Over the past several weeks I have accumulated a half-dozen news stories about how wonderful government is for those under its thumb. Or should I say “governments” and “their thumbs.”
Over the next week or so, I want to look at the truly great (still being sarcastic, folks!) benefits we have from Excessive Government, using those stories.
Big, excessive government is bad for your health, your privacy, your pocketbook…. And the planet.
Consider Los Angeles County and the City of Carson in California.
In a story republished by Newsbreak from the Guardian, we read about the “stench of death” which has made life miserable and even dangerous for people who live near a drainage ditch. A stench due to hydrogen sulfide, among other things. Now, hydrogen sulfide (H2S) is one of the most deadly gases known to man. It can kill swiftly and with little warning. According to the story the local environmental health agency measured 7 ppm (parts per million). Is that bad? Oh, yes! While H2S is immediately fatal when concentrations are over 500-1000 parts per million (ppm), exposure to lower concentrations, such as 10-500 ppm, can cause various respiratory symptoms that range from rhinitis to acute respiratory failure. If the health department found it at 7 ppm, you can be certain that there are places in an urban area that have HIGHER levels. H2S is heavier than air – it periodically kills workers in sewer trenches, pits, and old mines.
But what did the health agency do? They moved some people into hotels, but others? The government gave them air purifiers! (Which can be effective IF they are the right type – and if you are wearing them in a mask.)
But why did this danger develop? Because there was a fire in a warehouse in which “vast amounts” of chemicals were stored. While the various fire departments battled the fire “for days,” even MORE vast amounts of water was sprayed and poured onto the burning building. Which drained OUT of the burning structure into the drainage channel. A really STUPID mistake on the part of the fire departments: the GOVERNMENT fire departments. The chemicals killed all the plants and waterlife in the canal, which quickly rotted and created the H2S. Because of stupid failure to develop plans and carry out the right methods of dealing with the fire.
BUT – let us add more to the dismal performance of government. What were the chemicals that were drained into the water by the firefighters? Well, the story says that the city and the county are suing the companies in the warehouse because they were “illegally storing” huge quantities of HAND SANITIZER and ANTIBACTERIAL WIPES! I’m not sure why having ANY quantity of these things stored would be illegal. BUT I do know (almost certainly) why those companies were storing those things. Because of government mandates about washing hands and wiping down surfaces to battle COVID-19.
In other words, it was the actions of various governments that created the unsafe conditions which caused an unsafe act (whatever started the fire) to trigger a royal mess. Which was then made worse by OTHER government agencies. And dealt with ineffectively – immediately followed by a massive government effort to blame the victims of the fire, and rouse the victims of government into becoming a mob ready to back up government and NOT see government as the cause.
The major problem the companies in the warehouse had? Trust in the government. To do things right, and to not look for scapegoats. Those companies did not pour all that contaminated water into a channel: it was government-run and -paid firefighters that did so. The companies had no control over it. And what is now illegal was encouraged and promoted by government at every level to deal with a pandemic that they created a panic over.
We’ll look at another example in a few days.