Sunday, July 19, 2009

Hemp for Victory!

I wasn't surprised when yet another plot of marijuana was found over in Marion County. The debate over this leafy hero, or demon, has raged for years.
While we hear of all the reasons it's bad, from being called a "gateway" drug, to dire warnings about health risks, we forget that hemp has been around for centuries, and our government urged people to grow it during WWII !

Hemp was used for making rope, canvas for sails, and even clothing for many years. Henry Ford used it to help make (and fuel) cars. It's a renewable resource that can be used to make hemp oil, which can power diesel engines, or make ethanol to blend with gasoline.
Hemp oil is biodegradable, and does not produce sulfur dioxide when burned. A group of people even converted a car to run on hemp oil, and drove it cross-country. It sure doesn't sound like the demon weed it's purported to be!

In the wake of these hard economic times, growing hemp would be a boon to farmers struggling to keep family farms going. It can be grown from border to border, with little or no attention, and can be used for many products that now rely on dwindling supplies of petrochemicals. With all these things going for it, why does the government at all levels, try to eradicate it? In my opinion, this could well be the goose that laid the golden egg! We now need to promote it, not destroy it.

And going back to the local pot bust, and the economy of late; what's wrong with growing it in order to make money? Jobs are drying up, people are falling behind on their mortgages, and other bills, and the outlook is getting bleaker. Perhaps this little patch was just to help someone survive for a little while longer. It's no different than the stills that popped up here during prohibition. It's American ingenuity at it's best! Just because the Government can't regulate it doesn't make it bad.

At the beginning of this article, I mentioned that our government urged people to grow pot? They even produced a short newsreel promoting it! Click the following link and see for yourself:

Whoever planted that patch in Marion County wasn't a criminal, they are a true patriot! Hemp for victory!

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Pay more, and get less!

Ever notice that what be buy nowadays isn't like it used to be? We've all seen the cost of living go up steadily over the years. From apples to automobiles, prices have climbed, in some cases, beyond what the average person can afford. I guess this is progress, but now that we're living on a fixed income, it's time for some serious discussion of the subject.

What started this whole train of thought was an estate sale we did last December. The sale was held in a condo in a neighboring town, which in itself, is not unusual. What was amazing, is that the condo had been sealed up since the early 1980's, with everything left as if the people would be back in a moment or so. There were no perishables in the house, but everything else provided a trip intro the past.
The couple that had owned the home, had several others, so this was like a vacation getaway for them. They bought things at the local stores, and in many cases, never even took them out of the boxes. I was amazed at how much prices had gone up on many items!
For example, a roll of Aluminum Foil is a pretty basic thing to find around a home. However, a 1970's roll of the "heavy duty" stuff is at least three times as thick as the current offerings. The price was also 80 cents less than the same item\brand today. Do we get what we pay for? I think not.

However, what really got me to thinking, was literally nothing to sneeze at! It was a few boxes of Puffs tissues. They were the "designer" ones that you see in the stores in the little square boxes. They had been sitting in the bottom of a closet since the 1970's, and smelled of mothballs (as did the whole condo).
The tissues in the still unopened boxes were priced at 85 cents for a box of 100 ct. Fast forward to today, where the same box of Puffs contains 72 tissues, and costs $1.30 or more. Living here in the Ozarks, I've discovered a truckload of allergies I never knew I had. I go through at least a box of Kleenex a week.

And that's the point of this whole tirade. We have been loyally buying products over the years, and paying more and more over time, while getting less and less.
Wages in America have not gone up as fast as the cost of living, and we're slowly finding ourselves unable to buy the things we used to. While it may seem unimportant that the cost of Kleenex has gone up, think about the cost of an automobile, and the gas it takes to run it. That's at the far end of the consumer spectrum. We ourselves, can no longer afford a new car, and can barely afford the cost of gas and repairs for our old one.
Consumers have been getting a bad deal, and it's showing no signs of letting up any time soon.

Thanks a lot, corporate America!