Saturday, May 30, 2020

A Conspiracy Theory


This is a weekly column consisting of letters to my perspicacious progeny. I write letters to my grandkids (who exist), and my great-grandkids (who don't) — the Stickies — to haunt them after they become grups or I'm deleted.

                                -Image by Andrew Martin from Pixabay- 
                  
Warning: This column is rated SSC — Sexy Seasoned Citizens — Perusal by kids, callowyutes, and/or grups may result in a debilitating intersectional triggering

                                                  Glossary  

                                                    About

Erratically Appearing Hallucinatory Guest Star: Dana — A Gentlerreader

"The growth in ethanol and biodiesel is something that I have worked on since I was secretary of agriculture in Kansas. I would like to see a lot more progress, because I think there is a real score to be made on this." -Sam Brownback 


Dear (eventual) Grandstickies & Great-Grandstickies (& Gentlereaders),

Since I'm running for king via a write-in campaign, I spend a lot of time thinking about how I should run the country if elected. After all, look at how effective the never-ending conspiracies of the Deep State have been at messing with the Donald.

As you can no doubt well imagine, this is a daunting task requiring much in-depth pondering.

[Almost too much for one mere mortal I would think.]

Too true, Dana, too true.

But since no one with a clue would want to be the king, or even president, of a republic that's in the middle of a cold civil war (so far anyways, fingers crossed...) and facing a future of financial and epidemiological uncertainty, who's more qualified than me?

[Exactly!... No, wait a second, are you saying that...]

I'm saying this would be the perfect time to insert an Uncle Joe/Daffy Donald joke but I'm above that sort of thing so I won't.


The Original Persons (OPs), aka the Founding Fathers, having read the classics, set up a republic because they knew that the fly in the democracy ointment was that democracies tended to devolve into rival factions competing for power and goodies (sound familiar?) and tyrannies (fingers on the other hand crossed).

This would be the perfect time to insert a joke about all those folks who are still waiting for the Donald to declare himself Lord High Muckety-Muck and start locking people up in all those FEMA built concentration camps. It's almost as if most of them never really believed what they were saying in the first place.

I believe that conscious conspiracies, that is to say, secret evil plots designed and implemented by an evil genius/family/organization/etceteration, are, at best, mostly crap.

[Mostly?]

Wiggle room, Dana, wiggle room. Anything's possible, although many things are unlikely.

However, I'm a firm believer in conspiracies of convenience.

[And what exactly are...]

Read on, my imaginary friend.


A conspiracy of convenience is one that doesn't require a Dr. Evil or even a Simon Bar Sinister to concoct and control.

A group of people who just so happen to benefit from particular policies or Rules&Regs can find themselves involved in the same conspiracy without ever having met most, if any, of their fellow conspirators.

The pursuit of riches and/or power creates conspiracies out of thin air.

[This would be a great time for an example.]

For example, ethanol.


Let the game begin!

In 2005, The Fedrl Gummit gifted the republic with the Energy Policy Act. Like all big honkin' laws created by the Leviathan, dissecting which senator, congressperson, lawyer, or lobbyist is responsible for what provision is virtually impossible.

Not a conspiracy, just a whole lot of people chasing money, power, and reelection. This is how a nationwide game of You Scratch My Back and I'll Scratch Yours gets started spontaneously.

The act, among many other provisions that provide subsidies from Uncle Sugar, mandated blending ethanol with gasoline via the Renewable Fuel Standard.

The Renewable Fuel Standard is a sprawling mess that's been a very effective jobs program. As for cleaning up the environment, not so much.

I found an excellent article in Reason from 2014 that tells the whole awful story. The following paragraph from the article sums things up nicely.

"America's ethanol requirement destroys the environment, damages car engines, increases gas prices, and contributes to the starvation of the global poor. It's an unmitigated disaster on nearly every level." 

[What?...why?...I mean...] 

Simple, so many people are feeding at the corn trough that ethanol is now an industry.


Meet the Renewable Fuels Association. "We are the leading trade association for America's ethanol industry, working to expand demand for American-made renewable fuels and bio-products worldwide." 

Check out their website: They are literal flag wavers. 

Mission statement translation: We're the leading cabal (there's so much money to be made it takes more than one) in a conspiracy of convenience. Unleash the lobbyists!  


Jim Doti and Laurence Iannaccone conveniently published an article in the Wall Street Journal just as I was trying to figure out how to end this column. Thanks, guys. You can access it via my Facebook page without having a WSJ subscription. 

Bottom line? We're swimming in ethanol because so much is being produced, but "...fuel producers can’t use it, since adding any more to gasoline will damage car engines."

Poppa loves you,
Have an OK day

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We are the leading trade association for America’s ethanol industry, working to drive expanded demand for American-made renewable fuels and bio-products worldwide.