The News Room

Rising concerns about food security

Why is 'food security' sparking unrest?

"The most urgent issue confronting humanity in the next 50 years is not climate change or the financial crisis, it is whether we can achieve and sustain such a harvest," said Julian Cribb, scientist and author of "The Coming Famine."


"First, we need to recognize that investment in agriculture is defense spending," Cribb said Thursday. "If we want to prevent wars and refugees and a food crises, then we need to renew global investment in agriculture and agriculture science. Agriculture has been a low priority for the last quarter century."

Your thoughts?

Personally, I think Cribb is being a bit disingenuous. Certainly, famines are a huge problem and concern, especially for developing nations, but they don't exist in a vacuum. It's not just about investing in agriculture. There are massive amounts of food going to waste in developed nations, after all. It's far more about politics, money and food distribution than anything else.

How to Ask for a Raise

In these difficult economic times, we're all looking to get a little extra money coming in. Those of us who are lucky enough to have a job still want to be making the most of it. We want to be sure our bosses know that we are good, valuable employees. Sometimes we need to do a little work to ensure that they're paying attention and recognize that fact and reward us with raises appropriately.

But how do you do that? It can be awkward going in and demanding extra money, after all. We don't want to feel like lumbering, smelly oafs stomping around and complaining. We want our bosses to want to give us raises!

Luckily, Women's Day and Summer's Eve are here to help.

Black youths not graduating high school, gay marriage to blame

This op-ed piece is an interesting way of interpreting the statistics about single parent households and how they influence children.

Apparently, by allowing gays to marry we are encouraging poor black women to be single parents and this is leading directly to young black men failing to graduate high school. The fact that you can't compare the household of two parents of the same gender to a household involving one parent never occurs to the author.

While I have known many a single parent, the causes behind such a situation are very, very, very different from what leads to two men deciding they want to raise a child together. Single parenthood can be the result of losing your partner to death or divorce, or it can be an accident, or it can be someone wanting a child and not caring about having a partner. Single parenthood is a complex issue and one that is very separate from SSM. That's without even touching the influence of poverty, which I imagine has a lot more to do with the high school dropout problem than the mother's marital status.

Should children ideally be raised by one man and one woman? I don't think so; not because there is anything wrong with the nuclear family, but because families are such an incredibly diverse concept that there is no "ideal."

Foreign minister takes a stand against imprudent promotion of tolerance

Since last year Germany's foreign minister has been Guido Westerwelle, chairman of the libertarian-ish FDP. He is also gay. So far his partner has accompanied him on his official trips. Now has decided that he doesn't really want to be so in-your-face about it and has announced he will be traveling alone to countries where homosexuality is illegal.

Of course he is still as much in favor of 'promoting tolerance' as ever, just not, you know, 'imprudently'.

Linked article.

It's a commentary piece but it provides all the necessary background.

Oh Guido, the best thing I can say about you is that you are running your party into the ground.

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