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Defending the TN Firemen…

October 6th, 2010

…is easier than defending the Professional Fire Fighters of Wisconsin. After all, the Tennessee firefighters only watched one house burn down, while the PFFW is content to reduce the entire state to a smoldering ash heap, evidenced by their endorsements of Tom Barrett for governor and Russ Feingold for senator.
Tennessee Fire Fighters c/o Gravelle's Daily  Scoff @

Ben Franklin’s original model for the “Union Fire Department” was tangential to his “Fire Insurance Company”. Residents of a community purchased, at THEIR discretion, a fire insurance policy. The proceeds from those premiums funded the department. If you opted NOT buy coverage, they’d still put out your fire, but you were invoiced for their services.

It appears that the South Fulton firemen didn’t have the option of invoicing Gene Cranick once his grandson set fire to the household, so they used their limited resources to protect their clients (Cranick’s neighbors) instead.

Cranick tried to pull the same scam that’s taking down Massachusetts’ socialized health care debacle: Nobody pays their premiums UNTIL they need the service.

It’d be nice if auto insurance worked that way, hey? Wait until you GET in an accident, then cut All State a check for fifty bucks to repair $5000 worth of damage?

It’s a shame that property and pets were lost. It’s a bigger shame that people are blaming the Obion County fire fighters for this tragedy…

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Tags: Firemen · Government

36 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Rysl // Oct 6, 2010 at 12:27 pm

    You fail to mention that the owner HAD PAID the fee in previous years, and that the fire chief had made EXCEPTIONS to this rule before.

    Therefore, the owner is not a “scammer” that you try to paint him as. Haven’t you or someone you’ve care about ever been late with a payment? What price did you have to pay?

    Since exceptions had made before, the “fire-fighters” did have another recourse than watching the house burn down. If they had responded to the 911 call promptly, they would have been able to put out the small brush fire before it even got to the house.

    Libertarians, congratulate yourselves on the system “working”, but hide your faces in civil society. I don’t want you as a neighbor. Sure, this decision helps the city of Obion keep their budget in the black, but you only have to look as far as the county to see that this decision results in a net loss. It is certainly a loss for our humanity.

  • 2 admin // Oct 6, 2010 at 12:51 pm

    I’ve paid my car insurance in previous years too. But if it lapses and I wreck it, I can’t very well expect to cut a $75 check to American Family and have them rebuild my car for me.

    “I don’t want you as a neighbor.”

    Mighty neighborly of you.

    Thanks for reading…


  • 3 Gin // Oct 6, 2010 at 2:47 pm

    So I guess it is okay that this fire dept works like the mafia in old movies, pay us and we’ll protect you right? And those poor animals died and agonizing death by being burnt to death.

  • 4 admin // Oct 6, 2010 at 3:04 pm

    So I guess it’s okay that this guy didn’t think his family’s (and pets’) safety was worth $6.25 a month, right?

    Incidentally, if the mob in your area is shaking people down for less than $75 a year, you’ve got it good. Mine (local, county, state & fed combined) take about half my net worth every year. I envy you.

    Thanks for reading…


  • 5 LauraNo // Oct 6, 2010 at 3:13 pm

    What could you possibly mean by “use their limited resources” when they were clearly already there with truck and men? Times are hard, maybe the family didn’t have the $75 and maybe they forgot to pay in time much like people forget to pay for pet licenses? It’s a sad day when you can’t count on fire protection in the USA. I’ve moved to Canada and am very glad I did so. So much more civilized and responsible here.

  • 6 admin // Oct 6, 2010 at 3:41 pm

    What could you possibly mean by “use their limited resources”

    Ah, the media have apparently given you the impression that there are infinite numbers of fire trucks and firemen in the United States. Sadly, there are not. And the ones we do have cost a pretty penny. $6.25 a month for their services is a steal. I’m guessing the fella paid more than that every month for dog food. Well, at least he had his priorities.

    I’ve moved to Canada and am very glad I did so.

    You and me both, brother.

    Thanks for reading…


  • 7 LauraNo // Oct 6, 2010 at 3:18 pm

    Also, why do you make an accusation against the Professional Firefighters of Wisconsin without backing it up or at least referencing what you mean? Firefighters who endorse democrats clearly are responsible for burning the state down to the ground? Or for wishing to? Or what? WTH are you talking about? Nutjob…

  • 8 admin // Oct 6, 2010 at 3:37 pm

    “Firefighters who endorse democrats clearly are responsible for burning the state down to the ground? Or for wishing to?”

    Looks like you figured this out all on your own. You hardly need a man to explain it to ya. Have a little more faith in yourself.

    And thanks for reading…


  • 9 frankie J // Oct 6, 2010 at 4:18 pm

    How can you compare car insurance to firefighting. Two completely different entities. If your house burns down, the fire department doesn’t pay for your damages. This is rediculous. Firefighting is a service that until now i believe taxes paid for. This would be comparable to having to pay for police protection, and if someone breaks into your home and you forget to pay, then you’re just out of luck. This is a matter of human safety. Firefighters dont just put out fires. they save lives and your life should not be risked for a 75 dollar missed payment

  • 10 admin // Oct 6, 2010 at 5:20 pm

    Police engage in “blue flu” protest strikes all the time. And while they’re sitting home, people they were sworn to protect are getting robbed, raped and killed. This is nothing new.

    Thanks for reading…


  • 11 Bklynguy // Oct 6, 2010 at 4:59 pm

    What’s truly disturbing is the heartlessness and inhumanity of these firefighers who watched a house burn down , incinerating the pets, because the homeowner didn’t pay the fee. Like he would not have paid if the fire was put out and then he would be billed? What sort of person does that? I wonder if they would have stood by and watched the house burn if there were children inside. We have truly degenerated. And no, there is no connection between supporting Democrats and and turning anything to ash, particularly supporting Feingold, one of the cleanest Senators there is. If anything, this libertarian idea of “Pay or burn.” is what will turn us all to ash.

  • 12 admin // Oct 6, 2010 at 5:13 pm

    “What sort of person does that?”

    Government union thugs, that’s who. The same sort that Russ (and you, apparently) want to put in charge of health care.

    Thanks for reading…


  • 13 sharonsj // Oct 6, 2010 at 6:34 pm

    Remember when Republicans screamed about “death panels” in the health reform bill? Doctors were going to pass death sentences on old people?

    Well now we’ve got the Republicans running the town forming their own death panels. They decided anyone outside the town limit had to pay an extra fee–like those homeowners don’t already pay enough in regular taxes, or that the government isn’t supposed to do it’s job of protecting citizens?

    Bad enough the pets burnt to death. What if Grandma was in the house? Oh, I guess you libertarians don’t care about her either.

    The firemen didn’t put out the fire until it spread to the next house. The people next door had paid the $75, but their house was damaged anyway. If I was any one of these people, I would sue the town until it was bankrupt.

  • 14 admin // Oct 6, 2010 at 6:54 pm

    I’ll take Revisionist History for $200, Alex.

    Actually, these are the same gov’t union thugs that us wacky Libertarians have been decrying for years, but who grow more entrenched, powerful, and bold every year thanks to their pals in THIS party…

    Who are the Democrats, Alex?

    Right you are! We’d also have excepted “pinkos”. Pick again.

    I’ll take “Karma” for 1000…


  • 15 Bklynguy // Oct 7, 2010 at 9:30 am

    Government union thugs, that’s who

    I suppose it would have been much better if they had worked for the private sector. I’d expect private sector firemen to do what these alleged “union thugs” (where’s the proof they were union?) to have done so the crime here is that they were not acting like public servants but private pirates. After all, it’s pay or burn in the private sector, right, and you, as a good libertarian would have had no problem with that since selfishness is a virtue.

  • 16 admin // Oct 7, 2010 at 10:37 am

    Actually, the Libertarian model would allow privately run fire houses to bid on service contracts for homeowners, and would even show up to non-contracted fires with a streamlined enrollment process that would allow them to extinguish now, and bill later.

    With few exceptions, privately run firehouses are largely a thing of fiction today. Perhaps you’re confusing real-life with “the A-Team”?

    You’re free to wish it otherwise, but this is a(nother) example of why, as my late friend Harry Browne said “Government doesn’t work”.

    Thanks for reading…


  • 17 Bklynguy // Oct 7, 2010 at 11:41 am

    There is no need for pie-in-the sky libertarian schemes to privatize fire protection where I live. Government-provided fire protection works fine. Perhaps you may have heard of an event called “9/11”? A few hundred police and firemen, civil servant union thugs all, sacrificed their lives in an attempt to save others during that attack. What those heroes did was far more typical of how government-run police fire and departments operate, rather than this TN anomaly, which is precisely why privately-run firehouses are largely a thing of fiction.

  • 18 admin // Oct 7, 2010 at 1:46 pm

    Sure, government ALWAYS works… until it doesn’t. And when it fails, it fails big.

    Take your 9/11 example, where neither the CIA, FBI, ICE, military, port authority, coast guard, or post office (hey, mailmen have guns too) could protect us. They too “stood by” while insurgents flooded into the country, trained on our soil, and attacked us.

    Government food lines “work” too. But private supermarkets are better. Know who’ll stop me if I try to privatize my local fire department? The folks with the current monopoly, that’s who.

    There’s a terrific dark comedy by this Steinbeck fella called “the Grapes of Wrath” where a family is forced off their multi-acred farmland by the government and relocated onto a tiny government farm to work for the collective, and they all live happily ever after.

    That might “work” for some folks. But I’m not one of ’em.

    Thanks again for reading…


  • 19 Erik // Oct 7, 2010 at 2:47 pm

    The “victim” lives in a RURAL, UNINCORPORATED area of Tn. No Tax Base, No Municipal Services, NO…NOTHING… A local city (S. Fulton) has ALLOWED those outside the city tax base and covered area to OPT IN and SUBSCRIBE to have fire protection extended to their address. This “victim” CHOSE to not take the service, he was contacted repeatedly about his lapse, he CHOSE to decline again, and again, and again. When G/son lights the shebang on fire with a burn barrel, our “victim” plays hero with a garden hose… no good, calls 911 – DENIED, calls 911 again, offers payment – DECLINED, offers to foot the bill – DECLINED (meanwhile the family pets are roasting…) Neighbor sees fire approaching his residence, he PAID the fee… he calls in, SFFD responds and protects his property. As contracted for, “victim” whines about how unfair things are. 3 hrs later g/son takes his STUPIDITY to town and assaults the Fire Chief. G/son now in jail awaiting bond…. And the idiot libs are calling the firefighters cruel, inhumane, idiots, unmanly..etc..etc..etc.. always the BLAME GAME… and no PERSONAL RESPONSIBILITY…why is that ?

  • 20 admin // Oct 7, 2010 at 3:46 pm

    I’d be curious to know how many $75 checks were stuffed in the chief’s mailbox when he came in this morning.

    Thanks for reading…


  • 21 Lance // Oct 7, 2010 at 3:52 pm

    “the fire department was ordered by heartless local officials to ignore him. ”

    Mayor David Neil Crocker and most, if not all, the city officials are republicans.

    so how is this about how bad the unions are?

  • 22 admin // Oct 7, 2010 at 5:47 pm

    The mayor does not oversee the fire department. South Fulton City Manager Jeff Vowell has jurisdiction. Contrary to your anecdote is this one, that South Fulton is a Democrat stronghold.

    And your quote, from the Star-Ledger’s editorial board, is not backed up in their article.

    They seem to merely imagine it to be the case.

    Thanks for reading…


  • 23 Stephen Paul West // Oct 7, 2010 at 4:25 pm

    Fire fighting is VERY time consuming. Those firemen could not have protected the non-participating home without risking loss to a paying participant.

    It takes hours to fight a fire and I want my firemen available to protect my PAYING property.

    This is especially true of volunteer fire departments that are ALWAYS in financial distress. The firemen did their civic duty.

  • 24 Erik // Oct 7, 2010 at 4:36 pm

    As a side note, there are MANY areas with privatized Fire protection. Look up RURAL -METRO Fire Protection ( Those that pre pay are covered. Those that do not pre-pay may, or may not get service depending on the laws of the area they provide service to.

  • 25 Ginger // Oct 7, 2010 at 4:53 pm

    What everyone seems to leave out of this story is the fact that the fire “spread” to a neighboring property. That is why fire fighting ought to be treated as a community good. You can’t guarantee that it will just burn the non-paying homeowner’s property to the ground.

  • 26 admin // Oct 7, 2010 at 5:37 pm

    The neighbors, clients of the fire department, had their fires extinguished.

    They too should be outraged at the carelessness of their neighbor.

    Thanks for reading…


  • 27 Tom McMahon // Oct 8, 2010 at 8:08 am

    Modify the fee structure:

    In advance: $75

    At the time of the fire: $10,000

  • 28 Marty // Oct 9, 2010 at 5:39 am

    Oui the people have the government we deserve.

  • 29 Chip // Oct 9, 2010 at 10:50 pm

    I find the “we forgot” and “they paid in past years” arguments to be absurd. I’ve found probably a dozen media accounts that used a phrase similar to “they paid in past years.” 2009 is a “past year.” So is 1999. Does anyone else find it interesting/funny/absurd how that phrase keeps getting thrown around without backing it up with any fact whatsoever?

    Oh, nevermind. That’s right. Facts would completely discredit the “victim” angle.

  • 30 admin // Oct 10, 2010 at 9:31 am

    Steve Martin:

    You.. can be a millionaire.. and never pay taxes! You can be a millionaire.. and never pay taxes! You say.. “Steve.. how can I be a millionaire.. and never pay taxes?” First.. get a million dollars. Now.. you say, “Steve.. what do I say to the tax man when he comes to my door and says, ‘You.. have never paid taxes’?” Two simple words. Two simple words in the English language: “I forgot!” How many times do we let ourselves get into terrible situations because we don’t say “I forgot”? Let’s say you’re on trial for armed robbery. You say to the judge, “I forgot armed robbery was illegal.”

    Thanks for reading…


  • 31 Bklynguy // Oct 12, 2010 at 10:38 am

    Sure, government ALWAYS works… until it doesn’t. And when it fails, it fails big.

    Oh, and I suppose if we privatized our defenses, that would be much better? What if Larry Silverstein, owner of the Towers, had failed to pay his national defense, police and fire protection fees to Halliburton, Blackwater or whatever private entity you libertarian fantasists think would do a better job than the CIA, Pentagon, etc? Then the Towers would have been attacked and destroyed and no one except those working in the Towers would have been killed, no cops and firemen would have gone in, no one would have bothered to lift a finger to help or head off the attack because Silverstein wouldn’t have paid and there would have been no contractual obligation to protect his property or the lives of those inside. So, yeah, if you consider that all those cops and firefighters would not have died, then privatizing would have been much better.

    Every government owes its citizens protection of lives and property. Taxes are paid for this protection but even if someone doesn’t pay, the government must protect them. This is the difference between public and private areas of concern. If there’s money to be made, then the private sector is best; supermarkets are better than bread lines, no doubt, and market economies are far better than centralized collectivist planning in producing and distributing most goods and services. But certain services like police, fire , defense and courts should be provided for all regardless of the ability to pay for them because these services are essential for any civilized society. Without them, if you instituted your phantasmagorical anarcho-capitalism, you would have safe, peaceful gated communities for those who could pay for them, and Somalia for the rest.

    There is a a reason why these basic services have always been public; they work and the alternative does not. Don’t go on about those few times when public police and fire protection fails. It isn’t news when it works as it should, which is nearly all the time and why it is news when it doesn’t. You cannot deny that the overwhelming majority of police and fire fighters, civil servants and union thugs all, are quite willing to risk their lives to protect people without a thought of “Have they paid for this?” THAT is why no one is interested in privatizing these essential services.

    One more thing: You may think it’s a joke, but I believe our government does to some degree respect individual rights. Our government can’t protect us from terrorism by locking up people just because they fit a profile. That was tried during WWII and it didn’t work. That’s why democracies are vulnerable to terrorism. I suppose to solve this problem we could establish dictatorships, privatized, of course, maybe several, competing as to which one can best eliminate “undesirables” and “threats”. I’m sure living under one of these entities would make you happy because its “PRIVATE”.

    In any case, please read Donald Westlake’s “Anarchaos” and then get back to me. He desribes just what kind of society would result from anarcho-capitalism. You can get it on Amazon and it’s a quick read.

    Thanks for reading.

  • 32 admin // Oct 13, 2010 at 1:17 pm

    “Oh, and I suppose if we privatized our defenses, that would be much better?”

    It must be. Banks, casinos, Disney World, and condominium complexes like mine find it FAR more secure and efficient to contract out their security defenses rather than rely on the Borg for our protection…


  • 33 Bklynguy // Oct 13, 2010 at 4:10 pm

    Casinos, huh? And you have the nerve to compare govt to the Mob? How would you like to be seized in a casino after winning a jackpot and be accused of cheating the house? You think the casino security service would respect any of your rights if they couldn’t be held accountable to real police? Well, maybe the right not to have both your legs broken at the same time. You think any private security/defense service would give a damn about anything other that getting paid? You really want to depend on mercenaries for defense of home and life? What if invaders paid them more than you could? Without govt-run police/defense services that are held accountable for their actions by an independent govt judiciary, a free press and politicians sensitive to getting re-elected and subject to constituent pressure for rule by law, you would have security provided by Tony & Vito’s Protection Corp, a Family-owned business, and defense by Duke Nukem Kill-For Hire Inc. You REALLY should read Anarchaos!

  • 34 admin // Oct 13, 2010 at 8:48 pm

    Wow, stereotype much?

    Yeah, all casinos are run by the mob. Wide lapel havin’, thick tie wearin’, horse head choppin’ Italians with gabagool stains on the collars of their silk shirts.

    I’m almost hesitant to point out that I’m surrounded by Indian casinos for fear you’ll start insulting native Americans with wampum and peace pipe innuendo.

    Well, I will not have my site used as a forum for your vitriolic bigotry, sir. Please refrain from further ethnic slurs in the future.

    Except for Polish jokes.

    As to your point that private police forces would be subject to corruption, payoffs, cronyism, and favoritism, these are all problems with the current system as well:

    It would appear that:
    – I fear most people WITHIN government; and
    – You fear most people outside of it.

    …and that the solution, again, is to set things up so that each of us has the CHOICE to do business with either public or private service providers as we see fit.

    I respect your right to your option and ask only that you extend me the same freedom. I refuse to foist autonomy upon you, so why demand that I participate in collectivism?

    Like your bumper sticker says “Coexist”. And like mine says: “If you’re not part of the problem, you’re part of the solution”…


  • 35 Bklynguy // Oct 14, 2010 at 11:42 am

    I’m all in favor of choice but not for everything, like basic services such as police and fire protection. What if you choose a private police force and I choose public, or a competing private force? I do something which you think is unlawful and ask your police to intervene; I say you are the crook and demand my police force fight yours. Anarchaos! Some things are best not left to choice. I learned that in kindergarten.

    By the way, I said nothing whatsoever about Italians and casinos. Read what I said. I mentioned “Tony and Vito’s” protection company because I believe that if you privatized police forces, that is exactly what would happen.

    Corruption in public police forces exists and the remedy is public exposure, jucicial intervention and public pressure on politicians to clean up the mess. There would be no recourse if everything were privatized. Don’t say you could go to a competitor. There is no reason why all the private forces would combine, just like the 5 Mafia Families and create a syndicate. Why wouldn’t they and what could you do about it?

  • 36 Bklynguy // Oct 14, 2010 at 12:34 pm

    Polish jokes

    An English earl, German baron and Polish count are captured by French revolutionaries 1n 1789 and sentenced to death by guillotine because they are arisocrats.

    They decide to execute the earl first. He’s strapped in, face up so he can see what’s coming and he’s asked “Any last words?

    “God save the King!”

    The blade is released but inches before it gets to the earl’s neck, it screeches to a halt. The revolutionaries are confused, don’t know what to do. Finally they agree that they had only one carry out the execution and since the attempt failed, they must release the earl.

    Next they seize the baron and strap him in.

    “Any last words?’

    “Deutschland uber alles!”

    Again the blade halts inches before it would kill the baron, so he’s released.

    Next up is the Polish count. Hel’s strapped in, face up.

    “Any last words?”

    “I think I see the problem.”

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