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Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Massey Has Some Explaining to do.....

Very disturbing report.
MORGANTOWN, W.Va. (AP) -- Federal officials have evacuated portions of three Massey Energy coal mines in West Virginia in the past month after surprise inspections, one just four days after the explosion that killed 29 men at the Upper Big Branch mine.
All three inspections, two on March 24 and one April 9, resulted in violations that reflected "a serious disregard for the safety and health of the miners who work at these operations," said Joe Main, head of the Mine Safety and Health Administration.
All three were also prompted by anonymous complaints about dangerous working conditions, he said Tuesday Link
The MSHA seized control of the phone lines so the underground crews could not be alerted. This is the way all inspections should be performed. The result was -
MSHA said the Road Fork mine tipster complained Massey was running two mining machines with inadequate ventilation and cutting deeper into the coal face than its approved plan allowed. The tipster also complained that Massey had failed to report several methane ignitions to MSHA as required.
Spartan Mining was cited for violating ventilation and roof control requirements, and for the accumulation of combustible materials.
The same day, MSHA received complaints about the Randolph Mine, where inspectors found inadequate ventilation to reduce the risk of explosion and the exposure to coal dust. Again, MSHA said, "the operator was also caught taking illegal deep cuts into the coal."
Other violations were issued for inadequate on-shift examinations, insufficient rock-dusting to control the threat of explosions and the extensive accumulation of loose coal, which can provide fuel for mine fires. Inspectors found the coal as deep as 20 inches, MSHA said.
The third inspection was triggered by a complaint of water in the miners' escapeway. MSHA issued six violations for illegal deep cuts, roof-control violations, blockage of the primary escapeway, and inadequate pre-shift and on-shift examinations. MSHA inspectors also found sheared-off and damaged roof bolts, which increased the danger of roof falls.
While I strongly support Mining and the Coal Industry, I do not support unsafe working conditions. This shit must end. The sad part is that many companies preach safety but they pressure the mine foreman for production. Low production equals loss of job. The Foreman take unnecessary risks to get production and that leads to injury. The saddest part of this is that miners go on and take those risks....No job is worth that.
Safety starts at the top and goes down to the worker. Miners will never be safe until the executives let the workers practice what they preach...Safety then production. Yes Massey has some explaining to do.
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Massey Dedicates Web Page to Big Branch Mine Explosion Info

You can see it here.
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Monday, April 26, 2010

Happy Earth Day from Tugboat Phil

You got to see this video! Check it out over at From on High.
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Saturday, April 24, 2010

David Lee Lawson - 12/10/66 - 4/24/07 Free as a Bird

Three years gone by....
David Lee Lawson - 12/10/66 - 4/24/07


I held one toast in the air. I poured one on the ground. Never take for granted your friend will always be around. I always look when I drive by. I would give everything I have for some more time. One more trip together...One more party...One more cookout on the lawn...Brother I still cant accept that you are gone. So this morning as dawn's light I found, I held one toast in the air and I poured one on the ground.
He was my friend....

Friday, April 23, 2010

Virginia to "offer gun-safety education to pupils in kindergarten through fifth grade"

Smart move.
A new law will require Virginia’s education department to come up with a gun-safety curriculum for public elementary schools that incorporates guidelines from the National Rifle Association.
The law allows local school divisions to offer gun-safety education to pupils in kindergarten through fifth grade. While each school board can decide whether to offer it, those that do must use the state curriculum - which will include rules used by the NRA’s Eddie Eagle GunSafe Program.
Legislation passed in March by the General Assembly had included an amendment that allowed the curriculum to include materials from the National Crime Prevention Center. Gov. Bob McDonnell proposed removing the amendment because there is no such group, and the legislature on Wednesday approved his change. There is a similarly named National Crime Prevention Council.
The key to safety is education.
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Friday, April 16, 2010

On the Road....

Blogging will be light....Windy City ya know..Mortons...Riverboats...Dice...Family...Cubs...Sox....Blackhawks!

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Restored Robert E. Lee Motel sign ready for display

Check this out!
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For the life of me...

I will never understand this. We read about it all the time.
According to the police report in this case, the three children inside Timothy Ingram’s van included a 5 week-old, a 2 year-old, and a 4 year-old. According to the report, the infant “had dirt matted in her hair and milk all down the front of her clothing.“ Meanwhile, the 4 year-old “had three welts on her back and a persistent cough that she was treated for after placed in child protective custody,“ link
This guy locks his kids in the car and goes in and sleeps in a hospital.....God save us.
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J. Davitt McAteer To Investigate West Virginia Coal Mine Explosion

He led the Sago investigation also. What a mess.
A former federal mine safety official, who also looked into the deadly 2006 Sago mine disaster, will conduct an independent investigation of the deadliest coal mine explosion since 1970.
West Virginia Gov. Joe Manchin said Tuesday he has asked J. Davitt McAteer, who headed the U.S. Mine Safety and Health Administration during the Clinton administration, to independently investigate the explosion that killed 29 miners last week.
McAteer's probe of Massey Energy's Upper Big Branch mine will be independent of separate state and federal investigations, and he will focus on what actions should be taken to prevent such explosions in the future.
"I want a transparent third party, that's not attached in any way, shape or form," Manchin said.
McAteer conducted similar probes of the Sago mine disaster that killed 12 and the Aracoma Alma No. 1 mine fire that killed two miners. He told AP he expects to focus on the apparent failure of systems meant to prevent such a disaster: the spraying of powdered rock to dilute explosive coal dust; the venting of methane gas; and safety conditions before miners begin each shift.
Also Tuesday, federal mine safety officials said Upper Big Branch should have received a warning letter in October about a potential pattern of safety violations, but a computer program that screens for violation patterns failed to include eight citations at the mine.
If they had been included, MSHA would have notified the mine and given the operator 90 days to improve safety conditions. Read All
Lets see if all three investigations come to the same conclusions. I bet they don't. Wanna bet?
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Virginia Bans Free Online Tax Filing

New Va. law kills free online tax-filing program

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) -- The state's free online tax-filing service will disappear under a new law that will shift the task to private businesses, who will be able to charge for the service.
Nearly 97 percent of Virginians who filed state taxes were eligible to file electronically under the iFile program. This year, about 300,000 are expected to do so by the May 3 deadline..Read All
Looks like we will pay to file or buy a stamp and mail it. I am not sure this is a good thing.
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Ex Henry County GOP Chairman Donald Lawson - How to Show Your Butt

Donald Lawson was beaten and now he is taking his revenge. Alton has the story and pictures. This guy refuses to turn over the GOP website and is now using it to hurt the local party. This makes me wonder if Lawson really had good intentions to grow the local unit during his term as  chairperson?
Haven't we learned that this type of behavior destroys local units? Good luck to the new leadership..Sounds like you will have a uphill battle.
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Tuesday, April 13, 2010

For A Friend

My first love was a wicked twisted road
I hit the million mile mark at seventeen years old
I never saw the rainbow much less a pot of gold
yeah my first love was a wicked twisted road
my first love was a castle in the sky
I never thought I'd make it 'till I had the guts to try
and I sat up in my tower while the whole world passed me by
yeah my first love was a castle in the sky
my first love was a fearless drive in rain
scared to death I thought I'd never see her face again
they say god was crying so I guess he felt my pain
yeah my first love was a fearless drive in rain
my first love was a wild sinful night
I ran out with the big dogs guess I had more bark then bite
even thought I won the battle in the end I lost the fight
yeah my first love was a wild sinful night
my first love was an angry painful song
I wanted one so bad I went and did everything wrong
a lesson in reality would come before too long
yeah my first love was an angry painful song
My first love was a wicked twisted road
I hit the million mile mark at seventeen years old
I never saw the rainbow much less a pot of gold
yeah my first love was a wicked twisted road
my first love was a wicked twisted road
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Gov McDonnell Restores Mine Safety Money that Tim Kaine Cut

McDonnell's office has now announced he will also be restoring $750,000 in funding for safety inspections of Virginia mines conducted by the Department of Mines, Minerals and Energy. DMME was one of several state agencies that took a 15 percent cut to its budget in the spending plan submitted in December by Gov. Tim Kaine (D) before he left office. McDonnell's action restores all of the money cut from the safety portion of the department.LINK
Good News For Us Folks In the Coalfields!
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Thank You Gov McDonnell

I am sure the miners and their families appreciate this.

(clockwise, from left): Chuck James, Director of DMME Steve Walz, Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli, Governor McDonnell, Lieutenant Governor Bill Bolling, Eric Finkbeiner, Randy Marcus.
(Photo Courtesy of Michaele White, Governor’s Photographer)
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Sunday, April 11, 2010

Governor Bob McDonnell Calls for Virginians to Join in Moment of Silence in Memory of West Virginia Coal Miners

Thank You Governor! Coal Miners and their families appreciate this. I know I do.
Governor Bob McDonnell Calls for Virginians to Join in Moment of Silence in Memory of West Virginia Coal Miners
West Virginia Governor Joe Manchin to Lead Moment of Silence at 3:30pm Monday
RICHMOND- Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell called today for Virginians to join their neighbors in West Virginia in holding a moment of silence in memory of the miners lost in last week’s tragic explosion at the  Upper Big Branch Mine in Montcoal. West Virginia Governor Joe Manchin will lead the moment of silence at 3:30pm tomorrow, Monday, April 12th.
Speaking about Virginia’s participation in this important memorial, Governor McDonnell noted, “Last week’s tragedy cost 29 West Virginians their lives. It shattered families and communities and our thoughts and prayers go out to all those who have lost loved ones. In the aftermath of this devastating event, West Virginia Governor Joe Manchin has led his state with courage and empathy. Now, he has called for a moment of silence tomorrow to honor the fallen miners. I ask all Virginians to join in this observance and to continue to look for ways by which we can help our neighbors as they go through this tragic time.”
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List of mine disasters in the USA

Got a couple emails asking about this so here is a short list. Not complete by any means.
- 2007: Six miners, three rescuers killed in collapses at the Crandall Canyon mine in Emery County, Utah, owned by a subsidiary of Murray Energy.
- 2006: 12 killed in a methane explosion at the Sago Mine in West Virginia owned by International Coal Group.
- 2006: Five killed in an explosion at the Kentucky Darby No. 1 Mine in Harlan County, Ky.
- 2001: 13 killed in explosions at a Jim Walter Resources Inc. mine in Brookwood, Ala.
- 1992: Eight killed in an explosion at a Southmountain Coal Co. mine in Norton, Va.
- 1989: 10 killed in an explosion at a Pyro Mining Co. mine in Wheatcroft, Ky.
- 1986: Five killed when a coal pile collapses at Consolidation Coal Co.'s mine in Fairview, W.Va.
- 1984: 27 killed by a fire at Emery Mining Corp.'s mine in Orangeville, Utah.
- 1976: 26 killed by explosion at Scotia Mine, Blue Diamond Coal Co., Oven Fork, Ky.
- 1972: 91 killed after a fire at the Sunshine Mine in Kellogg, Idaho., a silver mine owned by Sunshine Mining Co.
- 1970: 38 killed by explosion at Finley Coal Co., Hyden, Ky.
The nation's single deadliest mining disaster was in 1907, when 362 were killed in an explosion near Monongah, W.Va.
Mine Safety & Health Administration historical data on mine disasters in the U.S.
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Saturday, April 10, 2010

Another Picture of What Coal Miners Do For You

 Click To Embiggen
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Picture of What Coal Miners Do For You

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Ask Gov Bob McDonnell to Join Tribute to the West Virginia Coal Miners

West Virginia is having a tribute to the fallen miners Monday at 3:30pm. Since Virginia also shares the coal mining heritage please contact the Governor and ask him to include Virginia in the tribute. His contact info is
Phone Numbers:
(804) 786-2211
Fax: (804) 371-6351
TTY/TDD (For the Hearing Impaired):
1-800-828-1120, or 711
E-mail Governor McDonnell
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Moment of Silence for the West Virginia Coal Miners - Will Virginia Honor Them Also?

Will The Nation Honor them? We Should.
Governor asks nation to join in a moment of silence on Monday
Contact: Sara Payne Scarbro, 304-558-2000
CHARLESTON, W.Va. - Gov. Joe Manchin and First Lady Gayle Manchin will participate in a wreath-laying ceremony in honor of the 31 miners involved in the mine disaster at the Upper Big Branch Mine-South. The ceremony begins at 3:30 p.m. on Monday, April 12, at the Coal Miner Memorial Statue, located on the state capitol grounds near the Culture Center.
During the event, the governor will ask people from across the nation to join the first lady and him in a moment of silence to honor the fallen miners and their families.
“We want to show the miners’ families and all of the first responders that we are keeping them in our hearts and prayers,” Gov. Joe Manchin said. “West Virginians are the most caring people and we come together in a time of need. These families are not alone and their loved ones will not be forgotten.”
This event is open to the public. Monday marks the one-week anniversary of the mining disaster.
On Tuesday, Gov. Joe Manchin ordered all state flags at all state-owned facilities lowered to half-staff in honor of the miners. The flags will remain lowered until further declaration by the governor.
Will Gov McDonnell call for this also? Will Obama?
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Covered in Coal

H/T to my Friend Charlie. He has Good Sense.

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No Survivors..God Bless the Miners and the Families

It is over.

A reporter finds "Amazing Grace " in the Coalfields of West Virginia

As I read the many reports about the mining tragedy this reporter saw what I see every day - Amazing Grace. Samira J. Simone covered the Kentucky Darby Mine No. 1 that killed five coal miners. She returned to cover this tragedy and reports what she found. It is an honest view of the coalfields everywhere so check this article out. 
I covered a mine disaster back then, too -- the explosion at Kentucky Darby Mine No. 1 that killed five coal miners -- and found myself marveling at the strength of the families and the community. And, despite their pain, they were hospitable, allowing a green reporter without a signal to use their living room phone, rest on their front steps and ask a few questions about their fears and worries.
I left after more than two years of sharing their stories, and hoped to return someday to catch up with my mountain neighbors and the families who allowed me to walk into their homes and share their lives with the world.
Instead, I returned for tragedy.
The people in the coalfields are indeed special. I am happy to see at least one honest view.
I'm still amazed by the teachers who have allowed us reporters to use their classrooms as impromptu work areas, the nearby residents who insist on making sure we eat during the long days, the miners who bravely re-enter the mines just a day after losing some of their closest friends, and the victims' families, who remain patient as they wait for news.
I don't know how they do it, how they stay so composed, so strong in the face of such a horrific disaster felt miles away. And through it all, they accept our presence with a dignified grace. I can't imagine them handling it any other way.
For me, I don't want to be anywhere else. God's will, I will live and die in these mountains with the people I love and admire most. I know that I owe a death and my body and memory will pass. But these mountains, these mountains are forever. While the world watches our tragedy, it seems tragedy is the only time we get any attention. They judge and they use us for gain. Some mock and make fun of us...Ron Short said it best-"We are good enough"....Indeed, we are good enough.
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Friday, April 09, 2010

Must See Video - Lady lost her Son, Brother, and Nephew in Mine Explosion

He left a note saying
"If anything happens to me, I'll be looking down from heaven at you all. I love you. Take care of my baby. Tell her that daddy loves her."
Her son found his savoir Jesus Christ just days before...What a story.

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Fate of The Miners to be Known within hours...

So they say...
Rescuers aim to find West Virginia miners within hours
Rescuers prowling a West Virginia coal mine on Friday appear likely to discover the fate within hours of four miners missing after the deadliest U.S. mine disaster in a quarter century, officials
To say the outcome looks brim is a understatement. There is always hope. I hope they are found alive. If not, I hope they are found.
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Give Obama Some Credit

This made me smile...From the email the Morning Jolt
Our Opinion of Democrats Wasn't Wrong, It Was Just Ahead of the Curve

Gallup informs us: "Americans' favorable rating of the Democratic Party dropped to 41% in a late March USA Today/Gallup poll, the lowest point in the 18-year history of this measure. Favorable impressions of the Republican Party are now at 42%, thus closing the gap between the two parties' images that has prevailed for the past four years."
But Obama and Pelosi said the public would love Democrats once the health-care bill passed! They promised! (Expiration date achieved.)
Ouch! Now for the kicker...
"As Bill Otis says, 'it has taken Obama less than 15 months to do for the Democrats what it took Bush eight years to do for the Republicans.'
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Comparing Obama's First Year to the Gippers

Jay Cost penned a good article in the March 22nd National Review. He has a great comparison of Ronald Reagan and Obama titled Rowing Upstream. Cost explains

"The political difference between Reagan and Obama is that the former gave the public what it wanted"
Very true. The Gipper gave us the Economic Recovery Tax Act while Obama gave us bailouts. Now we have the Healthcare B/S that the majority of Americans hate. One can easily say Obama's first year is a failure. Cost writes
The contrast between Reagan and Obama presents an interesting puzzle. Why was one so successful in achieving his principal domestic-policy reform while the other has failed to date? After all, both entered office with large victories; Reagan defeated Jimmy Carter by ten points, while Obama defeated John McCain by seven. This question becomes all the more curious when one considers that Obama’s party has majorities in both chambers, while Reagan had to deal with a House of Representatives controlled by the opposition.
Wasteful bail outs and Healthcare passed, but Obama has not accomplished much else. Both are dividing the electorate and when compared to Reagan's ERTA shows how little Obama has done. Reagan ran on tax reform and followed through on it with ERTA. No one can figure out where Obama stands. He hasn't ended the war or closed Gitmo. He has flipped on healthcare via public option and Cadillac plans. The left may be claiming victory, but it is clear that Obama so far has been ineffective as a leader. And just think, they called Bush the divider....Obama is the Great Divider.

More on Replacing Justice Stevens

As I said here, troubled times are ahead. From NRO
The question for conservatives will be not whether -  but how to oppose Obama’s nominee.
We already miss Justice John Paul Stevens — the Justice Stevens of the 1970s, that is: the Stevens whose opinion on why racial preferences in college admissions violate the Civil Rights Act has never been refuted, the Stevens who was skeptical of judicial micromanagement of local law enforcement. That Justice Stevens retired a long time ago, replaced by a down-the-line liberal activist, one whose flippant abortion rulings went nine-tenths of the way toward justifying a right to infanticide.
We know that President Obama will nominate a replacement who is also committed to imposing liberal policy outcomes over the objections of legislatures and without constitutional warrant. We know because Obama told us so, pledging during the campaign to nominate only justices who would support constitutionalized abortion. A justice willing to ignore the text, history, structure, and logic of the
Constitution on abortion to get a nomination cannot be trusted on other issues.
Troubling times indeed. May God have mercy on us...We will need it before this radical president's term is over.

Sparking Up a Graycliff

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Nothing better on a nice day than stepping out and sparking up this beauty.
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Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens to Retire

The liberal judge will step down this summer giving Obama his second pick to the high court.
Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens, the court's oldest member and leader of its liberal bloc, says he is retiring. President Barack Obama now has his second high court opening to fill.
   Stevens says he will step down when the court finishes its work for the summer in late June or early July. link
As liberal as Stevens was I would wager he will look like a conservative compared to Obama's pick.

Rick Boucher's Failed "Tourism Jobs" - Come On Down and See Our Meth Labs!

Jerry From on High and Charlie at Good Sense both take issue with the growing Meth problem in SWVA. High unemployment always lead to increased crime, but I never dreamed we would see meth labs in abundance in SWVA. Charlie's info states:
  • 26 meth labs were seized in Washington County alone in 2005
  • Approximately 80 to 90 percent of Washington County’s crime is drug related
  • We’re starting to see a large influx of meth from out of state.
That is some scary stuff. When I was young the worst thing was drinking some booze and smoking a little homegrown. No one was dying or stealing except for the rare traffic accident that was a result of intoxication. If a neighbor was stealing or messing with powdered drugs they were told on or received a ass whooping by the partiers. Those people gave the weekend drunks and potheads a bad name. Things took care of themselves.
Jerry blames some of this on our Feckless congress critter Rick Boucher. His failed tourism B/S and his lack of recruiting real jobs has definitely promoted high unemployment. Boucher's Folly indeed. We deserve better.
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Cat nailed to Henry County utility pole dies, rewards issued for killer - Damn Cat Killers....

The world we live in...Why am I up so late you ask? Coal miners and then I read this earlier and sleep will not come...
Cat nailed to Henry County utility pole dies, rewards issued for killer
The cat found beaten and nailed to a utility pole in rural Henry County, Illinois has died, according to the Dana Miller Veterinary clinic, which was caring for the animal. A spokesperson said the cat, nicknamed "Dutch" passed away last night.
Dutch was found nailed by one paw to the utility pole near Dutch Bottom road outside the town of Geneseo on Monday.
(click here for video report from WQAD)
Yesterday, volunteers at the Henry County Humane Society were hopeful the cat would recover, given its response to workers who were caring for it. At the time though, Bonnie Wick warned  the cat had serious brain damage from a beating and that was what had the veterinarian most concerned.
Apparently, Dutch could not overcome those brain injuries.LINK
For the life of me I cannot understand people that hurt animals. There is a $2500 dollar reward for info..To bad we cant take a hammer and nails to the SOB that did this.
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Contact: Sara Payne Scarbro, 304-558-2000
CHARLESTON, W.Va. – The West Virginia Council of Churches has established the Montcoal Mining Disaster Fund, and is now accepting donations to be distributed among the families of miners who were killed in Monday’s explosion at Performance Coal Company’s Upper Big Branch mine.
Individuals from across West Virginia and the nation have offered support for these families through prayer, condolences and donations.
Governor Manchin said, “The outpouring of support from fellow West Virginians, as well as citizens across the country, has been truly gratifying. The mining families continue to endure in this very tough time and will need as much support in the future as possible.”
“I appreciate the West Virginia Council of Churches and their efforts to assist these grieving families,” said Manchin. 
Anyone who wishes to make a monetary contribution should contact the West Virginia Council of Churches at 304-344-3141 or visit for details. 
In addition, gifts and other items are being accepted for the families of the deceased miners at Appalachian Bible College. For details about non-monetary donations please visit
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Lowell Feld Racist.....

Well we all know he's a asshat, but this takes the cake. PW Conservative has the Twitter pix of Lowell making racial jokes.....See it here.
Does the telling of racial jokes make Lowell a racist? I guess that is up to the people the joke is about. Racist, who knows...Dumb Ass for sure.
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Thursday, April 08, 2010

Why Coal Miners Do What They Do

The BHC has a decent view of the Coal Miners
Bruce Jones crawls through the darkness, on his hands and knees, shining a headlamp that lights up his co-workers’ orange reflective stripes.
With the hum of equipment now running like it’s supposed to again, he’s free to spend a few minutes talking about life as an underground coal miner.
“My family came from England, and when they ran out of coal in England, they came to West Virginia to mine coal,” he told the Bristol Herald Courier on Monday.
A fifth-generation coal miner, Jones is one of about 20 men who work at the Tech Leasing No. 2 Mine, more than a mile inside a Buchanan County, Va., hillside with a roof 4 feet high and, at many places, a floor covered in several inches of water.
“This is our way of life,” he said. “This is how I pay my bills.”
Indeed. Some more quotes
It’s for the money,” said John Casey......
Billy McClanahan has been working in the mines 40 years – long enough to remember the days when most of the work was done by hand.
“Somebody had to go to work to feed us all, so I did,” he said of his choice to go into the mines at the age of 16, after his father got hurt on the job. “I decided to stay in the mines because I liked it. I still like it.
“Most of us here underground like this, we don’t know anything but mining,” said Roger Looney, who after 32 years in the mines drives the mantrip, a low vehicle used for traveling underground, as comfortably as a car on a Sunday cruise. “Taking us and putting us somewhere else, it wouldn’t work.”
“I like mining,” he says. “My daddy did it before me. I guess I just followed after him. And I’ve got a son getting ready to turn 18. I guess he’ll follow after me, if it stays.”
Check it out. Proud and honest folks doing it for many reasons.
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Coal and Jobs - More Important Than Lowell knows

According to the Virginia Department of Mines, Minerals and Energy, about 4,400 coal miners work in Virginia, digging the state’s top energy source out of the ground, and thousands more work in supporting industries.
Most of those jobs are in Buchanan, Dickenson and Wise counties, and coal is also produced in Russell, Tazewell and Lee counties. Link
Fools like Lowell "Madonna" Feld will never understand that most every job in the Coalfield Counties are dependent on coal.
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Who Wrote This?

The danger to America is not Barack Obama but a citizenry capable of entrusting a man like him with the presidency. It will be easier to limit and undo the follies of an Obama presidency than to restore the necessary common sense and good judgment to an electorate willing to have such a man for their president. The problem is much deeper and far more serious than Mr. Obama, who is a mere symptom of what ails us. Blaming the prince of the fools should not blind anyone to the vast confederacy of fools that made him their prince. The republic can survive a Barack Obama. It is less likely to survive a multitude of fools such as those who made him their president.” -- Author Unknown
Sad but true...
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Confederate History Month

Alton has the real deal posted here. Very good read. He Begins:
Seems some Virginians are embarrassed by Governor Bob McDonnell’s declaration of April as Virginia’s “Confederate History Month”. Charges of racism are flying thicker’n cannonballs on any of Virginia’s many Civil War battlefields.
If not racist, they say, at least McDonnell was insensitive in his choice of titles. Many say it would be acceptable if Virginia celebrated “Civil War Month” instead.
Well, I’m not at all embarrassed. I’m no History expert, certainly not a Civil War history expert. But I do know the particulars. I know how Virginia found itself in the position of leading the Confederate States of America. As far as the Commonwealth of Virginia was concerned, slavery was not an issue when it became time to decide whether to stay with the Union or secede.
Gather ’round and I’ll tell you the rest of the story....
 Click to Embiggen
I agree with Alton 100%. I will visit some Confederate graves to decorate and take some pictures soon.
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Wednesday, April 07, 2010

Gas levels Dropping in MONTCOAL, W.Va. Mine

We never give up hope....
Two days after the worst U.S. mining disaster in a generation, rescue crews were called to the Upper Big Branch coal mine late Wednesday to perhaps within hours start a search on the slim chance that someone survived the explosion that killed 25.
Crews drilled holes deep into the ground to release the gases. By evening, a federal safety official said the levels of lethal carbon monoxide and highly explosive hydrogen and methane measured at the top of the holes were steadily dropping. Officials planned to test levels at the bottom of the holes to determine if six teams of five rescuers each could safely enter and look for the four missing.
The hope: that survivors made it to one of the shaft's rescue chambers, which are stocked with food, water and enough oxygen to last four days. As of late Wednesday, there had been no signs of life deep underground. Link
After the miracle man McCloy at Sago...Anything is possible. I pray the miners are found alive and for the safety of the rescue teams.
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New Bristol Race Seats For Me

Spent the day in Bristol. Got Season tickets at BMS ! Section O, 11 rows up in the Dale Earnhardt Terrace! Awesome view..Wider seats with longer armrests and cup holders....Me and Eric in our seats. We bought 2 seats apiece. Lets go racing!
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Tuesday, April 06, 2010

Turn Your Porch Light On - Remember The Miners and Their Families

Advocacy Campaign Team For Mining Many of our Facebook friends are urging people to turn on a porch light and burn it all night to show support for the Upper Big Branch miners and their families. We couldn't agree more. Please copy and re-post this message and urge your family members, friends and co-workers to turn a light on and keep the miners and their families in your thoughts and prayers.
As Trace Adkins sang...Every light in the house is on.....remember that there are many broken hearts tonight....And men underground that power this great nation. They ask for nothing but respect. Show them some.
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Alton and TooCon have New Posts On The Democrats Exploiting Coal Miners Deaths

Alton Foley has In Montcoal, WV Hell Is Just A Quarter Mile Down, Son. Just A Quarter Mile Down.
Now, less than 24 hours after Massey Energy experienced a mining tragedy at Montcoal, WV, there are at least two Virginia bloggers shamelessly using many families’ heartbreak as a tool to jab Virginia’s Attorney General. Shameful.
Never mind that the Attorney General does not enforce mining regulations. To these two that is beside the point. Never mind that the tragedy occurred in a neighboring state. To these two that too is beside the point.
Face it guys, (I’m speaking to you, Ben. And you too, Lowell. Sorry, no links.), some jobs are dangerous. Perhaps before you seek to use the tragedy of others to fuel your political fantasies you should step out from behind those keyboards you use as shields and get your hands dirty doing the real work only a few Americans have the guts to do.
I hear that loud and clear sir. Voters in the coalfields will remember this attack. Next we have Brian at Too Con Exploiting the deaths of innocent people for political gain needs to stop.
That rings hollow to me because this comment appears on NLS by Brian...Is this the same Brian?
Don't get me wrong - I think Massey are a bunch of crooks, and they deserve to be shut down permanently for this. But I don't believe the AG is sleeping here. This is a federal issue and a West Virginia issue. West Virginia should yank Massey's licenses for the state until they get their crap together. This is the second time in four years there have been fatalities at their facilities. Enough is enough.
Posted by: Brian W. Schoeneman | April 06, 2010 at 09:09 AM
If it is - he is as out of touch as Ben and Lowell.
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Jeremiah Heaton For Congress - Bye Bye Boucher


The Fighting 9th's Jeremiah Heaton - Would Boucher or any other candidate do this?

Check this out.
GRUNDY, Va. – Now, he has it on his business card: Virginia coal miner, underground and surface.
It’s part of an effort by independent congressional candidate Jeremiah Heaton to win a constituency long held by U.S. Rep. Rick Boucher, who’s served Virginia’s 9th District since 1983.
This week, Heaton is working in a coal mine to prove his understanding of the common man and his loyalty to the coal industry – a step he says Boucher, and Boucher’s Republican opponents, just aren’t willing to take.
“A component I feel is missing from leadership in America that has disappeared over the years is hands-on experience and real-world experience,” said Heaton, 33.
He has served in the Army, attended college on the GI Bill, and now owns a general store in Washington County.
“I don’t think I can adequately represent the district unless I understand energy policy from the face of the coal out,” he said.
Hell yes. Sorry GOP, but this young man is THE COALFIELDS. Be afraid Rick and others...
As an adage goes in Southwest Virginia politics, he who carries the coalfields, carries the district.
Heaton, working more than a mile into the ground, is striking at the heart of Boucher’s territory.
I'm on board. His Website is here.
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Update - Lowell speaks - We have a Asshat Trifecta

Lowell has spoken about the miners deaths in WV and as I predicted the asshat trinity is alive and well.

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Mine Explosion- Tribbett and Schoeneman - The Ignorant Speak

Leave it to a couple of asshats like these to exploit the tragedy. If Lowell Feld would speak we would have the Asshat Trinity.
These three may think they know about politics, but they know jackshit about mining and miners. They sit behind keyboards in NOVA and spout off rhetoric. Print off what they say. Pass it around to your friends.
Not one of them will visit the Coalfields and speak to a audience about their ignorant beliefs. Miners frequently visit Richmond and Washington to speak their minds....But they have balls....The Asshat Trinity doesn't.

25 Miners killed....4 missing -Mine for a Mansion

MONTCOAL, W.Va. (AP) - Massey Energy says 25 workers have been killed in a West Virginia coal mine explosion in the worst U.S. mine disaster since 1984.
An explosion Monday afternoon rocked the remote coal mine with a history of safety problems.
Rescuers had been trying to get to at least 10 miners they thought were trapped.
However, the rescue has been halted even though officials say four men were still unaccounted for early Tuesday. Link
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Monday, April 05, 2010

Pray for the Miners......

Not much to say, but a prayer before assigning blame.
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Saturday, April 03, 2010

Let It Rain

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Dollywood Celebrates 25th Anniversary

It is amazing how Dolly purchased Silver Dollar City and turned it around.

It’s our 25th anniversary season, and we’ve got plans to celebrate all season long!
Silver anniversary highlights include:
Come join us for our 25th anniversary celebration as we “Celebrate the Dreamer in YOU!”
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Bob Lewis thinks AG Ken Cuccinelli is handsome!

Hardly a man crush....
The 41-year-old Cuccinelli is a pugnacious, ruggedly handsome champion of the right who is able to publicly articulate its beliefs and aims without sounding shrill or mean.Link
A pretty good write up on our conservative AG.

Judge upholds warrants against former-UT student in Sarah Palin e-mail hacking case

Not sounding good for the hacker...
CHATTANOOGA — The man charged with hacking Sarah Palin’s e-mail has been dealt another pre-trial setback with a federal magistrate in Knoxville refusing to dismiss search warrants for Internet provider records.
U.S. Magistrate Clifford Shirley Jr. in a decision today denied the motion filed on behalf of David C. Kernell.
Defense attorney Wade Davies and the chief prosecutor in the case, Assistant U.S. Attorney Greg Weddle, could not be reached for comment Friday.
The 22-year-old Kernell was accused while a University of Tennessee student of getting access to the former Alaska governor’s personal Yahoo e-mail account when she was John McCain’s running mate in 2008.
Kernell’s trial is set April 20 in Knoxville.
Davies contended the magistrate overstepped his authority.
We shall see.
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Egg Drop.....

Well at least it's not WKRP dropping live turkeys.!
..on April 4 – at mid-day, Easter – that chick could actually see eggs fall from the sky at Viking Hall Civic Center in Bristol, Tenn.
Around noon, that’s when Highlands Fellowship will celebrate the largest “Easter Egg Drop” in the history of the Tennessee/Virginia Tri-Cities – just after the 10 a.m. worship service.
The Abingdon, Va.-based church has assembled prizes in eggs – some 25,000 plastic eggs, actually – and plan to drop them in a field at the civic center, using a helicopter, just after the Easter Sunday service.

“It’s about loving on our community,” said Deborah Whitt, the church’s assistant to the lead pastor, Jimmie Davidson. “We were sitting in a room and thinking, ‘How can we love on our community?’ ”
The church leaders wanted to be “outrageous,” Whitt said. “And we came up with this idea to drop eggs out of a helicopter.” Link
Sounds like fun!
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Cable News Race

It's like comparing the NFL to Peanut League football.
THURS., APRIL 1, 2010
FOXNEWS BECK 2,014,000
FOXNEWS SHEP 1,658,000
CNN KING 839,000
CNN COOPER 820,000
Like NASCAR and Hot Wheels.....
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Friday, April 02, 2010

What I'm Listening To? WQUT

You can listen also by clicking here. My favorite DJ Jeri George celebrated 27 years at WQUT today. She started in 1983....The year I graduated high school and I was listening then. It's John Boy & Billy in the morning, then Jeri for me daily. Check it out...Us cool old dudes still do.
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Is There a Racial Recession?

Indeed there is. As I was sitting in the Doctors office I came across a good article in the National Review by Kevin Hassett addressing this subject. It is online here. As bad as this recession is, it is extra bad for black folks. the graph below has some info.
While I believe that racism is pretty much dead, many people are prejudice. the author describes it well saying
"It was a Great Recession for whites. It has been a Great Depression for blacks"
With the unemployment rate soaring, conservatives blame progressives and vice versa. Why don't conservatives get any black voters? One reason is they ignore the above.
"However bad the unemployment rate is for the general population, it is always worse for black Americans. On average, the black unemployment rate has been 6.6 percentage points higher than the white unemployment rate since 1972"
There may be other variables involved like skill levels and education, but I am sure discrimination is still alive and well in the good old USA.
"One recent study by economists Yusuf Baskaya and Isaac Mbiti of Brown University went to Olympian lengths to explain the differential employment results and found that they could not, then concluded that employment differences “may stem from discrimination by employers who lay off black workers disproportionately during economic downturns.” While it is possible that there is some other omitted variable, Occam’s Razor suggests that discrimination is alive and well."
Okay....I am sure many people would still argue the above. Hassett writes that
"If, for example, blacks with higher skills are unlikely to experience discrimination, then let’s improve minority education with charter-school initiatives. If the economy suffers because marginal tax rates rise, then blacks will feel it the most. If blue-collar wages and employment respond favorably to corporate tax rates, then lowering them will disproportionately benefit black workers."
The one thing we cannot do is deny there is a problem. We saw 96 percent of black Americans vote for President Obama. Our conservative leaders must address this problem. Is that possible? I am doubtful. Maybe one day, yes just maybe...
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The Ultimate Fighter Season 11 - The French Guy Norman Paraisy

I am a avid MMA fan so the new season excites me. The big story was this french fighter who said he was going to show how tuff the Frenchies are....He quit after the first round!
Norman Paraisy is a French fighter and James Hammortree is a firefighter. After Hammortree beat on Paraisy for a round, Paraisy said he can't fight any longer. Liddell is absolutely disgusted with Paraisy giving up on such a big opportunity, and likened it to tapping out to strikes, something that Ortiz did in his loss to Frank Shamrock. Hammortree is so excited that he hugs referee Herb Dean.
"Paraisy's big thing was that he was going to come on the show and prove that the French aren't a bunch of [expletives -  refering to cats]," Dana White says. "Not that I'm calling them [expletives], but he should probably get a new job." Link
Made me think of THIS.
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Headline - "Doctor tells Obama supporters: Go elsewhere for health care"

Very interesting story.
A doctor who considers the national health-care overhaul to be bad medicine for the country posted a sign on his office door telling patients who voted for President Barack Obama to seek care "elsewhere."
"I'm not turning anybody away — that would be unethical," Dr. Jack Cassell, 56, a Mount Dora urologist and a registered Republican opposed to the health plan, told the Orlando Sentinel on Thursday. "But if they read the sign and turn the other way, so be it."
The sign reads: "If you voted for Obama … seek urologic care elsewhere. Changes to your healthcare begin right now, not in four years."
My Doctor works out of a clinic. They accept insurance and they also accept the uninsured. "You will not be turned away based on your ability to pay" the sign says. They also see patients on the "sliding scale" That makes the amount you pay is based on your income. I was there Monday and we talked about that. The fear is that if they lose the Federal funding, and there is a great chance they will, the sliding scale will end. I pray that does not happen, but I am told the new Obamacare will do just that. I know that sliding scale enables many folks access to healthcare. The poor can be treated for as little as $10 a visit. In other words, you can see a doctor 12 times a year(once a month) for $120. Will being forced to buy insurance be cheaper? I doubt it.
So please explain to me how this Obamacare will help the ones needing medical care the most see a doctor any cheaper?

Easter is not about a Bunny - It is about the Lamb

"It is the duty of all Nations to acknowledge the providence of Almighty God, to obey his will, to be grateful for his benefits, and humbly to implore his protection and favors." --George Washington
This stuff always amazes me.
Davenport, Iowa, this week, where City Administrator Craig Malin removed Good Friday, the most somber of Christian holidays, from the municipal calendar. He did so without even bringing the issue before the city council, thus unilaterally renaming the day "Spring Holiday."
Malin claims he was just following the recommendation of the Davenport Civil Rights Commission. Tim Hart, the commission's chairman, declared, predictably, "Our Constitution calls for separation of church and state. Davenport touts itself as a diverse city and given all the different types of religious and ethnic backgrounds we represent, we suggested the change."
Memo to Tim: There is no "Wall of Separation" in our Constitution. The truth shall make you free.
"The city council didn't know anything about the change. We were blindsided and now we've got to clean this mess up," said city council alderman Bill Edmond. "How do you tell people the city renamed a 2,000-year-old holiday?"
As is the norm, Mark has a great post up that is worth the time to check out.
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Dominion still planning wind farm in SW Va

Even though the Tazewell BOS are against it.
Dominion says it's not giving up on a plan to build a wind farm on East River Mountain in southwest Virginia.
In February, the Tazewell County Board of Supervisors restricted the height of structures on East River Mountain and other protected ridgelines.
Dominion and BP Wind Energy North America want to install up to 60 wind turbines along East River Mountain.LINK
Amazing. I think the BOS is crazy for opposing this, but I don't live there. Something to watch closely and the real reason for opposition will come out.
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A Quote for Good Friday

From a friend on Good Friday.
Despite our efforts to keep him out, God intrudes. The life of Jesus is bracketed by two impossibilities: "a virgin's womb and an empty tomb". Jesus entered our world through a door marked,"No Entrance" and left through a door marked "No Exit." ~ Peter Larson
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New EPA mining rules Unclear

The new rules have left the mining industry unclear on their effect.
Ted Pile, spokesman for the Abingdon-based coal company Alpha Natural Resources, one of the nation’s largest, said it will take time for the industry to determine the full impact of the new rules, but it will affect all mining, underground as well as surface, and further slow an already-stalled permitting process.
“There is a lot at stake here,” Pile said. “Because the EPA wants to make wholesale change to the ground rules we’ve abided by for years, businesses will be presented with uncertainty in future mine planning. As a consequence, it could lead to a major disruption of the reliability of fuel supply to power plants that rely on Appalachian coal.”
Also, Pile said, the new rules could limit re-mining, which eliminates the scars of old surface mines from the landscape during the modern mining process.
“What we’ve witnessed since the new EPA took over in Washington is an unprecedented attack on coal mining which is already one of the most heavily regulated industries in this country,” Pile said. “The EPA is not required to consider the devastating economic impacts its actions will cause on jobs, families and small businesses that sustain the coalfield economies. It’s unfortunate, but they can take unilateral action like this without having to factor in the consequences, which may be severe.”Link
Obama's promise to kill the coal industry and put thousands out of work has begun. The average American will also pay dearly. Higher energy costs will follow. The costs of road building and resurfacing will increase. These idiots don't understand stone quarry's are surface mines also. That gravel and asphalt price will increase.
Everyone will pay, and pay dearly.
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