It’s difficult to say whether ethanol or Sean Penn smells worse.  It’s all dependent on your olfactory, political, and occupational sensibilities. 

If you’re an American consumer of crude oil, which category would incorporate everyone who drives, consumes produce and manufactured products delivered via road and rail, wards off frigid cold with #2 heating oil in your homes, or labors in a factory/office kept functioning thanks to semi-liquid gold, you may say that ethanol takes the stink prize. 

If you cook with corn oil, use masa harina, or just love tortillas, ethanol should beat Sean Penn in the stink run by at least a mile since the brainstorm of conservationists and numbnuts at the EPA which inspired the idea of converting a valuable food staple, corn, into ethyl alcohol biofuel and blending up to 10% of the stuff into gasoline has sent the price of corn into the stratosphere. 

And, notice what it’s done for gas prices! 

The Ethanol Industry and   Ostensibly re-introduced, (after Henry Ford gave up on the idea almost a century ago), to curb America’s dependence on foreign oil imports, another government failure, ethanol has evolved  into a typical, wasteful boondoggle.  It serves to enrich  farm states and has made major political capital for pols in those states while helping to impoverish those needing gasoline to survive and those dependent on corn to eat.

A remarkably slow-learner in our un-scientific survey on whether ethanol or Sean Penn stink more, the Hollywood star would be the sure winner among those who appreciate second-rate acting and off-camera demonstrations of total ignorance. 

As noted here in an earlier article, “ has enumerated the numerous negatives associated with ethanol production and use.  They include the explosive danger, (it’s more flammable than gasoline), its solvent, drying, and water-absorbent properties which can lead to engine contamination and the disintegration of rubber and plastic, its lower energy value, its irritant and cancer-causing potential, its greater expense, and, primarily, its effect on food production.” ( 

As an added ironic fillip to the ethanol controversy, in the face of Republican efforts to put an end to federal subsidies promoting increased ethanol production by decreasing food production, the United States Department of Agriculture added a dumb insult to serious injury by announcing a push for more “flex-fuel [ethanol] pumps” at filling stations. (      

There’s nothing quite like enhancing the ridiculous with the totally absurd.  Maybe Mexicanos and Taco Bell can learn to substitute feather grass for maize. 

Sean Penn, who makes Ben Affleck and Charlie Sheen look smart, is notable as an admirer of Cuba’s Castros, hater of George W, Bush, defender of the LGBT, and savior of New Orleans and Haiti, not to mention hubby to Madonna and all-around Tinseltown man-about-town. 

June 9, 2010: “Hugo Chavez's   He’s also well known as a twit who shoots off his mouth before his brain is engaged as he has done repeatedly with regard to Venezuela and its despotic ruler, Hugo Chávez.    

   In contradistinction to Sean Penn who rarely understands what he says about anything, Oswaldo José Guillén Barrios, Chicago White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen, a native Venezuelan, knows whereof he speaks when it comes to Venezuela and its Marxist dictator.  

Penn has been mouthing off of late about Hugo and Venezuela and charging that Guillen’s homeland is impoverished due to economic sanctions rather than because of Chavez’ insane efforts to reduce his oil-rich nation to the level of the tobacco/sugar-rich, dirt poor island of Communist Cuba. 

In a transparently ghost-written article on, the ghost wrote on behalf of Penn that calling the Venezuelan dictator a dictator was a defamatory misrepresentation and that “the sanctions themselves should serve to initiate high level interaction that has for too long suffered the prejudice of profile [sic] and anti-Venezuelan political lobbying.”  (   

Guillen disregarded that “of profile” remark and Tweeted a challenge to Penn saying, “Sean Penn, if you love Venezuela please move to Venezuela for a year” and suggested Penn move to an impoverished city such as Guarenas or Guatire “to see how long you last.” 

He also called Penn a “clown,” which was a totally unnecessary abuse of clowns. ( 

There’s no word so far as to whether Penn will relocate to Guarenas or Guatire to experience the true fruits of life under Hugo Chavez or on how well Mexicanos and Americanos will adapt to feather grass in lieu of corn but this much is fairly certain: Both ethanol and Sean Penn stink to high heaven.