Archive for December, 2009

A View From the Inside

December 7, 2009

With all of the press and often uneducated opinions (our’s included) on President Obama‘s speech the other night, we thought it might be interesting to share the perspective of someone on the inside; in this case a WestPoint Cadet in his senior year, who was present when the President spoke.

“…I basically liked what the President had to say. I’m willing to give it a try. I basically saw it as an ultimatum that you [Afghanistan] have 18 months to get your stuff in order and here’s 30,000 guys to help you, otherwise, after that, you’re on your own. I think that is a good incentive. I know some people don’t like timetables as it may help the enemy, but, whatever, for if they leave and come back in Aug. ’11, then that’ll just make it all the easier for Afghanistan to get back on its feet and be ready to fight on its own without us having to get involved more than necessary.

I was more disappointed in the press coverage however. We had to sit in that auditorium for 3 and a half hours before the Presidential speech started so of course people were exhausted and can’t stop micro sleep. Nevertheless the press photographers pounced on any photo opportunity to catch one of us sleeping or reading an awkward book (they only took pictures of cadets reading books with the word “kill” in them). I think they focused too much on those kind of cadets rather than the vast majority who were intently paying attention, which is unfair as it portrays us in a negative way.  I was thinking to myself while watching the photographers do their thing, “these guys know we’ve been here all day and are exhausted and would surly excuse us for our fatigue but they are taking photos anyway because it will create scandal and scandal sells.”

I think that says more about the press than us really….

I also think Chris Matthew’s had a horrendously dumb analysis. Yes, he apologized for the “enemy camp” statement, but what was he thinking? Everyone was gonna stand up and cheer saying “Yay, we’re getting deployed! Whoopie!” Of course, we weren’t going to be all smiley and cheery. The media loves to stereotype us as a bunch of right wingers that hate Obama and use our lack of enthusiasm at the speech as evidence, but did Chris Mathews bother to watch how all the cadets swarmed the front of the stage trying desperately to get a picture with the president and shake his hand?  I never watched his full take on the cadets, but I doubt he did.  I know for a fact that everyone here supports and respects the President of the United States, no matter who or when it may be.  To suggest otherwise is ridiculous and unfair to us all.”

Unrecipe of the Week

December 6, 2009

It’s officially here: SOUP WEATHER! Here is a silky rich soup that contains no dairy, no starch, and very little fat. Best of all, it is quick and easy to whip up on a weeknight!

Cauliflower Soup with Parmesan Crisps

For the soup:

Sauté 1 diced onion and a couple of cloves of garlic in a little olive oil.

Add a head of cauliflower, chopped, and a quart of chicken broth.

Boil gently, until the cauliflower is soft.

Puree the soup in a blender and return to the pot.

Season with salt and pepper and add a tablespoon or 2 of grated parmesan cheese.

For the crisps:

Cover a baking sheet with foil.

Spread a thin layer of shredded parmesan cheese on the foil, and bake in a 350-degree oven until the cheese is melted and bubbly

Allow to cool and break the baked cheese into shards.

To serve, place a couple of pieces of the parmesan crisps on top of each bowl soup.

Sprinkle with a little chopped parsley or scallions for a garnish and ENJOY!

Tip: Ask Santa for an immersion blender if you don’t already have one. It allows you to puree the soup right in the pot, and it is snap to clean. It will save you time, and mess.

It is one of the best kitchen gadgets EVER!

Reality Bites

December 3, 2009

I admit it. I don’t stay terribly up to date on current events.

But last night, I tuned in to see the President address the county, and the Cadets, at the United States Military Academy at WestPoint.

My motives were not pure. My nephew is a senior at WestPoint, and last night sealed his fate.
Over the years, the war has been something terrible that we hear about and read about, but seemed very far away.  Like the attacks of 9/11, the country reeled in horror as they watched the planes crash into the towers, but those of us that reside in lower Manhattan actually lived it.  We remember the stench that wafted our way every time the wind changed. We remember evacuating the office and walking home with the other shell shocked New Yorkers who were still trying to figure out what happened. We remember our then 21-month-old baby, sitting in her high chair amid a group of strangers that escaped from the crumbling towers and took solace at our home. But most of all, we remember the dazed family members congregating near St.Vincent’s hospital, just a few blocks away, clutching photos and the hope that their loved ones would be found. That hideous vision of the planes crashing into the buildings was no longer just movie footage. It was sadly, horribly real, and something that took months to recover from.

Last night, as I watched CNN, I saw a few familiar faces in the crowd. Suddenly, this whole war became very, very real. I saw the faces of young men and women who have come to our home over the years and spent many pleasant Saturday nights, eating home cooked meals and sharing their lives with us. Suddenly, the inevitable deployment that we all pushed out of our minds, is happening. For real.

I am haunted by the idea that most of those people in that beautiful auditorium are going off to Afghanistan to fight for the rights of others. I am more haunted by the thoughts that some of them may not come home.

As a pacifist, I find it hard to support this war. As an aunt, and I hope also a friend, I find it impossible.

Last night, the price of a free education at the school that Forbes Magazine voted #1 in the country, got very, very expensive.


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