In “Dark Knight Rises” movie, one watches how a lone, deranged lunatic has plunged Gotham city in an unprecedented chaos; with Batman tied up in treatment recovery therapy after a severe beating by the lunatic, and all law enforcement officers (over 3000) trapped underground while searching for the crazy dude and its cronies, the citizens of Gotham were helpless; they had no choice but to bow to the lunatic’s every wish. As if that weren’t enough problems for the citizens of Gotham, the lunatic was in possession of a highly unstable nuclear bomb which, if detonated, would turn Gotham City into a big bowl of ashes. The bomb could be detonated via remote control or gradually as it became more and more unstable. To make matters worse, no one could escape Gotham City; the lunatic threatened to detonate the bomb if anyone tried to leave. It was a nightmare for the people of Gotham; we took solace it is only a movie. Lucky were the citizens of Gotham city that the Cape Crusader (Batman) recovered quickly, got himself out of the hole he was dropped into and marched to save both Gotham and its citizens.
Most unfortunately, while lunatics abound here in America – some of which even pose as good guys – there is no Batman to save the cities. Contrary to Gotham city where the officials – although helpless without Batman – attempted to figure out a way out of the nightmarish situation caused by the lunatic, the elected officials in America are at time as guilty as the lunatics. The officials either ignore all signs of impending danger over the country, such as in the case of September 11, 2011, or they outright support and defend scenarios which spell doom for the country, such as in the case of the 2008 financial crisis, or they hand the keys to ensuring American security, safety and wellbeing to private companies whose primary, sole and main objectives are to be profitable at whatever cost including human lives.
Case in point, according to a February 2009 quick facts report by the National Association of Water Companies, there are approximately 26,700 privately owned companies, representing half of American drinking water utilities. Those companies supply water (and other water related services) to 35 million individuals across the United States, approximately 11% of the US population (based on 2014 US census data). Those privately owned drinking water utility companies are courtesy of your elected officials – Privatization of Natural Resources – who see it more important to have their political campaigns financed (by those organizations) than to ensure your security and wellbeing.
Of the 26,700 privately owned companies, the two major ones, American Water headquartered in Voorhees, NJ (the largest for-profit provider of water and wastewater services in the United States) and United Water, headquartered in Harrington Park, NJ the second-largest private water service provider in the nation operating in twenty five US states supply water to most major states in the country.
What’s wrong with that picture? United Water said in its website, Water is Life. Indeed, it is. To our elected officials however, they seem totally unfazed that such precious (natural) resource is entrusted to private organizations whose sole objective is to be profitable at all cost. It does not matter much to those officials how much danger the American people are exposed into by entrusting such vital element of natural resources to corporations. Needless to point out that their track record is far from being envied; most corporations are naturally greedy and their stewards are callous and do not practice corporate responsibility.
As of date, those 26,700 private companies employ a total of 28,000 – 35,000 individuals, anyone of which could potentially turn this precious resource into a weapon of mass killing at an unprecedented scale. Yes, 35 million people across the nation have their lives in the hands of potential disgruntled employees or worse dormant terrorists who could make use of deadly bio agents (otherwise known as biological weapon) through the water system. That seems okay with the elected officials as long as they get campaign financing from those organizations, thus ensuring those private organizations are not affected by legislations and/or policies; the hell with your safety, the hell with your health, the hell with your lives.
According to “Center for Responsive Politics” published in SourceWatch.org, “a collaborative, specialized encyclopedia of the people, organizations, and issues shaping the public agenda”, American Water alone spent nearly $1.5 million between 2000 and 2012 in political contributions to individuals, PACs, and third parties. That’s just at the national level. In California in 2014 alone, American Water spent over $2.4 million to oppose an initiative in Monterey, California that would have required “the water management district to establish a policy that all water systems in the district’s boundaries be publicly owned,” according to the Monterey Herald.
September 11, 2001 tragedy pales tremendously in the face of such imminent danger, over 35 million individuals exposed to potential bio agents. Even if you don’t drink tap water, use of deadly bio agents (by anyone of those 20,000 individuals turned disgruntled or terrorists) can easily penetrate your pores – when you take showers – to deliver lethal doses – some bio agents would become most lethal at boiling temperature; so, your cooking would be affected also.
This is not a scary movie one can forget about once it’s over. This is not Gotham City, and there is no Batman to rescue you from the bad guys. Incidentally, the bad guys are your elected officials who have made the decision to gamble your lives. Unless you take action to rectify the problem of your elected officials selling your lives (and those of your kids and grandkids) to the highest bidder, you would wish you only had the problem experienced by Gotham City. Fortunately, you don’t need Batman.
- First and foremost, you need to start thinking (seriously) in term of the country, not a party
- Second, you need to re-engage (actively) in the political conversation
- Third, you need to get rid off of those officials who don’t think your lives (and your kids’ and grandkids’) matter
If not your sake, for your kids, for your grandkids and for all future generations, for your lives and theirs depend on it. If all that sounds bad, don’t despair just yet; it gets worse. How much worse can it possibly get? Watch this column as we explore how actions (and inactions) of elected officials are contributing to making America a living hell.