Sunday, July 21, 2013
Arizona has been in a drought for more than a decade. There is also a plague of bark beetles attacking whatever living trees they can find.
This leads to a lot of very dry wood.
Because both the state and the Feds can't seem to agree on (or pay for) the requisite forest clearing there's lots and lots of undergrowth to help stoke any fire that happens to start for whatever reason.
And because in Arizona we don't want no dang gubmint meddling in our lives, we allow people to build houses or park their trailers right in the middle of a tinderbox.
Inevitably someone throws a cigarette out of a car, or fails to put out a campfire, or maybe it's simply just a lightning strike. An "Act of God", the insurance companies call it.
It starts as just a spark.
Then the winds shift and lots of brave men die.
And The Arizona Republic gets to take a shot at finally winning a Pulitzer for reporting by running the same tragic stories over and over for weeks. I guess that's what they think "in depth" means.
Arizona's Governor, Jan "Chuck, Tell Me What To Do" Brewer, has asked the hated Feds for aid to help the victims of the fires. Arizona is already a net taker state, so what's a little more? I mean, come on, we're all in this together. Right?
Mrs. Brewer belongs to the Republican Party. You know, the party that demonizes unions just like the ones that fire fighters, policemen, and teachers belong to. Her party also loves to cut taxes and the necessary programs that taxes are used for. If there's a way to underfund something, by God we'll find it!
Welcome to Arizona. We may not want to pay to make your dangerous job a little easier or safer.
But we'll sure throw you a grand funeral.