Saturday, April 28, 2007

Walnuts and Cranberry Rice in the Kitchen

Today's recipe is a rice recipe because Joanie e-mailed to say she's bored with rice and beans, bored with Spanish rice, bored with just about every rice mix she can find. Here's a recipe you can try that may add some variety.

Walnuts and Cranberry Rice
1/2 cup (2.25 ounces) of walnut pieces
2.15 ounces of dried cranberries
2 cups of rice (long grain, regular white, or wild)
4 cups of water
butter or margarine

Use the rice of choice. In a pan add 1 tablespoon of butter or margarine. Turn the burner to low and add the rice. For two minutes, you're going to stir the rice in the pan, so that the butter coats the rice (most if not all). Then you will add the four cups of water, bring it to a boil, cover the pan and redcuse the heat so that the rice cooks for 15 minutes.

A concern that Leslie had the last time I offered a rice recipe was burning the rice. If you do have a problem with burning the rice, just try cooking it for 10-12 minutes. Everyone -- 10 to 12 minutes group and 15 minutes group -- will move to the pan to a cold burner. The 10 to 12 group can keep the pan covered for 15 minutes (the rice will continue to cook without burning). The 15 minute group will remove the cover for softer rice or leave it on for drier rice.

When the rice is done, move it to a large bowl. Add the walnuts and cranberries. You should have a rice dish that's easy to make and that has a different texture and taste simply due to adding the nuts and fruit.

Kat asked me if I could note something and I'm happy to do so for Kat and for CODEPINK:

Impeachment Day is tomorrow, Saturday April 28th- so join fellow New Yorkers at the Great Hill to spell out IMPEACH with our bodies! Their will be an aerial photo taken as well! Don't forget to wear your 'pink slip'. The weather report says that there will be sun, late afternoon showers (we will be done by then) and a high of 68 degrees. CODEPINK will be turning the "C" in IMPEACH pink. So JOIN US... RAIN OR SHINE!
When: Saturday, April 28th 11am.
Where: The Great Hill in Central Park (North End Quadrant of Central Park), 103rd Street or 110th Street stops of B/C (or with extra walk, 103rd or 110th Street stops of #1)
Enter park at West 106 Street (wheel chair accessible at West 110th)
CODEPINK Meet Up will be at the Great Hill, just look for the big pink sign!
What to bring: Wear your pink, a blanket, some sunscreen/sunglasses/hat, water and a snack.
For more information contact or call 202 422 8624. And visit our
Impeach page!
From "C" to shining "C",


That's today, one hour before noon. It may not be in your area and it may be too late for you if it is but there will be more impeachment activities and just be aware of that and use the link to check out CODEPINK's impeachment page. Earlier this week, Dennis Kucinich introduced impeachment articles against Dick Cheney. A smart move because the big argument (knee jerk) against impeaching the Bully Boy is always, "Then we'd get Cheney running the country!" But you didn't see Hillary or John, Joe or anyone rush to say, "I support that."

What do they support and what do they stand for? Other than themselves, is there anything?
At this week's debate, John Edwards pointed out that Hillary Clinton couldn't come out against the illegal war and she launched into another of her "If I'd known then what I know now" speeches. I keep waiting to hear that someone's gone on YouTube with a video where they impose her face on the woman in Beatle Juice who makes that same statement. ("If I'd known then what I know now, I never would have had my little 'accident'." I believe that's the line. My children loved that movie. They wore out several video cassettes of it and by the time the youngest were watching movies, we'd switched to the DVD format.)

Is this how the 2008 campaign's going to go, Hillary Clinton's going to keep tossing out the same soundbyte? Are people going to vote for that nonsense? Don't we currently have someone in the White House who refuses to admit mistakes? Don't we all see where that leads?

This is "Kucinich Challenges Obama Assertion during S.C. Debate that Iran is Developing Nuclear Weapon Technology" and it's from Dennis Kucinich's website:

Washington, DC - - Presidential candidate and US Congressman Dennis Kucinich Friday challenged Senator Barack Obama's assertion, made in an exchange with Kucinich in Thursday's Democratic Presidential Debate in Orangeburg, South Carolina, that Iran is in the process of developing nuclear weapons.
"In last night's debate, Senator Obama revealed that he has fallen into the same trap which wrongly took us into war against Iraq. In one breath he conjured Iran as a threat: ('But, have no doubt, Iran possessing nuclear weapons will be a major threat to us and to the region.')
"And in the next breath he asserted that according to experts, Iran is developing nuclear weapons. : ' . . . but they're in the process of developing it. And I don't think that's disputed by any expert.' "Where is Senator Obama's proof for such a provocative statement?" Kucinich asked.
Kucinich said that in the exchange with Senator Obama he tried to interject the fact that Mohammed El Baradei of the International Atomic Energy Agency, recently asserted " . the difference between acquiring knowledge and having a bomb is at least five to ten years away. And that's why I said the intelligence, the British, intelligence, the American intelligence, is saying that Iran is still years, five to ten years away from developing a weapon. "
Senator Obama's assertion is eerily reminiscent of the statements of President George Bush, Vice President Cheney and other top ranking members of the Bush Administration, who, back in 2002 and 2003 falsely claimed Iraq was a threat to the United States and our allies, that Iraq was developing weapons of mass destruction, including nuclear weapons capability.
Kucinich at the time wrote and circulated an analysis of all false claims made by the Bush Administration. "Clearly all other Senators running for President failed to read the easily accessible intelligence reports, hence their alleged 'mistaken' vote to invade Iraq," said Kucinich, the only Democratic Presidential candidate to vote against both the authorization for war and any funding of the war.
"While Iran has taken steps to develop nuclear power, which is the right of all signatories to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, there is absolutely no evidence whatsoever they are developing nuclear weapons," explained Kucinich.
"Senator Obama's doctrine with respect to Iran is 'All options are on the table,' which is unmistakably a euphemism for the consideration of a preemptive attack against Iran, including the use of nuclear weapons, which the Administration has shipped to the region. Senator Obama's rhetoric parrots speeches given by both President Bush and Vice President Cheney, as well as Democratic Presidential candidates Hillary Clinton and John Edwards regarding Iran."
"When you consider that last month the Congress took out of the Iraq Supplemental appropriation a provision that would have required congressional approval of a military attack on Iran, Senator Obama's faulty analysis and his mischaracterizations license an attack. This is the same kind of disastrous, faulty thinking that led us into war against Iraq and raises serious questions about Senator Obama's judgement on matters of national security."
Kucinich has long advocated reestablishing diplomatic ties with Iran as a means of deescalating tensions, opening up full diplomatic relations, resuming meaningful inspections of Iran's nuclear power program, and enlisting Iran's support in helping to end the war in Iraq.

I don't believe I have received so many e-mails in one week. Along with cooking, there were two other topics that were very popular: Kucinich and last week's post.

On Kucinich, his website was down last night. I don't run his website, so I'll assume the e-mails were to share frustration. The main points are that (a) BuzzFlash linked to something at his website but no one could read it because the site was down and (b) he was a guest Friday night on Bill Maher's show but anyone going to his website after the show wouldn't be able to find out where he stands on the issue because the website was down.

In the pre-internet days, we actually had to make a trip to a campaign headquarters to get materials. That is not my attempt to slam anyone who e-mailed. A site is going to have to go offline for upkeep from time to time. With regards to BuzzFlash's linking, that sort of thing probably can't be anticipated and the schedule was already set to take the site down. However, when you know the candidate is going to be on national television, even if you find out after you've scheduled the downtime for the site, you rework the schedule and keep the site up.

In the old days, a campaign office that needed to reduce hours could keep track of the visits and figure out which hours would be the easiest to drop based on foot traffic. That was back when they kept daytime hours. These days, people do expect websites to be available when ever they're ready to visit.

I would assume that the visits to his site are tracked and they could figure out the heaviest times of usage and plan not to go down during that period. But any planned outage should be put on hold if Dennis Kucinich will be appearing around that time on TV or radio because those appearances due drive traffic to the website and if someone is interested in you for the first time, and visits your website only to find it is down, they may not visit again. You really have to grab the newly interested as soon as they're interested.

On the other popular topic, thank you to Texas community members for the very nice e-mails this week. A lot of you that I was fortunate enough to meet were surprised that I remembered some of the radio call letters. That was because I heard those stories quite often. It wasn't just one group, a number of you were upset about the state of radio, what passes for local coverage, and media consolidation. I enjoyed hearing those issues and others and I was happy to note them here so "thank you" back to everyone. (I believed I've replied to everyone who wrote in an e-mail. If that's not the case, let me know because that was my intent.)

Betty's latest chapter is entitled "Tom-Tom goes to the public library" so be sure to read that.
Here's C.I.'s "Iraq snapshot" from Friday:

Friday, April 27, 2007. Chaos and violence continue, another prisoner in Iraq dies in US custody, the death of 3 US service members are announced, Riverbend and her family decide it's time to leave Iraq, students continue their activism in the US, and more.

Starting with war resisters,
Richard Brown (KXLY) profiles war resister Ryan Johnson who self-checked out in 2005 and went to Canada with his wife Jenny to seek asylum. Johnson states, "I decided that I didn't want to participate in what I preceived to be an illegal war. I have no problem serving my country. I love the United States. That's where I grew up, that's my home, that's where my family is." Death of the party Lizzie Knudson shows up to puff out her chest and strut like any macho b.s. artist while expressing her hate and rage by declaring that she hopes he's thrown in prison for life and that she knows people who have died in Iraq. Pass that rage on over to the Bully Boy, Lizzie, Ryan Johnson didn't send anyone into an illegal war to die. Had Brown spent less time offering Lizzie's rants, he might have been able to provide some actual information (and it would have pleased War Hawk Liz). He could have, for instance, noted that the Johnsons share a home in Canada with
Kyle Snyder and Maleah Friesen. The latter are now married. Of course their planned February wedding got put on hold when Canadian police -- taking orders from the US military -- showed up at the home to drag Snyder away in handcuffs (and in his boxers -- wouldn't even let him get dressed) with the intent to start immediate deportation on Snyder. That's a story that would have tickled War Hawk Lizzie even if it has Canadians outraged (whether they support war resisters or not) because (a) war resistance is not a deportable offense and (b) the Canadian police is not supposed to take orders from a foreign government. The US media continues its silence on that event and also avoids noting that US military crossed over into Canada on a search for war resister Joshua Key. Brown does note, "In the last seven years, nearly 22,500 member of the United States military have gone AWOL or deserted and every year the numbers rise."

And as the numbers rise, more and more go public and speak out. As
Courage to Resist reports war resisters Camilo Mejia, Pablo Paredes, Agustin Aguayo and Robert Zabala will be speking out from May 9th through 17th in the San Francisco Bay Area. This will be Aguayo's first publicly speaking appearances since being released from the brig earlier this month (April 18th). The announced dates include:

Wednesday May 9 - Marin 7pm at College of Marin, Student Services Center, 835 College Ave, Kentfield. Featuring Agustin Aguayo, Pablo Paredes and David Solnit. Sponsored by Courage to Resist and Students for Social Responsibility.

Thursday May 10 - Sacramento Details TBA
Friday May 11 - Stockton 6pm at the Mexican Community Center, 609 S Lincoln St, Stockton. Featuring Agustin Aguayo.
Saturday May 12 - Monterey 7pm at the Unitarian Universalist Church, 490 Aguajito Rd, Carmel. Featuring Agustin Aguayo and Camilo Mejia. Sponsored by Veterans for Peace Chp. 69, Hartnell Students for Peace, Salinas Action League, Women's International League for Peace and Freedom and Courage to Resist. More info: Kurt Brux 831-424-6447
Sunday May 13 - San Francisco 7pm at the Veterans War Memorial Bldg. (Room 223) , 401 Van Ness St, San Francisco. Featuring Agustin Aguayo, Camilo Mejia and Pablo Paredes. Sponsored by Courage to Resist, Veteran's for Peace Chp. 69 and SF Codepink.
Monday May 14 - Watsonville 7pm at the United Presbyterian Church, 112 E. Beach, Watsonville. Featuring Agustin Aguayo, Camilo Mejia, Pablo Paredes and Robert Zabala. Sponsored by the GI Rights Hotline & Draft Alternatives program of the Resource Center for Nonviolence (RCNV), Santa Cruz Peace Coalition, Watsonville Women's International League for Peace & Freedom (WILPF), Watsonville Brown Berets, Courage to Resist and Santa Cruz Veterans for Peace Chp. 11. More info: Bob Fitch 831-722-3311
Tuesday May 15 - Palo Alto 7 PM at the First Presbyterian Church (Fellowship Hall), 1140 Cowper, Palo Alto. Featuring Camilo Mejia. Sponsored by Pennisula Peace and Justice Center. More info: Paul George 650-326-8837
Wednesday May 16 - Eureka 7pm at the Eureka Labor Temple, 840 E St. (@9th), Eureka. Featuring Camilo Mejia. More info: Becky Luening 707-826-9197Thursday May 17 - Oakland 4pm youth event and 7pm program at the Humanist Hall, 411 28th St, Oakland. Featuring Camilo Mejia, Pablo Paredes and the Alternatives to War through Education (A.W.E.) Youth Action Team. Sponsored by Veteran's for Peace Chp. 69, Courage to Resist, Central Committee for Conscientious Objector's (CCCO) and AWE Youth Action Team.

The are all part of a growing movement of war resistance within the military: Camilo Mejia,
Ehren Watada, Terri Johnson, Dean Walcott, Camilo Mejia, Linjamin Mull, Joshua Key, Augstin Aguayo, Justin Colby, Marc Train, Camilo Mejia, Robert Zabala, Darrell Anderson, Kyle Snyder , Corey Glass, Jeremy Hinzman, Joshua Key, Mark Wilkerson, Camilo Mejia, Patrick Hart, Ricky Clousing, Ivan Brobeck, Aidan Delgado, Pablo Paredes, Carl Webb, Jeremy Hinzman, Stephen Funk, David Sanders, Dan Felushko, Brandon Hughey, Clifford Cornell, Joshua Despain, Joshua Casteel, Katherine Jashinski, Chris Teske, Matt Lowell, Jimmy Massey, Tim Richard, Hart Viges, Michael Blake and Kevin Benderman. In total, thirty-eight US war resisters in Canada have applied for asylum.

Information on war resistance within the military can be found at
Center on Conscience & War, The Objector, The G.I. Rights Hotline, and the War Resisters Support Campaign. Courage to Resist offers information on all public war resisters. In addition, the documentary Sir! No Sir! traces the war resistance within the military during Vietnam and it will air at 9:00 pm (EST) on The Sundance Channel followed at 10:30 p.m. by The Ground Truth which examines the Iraq war and features Jimmy Massey and Iraq Veterans Against the War's Kelly Dougherty among others.

From the topic of courage, we turn to craven -- taking us to the halls of Congress. As
Amy Goodman (Democracy Now!) noted today, "The Senate has voted provide nearly one hundred billion dollars for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan while setting a non-binding timetable for withdrawal of U.S. troops from Iraq.". Non-bidning timetable remains one of the most left out aspects of the measure. Also usually left out is that Bully Boy can reclassify those serving in Iraq (as "military police," for example) and avoid the pleas for withdrawals. (Pleas because "calls" is too strong for what is now headed to the White House for a signature.) Marilyn Bechtel (People's Weekly World) reminds that "the Congressional Research Service said that nearly half the $94 billion earmarked in the supplemental for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan would really be used for non-urgent items like sending an aircraft carrier to the Persian Gulf, and funding a U.S.-established Arabic-language TV station. The CRS report also pointed out that the Pentagon has funds available to continue the war until June or July." The sense of urgency being pushed by both major parties is as much smoke and mirrors as what left Congress. Bill Van Auken (World Socialist Web) tackles the realities, noting, "While media reports on the Congressional legislation routinely refers to it as a plan for the withdrawal of US troops from occupied Iraq and ending the war, the language of the bill makes clear that what is involved is a tactical 'redeployment' that would leave tens of thousands of US soldiers and marines in Iraq for years to come. . . . The bill includes a provision for keeping US armed forces in Iraq for three purposes: 'protecting United States and coalition personnel and infrastructure; training and equipping Iraqi forces and conducting targeted counter-terrorism operation.' This language would essentially allow the occupation and war to continue indefinitely, with US troops deployed to protect a massive new embassy being constructed in Baghdad to house a virtual colonial government and to guard 'American citizens' sent by the oil companies to reap massive profits off of Iraq's oil fields."

Yes, the topic of oil. In the supposed illegal war that had nothing to do with oil. The New York Times editorial board pimped the privatization of oil this week as did
War Pornographer Michael Gordon today where he noted, "American officials" were "pressing" the passage of the law and that it's apparently so important that even General David H. Petraeus has to stick his nose in (apparently commanding the US military in Iraq allows him much free time) to share that "he considered passage of the oil law, which would distribute revenues from oil production among Iraq's regions, a priority among the so-called benchmark items that the Americans would like to see become law." It does redistribute the monies -- redistributes them right out of Iraq and into the pockets of Big Oil which, under the proposed legislation, would receive over 70% of the profits in some cases.

In Iraq,
Riverbend (Baghdad Burning) reports that her family has decided to leave Iraq which, despite the Operation Happy Talk operatives, never achieved 'liberation' or 'democracy' (but then those were never the Bully Boy's intended aims. Noting the issue of the very unpopular wall in Baghdad, Riverbend writes: "It's a wall that is intended to separate and isolate what is now considered the largest 'Sunni' area in Baghdad - let no one say the Americans are not building anything. According to plans the Iraqi puppets and Americans cooked up, it will 'protects' A'adhamiya, a residential/mercantile area that the current Iraqi government and their death squads couldn't empty of Sunnis. . . . The Wall is the latest effort to further break Iraqi society apart. Promoting and supporting civil war isn't enough, apparently - Iraqis have generally proven to be more tenacisiou and tolerant than their mullahs, ayatollahs, and Vichy leaders. It's time for America to physically divide and conquer - like Berlin before the wall came down or Palestine today. This way, they can continue chasing Sunnis out of 'Shia areas' and Shia out of 'Sunni areas'."


Hussein Kadhim (McClatchy Newspapers) reports a Baghdad mortar attack that wounded 2, a Baghdad roadside bomb that killed 1 and left 1 wounded, a Kirkuk bombing that killed 4 police officers and left 5 more wounded, a Kirkuk roadside bomb that killed 1 person and left 3 wounded,


Reuters reports three people were shot dead in Mussayab and a "human rights activist was shot dead by gunmen near his home, 70 km (45 miles) southwest of Kirkuk".


Hussein Kadhim (McClatchy Newspapers) reports 7 corpses discovered in Baghdad. and 3 corpses discovered in Kirkuk.

In addition,
Reuters reports that a prisoner at the US military operated prison Camp Bucca died "after he was apparently assaulted by other prisoners." As Damien Cave (New York Times) noted this morning of the US military controlled Camp Cropper, "Several detainees there have died mysteriously in the past year, with the most recent death occurring April 4. The causes of death for these detainees are rarely divulged." The US military reports the figure of prisoners who have died in US custody in Iraq to be six "in the past year."

In other time lag news,
AP reports that the British helicopter crash in May of 2006 that resulted in the death of five British soldiers resulted from being "shot down by a surface-to-air missile, using a man-portable air defense system, fired from the ground." The US helicopters that crashed this year? Still under investigation.

Also today, the
US military announced: "Three Marines assigned to Multi National Force West died April 26 while conducting combat operations in Al Anbar Province." Al Anbar Province is the region that, as Anna Badkhen (San Francisco Chronicle) noted, Michael Gordon's man crush, General David Petraeus hailed as an area of progress, a "breathtaking" area of progress. Julian E. Barnes (Los Angeles Times), reporting on Petraeus' testimony to Congress Thursday, notes Petraues' claim to be "forthright" in September when it's time to evaluate the ongong escalation. The claim was all the more laughable considering that this was the week Congress took testimony on the lies the military spread about Pat Tilman's death in Afghanistan and Jessica Lynch testified to the lies told about her service in Iraq by the US military. The escalation is generally stated as having begun in February (the latest wave of the eternal crackdown), The idea that a judgement on it cannot be rendered until September goes unquestioned although few in the US are aware of jobs that come with an eight month probationary period.
On Wednesday, the
US military announced: "A Soldier assigned to Multi-National Corps, Iraq, died April 24, 2007 in a non-combat related incident." Today, (AP) reports that the soldier was Jeremy Maresh (24-years-old) and quotes Lt. Col. Chris Cleaver stating he "died from an apparent suicide." To be clear, there have been other deaths that were ruled suicides by the US military and families have strongly disagreed with the ruling.

US troops will leave Iraq. No matter how long Congress sits on its collective and ass and does nothing, US troops will leave. What happens then?
Phyllis Bennis and Robert Jensen (CounterPunch) address this issue: "The first step is, of course, crucial. When 78 percent of the Iraqi people oppose the presence of U.S. troops and 61 percent support attacks on those troops, it's clear that our presence in the country is causing -- not preventing -- much of the violence. Pulling out U.S. troops (including the 100,000-plus mercenaries who back the U.S. military) won't eliminate all Iraqi-on-Iraqi violence, but it will remove the reasons many Iraqis are fighting. The would take away the protective umbrella that the widely supported anti-occupation violence currently gives the real terrorists -- those engaged in killing civilians for
political or sectarian reasons. Once U.S. forces are gone and the reason for the legitmate resistance to foreign occupation is eliminated, the ugly terrorist violence will be exposed for what it is and it will be possible for Iraqis themselves to isolate the terrorists and eliminate them as a fighting force. But what comes after a U.S. withdrawal? We clearly owe the Iraqi people massive reparations for the devastation our illegal invasion has brought. Only in the United States is that illegality questioned; in the rest of the world it's understood. Equally obvious around the world is that the decision to launch an aggressive war was rooted in the desire to expand U.S. military power in the strategically crucial-oil-rich region, and that as a result the war fails every test of moral legitimacy."

In news of student activism in the US,
Justin Horwath (Minnesota Daily) reports on Monday's meeting at the University of Minnesota's Coffman Union where students who had formed a new chapter of SDS (Students for a Democratic Society) met with members gathered to organize and heard Dave Biking speak of what SDS had accomplished during the 60s (when Bicking was a member). Howarth notes that today's SDS "has 148 university chapters and 58 high school chapters nationwide." Kyle Johnson tells Howarth, "SDS gives us the legitimacy to work on other issues, but the war is the No. 1 issue nationally, period." Erika Zurawski states that the new chapter is about "the issues of the day" and that "[t]here's a lot of issues to work on."

Arnie Passman (Berkeley Daily Planet) traces the history and popularization of the peace symbol noting, "In its Golden Jubilee year (right behind last 9/11's 100th anniversary of Gandhi creating the pledge of satyagraha--soul force), the peace symbol has weathered numerous wars -- and the best marketing opportunities money can buy. Facing today's horrors of Asian wars, increased nuclear disfunction, global warming, racial injustice, the irreversible military-industrial complex?. . ., it still calls from great city protests and hamlets to all Earth's colors and creeds for nonviolent resistance (peace marches between the 7 or 8 Gandhi statues--from Boston to San Francisco?) and civil disobedience (sit-ins at the largest defense contracting congressional districts?). And all from the mind of one person that deep '50s, dead winter day in grimy ol' London Town--and the pioneering march through the English countryside to mad western science's Aldermaston." Gerlad Holtom was the designer of the peace symbol.

Finally, Wednesday, May 2nd at 6:30 pm in The Great Hall, Cooper Union (NYC),
Howard Zinn and Anthony Arnove will be presenting readings from their Voices of a People's History of the United States featuring music performed by Allison Moorer and Steve Earle and readings and vocal performances by Ally Sheedy, Brian Jones, Danny Glover, Deepa Fernandes, Erin Cherry, Harris Yulin, Kathleen Chalfant, Kerry Washington, Opal Alladin, Staceyann Chin and Stanley Tucci. Zinn and Arnove will provide both the introduction and the narration.

joshua key