The high cost of low taxes.

I'm kinda sad no one reads this blog anymore, because I actually have something important to say for once.

Last night, I went to volunteer my writing skills to an organization that conducts search and rescue missions. I thought it was a group that only responded to extreme events that required more than the paid professionals could handle -- floods, tornadoes, hurricanes and such. And I was right -- they do that stuff.

But more alarming to me was the fact they provided services that Chicago area fire and police departments provide as part of the basic service to their communities.

It turns out that 90 percent of all Texas fire departments are volunteer -- and unregulated. Many don't offer ambulance/emergency medical service at all. Some adhere to professional standards, some are more like social clubs.

There is no state income tax in Texas. Property owners can CHOOSE whether or not to provide information about their property values. You read that correctly: complying with a state or city request about what you paid for your house is VOLUNTARY. When it comes to assessing home values, they basically wing it.

I am very concerned because Texas is in the midst of a bad drought. Granted, as the gentleman pointed out last evening, that has resulted in a greatly reduced demand for their water rescue team. But, fire...

I'm just wondering how all that conservative swagger will play out during an emergency for which they seem totally unprepared, but for the dedication and personal sacrifice of people like those at the organization I talked to last night.

They are completely reliant on volunteers, some of whom show up in flip-flops to scour the wilds of Texas hill country. According to the guy last night, "Everything out there wants to prick you, stick you, or bite you." What a perfect metaphor for the state of things -- leaving yourself exposed to danger.

Unregulated, unfunded and unprepared for an emergency. Is this what "conservatives" think is sound planning for the future? Because this is as embarrassingly stupid as "love-ins" seem now.
Name: Übermilf
Location: Chicago Area

If being easily irritated, impatient and rebellious is sexy, then call me MILF -- Übermilf.

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