Wednesday, October 03, 2018

Green Bean Casserole in the Kitchen

Let’s talk preventative care for a moment.  Walking:

A new study says adults who walk at least 150 minutes per week were 24 percent less likely to die of heart disease. They were also more likely to ward off certain cancers, build muscle and bone strength and reduce depression and anxiety.
You can walk outdoors and get fresh air and vary your routine.  Or you can walk in the house.  You can march right in front of the TV, in fact.  Is there a thirty minute show you watch.  You can walk and do some stretches after while you watch the program.    So you come home and stream Seinfeld or The Bold And The Beautiful or whatever, just march in front of the TV while you watch.  You can turn to the left or the right or the back during commercials, you can vary your foot steps.    22 minutes of walking a day and you’d be surprised how much it would help you and your health.  So that’s my preventative plug.
Now every year we go through the same problem here.  Someone waits until the last minute to e-mail about Thanksgiving – some question.  So let’s try to note some Thanksgiving ahead of time.    Green Bean Casserole is a popular item for many.  Here’s a diabetic friendly recipe:

·         1 pound fresh green beans, cleaned, trimmed and halved
·         ½ cup blanched almond flour (I use this brand)
·         1 teaspoon sea salt
·         ½ teaspoon black pepper
·         1 small onion, thinly sliced
·         2 large shallots, thinly sliced
·         8 ounces cremini mushrooms, rough chopped
·         2 tablespoons butter
·         3 cloves garlic, minced
·         ½ cup chicken stock
·         ½ cup heavy cream
·         ¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese
·         avocado oil (or frying oil of your choice)
1.       In a large pot of salted water, bring the green beans to a boil. Boil for 5 minutes. Drain in colander and submerge the beans in an ice water bath to shock them and stop the cooking process. Drain and set aside.
2.       In a large mixing bowl, combine almond flour, sea salt, and black pepper. Add onions and shallots and toss until they are well coated.
3.       In a large skillet over medium-high heat, heat ½ inch of avocado oil. Once the oil is hot, add breaded onions and shallots in small batches and fry until crispy and golden brown.
4.       Remove them from the oil and spread out on a paper towel to remove excess grease.
5.       Drain skillet and reduce heat to medium. Add the mushrooms, butter and garlic to the pan.
6.       Sauté the mushrooms and garlic for 5 minutes.
7.       Preheat oven to 400°
8.       To the skillet, add heavy cream, and chicken stock. Bring to a boil over medium heat and then reduce heat to low and let simmer to thicken. Once sauce has started to thicken, stir in Parmesan cheese.
9.       Add green beans to sauce and stir until they are coated.  Transfer mixture to a casserole dish.  Spread crispy onions and shallots out evenly around the perimeter of this dish.  Bake 15 minutes.
Per Serving – Calories: 155 | Fat: 11g | Protein: 5g | Net Carbs: 8g


I'll try to note a few more Thanksgiving recpies ahead of Thanksgiving.

This is C.I.'s "Iraq snapshot" for Wednesday:

Wednesday, October 3, 2018.

Iraq finally has a president (and a prime minister).  Those on Arabic social media yesterday morning fearing it would be Barham Saleh were right to be concerned.  Now he's Iraq's problem  In the photo below, he's thrown his arms around Bafel Talabani and appears ready to toss him over the desk and begin humping.

Barham Salih with Bafel Talabani, the engineer behind bringing back Barham to PUK and amassing support for his election as Iraq president. The photo is taken after Barham's election as 8th president of Iraq few hours ago.

Bafel Talabani is part of the crooked Talabani family who utilize their close relationship with the government of Iran to maintain a hold on power that is never, ever reflected by the people of the KRG -- or by Kurds around the world.  In fact, for over a decade, "Talabani" has been the equivalent of a curse to the bulk of Kurds around the world.

So many are grading differently, apparently.

This is KDP’s & Mr. Masoud Barzani’s second major setback after the 25 Sept. 2017 . Will the KDP conduct a full review of the reality of ’s new order, or will it stay the course?

Did the KDP suffer a blow from the Kurds?  No.  It's non-Kurds.  The Kurdish Regional Government is a semi-autonomous region.  They want to be completely autonomous.  Aaron Hess (INTERNATIONAL SOCIALIST REVIEW) explained in 2008, "The Kurds are the world's largest stateless population -- whose main population concentration straddles Turkey, Iraq, Iran, and Syria -- and have been the victims of imperialist wars and manipulation since the colonial period. While Turkey has granted limited rights to the Kurds in recent years in order to accommodate the European Union, which it seeks to join, even these are now at risk."

The tiny minds of 'reporters' don't surprise me.  I do wonder about Kadhim.  Though we are generally on opposite sides of the issues, he doesn't usually strike me so short sighted.  But maybe he's not versed in revolution, rebellion and uprisings?

Maybe he just cares about dollars and their impact on today at this moment?

Because any poli sci student that paid even a minute of attention in their studies -- even if they just have a bachelor degree and nothing higher -- should grasp that the September 25, 2017 referendum was a success.  92.7% of those voting ended up voting for an independent Kurdistan.    Over 72% of eligible voters voted.  This is the position of the Kurds.  And it was thanks to Massoud Barzani of the KDP that it took place.

Again, I don't get Kadhim.

Barzani has many issues and many rumors but what he is forever known as is the man who fought for Kurdish independence and who took the Kurds further than anyone has before.  That's not a minor thing.  A Kurdish homeland is desired and the desire for it goes beyond Iraq.  Massoud Barzani's main footnote will now always be that 2017 referendum and he delivered.  Independence is something that all societies strive for.  Barring the elimination (killing) of all Kurds (something the Turkish government often times appears to be striving for), Barzani is now a folk hero.

By contrast, the Talabanis?  That trashy family looks even more corrupt.  Who would have thought that was possible?

Dropping back to the July 22, 2014 snapshot:

December 2012,  Iraqi President Jalal Talabani suffered a stroke.   The incident took place late on December 17, 2012 following Jalal's argument with Iraq's prime minister and chief thug Nouri al-Maliki (see the December 18, 2012 snapshot).  Jalal was admitted to Baghdad's Medical Center Hospital.    Thursday, December 20, 2012, he was moved to Germany.  He remained in Germany until last weekend. 

Amid continuing political deadlock in Iraq, the selection of the country’s next president remains mired in confusion despite the return of incumbent president Jalal Talabani from medical treatment abroad on Saturday.
Reports say that Iraq’s Kurdish parties were unable to agree on the nomination of a single candidate for the presidency over the weekend, despite expectations that a parliamentary session to confirm the choice will take place on Wednesday.
The Iraqi presidency, a largely ceremonial post, is reserved for a member of the country’s Kurdish minority under an informal agreement that emerged during attempts to form a new government in the wake of the 2003 US-led invasion of the country.

From December 2012 to July of 2014, Jalal The Fat Ass Talabani was not in Iraq.  He was also not carrying out his duties as prime minister.  He couldn't speak.  He couldn't move.  And his wife Hero and the rest of his trashy family lied repeatedly to the people of Iraq.  Per the Constitution, Fat Ass Jalal -- now thankfully dead -- should have been removed from office.  But the Iraqi people were not told the truth.  The Talabanis wanted all the perks of having a (comatose) member as president.  They did not do what was right for Iraq or for the Kurds.  They did what would fill their pockets, that's the Talabanis.

Bafel Talabani?  He returned to Iraq ahead of the September 2017 vote to announce that they shouldn't vote for independence and they shouldn't hold a vote.

For those who have trouble looking at issues that don't involve them directly, the term is "Benedict Arnold."  That's how Bafel and his family are now seen by the bulk of Kurds.

The referendum was a success.  It makes Massoud and the Barzani family folk heroes, liberators and so much more.

Oh, but the KRG suffered after the result!

Who the f**k gives a s**t?

Do you not understand how revolution works?

It builds up slowly and then boils over -- like a pot of water on the stove.

Baghdad being against the Kurds?  The US government (the White House and the bulk of Congress -- though some Democrats and at least one Republican member of Congress did publicly support the referendum) being against the Kurds?

Do you not understanding bonding?  External enemies allow a people to come together.

 Last year, David Zucchino (NEW YORK TIMES) quoted Peter W. Galbraith, ahead of the vote, predicting independence would be the expressed outcome and asking, "Would you want to be part of a country that committed genocide against you?"  [As disclosed numerous times before, I know Peter.]  This is not one stray moment.   This is a series of events that have been going on for years and years.

And the Kurds are largely done with the corrupt Talabanis. This especially became evident when Jalal Talabani declared in 2009 that the Kurdistan -- united and free from Iraq -- was "a dream written in poetry."  What a sell out from the fat ass liar.  (By the way, for those who've forgotten, the statement was made in the same series of interviews where Jalal insisted/promised he would not seek a second term as president . . . before going on to seek that second term.)

The vote in the Iraqi Parliament was 229 votes for the PUK candidate to be president and 22 for the KDP's candidate.  And some will pimp that statistic as relevant.  It's not.  The Kurds are a minority in the Iraqi Parliament.

Statistics that are relevant?  How, since Talabani's 2009 statement, the PUK has done poorly in KRG elections.  Gorran, at one point, was able to pull ahead of the PUK and leave it in third place.  Gorran, created by CIA-seed money.  Now because Gorran's interests were dictated by their big donor, Gorran didn't represent the Kurds and the realization has led to Gorran returning to a third place party.  It will probably sink even lower.  But will the PUK rise?  That's doubtful.  More than likely, one of the smaller parties will build and become one of the two dominant parties (the KDP being the other dominant party).

Replying to 
It is not a matter of desire. KDP dominated PUK and other KRG parties both in Iraqi and Kurdistan elections - this should be reflected when allocating governmental posts.

Votes are still being counted for the recent election held this past weekend but, yes, the KDP has over 40% of the vote.  Some see this 2018 result -- both the elections just held and the ones held in all of Iraq back in May -- as fraudulent.

received 40% of votes in provinces for 2018 -i parliamentary elections. It's now projected to get 45% in KRG parliamentary elections. This would be 5% jump in space of 4 months. A vivid example of its fraud machine in and .

The problem with this claim of 'fraud' is that it's not one election cycle or even one election year.  Since 2009, the PUK's electoral support has significantly eroded and the KDP's support has drastically increased.  They used to be neck-in-neck, the equivalent of the Democrats and the Republicans in the US.  Election after election for eight years now have demonstrated steady erosion of support for the PUK.  This erosion coincides with the head of the PUK, the Talabani family, dismissing Kurdish autonomy repeatedly.

While the Kurds are bonding and becoming more cohesive, Iraq itself is a story of splintering.

The anger shown by Basrawis has shaken Iraq to its core, shattering a common perception both nationally and abroad that the country would be on its way to recovery after defeating the Islamic State (IS) group...
In recent months, up to 100,000 people have been hospitalised as a result of water-related illnesses, while thousands have protested in the street over a lack of drinkable water. (...) For years, both the local and...
"The turmoil in Basra may be unsurprising given the living conditions locals face, but it should also be instructive. This is what regime change, fifteen years of intervention, occupation,...
The U.S. and Iran are competing to shape Iraq’s new government. Both are failing.
Doctor helps Basra's sick in water crisis
US closes consulate in southern Iraq following attacks

That last one, there are historical echoes.  We'll try to address that tomorrow.

Iraq has a prime minister-designate.

congratulate Dr. Adil Abd al-Mahdi on his selection as Prime Minister designate. The U.S. has worked with Dr. Abd al-Madhi in his previous role in government and we look forward to further strengthening the relations between and the United States.

Longtime CIA favorite Adil Abd al-Mahdi has finally moved up to prime minister (designate) after many failed attempts previously.  And, to be clear for those new to him, he is not a CIA operative.  He is, however, the choice of the CIA and has been since 2006.  Their assessment has repeatedly argued he was the best person for the job in terms of qualifications.  In 2006, for example, they argued that Nouri al-Maliki's strongest "skill" was his paranoia which would make it easy for the US government to manipulate him.  The CIA's assessment of al-Mahdi has always been that he has the education and training to unite Iraq.  If he can form a government in 30 days and move from designate to prime minister (although, honestly, that's never followed, that part of the Constitution), the world may finally see if the CIA got this one right.  (They're kind of overdue for at least one right, aren't they?)

The following community sites -- plus Cindy Sheehan, Jody Watley and the ACLU -- updated: