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This world, so much happening, too much happening, keeping up, seems impossible.

As Serendipity would have it, I am reading Freedom, by Jonathan Franzen. Freedom is resolutely a novel in the classic form, a 19th century-style narrative set against the wars – political, social, and actual happenings of the 21st century. It succeeds utterly and sucked me in, but not immediately (I started it a year ago). Anyway, there is a great deal of discussion regarding Mountaintop Mining (MTM) and the deals made with the “Powers to Be” and all the social, personal, environmental, moral, health etc. implications. It’s not pretty, and it’s fiction, right? No.

Me, being me, and despising being out of the loop, I dug in. I am dumbfounded and mortified that, just in this past week, have I begun to understand the ramifications on health, community, way of life and the environmental impact of MTM.

I think I get it. Find the coal seams. Trash the land.  Get the coal. Destroy lives. Annihilate communities. Poison the water. Poison the land.  Create noise pollution. Create health hazards. Pretend to obey laws. Find loopholes. Make MONEY. Leave. It’s not OK.

I assume people will think, Ah Ha, yet another “Crusade” by Lassiter. Here’s the thing. If we don’t care about a very small segment of the population that is suffering immeasurably at the hands of Big Business and our Government and has NO VOICE, then we are flawed. If we don’t care enough to at least understand the plight of others, then we are flawed. If we, my Mantra, don’t speak up and out, then we are flawed. We are flawed, let’s change that.

The Appalachian dwellers have been written off, in my opinion, as inconsequential, not worthy of care and consideration, yet they are Americans. If this were happening in Beverly Hills, CA, Westchester County, NY or Palm Beach, FL, can you imagine the outcry? Exactly. This is the rural, “backwards”, “poor”, “uneducated” small segment of the USA where 500 mountaintops have been “RAPED” and thousands of streams have been polluted or obliterated and who cares? They have destroyed an area the size of the state of Delaware. Who cares? The “Powers to Be” promise restoration, they don’t, laws bend, who cares? I hope you do.

What does it boil down to, yet again, “PROFIT OVER PEOPLE”. Are you not sick of it yet?

Visit me at for more on this subject.

Peace and Power to Us, the People….

LJ Lassiter (aka Lassiter)

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Comment Preferences

  •  My personal preference is not to use "rape" (0+ / 0-)

    to refer to environmental destruction or anything but sexual assault.  It's problematic for a variety of reasons.

    That said, I think your precis:

    Find the coal seams. Trash the land.  Get the coal. Destroy lives. Annihilate communities. Poison the water. Poison the land.  Create noise pollution. Create health hazards. Pretend to obey laws. Find loopholes. Make MONEY. Leave. It’s not OK.
    is pretty spot on.  I would only add that traditional, underground coal mining can also be very destructive, to those who do it, to the waterways, in the pollution created when it's refined, and in the pollution created when it's burned.

    What sets MTM apart is that it literally destroys mountains.  This has dramatic effects on, say, erosion, as the plants that once held them up are gone.  Even lifelong coal miners, from coal mining families, think MTM is a step beyond.  

    •  My personal preference is not to use "rape" (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      rebel ga

      I am sorry if I offended, In my mind, the stealing of purity and innocence is rape. This is what is happening....The ecological and environmental ramifications are huge.

      Thank you for your input.....


  •  MTR or MTM is why I went to the Blair Mtn March (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    rebel ga, phonegery

    And labor too. I grew up in SW PA, with red cricks (creeks) and denuded hills. And that is just from regular strip mining. I lived in WV, and saw that MTR mountain top removal made strip mining look like a CCC project.

    I have kin (family) in Logan County WV, where some of the most destructive methods are used. Birth defects and cancers run rampant there. It is a blight unlike any you have seen. There are still company towns down there, but trailer parks on mine owners land, with a lease that denies any sort of recource for any problems from pollution, noise, or just speaking out.

    If I was a believer, I would know those mine owners were going to suffer for eternity in hell...

    Just your average every day Autistic hillbilly/biker/activist/union steward with an engineering degree.

    by Mentatmark on Wed Apr 18, 2012 at 06:42:31 PM PDT

  •  Same can be said (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    rebel ga, phonegery, OldDragon

    for the people of the Gulf states. Big oil has ruined the land around the place with their canals that let in sea water.
    Plus the BP blowout which is going to be as bad as the Exxon disaster.
    Face it, they just do not care what they do to the land or the people. Profits come first.
    Hoping hell exists for those that ruined this planet for greed.


    by snoopydawg on Wed Apr 18, 2012 at 06:42:38 PM PDT

    •  Same can be said (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      rebel ga, snoopydawg

      Sadly, you are correct. They don't care, it's all about the MONEY, and yes, Hell exists, Greed is the root of all Evil....those who have lived with only $ signs as their beacon, will pay.....

      •  i hope so (0+ / 0-)

        Especially for all the false christian kongress whores who run on pro life platforms, yet have no problem killing other people, invading countries and gutting social programs for kids and the poor.
        They would kill Christ again if he came back with His message of peace and Socialism.
        But the stupid people that vote for them and believe what they say are just as guilty.
        Prolife means ALL LIFE.


        by snoopydawg on Wed Apr 18, 2012 at 08:22:23 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  If you haven't yet, read (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    rebel ga

    EriK Reece's Lost Mountain

    "Whether we and our politicians know it or not, Nature is party to all our deals and decisions, and she has more votes, a longer memory, and a sterner sense of justice than we do." — Wendell Berry

    by thea lake on Wed Apr 18, 2012 at 06:48:24 PM PDT

  •  The stupid thing is (4+ / 0-)

    that while the people of Appalachia have been written off for the past century as being too poor, too ignorant, too stupid to take care of themselves or to matter, they're sitting on top of a resource vital to the future of every city on the East Coast.  And I'm not talking about coal.

    I'm talking about the WATER supply.  All the water that the people of New York, Philadelphia, suburban (that is, all of) Maryland, Washington DC (the Nation's Capital, ya know), Richmond, Raleigh-Durham, Charlotte, Charleston, and Savannah DRINK ultimately comes from the rainfall, rivers, and catchbins of Appalachia.  Contaminate those with filthy coal-mine tailings, and exactly what are the Powers That Be and their real estate agents going to drink?  How are they going to water their immaculate lawns?  Flush their gold-plated lavatories?

    The stupid, it burrrrrns.

  •  Watch this video... (0+ / 0-)

    and listen to these words...

    "You want it to be one way. But its the other way." - Marlo Stansfield

    by bertrand on Thu Apr 19, 2012 at 08:30:26 AM PDT

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