Government Flutters Its Wings – and Destroying the Nation, One City at a Time.

Portrait of Sir John Sinclair

Portrait of Sir John Sinclair (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Over at RedState yesterday, Seton Motley has an article about how the Democrats are using chaos theory to destroy industry after industry, and I’ll add that they are doing so with at the least Republican acquiescence. It’s a sad story of the corruption (and weakening) of the Republic, but it is not a new one, it goes back to Teddy Roosevelt and Wilson, but picked up a lot of speed with Franklin Roosevelt, and even more with Johnson. Now it is getting to the end game, and either we do something about it or the dream ends, I think. Here’s a bit.

Government Flutters Its Wings – and Industries Nationwide Are Blown Away

A Leftist governmental principle is the Butterfly Effect: “A property of chaotic systems…by which small changes in initial conditions can lead to large-scale and unpredictable variation in the future state of the system.”

The Butterfly Effect is also known as Chaos Theory: “The field of study in mathematics that studies the behavior and condition of dynamical systems that are highly sensitive to initial conditions.”

In layman’s terms: “It has been said that something as small as the flutter of a butterfly’s wing can ultimately cause a typhoon halfway around the world.”

Leftists use government – to create private sector chaos. Even the tiniest of new laws or regulations send huge shockwaves throughout the economy. Leftists increasingly flap government’s wings – to further amp up the private sector typhoon.

No administration has marshaled more winged creatures – than has the Barack Obama Administration. And don’t think butterflies – think dragons. The resulting, ramped up economic typhoon has been devastating. Sector after sector has been consumed by the storm.

For instance, pre-President Obama said “If someone wants to build a coal-powered plant, they can – it’s just that it’ll bankrupt them.” Mission being accomplished: “Obama’s policies have ‘helped spur the closing of dozens of coal plants across the country,’ according to Politico. The November 2015 report states: ‘More than one in five coal-related jobs have disappeared during Obama’s presidency, and several major U.S. coal mining companies have announced this year that they would or may soon seek bankruptcy protection.’”

And believe me – you do not want to be a farmer in the Age of Obama.

It was already awful four years ago. EPA Regulations Suffocating U.S. Agriculture: “The Environmental Protection Agency has set in motion a significant number of new regulations that will significantly change the face of agriculture.

via Government Flutters Its Wings – and Industries Nationwide Are Blown Away | RedState.

Yep, and don’t think it’s limited to business, which farming is, it has repercussions in many people’s lives, especially the poor, and downtrodden amongst us. Bill Whittle covered that better than I can here, in his Death by Democrats:

Adam Smith did indeed write to Sir John Sinclair with regard to the news of Burgoyne’s surrender at Saratoga that:

“There is a great deal of ruin in a nation”

And that may save us yet if we put our shoulders to the wheel, but the hour grows later and later.

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Dihydrogen Monoxide – The Truth

We’ve spoken about this menace before but no action has been taken. I think that’s highly irresponsible!

This is dangerous stuff, we need to ban it, it’s killed far more people than DDT ever did.

The Truth about DIHYDROGEN MONOXIDE

Dihydrogen Monoxide (DHMO) is perhaps the single most prevalent of all chemicals that can be dangerous to human life. Despite this truth, most people are not unduly concerned about the dangers of Dihydrogen Monoxide. Governments, civic leaders, corporations, military organizations, and citizens in every walk of life seem to either be ignorant of or shrug off the truth about Dihydrogen Monoxide as not being applicable to them. This concerns us.

Spreading the Truth about Dihydrogen Monoxide

In 1997, the Dihydrogen Monoxide Research Division was formed and went online spreading the truth about DIHYDROGEN MONOXIDE. As word has spread, so too has the public awareness of Dihydrogen Monoxide and its implications involving the Internet and accessibility of such information. To that end, the DMRD’s web site at DHMO.org continues to provide the most comprehensive collection of Dihydrogen Monoxide information available anywhere.

Common Dihydrogen Monoxide Scare Tactics

Unfortunately, some have seen fit to fill many thousands of web pages with purposely slanted propaganda meant more to titillate and sensationalize than to inform. The following “information” about Dihydrogen Monoxide is what you’ll commonly find on the Internet. The Dihydrogen Monoxide Research Division does not endorse the use of such scare tactics, particularly when telling people about the invisible killer, Dihydrogen Monoxide.


 

“Ban Dihydrogen Monoxide” written by the Coalition to Ban DHMO © 1988 

BAN DIHYDROGEN MONOXIDE – THE INVISIBLE KILLER!

Dihydrogen monoxide is colorless, odorless, tasteless, and kills uncounted thousands of people every year.

What are the dangers of Dihydrogen Monoxide?

Most of these deaths are caused by accidental inhalation of DHMO, but the dangers of dihydrogen monoxide do not end there. Prolonged exposure to its solid form causes severe tissue damage. Symptoms of DHMO ingestion can include excessive sweating and urination, and possibly a bloated feeling, nausea, vomiting and body electrolyte imbalance. For those who have become dependent, DHMO withdrawal means certain death.

Dihydrogen Monoxide Facts

Dihydrogen monoxide:

  • is also known as hydric acid, and is the major component of acid rain.
  • contributes to the Greenhouse Effect.
  • may cause severe burns.
  • contributes to the erosion of our natural landscape.
  • accelerates corrosion and rusting of many metals.
  • may cause electrical failures and decreased effectiveness of automobile brakes.
  • has been found in excised tumors of terminal cancer patients.

Dihydrogen Monoxide Alerts

Contamination is reaching epidemic proportions!

Quantities of dihydrogen monoxide have been found in almost every stream, lake, and reservoir in America today. But the pollution is global, and the contaminant has even been found in Antarctic ice. In the midwest alone DHMO has caused millions of dollars of property damage.

Dihydrogen Monoxide Uses

Despite the danger, dihydrogen monoxide is often used:

  • as an industrial solvent and coolant.
  • in nuclear power plants.
  • in the production of styrofoam.
  • as a fire retardant.
  • in many forms of cruel animal research.
  • in the distribution of pesticides. Even after washing, produce remains contaminated by this chemical.
  • as an additive in certain junk-foods and other food products.

Stop the horror – Ban Dihydrogen Monoxide

Companies dump waste DHMO into rivers and the ocean, and nothing can be done to stop them because this practice is still legal. The impact on wildlife is extreme, and we cannot afford to ignore it any longer!

THE HORROR MUST BE STOPPED!

The American government has refused to ban the production, distribution, or use of this damaging chemical due to its importance to the economic health of this nation. In fact, the navy and other military organizations are conducting experiments with DHMO, and designing multi-billion dollar devices to control and utilize it during warfare situations. Hundreds of military research facilities receive tons of it through a highly sophisticated underground distribution network. Many store large quantities for later use.

IT’S NOT TOO LATE!

Act NOW to prevent further contamination. Find out more about this dangerous chemical. What you don’t know CAN hurt you and others throughout the world.


Visit DHMO.org

Is it any wonder that people are skeptical after reading all of that slanted, anti-DHMO propaganda? It’s not that the above facts are not entirely true. We object to the tone and tactics, not to the message necessarily.

We invite you to visit DHMO.org to find out the truth about Dihydrogen Monoxide. Please take the time to visit now, or in the near future. You’ll be glad you did.

The worst part of the whole thing is that the dangers of Dihydrogen Monoxide have been known for centuries and yet no one has taken action. Historians state that almost half of all deaths in Tudor England were due to this substance, and yet no has ever taken action.

When will we ever get this killer out of our homes?

You cannot rewrite laws to achieve your political agenda

The EPA was directed to set standards for radi...

The EPA was directed to set standards for radioactive materials under Reorganization Plan No. 3 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

We feature Marita Noon here fairly often, she is one of the best on energy affairs, and I have found her point to be correct almost always, and her conclusions are just as trustworthy. This comes via RedState. a site I like although do not always agree with (depends on the contributor, mostly). Here’s Marita.

 

Now that the dust has settled on the Supreme Court’s 2014 session, we can look at the decisions and conclude that the Administration received a serious smack down. Two big cases got most of the news coverage: Hobby Lobby and the National Labor Relations Board’s (NLRB) recess appointments. In both cases, the Administration lost. At the core of both, is the issue of the Administration’s overreach.

Within the cases the Supreme Court heard, one had to do with energy—and it, too, offered a rebuke.

You likely haven’t heard about Utility Air Regulatory Group (UARG) v. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)—and may think you don’t care. But with the session over, UARG v. EPA makes clear the Court’s trend to trim overreach.

The UARG v. EPA decision came down on June 23. None of the major news networks covered it. Reviews of the 2014 cases, since the end of the session, haven’t mentioned it either. The decision was mixed—with both sides claiming victory. Looking closely, there is cause for optimism from all who question the president’s authority to rewrite laws.

A portion of the UARG v. EPA case was about the EPA’s “Tailoring Rule” in which it “tailored” a statutory provision in the Clean Air Act—designed to regulate traditional pollutants such as particulate matter—to make it work for CO2. In effect, the EPA wanted to rewrite the law to achieve its goals. The decision, written by Justice Antonin Scalia for the majority, stated:

“Were we to recognize the authority claimed by EPA in the Tailoring Rule, we would deal a severe blow to the Constitution’s separation of powers… The power of executing laws…does not include a power to revise clear statutory terms that turn out not to work in practice.”

Emphasis mine and via Marita Noon: You cannot rewrite laws to achieve your political agenda | RedState.

 

What she says here is correct. valid , and beyond a doubt completely true, in point of its effects, both allowed and disallowed.

 

But there is a wider point here as well. We have talked a good bit about how ‘administrative law’ is simply unlawful and unconstitutional. The main article is here, there are others here as well, and there are more coming.

 

This is important, folks. The use of so-called administrative law, which is really the old prerogative power of king’s which drove both the English and American Revolutions come back again, in slightly new camouflage. It is just as pernicious to the ‘Rule of Law’ now, as when it was used by the Stuarts or the Hanoverians. Or indeed by King John, leading to Magna Charta, itself.

 

It’s an unlawful practice that has grown because we have neglected the lessons of history, and the price of correction is getting higher constantly.

 

The Hammer of Reality and Green Energy

Ball and stick model of ethanol

Ball and stick model of ethanol (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

There’s been enough going on that I’ve kind of let energy slide lately. I shouldn’t, like all the other projects built on magic and wishful thinking, they are running into the hard wall of reality. Some would say they are getting hammered. I tend to think of the hammer of reality as Mjølner, the modern incarnation of Thor’s Hammer, that can level mountains at a single stroke.

And Mjølner has been busy lately, rather than me rewriting it, I’ll simply excerpt from Marita Moon’s latest, and you can find the details at the link.

The whole idea of green energy—renewable resources—grew out of an energy reality that was much different from today’s. It was in the 1970s, following the OPEC Oil Embargo that solar panels began popping up on rooftops and “gasohol” subsidies were enacted. It was believed that green energy would move the U.S. off of foreign oil and prevent oil from being used as an economic weapon against us.

Today, that entire paradigm has been upended and OPEC’s power has been virtually neutered by increasing domestic oil production and decreasing gasoline consumption.

Jay Lehr, Heartland Institute science director, likens continuing “as though our new energy riches did not exist” to “ignoring our telecommunication revolution by supporting operator-assisted telephones with party lines.”

[…]

Ethanol

Mandated for blending into America’s gasoline supply in 2007 through the Energy Security and Independence Act, ethanol now has an unlikely coalition of opponents—including car and small-engine manufacturers, oil companies and refiners, and food producers and some environmental groups.

A national movement is growing and calling for the end of the ethanol mandates that, according to the WSJ, have “drained the Treasury of almost $40 billion” since the first gasohol subsides were enacted in 1978. Realize the word “Treasury,” used here, really means “taxpayer.”

“At the end of 2011, the ethanol industry lost a $6 billion per year tax-credit subsidy,” the WP points out. But the mandate for the American consumer to use ethanol remains through what Senator David Vitter (R-LA) calls: “a fundamentally flawed program that limps along year after year.”

Imagine the surprise, given that EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy asserts: “Biofuels are a key part of the Obama Administration’s ‘all of the above’ energy strategy, helping to reduce our dependence on foreign oil, cut carbon pollution and create jobs,” when, on November 15, the EPA gave a nod toward market and technological realities and, for the first time, proposed a reduction in the renewable volume obligations—below 2012 and 2013 levels.

On a call with reporters, a senior administration official explained: “While under the law volumes of renewable fuel are set to increase each year this unanticipated reduction in fuel consumption brings us to a point where the realities of the fuel market must be addressed to properly implement the program.”

The WP describes the problem: “Mixing more and more ethanol into a fixed or shrinking pool of fuel would bump up against the capacity of existing engines to burn it, as well as the capacity of the existing distribution network to pump it.” It states: “The downward revision of roughly 3 billion gallons is the first such reduction since Congress enacted the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) in 2007.”

The EPA’s decision is lauded by AAA President and CEO Bob Darbelnet: “The EPA has finally put consumers first.” He said the targets in the 2007 law are “unreachable without putting motorists and their vehicles at risk.”

[…]

Ethanol has been dealt a blow.

Here’s one of those rare times when the EPA is on the right track, likely it’s for the wrong reasons but even small blessings are welcome. I sit in the midst of millions of acres of corn, lots of it subsidized by ethanol, and I’ll tell you it’s a crock, it made a little sense when we were short of oil. So dod running the Germans running King Tiger tanks on charcoal, but it’s decidedly suboptimal.

And while I’m bashing my neighbors, have you noticed how bad soda made from corn syrup tastes, do you even remember what it used to taste like? You can still get the real stuff, look for Coke (and Pepsi too) products imported from Mexico. Here they are commonly available, and are made with real sugar.

Why are we in this spot? Because for about half of forever we have protected our sugar crop growers with ridiculously high tariffs, leading to corn being used instead, it’s not as good,  but it is affordable. If the sugar guys can’t make it without my tax money, they, like corn farmers should go out of business.

Solar

While the ethanol mandate hasn’t been eliminated, the administration has wavered and has given a nod toward “market and technological reality.” Likewise, those of us oppose government mandates and subsidies were handed a small victory in Arizona when, on November 14, the commissioners tipped their hand by setting a new direction for solar energy policy. In a 3-2 vote, the Arizona Corporation Commission (ACC) took a step and added a monthly fee onto the utility bills of new solar customers to make them pay for using and maintaining the power grid.

While the ACC decision didn’t make national headlines, as the EPA decision did, it has huge national implications.

The issue is net-metering—a policy that allows customers with solar panels to receive full retail credit for power they deliver to the grid. Supporters of the current policy—including President Obama—believe that ending it “would kill their business.” Opponents believe it “unfairly shifts costs from solar homes to non-solar homes.”

The ACC vote kept the net-metering program, but added a small fee that solar supporters call “troubling.” Officials for SolarCity and SunRun—companies that install solar arrays—have reportedly said: “The new fees mean fewer customers will be able realize any savings.”

“What amounts to a $5 charge is a big hit to the solar industry,” said Bryan Miller, SunRun vice president for public policy and power markets. “In our experience, you need to show customers some savings.”

Considering that Arizona Public Service Co. (APS) wanted to cut the rate paid to customers with solar and wanted a much larger fee added, the ACC decision might not seem like a victory. In fact, the solar supporters called it a victory for their side, claiming “policymakers in Arizona stood up for its citizens, by rejecting an attempt from the state’s largest utility to squash rooftop solar.” But that’s not the full story.

[…]

Renewable energy has suffered a setback in both the EPA ethanol decision and the ACC solar decision. Shouldn’t wind be next?

That’s an improvement but I see no particular reason any producer of solar power should be paid more than the wholesale rate for peak power, otherwise we are simply subsidizing inefficient suppliers at the expense of consumers.

Wind

On November 14, fifty-two Congressmen signed a letter, organized by Rep. Mike Pompeo (R-KS), calling for the end of the wind production tax credit (PTC). In the letter addressed to Rep. Dave Camp, chairman of the Committee on Ways and Means, they point out that the PTC, which was scheduled to end on December 31, 2012, was extended “during the closing hours of the last Congress,” as a part of the American Taxpayer Relief Act (ATRA). Not only was it extended, but it was enhanced by modifying the eligibility criteria. Originally, wind turbines needed to be “placed in service” by the end of the expiration of the PTC to qualify for the tax credit. Under ATRA, they need only to be “under construction” to qualify.

The letter points out: “If a wind project developer merely places a 5% deposit on a project initiated in 2013, it will have at least until 2015 and possibly 2016 to place the project in service and obtain the PTC. That means that a wind project that ‘begins construction’ in 2013 could receive subsidies until 2026.”

Like ethanol and solar, “the growth in wind is driven not by market demand, but by a combination of state renewable portfolio standards and a tax credit that is now more valuable than the price of the electricity the plants actually generate.”

[…]

These mandates and tax credits are remnants of an outdated energy policy that is akin to “ignoring our telecommunication revolution by supporting operator-assisted telephones with party lines.” America’s energy paradigm has changed and our energy policies need to keep up and be revised to fit our new reality.

Subsidizing green energy is like supporting operator-assisted telephones with party lines « Sago.

As always, if you want efficiency, which translates to the lowest price, let the market decide, without government intervention.

Go, Mjølner, Go

Obama Wastes No Time Dealing “Payback” To Energy Creators | The Strident Conservative

Official portrait of Environmental Protection ...

 

I’ve nothing to add to this, you already know who Marita Moon is so read and enjoy weep.

 

Part of the hope the Romney campaign offered was a comprehension of the role energy plays in the American economy—especially energy that is abundant, affordable, and available. He made “energy” the number one point of his five-point plan. During his now-unsuccessful bid for the White House, he met with industry leaders from a variety of sectors to determine what would unleash job growth and economic development. Those meetings, and America’s current predicament, brought about a transformation in his thinking and resulted in specific agendas designed to roll back the Obama Administration’s onerous regulations—specifically those imposed by Lisa Jackson’s Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

Many of the EPA regulations, such as the Mercury and Air Toxic Standards for Power Plants and Boiler MACT (Maximum Achievable Control Technology) Rule, are particularly destructive to the coal industry. Understanding the deathknell the Obama Administrations’ regulations were issuing to the coal industry and, more particularly, the miners and their families in Appalachia, the region rallied around Romney.

On Friday, November 9, a coal industry newsletter stated: “In President Barack Obama’s second term, U.S. coal producers are bracing for tighter regulation of everything from emissions from coal-burning plants, to coal ash, to respirable coal dust in mines, to Appalachian surface mining activities. … One example is the U.S. EPA’s Mercury and Air Toxics Standards, one of the most costly rules in EPA history.”

In her book Regulating to Disaster, economist Diana Furchtgott-Roth describes the regulations this way:

“The Mercury and Air Toxic Standards for Power Plants rule will make electricity generation far more complex and expensive, especially in the eastern half of the United States. It will require the closure of many coal- and oil-fired power plants, and placement of emissions control equipment on others.”

“Maximum Achievable Control Technology means that plants and boilers have to use the most stringent methods possible to get heavy metals out of the air, even if these methods cost billions and the benefits are worth far less—as the case with the new utility rule. That is why many plants will have to close.”

Furchtgott-Roth explains that the new regulations mean “higher electricity prices for these parts of the country, which are already suffering from declining manufacturing.” Interestingly, she points out that the “battleground states of Illinois, Ohio, Indiana, Florida and Michigan” will be hit particularly hard by the increased electricity rates brought about by the regulations—regulations that a Romney presidency would have likely overturned.

 

Continue reading Obama Wastes No Time Dealing “Payback” To Energy Creators | The Strident Conservative.

 

 

Value Streams

Value stream mapping is defined by Wikipedia as a lean manufacturing technique used to analyze and design the flow of materials and information required to bring a product or service to a consumer. At Toyota, where the technique originated, it is known as “material and information flow mapping”. It can be applied to nearly any value chain.”  While I’m no expert on Lean Management, I suspect a good part of it is formalized common sense. This isn’t a tutorial; on lean management anyway but, it does offer some insights, not readily apparent.

This is the current drought map for the US.

It’s a pretty ugly map.

Furthermore, if you look again at it, you’ll see that what is often called the corn belt is almost  all listed as D2 or higher. Why do I write about corn again? It’s the most American of crops. It’s native to the new world to start with, it’s good to eat, it makes good whiskey, it makes pretty reasonable fuel, and it can be used to make almost anything else. It is incredibly versatile, that’s why we grow and use so much of it.

We’re good at growing it too, when I was a kid in Indiana, a farmer was doing really well to harvest 60 bushels per acre. Now here, in Nebraska, 200 bushels per acre is routine. Think about that, cause it’s really amazing.

It seems like nearly every year we have a record crop, but not this year, I saw a report last week that this years crop will be the worst in six years. That’s going to echo through the economy, ranchers are already selling cattle early and some are starting to sell cows. Cows are where calves come from, as opposed to the calves that are raised for market, it can take years to replace good cows, so ranchers try very hard not to. This year they really haven’t got a choice. In addition, because the EPA mandates that ethanol be used in gasoline, fuel prices are going to go up, corn is used in many, many food products, and it’s also used as a feedstock in making plastic. Corn is a basic necessity to American life, It’s value stream touches each and every one of us, and most of the world as well. And its going to be a bad year.

It could be worse though, here in Nebraska a very high proportion of our corn is irrigated, it has to be to get a good crop. of the standard the market requires. So for the most part our crop will be pretty good, not as good, from what I hear and see, but pretty good. But corn during the peak growing season can use up to an inch of water a day, a center pivot irrigating a quarter section of land will pump about 4-600 gallons of water per minute, it will take about 24 hours at a minimum to put an inch of water on the crop.

Center Pivot Irrigation via USGS

So that’s close to ¾ million gallons of water in each of those circles in that picture in 24 hours, most of it’s pumped by electricity (sometimes diesel and natural gas are used) it can take anywhere from about 20 to 300 horsepower motors to run the pump. That takes a lot of energy.

So here’s a value stream for you. somewhere about 50-70% of Nebraska’s economy is directly or indirectly dependent on agriculture, inability to irrigate will cut that market by at least half, I’d call that severe, ‘dirty thirties’ severe or worse. Here’s another one, a lot less corn on the market and we’ve already talked about what’s already happening here.

How could that catastrophe happen? Easy, King Coal,you see we generate about 60% of our electricity with coal, we have nuclear and we have some wind and hydro but our base (the power we depend on) is coal and nuclear, mostly coal, and the administration and the EPA have declared war on coal. The rest of the corn belt, while not as irrigation dependent as we are, need  affordable electricity as much as we do, and you guys in the cities do too.

Think about this, we’ve had a drought this year, it’s also been pretty hot, how do you think your nice sealed office would be on a 102º day, without electricity, no computer either you realize, cel phone either once you run your battery down.  We’ve been lucky this year, we’ve had usage warnings and unscheduled outages but we’ve managed for the most part but, our coal plants are still running, for now. It’s possible to convert them to natural gas, although not cheaply, and the cost per KWH is about a third higher. Ready to have your light bill go up by 30%?

But there are other value streams involved here as well. I don’t know as much about them so I’m going to let the Lean Submariner tell you about them. He is a lean Six Sigma expert so he really knows what he’s talking about.

Here’s Mac:

It’s a “black” thing; you obviously don’t understand Mr. President 1

Growing up in Western Pennsylvania, I learned some lessons on how the economy works

It’s a black thing and that black thing is coal. Southwest Pennsylvania has produced coal for energy and steel as long as most folks can remember. The area was blessed with an overabundance of this material that literally comes right out of the ground and has provided generations of people with jobs for centuries.

John C. McPherson worked at the railroad in Boston PA

When you talk about helping the middle class, the economics of coal is at the heart and soul of this region. Immigrants of every type came here in the 1700-1800’s to dig holes in the ground to bring it to market. They risked their lives and their health but the results were nothing short of amazing. This nation that we helped to build (yes, we did build this) was fueled by the energy and materials we made using that energy. It wasn’t perfect by any means, but it did the job. We did the job.

But the current administration and their EPA cronies have made coal Public Enemy Number One. They are convinced that coal is an evil and insidious enemy that must be stopped. Obama even said that in his lead up to the election. He was going to make it so expensive to use coal, it would cease to be an effective energy source. I am willing to bet that since this state went Obama in the last election, the people here were either not paying attention or did not think he was serious.

He was.

The once vital economy of this country and especially this region has been the prime victim of his liberal and uninformed ideas. It has led to some interesting changes in the Mon Valley.

DSCF1484

But who is really affected by the closing and marginalizing of the mines? After all, its kind of ironic that the labor union led by Trumka would be the biggest loser in this attack on an American icon. Are there other victims?

Yes there are and the list is a lot bigger than you would suspect.

A picture says a thousand words.

The picture above is looking down on the Monongahela River near a small town called California. This was coal country. It all starts with those chunks of coal being dug from the ground by people and machines. Its dirty, it burns and gives off unwanted bi-products, it needs careful handling in large quantities and it vexes environmentalists who are willing to sacrifice an entire region at any cost. What it also represents is something called a Value Stream: Money for countless generations of Western Pennsylvanians and many more beyond the valleys.

First Value Stream: The Mines.

The miners were paid decent wages with benefits and health care plans secured by their unions. That money went to buy houses, cars, food, vacations, luxury items, educations for their children, clothes and other consumable items. Their communities benefitted from this through taxes, Churches benefitted from tithing and gifts, and all of the retail and service people benefitted by having paying customers. Retail stores and building supply companies grew and prospered from the wealth created by these miners. …

DSCF1461

Mac’s last paragraph is telling on how serious this is:

Last note: The valley still has local fairs and festivals this time of year. I went to one this afternoon and noticed the local democratic party had a little booth set up. This particular Township has been a died in the wool blue area for as long as anyone can remember. I walked by it and saw some literature for the local congressman and a few local issues near to their hearts. It wasn’t until I started to walk away until I realized something.

There was not one single Obama-Biden sign, poster, picture or sticker anywhere in sight. Not one. Oh, I know they were probably there, probably just below the table. What a difference four years makes.

Continue Reading It’s a “black” thing; you obviously don’t understand Mr. President.

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