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Worrying signs of devalued ballot value in the American Democracy as their to many disfranchised voters, PACs holds on campaign funds and the Corporate Media hold on message sent to the Citizens.

American Primary

Just as the Primaries in the United States are winding down and getting closer to the Conventions of the Democratic Party and the Republic Party. The main candidates and Presidential Candidates have soon been selected and gotten picked through the mixed of ballots and the caucuses differing how the Primary Elections in the states was done.

I am not an American and can only see it as an outsider and with the view as an outsider has. To listen to the American TV reporters on FOX, MCNBC and NBC makes a European shake. The TYT is some positive, but still shows the fragmented media landscape that have been created in United States. As the grand corporate media is loyal to a certain party or a certain candidate; much like the state media houses are for their ruling parties in LDC. So the FOX channel follows and hates anything from the Democratic Party even if the person initially acts and votes similar to the Republic Party. That is the irony. The same with certain “liberal” media who follows the Democratic Party by any means and blackballs the Republican by any means.

donald-trump-make-america-great

As the Progressive and the liberal are supposed to be on the Democratic side, and the conservative side is on the Republic side. The Parties have big sides and the range of political spectrum could initial be based into four parties as the suction between all the areas and range should be concern as the Presidential candidate cannot be like a Tea-Party General and at the same time be affiliated with the establishment when it comes to certain policies. That means of actions from a Tea-Party member should be different then the Conservative party member!

Bernie BS Slogan

The Same is in the Democratic Party the establishment of the this party is more moderate and clear-faced close to the conservative establishment of the Republican. The Moderate in the party believes for instance in the sense like lax-taxation and the government institutions as small-corporate friendly environment for the 1 % instead of 99 %. While the Progressive are more on the line of Bernie Sanders and wants the taxation on the rich corporation and have labor right for the workers. So the Sanders line is far from the moderate part of his party. Still they both belong to the Democratic Party. That is what initially makes the American a rare venue of political discourse.

The Political discourse and the view on political aspects are in view concoction of corporate media, losing old papers who was the ones setting the agenda and is now not as big as before and the new media as TYT, Huffington Post and Buzzfeed changes how the political news get spread and questioned. As the radios and local broadcasters do not have the only venue and the corporate media is not the only place. Even live feeds on Youtube gives the voters more access to other sources then the ones supported by the giant multinationals who wants to decide and continue in the same level as of recent as it is profitable to keep it that way.

Ads PACs

The other thing that is special about the American Politics are the level of money that the candidates needs to raise, the amount of adverts in the media and how much they matter; that together with the presence how the Super-PACs matters in the campaigns for either senators, representatives and also Presidential Candidates. PAC stands for Public Action Committee (PAC) where they pool funds and collectively works to enhance a campaign for a certain candidate or political idea. They are not supposed to be directly connected with a Candidate up-for nomination or for a State Senator who needs ads and commercial space for their “Message”. The PAC can run to donors and financial beneficiaries that will give to the PAC as a calculation on how they can be “puppets” or necessary persons to get the legislation that the corporations who funds the PAC need. So the business has the opportunity to “own” candidates and nominations instead of the ones that are there in public confidence. That is something that make the American system lacking democratic values as the cash cows and the cash hungry campaigning endorse the idea of corporations funded candidates instead of the party funded and the people funded through this PACs. Therefore the American democracy is very corporate.

The American media that are connected to certain Political Parties and even endorse certain candidates are embedded with the ones that give highest ratings and can keep the legislation in positive favor of the stakeholders and owners of the corporate media. Not the ones that are there for the middle-America or the middle-class, working-class or any other class then the owners of the Multinational corporations or Wall-Marts of America instead citizens.

US Dollar Campaign

That is why I am little skeptical to the American Democracy. The value of the vote is less there as the system is built around the corporations and the money train. As of now it is. The ones with wealth, the ability to gain amounts of funds and collect delegates in the inner-party elections get to be the Presidential Candidate for their party. The Positive is the political range in the Democratic and Republican parties as the public can find their different candidate inside their parties.

So as an outsider I am worried and does not like with what I talked about when it comes to democratic values that the money fueled and cash registered American democracy is supposed to be the greatest and the one to aspire to. That in mind as the American Government condemns and explains their values whenever a foreign government holds an election and they are a “stakeholder” in it or support the government there.

bushgore Front Page

Certainly with the values of respecting the ballot and having systems that certainly transparent and securing the vote. As the American Government have had the hanging chad and the electronic malfunction of Florida that helped George W. Bush into power in 2000. That is not the only one issue coming with the ballots loss of value in recent times. Not the delegate system of primaries. I will speak about the election laws.

The Election laws are made to make it harder to register as voter, shorter time and if your felon or former-felon in certain states is impossible to become a voter again. We know that their groups of people who have become disfranchised by the directives and laws. Certainly this deficiency and also fear for ghost-voters make it harder to get voter-ID then getting license at the DMV in some states. If it is easier to get license to ride their Buick in Texas then getting to vote, then there something missing. Certainly something missing in the so-called democratic state in question; I just mentioned Texas the laws might be worse in Utah for all I know.

The main subject is the voters and the ballot should get respect. The Delegate in convention should follow the voters as much as the votes follow the registered ones in the tally; so the ones with the most votes in Indiana should become the Indiana Senator or Representative in Congress and Capitol Hill. That is the same if they are independent, Democratic or Republican.

But why does this matter, it is a principal. That in a democracy the votes should equally matter and the voice of the men and woman who are parts of the civic duty does it in good-faith of dropping their vote and delivering a just change or keeping status quo after their own fate in the government system and picking the right candidate to do so. If the candidate fails in their tenure or term, then the voter can through ballot pick somebody else and change guards of the democracy.

Corporation Election

The issues with election laws that disenfranchise people, when the corporations of the media spreads certain message and ideas swallows the minds and the grand idea of the free speech and level playing-field together with the monies used and needed to campaign. Gives the race and campaigning for the Presidency and the Senators’/Representatives addicted to the donors and funders of their campaigns instead of the confidence of their citizens.

And if that is the way and the corporate policy of the American Dream, if that is the vision that the forefathers of the American Democracy wanted for their American Centaury and the American ideals. That cannot be what the men and woman who fought against the British and wanted to be free nation for the settlers. As they wanted to be free to build their own nation in the vision of their citizens not in the vision of GM, Doritos, AIG, Warner Brothers, AT&T and American Express. I don’t believe that the American Government and the citizens who picks the ones that votes for the ones that represent them; that it was built for the corporate citizens for the corporations and to serve the Limited Liability Company (LLC). I thought the American Government and the ideals of their democratic values was built for the citizens and not to fit the corporate agenda and their needed heads-up to get their bills through congress either by lobby-money or PACs to secure the right Candidates in the Senate. Peace.

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Water-Crisis in the City of Flint; Time to call in USAID to solve it as they do around the world; because water matters!

USAID_Water_Strategy_3-1_0

USAID and World Bank need to offer loans to Flint, Michigan; they can facilitate tap-water to the citizens of the city. This in a county where they have year after years of financial deficit and defaulted on budgeted projects of the city. This just by browsing through google after writing Flint, Michigan Budget Deficit, the articles goes back to 2009. That means 6 years where there been missing money for the county budget. This means that the country can’t deliver the community what it needs, because they don’t have the funds to finance what the town and county need.

Here is the USAID mission statement:

“Ending extreme poverty and promoting the development of resilient, democratic societies that are able to realize their potential. We fundamentally believe that ending extreme poverty requires enabling inclusive, sustainable growth; promoting free, peaceful, and self-reliant societies with effective, legitimate governments; building human capital and creating social safety nets that reach the poorest and most vulnerable” (USAID, 2016).

I will look at some reports of the water quality that has been in media where Cher and Big Sean has donated some Dasani water to the public because the bottles settle the issue with the tap-water that the county doesn’t have money to fix or use proper water-sources. Let’s say what certain reports done by various enteritis say about the water and economy in Flint. Take a brief look:

gm-confirms-flint-east-plant-closing

About Jobs and Poverty in City of Flint:

In a town of “In Flint, for example, absent other factors, employment would have declined by 12.7 percent between 1980 and 2009 because nationally, the industries it specialized in actually shrank over those years. However, Flint lost jobs in those poor performing industries in which it specialized faster than other metros due to a de!cit in the competitiveness of its existing local industries” (…)”At the most basic level, poverty results in lower standards of living. However, there are other, less direct effects that are even more troubling. For instance, poverty is highly correlated with low levels of education, and can thus trap individuals and households for generations, lowering socioeconomic mobility through lack of opportunity. The failure to combat the causes of poverty is also scally unsound; if those problems are not eradicated, state and local governments face smaller tax bases as well as higher outlays to support their populations. Poverty rates were well above the U.S. metro average in 2009 in all of Michigan’s metros except Holland and Jackson” (Michigan Economic Condition Assessment).

Flint GM Plant Workers

Economic situation in 2011 in Flint:

“In 2011, the numbers bear a startling story, as of 2009, 36,2 percent of Flint’s 102,000 residents were living below the poverty level, and nearly 20 percent were at an income level that was 50 percent below poverty level” (…)”In mid-1980s, General Motors – at a time when the company was experiencing records profits – laid off 30,000 autoworkers in Flint, eventually 80,000 in all, and shut down several factories” (Smith, 2011).

Emergency Manager takes control because of budget deficit:

“However, on December 1. 2011, the Governor of the State of Michigan appointed an Emergency Manager for the City of Flint, due in part to a deficit in the general fund, the decline in pooled cash, budget issues, and unfunded liabilities for post-employment benefits. The appointed Emergency Financial Managers and Emergency Manager  were authorized by virtue of their appointment to “act for and in the place and stead of the governing body and the office of chief administrative officer of the City of Flint” (…)”The General Fund deficit as of June 30, 2013, is now $12.9 million” (City of Flint, 2013).

Flint-sweepstakes

Assessment of the water from City of Flint in 2014:

“The City of Flint did experience drinking water issues in the summer of 2014. Issues began with areas of the city experiencing “rusty” water. This was largely due to the fact that the city distribution system contains hundreds of miles of cast iron pipe” (…)”The City of Flint received violations from the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (MDEQ). The violations included a total coliform and E. coli in August and September of 2014, and a corresponding total trihalomethanes (TTHM) violation in December of the same year” (City of Flint, 2014).

Flint Michigan

Water quality report 2015:

“Prior to April 30, 2014, the city of Flint purchased water of the City of Detroit. On April 30, 2014, the City of Flint switched from utilizing purchased water from Detroit to a new water source, the Flint City River. Subsequently to the change in source water, the City of Flint experienced a number of water quality issues resulting in violations of National Primary Drinking Water Regulation (NPDWR) including acute and non-acute Coliform Maximum Contamination Level (MCL) violations and Total Trihalomethanes (TTHM) MCL violations” (…)”National Primary Drinking Water  Regulation (NPDWR) Violations – City of Flint:

Following the switch to the Flint River, the City of Flint experienced a series of NPDWR violations as follows:

Acute Coliform MCL violation in August 2014

Monthly Coliform MCL violation in August 2014

Monthly Coliform MCL violation in September 2014

Average TTHM MCL violation in December 2014

Average TTHM MCL violation in March 2015

Average TTHM MCL violation in June 2015” (US EPA, 2015).

Statement on quality of water in 2016:

“The American Water Works Association applauds President Obama for signing an emergency declaration that makes available federal aid for the drinking water crisis in Flint, Michigan” (…)”When a community changes water sources or water treatment, unintended consequences can occur. Water systems must be alert to these potential issues and have plans in place to address them” (…)”AWWA is committed to helping water utilities, elected leaders and customers in applying these and other lessons from the crisis in Flint” (AWWA, 2016).

Flint Michigan P2

Afterthought:

So with seeing this little evidence and also seeing how the state goes in with Emergency Managers both over-controlling the mayor and the city hall because of the growing deficit that surely must have taken emergency measures that must have been done to save budget funds.

The result that has caused havoc now has been visible since August 2014. That is more 17 months when they had it in after changing of water sources to the Flint River. It is staggering how long the results have been – if it is the pipeline or the source it is still scary to know that there been steady violations; that have been pushed under the rug or not discussed. I don’t know why the fuzz is happening now or if it is campaign season and that is why the Americans and world hear about water-quality and crisis in Flint.

The unemployment that goes back to foreclosure of car-factories and other automobile industry has destroyed the economy while the rich have moved from the central town to the suburbs in the county while the town has had steady rise of poverty in the city of Flint. That is why I ask for USAID to do their business and bore holes in the city of Flint in the state of Michigan. USAID has an mission to work amongst poverty and create possibilities and with the amassed levels of poverty in Flint, with closure of schools and abandoned houses an such proves the need for AID from USAID. They should come in with their programs to salvage and create better water with their technicians as they have done for decades in African Countries and Latin America, and help their own as they are in need.

Dasani

The bottles of Dasani given from Big Sean and Cher won’t do much but a tear-drop in the ocean. The emergency funding from the federal funds might help, but that is also done in fashionable loans so the debt burden on the City of Flint. So as a failed banana republic that usually gets programs and aid from USAID, it is time to deliver that to City of Flint. As they have unemployment on the levels of sub-Saharan Africa, they have high crime-levels and public with little faith in the government institutions. Schools are detreating and other institutions are weaker than before. People are living on non-working programs and many suspended as they have been living to long on this state-program. They work with poverty eradication that the City of Flint needs. They can start microfinancing programs to get people to start smaller businesses and grow the level of monies spent in the city. Fund them through water programs similar to WASH strategies of the USAID to secure the level of water quality and food security as a part of that. Something USAID can do in city of Flint. They have already lost some part of their autonomy as the Michigan state put in two Emergency leader both Emergency Manager and Emergency Financial Manager who overpower the people’s chosen leadership of the town and also control the monitoring of the functions of the town, this to get control of the deficit; but also leaving the limbo of the democratic institutions in the city. That means it fits perfectly to what kind of environment that USAID goes into which often is totalitarian or semi-democratic societies with big-men who are stronger control over government institution than ordinary procedure. This is the same with the Emergency leadership of City of Flint. So it not only the economic difficulties, unemployment rate, poverty standard, in the end it also fits the levels of institutional malfunctions to fix the budget deficit as the governor of Michigan has seen.

usaid_water_strategy

So if the USAID will follow their mission and do something good, use their skills and WASH programs, then they should put them into use in the City of Flint, Americans helping Americans. Not a vile and foolish picture, the money that US Government have put into USAID over the year, this here good be a good service back and prove that the money is well spent, as the USAID can finance and find way to fix the water and give of their knowledge to create a more prosperous society. City of Flint should try to get a Memorandum of Understanding to give way so that USAID can give the citizens of Flint what they deserve before Michael Moore makes another film displaying the deteriorating city he was raised in. USAID shouldn’t just build water wells in Afar region in Ethiopia, when there a city in America where they can’t get healthy water; their WASH personnel could really give AID and create development in Flint. This is if the City of Flint could accept it and give way to the organization to show way. USAID have the skill and manpower needed, Flint have not the funds or the situation to get out of it. This here is a decline of a city ever since General Motors starting to leave and move automobile factories since the 1980s. Therefore the reforms have to come and why not through USAID. They can bring hope and more then Big Sean’s bottles of Dasani. Peace.

Reference:

American Water Works Association (AWWA) – ‘Statement from AWWA CEO David LaFrance concerning Flint water quality crisis’ (19.01.2016)

City of Flint – ‘Annual Water Quality Paper 2014’ link: https://www.cityofflint.com/wp-content/uploads/CCR-2014.pdf

City of Flint – ‘Comprehensive Annual Financial Report for the Fiscal Year Ended June 30. 2013’

‘Michigan Economic Condition Assessment 2.0’ link: http://www.brookings.edu/~/media/Research/Files/Reports/2012/2/23-michigan-economy/0223_michigan_mid_metros.pdf

Smith, Jay Scott – ‘Flint’s economic fall like none other in the country’ (26.11.2011) link: http://thegrio.com/2011/09/26/flints-economic-fall-like-none-other-in-the-country/

USAID – ‘MISSION, VISION AND VALUES‘ (07.06.2016) link: https://www.usaid.gov/who-we-are/mission-vision-values

United States Environmental Protection Agency – ‘Transmittal of Final Report – High Lead at three residences in Flint, Michigan’ (04.11.2015)

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