Monday, January 11, 2010

Monday Morning Rant 127

It was a very bright sunny Sunday and the mood was definitely upbeat at church. It was not so much that it was warmer but the sunshine has us conned. It barely reached the freezing mark later in the day but determined Christians “looked for the beautiful, looked for the true.” We looked at the piles everywhere and still didn’t see the pony.

“These United States of America”

Well, that sounds pretty old fashioned doesn’t it? It was not all that long ago that it was common to refer to the good old US of A just that way. Actually, if you understand the constitution and the original concepts in the minds of the framers, that would have been the only possible way to say it.

It took thirteen years to iron out the details and come up with a workable contract to bring an agreement between the several states to form a union. Each state added since then has, through the permission of its own people, enabled them to enlarge the partnership. As each state was added, they did not come, hat in hand, to Washington but rather sought an enlarged relationship with each of the several states. In this day and age of ever increasing federal power we can easily lose sight of the absolute fact that each state is sovereign and each a partner in its own right. Like all partnerships, the directive power is in relationship to a contractual arrangement and a clear understanding of representation as declared by our constitution. Each new sovereign state agrees to abide by that constitution.

Each new state is also protected by that document both physically and legally. Although unable to forge their own international treaties, they enjoy the mutual strength and benefits of that partnership for their citizens to live their lives in freedom. We continue to emphasize the word partnership in as much as it returns more of the meaning of the retained sovereignty of each individual state. The rank independence which brought about the republic to begin with is underlined in continuing to assert our individuality in dealing both with other states and the Federal government. It remains an essential part of who we are: a government of the people.

That thirteen years spent between the actual revolution and final enactment of the U.S. Constitution was not designed to create the federal behemoth which is Washington today. The time was pain stakingly drawn out to ensure equality and opportunity among nation states with special emphasis placed on what was permissible activity for the central government and what should be reserved as states rights. Consistent with the constitution, all those duties not enumerated to the federal establishment (see Article I, Section 8) are then reserved for each individual state to carry out as they see fit.

Since there is no provision in the constitution for a federal intrusion into education, one must assume that that duty is left to the states individually. Treaties and agreements with foreign nations are specifically drawn by the federal government to represent the will of all the people. In other words, the delineation of responsibility of both the federal and the state governments are defined. Through it all, each of the several states retains its own sovereignty on all matters which are not clearly set forth.

Why should you take a blogger’s word for any of this? The short answer is: you shouldn’t! When push comes to shove—and it will—you must have your own personal level of expertise to call on to reveal whether your state or your federal government is operating legally. When the conversation in the barber shop or down at the restaurant turns to whether your state should (could?) secede, you need to be informed. What you think doesn’t matter as much as the wording of the contract your state entered into. The truth is what matters.

To not have a copy of the United States Constitution is unconscionable. You are reading this on the net so just Google it and print it. If you are at the library and can’t do that, go home and find your World Almanac and a copy is there. Call 1-800-767-1241 and they’ll send you one for a buck ($1.) and it’s a handsome 3” X 5” copy which will fit in your shirt pocket. While you have the Cato Institute on the phone go ahead and be a big spender and blow a fiver and get one for your boss, your dad, your brother, and your kid too.

If you are under fifty, you probably didn’t have much in the line of government or civics in school so you will have to bear the responsibility to educate yourself. You will be amazed just how straight forward the document really is. Do mind the punctuation though; each comma is important. Go ahead and do it: show us all you do actually give a damn. If you already have yours—never mind!

The Law of Unintended Consequences

Under the influence of groups who campaign for renewable sources of energy we have largely abandoned drilling for oil in favor of developing wind, solar, and other substitute fuels. Ethanol subsidies have encouraged the depletion of plains aquifers, destruction of natural wild habitat, and sent food prices through the roof. As the search continues for additional biomass products to replace or augment food stuff used in making the fuel, we find the demand has created a shortage of sawdust.

The Biomass Crop Assistance Program (BCAP) was designed to encourage sawmills and lumber wholesalers to sell natural waste for conversion to high-tech biofuels. This has in turn pressured those suppliers through shortages who have increased the costs of waste making it prohibitive for manufactures of chip-core composite wood manufacturers. As the material for the fuels increase, their availability for kitchen cabinet doors, home entertainment centers and other manufactured wood products lessen with incumbent price escalation.

By congressional mandate, BCAP “chips” in (pun intended) $45.00 a ton to encourage the use of these waste products as biomass for fuel. Since that is twice the revenue realized from the wood products industry, it threatens not only the livelihood of that industry and its employees ($7.9 billion and 21,000) and they become yet another victim of environmental insanity and increasing unemployment.

“The biomass subsidy program could “wipe us out,” said T.J. Rosengarth, the vice president and chief operating officer of Flakeboard, the largest composite panel producer in North America. “You can say, ‘I’ve made more alternative energy,’ but at what expense?”

Mr. Rosengarth, the answer is just more “feel good” attempt to solve a problem which could be solved with a simple mandate: “OK boys, drill; drill here, and drill now.” This is obviously not on the agenda of this administration.

And finally

After yet one more near miss to the water system which prompted the installation of one more “brooder house” lights in the well house, it appears we can survive down to -20º. As long as the Co-op keeps the electric coming I believe we may survive. Our greatest nemesis, an ice storm, has not made an appearance and actually would require a serious rise in temperature to do so.

I am very happy to report a complete absence of seals, penguins and polar bears on the property but I would not be surprised at a sighting any time. I confess, I am beginning to miss old Al Gore and his tall tales of global warming. I felt warmer just listening to his rantings.

In His abiding love,

Cecil Moon

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