know if I was a parent up there, I would be beside myself if my kids’ health could be at risk,” said President Obama on a recent trip
to Michigan. “Up there” was Flint, a rusting industrial city in the grip of a “water crisis” brought on by a government austerity scheme.
To save a couple of million dollars, that city switched its source of water from Lake Huron to the Flint River, a long-time industrial dumping ground for the toxic industries that had once made their home along its banks. Now, the city is enveloped in a public health emergency, with elevated levels of lead in its water supply and in the blood of its children.
The price tag for replacing the lead pipes that contaminated its drinking water, thanks to the corrosive toxins found in the Flint River, is now estimated
at up to $1.5 billion.
No one knows where that money will come from or when it will arrive. In the meantime, the cost to the children of Flint has been and will be incalculable. As little as a few specks of lead in the water children drink or in flakes of paint that come off the walls of old houses and are ingested can change the course of a life.
The amount of lead dust that covers a thumbnail is enough to send a child into a coma or into convulsions leading to death. It takes less than a tenth of that amount to cause IQ loss, hearing loss, or behavioral problems like attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and dyslexia. The Centers for Disease Control
(CDC), the government agency responsible for tracking and protecting the nation’s health, says simply, “No safe blood lead level in children has been identified.”
Created on Wednesday, 10 February 2016 02:44
Written by Ramzy Baroud
Next Onslaught in Gaza: Why the Status Quo Is a Precursor for War
Feb. 9, 2016
It is not true that only three wars have taken place since Hamas won parliamentary elections in 2006 in the Occupied Palestinian Territories. Other wars that were deemed insignificant or ‘skirmishes’ also took place. Operation Returning Echo in March 2012, for example, killed and wounded over 100 people. But since the death toll, relative to the other major onslaughts seemed trivial, it was not cited as 'war', per se.
According to this logic, so-called operations Cast Lead (2008-9), Pillar of Defense (2012) and the deadliest of them all, Protective Edge (2014) were serious enough to be included in any relevant discussion, especially when the prospective new Israeli war on Gaza is considered.
It is important to denote that most of the media, mainstream or other, adheres to Israel's designations of the war, not those of Palestinians. For example, Gazans refer to their last confrontation with Israel as the ‘Al-Furqan Battle’, a term we almost never hear repeated with reference to the war.
Observing the Israeli war discourse as the central factor in understanding the war against the Resistance surpasses that of language into other areas. The suffering in Gaza has never ceased, not since the last war, the previous one or the one before that. But only when Israel begins to mull over war as a real option, do many of us return to Gaza to discuss the various violent possibilities that lie ahead.
Created on Tuesday, 09 February 2016 22:14
Written by Chris Cook
This Week on GR
Last week, the Clark government announced a new policy concerning mining, logging, and the recreational use of the Great Bear Rainforest.
The so-called GBR agreement follows a pattern of inviting selected Environmental Non-Governmental Organizations and First Nations representatives into the backrooms where resource allocation decisions between industry and government are crafted.
The deal has divided environmentalists, as did the first of its kind that created what's now known as the Great Bear Rainforest, prompting praise and criticism on both the front and editorial pages.
lives along British Columbia's mid-coast, in an area the GBR encompasses.
He's a long-time, BC-based environment defender whose past efforts to save the forests and watershed ecosystems of Vancouver Island include being among the few who took to the trees in the iconic Cathedral Grove, (and remaining for two years) fighting the destruction of the suburban forest for highways in Langford, scaling the BC Legislature flag pole to garner press in opposition to the Enbridge pipeline scheme, and dismantling seismic explosives in the heart of Sandhill Crane nesting grounds on Denny Island.
Ingmar also created and maintains the Facebook site, 10,000 Ton Tanker
, the only sustained media effort to bring attention to regular foreign oil tanker traffic within BC's supposed tanker moratorium area.
Ingmar Lee in the first half.
Created on Monday, 08 February 2016 17:50
Written by Paul Craig Roberts
Privatization: the Atlanticist Tactic to Attack Russia
by Paul Craig Roberts/Michael Hudson
February 8, 2016 T
wo years ago, Russian officials discussed plans to privatize a group of national enterprises headed by the oil producer Rosneft, the VTB Bank, Aeroflot, and Russian Railways. The stated objective was to streamline management of these companies, and also to induce oligarchs to begin bringing their two decades of capital flight back to invest in the Russia economy. Foreign participation was sought in cases where Western technology transfer and management techniques would be likely to help the economy.
However, the Russian economic outlook deteriorated as the United States pushed Western governments to impose economic sanctions against Russia and oil prices declined.
This has made the Russian economy less attractive to foreign investors. So sale of these companies will bring much lower prices today than would have been likely in 2014.
Created on Monday, 08 February 2016 00:14
Written by Tom Engelhardt
Shoulda, Woulda, Coulda: The U.S. Military Bombs in the Twenty-First Century
by Tom Engelhardt
- TomDispatch H
ere’s my twenty-first-century rule of thumb about this country: if you have to say it over and over, it probably ain’t so. Which is why I’d think twice every time we’re told how “exceptional” or “indispensable
” the United States is. For someone like me who can still remember a moment when Americans assumed that was so, but no sitting president, presidential candidate, or politician felt you had to say the obvious, such lines reverberate with defensiveness.
They seem to incorporate other voices you can almost hear whispering that we’re ever less exceptional, more dispensable, no longer (to quote
the greatest of them all by his own estimate) “the greatest.”
In this vein, consider a commonplace
line running around
Washington (as it has for years
): the U.S. military is “the finest fighting force in the history of the world.” Uh, folks, if that’s so, then why the hell can’t it win a damn thing 14-plus years later?
Created on Sunday, 07 February 2016 23:59
Written by Mazin Qumsiyeh
Hypocrisy land news and Actions this coming week
by Mazin Qumsiyeh
he Israeli Knesset rejected a bill that calls for equality (after all all this must remain a state by and for Jews). And a video emerged of Israeli prime minister Netanyahu praising Israeli Fascist Group Im Tirtzu which believes in "Jewishness" of Palestine and acts and supports to effect ethnic cleansing of native Palestinians in favor of European and other Jewish colonization.
The Zionist leaders attacked Ban Ki Moon for mildly speaking about the need to end the occupation and let Palestinians live free. The heads of the EU missions in Jerusalem issued a report saying that Israel must respect human rights. They explained that 660 Palestinians are being held without charge or trial. They also mention Mohammad AlQeeq, a Palestinian Journalist on hunger strike for 70 days since his illegal detention.