The West, Texas, chemical and fertilizer plant where at least 15 people were killed and more than 200 injured a few weeks ago hadn’t been fully inspected by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration since 1985.
MSNBC host Chris Hayes explained on his program Thursday how the Bush administration—and specifically the former vice president’s son-in-law—played a critical role in defeating regulations that would have strengthened federal oversight of chemical plants like the one that exploded and killed 15 people in West, Texas, last week.
What must the others in the Middle East theater of the American Empire think of a great city in total lockdown from an attack by primitive explosives when Iraqis, Afghans, Pakistanis and Yemenis experience far greater casualties and terror attacks several times a week?
The political response to the Boston Marathon bombings suggests that we live in an age of shrink-wrapped, prepackaged opinions. When something new comes along, we hasten to squeeze it into whatever frameworks we were carrying around with us a day, a month or a year before.
The Department of Homeland Security monitors fertilizer plants with at least 400 pounds of potentially explosive ammonium nitrate. But apparently, it wasn’t even aware that the West, Texas, plant that exploded Wednesday, killing at least 14 people and obliterating a small town in the process, even existed.