Tag Archives: dangerous

Frustration in a Small Coal Mining Town

West Virginia, the home and deathplace of coal mining. Coal mining has been dying out for the past twenty years due to the studies on the health of miners and the people who live near by.

Three different lungs, one of a normal lung, one of a older person and finally, a coal miner's lung; photo from thecilo.com
Three different lungs, one of a normal lung, one of a older person and finally, a coal miner’s lung; photo from thecilo.com

Yes, it’s known to cause lung cancer and to give those who mine the coal black lung. If you have never seen a photo of a coal miner’s lungs, it’s not a pretty sight. However, our current president, Donald Trump had promised in his campaign to ramp up on the production on coal. Yes, that means forgetting about the health of men and women who go into the mines just to make a living.

One town in the Appalachia region has felt the pain of studies getting canceled, at this point they are even surprised at the aspect of a canceled study.  In Glen Daniel, W.Va. it’s just another day.

Chuck Nelson worked years in the mines and he knows in order to make a living it costs him his health. He blames the well water at the mine for his kidney and liver diseases and his wife’s  severe asthma on the coal particles and dust on mines near their home.

Some of Nelson’s neighbors agree with him and say that the mining near the mountains has been the main culprit for the various health issues. Some completed studies agree with them but when finished, the studies usually held the same result: inconclusive.

A new federal study was supposed to provide the most comprehensive report to date but only three months into the study, the Trump administration canceled the study, citing budget issues. The current administration is noted to be known supporters of the coal industry.

The end of the study doesn’t surprise Nelson and his neighbors anymore. It’s a part of daily life for them now. “If a study comes out negative against the coal industry, it gets swept under the rug, and the funding’s stopped by these politicians who cater to the coal industry,” Nelson said.

The people know why they have these health problems and the government does too. They don’t know when the government will answer to the problems of coal mining and they might not be here to see the day but when the day comes, Nelson and his neighbors will be ready and by telling their story, the day might come soon.

 

 

Why “Fake News” is Dangerous

It’s been no secret that one of Donald Trump’s issues has been his frequent conflict with the press. If a report is brought to his attention that criticizes him or disagrees with his viewpoints, then he has been known to call it fake news or suppress it if it is from a federal source. For example, Trump has placed a gag order on the EPA and the USDA, effectively silencing them (1). This is extremely dangerous and should be cause for a great deal of alarm.

What Trump is doing is blatantly interfering with 1st amendment rights and the freedom of speech. The purpose of a gag order is to keep certain government agencies from revealing sensitive information that could potentially cause America to suffer in terms of bodily harm. The Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Department of Agriculture do not have that sort of information, not when they are releasing reports on things like global climate change and global warming.

EPA
“Trump has placed a gag order on the EPA and the USDA, effectively silencing them.” Photo from: https://confluence.journalism.wisc.edu

However, the reports that have been released, like the ones that say global climate change is real and that we should do something about it, directly go against Trump’s agenda and his claim that “global warming is a hoax invented by the Chinese.” Trump doesn’t like it and he doesn’t want to hear it, so he abuses his power to restrict the voices of the EPA and the USDA. How long before he begins to do the same to news organizations he doesn’t like and calls “fake news”? Trump has already shown that he does not mind abusing his power to get what he wants or twisting things around to suit his needs. The gag orders he has placed on these federal agencies may only be the beginning, and he may soon go after any organization (or anyone) who disagrees with him. These are the first steps towards a dictatorship.

  1. https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/trump-administration-restricts-news-from-federal-scientists-at-usda-epa/

When hazing is taken too far

Hazing is outdated and dangerous. Why do it? Graphic from theodysseyonline.com

I’m sure you’ve heard by now that a Radford University fraternity, Pi Kappa Phi, has been suspended under allegations of a member of the fraternity entering the hospital after a hazing incident. Although a specific name hasn’t been released, the university as well as the Radford police have been taking this incident very seriously and intend on discovering exactly what happened and how to prevent it from happening again.

Hazing has been a rite of passage into Greek life for many years now, although it has been made illegal. I’m not sure where the idea has originated from or why it was created in the first place, but I honestly don’t see the point. Why would abusing and pranking upcoming members of Greek life be a good idea? What’s the point? Is it suppose to prove that they’re worthy of joining the house? Or is it just for fun? Whatever the reason is, it’s not good enough to justify putting people in danger, so much that their life is at risk.

Some people justify hazing by saying that it’s tradition, that it’s been around for years and it’s simply part of greek culture. However, if that’s the logic you like to use than why don’t we bring back slavery or segregation? It’s a part of American history and was tradition for many years, but that, obviously, doesn’t make it morally correct. Hazing is outdated. People understand that hazing is dangerous and messed up. It takes advantage of people who want to desperately to fit in, to belong. It’s an experience that can truly scare someone for the rest of their life and they’re made to think that it’s normal, that it just a part of becoming a part of greek life. It can damage a person forever, and I don’t think people take it as seriously as they need to.

Some people might say that this event was a one time thing, that the boys just got carried away and it was an accident. However, this specific frat house has had a long record of hazing that has ended badly. In 1996 the chapter was suspended because of a death caused by a party gone too far. In 2010, they were once again suspended for reasons unknown. Pi Kappa Phi has a long history of irresponsible members and maybe even advisors. Something needs to be changed in order to ensure that all of Radford University students are safe and taken care of.