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Thank you for a Very Important Post, JEB! It's a fork in the road and the People may be too irradiated or poisoned by the leaden water to notice.

UBS at Davos:

Last year, a report by Bank of America Merrill Lynch also pointed to the potential for a rise in inequality as a result of increased automation. That report cited research by Oxford University which said that up to 35% of all workers in the UK, and 47% of those in the US, are at risk of being displaced by technology over the next 20 years.

Fourth industrial revolution set to benefit richest, UBS report says

Remember PBB in Milk? The Flint Water Crisis is Not Without Parallel in Michigan History

News context missing from Corporate McPravda:

The Flint Water Crisis is Not Without Parallel in Michigan History

Every bureaucracy seeks to increase the superiority of the professionally informed by keeping knowledge and intention secretÖ. In so far as it can it hides its knowledge and action from criticism.

ó Max Weber, Essays in Sociology.

CounterPunch, Feb. 2, 2016


The story of the Michigan PBB disaster, long a mainstay of my environmental health policy curriculum, provides us with a compelling exploration of the role of downplaying and denial in the midst of a public health crisis. It is a story that forty years ago seized the nationís attention and has as many twists and turns of mind-baffling decisions as the present day crisis in Flint.

In the early 1970s the state of Michigan faced an environmental health crisis when the highly toxic chemical PBB, developed as a fire retardant, was accidentally introduced into agricultural feed that ultimately resulted in the deaths of thousands of cows and the pervasive presence of the highly toxic chemical polybrominated biphenyl in both milk and meat and affected the health of Michigan residents. Medical researchers concluded that the entire population of Michigan, some nine million people, was found to have measurable levels of a carcinogen in the blood of Michiganís citizenry. The presence of which at the time was considered a severe threat to pregnant and nursing mothers and their children. Decades later it was found that the greatest threat to the exposure of PBB was in breast milk when researchers discovered that PBB is 100 times more concentrated in breast milk than in the food chain.

Some of the nationís top chemical manufacturers considered PBB to be too risky to manufacture because of the chemicalís likely chronic toxicity. Their reluctance however did not deter Michigan Chemical Company who, based on test results from a private lab, decided the chemical posed no real threat and dismissed the hesitancy of major chemical manufacturers like Dow and DuPont (Michigan Chemical Company later became Velsico a corporation which over the years has been involved in a number of toxic scandals around the nation).

For well more than a year state officials failed to effectively intervene. The Michigan Department of Agriculture issued a statement early in the crisis that stated that there was no need for concern for public health risks. The director of the department went so far as to state the situation, was pretty much under control. Newspaper accounts of the potential threat of PPB were less reassuring when they reported that Ann Arbor physician Dr. Thomas Corbettís (who assumed a whistleblower role somewhat similar to present day Virginal Techís Marc Edwards) warned that the chemical maybe far more serious that state officials believed at the time. Four decades later researchers from Emory University confirmed his fear when they found PBB to be a hormone disrupter that to this day continues to threaten public health. The researchers tested 850 people and found that 85% of them had PBB in their body and even more worrisome that the chemical has to date affected three generations. Among their findings were women with high exposure to PBB have an increased chance of breast cancer. Equally disturbing, daughters of women with high exposure are more likely to experience a miscarriage. The study also discovered that men with high exposure are at greater risk of having thyroid problems.


Republican Governor William Milliken was slow to respond to the crisis and among other her things vetoed a bill that the state legislature had unanimously passed to provide financial relief to the affected farmers. The governor later met with defeat when after two years of his reluctance to lower the PBB guidelines to a minimum detectable level his own Scientific Advisory Panel recommended the reduction.



I wonder what else is missing from the news, besides context?

''No one'' cared about Flint because it's largely poor and Black.

"No one" as in no one in authority from the Emergency Manager to the Governor to the uh head of the EPA did anything.

Same for the Navaho People and all the First American Nations, what Dr. Frantz Fanon said:

That poisoned uranium and copper comes straight outta the heart of the SOBs McCain fronts for, those behind "the intervention in Dallas."

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.

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.

Mass murder. Mass poisoning. Mass kidnapping.

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

Downton Davos

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

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.

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.

The EPAís Silent, Guilty Role in the Flint Water Crisis

"The EPA didnít act as urgently and as transparently as it could have to help the people of Flintósomething it has acknowledged only grudgingly." -- Rebecca Leber, reporting for The New Republic

The EPAís 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 cityís 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 Flintís 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, Flintís residents, the majority of whom are black, were assured by the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) that ďthe quality of the water being put out meets all of our drinking water standards and Flint water is safe to drink.Ē The EPA didnít know something was amiss until February 2015. Miguel Del Toral, a water expert with the EPA Region 5 office, noted in February that Flintís water wasnít 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 wasnít being treated properly and the testing showing the water was safe was inaccurate. ďIím worried that the whole town may have much higher lead levels than the compliance results indicated,Ē 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?

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