Tag Archive: West Virginia

May 08 2018

2018 Election: May 8 Primary Results

Starting with Indiana where all the results are in for the races we are watching. The very expensive three-way GOP feud for the GOP nomination goes to wealthy businessman and former state Rep. Mike Braun who handily trounced his squabbling two opponents, Reps. Luke Messer and Tod Rokita with 42.2% of the vote to their …

Continue reading »

May 08 2018

2018 Elections: Let The Primaries Begin

There are major primaries if three states, West Virginia, Ohio, and Indiana . Here are the more important races to watch. West Virginia: Races to watch: U.S. Senate; 3rd Congressional District; Polls close: 7:30 p.m. Eastern. We discussed this here yesterday how the fringe has become the new normal. There are three candidates for the …

Continue reading »

May 07 2018

The Fringe Is Now the Normal

Tomorrow there is a primary for who will be the Republican nominee to challenge Senator Joe Manchin (D) for the senate seat in West Virginia. There are three candidates for the seat but the one that is giving the GOP the biggest headache is a racist ex-con millionaire and coal baron Don Blankenship who hasn’t …

Continue reading »

May 10 2016

2016 Primaries: West Virginia and Nebraska

Another Tuesday and another two primaries. In Nebraska, it’s Republicans only, Democratic caucus was held on March 5. Although there are three names on the ballot, Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) and Governor John Kasich (R-OH) having “suspended” their campaigns, real estate mogul Donald Trump is expected to win all 36 delegates. But nothing there is …

Continue reading »

Nov 19 2014

Can the US political system deal with climate change?

The American “system” has been a bit tardy in its response to climate change. Experts tell us that the longer it takes to make needed changes, the more difficult it will be to make them.

As 350.org’s Bill McKibben puts it:

We’re talking about a fight between human beings and physics. And physics is entirely uninterested in human timetables. Physics couldn’t care less if precipitous action raises gas prices, or damages the coal industry in swing states. It could care less whether putting a price on carbon slowed the pace of development in China, or made agribusiness less profitable.

Physics doesn’t understand that rapid action on climate change threatens the most lucrative business on Earth, the fossil fuel industry. It’s implacable. It takes the carbon dioxide we produce and translates it into heat, which means into melting ice and rising oceans and gathering storms. And unlike other problems, the less you do, the worse it gets.  Do nothing and you soon have a nightmare on your hands.

We could postpone healthcare reform a decade, and the cost would be terrible — all the suffering not responded to over those 10 years. But when we returned to it, the problem would be about the same size. With climate change, unless we act fairly soon in response to the timetable set by physics, there’s not much reason to act at all.

Unless you understand these distinctions you don’t understand climate change — and it’s not at all clear that President Obama understands them.

There are lots of reasons why the response of the system has been so slow. There is significant resistance in the system to the sort of changes that need to be made. That resistance has manifested itself in a number of ways, from President Obama using the spies at the NSA to kill global agreements on climate change to the bipartisan popularity of climate change denial in Congress, the media and the public relations industry, despite virtually indisputable scientific evidence.

Resistance is created by a variety of groups based on their perceived interests. Enormously wealthy, powerful corporations and individuals who want to preserve their profits from fossil fuels and related industries, people who rely on jobs created or enabled by fossil fuel industries, people who fear economic chaos and the loss of their comforts due to actions to stop climate change, and politicians whose fortunes depend upon the money and other resources of the fossil fuel industry are some huge sources of systemic inertia.

Jan 21 2014

West Virginia Dirty Water

Nearly two weeks ago a chemical spill at a storage facility for Freedom Industries contaminated the water supply of over 300,000 West Virginians with  4-Methylcyclohexane Methanol which is used to “treat” coal supplies before they are shipped for burning. The plant is located just two miles up river from a water treatment plant. People were warned to not drink the water, but not before it sickened hundreds flooding emergency rooms complaining of nausea, vomiting, some dizziness, headaches, diarrhoea, reddening skin, itches and rashes,

The water has been declared safe, but the CDC has issued a warning to pregnant women to not drink the water. Now to protect themselves from liability, the Freedom Industries filed for bankruptcy on Friday. However, as Raw Story calls it, this is just a legal shell game

And in a brazen legal gambit, the owner of Freedom Industries has also created a shell company to provide financing to his bankrupt firm, which may allow him to retain much of the assets of the firm if and when it is dissolved in bankruptcy. [..]

The name of the owner of Freedom Industries, J. Clifford Forrest, also appears as an officer in a newly-formed firm – Mountaineer Funding LLC – which Freedom Industries named as the source of debtor-in-possession financing of up to $5 million. In a bankruptcy, the debtor in possession financier is typically placed at the head of the line of creditors making a claim on the assets of the firm. If a bankruptcy judge allows the financing to go forward, Mountaineer – and Forrest – might be expected to scoop up most of the assets of the bankrupt firm without any legal liability for the catastrophic environmental damages wrought by it.

MSNBC’s “All In” host Chris Hayes laid out just how this works for the owner and screws the citizens who suffered damages

Mar 10 2013

Anti-Capitalist Meetup: The West Virginia Court-Martial of Mother Jones by JayeRay



From the cover of the International Socialist Review of March 1913

MOTHER JONES ARRIVES IN WEST VIRGINIA

June 11, 1912

Charleston Gazette

Interview with Mother Jones

I am simply a social revolutionist. I believe in collective ownership of the means of wealth. At this time the natural commodities of this country are cornered in the hands of a few. The man who owns the means of wealth gets the major profit, and the worker, who produces the wealth from the means in the hands of the capitalist, takes what he can get. Sooner or later, and perhaps sooner than we think, evolution and revolution will have accomplished the overturning of the system under which we now live, and the worker will have gained his own.

This change will come as the result of education. My life work has been to try to educate the worker to a sense of the wrongs he has had to suffer, and does suffer-and to stir up the oppressed to a point of getting off their knees and demanding that which I believe to be rightfully theirs. When force is used to hinder the worker in his efforts to obtain the thing which are his he has the right to meet force with force. He has the right to strike for what is his due, and he has no right to be satisfied with less. The people want to do right , but they have been hoodwinked for ages. They are now awakening, and the day of their enfranchisement is near at hand.

Reprinted in the March 1913 issue of the International Socialist Review. (pdf!)

Mother Jones gave this interview shortly after her arrival in Charleston. She came by train from Butte, Montana where she had been working with the copper miners of the Western Federation of Miners. Now, she was in West Virginia to assist the the striking miners of the United Mine Workers of America. The miners of Paint Creek were striking for renewal of their contract. The operators were refusing to sign a new contract preferring instead to bust the Union. At issue were all of the usual grievances: dangerous conditions, short weights, payment in company scrip, poor housing, low wages, blacklisting, poor medical care, and never-ending debt. But above all, the miners hated the brutal company-guard system.

To break the strike, the operators had contracted with the Baldwin-Felts Detective Agency which supplied them with three hundred gun-thugs who began a campaign of terror against the miners and their families. Even before Mother Jones arrived, there had been clashes with the company guards, and loss of life on both sides. The guards had more weapons, including machine guns, but the miners had more men, seven thousand by some accounts.