Archive - June, 2013

Pardon me while I rant incessantly: Fed up with the Feds

image from

image from

“Politically, the White House is hesitant to say they’re having a war on coal. On the other hand, a war on coal is exactly what’s needed.” — Daniel Schrag, White House Climate Adviser

(In case you’re unfamiliar with Daniel Schrag, he is Sturgis Hooper Professor of Geology, Professor of Environmental Science and Engineering, Director of the University Center for the Environment, and Director of the Laboratory for Geochemical Oceanography at Harvard University. Educated at UC Berkeley and Yale.)

No sir, you Ivy League Educated Utopian Egghead, what’s needed is for you to appreciate that there are hard working Americans whose entire lives and communities are dependent upon the coal industry.

What you need to understand is that while the federal government seeks to crush energy production methods you deem unclean with unattainable environmental standards no other country in the world even comes close to, what you’re really doing is declaring a war on jobs.

Coal mine in China (from

Coal mine in China (from

You’re declaring war on the ability for hard working men to provide for their families the only way they know how; the way their daddies and their granddaddies did. And while you may disdain their lack of education or that they would actually choose to work in a coal mine rather than sit in an office all day, who the hell are you to decide how another human being chooses to live their life?

“There are a lot of generations that live in these communities, where your mom and your dad live here, your grandparents live here, your aunts and uncles, and all of them may be in a different form of the coal mining business, but when it goes, the community is gone, because people are going to have to leave to find work.

We’re begging for the right to work. That’s all we’re asking for. We’re not asking for any favors, we’re not asking for any handouts, we’re not asking for any concessions. All we’re asking for is the opportunity to work, pay taxes, provide electricity and provide for our families.” –Rocky Hackworth, Tyler Morgan Mine General Manager

It’s been several years since I’ve worked in the energy industry, but in the decade and change I worked for both major and independent oil and gas producers, never once did any VP, manager, engineer, geologist, foreman or field hand ever suggest that corners be cut when it came to environmental compliance and safety. I’m not saying it never happens, but it was my experience that every person I worked with complied with and oftentimes exceeded all state and federal laws and regulations and made damn sure everyone working there followed suit.

But that was a different time.

That was a time when the regulators were sometimes unreasonable (like the time the woman from Fisheries and Wildlife took a picture immediately following the detonation of explosives set to blast the legs off an offshore platform then instructed my boss to count the number of redfish said explosion killed–literally thousands of fish), but mostly they worked with the industry. Their job was to make sure we were exploring for, drilling and producing oil and gas in a manner responsible and respectful to the environment and property owners.

Not like today, where it seems the job of Federal regulators is to destroy the reputations and profits of the evil oil, gas and coal executives.

And if hundreds of thousands of men and women lose their jobs and their abilities to provide for their families, too bad for them.

They should have gone to work for a green energy company.

Or better yet, get a job with the federal government.

While you may think it noble to move towards your Utopian paradise, you may want to wait until you discover a green energy that’s actually viable, because wind and solar aren’t even close, no matter how many taxpayer subsidized billions you pour into them.

In the meantime, you might want to get a job outside the fantasy worlds of Washington and academia and see what the real world is all about.

Dear Hacker,

Screen shot 2013-06-20 at 12.49.51 PMIf I’m to believe the message you posted on my site to replace my regular content, you felt compelled to hack my site and many others in order to get the truth out about what’s going in Syria.

You say the news coming out of Syria is inaccurate.

You say the government is not attacking its people, but instead extremists are killing innocent civilians and using the media to create a false narrative.

You say a lot of things which may or may not be true.

But how does hacking some silly little blog in Texas help your cause? (If, in fact, you are who you say you are?)

I’ll tell you how.

It doesn’t.

If anything, it’s hurt your cause.

Had you simply left a comment explaining your predicament, I may have actually believed you; may have felt compelled to help you.

Instead, you randomly attack sites in attempt to cause as much disruption and anarchy as possible.

So basically, you’re just a punk with a computer frustrating a whole lot of people who have done absolutely nothing to you because you lack the skills to hack those who you say are hurting your cause.

I hope you’ve enjoyed your 15 minutes of fame.



P. S. — I HUGE thank you to web host David Allen who has worked tirelessly to get MANY websites up and running again, and doing so with grace and humility even when dealing with some pretty grumpy people. (BTW, if you’re one of those grumpy people, shame on you. It’s not David’s fault this happened.) Anyway, thanks so much David. You’re a class act.

And the winner is…

Screen shot 2013-06-10 at 5.47.18 PM Congratulations to Joel Bremer! Winner of the autographed copy of When Mockingbirds Sing, and thanks to everyone for participating.











It’s pub day for Mockingbirds


If you were to ask me what my favorite bird is, I would tell you it’s a mockingbird. Not only because they’re the State Bird of Texas, but also because they’re fierce, they eat insects, and not only do they have their own beautiful song, but can mimic the songs of many other birds. Heck, I’ve even heard some mimic the sound of a car alarm (which wasn’t so beautiful).

I also love mockingbirds in literature. Three great books come to mind:

Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird

Karen Spears Zacharius’s The Silence of Mockingbirds (A book that will break your heart in all the right places.)
Screen shot 2013-06-10 at 5.36.47 PM

And, of course…

Billy Coffey’s When Mockingbirds Sing
Screen shot 2013-06-10 at 5.47.18 PM

I’m honored to say that I count two of these three great authors as friends.

And friendship has its privileges.

Which is why I’m excited to be able to offer to some lucky commenter a FREE copy of When Mockingbirds Sing.

But not just any free copy.

A free copy signed by the Hillbilly Hemingway himself:

Billy Coffey

In case you’ve not heard anything about the book as yet, here’s a great trailer from Thomas Nelson that sums it up nicely:

Ah, but nothing worth having is free, is it? Well, this is mostly free. All I’m asking is that you help spread the word:

Tweet about it using the hashtag #WhenMockingbirdsSing by @billycoffey

Tell all your Facebook friends.

Tell all your non-virtual friends.

Tell people you see in your local bookstore (it’s in the Christian Fiction section)

Tell complete strangers at traffic lights.

Then come back here and let me know you helped get the word out, and I’ll put all the names in a hat (metaphorically speaking–I’ll use a random number generator) and choose a winner on Friday, June 14.

Billy’s got lots of links and whatnot over at his place. You can find them HERE

Good luck and thanks so much for your help!

United in Outrage, Part 2

Screen shot 2013-06-06 at 9.49.45 PMI typically don’t write two posts in a row about the same topic, nor do I typically write two negative posts back to back.

But this IRS scandal keeps getting worse, and the mindset of IRS leadership is beyond infuriating. I have found myself searching in vain for a coherent, concise way to convey my disdain for this gross abuse of power. But I have no words to express my outrage.

Fortunately, South Carolina Representative Trey Gowdy sums it up perfectly:

This is not a management problem, it’s a cultural one within the IRS. And it needs to change. Shame on you, IRS.