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Posts Tagged ‘Corn’

Or just, “Corn and Other Stuff”.

I’m an Iowan, but haven’t always wished I was one. I’m not a farmer, but being an Iowan, you aren’t far from the farm. And you’ve got to believe in the beauty of a broad field of tall, deep green, waving corn plants. Up close, there is nothing quite like a filled out foot long golden ear of corn with row after row of symmetrical kernels just waiting to do their thing. That being, thousands of tasks with new ones created almost every day. I read that of 10,000 items for sale in a grocery store, at least 2,500 of them contain corn in some form or another. It’s used in inummerable ways other than food. Of course we eat it in every imaginable way, nearly all of them quite good, except for hominy. Hominy brings unpleasant childhood memories when I was instructed to clean up my plate and the following disagreement with my Dad when I was unable to do so. Otherwise, all of my experiences with corn, in addition to the pleasant esoteric eye appealing aspects, have been good, up to the present.

Now, being an Iowan, I do not wish to bring down the wrath of any farmer, (I love ’em all) for suggesting that there is something wrong with the latest development, that being the use of corn as a renewable source of energy. Bless them, they deserve the best that high prices have produced. It’s quite obvious however, that prices have been inflated because of the subsidies associated with the production of ethanol. In addition, new problems of shortages for the other needs and uses of corn seriously threaten the economy. We are at least 25-50 years behind in the development of alternative energy. Corn gas works, but it must be shown that it can compete with ethanol produced from other crops, and other methods, without favored subsidies. In addition, it must not deter our efforts to develop other more efficient solutions to the energy crisis the world faces. Corn is needed and the farmer deserves to be fairly compensated for his financial and physical investment. However, I remain unconvinced that energy from corn is practical, efficient, or necessary. I cannot fail to mention the connection this issue has with the political scene.

Iowa with its unique position in being the first caucus state in the political process, certainly flaunts the use of corn as the answer to the nations energy needs. Whether the firstness of the Iowa Caucus is fair or not (I doubt if it is) can be debated another time. But one can’t fail to see what has happened in this particular year. With the possibility of making some errors in this quickly written blog, I believe that both Clinton and Obama failed to support farm legislation enabling subsidies in previous years. But lo and behold, after becoming candidates along with the other 8 to 10 candidates, ethanol as a renewable energy became an accepted issue as they campaigned across the state. Likewise on the Republican side, with the notable exception of one. Did anyone notice that John McCain failed to campaign in Iowa except for a one day visit to the Iowa State Fair and an appearance or two for news interviews. Not one McCain TV or newspaper ad. Consequently he finished somewhere way down the list. Why? He made it very clear he did not favor subsidies for ethanol. He did not oppose its use, so long as it competed fairly and without subsidy. He knew a campaign in the cornfields would be a waste of time. He quickly regained footing in New Hampshire where corn farming was not an issue. The man remains for the most part, a straight shooter, and one who does not campaign on the basis of what the polls ask. He is what he is, and that includes being old and capable of confusing Al-Qaeda, and Terrorists. (darned if they don’t almost seem the same to me too.) Being a Democrat, I am unsure that I would welcome another four years of a Republican administration.

Clinton and Obama appear at this time to be trying to destroy each other and the media contributes with its largely meaningless “gotcha” reporting. And the media appears bent on presenting McCain as a doddering, absent minded, too old for President candidate. Either Clinton or Obama, if elected would be a change and a change would be welcome (at least for awhile). The first woman President (far too long in coming), or the first Black President (far too long in coming) most likely would be welcome among most other nations in the world. I fail to see how either would be able to unify our nation, or reach across the so-called aisle, within. Nor do I see how any right wing Republican could bring anything together. McCain has appeared as first an American and then a Republican and has not found favor with that right wing and that’s a plus for me.

The Democrats had a candidate in Joe Biden who was first an American and then a Democrat and one who held that sometimes a campaign was worth losing to uphold your values and beliefs. That obviously did not carry the day with the Democrats. It just might make a good ticket, even if it will never happen. Did I mention that I wrote both of their names in for President and Vice President in 2004. (probably more than a few times) and just might do it again. I very much liked the Lincoln approach. He had a Democrat Vice President from the South no less, and named his staunchest critics and enemies within his own party to the highest cabinet positions. I don’t imply that Clinton or Obama are not good Americans. One or the other will most likely be the President and I will be a loyal American supporter. (Just had to strike a blow for Gray Power).

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