The Train to Nowhere Except Trouble

Posted on February 27, 2023


On February 3, a 150-car train transporting 20 cars that contained hazardous substances, when 38 cars derailed about 50 miles northwest of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, in a town called East Palestine, Ohio (population 5000.) Days after the crash, officials burned off chemicals carried by the train in an effort to avoid a potential explosion. That fire created a billow of dark smoke over East Palestine, and pictures of it spread on social media.

Conservative talk media jumped on it, calling it “a new Chernobyl,” saying that mainstream media was not covering the event, declaring that the derailment was due to the fault of the federal government, and accusing Biden of going to Ukraine solely because he didn’t give a shit about Ohio.

EPA community air monitoring readings did not detect any contaminants of concern.  On February 8, the evacuation order, in place since the day after the crash, was lifted. On February 19, the EPA declared that East Palestine’s municipal well water sample results showed no water quality concerns.

While this was going on, marine life continued to marine as usual, unaware that 115,580 gallons of vinyl chloride, a flammable and toxic gas used to make PVC pipe had been released into the air. A number of other materials known to cause health risks – including vinyl chloride, ethylhexyl acrylate, butyl acrylate, and ethylene glycol Mono butyl ether – were released into the air, surface soils, and surface waters .Affected marine animals had no access to either media reports or any EPA testing.

Humans began wondering if their own safety was being impacted. Most had checked their arsenals of weapons when the train first derailed, and then, having assured themselves that their firearms were in good working order, turned their attention to their non-gun-related health. To address the medical concerns of area residents, some of whom reported developing rashes, headaches, nausea and trouble breathing, the Ohio Department of Health opened a “health assessment clinic” on Feb. 21.

Word was that there was no evidence non-aquatic species suffering from the derailment. But some residents of the surrounding area have suggested that pets or livestock have been affected by the chemicals released in the crash.

“To this date, there is nothing we’ve seen in the livestock community that causes any concerns to the state,” Dr. Dennis Summers, chief of the Ohio Department of Agriculture’s Division of Animal Health, said at the press conference. He explained that anyone who is concerned that pets or livestock have died as a result of the chemicals released in the crash should contact their veterinarian, who can send samples to the state lab for testing. So far, they have received one sample.

 The estimated animal death toll (mostly all from marine animals) as the result of the Ohio train derailment now tops 43,700. LBL has absolutely no idea how one begins to count 43,7000 deceased marine animals, some of whom are really tiny.

Blame, like glitter spilled by a grandchild on Life in the Boomer Lane’s dining room table, keeps multiplying. Lots of people are dumping on Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg, for having caused this entire thing or of having mishandled it, once it happened.

Ex-POTUS’s eldest son is known for keeping his finger both on the pulse of national events and on the trigger of either his modified Remington Model 700 rifle, or AR-platform semiautomatic rifle, when in the vicinity of endangered big game, his targets of choice. Two days ago, Baby Trump accused Buttigieg of having screwed up everything, and having had no qualifications for a cabinet position except for that of being gay. Buttigieg is a graduate of Harvard University and Oxford, where he was a Rhodes Scholar and completed a degree in philosophy, politics, and economics. He served in the US military and was a two term mayor of South Bend, Indiana. Baby Trump’s own resume, aside from killing endangered species, has amounted mostly to following in dad’s footsteps of non-military service and getting into Wharton on a legacy admission. While at Wharton, he did make a name for himself. A classmate recalls “Every memory I have of him is of him stumbling around on campus falling over or passing out in public, with his arm in a sling from injuring himself while drinking.” Needless to say, women were advised to stay as far away from him as possible.

Baby’s Daddy recently visited East Palestine himself, tossing 13-year-old bottles of “Trump Water” out into the crowd. He told the folks gathered that, no matter what awful things might occur in future from the chemical spill (or drinking old water), to hold tightly onto their guns and always remember that the 2020 election was stolen. Those people not knocked unconscious from flying bottles, applauded enthusiastically.

Neither conservative talk radio nor the GOP in general nor people who shoot endangered species nor those who throw water bottles at people’s heads, have mentioned that during the Trump administration, there was a general rollback of several safety measures for railways, including regular safety audits and an Obama-era rule that required faster brakes on trains carrying flammable materials. Those measures were part of a broader agenda of deregulation under Trump, who repeatedly sought to loosen restrictions and Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) standards.

In order to get at the truth about this whole thing, LBL reached the spokesfish for the National Association of Ohio Sealife. They had this to say: “We’ve lost about 38,222 minnows, along with an additional 5,500 species, including fish, amphibians, crayfish and others. To you, this might seem like no big deal, since it’s just in a really boring part of the country. But to us, it’s family. We’ve already heard reports about the billions of family members around the planet dead from climate change. One hundred million marine animals die each year from plastic waste alone. Add to that climate change and pollution, and you are looking at the extinction of all marine life. We are like the Native Americans who knew that the Europeans were about to wipe them out but, like them, we have no way to stop it.”

The spokesfish continued, “We know that the EPA blah blah blahs that everything is safe for humans. But, let me tell you, you guys need to watch out. There are many sources that are noting lingering symptoms and illnesses in the human population. The clinic established for this porpoise (Sorry, I couldn’t resist that) has been booked solid. And if you believe that the air is now chemical-free, then I have a bridge to sell you. I’m embarrassed to use this old line, but we fish don’t have access to popular media.”

LBL will leave you now to think about all this, not least of which is how she got a fish to talk to her. Some of her abilities will remain private.

Posted in: current events