“Garlic is divine. Few food items can taste so many distinct ways, handled correctly. Misuse of garlic is a crime. Old garlic, burnt garlic, garlic cut too long ago and garlic that has been tragically smashed through one of those abominations, the garlic press, are all disgusting. Please treat your garlic with respect. Sliver it for pasta, like you saw in Goodfellas; don’t burn it. Smash it, with the flat of your knife blade if you like, but don’t put it through a press. I don’t know what that junk is that squeezes out the end of those things, but it ain’t garlic. And try roasting garlic. It gets mellower and sweeter if you roast it whole, still on the clove, to be squeezed out later when it’s soft and brown. Nothing will permeate your food more irrevocably and irreparably than burnt or rancid garlic. Avoid at all costs that vile spew you see rotting in oil in screw-top jars. Too lazy to peel fresh? You don’t deserve to eat garlic.”—Anthony Bourdain (via marquisderad)
“Good evening. Tonight, I can report to the American people and to the world that the United States has conducted an operation that killed Osama bin Laden, the leader of al Qaeda, and a terrorist who’s responsible for the murder of thousands of innocent men, women, and children.
It was nearly 10 years ago that a bright September day was darkened by the worst attack on the American people in our history. The images of 9/11 are seared into our national memory — hijacked planes cutting through a cloudless September sky; the Twin Towers collapsing to the ground; black smoke billowing up from the Pentagon; the wreckage of Flight 93 in Shanksville, Pennsylvania, where the actions of heroic citizens saved even more heartbreak and destruction.
And yet we know that the worst images are those that were unseen to the world. The empty seat at the dinner table. Children who were forced to grow up without their mother or their father. Parents who would never know the feeling of their child’s embrace. Nearly 3,000 citizens taken from us, leaving a gaping hole in our hearts.
On September 11, 2001, in our time of grief, the American people came together. We offered our neighbors a hand, and we offered the wounded our blood. We reaffirmed our ties to each other, and our love of community and country. On that day, no matter where we came from, what God we prayed to, or what race or ethnicity we were, we were united as one American family.
We were also united in our resolve to protect our nation and to bring those who committed this vicious attack to justice. We quickly learned that the 9/11 attacks were carried out by al Qaeda — an organization headed by Osama bin Laden, which had openly declared war on the United States and was committed to killing innocents in our country and around the globe. And so we went to war against al Qaeda to protect our citizens, our friends, and our allies.
Over the last 10 years, thanks to the tireless and heroic work of our military and our counterterrorism professionals, we’ve made great strides in that effort. We’ve disrupted terrorist attacks and strengthened our homeland defense. In Afghanistan, we removed the Taliban government, which had given bin Laden and al Qaeda safe haven and support. And around the globe, we worked with our friends and allies to capture or kill scores of al Qaeda terrorists, including several who were a part of the 9/11 plot.
Yet Osama bin Laden avoided capture and escaped across the Afghan border into Pakistan. Meanwhile, al Qaeda continued to operate from along that border and operate through its affiliates across the world.
And so shortly after taking office, I directed Leon Panetta, the director of the CIA, to make the killing or capture of bin Laden the top priority of our war against al Qaeda, even as we continued our broader efforts to disrupt, dismantle, and defeat his network.
Then, last August, after years of painstaking work by our intelligence community, I was briefed on a possible lead to bin Laden. It was far from certain, and it took many months to run this thread to ground. I met repeatedly with my national security team as we developed more information about the possibility that we had located bin Laden hiding within a compound deep inside of Pakistan. And finally, last week, I determined that we had enough intelligence to take action, and authorized an operation to get Osama bin Laden and bring him to justice.
Today, at my direction, the United States launched a targeted operation against that compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan. A small team of Americans carried out the operation with extraordinary courage and capability. No Americans were harmed. They took care to avoid civilian casualties. After a firefight, they killed Osama bin Laden and took custody of his body.
For over two decades, bin Laden has been al Qaeda’s leader and symbol, and has continued to plot attacks against our country and our friends and allies. The death of bin Laden marks the most significant achievement to date in our nation’s effort to defeat al Qaeda.
Yet his death does not mark the end of our effort. There’s no doubt that al Qaeda will continue to pursue attacks against us. We must –- and we will — remain vigilant at home and abroad.
As we do, we must also reaffirm that the United States is not –- and never will be -– at war with Islam. I’ve made clear, just as President Bush did shortly after 9/11, that our war is not against Islam. Bin Laden was not a Muslim leader; he was a mass murderer of Muslims. Indeed, al Qaeda has slaughtered scores of Muslims in many countries, including our own. So his demise should be welcomed by all who believe in peace and human dignity.
Over the years, I’ve repeatedly made clear that we would take action within Pakistan if we knew where bin Laden was. That is what we’ve done. But it’s important to note that our counterterrorism cooperation with Pakistan helped lead us to bin Laden and the compound where he was hiding. Indeed, bin Laden had declared war against Pakistan as well, and ordered attacks against the Pakistani people.
Tonight, I called President Zardari, and my team has also spoken with their Pakistani counterparts. They agree that this is a good and historic day for both of our nations. And going forward, it is essential that Pakistan continue to join us in the fight against al Qaeda and its affiliates.
The American people did not choose this fight. It came to our shores, and started with the senseless slaughter of our citizens. After nearly 10 years of service, struggle, and sacrifice, we know well the costs of war. These efforts weigh on me every time I, as Commander-in-Chief, have to sign a letter to a family that has lost a loved one, or look into the eyes of a service member who’s been gravely wounded.
So Americans understand the costs of war. Yet as a country, we will never tolerate our security being threatened, nor stand idly by when our people have been killed. We will be relentless in defense of our citizens and our friends and allies. We will be true to the values that make us who we are. And on nights like this one, we can say to those families who have lost loved ones to al Qaeda’s terror: Justice has been done.
Tonight, we give thanks to the countless intelligence and counterterrorism professionals who’ve worked tirelessly to achieve this outcome. The American people do not see their work, nor know their names. But tonight, they feel the satisfaction of their work and the result of their pursuit of justice.
We give thanks for the men who carried out this operation, for they exemplify the professionalism, patriotism, and unparalleled courage of those who serve our country. And they are part of a generation that has borne the heaviest share of the burden since that September day.
Finally, let me say to the families who lost loved ones on 9/11 that we have never forgotten your loss, nor wavered in our commitment to see that we do whatever it takes to prevent another attack on our shores.
And tonight, let us think back to the sense of unity that prevailed on 9/11. I know that it has, at times, frayed. Yet today’s achievement is a testament to the greatness of our country and the determination of the American people.
The cause of securing our country is not complete. But tonight, we are once again reminded that America can do whatever we set our mind to. That is the story of our history, whether it’s the pursuit of prosperity for our people, or the struggle for equality for all our citizens; our commitment to stand up for our values abroad, and our sacrifices to make the world a safer place.
Let us remember that we can do these things not just because of wealth or power, but because of who we are: one nation, under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.
Thank you. May God bless you. And may God bless the United States of America.”—
President BARACK OBAMA, in televised remarks tonight.
Osama is dead, a little under ten years after he committed the murder of nearly 3,000 Americans.
“The one constant through all the years, Ray, has been baseball. America has rolled by like an army of steamrollers. It has been erased like a blackboard, rebuilt and erased again. But baseball has marked the time. This field, this game: it’s a part of our past, Ray. It reminds of us of all that once was good and it could be again.”—Terence Mann (via rulesformyunbornson)
I want to fatten you up with delicious cooking that involves bacon, cheese and a melange of other things that Paula Deen would approve of. I am writing to tell you that in addition to Smitten Kitchen, I have been recommended Joy the Baker.
Breakfast in bed freaks me out. Sure, you would make it for me and that is fine. But who is going to be left cleaning up the crumbs out of bed? And the crumbs - unless you wash those sheets immediately - will be found for days following. Who thinks it’s comfortable to eat sitting in that position?
So yeah, thanks much for the thought, but here’s just a note to save you some trouble in the future. (He hasn’t done it - I’m pre-empting).
It does not look like there will be an apology from the Groupon camp and here are my final thoughts before I give them anymore publicity.
Before I begin, here is a disclaimer:
I have a sense of humor. Anchorman is one of my favorite movies. See, prima facie evidence of a sense of humor. Take that. I am aware that Groupon has a charitable website it is directing people to where they can donate to the causes spoofed in their ads. I believe that they did not have evil intentions. I am aware the company started as a charity fundraising website.
With that said, here is why I was so pissed at the Tibet ad…
The Chinese occupation of Tibet is one of the terrible tragedies of the 20th century. Yes, there were many terrible tragedies in the 20th century. The Holocaust, the Armenian Genocide, the Balkan conflicts, Soviet purges, Apartheid, Rwanda, etc… but unlike those other terrible chapters in human history, the occupation of Tibet continues. There has never been any justice for its victims. There has been no resolution. The memory of dead monks cries out for justice. Destroyed cultural treasures have not been rebuilt. An unjust economic system favoring Han transplants at the expense of Tibetan locals has not been reformed.
Worse than that, the Tibetans’ struggle has become a punchline in American pop culture. In the 1990s, musicians and celebrities took up the Tibetan cause with a passion. When we thought of Richard Gere and the Beastie Boys, we also thought of Tibet. Often, when these things become the featured cause in Hollywood, some good actually comes from the awareness and money generated.
Unfortunately, these causes may have never come up against the central government of the People’s Republic of China.
The communists in the PRC did not capitulate and grant civil liberties and equal rights to the Tibetans. It just got worse.
And Americans have a short attention span. So, while the hippies clung to the cause, everyone else moved on. “Free Tibet” became a joke. The rally cry of potheads and slackers. And the people of Tibet continued to suffer.
So here comes Groupon with their PSA parody, seemingly poking fun at the Tibet cause and knowing that the common American will laugh at the hippies’ cause and maybe remember to check out that Groupon after the game. To air that commercial during one of the most watched events of the year seemed to me to be the final laugh at the Tibetan cause. If nobody challenged it and everyone bought $30 for $15 coupons, that would be the end of any chance for change in Tibet.
That is why I am angry. Because to not be angry seems like giving in to the possible inevitability of an end to any chance for freedom and justice in Tibet. China is so big and we are so intertwined with them in trade that we may never directly challenge them on the Tibetan issue. The central government is strong and not showing any sign of going anywhere. They currently imprison one Nobel Peace Prize winner and condemn another, His Holiness the Dalai Lama, as a terrorist with a “separatist clique”. The Chinese peoples’ xenophobia and nationalism seem from way over here to be unbreakable.
So, when Groupon pokes fun, it is not humorous. It continues the tragedy. If Groupon apologizes for at least having poor taste or flawed marketing schemes, I will forgive. If they make a concrete effort to improve the lives of Tibetan refugees with their own millions of dollars, I will celebrate.
Until then, I am buying on LivingSocial. It’s cooler anyway.
I am a customer that has purchased Groupons on occasion for more than a year, first in Baltimore and now in . Since moving to , I have recommended Groupon to multiple people in my office that had never heard of it before and I know they have since joined and purchased groupons.
Considering my past loyalty, I was especially disappointed with your Super Bowl commercial that used the plight of the Tibetan people as a marketing platform for Groupon. While I have no doubt that it was an effective ad considering the immense publicity it has created, it was, at best, in poor taste. At worst, it was abusive to a people group that has suffered for over 60 years from a systematic campaign of genocide and cultural destruction.
I will not be buying any Groupons for the foreseeable future to express my distaste for your marketing choice. There is one available in today for a coffeehouse I enjoy that I would have otherwise purchased. However, today, the very sight of the Groupon name conjures up negative feelings in me and I cannot in good conscience purchase from you.
I am aware of the site that you have set up where you can purchase a donation to a Tibetan charity which I’m sure was your safety plan to ward off the backlash you had to expect. However, considering what your company will gain from the commercial at the expense of a suffering people, I do not consider this an adequate gesture and I implore you to do something better for the Tibetans and repair the damage to your brand.
“That we often don’t know as much about the people in these countries as we do about their Tweets is a testament to the cutbacks in foreign coverage at many news organizations — and perhaps also to our own desire to escape a war zone that has for so long sapped American energy, resources and patience.”—Frank Rich’s “Wallflowers at the Revolution” op-ed in the New York Times. Good, good read. (via sharedair)