If there is a hell, this man is headed for it...

Twenty-five coal miners died and four others are missing in a big underground explosion at Massey Energy’s Upper Big Branch Mine, making it the worst U.S. mining disaster in more than two decades. This is the latest deadly disaster involving coal baron Don Blankenship’s Massey Energy, which has been repeatedly cited for serious safety violations. Blakenship has referred to environmentalists - including Al Gore and Nancy Pelosi - as quote "Totally wrong, absolutely crazy," and labeled them "communists" and "atheists." While cutting back on safety and shedding unionized jobs to where his company is now 98 percent union-free, uber-Christian Blankenship raked in $18 million dollars for himself in 2008. If there is a hell, this man is headed for it.

Comments

Boris31's picture
Boris31 12 years 35 weeks ago
#1

One just has to watch John Sayles movie "Matewan" to get a sense of how out of control the mining industry is and was.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Matewan

highknob2's picture
highknob2 12 years 35 weeks ago
#2

Yes, and being from WV I have to say the coal miner on the show was full of it, just ask the people who lost homes and water was poisoned when those "fabulous" pools of crap burst down on them! We only have 16,000 mining jobs now and make most of our money from the beauty of the state, mainly tourism, but with a Governor who wanted to make our state slogan, "WV Open for Business" instead of "Wild and Wonderful" what can you expect. Blankenship wants to be Gov. and is being supported by one of the largest TV stations in WV, obviously a Republican. And what is all this nonsense about clean coal; coal is not clean. Just look at the miner's lungs or the towns they live in and they aren't poor. They make good money, but their towns look like they were washed in dirt! Alot of us in WV do not support mountain top removal, but we do remember how hard the miners worked to have unions, which helped us to have some security in this world

.

GodlessK's picture
GodlessK 12 years 35 weeks ago
#3

Raleigh County isn't far from Blair Mountain. Don Blankenship may be ignoring history at his peril.

Dolph T's picture
Dolph T 12 years 35 weeks ago
#4

My father was a West Virginia coal miner for some 30 years (1923 to 1953). For much of that time, he was a foreman and thus not a member of the UMW. But, he would not work in non-union mines because he considered them death traps. According to him, no government inspectors ever did anything at all; the only safety enforcement came from the union.

My dad's last day(s) in the mines may give you an appreciation of what it was like then -- and what it's still like today in a non-union mine such as the one that just killed so many men. As a foreman, my dad was responsible for two things: safety and coal production. He was foreman of the day shift in 1953 and the foreman of the night shift was putting out a LOT more coal than dad's crew. The reason was simple; the night shift foreman kept having his men overextend the front of the mine without setting timbers that would assure the top didn't cave in and my dad's shift had to spend the first hour or so putting in those timbers before they could start producing coal. The company leaned hard on my dad to produce as much coal as the reckless night shift foreman, but dad refused, saying, "That guy's going to get some one killed." Sure enough, one morning when my dad arrived at work, three men on the night shift had been killed when the ceiling of the overextended front caved in. My dad turned around and left and never worked another day in the coal mines. (He got a job with GM in Cleveland and became a United Auto Worker.)

That is what coal company owners are all about -- they could care less about safety because THEY don't go into those mines. Blankenship should be prosecuted for manslaughter. He personifies the pure evil that is big coal.

Randy Thompson
Albuquerque, NM
(formerly of Webster Springs, WV and born in Oak Hill WV)

PS: My grandfather was treasurer of the UMW local around Oak Hill WV back when that meant carrying a gun to fend off coal company thugs hired to steal the union strike funds. He lived the Matewan movie in real life. Don't let anyone ever tell you the coal companies are anything other than evil incarnate.

Denzel's picture
Denzel 12 years 34 weeks ago
#5

Well, hopefully Blankenship will have to pay for not keeping the mine up to code and safety standards. I think if he wanted to become governor, this just sunk his chances. Prayers are going out to the families.

casino online
An casino online gambling casino online that offers keno will be the best casino that you will find if keno is what you are really looking for in casino action.
making progress's picture
making progress 12 years 34 weeks ago
#6

http://www.pbs.org/moyers/journal/04022010/watch2.html
The more equal the society, they found, the longer its people live, while the most unequal countries have more homicide, more obesity, more mental illness, more teen pregnancy, more high-school dropouts, and more people in prison. The United States, they report, has the greatest inequality of income of any major developed country. That's the betrayal of the American promise.

I'm a journalist, not an epidemiologist. But I've been listening to America for a long time now, and I've come to understand that what the richest and strongest among us want for their families is what most all members of society want for theirs, too: a home, steady work, enough money for a comfortable life and secure old age, the means to cope with illness and other misfortunes, and the happiness of living freely as citizens without fear.

A society whose economic system cannot make those opportunities widely available is in deep trouble, the dreams of its people mocked and denied.

-Bill Moyers

Thom's Blog Is On the Move

Hello All

Today, we are closing Thom's blog in this space and moving to a new home.

Please follow us across to hartmannreport.com - this will be the only place going forward to read Thom's blog posts and articles.

From The Thom Hartmann Reader:
"Thom is a national treasure. Read him, embrace him, learn from him, and follow him as we all work for social change."
Robert Greenwald, political activist and founder and president of Brave New Films
From Screwed:
"I think many of us recognize that for all but the wealthiest, life in America is getting increasingly hard. Screwed explores why, showing how this is no accidental process, but rather the product of conscious political choices, choices we can change with enough courage and commitment. Like all of Thom’s great work, it helps show us the way forward."
Paul Loeb, author of Soul of a Citizen and The Impossible Will Take a Little While
From Cracking the Code:
"In Cracking the Code, Thom Hartmann, America’s most popular, informed, and articulate progressive talk show host and political analyst, tells us what makes humans vulnerable to unscrupulous propagandists and what we can do about it. It is essential reading for all Americans who are fed up with right-wing extremists manipulating our minds and politics to promote agendas contrary to our core values and interests."
David C. Korten, author of The Great Turning: From Empire to Earth Community and When Corporations Rule the World and board chair of YES! magazine