Oct 6, 2010

Firefighters watch house burn & Glenn Beck is a Moron

Wow.   Either people are getting stupider these days or I am just losing touch with right and wrong because after I read the original story yesterday the answer was clear to me, and now rereading it and seeing this follow up story I am just bewildered by it.

A man had to watch as his home and possesions burned to the ground because he either forgot or chose not to pay a $75 fee for the firefighters in his rural area to include his home in their 'We Will Save You' list.   The man begged to pay it there on the spot, even offered to pay the cost of the services, but they refused.  Glenn Beck said it was totally reasonable because if one person sponges of another neighbor it's not fair, and that as soon as one person gets service for free, no one will pay the $75.   Seriously?

Here is a novel idea Mr. Beck.   Charge 10 times the fee- $750 for on the spot service- or be outrageous and charge $7500 or whatever it actually costs to provide the services...believe me, people will gladly pay the annual fee of $75 if they think that they are facing a crazy expensive on the spot fee.   Another commentator, Daniel Foster verbalized it in an ethically correct way- saying that since the firefighters had already arrived, they had the tools and equipment and could expect payment (BILL FOR THEIR SERVICES) they should have saved his home out of moral responsibility.   I agree.

Read it here

Homeowner in 'no pay, no spray' fire dispute: 'I'm not a freeloader'

Town's decision to not fight the fire due to unpaid fee sparks debate

A man whose home burned down because he hadn't paid a $75 municipal fee said he had made a simple mistake and wasn't trying to take advantage of the system.
"I'm no freeloader, I've worked all my life for everything I've got," Gene Cranick of Obion County, Tennessee, told Keith Olbermann on MSNBC on Tuesday evening. "It happens to anybody, I don't care, you forget things and I did. I suffered the consequences for it."
The fire started when the Cranicks' grandson was burning trash near the family home. As it grew out of control, the Cranicks called 911, but the fire department from the nearby city of South Fulton would not respond, because Cranick had not paid the annual fee.
Cranick's story sparked a wide-ranging debate across cable news and the Internet.
Radio and TV talk show host Glenn Beck defended the fire department letting Cranick's home burn down.
"If you don't pay your $75 then that hurts the fire department," Beck said in response to the blaze. "They can't use those resources and you would be sponging off of your neighbor's $75 if they put out your neighbor's house and you didn't pay for it."
"As soon as they put out the fire of somebody who didn't pay the $75, no one will pay the $75," he said.
Fellow conservative commentator Daniel Foster, meanwhile, said that he had no problem in principle with the "opt-in government" philosophy behind the decision to withhold fire services to those who hadn't paid the required fee.
Morally, however, the issue was quite different, he wrote in National Review Online:
"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?"
Cranick and his family lost all of their possessions in the Sept. 29 fire, along with three dogs and a cat. The fire fee policy dates back 20 or so years and is common in rural areas.
Story: No pay, no spray: Firefighters let home burn
'Hurt the fire department' South Fulton's mayor said that the fire department can't let homeowners pay the fee on the spot, which Cranick offered to do, because the only people who would pay would be those whose homes are on fire.
Firefighters did eventually show up on the scene, but only to fight the fire on the neighboring property, whose owner had paid the fee.
"Without a doubt, the best is a fire tax," Olbermann quoted Edmison as saying. "The last thing a firefighter wants to do is not be able to help when they'd like to."Kelly Edmison, fire chief of nearby Union City, said a fire tax would be better than the current fee system.
Other locals have been sympathetic during this trying period, Cranick told Olbermann.
"Most everybody has been compassionate and neighborly," he told MSNBC. "I understood some of the firefighters went home and were sick. Some of them even cried over it."
"I appreciate it," he said.
Cranick, who is living in a trailer on his property, says his insurance policy will help cover some of his lost home.

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