Character

Saturday, January 07, 2006


i keep thinking about this last note from one of the lost W Virginia miners.

"Character is what you are in the dark." — Unknown

46 comments:

terrye said...

He was thinking of his people, his family.

It is a lot like the people on 9/11 calling the people they loved and telling them goodbye.

We know this man loved his family. And so do they.

Julian Biggs said...

yes, terrye, he spent his last moments trying to comfort the living.

markg8 said...

Yeah in his last moments he did what he could to comfort his family. I'd really like this article to be untrue. Unfortunately it's not and it's all too typical.

Julian Biggs said...

markg8 - your disgusting propensity to use others to further your idiotic worldview is not welcome on the thread to any of my posts.

Buddy Larsen said...

Julian, I'm gratified to see this post--I saw the note reproduced on TV yesterday and was hoping that someone whould do just as you did.

markg8 said...

Hate to rain on your after the fact pity for the dead Julian but the propensity to promote political hacks over professionals and give businesses a free pass on regulation by this administration is an invitation to these kind of tragedies. Over 200 safety violations at the Sago mine in 2005, almost of half them major violations. Those are facts. They don't make me happy. They shouldn't make you happy. If you don't like reading about it then stop supporting the policy.

Buddy Larsen said...

Mark, give it a rest, wouldja? There's plenty of tragedy, there's no need to politicize it. Can't we bury the dead first?

If you have to start somewhere, why not start with OSHA, which permitted the mine? But you won't do that, willya, OSHA being a Big Gov bureaucracy.

Nah, better to blame Bush, who didn't go to WVirginia (Byrd & Rockefeller's state) and personally board up the entrance.

markg8 said...

Buddy the coal mining biz is actually regulated by the Labor Dept's MSHA. As I noted before it's been staffed with political hacks since 2000. The number of violations at the Sago mine had quadrupled in 2005. ICG had only owned it for 9 months. Here
is a long post from a miner. It's a long tutorial on mining practices but here's the money quote:

"So why didn't ICG keep Sago safe? Because these guys are vultures. Outfits like this exploit corporate bankruptcy laws to take over mines that are on the ropes, then squeeze their bones for every last cent. In the case of Sago, ICG's corporate shell game managed to avoid safety and environmental citations, to escape black lung payments, and break a union contract. Then they got to sell coal into the highest priced market ever. How nice for them, huh?

What killed those men at Sago? Stupid corporate laws that make corporations into "super citizens" and allow shell companies to come and go at will -- companies that squeeze out union support and ignore safety to make another dime. An MSHA that has been gutted and weakened (the mine where I use to work had an MSHA inspector on site ever single day, and sometimes as many as six). And they were killed by men like this:

Wilbur Ross, the New York financier and Palm Beach socialite who swallowed up the company, has been seen squirming before the cameras in the aftermath of the Sago disaster. Maybe he should have gotten his ass down there to rescue the Sago miners -- they're his workers. Well, OK, maybe he shouldn't have. But like other mine owners, he and his company didn't want the expense of keeping a rescue squad on the scene, which some speculate is why it took almost a full day to get the effort going. In any event, the Sago mine, like many others, had numerous citations for safety violations.

That's right. Sago Mine had no rescue team, a fact so astounding, I still have a hard time grasping it. But hey, if it saves Wilbur another dime..."

This was a disaster waiting to happen. Just like New Orleans. This is what you get when you put people in government who hate government and hate regulation. Yeah I know it's a bitter pill to swallow but these are facts everybody has to face. Especially you guys.

terrye said...

mark:

You moron.


Fewer people have died in mining accidents in the last few years than did when Clinton was in office. That is a fact.

In fact in 1995, the number of 76, this year was less than 40. I saw the graph a couple of days ago at realclearpolitics on their commentary or blog. Go find it.

The need to make everything about Bush says a lot about your sorry mental health.

I know coal miners, it is a dangerous business, it always has been.

please go away.

truepeers said...

Some men choose to do dangerous work, for the betterment of their families and nations, and perhaps also for their own characters. Mark will probably never understand this, nor the necessity that some men do it, so obsessed is he with his resentments and victimary paradigms. It would be good to remember that many men aren't so far gone, and they are the ones on whom our comfortable lives daily depend. Let them rest in peace.

terrye said...

I personally know people who have spent decades in this business. In fact here in southern Indiana there are people who are second generation miners. A small town not far away calls its basketball team the Miners.

In fact one of the miners I know recently told me that management is obsessed with safety because it effects their ability to get insurance and the rates they have to pay and of course that effects their bottom line.

People like mark do not understand that no one, not management or George Bush or anyone else wants to see this kind of thing happen.

Except maybe for the media, they seem to get a certain perverse kick out of this kind of thing.

Anonymous said...

Not gonna bite, Mark. Not gonna come out for dead miners. Sorry. Guess you get to wear a feather in your cap.

Buddy Larsen said...

Didn't mean to be anonymous--weird net sometimes.

Peter UK said...

Markg8.
Have you ever been diagnosed as a psychopathic personality?

Buddy Larsen said...

How 'bout, just, with a personality?

Peter UK said...

Tough call Buddy,he went to the Doctors and complained about being a nonentity,the Doctor replied "Who said that?"
A bit hard for a,I quote,"Rather handsome man with a commanding personality and a booming voice" Yeah,you got it, five feet two with braces on his teeth and glasses,read the Charles Atlas book backwards,even the sand kicks sand in his face.

Buddy Larsen said...

Wilbur Ross

Form your own opinion.

The 'turnaround' biz is tough. But he puts dead operations back up, and employs people who want the work for him.

Lightning struck the Sago mine--it had been fully--if routinely--inspected.

Temporary relief from some of the regulations that likely ruined the original businesses, is something I don't know enough about to comment, re the coal industry.

But I do know that Wilbur Ross has put an awful lot of folks back to work, and CGI's stock has done exceptionaly well--meaning that investors including pension funds, insurance companies that pay off disaster victims, assorted widows & orphans, managed & independent 401ks, and all sorts of plain folks have benefitted from his ventures.

That's the other side of Mark's story. Twelve miners died, twelve thousand (?) others voted with their feet that day and went to work.

And no I'm not minimizing the tragedy. Just trying to not add to it.

Specter said...

Typical Mark.

My mom died of Alzheimer's that she contracted during the Clinton Administration. I guess it was Bill's fault, huh?

terrye said...

The truth is coal is up and there is more and more pressure to produce.

I bet mark uses electricity..where does he think it comes from? The Electricity Fairy?

My Dad died in the last months of Jimmy Carter's term.

Need I say more.

Buddy Larsen said...

Well, it never would've happened to your mom, specter, if only corporate greed fat-catism and republican conspiracy liars warmongers pat robertson no-WMDs gonna-jine-up-de-Weathermen hadn't a not cured Alzheimers.

terrye said...

buddy:

Well if they would just take the money away from the 1% that owns everything and do good things with it like find a cure for cancer and Parkinsons and world hunger and give away medicine and food etc...

Buddy Larsen said...

Actually, that's not a bad idea--first make the Kennedys, Sorosians, and Ketchupians start paying their inheritance taxes, and then earmark ALL of that tax to medical research.

That Katrina van Den Huff n' puffle, editor of "The Nation", our leftest leftist slick, she who advocates as much tax on the rest of us as stalin in his wildest dreams could imagine, actually took a case to the Supreme Court (don't think they agreed to hear it, tho), to keep from paying her inheritance taxes.

It's all in that new best seller "Do As They Say, Not As They Do".

chuck said...

The Electricity Fairy?

I'm now selling shares in the Electric Fairy Corporation &trade. We produce well furnished and attractive little homes for electricity fairies. Just put one on the sun porch, attach the wires of the included Tesla energy broadcaster, and cover it to provide privacy. Fairies are shy, but they can't resist the attractions of a nice home, so soon enough a family will move in and, voila, free power. Good for your budget, good for the environment, and good for fairies.

Buddy Larsen said...

Or batteries! then ya don't even have to make room for them little fairies! Just have the gummint give out free batteries!

markg8 said...

Way to show your character folks. I'm glad you think it's funny. Fact of the matter mining is a much safer biz than it used to be because of government regulation. MSHA oversight has been watered down under Bush, union busting has further eroded workplace protections and fines have been a joke. Wilbur Ross to you is a hero because he employs thousands. Never mind he did it by skirting the rules to make himself even more money than he would have otherwise in a very profitable business which puts pressure on other owners in the marketplace to do the same. He lost his gamble and the courts and insurance companies will undoubtably make him pay. Of course under the legal rules of the game as it's played today he and his investors will probably manage to protect themselves by bankrupting a shell and other miners will pay with their jobs. The only wellpaying jobs you can support a family on in many of these little hilltowns.

But titter on with simpleminded jokes about "electricity fairies" like life is nothing but either-or black and white choices instead of addressing the real issues here.

We shouldn't trade even a few miners lives every year when we don't have to by ignoring the regs just to make the mining companies' balance sheets look a tiny bit better anymore than we should stay in Iraq til the bitter end just to protect a Republican majority in congress til after the fall elections. These peoples lives mean more than that. The fact that you Social Darwinists don't think so says a lot to me about your character.

Peter UK said...

No Markg8,we find it a terrible tragedy,it is you we find funny,now you are an expert on mining,the wonders of Google never cease.

terrye said...

Mark:

My father was almost killed in an accident on an oil rig. I was three years old and one of my first memories is of him lying in a hospital bed.

I don't think there is anything funny about any of this, nor have I said that I think there should be no regulations.

The sad thing is everytime something bad happens people like you have to make it about you and your politics and your worldview etc.

terrye said...

BTW mark, sometimes bad things happen. Not everything in life can be fixed with government regulations.

Like I said I know miners and most of the ones I know resent the unions and resent the paperwork and constant regs. That is human nature.

markg8 said...

Yeah you'll wring your hands and shed a tear for the dead miners and their families terrye, good for you. Then you'll ridicule anybody who points out that yes, there are real life consequences for Republican laissez faire policies. Real life consequences that can get people killed. *Sigh* Why should I expect people who support torture to let this kind of thing bother them?

terrye said...

mark:


You don't know what you are talking about. cut and paste and rant and rave.

For years I have been listening to miners tell me stories about losing people in the mines and it is much better today and safer today than it has ever been. Technology has alot to do with that.

And what about the miners that died when Clinton was president, was that his fault?

You make me sick mark. You could care less about these people. You use these people and their tragedies like cannon fodder for your hatred.

Bush was in no manner shape or form responsible for this, to say he was is a sign of a mental illness.

You jump on this like a vulture on roadkill, it matters to you only in so far as you can use it to make an argumjent. The people themselves mean nothing, absolutely nothing to you.

disgusting little man.

Peter UK said...

Most decent adults would wait until the funerals were over and an inquest had taken place before ranting on like a junkyard dog about Lassez faire policies.
Not our infantile narcissistic troll markg8,Mark Garrity sems to have had an empathectomy.

markg8 said...

Well let's see you say miners are more concerned about finicky regulations and paperwork rather than their own safety on the job. I disagree. Oh well.

terrye said...

peter:

The truth is the number of people killed and injured in jobs like this has declined steadily over the last few years, that includes the years Bush has been in office.

I am not even trying to defend Bush, I am just sick and tired of people like mark using every bad thing that happens for their own benefit.

sheesh.

markg8 said...

Petey don't you mean most Republicans would wait until the story fades away so the coverup can be completed? Gee it would be so much less trouble if we could just blame the media wouldn't it? Those ghouls.

terrye said...

mark:

Most Republicans would just think it was sad.

mark, you are a sick man. Republicans are people, they are human beings.

One of the reasons that Democrats keep getting their asses kicked in election after election is that people such as yourself make it plain that Bush is your enemy not Osama or that poor baby Saddam who got all his pretty oil taken away from him is a victim. It is too weird.

This is a tragedy and the people who lost loved ones should be treated with respect and their privacy should be respected.

They do not exist just to give people like you someone to use.

Peter UK said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Specter said...

So Mark,

Let's summarize. A tragedy happened. A gas pocket exploded. People were trapped. Hundreds of people tried to rescue them. The majority of the minors died. Tragic, but easy so far. How many miners have come forward and said it was the government's fault in any way? I haven't seen one. Only Demoncrats like you.

Now we have to deal, rather than in rhetoric like you always do, but with fact. The number of deaths in mining is down and continues to go lower. And, BTW - that trend did not start with Bush, but it has been continued. Nevertheless, mining is a dangerous occupation. Like military, construction, even in some instances working in a post office. Tragedies and accidents happen. It doesn't mean that the government is responsible.

Besides the horrible deaths involved, the real tragedy was the lack of proper communication and then the press putting out information that wasn't true. Now where have I heard that before?

Trying to blame the government for this is ridiculous. It would be like me trying to blame the Democrats for all the deaths caused by alcohol abuse because Roosevelt was the President when Prohibition was repealed.

You might try to grow up a little.

Specter

Peter UK said...

No Markg8,We normal decent human beings would respect the grief of and mourn with the families of the miners who have died in this tragedy.
It is only those like you Mark Garrity,with severe personality disorders who would seek to make political capital out of such human suffering.
Considering the illness of your mother,can you not muster some small shred of empathy and humanity?
With people like you, the Democrats are looking more like an asylum than a political party.

markg8 said...

"This is a tragedy and the people who lost loved ones should be treated with respect and their privacy should be respected.

They do not exist just to give people like you someone to use."

Who is using whom here? The first post on this blog about the tragedy lambasted the media for broadcasting the good news they'd been given that the men were alive. I don't recall anybody here taking a timeout out of respect then so please save the appalling self righteous blather about using these poor people as political pawns now. If anybody is exploiting them it's mine owners who get away with a wink and a nod for ignoring safety violations by Bush's hack political appointees. Like Katrina this exposes once again how the workings of our government are being undermined. Career professionals in all kinds of federal agencies have left in disgust since 2001 as their budgets have been cut and their regulatory functions have been curtailed. It'll probably take years after Bush leaves office to fix these bureacracies. Wallowing in pity for the miners while backing a policy that left them without a rescue party for 12 hours while their air ran out is the worst kind of shallow hypocrisy.

Peter UK said...

"I watched enough of the sad, hysterical, over the top and depressing coverage of the mine cave in in West Virginia to see the beginnings of a sequel to Katrina.

It had everything, bad information, upset relatives, idiot reporters blowing off about something they know jack about and of course the inevitable desire to lynch some guy looking like a deer in the headlights."

Which makes this,
"The first post on this blog about the tragedy lambasted the media for broadcasting the good news they'd been given that the men were alive."

Just another deranged Mark Garrity lie.

markg8 said...

A deranged lie? You're making my point. I'm sorry it came before the news broke but ridiculing the media was the whole point of the thing wasn't it? I know I've asked it before but is English your native tongue? It does seem to confuse you so.

terrye said...

I had a conversation with an underground miner today.

Like I said I know these people. The only thing they are concerned about is why it took so long to get people out.

But they are aware of the dangers and while they don't know all the answers they are not stupid enough to make it about partisan politics either.

I think we will learn more in the days to come about what caused the accident, but whatever it was no one was happy about it.

Except maybe people like you.

terrye said...

and by people like you I mean mark, the man who feeds off the misery of others.

Peter UK said...

Markg8
You are once again wrong, the original post had not "lambasted the media for broadcasting the good news they'd been given that the men were alive."

It lambasted the media for its usual "sad, hysterical, over the top and depressing coverage of the mine cave in in West Virginia to see the beginnings of a sequel to Katrina."

Note not the "good news".

I have to tell you that your English comprehension,well any kind of comprehension,is substandard even for a microcephalic dolt such as you.

markg8 said...

Hey terrye if I'm making you feel miserable about being a Republican in a word: good. You oughta be ashamed of yourself.

Petey there's no hope for you if there ever was. If you go to Basra there might be but I don't see a chickenhawk like you taking up the challenge. Your kind never do.

Doug said...

Another Big Dem "Expose:"

In an e-mailed response to the Globe, Dana Perino, a White House spokeswoman, said: ''There is no way to tell from the records of the court whether he actually participated in the petition for the rehearing en banc.

''The Third Circuit has told us that simply because his name appears on the order, that doesn't mean he participated," Perino said. She referred further questions to Scirica.

Scirica acknowledged that whenever a judge is marked present, as Alito was in the Kopp case, he or she normally participates in the case. A judge's vote is registered only if he decides in favor of a rehearing, Scirica said.

He added that no one had asked for a rehearing in this case.

Thus, the only record of who may have participated in the Kopp case is the listing of judges ''present," Scirica said.

Kopp, in a telephone interview, said he had been stunned that this obscure case had been noted in the papers delivered by Alito to the Senate for the review of Alito's nomination by the administration to be a Supreme Court justice.

Stressing that his sentence had been vacated, Kopp said he had no idea that Alito might have had any involvement in his case.