19 April 2008

3 gun

Video from the first ever 3 gun match in Afghanistan. What I find most entertaining, other than the shooting, of course, is that this shooting competition (which is exactly like anything you'd find back here stateside) has not been deemed to "get you killed in real life".

That should make the tacti-cool timmies quiver in their britches.

16 April 2008

Fuel Choices, Food Crises and Finger-Pointing

I frankly can't believe this article was published in the New York Times.

The idea of turning farms into fuel plants seemed, for a time, like one of the answers to high global oil prices and supply worries. That strategy seemed to reach a high point last year when Congress mandated a fivefold increase in the use of biofuels.
As usual, when the Federal Government gets involved, they screw it up. Can anyone tell me, with the exception of the military, ONE thing the government does better than private industry? ONE thing?

So, what seemed like a splendid idea to save the environment is turning into a giant cluster fuck. Farmers who once upon a time grew other food stuff, like rice or soybeans are flocking to the government subsidies to grow corn for ethanol. As a result, guess what? There are now food shortages all over the world.

In some countries, the higher prices are leading to riots, political instability and growing worries about feeding the poorest people. Food riots contributed to the dismissal of Haiti’s prime minister last week, and leaders in some other countries are nervously trying to calm anxious consumers.
But hey, we're saving the environment, so it's all good, right??

Another unintended consequence of this ridiculous policy is that as the ethanol summer blends come online, gas prices are going to go up up up as the refineries across the country make the switch to the new blend. And then, to add insult to injury, your gas mileage is going to go down down down. Over the last 3-4 years I've noted a decrease between 1 and 3 mpg once the summer ethanol blend kicks in. So I have to make more frequent stops to fill up the truck, costing ME more money.

As if that weren't bad enough, all of your basic food costs rise. Cattle eat corn for food. Chicken eat corn for food. So your beef, poultry, milk, eggs, and butter all are going to, and already have, increase in price. Since there are less farmers growing soybeans, rice, and wheat, all of your food costs associated with those products are higher too.

This is the perfect example of how our government (or any government for that matter) is more likely to hurt you than help you; no matter how "well intentioned" the program is. As the Gipper once said - we need to realize that government is the problem, not the solution.

Sadly, it would appear that once again, those wonderful creatures representing us in Washington refuse to let the facts get in their way.

Senator Charles E. Grassley, Republican of Iowa, called the recent criticism of ethanol by foreign officials “a big joke.”
And until enough of US let those morons in Congress know what we think, it's going to do nothing more than to continue spiraling out of control.

But hey, we're saving the environment so it's all good, right?