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Thursday, December 28, 2006

Winding Down 2006

The FDA approved cloned meats, claiming they are as safe as their original counterpart. Some have sprung forward and are eager to debate that duplicating our pork, beef and milk producers is an accident waiting to happen. The scientists behind DeKalb and Pioneer having been dabbling with the genetics of our corn and soy beans for generations, and do we really know if these hybrid specimens are working their way into our food chain? Not without the addition of ‘cloning warning’ labels can we really be sure but I haven’t heard anyone screaming and protesting the corn they throw on the grill each summer, or the new fab milk they pour over their cereal. Nope, no one lining up outside the Food and Drug Administration asking for a pedigree on vegetables. So why does the idea of cloning a juicy t-bone to perfection freak people out? Is it the fear that the tender pork roast they devoured on Sunday gave them indigestion and perhaps its twin will do the same? I believe it would, and warning labels would be useful in the prevention of side effects caused by such gluttony and much easier than simply cutting our portions in half.
As one president is laid to rest we find ourselves contemplating the achievements of another or the lack thereof. Although President Ford’s wife most likely did more for our society than he it is apparent his dissatisfaction with our current government will be the words he is remembered for most.
President George W. Bush just can’t escape the constant mocking of his total inability to complete a sentence, form a logical thought or make an actual point. It seems the leader of our great country will be ending this year much in the same way he began it. I find it amazing how someone who insists the extension of the patriot act will some how enable him to fight terrorism is the same person that interpreted the recent elections as a sign the American people want him to send more troops into war zones. Well, if you can’t understand what it is you’re listening to, what’s the point of listening?
However, we must give credit where credit is due. George W. may have been stretching the truth a tad when he made claims of weapons of mass destruction, or been slightly self-absorbed when he sent millions of jobs overseas, but by this years end one Saddam Hussein will be hung to death and thus the world will be one dictator shorter than when the year began.
Of course the realization that it took an entire two term presidency to accomplish this makes one wonder was it all worth it? Was the millions of lives lost searching for weapons that did not exist, the hundreds of children dying in a stadium from flooded waters while our President vacationed, the thousands of families that will go to bed tonite with no food, no warm bed, no job, the millions of Americans who work hard every day and still can’t heat their homes, were all these sacrifices worth it? Were they all worth one man proving he is right when it is so obvious he is wrong and he is lost? Lost within himself and refuses the hands that reach to help him out?
And let’s not forget the surge in renewable fuels and the ever prominent Ethanol Plants sprouting up faster than the notorious hog confinements. The promise of tomorrow, the future of the farmer or a groce display of cutting our own throats? It’s true the corn based ethanol fuel promises great things for the environment, the economy and the ever struggling farmers of America, but corn is not the only fermenting choice for producing ethanol fuels and may not be the most efficient either. Cellulosic ethanols are thought to be more efficient and less expensive to produce. While switch grasses may not be overly picky about where they grow one must ask what will the competition do to ensure cashing in on this gold mine? What will happen to the many fields of corn we have long idolized as a symbol of whom we are in here the Midwest? Although I am positive any over stocks of corn produced ethanol will be graciously consumed by avid whiskey lovers and who knows Iowa could be holding the recipe for the new Jim Beam or a flavor all our own. Northern Comfort. Mmmmm I can taste it now.
As you end your journey down the winding road of 2006 perhaps you can find happiness and warmth while toasting your memories, and as we begin yet another year may we all find freedom still at our front doors.
t.r. mugler

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