Webster: Feuds over, miners now attack themselves

'Clean coal' like 'Unstinky poop'

Contributing columnistSeptember 2, 2012 

The real end to the feud was a car wash next to Staples named the Hatfield-McCoy car wash.

That is too bad, because we want to make some real money off the feud and need for it to continue, to accommodate the flocks of tourists, mainly middle-aged men on motorcycles with plump women behind them, who drive into Pike County looking for historical places which we tore down a long time ago so that there might be what we call here, development.

Now we just show them signs.

It is good then that there is a real battle going on up here, which started when coal miners began to attack themselves, and hang one another. Miners now have decided to cheerlead for the corporations which have long abused them and their region. Back when Franklin Roosevelt and John L. was president, miners actually got on their own side and gained some ground against the large corporations which controlled the mineral wealth of the mountains.

Now a union is as hard to find at a coal mine as a hunk of bologna. The sons and daughters of those union miners now rally in favor of the bosses. The United Mine Workers Association always supported the Democrat. The back windows of coal miner pickup trucks now depict the president being urinated on.

Coal miners now unanimously support political candidates who are against black lung legislation. In Kentucky, this is probably because coal workers' pneumoconiosis was officially cured by legislation under the administration of Gov. Paul Patton, a coal operator who was tired of paying workers compensation premiums. Coal miners would rather die of coal dust than support somebody who is a real friend of coal.

Coal miners now support candidates who want the mines to be more dangerous. Any politician who wants mine safety is said to have joined the "war on coal." Everybody knows that it is President Barack Obama's fault that coal is running out, what is left is getting more expensive to mine, and they are giving away natural gas. Energy production has exploded under the Democrat, but that is a secret.

If a politician tries to keep the air that a coal miner breathes clean and keep his water drinkable and keep his soil tillable (Congressman Ben Chandler), that politician must overcome coal money (for challenger Andy Barr). The coal industry is now branching out to buy itself some Falkland congress members, which they really need because the energy coalition in Congress has been fracked, and coal cannot count on the votes of congressmen already bought by oil and gas. The gas people can outvote us, so we are in a panic.

Lying and saying we have 200 years of coal to mine does no good if other energy is cheaper and cleaner. Because it is election season, whenever the word coal comes up, it will be preceded by the word clean, a concept much like unstinky poop.

Tourism, even if all they have to look at is historical markers, may in the long run lead to somebody in local government realizing that we need to preserve our looks, so that we will look more like Romania where the film of the feud had to be shot, for lack of authentic mountain scenery in coal country.

Maybe we could use these moonscapes we are creating to depict the landing of Neil Armstrong. We found out this week that he was picked to walk first on the moon because he had no opinions and was bland, unlike Buzz Aldrin, who believed stuff.

Larry Webster is a Pikeville attorney. Reach him at websterlawrencer@alltel.net.

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