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MEMBER DIARY

I have often regretted my speech, never my silence.

- Xenocrates (396-314 B.C.).

I do not know a lot about mine safety. To be honest, I don’t know about a lot of things. That rarely stops me from running my mouth, using professional experiences, references, quotations and subject matter I do know to extrapolate and analyze the things I do not. Sometimes I make quick judgment calls based on nothing more than simple logic and gut instinct. While I’m often right there are times I’m wrong. Me and my opinions, we exist largely in a vacuum on the national scene, being only as far reaching as family, a few coworkers, friends and you fine people. When I’m right, wrong, misguided or misinformed mostly I’m the only one who notices. In short I’m no journalist.

To reiterate, I do not know a lot about mine safety and I am not a journalist. Therefore when the tragedy that occurred this week in West Virginia, I was not on TV trying to fill my 24 hours of programming while boosting my ratings in a tough economy and diverse news market by sensationalizing stories with “factoids”. I was not on TV pointing out safety infractions not mentioning what the regulatory standards actually were or what classification the infraction was, or even if the deficiency was a true violation or only a supplemental feature. I was not on TV, NOT asking if any of these deficiencies would have prevented the explosion that led to this tragedy or could ONLY have helped increase the survival odds provided miners were in the correct areas at the time of the explosion.

Once again, I do not know a lot about mine safety and I am not a journalist. However, that is not why I was not on TV asking questions I have no business asking. I was not on TV because I generally do not make a habit of being a completely and totally disrespectful to people who not only have done nothing to deserve it but are clinging to hope for missing loved ones.

I can not underscore the dickishness of a journalist standing over a lifeguard and questioning his attentiveness, his training, his equipment, and even his compensation WHILE that lifeguard is performing CPR on a victim. I do not know a lot about mine safety and I am not a journalist, but I can not underscore the dickishness of doing the same to a company. When a mine disaster occurs, it is the company who is in charge of coordinating the rescue operation. It is the company who sends its men in to search for their fallen comrades, putting their own lives at risk in a toxic, explosive, structurally unstable environment. It is the company who coordinates the family support operations, providing support to not only the families of the victims, but the now frantic families of rescue teams. Standing over and questioning this company while rescue efforts were still in effect was disrespectful to the rescue workers, and the families of these fallen men.

Now.

Now, you talking heads in your fine pressed suits and your well light, air conditioned (and very likely coal powered) TV studios, NOW you may commence your dickishness.

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