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Three-of-a-kind

In poker, there are rules which are observed by the players. In politics (verbal and otherwise) there aren't.

Any statement which might convince the unwary is ok, factual or not, and any facts which might not, can be suppressed. It's as if you could paint extra pips (or paint over them) in the right colors on your cards so as to get the three-of-a-kind which, yes, beats two pair.

Herewith your Humble Scribe offers a trio of recent examples for reader evaluation as to veracity, entirety, and even deniability. All were taken from a recent issue of one of Vermont's three major daily newspapers. Identifications of publication and reporters are redacted here for compassionate reasons.

One is a discussion of the "power plant" which doesn't generate power (its role is to provide comfort space heating for the bureaucratic occupants of the some of the State-Street office buildings in Montpelier) which was built between 120 state and the Winooski River at the time of the first oil-price crisis 40 years ago. Then, we were told it would burn only wood chips, but now, I've just learned, it burns wood chips and -ugh-oil, and therefore must be removed and replaced with one burning only wood chips.

Those newly arrived in Vermont who fled New York City will recognize the model for the proposed new "district energy system" whereby the new no-fossil-fuel furnace will pipe under-street heat and hot water to buyers throughout Montpelier, just as Con Ed did and does in Gotham to this day.

The '70s-era "Dig We Must..." street barricades are doubtless still available for re-use. The $19 million project will, we read, be local-vore (the furnaces will consume locally harvested wood, not imported oil) and will "...reduce greenhouse gas emissions 80% in 20 years." Seemingly impressive, but not what my Hoyle's rule book says. An engineering reference shows that oil burning produces .26 kilograms of CO2 per kilowatt-hour of energy produced, while wood burning produces .39kg/kwh. I think .39 is 50 percent higher than .26.

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