Mercury Rising 鳯女

Politics, life, and other things that matter

Archive for February 12th, 2011

Tony Cornish, Minors, and Being Tough on Crime

Posted by Phoenix Woman on February 12, 2011

I see that state representative and Lake Crystal police chief Tony Cornish (R-Good Thunder) is in the news again, this time taking advantage of a family’s grief over their dead child, as he pushes a bill to make it legal to treat kids as young as ten as adults for the purposes of punishment.

Let’s set aside the fact that there’s a reason we have a juvenile justice system — namely, because kids aren’t adults and can’t reason as adults can because their brains simply aren’t mature enough. Let’s look instead at what, by the use of this callous family manipulation as an attention-distracting device, Tony Cornish might not want us to look at about himself — namely, the last two big stories he been’s involved in over the years.

There are a few notable exception to Cornish’s tough-on-crime bluster. One concerns his oddly mild stance on thievery, extortion and general thuggery committed by members of the now-defunct Metro Gang Strike Force. The Strike Force, remember, was composed not only of actual legal adults with presumed full reasoning capacities, but these adults were cops drawn from all over the Twin Cities Metropolitan Area. From 1997 until it was shut down in May of 2009 (literally hours after the release of the damning Nobles Report), its members were given authority beyond and above normal policing authorities — authorities that were routinely misused and abused, to put it extremely mildly: Read the rest of this entry »

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A threadbare year, a year of want

Posted by Charles II on February 12, 2011

From Jean Guerrero and Leslie Josephs, Dow Jones Newswire, 1/11/11:

The record cold that blasted through Florida last month severely damaged crops, providing an opportunity for farmers across the southern border of the U.S. to help make up for the shortfall.

Mexican farmers are expected to increase their vegetable exports to the U.S. this year after a second straight season of freezes destroyed some of Florida’s output of green beans, cucumbers, bell peppers, sweet corn and other crops. Damage to several major crops will push prices higher in January and February, the Florida Department of Agriculture said in an emailed statement.

“When Florida freezes it’s an opportunity for Mexico,” said Mike Stuart, president of the Florida Fruit and Vegetable Association.

Things didn’t quite work out that way.

From KVOA (Tucson) news, 2/9/11:

Produce suppliers say last weeks cold temperatures haven’t frozen crops in Sinaloa, Mexico since 1956.

Now they’re having to evaluate the damage before more products are brought to the U.S.

“There are some plants that got severely damaged or some plants that were lost, so we are anticipating lower volumes going forward than normal volumes,” Martin Ley said.

A more detailed report on the implications from The Packer,

Many importers of Mexican fruits and vegetables are still waiting to assess the effects of a freeze the night of Feb. 3-4, but some already are reporting extensive damage.

Nogales, Ariz.-based Ciruli Bros. expects total losses of its remaining Sinaloa-grown green peppers, eggplants, green beans and shadehouse cucumbers, partner Chris Ciruli said Feb. 7.

“Through the weekend we received reports that were worse than what we initially thought,” Ciruli said.

Green peppers and green beans had been expected to ship possibly through March, eggplant into early April and cucumbers into May, Ciruli said.

Ciruli Bros. will know better the fate of its tomato and colored bell pepper crops Feb. 8 or Feb. 9, Ciruli said.

Tomato losses were first estimated to be in the 20% range, they could wind up being closer to 50%, he said.

In Sonora, some growers expected total losses of squash and melon crops.

But vegetables weren’t the only ones affected. There was also this, from BBC, 2/12/11:

A spell of unusually cold weather in northern Mexico has severely damaged the maize crop in the state of Sinaloa.

Officials estimate the losses could amount to four million tonnes of corn – 16% of Mexico’s annual harvest.

These are ominous events. Certainly prayers are in order. But neither they nor money alone will solve a crisis of this magnitude. It is probably a good time to make some kind of fast… just reducing the amount of meat we eat will increase the food available for others. Simply eating less would probably benefit most Americans, and add to the supply available for the hungry.

In the long term, the solution is in the democracies that are being seeded from the exasperation of the world with the American empire. Countries like Mexico and Egypt, which could feed themselves, can become net food exporters if only US government-subsidized grain ceases to be dumped in their markets. And, of course, the late-sprouting seed of American renewal, which must end the tyranny of the oil and coal companies, a tyranny which is responsible for the failure of the world to act in the face of the clear and present danger of climate change.

Posted in global food crisis, global warming, Mexico | Comments Off on A threadbare year, a year of want

 
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