Friday, December 2, 2016

"We see a lot of babies come into our clinics with high lead levels." Poisoning and killing our children, to fill the wallets of super-wealthy sociopaths.

Above: The description for this photograph, ca. 1936-1939, reads, "Baby gets a bath with all modern conveniences at the Allegany County Hospital, Pittsburgh, PA." The Allegany County Hospital was completed with funds from the New Deal's Public Works Administration. All across America, New Deal policymakers and New Deal workers built hundreds of new hospitals and health clinics; installed thousands of miles of new water and sewer lines; created nutritious school lunch programs for underprivileged children; and much more. Why? Because they cared about the health of children far more than we do. Photo courtesy of the National Archives.

Poisoning Children With Contaminated Water

In Milwaukee, Wisconsin, about 70,000 homes need water line replacements because of lead contamination. The city has started handing out free filtration systems, but they don't have enough for everyone. Parents are worried. "My kids are growing," said one, "I don't know what lead in the water is doing to their bodies or brains. We should all have clean drinking water no matter where we live." And a community health care provider said, "We see a lot of babies come into our clinics with high lead levels" ("Hundreds of people line up for free water filters in Milwaukee," WTMJ-TV, November 30, 2016).

Lead contamination is happening all across the country, and people have good reason for concern. Lead can cause irreversible brain damage, organ damage, and bone damage - and the CDC has warned us that no amount of lead ingestion is safe for children.

In light of these facts & events, one would expect to see a large nationwide infrastructure program to replace all questionable water mains, connection lines, and plumbing fixtures. Do you see such a movement? I don't. What I see are some local, albeit noble, efforts to replace water lines (most cities and towns don't have enough money for complete replacement); water bottle distribution (though Republican-led Michigan is fighting that effort); free water filters (though they are not always 100% effective); and a federal government that refuses to adequately address the problem.

Above: The description for this 1938 photograph reads, "Family of five children, with mother in hospital, receives [WPA] housekeeping aid service at home..." If you suggested something like this today (hiring the unemployed to help assist families in need) you'd be laughed out of the room. Heck, we don't even like giving mothers paid time off to care for their newborns - let alone manpower assistance. Why? Because we don't care about children as much as New Deal policymakers did. Photo courtesy of the National Archives.

Killing Children With Air Pollution

In addition to lead water poisoning, we also know that "Some 300 million children around the world are breathing highly toxic air... [and] Air pollution is a major contributing factor in the deaths of around 600,000 children under five every year..." ("300 Million Children Are Breathing Extremely Toxic Air, UNICEF Says," NPR, October 31, 2016). And for those who think this is a just a third world problem (as if that makes it any "better"), we also have extremely toxic air in the United States. For example, see: "Most Polluted Cities," American Lung Association, and "Doctors in Utah say state’s poor air quality poses risks for pregnant women," Fox 13 Salt Lake City, February 10, 2016.

So, why aren't we doing a better job of delivering clean air and clean water to children? Answer: Because the super-wealthy sociopaths of the world don't want their money going towards such things. That's not the type of investment that brings them more cash. Also, they prefer war to the common good. You see, war does bring them profit. "Why should we be taxed to fix infrastructure," they ask, "when, instead, we can invest in profit-making companies that produce bombs, missiles, and rockets? Especially when it will be other people's children who die in our wars - while our own children can comfortably soak in gold bathtubs and flaunt their luxurious lives on Instagram?"

But here's the overarching problem: Super-wealthy sociopaths have bought so many politicians, and have successfully duped so many voters into thinking that the super-rich are our saviors and holy "JOB CREATORS," that the great mass of humanity can no longer think straight. In America, tens of millions of people continue to support (or sit by and let happen) more wars and more tax breaks for the super-wealthy. All signs are indicating that the Trump Administration is preparing us for more multi-trillion-dollar "regime changes," and more gargantuan tax breaks for the rich. Sixty million Americans voted for that. But, replacing toxic water lines? Cleaning the air? "No, no, no," they collectively say, "for GOD'S SAKE!! How will we pay for it?!? You tax-and-spend liberal!!"

You see, when it comes to helping those in need, or providing children with clean air & clean water, the super-wealthy and their conservative marionettes want limited government. But when it comes to pampering the wealthy, and bombing "the other" for profit, they want unrestrained and unlimited government.

Indeed, the conservative cry of "limited government" is a farce. It's code for, "Let's slavishly devote our lives to the rich, no matter how much we, and our children, are abused, poisoned, and killed."

"... we have collectively lost our ability to process information and make good judgments. To be truly stupid, you need to have poor reasoning skills. So our problem isn’t just that we have lies substituted for facts; it is that we don’t even know how to process information anymore." 

--Dr. Sophia McClennen, "I'm With Stupid: The Entire 2016 Election Has Been an Insult to Our Intelligence," Alternet, November 1, 2016

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