I see where some Bell and Harlan county folks are planning to join hands from Flat Lick, Kentucky and along U.S. 25E all way to the Cumberland Gap Tunnel. I’ve even seen estimates of probable attendees from 20, 000 and up to 60,000 plus. The rally of course is for bringing attention to our community of coal and how much it means, according to one organizer. I have no problem with such a rally, but I think right off we have lost sight of the real significance of such a rally. “Let’s put our counties on the map,” another organizer states. Our counties are already on the maps, but if you take a good look around, most of our political adversaries could care less. First thing of course that comes to mind is our highway 119 between Harlan and Pineville which any support has been swept under the rug for years and continues to be.
There I go already losing sight of the rally significance.
I’m a retired coal miner and I truly support “Coal Miners and Mountains.” I support underground mining, but I don’t support surface mining. After working 40 plus years as an underground coal miner I just find it hard supporting a lump of coal. A lump of coal is a black rock that has been brought to the level of actually sometimes being worshiped or really seems to be by a lot of folks, mostly non miners. I started mining in 1968 and have weathered the ups and downs of the coal business until I finally retired. Some of the things coal has done for me are “black lung,” “nasty back pain,” “loss of hearing,” well, coal miners know what I’m talking about.
Oh yeah, back to the rally. Right now I’m not sure exactly how many coal miners have lost their jobs in Harlan and Bell counties. I do know, as a former miner, it is never a welcome time when you lose your job.
Now my point! If this many folks (20,000 to 60,000) actually assemble, hand to hand, for this great of a distance wouldn’t it be wonderful if each one of these thousands of people gave at least five dollars to a coal miners’ “OUT OF WORK” fund? It’s tough being out of work, especially on young family miners. School starts soon, school clothes and supplies to buy. Winter just around the corner and there will be home heating fuel to buy. Don’t forget Christmas is only a few months away. Unemployment payments help, but just think what that kind of money divided equally could do for so many out of work. Selling Tees and signs acknowledging the rally is one thing, but I’m guessing some of these miners may not even have money to buy fuel to get to a rally and surely not to purchase shirts and signs. In the past some coal companies have bused miners to some rallies, but I’ve heard this is a very expensive move also. If the coal companies instead of renting buses, etc. donated this money to the miners’ fund it would be a great move. I don’t mean to rain on anybody’s parade, but I think this rally could be a real benefit to those that it should be intended for, the out of work coal miner.
According to the Washington Post, U.S. poverty has reached the highest level in 46 years. Yet, President Obama insists that his tax policies and stimulus programs are working fine.
The Obama camp keeps wanting to talk about Mitt Romney’s tax returns. I think the main focus of the American president should be on national defense, creating more true jobs (not government programs) and dealing with the huge national debt.
The bible says that without a vision the people will perish. We need a visionary man to lead us forward. In November we will have the chance to choose between two different ways of solving our country’s problems. Please don’t fail to take part in this year’s presidential election.