Sunday Train: Unleashing the Political Power of Bio-Coal

One point that constantly comes up when the push to 100% sustainable, renewable power is raised is the problem that "renewable power sources cannot be relied on to deliver power 24/7". This is a talking point pushed by the propagandists for Big Coal in particular, since the biggest challenge to their long term existence as an industry in the United States is the threat that we begin to get serious about tapping our abundant Wind Power resources on-shore in the Great Plains and Mountain West and off-shore on the Great Lakes and Atlantic Coast. When the wind is blowing, it substantially undermines the market for fossil-fuel "Baseload Power" (see (The Myth of Baseload Power).

After all, consider two scenarios, one in which a power source replaces half of the power from coal by replacing half the power, all of the time, and a second, in which a power source replaces all of the power, half the time. The second is a greater threat to coal-fired power, since it swings the advantage to natural-gas fired power. Natural-gas fired power is presently killing off coal-fired plant construction, and a sufficiently large and volatile supply of Windpower would make that permanent.

So of course Big Coal spreads the idea that all sustainable power is volatile and if its volatile, it can't provide all of our power.

This present essay is not about answering that argument rationally. That was the topic of The Myth of Baseload Power. This present essay is about attacking the political foundations of Big Coal.

After all, propaganda about "Clean Coal" and spreading the myth that there is this special kind of power called Baseload power that sustainable energy has impact because of the political influence of Big Coal in Coal Country. And this is a particularly pernicious influence, since it runs on a cycle of:

  • Coal production provides export base employment in an area.
  • Coal production also diverts a majority of the value-added from production out of the production area;.
  • which helps assure that the Coal production areas are, on average, lower income economies than elsewhere in the country;
  • which undermines the area's capability to diversify its economy, helping to assure that the jobs in Coal production are valued jobs in the local area, which increases local political support for "supporting" Big Coal;
  • And with a less diversified economy, there are fewer resources available to contest the political power and influence of Big Coal.
  • With its political power, Big Coal ensures that the rules in place continue to ensure that a majority of value-added is drained out of the production area

This essay is about undermining that political power at its base, by creating more jobs from a direct rival to coal production than Big Coal can offer. Once a better deal is made available, with more employment, more value-added circulating locally, and no destruction of people's health through the hauling up of poisonous by-products from underground, the foundation on which Big Coal's political power is based is in a position to fracture.

What is that direct rival to coal production? Bio-coal production.

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Hellraisers Journal: Labor Groups Moving Forward Together With Moral Monday Protests in Raleigh

You ought to be out raising hell. This is the fighting age. Put on your fighting clothes.
-Mother Jones

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Monday September 28, 1903
Ely, Nevada - Three Union Men Gunned Down by Superintendent

We are hearing reports that three union men have been gunned down in cold blood by a company official in Ely, Nevada. The union men were chosen by their fellow workers as a committee to present the demands of the union to the company. They were shot down and killed as they approached the office in an effort to seek a meeting. The superintendent used a Winchester rifle to murder our three unarmed brothers. The superintendent fled the scene and no attempt has been made to apprehend him.

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While Transwomen > 0, Transwomen = Transwomen - 1; If dead_transwoman == true, misgender();

The scenario is so well known, almost anyone could write a computer program for it. You know the routine. You've seen it before and you will see it again.

Just in the past two months, I've written these: The anti-transgender violence goes on and on, The Cheapness of our Lives, Coming to Rest, Again and Again.

This time it is in my own backyard. That hasn't been the case since all the way back in 2010, when Victoria Carmen White was shot to death in Maplewood.

Eyricka Morgan was murdered in New Brunswick, NJ on Tuesday. She was stabbed to death by a man name Devonte Scott, who lived in the same boarding house. Scott was arrested on Tuesday shortly after Morgan was declared dead at 9pm at Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital. Scott is being held on $1 million bond.

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Assumptions

Assumptions can be dangerous to people who are habitually marginalized. One of the big assumptions that people make about the concept of "transgender" is that transgender is a subset of homosexual. It is not. I do not have data to turn to, but I have heard, as I shared in a diary last week, that about 1/4 of transgender people are gay or lesbian, 1/4 are heterosexual, 1/4 are bisexual and 1/4 are asexual.

What exactly that says about the influence of the normalized control of gender and sexuality by our culture is something I'll let other people discuss.

But the assumption has a large impact on the everyday lives of gender-variant people. Even scientists studying sexually-transmitted diseases jump to the conclusion that transgender women are "men who have sex with men." And even direct evidence to the contrary often does not dissuade people from adopting the assumption.

Tonight I have two cases in point.

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Economic Populist: Consol Bonds are the Debt Ceiling Walk Off Home Run

The Debt Ceiling debate is Yet Another GOP Abuse of the System, but the entire debate runs under the pretense that the Treasury cannot sell new bonds if the Debt Ceiling is not raised.

Look at the history of the debt ceiling, and its easy to see where people get that idea. Way back when, the Treasury went to Congress for each and every new bond issue. Then in 1917, with war breaking out in Europe, Congress reformed the system to give the Treasury more freedom of action, establishing an overall ceiling within which it could issue bonds. It was like moving from a series of individually negotiated loans with a bank to obtaining an approved credit line with the bank.

From 1917 to 2010, the increase of the debt ceiling when required was a routine transaction. But after the radical reactionary wing of the Republican party ran under the successful "Tea Party" branding, a number of radical reactionary GOP Congressmen balked at this routine transaction, and took the full faith and credit of the US Government hostage. This resulted in the "sequester" debacle, in which spending cuts that were deliberately designed to punish the American people in case Congress could not agree on the insane policy of cutting spending in the middle of what is now a five year old Depression. Congress could not agree, and so the brain-dead punitive spending cuts were put in place instead.

After that experience, turning out as badly as progressive populist critics at the time said it would, now there are bold words from the White House demanding a clean debt ceiling vote, without any hostage taking.

The good news is that if the Treasury turns to Consol Bonds, they can win this fight no matter what the radical reactionary wing of the House Republicans decide to do.

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Hellraisers Journal: The Long Reach of Walmart, The Thai Shrimp Industry

You ought to be out raising hell. This is the fighting age. Put on your fighting clothes.
-Mother Jones

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Saturday September 26, 1903
Cripple Creek District, Colorado - Military Arrests Continue, Union Men Remain in Bullpen

Just in case our readers believe that the military bullpen was emptied by the release of the four union men a few days ago, let us state here and now that striking miners and some of their supporters remain in the clutches of the military. General round-ups continue in the area and are so numerous that we are unable to keep track of those arrested, released, and re-arrested.

We list just a few:
Miners Frey, Johnson, Beckman and Poole were arrested last week and released a few days later. Joe Lynch, not a miner, but the marshal of Independence, and deemed too friendly with the union, has been arrested and released. William Dodsworth, president of No. 32 of W. F. of M., was also taken, held without charge, and released. More striking miners have been arrested, and are being held in the bullpen under appalling conditions without charge nor access to counsel.

An attempt was made to round-up the miners of Altman, but the military burst through the door of their union hall only to find it empty. The miners had been tipped-off, and left early before the hall was surrounded by 200 soldiers.

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Hellraisers Journal: Walmart Finally Realizing It Can't Run Stores With Temps Alone

You ought to be out raising hell. This is the fighting age. Put on your fighting clothes.
-Mother Jones

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Friday September 25, 1903
Cripple Creek, Colorado - Judge Seeds Orders Military Prisoners Released

Yesterday afternoon, Judge Seeds made his long awaited decision in the habeas corpus case filed on behalf of James Lafferty, C. H. McKinney , Charles Campbell, and Sherman Parker, members of the Western Federation of Miners who were being held without charge by the Colorado military. The Judge ordered the four miners turned over to the civil authorities.


U.S. Senator Patterson

As the decision was read, General Chase rose from his seat and stated his refusal to follow the order. He commanded his soldiers to take the soldiers back to the military camp. However, at about 8 o'clock last evening the prisoners were suddenly released without explanation. Perhaps General Chase was instructed by Governor Peabody to comply with the order of Judge Seeds.

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Hellraisers Journal: Evicted Families Arrive at Ludlow as Rain Turns to Snow

You ought to be out raising hell. This is the fighting age. Put on your fighting clothes.
-Mother Jones

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Thursday September 24, 1903
Cripple Creek, Colorado - "This is no longer a constitutional court," General Engley.

Thus, spoke General Engley as he rose in the courtroom of Judge Seeds yesterday on behalf of the four miners who found themselves, yet again, hauled into court bound and shackled and surrounded by soldiers.

On Tuesday, the counsel for the military managed to delay proceedings until the next day. On Wednesday, yesterday, General Chase appeared in Cripple Creek surrounded by his usual display of military might: infantry, cavalry, sharpshooters on rooftops, and a Gatling gun pointed at the train depot.

The four miners, James Lafferty, C. H. McKinney , Charles Campbell, and Sherman Parker, were escorted into the court room, heavily shackled, with a line of infantry on each side. More soldiers followed with their bayonets on full display.

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Hellraisers Journal: In Bangladesh, 200,000 garment workers protesting, factories set ablaze.

You ought to be out raising hell. This is the fighting age. Put on your fighting clothes.
-Mother Jones

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Wednesday September 23, 1903
Cripple Creek District, Colorado - All Finns Imported as Strikebreakers Have Escaped

All of the Finns who were imported as strikebreakers last week have now managed to escape from the clutches of the military and the mine owners' gunthugs. They worked under the bayonets of the soldiers, and were forced to scab, but, to their credit, these imported strike breakers were not born to be scabs. They have been provided transportation out of the strike zone by the Western Federation of Miners.

Another rebellious worker, however, was not so lucky. Near the Strong Mine a sentry saw movement in the dark and hollered, "halt." When the the movement did not cease as commanded, the sentry opened fire. Soon all hell broke loose as other sentries joined in, firing off twenty-five shots in all. The movement in the dark turned out to be a burro, now quite dead. Bullets also came flying into two nearby houses, but we are relieved to report that none of the occupants were injured. We cannot say whether the burro was trying to make his escape, or only lost and wandering about. But the incident does point to the risks taken by those attempting to escape from the mining camps of the Cripple Creek District.

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Syria & Antibodies to the US Empire

Burning the Midnight Oil for the Arc of the Sun

Over the weekend, I saw a piece on Syria: Now hundreds of Syrian rebels defect to Al Qaeda: 'Civil war within the civil war' weakens the battle to topple Assad

At least two entire rebel brigades are said to have joined the Nusra Front in opposition-held Raqqa, which borders Turkey. One of the groups, the Raqqa Revolutionaries, is said to have about 750 fighters.

 
A video uploaded by activists from Raqqa yesterday showed a massive convoy of fighters on cars and trucks with artillery and machine guns as they waved black flags. The video’s title said it was a newly unified force of Nusra fighters and other rebel battalions which had recently pledged loyalty.

Many Syrian rebels are attracted to radical units because they are generally more effective than the moderate forces which have Western backing but receive only halting military aid.

Shockingly, in a confirmation of Candidate Obama's emphasis on the importance of "soft power" and at least implied critique of President Obama's increasing reliance on "hard power", the evolution of a civil war favors increasing polarization and increasing influence by hard-liners on both sides.

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