Will Edwinson

Author & Storyteller

Are we tradin’ common sense for silly sense? A guest post from Rube.

Rube's 1941 Black Ford pickup truck

Gertrude, Rube’s 1941 Ford Pickup Truck

 Greetings, again, Friends.  Well, Rube’s back with another of his insightful  observations.  Enjoy.

http://www.dreamstime.com/royalty-free-stock-image-traditional-farmer-straw-hat-corncob-pipe-image24047396 Howdy folks.  It’s me agin, Rube.  Ya know, in years past we Americans prided ourselves on conductin’ our lives around common sense.  Lately, I reckon as how  we have been tradin’ common sense fer “silly sense.”  Take fer instant, that daylight savins’ time which was forced on us under the guise of energy conservation.    To use the words of a wise old Indian Chief,   “White Man not too smart.  He tries to lengthen blanket by cuttin’ foot off top and sewin’ it on bottom.”  The way I got it figgered, he was right; white man kinda dumb.  Are we tradin’ common sense for silly sense?

 Ever year here in Ideeho in March afore we go back ta daylight savin’s,  I‘m able to negotiate around my cabin durin’ the mornin’ without turnin’ on no lights.  The switch back to so-called daylight savin’s,  caused me to have to use mornin’ lights, and I was still a usin’ ‘em almost two months later.   Like the old chief said, I was simply tradin’ usin’ lights in the evenin’ for usin’ ‘em in the mornin’.  So tell me, where was the energy savin’?   I reckon the only reason we got daylight savin’ time is so them polititians in Congress could get another hour on the golf course afore dark.  I reckon theyre too dang lazy to get up an hour earlier in the mornin.  Are we exchangin’ common sense for silly sense?

 We complain about the price of gasoline; but we allow them environmentalists to git their way by stoppin’ the drillin’ fer oil right here in the good ol’ U. S. of A.  By lettin’ them environmentalists have their way we’re a sayin’ that stopin’ drillin’ for more oil within the Continental United States and offshore, is a good idee.  I think we allow as how it’s a good idee to be a buyin’ more oil from them Arabs.  We complain about the price of gasoline, but we let them environmentalists and our gov’ment throw up a bunch of roadblocks against buildin’ more refineries without sayin’ nothin’.  And many of us still drive 75 miles an hour down the freeway, when lobbin’ 10 miles per hour off our speed might add 2 to 3 miles per gallon to our car’s efficiency; it did it fer Old Gertrude.  I cut ‘er back from 50 miles per hour to 45 an’ the result was I gained an extra 15 to 20 miles on a tank a gas. Do the math, folks.  Ya might be  surprised to learn how much this reduces the ‘fective price of gasoline.  An’ besides that we need to slow down an’ smell the roses, anyway. Are we  tradin’ common sense fer silly sense?  I reckon as how we are.

 We fuss about the high cost of electricity, but when someone suggests buildin’ windmills to generate power the cry goes up: “we don’t want those screamin’ ugly old things a pollutin’ the beauty of our countryside.  Lordy sakes, folks, I reckon as how there are plenty of places they could be built out of sight.  They’rs also plenty of places where the wind blows like thunder where they wouldn’t even be heard, neither.

There are even some folks among us who would like to blow up all those power generatin’ and water conservin’ dams, because accordin to them, they’re foulin’ up the free flow of our rivers and killin’ our fish.  I reckon as how them folks in Los Angeles and points in between (exceptin’ for some of them nut cases up around San Francisco) wouldn’t take too kindly to blowin’ up Boulder Dam,  putin’ most of them without no ‘lectricity.   I allow as how them San Francisco nut cases would be delighted to see Boulder Dam roarin’ down the Colorado Rivier.

 Then we complain about that element mercury level bein’ too high in the fish and other foods we eat, but we willin’ly accept, without no protest, and even cheer them lame brains in Congress, when they mandate replacin’ conventional light bulbs in our houses with them funny lookin’ curly cue light bulbs that‘re full of mercury.  Each of them bulbs—accordin’ to what I been readin’ an’  and hearin’—contain enough mercury to pollute 600 gallons of water above safe drinkin’ standards.  And that ain’t even mentionin’ the increased cost of these silly light bulbs. Are we  replacin’ common sense with silly sense?

 Then the  latest fiasco to come on the scene is the notion that them bio-fuels fouls up the food chain and raises food prices to where we can’t afford ‘em; ‘specially them foods  usin’ wheat and corn.  It’s time fer a little perspective, folks.  The price of wheat fer the past two decades or more, has been  hangin’ around $3.00 and $6.00 a bushel; which is far below parity to the farmer, makin’ it difficult for him to recover his production costs, let alone make a little profit. (Parity, in case you don’t know, is what somethin’ should sell for compared to ever other thing on the market.)

 There is 60 pounds of wheat in a bushel, which yields about 42 pounds of flour.  At $6.00 a bushel, this figgers to be about 14.5 cents worth of wheat in a pound of flour.  Now folks, they’res a whole lot less than a pound of flour in a one pound loaf of bread. With all the other ingredients, eggs, milk, yeast, shortnin’, and the likes,  it’s more like half to three quarters pound of flour or about 11 cents worth of wheat at most in a loaf of bread.

So even if wheat was hoverin’ around $18.00 a bushel to the millers, this triplin’ in price of wheat increases the cost of the flour in a one pound loaf of bread to about 33 cents. This ain’t hardly enough to starve even the poorest amongst us. (And common sense tells me, folks, that it don’t cost no more to grind $18.00 wheat than it does $6.00 wheat, so the millers aing got no right to triple the price of flour just because wheat triples in price.)  Are we a replacin’ common sense with silly sense?

 Now let’s talk ‘bout the corn that’s bein’ used for ethanol.  This corn, folks, is field corn—livestock feed corn—not food grade sweet corn. So alcohol production ain’t gonna cause no shortage of corn meal as them city slicker politicians and news people would have us to believe.  After it goes through the alcohol process, the mash is still good fer cattle feed, so in effect, we’re  gettin’ a double use from the corn.  One of them naysayers of ethanol production says it would take a farm the size of Texas to produce enough corn for the amount of alcohol needed for motor fuel.  So what! I reckon as how there is nearly that much land left in that  Conservation Reserve Program what they call the C RP,  that could be called out to produce the fiber needed for ethanol production.

 Ya see, ethanol can also be made from a lotta different crops, (feed-barley and malt barley fer instant).  In fact the mash from the maltin’ process used for beer is already bein’ fed to cattle.  If food prices go through the roof, I reckon as how it won’t entirely be ethanol production that caused it.   A great many farms is bein’ taken out of production by housin’ and commercial development ever year.  Perhaps we should take a few moments to think about the folly connected to much of the ballyhoo that’s a bein’ bandied about these days—includin’ that baloney about man made global warmin’,too—before we blindly jump onto the bandwagons.

 So what it all boils down to, folks, is we’re bein’ hornswaggled. We’re bein’ sold a bunch a beach front propity in the middle of the Arizona desert by a bunch a city slickers an’ shady politicians.

Have we been exchangin’ common sense for silly sense?  I reckon so.

 Now, fer a brief respite from the follies of today’s silly work, why not click on the free download button at upper right on this here page and git a free copy of Will’s book,  Buddy…His Trials and Treasures.

Rube image by Lori Corbett – Third Raven Design – lcorbett@cableone.net

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