Mercury Rising 鳯女

Politics, life, and other things that matter

None Dare Call It Starvation

Posted by Charles II on February 7, 2007

It’s just amazing reading what is written about Mexico. Due to a 60-80% spike in the price of tortillas, according to Miami Herald/El Universal newspuppet Fred Rosen:

“Many people are significantly reducing their caloric intake.”

There’s a simpler word for significantly reducing one’s caloric intake.

It is “starving.”


Tortillas are the mainstay of the Mexican diet, especially for the poor. José Cacho, vice president of the National Chamber of Industrialized Corn, estimates that an average poor family of four consumes about three kilos of tortillas a day. At the “controlled” price of 8.50 pesos a kilo, that comes to 25.50 pesos a day. The minimum wage in Mexico (which varies slightly from location to location) averages about 42 pesos a day. A family living on one minimum wage would thus have to spend some 60 percent of its income on tortillas alone, never mind the salt and the beans. And that´s at the controlled price.

Furthermore, the Calderon government has been boasting about its successes in the drug war. It turns out that may have been a wee bit exaggerated.

And now, the results of the drug-war incursions into the states of Michoacán, Baja California and Guerrero are coming under question. Initially, it was announced that marijuana fields were burned; cocaine, heroin and synthetic drugs were confiscated; major capos were arrested and extradited; professional executioners were killed, arrested or forced to flee the states under siege; and a major dent was put into drug exports and domestic sales. Calderón said the operation had brought “peace and certainty” to Mexico. But the press now reports that no cocaine (the number-one export to the United States) was seized in any of the raids and that many of Michoacán´s destroyed marijuana fields, having been planted with a pesticide-resistant strain of cannabis, are making a quick comeback.

And drug prices have fallen by half, hardly the effect one expects if the supply is falling.

For what it’s worth, I think Fred Rosen is trying in his own rabbity way to report the news. But it’s painful to see a professional journalist so cowed, so afraid for his job that he can’t say outright that Mexico’s poor are starving.

39 Responses to “None Dare Call It Starvation”

  1. whig said

    Interested in your perspective on this, Charles.

  2. Charles said

    I’m not sure what you want me to react to, whig. In the clip, Mary Kate Olson uses marijuana, justifying it as being natural.

    It looks to me as if she’s using it recreationally. It’s not a medical usage.

    One problem is that, as the world is, it’s very likely that what she’s smoking came from a region where life was lost to get it to her.

  3. whig said

    No, that isn’t recreation usage. That is religious usage.

  4. whig said

    The only lives are lost to prohibition, which is a work of great evil.

  5. Charles said


    No sale, whig. :-)

  6. whig said

    Not funny.

  7. whig said

    Jesus used cannabis to heal.

  8. Charles said

    Would you care to cite the passage of scripture?

  9. whig said

    “And about your laughing at me and calling me “Christian,” you know not what you are saying. First, because that which is anointed is sweet and serviceable, and far from contemptible. For what ship can be serviceable and seaworthy, unless it be first caulked [anointed]? Or what castle or house is beautiful and serviceable when it has not been anointed? And what man, when he enters into this life or into the gymnasium, is not anointed with oil? And what work has either ornament or beauty unless it be anointed and burnished? Then the air and all that is under heaven is in a certain sort anointed by light and spirit; and are you unwilling to be anointed with the oil of God? Wherefore we are called Christians on this account, because we are anointed with the oil of God.” Theophilus of Antioch, To Autolycus, I:12 (A.D. 181).

  10. whig said

  11. whig said

    But by sharing a joint, a more intimate act of sharing can be accomplished. His immunities, his resistance.

  12. whig said

    Have you noticed that people who share joints do not often get ill as a result? Yet to kiss so many people, they would.

  13. whig said

    I have already told you it is the tree of life. I know you demurred.

  14. whig said

    This is my church, at any rate.

  15. whig said

    If it is a good church it will bring forth good fruit. If it is an evil church it will bring forth evil fruit.

  16. whig said

    The church of alcohol, how’s that one?

  17. whig said

    A little wine is okay, though. I agree, Jesus did drink wine.

  18. whig said

    Cannabis, on the other hand, has never killed a soul.

  19. whig said

    And it can be used to make a kind of cannabis wine. A new wine, if you like.

  20. Charles said

    Whig, I admire your enthusiasm, and I even learned something regarding the anointing oil.

    But if the argument were broadly persuasive, I’d be persuaded, and I’m not. I’m not doctrinaire on issues of drug use. Different societies, at different periods of history, reach different decisions as to how to treat them. I do think there’s a good case to be made that smoking marijuana is potentially bad for the social development of young people and for lung function. But those are issues that will not be resolved here.

    As for the anointing oil, there are five holes in the argument. 1: The Wikipedia article cites no sources, 2: the article describes oil used in Exodus, not in Jesus’s time, 3: I would guess that oil from cannabis is made from the seeds, where the THC content is low, 4: in any case, oil was used to anoint, not to smoke, and 5: the healing came from Jesus, not from a thing.

  21. whig said

    1. This article is better sourced.

    2. It describes the recipe for the anointing oil.

    3. That is false. You did not read the recipe.

    4. You can also smoke hash oil.

    5. As a matter of faith, you may believe or disbelieve anything you like.

  22. whig said

    I have not yet watched this film.

  23. whig said

    Cannabis can also be baked into bread, and made eucharist.

  24. whig said

    What it will do is reveal yourself to yourself and make you a new man.

  25. whig said

    I have eaten my own pancakes.

  26. whig said

    If you believe me, you have an absolute, undeniable, unquestionable first amendment right to use cannabis as further protected by the Religious Freedom Protection Act and the decision of the US Supreme Court in O Centro Espirita Beneficiente Uniao Do Vegetal, et al.

    Cannabis is legal.

  27. whig said

    Excuse me, RFRA, the Religious Freedom Restoration Act.

  28. whig said

    Why haven’t you read this in your ROMAN scriptures?

  29. […] Charles @ Mercury Rising. Posted in Music, […]

  30. Charles said

    OK, whig, taking your own links as the basis for your belief, the grand total of evidence for the Christian usage of cannabis is an article in High Times, reviewed by the BBC.

    The use in Hebrew times could have been cannabis or calamos. One scholar thinks it’s cannabis, others don’t.

    The concoction used for anointing according to the unsourced article contained many oils (myrrh, cinnamon, olive oil, and either calamus or cannabis), but you choose only one of them to be the holy material. Its use required a specific ritual (by the Hebrews) or a specific intent, healing, by the Christians, but this you neglect. Is it even possible to smoke olive oil without causing serious lung damage? I don’t know. I know that myrrh is mentioned as an embalming ingredient.

    The Supreme Court has not ruled that cannabis is legal under RFRA. It has ruled that the use of hoasca, a DMT-containing concoction, may be protected if used in the sincere exercise of religion. Making a similar argument in the case of cannabis would be difficult because one would have to demonstrate the same elements as the hoasca case.

    Whig, this began when you asked me my opinion. I gave it. I get the sense you don’t like my opinion. So, maybe we have taken this discussion as far as we can?

  31. whig said

    OK, whig, taking your own links as the basis for your belief, the grand total of evidence for the Christian usage of cannabis is an article in High Times, reviewed by the BBC.

    I will now abstain from saying something rude to you and will not reply for awhile. You are disrespectful.

    We can discontinue if you like.

  32. whig said

    I should make it clear that you are completely wrong as to the basis of my belief.

  33. whig said

    You don’t smoke olive oil. You are not an idiot but you play one very well sometimes. I can’t help being rude. That’s all.

  34. whig said

    This was my first revision. I started the article.

  35. whig said

    I started this one too.

  36. whig said

    You do not have to subscribe, but as I said before: This is my church.

  37. whig said

    Agree with nothing that I say, but answer this question.

    How many people are killed by cannabis, per year (or any time period you choose)? Please cite to reference.

    For bonus points, you could find out how many people are killed by alcohol.

  38. Charles said

    Peace, brother.

  39. whig said


    Peace out.

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