Swamp Vegetation: The Red Tape Monster

Have you ever wondered why America since about the fact of the internet has essentially put up the closed sign and just sat around bitching? Well, I’ve done my share, both here, and in real life. But I know, and you know, it’s not really complicated. Edward Ring at American Greatness explains.

Between 2008 and 2019, China opened up 33 high-speed rail routes, connecting 39 major cities along four north-south and four east-west main lines. The 18,000-mile network runs trains at an average speed of around 200 miles per hour. By 2030, the Chinese expect to double the mileage of their high-speed rail network by expanding to eight north-south and eight east-west main lines. In less than 20 years, the Chinese have completely transformed their rail transportation network.

This is typical for the Chinese. China is also building three new airports—offshoreDalian along the north coast opposite the Korean Peninsula, Xiang’an on the central coast facing Taiwan, and Sanya off the coast of Hainan Island in the strategic South China Sea. All three airports are to be built to the highest international levels, with 12,000-foot runways able to accommodate the Airbus A380, the world’s largest passenger airliner. All three are built on “reclaimed land”—the Chinese intend to bulldoze a few mountains into the ocean and flatten them into runways. And all three, from start to finish, will be built in under 10 years.

China’s ability to construct major infrastructure quickly is beyond debate. The Three Gorges Project, the largest dam in the world, created a deep-water reservoir an astonishing 1,400 miles long. Its hydroelectric capacity of 22.5 gigawatts is the largest in the world. This massive construction project was done, from start to finish, in 12 years.

While China Builds, America Litigates

To argue that Americans don’t need high-speed rail, or massive new airports on ocean landfill, or yet another massive hydroelectric dam, is beside the point. Americans can’t do any big projects.

A perfect example is the Keystone Pipeline, which, if it’s ever completed, will be capable of transporting 830,000 barrels of oil per day south from the tar sands of Alberta to existing pipelines in Nebraska. This pipeline has been tied up in permitting delays and litigation since 2008. Eleven years later, not one mile of pipeline has been built.

Even with aggressive support from the Trump Administration, will Keystone ever get built? Not if an army of environmentalist plaintiff attorneys have their way. According to a recent report by PBS, as soon as a judge dismissed the most recent lawsuit against Keystone, another lawsuit was filed. Another construction season has been lost, another year of delay. “Representatives of a half-dozen other environmental groups vowed to keep fighting in court and predicted the pipeline will never be built,” PBS reports.

While Americans are divided over whether they support construction of the Keystone Pipeline, everyone supported quickly constructing towers to replace the World Trade Center towers lost in the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. One may assume that in the aftermath of 9/11, designs, bids and permitting were fast-tracked, yet it took more than five years before construction began. Freedom Tower, the dazzling replacement to the Twin Towers, didn’t open until 2014, just over 13 years after the towers fell.

By contrast, the Empire State Building was built in 14 months.

Yeah, and if you’ll remember, the atomic bomb was developed from theory to delivery (by a plane that didn’t exist when they started) in less than 4 years. Imagine that, from a crackpot theory to a world-beating weapon in 40 odd months. We can’t get a can opener to market that quickly now.

That’s the macro scale and I agree with everything he says in his column, so read it for yourself.

But it’s not just the macro, it’s the local individual level that really grinds, the Adaptive Curmudgeon explains that part.

Regulation, in my life, has usually been a ratchet. A mandate might be tightened, a tax might be raised, another “green technology” can be forced… but I’ve almost never seen the opposite.

I’ve never seen taxes go down. I’ve never seen an EPA regulation lighten up. I’ve never seen a new car with fewer mandatory safety features and alarms. I’ve made personal choices that gave me more freedom (vote with your feet!) but I’ve rarely seen the noose loosen generally.

Which brings me to lightbulbs. I like efficient lighting where it makes sense. Where it makes sense, I’d already gone fluorescent. Why wouldn’t I? I’m all about efficiency and living cheap.

But centralized bureaucracy cannot abide “where it makes sense”. Rules are applied everywhere, all at once, with a sledge, by people who haven’t got a fucking clue. Examples abound: A dude in a swamp in Michigan has a low flow toilet because water is rare in Phoenix. My truck’s seat belt alarm goes off, when I’m driving firewood across my lawn. Lather, rinse, repeat.

Incandescent bulbs are theoretically inefficient. You know what their waste product is? Heat! You know what the temperature was this February? -42 Fahrenheit.

Keep reading.

He’s damned well right. On dad’s place, the water pump was in a pit under the floor of an outbuilding, and all winter there was a droplight in it. Why? So the pump wouldn’t freeze, it cost less to buy (even with a Teflon coated rough service bulb and McGill drop light) and run, and was more dependable that heat tape Yes, heat tape has improved somewhat but it’s still not as good as an incandescent bulb running at 90% of its rated voltage.

So where do these two stories meet? Lawyers, regulators, and special interest groups. As always Cui bono. These are the parasites of a productive society, and we are badly infested.

If you are interested why I’m retired, even though I love electrical work, and the more complicated the better, it’s simple. I got tired of the bullshit, from the government, all those alphabet agencies, none of whose employees has never done an honest days work in their life, and engineers that have never been out of their nice warm office.  They don’t know a screwdriver from a pair of Klein’s, but these geniuses think they are qualified to not only tell me what to do, but where and how to do it, using what tool. Oh, and when I walk in the room, I assume responsibility for what the joker in 1909 did, unless I fix it, out of my own pocket.

It just wasn’t worth it, I’d rather sit here at my desk, and watch the world go by. Thing is, others like AC, and damned near every other guy and girl who knows how to do anything is gonna get to that point one day, an then the parasites are gonna freeze in the dark, while they starve.

Well, we made their world, if they can’t maintain it, it ain’t my fricken problem. Call someone who gives a damn about your sorry ass, cause I got over that years ago.

About NEO
Lineman, Electrician, Industrial Control technician, Staking Engineer, Inspector, Quality Assurance Manager, Chief Operations Officer

7 Responses to Swamp Vegetation: The Red Tape Monster

  1. audremyers says:

    Wow! Somebody took his pissy pills today!
    (wink)

    Liked by 1 person

  2. the unit says:

    Disregarding history of freezing cold and my experience here in NW Florida @ only 18 degrees, a few mornings sometimes .
    I placed work gloves on top of incandescent bulb light shade to warm them up. Lamp off in summer.
    Got a few more bulbs saved up. Molon Labe. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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