October 11th, 2003


All you can eat...

Very interesting article in the NY Times, about how the nature of US farm subsidies encourage economic conditions which cause a huge glut of grain. The article connects the economic dots, and makes it clear what that means for the United States -- a culture of overconsumption.

Some of the problems which are made worse through the effects of US agricultural subsidies include:

- Increased obesity.
- Increased sugar consumption. (esp. corn syrup.)
- Increased 3rd world poverty.
- Soil erosion / exhaustion.
- Small farm failures.
- An increase in highly processed foods.

Is there a way to fix this mess? Not sure. It does seem like it deserves some serious attention, however.

Iraq -- the next Korea?

Evil bastard quote from L. Paul Bremer, head US puppetmaster for Iraq...

Asked how long US soldiers would stay in Iraq, Bremer said that was a question for the Iraqis to answer, once a sovereign government takes hold.

"I don't know if they'll want to have American troops here after they're sovereign or not. My guess is they probably will."

Great. So, in other words, we'll be there at least until we create a "sovereign government" that is both friendly to the US and not democratic enough to allow for Islamic law. In the meantime, Bremer, by saying that the US will stay until a "soveriegn" government is in place, can use that argument to ignore the pleas of the acting Iraqi coalition government to get the UN involved in Iraq so US troops can leave as soon as possible.

Once this future "soveriegn" (read "puppet") government is established, the US will do its best to keep military bases there until they can no longer bribe/threaten the Iraqis into letting us stay.

Something tells me that someone in the government is planning for the US to be there a *LONG* time. How long? Think Korea long... some wars never end, especially when you do your best not to let them.

Still, with that in mind, I suspect Bush will try to find a way to withdraw substantial numbers of troops sometime before the next election...