OK, what do you guys think about the firefighters letting this guy's house burn down?

I've been reading all kinds of outrage on the internet over this story. A brief summation: Guy lives in a county where they have no fire service. A nearby municipality offers fire protection to individuals who live outside of their jurisdiction, for a $75 annual fee. This guy didn't pay it, and when his house caught fire, the fire department came to ensure the fire didn't spread outside the property line, but didn't attempt to put it out.

I've seen a lot of people say that the firefighters should have put the fire out anyway, and I've seen a lot of people say maybe they didn't have an obligation to, but it shows that this type of system is fucked up and shouldn't be allowed.

I personally don't agree with either stance. I think the firefighters were in the right. It's a shame that the guy's house burned down, but it wasn't their fault. Given the system that exists it's the only logical thing to do. If they allow free riders, the whole system risks collapsing.

As far as the system existing, well, I probably wouldn't buy property in a county with no fire protection, but I acknowledge that it's a person's right to do so, if they choose. This guy chose to buy his house there, and he chose not to pay the fee. It's his risk, he took the gamble and he lost. It sucks, but it's a natural consequence that he was aware of when he made his choice. I think an adult who owns property is capable of making that choice and living with those consequences.

What do y'all think?

Romance novel plot generator

I've been playing with this for a while, but it finally got expanded into something more than just some randomly generated text. Behold, the romance novel plot generator.

It does standard straight romance:

The girl's name is Elizabeth and she is young-looking and focused. She enjoys reading. Her occupation is secretary and overall she is scary smart.

Her hair is streaked with reddish highlights and very long and straight. She is 5'7" and has an athletic body with firm breasts. She wears feminine business suits.

She meets Nicholas in a Secret Compound. He is an accountant, unhealthy and private, and he enjoys dancing. He appears to be big-hearted.

His hair is blond and windblown. He is very tall and is built like a body builder. He wears off-the wall, unique clothes that make him stand out in a crowd.

The obstacle to their romance that they must overcome is money disparity. When a robbery happens it brings them to the realization that they can overcome the obstacle.

It does gay and lesbian romance:

Pew Religion Quiz

http://features.pewforum.org/quiz/us...ous-knowledge/

I scored 15/15, but took two lucky guesses. Call it 13.

Teresa Lewis executed - Right or Wrong?


41-year-old Teresa Lewis pleaded guilty and was convicted of getting two men to kill her husband and stepson to cash in on their life insurance policy. The two hitman have both been jailed for life, but were not sentenced to death.

The main question lies over whether she was mentally fit to stand trial?

Campaigners have said that as she had an IQ of 72, she had diminished mental capability, but she was passed capable enough to stand trial.

The details of the trial are messy. She hired two men to carry out the killings and started an affair with one of them, with defendants are saying that she was manipulated by one of them into carrying out these actions.

More details here

So, what do you think, should she have been put to death or reprieved?

What about the two killers, should they also have received death sentences, or just the life imprisonment?

Rising concerns about food security

Why is 'food security' sparking unrest?

"The most urgent issue confronting humanity in the next 50 years is not climate change or the financial crisis, it is whether we can achieve and sustain such a harvest," said Julian Cribb, scientist and author of "The Coming Famine."

...

"First, we need to recognize that investment in agriculture is defense spending," Cribb said Thursday. "If we want to prevent wars and refugees and a food crises, then we need to renew global investment in agriculture and agriculture science. Agriculture has been a low priority for the last quarter century."

Your thoughts?

Personally, I think Cribb is being a bit disingenuous. Certainly, famines are a huge problem and concern, especially for developing nations, but they don't exist in a vacuum. It's not just about investing in agriculture. There are massive amounts of food going to waste in developed nations, after all. It's far more about politics, money and food distribution than anything else.

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