Okay, I have nothing against the state of West Virginia. In fact, I love the mountains and the people, especially all my father’s extended family. I have fond memories of vacations spent there in the summer when days always ended with homemade ice cream and visits at Thanksgiving when the hillsides were blanketed with snow. My sibs and I loved to roll down the hill by Grandma’s house and become snow-people. We often did that the minute the car stopped in front.
I also remember stories about some great-uncles and second-cousins who worked the coal mines and ended up with black lung disease. Later, I heard that when a first cousin said he was going to go down into the mines, his mother begged him not to because of the health risks.
Fast forward to now, to the attempts by Congress to pass the Build Back Better legislation. Senator Joe Manchin, of West Virginia, is going to vote against it, making it impossible for the bill to pass the Senate. Manchin says he owes it to the people of the state he represents to vote “no.” (Note: that information is from mid-December, and more recent news show Manchin back in negotiations with President Biden.)
While I share Senator Manchin’s concern over the cost of the bill and how that will affect the national debt, I do question the altruism of his stance. He is heavily invested in the coal industry, and has support for his campaign from leading oil companies:
*** Sen. Joe Manchin earned $500,000 in 2020 from his son’s energy firm, which Manchin founded in 1998.
*** He’s also the chair of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, which regulates the industry.
*** He’s received thousands from Exxon lobbyists and Republican oil and gas titans.
Maybe Manchin should think about all the people suffering because of coal mining and get on board with looking for alternative sources of fuel, even some that could come from the beautiful state he represents.
That’s all I’m going to say about Manchin and the topic of the proposed legislation. You are welcome to share your thoughts and opinions – I do like a good debate – but keep it civil and non-partisan. I’m so tired of the Great Divide in our country, but that is a topic for another blog post.
Now for a few jokes to start the week with a chuckle. I borrow these from The Laugh Factory.
A blonde and a redhead have a ranch. They have just lost their bull. The women need to buy another, but only have $500. The redhead tells the blonde, “I will go to the market and see if I can find one for under that amount. If I can, I will send you a telegram.”
She goes to the market and finds one for $499. Having only one dollar left, she goes to the telegraph office and finds out that it costs one dollar per word. She is stumped on how to tell the blonde to bring the truck and trailer. Finally, she tells the telegraph operator to send the word “comfortable.”
Skeptical, the operator asks, “How will she know to come with the trailer from just that word?” The redhead replies, “She’s a blonde so she reads slow: ‘Come for ta bull.'”
Late one night a burglar broke into a house and while he was sneaking around he heard a voice say, “Jesús is watching you.” He looked around and saw nothing. He kept on creeping and again heard, “Jesús is watching you.”
In a dark corner, he saw a cage with a parrot inside. The burglar asked the parrot, “Was it you who said Jesús is watching me” The parrot replied, “Yes.” Relieved, the burglar asked, “What is your name?” The parrot said, “Clarence.”
The burglar said, “That’s a stupid name for a parrot. What idiot named you Clarence?” The parrot answered, “The same idiot that named the Rottweiler Jesús.”
A man was driving and saw a truck stalled on the side of the highway that had ten penguins standing next to it. The man pulled over and asked the truck driver if he needed any help. The truck driver replied, “If you can take these penguins to the zoo while I wait for AAA that will be great!”
The man agreed and the penguins hopped into the back of his car. Two hours later, the trucker was back on the road again and decided to check on the penguins. He showed up at the zoo and they weren’t there!
He headed back into his truck and started driving around the town, looking for any sign of the penguins, the man, or his car. While driving past a movie theater, the truck driver spotted the guy walking out with the ten penguins. The truck driver yelled, “What are you doing? You were supposed to take them to the zoo!”
The man replied, “I did and then I had some extra money so I took them to go see a movie.”
That’s all from me, folks. Have a great start of the week and the new year. Whatever you have on your agenda, be safe. Be happy.