Friday, June 29, 2007
Monday, June 25, 2007
The problem is the growing appetite for sushi and sashimi outside Japan, not only in the United States but also in countries with new wealth, like Russia, South Korea and China. And the problem will not go away. Fishing experts say that the shortages and rising prices will only become more severe as the population of bluefin tuna — the big, slow-maturing type most favored in sushi — fails to keep up with worldwide demand.Now, sushi chefs are contemplating using mammalian raw meat to meet the needs of this popular entree. Recent articles like Nick Tosches' in Vanity Fair and Sasha Issenberg's book The Sushi Economy have brought attention to the fact that when the whole world consumes vast amounts of a natural resource, there's trouble.
Last year, dozens of nations responded by agreeing to reduce annual tuna catches in the eastern Atlantic and Mediterranean oceans by 20 percent in an effort to stabilize populations. But the decision only seemed to crystallize growing fears in Japan about tuna shortages, helping to push up prices of the three species of bluefin — northern, Pacific and southern — that are considered the best tuna to eat raw.
The thing about sushi is that it was nonexistent in America before the mid-70s. Over the years, it has become more and more popular. Now, there isn't enough natural supply to keep up with the demand. But how do you convince people to stop eating sushi? How do you convince a profitable industry to preserve the natural stock of fish? Keeping in mind that the fishing industry is extremely hard to regulate. There's just a lot of ocean, and not nearly the means to supervise it all. Any kind of regulation on the market portion would likely cause a burgeoning black market -- totally unregulated and at high risk of being unsafe for consumption. It sounds like the Times is right, and sushi chefs will have to start experimenting with other kinds of meat, and bluefin tuna will become part of a "premium" line of sushi, available at the top-of-the line sushi restaurants.
But this is the problem with globalized or nationalized culture, right? Things are no longer special or regional. You can get the same things everywhere.
Tuesday, June 19, 2007
Part of this is that Bazemore could point to a payscale put in place before the Civil Rights Act of 1964 was passed. But, in a post-Civil Rights Act world, we tend to think we're beyond discrimination. If a woman is experiencing pay discrimination, it's her fault that she didn't speak up sooner. Listening to Ledbetter testify, it's hard to say that because it seems clear that she put up with a lot of shit over the course of her career at Goodyear. Pay discrimination is simply the final slap in the face -- something that's screwing her over to this day, because she earns less in retirement and social security.
Friday, June 15, 2007
I'll have to add this to my rather lengthy list of "Places to travel when I actually have money."
South China Karst: described as being unrivalled for the diversity of its karst features - a unique underground landscape formed by water eroding limestone and marble rocks Rainforests of Atsinanana, Madagascar: home to a unique array of species, 80-90% of which are only found on the island nation. Deforestation has destroyed more than 90% of the original forest Jeju volcanic island, Korea: includes a shield volcano that is about 1.2 million years old, and an "impressive and significant" system of lava tubes (underground tunnels formed by lava flows) Primeval beech forests, eastern Europe: found in Slovakia and Ukraine, the woodlands are "an outstanding example of undisturbed, complex temperate forests" Teide National Park, Spain: situated on the island of Tenerife, the park was nominated for its "mature, slow-moving and geologically complex volcanic system"
Wednesday, June 13, 2007
Mexico is a place of unrest, and yet, reporting on the state of this violence doesn't get much press. Reporters are targeted for asking too many questions, but there seems to be little discourse about our neighbor to the south other than how to keep people from crossing the border. It seems obvious to me that what goes on in Mexico should be of great concern to us. We have abandoned the war on drugs for the war on terror -- and we're losing on both fronts.
It's true that some of the violence can be linked to the weapons smuggled from the U.S. to Mexico. Mexico has strict bans on purchasing weapons, but the relatively lax laws here allow the drug cartels to be just as well armed as the military there. While we're so concerned with our safety when it comes to border security, we should think about what Mexico has to gain from better checks on weapons at the border as well.
Tuesday, June 12, 2007
Monday, June 11, 2007
“They can try to have their votes of no confidence, but it’s not going to determine — make the determination who serves in my government,” Mr. Bush said, adding, “This process has been drug out a long time, which says to me it’s political.”Is it even worth saying that "drug" grammatically incorrect and he should have used "dragged"? Probably not.
Sunday, June 10, 2007
Saturday, June 9, 2007
Here at Rosebud, when six high school girls were approached at the Boys and Girls Club one recent afternoon for their reactions to the suicides, four said they had tried suicide. The four compared notes on their methods — two slashed their wrists, two overdosed on pills — and their motives. “There are a lot of reasons,” said Areina Young, a 16-year-old cheerleader at Todd County High who overdosed on sleeping pills and codeine in February. “We have a lot of issues.”It's a combination of things, for sure. It seems to me that there are few cultures valued less in this country than American Indians. Many schools in these rurual areas stuggle with students just as much or more than their inner-city counterparts. The good news is that South Dakota Sen. Byron Dorgan introduced a bill to provide some funding to prevent more suicides, but the sources of the problems remain somewhat intangible.
Albanians’ support for the war in Iraq is nearly unanimous, and any perceived failings of American foreign policy are studiously ignored. A two-day effort to find anyone of prominence who might offer some criticism of the United States turned up just one name, and that person was out of the country.Nearly unanimous? Every other country thinks this war is a bad idea, including our own, according to some handy polling data. Don't these people read the headlines?
Friday, June 8, 2007
Thursday, June 7, 2007
This science shows that skin can be manipulated to do the same thing an embryo does. Just like we learned in biology, every cell contains our entire genetic makeup. The objection is that embryonic cells have the potential to create new life based on the genetic makeup of one person. I'm certain that science will begin to show all cells have the capability to create new life (anyone seen Gattaca?) and then what is and is not life becomes very blurry. I would actually argue that this weakens opposition against stem cell research because it opens the door to all kinds of renditions of human life from other cells.
Initially, people objected to organ transplants for much of the same fear about the person's soul, as I read in Mary Roach's Stiff: The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers (a book I would highly recommend). Constantly worrying about this never seems very productive to me. As someone who has seen family members suffer and die due to diseases that could have been cured through both organ transplants and possibly stem cells, I'm more open to the possibilities that science holds, as other liberals are.
Wednesday, June 6, 2007
This is the complicated relationship liberals have with Muslim countries. We want to encourage human rights and equality for women, but we don't necessarily want to enforce Western-centric views, especially with military power. Matt proposes an interesting solution: boycott U.S. franchises that enforce gender discrimination in Saudi Arabia. The problem with this is that Americans are lazy and once a boycott is proposed you get people saying something to the effect of, "Well, I feel guilty that women are experiencing discrimination, but what can I do? I just happen to like my Starbucks."
Instead of bombing Saudi Arabia, for instance, the state department could be funding women's and human rights groups that are fighting this kind of thing. The bottom line is, there is very little the Western individual can do about how women are treated in Saudi Arabia. I agree that making one's voice known--writing letters to Starbucks, for instance--may help, but ultimately there will need to be vast social change in Saudi Arabia if we want women to experience the same freedoms there as they do here.
On another note, this story made me grateful to be living here (woo, patriotism!) rather than in a country where I have to cover every portion of my body.
I went to look at the sponsors (Jeep, The History Channel, Girl Scouts, various military groups, and Mrs. America, among others) and realized it's just some big patriotic masturbation in the midst of an unpopular war. The event is getting chaired by First Lady Laura Bush.
The underlying theme seems to be to give money to schools so they can teach children the words and melody of the national anthem. How about just giving money to schools so they can teach children, period? How about making sure kids can do math and read books? There are a lot of schools that are struggling just to provide enough teachers and books to the kids in the classrooms, and it's understandable that patriotic music education had to go in those circumstances. Priorities, people. Priorities.