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Published on October 5, 2010 By terpfan1980 In Current Events

A couple of news items found via USAToday.com that got notice from me...

First up, the story about the Tennessee firefighters that watched a man's home burn to the ground because the man hadn't paid the town the $75.00 fee that is required (by the town) to get service from the firefighters.  What kind of screwed up world are we living in where someone's home is allowed to burn completely because some additional fee hasn't been paid.  According to the story, the guy even offered to pay whatever fee was required when he called 911, but of course at that point it was too late as the 911 operator wasn't equipped to take the fee and the fire department couldn't attempt to collect the fee after the fact.

I have a little personal experience with this sort of fee, though in my area it's higher than $75.00, and the fee that I'd be referring to is an ambulance fee.  When my wife was killed in a car wreck it was after the county we lived in had instituted a $500 fee that is billable to the (medical) insurance company that is responsible for the individual.  I got a notice that was labelled as "NOT A BILL" that demanded that I provide information on who my insurer is so that they could be sent the bill for $500 for ambulance transport fee.  I actually got multiple notices, with the last one having come about a month ago (though after the second notice I called, confirmed that the service group that collects the information had the right information and was told things were good and the notices should cease...)  Another county in the state is trying desperately to get the same fee but is now fighting to keep it as voters have put a referendum on the ballot to remove the fee.  Ironically enough, in the area that is fighting over the fee many of the firefighters are professional and/or paid, while in my area virtually all of the fire and rescue personnel are volunteers (and not paid in any way).  Of course the county in my area "donates" heavily and/or subsidizes the fire department's purchases of equipment and other costs.

Personally the idea that someone could be extorted for money for fire/rescue service and/or denied service because they haven't paid these fees is repugnant to me.  That someone's home would be allowed to burn to the ground is just wrong, or that someone might be denied service when needed because they haven't paid the fees also seems wrong.  Thankfully, in my area residents won't be denied service regardless of the fee, but those residents (like me) may see multiple notices as the county's designated agents try to collect the fee for the county.

The other news item that I find interesting is the one about some Judges that may be facing the loss of their jobs over some decisions that they handed down.  While I don't necessarily want Judges bending to the will of an angry electorate, I also somewhat loathe the idea that Judges can sit in office forever and never truly be held accountable for any decisions they make.  I've said before I like the idea of term limits, if implemented in a sensible way, as I don't think anyone should ever become a permanent fixture in any political office -- that would include Judges.  Serving a reasonable period of time in any one office in a "move up or move out" type fashion would be a good thing as it should lead to better service and a better job by elected representatives, including Judges.

In this particular case (of the linked news item), the Judges are looking at potentially losing their jobs because of Gay marriage decisions and/or Abortion related decisions.  Hot button issues for sure, but issues where the electorate has tried to be involved only to have activist judges start making law from the bench or to have judges throw away laws because they believe the laws are unconstitutional.

Eventually the laws that are being argued over will be argued about in front of the U.S. Supreme court and decisions will be made that establish the law for several years to come.  It's hard to say for sure what the U.S. Supremes will decide (I can make an educated guess, but until the decisions come down, it's really impossible to know for sure what will happen), but as things stand right now the polarized electorate isn't too thrilled with judicial system.


Comments (Page 1)
on Oct 05, 2010

On the first item, I would be looking to move immediately!  I have enough problems with companies and their billings as it is (even a 1% error rate is too high).  The last thing I need is for the government my taxes go to pay being as inept.  They cannot keep up with their billing as it is.

On the second, if judges ruled on the LAW and did not make law, I would basically suck it up on bad decisions (they are human after all).  But when they defy the will of the people by making laws (Court in California and Arizona), then they need some accountability period!  California amended their Constitution!  The highest law of the land, and the clown decided that was still not enough.  There is no law he could have used to over turn that.  Nor the federal judge in Az.  These guys need to be at least subject to a recall.

on Oct 05, 2010

On the fire department - I bet lots of people paid up after that fire!

 

I though the highest law in the land was the federal constitution not the state?

on Oct 05, 2010

I though the highest law in the land was the federal constitution not the state?

Only for matters of national defense and interstate commerce.  The constitution spells out what the feds can do, and it is not much.  And on the subject of marriage, that is intrastate, not interstate (and the reason there are so many problems today with the different laws).

on Oct 06, 2010

The national constitution is the highest law of the law - as per article six of the constitution

This Constitution, and the Laws of the United States which shall be made in Pursuance thereof; and all Treaties made, or which shall be made, under the Authority of the United States, shall be the supreme Law of the Land; and the Judges in every State shall be bound thereby, any Thing in the Constitution or Laws of any State to the Contrary notwithstanding

There is no statement regarding anything about national defense or interstate commerce in there and the vast majority of the early amendments were to do with the rights of the people - nothing to do with interstate commerce or anything affecting it (eg trial by jury etc).  Showing that the constitution was meant to be from the out set also giving the citizens of your country rights, under which the CA judges made their ruling.  Just as if CA had decided to ban the right for trial by jury.

on Oct 06, 2010

The national constitution is the highest law of the law - as per article six of the constitution

Yes, let us forget the 10th amendment, shall we?

The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.

Now show me in the constitution where the judge has the authority to usurp the 10th amendment.

on Oct 06, 2010

Where does the 10th prevent the consitution being the supreme law of the land? You quite clearly said that the national consitution isn't the supreme law of the land which appears not to the match the document that lays out the rules of the USA

The 10th does nothing bar say what it can make law on - where does the 10th say that the constitution is not the supreme law of the land on whatever it makes laws on?

And the ruling was based on the obligation placed on each and every state under the 14th. 

on Oct 06, 2010

The mayor is a Republican. Typical heartless, soulless Republican.

on Oct 06, 2010

Where does the 10th prevent the consitution being the supreme law of the land?

it is the supreme law of the land (satisfied?) where it has jurisdiction.  However the 10th - which is a part of that supreme law is it not? - clearly states it is not the answer to ALL LAWS of the land.  And in cases where SCOTUS has already rules are a STATES right, their constitution is the supreme law of THAT LAND.   And that is the situation I was commenting on.  A judge cannot usurp the highest legal document when making a ruling, yet taking a cue from Buzzy Ginsberg (who has decided that any other countries laws are better than the Constitution), this judge did.

And the ruling was based on the obligation placed on each and every state under the 14th.

And was clearly stupid since the ruling (or the refusal of SCOTUS to hear a case involving the issue) is that Marriage is a STATES issue, and not a federal one.  That is why Massachusetts can have gay marriages and Maine does not.  The judge made up a law.  Period.

Edit: And if you check on the court rulings on the issue where the courts have ordered gay marriage - you will note that in all cases, those courts said the law violated the STATES constitution, not the federal one.

on Oct 06, 2010

Then it will be turned over on appeal and you can calm down.

 

But I bet that if the prop was that white/black/jewish people can't marry it would be against the national constitution. 

on Oct 06, 2010

Infidel
The mayor is a Republican. Typical heartless, soulless Republican.

Ah, finially here come the hard facts.

on Oct 06, 2010

Basmas
Then it will be turned over on appeal and you can calm down.

 

But I bet that if the prop was that white/black/jewish people can't marry it would be against the national constitution. 

But then you are denying them equal rights.  There is no law in this land that says that gays cannot get married.  That would be unconstitutional.  I defy anyone to definitely state otherwise.

As for the appeal, the judge has already been smacked down by the 9th circus no less!  But the technicalities are the sticking point.  There is a point of law called injured parties.  And if the court does not think you are part of that, there is nothing you can do, regardless.  over 60% of the people of California said they wanted their constitution to be that way.  but 2 of the people that did not are the only ones supposedly that can file an appeal (according to bozo the judge).

on Oct 06, 2010

Nitro Cruiser

Quoting Infidel, reply 7The mayor is a Republican. Typical heartless, soulless Republican.

Ah, finially here come the hard facts.

Must be MF's little toady.  Sounds like MF, walks like MF and has the same racist attitudes.

on Oct 06, 2010

From what I have read it is going again to the 9th in December again.

If you re-phrase the issue to 'people have the right to marry consenting adults they are in sexual love with' then gays don't have the same rights and the difference in ways of approaching is the nub of the issue isn't it?

on Oct 07, 2010

I can't imagine watching someone's house burn without trying to help, and I'm not a firefighter.

If a neighbor's house caught fire, I'd be out there with a hose, a bucket, anything to help them.  Even the one who never mows their grass, mooches garbage pick-up, and are all around not GOOD neighbors.

I understand compensation.  They could have went out and taken care of the fire, then billed the family, even put a "late" fee on it....just to let it burn though?

Wrong.

on Oct 07, 2010

to marry consenting adults they are in sexual love with'

That one gave me a chuckle, just because of how you phrased it.

So you are advocating special rights for a minority? Not saying that it's wrong or right. Seems everyone wants to be special, above others, and they damn well better get a law saying so. IMO the Constitution is for everyone, its intent was not to create a special class of protected people. The laws must fit a wide range of people, so do we convolute it with thousands of special provisions for everyone with "special needs"? That power is given to the states. A man wants to marry another man, move to Vermont or place your one vote just like everyone else.

As a side note: IMO the only thing that gays are missing out on over "breeders" (their term) is hospital visitation (that and special restrooms). Insurance provides for same sex partners. Nothing is barring them from co-habituating. A will can determine property disbursal. They are missing the "marriage penalty" at tax time, but they are welcome to write the IRS a check for the difference if they are feeling left out. When the peoples of Europe, and other places felt persecuted they left and here (not to Canada, who has even offered payment to immigrants in the past). Something tells me things are not nearly bad enough here, that they feel persecuted enough to move to one of the more progressive places on earth. That should say something.

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