Russia Today TV, 19 April 2013
It always amazes me (and many others I expect) that no-one asks the right questions in these affairs. I was asked by RT to give my “expert analysis” of the health risk from the fumes produced by the explosion. Although my research and expertise is currently in the area of radiation risk, I was trained as a physical chemist, worked in pharmacology and do know something of the subject of the health effects of chemical exposures. I'll say something about that later. But whilst I waited for my slot on the RT news, I found certain critical facts entirely missing.
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If a tank of anhydrous ammonia exploded it would only release the pressure of the contained ammonia. There is not much energy in that. But one firefighter at the Texas site likened the explosion to that of an atom bomb, with hundreds of homes flattened. A brief trawl of the internet will show that this was an Ammonium Nitrate explosion. Any expert should know this. It is basic stuff. To labor the point: the severity of the explosion and its devastating effect was not due to the failure of a tank of liquid ammonia. It was due to the detonation of the product,
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I believe the answer is that for ammonium nitrate to explode, it has to be detonated with a detonator or with some major explosion. And this raises the question, in the week of the Boston bombings, of some individual having placed such a detonator into the store of ammonium nitrate. And the establishment absolutely do not want to start that particular hare running.
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Anyway, my question stands: why did we not hear about the explosive properties of ammonium nitrate? Why were we steered away to something that could not have been the cause? I will return to the issue of science and truth in the media in later articles where I will address the whole area of how Science is used to justify Policy rather than to influence it.
Phi Beta Iota: Emphasis above added. As a general statement, we consider over three quarters of the US Government to be good people trapped in a bad system doing the best they can; the last quarter consists of good people who have lost their intellectual and ethical compass and serve as enablers to the top 10% of politicians, political appointees (e.g. the Director of the FBI and the Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security) who are compromised by religion, ideology, or financial motivations that cause them to betray the public interest on a more or less full time basis. In other words, they are impeachable, but no one is asking the right questions. The FACT is that Charles Perrow has for decades told anyone willing to read his two seminal books that the USA is covered with industrial sites that are nuclear bombs in waiting — the chlorine tank above the highway leading from New Jersey into New York City is a memorable single example. One bomb there and you have chlorine gas wiping out hundreds of thousands if not over a million. The US Government lacks intelligence with integrity. It lacks counterintelligence. It lacks ethics. It lacks any semblance of responsibility to the public interest where it matters: in relation to public safety and the integrity of the political process and the financial system. The two party tyranny is the specific enabler of the religious, ideological, and financial corruption of the US Government at the political level, when conjoined with good-hearted public servants who lack the intelligence and integrity to police political traitors from moment to moment inside the system. The prices of the books below are well below market — a give-away. Recommended for all citizens with a brain.
Perrow, Charles (2011). The Next Catastrophe: Reducing Our Vulnerabilities to Natural, Industrial, and Terrorist Disasters. Priceton University Press.
Perrow, Charles (1999). Normal Accidents: Living with High-Risk Technologies. Princeton University Press.
Pierce, Charles (2010). Idiot America: How Stupidity Became a Virtue in the Land of the Free. Anchor.
Prins, Nomi (2013). It Takes a Pillage: An Epic Tale of Power, Deceit, and Untold Trillions. SWN Books
Scheer, Robert (2010). The Great American Stickup: How Reagan Republicans and Clinton Democrats Enriched Wall Street While Mugging Main Street. Nation Books.
Taibbi, Matt (2011). Griftopia: A Story of Bankers, Politicians, and the Most Audacious Power Grab in American History. Spiegel & Grau.
Taibbi, Matt (2009). The Great Derangement: A Terrifying True Story of War, Politics, and Religion. Spiegel & Grau.