Blankenship and his cohorts made it a scary business to live in West Virginia and dare to suggest that the state could no longer be so dependent on coal for economic growth. Not a single major politician in the state directly faced the realities of a declining coal industry and a future in which, if the state's leaders did not wake up, the historic coal fields would be nothing but wastelands of the lost and the left behind. Politicians knew if they offered even the mildest criticism, the coal industry would immediately vilify them as traitors and look for ambitious candidates to challenge them. There would be no easy solutions and no technical magic wand that could place mini-Silicon Valleys, for instance, up mountain hollows--but no one was asking the questions that had to be asked.I would say there there were some exceptions, such as Senator Byrd in his last years or Senator Rockefeller as he approaches retirement. There are even some state legislators who want to move in a post-colonial direction. But overall the paragraph stands.
HERE'S A SURPRISE. The rich rule.
ON THE BRIGHT SIDE, nonviolence trumps violence when it comes to making revolutions.
SPEAKING OF VIOLENCE, this item argues that climate change is just that.
DOING THE NUMBERS. Here's a look at health care reform enrollment.
GOAT ROPE ADVISORY LEVEL: ELEVATED