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Detroit Forced to Turn Off Water for Nonpayment

BEGIN TRANSCRIPT

RUSH: I have a story we mentioned that they're cutting off water for people in Detroit, and a couple of people that responded to me thought that it was a problem with water availability, a shortage. No, there's no shortage of water in Detroit. There is a shortage of people who either can or are willing to pay for it. A lot of people (about half the population) has had their water cut off because they're not paying for it, either because they refuse to or because they can't.

Now, the department in Detroit that handles this called the Department of Water and Sewage. I don't know that I would want water from this bunch anyway, but that's the name of the bureaucracy that handles it. We had this last week. The UN heard about this. The UN is all upset! The UN is thinking about going in there and make sure the water is turned on for everybody, even though they can't afford it.

They think this is just outrageous. "How do you turn the water off on anybody? Water is a necessity, whether you can pay for it or not. So there's a story here. The story is in the Los Angeles Times, about one such victim who has had her water turned off, and I just want to read a few excerpts from the story. "It has been six weeks since the city turned off Nicole Hill's water.

"Dirty dishes are piled in the sink of her crowded kitchen, where the yellow-and-green linoleum floor is soiled and sticky. A small garbage can is filled with water from a neighbor, while a bigger one sits outside in the yard, where she hopes it will collect some rain. She's developed an intricate recycling system of washing the dishes, cleaning the floor and flushing the toilet with the same water.

"'It's frightening, because you think this is something that only happens somewhere like Africa,' said Hill, a single mother who is studying homeland security at a local college. 'But now I know what they're going through [in Africa] -- when I get somewhere there's a water faucet, I drink until my stomach hurts.' Hill is one of thousands of residents in Detroit who have had their water and sewer services turned off as part of a crackdown on customers who are behind on their bills.

"In April, [Detroit] set a target of cutting service to 3,000 customers a week who were more than $150 behind on their bills. In May, the water department sent out 46,000 warnings and cut off service to 4,531. The city says that cutting off water is the only way to get people to pay their bills as Detroit tries to emerge from bankruptcy -- the utility is currently owed $90 million from customers, and nearly half the city's 300,000 or so accounts are past due."

Ninety million dollars is owed to the Water and Sewage Department! "But cutting off water to people already living in poverty came under criticism last week from the United Nations Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, whose experts said that Detroit was violating international standards by cutting off access to water."

Does Obama know about this?

Does Obama know that they've cut the water off to so many people in Detroit? Does Obama know that the UN says that Detroit's violating international standards in his country? Does he know this? You'd think he would be mad about this and would go tell the UN to pound sand.

"'When there is genuine inability to pay, human rights simply forbids disconnections,' Catarina de Albuquerque, the [the United Nations Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights]'s expert on the human right to water and sanitation, said in the communique. 'Are we the kind of people that resort to shutting water off when there are disabled people and seniors?' said Maureen Taylor, chair of the Michigan Welfare Rights Organization."

Did she really say that? Yes. "When there is a genuine inability to pay, human rights simply forbids disconnections." Well, of course! Anyway, I got to thinking here. She's a single mother, Nicole Hill, "studying homeland security at a local college." Snerdley, did you know that you could get a degree in this anywhere? (interruption) I didn't, either. Did any of you know that homeland security was an academic pursuit at your local college?

What do you think the courses in the homeland security major are? Principles of Homeland Security 1 and 2, Advanced Principles of Homeland Security, Beginning Pat-Downs, Advanced Pat-Downs, Ogling Scanner X-Rays for Beginners? Body Search 101, Body Cavity Search 101, Advanced Body Cavity Search 101, Horizontal Advanced Body Cavity Search 201?

What are the disciplines in this course? How in the world can somebody seeking a major in homeland security at a local college in Detroit not be able to pay the water bill? And why would anybody in homeland security hire this woman, unless... I've got a picture of her, and she could sit on an unruly 80-year-old trying to smuggle something on board an airplane. That's clear here.

But there's a picture of her holding up the demand from the city of the water bill. I'm not gonna show it to you. Believe me, there's nothing to be gained by me showing you this picture. It's in the LA Times if you want to go find it yourself. You are on your own. (interruption) Well, $90 million worth of not paying the bill in order for them to shut off.

How many years do you have to not pay for that? How many years does it take to rack up $90 million in unpaid water bills? And then, of course, it's never your fault. So... I don't know, folks. A single mother studying homeland security at a local college who now knows what it's like to live in Africa. That's what she said.

BREAK TRANSCRIPT

RUSH: All right. Ladies and gentlemen, I left out one potential course (chuckles) the woman could take in her pursuit of a major in homeland security. That would be Advanced Non-enforcement of Immigration Law 101. That's probably the biggie! (laughing) After all the classes on advanced body cavity searches, Advanced Non-enforcement of Immigration Law 101. Taught by Janet Napolitano. Syllabus written by Barack Obama, Constitutional Lawyer, Esq. or what have you.

BREAK TRANSCRIPT

RUSH: By the way, folks, I checked. Apparently water bills in Detroit are the one thing not subsidized by government. That, I think, is probably why so many in Detroit are now up in arms. They get pretty much every social service free; they can't understand why they've gotta pay for water. I think that's largely true.

END TRANSCRIPT

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