Notes from all over

by GDA gda@accessmn.com

9-9-2021

The national holiday that comes at the end of summer has just given most Americans a valued three-day weekend. After a hectic summer, most need this holiday, but how many realize how important this national holiday is and how it was fought for and died for? It didn't just pop up, this holiday came on the blood and sweat of the men and women who built this country out of the wilderness to be the leading nation in this world.
How many know how this holiday started? Well, it is hard to find who is responsible, but in 1882, Peter J. McGuire, the general secretary of the Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners and a co-founder of the American Federation of Labor, came up with the idea of putting aside a day for a "general holiday for the laboring classes" to honor those who from nature carved this country. His place in history hasn't gone unchallenged, though, as many believe that the machinist Matthew Maguire founded the holiday. Maguire was the secretary of Local 344 of the International Association of Machinists in Paterson, N.J., and he proposed this holiday in 1882 while serving as the secretary of the Central Labor Union in New York.
President Grover Cleveland signed a law creating a national Labor Day. The first Day of Labor was celebrated on Tuesday, Sept. 5, 1882, in New York City. The second Labor Day holiday was held a year later, on Sept. 5, 1883.
Thanks to American labor, the standard of living in this country has risen greatly and contributed to the greatest production in the world. It has helped bring this nation closer to its goals of economic and political democracy. The labor from the backs of the women and men of this country has enabled it to grow and lead the world, sometimes despite the leaders that have spawned from it. This nation's economy is so strong, pliant and diverse that many attempts to spoil it have failed. The workers prevailed.
This country was built on people who believed in individualism. They wanted to take care of themselves, and our labor movement shows that. There have been many harsh fights as this movement grew, but the individuals won out.
Of course, we still have politicians who seem to want us to go into a socialist mode where the government takes care of the people. In some cases they have won out, but the American worker always seems to come out ahead in the long run.
It is fitting that this holiday be one of our national holidays. Sometimes the American worker is ignored, except when it comes time to go to the ballot box. Then every politician claims to be for the people. If only they were that way 365 days a year.
Three cheers for the American workers. Their blood, sweat and tears built this country.
******
The mess in Afghanistan keeps building. Thanks to a sudden pulling out of our troops, leaving thousands at the mercy of the Talaban, our country has suffered a serious black eye. Just think, thanks to Biden/Harris and the leadership of Congress, we gave these militants one of the largest piles of military equipment in the world. Yeah, we left $2 to $3 billion worth of hardware equipment that we paid for and that will probably be used against us in the future. Reports have it that we left 30,000 Humvees and they are worth up to $100,000 each. There were 600,000 weapons of every type left there, plus 50,000 tactical vehicles. The craziest items left were 249 aircraft that could have been flown out.
By the way, a recent poll shows that something like 23 percent of those polled felt Biden/Harris did the right thing. His approval rating is now lower than Clinton or Obama's was at this time.
Hopefully, when our next election comes around, the American voters will actually take time to see who they are voting for and not just vote the party. Face it, neither party has done much to deserve your votes this year.
******
We can be thankful for the weather up here. The threat of wildfires is being reduced all the time. You can hardly smell the smoke anymore. Give thanks to the firefighters of the U.S. Forest Service and the Minnesota Dept. of Natural Resources, along with many other volunteers, including the loggers. Fighting a forest fire is dangerous and scary.
******
The good news is, School is Open. Watch out for our future, the youngsters heading to school. Thank our teachers, school administration and all those who make our education system work. Despite many stories that come out, for the most part our youngsters have access to a very top education. All they have to do is make use of their opportunities. Have a good week.


Letters to the Editor

Editor:
There was a time in this country when things actually made sense. A beaming entrepreneur comes up with a new idea, follows his vision, and ultimately prevails. America has a rich history of brilliant minds who had the freedom to pursue their dreams of a new product or service, worked hard, took risks, and found success. Isn't this the Great American Dream? Sadly today in many places, this is no longer the case. Busybody bureaucrats, social engineers and government dictators meddling in our daily affairs have turned this process upside down and now tell us what to think, what to do and what to make. Government tinkerers now are smarter than market forces and freedom of action, and know what is best for us. Just ask them no, don't bother, they will tell you.
One hot topic of the day that comes to mind here is climate change. Funny thing, this started out as global cooling, but since the 'experts' couldn't even agree whether the climate was getting hotter or colder, they just dub it now as climate change - that way whatever happens, presto, they're always right! This point, alone, should tell us how much we ought to believe these geniuses.
Never-the-less, the green train rumbles on and now touches nearly every aspect of our lives. Solar and wind power are the talk of the town now and governments small and large are mandating shutting down coal and gas fired power plants . Even many utility companies, who should know better, are falling all over themselves to switch over to a portfolio of more and more green energy.
In their headlong dash to do so, many questions remain unanswered. Coal and gas fired plants, with abundant local resources to fuel them, have reliably powered our factories, homes and towns for decades, and newer technologies have drastically reduced emissions from them. Does it really make sense to shutter highly efficient coal and gas turbines and replace them with solar and wind power that have respective efficiencies of 20 percent and 32 percent (according to Dr. George Erickson of the Thorium Energy Alliance)? Even some places, like California, are finding out that their Green Deal sure is not a good deal. With only something like 20 percent of their energy coming from renewables, their propellers and sun panels couldn't keep up and they were having rolling blackouts lasting days or even a week last summer. Even their Governor Newsom, whose judgment on his best day is questionable, thundered that this is not acceptable! And they plan to double their dependence on green power next year? Should be a helluva summer.
Texas, too, had a wakeup call last winter when the mercury dipped a little and all their wind turbines and solar panels ground to a frozen halt, throwing the whole state into a frosty chaos. Even a couple warmer days this summer, right here on the Range, some of our mining companies had to shut down a production line when everyone turned their air conditioners on and put the power grid on life support. If there's anything that gets the attention of the chiefs in charge at these mines, it's when a line goes down, but in a world of politically correct green fantasies, I guess this is just the way it goes. I hope the power companies are giving these mines a rebate for production lost because of their enchantment with novel green experiments that don't work.
For a real radical change to our lives, our governor decrees that we all need to drive an electric tin lizzy. We gotta do it, he sez, if we're gonna save our planet. He goes on to boast about all the money we'll save at the gas pump. Heavens, where did this guy go to school? I hate to break the bubble of his dream world, but all the power for these electric jalopies isn't free - it comes from the smokestacks of Boswell and other power plants across the state. He's evidently never read the report, either, that if everyone drove a voltmobile, there would be a 40% shortfall of electric power across this country. Even in California this summer, alerts have gone out for owners of electric cars to not plug in their toys so the power grid doesn't blow up. And our governor wants Minnesota to have the same vehicle standards as California? His brilliance is, well, nothing short of amazing. You'd think he would know that we have darn near six months of winter in Minnesota, and winter is cold. Unless you're an Eskimo, you need a heater in a car around here. With a real car, you have an engine with lots of hot water, so this is not a problem. With an EV, you jump in your tub to go visit Grandma at Christmas when it's 20 below, so you turn on your electric heater which gets power from the battery. Heaters gobble up power faster than Pac Man, so if Grandma lives more than a hop and a skip away, your little electric dream may die right in the middle of the road before you get there. So now what do you do? You call the service station, whose driver climbs in his diesel truck, comes to your rescue, starts up his diesel generator and blows exhaust in the air for an hour or two to pump some life into your electric bubble. I have heard reports that this is what's already been happening in Alaska - where they also have winter. So this is how we're saving the planet? Or maybe you could do like some operators of city buses that are electric. To keep the riders from freezing to the floorboards, they install diesel fired heaters to keep the passengers warm. This is from a zero emission, battery powered bus still with a smokestack belching out clouds of smoke from their fuel oil heater. Isn't this just hilarious?
An even bigger question I haven't heard ANYONE answer yet is, where are you going to charge up your little electric runt? Now for those who have a job not too far away, can plug in their e-car in the garage at night, drive to work and back and plug it in again, this might actually work. For the rest of us who do serious general driving I'm real curious how this is going to pan out. Now around here, there is a charging station in Virginia, Ely and Hibbing. Do you think that's enough? In the real world, with real cars in real towns in this area, this is the way it is: According to my count, in Virginia alone (which is an average small town in the state) there are nine gas stations with 39 pump standards that have 122 individual hoses to fill your vehicles. There are also multiple stations with many more pumps in the cities of Mt. Iron, Eveleth, and Gilbert, all within just a few miles away. There are at least 150 places to fuel up your vehicle around the Virginia area right now. Anyone who wants gas can surely find it. And then there's ONE charging station in the whole Virginia area. Does anyone see a problem here? Besides that, anyone competent enough to drive can get a full tank of gas in two minutes flat. To get even a partial charge for your electric dune buggy takes at least 45 minutes to an hour; a full charge takes eight hours, they say. Now with real cars, drivers start to get antsy with a line three or four cars long. Can anyone imagine how many MILES the lines would be at these charging stations - even if there were 150 of them in this area - when it takes 25 times as long to fill up your buckboard battery as to get a tank of gas. It would be mayhem, Armageddon - with irate drivers jumping up and down everywhere. Even the Pope would not sit in line for six hours and then another one to charge up his Popemobile. Mr. Governor, can you please explain to the good people of this state how this is supposed to work?
As for the illusion that theses electric cars will be maintenance free, there may be some surprises ahead too. Having a 30 year career spent mostly working on electric drive vehicles, I know how this works first hand - especially with the snow, ice, slush and salt found around here. Bouncing across our bumpy roads (good news; Biden wants to spend more on EVs than roads to drive them on - so this isn't going to improve) and sparks start to fly, things begin to sputter and pretty soon the whole thing goes up in smoke. GM just had a recall on 73,000 electric Chevy Bolts costing a whopping $1 billion and, friends, this is just the beginning.
It used to be if you built a better mouse trap, people would buy it. Electric car companies are building a rattletrap that doesn't work and costs too much, and then wonder why they're not selling. But government to the rescue, they take $7,000 of my tax money to pay you a subsidy to buy a car that neither of us really wanted. Doesn't this make everyone feel good?
Defying reality, the battle cry still rings out, "This climate crisis is an existential threat, there's no time to waste!" Did we forget the warning of James Madison, "Crisis is the rallying cry of the tyrant"? Or do you remember in 2008 the 'sky is falling' screamer who predicted, that if we all didn't take immediate action, Manhattan would be under water by 2015? It's now 2021... hmm.
For now, forget all the crises and hand wringing and save the billions Washington and St. Paul want to throw at a green ghost. Electric vehicles will find their place when companies build things that work and we can afford. Even Twin Metals, hoping to establish a copper mine near Ely has committed to using electric machinery. With mine permitting processes running an astonishing 20 years, maybe the technology will be such by then that this will actually work. Until then, all these solar panels, propellers and electric hot rods remain not only a bad and expensive idea whose time has not yet come, but a green solution in search of a problem.
Jim Hofsommer,
Markham

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Editor:
Recently, Joe Biden, president of the United States, spoke to the nation about taxes. He indicated major corporations were paying little to no income taxes and he wanted to insure that they pay their fair share. This has been a common comment from both political parties for decades. We, the citizens of this Great Nation have been deceived by these comments for decades. I submit that they, the politicians, have been lying to us. The corporations are filing their tax returns using tax laws created and passed by the House and the Senate. The corporations donate to political parties or individual candidates. These same recipients then create laws that are beneficial to the corporations. Joe Biden has sat in the Senate for 36 years, supporting and voting to pass these tax benefits for the corporations. He now twists the facts and says they need to pay their fair share. What is fair share?
· In 2018, the top 50 percent of all taxpayers paid 97.1 percent of all individual income taxes, while the bottom 50 percent paid the remaining 2.9 percent.
· The top 1 percent paid a greater share of individual income taxes (40.1 percent) than the bottom 90 percent combined (28.6 percent).
· The top 1 percent of taxpayers paid a 25.4 percent average individual income tax rate, which is more than seven times higher than taxpayers in the bottom 50 percent (3.4 percent). Corporations are also paying property tax on tangible assets and half of the employee Social Security tax (OASDI). Self-employed (business owners) pay 100 percent of their Social Security tax, which is 12.4 percent of their taxable income. I think the politicians are using fair tax statements to deflect from the more important issues of the day. And we continue to follow the Pied Pipers.
Don Doroff
Tower


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