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Voices From the Front Lines of the Flint Water Crisis


Voices From the Front Lines of the Flint Water Crisis

Amy Goodman, Denis Moynihan

Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder’s successive emergency managers are now gone from Flint, but the wreckage of their rule there still pollutes many homes. The crisis in Flint is, on the surface, about water. In April 2014, the city switched from the Detroit water system, which it had used for more than 50 years, to the Flint River, ostensibly to save money. The Flint River water made people sick, and is likely to have caused disease that killed some residents. The corrosive water, left untreated, coursed through the city’s water system, leaching heavy metals out of old pipes.


Fifty years of progress down the drain:


... Is it really possible that 3 recent posters all used the term loose (which means not fitting tightly) for lose (the opposite of winning)? And that so FEW in these threads understand that the term it's means it is. Also, led is the past tense of the term lead.

That's 3 major errors in a single sentence!

Maybe this kind of comment marks the difference between a valid education and a fraud. I happen to think that adults ought to know these distinctions particularly when they make their written opinions public.

Some here would rather scream at me for pointing out errors that suggest at minimum, a 4th grade reading level. Intelligent persons might instead improve their writing based on these corrections.

Yesterday's "Democracy Now" was a great show. What Ms. Goodman's article leaves out is the presence of a giant Nestle plant. While the citizens of Flint are being overcharged for water, Nestle is extracting significant amounts of water from the Great Lakes to bottle and sell. And they are NOT charged for all this water!

The pro-business model that passes for "trade liberalism" or "free trade" shows its Dark Hand yet again.


A new group that will monitor drinking water across the USA outside the purvey of the EPA


This post was flagged by the community and is temporarily hidden.


Thank you for your excellent commentary. I also appreciate the link and I subscribed to the print edition of the magazine! Pay no attention to nitpickers.


Marlborough was not hostile. Mostly, when errors are pointed out, hostility is directed at the individual offering the correction. That is the kneejerk response of the typical soldier/dominator. Instead of taking in a personal error and realizing the value of correcting it... they attack!

Like I said, in a public comment board, when at least HALF of the posters can't differentiate between the use of the term its and it's, or there and their, or loose and lose... it's pretty compelling evidence of a body of persons who can't or don't READ.

Opinions ARE like assholes.

Educated stances are a notch above.

HOW individuals state their ideas (or make their cases) matters. (Otherwise, why bother to post multiple opinions?)

Those with a solid sense of self are not offended when mistakes (repeated often) are pointed out. It's the weak ego that has to attack in response.


I agree with Seatower. your post was educational. thanks for sharing.


Flint began buying treated water from Detroit back around 1960. At the time the was cost effective. Detroit sells treated water to many communities in eastern Michigan.

Through the decade the rates for that water climbed. I don't have those figures. Eventually, the cash strapped City of Flint began charging their local Customers a surcharge on their water bill to help balance their budget deficit. Here's what I believe happened.

Some time after the first Emergency Manager was sent to Detroit, that EM hiked the rates it charged to its water Customers as a way of raising income and helping to balance Detroit's budget. That was, after all the job of he EM - to cut expenses and raise income. Through a succession of Emergency Managers each saw raising the rates charged to Flint Residents as a way to lower the overall deficit. I have seen this documented, though, again, the amounts of the increases was reported.

The bottom line:

The poor of Flint have been victimized by the Snyder administration by charging them usurious rates for water service. In a study just released, Flint Residents are charged the highest rate for water of 500 Cities sampled. At an average of $850 per year, the bills charged are twice the national average.

Make note that when Michigan's emergency managers show up, the Mayor, City Council, and any City Administrators that happen to be on the payroll become figureheads only. All financial decisions are made by the EM, not the locally elected officials.

The kicker is that the State Treasurer was involved in the loop that led to Flint's disconnection from the Detroit water district. The head of the Detroit water district had offered to cut the rate it was charging to Flint by 50% if it declined to join the new KWA water district the Snyder administration was pushing. Behind the scenes this new water district will bring fresh water inland to service the needs of the fracking industry that needs the water before it can inject the wells it wants to drill.

The State Treasurer never communicated the details of the Detroit water district to those involved making the decision of whether Flint would join in. By staying with the Detroit district, Flint would have saved considerably over what it was going to pay through the KWA.

This is crony capitalism at its worst. The plan was to have Flint pay more than it needed to, be required to upgrade its unused treatment facilities, and treated the water being pumped to it by the KWA. They money Flint would have to put up would help subsidize Snyder's crony investors building the pipeline, and subsidize the fracking industry that would be charged less for hooking up to the new water source and get lower rates on the water it purchased, polluted, and injected into natural gas wells.

The Snyder administration needs to be prosecuted under the federal RICO statutes.


Here's some semi-off topic info.:

If you want to understand what's happening to America, go get acquainted with this:

Don't limit yourself to Wikipedia, seek out additional info. from multiple sources to broaden the depth of your knowledge. Included on this wiki page you will find embedded a list of items such as "austerity budgets," "free trade," "deregulating financial markets," and "minimal state."

Click on the link for Friedrich Hayek. He was a German economic theorist who spent some time in London before coming to the United States at the invitation of the Morgan banking interests. He wound up as a professor at Rockefeller's University of Chicago, and was instrumental in the development of neoliberal economic ideology.

Hayek wrote a book titled, "The Road to Serfdom" that planted the seeds for the basic tenant of "conservatism" we're saddled with today: that government inevitably leads to the loss of "freedom." Though flawed in its logic, the conservatives we have today talk about freedom=good / government=bad, they are incapable of recognizing their legislation they implement is what is killing democracy in America.

Hayek's ideas have been manipulated and used to lead the way for the United States to travel down the road that leads to fascism (corporatism), corrupt government institutions, and an eventual dictatorship characterized by an emphasis on nationalism, religious fundamentalism, and a scapegoat that threatens both.


The highest tested lead level to date in a residence in Flint is over 10,400 parts per billion. The federally recognized level that requires action be taken is 15 ppb. A level of 5,000 ppb classifies the liquid as toxic waste.