Wednesday, February 14, 2024

Slow Cooker Cajun Chicken Pasta

2 boneless skinless chicken breasts
2 cups  heavy cream
2 tablespoons butter
1 can chicken broth 14.5 ounced
1 tablespoon Cajun seasoning
1 teaspoon paprika
3 cloves garlic minced
1 cup frozen peppers and onions  
14 ounces andouille sausage sliced into rounds
1 1/2 cups shredded Parmesan
1 pound penne pasta
salt and pepper to taste

1) Put the chicken, heavy cream, butter, and broth in your slow cooker.
2) Sprinkle the Cajun seasoning and paprika all over.  Add the garlic, pepper and onions. Then add the sliced sausage.
3) Cover and cook on high for 2-3 hours or low for 4 hours.   Remove the chicken, slice it into bite-sized pieces, and set aside.
4) Add the pasta, stir and cover.  Let the pasta cook for 30 minutes until tender.
5) Add the parmesan cheese and the chicken back to the slow cooker.  Stir to combine.  Then cover and let it cook for a few minutes.
6) Season with salt and pepper to taste.

That sounds yummy.

News?  Let's return to the vile and disgusting Utah State Board of Education member Natalie Cline who, as an adult, thought the thing to do was to harass a young girl -- a student.  She posted the students photo to social media and implied that the girl wasn't a girl.  An uproar ensued and the girl required police protection just to go to school.  Now the girl wasn't trans..  Had she been, it wouldn't have made what Cline did right -- no adult should be attacking a child -- especially an adult on the board of education.  But the girl was a girl who was born a girl in a female body and she was vilified and threatened because of the insane actions of Natalie Cline.  People have called for Cline to resign but, not only does she refuse to do so, she also plans to run for re-election.  Kim Bellware (WASHINGTON POST) reports:


Al and Rachel van der Beek, the girl’s parents, said Cline owes their family an apology beyond what she expressed on Facebook.

In her Feb. 7 social media post, Cline shared a flier for a girl’s high school basketball game that featured an image of the van der Beeks’s daughter and wrote in the caption, “‘girls’ basketball …”

The van der Beeks, who did not immediately respond to a request for comment Sunday, told NBC’s Salt Lake City affiliate KSL TV that officials at their daughter’s school alerted them the next morning about Cline’s post and the torrent of threats that followed.

“It was cyberbullying at its finest,” Al van der Beek told the station, calling the comments about his daughter “disgusting.” The van der Beeks described their daughter as a “tomboy” who wears her hair short, wears baggier clothes and regularly hits the gym.

“To look at someone’s outer appearance and make an assumption that they’re either playing in the right arena or not, based on how someone looks, I don’t think is appropriate,” Rachel van der Beek told the station.

The van der Beeks said their daughter, whose name and school were not identified to protect her privacy, does not have social media on her phone. They broke the news to her after school the next day.

Al van der Beek told the TV station that his daughter was lucky to have support from her family and community because the mental health implications from such cyberbullying could have been catastrophic.

LGBTQ+ youths who face physical threats because of their gender identity or sexual orientation reported triple the rate of suicide attempts compared to those who were not threatened, according to the 2023 U.S. National Survey on the Mental Health of LGBTQ Young People conducted by the Trevor Project, an LGBTQ suicide prevention nonprofit.

Cline was elected in 2020 to represent parts of Salt Lake City and a northern portion of Utah County after campaigning on religious liberty and culture war issues such as anti-LGBTQ+ policies.

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

Tuesday, February 13, 2024.  Two Aljazeera journalists are attacked by a drone, the Israeli government makes a mockery of Joe Biden, the Church of England weighs in on the slaughter, and much more including you can Tweet Debra Messing's buddy and the director of her  upcoming 'documentary' on hate.

Our colleagues, Ismail Abu Omar, an Al Jazeera correspondent, as well as his cameraman Ahmad Matar in northern Rafah, were documenting the living conditions of displaced Palestinian families.

They were documenting the horror that they experienced within the past 24 hours as massive air strikes on major parts of Rafah city – where close to 100 people were killed – when they were directly targeted by a missile fired by a drone.

They were transferred to Gaza European Hospital, where they underwent immediate surgeries.

Unfortunately, Omar went through surgery where his leg had to be amputated as the shrapnel fractured his bones to the point that [his leg] was not attached properly. The doctors had to amputate his leg to save his life.

This is not the first incident and we are expecting this is not the last one. There is ongoing, systematic, almost consistent attacks on journalists – there are more than 100 journalists since the beginning of this war who have been targeted.

The death toll continues to climb.  At least 85 journalists have been killed in Gaza.  Ayat Khadoura was killed on November 20th and THE WASHINGTON POST notes her and others killed.  

Radio Free Amanda notes, "85 was the number two months ago -- CPJ tends to be slow at processing and releasing these figures. According to UN reports and Gaza's own Government Media office, the number is at least 122 journalists killed by Israel at this point."  Reporters Without Borders notes:

The toll of four months of war in Gaza on journalism is nothing short of horrifying: Palestinian journalists killed, wounded, and prevented from working without any possibility of safe refuge. Reporters Without Borders (RSF) strongly condemns the eradication of journalism and the right to information in Gaza by the Israeli army, and calls on States and international organisations to increase pressure on Israel to immediately cease this carnage.


In 124 days of conflict, at least 84 journalists have been killed in Gaza, including at least 20 in the course of their journalistic work or in connection with it, according to RSF’s data. Journalists are being decimated as the days of this interminable war go by, through incessant Israeli strikes from the north to the south of the Gaza Strip. Journalists who have survived these four months are living a daily hell: In inhumane conditions, they suffer shortages of all kinds, particularly of equipment, as well as regular media blackouts.

Just a reminder that Selma Blair is trying to hide out after making her anti-immigrant and anti-Muslim statements.  While she hides out, let's not forget that there are others.  Kelly McClure (SALON) notes:

In the since deleted comment, Blair writes, “Deport all these terrorist supporting goons. Islam has destroyed Muslim countries and then they come here and destroy minds. They know they are liars. Twisted justifications. May they meet their fate.”

In a series of replies beneath her own, actor Michael Rapaport chimes in with "Love it," and actress Debra Messing adds her own endorsement of the controversial sentiments with, "THANK YOU."

Like Selma, Debra Messing also thinks she can pretend it never happened and hide out.  And, of course, no one wants to leave a Tweet for Michael Rapaport because we all know any word having two or more syllables will go right over his head.

So what to do?  What to do?  

As Ava and I noted in "TV: The hate spreaders," Debra Messing -- of all people -- is producing a 'documentary' about the rise in hate.  And, no, it's not called THE DEBRA MESSING SHOW: WHERE I EXPLAIN HOW I HATEFUL AND ISLAMAPHOBIC I TRULY AM.  It could be called DEBRA MESSING: ANYTIME I TRY TO PART MY HAIR MY BALDNESS SHOWS.  She wants to call it PRIMAL FEAR and joining her in this 'documentary' will be director Wendy Sachs.  

She's thanking her friend Todd Richman -- the one with the face only a mother could love, the one who is co-chair of Democratic Majority For Israel -- a UN hating body of Americans dedicated to another country.  How sweet.

Wendy Sachs will be directing Debra's fictional 'documentary' and I'm sure Wendy's happy to hear all feedback and promote her 'documentary.'  So feel free to visit her Twitter base.

On Twitter, the prosecutor at The International Criminal Court has left a lengthy Tweet:

I am deeply concerned by the reported bombardment and potential ground incursion by Israeli forces in Rafah.     My Office has an ongoing and active investigation into the situation in the State of Palestine. This is being taken forward as a matter of the utmost urgency, with a view to bringing to justice those responsible for Rome Statute crimes.   All wars have rules and the laws applicable to armed conflict cannot be interpreted so as to render them hollow or devoid of meaning.  This has been my consistent message, including from Ramallah last year.  Since that time, I have not seen any discernible change in conduct by Israel.  As I have repeatedly emphasised, those who do not comply with the law should not complain later when my Office takes action pursuant to its mandate.   To all those involved: my Office is actively investigating any crimes allegedly committed.  Those who are in breach of the law will be held accountable.   I also continue to call for the immediate release of all hostages.  This also represents an important focus of our investigations.

AMY GOODMAN: Palestinian health officials say overnight Israeli strikes on Rafah in southern Gaza have killed at least 67 people as concern grows Israel will soon launch a full-scale ground invasion. Over a million displaced Palestinians have sought refuge in Rafah, which borders Egypt, after Israel claimed it was a safe zone. Palestinians in Rafah say a mosque and several houses were hit by the overnight Israeli strikes.

KHALED AL-TAWEEL: [translated] It was an Apache firing with a really loud noise. The F-16s fired, the Cobra, the drone, all kinds of aircraft. Terror, terror, so much terror. They wiped out mosques, people, and displaced people. They kept saying, “Go to Rafah. Go to Rafah.” And people came here. And then you target them?

AMY GOODMAN: Over the weekend, Israel carried out numerous airstrikes on Rafah, including one that leveled a five-story home, killing at least eight people.

ENAS AMER: [translated] My sister and her husband are sleeping in the room, and my mother and my other sister with her children in the living room, me and my father in the room over here. Suddenly, a rocket fell on us. My sister, her husband and their children, including my niece, who is 2 months old, all gone.

AMY GOODMAN: The overnight airstrikes came as Israeli forces carried out an operation in Rafah to free two Israeli Argentine hostages, who were found to be in good condition. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu faces increasing pressure at home to secure the release of the remaining hostages in Gaza. Earlier today, a relative of the two men freed in Rafah called for Israel to reach a deal now.

EDAN BEGERANO: And we know about the discussions in Cairo, or in Paris, in others, between the Hamas and between Israel, with the mediators. Please, be serious and strike a deal. The Israeli people need the deal done — not yesterday, not tomorrow, today. We want it done as soon as possible in order for to give us some breath. We must breathe a little bit here.

AMY GOODMAN: On Sunday, President Biden spoke by phone with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, warning against Israel launching a ground invasion of Rafah. Aid agencies fear the offensive would cause massive casualties, while UNICEF has warned an escalation of Israel’s attacks in Rafah will cause hunger and disease to skyrocket. Hamas cautioned an Israeli invasion of Rafah will torpedo ongoing negotiations for a truce. Authorities in Egypt have also threatened to suspend a key peace treaty with Israel if Rafah is invaded.

For more, we’re going directly to Rafah to speak with Duha Latif. She’s a 29-year-old teacher from Gaza trying to evacuate Rafah with her young children, 6-year-old Ameer and 1-and-a-half-year-old Kareem.

Duha, welcome to Democracy Now! Especially under these difficult circumstances, we appreciate you being with us. You are a native of Rafah. Can you describe the situation there now?

DUHA LATIF: Hello, Amy. Thanks for hosting.

I’m sure most of you saw the news yesterday. And what happened in Rafah, it was the worst night in my life, and I really cannot believe that I am still alive. And actually, situation here is very terrible. Rafah is a small city, and now 1.5 million people in Rafah, and Rafah is just 55 square kilometers, which means that per square kilometers in Rafah, there are around 24,000 Palestinians. Just imagine this, Amy. Therefore, it is very difficult to get food, water or medicine, in addition to the spread of diseases, because of a large population. Also, Rafah is a city with no hospital, no electricity, no bakeries since four months. This is the situation here.

AMY GOODMAN: You are 29 years old. You’re a teacher, Duha, in Rafah?

DUHA LATIF: Yes, that’s right.

AMY GOODMAN: The city has swelled to four times the population. Can you talk about your attempts to get out with your two little ones, your 1-and-a-half-year-old and your 6-year-old?

DUHA LATIF: The issue of leaving Rafah and evacuation to Egypt is very complicated, and it’s very, very expensive, because we need the approval of the Egyptian side to grant us exit arrangements, which costs a large amount of money. And this is what we don’t have at the present time. And this is what got me created a GoFundMe account, because we don’t have money to get out from Gaza.

AMY GOODMAN: What do you mean? How much money does it cost to leave Gaza? What are you raising money for?

DUHA LATIF: In fact, I can’t determine that exactly, but I can tell you that’s the amount required to be paid to exit Gaza. It’s considered somewhat high, very high, especially in our current case. This amount includes the travel cost and the expensive coordination, in addition to what is required when we arrive in Egypt side — of course, if we’re still alive — such as renting a place to stay and buy clothes and food and children needs. Actually, we don’t know to whom this money goes, and I cannot mention specific site. But what I know, it’s that we have to pay this amount for one of Egyptian offices.

AMY GOODMAN: Can you talk about your little ones and how they are processing what’s happening right now? Do you hear bombing, shelling around you?

DUHA LATIF: Yes, yes. Last night, maybe you see this in the news. And it was terrible. And we are all — that my children was scared all the night, and they’re crying. And maybe you see what’s happened in the news. And what’s happened, really, is very, very hard and difficult.

AMY GOODMAN: I’m wondering if you heard the relative of the two Israeli Argentine hostages who the Israeli military freed in Rafah. Their relative said, “Please, have a truce now. It is not enough that you have freed our two loved ones.”

DUHA LATIF: Yes. No, I don’t hear of this. And I am like you: I hear this just from the news.

AMY GOODMAN: So, if you can talk about, at this point, what message you have for President Biden? You may have heard that his aides are saying that he’s made mistakes in dealing with the Middle East. What message do you have for President Biden?

DUHA LATIF: I will send a message. I have two children, and they are always nervous and afraid from the voices they hear around us, and always ask me questions I don’t have the answers for it: “Mom, when can we get out? Mom, when we will eat burger? Mom, when we can go back to school?” And it’s difficult to calm children while the mother needs somebody to calm her. So, my message to President Biden: We are innocent civilians, and we have no fault in what is happening. Our children deserve to live a normal life like the rest of the world’s children. Just one word, President Biden: ceasefire now. You have the power to make it happen right now.

AMY GOODMAN: And, Duha, do you have access to clean water? Also, have you taken in refugees from other parts of Gaza at this point into your own home?

DUHA LATIF: And actually, Amy, yes, I have, but there is only canned foods, beans and tuna, for four months. My children are in a growing stage and need healthy and useful food, like an egg, milk, fruits. And all of this doesn’t exist at the present time. There is no clean water. Because of this, my young son Kareem, 1-and-a-half years, suffered intestinal khatar. And also, there is also no medicine for this. Also, about the refugees, yes, our situation like the situation of thousands people here in Rafah. Yes, I have many refugees in my home. They are my relatives from Gaza, in northern Gaza. Every home in Rafah is full of refugees.

AMY GOODMAN: Well, I thank you so much for taking this time, speaking to us from Rafah.

DUHA LATIF: Amy, I want just to say a word. Can I?


DUHA LATIF: We are urgently trying to leave Rafah, but we need money to leave. We have a GoFundMe account, if people want to support us by donating or sharing or help my family. We need to leave to keep my family safe.

AMY GOODMAN: Well, Duha Latif, I thank you so much for being with us, 29-year-old teacher from Rafah, trying to evacuate there with her young children, her 6-year-old Ameer and her 1-and-a-half-year-old Kareem.

When we come back, we’ll speak with Palestinian human rights attorney Noura Erakat, as the U.S., the European Union, countries around the world warn Israel against a ground invasion of Rafah. Stay with us.

This morning, DAWN notes:

Pakistan has condemned Israel’s “military aggression against Rafah city in Gaza and the resulting destruction and massacre of the Palestinian people”.

In a statement, the Foreign Office said: “Israel’s offensive in Rafah violates the provisional measures indicated by the International Court of Justice to protect the people of Gaza from “genocide”.

“It will further aggravate the humanitarian disaster witnessed in Gaza over the last four months and jeopardise the ongoing efforts for a potential ceasefire,” the FO warned.

Pakistan urged the “international community, especially the UN Security Council, to take urgent measures to bring an immediate end to Israeli aggression and its incessant crimes against humanity”.

Gaza remains under assault. Day 130 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."  NBC NEWS notes, "More than 28,400 people have been killed in Gaza since the war began, according to the Palestinian Health Ministry. More than 68,000 have been injured, and thousands more are missing and presumed dead."  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."   

As the assault goes on, US President Joe Biden tut-tuts and does nothing.  Harriet Sherwood (THE GUARDIAN) reports:

Church of England bishops have added their weight to calls for an immediate ceasefire in the war between Israel and Hamas

In a statement on Tuesday, the bishops said: "With the onset of Israel’s ground offensive into Rafah, we call for an immediate ceasefire. The relentless bombardment of Gaza and its huge cost in civilian lives and civilian infrastructure must stop. The manner in which this war is being prosecuted cannot be morally justified.

"We urge Israel to adhere to the ICJ order and to ensure that Palestinians have access to food, water, healthcare, and safety, that have long been denied to them. We welcome the [UK] foreign secretary’s recent call for an immediate pause in the fighting and would also welcome further representation to the government of Israel about the way that it is exercising its right to self-defence and to affirm adherence to international law.

"We continue to advocate for the release of the remaining hostages and an end to the missile attacks on Israel by Hamas. All sides must begin to imagine a future beyond this conflict: for a just peace for Israelis and Palestinians. This war can’t result in the consolidation of a system of occupation that has for too long denied Palestinians their rights and freedoms.

"In praying for all those in Israel and Palestine living in the midst of war and the fear of war, we pray particularly for the Palestinian Christian communities, that they may know strength and the presence of the Spirit of Jesus Christ, the Prince of Peace.

"As we consider the impact of the current conflict in the Middle East on community relations here in the UK, we again condemn all antisemitic and anti-Muslim sentiment. We are horrified by the growing threats and abuses of Jews on university campuses, in our neighbourhoods, and online. We appeal to our communities to be safe for all people whatever their nationality, ethnicity or religion. For our own part, we commit to working alongside our fellow faith leaders for the common good, despite and with our differences."

Of Namby Pamby Joe, the BBC notes, "US President Joe Biden has said civilians who are 'packed'  into Rafah in the Gaza Strip are 'exposed and vulnerable' and must be protected.  Israel must make 'credible' efforts to protect the more than one million Palestinians sheltering in the southern Gazan city, he said."  The Israeli government isn't even pretending to listen.  CNN's Alex Stambaugh reports, "The Israeli military has not yet presented its plan to the government for the evacuation of Rafah, a spokesperson for the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) told CNN on Tuesday."  If no plan's been presented, Joe's insisting (meekly) that a plan for evacuation needs to be in place before the assault starts?  They've blown off Joe.  They're not listening.  

The following sites updated: