The third world-ization of America continues apace.

by kara on January 14, 2016

Welcome to World #3, Michigan, we will be joining you as soon as President Trump takes office. The people in Flint, Michigan have been drinking water so lead-ridden that they are basically becoming human versions of those lead weights you use to sink yourself to the bottom when you scuba dive. While that sounds all delightful and science fiction-y, people actually do not enjoy having lead course through their bloodstreams. Particularly the bloodstreams of their children, since lead totally stunts brain development.

Now, having watched so many GOP debates, you may be feeling like everything anyone says is craven craptastic hyperbole at best and outright malicious lying at worst. But this is the science! From the socialistic WHO:

“Having high amounts of lead in your water is so bad for kids that we don’t even really have a way to joke about it.According to the World Health Organization, “lead affects children’s brain development resulting in reduced intelligence quotient (IQ), behavioral changes such as shortening of attention span and increased antisocial behavior, and reduced educational attainment. Lead exposure also causes anemia, hypertension, renal impairment, immunotoxicity and toxicity to the reproductive organs. The neurological and behavioral effects of lead are believed to be irreversible.”


Flint, Michigan, lies about 70 miles from the shores of the largest group of fresh water bodies in the world: the Great Lakes.  So, WHY is the water supply lead based? And why isn’t the rest of the state? Well, Flint used to get its water from Detroit, which has a purified water system. But! as Detroit slid into an almost comically craven level of financial disarray,  the state decided to save money by switching Flint’s water supply from Lake Huron (which they were paying the city of Detroit for), to the Flint River, which is notoriously corrosive as fuck. Seriously, the Flint River features water that is basically a tall not-sparkling glass of sludgy death. The lead lead leaches into the Flint River water as it passes through old water-service lines and pipes in Flint homes.

The switch to the filthy rive water was supposed to be temporary while a new state-run supply line to Lake Huron was ready for connection. The project was estimated to take five years.


A lawsuit had been filed last year by a group of residents who noticed that they were drinking metallic sludge, but  that the city and the state knew about it and did nothing. Flint was already well on the way to being your laboratory for horrible retro diseases popping up. Maybe it’s those big glasses of lead, maybe not, who can say? The one comically terrible Governor Rick Snyder knows for sure is that if the expenditure of public funds will promote the health and well-being of the vast majority of people, then it must be stopped, at all costs. This is not what public funds are for. Public funds are to be used to pay back campaign contributors.


In September 2014, the city decided it would be a good idea to tell people to boil the foul-smelling muck that was coming out of their faucets, because that’s what they do on Little House on the Prairie. Now, the boiling thing runs contrary to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s guidelines on lead in drinking water, which state that heating or boiling water will not remove lead. In fact, “because some of the water evaporates during the boiling process, the lead concentration of the water can actually increase slightly as the water is boiled,” according to the CDC.

Late last year, laughably atrocious Governor Snyder roused himself from a winter slumber to fully investigate the matter. find a fall guy and allow his Department of Environmental Quality Director Dan Wyant to “quit” and spend more time with his family. Weirdly, the people of Flint  did not really feel like that fixed the problem of how they were drinking lead.

By the time Rick Snyder finally saw his way clear to throw $12 million at Flint so they can switch back to Detroit’s water system – which is presumably not lead-based – and requesting federal socialist support (because at least he’s good at one thing: asking other people to fix his fuckups), and activating the state National Guard to help distribute supplies at the city’s five water resource sites, people were already dead.

Today we hear this alarming piece of information:

Michigan’s top medical officer admitted to NBC News that an email from a state health worker — raising the alarm about lead poisoning in Flint six months ago — was a “missed opportunity”(calling Condi Rice),  to attack the crisis that has sickened thousands of small children.

The epidemiologist identified a spike in kids’ lead levels in July, August and September 2014, which was soon after Flint switched water sources to save money. She got the same results when asked to take a broader look at the numbers.

You know….I’m not sure I’d describe this as a “missed opportunity.” A missed opportunity is when you were going to get tickets for the opening night of the new Star Wars but didn’t check until too late and had to go to a Saturday matinee after all your friends have already seen it and told you that (spoiler alert), Han Solo kicks. This is more in the category of “catastrophic fuckup.” A handy metric: If you have to call in the fucking National Guard, things are probably pretty bad.

They simply ignored the test results. Excuse me. They “misinterpreted” the test results by looking at the wrong testing criteria. The Invisible Hand is perfect. Humans, not so much.

Yesterday, the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services officials announced that the city and the surrounding area have seen a spike in cases of Legionnaires’ disease — that fucking bacterial infection from the 1970’s. Legionnaire’s disease can be deadly for between 5 to 30 percent of those who contract it. So far, 87 cases have been diagnosed since June, two months after Flint changed its water source to the Flint River, the Detroit Free Press reported. Ten of those cases were fatal.

Rick Snyder mumbled something about how it just adds to the “tragedy they are facing”, which is a clever piece of passive voice, like it’s not of Man’s making, like the tragedy just wandered up the Great Lakes and chose Michigan, as opposed to being the logical result of decades of corruption and neglect.

But, you know, I’d rather freak the fuck out about Muslims over 3000 miles away with literally zero actual infrastructure to harm us other than shitty YouTube videos. Fucking Legionnaires disease is back, 2016.


Well, sure, the people of Flint, Michigan don’t have clean water to drink, but at least they have an awesome, kickass economy in exchange for lax oversight and enforcement of environmental standards, so they’ve got that going for them… oh… wait…

There is literally nothing that could make this revolting, Dickensian story worse, nothing the government could be doing that would make my blood boil worse than it is now. Wait. What? Flint, Michigan, is sending out notices to residents who haven’t been paying for their city water services? The notices say that services could be cut off if payment isn’t received?

Overdue notice. To pay for poison water. That you can’t drink.

You know, guys, humans have had a crack at this world. And we’ve kind of made an unmitigated mess out of everything. What say we burn it all down, salt the earth, and let the dolphins and the cockroaches and the pizza rats have a chance to run the place?

(Libertarian rebuttal encouraged).

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