Sunday, December 1, 2013

Mess With The Bull And You Get The Horn

Proto-Elamite bull sculpture, Southwestern Iran 

This is a little weird, but the U.K. Daily Mail has an exposé of sorts about the bull market that exists in American bovine semen exports to Iran. That's right, we don't sell the Iranians the entire bull, we just bludgeon the beefsteak a bit and then sell the Iranians the resulting seed stock. It's an agricultural development thing, so that makes it okay.

Despite most trade with Iran being illegal, the U.S. sent nearly $2 million dollars worth of bull semen to the Persian nation in 2012. In April 2013 alone, the U.S. sent $820,000 according to U.S. Census information gathered by Quartz.

-- snip --

Altogether the U.S. sent $45.7 million in humanitarian aid to Iran last April. While the number seems like a lot, it's nothing compared to the $26.2 billion sent to our biggest trading partner - Canada.

Bovine sperm side-steps the usual rules against trade between the two nations since it qualifies as humanitarian aid.

It's humanitarian aid to Iran, and therefore legal. I haven't googled the extraction techniques involved in rendering this aid, but I wonder whether the bulls would agree that that aspect of the business is also humanitarian. Maybe they would; really, I don't want to know.

Humane considerations aside, bovine semen is a big business. Who says Americans don't make anything anymore? Our bulls are evidently some of the highest-T producers who ever swaggered around a barnyard.

In fact, American cattle ranchers sell so very much bovine semen each year that sales to Iran amount to just a drop in the bucket.

After following the links in the Daily Mail's article I learned that the U.S. is the world's second largest exporter of bovine semen. So robust are our bulls that the only foreign encroachment into our calf batter business comes from our neighbor to the north, Canada. Between us, we North Americans dominate the world's bovine semen market.

Take that, Iran and the rest of OPEC! The next time you drink a glass of milk or grille a beef kabob, you'll know what cartel to thank.


James said...

No Comment!

Anonymous said...

That's a great post TSB! This article from Spokane yesterday is along the same lines and I really enjoyed it.

These farmers and ranchers have fascinated me all my life because they love it so much. It amazed me that this guy never even rode these things. gwb

Anonymous said...

Congress Backs Terrorists In Syria … Then Says We Need NSA Spying Because There are Terrorists In Syria
George Washington's picture
Submitted by George Washington on 12/03/2013 16:08 -0500

and: The Envoy: Alex Kershaw is a really great book about the Swedish diplomat who saved 100,000 Budapest jews from Adolph Eichman in 1944-45 by getting in his face. Raoul Wallenberg is only the 2nd person granted honorary US citzenship. Amazing that this story has been kept quiet for so long. He was of course betrayed by his own country and Dag Hammerskold and killed by Stalin. (just to keep a lid on things) gwb

Anonymous said...

TSB: The House hearing on Prez Powers & the Constitution was really good. (not to the Dems who mostly left after denouncing it) Jon Turley made the best point that for congress to regain it's relevance they need to pass a law that individual members have court standing to be heard on constitutional issues.

TSB said...

GWB: Wallenberg is a very interesting figure. There is good speculation that he was alive in Moscow as late as 1960 (a British prisoner of the KGB who was later traded for a Russian captured in the West exchanged a few words with a fellow prisoner who was almost certainly Wallenberg), but the official Russian line all along has been that Wallenberg died of natural causes in the late 1940s.

After Glasnost and Perestroika in the late 1980s, researchers hoped to get some real information when Soviet archives were opened, but no luck. Gorbachev himself was the Soviet official who had signed off on the 'he died in the 40s' story, and evidently he preferred to keep the real story secret.

BTW, one of Wallenberg's biggest supporters in the U.S. Congress was a California congressmen who was himself a refuge Wallenberg had gotten out of Budapest. Truth stranger than fiction.

James said...

"The Wallenberg" secret is one that main characters will take or have taken to their grave. Only indirect evidence will ever be found. Also I seem to remember there something else he was rumored to be doing besides the jewish deal(though would have been enough) that had the Soviets gunning for him. Of all the people most capable of finding out his fate would have been the Israelis, but I think they didn't or stayed quiet if they did not endanger their program of getting jews out of the USSR during the 70's.

Anonymous said...

Yes TSB! Tom Lantos. The book (The Envoy 2010-Kershaw) focuses on the lives of several families Wallenberg saved which makes for a powerful story. Much more interesting than our US wars in Iraq and Afghanistan which GWB himself says were started to 'kick some butt'. Did you notice Libya has adopted Sharia? (I hope they support Hillary in 2016) gwb

TSB said...

There were tantalizing clues that Wallenberg could have been alive into the 1980s. He had a brother who lived that long. Unless Putin finds a reason to open up the files, we'll probably never know.

Anonymous said...

TSB: This is the first really good analysis by a former employer of Obamacare I've seen. (I think the media has done a terrible job of presenting the facts) This shows that a healthy 60 yr old couple- self-employed pay about double now to get good coverage. If this doesn't wreck the economy next year I'll be darned. gwb

Anonymous said...

TSB; James: There were some problems with the Asia Pacific Initiative so Joe Biden was sent over to calm things down. As you can see he did so quickly with little fuss:

James said...

A video of 1st Biden-Sino talks.

Anonymous said...

TSB: Victoria Nuland assails the govt of Ukraine and so does Hillary at OSCE
meeting but only Hillary gets US ink. Oh.. I forgot, it's the weekend and US media has weekends off. And I wonder if Hillary is against US repression of the media? gwb