Southwest Virginia Population decline 2010-2018.

Viewpoint from Bristol, Virginia

by Lewis Loflin

In 1997 I launched this website to protest the appalling job and labor climate in Tri-Cities. Our local newspaper the Bristol Herald Courier once covered these issues.

They held corrupt local politicians accountable. Now they reprint the Washington Post and AP. They do announce bake sales or public events.

As long as one has outside income this place is great. For earlier material see Bristol Virginia Tri-Cities a Great Place to Retire 2018-19.

Quick navigation of this webpage:

Some claim we are heading toward "civil war" over this gun issue. It is authoritarian Democratic Party gun grabbers versus law-abiding white rural Virginia.

One county board of supervisors voted to form a local militia. Another sheriff threatened to deputize half the county. Most of Southwest Virginia counties are now 2nd Amendment gun sanctuaries.

For more on violent crime, Virginia guns, etc. see Liberals Declare War on Reason, Censor Facts.

Learn how a brave black mother of 5 gets killed working at a Philadelphia deli. And lots more as Virginia goes the way of other crime-ridden liberal states.

Quick navigation of my other website:

Update December 2019: One of the worst child abuse cases in Sullivan County is in the news again.

Evangeline Combs is up for probation after serving 20 years in prison of a 65-year sentence. Ex-paster Joe Combs has died in prison.

The victim (Esther Combs) changed her name to Elsa Garcia. She appeared on local television trembling in terror at the possible parol of Evangeline Combs.

One parol board member has already come out against parol. Sullivan County, Tennessee officials have recommended no parol and no chance for parol for another 10 years.

Evangeline Combs claims she had no knowledge of the abuse Elsa suffered over 19 years. Few people including myself don't but into this.

See Baptist Preacher-Wife Sentenced to 179 Years

103, 200, or 400 new jobs? Just 50 Jobs

Above: Nulife Glass was another backroom deal that went nowhere.

Update December 2019. After almost three years of promises the promised 400 jobs turned out to be about 50. Millions in corporate welfare, so far broken promises.

BHC Dec. 8 reports that a single tractor-trailer load of product has been shipped to retailers. They will use 300,000 gallons of water a day. A $2.5 million "state of the art" water treatment system - paid for by the public - will treat their waste water.

They claim to be hiring workers, but fail to specify pay, etc. This will be nowhere near the high paying union jobs shipped to Mexico by Ball.

At this point the warehouse is not even set up. And any future jobs are dependant on demand. Management refused to even reveal what stores are getting their product.

I believe the promised jobs are way over inflated - again. They are currently operating 24 looms with 50 workers and maximum looms will be 48. The numbers doesn't add up.

The corporate welfare is now running into the millions and we get 50 jobs, not 400.

One can bet whatever happens the public money is gone. They never enforce these agreements.

In 2016 Ball Corporation closed its 260,000-square-foot plant. This cost 230 high paying union jobs. Bristol government hates unions and good jobs competing with minimum wage jobs, they simply shrugged.

Now the plant will get a new owner. To quote the State of Virginia:

"The Bristol plant now is owned by American Merchant, a newly formed company that is a subsidiary of Hong Kong-based Merchant House International Ltd...American Merchant is investing $19.9 million to convert the plant for the production of embroidered hand and bath towels."

I saw this on local television where a Chinese lady seemed unsure of what her company was really going to be doing. They said 200 jobs there I think.

To further quote,

"During the site selection process, Bristol competed with sites in Arkansas, Florida, Mississippi, North Carolina, Rhode Island and South Carolina. Former Gov. Terry McAuliffe approved a $300,000 grant from the Commonwealth’s Opportunity Fund to assist the city with the project. The Virginia Tobacco Region Revitalization Commission also approved $590,000 in Tobacco Region Opportunity funds.

American Merchant also is eligible to receive additional grants and state benefits from the Virginia Enterprise Zone Program and Appalachian Regional Commission, both administered by the Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development."

What is really going on here? Again no public access to all of this closed-door wheeling and dealing with public assets.

ALICE not in Wonderland

Posted Dec. 26, 2019.

The United Way published a study known as ALICE. To quote

ALICE, an acronym for Asset Limited, Income Constrained, Employed, is a new way of defining and understanding the struggles of households that earn above the Federal Poverty Level, but not enough to afford a bare-bones household budget.

For far too many families, the cost of living outpaces what they earn. These households struggle to manage even their most basic needs - housing, food, transportation, child care, health care, and necessary technology.

When funds run short, cash-strapped households are forced to make impossible choices, such as deciding between quality child care or paying the rent, filling a prescription or fixing the car. These short-term decisions have long-term consequences not only for ALICE families, but for all of us.

This describes much of the regional workforce in Tri-Cities Virginia-Tennessee.

In Southwest Virginia over half of the working population can't earn a living. This drives a whole host of social problems from family breakup to welfare dependency to drug-alcohol abuse. Regional jails are filled with drug/alcohol abusers and dealers.

A low paying job often has few or no benefits. In Tennessee alone over 1 million working households can't earn a living. Vast swaths of Southwest and Southside Virginia are even worse off.

Yet millions of low-income working Americans are called racists for opposing bringing in more illegal aliens, immigrants, and guest workers. This policy combined with economic policies favoring business led to this problem. This is how vast areas of the nation are near destitution.

ALICE measures how much money is needed for basic living expenses. This "survival budget" leaves no room for car repairs, savings, loan payments, eating out, pets, cable service, vacations, or toys for children.

Millions in corporate welfare to businesses like American Merchant does nothing to address this problem. Business is lured into the region on promises of cheap labor. Be it blue collar workers or IT workers the American government in league with Wall Street, Silicon Valley, etc. are determined to drive down wages for workers.

Like many brought into the area in the past this seems another unstable company dependant on public handouts.

Regional economic planners are are hostile to addressing this problem. Republicans are strongly anti-labor. Democrats are obsessed with racist' identity politics and climate change. Democrats revile lower income white workers as somehow deserving of what they get - beside being racists.

ALICE notes student loans are killing people while we import millions of foreign college graduates to replace American workers. The American IT student straddled with thousands in debt won't even get a job offer. It will go to a foreign student in the next row that will work for far less.

Yet both our local Republican Congressman voted to make it impossible for American IT workers to get a job. More on that shortly.

Sullivan County has 39% of its working households "were either in poverty or making less than the basic cost of living."

Southwest Virginia is even worse of as 59% of working households are in poverty or can't afford the basics. Low unemployment rates never take these factors into account. The Tri-Cities labor force has collapsed by almost 20,000 since about 2008.

Most new jobs often pay less and have few benefits. Consider the fact minimum wage in 1970 is almost $11 today after being adjusted for inflation. I call this adjusted minimum wage.

Virginia Democrats claim they want to raise minimum wage to $15 and hour. It might help some. But if they still refuse to enforce immigration laws (thus labor laws) this provides business with more illegal replacement workers.

The working poverty levels for Southwest Virginia are as follows:

Abingdon 52%; Bristol VA 47%; Buchanan County 60%; Dickenson County 62%; Marion VA 56%; Richlands 62%; Russell County 52%; Norton VA 55%; Richlands VA 61%; Scott County 52%; Smyth County 49%; Tazewell County 51%; Washington County VA 45%; and Wise County 52%.

In East Tennessee:

Blountville 30%; Bluff City 48%; Bristol TN 45%; Carter County 49%; Johnson City 53%; Kingsport 43%; Sullivan County 39%; Washington County TN 45%; and Green County 50%.

College degree but no college level job.

IT Jobs on the Chopping Block Again

Time to End Planned Destruction of American Labor - No More immigration

As an IT worker myself I was refused any job in the manufacturing sector due to having college. Then I was refused even applying for an IT job because the state contract stipulated the positions were only open to women and non-whites. This is an issue I'm well aware of


The ruling class is at war with American labor. Economists and think tanks agree lower pay and salaries for workers is good. This makes business more profitable, the poor can better afford cheap crap.

It's bad enough outsourcing to China and Mexico, but what about jobs they can't outsource?

Flood the labor market with millions of foreign workers both blue and white collar. This is the discontent that elected Trump and has the Democratic Party in chaos.

Democrats promise free stuff for problems both parties created by design.

An article by Jeff Bukhari February 15, 2017 in Fortune titled, "Why H-1B Visas Aren't So Great for Silicon Valley Workers" proves my point.

"Bringing in computer scientists from abroad has been good for the U.S. overall, raising wages nationwide and bringing down costs for computer products. But the practice hasn't necessarily been great for native-born workers in the country's IT sector."

Whose wages has this increased? Nobody I know. This practice across entire sectors of the economy is national policy, working people be damned.

"In 1990, 11% of U.S. computer scientists were immigrants. By 2001, more than 21% of workers in the sector were foreign-born."

Today the number is even higher I'm guessing 25%. They claim this is good for non-college educated workers that got cheaper crap.

Economists count lower prices as income for working people, to quote,

"The study found that immigration in the computer science sector led to an increase in wages across the broader economy of 0.04% to 0.28%. There was a more pronounced effect for non-college educated workers, whose paychecks saw a 0.43% to 0.52% bump...immigrant labor meant prices for computer products were 1.9% to 2.4% lower..."

That is nonsense. These workers have stagnant and falling wages for decades. The study cited did admit:

"Put simply, for every 100 foreign computer scientists working in the U.S., between 33 and 61 domestic workers were displaced. The influx of foreign workers also held down wages, the authors concluded, with compensation being 2.6% to 5.1% lower than if foreign workers were not allowed..."

They estimated 6.7 million people are employed in the tech sector. Today about 25% of tech workers are imported replacement workers. That is 1,675,000 people times 0.66 equals 1,105,500 American workers fired-driven out of the labor force. They often get stuck with student loans and being under-employed.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics May 16, 2019 notes:

"In 2018, there were 28.2 million foreign-born persons in the U.S. labor force, comprising 17.4 percent of the total." Now let's note that between 33-66 American workers for every 100 imported workers displaced, say 50 per 100 or 14.1 million Americans.

That doesn't count wage suppression. To quote, "The median usual weekly earnings of foreign-born full-time wage and salary workers were $758 in 2018, compared with $910 for their native-born counterparts."

That's $142 a week per imported cheap labor worker times 28.2 million or $4 billion plus extra profits for business per week. That is $208 billion per year in suppressed and lower wages for American citizens.

The National Academy of Science study claimed $300 billion a year in lost and suppressed wages across the economy. But it is worse.

In Virginia my study shows wages in meat packing have fallen 50% adjusted for inflation since 1970. That industry is near total foreign born many illegal aliens.

In Bristol Virginia 66% of Hispanics live in poverty along with 2000 plus whites. Now let's add in the cost of welfare, schools, jails, etc.

Importing replacement workers and their families makes poor Americans poorer. The imported workers are also poor.

But this is still good according to our ruling class:

"The lower wages in the (tech) sector were not necessarily a bad thing for the overall welfare of the nation, the report concluded. Lower wages allowed for higher company profits, which in turn led to an increase in the number of IT firms that entered the market, thus spurring competition and innovation."

Note: if you get fired and replaced by an imported replacement worker you can:

"Instead of working in computer science, for instance, a worker may choose to be an architect or manage a production team. The diversification would raise the productivity of workers overall, the authors concluded."

Yes these are far lower paying jobs if you can get one. Most likely one will end up at an Avis rent-a-car desk for $30,000. Now for those thousands in student loans one was stupid enough to take out for a computer science degree...

With all of this going predicts a 7% decrease in Computer Programmer jobs.

Morgan Griffith, Phil Roe - Republican Scumbags

On July 10, 2019 Mr. Griffith voted with 139 other Republicans and 224 Democrats on a massive Green Card program to bring in millions of replacement tech workers and their families.

Deceptively called "Fairness for High-Skilled Immigrants" is unfair to high skill American workers. This could bring 3 million outsourcing workers from India alone over 10 years. This includes a new deluge of cheap foreign labor across the economy. The country already imports 3 million immigrants, job replacement visa holders, and illegal aliens every year as it is.

To quote Neil Munro 6 Jun 2019:

"Each year, roughly four million young Americans join the workforce after graduating from high school or university.

But the federal government then imports about 1.1 million legal immigrants and refreshes a resident population of roughly 1.5 million white-collar visa workers — including approximately one million H-1B workers — and approximately 500,000 blue-collar visa workers.

The government also prints out more than one million work permits for foreigners, tolerates about eight million illegal workers, and does not punish companies for employing the hundreds of thousands of illegal migrants who sneak across the border or overstay their legal visas each year."

H.R. 1044: Fairness for High-Skilled Immigrants Act of 2019
DEMOCRATIC yes 224, No 8
REPUBLICAN yes 140, No 57

Why would a Congressman from an impoverished region of Virginia vote for such nonsense? He needs to answer to Southwest Virginia voters. He will never get my vote again.

Congressman Phil Roe representing 1st District of Tennessee (across the state line) also voted for replacement workers.

Republicans in general at the behest of their Chamber of Commerce masters have worked for years to hollow out our communities and destroy millions of jobs. Then what isn't sent to Mexico and China goes to immigrants and illegal aliens.

Wages in Virginia meat packing have fallen by 50% since the 1970s and one can't get a job unless they speak Spanish.

Tri-Cities VA-TN slowest growth.

Morgan Griffith Wrong about Volvo Trucks

The above graphic has been proven true as of 2019. Our region is near the bottom and companies like Volvo Trucks is the reason why. Firing and rehiring the same people is not economic growth.

We get the following: "Griffith Celebrates Announcement of 777 New Jobs, Nearly $400 Million Investment at Volvo Trucks in Pulaski County". Those are rehires from an abusive company that hires-fires like clockwork.

To quote "Layoffs a way of life at SW Va. Volvo plant" The Roanoke Times Jan 16, 2017:

"Since 1990, the plant has announced at least 14 rounds of layoffs. There was an announcement in December 2015, then in July 2016 and, most recently, in December 2016. The last announcement came three weeks before Christmas. The layoff will affect about 500 hourly employees, beginning Feb. 13."

Calling these "new jobs" is a lie. The Roanoke Times reports again June 27, 2019 of more layoffs at Volvo:

"Volvo Trucks expects to lay off some workers at its Dublin plant by the end of the year, winding down from a period of abnormally high productivity at the region’s largest employer...Employment at Volvo’s Dublin plant, meanwhile, surged from 1,700 workers in January 2017, to 2,600 in 2018 and 3,500 today."

If the number is true that is simply back to their old levels. Which is it Mr. Griffith? Perhaps they can hire a flood of cheap foreign worker replacements you just helped come in?

If Volvo is really hiring 3,500 workers why has the population of Pulaski County dropped by nearly 1000 (-2.3%) between 2010-2018? Same with every county in Southwest Virginia you represent Mr. Griffith.

Mr. Griffith works for Wall Street not Southwest Virginia.

East Tennessee hospitals go bankrupt.

Illegal Aliens Hurt Poor Tennessee Workers

The region is already poor. Importing illegal aliens that take every job in the community for less money makes matters worse. Note due to lack of income many hospitals are in danger of failing.

Morristown Tennessee is another example as government allowed 6000 mostly illegal aliens to be brought in and fire American workers.

Hamblem County Tennessee and Morristown have suffered a deluge of illegal aliens brought in by the defunct Garcia Labor Company in from 1999-2006. Garcia was shut down by Federal prosecutors in Ohio and paid $12 million in fines. No effort was made to remove the illegal aliens in Tennessee or Ohio or prosecute criminal employers working with Garcia Labor Company.

The 8000 illegal aliens and their families have not been good for the community. Crime has exploded with police commented about "tons" of drugs moving through the community. Removing the illegal aliens and their families the county didn't gain 3.3% in population instead fell 10% or more. Per-capita income is an appalling $21,962 and an official poverty rate of almost 17%. The real rate is far higher.

Cheap labor policies often shift social costs of welfare, schools, jails, interpreters, etc. onto the public.

From KIM COBB, 2006 Houston Chronicle Published October 25, 2006 notes:

Chambers (a local farmer) said his vegetables would rot in the fields without (illegal) immigrant workers... "White people, the local people, won't do it any more," Chambers said.

Well, maybe they would if the money was good enough, Bill Kidd countered.

The retired Immigration and Naturalization Service supervisor spent 15 years trying to enforce the law in Tennessee.

(They don't just pick tomatoes they take jobs across the entire community knocking the bottom out of the local labor market.)

You can still hear the frustration in his voice when he talks about his staff's investigation of the Morristown chicken plant before it was purchased by Koch Foods.

"We put two agents in there. They bought (phony) documents from people the (plant) employment office told them to see, they arrested illegal aliens we'd arrested three times at the plant before — (but) the U.S. attorney's office found problems with the case."

Phony green cards and Social Security numbers (felonies) are so common and easy to produce now, Kidd said, that many employers are being truthful when they say they don't know whether they are hiring illegal workers.

Hamblen County jailers usually call the Immigration and Customs Enforcement office if they suspect someone they have arrested on criminal charges may be an illegal immigrant, too. The "hands-off" policy of other communities doesn't fly here.

Public defender Ethel Law Rhodes meets with her (illegal) immigrant clients on Thursdays for what county officials call Hispanic Court Day. A translator is available to help explain the proceedings to suspects who speak little or no English.

Rhodes warns her clients they may face deportation once their state case is resolved.

But if ICE has run out of leased jail space in Maryville, about 70 miles away, (illegal) immigrants who were never deported may be released in the United States while awaiting a deportation hearing.

Sykes call center in Wise Virginia to become welfare offices.Sykes call center in Wise Virginia to become welfare offices.

Virginia Tobacco Commission Loses $1.1 Billion

See Virginia Tobacco Commission Loses $1.1 Billion YouTube video.

The above video link addresses how the Virginia Tobacco Commission or TICR is a waste. Over $1 billion in TICR grants and another perhaps $1 billion in Appalachian Regional Commission, VCEDA, and LENOWISCO grants have been wasted by Republicans for corporate welfare and pork.

To quote the TICR on defaults:

Localities go through the dance, make applications, you approve it and send it all up and for whatever reason it never happens. Of those that do happen and are disbursed, about half of them deliver what they promise.

The other half either repaid some money because they fell short or they negotiate some relief or they flat out default on their obligations. These are not good numbers but I want you to know that this is what's happened in the TROF program but its gotten better...

See Tobacco Commission Sykes Fiasco Update 2019

The 2011 Blue Ribbon Audit of the Virginia Tobacco Commission revealed 89 percent of their grants have never been accounted for. None of the recommended reforms have been implemented and nothing has changed in 2019.

Many of the programs starting up in 2011 have nearly all failed. The TICR refuses FOIA requests demanding $70 an hour to do "research".

By 2019 they have spent $1.1 billion with little to show for it. Note the graphic at the top of the page. The entire program became a political slush fund.

The above video addresses the problems from the 2011 audit and the post 2011 grants met the same fate - nobody knows where the money went.

Wholesale Plant Nursery Receives $8 Million for Energy Research

Update Dec. 2019: the plant nursery as an energy research center has failed. Their website went down around 2012, and the local Chamber of Commerce in Danville has no clue where they are.

Update July 2017: I warned about Nulife Glass and predicted it was a scam. In June they fired the few people they hired and left Bristol with between 20-30 million pounds of CRT glass - glass loaded with lead. Press reports claim Bristol is trying to sue the company but likely will get stuck with disposal. They sold a $1.3 million building for less than $200,000 and half of that was payed for by grants.

Electronics and Technology Built at Home

I have for years dealt in electronics and technology starting far back with vacuum tubes.

I design and build circuits for hobbyists and students and taught electricity, etc. in a local community college.

This was an outgrowth of my interest in applied science. When I say "applied" I mean real world not hypothetical computer modeling.

Over the years I have repaired, salvaged, and repurposed thousands of consumer products, circuit boards, computer gear/scrap, etc. I'm a master scrounger and proud of it.

Here is a list of my recent videos. I have 252. Some sample videos shown above.

See You Tube Channel for more on electronics construction projects. Also see my website Electronics Hobby Projects.

Issues on Connecting MOSFETs in Parallel
Solar Panel Battery Charge Controller Switching Circuit
Design 10-Amp 2N3055 Based Power Switch
H-Bridge Motor Control with Power MOSFETS


The following are how history was altered by climate.

The video above is from my alternate YouTube channel. It is more oriented at general science. See Science and More.

The following links are how I built my own Geiger counter plus more earth science. My home state of Virginia has some of the largest uranium reserves in the United States.

Jesus at Christmas

Western Concepts of God

Western concepts of God have ranged from the detached transcendent demiurge of Aristotle to the pantheism of Spinoza. Nevertheless, much of western thought about God has fallen within some broad form of theism. Theism is the view that there is a God which is the creator and sustainer of the universe and is unlimited with regard to knowledge (omniscience), power (omnipotence), extension (omnipresence), and moral perfection. Though regarded as sexless, God has traditionally been referred to by the masculine pronoun.

Concepts of God in philosophy are entwined with concepts of God in religion. This is most obvious in figures like Augustine and Aquinas, who sought to bring more rigor and consistency to concepts found in religion. Others, like Leibniz and Hegel, interacted constructively and deeply with religious concepts. Even those like Hume and Nietzsche, who criticized the concept of God, dealt with religious concepts. While Western philosophy has interfaced most obviously with Christianity, Judaism and Islam have had some influence.

The orthodox forms of all three religions have embraced theism, though each religion has also yielded a wide array of other views. Philosophy has shown a similar variety. For example, with regard to the initiating cause of the world, Plato and Aristotle held God to be the crafter of uncreated matter. Plotinus regarded matter as emanating from God. Spinoza, departing from his judaistic roots, held God to be identical with the universe, while Hegel came to a similar view by reinterpreting Christianity.

Issues related to Western concepts of God include the nature of divine attributes and how they can be known, if or how that knowledge can be communicated, the relation between such knowledge and logic, the nature of divine causality, and the relation between the divine and the human will.

Extract from God, Western Concepts of | Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy.

Religious Traditions

See Bristol Herald Courier Now a Victim

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Horrific 2007 Murder Revisited

In January 2007 five blacks most convicted felons carjacked and murdered a white Knoxville couple. This came at a time of hysterical press coverage over the Duke Lacrosse lynching. Anger exploded over press refusal to cover the Knoxville killings - many believed race was a factor.

The press claimed concern over perceived racial double-standards, was called racism and white supremacy by the press.

The cultural Marxist press created a circus when three white men were wrongly accused of raping a black prostitute. Yet virtually nothing on the brutal Knoxville carjacking, rape, and murder of two white kids was of no interest.

Even my local paper the Bristol Herald Courier wouldn't cover the killings 90 miles away. They published reports on nonsense in New York, etc. They were angry when I called them on it. They started carrying the reports.

Regardless of the level of violence inflicted on the white victims the five members of the gang dodged the death penalty they deserved.