Saturday, March 23, 2019

Avocados in the Kitchen

A ripe avocado in just two minutes?! Yes, it is possible, thanks to this Taste of Home hack for how to ripen avocados. Cut it in half vertically and remove the pit. Wrap each half in microwave-safe plastic wrap. Microwave on high for two minutes. When they’re cool enough to hold, run the wrapped avocados under cold water so they stop cooking.

If the avocado is rock hard:

Wrap the uncut fruit in tinfoil, and bake on a baking sheet at 200˚F for 10 minutes. (Disclaimer: If your avocado is too hard, it could take up to an hour for it to soften. Check every five minutes if it’s not ripe in 10.) Then remove your newly softened avocado. Leave it in the fridge for a few minutes to cool down.

If you have time to spare:

Keep your avocado in a sealed paper bag with an apple. Poke holes in the bag with a toothpick and leave it at room temperature. The fruit should be ripe in one to three days.

Okay, avocado recipes.  First up, here's a video with 8 recipes.

Why the avocado abundance.  Because Michelle e-mailed asking for avocado recipes.   And that works out because Jerry sent the recipe below for Slow Cooker Chicken & Black Bean Tacos:

  • 1 can (8 ounces) crushed pineapple
  • 1/2 cup salsa
  • 2 green onions, sliced
  • 1 teaspoon grated lime zest
  • 1/4 cup lime juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin

  • 1/8 teaspoon each salt, cayenne pepper and pepper
  • 1 pound boneless skinless chicken thighs
  • 1 can (15 ounces) black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 12 flour tortillas (6 inches), warmed
  • Toppings: shredded Mexican cheese blend, shredded lettuce, peeled medium ripe avocado and hot sauce

  • Directions

    • In a small bowl, combine the first five ingredients; stir in seasonings. Place chicken in a 3-qt. slow cooker; add pineapple mixture. Cook, covered, on low 4-5 hours or until chicken is tender.
    • Remove chicken; cool slightly. Shred meat with two forks; return to slow cooker. Stir in beans. Cook, covered, on low 15-20 minutes longer or until heated through. Using a slotted spoon, serve chicken mixture in tortillas with toppings.

    So avocados in the kitchen.

    Now let's note the good Chelsea -- Chelsea Manning.  She is being persecuted yet again.  Kevin Reed (WSWS) reports:

    On Wednesday, the U.S. Eastern District Court of Virginia unsealed several filings concerning Chelsea Manning’s legal challenge to the subpoena attempting to force her to testify before a grand jury involved in fabricating charges against WikiLeaks publisher Julian Assange.
    Among the unsealed documents is Manning’s legal motion of March 1 to have the subpoena thrown out on the grounds that it violates her First and Fifth Amendment rights, that it is an abuse of the grand jury process and that it is the product of illegal electronic surveillance by the government.
    The documents include the government’s response to Manning’s motion and other filings related to unsealing the documents as well as a transcript of a March 5 hearing before US District Judge Claude Hilton on these matters.

    Chelsea Manning—who has taken a brave and principled stand against the attempt to frame up Assange—was jailed on March 8 on civil contempt charges for refusing to testify before the secret grand jury. Judge Hilton cruelly sentenced her to jail indefinitely knowing full-well that she had already served seven years in prison—including long stretches in solitary confinement—even though she is recognized throughout the world as a courageous whistleblower and defender of the truth.
    The unsealed documents shine a light on the desperate measures to which the US government has resorted in pursuing a legal pretext to prosecute Julian Assange. It also exposes the fact that Chelsea Manning has been the target of an endless campaign of intimidation and conspiracy in violation of her democratic rights.

    In Manning’s legal filing of March 1, “Omnibus Motion to Quash Grand Jury Subpoena,” it is explained, for example, that a primary objective of the grand jury questioning is to prove that she made “false or mistaken” statements during her 2013 court-martial trial.
    The document states, “Given the prosecutor’s unwillingness to disclose information to Ms. Manning that would help her evaluate the risks of testifying, she must assume that the grand jury is a ‘perjury trap’ or even worse, a subterfuge for another military prosecution.” Such an entrapment, the motion argues, would violate her Fifth Amendment rights against self-incrimination.
    The document also elaborates further on the First Amendment basis for Manning’s refusal to answer questions before the grand jury. Manning’s lawyers write, “First, there is a likelihood that this grand jury to be used expressly to disrupt the integrity of the journalistic process by exposing journalists to a kind of accessorial liability for leaks attributable to independently-acting journalistic sources. This administration has been quite publicly hostile to the press, and there is reason to believe that this grand jury may function to interfere profoundly with the operation of a free press.”

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

    Friday, March 22, 2019.  Tragedy hits Iraq yet again.

    The death toll has continued to rise in the ferry sinking yesterday in Iraq.  Less than a half hour ago, Hamdi Alkhshali, Nada Altaher and Tamara Qiblawi (CNN) updated the death toll to 92 and they note, "Among the victims were at least 12 children, according to health ministry spokesman Saif al-Badr. Of the nearly 150 people who were on board, about 60 are missing, said Mosul Mayor Zuhair al-Araji."

    CCTV camera shows the moment the ferry, carrying more than 150 people, capsizes in .
    At least 90 peope are dead and more than 20 are missing. 54 people were rescued.



    REUTERS reveals that the pleasure cruise turned deadly was supposed to take the passengers on board "to a man-made island used as a recreational area by families" and quotes Mosul's Civil Defense Authority Husam Khalil stating the boat "can normally carry 50 people.  There were 250 on board before the incident."

    So according to the safety guidelines, those ferries cud actually hold up to 50 persons not over 100! Welcome to Iraq, where money matters more than human lives 🤷🏻‍♂️

    NPR's Sasha Ingber explains:

    The flat-bottomed boat, which operates from a platform at an amusement park in the once Islamic State-controlled city of Mosul, capsized, throwing hundreds of passengers in the river near the shore. Many people couldn't swim.
    Mosul Mayor Zuhair Araji said the vessel had "reached its capacity," causing it to succumb, according to Kurdistan24.
    The mayor says he had warned the owners last week that the boat needed repairs.
    The vessel did not appear to have life vests on board, according to authorities.

    And the water level had also reportedly risen in recent days from rains, snow melting off nearby mountains and developments at the Mosul dam. Authorities had alerted people to be cautious.

    When money is worth more than peoples lives!

    Farid Abdulwahed and Qassim Abdul-Zahra (AP) add, "An Interior Ministry official said 94 people were killed in the accident, which residents said was the worst in recent memory. The official spoke on condition of anonymity in line with regulations."

    So sad: An overcrowded ferry capsized in the Tigris River near Mosul, killing at least 92 people during Nowruz and Mother's Day celebrations on Thursday, officials said. Among the victims were at least 12 children, according to health ministry

    s lighting candles on Tigris river in and all across Iraq in solidarity with the ferry victims.



    Arabia Offers Condolences to over Ferry Sinking

    The Russian government issued the following:

    Condolences to President of Iraq Barham Salih

    Vladimir Putin conveyed his condolences to the President of the Republic of Iraq Barham Salih over a ferry crash and the loss of human life.

    He'll need more than just condolences.  ASHARQ AL-AWSAT reports that Salih visited Mosul today forllowing Iraqi Prime Minister Adel Abdul Mahdi's visit -- Mahdi "ordered an investigation . . .  [and] declared three days of national mourning."  What they don't report is how the photo op went bad.  The ceremonial president of Iraq expected applause and got protests.

    Iraqi President Barham Salih attempts to calm angry protestors following capsized ferry incident



    The ferry of Mosul has affirmed that the Iraqi collective mind has been reconstructed out of the sectarian and nationalistic context, leading to new solidarity and interactions in Iraq's social geography. Politicians can not invest in this accident from sectarian perspective.

    The ferry that yesterday sank in Mosul has provoked the resentment and grief of Iraqi people. The innocents we lost there were victims for the chain of corrupt process hitting Iraqi state. No for corruption.

    president of Iraq in



    Angry people in pelt President Barham Salih's vehicle a day after a ferry sank in the Tigris killing around 100 people

    The Iraqi people are still waiting for a government that makes them a priority.  Their anger is both justified and understandable.

    In the US, a presidential election will take place in 2020.  Currently, there are six women vying for the Democratic Party's presidential nomination.   This is a record.  Here they are with their three most recent Tweets (we are not counting pinned Tweets).

    Ten minutes until on ! Don't miss it!

    I had the best time showing and around Troy, NY and definitely beating them at bowling. Watch on tonight!

    Thanks to so many Iowans who helped us kick off the first week of our official presidential campaign! Be back soon.

    Education has the ability to empower our children and improve their path in life. We have a responsibility to ensure our teachers are respected, earn dignified wages, and have quality health care, benefits, and every resource they need to do their job.

    It is unconscionable that Americans across the country have mountains of debt from medical bills. We must address our crumbling health care system and pass Medicare for All.

    Today in 1965, about 3,200 marchers set out to complete the journey from Selma to Montgomery. By the time they reached Montgomery, they were over 25,000 strong. Their determination and courage led to the passage of the Voting Rights Act.

    If you'd like to help those affected by flooding in the Midwest, here are several ways to pitch in:

    It doesn't take an expert in information security to know that this is just sloppy.

    My bipartisan legislation would make sure that you get to decide what's done with your data and that these companies are held accountable when they mess up.

    Congrats to the U of M Gophers in the first round of the NCAA!  Gophers, Gabe Kalscheur pull off NCAA tournament surprise, beat Louisville in opener.

  • When asked my views on immigration, I let it rip…



    Thank you, John!

    Here was my Town Hall with WMUR in New Hampshire ...

    I’ve said it before, I’ll keep saying it: ban roundup! It’s long past time we stopped relying on corrupt corporations with a profit incentive to fund science telling us their chemicals are “safe.” Victims shouldn’t have to go to trial to get the truth.

    Another example of Trump and Netanyahu putting their own political interests ahead of the interests of our respective countries. Will escalate tensions and likelihood of war between Israel/US/Syria/Iran/Russia. Shortsighted.

    May the colorful celebrations of Holi around the world remind us all to let go of our bad habits, renew our will to do good, and be kind to one another regardless of our differences.

  • . is right: cheated its customers & broke the law. CEO Tim Sloan should be fired – but instead he got a $1 million raise last year. It's obscene. The only way we're ever going to stop these scandals is to hold executives personally accountable.

    Non-compete agreements rig the system against workers. They reduce bargaining power, stifle competition, and hurt workers striving for better opportunities. I'm joining to urge the to crack down on these harmful contracts.

    When I heard reports that Patrick Shanahan may have worked to promote his former employer , I took action and investigated. Government officials should work for the people – not big defense contractors.

    The following sites updated: