September 16, 2017

Annals of hypocrisy

You really can't make this stuff up. As my friend Ken Ward reported in yesterday's Gazette-Mail, WV's Republican representatives in the US House, who rode to power in part by pretending to give a ____ (fill in the blank) about coal miners, voted to cut funding on the federal Mine Health and Safety Administration.  Fortunately, the measure failed to pass the entire House.

UMWA president Cecil Roberts had this to say about that: "I am gratified that a majority of the House agreed with our position that we should not be cutting coal mine safety at a time when we are experiencing rising fatalities and serious injuries in America’s mines."

I guess you get what you vote for.

Speaking of abominations, then there's this.

September 12, 2017

Shiny happy people somewhere else

Well, if you're Jonesing for another story about how West Virginia ranks at the bottom of all things good and at the top of all things bad, you can check out this item from the website WalletHub, which ranks states according to their presumed level of happiness.

Yeah, 50 again.

In terms of method, the group evaluated the broad categories of emotional and physical well-being, work environment, and community and environment using 28 metrics. Whatever you think, the list of factors considered was pretty thorough, as you can see here.

Interestingly, the state that came out on top was Minnesota. Maybe this is because of the way they pronounce the letter O.

September 11, 2017

A spoke in the wheel

Recently, apropos of nothing of course, my friend the Rev. Jeff Allen, executive director of the WV Council of Churches, sent me the following quote from Dietrich Bonhoeffer. Bonhoeffer was a German Protestant minister and leader of the anti-Nazi Confessing Church who was executed by the regime in 1945.

The quote is from an essay titled "The Church and the Jewish Question." It was published in April 1933, shortly after the Nazis gained state power.

"All this means that there are three possible ways in which the church can act toward the state:  in the first place, as has been said, it can ask the state whether it's actions are legitimate and in accordance with its character as state, i.e. it can throw the state back on its responsibilities.  Second, it can aid the victims of state action.  The church has an unconditional obligation to the victims of any ordering of society, even if they do not belong to the Christian Community.  'Do good to all people" . . .  The third possibility is not just to bandage the victims under the wheel, but to jam a spoke in the wheel itself."