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Tom Morgan

  MORGAN: Fracking Bust? Or Fracking Boom?

MONEY MATTERS • Column

Fracking Bust?

Or Fracking Boom?

By TOM MORGAN • Special to www.AllOTSEGO.com

 Who you gonna believe?

When people argue over contentious issues today they often follow a predictable pattern. He cites a scientific study that says blah blah about climate change. She cites a scientific study that claims the opposite.

Oh yeah? He says her study was published in a junk journal. Oh yeah? She lists the scientist’s credentials. And claims his scientist has the wrong degrees.

Oh yeah? He says her scientist is sponsored by oil companies. Oh yeah? She says his scientist is paid by government grants that pretty much require compliance.

They Google in their sleep to bolster their arguments. They greet their partners good-mornings with snarls. “By god I’m right. Her so-called scientific expert worked at a Mobil gas station in high school.”

All of this opens a can of worms. The chief worm is the question: Can you believe what you read or see or hear on a contentious issue?

Here is an example of what I mean.

Governor Cuomo banned fracking in this state. After six years, his environmental department backed him up with several reasons.

Fracking could and did pollute. With particulate matter. And with methane and organic chemicals.

Fracking could and did contaminate drinking water. With methane and fracking fluids. Because of improper wells.

Fracking contaminated soils and water by way of surface spills. It also caused earthquakes.

A fancy institute weighed in by pooh-poohing the so-called economic boom fracking brings. The promised jobs don’t come in the number that frackers promise. Studies that describe the boom are flawed.

Meanwhile….comes another study published in a big science journal. Its results are the opposite of what New York’s environmental officials declared.

The study was funded by the National Science Foundation and U.S. Geological Survey. Researchers from Penn State studied 21,000 water samples from areas near gas and oil wells in their state.

They found virtually zero methane contamination of the water. (Methane occurs naturally in lots of the state’s groundwater.)

The same researchers earlier studied 11,000 samples of water. From near 1400 gas wells in just one county. They found no problems. Actually, they found the opposite. There were trends of improving water quality in the county. Despite all the fracking.

“Since 2010 two dozen independent studies have not found any systemic impact caused by the 110,000 oil and natural gas wells in the U.S.”  This from the Heartland Institute.

Our EPA spent $29 million and 6 years to find fracking has little or no effect on groundwater.

How about the boom that wasn’t? One consumer group estimates the lower gas prices saved Pennsylvania folks and businesses $31 billion over ten years.

Economists from three big universities say the average household in Pennsylvania gets up to $1900 per year in benefits from fracking. They cite healthy rises in average income and wages. They credit fracking with a 10 percent increase in jobs in the state.

A big Chamber of Commerce study estimates fracking added $13 billion to the state’s GDP. And $7 billion in new wages.

Heartland cites other studies that debunk the “myths” that fracking pollutes water or air. It assures us that major fracking states of Pennsylvania and Texas have lower rates of asthma, birth defects and cancer than many states that have no fracking.

And the institute cites studies that claim earthquakes in fracking areas are of little significance.

I imagine some readers are Googling away already. They want to prove or disprove one side of this issue or the other.

It is a pity that it is impossible to find the truth in this and other vital matters. After all, a lot of up-staters would love to see an economic boom. Even if it was half what Pennsylvania’s is. The only booms upstate has experienced lately come during hunting season.

My grandfather reckoned the truth was usually half-way between the opposing arguments. Maybe that is where it is.

In the future maybe we will use artificial intelligence computers to resolve such issues. One side will input its data. The computer will spit it back as bull-tweedy. It will proclaim the other side’s argument worthy of five stars.

Yeah, but you can’t trust that robot. It was made by XYZ Company.  Its pension fund owns energy stocks!

From Tom…as in Morgan.

Tom Morgan, retired Oneonta investment counselor and nationally syndicated writer of this column, lives in Franklin.

NORTHRUP: America, Conceived In Slavery? Bunk!

Column

MONEY TALKS

America, Conceived

In Slavery? Bunk!

By TOM MORGAN • Special to www.AllOTSEGO.com

And you thought America was “conceived in liberty”?
That is what Abraham Lincoln suggested. Well I’m here to tellya that is bunk.
This country was conceived in wholesale medical cruelty. And medical malfeasance. So there!
Doctors of the 1700s treated illnesses by blood-letting. Got a pain? Slash a vein. Dysentery? Try an artery. Migraines? Let us drill holes in your skull. To allow evil spirits to escape. Your baby was born blind or retarded? Toss him in a river.
That is the evil that birthed this nation. Our Founding Doctors committed the unforgivable. Early Americans accepted and practiced their nostrums. This nation is stained with their evil from its conception.
Does this sound stupid to you?

Well, many prominent folks suggest the equivalent these days. They stand solidly behind the 1619 Project. The New York Times promotes this as its most worthy project. Presidential candidate Kamala Harris calls it a masterpiece.
The project is named for the arrival of the first 20 African slaves in the New World. It claims that from that sordid point onward America was
illegitimate.
Because its parents were sinful slave traders and owners.
This new reason to hate America is coming to a school curriculum near you! (It already has, in some form.)
Or so the 1619 Project folks dream. It certainly will come to
forums which influence policy-making in Washington.
In other words, please practice
hanging your head in shame over
slavery. There is plenty more self-flagellation on the menu for us. Your penance is to spit upon tributes paid to Washington, Jefferson and assorted Founding Fathers. They were a pack
of racist hypocrites. Everything they promoted and achieved was tainted with their sinful acceptance of slavery. America’s DNA is polluted with slavery.
Right.

Here are a few scraps on which the 1619 crowd might nibble.
Americans did not invent slavery. Hardly. From ancient Greece onward it was as normal as rain. All over the world people enslaved and bought and sold people. If we could time-travel to the 1700s, people would tell us we are nuts to say slavery was sinful. Lisbon, for instance, was 10 percent slaves in the 16th century.
By the way, only 5 percent of the slaves shipped across the Atlantic came to the U.S. Millions more landed in Brazil, Cuba and other countries and territories.
In America we had many freed black slaves. Guess how they harvested their cotton. They owned black slaves! That is how people thought in those times. Slavery was a normal condition. Just like leeches for scurvy.
The 1619 Project crowd despises a country because of its history with slaves? Then let us add dozens of countries to its hate list. And remember, America was late to the game.
The crowd claims the sin of slavery is in America’s DNA? Then let them
consider Africa’s DNA. Africans
from north to south built their nations on slavery.

Is this an attempt to excuse or dismiss the evil nature of slavery? No more than an attempt to dismiss the evil of slashing arteries to cure cancer. They both belong in eras of ignorance. We should view them in that context, period. And not in our relatively enlightened times.
Let us leave the 1619 Project crowd to wallow in what they feel are original sins of America. A few centuries ago docs would have drilled holes in their heads to release such evil thoughts.
Let us, instead, celebrate that Americans rose above such ignorance. Celebrate that Americans were courageous enough to declare to the world an ideal that was absurd in its day: That all of us are created equal. Celebrate that Americans fought a bloody war and other battles in pursuit of that ideal.
While slave-trading continued elsewhere. Indeed, there are 10 million people enslaved today.
From Tom…as in Morgan.

Tom Morgan, retired Oneonta investment counselor who writes a nationally syndicated column, lives in Franklin.

Some Indicators Suggest Recession Not Looming

COLUMN

Some Indicators Suggest

Recession Not Looming

By TOM MORGAN • Special to www.AllOTSEGO.com

Are we staring at a recession?

You have surely seen or heard reports, opinion and speculation to that effect. Gloom has been a mini-rage lately.

A few questions are in order. Are economists able to accurately predict recessions? No. If their accuracy percentages were batting averages you would bench them.

Why is the subject of recessions in the air so much lately? The Left salivates at the hint of a recession. Because a recession would inspire voters to kick Trump from office. Thus, critics fill our air waves and opinion columns with gloom and doom.

Entertainer Bill Maher openly dreams of one. NY Times columnist Paul Krugman reckons “Trump Boom to Trump Gloom.” He is anxious to scuttle praise for Trump’s economy. Because he predicted horrible endless worldwide calamity right after Trump’s election. Good economic news embarrasses him.

MORGAN: Why Must Presidential Bids Go On Forever-And-A-Day?

COLUMN

Why Must Presidential Bids

Go On Forever-And-A-Day?

By TOM MORGAN • Special to www.AllOTSEGO.com

      If there’s one thing we’re good at in this country it is expanding things. From our waistlines and hamburgers to the NBA season, we know how to make things bigger and longer. Please note I do not imply necessarily better.

The Baseball Hall of Fame serves up a good example. In 1980 I went to its big induction ceremony in Cooperstown. When they welcomed the Detroit Tiger star Al Kaline into the Hall.

They held it on a side lawn of the Hall. There were maybe 300 of us. You could shake hands with Al, or the Duke or Yaz or any other star you wanted to. There was one star for every 10 fans.

Punishing Present For The Past

COLUMN • Money Matters

Punishing Present

For The Past

 By TOM MORGAN • Special to www.AllOTSEGO.com

Join me in a grand political correctness crusade! Together we can punish the present for the past. This crusade has already racked up several victories. Many more lie ahead.

Our most recent victory: We beheaded Kate Smith. The New York Yankees and Philadelphia Flyers destroyed her recordings of “God Bless America” they used to play. The Flyers hauled her statue from its stadium. They did this after the crusade unearthed two of her recordings. From 80 years ago. They had racist lyrics.

By today’s standards they did. Those are the only ones that count. Today’s standards.

Onward!  Let us demand the NY Yankees close down. Kate used to sing racist lyrics. The Yanks practiced racism. Big time. They downright banned African-Americans from their entire organization. This, for many years after the Dodgers hired Jackie Robinson. The Yanks might as well have painted a sign on their stadium: BLACKS NEED NOT APPLY.

Onward!  Let us demand that all of Major League Baseball go out of business. Yes! We pulled down statues of generals who fought for the Confederacy. We chiseled names from buildings. We re-named parks and schools. Those that honored guys who owned slaves.

Well, for 50 years baseball would not let a black man don a Major League uniform. Banned them. For the color of their skin. Down with baseball! Destroy the Hall of Fame with its tributes to all those racists of old.

Down with the bigoted racist U.S. Senate. It was certainly that for a few hundred years.

The Senate honored Sen. Robert Byrd for 51 years. Mourned him as a hero of that esteemed body. Well, for many years Byrd was a Grand Cyclops of the KKK. While a senator. He fought bitterly against civil rights for black Americans.

As did Sen. J. William Fulbright. Yes, these mentors to Bill and Hillary were downright racists. Active racists. Let us take down their portraits and statues.

Let us extinguish the Fulbright Scholar Program. Let us remove Byrd’s name from the countless buildings and parks and highways in West Virginia. Leave it only on the sewage plants named after him.

Kate Smith only sang a few racist songs. These guys labored to deny rights to millions of Americans. They kept segregation and racism alive.

Let us close down the Congress that tolerated these racists. That lauded and honored them. Let us start anew. The whole structure was racist from its founding.

Onward! To more practical goals. Destroy the New Yorker magazine. For decades it ran disgusting cartoons.  Disgusting by today’s standards.

They lampooned women with big chests, blacks, Jewish merchants, fat women, flat-chested women, stupid blondes. They portrayed women as idiots. For their driving, their shopping, their looks, their looseness after a few drinks. One of their top cartoonists was obsessed with women’s breasts. His characters leered down blouses. They cheered when discovering breasts floated in the bath.

The New Yorker cartoons targeted Indians, Native Americans, gypsies, Italians, Arabs, Mexicans, Chinese, black cotton-pickers. They portrayed blacks with huge white lips. They featured Africans as ignorant savages with spears and grass skirts.  One cartoon featured a gentlemen’s outfitter store that displayed a range of KKK robes in its windows.

Down with the New Yorker, I say. It was a racist, sexist rag for 50 years. It deserves more punishment than Kate Smith. She sang. The New Yorker humiliated millions and openly encouraged racial and ethnic prejudice.

Close down NBC and other networks. They kept blacks off the air for decades. They made millions on the Amos ’n’ Andy show.

That program invited millions to laugh at the depiction of laziness and ignorance of blacks. It mocked blacks’ dreams of improving their lot. One critic called it a mean-spirited exploitation of racial stereotypes. Its characters mangled the language. What was most humiliating to blacks was that the characters on radio were whites, impersonating blacks. They wore blackface for publicity shots.

Join the crusade. Along with today’s rap groups.  Yes.

I asked a few rap groups for support for this crusade. I cannot print their responses because they were filled with profanity. Lots of variations of the N word and “ho’s” and “white MFers.” From the translation it looks to me as if they are really opposed to racist stuff, man.

One thing I know for sure. All this virtue-posturing is pretty ridiculous, isn’t it?

From Tom…as in Morgan.

    Tom Morgan, a retired Oneonta investment counselor and author of the nationally syndicated Money Matters column, lives in Franklin.  You can reach him at tomasinmorgan@yahoo.com.

Let’s Build Great Future On Great Past

COLUMN • MONEY MATTERS

Let’s Build Great Future

On Great Past

By TOM MORGAN •  Hometown Oneonta & The Freeman’s Journal

Was America ever great?

Former Attorney General Eric Holder poses the question. “Exactly when did you think America was great?”

He competes with Governor Cuomo.  Cuomo told us “We’re not going to make America great again. It was never that great.”

Let us look at that question. But first, let us admit these politicians are simply trying to dilute the impact of “Make America Great Again.” Because Donald Trump wields it at the moment. (Ronald Reagan and Bill Clinton did in campaigns past.)

What’s The Matter With NY? It’s Just Spending Too Much

MONEY TALK

What’s The Matter With NY?

It’s Just Spending Too Much

By TOM MORGAN • Syndicated Columnist

What is the truth about New York State? Why do we lose so many good people? Why do our businesses struggle, especially Upstate? Why do our schools, cities and towns struggle? Why are parts of our infrastructure dilapidated?

Our politicians offer us a blizzard of reasons. Every government department explains.

Here is a truth that cuts through it all: New York State spends too much.

Reparations? How Much Can We Afford?

MONEY MATTERS

Reparations?

How Much Can We Afford?

Reparations are all the rage again. A lot of people reckon we taxpayers should shell out reparations. To descendants of American slaves. And to Native Americans. (Some of our candidates for the White House call for these reparations.) This presents a few problems.
Problem: The average African-American has from 20 to 30 percent white blood. Native Americans on average have lots of white blood. So, should we pay less blood money to those with high white content? Elizabeth Warren would collect 25 cents.

MORGAN: Downstate Controls, Doesn’t Care About Upstate

Column by Tom Morgan for November 9, 2018

Downstate Controls,

Doesn’t Care About Upstate

Tom Morgan

Yawn.
Upstate’s recovery from the Great Recession is the weakeast of any U.S. region. According to a recent study. You can examine all the nooks of Upstate’s economy. Most every one is daubed with lackluster. Papered with anemic. Writ large with blah.
Yawn.
Upstaters grew accustomed to this long ago. Our motto should be “We’re Number One at being Number Fifty!”
Most of us know what would help revive Upstate. Lower taxes would. Fewer regulations would. Fewer mandates from an out-of-touch Albany bureaucracy would. A much slimmer state government would. Because the slimness would suck less money from Upstate taxpayers. The slimness would reduce the number of state government fingers in Upstate pies.
We tend to lead the nation in taxes and regulations. We lead the nation in making life difficult for businesses large and small. Don’t you wish we could lead the nation in something else?
There is one move that would help Upstate.
Getting rid of downstate would.
Yawn.
The idea excites few. Lethargy pervades. (Maybe we lead the nation in lethargy too?) This is because upstaters know downstaters in the legislature would never allow us to split. And downstaters call the shots.
In other words, the guys who know and care nothing about Upstate decide Upstate’s fate. A good example of this is that Greens in the Big Apple are major voices in blocking fracking in our Southern Tier. Can you imagine Upstaters blocking projects on Staten Island? Upstaters opposed to tree-culling in the Hamptons? C’monnn.
Downstaters really do know nuttin’ about upstate. This is more than a laugh line at a party. Folks in Glen Cove and Oyster Bay really think Jamestown is only in Virginia. Utica really is another country to denizens of Commack. Syracuse and Binghamton are Fuhgettusville to dwellers of Brooklyn.

Oh yeah? Well, vice-versa to you too, buddy! Really. I mean, tell me all you know about the latest problems in Amityville and Islip.
Truth is, we don’t know and we don’t care that we don’t know. We feel so little allegiance to each other.
We New Yorkers have scant connections. We have no state TV or radio network. No statewide newspaper. And Upstate doesn’t even get its fair share of the state’s greatest industry: corruption. We don’t get no respect.
Splitting the state in two would work. Surely it would.
First, we would have less corruption in government. Because no new state could ever compete with the sleaze that oozes up the Hudson to Albany from the City and Long Island. Downstaters are simply too practiced in corruption for us.
Second, an Upstate government would be sensitive to Upstate issues and challenges. Its legislators and bureaucrats would more likely know how to locate Canandaigua without GPS.
Third, a separate Upstate might well end up with two political parties. As now composed, New York State has one.
Two parties, competing ideas? Hey, it might work!
This column goes to some heavies in the Big Apple. At this point I could write that they are all slobs. None of them would respond. Because none of them will have read this far. As soon as they saw the word “Upstate” they fell asleep.
A prime minister of Canada once mused that living in the attic of the U.S. was like sleeping with an elephant. The big fellow kept the bed warm, but when he rolled over…
This is the predicament of Upstaters.
If we all voted the same way and organized and outright demanded…
Oh, forget about it. Yawnsville. It would never work. We have met puny and he is us. Even in the corruption business. We could all contribute to raise a mountain of money to buy off the downstate legislators and governor. Yeah, but it would flop. Those birds are too accustomed to the big bribes. They would laugh at our paltry efforts. Not that they wouldn’t take the money.
From Tom…as in Morgan.
Tom Morgan, the retired Oneonta financial adviser and syndicated columnist, lives in Franklin. His new novel, “The Last Columnist,” is available on amazon.com

HAPPENIN’ OTSEGO for FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 28
HAPPENIN’ OTSEGO for FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 28

Exhibit By Watercolor Society,

Art Assocaitions Luck Of The Draw

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RECEPTION – 5 – 7 p.m. Opening exhibit by Central New York Watercolor Society and Luck of the Draw exhibit, buy tickets, enter to win artwork, final drawing 10/21. Cooperstown Art Association. 607-547-9777 or visit www.cooperstownart.com

RELEASE PARTY – 7 p.m. Celebrate first ever issue of The Green Zine, a collection of art & writing from local artists published by The Green Toad Book Store. Grab a copy, eat, drink, celebrate. Roots Brewing Company, 175 Main St., Oneonta. 607-433-8898 or visit www.facebook.com/TheGreenToadBookstore/

HAPPENIN’ OTSEGO for FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 21
HAPPENIN’ OTSEGO for FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 21

Boston Brass Jazz Band In Concert

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CONCERT – 7:30 p.m. Boston Brass treats audience to one-of-a-kind musical experience featuring classical, burning jazz standards. Tickets, $25 general admission. First United Methodist Church, 66 Chestnut St.,Oneonta. 607-433-7252 or visit oneontaconcertassociation.org

KITE FESTIVAL – 6 p.m. Build your own kite then see if it can fly without wind at indoor kite fly event. All ages welcome, cost $3. Old School Gymn Genesee St., Cherry Valley. 607-264-3080 or visit www.facebook.com/cherryvalleyartworks/

HAPPENIN’ OTSEGO for FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 14
HAPPENIN’ OTSEGO for FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 14

Tales From The Empire Hotel

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THEATER – 7 – 8:30 p.m. Performance by Tom Morgan “Tales from the Empire” telling the story of the Morgan family, former owners of The Empire Hotel in Gilbertsville. Adapted from autobiographical stories in newspaper columns, radio show “Moneytalk.” Cost, $15/adult. Auditorium, Fenimore Art Museum, Cooperstown. 607-547-1400 or visit www.fenimoreartmuseum.org/calendar-a

TEDX ONEONTA – 6 – 9 p.m. Locally organized evening of lectures on topics from exercise, genocide, happiness, child rearing in the digital age, the opiod epidemic, more. Goodrich Theater, SUNY Oneonta. www.tedxoneonta.com

To Enthusiastic Applause, ‘Empire’ Begins 2nd Run

To Enthusiastic Applause,

‘Empire’ Begins 2nd Run

Tom Morgan – seen here with a photo of himself, age 29, and his children – recounts his return from New Zealand in 1970 to Gilbertsville’s Empire Hotel, to discover his father had just committed suicide. His experiences over the next year and a half operating the 1843-vintage establishment were recaptured in the four-part “Tales From The Empire,” which – beginning this evening – is being revived each Friday this month in The Fenimore Art Museum’s auditorium.    He and his wife, Erna Morgan McReynolds, are seeking to see “The Tales” performed off-Broadway or perhaps as a TV mini-series.   Audience members, many of whom remembered the original production in 2008-2011 at Franklin Stage, greeted the new production with enthusiastic applause.   (Jim Kevlin/AllOTSEGO.com)
HAPPENIN’ OTSEGO for FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 7
HAPPENIN’ OTSEGO for FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 7

Tribute Concert To Fleetwood Mac

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FLEETWOOD MAC – 7 p.m. Performance by Tusk, Fleetwood Mac Tribute band, performing some of their greatest hits. Cost, $35 in front half of theater. Foothills Performing Arts Center, Oneonta. 607-431-2080 or visit foothillspac.org

THEATER – 7 p.m. Performance by Tom Morgan “Tales from the Empire” telling story of the Morgan family, former owners of The Empire Hotel in Gilbertsville. Adapted from autobiographical stories in newspaper columns, radio show “Moneytalk.” Cost, $15/adult. Auditorium, Fenimore Art Museum, Cooperstown. 607-547-1400 or visit www.fenimoreartmuseum.org/calendar-a

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