UN Calls for National Water “Affordability Standard” in America

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United Nations logoAs more than one bil­lion peo­ple oppressed under Unit­ed Nations mem­ber regimes strug­gle to live on less than $1 a day, the UN’s “human rights” brigades vis­it­ed Detroit this week — where the aver­age wel­fare ben­e­fits amount to almost $30,000 per year — to call for a nation­al “afford­abil­i­ty stan­dard” for water. Accord­ing to the plan­e­tary human-rights bureau­crats, the tax­pay­ers and the bank­rupt city gov­ern­ment must con­tin­ue to pro­vide water even for res­i­dents who have not paid their bill in months because appar­ent­ly free water ser­vices are now among the “most basic human rights.”

The UN del­e­ga­tion to Detroit includ­ed two oper­a­tives with bom­bas­tic titles: “Spe­cial Rap­por­teur on the human right to water and san­i­ta­tion” Cata­ri­na de Albu­querque, and Leilani Farha, dubbed “the Spe­cial Rap­por­teur on the right to ade­quate hous­ing.” In a press release post­ed on the dic­ta­tor-dom­i­nat­ed organization’s web­site, the duo “expressed con­cern” over the water shut-offs that have been tak­ing place in Detroit as city offi­cials seek to col­lect on seri­ous­ly delin­quent accounts. The two had pre­vi­ous­ly called for “inter­na­tion­al law” to be enforced amid what they said was a vio­la­tion of the UN’s bizarre notions of “human rights.”

It is con­trary to human rights to dis­con­nect water from peo­ple who sim­ply do not have the means to pay their bills,” said de Albu­querque in the UN press release fol­low­ing the two-day pro­pa­gan­da vis­it to Detroit, appar­ent­ly unaware that a recent study revealed aver­age state and fed­er­al wel­fare ben­e­fits in Michi­gan pay $28,872 per year. “I heard tes­ti­monies from poor, African Amer­i­can res­i­dents of Detroit who were forced to make impos­si­ble choic­es — to pay the water bill or to pay their rent.”

The aver­age rent in Detroit is about $800, which, for some­body bring­ing in more than $80 per day based on aver­age wel­fare ben­e­fits, should leave about $20,000 per year to pay water bills and oth­er expens­es — if they live alone. Accord­ing to the Detroit Free Press, the aver­age water bill in the city comes to about $65 per month, or less than $800 every year. In oth­er words, aver­age water bills and rents com­bined should cost around $10,000 per year, leav­ing an aver­age wel­fare recip­i­ent with more than $18,000 left to spend. Gallup data sug­gests that $18,000 is about twice the medi­an house­hold income worldwide.

Appar­ent­ly that is not enough for the UN’s dic­ta­tor-dom­i­nat­ed human rights bureau­cra­cy, which was dis­band­ed some years ago after Libyan dic­ta­tor Moam­mar Gad­hafi was elect­ed by UN mem­ber regimes to lead it. Today, the self-styled UN “Human Rights Coun­cil” includes such paragons of human rights as the com­mu­nist regimes rul­ing Cuba and Chi­na, among oth­ers. The Sau­di monar­chy, which lit­er­al­ly beheads “apos­tates,” serves on the coun­cil, too. It also recent­ly added the regime rul­ing El Sal­vador, head­ed by a “for­mer” com­mu­nist mass-mur­der­er who led a bloody Cas­tro-backed cam­paign to over­throw the for­mer government.

Instead of deal­ing with real human-rights abus­es, how­ev­er, the UN body has increas­ing­ly stepped up its attacks on Amer­i­ca and oth­er civ­i­lized nations for pro­tect­ing lib­er­ty, hav­ing low tax­es, stay-at-home moms, and more. For instance, in recent years, the UN body has lashed out at the Unit­ed States for its pro­tec­tions of the right to keep and bear arms, parental rights, the right to a fair tri­al, state sov­er­eign­ty, self-defense rights, and much more. The U.S. Con­sti­tu­tion and the Amer­i­can sys­tem of gov­ern­ment have also been placed open­ly in UN crosshairs.

As if to dri­ve home the UN’s igno­rance of — or hos­til­i­ty toward — the U.S. sys­tem of lim­it­ed gov­ern­ment and fed­er­al­ism, “Spe­cial Rap­por­teur” de Albu­querque made a series of out­landish demands that would put the fed­er­al gov­ern­ment in direct vio­la­tion of the con­tract that cre­at­ed it. “First, we sug­gest that the city of Detroit restores water con­nec­tions to all res­i­dents unable to pay, and also to stop any fur­ther dis­con­nec­tions of water in those cas­es,” she was quot­ed as say­ing. “We also urge the city, the state, but also the nation­al gov­ern­ment … to adopt a manda­to­ry afford­abil­i­ty stan­dard.” Of course, the “nation­al gov­ern­ment” has no con­sti­tu­tion­al author­i­ty to cre­ate any such standard.

The oth­er UN “spe­cial rap­por­teur,” Farha, played the race card, say­ing that most­ly blacks were affect­ed by the shut-offs (because most­ly blacks live in Detroit). “Every effort should be made by all lev­els of gov­ern­ment to ensure that the most vul­ner­a­ble are not evict­ed from or lose their hous­ing as a result of water shut-offs or water bill arrears,” decreed Farha. “Where an indi­vid­ual or fam­i­ly is ren­dered home­less due to water shut-offs, the City of Detroit must have in place emer­gency ser­vices to ensure alter­nate accom­mo­da­tion with run­ning water is available.”

She also demand­ed what sound­ed like a par­al­lel legal sys­tem to chal­lenge the munic­i­pal water provider’s billing. “If you have a dis­pute about a bill, you need an admin­is­tra­tive rem­e­dy to that dis­pute,” Farha said. “If you want to chal­lenge the afford­abil­i­ty of water in the city of Detroit, you need a legal mech­a­nism to do that.” It was not clear under what sup­posed author­i­ty the UN bureau­crats were pur­port­ing to issue com­mands to local, state, and fed­er­al author­i­ties in the Unit­ed States.

Local offi­cials, though, hit back at the UN bureau­crats. May­or Mike Duggan’s top aide, Alex­is Wiley, blast­ed the UN “review” as one-sided, say­ing the office was “very dis­ap­point­ed” with the “rap­por­teurs” and their sup­posed probe. “They weren’t inter­est­ed in the facts,” she explained. “They took a posi­tion and nev­er once [before Mon­day] reached out to the city for data.” Indeed, as The New Amer­i­can report­ed in June, the same UN oper­a­tives made vir­tu­al­ly the same claims before their “inves­ti­ga­tion” based on com­plaints about Detroit by rad­i­cal Cana­di­an activists sub­mit­ted to the UN.

Accord­ing to local offi­cials, cur­rent­ly pre­sid­ing over the largest munic­i­pal bank­rupt­cy in U.S. his­to­ry, the city shuts off water ser­vices to busi­ness­es and res­i­dents who are either two months past due on their bills or who owe more than $150. It also has a vari­ety of pro­grams to help res­i­dents who get behind on their pay­ments, includ­ing offer­ing pay­ment plans to delin­quent account hold­ers. Among those whose ser­vices were dis­con­nect­ed: a city coun­cil mem­ber, the Joe Louis Are­na that hosts the NHL Detroit Red Wings team, and the NFL Detroit Lions’ Ford Field, accord­ing to media reports.

While the UN frames the issue as a “human rights vio­la­tion,” it is impor­tant to keep some cru­cial facts in mind. The lat­est UN attack on Amer­i­can poli­cies comes amid a con­cert­ed glob­al cam­paign, led by the UN and the glob­al­ist estab­lish­ment, to rede­fine the very notion of rights. In the Unit­ed States, as the Dec­la­ra­tion of Inde­pen­dence and the U.S. Con­sti­tu­tion make crys­tal clear, indi­vid­ual rights come from God and can­not be legit­i­mate­ly infringed upon by gov­ern­ment. In fact, the Founders point­ed out that the whole pur­pose of gov­ern­ment is to pro­tect unalien­able rights.

Under the UN’s vision, by con­trast, revo­ca­ble priv­i­leges are grant­ed by all-pow­er­ful gov­ern­ments, which are per­mit­ted to infringe on those pseu­do-rights at will. In its “Uni­ver­sal Dec­la­ra­tion of Human Rights,” the UN even states its abhor­rent posi­tion that what it inac­cu­rate­ly refers to as “rights” are “grant­ed” by gov­ern­ments, not the Cre­ator. The glob­al enti­ty also claims “rights” can be lim­it­ed “by law,” and that no rights may be “exer­cised con­trary to the pur­pos­es and prin­ci­ples of the Unit­ed Nations.” The dec­la­ra­tion also claims every­one has “duties” to the “com­mu­ni­ty.”

Rather than free­dom from coer­cion — free speech, free­dom of the press, the right to keep and bear arms, the right to be secure from unrea­son­able search­es, and more — the UN admit­ted­ly views rights in total­i­tar­i­an terms, such as the “right” to the fruits of oth­ers’ labor. Like com­mu­nist and social­ist dic­ta­tors world­wide, the UN jus­ti­fies its exis­tence part­ly based on the dan­ger­ous notion that tax­pay­er-fund­ed goods and ser­vices can be con­sid­ered “rights” to be enforced by the coer­cive pow­er of government.

The dif­fer­ence between the visions, of course, is cru­cial: Real rights are free­dom from gov­ern­ment coer­cion; UN “rights” require gov­ern­ment coer­cion. For more evi­dence of the UN’s view of “human rights,” sim­ply con­sid­er the bru­tal assort­ment of com­mu­nist, social­ist, Islamist, and mass-mur­der­ing tyrants on the UN “Human Rights Coun­cil.” Late last year, even the regimes rul­ing Chi­na, Cuba, Viet­nam, Alge­ria, Sau­di Ara­bia, and Rus­sia — among the worst vio­la­tors of actu­al rights on Earth — were appoint­ed to the council.

What Detroit needs is not UN bureau­crats, more wel­fare, or a rede­f­i­n­i­tion of rights to con­form to failed and mur­der­ous total­i­tar­i­an mod­els of the last cen­tu­ry. Instead, as count­less stud­ies have demon­strat­ed, good gov­ern­ment, eco­nom­ic lib­er­ty, and pro­tec­tion for unalien­able rights pro­duces abun­dant pros­per­i­ty for all — that is why the Unit­ed States, Cana­da, and Switzer­land are among the rich­est coun­tries on Earth while Cuba, North Korea, and Zim­bab­we are the poorest.

For now, the UN “human rights” out­fit acknowl­edged that it has no author­i­ty to impose its wild demands. How­ev­er, if Amer­i­cans are not care­ful, that will not always be the case. Rather than con­tin­ue to play along with the anti-lib­er­ty and anti-sov­er­eign­ty antics of the UN — wide­ly ridiculed as the “dic­ta­tors’ club,” and for good rea­son — the U.S. gov­ern­ment should defund and with­draw from the out­fit immediately.