Quantcast

«

»

Apr 20 2013

The wonders of fundamentalism + Rand Paul libertarianism in one simple image

West-texas-map

 

The middle school suffered severe fire damage. An apartment building adjacent the plant was completely leveled, killing about 15. See that tan circle off the northwest corner of the plant? That was a playground. A nursing home was within the blast radius and was completely leveled. You can see many more pictures of the damage here. Here’s our newest Senator, Ted Cruz, hard at work on the badly needed aid:

Raw Story — Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) says that he is prepared to make “all available resources” available from the federal government to assist in the recovery after an explosion at a fertilizer plant in Texas — but the senator voted against aid for victims of Hurricane Sandy earlier because he said it was “pork.”

There is a reason zoning laws exist, there’s a reason we have government aid. But Texas being Texas, apparently the “freedom” to set up shop next to a bomb trumps everything else—including the lives and properties of far too many in West. Because that free market magic has worked wonders all over the US.

35 comments

1 ping

Skip to comment form

  1. 1
    imthegenieicandoanything

    And there won’t even be moderate outrage about this in the media. It’ll be an “unavoidable tragedy” unless it’s really the President’s fault.

    Evil, stupid people doing stupid, evil things for their only evil, stupid reason: money.

  2. 2
    franciscodanconia

    “So you think that money is the root of all evil? Have you ever asked what is the root of money? Money is a tool of exchange, which can’t exist unless there are goods produced and men able to produce them. Money is the material shape of the principle that men who wish to deal with one another must deal by trade and give value for value. Money is not the tool of the moochers, who claim your product by tears, or of the looters, who take it from you by force. Money is made possible only by the men who produce. Is this what you consider evil?”

  3. 3
    Joe Shirederby

    Although some homes were close by when the fertilizer facility opened, a subdivision, schools and a nursing home were built near the plant in subsequent years.

    http://openchannel.nbcnews.com/_news/2013/04/19/17818046-texas-fertilizer-plant-also-stored-explosive-chemical-used-in-oklahoma-city-bomb?lite

  4. 4
    Stephen "DarkSyde" Andrew

    Pursuit of money is definitely the cause of a lot of evil. One of the main reasons we have laws is to protect us from the evil done for monetary gain. It’s not the sole cause though; religious fervor, pursuit of money’s wicked step sister power, even raw hunger or raw lust can fuel very bad deeds.

  5. 5
    composer99

    franciscodanconia:

    Spare us the moralizing.

    Money is a tool. Like any tool people can use it for good or for ill. Unlike other tools, though, people are prepared to do evil just to get more of it.

    And that oh-so-noble “producing” can be just as evil and iniquitous as anything you care to denounce.

  6. 6
    lpetrich

    Francisco d’Anconia is a character in Ayn Rand’s novel “Atlas Shrugged”, a novel about how the bourgeoisie (governments and “moochers” and “looters”) are so, so mean to the proletariat (heroic business leaders, the real producers of society).

  7. 7
    nich

    Saying the L word is like saying Beetlejuice three times! It took less comments than I have fingers (and Franny has IQ points) before somebody showed up and vomited Ayn Rand all over this thread. Who, by the way, couldn’t fucking stand libertarians either.

  8. 8
    Marcus Ranum

    C’mon, the invisible hand of the market will make it economically unfeasable for people to build schools near explosive plants in the future. Problem solved!

  9. 9
    Marcus Ranum

    “So you think that money is the root of all evil?

    Strawman argument. Do you see anyone here saying money is the root of all evil? I don’t. I see someone pointing out that people often do stupid things for money but that’s different. What they are doing is stupid things in order to gain advantage (money) socially.

    Have you ever asked what is the root of money? Money is a tool of exchange, which can’t exist unless there are goods produced and men able to produce them.

    Hey, guns don’t kill people, people do. Same reasoning.

    Money is the material shape of the principle that men who wish to deal with one another must deal by trade and give value for value.

    So are you saying you think all trades should be equitable? I.e: value for value? Because that is probably not in accordance with the rest of your ‘argument’. Would you like to take back that move?

    Money is not the tool of the moochers, who claim your product by tears, or of the looters, who take it from you by force. Money is made possible only by the men who produce. Is this what you consider evil?”

    You’re not taking it far enough; simply leaving things there leads you toward marxism or socialism. I.e.: money is a means of exchange that should be fair based on the means of production. By “looters” are you referring to the capitalists, who use their established economic leverage to gain goods from the means of production using their advantage? If so, I do agree with you. But somehow I suspect you’re actually positioning yourself to blame the victims of economic injustice for being on the receiving end of an inherited bad deal. Am I right?

  10. 10
    Joe Shirederby

    So, are any of you interested in addressing my inconvenient statement of fact?

  11. 11
    SallyStrange

    Which fact is supposed to be inconvenient and why?

  12. 12
    AsqJames

    If franciscodanconia is quoting accurately from Atlas Shrugged, then Ayn Rand is quoting inaccurately from the bible which says (1 Timothy 6:9-10):

    (8)(9)But those who want to get rich fall into temptation and a snare and many foolish and harmful desires which plunge men into ruin and destruction. (10)For the love of money is a root of all sorts of evil, and some by longing for it have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs.

    Now there’s many problems with this (natch – it’s from the bible). But what the author is trying to articulate is something people of all religions and none mostly agree on: a disproportionate focus on gaining material wealth (however it’s measured – land, gold, little green pieces of paper) can create all sorts of problems.

    People who quote it as “money is the root of all evil” have it wrong in two very significant ways. First, it’s not money itself, but “the love of money”. In other words, gaining as much wealth as possible purely for the sake of the wealth rather than what you can do with it. Second, it doesn’t say it’s the root of all evil, it says “all sorts of evil”. In other words, that “love of money” can cause many different problems. What it doesn’t say is that there are no evils which can’t be traced back to that love for money.

    As Jefferson said, there are diamonds in that dunghill. Apart from the bit about faith, this is one of them.

  13. 13
    Parse

    Joe, there’s nothing inconvenient about your statement. The same zoning laws that prevent a fertilizer plant from being built next to my home also prevent a developer from building housing in an industrial park. It’s those same laws that would prevent an industrial accident like this in my state from becoming the tragedy this has turned into.

  14. 14
    left0ver1under

    But Texas being Texas, apparently the “freedom” to set up shop next to a bomb trumps everything else—including the lives and properties of far too many in West.

    You obviously don’t understand. Under the Randian Capitalist System (Rand Paul, that is), the people responsible for the injuries and deaths are the people who were hurt or killed, not the company that killed them.

    It’s the same sort of capitalism that used to exist only in other countries (Dow Chemical in Bhopal, India) but now has been brought to the US (see also: unsafe mining practices and increasing numbers of deaths among American miners).

  15. 15
    Marcus Ranum

    So, are any of you interested in addressing my inconvenient statement of fact?

    Because you were a lazy fuck and just posted a link, which (for all I know) might be a spam to malware, I didn’t follow it. So, lacking any effort on your part to actually make a statement, I responded to your laziness by ignoring you, until you followed up with a plaintive whine.

    Please don’t bother addressing my inconvenient statement.

  16. 16
    gardengnome

    When I first heard of the explosion/s at West I went looking for it on Google Earth to see how far out of town the plant was. I didn’t find it – because the last place I thought of looking was in the centre of the bloody town itself!

    If the plant was there first it seems extraordinary that, given the well-known association of fertilizer with large bangs, homes and even schools were permitted in such close proximity.

    Even so, the really disturbing thing was in the link at the end of the post… Very disappointing to see Australia and the UK so far down the list.

  17. 17
    Enopoletus Harding

    1. Rand Paul is not a libertarian.
    2. @AsqJames
    -So you couldn’t be bothered to read any further in d’Anconia’s speech?
    “Or did you say it’s the love of money that’s the root of all evil? To love a thing is to know and love its nature. To love money is to know and love the fact that money is the creation of the best power within you, and your passkey to trade your effort for the effort of the best among men. It’s the person who would sell his soul for a nickel, who is loudest in proclaiming his hatred of money–and he has good reason to hate it. The lovers of money are willing to work for it. They know they are able to deserve it.”
    Rand wasn’t quoting anything. She was paraphrasing.
    3. @left0ver1under
    -Something of a straw man. All libertarians agree that restitution is required for property damage.

  18. 18
    Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden

    All libertarians agree that restitution is required for property damage.

    And for loss of life!!!

    You know, sorry I killed you, here’s a dollar. Whoops! Can’t use it? Well, it’s economically inefficient to give it to you then.

    Making this about property compensation is obscene. What is wrong with you?

  19. 19
    mudskipper

    Libertarians are spectacularly tone-deaf when they treat injury and loss of life as if it were property damage. They also just can’t seem to understand why most people consider suing a company for the loss of child’s life to be very poor exchange for preventing that loss in the first place.

  20. 20
    some bastard on the internet

    @Joe Shirederby

    The story you linked to says that the fertilizer plant that exploded was also holding a fuckton of ammonia nitrate, but it supposedly wasn’t properly reported.

    Zing’s post was about how Texas (specifically, Waco county) doesn’t have intelligent zoning regulations capable of preventing schools from being built next to a time bomb.

    How exactly was your “fact” an inconvenient one?

  21. 21
    Joe Shirederby

    Joe, there’s nothing inconvenient about your statement. The same zoning laws that prevent a fertilizer plant from being built next to my home also prevent a developer from building housing in an industrial park. It’s those same laws that would prevent an industrial accident like this in my state from becoming the tragedy this has turned into.

    1. The same government that controls the zoning laws made the conscious decision to build not one but two schools adjacent to a fertilizer distribution center.

    2. The developers of the nursing home et al. consciously chose to build next to a distribution center, and the residence to live their, as is their right. And it’s not a particularly crazy decision, I might add, as according to the NBC news article to which I linked, there are between 5 and 6 thousand similar facilities in the US, which don’t seem to be blowing up left and right.

    Because you were a lazy fuck and just posted a link, which (for all I know) might be a spam to malware, I didn’t follow it. So, lacking any effort on your part to actually make a statement, I responded to your laziness by ignoring you, until you followed up with a plaintive whine.

    Please don’t bother addressing my inconvenient statement.

    If I am a lazy fuck, then I guess you’re an illiterate fuck, as I quoted the article before I linked to it.

    And apparently a paranoid fuck, too, because the link was to NBC News.

    I presume a “Chief Security Officer” can handle whatever threats that infamously malware-ridden site poses.

  22. 22
    objdart

    I am all kinds of a fuck. But zoning is one of the really great advancements of our species.

  23. 23
    Crissa

    Texas doesn’t do zoning, duh.

    Why this is inconvenient to those saying that they should – as it would have prevented this tragedy – I don’t know. Because it totally would have.

    Saying that a right-wing government was obviously at fault therefore government doesn’t work is ass-backwards. Of course it didn’t prevent this, that’s part of the design of right-wing governance.

  24. 24
    georgewiman

    @#20 Joe

    The same lack of government that controls the zoning laws made the conscious decision to build not one but two schools adjacent to a fertilizer distribution center.

    FTFY. Zoning is a form of regulation, is it not? And one that Texas conspicuously eschews. They’d have a fit if anyone said; “You can’t build there, it’s a fertilizer plant and sometimes they are dangerous.”

  25. 25
    mikeyb

    Liberturds of the world unite, leave and find some other country to fuck up for a change. Alan Greenspan alone was enough damage for a lifetime (and all the countless mental midgets who get off on reading Ayn Rand).

  26. 26
    Ben P

    Although it’s largely irrelevant, I do feel obligated to point out that almost no small towns of this size in rural areas even have zoning laws.

    I live in a small town in a rural farming area, I actually like it here, and I have a small house on about an acre of land, my little subdivision (using the word loosely) is sandwiched between two sets of agricultural fields.

    Between me and the highway and bordering my lot is a car/farm machinery repair place.
    About two days ago crop dusters spraying the nearby fields were definitely over-spraying as they started their runs immediately over my house. There’s a fertilizer plant here too, as well as some grain processing plants, but they’re at the other end of town. They do also have houses by them.

    It’s a drawback, but if I were to go and complain about it I’d get laughed at.

  27. 27
    georgewiman

    We’re surrounded by small communities here in central Illinois, and this is true. But suburban zoning rules tend to be for aesthetic/economic reasons and that’s fine for the very fussy-at-heart. Perhaps it would be worth coming up with some common-sense rural zoning rules based only on safety.

  28. 28
    left0ver1under

    Enopoletus Harding (#17)

    Do you take everything literally in life, or only when you’re trying to pretend something was there that wasn’t?

  29. 29
    Enopoletus Harding

    @mikeyb

    Alan Greenspan alone was enough damage for a lifetime (and all the countless mental midgets who get off on reading Ayn Rand).

    -Find me a single libertarian who supported Greenspan’s loose credit policy.
    @left0ver1under
    -What are you referring to? I don’t think I pretended “something was there that wasn’t”.

  30. 30
    Raging Bee

    To love a thing is to know and love its nature.

    Love and understanding don’t always go together. If you libertards got out more, you’d understand this. You’d also understand that loving one thing doesn’t do any good if it’s the only thing you love.

    And thats’ only scratching the surface of libertarian stupidity and utter lack of common sense.

    The developers of the nursing home et al. consciously chose to build next to a distribution center…

    Was that really a conscious and considered choice, or was it dictated by “market forces” such as the relative cheapness of land near a facility containing huge amounts of dangerous substances? You libertards can’t seem to decide whether people make choices, or just respond like good little automatons to “invisible hands” and “market forces.”

    Libertarian doublethink is more destructive to our country than al Qaeda could ever be.

  31. 31
    Raging Bee

    Find me a single libertarian who supported Greenspan’s loose credit policy.

    That’s easy: Alan Greenspan. (Or is he married?) You’re welcome.

  32. 32
    Raging Bee

    Actually, Stephen, you’d do better to sum this up in two images: before and after.

  33. 33
    Smartalek Smartalek

    What goes unrepresented in that image (and I’d have a hard time seeing how one could properly represent in any photograph) is the superhuman level of hypocrisy involved in the Publican pols from West in particular, and Texas in general, who have the temerity to ask the productive taxpayers of the northeast and mid-Atlantic states to cough up our hard-earned tax-dollars to help out the people of West who are hurting from an entirely preventable, human-induced catastrophe, when just a few months ago, they tried to deny us any federal aid for dealing with the aftermath of a “natural” catastrophe (which was, in fact, almost surely amplified by the very global warming whose existence those same pols deny, and the abatement of which they constantly work against — but that’s a whole ‘nother rant).
    Fortunately for them, and for their constituents, we’re not a$$h0les as they are (or at least nowhere near the same extent or magnitude), and are happy to help out our fellow citizens when they’re in trouble — even trouble they clearly brought on themselves with their ludicrous ideologies, and yes, even when they’ve selfishly denied us the same courtesy.

  34. 34
    chrislawson

    Maybe my memory is playing tricks with me, but I seem to remember Alan Greenspan being considered an Exemplar Among Libertarians up to about 2006, and after 2010 he evolved quite rapidly into a No True Libertarian.

  35. 35
    Rip Steakface

    @33

    Don’t generalize that thoroughly. For one, the most obvious overgeneralization there is the fact that California =! the entire West of the country. I live in Washington, and that’s on the same longitude as California. Second, Democrats control every coastal state here, along with Colorado and New Mexico. If you want to blame Texas’ bizarre government, go ahead, but don’t splash us with the hate-paint.

  1. 36
    Our joyous Libertarian future » Pharyngula

    [...] Oh, look at it’s prime location: [...]

Leave a Reply