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‘I’m just quitting’: A scene right out of ‘Atlas Shrugged’ in Birmingham
David McElroy ^ | July 20th, 2011 | David McElroy

Posted on 07/25/2011 7:22:50 AM PDT by FreedomPoster

If it had been a scene in “Atlas Shrugged,” the guy would have disappeared into the secrecy of Colorado with a shadowy figure who we would later learn to be John Galt. In real life, the story will probably be more complex. But I wonder how long it’s going to be before businesspeople really do start walking away and deciding it’s not worth doing business in America today. Or it it already happening and we just don’t know it?

The man you see in the picture at the right is named Ronnie Bryant. He operates coal mines in Alabama. I’d never heard of him until this morning, but after what I saw and heard from him, I’d say he’s a bit like a southern version of Ellis Wyatt from Ayn Rand’s novel. What I saw made an impression on me.

(Excerpt) Read more at davidmcelroy.org ...


TOPICS: Business/Economy; Culture/Society; Front Page News; Government; US: Alabama
KEYWORDS: 0default; 0planners; 0police; 0teachers; alabama; atlasshrugged; aynrand; birmingham; bryant; coalmines; colorado; economy; elliswyatt; galt; goinggalt; johngalt; rand; ronniebryant; unemployment; wyatt
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Stossel, Beck, someone needs to go chase this guy down and do an interview and get this some exposure. There are a lot of Ronnie Bryants out there right now.
1 posted on 07/25/2011 7:22:52 AM PDT by FreedomPoster
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To: FreedomPoster
re your link [http://www.davidmcelroy.org/?p=1586]: "Error establishing a database connection"

(using FF5)

2 posted on 07/25/2011 7:27:25 AM PDT by tomkat ( Palin/West '12)
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To: FreedomPoster

He’s obviously a racist for trying to shaft the economy and Husein.


3 posted on 07/25/2011 7:27:30 AM PDT by Paladin2
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To: ATLDiver; neverdem; bamahead; justsaynomore; Tolerance Sucks Rocks

Ping; worth the read for sure.

justsaynomore - Herman ought to consider visiting with this guy.


4 posted on 07/25/2011 7:28:20 AM PDT by FreedomPoster (Islam delenda est)
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To: FreedomPoster
damn, never fails .. works ok now .. lol


5 posted on 07/25/2011 7:29:28 AM PDT by tomkat ( Palin/West '12)
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To: tomkat
Dang, I think this is going viral and may have crashed his server.

Here is the cached page at Google

6 posted on 07/25/2011 7:30:11 AM PDT by FreedomPoster (Islam delenda est)
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To: tomkat

Don’t feel bad, it wouldn’t load for me for a minute, either.


7 posted on 07/25/2011 7:30:57 AM PDT by FreedomPoster (Islam delenda est)
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To: tomkat
The internets/pipes DO make one logically insane.

Repeating a click can result in totally different results. There are millions of reasons why. Pavlov was right.

8 posted on 07/25/2011 7:31:46 AM PDT by Paladin2
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To: FreedomPoster
It's all a part of the plan.
9 posted on 07/25/2011 7:32:43 AM PDT by camerongood210
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To: Paladin2

woof !


10 posted on 07/25/2011 7:33:15 AM PDT by tomkat ( Palin/West '12)
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To: camerongood210

Another documentary of the Agenda:
http://agendadocumentary.com


11 posted on 07/25/2011 7:34:54 AM PDT by MrB (The difference between a Humanist and a Satanist - the latter knows whom he's working for)
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To: FreedomPoster
"My name’s Ronnie Bryant, and I’m a mine operator. I’ve been issued a [state] permit in the recent past for [waste water] discharge, and after standing in this room today listening to the comments being made by the people…. [pause] Nearly every day without fail — I have a different perspective — men stream to these [mining] operations looking for work in Walker County. They can’t pay their mortgage. They can’t pay their car note. They can’t feed their families. They don’t have health insurance. And as I stand here today, I just … you know … what’s the use? I got a permit to open up an underground coal mine that would employ probably 125 people. They’d be paid wages from $50,000 to $150,000 a year. We would consume probably $50 million to $60 million in consumables a year, putting more men to work. And my only idea today is to go home. What’s the use? I don’t know. I mean, I see these guys — I see them with tears in their eyes — looking for work. And if there’s so much opposition to these guys making a living, I feel like there’s no need in me putting out the effort to provide work for them. So as I stood against the wall here today, basically what I’ve decided is not to open the mine. I’m just quitting. Thank you."
12 posted on 07/25/2011 7:36:38 AM PDT by Baynative
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To: FreedomPoster; tomkat; Paladin2; camerongood210; MrB
My name’s Ronnie Bryant, and I’m a mine operator. I’ve been issued a [state] permit in the recent past for [waste water] discharge, and after standing in this room today listening to the comments being made by the people…. [pause] Nearly every day without fail — I have a different perspective — men stream to these [mining] operations looking for work in Walker County. They can’t pay their mortgage. They can’t pay their car note. They can’t feed their families. They don’t have health insurance. And as I stand here today, I just … you know … what’s the use? I got a permit to open up an underground coal mine that would employ probably 125 people. They’d be paid wages from $50,000 to $150,000 a year. We would consume probably $50 million to $60 million in consumables a year, putting more men to work. And my only idea today is to go home. What’s the use? I don’t know. I mean, I see these guys — I see them with tears in their eyes — looking for work. And if there’s so much opposition to these guys making a living, I feel like there’s no need in me putting out the effort to provide work for them. So as I stood against the wall here today, basically what I’ve decided is not to open the mine. I’m just quitting. Thank you.
13 posted on 07/25/2011 7:37:34 AM PDT by sam_paine (X .................................)
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To: FreedomPoster
Who is John Galt Ronnie Bryant?
14 posted on 07/25/2011 7:37:43 AM PDT by ConservaTexan (February 6, 1911)
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To: FreedomPoster

An excellent piece of reporting, worth persevering to get to it .. ‘Comments’ section is very telling as well.


15 posted on 07/25/2011 7:38:32 AM PDT by tomkat ( Palin/West '12)
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To: Baynative

Again! Doublecross! =)


16 posted on 07/25/2011 7:38:51 AM PDT by sam_paine (X .................................)
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To: FreedomPoster

Problem is that probably a lot of the people at the meeting don’t even live in the area. Coal production is growing in the U.S. as the export markets are the future. Our utilities will be going up 30-50% while developing countries will enjoy cheap power.

Been in this business for 34 years and the small operator is being squeezed out by regulations. If they can’t pass on these regulatory costs to the utility they have to eat them which equals costs that cannot compete.


17 posted on 07/25/2011 7:40:21 AM PDT by mmanager
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To: JDoutrider

#12


18 posted on 07/25/2011 7:41:19 AM PDT by Baynative
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To: FreedomPoster

And the administration wonders why


19 posted on 07/25/2011 7:41:32 AM PDT by yldstrk (My heroes have always been cowboys)
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To: warsaw44

ping


20 posted on 07/25/2011 7:42:29 AM PDT by warsaw44
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To: warsaw44

ping


21 posted on 07/25/2011 7:42:41 AM PDT by warsaw44
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To: FreedomPoster

pfl


22 posted on 07/25/2011 7:43:08 AM PDT by nina0113
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To: Paladin2

Evil Whitey, wanting to employ people! Probably even BLACK PEOPLE!! He was no doubt born with a silver spoon in his mouth AND a corporate jet!!


23 posted on 07/25/2011 7:44:12 AM PDT by GnuHere
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To: FreedomPoster

Very sad. Some mornings in Obamaland, it is hard to get out of bed. What’s the point?


24 posted on 07/25/2011 7:44:28 AM PDT by penelopesire (Let The Congressional Hearings Begin!)
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To: yldstrk
And the administration wonders why

Shirley, you don't believe that.

25 posted on 07/25/2011 7:44:39 AM PDT by MrB (The difference between a Humanist and a Satanist - the latter knows whom he's working for)
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To: FreedomPoster
There are a lot of Ronnie Bryants out there right now.

I'm one. When Axelrod's Obama v. 0.9, Deval Patrick, was elected governor in Mass I shut down my business and began the process of moving to TX. Even now that I'm in TX I will not start up a new business until the socialists who control DC are put on the run.

Who is John Galt?

26 posted on 07/25/2011 7:48:01 AM PDT by Paine in the Neck (Napolean fries the idea powder.)
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To: FreedomPoster
Stossel, Beck, someone needs to go chase this guy down and do an interview and get this some exposure. There are a lot of Ronnie Bryants out there right now.

Agreed...this is HUGE, and needs wider exposure.

27 posted on 07/25/2011 7:48:15 AM PDT by who knows what evil? (G-d saved more animals than people on the ark...www.siameserescue.org.)
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To: listenhillary

later


28 posted on 07/25/2011 7:48:21 AM PDT by listenhillary (It still increases the debt limit.)
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To: sickoflibs

Ping. If the link doesn’t work, there’s a Google cache link in #6. I think this is going viral and his server is getting hammered.


29 posted on 07/25/2011 7:53:05 AM PDT by FreedomPoster (Islam delenda est)
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To: Paladin2

I started my law practice in the fall of 2009 after working as a prosecutor.
All my peers told menu was insane to start any kind of business during such a poor economy.
They got to practice while the getting was good, so they knee how bad it was.
Of course I didn’t listen, and it has been rough.
But God has taken care of us and my practice is doing well.
People call and bring by resumes and applications all the time.
I have to tell them that I can only afford to pay myself.
If it weren’t for social security taxes aline I could afford at least a secretary or maybe a paralegal.
But taking on an employee (even here in Texas) is quite burdensome.
So I am just being content to keep it simple and small.
There just isnt the pay off there use to be for taking risks and expanding.


30 posted on 07/25/2011 7:53:09 AM PDT by Clump (the tree of liberty is withering like a stricken fig tree)
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To: MrB

Thanks for that link. I had never heard of this documentary. I will try to get my hands on it tonight.


31 posted on 07/25/2011 7:53:50 AM PDT by camerongood210
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To: who knows what evil?

Send the link to Drudge. I already sent it once, but maybe if enough of us do it then DR will pick it up.


32 posted on 07/25/2011 7:55:35 AM PDT by camerongood210
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To: holdonnow

This needs wide exposure.


33 posted on 07/25/2011 7:55:49 AM PDT by SE Mom (Proud mom of an Iraq war combat vet)
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To: sam_paine
men stream to these [mining] operations looking for work in Walker County. They can’t pay their mortgage. They can’t pay their car note. They can’t feed their families. They don’t have health insurance.

Mr. Bryant can't be an Ayn Rand hero. He shows too much concern for ordinary people.

34 posted on 07/25/2011 8:01:01 AM PDT by Route797
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To: FreedomPoster

“There are a lot of Ronnie Bryants out there right now.”

Yep! I am one of them also. I closed my business two+ years ago and retired to Myrtle Beach. We trust in God for our provision daily, grow most of our own produce, drive older cars, do all of our own repairs, fish a good bit more than I used to, hunt when the snakes aren’t too aggressive, and live quite well on my meager social security benefits.

I may crank up another business in the future, but not if the government doesn’t change direction. More than likely we will drop completely off the grid when it is just my wife and I.


35 posted on 07/25/2011 8:05:54 AM PDT by Big_Harry (Ecc10:2 "A wise man's heart is at his right hand; but a fool's heart at his left")
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To: Baynative

I agree with the man’s premise but I also want to know who, working in a coal mine, is paid $150,000 a year?

Wage inflation continues to pass me by.


36 posted on 07/25/2011 8:17:07 AM PDT by Sequoyah101 (Half the people are below average.)
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To: Publius

Ping


37 posted on 07/25/2011 8:18:06 AM PDT by BuckeyeTexan (Man is not free unless government is limited. ~Ronald Reagan)
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To: FreedomPoster; waterhill; ixtl

Who is John Galt? (((ping)))


38 posted on 07/25/2011 8:20:13 AM PDT by Envisioning ( Call me a racist................, one more time......................)
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To: Sequoyah101
but I also want to know who ..

I'm guessing: mining engineers, geologists, continuous miner operator, experienced crew bosses ?

39 posted on 07/25/2011 8:21:38 AM PDT by tomkat ( Palin/West '12)
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To: FreedomPoster

A couple weeks ago I began to read “Atlas Shrugged”, and was so pissed off by page 50 that I had to put it down. It’s so relevant, it could’ve been written last year.

The government is doing its best to ruin the country by punishing achievers, thinkers, savers, etc.

A little off point but my nephew, who lives north of Atlanta, told us that people who collect rain water to use for plants, etc., will probably be taxed. And there’s talk of Uncle Sam taxing those who grow their own food — have seen several FR threads on this.

It’s enough to make anyone want to just give up.


40 posted on 07/25/2011 8:23:28 AM PDT by MayflowerMadam
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To: FreedomPoster
Another:

Broke! 10 Facts About The Financial Condition Of American Families That Will Blow Your Mind

Hiring workers has become so complicated and so expensive that many small business owners want to avoid it at all cost.

For example, a small business owner identified as "007" recently left the following comment on one of my recent articles....

Speaking as a small employer, I would rather have a root canal than another employee. Let’s see. You first have to hire someone you trust without some labor lawyer suing you for some type of discrimination. Then you have OSHA to make sure your work place is safe.
Then you have workmans compensation insurance, unemployment taxes, health insurance, liability insurance, now Obamacare. Oh be careful not to be deemed to have a “hostile work environment”. Then you have to negotiate the labor laws. The Department of Labor is constantly cranking out regulation.

Then you get the pleasure of paying payroll taxes both state and federal along with the required filing of a multitude of payroll forms. Miss filing or paying these taxes and you will be crushed with interest and penalties.

Of course, you are competing with businesses that can hire at a fraction of the cost of American Labor and with very little regulations. In this economy, no one in their right mind is hiring into this unstable and declining economy.

If business turns down all you have to worry about is laying off workers. Of course your unemployment insurance tax will go up 200% for years. Then you only have to then worry about a wrongful termination law suit.

If you happen to navigate all of these hurdles and make a profit, watch out for greedy unions waiting to suck the life out of your business. Then you face Obama and the socialist democrats at the end of the day wanting to redistribute your wealth demanding crushing taxes that strip away your working capital. He wants to redistribute it to people who don’t work or pay tax at all.

My view, let someone else be the crazy hero to put their life savings at risk to hire employees in this hostile employer environment. I think I will just get a computer to answer my phones, computerize every function of the office, I even have robot floor cleaners to avoid cleaning crews.

Truth is this country has made having employees a tremendous, beuracratic, expensive, legal risk. I am trying to keep the employees I have. However, this golden goose is on strike and will not be hiring further until it makes economic sense to do so.

41 posted on 07/25/2011 8:23:55 AM PDT by blam
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To: FreedomPoster
This is from ABC3340.com...

Water, soil pollution problems brought to attention of federal leaders Posted: Jul 20, 2011 8:33 PM CDT Updated: Jul 20, 2011 9:16 PM CDT By Jeremy King - email News Headlines More>>Agencies push for immigration law changeChanges at Birmingham's airportCentral AL brings home several Alabama Tourism AwardsCrime Stoppers July 24: Most WantedPratt City families worry about upcoming school yearCity of Tuscaloosa unveils rebuilding plan for tornado-torn townEnsley shooting leaves one man dead, injures anotherJefferson County commissioners to meet ThursdayArrest made in Calera homicideFallen soldier remembered by communityBIRMINGHAM-AL - The people with the power to enforce federal environmental laws got an eyeful -- and an earful -- during a visit to Alabama this week.

Representatives from the U.S. Department of Justice, the Environmental Protection Agency, and even the FBI, are taking part in an initiative to listen to concerns about pollution. Tuesday, federal leaders spent time looking at conditions along the Black Warrior River. Wednesday, they walked the banks of Village Creek in Birmingham.

Then, they attended a public forum where people from communities in Jefferson, Shelby, and Walker Counties freely voiced their concerns about a multitude of issues.

"We have a battery of cast iron pipe plants, steel industries, metal galavanizers, all sorts of industries up and down Village Creek which are discharging large amounts of pollutants on a daily basis," said Nelson Brooke, the Black Warrior Riverkeeper. "This is unacceptable."

Brooke pointed out many people fish downstream from the pollution. He is concerned about many factors, including fish consumption and the effects on human health. Overall, he wants a crackdown on heavy industry polluting the creek and a larger watershed that touches many communities throughout Central Alabama.

Others spoke about the effects of mining operations on waterways.

"Stripping coal 100 feet from the banks of the river. I don't understand how you can justify that in any way," said Lecil Stacks.

"It seems like the only options for small-town Alabama, rural Alabama, are mining -- are landfills -- are some type of toxic industry," said Sunny Montgomery of Shelby County, who is among those opposed to plans for a new quarry in the town of Vincent.

Many others spoke about pollution in the Collegeville neighborhood. They spoke about soil contamination from heavy industry in the community just east of North Birmingham.

"They provide jobs for us, but that does not give them the right to kill us," said Jimmy Smith, who detailed how two of his daughters have battled cancer. One daughter has died.

"Nobody has the right to poison the air or the water or the ground," Smith added.

"We get tips on what we should do to keep our children safe," said Ellen Cummings, who read from the list of tips.

"How can we tell our children not to go outside and play in soil? They are children. Should we be in a bubble?" she asked.

Cummings read more items on the list: "Not to plant a garden. After playing outside, make sure your children wash their hands frequently, especially before eating."

"We want to have the same quality of life as everyone else," she concluded. "We want some justice done for the Collegeville area. We want the companies to be accountable."

"You know the rate that we are dying. You know that we have come to you before. We need help!" added Vivian Starks, the Collegeville neighborhood president. "I'm a citizen of the USA, and I don't feel that I have to beg you guys to do something in my neighborhood."

The federal leaders listening, many of whom are relatively new in office, promised action. They took detailed notes and asked various speakers for more information in order to conduct follow-up.

Some people got the action they wanted before the meeting was even over. A man who was in the planning stages of a new underground mine in northwest Jefferson County responded to the sentiment of the overwhelming majority of people in the room.

Ronnie Bryant of Warrior Investment Company pointed out many people are employed by mines and earn good salaries. He also discussed Ensley's industrial past, and how the reddish haze that used to linger over the area is now gone with the demise of such heavy industry in the community. Also gone with that haze, he pointed out, are a lot of jobs that left the area, and Ensley's commercial district is now a shadow of its former self.

Bryant's particular mining plans had not been a specific focus of the discussion during the forum. But an anti-mining sentiment was clear. And if people did not want mining to expand, Bryant said, he would back away from his plans.

"There's so much opposition to these guys making a living that I feel like that there's no need in me putting out any effort to provide any work, and so as I stood against the wall here today, basically, I've decided not to open the mine," Bryant said.

"Thank God," someone called out.

Later, Bryant told reporters his decision was not final, but he was "fairly positive" he would not move forward with the project.

Federal leaders advised that if business owners and community members came together in a setting in which each person would have a voice, perhaps industry, people, and the environment could find a way to co-exist.

I think this "Riverkeepers" group is a radical environmental group that doesn't care how many people are hurt.

42 posted on 07/25/2011 8:26:16 AM PDT by saminfl
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To: Sequoyah101

I would imagine the higher paying jobs are executives, engineers and geologists.


43 posted on 07/25/2011 8:30:08 AM PDT by Baynative
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To: MayflowerMadam

I started it after seeing the movie twice, and just finished it a couple of weeks ago. Over and over and over, I kept saying, how is it possible that she wrote this 54 years ago.

We rented a NetFlix movie about her life, with a lot of neat footage. And of course a lot about the Russian Revolution and how bad things were then... so it’s been going on more than 100 years now....

We have cisterns and a small garden area (AZ). The jackboots better stay out of it. I’m one of the 50% that’s paying (a lot) of federal income tax, I’m almost waiting for it just to collapse, so tired of all the moochers with their paws out.


44 posted on 07/25/2011 8:30:08 AM PDT by Borax Queen
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To: sam_paine

Less than one minute apart ...mirrors of thought and impact.


45 posted on 07/25/2011 8:31:18 AM PDT by Baynative
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To: Route797

“Mr. Bryant can’t be an Ayn Rand hero. He shows too much concern for ordinary people.”

So how are the ordinary people fairing now? Do you not think that the message that Ayn Rand was attempting to convey would result in ordinary people having the opportunity to become extraordinary people?


46 posted on 07/25/2011 8:34:34 AM PDT by listenhillary (It still increases the debt limit.)
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To: FreedomPoster

This is how fascism works folks. The politically well connected will use their money and influence through lobbyists, unions, and manipulation of regulations and tax codes to squeeze out any competition, because they don’t want the small players to become the big players, and become a dierct threat to their gravy train.


47 posted on 07/25/2011 8:34:44 AM PDT by factoryrat (We are the producers, the creators. Grow it, mine it, build it.)
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To: saminfl
Riverkeepers, Beachwatchers, Forests for the Future, ELF, Cool Mayors, Smart Growth, "sustainable" development, green life and squiggly light bulbs ... all part of AGENDA 21.
48 posted on 07/25/2011 8:34:48 AM PDT by Baynative
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To: Sequoyah101
"Wage inflation continues to pass me by."

That's not the only thing that passed you by.

49 posted on 07/25/2011 8:35:01 AM PDT by blam
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To: MayflowerMadam

I made it to page 150 on my first attempt (during the 2004 election campaign). Had to put it down, picked it up about a year later and finished it.


50 posted on 07/25/2011 8:37:24 AM PDT by knittnmom (Save the earth! It's the only planet with chocolate!)
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