Via IKN, we see the latest polls from Bolivia. The big takeaway is Evo is going to win in a landslide and that the opposition is badly divided. It upsets people that Evo has focused much of his energy on improving the lot of Bolivia’s many indigenous communities. That was part of the push for the new constitution that came into effect this year. And Evo upsets Americans because he is a buddy of Chavez and gets carried away with anti-imperialism rhetoric. But the fact of the matter is that he has the support of a clear majority of the population, and I’ve never read anywhere that recent elections in Bolivia have been marred by fraud.
Apparently, it’s worthwhile to investigate illegal, unpasteurized Mexican cheese. I think this is a complete waste of time. Obviously, there’s a demand for the cheese:
Jonathan Gold, the Pulitzer Prize-winning L.A. Weekly food critic, said he prefers it. “I will admit that there are some groceries . . . where you do kind of buy cheese under the table, and it tastes better,” Gold said. “If you’re the sort of person who believes milk has a soul to it, which I guess I am, then pasteurizing is taking something away.” As for the potential danger posed by unpasteurized cheese, Gold added: “Life is filled with risks.”
Making goods in demand illegal will never completely destroy supply, and, instead, it simply raises prices, while at the same time, pushing regular people into buying products in an unregulated marketplace.
This is an exciting couple of days for proponents of drug decriminalization. Yesterday Argentina’s Supreme Court ruled the prosecution of personal marijuana use unconstitutional. Last Thursday, Mexico enacted a new law decriminalizing possession of small amounts of all drugs.
I’m doing research for a student note to be published in the Fordham International Law Journal, and found this article (cite: 39 Cal. W. Int’l L.J. 237.) It’s one of the best studies of the relationship between Bolivia and the United States I’ve read, and is doubly interesting because of its focus on coca and the drug trade. The main conclusion is also noteworthy, namely, that the presidency and political phenomena of Evo Morales would not have been possible without the U.S.’s heavy handed anti-drug policy.
The huge rhetorical spat between Bolivia and Peru over Peru’s Miss Universe costume (purportedly ripped off a traditional Bolivian devil costume) is covered in the Wall Street Journal. Miss Universe is a huge affair in the region, and although I complain about Western media coverage of Bolivia, Peru’s papers are out of control. In the end though, Venezuela won.
Llama and alpaca farmers have been hit by a huge drop in the price for their animals’ wool. This is unsurprising as alpaca and llama woolens are luxury items and commodity prices worldwide have fallen in response to a drop in demand. From my experience, these people appear to be as disconnected from the modern global economy as possible. Just try taking a road out to a small town in the Altiplano. It’s isolated from even other parts of Bolivia, but ultimately still greatly affected by things happening in New York and London.