Editorial: Don Blankenship and Matthew 16:26

first_img FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享From the Peoria (Ill.) Journal Star:Six years and a day after one of the worst mining disasters in some four decades, a federal judge has sentenced the coal company’s former CEO to a year in prison and fined him $250,000 for conspiring to violate federal safety standards. For the 29 killed at Massey Energy Company’s Upper Big Branch mine in West Virginia in 2010, it hardly seems enough.Donald Blankenship’s well-paid attorneys will immediately file an appeal, of course, so we’ll see about the jail time. We’d just say that if there’s a more unsympathetic personification of corporate greed in this country, well, may Blankenship be a warning to him or her.Even though Blankenship was acquitted of far more serious felony charges late last year that could have earned him significantly more prison time, it’s hard to ignore his long record of sacrificing mine safety in pursuit of higher profits — for example, falling short on the ventilation of the coal dust that exploded in this case, despite repeated warnings. It’s worth noting that autopsies of the 29 dead found that 71 percent of them had black lung disease, compared to an industry average of 3.2 percent.We suppose it’s some solace that the 66-year-old Blankenship did get the maximum for his misdemeanor conviction. We suppose it’s a wonder he got convicted at all, given that his wealth and his political connections had more than a few describing him as “untouchable.” Nonetheless, it’s hard to escape the feeling that there are two systems of justice in America, a more forgiving one for the rich and powerful and a harsher one for everybody else.Indeed, at most Blankenship will spend just over 12 days per employee victim in jail. (In fairness, he wasn’t charged with directly causing their deaths.) We can’t peer into his conscience to know how he truly feels about that. It requires a cynicism we can’t quite muster to think he wouldn’t turn back the clock if he could. We can only judge him on what he says. At his sentencing he expressed sorrow but not quite remorse, saying, “I am not guilty of a crime.” He’ll forgive the surviving families of those miners who might now say to him, “The hell you aren’t.”We feel much the same way about the captains of finance who helped bring about the 2008 recession. They may not have acted illegally but arguably obliterated many a professional ethical/personal moral boundary for wealth unimaginable to most. May they at least be sentenced to multiple meetings with Matthew 16:26: “For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?”Editorial: Matthew 16:26, required reading for CEOs? Editorial: Don Blankenship and Matthew 16:26last_img read more

Ellsworth baseball team rallies past John Bapst, demolishes Old Town for 2-0 start

first_img Latest Posts Ellsworth runners compete in virtual Boston Marathon – September 16, 2020 Mike MandellMike Mandell is the sports editor at The Ellsworth American and Mount Desert Islander. He began working for The American in August 2016. You can reach him via email at [email protected] Hospice volunteers help families navigate grief and find hope – September 12, 2020 MPA approves golf, XC, field hockey, soccer; football, volleyball moved to spring – September 10, 2020center_img Latest posts by Mike Mandell (see all) Bio ELLSWORTH — The Ellsworth baseball team’s first two games of 2019 couldn’t have been more different.The Eagles, who entered the season looking to improve on last year’s 17-2 finish and Northern Maine championship game appearance, took a little while to get going in their first game of the season last Thursday against John Bapst. Once Ellsworth found a rhythm, though, it carried it over and couldn’t be stopped.Ellsworth followed a comeback win over John Bapst last week with a 20-1 victory against Old Town on Tuesday to get off to a 2-0 start to the season. The wins came as the Eagles combined strong pitching with a stretch of 24 runs in four innings across the two games.“How you finish the game can lead you into the next game,” junior Jackson Curtis said. “Bapst is tough, and we started out slow against them, but we got the hits and runs when it mattered and used that as momentum.”This is placeholder textThis is placeholder textThat slow start came as Ellsworth, which started its season later than any other Class B team, took a few innings to shake off the cobwebs against John Bapst. The Crusaders led the Eagles most of the game and took a 2-1 advantage into the seventh inning at Bangor’s Mansfield Stadium.With their backs against the wall, the Eagles came through with four runs to take a 5-2 lead. Matt Burnett then shut down the Crusaders in the bottom of the inning to send the Eagles to a season-opening victory.Ellsworth’s Matt Burnett pitches during the third inning of a high school baseball game against Old Town on April 30 at Ellsworth High School. The Eagles’ pitching has been dominant early in the season with just three runs allowed in its first two games. ELLSWORTH AMERICAN PHOTO BY MIKE MANDELLEllsworth’s Conner Wagstaff struck out 16 batters in the win before Burnett struck out the final three to win the game. Burnett and fellow senior Devin Grindle had doubles at the plate for the Eagles, who had four in the final inning and seven total.“Our pitching kept us in it,” Curtis said of Ellsworth’s win over John Bapst, which mustered just three hits against the Eagles’ 2018 All-Penobscot Valley Conference pitchers. “If we can hold teams to one run or two runs, that’s impressive, and with Conner and Matt, that’s basically a given every night.”At home against Old Town on Tuesday, Ellsworth burst out of the gate in the first inning with 10 runs before plating seven more in the second. The Eagles then stretched their lead to 20-0 through three innings before the Coyotes (2-3) finally scored their only run of the game in the top of the fourth.Ellsworth had 13 hits and walked 11 times in the win over an Old Town team that beat defending state champion Brewer the previous day. Jackson Curtis and freshman Nate Smith had three hits each for the Eagles, who also got two hits from Wagstaff and Grindle and one apiece from Brett Bragdon, Hunter Fernald and Tyler Mitchell.“Our hitters were pounding the ball everywhere,” said Burnett, who pitched the first four innings before Curtis came on to finish the mercy-rule shortened game in the fifth. “As a pitcher, it’s nice when you go out there knowing you’re up 10 or 15 runs early in the game.”Even as his team built a massive lead, Ellsworth head coach Dan Curtis kept his players focused throughout the last few innings. The Eagles did regress to the mean somewhat at the plate, but the team continued to put runners on base and make plays in the field as its pitching staff kept Old Town in check.“It is hard to stay focused when you have a lead like that because you start wandering a little bit and get lazy,” Curtis said. “It was important to see us keep adding on and get our young guys some experience.”Ellsworth will be back in action tomorrow, May 1, when it hosts George Stevens Academy (3-0). The team will then host Foxcroft on Thursday, May 2, before playing Washington Academy at that time, Monday, May 6, in East Machias. All games are set for 4:30 p.m. starts.“These boys have battled these first two games and accomplished a lot, but you can never be satisfied with just two games,” Dan Curtis said. “Hopefully, we have even bigger and better things to come.”last_img read more