Thursday, October 2, 2014

No Right to Water

This is the logical conclusion of a country and a world run by the repug super-rich: only the repug super-rich are human.  Only the repug super-rich are worthy of the basic human right of drinking water.

Crooks and Liars:

Rika Christensen
Posted with permission from Americans Against the Tea Party

U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Steven Rhodes decided that the poor do not have a right to water, and allowed the water shutoffs in Detroit to continue. The ruling comes in response to a plea to ban the shutoffs for six months. In the land of the allegedly free, this is just one more way to punish the poor for having the audacity to be poor.

According to The Detroit News, Judge Rhodes worried that turning water service back on to customers who can't pay would hit Detroit's revenues too hard. "The last thing Detroit needs is this to hit its revenues," he said. He appears to be concerned about the overall welfare of one of the country's poorest metropolises, which would be commendable, except a city like Detroit can't get back on track by punishing its poorest residents.

Detroit's downfall came as the result of several different factors. It's a very complex problem that does not have one single solution (even the get-more-money-now solution won't work well for very long). So, by all means, punish the poor for being poor and for being unable to find halfway decent work in a city that doesn't have any halfway decent work anymore.

This is about more than whether punishing these people is in the interests of the greater good, though. Judge Rhodes actually issued a ruling in direct opposition to the U.N.'s position on water as a human right. According to The Huffington Post, the U.N. officially declared water to be a human right, and U.N. experts called Detroit's water shutoffs a violation of human rights, because these people genuinely don't have the ability to pay. Catarina de Albuquerque, the special Rapporteur on the right to safe water and sanitation, specifically said:

"Disconnections due to non-payment are only permissible if it can be shown that the resident is able to pay but is not paying. In other words, when there is genuine inability to pay, human rights simply forbids disconnections."

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