Sunday, February 13, 2011

citizen action and hog killing

blog #20
      The persistence this week of thousands of Egyptians has brought enormous social change there without bombs or guns.  This weekend, here in Kentucky, persistence happened as well.  Fourteen generous fellow Kentuckians have taken their long-term outrage at the continued free rein given to mountaintop removal mining by our governor directly to his doorstep.  As I write, they are spending the weekend camped out in his office in Frankfort.  Two of the things they are asking for would seem to be easy: a civil dialogue and for him to come to eastern Kentucky and actually look around at the physical toll in this region.  Thank you, thank you, Wendell Berry and cohorts.  Listen up, Governor Beshear!
      My photo of a MTR site is in my blogpost #8.
      Many, many of us from all around Kentucky had already been planning to go to Frankfort tomorrow for the annual I LOVE MOUNTAINS day, hosted by the Kentuckians for the Commonwealth.  I suspect even more folks will now be turning out.  Even the weather is inviting.  Why is it so hard for legislators to acknowledge the connection between unsafe water and health care costs?  Or accept that we who hate seeing the mountain tops disappear forever can see that mining jobs are disappearing as well by this practice?   Neither is desirable.   A most informative web site about MTR is at
from Cumberland Gap State Park
concerned citizens, 2008, I Love Mountains gathering, Frankfort

Black Mountain, Harlan County, 1999, coveted over and over again by coal interests

 capitol building, Frankfort, Kentucky

      I did my presentations Friday in two university classes and learned a lot, which is what I like to do.  It was enjoyable and went well, but I was taken by surprise by a few things, such as the students' lack of knowledge about flora and fauna, about the wider world, and by their restrained curiosity.  It was helpful for me to get out and have a chance to present my work to them and see what they might be responding to or not.  
      I found out just before the class that they had studied the hog killing photos by Shelby Lee Adams.  I happened to have included just a few images from my neighbor Phillip's annual hog killing, so I offered to make available my entire pig portfolio for them.  I will share some of my images here, next week, as well as some photos from tomorrow in Frankfort.

     Please noteEver since starting this blog I have wanted to say something about Facebook .  The simple truth is that for many months I have not responded to the many friends requests, for which I apologize, but I have not been able to get past my privacy concerns.  I have my toe in the pond and visit from the edge, but I don't feel comfortable swimming across.  I know, Facebook seems to have been wonderful for Egypt, but just consider me scarred and wary after intrusions in the '60s and '70s into the personal life of my family.

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