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It's funny you mention guano...

During the world war(s)  the ever paranoid (and rightly so) US government did some rather odd contortions to ensure that some strategic war effort items didn't run short. One of those items was guano, well not guano for it fertilizing properties, but rather it explosive. They were worried that they might at some point run short of gun powder etc. So they actively sought alternetive supplies of things and secured them as a "strategic resources".

 

A source of guano (HUGE!) was found in the cliffs above the colorado river, were in emptied into the grand canyon. The army corp of engineers was tasked with building a access to those caves for the event of a "in case" moment happened. They had to scale the cliff walls, build a scaffolding around the mine entrance, build a zip line across the river to the other cliff, then a catwalk, then a pulley and cable system so buckets of the guano would be mined and cabled over to the other side, then elevatored down to a dock they also had to build at river level into the cliff walls, so, in the event they ever needed the guano, they could begin getting it shipped up river with little advance notice. The irony being, with all that effort expended, it was never put into service for more than a occasional test draw of the guano! :)

 

Want to talk about "mohair"? Lol, it was a "strategic resource" subsidized since the civil war. That wasn't cut off until the late '80s. Mohair...what is it? Goat hair. They at one time (during the civil war era) made blankets out of it for the troops. They found far better materials to make blankets out of since then, but why end a great deal for a select few? They kept handing tax payer money to a select few rich guys, that were cronies of politicians, because we "needed" goat hair stockpiles.

 

How about the cacti in california and arizona? They paid select farmers to grow a certain cactus because the oils extracted from those cacti could be rendered into a rubber that could then be "vulcanized" to make rubber tires out of. This "strategic resource" was vital during WW! & II, they feared that the south american countries that made rubber resources, might fall under the control of either the japanese or the germans, cutting off our rubber for tire production...and once a good subsidy is in....why end it?! Even if the need for the item subsidized is no longer needed...why stop the tax payer gravy train? lol. They finally cut that one off in the early '90s. That sucked, only 50 years of the public teat.

 

There are loads of other silly subsidies still on going, corruption at it's best..... *shakes head*

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