‘There’s a quote that’s been attributed to multiple sources that goes something like, “I like paying taxes. With them I buy civilization.” Simply put, we are no longer a civilized society if we are willing to let peoples’ lives literally burn to the ground over $75. Welcome to the Thunderdome’.
–Miss M Mayweather, commenting on the story linked above.
Think Progress has a good take on this from the political perspective. This is what conservative libertarian governance run amok looks like; a family watching their home burn down because they didn’t pay the firemen a $75 fee. To be clear, I am not blaming firefighters for that situation. I love firefighters; my baby brother is one and even if he weren’t I still really would like this guy right here to have an accident with matches. Mr Constantine Xinos is a wealthy man who once said he ‘didn’t want poor people living near him’, pays no property taxes to his elite suburb, and still is trying to chisel his local firefighters out of a decent salary. He called firefighters ‘street people’. This breathing Dickensian caricature would be hilarious if he wasn’t messing around with people’s lives, and not just those of the firefighters.
I had a friend who was a captain in a local fire department who died several years ago of a rare and fierce cancer that was most likely caused by some toxin he encountered while fighting a blaze; he told me that every line of the fire code is there because somebody died. Public firefighting and emergency services are an essential part of the infrastructure of modern civilization; without them, entire cities could burn to the ground. I have seen the dedication and stress the career requires firsthand in my own family up close and it is more than impressive, it is humbling. The heroes of 9/11 were the firefighters and first responders who died doing their duty; time and again, these public servants have proven to be the best of what America can be.
It occurs to the Furious Buddha that most of the previous paragraph should be too obvious to require being stated, but as the New World Men are setting about undoing the modern world, it appears a return to basic principles is going to be required until we bring everyone back up to speed. The Tea Partiers are like drunks who have woken up in the back seat and are grabbing for the steering wheel.
One last thought before I trundle off; isn’t it astonishing how people in the buckle of the Bible belt are treated exactly the way Jesus would have treated them?