It's amazing to me the depth of cruelty and total lack of caring, but here we can see it in full display. Despite the fact the Gene Cranick - and his neighbor - both offered to pay on the spot to save his house, all his possessions, his families three dogs and their cat were all lost while the Fire(non)fighters stood by and watched! The reaction on the right now just how much these people really don't care about the American people and just how much they hate Americans, particularly the poor ones.
As Keith describes in his piece we've now had a couple days to hear what the wingnuts have to say about this, and none of it is good.
GRAY: (mocking Cranick’s accent) Even tho’ I hadn’t paid mah seventy five dollahs I thought dey’d put it out. [...] I wanted ‘em to put it out, but dey didn’t put it out.
BECK: Here’s the thing. Those that are just on raw feeling are not going to understand. [...]
GRAY: But I thought they was gonna put the fire out anyway, but it burned down. Dat ain’t right! [...] What’s the Fire Department for if you don’t put out the fire?! [...] I thought they’d put out mah fire even if I didn’t pay seventy five dollars.
BECK: This is the sort of argument that Americans are going to have.
GRAY: It is.
BECK: And it goes nowhere if you go onto “compassion, compassion, compassion, compassion” or well, “they should’ve put it out, what is the fire department for?” [...] If you don’t pay the 75 dollars then that hurts the fire department. They can’t use those resources, and you’d be spongeing off your neighbor’s resources. [...] It’s important for America to have this debate. This is the kind of stuff that’s going to have to happen, we are going to have to have these kinds of things.
Chris Hayes to his credit brings up exactly what I was thinking about this issue.
Chris Hayes: What we have now is Single Payer Fire Fighting. We all pay in and we all universally get this service.
More from Keith.
Fire protection should not be an on demand option, like HBO or NBA Channel, it's needs to be a basic service available without discrimination to only because of the impact it has disproportionally on the poor - but the risk that it puts the rest of society, our homes and families in, when you you live next door to someone who hasn't paid their fee. In this case, because the homes were far enough apart to prevent embers from drifting directly from house to house it was fairly easy to protect his neighber. But let's also remember, this fire didn't even begin on Mr. Cranick's property, it's started in a nearby FARM.
Here's what the NRO guys have been saying - as reported by Thinkprogress.
First Dan Foster, who had no problem with it - in theory.
I have no problem with this kind of opt-in government in principle — especially in rural areas where individual need for government services and available infrastructure vary so widely. But forget the politics: what moral theory allows these firefighters (admittedly acting under orders) to watch this house burn to the ground when 1) they have already responded to the scene; 2) they have the means to stop it ready at hand; 3) they have a reasonable expectation to be compensated for their trouble?
Then came Kevin Williamson.
Dan, you are 100 percent wrong. [...] And, for their trouble, the South Fulton fire department is being treated as though it has done something wrong, rather than having gone out of its way to make services available to people who did not have them before. The world is full of jerks, freeloaders, and ingrates — and the problems they create for themselves are their own. These free-riders have no more right to South Fulton’s firefighting services than people in Muleshoe, Texas, have to those of NYPD detectives.
Thank you Mr.-I-Got-Mine-So-Everyone-Else-Can-Frack-Off!
Here’s the more important part of the story, letting the house burn — while, I admit sad — will probably save more houses over the long haul. I know that if I opted out of the program before, I would be more likely to opt-in now. No solace to the homeowner, but an important lesson for compassionate conservatives like our own Dan Foster (Zing!). As Edmund Burke said, example is the school of mankind and he will learn from no other.
Fuck You Dorothy and you're little Dog Toto too, next you'll pay the Emerald City Entrance Fee up front - now won'tcha - Won'tcha!!
And then you had John Derbyshire who likes to have things more "Crunchy".
Dan, Kevin: I am entirely with the South Fulton fire department here. In the terms of Nico Colchester’s great 1996 essay, they are being crunchy rather than soggy:
Crunchy systems are those in which small changes have big effects leaving those affected by them in no doubt whether they are up or down, rich or broke, winning or losing, dead or alive. ... Sogginess is comfortable uncertainty. ... The richer a society becomes, the soggier its systems get. Light-switches no longer turn on or off: they dim.
One of the duties of conservatives in this soggy fallen world is to stand up for crunchiness. For the fire department to have extinguished the Cranicks’ fire would have been soggy, even aside from the considerable degree of sogginess it would have left on the property.
Yeah, I think that House than landed on your Witchy-Poo sister was pretty Crunchy too there. There's no doubt, she's dead John.
Imagine if we were talking about A la Carte Police? Wouldn't that be considered a Protection Racket by most courts? Speaking of which, what if we have A la Cart Judges, where the favorable decision goes to the highest payer? (Some would argue that that's already true, when it comes to legal representation, and we call all see how well that's worked out...)
And another thought occurs to me, what exactly do any of these guys think of the Individual Mandate? Y'know, since we can't have Freeloaders and Deadbeats who cause everyone else to pay for them in this Country. The fact that about 50,000 American's a Year are dying because they don't have access to affordable health care and all. And this isn't just about those people, just like a fire a contagious infection can spread if it's not treated - and that risk is increased to the general public when people have no regular doctor, and haven't kept up on critical flu vaccinations.
What does the NRO really think of this? Well they put up this video from Republican Congressman Jim Jordan.
Jordan: For the first time in history we have the Federal Government saying you have to purchase a product or else you'll be fined. This is a matter of freedom
No, it's really not about "Freedom". For years the Federal Government has raised taxes on people who didn't buy a specific product. People who buy their first Homes get a Tax Credit for it, that people who don't purchase a home don't receive. You don't have to buy one, but if you don't - you pay a greater tax. The individual mandate really isn't any different from that.
But to Conservatives, Libertarians and Tea Baggers it seems when it comes to requiring everyone to pay a subscription fee in order to have access to Fire Protection, Republicans are All For It because it teaches all those Dead-Beats A Lesson, but when it comes to requiring everyone pay for Health Insurance that can help keep them Alive, and protect the rest of us of having to pay for them when inevitiably they actually do become sick - and everyone will at some point or another... no matter what the Interstate Commerce Clause says, they scream Blood Unconstitutional Murder!
Heartless, Mean-spirited Hypocrits Much?