Saturday, January 16, 2016

How Flint, Michigan's tap water became toxic -

How Flint, Michigan's tap water became toxic -

"In 2011, Flint was declared to be in a financial state of emergency, and the state took budgetary control. Therefore, all the decisions made during the water crisis were at the state level, which state officials confirmed, not by the City Council or the mayor. "When the governor appointed an emergency financial manager (in 2011), that person came here ... to simply do one thing and one thing only, and that's cut the budget, at any cost," said Michigan Congressman Dan Kildee. Kildee said the water crisis is indicative of an attitude about industrial towns such as Flint that have seen hard times in the past 30 years. They're often just forgotten, he said. "This case shows that you can't treat cities the way you treat some corporation that you might just sort of sell off," Kildee said.


So Governor Rick Snyder of Michigan has presided over a public health nightmare in Flint that is right out of the 19th century. He put the city on a different source of water to save money. Now it looks as though the children of Flint have lead poisoning. Snyder is one of these gimlet-eyed, "venture capitalist," anti-government rich guys who get elected governor. Sort of like Bruce Rauner, who is currently destroying the State of Illinois. And Rick Scott, who has been trashing Florida pretty effectively. They have a lot in common. They don't know how government is supposed to work, or what it is supposed to do, or why. They all think they are geniuses because they are rich, and running a state is just like running companies--into the ground that is, which is often how they made their bucks. That, and screwing working people out of their jobs and pensions. Ultimately, they are sociopaths who do not experience empathy when other people suffer. It will be interesting to see how much longer they can play this game. Snyder ought to be in jail for allowing people to get lead poisoning, but I imagine he will just run for President instead.

Monday, January 11, 2016

Injuries soar after Michigan stops requiring motorcycle helmets

"In the three years after Michigan repealed a mandatory motorcycle helmet law, deaths and head injuries among bikers rose sharply, according to a recent study. Deaths at the scene of the crash more than quadrupled, while deaths in the hospital tripled for motorcyclists. Head injuries have increased overall, and more of them are severe, the researchers report in the American Journal of Surgery...Among the accident victims brought to the hospital, the proportion of riders who had not been wearing a helmet rose four-fold, from 7 percent to 28 percent, the researchers found. About 10 percent of non-helmeted riders brought to the hospital died there, compared to 3 percent of those who had been wearing helmets. Among riders who died at the crash scene, the proportion not wearing helmets rose from 14 percent before the law was repealed to 68 percent afterward."
One more thing deregulated, and the costs are apparent. It isn't just the biker who suffers--they have families, friends, people they work for or with, and so forth. Then there are the medical and rehab bills for people with brain injuries.