Super Power – Now Running On Empty

copyright © Judith Moriarty

You’ll never meet these folks.  They represent the hundreds of thousands who have been kicked to the curb these past years (from Clinton’s NAFTA in ’94 until the current time).  A ‘restructuring’ company (better known as hatchet men) took over their company in 2004 with lofty promises of Jobs etc.  Fact is – these companies buy and resale companies.  They were informed right before Christmas that they (122 people) no longer had a job by Watermill (International) Ventures.  The company only decided to give two weeks severance pay due to the Governor’s intervention.  Naturally, all their health benefits etc went out the window.  Some of these folks had worked at this DECENT paying Modular Home Company for decades.  They bought homes here (Claremont) and have children in college.  These employees were highly skilled.

They were the leading builder here in New England of energy efficient modular homes/ businesses etc.  They have won numerous awards for their outstanding craftsmanship and have been featured in many building etc, magazines.

This is a sample kitchen.

This is one of their energy efficient homes.

The skilled carpenters and craftsmen at CSI trained youngsters.  This was not addressed in the numerous news articles (nor their great work).  Today kids are leaving school – they seek men who will mentor and train them in skills they can use!  They are not interested in perpetual testing and social engineering.  Now this great gift to our area’s children is lost.  Do the corporate predators care?  No – they’re in the business of profits not the future of children.

While we are kept dutifully distracted with the drunken antics of air headed starlets (called breaking news) or the theater of mud slinging politics, few are aware of what’s happening in their own state, let alone what is happening across the nation.  What ‘breaking news’ announced the closing of Maytag – in business for 114 years?  The thousands losing their jobs due to this closure (parts – appliance stores – businesses in town) wasn’t deemed newsworthy?  Mike, leaving Maytag, on the last day, doesn’t know where he’s going to turn.  He was four years short of receiving his pension.  Not so with our politicians.  They needn’t invest 30 years before they’re eligible for pension.

A mere five years will see them given life long pensions (the longer in office the bigger the pension).  Unlike work a day folks whose pensions are stolen – they receive pensions with yearly cost of living increases (plus life long medical coverage).  This is WHY you see such a detachment on the election circuit.  Those in cradle to grave political jobs have long ago lost any empathic understanding of men in their late 40s – 50s – 60s suddenly jobless in a nation without jobs (livable wage jobs that is).

Maine and New Hampshire have seen their paper/pulp mills closed.  Like Maytag – the move is on to China.  The usual patronizing PR of job retraining   is lauded – and then, these men (families) get lost in the shuffle of time.  This job retraining is a colossal joke.  Another story.

We hear of massive foreclosures across the nation.  The media would have you believe that every one, and his brother, is losing their homes because they bought homes they couldn’t afford.  When mills, and manufacturing plants close, duh, banks don’t care if you can’t pay a mortgage.  These steel mills (gone to China etc) forged the steel for our ships, planes (WWII) built the Empire State Building and the Golden Gate Bridge etc.  The fuel company, electric company, etc, aren’t interested in your plight when the mill closes.  You’re on your own after unemployment runs out.  You’re now thrown into a job market where people highly educated with numerous degrees are being thrown overboard.

When a  company leaves  town, all the supporting businesses,  where employees shopped go belly up.  People worried about buying milk for the kids or keeping the lights on aren’t buying  seafood, winter clothing, shoes, or pizza.  Restaurants and movie houses don’t take promissory notes.  The truth is  America (due to drastic cutbacks) has no safety net.  The only bailouts in the USA are for the corporate destroyers; loans, grants, subsidies, tax breaks etc.  Towns boarded and closed search for investments such as  box stores, foreign companies (promising JOBS) , high-end condos,   or malls!  All of which produce nothing and do not contribute to the fiscal health of a town.

Years of paying a bank,  twice as much for a home  (with interest)  goes up in smoke when you miss a few payments.  These mortgages held by foreign/corporate conglomerates don’t care if you end up living in your car, in a tent or under a bridge.

It is really quite insulting and degrading to hear officials laud the future opening of a foreign owned Tap Water/plastic bottle plant as a viable option to replace that job as  a skilled craftsman!  There appears to be this mindset that ‘any job will do’!  These same officials don’t see their own positions (yearly raises – bonuses) being replaced !  You’d be hard pressed to see them identifying filling bottles with water, (making the molds) for $7.25 an hour  (maybe $8.00)  as an adequate job  to live on (pay their mortgage – car payments – etc).

Steel workers in Pittsburgh were advised to get that job at Wal-Mart (part time of course).  Filled with Chinese junk – it’s little wonder one cannot find anything Made In America.  Wal-Mart is our nation’s largest employer.  This should frighten people no end (also NH’s largest employee).

In the end, Corporate Greed (paid 400x more than common worker)  is destroying the nation.  In 1886, the Supreme Court declared that corporations were  henceforth to be considered ‘persons’ under the law, with all of the constitutional rights that designation implies.  Throughout the 19th and early 20th centuries, corporations reshaped every aspect of life in America and much of the rest of the world.  The factory system turned self-sufficient small farmers into wage – earners and transformed the family from an interdependent economic production unit into a consumption- oriented collection of individuals with separate jobs.  Advertising turned productive citizens into ‘consumers’.

Business leaders campaigned to create public schools to train children in factory- system obedience to schedules and in the performance of isolated, meaningless tasks.  And now ?  Corporations came to own and dominate sources all information and entertainment and  the control of politicians and judges.  Once upon a time, the robber barons influenced Washington.  Now they sit on the cabinet and have been appointed to the positions of influence.  The great exodus of immigrants taking place worldwide is their doing.  Be it the UK – Sweden – France – the US – etc) the name of the GAME is cheap labor.  The American – Mexican – UK etc, dream was all an illusion.  Trade agreements  make slaves of us all.  

Invasion of the Corporate Destroyers

copyright © Judith Moriarty

The Corporate Destroyer is a peculiar mutation of man.  It is known for its inactivity in the practice of any virtue.  He is found in several different forms throughout the government, business, and nations.  The fruits of his labors can be seen throughout the earth in ‘greed, sloth, pride, wrath, avarice, envy, lust, and gluttony’.  Absent conscience or allegiance to any land, this mutant will use any means necessary to feed his insatiable appetite.  

His claim to fame is identified as being the seven deadly sins!

The Corporate Destroyer, and his cohorts, enter into naive, economically depressed communities, under the guise of JOBS.  They gather millions in grants, and various subsidies to set up shop.  Ironically, the taxpayer subsidies his employment (without royalty checks).  Being privately owned (ex: Ice River Springs) without public stock trading, they don’t have to reveal many of their operations / finances etc.  Being (many) foreign, they are extended ‘special benefits’ in various trade agreements.

Bird found with bottle caps from plastic water bottles.

This plastic is choking and poisoning the whole of the earth.  Consumers have been ‘programmed’ to believe, that water bottled from the TAP (called purified), or from some ‘unknown’ spring (not the picture on the bottle) is healthy?  The fact that plastic does not degrade, and is now being found in birds, fish, etc, is not part of the PR presentation to a town.  Conservation?  Huh?  The oil needed to make these plastic bottles for U.S.  shoppers; uses 1.5 million barrels of crude oil each year.  These approximately 52 billion plastic bottles end up in landfills – incinerated (toxins) in the oceans and on the beaches, or in birds and sea life.  

Next comes garbage; tons and tons and millions of tons.  The ‘Corporate Destroyer’ and his partners have now been ‘appointed’ to the most important jobs in Washington.  With the influence of lobbyists and campaign contributions, they write their own meal tickets (excusing themselves from responsibility & liabilities).  In rural places like Bethlehem, NH (above), which was once a health resort, there are approx 2.3 million TONS of other people’s garbage.  They (the waste destroyers) are cutting down the trees, to make room, for the excesses of a materialistic – mind-numbed society.  “I speak for the trees for the trees have no tongue.”  Dr.Seuss

The whales and the porpoises are dying of ruptured brains as the Navy trains for moneyed war (sonar – explosions).  The Navy did a study and reported that all is well – these explosions don’t kill nor does sonar confuse or rupture the eardrums of whales/porpoises!  Why they all must be committing mass suicide?

The ‘weapons of mass destruction’ for the native people’s of the world (from Indonesia to the rain forests in South America) are Corporate Sloth and his malignant buddies.  War and terrorism come in many forms.  For those who reside deep in remote jungles; its the timber companies – gas, and the OIL maggots.  Hired thugs kill those who object to their lands being plundered.  This never makes the national news.  Who are the truly civilized in this world?  Those in suits who destroy whole lands with the push of a pencil or the natives who are one with the earth?  And when the last tree is felled – it won’t matter if there’s anyone there to hear it!

Something awful is happening.  It is horrifying that citizens have to FIGHT their own government (federal – state – local) to save the environment/ protect their water and the health of their children.  No matter the deformity found in an animal, there’s a benign yawn, from those appointed to care,  announcing; ‘it must be a virus’?  The frogs in the environment are the canaries of the mines (used to detect gas).  Washington’s answer is to hide the ‘cage’.

Millions of fish are dying and they’re tearing down the Appalachian Mountains (for coal).  The inconvenient truth, of what these ‘Corporate Hucksters ‘ are ravishing, raping, and clear cutting etc; can’t compete with the news of car chases, Paris Hilton’s jail experience, or sports stars on steroids.  

War – forever war!  All the Destroyers (sloth, envy, pride, wrath, lust, etc) are profiting from this.  War is good for the economy.  It raises the price of weapons manufacturing stocks, makes billions for private contractors, oil interests, and investors.  A vote for the right bill will keep those campaign coffers filled!  It also is a great dumping ground (put into weapons) for all that depleted uranium (half life 4 billion years).  

“One cannot pluck a flower without troubling a star.”  Francis Thompson  

If the truth be told: “Unless someone like you cares an awful lot, nothing is going to get better.  It’s not.”  Dr.Seuss / The Lomax  


The Yellow Brick Road, The Campaign Trail, And Us

copyright © 2007 Betsy L. Angert

Americans, mired in debt, desperate for adequate Health Care, fearful of foreclosures, and worried about a protracted war, cry out for change.  Compatriots wish for a wizard, one who will work for the common folk, and not solely for self, a Commander-In-Chief who will acknowledge the current crises, and lead us into a Land like Oz.  We want America to be the perfect country.  We wish to be known as benevolent, caring, compassionate super power.  We yearn to say aloud with conviction, “There is no place like home!”  

Throughout the nation, citizens are thankful we have an opportunity to transform this country.  Americans have the right to vote their conscience.  In the land of the free and home of the brave, we can and will advocate for the values that made this country great. Citizens will walk through snow, sleet, ice, and rain to cast a ballot for the man or woman we think right for the homeland.

Democrats and Republicans alike hope to improve this nation and their station.  The difference may be in degrees.  For now, those most desirous of a Progressive revolution are the downtrodden.  Democrats yearn for an event that will take away from the daily grind.  Those on the Left hope for a gust of wind that will place them in the Emerald City where life is Green and clean, and where average people are the priority.  Thus, Democrats participate in the process; they are intimately informed.

Iowa Caucuses, New Hampshire primaries, and the polls.  Do we have a consensus?  Is there a crisis on the campaign front? Might the race be too close to call, or is it all merely a manufactured media myth.  We are told Hillary is ahead, or she was.  Perhaps Edwards has the lead.  Barack Obama is closing in, or was with the help of Oprah, maybe.  Some skeptics say the throngs of fans want to touch a celebrity.  The Obama/Oprah ogling will not necessarily equate to votes.  Bill Clinton can do what no other has.  Certainly, he will boost the New York Senator’s numbers.  However, the charismatic Clinton may not be enough; or perchance he is or has too much, too much power, influence, and baggage.  No one is ever certain what the other Clinton will say or do when he publicly steps onto the stage.  John Edwards might be the come from behind kid.  This man and his family have seen and experienced hardships.  After the pain of his son’s death he, and wife Elizabeth have been on a shared mission.

This synopsis is Democratic politics in America, or is it?  There are whispers of Joe Biden, Chris Dodd, Bill Richardson in the halls of Iowa and New Hampshire hotels.  The media mentions these notables may wish to accept another position.   On the hill, the same is said.  Each is considered experienced.  Any of the three would be an ideal Vice President or Secretary of State, or so we are told.  What we do not hear is what Americans would think if they were not told what to believe.

We read the research.  A survey can be slanted to produce the desired results.  Apparently, the polls are designed to deliver the information that the candidates, the campaigns, the columnist think our countrymen must know.  Americans have head the rumors, the rhetoric, and the railed against such surveys.  Intellectually, we understand that studies are skewed.  Yet, we, the people repeat what we are told.  He cannot win; he is too short.  She will polarize the electorate. He is too Black, or is not enough of an Afro-American.  He understands how divided the country is, and he will work to change the system.  He has his place; it is just not in the White House.  He would make an excellent Secretary of State, an Ambassador, or perhaps he serves us best in Congress.

Even the most articulate and educated cannot resist reiterations.  Knowledgeable learned scholars, just as everyday students of the issues succumb to the standards.  Perhaps, since few of us have the opportunity to validate what we trust is likely true, we surrender to the situation as it is reported.  Thankfully, there are moments that allow us perspective.

On the eve of the New Year word spread far and wide.  In electronic communiqués, reality and reason were evident.  New Hampshire voters shared their experience, their distress, and disgust.  Citizens in the land of the free, and home of the brave, are afforded only select choices.  One candidate is dismissed before the electorate can cast a ballot.  Yet, a few spoke out in dissent.  

New Hampshire resident, Helen distressed and distraught wrote to her friends after she received a telephone call.

I just received a political phone call asking if I was going to vote in the primary.  Then she asked if I was voting for a Democrat would it be Hillary, Biden, Obama, Edwards and a couple of others, and I told her she left the best one out – Dennis Kucinich. And she asked, “Is he a Democrat?”  It turned out that she is working for the Clinton campaign.  If she’s representing the Clinton campaign, that’s another reason not to vote for Hillary. The young lady did thank me for the information!

Imagine, within the Clinton Camp an campaigner, a spokesperson for the presumed future President knows nothing of another Presidential hopeful.  A vibrant voice of the people is muffled so succinctly.  The sounds Dennis Kucinich makes are silenced before those that live in the cloudy skies of politics-as-is can hear them.  Fortunately, among the electorate and the friends of Helen there are those who like to label themselves ‘”enlightened” and proud of it.’

A few more-than-typically-well-informed voters care enough to look behind the golden curtain.  Some in Iowa and New Hampshire understand they do not live in the Land of Oz. These compatriots comprehend, even if they themselves are prosperous, others are not.  As good citizens these individual believe to their core they must act in accordance with the Constitution and consider all people are created equal.  Helen cares for the common folk.  See recognizes that Dennis Kucinich lived in dreadful poverty.  He will do more than express false or fragile piety; Kucinich will relate and react to a circumstance that is real for him.  This voter longs for a President who does more than posture and profess.  For this compassionate soul, it is time for true change.  

Like Helen, other people in New Hampshire [and Iowa] do not wish to follow the yellow brick road just because they are told that is the way to the Emerald City.  A few know to trust that promises of fortune, or a solid foundation do not come when, for the most part, the status quo is sustained.  Universal Health Care with Insurers in charge will not cover those who cannot afford the cost at any price.  War will not end if one soldier remains in Iraq to “secure the peace” within a sovereign nation.  

In the Granite State, the constituency can be hard to sway.  A body of voters can challenge the conventions, and they do.  When Aprille received two similar survey calls, she responded with glee, then revulsion.

I have had 2 phone calls just like that one and I did the same thing. The most recent one asked if I was voting for Clinton, Obama, or Edwards. I said….”There are a heck of a lot more candidates running, why aren’t you mentioning them?” She said, “Who are you voting for?” I said…”I’m planning on voting for Kucinich.” She said, “Kucinich?” I said…..”Yes, Kucinich. And if you refuse to include the other candidates, then this is a bogus survey!” As I was hanging up, I heard her say that this survey was paid for by the Hillary campaign! What the bleep!?

Indeed. Might Americans consider what is true.  Contrived, campaign rhetoric, and more importantly push polls [political telemarketing masquerading as a poll], do not give the constituency a choice.  It is all good and well that the people are promised they can take their country back.  However, in truth, as long as the public is told who will win, who is electable, and who is not worth a mere mention, then this election will be just as those we witnessed in 2000 and 2004.  Cast your ballot.  Then, let the courts decide.

America, as long as you vote as the wizards of Wall Street tell you to, if you cast your ballot for the person you believe will win, because that is what the broadcaster say is “spot on,” then this country will not belong to the people on Main Street.  Each time we choose the person defined as a victor, we give up our freedom.  We are but munchkins, ruled by the glorified little man who stands behind the curtain and  pulls the switch.

In fantasylands, citizens may never suffer.  It seems people do not need to settle.  Wizards work wonders.  The people only follow their lead.  In America, if we are all to prosper, life must be  different.  People in pursuit of happiness cannot take jobs just to survive, as they do now.  They must not marry solely for money, food, or shelter.  We can no longer vote for the candidate of “hope and change” while aware of the fact that this person is solidly part of the system that ensures our life is miserable.

In truth, in America, there are no glittery gold pavements, or yellow brick roads, that lead to Emerald Cities.  We, together, the common man, woman, and child, with a leader who fully relates to our plight, must build these communities.  Wizards who can offer us a heart, a brain, or courage do not dwell in the White House or on the campaign trail.  We the people can make magic if we choose to think and act for ourselves.

If life is to be grand, we need to  accept that Presidential hopefuls are humans.  If a leader is to lead well, he or she must be able to relate to what we go through, for they have lived, and continue to live among us.  If a candidate speaks of our carbon footprint, we might ask, what is yours.  When asked of trade agreements, might we muse, Mister or Madame Presidential hopeful, how has such a pact transformed your life.  Talk of deep pockets could prompt a look into the purse that strings an aspirant along.

Americans must be more realistic and less enamored with emeralds that they do not own, if they are to chose someone who will truly represent them.  Just as a small paycheck alone will not secure our future, a political aspirant who speaks for the elite will not help bring us to the bargaining table.  The cash of a spouse who lost his or her job will not bring endless smiles. Nor will our contributions to a campaign that is beholding to corporate influences help cure our ills.

If we wish to live in the Land of Oz, Americans must create it.  We, the people, and a President, who is, as we are, must take our country back.

In our everyday existence, we accept that good looks and charm will not keep us warm at night.  Nor, will the pretty one provide adequate Health Care.  When on the streets, in the office, or at home we acknowledge that a sweet-talker does not have our best interests at heart.  We recognize a colleague who wants only to climb.  A snake-oil salesman smells of no good.  A song and dance does deliver more than a tune.

Common folks flee when they encounter scams during their daily deeds.  Yet, come election season, when Presidential candidates whisper words of all-I-want-to-hear . . . unless we are Helen, Aprille, or perhaps you, and I, citizens will follow the yellow brick road and forget who paints that pavement.

In 2008, and in all the years hence, let us remember that unless and until we recognize the wizard is in each of us, and in a nation united for a just cause, there will be no change.

Words for Wizards, and We, the People . . .

Live Free Or Die? How To Dupe An Uniformed Public/Officials

copyright © 2007 Judith Moriarty

Corporate water barons are having a field day in communities (states) begging for business, any business, in this day of outsourcing, echoing mills, and rusted plants with box stores filling the void!  Local folks are out maneuvered, in the jabberwocky language of global takings. Ripe for the taking! Too late, the people find themselves sold down the river (literally), with none the wiser as to the language of trade agreements etc, that have stolen their rights! Not even their elected officials whom they naively think are informed on such matters of importance are aware.

Communities in this the 21st century must educate themselves to privatization – public private partnerships, and the language of International Trade Agreements, if they wish to protect their resources, zoning, environmental, employment and health polices – laws – regulations.

Why is it imperative that these trade agreements be studied?  Ask Governor Lynch. Not reported in your local press and given barely any state coverage NH and the CAFTA agreement is one example.

Buried deep in fine print – Annex 9.1.2(b)(i), to be specific of the recently ratified trade agreement among the United States, five countries in Central America and the Dominican Republic, are provisions that dictate how the state of NEW HAMPSHIRE (other states) will conduct business with firms that want contracts to sell us goods or services /locate business here etc. How our state found its way into an obscure provision of the international agreement known as CAFTA, and why it stayed there, despite Governor John Lynch’s request to remove us, are illustrative of the threat that agreements like CAFTA pose to our state’s sovereignty and to democracy itself.

The text of CAFTA is 3,746 pages long! While you may be aware of the intimate details of a Brittany Spears, and her drunken escapades, or the score of the World Series, the media has not (or your U.S. Congressmen/Senators) informed you that CAFTA includes 22 chapters, three annexes, seven tariff schedules and 31 side letters. The provisions pertaining to how our state spends taxpayer dollars are described in the agreement’s Chapter 9, dealing with government procurement.

CAFTA’s procurement rules limit the policies of that federal/state government can follow. For example, if our elected officials were to pass a law limiting the foreign ‘outsourcing’ of public – sector jobs, such as call service centers /state agencies etc, that law could be challenged as an unfair ‘barrier to trade”. Under NAFTA for example; a company withdrawing X tens of thousands of gallons of water for their business, could challenge any local ordinance or law that would hinder their profits (in an International Court – tribunal). For example, with a company from Canada or Mexico,  entering your community you would (seemingly?) want to study Chapter 11 of the NAFTA agreement. Your well paid local consultants/ Economic Development personnel should be doing this!!

But the rules go far beyond simply stating that New Hampshire (other states) cannot express preference for a local firm over one based in a foreign country. For example, a state law prohibiting the purchase of uniforms made in sweatshops could trigger a trade dispute even if the law applied equally to sweatshops from all countries. That is because CAFTA (Article 9.7.2) prohibits  the use of “technical specifications ” that deal with how goods are made or how a service is provided.

Whether such procurement laws are good public policy is NOT the point! The point is whether it is our elected officials OR the members of international trade tribunals who should be able to decide!! It is supposed to be up to each state to decide whether to be governed by CAFTA’s procurement chapter. But it is not that simple.

On Nov 18, 2003, Governor Benson (hardly headlines!) authorized (without informing state legislators/ no debate/no discussion) authorized the federal government’s trade negotiators to list New Hampshire among the states that agree to bring their purchasing policies in line with CAFTA’S specifications, which at the time were incomplete and secret, even from the governor.

You can’t seem to awaken the people to the seriousness of such an authorization! He never READ what he bound us to!! As I recall there were only 5 legislators who were up to speed on this and alerted the new Governor – Gov.Lynch. It must also be understood that on the federal level none of these massive agreements are read or debated. There is only an up or down vote. If they had read NAFTA they would stop all the posturing and hair brained excuses they are giving  to an  uninformed public on just why there are millions of Mexicans streaming across our southern border. A reading of NAFTA explains it all!

When Governor Lynch was elected, he sent a letter to the U.S. trade representative instructing him to take New Hampshire out of CAFTA. He reasoned that if Governor Benson could put the state into CAFTA, he could take us out. BUT the trade representative took NO action, instead claiming he would have to renegotiate the whole agreement. I found the notice of this, in an out of town newspaper,  in a small paragraph,  buried in the back pages! Nope no headline story this!!  In fact, all but a handful of states (unbeknown to local officials – state representatives – citizens) are bound by this agreement. Nobody was paying attention! They still aren’t.

If you read  the official version of CAFTA  approved by Congress with the votes of our state’s senators and representatives, New Hampshire is still there. In other words, CAFTA’s provisions are like a lobster trap; once you get inside, it is impossible to get out again. The other CAFTA countries (like Canada and Mexico in NAFTA) can now bring  complaints to international tribunals if they believe NH decisions about how to spend our tax dollars deviates from CAFTA rules.

WATER- (NAFTA) Investor- to-state: Hiding behind the ‘ambiguous and innocuous’ phrase dispute resolution allows this power tool to sue governments for compensation. If laws or regulations cause actual or anticipated loss of company profits! This provision is also in CAFTA and FTAA. This would allow subsidiaries of European corporations in any of these countries to sue, claiming that regulation of water resources or water/sewer services threatens  their PROFITS.

Long before NAFTA there was GATT. Under GATT, once bulk water is exported as a commodity to another country, it is very difficult for governments to limit the quantity exported even when there is a critical water shortage. In California companies have proposed to sell bulk water from coastal rivers and even from an aquifer under the Mojave Desert.

While there was zero news coverage locally (NH),  Save Our Groundwater was formed in 2001 after USA Springs Inc. applied to withdraw over 400,000 gallons of water a day from an aquifer in the rural communities of Nottingham and Barrington, NH.  USA Springs Inc, owns about 100 acres of land including the watershed of three rivers potentially impacted by this project: Oyster River, Lamprey River, a federally protected wild and scenic river, and Bellamy River. THOUSANDS of seacoast residents and local businesses in ten communities depend on the watersheds of these rivers for their freshwater supplies.

Despite victories along the way (note how it is always the unpaid citizens who come forth to protect a state’s resources/ rally against toxic poisons etc) in a process that defies common sense, the NH DES accepted the application from USA Springs!  Olivia Zink a Save Our Groundwater member said “We are reminded of the movie ‘Groundhog Day’ where he keeps reliving one day over and over.” Alarm! If European investors are involved or if USA Springs is sold to a foreign corporation, international trade rules under WTO come into play.

Resident concern about the possibility of foreign acquisition was heightened when Hampton Water Co, was bought by Aquarion, a subsidiary of the Kelda Group, a British firm, and Pennichuck Water Works in Nashua went up for sale with Vivendi as a possible buyer.  NOTE – In 2004, Aquairion  was chosen over an American company, by Claremont City Council. A FEW citizens tried, to no avail, to inform the council of UK Keldra and the implications of making such a deal. Though there has been ZERO announcements,  on the local level, an Australian investment bank bought out Aquarion in 2006! 

If anyone thinks that their state Department of Environmental Services is looking out for their interests they are sadly mistaken!! For anybody (we with waste matters) who has been to Concord – its one big rush of lobbyists who rule the day/ and write the legislation!  Anything done for residents is by accident (my informed opinion).

Cleverly water companies (bottled water – plastic) do an end run around select boards, (in various states)  councils, and citizens,  dealing with unelected economic development personnel, consultants, and volunteer boards (others not versed in water/trade agreements). Citizens find themselves sold out with never being informed by their elected officials or the media!!  Bottled water is the way companies are taking the human right to safe, affordable, accessible drinking water and turning it (tap water no less) into a commodity to be sold at market prices – 1,000 times the cost of tap water! 

More than 10 billion plastic bottles end up as garbage (landfills – toxic incineration)  each year. Bottled water (of which local economic personnel – local officials etc, know  zero) introduces a new stream of toxic plastics, from the manufacturing of the plastic, to the punching out of the bottles putting plastic dust into the waste stream, to the leaching of hormone disruptor’s from plastics into the drinking water, etc. As to the amount of water that will end up being siphoned off – who knows? There’s no contract (per DPW director)  and representatives of Ice River (planning a bottling plant in Claremont) saw NO reason why a planning board should be  looking  to protect  the water.

It is simply inconceivable that foreign companies & global corporate water interests  can enter into a state/various communities and write their own meal tickets. But then,  the waste companies have,  so why are we surprised?  These hucksters count on an uninformed  population – (unelected)  economic development councils,  usurping the democratic process ( business over resource/health protections) – and the usual legion of lobbyists in legislative sessions.

Just as a waste company could care less about its toxic pollution/ millions of tons of garbage destroying a local community (Bethlehem, NH – once a health resort) they are not concerned about droughts, costs, or citizens complaints.  In this, the 21st century, the name of the GAME is plunder for profit – Rural folks, not familiar with the hijinks of global corporate hucksters – cannot imagine that they are dealing with high powered (carnivals of old) polished snake – oil – salesmen who would steal pennies off a dead man’s eyes if it would benefit the bottom line.  Interesting also, that this is election season, and the people are dutifully being distracted.  If I were coming to steal water – I’d pick this time!

Bottled Water is NOT tested by the EPA.  It is regulated by the FDA which does NO testing.  The FDA can’t control lead drenched toys, and toxic drenched foodstuffs, from entering into our country.  God knows what people are drinking?

Information from: Sierra Club – Save Our Groundwater, NH – Alliance for Democracy – Trade Agreements