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Wednesday October 6, 2010

Firefighters Allow House To Burn Down After Resident Fails To Pay Fire Service Fee

Gene Cranick of Obion County, Tenn., watched his house go up in flames — so did the firefighters who showed up. Cranick had failed to pay a $75 annual fee that residents outside the city must pay in order to receive services from the fire department. Cranick’s house burned down and several pets died.  Firefighters did save the house next door because those people had paid the fee. Is this right? Jonathan Cohn is senior editor for The New Republic and is author of the Citizen Cohn blog.

Candidates Hit Airwaves With Controversial Ads

Randy Moss fake-moons a crowd. Rep. Feingold used unauthorized footage of the incident in a campaign ad. We're using it authorized. (AP)

Randy Moss fake-moons a crowd. Rep. Feingold used unauthorized footage of the incident in a campaign ad. Don't worry, here it's authorized. (AP)

With less than a month before the midterm elections, candidates across the country are pulling out all the stops in tight races. In Florida, Democratic Congressman Alan Grayson called Republicans “Neanderthals,” and his recent ad labels his Republican opponent, Daniel Webster, as “Taliban Dan,” because of his conservative Christian views on marriage and abortion. We also check in on the Wisconsin Senate race where incumbent Democrat Russ Feingold is in the fight of his political life against Republican challenger Ron Johnson. Feingold is also being flagged by the NFL for using unauthorized clips of Randy Moss in the end zone as part of a campaign ad. Our guests are Adam Smith of the St. Petersberg Times and J.R. Ross of Wispolitics.com.

The Race To The World Series Starts Today

Tampa Bay Rays' Kelly Shoppach, right, and Matt Garza celebrate with fans after the Rays clinched a playoff berth. (AP)

Tampa Bay Rays' Kelly Shoppach, right, and Matt Garza celebrate with fans after the Rays clinched a playoff berth. (AP)

Major League Baseball’s second season gets underway today — the playoffs, the one that counts! Eight clubs are vying for a ticket to the world series two weeks from now. In the American League, it’s the New York Yankees, the Minnesota Twins, the Tampa Bay Rays, and the Texas Rangers. In the National League, the Philadelphia Phillies, Cincinnati Reds, San Francisco Giants and Atlanta Braves hope to make it to the Fall Classic. Ted Keith, baseball editor for Sports Illustrated, joins us to talk about their chances.

Adoptive Mom Finds Herself Stuck In Nepal

A handful of Americans are stuck in limbo in Nepal, trying to bring home the children they’ve adopted. But the U.S. government changed its policy this past summer, banning adoptions from Nepal because of concerns about child trafficking. One Chicago woman, Candice Warltier, has been stuck in Kathmandu for two months with Antara, the daughter that Nepal has given her permission to adopt.

National Book Award Winning Author Explores The Chinese Immigrant Experience

We revisit our conversation with National Book Award winning author Ha Jin. In his latest collection of stories, “A Good Fall,” he explores the lives of immigrants from China in Flushing New York, who struggle to make their way in a new country while still dealing with their ties to their homeland. “A Good Fall” comes out in paperback later this month.

Music From The Show

  • Peter Dixon, “Nagog Woods”
  • The Wee Trio, “About a Girl”
  • Paul Simon, “50 Ways To Leave Your Lover”
  • Ashley MacIsaac, “Sleepy Maggie”
  • Herbie Hancock, “Watermelon Man”
  • Itzhak Perlman, Kodo & Tan Dun “Yearning For Peace”
  • Cathy in Pennsylvania

    Robin- Regarding veterans’ depression, PTSD, TBI, etc., care: how can real and meaningful treatment of our soldiers’ mental health needs be addressed if veterans seeking help must wait 6 to 12 weeks between appointments? The only exception is for veterans assessed as immediate suicide risk. This is what is happening to veterans in(at least part of) Pennsylvania. If this is the model of treatment, we are just pretending to provide care.

  • Shannon Brewster

    We lived in Knox County, Tennessee and had the same sort of fee structure. Should you opt not (or fail or forget) to pay the annual fee (and ours was around $200/year in the mid-90s), the fire department would come and provide the necessary services (fire, EMT, etc.), but you the homeowner would be responsible for the full cost associated with the services. Those fees began at around several thousand dollars and could escalate quite rapidly. We were sure to always pay the annual assessment just as we always stayed current with our homeowners, auto and health insurance.

  • http://cyberfumes.blogspot.com Dave Eger

    Firemen watching ahouse burn! What is this, Fahrenheit 451!? Who cares about preserving history when we have shiny new flame throwers!

    Robin, it would make waaayyy too much sense to just charge an increased rate for people who missed making a payment. When has that ever worked? It makes much more sense to let all of someones belongings and living creatures burn. If you always do the right thing, how are you supposed to teach anyone a lesson?

    As far as the percieved conflict between promoters of liberty and promoters of society, I think Bakunin mediated the situation best:

    “Freedom without socialism is privilege and injustice; socialism without freedom is slavery and brutality”

    “Freedom, morality, and the human dignity of the individual consists precisely in this; that he does good not because he is forced to do so, but because he freely conceives it, wants it, and loves it.”

  • Carol Siler

    This is a comment for the story on Gene Cranick in Obion, TN whose house burned while firefighters watched because he hadn’t paid the fee.

    I am disgusted at how this topic has been coldly debated as if it is simply about paying fees for services. What has this world come to? I can’t believe how trained firefighters could stand around and watch a home burn knowing that defenseless animals were trapped inside? Were they sure that no human was inside? How unfeeling and uncaring are we as a society to think that this man “got what he deserved” for not paying a $75 fee? $75 really??? You would let someone lose everything over $75???? My GOD PEOPLE! This is a man’s home, his entire life went up in flames, have some mercy! Send him a bill after the fact that includes the fee plus a fine but don’t deny him services. On another radio show, the anchor commented that it was a double wide mobile home and the co-anchor said “Oh” as if this type of dwelling wasn’t worth saving. Sad, sad, sad. I hope the man sues and a court awards him a huge settlement minus a friggin’ $75.

  • Lary

    Please let me confirm that illegal adoption is rampant in Vietnam. Close friends adopted 3 years ago. This sweet girl had a mother and was sold by her aunt into the adoption trade and acted out violently (with good reason in retrospect). Fortunately she has since been returned to her family in Vietnam after almost 2 years spent bouncing around here in the U.S. This couple traveled to Boston this past spring to testify. It’s an ugly and sad story and needs more attention.

  • Piltdown Frog

    J.R. Ross from his interview about Russ Feingold: “….Russ how does this jive with the reputation you have….”

    Hey J.R. that’s “jibe” not “jive”!!

  • Ron

    I can not believe that any self respecting firefighter could stand by and let a home burn done over $75.00. The man made an honest mistake, and he and the neighbor both offered to pay the fee. what if a human had died in that fire?


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Robin Young and Jeremy Hobson host Here & Now, a live two-hour production of NPR and WBUR Boston.

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