Texas Liberal

All People Matter

Six Week Wait For Pennsylvania Primary Was Like Crossing A Long Stupid Desert

Mercifully, it is finally Pennsylvania primary day.

It had been nearly six weeks since the last primary day.

Who thought such a schedule would be a good idea? 

I’m so glad I won’t have to hear much more about this contest after this week.

Why discuss issues like the world food crisis, when you can have weeks and weeks of so-called pundits going on and on about the Pennsylvania primary? Do any of them say anything that the average engaged citizen does not already know? 

For people who follow the news, getting to this day was like crossing a long stupid desert of arid nonsense while Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama fought like scorpions.   

Here is a history of the Pennsylvania Primary.

April 22, 2008 Posted by | Politics | , , , | 11 Comments

Clinton & Obama Should Make World Food Crisis A Campaign Issue

Rising prices for wheat and rice have created a food crisis in much of the world.

People cannot afford the food they need to eat. Here is an Economist story on this subject. 

Below is an excerpt from the Economist article—

Last year wheat prices rose 77% and rice 16%. These were some of the sharpest rises in food prices ever. But this year the speed of change has accelerated. Since January, rice prices have soared 141%; the price of one variety of wheat shot up 25% in a day. Some 40km outside Abidjan, Mariam Kone, who grows sweet potatoes, okra and maize but feeds her family on imported rice, laments: “Rice is very expensive, but we don’t know why.”

The prices mainly reflect changes in demand—not problems of supply, such as harvest failure. The changes include the gentle upward pressure from people in China and India eating more grain and meat as they grow rich and the sudden, voracious appetites of western biofuels programmes, which convert cereals into fuel. This year the share of the maize (corn) crop going into ethanol in America has risen and the European Union is implementing its own biofuels targets. To make matters worse, more febrile behaviour seems to be influencing markets: export quotas by large grain producers, rumours of panic-buying by grain importers, money from hedge funds looking for new markets.

Here is a New York Times story on the topic which discusses the global implications of the crisis.

Given that a portion of the crisis has to do with biofuel demand in the United States, and given that we are all connected in this world, it would be good to hear Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama address this subject as an important campaign subject. 

It’s easy to say that we won’t have cowboy foreign policy any more. Let’s back up these words with a genuine outreach to people suffering in the world.   

April 21, 2008 Posted by | Campaign 2008, Politics | , , , , | 4 Comments