December 04, 2009
It is not the usual practice of this blog to issue awards, mostly because nobody cares what I think, but I'm making an exception in this case. The first official Goat Rope Rock On With Your Bad Self Award--the highest award I have to bestow--goes to WV Senator Robert C. Byrd for having the guts to speak some truth to the WV coal industry about climate change, mountaintop removal and the industry's bullying tactics.
Here's what he has to say.
Byrd deserves particular commendation for not caving in to the latest hissy fit by the WV Chamber of Commerce. The Chamber's latest stunt consists of urging Congress to torpedo health care reform unless and until that body bows down and worships the coal industry as its lord and master and supreme deity.
There are several problems with this approach, but I'll mention only two. First, the Chamber would have opposed meaningful health care reform anyway, even if there were no coal controversies. Second, exactly who died and left the most backward parts of WV's coal industry in charge of the United States of America?
I'm sorry if this offends anyone--and I know this may be a shock to some people--but that sector of the coal industry does not own the hearts, souls,and other bodily and spiritual parts of everyone in West Virginia, much less of the United States as a whole (even though it seems to for some folks).
The thing that I admire most about Senator Byrd is that he improves with age--may we all be so lucky. In the past, I believed that Byrd's greatest moment was his courageous opposition to the Bush administration's unnecessary war in Iraq and its assaults on the US constitution. I don't want to take anything away from that but I now believe that his greatest moment may be the one where he speaks truth to power much closer to home, which is always a much riskier proposition.
Thank you, Senator Byrd!
UNFINISHED BUSINESS. From the New Yorker, here's a look at the history of health care reform efforts in the US.
THE COST OF NOT REFORMING health care is too high, according to Krugman's latest.
BRIGHT SIDED AGAIN. Here's an interview with Barbara Ehrenreich on the perils of unrealistic positive thinking and its effects on the US economy.
ANOTHER TAKE ON JOHN BROWN here.
"IMPROVING" THE BIBLE. Here's more on the "Conservative Bible Project." (Suggestion: it might be easier if these guys just took out all the stuff about Jesus and the prophets.)
GOAT ROPE ADVISORY LEVEL: ELEVATED