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Published:April 26th, 2008 15:30 EST
Wal-Mart Rations Rice: A Wake-Up Call For America

Wal-Mart Rations Rice: A Wake-Up Call For America

By Robert Paul Reyes

"The panic over global food shortages and rising prices gripping developing nations has spread to the world's wealthiest countries, with giant US-based retailer Wal-Mart rationing rice sales.

Wal-Mart's warehouse chain Sam's Club became the second retailer in the US to limit bulk purchases of rice this week, citing 'recent supply and demand trends'. Earlier in the week, Seattle-based Costco Wholesale Corporation imposed limits in some stores on bulk rice purchases.

The extraordinary move constitutes the first time food rationing has been introduced in the US. While Americans suffered some rationing during World War II for items such as petrol, light bulbs and stockings, they have never had to limit consumption of a key food item."

Quotation from TheAustralianNews.Com

In this age of the ever shortening news cycle most Americans don't have a sense of history; if a story is no longer being covered by Fox News or CNN it might as well never have happened.

But for older persons and individuals with a historical perspective there is one word in the article that jumps out: RATIONING

Members of "The Greatest Generation" remember rationing during World War II, and baby boomers recall gas rationing during the Jimmy Carter administration.

We aren't in the midst of a world war, and we aren't even suffering from a Jimmy Carter-type malaise, but this article should be a wake-up call.

Most of us don't buy rice in bulk, and this story doesn't capture our imagination. Some folks wouldn't pay attention to a story about rationing, unless the government rationed beer to a keg per week. But I hope that at least some Americans will take notice of this important news story.

The sky-high price of oil, the mortgage crisis, the pending recession, the flight of manufacturing jobs to third world countries, and now food rationing -- let's not miss the handwriting on the wall.

We are at a critical juncture in our history, and if we are to survive as a prosperous nation we can't elect Sen. John McCain as president. We simply can't vote for someone who will continue the Bush foreign and domestic policies that have almost financially and spiritually bankrupted this nation.

The illegal, immoral, and insane invasion and occupation of Iraq will cost over a trillion dollars when everything is said and done. We can't continue to pour money down the proverbial drain when it's so sorely needed elsewhere. How many thousands of homes in New Orleans could have been rebuilt, and how many millions of jobs could have been created with the money we are wasting in Iraq?

It's no surprise that an administration beholden to the oil industry has done virtually nothing to explore alternative forms of energy. We must elect a president who will make a commitment to ending our dependence on foreign oil. Only the Democratic presidential candidates are serious about forcing the auto giants to design and manufacture more energy efficient cars.

I never shop at Wal-Mart, a corporation that most of us liberals consider evil, and I rarely eat rice, but I get the wake-up call. I am more determined than ever to do everything within my power to support Barack Obama, a statesman who is the antithesis of the disastrous Bush administration