News Article | February 22, 2017
CHICAGO, IL--(Marketwired - February 22, 2017) - Today, the Illinois Technology Association (ITA) named Julia Kanouse as Chief Executive Officer. Kanouse will lead the organization and the tech community at large through its next phase of growth. "I am honored to be taking on the role of CEO of ITA," Kanouse said, "ITA has been at the forefront of developing the Chicago technology community for the past 12 years, and the future looks even brighter." During the last decade, ITA has crafted a new trade association business model specifically to maximize opportunities for Chicago technology companies to advance through key growth stages. The expansion of ITA has resulted in more than 500 member companies benefitting from 16 distinct service offerings. The most influential aspect of ITA is its power to convene, as in the last year alone more than 5,000 executives from 2,000 companies engaged with ITA. Kanouse joined the ITA in 2015 to help drive the strategic direction of the organization, leading much of its operations. Her focus on strengthening and expanding ITA's brand and member value proposition has increased the organization's overall impact. "There is a reason successful Chicago tech companies stay in Chicago," continued Kanouse. "Together, we are charting a course that generates increasing opportunities for ventures from the start-up phase through scaling worldwide. Our team isn't just ready for what's next. We're helping create what's next." An experienced executive, Kanouse spent ten years at the National Restaurant Association (NRA) where she was responsible for developing and delivering programs and marketing strategies that created interest, increased recognition and drove demand for the NRA and its brands. As part of the leadership shift, founding CEO Fred Hoch will become Executive Chairman where he will lead efforts to expand the presence and collaboration of Chicago's tech community both locally and nationally. The transition process began last year when Hoch asked the ITA's executive board to consider what was needed in the next phase of growth. "We are thrilled that Julia will lead us in the next phase of the organization," said outgoing Chairman Jim Gagnard. "Since inception, ITA has been on the forefront of our technology industry and that leadership has accelerated as the growth-stage community of tech companies has risen. Ready to continue to build on ITA's success, Julia is the right choice to lead the community in its next phase." About ITA The Illinois Technology Association (ITA) scales Illinois tech companies. With innovative resources that connect members to the local tech ecosystem, build their talent networks and create visibility for their brands, ITA is growing the local tech community. Founded in 2005 and supporting 500+ growth and late stage tech companies, ITA has a rich history of driving business forward. For more information, visit illinoistech.org, follow @ITAbuzz on Twitter or find us on LinkedIn.
News Article | February 15, 2017
Shearwater pottery is featured in a sale report in Kovels on Antiques & Collectibles February 2017 newsletter. Made in Mississippi, Shearwater is known for its realistically painted items with designs inspired by local flora and fauna. Prices for the nearly two dozen pieces auctioned in New Orleans ranged from $937 to just over $8,000. A Pennsylvania auction featured 129 items from the personal collection of a Lone Ranger impersonator. Kovels’ February newsletter pictures a life-sized Lone Ranger mannequin that sold for $300 and one depicting his horse, Silver, that brought $660. Stirrups, spurs, and holsters, many custom made of leather and silver, were also offered, as well as Lone Ranger-themed items like pictures, a puzzle and a train set. And tea sets made for children were a hit at a Virginia sale. Some were made by porcelain manufacturers known for their full-sized tableware, like Copeland, Villeroy & Boch and Spode. Have a taste for tiny tea sets? Find examples pictured with prices in Kovels’ latest issue. Midcentury furniture designers used wood, metals, glass and tiles in new ways to form sleek, sculptural shapes, like those of some coffee tables recently sold at auction in Chicago. Coffee tables by Isamu Noguchi, Warren Platner and Karl Springer sold, many for bargain prices, and examples are pictured in Kovels’ February newsletter. And the jingle of gold charm bracelets attracted both holiday shoppers and gold dealers at a Maryland auction. They are popular again, but they are also weighty, so whether to wear or melt down, buyers had their reasons for paying $1,000 to over $3,000 for the dozen available pieces. Revisit the charm of old charm bracelets in Kovels’ latest issue. Terry Kovel goes “on the road” to the annual Design Miami and Art Basel shows in Miami Beach and writes about the latest exhibits and design trends, especially furniture and pottery. The popular illustrated Collector’s Gallery answers readers’ questions about a cedar chest, Heinz promotional tin, NRA gum (probably not what you think!) and a Kay Finch pig. February’s Dictionary of Marks lists marks used by American silver companies. And more than 70 antiques and collectibles are listed in the Buyer’s Price Guide. Kovels on Antiques & Collectibles is available as a print subscription, or as a digital version that is part of the Kovels.com Premium subscription. Terry Kovel is America’s foremost authority on antiques and collectibles. She is the well-known columnist and author of more than 100 books on antiques and collecting. With her daughter, Kim Kovel, she co-authors the best-selling annual Kovels’ Antiques and Collectibles Price Guide. The 2017 edition is now available at Kovelsonlinestore.com and local bookstores. They will discuss antiques and collectibles topics with accredited media. Photographs are available. Contact pr(at)kovels(dot)com. About Kovels.com Kovels.com, created by Terry Kovel and Kim Kovel, provides collectors and researchers with up-to-date and accurate information on antiques and collectibles. The company was founded in 1953 by Terry Kovel and her late husband, Ralph. Since then, the Kovels have written some of America’s most popular books and articles about antiques, including the best-selling Kovels’ Antiques & Collectibles Price Guide 2017. The website, Kovels.com, online since 1998, offers more than a million free prices, and includes a free weekly email, “Kovels Komments.” It gives readers a bird’s-eye view of the market through the latest news, auction reports, a Marks Dictionary, readers’ questions and answers and much more.
News Article | March 3, 2017
The National Restaurant Association announced the recipients of the 2017 Kitchen Innovation (KI) Awards, which honors the inventors, creators and innovators that make the jobs and lives easier for the back-of-the-house operators and restauranteurs, by creating more efficient technologies and equipment. The KI Award recipients will be showcased at the prestigious NRA Show Kitchen Innovations Pavilion at the 2017 National Restaurant Association Restaurant and Hotel-Motel Show, held from May 20th thru the 23rd in Chicago at McCormick Place. The 2017 KI Award recipients reflect the trends and topics most important to food-service operators today. The 18 selected innovations address operator concerns from labor, energy and water efficiency to food safety, sanitation, cross-functionality and space-saving. New software and new materials continue to make new solutions possible. We at Turbo Coil are grateful to the NRA Show Kitchen Innovations judges for recognizing our work. “The engineers and inventors who develop these KI Award innovations work tirelessly to solve the challenges of back-of-the-house operations, to the great benefit of restaurant operators,” says Atour Eyvazian, Convention Chair for NRA Show 2017 and multi-unit owner of 107 Jack in the Box restaurants in Houston and San Antonio. “The KI award is a testament to their contributions in improving the food-service industry.” Turbo Coil is proud to receive this award for a record 4th consecutive year. The three previous years Turbo Coil has won KI Awards for their Compact Refrigeration Coil in 2014, their partnered work with Montague’s Saute’ Station in 2015 and the ICLS R290/Glycol Chef Base in 2016. Our policy has always been to make our products in the USA. We have engineered all of our products for ease of service and quality with the restaurants operators in mind as well as the technicians who service them. They are the longest lasting and most energy efficient products in the industry. Turbo Coil’s Dual Zone Mega Top Prep Table This prep table is designed with an eye to energy efficiency as well as keeping focused on allowing the user the ability to adjust two separate temperature “zones” to keep product at the desired temperature, independent of each other. The two Turbo Coil refrigeration coils are run with one controller which allows for pin-point control and is easily adjusted. The mega prep table top will keep all toppings at the perfect temperature, while allowing the bottom cabinet to be set to a different temperature need.
News Article | February 15, 2017
It’s not every day the general public gets a chance to win a gun crafted from the dreams of a bona fide celebrity. However, Brownells and Lou Ferrigno have turned that idea into a reality. Unveiled at SHOT Show 2017, Lou Ferrigno’s Big Green Dream Gun® is a sight to behold. Working off of the Fightlite MCR-103 belt-fed AR-15 platform, the Brownells crew outfitted the fire-breathing beast with an Elcan optic, Keymod™ handguards and an Atlas bipod for supreme stability. Brownells then called in support from Battle Arms Development to apply the custom, mutant-green paint job that covers nearly the entire rifle. All in, the firearm is valued at approximately $7,200. “Our Dream Guns show off our huge selection of aftermarket parts and accessories while inspiring our customers to build the firearm of their dreams,” said Brownells CEO Pete Brownell. “This Dream Gun is different though. It’s Lou Ferrigno’s Dream Gun, and one lucky winner will take it home.” The firearm will be on display at various shows and events in 2017, most notably the NRA Annual Meetings & Exhibits in Atlanta, Georgia, this coming April 27-30, in the Brownells booth. Lou Ferrigno will be on hand during the NRA Show to meet and greet booth visitors. Customers can also sign up with win the firearm online at http://www.brownells.com/biggreen. The sweepstakes end on May 1, 2017; sweepstakes rules can be found on the sign up page. Serious About Firearms Since 1939™, Brownells is the world’s leading source for guns, gun parts and accessories, ammunition, gunsmithing tools and survival gear. With a large selection of both common and hard-to-find items, and an extensive collection of videos, articles, and gun schematics, Brownells is the expert for everything shooting-related. Committed to maintaining our great traditions, Brownells has more, does more and knows more – and guarantees it all, Forever. For more information or to place an order, call 800-741-0015 or visit Brownells.com. Stay up-to-date with Brownells on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
News Article | February 21, 2017
Earlier this month, Jennifer Ande held an event in support of Planned Parenthood. She and a few dozen other people got together to make Valentine’s Day cards that they would then send to their local politicians in support of the organization. She had received the tools from her local Planned Parenthood in New Jersey. Through that she brought together fellow supporters to write dozens of cards to politicians in support of the women’s health organization. This was the first time Ande ran such an event. As a cervical cancer survivor who relies on services like Planned Parenthood’s, Ande has been donating to the organization for over 20 years, but something changed late last year. “My activism literally took flight on November 8 at 9:40 p.m. when I realized who was going to be the next president of the United States,” she says. And she’s not alone. Since the election, organizations that support liberal causes such as reproductive health and civil liberties have been seeing a profound uptick in interest. This has translated into huge cash infusions. Donations to the ACLU have ballooned in the last two months, well beyond what the group generally sees within a whole year of fundraising, according to CNN Money. Planned Parenthood too has been seeing donations roll in. It won’t give official numbers, but high-profile donors including Sheryl Sandberg and Elaine Wynn have donated millions of dollars in the last few weeks. Other groups that represent people affected by President Trump’s proposed policies have been seeing bumps, too. The New York Times reported last November that organizations like the Sierra Club and the Anti-Defamation League also saw marked interest boosts. But people don’t want to just donate. They, like Ande, want to help out, too. And so these organizations are figuring out new programming to keep these citizens involved. One example is the ACLU’s new grassroots activism program aimed at getting everyday people involved in the civil liberty defenders’ work. The organization brought on Faiz Shakir, a former adviser to Senator Harry Reid of Nevada, to be its national political director as well as to help lead this group. Shakir has also hired a bunch of digital organizers, many of whom worked on the Bernie Sanders campaign. “There are a bunch of organizations on the right,” Shakir says, that have similar programs. “The NRA comes to mind.” These ideologically driven groups have used their power and money to bring about grassroots campaigns galvanizing their supporters. Typically, the ACLU hasn’t worked in this capacity, it focused more on the legal side of its activism, but with this new cash infusion, it’s ready to bring in as many people to its cause as possible. Shakir says had originally proposed a modest budget to get this program going. But after the ACLU saw more than $24 million donated in just the last few weeks, $13 million was budgeted for this new grassroots project. The new program will bring together people who have pledged dollars to help out the ACLU as well as expressed interest in doing something beyond donation. It will offer resources for how to help its current legal battles as well as give information about events people can attend, like rallies or other political activities. The ACLU will also give people ways to do “counterprogramming” to the current administration’s work. Shakir offers the example of asking people to go to a mosque and hold signs with positive messages, or shaking hands with immigrants at naturalization ceremonies. The hope is to create a coalition of people who support and fight for the ACLU in a way similar to how the Sanders campaign was able to bring together frustrated citizens using grassroots methods. Similarly, Planned Parenthood is seeing a huge rise in interest. The women’s health group sees a boost in interest with every election cycle–especially when a politician proposes anti-women’s health legislation.
News Article | February 20, 2017
"The House voted to overturn the Obama administration’s ‘Fair Chase’ rule." "The U.S. House of Representatives voted Thursday to legalize the killing of black bear cubs and their mothers at their dens in Alaska’s national wildlife refuges. The controversial measure, backed by the National Rifle Association (NRA), overturns a ‘Fair Chase’ rule, promulgated by the Obama administration, that also limited baiting, trapping, and the use of airplanes to track and shoot bears and wolves on U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service lands in Alaska. The vote was met with an outpouring of criticism from wildlife and conservation groups."
News Article | February 15, 2017
SUWANEE, Ga.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--The NRA Range Development and Operations Conference on March 4-7, 2017 in Indianapolis, Indiana will provide a forum for Meggitt Training Systems’ representatives to meet current and prospective range owners. Topics include the future of range planning, design, installation, equipment, proper ventilation and opportunities for greater facility sharing with local, state and federal authorities. “With over 90 years of experience, 24/7 on-call customer support and the industry’s leading products, Meggitt Training Systems understands all facets of shooting range design, construction and installation,” said Jon Read, director of live-fire systems. “The solutions we’re emphasizing at the NRA’s spring event are part of Meggitt’s comprehensive portfolio for range owners worldwide.” Visit Meggitt’s booth at the NRA Range Development and Operations Conference, or schedule an appointment at https://meggitttrainingsystems.com/About-Meggitt/Trade-show-schedule/NRA-2017-Spring-Range-Development-Conference. Meggitt Training Systems, makers of FATS® and Caswell technologies, a division of Meggitt PLC, is the leading supplier of integrated live-fire and virtual weapons training systems. Following the acquisition of FATS® virtual training systems and Caswell International's live-fire ranges and services, Meggitt Training Systems has continued to grow its capabilities based on the legacy of these two industry leaders. Over 13,000 Meggitt live-fire ranges and 5,100 virtual systems are fielded internationally, providing judgmental, situational awareness and marksmanship training to the armed forces, law enforcement and security organizations. Meggitt Training Systems employs more than 400 people at its headquarters in Atlanta and at facilities in Orlando, Canada, the United Kingdom, Netherlands, UAE, Australia and Singapore. It can deploy service personnel anywhere in the world for instructor training, system installation and maintenance. Headquartered in the United Kingdom, Meggitt PLC is an international group operating in North America, Europe and Asia. Known for its specialized extreme environment engineering, Meggitt is a world leader in aerospace, defense and energy, employing nearly 11,000 people at more than 50 manufacturing facilities and regional offices worldwide.
News Article | February 15, 2017
The South Florida-based non-profit transportation trade group which represents small players in the industry across America, including truck drivers, known as the Small Business in Transportation Coalition ("SBTC"), says it has acquired the attention of the National Rifle Association ("NRA") in its quest to "Make the Roads Safe Again" and get new legislation passed. Trucker Lives Matter ("TLM") Spokesman James Lamb appeared on NRA-TV on January 31, 2017 ("@TrkrLivesMatter") as a guest of NRA-TV's Television Personality Colion Noir ("@MrColionNoir") to make the case for the NRA teaming up with TLM on their quest to get their pro-gun "Michael's Law Amendment" bill introduced into Congress and passed into law. The proposed legislation - listed below in its entirety, which Lamb personally drafted in late 2015 as an amendment to the existing Federal statute that governs interstate transportation of firearms (18 U.S.C. 926A) ... "is essentially a 'Constitutional Carry' measure that affirms the Second Amendment pursuant to the Commerce Clause of the U.S. Constitution and applies to not just truckers - but to all Americans traveling from state-to-state," Lamb said. According to Lamb, the bill is currently being formalized by the staff of the Hon. Senator Marco Rubio, (R-FL), for imminent introduction into the Senate by Rubio. "They are currently writing up the bill and seeking a sponsor for a sister bill in the House," Lamb added. 18 U.S. Code 926A; (Renamed): Interstate possession, transportation and carrying of firearms... (1) Notwithstanding any other provision of any Federal law or any Federal rule, a person who is an American citizen and is not otherwise prohibited by this chapter from possessing, carrying, transporting, shipping, or receiving a firearm shall be entitled to carry on his person in a loaded, readily-accessible capacity and transport a firearm for any lawful purpose from any place in any state to any other place in a different state in accordance with the Second Amendment to the United States Constitution. (2) FEDERAL PREEMPTION The states are hereby preempted from regulating firearms that are transported into, out of, or through their state by a person who is an American citizen and is not a resident of that state, regardless of whether or not the firearm is carried in a loaded, readily-accessible capacity, pursuant to the Commerce Clause of the United States Constitution. Lamb says the bill is needed desperately --not only to cure the current murder rate of interstate truckers-- and other workers in interstate commerce-- of approximately 50 men and women per year (according to U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics,) but as a matter of personal protection for all Americans who travel outside of their state and engage in commerce as consumers. According to Lamb, the bill: (1) makes the distinction between merely possessing an unloaded, locked firearm and actually carrying a loaded, readily-accessible firearm as a self-defense tool, (2) affirms the right of a U.S. citizen (not otherwise prohibited from carrying under Title 18) to carry from one state to another state unrestricted without the need for any permit; (3) preempts the states from regulating the carrying of firearms that enter, exit, or pass through their state; and (4) respects states' rights in that it does not force a state to adopt the gun-permitting standards of another state or infringe on states' right to regulate the carrying of guns by a state's residents when they travel point-to-point within the state. Lamb is directing the campaign through the TruckerLivesMatter.com website, which he launched in January 2017. "We have already acquired over 22,000 members over the past month and the movement is growing daily," Lamb said. According to Lamb, the website directs truckers-- and other interested pro-gun Americans-- to join the movement on social media by becoming a member of the TLM's Facebook Group. The site directs visitors to an online petition to the NRA in the hopes of acquiring NRA support of the SBTC-written pro-gun bill named after the late Indiana-based over-the-road trucker Michael Boeglin, who was killed and burned while sleeping in his truck in Detroit in June 2014. Lamb has been pursuing new legislation in various forms since Boeglin's death. Boeglin's then-pregnant widow Ashley Boeglin teamed up with Lamb in 2014 and signed on to the SBTC-led efforts to get a law passed that would enable truckers to thwart future attacks against them on the road. She has approved the use of her late husband's name in connection with the legislation. Lamb said he formally delivered the online petition, which has received more than 6,000 signatures, to the NRA this past week via email. Rubio, from Miami, Florida, who ran for president this past election cycle (2015-2016), in part, on fighting ISIS and was later re-elected to the Senate in November 2016 to a new 6 year term, is a well known supporter of Second Amendment rights. Lamb said he has pointed out to Rubio's staff that with all the recent terrorist "truck jackings" in Europe and an ISIS-inspired terrorist attack at Fort Lauderdale airport not even six weeks ago, which is in SBTC's home city and Rubio's own state: "It's only a matter of time before trucks are used as weapons by terrorists here on American soil," Lamb warned. Lamb said the TruckerLivesMatter.com website has published the results-to-date of an online social media poll, which seeks to determine truckers' interest in NRA membership and their interest in the NRA supporting the TLM's 'Michael's Law Amendment:' "If the NRA were to issue a statement supporting the Michael's Law Amendment (not just support "the right" it seeks to protect but actually ENDORSE the TLM movement's pro-gun bill) that is outlined on http://www.TruckerLivesMatter.com what would be your reaction?" Truckers are asked to choose from three responses: "I would become a dues-paying member of the NRA; I would remain a dues-paying member of the NRA; or I would still not be interested in the NRA." "Over 92% of truckers polled advised us they would either join the NRA or renew their NRA membership if the NRA endorses the 'Michael's Law Amendment.' We're hoping that's enough to make our bill, their bill," Lamb said. Lamb directed the media to the TLM Talking Points Fact Sheet for more information about SBTC, TLM and his proposed Michael's Law Amendment gun bill.
News Article | February 20, 2017
HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) — Gun rights supporters and state Republican lawmakers are fighting huge gun permit fee increases proposed by Gov. Dannel P. Malloy, saying they would price many people out of being able to exercise their Second Amendment right to bear arms. The Democratic governor wants to quadruple the five-year renewal fee for pistol permits from $70 to $300 as part of his plan to offset a budget deficit estimated at $1.7 billion in the next fiscal year. For people getting their first five-year pistol permits, the fees would increase from $140 to $370, which includes a $70 charge collected by cities and towns. The proposed fees would be among the highest in the country. Fees for background checks needed to obtain pistol permits also would increase, from $50 to $75. Malloy's pistol permit and background check fee plan would raise nearly $12 million a year in additional revenue. "The ability to protect and defend yourself should not be reserved only for the wealthy," said Chris Kopacki, Connecticut legislative liaison for the NRA. "Some of our state's poorest residents, many of whom live in high-crime neighborhoods, may not be able to afford a firearm for self-protection under Malloy's proposed fee hikes." Rich Burgess, president of Connecticut Carry, a non-profit gun rights advocacy group, said Connecticut's fees already are high. "That is a lot of money for the exercise of a right," he said. "What other right is subject to these kinds of costs for individuals? And now to increase that, it is preposterous." Malloy defended the proposed fees last week, saying they are in line with fees in other jurisdictions and will cover the state's administrative costs for issuing gun permits. "What was true was that our fee was unreasonably less expensive and, quite frankly, given the amount of work that has to be done with respect to licensure, we weren't recovering our costs," Malloy said. "I suspect that everyone who has a pistol permit is going to get a renewal. If you're going to have a gun and you're going to seek a permit, we have a fee structure." Most states' fees, however, are $100 or below for multiple-year permits. The only nearby jurisdiction Malloy's proposed fees would be in line with is those in New York City, which charges $340 to apply and about $90 for fingerprinting for a three-year license. Malloy, however, said on Friday that he would consider a "carve out" of the fee for people on fixed incomes. He did not elaborate. Republicans in the legislature vowed to fight the proposed gun permit fees. Democrats hold a slim majority in the House of Representatives. There is an even split in the Senate, where Democratic Lt. Gov. Nancy Wyman can cast tie-breaking votes. "To single out those people who work hard, pay their taxes and want to exercise their constitutional rights and protect their families is unfair," said Rep. Themis Klarides, of Derby, the House Republican leader. Democratic House Speaker Joe Aresimowicz said he also believes Malloy's proposed fees are excessive, but said it's too early in the budget process to rule anything out.
News Article | February 21, 2017
As a former conservative Republican (in fact, a former NRA life member), I believe I am as disappointed as any Democrat by what I am seeing in Washington today. The White House and Congress are not guided by any conservative thinking or traditional belief system. It is not the good of the economy or the safety of the people that guides them. It is not about America being first; they are giving away our leading place in the world to China and have an as-yet-unexplained relationship with Russia. If they were guided by what is good for businesses in general, they would not be threatening the fastest growing businesses in the country. If they were guided by free market thinking, they would allow the industries that peddle obsolete technologies to die a quick death, instead of working to save them from progress. Perhaps the one beneficial result of the Citizens United decision of the US Supreme Court is that we can all see pretty much precisely who benefited from the election. And based on this, two things are obvious. One is whose interests the current government actually represents. The other is where their weakness lies. It is clear that the majority was purchased by elements of the fossil fuels industry and related businesses. (Editor’s Note: And let’s recognize that Russia is essentially another oil company that put its hands on the scale.) It is worth speculating about why they chose to put up such a huge effort for this election, instead of earlier ones. We could guess that they did not steal the election in 2008 because they were strong enough that they felt no need to do so. But since that time, their position has deteriorated to the point that it is no longer tenable. They purchased the 2016 election, at a fairly high cost, because they felt they had to. They are in business for the next quarter, and they want the next quarter to be profitable, every quarter until they retire. After that, a drought worthy of the Pharaoh or a flood like Noah’s can come, for all they care. They can get a mansion on high ground with deep wells and an off-grid solar system. But, in the meantime, they want to do business, and the cost of a Congress is small compared to their profits. The reason why they felt a need to buy a government is clear, when you look at what they are up against. Their market is contracting because of efficiency. They are competing with each other. They are losing market share to renewable power sources that are increasingly competitive; the wind and sun are now our least expensive power sources. The fossil fuels businesses are losing customers who decide to generate their own power. They have to maintain infrastructure that “distributed” power sources such as wind and solar do not need. They are increasingly facing resistance from governments concerned about pollution and climate change; the United Nations is taking the position that fossil fuels must be put out of business over the next 30 years or so, which will reduce their revenues by hundreds of billions of dollars every year, and the simultaneous loss in stranded assets is calculated to be up to $100 trillion. Right now, even with all the fracking, the oil and gas industry is in a depression. Coal is nearly dead. There is no recovery in sight, unless some government steps in and supports them at the expense of the taxpayers they govern. They may be acting like confirmed autocrats, in total control, but the problems that prompted them to try to take over control of our democracy are also their weakness. We can take our democracy back. We can do it rather painlessly. We can save a considerable amount of money as we do it. We can even see our health improve in the process. Let’s start with saving money. A general rule is that a people who use fossil fuels for heat reduce their consumption about 3% for every 1°F they turn their thermostat down. By turning the thermostat down 2°F, we can reduce our consumption of oil or natural gas for heating by about 6%. The United States uses about 4 billion gallons of oil and about 4.7 trillion cubic feet of natural gas each year for residential heat. Turning down the thermostat 2°F would save about 240 million gallons of oil, valued at $600 million, and 282 billion cubic feet of gas, valued at $2.82 billion. Turning down our thermostats by 2°F would save us about $3.42 billion each year at the household level. A penny saved is a tax-free penny earned. On average, we drive 13,496 miles per year. Together, we consume roughly 138 billion gallons of gasoline in the process. If we reduced our driving by only two miles per day, it would cut 730 miles out of our driving, reducing our consumption by about 5.4%. That would save us from using about 7.45 billion gallons of gasoline. At $2.28 per gallon, that would save us $16.98 billion. If all of us turned down our heat by just 2°F and reduced our driving by 2 miles per day, we would save about $20.4 billion per year, just in the cost of fuel. It would also cut about $10 billion from our medical expenses. But making reductions like these would also make a powerful point. Over half of all Americans disapprove of Donald Trump. If those people made reductions of 2°F and 2 miles, they would save over $10 billion. But their gain is the fossil fuels industry’s loss. It is an industry already in depression, and if we respond to its grab for power by cutting its sales, it will hurt more than it can bear. And the fossil fuel industry’s loss cut into its support of the Autocratic Party in the White House and Congress. We can get our democracy back. And we can start by doing what is good for us anyway. We cut 2°F and 2 miles, and we tell the fossil fuels industry that they have to give us the Congress and White House back. We push, and we keep pushing, cutting fossil fuel use as fast as we can, until they yell, “Uncle Sam!” Buy a cool T-shirt or mug in the CleanTechnica store! Keep up to date with all the hottest cleantech news by subscribing to our (free) cleantech daily newsletter or weekly newsletter, or keep an eye on sector-specific news by getting our (also free) solar energy newsletter, electric vehicle newsletter, or wind energy newsletter.