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Water

[ 327 ] July 5, 2014 |

The right to water should be a basic human right and Detroit shutting off water to people who can’t afford to pay their bills is an immoral act. The federal government should intervene to stop this from happening.

Comments (327)

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  1. N__B says:

    I’m sure that the people without water will stop complaining after three or four days. A week, tops.

  2. Davis X. Machina says:

    You can’t just provide a public good in a world where half the political nation doesn’t believe the word ‘public’ actually has a meaning, or refers to a real thing.

    • GoDeep says:

      Moreover you can’t provide any good when 40% of the population refuses to pay for it. It becomes an “unvirtuous” cycle actually where big losses forces the system to raise rates on those who do pay. Raising the rates means that some fraction of the ppl who do pay now have to struggle and may become delinquent themselves. ‘Sides I think something like 30-40% of the delinquent dollars are from businesses.

      • wengler says:

        As the .000000001 percent gets more and more of the wealth, you are and will be ever so wrong.

        • Origami Isopod, Commisar [sic] of Ideology for the Bolsheviks says:

          That sentence could have been typed without its dependent clause and it still would have been true.

          • GoDeep says:

            Oh, OI, still a poor deluded communist I see.

            • Aimai says:

              Your inability to get the joke that no one here is a communist within any meanging of the term is really starting to make you look like even more of a buffoon.

              • Ralph Cramdon says:

                So, which plank of CPUSA do you disagree with?

                It stands for our interests in both the present and the future. Solidarity with workers of other countries is also part of our work. We work in coalition with the labor movement, the peace movement, the student movement, organizations fighting for equality and social justice, the environmental movement, immigrants rights groups and the health care for all campaign.

                But to win a better life for working families, we believe that we must go further. We believe that the American people can replace capitalism with a system that puts people before profit – socialism.

                We are rooted in our country’s revolutionary history and its struggles for democracy. We call for “Bill of Rights” socialism, guaranteeing full individual freedoms.

                Until we win enough support to change the system, communists call for radical reforms under capitalism. We call for nationalization of the banks, railroads, and industries like steel and auto. Everyone who wants to work should be guaranteed a job or get unemployment payments until she/he can find a job. We say put the unemployed to work at union wages on massive public works programs to rebuild our cities, provide affordable housing for the homeless, build mass transit, and clean up the environment!

                • jim, some guy in iowa says:

                  oh, I think nationalization of the banks, etc is unnecessary provided of course they are well-regulated. the rest of it sounded pretty good to me. do you have a lamppost picked out for when the revolution comes, or will you be hiding with Ed down in the sewers?

                • Aimai says:

                  It ought to be obvious that even if I agreed with this part of the plank:

                  Until we win enough support to change the system, communists call for radical reforms under capitalism. We call for nationalization of the banks, railroads, and industries like steel and auto. Everyone who wants to work should be guaranteed a job or get unemployment payments until she/he can find a job. We say put the unemployed to work at union wages on massive public works programs to rebuild our cities, provide affordable housing for the homeless, build mass transit, and clean up the environment!

                  That would still not make me a communist in any real, historical, sense since the CPUSA specifically states this goal is, for them, merely a temporary one and I would be more than satisfied with ending with this program if it were achievable. In addition they specifically refer to this as “socialism” and “under capitalism” (and therefore within the current scope of our laws) rather than a true Communist program.

        • joe from Lowell says:

          I think just the opposite: as fewer and fewer people have any wealth, the number of those who “refuse to pay” for things will skyrocket.

          It’s just one of life’s mysteries, like the tides. No one can explain it.

      • James Gary says:

        Raising the rates means that some fraction of the ppl who do pay now have to struggle and may become delinquent themselves.

        Ah! But won’t the fear of getting their water turned off motivate that fraction to work harder so they’ll have more money to pay their water bill? If you want a setup where non-payers get cut off, it seems only fair that everyone has to play along.

        (And yes–if businesses are gaming the system and deliberately not paying their bill, they should be dealt with accordingly. But (as you’d know if you’d actually read the article) that’s not the issue here.)

      • DrS says:

        Do you ever get tired of saying ignorant and unintelligent things?

      • DrS says:

        Funny that you note that people are “refusing to pay for it”. That’s true, the landlords are refusing to pay for it like they used to. And as is common practice everywhere else in the us.

  3. LosGatosCA says:

    Isn’t that what fire hydrants are for?

  4. DrS says:

    That emergency manager law in Michigan is an abomination.

    • postmodulator says:

      You know who else needed to “temporarily” seize power due to an emergency?

      The American right is sidling ever-closer to ignoring the results of a national election. I fully expect it to happen in my lifetime.

      • UserGoogol says:

        I think that’s really the wrong way of looking at it. State government abolishing local government is not an unjust usurpation of power, if anything it’s something we need more of. Allowing lower-level government to contradict higher-level government has led to much evil in American politics. Some sort of local government is probably a necessary part of a complex society, and just going around abolishing it willy-nilly would probably be bad, but local government is not a right.

        The problem is that, in this instance, these emergency managers seem to be doing bad things. But the Michigan state government has been doing lots of bad things, that’s what Republicans do.

        • Linnaeus says:

          Even if we accept, for argument’s sake, that it’s desirable for state government to eliminate local governments, doing it in the form of the emergency manager (aside from the particular people who hold the office or what they do) poses a few problems.

          One, the EM has all of powers of the local government vested in a single person, which strikes me as dangerously concentrated.

          Second, the EM is insulated to a degree from local accountability because the EM can only be removed by the governor or by the legislature through the impeachment process. That more or less makes the EM the viceroy of the governor. So you have a case where consequences can be imposed locally, but oversight is diffused statewide. Now, that’s probably true of other kinds of officials too, but they don’t have the powers the EM does.

          • postmodulator says:

            One, the EM has all of powers of the local government vested in a single person, which strikes me as dangerously concentrated.

            This is the key point, I think. It does not remove a level of local control; rather it hands that control over to a single person, with outcomes that in this case are demonstrably antidemocratic.

          • GoDeep says:

            I think the problem w/ the local gov’t of Detroit is that for most of the last 30yrs they’ve shown that they’re incapable of good local gov’t, too beholden to local constituencies & special interests. We’ve seen this with the infamous “13th Checks” (literally a 13th check was mailed out to pensioners instead of the 12 they were supposed to get) which helped destroy their public pension.

            • Aimai says:

              You know what–that is just absurd. The public pension system was deliberately destroyed to get the pensioners screwed, like every other pension system in the US.

              • GoDeep says:

                And you have evidence of this…where, precisely? The pension board was well represented by unions. They may be bad actuaries but I doubt they deliberately scuttled their own ship.

                Most of the trustees on Detroit’s two pension boards represent organized labor, and for years they could outvote anyone who challenged the payments.

                The only thing absurd is you defending the indefensible–with a conspiracy theory no less. This is simple math. If you skim off the upside on the investment, there won’t be any funds to avg up the downside years.

                Before it ended in 2011, the policy of issuing a “13th” check and other payments cost Detroit’s general pension system $1.92 billion from 1985 to 2008, according to a report commissioned by the city.

                • Aimai says:

                  How much was bled out by the city and state failing to match contributions? How much is due to the collapse of the economy?

                • Aimai says:

                  Here’s Taibbi on generic looting of pension funds–hint: its not the unions who are responsible for it. And it isn’t done by disbursing claims money early. Here’s another article from the Huffington Post. The part where they use and re-use the phrase “unfunded liability”? That refers to the decisions, sometimes decades long, of City and State Managers to fail to pay into the Pension plans the monies they were contractually obligated to pay in. Some pension plans were funded at only 35 percent–Detroit was funded (ish) around 77 percent. Of course there is a shortfall when the pension plan itself was used as a convenient way to bail out local government and the taxpayers by deferring obligations to the future pensioners.

            • wjts says:

              Local government is supposed to be beholden to local constituencies. That’s why it’s there. As for the pension problems, I suspect the fact that the city’s population has gone from 1,511,482 people in 1970 to 713,777 people in 2010 has more to do with it than the “infamous 13th checks”.

              • GoDeep says:

                If you don’t think that reducing your fund by 8% every time you have a good year is bad for the fund, then I sincerely hope someone else manages your savings account. Avg annual appreciation of 8% is considered extremely ambitious, and you’re talking about doing that w/ every year. Good luck & God bless.

            • Origami Isopod, Commisar [sic] of Ideology for the Bolsheviks says:

              Keep pumping out that propaganda, you kiss-up, kick-down waste of flesh.

            • wengler says:

              Conservatives are looting or attempting to loot every defined benefit pension plan in the country and you want to talk about a ’13th check’. Pathetic.

    • Linnaeus says:

      It is, and the voters repealed the “enhanced” version of it in 2012 (the original emergency financial manager law had been on the books since around 1990 or so, maybe a little earlier). But the wingnut state legislature just wrote up another bill, made a few cosmetic changes, and then added an appropriation so it couldn’t be repealed by voter initiative.

      I really despise what’s been happening to Michigan and I hope the beginning of undoing the damage begins this November.

      • Dana Houle says:

        They did that, btw, the same week they rammed through Right to Work.

        • James E. Powell says:

          And the people that did this will all get re-elected, right?

        • James E. Powell says:

          And the people that did this will all get re-elected, right?

          • Linnaeus says:

            I hope not. As Dana points out, the Republican majority in the state House was narrowed after the 2012 election – that’s why the latest version of the EM law was pushed through in lame duck, as well as the right-to-work law, the latter of which probably would have failed in the new session beginning in 2013.

            That said, there is a metro Detroit/outstate divide in Michigan (similar to the divisions you see in other states) and it’s quite likely that a good number of the reps in strongly Republican districts will get re-elected.

            In the governor’s race, however, Mark Schauer has a real chance of beating Rick Snyder in November (better than I thought he did). That would be a good start.

          • Barry says:

            “And the people that did this will all get re-elected, right?”

            The people who did this by and large live in Republican districts.

            No, perhaps you’d like to add an actual statement to your question?

  5. Glen Allen says:

    If they don’t pay their bills and still get eager why should I pay mine then?

    She’s already living off of the taxpayer. If she wants more money she can (gasp!) get a job.

    • Glen Allen says:

      *get water

        • Glen Allen says:

          You think a liberal would understand how metering water helps conserve water, but I guess not. Or maybe th environment takes a back seat when their voters want yet more free stuff from the taxpayer.

          • wjts says:

            It’s curious the way you think “voters” and “taxpayers” are mutually exclusive categories. I guess I should be grateful, as it presumably keeps you from voting.

            • postmodulator says:

              Yeah, right, as if that’s the one he’d give up.

            • Glen Allen says:

              They overlap somewhat but are not the same. Most voters are no longer net tax payers (paying more to the government than they receive in benefits) , and many pay no taxes at all.

              • Glen Allen's Id says:

                I am unaware that a thing Rush Limbaugh said in 1994 has been widely debunked.

                • Pat says:

                  Oh my god, you just explained who all those Republican voters are! The ones who don’t pay any taxes! No wonder the representatives they choose suck through a wrench.

              • Malaclypse says:

                It does help if you pretend that payroll taxes and sales taxes don’t exist. Also, the math of “most” only works if you count children in your population of voters, which is awesomely stupid of you.

                In short, that’s an impressive amount of Wrong for a single sentence. But carry on sneering at public schools.

                • Glen Allen says:

                  Those on EBT, WOC, and disability don’t even pay sales or payroll tax.

                  Meals tax for thee, tax-free hot and ready 7-11 pizza for me. This is the modern philosophical foundation of the Democrat Party.

                • Glen Allen says:

                  Her idle, 28 year old son doesn’t pay taxes at all but is fully entitled to vote. And you can be the and his cohorts vote Democrat every time to keep the taxpayer funded goodies flowing from Uncle Sugar.

                  And no, I don’t buy he would have trouble finding a job. Illegals don’t leave trouble finding work, why should he? Go do some day labor .

                • DrS says:

                  Oh, well shit, if we can’t make it harder on the disabled, then what’s the point of even having a society?

                • MAJeff says:

                  then what’s the point of even having a society?

                  Libertarianism in a nutshell. Every man is an island, warring with every other island.

                • Malaclypse says:

                  Her idle, 28 year old son doesn’t pay taxes at all but is fully entitled to vote.

                  Yep, keep pretending sales taxes don’t exist. Or are they only a problem when they apply to you? Because we all remember your epic whine, cracker.

                • Glen Allen says:

                  EBT cards don’t pay sales tax.

                • wjts says:

                  Every man is an island, warring with every other island.

                  “Guys! Guys! I just read the best book. It’s called ‘Of the NATURALL CONDITION of Mankind, as concerning their Felicity, and Misery’ by Thomas Hobbes. It’s only four pages long, but it explains how to set up a totally awesome libertarian utopia!”

                • Malaclypse says:

                  EBT cards don’t pay sales tax.

                  Man you know a lot about this dude’s finances, to be so sure he never pays sales tax, or works an over-the-table job.

                  In short, cracker takes a shit-ton of racist assumptions and assumes they just must be factual.

                • MAJeff says:

                  EBT cards don’t pay sales tax.

                  In Detroit, located in the state of Michigan, groceries are exempt from the sales tax. Cash, debit cards, credit cards, and checks don’t pay sales tax either.

                • Hogan says:

                  Those on EBT, WOC, and disability don’t even pay sales or payroll tax.

                  Putting your brain on the edge of a razor blade would be like rolling a BB down the middle of an eight-lane highway.

                  Plenty of people getting SNAP and WIC (not WOC) benefits have jobs, and therefore pay payroll taxes. People on SNAP and WIC and disability buy things other than food (which is often not subject to sales tax), and therefore pay sales and excise taxes. Some portion of the rent that tenants pay goes toward property tax. People with cars pay gas taxes, license renewal fees, and registration fees, among other things. People with phones pay taxes. People with cable pay taxes. People who ride public transportation pay a fare.

                  Those people who spew the bullshit you pass on here? Are not your friends. Although I don’t suppose you have any others.

              • wjts says:

                …many pay no taxes at all.

                Were you always this stupid, or did you take lessons?

                • N__B says:

                  Some are born stupid, some achieve stupidity, and some have stupidity…what was the question again?

                • southend says:

                  As soon as someone says, “Democrat party”, that’s the bat-signal to not take what they’re saying seriously.

              • Alex O'connor says:

                Bigot, mortgage welfare queen

              • Swagger says:

                …many pay no taxes at all.

                That’s true. But even those that don’t want to answer you know it. Everybody knows it.

                And that’s just OK with them.

            • Dana Houle says:

              A substantive point from something you raised: the people paying for their water. Unless it’s been overturned in recent years–and it may have been–Michigan used to require landlords to pay for water. I don’t understand why these folks renting are being stuck with their water bill.

              • Linnaeus says:

                I don’t understand why these folks renting are being stuck with their water bill.

                The article mentioned something about landlord-tenant agreements contained in leases that put the responsibility for water on the tenant. I’m guessing it’s legal to insert those.

                • Dana Houle says:

                  I never heard of them. I wonder if they’re new.

                  Seems like a great way to pass on hidden costs to the unsuspecting.

                • GFW says:

                  My landlord back in NJ pulled that shit around 2001 or 2002. That alone was like a 5-7% increase in rent – and they also increased the regular rent at the same time. Luckily I was out of there shortly thereafter.

            • Glen Allen says:

              They overlap somewhat but are not the same. Most voters are no longer net tax payers (paying more to the government than they receive in benefits) , and many pay no taxes at all, if you’re on EBT you don’t even have to pay sales tax when you buy food! This isn’t sustainable in the long run and will be what bankrupts us, namely, government dependence (welfare recipients and public employees) voting themselves larger and larger amounts of largesse from an ever shrinking pool of working taxpayers.

              • Dana Houle says:

                I’m sure you don’t have a mortgage, or if you do you would never use the tax benefits available to you. Probably refused to take student loans (that’s not hard to imagine). And even if you did, you would never deduct your student loan interest. Because then you’d just be sucking at the teat of the government.

                • Glen Allen says:

                  I actually never took a dime in student loans. Ii got through school mostly by doing part-time work and some minor parental assistance,

                  Home ownership is a social good that should be promoted,

                • Dana Houle says:

                  So you went to a private university that took no federal money, like Bob Jones University?

                  BTW, using water is also a social good that should be promoted. Or, protected at least.

                • DrS says:

                  Oh and that school where you could afford to pay so little…surely they got no government money.

                  Ignorant fuckhead

                • wengler says:

                  Do you happen to live in a community with a big ass Arby’s?

                • JMP says:

                  If you were able to get through college without loans, you either have rich parents, or else are very old and went to college a long time ago when ordinary people could afford to pay their way through it. It’s not possible anymore. Only students from wealthy families now go through college without loans.

                  Either way, it was good luck – not some virtue on your part as you present it. But then, that’s always the case with wingnuts, confusing luck with virtue and ludicrously claiming, as you do on this thread, that somehow the poor are to blame for their own poverty. It’s disgusting.

              • bk says:

                if you’re on EBT you don’t even have to pay sales tax when you buy food!

                I don’t pay sales tax when I buy meat, fruit, soup, vegetables or ice cream at a grocery store either! Not even watermelon! And I am not on EBT! I guess I’m a moocher.

              • fka AWS says:

                Are you for real?

              • Alex O'connor says:

                Bigot, mortgage welfare queen

          • Alex O'connor says:

            Bigot, mortgage welfare queen. Who loves him some interstate highawy.

        • bebrown says:

          What are you talking about? Detroit hasn’t had a million residents in over 20 years. Secondly, all water in Detroit is metered. Not everyone is paying their bills, that’s a different matter. One of the biggest delinquent account is the State Fairgrounds ($5 million). They dispute the amount of water metered, probably because the State Fair is both bankrupt and out of business.

          Since the Emergency Manager wants to sell off the water department to pay off Detroit’s debts he’s trying to get the water department trimmed down to a lean and profitable operation. That means getting tough on delinquents.

          • Hogan says:

            Lean and mean–that’s what you want in a public utility providing a basic human need.

          • Aimai says:

            Presumably they are also “getting tough” on a lot of people who have moved out and away. They are trying to run a municipal water system with a declining revenue base becasue of the declining user base–it says so in the article but it asserts that people are “using water differently” and “conserving” when it really means that they have fewer customers. But they still have to maintain the old infrastructure which is probably, as Opie has pointed out, leaky and filled with areas of water loss. So they are having to attempt to crack down hard even on illegitimate non debtors, like the woman who is being dinged for two houses when she only lives in (and is responsible) for one. My guess is that their books are filled with people who are no longer residents and no longer using water services at all but who have not had their account successfully canceled.

    • Dana Houle says:

      Gee, you’re not only a asshat, you either can’t read or think we can’t, because, you know, the article says she’s a fulltime student on disability.

      BTW, I like the “they.” Who exactly is “they?”

    • Craigo says:

      Glen Allen: Won’t read, or can’t read?

      Discuss.

    • Matty says:

      Did you even read the article?:

      Hill moved to her current address in 2009. She said her landlords signed affidavits confirming her move and requesting water to be shut off at the old address. But her bill jumped from $60-$70 a month to $240-$250 a month. For Hill, her new rate equaled more than half of what she pays in rent ($400). Squatters moved into her former house, and Hill found she had two active water account numbers.

      Even in more general terms, it sounds like Detroit is getting screwed in a way that other places, even within the same water district, aren’t:

      DWSD provides water to four million people across eight counties. With a 1,079-square-mile service area, encompassing more than 40 percent of the state’s population, it is one of the largest water systems in the nation. The majority of the region is sold water wholesale; Detroiters are DWSD’s only retail customers.

      I have a hunch that your pat answer is going to be “She should get a job, and then move,” but that doesn’t really address the underlying problem (e.g., why are these group of people getting a different and worse deal, leading to worse outcomes, than that group of people over there?).

      • Glen Allen's Id says:

        Yeah, even the $60 – $70 a month is high.

      • Glen Allen says:

        Sounds like she needs to learn how to conserve water. How can you just let a bill run up that high ($5400?) that means she wasn’t paying for MONTHS. One month of my water bill being that high and I’d be on the phone with Henrico County utilities ASAP to find out what the hell is going on on, but ah just blew it off. Does she even know how utilities work? A proud product of Detroit Public Schools, no doubt.

        • DrS says:

          Go fuck yourself.

          Preferably with a fire hose. On full.

          • Glen Allen says:

            Amazing how quickly liberals resort to profanity in the face of reasoned argument, the idea of Personal responsibility must really enrage you.

            Or maybe you think poor black people are intellectually incapable of personal responsibility and thinking ahead. I don’t,

            • postmodulator says:

              We’re setting the bar for “reasoned argument” kinda low here, Doc.

            • Dana Houle says:

              I’m willing to seriously engage your argument.

              Can you provide me a link to one of those reasoned arguments you’re talking about?

              • Glen Allen's Id says:

                I hate myself and project that on to poor people who are distant enough from me geographically that I’ll never have to face their wrath.

                That’s a reasoned argument, right?

            • DrS says:

              The profane thing is not giving water to people who need it, you miserable little asshole.

              Fuuuuuuck you

            • Ralph Wiggum says:

              This person has clearly been fucked over by the government against which you normally rail, and you have nothing but race-baiting and sneering. I think DrS is being incredibly restrained, actually.

            • wjts says:

              Right on, Glen! To paraphrase the patron saint of modern conservatism, are you your sister’s keeper?

              • Glen Allen says:

                I fully believe in family helping each other, but the father(s) of her children have clearly decided “no” to that question.

                • Glen Allen's Id says:

                  These guys seem pretty cool with me slowly turning up the coded racist language! I’ll try the actual racist slurs next.

                • DrS says:

                  So clearly, the morally correct thing to do is to kick her some more, shit licker.

                • Malaclypse says:

                  I fully believe in family helping each other

                  Shame you live in a country with a founding document that tell us that one of the basic tasks of government is to “promote the general Welfare.”

                  Good luck getting any of us to forget that.

                • Glen Allen says:

                  Yes because anyone who opposes the continued destruction and abolition of the black American family is a “coded racist”. Maybe you should let Billy Cosby and Thomas asp well know that they’re racists. I’m a culturist not a racist. I believe in a culture where a father doesn’t abandon his children to be raised by the state in his stead, maybe you think that’s “racist”, I call it “common sens”.

                • postmodulator says:

                  Could you not think of any moral exemplars who weren’t also sexual predators?

                  Maybe in your mind that’s in the plus column.

                • Glen Allen says:

                  I meant Thomas Sowell, not Justice Thomas. Ipad autocorrect messed it up.

                  Seriously,read Thomas Sowell’s writings on race. It’s a ll about culture, and the current culture of the black Democrat-supported underclass is not authentic black culture, it’s a recent phenomenon very much brought on by liberalism.

                • MAJeff says:

                  That gosh dern hippity boppity rap with its rhymes and beats.

                • Glen Allen's Id says:

                  Oh man, look at this thread! It’s huge, and almost all of it is talking about ME. Finally, the validation my fundamental unlovability has prevented in real life.

                • DrS says:

                  “I’m not racist! One black guy who gets paid a shit ton of money to provide cover for racism told me so!”

                • JMP says:

                  Now be fair, there’s nothing really coded about Glen Allen’s racism.

                • DrDick says:

                  because anyone who opposes the continued destruction and abolition of the black American family is a “coded racist”.

                  You do realize that what is destroying the families of all poor Americans (this is not confined to any one ethnic group) is capitalism and conservative policies, don’t you?

                • MAJeff says:

                  Let no one speak of the combination of the effects de-industrialization and mass incarceration on black families.

                • LWA (Liberal With Attitude) says:

                  This part about the family helping out caught my eye.
                  Thats a pretty deep plank of the conservative manifesto, abolishing the social welfare state and returning control and responsibility to the family.
                  Which only demonstrates Corey Robin’s thesis that the real motive of conservatism is the preservation of private power.

                  Interestingly enough, if you look at pre-New Deal sorts of societies like the Amish or Mennonites they tend to be ones where individual liberty is very much suppressed in favor of the good of the group, sort of a libertarian nightmare.

                  Which is also a fault line cleaving libertarians from conservatives- conservatives dream of a world where father is the Lord and Master of his manor.

                • DrS says:

                  LWA,

                  The more I think about it, the more those references to “family” start feeling like calls for royalty / aristocracy. Those are the “families” that can act like they are claiming families should.

                  How many times have we been told what a great guy Mitt was for being such a great “family man”

                • jim, some guy in iowa says:

                  LWA, DrS:

                  from what I’m told and have seen to some degree the amish are all about the big daddy/unquestioned patriarch method of governing

                  i don’t think its any coincidence that the worst smile (missing and jagged teeth) i’ve ever seen was on a young amish woman

                • DrS says:

                  I think the point I’m getting at, or at least a half baked idea I’m trying to flesh out is that in patriarchal societies everyone seems to be forced to conform to a rigid structure. And it’s proponents deem those who cannot live up to the standards set by the highest families are worthy of scorn and punishment.

                  I dunno…some times the whole notion of a strictly held nuclear family just seems like a away to keep royalty in power.

                • Hogan says:

                  Glen Allen: saving the black family by denying them water. Donner Party conservatism straight, no chaser.

                • Ralph Cramdon says:

                  After learning the life story of Star Parker…on welfare for years and years and then decided to do something for herself. College graduate, national columnist, best selling author and millionaire.

                  This doesn’t, of course, mean that all will enjoy the same success as Ms. Parker. What it demonstrates is the opportunities are there to better yourself.

                  OR, you can sit on your ass and collect a check. Which do you prefer?

                • Aimai says:

                  Its depressing that this has to be said but there is a limit to the number of right wing billionaires who are willing to pay for various front people to be successful peddling self-help crossed with STFU to the working classes in this country. Of course there are always a few lucky and exceptional individuals who manage to claw their way out of the mines or the slave pits or the structural inequalities to make it big–sometimes as criminals, sometimes as tour guides to poverty, sometimes as gurus or prosperity gospel pimps, sometimes as mere bootlickers to power. But everyone can’t do that and everyone shouldn’t have to. People used to be able to get a good public education and a good factory job–they didn’t have to make a “choice” between three jobs just to stay afloat and being a sociopathic millionaire.

                  It should be obvious that not everyone is going to end up being that millionaire–I presume the commenter isn’t one of them and if its that easy he should be, shouldn’t he? Since he seems to think that nothing else matters than money and nothing else exists but the solipsistic individual.

            • calling all toasters says:

              Personal responsibility in action:

              Homeowners are responsible for water bills, unless a landlord stipulates otherwise in a landlord-tenant agreement — which is the case for both Hill and Coleman.

              But white landlords are good, responsible, and white– so it’s all the responsibility of the shiftless darkie.

            • Rambling' Man says:

              Or maybe you think poor black people are intellectually incapable of personal responsibility and thinking ahead.

              That’s exactly what they believe. It’s the soft tyranny of low expectations. Gotta keep on’ Darkie down on the government plantation.

        • cpinva says:

          “Sounds like she needs to learn how to conserve water.”

          does mommy make sure you put galoshes on, before you leave the house when it’s raining? I ask, because I assume you’re in kindergarten or 1st grade, and still working on those reading comprehension skills.

          “Hill moved to her current address in 2009. She said her landlords signed affidavits confirming her move and requesting water to be shut off at the old address. But her bill jumped from $60-$70 a month to $240-$250 a month. For Hill, her new rate equaled more than half of what she pays in rent ($400). Squatters moved into her former house, and Hill found she had two active water account numbers.

          What followed was an escalating tangle of inexplicable charges and bureaucratic confusion. Customer service’s advice? “Ma’am you need to learn to conserve water.” Hill has had no water since May 16th.”

          the article quite clearly stated her attempts to deal with the city on this, and the utter failure of the city to fix the problem they created. of course, she’s conserving water now.

        • Opie Elvis says:

          Or perhaps the water system is in such disrepair that there are all kinds of leaks getting billed out customers, another consequence of our failure to maintain infrastructure.
          You make a good many assumptions and spew out some misinformation which seems to indicate that you’re an ideological jerk off devoid of reason or sense and simply out to troll in the worst way.
          Stop trying to act like you make sense, you aren’t even fucking close.

          • Ralph Cramdon says:

            Or perhaps the water system is in such disrepair that there are all kinds of leaks getting billed out customers…

            Or…maybe not. You just made all that up.

            • Aimai says:

              Not really–its a constant problem in all US infrastructure at the moment. If you were a functioning citizen of an actual state or commonwealth and you paid attention to public works you’d know that it is an endemic problem in older cities.

              • I was once working on a building where a stream of water started to come in a below-grade wall at a specific point. It soon became obvious that the water main in the street had begun leaking and the water was finding a path to the building’s floor drains, and it was degrading the masonry walls. The city insisted they could find no evidence of a leak on their end, apparently concerned that they might be held liable for the damage. They continued to insist this for weeks, until a work crew showed up to dig up the street and fix the leak.

                There are LOTS of failure points in our infrastructure systems, and ignoring the upkeep as if they are magically supposed to last forever is a childish attitude.

                • N__B says:

                  I always have the water from persistent sub-grade leaks tested for fluoride and shit. If the tests find one, we know it’s a city main, supply and sewer respectively…I hope.

    • Orpho says:

      So, it’s funny. If you actually read the article, it’s clear that the $6,000 she owes on her water bill (seriously, wtf?) is due to something between fraud and a clerical error (not her own), and that the government services were as unhelpful in getting her shit sorted out as your average Verizon phone tree in getting a $6k charge off your mobile bill for some mistake they made.

      So seriously, you could’ve taken this as an opportunity to rail about how the government is incompetent and ripping her off. I wonder if there’s something in the article that made you unsympathetic to the person. Some… some practically intangible thing, something you’d have to see before you even got to the text of the article and the meat of the dispute, something… if only I could put my finger on it!

      • wjts says:

        the government services were as unhelpful in getting her shit sorted out

        but government is the answer to all of our problems.

        My world is spinning, now…

        • Aimai says:

          This is the fake wjts, I presume. You know–its ok if you want to spoof another commenter to sign on using a variant of their name like “wjts’s id” or “wjts’s communist fascist brother in law” but its not ok to just nymjack this way. Its really uncivil and it exposes you as a troll more than it puts the real commenter out.

  6. Sayne says:

    They’re just poor people – black too! They’re clearly lazy and stupid and not worthy of our municipal services. Throw them out on the street and tell them to go get a job! \dripping with sarcasm

  7. Anonymous says:

    If water was free I’d run my faucet 24/7 just to piss off the tree huggers.

    k.

  8. Glen Allen says:

    I have to go now but I’d like to point out, to illustrate the childish mind of the liberal, the following statistics:

    In this thread “fuck” was used four times, and “asshole” three times, among many other profane and semi profane words hurled at me. I would ask you to reflect on whether or not using profanity in a political discussion is the mature, adult, and reasoned thing to do.

    • MAJeff says:

      Keep clutching that pearl necklace.

    • Dana Houle says:

      I think this is a bunch of insincere trolling, but this comment actually is quite consistent with the conservative mindset: they see themselves are victims.

      I suspect a lot of libertarians were picked on at school.

    • James Gary says:

      Here’s my mature, adult, reasoned response: Fuck you, Glen Allen. You’re a real asshole.

    • DrS says:

      When the argument at hand is that people, including innocent children, should not be given access to drinking water, “fuck you, you gigantic gaping asshole” is the best you fucking deserve.

    • Here, let me help you. Go fuck yourself, asshole. Repeat as needed.

      There’s a subtle difference between this and the racist garbage you’re vomiting up. And that difference is what makes your garbage offensive.

      tl;dr: go fuck yourself, asshole.

    • Ralph Wiggum says:

      Saying fuck is worse than wanting someone to die of thirst.

    • DrDick says:

      And that is still far above your abilities. Of course brain dead conservatives like yourself are incapable of anything more than grunting out parroted phrases from Faux Spews, Limpballs, and Stormfront with no comprehension of their meaning.

    • Hogan says:

      Your mature, adult and reasoned discussion was a pack of self-serving, hateful lies and misreadings of the original article so gross that they can only be willful. At least your interlocutors are being honest.

      But it’s good that you’re putting yourself in time out. That’s a step forward.

    • Malaclypse says:

      I have to go now

      Flounce on, cracker, flounce on!

    • Scott S. says:

      …And in the ultimate obscenity, an adult American filled a whole thread with his wishes that people that were the wrong color would die of thirst because mumble mumble blackity.

      Bonus obscenity: the racist motherfucker will likely never be beaten into a coma.

      • Aimai says:

        Now, Now–Andie (Cumia) just lost his job didn’t he? He’s probably feeling sad.

        If anyone missed this little twitter storm its a perfect summation of Glennie’s viewpoint–swaggering racism and misogyny that turns into whimpering cowardice and bleated threats mixed with pants pissing fear as soon as the hated black woman becomes the subject of the discussion. I urge everyone to click the link for the larfs.

        • wjts says:

          Oh, that’s priceless.

        • Anonymous says:

          She just “happened” to be in the frame.

          Yeah, right.

          She was pissed for a good reason. A very attractive woman sees a creepy-looking white dude trying to take a pic of her for his whack-off file, and she doesn’t go off on him?

        • That guy has been such a scumbag for so long that, while it’s hilarious that he got canned, it really should have happened years ago.

          • Aimai says:

            Its hilarious that he claims he was carrying and that the various black people who “attacked him” were lucky he didn’t shoot. Why didn’t he shoot? What the fuck was he carrying the gun for? He’s a pants pissing coward, carrying a gun in fucking Times Square like its Tombstone AZ –what, did he think that Japanese tourists and their toddlers were going to jump him when the disney store ran out of keychains?–and then he’s two shit scared of a woman in high heels to pull it out and defend himself? The whole twitter thing is astounding for its lack of self consciousness about how this looks to anyone who doesn’t share his lust/antipathy for black women or his cowardice.

            • I wouldn’t be surprised if he wasn’t actually carrying a weapon at all, and thinks he’s making himself sound like a restrained bad-ass. “If I wasn’t such a calm individual, I’d totally have wasted her ass”, he probably thought to himself, though likely in much more misogynist language.

              • Aimai says:

                Yes. I think that too. He was caught between two contradictory imperatives of ammosexual manhood–to claim to be a gun toting badass and also to claim victim status in a fight with black people who are simultaneously represented (themselves) by two contradictory images of crazed savages and weak incompetents. How he transforms being beaten up by a woman who was no woman is a rhetorical feat–if she was a mere weak woman she shouldn’t have been able to overpower him. If she was superhumanly, savagely, animalistic, he should have shot her or at least pulled the gun. You cant get chivalry points for not defending yourself from s bring you describe as a hideous animal so why make that claim?

        • Scott S. says:

          Ahh, I’d just barely been aware of this. It’s kinda glorious — and long, long overdue. Opie and Anthony have basically been begging to get fired for years.

          Depressingly, though, when you read their Wikipedia page, it’s an unending stream of offensive behavior, declining ratings, and stations firing them — only to rehire them later. Being a shock-jock is basically like being a Republican politician — always failing upwards. :(

        • Lee Rudolph says:

          I’m not sure “larfs” is the mot juste, there; not sure at all.

          Great pic of the CUNTRAG bitch fuck animal pig face worthless meat sack shit pile stink crotch ass stain rot bung..

          Christ, what an asshole.

          • N__B says:

            And yet somehow he still felt compelled to take her picture.

            • Aimai says:

              This is just the way of a man with a maid–isnt it? As far as i can see this is the way swaggering macho men talk about women. At least on the internet. The larfs come because you have to imagine these epithets being hurled at a plate of cookies placed too far away from the pillow fort behind which he was cowering after mommy gave him a time out.

    • JMP says:

      What the fuck is your problem with normal fucking language, shithead? Is the motherfucking asshole some fainting Victorian schoolmarm?

    • wengler says:

      There’s a couple real fucking assholes in this thread. Denying water to humans makes you a fucking asshole. So go fuck yourself.

    • Gator90 says:

      I hate to just pile on, and I admit my thoughts lack originality, but holy fucking shit is Glen Allen a fucking racist, stupid, racist, prissy, fucking racist, self-pitying douchebag of a fucking racist asshole.

    • trollhattan says:

      Ted Nugent says, “Not nearly enough’fucks’ in this fucking post, you fucking pussy.”

      We need a data refresh.

    • jim, some guy in iowa says:

      i’ll take childishness in the form of profanity over cruelty in the form of conservatism every day of the week. most truly decent people would

    • dmsilev says:

      See here, children, a wonderful example of “painting a target on one’s forehead”. Though jamming the paint brush up your nose is generally considered to be bad form.

    • Haystack says:

      Profanity? Horrors!

      Cholera? A-OK!

    • cpinva says:

      in your case, yes.

      “I would ask you to reflect on whether or not using profanity in a political discussion is the mature, adult, and reasoned thing to do.”

      when someone chooses to ignore facts, and keeps repeating the same discredited talking points, over and over, profanity may well be the most reasoned of responses. it’s either that, or dump boiling oil on your head. be a waste of good boiling oil though.

    • john not mccain says:

      glen allen raped me when i was a little girl.

      • Aimai says:

        I’m not sure who is playing around with this John not Mccain nym but the sexual politics of it are really starting to creep me out. If its one of the regular commenters and not a troll could you please knock it off? If you are troll-trolling on behalf of Glenn by trying to make him more sympathetic then by all means carry on. Because that is what you are accomplishing. I mean–its not really possible because Glenn is such a massively hateful fuck. But this rape/sex talk is really not ok.

    • 5 & 4 says:

      fuck you asshole

    • You asshole commenters are really fucking behind your profanity quotas. Let’s step it up ya bastards!

  9. Joe says:

    The federal government should intervene to stop this from happening.

    Agreeing that the right to access of clean fresh water is a human right, I’d be interested in the best way to go about this.

    • Linnaeus says:

      I’m no policy expert, but maybe some emergency aid of some kind, either to DWSD or to the retail customers, for starters.

      • bebrown says:

        This is an emergency aid program set up i Wayne Country (Detroit resides in Wayne County). The Aid program has run out of money because so many people have applied for it.

    • Haystack says:

      Based on what I read upthread; if the white-flight suburbans in the water district’s surrounding counties get their water wholesale, why not Detroit residents?

    • Aimai says:

      This definitely seems to be a structural problem of the way water deliveries are paid for. I never lived in a rental, when I lived in rentals, where the water was paid for by the tenants. Tenants are mobile and are going to be moving fairly frequently so it doesn’t make sense to put certain utilities in their name because of the possibility of missed payments and other screw ups–in the case of one of the women in the article she was being double billed and couldn’t get them to stop billing her for services she wasn’t using.

      In addition the decision to have this complicated “rnter pays” system seems bizarre in a city which is experiencing population decline and lots of empty houses. It should be a renter’s paraidse, with landlords eager to hang on to good tenants and cheap rents. This charging individual renters for water services seems to go against what a free market would dictate–especially for non local (i.e. white) landlords who will otherwise have no housing to rent out when the water gets shut off and damage to the housing stock is the natural result.

      • Boro says:

        “I never lived in a rental, when I lived in rentals, where the water was paid for by the tenants.”

        Did you rent a single family house on its own lot? I’ve never heard of long term rentals like this where the landlord pays for water.

        • Man, just about every place I’ve rented in the past two decades have been where the water’s part of the rent. One place for eight years and the current for almost four (and two landlords).

          • N__B says:

            At least some municipalities make it a non-transferrable responsibility of the landlord to provide water, at least for multiple dwellings.

            • At least, that’s how Milwaukee does it. One water meter per lot, if you want to charge your tenants, you do it separately from paying for the water usage, no matter how many people live there. It’s always the responsibility of the owner.

              But also, it seems that Detroit is way overcharging. Not to mention focusing on individual homeowners, rather than the large institutional and business deadbeats.

              At least.

              • N__B says:

                NYC makes it a landlord’s responsibility to provide water, hot water, and heating in the winter. It doesn’t matter what the lease says, the city holds the landlord responsible if an apartment is lacking…as it damned well should be.

                • Aimai says:

                  Absolutely–health hazards, pipe bursting hazards, problems for fire fighters hazards. Cities are very complex organisms and landlords have been known to wreck buildings in order to break leases with tenants in order to sell the building to the next owner. without laws protecting the tenants rights to habitable property landlords could rent out an apartment and make it uninhabitable while still collecting the rent. In other words: theft.

                • you forgot to squeeze an ‘at least’ in there Aimai.

                • N__B says:

                  Fuckin’ A bubba.

  10. pedantic nerd says:

    Libertarians trolling on the internet believe that their right to be an asshole begins where your nose begins.

    This shit is wandering into someone else’s house, taking a shit in the living room, and then whining about civility and maturity when the residents of the house tell you to fuck off.

    I’ve never met an online libertarian who had even a shred of respect for everyone else’s right to be spared a 15 minute lecture on the Federal Reserve system or how outrageous some tax is.

    Giving water freely to those who need it was a tradition in the deserts of the world thousands of years before the birth of Christ. There are many, many allusions to this custom in the bible. I don’t know why this troll has such incredible disrespect for the Judeo-Christian tradition, but perhaps he should move to a country that doesn’t aspire to Christian values to practice his deviant, sociopathic lifestyle.

    If you make a list of countries in the world where they would let people die of thirst for lack of money, you’re looking at a list of some of America’s biggest enemies. Glen Allen clearly has nothing but contempt for this country and everything that makes it great.

    It’s not just the contempt for human life, it’s the contempt for basic Christian values and tradition, especially the day after July 4th. I suppose Independence Day doesn’t mean much to a guy like Glen Allen. How pathetic. Dying of dysentary, face down in a puddle of his own waste would almost be too good of a death.

    • DrS says:

      You know, I was at the car dealer the other day getting my car serviced and they had a drinking fountain. Which seems so weird in this day although they used to be ubiquitous.

      I suppose, just like so many things in this country, water as a public good had to be taken away cause now “you know who” got to use the same fountain.

    • What kills me is when they pretend like they really do care about the state of any other than themselves, a la Glenn’s invocation of Bill Cosby’s bleating a few years ago about the “state of the black family”. Dude, no one believes you give an ever-loving damn about the black family, it’s health, or black people in general. The wingnut jerking off at Trayvon Martin “getting what he was asking for” put that little myth to bed permanently, if anyone believed it in the first place.

      • cpinva says:

        I don’t think anyone believed in the first place, but it sounded good to the uninformed.

      • Jeremy says:

        I mean, his whole presence in this thread started by advocating for black families to be denied water. Then he tries to complain that he’s the one fighting against the “destruction of the black family.” Because nothing holds a family together better than digging a latrine in the back yard together, I guess.

        • Swagger says:

          I mean, his whole presence in this thread started by advocating for black families to be denied water.

          Of course, it’s racial. It’s always racial.

          Couldn’t be that they knew they were supposed to pay for their water service and they didn’t.

  11. fka AWS says:

    Fuck you, Glen!

  12. J R in WV says:

    Glen,

    You were diong so well, dude, why did you stop?!? I was really believing that you gave a shit about Black American families, and zzzzzwwwwoooooosshh you were fucking gone!

    Then I woke up and realized that you were hating on black folks about 100% of the time. so fuck you with a bag os salted dicks!

    ME

  13. Rambling' Man says:

    If I don’t pay my water bill, my water gets turned off.

    All of these people understood the same thing. Pay the fuckin’ water bill. If you can’t afford it, stop smoking.
    Make it happen. Don’t be helpless.

    • jim, some guy in iowa says:

      those are fine, upstanding sentiments.. and proof positive you quit reading the article as soon as you realized it wasn’t about some suburban white folks

      if it had been about the “right” kind of people you’d be howling about how the eee-vil gummint had been screwing them over

      in short: you can fuck off too

    • last honest man says:

      and yet you cheat on your taxes

      • Rambling' Man says:

        and yet you cheat on your taxes

        I’m intrigued by your lies.

        Please go on

      • Rambling' Man says:

        Wealthy Clintons Use Trusts to Limit Estate Tax They Back

        Congress has make this available to the Clintons. I don’t begrudge them at all for using what is legal.

        So, I would ask you why you would deny me the same?

        • wjts says:

          I am Elmer JenBob Fudd, millionaire. I own a mansion and a yacht.

          • wjts says:

            I don’t have any response so I usually, just call people names when I have nothing.

            • Aimai says:

              I thought that was self explanatory and perfectly clear–Rambling Man is not a millionaire and the tax strategies of millionaires are not, in fact, available to ordinary citizens. Be that as it may no one is preventing him from using any tax strategies he chooses to minimize his tax burden legally. We are only pointing out that the tea baggery approach to taxes is childish and moronic and not conducive to a functioning civil society. Taxes are what we pay for civilization and normal people are proud to pay their fair share.

              Also: nym jacking is not cool.

            • wjts says:

              When you actually put forward an argument, famously defined as “a connected series of statements intended to establish a proposition”, rather than your usual barrage of non sequiturs, right-wing talking points, and adolescent power fantasies, I’ll happily provide you with a more substantive response.

              P.S. I’m not going to fuck you either, Jenny.

  14. mtraven says:

    Presumably if the water is cut off, the area becomes a humanitarian disaster area and the Federal Government can send in FEMA. Hurricanes and Republicans have a lot in common.

  15. […] This is disturbing, about the city water in Detroit: Water : Lawyers, Guns & Money […]

  16. Pylon says:

    She should have gotten a bunch of gun toting, constitution mangling, idiots to stand around and force the government to back down. It works when you don’t pay grazing fees.

    • Aimai says:

      Plus 1. I’d also like to point out that the government is being used as a collector of last resort here because the real threat against the woman in the article is that her children will be taken away from her because she can’t supply them with running water.

      • Rambling' Man says:

        Coleman’s bill ballooned to $6,000 before her taps were turned off

        At age 66, she depends on $950 a month in social security for her income.

        Ever thought about a job? Everyone I know that is 66 works.

        Or move to a different state where the economics are better.

        Or just sit there and boil like a frog in increasingly boiling water.

        • DocAmazing says:

          Ever thought about high unemployment rates in a given area, like Detroit?

          Ever thought about what happens to those other states when everybody from depressed areas shows up and drives up rents?

          • Aimai says:

            Surely she could just up stakes and move to South Dakota and get a job as a roughneck in the oil fields, DocAmazing. Come on–show a little gumption.

            • wjts says:

              And steal a job from a hard-working Real American? If she had any sense of Personal Responsibility at all, she’d find a ditch and pay the owner for the privilege of dying of typhus in it.

        • Hogan says:

          She can afford the water she actually uses in the place she lives in now.

          She can’t afford, on top of that, the water used by the squatters in the place she lived in before, because the city neither evicted the squatters nor fixed the billing error, even though she pointed out the problem to them. Which you would know if you’d read any part of the article other than the part that says she’s black, which you would have done if you actually gave a rat’s ass about this issue as anything other than an opportunity for you to posture, ineptly.

          So you can go eat a shit sandwich.

          Or you can go fuck yourself.

          Or you can work on being a better human being.

          But we all know which of those is your least likely choice.

  17. Barry Freed says:

    Let them wear stillsuits.

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