This is a blog about mining (and occasionally opera.) Sometimes I stray into politics, specifically the politics of mining and the politics that affect mining. Let me do the mining/politics thing in this post. At this link is a report that makes the blood boil and the hair curl. It is all about poor Mitt putting his foot in his mut yet again. In part the link notes:
On Wednesday, the Mitt Romney campaign released an ad spotlighting President Obama’s putative “War On Coal,” despite a controversy in Ohio about the coal miners’ rally featured in the spot. In the ad, Romney appears on a stage before rows of hard-hatted miners, their faces smudged with coal dust, as he says, “We have 250 years of coal. Why wouldn’t we use it?”
The rally was held last month in Beallsville, Ohio, thick with miners from the Century coal mine, owned by Murray Energy, a major donor to Republican causes. Within days of the rally, Murray employees contacted a nearby morning talk radio host, David Blomquist, to say they were forced to attend the Aug. 14 event at the mine.
Murray closed the mine the day of the rally, saying it was necessary for security and safety, then docked miners their pay for those hours. Asked by WWVA radio’s Blomquist about the allegations, Murray Chief Operating Officer Robert Moore said, somewhat confusingly, “Attendance was mandatory but no one was forced to attend the event.”
It is a good question: why not use the 250 years of coal we have? Just like it is a good question: why not use the 300 years of oil sands we have? Or the many more years of uranium we have. Or the essentially infinite wind and sun. I do not want to degenerate into that debate. I suspect is all about balance and risk spreading.
But I cannot let this pass without noting some amazement at the ham-handed forcing of miners to take the day off without pay and made to attend a mandatory political rally. That is primitive, feudal, tyrannical.
Indeed it is eerily reminiscent of those forced ralleys in District 12 as written about in The Hunger Games. Can Romney, Ryan, and Republicans be seeking to emulate The Capitol, white roses, and fights to the death? Are they so cruel? Or are they just crass with wooden ears? Either way, I suggest they are dangerous.
As a coal miner, I know which way I would vote.
At the least the coal miners deserve an apology, back-pay for the day, and the opportunity to hear Obama. The question is do the coal mining bosses have it within them to do that?