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Of Donkeys, Jennys and Jacks

A major change occurred in Kentucky just a few years ago. For 350 years the population had been rural, the change came when city and environs populations outnumbered others.

Often we long for a return to simpler times, times when neighbors were neighborly and all were alike in eking a living from farming. Forgotten are the calluses, sweat and blisters. Farm folks knew animals quite well, even the smallest tyke knew the difference between a donkey and a jack. Girls knew from experience that an old jack was likely to bite or kick them. They little understood the vendetta the jack showed in singling them out.

Times change but old jacks, such as the one we send to Washington, continue to bite and kick females. Just ask Ms. Ashley.

The old jack has an affinity for coal, we have his word on that.

Unfortunately he does not share this affinity equally with miners and mine owners. He cozies up to the Kentucky Coal Association--a group of twenty two coal mine owner members such as Peabody Energy, Alliance, and Patriot---it is not surprising that there are no coal miners in their list of members as annual dues are as much as $12,000. This is the bunch who has foisted on Kentuckians the impression that they somehow represent miners. The results are 50,000 license plates with the motto "FRIENDS of COAL" when it should read "FRIENDS OF COAL BIG MONEY." We have really been snookered. Miners deserve better.

The old jack has been a denier or negligent or an idjit to have sat on his rump in D.C. eating carrots fed to him by big money. Two decades of forecasts for diminished coal use, mining and burning with an attendant residual effects that are clearly harmful to children and other living things are not state secrets.

A powerful jack could have used his influence to legislate retraining, education, and job opportunities for displaced miners. A diligent jack would have made an all out push to make "clean coal" clean. The exact opposite of concern for miners has been reported by Kentucky.com in pointing out the "tag team" nature seemingly existed between the old jack and his jenny. Any undesired coal action that got by the jenny could be buttonholed by the jack or simply kicked clean out of the pasture.

As chief overseer of for mine safety and health the jenny took a "relaxed" attitude in regulating coal mines according to reports per Kentucky.com. The old jack denied any interface with the jenny concerning mine oversight---what a horrible admission for an imitation champion of coal miners to make. Why did he not get out the buggy whip and get after the jenny to do the utmost to protect miners?

The old jack is now like all old jacks, crafty, sly, self aggrandizing, and often will bite and kick without purpose. He should be harnessed to a farm wagon, replete with a license plate reading"BIG COAL MONEY'S BEST FRIEND", and confined to roam around the pasture, not needing to be "fixed" because he has done this to himself as reparation for his misdeeds to Kentuckians and especially miners.

Unfortunately he will not be around to witness the misery, mayhem, and suffering that will come, the fruit of the seeds sown by a jack who once wore the chief obstructionist crown.

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