The Austin American Statesman today published a frank review of the Texas rules on disclosure of chemical storage “Information scarce on chemical plant blasts — just like Texas wanted“. I wrote about this issue precisely back in “The Texas Freedom Illusion” and after the “West Disaster” report. In essence, under the veil of “security”, Governor Abbott has effectively just stopped individual Texans from finding out about these storage facilities, and in the same way as you are much more likely to be shot by a gun owning family member, than a jihadi; you are much more likely to get killed, … Continue reading You get what you want in Texas
What the West report tells us is that 33(83% of the total) facilities in Texas that store fertilizer grade ammonium nitrate still are located within a quarter mile of homes. Apart from weakening the reporting and classification requirements, the only substantive thing Governor Abbott has done is to remove your right to find out if you live near a storage location. Continue reading Go, West!
The primary difference being, as the updated NY Times article on Tianjin chemical storage shows, there were public records about chemical storage in China, not so much Texas. Freedom is an illusion. Continue reading China, still not big or bad enough
If Governor-elect Abbott continues like State Attorney General Abbott, Texas will be seen increasingly like a 3rd world banana Republic, than a first world economy and US super state. In the modern connected world, successful governments and organizations thrive on openness and transparency. The people don’t need to be told everything all the time, they do though have both the right and have the confidence to know their government and politicians are acting lawfully. Continue reading Freedom of Information, your Texas?
It’s been an interesting month. I live in Austin Texas, boom town USA. Everything is happening in construction, although nothing much in transport. In many ways Austin reminds me of rapidly developing cities in China, India and other developing countries. I’ve travelled some inside Texas, but most on I10 and out East. I’ve tended to dismiss what I’ve seen in small towns, mostly because I figured they were unrepresentative. Earlier this month I did my first real US roadtrip. I had my Mum with me for a month and figured a week or so out of the heat of Texas … Continue reading Decaying Texas
Governor Perry is well known for his brags that “the Lone Star State’s winning mix of low taxes, reasonable regulatory structure, fair court system and world-class workforce has been paying dividends” and bringing business to Texas, even when it isn’t true. For the day to day Texan, their freedom is becoming increasingly an illusion too. To have real freedom, you need choice. Increasingly Texans have no freedom, because they have no choice. This week, Attorney General Abbott confirmed the ban of releasing information to the public as Tier II reports in the 1986 Emergancy Planning and Community Right to Know Act … Continue reading The Texas Freedom Illusion
And says FU to Texas water users. Attorney general Abbott knows the law, if nothing else. Texas is a property rights state, along with which come a number of other rights, not normally recognized as either good for the Commons, or not allowed by law in a modern democracy. Those rights include everything under the property, which would obviously include oil gas shale, but in this instance include water. Abbott must like a green lawn, we all do, but for the most part it has become impractical and should be unaffordable to waste water on a lawn. In what are … Continue reading Abbott, leads by example
to 1010 Colorado St, Austin, TX I’ve seen it many times over the years in business. A new guy shows up, he was unexpected. He seems fine at first and then he starts cleaning house, reorganising, people get fired, departments get cut and before you know it, he is gone. Paid off handsomely, publicly, because they wanted his silence, privately because he’d done his job, he was Leon, The Professional. What happens next is the old guard regroup, they step out of the shadows and everything goes just the way they wanted it. The hired guy was the fall guy, the … Continue reading The long traveled road…