Friday, February 25, 2011

Is the Global Food Crisis Man Made or created by Speculators and Derivatives managers? Are they Accountable to any one or thing in the Universe? Is this the beginning of the end of human civilization as we know it or just a series of precursor shock waves to wake us up from our prolonged slumber? Time will tell.

Global Strategic Enterprises, Inc for Peace and Prosperity-

Our Passion is 2 Reach Our Individual & Collective Potential 4 Excellence & Success-Always!

The Global population has reached 7 Billion and the Abject Poor is now exceeding One Billion.  The few privileged and Greedy Speculators, Derivative Managers, Commodity Exchange managers  have sapped trillions of Dollars in the global economy and they continue to get bail outs, stimulus packages and recovery packages, etc.

As few are prospering at the expense of the Global Poor, the silent majority referred to as the rest of the world is left sinking in the black hole of increasing high price for oil, food and essential commodities that is creating a wave of revolutions in the low income Africans, Middle East and the PIGS (Portugal, Ireland, Greek and Spain) and soon to highly populated Asian neighborhoods.

This is the challenge of the the 21st century where unregulated Capitalism is sinking the global economy and socio-economic order of the world.

The Global Population has reached 7 Billion and the abject poor is rising to 2 Billion people.  With the current commodity crisis and increasing oil and food prices, the real revolution is here to stay.

This is a crisis made by foolish and selfish men of Financial institutions who deregulated the housing and food market and artificially inflated the market price for goods and services.

Governments both within the United States and around the world are declaring bankruptcy, whereas few Global Speculators are making Billions and more.  Only Saudi Arabian King has given $35 Billion to his young subjects to start business and get married to avoid the Gadafy and Mubarek type of chaos.  

Portugal, Ireland, Greece Spain, and now Italy will declare bankruptcy soon, Africans continue to buy arms to murder their own citizens like the lunatic Colonel Gadafy has done for the past 42 years, and the world is just watching!  

The Lybian Crisis is a painful human tragedy unfolding and no one seems to be in charge to avert the chaos.

Here is the World Bank's perspective of the Globe in this critical time in history.  Only history will judge whether those who were given leadership did their best to serve the common good or not.

For the record here is World Bank with all its stories about Food Crisis, Food Inflation, Youth Poverty and impending revolutions, etc.  

It is interesting that women and youth empowerment is getting leverage at global institutions and the World Bank is acknowledging the need to invest on women, children and the youth, in effect the future of our civilizations 

I continue to be impressed with the World Bank progressive changes towards sustainable security, good governance and progressive prosperity based on our women and youth.

I congratulate the Bank in its leadership in this innovative directions.

I just wondered if this is too little too late or part of the series of strategy papers towards common shared vision and value  and strategic options for 7 Billion global citizens!  It is time to be counted and act sooner than later!

What is the solution to the Speculators and militarized governance that is rocking the budgets of global governance ?  Is there no solutions for the current crisis?

I look forward to your alternative perspectives

Belai Habte-Jesus, MD, MPH 

This summary is prepared by the External Affairs Department of the World Bank. All material is taken directly from published and copyright wire service stories and newspaper articles. The daily summary and other news can be found on the World Bank’s external website at For inquiries call (202) 473-7660 or send a written request to the News Bureau.

Friday, February 25, 2011
Today’s Headlines:

  • UN Launches New Agency To Empower Women, Strengthen Gender Equality
  • Investing In Adolescents Break Cycle Of Poverty, Inequity: UNICEF
  • Food Inflation To Surge, Warns US
  • Editorial: The Food Crisis

UN Launches New Agency To Empower Women, Strengthen Gender Equality. “In a packed General Assembly hall, the public repeatedly chanted ‘women's rights are human rights’ to officially launch UN Women, the newest UN organ fabricated to advocate gender equality and the empowerment of women. ‘UN Women will offer new dynamic to the global dialogue on gender equality,’ the head of UN Women and former president of Chile, Michelle Bachelet, said during the official opening ceremony on Thursday evening. ‘There's no limit to what women can do,’ Bachelet, who was greeted with loud cheers, noted….” [Xinhua/Factiva]

AP adds that “… ‘We have really been fighting for the establishment of UN Women for such a long time,’ Ingrid Fiskaa, Norway's State Secretary for International Development, told AFP. She said UN Women has a strong mandate and must be ‘a watchdog and a constant reminder that all countries must do their part.’

‘We have a lot of declarations and resolutions that have been agreed upon at the UN. Governments have committed to work for gender equality, for women's rights but when it comes to action there is so much to do.’…” [Associated Press/Factiva]

IPS reports that “…formally known as the UN Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women, UN Women combines four pre-existing UN agencies into one task force that embodies the highest ambitions and aspirations of the drivers of gender equality….

Despite much-deserved celebration, UN Women cannot afford to lose a minute in getting down to solid work. Even on the day of the launch, the organization’s funding remains dismally low – the pledges for 2011 total a mere $55 million, a fraction of what is needed to ensure the agency's smooth take-off….” [Inter-Press Service]

Investing In Adolescents Break Cycle Of Poverty, Inequity: UNICEF. “Investing in the world’s 1.2 billion adolescents aged between 10-19 can break entrenched cycles of poverty and inequity, said UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) in its report released on Friday. The finding of the report on state of the world’s children entitled Adolescence: An Age of Opportunity revealed that strong investments during the last two decades have resulted in enormous gains for young children up to the age of 10….” [Associated Press of Pakistan]

However, AP adds that “…the picture shifts when children hit adolescence, with more than 70 million teenagers of secondary school age not attending classes, and girls lagging behind boys in attendance. Older children – especially the 88 percent of the world's adolescents living in developing countries – also have a higher risk for exploitation and abuse….” [Associated Press/Factiva]

AFP writes that “…adolescents ‘seldom come first’ when governments set social targets and that has to change, UNICEF said….About 13 percent of the global workforce aged under 19 is jobless and youth unemployment is now a concern in nearly every country, the report said…. ‘In many developing countries, the paucity of opportunities for productive full-time employment means that the first experience of work for young people is too often one of wasted talent, disillusionment, underemployment and continued poverty.’…” [Agence France Presse/Factiva]

The Guardian adds that “…according to UNICEF, adolescence is the most dangerous period of many children's lives. This is the time when young people, especially girls, are at the highest risk of dangers such as child marriage, forced labor and commercial sexual exploitation. But these dangers are yet to be reflected in child protection resources and assistance.

The report says that greater investment in adolescence is also crucial for further progress towards the MDGs. Adolescence is the pivotal decade where poverty and inequality pass on to the next generation, and is most apparent among poor adolescent girls who become mothers….” [The Guardian (UK)]

Food Inflation To Surge, Warns US. “The world faces a protracted bout of high food prices, the US government has warned, overwhelming farmers' ability to cool commodity markets by planting millions of additional hectares with seeds. The US Department of Agriculture (USDA) on Thursday forecast nominal record farm-gate prices for corn, wheat and soybeans in the crop year that begins with the 2011 harvests….” [Financial Times]

Reuters adds that “… food prices are forecast to rise a sharp 3.5 percent this year….The lion's share of the increase is expected in the second half of 2011 when the recent uptick for commodities, such as corn and soybeans, makes its way through the food system….

US Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said the US and other global producers are ‘better prepared to respond’ to rising food prices after the run-up in 2007 and 2008. ‘We're keeping an eye on this,’ he said….” [Reuters/Factiva]

Meanwhile, AP reports that “…former US President Bill Clinton on Thursday warned farmers that using too much corn for ethanol fuel could lead to higher food prices and riots in poor countries…. ‘I think the best thing to say is we have to become energy independent, but we don't want to do it at the cost of food riots,’ Clinton said….

USDA Chief Economist Joseph Glauber said…corn use for ethanol will continue to grow. He said 37 percent of all US corn production could be used for ethanol by 2012….” [Associated Press/Factiva]

Editorial: The Food Crisis. In an editorial published Friday, The New York Times wrote, “Food prices are soaring to record levels, threatening many developing countries with mass hunger and political instability….After the last sharp price spike in 2008, the G20 promised to invest $22 billion over three years to help vulnerable countries boost food production. To date, the World Bank fund that is supposed to administer this money has received less than $400 million.

Food prices are now higher than their 2008 peak, driven by rising demand in developing countries and volatile weather….The World Bank says the spike has pushed 44 million people into extreme poverty just since June. In 2008, 30 countries had food riots….The UN Food and Agriculture Organization warns that Mozambique, Uganda, Mali, Niger and Somalia are extremely vulnerable to instability because of rising prices, along with Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan in Asia, and Haiti, Guatemala, Bolivia and Honduras in Latin America.

Misguided government policies could make matters worse….The world's wealthier nations must press [other governments] to rethink these polices and back that up with real help. The Obama administration… pledged $3.5 billion to the G20 effort. So far, it has delivered only $66.6 million to the World Bank fund. It is now asking for $408 million for the fund – part of a $1.64 billion request for its Feed the Future initiative, which aims to bolster poor countries' food production capabilities…. The continuing resolution passed by the US House of Representatives cuts $800 million out of the food aid budget – bringing it down to about $1 billion, roughly where it was in 2001.

The White House needs to push back hard. This isn't a question of charity. It is an issue of life or death for millions of people. And the hard truth is that if the US doesn't keep its word, no one else will….” [The New York Times]

Also in This Edition, Briefly Noted Fighting has erupted in western Ivory Coast, breaching the six-year ceasefire between ex-rebels and government troops, the UN says. [BBC News]

China ranked 21st in terms of innovative abilities among the world's 40 most innovative countries, according to a report issued by the Chinese Academy of Science and Technology for Development (CASTED) on Thursday. The US ranks first in the report, followed by Switzerland, the Republic of Korea and Japan.

Bangladesh, South Asia’s biggest rice buyer, is in talks with India to buy grains on a regular basis to bolster food security as governments seek to avoid a repeat of the unrest that broke out when prices last soared. [Bloomberg]

Russia has agreed to build energy-starved Bangladesh's first nuclear power plant, the government said Friday. Bangladesh's Ministry of Science said officials from the two countries signed an agreement in Dhaka late Thursday for the $1.5 billion plant. [Associated Press/Factiva]

The EU’s aim of a 20 percent cut in greenhouse gases may cost Poland about 1.4 percent of gross domestic product (GDP) in 2020, the World Bank said on Thursday. [Reuters/Factiva]

Kyrgyzstan faces a default risk and may spiral into hyperinflation due to the Central Asian republic's outsized budget deficit, Kyrgyz finance ministry's supervisory board member Azamat Akeleyev warned Thursday. [Agence France Presse/Factiva]

Tunisia's interim government is on the right track towards democracy but the former ruling party, security apparatus or corrupt elite could reverse precarious gains, the UN warned on Thursday. [Reuters/Factiva]

Growing environmental awareness over the past two decades has resulted in the adoption of a plethora of some 500 conventions, which paradoxically has hindered saving the planet, experts said Thursday. [Agence France Presse/Factiva]

As the global economy is reeling with unregulated commodity, food and 
energy price, the US economy is not faring any better.

Imagine, the Globe starving from food price crisis and the US starving 
from Pentagon Speculators and the US Psyops counter intelligence
 using its operations on its Senators and even the Joint Chief of Staff 
to get Billions of more funding to the war front.  

The recent MS NBC and War Correspondent report is appalling how the Military
 Intelligent Officers did not even spare their own commanders
 and senators to get more money while they are willing to cut 
Health and social security funds from their children at home.

This is an amazing time in history to witness, greed destroying the global economy.  Here is the US perspective for your information.


The Security Budget vs. the Necessities of Americans.
How does military spending impact Americans?

By Kevin Zeese
Global Research, February 22, 2011

President Obama and the Congress have taken 66% of discretionary 
spending in the  federal budget off the table –the SecurityBudget – 
while proposing a freeze to the  rest of the budget and deep cuts 
to some programs  that provide necessities for the American people. 

His budget crystallizes  a choice  that U.S.  presidents have 
 been making since President  Eisenhower warned of the
 military-industrial complex  – investment in the military vs. 
investment in the civilian economy.
The bloated and sacrosanct security budget – the military, domestic 
security and intelligence budgets –all saw rapid growth under 
President Bush when the  DoD doubled its budget. Under President
 Obama the trend has continued with record military, intelligence
 and domestic security budgets. 
And, while the so-called recovery has only been a recovery for Wall
 Street and  big business, the administration and congress are focused 
more on the deficit then on re-starting the economy for the rest of us. 
But there is more talk of cutting Social Security and Medicare than 
cutting the security budget. 
In fact, these two items are called entitlements because they are a contract with
 working Americans who pay for them in every paycheck. For this reason they 
should not even be considered part of the deficit.

 Payrolltaxes fund these two programs that are essential for older 
Americans in their retirement years. Both
 face budget challenges but can be fixed, indeed 
Social Security has more than  $2.5 trillion in Treasury Notes in reserve.
President Obama has proposed the largest DoD budget since World War II,
 $553 billion (not including war funding and nuclear weapons funding in 
the Department of Energy). Much attention has been shined on Secretary 
of Defense Gates’proposal to “cut” $78 billion inthe Pentagonbudget.  
Those “cuts” take place over five years with reductions taking place
 after the 2012 election in 2014 and 2015.  And, the “cuts” do not
 include the cost of wars.  

The Afghanistan war alone could eat up projected “savings” and if 
the CIA’s war in Pakistan escalates that 
 will be an even bigger budget item.  Further, we have not seen what
 the continuing U.S. military footprint in Iraq will cost. These projected 
cuts are more image than reality.
How does military spending impact Americans? President Reagan’s 
former assistant secretary of defenseLawrenceKorb describes the 
military budget as “an annual tax of more than $7,000 on every 
household in the country.”While increasing the security budget,
 Obama and the Democrats have proposed widespread cuts to 
critical programs from a 50% cut in low-income heating assistance
 to nearly a 30% cut to the clean drinking water fund.  

They have also proposed a 25% cut ($1.3 billion) to the community 
development block grants used to fund local community development 
including affordable housing, anti-poverty programs, and infrastructure
 development. These are essential services needed for Americans 
health, safety and economic security.

Of course, Republican cuts  in the House budget are even more 
extreme but Obama set the  table for them by making the debate
 about deficits and both parties will not touch the security budget. 
Military analyst, William Hartung, writes “These cuts will be painful, 
and they will be felt in every middle- and lower-income household
 in America.”
Cities and states are cutting essential services to balance their 
budgets.  U.S. taxpayers will spend $737billion for Pentagon 
spending for FY2011 including war funding). 

To get a sense of what these means, for the same amount of money
 tax payers could provide funding for 11.3 million elementary school 
teachers for one year or 93.5 million scholarships for university students 
for one year or restart the economy by providing 166.9 million 
households with renewable electricity - solar photovoltaic for 
one year.Instead all these programs face cutbacks, while military 
spending grows.

To get a sense of the absurdity of protecting all military spending,
 the federal government spends $500 million each year for military
 marching bands.  In comparison it spends $430 million a year on 
public broadcasting.  More than half of all Americans use PBS each
 year, 170 million people, but PBS faces cutbacks while military 
bands are protected from budget cuts.
The greater damage will be in the failure to restart the economy. 
 Economists like Nobel Prize winner, Paul Krugman and former 
Labor Secretary Robert Reich, are convincingly urging more spending.

 Big business is sitting on $2 trillion in cash stifling job creation and 
a real economic recovery. There are no signs of inflation because 
the recovery – if you can even it call it a recovery – is non-existent
 for working Americans and the unemployed/underemployed whose 
consumer purchases are needed to drive the economy. Obama risks 
a 1937 mistake – cutting spending too soon and causing another collapse.

Cutting $1 trillion from the federal budget is the goal of the Obama
 administration deficit plan.  All of these cuts could come from military
 spending and still leave the U.S. militarily dominant. 

 In fact, since the administration has projected an increase in spending 
of $6.5 trillion from 2011 to 2020, even a trillion would be a slowing of 
growth  more than a real cut. Lawrence Korb lays out a five point plan 
to reduce  military spending by $1 trillion without jeopardizing 
national security  and thereby protecting U.S. economic security.
He is not alone, the Sustainable Defense Task Force provides specific
 cuts without harming U.S. national security including:
•The $238 billion Joint Strike Fighter program: Cancelling the program 
and relying instead on upgraded versions of current aircraft would save 
almost $50 billion over ten years.

•The MV-22 Osprey: Replacing this dangerous, overpriced, and 
underperforming aircraft with cheaper alternatives would save
 over $10 billion over ten years.

•Reducing the number of U.S. troops in Europe and Asia to 100,000 
from current levels of 150,000 would save $80 billion over a decade.

•Reforming Pentagon health care systems so that retirees pay modest, 
reasonable premiums could save $60 billion over a decade.

•Scaling back missile defense and space weapons programs could 
save over $50 billion over a decade.

•Further reductions in the U.S. nuclear arsenal, including deployment 
of fewer ballistic-missile launching submarines, could save over $100 
billion in a ten year period, much of it in operating costs.
•Reducing the size of the Navy from 286 to 230 ships would save over
 $125 billion over ten years.

If you combine these recommendations of the five point plan of
 Lawrence Korb, which includes items like bringing home 50,000 
of the 150,000 troops stationed in Asia and Europe, reducing 
the size of the Army and Marine Corps to their pre-Iraq invasion
 level and reducing nuclear weapons from 1,968 to the 311 the 
Military War College says is needed for defense, the U.S. would
 save another $200 billion.

For many, these would only be the starting points of correctly 
prioritizing military spending.  President Eisenhowerwarned 
about the military industrial complex 50 year ago. During that time
 U.S. spending on the military adjusted for inflation has more than 
doubled and we have moved to a permanent war state

 Columbia University’s Seymour Melman, a professor of industrial engineering, 
 pointed out that “Industrial productivity, the foundation of every
 nation’s economic growth, is eroded by the relentlessly predatory
 effects of the military economy.” In fact, we have seen – as we see in
 the Obama budget – a constant conflict between the military economy
 and the civilian economy.  The civilian economy is losing that battle.

Thomas Woods, Jr. recently wrote in the American Conservative
that military spending is parasitic as it feeds off the economy rather
 than grows it. The scale of resources used by the military is exorbitant,
 Woods writes: “To train a single combat pilot, for instance, costs between
 $5 million and $7 million. Over a period of two years, the average U.S. 
motorist uses about as much fuel as does a single F-16 training jet in less
 than an hour. 

The Abrams tank uses up 3.8 gallons of fuel in traveling 
one mile. Between 2 and 11 percent of the world’s use of 14 important 
minerals, from copper to aluminum to zinc, is consumed by the military, 
as is about 6 percent of the world’s consumption of petroleum. The
 Pentagon’s energy use in a single year could power all U.S. mass 
transit systems for nearly 14 years.”

To get a sense of the competition between the civilian and military
 economy, the Department of Commerce estimated the value of the
 nation’s plants, equipment, and infrastructure (capital stock) at 
just over $7.29 trillion in 1985; and from 1947 to 1987 the military 
spent the equivalent, $7.62 trillion in capital resources.

With the long record of the ascendency of military spending it is not
 surprising to see the U.S. economy in collapse, industry disappearing
 and the infrastructure crumbling. Not only has the U.S. failed to win
 a major war since World War II, but the cost of the standing army has 
become a burden on all of us and a drag on the economy.  Some describe
 the U.S. Empire in decline and others see a collapse as possible at
any moment

The failure of President Obama to confront military spending in this
 time of economic collapse and perceived deficit crisis, when tax 
dollars are needed to restart the domestic economy, is not only a 
short term budget failure but does not face up to the long-term 
damaging economic impact of the American military empire.

Kevin Zeese is executive director of Voters for Peace 
(www.VotersForPeace.US) and an editor of the book
 ComeHomeAmerica.US (visit ComeHomeAmerica.US for 
more information and to purchase the book).

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