Archive for June, 2011

More Corrupt Officials Supporting Big Business Coal

What a mess. The city of Lynch in Eastern Kentucky is trying to stop a mountaintop removal coal job nearby. The city is also trying to get some money from the county to help restore an old fire station.

Lynch KY Under threat of mountain top removal - stop the madness

The Mountains around the town threatened - Save Lynch KY

As told in the Harlan Daily Enterprise, the Harlan County Judge-Executive told the Lynch mayor he must negotiate with the coal company or the county would not fund the fire station. The mayor said this amounted to criminal coercion. The Judge said:

“I just told them that the coal companies are where the money comes from. If you’re not willing to work with them and you’re anti-coal, then the fiscal court members are not going to support you. They have already stated that. They don’t feel comfortable helping out cities with coal monies, when the city is not trying to work with the coal company.”

Contact this corrupt official:
Harlan County Judge Executive Office
P.O. Box 956
Harlan, KY 40831
(606)573-2600 (Office)
(606)573-3522 (Fax)

JUDGE/EXECUTIVE:
Joseph A. Grieshop
joegrieshop@harlanonline.net

The residents of this eastern Kentucky town are in the middle of a long fight to halt mountaintop removal coal mining of the hills that surround it.

 

Drones Killing Civilians – Including Many Children

Remote Control Killing Like Sport
by Stephen Lendman
Tuesday Jun 14th, 2011 1:16 AM

Defense contractor giants like Boeing, Lockeed Martin, Northrop Grumman, and others, as well as smaller rivals compete for growing demand for unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs). They include remote control operated killer drones, also called unmanned combat aerial vehicles (UCAVs).

Children Killed by Drone Attack

Children Killed by Drone Attack

It’s America’s newest sport. From distant command centers, far from target sights, sounds, and smells, operators dismissively ignore human carnage showing up as computer screen blips little different from video game images. The difference, of course, is people die, mostly noncombatants. More on that below.

On March 10, 2010, Der Spiegel writer Marc Pitzke headlined, “How Drone Pilots Wage War,” saying:

They “sit in air-conditioned rooms far away from (America’s wars). They guide their weapons with joysticks and monitors. The remote warriors work with a high degree of precision – at a fraction of the cost of a fighter jet,” but just as deadly.

Operators use computer keyboards and five monitors. One says “I’ve got eight missiles and two bombs on two Predators. Weapons ready.”

The main monitor shows a target’s aerial view “from a considerable height….Three, two, one. Impact,” after pushing a red button. “Excellent job,” the man says after a destructive explosion. The entire mission lasted two minutes “against a faceless enemy” attacked by remote control half a world away.

“The whole thing looks like a computer game,” virtual war “that doesn’t require combatants to get their hands dirty” or perhaps souls compromised for mindlessly slaughtering civilians lawlessly – what America’s media never explain or why Washington wages war.
Read the rest of this entry »

 

STOP MOUNTAINTOP REMOVAL NOW

STOP MOUNTAINTOP REMOVAL
Stop Mountain Top Removal

Stop Mountain Top Removal: Destroying Mountains, Rivers, Streams, and Our Childrens Future

Mountaintop removal is the permanent destruction of the ecosystem, the mountains and the people that depend on them. Massey Energy has a plan for Twilight West Virginia, and that plan is destruction – they want to destroy the town. They may promise prosperity but not for anyone but the few at the top. Contact mtrstopshere.com

“they have taken everything away from me and now the final insult is, in what should be my retirement years, Patriot Coal wants to buy our life’s work and destroy it and run me and my family out of Twilight along with everyone else that lives here, just to mine the coal.”
-Frankie Moonie

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Too Many Civilian Casualties: Drones to blame.

The US government, and mainstream media, are making sure the public remains ignorant of civilian casualties in Afghanistan

During his eight years in office, Bush ordered a total of 45 drone strikes in Pakistan; in fewer than three years, Obama has ordered more than 200. On his third day in office the president ordered two drone strikes, one of which incinerated a pro-government tribal leader along with his whole family, including three children. Obama has since also expanded the drone war in Afghanistan.

Injured Afghan Child from Drone Attack

Injured Afghan Child from Drone Attack

The new tactic has many sceptics, and not all of them are antiwar activists. Criticism has also been voiced from within the CIA and the military. Yet drones have been embraced with remarkable warmth by Obama and the US intelligentsia. This partly has to do with an existing US tendency to see technology as a panacea for all problems, including military ones. But the tactic is also made palatable by a routine exaggeration of its accuracy and a downplaying of its human cost.

At the end of 2009, the Pakistani daily Dawn calculated that, of the 708 people killed in 44 drone attacks that year, only 5 were known militants. Earlier that year, The News, Pakistan’s other major English-language daily, had calculated that between January 14, 2006, and April 8, 2009, 60 drone attacks killed 701 people – of whom only 14 were known militants.
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Besides the tendency to exaggerate success and downplay failure in order to avoid adverse public reaction, neither the US nor the Pakistan government has a mechanism in place to verify the identity of those killed. There is also a concern that the drones are no longer targeting only high value suspects; under expanded authority granted by Bush and continued under Obama the agency can target all suspected militants based on “pattern of life” analysis collected from surveillance cameras. In the tribal areas, where traditionally most adult males carry guns and ammunition, this makes everybody a potential target. A year before Osama bin Laden was killed, a CIA officer told Jane Mayer of the New Yorker, that because of the drone surveillance, “no tall man with a beard is safe anywhere in Southwest Asia”.

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SAVE COAL RIVER by Robert Kennedy Jr.

SAVE COAL RIVER by Robert Kennedy Jr.

TAKE ACTION »

Big industry is literally liquidating this state for cash, using these giant machines and 2500 tons of ammonia nitrate they detinate in Appalachia every single day – it’s the equivalent of a Hiroshima bomb once a week. They are blowing the tops off of mountains to get at the coal seams underneath and they take the rock and the debris and the ruble and they plow it into the adjacent river valley and they bury the rivers and they bury the valleys. According to the EPA they have buried 2000 miles of Americas head water streams and river streams. This is a crime. You can not do this in the United States of America. It’s a violation of the clean water act. You can’t take rock and debris and ruble and dump it into a water body without a permit.

We have corrupt public officials who are running this [wva] state. We are not intimidated by this because we know that we live in a democracy and it’s our job to reclaim this democracy, especially for the people of this state and for the children of this state to make sure we hand them a democracy and not a corrupt corporate plutocracy.

Honk if you hate mountaintop removal and if you love America.

You know the polluters and their indentured servants in our political process, the corrupt public officials, the agencies they’ve captured, their slick PR firms, their phony think tanks in Washington D.C. and their phony scientists who say “It’s o.k. to cut down mountains”, we call them Biostitutes. They say, and the people in this agency, they say the same thing. They’ve been very adept over the past few years at saying environmentalists are tree huggers, or radicals, or militants, or pagans who worship trees and sacrifice people. But there is nothing radical about clean air and clean water for our children. And the mountains that God made – leave them like he made them.

We’re not fighting for the environment for the sake of the and the fishes and the birds. We’re fighting for it because we understand that nature is the infrastructure of our communities. If on the other hand we want to do what Massey Coal and the big industry wants us to do, which is to treat the planet as if it were a business in liquidation, convert our national resources (including the state of West Virginia) to cash as quickly possible, have a few years of pollution based prosperity, we can generate an instantaneous cash flow and the illusion of a prosperous economy, but our children are going to pay for our joy ride. And they are going to pay for it with denuded landscape and poor health and huge clean up costs that are going to amplify over time and that they will never ever be able to pay. Environmental injury is deficit spending. It’s a way of loading the costs, selfishly, selfishly, selfishly, of our prosperity onto the backs of our children.

From their own records, EPAs records, 10,000 violations of water quality standards against this industry over the past 10 years – 10,000 violations that they know about and that have not been enforced against. Why? Because the agency as been captured. Well this is real crime. These are dangerous elements and chemicals and poisons that they are putting in our river systems.

“It’s a crime what’s being done to these mountains. It looks like a moonscape not too far from where I live. The streams are being covered over and polluted. The trees are being stripped off, & those trees help make ground water. For years these coal companies treated miners like cattle, now it’s cheaper for them to do this and poison everybody downstream in the process.”

“This man is so intelligent, so eloquent and so patient with us– I just want to extend a heart felt thank you to Mr. Kennedy and to apologize for any rude or attacking comments, as I know he is right. We need to have jobs for these guys that are now working with the big destruction industry– my baby calls them Mountain Eating monsters– education, training and high paying jobs in sustainable industries NOW.”

 

Mattel’s Toy Packaging is Destroying Rainforests. Not for Our Children Please.

Mattel, the manufacturer of Barbie, is using paper packaging for the world’s most famous toy from Indonesia’s most notorious rainforest destroyer Asia Pulp and Paper (APP).

Over Packaging on Our Childrens Toys will Leave Them with No Forests

Over Packaging on Our Childrens Toys will Leave Them with No Forests

Barbie has a nasty deforestation habit – she is trashing rainforests in Indonesia, including areas that are home to some of the last tiger, orang-utans and elephants, just so she can wrap herself in pretty packaging.

Critical wildlife habitat and carbon-rich rainforests and peatlands are being wrecked for cheap, throw-away toy packaging. Creating the future of play, shouldn’t mean no future for rainforests.

Tell Mattel to stop destroying rainforests for toy packaging »

Wow! Activists like you have sent more than 45,000 letters telling Mattel to stop supporting deforestation in Indonesia, nearly 1,000,000 people around the world have watched our video of Ken and Barbie’s break up, and to top it off, two groups of Greenpeace activists unfurled two giant banners at Mattel’s headquarters in Los Angeles.

The pressure is working. Mattel has stated that they will take initial steps to address this issue, but without details or timelines their words alone are not enough.

 

Our Waterways are not protected – Take Action to Help

The Clean Water Act was passed in 1972 to protect all of our nations’ waterways from pollution, but more recent Supreme Court decisions have caused confusion over what waterways are protected. Now, over half of the nations’ stream miles and millions of acres of wetlands are at risk.

Support Clean Water Act: Stop Polluting our Rivers and Streams

Support Clean Water Act: Stop Polluting our Rivers and Streams

The Obama Administration recently proposed new guidance that would make it clear that small wetlands and streams do fall under the protections afforded by the Clean Water Act. But, the Administration needs to know now that there is public support for protecting our waters.

We only have until July 1st to let the Obama Administration know of the massive public support for restoring crucial Clean Water Act protections for the wetlands and streams.

TAKE ACTION »

 

Stop Poisoning Our Groundwater: Bad Drilling Pracitices…

stop poisoning our groundwaterOil and gas companies are allowed to inject secret, toxic fluids, directly into our drinking water — and the EPA is currently powerless to do anything about it?
High Pressure Hydrolic Fracturing (or fracking) is a method of drilling for natural gas by pumping a mixture of water and toxic, cancer-causing chemicals deep underground.

It’s already responsible for poisoning the groundwater in states across the country, but thanks to the work of Dick Cheney the EPA can’t currently regulate fracking.

I just signed a petition asking my Senator to co-sponsor the FRAC Act, which would allow the EPA to regulate fracking. Please add your voice and help build the call to pass this vital bill to protect our drinking water.

TAKE ACTION »

more info…

1. Burning Tap Water and More: GASLAND Exposes the Natural Gas Industry,” Treehugger, June 25, 2010.
2. Hydraulic Fracturing 101,” EARTHWORKS.
3. Regulation Lax as Gas Wells’ Tainted Water Hits Rivers,” New York Times, February 26, 2011

 

Blair Mountain: Protesters March to Save Historic Battlefield

A week long protest calling for the preservation of West Virginia’s Blair Mountain has rehashed conflicts within a coal mining community torn between the need for profits and the desire to preserve the past.

Oprah for Mountaintops

The Power of Oprah Compels you to Stop Mountaintop Removal

The protest, arranged by environmental activist group Appalachia Rising, aims to preserve Blair Mountain, strengthen labor rights, end mountaintop removal mining and invest in sustainable job creation in the Appalachian region. It included a five-day trek that emulated the 1921 march of 10,000 people from Marmet to Blair, an event that ultimately led to a battle over miners’ inability to join labor unions. Over 300 people participated in this year’s march, which spanned a distance of over 50 miles.

FOR THE LATEST INFORMATION AND MEDIA UPDATES ABOUT THE MARCH ON BLAIR MOUNTAIN GO TO WWW.MARCHONBLAIRMOUNTAIN.ORG

More than 1,500 people are expected to ascend Blair Mountain on Saturday for the culmination of the protest. Notable guests expected to attend include environmentalist Robert F. Kennedy Jr., actress Ashley Judd, author Denise Giardina and singers Emmylou Harris and Kathy Mattea.

Read the rest of this entry »

 

March on Blair Mountain

Blair Mountain March Enters Third Day
By Mike Roselle | June 8, 2011

Three days into the March on Blair Mountain and the marchers are now in Madison, West Virginia, moving single file along the narrow main road snaking through this small city. The scene is calm and State Police and Boone County Sheriffs are present, and besides a few insults yelled from passing vehicles, a few pro coal placards and some crudely worded signs telling the marchers to go home, the marchers have gotten a mostly positive reception from residents along the route, and their spirits are high. Today they are about 100 marchers, while more are expected to arrive as the week’s march culminates at the big rally on Saturday. On Saturday the final rally is expected to draw over a thousand people to Blair Mountain.

Organizers have had to contend with many last minute problems, as campgrounds and parks that had agreed to host the campers all reneged on their promises in the face of strong pressure from the local politicians who answer to the coal companies. As a result, they have had to stay in a warehouse in Marmet and need to be shuttled back and forth to the highway every day, adding hours of work for the crew, but in spite of these and other setbacks, they are on schedule to arrive in the town of Blair by Saturday for the rally that will feature Emmylou Harris, Ashley Judd and other performers along with a speech from long time MTR opponent Robert F. Kennedy Jr. Read the rest of this entry »