever hold them accountable.
Kat' "Kat's Korner: Judy's good -- but not great -- album" and "Kat's Korner: Hail The Conqueror Nick Jonas" went up Sunday.