Monday, June 14, 2010

Rand Paul on Mountaintop Removal: 'No Biggie'

The "purity" of Rand Paul's libertarianism leads him into the blind alley of letting industry and other "property owners" do whatever they damn well please for a profit. The "permit process" for mountaintop coal mining should be made easier. Government shouldn't be taxing the profits from coal extraction. And this tone-deaf gem: "I don't think anybody's going to be missing a hill or two here and there."

The thought process that came up with that summation on the devastation wrought by Big Coal is basically amoral. "I don't care what is destroyed as long as someone's making a profit."


No Compromise said...

Once again, JW tries to put all the blame on the Republicans. This headline from
'Appalachian Apocalypse': Obama Permits Mountaintop Removal Mining

brushfire said...

Actually JW is putting blame on Rand Paul who said" I don't think anyone is going to miss a mountain top here or there".
Are you guilty of overgeneralizing here?

BikerBard said...

How can Paul be so cavalier about Appalachia's mountains? Profits!

Dog Tom said...


How do you heat your home? If you don't use wind or solar, then you are part of your percieved problem. Many believe that coal and oil companies are the demons in all this, yet these very same people heat with electricity derived from oil or coal fired generators! Do you drive a car? Do you eat meat? If yes, then YOU are the problem, not corporations.

Dog Tom

No Compromise said...

"Profit" is the key word here. I'm a big believer in making as small a footprint as possible. As a Libertarian, I also believe in a "hands off" policy. A company can only make a profit if enough people buy their product. If you want to stop mountaintop removal, then stop using things that involve coal! One of the most disgusting things I've ever seen was when a congresswoman, after she gave a speech about how she was opposed to mountaintop removal, drove off in a big-ass, gas-guzzling SUV!

Anonymous said...

Actually JW is putting blame on Rand Paul who said" I don't think anyone is going to miss a mountain top here or there".
Are you guilty of overgeneralizing here?* brushfire

No doubt No Compromise and Rand has ever been to Copperhill, Tennessee to see where that mountain went?

Anonymous said...

Actually JW is putting blame on Rand Paul who said" I don't think anyone is going to miss a mountain top here or there".
Are you guilty of overgeneralizing here?* brushfire

No doubt No Compromise and Rand has ever been to Copperhill, Tennessee to see where that mountain went?

brushfire said...

Dog Tom, I heat with wood, but drive (as little as possible) because there is no alternative. I do support solar and wind, and wave, and geothermal, and conservation and in any way I can, getting off fossil fuels. I vote for representatives who promise to support clean renewable energy. And I blame corporations for lobbying against it. The influence of oil companies is the reason I have no alternative yet.

No Compromise said...

You're right, Anon., I haven't been to Copperhill, TN. But I have been to, and camped out on Kayford Mountain in West Virginia. I'm also a good friend of Larry Gipson, who has refused to sell his land on Kayford Mountain to Massey Energy so that they can level it also.

Dog Tom said...


I heat with wood also, but that emits greenouse gases into the atmosphere, causing, some say, global warming. Am I wrong to heat with wood? I don't think so and think wood is a renewable resource that can sustain some energy needs in this country. The Ice Storm from this winter really have us a lot of decent wood to burn didn't it?

As for choices, we all have choices on where and how we live. Going back to my Grandparents, who hailed from the long gone Sampson community, they didn't have a car, and raised and stored all their food. Most of their neighbors did the same thing. It was undoubtably a tough life, but one even the most devout modern day organic consumer would envy (or would they!).

I hope to get back to some level of basic needs living like my ancestors. I sure like turning on the lights or watching a good movie though. I believe that a resurgance of small scale farming would place our country on the right track. This along with renewable energy such as woodburning stoves, solar, wind, wave and water power would lessen our dependence on oil. The reason I want this country to be less dependent on oil is because it means we will become more independent as a society. No more relying on Saudi Arabian religious extremists for our energy.

Imagine a society where we pay next to nothing to electric cooperatives such as Blue Ridge or $4.00 a dollar gasoline to corrupt oil companies who price gouge on a whim. Raising a portion of our own food means a healthier nation, increases in longevity, and an appreciation of nature.

Dog Tom

Mike D. said...

Dog Tom and Brushfire both seem interested in nature, both seem to be people of the land, both seem to aspire towards sustainability.

Here's what I don't understand:

Dog Tom's version of natural sustainability relies on an awakening within society, within individuals. I would suggest he believes that just as knowledge can be drained from a society, so too can it be reclaimed when the times call for it. Tom's version of sustainability involves family and neighborhood gardens, canning, pickling, sharing, planting fruit and nut trees instead of decorative trees.

Brushfire, however, seems to think that knowledge possessed by the people is that which the government (of the people, to be sure) has deemed valuable for the people to know. I believe, truly, that Brushfire and Tom actually support many of the same principles of sustainability.

But I question why Brushfire feels that this knowledge must come as a mandate from political overlords.

Somehow, I feel that Brushfire could rail for hours against Monsanto Corporation for modifying the genetic code of produce, but if the people owned the means of production, and the government had modified the genetic code of crops to increase yield and resist disease, Brushfire would be singing the praises of genetic modification for helping so many people have food.

By the way, I sold my car ten years ago, and I travel primarily by bus, bike, and on foot, and I have a super sweet 15 x 25 foot organic garden with some extra rows of corn, and having just bought my first house, I will be planting pears, cherries, hazelnuts, chestnuts and more.

Instead of forcing Progressive "Soylent Green" style mandates upon society, can we not work as individuals toward reawakening that interest within our fellow humans?

brushfire said...

Dog Tom: I agree with you. Heating with wood simply recycles carbon that already exists in the cycle. The global warming concerns arise from dumping into the atmosphere excess carbon (fossil fuels) which has heretofore been locked away from the cycle.
Mike: What? I don't understand what you said about government mandates and knowledge.
About Monsanto and GM foods: I have no problem with modifying foods in general. Selective breeding does the same thing, just slower. But Monsanto uses the technology in a way that is rather evil. Like any technology, it can be used for good or for evil.

Anonymous said...

Going Up the Down Staircase

June 15 th 2010

Dear Citizen:

I have been loathe to write as I have been waiting and waiting and waiting for the decision from

the Court of Appeals in my case. My wait is over - the decision was released on the first of this


For those who are interested, click here:

Spoiler alert for those who want to actually read the opinion - I did not win. Not that I had any

illusions on this score. The Court of Appeals is an intermediate court. There was no way that

they are going to strike down the Judicial Canons of Ethics even if they believed them to be

unconstitutional, which they don’t. That would have been overstepping their bounds. While I

understand the reasons for the decision, that does not mean that I agree with their decision. I

don’t. And I am disappointed. Not because I lost, but because I had hoped for at least one

dissent. I had hoped that at least one legal person would look at this matter and agree that what

was done to me was just plain wrong (oh, I have been told privately, but no one in the legal

community is willing to step forth and say it publicly).

I was debating to myself whether I should just let this die, but fate and circumstances have made

the decision for me. The Court of Appeals decided not to make this a published decision. Part of

me can understand that as well - this decision will apply to no one but me. On the other hand,

this case should have been published as it is of interest to the bench and bar and the public. Or at

least NC Lawyers Weekly thought so. So much in fact that they felt compelled to put it on the

front page above the fold.

Unfortunately, Lawyer’s Weekly did not get it quite right. Whether they were careless or

deliberately trying to give me adverse publicity at the behest of the legal establishment, they

purported to lift quotes from an article that was posted on my website and mistakenly attributed

those comments to me. While I have my private very warm feelings about the legal power

brokers in this state, the comments were by Dr. Mary Johnson, not me.

Dr. Mary Johnson is another soul who has been horribly wronged by both her profession and

mine. Over the years, we have exchanged emails and commiserated with and lent support to

each other. And although we have never met in person, I feel a kinship, a simpatico, with her.

However, anyone who knows her or who is familiar with her blog,, knows that Dr. Mary is no shrinking violet. She does not

need me to speak for her or put words in her mouth. She is a competent physician and while her

calling is medicine, not law (she can therefore be forgiven for any misstatements about the

operation of our legal system), she is quite articulate. She is no nonsense and calls ‘em like she

see ‘em. And her words, not mine, described what she felt about what she is seeing transpire in

my case. Here is the link directly to her post about me:

Anonymous said...

I allowed her article to be re-published on my site for one reason and one reason only. To say to

the bar and the legal system and anybody else who finds their way to my site, that not everyone in

this state sees this case the way you all seem to do. Maybe we are “batshit crazy” or “whackjobs,”

but at least there is one other soul besides me out there who doesn’t agree with your

interpretation of events and she has the chutzpah to say so in public.

And I never will agree that the bar and the legal establishment is right, no matter how many

jurists and lawyers say otherwise. Is this so unusual? Do you think three or seven or nine men

and women in black robes get it right all the time? Look at our past. The Dred Scott case, 60

U.S. 393 (1857) by our US Supreme Court upheld slavery. Would anyone in their right mind

today think that this case was rightly decided? No matter your color, race or alienage, or how

long slavery has been in existence or recognized by however many cultures, it is a monstrous

thing to say that one person can own another human being as “property.” It is WRONG. But we

need not look back so far. Remember the decision which inflamed the passions of the nation in

Kelo v. City of New London, Connecticut, 545 U.S. 469 (2005)? For those of you who have

forgotten, this case held that a government can use its eminent domain power to transfer private

property to another private owner for reasons of “economic development.” And more recently,

we had the case of Citizens United v. FEC, 558 U.S. ___ (2010), in which the US Supreme

Court ruled that there are no limits to the corporate funding of political broadcasts, thus opening

the floodgates to massive and outright corporate theft of what is left of our supposedly

democratic elections. With this decision, we truly now have the US of Goldman Sachs in that

the US is of, by and for the corporations, not us. There are scads of other situations where the

courts, from the US Supreme Court down to a

Anonymous said...

There are scads of other situations where the

courts, from the US Supreme Court down to a magistrate court, get it wrong every single day.

And so it is in my case.

Neither the bar or any other professional board has any business meddling in political campaigns

regardless of whether it is a lawyer who is running or not. Should the Kentucky Medical Board

be allowed to interfere in the senatorial campaign of Dr. Rand Paul? No. Not that I agree with

some of the sentiments Dr. Paul has expressed, but professional boards are not in the business of

regulating political campaigns. Candidates should be allowed to express whatever statements

they want about themselves or others. If a candidate crosses the line, the other candidate is sure

to call him or her out on it. Or else the voters will hold the candidate to account. We see

evidence of this in the gubernatorial race in South carolina involving Nikki Haley. Her primary

opponents, acting through operatives, accused her of marital infidelity. It backfired big time and

came back to haunt those who were responsible for the charges since Ms. Haley nearly won the

race. So we do not need some super-police professional boards to regulate the political

campaigns of lawyer or other candidates.

Much is made of my nickname and the fact that I was denied the right to use by the State Board

of Elections. I asked, they said no. That should have been the end of it. And I am not the only

one seeking to use a nickname on the ballot. Here is a recent article from the Las Vegas Review-

Journal about candidates’ use of nicknames:

The candidates described in the article used their nicknames for the same reason I did: to attract

votes, to forge a connection between the candidate and the voters by creating a “brand” for the

Anonymous said...

voters that the candidate hopes will stand out. No evil intent or “intentional misrepresentation”

as suggested by the bar and the court.

And why should it matter that I gave myself the nickname? Again, I point to the candidates in

the Las Vegas article. The nickname was done to create a brand. Companies do it all the time to

sell things to the public. Why is a candidate any different? He or she is “selling” him ir herself

to the voters.

I am not going to belabor discussion of why the decision is wrong. Let this decision be a

warning to all you candidates, lawyers and non-lawyers alike who entertain even the slightest

notion of running for office and challenging an incumbent. We do not have a system of injustice

in this country. We have a system of “just-us.” Those with wealth or power are in it; the bulk of

us are not. If you are not in the “just-us” club (and you know who you are), and you, like me not

only dare to run for judicial or other office, but run to win, look out.

Its not a Democrat or Republican thing. Just ask Alvin Greene, who won the South Carolina

Democratic primary for Senate. Mr. Greene is experiencing what I went through as charges are

coming out of the woodwork against him. Betsy Wolfenden, who ran for judge in Chatham

County, is also getting the “Rachel” treatment from the NC State Bar. Judge Bill Belk, who had

enough money to actually pull off a win, soon found himself drummed out of office. There are

others. And if this decision is allowed to stand, then lawyers and non-lawyers are going to be

facing the same kind of treatment from their professional boards. All it takes is some moral

component in their professional rules and some campaign conduct which those in power will not

like because its effective, and voilà! The candidate who transgresses the unwritten rule will find

him or herself will be mired in ethical and other complaints.

Some may say that there will not be others. You would be right. Any sane person who thinks

about it will not want to be black balled and smeared in their profession like I am. They would

not want to have their lives destroyed. They will not want the publicity of endless anonymous

complaints. And so these decent people will never run

Anonymous said...

There is no such thing as global warming or cooling influenced by man. This was based on fraudulent science that has been exposed and debunked.

Anonymous said...

Instead, we will get the usual

stream of incompetent, greedy and corrupt candidates seeking and occupying office (Mike

Nifong, Governor Mike Easley, former presidential hopeful John Edwards and many many others

which, alas, are too numerous to count).

The lack of leadership in all our officials is nowhere more evident than the disaster down in the

Gulf of Mexico, a disaster which did not have to occur. We humans are meddling with forces

that we do not understand and for which we have no plans if something goes awry, like it did in

the Gulf. I am saddened by the loss of jobs, tourism and the impact on the environment and seaand

human life. And I have a feeling that it is much much worse than we have been told. I sure

do not believe the propaganda by BP or our government.

We have one planet folks - as of this writing, there is nowhere else for us to go. The Earth has a

self-correcting mechanism and if we do not stop what we are doing very very soon, I am afraid

that the Earth will correct itself via earthquan’kes and volcanoes and other natural disasters. Just

look at the Icelandic volcano, Eyjafjallajökull, that erupted a few months ago. It shut down the

skies for days. What if Old Faithful in Yellowstone really blew up again? The ash cloud that it

would send up would be enormous. Oh sure, the rich and privileged would try to go to their

secret bunkers, but unless they have found a way to grow food in artificial light, they may not

survive if the sun is blotted out for an extended period of time. Earthquakes and tsunamis are

occurring all over. We have got to stop and realize that our actions have consequences. We can

no longer pollute the oceans and the skies, deforest the land and go on as if we are the only things

that matter on this planet. Building skyscrapers and day-trading in collateralized default swaps is

not the be and end all of existence. All life is sacred, even the cockroaches and snakes and

plants, have the same right to live. I am not saying never kill a fly - but recognize that these

things have aright to exist as much s you do.

Anonymous said...

And we have got to stop allowing corporations to run our government and elect pliant toadies

who do their bidding. The healthcare bill was a sham after all was said and done. Nothing

changed for us, the little guys, as the healthcare companies won. The Obama administration is

no different than the Bush administration - the same Goldman Sachs people are in charge. As

comedian Lewis Black said the other night, our two party system is like a steamy smelly dung

hill staring at itself in the mirror - he was more graphic, of course, but you get the picture.

He was right. The two-party shared monopoly that we have is beyond broke. I can see no other

course but to leave the Democrats and Republicans behind and form a viable third-party. Had

one been formed back in 2006, it now would be a force to reckon with. Instead, we got suckered

in by hope and change which has turned into more of the same and economic hopelessness.

The Republicans are not much better - they are the Know Nothing Party of this century. They

stand for nothing except to oppose Obama. Well, where you tea bagging idiots when Bush was

in charge racking up deficits, starting wars, spying on us and torturing goat herders in secret

rendition camps? They were in control and blew it. We should not desire their return to power

anytime soon either. No, a third party is the only way to salvage this mess.

On that note, stay positive. Turn off the tv and read a real book. Think. Write. Create. Plant a

seed of change so that our children and grandchildren can have an abundant harvest.

And if I do not get to right for awhile, Happy Fourth of July!

Rachel Lea Hunter


Anonymous said...

There is no such thing as global warming or cooling caused by man. It was based on fraudulent science using manipulated data that has been exposed and debunked. The only result of this hoax is that Al Gore made a lot of money and apparently got laid.

brotherdoc said...

Is there not even ONE Republican senator who cares about the environment and is willing to vote for the Kerry-Liebermann bill? That party is so full of...bluster. We would rather spend a trillion $ to invade Iraq and Afghanistan (which we now know has lots of minerals that no doubt we will have to stay to exploit) than to pass a tiny tax to help conserve our resources and move to alternate fuel sources. Suppose the voters of KY do elect this bozo to the Senate? How many more disasters do we have to suffer, and wars to fight, before America wakes up?

brushfire said...

Anon - No doubt you know more than all the scientists at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

BikerBard said...

This is not the place, NOR the thread to vent your feelings. Go to a bar and buy a beer. Then cry.
You LOST. Accept the LEGAL DECISION, put on your big girl panties, and move on. A lawyer fixated on her own loss is not much of a lawyer, now, is she?

Watauga Watch is also not your personal outlet for your problems. Who cares? If the lengths of your multiple posts are any indication, you should have won the case by your sheer verbosity.

"Brevity is the soul of wit." -W.S.

Mike D. said...


That was not Rachael... it was her husband, our beloved Max.

BikerBard said...

"I have been loathe to write as I have been waiting and waiting and waiting for the decision from
the Court of Appeals in my case."

Does Max always misrepresent himself as his wife? Does he handle all her briefs? (wink)

My post still stands.

"Why don't you speak for yourself, John!" - Pricilla to John Alden

Anonymous said...

Anon - No doubt you know more than all the scientists at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

I know they were exposed as charlatans.

brushfire said...

Anon - You claim that NOAH scientists were exposed as charlatans? Can you back that up with something?

Anonymous said...

Admissions that global warming was based on skewed data, that opposing views were censored, and that political agendas were more important that using the scientific method. Did you not see the evidence in the news, for God's sake. Go back and Google it so you can catch up.

brushfire said...

Um - the scientific community almost unanimously stands behind the evidence indicating a potentially catastrophic climate change, as a result of loading the atmosphere with excess carbon from fossil fuels. The scientists in the so-called climate gate scandal were exonerated but, oddly enough, that news didn't make it onto Fox network.
The so-called scandal was orchestrated and trumpeted by the media which is heavily aligned with big oil. Is is a coincidence that much of Fox news is owned by Saudis?

Anonymous said...

Yeah, sure. That is why the British professor was forced to resign due to his chicanery.

brushfire said...

Anon - I notice you have no response to the links I posted. Just something about some Brit who resigned from something for some reason? It would be helpful if you could provide some source or citation with a few more details explaining how it is relevant. In any case, here is a question for you to try and answer thoughtfully. If over half of the scientific community is concerned about climate change of a magnitude that may destroy civilization as we know it; if even 10% of the scientific community has such concerns, how can any responsible adult not take it seriously?

Anonymous said...

I did not bother to go to your links. I read the news on the exposure of the scandal when it happened. Did you?

BikerBard said...

Anon exposes himself as the fool he is. "I did not bother to go to your links." Laughable!

Don't confuse him with the facts or with citations. He remembers that he read it somewhere. Sometime. That's his source.

Don't waste your time with this moron. He's just not that into thinking.

Anonymous said...

Not only am I into thinking, I am into watching to see what happens as it happens. I am not interested in spin and propaganda used to cover up facts at a later date.

Notice the question as to whether burshfire viewed the issue as it unfolded was not answered.

Google is out there. Brushfie and the Bard can go there to catch up on the original articles and their resulting aftermath. Brushfire can probably figure out how to do this. I don't know about the Bard.

BikerBard said...

Oh jeez, Brushfire. The asshole likes you better than me.
I'm so hurt.

" whoreson dog, you slave, you cur!" - W.S.