Wednesday, April 7, 2010
It turns out that Don Blankenship, the owner of the mine where, so far, 25 miners died in an explosion the other day, is very active in the Teabag movement and a featured speaker at their rallies.
He's one of the largest employers in the coal fields and his non-union mines have the worst safety record in the industry.
While he's used to being cheered at Teabagger rallies, he got a very different reception from the newly bereaved families of the coalminers. He was surrounded by a phalanx of police and state troopers as he addressed the new widows and orphans. That intimidating display of protection still didn't stop a folding chair from sailing in his direction.
There are times when I think the beginning of the 21st century looks less like the dawn of a new era than a rerun of the late 19th century. It's probably no coincidence that union membership in the West Virginia mines is down to 20% and that safety standards have deteriorated at the same time. Blankenship is as blustering and self-congratulatory a plutocrat as any that used to enjoy brandy with Herbert Spencer at Delmonico's.
Posted by Counterlight at Wednesday, April 07, 2010