Los Angeles mayor Eric Garcetti's order this week to cut off water and electric service to homes where people are suspected of violating his coronavirus rules is the exact opposite of how Democrats are handling matters elsewhere in America.
In an effort to battle "large house parties" and only "egregious" cases, the mayor and LA city council have authorized shutting off utilities for the purpose of stopping the spread of coronavirus. Now, obviously, we all know this has little or nothing to do with fears about spreading COVID-19. To begin with, Garcetti and Democrats have specifically exempted protests (what those of us in the rest of America call "rioting") from coronavirus restrictions. The virus doesn't know the difference between a crowd of sweaty, shirtless young people at a house party and a crowd of sweaty, shirtless young people throwing Molotov cocktails at police or into a liquor store. Also, from everything we know about this virus, the least vulnerable demographic is young people, with virtually a 100% recovery rate and extremely mild symptoms. The extraordinary measure of using city utilities as a weapon to punish those disobeying orders, or perhaps a reward for being obedient, is about something else.
Just as with the lockdown orders that put millions of Americans on house arrest with no due process, and the economic shutdown orders cheered by liberals, LA's weaponization of public utilities is simply about cracking that door. Establishing the precedent, to be expanded later. Just as the lockdowns and shutdowns were sold as an emergency measure that was only needed for a few days. Remember "We only have 14 days to flatten the curve!"? We're now in the fifth month, and the left hasn't run out of ideas for why various coronavirus restrictions need to stay in place or be increased or re-introduced after having been lifted. These measures would never have happened to begin with if Americans were told they'd drag on for months, be used for political gamesmanship and possibly be permanent or semi-permanent. Once the precedent was established, the left was off and running and they've used coronavirus for maximum political gain.
But there's another situation in a Democrat-run city across America that shows liberals are using public utilities as a creative political tool.
When Detroit was in bankruptcy and financial managers were sent in to sort out the shocking mismanagement, it was discovered the city's water utility had $90 MILLION in unpaid water bills from about 19,000 accounts. The water company was essentially operating on the honor system, since the utility wouldn't do anything if a resident or company didn't pay their water bill. This same (mis)management technique for utilities is why the electrical grid is collapsing in South Africa. A nation formerly on the cutting edge of nuclear energy, where nuclear reactors once supplied clean, plentiful, reliable power to the country's homes and economy, is now barely able to operate old, inefficient coal-fired power plants and suffers from rolling blackouts.
When the bankruptcy managers sought to collect that money and enforce such collection by shutting off service to delinquent accounts, Democrats went crazy. They protested, they screamed, they petitioned the bankruptcy judge to stop the shutoffs. They came up with the slogan "water is a human right!", which is basically what they say about anything they want nowadays, but want someone else to pay for. College, abortions...basically anytime they want something for free. Anyway, it was the same here. 19,000 homes, apartments and businesses hadn't been paying their water bill, but it was portrayed as the most sickening crime against humanity if there were consequences for ignoring it. The left even begged the United Nations to send in troops to stop the city from requiring a payment plan or any other way of collecting the bill. The UN didn't send troops, but they did huff and puff and denounce the bankruptcy people for "violating human rights" and who-knows-what else. Again, we're talking about a water bill here. The left, who always finagles the language to sound more intense, re-cast the unpaid water bill thing as "denying access to water". Which, like every other time they re-purpose language, is ridiculous and intentionally created for the shock value. Like "assault weapon", it only works on stupid people. but that's all they need to convince. People who don't really think about what they hear. To people like that, the new phrasing made it sound like the federal bankruptcy judge was authorizing accountants to restrain starving people in those old-timey stocks in the public square and not give them anything to drink while people throw tomatoes at them.
Eventually, the finance guys kinda caved a little and they had a moratorium and an amnesty period for people to make some arrangements to get caught up. Basically, it was the gentlest possible way to try to collect an astronomical sum of money. And it was contested at every turn by Democrats, who claimed it was inhumane and violated human rights and international laws and standards of human decency and intergalactic treaties and anything else they could think up. The bottom line was nobody but the worst kind of monstrous human garbage would ever even suggest thinking about shutting off the water to someone's home or business. Never. It was beyond the pale.
Now we have liberal Democrats in another American city shutting off water to homes or businesses where
the resident is paying the bill, but they're disobeying a Democrat political order.
In the context of COVID-19, it should be pointed out Detroit used that as an excuse during this current pandemic to halt the water shutoffs, claiming they were making the pandemic worse. So, Democrats in Detroit and Los Angeles should try to get on the same page.
Now that liberals have a precedent for cutting off services to homes for political reasons, the process will expand. Just like the shutdowns and lockdowns that were only supposed to be for 14 days have turned into anything and everything leftists want to do to us for as long as they want to do it to us, shutting off utilities is sure to expand. The mayor and LA Democrats say it's only for "egregious" cases and "large" house parties, but we all know these vague terms will quickly become anything and everything Democrats need to solidify their political power.
Liberals using utility companies as a weapon is just a continuation of the cancel culture they've created on social media and in corporate America. Any opinion differing from the social justice approved message of the day can get you banned from Facebook or twitter, or could even get your family fired from their jobs. In 2018 I wrote in a national column at WND about the left stomping out political opposition by using institutions to cut off access to society. I made the comparison to utilities cutting off service to customers' homes for disagreeing with an approved political orthodoxy. That fictional example has become reality.