Breaking News: Syria

The Middle East just took a step closer to a full blown war….instead of the hunt for a “safe zone”…..

NATO ally has invaded a sovereign nation, Syria, in pursuit of a people they say are terrorists….the Kurds….

In a meeting the scales are weighted…..Syria has ageed to defend the Kurds from Turkish aggression…..

This might be a last-minute, desperation deal—but now Syrian Kurds have some protection. They said Sunday the Syrian government has agreed to send army forces to the nation’s northern border to try to curb Turkey’s assault, the BBC reports. Russia brokered the deal over three days between the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces and President Bashar al-Assad’s government, a Kurdish intelligence official tells the Washington Post. What the Kurds gave up in response is unclear, but Mazloum Abdi, leader of the SDF, described it as a necessity.

“We know that we would have to make painful compromises with Moscow and Bashar al-Assad if we go down the road of working with them,” he writes in Foreign Policy. But if we have to choose between compromises and the genocide of our people, we will surely choose life for our people.” Abdi expressed appreciation of America’s “generous support,” but said “Turkey would never attack us so long as the US government was true to its word with us. We are now standing with our chests bare to face the Turkish knives.” Indeed, Turkey attacked as President Trump ordered most or all US troops in the area to pull out.

This situation is leading to an old stand-off…..NATO vs Russia……Syria has help…Russia and Iran…..NATO has Turkey……

This should test the strength of the NATO charter.

On the other front in this….American troops…..

US officials had already made a big deal of withdrawing from northern Syria, but President Trump on late Saturday has finally ordered a full withdrawal from the area, covering about 1,000 troops that were still in potential combat areas.

Among the troops withdrawing were the personnel in a US base at Ayn al-Issa. Turkish forces were approaching the area, and had cut off US supply lines by seizing the highway. Keeping the base at that point seemed no longer feasible.

That the Pentagon is reporting this new order covers 1,000 troops in northern Syria is interesting, as just days ago the US claimed to have only 15-100 troops left there, when they came under fire from Turkish artillery. Even before that, Trump claimed the US had only ever had 50 troops there in the first place, as to downplay the pullback.

It is not clear from the reports where these 1,000 troops are going, though so far there is no indication that the US is actually leaving Syria. Rather, it is likely they’ll just move deeper south, as to give Turkey more room to operate.

With Turkey moving its troops deeper into Syria, and Syria’s Army advancing into the area to resist them, the fight could get very complicated very quickly. The US clearly doesn’t want to get directly involved, though these slow, incomplete pullouts mean the US is also determined to keep a toehold in the country.

(antiwar.com)

The news will be daily around this situation…..I will be watching.

I Read, I Wrote, You Know

“Lego Ergo Scribo”

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What About The Saudi-Iranian Mash Up?

Whatever happen to the brewing war in the Persian Gulf?

A week begins and this situation is a distant memory.

Just last month we were on the brink of an all out war (we seem to always be on the brink these days) with Iran over the Persian Gulf incidents…..and attack on a Saudi refinery and one on ma Saudi ship….

Saudi Arabia said on Monday that two of its oil tankers were among those attacked off the coast of the United Arab Emirates and described it as an attempt to undermine the security of crude supplies amid tensions between the United States and Iran.

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-saudi-oil-tankers-fujairah/saudi-oil-tankers-among-those-attacked-off-uae-amid-iran-tensions-idUSKCN1SJ088

With the situation between the Saudis and the Iranians it is always a tit for tat……and so it was recently…an Iranian tanker has been attacked…..

Two missiles struck an Iranian tanker traveling through the Red Sea off the coast of Saudi Arabia Friday, Iranian officials said, the latest incident in the region amid months of heightened tensions between Tehran and the US. Saudi officials didn’t immediately respond to requests for comment, per the AP. The state-run IRNA news agency, quoting Iran’s National Iranian Tanker Co., identified the stricken vessel as the Sabiti. Iranian state TV said the explosion damaged two storerooms aboard the oil tanker and caused an oil leak into the Red Sea near Jiddah. The leak was later stopped, per IRNA. “This latest incident, if confirmed to be an act of aggression, is highly likely to be part of the wider narrative of deteriorating relations between [the Saudis] and the US and Iran,” private maritime security firm Dryad Maritime warned.

Foreign Ministry spokesman Abbas Mousavi described the incident as an “attack” carried out by those committing “dangerous adventurism.” In a statement, Mousavi said the Sabiti was struck twice in the span of a half-hour and that an investigation was underway. “The oil tanker … sustained damages to the body when it was hit by missiles,” IRNA said. The agency didn’t say whom Iranian officials suspect of launching the missiles. Images released by Iran’s Petroleum Ministry appeared to show no visible damage to the Sabiti visible from its bridge, though they didn’t show the ship’s sides. A spokesman for the US Navy’s 5th Fleet overseeing the Mideast said authorities there were “aware of reports of this incident,” but he declined to comment further.

Tit For Tat!

The president and his troubles with the legal stuff has overshadowed a news report that should have been a headline……Iran and Saudis hold talks….

the Saudis appear to be resigned to the fact that they just aren’t starting that war. Their fallback plan, it seems, is to now try to get some indirect negotiations going with Iran to reduce tensions, after spending years bringing those tensions to a boiling point.

Exactly how this process got going is unclear, put Iraqi and Pakistani officials say they were brought into the matter by the Saudi Crown Prince, and both are now intending to serve as mediators for the indirect talks.

Iran is on board for the effort, but Saudi officials, despite being reported to have started the whole thing, are now saying they’re considering the idea, but want to make sure everyone thinks Iraq and Pakistan are acting unilaterally, and they never approached anyone.

An official Saudi statement also insists that since the escalation was all the fault of Iran, they need to begin de-escalation, and that it’s not up to the Saudis to do that. This is in keeping with the Saudis’ stance of trying to provoke every action in the Middle East, but also keep up a narrative where they didn’t actually do anything, and just react to everything that happens.

And while the Saudis usually turn to the US to drive whatever policy they want, it is noteworthy that the US seems uninvolved in this peace process. It seems even the Saudis are well aware that the US isn’t a nation to try to use to make peace.

(antiwar.com)

This should have been a lead story since if these talks are successful then the war drums would be silenced and the the humanitarian crisis and war in Yemen could be negotiated to a halt.

This should have been the story of the week.

I Read, I Wrote, You Know

“Lego Ergo Scribo”

 

Middle East: The Holy Land

A little archeology for a Sunday……

This is about the history of the region not some diatribe on religion or some other fanciful topic.

The Middle East is choke full of history….history that needs to be learned not from some myth but rather from the archeology of the area.

First there is a story that Babylon invaded and now evidence has been found…..

Researchers digging at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte’s ongoing archaeological excavation on Mount Zion in Jerusalem have announced a second significant discovery from the 2019 season—clear evidence of the Babylonian conquest of the city from 587/586 BCE.

The discovery is of a deposit including layers of ash, arrowheads dating from the period, as well as Iron Age potsherds, lamps and a significant piece of period jewelry—a gold and silver tassel or earring. There are also signs of a significant Iron Age structure in the associated area, but the building, beneath layers from later periods, has yet to be excavated.

https://phys.org/news/2019-08-evidence-babylonian-conquest-jerusalem-mount.html

Personally, that is where the Ark ended up…its gold was put in the treasury of the Babylonians.

Then from the history written in the Book….the Edomites, a foe of the ancient Hebrews have been identified……https://www.theblaze.com/news/archaeologists-ancient-biblical-kingdom-of-edom

A mysterious kingdom mentioned in the Bible underwent a massive technological leap nearly 3,000 years ago, perhaps because of the imperial ambitions of an Egyptian pharaoh. 

The kingdom, known as Edom, was in what is now known as the Arabah Valley, which falls within the boundaries of both Jordan and Israel. The area is the site of extensive copper-mining and smelting dating back to at least 4000 B.C.. 

The kingdom is also mentioned in the Hebrew Bible: The book of Genesis refers to the  Edomites, who were thought to be descendants of Jacob’s brother Esau, as “the kings who reigned in Edom before any Israelite king reigned” (Genesis 36:31). Later, the Biblical narrative holds that King David of Israel defeated the Edomites, and supposedly killed every male in the Kingdom.

https://www.livescience.com/edomites-went-through-technological-leap.html

Probably the biggest deal to come out of the region we call the Holy Land was the discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls…..and now something new has been discovered about these scrolls…..

The Dead Sea scrolls have given up fresh secrets, with researchers saying they have identified a previously unknown technique used to prepare one of the most remarkable scrolls of the collection.

Scientists say the study poses a puzzle, as the salts used on the writing layer of the Temple scroll are not common to the Dead Sea region.

“This inorganic layer that is really clearly visible on the Temple scroll surprised us and induced us to look more in detail how this scroll was prepared, and it turns out to be quite unique,” said Assistant Professor Admir Masic, co-author of the research from Massachusetts Institute of Technology in the US.

“These salts are not typical for anything we knew about associated with this period and parchment making,” he added.

https://www.theguardian.com/science/2019/sep/06/dead-sea-scrolls-study-questions-origins

This is fascinating stuff for a lazy Autumn day….but if this is not your cup of tea then I am sure that an episode of Dr. Pimple Popper is on somewhere.

MoMo awaits.

Learn Stuff!

I Read, I Wrote, You Know

“Lego ergo scribo”

Sunday News You Cannot Use

Sunday, the world is still on fire geopolitically and I do not want to post about that…how about a few thoughts of unreported news?

Ever farted in public?

I have….and can be so satisfying unless you live in Scotland…..

Well, he got his answer. The Scotsman reports a 28-year-old was earlier this month sentenced to 75 hours of unpaid work after farting three times in the presence of police and asking, “How do you like that?” The incident began in the wake of a car crash in Aberdeen. Police responding to the scene found Stuart Cook speaking to another driver. Officers say they smelled pot on Cook; a search of his person and car turned up a small quantity of cannabis.

He reportedly yelled at officers as he was handcuffed and taken to Kittybrewster police station, where his situation didn’t improve: He was instructed to bend over as part of a strip search, and the court heard Cook intentionally farted three times in the direction of the officer, asking, “How do you like that?” His lawyer said he felt the officers’ treatment of him was an overreaction.

That brings me to another fart story….ever thought about winning the Lawsuit Lotto?  This man sued for seven figures over his boss’ farts.

Let’s talk food…..the new trend/fad here in the US is “meatless meat”…..the Plant based Whopper for instance….personally I want a burger with lots of meat and mayo….but how is the “new” burger taking hold?

Fake meat is having a huge moment right now. With massive financial gains, brands like Beyond Meat and Impossible Foods are creating an entirely new — and thriving — market.

But not everybody is on board with veggie burgers that aren’t entirely “veggie,” as Vox reports, with critics arguing that fake meat is unhealthy and goes against the idea of consuming “whole,” GMO-free foods.

CEOs of major corporations including Whole Foods and Chipotle have dismissed the plant-based meats as far too processed — a valid criticism considering how companies produce the meatless products flooding the markets right now.

https://futurism.com/angry-backlash-fake-meat

As long as we talking food here…..this is something my reader can actually use….

In closing I share my Fried Green Tomatoes recipe with my readers…..use to be I could only enjoy these in the Tomato season of Summer now with globalization I can enjoy anytime….

  • 2 med green tomatoes
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/4 water
  • 1 cup grated Romano cheese
  • 1 cup almond flour
  • 1/4 cup olive oil (any oil is acceptable…I use Grape seed on occasion)
  • Pepper

 

  • Slice green tomatoes to desired thickness (I like mine thinner).
  • In a small bowl, whisk together eggs and water. (sometimes I use an Italian seasoning in the egg mixture for a change of pace)
  • In a separate small bowl, combine Romano cheese, almond flour.
  • First dip one slice of tomato into the egg wash, then place it in the flour mixture coating it on both sides.
  • Repeat this step making sure the “flour” coating is covering all of the tomato.
  • Continue until all the sliced tomatoes are coated and set aside.
  • Heat olive oil  in a pan over medium-high heat.
  • When the grease is good in hot (but not too hot), place 4-5 of the tomato slices in the pan.
  • Cook them for roughly 3 minutes or until golden brown on the bottom side.
  • Flip them over and cook another 3 minutes or until golden brown.
  • Remove from pan and season with salt and pepper. Set aside.
  • Repeat this with the next batch of tomatoes until all the sliced tomatoes are cooked.
  • Serve immediately.  I like a sauce of ketchup, mayo and horseradish. and a little garlic.

Please enjoy the recipe….

“Lego Ergo Scribo”

Enjoy the rest of your weekend and thanks to all those regulars that spent time with me and IST….your visits are much appreciated.

Be well, Be safe

A Random Thought Saturday

I have returned to the normal FYI stuff for the weekend…..I apologize for the momentary lapse but it was news that needed reporting.

I attempt to find some interesting stuff to write about on weekends for my readers have had enough politics and news for at least a couple of days.

SEX!

I read an article that stated that we were in a “sex recession”……

Sex is like sleep or protein: people freak out if they’re getting too much, and they freak out if they’re getting too little. So it comes as little surprise that when a news story emerges that hints at the latter possibility, it’s guaranteed to go viral. Such was the case earlier today with a report from CBS News focusing on Japan’s “sex recession,” or the idea that Japanese millennials aren’t having sex, which comes with the ominous warning that America may — gasp! — be next.

The CBS News story appears to be pegged to Japan’s National Fertility Survey, which found that one in every 10 men in their 30s have never had sex before — a fairly high number compared to that of other industrialized nations. Experts quoted in the story blame the rising virginity rates on a fairly wide range of factors, from rising national financial instability to the advent of apps offering digital companionship. Whatever the cause, such statistics, in combination with Japan’s extremely low fertility rate, has prompted panic among public health researchers and demographic experts in the country, who predict that Japan’s population will be halved if the trend continues over the next 100 years. The story ends on the ominous note that “this problem isn’t unique to” Japan, and that the United States “could be next.” But is that actually true, and is the so-called Japanese “sex recession” going global?

Are We In the Throes of a Global ‘Sex Recession’? Eh

It sucks to be in Japan these days….and then the article said the America could be next……not if the other news is accurate……

A big number out of the CDC on Tuesday, and it’s not a good one: The health protection agency says there were 2.4 million infections diagnosed and reported from three sexually transmitted diseases in 2018, the “most cases” ever documented in a one-year span, per a CDC epidemiologist. This stat comes by way of the CDC’s newest “STD Surveillance Report,” which has found combined cases of gonorrhea, syphilis, and chlamydia rising in the US for the past five years, CNN reports. Chlamydia claims the lion’s share of these cases, with 1.8 million cases last year—a 19% increase since 2014. Meanwhile, there were more than 580,000 cases of gonorrhea, and about 38,000 cases of primary, secondary, and congenital syphilis. Untreated, these STDs could lead to everything from infertility and drug-resistant conditions to congenital syphilis, which could in turn lead to infant death.

The cases seem to most often involve teens and young adults, and three states in particular rank high: Alaska for chlamydia, Nevada for primary and secondary syphilis, and Mississippi for gonorrhea. The District of Columbia, however, had the highest rates for all three. Perhaps as unnerving as the numbers is that progress on these has “unraveled,” per Dr. Gail Bolan, head of the CDC’s STD Prevention Division. “Not that long ago, gonorrhea rates were at historic lows, syphilis was close to elimination, and we were able to point to advances in STD prevention,” Bolan writes in the report’s foreword. Factors that may be contributing to the steep numbers: a decrease in condom use, cutbacks in funding that led to fewer prevention programs, and increased screening accessibility, which generates more known cases. “Americans have stopped taking STDs seriously,” notes the Atlantic.

I have a thought on the two different takes on sex…..Japan is leading the world in “sex dolls”…..and the US could curb these disturbing numbers…..I will let Jefferson Airplane…..finish out the post…..

Once again we are getting much needed rain…..but that does not preclude a walk for MoMo…..

I Read, I Wrote, You Know

“Lego Ergo Scribo”

Peace Out!

More Breaking News Saturday–Syria

Breaking News just keeps coming…….

We all know and have an opinion about Trump’s decision to stand down American troops in Syria….he has stated that there are NO American troops in Syria now….

To listen to President Donald Trump and his defenders, he’s ended a foolish and previously indefinite war in Syria. “We have no soldiers in the area, you know.  We’re getting out of the endless wars. We have to do it,” Trump said Wednesday in the Oval Office. “We are out of there. We’ve been out of there for a while. No soldiers whatsoever.” He added on Thursday, “We have no soldiers in Syria.” 

(Daily Beast)

Which to my ears is excellent news…..but the problem is the jest of the Breaking News…..but if there are NO US troops in Syria how can this happen?

Pentagon officials are reporting that US Special Forces troops came under fire in northern Syria, near the Kurdish city of Kobane. Turkish forces were accused of firing artillery forces at the US troops, though Turkey’s Defense Ministry denied that this was the case.

Pentagon officials say that there were no injuries, but at one point the Turkish fire was so heavy that they “considered firing back.” They did not fire back, and rather withdrew once the firing had stop.

This incident took place within the “safe zone” that Turkey has intended to take over, despite US officials reporting as recently as the day before that there were no US troops left in that area. Pentagon officials say 15-100 US troops are still in the area, and that Turkey has been informed “down to the grid” where those US forces are.

(antiwar.com)

Trump in his wise and unmatched wisdom has drawn a line in the sand  in Syria…….

The great virtue of Twitter is that it forces users to be concise. One downside is that when an extremely powerful crazy person—the president of the United States, say—uses it, he can sound a bit like the Abrahamic God in one of his more wrathful moments. “If Turkey does anything that I, in my great and unmatched wisdom, consider to be off limits, I will totally destroy and obliterate the Economy of Turkey (I’ve done before!),”

(theatlantic.com)

US Troops attacked!

What will the president do?  There has been a red line drawn….now either make good or slink away with his tail between his legs…..like an obedient cur.

We will see how his wise and unmatched judgment handles this attack on Americans.

I promise we will get back to the FYI stuff of normal.

I Read, I Wrote, You Know

“Lego Ergo Scribo”

Breaking FOX News

I usual write about stuff that is not politics of geopolitics unless that is there is important breaking news….and yes Irene we have Breaking News….

A great journalist is leaving FOX News, Shep Smith…….

One of the few Fox News anchors to criticize President Trump is leaving the network. Shepard Smith, who has worked for Fox News since it launched in 1996, made the announcement during his show Friday afternoon, USA Today reports. Smith said the decision was his. “It’s been an honor and a privilege to report the news each day to our loyal audience in context and with perspective, without fear or favor,” he told viewers. Jay Wallace, president of Fox News, praised Smith as “one of the premier newscasters of his generation” and said the network respects his decision to leave. The Friday show was the final one for Smith, who gave no reason for resigning, per the AP. The network said anchors will alternate filling the time slot for now.

Fox viewers weren’t always happy with Smith’s comments about Trump, per the Washington Post. He’s called things the president has said “absolutely crazy” and defended CNN when Trump called it “fake news.” Trump has attacked Smith and his ratings, as well. The host also has taken on colleagues: After Tucker Carlson said white supremacy isn’t a real problem in this country, Smith told viewers it’s “without question a very serious problem.” The two hosts clashed again last month when Smith defended the network’s chief legal analyst after he was criticized by a guest, per the Hill. Smith called the attack “repugnant.” Carlson played the video of the exchange later, saying “Not clear if that was you or me but someone was repugnant.” In his account, Carlson said Smith “ironically” referred to the guest as “partisan.”

I liked him because he called crap when he smelled it.

Maybe I will start a conspiracy…..

Trump thinks FOX is his personal news channel and at times it looks like it and Smith was not always flattering to Trump so the AG Barr meets with Rupert and the next day Smith resigns.

Did Trump’s AG make some sort of deal with FOX?

Like I said I want to start a conspiracy…..

Legere, Scripsi, Scis (I Read, I Wrote, You Know)

Lego Ergo Scribo”

I return my reader to my normal non-political Saturday….