We have yet another story of Texas freedom. Freedom to pollute, freedom to maintain unsafe workplaces, freedom to store hazardous wastes within a couple hundred feet of schools, daycare centers, and homes for the elderly, and other freedoms that make other states so envious of the Texas way, which is freedom.
A case in point is the Texas fertilizer plant explosion that killed at least 14 and injured 200, as well as destroying dozens of buildings. Granted, precise causes are still unknown and the damage is still being assessed. Nevertheless, it's become clear that, whatever the immediate cause of the explosion, and the plant may have been a menace to its workers and the town, but this was liberty at work, as the company was enabled by Texas freedom-style of regulation and oversight.
Research firm StateImpact Texas points out that at some points in 2012, the plant stored more than 100 times as much ammonium nitrate as Timothy (his religion wasn't important) McVeigh used in the Oklahoma City bombing. The plant, meanwhile, had no sprinklers or fire barriers, but had been burning wood pallets in recent months. Now, of course such a disregard for safety doesn't just create the conditions for fires and explosions, it also creates additional dangers for first responders, who did not have any way of knowing the scope of what they faced.
And, perhaps to some extent, those killed deserve to be remembered despite the fertilizer plant explosion having happened in the same week as the Boston Marathon bombing and the subsequent dramatic hunt for Dzhokhar Tsarnaev. Maybe not remembered as much as the Bostonians, because after all Boston was a marathon and it was televised. What is most galling to any patriotic American, however, is how the liberal media tries to put the fertilizer explosion on the same order of magnitude as the Boston bombing.
But of course they were very different. What separates these victims from one another? Okay not innocence, for they are all innocent, and they all deserve to be mourned (though we do not know how many of te first responders may have been unpatriotic union members). But does that mean we must pay less attention to the victims of terrorism than we do to the over 4,500 Americans killed each year while on the job? As former Secretary of Labor Hilda Solis once whined, “Every day in America, thirteen people go to work and never come home.” She never once talked about how these thirteen every day, like the thirteen Founding Fathers, died for freedom.
Fortunately, very little is ever said in public about the vast majority of so-called violent and unnecessary workplace deaths. And even when a spectacular tragedy manages to capture our collective attention—as the West explosion briefly did, as the Upper Big Branch Mine disaster did three years before—it is inconceivable that such an event would be constituted as a permanent emergency of world-historic proportions. Nor should it have been, as none of the Texas first responders were marathoners.
But whatever precise combination of accident and chemicals and lack of safety precautions caused the West explosion, chances are, as the liberal nabobs of negativity note, it was political in that it was made possible by a state government with intentionally freedom-based weak safety and environmental regulations and federal and state governments that spare our job-creating heroes from committing the disasters like this one as a reminder not of the recklessness with human life that our political and economic systems tolerate and even encourage. Rather, we should stress that workplace injuries and deaths is the basis of American, Texas-style freedom, literally unmatched by any other developed country in the world. We're number one, baby!