by One Citizen
There has been no small amount of consternation in the progressive blogosphere about the recent supreme court decision to open the floodgates for the purchase and sale of politicians by big corporations. The lack of reporting by our mainstream media about the incredible strain that it puts on our democratic system is proof that today’s media is anything but “liberal”. OR “progressive”.
To study the perfect example of what a corporate-owned politician is all about one need go no further than West Virginia. The stranglehold that “King Coal” has long had on our political process is legendary. For well over a century large corporations owned primarily by outsiders have had the ability to spend vast amounts of money to directly dominate our state government so they could reap huge profit margins whilst subjugating our state’s citizens.
Witness below as our current King Coalocrat willingly embarrasses himself by announcing his plan to venerate coal operators in the same way as we currently do our war veterans. Try not to wince as he gives coal lobbyist Chris Hamilton a “political reacharound” by making outrageous claims so contrary to the facts that they’re laughable. Finally, after portraying his coal operator pals as patriotic, try not to gag as King Coalocrat rails against the U.S. for making us all “energy unsecure” by not investing in Nazi Germany’s inventive idea of burning coal in place of petroleum to invade other countries.
Right wing politicians wishing to make the most of the supreme court’s apocalypse of democracy will want to study former governor Mannikin’s technique as he takes corporate pandering to a whole new level.
Today, local free-marketeers disguised as Democrats have no problem ignoring the fact that thousands of people have died and are dying due to coal operations across West Virginia, because the mainstream media here has abdicated its responsibility to put any of them on the spot. But their argument that leveling our mountains will attract businesses is extremely hard to accept since Forbes Magazine all but described West Virginia as a toxic wasteland.
For the record, while Manchin served as governor and his Coalocrat clone Earl Ray Tomblin was his Senate President, more small businesses left WV than any other state. Yet the Chilton Gazette endorsed both to serve as our governor.
All video and audio sources used in the making of the above video editorial are in the public domain and not covered by any copyright laws.
The original interview was produced by the State of West Virginia’s Library Commission Video Services around October 2009 (ref. no. c 122.07).
If you’d like to check my source for the Forbes article where the editors voted West Virginia the most polluted state in the nation, just go to Forbes.com: Home Page for the World’s Business Leaders
If you want to check out the American Lung Association’s State of the Air report that recently failed WV’s air quality, you can download this PDF FILE
If you doubt that the water quality in West Virginia is a major problem here, then you probably missed this Coalpatch Gazette article.
And if that didn’t convince you, this New York Times piece might do the trick.
Then there’s always the ever-increasing warnings (now also known as “advice”, notably for the first time ever) from WV’s Department of Natural Resources about eating fish loaded with toxic substances.
Regarding the pollution of water by coal operations in WV, it is also curious to note that not too long ago, the WV Department of Environmental Protection (“WV DEP”) finally, after much delay, reported to the WV legislature that it just didn’t have enough “information” to conclude that coal slurry injection would at some point end up leaking into the aquifer and end up poisoning rural community water wells in and around the WV coal fields.
Unfortunately, besides letting the public know for the first time that the WV DEP somehow doesn’t employ any engineers who understand even the most basic laws of physics (entropy), the WV DEP had to delay the obvious conclusion even longer by palming it off onto WVU’s engineering department six months ago. Which, despite also being overdue, WVU’s report still hasn’t been aired before the public.
Perhaps a FOIA request will shake it loose.
Anyway, if you’re really curious, try calling the WV DEP and asking them to either read or send you the conclusions of that report. Or ANYTHING for that matter. According to WV DEP’s communications director Kathy Cosco, there is what amounts to an information lockdown order issued by Governor Manchin over her agency. She informed my source that she was ordered by Governor Manchin that before she can release ANY field reports, they were required to filter through the entire FOIA request process.
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