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Happy Birthday West Virginia

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West Virginia turns 150 today. Forged in the rejection of treason in defense of slavery, the state developed into a medieval fiefdom of the coal industry with much of the nation’s worst industrial violence, endemic poverty, and resource exploitation. Even as coal withdraws from the state, it looks at the state’s residents as a bunch of inbred yokels and attempts to turn the historical sites of labor violence into more profits. It is still cursed with some of the nation’s worst politicians. May the next 150 years tell happier stories.

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