The water situation in flint started in 2014 when the source of city’s drinking water was changed to the Flint River. Due to the inadequate water treatment, over 100,000 inhabitants were exposed to a high levels of lead contamination. After a team of scientific researchers confirmed the presence of lead in the water supply system, a federal state of emergency was announced in January 2016 and Flint inhabitants were told to use only bottled or distilled water for drinking, cooking, cleaning, and bathing. In addition to the long-term epidemic, a lot of lawsuits have been filed against Flint and Michigan leaders, and millions of dollars will be needed to address the situation and reconstruct the water-pipe system.
In January 2016, the U.S. government promised $80 million grant to the state of Michigan, to rebuild the of Flint’s water-supply system infrastructure. In February 2016, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services declared that $500,000 would be made available to two Flint-area health centers to help fight the problems caused by the tainted water.
There’s more than the lead contamination in Flint’s Water. In addition to endangering the lives of every child in the city every day, there appear to be other diseases which may soon suffice in the months ahead. Moreover, the number of cases of Legionnaires Disease in Flint has risen tenfold since the water supply source was changed to the flint river. 87 people have come down with it, and at least 10 have died. In the five years before the river water, not a single person in Flint had died of Legionnaires Disease. Doctors are now discovering that another half-dozen toxins are being found in the blood of Flint’s residents, which may be a sign of an impending epidemic.
At the top of the list is the ongoing health issues which about 6,000 to 12,000 kids may have to cope with. Nobody can foretell what those problems may be, but high levels of lead susceptibility have been linked to developmental and behavioral dilemmas in kids and issues related to brain function. It may likely take a long time before all of the problems suffices, but the concerns are real and devastating for all of the affected families.
However, with just $100 per day, this crisis could have been averted. The federal law states that the water systems passing through lead pipes must have an additive that seals the lead into the pipe to prevents it from percolating into the water. Someone at the beginning suggested to the Governor that they add this anti-corrosive material to the water flowing out of the Flint River. Then the question “How much would that cost? was asked “$100 per day for three months,”. I guess that was too much, so, to save $9,000, the state government refused, and as a result, the state government may now have to pay up to of $1.5 billion to fix the epidemic.
The Politics of Insanity in America
As of early 2017, the water had supposedly returned to satisfactory levels in Flint; however, residents were told to continue to use bottled or distilled water until all the lead pipes have been repaired, which is expected to be completed no sooner than 2020. This illustrates just how insane basic politics has become in America: publicly, they may say something is complete, finished, or safe, but in all actuality, that is just a PR stunt.
We see this time and time again with the Trump administration, for instance, which is one PR stunt after another. Everything is done to put on airs, not to actually serve the public or the will of the people. With the recent bombing run in Syria, we learned that each missile fired costed the country about $1.59 million a pop. The bombing used 59 of these missiles. You can do the math.
Here’s the rub: to completely upgrade Flint’s infrastructure and get clean water flowing back into the city, it would cost about 55 million. So you can see where the priorities lie in government. This is what happens when you give the control to people who don’t have a progressive mindset. Serving people, building communities, helping others: these are subjects that narcissists and con men don’t exactly care about, to say the least. To think this kind of money would be set aside by the Federal Government for the sake of making sure a city has drinkable water and that their children are not being exposed to poison, is absurd. What makes anyone think that Donald Trump, or the nut cases around him, have any interest in serving the American people?
This is the Politics of Insanity. Elect people to do anything but serve us. People forget, public offices exist to serve the people in a democracy, not the other way around. It seems over the years more and more power has been given away by the people, for whatever reason. There are many factors that go into this, including a general dumbing down of everything around us, but for the most part, we can see that government as it exists right now is certainly not serving the people. Even many die hard conservatives wanted no part of this bombing in Syria. Why? Because it runs counter to what many people want in this country: less military interventions.
Americans are fed up with “empire building.” We don’t want bases in every country. We don’t want to be the “world police.” This Neo-con madness doesn’t serve us. It’s only going to distance the rest of the world from us, create more enemies, cost us more money, and cost the world more lives.
Is there a humanitarian crisis happening in Syria? Sure. Much of the planet right now is, truth be told, in the midst of absolute turmoil and crisis. Civil wars, terrorism, famines, disease. Countries all over the Middle East, Africa, and even parts of Europe are suffering due to conflict and the effects of global warming. But if anyone thinks these problems can be solved with missiles, they are sorely mistaken. Believing that you can reach peace through suffering is the delusions of a madman. Yet, this seems to be the primary means by which we are told peace is to be achieved.
Syria has been in the middle of turmoil for much of its history. The reasons behind this are another story, but suffice it to say, no amount of missiles are going to solve Syria’s problems. The ironic thing is, one of the best ways we could be helping the people of Syria is by taking on their refugees that are fleeing from war and poverty, yet this administration has already made it perfectly clear that immigrants are the enemy and we must “close our borders.” So America has hardly taken on any Syrian refugees in the last year. Yet thousands there are in turmoil. Not only do we not let them come here, now we’re bombing them.
The politics of insanity. So you can see, while other parts of the world suffer, people here suffer as well. Of course the people running the show right now have no interest in helping out in Flint, Michigan. They can’t even let in a few thousand refugees, let alone spend millions of dollars to fix one of our own cities.
Just remember that the crisis in Flint is indicative of a larger sickness that is gripping the country. The politics of hyper-individualism, greed, racism, and anti-community are going to destroy the fabric of the society we love. Because you can’t have a functioning society in the midst of individualistic ego-based insanity, racism, and greed. It doesn’t work. The only result will be division, enmity, and paranoia. We’re already seeing some of our friends and neighbors absolutely lose their minds over the Trumpian doctrine of hate and lies. Expect to see more warped minds in the coming days, as more crisis arise and more scandals erupt.
How can we as fellow Americans help the people of Flint? Here are some organizations doing their part to help: