Fenger Pointing

Becky Fenger | January 20, 2009

| More

Becky FengerAd maligns mining

An ad appeared in the Copper Country News, which serves the Globe-Miami, Arizona, area. Its sponsor was the American Lung Association in Arizona. They should be ashamed of themselves.

The ad features a photo of Jeb, a rugged man in a miner's hat. The text tells us that Jeb is a 44-year-old miner in Arizona who has worked hard since getting his first job at the mine right after high school. He has had a nagging cough for so long, he doesn't know when it started. Most of his coworkers, we are told, have the same kind of cough. By the time Jeb retires from the mine, the ad warns, he will be in the early stages of emphysema, and on some days will need to take oxygen with him just to walk from his front door to his truck.

The advertising agency for the national headquarters of the American Lung Association admits that "Jeb" is not a real miner, nor is the profile presented in the ad a real situation. It's all part of a public awareness campaign to get people not to ignore their coughs, because it could be a warning sign of COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease).

Educating folks to not ignore their chronic coughs is a worthy goal. Smearing the mining industry by implying that working in the mines will cause COPD is not. COPD is serious stuff. It killed my physician husband. An estimated 25 million adults in the United States suffer from the disease. But 80 to 90 percent of all COPD cases are caused by smoking! Why didn't the Lung Association use a picture of a chain smoker instead?

Taking shots at the mining industry is nothing new. And tales of "homeless" baby pigmy owls brought down the timber industry here years ago. The fact that owls can nest in a MacDonald's billboard is of little concern to the tree huggers who vilify loggers. And those damned cattlemen should all turn vegan, don't you know. It's a good thing high fructose corn syrup and trans fats came along to vie for "Most-Maligned" title.

I haven't gotten any digs in on light rail transit in a long time and must not slip up like that. Amid the celebrations for the first year of LRT in the Valley, friends of mine rode on it for the first time. They were treated to a man in their rail car spitting on folks at random. Isn't that special? The rail cars have more secretions flying around than an ER. When I rode the rail in San Diego, a man projectile vomited. I have said I wouldn't ride the Metro without packing heat, but now I think a raincoat and goulashes are more in order.
I should point out that already bus service (which could drives circles around LRT) is being cut back in favor of the trains. The folks that the transit backers misused the most to sell their snake oil track, however, were the handicapped who wanted better Dial-A-Ride service. It's unconscionable that this service is being drastically reduced and will now require a day's notice to reserve a ride. But, the LRT monster must be fed.

News that should give Al Gore and his gang of thieves a cold chill broke over this last weekend. The United Nations' Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change's warning that global warming would melt most of the Himalayan glaciers by 2035 was exposed as nonsense. It's just another crack in the facade of the IPCC following the Climategate scandal.

Here's an item that caught my ear. Taxpayer money in the form of $15,000 grants to a California university is being used to pay for telephones for illegal immigrants to use when crossing into our country. The phone is called a Trans Border Immigrant tool and uses GPS-guided technology to help the illegals find water during their undercover journey. The phones are wired to recite poetry in their ears to keep up their spirits. I guess you could call that poetic justice for all.

"She's the cabinet officer from disaster!" ~ Wall Street Journal's John Fund, referring to Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano. A whole chorus has called for her head, but don't look for teacher's pet to be bounced.