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Thu Feb 13, 2014, 11:22 AM

 

The Poisoner's Reckoning



(Photo: Appalachian Voices / Flickr)

The Poisoner's Reckoning
By William Rivers Pitt
Truthout | Op-Ed

Thursday 13 February 2014

Even a dog distinguishes between being stumbled over and being kicked.

- Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr.


(snip)

Last week, Duke Energy in North Carolina dumped tens of thousands of tons of coal ash into the Dan River, turning it slate grey. According to Truthout's Mike Ludwig, "Coal ash can contain mercury, selenium, arsenic, chromium and other toxic and heavy metals, and at least 207 spills and contamination events have occurred in 37 states, according to data compiled by environmental groups."

On Tuesday, Patriot Coal dumped 100,000 gallons of coal slurry into yet another West Virginia waterway. The water turned black. According to Think Progress, "Coal slurry contains a range of toxic substances, including chemicals used to wash the coal and heavy metals, like iron, manganese, aluminum and selenium."

Also on Tuesday, some 2,000 gallons of oil-suffused bilge water was dumped into Puget Sound in Washington State at the Kitsap-Bangor Naval Base. It spread all the way to Hood Canal ten miles to the north. The Department of Health issued an advisory against eating shellfish from the affected area.

Patriot Coal...Freedom Industries...I am sensing a pattern here.

Are you?

A generation of industry deregulation, of government-is-the-problem, and of industries that quite simply and completely don't give a damn, have delivered us here. Of late, reports of poisons massively entering our water supply have been occurring with the same dreary regularity as reports of shootings at schools. It was happening before, but now it is happening all the time. It is entirely unsustainable, and must be stopped.

Ours are not the only communities being poisoned by runaway industry unfettered by even the most meager regulations. The village of Baha, in the Yunnan province of southwest China, was choking on factory smokestack filth and drinking factory polluted water for fourteen years, until they finally had enough. They called a meeting with the factory boss, but the boss blew them off. The residents of Baha responded by destroying the factory's offices, cars and dormitories, and wrecked the factory's equipment.

A meeting was called, the poisoners did not deign to show up, and all hell broke loose. Sounds a lot like Freedom Industries' absence on Monday, except, of course, for the hell breaking loose.

"We have been living with the factory for 14 years," said resident Huang Liangzheng in a UK Guardian report on the incident, "and we live in dust almost every day and can't sell our rice and other farm products. We need to live."

We need to live.

Think about that, you captains of industry.

Kick a dog enough times, and he will turn on you, tear out the seat of your pants, and come growling for more. "Enlightened self-interest" are your watchwords for this brave new century.

Quickly, now. Before it's too late.

For you.

The rest: http://www.truth-out.org/opinion/item/21835-william-rivers-pitt-the-poisoners-reckoning

32 replies, 5149 views

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Replies to this discussion thread
Arrow 32 replies Author Time Post
Reply The Poisoner's Reckoning (Original post)
WilliamPitt Feb 2014 OP
jsr Feb 2014 #1
Champion Jack Feb 2014 #2
G_j Feb 2014 #3
Fred Sanders Feb 2014 #8
Spitfire of ATJ Feb 2014 #13
Spitfire of ATJ Feb 2014 #9
mopinko Feb 2014 #4
PowerToThePeople Feb 2014 #5
Spitfire of ATJ Feb 2014 #11
PowerToThePeople Feb 2014 #20
Spitfire of ATJ Feb 2014 #21
PowerToThePeople Feb 2014 #22
Spitfire of ATJ Feb 2014 #24
Enthusiast Feb 2014 #28
el_bryanto Feb 2014 #6
bkanderson76 Feb 2014 #7
L0oniX Feb 2014 #10
Spitfire of ATJ Feb 2014 #15
BlancheSplanchnik Feb 2014 #12
Glassunion Feb 2014 #14
dougolat Feb 2014 #17
TheJames Feb 2014 #16
JDPriestly Feb 2014 #18
daleanime Feb 2014 #19
Vox Moi Feb 2014 #23
Cracklin Charlie Feb 2014 #25
Laelth Feb 2014 #26
Enthusiast Feb 2014 #27
WilliamPitt Feb 2014 #29
arthritisR_US Feb 2014 #30
Skittles Feb 2014 #31
WilliamPitt Feb 2014 #32

Response to WilliamPitt (Original post)

Thu Feb 13, 2014, 11:28 AM

1. Recommend

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Response to WilliamPitt (Original post)

Thu Feb 13, 2014, 11:38 AM

2. Spot on

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Response to WilliamPitt (Original post)

Thu Feb 13, 2014, 11:43 AM

3. Eden, NC Coal Ash Spill

Eden, NC Coal Ash Spill - UNEDITED FOOTAGE

Duke Energy said that 50,000 to 82,000 tons of coal ash and up to 27 million gallons of water were released from a pond at its retired power plant in Eden, NC.



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Response to G_j (Reply #3)

Thu Feb 13, 2014, 12:53 PM

8. Are you, sir, daring to suggest that the mass media play that tape and thereby start some

kind of revolution or something?

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Response to Fred Sanders (Reply #8)

Thu Feb 13, 2014, 01:25 PM

13. Actually, footage like this will make the company act....

 

Their first act will be to get the authorities to declare the entire area a no-fly zone so news helicopters can't produce any more footage like this. Including shoot down authorization with heat seekers for their private security.

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Response to G_j (Reply #3)

Thu Feb 13, 2014, 01:16 PM

9. This is what happens when the cost of proper disposal is higher than the fine for dumping.

 

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Response to WilliamPitt (Original post)

Thu Feb 13, 2014, 11:46 AM

4. ffs, there is iron in a slurry and they can't even be bothered to reclaim THAT??!!!!

slobs. just self entitled, evil slobs who have never picked up their own dirty underwear.

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Response to WilliamPitt (Original post)

Thu Feb 13, 2014, 12:04 PM

5. Why does it have to come to

 

Revolution and vigilantism? Why can't our Government do what is best for it's citizens? Because the citizens do not have a Government. The citizens have an enforcer of Corporation's desires.

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Response to PowerToThePeople (Reply #5)

Thu Feb 13, 2014, 01:18 PM

11. Fox "News" has these people conditioned to blame the government for this.

 

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Response to Spitfire of ATJ (Reply #11)

Thu Feb 13, 2014, 02:02 PM

20. It is Government's fault

 

But, the reason it is governments fault is opposite of the Fox news reason. It is government's fault because they do not regulate/fine/shutdown facilities/jail executives enough to create an urgency in the business community to avoid these events.

edit- And the reason they do not is because big business owns the government.

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Response to PowerToThePeople (Reply #20)

Thu Feb 13, 2014, 02:07 PM

21. It's like all the oil train "accidents" as the pipeline discussion becomes a "safety issue".

 

Because history shows greedy evil people never kill for money.

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Response to Spitfire of ATJ (Reply #21)

Thu Feb 13, 2014, 02:08 PM

22. They do kill for money

 

and will continue to until the punishment for doing so creates a large enough deterrent.

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Response to PowerToThePeople (Reply #22)

Thu Feb 13, 2014, 02:19 PM

24. I say we have massive media coverage of the cops busting in the CEO's door...

 



Pepper spray him and haul him out in cuffs as his crying children scream, "daddy!".

Oh wait,....that's for POOR people.

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Response to Spitfire of ATJ (Reply #24)

Thu Feb 13, 2014, 05:40 PM

28. +1 a shit load!

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Response to WilliamPitt (Original post)

Thu Feb 13, 2014, 12:15 PM

6. It looks like Duke Energy is at least making an effort to respond to their issue

"We apologize and will use all available resources to take care of the river," said Paul Newton, Duke Energy president -- North Carolina. "We will do the right thing for the river and surrounding communities. We are accountable."

That is from their press release so we'll see if they do anything about it, but certainly I like that they admit that they are accountable. Apparently a stormwater pipe broke, releasing the materials - they set up a catch basin to stop further materials from flowing into the river.

Patriot Coal on the other hand doesn't seem to be responding to the issue; but they are apparently still reeling from last months disaster, where they released 4-methylcyclohexane methanol into the water.

Bryant

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Response to WilliamPitt (Original post)

Thu Feb 13, 2014, 12:37 PM

7. Evidently a few more Compassionate Chinese are needed in West Virginia....

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Response to WilliamPitt (Original post)

Thu Feb 13, 2014, 01:18 PM

10. "Patriot Coal...Freedom Industries" A pattern indeed.

 

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Response to L0oniX (Reply #10)

Thu Feb 13, 2014, 01:36 PM

15. "Mom and Apple Pie" is next.

 

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Response to WilliamPitt (Original post)

Thu Feb 13, 2014, 01:22 PM

12. that's a damn good editorial.

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Response to WilliamPitt (Original post)

Thu Feb 13, 2014, 01:25 PM

14. You're missing the point.

It's cheaper to just dump it than to properly dispose of it. Now that's what's important. $$$$

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Response to Glassunion (Reply #14)

Thu Feb 13, 2014, 01:53 PM

17. Bottom line - every time! ...nt

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Response to WilliamPitt (Original post)

Thu Feb 13, 2014, 01:42 PM

16. Enlightened-self interest, indeed!

I've been preaching this for 45 years. "Yes, Damn, why can't you understand that when something improves the general welfare, you are included?"
Most of the time I get a blank look
Maybe that's why there's so much "discouraged, old fart", going around. I know I've got a case.

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Response to WilliamPitt (Original post)

Thu Feb 13, 2014, 01:55 PM

18. Remember back when we were told to be afraid because terrorists might contaminate our

water supply? That's what we heard here in California.

Well???

Is poisoning the water supply a form of terrorism?

And can so many instances of contamination of our water really be just a coincidence?

Who owns these polluting companies?

Who manages them?

How old is the infrastructure that is doing the contaminating?

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Response to WilliamPitt (Original post)

Thu Feb 13, 2014, 01:57 PM

19. K&R....

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Response to WilliamPitt (Original post)

Thu Feb 13, 2014, 02:12 PM

23. We ought to re-think the notion of Corporate vs Individual liability.

Go ahead and dump the stuff in the river.
It's cheaper that way.
If we get get caught, the company can fight it in the courts for years.
If we loose in the court the company can appeal.
If we loose the appeal the company can pay the fine.
It's only a cost-benefit analysis.
Which does not effect my salary one bit. That's in the analysis too.

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Response to WilliamPitt (Original post)

Thu Feb 13, 2014, 02:20 PM

25. Well done, Sir!

Imagine a picture of hands clapping!

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Response to WilliamPitt (Original post)

Thu Feb 13, 2014, 03:00 PM

26. k&r for exposure. n/t

-Laelth

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Response to WilliamPitt (Original post)

Thu Feb 13, 2014, 05:38 PM

27. K&R! This post should have hundreds of recommendations!

And it should.

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Response to WilliamPitt (Original post)

Thu Feb 13, 2014, 08:17 PM

29. Up

 

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Response to WilliamPitt (Original post)

Thu Feb 13, 2014, 08:29 PM

30. I live in Alberta and my feelings about what we are doing to mother earth are in

the minority. They oscillate between anger and despair. It breaks my heart what we are doing to our lands, all in the name of greed and sloth.

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Response to WilliamPitt (Original post)

Thu Feb 13, 2014, 11:54 PM

31. how do you find your quotes

they are just....spot on

Even a dog distinguishes between being stumbled over and being kicked.

- Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr.


so freaking true

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Response to Skittles (Reply #31)

Fri Feb 14, 2014, 09:58 AM

32. They find me.

 

True story: I was three paragraphs into this essay and picked up one of the books I'm reading - "A Death in Belmont," by the guy who wrote "A Perfect Storm" - for a bit of a brain break, and that quote was halfway down the first page I read. Break over.

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