Monday, September 16, 2013


I know all of you are tired of hearing about this today, but sometimes all I can do is write when I’m upset, and I know that some of you have the same feelings I do. 

Today, James River Coal laid off over 500 miners in one county alone. It’s still not totaled how many got it in my county. And guess what, no severance pay either.

Whether Obama voters/supporters want to admit it, or whether they even care, thanks to him, my community, and the communities around me right now are hurting. We’re struggling. And it’s not just the people who mine the coal that will suffer. It’s all of us. 

Believe it or not, coal really does keep the lights on.

For as far back as I can remember, it’s all I’ve known. My family ran a store, and every day like clockwork, the same coal miners came in and filled their dinner bucket for that day. Every trip I made anywhere through Eastern Kentucky, especially if it was toward Harlan, I followed a convoy of coal trucks. When I worked at the bank, every Friday, I cashed coal miner’s checks. That’s just how it was. It was normal. 

Now, when I go home on the weekends, I rarely see a coal truck. I see very few remnants of the way of life we all once knew. And why? Because we’ve got a greedy President. And a heartless one. 

Don’t tell me it’s not his fault. I’ve read too many stories from more news agencies than Fox. And more than that, I’ve seen the change since he took office. I’m able to remember back far enough to know that the only common denominator is his administration. He helps control the EPA, and the EPA destroys coalmines. It’s simple algebra, really. 

But tell me why? Can you give me a good reason that hasn’t been heard to try and comfort the families of the HUNDREDS and THOUSANDS of coal miners who sit jobless right now, crying themselves to sleep at night because they can’t feed their families? No, you can’t. 

Don’t come at me with the environment and clean coal argument either. Because that makes me think that you are trying to say that we should save the environment for the other people on the planet by sacrificing the lives and livelihood of thousands of hard-working men and women. So tell me what justifies trading one person’s life for another? Really, tell me, I want to know.

I am so, SO sick of hearing everyday what a great President he is. And what all he has done for this nation. He has done NOTHING, absolutely NOTHING for the people of Eastern Kentucky who work for a living. I already know he gave away a bunch of free phones and insurance to a lot of people who drain our economy when they could be working to support their families instead of the working people of America supporting their habits. 

(NOTICE I said a lot. I am by no means insinuating that some people do not need government assistance or shouldn't receive it.)  

But tell me what he has done to supply jobs for those he has put out of work in the past year? What gives him or any other government official the right to declare war on the working people of America and inevitably the nation’s economy? I’ll tell you what, NOTHING. 

I realize people in the areas unaffected probably have no idea what’s going on, or why they should care. But I’m about to fill you in folks, so listen up. It’s a chain of events. 

Coal Mines keep up a lot of businesses, things you wouldn’t think about. Coal mines buy tires, truck parts, fuel, oil, cleaning supplies, water, etc. That keeps up local businesses in the area like Whayne Supply, Perry County Tire, Croushorn’s, a lot of local gas stations, and a lot of these places were opened to serve mines. Miners buy their dinner at a lot of local food markets and gas stations, their paychecks go to groceries at all kinds of different stores like Wal-Mart, Food City, etc, which goes back up the corporate chain. They have to buy gas, clothes, shoes, houses, vehicles, necessities, etc.  They have to go to the doctor, the dentist, other medical offices. No more good insurance for that. Coal miners have had money in the past to buy toys for themselves, too, and plenty nice things for their wives and children. But those days are over.  No more Harley Davidson’s and pimped out rides.  Those companies will feel the hurt as well.  

What is going to replace their money when it ceases to be spent? I’ve already seen so many of these car dealerships, gas stations, etc. disappear or have to move. When coal money stops, there is no trade in our area; we have nothing else to spend. Except for what little money is generated from government jobs, coal is all we have.  It’s our life support. And it’s slowly but surely being taken away.

Enough is enough.

If I could drive a coal truck, I wouldn’t be sitting here writing this. I’d be on my way to the White House. Even if I were the only one, at least I’d make my voice be heard. But for now, this keyboard and the words it creates are all I have. 

Just this week, I was asked if they had shoes where I come from. We do now, but after this even the simplest things will be hard to come by for some. We will be going back in time, not forward. Kids will by hungry, their parents will have nowhere to turn, and on to government dependency they will go. Somebody tell me how this helps America? I’d love to know. People think cheaper, cleaner energy is going to save us all? Coal is the cheapest, most efficient way to power our nation. Do the research. COAL KEEPS THE LIGHTS ON. It’s not a cliché, it’s the glorified truth.

I’m sick of watching my family and my friends struggle. I’m sick of watching my community being attacked and punished for working hard. I’m just sick of being told how bad coal is when it fed me, clothed me, and paid for my education. I challenge any person to debate me on this topic. You tell me why you’re not affected, I’ll tell you how you are. I’ll educate you on something I know a lot about. First it was Detroit, now it’s coal. I shudder to think what will be next.  

This is our way of life and we choose it. That’s our God-given right. And the President might think he’s won, but this war is not over. You start pushing mountain people and we push back. He hasn’t seen how hard we fight yet but he’s about to. If two million bikers can rally in Washington, you better believe coal trucks can too, and they’re bigger than a Harley Davidson. 

God bless Jimmy Rose, he can’t do it by himself! He needs some backup. 

Look out Mr. Obama, we’re not going down without a fight. 

God Bless all the coal miners, I am behind you, and I am praying for you. And more importantly, whether the President is behind your or not, God is behind the working man.  

Coal Keeps the Lights On.