Wednesday, May 7, 2008

thoughts while flying

Crow here and this is the mother-in-law. She came to visit a week or so ago - didn't like my friends, didn't like my opinions, didn't like the nest, didn't like my wardrobe, offered the wife a free trip to Vegas and off they both flew. Can't say I'll miss either one of them.

I got back here just in time to find Susan flat out on the floor since she'd just heard that John McCain may be considering offering the vice-presidential slot to a lady named Condoleeza Rice. You may know more about that than me but I sent the girl off for a little lie-down. It's all too much for her, poor thing. When she wakes up I'm going to tell her she's best off keeping her political opinions to herself. Too much time thinking about the election makes her a bit nutty and then she forgets all about telling me stories.. and I love stories. People are soo weird.

Anyway, I've heard a few disturbing things too that I thought might interest you:

Shell and BP between them recorded profits of $28 billion in the first three months of the year -- or $6 million an hour -- on the back of rising oil prices. You want to go somewhere this summer you better get a bike or a horse or a new pair of shoes.

The prices of wheat, corn and rice have soared over the past year driving the world's poor -- who already spend about 80 per cent of their income on food -- into hunger and destitution. Your loaf of bread is either 30% smaller or 50% more expensive but that's nothing compared to what's happening to many.

Monsanto last month reported that its net income for the three months up to the end of February this year had more than doubled over the same period in 2007, from $1.44 billion to $2.22 billion.

Cargill's net earnings soared by 86 per cent from $553m to $1.030 billion over the same three months. And Archer Daniels Midland, one of the world's largest agricultural processors of soy, corn and wheat, increased its net earnings by 42 per cent in the first three months of this year. The operating profit of its grains merchandising and handling operations jumped 16-fold from $21m to $341m.

People impoverishing themselves with money just doesn't make a whole lot of sense, does it? What we see here is a small group of rich psychotics, scatological vultures (apologies to my distant relatives) feeding off a world they're actively trying to annihilate.

I don't understand why they don't recognize the wealth they already have. Money is a form of rationing. There's enough food in the world for people to eat so they should be fed. That also goes for shelter, clothes and education. Once the necessities are taken care of then perhaps people could sit down together to watch a sunrise, a flock of birds, stars in an endless night sky. Perhaps they could count their blessings and work together to make the world a better place. I don't know of another one. Do you?


Anonymous said...

Crow. Sooner than later, they'll realize that the money they've earned will only be useful to wipe their asses. And, as I was reminded by a friend tonight, they can't take it with them.

Gary said...

Shit! I whispered Condi's name to a friend a month ago when he asked who could cause human beings a problem as Republican VP.

Yeah, there's something off in the money flow. But you know, it's not maniacs behind closed's a culture that looks pretty normal (I work with them sometime) and it's a culture fueled by speculative pension funds and greedy investors.

You are one wise bird.

gfid said...

i like to collect quotes, then i forget who said them.... one of my faves is Chief Something-Or-Other's words to the Europeans when they started 'improving' the New Worlde. he said, "only when the last tree has been cut down, only when the last river has been poisoned, only when the last fish has been killed, will you understand that money cannot be eaten." (or a reasonable faximile thereof) as Edith-Ann used to say on Laugh-In, "and that's the truththththththth."

Randal Graves said...

Oh, all those poor people have to do is pull themselves up by their bootstra - they don't have boots? Oh well, they're screwed. Off to go count my cash.

It's amazing how much pleasure and inspiration I can get from a CD that I plopped fifteen bucks down for. That's a few dozen nanoseconds to these jokers. And they think they need seventeen bucks, eighteen, twenty, one hundred.

susan said...

spartacus - I hope it was a reminder in words and not by deed.

gary - Very scary thought indeed. My friend here said she'd heard Condi had refused the offer but I still recall Cheney being asked to find someone for George. A week later he chose himself.

I hope I don't have one of those pension funds.

gfid - I remember it was Chief Seattle only because I looked it up a few weeks ago.

randal - Too true. I read one time that if Bill Gates took the time to bend over to pick up a C-note he would have wasted his time. That's just so sick.

Seraphine said...

Destitution should be legalized if it's occuring between consenting adults. I'm against child destitution, however, and nobody should be forced into destitution against their will.
Destitutes should be allowed to join a union, so they can bargain for wage benefits and retirement plans and pay taxes like the rest of us.
But there should be limits. I don't think destitution should be allowed near churches, schools or residential areas. A community should be able to decide for themselves if they want to allow destitution or not. It should be strictly zoned and regulated. Street destitution should be illegal.
Destitutes should have regular medical exams.
As a society, I hope we can remove the stigma associated with being a destitute. By bringing destitution into public view, I hope the violence, drug use, alcohol abuse and poverty often associated with it can be minimized or eradicated.

fairlane said...

"Time flies, as a Crow flies, in a straight line,
through you, not around you -
your life is only that with which TIME has its way with you."
Steve Albini

Anita said...

very interesting post. and very though-provoking.

i must be very naive, but i always figured that there could possibly be a point at which someone has "ENOUGH" money. for me "enough" would be that i wouldn't have to worry about being destitute in my old age, or even, have a really cool old-age and be able to do lots of traveling and stuff. "enough" would be that i wouldn't have to worry about paying my monthly bills ... ever again. "enough" would be that i could work at something that i really loved, even if it meant i would have to do it as a volunteer. "enough" would be the ability to help friends and family in a real way towards either achieving their dreams and goals and not having to be destitute, either.

seriously, when i look at these wall street people, many of them, who get multi-million dollar bonuses EVERY YEAR, i am dumbfounded. yeah, they are lucky. very lucky. they certainly don't work any harder than i do.

but i do think there comes a point where the accumulation of wealth for its own sake has diminishing returns for the individual and causes increasing hardship for society at large.

susan said...

sera - You're a very clever woman :-)

fairlane - Suddenly there came a tapping,
as of some one gently rapping, rapping at my chamber door. Okay, so that's about the Raven but it dresses like a Crow.

anita - I agree with your comments. I think people who hoard anything show signs of a deep psychosis and have serious issues with trust. They need treatment not mansions and yachts.

lindsaylobe said...

Capitalism does have an ugly side to it but as Gary said it’s not some evil monetary tree but its supply and demand which creates the excesses in just every human field of endeavor, wherever there be scarcity then prices will rise.

The food shortage has been known for the past 5 years as world supplies has not meant demands with growing shortages in grain stocks, particularly prevalent with climatic changes and as our soils loose nitrogen.

Modern day agriculture is mostly highly dependant upon oil derivatives in fertilizers and energy whilst peak oil and its resultant massive inevitable price increases have been building up for a much longer period of time. I would not be surprised to see oil eventually reach $200 a barrel. Yet many governments, particularly in the agricultural sector continue to subsidize heavily its cost to users and thereby further exasperate demand.

Growing corn for ethanol is certainly not helping the situation.
The Fact is if China and India replicate western standards of usage when an estimated 1 billion in population will move from subsistence agriculture to the cities over the next 20/30 years will be in need of another 3 universes.

Best wishes

Ingrid said...

crow, you're scaring me. If a humble (?) bird like you even knows of the name Condoleeza Rice (albeit a food attached to it), there's gotta be hell on the horizon. That said, I will say for Condi that she was an 'in house' 'enemy' of Rummy and there is still something to be said to counter that idiot and shameful war monger,