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Vibes writes: "Flint's government continues to charge people for the poison water and then threatening to foreclose their home or take their children if they refuse to pay. Michigan law states that parents are neglectful if they do not have running water in their home, and if they chose not to pay for water they can't drink anyway, then they could be guilty of child endangerment."

Water from Flint, Michigan. (photo: Getty)
Water from Flint, Michigan. (photo: Getty)


ALSO SEE: Advocates Sue Flint Over
Poisoned Drinking Water

Flint Residents Told That Their Children Could Be Taken Away if They Don't Pay for City's Poison Water

By John Vibes, The Free Thought Project

27 January 16

 

Not only is the Michigan government poisoning residents, but now they are threatening to take their children for not paying for it.

s the water crisis in Flint deepens, it is becoming apparent that the effects of the lead-infested water are not just a health hazard, but the situation has the potential of ruining many more lives outside of the poison issue. There is no denying that the water in Flint is undrinkable and that it is contaminated with lead and other substances, and it is clear that the government of Flint is responsible for the problem.

However, the city’s government continues to charge people for the poison water and then threatening to foreclose their home or take their children if they refuse to pay. Michigan law states that parents are neglectful if they do not have running water in their home, and if they chose not to pay for water they can’t drink anyway, then they could be guilty of child endangerment. Flint resident Melissa Mays says that some residents have already received similar threats from the government if they refuse to pay their bills.

Flint residents have recently filed two class action lawsuits calling for all water bills since April of 2014 to be considered null and void because of the fact that the water was poisonous.

“We are seeking for the court to declare that all the bills that have been issued for usage of water invalid because the water has not been fit for its intended purpose,” said Trachelle Young, one of the attorneys bringing the lawsuit said in court.

“Essentially, the residents have been getting billed for water that they cannot use. Because of that, we do not feel that is a fair way to treat the residents,” Young added.

Recent estimates have indicated that it could take up to 15 years and over $60 million to fix the problem, and the residents will be essentially forced to live there until the problem is solved. Despite the fact that the issue is obviously the government’s responsibility, they have made it illegal for people to sell their homes because of the fact that they are known to carry contaminated water. Meanwhile, residents are still left to purchase bottled water on their own, in addition to paying their water bill.

Although this problem is finally getting national media attention in Flint, they aren’t the only city with contaminated water supplies. In fact, a recent report published by The Guardian showed that public water supplies across the country were experiencing similar issues.

This crisis highlights the many dangers of allowing the government to maintain a monopoly on the water supply and calls attention to the fact that decentralized solutions to water distribution should be a goal that we start working towards.

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+44 # MJnevetS 2016-01-27 15:41
"This crisis highlights the many dangers of allowing the government to maintain a monopoly on the water supply and calls attention to the fact that decentralized solutions to water distribution should be a goal that we start working towards."

This last sentence is the scariest statement in the article it calls forth echos of "The Shock Doctrine" by Naomi Klein. First a Ultra-right wing governor (remember Republicans don't believe government can do anything as well as private industry) poisons the people of a city (Flint), then others come out and declare that the government was the problem, let's privatize this industry, so that it can be done properly. When, in fact, it could have been done properly if it was not done with malice aforethought. The ELECTED officials were (jack)booted out by this sad excuse for a Governor in order to put his equally evil city managers in place. The problem isn't the elected government of the city, the problem is the elected government was undemocraticall y removed from office and replaced with people whose purpose was fulfilled by poisoning the city's water.
 
 
+23 # SusanT136 2016-01-28 06:07
Agreed 100% - I too was quite disturbed by the conclusion of that last paragraph. I will go one step farther than mjnevets in that I think this could all be part of a larger scheme to privatize water in the US. First put an incompetent and unaccountable "government" in place, then when they screw up, point to it as an example of how private, for-profit industry needs to move in and take over. Michigan, like Wisconsin, is a testing ground for implementing these ideas.

Get rid of the "emergency manager", get rid of the appointees who are not held accountable to the people, bring back the ELECTED officials and bring back democracy.

This story should be leading on every news program every night. The "emergency managers" of Michigan have accomplished what no terrorist has yet been able to do: poison the water supply.
 
 
+16 # MidwestTom 2016-01-28 10:28
Why is there no mention of who is actually polluting the Flint River, is the state protecting some company? Most rivers in this country have been cleaned up by fining and issuing criminal charges against polluters; why not in Michigan?
 
 
+2 # CL38 2016-01-30 17:42
Prosecution and LONG prison sentences.
 
 
+14 # warrior woman 2016-01-28 07:47
Agreed. I've read on other sites that privatization was the ultimate goal. Deplete the customer base of the Detroit system and then take away the public service and replace it with privatized companies (y).
 
 
+8 # economagic 2016-01-28 10:17
Right. I misread the above comments the first time as AGREEING that government should not have a monopoly on water. In principle no entity should have a monopoly on anything. But public utilities are almost always what economists call a "natural monopoly" insofar as building competing systems is prohibitively costly, and of all of the arrangements that have been tried for municipal water supply, local government monopoly is by far the best.

Second, commenters are also correct in recognizing that the problems arise when people and factions who believe that government should be run by private business (sic!) are put in charge of government.

Folks, private business running the government is as close to a general definition of fascism as one can get. We're there in almost every respect but the name -- but apparently everyone here realizes that!
 
 
+4 # MsAnnaNOLA 2016-01-29 09:10
As far as privatization is concerned do the research. Privatization does not work well for anything. The people end up paying way more and often get a worse product. Just ask the folks in Chicago who had their parking privatized. They now pay double what they paid a few short years ago. The Daley administration sold the parking rights for a one time payment they spent. The folks who want to go to Downtown Chicago now have to pay $40 dollars to park instead of $20 and it will only go up from there. Plus they have to pay the parking company anytime the city blocks off city parking meters for an event. So any new events downtown cost the taxpayers money.

Ask the kids who were put in prison by the private prison companies by the perverse incentives that that arrangement creates.

Government monopolies can and do work, but people must provide oversight. This scenario could have also happened with a private company. The profit motive is very strong. How many corporations have poisoned citizens and effectively gotten away with it. They get a slap on the wrist if anything. No we need to put the people in jail that allowed this poisoning to knowingly continue. Not a fine, Jail. Period. That is the kind of incentive that everyone understands.
 
 
+29 # RMDC 2016-01-27 18:38
This is just getting more insane. Who would pay for poisoned water?? Would you pay for food that was rotten? Would you pay a car mechanic who did not repair your car. I hope a big organization like the ACLU jumps in and files more class action law suits.

Why can't the Flint water company just go back to the old water source? It was more expensive, but it was clean. It appears that the Michigan government and its appointed emergency managers are not going to fix this problem. They are saying to the people of Flint --go to hell but pay your taxes and water bills before you go.,
 
 
+13 # lfeuille 2016-01-28 00:41
They have gone back to the old source, but the chemicals in the river water have corroded the lead pipes so that they are still leaching into the water after the source of the corrosion has been eliminated.
 
 
+8 # stoher9 2016-01-28 07:44
They have gone back to the old supply, but are paying much more because they sold the pipeline that connects to Detroit to make money for the state. There are chemicals that can be added to the water that will bond to the lead pipes, encapsulating it, so it stops leaching lead into the water. These chemicals are not being used at this time because of the cost & Flint no longer owns the infrastructure where these chemicals could be added.
 
 
+3 # MsAnnaNOLA 2016-01-29 09:16
If what you say is true, this reinforces my comment above. If they sold the infrastructure that sounds a lot like privatization. They let the control go to someone else. Not good.
 
 
+8 # reiverpacific 2016-01-28 10:44
Quoting RMDC:
This is just getting more insane. Who would pay for poisoned water?? Would you pay for food that was rotten? Would you pay a car mechanic who did not repair your car. I hope a big organization like the ACLU jumps in and files more class action law suits.

Why can't the Flint water company just go back to the old water source? It was more expensive, but it was clean. It appears that the Michigan government and its appointed emergency managers are not going to fix this problem. They are saying to the people of Flint --go to hell but pay your taxes and water bills before you go.,


Al Capone could take this City's correspondence course; -at least he supplied booze.
WHY, oh WHY don't Obama and the DEQ intervene and the Governor, Mayor and city Council face recall?! This is nothing less than a human rights crime and the book should be thrown at them then jail for a long time, during which they should be supplied with only the filthy witches brew they've been forcing on these people, see how long they survive!
 
 
+39 # CL38 2016-01-27 21:37
Pipe poisoned water into homes. Threaten citizens for refusing to pay for unusable water. Threaten to take their kids or homes if people continue refusing to pay--despite the reality that lead leached from the pipes and contaminated their children's health.

THIS IS republican Orwellian governance.

Someone with authority step in and stop the insanity.
 
 
-6 # lorenbliss 2016-01-28 01:50
Alas, this is not just "republican Orwellian governance." It is also Democrat Orweiilan governance: note how the Democrats in Washington state slashed social services and now peddle the brazen Big Lie they "restored" them instead. (See http://lorenbliss.typepad.com/loren-bliss-outside-agitators-notebook/2016/01/looming-blindness-and-the-slow-motion-genocide-of-social-service-cutbacks-make-2016-my-most-miserabl.html).

Barack the Betrayer did the same thing to food-stamp recipients in 2014, slashing grants by an average of $90 per month per household, then concealing his genocidal malevolence with the Big Lie it "will make sure America's children don't go hungry" (see http://lorenbliss.typepad.com/loren-bliss-outside-agitators-notebook/2014/02/food-stamps-democrats-republicans-join-hands-to-kill-poor-people.html).

What we are seeing in Flint, in Washington state and in Washington D.C. is in fact bipartisan Orwellian governance -- irrefutable proof we are ruled by one (capitalist) party that hides its despotism behind the ultimate Big Lie of "American democracy."

Such is life -- and death -- in the USian Empire, the de facto Fourth Reich, where slow-motion genocide has replaced (politically unfashionable) death camps, but the long-term results are identical.

And we the people are deluded enough to fantasize the all-powerful One Percent will allow an election to bring about our liberation -- a fantasy that, in bitter truth, died forever on 22 November 1963.
 
 
+16 # sea7kenp 2016-01-28 08:14
Obama wasn't the one making the cutbacks. He spoke out AGAINST them. Republicans in Congress were the ones, behind those particular cutbacks.
 
 
-3 # economagic 2016-01-28 10:24
Loren, for some reason I can no longer see your "score," but until I gave you a positive and refreshed the list it was -2. Unfortunately there are some people on this site who still think that Obama is some kind of Messiah, and that HRC will be almost as good or even better! Fortunately they are not as prevalent here as on a very popular blog whose contributors re-post quite a few news stories.
 
 
+2 # lorenbliss 2016-01-28 14:47
Thank you very much, economagic.

Alas, Moron Nation includes a big portion of the (pseudo) Left -- misinformed folks who in their modes of (alleged) thinking are ultimately as pro-capitalist as any fascist. And the plutocratic pep rally of a presidential election brings them out in droves.

Moreover, in their ignorance they are reflexively hostile to any accurate description of USian political reality -- especially the fact what today's Democrats do (legitimizing the genocide proposed by the Republicans) utterly nullifies anything the Democrats might say.

Classic, classically Orwellian examples include the Democrat benefit cuts afflicting so many Washington state elderly and disabled people and the food stamp cuts imposed by Barack the Betrayer and his Obamanoids in Washington D.C. -- each atrocity subsequently hidden, just as I described above, behind Big Lies. (Josef Goebbels would be ecstatic.)

Until sea7kenp and his ilk awaken to the fact all capitalists are the sworn enemies of all Working Class folk and recognize socialism is our only path out of the capitalist slave pens, you and I and all our comrades will be plagued by habitual Thumbs-Downers.

So be it. Khrushchev's prediction we the people would raise the Red Banner was merely premature. My late father may have been closer to the truth. As he said so often after the murder of JFK: "things in this country will eventually get so bad, the Red Army will be welcomed as an army of liberation."
 
 
+1 # CL38 2016-01-31 02:17
Are you working for what you want...standing up to demand change or just giving up ?
 
 
+17 # Dumbledorf 2016-01-27 23:27
Arrest the Governor for criminal negligence or charge him under the Nuremburg laws for crimes against humanity.

Let the residents get together and sue everyone involved in the Fint, Michigan, Municipal, for-profit corporation and/or revoke their Charter with the state. Thereby establishing new governance by, for, and of THE PEOPLE! Keep the stinking lawyers out!
 
 
+10 # sea7kenp 2016-01-28 08:17
Make Snyder eat prison food. Can they import some Flint Water, for him to wash the food down?
 
 
+15 # RnR 2016-01-28 00:59
How is it that none of the politico's involved in this have been arrested yet? Attempted murder works for me.
 
 
+2 # Depressionborn 2016-01-28 02:19
Lead pipes? Makes no sense.
 
 
+6 # cavewoman 2016-01-28 09:24
Lead pipes are very common especially in older water intake systems. There was no lead in the water issue until the Flint River water flowed through them, and the acidic nature of that water leached the lead out of the pipes and into the water.
 
 
+2 # reiverpacific 2016-01-28 20:02
Quoting Depressionborn:
Lead pipes? Makes no sense.

Right -but you must know that there are still a good percentage of cities and communities around the country that are still served by wire-bound wood piping. I was just involved (2015) as a construction manager/inspect or in the replacement of a gravity main delivering the water to a city of 3,000+.
But at least it wasn't lead, which I agree makes no sense. It has been a banned substance in all industries, like asbestos, for decades.
 
 
+8 # lorenbliss 2016-01-28 03:09
I think we should beware the so-called "Free Thought Project" -- or at the very least be profoundly skeptical about it.

Noting the obvious Ayn Rand bias of the above report's last graf ("This crisis highlights the many dangers of allowing the government to maintain a monopoly on the water supply..."), I went to the organization's website, http://thefreethoughtproject.com/ for more information.

Though the website is significantly uninformative about the organization's founders and sponsors, it is indicatively overrun with advertising.

Despite the site's apparently pro-revolutiona ry content, its advertising content thus immediately tells us it is (1) an instrument of capitalism and is therefore (2) part of the ever-widening Ruling Class apparatus that serves the One Percent.

Hence I strongly suspect it represents a new and perhaps intellectually dangerous experiment in pro-capitalist, anti-socialist (and therefore definitively anti-humanitari an) propagandizatio n.

These are of course suspicions only, but particularly because of the site's lack of sponsor/founder information and the Ayn Rand tone of the above report's closing graf, I would say The Free Thought Project bears very close scrutiny indeed.

In which context let us never forget Lev Bronstein's observation: "in every gathering of three or more revolutionaries , there is always an agent of the Okhrana."
 
 
+9 # Suzy 2016-01-28 09:30
To lorenbliss
It seems that in The Fourth Reich it is the poor who will be killed off in "The Final Solution" and with so much of the money under the control of the top one percent, it won't take long for the rest of us to be in the ranks of the poor. Ayn Rand would be proud!
 
 
+10 # futhark 2016-01-28 03:30
Set up a children's refugee camp on the governor's front lawn and let him provide the necessary food, lodging, and care out of his own personal funds. He is the one that deliberately initiated this situation and should act in a responsible way. Isn't that what it is all about, elected officials acting responsibly?
 
 
+8 # maverita 2016-01-28 07:10
hopefully Michigan residents will start trending left again, since their forays into red state territory have been so terribly unsuccessful for the people of Michigan.
 
 
+13 # Suzy 2016-01-28 07:42
The ones who should be charged with child endangerment are the
Governor and all of his underlings who are responsible for the poisoning of every living being in Flint. The fact that people are being
threatened if they don't pay for their poison gives further proof that
that those who have caused the endangerment remain unrepentant.
 
 
+1 # Femihumanist 2016-01-28 16:44
Oh, that's not all really happening. It was just the next, and never published, chapter of Joseph Heller for Catch 22. Nothing that absurd could be carried out by our totally rational government that only worries about the welfare of those being governed.
 

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