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Neocons == compassionless bastards

Read the linky. This is the logical conclusion of giving the reins of power to idiots (i.e. tea-baggers) who believe that every service under the sun should be given on a fee-for basis, and that there should be no taxes to pay for such things. Compassionless stupidity, and unnecessary public risk:
Firefighters watch as home burns to the ground

Each year, Obion County residents must pay $75 if they want fire protection from the city of South Fulton. But the Cranicks did not pay.

The mayor said if homeowners don’t pay, they’re out of luck.

Turns out, the neighbor had paid the fee.

“I thought they’d come out and put it out, even if you hadn’t paid your $75, but I was wrong,” said Gene Cranick.

Because of that, not much is left of Cranick’s house.

They called 911 several times, and initially the South Fulton Fire Department would not come.
The Cranicks told 9-1-1 they would pay firefighters, whatever the cost, to stop the fire before it spread to their house.

I wonder if the Cranicks have grounds to sue the Mayor, the Fire Chief, and the 911 provider? I wonder how their insurance company feels about the lack of response?

H/T to The Vanity Press

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8 thoughts on “Neocons == compassionless bastards

  1. “I thought they’d come out and put it out, even if you hadn’t paid your $75, but I was wrong,” said Gene Cranick.

    I have a lot of sympathy for these people – unlike their home, they got hosed. However, that said, it appears they were aware of the regulations requiring payment and it was a choice on their part to not pay, right? Is this not analogous to those students who don’t get apartment insurance only to later on realize that they were idiots? Or those people who perpetually rebuild their houses in the Saint John River flood plain, year after year, flood after flood?

    For me the interesting part of the story is not the fire or the fact that firefighters just watched the house go up, but the fact that the municipality would tear apart their taxes into little bits and allow residents to effectively opt into or out of municipal services. *This* is the slippery slope offered by the neo-cons and where the real danger lies.

    I wonder if they also “offer” a Police Protection Package?

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  2. This used to be the way firefighting was done. It was competing companies that would protect their clients. If the person wasn’t a client they would stand back and watch it burn. This is why firefighting became a public service, part of your taxes.
    If the town can’t afford to have firefighters, fire them all and start up a volunteer force or hire cheaper firefighters.

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  3. I’m picturing a hypothetical situation where the local gas station catches fire but the owner has decided to not pay his $75.00 protection from bureaucratic douchebaggery tax (because really, that’s what it is) for any any number of reasons, valid or otherwise. What are the odds that the fire department sends out for marshmellows on that one, do you think? More likely the Mayor himself would be making a quick run to the ATM for the fee.
    Kev, I understand where you’re going with your apartment insurance idea, and in that instance I agree with you but people pay taxes to all three levels of government to have certain services managed for them. If the members of your municipal government need more cash to pay for basic services tha thtey’re elected to manage then maybe they should just raise the goddamned taxes instead of hiding the increase in user fees for these services. They’re there for the good of the whole community and not merely to provide another government tit, as the people on the South Fulton council and their supporters apparently believe. That the municipality of South Fulton thinks that this is the way to conduct business leaves me to believe that they were all elected on the South Park Paradigm. I’m also pretty sure that I’d hear the wailing and gnashing of teeth here in Halifax if their state gov’t gave them the same sort of choice.

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  4. A classic example of an ideologically degraded society. It’s a perverted way of thinking that’s emerging in other venues. Take, for example, the new gated mega-communities. The rich assemble, create their own municipal jurisdiction and run a village for rich people – one that requires and provides no social services, has no poor, offloads every social expense on others. It’s the sort of thinking that led Marie Antoinette to the guillotine. Any student of the history of revolution recognizes this sort of evolution as a precursor to popular insurrection.

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  5. i figured you did. Chalk it up to a minor misinterpretation of the example. And you`re right about the people who buy homes on the Saint John river. Those people are dumb as a sack of hammers.

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  6. A few points and an observation, if I may:

    a. to begin with, in the interest of precision, ‘neo-con’ in the title doesn’t really work, a quick perusal of the term online doesn’t really apply to this kind of situation. A better description would be Libertarianism, specifically Rand-Style Objectivism, or as Sci-Fi Writer John Scalzi calls it, Objectivism: the spongy white bread at the Great Buffet of Human Ideas.

    b. my other point is that this isn’t quite as cut and dried, black-and-white as the linked story makes out – further research shows that we have a case of a municipality (South Fulton), which staffs and maintains a Fire Department using tax money. In contrast, We have a rural county (Obian County) which pays *no* money towards the fire department, in recent years, a proposal had been put forth to pay for the fire services through a $3.00 a year tax on electric bills, but the county residents voted that down, so this solution was put in place. Now, this kind of rural/urban debate goes on in Newfoundland all the time, whether it be for Fire Services, Water, or Garbage Collection, and I imagine similar things go on in Nova Scotia. So, my question is, what would you guys suggest as a solution? I agree with Kevvyd that a fee-for-service plan isn’t really fair, but on the other hand I don’t really think it’s right to tell a Firefighter that he has to risk his life to help out someone who feels his services aren’t worth three bucks.

    c. And finally, my observation, as I said, I dug a bit deeper there, and found the following facts:

    1) it was a mobile home that burnt down,

    2) the fire was a result of Mr Cranick’s grandson burning some trash, which got out of hand,

    3) the firefighter that the story mentioned as being assaulted was the fire chief, who was punched out by Cranick’s son.

    And my observation is: Fuck, I miss the Trailer Park Boys.

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