Culture Matters

By Bill Maher

Another lesson we should take away from the recent carnage in the news is that culture matters. And not just when it comes to Muslims. I'm talking about the West, Texas fertilizer explosion. Fourteen people died. Over 160 injured. The accident arguably outstripped the marathon massacre, even though it would definitely make a much less interesting movie.

And now it turns out that the plant was storing 1,350 times the ammonium nitrate that would normally trigger government oversight. When a plant stores 400 pounds of the stuff, they need to let the DHS know. This place was storing 270 tons. 

Republicans always want to talk about the culture of gun violence that comes out of Hollywood. And the culture of anti-Americanism that comes out of the radical Muslim community. But what about the stupid, dangerous, culture of anti-regulation that comes out of the Republican Party, with guys like Governor Rick Perry at its epicenter?

Rick Perry’s first statement as a presidential candidate, in August, 2011 was this: We’re calling today on the president of the United States to put a moratorium on regulations across this country, because his regulations… are killing jobs all across America.”

When it become an article of faith, oft-repeated by powerful leaders, that businesses are over-regulated and the federal government is too nosey and that industry is being choked by stupid rules written by socialists who don't understand or like America, what's to stop some goobers from saying, “Yeah, who are they to tell me how I can and can't run my fertilizer bidness!?”

And then a town done gets blowed up.

We don't need more regulations in the wake of Waco. I'm not even sure we need more enforcement. We need a culture that respects our laws – even the ones written by Democrats. Texas is the epicenter of the entire “Let's shit on government” culture. It’s practically the only thing that Perry and Ron Paul agree on; the sweet spot where Jesused-up loons and libertarian wackos can come together and spout off. 

Did you hear the “boom!” that just destroyed the senior center, grandma? That was the sound of the free market doing its job.