Thursday, April 18, 2013

A Tale of Two Explosions

Small explosion:

Big explosion:

 Here's something you might want to know:

Budget for the Homeland Security Department:  $68.9 billion

Budget for OSHA:  $565 million

Budget for U.S. Chemical Safety Board: $11.4 million (request for next year)

$11.4 million, or less than a tenth of what Sheldon Adelson spent on buying elections this year.  This means that in the last five years, the Chemical Safety board has managed to inspect a grand total of six ammonia plants.

And yet, corporations and their largely Republican tools are constantly campaigning to destroy even these pathetic attempts to protect American workers, absurdly insisting that corporations are perfectly capable of protecting their workers (and are willing to lift a finger to do so.)

We are at war in this country.  We are at war with the greedy, sociopathic monsters who have taken control of most of the world's corporations, and who do us far more damage than terrorist can ever hope to do: mining disasters, oil spills, chemical plant explosions, and the endless round of injuries and deaths at under-regulated factories around the country. Over 4,600 people died on the job in 2011- or just about the number of American soldiers that were killed in the entire Iraq invasion.

And yet, though we managed to come up with over two trillion dollars to invade Iraq, we can't come up with any more than a few million to deal with this ongoing disaster:

"Chemical industry watchdog falls years behind on safety reports for deadly accidents...The number of board accident reports, case studies and safety bulletins has fallen precipitously since 2006...Chairman Rafael Moure-Eraso and managing director Daniel Horowitz say the board, which has a $10.55 million annual budget, is stretched thin.

“We’ve made innumerable proposals over the years … pointing out the significant discrepancy between the number of serious accidents and the ones that we can handle from a practical standpoint,” Horowitz said. Congress, he said, has been unwilling to come up with more money."

We are constantly exposed to this series of atrocities, while corrupt tools of the rich prevent anything being done about it, and while they cram down our throats endless screaming and fear mongering about what are really minor incidents, but which have the power to distract us from the real threats that face Americans in their daily lives.  Nearly 13 people die every day in the United States from industrial accidents, but they mean nothing compared to the three deaths that have the potential to stoke hatred around the country.  Destroying the power of the rich is the true battle for survival that we face, but instead we are going to spend our time obsessing about some jerk with a couple of pressure cookers.


the yellow fringe said...

And about 82 die every day in a hospital from mistakes and preventable infections, another 82 in hospitals and nursing homes from drug mix-ups, about 15 suicides a day of military vets, about 80 gun deaths murder/accident a day. All these, and all you listed can be prevented, but we ain't got time and can't afford it, cheaper to kill'em all off with passive inaction.

Green Eagle said...

And get people so afraid of the virtually nonexistent threat of Muslim terrorism that they don't have any time to think about the real things that put their lives in danger.

Anonymous said...

I guess 3000 who died on 9/11 was also a "small" explosion and relatively a small threat?

Green Eagle said...

Did I say that, Anonymous? Did I not write a piece a few days ago, before the Marathon bombing, about Muslim violence?

The fact still remains that there are 4600 workplace deaths a year in this country. There are over 10,000 gun deaths. And the number killed by the most preventable of causes, tobacco, numbers in the hundreds of thousands. Averaging it all together, we have less than three hundred deaths a year from Muslim terrorism, and the bulk of that (the 3,000 on 9-11 that you referred to) might have been prevented if your damned right wing President had done his job when warned over and over again about the threat.

And let us not forget that this episode would have ended last night in Watertown, and with one less police death, if these terrorists didn't have easy access to guns.