Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Is Water a Right or a Commodity? Rand Paul and Nestle CEO Say it is Not a Right!

On November 27, 2002, water was official recognized as a Human Right not a Commodity by the United Nations

Right then it should have been a settled issue but not to the likes of Rand Paul and the former CEO and now Chairman of Nestle headquartered in Switzerland who do not believe it is a human right.  Guess they cannot comprehend what the United Nations said in Nov 2002:
Water is a Human Right, not a Commodity 
"The human right to drinking water is fundamental to life and health. Sufficient and safe drinking water is a precondition for the realization of human rights." — United Nations 'General Comment' on the Right to Water. 
On November 27, 2002, water was formally recognized as a human right for the first time when the United Nations Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights adopted the ‘General Comment’ on the right to water, and described the State’s legal responsibility in fulfilling that right. 
"The simple fact is, this model of privatization doesn’t work. You cannot marry the profit motive to something like water or air which people need to survive. We have to take this notion of fresh water out of the market place and say that it belongs to the earth, it belongs to all species, it belongs to future generations, and no one has the right to commodify it for personal gain. 
We believe that water is a lifeline and we should have an international convention that declares water as a fundamental human right and that everyone on earth should have the right to enough to live on." 
— Maude Barlow, CBC Interview, March 2004
That seems clear to me that the United Nations has declared water a Human Right for every member nation.  Note to Rand Paul -- the United States is a member of the United Nations and one of the five countries, United States, United Kingdom, China, France, and Russia,  with veto power in the Security Council.  Is Rand Paul's head so high in the clouds that he cannot see the forest for the trees or is the fact that his father, Ron Paul, doesn't recognize the United Nations along with their hard right supporters?  Whatever the reason, Rand Paul made a fool of himself again which seems to happen when he speaks to any group.
Rand Paul has made some mind boggling statements and this one is no different. The Kentucky Republican gave a speech which was followed by a Q&A with medical students at the University of Louisville. 
Paul was asked whether health care is a commodity or not. 
National Review reports, “There’s a philosophic debate which often gets me in trouble, you know, on whether health care’s a right or not,” Paul, in a red tie, white button-down shirt, and khakis, tells the students from the stage. “I think we as physicians have an obligation. As Christians, we have an obligation. . . . I really believe that, and it’s a deep-held belief,” he says of helping others.” 
First off, not everyone is a Christian. This is not a Christian nation, but one with various held beliefs. 
Paul then asked  rhetorically, if students have a right to food and water. “As humans, yeah, we do have an obligation to give people water, to give people food, to give people health care,” Paul muses. “But it’s not a right because once you conscript people and say, ‘Oh, it’s a right,’ then really you’re in charge, it’s servitude, you’re in charge of me and I’m supposed to do whatever you tell me to do. . . . It really shouldn’t be seen that way.” 
That sounds familiar. 
“Access to water is not your right. Believing you have a right to water – is an extreme belief. Water is a raw material and a “foodstuff” that should be privatized and commercialized.” 
That quote is from the Nestles corporation.
Was shaking my head at Rand Paul who is planning to run for President in 2016 thinking he doesn't have a clue on a lot of issues.  How could someone in politics have missed the UN statement on water? More importantly why should any corporation be allowed to buy water rights which leads us to why should gas companies be allowed to use fracking to extract natural gas which contaminates our water or the Koch Bros allowed to discharge pollution in our streams like their Georgia Pacific paper mills are doing especially the one in Arkansas that is releasing pollution which eventually flows into the Ouachita River and pollutes the water downstream that flows into LA.

Not only are corporations buying up water rights to sell us the over priced water bottles, but are also polluting our rivers, streams, ground water, and acquifers.  When do the American people wake up to what is happening and throw out the hard right from Congress who is trying to tie the hands of the EPA to keep them from investigating the polluting of our clean water.   We have a right to clean water and shouldn't have water rights sold to a foreign entity or polluted by people in this Country.

The Chairman of Nestle should be best friends with the Koch Bros with his ideas that water should be a commodity so bottled water companies could make more profits using water that should belong to the people not a corporation.

See the translated video at Firedog Lake from from Chairman Peter Brabeck from Nestle Headquarters in Switzerland discussing his views on water and other issues.  Brabeck believes water should be a commodity not a right so Nestle can make more money.  Below is the take-away from this video:
Peter Brabeck, the Chairman of Nestle Group, has a theory about how the world should work regarding access to water and he would like to share his theory (of not sharing).
Brabeck is not a fan of nature, at least not as it is understood today. Saying man can now provide “balance to nature.” Brabeck disparages the “organic movement” and those opposing genetically modified food saying he prefers the American system which, he hnclaims, has not produced a single case of illness. Brabeck may be omitting or may genuinely not know that no one in the US could document such a case of illness, even if it occurred, because GM food is not labeled in America. Brabeck suggests Europeans should cast aside their organic inclinations and adopt the American system. 
Brabeck then goes on to offer his view of water, calling it the “most important raw material” in the world. Brabeck disagrees with unnamed non-governmental organizations (NGOs) about water being a human right instead saying he agrees with those who want water to be assigned a market value and therefore managed by private interests. It’s worth noting that if his plan were adopted his company would have even more opportunities in the water market
Brabeck even attacks the 35 hour work week as being antiquated because, as he sees it, it was proposed to create more jobs due to a finite amount of labor. This of course is not why the 35 hour work week was created (it was created to give people a break from work) nonetheless Brabeck continues with his theory saying more jobs in the future will require more work and so the 35 hour work week should be done away with. 
The cancer of Neoliberalism that has ravaged this planet and its people the last 30 years is rarely so well exposed and articulated. Brabeck isn’t alone. The corporate sector is lusting after the water commons with full force desperate for more, more, more, profits. The planet and the people on it are just raw material, slaves on the plantation, to produce their products and subsidize their parasitic lifestyles. And once the planet is used up? Well, who cares? There will be enough resources left to build a gated community or two for them and their spawn to survive and thrive on.
Will someone please tell me why a company that is headquartered in Switzerland is allowed to purchase water rights in the United States?  Hershey, who IMHO makes much better chocolate then Nestle, is headquartered in Hershey, PA.  The American chocolate company, Hershey, is in the business of making chocolate not trying to sell us bottled watered plus chocolate.  Remember that the next time you get hungry for a piece of chocolate - Buy American made Hershey not foreign owned Nestle with an American presence whose Chairman believes water is a commodity not a right!   Boycott Nestle water as well as their chocolate!

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