Terrible tragedy in Texas today. A woman died falling from a roller coaster. My heart goes out to the family. Unfortunately, this is not the first time Six Flags in Texas has had a fatality. Won't be the last.
Rick Perry, the anti-regulation asshat who thought it was just peachy to put an explosive fertilizer plant right next to a school and playground, is silent on today’s tragedy.
To be clear, there is no federal oversight of theme parks. The industry is very powerful and convinced Congress they can police themselves, which they do along with being allowed to withhold information on all but the most serious injuries.
But states are allowed to impose their own inspections. Almost all of them do. Only a handful: Utah, Alabama, South Dakota and Mississippi, still don't. Texas used to be a member of this red state intelligentsia but relented under public pressure (back when they cared about the public) and agreed to inspect rides once a year under the TDI, the Texas Department of Insurance.
Not all rides, mind you. Go-karts, bounce houses, sure. But high-speed racing machines? Nope. Even though they have killed.
Safety is not a priority for regulation in Texas. Freedom and stuff.
But if you are a poor woman in Texas? Texas legislators are all over you.
Unless you have lived under a rock, you heard that Texas just passed a law that will force dozens of clinics to close. These poor women rely on these clinics for mammograms, STD tests or cancer screenings; but they will be shut out because of legislators want them shut down over 3% of their services. And what of reproductive freedom? Forget it. The new regulations, which were opposed by every doctor group including the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, now force the procedure to take much longer and add medically unnecessary doctor visits.
These draconian measures will not end abortion, but it will force women who are now in some cases 900 miles from an abortion clinic or are too poor to afford one to turn to the black market abortion-inducing pills at flea markets.
Oh, and you now have 20 weeks. No medical reason, just another arbitrary regulation just to make it harder for you. If a girl is raped and held hostage like the ones in Cleveland, she would be forced to give birth now under Texas law.
And if you have any question of the stupidity of the priorities of these legislators, look no further than the day the vote was held. Women were forced to hand over feminine products because they might have caused a “disruption”… (can’t think of any other reason a woman would have one.) But firearms? Those were allowed in, of course.
The one thing I can promise you is there will be no examination, much less any state legislation, concerning the inadequate inspections of theme park and carnival rides in Texas. Just as there were no calls in the state legislature for zoning even after the tragic deaths in West, TX. You see, the GOP Texas conservatives don’t care about life, don’t care about safety, and sure as hell don’t care about helping poor folks.
They care about controlling sex.
That is what gets special sessions in Texas. That is what gets regulated in Texas.
Apparently the only thing they want to regulate.