Wednesday, October 31, 2007

UN Frogs and Ethanol

Jean Ziegler, the UN's Special Rapporteur for the Right to Food, from the French speaking side of Switzerland, had these things to say about ethanol and biofuels:

"It's a crime against humanity to convert agricultural productive soil into soil producing foodstuff which will be burned into bio-fuel. It is a crime against humanity. And I ask that this thing, this proposition, to create a moratorium that the UN prohibits for five years this transformation, this substitution."

A child that dies from hunger is assassinated.

Even though he is from Switzerland, it is apparent that Mr. Ziegler leans too far to the French side. He really needs to get out of the ivory tower that is the UN and try to make it in the free market of ideas, rather than try to make broad pronouncements.

Unfortunately, the French have no word for "entrepreneur".

Maybe we need a moratorium for five years on French-speaking UN officials saying things they have no knowledge about.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Weirdess survey call ever

Just got a survey call a minute ago. The caller asked if I would be for or against a proposal in the Iowa Legislature that would provide funding for contraceptives to poor women. I told him I would not be in favor of it.

The next question: Do you know if the Vikings won today?

I kid you not.

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Humeston is Dantastic!

Last week we had the pleasure of hosting a library open house in town, and our guest speaker/reader was none other than Dan Wardell of Iowa Public Television.

Now, for those of you that don't want kids programs on IPTV, Dan Wardell is the highly energetic and goofy spokesperson for PBS Kids on IPTV. He did a wonderful job with both the kids and adults at the open house, talking about safety, nutrition, and manners. He even got some of the library trustees involved, too.

Here's a link to some of the pictures from the event. My wife is standing next to him at the front door of the library.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Spy on an ethanol plant

Here's a link to a couple of live-linked cameras pointed at the scalehouse and the plant of Hawkeye Renewables' plant at Fairbank, IA.

Just watch the steam roll out of that place and know that somewhere a member of the Royal Saudi family is weeping in his cous cous.

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Semi trucks for the really rich farmers...

In my analysis and search for a semi truck for the farm, I came across this site - Shelby Elliott's Used Trucks of Sikeston, MO. Shelby doesn't sell just any kind of semi truck; no, he sells the type of trucks that would make a hip/hop artist drop his bling-bling in lust and desire.

Need a late model Peterbilt with built in shower/toilet, stove, and 550 horses of Caterpillar power? Shelby can fix you up. Want a rig that needs 40 acres to turn around but will impress the lot lizards? He's got what you need.

The price for these rigs? Money is no object for those who feel the need to bake a sheet of cookies while hauling a load of corn to Eddyville. At $160K, you'll be riding like a king.

I'm being a bit silly here; there are probably owner/operators out there that enjoy these big rigs, especially when driving across country. My guess is that they've saved enough money to own one, especially toward retirement, and want something they feel is part semi truck, part RV.

However, it is often easy to see semis with large sleepers pulling grain trailers. If the point of having a grain hauling rig is to maximize the amount of grain on a load (thereby reducing the number of loads), then why waste space and weight with a sleeper? Get a day cab, aluminum wheels and lightweight engine and haul 1000 bushels legally instead of only getting 890. What do you think, Windy?

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Overused words

Remember back in the floods of 1993 a new word that was introduced to our common vocabularies? What was is?


Des Moines' water treatment plant was inundated with flood water. The media repeated this word on every news report to the point that most of us had to reach for the dictionary to see what the heck it meant.

Well, there's a new word out there, ready to be over used, and oh, how it fits today's political environment.


Phonetically, it should probably be spelled "impewn". What purpose the "g" has is beyond me; probably French in origin.

What other words are being introduced into our vocabulary that are becoming over used?

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Redneck rabies?

OK, this has nothing to do with Southern Iowa, except that we are near the South (Missouri, you know).

It seems that there is a study by the House Homeland Security Committee about health risks at heavily attended gatherings. Football games and music concerts were not considered, but NASCAR events were subject to analysis.

Staffers from the House were sent to the recent Bank of America 500 in North Carolina to investigate.

The Democratic staffers, however, decided that they required to inoculated against several rare diseases and a sexually transmitted illness. The Republican staffers refused the treatment.

What the heck? Do these holier-than-thou staffers think that they'll be infected with the Black Death if they step foot in North Carolina? Were they planning on having close liasons with the locals and thought extra protection was needed?

Of course, the D's say they were also visiting medical clinics and such, and that this type of immunization is simply a precaution and is standard procedure.

Maybe so, and it's not a bad idea, but lumping NASCAR events in with medical clinics for personal health care protection an insult to a large part of the country.