Remembering Heroes

The monument to Rick Rescorla in Cornwall

Well, it’s Sept 11th once again. And so once again we will remember (as truly we do each day) what happened 16 years ago today, in New York, in Washington D.C, and in Pennsylvania. Back in 2011, almost all of us wrote about the day of the attack, what I said is here, and mostly I still believe it. But I think we’ll write about something else today. Perhaps something that most of our so-called betters think is obsolete, we will speak today of heroes, for indeed 9/11 had them as 7 DEC 41 did.

It’s important to remember our heroes. In recounting their deeds, we carry on our myths, even as the old Vikings did in the Icelandic Sagas. These are the sagamen of America, some are fictional, such as those played by the duke, although they are still valuable, the best ones are real.

One of the most interesting was Colonel Rick Rescorla, USA Ret. Born in Cornwall, he enlisted at 17 in the British army (in the Paras) immigrated to the US and was the  Platoon Leader, B Co 2/7 Cavalry in the 1st Cavalry Division (Airmobile) in the battle of Ia Drang, where he gave the British commands of ‘Fix Bayonets, On Line, Ready forward’. His picture is on the cover of ‘We Were Soldiers’. That’s quite the entry on any man’s resume, but his continues. On 9/11 he was vice president of security for Morgan Stanley Dean Witter. We all know what happened that day, but do we remember that only six Morgan Stanley employees died when their building was obliterated. One them was this man, now a retired Colonel, who stayed to make sure he got his people out.

But there was something else about the Colonel, he loved to sing. When he or his people were stressed he would sing to keep them steady. On the day of that bayonet charge, and again on 9/11 he sang the same song. It;s one of my favorites, ever since I saw the movie Zulu, perhaps you’ve heard it too.

One of our (and the United Kingdom’s, as well) best. He should never be forgotten, and I doubt he will be. Of such men are sagas made.

But he wasn’t the only one either, over Pennsylvania a bunch of American civilians counterattacked, just minutes into this war. They died in the attempt, but they thwarted the plan. Jodi Giddings found some videos and wrote a most moving commentary.

But the passengers weren’t about to allow a fourth plane to strike another target. And the decision they made that fateful September morning will be remembered forever.

Huddled in the rear of the plane, behind a row of seats and out of sight of the hijackers, a group of passengers voted on whether or not to fight back. Their choice? Fight. Or die.

Just minutes later, Todd Beamer and the other brave men rushed the plane’s cockpit, in hopes of retaking control of the aircraft. A struggle ensued:

And this, heart-wrenching remembrance

Jodi continues:

That she did.

You see, the Flight 93 passengers were not victims of 9/11. They were our first warriors, courageous heroes who fought back against a senseless evil hell-bent on bringing America to her knees. With every ounce of their might, on a cloudless, late-summer morning in September, they saved the lives of untold numbers of their fellow Americans, selflessly giving their own over a quiet field in Shanksville, Pennsylvania. Their memories live on:

And so they shall, as long as men remember, and celebrates the heroes amongst us, and those who have kept us free.

These too were American heroes, who willingly gave their lives, to save the lives of others.

Tongues of fire on Idris flaring

News of foe-men near declaring,

To heroic deed of daring,

Call you, Harlech men.

Indeed, the history of freemen is rife with stories of such men, and they have been our answer to all who would enslave us, and the story continues, and it shall, as long as we remember…

Let’s Roll

General Patton once said very truly,

“It is foolish and wrong to mourn the men who died. Rather we should thank God that such men lived.”

 

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Safety, and Personal Responsibility

I was taught from childhood on: There is no such thing as a no-fault accident, somebody always had a way to prevent it. Fault is a legal term and means something else, but all accidents are avoidable by taking (or not taking) some action, or list of actions. Let’s start here:

I’m sorry but such a list of blown safety rules, to me, makes this little less than suicide, and him a poor employer, and you know what, once he thought about it, I’ll bet his supervisor wasn’t surprised, although saddened. But that’s fine, he failed as well.

This is the overhead companion to that post the other day about fixing underground cables and is a pretty clear indication of why I like so many of my peers prefer overhead construction. Of, course it has it’s moments as well:

It shouldn’t happen, but it does, and frankly it is why you never see electrical utility crews leaning on our trucks, which we specifically do ground. The advice given here on what to do if this happens to you, is the same that I have been taught all my life.

One thing that causes us out here to lose afarmer every once in a while, is when the get something to close to a power line, note that you don’t have to touch it.

And finally, most American power companies have demonstration rigs like this that are available, and the skilled presenters that go with them. if you haven’t seen one (or even if you have) pay attention, this is the straight scoop from our side of the meter.

And yes, I have killed more than a few generators (and sometimes the tractors they were attached to, when I safed a line. DO IT RIGHT, or be prepared to kill a lineman, or trplace you generator

Slavery, Economics, and Abolition

An Engraving, based on a painting of Eli Whitn...

An Engraving, based on a painting of Eli Whitney, an American inventor (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

Did you enjoy Jess’s article this morning on the British Abolitionists, mostly Wilberforce and the Evangelicals? It’s pretty interesting, and it’s even more interesting how contemporary abolition activity was in the United States.

As early as 1688 the Germantown Quaker Petition Against Slavery, was a clear and forceful argument against slavery and began a process that finally led to the banning of slavery in the Society of Friends (1776) and in the state of Pennsylvania (1780). Thomas Paine wrote an article in 1775 titled African Slavery in America which called for the abolition of slavery.

It’s also noting that in 1797 the Congress of the Confederation banned slavery in the Northwest Territory, which formed the old northwest.

We hear much about the 3/5ths compromise in the Constitution and how unfair in was, in reality, the northerners wanted to not count the slaves at all, as they were not going to be allowed to vote, while the southern slaveholders wanted to count them the same as anybody else-to get more representation in the House of Representatives. The other half of this compromise was that the slave trade was protected for 20 years after ratification to protect the northern seafaring interests (you can easily read that as Massachusetts).

And while we speaking of the 3/5th compromise, it is well to remember that while slaves were not permitted to vote, there was no such thing anywhere as universal suffrage. For instance in New York (where were some slaves as late as 1840) in order to be eligible to vote under the 1777 New York State Constitution, a man (no women) had to pay taxes as well as own property worth at least 20 pounds or pay an annual rent of 2 pounds. Ten of the original 13 states had property and/or tax requirements when the U.S. Constitution came into effect. So it wasn’t quite as unfair as the agitators would have you believe.

And in truth at the end of the 18th century slavery was dying, as the southerners were switching from tobacco production (which was very hard on the soil) to mixed use farming which used much less labor. In 1791, Robert Carter III of Virginia freed more than 450 people by “Deed of Gift”. And in his will, President Washington directed his heirs to free the slaves he owned, without breaking up their families (many were married to Martha’s slaves) eventually they were freed.

And on 1 January 1808 the United States banned the importation of slaves, and in truth all states had either strictly limited the slave trade or outright prohibited it before then. All of them. If I recall the British banned the trade in 1807. Of course, this had the effect of making slaves more valuable. As always when you restrict a free market you create a black market (mo pun intended). And so New England lost a valuable part of their overseas trade. While the southerners, had a capital gain as their slaves were worth more because importation was both illegal and difficult. I’d guess that this led to even worse conditions on the slavers since the profits were very high, and thus wastage could be supported (obviously economically not morally) This was the period when John Newton (that Jess spoke of) was in the trade.

But there was something else as well. In 1794 Eli Whitney received a patent for his cotton gin (the patent law in effect was defective, and he made very little off of this invention) but he revolutionized a lot of the western world. Because of the gin, cotton became a viable fiber for textiles, leading to the textile industries that revolutionized both Britain and the New England state leading both into the industrial revolution. That’s important but for another time.

It also provided the south with another, even higher profit, labor intensive crop, thereby extending the life of the slave culture. Unfortunately, because of the factors we spoke of above, the value of slaves was so high, and the growing of cotton so laborious, that the value of slaves became very high. In fact, a very large percentage of the wealth of the south was tied up in labor (slaves) so that the region ended up being left behind as the rest of the country started the revolutionary progress that makes American history so exciting.

Because of this, even if they didn’t believe in the institution, the southerners couldn’t figure out how to get out of it. I suspect, if as late as 1856, somebody had proposed something on the order of a fair compensated emancipation, it might have been well received in the south.

Note that I am not saying that the southerners thought the blacks were the equal of whites, they didn’t, but then neither did the northerners, and most of the working class in the north looked on them just as they did the Irish in that period, another bunch of people who would work for very little money, thereby undercutting their incomes.

We will be continuing this story, I suspect. But the main point from today is to always look for the underlying motives of people urging any political course. Me included, of course.

 

Bookworm Room » The President’s speech to Planned Parenthood reminds us how dishonest the abortion debate is on the Left

I wanted to talk a bit about Obama‘s speech to Planned Parenthood but, it sounded a bit too much like a broken record. I mean you all know my (strongly held) feelings on abortion, not to mention my opinion of this President. But still, sometimes silence is taken for acquiescence, and I certainly don’t. This showed up yesterday from The Bookworm Room. I don’t agree with her on abortion, although it’s more a matter of degree, for me the life of the mother is the only possible exception but, her opinion is far better than where we are, and in truth acceptable to me in law (as opposed to morality).

That’s all very well, and she doesn’t need me to publicize her blog. I’m running this because while we come out at slightly different conclusions, we started in similar places. She does a really exceptional job of explaining why the changes in society, make the availability of abortions of far less importance than they were in the 1950s. It is an a fascinating article.

And one point she makes with which I heartily concur: “How is it preferable to end up in Gosnell’s House of Horrors, rather than the apocryphal back alley” looks like the same thing to me. Here’s Bookworm…

Fetus

Lately, abortion has been in the news.  It never gets far out of the news, but it intruded with extra force these past two weeks for two reasons.  The first was the story about the media’s decision to ignore the Kermit Gosnell trial because it didn’t fit into the abortion narrative.  The narrative is that abortion should be “safe, rare, and legal.”  The Gosnell reality was that women died in his filthy clinic, that living babies got murdered (with the psychopathic Gosnell collecting hands and feet as trophies), and that the abortions were illegal under any standards, since they were so late term as to constitute murder under Pennsylvania law.  Because Gosnell interrupted the narrative (“we have achieved safe, rare, and legal, and now we must fight zealously to keep it”), what may be the most sensational mass murder trial in American history went unreported.

The other “abortion in the news” moment was Obama’s slobbering love letter to Planned Parenthood, when he spoke at their big hoo-ha.  If you doubt that it was a love letter, you need only listen to the very last few seconds of his speech:

As long as we’ve got to fight to make sure women have access to quality, affordable health care, and as long as we’ve got to fight to protect a woman’s right to make her own choices about her own health, I want you to know that you’ve also got a president who’s going to be right there with you, fighting every step of the way.  Thank you, Planned Parenthood. God bless you.

Yuck.  I’ve been slimed.

That was Obama’s emotional shtick.  In light of the Gosnell affair, it was a grossly misleading emotional shtick because it’s clear that, when women’s “health care” (i.e., abortion) is not delivered into a quality way, neither Obama nor abortion’s cheerleaders will be there for those women.

But there was something else Obama said that was equally dishonest, and that was his insistence that those who oppose abortion on demand want to return the world to the 1950s:

So the fact is, after decades of progress, there are still those who want to turn back the clock to policies more suited to the 1950s than the 21st century.  And they’ve been involved in an orchestrated and historic effort to roll back basic rights when it comes to women’s health.

There’s a very subtle dishonesty at work here.  What Obama fails to acknowledge is that the social dynamics of our world are so entirely different from those in the 1950s that, even if abortion was outlawed entirely, significant economic and social pressures that women faced in the 50s are virtually nonexistent now.  In the 1950s, women had abortions to escape social stigma (“she’s a slut”) and economic collapse (minimal safety net).  The social stigma was an especially powerful force.  Women were branded and disowned.

I wrote about this false comparison to the 1950s once before, and think it’s worthwhile to reprint that post in its entirety here, simply because the Gosnell trial and Obama Planned Parenthood speech make it very relevant to today’s debate (or avoidance of debate).  So, from January 11, 2010, The need for an honest, 21st century debate aboutabortion:

I dreamed last night about the first ultrasound I had when I was pregnant with my daughter.  I was sixteen weeks pregnant, and had been throwing up non-stop for 15 1/2 of those sixteen weeks.  I was not happy.  I resented the parasite within me.  And then I saw the sonogram image and discovered that the parasite had a little round head, two arms and two legs, and an incredible spinal cord that looked like the most exquisite string of pearls.  That image did not instantly reconcile me to the next 26 weeks of non-stop vomiting, but it made me aware that “the fetus” is not simply an aggregation of cells, or a thing indistinguishable from a dog or a chicken fetus.  It’s a baby.

Continue reading Bookworm Room » The President’s speech to Planned Parenthood reminds us how dishonest the abortion debate is on the Left.

 

Of Gas Booms & Engine Damage: Energy Update

World Marketed Energy Use by Fuel Type – Histo...

World Marketed Energy Use by Fuel Type – History & Projections, 1980 – 2030. Data sources: History: Energy Information Administration (EIA), International Energy Annual 2004 (May-July 2006), web site http://www.eia.doe.gov/iea. Projections: EIA, System for the Analysis of Global Energy Markets (2007). (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

It’s time we looked at a couple of energy stories I guess. First up, from Power Line Blog Steven Hayward talks about how fracking is driving an economic boom in Pennsylvania, while the nannies in New York are keeping their population poor. And just in case you were worrying about it, Gasland is just about as truthful as A Triumph of the Will although Leni Riefenstahl was a far better filmmaker.

 

The kicker on the gas boom is that we’re exporting coal to Europe, that makes it a win-win. Particularly as our railroads are one of the most efficient movers of bulk commodities ever dreamed of by man. Here’s Steve.

 

WHAT A GAS BOOM LOOKS LIKE IN MOTION

The good folks at the Energy Information Administration have produced this stunning 22-second video that shows the boom in natural gas drilling in Pennsylvania from 2005 to April 2012.  While you watch this explosion of prosperity for the Keystone state and contemplate with glee the anguish this is causing environmentalists, keep in mind that next-door New York has continued to ban most natural gas exploration and production, which not only deprives the Empire state of economic activity, but has bid up the prices of gas leases on private land in Pennsylvania.  Think of it as Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s wealth-transfer-to-Pennsylvania policy.

Meanwhile, the gas boom is not just causing heartburn to Green Weenies here in the U.S.  According to a new report just out from the International Energy Agency, the natural gas boom in America is—are your ready?—leading to increased coal consumption in Europe, some of it additional imports of cheap American coal.  The IEA predicts European coal consumption will rise by 10 percent or more over the next decade.  Double-win!  Here’s the key slide from the IEA report, and savor the headline, “US shale gas switches on coal in Europe”:

Click to embiggen

 

Continue reading What a Gas Boom Looks Like in Motion | Power Line.

 

In another matter, Maggie over at Maggie’s Notebook reminds us that if you drive a 2011 or older vehicle by BMW, Chrysler, Nissan, Toyota, Ford, Honda, Kia, Mercedes, or Volkswagen the use of E15 Gasoline will void your warranty. She does a very good job of explaining why, so I won’t go into it, I will add though that last I heard even E10 will void the warranty on lawnmowers with engines from Briggs and Stratton. Use it at your own risk, but it will reduce your mileage so if you like real efficiency stay away from the garbage. Do watch the linked video, it’s very good. Here’s Maggie.

 

Here’s some information for you to consider if your vehicle is older than a 2012 model. According to the information in the following video, the new E15 gasoline is in some gas stations now, and is surely coming to one near you. At least ten car companies are now saying they will not cover any claims of damage due to this fuel, due to E15, and it’s going to void your warranty. Some of those companies mentioned in the video which will not cover fuel-related claims are BMW, Chrysler, Nissan, Toyota, Ford, Honda, Kia, Mercedes, and Volkswagen. These companies also are saying the use of E15 will void fuel-related warranties.

E15_1

AAA is calling on the EPA to suspend the sale of E15.

Lauren Fix, the “car coach,” from AOL Auto makes these points:

• E15 is approved by the EPA and being pushed by the Government. AAA says do not use it.

• There wasn’t a lot of testing done on E15

• E15 is 15% ethanol. E-85, also in gas stations is 85% ethanol. Both E15 and E-85 are fine for flex-fuel vehicles, but there are few of them on the streets. E15 and E-85 are a danger to all other vehicles, and you risk your warranty being voided.

• There is “phase separation” when the ethanol merges with gasoline at the pump. The ethanol is heavier and goes to the bottom of the gas tank. The vehicle draws the ethanol first. Ethanol is so corrosive that it damages fuel systems and engines. When the ethanol is gone, the gasoline is drawn. There is proof that it damages fuel lines, emission systems and engines.

• Companies which manufacture fuel lines say they have brand new vehicles with rotted-out fuel systems.

• E15 Destroys Gaskets due to the corrosiveness of ethanol

• E15 is made 3 octane levels lower, 87 octane is actually 84 octane – which damages your engine because it “detonates.”

• A lot of money is changing hands. Corn subsidies are huge.

• Farmers are growing more corn fewer other agricultural products, so groceries are going up. Remember the skyrocketing price of tortillas in Mexico? Consumers will be hurt badly in severa areas.

• E15 is highly corrosive – so corrosive it has to be distributed to the gas stations in stainless steel tanks.

• From E15, you get less than one-third-energy per-gallon of gasoline that has ethanol in it compared to regular gasoline that doesn’t have ethanol. In otherwords, you go a shorter distance using ethanol. It means you are filling up at the pump more often, and you risk costly damages to your engine.

• E15 may appear to be cheaper, but it’s not and you risk costly repairs and a voided warranty

From AAA:

In June, the EPA approved the use of E15, and a handful of gas stations in Nebraska, Iowa and Kansas have begun to sell this fuel. There is a strong likelihood that retailers will market E15 in additional states soon unless regulators take immediate action to protect consumers.

Nearly all of the gasoline sold in the United States today is E10, which contains up to ten percent ethanol, primarily produced from corn. The ethanol industry has lobbied hard to increase the amount of ethanol allowed in gasoline as a way to increase sales and help meet the Renewable Fuels Standard.

AAA’s concern with E15 is not about ethanol. In fact, AAA believes that ethanol-blended fuels have the potential to save Americans money and reduce the nation’s dependency on fossil fuels. The problem is that available research, including the EPA’s exhaust emissions tests, is not sufficient evidence that E15 is safe to use in most vehicles.

The ethanol industry’s response to reports of damage caused by E15 is that it is the most tested fuel in the EPA’s history. The caveat to this assertion is that while the agency did test E15, their research focused primarily on exhaust emissions and associated components such as catalytic converters. While this research was consistent with the EPA’s mission, it never fully examined whether E15 might damage engines and fuel systems

If the video disappears or will not play, view it here.
E15 Ethanol Warning (Video)

Continue reading E15 Gas Approved by EPA Slammed by AAA – Carmakers Will Not Honor Warranties | Maggie’s Notebook.

 

It just works so well when we run this country for the benefit of special interests, doesn’t it? Well, you’ve been warned, if you have a yen to spend several thousand dollars out of your own pocket so that you can think your saving the environment while subsidizing a corn farmer, Heck, go for it. We all know we can’t fix stupid.

 

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Frackin’ B.S. – Marita Noon

 

 

Environmental Protection Agency Seal

Environmental Protection Agency Seal (Photo credit: DonkeyHotey)

 

Well, here we go again, the EPA has its agenda, and is not about to let the truth get in the way. What is its agenda? To make sure Americans freeze in the dark. This time they badly overreached on fracking. You, of course remember the propaganda film Gasland, you can forget it now, its been disproved, again. here’s Marita Noon again on the latest BS from EPA and other greens on fracking.

 

“Even a broken clock is right twice a day” is an adage we’ve all heard dozens of times. Today, it applies to the EPAas even it gets things right now and then.The EPA is well known for its attacks on virtually every kind of industry that might result in economic development—hitting the energy sector particularly hard. Despite the agency’s best efforts, it has not been able to match up the science with its desired claims of water contamination from natural gas extraction using hydraulic fracturing—which has been in use in America for more than 60 years.

In early December 2011, the New York Times ran a story declaring: “Chemicals used to hydraulically fracture rocks in drilling for natural gas in a remote valley in central Wyoming are the likely cause of contaminated local water supplies.” Environmental groups jumped all over the announcement. Amy Mall, a fracking opponent with the Natural Resources Defense Council, said the report “underscores the urgent need to get federal rules and safeguards on the books to help protect all Americans from the dangers of fracking.” An NPR story on the EPA’s draft study released on December 8, 2011, stated: “The gas industry and other experts have long contended that fracking doesn’t contaminate drinking water. The EPA’s findings provide the first official confirmation to the contrary.”

However, just three months later, on March 8, it was announced that the EPA had to backtrack as frequent attacks forced the agency to acknowledge that it had rushed to judgment. The chemicals supposedly found in the drinking water of Pavilion, Wyoming, were chemicals that could have come from a variety of sources—including the plastic piping. The EPA released the data and findings outside of the purview of two “working groups” made up of state and EPA officials, which had been examining the Pavillion pollution for the better part of a year. Following accusations that the EPA rushed the release of the report without peer review, the EPA backed down and agreed to retest. Now, the EPA and Wyoming, as well as U.S. Geological Survey and two American Indian tribes, are working together on further study of the Pavillion groundwater.

On April 1, a lawsuit the EPA had filed earlier this year against a Texas energy company, Range Resources, accusing it of contaminating water through hydraulic fracturing, was quietly dropped. Barry Smitherman, Chairman of the Texas Railroad Commission, the agency that oversees oil and gas development, responded: “By dropping their court case and enforcement actions, EPA now acknowledges what we at the Railroad Commission have known for more than a year: Range Resources’ Parker County gas wells did not contaminate groundwater. This announcement is a vindication of the science-based processes at the Railroad Commission.”

On April 7, 2011, the EPA released test results for Dimock, Pennsylvania, that “did not show levels of contaminants that would give EPA reason to take immediate action.” Despite the EPA’s test results, Water Defense executive director Claire Sandberg claimed that the “EPA’s test results continue to show what Dimock residents have claimed for years: the water is contaminated.”

Dimock became the “symbol of possible threats to water from hydraulic fracturing” through the anti-fracking movie Gasland. …

 

Continue reading Frackin’ B.S. – Marita Noon – Townhall Finance Conservative Columnists and Financial Commentary.

 

 

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