Wednesday, February 10, 2016

1602 Water, Water Everywhere

1602  Water, Water Everywhere

Let’s do something different this time.  Let’s start with the quote of the day:

“...Water, water, everywhere/Nor any drop to drink.” --Samuel Taylor Coleridge in “The Rime of the Ancient Mariner” (1778.)

The ancient mariner faced problems unlike those of Flint, Michigan.  But you can’t drink seawater and you can’t drink Flintwater.  So the problems share a root.

In Flint, the problem is lead.  Lead in new brains can turn young children into hospital cases of abdominal pain and mental cases of the kind that damage for life.

Flint has become the poster city for lead in the water, but it’s not alone.

Flint has become the poster city for pennywise, pound foolish.  But it’s not alone on that one, either.

The city stopped buying water from Detroit… which is not exactly chemical free, and started draining the Flint River which is a swamp passed through lead pipes.  The stuff is yellow-orange when it enters the system and still yellow-orange when you turn on the tap.

“Oh, it’s perfectly safe” said Mayor George Orwell as he took a healthy slug from his bottle of Poland Spring. “Don’t worry about the color” said Public Works Director Giuseppe Pinocchio as he nursed his glass of Miller Lite. “It’s saving us a bundle” said Treasurer Kenneth Lay as he poured a glass of Perrier.

We have safe water laws in this country, right?  Well, sort of right.  There are thousands of systems and a good lot of them are not covered.  Loopholes abound for those that are covered.

Hard pressed municipalities skirt, ignore or disobey the laws.  If the water tests “okay,” or even looks and smells okay, who is going to notice?

Get away on the cheap.  Pumping contaminated water is a lot easier than, say, reducing costs by firing unnecessary political appointees in no-show jobs.

Priorities, folks.

It takes a situation like Flint’s to draw our attention.  But what about the other poisons in other systems?

We’ll leave out the fluoride debate because it’s too similar to the anti-vaxxer movement.  

But what happens when they dump too much chlorine at the pumping station and your water smells like a swimming pool? What happens in fracking country when you can set the water on fire?

The skinflints of Flint will have to fix this.  Of course, a lot of the damage has already been done and can’t be fixed.  Eight thousand kids with lead-addled brains.

And those are just the ones we know about.


--So what’s the message from the Bernie and Donald wins in New Hampshire?  Probably that Americans are fed up with the status quo, the phonies, panderers, incompetent morons we usually elect.  Or maybe it was just one state with a lot of enthusiasm for guys off the beaten path.

--The relatively sane Kasich came in a distant second in New Hampshire’s Republican primary.  Don’t expect that to happen again. If Crubioz combined their votes, Trump still would have won by a decent figure.

Coverage Note: MSNBC’s Brian Williams was a mere drone in Rachel Maddow’s bagpipe, and looked and acted like the kid who’s just learned he flunked algebra and had to take it for a third time in summer school.

I’m Wes Richards. My opinions are my own but you’re welcome to them. ®
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© WJR 2016

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