Rhetorical questions

About the Friends of America Rally on Labor Day.

Q. If these are the friends of America, who are its enemies?
A. Labor unions, earth scientists, and environmentalists. In other words, anyone who doesn’t love coal!

If I don’t love coal, am I an enemy of America?

Working class anti-unionists in this state need to review the history of the West Virginia mine wars.

The climate change deniers don’t realize the boat has left the docks and they’ll soon be stranded on an island by rising ocean water.

And Mr Blankenship can bitch and moan about outside agitators and tree huggers, but most of the protests of his mining operations are organized by local groups, filled with local citizens, groups like the Ohio Valley Environmental Coalition, the WV Highlands Conservancy, and Coal River Mountain Watch. That’s because many of them know what kind of company Massey Energy is. For a taste, read this.

By contrast, the so-called Friends of Coal group is nothing but a marketing arm of the coal industry. There are no “members” — just miners wearing their free t-shirts.

So, friends, enjoy your picnic. Some Americans will celebrate other things on Labor Day besides the love of coal profits.

I’m a West Virginian, and I approved this message.

Dirty Coal (Bowl) Weekend
Let’s hear it for what shall be known (by me) as the Dirty Coal Bowl. It sounds so much more like a street brawl! And it’s way more accurate.

I’ve never seen such a sheepish, ‘unhappy to be here’ shill in my life as “Friend of Coal” Coach Pruett last year at the DCB. I think Don Nehlen or somebody like that stood with him and awkwardly praised the industry. I dunno, maybe all ex-coaches in WV are friends of coal.

Maybe this will be Marshall’s year. I’ll be watching it.

Charleston Daily Mail: “Plaintiffs fight to get Justice Benjamin off appeal”

Massey chairman Blankenship has been trying to get the law changed so he can force Starcher off his case — literally — & finally, someone’s trying to get Blankenship’s personal justice Benjamin off another of his cases.

This is so not funny. Blankenship(Massey)’s lawsuits would make him look like a crank if it weren’t for the fact that he bought one judge (I bet that’s how you become one of the “Friends of Coal”) and is planning to try to buy another to replace Starcher.

When Blankenship controls the state Supreme Court, then what? I just know he wants the governorship. We’ve become — well, remained — a poor state by being “friends of coal,” so I suppose we deserve him.

More dirty coal stories.
I have read two lengthy articles in the past few days about the flattening of West Virginia – one is online.
Orion magazine: Moving Mountains.

And this one you’d have to get a copy of the magazine to see.
Mining the Summits @ National Geographic Magazine

In case you’re not from a coal mining area, here are a few of the lies:
Coal is clean. As I understand it, it could be relatively clean, but the burning of it in most power plants is very dirty – no one has insisted on new technologies for “clean” coal.

Coal is good for West Virginia. No it’s not. 1) Coal mining employment is way, way down in the state. 2) The heaviest coal producing counties in the state are the absolute poorest, with overall poverty rates no lower than 20%. And 3) The state itself makes lots of money from coal, but not nearly as much as it should, given the environmental damage going on and the huge profits of the coal companies. West Virginia is still a desperately poor state. That’s why the newest big development project in Mingo county (deep in coal mining country) is a DHHR office that will employ 80 people.

Coal reduces our dependence on foreign oil. This isn’t a lie — it’s just short-sighted and callous. Coal is a non-renewable resource that costs extreme environmental harm, both in its extraction and in its use. We will use it up, faster as we reduce our use of oil, and Appalachia will be unlivable afterward. The time for alternative and renewable energy development is now.