By Peter Galuszka
This is a shameless advertisement. Jim has written an excellent book and you should buy it and review it.
While some of Jim’s focus is at odds with a similar book I wrote eight years ago, “Maverick Miner” is a really well put together effort at research and writing.
In my reporting, I asked many people, mostly miners, what they thought about E. Morgan Massey. The response: tough on unions but good guy. I heard this over and over. I was told that if rank and file miners had a serious problem, they could call Morgan and he’d come to the mountains to work things out. I heard this a lot and it gives credence to Jim’s book.
You should buy the book, read it, and like it or not, post something on Amazon. Here’s something I did:
“In this book, Jim Bacon, a Richmond journalist, tells a fascinating story about 94-year-old E. Morgan Massey, the former head of coal company that would become highly controversial. Massey paid Bacon to write a private narrative about the Massey family and agreed to let Bacon write his own unabridged account. Taken as a biography and while understanding that this is from Massey’s viewpoint, the result works very well. Massey explains why he hired Donald L. Blankenship, who achieved remarkable notoriety as the boss of Massey Energy, a company spinoff. He ended up in federal prison. The book underestimates the human and environmental cost of coal mining in the Central Appalachians. It also takes Massey’s side in dissecting what caused the April 5, 2010 explosion that killed 29 miners – the worst such U.S. coal disaster in 40 years. Even so, Bacon’s access to internal sources and records is a welcome contribution to understanding a great story.
Peter Galuszka is author of “Thunder on the Mountain: Death At Massey and the Dirty Secrets Behind Big Coal.” (St. Martin’s Press, 2012)
Posted in Business and Economy, Culture wars, Disasters and disaster preparedness, Energy, Environment, Labor & workforce, Money in politics, Political Influence, Politics, Regulation, Unions
by James C. Sherlock
It is tough to be a Democratic politician in Richmond or Washington. Now that they govern, they find it one big game of coalition whack-a-mole.
I have written today of the conflicts between the interests of teachers unions and those of parents playing out in the Virginia General Assembly. That vital Democratic suburban women demo is in play.
That is the tip of the iceberg for Democrats. They have assembled a coalition whose interests are fundamentally opposed. Those fissures are only fully exposed when they have unfettered governance, which they have now both in Richmond and Washington.
The only things they seem to agree on are big government, free money and government regulation and control of nearly everything except their own interests.
After that, it gets dicey. Continue reading
Posted in Culture wars, Education (higher ed), Education (K-12), General Assembly, Governance, Media, Money in politics, Political Influence, Race and race relations, Regulation, Unions
Louise Lucas, Chair, Senate Education and Health Committee photo credit: Virginian-Pilot
by James C. Sherlock
I wrote this morning about Virginia SENATE BILL NO. 1303 (Amendment in the Nature of a Substitute) Local school divisions; availability of virtual and in-person learning to all students.
The lengthy Democratic substitute to a one-sentence Republican bill was written over the weekend to provide political cover to the Democrats. Unfortunately, it did much more than that, all of it bad.
One provision states:
“Prior to the start of the 2021–2022 school year, all teachers and school staff shall be offered access to receive an approved COVID-19 vaccination through their relevant local health district.”
“Offered access.” I was asked by a reader whether I would recommend mandating teacher vaccinations.
My answer is yes. Continue reading
by James C. Sherlock
Becky Pringle, NEA President
Democrats are attempting to rush through a bill to provide political cover from a backlash by parents against the continuing closure of Virginia schools.
Never ones to let a crisis go to waste, they have put union-written provisions in the bill that will permanently change the nature of the public schools for the worse.
So let’s look at Virginia SENATE BILL NO. 1303 AMENDMENT IN THE NATURE OF A SUBSTITUTE Local school divisions; availability of virtual and in-person learning to all students
There are four provisions in the bill that will change Virginia public schools, some forever. Continue reading