June 08, 2012

Upper Big Branch families seek justice

This week, some family members of miners killed in Massey Energy's Upper Big Branch disaster went to Washington to talk with senators and congressional representatives about the need for mine safety legislation. As is often the case, Ken Ward said it best at Coal Tattoo:

You couldn’t follow them on Twitter or watch them live on the Internet. Nobody got arrested or sang protest songs.  It wasn’t part of some national call-in day. None of the big national groups who spend so much time talking about the damage coal inflicts on Appalachia were part of it or said anything about it.
 But earlier this week, the families of three of the miners who died in the Upper Big Branch Mine Disaster were in Washington, D.C., trying their best to push Congress to pass legislation aimed at protecting the health and safety of our nation’s coal miners....

The other side wasn't much help either, as Ward notes:

I was left wondering why political leaders and industry front groups that profess to care so much about coal miners haven’t staged a massive protest outside the Capitol, demanding that Congress act to pass the Robert C. Byrd Mine Safety Protection Act. Why hasn’t the West Virginia Coal Forum used taxpayer money to bus coal miners to Washington to talk about health and safety? Why doesn’t FACES of Coal run constant ads on the radio demanding safety reforms? 
Where were the Friends of Coal when the Upper Big Branch miners needed them?
(I think we might know the answer to that.)

Here's additional coverage from WV Public Radio, the Associated Press, and the Huffington Post.

June 06, 2012

A small town algorithm

El Cabrero has been a negligent blogger lately because I've been careening all over West Virginia beating the drums for creating a Future Fund from natural resources severance taxes which would derive a permanent stream of wealth from nonrenewable resources.

While doing this, and specifically when traveling to beautiful downtown Glenville, county seat of Gilmer County, I was reminded of one simple rule to know you are in a small town...

to wit: you know you're in a small town when the parking meters don't take anything bigger than a dime.

(Disclosure: my own home town doesn't even have parking meters.)

NOTE: link truck broke down.

June 04, 2012

I SOOO thought I was done with zombies for a while

...but a friend sent me this link.

Here's a thought. What if zombies, due to bad oral health,which is endemic in El Cabrero's beloved state of West Virginia, didn't have teeth? Would they just gum people? That would be a disgusting nuisance but something short of an apocalypse.

Just saying.


SIGN OF THE TIMES. Obesity is the new malnutrition.


NOTE: El Cabrero has to be everywhere all the time this week so posts may be irregular.


June 03, 2012

This and that

OK, I've gotten a little bit of zombie fever out of my system. No--I wasn't bitten by one, thank
God,  but I did manage to wolf down, visually speaking, Season 1 of The Walking Dead while the Spousal Unit, an otherwise remarkable woman who doesn't happen to be all that cool about zombies, was out of town.

But zombies aren't just for TV anymore, as this AP story explains.

CALLING BS. Here's America's best coal reporter Ken Ward dispensing an all too rare dose of reason and reality in a state of denial.

GASLAND. What's in it for us? Here's a call to to even things out a bit where Marcellus Shale natural gas drilling is concerned.

SHOULD HAVE POSTED THIS LAST WEEK. Here's a really good item about austerity from Arianna Huffington. I hope she's right.