Later On

A blog written for those whose interests more or less match mine.

Archive for April 19th, 2009

Obama statement of his foreign policy

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Michael Scherer of TIME:

President Obama has an ability to issue coherent, Op-Ed-length answers during press conferences that is currently unmatched on the American political stage. Today, at a press conference in Trinidad, NBC’s Chuck Todd asked Obama to describe the “Obama doctrine” for foreign policy. At first Obama joked that it would be up to the press to write the “definitive statement on Obamism.” But then he said the following, which reads to me as just about the clearest, most succinct statement yet of Obama’s diplomatic approach (with a little editing). Here is his answer:

[T]here are a couple of principles that I’ve tried to apply across the board: Number one, that the United States remains the most powerful, wealthiest nation on Earth, but we’re only one nation, and that the problems that we confront, whether it’s drug cartels, climate change, terrorism, you name it, can’t be solved just by one country. And I think if you start with that approach, then you are inclined to listen and not just talk.

And so in all these meetings what I’ve said is, we have some very clear ideas in terms of where the international community should be moving; we have some very specific national interests, starting with safety and security that we have to attend to; but we recognize that other countries have good ideas, too, and we want to hear them. And the fact that a good idea comes from a small country like a Costa Rica should not somehow diminish the fact that it’s a good idea. I think people appreciate that. So that’s number one.

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Written by LeisureGuy

19 April 2009 at 3:03 pm

Interesting ice cream dish

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The Wife just heard this on the radio:

Take a ripe avocado, peel and seed and mash it up with a fork. Add diced canned green chiles and lime juice, mix. Then mix that into softened vanilla ice cream and refreeze.

I bet also that canned diced jalapeños would be interesting: cold and hot at the same time.

Written by LeisureGuy

19 April 2009 at 2:59 pm

Posted in Daily life, Food, Recipes

The Future of Agriculture

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Via the Ethicurean:

Written by LeisureGuy

19 April 2009 at 12:43 pm

Posted in Business, Daily life, Food

And yet more from the Ethicurean:

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More little goodies:

Bill Marler talks about why he does what he does, how his kids have never eaten a hamburger (we bet they’ve snuck one), and how his response to meat reps saying “If only people would cook the meat” was “If only you didn’t put cow shit in it, people wouldn’t have to worry about it.” (Culinate; thanks Julie!)

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Yes! magazine’s April issue, titled “Food for Everyone: How to Grow a Local Food Revolution,” is an informative, educational smorgasbord. Choice morsels: 8 Ways To Join the Local Food Movement; Claire Hope Cummings on GMO-colonized Kaua‘i, which some think should be called Hawaii’s “Mutant Garden Island; and a profile of Growing Power’s Will Allen.

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Paul Shapiro, senior director of The Humane Society’s factory farming campaign, takes the poultry industry to task for going on the attack, PR wise, rather than distancing itself from the facility captured in a new animal-cruelty undercover video. God forbid they condemn the abuses. (Civil Eats)

Written by LeisureGuy

19 April 2009 at 12:42 pm

Posted in Business, Daily life, Food

More snippets from the Ethicurean

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Several more short notes:

A new study from Purdue University — funded by Monsanto, interestingly — indicates that farmers who rely on Roundup Ready crops are definitely seeing increased herbicide resistance in weeds. Money quote: the researcher said “farmers should treat Roundup and Roundup Ready crops as an investment and work to protect the technology” by rotating crops consistently and using two different herbicides. (Purdue University) OK, so a genetically modified seed that costs extra, that you have to re-buy every year, and the act of buying which represents a contract that Monsanto will hunt you to the ends of the earth to uphold — now that seed doesn’t even do its one piddly job? GMO seeds rock.

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The Associated Press has obtained records showing that the federal government handed out more than $687 millions’ worth of subsidies, for both cheap irrigation water and for water-intensive crop growing, over the past two years to hundreds of farmers in California and Arizona, the most seriously drought-stricken states in the West. (Washington Post)

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Some big food processors, eager to avoid food-safety scandals, are paying other government agencies to do the FDA’s dirty field work for them. “With industry itself footing the bill, some safety advocates worry that the approach could introduce new problems and new conflicts of interest,” reports Andrew Martin. (New York Times)

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The USDA’s People Garden, which started off as an ill-planned PR stunt, is not only really happening, it’s happening as a 100% organic showcase for food growing, reports Eddie Gehman Kohan, in a great post reported from the garden. And the effort is drawing out sustainability-minded USDA worker bees. (Obama Foodorama) Frankly, we’re stunned and a little stoned on the awesomeness of this. Except we fear that somewhere, Monsanto and Syngenta lobbyists are sitting around a darkened bar plotting their response.

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The EPA will require pesticide manufacturers to test 67 chemicals to determine whether they disrupt the endocrine system, which regulates animals’ and humans’ growth, metabolism and reproduction. It’s about time — researchers like UC Berkeley’s Tyrone Hayes have been sounding the alarm about atrazine, for example, for years. We hope the tests will be conducted by third parties; the article doesn’t specify. (Washington Post)

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The number of blue crabs in the Chesapeake Bay increased about 43% last year, probably a sign that measures taken to protect the beleaguered bay icon are working for now. (Washington Post)

Written by LeisureGuy

19 April 2009 at 12:27 pm

The Green Revolution today

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From the Ethicurean:

In India, the Green Revolution system of farming is heading toward collapse. Farmers are running out of groundwater, have to buy three times as much fertilizer as they did 30 years ago to grow the same amount of crops, and face pesticide-resistant insects. (NPR)

Written by LeisureGuy

19 April 2009 at 12:23 pm

Posted in Business, Daily life, Food

Reality vs. the media

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The violence is not "spilling over the border" from Mexico:

On March 25, CNN’s Anderson Cooper 360° rolled into El Paso to report on Mexican drug-cartel violence. Cooper was one more in a recent wave of national news heavy hitters to parachute in, scare the pants off millions of viewers, then jet off to the next headline destination.

Dressed in military green, Cooper furrowed his brow and squinted solemnly into the camera as the lights of the international border checkpoint glimmered behind him. Guest Fred Burton, identified as a terrorism and security expert with Stratfor Global Intelligence, was beamed in from a studio in Austin to paint a menacing picture of Mexican cartels invading U.S. city streets. “It’s just a matter of time before it really spills over into the United States unless we shore up the border as best we can,” Burton warned.

By God, they’re coming to your neighborhood! Looking at another live feed from El Paso, listening to the breathless reports of violence and “expert” analysis about “spillover,” viewers could only assume that the city in which Cooper stood was under imminent assault.

That’s the reality these days for El Pasoans. Or rather, it’s the twisted perception created by border-warrior politicians and national news media, and foisted on Juarez’s relatively peaceful sister city. For El Pasoans and residents of nearby border towns, it might all be a mere oddity—maybe even worth a chuckle—if it didn’t mean the construction of 18-foot border walls, blustery talk about National Guard troop surges, and new resources for the disastrous war on drugs. While “troop surge,” “border wall,” and “drug war” might sound irresistibly sexy to politicians and pundits, it’s border residents who have to live with the fences and tanks and consequences.

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Written by LeisureGuy

19 April 2009 at 12:19 pm

Posted in Daily life, Drug laws, Media

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