Open Thread: Don’t Forget Poland!

Recall the quaint mid-Oughts during the 2004 presidential debates, when Dubya corrected his opponent John Kerry with, “You forgot Poland!

Ah, those were the days, when an illegal war and torture were our biggest concerns.

Unlike now when nearly everything liberal democracy represents is in flames and ashes.

Last month I looked at a couple of works by Norwegian artist Munch; his Angst and The Scream still speak to us about existential crises. This month I want to look at a few works by Polish artists who also seem relevant to our condition.

Like Zdzisław Beksiński’s The Trumpeter featured here; how fitting with its many-fingered creepy playing. It’s fairly contemporary, published in 1983, and used as cover art for metal band Artestor’s album, ‘Omen’. Beksiński characterized his art as baroque or gothic. Hard to argue against this description given the wealth of dark detail. Some of Beksiński’s work reminds me of Swiss artist H.R. Giger’s monstrous surrealism like that used in the film Alien.

Take note of this piece featured in a write-up about Beksinski in a favorite art magazine. I’ll make reference to it next weekend when I look at another Pole’s work.

Sadly, Beksiński was murdered in 2005 for refusing to loan a young man some money. He left behind a wealth of work which will stir our imaginations for years to come. You can find more of his work at Dmochowski Gallery online.

Non-artsy stuff:

NCAA Basketball‘s March Madness begins on Tuesday. ESPN has key tournament dates. NCAA offers a bracket challenge to follow along.

NHL Hockey regular season ends April 9. Come on, Red Wings, please don’t finish this season dead last. Only a month to claw over the bottom two. For crying out loud don’t roll over for the NY Rangers on Sunday or I’ll never hear the end of it from the girls. It’ll be all “Oh, that Mats Zuccarello this and that, he’s so cute…” Just, no.

PGA Tour is at Innisbrook Resort for the Valspar Invitational this weekend. Thankfully for tourney players and attendees Innisbrook is in Palm Harbor, Florida — the opposite side of the state from Mar-a-Lago. I can’t get excited about the tour, though; these guys at the top of the leader board are like watching paste set up.

NASCAR this week is in Las Vegas for the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series. So redundant, that line, but it is what it is. Not my thing, but I need to pay attention to this since my prospective son-in-law is a big NASCAR fan.

UPDATE 2:32 PM EST NFL Free Agency because somebody downstairs noticed I had ignored a professional sport about which I don’t care, now in post-season. You’ll notice I didn’t originally mention the NBA (one month left in regular season) or the MLB (three weeks before regular season opening day) or the MLS (regular season started a week ago) either.

Next thing you know somebody will ask, “What about horse racing?” Yeah. And what about Poland?

That’s a wrap. This is an open thread — bring your arts and sports and whatever here which doesn’t belong in topic threads.

Blogger since 2002, political activist since 2003, geek since birth. Opinions informed by mixed-race, multi-ethnic, cis-female condition, further shaped by kind friends of all persuasions. Sci-tech frenemy, wannabe artist, decent cook, determined author, successful troublemaker. Mother of invention and two excessively smart-assed young adult kids. Attended School of Hard Knocks; Rather Unfortunate Smallish Private Business School in Midwest; Affordable Mid-State Community College w/evening classes. Self-employed at Tiny Consulting Business; previously at Large-ish Chemical Company with HQ in Midwest in multiple marginalizing corporate drone roles, and at Rather Big IT Service Provider as a project manager, preceded by a motley assortment of gigs before the gig economy was a thing. Blogging experience includes a personal blog at the original blogs.salon.com, managing editor for a state-based news site, and a stint at Firedoglake before landing here at emptywheel as technology’s less-virginal-but-still-accursed Cassandra.
51 replies
    • Rayne says:

      In less than one hour’s time, Parenti does a really nice job of encapsulating 1920s-1930s fascism, sounding prescient when compared against current events. Imagine the speed of the internet injected into his narrative; I wonder in particular how the rights and wages of workers would have changed, but I guess we’re going to find that out in this generation’s iteration as AI matures. Thanks for sharing the link.

      p.s. I don’t have the patience for the Hitchens v. Parenti debate circa 2005. Hitchens was such an apologist for interventionism — blecch.

      • PeasantParty says:

        Very True!  Some people are considering AI as just the newest innovation in which we will all reap the rewards.  I have a feeling that is not the case and that the rest of us will soon be living like Pioneers.

        I can’t listen to Hitchens either.

  1. lefty665 says:

    Jeez Rayne, sometimes you’re reduced to having the likes of me help get stuff started.

    Sports: In case everyone has not had their fill of drama out of D.C. recently, the Redskins are back to their best form.  A month ago after firing their defensive coordinator and having the offensive coordinator leave to take a head coaching job, they had a hell of a time finding anyone to fill the positions. This week they lost two 1,000 yard receivers and the bright spot on their defensive line to free agency. Their record setting QB is showing no signs of signing a long term contract so they have franchised him for the second year.  But wait, there’s more.  Thursday they fired their General Manager, the guy who has led them to their first consecutive winning seasons in two decades. They did it with typical Dan Snyder/Bruce Allen class and a barrage of accusations of alcohol abuse to avoid paying out the last two years of his contract. Brucie seems to have all the viciousness  and vindictiveness of his big brother Georgie. Expect they learned it at their daddy’s knee. Looks like another 2-5 win season coming up to take the glow off the last two winners. In other ‘Skins news, Cleveland has dropped RG3, looks like he’s done playing football. Lots of talent, no learning curve. Cleveburg is a place to watch during free agency and the draft. They have a ton of money and draft choices, including two first rounders. Hue Jackson is building the franchise. Already 40+ players have either zero or one year NFL experience. They will be a far different team in ’17, and if Hue invests well, much better, and perhaps for a long time.

    Other non-Artsy stuff: “nearly everything liberal democracy represents is in flames and ashes.” A little dramatic, but it ain’t new.  The three musketeers of Bill, Al and John were enablers of the Apocalypse. All it took was Obama to flush away most of what remained and another Clinton to bury it. There is hope it will rise again like the Phoenix from its ashes. But it will only happen if the Dems get over their tantrums and hysteria, clean out their corruption, abandon neo-liberalism and their neo-McCarthyism, then rebuild on their New Deal roots.  The Repubs on the other hand seem lost in la la land forever.

     

      • lefty665 says:

        Get over your tantrums and corrupt Dem Hillaryphile hysteria. Grow up and help build a real political party instead of screaming over a stinking pile of corrupt, elite, neo-lib pipe dreams.

        “nearly everything liberal democracy represents is in flames and ashes.” and it’s dip shits like you that put the torch to it. Get over it and get to work. The framework is there in the New Deal the Dems abandoned in ’92 with the right wing, DLC, Dick Morris triangulating Clintons. Reclaim first principles and build on them. Opportunity and the world await. Until then enjoy your Clinton kneepads, and remember to wear good Dem blue.

         

        • John Casper says:

          lefty665,

          Please apologize to Rayne for another groundless smear.

          Below is you on 22 Feb. 2017 defending POTUS.

          “Trump seems to be making a few good appointments. Mattis at Defense is head and shoulders a better choice than Obama holding over Gates at the beginning or Carter at the end – bookends, and not so great in between either. McMaster as national security advisor is also arguably far better than Rice (either one). Gorsuch would never be my choice for the court, but he appears to be a decent human being and a big step up from Scalia.  It will not be hard for Tillison to be a better Secretary of State than either of Obama’s choices. Trump can hardly make worse economic advisor choices than Summers, Geithner and the whole Rubin Citi crew, although he seems to be trying with the Goldman gang. The point being that not all of Trump’s choices are Bonkers Betsys, and in many ways (some better, some worse) this is just another presidential transition, the 43rd since Washington handed the reins to Adams.”

          https://www.emptywheel.net/2017/02/21/ask-uncle-ed-3a/#comment-711144

          You failed to mention Scott Pruitt (EPA) and Tom Price, Sec. of Health and Human Services.

          Are you as bad at pretending to be a “lefty,” as you are at pretending to be an NFL fan? You mention the Browns, but fail to mention on Thursday they traded $17 million for a second round pick.

          http://www.businessinsider.com/espn-bill-polian-cleveland-browns-brock-osweiler-trade-a-joke-2017-3

          You mention RG3, but omit his injury history. That’s a bigger factor in why NFL teams aren’t anxious to commit to him.

          Bruce and George Allen couldn’t have spent much time on their father’s “knee.” Per his daughter’s book, Coach Allen was a workaholic. He was seldom home. He angered owners, because he wanted to pay his players.

           

    • PeasantParty says:

      Bless your little heart.  I think you took a wrong turn at the hollowed out Oak, next to the green barn. You’ve been traveling down the dirt road to yonder, and I’m sure you meant to be on the path to Agony Acres.

       

      Look, we’ve all seen you attack Rayne for a long time.  I tried to keep my mouth shut, but you have my hackles up today.  Don’t you have something more interesting to do?

       

       

      • lefty665 says:

        Thanks for the help with the directions.  Fortunately, I avoided Agony Acres by quitting the Dems a number of years ago. It has been a far happier path, although the Green barn was surprisingly shallow. Quitting the Dems has helped me embrace rationality and avoid the tantrums and hysteria embraced by so many dems these days.  Note that Rayne started the name calling with references to Reagan and kneepads.

        Please tell more about the Peasant Party, sounds like a destination that the Dems would be well advised to seek or at least not abandon and turn into a Trump enclave.

         

        • PeasantParty says:

          No, seriously.  You have landed in the wrong place.  You should visit other sites that are more right leaning.  The PeasantParty is a very inclusive group, a huge tent if you like.  It is a party for anyone that is not earning a million a month in interest.

          The right/left play is up.  It is all pretense for the benefit of people and their perceived division.  If the last election didn’t prove the left and right parties are the same you were not watching.  So please go talk to your more right leaning friends.

          • lefty665 says:

            We absolutely agree “the left and right parties are the same”.  Although most of the “left” are a lot further right than the “right” are left.  It is no coincidence that most of Hillary’s campaign signage was a washed out light blue.  Between Obama and Trump we have traded government by Citi for government by Goldman.  Wall Street fat cats are still running the show.

            Most of the Google results are for eastern European Peasant Parties. Are you referring to the domestic OurIAPP that I see a few references to? Its last web posting was November 9th. http://www.ouriapp.typepad.com/   If not, would you be kind enough to provide a link so I can learn about it?

            The Greens were a massive disappointment last year. They had many of the issues right, but pretty much disappeared after their convention. It seemed they were terrified of being “Naderized” again. That has not saved them from some of the dingier Dem hysteria about Stein costing Hillary the election and being a stooge of Putin’s.

            I poke at the Dems because it seems close to half of them have seen the light and are ready to change the Party into something worthwhile. It my hope a few of the rest are willing to give up elitist, fat cat neo-liberalism and close ranks with the Sandersnista end of the party to make a majority. They have to quit the tantrums before acquiring the sense to change. I am not holding my breath.  There are no glimmerings of hope on the right, and I tend not to hang out with them anyway.

            • PeasantParty says:

              PeasantParty is my by line.  I have many followers.  I would like to know why a Righty calls themself a Lefty?  Are you part of the Keyboard Commandos?  Instead of trying to provoke people here that range from Center Left to Far Left, to no political affiliation at all, why don’t you quietly read and learn.  Or, you could take your ball and go home!

              • lefty665 says:

                Ah, silly me, when you said the Peasant Party is a party, a big tent party, I foolishly assumed you meant it was a political Party.

                You misrepresent me, I presume inadvertently. You fundamentally misunderstand what is going on in America if you mistake dislike of what Hillary does and stands for as an indicator of right wingedness.

                I am a lefty, both handedness and politically. I am not now, nor have I ever been, a “Righty”.  I have however lived across the street from the devil. The grass is green from his chemical fertilizer runoff. Those are the halves of my nom de wheel. I do not aspire to followers or becoming a party, although I do like a party.

                There are a few, but not many, “Far Lefties” around here. There are however a bunch of good folks on the leftish end of the truncated political spectrum. That spectrum has incessantly triangulated to the right for the last 25 years with the Clinton, DLC, right wing of the Democratic Party (as you noted earlier, there currently is really only one party).  There are also some, like me, with no current political party affiliation.

                My fear during this last election cycle was that either Clinton or Trump was going to win. My fears were realized, as were those of a majority of the country.  One of them won. Never before have we had such a despised pair of major party candidates.

                A bunch of neo-lib elite Hillaryphiles were shocked, and have not recovered. Instead of figuring out where they went wrong (candidates & campaigns over 25 years that have brought the Party to its lowest ebb in a century) and changing course to regain standing as a national political party, they have descended into hysteria and tantrums. Rayne’s overwrought statement at the top “…nearly everything liberal democracy represents is in flames and ashes” fairly represents them. She has done a good job at that.

                What to do? Join the choir, run around in circles screaming “My god Chicken Little is right the sky has fallen”?

                Perhaps people could instead take several deep breaths, get a grip, and link arms with the folks who responded to Bernie. Together they likely could reform a corrupt Dem Party that has abandoned its New Deal first principles and its working class constituency.

                You don’t get there by joining “The sky has fallen” choir. The choir does not get better either if all they get is reinforcement, preaching to the choir. If no one is saying, wait a minute, the sky has not fallen, the hysteria just gets worse and spreads.

                We’re funny monkeys, we usually figure things out through discussion, often vigorous. Everyone sitting around the campfire together “woe is meing” and “…liberal democracy is all in flames and ashes” does not accomplish much. Singing Kumbaya instead may feel good, but it does not accomplish much either.

                However, a vigorous discussion enables us all to learn through the intersection of ideas and to achieve insight, a better understanding, or way forward. The bright community here, fact based, bringing diverse experience and knowledge to the discussion, is what attracted me to ew in the first place. It is also what keeps bringing me back and contributing.

                I try to bring an informed unambiguous perspective when I comment to help further the discussion.  I also try to keep my trap shut when I do not have knowledge, experience or education in a topic. Like all of us I am not always successful, but I try to learn and get better over time.

                 

                 

                • John Casper says:

                  lefty665,

                  1. Please, identify the “’Far Lefties’ around here.”

                  2. You wrote, “Rayne’s overwrought statement at the top “…nearly everything liberal democracy represents is in flames and ashes” fairly represents them.

                  2.1 Please identify everything that “liberal democracy represents” this is not “in flames and ashes.”

                  3. You wrote, “The bright community here, fact based, bringing diverse experience and knowledge to the discussion, is what attracted me to ew in the first place.”

                  3.1 Please identify those in the community you consider “bright” who bring “diverse experience and knowledge.”

                  4. You wrote, “Together  *they*  likely could reform a corrupt Dem Party that has abandoned its New Deal first principles and its working class constituency.”

                  Asterisks mine.

                  4.1 Earlier on this thread–3:21–you wrote “Quitting the Dems has helped me embrace rationality and avoid the tantrums and hysteria embraced by so many dems these days.”

                  4.2 What actions have you taken at local, state, and national levels to “reform a corrupt Dem party?”

                  4.3 Until you rejoin the Democratic party, why should anyone take seriously your claims that you want to “reform” it?

                  5. Please link to anyone at this blog who has ever defended Sec. Clinton and the neoliberals.

                  6. If Sec. Clinton had won the presidency, would she be less bad?

                  7. When will you apologize to Rayne?

                    • John Casper says:

                      lefty665,

                      Above you wrote, “I try to bring an informed unambiguous perspective when I comment to help further the discussion. ”

                      Would you characterize your comment at 11:27 as “informed?”

                      How does it “help further the discussion?”

                      When will you apologize to Rayne?

                      Earlier on this thread–1:21–you wrote to Rayne, “Grow up and help build a real political party instead of screaming over a stinking pile of corrupt, elite, neo-lib pipe dreams.”

                      Did you mean a third party or did you mean a “reform” of the Democratic party?

                • PeasantParty says:

                  How many people have you seen crowing for Hillary here?  I for one can’t stand the crook.  It appears to me you just make up your own target words.  In anycase, I’m done with you.  You jump off topic in order to keep some disturbance going.  I do not RESPECT anyone that can not have a civil conversation.  There is no need for you to accuse me of being some Hillary die hard fan.  You definitely have no proof of me in that category.  I’ll no longer read your responses at this site. You no longer have a voice in my mind.  You attack for no reason.  In other words, I just slapped you with the magic fly swatter.

                  • lefty665 says:

                    Did not occur to me that you were a Hillaryphile. In fact, I favorably cited your comment that there is really only one party these days. I used a generic “you” poorly, in a way it could be misunderstood. I apologize for that. That should have been something along the lines of  “we” or another generic formulation that did not allow confusion with an ad hominem reference.  You did mischaracterize me as a right winger. I took exception to that. Both mistakes would seem to be survivable.

                    There are a number of Hillaryphiles around this site, some of whom it is quite possible to talk with and even disagree with without being disagreeable.  OTOH, Rayne seems to be a Hillaryphile that falls in the category of those it is hard to have a dialog with.

                    It is my hope that through engagement the harder core Hillaryphiles can be helped down from the hysteria and tantrums that are currently consuming them. That might enable  people to work together to rebuild the Dem Party into an effective political tool that is distinguishable from the Repubs.  However, at this point that is not happening, as Ellison’s loss at the DNC demonstrated. The Party remains in a death spiral.

                    • John Casper says:

                      lefty665,

                      Are you a “Hillaryphile?”

                      You failed to respond to “5. Please link to anyone at this blog who has ever defended Sec. Clinton and the neoliberals.

                      Do you understand the suffix you’re using?

                      You wrote, “There are a number of Hillaryphiles around this site, some of whom it is quite possible to talk with and even disagree with without being disagreeable.”

                      Where?

                      Please link to examples of these “talks” you claim to have had with “Hillaryphiles.”

                      Please link to examples of the “the harder core Hillaryphiles.”

                      Do you consider yourself a “harder core Hillaryphile?”

                      Please link to examples of “the hysteria and tantrums that are currently consuming them.”

                      Why did you take exception to being characterized as a “right winger?”

                      Based on what you wrote, isn’t it fair?

                      “Trump seems to be making a few good appointments. Mattis at Defense is head and shoulders a better choice than Obama holding over Gates at the beginning or Carter at the end – bookends, and not so great in between either. McMaster as national security advisor is also arguably far better than Rice (either one). Gorsuch would never be my choice for the court, but he appears to be a decent human being and a big step up from Scalia. It will not be hard for Tillison to be a better Secretary of State than either of Obama’s choices. Trump can hardly make worse economic advisor choices than Summers, Geithner and the whole Rubin Citi crew, although he seems to be trying with the Goldman gang. The point being that not all of Trump’s choices are Bonkers Betsys, and in many ways (some better, some worse) this is just another presidential transition, the 43rd since Washington handed the reins to Adams.”

                      https://www.emptywheel.net/2017/02/21/ask-uncle-ed-3a/#comment-711144

                      When will you apologize to Rayne?

                    • John Casper says:

                      lefty665,

                      “Double down” on you making up “talk” and “dialogue.”

                      When will you apologize to Rayne?

                      “Sigh.”

                    • John Casper says:

                      lefty665,

                      Besides you, who else here is consumed by “hysteria,” avoids “rationality,” and throws “tantrums?”

                      Please provide links.

    • Rayne says:

      This is exactly why it’s an open thread. Sports is not my beat; I only throw some in these posts because some community members are sportsy and chatter about sports doesn’t fit in threads focusing on specific political issues.

      Knock yourself out: what’s so all-fired important about NFL Free Agency that you feel miffed for the lack of its acknowledgement?

  2. neighbor7 says:

    What about curling? I seem to remember picking that up on Canadian stations when I lived in Michigan.

    • Rayne says:

      LOL smart aleck. You can still catch the 2017 Tim Horton Brier — looks like there are other championships running through April. You can follow @CurlingCanada for this weekend’s draws.

      Sport’s not as organized in U.S., though there are curling clubs in all but five states. I’m tempted to check one out located not too far from here in Michigan; there are eight clubs across the state. Might be the one sport I could still take up and be competitive at my age.

  3. Mark says:

    I’m wondering if Marcy is going to post her promised follow up on the new documents about Abdulmutallab’s confession.

  4. P J Evans says:

    Lefty, with all due respect, please GFY. Sideways. With a cholla segment. You’ve been trolling here for a long time, and you’re getting nastier all the time.
    Apologize to Rayne and then go away.

    • lefty665 says:

      P J, We’ve all got different views. That is sort of the way the world works. Thanks for expressing yours. There’s no reason for me to apologize to Rayne. She was the nasty one in response to my pretty mild comment on her over the top statement. Her initial statement was apparently intended to attract comment and might have been discounted as hyperbole. But, her response demonstrated she clearly intended to be taken seriously and had anticipated adulation. If anything, she could apologize to me, although I neither ask for that or expect it. Since you brought up the topic of apologies, you would do well to apologize to me for your repeated troll comments, they are unfounded and simply wrong. I have been a contributing participant around here as long as you have.

      What do you think about them Redskins, Browns and NFL free agency that were the topic of 3/4 of my original comment? Do you have an opinion on what the Dems need to do to rejoin the ranks of living political parties, or are you pleased to see them continue their death spiral? The Dem death spiral is their loss of most elected offices in America, including, but far deeper than, to a horrid opponent for president last year. I personally find their collapse distressing and that it bodes ill for the country. Have a nice day.

  5. harpie says:

    Hi Rayne,
    I thought you might be interested in this article about a study which investigated the water chemistry/treatment in the Flint fiasco. I typed these sections from the hard copy of the article, so all mis-spellings are my own…except that, as usual, the engineering firm Lockwood, Andrews and Newnam is spelled “Newman” throughout the article.

  6. harpie says:

    AWWA [American Water Works Association] Journal article
    Flint Water Crisis: What Happened and Why?
    Susan Matsen, et. al; AWWA Journal; 12/2016
    [Lead author Susan J. Masten is a professor in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at Michigan State University.] [Research reported in this publication was supported by National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) under award number 1R21 ES027199-01]
    [quote] We have investigated the chemistry and engineering behind what happened to Flint’s water, why it was corrosive, and the extent to which the system appears to be recovering. This analysis is based on an extensive review of the monthly operating reports (MOR’s) and other documents from the water treatment facilities, and from personal communications with plant operators and managers.
    Historical Perspective
    With the goal of reducing the costs for treated water (Felton 2016), Flint officials decided in 2013 to join the newly formed Karegnondi Water Authority (KWA), which was constructing its own pipeline to transmit raw water from Lake Huron. […]
    After failing to come to an agreement on a short term contract with DWSD, Flint decided to use water from the Flint River and treat it at the FWSC.
    Many warnings and concerns were voiced…Brian Larkin, then associate director of the (Michigan) Governor’s Office of Urban and Metropolitan Initiatives, foretold the crisis in a March 14, 2014, e-mail message to several others in the governor’s office: “The expedited timeframe is less than ideal and could lead to some big potential disasters down the road.” Mike Glasgow, laboratory and water quality supervisor at the plant, wrote in an April 25, 2014, e-mail to the State of Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (MDEQ), “I do not anticipate giving the OK to begin sending water out anytime soon. If water is distributed from this plant in the next couple weeks, it will be against my direction.” Despite concerns, the FWSC switched from purchasing and distributing [treated] water from DWSD to treating water at its facility in Flint. In doing so, the source water changed from Lake Huron to the Flint River. […]
    Water Treatment at the Flint Water Treatment Plant […]
    While [Mike Glasgow’s e-mail] message sounded the alarm that staffing and monitoring plans were inadequate, it has not been reported how poorly equipped the plant was. It was clear from the MOR that the plant was woefully unprepared for full-time operation on April 25, 2014. The May 2014 MOR reveals that the plant had only four to five days of polymer available to “use as a trial on two different occasions.” Supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) upgrades were incomplete and out for bid. Filter headloss meters were not operational on the SCADA system. Also, chlorine residual monitoring equipment at the point of entry into the distribution system had not been installed, so chlorine levels would have had to have been measured by taking grab samples from the clearwell as well as from a tap in the laboratory. It appears that, on the basis of the MORs, chlorination after filtration was not used until May 17, 2014. Flouridation was not implemented until July 2, 2014. The water utility did not have a corrosion control plan, and it had not installed corrosion control equipment when the water was switched back to DWSD on Oct. 16, 2015. On the basis of the MORs, the filter headloss meters were never made operational. […]
    Without any treatability studies on which to determine chemical dosages until late August 2015, (City of Flint, 2015), it appears that plant personnel were left to attempt to address the plethora of complex water quality issues and complaints by trial and error. Significant changes were made to chemical dosages, and the reasons for these changes were often not apparent. […]
    Difficulties were encountered in maintaining chlorine residuals throughout the distribution system throughout the 1.5 years of treatment and continues to be problematic, even after the change back to DWSD water […] detection of E. coli…TTHM [exceedance], [ozonation system repair, summer 2015] […] The US Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) Drinking Water Task Force remains concerned about chlorine residual levels in Flint’s water. (Emery 2016)
    The 24-month source water sampling for Cryptosporidium, E. coli, and turbidity to determine bin placement required by the SDWA Long-Term 2 Enhanced Surface Water Treatment Rule was not done before the switch to Flint River water, apparently because MDEQ staff believed the Flint River was only a temporary source (MDEQ e-mail conversations), despite the fact that construction of the 80-mi KWA pipeline had not even begun in April 2014.
    Quality of Treated Flint River Water […]
    Corrosive Indexes
    The high values of the CSMR [chloride-to-sulfate mass ratio] and Larson-Skold indexes of water entering the Flint distribution system should have raised serious concerns about the possibility of corrosion, especially given prior experience by water utilities. For example, in Columbus, Ohio, the 90th percentile lead levels in the water increased by almost 360% after a change in coagulant [like what happened in switch from DWSD to FWSC] from alum to ferric chloride, which resulted in an increase in the CSMR by up to 170% (Hill & Cantor 2011)
    So What Went Wrong in Flint?
    The previous discussion demonstrates the complexity of treating a variable water source. Flint River water was considered to be a challenge to treat, with “high bacteria and high carbon concentrations” that “fluxuate (sic) depending on rain events” (Mar. 20, 2012 meeting minutes, MDEQ meeting on KWA water issues).The only pilot testing that appears to have been completed before the switch was in 2002—a treatability study by Alvord, Burdick, and Howson LCC (AB&H)—and is mentioned in the OER [Operational Evaluation Report] (Lockwood, Andrews, & Newman [sic] 2015). The author of the study describes the water source as “particularly difficult to treat with seasonal variation between high organic load and high magnesium hardness” (Lawrence 2012). The treatment train recommended in the AB&H report differs significantly from that used at the Flint water treatment plant, which meant that in 2014 the plant operators lacked important information about the treatability of the water that was necessary for proper plant operation.
    AWWA (Muylwyk et al. 2014) recommends that “If a municipality is considering changing how its source water is treated, the potential effects on the corrosivity of the treated water and the need for corrosion control should be evaluated.”  However, sufficient pilot testing and corrosion control studies were not commissioned and completed before the April 2014 switch of source waters. Furthermore, since the Flint plant had not been fully operational in almost 50 years, was understaffed, and some of the staff were undertrained, it is not surprising that it was difficult to achieve effective treatment.
    [List of water treatment changes that occurred in Flint which “could affect corrosion or corrosion control in the treatment system” [Muylwyk et al.2014]] These changes were made when Flint switched to treating the Flint River water; however, as mentioned previously, corrosion control was not used at the plant, and there was no plan for corrosion control. […] such rapid changes in water chemistry (as experienced in the Flint system) may adversely affect system equilibrium and the passivation layer and scales on the insides of the pipes […] changes in pH and alkalinity can result in the softening of iron tubercles and therefore result in increased iron corrosion [red water] …In addition, bacteria are known to contribute to the corrosion of iron pipes, so it is possible that the corrosion problem was exacerbated by bacterial regrowth as a result of low chlorine residual and the likely presence of low molecular weight/easily metabolized compounds formed from the reaction of ozone with naturally occurring organic matter.
    Commonly used indexes could have predicted that the treated Flint River water would likely corrode lead pipes. […]
    The addition of phosphate as an inhibitor to prevent lead corrosion is commonly used in the industry (Hill & Cantor 2011), and while the possible use of phosphate as a corrosion inhibitor was suggested (Wade Trim 2009), the reason corrosion control was not implemented is still not known. No preliminary corrosion estimates using simple indexes appear in any of the engineering reports, and they do not appear to have been considered during the design process. Journalistic reports of the Flint disaster have often stated that the failure to add phosphate was the primary cause of the lead corrosion problems. However, it should be recognized that the CSMR of the treated Flint River water was so high that, even with the addition of phosphate, the water may have been so corrosive that lead levels in the system might have still exceeded the action level. The failure to recognize the corrosivity of the water and to add corrosion control had devastating effects. […] it appears that a significant number of premises still have high lead levels in their water. […] High lead levels were found in in a number of samples four years after all the lead pipes were replaced in Madison, Wis. (Cantor 2006), suggesting that even after all the lead pipes are replaced, it may take years for the lead levels in Flint to reach a point at which the concentrations of all samples are below the action level. […] [end quote]

    • Rayne says:

      Wow. Thanks, Harpie, this is awesome! Ping me before the anniversary of the switch-over to river water; I need to put up a commemorative post and an updated timeline. Still all comes down to who made that last minute decision the night before cut-over, in my opinion. I swear the governor’s office and the attorney general’s office are doing their best to avoid that.

      • harpie says:

        Still all comes down to who made that last minute decision the night before cut-over, in my opinion. 

        I agree. They were not prepared because they had NO IDEA what is involved in treating and transmitting safe drinking water…and they DID NOT CARE.

        One of the Findings in the investigative report was that the situation reeked [my word] of Environmental Injustice, and so it does. Just recently I read an article somewhere [I’ll find it] that there is a concerted effort to abolish the very idea of it.

        Also, the reason I bolded that bit about the study being funded by the NIH is because that, too, is on the chopping block now.

        • Rayne says:

          Can’t recall now where I read that Nestle is pushing back at water as a human right. Meanwhile, they are pumping water like mad from beneath Michigan for its bottled water brands. I suspect the environmental injustice angle is under siege from corporations like Nestle as well as Energy Transfer Partners because of DAPL.

  7. John Casper says:

    lefty665,

    You wrote to PJ, ” I have been a contributing participant around here as long as you have.”

    Doubt it.

    Do you know when PJ started commenting here?

    If not, then you must have started after he did.

    When was your first comment?

    Yes, you do need to apologize to Rayne. You’re smearing her and others with the double lie that they are Hillaryphiles. It implies that you are a “lefty,” which you’re not.

    “Trump seems to be making a few good appointments. Mattis at Defense is head and shoulders a better choice than Obama holding over Gates at the beginning or Carter at the end – bookends, and not so great in between either. McMaster as national security advisor is also arguably far better than Rice (either one). Gorsuch would never be my choice for the court, but he appears to be a decent human being and a big step up from Scalia. It will not be hard for Tillison to be a better Secretary of State than either of Obama’s choices. Trump can hardly make worse economic advisor choices than Summers, Geithner and the whole Rubin Citi crew, although he seems to be trying with the Goldman gang. The point being that not all of Trump’s choices are Bonkers Betsys, and in many ways (some better, some worse) this is just another presidential transition, the 43rd since Washington handed the reins to Adams.”

    https://www.emptywheel.net/2017/02/21/ask-uncle-ed-3a/#comment-711144

    You wrote, “Rayne’s overwrought statement at the top ‘…nearly everything liberal democracy represents is in flames and ashes’ fairly represents them.”

    Please identify everything that “liberal democracy represents” this is not “in flames and ashes.”

  8. harpie says:

    Good Morning, Rayne […hope you see this. “Reply” isn’t working.],

    Wrt: my comment about the NIH, from today’s WaPo: [quote] The National Institutes of Health, for example, would be cut by nearly $6 billion, about a fifth of the NIH budget. [end quote] That’s from the article titled: “Trump’s budget calls for seismic disruption in medical and science research”

    This article is in the “Health and Science” section, and NOT in “Our Country is Imploding!” or “This Man and His Cronies are an Existential Threat to US”

    Wrt: Nestle: Yup.
    Here’s the permit: http://www.michigan.gov/documents/deq/deq-wb-dwehs-wwciu-gcdclqwwpermitresponsepubliccomment_290345_7.pdf

    [quote] […] This document includes the basis of decision for issuance of a permit to the GCDC for the future withdrawal of 85 MGD from Lake Huron. Responses are provided to comments received on the
    permit application during the public comment period that including concerns relating to the
    permit process, the environmental impact of the proposed water withdrawal, the legality of the
    proposed water use, and the applicability of laws and regulations to the proposed withdrawal. […] [end quote]

    That’s 85 Million Gallons per Day.

Comments are closed.