73 Years Ago

Give thanks to the “Greatest Generation” whose bravery and sacrifices on the Beaches of Normandy on the 6th of June 1944 must never be forgotten.

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The Prez Says – 28 May 2017

He’s Back!!!

POTUS45 has returned from his first foreign trip.  Now that he is back, he has once again resumed his quest to “…insure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty….” [1] using Twitter to bring his words of wisdom to the masses.

From @realDonaldTrump as of 28 May 2017, 0841 EDT

  • 2 minutes ago: Does anyone notice how the Montana Congressional race was such a big deal to Dems & Fake News until the Republican won? V was poorly covered
  • 7 minutes ago: Whenever you see the words ‘sources say’ in the fake news media, and they don’t mention names….
  • 6 minutes ago: ….it is very possible that those sources don’t exsist but are made up by fake news writers. #FakeNews is the enemy!
  • 7 minutes ago: It is my opinion that many of the leaks coming out of the White House are fabricated lies made up by the #FakeNews media.
1Preamble to US Constitution

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The First 100 Days

Shortly after Donald J. Trump’s inauguration as the 45th POTUS on 20 January 2017, the whitehouse.gov web site was updated to include his administration’s top issues:

  • America First Energy Plan
  • America First Foreign Policy
  • Bringing Back Jobs And Growth
  • Making Our Military Strong Again
  • Standing Up For Our Law Enforcement Community
  • Trade Deals Working For All Americans.

Today marks the end of the first 100 days of his administration.  And he plans on celebrating by holding a “Campaign Rally” in Harrisburg, PA.  Someone really should tell him that this might not be the best use of his time.

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Soot, Part II

For those who yearn for the return of Soot, not to worry.  POTUS45 is a fan of soot and has recently taken the first steps to encourage its comeback.  Personally, I do not think this will result in a rebirth of the coal and steel industries.  Nor do I think it will result in many additional mining and manufacturing jobs or boost the economy in my hometown and many more like it in Southwestern Pennsylvania.

My hometown was about 30 miles down the Monongahela River from Pittsburgh, PA.  It wasn’t quite as bad as these pictures show.  But it was close on many days, depending on the temperature and presence or absence of wind.

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Soot, Part I

I was born and raised in a Rust Belt town in Southwestern Pennsylvania.  My Dad and his father worked in a foundry.  Just about all my other relatives worked in either steel mills or coal mines.  One of the vivid memories of my childhood is something called soot.  Back in the day, to make steel, the energy source of choice was something called coke.  In my particular sub-region of the Rust Belt, the mines produced bituminous coal which along with being processed into coke for the mills, was used in its natural state for home heating.  One by-product of burning all this coal for both manufacturing and home use was soot.  The smokestacks at the mills belched out soot-filled smoke on a 24×7 basis.  Likewise, in the winter months, homes added their share of soot to the atmosphere.  It was commonplace to wash a car one day and come out the next morning finding the car covered with specks of soot.  One other common event was cleaning the soot off of the walls in homes each spring.

Now that I’m done with soot, lets talk about the river.  Like all the other steel towns in the area, my hometown was in a river valley.  the foundries, steel mills and other industrial plants were located along the river, which provided cheap transportation of coal, iron ore, scrap metal, and other basic materials needed to produce steel.   Back when I was a very little kid, the boats pushing the barges of raw material up and down the river were actual steamboats with paddle wheels in the back.  And they used coal to fire their boilers.

The rivers had one other very important function.  They were a convenient dumping place for all the toxic waste produced by the mills and the mines.  You could find just about anything in the river…garbage, raw sewage, human waste, industrial waste runoff and more.  One thing that you couldn’t find were fish.

Today all the mills are gone and the mines are closed.  The river once again has fish in it and one can actually boat and swim in it without having to share the fun with raw sewage and industrial waste.  But the town is a ghost of its former self.  The businesses and stores are gone, the town infrastructure is falling apart, the housing is falling into disrepair.  The current mayor wants to sell town hall because the town cannot afford to maintain it.

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