Barn Burner

You know the one enjoyable thing about running a political blog is that I have a reason to run a political blog. The polarization in politics gives me a reason to sit here and jam out diatribe on my keyboard. I envision a universe where we all get along and we all have my worldview that social justice and environmental respect are ubiquitous. Yet the current polarization and the discord force me to keep voicing my opposition. I wonder what the world would be like if I didn’t feel the necessity to voice opposition. Why can’t President Obama forge alliances in congress? Why won’t the Republicans come out and play? What is it that makes us so divided

I have a speculation. I was recently commenting on another website about an event that just happened in rural Tennessee. A house outside the city limits caught fire and the local fire department would not respond to it because the owners had neglected to pay a fee to the city for fire services. The owners acknowledged that they had neglected to pay the fee and begged to pay it while the fire was happening but the fire department allowed the house to burn to the ground because the home wasn’t “on their list”. That was an unacceptable punitive response

Firefighters Watch as House Burns

Now, most communities take care of fire protection with taxes. This particular community chose to require an extra fee to help pay for their auxiliary disaster services. I find this problematic on several levels. Firstly, I grew up in a rural neighbourhood where you had to depend upon cooperation. If your neighbours house caught fire, you were morally obligated to show up for the bucket brigade. And you would expect a reciprocal response if your house were on fire

Secondly,why didn’t fire services get folded into the tax structure of the community? Understandably, the City Fire Department was paid out of city taxes. That meant the rural county residents were left to fend for themselves. Is it right to expect the city to offer services to those who choose not to participate

Stephen Colbert recently quoted scripture in a deposition on immigration to congress; Matthew 25: 31-46 “I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.” Heck, the Amish take it a step further and all show up to rebuild the house.

Republicans generally wave the Bible and the flag unabashedly, but this seems like an egregious abuse of Jesus’ teachings. I mean, if we’re going to charge everyone for individual fire protection why not do that for police protection or ambulance service? Doesn’t that smack of racketeering? Public services should be available to everyone hence the term ‘public’.

But this brings me back to my original point about how progressives and Conservatives view things. Progressives are outraged at this tragedy that occurred in Tennessee. Conservatives probably think, ‘oh well, you don’t play by the rules, you suffer the consequences. The city was just being efficient’.

You can apply this to social security privatization as well. Invest your social security in the stock market. If the market tanks; ah tough luck, buddy. For Democrats, governance is about making policy that benefits everyone. For Republicans, it’s about ‘what’s in it for me?’. It’s eliminating those policies that interfere with accumulating personal wealth. It’s deregulating environmental standards to help create giant oil company profits.

Creating a world that tears down governance for personal gain; well, that often means ‘what’s in it for me at your expense?’. I know which world I would rather envision.


About Mr. Universe

Mr. Universe is a musician/songwriter and an ex-patriot of the south. He currently lives and teaches at a University in the Pacific Northwest. He is a long distance hiker who has hiked the Appalachian Trail and the Pacific Crest Trail. He is also an author and woodworker. An outspoken political voice, he takes a decidedly liberal stance in politics.
This entry was posted in Uncategorized and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

64 Responses to Barn Burner

  1. WA7th says:

    I saw the link over at dagblog, and followed it to that story.A perceptive person in the comments section noted that everyone seems to be bashing the city fire department for refusing to perform the service, but no one seems to be calling to task the county government for allowing the unfair system to exist in the first place. Obviously, people move to rural areas to avoid the taxation of cities. If I were in the governemnt of the city in question, I would be sorely tempted to completely pull the plug on offering fire services at all to those outside the city limits. If the rural county residents want the service, they are free to tax themselves to either create their own rural fire district or fully buy into the city’s. By passing the buck to individual preference and avoiding their responsibilty to act upon the problem, the county commissioners are only concerning themselves with their own re-election. If the voters there return those same people to office year after year, then they deserve what they get in return.

  2. filistro says:

    I think this is an important moment for America. There are two stories in the news just now, and how the country reacts to them will go a long way to determining what kind of place America will be in the future.One is this issue of the burning barn; the other is the “free speech” case before the Supreme Court about the hateful displays at military funerals. Both are examples of what conservative principles look like when they are carried to extremes in real-life situations. We are constantly told America is a conservative nation, and presently enamored of the very conservative Tea Party. So now Americans have to decide… is this REALLY what they want? Do they want to live in a Galt’s Gulch, pay-to-play, “every man for himself” nation where firefighters watch a man’s house burn down becase he didn’t ante up the $75 fee? All the conservative commentators I’ve read (except Daniel Foster at NRO) say yes.Do Americans want so much to protect the rigth of every idiot to say anything he wants, anywhere he chooses to say it, that they will allow self-serving fanatics to spew abuse about “fags” on the families of fallen soldiers?The latter would naver happen in Canada, where there are hate speech laws that make it illegal to publicly “incite hatred” against any “identifiable group.”The laws work very well. Canada remains a free, happy, prosperous and highly capitalistic country. And nobody screams about “fags” at the funerals of Canadian soldiers. In fact, every time a flag-draped coffin comes home to any Canadian community, thousands of people turn out and silently line the streets to pay tribute as the hearse goes by. It’s a really nice place to live. Makes me wonder… what kind of place does America want to be?

  3. Realist says:

    @filistroThis may be one of those areas where we differ. I don’t like that people demonstrate near funerals with “God Hates Fags” on picket signs. But as long as they’re on public land, they have a right to do it. And they should.I am pretty happy with the definition of free speech in the US. I like that people have the freedom to choose to be idiots with words.

  4. filistro says:

    @Realist… I like that people have the freedom to choose to be idiots with wordsIs that you, Mark Steyn? (Just kidding… :-)I know Canada’s hate speech laws would not be palatable to lots of Americans… but they make perfect sense to Canadians. (The violation of law, BTW, would not be the act of shouting at a funeral… it would be saying hateful things about gays who are an “identifiable group.”)The law was used recently to imprison and then deport Ernst Zundel, a neo-Nazi holocaust denier. When he was finally kicked out, the whole country, from sea to sea to sea, breathed a collective sigh of relief and satisfaction.

  5. Lonely Wolf says:

    Let’s get some things straight on this house fire story. First, the man said he “forgot” to pay the fee. Later it was revealed that he had never paid it in nearly 20 years of living there. Second, the ideal policy would be that if you decline to pay the $75 fee up front, you should be billed for the full cost of the fire department’s response, even if it’s $10,000. To offer no help, especially after firefighters arrived to contain the blaze and prevent it from destroying the neighbor who paid’s property, is morally wrong. By the same token, arguing that people should benefit from a service they have willfully avoided paying for that has been paid for by others is also wrong.

  6. Lonely Wolf says:

    “(The violation of law, BTW, would not be the act of shouting at a funeral… it would be saying hateful things about gays who are an “identifiable group.”)”Let me get this straight, you’re more worried about people disparaging homosexuals with signs than people shouting and disrupting a funeral?And what makes them so special and in need of protection because they are an “identifiable group”? To what end will you be willing to expend that protection then? I doubt you’d be as willing to stand up against a group of people that held up signs saying something along the lines of “Tea Partiers are Evil Racists”. Am I right? But it’s no different than the “God Hates Fags” signs in that both are saying hateful things against an “identifiable group.”I will await your inconsistent and illogical response.

  7. filistro says:

    Lonely Wolf, have we met? There’s something familiar there… something about the ears… LOL…I didn’t make the hate crime laws,so it’s hard for me to be “inconsistent and illogical” in defending them. They are what they are. Look them up in my first post, I’ve linked to a Wiki summary.

  8. Realist says:

    filistro’s initial post reminds me of Voltaire’s statement, translated as “Think for yourselves and let others enjoy the privilege to do so too.”This, by the way, has very frequently been misquoted in some variation of the following: “I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it.” Just for what it’s worth. 🙂

  9. filistro says:

    ooops, I meant, of course, hate SPEECH laws. Though in Canada, “hate speech” IS a “crime,” so… whatever…

  10. Monotreme says:

    Lonely Wolf,How do you feel about Shakira weighing in on American immigration policy?

  11. Mainer says:

    No lonely wolf it is you that are missing it. Remember how we finally got Al Capone? It wasn’t all the really awfull crap he did it was income tax evasion. Some times we as a society use the laws in creative ways to obtain a useful end. I know I know in your little libertarian heart that is oh so wrong but no sumbitch ever wants to do that around my neck of the woods or they will learn just what we think of idiot speech. We actually value and respect the service of our people in uniform and that is the issue. What we have to do to get that for them isn’t even important to me. I’ll sort that out later. Just do not ever not ever try to pull that crap in my imediate world……but oh wait I am a miserable non American liberal pinko commie socialist facist Marxist……still willing to put my DD-214 or those of my liberal progressive sons and family up against a great many of you. There is nothing lower than some scum bag doing some thing awful and hiding behing a fog of religion. It does not matte if it is Christian, Jewish or Islamic….it is all equally bad. Damn I am glad some days for my Universalist/Mediocre Methodist up bringing well when I actually went….Which I didn’t much but there was that one cute girl I went to church often with because…..ah better not go there.

  12. Mainer says:

    Ahhhhhh I just got moderated…..some one check the trash. I type so dang slow. Gollldurn it.

  13. DC Petterson says:

    Do Americans want so much to protect the rigth of every idiot to say anything he wants, anywhere he chooses to say it, that they will allow self-serving fanatics to spew abuse about “fags” on the families of fallen soldiers?As long as they’re not Muslim. That would be disrespectful, and a slap in the face to those who died.

  14. filistro says:

    As long as they’re not MuslimOoooh… good point!What if MUSLIM AMERICANS wanted to march at military funerals, carrying signs that read “Allah hates fags” and “Allah loves to see dead American soldiers!”You still okay with that, Wolfie?

  15. Monotreme says:

    Angle up by 2 points among “likely voters”.Reid up 11 points among registered voters.Does this make ANY sense?http://politicalticker.blogs.cnn.com/2010/10/06/cnntime-poll-1-in-10-in-nevada-say-none-of-the-above/?eref=ib_politicalticker

  16. filistro says:

    So let’s see… according to the link, Reid has Las Vegas, Henderson and points south. Population one million plus.Angle has Reno… population 200kThe “thinly populated areas” are 6 trailer houses and a chicken coop somewhere near Pahrump.Gee, this one’s a real nail-biter.

  17. DC Petterson says:

    filistro asked:What if MUSLIM AMERICANS wanted to march at military funerals, carrying signs that read “Allah hates fags” and “Allah loves to see dead American soldiers!”You still okay with that, Wolfie?Well, I can’t speak for Wolfie. But everyone knows that all Muslims are guilty of terrible things, whereas no Christian homophobe has ever hurt anyone, or ever broken any laws.

  18. shrinkers says:

    @MonotremeAngle up by 2 points among “likely voters”.Reid up 11 points among registered voters.Does this make ANY sense?This is why I want to see what calculations go into changing “actual responses” into “likely voters.”

  19. filistro says:

    But everyone knows that all Muslims are guilty of terrible things, whereas no Christian homophobe has ever hurt anyone, or ever broken any laws.Ah yes. There IS that :-)Actually I think the conservative attitude du jour regarding Muslims is like what my dad used to say about pigs… “It’s always okay to kick a pig, because if it’s not doing something wrong, it’s planning to.”(Which, come to think of it, was probably hate speech.)

  20. filistro says:

    Angle up by 2 points among “likely voters”.Reid up 11 points among registered voters.Does this make ANY sense?Yes, it’s quite simple. The “likely voter screen” has teeny tiny little oddly-shaped holes. When examined through a high-powered lens the holes are revealed to be the silhouette of a minuscule figure in knee breeches and cutaway, wearing a powdered periwig and tricorne hat.VERY difficult to fit through that screen.

  21. Monotreme says:

    The other thing I noticed, looking through the crosstabs, is that there are NO likely voters 18-24 in Nevada.Also, there are NO liberal voters in Nevada.(At least, not enough to make for a statistical analysis.)I think this poll is trayf.

  22. filistro says:

    @Treme I think this poll is trayf.And I think there are few things in this world more adorable than a platypus speaking Yiddish 🙂

  23. Mr. Universe says:

    Hey, new rule.Since Bart is on vacation in Italy, any reference to him should be Bartolio!ciao!

  24. Lonely Wolf says:

    Monotreme,Shakira has every right to voice her opinion about US immigration policy but I don’t see what relevance that has to the current topic.

  25. Monotreme says:

    @Lonely Wolf,Sorry. Thought you were someone else. Someone who used to ride an ass over at the old 538.If you had been he, then you would’ve had a meltdown at the very mention of Shakira’s name.Just checking.

  26. Monotreme says:

    My mission is to bring Yiddish to the Mormons of Utah.Today I used the word gmish to describe the cytoplasm of a cell.My formative years working in a deli gave me a keen sense of absurd humor and a fair command of Yiddish.I was all of 19 years old and when the little old ladies would complain about fatty pastrami, we were taught to look them in the eye and say, “Ma’am, I’ve been in the business 43 years and this is the leanest pastrami I’ve ever seen.”It was great to watch their reactions.

  27. Mr. Universe says:

    LonelyWolf said:Let’s get some things straight on this house fire story. First, the man said he “forgot” to pay the fee. Later it was revealed that he had never paid it in nearly 20 years of living there. Second, the ideal policy would be that if you decline to pay the $75 fee up front, you should be billed for the full cost of the fire department’s response, even if it’s $10,000. To offer no help, especially after firefighters arrived to contain the blaze and prevent it from destroying the neighbor who paid’s property, is morally wrong. By the same token, arguing that people should benefit from a service they have willfully avoided paying for that has been paid for by others is also wrong.Lonely Wolf brings up an important point that I purposely left out of my post for a couple of reasons. 1. it avoids my ‘lesser brothers’ argument. 2. a system where you are charged for services after the fact has all kinds of inherent faults in it. This was going to be my third point in the article but I just didn’t like it. It’s similar to what is happening with western wildfires. If you accidentally start a wildfire, you can be charged for every drop of helicopter fuel, fire truck, operations man-hours, property damage, etc.The ‘ideal’ policy is to fund mitigation up front from the tax base. That’s how communities can best pool their resources. But yes, I agree with you that people who willfully refuse to participate are not a good thing. Is letting thier house burn to the ground a good remedy?Billing non payers for fire department expenses is actually a pretty good idea. But even better would be to abolish this payment system altogehter in favour of another, more equitable, system.

  28. Mr. Universe says:

    Where the hell is shiloh?

  29. Monotreme says:

    So, Lonely Wolf, I’m assuming you’re in favor of mandatory vaccination? It works the same way as mandatory fire protection.Or, if you refuse to vaccinate your kid and the kid gets sick, and infects you and the people at work, you can bill the family for all the lost wages and productivity of the entire group of people who were harmed by your failure to act.Is that what you’re proposing?

  30. shrinkers says:

    Want a conspiracy theory?The pollsters are intentionally mucking up the “likely voter” screens this season. They’re all mad at Nate for having A) nailed the 2008 elections so well, and B) lifted the veil on some of the nonsense they used to pull (think R2K and Strategic Whatsis). So they’ve all agreed to intentionally create silliness this time around, so his projections will be way off.:-) Just messing with ya, I’m not a conspiracy freak (but don’t talk to me about the JFK thing …)

  31. shrinkers says:

    So, when you type a B followed by a ) you get a smiley face wearing sunglasses — B) — who is behind THAT?

  32. Mr. Universe says:

    ZZ Top. Cheap sunglasses

  33. Monotreme says:

    @shrinkers:I’ll see your conspiracy theory and raise you one. I think there’s some truth there (although it doesn’t involve an attack on Nate’s credibility). I think there are internal polls that have accurate information and are being played close to the vest by those inside the campaigns.I think there are polls intended to drive a narrative that get released to news organizations. I think there used to be some overlap between these, but now they are completely different animals.Charlie Cook said as much the other day, can’t recall the source but I posted it here. The scientist in me finds the corruption of data into narrative very sad.I strongly suspect most polls we read about are the result of Del Ali-style confabulation.

  34. shrinkers says:

    @MonotremeI think you’re right.I think the word “conspiracy” is often misused. Its primary application today is as a way to discredit a possible explanation for some observed activity — “Oh, that’s just a conspiracy theory” means it can be safely ignored because it’s clearly crazy.Yet when a number of people or corporations act independently, all pursuing their private interests, the cumulative effect can appear to be one of “conspiracy”. That is, the total impact of their actions benefits them all, and produces results that would be the same as if they acted in concert.This gets into the idea of emergent phenomena and of common interests and other subtle concepts that might require an odd article ….Anyway, I think you’re right about what the pollsters are doing. I don’t think that necessarily means a “conspiracy” in the classic sense of them agreeing together in secret to pursue a hidden agenda. I think it’s more a matter of them all having realized an advantage from acting in this way.

  35. Mainer says:

    I have said repeatdly on here that I thought Nate was in the best of times and the worst of times. I think the polling data that got him where he is at this point in time is now so gammed that he and others are now going to have a hard time making any sense of any thing based on it. And no I’m not just talking Raz….the industry has run amuk. Every one wants to drive the bus and no one seems to see any gain just reporting where the bus is. Sad isn’t it?Now third party….the group that met a year or so ago out in Dever or where ever it was out there to explore this topic contained some individuals that could make it happen if they were so disposed and brought in the the right internet people to build it. My real fear is that we could be going the exact opposite direction with what may be happening with campaign finance at the moment.

  36. Michael Weiss says:

    I found it ironic that a couple of days after I mentioned to Bart the reasons behind the shift to universal fire coverage in cities a century ago, this happened. What better example to illustrate the point?

  37. shrinkers says:

    What better example to illustrate the point?The really frightening thing is that the far right insists this is exactly what it supposed to happen. Yeah, let it burn. It’s an illustration of how they want things to work. After all, why should I pay to save someone else’s house, when he was too shortsighted to pay off the insurance racket on his own?After all, no one ever told us to love our neighbors, or suggested we should do anything for others.

  38. Michael Weiss says:

    And yet, fighting the fire the way that they did was far more expensive for the fire department than it would have been to simply put it out immediately upon arriving. So, even ignoring the “love thy neighbor” principle, a simple “what’s in it for me” principle should have dictated putting the fire out quickly.

  39. shrinkers says:

    So, even ignoring the “love thy neighbor” principle, a simple “what’s in it for me” principle should have dictated putting the fire out quickly.Wait … you expect logic?From the people who insist we can slash taxes, balance the budget, achieve full employment, and save the economy — all at the same time?

  40. filistro says:

    @Michael… So, even ignoring the “love thy neighbor” principle, a simple “what’s in it for me” principle should have dictated putting the fire out quickly.This is truly one of those cases where abstract principle trumps logic, fiscal sanity and common sense.The principle is that anything other than the starkest, most literal form of individualism and personal responsibility is “socialism.” And the Tea Party is so opposed to “socialism” in any manifestation, they are ready to outlaw collective action of any kind including quilting bees, book clubs and bowling teams.If you can’t do it on your own, all alone, with no help from anybody</i… just forget about it. (Hmmm… maybe if she’s going to fit in with this new “rugged individual” ethos, Christine O’Donnell will have to rethink that absolutist position on masturbation? 🙂

  41. filistro says:

    has anybody figured out what activates the “moderation” screen?I have about 8 copies of the same post caught in the spam filter on this thread… it just will not go through, yet my other posts will. Bizarre.

  42. filistro says:

    @Michael… So, even ignoring the “love thy neighbor” principle, a simple “what’s in it for me” principle should have dictated putting the fire out quickly.This is truly one of those cases where abstract principle trumps logic, fiscal sanity and common sense.The principle is that anything other than the starkest, most literal form of individualism and personal responsibility is “socialism.” And the Tea Party is so opposed to “socialism” in any manifestation, they are ready to outlaw collective action of any kind including quilting bees, book clubs and bowling teams.If you can’t do it on your own, all alone, with no help from anybody</i… just forget about it. (Hmmm… maybe if she’s going to fit in with this new “rugged individual” ethos, Christine O’Donnell will have to rethink that absolutist position on self gratification? 🙂

  43. Jeff says:

    shrinkers wrote:What better example to illustrate the point?The really frightening thing is that the far right insists this is exactly what it supposed to happen. Yeah, let it burn. It’s an illustration of how they want things to work. After all, why should I pay to save someone else’s house, when he was too shortsighted to pay off the insurance racket on his own?================Let me explain why the “far right” is correct.Fire Insurance is something that is completely optional (assuming you don’t have a mortgage). In my community, the odds of having a fire in your home in any given year is about 1:10,000. Pretty good odds. And I can assure you that my home is worth much less than 10,000 times my insurance premium! That Tennessee fire department didn’t pass the laws that said fire protection was optional. That was their bosses, the voting public. The FD also didn’t make the decision whether to pay the premium or not — the homeowner did.So when the FD went to the fire and found the home wasn’t protected, they either follow the instructions of their bosses (the voters) or they decide they are above the voters (typical government worker response…..) and they’ll do as they see fit. (Note, it was a question of saving property, not lives)And the end result? If they had put out that fire, would any rational person pay the fire fee the following year? Can the FD continue to exist if nobody pays for it? You can say that there should be a FD tax so that everybody is protected, and I agree, because there’s overwhelming support for that concept. Although perhaps people should have the right to gamble and go unprotected. In my town, we don’t have that choice — we have a fire department. But should I also be legally required to purchase fire insurance also? Alcohol and recreational drugs aren’t necessities of life, and they cause huge amounts of societal damage as well as individual damage. They kill people. We used to ban booze, but found it didn’t work if there wasn’t an overwhelming social consensus in favor of prohibition. There used to a consensus against drugs, but next month California is probably going to legalize pot.So why should we leave it to individual choice as to whether to allow booze and pot? Why not ban both? We know that exercise is good for you. Why not have mandatory PE for everybody? Think of all the money we’d save on health care.The question is always: When are you willing to restrict individual liberty, including the freedom to make bad choices? Because WHEREVER you draw the line, you have to respect it.

  44. filistro says:

    @Michael… So, even ignoring the “love thy neighbor” principle, a simple “what’s in it for me” principle should have dictated putting the fire out quickly.This is truly one of those cases where abstract principle trumps logic, fiscal sanity and common sense.The principle is that anything other than the starkest, most literal form of individualism and personal responsibility is “socialism.” And the Tea Party is so opposed to “socialism” in any manifestation, they are ready to outlaw collective action of any kind including quilting bees, book clubs and bowling teams.If you can’t do it on your own, all alone, with no help from anybody</i… just forget about it. (Hmmm… maybe if she’s going to fit in with this new “rugged individual” ethos, Christine O’Donnell will have to rethink that absolutist position on masturbation? 🙂

  45. filistro says:

    So Jeff… should people who have neglected to purchase health insurance be allowed to die in the event of a tragic accident or a sudden heart attack??

  46. Jeff says:

    10/6/2010 4:05 PM filistro wrote:I know Canada’s hate speech laws would not be palatable to lots of Americans… but they make perfect sense to Canadians. (The violation of law, BTW, would not be the act of shouting at a funeral… it would be saying hateful things about gays who are an “identifiable group.”)=========So what’s an identifiable group? Is it a criminal act if you criticize the Tea Party? They’re an “identifiable group.”Who determines whether the group is offended? We went through this political correctness bit where using Indian names for sports teams became non-PC and “insulting” to the tribe. The Florida Seminoles (the tribe) was asked whether the name “Florida Seminoles” (for a team)was offensive. The chief responded “Why would we be offended by having 75,000 people screaming their support for us every weekend?” Of course, the name was changed anyway …. their opinion didn’t really matter.I don’t like hate crimes or hate speech, but I like even less the idea that that some unelected bureaucrat can decide that I’ve committed a crime for voicing an opinion. Furthermore, it is my understanding that you can commit a “hate speech crime” if you merely quote verbatim the words of the victim. (I’m sure I would be prosecuted in Canada if I printed carefully selected verses of the Koran in a brochure, without any commentary. The US used to ban pornography, and Potter Stewart wrote that he “couldn’t define it, but knew it when he saw it.”We no longer ban pornography.If you can’t define something exactly and precisely in advance, then prosecuting people for doing it isn’t justice. Canada is a great nation, I have been to every province, and enjoyed every day I’ve been there, but they have this one terribly, horribly wrong.

  47. Jeff says:

    Monotreme wrote:My mission is to bring Yiddish to the Mormons of Utah.=============And appropriately so…. I think the Mormons believe they’re connected to the Lost Tribes of Israel…. 🙂

  48. filistro says:

    @ Jeff: Is it a criminal act if you criticize the Tea Party?It’s not a criminal act to “criticize” anybody. It’s criminal to incite violence against any “identifiable group.”So if I say Tea Partiers are short-fingered troglodytes with no observable function in their frontal lobes, that’s just fine.If I were to suggest in public that because of these unfortunate attributes it might be good idea if we take steps to remove The Partiers from the gene pool, I could be in trouble if a judge in his courtroom decided I wasn’t actually joking.

  49. Jeff says:

    filistro wrote:So Jeff… should people who have neglected to purchase health insurance be allowed to die in the event of a tragic accident or a sudden heart attack??=====We’ve made a decision that emergency care is provided with no questions asked, and that a bill is sent afterwards to either the individual or to the insurance company.Is that bad?

  50. Jeff says:

    @filistro:”Jeff: Is it a criminal act if you criticize the Tea Party?It’s not a criminal act to “criticize” anybody. It’s criminal to incite violence against any “identifiable group.”++++++I don’t ever recall Mark Steyn “inciting violence” against any “identifiable group.” As a Canadian, you’re undoubtably better equipped to find and provide cites to any such “inciting violence” statements.Oh, and by the way, I think you may be guilty of breaking Canadian law. I distinctly remember you threatening conservatives with being “thwacked by your Barbie doll.” Do I need to report you, or do you promise to turn yourself in? 🙂

  51. filistro says:

    Is that bad?Well, it’s a bit inconsistent.What if the patient is a homeless person who clearly has no insurance and obviously will never be able to pay?Should he just die?

  52. filistro says:

    We’re having two conversations at once, Jeff. I’ll return to the pressing issue of Barbie doll violence after we’ve got this poor homeless guy stabilized and out of the Emergency ward.

  53. Michael Weiss says:

    Jeff,Let me explain why the “far right” is incorrect.If you don’t carry fire insurance, the worst that happens is you lose your own possessions. If you don’t have fire protection, the worst that happens is you lose your own possessions, and those around you lose theirs, too.So if they aren’t covered, it costs everyone more. It’s cheaper to just have everyone covered. So the only reason to go with the model they have (aside from ignorance) is to be punitive, in the cut-off-your-nose-to-spite-your-face sort of way.

  54. shrinkers says:

    @JeffFire Insurance is something that is completely optional (assuming you don’t have a mortgage).That’s your problem right there.It is cheaper and more efficient to have a public fire department.Especially when, as in this case, stopping the fire from spreading costs more than simply putting it out.It really does seem as if conservatives go out of their way to be intentionally cruel and unfeeling. I truly can’t think of any other explanation.I mean really, why pay extra, just to make people suffer unnecessarily? Is it a gladiator thing? Do you guys miss the Coliseum?

  55. filistro says:

    @shrinkers… Is it a gladiator thing? Do you guys miss the Coliseum?You know, I think wingers are just reflexively offended by poor people. Poor people look messy, they sometimes even smell, they clutter up the landscape and spoil the view, and they’re an unpleasant reminder that not everybody lives a nice Leave-it-to Beaver life with 2.4 kids and regular church attendance in spiffy clothes.Worst of all, poor people are guilt-inducing. Can’t we just get rid of them somehow? Think how much nicer everything would be without them.

  56. DC Petterson says:

    @JeffSo why should we leave it to individual choice as to whether to allow booze and pot? Why not ban both? We know that exercise is good for you. Why not have mandatory PE for everybody? Slippery slope arguments. Here’s one.Individual choice is important to conservatives. So why don’t we allow people to decide for themselves if they want an army? Let’s only have the army protect people who want to pay for it. Why not give citizens the choice whether to send their children to school? Why not make police protection optional? Why have boarder guards? If individual choice matters, how can one defend the idea of denying someone else the choice to live here?Why are there obscenity laws? Why is there opposition to group marriages? Why can’t I own a nuclear bomb for the protection of my home?The answer is simple. Because, as a society, we do, in fact, draw limits. Yes, those limits shift and change as societal standards shift and change. And yes, some of them are arbitrary. But these sorts of slippery-slope arguments are silly. Because we do, in fact, impose limits.We decide to provide fire protection for all our citizens — and decide not to require mandatory PE for adults. And we tend to laugh at people who pretend that these are equivalent. Because we are aware that there are limits.The Constitution requires freedom of speech. But this is limited when there is what we consider to be an overwhelming social good to limit it — as in certain forms of hate speech, or direct threats to the President.We value individual responsibility. But we realize there is an overwhelming social good to providing a publicly-funded police force.We do require some measure of social responsibility — not just individual responsibility — from the people who live in our society. The question is not if?. but how much? So make a rational argument against having the limit at point B rather than point A. Show why there is a positive social benefit. But don’t pretend that moving the limit to B necessarily implies it will someday slip to Z. Don’t pretend that an argument for B is the same has having no limits at all. Because that just makes people giggle.

  57. Monotreme says:

    @DC:John Galt mocks you, you inferior specimen of sub-humanity.

  58. Realist says:

    Wow…that long ago held post turned us all into italics…

  59. Realist says:

    I’ll close those tags one way or another!!!

  60. Jeff says:

    shrinkers wrote:@JeffFire Insurance is something that is completely optional (assuming you don’t have a mortgage).That’s your problem right there.It is cheaper and more efficient to have a public fire department.Especially when, as in this case, stopping the fire from spreading costs more than simply putting it out.I mean really, why pay extra, just to make people suffer unnecessarily? Is it a gladiator thing? Do you guys miss the Coliseum?==============I’m totally in favor of public fire departments because they are more efficient. However, if a community wants to handle things another way, I’d rather not force them to do things MY way. And when I owned a home and didn’t have a mortgage, I had plenty of insurance — I’m not stupid.But why do you have this compulsion to force that community how to live? You think they’re dumb and short-sighted, and so do I…. but why are you — or I — entitled to make them live as we think they should? If you think you wouldn’t want to live in a place like that, then DON’T!and to DC:Yes, I deliberately made a slippery slope argument. On one end of the scale you have total anarchy, and total repressive conformity at the other end. Are we just arguing about what arbitrary point on the scale we individually prefer to stop?I often say that conservatives want to control what you do in your bedroom, and liberals want to control what you do when you leave your bedroom. Since I’m rich enough to buy window shades, and smart enough to use them, I’m a conservative.

  61. Realist says:

    @Jeff,But why do you have this compulsion to force that community how to live?I think you’re reading waaaay too much into his posts. Nowhere did he say we should make them do the right thing instead of the right-wing thing.Since I’m rich enough to buy window shades, and smart enough to use them, I’m a conservative.Apparently you’re not smart enough to realize that window shades aren’t enough to protect you. Or you were trying to be cute.

  62. Mr. Universe says:

    I’d be more than happy to be thrashed by Barbie!

  63. Fat Burners says:

    Thanks for share good post

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s