13 Feb

News and Analyses, A Foreign Perspective


Newly released emails reveal a supervisor with the city water plant voiced major doubts just days before the city began distributing water from the Flint river


The McGlynn:

The McGlynn a

There is massive data supporting the simple statement that austerity doesn’t work. Flint is a classic example. Saving a few bucks to balance the books is a paperwork exercise that only makes bean counters happy; until, that is, they have to find a thousand times more of what they saved in order to fix the problems they created.

What lies at the heart of this is the basic difference between Republican and Democratic ideals.

Republicans want everything to be free market driven so if you’re down on your luck, austerity is all they can offer. These ideologues will pursue their principles of balanced books without regard to the fact that people might die. And it is not just from lead poisoning. There have been a number of recent deaths in Flint due to Legionaries bacteria which appear to be linked to the change over in water supply.

A true Democrat is more inclined to help people out when they’re down on their luck. If a neighbor is struggling, you address the problem immediately and the hell with balancing the damn books.

No doubt card-carrying republicans who watch Fox ‘News’ will jump in and claim that I’m advocating free stuff for the welfare cheats. Bullshit. The middle class and the poor have suffered for years from the republican ideology. It is because the Grand Old Greedy Party has supported the takeover by the Oligarchy who are paying for the propaganda that you will see on your TV in the next 8 months.

This year is a watershed year. I’m voting for Bernie. He will, of course, be demonized and blocked at every turn by those who have a vested interest in maintaining the status quo. And this includes The Democratic Party Hierarchy.

Why Bernie? Because the Oligarchy owns Hillary.

Mike Glasgow said he was under presser to get the Flint river flow going. Photograph: Rebecca Cook/Reuters

When the city of Flint, Michigan, was preparing to begin drawing its drinking water from the Flint river, an official with the municipal water plant said his superiors were prodding him to move too quickly, an email released by the governor’s office Friday shows.

“If water is distributed from this plant in the next couple weeks, it will be against my direction,” Mike Glasgow wrote to officials with the state Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) on 17 April 2014, when he was the plant’s laboratory and water quality supervisor. He is now the city utilities administrator.

“I need time to adequately train additional staff and to update our monitoring plans before I will feel we are ready,” he wrote. “I will reiterate this to management above me, but they seem to have their own agenda.”

The city made the switch to the Flint river eight days later, marking the occasion with a ceremony on 25 April 2014. Flint had long relied on treated Lake Huron water from Detroit’s system, but turned to the river as a temporary measure to save money when the city was under emergency financial management. Officials planned eventually to get Lake Huron water from a new pipeline……………


More than half of the deaths were in India and China, and researchers compared air pollution problem to the conditions under centuries of industrial revolution

According to scientists, conditions caused by air pollution killed 1.6 million people in China and 1.4 million people in India in 2013.

According to scientists, conditions caused by air pollution killed 1.6 million people in China and 1.4 million people in India in 2013. Photograph: Xiaolu Chu/Getty Images

Air pollution caused more than 5.5 million people to die prematurely in 2013, according to research presented on Friday, with more than half of those deaths in India and China and illnesses in those countries almost certain to rise.

According to scientists from the US, Canada, China and India, who presented their findings at the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) in Washington DC, conditions caused by air pollution killed 1.6 million people in China and 1.4 million people in India in 2013.

“Air pollution is the fourth-highest risk factor for death globally and by far the leading environmental risk factor for disease,” said Michael Brauer, a researcher from the University of British Columbia.

Brauer said air pollution contributed to heart disease, stroke, lung cancer, bronchitis, emphysema and acute infections.

He and his colleagues compared the problem in Asia to the conditions under centuries of industrial revolution in the US and Europe: massive economic growth smothered by clouds of toxic matter in the air…………….

Assad’s comments, made just hours before agreement reached in Munich over cessation of hostilities, deal blow to hopes of negotiated solution to war

Syrian president Bashar al-Assad.

Syrian president Bashar al-Assad. Photograph: Joseph Eid/AFP/Getty Images

Bashar al-Assad has dealt a swift blow to international efforts to secure a ceasefire, deliver aid and promote a negotiated solution to the war in Syria, vowing to regain control of the entire country and warning that it could still “take a long time”.

The Syrian president was speaking to the AFP news agency in Damascus on Thursday, hours before an agreement was reached in Munich on arranging a cessation of hostilities and the urgent despatch of food, medicines and other supplies to hundreds of thousands of civilians in besieged areas.

Assad said his armed forces would try to retake all of Syria but added that the involvement of regional players “means that the solution will take a long time and will incur a heavy price”. He warned of the possibility of direct intervention by Turkey and Saudi Arabia, who back the rebels……………..

Coroner’s report also showed that six of the wounds were in his back and that the 26-year-old had several drugs in his system when he died in San Francisco

San Francisco coroner’s report showed that Mario Woods had 20 gunshot wounds, some of which could have been from the same bullet.

San Francisco coroner’s report showed that Mario Woods had 20 gunshot wounds, some of which could have been from the same bullet. Photograph: Marcio Jose Sanchez/AP

A young black man killed by San Francisco police had 20 gunshot wounds, including six in the back, according to an autopsy report released on Thursday.

The San Francisco coroner’s report showed that Mario Woods, 26, also had drugs in his system when he died in the shooting that sparked protests and calls for the police chief’s removal.

Woods had two gunshot wounds in his buttocks and others to his head, legs, abdomen and hands. Some of the wounds could have been from the same bullet, the autopsy said.

It also showed that Woods had used methamphetamine, marijuana, antidepressants and cough medicine before he was shot.

Investigators have said five officers opened fire on the knife-wielding Woods on 2 December and that 27 shell casings were recovered at the scene where he died.

Police had encountered him while searching for an assailant who stabbed a stranger earlier in the day.

Police say Woods ignored commands to drop the knife and resisted even after he was shot several times by a “bean-bag” gun and pepper-sprayed……………

the counted

US politics

Election 2016

The weird week in politics: basketball Bernie and Robo-Rubio – video

The Guardian looks back at the stranger side of politics this week, including a septuagenarian senator playing ball, grown men dressed as robots imitating Marco Rubio, and a flailing presidential candidate missing his stage cues


Photographer Bob Tabor specialises in horses – his minimalist portraits of them are powerful and emotionally resonant. His latest collection is Horse/Human: An Emotional Bond, which is published by Glitterati Incorporated in March



Bob Tabor ©2016


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