Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Stinky Water in Flint

Image result for protests in flint michiganBack in the day they would herd "undesirables" into gas chambers. Things are a bit more subtle in 2016. Gee, we really do live in interesting times. We really do!

Less than two years ago, in an effort to save Michigan a few bucks, the right wing government of that state decided that it would be a perfectly grand idea to switch the drinking water of the city of Flint from the Great Lakes to the Flint River - an industrial sewer. The result of this brilliant decision by Governor Rick Snyder is that the children of that doomed city have effectively been poisoned.

Keep voting Republican.

Image result for protests in flint michiganEmails and documents attained by various journalists via the Freedom of Information Act have proven - beyond a tainted molecule of a doubt - that, almost from the very moment they switched the pipes, the elected officials of the state of Michigan were aware of the magnitude and scope of the environmental catastrophe they had unleashed on the poor citizens of Flint. For a year-and-a-half they worked round the clock to cover up their complicity in the crime. Concerned mothers who sought desperately to seek answers to the questions they asked about the declining health of their children were dismissed as psychos, beggars and thieves; the most vulnerable, the children and the elderly, continued to bathe in and drink of the poisoned water.

This would not have happened if Flint had been a community of affluence. This would not have happened had the residents of Flint not been predominantly African American and poverty stricken. The message could not have been clearer had it been etched in gold: 

"Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth"?


To hell with the meek.

Don't try to kid yourselves into believing that this was some sort of industrial "accident". When their plans for the water of Flint were made public, alarm bells were sounded from all corners. It didn't matter as far as Governor Rick was concerned. There were a few bucks to be saved and - come hell or rancid water - he was gonna save 'em.

Are we at the point yet where we can agree that conservatism is destroying this country? How far into the abyss are we willing to hurl ourselves? These people aren't merely incompetent politicians; they're criminally insane. When are we going to wake up and smell the elephant shit?

This is dark comedy at its darkest.

Tom Degan
Goshen, NY


This piece by Flint native Stephen Rodrick, is in this week's Rolling Stone. It ought to be read by everyone with a pulse:

Who Poisoned Flint?/

Was this a great country or what?


Interesting. I went to the atlas on my blog tonight. It tells me where in the world I am being read at any given time. At this hour I am being read in the towns of Snohomish, Washington and Schwenksville, Pennsylvavia. Who would have dreamed?

A tip of the hat to the kind people of Snohomish and Schwenksville!

Wednesday, January 20, 2016


One year from today, Barack Obama will be handing over the reigns of power to his Democratic successor. As has been pointed out on this site too many times to count (and why is it that I seem to be the only person to have noticed this little statistic thus far?) the last time the Democrats exchanged the office of the presidency on Inauguration Day was on March 4, 1857. It hasn't happened since. It will happen again a year from today. Take that to the bank and don't bother locking the vault. So dysfunctional and corrupted have the Republicans become in the last decade, it's an easy bet that they'll never occupy the White House again. I cannot predict the name of the man or woman who will be taking the oath of office on that day, but, barring an electoral coup d'etat (they're working on that), it will not be a member of "the party of Abraham Lincoln".

Here's another prediction you can bet the farm on: The last year of this administration is going to be the most tumultuous in its eight-year history.

I kinda miss the good old days when the GOP was comprised of a collection of bumbling, befuddled, not-too-bright, but essentially well-meaning old geezers. Today it is nothing less than an organized criminal enterprise. I miss those days of yore when the Republicans were only a danger to the economic security of the American people. In recent years they have become a danger to life on this planet. Within days of discovering that the drinking water consumed by the unfortunate people of Flint, Michigan has been poisoned by the governor of that state in an effort to save money, we learn that the Republicans in congress are working overtime to gut any-and-all clean water laws. This after we learn that some of the innocent children living in that forsaken city may have suffered permanent brain damage from drinking the right wing's Stinky Water.

Who's side do you think these people are on? Wake the fuck up.

A lot can happen between January 20, 2016 and January 20 2017. With that in mind let's look at where we are:

For seven years these assholes have been screaming about the dire consequences of this president's policies and the certain economic doom in store for the hapless American people as a result. Unfortunately for their purposes things didn't quite work out that way. Do you remember Where we stood on January 20, 2009, the day that Barack Obama became the 44th president of the United States? At that nasty moment in history, as a result of the incompetence of the executive mansion's previous inhabitant, eight-hundred thousand people a month were becoming unemployed. By the summer of that year, this administration was able to put an end to that trend and reverse it. How many consecutive months of job growth have we had since that time? To tell you the truth, I've lost count. 

They told us that the Affordable Care Act (or "Obamacare", as they sneeringly termed it) would be unworkable, that it would plunge the economy into the abyss. That prediction has blown up in their clueless faces. Not only is Obamacare working, its success has startled its most optimistic adherents. That it needs to be improved is beyond a doubt; but millions of people are today insured who never would have had the chance if John McCain or Mitt Romney had won in 2008 or 2012 respectively. The Affordable Care Act has already saved countless lives. Rejoice, kiddies.
He's listening
Personally, President Obama is been a disappointment in too many ways to count. I was expecting the second coming of Franklin D. Roosevelt when he was sworn in seven years ago today. That didn't happen. The guy was barely half as progressive as I would have wanted him to be, but given the obstacles that have been hurled into his path by a disloyal opposition determined to sabotage him at every turn - the well being of the American people be damned - it's a miracle that the dude has been able to accomplish anything. My personal feelings aside, I have never regretted voting for Barack Obama - not for one/tenth of a millisecond.

"When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro."

Hunter S. Thompson

And before this year is over, the going is gonna get very weird, very weird indeed.

The extreme right wing (which, these days, encompasses about seventy-five percent of that disgusting party) is desperate beyond words. They told us from the beginning that their goal was to ensure that the Obama administration would fail. That didn't happen. In fact it has succeeded despite their best (or worst) efforts. They need to something - ANYTHING! - to see to it that the American economy is decimated in the next twelve months. You don't think they would attempt something as despicable as that? You haven't been paying attention.

This is going to get interesting.

Tom Degan
Goshen, NY


When I was a kid, people born before the year 1900 were a dime a dozen. In my neighborhood alone there were about fifteen or twenty elderly folks who were born in the nineteenth century, and I knew them all personally. As of this morning there are only two left on the entire planet - both women; both born in 1899; one from Italy, the other from Florida. Two hearts still beat from the century of Abraham Lincoln. That's incredible when you think about it. Savor this moment.