January 17, 2015

Intelligent coal

I apologize for neglecting this blog lately, but I must plead health problems in the family and a crazy work schedule. The last post had to to with how the WV state school board embarrassed itself a while back by revising national science standards to question climate change.

As I've tried to explain to people from out of state, coal is kind of like God in WV, only more so.

Fortunately, the board, or at least a majority thereof, voted this week to keep the original standards. Here are some musings about that from the NY Times and Mother Jones magazine. And here's a little bit of snarky commentary from Wonkette before the board reversed itself.

The saddest thing is that right wing foamers here will probably beat up the board for doing the right thing, however belatedly.

As I've said here more than once, it's high time to change the state motto from the obviously outdated "Mountaineers are always free" to "You can't make this **** up."

January 13, 2015

Can't hardly wait

There has been lots of media attention to the WV school board's attempt to make science teaching standards more coal-friendly, the interest of the coal industry being the standard of truth around here. The truly great thing about all this is that the industry didn't even have to (or want to) show up at a board meeting to ask for or demand this change. It was just done.

Here's some coverage about this from the NY Times. And here's a certain friend of mine who happens to be a retired science teacher attempting to school the board. The lesson includes the subject of English as well...

Apparently, the board is going to revisit the issue tomorrow. One practically quivers with antici........pation.

Whatever happens, this is yet another reason why I have decided to devote the few remaining days of my life to changing the state motto from "Mountaineers are always free" (which seems to me to cease to apply when groveling becomes generalized) to "You can't make this **** up."

January 12, 2015

A quote of uncertain attribution

OK, so the following quote is sometimes attributed to Thoreau, but its origin is a bit doubtful. Good though.

"Happiness is like a butterfly: the more you chase it, the more it will elude you, but if you turn your attention to other things, it will come and sit softly on your shoulder."

January 11, 2015

A year later

This past Friday (Jan. 9) marked the one year anniversary of the Freedom Industries chemical spill that poisoned the water of 300,000 West Virginians. There's been a lot of coverage of events and ideas about the spill, but if you have a few minutes, listen to WV Public Radio's segment on the topic on Inside Appalachia.

TO HELL WITH...If any good things can be said to have come out of the chemical mess, this essay by WV Wesleyan's Eric Waggoner has to be one of them.

GEARING UP FOR 50 DAYS OF? Here's an op-ed by yours truly on the prospects for fighting child poverty in the coming legislative session.