L.E. Brown / February 5, 2016

Hillary, Bill, Bad Water, Republican Governors

In view of my short attention span, all I can do in this article is to impart brief words and phrases on two subjects: HRC (Hillary Rodham Clinton) and poisoned water.


Four days after her win in Iowa, Hillary Clinton’s braintrust was still answering questions about her allegedly sending top secret emails from a private server at her home.

Apparently they are so brainy that they ignore what should be an obvious solution: blame her husband, Bill.

“Bill did it,” she should say. Actually, that should be easy for her. The Clintons have always excelled at blaming others for any crime, real or perceived.

Bill, with help from his friends in the media and his millions of female supporters, could clear his name — and by extension Hillary’s — in three- or four days. He could bite his lip, come clean, and, if history repeats itself, his popularity would immediately soar. So would Hillary’s.

Also still making news after Iowa was the city of Flint, an example of where state and federal governments acted in unison for the good of the not-the-few, but for the security of government officials and “upper and middle class” citizens.

From Wilmington, North Carolina, a pickup truck carrying a few hundred bottles of bottled water left a couple of days ago to carry water to Flint, to be handed out to people at a church, its driver and passengers not concerned with mixing government and religion.

Water for people who could not drink the water governments supplied.

It would have been apt if North Carolina’s governor had faxed a message to Michigan’s governor, also a Republican, advising him on how to successfully deal with charges of covering up and incompetence.

He probably didn’t send the telegram, but North Carolina’s government, under its present governor, has handled nicely the issue of coal ash allegedly contaminating water.

Gov. Pat McCrory has dealt with the coal ash issue nearly as well as previous NC Democratic administrations handled contamination of private water wells, fields and streams from hogs, chickens, turkeys, fertilizers, rain from the heavens — take your pick.

The campaigns were so successful that today, 20 years later, news has been forgotten about people in eastern North Carolina who were advised by state health officials not to drink the water, due to high levels of nitrates.

At least in Flint, there seems to be a consensus as to the origin of the sickness in humans: lead from old water pipes.

In the 1990s in North Carolina, officials adopted the strategy of divide-and-conquer to deal with the high levels of nitrates, which, among other things, can cause “Blue Babies.”

After numerous tests, analyses and public meetings, spinners from government leaders in Raleigh were able to announce, with cooperation from officials at state-owned NC State University’s extension service and the state’s pristine Division of Water Quality, that no one could determine from where nitrates originated.

It could have been hog waste collected in lagoons and spread onto fields; from hog, chicken or turkey waste scooped up from confinement houses and spread onto fields; from runoff from fields saturated with fertilizers.

Or, it could have come down in the form of rain from heavens, as punishment for those who criticized the waste management practices of environmental purists, such as Smithfield Foods, which later sold its “giving back to the community” mantra to China.

However, the most compelling of the theories, suggested obliquely by experts, including those in the media, was that the sick people themselves were to blame.

Through ignorance they constructed and used unsanitary well water facilities and sewerage disposal systems.

To help the problem go away, local and state agencies borrowed millions and zillions of dollars, most from federal agencies, including the USDA’s Rural Development division, so as to pipe water to these uneducated, ignorant souls, if not to carry away waste from the homes.

The irony of the whole thing, says a trusted, unreliable adviser of mine, is that, two decades ago, people in eastern North Carolina bought bottled water, the same type as that being taken to Flint residents from NC and from other places.

Finishing the sentence to illustrate the irony, Ichanod Beilatieter suggested that both the “purified” water used in NC and that being sent to Flint may have originated from hog lagoons or from a city tap ejecting less-than-pure water.

As the late Linda Ellerbee would say, “And so it goes.”

L.E. Brown, Jr. is an independent writer based in Magnolia, N.C. Contact him at [email protected]

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