Esoteric Dissertations from a One-Track Mind

August 9, 2007

Robert Murray: Sociopath

Filed under: capitalism, culture, politics — codesmithy @ 8:39 am

Robert “Bob” Murray is the chairman of the nation’s 12th-largest coal company, Murray Energy Corporation. In the wake of a cave-in that has trapped six of his miners, Murray took this opportunity in the national spotlight to stress the importance of coal as a low cost energy source, to espouse his claim that the collapse was caused by a seismic event, to rail against global warming legislation, and tell watchers what a great country America is. I wonder if Bob Murray was the type of industrialist that Ayn Rand admired.

The most blatant lie is the claim that the cave-in was caused by 3.9 magnitude earthquake. Government scientists, the people with qualified opinions on such matters stated that that ground shaking was not caused by a quake, but rather the cave-in itself.

As for other strange topics, I believe America is a great country also, just that when six men are trapped national platitudes are not necessarily a relevant topic of conversation. However, little of what Bob Murray said was directly relevant to problem at hand.

To further complicate matters the Mexican consulate said three of the six missing are Mexican citizens. Not that it matters much as far as rescue efforts are concerned, but for a man the trumpets his patriotism and the importance his company plays in the national economy, to employ foreign workers over his own countrymen I think displays the character of his patriotism.

Generally, when you are given the forum in the wake of such a disaster, the human thing to do is attempt to console the families, express your hope that the men will be saved, thank the rescue workers for their efforts and hope for their safety as well, tell everyone that you will conduct an investigation into the cause and commit your company to preventing disasters like this from happening again.

Although, committing his company to preventing these types of disasters might have been a tall order to ask given its history.

Government mine inspectors have issued 325 citations against the Utah mine since January 2004, according to federal Mine Safety and Health Administration online records. Of those, 116 were what the government considered “significant and substantial,” meaning they are likely to cause injury.

In short, let’s call this man what he is. A man that doesn’t care about his workers. A man that doesn’t care about the environment. A man that doesn’t care for the well-being of his countrymen. A man that really doesn’t care for the truth. All he seems to care about is his ability to continue to profit. He is a sociopath. He has cost people their limbs, and might have just cost people their lives. Will this country hold him accountable?


  1. I used to work for Bob Murray at a mine in Pennsylvania. I agree he is a labor-hating sociopath who doesn’t give a hoot about environment or the future of the planet.

    But I found your comments about Mexicans just as repulsive as many of Murray’s rantings which I’ve been paid to sit through.

    Especially in Utah, Mexican coal miners have raised the bar in the fight for the rights of all labor. At a time when hardly anyone was doing anything to organize miners, in an industry that is more and more nonunion, Mexican mine workers at the Co-Op mine in Emery County Utah waged a heroic fight to organize the UMWA earlier in this decade.

    The UMWA local I was a member of at Murray’s Maple Creek mine organized significant solidarity with those men and women.

    Shame on you for your anti-worker xenophobia.

    Comment by Jay Ressler — August 10, 2007 @ 11:36 pm

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  4. “to employ foreign workers over his own countrymen I think displays the character of his patriotism.”

    I find your comment disgusting and I hope none of the family or friends of those past Mexican workers read your article. To lose someone and read this trash about their lost ones… is horrible. You are a very disgusting sad racist person!!!

    Comment by betty clifton — December 11, 2007 @ 6:34 am

  5. Hi Betty. I’m sorry if you think I’m a “disgusting sad racist person. [sic]”

    After Jay Ressler’s comment, I did write a long post explaining what I meant by that statement.

    Here is a link, if you care to read it

    As with all nuanced statements on the Internet, I fully expect it to fall on deaf ears.

    I understand immigrants come to this country looking for a better life. Hell, my ancestors did so at one point also. I’m perfectly fine with that. Although, I also think that it is necessary to control the rate. But, one thing I don’t want to have happen is for people desperate for work to be taken advantage and to have their health and personal safety at risk. I feel this mine collapse was one of those cases were workers were taken advantage of.

    Undocumented workers and foreign workers are put at huge disadvantages when it comes to their basic rights. They are can have their work visas revoked to being threatened with INS before they get a chance to get paid (this happened in some cases during Hurricane Katrina reconstruction). Democracy is about more than electing the person who gets put into office. It is about being empowered throughout the society, and that means having your health and safety looked after and treated like an equal. Economically, yes that does mean not giving someone a job if it is too dangerous, doesn’t pay enough, or similarly not up to the standards deemed fit by our society.

    I saw this accident as a horrible and greedy man taking advantage of desperate people in order to make more money for himself. Then, when the accident happened, blamed it on everyone and everything except himself. I, in fact, called him a “sociopath.” It was especially insulting when he used the spectacle of accident he helped create to spew his political agenda. I empathized greatly with the family members who lost loved ones in this “accident” (I would call it homicide). If it were up to me, Robert Murray would be in jail right now.

    But, I guess Betty, you are ok with people getting taken advantage of. Because, after all, they are doing jobs you don’t want to do. You enable their second-class status, and if any one spouts one word of criticism about the system that causes it to happen, well they must be racist and anti-Mexican. The real difference between Betty and myself is that I believe a person’s life is just important as anyone else‘s. Apparently, Betty doesn’t. So, who is the real racist here?

    Comment by codesmithy — December 11, 2007 @ 7:42 am

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