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 Obeying policy over common decency?

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ƒoxƒire667

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PostSubject: Obeying policy over common decency?   October 7th 2010, 10:57 pm

Alright, I just read one hell of an odd news article this week and I was rather shocked to see what had happened down in Obion county, Tennessee. Apparently, they have a policy in the city that homeowners must pay the town $75 every year in order for the fire department to respond to your fire emergency if one is ever present. In the case of Cranick's, who couldn't pay this fee, there house caught fire and the fire department wouldn't come due to this lack of payment. Because the homeowners couldn't pay this fee, there house was left to burn down...and it wasn't until the fire spread to another person's yard that the fire department showed up. Although they showed up ONLY to put out the fire on the neighbor's FIELD...STILL leaving the Cranick residence in flames.

It was even stated that the home owner insisted they would pay the firefighters any cost they wanted if they would just put out the fire, but they wouldn't comply. This is because, to put it simply, they didn't pay it when it was supposed to be paid. From the article: "The mayor said if homeowners don't pay, they're out of luck."

Article for you to read: http://www.wpsdlocal6.com/news/local/Firefighters-watch-as-home-burns-to-the-ground-104052668.html

My question here is, even though it was city public policy and policy should be followed, should people stick to public policy so much that even in situations where potential lives and property are at stake it should be upheld? Should any policy, law, or rule that is set in a society be taken so far as to be followed under absolutely any circumstance?

I'd like to hear your opinion, after you post, you can read my general opinion in the spoiler tags below:

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~Zeta~
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PostSubject: Re: Obeying policy over common decency?   October 7th 2010, 11:16 pm

That's just insane. Not one fireman in that entire neighborhood, city, or even the mayor had a strand of sympathy for the person in peril? Has money deranged people THIS much? That doesn't even seem like it would fly at all in the law system. I wonder what the insurance company is going to do. I know it's part of the state's responsibility to protect their citizens in an emergency. I don't know one city that requires payment for a fire department. Where I live, they volunteer. Just because it's a policy doesn't make it morally right. $75 is nothing compared to what a house cost, what damage the fire caused to the other house, and most importantly, a human life (I'm including pets in this category because I'm a pet lover). This goes beyond irking me. I can't believe that they let that happen.

I seriously think there's some legal action against the city for that policy.
1. It's only $75
2. Tens of thousands of dollars damaged
3. Forcing the public to run the city's defense when the state has an obligation to public safety
4. Enforcing a policy to generate money. I'd like to see the figures on running a fire department. $75 per household, perhaps 1/2 or 3/4 will pay the $75, (google'd the population ag 31,375), that comes around ~ $1.2 million to ~ $1.8 million at 1/2 paying and 3/4 paying, respectively. My city (Peoria) has a population of 183,655 people. About a year ago, the city released the costs of running the town. I remember the fire department cost clearly (it's right down the street so I remember stuff about it) and the cost only came to around 2.4 million. 2.4 million for 183 thousands souls. That's six times the amount of Obion.
5. That's just asking for death and trouble. If this article gets enough attention, the supreme court or the public will speak against this. This is just outrageous.

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Lorika

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PostSubject: Re: Obeying policy over common decency?   October 8th 2010, 4:00 am

There could be any number of reasons to justify the policy itself. Disapproval here is ultimately on the course of action the firefighters took, who must have in the moment been under the command of one person. Scenarios like these are often inflated out of proportion. Saying it's outrageous is fine and dandy, but it might not seem as bad after considering the idiosyncratic scope of moral dilemma.
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~Zeta~
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PostSubject: Re: Obeying policy over common decency?   October 8th 2010, 7:38 am

Might not seem as bad? The firefighters refused to put the fire out on his house because of money. Under one person or not, the whole neighborhood was furious with this situation so obviously there's something wrong with the policy because it doesn't satisfy the people. It doesn't matter if it's under one person; majority rules in democracy. The firefighters should have looked around. In the article, it said the people were using their garden hoses to try and help but it didn't really make a difference.

Public: Wanted the fire to be put out; a fire's a fire and it's a person of that neighborhood.

Firemen (firemen of their own county): Didn't put the fire out because of a policy.

There's something wrong there. Especially when you have people going to the fire department and assault firemen. There's obviously disapproval of this policy, yet they don't take note of the disturbance. The mayor flat out said, "They're out of luck." What kind of mayor says that to citizens? What kind of person would say that? Again, it's all about money.

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Lorika

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PostSubject: Re: Obeying policy over common decency?   October 9th 2010, 1:18 am

The mayor may have made that comment after being shoved into a defensive personal mindset, however shortsighted it may have been politically. If the scenario happened as a consequence of the chain of command the supervisor could have been thinking of the policy as duty. Making a difficult choice (duty) could have been interpreted as morally correct. I find it very disturbing when, despite there ultimately not being enough information with which to justifiably push their emotionally fueled disposition on others, change is fueled by little more than circumstance.

Who says it's about money? You don't know anything about the policy.
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PostSubject: Re: Obeying policy over common decency?   October 9th 2010, 1:28 am

Isn't it funny how so many people were against Obama's health care reforms when a similar situation that parallels the ideology of self-reliance shows the scope of potential consequences. Think about it.

Lorika is basically stating that the article does not go into enough detail to fully determine the implementation of such a policy. While this is true, one must wonder, as ~Z~ suggests, why this policy places concrete capitalist thinking before safety of humans. Some cities have ridiculous, outdated policies that have yet to be revoked (e.g. a city in Washington prohibits the selling of lollipops or something like that) - but most of them are ultimately inconsequential in today's society. I don't think this is the case for this county; there may be a number of other options.
a) It might have to do with the train of thought in this part of the country (e.g. is the area full of tea party activists who support a do-it-yourself mindset?)
b) It might've been a policy that never resulted in major issues before this incident brought the policy into the public spotlight (although I doubt this as well)
c) The politicians and people in the region are ineffective and/or incompetent

Local municipalities typically create policies regarding the necessities and fundamentals for our everyday lives, so the questioning of this policy must definitely be forwarded to the mayor. If the mayor was previously known to notoriously conform to clearly problematic policies, I would like to know why he still exists in the political circle, and why the people of the county did not get rid of him.

I'm also curious to know whether the man's neighbors did anything to help or even show concern prior to someone else's property being damaged. Other than that, ~Z~'s posts underlies my thoughts on the scenario. While Lorika explores the possibilities of this policy's justification, this case clearly illustrates a degree of incredulousness, regardless of political jargon that may defend justification. However the situation will turn out, there's no doubt that the policy will be given a second look after this incident.




Last edited by Shiron on October 9th 2010, 7:10 am; edited 1 time in total
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kmay

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PostSubject: Re: Obeying policy over common decency?   October 9th 2010, 1:49 am

>.> its things like this that make me laugh. how long has that law been around now? and this is the first fire in that city that started in an "uninsured" house. unlikely. I think that this was only in the news because the people in the house want money and compensation. Its probably just another greedy family in America trying to get around the laws and make easy money. Granted we know nothing about the family that had their home taken from them, but like I said before, its highly unlikely that this was he first home to be burnt down that didn't pay the $75.

and i like what Shiron says in the start of his last thought, it might not be that someone else's property was getting damaged though, it was probably due to the fact that they heard the commotion and thought to themselves, this is probably going to be big news, we should try and look like we have been helping all along so we don't look like horrible people.

the law is insanely ridiculous, but now there is nothing that family can do about it, unless they can get it to much higher level courts. $75 a year is not that much, 75/12 is a little more than 6 dollars a month. buy dollar menu at McDonald's instead of the combo one night a month and there you go. 6 dollars. I don't want to hear the excuse of not being able to afford it, and if they are living on welfare, they probably shouldn't be living in a house to start with.

what i don't like about Shiron's post is the Obamacare he mentioned. the government does not need to enforce health insurance on everyone, or a fine if they choose not to have it. the government is becoming to controlling.

i ADD'ed all over this post i'm tired and my thoughts won't come out how i want them to. i will gladly debate later. because i love debating
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Shiron
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PostSubject: Re: Obeying policy over common decency?   October 9th 2010, 2:16 am

Obamacare is another topic altogether, but the issue there is that not all Americans see health care as a fundamental aspect of our lives - however, this should be treated no differently than this house-burning incident. Both cases concern our well-being, and if health insurance is seen as too controlling, then theoretically, you should be rooting for the burning down of this guy's house - since after all, it was "his choice not to pay for his firefighting service" (i.e. it was "his choice not to pay for his health care"). See the similarities? If you disagree, clearly the differences lie in the degree of importance one places on these policies. And why some Americans believe that health care is not a necessary and rather an accessory is where I'm completely stumped.

Some people argue that they don't need health care, and that they've been living completely healthy lives for decades or their entire lives. Need I say anything different for someone who claims that they don't need protection against a potential burning down of his house, however little the risk it seems?

Seriously, the thought processes regarding these two scenarios are very similar - both concern the usage of Adam Smith's capitalist theory all too literally.
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~Zeta~
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PostSubject: Re: Obeying policy over common decency?   October 9th 2010, 2:28 am

Lorika wrote:
Who says it's about money? You don't know anything about the policy.

He didn't pay his $75 and that prevents his safety and protection. Denied help because of money. If it weren't for the money, the fire would have been put out if the firemen came.

kmay wrote:
>.> its things like this that make me laugh. how long has that law been around now? and this is the first fire in that city that started in an "uninsured" house. unlikely. I think that this was only in the news because the people in the house want money and compensation. Its probably just another greedy family in America trying to get around the laws and make easy money. Granted we know nothing about the family that had their home taken from them, but like I said before, its highly unlikely that this was he first home to be burnt down that didn't pay the $75.

I think it's far from greediness. If you read the article, the Cranick's begged them to put the fire out and pay whatever costs and fees to put it out. There's nothing in the article (news people love drama, so if there was some devious plot, it would most likely be exploited) that says it was about them gaining anything. They begged the firemen to put the fire out. Plus, insurance companies do NOT like giving money out at all. If they see there's a policy that the family neglected, they are going to stand by it by all means to save money or give you such a minuscule amount.

Also, we're talking about a small town here. Fires do not occur so often (I barely hear the siren that just down the street 3 times a week). So saying that doesn't really mean anything. It's also more than "unlikely" that this is first house not protected by the policy.

kmay wrote:
and i like what Shiron says in the start of his last thought, it might not be that someone else's property was getting damaged though, it was probably due to the fact that they heard the commotion and thought to themselves, this is probably going to be big news, we should try and look like we have been helping all along so we don't look like horrible people.

Shiron wrote:
I'm also curious to know whether the man's neighbors did anything to help or even show concern prior to someone else's property being damaged.

Publicity in such a small town? Again, if you read the article, the neighbors were trying to help put out the fire with their garden hoses since they don't have the heavy duty hoses like the fire department. The whole neighborhood was furious with what happened. The firemen came, put the fire out on the policy-protected land and left the Cranick's house to burn.

kmay wrote:
the law is insanely ridiculous, but now there is nothing that family can do about it, unless they can get it to much higher level courts. $75 a year is not that much, 75/12 is a little more than 6 dollars a month. buy dollar menu at McDonald's instead of the combo one night a month and there you go. 6 dollars. I don't want to hear the excuse of not being able to afford it, and if they are living on welfare, they probably shouldn't be living in a house to start with.

That statement can be told to the city. $75 for one person. Not much on such a scale of 31,000 living there. Especially when he begged that he would pay that if not more.

Your bolded statement is by far an extremist thought. Completely rude and uncalled for. Read up and look around before you make such an assumption. I go down to the south end of Peoria almost every other day to shop at Aldi's. People with food stamps, ragged clothes, money orders, etc. come walking to this store from houses and are living. Shelter is one of the most important elements to survive, so people will strive for somewhere warm and out of the weather even if they are poor.

kmay wrote:
i ADD'ed all over this post i'm tired and my thoughts won't come out how i want them to. i will gladly debate later. because i love debating

-_____- Is all I can say to that. It really does not help the tone or reasoning for your post because you're lacking a lot of support and using poor choice of words for a discussion and debate.

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PostSubject: Re: Obeying policy over common decency?   October 9th 2010, 2:30 am

kmay wrote:
there is nothing that family can do about it, unless they can get it to much higher level courts. $75 a year is not that much, 75/12 is a little more than 6 dollars a month. buy dollar menu at McDonald's instead of the combo one night a month and there you go. 6 dollars. I don't want to hear the excuse of not being able to afford it, and if they are living on welfare, they probably shouldn't be living in a house to start with.

It seems that way, doesn't it? Or does it? I don't know the circumstances regarding this man, but even if what you said is true, the government is wasting its own money by letting the house burn down. After the burning down of the house, guess what? There are unnecessary costs that could've been avoided, had the house been preserved. For instance, the cleaning/clearing up of the burnt property; assistance for the man finding a temporary place for necessities; the loss of marketability for the property, having a bad prior history, etc.
If the house was saved, and the man was forced to move out due to not being able to pay off his services/mortgage/whatever it is, think about the scenario from a monetary perspective: refurbishing of the house to sell in the future, as opposed to building a new one from the ground up, for instance.

To say the least, the burning down of this man's house is not only a breach of public safety, but also an indication of economic recklessness.

@~Z~: garden hoses, so what. The article did not state when the neighbors started helping out. Although I'll give this the benefit of the doubt, certainly the neighbors may have just watched and stared UNTIL his house caught fire as well, before helping out. Seeing how most humans would be sensible in this case, I'll take your word for it and will just pass the blame to the upper echelons of the municipality.

And the part you bolded: unfortunately, kmay's isn't the only person I've heard to share such a sentiment. Quite unfortunate.
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PostSubject: Re: Obeying policy over common decency?   October 9th 2010, 10:41 am

=/ you guys, the bolded statement does NOT mean i want them on the streets, but houses are MUCH more expensive then apartments. end of that whole discussion. Don't try and make me look like a bad guy for that one. My family was dirt poor my whole childhood and guess what? i lived in apartments because we could not afford a house.

and i said nothing about the government saving money. This article is misleading in itself anyway. it does not even say what started the fire.

and mikey "This fire went on for hours because garden hoses just wouldn't put it out. It wasn't until that fire spread to a neighbor's property, that anyone would respond."

that says nothing about the neighbors helping.

found a video that better describes the whole thing
http://www.myfoxphoenix.com/dpp/news/must_read/tennessee-firefighters-let-home-burn-10-7-2010

I agree that they should have put the fire out. I would have, but no one really knows the background about the family, the video makes it seem as though they "just forgot to pay" I'm sure there would have been 'final notice/warning' letters mailed to them, but yet again we do not know.

My view: Fire should have been put out if they could have paid it off, with interest because that's how late fees in America work. Also, that this law is the law, but laws need constant revision or why else would we need a president, house, etc. Fire Departments and Police Departments are not commodities, they should be supplied by the town for free, and not have the people of the town paying their salary.
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PostSubject: Re: Obeying policy over common decency?   October 9th 2010, 8:05 pm

The video doesn't provide any more information than what's already available in the article. It just shows the firefighting department making pseudo-remorseful statements and basically showing no regret for their actions. No sigh of relief there...
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