News of the poisoned water crisis in Flint has reached a wide audience around the world. The basics are now known: the Republican governor, Rick Snyder, nullified the free elections in Flint, deposed the mayor and city council, then appointed his own man to run the city. To save money, they decided to unhook the people of Flint from their fresh water drinking source, Lake Huron, and instead, make the public drink from the toxic Flint River.
When the governor’s office discovered just how toxic the water was, they decided to keep quiet about it and covered up the extent of the damage being done to Flint’s residents, most notably the lead affecting the children, causing irreversible and permanent brain damage. Citizen activists uncovered these actions, and the governor now faces growing cries to resign or be arrested.
Here are ten things that you probably don’t know about this crisis because the media, having come to the story so late, can only process so much. But if you live in Flint or the State of Michigan as I do, you know all to well that what the greater public has been told only scratches the surface.
While the Children in Flint Were Given Poisoned Water to Drink, General Motors Was Given a Special Hookup to the Clean Water
The Governor was appalled to hear that GM property was being damaged, so he jumped through a number of hoops and quietly spent $440,000 to hook GM back up to the Lake Huron water, while keeping the rest of Flint on the Flint River water.
For Just $100 a Day, This Crisis Could’ve Been Prevented
Federal law requires that water systems which are sent through lead pipes must contain an additive that seals the lead into the pipe and prevents it from leaching into the water. Someone at the beginning suggested to the Governor that they add this anti-corrosive element to the water coming out of the Flint River. “How much would that cost?” came the question. “$100 a day for three months,” was the answer.
There’s More Than the Lead in Flint’s Water
In addition to exposing every child in the city of Flint to lead poisoning on a daily basis, there appears to be a number of other diseases we may be hearing about in the months ahead. The number of cases in Flint of Legionnaires Disease has increased tenfold since the switch to the river water. Eighty-seven people have come down with it, and at least ten have died.
People’s Homes in Flint Are Now Worth Nothing Because They Cant Be Sold
So every homeowner in Flint is stuck with a house that’s now worth nothing. That’s a total home value of $2.4 billion down the economic drain.
While They Were Being Poisoned, They Were Also Being Bombed
During these two years of water contamination, residents in Flint have had to contend with a decision made by the Pentagon to use Flint for target practice. Literally. Actual unannounced military exercises – complete with live ammo and explosives – were conducted last year inside the city of Flint.
The Wife of the Governor’s Chief of Staff Is a Spokeswoman for Nestle, Michigan’s Largest Owner of Private Water Reserves
Snyder’s chief of staff throughout the two years of Flint’s poisoning, Dennis Muchmore, was intimately involved in all the decisions regarding Flint. His wife is Deb Muchmore, who just happens to be the spokesperson in Michigan for the Nestle Company – the largest owner of private water sources in the State of Michigan.
In Michigan, from Flint water, to Crime and Murder, to GM Ignition Switches, It’s a Culture of Death
It’s not just the water that was recklessly used to put people’s lives in jeopardy. There are many things that happen in Flint that would give one the impression that there is a low value placed on human life.
Don’t Call It “Detroit Water” — It’s the Largest Source of Fresh Drinking Water in the World
The water itself comes from Lake Huron, the third largest body of fresh water in the world. It is a glacial lake formed over 10,000 years ago during the last Ice Age and it is still fed by pure underground springs. Flint is geographically the last place on Earth where one should be drinking poisoned water.
ALL the Children Have Been Exposed, As Have All the Adults, Including Me
That’s just a fact. If you have been in Flint anytime from April 2014 to today, and you’ve drank the water, eaten food cooked with it, washed your clothes in it, taken a shower, brushed your teeth or eaten vegetables from someone’s garden, you’ve been exposed to and ingested its toxins.
This Was Done, Like So Many Things These Days, So the Rich Could Get a Big Tax Break
When Governor Snyder took office in 2011, one of the first things he did was to get a multi-billion dollar tax break passed by the Republican legislature for the wealthy and for corporations. But with less tax revenues, that meant he had to start cutting costs.
Cut taxes for the rich. Make the poor drink toxic river water. And everybody’s happy.
Except those who were poisoned in the process. All 102,000 of them.
In the richest country in the world.
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