If you switch a couple of names around...

Hillbilly

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Camden Tom

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Thomas Friedman's column in today's New York Times is eerily similar to what is going on here in the DR. Read it and just switch DR for Egypt and Moca or La Vega or San Pedro for any of the city names.

http://www.nytimes.com/2008/06/15/opinion/15friedman.html?th=&emc=th&pagewanted=print

If you can't access the page, send me a PM and I'll email it to you...good reading for our tormented little universe.

HB
Egypt, DR, and 100's of other countries around the globe. I sense we're sitting on a tinder box of global upheavel.
 
Mar 2, 2008
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Thank you Hillbilly. That was very interesting article, and it offers an excellent perspective on the effects of the fuel/food crises.

This crises is certainly real and worldwide. The question is, what can be done about it?

Right now, no one really knows. To find a solution we must first understand its causes, and they are many and complex.

Obviously, fuel and food prices are the issues, but there is no generally accepted reason for their prices to climb.

There is no immediate shortage, per se, of either fuel or food, although in the long-run there could certainly be an acute shortage of both. There is no embargo of either (outside of the current tiff between Charvez and Bush) that can account for the sharp increase in prices. And there are no major distribution disruptions for either fuel or food. So what is causing the problem?

Conspiracy theorists could point to the historic meeting between Cheney and the big oil companies, but that is not really an answer. It is too convenient, doesn't really explain anything. While it is not unthinkable, it provide much of a realistic answer. How about The war in Iraq? It is possibly a factor, but it is not even close to being the entire reason.

More than likely there are many causes; supply and demand, profiteering, price gouging, waste, mismanagement, criminal activity, politics, stupidity, etc, etc. The fact is we may never be fully understood what brought about this situation.

Regardless of the causes or cures, this current crisis clearly cuts across borders, both political and economic. And those affected are many and diverse. To one degree or another, we are all in this thing together.

No one should underestimate the possible outcomes of this crisis. It has the potential to change the world as we know it, and we have a common interest in its impact, whether we like it or not.

It's like when we're watching an approaching hurricane. We need to be able to work together to avoid a wide-spread tragedy.
 

DominicanBilly

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Thomas Friedman's column in today's New York Times is eerily similar to what is going on here in the DR. Read it and just switch DR for Egypt and Moca or La Vega or San Pedro for any of the city names.

http://www.nytimes.com/2008/06/15/opinion/15friedman.html?th=&emc=th&pagewanted=print

If you can't access the page, send me a PM and I'll email it to you...good reading for our tormented little universe.

HB
I've read a lot of Thomas Friedman's books, a very astute and insightful writer. But as you point out all you have to do is change a few names of places and the problems are the same here.

When I was coaching football and attended a few clinics; one coach, Lee Corso, made the point that "you better not spend any time worrying about things you have no control over". And I'm afraid this falls into that category so I don't want to spend much time worrying about it.
 

Hillbilly

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With Iowa losing 20% of its crops this season, there is reason for caution.

I really enjoyed the story on CNN about how Brazil took a few painful decisions three decades ago and is now independent of imported fuel. Cane-based ethanol is three times more efficient than corn based ethanol. E85 is everywhere.

So be it.

HB
 

Lambada

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Camden Tom

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With Iowa losing 20% of its crops this season, there is reason for caution.

I really enjoyed the story on CNN about how Brazil took a few painful decisions three decades ago and is now independent of imported fuel. Cane-based ethanol is three times more efficient than corn based ethanol. E85 is everywhere.

So be it.

HB
I suspect it will be a lot more than 20%. A lot of the farmers haven't even been able to plant yet. Waaaaaay to late in the season.
 

BushBaby

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Thanks for the link HB I was wondering if people are also familiar with the work of the Oakland Institute?
The Oakland Institute
Lot of interesting stuff there about the food crisis & impact of first world policies on developing nations like the DR. For example:
FINANCE: IMF "Cure" for Food Crisis Also a Cause

Corporate Vultures Lurk Behind the World Food Crisis | Corporate Accountability and WorkPlace | AlterNet

Ok ok maybe my political underwear is showing...............:laugh:
Did I miss the memo on this or are you making decisions to post without consulting me now?? :surprised. Maybe the decision was made whilst I was out playing golf this morning ....... Damn - I wish I had been there to discuss your political underwear!!

I was surprised with the comment above "you better not spend any time worrying about things you have no control over". And I'm afraid this falls into that category so I don't want to spend much time worrying about it. - this seems a bit defeatist to me & certainly flies in the face of what Europe Transport Drivers are doing! They are striking, blocking roads, causing mayhem & in some cases effecting damage to other people's property ALL in the name of trying to persuade the Governments of Europe (& North Africa) to take a serious UNITED stand to get fuel prices down & stop the price gouging. I know that if such a peaceful demonstration were to take place in Puerto Plata that I would find a way to add my voice of discontent.

I know it is only a SMALL contribution on our part but mangos, oranges, bananas, limes & other produce from our garden are distributed to those we see who have a need for them. Many people I know also donate US $25 per month to feed a family somewhere; NOT by buying food via a foundation but by ensuring seeds are sent to the needy area to allow them to farm their lands around their houses.

Perhaps the GREATEST action we can all take is to introduce the indiginpous population to new ideas - the most important one of these in my opinion is political awareness. I know Lambada does this in the local shops any time she finds an audience prepared to listen (especially if she has her political underwear showing!:cheeky:!), I too am now following that example with the locals I come into contact with. I must admit it causes quite a stir sometimes but as long as it is done with humour & respect, I find I leave the discussions in one peice & (generally) with a load of new friends - whether they agree with me or not!

Okay, I am off the soap-box now & will go see the un-married wife to see if I am allowed to post this!!:bunny::bunny: :ermm: ~ Grahame.
 

Chip

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With Iowa losing 20% of its crops this season, there is reason for caution.

I really enjoyed the story on CNN about how Brazil took a few painful decisions three decades ago and is now independent of imported fuel. Cane-based ethanol is three times more efficient than corn based ethanol. E85 is everywhere.

So be it.

HB
With a refocus on nuclear energy, refitting existing communities with effective public transportation and planning of future communities of same, in only a generation the dependence of the US on fossil based fuels could be dramatically reduced.

This will actually be good for poorer countries like the DR as demand will greatly decrease and prices accordingly.
 

SantiagoDR

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Jan 12, 2006
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My following statement is based on theory as unlike the U.S. I don?t see readily how gas is taxed in the DR. If based on a percent of the price, then my statement is true.

If the DR government wants to help the people, then don?t collect more taxes based on the rising prices.

Freeze the tax amount.


It is not in the interest of the politicians to pursue lower prices, be it oil, telephone, etc.
The higher the prices the more the government takes in on taxes.

Lowering prices is a conflict of interest with the government.

Another example besides gas prices:

Telephone service is taxed at 28%.
Why would the government pursue lower phone rates?

My 2 cents:
Those charging more for a barrel of crude oil are not the only ones profiteering, so are the governments of the world, by collecting MORE taxes based on the higher prices.
Don ♥ SantiagoDR
 

Chris

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I'm sure there are complex reasons, and simple ones as well. Here is a simple one. Even the world bank and the IMF 'got it' around 6 months ago (at least in the press .. I'm sure they got it earlier). Food is a simple thing. We need to be self-sufficient in food production as individuals, families, communities and countries. We've stopped doing that and handed our food production that sustains daily life and is meant to sustain and nurture body and soul, over to corporates who treated this wonderful thing like a commodity, raping the very earth where it comes from.

Despite the saying of 'too many rats in a cage', or ' too many chasing too little', there is sufficient earth and ability to grow what we need, that is if government and corporates stop meddling with our ability to grow and produce our food and buying up every fresh water source in the world.

Ecological crises are human crises and the price that we pay for creating them is very high. OK, will get off of my soapbox now. Would you fellows already go and enrich some soil with good compost, plant a few carrots and tomatoes and while you are about it, a tree or two as well.
 

Hillbilly

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"Fish farming the dams" Oh you don't know do you.?

There are reliable reports that pira?a are in Tavera/Bao reservoir!! Yes, those nasty little fish that eat you..

Apparently, "someone" was raising them as a source of protein-they are good eating fish--and with either the flooding associated with last year's tropical storms or they ate their way through the mesh, they got out into the lake.

So do not take your babies to swim in that place!!

HB
 

Ezequiel

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Jun 4, 2008
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Thomas Friedman's column in today's New York Times is eerily similar to what is going on here in the DR. Read it and just switch DR for Egypt and Moca or La Vega or San Pedro for any of the city names.

http://www.nytimes.com/2008/06/15/opinion/15friedman.html?th=&emc=th&pagewanted=print

If you can't access the page, send me a PM and I'll email it to you...good reading for our tormented little universe.

HB
Why not switch Egypt with the U.S.A here in the U.S. more than 40 million people are on the edge of losing everything, people are starving because they don't have money to buy food, are losing their homes, and can't go to the hospital because they can't afford it. Not only poor countries are having bad time, rich countries too.