Thursday, May 2, 2013

Lobbyists, politicians and owners responsible for deaths in West Texas explosion

by Richard Mellor

The efficiency that the authorities, (FBI, Homeland Security, police etc) showed in capturing the alleged Boston bombers is nothing less than remarkable.  It’s incredible what they can do nowadays, including pinpointing a “terrorist” in a pick up 6000 miles away and blowing them to bits, along with their family of course.

If only finding out who is responsible for the 14 deaths and massive destruction after the fertilizer plant exploded in West, Texas was so easy. Texas lawmakers, which means politicians form the two Wall Street parties, are trying to “..sort out who in the state is responsible for monitoring the safety of such plants like West Fertilzer Co…” the Wall Street Journal reports. How difficult can that be unless you don’t want to find out?

As is normally the case, a struggle of sorts has been taking place between various forces. Such anti-American elements like “Environmental groups and Unions..” have been pressuring the federal government to “mandate” new safety procedures. This is more of the same “big government” policies that are destroying the 1%’s way of life and is typical of these commie type organizations.

Fortunately the real Americans step to the plate.  “..agricultural and chemical lobbying groups have long opposed laws that would require it…”  the WSJ reports.  And it’s hard to argue with their reasoning, any such laws or safety measures, “..would be unnecessary, costly, or impractical.” Profit is king for these patriotic fellows.

That’s enough satirical humor about this tragic event, an act of terrorism on Texas soil. As I commented in a previous piece on this tragedy, government agencies like OSHA are a joke.  OSHA is a social service, just like public transportation or education; it’s “money out” for the coupon clippers and crowds them and private capital from the marketplace.  Dan Keeney, speaking for the Fertilizer company says that the company’s focus now “ on doing whatever we can to make sure this never happens in any community again.”

 Well, we’ve heard that before. And I shudder to think what 14 deaths and the destruction of homes has done to the psychology of this small rural community.  Even if he means it, Mr. Keeney cannot stop this happening again as it is a by-product of the market, as natural to it as the air we breathe. The capitalist system of production and the class that governs it is responsible.

The reason for this has already been explained in the quote above from those who make a living bribing the corporate politicians, “unnecessary” (profits), “costly” (profits), impractical, (profits). And in case the reader missed that the WSJ gives us a little more information.  A Democratic politician proposed legislation earlier this year that would have required, “….certain chemical facilities to adopt technologies to reduce the impact of an accident or terrorist attack.” Note the use of the word “accident” here.  The dictionary describes an “accident” as, among other things, chance, mishap, coincidence fate.  This tragedy was none of these; it was a product of conscious design.

The above politicians proposal, and it’s hard not to laugh at this were the results not so tragic,  “..wouldn’t apply if it impaired the facility operator’s business.” You can’t put it any clearer than that? Is that what the average American, what millions of workers and the owners of most community businesses would argue is sound judgment, good political and legal practices? Are you a commie and anti-American if you put the interests of an entire community above the right of a capitalist or group of capitalists, many of them nothing but clippers of coupons?  It appears you are. So be it.
West, Texas: not an accident

Even this weak-toothed attempt at safeguarding workers and our communities is opposed by the terrorists that represent big capital.  Mike Pomeo, a Kansas Republican has introduced a bill that would “…bar the EPA from imposing obligations on companies to use a particular approach to making and storing chemicals,” (“big government” again.)  The 1 percent’s politicians have waged a successful war against any restrictions on these companies. 

So despite investigators from the US Chemical Safety Board claiming that they found the “..damage in the areas surrounding the plant, ‘The worst we’ve seen at any accident site.’” , the culprits will  not be apprehended.  We know who they are, they could be found as quickly as the alleged Boston Bombers who were not able to inflict as much damage to American life and property.  They are lobbyists, bribers of all sorts, some higher ups in government regulatory agencies, owners of business and the US Chamber of Commerce.  We should remember as I wrote earlier that the US Chamber of Commerce opposed OSHA as worthless as it is. OSHA’s role (and not fault to the grunts that work there) is to tally up the dead after these things occur and issue a few citations.

We know who the politicians are that have used their positions to undermine the safety of our communities in the interest of profits. They are guilty.  But most of all is that the system is at fault.  Leaving aside whether we would actually need such chemically based fertilizers if human food production was not an industrialized for-profit venture, a major step toward reducing such tragedies along with other tragedies like the BP spill, is a strong and militant union presence on the job.  In this way, rank and file safety reps could shut down jobs and refuse to work whenever workers and our communities were in danger; no worker or middle class people would oppose such measures that protected their lives, homes and schools. There’s a reason for the misnamed “right to work” legislation. It’s actually the “right to profit”. The “right to exploit.”  And coerce.

We must call for the banning of all lobbyists as an independent political presence and build an independent political party of working people based on our organizations, our communities and the youth in the schools and colleges as an alternative to the two parties of the one percent.

We have no party of our own here in the US.  When a worker says he or she is a Democrat it means they vote Democratic, the Democratic Party is not a living active party with millions of workers in attendance in branches throughout the country. It is a thoroughly corrupt big business machine and millions of workers have drawn the correct conclusion that on the basics it doesn’t make much difference who they vote for and abstain from electoral politics in disgust. The Democratic Party was the party of slavery and is the only political party in human history that has dropped nuclear weapons on densely populated urban centers.

Through such independent political action, the major industries that are crucial to the production of our needs from food production to transportation can be taken under public ownership and management, and must include the storage houses of capital, the financial industry.  This is the only way free market terror like the death and destruction in West Texas can genuinely “never happen again”.

More on West, Texas explosion here  and here

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