Adding some words to the random photos

Why not?  I recently got caught in a Revolution and have been posting on twitter and facebook a lot.  I think this might be a more engaging space to put that energy.  Mostly, I just re-forward links that I some how ended up with, which originally seemed kind of dull.  But then I realized that I spend a lot of time reading other people’s links, so why not?  Also, secretly, I want to keep track of where I am and when and I am hoping this blog will help me to do.

My thoughts from today started to move a bit away from the Middle East. I took a look at some maps of the Human Development Indicators in USA, which shows that actually we are a third world country.  This reminds me a song that a song-writing cousin of mine wrote when I was little, called “Vermont is a Third World Country, but the People Don’t know”.   I actually think that people do know and that most probably aren’t that surprised.  My favorite map is the one that shows that the Southern US is still like the third World, even controlling for gender and race the under-education of white women.

Here is the project, the the SSRC:http://www.measureofamerica.org/
and here is Easterly’s commentary on it: http://aidwatchers.com/2011/02/third-world-america/
Health index (pale pink BAD, brick red GOOD)
Also, the other story that I think deserves to be followed is rising World Food Prices, policy responses and political consequences.   The most recent information comes from a new report from UNICEF on inflation in the prices of local-currency denominated foodstuffs.  What is interesting is that local food prices are stickier, which makes logical sense I think, and that they haven’t yet fully responded to the most recent hike.
unicef global v local food prices
Here is the original blog post.http://www.oxfamblogs.org/fp2p/?p=4530
Recently I read a really interesting report on food Security in Liberia, which talked about the flow of food and food prices in the border areas: http://www.wfp.org/content/liberia-and-sierra-leone-cross-border-trade-and-food-security-may-2010
Just because  I have to bring it back to the ME, here a great blog called Land and People that has several posts about how the food and commodity price trends DID and DO influence the stuff going on in the Middle East. http://landandpeople.blogspot.com/
It cites a thought-provoking  WSJ article about how US monetary policy is also influencing these trends:  http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748703445904576118392320337766.html?mod=WSJEurope_hps_LEFTTopStories
I have not read the WSJ regularly since 2006 when I worked at Goldman Sachs, and their concluding policy advice at the end of each article is still a bit neo-liberal for my taste,  but the amount of good stuff getting written over there right now, especially about the Middle East Revolutions is seriously making me think of trying to get my hands on a password.

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