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This website is dedicated to LGBT folks who are surviving in this crazy world.

What's good for one isn't necessarily good for another.

Attempting to control the hearts and souls of the masses through force and injustice only forces the seeds of dissension to grow. History has taught this lesson repeatedly. Perhaps, we'll learn the lesson this time.

06 October 2010

Firefighters Watch House Burn Over $75 Unpaid Fee

Oh, this is a great one people! Seriously, the state of Tennessee and Obion County have a lot to answer for. The link below is the first piece I saw regarding this issue. I'm going to do a little back ground and let you know WTF is up.
Yahoo!News: "Rural Tennessee fire sparks conservative ideological debate"

The "facts":
Firefighters are fighters of fires, not watchers of fires.
Firefighters follow orders from Fire Department Supervisors (Fire chiefs, etc).
Fire Department Heads follow orders from City Management (Mayor, City Council, etc.).
City Management creates and follows laws put in place by city management (elected officials).
Elected officials and non-elected officials enact, enable, and enforce laws meant to "punish" members of the community (officials included) for myriad violations.
Elected officials are elected by members of the community.
City officials and community members each agree to be held responsible for their own violations.
The Constitution and Judicial Commentary affords that "punishment cannot outweigh the crime".

My Opinion (as it stands now):
Watching the fire department watch your house burn down while preventing neighboring property from catching fire is not a proportionate punishment for failure to pay the $75 annual fire protection fee.
As such, the city order mandating the fire department to not respond to fires on properties that are not up-to-date on fee payment is not a proportionate response to the "crime of not paying." Those people responsible for ordering the firefighters to not respond have violated the Constitution, violated their responsibilities to the community, and have acted more like extortionists than community leaders.  

My Verdict:
The city officials that are responsible for ordering the fire department to ignore a house on fire ought to be fired and the city should pay to rebuild, refurnish, and apologize to the property owner. The law should be changed to include firefighting services at-cost for those who fail to pay the annual fee. In other words, if you fail to pay $75 annual fee, the fire department will still fight the fire, and the property owner will be billed for the service at the price of the service (cost of water, equipment, firefighters, etc).

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