Photo courtesy Steve Rhodes, Flickr, Jan. 20, 2009

It took the left a week or so to crank up the outrage machine to a fever pitch following the church shooting in South Carolina last week. Target this time around, the Battle Flag of the Army of Northern Virginia, otherwise known as the Stars and Bars or the Confederate Flag. Completely forgotten have been both the dead and wounded.

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There is an old question that Abraham Lincoln asked while in office. Paraphrased, it goes “How many legs does a calf have if you call the tail a leg?” The respondent typically does the math and responds five. Lincoln corrects them by noting that the actual answer is four, as calling a tail a leg does not make it a leg.

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The running gag in the movie Up was someone shouting “squirrel” and the dogs instantly dropping what they were doing and running off in chasing it.   Budget wars in recent weeks has put Alaska is in much the same position, chasing squirrels while ignoring the single most important task of increasing flow through the pipeline.
 

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There are events with significant environmental impact that take place from time to time. They are all natural and generally not predictable. The more energy we spend lighting our hair on fire, running around waving our arms and whining about things with no demonstrable environmental impact, the less we will have available when something real, serious, and devastating happens.

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What if the opposition to the use of coal here in the US is stopping continuous improvement in cleanliness and performance of coal-fired plants here in the US while the rest of the world continues to make rolling improvements in new plants, taking the older, dirtier, more polluting plants out of service as the new generation comes on line?

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