Items 08/17

Interesting Items 08/17 -

Howdy all, a few Interesting Items for your information. Enjoy –

In this issue:

1. Colorado
2. Power
3. BLM
4. Anarchy
5. Industry
6. Fines

1. Colorado. While industry can screw things up and make significant environmental messes, it cannot hold a candle to the environmental damage done by governments. One only has to look at the record of the Soviet Union / Russia and China on the environment for the last century as proof. Two weeks ago, a remediation crew working for and being supervised by the EPA moved a plug in an old mine in Colorado, releasing over 3 million gallons of acidic, metals-laced water down the watershed of seven rivers as far as Lake Powell in Utah. Ultimately this spill will hit Colorado, Utah, New Mexico and Arizona. As all these rivers eventually feed the Colorado River, even California will get into the act. Gold King Mine had been mostly abandoned since 1923 was plugged by the EPA to stop water leaking from it that had seeped into the mine. A local geologist wrote a letter to the Silverton Standard and The Miner local newspaper accusing the EPA of intentionally creating conditions for the spill. The EPA has tried to turn the mine into a Superfund site for some 25 years but had been stymied by local and state opposition. Once the mine is declared a Superfund site, then mining in the local area, which the EPA strongly opposes, would be all but dead in the future. So what did the EPA do? First, it decided to plug the entrance portals of the mine. This caused the 500 gpm flow to back up into the mine, mobilizing crushed rock and minerals inside it. This dissolved metals in the rock dust in the water. As the water level built and the pressure on the mine portals increased, so did the leakage rate. The geologist predicted a catastrophic release of the water within 7 – 120 days. And with the assistance of the idiots working at the direction of the EPA, that is precisely what they got. At this point, all the usual environmental suspects have been silent, especially our Environmentalist in Chief who was on Martha’s Vineyard playing golf. EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy visited the region perhaps attempting to find some manmade global warming or CO2 emissions to blame the disaster on. The anti-mining greens did start chirping a bit about this is what happens when you mine, which is incorrect. Rather this is what happens when you allow an agency desperately trying to justify its continued existence to screw around with a 90-year old mine. As of this writing, it appears that the EPA deleted some 120 photos of the mine and the spill from its official web site. Nothing to see here. Move along. Move along. Watts Up With That is trying to get copies of the photos from elsewhere so they can post them locally. And these are clowns that are trying to clean up pollution? Trashing waterways in four states is hardly the way to do that.

2. Power. It turns out that the EPA’s Clean Power Plan final rule had significant changes since it was last reviewed. And those changes appear to be targeted economic assaults on red states, energy states, those states that are doing their level best to keep this awful economy propped up. The rule is 1,560 pages long. It makes some interesting admissions. One is that coal power will decline at a slower rate for the next 15 years than it has over the last 10 years without the plan. They also admit that “… trends for all other types of generation … will remain generally consistent with what their trends would be in the absence of this rule.” This led a Politico reporter who slogged thru the entire thing to wonder what it was really intended to do. The answer comes when you look at the EPA’s individual targets for states to meet in CO2 emissions reductions under the plan. There have been some big changes from the draft. North Dakota was required to cut emissions by 10.6% under the draft. That number has more than quadrupled to over 44.9%. Montana, South Dakota, Wyoming, Kentucky, West Virginia and Indiana are similarly treated. Note that these are all energy-rich red states. States left alone are blue states with rent-seeking renewable energy sectors busily laundering federal grant money into democrat campaigns. These include Washington, California, Oregon, New York and Massachusetts. This rule will make electricity more expensive nationwide, less reliable, crushing the poor and indigent under needlessly costly, erratic and unreliable renewable energy goals. Of course, the renewable energy sector loves it. Who wouldn’t love free money after all? Especially free money required by the Berzerkers at the EPA.

3. BLM. In this item BLM = Black Lives Matter rather than Bureau of Land Management. BLM is yet another Soros-funded front group working at the behest of the Clintons. It has started showing up at candidate events, most famously chasing Senator Bernie Sanders (S, VT) off the stage a couple weeks ago. If Bernie can’t stand up to the leftist rent-a-mob, what can he stand up to? Interestingly until last week they never showed up at a Hillary event. When they did, the Dowager Empress of Chappaqua did not handle it well. Among the Republicans, Trump and Walker fired back at BLM protesters, with Trump all but daring them to disrupt one of his events. I think campaign security is going to get a workout in the upcoming months. Final bit of BLM news is the head guy is a white passing as black, not unlike Rachel Dolezal. Its Potemkin villages all the way down. Note that Black Lives don’t really seem to matter to this crowd very much. Not a surprise as rent-a-mobs tend to operate that way. They have been completely silent about the wanton butchery of black babies by Planned Parenthood as documented by now 15 solid hours of video on Center for Medical Progress’ web site.

4. Anarchy. One of the things that keeps the Obama regime and the dysfunctional Beltway party from completely destroying the nation is the fact that most of us outside the blue cities go about our business as best we can without having anything to do with them. It is a bit like the Rabbi’s blessing for the Tsar in Fiddler on the Roof: “May God bless and keep the Tsar … far away from us.” Problem is with the huge regulatory state that Obama, democrats and the Washington Party are constructing, we are running out of places to run to. What happens when the middle class, those of us who have done everything right for our entire lifetime, intending to make a better world for ourselves and our children, get fed up at being played for saps, throw up our arms and holler F-it? This is described as the Coming Middle Class Anarchy. A post in Gonzalo Lire last told a story about a couple who refinanced a home whose mortgage was under water using something called the Home Affordable Modification Program. This is a federally funded program with a set of conditions for application – which they met every one. They applied through their bank, Wells Fargo, were told they qualified, and started paying the lower mortgage rate. Three months later, Wells Fargo sends them a letter telling them that upon further review, they did not qualify and jacked up their mortgage rate to the past untenable level. Just to turn the knife nicely, Wells Fargo also assessed a non-payment penalty. All attempts to contact an actual human at the bank to figure out what was going on were to naught. At the same time, they saw numerous media stories about foreclosures being suspended for 90 days while they were asked to pay up immediately, which meant to them that they were being squeezed while others weren’t. What really happened? That’s not immediately obvious, but it appear that Wells Fargo was taking the stimulus money for 90 days (free money is very enticing) and then dumping on their existing customers after the free money disappeared. They had no intention of refinancing the mortgages to the lower rates. This couple finally decided to F-it and fight back against getting screwed. So they quit paying their mortgage at the old rate, sending checks for the HAMP rate and demanding Wells Fargo do something about it. For the first time in their lives, this couple of Grandparents told the powers that be to go F themselves. This is middle class anarchy. And if an appreciable number of us choose to do it, this nation is doomed. The law damned well better apply to everybody. When an appreciable percentage of the people who pay the bills around here decide it no longer does, we as a nation best wake up and rectify the problem. Sooner would be better than later.

5. Industry. The most important political observation of Limbaugh’s 28+ years on the radio is that in the political world to always, always follow the money. Never, ever deviate from this. The Washington Times ran an article about the climate change industry being worth some $1.5 trillion in worldwide spending to support it and its goals. The industry grew between some 17 – 24% annually between 2005 – 2008, slowing during the crash of 2008 and accelerating to a 15% growth (all Obama and democrat spending) in 2011. Now an industry of this size and power will act to protect the taxpayer subsidized gravy train funding it at all costs, and as the science supporting the notion of manmade global warming due to CO2 emissions crumbles to dust, those that benefit from climatista spending get increasingly shrill about what will happen if we don’t continue to fund the gravy train. Imagine what the world would look like if that spending were instead channeled into clean, safe, reliable, robust nuclear power. Imagine what the third world would look like if that clean, safe, reliable, robust nuclear energy were used to desalinize fresh water for local use or power simple water treatment plants to control sewage. But the health and welfare of everyone outside the climatista world matters little against the backdrop of simply keeping the gravy train rolling. And as long as we keep electing democrats, roll it will, much to the detriment of the future lives, jobs and living conditions of our children, grandchildren and great grandchildren. We have seen graphic evidence of how the left views the most innocent of all of us – the unborn babies of minorities in the Planned Parenthood videos. What makes you think they view any of the rest of us through anything other than an identical lens?

6. Fines. One of the first political campaigns I did here in Alaska was a ballot initiative that shut down a tax farming operation in Anchorage called photo radar and the Anchorage Parking Authority (APA). The photo radar operation placed contractor camera vehicles in school zones ostensibly to protect innocent children from speeders barreling through school zones. When they figured out that this was free, unaccountable money flowing into the Municipal government, the operation was quickly expanded. The APA was put into place to writing parking tickets for vehicles downtown that stayed too long at meters. It also suffered mission creep and expanded to enforcing expired tags on autos and other infractions away from downtown. At the first of the month ticket writers descended on parking lots city wide like so many locusts. At the end, we figure they were bringing in over $2 million of free, unaccountable cash into the operation which was then used to grease palms downtown. The general public didn’t appreciate the gouging a lot and started taking physical action against the contractor trucks. We eventually won a small victory and slammed the door of this sort of tax farming for 15 years or so. Anchorage is not the only locale that uses ticket revenue as a way to fund what is going on in the city. One of the reasons the locals in Ferguson, MO are so angry is that this sort of operation has been going on for years, calling the locals criminals and gouging them with fines and court costs to fund a substantial portion of the yearly municipal budget. One of the things we are going to see sooner than later is the impact of increasingly autonomous vehicles on the revenue stream brought in by local police forces. Autonomous vehicles don’t screw up. They follow the law. And they pay attention. Somewhere along the line they will even transport passengers under the influence from here to there and the DUI tax farming operation will disappear also. Those locales will figure out other, likely more intrusive and creative ways to raise their palm-greasing money. Watch this closely, and as always, retain tight control of your pocketbook.

More later -

- AG