Posts tagged Columbia
31 Percent Of All Food In America Is Wasted – And Why That Is About To End
According to a stunning new report from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, nearly a third of all food produced in the United States gets wasted. We are probably the most wasteful society in the history of the planet, and we are also one of the most gluttonous. More than 35 percent of all Americans are considered to be officially “obese” by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Unfortunately, this era of gluttony and taking food for granted will soon be coming to an end. Thanks to crippling drought in key growing areas and other extremely bizarre weather patterns, a massive food crisis is beginning to emerge all over the planet. If you don’t think that this is going to affect you, then you simply are not paying attention. Approximately half of all produce grown in the United States comes from the state of California, and right now California is suffering through the worst stretch of drought on record. Food prices are going to start soaring, and that is going to affect the household budget of every family in America.
Needless to say, a time is coming when Americans will not waste food so recklessly. But for the moment, we still have a tremendous amount of disrespect for the value of food. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, we waste a staggering 133 billion pounds of food each year…
Nearly a third of the 430 billion pounds of food produced for Americans to eat is wasted, a potential catastrophe for landfills and a wake-up call to officials scrambling to feed the hungry, according to a stunning new report from the Department of Agriculture.
The just-issued report revealed that in 2010, 31 percent, or 133 billion pounds, of food produced for Americans to eat was wasted, either molded or improperly cooked, suffered “natural shrinkage” due to moisture loss, or because people became disinterested in what they purchased.
Not that we need to stuff any more food into our mouths. As I mentioned above, we have an epidemic of obesity in this nation. In fact, the CDC says that 35 percent of the entire population is “obese”…
Meanwhile, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than one-third of US adults (35.7 percent) are obese, which is perhaps the best argument that Americans can offset a large part of the food waste problem by simply eating less. The estimated annual medical cost of obesity in the US was $147 billion in 2008; the costs of providing medical assistance for individuals who are obese were $1,429 higher than those of normal weight, thereby placing an enormous strain on healthcare costs.
Since we are such gluttons and we are so incredibly wasteful, we should have plenty of food to share with those in need, right?
Unfortunately, we are also extremely greedy and greatly lacking in compassion.
As I have written about previously, feeding the homeless has been banned in cities all over the nation, and other cities have passed regulations that greatly discourage the feeding of the homeless…
Feeding the homeless is about to get harder as a new policy is set to begin this Saturday, Feb. 15, in Columbia, SC. Charities and non-profits will be required to pay a fee and obtain a permit 15 days in advance in order to feed the homeless in parks.
One impacted charity that was interviewed by the Free Times, Food Not Bombs, has been serving food to the homeless in Finlay Park every Sunday for 12 years. The group’s organizer, Judith Turnipseed, noted that the group has an impeccable track record and always tidies up after the meal. But with the new crackdown, Food Not Bombs will have to pay at least $120 per week for the right to feed the homeless.
Since the Columbia City Council approved its exile plan in August, the city has been trying to herd its homeless people to a shelter on the outskirts of town and keep them away from downtown. If charities continue to provide food in downtown parks, the thinking goes, it will allow homeless people to continue to live downtown, rather than being forced to leave.
What is wrong with us?
While we stuff our faces with more french fries and chicken wings, we have an appalling lack of compassion for those that are not able to take care of themselves.
Perhaps we deserve what is coming.
The horrible drought that never seems to end is rapidly turning much of the western half of the country into a barren wasteland.
You can see some incredible before and after photos of the drought in California right here.
The water level in Folsom Lake has dropped 80 percent in just two years. In 2011, the lake was at 97 percent of capacity. Now it is just at 17 percent of capacity and it is still dropping.
If a miracle does not happen, the upcoming growing season is going to be absolutely disastrous. As I have written about previously, California farmers have already decided to allow half a million acres of farmland to sit idle this year because of the extremely dry conditions.
And it certainly does not help that the government has decided to cut off water supplies to many of the farmers. The following is an excerpt from a recent article by Holly Deyo…
Government has lost its mind. It is no more evident than their decision last week to cut off water to America’s food basket. Squeezed by the worst-ever drought in the state’s history, California is dying of thirst. Crushing news was delivered to farmer’s that no water would be coming from the Federal government. This dreaded decision was compounded by the Sierra Mountains getting just 25% of normal snowpack. There is no water to replenish already dangerously low reservoirs, so no water for farmers.
Needless to say, there are a lot of farmers that are going to be absolutely crippled by this. The following is from Fox News…
A federal agency’s recent announcement that the California’s Central Valley will get zero percent water allocation this year was devastating for farmers already dealing with the worst drought seen in decades.
One of the world’s most productive agricultural regions, the enormous valley is reeling after the driest year in more than a century. But last week, the Department of Interior’s Bureau of Reclamation, which supplies water to a third of the irrigated farmland in California through a 500-mile network of canals and tunnel, said it won’t be able to deliver any of the water sought by farmers.
“It goes beyond devastation, you’re going to see farms that have been in business 30 and 40 years, they do not have any water, they are out of business,” said Dennis Falaschi, general manager of the Panoche Water District.
If California produces much less food than it normally does, that means that food prices are going to start skyrocketing. Here is more from Holly Deyo…
As one Millennium-Ark reader pointed out in an email last week, after the jump in beef prices, people will look to chicken, pork, fish and turkey. Chicken is already up though not as much as beef. This will, in turn, drive up their costs and affect availability of these other meats. Keep in mind that California also produces all of these proteins plus lamb. Then consider this: Ag Specialists Warn of Higher Wheat Prices Due to Drought. It’s not just beef, weather is clobbering food from all angles.
And please keep in mind that the total size of the U.S. cattle herd has already been shrinking for seven years in a row, and that it is now the smallest that it has been since 1951.
But back in 1951, the size of the U.S. population was less than half of what it is today.
For much more on the emerging food crisis, please see this video.
Let us certainly hope and pray that the drought in California ends soon and that things get back to normal.
But I wouldn’t count on that.
According to National Geographic, the scientific experts that have studied these things tell us that it has been quite common throughout history for that region of North America to suffer through extended droughts that last for a decade or more.
One drought even lasted for about 200 years.
So the current drought in California might end next year.
Or it might last for the rest of our lifetimes.
We simply do not know.
But what does seem clear is that the days of taking our food for granted will soon be coming to an end.
This article first appeared here at the Economic Collapse Blog. Michael Snyder is a writer, speaker and activist who writes and edits his own blogs The American Dream and Economic Collapse Blog. Follow him on Twitter here.
Image credit: http://theeconomiccollapseblog.com
Washington Is Driving The World To The Final War
“V For Vendetta,” a film that portrays evil in a futuristic England as a proxy for the evil that exists today in America, ends with the defeat of evil. But this is a movie in which the hero has super powers. If you have not seen this film, you should watch it. It might wake you up and give you courage. The excerpts below show that, at least among some filmmakers, the desire for liberty still exists.
Whether the desire for liberty exists in America remains to be seen. If Americans can overcome their gullibility, their lifelong brainwashing, their propensity to believe every lie that “their” government tells them, and if Americans can escape the Matrix in which they live, they can reestablish the morality, justice, peace, freedom, and liberty that “their” government has taken from them. It is not impossible for Americans to again stand with uplifted heads. They only have to recognize that “their” government is the enemy of truth, justice, human rights and life itself.
Can mere ordinary Americans triumph over the evil that is “their” government without the aid of a superhero? If ideas are strong enough and Americans can comprehend them, good can prevail over the evil that is concentrated in Washington. What stands between the American people and their comprehension of evil is their gullibility.
If good fails in its battle with Washington’s evil, our future is a boot stamping on the human face forever.
If you, an American, living in superpower America lack the courage to stand up to the evil that is “your” government, perhaps the courage of Edward Snowden, Bradley Manning, Julian Assange, and tiny Ecuador will give you heart.
A US senator from New Jersey, Robert Menendez, the Democratic chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, told the Ecuadoran government that he would block the import of vegetables and flowers from Ecuador if Ecuador gives asylum to Edward Snowden. The cost to Ecuador would be one billion dollars in lost revenues.
Menendez’s statement–”Our government will not reward countries for bad behavior”–is ironic. It equates bad behavior with protecting a truth-teller and good behavior with betraying a truth-teller. Menendez’s statement is also a lie. The US government only rewards bad behavior. The US government consistently rewards those who conspire against the elected governments of their own countries, setting them up as dictators when Washington overthrows the elected governments.
Menendez’s threat did not work, but the senator did succeed in delivering yet another humiliating blow to Washington’s prestige. The Ecuadoran President, Rafael Correa, beat Menendez to the punch and cancelled the trade pact with the US on the grounds that the pact was a threat to the sovereignty of Ecuador and to moral principles and was being used by Washington to blackmail Ecuador. “Ecuador doesn’t accept pressure or threats from anyone,” added Communications Secretary Fernando Alvarado who then offered Washington foreign aid to provide human rights training to combat torture, illegal executions and attacks on peoples’ privacy.
Washington, exposed with its hand in the cookie jar devouring the privacy of the entire world and prevented by its hubris from acknowledging its illegal behavior and apologizing, has so mishandled the Snowden affair that Washington has done far more damage to itself than occurred from Snowden’s revelations. Washington has proven conclusively that it has no respect for anyone’s human rights, that it has no respect for any country’s sovereignty, that it has no respect for any moral principles, especially those it most often mouths, and that it relies on coercion and violence alone. The rest of the world now knows who its enemy is.
Washington’s presstitutes, by helping Washington demonize Snowden, Glenn Greenwald, Manning, Assange, and Ecuador, have demonstrated to the world that the US media is devoid of integrity and that nothing it reports can be believed. The US print and TV media and NPR comprise a ministry of propaganda for Washington’s immoral agendas.
On June 24, the Stasi State’s favorite whore, the Washington Post, denounced three times democratically-elected Rafael Correa as “the autocratic leader of tiny, impoverished Ecuador,” without realizing that the editorial not only demonstrated the Washington Post’s lack of any ethics whatsoever but also showed the entire world that if “tiny, impoverished Ecuador” can stand up to Washington’s threats, so can the rest of the world.
President Correa replied that the Washington Post “managed to focus attention on Snowden and on the ‘wicked’ countries that support him, making us forget the terrible things against the US people and the whole world that he denounced.” Correa added that Washington’s “world order isn’t only unjust, it’s immoral.”
The reason Washington hates Correa has nothing to do with Snowden. That Ecuador is considering asylum for Snowden is just an excuse. Correa is hated, because in the second year of his first term he repudiated the $3 billion dollar foreign debt that corrupt and despotic prior regimes had been paid to contract with international finance. Correa’s default threat forced the international financial gangsters to write down the debt by 60 percent.
Washington also hates Correa because he has been successful in reducing the high rates of poverty in Ecuador, thus building public support that makes if difficult for Washington to overthrow him from within.
Yet another reason Washington hates Correa is because he took steps against the multinational oil companies’ exploitation of Ecuador’s oil resources and limited the amount of offshore deposits in the country’s banks in order to block Washington’s ability to destabilize Ecuador’s financial system.
Washington also hates Correa for refusing to renew Washington’s lease of the air base in Manta.
Essentially, Correa has fought to take control of Ecuador’s government, media and national resources out of Washington’s hands and the hands of the small rich elite allied with Washington. It is a David vs. Goliath story.
In other words, Correa, like Venezuela’s Chevez, is the rare foreign leader who represents the interests of his own country instead of Washington’s interest.
Washington uses the various corrupt NGOs and the puppet government in Colombia as weapons against Correa and the Ecuadoran government. Many believe that it is only a matter of time before Washington succeeds in assassinating Correa.
American patriots, who feel that they should be on “their” government’s side regardless of the facts, would do well to remember what true patriotism is. For Americans, patriotism has always meant allegiance to the Constitution, not to the government. The oath is to defend the Constitution against enemies domestic and foreign. The Bush and Obama regimes have proven themselves to be the Constitution’s worst enemies. It is not possible for a true patriot to support a government that destroys the Constitution. The United States is the Constitution. Our country is not the Obama regime, the Bush regime, or some other administration. Our country is the Constitution. The Constitution is our country.
Beyond obligations to one’s own country, all humans have a responsibility to human life itself. Washington’s puppet states, such as the NATO countries, Japan, and Colombia, by providing cover and support for Washington’s aggression are enabling Washington to drive the world into World War III.
The temptation of Washington’s money easily overwhelms weak characters such as Tony Blair and David Cameron. But the governments of NATO countries and other accommodating states are not only selling out their own peoples by supporting Washington’s wars of aggression, they are selling out humanity. Washington’s hubris and arrogance grow as Washington bumps off country after country. Sooner or later Russia and China, will realize that they themselves are targets and will draw firmer lines. Arrogance will prevent Washington from acknowledging the lines, and the final war will be launched.
Washington’s hegemonic impulse is driving the world to destruction. The peoples of the world should realize this and force their governments to stop enabling Washington’s aggression.
Reprinted with permission from www.paulcraigroberts.org
About Dr. Paul Craig Roberts
Paul Craig Roberts was Assistant Secretary of the Treasury for Economic Policy and associate editor of the Wall Street Journal. He was columnist for Business Week, Scripps Howard News Service, and Creators Syndicate. He has had many university appointments. His internet columns have attracted a worldwide following. His latest book, The Failure of Laissez Faire Capitalism and Economic Dissolution of the West is now available.
Published on Dec 6, 2012
Narrated by Oscar winning actor Morgan Freeman, “Breaking the Taboo” is produced by Sam Branson’s indie Sundog Pictures and Brazilian co-production partner Spray Filmes and was directed by Cosmo Feilding Mellen and Fernando Grostein Andrade. Featuring interviews with several current or former presidents from around the world, such as Bill Clinton and Jimmy Carter, the film follows The Global Commission on Drug Policy on a mission to break the political taboo over the United States led War on Drugs and expose what it calls the biggest failure of global policy in the last 40 years.
By Anastasia Moloney
BOGOTA (AlertNet) – Rebel forces and criminal gangs fighting for a stake in Colombia’s mining boom are forcing growing numbers of people to flee their homes, a leading rights group has said.
Rising silver and gold prices along with increasing coal and oil production in the South American nation, have seen leftist rebels from the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) and new criminal gangs linked to former far-right paramilitaries expanding into illegal mining in recent years.
Illegal gold and silver mines in central and western Colombia as well as mines of coltan ore – an essential component in mobile phones – in Colombia’s Amazon jungle, have become increasingly important sources of revenue for armed groups and criminals.
“Mining, both legal and illegal, brings in and attracts illegal armed groups – paramilitaries and guerrillas – to control mining operations and or extort mining companies,” said Marco Romero, head of the Bogota-based rights group, the Consultancy for Human Rights and Displacement (CODHES).
“In some areas of Colombia, like in Cauca and in the oil-producing regions of the south, we’ve seen an increase in human rights abuses and violence against local communities, which in some cases has led to displacement,” Romero told AlertNet.
Published on Apr 17, 2012 by oversightandreform
Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA), Chairman of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, discusses the full committee hearing examining the wasteful spending practices at the GSA and the scandal involving Secret Service in Colombia days before President Obama’s arrival.
CNN – John King USA – April 16, 2012
Please remember regarding the Secret Service, when the story first broke, Columbia expelled the secret service people for their actions, not the DC administration. So we have more than just a break in secret service procedure. Betting good money, although still fiat, these “hookers” were well under age. It would be a nice comparison as to who this issue was reported in the Columbian press verses the white washed filtered news we see daily for the main stream media. Never assume, what was the age and were they girls or boys that the secret service members were hunting for?
Submitted by SC Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ
I received an e-mail from our meet-up which I’m editing but for to include this statement:
I have some significant information that I need to share with all of you regarding vote fraud in the SCGOP Primary. I have met with SCGOP Chairman already and am meeting again next Wednesday in Columbia. You will want to hear what I have discovered.
I’ve have uploaded the SCGOP Primary Vote Analysis to Google Docs: https://docs.google.com/open?id=0B_wWkfsJPShUMWQxMTc2NzgtM2M…
and would like commentary any of you analytical gurus might like to add here or additional insights. This is very important to us in South Carolina! Thanks!
****Analyst Adds Update****
Hey guys. I just want you all to know that I have graphed in detail all of the counties in NH, SC and Fla that have the precinct information available on the Election Commissions’ website. I have amassed a couple of hundred graphs probably. The most difficult part of this is getting this information into a form that is brief but easy to understand. Please appreciate this.
There are surely exceptions to the following observations, but here are some generalities:
1. In any county where Ron Paul has more votes than Mitt Romney using the low vote total precincts, you get a ridiculous- looking curve like the one in Anderson County. (Anderson, Greenville, Spartanburg, and Oconee Counties). Mitt ends up at a vote total that could have been Paul’s projected total and Paul crashes to the ground.
2. In the counties where Romney has more votes than Paul in the low vote total precincts, There is no ridiculous anomaly like the one in Anderson County.
3. In any race where Newt is ahead of Romney and Romney is anywhere close to Gingrich in vote total, Newt gets flipped by Romney (Richland, Charleston, and Beaufort Counties in SC) much like the maneuver in Anderson County where Mitt flips Paul. It appears to me that Newt actually won these counties as well as Polk and Duval Counties in Florida.
4. As I have laid out in my brief, fluctuations should occur in honest elections; however, these “flips” look to me like one candidate is suddenly losing his slope (established vote percentage) and another (Romney) is gaining at precisely the same percentage. My personal constitution screams to me “this phenomenon is not a normal occurrence!”
5. In almost all Counties, Mitt Romney gains hundreds- even more than a thousand- in the very largest precinct(s). Many instances this tail end gain appears to serve the purpose of draining Ron Paul just enough to be last place. (example: Charleston County SC). I’m not saying there isn’t an honest explanation, but I want to hear one… that makes sense. Maybe in every single county Romney supporters turned out in “droves” at the very largest precinct(s)?
6. Most graphs follow a disturbing trend: Mitt Romney’s vote percentage “line” looks more like a parabola curving upward and the other 3 candidates’ lines like a parabola curving in the negative. This might could be explained in some honest way, but it looks like algorithms in voting machines to me. I invite intelligent discussion.
7. Yes- demographics can play a part, of course. I am NOT a Demographics expert. I do like math though.
8. I will release a procedure that will show all of you math analysts how to do this on your own. You will see the same anomalies as I see.
Presidential candidate Ron Paul proposes major changes to U.S. foreign policy. We caught up with him in Iowa.
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