In a special Oval Office address, President Obama laid out how to fight terrorism, with freedom.

In just his third time addressing the country from the Oval Office, Obama set out to calm a country on edge.

On Sunday night, President Obama addressed the nation to discuss last week's attack in San Bernardino and the broader threat of terrorism. In his 13-minute prepared remarks, the president outlined the administration's ongoing strategy to take on ISIS.

"As commander-in-chief, I have no greater responsibility than to the safety of the American people."

But what stood out most in his speech was the amount of time the president dedicated to reinforcing one of the most core American values: religious freedom. While both the husband and wife who carried out the San Bernardino terrorist attacks were Muslim, the president urged the American people to resist the urge to ascribe the motivations of the attackers to Muslim-Americans as a whole.


In the first half of tonight's speech, President Obama unveiled a four-point plan to fight terrorism, but what he said after that was just as important. Photo by Saul Loeb-Pool/Getty Images.

His message was especially important since anti-Islam rhetoric has grown increasingly hostile after the attacks in Paris and San Bernardino.

And it seems to be having a very real and dangerous effect.

Since the Paris attacks, the rate at which London Muslims have been physically attacked has tripled.

Last month, armed "protesters" began keeping watch outside an Irving, Texas, Islamic Center, with the goal of stopping the "Islamization of America."

On Friday, Liberty University President Jerry Falwell Jr., urged students to arm themselves so that they may "end those Muslims."

The truth, however, is that whatever ideology the attackers in Paris or San Bernardino subscribed to, it's not that of mainstream Muslims. Wrongly painting all Muslims as "terrorists" puts innocent lives at risk. It's important to not paint with too broad a brush, especially given the outpouring of support the Muslim community has shown for victims and their families.

Three Muslim women arrive at a candlelight vigil held at San Manuel Stadium in San Bernardino. Photo: Robyn Beck/AFP/Getty Images

This speech was a big deal. The Oval Office is typically reserved for only the most serious matters of national unity.

It's been the setting for huge moments in our history. It's where President Reagan discussed the Challenger disaster, where President Kennedy called on Congress to pass what would become the Civil Rights Act. This was only the third time President Obama addressed the nation from the Oval Office — the other two times in 2010 to discuss the BP oil spill and to announce the end of combat operations in Iraq.

That's how essential the topic of Sunday's speech was.

Oval Office addresses have been a rarity, especially during Obama's presidency. Photo by Saul Loeb-Pool/Getty Images.

It's an important conversation to have. Here are the best moments from the president's speech.

On religious freedom:

After the attacks in Paris, some politicians floated the idea that the U.S. should turn away Muslim refugees. The president publicly opposed that idea, and he renewed that sentiment again.

On the San Bernardino shooting:

While the president stressed that there's no indication the perpetrators of the San Bernardino shootings had any formal ties to terrorist organizations, they are terrorists, and what they did was an act of terrorism.

On gun control:

Prior to the San Bernardino attacks, the president called on Congress to block people on the terrorism watch list from purchasing guns. During his speech, he renewed that call. Last week, the Senate blocked that move.

On American values:

"The values that we are fighting against ISIL for are precisely that we don't discriminate against people because of their faith," Obama said after last month's attacks in Paris. "We don't kill people because they're different than us.

That's what separates us from them. And we don't feed that kind of notion that somehow Christians and Muslims are at war."

We need to be strong, and we cannot give in to fear.

You can watch President Obama's full address below.

More
Youtube

Should a man lose his home because the grass in his yard grew higher than 10 inches? The city of Dunedin, Florida seems to think so.

According to the Institute of Justice, which is representing Jim Ficken, he had a very good reason for not mowing his lawn – and tried to rectify the situation as best he could.

In 2014, Jim's mom became ill and he visited her often in South Carolina to help her out. When he was away, his grass grew too long and he was cited by a code office; he cut the grass and wasn't fined.

France has started forcing supermarkets to donate food instead of throwing it away.

But several years later, this one infraction would come back to haunt him after he left to take care of him's mom's affairs after she died. The arrangements he made to have his grass cut fell through (his friend who he asked to help him out passed away unexpectedly) and that set off a chain reaction that may result in him losing his home.

The 69-year-old retiree now faces a $29,833.50 fine plus interest. Watch the video to find out just what Jim is having to deal with.

Mow Your Lawn or Lose Your House! www.youtube.com

Cities

The world officially loves Michelle Obama.

The former first lady has overtaken the number one spot in a poll of the world's most admired women. Conducted by online research firm YouGov, the study uses international polling tools to survey people in countries around the world about who they most admire.

In the men's category, Bill Gates took the top spot, followed by Barack Obama and Jackie Chan.

In the women's category, Michelle Obama came first, followed by Oprah Winfrey and Angelina Jolie. Obama pushed Jolie out of the number one spot she claimed last year.

Unsurprising, really, because what's not to love about Michelle Obama? She is smart, kind, funny, accomplished, a great dancer, a devoted wife and mother, and an all-around, genuinely good person.

She has remained dignified and strong in the face of rabid masses of so-called Americans who spent eight years and beyond insisting that she's a man disguised as a woman. She's endured non-stop racist memes and terrifying threats to her family. She has received far more than her fair share of cruelty, and always takes the high road. She's the one who coined, "When they go low, we go high," after all.

She came from humble beginnings and remains down to earth despite becoming a familiar face around the world. She's not much older than me, but I still want to be like Michelle Obama when I grow up.

Her memoir, Becoming, may end up being the best-selling memoir of all time, having already sold 10 million copies—a clear sign that people can't get enough Michelle, because there's no such thing as too much Michelle.

Don't like Michelle Obama? Don't care. Those of us who love her will fly our MO flags high and without apology, paying no mind to folks with cold, dead hearts who don't know a gem of a human being when they see one. There is nothing any hater can say or do to make us admire this undeniably admirable woman any less.

When it seems like the world has lost its mind—which is how it feels most days these days—I'm just going to keep coming back to this study as evidence that hope for humanity is not lost.

Here. Enjoy some real-life Michelle on Jimmy Kimmel. (GAH. WHY IS SHE SO CUTE AND AWESOME. I can't even handle it.)

Michelle & Barack Obama are Boring Now www.youtube.com

Most Shared
via EarthFix / Flickr

What will future generations never believe that we tolerated in 2019?

Dolphin and orca captivity, for sure. They'll probably shake their heads at how people died because they couldn't afford healthcare. And, they'll be completely mystified at the amount of food some people waste while others go starving.

According to Biological Diversity, "An estimated 40 percent of the food produced in the United States is wasted every year, costing households, businesses and farms about $218 billion annually."

There are so many things wrong with this.

First of all it's a waste of money for the households who throw out good food. Second, it's a waste of all of the resources that went into growing the food, including the animals who gave their lives for the meal. Third, there's something very wrong with throwing out food when one in eight Americans struggle with hunger.

Supermarkets are just as guilty of this unnecessary waste as consumers. About 10% of all food waste are supermarket products thrown out before they've reached their expiration date.

Three years ago, France took big steps to combat food waste by making a law that bans grocery stores from throwing away edible food.According to the new ordinance, stores can be fined for up to $4,500 for each infraction.

Previously, the French threw out 7.1 million tons of food. Sixty-seven percent of which was tossed by consumers, 15% by restaurants, and 11% by grocery stores.

This has created a network of over 5,000 charities that accept the food from supermarkets and donate them to charity. The law also struck down agreements between supermarkets and manufacturers that prohibited the stores from donating food to charities.

"There was one food manufacturer that was not authorized to donate the sandwiches it made for a particular supermarket brand. But now, we get 30,000 sandwiches a month from them — sandwiches that used to be thrown away," Jacques Bailet, head of the French network of food banks known as Banques Alimentaires, told NPR.

It's expected that similar laws may spread through Europe, but people are a lot less confident at it happening in the United States. The USDA believes that the biggest barrier to such a program would be cost to the charities and or supermarkets.

"The logistics of getting safe, wholesome, edible food from anywhere to people that can use it is really difficult," the organization said according to Gizmodo. "If you're having to set up a really expensive system to recover marginal amounts of food, that's not good for anybody."

Plus, the idea may seem a little too "socialist" for the average American's appetite.

"The French version is quite socialist, but I would say in a great way because you're providing a way where they [supermarkets] have to do the beneficial things not only for the environment, but from an ethical standpoint of getting healthy food to those who need it and minimizing some of the harmful greenhouse gas emissions that come when food ends up in a landfill," Jonathan Bloom, the author of American Wasteland, told NPR.

However, just because something may be socialist doesn't mean it's wrong. The greater wrong is the insane waste of money, damage to the environment, and devastation caused by hunger that can easily be avoided.

Planet

The world is dark and full of terrors, but every once in a while it graces us with something to warm our icy-cold hearts. And that is what we have today, with a single dad who went viral on Twitter after his daughter posted the photos he sent her when trying to pick out and outfit for his date. You love to see it.




After seeing these heartwarming pics, people on Twitter started suggesting this adorable man date their moms. It was essentially a mom and date matchmaking frenzy.

Keep Reading Show less
Family