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Octafish's Journal
Octafish's Journal
January 29, 2016

While Flint Was Being Poisoned, State Workers "Quietly" Provided Water Coolers


Following release of new document and emails, Gov. Snyder told he must 'explain to the people of Flint why his administration trucked water into a state building while allowing residents to drink unsafe water'

-- Common Dreams staff

SOURCE: http://commondreams.org/news/2016/01/28/while-flint-was-being-poisoned-state-workers-quietly-provided-water-coolers

These really are NAZI Times.
January 26, 2016

C. Wright Mills: Sociological Imagination and the Power Elite

Info about a guy who doesn't get mentioned on tee vee or in the Texas history book, but should be.

The short version from an online program by Bethany Johnson:

Knowledge and Power

C. Wright Mills was a sociologist who believed that knowledge was the crucial element to social change. He was a hugely influential, radical social theorist. One example of his works, which supports this distinction, is his legendary book on social power. In 1964, the Society for the Study of Social Problems established the C. Wright Mills Award. This award is given to the individual whose work 'best exemplifies outstanding social science research and a great understanding of the individual and society in the tradition of the distinguished sociologist, C. Wright Mills.'

He felt society needed to change - and that change would come through those who had knowledge and used it properly. He felt that critical thinking was the means of obtaining this crucial knowledge and, thus, used this thinking to create what he called the sociological imagination.

The Power Elite

C. Wright Mills was a social-conflict theorist who argued that a simple few individuals within the political, military and corporate realms actually held the majority of power within the United States and that these few individuals made decisions that resounded throughout all American lives. To look at an example of the hierarchy of power, imagine a triangle with the executive branch, military leaders and corporate leaders at the top; interest group leaders, legislators and local political leaders in the middle; and, then, the common masses (the everyday people) at the bottom.

Mills wrote The Power Elite, identifying certain individuals as the 'national upper class' that own most of the country's wealth, run its banks and corporations, are in control of the universities and mass media and staff some of the highest ranking positions within government and courts.

Mills further explained that these elites often move fluidly between positions within the three controlling realms. For example, Hillary Clinton moved from the position of first lady to that of senator to secretary of state. Mitt Romney moved from the corporate world to governor and even presidential candidate. Mills noted that these power elite usually were people who interacted with each other regularly and typically held the same political and economic views or agendas.

Many power elite theorists actually argue that there is not such a thing as a true democracy because these few individuals have so much power that the wishes of the average people cannot be heard. These theorists believe that those at the top are so distant from the average people and that they are so powerful that there isn't any true competition for them. Thus, they usually tend to get what they want.



DETAILS ON MILLS: http://www.cwrightmills.org/

I learned about Dr. Mills through DU. His ideas are important for us -- not just for understanding how we got to this point, but for figuring out how to get to a better place -- and build a better nation and future.
January 25, 2016

Mass murder. Mass poisoning. Mass kidnapping.

Government of the Wealthy, for the Wealthy, and by the Wealthy.

January 23, 2016

Downton Davos

Where the hired help know their place in the Order of Things.

January 23, 2016

Shades of John Ashcroft.

The rightwing nutjob groups are OK, as they support the secret government rightwing nutjobs running the show.

During Iran-Contra, light was shed on Ollie North and his treasonous crowd. The idea was that the Michigan Militia and a bad number more of the other right-wing paramilitary groups across the nation would be deputized to do Reagan-Bush's domestic dirty work, in the event of a "national emergency." The idea was that the government would be able to circumvent the posse comitatus laws if there were mass protests against a "hypothetical" U.S. invasion of Central American nations like El Salvador or Nicaragua. Reagan-Bush thought they might need to round up undesirables, foreigners and whoever else they designated as enemies of the state, like peaceniks and libruls.

Crisco lives.
January 22, 2016

The Party of Davos

by Jeff Faux
www.thenation.com/, February 13, 2006/ via ThirdWorldTraveler.com


Americans are of course prominent members of this "Party of Davos," which relies on the financial and military might of the US superpower to support its agenda. In exchange, the American members of the Party of Davos get a privileged place for their projects--and themselves. Whether it's at Davos, at NATO headquarters or in the boardroom of the International Monetary Fund, heads turn and people listen more carefully when the American speaks.

"Davos Man," a term coined by nationalist scholar Samuel Huntington, is bipartisan. To be sure, Democrats tend to be more comfortable with the forum's informal seminar-style and big-think topics like global poverty, cultural diversity and executive stress. Bill Clinton goes often, and Al Gore, John Kerry, Robert Rubin, Madeleine Albright, Joe Biden and other prominent Democrats are familiar faces. Republicans generally prefer more private venues. George W. Bush, of course, doesn't do anything unscripted. But people like Dick Cheney, Newt Gingrich, John McCain and Condoleezza Rice have all worked the Davos circuit.

That the global economy is developing a global ruling class should come as no shock. All markets generate economic class differences. In stable, self-contained national economies, where capital and labor need each other, political bargaining produces a social contract that allows enough wealth to trickle down from the top to keep the majority loyal. "What's good for General Motors is good for America," Dwight Eisenhower's Defense Secretary famously said in the 1950s. The United Auto Workers agreed, which at the time seemed to toss the notion of class warfare into the dustbin of history.

But as domestic markets become global, investors increasingly find workers, customers and business partners almost anywhere. Not surprisingly, they have come to share more economic interests with their peers in other countries than with people who simply have the same nationality. They also share a common interest in escaping the restrictions of their domestic social contracts.

The class politics of this new world economic order is obscured by the confused language that filters the globalization debate from talk radio to Congressional hearings to university seminars. On the one hand, we are told that the flow of money and goods across borders is making nation-states obsolete. On the other, global economic competition is almost always defined as conflict among national interests. Thus, for example, the US press warns us of a dire economic threat from China. Yet much of the "Chinese" menace is a business partnership between China's commissars, who supply the cheap labor, and America's (and Japan's and Europe's) capitalists, who supply the technology and capital. "World poverty" is likewise framed as an issue of the distribution of wealth between rich and poor countries, ignoring the existence of rich people in poor countries and poor people in rich countries.



That was from 2006 -- before the crash and the Great Bankster Bailout. Who got made whole, 100-cents on the dollar? Who got bankrupted and tossed from their homes?

In the richest times in human history: It's Welfare for the Wealthy. Austerity for the Masses.

January 22, 2016

The EPA’s Silent, Guilty Role in the Flint Water Crisis

"The EPA didn’t act as urgently and as transparently as it could have to help the people of Flint—something it has acknowledged only grudgingly." -- Rebecca Leber, reporting for The New Republic

The EPA’s Silent, Guilty Role in the Flint Water Crisis

Michigan's governor has borne the brunt of the blame, but there's plenty to go around.

The New Republic, January 22, 2016

Michigan Governor Rick Snyder in recent weeks has come under intense pressure over the water crisis in Flint, Michigan, which was precipitated two years ago when his administration, in an effort to cut costs, changed the city’s water supply from Lake Huron to the Flint River. The move led to a dangerous increase in lead in the water supply; just 5 parts per billion is cause for concern, especially for children, but Flint’s tap water has had five times that amount. And yet, officials insisted until late last fall that the water was safe for its 100,000 residents to drink.


It was only once Flint became a national story, and Snyder and President Barack Obama declared a state of emergency, that the EPA admitted its initial response was too slow. Residents and the American Civil LIberties Union were still petitioning the EPA to act in October, long after the agency first became aware of potential problems.

In April 2014, Flint’s residents, the majority of whom are black, were assured by the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) that “the quality of the water being put out meets all of our drinking water standards and Flint water is safe to drink.” The EPA didn’t know something was amiss until February 2015. Miguel Del Toral, a water expert with the EPA Region 5 office, noted in February that Flint’s water wasn’t being treated for lead since the switch to Flint River and that state tests were understating the problems, according to documents obtained by the ACLU.

Del Toral raised two main concerns: The water wasn’t being treated properly and the testing showing the water was safe was inaccurate. “I’m worried that the whole town may have much higher lead levels than the compliance results indicated,” Del Toral warned in an April memo to DEQ, which was summarized in the email batch released Wednesday.



Did the federal and state government hope no one would notice if no one in authority was paying attention?

January 22, 2016

Yep. Going from memory, Dillon didn't campaign much for Bernero.

The Freep confirms my recollection:

Ex-rival Andy Dillon slights Virg Bernero

Mich. Democrat leaders: Party is unified

by Chris Christoff
Detroit Free Press,August 7, 2010

House Speaker Andy Dillon was drubbed in the Democratic gubernatorial primary by television ads that portrayed him as a greedy Wall Street raider who opposes a woman's right to choose abortion.

Then he was drubbed by rival Lansing Mayor Virg Bernero in Tuesday's election.

Friday, a visibly relieved Dillon smiled and said he was ready to work for Democrats in the fall campaign.

But he caused a buzz by not endorsing Bernero in front of about 200 Democrats assembled in downtown Detroit for a post-election unity breakfast.

"I want to make certain some of the things I was fighting for are going to be embraced," he told reporters afterward. "Then we'll get there. We don't have to decide that today."

He added, "It's not a slap. We just got done with a campaign. I'm going to take a vacation. We'll sort it out when I come back."

It was another enigmatic move from a politician who has become an iconoclast to some fellow Democrats, scorned by some union leaders as too cozy with business and too frosty with organized labor, and criticized as a legislative leader.



Loyalty to the Almighty Dollar is Buy Partisan.
January 22, 2016

Thanks for straightening me out.

Except you didn't.

Ever hear of Andy Dillon? After failing to win the Democratic nomination to oppose Snyder in the gubernatorial campaign of 2010, he was invited by Snyder to serve as State Treasurer.

The memos Snyder released say Dillon was the official who made the call to OK the switch to Flint River water.

Dillon said he thought Flint wouldn't be using the water to drink. Honest.


January 22, 2016

Democrat Andy Dillon got named official decider...

After failing to win the Democratic nomination to oppose Snyder in the gubernatorial campaign of 2010, he was invited to serve as State Treasurer.

The memos Snyder released say Dillon was the official who made the call to OK the switch to Flint River water.

Dillon said he thought Flint wouldn't be using the water to drink. Honest.


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