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December 02, 2008

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Before long, we'll all be drinking and bathing in black water, but it's OK, as long as all the coal execs are happy.

Yeah, you're right. George Dubya is the smartest and everyone else just doesn't get it. I heard sulfur water is good for ya anyway. They did a study on it at Pat Robertson's school. Suck on that Harvard libruls.

I wish someone cared about what we think in eastern kentucky. No one does care. We make our livings mining coal and you fucking commie liberals want to save some little stupid stream and watch us starve. And Beshear can go straight to hell for what he did me and my family will not vote for his commie ass ever again.

You pig f***ers have no idea what a days work is. A man kills himself for his family and you want to put him out of work and watch his kids grow up poor. To save your precious mountains.

First of all, do you not recognize that it is an oxymoron to say "commie liberals" - the two are diametrically opposed to one another. but this isn't the place for a political theory lesson...

regardless, you are all failing to see the overlap in supporting the rights of workers and in protecting the environment. the two are not mutually exclusive. I don't like like coal for a few reasons: its combustion and resulting emissions are the largest contributor to global warming in the world, mountaintop removal is decimating the other natural resources that Appalachia has to offer all while propping up the already destructive tendencies of coal-fired power and, finally, coal companies continue to be exploitative of their labor...you recognize that hundreds of thousands of jobs have been lost in the mountains because MTR is responsible for about half of all mining now, right?

everyone deserves a job - whether they are in Hazard or they go to Harvard. and nobody should be forced into working for a self-destructive industry like the coal industry because it is the only thing available. but don't think for a minute that the 5 million cleantech jobs coming in the next few years are going to leave coal miners behind - in fact, I would go as far as to say they should be the first to get jobs that are both high-paying and engender a respect for the ecological integrity of the region.

the world isn't so simple as working-class miners trying to make a living against upper-class hippies who have never worked a day in their life. that isn't the battle at all, and making it that only shows a simplistic view of the problems that face us. ignoring the intricacies of the problem only makes them worse.

Questions:
1) how am I insulting your intelligence? I never said a single person was stupid or incapable of comprehending the situation at hand, just that every single piece of commentary in this thread has refused to acknowledge that there is more to the situation than calling people who oppose MTR "idiots", "fucking commie liberals" and "pig fuckers". instead, it is the people who agree with you, Shack, that have been throwing insults around.
2) "who ever you are" - am I being mysterious in some way? leaving my real name, the URL to my own blog, which has plenty of disclosure about who I am, as well as my email address is no attempt at anonymity.
3) how does the coal industry provide for a region that, no matter how you slice it, is still one of the most economically depressed places in our country? I agree with you, it shouldn't be that way. I'm not sure what your insinuating with your sock factory comment (is $0.25/hour not illegal?), but nobody should EVER be forced to work for that little money, regardless of the place or type of industry.

the fact that most coal jobs pay well is no justification for the fact that coal does not actually provide for the region in the way you say it does. The most stable economic areas in the world are those that are highly diversified. The least stable areas are those that depend on a single sector - usually resource extraction - to provide jobs and money. The only way Appalachia is going to get out of the mess they've been in since the coal companies first moved in during the late 19th century and early 20th century (remember that mountaineers were living OK off the land before industrialists came in and started buying it up) is to stop focusing on coal so much and start looking towards other opportunities. People in Appalachia aren't dumb. I would never make such a generalization. but refusing to acknowledge the reality of the situation doesn't benefit anybody, and your allegiance to your coal lobbyist father doesn't make your case any better.

On another note, I don't see how you are forcing me to talk about anything that I'm not already talking about. I believe that I am actually the one that started this dialogue rather than just call people names and make erroneous arguments that nobody knows what it is like to work or that nobody cares about the people that live in the mountains. don't make yourself a martyr.

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