Let every American, every lover of liberty, every well wisher to his posterity, swear by the blood of the Revolution, never to violate in the least particular, the laws of the country; and never to tolerate their violation by others.

As the patriots of seventy-six did to the support of the Declaration of Independence, so to the support of the Constitution and Laws, let every American pledge his life, his property, and his sacred honor; let every man remember that to violate the law, is to trample on the blood of his father, and to tear the charter of his own, and his children's liberty.

Let reverence for the laws, be breathed by every American mother, to the lisping babe, that prattles on her lap; let it be taught in schools, in seminaries, and in colleges; let it be written in Primers, spelling books, and in Almanacs; let it be preached from the pulpit, proclaimed in legislative halls, and enforced in courts of justice. And, in short, let it become the political religion of the nation; and Let the old and the young, the rich and the poor, the grave and the gay, of all sexes and tongues, and colors and conditions, sacrifice unceasingly upon its altars.

While ever a state of feeling, such as this, shall universally, or even, very generally prevail throughout the nation, vain will be every effort, and fruitless every attempt, to subvert our national freedom.


- Abraham Lincoln, January 27, 1838
  Address Before the Young Men's Lyceum of Springfield, Illinois

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Why they try to tear the mountains down


All my memories gather round her
Miners' lady, stranger to blue water
Dark and dusty painted on the sky
Misty taste the moonshine
Teardrop in my eye

- John Denver (Take Me Home, Country Roads)

I'm glad John Denver didn't live to see the Bush Administration. It would have broken his heart.

The latest in the endless series of depravities?

Bush is now using the mine collapse in Utah as an excuse to reward mine operators who have dodged both environmental and safety laws for decades.

The Bush administration is set to issue a regulation on Friday that would enshrine the coal mining practice of mountaintop removal. The technique involves blasting off the tops of mountains and dumping the rubble into valleys and streams.

It has been used in Appalachian coal country for 20 years under a cloud of legal and regulatory confusion.

Mountaintop removal is has been outlawed by the Stream Buffer Zone Rule of 1983. For over twenty years mining operators have ignored or fought the rule, and of course there have been courts friendly to (or paid by) mine operators that have refused to enforce this regulation.

But it was still always ILLEGAL. And for good reason. Mountaintop removal wreaks environmental disaster on the streams and lowlands below, killing everything downstream and polluting the land for generations.

Under Bush's new rules, mine operators won't have to worry about paying off the courts any longer; or experience any fear that an honest inspector or judge might call foul.

This horrific 'regulation' caps six and a half years of environmental dismantling work by the administration in order to make it easier for mining companies to dig more coal, make more money, and belch more coal smoke into the sky (as if we need any more carbon in the air.)

That the Bush administration has the audacity (that word is losing its meaning) to use the lost men of the Utah mines as an excuse for this obviously well planned legislation is well... kinda like attacking Iraq (long planned) to get the oil and get revenge for daddy; all supposedly because we were attacked on September 11th by Saudi terrorists working for Al Qaeda. Same twisted, sociopathic logic.

God help us. We'll never make it to 2009. Will anything be left?

By the way, expect more future disasters of a different sort. Similar to say... the Buffalo Creek Flood.

This horrific disaster happened on February 26, 1972 when a coal slurry impoundment dam built on a hillside in Logan County, West Virginia by the Pittston Coal Company burst four days after having been declared 'satisfactory' by a federal mine inspector.

The flood that resulted unleashed approximately 132 million gallons of black waste water upon the residents of 16 coal mining communities in Buffalo Creek Hollow. Out of a population of 5,000 people, 125 people were killed, 1,121 were injured, and over 4,000 were left homeless.

But the coal companies are happy. Old King Coal is a merry old soul tonight!

Now his life is full of wonder
but his heart still knows some fear
Of a simple thing he cannot comprehend
Why they try to tear the mountains down
to bring in a couple more
More people, more scars upon the land

- John Denver (Rocky Mountain High)

I don't know John. We don't know. Greed I guess. I guess its just plain old selfish greed.

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