Fear the Chemical Plants, Not the "Terrorists":
So much of what we argue about in our politics in the United States is just so much noise and distraction, like a magician trying to misdirect an audience's attention so they don't see the bullshit behind the trick. Sometimes, the Rude Pundit imagines super-rich fucks in some luxurious penthouse high, high above the streets, sucking down thousand dollar bottles of wine, snorting cocaine, and laughing, laughing, laughing as they watch on TV as we down here in the world of the rabble fight over the scraps. Abortion? Guns? Gay rights? Oh, yes, yes, these are very real and very important issues. But they are, despite being gut-level meaningful, merely the symptoms we're trying to get under control because we can't fight the disease: the withering, overwhelming siege of democracy by corporations. That's where the life and death battle needs to be waged, but it is the battle we are incapable of engaging because "Look over there - it's a terrorist."
You gotta think that the owners of fertilizer and other plants around the world, like the Koch brothers, were incredibly relieved that the explosion at the West Chemical and Fertilizer Company in Texas happened just a couple of days after the Boston Marathon bombing. Americans, and our media had to go nutzoid over "terrorism," because the saga of the Tsarnaevs totally subsumed the story of a neighborhood wrecked by a preventable explosion that killed four times as many people and far, far more property than the Tsarnaevs pressure cooker bombs.
The town of West was failed by multiple governmental agencies, but it was the insidious influence of industry money, often from multinational corporations like, you know, Koch Industries, that watered down regulation and enforcement. That's a goddamn shame. But the fact that the plant had 1350 times the amount of ammonium nitrate, the shit that blows up, that was reportable to the DHS to ensure it's safe and secure? That's a goddamn crime, a crime far more important to the well-being of Americans than whatever those assholes in Boston were up to and a crime that ought to be punished by more than the lawsuits now being filed against plant owner Adair Grain, Inc.
Of course, it's not like you'd know that. Indeed, it's not like you'd know anything, at this point, other than the Boston bombing is the Most Significant Event Ever Since the Underwear Bomber. There's been a kind of creepy media near-blackout of the West story.
At his press conference today, President Obama was asked two questions related to the consulate attack in Benghazi, Libya, that bullshit rallying point for increasingly crazed conservative conspiracy-mongering. Obama was even asked if Americans should feel unsafe about going to public events because they might have douche-bombers attacking them. Doesn't it seem, intrepid CNN reporter Jessica Yellin, that the more reasonable question is "Should the millions of Americans who live near goddamn chemical plants worry that that fucking things are gonna go armageddon on their asses?"
The last most of us will probably ever hear about West is that Obama made a stopover in Waco last week to be hugger-in-chief at the memorial service to the firefighters killed. In a boilerplate "buck up" speech, Obama extolled small town virtues and good ol' American come-togetherness. He did not say a single word about making sure the next West explosion doesn't happen, that more than a dozen people don't die.
There's a bill in Congress right now that will ensure that more do die. It waters down the EPA's ability to regulate chemical sites. As Mother Jones reports, it's supported by "two dozen industry groups, including the Fertilizer Institute, the American Chemistry Council, and the International Institute of Ammonia Refrigeration." That's also known as "A Cabal of Motherfuckers." It's pathetically hilarious that Congress will gladly strip away individual rights in the name of hunting down a few jack-offs who wanna be the Joker, but burden a capitalist with some oversight so that shit doesn't burn your town down? That's government over-reach, you socialist bastards.
This is not to mention that 14 new ammonia plants are proposed to be built in the next 3-5 years, after a 20-year lull. That's because of the availability of cheap natural gas, which is pumping up the production of ammonia, which is one of the prime ingredients in, hey, look, ammonium nitrate, which blew the fuck out of West, Texas.
Yep, those imaginary rich people, tripping balls at their rooftop orgies, are laughing hard. And they're walking to the edge to piss off the side on the rest of us.
The liberal press (the real liberal press) needs to stay on this story and not get distra--oh, hey, look, a basketball player said he's gay...