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BS: West Virginia Coal Miners Found - 1 Alive

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Ebbie 04 Jan 06 - 12:39 AM
Nancy King 04 Jan 06 - 12:50 AM
Edain 04 Jan 06 - 02:53 AM
Keith A of Hertford 04 Jan 06 - 03:45 AM
Edain 04 Jan 06 - 03:55 AM
Bobert 04 Jan 06 - 08:03 AM
Rapparee 04 Jan 06 - 09:03 AM
wysiwyg 04 Jan 06 - 09:07 AM
wysiwyg 04 Jan 06 - 09:13 AM
katlaughing 04 Jan 06 - 09:34 AM
Greg F. 04 Jan 06 - 10:22 AM
GUEST,G 04 Jan 06 - 10:25 AM
Ebbie 04 Jan 06 - 11:24 AM
Greg F. 04 Jan 06 - 11:34 AM
Bill D 04 Jan 06 - 11:47 AM
Janie 04 Jan 06 - 11:52 AM
GUEST,G 04 Jan 06 - 12:28 PM
GUEST,G 04 Jan 06 - 12:41 PM
katlaughing 04 Jan 06 - 12:57 PM
katlaughing 04 Jan 06 - 01:00 PM
Janie 04 Jan 06 - 01:05 PM
Metchosin 04 Jan 06 - 01:29 PM
Clinton Hammond 04 Jan 06 - 01:45 PM
katlaughing 04 Jan 06 - 01:56 PM
GUEST,mg 04 Jan 06 - 01:56 PM
wysiwyg 04 Jan 06 - 02:50 PM
Greg F. 04 Jan 06 - 06:23 PM
McGrath of Harlow 04 Jan 06 - 06:39 PM
Janie 04 Jan 06 - 07:24 PM
Bill D 04 Jan 06 - 07:37 PM
Janie 04 Jan 06 - 07:46 PM
Alba 04 Jan 06 - 07:47 PM
Peace 04 Jan 06 - 07:51 PM
Janie 04 Jan 06 - 07:53 PM
open mike 04 Jan 06 - 08:12 PM
GUEST,g 04 Jan 06 - 08:30 PM
GUEST,G 04 Jan 06 - 08:33 PM
Peace 04 Jan 06 - 08:39 PM
GUEST,Woody 04 Jan 06 - 08:50 PM
SharonA 04 Jan 06 - 08:53 PM
Peace 04 Jan 06 - 08:55 PM
Ebbie 04 Jan 06 - 08:58 PM
GUEST,SunnySister 04 Jan 06 - 10:13 PM
Peace 04 Jan 06 - 10:23 PM
GUEST,SunnySister 04 Jan 06 - 10:44 PM
katlaughing 04 Jan 06 - 11:28 PM
dianavan 04 Jan 06 - 11:48 PM
GUEST,G 05 Jan 06 - 06:53 AM
GUEST,clogger 05 Jan 06 - 07:05 AM
GUEST,G 05 Jan 06 - 07:06 AM
GUEST,G 05 Jan 06 - 04:53 PM
katlaughing 05 Jan 06 - 05:38 PM
Azizi 05 Jan 06 - 05:51 PM
McGrath of Harlow 05 Jan 06 - 06:05 PM
GUEST,G 05 Jan 06 - 06:27 PM
katlaughing 05 Jan 06 - 06:57 PM
Janie 06 Jan 06 - 12:46 PM
kytrad (Jean Ritchie) 06 Jan 06 - 04:12 PM
katlaughing 06 Jan 06 - 05:30 PM
Sandy Mc Lean 06 Jan 06 - 09:54 PM
GUEST,Sandy (lost cookie) 07 Jan 06 - 06:15 AM
katlaughing 07 Jan 06 - 06:48 AM
JennyO 09 Jan 06 - 08:42 AM
katlaughing 11 Jan 06 - 05:34 PM
Greg F. 22 Jan 06 - 06:45 PM
SINSULL 08 Feb 06 - 11:22 AM
BanjoRay 08 Feb 06 - 01:00 PM
katlaughing 08 Feb 06 - 01:36 PM
katlaughing 08 Feb 06 - 01:44 PM
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katlaughing 09 Feb 06 - 10:59 AM

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Subject: BS: West Virginia Coal Miners Found Alive!
From: Ebbie
Date: 04 Jan 06 - 12:39 AM

The early story is spare and unsatisfying but the family members are saying that their loved ones have been found alive. I pray it is so.

After 41 Hours...


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Subject: RE: BS: West Virginia Coal Miners Found Alive!
From: Nancy King
Date: 04 Jan 06 - 12:50 AM

WOW!

And only an hour or so ago we were still hearing dire reports about finding one body and dreadful carbon monoxide levels, and...

Fantastic!

Thanks for the breaking news, Ebbie!


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Subject: RE: BS: West Virginia Coal Miners Found Alive!
From: Edain
Date: 04 Jan 06 - 02:53 AM

Another news story on it, this one from the BBC


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Subject: RE: BS: West Virginia Coal Miners Found Alive!
From: Keith A of Hertford
Date: 04 Jan 06 - 03:45 AM

How could they get it so cruelly wrong?
All dead.


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Subject: RE: BS: West Virginia Coal Miners Found Alive!
From: Edain
Date: 04 Jan 06 - 03:55 AM

From a BBC report it was one guy who heard the initial report from the rescue team that they were 'checking vital signs' (or something along those lines) and took that to mean (along with quite possibly others) that this ment the men were alive. He then went to spread the news before the confirmation came through that of the 12 there (one body found earlier), 11 were dead and one critical. When the news broke of the multiple fatalities apparent this guy had to be escorted away from the church by police. I really feel sorry for him (and obviously all the families and miners too).


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Subject: RE: BS: West Virginia Coal Miners Found Alive!
From: Bobert
Date: 04 Jan 06 - 08:03 AM

Sad day fir mining and sad day for Wes Virginia...

My thought and prayers go out to the fasmilies of those miners who were killed..

Bobert


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Subject: RE: BS: West Virginia Coal Miners Found Alive!
From: Rapparee
Date: 04 Jan 06 - 09:03 AM

12 dead, last I heard.


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Subject: RE: BS: West Virginia Coal Miners Found Alive!
From: wysiwyg
Date: 04 Jan 06 - 09:07 AM

Well.... the thread title replicates the disturbing effect of the wrong report-- each time one of us somes along and sees the thread before having heard the actual news.

That just seems wrong.

~Susan


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Subject: RE: BS: West Virginia Coal Miners Found - 1 Alive
From: wysiwyg
Date: 04 Jan 06 - 09:13 AM

Great to see the thread title changed-- well done.

~Susan


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Subject: RE: BS: West Virginia Coal Miners Found - 1 Alive
From: katlaughing
Date: 04 Jan 06 - 09:34 AM

We went to sleep thinking they were alive, but one. Woke up to find this on google. Those poor, poor people, all of them. By strange coincidence our PBS showed a short, old docu about mine disasters, last night, esp. the Ludlow one. It was quitw moving, esp. with the thought of what was currently happening in West Virginia.

May their god/gods bless them all and help them find peace.

kat


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Subject: RE: BS: West Virginia Coal Miners Found - 1 Alive
From: Greg F.
Date: 04 Jan 06 - 10:22 AM

Time to have a listen to Billy Ed Wheeler.
Then have a read of Night Comes to the Cumberlands.
Then have a read of Thunder in the Mountains
Maybe rent the movie Matewan


Then contemplate the Republican rollback of OSHA & the MSA.

Ain't that America. God rest 'em.


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Subject: RE: BS: West Virginia Coal Miners Found - 1 Alive
From: GUEST,G
Date: 04 Jan 06 - 10:25 AM

Greg F, please show me where you find that info.


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Subject: RE: BS: West Virginia Coal Miners Found - 1 Alive
From: Ebbie
Date: 04 Jan 06 - 11:24 AM

Note that I live in a time zone four hours different from most of you. Which is why I titled the thread as I did. Thank you for changing it. As katlaughing said, the early word - and for several hours - was that they were alive. During Jay Leno's show there was a news break correcting the story.

The time given in each individual post is misleading. I actually started this thread a little after 8:00 PM my time.

In any case, it is horrendous. Jacqui, Miners' Lullaby keeps running through my head.


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Subject: RE: BS: West Virginia Coal Miners Found - 1 Alive
From: Greg F.
Date: 04 Jan 06 - 11:34 AM

Everywhere I look, G-G, everywhere I look. You from Missouri?

Consider doing your own homework- helps with retention.


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Subject: RE: BS: West Virginia Coal Miners Found - 1 Alive
From: Bill D
Date: 04 Jan 06 - 11:47 AM

There was no need to make the families -- and the world-- wait 3 hours after they KNEW there had been a mistaken communication. The mistake was unfortunate, the delay was bordering on criminal.


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Subject: RE: BS: West Virginia Coal Miners Found - 1 Alive
From: Janie
Date: 04 Jan 06 - 11:52 AM

My grandfather died in a coal mine roof collapse in southern West Virginia.

    My heart goes out, and my prayers go up for all the dead miners and all their heartbroken families and friends. It is dirty, dangerous work.

Janie


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Subject: RE: BS: West Virginia Coal Miners Found - 1 Alive
From: GUEST,G
Date: 04 Jan 06 - 12:28 PM

Greg F, I did do my home work. I was trying to decide if you had done yours as opposed to pulling a thought out of the air which so many do here. Thanks for the snide reply, it is typical of those who have not a clue. And it is MSHA (Mine Safety and Health Administration) not MSA which is one more indicator you are blowing smoke.

I quote:

Statement of David G. Dye
Acting Assistant Secretary of Labor for Mine Safety and Health before the Subcommitte on Labor, Health and Human Services and Education Committee on Appropriations.
U.S. House of Representatives

April 07, 2005

"Mr. Chairmen and Mambers of the Committee:


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Subject: RE: BS: West Virginia Coal Miners Found - 1 Alive
From: GUEST,G
Date: 04 Jan 06 - 12:41 PM

(sorry)

"Thqnk you for the opportunity to present the President's fiscal year (FY) 2006 appropiations request of $280.5 million (an increase of $1.4 million over FY05) and 2,187 full-time (FTE) positions for the Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA)"

It goes on to mention the 4th year of record setting reductions in fatalities and injuries. It also gives the FACT that a decade ago, 100 miners lost their lives. Hmmmmnnnn, 1994, who dere?


Fatal injury rate decrease by 32% in past 4 years
Lost time injury rate decreased by 21%
Total injury rate decreased by 22%

Back at you and where did you find your info. (helps with retention)


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Subject: RE: BS: West Virginia Coal Miners Found - 1 Alive
From: katlaughing
Date: 04 Jan 06 - 12:57 PM

The docu we watched was "A Walk Through the 20th Century with Bill Moyers: Out of the Depths - The Miners' Story." It had a beautiful song at the end which included words about "not going home for a long time," if I remember correctly. I've looked for the credits, but could find none. At least it looks as though it is available through libraries and for sale. It was excellent.

We watched the following on CNN, this morning, and the delivery, in his West Virginia accent, simple and direct, was stunning and I kept hearing his words as song, for he had the natural rhythm and cadences of a storyteller/singer. You can watch the clip and hear for yourself on this page.

JOHN CASTO, FRIEND OF MINERS: Well, it was a terrible thing for the loved ones because they understood that there was 12 of them alive under there, and they was pretty sure they knew which one was dead. And we rejoiced for the ones that was alive and we mourned for the one that was lost, supposedly.

And we was told that the ambulance would go over and pick them up and they would bring them over and they would feed them and they would bring them through the hallway and down the hallway and into the church and the immediate family would talk to them. They would rejoice with them when they got there, and then the friends could rejoice.

And we waited and waited. And it must have been three and a half hours. But the loved ones and the family was out on the porch wrapped in blankets, awaiting for their fathers or their brothers to come up and just give them a hug. Because that's what we was told, they was alive. And when we began to see the black vehicles come up through there and the state police and they all come in there, we still thought they was alive. We still was a'looking for them to come through the door.


Stunning...

kat


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Subject: RE: BS: West Virginia Coal Miners Found - 1 Alive
From: katlaughing
Date: 04 Jan 06 - 01:00 PM

Sorry, I guess there isn't a clip of it, at least not on that page. I am sure they will keep showing it, throughout the day.


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Subject: RE: BS: West Virginia Coal Miners Found - 1 Alive
From: Janie
Date: 04 Jan 06 - 01:05 PM

Bill D. I understand your sentiments, but this was a terrible situation for all who were directly involved, including Mr. Hatfield and other of the coal company representatives. The anguish and anger of the family members is completely understandable. With the benefit of hindsight, one can say that there should of at least been a statement made that the status of the miners was unknown, but it well could have taken a long time to sort out the situation. Decision-making in the angst and uncertainty of the moment does not have the benefit of hindsight. In the midst of such emotionally fraught situations, it can be very difficult for ANYONE to sort out fact from rumor.

Janie


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Subject: RE: BS: West Virginia Coal Miners Found - 1 Alive
From: Metchosin
Date: 04 Jan 06 - 01:29 PM

Oh dear, what a tragedy and it seems such an anachronism. My greatgrandfather and one of his brothers survived the explosion of at No.5 Pit Wellington Colliery in Nanaimo which killed 77 miners, including their youngest brother.

Some things don't seem to change all that much, eh? Which puts me in mind of this song, which I first heard hauntingly sung by John Gothard in the early 70's.

You Won't Get Me Down In Your Mine

You won't get me down underground in your mine
Away from the trees and the flowers so fine
Down in the dark where the sun never shines
You won't get me down in your mines.

They dig for the coal for the most of their lives
Away from the children, away from their wives
To make others rich, in the heat and the dark
But who's going to care when they're too old to work?

There's many a miner who died underground
Died all alone when the roof tumbled down
Trapped in the dark underneath the great beams
And choked out his life in the gas-filled coal seams

I'll work in your factory, I'll work on your farm
Dig roads till the muscles stand out on me arm
I've fought in your army, I've been out to sea
But by Christ, you won't make a coal-miner of me.

The first verse is repeated as a chorus.

Transcribed from the 1973 Leader LP "Songs of a Changing World" (Jon Raven/Nic Jones/Tony Rose), sung unaccompanied by Jones, so you'll have to work out "chords" for yourself! Words and music were written by Colin Wilkie (publisher, Feldman), apparantly in response to a mining disaster that occurred in Germany in 1963.


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Subject: RE: BS: West Virginia Coal Miners Found - 1 Alive
From: Clinton Hammond
Date: 04 Jan 06 - 01:45 PM

Hillcrest Mine by James Keelaghan

Down in the mine of the Crow's Nest Pass
It's the men that die in labour
Sweating coal from the womb of the pit
The smell of life they savour
And in that mine, young man, you'll find
A wealth of broken dreams
As long and as dark and as black and as wide
As the coal from the Hillcrest seam


And they say-a don't go   (Say-a don't go)
Down in the Hillcrest Mine say-a don't go
Say-a don't go down in the Hillcrest Mine
'Cause it's one short step you might leave this world behind
Le' me say-a don't go, (say-a don't go) down in the Hillcrest Mine

I've heard it whispered in the light of dawn
That mountain sometimes moves
That bodes ill for the morning shift
'Cause you know what you're gonna lose
Don't go, my son, where the deep coal runs
Turn your back on that mine on the hill
'Cause if the dust and the dark and the gas don't get you
Then the goons and the bosses will

(Chorus)

Well, son, I'm gonna open up
I'm gonna have my say
You'll get no peace from the Hillcrest Mine
'Cept the peace of an early grave
Go out and work for the workers rights
Go fight for the workers needs
Don't stay down here to toil for your buck
You'll be a tool for the owners greed


Find and use alternative energy sources....


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Subject: RE: BS: West Virginia Coal Miners Found - 1 Alive
From: katlaughing
Date: 04 Jan 06 - 01:56 PM

CH, good point.

So many of the relatives were interviewed and asked what would they say to thier loved ones when they were brought out to them, as they thought at the time, alive. Many of them said, first thing, they would tell them "don't go down there every again!"


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Subject: RE: BS: West Virginia Coal Miners Found - 1 Alive
From: GUEST,mg
Date: 04 Jan 06 - 01:56 PM

RIP.

How little do the great ones know who sit at home secure
What hidden dangers colliers face what hardships they endure
The very fire we sit before to cheer ourselves and wives
Perhaps was kindled at the cost of Georgia (jovial) miners' lives.


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Subject: RE: BS: West Virginia Coal Miners Found - 1 Alive
From: wysiwyg
Date: 04 Jan 06 - 02:50 PM

Not your fault, Eb. I don't think anyone here thinks so.

~S~


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Subject: RE: BS: West Virginia Coal Miners Found - 1 Alive
From: Greg F.
Date: 04 Jan 06 - 06:23 PM

That's factOID, G-G, factOID.

Go back beyond the last 4 years. If your memory extends that far back. You know, Reagan, George the First, The Republicans in Congress 1993-2001.

And about OSHA .... ?

[ PS:I'm impressed at what you're able to deduce from a simple typo. Good job. Can you bend spoons? ]


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Subject: RE: BS: West Virginia Coal Miners Found - 1 Alive
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 04 Jan 06 - 06:39 PM

"...With the benefit of hindsight."

How many times have we heard that formula used as an excuse for people who have failed to do things that they should have recognised at the time as the right things to do, or done things which at the time were clearly the wrong things to do at the time?

From then BBC story on this: "Mr Hatfield admitted the company was told within 45 minutes of the first report that only one person had survived, but decided to delay any announcement until they were certain of the facts."

It pretty obviously wasn't "the benefit of hindsight" that was lacking here. It was common humanity, common sense and integrity.


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Subject: RE: BS: West Virginia Coal Miners Found - 1 Alive
From: Janie
Date: 04 Jan 06 - 07:24 PM

As more on the story has been reported, Kevin, I have to agree with you.

Janie


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Subject: RE: BS: West Virginia Coal Miners Found - 1 Alive
From: Bill D
Date: 04 Jan 06 - 07:37 PM

The fact they WERE certain of is that the earlier story was inaccurate...they could and should have said that much..."Folks, we had a garbled and unclear report from the rescue team...we do NOT know at this point how many survivors there are...please bear with us while we try to get clear & complete information."

That would have made the impact a little easier....and about all of the interviews with relatives I have see say the same....they should not have waited so long to at least retract the original story....


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Subject: RE: BS: West Virginia Coal Miners Found - 1 Alive
From: Janie
Date: 04 Jan 06 - 07:46 PM

Actually, after reading this CNN report, I think I have to stand by my original statement. I truly don't think the Company was trying to "cover it's butt." I think they were trying not to compound the situation. It is clear that there were communication issues. If I were standing in the same shoes, I would be very leary of getting into "They're alive-they're not. They're alive-they're not." because I would want to be sure I wasn't jerking someone around. I haven't been on the scene of this kind of disaster, but I have been smack in the middle of both natural disasters and a shoot-out and murder at work. There were many 'coulds' in these situations. The 'shoulds' were not necessarily apparent at the time. My experience was that everybody did the best they could, and mistakes were still made in spite of that.

Janie


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Subject: RE: BS: West Virginia Coal Miners Found - 1 Alive
From: Alba
Date: 04 Jan 06 - 07:47 PM

Tragic..
The Families and Friends of the lost Miners celebrating a Miracle of Life.... but for 3 hours the Officials let them celebrate all the while knowing the horrible truth..but didn't tell those poor people.

I found this poem earlier today
by Francis Kerr Young

Deep in the dark, tunnelling like a mole,
and miles above are blue mountains and trees.
Digging out tons of West Virginian coal,

chancing black lung and coal damp in that hole,
miners sweat away their lives on their knees
deep in the dark, tunnelling like a mole.

Instead of cool morning mists to extol
this clean land, ebon dust just makes one sneeze,
digging out tons of West Virginian coal.

Hills echo calls; finch, wren, and oriole,
yet caged canaries sing sweet as you please
deep in the dark. Tunnelling like a mole,

the miner slaves to his stern master, ol'
King Coal, carving that seam into a frieze
digging out tons of West Virginian coal.

Pit props creaking must crush each miner's soul:
Courage for a dollar all the time he's
deep in the dark, tunnelling like a mole,
digging out tons of West Virginian coal!


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Subject: RE: BS: West Virginia Coal Miners Found - 1 Alive
From: Peace
Date: 04 Jan 06 - 07:51 PM

I hate it when miners die. My grandfather was a coal miner, and I have friends today who make their living underground. I can't do much except wipe the tears from my face and hope the dead had enough insurance to take care of their families.


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Subject: RE: BS: West Virginia Coal Miners Found - 1 Alive
From: Janie
Date: 04 Jan 06 - 07:53 PM

Well said, Peace. Well said.

Janie


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Subject: RE: BS: West Virginia Coal Miners Found - 1 Alive
From: open mike
Date: 04 Jan 06 - 08:12 PM

There is a local northern californai bluegreass band,
Mountain Laurel, who did a c.d. in 2003 "Trouble at the Mine"
which features 12 songs, all based on mines, mining , disasters,
unfortunately there is a large body of work on the subject.
also see the movie salt of the earth.

remember the successful rescue last year (or so)
i believe it was in pennsylvania

Laurel who also grieves for these brave workers
and all the canaries who have perised in mines.


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Subject: RE: BS: West Virginia Coal Miners Found - 1 Alive
From: GUEST,g
Date: 04 Jan 06 - 08:30 PM

Greg F, the budget of OSHA has increased every year during GWB reign AND the injuries per 100 workers has decreased evry year.

You said to check out some facts - I did - how about you or is it okay that the rest know you are faking it.

While not in any way trying to minimize the effect of this tragedy, this particular story has been a media delight with all the misinformation. A rumor has it that a reporter overheard the words "they found them" and took that to the Church with the modifier 'they are alive'.

Just items that the media ignores; This was the worst mine disaster in West Virgina in almost 40 years. (1968)All others have resulted in less fatalities.

Another perspective is, since 1999, almost 150 adults and children have lost their lives in "recreational activities" at working and closed mine sites. This is just short of the 159 actual miners killed in the same time frame.

Source; MSHA official website


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Subject: RE: BS: West Virginia Coal Miners Found - 1 Alive
From: GUEST,G
Date: 04 Jan 06 - 08:33 PM

The story(s) lose their lusture when the drama is taken away.


It is still a terrible event.


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Subject: RE: BS: West Virginia Coal Miners Found - 1 Alive
From: Peace
Date: 04 Jan 06 - 08:39 PM

"Stopped Department of Labor action on almost 30 job safety initiatives

The Bush administration's Department of Labor regulatory agenda for 2002 withdrew or halted action on 16 pending Occupational Safety and Health Administration and 13 pending Mine Safety and Health Administration safety actions. These actions would have strengthened job safety protections for workers." From here.

Read it and bloody weep.


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Subject: RE: BS: West Virginia Coal Miners Found - 1 Alive
From: GUEST,Woody
Date: 04 Jan 06 - 08:50 PM

I am extremely embarrased thay my beacon of truth, the Washington Post, is so quick on the trigger that they publish rubbish again.


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Subject: RE: BS: West Virginia Coal Miners Found - 1 Alive
From: SharonA
Date: 04 Jan 06 - 08:53 PM

Ebbie: As Susan said, not your fault. I woke in the middle of the night and turned on the radio at around 2:30 a.m. Eastern Time, about two hours after you'd started this thread, and there were conflicting news reports -- some said 12 miners were alive, some said there were unconfirmed reports of 12 dead. At 3:00 a.m., ABC broadcast a TV news bulletin confirming the 12 dead. Apparently, in the meantime, many major newspapers on the East Coast had gone to print with the "12 alive" report in their Wednesday-morning editions, including the Philadelphia Inquirer. At least your thread title could be updated easily! Imagine how all those newspaper editors must feel... and how many retractions will be printed in tomorrow's papers. Wonder how many newspaper publishers will sue the mining company for failing to retract the false report in a timely manner.

My heart goes out to those poor miners and their anguished families. I understand that the 11 miners who survived the initial blast and later died had had time to write notes to their loved ones, which hopefully will be of some small comfort to them. Hope that the one survivor recovers.


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Subject: RE: BS: West Virginia Coal Miners Found - 1 Alive
From: Peace
Date: 04 Jan 06 - 08:55 PM

"I am extremely embarrased thay my beacon of truth, the Washington Post, is so quick on the trigger that they publish rubbish again."

You should be extremely embarrassed that you post such garbage on a thread of this nature. Lay off the bottle and come back when you're sober.


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Subject: RE: BS: West Virginia Coal Miners Found - 1 Alive
From: Ebbie
Date: 04 Jan 06 - 08:58 PM

Thanks, Susan.

The reason I was hesitant (in that first post) in hailing them as having survived is that when John Donvan on Nightline was talking with the family members, there seemed to be a chasm that words didn't quite bridge.

He asked this one woman, "Who told you? How did you find out that they had survived after all?"

She looked a little confused and then said, "It was someone from outside." Donvan said, "Outside? What's outside?" She said, "It was not any official; someone just came running in and told us. And we all just started jumping up and down and screaming 'Praise the Lord'.

At that point, another woman said, "They have told us nothing. I'm mad. We're all mad. They have told us nothing. And we're going to let them know that we're mad - all those hours and they never told us nothing."


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Subject: RE: BS: West Virginia Coal Miners Found - 1 Alive
From: GUEST,SunnySister
Date: 04 Jan 06 - 10:13 PM

It's been a hard couple of days, to be sure.

There is no one that isn't hurt by these tragic deaths. I don't believe for a moment that Ben Hatfield the CEO of the mining company wanted to hurt the friends and family. I think he made a mistake in trying to figure how to lessen their pain and chose wrong. In looking at his face, I saw a man who will forever wish he had done more and had done things differently. Not a heartless man in my book.

By the way, according to reports, the mine was just bought by the present owners in 2005 and they were making improvements to it. I don't know if they could have or should have done more- it just seems like there's more to this tragedy than we can blame or point a finger at.

One thing haunts me- the fact that America's economy is so poor that people still have to risk their lives to make a decent wage in states like W. Virginia. It frustrates me that we all have to work so hard just to survive. I think of the woman whose husband decided to work in the mines so she could get her master's degree... The fight for a better life for themselves and their children. It breaks my heart.

All day today I was thinking of the tour I took in 2003 into a historical coal mine in Wales. The tour guides were former coal miners and some of the nicest men I met in the UK to be sure. I am reminded about how terrifying it was down there in those mine shafts. How dark when we turned off our lights. How eerily quiet.

With such thoughts, I have been been carrying these 12 men on my shoulders and with the last news, have felt deep sorrow for the families who've lost loved ones. I also am praying for Mr. McCloy- not just that he recovers- I am also praying that he doesn't suffer from survior's guilt and hurt himself in payment to those who didn't survive. It happens more than most know.

--SunnySister


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Subject: RE: BS: West Virginia Coal Miners Found - 1 Alive
From: Peace
Date: 04 Jan 06 - 10:23 PM

That is a beautiful post, SunnySister.


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Subject: RE: BS: West Virginia Coal Miners Found - 1 Alive
From: GUEST,SunnySister
Date: 04 Jan 06 - 10:44 PM

Thanks Peace. I'm fighting another cold so I'm not sure if my thoughts are coming across that well.

I appreciate reading what has been written here, especially what Kat shared regarding John Castro's moving text. His: "We still was a'looking for them to come through the door" haunts me.

How many times, having lost a loved one, have we thought to ourselves that we would sell everything we had- every last stitch of anything and also someone else's- for one final moment with our loved one. To hear their voice once more, to touch their face, to look into their eyes, to hold their hand and most especially to be able to tell them as well as we could within those moments who much we cared about them- to make sure that they knew and to make sure that we were satisfied that they heard it.

The truth is that whether those poor people heard that their loved ones had died in the mine earlier or later, they still lost their loved ones. Anger, frustration and pain mix and it doesn't matter in the end, not really. We just want them back with us and can't.

-- SunnySister, sitting here at work with the ghosts of loved ones around me in spirit


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Subject: RE: BS: West Virginia Coal Miners Found - 1 Alive
From: katlaughing
Date: 04 Jan 06 - 11:28 PM

Very moving and powerfully put, SunnySister. Thank you.

The media cannot sue the mine owners. The media SHOULD have gotten independent confirmation before going great guns, interviewing folks about what they were going to say to their loved ones when they were finally brought out alive; they were stalling, filling airtime with such things, waiting for the first ones to arrive, instead of looking for confirmation of the "they're alive" alert. Shame on the media..and they call themselves journalists!

guest,g...CNN did mention how long it had been since there'd been such a tragedy in WVa and they interviewed experts about the recent successful rescue in PA.

katwhoisalsohauntedbytheimagesandwordsoffamilyandfriends


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Subject: RE: BS: West Virginia Coal Miners Found - 1 Alive
From: dianavan
Date: 04 Jan 06 - 11:48 PM

With so many safety violations, why was the mine sold and allowed to operate before the problems were remedied?

Seems to me you should shut down the mine and fix the problem until its safe.

I am very sorry for the families of the miners.

Its a very sad day and made even sadder by misinformation.


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Subject: RE: BS: West Virginia Coal Miners Found - 1 Alive
From: GUEST,G
Date: 05 Jan 06 - 06:53 AM

First, thanks to the Ladies here who manage to keep things in perspective and not attack other posters in a thread of this nature.

While some or even many will disagree with me, I think the media is the bane of our existance. I say this not because I think most are 'left leaning' but their handling of news. The "if it bleeds, it leads" attitude is oh so prevalent these days. I have a casual friend, I say causual because I could never get real close to him, who was among other things, the Manager of a news room for a major NBC-TV affiliate. He would just get a blank look on his face when we would discuss subjects other than 5 car pileups, murders, etc., that might be newsworthy. Lately I have noticed the lack of life experiences among many younger reporters (under 40) that to me have a tendency to distort the news. Has anyone here known a fairly recent graduate of a school of Journalism? I am not implying that it is anything to do with a level of intelligence, just the methodology.

katlaughing, they can be an embarrasment and hurtful as well at times. I just don't understand the uncanny (my impression) attitude most seem to have with their approach to drama, mostly the negative type.


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Subject: RE: BS: West Virginia Coal Miners Found - 1 Alive
From: GUEST,clogger
Date: 05 Jan 06 - 07:05 AM

It is obviously WRONG that anybody should have to go through this kind of event! It is wrong that it will happen again, but it will, somewhere!
Maybe we should look to how much we are prepaired to accept for our cheep fuel?
I am not personaly involved in this incident, and I do not know how I would react if I were, but the answer is not to scapegoat this incident but to use the groundswell of public opinion to try and ensure it does not re-occur.ANYWHERE!


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Subject: RE: BS: West Virginia Coal Miners Found - 1 Alive
From: GUEST,G
Date: 05 Jan 06 - 07:06 AM

A word of explanation; The deaths resulting from "recreational activities" at both working and closed mine sites was mostly due to individuals ignoring warning signs (no trespassing, etc.) at these facilities, mostly during holidays or non-working periods. Exploring mining sites on ATVs was a common occurrence.


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Subject: RE: BS: West Virginia Coal Miners Found - 1 Alive
From: GUEST,G
Date: 05 Jan 06 - 04:53 PM

Sunnysister, I just reread your post, it was so0mething. And I share your feelings about people working in dangerous professions. Again, I think the drama that the news media helps build is part of what attracts us to the stories.

I am of the opinion we are not made aware, sufficiently, of the danger in many occupations. While it is not the safest job around, the death rate of miners on the job does not make the "10 most dangerous occupations" list. Roofers have a higher rate as do Farmers. Taxi drivers even have a higher fatality rate. This is based on a "rate per 100,000". Logging workers are number one on the list.

This doesn't help the families of those who lost a husband, father or friend.


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Subject: RE: BS: West Virginia Coal Miners Found - 1 Alive
From: katlaughing
Date: 05 Jan 06 - 05:38 PM

G, thanks for your comments and clarifications. My husband has been a chief engineer for tv stations for umpteen years. I've been a writer/journalist for many years as well as worked in broadcast sales, and his dad was a well-respected journalisr in print and radio for years.

I cringe everytime we watch Rog's current employer's news. They are all but one very young, looking for exciting stories to cover with which to build their portfolios in order to graduate to the next market level. Some of them can read, at least, but I have yet to hear or see a one of them who can go hunt up a GOOD story, something which needs to be exposed, etc. Part of this is the fault of their news director and/or sales manager and/or station manager. The news director wants non-controversial news...she doesn't want to upset anyone; ditto the other two managers, esp. when it comes to upsetting advertisers. I hate it, Rog hates it, but it is our bread and butter.

It seems to me most young adults who are going into "news" are taught only how to "report" not how to "investigate" which, to my mind, is what good journalism is all about. It's really sad.

kat


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Subject: RE: BS: West Virginia Coal Miners Found - 1 Alive
From: Azizi
Date: 05 Jan 06 - 05:51 PM

This is a terrible terrible tragedy made worse by the false news given to the families that 12 of the miners had survived.

My condolences to the families of those men.

It is so shameful that money was considered more important than human life. I hope that changes are made that avert a repeat of this tragedy elsewhere. But if no changes are made-such as substantially increasing the fines mine owners have to pay for safety violations- this tragedy will happen again and again.


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Subject: RE: BS: West Virginia Coal Miners Found - 1 Alive
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 05 Jan 06 - 06:05 PM

While I agree that the media has a duty to check the facts about stuff they report, I don't think they could be expected to check that the people running the mine weren't lying in these circumstances.

Owners and managers perhaps lying about the reasons for the disaster and trying to shift the blame, sure enough, those might be the kind of things you'd be looking out for - but them giving out false stories about the number of survivors? That's not something anyone could imagine was even possible.

As for the way the media sensationalises and debases itself in the process, in this kind of tragedy, that can indeed be disgusting. The blame for it lies squarely with the people who control the media, and with the punters who buy the papers that go in for that kind of "journalism".


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Subject: RE: BS: West Virginia Coal Miners Found - 1 Alive
From: GUEST,G
Date: 05 Jan 06 - 06:27 PM

Great post, Kat, and stick with it. Who knows, maybe some of your attitude could rub off on the others.

G


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Subject: RE: BS: West Virginia Coal Miners Found - 1 Alive
From: katlaughing
Date: 05 Jan 06 - 06:57 PM

Thanks, again, G. I doubt if I will rub off on any of them; they never see me or hear from me, unless they happen to be on the web and find one of my old op/ed pieces.:-)

There is an interesting article about the sourcing for this story over at Editor&Publisher.

kat


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Subject: RE: BS: West Virginia Coal Miners Found - 1 Alive
From: Janie
Date: 06 Jan 06 - 12:46 PM

Thanks for the link, Kat.

Janie


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Subject: RE: BS: West Virginia Coal Miners Found - 1 Alive
From: kytrad (Jean Ritchie)
Date: 06 Jan 06 - 04:12 PM

"West Virginia Mine Disaster" was played as part of the PBS "All Things Considered" program on January 4th at a little after 5:00 PM.
I was happy to have my song used; but sad for its occasion.


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Subject: RE: BS: West Virginia Coal Miners Found - 1 Alive
From: katlaughing
Date: 06 Jan 06 - 05:30 PM

Sorry it took a sad occasion for it to be played. I thought folks could hear it at NPR's website, where it is listed on THIS PAGE, but I think they have their files mixed up. Sounds to me as if the piece just before yours, Sun & Moon, is under your song title, as all I hear when I click on it is fingerpickin' guitar. I have emailed them, so I hope they get it sorted out.

For anyone who would like to read Jean's words, it is in the DT.

Thanks, again, Jean,

kat


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Subject: RE: BS: West Virginia Coal Miners Found - 1 Alive
From: Sandy Mc Lean
Date: 06 Jan 06 - 09:54 PM

In 1992 a methane explosion at the Westray mine in Stellarton, Nova Scotia claimed 26 miners, in circumstances that are hauntingly similar. The mine was also cited for numerous safety violations before it blew to hell. Some owners and managers were charged but they got off free. A judicial inquiry exposed a lot of rot , and changed how safety inspections are now handled, but it was closing the door after the horse escaped.
   I wrote this song about Westray:


                      WESTRAY REMEMBERED   
                                    
            MAY 9, 1992.................5:18 AM
                        
       LISTEN TO ME FRIENDS, AND A SAD TALE I'LL TELL
       HOW A MIGHTY EXPLOSION ROSE UP STRAIGHT FROM HELL
       AND SWEPT THROUGH A COAL MINE AS IT PASSED ON IT'S WAY
       AND 26 MEN DIED DOWN IN WESTRAY THAT DAY
       YES 26 MEN DIED DOWN IN WESTRAY THAT DAY

       WHEN THE GOVERNMENT INSPECTORS WERE DOWN IN THE MINE
       THEY IGNORED ALL THE COAL DUST AND THE SHORTAGE OF LIME
       AND THE METHANE DETECTORS THAT WERE SCREWED UP, THEY SAY
       SO 26 MEN DIED DOWN IN WESTRAY THAT DAY

       WHEN THE RESCUE TEAM WENT DOWN TO SEARCH IN THAT MINE
       A PATH OF DESTRUCTION WAS WHAT THEY WOULD FIND
       15 BODIES WAS ALL THEY RECOVERED THAT TIME
       11 ARE BURIED STILL DOWN IN THAT MINE

       SOME HIGH POLITICIANS, AT FIRST THEY DID CRY
       BUT THEIR GREATEST CONCERN WAS TO COVER THEIR HIDES
       AND THE ROT IN THE SYSTEM MEANT THAT NO ONE WOULD PAY
       OUR COURTS THEY DID FAIL US SO BADLY THAT WAY

       THE BOSSES AND OWNERS, THEY WALKED AWAY FREE
       THUMBING THEIR NOSES AT THE INQUIRY
       BUT SOMEDAY IN HEAVEN BEFORE GOD'S GREAT THRONE
       THERE'LL BE NO ESCAPING WHEN SINS ARE ATONED
         
       NOW YOU'VE HEARD MY STORY AND A SAD TALE I DID TELL
       HOW A MIGHTY EXPLOSION ROSE UP STRAIGHT FROM HELL
       AND SWEPT THROUGH A COAL MINE AS IT PASSED ON IT'S WAY
       AND 26 MEN DIED DOWN IN WESTRAY THAT DAY
       YES 26 MEN DIED DOWN IN WESTRAY THAT DAY
      
   (c)2000   A.McLean ,
Port Hawkesbury , Nova Scotia , B9A3H4
      a.mclean@ns.sympatico.ca


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Subject: RE: BS: West Virginia Coal Miners Found - 1 Alive
From: GUEST,Sandy (lost cookie)
Date: 07 Jan 06 - 06:15 AM

Sorry if the above song reads "LOUD".
It was a paste from my songsheet.
             Sandy


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Subject: RE: BS: West Virginia Coal Miners Found - 1 Alive
From: katlaughing
Date: 07 Jan 06 - 06:48 AM

Well done, Sandy. Thanks for sharing it with us.


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Subject: RE: BS: West Virginia Coal Miners Found - 1 Alive
From: JennyO
Date: 09 Jan 06 - 08:42 AM

Just catching up with news, having been away. What a horrific story!

As soon as I started reading this, a Bee Gees song I remember kept running through my head:

NEW YORK MINING DISASTER 1941
(Barry & Robin Gibb)


In the event of something happening to me,
there is something I would like you all to see.
It's just a photograph of someone that I knew.

Have you seen my wife, Mr. Jones?
Do you know what it's like on the outside?
Don't go talking too loud, you'll cause a landslide, Mr. Jones.

I keep straining my ears to hear a sound.
Maybe someone is digging underground,
or have they given up and all gone home to bed,
thinking those who once existed must be dead.

Have you seen my wife, Mr. Jones?
Do you know what it's like on the outside?
Don't go talking too loud, you'll cause a landslide, Mr. Jones.

In the event of something happening to me,
there is something I would like you all to see.
It's just a photograph of someone that I knew.

Hvae you seen my wife, Mr. Jones?
Do you know what it's like on the outside?
Don't go talking too loud, you'll cause a landslide, Mr. Jones.


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Subject: RE: BS: West Virginia Coal Miners Found - 1 Alive
From: katlaughing
Date: 11 Jan 06 - 05:34 PM

Well, they may be slow to reply, but at least I did get an email from NPR about Jean's file not being available:

Good afternoon and thank you for writing.

Please accept our apologies for any inconvenience. I have forwarded
your email to the appropriate individuals who can look more into this.

You may find the entire selection by visiting:
http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=5131761

Thank you for your patience.

Regards,

Chantel Harley
NPR Online


I hope this means they will have it corrected, shortly.

kat


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Subject: RE: BS: West Virginia Coal Miners Found - 1 Alive
From: Greg F.
Date: 22 Jan 06 - 06:45 PM

Yo, G-G:

How Many More?

Deaths Push Calls for Mine Safety Overhaul
By VICKI SMITH, Associated Press Writer
January 22 2006

...The Bush administration is reviewing safety equipment in mines after scrapping similar initiatives started by the Clinton administration. Miners' advocates said pulling those initiatives stopped potentially important safety rules from becoming reality...


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Subject: RE: BS: West Virginia Coal Miners Found - 1 Alive
From: SINSULL
Date: 08 Feb 06 - 11:22 AM

The cause? One news report recently claimed that the explosion was caused by a lightening strike which set off a pocket of methane gas. They added that this was fairly common. Common or an easy "Act of God" way out?


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Subject: RE: BS: West Virginia Coal Miners Found - 1 Alive
From: BanjoRay
Date: 08 Feb 06 - 01:00 PM

The existence of an explosive pocket containing methane gas (at least 4% methane to be explosive) is a sign that the ventilation of that part of the mine was inadequate, and that gas inspection duties were inadequate. Act of God? Pttuiii!
Ray


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Subject: RE: BS: West Virginia Coal Miners Found - 1 Alive
From: katlaughing
Date: 08 Feb 06 - 01:36 PM

Well, they haven't fixed the link on the NPR page which I posted which was supposed to have Jean's song, BUT you can listen to it on the link which they gave me in the reply letter: Click here to hear Jean singing her incredible and beautiful song. I love her voice! Thanks, Jean.


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Subject: RE: BS: West Virginia Coal Miners Found - 1 Alive
From: katlaughing
Date: 08 Feb 06 - 01:44 PM

This is worthy of reading, imo. From The Daily Princetonian (my emphasis):

The administration, however, has acted in a way that decreases the safety of miners, precisely when mining companies should be most able to afford such safety measures. The federally mandated fines for safety violations at mines are farcically low. Much more serious is the Bush administration's 2004 revision of federal mining regulations that allows a single drilled shaft to serve for both air intake and conveyor belts � a condition that might help underground fires to spread and may have contributed to the deaths at the Alma No. 1 Mine. This creates a situation analogous to the war in Iraq, where our troops are sent into battle without adequate armor, in insufficient numbers and receive inadequate medical care when they suffer grievous injuries in the line of duty.

This analogy is doubly pertinent. West Virginia boasts one of the nation's highest per capita military populations. The people of this poor state embrace military service and coal mining, both because these professions are one of the best economic opportunities available to them and because they are "honorable" occupations that serve the needs of the nation. In this time of tax cuts to the wealthy, why should the soldiers and miners have to make all the sacrifices? Is it right that the fat cats continue to relax in their air-conditioned SUVs equipped with GPS devices so they don't get lost driving to the bank to cash their refund checks, when mines aren't required to have emergency communication equipment or devices to track individual miners? In this time of war, isn't shared sacrifice called for?

    This administration, which claims to represent all Americans, clearly cares little about those who are less economically privileged, those who die to protect their country abroad and those who die at work to supply the fuel that their country demands to function. There's a reason that some West Virginia cars are now sporting bumper stickers declaring their drivers "too poor to vote Republican." It's become evident that Bush's policy stinks for the poor both abroad and at home.


I also, heard on NPR, that a law from the 60's, which required them to use less-flammable material for conveyors belts, has been gutted by this admin.


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Subject: RE: BS: West Virginia Coal Miners Found - 1 Alive
From: GUEST
Date: 09 Feb 06 - 09:03 AM

"a single drilled shaft to serve as both air intake and conveyor belts...."

Since air intakes are vertical shafts (drilled), how does a conveyor belt work in this situation?

By the way, GWB, I think you caused my ingrown toenail.


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Subject: RE: BS: West Virginia Coal Miners Found - 1 Alive
From: BanjoRay
Date: 09 Feb 06 - 09:13 AM

For some stupid reason news programs always talk about mine shafts when what they mean are mine roadways. Shafts are vertical, roadways aren't - they are level, or inclined, and are used for transport and conveyor belts.
Ray (ex British Coal scientist)


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Subject: RE: BS: West Virginia Coal Miners Found - 1 Alive
From: katlaughing
Date: 09 Feb 06 - 10:59 AM

Maybe this will help clarify:

Their days began on a mantrip, a vehicle that takes miners down miles of tracks to the absolute dark of the mine face. Inside, a continuous mining machine carves out rock. Miners scoop up coal and dump it into carts that are unloaded on a conveyor. They work under rock ceilings secured with huge bolts and glue. The temperature can range from nearly 100 degrees Fahrenheit around machinery in the summer to 30 degrees below zero near howling air vents in the winter. Small doors, called drop doors, seal ventilation passages that run parallel to the main shaft. Through the ventilation shaft, air rushes to the surface.

Also found this interesting:

By: Henry A. Waxman
Published: Jan 11, 2006 at 09:11
        

Rep. Waxman sent a letter to Labor Secretary Chao today regarding the Mine Safety and Health Administration's 2004 decision to exclude mine safety inspectors' notes in Freedom of Information Act responses. The agency's secrecy policy limited disclosure about hundreds of safety violations at the Sago mine for years before the recent disaster:

Dear Madam Secretary:

I am writing to urge you to reverse the 2004 decision of the Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) to block public access to the reports filed by mine safety inspectors. This unwarranted secrecy may protect the mining industry from embarrassing disclosures, but it undermines accountability and mine safety.

Prior to 2004, MSHA publicly disclosed both the results of mine safety inspections and the reports and notes filed by inspectors that provided the documentation of any violations found. The inspectors' reports and notes were particularly important. Not only were they used by mine safety organizations, mine workers, and the public to identify dangerous mines and practices, they were also useful to mine operators implementing needed improvements in mine safety.

In 2004, MSHA reversed its interpretation of the Freedom of Information Act, deciding that the inspectors' reports and notes did not need to be disclosed under FOIA. As a trade publication reported at the time, "without public comment or input, MSHA secretly changed its long-standing policy of routinely releasing inspector notes under the Freedom of Information Act."[1] The rationale for this change was unclear. The reports do not implicate national security or privacy concerns. Although the change in policy was publicly acknowledged by MSHA officials, the documentation behind the change in policy has not been released.[2]

It would be impossible to draw a direct connection between the new FOIA policy and the recent fatal disaster at the Sago mine. But the agency's secrecy policy certainly limited public disclosure about the mine's violations. Over the past two years, the Sago mine was cited for hundreds of safety violations, including many that were classified as "significant and substantial" or "unwarrantable failures."[3] Under the current policy, the inspector's notes and reports that serve as the basis for these violations have been withheld from the public. If the full reports of the mine inspectors had been disclosed, it is possible that life-saving reforms could have been identified and put in place.

The 2004 FOIA policy is not the only example of growing secrecy involving the MSHA. A report I issued in September 2004, Secrecy in the Bush Administration, cited MSHA's misuse of the "law enforcement exemption" to FOIA to withhold notes from a meeting between MSHA officials and coal company executives. The full notes show that much of the deleted material consisted of accusations, threats, and profane invective directed by the executives against MSHA officials. The meeting had no evident law enforcement purpose, and it is unclear how the redacted material would fit within this narrow exemption.[4]

Government secrecy exacts a heavy price. It reduces accountability and invites abuse and corruption. The secrecy policies that MSHA has adopted under the Bush Administration are dangerous and unwarranted, and they should be immediately reversed.

To assist congressional oversight of these important matters, I request that you provide all documents relating to MSHA's policy on releasing information on mine safety inspections and investigations pursuant to the Freedom of Information Act, including but not limited to statements of policy and drafts thereof, memoranda relating to changes in policy since 2000, and all guidance provided to FOIA processing officials.

Thank you for your attention to this matter.

Sincerely,

Henry A. Waxman
Ranking Minority Member


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