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(CBS News)   Like a task force taking down a crime family, federal prosecutors are slowly working up the corporate chain of command of Massey Energy with criminal indictments connected to the Big Branch mine disaster   (cbsnews.com) divider line 81
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3802 clicks; posted to Main » on 23 Feb 2012 at 1:33 PM (2 years ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2012-02-23 01:07:04 PM  
How very interesting that Don Blakenship, the formely VERY outspoken CEO of Massey Energy, the guy who bought a fishing buddy a seat on the WV Supreme Court to try to tip a case his way, and tried to buy a GOP majority in the WV legislature (spending $1 million + per race, on seats where most candidates sepnt $20,000-$30,000 TOTAL)

Is now suddenly making like a total hermit with an unlisted number after going all "Fif" with DOJ investigators. I think he may be running scared for the first time in his life, and it couldn't happen to a nicer person.
 
2012-02-23 01:33:28 PM  
THIS is why we need unions and regulations and government institutions that can enforce those regulations.

Magorn: I think he may be running scared for the first time in his life, and it couldn't happen to a nicer person.


Good.
 
2012-02-23 01:38:52 PM  
...... and yet, still no charges against any bankers who hurt millions of people.

Sweet.
 
2012-02-23 01:38:56 PM  
Oh, Jesus how I would love to see Don Blankenship perp-walked in cuffs and ankle restraints.
 
2012-02-23 01:40:45 PM  

Nadie_AZ: Magorn: I think he may be running scared for the first time in his life, and it couldn't happen to a nicer person.

Good.


This. And more this.

Only downside is that no punishment allowed under our legal code and the Constitution could possibly be real justice for the total harm and misery that man has caused, overseen and profited from over the years. I'm not sure any human agency could make him suffer enough.
 
2012-02-23 01:42:28 PM  

Magorn: I think he may be running scared for the first time in his life, and it couldn't happen to a nicer person.


This warms the cockles of my heart.
 
2012-02-23 01:43:11 PM  
You file sixteen lawsuits, and what do ya get?
Another day older with taxpayer debt.
Saint Peter don't call me cause I can't go,
The Job Creators ignored mine safety regulations and will hire expensive lawyers to cover their own ass.


/Hmm, the last part needs to rhyme a bit better
 
2012-02-23 01:43:16 PM  
Hope he had a pre-nup
 
2012-02-23 01:44:23 PM  

Wasteland: Nadie_AZ: Magorn: I think he may be running scared for the first time in his life, and it couldn't happen to a nicer person.

Good.

This. And more this.

Only downside is that no punishment allowed under our legal code and the Constitution could possibly be real justice for the total harm and misery that man has caused, overseen and profited from over the years. I'm not sure any human agency could make him suffer enough.


Yeah, he's a bad guy. They've got quotes of him encouraging workers to mine more coal instead of working on safety measures. And when it came out they had two sets of safety books, the real ones and the ones for the regulators,....

He needs to pay.
 
2012-02-23 01:44:48 PM  
Silly CEOs, if you wanna destroy families you need to work on Wall St.
 
2012-02-23 01:44:59 PM  

Nadie_AZ: THIS is why we need unions and regulations and government institutions that can enforce those regulations.

Magorn: I think he may be running scared for the first time in his life, and it couldn't happen to a nicer person.

Good.


Don Blankenship has been on my radar screen for a long time, and I don't think a lot of people realize that his Company is probably the worst "corporate citizen" in America and/or just how bad he is personally. The union-busting that he did at every mine he took over was bad, but WHY he did it was far worse-to dismantle/cicrumvent basic safety procedures at most of his mines.

His company was responsible for the worst environmental disaster in the lower 48 until the BP spill when in 1999 a "Slurry containment pond" breached and poured mine waste into the rivers that supplied drinking water for 5 states. Worse yet, the MSHA investigators found that the accident was caused by gross negligence and deliberate neglect-and that something similar on smller scale had happened before and Massey promised to make improvements and then never bothered .

So what did Blankenship do? He poured lots of money into Bush's campaign and in return got a Massey Energy board member appointed to MSHA's enforcement panel. Shortly thereafter the chief investigator of the slurry disaster was fired (for charging $50 in personal expenses to a government credit card-money he reimbursed BTW) and Massey Energy was fined $125,000 and the case was closed. (even scarier Massey has refused to remove a similar designed slurry pond that is situated on a hill overlooking a WV elementary school)
 
2012-02-23 01:48:54 PM  
I heard about this yesterday, and from the interviews on NPR, it doesn't sound like they will get much further than the supervisor they've currently charged. Apparently, he's the highest up the food chain ever charged in a mining disaster.
 
2012-02-23 01:52:27 PM  
fark coalmines. They gave my maternal grandfather black lung and my paternal grandfather cancer. They don't give two shiats about those miners,they only care about profits. Not to mentioned they used my mothers land and cheated her on her share. The last check she got from Teco Coals she framed because it was $0.60. Not to mentioned my fiance's brother in law who got an arc flash burn because the idiots didn't follow safety procedures,not him the guys he worked with.
/Yeah he didn't live.
 
2012-02-23 01:55:41 PM  

Alonjar: ...... and yet, still no charges against any bankers who hurt millions of people.

Sweet.


Oh for fark's sake because a mine explosion that results in 29 people dying is exactly like the housing market collapse. Yup exactly.
 
2012-02-23 01:58:45 PM  

A Terrible Human: Not to mentioned they used my mothers land and cheated her on her share. The last check she got from Teco Coals she framed because it was $0.60.


Teco's a fun bunch. They pulled a similar stunt with some old family land of ours, and got caught at it. The settlement was kind of nice- even my fraction of a fraction of a partial share came to a couple hundred bucks, so the original screwjob must've clocked in at several million.
 
2012-02-23 02:04:20 PM  
Greed is the most destructive of human behaviors.
 
2012-02-23 02:06:48 PM  
Oh, un-bunch your panties, people

The Free Market will take care of this problem. Consumers will be so outraged over those safety violations and subsequent miner deaths that they'll stop buying that coal to heat their homes and the company will go out of business. Wallah!!
 
2012-02-23 02:12:32 PM  

maxximillian: Alonjar: ...... and yet, still no charges against any bankers who hurt millions of people.

Sweet.

Oh for fark's sake because a mine explosion that results in 29 people dying is exactly like the housing market collapse. Yup exactly.


pfft on both of you for acting like corporations are anything but infalliable with our best of intentions at heart.

/real america.
 
2012-02-23 02:12:33 PM  

Magorn: Is now suddenly making like a total hermit with an unlisted number after going all "Fif" with DOJ investigators. I think he may be running scared for the first time in his life, and it couldn't happen to a nicer person.


He's going down.
A bucket of coal tar down his throat would be nice.
 
2012-02-23 02:14:42 PM  
Here is your on-stop shopping page for all the Upper Big Branch Reports minus the mosly retarded media filter. (new window)

I am as about pro-mining as they come here on Fark, but these folks need to prosecuted to the full extent of the law.
 
2012-02-23 02:14:58 PM  
Looks like someone forgot to make a few campaign contributions.

/BOA, MS, C, WF, GS, etc. sit back & laugh
 
2012-02-23 02:17:45 PM  

Alonjar: ...... and yet, still no charges against any bankers who hurt millions of people.

Sweet.


Wait until November 3.

/Just sayin'
 
2012-02-23 02:19:26 PM  
The market is self regulating. If mines were dangerous no one would work there.

Why would anyone think a slurry dam would break. I mean that is just an act of God, just like the Buffalo Creek flood, when, of the 5,000 people in Buffalo Hollow, 125 were killed, 1,121 were injured, and more than 4,000 were left homeless.
 
2012-02-23 02:22:20 PM  

dericwater: Alonjar: ...... and yet, still no charges against any bankers who hurt millions of people.

Sweet.

Wait until November 3.

/Just sayin'


that'll be when we give them millions of dollars in restitution and amnesty, right?
 
2012-02-23 02:27:37 PM  

Wasteland: Teco's a fun bunch. They pulled a similar stunt with some old family land of ours, and got caught at it. The settlement was kind of nice- even my fraction of a fraction of a partial share came to a couple hundred bucks, so the original screwjob must've clocked in at several million.


They're just utter bastards.
 
2012-02-23 02:35:36 PM  
I think the union had some responsibility in this too. They obviously knew all this was going on and could have called a strike to protest working conditions.
 
2012-02-23 02:37:39 PM  

Magorn: Don Blankenship has been on my radar screen for a long time, and I don't think a lot of people realize that his Company is probably the worst "corporate citizen" in America and/or just how bad he is personally.


static.tvguide.com

You get back down in that hole and find me my color.
 
2012-02-23 02:42:57 PM  

wildcat2011: I think the union had some responsibility in this too. They obviously knew all this was going on and could have called a strike to protest working conditions.


Blaming the victims. That's a good call.
 
2012-02-23 02:45:44 PM  

Churchy LaFemme: wildcat2011: I think the union had some responsibility in this too. They obviously knew all this was going on and could have called a strike to protest working conditions.

Blaming the victims. That's a good call.


Yeah, cause they never have any responsibility.

I'm talking about the union leaders who obviously knew about the working conditions at the mine. Isn't that what they are there for, to protect the workers?
 
2012-02-23 02:49:02 PM  

wildcat2011: Churchy LaFemme: wildcat2011: I think the union had some responsibility in this too. They obviously knew all this was going on and could have called a strike to protest working conditions.

Blaming the victims. That's a good call.

Yeah, cause they never have any responsibility.

I'm talking about the union leaders who obviously knew about the working conditions at the mine. Isn't that what they are there for, to protect the workers?


Do you know what their contract looks like? They may have a no strike rule in place.

In any case, they wouldn't be responsible.
 
2012-02-23 02:51:32 PM  

HotWingConspiracy: wildcat2011: Churchy LaFemme: wildcat2011: I think the union had some responsibility in this too. They obviously knew all this was going on and could have called a strike to protest working conditions.

Blaming the victims. That's a good call.

Yeah, cause they never have any responsibility.

I'm talking about the union leaders who obviously knew about the working conditions at the mine. Isn't that what they are there for, to protect the workers?

Do you know what their contract looks like? They may have a no strike rule in place.

In any case, they wouldn't be responsible.


They wouldn't? I'd always heard that was the main responsibility of unions. Guess I was misinformed.
 
2012-02-23 02:54:19 PM  

wildcat2011: HotWingConspiracy: wildcat2011: Churchy LaFemme: wildcat2011: I think the union had some responsibility in this too. They obviously knew all this was going on and could have called a strike to protest working conditions.

Blaming the victims. That's a good call.

Yeah, cause they never have any responsibility.

I'm talking about the union leaders who obviously knew about the working conditions at the mine. Isn't that what they are there for, to protect the workers?

Do you know what their contract looks like? They may have a no strike rule in place.

In any case, they wouldn't be responsible.

They wouldn't?


No.
 
2012-02-23 02:57:19 PM  

HotWingConspiracy: wildcat2011: HotWingConspiracy: wildcat2011: Churchy LaFemme: wildcat2011: I think the union had some responsibility in this too. They obviously knew all this was going on and could have called a strike to protest working conditions.

Blaming the victims. That's a good call.

Yeah, cause they never have any responsibility.

I'm talking about the union leaders who obviously knew about the working conditions at the mine. Isn't that what they are there for, to protect the workers?

Do you know what their contract looks like? They may have a no strike rule in place.

In any case, they wouldn't be responsible.

They wouldn't?

No.


Is that the best you've got? I'm not anti union, but wonder why they didn't do anything.
 
2012-02-23 02:57:21 PM  

HotWingConspiracy: Do you know what their contract looks like? They may have a no strike rule in place.


I am pretty sure that what ever their contract looks like, there is nothing barring them from calling MHSA about the situation. Whoever had a hand in tampering with the gas detection system needs a trip to the big house. From the laborer up to the CEO. I really don't care.
 
2012-02-23 02:58:41 PM  

wildcat2011: HotWingConspiracy: wildcat2011: HotWingConspiracy: wildcat2011: Churchy LaFemme: wildcat2011: I think the union had some responsibility in this too. They obviously knew all this was going on and could have called a strike to protest working conditions.

Blaming the victims. That's a good call.

Yeah, cause they never have any responsibility.

I'm talking about the union leaders who obviously knew about the working conditions at the mine. Isn't that what they are there for, to protect the workers?

Do you know what their contract looks like? They may have a no strike rule in place.

In any case, they wouldn't be responsible.

They wouldn't?

No.

Is that the best you've got?


It's a clear, direct answer to your question.
 
2012-02-23 03:00:45 PM  

HeadLever: HotWingConspiracy: Do you know what their contract looks like? They may have a no strike rule in place.

I am pretty sure that what ever their contract looks like, there is nothing barring them from calling MHSA about the situation.


It said when MHSA showed up the mine got tipped off. Not too sure what that would have accomplished. Do we know that nobody from the union did anything? The article doesn't say.
 
2012-02-23 03:02:11 PM  

HotWingConspiracy: wildcat2011: HotWingConspiracy: wildcat2011: HotWingConspiracy: wildcat2011: Churchy LaFemme: wildcat2011: I think the union had some responsibility in this too. They obviously knew all this was going on and could have called a strike to protest working conditions.

Blaming the victims. That's a good call.

Yeah, cause they never have any responsibility.

I'm talking about the union leaders who obviously knew about the working conditions at the mine. Isn't that what they are there for, to protect the workers?

Do you know what their contract looks like? They may have a no strike rule in place.

In any case, they wouldn't be responsible.

They wouldn't?

No.

Is that the best you've got?

It's a clear, direct answer to your question.


From somebody who has no idea other than management is bad, union is good.
 
2012-02-23 03:04:12 PM  

wildcat2011: HotWingConspiracy: wildcat2011: HotWingConspiracy: wildcat2011: HotWingConspiracy: wildcat2011: Churchy LaFemme: wildcat2011: I think the union had some responsibility in this too. They obviously knew all this was going on and could have called a strike to protest working conditions.

Blaming the victims. That's a good call.

Yeah, cause they never have any responsibility.

I'm talking about the union leaders who obviously knew about the working conditions at the mine. Isn't that what they are there for, to protect the workers?

Do you know what their contract looks like? They may have a no strike rule in place.

In any case, they wouldn't be responsible.

They wouldn't?

No.

Is that the best you've got?

It's a clear, direct answer to your question.

From somebody who has no idea other than management is bad, union is good.


They're both pretty neutral on their own.

Though it seems you statement is true in this case.
 
2012-02-23 03:05:25 PM  

HotWingConspiracy: wildcat2011: HotWingConspiracy: wildcat2011: Churchy LaFemme: wildcat2011: I think the union had some responsibility in this too. They obviously knew all this was going on and could have called a strike to protest working conditions.

Blaming the victims. That's a good call.

Yeah, cause they never have any responsibility.

I'm talking about the union leaders who obviously knew about the working conditions at the mine. Isn't that what they are there for, to protect the workers?

Do you know what their contract looks like? They may have a no strike rule in place.

In any case, they wouldn't be responsible.

They wouldn't?

No.


HotWingConspiracy: wildcat2011: HotWingConspiracy: wildcat2011: Churchy LaFemme: wildcat2011: I think the union had some responsibility in this too. They obviously knew all this was going on and could have called a strike to protest working conditions.

Blaming the victims. That's a good call.

Yeah, cause they never have any responsibility.

I'm talking about the union leaders who obviously knew about the working conditions at the mine. Isn't that what they are there for, to protect the workers?

Do you know what their contract looks like? They may have a no strike rule in place.

In any case, they wouldn't be responsible.

They wouldn't?

No.


Maybe not to the union, but to MSHA and the Feds, they very well could be.
 
2012-02-23 03:09:17 PM  

HotWingConspiracy: It said when MHSA showed up the mine got tipped off.


That we likely during one of the their standard visits (MSHA is required to inspect underground 4 times a year). If a tip is given, MSHA would have likely gone under cover to check on the specific violation first instead of the SOP.

/As a goverment agency, MSHA has more powers granted to it than anyone but the Secret Service
 
2012-02-23 03:09:32 PM  

wildcat2011: Churchy LaFemme: wildcat2011: I think the union had some responsibility in this too. They obviously knew all this was going on and could have called a strike to protest working conditions.

Blaming the victims. That's a good call.

Yeah, cause they never have any responsibility.

I'm talking about the union leaders who obviously knew about the working conditions at the mine. Isn't that what they are there for, to protect the workers?


You mean the union that didn't exit at Big Branch because Blankenship busted it when he bought the place? Upper BB was a non-union mine when the disater happened and UMW has only been able to get involved because the surivivors of the disaster designated them as their offical representatives as allowed under MSHA rules.
 
2012-02-23 03:12:15 PM  
Non-story, criminalization of competitive behaviour and profit-making by mooching commies.

/some lower flunky will get the most time
//blankenship will get a slap on the wrist and a few board memberships
///my resistance to pitchforks and torches will drop a bit more
 
2012-02-23 03:12:51 PM  

Magorn: wildcat2011: Churchy LaFemme: wildcat2011: I think the union had some responsibility in this too. They obviously knew all this was going on and could have called a strike to protest working conditions.

Blaming the victims. That's a good call.

Yeah, cause they never have any responsibility.

I'm talking about the union leaders who obviously knew about the working conditions at the mine. Isn't that what they are there for, to protect the workers?

You mean the union that didn't exit at Big Branch because Blankenship busted it when he bought the place? Upper BB was a non-union mine when the disater happened and UMW has only been able to get involved because the surivivors of the disaster designated them as their offical representatives as allowed under MSHA rules.


Oh right, I forgot about that. Everyone went all "OMG UNIONS LOL" when the disaster happened, but forgot that they had been sucking Blankenship's dick for being a union buster.
 
2012-02-23 03:13:02 PM  

wildcat2011: I think the union had some responsibility in this too. They obviously knew all this was going on and could have called a strike to protest working conditions.



Oh for fark's sake.
Upper Big Branch, like most of Massey's locations was a non-union mine.

NPR (new window)

You are a dittohead, aren't you? Rush tried that same bullshiat where-was-the-union when the disaster first happened.
 
2012-02-23 03:13:30 PM  
I'm just wondering why the preventable deaths of 29 people that resulted when safety measures were instructed to not be taken and safety books were fudged to hide this is not resulting in talk of negligent homicide. It's not like anyone can make the claim they didn't know there was risk involved to circumventing the safety codes, and now they're talking some charge that brings a max of 5 years, 2.3 on good behavior? What a joke.
 
2012-02-23 03:15:32 PM  

Magorn: wildcat2011: Churchy LaFemme: wildcat2011: I think the union had some responsibility in this too. They obviously knew all this was going on and could have called a strike to protest working conditions.

Blaming the victims. That's a good call.

Yeah, cause they never have any responsibility.

I'm talking about the union leaders who obviously knew about the working conditions at the mine. Isn't that what they are there for, to protect the workers?

You mean the union that didn't exit at Big Branch because Blankenship busted it when he bought the place? Upper BB was a non-union mine when the disater happened and UMW has only been able to get involved because the surivivors of the disaster designated them as their offical representatives as allowed under MSHA rules.


You're right, then. The union was not partly responsible. Sounds like the MSHA is because they had cited them for countless violations but failed to shut them down.
 
2012-02-23 03:18:54 PM  

wildcat2011: Magorn: wildcat2011: Churchy LaFemme: wildcat2011: I think the union had some responsibility in this too. They obviously knew all this was going on and could have called a strike to protest working conditions.

Blaming the victims. That's a good call.

Yeah, cause they never have any responsibility.

I'm talking about the union leaders who obviously knew about the working conditions at the mine. Isn't that what they are there for, to protect the workers?

You mean the union that didn't exit at Big Branch because Blankenship busted it when he bought the place? Upper BB was a non-union mine when the disater happened and UMW has only been able to get involved because the surivivors of the disaster designated them as their offical representatives as allowed under MSHA rules.

You're right, then. The union was not partly responsible. Sounds like the MSHA is because they had cited them for countless violations but failed to shut them down.


"It's the government's fault they didn't stop us from endangering employees!" sounds like a great argument for nationalizing the mine and booting everyone in management and ownership.
 
2012-02-23 03:19:19 PM  

HeadLever: HotWingConspiracy: It said when MHSA showed up the mine got tipped off.

That we likely during one of the their standard visits (MSHA is required to inspect underground 4 times a year). If a tip is given, MSHA would have likely gone under cover to check on the specific violation first instead of the SOP.

/As a goverment agency, MSHA has more powers granted to it than anyone but the Secret Service


I think part of the story is our regulatory agencies having all of this power and never using any of it. Whether it's due to money men getting friendly directors appointed, or their budgets being gutted by politicians.
 
2012-02-23 03:19:25 PM  

wildcat2011: I think the union had some responsibility in this too. They obviously knew all this was going on and could have called a strike to protest working conditions.


If Big Branch had been a union mine, you'd be right. It wasn't, and you aren't.

UMW did in fact raise hell- both at Massey, and at MHSA letting them off as easy as they did. But Blankenship is perfectly willing to spend as much money as it takes to screw the unions, even in cases where it'd be less expensive to simply shape up operations and meet safety regs instead of paying fines. Keep in mind, the man isn't just the walking archetype of the corrupt industrialist, he's also an ideologue.
 
2012-02-23 03:19:36 PM  

Cubicle Jockey: wildcat2011: I think the union had some responsibility in this too. They obviously knew all this was going on and could have called a strike to protest working conditions.


Oh for fark's sake.
Upper Big Branch, like most of Massey's locations was a non-union mine.

NPR (new window)

You are a dittohead, aren't you? Rush tried that same bullshiat where-was-the-union when the disaster first happened.


No farktard, I hate Rush. Just didn't realize they were non-union as the article kept mention the miners union.
 
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