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The spectrum of good and evil - The online computery journal thingy of a turtle

Oct. 13th, 2010

06:33 pm - The spectrum of good and evil

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Wow.

At one end of the spectrum, we have Gene Cranick of Obion County, Tennessee, who lost everything because the fire department wouldn't lift a finger to help him, and stood and watched and let his house burn to the ground and his pets die, because he didn't understand that the "optional" $75/year fee they wanted was actually a Mafia-style pizzo.

At the other end, we have 33 miners in Copiapó, Chile, who were trapped in heat and darkness two thousand milesfeet (d'oh!) below the surface of the earth for over two months... and today they're still alive and well and have all been pulled out of the mine one by one with a custom-designed rescue capsule.

Humans have incredible capacities for cruelty on the one hand, and compassion on the other.

Comments:

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From:neuracnu
Date:October 14th, 2010 12:58 am (UTC)

and back on the evil side...

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...for the headline of their news story on the event, CNN is using the phrase "miner miracle."
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From:kinkyturtle
Date:October 14th, 2010 01:25 am (UTC)

Re: and back on the evil side...

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Blarg!
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From:xakko
Date:October 14th, 2010 01:36 am (UTC)
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interestingly, there are a number of commentators that are holding the house fire as an example of the "pay for spray" policy working.

your own mileage may vary.
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From:barberio
Date:October 14th, 2010 01:48 am (UTC)
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In which case, they're really stupid commentators, who also missed the fact that the fire eventually spread to a near by building who's owner had paid their protection-fee. Fire's ignorance of property boundaries is why this crap doesn't work.
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From:palabrajot
Date:October 14th, 2010 02:49 am (UTC)
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I would think that even if I did support a pay-for-spray model, wouldn't it be common sense to put the fire out anyway, and then worry about assessing a penalty fee against the homeowner for not buying into this protection racket in the first place, rather than just standing around like a casting call for a goddamn fireman calendar shoot?
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From:xakko
Date:October 14th, 2010 03:00 am (UTC)
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apparently the guy was offering to pay the total cost of the fire department's expenditures too. not that you can guarantee the fire dept. wouldn't have had to take the guy to court to follow up on that, but, as one conservative pointed out, they were there, with the equipment, they should have put out the fire and gotten the money later. a doctor might scoff at a patient offering to pay back health insurance premiums before doing surgery, but when they offer to pay for the whole shebang? Prep for surgery...
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From:doodlesthegreat
Date:October 14th, 2010 05:21 am (UTC)
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two thousand miles below the surface of the earth

You may wish to correct that. They'd be in magma by that point...
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From:kinkyturtle
Date:October 14th, 2010 06:59 am (UTC)
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D'oh! Fixed.
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From:houseboatonstyx
Date:October 14th, 2010 05:28 am (UTC)
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I agree the fire department was evil here (though how much blame to the firemen on scene and how much to the officials who set the policy is another question).

But -- why did the pets need firemen to rescue them? Why didn't they just run out? Were they crated dogs or 'indoor only' cats confined because their owners thought the outside world was too dangerous?

Or, I hope, were the pets a late, false addition to the story?
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From:kinkyturtle
Date:October 14th, 2010 07:02 am (UTC)
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They were probably trapped by flames, perhaps in an upstairs bedroom. That sort of thing tends to happen when a house catches fire.
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From:deckardcanine
Date:October 14th, 2010 05:16 pm (UTC)
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I'd heard that the firefighters were hamstrung by legislation, but to me that's only a mitigating factor. Better to get in some trouble with your superiors than anger everyone else in the neighborhood.

Nevertheless, this differs from a pizzo in that a mafia would do something to make your situation worse than if you hadn't dealt with them at all.
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From:kinkyturtle
Date:October 14th, 2010 10:42 pm (UTC)
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Standing and watching while his house burns down; that sounds like "making his situation worse" to me.
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From:alfador_fox
Date:October 14th, 2010 09:37 pm (UTC)
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Somebody should commit arson on the property of all those firefighters. I'm not even joking.
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From:kinkyturtle
Date:October 14th, 2010 10:44 pm (UTC)
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No. Their boss. And/or the city manager of South Fulton. Whoever told those firefighters not to help the guy.
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From:bikerwalla
Date:October 17th, 2010 12:28 pm (UTC)
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We have over here in New Jersey, the governor canceling an under-Hudson rail tunnel project, stranding motorists for 30 more years in the hell that is North-Jersey-to-NYC commuting. Because if he actually went ahead with it, it would have revealed that the multi-billion-dollar highway construction fund is really a giant empty bank vault with a few IOU slips littering the floor, due to years and years of assemblymen saying "the voters won't LET us raise the taxes we need" while lining their own pockets by borrowing against the highway fund for their own pet projects.

Over there in Switzerland, the people voted to pay even more taxes to dig a tunnel, completed this week; now the trucks drive THROUGH the Alps instead of OVER them, and save a lot of diesel fuel and mountain wilderness too.

Edited at 2010-10-17 12:28 pm (UTC)
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From:kinkyturtle
Date:October 18th, 2010 12:13 am (UTC)
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Wow. Being corrupt doesn't pay!

Well, I guess it does, but only in the short run.
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