Cowboy Boots & Fire Codes….

Flag of TexasTexas has always prided itself on its free-market posture. It is the only state that does not require companies to contribute to workers’ compensation coverage. It boasts the largest city in the country, Houston, with no zoning laws. It does not have a state fire code, and it prohibits smaller counties from having such codes. Some Texas counties even cite the lack of local fire codes as a reason for companies to move there.

But Texas has also had the nation’s highest number of workplace fatalities — more than 400 annually — for much of the past decade. Fires and explosions at Texas’ more than 1,300 chemical and industrial plants have cost as much in property damage as those in all the other states combined for the five years ending in May 2012. Compared with Illinois, which has the nation’s second-largest number of high-risk sites, more than 950, but tighter fire and safety rules, Texas had more than three times the number of accidents, four times the number of injuries and deaths, and 300 times the property damage costs…..

“The Wild West approach to protecting public health and safety is what you get when you give companies too much economic freedom and not enough responsibility and accountability,” said Thomas O. McGarity, a professor at the University of Texas at Austin School of Law and an expert on regulation.

SOURCE:   After Explosion, Texas Remains Wary of Regulation – NYTimes.com.

The source article above is about the fertilizer plant that blew up a few months ago and killed many people in the area.  But the primary stimulant for this post was another article that showed that Texas is the number one State when it comes to nursing home abuse. They get a solid “F” in that area. Plainly speaking, they just seem to be more interested some self-perceived independence than they are about the safety and security  of their citizens.  Especially those who can’t take care of themselves.

Texas has always been a very confusing State to me. The mentality there seems to be all about bravado.  In order to avoid confusion here is the definition I am using for bravado: a pretentious, swaggering display of courage.  Synonyms –  brag, bluster, bombast. Many, including their most recent U.S. Senator are just too pretentious (I am trying to be polite by using this word) for me.

Texas just seems to be the ultimate dichotomy.  They are a glowing example of opposites. On the one hand they probably have more Christian mega-churches than any other State and they scream the loudest when it comes to certain Christian principles but they are also the execution capital of the world.  If they really held to their Christian principles they would understand the concept of  their bother’s keepers.  But instead they repeatably try to  repeal a health care law that would provide healthcare to 30 million of their brothers and have nothing to replace it with. They just seem to have no understanding of being a good Samaritan really means.

They elect the most radical of radicals to represent them in Washington.  Are the people themselves actually that much distanced from the rest of us.  Texas just plain confuses me? At times I kind of wish they would go off and form their own country as they frequently threaten….