Tucson Progressive

Pamela Powers Hannley, a progressive voice for Arizona

Who Is Homeland Security Watching? Off-the-grid Fertilizer Plant vs On-the-Grid Citizenry

Last week was an outrageous news week for our country with the Boston Marathon bombings on Monday, the explosion at a Texas fertilizer plant on Wednesday, and the shoutout, manhunt, killing, and capture of the bomber brothers at the end of the week. Whew.

This Monday on MSNBC, Chris Hayes offered an interesting look back at these events. (Video link below.) During the week of the bombings, there was continuous coverage of the “terrorist attack” in Boston and continuous pundit chatter about terrorism, but relatively little coverage of the chemical plant explosion in West, Texas.

Apparently, workplace casualties caused by corporate neglect and lack of government oversight are not as sexy as pressure cooker bombers, even though, as Hayes pointed out, people are far more likely to be killed on the job than in a terror attack. Citing 2000-2010 data, Hayes reported that in that 10-year period, there were 3033 deaths from terrorist attacks, 60,394 workplace deaths, and 335,609 firearm deaths.

Given these statistics, it is ironic (and somewhat sad) to see what Congress has chosen to regulate. Not firearms and not workplace safety. They are working on further immigration regulations and further militarization of the border– just in case some of those Mexican laborers might be terrorists.

In a stunning omission of oversight, Hayes also reported that the Department of Homeland Security (DHS)– the same group that found the two Boston bombers in a matter of days– didn’t know the fertilizer plant in Texas existed! (Don’t they know about Google Earth?)

Quoting Reuters, Hayes further reported that the plant had “1300 times the amount of amonium nitrate fertilizer that would normally alert DHS” and “100 times more than the Oklahoma City bombing.”

So, who is DHS watching? Us. They’re watching real people– not corporate people.

Watch Chris Hayes here: Willfully off the Grid

2 comments on “Who Is Homeland Security Watching? Off-the-grid Fertilizer Plant vs On-the-Grid Citizenry

  1. Pingback: Federal Gov’t Spying on Citizens: Big Brother Really Is Watching | Tucson Progressive

  2. Pingback: Elk River Disaster: Lax Oversight Puts Citizens in Peril (video) | Tucson Progressive

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The Tucson Progressive: Pamela Powers Hannley

I stand on the side of Love. I believe in kindness to all creatures on Earth and the inherent self-worth of all individuals--not just people who agree with me or look like me.

Widespread economic and social injustice prompted me to become a candidate for the Arizona House, representing Legislative District 9 in the 2016 election. My platform focuses on economic reforms to grow Arizona's economy, establish a state-based public bank, fix our infrastructure, fully fund public education, growlocal small businesses and community banks, and put people back to work at good-paying jobs. I also stand for equal rights, choice, and paycheck fairness for women. I am running as a progressive and running clean.

My day job is managing editor for the American Journal of Medicine, an academic medicine journal with a worldwide circulation. In addition, my husband and I co-direct Arizonans for a New Economy, Arizona's public banking initiative. I am a member of the national board of the Public Banking Institute, and I am co-chair of the Arizona Democratic Progressive Caucus, the largest caucus of the Arizona Democratic Party.

I am a published author, photographer, videographer, clay artist, mother, nana, and wife. I have a bachelor's degree in journalism from Ohio State University and a masters in public health from the University of Arizona. I grew up in Amherst, Ohio, but I have lived in Tucson, Arizona since 1981. I am a proud member of the Unitarian Universalist Church of Tucson and the Public Relations Society of America.

My Tucson Progressive blog and Facebook page feature large doses of liberal ideas, local, state, and national politics, and random bits of humor. I also blog at Blog for Arizona and the Huffington Post.

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