Coal Tattoo

Don Blankenship: ‘American competitionist’

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We’ve had a couple of posts over the last few weeks (see here and here) about the recent activities of former Massey Energy CEO Don Blankenship. Well, it seems Blankenship has also launched his own website, DonBlankenship.com.

The site makes for some interesting reading, proclaiming Blankenship an “American Competitionist” and offering what it calls “Factual discussions on America” like this:

Most every country in the world, in one way or another, benefits from a strong, healthy America. All Americans, and in fact all the world, are stakeholders in our country. It is America, and Americans, that have led the world’s progress in the improvement of people’s quality of life…

The “About me” section offers a first-person summary of Blankenship’s life. There’s this about his early years:

My life, like most of yours, has had its ups and downs. My father and my Mom each worked 80 to 90 hours per week, which taught me to be independent at a very early age.

As the saying goes, we were poor but didn’t know it. We had an outhouse that was nicer than the one most of our neighbors had. We always had shoes. My Mom was a McCoy, although not directly related to those who feuded with the Hatfield’s in the hills of Kentucky where I was born.

My early years were occupied by baseball, pumping gasoline into coal miners’ cars at our family gas station, and watching Gunsmoke, Andy Griffith, Bonanza, Wagon Train, and Rawhide – that is, after we got our first television when I was seven years old. The town I lived in most of my first 18 years was Delorme, West Virginia, population of 400 at the time – now maybe 200.

And then there’s this:

Next, it was on to Marshall University. I was there when the football team was killed in the plane crash in 1970. This was my first experience with a horrific tragedy. Of course, the worst tragedy of my life was the day of the Massey mine explosion on April 5, 2010. I also have vivid memories of the day President Kennedy was shot, and of course of 9/11. Those were three heartbreaking days to be sure.

Blankenship describes his coal industry career this way:

In 1982, I came to work for Massey Coal Company and was there until December 2010. Again, I received every promotion available to me during those years. I learned about, and struggled against, the ignorance and evilness of the United Mine Workers, much of the media, the “greeniacs,” and much of corporate America.

And this:

In short, my life has been a great one. I experienced the cold chill of an Appalachian outhouse in January winters, but I have also dined at the dinner tables of some of the richest and most powerful people in the world, including at the White House private dining table. Hopefully I can communicate to you my wide range of life experiences and what they have taught me, and in doing so, I can make a small contribution to saving our Country.

The website includes photos and archival video of various Blankenship speeches and other public appearances, along with an interesting collection of newspaper stories and opinion pieces.