06 October, 2010

Dumbfuckery du Jour

Boy, that didn't take long.  Two minutes of scanning headlines, and I come across this remarkable distopian example of the kind of lives we'd lead if Cons could have their way:

As ThinkProgress has noted, there are currently two competing visions of governance in the United States. One, the conservative vision, believes in the on-your-own society, and informs a policy agenda that primarily serves the well off and privileged sectors of the country. The other vision, the progressive one, believes in an American Dream that works for all people, regardless of their racial, religious, or economic background.

The conservative vision was on full display last week in Obion County, Tennessee. In this rural section of Tennessee, Gene Cranick’s home caught on fire. As the Cranicks fled their home, their neighbors alerted the county’s firefighters, who soon arrived at the scene. Yet when the firefighters arrived, they refused to put out the fire, saying that the family failed to pay the annual subscription fee to the fire department. Because the county’s fire services for rural residences is based on household subscription fees, the firefighters, fully equipped to help the Cranicks, stood by and watched as the home burned to the ground.
RIP three dogs and a cat that burned to death because firefighters wouldn't take the $75 Mr. Cranick offered them and do their fucking jobs.  I have no idea how these fucktards can live with themselves.   I have no idea what kind of fucktards thought a subscription service rather than a simple tax would be a brilliant idea. 

You know, I seem to recall discussing this just last month:
Quite soon, we'll start hearing about how emergency services would do much better if they were privatized, as the free market is almost godlike in its ability to solve our every problem.  City and state governments, they'll say, should contract with private entities for the provision of fire and police services.  Why, that would be almost as good as cutting programs meant to help icky poor people out of the budget!  Someone should explain the history of private firefighting to them and ask if they're pining for a return to those halcyon days of private enterprise.
And here I come to find out that you don't have to travel all the way back to nineteenth century America - why, you can just head down to rural Tennessee to see good ol' private emergency services in action! Wait, I mean, inaction.

As for those who, like Glenn Beck, argue that the Cranicks could've avoided all this by simply paying up, let me just mention that a) putting out fires before they spread to neighboring, fully-subscribed properties isn't a bad idea, b) watching as helpless animals and a family's home burn to the ground is a sociopathic thing to do and c) people don't always make farsighted decisions, which is why some decisions shouldn't be left to them.  I'm sure if we dug into your life, Glenn, we'd find some pretty piss-poor contingency planning lurking around somewhere.  And who's gonna scream loudest if someone doesn't come rescue you?  You, that's who.  Conservatives always pull that shit.  They'll all sneer and "personal responsibility" and free market until it's their property in flames, and then it's one long, sustained tantrum because the government they starved to death didn't save them.

There are basic things a civilization needs in order to be a civilization.  A tax base that provides essential services like fire, emergency and police to every member of a community is one.  And if, because Cons hate taxes so much they'd rather pay a fee instead of a tax, a community ends up with a primitive-fucking fire department based on a subscription service, the least bit of human fucking decency should dictate that at the very least, when the homeowner's proffering payment on the spot, you put out his fucking fire.  Or put out the fucking fire and bill him the fucking $75.  Whatever.  Just fight the fucking fire.

This, my darlings, is what happens when the shortsighted voting public elects the sociopaths.  Not pretty, is it?

Think carefully on that before you head to the polls this November.


Don Smith said...

It's a little more complicated than what you have quoted. It was city fire fighters called to a fire outside the boundaries of the city. The city has no power to tax the unincorporated portions of the county. The city (South Fulton) offers protection to homes outside the city for the aforementioned fee of $75 (per year I think). Previously, people wouldn't pay the fee until they had a fire. The mayor has decided that you will no longer be given that chance.

OTOH, I don't think I could be a firefighter and sit in my truck and watch someone's home burn down.

rekenner said...

I agree with you, most of the way, but given people's insane hatred of any tax whatsoever, to the point of communities (and states!) going incredibly in the red and services being cut *because* people refuse to allow taxes to be raised ... is not some of the fault on the people?
People don't have foresight, but who should we blame when tax increases have to be voted for? Yes, partially politicians and the political climate, and politicians that claim that taxes are evil. But also everyone that votes down the tax.

Don Smith said...

Jeez that sounds bad. I am NOT blaming the firefighters, they were probably in a tight spot.

It really is the county's problem. They should just institute the stupid tax so that everyone must pay for fire protection.

Of course, raising taxes is a big no-no nowadays.