Sunday Reads: Don’t expect humanity from a #ShitholePresident

 

 

When talking about the racist president in the White House… (and I still can’t believe a year later that turd of a man is the president.) Whether, it be Asshole or Shithole, both words describe both his personality and outlook on and to humanity. Well, I should place a caveat there and state *humanity that does not look or have the same qualities as he does…mainly white and wealthy. Aryan white and like, yugely wealthy.

It has been a few days since he called the Continent of Africa…a shithole nation. And don’t tell me he did not also mean that extended to Haiti and El Salvador and other Black or Brown populous countries.

Whatever any of his people may say or lie to protect their “Dear Leader” or (for what I tend to believe more myself…) to protect their own ass from whatever Kompromat the said “Dear Leader” may have on them. Uh…I am talking about the performance from Tom Collins and Perdue et al.

G.O.P. Senator Says Trump Didn’t Use Vulgarity for Haiti and African Nations – The New York Times

Transcript: Sen. Tom Cotton on “Face the Nation,” Jan. 14, 2018 – CBS News

I guess Cotton and Perdue got the message? Check out the time on this…JAN 12, 2018, 2:58 PM…that is the time that post was published over at Think Progress.

Read those links if you want to…it should come as no surprise. Especially after the other attempts to wag the dog have gone amiss. (Now that is my own opinion, and what is that saying? About assholes?) But after becoming so jaded over the past few years, you cannot tell me that certain news items were not leaked to get the news cycle off the Shithole comment. Especially after it was apparent that the victory lap which was previously taken the night before, was premature to say the least.

 

But you see:

 

I think the orange shithole let the porn star leak…and if you really want to know…I think there is something strangely tRumpian about this “Mistake” over in Hawaii.

Hey, maybe he knew it was coming?

 

It did take the Shithole news off the TVs for a little bit, however before long we were back to the obvious.

It seems like a point that I keep driving home on my threads. Hey, let us look at what this GOP has come to:

That comment above notwithstanding…who are the ones with most of the college loan debt?

Meanwhile, in Kentucky:

I think we are at the point where, it really doesn’t matter. The people will be screwed anyway:

This is a serious issue, and from the comments on that twitter thread, it looks like it could be something that will explode in our faces!

Hospitals face critical shortage of IV bags due to Puerto Rico hurricane | US news | The Guardian

Hurricane Maria crippled a key maker of fluid bags, and as ‘wellness’ clinics pay a 600% markup, hospitals unable to afford them scramble to make do without

And who, just who can pay for those markups?

Guess?

Here are just a few links to make a point, from Toledo to Shreveport and Anchorage to Fisherville, Virginia:

IV saline shortage: Triangle hospitals scramble to keep patients medicated | News & Observer

Nationwide IV bag shortage affecting local hospitals

Alaska hospitals are dealing with the nationwide IV bag scarcity linked to Puerto Rico hurricane injury | Kaplan Herald

IV shortage affects some Louisiana hospitals during flu season

Northeast Ohio Hospitals Are Keeping an Eye on Dwindling Supply of IV Fluid and Equipment | WKSU

Augusta Health finds solutions to IV bag shortage

Nationwide IV bag shortage caused by Hurricane Maria

A crisis is at hand. Only I do not think this Administration, or much of this nation for that matter, will really give a shit when people start to die.

Video shows patient left at cold bus stop at night, wearing only a hospital gown – CNN

I know we have mentioned this woman already on the blog…but I wanted to post it again for emphasis. You know, to bring home the point. Who the fuck could do this?  Where is the humanity?

I guess there is none when you have to put food on the table? Or was there something darker involved? That word is used on purpose mind you.

But, then how do you explain this shit:

That protest was over this:

This is what “humanity” has come to…here:

 

While these white supremacists and hate groups gather momentum…and tRump makes racist statements about black and brown continents and countries…here in our own country…predominantly areas populated by people of color are still subjected to environmental racism and outright negligence. It just makes me physically ill. Which brings me to my final point to all this…noise over the Shithole racist remarks, I wanted to save this little tidbit for last:

 

Trump denies Haiti slur amid fallout from ‘shithole’ comment – NBC News

Sen. Durbin on Pres. Trump’s use of the term “chain migration”:

“I said to the president, ‘Do you realize how painful that term is to so many people? African-Americans believe that they migrated to America in chains. When you speak about [it], it hurts them personally. And he said, ‘Oh, that’s a good line.'”

I am glad Durbin mentioned this…glad that he made this point…even if it went totally over the head of the racist in chief. So much of what is devastating about the direction this nation is going is the lack of humanity in a racist view of the world. tRump has made this the “ideal” to strive for…don’t tell me differently. The GOP is his accomplice.  (I truly believe that Russia (whatever way possible) got him in that White House to begin with…but that is another post all together. ) Sure Shithole is a bigger slap in the face…but the nuance of the phrase chain migration, has just as much importance. They both are significant of the same disease that is being brought forward into our everyday lives.

Racism…Corruption and Racism. It is bringing down our democracy.  Soon the only humanity left will be those who are marginalized and left with feelings of disgust and despair. You can’t expect humanity from a #shitholepresident.


Sunday Reads: Typing an Artform?

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Good Morning!

Well, after having a good evening, watching a couple of Italian films last night, Life is Beautiful and Miracle on Madonna Street, I have a few links for you this morning.

The New York Post has an article about the battles being fought in Africa: A Trail of Bullet Casings Leads From Africa’s Wars to Iran

The first clues appeared in Kenya, Uganda and what is now South Sudan. A British arms researcher surveying ammunition used by government forces and civilian militias in 2006 found Kalashnikov rifle cartridges he had not seen before. The ammunition bore no factory code, suggesting that its manufacturer hoped to avoid detection.

Within two years other researchers were finding identical cartridges circulating through the ethnic violence in Darfur. Similar ammunition then turned up in 2009 in a stadium in Conakry, Guinea, where soldiers had fired on antigovernment protesters, killing more than 150.

For six years, a group of independent arms-trafficking researchers worked to pin down the source of the mystery cartridges. Exchanging information from four continents, they concluded that someone had been quietly funneling rifle and machine-gun ammunition into regions of protracted conflict, and had managed to elude exposure for years. Their only goal was to solve the mystery, not implicate any specific nation.

When the investigators’ breakthrough came, it carried a surprise. The manufacturer was not one of Africa’s usual suspects. It was Iran.

Read the rest at the link, it is a long article.

In other news, this time out of Brazil: Fast New Test Could Find Leprosy Before Damage Is Lasting

A simple, fast and inexpensive new test for leprosy offers hope that, even in the poorest countries, victims can be found and cured before they become permanently disabled or disfigured like the shunned lepers of yore.

American researchers developed the test, and Brazil’s drug-regulatory agency registered it last month. A Brazilian diagnostics company, OrangeLife, will manufacture it on the understanding that the price will be $1 or less.

“This will bring leprosy management out of the Dark Ages,” said Dr. William Levis, who has treated leprosy patients at a Bellevue Hospital outpatient clinic for 30 years.

[…]

Even more important, he said, it is expected to detect infections as much as a year before symptoms appear. And the earlier treatment begins, the better the outcome. Leprosy is caused by a bacterium, Mycobacterium leprae, related to the one that causes tuberculosis, but reproducing so slowly that symptoms often take seven years to appear.

This new test requires just a drop of blood and the results are given after only ten minutes.

The disease has historically been hard to diagnose, despite the popular, but inaccurate, image of fingers and toes dropping off victims. As the bacteria kill nerves, muscles atrophy and those digits curl into claws. After disuse and repeated injuries, the body reacts protectively by absorbing the bone calcium in the bones, shrinking the digits.

For centuries, some observant doctors have noticed early signs: the numb skin patches, missing eyebrows, drooping earlobes, bulging neck nerves, the flat “lion face” caused by nasal cartilage dissolving.

Since nothing could be done for them before the age of antibiotics, victims lost the use of their hands and had to beg. Some also went blind as the blinking muscles degenerated and their eyes dried out. In the Middle Ages, some towns banned lepers, while others required them to ring bells to warn of their approach. Religious charities created “leper colonies.”

And they still exist, even in the United States. A few elderly residents have chosen to stay on in Carville, La., and Kalaupapa, Hawaii, despite having been cured. Several thousand live at one in northeast Brazil, said John S. Spencer, a leprosy researcher at Colorado State University who has worked there. “People say things like ‘People outside won’t understand what’s wrong with my face,’ ” he said.

Nowadays, he said, most patients are cured before their faces are severely disfigured. Still, he said, he had read a survey in which health experts asked Brazilians whether they would rather have the human immunodeficiency virus or leprosy. Most chose H.I.V. — even though leprosy does not kill, can be cured, and does not make a victim risky to have sex with. “The stigma is that strong,” he said.

Wow.  Dr Lewis says he hopes the Brazilian test becomes available in the US so he can test the families of his patients. It takes many antibiotics given over 6 months to a year to cure the disease…these new test provide doctors with more time to could help diagnosis leprosy before permanent nerve damage is done.

I guess my PAD is getting the best of me, I just don’t have the energy to give you more than these…and instead of posting links to more of the same news, give a look at some of the artsy reads below.

With the Academy Awards later tonight, I have two links about film and films.

Two films on Israeli occupation in Oscar race

Hollywood is getting ready to hand out the industry’s most prestigious film awards: the Oscars.

Among the contenders for best documentary is a film directed by an Israeli, and another by a Palestinian.

Both the Israeli The Gatekeepers and Palestinian 5 Broken Cameras tell the same story, but from two quite different perspectives.

Video at the link, and…

For more of Al Jazeera’s extended interviews with Dror Moreh, the director of The Gatekeepers, and Emad Burnat, director of 5 Broken Cameras, click here. Q&A: Dror Moreh and Emad Burnat

Film is finished – this could be its last Oscars

Digital is taking over Hollywood, but celluloid’s fans intend to fight on

They are some of the most powerful people in one of the most powerful entertainment industries in the world. And when Hollywood’s grandest gather at tonight’s Oscars there will be no end of smiles and handshakes. But they are also fans, and like all fans, they are given to apparently arcane squabbles. The latest is whether films should be shot on, well, film.

Some of the most successful directors, such as James Cameron and George Lucas, are so obsessed with having the best special effects that they have spent millions embracing computer-generated imagery and abandoned 35mm film. Others, such as Quentin Tarantino and Christopher Nolan, are wedded to traditional celluloid, which is becoming the film equivalent of the vinyl record.

Epics such as Les Misérables and Lincoln – both shot on 35mm – and digital creations such as Life of Pi have all made millions at the box office. While film buffs may talk about the “feel” of film, with all its subtleties, the reality is that pixilated perfection is winning – the whirring of 35mm film projectors silenced by the hum of digital machines.

Just take a look at the films nominated for best picture:

Although many love a sharp, digital picture with high definition, others prefer something a bit less “real”. The split among directors is highlighted in the nominations for Best Picture. Beasts of the Southern Wild, Django Unchained, Les Miserables, Silver Linings Playbook and Lincoln were shot on film. While Argo, Amour, Life of Pi and Zero Dark Thirty were shot on digital. As was The Hobbit nominated in three technical Oscar categories.

David O Russell, director of Silver Linings Playbook, said: “Maybe I’m old-fashioned, maybe I’m superstitious, maybe I’m romantic – I love film and it has a magic quality, it has a warmth. I may use digital cameras in a pinch because they are small and fast but I like film for its humaneness.” He is one of a number of directors determined to continue shooting on 35mm. Another is Nolan, who made the Dark Knight trilogy: “I am now constantly asked to justify why I want to shoot a film on film,” he said. Nolan likens digital to an “amazing” cookie until you realise “this is some horrible chemical crap that’s giving you this bad illusion that fools you at first.”

You can read more about what actors, cinematographers and directors think about digital vs film at the link up top.  I tend to agree with the folks who love film…and think that digital sucks.

Another archaic form of technology that gets lost in this day in age is the typewriter. Take this woman’s use of the typewriter:

Keira Rathbone’s Incredible Typewriter Art

As romantic as the idea of working on a typewriter now seems, in reality they’re rather clunky and temperamental things. Writing with one would probably take us an age – and if we made a mistake? Well, forget it.

So imagine trying to draw with one.

London based artist Keira Rathbone, originally from Dorset, does exactly that; clustering together marks made by letters, numbers and symbols, to make brilliant, one-off images.

Keira Rathbone Makes Art At The Stroke Of A Key (PHOTOS)

The English artist clusters letters, numbers and symbols from a typewriter keyboard to composite images; from portraits of friends and celebrities to landscapes and still life. A closer look at what looks like a sketch of Wimborne Minster, a church in East Dorset, England, reveals swirls of ampersands and the ticks of quotations marks.

[…]

Watch the video below to see the artist at work, and click through the slideshow to see examples of her typewriter art. Visit keirarathbone.com for more examples of her work.

 

Be sure to take a look at the pictures, Rathone’s art is impressive…

Another obsolete form of technology is shown below…Keypunch Orchestra: 1937 | Shorpy Historical Photo Archive

SHORPY_29043a.preview

June 1937. “Baltimore, Maryland. For every Social Security account number issued an ’employee master card’ is made in the Social Security board records office. Testifying data, given on the application blank form SS-5, is transferred to this master card in the form of upended quadrangular holes, punched by key punch machines, which have a keyboard like a typewriter. Each key struck by an operator causes a hole to be punched in the card. The position of a hole determines the letter or number other machines will reproduce from the master card. From this master card is made an actuarial card, to be used later for statistical purposes. The master card also is used in other machines which sort them numerically, according to account numbers, alphabetically according to the name code, translate the holes into numbers and letters, and print the data on individual ledger sheets, indexes, registry of accounts and other uses. The photograph above shows records office workers punching master cards on key punch machines.” Whew. Longest caption ever? Harris & Ewing Collection glass negative.

That is all I have for you this morning. Hope you all enjoy your Sunday, see ya later on tonight…should be quite a show.

So what are you all reading and blogging about today?


Sunday Reads: Hoods in the Hood…

Good morning…

I am just too disgusted to write much this morning. The KKK was in town yesterday, and of course it created a scene in my home. Sorry, but I am very vocal about things…and like many of you know, I get very passionate about what I think is right.  The same goes for what I think is wrong. And hate, bigotry, racism and intolerance are wrong. Especially when they come under the cowardice of a white hood. So I will speak my mind, and if it upsets anyone, so be it.

The KKK in Union County Georgia…Blairsville.

This image is not, LOL funny. And  to see it being “liked” by my kid’s school friends is too disturbing for me to let pass without making a comment on what these hoods represent.  I should not have to apologize for simply putting a link on a facebook photo to educate these kids as to what the KKK stands for.   If you sit back and ignore it, simply because it does not affect you personally, then you are complacent in the hateful actions this group participates and supports.

So, with that said…here are your morning links.

Let us start of with a bit of history. Annals of Settler Colonialism: British Atrocities in Post-War Kenya | Informed Comment

The anti-colonial movement in Kenya of the 1950s was mythologized by the British as a shadowy ‘Mau-Mau,’ an irrational outbreak of aimless hatred.

In fact, the movement was protesting the confinement of Kenyans to ‘reserves,’ their crowding into urban slums, the privileged position of white British settlers, and the latters’ plan to go on ruling over 6 million Africans with an iron fist.

From colonial Kenya to the Viking explorations: Explaining Viking Expansion

Abstract: Current scholarship regarding Scandinavia has neglected to give all but a cursory glance at the factors involved in Viking expansion. This thesis studies and explains employment opportunities, political motives, and societal norms as separate, individual motives that perpetuated Scandinavian migration, conquest, and adventure from the eighth through the eleventh centuries AD. Afterwards, these investigations are used to describe the various and sometimes conflicting forces of expansion that led to the formation of the Danelaw in England circa AD 870. Over time, the eventual adoption of Christianity and feudal relationships within Scandinavia would bring expansion as well as the Viking Age to a close.

In another section of Medieval History, this time The Fall of the Angevin Empire

https://i1.wp.com/www.medievalists.net/wp-content/uploads/2010/12/King-John-of-England.jpg

On July 30th, 1202, King John was at Le Mans when a messenger arrived bearing desperate news. His mother, Eleanor of Aquitaine, the grand old lady of twelfth-century politics, had been trapped at Mirebeau and was on the point of falling into the hands of his enemies, headed by his nephew, Arthur of Brittany. Between Le Mans and Mirebeau in Poitou lay nearly 100 miles of twelfth-century roads. Forty-eight hours later, at dawn on August 1st, Arthur and his followers, having forced their way into the castle and driven Eleanor back into the keep, the last refuge, were enjoying a relaxed breakfast – pigeons were on the menu that day- secure in the belief that John was still far away, when their quiet meal was rudely interrupted by the sudden arrival of Eleanor’s royal son. They went for their weapons and did their best to put up some show of resistance. But it was too late. The cat was already among the pigeons.

By thinking and acting faster than they had imagined possible, John had turned the tables on his enemies. Now it was they who were in the trap and not one of them escaped. More than 200 knights were captured, half a dozen barons and, best of all, Arthur himself. John Lackland, once the runt of the Plantagenet litter, had defeated his enemies more decisively than ever his father or even his warrior brother, Richard the Lionheart, had been able to do. It was a magnificent victory. ‘God be praised for our happy success’, he wrote in exultation.

Click here to read this article from History Today

In Russia, an 11-year-old  boy stumbles upon woolly mammoth find of the century:

A handout photo provided by the International Mammoth Committee shows the remains of mammoth found a few kilometers away from the Sopkarga polar station in the Taimyr Peninsula.  (AFP Photo)

An 11-year-old boy from Russia’s north has stumbled upon a well-preserved woolly mammoth, in what scientists describe as the best such discovery since 1901.

Yevgeny Salinder, whose family lives near a polar station in the northern Taimyr Peninsula, discovered the frozen animal when he was strolling along the banks of the Yenisei River in late August.

“He sensed an unpleasant odour and saw something sticking out of the ground — it was the mammoth’s heels,” said Alexei Tikhonov, director of the Saint Petersburg-based Zoological Museum, who rushed to the tundra after the boy’s family had notified scientists of the historic find.

Tikhonov said the mammoth had died aged 15-16 around 30,000 years ago, adding his tusk, skin, an eye and an ear were clearly visible.

“His one-metre-long penis is also intact so we can conclude that this was a male,” Tikhonov told AFP.

Tikhonov said it was the best preserved adult mammoth discovered in more than 100 years.

“So far we can say it is the mammoth of the century,” Tikhonov said.

I am so upset about this KKK thing that I can’t even make a joke about a 3-foot long penis.

This next link is particularly interesting, because it deals with film and fashion. The Victoria and Albert Museum: The Fantasy and Frippery Inside the World’s Greatest Wardrobe

V&A Costumes
From the exhibition “Hollywood Costume,” at the Victoria and Albert Museum: Cate Blanchett’s regalia from Elizabeth, Charlie Chaplin’s getup from The Tramp, Kate Winslet’s ship-boarding ensemble from Titanic, Christian Bale’s Batman suit from The Dark Knight Rises, Meryl Streep’s coat from Out of Africa, Brad Pitt’s Fight Club outfit, Ginger Rogers’s dress from Lady in the Dark, Marilyn Monroe’s fur stole and sequined shift from Some Like It Hot, Judy Garland’s “Dorothy” dress from The Wizard of Oz, and Gwyneth Paltrow’s Elizabethan frock from Shakespeare in Love.

‘You can’t have a great movie without the costumes’ being great,” declares costume designer Deborah Nadoolman Landis, the senior guest curator of the exhibition “Hollywood Costume,” which opens this month at the Victoria and Albert Museum, in London. Landis and her team have spent more than five years searching out and gathering together 130 of the most unforgettable costumes designed for characters over a century of filmmaking. “Hollywood Costume” explores what an essential tool costume is in cinema storytelling and how intricate the relationship is between designer, actor, and director from script to screen.

“We most succeed when we’re most invisible,” explains Landis. “I want the audience to be fully immersed in the movie. I’m so not interested in the clothes—they’re so surface. I only care about the characters.” The exhibition will unite classics from the golden age, including iconic looks such as Scarlett O’Hara’s green velvet “curtain” dress from Gone with the Wind and Dorothy’s blue-and-white gingham pinafore from The Wizard of Oz, designed by Adrian (and made on a treadle sewing machine, as if by Auntie Em).

Read more and watch a video of the exhibit at the link.

One more, this is an update on the Voyager 1 probe, by Eric Berger SciGuy » More evidence that Voyager has exited the solar system

Something very, very interesting is happening with Voyager 1, the human probe that’s the very farthest from Earth.

New data from the spacecraft, which I will discuss below, indicate Voyager 1 may have exited the solar system for good. If true, this would mark a truly historic moment for the human race — sending a spacecraft beyond the edge of our home solar system.

The visual graphs on this article are amazing…check it out:

there has been a dramatic and sustained drop in charged particles (principally protons) originating from the Sun that have struck the spacecraft.

And by dramatic, I mean dramatic. Here’s how it looks:

Rate at which Voyager 1 is being bombarded by particles such as protons. (NASA)

See what I mean, isn’t that impressive. The graph even looks like a barrier of some sort. Please, go to the link and look at more information and possible proof that Voyager has moved on out of our solar system.

Just a side note… the link was picked up by Drudge, and it is unfortunate that these right-wing assholes have to make they typical comments.  You can see how the discussion is ruined by these people ugh…anyway…

I will try and post some morning news links in the comments. Maybe I will be more calm and collected in the morning when I wake up…but I am not guaranteeing it.

Well, it is almost 6 a.m. and I still feel grumpy. However, there is hope because I found something to laugh at.  SNL had a couple of good skits last night. I have to post this one with Big Bird, Big Bird Responds To Mitt Romney On SNL video at the link.

And this promo for the special Bond disk set, including  Highlights Some Of The Lesser Known Bond Girls.

Penny Marshall in Quantum of Leap, “I’ve been waiting all afternoon for you…Unzip my fly and go to town.”


Wikileaks and GMO/GM food, More cables, more fun!

Recently our own Grayslady posted an excellent article about Wikileaks, Monsanto and GMO Corn. She discussed a cable sent in late 2007 from our then Ambassador to France, Craig Stapleton, in which he discusses ways to force France and the EU to be more favorable towards the adoption of Monsanto’s GM BT enhanced, Roundup Ready corn. Other aspects of the information in that Wikileaks cable has been discussed in other places, for instance at Huffington Post by Jeffery Smith and at Truthout by Mike Ludwig.

Pendleton, Oregon, 2007

Wheat and Hay Fields near Pendleton, Oregon

What the cable suggested, in part, was publishing a ‘retaliation’ list of places, down to the actual fields, growing GMO foods in Europe in the hopes the fields and crops would be destroyed by activists, ’cause pain’ for officials and hopefully swing GMO acceptance in Europe around. The Ambassador went on to say that France was particularly culpable because scientists in France were attempting to change ‘knowledge’ by studying the effects of GMO products (even the ‘good’ GMO like BT enhanced products). These studies show that the effects of GMO food on those eating it may be more pronounced and drastic than the limited studies done by the FDA and USDA suggest (see for example the studies of Dr. Gilles-Eric Seralini, Professor Andrés Carrasco, and others). And for more, see this interview of Jeffery Smith on Democracy Now.

This is very interesting, because a cable sent in 26 October 2007 is the subject of French President Sarkozky’s first visit to the USA, and his meetings with American business leaders, including pushers of GM foods. The cable suggests that the President’s support of more restrictive rules on GM products in France might be politically based and therefore, changeable.

But Wait, There’s more! The cable to France, although receiving a lot of attention because it suggests undercutting the rightful government of our supposed allies and creating civil unrest and ‘pain’, is not the only released cable to mention GMOs and Monsanto’s needs across the world. Over at Eats, Shoots and Leaves there’s a good rundown by Richard Brenneman of some of the cables.

For example, in a cable from 9 April 2009 concerning, in part, African development, one of the points of intelligence to be gathered is the African governments’ and peoples’ reactions to growing and using GM crops. Brenneman rightly asks, why would this be a concern of our State Department, unless our government is actively pushing and supporting Monsanto and the company’s GM stable of crops?

I’m going to drop a final h/t to Rady Ananda at the Food Freedom blog. She wrote about GMO and Wikileaks several weeks ago, and has been right on top of things. She brings forth the case of the food crisis of 2007-08 which wraps up some of the things we at Sky Dancing discuss into a tidy bundle.

In a January 2008 meeting, US and Spain trade officials strategized how to increase acceptance of genetically modified foods in Europe, including inflating food prices on the commodities market, according to a leaked US diplomatic cable released by WikiLeaks.

Some of the participants thought raising food prices in Europe might lead to greater acceptance of biotech imports.

It seems Wall Street traders got the word. By June 2008, food prices had spiked so severely that ‘The Economist announced that the real price of food had reached its highest level since 1845, the year the magazine first calculated the number,’ reports Fred Kaufman in The Food Bubble: How Wall Street starved millions and got away with it.

The unprecedented high in food prices in 2008 caused an additional 250 million people to go hungry, pushing the global number to over a billion. 2008 is also the first year ‘since such statistics have been kept, that the proportion of the world’s population without enough to eat ratcheted upward,’ said Kaufman.

Remember back in 2007/08 when food prices, especially bread prices, suddenly shot up? I remember being astounded when the price of a bag of hot dogs went from 99 cents to 1.29$ overnight. I figured maybe it was the result of the rise in oil costs going on about then, and perhaps it was, in part. But after reading the article by Kaufman I’m not so sure. There was no crisis in food production at this time. It was simply a manufactured bubble. About that time there were terrible food riots in Mexico amongst 29 other countries, because the price of tortillas had gone up so much people couldn’t afford to buy them. I note that the Mexican government has recently taken steps to ensure this doesn’t happen again, by buying corn futures to guarantee a flat price.

So, I wonder, how are the big fat cats and the government diddling in our food today? Surely food, at least food, should be relatively safe from bubbles, like electricity, water, and sewage service? Oh wait, those are being commoditized too. Ahd I would like to point out, the price of the bag of hot dogs has not come back down, although the bubble burst… makes ya wonder, doesn’t it?

Note: I’m going to be in and out all today, so consider this something of an open thread. I’m really keen to know what everyone thinks of the Kaufman article. When I read it I was stunned by the lengths to which the greedy people of Wall Street will go to make money.