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The King in his Realm hath two superiors: God and the Law. -- Henry Care (1646-1688) on English liberties and the Magna Carta


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Ancient History

|Media | Prudence Potpourri

Maddow Be Dammed

Rachel Maddow is a lefty elitist who thinks she knows better than everyone. So in the latest Spike Lee-directed commercial for her strident, ranting MSNBC show, she stands before the Hoover Dam and proclaims that it takes a nation, not a man or a village, to build such a feat. (Hey, Rachel, the vision starts with one man, generally.) She says we’ve got a lot of other such feats ready to go, but asks whether we as a nation have the guts to go forward with them.

Well, Rachel, why don’t you ask your buddies that question? Their answer would be a resounding NO! In fact, they are devoted to ripping down the dams. To hell with any energy or industrial or recreational purpose they provide to HUMANS. In the land of Rachel Maddow’s friends, humans are less than the other creatures of the earth.

If Rachel had just bothered to check the internet corner of MSNBC, she would have found a lovely 2007 story of GE, an energy contractor and owner (now part-owner) of MSNBC, heralding the demolishing of some of the grandest dams in the Northeast.

Because they had created new forms of energy? No. Because it would benefit humans? No. Because it would let the fish swim free (and not have to go over “human made” ladders to get from one side of the dam to the other)? Bingo! The MSNBC story even came complete with a smarmy left-enviro headline: “Ka-bye to dam that had blocked fish runs.” [Note to MSNBC copyeditor: The dismissive phonetic spelling of “Okay, bye” is “Kay-bye” to denote the long “a.”]

The largest dam removal in the Pacific Northwest in 40 years is under way, with 4,000 pounds of explosives used Tuesday to blast the top level of one structure into oblivion.

When the two dams are fully removed, one this summer and the other next summer, the Sandy River will be a free-flowing river for the first time in nearly a century — and no longer a hindrance to steelhead and salmon returning to spawn.

Odd how wind farm photos never show blurred spinning blades.

There went a whopping $17 million in demolition costs to destroy many more millions of dollars in human engineering efforts.

So what if the demolition of just one dam eliminates nearly 5% of the energy resources for the area. Part of the energy of a giant wind farm (which apparently doesn’t look as spectacular as a prop for Maddow to stand in front of) will be diverted to make up for it—instead of making up for fossil fuel energy:

PGE officials said the 22 megawatt capacity dam system, built in 1913, was too costly to maintain, particularly considering new environmental protections for endangered salmon and steelhead. The utility is building a 126 megawatt wind farm in southern Oregon that is expected to go online by December.

An AP story at, “Dam Blown Up for Sake of Fish,” celebrates the 2004 start of blowing up the Embrey Dam on the Rappahannock River near Fredericksburg, VA. Note how the story carefully describes the opinion of the residents so they appear good environmentalists and not opposed to the removal to suit the fish:

The $10 million project calls for the 22-foot-high dam to be removed by February 2006.

Residents began arriving before dawn to watch. For many, the demolition was sentimental, recalling an industrial era when the riverbanks were dotted with textile and grain mills.

“It’s sort of out of respect for the dam,” Bob Wallace said. “It’s done its job well. It’s a landmark.”

The demolition will make the Rappahannock the longest free-flowing river in the Chesapeake Bay watershed and should also open up hundreds of miles of river to migratory fish — including American shad, hickory shad and blueback herring — for the first time since 1854, when a wooden crib dam was built to power mills.

The Embrey Dam has not produced power since the 1960s.

Yet, the final paragraph seems to belie that the residents and the owners of the dam were not happy with the removal:

In 1999, the Edwards Dam on Maine’s Kennebec River was torn down to let fish swim upstream again, becoming the first hydroelectric dam in the country removed by the U.S. government against its owners’ wishes.

How odd they bring up a forcible dam removal a thousand miles and years away when it comes as a non sequitur to their feel-good fish story.

Build dams, Rachel? Looks like we’re mainly tearing them down:

By 2001, after losing every lawsuit and spending more than $1 million on legal fees, the district agreed to remove the dam. The next year the Oregon Watershed Enhancement Board pledged $3 million, and a year later Congress started approving funding that would eventually cover the rest of the $39.3 million cost.

“One reason this project took so long is people had to adjust their notions of what progress was,” said John DeVoe of Portland, executive director of WaterWatch. “There was a lot of opposition to removing the dam because it was viewed as a symbol of progress.”

That’s right, we have to adjust our notions to fit the opinions of environmentalists, or we’ll get the heck sued out of us and end up sticking Congress (the American people) with the tab.

These are just the ones I found in a quick internet search—with most of the coverage coming, unintended, from MSNBC’s own website. A conservation group, American Rivers, says on their website that over 600 dams have been removed in the past 50 years, and they surmise that we will never return to dam building again (that is one of their goals).

Others have found Maddow’s hypocri-mercial laughable as well. Ladd Ehlinger, a conservative filmmaker who did the fantastic commercials in 2010 for a candidate in Alabama’s Secretary of Agriculture race, among others, is able to actually have praise for Maddow’s show (he’s more tolerant of collectivism and hard-left-skewed propaganda than I am) before he lays in on her inconsistent logic and questions whether she’s sold out to her GE corporate masters.

Ladd’s rant is rather blue in language (i.e., NSFW), but right on point. Here’s a safe bit to sample:

Collectivists have been BLOCKING projects like the Hoover Dam for decades for snail darters and other nitty little reasons! Collectivists have been PREVENTING projects like the Hoover Dam because human beings don’t deserve to live on Mother Earth and rape her resources. Do you have amnesia, or are you out of your mind?

This ad is entirely inconsistent and stupid. I want my philosophical opponents to be better than this, and Maddow used to be better than this. I am thoroughly disappointed. It’s no wonder that the damned dam thing has only 478 views since being uploaded over a week ago on NBC’s channel.

And in a post titled “MSNBC’s Nostalgia is Dam Inconvenient for President Obama,” Ed Driscoll of PajamasMedia notes a very interesting tidbit in answer to Maddow’s question of whether we can still think as big as the Hoover Dam:

And the answer from the Obama administration, as Joel Kotkin noted at the Politico last fall is…No We Can’t!

When FDR commissioned projects such as the Tennessee Valley Authority, he literally brought light to darkened regions. The loyalty created by FDR and Truman built a base of support for liberalism that lasted for nearly a half-century.

Today’s liberals don’t show enthusiasm for airports or dams — or anything that may kick up some dirt. Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Interior Deanna Archuleta, for example, promised a Las Vegas audience: “You will never see another federal dam.”

Well, Rachel, I guess you got your answer, from one of your guys. Yes, we can think that big, but y’all do everything you can to tear it down.

By the way, Rachel, your ad says we’ve got a lot of other national projects as massive and significant as the Hoover Dam “on the menu.” That smacks of blowing smoke to me. What public works projects do we have ready to go—or even proposed—that come close to the size and grandeur of the Hoover Dam? Can you name a few? One? Are any of them dams?

We squandered one trillion dollars on picayune and non-essential (and even non-existent) projects with the stimulus debacle. Maybe back then was the time to talk about doing something real with that money if it had to be spent.

Update: Welcome Ed Driscoll readers.
Update: Welcome Ladd Ehlinger readers.
Thanks, guys! I’m much obliged.

8 comments to Maddow Be Dammed

  • rj squirrel

    I believe the “Ka-bye” was more a phonetic referece to “Ka-boom”, as the first line of the article refers to explosives. Remember, these folks are very sophisticated not only in their knowledge of engineering, energy, and ecosystems, but also in their sense of humor. kthxbye

    • Prudence

      haha. Upon review, I think you might be right. I hereby appoint you as my official phonetic copy editor. great first day on the job, squirrel!

  • GreatHairGuy

    That’s not a dude in the video?!?

  • Fred Register

    But wait! The massive federal projects are wind farms (that chew up migratory birdies), and solar arrays in the desert (that fry birds, bugs, and lizards to little dry crisps).

    And let’s not forget the new college campuses for Womyn’s Studies, Hyphenated-American Studies, Differently-shaped People Studies: Those are big federal projects.

    Then there are the gas chambers and the ovens for teabaggers and conservatives; those are big federal projects that some people have Big Dreams for. Oh wait. Strike that. Wasn’t supposed to mention that.

    How about all the child-care centers and elementary indoctrination centers and multi-culti Marxism temples of higher education? How about the mega-size food stamp printers and Offices of Printing & Engraving (for more dollars) and Progressive Think Tanks???!!!

    Don’t forget the auto plants where you can buy a very expensive crappy electric car (subsidized by the guvmint) with limited range, that will prevent you from becoming an independent free-range ninja. That is a Big Dream that is not a dam!

    Now let’s not forget Big Dreams for the 50,000 new IRS agents and the 20,000 EPA inspectors, and the Obama Dream for a “Civilian Security Force” that is as big and as strong and as well-funded as our Military!! Those are Big Dreams to keep all the proles in line!

    For crying out loud, Prudence!! Where is your imagination? Your journalistic integrity? Your je ne sais pas?

    /sarc off/

  • ertdfg

    Blowing up the dams? Less electricity, more fossil fuels required to replace it? More CO2? But we’ve got more salmon; hooray, more salmon.

    “Klamath Riverkeeper, a group that is part of an environmental alliance headed by Robert Kennedy Jr., has sued a fish hatchery that the California Department of Fish and Wildlife runs — and PacifiCorp is required to fund — on grounds that it releases too many algae and toxic discharges. The hatchery produces at least 25% of the chinook salmon catch every year.”

    Hooray, less salmon… just what we’ve been fighting for… less electricity, less salmon, more CO2, higher costs… hooray?

    Is the goal more salmon or less salmon? More CO2 or less CO2? Economic stability, or disastrous economic idiocy? Because it seems the goal is fewer salmon, more CO2 and a broken economy to be used as a warning to the rest of the world what happens when you bother to listen to the environmentalists.

    You get the opposite of what they claim to want, higher costs, and billions of dollars wasted for counter-productive idiocy leaving even the environment worse off than if you’d ignored them. Now that’s impressive.

    Heck, if I had to make a situation where I want to make the environmentalists look as bad, useless, counter-productive, and idiotic as possible; one where they end up with more CO2, less salmon, and higher costs for all energy is better than I could have imagined much less contrived in a grand “right-wing conspiracy”.

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