by Joe Kirkpatrick
I decided to get back on track this month and try to give my readers (both of you) some good information. I am going to talk about the harmful effects of Ethanol, but first, I want to talk to you about copy machines.
Copy machines? What can I tell you about them other than they are used to make copies? We often hear of security breaches in all areas of our lives these days. Recently, some laptop computers at Blue Cross in Chattanooga turned up missing. From what I understand, the personal data of over 1,000,000 people was possibly compromised. After several months, there are no clues as to what happened to those computers. I recently found out some very disturbing information concerning copy machines that are now used in every office all over the world. Since 2002, virtually every large copy machine contains a built in hard drive that stores every single image that is copied. Many businesses, hospitals, schools, and etc that have one of these copy machines have no idea it contains a hard drive. Furthermore, when these machines are traded in on a newer model, the hard drives are usually not removed. Then, anyone who purchases them at a public auction now has all of the data the hard drive contains at their disposal. In a BS news story, they bought several copy machines that had been traded in from an office surplus store. Their technician downloaded literally hundreds of thousands of documents onto their computer, then viewed some of them. They contained confidential medical records, social security numbers, the names of confidential informants in criminal investigations, as well as many other personal security breaches. Think about it - if you go to most any "self service" copy center, whatever you copied is now in their copiers hard drive. I'm not normally for passing laws about every little thing, but legislation definitely needs to be passed to make sure the hard drives on these machines are either eliminated or destroyed when they are sold.
Ethanol in gas is not good - period. First off, it is a proven documented fact your car gets less miles per gallon when using pure gas than gas containing ethanol. However, the problem is much larger than that. Ethanol virtually destroys the fuel systems of older cars that have carburetors. Ethanol is a solvent, and when put in an older car, it dissolves the natural varnish deposits pure gasoline has left over the years. When this existing varnish is dissolved, it makes its way to the very small passages in the carburetor, and plugs it up. Some mechanics also report similar problems in earlier model fuel injected cars as well.
Using gas with ethanol in small equipment such as lawn mowers, weed eaters, chainsaws and etc is even more lethal. Most lawn equipment has small rubber and plastic parts inside the carburetor, many of which are located inside the casting and cannot be replaced. Ethanol turns these parts to mush, making buying an expensive new carburetor the only option. I purchased a new Husquvarna back pack blower last fall, and the instruction booklet states, DO NOT USE GASOLINE CONTAINING ETHANOL IN THIS PRODUCT.
Ethanol also has driven food costs up considerably over the past three years. Corn is used to produce ethanol, but proponents argue food grade corn is not being used in its manufacture. They are 100% right! Food corn is not used, but in fact, a much cheaper grade of corn is used. So why are food costs up? Because they are now using hundreds of thousands of acres that were previously used to grow food corn to grow the lower grade corn for ethanol production. Why would farmers want to do this? Raising the cheaper grade of corn uses less fertilizer, less water, and less upkeep in general. Now for the kicker: Our government pays a subsidy of forty five cents a gallon to the ethanol producers. Need I say more?
Kudos to Texaco Toms, Eagle Mart at I-75, and several other independent stations around our area who still make 100% gasoline available for us. It is a bit more expensive, but well worth the added expense.