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H2O Man Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-14-08 06:44 AM
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"In May 2002 I flew over the hills of West Virginia, Kentucky, and Tennesse, and saw a sight that would sicken most Americans. The mining industry is dismantling the ancient mountains and pristine streams of Appalachia through a form of strip-mining known as mountaintop removal. Mining companies blow off hundreds of feet from the tops of mountains to reach the thin seams of coal beneath. Colossal machines dump the mountaintops into adjacent valleys, destroying forests and communities and burying free-flowing mountain streams in the process. I saw the historic landscapes that gave America some of its most potent cultural legends the forests where Daniel Boone and Davy Crockett roamed, the hills that bred the soldiers who followed Andrew Jackson, the frontier hollows that cradled our democracy, the wilderness wellspring of our values, our virtues, our national character all being leveled.

"According to the EPA, the waste from mountaintop removal has permanently interred 1,200 miles of Appalachian streams, polluted the regions groundwater and rivers, and rendered 400,000 acres of some of the worlds most biologically rich temperate forests into flat, barren wastelands, limited in topographic relief, devoid of flowing water."
--Robert F. Kennedy, Jr.; Crimes Against Nature: How George W. Bush and His Corporate Pals Are Plundering the Country and Hijacking Our Democracy; 2004; pages 114-115.

Last night I watched the television premiere of "Burning the Future: Coal in America" on the Sundance Channel. It is a powerful documentary that tells about the conflict between the people of West Virginia and the coal industry. I strongly recommend that people take the time to watch it.

In his book "Crimes Against Nature," Robert Kennedy, Jr., addresses the topic in Chapter 7: King Coal. I strongly recommend that book, as well.

Last night, the media covered the democratic primary in West Virginia in what I thought were strangely limited terms. Although I favor Senator Barack Obama, I felt that Senator Hillary Clintons win was significant. It wasnt important in the sense that she is any closer to winning the nomination for president. Rather, it was worthy of our attention, because the people of West Virginia are experiencing the problems that are defining our nations struggle: community values versus corporate profits; the environment being destroyed for the benefit of the Cheneyites; childrens health being compromised by wastes dumped into community water supplies.

I have yet to hear any of the people on the cable news attributing Senator Clintons support to her positions on the environment. And I havent heard them mention that Robert Kennedy, Jr., who is known to poor communities as the most honorable environmental advocate in the land, has endorsed Senator Clinton.

Instead, I hear things that seem geared to place the story about the struggle for democracy in the communities in West Virginia in the margins, where it will be ignored. More, there are news reports that I believe are aimed at creating larger divisions in the democratic party.

If we are going to achieve a true democratic victory in the fall of 2008, it must include the voice of the people in West Virginia being heard. I support Brack Obama, and am fully confident that he will be elected president this fall. Yet I have respect for the struggle for democracy in West Virginia, including for the people looking to Kennedy and Clinton for leadership.

I hope that others will consider these issues as we discuss what shape an Obama administration should take.
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  -Coal H2O Man  May-14-08 06:44 AM   #0 
  - K&R.n/t  myrna minx   May-14-08 07:08 AM   #1 
  - Right.  rosesaylavee   May-14-08 07:09 AM   #2 
  - K&R (nt)  frickaline   May-14-08 07:13 AM   #3 
  - I have a few things for you to read...  theHandpuppet   May-14-08 07:14 AM   #4 
  - Thank you for the  H2O Man   May-14-08 07:26 AM   #5 
  - You're very welcome  theHandpuppet   May-14-08 07:29 AM   #6 
     - Wyoming and coal  RichardRay   May-14-08 08:27 AM   #17 
  - Thank you for this post.  rosesaylavee   May-14-08 07:38 AM   #9 
  - One of the reason's I support Sen Obama is his open mind. It will be up to us  mod mom   May-14-08 07:58 AM   #16 
  - Funny how Hillary in her speech last night quoted the bible "Faith can move a Mountain"  MagickMuffin   May-14-08 07:31 AM   #7 
  - Thank you for this thread H2O.  Marrah_G   May-14-08 07:32 AM   #8 
  - Both Clinton and Obama  H2O Man   May-14-08 07:46 AM   #12 
  - More reasons to fight coal-powered power plalnts.  patrice   May-14-08 07:41 AM   #10 
  - there is no way we will get around using more coal in the near future. It's an absolute certainty  cryingshame   May-14-08 07:54 AM   #14 
  - Link To The Film's Site:  WillyT   May-14-08 07:41 AM   #11 
  - Thanks!  H2O Man   May-14-08 08:50 AM   #22 
     - Anytime O, Anytime...  WillyT   May-14-08 08:44 PM   #42 
  - Apparently Obama has been listening to people in the Environmental Movement  MagickMuffin   May-14-08 07:50 AM   #13 
  - One of the main reasons  H2O Man   May-14-08 12:53 PM   #38 
  - RFK Jr's The True Cost of Coal (No such thing as "clean coal"!)  mod mom   May-14-08 07:56 AM   #15 
  - So what are you saying exactly?  mmonk   May-14-08 08:32 AM   #18 
  - I found some of  H2O Man   May-14-08 08:45 AM   #20 
     - Thanks. Got it.  mmonk   May-14-08 08:50 AM   #21 
     - I'd like to see  H2O Man   May-14-08 09:09 AM   #25 
        - That would be most excellent.  mmonk   May-14-08 09:25 AM   #27 
     - Respectfully...  theHandpuppet   May-14-08 11:12 AM   #30 
        - I can't speak to your feelings about Senator Obama and WV  RichardRay   May-14-08 12:33 PM   #34 
        - In his book  H2O Man   May-14-08 12:51 PM   #36 
           - Thank you for offering to pass this along  theHandpuppet   May-14-08 01:54 PM   #39 
              - Thank you  H2O Man   May-14-08 02:07 PM   #40 
                 - Paradise  Usrename   May-14-08 11:08 PM   #43 
  - I Am Curious As To Why He Didn't Spend More Time In W Va.  Me.   May-14-08 08:39 AM   #19 
  - It's a good question.  H2O Man   May-14-08 09:17 AM   #26 
  - Not enough time to make up serious ground  SoonerPride   May-14-08 09:29 AM   #28 
  - It wasn't meaningless to US  theHandpuppet   May-14-08 12:03 PM   #32 
  - I Think The Week Of Time Limitation  Me.   May-14-08 12:22 PM   #33 
  - What was he going to do? Cut it to 35 percent?  theboss   May-14-08 09:32 AM   #29 
  - I have been reading up on mountain-top removal and it's horrible  Blue_Roses   May-14-08 08:50 AM   #23 
  - Thank you for that link.  H2O Man   May-14-08 08:58 AM   #24 
  - A friendly kick for a worthy thread.  theHandpuppet   May-14-08 11:51 AM   #31 
  - k & r  spanone   May-14-08 12:44 PM   #35 
  - K&R  anonymous171   May-14-08 12:52 PM   #37 
  - K & R  Scurrilous   May-14-08 02:55 PM   #41 
  - Great post H2O Man. K&R  Tom Rinaldo   May-14-08 11:44 PM   #44 
  - Sir...please! I am fully aware, of your position with respect to Barack Obama...  bridgit   May-15-08 01:23 AM   #45 
  - K and R  McCamy Taylor   May-15-08 02:12 AM   #46 

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