Punch-Counterpunch: The Chilean Miners

Punch-Counterpunch is a regular feature of the Bad Apples Blog, pitting conservative pundit Jack Hammer against uncredentialed liberal Fox P. Wisconsin. Because Mr. Wisconsin is a pacifist and terrified of conflict, we let him go first.


For 69 days, 33 Chilean men were trapped in a hole almost a half a mile underneath the earth’s surface. Why were they there? Because of mankind’s intemperate, uncontrollable desire for the black things buried under the earth – black things like coal and oil and iron ore, all of which is turned into the Hummers and aircraft carriers that are destroying the world we live in and trapping people in mines.

Mankind and the evil corporations need to get serious about ending our addiction to fossil fuels. If governments would make better investments in harnessing renewable energy sources like solar and wind power, we could reduce our dependency on mines and drilling so that these kind of potential disasters could be averted.

But, of course, capitalism isn’t concerned with avoiding disaster until it affects a company’s bottom line, now is it? Until there is a financial incentive, capitalism is going to keep putting people in harm’s way, all so their bosses can buy bigger plasma screen TVs.


Look, moron, capitalism and fossil fuels aren’t what put those miners in the hole. It was their lack of advanced business degrees, combined with their inability to speak English that landed them in the hole. It was capitalism and fossil fuels that saved them.

Take a look at the machinery that they used to power the Phoenix rescue system: it’s big, heavy, made of metal, and powered by coal and oil. That grease they used to keep the wheels going when they started to squeak? That’s a petroleum product too. It wasn’t a rope made out of hemp or an engine powered by solar cells, or an elevator constructed from some biodegradable granola-based polymer. It was steel and oil and money that pulled those men back to the surface and gave them wraparound sunglasses and free iPods.

Those men have a God-given right to have their iPods, and you have no right, sir, no right whatsoever to tell them they can’t have them. But I bet you think you and the other long-haired freaks living on the commune with you are the only ones entitled to products with the Apple logo on them, don’t you, you elitist bastard?

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