Toxic America

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Watching the news from Flint, Michigan you would think you are in one of the poorest cities in Africa with reddish/yellowish toxic drinking water. This is America today; a country that has not only toxic water, but toxic politics as well.

The Flint, Michigan water system, neglected for a long time, carries toxic poisonous water from the Flint River, which in turn carries water from Lake Huron. The pipes are so corroded, they cause high levels of lead to leak into the drinking water.

There has been no investment in the drinking water system for over 50 years. Rather than fixing and investing in a new water system, the city kept pumping “orthophosphate” to prohibit corrosion.

For a long time, the water of Flint smelled and looked bad, was smelly and tasted funny, and the government knew about it years before. I guess adding extra “lead” in the residents’ blood is okay.

One can’t be sure if the delay in taking effective action has to do with the fact that Blacks are 57% of the population and 41% of the residents live beneath the poverty line. One has to wonder if the majority of the city where White and affluent. Poor Whites are treated no differently from poor Blacks. Just take a look at Appalachia.

However, the story of Flint is not unique. America’s entire infrastructure is falling apart. The American Society of Civil Engineers gave our infrastructure falling marks. This is how the American Society of Civil Engineers graded America in 2013.

“Energy D, Transit D, Ports C, Aviation D, Levees D-, Schools D, Roads D, Inland Water Way D-, Waste Water D, Hazardous Waste D, Public Ports C, Rails C+, Bridges C+, Solid Waste B, Drinking Water D, Dams D.”

While American politicians are debating “important “ issues, such as what to do with “Muslims” and “immigrants” legal and illegal, and what to do with ISIS (kick their ass as the revived and resuscitated Sarah Palin suggested), no one is looking at our falling apart schools, dams, drinking waters and our failing infrastructure, which in fact is the biggest threat to our national economy.

With solid renovated infrastructure, which is the backbone of national economy and business, America will soon be in deep trouble. We handed close to a trillion dollars to the criminal crooks of Wall Street, but we do not have the money to rescue our towns and cities from falling apart infrastructure.

Not only our drinking water is toxic, but also our politics, our national institutions and our financial system are toxic. Too big to fail, too big to tax, too powerful to collect tax from, too powerful to force them to keep jobs at home.

We see divisions between the few rich and the hundreds of millions of poor. We see divisions between Left and Rights in politics. We see divisions along racial lines; we see divisions between citizens and police, between citizens and politicians. These divisions are incited by toxic politics. We want to solve the world’s problems while neglecting our own issues at home.

US Capitol Building

We want to “Kick Ass” while neglecting the very basic things that makes America the powerful nation it is. More money for the military will not make our country strong while the very basis of our economy is falling apart. Ah, with all due respect to our fellow military, but when was the last time we won a war?

We spend tens of millions on the Senate hearing on Benghazi, but we fail to spend one million investigating the false wars and the trillions of dollars wasted on “personal wars” and wars on behalf of an ally that kills and murders our sailors.

The thousands of brave soldiers who died and the tens of thousands injured in these stupid reckless criminal wars are of no importance and no priorities to our national politicians, and not worthy of having open public hearings on the whys and how’s we went to war?

Our national elected officials have no time to look into and investigate “the falling apart America”, but have much time to debate and hold public hearings on issues for the rich and powerful.

Let us use the $50 billion designated for Israel and start fixing our own falling apart infrastructure. Let us give Flint the money it needs to fix its water system rather than giving it to Israel to build swimming pools in illegal settlements built on stolen land.

Let us put America first for a change.

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Author Details
Sami, a Palestinian-American and a US Army Veteran (66-68), recipient of the “soldier of the month award and leadership award from the 6th Army NCO Academy, is an international legal and business consultant with over 40 years of international experience, in construction, hospitality services, conservation and defense, in the Middle East, Europe and North Africa. Sami is a holder of BA, MPA in Public and Environmental Affairs, Jurist Doctor from Indiana University. While at IU he was elected class president, student government president and chairman of the Indiana Students Association, Active in peace movement as a co-author of the pre-amble for the One State for All of its people and voluntary service program SalamNation. A frequent contributor on national and international affairs. He resides in the United States.
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