My Onion Pi

If you can figure out the name, you'll know what it's about. Fortunately, I'm literate. I'm also funny on occasion. Just beware of the flying PMS.

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

12 Dead Men

Before the next big news story pushes this tragedy out of the way, I just gotta write this out. Ya know, I just can't seem to stop thinking about those 13 miners in West Virginia. God, I can't imagine dying that way! Not only does it burn my ass that the Sago mine was allowed to operate with so many serious, serious violations (208 the previous year and over 40 in December 2005 alone), but all the little "side stories" that have come out around this event have frosted me too. The violations this mine had were all related to inadequate ventilation, which caused buildups of dangerous, flammable and non-breathable gases. NPR's morning show had one short interview with one of the trapped miner's wives in which she said her husband had told the people in charge at the International Coal Group, the mine was building up Methane and Carbon Monoxide gases a full week prior to the explosion. I heard that interview once (at 6 AM) and (interestingly enough) it wasn't repeated as the rest of the stories were repeated later in the day. I also read (On WBFO's website) an interview with a woman in W.V. who was trying to stop the form of strip mining this company was doing - and was "branded" as an "environmentalist" (Read that as a "Trouble making commie pinko tree hugging wacko"). It was an interesting read because the lady was basically a local yokle who really was just pissed off that her property was turning into a polluted pile of shit right in front of her eyes. She was no more an "environmentalist" than George Bush is - but branding her as one is a nice way to discredit anything she has to say. So anyway, in the article she says said "They're calling me an "environmentalist", I don't know, but if someone who is interested in drinking clean water and breathing fresh air is an "environmentalist" then I guess I am one".

By the way. The form of mining this company does is strip mining, which basically cuts the top of a mountain off, and digs the coal out, leaving a gutted mess of mud behind, that excellerates erosion and causes super polluted run-off into the streams and waterways. But when you live in Appelachia, and your dirt, dirt poor with no options for work, education or a way out of that hell, well...what are you going to do? What's a little Black Lung in twenty years when you and your family are starving TODAY?

So what's the point of this blog? Well, the top ass burner of this whole thing is the fact the company or state government or whomever puts out these "official press statements" keeps claming "They have no idea what caused the explosion" and "This needs to be investigated further" I may not be the sharpest knife in the drawer, and I damn sure don't know nuthin' about mining...and I ain't anywhere near West Virginia...but how's about this for an educated guess..."Hey, assholes. Maybe it has something to do with that buildup of FLAMMABLE GAS?? Ya think?" Shit.
What is a man's life worth? Not a whole hell of a lot I guess, and 12 men's lives ain't worth much either. Maybe the company will send the widows a Turkey at Thanksgiving, or a Ham next Christmas. And the politicians will keep turning a blind eye, and the International Coal Group will keep stripping the shit out of West Virginia while they all line their pockets and stuff their bank accounts. Business as usual.

I wonder if any of those crying statues of the Virgin Mary are puking yet? Cause this sure makes me want to hurl.

Salty Ham


At Thu Jan 05, 05:22:00 AM, Blogger Queen Snarfetta said...

It might interest you to know that coal mining has increased due to The Boy Who Would Be King's energy bill. Coal mining is, at the moment, profitable. It's interesting that he picked the most polluting source of energy to support in his Bill. Are we surprised? Environmentalist? Why is it a dirty word when everyone needs clean air and clean water? FUCKING DUH!!!

At Thu Jan 05, 03:13:00 PM, Blogger Chuck said...

Things like this make me think of Tianamen (sp?) Square. This is where Chinese men would stand in front of an oncoming tank to make a statement..."you're not going to rob me of my freedom unless it's over my dead body." Some where killed but the world listened and things began to change. Personal freedoms are still not great in China but acts like this make a difference.

Unfortunately, there is not much of a forum in our country to make such bold statements. Our most powerful statement is our vote. But that would get me on another soap box that would clog your blog. I'll stop for now.

At Fri Jan 06, 04:47:00 AM, Blogger Hamrose said...

Ya know what really makes it so bad chuckster? The woman in the (written) interview, that was branded an "environmentalist" had made the suggestion that they put windmills on the surfaces of all those cut off mountain tops, so that the land could be used productively and they could create a sustainable form of energy without continuing to destroy W.V. land. No wonder they branded her like that...Not only is it a great idea, but it would stop their profiting at the expense of the entire region....and we can't have that can we??


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