Think Global, Eat Local

A bit of history on the sustainable food movement. Yes, it a "real" revolution, and it's spread much further than the Left Coast.

The article really "gets it", too, pointing out that the average American's meal is trucked over 1500 miles from origin to table, and highlighting the big commercial producers emphasis on "commodity" foods, racing one another to the bottom of the price barrel and quality be damned!

The sustainable food movement that began with Berkeley chef Alice Waters has blossomed in Portland, Ore. Are its proponents just dreaming? Or is a real revolution underway?

(link) [Los Angles Times]

via MyAppleMenu

00:00 /Agriculture | 0 comments | permanent link


Economist Blames Aid for Africa Famine

More analysis of the famine situation developing in Africa. And this African economist really understands what's going on:

"When aid money keeps coming, all our policy-makers do is strategize on how to get more," said James Shikwati, a Kenya-based director of the Inter Region Economic Network, an African think tank.

"They forget about getting their own people working to solve these very basic problems. In Africa, we look to outsiders to solve our problems, making the victim not take responsibility to change."

He also points out that intra-African tariffs on food are roughly twice as high as those on food imported from Europe or America! Talk about not "eating local"!

Most of the problems in Africa were indeed "caused" by Western imperialism - but that doesn't mean we can fix them. In fact, if I were an African, I'd be real wary of any Western interference in my country, given the track record that first colonialism, and more recently "do-gooderism" has accumulated. Simply throwing money at the problem is not going to make it go away: the Africans need to address the root causes. We can advise them, we can help them, but ultimately we cannot solve anything for them.

AP - In Niger, a desert country twice the size of Texas, most of the 11 million people live on a dollar a day. Forty percent of children are underfed, and one out of four dies before turning 5. And that's when things are normal. Throw in a plague of locusts, and a familiar spectacle emerges: skeletal babies, distended bellies, people too famished to brush the flies from their faces.

(link) [Yahoo! News: Top Stories]

00:00 /Politics | 0 comments | permanent link


Idiot Savant

Inspired by the cheesemistress, I took the 3 Variable Funny Test to determine my "humor type". Results are below (and pretty accurate, if I do say so myself, although I am quite fond of puns and wordplay).

the Idiot Savant
(34% dark, 52% spontaneous, 50% vulgar)
your humor style:
VULGAR | SPONTANEOUS | LIGHT

You like things silly, immediate, and, above all, outrageous. Ixne on the subtle word play, more testicles on fire, please. People like you are the most likely to RECEIVE internet forwards--and also the most likely to save them in a special folder entitled 'HOLY SHIT'.

Because it's so easily appreciated, and often a little physical, your sense of humor never ceases to amuse your friends. But most realize that there's a sly intelligence and a knowing wink to your tastes. Your sense of humor could be called 'anti-pretentious'--but ironically, that definitely indicates you're smarter than most.

PEOPLE LIKE YOU: Johnny Knoxville - Jimmy Kimmel
My test tracked 3 variables How you compared to other people your age and gender:
free online datingfree online dating
You scored higher than 20% on dark
free online datingfree online dating
You scored higher than 99% on spontaneous
free online datingfree online dating
You scored higher than 99% on vulgar
Link: The 3 Variable Funny Test written by jason_bateman on Ok Cupid

00:00 /Humor | 0 comments | permanent link


Blogrolling is Gone

which doesn't mean I don't have a blogroll - it's just hardcoded now, and arranged alphabetically. Blogrolling.com was just too unreliable - there were very few times it arranged the links in updated order (as it should have done), and there were more than a few times that it just failed to allow connection. I appreciate the fact that it's a free service, but when you offer any service, free or paid, you have to have the capacity to complete the service - otherwise you'll lose "customers". They just lost me.

I don't subscribe to any of my blogroll's RSS feeds - I actually prefer to click the link and read it "straight up". It's nice to be able to visually ascertain which blogs have recently changed, but it's not required. Perhaps someday I'll take the time to write a Perl module for Blosxom that will place the links in updated order, but for now, well, at least the arrangement makes some kind of sense.

00:00 /Home | 0 comments | permanent link


Zimbabwe: Land is for blacks only

I wonder who the New York Times will blame for this famine, when it finally happens?

And seeing as how there's now an anti-apartheid movement against Israel (which is only marginally "racist", if at all, and has never declared itself a racist state) I can only wonder where the same mass protest against racism in Zimbabwe (which has come now come out openly as a "apartheid regime") is hiding?

Zimbabwe will not invite back white farmers whose land was seized by President Robert Mugabe's government despite calls by the central bank chief to allow them to help the struggling agriculture sector, state media reported.

(link) [CNN]

00:00 /Politics | 0 comments | permanent link


You Can't Fight Terrorism With Racism

He's right: it would be a bad move on several levels to start racial profiling for terrorists. He does however, neglect to mention one huge side effect that will occur if we do start using race and ethnicity as a criteria for closer scrutiny of suspected terrorists: the bad guys will start recruiting and using "non-obvious" persons who don't fit the classic "angry young male Arab" category. Look no further than Richard Reed. Of course, a few successful attacks like this and we'll end up searching everybody randomly again anyway. The policy is not only wrong-headed, it's practically useless.

A New York Times op-ed piece by Paul Sperry, a Hoover Institution media fellow ["It's the Age of Terror: What Would You Do?"], and a Post column by Charles Krauthammer ["Give Grandma a Pass; Politically Correct Screening Won't Catch Jihadists"] endorsed the practice of using ethnicity, national origin and religion as primary factors in deciding whom police should regard as possible terrorists -- in other words, racial profiling.

(link) [Washington Post]

00:00 /Politics | 0 comments | permanent link