Posted by Nancy on January 31, 2011
I have been trying to rationalize why there has been unrest and riots in so many Middle Eastern countries this month. Admittedly they are all autocratic regimes, and the domino theory may explain the spread to some degree, but what started it? Was it planned by some nefarious behind-the-scenes force? Are these flash-mob riots started through Twitter and Facebook gone out of control? Is it just an example of Murphy’s Law on steroids?
The current riots in Egypt are not the only ones; the government has already fallen in Lebanon and there have been uprisings in Tunisia, Algeria, Yemen, and Jordan. Saudi Arabia’s rulers have increased security around their palaces and the country’s oil fields, and there is talk of unrest spreading to Iran. What is happening?
Larry Kudlow’s article in National Review may have the answer, and if he’s right United States policy shoulders some of the blame.
We may be causing hunger around the world.
A few facts:
1. Food commodities worldwide are priced in U.S. dollars
2. The Federal Reserve has been printing trillions of excess dollars, causing worldwide inflation in the commodities markets.
3. The food market is up 36% over last year’s prices (8% this month alone).
4. Egypt is the world’s largest importer of wheat, and wheat’s price has risen 113% in the past year.
5. The average Egyptian spends up to 56% of their income on the acquisition of food.
Could longtime underlying resentment toward dictatorial governments + increasing inability to procure enough food to sustain life = riots?
The U.S. government is also culpable in another way. Environmentalists have been demanding independence from fossil fuels and increased dependence on sustainable fuel – like flex fuels made from mixing gasoline with ethanol.
Some more facts:
1. Ethanol is made from corn.
2. 33% of the 2010 production of U.S. corn was converted to ethanol for use in gas tanks.
3. 14% of the world’s production of corn in 2010 went into gas tanks.
4. The price of corn is up 70% over last year.
Our food prices are rising too, but we are a wealthy country. We will feel a pinch in our budgets, but we will survive. The questions are, will we continue to to knowingly cause worldwide inflation? Will we continue to burn food while prices rise throughout the world? Are we willing to allow people to go hungry and governments to fall in order to pay for our financial folly, or to meet some arbitrary environmental standard?
Posted in Economy, Food | Tagged: Larry Kudlow | 3 Comments »
Posted by Nancy on May 20, 2008
I took a break this afternoon from my petunia planting, to check out the new ice cream parlor that opened nearby less than two weeks ago. Their sign says “24 flavors of soft serve ice cream.”
Okay, it’s not really ice cream if it’s soft serve, but it’s worth a try anyway. I asked for their recommendation, and they said a peach smoothie was their favorite. I took their advice. Good choice. I will go back, maybe often.
I could enjoy the ice cream more if it would warm up, though. Here it is the third week in May and the high today was only 60. Not only that, it’s supposed to be in the 60s till the end of the week. Then it will make it into the 70s and maybe an 80 reading over the weekend, before falling back down again! Good grief! It should be warm by now and I’m tired of waiting.
So, I checked the weather in St. George, figuring I will be flying there in three weeks and it has to be warm there. Right? Oh yeeaaah. It’s 97 degrees there right now.
But wait. What’s this? Tomorrow’s high is 72? Then the highs are going to be in the 60s for several days? Then the 70s again? Gahhh! Al Gore will not be happy! Hmmm. Maybe it’s what we used to call, years ago when I was young, WEATHER. It changed from year to year, from decade to decade, from century to century (no I’m not that old, but some records are).
On another note, the township work session scheduled for this evening has been cancelled because one of my fellow trustees is out of town and the other had to take his mother to the hospital this afternoon after she fell in her home. I hope she is okay. I will get to leave early (read: in the daylight) for once to go to Doug’s, though.
I am taking beads and things with me to make jewelry for the wedding, although we may have to do that next week. Z~ and I will be coming home tomorrow so I can attend a meeting and won’t go back until Friday so she can spend some time playing with cousins. (Come down Thursday if you can, Elaine.)
Doug is coming down over the weekend, at least for a couple days so he can be here Sunday when tentative plans are to bless Katie’s youngest in church. I haven’t heard yet whether she was able to finalize those plans.
Posted in Food, Local happenings | Tagged: ice cream | 1 Comment »
Posted by Nancy on April 1, 2008
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Posted by Nancy on March 29, 2008
We are staying at the Lucky 2 Hotel on Hang Hom Street.
Yes, that is the width of the hotel.
Inside on the ground floor is the front desk, reception area, elevator, and restaurant. There are five floors; we are staying on the third floor, and there are four rooms on this floor. I am assuming each floor is the same. Our room faces the street and we have french doors opening onto a tiny balcony, like the one you can see at the top of the photo.
It is a very nice hotel and the service is great. Every evening they bring us two bananas and some other small treat. Tonight it was fresh pineapple, and it was delicious. There are many street vendors selling fresh pineapple and bananas, and, while this particular woman is not selling fruit, they look like the following photo taken in front of the hotel.
You see many, many women carrying goods for sale or just transorting things. Always women, never men. The stick to which the baskets are attached is flat, and one woman put hers on my shoulder today so I could see what it felt like. Not good. Even briefly it felt heavy and uncomfortable.
Notice the width of the sidewalk, the tree growing in it, and that the women are walking in the street.
We saw a funeral procession today. I thought it was a parade and suggested we watch, then Matt realized what it was. It began with half a dozen or so people carrying banners, then a bus with the deceased’s picture in the window and a large ornate wreath on the front, then half a dozen or so people on scooters followed by people walking, then two more buses decorated with wreaths, then we couldn’t see if that was the end or not. We didn’t stay to watch as it somehow seemed impolite.
Everyone in the procession was wearing white headbands, except for those on the scooters who were wearing helmets. They must be required, as you never see anyone without one. They even make fashion statements with them, with some women wearing helmets with pleated fabric attached at the bottom making a colorful brim.
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