Hat tip to commentor Martin for sharing the Rancho Santa Fe solution to overstretched fire services:
Firefighter Sam Crays was in the San Diego community of Rancho Santa Fe, where the median home price is $2.4 million, spraying retardant as a wildfire spread to nearby brush…
Crays doesn’t work for a local fire department or the California Department of Forestry. He works for American International Group Inc., the world’s largest insurer. If you’re a client with a home threatened by California’s worst wildfires in four years, you’re getting service your next-door neighbor may envy.
“What we’re trying to do here is provide our policyholders an additional level of protection,” said Stan Rivera, director of wildfire protection for AIG Private Client Group. The average home insured by the unit is valued at $1.7 million…
‘Course, that’s a 2007 story, so prices have probably changed since then.
And thanks to commentor Dennis SGMM, for sharing a public safety solution that will not be coming to Los Angeles in the immediate future, despite Fox News:
Anchors at the Fox News national morning news show “Fox and Friends” reported Tuesday that the city of Los Angeles had ordered 10,000 jetpacks for its police and fire departments. The price tag: a whopping $100,000 per unit.
For those doing the math at home, the cash-strapped city of Los Angeles, which is regularly sending its police detectives home because it can’t pay all their overtime, allegedly shelled out a billion dollars on space-age transportation that it has never used in an emergency situation, much less tested.
“We certainly haven’t bought any jetpacks,” said LAPD Chief Charlie Beck. “We haven’t bought [squad] cars for two years.”
As Gawker.com was the first to note, the “Fox and Friends” report appeared to contain material taken right out of a story from the Weekly World News tabloid, which bills itself as “The World’s Only Reliable New Source.”
Let’s make sure to keep the Senate seat in Pennsylvania in Democratic hands by supporting Joe Sestak.
Left Coast Tom
Well, Weekly World News is more reliable than Fox News.
There is nothing new under the sun. My friend the history professor shares this story:
It definitely puts the incentives in the right place. If funerals cost a million bucks, maybe we could do health care on this model.
Weekly World News is more reliable than Fox News.
And Bat Boy has a higher IQ than all the Fox and Friends douchebags combined.
I can’t wait for Brit Hume’s breaking story about the ‘WW2 Bomber on the Moon’, and how it’s Obama’s fault.
Right now Larry O’Donnell is going after Paladino. Have I ever told you guys how much I LOVE Larry O’Donnell.
Not to mention that AIG has changed since then.
Naomi Klein has aggregated some more stories about private firefighting.
Hey, maybe they needed those jetpacks to catch the elusive Bat Boy.
Dammit, Mike G.
BTW I am right now perched on the very tiniest of corners of my puter chair cause Tilly and her offspring Treacle (both black shorthair cats) are sleeping and grooming and snuggling, and I am sort of not wanting to disturb them. I think I am doomed.
@Litlebritdifrnt: Why go after Paladino? He’s going to lose. How about going after Toomey or Angle or Fiorina?
@Martin: Oh I don’t know, I think letting the “family values” voters know that their candidate forwarded horse f**king woman videos to all of his friends might be important, not to mention the “pimp” photos, and the water melon garden photos, you know cause it might just get the fucking base fired up and get their arses out there to vote. YMMV
@Litlebritdifrnt: I’d rather use our resources to work to nudge close races than educate the public about a douchebag who isn’t going to get elected anyway.
I was a little annoyed at Maddow for blowing a day chasing the O’Donnell story around. She did a nice job of it (and found a bunch of fantastic voters in DE) but she never really expanded the observation that these candidates that proclaim that they’re representing regular voters against the entrenched DC politicians won’t get out of their fucking offices and actually talk to the public. It’s not just O’Donnell but a huge number of other conservative candidates. Palin proved you can run away from voters and not get punished for it. I literally think that should be criminal conduct for someone running for public office.
First, as a California resident, who hears the Gubernator frequently on the TV and radio, I must strenuously object.
is incorrect. It should be
As for the Rancho Sante Fe story, I don’t find the idea of people buying supplemental insurance bad or immoral in itself. And as an, ahem (cough) economist, it can be an efficient solution to program design that is a good balance of equity concerns, and drift towards a two tier system due to demands by wealthier for more services (or more amenities, like private room).
Many countries with universal health care coverage have two health insurance markets. There is one basic comprehensive plan available to all, and which every insurance company must offer, with uniform benefits, and regulated premiums. Then there is separate market for less regulated supplemental insurance for additional care, or more usually, nicer amenities that is optional. People must have the basic plan and can purchase a supplemental policy if they want one and can afford it.
Does that seem immoral and outrageous to people here?
What is the difference? I think the difference is that in rich countries most diseases are noncommunicable, and therefore people have independent risks. What is it to you if I have a supplemental health insurance policy, so I can cover the cost of a private rather than a semi private room, and perhaps be able to take a (supposedly) fancier and better brand name drug right away rather than have to try a generic drug first for my condition?
If the supplemental insurance covers the total cost of the extra care, how does some one having it affect some one who has only the basic plan?
I am assuming that having a supplemental plan does not allow someone to jump to the head of a waiting list for elective surgery (and the ones that I know about do not allow that), etc. But even if a supplemental policy allowed that, the Rancho Santa Fe situation seems far worse.
I think I find the supplemental fire insurance troubling because if there is a large fire, especially a brush fire or industrial accident, risks are not independent. Withholding fire services for some houses could endanger the whole community. These private fire fighters zoom around and only protect houses solely on the basis of which one paid the premium, regardless of what is happening to the whole neighborhood, and how the private firm’s allocation of fire fighting effort effects the whole effort. That seems very wrong to me.
What if a widespread fire gets totally out of control and a whole neighborhood is threatened, maybe lives of those who are not enrolless are threatened, or other fire fighters are threatened? What are the private fire fighter’s obligation to provide assistance?
Sounds immoral, and a big mess waiting to happen, to me.
Lolwut. I seem to remember that she did get punished.
Reds and Phillies tomorrow for game one on NL playoffs.
I’m not sure why the Republicans believe they can address this by becoming stupider and angrier, but you can bet that’s what they’re going to try.
…I say this about everything.
@Garrigus Carraig: By SNL and The Daily Show, sure. None of the serious media called her out on it. McCain should have been forced to drop her from the ticket based on her unwillingness to engage with the public.
Palin proved you can run away from voters and not get punished for it? I seem to recall her losing the election. Horribly. I recall her dragging McCain down’s already losing numbers down, and her approval rating being around 20%.
I also recall her making a lot of money off the whole thing, so maybe that’s what you mean. But I’m not sure these people are as lucky.
And thank you Anne Laurie for recognizing the minions here on BJ with regular shout outs.
If it sounds like this story is straight from the Weekly Word News, that is because it is!
Faux News… Bat Boy’s news source!
” As Gawker.com was the first to note, the “Fox and Friends” report appeared to contain material taken right out of a story from the Weekly World News tabloid ”
Well then, why isn’t Fox and Friends reporting on which space alien is advising Obama? One of the reasons why Bush Jr.’s administration went down the tubes was that his space alien adviser was a fool from a loser civilization. Jeebus, they used diesel spaceships, how lame is that?
I read that in Weekly World News, but can’t find the link right now. Sorry.
I don’t know about y’all, but this bigoted shitstain of a man has been bumming out for the past couple of days.
I have pix and a pet story to submit… how do I do that?
Anne Laurie, thank you for the shout out. Made my day.
Mike in NC
Assumes McPOW to be a rational, honest, and honorable character, which he ain’t.
How wasted does one have to be to think the LAPD would buy 10,000 jetpacks? I have been blasted to the point of crawling and I would still have been sober enough to say “Bullshit” to that one.
That is not what FoxNooz people are there to do.
They are there to repeat without question what they’re handed to believe. It doesn’t matter what it is.
In fact, the norm would be to keep reporting on this story as an example of wasteful gubmit spendin’. And denounce the deniers as gubmit coddlers.
@jl: “I think I find the supplemental fire insurance troubling because if there is a large fire, especially a brush fire or industrial accident, risks are not independent.”
What it really is, is the insurance company protecting their own investment and getting the customer to pay for it. It’s like a company insuring a touring King Tut exhibit, and sending their own security staff to supplement the museum security people and the local police.
In the case of Rancho Santa Fe, I can see the benefit of having someone there on patrol, who might spot a brush fire in the vicinity while the residents are at work or otherwise away from home. Spotting that as early as possible is going to help everyone in the vicinity, assuming they notify the public fire department too. (Which would make sense, because it would reduce the insurer’s investment in equipment.)
Ding, ding ding! We have our new Howard Kurtz. and:
@suzanne: Wow, that picture has “White Citizens’ Council” written all over it!
FTFY, The LDS Church may say nice things to your face but get them to themselves and they’d make a Klansman blush.
@apikoros: I know, right?! Inevitably, when I point out how uniformly white, male, and wealthy the leadership is, my LDS friends respond with “But the Church is very diverse! You can have your Temple ceremony conducted in Tagalog!” or something.
@Yutsano: Some of them are cool. I have a found a few that I enjoy and am proud to call friends. But the cognitive dissonance is strong with them!
@apikoros: Click on my email (AnneLaurie at verizon.net) near the top of the right-hand column. Always glad to get more pet pics / stories!
I’m with you, Martin. O’Donnell and Paladino are not going to win and they never were. I am screaming into the wind here in PA about the craziness that is Pat Toomey (who, I fear, is a distant cousin of mine). And no one is covering this. No one. Sestak is a great candidate and a true liberal who has a terrific bio. But I don’t see any of the great progressive media figures going after his opponent, a stupid greedhead hack fully bought and paid for by corporate America and the Christian right.
And for those who say Palin is not a good example of someone who has not paid the price for her dishonest and cowardly campaigning “style,” I say that we have not seen the end of this movie. She’s a true contender for 2012 and if the stupid on display this year is any indication, we may well be seeing her make an entrance to the strains of “Hail To The Chief” regardless of the contempt we all feel for her here.
I truly fear for this country, more and more every day.
@Yutsano: The Mormons like the fucking Yankees? Fuck them.
Oh. I see what you did there. Never mind. Fuck the fucking yankees anyway.
As for the LDS, I think there are still are fair number out there who never really bought that change they came up with back in the 70’s saying that black people might have souls after all. Not all of them mind you, but I think a lot of them might have had trouble switching a lifetime of beliefs because the church decided it was politically expedient.
@Anne Laurie: Thank you! Will do!
The first comment on Gawker speaks so much truth:
@suzanne: To paraphrase Henry Ford, you can have your religion in any color you want, as long as it’s white. I’ve been in Utah and I am no fan of the LDS. Their theology rivals the Adventists for silliness and at least the Adventists ditched the institutional racism.
@apikoros: I don’t give a rat fart about their theology. It’s not my thing, but I figure it’s pointless to get in a debate about anything which, by its very nature, can’t be proven.
But the homophobia/sexism/racism is another fuckin’ story altogether. The fact that that complete douchebag said those horrible and untrue things about gays a week after a rash of suicides by gay teens who were persecuted in their communities makes me almost physically ill.
I have heard that, back as recently as the 70s, the LDS Church would tell teenagers struggling with their sexuality and their parents that suicide was preferable to acting on their desires. I have no proof of this, but I’ve heard it often enough that I wouldn’t be surprised if it was true. As Utah is in the top five states nationwide for teen suicide, it’s obvious that a lot of kids are getting that message, whether or not it was stated in those direct terms.
@suzanne: This is entirely possible. The Church is very good at presenting a calm and peaceful exterior while hiding their true nefarious intentions underneath. Remember they pretty much only ditched polygamy as the price for Utah becoming a state.
Having lived through both of the most recent fires in San Diego, and with the mention of insurance companies providing additional protection, it should be pointed out that city, county and state fire departments fought those fires on a basis of going where the fire was with absolutely no regard to property values or neighborhood considerations. There has never been the slightest hint that any agency gave undue priority to high value properties or neighborhoods, or that they neglected in the slightest manner any low value properties or neighborhoods, and no media has ever made any such allegations.
It should also be mentioned that all agencies pooled their resources and fought the fires without regards to city or county boundaries under a unified command structure, which significantly reduced property loss.
Well, the ultimate commentary on this whole travesty is from the 80s. Fry and Laurie’s Privatization of the Police Force
Could you say more about what you find goofy about Seventh Day Adventist theology?
The ones I’ve met seem pretty reasonable. As an atheist I’ve never understood why the Christians moved the sabbath anyhow, and the Adventist focus on a healthy, vegetarian diet as part of a body-is-a-temple thing made sense.
Of course, I haven’t discussed things deeply with them, so maybe I’m missing the odder bits. Other than having the whole thing rooted in the Great Disappointment, I guess, but I didn’t notice any practical implication to that.
@Left Coast Tom:
WWN is “reliable” in much the same way that Fox News is “fair,” so it would be an easy mistake for them to make.
@Arclite: My cable line up is such that Fox News is next to AMC. In the morning, the only change I notice in the stations is the shift from color to black and white…
@Arclite: Sorry – what I meant to say was that in the morning AMC runs “The Three Stooges” v. Fox and Friends – the only change is from color to black and white
California is, as usual, A Special Case. Insurance companies there have to offer to physically protect your home from fire because otherwise, people there simply won’t buy fire insurance.