//Political rant ahead.//
The couple who lives in this house are obviously Republicans who have drunk the "Friends of Coal" Kool-aid. The wife drives a big SUV with a sticker on the back window that says "This vehicle paid for by mountaintop removal." I cringe whenever I see it. I have the same visceral reaction to that sticker as I do toward Confederate flags.
There are a lot of Confederate flags around here, even though West Virginia went with the Union in the Civil War. As a border state, loyalties were mixed, particularly in southeastern West Virginia.
The Friends of Coal have erected billboards on our major highways delineating Obama's No Job Zone and, of course, West Virginia is right there. But you know what? West Virginia has been a no-job zone for decades. Young people grow up and leave because there's no place to work. My dad, who would have been 82 this year, left southern Ohio (similar demographics) 60 years ago to find work in Columbus, and never looked back.
Coal might be our heritage here in the Mountain State, but it's certainly not ours or anyone else's future. Except maybe China. They seem to be mining a lot of it, polluting their air and sickening their citizens. Because that's what coal does. Besides that, there is no war on coal. Coal jobs have increased under President Obama's watch. The general decline in the industry has more to do with natural gas extraction than with their perceived war on coal. They should be learning how to frack instead of moaning about mining.
Coal is a vital resource for producing electricity and steel. But it's not the only one and there are better ones and whenever I drive by that yard sign I want to spray-paint it with an Obama sunrise.
But I'd bet a hundred bucks the guy who lives there is someone I don't want to mess with. There are some small minds that can't be changed, and I'm quite sure his is one of them.