Leroy e-mailed today to note Eat Yourself Skinny's recipe for Tomato, Cucumber & Chickpea Salad recipes:
- 2 cups grape tomatoes, sliced
- 2 cups cucumber, diced
- 1 (15 oz) can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
- 1/2 red onion, chopped
- 1 green bell pepper, seeded and chopped
- 1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped
- Salt and pepper, to taste
For the dressing:
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- In a large bowl, combine sliced tomatoes, cucumber, chickpeas, red onion, green bell pepper and set aside.
- In a small bowl or mason jar, whisk together the olive oil, red wine vinegar, lemon juice, garlic, cumin and salt, and mix or shake well until dressing is emulsified.
- Pour the dressing on top of the salad, add in the fresh parsley, and toss everything together until all the veggies are nicely coated. Let the salad sit for about 10 minutes (or up to an hour) to allow the veggies to soak up all that delicious flavor! Taste and season with additional salt and pepper, as needed, and enjoy!
People residing in these Blue Zones are outliving us because they have figured out what others have not, according to Buettner. They consistently eat a healthful diet, and they also move around about every 20 minutes or so during each day.
Namely, Blue Zones residents — found in Sardinia, Italy; Okinawa, Japan; Nicoya, Costa Rica; Ikaria, Greece; and Loma Linda, California — move consistently through each day, live with purpose, and do it all with a little help from their friends.
One 2017 investigation from researchers at Harvard concluded that a sense of purpose in life is associated with better "physical function among older adults," including better grip strength and faster walking.
This is C.I.'s "Iraq snapshot" for Thursday:
Thursday, August 31, 2023. Nouri al-Maliki is talking about the US government, Amnesty International spotlights the missing, Bernie Sanders gets called out (for the last thing he should really be called out for), bad, bad, bad political 'analysis' from THE VANGUARD, and much more.
Unless you're the US media, Nouri al-Maliki is yet again in the news. I have no idea why the US media refuses to cover the former prime minister and forever thug. Maybe it's guilt? They spent a long time covering for him while he destroyed Iraq. And they refused to call out the US government overturning the votes of the Iraqi people in the 2010 election. That's what led to the rise of ISIS in Iraq -- Nouri's second term after the Iraqi people had voted him out but the US government negotiated The Erbil Agreement to give him a second term. At any rate, MEMO reports:
Former Iraqi Prime Minister, Nouri Al-Maliki, said America intends to close the border between Syria and Iraq in order to overthrow the regime of Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad.
Al-Maliki added in press statements that he is not concerned about any American action against Iraq but he is certain that the recent American military movements aim to close the border with Syria.
He considered the movement of foreign forces, whether in Iraq or neighbouring countries, to constitute a major concern due to fears of a return to the tensions and conflicts that had previously plagued the region.
THE NEW ARAB also reports on the remarks:
Nouri al-Maliki, the head of the State of Law coalition, and other Iran-backed Shia militia leaders in Iraq claim that the aim behind the United States military manoeuvres to seal off the Iraq-Syria border is to topple the Syrian regime.
Nouri al-Maliki, the head of the State of Law coalition, made these claims on Monday, 28 August, but he also ruled out the possibility that the Biden administration might be planning a "regime change" in Iraq.
"We have a belief based on proof that movements by the US forces in western Iraq seem to be aimed at sealing off the Iraq-Syrian borders," Maliki claimed to Iraq's Al-Sharqiya channel in an interview aired on Monday night.
He added that while the West had imposed aerial, land, and sea blockade on the Syrian regime, it could "resist" the embargoes via border crossings with Iraq and therefore, the US aims "to tighten the embargo" on the Syrian government and "incite demonstrations" to topple the Syrian regime.
Maliki was Iraq's prime minister for two successive terms from 2006 until 2014, when the Islamic State (IS) group conquered a third of Iraq. He also claimed that the US forces did not consult the Iraqi government concerning its plans to seal off the Iraq-Syrian borders.
In October 2021, Iraq held elections and, taking their notes from the US State Dept, the US press hailed Moqtada al-Sadr as the victor and spoke of what would happen -- what never did.
Now I'm not expecting a journalist be a psychic but when you completely ignore a power player in a country, you are going to make mistakes. In the lead up to that election, we repeatedly noted Nouri al-Maliki. He refuses to go away and retains a great deal of power.
While the US press was basically misleading people to believe that Moqtada would be prime minister -- that was not going to happen, success for Moqtada would have been being the power behind the throne and that was highly unlikely as well -- Nouri was meeting with various blocs and blocking Moqtada. And we were noting it in real time. Moqtada's 'victory' was no victory and we were proven right when, finally, over a year (one year and 17 days) after the election took place, a prime minister was named: Mohammed Shia al-Sudani. He was not from Moqtada's 'winning' bloc. He is not someone who gets along with Moqtada. He is the candidate that Nouri backed.
Before the election took place, the US media refused to see what could happen. During the year long process after the election, the US media refused to see what was happening. As late as spring 2022, they were still hailing Moqtada.
From their bubble, they misreported. Today, they're still ignoring him. But let's pretend they 'report.'
Meanwhile, Amnesty International issued the following:
Families of the disappeared wage a struggle for justice, truth and reparation in the face of state apathy
Across the Middle East, both state authorities and non-state actors, such as armed opposition groups, abduct and disappear people as a way to crush dissent, cement their power, and spread terror within societies, often with total impunity. Human rights defenders, peaceful protesters, journalists, and political dissidents are often specifically targeted.
Families and loved ones of the disappeared are left in limbo and experience constant mental anguish for many years and, sometimes, even decades. Most often, it is women who lead the struggle for truth, justice, and reparation, putting themselves at risk of intimidation, persecution and violence. And it is women who are left to shoulder the financial burden of providing for their families and caring for them, often with little to no state support and while facing oppressive patriarchal norms. They can neither organize a dignified burial nor properly grieve, and they spend their lives campaigning for the authorities to reveal the fate and whereabouts of their relatives.
In Iraq, Lebanon, Syria and Yemen alone, families have waited and campaigned more than a million years collectively for news of their missing loved ones
While the governments of most those states have not investigated disappearances nor provided accurate numbers of those missing or disappeared, family associations, human rights organizations and UN bodies have published estimates for the number of people abducted and disappeared in each country. In Iraq, the numbers range between 250,000 to one million disappeared. In Lebanon, the official figure is 17,415. In Syria, human rights organizations estimate the number to be over 100,000. In Yemen, human rights organizations have documented 1,547 cases of disappearance. When these numbers are multiplied by a conservative estimate of how many years these individuals have been missing, a tragic picture emerges of the agonising number of years families have spent waiting for answers – more than a million years.
In the absence of effective state action, families of the disappeared have united under victim and family associations to demand their rights – often at great costs and personal risks. The right to truth for individuals and societies is recognized in international law and in the context of enforced disappearances, meaning “the right to know about the progress and results of an investigation, the fate or the whereabouts of the disappeared persons, and the circumstances of the disappearances, and the identity of the perpetrator(s)”.
To commemorate the International Day of the Victims of Enforced Disappeared, Amnesty International is sharing the stories of extraordinary sacrifice and persistence by the families of the disappeared and by human rights organizations in each of these countries. The quest for truth, justice and reparation looks different for the families in each country, but what unites them is their shared struggle and their vision for a more free, safe, and cohesive society.
Share these stories in solidarity with the families of the disappeared and demand that meaningful action be taken to reveal the fate and whereabouts of their loved ones.
MORE THAN A MILLION YEARS
Families of the disappeared in the middle east wait more than a million years collectively for their loved ones.
Iraq: Campaigning for answers
Iraq has one of the highest numbers of disappearances in the world, with people abducted and forcibly disappeared during the Ba’ath era (1968 – 2003), the US-led invasion and occupation of Iraq (2003-2011), the years of sectarian violence (2006-2008), the conflict with the armed group self-identified as the Islamic State (IS) (2013-2017), and the crackdown against protestors during the nationwide anti-government protests in 2019 and its aftermath.
Despite Iraq’s ratification of the International Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearances, consecutive Iraqi governments have repeatedly failed to take meaningful steps to investigate disappearances, reveal the fate and whereabouts of those missing, or hold accountable those suspected of criminal responsibility. Crucially, the Iraqi authorities have still not recognized enforced disappearance as an autonomous crime in national legislation, and there have been no prosecutions for those suspected of criminal responsibility for enforced disappearance.
In April 2022, families of the disappeared launched the #DeadorAliveWeWantThem campaign to demand answers regarding the fate and whereabouts of their loved ones who were disappeared during the conflict with the Islamic State. The campaign was supported by Al Haq Foundation for Human Rights, which is helping families organize themselves nationwide and unify their demands across their locations, their backgrounds and the circumstances under which their loves ones went missing. On 15 August 2023, in the lead up to the International Day for the Victims of Enforced Disappearances, Iraqi families of the disappeared, survivors of enforced disappearances and human rights organizations came together in nationwide protests demanding truth and justice for abductions and enforced disappearances.
According to the UN Committee on Enforced Disappearances, Iraq has an estimated 250,000 to1 million missing persons since 1968, making it one of the countries with the highest number of missing persons worldwide.
Demands to the Iraqi authorities:
- Ensure timely, independent and thorough investigations into enforced disappearances and provide regular and transparent updates to the public about the progress of these investigations;
- Ensure protection from reprisals for those seeking justice.
Barack Obama was dismissed as "just a community organizer." No, he was someone who had held public office in Illinois and had been in the Senate for a few years when he was running for the Democratic Party's presidential nomination (sworn in back in 2005, announced in 2007). And at his age, that was a strong resume. Cornel is 70s years old. I'm not seeing strength.
A mourning Jacksonville needed a leader, an empathizer, and a statesman, qualities the divisive, ever-aggrieved Florida governor lacks on his best days. And so in that fraught moment, facing constituents his administration has insulted and disempowered, DeSantis revealed himself to be an utterly spent force — lacking even the vocabulary to speak lucidly about the awful thing took place the day before.
"What he did, what he did, was totally unacceptable in the state of Florida," DeSantis said in a stilted, brief speech during a prayer vigil for the victims of the high-profile hate crime the prior day, in which a shooter entered a Dollar General in Jacksonville's New Town neighborhood and killed two Black men and one Black woman specifically because of their race. Their names were Angela Michelle Carr, 52, Anolt Joseph "A.J." Laguerre Jr., 19, and Jerrald De'Shaun Gallion, 29.
Unacceptable, the governor said — as if this shocking act was some social blunder.
The audience of mourners loudly booed DeSantis, forcing him to stop speaking and prompting Jacksonville City Council member Ju'Coby Pittman, who was originally appointed to the council in 2018 by then-Gov. Rick Scott, to scold the crowd. "Let the governor say what he's going to say, and we're going to get this party started," she said, somewhat awkwardly, of the prayer vigil being held for the victims. It was a moment many politicians might have found a bit humbling if not humiliating, but it's doubtful the arrogant and thin-skinned DeSantis, whose campaign once likened him to an earthly warrior ordained by God himself, found it to be anything other than an unfair — unacceptable? — personal insult.
Zac has his strong points, analysis of campaign politics is not one of them.
The following sites updated: