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Collin C. MacMillan
Works at Solution Oriented LLC
Attended University of Alabama
Lives in Birmingham, AL 35226
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Collin C. MacMillan

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Solving the world's problems through elimination of private property. Me thinks this has been tried before....

Question: why stop at money? Why not apply the same fantastic idea to really important things like shelter, food & water?
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Collin C. MacMillan

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Raspberry Pi is looking for a junior designer to join our communications team in Cambridge, and Code Club (which recently merged with the Raspberry Pi Foundation) is looking for a Community Support Assistant who will be based at their London office. Come and work with us!
This week, we’re advertising a job at Pi Towers, and a job at Code Club in London. Here in Cambridge, we’re looking for a junior designer to join the communications team. The successful candidate will be working closely with me and with Sam Alder, our Head of Design (who is responsible for our branding, all the …
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Flint's Water Crisis Is Clearly A Failure Of Having A Monopoly Be In Charge Of Justice, Security, Health And Safety...And Providing Water

In other words, the core problem is monopoly power, a.k.a. the state.

Unfortunately, rather than learning a valuable lesson about the inadequacies of government appointed rulers / central planners, many progressives are trying to shift focus and instead blame Flint's dangerously unclean drinking water on something entirely unrelated; racism. As will be demonstrated, however, the fault is clearly that of poor governance.

Back in 2011, the town of Flint, Michigan was so poorly run that the governor took control of it, placing it in a state of receivership. He appointed an "emergency manager" who acted as de facto mayor, stripping authority from the town's legitimately elected mayor. [a]

The city remained in that state of receivership from December 2011 to April 2015 when power was finally handed back to the mayor. In that time, "nearly $30 million in deficits in Flint's general and water funds" were eliminated. [a] Unfortunately for all involved, however, this fact is not actually something to be celebrated, for the state implemented its new plans so carelessly that the town was recently placed in a state of emergency due to health concerns. [b]

So what happened?

Flint used to receive its water from Lake Huron. It was clean, but it was also costly, as they had to pay the city of Detroit to access it. So nearly two years ago, while under the control of the state appointed emergency manager, the decision was made to switch Flint's water supply to the Flint River, "a notorious tributary that runs through town known to locals for its filth." [c] As reported numerous times, soon after the switch, the water started to look brown and smell/taste dirty. [c] Turns out, because the Flint River is highly corrosive (19 times more so than Lake Huron), and the state Department of Environmental Quality broke the law [note: the state breaking its own laws, as it commonly does, since it's the final judge of its own behavior] by failing to treat the water with an anti-corrosive agent, the water was being tainted with iron and lead. [c]

Government officials, despite being aware of this problem, continued to deny their error until very recently. It wasn't until the public cries of a local pediatrician, noticing an incline of children experiencing rashes and hair loss, along with researchers from Virginia Tech who independently performed their own tests and made their findings public, when the government was forced to acknowledge the reality; they had been poisoning their own people, all to save a buck. Not only was it the state's own law that an anti-corrosion agent be used, but a 2011 study on the Flint River confirmed that one would be needed in order for it to be considered safe drinking water. [c] The government simply ignored the it's own law and the research [which is quite typical]. To add insult to injury, adding that required agent would have cost only about $100 a day, and experts say 90% of the problems with Flint's water could have been avoided. [c]

So what's the economics lesson to be learned from all of this? The lesson to be found is in regards to the varying nature of government enterprises as opposed to private enterprises. Free market ideals are routinely maligned by detractors who claim that profit motives incentivize firms to save money at the consumer's expense. They often claim that firms will sacrifice safety and quality, and that we'd be susceptible to dangerous or poisonous products. The naivety of these detractors is found in their ungrounded hope that government would protect us from such harm, and that government officials wouldn't also sacrifice quality or safety in order to save a buck. But this case illustrates just how wrong that theory of governance actually is.

A private institution, for instance, cannot simply ignore the rest of society. A private firm cannot simply ignore research showing that it is directly responsible for poisoning consumers. A private firm generally can't be the sole judge of the rightfulness, safety or efficacy of its action or products. A private firm generally cannot leave consumers with only one option - a product which they dislike and fear - because they hold a monopoly over said product's distribution, and monopoly on justice. A private firm is actually forced - via competition - to keep its customers happy. This is something a government bureaucrat need not concern himself with. A private firm never would have gotten away with providing poisonous and disgusting looking/tasting water to its customers for roughly two years. And now, as the government has failed to maintain something as basic as clean water, it is private firms coming to the rescue, providing gallons of clean bottled water to the desperate victims of Flint, MA.

Finally, on 1/19/2016, governor Snyder accepted responsibility, saying to the residents of Flint, "Government failed you at the federal, state and local level." [d] And guess what? Now he gets to ask for more taxpayer money to "fix" the problem his "leadership" created, asking the legislature to hand him 28.5 million dollars. [d] Again, that is not the type of backwards incentive structure governing private firms, who likely would have gone out of business or at least fired the negligent employees considered responsible.

So no, the lesson to learn from this tragic failure is not "oh look, it must have been racism." The lesson is that governments need not concern themselves with the same natural forces which incentivize businesses, and because of this, they shouldn't be seen as inherently safer or better. Always remember, in this case, the government (including the Federal government's EPA) ignored its own laws, it ignored its own agencies whose entire existence was supposedly to prevent this very thing, and it ignored cries for help from desperate consumers. It was not until political pressure threatened to uproot the powerful where all of a sudden mistakes were acknowledged.

Government literally poisoned an entire town all to save a buck. That's the very thing government-advocates claim private enterprises would do.

-------------------

Sources:
[a]
http://www.mlive.com/…/…/governor_declares_flints_finan.html
[b]
http://www.npr.org/…/obama-declares-state-of-emergency-over…
[c]
http://www.cnn.com/…/11/hea…/toxic-tap-water-flint-michigan/
[d]
http://www.freep.com/…/snyder-address-flint-water…/78994522/
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28 MILLION FOR BOTTLED WATER & FILTERS IS A BANDAID ONLY SOLUTION IS TO " RENEW ALL WATER LINES " SNYDER THIS I TOLD TO... CALL CALL CALL
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Collin C. MacMillan

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Not to mention, the City of Flint began its use of [the poisoned] Flint River water as its primary source of drinking water on April 25, 2014 while Genesee County continued to purchase from Detroit water.

Detroit, which currently supplies the county's water, filed an eight-page letter with the DEQ on June 29 calling the Genesee pipe plan [to supply water to Flint directly from Lake Huron] flawed, redundant and costly, and claimed it would result in higher costs for Detroit customers if Genesee were to build a system to supply its own water.

> I guess #Detroit hates the poor people of Flint #Michigan

In 2011, the city of Flint knew pumping the water from Lake Huron would be cheaper over time than buying water from Detroit, which the city has done for decades, or treating Flint River water, according to the analysis done by Rowe Engineering and presented to the Flint City Council [8/7/2011].

> I bet the #Flint City Council had evidence of #lead in the water supply from that 2011 report

Here's a quote from those in charge of the Flint switch to river water:

Leading up to the switch, numerous studies and tests had been conducted on the water by several independent organizations. Michael Prysby, from the Michigan DEQ Office of Drinking Water, verified that “the quality of water being put out meets all of our drinking water standards and Flint water is safe to drink.” The City of Flint will also continually test the water being provided to residents.

Rebecca Fedewa, director of the Flint River Watershed Coalition, a group that has been dedicated to monitoring the overall welfare of local bodies of water also agreed with the DEQ assessment saying “the Flint River is increasingly healthy and completely suitable as a drinking water source.” The FRWC is also inviting city residents to take part in their monitoring exercises this spring as a way to gain firsthand knowledge of the health and vitality of the Flint River.

Flint Mayor Dayne Walling who was on hand for the event invited everyone to toast to Flint’s water saying it’s regular, good, pure drinking water that’s right in our backyard and “this is the first step in the right direction for Flint, as we take this monumental step forward in controlling the future of our community’s most precious resource.”

Read More: Flint Officially Begins Using Flint River Water as Temporary Primary Water Source | http://wfnt.com/flint-officially-begins-using-flint-river-water-as-temporary-primary-water-source/?trackback=tsmclip

http://flintriver.org/blog/wp-content/uploads/2015/03/2015-01-20-FRWC-Statement-on-City-of-Flint-Drinking-Water.pdf

Flint, Michigan -- As residents and officials seek information and solutions related to concerns over the city's drinking water, the Flint River Watershed Coalition (FRWC) is helping clarify the relationship between those challenges and the health of the local watershed.

Since April 2014, the City of Flint has drawn its source water from the Flint River, which is fed by a watershed that spans seven counties. Compared to large, continuous bodies of surface freshwater, such as the Great Lakes, rivers generally contain a greater -- and often varying -- concentration of organic materials, such as decaying leaves, fish waste, etc.

On January 2nd, City of Flint officials notified residents of elevated levels of trihalomethanes (TTHM)found in the public water supply. These chemicals result when chlorine is used to disinfect source water of organic and other materials; a standard practice among the country's municipalities.

As the city works to regulate TTHM in the local water supply, it's important to understand that it is the chemical treatment of that water, rather than the health of the river, that sparked the current problem, said FRWC Executive Director Rebecca Fedewa.

"We were deeply concerned when the elevated levels of TTHM were announced," she said. "We believe that all residents have the right to safe drinking water."

"It's also important to understand that the river contains naturally-occurring materials found in healthy aquatic ecosystems. It's the challenge of making that water suitable for people to drink, rather than the health of our local watershed, that sparked the current problem."

The city plans to begin obtaining its water from Lake Huron in late 2016, when construction of a new pipeline is expected to be completed by the Karegnondi Water Authority.

Fedewa notes that FRWC staff and volunteers have consistently found the health of the Flint River and surrounding watershed to be on the rise.

"As we join city and state officials in monitoring Flint's drinking water, we will also continue to track the quality and health of the Flint River, which remains among our community's most valuable assets."

From February, 2015:

Mayor Dayne Walling said today, Feb. 17, that about 40 business owners, elected officials and members of various community organizations have been asked to serve on the committee.

Walling said he and emergency manager Jerry Ambrose agreed to form the committee and said the group could expand beyond the initial individuals and groups that have been asked to participate.

Among them are City Council President Josh Freeman, the Concerned Pastors for Social Action, and the Flint & Genesee Chamber of Commerce.

An announcement of the committee's formation was made by the city Monday, Feb. 16, and comes in the same week that recommendations for improving Flint water are expected to be made by consultant Veolia North America.

Water safety and quality have become a top issue for the city in recent months after it issued a notice that Flint's water supply was in violation of the Safe Drinking Water Act because of the high level of total trihalomethanes (TTHM) in 2014.

Officials have said water quality is improving and is safe for the vast majority of people to drink without consulting their doctors, but the notices warn that water with high TTHM levels may cause increased health risks for those with a severely compromised immune system, who have an infant or who are elderly.

Residents have also increasingly voiced their concerns about the cost, appearance, smell and taste of Flint's water, which has been drawn from the Flint River since April [when the city switched to river water].
 
...Flint’s tax revenues have shrunk due to a shrinking population. Unemployment is high and urban blight, crime, and poverty have prevailed...
Attempting To Blame Governor Rick Snyder “Doesn’t Hold Water” The city of Flint, Michigan was moving forward to borrow $20 million to cover its debt and avoid another state takeov…
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This is clearly a government created problem. They poisoned the area protecting the "golden goose" of the auto industry, and when the goose was tired of being plucked - it moved on. What was left was an incompetent government framed around failed tax policy and an ignorant populace: recipe for today's disaster. 
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It takes patience, commitment and relentless encouragement to establish a child's life-long journey into learning. Parents do this best; even the best government-funded primary schools acknowledge this...
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Collin C. MacMillan

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Can you take the heat with inventor of the Scoville scale, Wilbur Scoville?! #GoogleDoodle 🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥
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Amazon's delivery drones can avoid trees and other obstacles, but not the bullets people keep shooting at them

http://phandroid.com/2016/01/19/amazon-drone-delivery-future/
Amazon is taking a big step in introducing drone delivery to the masses, but it doesn't come without its challenges. Company vice president of global public policy Paul Misener sat down with Yahoo to talk about some of those challenges, and he went into surprising detail about some of the issues they've faced, as well as the vision that they have for when drone delivery finally becomes a normal thing. One of the more interesting subjects touched...
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That's all, six billion? Not bad... 
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Collin C.'s Collections
People
In his circles
392 people
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505 people
Tonni Lockett's profile photo
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Marcie M's profile photo
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Collections Collin C. is following
Education
  • University of Alabama
    Engineering, 1989 - 1991
  • University of Alabama at Birmingham
    Engineering/Journalism, 1984 - 1989
  • Resource Learning Center
    1980 - 1984
Basic Information
Gender
Male
Story
Tagline
Computer networking geek and libertarian.
Bragging rights
Graced by God with 2 beautiful girls and the perfect woman (for me.)
Work
Occupation
Consultant
Skills
Virtualization, Storage, Linux, Embedded Controls, 3D Printing, Circuit Design, Embedded Programming
Employment
  • Solution Oriented LLC
    Sr. Infrastructure Consultant, 2008 - present
  • Contact Network Inc, dba InLine
    VP Internet Operations, 2002 - 2008
  • UR*ONRAMP, INC
    Chief Operations Officer, 1997 - 2002
  • Sigma Tau Standards Corp.
    VP Computer Technology, 1990 - 1996
Places
Map of the places this user has livedMap of the places this user has livedMap of the places this user has lived
Currently
Birmingham, AL 35226
Previously
Dunwoody, GA - Tuscaloosa, AL - Nashville, TN - Baton Rouge, LA - Delray Beach, FL
Hash browns were cooked to order. Bacon crispy. Waffle (kids) was slightly under-done. Bacon cheesesteak was spot-on.
Public - a month ago
reviewed a month ago
BLT is awesome (adds Scottish salmon) and so are the Fish Tacos (spicy sundried tomato pesto is a brilliant touch). Beer selection is on the hoppy scale, with few Scottish malts to be found. Service is cheerful and attentive. A great neighborhood haunt.
Public - 6 months ago
reviewed 6 months ago
In and out with what I needed. Good price too.
Public - a year ago
reviewed a year ago
Very consistent despite the diversity of teppanyaki chefs. Sushi is nice and fresh though limited selection.
Food: ExcellentDecor: Very GoodService: Very Good
Public - 3 years ago
reviewed 3 years ago
6 reviews
Map
Map
Map
Good comfort food and friendly service. Wings are great and salads are huge. Honey's pies are yummy too.
Public - a year ago
reviewed a year ago
Try the batter fried bell pepper rings... I'm just saying...
Atmosphere: Very GoodDecor: ExcellentService: Very Good
Public - 2 years ago
reviewed 2 years ago