MarketWatch.com - Pre-Market Indications

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Manufacturing a Food Crisis. IMF & World Banks Tactics

The Mexican food crisis cannot be fully understood without taking into account the fact that in the years preceding the tortilla crisis, the homeland of corn had been converted to a corn-importing economy by "free market" policies promoted by the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the World Bank and Washington. The process began with the early 1980s debt crisis. One of the two largest developing-country debtors, Mexico was forced to beg for money from the Bank and IMF to service its debt to international commercial banks. The quid pro quo for a multibillion-dollar bailout was what a member of the World Bank executive board described as "unprecedented thoroughgoing interventionism" designed to eliminate high tariffs, state regulations and government support institutions, which neoliberal doctrine identified as barriers to economic efficiency.

Interest payments rose from 19 percent of total government expenditures in 1982 to 57 percent in 1988, while capital expenditures dropped from an already low 19.3 percent to 4.4 percent. The contraction of government spending translated into the dismantling of state credit, government-subsidized agricultural inputs, price supports, state marketing boards and extension services. Unilateral liberalization of agricultural trade pushed by the IMF and World Bank also contributed to the destabilization of peasant producers.

This blow to peasant agriculture was followed by an even larger one in 1994, when the North American Free Trade Agreement went into effect. Although NAFTA had a fifteen-year phaseout of tariff protection for agricultural products, including corn, highly subsidized US corn quickly flooded in, reducing prices by half and plunging the corn sector into chronic crisis. Largely as a result of this agreement, Mexico's status as a net food importer has now been firmly established.

With the shutting down of the state marketing agency for corn, distribution of US corn imports and Mexican grain has come to be monopolized by a few transnational traders, like US-owned Cargill and partly US-owned Maseca, operating on both sides of the border. This has given them tremendous power to speculate on trade trends, so that movements in biofuel demand can be manipulated and magnified many times over. At the same time, monopoly control of domestic trade has ensured that a rise in international corn prices does not translate into significantly higher prices paid to small producers.

It has become increasingly difficult for Mexican corn farmers to avoid the fate of many of their fellow corn cultivators and other smallholders in sectors such as rice, beef, poultry and pork, who have gone under because of the advantages conferred by NAFTA on subsidized US producers. According to a 2003 Carnegie Endowment report, imports of US agricultural products threw at least 1.3 million farmers out of work--many of whom have since found their way to the United States.




full article:
Manufacturing a Food Crisis

Pope's astronomer insists alien life 'would be part of God's creation'

The Vatican's official newspaper has endorsed the possibility that the universe could contain intelligent life beyond Earth, while insisting that aliens would be "our brothers" and "children of God" as much as human beings are.

The Pope's astronomer, José Gabriel Funes, a Jesuit priest, told L'Osservatore Romano that there would be nothing surprising about the existence of intelligent extra-terrestrials.

"Just as there is a multiplicity of creatures on Earth, so there could be other beings created by God [beyond it]," he said. The interview suggests that the Church's hierarchy may be paving the way to showing that Pope Benedict XVI is more open to the ideas of modern science than he has previously seemed to be.

Pope Benedict has spoken in favour of "intelligent design" in the past and has damned evolutionary ideas that leave no room for God.

Fr Funes, in the interview, admits that, for him, evolution is a given. He also said that he believed in the Big Bang theory as the most likely explanation for the origin of the universe, and that the Bible should not be held to account for its lack of scientific accuracy. "Fundamentally," he said, "the Bible is not a book of science... It's a love letter written by God to his people in the language of two or three thousand years ago... So one cannot ask the Bible for scientific responses."

The existence of alien beings would not create a problem for believers, he insisted, "because one cannot put limits on the creative freedom of God... They would be part of creation."

Pope Benedict has reminded believers that "Revelation teaches us that [man] was created in the image and likeness of God", and that "man is the only creature on Earth that God has wanted for his own sake".


Pope's astronomer insists alien life 'would be part of God's creation' - Europe, News - The Independent


For a real eye opener watch these short NASA tapes of videos taken by astronauts in space. One is from the back of the space shuttle and one taping the Tether which is a 12 MILE long energy device. The experiment was to determine if tethers could be a reliable source of electrical energy, instead of batteries or generators, for the space station, satellites and other orbital missions.
http://youtube.com/watch?v=e0jpUPLqLhA


tether with astronaut voice communications
http://youtube.com/watch?v=1dhoW0mi9oc



tether enhanced
http://youtube.com/watch?v=Ox6BtwDmm3c





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