California is on fire

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lpm
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California is on fire

Post by lpm » Wed Aug 19, 2020 10:11 pm

And not enough firefighters to fight it.

Why? Because they use prison labour as firefighters. And the prisoners are ill or locked down due to Covid outbreaks.
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Re: California is on fire

Post by secret squirrel » Thu Aug 20, 2020 5:24 am

People who use slave labour to fight their fires deserve to burn.

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Re: California is on fire

Post by Bird on a Fire » Thu Aug 20, 2020 12:56 pm

secret squirrel wrote:
Thu Aug 20, 2020 5:24 am
People who use slave labour to fight their fires deserve to burn.
This.
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Re: California is on fire

Post by bjn » Thu Aug 20, 2020 1:19 pm

Bird on a Fire wrote:
Thu Aug 20, 2020 12:56 pm
secret squirrel wrote:
Thu Aug 20, 2020 5:24 am
People who use slave labour to fight their fires deserve to burn.
This.
f.ck off. Just because you live in a place with harsh and unfair laws does not mean you should suffer. I have a very good friend who lives in wilds of California, he and his wife had to evacuate during the last round of fires, but are fortunately safe at the moment. They don't deserve to burn. He's against right wing b.llsh.t and even if he was for it, they would still not deserve to burn.

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Re: California is on fire

Post by lpm » Thu Aug 20, 2020 1:50 pm

Obvs, nobody really wants them to burn to death, but they have benefited for years of cheap firefighting taxes. If you want a fire fighting service, you have to pay taxes for it, and if you cut corners there's a higher risk your home will burn down.

Pay a reduced rate because slaves make it cheaper, and it's as immoral as buying cheap clothes you know are made by children in Bangladesh.
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Re: California is on fire

Post by Bird on a Fire » Thu Aug 20, 2020 3:00 pm

"States" would probably have been a better word than "people", I suppose - there will be some people in California who oppose slavery but are outvoted by the pro-slavery majority.

I actually genuinely don't mind if people who think it's ok to force slaves to fight fires end up dying in a fire due to their own callousness and inhumanity, but I'm happy to accept that bjn's friend isn't amongst them.

Obviously it's also terrible that huge areas of forest are burning, regardless of who lives in them. Carbon stocks and biodiversity don't get to make the relevant decisions.

Some countries do have volunteer fire services that do a decent job (Portugal is one - most local fire services are volunteers, bolstered by some state-funded services). But using slaves is abhorrent, as is letting prisoners get infected. When those prisoners are also your slaves it also shows poor forward planning.
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Re: California is on fire

Post by bjn » Thu Aug 20, 2020 4:11 pm

I'm not arguing it is a good thing, it is not.

Volunteer firefighting is strong in Australia, generally only urban fire fighting uses full time employee fire fighters. It's kind of the done thing to be a volunteer in the rural fire service if out in the bush. Strange how a culture descended from penal colonies and indentured labour adopted that model, while the US went another route.

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Re: California is on fire

Post by dyqik » Thu Aug 20, 2020 4:51 pm

lpm wrote:
Thu Aug 20, 2020 1:50 pm
Obvs, nobody really wants them to burn to death, but they have benefited for years of cheap firefighting taxes. If you want a fire fighting service, you have to pay taxes for it, and if you cut corners there's a higher risk your home will burn down.
Although it's probably cheaper to not jail nearly as many people and to pay for a proper fire service than it is to fund the current system. Plus some of those people not in jail will get jobs and pay taxes.

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Re: California is on fire

Post by monkey » Thu Aug 20, 2020 4:54 pm

bjn wrote:
Thu Aug 20, 2020 4:11 pm
I'm not arguing it is a good thing, it is not.

Volunteer firefighting is strong in Australia, generally only urban fire fighting uses full time employee fire fighters. It's kind of the done thing to be a volunteer in the rural fire service if out in the bush. Strange how a culture descended from penal colonies and indentured labour adopted that model, while the US went another route.
There are many volunteer fire departments in the US. The use of prisoners is in addition to that.

Edit: just looked up California, they seem to have professional departments with volunteers in reserve, mostly.

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Re: California is on fire

Post by Bird on a Fire » Thu Aug 20, 2020 5:12 pm

bjn wrote:
Thu Aug 20, 2020 4:11 pm
I'm not arguing it is a good thing, it is not.

Volunteer firefighting is strong in Australia, generally only urban fire fighting uses full time employee fire fighters. It's kind of the done thing to be a volunteer in the rural fire service if out in the bush. Strange how a culture descended from penal colonies and indentured labour adopted that model, while the US went another route.
I mean, US culture is partly descended from slave ownership, and whitewashes and glamorises slave owners, so maybe it's not that odd. Slavery still isn't fully outlawed so it's not surprising to see corporations profiting from it.
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Re: California is on fire

Post by bolo » Thu Aug 20, 2020 7:15 pm

Aiui from a quick Google, the prisoner firefighters in California
(a) are all volunteers,
(b) do get paid, although not very much, and
(c) get the same training that entry-level professional firefighters get, which ought to give them a job qualification for when they get out.

Unfortunately some licensing restrictions make (c) less useful than it should be, but describing this as slavery is still an overbid.

Obviously prison reforms and sentencing reforms are badly needed, and adequately funding professional firefighters would be a good thing, and the licensing restrictions that make it hard for ex-con firefighters to get professional firefighter jobs after they get out really ought to be changed.

Last but not least, as someone with a lot of friends in California, several of whom have been evacuated in various past wildfires, I second bjn's "f.ck off" to the "deserve to burn" comment.

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Re: California is on fire

Post by bjn » Thu Aug 20, 2020 8:03 pm

bolo wrote:
Thu Aug 20, 2020 7:15 pm
Aiui from a quick Google, the prisoner firefighters in California
(a) are all volunteers,
(b) do get paid, although not very much, and
(c) get the same training that entry-level professional firefighters get, which ought to give them a job qualification for when they get out.

Unfortunately some licensing restrictions make (c) less useful than it should be, but describing this as slavery is still an overbid.

Obviously prison reforms and sentencing reforms are badly needed, and adequately funding professional firefighters would be a good thing, and the licensing restrictions that make it hard for ex-con firefighters to get professional firefighter jobs after they get out really ought to be changed.

Last but not least, as someone with a lot of friends in California, several of whom have been evacuated in various past wildfires, I second bjn's "f.ck off" to the "deserve to burn" comment.
Thanks for adding some background Bolo. So not slavery by a long shot, but could be better.

That said, the 13th amendment says...
Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction.
Post civil war it was used to effectively reenslave many black Americans for pseudo crimes such as vagrancy or being unemployed. The situation in California doesn’t resemble that.

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Re: California is on fire

Post by monkey » Thu Aug 20, 2020 8:33 pm

bolo wrote:
Thu Aug 20, 2020 7:15 pm
Aiui from a quick Google, the prisoner firefighters in California
(a) are all volunteers,
(b) do get paid, although not very much, and
(c) get the same training that entry-level professional firefighters get, which ought to give them a job qualification for when they get out.

Unfortunately some licensing restrictions make (c) less useful than it should be, but describing this as slavery is still an overbid.

Obviously prison reforms and sentencing reforms are badly needed, and adequately funding professional firefighters would be a good thing, and the licensing restrictions that make it hard for ex-con firefighters to get professional firefighter jobs after they get out really ought to be changed.

Last but not least, as someone with a lot of friends in California, several of whom have been evacuated in various past wildfires, I second bjn's "f.ck off" to the "deserve to burn" comment.
I've just been reading about the licencing. In California at least, the trouble starts when they try to get an EMT licence, which virtually no one who has been convicted of a felony can get.

I don't mind Firepeople also being paramedics, often they will be able to get to a situation before an ambulance can*, but I'm not sure you need every single firefighter to be that qualified. I think it would be pretty easy to say "you need x EMT qualified firefighters on every shift/engine" with x being large enough that the first aid part of the service is still effective.

Licencing restrictions like this are a US wide problem, and provide a barrier for more people than just ex-cons in a ridiculous number of professions.


*my local fire station has two engines and an ambulance, so often they will get there at the same time.

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Re: California is on fire

Post by Bird on a Fire » Thu Aug 20, 2020 11:08 pm

This wasn't the right thread for provocative political statements, on balance. Sorry. I do genuinely hope that everyone's friends and family are ok, and sorry for being a nob during what must be a very stressful time.
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Re: California is on fire

Post by JQH » Fri Aug 21, 2020 7:48 am

bjn wrote:
Thu Aug 20, 2020 8:03 pm


That said, the 13th amendment says...
Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction.
Post civil war it was used to effectively reenslave many black Americans for pseudo crimes such as vagrancy or being unemployed. The situation in California doesn’t resemble that.
Given the position of the first comma, that would certainly appear to allow slavery to be imposed as punishment for a crime.
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Re: California is on fire

Post by plodder » Sun Aug 23, 2020 8:27 am

The problem with this thread is that it is symptomatic of a school of thought has doesn’t understand that politicising everything makes it impossible to change anything. The two issues here are the extent and reasons for the fires, and the effectiveness of the response.

Jump right into penal reform and your average Mail reader will shake their head and assume you’re a snowflake lib.

This is what gets right wing parties elected, stops climate change being tackled and spreads wildfires.

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Re: California is on fire

Post by secret squirrel » Sun Aug 23, 2020 10:21 am

plodder wrote:
Sun Aug 23, 2020 8:27 am
The problem with this thread is that it is symptomatic of a school of thought has doesn’t understand that politicising everything makes it impossible to change anything. The two issues here are the extent and reasons for the fires, and the effectiveness of the response.

Jump right into penal reform and your average Mail reader will shake their head and assume you’re a snowflake lib.

This is what gets right wing parties elected, stops climate change being tackled and spreads wildfires.
Why do you believe this? Right wing parties get elected precisely because they've relentlessly politicized everything for decades.

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Re: California is on fire

Post by plodder » Sun Aug 23, 2020 11:41 am

There’s certainly divide and rule. But I think by mixing all the messages together (“we want carbon reduction and increased funding to manage forests and better funded fire services and people to accept higher taxes and penal reform”) in response to wildfires means that the argument isn’t being presented very clearly.

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Re: California is on fire

Post by bjn » Sun Aug 23, 2020 12:12 pm

plodder wrote:
Sun Aug 23, 2020 11:41 am
There’s certainly divide and rule. But I think by mixing all the messages together (“we want carbon reduction and increased funding to manage forests and better funded fire services and people to accept higher taxes and penal reform”) in response to wildfires means that the argument isn’t being presented very clearly.
A message simple along the lines of “you can’t fight fires on the cheap” would actually go a long way. Adding in “expect much more of this sh.t if we don’t change our ways” is also a simple message.

Whilst saying people deserve to burn doesn’t help at all.

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Re: California is on fire

Post by secret squirrel » Sun Aug 23, 2020 12:47 pm

bjn wrote:
Sun Aug 23, 2020 12:12 pm
A message simple along the lines of “you can’t fight fires on the cheap” would actually go a long way. Adding in “expect much more of this sh.t if we don’t change our ways” is also a simple message.

Whilst saying people deserve to burn doesn’t help at all.
Noted. I will pull my nationwide billboard campaign.

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Re: California is on fire

Post by plodder » Sun Aug 23, 2020 4:41 pm

thats a relief, it would have backfired, you know.

Any stats on the fires conpared with historic events in california? Are they rarer than the recent ones in siberia and australia?

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Re: California is on fire

Post by Little waster » Sun Aug 23, 2020 7:33 pm

bjn wrote:
Thu Aug 20, 2020 4:11 pm

Volunteer firefighting is strong in Australia, generally only urban fire fighting uses full time employee fire fighters. It's kind of the done thing to be a volunteer in the rural fire service if out in the bush.
I remember during the last big fire brigade strike (iirc early noughties) that rightwing fucknuts were seriously proposing abolishing the fire brigade and replacing it with a volunteer-only service.

They didn’t take kindly to having pointed out why a system designed to deal with occasional barn fires in the rural Mid-West was probably not best suited to replacing a 24-7 multitender service in central London.
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Re: California is on fire

Post by lpm » Fri Sep 11, 2020 9:40 pm

In Oregon, people aren't evacuating because Facebook rumours tell them looters/Antifa/black people are assembling in their neighbourhood. Instead they get their gun out and stay.
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Re: California is on fire

Post by Sciolus » Fri Sep 11, 2020 9:49 pm

I hope no-one endangers themselves trying to rescue them. Otherwise meh.

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Re: California is on fire

Post by Bird on a Fire » Fri Sep 11, 2020 9:53 pm

Shooting a wildfire is the low-budget equivalent of nuking a hurricane.
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