Wednesday, June 27, 2007

I am hungry. - The World

Ethanol demand outgrows corn

Beef and dairy farmers in Midwestern states that produce most of the nation's ethanol are able to feed their cattle with less expensive grains leftover from distilling that fuel. But ranchers in Texas and Oklahoma, which do not have large corn crops or produce as much ethanol, will be harder hit by high corn prices, Moseman said. In addition, hogs and poultry cannot digest the leftover grains from ethanol production, so those farmers will feel the pinch of higher corn prices, Moseman explained.

Along with making livestock feed more expensive, acres that have been dedicated to other crops or set aside for conservation now are being planted with corn, creating the biggest shift in planting patterns in the past century, said Ludwig of the Hale Group.

An annual federal report detailing farmers’ planting plans estimates that corn acres will increase 15 percent over last year. Crops that likely will be supplanted by corn include rice and cotton with which U.S. farmers are not competitive with growers in other countries, said Ludwig.

Farmers also could be induced to set aside less land for conservation or quit rotating crops on their land, sapping nutrients from the soil or causing more erosion, the U.S. Department of Agriculture warns.

Emphasis mine... Cars and cattle... Burgers and Buicks... I am sooooo rich I can feed my car better than ...

Bonus Link: Pew Research: Ethanol Demand Outgrows Corn

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Says it all

Thank you Meg.

Coals to Newcastle

Jeremy, responding to Steve Talbott, mentioned caution when advocating 'vocational' education over a 'Liberal Arts' education...

As a long standing advocate of 'Liberal Arts' education I wanted to add the following winnowed from Wikipedia... Liberal Arts

The term liberal arts has come to mean studies that are intended to provide general knowledge and general intellectual skills rather than more specialized occupational, scientific, or artistic skills.

The term liberal in liberal arts is from the Latin word liberalis, meaning "appropriate for free men", and they were contrasted with the servile arts.
Providing 'general knowledge' AND 'general intellectual skills' are the very substance of a free society. When people can think for themselves and act accordingly then true freedom can be achieved. Perhaps more important, as Jeremy points out, is the need in a free society for in depth personal resources that can only be purveyed by and acquired through a 'Liberal Arts' education.

Delivering coal is a skilled trade. Carrying coals to Newcastle requires some small insight.

P.S. Let Marshal McLuhan's medium be the message.

Is 'Good' good?

Monday, June 25, 2007

Bank Shots

When playing pool a well executed bank shot is a thing of beauty.


This week we have heard of two 'bank shots' that give me pause to review the legendary record of 'Slick' Willie Sutton. Well chronicled by the very agency that he thumbed his well attired nose at - the FBI retells that story of Willie's famous answer to the all time stupid question, "Why do you rob banks?"

...Sutton simply replied, "Because that's where the money is."
My heart goes out to Cat'sPaw - who might be said to have experienced a 'reverse bank shot' - being held up by the bank.

Then just a few articles down the RSS page I read of David Cushman as reported by The Social Customer ... evidently in the Mega-Cathedrals of Cash I am a lowly poor sinner who should just crawl away and repent.

While I do understand a banking institution's need for responsibility and integrity I do not understand why it is the patron who must bear the burden of grace and humility under fire. If a Bank wants my business then they should take a lesson from my dentist - Dr. Wright knows that if he wants my return business he will make a painful situation as comfortable as he possible can. And I can tell you I would much rather 'enjoy' another root canal than be subjected to the attitudinal scrutiny of another bank teller.

This has been my $0.02, deposited here in the First Bank of Blogaria.

Sunday, June 24, 2007

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