Friday, July 13, 2012

Racing the Train

I've heard alot this week about how seriously threatened the US corn crop is by the current drought. I know that farmers can have some bad years at the hands of Mother Nature. That is why they have crop insurance. I am deeply, and passionately against farm subsidies, and corn is one of the biggest beneficiaries of government welfare, which means that what I am about to suggest will probably be anathema to most American corn farmers-this would be a really good time to stop putting high fructose corn syrup in everything we buy. It is not necessary, it is unhealthy, it is making us fat and diabetic (not alone, but it is a real contributor.) Rather than just raising prices on the corn we buy in the store remove this devilish secret ingredient in so many of our food, all the way from the bread, ketchup and barbecue sauce we eat, along with hundreds of other foods. I would honestly be unsurprised to pick up a bottle of vinegar or a jar of pickles and find this poison ingredient on the list.  That will help us all in both the long and short term.

There has also been a huge kerfuffle about when exactly Mitt Romney left Bain Capital. Now, I know that not everyone is a political junkie like me. And many are asking if this even really matters at all. Here is one example that I can give of why it should matter. Romney is saying that after 1999 he was no longer involved with Bain or any of the businesses in the US where the American workers lost their jobs and the jobs were sent overseas. But I caught a stickler in this argument today: Romney has frequently used the name Staples (office supply store chain) as an example when he is defending his chops as a job creator in this country. But Staples was purchased by Bain Capital, it was after 1999, when Romney claims he was no longer involved with the company. He only took a leave of absence when he left Bain to run the Olympics. There is evidence that he was involved-attending board meetings and signing off on documents. I am watching his interview with NBC right now, and he seems nothing but sleazy. And he also claimed that he should be allowed to have it both ways-he said he should get credit for creating jobs with Bain even after he "left" there in 1999 because he helped start the company and get it going. Grrrrrrrrrrrr. Is he running for "Sleazeball in Chief." He also seems to want to have it both ways on his visit to the NAACP convention this week; "I'm a great white guy for deigning to attend this black meeting," but then when he visits his wealthy white donors later ON THE SAME DAY, he accuses the black folks of only wanting free stuff from the government. The man needs to decide who he is, and be that.

There is a commercial gnawing at me. It is a commercial for Men's Wearhouse about donating an old suit, get 50% off your next purchase and the old suit will be donated to a man trying to get back into the workforce-a noble effort in this time when so many are out of work. I've been hearing the commercial all week but didn't actually stop to "see" it until today. At the beginning it shows a group of buffed up, shirtless white guys on a corner with placards advertising...something (the writings on the placards are not shown.) These fashionistas are wearing ties over their muscled chests-nice touch. But the commercial ends with someone fitting two "out of work" guys. One is black and one is Hispanic. Does anyone but me see the message here?

Sorry folks. Nothing has been funny to me this week. But much has been absurd.