Today I had an urge to eat Liberian style cabbage which is a heavy dish of braised cabbage in oil typically with a variety of meats and fish. But I didn’t have “seasoning,” the all important bouillon cubes that really give the dish its kick so I resorted to braising the cabbage with shallots and chicken in red wine and butter which is delicious and French but really missing the thing I was craving most—MSG. 

The Middle East and other regions of the Muslim world are going through an agony of largely self-inflicted destruction. Though exacerbated by outside intrusion and neglect, it wasn’t caused by the U.S.—but it’s our inescapable problem, as well as the rest of the world’s. The means we use, including violence of our own, will be based on inadequate information and will bring unintended consequences. We will almost certainly overreact or underreact—most likely both. In or out, we will not come away with clean hands.

George Packer on the crisis in the Middle East today. (via newyorker)

It boggles the mind that this stuffed-shirt orientalism is still the default position of the American liberal classes. I mean, this is a guy who supported the Iraq war—in the New Yorker of all places—and now has the gall to write stuff like this. 

On a recent Tuesday, the sick were milling around the ward, many of them visibly weak but stirring to life. An elderly woman danced by herself in a corner. A 10-year-old staged her make-believe wedding in a giant white dress she’d lifted from a pile of donated clothing. A 23-year-old buried his head in the MP3 player/radio that his nurses had bought him. “Chris Brown,” he said, pointing at his headphones. Out came a survivor, Pendu Naileh, who said it was a song that carried her through the gloom of the last two weeks: “I Know Who I Am,” a Liberian gospel standard. She’d sung it with a nurse in her moments of depression. She sang it again within minutes of walking free, as nurses clapped along and shouted “Amen!” “I working miracles!” Ms. Naileh belted out, pushing her fists through the air. And then she broke into tears. She’d been discharged on the same day her husband was admitted.

Ebola’s Demanding Care Can Be Helped by Singing - WSJ

Drew Hinshaw’s work from Liberia has been both deeply humanizing and incredibly sad. A welcome rejection of the crass sensationalism that characterizes most reporting on Ebola.