Thursday, April 18, 2013

Blown Away

Two thoughts:

First; what kind of fucking idiot takes his small children to film a burning fucking fertilizer plant?

Hearing the sonofabitch's kid begging the father to get them out makes me want to do something very medieval to the parent. What. A. Fucking. Tool.

In case you don't know - and I can't imagine anyone who wouldn't know this - ammonium nitrate, the primary component of nitrate fertilizer, is related to other nitrate compounds (such as nitroglycerine) and is a powerful oxydizer. Back when the Army still trained the Special Forces to run guerrilla groups behind enemy lines instead of teaching government goon "armies" to blackmail kebab-stand owners and use power drills on people's kneecaps it loved these things. Fertilizer plants (and grain storage facilities) are basically explosions that haven't happened yet.

And both of them - along with fuel storage and refining plants and God knows what else - are mingled into all sorts of places in Texas, where things like zoning and development regulations are part of the liberal commie Agenda 21 plan to choke off our natural American right to work for shit wages in dangerous places and get whatever hand-me-downs our corporate masters choose to bestow on us.

When I lived in Houston my rundown shitheel apartment was two streets away from some sort of chemical plant. When the wind was right you could get a contact high just breathing, and the air had a sharp, dangerous smell that made me think of open drums of something dark and fuming. I still have no idea what the hell they were brewing over there, but had it been toxic I suspect the first we'd have known about a spill would have been the moment our lungs stopped functioning.

Second, this is exactly the reason I have nothing but loathing and contempt for the sorts of people who try and convince me that American "conservatism" is all about liberty and "personal responsibility" and FREEDOM! in its consuming greed for union-busting and regulation-smashing.

It makes absolutely no sense to me - worse, it stands sense on its head - to insist that "government bureaucrats" - making reckless, boneheaded decisions without popular consent, destroying jobs, issuing edicts, "taking" money in return for nothing - are the embodiment of Pure Evil while insisting that the same sort of actions when taken by corporate bureaucrats or individuals are the highest, best, and noblest acts of civilized mankind.

Texas was where this sort of idiocy took physical form.

Everywhere I went in West and South Texas I saw this sort of shit; dangerous, obviously un-inspected, unregulated commercial outfits shoehorned into little crapped-out towns and rundown parts of the cities, just like my nasty chemical plant. I hadn't been out of the active service for long at that time and sometimes the old mindset would kick in as I drove by some reeking fertilizer plant or immense grain silo across the street from a row of houses; man, give me a rucksack of C-4 and some det cord and I could flatten this whole shitty little town, I'd think, forgetting that this wasn't the Soviet Ukraine and these were my fellow citizens and not inhabitants of some enemy country I'd been tasked to terrify.

But I was young and stupid then, and just passing the time of day.

Today children, men, and women are ripped to bloody rags in West, Texas, because no one bothered to make rules or enforce the rules that might have kept their homes away from the West Fertilizer Plant.

Who was being the young and stupid one during that time, eh?


Ael said...

It really is a strange world. Zoning laws are either non-existent or un-enforced, making these sort of large scale industrial disasters inevitable. But they literally shut down one of the world's premier cities because of one person tossing bombs and shooting randomly.

FDChief said...

Texas is like some sort of libertarian wet-dream, Ael; it really is wild and wooly. And as you'd suppose, the tendency is for people who have no power to push things in their own favor - like making sure that dangerous industries don't get plunked down (or their homes get built) next door - get pretty screwed.

But the lock-down for these Chechen Brothers is an emergency sort of thing; I suspect it'd happen in Texas, too - and that's assuming that a bunch of people didn't just get shot by armed rednecks for Being Arab in Public!

So I'm not sure the these are apples-to-apples.

Ael said...

I have have lived through quite a few days where a vicious armed murder was fleeing from police somewhere within 100 km of me.

I have never had a day where the *entire* city that I lived in was told to stay inside, lock their doors and cower in fear of that armed murderer.

Talk about terror force multiplication, sheesh.

Talk about institutional over-reach, and yet, you can't get a planning board to prevent a nursing home and a hospital within a 1000 feet of an industrial time bomb?

BigFred said...

Shitty parenting is shitty parenting/