Brain Dropping #74
Human Rights and Water. “Water, water, every where
And all the boards did shrink;
Water, water, every where
Nor any drop to drink.”
Samuel Taylor Coleridge could just as well have been talking about Detroit, Michigan where 27,000 people have had their water cut off – a situation which has been declared by two United Nations rapporteurs (investigators) to be a violation of Article 25 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
Most of us are aware of the dire straits of the ‘Motor City’ in deep decline since being abandoned by the automotive industry. Several hundred thousand houses have been abandoned and the city has filed for bankruptcy under Chapter 9 of the bankruptcy law. The situation is so bad that the appointed Emergency Manager is under pressure to sell off valuable paintings from the prestigious Detroit Fine Art Museum.
Most of Detroit’s water comes from Lake Huron and the city government is considering privatizing the water system by leasing it for fifty million dollars a year. It comes as no surprise that this move is supported by the “Obomber” administration. The unconscionable act of cutting off water to families with children is just another inhumane extension of the bottom-line madness of our “financialized” society where the bankers and the finance industry rule.
The tragic fact that cutting the water supply has the greatest impact on infants and children doesn’t cut any ice with the powers that be. After all, among the United State’s most egregious inanities is the failure to ratify the United Nation’s Convention On The Rights Of Children – we have signed it but it does not have the power of law unless it is ratified by 2/3 of the U.S. Senate. For decades it has been held up by Right-Wingers in the Senate for fear that it will jeopardize our sovereignty and undermine the authority of parents to use corporal punishment in bringing up their children – or, apparently, the government of Detroit to deny them drinking water. We have distinguished ourselves by being one of the only two countries who have not ratified the convention – Somalia being the other. We are, indeed, exceptional!