How different the explosions in Boston and West, Texas, and our reactions to them.   

Here is a quote from Amy Goodman:
“The first blast in Boston occurred behind a line of fluttering flags from around the world, reflecting the international stature of the oldest annual marathon in the country – flags that reminded me once again of the words of Howard Zinn:

    There is no flag large enough to cover the shame of killing innocent people.”

The blood in Boston is on the hands of one or two people, driven beyond the bounds by some extreme ideology or twisted personal thinking, we assume.  Tiny drops from West are on all of our hands.  Nitrogen fertilizer was responsible for the largest industrial accident in US history, in Texas City 66 years ago.  Fertilizer has made cheap food for the US possible, and fed most of the world, except Africa.  It has also polluted more than half of the rivers in the US, created a growing dead zone in the Gulf of Mexico, and sickened the Potomac River and Chesapeake Bay, among others.  And more people die in the US every year from industrial accidents than have died from terrorism since 1970.

Maybe it’s too uncomfortable for us to think that the factory (or the coal mine, or the power plant) next door, that employs our neighbors or friends, or even us, and supplies, directly or indirectly, our electricity and our food, is more dangerous than terrorists.  But it is true, and maybe we need to be working more to prevent death by changing the way we do things every day.