Niot.org

Not in Our Town has launched a new Web site/resource that's worth exploring and bookmarking so that you can go back to it on those days when you need to be re-minded of stories like this one:

"If you bite one, you bite us all." Hearing that story again 15 years later still provokes the same response: Ah, yes, of course. This is how it works. This is how. This.

  • http://nerdycellist.livejournal.com nerdycellist

    We lived in Billings briefly when I was growing up. I have terrible memories of it, mostly because I was 5, I had a baby sister, it was awfully cold (my first cat froze to death) and we didn’t have much money.
    We came out of a church activity one evening and found our Ford Pinto stuffed to the gills with clothing, toys, books, and other necessities. Some was new, some was gently used, all were greatly appreciated. No one would admit to giving us charity. My memories of Montana are bleak and cold, but the people of Billings sure know what it means to be a community.

  • Roadstergal

    And yes I am peeved no one in the news is pointing this out. It’s treated like a natural disaster, like the company had nothing to do with it.
    The article mid-week on my MSN page was all about the safety violations, in gruesome detail. It’s getting out.

  • MaryKaye

    Last Wednesday’s _Today Show_ came down hard on the “this was negligence” line, citing some of the safety violations. For balance they showed the mine CEO arguing that the total violation count wasn’t meaningful and they’d done all they could. He didn’t come across well. So I don’t see that the media are uniformly calling this a natural disaster.
    One point the Today Show did make is that some of the local miners fear becoming unemployed more than they fear working in a dangerous mine. After all, you don’t know that you’ll be the one to die, but you do know that if the mine closes down you’ll have trouble finding another job. They had brief interviews with 1-2 individuals who felt this way. Probably nobody knows how many agree, and how many would prefer failing mines to be closed.

  • Ing

    “For balance they showed the mine CEO arguing that the total violation count wasn’t meaningful and they’d done all they could.”
    The news doing this bugs the shit out of me. “On one side we have the experts, facts, and studies…now that we’ve glossed over that here’s 8 minutes of an asshole in a suit who completely disagrees, is biased, and has no actual evidence…but his verbal diarrhea is presented as just as valid as the facts…BECAUSE WE ARE DEDICATED TO BALANCE!”

  • http://profile.typepad.com/gdwarf GDwarf

    Eh, in this case I think there’s at least some justification, Ing, when accusing someone of, essentially, multiple-murder-via-negligence it’s probably allowable to let them defend themselves.

  • Pius Thicknesse

    Also: I’m sure smart journalists know how to let the assholes yank way more than enough rope needed to hang themselves.

  • Ing

    “Eh, in this case I think there’s at least some justification, Ing, when accusing someone of, essentially, multiple-murder-via-negligence it’s probably allowable to let them defend themselves.”
    Except the negligence is not in question. The inspectors said that. Not only that the inspectors decided it was not possible for it to be by accident. It was inexcusable error.

  • Patrick

    Is the kid in the church at 1:30 the kid from Jesus Camp?

  • Josh

    I think it’s practically impossible, if you’re getting your news from the mainstream papers, to be unaware that Massey Energy’s insouciance has killed a great many miners over the years and that Blankenship is a right-wing thug who’s bought off judges to avoid paying the penalties for his crimes. Thing is, he’s been so brutal in his dealings with the press, threatening to shoot a tv reporter and comparing the newspapers that report critically upon him to Osama bin Laden, that some journalistic chickens are coming home to roost.

  • http://profile.typepad.com/gdwarf GDwarf

    Except the negligence is not in question. The inspectors said that. Not only that the inspectors decided it was not possible for it to be by accident. It was inexcusable error.

    And even in a case where the entire population of Earth saw you kill another person, while the whole thing was recorded on high-def TV from every possible angle, you should still get a chance to defend yourself.
    Personal accusations are different from statements of fact. Guilt or innocence is a fact, but it’s one that cannot be determined without listening to both sides in addition to examining the evidence.
    Any reporter worth their salt would note all the laws that have clearly been broken and show that in sharp contrast to the flimsy justifications offered, but it would be genuinely poor journalism to not air those attempts at explaining things, no matter how wrong they are.
    That is what balance means. Not the ridiculous “Thousands of scientists say X, this crazy person says Y, clearly the truth is undecided!”, but also not “One crazy person says Y, clearly Y is true.” Instead you should get something like “Thousands of scientists say X, this crazy person says Y. X has far more proof than Y, and Y defies everything we know about the universe. Clearly X is true.”

  • http://www.sneakers4sales.com/ Creative Recreation

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