Company Town: Two Faces of Thurber, TX

Thurber Texas Coal MiningBy 1915 Thurber, TX existed as the largest producer of coal in Texas. It supplied a dozen railways with coal, paved much of the state with brick, and was the largest city along Interstate 20 between Ft. Worth and El Paso. And every bit of the town (from scratching post to hitching post, from pew to crapper) was company owned by Texas and Pacific Coal Company.

Yet by the 1930’s Thurber was gone, and its success began to unravel during the winter of 1921-22. At their peak, company towns across the nation hosted 3% of the population. But were these towns a blight? or progressive beacons? Was Thurber a bastion of enlightened industrialist Paternalism or a cesspool of oppressive and monopolizing Capitalism?

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Cellulosic Ethanol: Beating a Dead Lobbyist

The Wizard of Oz
The Wizard of Oz
The Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum

Despite the fact that Jesse Duke powered his old farm truck on ethanol (ethyl alcohol) back in the 80’s, ethanol has joined the ranks of global warming (formerly known as climate change) and hemp vs. cotton in the closet of “don’t pay attention to the man behind the curtain” liberal blundering.

[dropcap2]E[/dropcap2]thyl alcohol, at its simplest level, is an alcohol obtained from the fermentation of sugars and plant stuff by chemical synthesis. But now the word “ethanol” is synonymous with corn ethanol, or “ridiculous government blunder” to many and “farm subsidy” to others. When will all these lever-pulling do-gooders learn that regular people hate pushy activists bent on making the world a better place through insult, fear and inconvenience?

Are most of us ignorant of the effects of our destructive behavior? And keep on living as such despite our inevitable doom? Well sure. If we knew about the effects we would start considering to begin getting around to doing something about it.

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Green Fads Inevitably Die, but How?

Yeti by Philippe Semeria

The only question in regards to the death of the current green enthusiasm is, “Will the new green fad die via popular adoption, or via wholesale abandonment?”  Well, I guess this is the first question, not the only.  The second one would be, “What will green living look like when it is either abandoned or adopted?”

An intelligent reader (I know you are out there!) would of course respond, “Well, economical solutions will be adopted while unrealistic and utopian greening will be abandoned.”  And while making sense, this sort of reasoning with the American people is redonculous at best and dangerous madness at worst.  Just look at corn ethanol, still going strong all these years despite its fairly wide-known economic unfeasibility.  And we all know that the milk of the female Yeti could be a financial boon for holistic medicine if someone would just put in the hard work to create a Yeti milking program, or at least learn to synthesize the stuff.

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