There’s a reason the History Channel has produced hundreds of documentaries about Hitler but only a few about Dwight D. Eisenhower. Bad guys (and gals) are eternally fascinating. Behind the Bastards dives in past the Cliffs Notes of the worst humans in history and exposes the bizarre realities of their lives. Listeners will learn about the young adult novels that helped Hitler form his monstrous ideology, the founder of Blackwater’s insane quest to build his own Air Force, the bizarre lives of the sons and daughters of dictators and Saddam Hussein’s side career as a trashy romance novelist.
Tue, 21 Apr 2020 10:00
Robert is joined by Spencer Crittenden to discuss The Battle of Blair Mountain.
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Hello, I'm Erica Kelly from the podcast Southern Fried True crime, and if you want to go from podcast fan to podcast host, do what I did and check out spreaker from iheart. I was working in accounting and hating it. Then after just 18 months of podcasting with Spreaker, I was able to quit my day job. Follow your podcasting dreams, let's break or handle the hosting, creation, distribution, and monetization of your podcast. Go to spreaker.com. That's spreaker.com. In the 1980s and 90s, a psychopath terrorized the country of Belgium. A serial killer and kidnapper was abducting children in the bright light of day. From Tenderfoot TV in iHeartRadio this is La Monstra, a story of abomination and conspiracy. The story about the man who's simply become known as. Lamaster. Listen for free on the iHeartRadio app, Apple Podcasts, or wherever you get your podcasts. Want to say I don't know less? Listen to stuff you should know more. Join host Josh and Chuck on the podcast packed with fascinating discussions about science, history, pop culture, and more episodes. Dive into topics like was the lost city of Atlantis Real? And how does pizza work? Say goodbye to I don't know, because after listening to stuff, you should know you will. Listen to stuff you should know on the iHeartRadio app, Apple Podcasts, or wherever you get your podcasts. Hello, America, and welcome to the Internet. I'm Robert Evans and this is a podcast. It's called behind the ******** and it's about bad people. That's the introduction that I have for you today, and I hope you all enjoyed it. My guest today is Spencer Crittenden. Spencer, how are you doing today? Oh, I'm great. Should I match that energy? Because I don't think that's possible. No, no. But you you nailed it. That was perfect. That was that was the energy I brought you in to provide. Perfect. Spencer. That you are. I mean, among other things, you're kind of the reason that that that DND a big part of the reason that DND went from something that I shamefully hid from bullies when I was in high school to something that is, I don't know, I I'll call it cool. I'm going to say it's cool now to play Dungeons and Dragons and it's it's all on you, buddy. So thank you for that. This is my, my opportunity to say that. Oh yeah. Thank you for saying that. I mean, I keep telling people. That, but no one believes me. So that's validation I need now, you and I have casted a couple of pods together in the in the past, have we not? Yeah. You went on harmontown a couple times. Was it once? It was twice. Twice? Twice? Yeah, twice. And how it was fun, I mean, I don't know. I a lot of times we have people on that don't know much. Like it's not like they're not experts in their field or whatever, but they're just not on to talk about stuff that they have a real perspective on or information or things that aren't pulled out of their ***. So it was really refreshing for that reason. Yeah. I mean, I pull a lot of stuff out of my *** but rarely on camera or stage. So how has your how's your quarantine been? Spencer, how are you? How are you holding up in the in the plague? So it's it's it's kind of funny because I'm getting a bit too much of my roommate. We're kind of getting in each other's way. And I was like, man, it would be nice to be living alone. And then the other day we were doing errands together and she was like, man, it's so great that we're not living alone. And I was like, oh, OK, that's that's your. Your version of this then, huh? But I'm getting a little stir crazy. I would like more space. In the past I would just go for car rides to kind of just get myself some space, and I can't really do that. I mean, technically maybe. It just seems like a risk. I don't. I don't think it's really, I don't know how California is handling it law wise. I think it's driving alone in your car is a pretty safe thing. I would say, yeah yeah, I'm, I'm you know, it's one of those things I think everybody. I think everybody who's quarantined with, like, roommates or romantic partners is like, Oh my God, I wish I was alone right now. This would be so much easier if I was alone. And I think everyone who's quarantined alone is like, Oh my God, I wish I had a roommate, or I wish my boyfriend a girlfriend was here. It's terrible being alone. And I think the answer is that it just sucks to be quarantined. Yeah, that's that's the lesson I'm taking out of this is that it's not great to be locked in in your house, no matter who it's with. I feel like I love being locked in my house, so it would just be interesting. I wish I had, like a good control group to really make this experiment pop. Now, Spencer, let me ask you the the President has recently stated that people should liberate a series of of Midwestern states. Have you, have you jumped onto the call to start the boogaloo? Are you are you grabbing your go bag and your AR15 to to to liberate the Sparrow in your neighborhood? Yeah, I'm going to have to put it back up at force. It all sounds like liberation, you know, like who can get who could stand opposed to that? That is a great question and it actually ties in a little bit to our episode today because obviously everyone in America is thinking about. A civil war, like, like a new one, right, right. And, you know, we're also, there's a lot of thoughts back to the the old Civil War. You know, at some of those protests in Michigan and whatnot, people are waving Confederate flags, which doesn't really make a lot of sense in Michigan, but that's just we don't remember the Confederate state of Michigan. Yes, the the great Jefferson Davis famed Detroiter. Yeah. So we're all thinking about civil wars. And, you know, when people in America think about the civil wars, we either think about, you know, the big civil war, which is civil wars go worldwide in in the top three or seven something somewhere around there, definitely a great civil war. Or they're thinking about, like, the possibility of a new civil war, and people will often call that the second American Civil War. But what if, Spencer, what if I were to tell you that this country actually already had a second civil War One with machine guns? An aerial bombardment and trenches and blood and guts. What if I were to tell you that already happened? Well, I would have to laugh you out of the room. Well, that would be hard because we are quarantined in separate states. So I would have to laugh at your death. Yeah, laugh me off of the Internet. Well, don't start laughing yet, Spencer, because it turns out there was a second American Civil War, and it happened in West Virginia. Now, most U.S. history textbooks have a painful allergy to talking about it because it all hinges on the labor movement and for whatever reason, the people who write our textbooks don't like to talk about. The reason that weekends exist. But today in this two-part episode we're going to talk about the Battle of Blair Mountain. Have you ever heard of the Battle of Blair Mountain? No. Literally. No. I'm not a big history guy. Even among that sounds wild. Yeah, it's a ******* cool story. It's like, it's like it's a cyberpunk story in a steampunk setting. That's that's how I would if I was, if I was trying to like I was trying to sell the Netflix TV show. Version of this. That's how I would package it in a ******* elevator pitch. That's awesome. It's pretty cool. I mean, a lot of people die horribly and a lot of people get raped, but it's like, just, I don't know what point I was making. It's interesting. It is very cyberpunk. Yeah, so it all starts with coal, Spencer. In the late 1800s, coal became increasingly critical to the economic productivity and the infrastructure of the United States and the richest veins of coal were underground. So this necessitated large groups of men writing down to those veins through vast holes in the earth and hacking out big chunks of coal. The structural supports that, like, kept them alive and kept the the world from collapsing on them were often also made of coal. It was extraordinarily dangerous. There was like trapped. That sulfur gas and **** everywhere or methane gas everywhere. And like explosions happened all the time, mine collapses were very common. It's one of the most dangerous jobs people ever had, to the extent that like it. Like like more Americans died from coal collapses over the decades than died fighting in Vietnam. A lot of Minecraft in that does not track with my experience. Minecraft has benefited a lot from the decades of mine safety reforms. So thank you. Thank you, Minecraft. Thank you, notch. Famed Q and honor and fascist for yeah. So for an example of some so ********* terrible cold disasters, because I know everybody comes to the show for that sort of thing. There was the Eccles mine disaster in West Virginia in April of 1914. This was a methane explosion that occurred while 246 miners. Or underground, and 180 of them died instantly. In 1909, there was a mine explosion in Cherry, IL, which destroyed the entire town and killed 259 men and boys because an awful lot of boys worked in mines. Their little hands could reach the coal better. So that's cool. That's terrifying. Yeah, it sucks. Between 1890 and 1917, at least 26,000 American miners were killed on the job, mostly in explosion. 12,000 miners. Were maimed every year, often permanently disabled so. Not a great job, I would say, right? Yeah, less I I think less people are maimed podcasting every year. Sophie is are less than 12,000 people maimed while podcasting every year cannot confirm or deny. I'm trying to get those numbers up with the machetes, but we still, I I don't. I mean, I maybe maybe 1000 people in a year, you know, if I'm really, if I'm really getting the lead out. So, yeah, it sucked to be a coal miner. It was not a great job, right? Men took the gig because they needed money, and mining often paid well, or at least the pay that the bosses advertised was generally good. Capitalism being what it was, the people who own the mines had a variety of fun tactics that they used to **** over the human beings who made their business profitable. One of these tactics was called cribbing. See, miners were paid based on the tonnage of coal that they mined. Every car that left the mines was supposed to hold a specific payload of 1 ton or 2000 pounds. However, the mine operator got to actually purchase and set up the cars. And they would regularly rig them to hold more coal than they were supposed to hold. The wooden contraptions that they added to the sides of the cart to enable this were called cribs and hence the name cribbing. It was not uncommon for miners to be paid for digging out 2000 pounds when they had actually dug out £2500. So that's stealing 500 pounds of coal from a minor. That's a lot of of ********. So like, they put like a wooden basket around it so they can add more coal. And then they essentially said that was one load of coal when it was more like, Yep, 2 or 1 1/2. Yeah, it was more like 1 1/4, but like yeah, yeah they would they would get extra coal for free basically. Yeah, so that's cool. Mine operators would also. Yeah, it's not great. It's not great. Mine operators would also often dock the pay of their miners when they found slate and rock mixed in with the coal. The man who did the weighing was the judge of this. And since he was paid directly by the mine owner, it was not uncommon for him to just cheat the miners and lie about how much non coal wound up in the coal. So that's cool too. And then of course. Your skin is crawling. Yeah, that's horrible. It's just oh, man, it gets so much worse. Spitzer don't know. I I mean, just as a spoiler, we're about to talk about something called bureaucratized rape. So strap in, man. What a great episode. But first, let's talk about company stores. Have you ever heard that song that goes, you work 16 tons and what do you get another day older and deeper in debt? Saint Peter? Don't you call me 'cause. I can't go. I own my soul to the company store. That song. Yeah, definitely. Yeah. Well, it's it's a song about coal mining back in these days. And the the company store is a thing that like a lot of mining towns or mines would have, and they didn't start out as necessarily exploitative. So like a lot of minds in the late 1800s and early 1900s were out in the middle of nowhere and there would be like no town near the mine and the miners would have to live nearby because it was just the only way for the work to happen. So the company would have to set up a store where they could buy food and necessities. So like, not inherently exploitative, but having the only place where miners. And shop be owned by their employer also is Super prone to exploitation, right? Like you can see how an ******* who would do something like cribbing could also take advantage of that ********. So there's been a lot of research done in company stores, and a surprising amount of them actually don't seem to have been abusive. And prices were in line with prices at independent businesses, but a lot of them were horrifically abusive and would like Jack up prices to weigh above what they would cost. And some companies would actually make it would ban or fire miners from going into other towns to shop at stores that weren't owned by the company. Yeah, and West Virginia was a place where this was particularly common because West Virginia then and now was out in the middle of ******* nowhere. Like it's it is just nowhere, Stan. So you could really get away with a lot of ******* over miners out there. And another way they would **** over miners was debt peonage. So pay for miners at this. Happened, like once a month, and you also had to have been working for a full month to get any pay. And obviously, I don't know if you're aware of this, but if people don't get food and water for a month, they die. Oh yeah, I've heard such things. Yeah. Yeah. So companies would have to offer script to workers who hadn't gotten paid yet. And this was like, basically. An advance on their salary, and if you know workers didn't make quite as much as they thought they were going to make and they'd already spent the company script. They could wind up in a situation where they were indebted to the company for long periods of time and basically just kept having to take script to keep their family fed and never quite got out of debt. So it's like you some really bad situations happened in this **** and company stores came along with a lot of other things because in a lot of cases you had company towns. So like, the company would be responsible for like the school and be responsible for the store and be the. Responsible for housing all of their workers. That doesn't necessarily sound bad. Although company houses were often squalid hovels, they also sometimes were houses of decent quality. But the fact that you were living in a house owned by your company meant that you had no real security. If you got fired for any reason, the company would kick you out of your home the same day because you didn't have any kind of lease or legal protections. So they had the ability to kick you out of your home and make you homeless in the middle of the ******* mountains at the drop of a hat. Umm. So that's not a great situation. I don't know. Does does your industry work that way, Spencer? Mine does not, yeah. No, I don't know. It's the parallels to like, your, what do you call it? Medical insurance coverage is very. It is. It is to me, but it's similarly horrifying. Yes, there are definitely modern day parallels, but we should also acknowledge it was way worse back then, like, even though it still sucks now. But like, yeah, it's that's actually a very good point. You make that like, it's kind of like health insurance, where you can be ****** immediately if your company kicks you off metaphorical mountains. In the metaphorical mountains, in the mountains of not being able to get your insulin right, which I guess is, I don't know, let's say Mount Hood. Mount Hood is the mountain of insulin. I've always said OK. So, uh, yeah, there's a song called Company Town by Carl Sandburg that I think conveys how many miners felt about their situation. I'm just going to read out the lyrics. You live in a company house. You go to a company school, you work for this company according to company rules. You all drink company water and all use company lights. The company preacher teaches us what the company thinks is right. So there's like that video game, right, that just came out about like you're in space, but it's kind of like this. What the **** is that game? Animal Crossing. No, no, no, no, no. Although that has its own. There's a lot, a lot of lessons about capitalism and Animal Crossing. Oh, are you talking about the one where you have to like junk a space Hulk? And that's your job for like in the outer worlds of the outer worlds? Yeah. And it's got like, you're in like a a planet that's owned by the company. And they've got a preacher, I think, and like, yeah, that's what they're this is like, this is all based on actual labor history like that some of the **** in that game, they just have laser pistols, which they did not. Back then as a heads up, yeah, which is lame. They should have had laser pistols. This would be a funnier story. It would go way different. Yeah, maybe not. So company stores also gave the company a way to increase profits when the value of coal dropped. They could just soak their employees by raising the price of goods. And company houses gave them a strong lever to raise up if employees ever complained about working conditions. If you don't like that the bosses one ton cart is actually 1 1/2 tons, well now you're homeless. So like yeah, if this sounds a little bit. Like slavery to you, it actually did to a number of black miners who were former slaves themselves. So as a result of a lot of the stuff we're going to talk about in this episode, there were a number of Senate inquiries. And in one of the Senate inquiries, the Senate wound up talking to a black miner named Mr Eckles, and he asked about, like, what he thought was the problem with the mining industry. So here's what he said in the Senate quote. I will tell you the miners asked the contractors are operators to give them an opportunity to weigh the coal and they announced that they will not weigh it. They promised to pay us by the ton, but they don't do it. They promised according to whatever the goal is to pay us by the ton and we want them to put it on the scales. All they do is say that so and so much and we have to take it. There is some things that we cannot stand for. I was raised a slave. My master and mistress called me and I answered and I know the time when I was a slave and I felt just like I feel now. So it is not devaluing the suffering of slavery to compare what these miners went through with slavery because some of them were former slaves and they specifically said this is actually not all that different. Wasn't there like tenant farming or something which seems very similar, share sharecropping? Yeah, there's a lot of similarities with sharecropping, but that is, that is a death story for another day. And this is, you know, miners where there were a lot of black miners and white miners and there were times when they worked together and times when they would, like wind up like white miners would throw black miners under the bus to get a better deal. Like both of those things happened. We're not going to get into the kind of racial history of, of the coal labor strikes and stuff as much as maybe we ought to because there's just a lot of these are all, all labor history is very complicated and nuanced. So I'm, I'm doing my best to tell a discrete story, and I apologize for some things that will not be covered in as much. Tail, as they should. So yeah, coal miner sucked. Coal mining sucked. Coal miners were the same as everybody else's podcast takes a hard stance against coal mining coal miners, we just pivot right to just tearing a hole through coal miners. And the companies were right because these people were ************* yeah. Yeah, this has been building to me. Just attacking coal miners for six episodes? No. OK, so yeah, all the problems I've talked about were existed for coal miners everywhere in the United States, from New Mexico to Michigan. But one particular piece of ******* and maybe the most abusive thing that ever happened to American coal miners was unique to West Virginia, which also had a lot of the richest coal veins in the country. So. Back in the Old Testament, in the Book of Genesis, there's this guy named Esau, right? And Esau was a starving hunter who stumbled into his brother's tent begging for food, and his his younger brother Jacob agreed to feed Esau, but only in exchange for Esau giving up his birthright as the first born son in the family. A bunch of other stuff happens in the biblical story, but it's not important. I just needed to tell you who Esau is so we can get to the rest of this. So mine operators had a problem, Spencer, and that problem was that sometimes their miners would get sick or would be injured and would not be able to work for a period of time. And since there was no social safety net at all, this meant that they and their family would probably starve to death. Now, the company didn't necessarily want these people just to kick them out because a lot of times they'd get better. And, you know, coal miners who are good at their job are valuable. So they found a way to deal with this that was still profitable to them. And the way that they dealt with this was to take, usually to take the next oldest male member of the family and make them take their father's place. But some children were too small to effectively work a coal mine. And in these cases, the company provided the wife of a stricken. Miner with what was known as Esau Scrip. Now this was a special type of script currency only usable for food and other necessities. And I'm going to quote now from an article I found on Counterpunch based on the book truth be told perspectives on the Great West Virginia Mine War by labor historian Wes Harris quote. Esat was issued only to women and it was a form of script that would enable a woman to purchase food for her children during the time that her husband could not work. The Esau was only good for 30 days and if her husband went back to work within those 30 days then the company would forgive the debt. And if he did not go back to work at the end of 30 days then the script became a loan that was due and payable and full on day 30. At the time most coal miners wives did not hold jobs but they still had to pay back the loan which was a collateralized loan and the women themselves were the collateral their physical selves. Would be used to pay the debt. Yeah. You picking up on what this means? Yeah, a little. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah, yeah. It it was coal mining rape dollars. That's what we're talking about here. Coal miner rape bucks. Yeah. So the women, I mean, you could quibble, I guess, over whether or not to call it rape. The woman who did this for their families tended to consent in the sense that they agreed to give up access to their bodies in exchange for Esau script to stop their family from starving to death. But this is the only real worst. Yeah, exactly like it. That's not really consent if your children will die if you don't do it. Right? Right. No, that's hostage. Yeah. Yeah. They the coal mining cut. The company had hostages. Yes. I feel comfortable calling it broadly rape. Yeah, the article continues. Many of these incidents allegedly occurred at the Whipple Colliery Company store located in Oak Hill, WV, where women would walk up to a room on the third floor to try on shoes and in the process be raped by coal company guards. The Whipple Company store was one of three company stores built by cold, Barren Justice Collins in Fayette County, West Virginia. Joy Lynn, who now owns Co, owns the Whipple Company store and has turned it into a museum, told client that she has had as many as ten women visit the museum, who referred to the third floor space as the rape room because that is how the mine guards. Forced the women to pay for their shoes, they would have to keep their mouths shut tight about what had happened to them upstairs, Lynn said, because the mining companies would threaten to kick them out of their company owned houses. Yeah. So that's cool. It's not. Are you a? It's not. It's not good. But I don't know. This is this is terrible, though. My mind's going to that. But like, what's the exchange rate? Like, I mean, does that something they quantified, but let's, like, they got shoes. Yeah. I don't know what that doesn't seem. I mean, nothing is worth anything, but, like, don't get me wrong, but it's just like, I don't know. Yeah. I think it was more like while you're in. I mean, so there actually was an amount of an exchange rate that was set up. And we don't have as much detail on the East South System as we want because it was very much kept under wraps and these women did not like to talk about it and the company certainly didn't like to talk about it. The term that one labor historian used for it is bureaucratized rape. And there would be situations where, because of their debt, women would be essentially rented to a coal mining company and sometimes, like young girls, like a. The wife would, if she was too old for the company to one or whatever would give up her daughter. And there were cases of like 12 year old girls who were rented out to the Coleman Company for like periods of four to six months and sometimes more than once. Like you incur some debt. You give up your daughter for four to six months, she pays off the debt, then you incur more debt and you give her back up like stuff like that would be would be set a lot of the time. So usually it was like a set limit of time that you would have to spend prostituting yourself or your daughter to coal company. Guards in exchange for, you know, necessities, right? Yeah, so that's good, yeah. So cold mercenaries, like the guards who man the coal mines were generally mercenaries. A lot of them were former soldiers or cops or detectives and stuff who got hired by the coal companies to brutally enforce order in the mining camps. They took to calling these women comfort girls or comfort wives, which is actually, interestingly enough, a term virtually identical to the one Japanese troops used for the sex slaves they took during the occupation of Manchuria. Which is neat little bit of historical. Resonance there. That's always fun. Yeah, yeah. Yeah. So this was not something that people discussed a lot at the time. And this has led to a lot of controversy around the East South system among historians, which we'll talk about at the very end of the second part of this episode. But historian W Harris gives one reason why the vast majority of women caught up in the East South system never said anything about it. Quote, my sense is they weren't ashamed. It wasn't something they were embarrassed about. It was very much in the same vein as the men going into the coal mine and taking risks they had no business taking. It's like, you do what you have to do to feed your family. They didn't talk about it, but they certainly weren't ashamed of it. Why would you be ashamed of feeding your kids? So yeah. This is some complicated **** but Spencer, you know what won't? Molest? Children. As script currency. I can think of a lot of things. That's what you're going for. Only one the products in. Ohh boy this is this is a bad ad plug I don't like. No, yeah, but by these purchase items, please. 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I've never seen less enthusiasm for a great idea in my life. Who we are back and we are just still recovering from that really, really rough ad transition. I hit my head on that segue. Yeah, yeah, it's bad. It's as bad as the segue that the guy who owned the segue company plunged off of that Cliff in Scotland on that. That's the kind of. That's a bad segue. Yeah. Ohh boy, good Lord in heaven. So yeah. In short, what I've been talking about all episodes so far is just kind of making the point that the coal miners in America, and particularly in West Virginia, had it rough. They had a lot of ******** to deal with, they were not treated well, and they had reason to be very angry. And people all throughout history have rebelled violently against their leaders for a lot less than coal miners put up with. Yeah, now. Unfortunately, coal miners tended to be poor as ****. They had no real political influence, and at least not on the national level, and so the only way they could combat all these abuses was to come together and form a labor union. In 1885, coal miners formed the National Federation of Miners, which eventually evolved into the United Mine Workers, or UWM or UMW. Sorry, I I just misread it there. In his book The Battle of Blair Mountain, historian Robert Shogan writes this about the UMW. Quote. The UMW grew rapidly, but it faced a major problem in one state, West Virginia, where the union movement lagged far behind. This reality had been driven home to the Union in 1897, when it staged a nationwide walkout in protest against wage cuts brought on by the depression that devastated the economy for most of the decade. Over 100,000 miners responded, and the strike paralyzed the northern fields. Now like most such fights, this strike was essentially awaiting competition. If the mining company ran out of money before the miners starved, the miners won and got what they wanted. In West Virginia there were enough non union mines to allow big business to hold out. So the new Union called in for backup, bringing in the big guns of the American Federation of Labor in to try to help them rally non union miners to the cause. As the struggle picked up steam, famous left wing organizers flocked to West Virginia men like Eugene V Debs, founder of the American Railways. Union and Mother Jones who'd grown prominent from organizing miners in Pennsylvania. So you see what's happening here. Like they're the the mine miners are trying to strike. But enough mines in West Virginia are non unionized that like the mine companies are able to to to to pull out enough coal that they don't go bankrupt. So they hold on. So like the only way for the mining, for the unions to like win in the long term is to unionize miners in West Virginia. So they start bringing people into West Virginia to help them organize miners there. So. Workers outside West Virginia, supported by groups like the AFL, supported their brothers in the mines and the so the mine owners found themselves forced to get creative to counter all of this. And by creative I mean Violet's company. Police began cracking down on organizers at non union mines and forcing them out of the state. Since these miners all lived in company housing, it was a simple manner of firing and evicting anybody who talked about joining a union. Workers around the country started to hold mass protests in support of the workers in West Virginia, but solidarity only goes so far. One organizer sent by the AFL to work with black miners in McDowell County wrote that trying to plan under the thumb of company police was quote taking one's life into his hands. Quote While we never had any injunctions issued against us, like by a court, we had men and Winchesters against us, which were in most cases just as effective. So it's pointing out it was actually illegal to try to stop these guys from organizing, but like, like, you couldn't like legally stop them, right? Like courts couldn't stop them from trying to organize. They had a right to do that, but you could just send out men. To shoot them, right. And since there was no law in a lot of these places, that worked just as well. And company police regularly conducted drive by shootings. They would abduct and beat organizers and often even murder them. John Mitchell, who became the president of the United Mine Workers, eventually was attacked by company guards at a meeting. They opened fire, and he only survived by jumping into a mountain stream and swimming away. So this is like, like, we're not talking about just like, you know, Amazon just got very rightly slammed because they fired a guy who was trying to. Create it. Like organize a Union of warehouse workers, which is like ****** ** and should be illegal. We'll see if they actually face any consequences to it and we shouldn't we. I'm not going to say that like, Amazon shouldn't be slammed viciously for what they've done, but it was like the, the the stakes were a lot higher back in the the the these these days or those days, right? Like they were like machine gunning people. Yeah, it's intense. It's pretty cools. Pretty, pretty cool, Spencer. Yeah. Well, it's like, there's not, I mean, they're not shooting people these days, but there's not a lot of consequences for ******* over people who try to unionize these days, right? In the Court of Law doesn't really go very well. No, because like, you know, they they have all of the money in the entire world. So they can, you know, even if what they're doing is illegal, they can elongate the court case that will eventually, you know, I think it's probable that Amazon will eventually pay fines. For what they're doing. But they'll have made so much more money by breaking the law. But like, they I'm sure they have bean counters who are like these laws we can afford to break because the fines will probably be this amount and we'll make this amount by breaking the law, you know? Yeah, I mean, a fine is just a price for breaking the law. It's like you actually can break the law if you pay the labric tax. Yeah, exactly. Which is why instead of fines, the the company that I in my opinion, instead of finding Amazon when they are caught doing something like this, Jeff Bezos should be forced to stand in crotchless pants in front of a group of we'll pick by lottery, let's say 150 employees from the specific factory where the violation occurred, and they each get to kick him in the nuts and it's televised. Yeah, that zombie song that you were taunting me with by the cranberries. I love that song. Great song about the Irish Civil War. You don't see why we're bringing that to here, but I do think that Jeff Bezos would think twice before cracking down on unions if he had to be kicked in the nuts for several hours by 150 different people, and that would be a deterrent. Over and over again. Yeah, he's there twice every time you heard that. Pretty good cover of the song by state radio, but this is beside the point. So in many rural counties the local Sheriff's Department was completely owned by one or more mining companies, and normal police were very regularly owned as strikebreakers. It's almost as if police are. I don't know, you might call them like if if we could divide people who work from people who have capital into classes. And police are in the same class as minors, but they're like kind of betraying them in exchange for money, like a trader. To their class? I don't know. I don't know. I'm sure no one's had this thought other than me. So yeah, the most infamous example of this happened in 1897, the Latimer massacre in Pennsylvania. 150 armed Luzerne County deputies confronted 3 to 400 immigrant coal miners on their way to a pro Union protest. They fired into the crowd of peaceful demonstrators, hitting many in the back and killing 19 people. But **** like this happened all the time. You would regularly have police just start shooting into a crowd. Because that's actually a really good way. I don't know if you've ever tried to break up a crowd, but firing wildly into it tends to people don't like that. Oddly enough, you can't stay there. No, those people don't. Yeah, exactly. Most people hate bullets for reasons that I I think are are mysterious. But, you know, there's documentation of this. So despite numerous atrocities, the miners of the UMW held out. They viewed what was happening as a struggle for their very survival. And I'm going to quote from a union official named Frank Keaney, who was a participant in a lot of this stuff. I'm a native W Virginian. There are others like me working in the mines here. We don't propose to get out of the way when a lot of capitalists from New York and London come down here and tell us to get off the earth. They played that game on the American Indian. They gave him the end of the log to sit on, and then pushed him off. That we don't propose to be pushed off. They say that we shall not organize. West Virginia, they are mistaken. If Frank Keeney can't do it, someone will take his place who can? But West Virginia will be organized, and it will be organized completely. So a lot of brave people in the union movement at this. But also they're like, it's almost like a situation. I think what Kenny would say is like, it's not even bravery. There's just nothing. It's it's the choice between organizing or extermination. They will kill us all by by chiseling away at our lives if we don't do this. And it seems like they probably had real world like kind of analogs that they could see in very recent history is like, Oh yeah, it's happening to us. Yeah, they they were probably a bit woker than the average American. Like you see Keeney there kind of acknowledging that, like what was done to the the Native Americans was horrific. And like, seeing that, like, oh, and now the descendants of the people who killed all of them are are executing the same sort of thing here. Like that's his attitude, which is at least acknowledging that what happened to the native peoples of this continent was bad. So that's interesting. Like you can see some like early sort of intersectionality solidarity, like that kind of thought starting to get woven through the labor movement. Say it yeah. And eventually, through blood, toil and tears, the miners of West Virginia forced their employers to the table. The result of their victory was the central competitive field agreement, a sort of Magna Carta between miners and mine operators in Ohio, Illinois, Indiana, and Pennsylvania. It did not fix prices for coal, but it set a scale for wages and established some minimal conditions for miners. The biggest win was that miners got an 8 hour work day, which is better than a however long until you collapse, dead of a heart attack. Work day now. The success of the 1897 strike drew huge amounts of people to the United Mine Workers banner. By 1901, it had more than 1/4 of a million members. In a few short years, this very new Union had become the largest union in the country. But all was still not well. And in the wake of the strike, mine operators did their best to claw back as much as they could from their employees. One major tactic for doing this was to have the check Wayman, the guys who weighed the coal for the company, rigged the company scales to show lower weights than we're actually being pulled through. Umm, so these keep finding ways to **** with with with miners on the weights and so the miners would be like, no, we need to have union men there watching the weighing of the coal in the company. Said no you can't do that, yadda yadda yadda. And as the 1900s donned unions began agitating against this practice too. As described in this minor ballad quote, union miners stand together. He'd no operators tale. Keep your hand upon the dollar and your eye upon the scale like a good songs from miners in this. Yeah. Things were particularly bad in West Virginia, as is usual even to this day in West Virginia, where mine owners were increasingly shady in huge numbers of miners lived in unbelievably squalid camps in cabin and Paint Creek. More than 35,000 non union miners and their families lived in coal camps, and life in these places was the very worst of coal mining. Only company stores were available, and mine owners banned workers from traveling to nearby towns to purchase goods. The situation grew increasingly desperate and many within the camps began to look to the Union. If their only hope for a better life, in April of 1912 the non Union miners in Paint Creek who announced their desire to form a union and submitted a list of demands that included union recognition, the right to free speech and peaceable assembly. This is something they were demanding from their companies, which denied it to them, which you may recognize as an inherent human right, but not not for coal miners. Yeah, an into the blacklisting of union men, an into mandatory company stores and in in an into cribbing. They also demanded that mine owners establish 2000 pounds is the official weight of a ton, and you may recognize that £2000 is in fact the weight of a ton. But and they they demanded the right to check the mine scales, and they have union representatives watch this process now. The mine operators rejected these demands and the miners of Cabin Creek went on strike for a month. The strike went peacefully. With the Umm W providing food and other necessities from striking miners. So part of what a big union that covered multiple states like the MW would do is you would pay dues. And those dues would not only go to paying for union officials and like, you know, essentially lobbying, but when a strike happened, it would go to make sure that, like people, strikers who weren't working didn't starve to death so that you could actually strike long enough to get what you wanted. This is kind of the whole point of a Union, really, right? Yeah. Now when it became clear to the companies that. The people who own the mines that these workers were striking from, that this was not going to end quickly. The coal companies decided to bring in the big guns, which were again literal guns. And in this case they were wielded by the men from the Baldwin Felts Detective Agency. And Baldwin Felts was essentially one of the areas equivalents to a group like Blackwater. These guys were mercenaries and a lot of them were in fact former soldiers with combat experience and they worked in the United States and cracked down on labor. Now the agency brought in 300 detectives to act as strike. Breakers, one contemporary journalist who interviewed a number of these men wrote these guards were professional strikebreakers. All try it on a dozen industrial battlefields and willing to shoot with or without provocation. They immediately began an A campaign of assault, intimidation and terrorism. And I'm going to quote next from a study by Hoyt and Wheeler, a labor historian with the University of Wyoming, quote the first action of the Main Guards was to evict miners and their families from company owned houses. Personal belongings were loaded on to trains transported off. Company property and dumped beside the railroad tracks, miners and their families took up residence in tent colonies established by the United Mine Workers Union. At this juncture, Mary Mother Jones, an aged but vigorous and profane labor agitator, was brought into the fray by the union's Mother Jones was a veteran combatant in the Labor Wars in which the United Mine Workers Union became involved. She's perhaps the most colorful character of this era of American labor history. At a speech on the steps of the state capitol in Charleston, she told a large gathering of miners. Arm yourselves, return home, and kill every *** ******. Lion guard on the creeks, blow up the mines, and drive the damn scabs out of the valleys. Man, this is like Shadowrun **** except it's not the future. Exactly. Definitely happened. It's like this already happened. It's insane. Well, one of the things you realize when you read about labor history is that a lot of the a lot of like great cyberpunk, you know, including Shadow run. The guys who like wrote that stuff starting in like the late 1980s, early 90s knew a lot of this history. And we're explicitly being like, we see this coming back again because like we we're paying attention to the news. Like the Reagan era, the chiseling away of workers rights. Like the things that were gained by the fighting in this era, like they were just kind of predicting that, like, as this stuff is chiseled away, these fights are going to start up again. Only people will have moved by wire systems installed in their reflexes and fancy machine guns and the Internet. Yeah, but yes, you're right, this is very cyberpunk and would make like an adapted setting like this would make a pretty ******* cool Shadowrun campaign. So yeah, yeah, man. So the Union provided these striking miners with the tools to do just what Mother Jones suggested. Because unions, by the way unions are considered kind of boring today. They were not in these days, so they the UMW smuggled in six machine guns, 1000 rifles, and 50,000 rounds of ammunition just to start. And this seems like a lot of of weaponry, but all it really did was even the scales, because the coal operators had also purchased huge amounts of weaponry for their guards, the Baldwin. Peltzman both sides loaded up with weapons and began to advance on one another. Now. The governor of West Virginia at the time was a fellow named Richard Glasscock, and it was within his power to stop the mine operators from hiring mercenaries and deploying crooked, heavily armed cops to break the strike. The fact that he refused to do so was noted by Mother Jones and her public speeches. She refused to refer to Glascock by his name, calling him a Crystal Peter for modesty's sake. So that's so good. That's really good, right? Isn't that funny? Ohh man, yeah, it's pretty, pretty great, in August, she told him during a speech to minors. I warned this little governor that unless he rids Paint Creek and Cabinet Creek of these *** **** Baldwin felts mindguard thugs this is got, there is going to be one hell of a lot of bloodletting in these hills. Now, officially, the government of West Virginia was not a super thrilled with any of this, and Governor Glasscock volunteered to mediate the strike. But the mine operator said no. Union miners responded by posting up on the mountain sides of the valley and sniping at Mindguards, killing a number of them. So we are like, yeah. And remember, like mine guards had been shooting in, abducting and beating and murdering people prior to this, too. Like, this is a cycle of violence here now. So yeah, the miners start sniping from the mountain. Rides and killing mine guard, so the operators of the mines respond by building fortresses to protect their guards and to protect the scabs who are working in the mines. So because the mine companies had built fortresses, there's nothing for the miners to do but to launch an assault at these fortresses. And they start at a place called Mucklow on Paint Creek and a massive battle results. More than 100,000 shots were fired in 16 people were killed over the course of multiple days. I've got a picture of these fortresses, like, what are they building? You know, I'm imagining mostly wooden ramparts in the like. A lot of cases, if you look at like the forts, they would just like take huge stacks of what were firewood and they would place like cannons within them, like, which by the way, like is better than nothing if you have. If you're only cover is a wood pile, wood will stop a lot of rounds if it's thick enough, but also shards of wood get kicked up. This is why sandbags are ideal if you are a modern day striker and you want to build a decent. Fortification to stop, say the kind of rifles that police have access to. A sandbag is going to have less wood shrapnel than a pile of wood. Just as a heads up, this is all good information. Important info for I don't know, let's say three weeks from now, so. More skirmishes followed the Battle of Mucklow, culminating in a massive assault by 6000 Armed union miners on September 1st, 1912. These are armies like, these are literal armies of people like, yeah, wars have been fought. Like most medieval wars involved less human beings armed and fighting than are taking like fighting in just West Virginia. It's ******* crazy. Yeah, so this the army assembled at the mouths of paint and craft Cabin Creek and it sent a message to the mine operators. If they continue to use strike Breakers, the miners would murder every single mine guard and destroy all company infrastructure in the area. And of course, the bosses refused to back down. They just hired more armed guards and prepared to fight. The whole situation might have ended in a massive bloodbath if the governor hadn't declared martial law and activated the state militia to pull both sides apart from one another. Now, of course. This militia was made-up primarily of upper middle class Gentry of West Virginia. These were conservative men and they had an instinctive hatred of low income immigrant laborers, and the strike was broken up and the militia deactivated. Many of them stayed on as mine guards for the coal companies, which provided them with enough security to reopen the mines with more scabs. And of course the miners grabbed their guns and started shooting again. And then the whole situation started over. That November martial law was declared a second time and the mine Guards basically just threw on official government uniforms. And then cracked out on minors with the approval of the state union. Men who were arrested during this. Were tried by military tribunals under military law, and many were sentenced to long prison terms. This was often illegal, as the courts were happy to sentence minors for crimes committed well before the actual period of martial law. The crackdown was eventually successful, and by January the strike had been broken, but it started up again in February, leading to a third declaration of martial law. So this is not going super well for anybody. Really? Yeah. Yeah. This is a civil war I could get behind. Absolutely. Definitely a better civil war than the last one. I mean, as in all civil? Well, not all civil wars as in most civil wars. One side is objectively ****** here, yeah. But yeah, so by this point, the chief mine operator, a guy named Quinn Morton, was fed up with all of this back and forth. So his company paid for a special armored train, which they filled with kanwas sheriff's deputies and mine guards, and called the Bull Moose Special. So they drove this armored train filled with armed men through the Paint Creek miners camp, and their official purpose was to serve a warrant to a guy named John Doe for inciting a riot. Wow. I'm going to read Professor Hoyt Wheeler's recitation of what happened next. As the train passed through Holly Grove, a miner's tent colony, Morton and his mind guard sprayed rifle and machine gunfire into the colony, Morton was reported to have said. We gave them hell and had a lot of fun. Let's go back and give them another round. Aye. At least one person was killed and a number were wounded and we'll never get an accurate count of of what happened. But yeah, now we've got armored vehicles charging into an encampment and stuff like yeah, the miners retaliated by launching a mass assault on a corporate encampment. A multi hour gun battle left another 16 people, most of them mine guards, dead. With the guards in flight, miners dynamited critical infrastructure and successfully turned back a train loaded with scabs sent by the bosses to take their jobs. In response, Governor Glasscock sent the militia in. Now, in March, a new governor took office, Doctor Henry Hatfield of the famous Hatfield family. You know, the Hatfields and Mccoys, the feuding families? Yeah. You're gonna hear a lot about Hatfields this episode. So Doctor Henry Hatfield was more sympathetic to the strikers, and he visited the strike area with his medical equipment to provide aid as one of his first official acts in office. When he arrived, he found Mother Jones locked in a local jail. She'd been convicted of rioting by a military tribunal and sentenced to 20 years in prison, and she was very clearly near death. Your temperature was 104 degrees, and Doctor Hatfield immediately ascertained that she'd been left without any medical care in her cell. He ordered her removed to the capital and provided with medical attention. Doctor Hatfield, the new governor, spent two days at the front, talking to miners and providing them with medical assistance. The mine operators complained that he was toadying to these men, and they sent a delegation to complain. One of these corporate representatives told the governor to his face that it was unwise for him to enter the strike zone. Doctor Hatfield responded by punching this man repeatedly in his face. Knocking him to the ground. Solid governor ring there like, yeah, I the idea of repeated punches to a faith before someone gets knocked down. It's pretty funny to me. It is. It is. And, Robert, people were talking back. You know what won't punch you in the face? You know what won't repeatedly punch? Well, actually, you want them to punch this kind of person into the face. I were going there, buddy. Buy some products. Mint Mobile offers premium wireless starting at just 15 bucks a month. 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I've never seen less enthusiasm for a great idea in my life. We're back. From another flawless ad transition. So Governor Hatfield punches a guy out. Then he orders the mine operators to settle with the miners in the next few days, and he threatens that if they don't come to a settlement, then he'll settle the strike for them. The mine operators failed to do this, possibly in an attempt to call the governor's bluff. But Doctor Henry Hatfield was not a bluffing man. He immediately rescinded the sentences of all the men convicted under military courts. Then he mandated that the striking union men should get the majority of the things that they've asked for. And he sounds pretty awesome, and he was definitely better than Governor Glasscock. But we're gonna talk about some ****** things that Doctor Hatfield did as governor in this, but he was, you know, broadly pro union. Least compared to his predecessor. So that's that's good. So yeah, now in his last year of office, Governor Glasscock had appointed a Commission to investigate the causes of the strike and they kind of finished their work after the strike was ended by the next Governor Hatfield. And not surprisingly, the men that Governor Glasscock had picked to figure out the cause of the strike, they did a bunch of research and the shockingly found that actually wages and Paint Creek were very fair and there was no good reason for the miners to have. They have gone on strike, they noted that quote as to the main causes of the trouble. This is rises in our judgment from the efforts of the United mine workers to organize the Union and the whole chain of events alongside said creeks, the desire to make the present strike region the place for the insertion of a thin edge of unionism, with the ultimate aim of organizing the whole state. So they decided that, like, yeah, this, this state Commission comes to the conclusion that it's all the unions fault, that things got so bad now. Thankfully, the United States Senate also gets involved and decides to investigate the strike. And and, you know, they're they come to a bit more fairer conclusions than the state of West Virginia's handpicked men. They actually called the former Governor Glasscock to testify, and he tells them in under oath his, his, his, his stance changes a bit, and he admits that the trouble had commenced after the operators on Paint Creek had a like declined to enter into a new agreement with the striking miners. Umm yeah. And during, like his his testimony in front of the Senate, one of the senators questioning him asks Governor Glasscock. It seems to be that the mind guards were the disturbing element among which this trouble arose, and Governor Glasscock responded. That was my impression, senator. Yes, Sir. So that's interesting. Yeah. Now in the end of the Senate committee concluded the basic cause is the private ownership of great public necessities such as coal. This, coupled with human greed incident to such ownership has brought about the deplorable and unamerican conditions in the West Virginia coal fields. Now this is interesting to me for a couple of reasons. One of them is that we have a coal is not so much a great public necessity these days, but you might call in the middle, particularly of a gigantic pandemic, in which case people aren't able to shop at the wide variety of. Doors that they normally get their necessities from, you might call a service that ships things to people's door nationwide and provides an Ave for small and medium and even large businesses to get their products into the hands of Americans who need them. During these times you might call such a business a great public necessity, and you might say that the rampaging infections and Amazon workhouses and their their illegal crackdowns on union labor, you might call that an example of human greed. Incident to the ownership of such great public necessities, bringing about deplorable and unamerican conditions, you might you might say that. I will. I'll say it right now. Actually, I can't remember all the words, but I would just imagine me saying it. Yeah, I I think we can all get that into our head. So. The coal companies lost this battle, but they were not about to give up on their greater war against their own laborers. As Robert Shogan writes in the battle for Blair Mountain, quote collage, the Journal of the Coal Operators. It's like a magazine for coal company men declared that the so-called strike on cabin and paint creeks was in reality an armed insurrection, formulated by agitators hired by the Union and afterwards reinforced by socialists. Yeah, that's how they you can. That's how they wanted that to be pronounced. I'm canceling my subscription to college right now. Oh, now, don't don't don't be a reactionary. College has a lot of good. Like how else you got to learn who the best strike Breakers are. Something we all need. This this podcast is heavily supported by coal age. Please keep your subscriptions active people. So the coal operators now saw the miners in the Union not simply as economic adversaries, but as a diabolical force, not merely seeking unionization, but domination of the West Virginia coal industry and of the United States. Mine operators in Mingo County were particularly worried about the cabin and Paint Creek strike. Their non union workforce was perpetually restive, and it was not exactly a secret that UMW representatives had started reaching out to these men. The operators in Mingo County condemned the Union as unlawful per se revolutionary and character. And a menace to the free institutions of the country. For their part, the Union responded to victory by expanding their ambitions. In 1912, the United Mine Workers Union amended their constitution, adding a clause that miners were entitled to the full social value of their product. What does that mean? What do you think that would mean? The full social saying that workers are entitled to the full social value of their product? It sounds like they should be owning the means of production. That might be a way to interpret that. Spencer yeah yeah yeah. Basically in in the way, you know, because we have like minutes of the actual debates because like there were debates even within the Union like they weren't all of 1 mind and and kind of, yeah. One of the ways you'll hear this said is that like just, and this is kind of like the simplest way to state it. If you work an hour, what you get back should be worth an hour of your life. And I think a lot of people would argue that an hour of their life is worth more than $7.00 or even $15. Another way to look at this is that you? You are in whatever, whatever work you do, the profit that that work generates, you are entitled to. Not the bosses, not the shareholders, not the corporate executives who Dr armored trains through mining encampments and fire machine guns at striking laborers. Yeah, so miners, in the wake of this, start to talk about writing capitalists out of the social contract, essentially. And as you might imagine, these capitalists are not super happy with this, and they begin to gear up for the next round of combat. But in the meantime, the Union men celebrated not just in West Virginia, but all around the country. One of the more remarkable aspects of the victory in West Virginia was the fact that black and white coal miners had largely collaborated in order to achieve victory. Now it would be too much to say that the white miners considered black miners their equals. Mining camps were still very much segregated, and it is fair to say that almost everyone in this story, even the the heroes, were pretty racist by modern standards. But they were at least able to overcome that in a large. Agree to kind of work together to make situation better for everybody. And this is was part of a start of kind of like the birth of of, yeah. This kind of understanding, you know that we're we all have our are in this this fight together to to improve standards for working people. This was did they like try and and divide like did the bosses try and divide people along racial lines or anything? Yes. And in many cases and in many strikes around the country they were very successful in this. They weren't successful in this particular strike, which is something that makes it noteworthy. Is this often worked? Often bosses would be successful and basically getting white laborers to throw black laborers under the bus to get better terms. So like, and that was a way to be like, what you want us to say that everybody gets the minimum pay, even black people like, then we're saying they're equal to you. So like, that definitely happened a number of times, but it didn't work at this strike. That's just so, like, I can just see that. But it's like, So what you're saying is we gotta accept that black people deserve the same stuff. As we do that, that is 1 bridge too far, my good man. Like it's just so, yeah. And it's it's this, you know there's different, it's very different. And because they're like, we're kind of eliminating the, the, the racism from. But in the modern day you'll hear people talk about like, well OK basic income seems like a great idea but what if X group, you know what if like rich people what if like whatever group gets it like that's not fair and like part of the like obviously like one of the problems with that is that when you start saying stuff like. Need a basic income. We need free college, we need we need universal healthcare. And people start bringing like, what about this group? What about that group? You know, what they're really saying is, I don't believe that the this is an inherent right. I think certain individual groups might deserve it, but I don't see it as an inherent right. And I think one of the lessons of the labor movement is that this **** only works when you act, when you when you you really treat it like an inherent right and you you reject attempts to divide. People, even among groups that might make sense to you at the time because in reality if you're agreeing to that division at all, you are against the idea that people have a right to this sort of thing. Yeah, so all of this Spencer, particularly kind of the cross racial solidarity that was that was evident in this strike, helped inspire one of America's few non racist white guys at the time, a fella named Ralph Chaplin and Ralph was a member of the International Workers of the World. The IWW, the Wobblies some people call this, is a group that's around today, and they're very far left. You know, uh, anti capitalist Workers Union and Ralph Chaplin, inspired by the strike in West Virginia, wrote a song called Solidarity Forever. And right after we get through some plugs. I'm going to close this out by playing that song. But first, Spencer, you want to plug your plug cables? Drop zone? Yeah man, I am on Twitter at the 6th floor. THESIXLER, I'm on. Everything else is at the sickler. Don't follow me on Twitter. I don't. Eat good stuff. It's bad. I have a show called harmonquest. If you like it, you can watch it on TV or YouTube or, you know, I don't know. I'm sure it's downloadable illegally. And if you like it, send Netflix and e-mail and say you guys gotta buy this show. You guys got to make more of this Netflix, you you know what's up. Send Netflix and e-mail, find their CEO's mailing address and send them letters written in blood. Whatever works to get. Yeah, yeah. Yeah, I'm. I'm telling people that if you can get a goblin head male, a goblin head to the door of Netflix. Yeah, exactly. Exactly. Please continue committing the felonies that we urge in most episodes. Yeah, or don't. You can find us on the Internet at behindthebastards.com. You can find us on Twitter at at Bastarde pod and also on Instagram at the same thing. I have a podcast called The Women's War that might provide a little bit of a suggestion on how to rebuild society after the collapse. That seems increasingly likely hits, so check that out too. And now I'm going to close this out by playing the song that I was just telling you about, solidarity forever, which was inspired by this West Virginia strike and this is a recording by the Great American folk musician. Pete Seeger, here we go. Whoa. When the unions inspiration through the workers, blood shall run. There can be no power greater anywhere beneath the sun. Yet what horse on Earth is weaker than the feeble strength of 1? But the Union makes us strong. For the Union makes us strong. It is we who plowed the prairies, built the cities where they trade, dumped the mines, and built the workshops. Endless miles of railroad laid. Now we stand outcast and starving, met the wonders we have made. But the Union makes us strong. Forever. Solidarity. All of you. Pause. They have taken untold millions that they never toil to earn. But without our brain and muscle, not a single wheel can turn. We can break their haughty power, gain our freedom when we learn that the Union makes us strong. All the you. One makes us strong. In our hands is placed a power greater than their hoarded gold, greater than the might of atoms, magnified a thousandfold. We can bring to birth a new world from the ashes of the old, or the Union makes us strong. Hello, I'm Erica Kelly from the podcast Southern Fried True crime, and if you want to go from podcast fan to podcast host, do what I did and check out spreaker from iheart. I was working in accounting and hating it. Then after just 18 months of podcasting with Spreaker, I was able to quit my day job. Follow your podcasting dreams, let's break or handle the hosting, creation, distribution, and monetization of your podcast. Go to spreaker.com. That's spreaker.com. In the 1980s and 90s, a psychopath terrorized the country of Belgium. A serial killer and kidnapper was abducting children in the bright light of day. 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