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Willisms

« Pundit Roundtable Open Mic | WILLisms.com | Let The Silliness Begin! »

Trivia Tidbit Of The Day: Part 252 -- Mining Accidents & Blaming Bush.

So Predictably Absurd-

Back during my blogging hiatus, right around the turn of 2006, I was decidedly tuned out, news-wise. I first learned of the "Sago Mine Tragedy" from ABC Sports, watching West Virginia's football coach Rich Rodriguez make a brief statement about how his team's thoughts and prayers were with the coal miners and their families.

My first thought (and I am paraphrasing, here): "That's sad."

My second thought: "I bet they are already blaming Bush for this somehow."

My third thought: "I bet the unions are going to exploit this tragedy to whip their members into a frenzy."

My fourth thought: "That's sad."

My fifth thought (still paraphrasing): "Maybe I am just being cynical. They won't blame and exploit."

Well, sure enough, my first, cynical thoughts were right. How lame is that? I hate having to be cynical. I prefer to think of myself as an optimist, for the most part. But, when our irresponsible media giants that still dictate what is or is not news are so predictably absurd, it's hard not to be a little bit cynical.

On January 5, I received an email from "peoplepower@AFLCIO.org" sent out to union members and media, blaming President Bush and Congressional Republicans for "cuts" to the Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA). Cuts. Left-wing code for "slowing the growth of."

And it included all sorts of links, including to this heavily-quoted (in the email) NYT op-ed:

Just as Hurricane Katrina forced Americans to look at the face of lingering poverty and racism, the mining tragedy should focus us all on another forgotten corner of society....

...the Bush administration’s cramming of important posts in the Department of the Interior with biased operatives from the coal, oil and gas industry is not reassuring about general safety in the mines.

Sure.

And don't forget this classy (not) and often contradictory press release from Democratic Representative George Miller of California:

...the federal Mine Safety and Health Administration has been downsized by 170 positions since 2001. Congress has cut MSHA’s funding by $4.9 million, in inflation-adjusted terms, for the 2006 fiscal year, compared with 2005. Moreover, Miller said, the Bush Administration has appointed numerous officials to the agency who have close ties to the mining industry. These officials, in the last five years, have rolled back a number of regulations aimed at improving mine worker safety, Miller said.

As if to say, "Blood on your hands, Bush!"

It's the Katrina blueprint. And you can expect it following any disaster or tragedy whatsoever for the next couple of years. A concerted effort, spearheaded by establishment media outlets, left-wing members of Congress, and the pertinent left-wing organization (environmental, race-based, labor union, and so on) to pin whatever it was that happened on President Bush.

Also in the AFL-CIO email was a link to the "workingforchange" blog, with this bit of hatred:

The tragic news about the death of 12 mine workers this week has brought up all sorts of questions about the Bush administration's record protecting mine workers. Back in 2002, I was working for the House Appropriations Committee. At the time, you may recall there was a big mining accident in Western Pennsylvania. President Bush held a big photo-op to pretend like he cared - but he never responded to the fact sheet that House Democrats put out questioning why he had made so many cuts to mine safety programs. You can view this fact sheet in Microsoft Word right here (I still have it from my time at the Appropriations Committee) It was released to the media and the administration on August 5, 2002 - the same day Bush did his big photo-op.

Talk about cynical. This-- the Marxist union movement-- is the heart and soul of today's Democratic Party. They not only disagree with Republican policies and ideas, they impugn our motives, as well. As if we are evil, heartless villains.

Grumble grumble, Bush and his pretend photo-ops, grumble grumble. Bunch of fatcat capitalist cronies. Grumble.

Go form your own Soviet Union somewhere, already.

But it wasn't just these fringe groups that increasingly for the core of the Democratic Party.

Enter the media.

The Media Research Center documented, in detail, how the establishment media was quick to blame business leaders and the Bush administration:

When tragedy strikes, the media make errors. Following the hasty and, unfortunately, inaccurate reporting on the Sago mine rescue efforts, the media didn’t slow down to wait for the facts. Instead, they quickly looked for someone to take responsibility for the accident that killed 12 miners. The investigation into the Sago mine explosion has barely begun and the cause is far from known, but journalists have already jumped ahead to blaming mine owners and inspectors.

It is unfortunate that the Sago Mine Tragedy became a partisan issue. But fortunate for the good guys, the facts are on our side, no matter how effective the emotional and knee-jerkedly anti-Bush rhetoric from the unions and media was/is. Here are some of the facts (.pdf):

coalproductionupfatalitiesd.gif

Production up. Fatalities down.

Next:

coalinjuriesdown.gif

Injuries down.

Also down: injury rate, fatal injuries, and the fatal injury rate.

All down. As in, improving. Often by quite a bit.

BizzyBlog has a lot more on this subject here.

The sad part about all this is that Katrina taught us that we cannot sit idly by while grotesque accusations and insinuations are made, even if the facts are on our side. There is no such thing as remaining above the fray, or "not dignifying that rubbish with a response." We have to respond. Otherwise, it could derail the entire pro-growth, pro-market, pro-America conservative agenda indefinitely.

So, sure, this isn't hot off the presses type stuff, but it still needs to be said, especially when the facts are so overwhelming.


-------------------------------------

Previous Trivia Tidbit: Japan's Economy.

Posted by Will Franklin · 29 January 2006 07:01 PM

Comments

Great work.

So the obvious conclusion is--no more hiatuses! (or is that hiatis?)

Posted by: Thomas Blumer at January 29, 2006 08:44 PM

Or is that Hiati?...Maybe by cutting those jobs? Just maybe it saved some lives!...
Hi Thomas!... That wasn't you who refered to me as Ms. Gabor was it? ...

Posted by: Zsa Zsa at January 29, 2006 09:02 PM

If anything, it seems to me that the environmentalists have blood on their hands here.

Here's my theory: nuclear power. If we replaced all the energy we currently consume from coal with nuclear power it follows that far fewer people would be involved in uranium's extraction than coal's. Why? Uranium is far more energy-dense than coal, meaning far fewer quantities of it are needed to produce the same amount of energy. Lower production requirements means fewer miners, which means fewer chances for fatalities.

Yet environmentalists have blocked the development of nuclear power at every turn.

More thoughts here and here.

Posted by: Dave at January 29, 2006 09:15 PM

interesting...

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2006_Sago_Mine_disaster#Safety_violations_in_prior_inspections

Dave, I agree. Tree huggers are to blame, if it weren't for them, 100% of our energy would be coming from nuclear energy and there would be no coal mines.

Besides, this guy doesn't sound like a cronie to me...

Information About
the Acting Assistant Secretary

David G. Dye came to the U.S. Department of Labor in June 2001, where he served as deputy assistant secretary for the Employment and Training Administration. He later served at MSHA as its deputy assistant secretary for policy beginning in May 2004.

Previously, he worked in separate assignments as chief counsel to the House Resources Committee, the House Agriculture Committee, and the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee. Before that, Dye served as counsel to the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee. Later, he worked as director of external affairs for the U.S. Department of Transportation's Maritime Administration and as counsel to the chairman of the Federal Maritime Commission.

Before coming to Washington, Dye served as the professional staff to two committees of the Alaska Senate-as special assistant to Alaska's lieutenant governor and as a regional and urban planner with the Alaska Department of Community and Regional Affairs.

Dye received his bachelor of arts degree from the University of Texas at Austin in 1970. He graduated from the Franklin Pierce Law Center in Concord, N.H., in 1979.

Posted by: thomas at January 29, 2006 09:52 PM

Unfortunately, I have to disagree that nuclear power solves all the woes of coal mining. Uranium must be mined too.

But guess what? Mining, whether gold, coal, uranium, diamond, or whatever, is just plain dangerous business. I worked in my grandfather's gold mine as well as several others in my teens and unless it is strip mining, you are underground with limited escape options and limited access to fresh air and that stuff called oxygen.

Net is that people die doing this stuff despite the best efforts. It is damned dangerous. Kinda like building the pyramids or being an astronaut. This weekend marked the anniversary of the Challenger disaster. And the media did the same thing. Blame the Republicans for cutting the space program's budget or for cronyism or evil corporations for doing poor engineering jobs building the parts or this or that. Blame Bush for soldiers dying in a war because he is the Commander in Chief and there is not enough body armor for cooks to wear while working the chow line.

I am going to vote Democrat from now on because simply getting rid of Bush will stop space disasters, bad weather, mine disasters, soldiers dying during a war, and keep the damned rich from getting richer by controlling the tools of production. When the workers and the entire society share ownership of everything there will not be any disasters. Wait, didn't some folks try that once? I heard about some Chernoble thing but that must have been some fat cat electical company profitting by doing shoddy work.

Posted by: Justin B at January 30, 2006 04:30 AM

Zsa Zsa, I don't think that was me.

And I think you're right that it would be "hiati."

Posted by: Thomas Blumer at January 30, 2006 03:33 PM

It didn't sound like you... I thought for a moment there my Bizzy blog friend had really lost it or I had really overlooked a courtesy!!! Besides, You are always nice to me even if I do have a tendency to say some odd things!...
We have had enough of Will and his "hiati"...

Posted by: Zsa Zsa at January 31, 2006 05:49 AM

Rush is exactly right!... Any opportunity to bash Bush the libs will take it!...AND they do.

Posted by: Zsa Zsa at January 31, 2006 08:23 AM

Yet with all their bashing, we have a solid economy and now a second Bush-appointed judge on the SC.

I'm soooo glad Bush stole that election back in 2000. ;)

Posted by: Hoodlumman at January 31, 2006 03:19 PM

YAY!... Me too!

Posted by: Zsa Zsa at January 31, 2006 08:39 PM