Tuesday, February 20, 2024

Black Bean Fajita Skillet in the Kitchen

sabby the fool

From earlier tonight, that's Isaiah's THE WORLD TODAY JUST NUTS "I Sabby The Fool."

Kimba e-mailed a recipe -- vegetarian and she notes it's been "forever" since I've included one -- from Eating Well for Black Bean Fajita Skillet in the Kitchen:


  • 1 tablespoon olive oil

  • 1 (12-ounce) package sliced fajita vegetables (bell peppers and onions)

  • 1 (15-ounce) can no-salt-added black beans, rinsed

  • ½ teaspoon salt-free Southwest-style seasoning blend

  • ¼ teaspoon salt

  • ¼ cup coarsely shredded Cheddar cheese (1 ounce; optional)


  1. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add fajita vegetables and sauté until tender, about 10 minutes.

  2. Stir in black beans, seasoning and salt; cook, stirring, until heated through, about 1 minute.

  3. Divide the vegetables and beans between two bowls and top each with 2 tablespoons cheese, if using. 

That's a very straight forward recipe and it's tasty.  

News?  ESPN is all about the homophobia and the bigotry.  Greg Owen (LGBTQ Nation) report:

Outside the octagon on Saturday for a pay-per-view UFC 298 event in Anaheim, veteran UFC fighter and commentator Michael Bisping was hanging with rightwing podcaster Joe Rogan and breaking down new undefeated featherweight champ Ilia Topuria, who had just taken down Alexander Volkanovski in a headline bout.

That’s when things got too gay.

Turns out that seemingly innocuous compliment about another man was delivered with too much enthusiasm, either for Bisping’s taste or for those around him.

After a long pause, Bisping was caught adding: “That’s f**king gay.”

Days later, neither Bisping, the UFC, nor ESPN have apologized for the homophobic hot mic moment.

Bisping and many other UFC fighters are well known for their anti-gay hostility.

The veteran fighter has used homophobic language in and out of the octagon, calling opponents “fa***t” during matches (in violation of UFC rules) and making homophobic comments online.

Thanks for clearing up your homophobia, ESPN.  You just lost my family as viewers until you address this issue and apologize.  Who am I?  Just a mom.  With eight kids.  Just a sister with 7 brother and sisters.  Just a woman in Boston with tons of friends and tons of family.

We don't need you.  We rally around our family.  That includes my gay son.  So have fun ESPN.  

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

Tuesday, February 20, 2024.  The world watches as the assault on Gaza continues.

This morning, THE GUARDIAN notes:

WHO accuses Israel of hindering medical rescue missions to Nasser hospital, says destruction is 'indescribable'

The World Health Organization (WHO) has issued a lengthy statement on social media this morning describing a mission to transfer patients within the Gaza Strip, and reporting that its staff said “the destruction around Nasser hospital was ‘indescribable’”. It accused Israel of hindering and refusing its attempts to provide medical services to Gaza’s population.


Israeli troops forced doctors and other medical staff to leave the Nasser Medical Complex in Gaza, strip down to their underwear, and wait in the cold for hours before the troops allowed five doctors to go back into the building to treat patients, an eyewitness told CNN on Monday.

The incident comes as the Israeli military said it had arrested hundreds of militants at the hospital, which is in Khan Younis, including some posing as doctors.

Israeli forces also said they found medications with the names of Israeli hostages on them inside the hospital, releasing a video of soldiers showing medicine boxes with inscriptions and sometimes photos on the labels of who they apparently were prescribed to.

The eyewitness spoke to CNN in a rare telephone interview from the area of Nasser hospital, where there are few ways to communicate with the outside world.

The source said when the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) took control of the hospital last week, they broadcast a message saying: “Doctors, come outside.”

When the medics came out and were ordered to take off their clothes, they protested because of the frigid conditions.

“Take off your clothing,” the witness said the doctors were told.

The doctors then removed their clothes in the cold and were kept outside for several hours before Israeli troops chose five doctors to return to the complex to take care of patients. The eyewitness does not know what happened to the other doctors.

That left five doctors to treat dozens of patients in the old building of the compound, said the eyewitness, who has been inside the hospital and asked not to be named for fear of retribution.     

The world watches and the outrage builds.  There is no high ground for the government of Israel.  Nothing redeems nor justifies its actions. Amy Goodman (DEMOCRACY NOW!) notes, "In the U.S., the African Methodist Episcopal Church Bishops Council called on the Biden administration to end funding for what it called Israel’s 'mass genocide.' In Michigan, Rashida Tlaib, the only Palestinian American member of the U.S. Congress, is urging Democrats to vote “uncommitted” in next Tuesday’s presidential primary to protest President Biden’s complicity in Israel’s assault on Gaza."  Bethany Dawson (POLITICO) adds, "The U.K.’s top diplomat [David Cameron\ said conflict in Gaza must stop 'right now,' amid mounting international pressure on Israel not to launch a ground offensive in Rafah."  David Hughes (THE STANDARD) quotes Cameron stating, " “We are calling for a stop to the fighting right now, we think that what we need is a pause in the fighting and the hostages to come out and aid to go in. That should happen straight away."  Zack Beauchamp (VOX) observes:

The blame for this failure lies with Israel’s terrible wartime leadership: an extremist government headed by Benjamin “Bibi” Netanyahu, a venal prime minister currently on trial for corruption who has placed his personal interests over his country’s even during wartime.

“You couldn’t have had a worse government to respond to a worse moment,” says Dov Waxman, the director of UCLA’s Center for Israel Studies. “People like to separate the war from the government that’s running it, but I think you can’t.”

For more on the Israeli government's attacks on medical facilities in Gaza, let's note this from yesterday's  DEMOCRACY NOW!

AMY GOODMAN: This is Democracy Now!, democracynow.org, The War and Peace Report. I’m Amy Goodman.

Israel’s unrelenting assault on the Gaza Strip has killed over 29,000 Palestinians and injured another 69,000 since October 7th. We begin today’s show in the southern Gaza city of Khan Younis, where the Gaza Health Ministry is reporting one of Gaza’s largest hospitals, Al-Nasser Hospital, is no longer functional amidst a dayslong Israeli raid on the facility over the weekend. At least eight people at the hospital have reportedly died since Israeli soldiers cut off electricity and oxygen supplies.

The head of the World Health Organization, Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, posted on X Sunday, quote, “Nasser hospital in #Gaza is not functional anymore, after a weeklong siege followed by the ongoing raid. Both yesterday and the day before, the @WHO team was not permitted to enter the hospital to assess the conditions of the patients and critical medical needs, despite reaching the hospital compound to deliver fuel alongside partners. There are still about 200 patients in the hospital. At least 20 need to be urgently referred to other hospitals to receive health care. Medical referral is every patient’s right. The cost of delays will be paid by patients’ lives. Access to the patients and hospital should be facilitated,” end-quote. The World Health Organization says it’s still trying to evacuate the remaining patients in the hospital in Khan Younis to other facilities.

On Friday, the Gaza Health Ministry said an aid convoy led by the United Nations was detained for seven hours and prevented from reaching the hospital. The ministry said Saturday Israeli forces, quote, “arrested a large number of the directors and staff” of the hospital while they were tending to the wounded. Up to 100 people were reportedly arrested.

On Sunday, Dr. Ahmed Moghrabi at Nasser Hospital sent Democracy Now! a video describing what happened when the hospital was stormed by Israeli troops.

DR. AHMED MOGHRABI: At 1:30, I was at the third floor with my family at the surgical building. We heard lots of quadcopters over our heads at the hospital. They were asking us by megaphone actually to evacuate the hospital immediately. Immediately. And after like five, 10 minutes, I heard a very big explosion. Actually, they bombed and shelling the third floor, where I’m staying. Exactly, they targeted the orthopedic department. And I took my phone. I recorded some couple of videos, and I posted on my Instagram how did people as a result of this explosion. It was like chaos, everybody running there and there.

So, I realized that it is invasion of IDF as I started hearing some dogs at the hospital yards. And actually, yeah, they destroyed the back wall of the hospital and released their dogs. I changed my scrub immediately, and I took this, my clothes. Actually, I brought this, my clothes. And I ran away from the hospital with my family, with many of patients, many of people, some of my medical staff there. And can you guess? It was like 2 a.m., early morning. It was cold.

And there was a checkpoint away from the main gate of the hospital, about like 50 meters only. There was tanks, soldiers, dogs. And they started checking everybody there. Everybody. So, it’s not allowed to cross the checkpoint without checking you. So, when my turn comes, I — actually, they asked me to go forward or to come to the checkpoint, me and other four people. Actually, I told my wife, my children that I might be arrested, so don’t worry. Maybe it will take two weeks, one month. So, I’ll be fine, blah, blah, blah. And they asked us — they asked us to look at the camera, big camera, in front for 30 minutes. It’s not one camera; it’s lots of cameras are there. You have to look forward for 30 minutes, half-minute. During this time, actually, they told us actually to move and leave my nurse. My nurse was standing next to me or beside me. And they took my nurse. They asked him to take off all his clothes — all his clothes — at this cold. And they took him inside. And they ordered me and others actually to go and to keep moving, just keep moving.

And I walked with my family about 10 kilometers that night. Ten kilometers, nothing remain in Khan Younis. Nothing. It’s like horror movies. No streets, no buildings are there. Only dead bodies all over around. Only dead bodies.

By the way, I was hearing my friend Rami was screaming. They were beating him, not only him, many, many, many. They took many.

I managed to get to Rafah early morning, and I spent that day on the street. On the street. Who remained of medical staff, actually, all of them are arrested. They arrested all the medical team who remained at Nasser Hospital. We don’t know the fate of my colleagues. Actually, from my department, from my department, they took one GP doctor, my assistant, Dr. Mahmoud. They took two nurses from my department, Rami and Mohammed. They took, I think, around 100. Around a hundred of medical staff already have been arrested by IDF.

Now I’m at Rafah. I came here actually to IJH hospital — EJH hospital in Rafah to say hello to my friends, actually. And this is the situation here. I built a tent, by the way, for my family. I went to the MSF shelter with my wife and my children. I’ll keep you updated. Thank you.

AMY GOODMAN: That was Dr. Ahmed Moghrabi, speaking Sunday from Rafah. He was forced to leave Al-Nasser Hospital with the Israeli raid. He was the head of plastic surgery there.

Last week, Democracy Now! was able to receive updates from one of the last remaining surgeons inside Al-Nasser Hospital, Dr. Khaled Alserr. This is the last video Dr. Alserr posted on his Instagram page from Friday evening.

DR. KHALED ALSERR: This ICU patient have just died because they cut all electricity at Nasser Medical Hospital. And aother six patients is awaiting the same fate.

AMY GOODMAN: We are looking at a dead patient. During the dayslong Israeli raid on Al-Nasser Hospital this weekend, people were unable to reach Dr. Khaled Alserr, raising concerns he had possibly been abducted. This morning Democracy Now! was able to reach Dr. Khaled Alserr’s cousin, Dr. Osaid Alser. He’s a Palestinian refugee from Gaza and a surgeon resident in training in Lubbock, Texas. We asked him if he’s heard anything from his cousin at Al-Nasser. This is what he shared with us.

DR. OSAID ALSER: Hi. This is Dr. Alser. This is just an update about Dr. Khaled Alserr, who’s my cousin. So, yesterday he texted in our group chat, where we have a telemedicine group to discuss trauma cases. And he reported that he is relatively OK, and he was not abducted, which is amazing. But it sounds like some of his colleagues were abducted, and some of the patients, as well. But he is still in Nasser Hospital taking care of the remaining patients in the orthopedic and burn units.

AMY GOODMAN: That is Dr. Osaid Alser, cousin of Dr. Khaled Alserr, still in Gaza.

With malnutrition and infectious diseases spreading rapidly, United Nations officials warned Monday that child deaths in the Gaza Strip are set to surge if Israel's war and blockade are allowed to continue.

In a joint statement, the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF), the World Food Program (WFP), and the World Health Organization (WHO) said that "food and safe water have become incredibly scarce" in Gaza, imperiling the health of children as well as pregnant and breastfeeding women.

The U.N. organizations cited a recent analysis by the Global Nutrition Cluster, which found that children in northern Gaza and Rafah—a severely overcrowded city that Israel is preparing to invade—are facing particularly severe malnutrition. But "while there are differences in the data from different governates," the analysis stressed, all the available evidence "indicates a dire nutrition situation for the entire population of Gaza."

The Global Nutrition Cluster found that more than 90% of Gaza children between the ages of 6 and 23 months are facing "severe food poverty," eating "two or fewer food groups each day." At least 90% of children under 5 years old have been impacted by one or more infectious diseases, the analysis estimated.

Infectious diseases are spreading among children in part due to the lack of clean water, a scarcity fueled by Israel's siege and attacks on the enclave's water infrastructure. "An increased number of infants now rely on formula milk for survival—which requires safe and clean water," the analysis notes.

Mike Ryan, executive director of the WHO's emergencies program, said Monday that "hunger and disease are a deadly combination."

Gaza remains under assault. Day 137 of  the assault in the wave that began in October.  Binoy Kampmark (DISSIDENT VOICE) points out, "Bloodletting as form; murder as fashion.  The ongoing campaign in Gaza by Israel’s Defence Forces continues without stalling and restriction.  But the burgeoning number of corpses is starting to become a challenge for the propaganda outlets:  How to justify it?  Fortunately for Israel, the United States, its unqualified defender, is happy to provide cover for murder covered in the sheath of self-defence."   CNN has explained, "The Gaza Strip is 'the most dangerous place' in the world to be a child, according to the executive director of the United Nations Children's Fund."  ABC NEWS quotes UNICEF's December 9th statement, ""The Gaza Strip is the most dangerous place in the world to be a child. Scores of children are reportedly being killed and injured on a daily basis. Entire neighborhoods, where children used to play and go to school have been turned into stacks of rubble, with no life in them."  NBC NEWS notes, "Strong majorities of all voters in the U.S. disapprove of President Joe Biden’s handling of foreign policy and the Israel-Hamas war, according to the latest national NBC News poll. The erosion is most pronounced among Democrats, a majority of whom believe Israel has gone too far in its military action in Gaza."  The slaughter continues.  It has displaced over 1 million people per the US Congressional Research Service.  Jessica Corbett (COMMON DREAMS) points out, "Academics and legal experts around the world, including Holocaust scholars, have condemned the six-week Israeli assault of Gaza as genocide."   The death toll of Palestinians in Gaza is grows higher and higher.  United Nations Women noted, "More than 1.9 million people -- 85 per cent of the total population of Gaza -- have been displaced, including what UN Women estimates to be nearly 1 million women and girls. The entire population of Gaza -- roughly 2.2 million people -- are in crisis levels of acute food insecurity or worse."  THE NATIONAL notes, "Gaza Health Ministry said on Tuesday that 29,195 Palestinians have been killed and 69,170 wounded in Israeli air strikes on Gaza since October 7." Months ago,  AP  noted, "About 4,000 people are reported missing."  February 7th, Jeremy Scahill explained on DEMOCRACY NOW! that "there’s an estimated 7,000 or 8,000 Palestinians missing, many of them in graves that are the rubble of their former home."  February 5th, the United Nations' Phillipe Lazzarini Tweeted:

And the area itself?  Isabele Debre (AP) reveals, "Israel’s military offensive has turned much of northern Gaza into an uninhabitable moonscape. Whole neighborhoods have been erased. Homes, schools and hospitals have been blasted by airstrikes and scorched by tank fire. Some buildings are still standing, but most are battered shells."  Kieron Monks (I NEWS) reports, "More than 40 per cent of the buildings in northern Gaza have been damaged or destroyed, according to a new study of satellite imagery by US researchers Jamon Van Den Hoek from Oregon State University and Corey Scher at the City University of New York. The UN gave a figure of 45 per cent of housing destroyed or damaged across the strip in less than six weeks. The rate of destruction is among the highest of any conflict since the Second World War."   

The US has proposed a draft resolution at the UN Security Council which calls for a temporary ceasefire in Gaza.

It has also warned Israel against invading the overcrowded city of Rafah.

The US has previously avoided the word "ceasefire" during UN votes on the war, but President Joe Biden has made similar comments.

However, the US plans to veto another draft resolution - from Algeria - which calls for an immediate humanitarian ceasefire.

A vote is expected to take place today.  Again, the US government has come out in favor of a 'pause' -- that is not a ease-fire.  A pause is what took place earlier this year.  It did not last.  I favor a cease-fire, not a pause.  However, a six week pause could allow some food, medical supplies and other aid -- all of which is sorely needed in Gaza -- to get in.  Chantal Da Silva (NBC NEWS) notes, "Over 90% of babies ages 6 to 23 months and pregnant and breastfeeding women are eating two or fewer food groups a day, according to the report from the Global Nutrition Cluster, a coalition of humanitarian groups."  EURO NEWS also notes the "report released by the Global Nutrition Cluster" which has found, "Over 80 percent of households in Gaza have access to less than one litre of safe water per person per day, according to the report, which also says there has been an increase in food insecurity, lack of diet diversity, and deteriorating infant feeding practices." THE NATIONAL reports, "The Palestine Red Crescent's Al Amal Hospital in Khan Younis is running out of essentials and only has drinking water for three days after Israeli attacks, the organisation said."

As the atrocities pile up, it's worth noting observations from Sukumar Muralidharan (THE WIRE)

Every hospital in Gaza has been in Israel’s narrative, a Hamas control centre where sinister terror acts are plotted in an underlying network of tunnels. It is a story-line that even the credulous U.S. media has had difficulty swallowing. An investigation by the Washington Post, published December 23, found Israel’s claims collapsing at the slightest scrutiny. There was nothing to suggest, the Washington Post found, that the Al-Shifa tunnels were not for anything but routine storage and internal transportation of kit and equipment. The rooms connected to the tunnel network “showed no immediate evidence of military use”. None of the five hospital buildings identified as Hamas control centres “appeared connected to the tunnel network”, nor was there any “evidence that the tunnels could be accessed from inside hospital wards”.

Abdullah al-Zaghari, head of the Palestinian Prisoner’s Society, has shared these updates at a news conference in Ramallah today:

  • There are testimonies and indicators that Palestinian men and female prisoners have been sexually assaulted. The statement issued by the UN yesterday pointed out for the first time that female prisoners are being violated in a grave manner, and serious crimes are being committed against them.
  • There are at least two female prisoners from Gaza who were raped. Many others threatened with rape, and have suffered sexual assault and strip-searches.
  • This is in addition to testimonies we received surrounding male prisoners who have been exposed to severe sexual assault including extreme beatings on genitals and attempts of rape as well as humiliating strip searches.

Al-Zaghari called for an independent international investigation into the developments, “one that will hold the occupation accountable and prevent it from continuing to carry out these crimes”.

Palestinian prisoner groups also stress that these crimes are happening in parallel and within the context of the horrific crimes being committed as part of the aggression against people in Gaza.

At least eight prisoners have died as a result of systematic torture policies, al-Zaghari added.

The following sites updated: