Michael Moore speaks the truth

He has ten things he wants to tell you about the Flint water supply. They’re rather appalling.

I really don’t understand what’s going on in Michigan, but I know I wouldn’t want to live there. Their governor ought to be in jail right now for what he’s allowed to happen — they’ve been poisoning an entire community for months, knowingly and with no concern at all for the citizens…all while bringing in uncontaminated water for General Motors and state employees. The entire goddamn administration ought to be facing court dates for criminal offenses.

Here’s another level of fucked-up-edness.

According to the NY Times, Snyder was informed in one email that a state nurse told one young mother to not worry about the damage being done to her child when her son’s blood showed an elevated lead level.

“It is just a few IQ points. … It is not the end of the world,” the nurse reportedly told the worried mom.

We’ve been watching too many super-hero movies. While we weren’t paying attention, petty villainy that wouldn’t be credible in a comic book has become a reasonable life-style choice.

I guess the good news for us in Minnesota is that after the botched, self-destructive experiment in libertarian/Republican greed in Wisconsin started torching that state to the ground, the crony capitalists marched east to Michigan rather than west to my state.

David Gorski, a native and resident of Michigan (I’m so sorry!), also addresses the fuckery behind the Flint water crisis. You should read that, too.


  1. Bruce says

    The Flint school system should have everyone read Huxley’s “Brave New World”.
    Welcome to the dystopian future, where lower class workers are deliberately bred to have lower, less troubling IQ levels.

    Of course, the book presumes that there will be a social setup where low IQ will always fit into obedient service, which I think is not guaranteed.

  2. iknklast says

    This isn’t unique to Flint; it’s just the scale that makes it news. Our town has refused to build a water treatment plant even though the E PA has found serious problems. The head of our utilities department is considered a hero for saving us so much money. He has repeatedly stared down the folks at the E PA and refused to follow the rules. They have always backed down. The men who run the water treatment plant told me it doesn’t matter because nitrates only hurt babies. Meanwhile most of these folks March in every “pro life” rally they can find.

  3. dick says

    Bruce, the rulers in times past, & some even nowadays, (in countries like Saudi Arabia), had or have the ability to ensure compliance in their subjects. The methods involved a degree of cruelty, of course. (And sometimes the peasants got their revenge.)

  4. says

    So much screwed up stuff going on in my state right now. It’s very depressing to live here, for many reasons. Our state government has just shown itself to be epically incompetent in its handling of the Flint water crisis. Part of the problem is the emergency manager law, which, I believe, had a lot to do with the failure of the state to act sooner. Although local governments can and do screw up and there’s no guarantee that an elected city council wouldn’t have made the same initial decision, I bet that an elected city council would have felt a lot more pressure a lot earlier to do something when citizens started complaining about the brown water and the rashes it caused. The emergency manager who made the decision was unelected, appointed by a governor whose support base was not in Flint or in any other city with a disproportionate number of poor and minorities.

    Basically, Michigan state government was taken over by the Tea Party in 2010. Although Governor Snyder sold himself as a moderate but “One Tough Nerd” (as his original campaign commercials billed him), he has shown little spine to stand up to the crazies running state government at the moment. Also, Snyder really, really believes that government should be run more like a business. (He used to be CEO of Gateway and ran a venture capital company before he got into politics.)

    In any case, if you want to get an idea of how our government currently works, the emergency manager law is a great example. In 2012 voters repealed the EM law in a referendum. A mere six weeks later, the legislature passed another EM law and made it referendum-proof by adding an appropriation to it. (The Michigan constitution does not permit referendums on appropriations bills.) Snyder signed the new EM bill right after Christmas, less than two months after the voters had repudiated the old EM law.

    Then there are lame duck sessions. We in Michigan fear lame duck sessions. It was during a lame duck session that the new EM law was passed. Ditto right to work. Ditto a law eliminating straight party voting, which was disingenuously justified as being better for democracy when in reality the intent was to make it take longer to vote, which would cause problems in the poorest and blackest voting precincts. Oh, and this was a law that voters had repudiated in referendums not just once but twice. Guess what, too? The legislature tacked on a token appropriation for some new voting machines, making this law referendum-proof as well.

    That is how Michigan state government runs now.

  5. says

    I remember Michigan was always a hotbed of militia activity, particularly in the 90s, maybe some people around here remember the exploits of Mark “from Michigan” Koerneke, the inventor of BLACK HELICOPTERS as a conspiracy thing.

    Before Michael Moore did “Roger and Me” he worked on this pretty amazing documentary about white supremacists in the Michigan hinterlands- “Blood in the Face.” He didn’t direct it, he was just a unit producer/interviewer so it’s still pretty obscure but it sorta gives you a perspective of the Michigan paranoid style. See also: Henry Ford.

  6. says

    Basically, if you leave out southeast Michigan, Michigan might as well be Texas, Alabama, or Mississippi as far as its politics go.

    Anyway, Metro Times columnist Jack Lessenberry is great at describing the dysfunction of Michigan government:


  7. says

    Rachel Maddow has been covering the Flint toxic water story for some time. Last night she covered the fact that the filters handed out to residents are rated to be effective for filtering lead at lower levels than are present in many Flint homes. Video at the link.

    The Snyder administration handed out filters. Residents using those filters started to drink water from their taps again. The filters are inadequate. With the filters, Snyder and his cohorts simply introduced another delay in providing real solutions and further damaged the trust Flint residents have in government. Snyder prolonged the poisoning of kids with lead.

    Maddow also covered the cluelessness of the Snyder administration when it comes to transportation and free time available to poor and low-income residents. No, they may not have a car to drive to their local fire station every day to pick up water, to deliver test samples from their homes, to pick up lead-testing kits, etc. And, no, they may not be able to take the time off work, or they may not be able to arrange child care.

  8. says

    Flint residents are being billed for water they cannot drink. Poor and low-income people are paying $100 or more per month for water that cannot be used for drinking or bathing. Link.

    Most of these residents have also been buying bottled water.

  9. says

    I’m completely baffled about the fact that now private charity does and has to provide drinking water for Flint. How fucked up can your government be?
    In Germany, if your local water is not considered safe for babies, for example, you are entitled to free bottled water. Because that’s actually much cheaper than treating poisoned babies…

  10. John Morales says

    “It is just a few IQ points. … It is not the end of the world,” the nurse reportedly told the worried mom.

    Not just that — there’s also a correlation between lead and antisocial/violent behaviour.

  11. Mobius says

    I’ve been following this story on Rachel Maddow. It is appalling. The complete disinterest of the Snyder administration for the well being of their constituents is one of the worst cases of political malfeasance I have heard. Particularly troubling, to me, is the efforts that were made to discredit those that tried to bring this problem to people’s attention.

  12. magistramarla says

    I truly believe that Rachel Maddow and her team should receive a Pulitzer prize for the excellent reporting on this.

  13. laurentweppe says

    We’ve been watching too many super-hero movies. While we weren’t paying attention, petty villainy that wouldn’t be credible in a comic book has become a reasonable life-style choice.

    Sooooo… If I put a breton red beanie on my head, and start beating up people I don’t like with sticks while quoting stuff I remember from my catholic sunday school, will I be granted superhero status or should I burn my eyeballs first?

  14. estraven says

    Like Orac, I’m a Michigander and totally appalled at what’s going on in Flint. I live 45 minutes from Flint in a rural township. Most people around here have always seemed disdainful of Flint so I’ve been surprised by local efforts to send bottled water to the city. Too bad that locally most folks voted for Snyder . . . Orac is so right about the Emergency Manager law. I despair at the anti-democracy measures that have been put into place in my state. The people of Flint have now been told to pay their water bill or their children can be taken from them. Pay for water that’s poisoning them! How low can you go.

  15. notsont says

    “If you were going to put something in a population to keep them down for generations to come, it would be lead,” Dr. Hanna-Attisha.

    I’m sure it was just an accident though, right? I’m guessing those totally redacted emails are all redacted because Snyder gets calls from Obama on what to do about terrorists or something. Yea, that’s the ticket.

  16. notsont says

    Come to think of it the EPA head of sector 5 resigning like that is pretty fucking odd like to see her emails and cell phone records too be willing to bet someone called in a favor and she will be moving on to work as a lobbyist or PR person for whomever gave her a call. I’m sure they will be quite open about the FOIA requests though.

  17. says

    I live in Owosso, MI. 28 miles from Flint. I have every right to be angry at Snyder. He has absolutely no right to do this! He needs to go to prison along with his entire administration! Plain as day! >:(

  18. throwawaygradstudent says

    I was born in East Grand Rapids, Michigan. I no longer live in the state, but I have family who do. Synder is a reprehensible human being and needs to be jailed asap. There is no excuse for what is happening in Flint.