xt7k6d5p8s4p https://nyx.uky.edu/dips/xt7k6d5p8s4p/data/mets.xml Blue-Tail Fly, Inc., 1969- 19691201  newspapers 2008ua008_1_3 English Lexington, Ky. : Blue-Tail Fly, Inc., 1969- : Lexington, Kentucky. Contact the Special Collections Research Center for information regarding rights and use of this collection. Blue-Tail Fly Blue-Tail Fly, December 1969 text Blue-Tail Fly, December 1969 1969 2010 true xt7k6d5p8s4p section xt7k6d5p8s4p 

Kentucky will be here after California is gone, page 5 Wayne H. Davis
Dr. Feelgood was here,   page 6 Jack Lyne
snaps:  Bill Roughen,   page 8
interview:  Dr. Benjamin Spock,   page 10 Nick DeMartino
Uncle Trav Wilson and the dog,   page 13 Wendell Berry
ya say it's your birthday,   page 14 David Holwerk and Tony Urie
books:  Fat City,   page 15 Thomas Blues
a poem by James Baker Hall,   page 15
cover: concrete poetry by Ellsworth Taylor. (The cover was to have been Michael Lane's antiwar flag poster, but unfortunately, our printer refused to print it.   At this late date, with no other printing facilities immediately available, we have no choice but to cop-out and switch covers. Our apologies to Michael Lane; we will try to run it in a later issue. )
blue-tail fly
December, 1969 vol. 1, no. 3
The blue-tail fly, a statewide student paper, is published by blue-tail fly, inc. at 210 West Third Street, Lexington, Ky. Cost per issue is 20 cents; a year's subscription is $2. 00.
core of impudent snobs: Guy Mendes, Jack Lyne, Rick Bell, Sue Anne Salmon, Gretchen Marcum, Bucky Young (a real effete sonofagun), Nick DeMartino, Howard Mason, Julie Mendes, Bonnie Cherry, Don Pratt, John Beckman and Geoffrey Pope.   Business gang: John Simon, Jeannie St. Charles, Terry McCarty, Carol Bryant, Maria Chalk, Buck Pennington, Becky Martin and Warren Ford.   Mad Dog Jew:  David Holwerk.
1969: Indians land at Alcatraz rock
By Larry Bensky
SAN FRANCISCO (LNS) " More than 100 Indians have reclaimed Alcatraz Island, in San Francisco Bay, "in the name of all American Indians by right of discovery," and have occupied the barren former Federal prison since taking it over at dawn, Nov. 20.
The Indians have found numerous hiding places on the deserted fortress island, in anticipation of an invasion by Federal marshals to evict them.
A proclamation issued on the day of the invasion declared the Indians' willingness to purchase Alcatraz for $24 in glass beads and red cloth, a precedent set by the white man's purchase of a similar island about 300 years ago. "Our offer of $1.24 per acre is greater than the 47 cents per acre that the white man is now paying California Indians for their land."
Citing a treaty signed with the Sioux in 1868, the young invaders claim that Sioux tribes were promised first right to unused surplus property, and that when the Federal prison was abandoned in 1964 they should have been offered the land.
Powerful business interests have been quarreling over what to do with Alcatraz. The city's tourist-profit-oriented rulers favor some sort of plastic recreation site, while Texas oil interests have lobbied in Washington for the sale of the island to real estate developers.
Local officials seem to be waiting for word from Secretary of the Interior Walter Hickel in Washington before expel-
ling the Indians. Tremendous Bay Area support has been gathered through the odd friendship of a top-40 AM radio station. The Indians have also had favorable publicity on FM rock stations and in the underground press.
The Federal government has responded with a partial blockade of the island, but ingenious boat-owners have floated and thrown supplies on to Alcatraz for the past five days. A massive invasion with supplies was scheduled to take place after dark on Thanksgiving Day, led by sympathetic boat-owners from Berkeley, San Francisco and Saucelito.
In their proclamation, the Indians-many of whom are from Native American student groups at UCLA and Berkeley-said:
"We feel that this so-called Alcatraz Island is more than suitable for an Indian reservation, as determined by the white man's own standards. By this we mean that this place resembles most Indian reservations in that:
1. It is isolated from modern facilities and without adequate means of transportation.
2. It has no fresh running water.
3. It has inadequate sanitation facilities. .
4. There are no oil or mineral rights.
5. There is no industry and so unemployment is very great.
6. There are no health care facilities.
7. The soil is rocky and non-productive and the land does not support game.
8. There are no educational facilities.
9. The population has always exceeded the land base.
10. The population has always been
held as prisoners and kept dependent on others.
It would be fitting that ships from all over the world, entering the Golden Gate, would first see Indian land and thus be reminded of the true history of this nation. This tiny island would be a symbol of the great lands once ruled by free and noble Indians."
Ships entering the Bay are now greeted with Red Power signs, Federal property signs changed to read: "Warning: Indian Property, Keep Off," and a large red flag frying from the top of the main prison building with a broken peace pipe on its center.
Pigskin review: the big state game
NEW YORK (LNS) - College football, as the country is becoming aware, is big business. High school players are recruited all over the country, offered great scholarships, and freedom to do exactly what they want to do: play football and nothing else.
Now it seems college football players are looking around them and finding some things are more important than lugging the pigskin for Alma Mater. The Coaches aren't pleased.
The economics of major collegiate sports are very intricate. Scholarships abound, training and equipment are expensive, transportation costs can be enormous (the entire squads, including hangers on, are flown to away games in such conferences as the Big 8) and stadium costs are high. Even the footballs come to $25 apiece. A losing season or two,
attendance down, and the money begins to slip away.
More importantly, the old alumni spirit, " the longing for youth and stature which prompts old men to find large sums of money for their schools " the Class of'02 syndrome, begins to let down. It's not just the pressure of school spirit and the of desire to win that makes college coaching such a tension-filled job. There's the Board of Trustees looking with displeasure over your shoulder if you should lose to the Traditional Rival
Football players are to the large University what showgirls are to Las Vegas. Strut your stuff, but don't stop to think about it.
But these are strange times now. Political times. Black runners brought politics into the synthetically pacific environment of the Olympics by raising black-gloved fists, and took shit for it. The Olympics themselves were boycotted in part, as were various track meets last year, in protest of the racist policies of the athletic clubs which sponsor (use) black athletes for their own needs. Now, black college football players are recognizing their positions and are making their protests known.
At the University of Indiana, 14 black members of the football squad boycotted practice because of what, they called "assumptions made by the coaching staff based on stereotyping of the blacks." The atmosphere they were playing under was "mentally depressing and morally discouraging." All 13 were summarily dismissed from the varsity football squad, ostensibly for failing to abide by the coach's policy prohibiting two practice cuts " but obviously for reasons which go much deeper. Their scholarships will not be renewed.
Emphasizing the group nature of the
December, 1969

Hot to trot Freaks grab gobblers
Each year, long about Thanksgiving time, the University of Kentucky Intramural Sports Department sponsors a cross-country Turkey Trot. And as a rule, the Greeks usually battle it out among themselves for the three five turkeys that are given as prizes.
Until last year. Then, in an amazing upset, an SDS team (later accused of over emphasizing athletics) walked away with the individual and team honors and won two of the three turkeys.
This year, with several veterans from that team (including first place winner Michael Fowler) running for the Freak team, the Greeks once-again went down to defeat. Fowler finished first once again and other Freaks finished third, fifth and thirteenth, to once again earn two of the three turkeys.
After victoriously thrusting his black-gloved fist into the air, Fowler offered that the Freak team won "Because we ran faster than the other guys. Of course our spirit of revolutionary fervor and solidarity with the people helped, too."
Another Freak team member, btf staffer David Holwerk, accounted for the Minting finishing kick which enabled him to place ninety-second in another way. '1 had to make it," he moaned, writhing in agony on the frozen ground. "I mean, we're all just a bunch of beautiful people trying to say something."
The two turkeys were cooked and eaten on Thanksgiving day at a large scale Freak feast attended by about SO people, including the team groupie Bertha Lou Powers.
Mike Fowler: Winner Agai
protest, the black Indiana players issued a statement saying, "The 14 of us felt as though we were not being treated as men. This by no means was the first time we had taken steps to remedy racial matters on the squad."
This is not an isolated incident. Last Spring 20 black players skipped Spring practice at the University of Iowa for political reasons. This fall at the University of Washington 13 black players boycotted the team, though 9 of the men were intimidated into rejoining by threat of the loss of their scholarships. The coach called for "100% commitment to Husky football." The school's Black Athletes Alumni Association called for the firing of coach Jim Owens on the grounds of his "uncompromising bigotry." A black assistant coach has resigned from the staff because of what he called the "inaccuracies and omissions" in the head coach's statements regarding reinstatement of the athletes.
There has been another, equally political row going on in this year's college football scene. The entire black segment of the Wyoming University football squad, 14 in all, was kicked off the team when they participated in a protest demonstration against the racist policiies of one of their opponents, Brigham Young University.
Brigham Young is a Mormon school. The Mormon Church denies full membership to blacks on the grounds that they are descendents of Cain and are inevitably damned for Cain's sin. The Director of Admissions of BYU came more to the point. "Their ideals of moral chastity are different," he said.
Despite the fact of BYU's blatant racism, the Wyoming coach, Lloyd Eaton, insisted on strict adherence to his personal rule against athletes taking part in any political demonstration. Presumably this is to prevent any such embarrassment as happened at the Olympics. Many white players would have liked to have partici-pted in the Moratorium but were intimidated by their coach and stayed home.
The 14 players wore black armbands and took part in a rally against BYU. Blaming "outside agitators," coach Eaton then suspended the team members. (Other actions Eaton has taken in the past, reported one of the 14 suspended players, include refusal to let a black player marry his white financee, and insistence on injured blacks playing while injured whites were excused.)
After their suspensions the black players tried to discuss the issue with the coach. Ronald Hill, one of the 14, reported "He didn't even give us a chance to speak. Whenever one of us tried to speak he cut us off with 'bullshit' or'shut up' "-'He said that we had defied him so we could all go back on colored relief."
All 14 stand to lost their scholarships next year if they remain off the team.
The Wyoming 14 has consulted with the American Civil Liberties Union and are now suing the University for $1.1 million in damages, as well as asking for a court order forcing the coach to reinstate them on the team!
In other actions, the San Jose State football team wore black armbands when they played against BYU. The Western
Athletic Conference has also been asked to expel BYU from its ranks because of the school's ties to the Mormon Church and its racist policies.
College athletes are notoriously exploited. Only about half of all college athletes actually graduate with degrees from the schools they compete for. Ushered about, given little or no encouragement or time to study, they are used and discarded like so much heavy-duty Kleenex, sopping up money and prestige for their school, before being squeezed dry. It's a good life for a while, before the pressure gets on you. And all that scholarship money and potential professional athletics cash is hard to pass up.
Sports is one of the few areas where black people are permitted to excel. It goes along with the strong, dumb nigger routine. It fits the stereotype and is therefore less threatening than pure strength would otherwise be. This opportunity is often accepted gladly by black athletes who see no other path to the top of white America, and who accept the prescribed vision of the white pinnacle. Athletes have almost invariably been a-mong the most vociferously conservative individuals. Each is a Horatio Alger. Each is thankful for the opening which sprung him to the top. Each wants to keep what he's got, and being vocal can only blow it. Each knows what it is to be a nigger.
It's a tremendously difficult decision to deny the graphic potential of the American Pie-in-the-Sky. Pro contracts can be so fat " the life so seemingly good. But black athletes are increasingly rejecting this as false vision. The athletes' demonstrations, and the hysterical, tyrannical reaction to them, are vivid statements that the days of Boola-Boola are indeed gone the way of all pigskin.
Now, when blacks play they mean to win.
your rights
Bothered by pesky police prowlers? Worried that you might get a midnight knock on the door heralding the arrival of a noisy drug raid barging in on your tranquil home?
If so, you may be interested in a new Kentucky Civil Liberties Union booklet entitled "Know Your Rights."
The booklet outlines your rights for such occasions as search-and-seizure and stop-and-frisk situations.
It's available at the KCLU office: (Note the new address) Room 405, 205 S. Fourth St, Louisville 40202. It's also available through the mail by sending a stamped, self-addressed envelope. They're free individually, but 15 cents each for two or more.
KCLU President Mrs. Suzanne Post said the booklet was especially designed to acquaint inner-city residents with their rights. However, it contains information everyone should be aware of.
Louisville Police Chief CJ.' Hyde is distributing the booklet among his men for informational purposes. He commented that he would have preferred a pamphlet emphasizing the importance of cooperating with police.
'How many kids did you kill today?9 \
Liberation News Service
"I remember the night before we went in...We were,briefed that everyting in the village was supposed to be wiped out...it was all considered V.C..supposed to be kilted."
"Can you remember who gave the briefing?"
"Uh, Captain Medina."
"That was his unit?"
"Yes, Captain of our unit...Company Commander... 'C Company "
"How many civilians would you say
were killed___one hundred, two hundred,
three hundred...Were there more than that?"
"All I can tell is everyone in the village...Animals and everything."
That's what former GJ:, Charles Gru-ver, told television reporter Robert Ray of KWTR, Oklahoma City. Graver is one of several participants in the ...y Lai massacre who have been interviewed on tv. The massacre occurred on March 16, 1968 at My Lai, South Vietnam, when a company of U.S. soldiers murdered over 500 Vietnamese civilians.
Paul Meadlo, a Vietnam veteran from Terre Haute, Indiana, says he killed a number of the My Lai villagers during the massacre. He gave the following interview to Mike Wallace of CBS. The interview was televised on November 24,1969.
MEADLO: We landed next to the village, and we all got on line and we started walking toward the village. And there was one man, one gook in the shelter, and he was all huddled up down in there, and the man called out .and said there's a gook over here.
WALLACE: How old a man was this? I mean was this a fighting man or an older man?
MEADLO: An older man. And the man hauled out and said that there's a gook over here, and then Sergeant Mitchell hollered back and said shoot him.
WALLACE: Sergeant Mitchell was in charge of the 20 of you?
MEADLO: He was in charge of the whole squad. And so then the man shot him. So we moved on into the village, and we started searching up the village and gathering people and running through the center of the village.
WALLACE: How many people did you round up?
MEADLO: Well, there was about 40-50 people that we gathered in the center of the village. And we placed them in there, and it was like a little island, right there in the center of the village, I'd say. And -
WALLACE: What kind of people -men, women, children?
MEADLO: Men, women, children.
WALLACE: Babies?
MEADLO: Babies. And we all huddled them up. We made them squat down, and Lieutenant Calley came over and said, you know what to do with them, don't you? And I said Yes. So I took it for granted that he just wanted us to watch them. And he left, and came back about 10 or 15 minutes later, and said how come
you ain't killed them yet? And I told him that I didn't think you wanted us to kill them, that you just wanted us to guard them. He said, no, I want them dead. So
WALLACE: He told this to all of you, or to you particularly?
MEADLO: Well, I was facing him. So, but the other three, four guys heard it and so he stepped back about 10, 15 feet, and he started shooting them. And he told me to start shooting. So I started shooting, I poured about four clips into the group.
WALLACE: You fired four clips from you...
WALLACE: And that's about - how many clips -1 mean how many...
MEADLO: I carried seventeen rounds to each clip.
WALLACE: So you fired something like 67 shots.
MEADLO: Right.
WALLACE: And you killed how many? At that time?
MEADLO: Wen, I fired them on automatic, so you can't - you just spray the area on them and so you can't know how many you killed 'cause they were going fast. So I might have killed ten or fifteen of them.
WALLACE: Men, women, and children?
MEADLO: Men, women and children. WALLACE: And babies? MEADLO: And babies. WALLACE: OK, then, what?
MEADLO: So we started to gather them up, more people, and we had about seven or eight people, that we was gonna put into the hootch, and we dropped a hand grenade in there with them.
WALLACE: Now you're rounding up more?
MEADLO: We're rounding up more, and we had about seven or eight people. And was going to throw them in the hootch, and well, we put them in the hootch and then we dropped a hand grenade down there with them. And somebody holed up in the ravine, and told us to bring them over to the ravine, so we took them back out, and led them over to - and by that time, we already had them over there, and they had about 70-75 people all gathered up. So we threw ours in with them and Lieutenant Calley told me, he said, Meadlo, we got another job to do. And so he walked over to the people, and he started pushing them off and started shooting...
WALLACE: Started pushing them off into the ravine?
MEADLO: Off into the ravine. It was a ditch. And so we started pushing them off and we started shooting them, so altogether we just -pushed them all off, and just started using automatics on them. And then "
WALLACE: Again - men women, children?
MEADLO: Men, women and children.
WALLACE: And babies?
MEADLO: And babies. And so we started shooting them, and somebody told us to switch off to single shot so that we could save ammo. So we switched off to single shot, and shot a few more rounds. And after that, I just - we just -the company started gathering up again.
blue-rail fly

We started moving out, and we bad a few gooks in front of us that was taking point, you know.
WALLACE: Taking point. You mean out in front? To take any fire that might come.
MEADLO: Right. And so we started walking across that field. And so later on that day, they picked them up, and gooks we had, and I reckon they took them to Chu Lai or some camp that they was questioning them, so I don't know what they done with them. So we set up [indistinct] the rest of the night, and the next morning we started leaving, leaving the perimeter, and I stepped on a land mine next day, next morning.
WALLACE: And you came back to the United States.
MEADLO: I came back to the United States, and lost a foot out of it.
WALLACE: You feel-
MEADLO: I feel cheated because the V.A. cut my disability like they did, and they said that my stump is well healed, well-padded, without tenderness. Well, it's well healed, but it's a long way from being well padded. And without tenderness? It hurts all the time. I got to work eight hours a day up on my foot, and at the end of the day I can't hardly stand it. But I gotta work because I gotta make a living. And the V.A. don't give me enough money to live on as it is.
WALLACE: Veterans Administration.
MEADLO: Right.
WALLACE: Did you feel any sense of retribution to yourself the day after?
MEADLO: Well, I felt that I was punished for what I'd done, the next morning. Later on in that day, I felt like I was being punished.
WALLACE: Why did you do it?
MEADLO: Why did I do it? Because I felt like I was ordered to do it, and it seemed like that, at the time I felt like I was doing the right thing, because like I said I lost buddies. I lost a damn good buddy, Bobby Wilson, and it was on my conscience. So after I done it, I felt good, but later on that day, it was getting to me.
WALLACE: You're married? MEADLO: Right. WALLACE: Children? MEADLO: Two WALLACE: How old? MEADLO: The boy is two and a half, and the little girl is a year and a half.
WALLACE: Obviously the question comes to my mind...the father of two little kids like that...how can he shoot babies?
MEADLO: I didn't have the little girl I just bad the little boy at the time.
WALLACE: Uh-huh. How do you shoot babies?
MEADLO: I don't know. It's just one of them things.
WALLACE: How many people would you imagine were killed that day?
MEADLO: I'd say about 370.
WALLACE: How do you arrive at that figure?
MEADLO: Just looking.
WALLACE: You saw, you think that many people, and you yourself were responsible for how many of them?
MEADLO: I couldn't say.
WALLACE: Twenty-five? Fifty?
MEADLO: I couldn't say..just too many.
WALLACE: And how many men did the actual shooting?
MEADLO: Well, I really couldn't say that, either. There was other...there was another platoon in there and...but I just couldn't say how many.
WALLACE: But these civilians were fined up and shot? They weren't killed by cross-fire.
MEADLO: They weren't lined up...they [were] just pushed in a ravine or just sitting, squatting...and shot.
WALLACE: What did these civilians -particularly the women and children, the old men - what did they do? What did they say to you?
MEADLO: They weren't much saying to them. They [were] just being pushed and they were doing what they was told to do.
WALLACE: They weren't begging or saying **No...rio." or -
MEADLO: Right, they was begging and saying, "No, no." And the mothers was hugging their children and, but they kept right on firing. Well, we kept right on firing. They was waving their arms and begging...
WALLACE: Was that your most vivid memory of what you saw? MEADLO: Right.
WALLACE: And nothing went through your mind or heart?
MEADLO: Many a times...many a times...
WALLACE:  While you were doing it?
MEADLO: Not while I was doing it. It just seemed like it was the natural thing to do at the time. I don't know. It just " I was getting relieved from what I'd seen earlier over there.
WALLACE: What do you mean?
MEADLO: Well I was getting...like the...my buddies getting killed or wounded or - we weren't getting no satisfaction from it, so what it really was, it was just mostly revenge.
WALLACE: You call the Vietnamese "gooks?"
MEADLO: Gooks.
WALLACE: Are they people to-you? Were they people to you?
MEADLO: Well, they were people. But it was just one of diem words that we just picked up over there, you know. Just any word you pick up. That's what you call people, and that's what you been called.
WALLACE: Obviously, the thought that goes through my mind - I spent some time over there, and I killed in the second war, and so forth. But the thought that goes through your mind is, we've raised such a dickens about what the Nazis did, or what the Japanese did, but particularly what the Nazis did in the second world war, the brutalization and so forth, you know. It's hard for a good many Americans to understand that young, capable, American boys could line up old men, women and children and babies and shoot them down in cold blood. How do you explain that?
MEADLO: I wouldn't know.
WALLACE: Did you ever dream about all of this that went on in Pinkville?
MEADLO: Yes, I did...and I still dream about it.
WALLACE: What kind of dreams?
MEADLO: I see the women and children in my sleep. Some days...some nights. I can't even sleep. I just lay there thinking about it.
ignoring Supreme Court decisions on long hair and black armbands.
In other words, school officials ANYWHERE hassling students about long hair or the wearing of anti-war armbands are breaking the law.
Jay A. Miller, a local ACLU official, said: "We are shocked that high schools, and even junior high schools, have been flagrantly defying court decisions, which explicity state that high school students are not second class citizens and that all rights guaranteed by the United States Constitution apply to high school students."
Morton West High School has not only gone after Michael Hage " but after bit parents, too. The school board has threatened the Hages with prosecution under an Illinois statute which states that parents are responsible for the truancy of their children. The Hages defend their son's right to wear his hair as he pleases.
Michael Hage, who plays with the Bare Wires Blues Band, was suspended from school on the basis of bis violation of an illegal school dress code, which stipulates, among other things, "the hair style should be one that is clean, neat and trimmed; out of the eyes, no longer than the bottom of the ear..."
The ACLU suit details a series of Constitutional violations implicit in the dress code, arguing also that the code denied Hage's right to privacy, personal liberty, property and free speech.
BOOKS. . . for children
ACLU sues for longhair
Chicago (LNS) " Michael Hage was tossed out of Morton West High School last month because school officials didn't approve of his long hair. Now the school superintendent, vice principal and other officials have to appear in court to answer a suit being filed by the American Civil Liberties Union.
The ACLU, after filing the suit, charged that many schools in the metropolitan Chicago area have been blatantly
We1 re happy to order any book for any age.
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. . ¢ a    id Aââ€" /»(ââ€" /» J'fJi r/t/'/f/if/t
trade wind
100 WEST HIGH &T. --1
compliments of old glory--the store--157 s. lime
December, 1969

Kentucky will be here after California is gone
.. .the bulldozers are destroying California at the rate of 375 acres a day and this trend is accelerating. In many regions all acreage on which houses can be built and much on which they cannot is being subdivided into creeping slurbs of tasteless ticky tacky.
California has too many people. Their numbers have increased by 50% in the past decade. She absorbs the surplus produced by much of the rest of the nation.   They flow in at the rate of 15 00 per day. Surplus population demands land, schools, roads, services, sewers and other facilities.   It absorbs resources, fouls the environment and multiplies. Each new family entering California costs the taxpayers already there an estimated $5, 000 to $17, 000.
People have destroyed the magnificent state of California. Yosemite National Park is a campground slum;  its traffic jams rival L. A.   Justice William O. Douglas' latest book is entitled "A Farewell to Texas".   He can write off California, too.
Kentucky has possibilities. We export our surplus population to Ohio.   Except for a few local situations such as Lexington, which is strangling to death on a growing people and traffic problem, we are stable and solid.   We will be able to feed ourselves when New York City is starving.   Kentucky is a pretty good place to be as the world approaches a crisis.   That's why I am here.
Kentucky is almost unique among the nations, territories and states of the world.   It is not facing destruction from over population. It is being destroyed by strip mining.
Strip mining must be stopped. It destroys the land, the timber, the wildlife, the streams, and the fish. It destroys farms and homes.   It ââ€"  destroys the spawning beds of the walleye pike of Lake Cumberland and inhibits the inflow of tourist dollars from Ohio.   It violates the water pollution control law of the Commonwealth of Kentucky.
Wayne Davis teaches zoology at UK. bloc-tail fly
Although strip mining has destroyed vast tracts of land and hundreds of streams, the rape of the land has just begun.   Only 2% of the strippable area has been worked.   Coal underlies about half of that region of the state east of Lexington, all the land beyond a line from Ashland to Lake Cumberland.   This entire area could become a ghastly moonscape.
Strip mining continues because it is extremely profitable to a few individuals, and part of the profits can be used to influence politicians and the state judicial system.   Coal companies pay almost no taxes.   The huge profits go mostly to stockholders in northern cities who care nothing for the welfare of Kentucky.   In the mining counties a few local politicians and other local captives of the industry do well.   Most of the people, the schools and the county governments are in abject poverty.   The rotten guts inside the entire system was laid open for all to see in Harry Caudill's book "Night Comes to the Cumber lands ".
King Coal is more powerful than the state.   Perhaps we have never had a governor who was not a captive of the industry.   But the people never give up hope. With each change of administration we look to the new governor for leadership.   Louie B. Nunn has taken significant action in behalf of conservation for the people of his state, for which we are grateful.   But with respect to coal his administration has been woefully inadequate.
When Governor Nunn saw that a tax rise was needed to carry out his program we hoped for a severance tax on coal.   A raise in the 3% sales tax was considered.   This the people did not want.   Perhaps we could have a compromise: the sales tax to 4% plus a small severance tax. But no, King Coal was too powerful, and went untaxed as the sales tax climbed to 5%.
Recently a public scandal has developed in the repeated failures of the administration to enforce the mining reclamation laws and water pollution control law where coal
corporations are involved. According to the Courier Journal, overloaded coal trucks without registration tags, burning untaxed galo-line, have become commonplace in eastern Kentucky during the past two years.   Loss in tax collections was estimated in the hundreds of thousands and perhaps millions of dollars.   Apparently the Motor Transportation Department has not been very successful in-enforcing the law where the coal industry is concerned.   In fact the only state official I know of who seems to be interested in law enforcement is Minor Clark, Commissioner of the
Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources.
In spite of this sorry state of affairs much progress is being made. People are clamoring for law enforcement.   If enough people show their concern, our officials will act. I wrote to the Governor, to the Commissioner of Natural Resources and to the Attorney General and asked them to help enforce our laws. Others are writing too.
We are going to stop the strip mining.   Within a few years all coal removal