MAINSTREAM MEDIA WILL SAY THAT THE PROTESTERS STARTED THE VIOLENCE ON WEDNESDAY NIGHT. THIS IS NOT THE CASE AS PROVEN BY THE VIDEO ABOVE.
please watch this before its taken down
I feel like the scariest thing about this is that so much of what we know about the situation has only been made possible by social media. It makes you appreciate how easy it was in the past for them to successfully sweep things like this under the rug because people didn’t have an outlet to show the situation from their side.
The worst part of outfitting our police officers as soldiers has been psychological. Give a man access to drones, tanks, and body armor, and he’ll reasonably think that his job isn’t simply to maintain peace, but to eradicate danger. Instead of protecting and serving, police are searching and destroying.
If officers are soldiers, it follows that the neighborhoods they patrol are battlefields. And if they’re working battlefields, it follows that the population is the enemy. And because of correlations, rooted in historical injustice, between crime and income and income and race, the enemy population will consist largely of people of color, and especially of black men. Throughout the country, police officers are capturing, imprisoning, and killing black males at a ridiculous clip, waging a very literal war on people like Michael Brown."
These children are members of Iraq’s Yazidi minority, who are one of many minorities deemed expendable by ISIS militants. In the last few days, ISIS has moved into their villages and taken their homes. Tens of thousands of the villagers fled into a nearby range of mountains. Realizing this, ISIS circled the mountains with guns, blocked all the roads, and waited for them to die of thirst in the 120 degree heat. These children belonged to some of the families lucky enough to escape. While their parents were panicking about their relatives trapped in the mountains, these kids found a quiet place to play. I found them banging on some cans. I asked them what they were doing. “We’re building a car,” they said.
"Isn’t that cute," I thought. "They’re imagining the cans are cars."
When I came back 5 minutes later, they had punctured holes in all four cans. Using two metal wires as axles, they turned the cans into wheels, and attached them to the plastic crate lying nearby. They’d built a car. (Dohuk, Iraq)
Tarentaise Reserve: a winning cheese for a good cause
The American Cheese Society annual conference wrapped up last weekend in Sacramento, CA, and the Best of Show winner was the Tarentaise Reserve, from Farms for City Kids and Spring Brook Farm (Spring Brook is the farm, but the cheese is officially made through their non-profit educational organization).
Inspired by Beaufort and named for one of the alpine regions where Beaufort is produced (there’s also a “Tarentaise” cow breed), the raw cow’s milk Tarentaise has the same concave sides that are a trademark of that classic alpine French cheese. The Spring Brook Tarentaise is normally released at around 10 months, but the Reserve gets an additional aging, leaving the caves at around 18 months (The wedge pictured above was actually from some 2-year reserve that I purchased last year). The paste is an amber-gold color, firm, smooth and buttery; in flavor it is rich, buttery, tyrosine, and fruity with notes of toasted hazelnuts and hints of bacon. The 2-year I’d previously tasted had a similar profile but with a prickly, cheddary finish, but the Best of Show version was smoother and milder from start to finish, with a beautiful mouth-feel.
There are actually two different cheesemakers making Tarentaise: Thistle Hill, and cheesemaker John Putnam, is the original name behind the Tarentaise; in an interesting experiment of sorts in Vermont terroir, they licensed the Tarentaise name to another cheesemaker, Jeremy Stephenson at Spring Brook, and even referred them to the same French consultant to help develop the make and aging processes. The Spring Brook Tarentaise has since racked up many awards at ACS and other cheese competitions, even before scoring the top honor last week.
Spring Brook is the home of a non-profit organization — Farms for City Kids — funded by the Hagedorne family, set on a 1000-acre farm in Vermont, with a mission of giving inner-city children the opportunity to experience the farm life and “combining classroom studies with firsthand farming experience to give urban kids an understanding of how vital academics are to everyday lives”. In the last decade they added the cheese plant in the hopes of making the foundation self-sufficient; the cheese sales help fund the organization and allow the 700+ kids to spend time at the farm each summer, so it’s great to know that the increased sales that are sure to come will be helping to fund a good cause.
As is all too often the case with ACS Best of Show cheeses, the Tarentaise Reserve will probably be hard to get your hands on (last year’s winner, the Winnimere from Cellars at Jasper Hill, wasn’t even in production in late-summer, being a seasonal winter cheese, and the 2012 winners, Beecher’s Handmade Cheese, were dangerously low on their stock of Flagsheep when it walked off with the purple ribbon). In her email newsletter Planet Cheese (which you should subscribe to), Janet Fletcher reports that Stephenson only puts away 10-15 wheels a month for the Reserve, but that number will definitely be going up in response to the accolades.
So keep an eye out for the Reserve! And even if you can’t find the Best of Show version, the regular Tarentaise is an outstanding cheese, as is Spring Brook’s Reading Raclette, inspired by the classic french melter.
Long exposure during a blackout in Mayaguez, Puerto Rico in 1992. That’s me walking with a flashlight pointing at the sidewalk.