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Messages - CowTip

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News & Not News / Re: Osama Bin Laden : Dead
« on: May 07, 2011, 04:50:07 AM »
I felt the same disconnect mentioned earlier with the cheering of his death. Yes, I'm glad he's finally paid the price for thousands who were destroyed on 9/11 (and I don't just mean the people in the towers), but it was more a somber moment. The last 10 years haven't exactly been awesome and to me  this feels like sort of the book-end I was hoping for from the last decade. Yes, I know it's not over, but at least most of the major players behind 9/11 itself have been brought to justice now.

The only thing that really bugged me about the celebrations were that most of the crowd outside the whitehouse looked like 18 to 20somethings. We're talking about people who were 7-9 years old when the towers fell. I realize they've had to grow up in what feels like a harsher world (not that they would know), but still. Any excuse to party I guess.

Video Games / Re: What Are You Playing?
« on: November 05, 2010, 12:10:24 AM »
Crafting is pretty fun, until you get past level 20 and realize that you literally have to make 100-150 synths per level. Just to go from level 49 to 50 would literally take 1000 synths at current rates. That's not cool.

Video Games / Re: What Are You Playing?
« on: November 04, 2010, 11:35:49 PM »
I've managed to force myself to level 20 blacksmith and 20 marauder in FF14 (playing alone the game is tedious at best, I can at least do leves with my wife which makes it a bit more fun). The game had some real potential, but rushing it out the door like this was such a huge mistake. I have faith they can make it better, but fighting the bad press at this point is going to be an uphill battle that I don't think they can win.

I think it's pretty hilarious that the game is more of a grind so far than FF11 and that was about as grindy as you can get. At least FF11 has a ton to do.

Finished Castlevania: Lord of Shadows. I didn't expect that ending at all. Not sure what I think of it from a sequel perspective. I'm holding out for the DLC that's supposedly going to answer some questions. Going to finish up Reach while I wait for Demon's souls, Professor Layton and the Unwound Future and Final Fantasy: Four Heroes of Light to get to me. Yay for Amazon buy 2 get 1 free sale and 1 year free Prime for students. I got all 3 of those games for $60 no tax.

Shootin' the Breeze / Re: Adventures in YouTube
« on: October 29, 2010, 08:45:27 PM »
This is a lady you want on your side when the zombie apocalypse begins:

Movies, TV, Books & Music / Re: Movies to look forward to
« on: October 27, 2010, 08:03:36 PM »
Oh it's a big day for movie news I guess:

We just learned that James Cameron is telling Hollywood that Fox made a "huge" donation to his environmental green fund, and in return he committed to making the Avatar sequel and threequel his next films. That also caused him to withdraw from Sony Pictures' Cleopatra with Angelina Jolie, even though he'd told the studio that he'd always wanted to film the Queen Of The Nile's story.

Cameron will decide if he will shoot the films back-to-back after he completes the scripts, but the release of the first, as yet untitled sequel, is targeted for December 2014, with the third film contemplated for a December 2015 release.

This may or may not be something to look forward to.

Video Games / Re: What Are You Playing?
« on: October 27, 2010, 07:33:40 PM »
Outside of the bosses (which I found painfully tedious and tacked on), I loved MGS4. Sure, it was 10 hours of cutscenes and 5 hours of gameplay, but it was mostly pure fan-service and I'm cool with that. Also, even with the retcons it still tied everything up. 

I want Fallout: New Vegas but it seems foolish to put any money towards games right now what with all the Christmas sales just around the corner. I'm biting my lip and waiting.

That said, I'm finally playing Starcraft 2 (replayed the original. It took me a long time to finish Brood War. I love how the Zerg missions end up way longer than the other two factions combined). I'm having a lot of fun with it. I'm also still working on Castlevania: Lord of Shadows. I don't care that much for the God of War style combat, but so far I'm enjoying the game.

Movies, TV, Books & Music / Re: Movies to look forward to
« on: October 27, 2010, 06:24:47 PM »
This sounds really lame.

I agree. While I can understand why they're using it, the more you say it, the worse it sounds.

Movies, TV, Books & Music / Re: Movies to look forward to
« on: October 27, 2010, 06:10:43 PM »

Name of the third Batman movie revealed to be: The Dark Knight Rises. Nolan also reveals that the Riddler won't be in the movie. 

Also interesting:
Nolan was most eager to talk about the fact that Warner Bros. had  agreed with his argument that the film should resist the current 3-D craze and instead use high-definition approaches and IMAX cameras to strike out on a different cinematic path than the stereoscopic technology that, for better or worse, has become the dominant conversation in the blockbuster sector.

Shootin' the Breeze / Re: Adventures in YouTube
« on: October 22, 2010, 04:06:25 PM »
I don't know if you saw this one, but it definitely adds to the Fallout: New Vegas horror:

Shootin' the Breeze / Re: Adventures in YouTube
« on: October 22, 2010, 03:19:19 PM »
Broken intro in Fallout New Vegas:

That is one of the most unintentionally terrifying things I've ever seen.

Video Games / Re: Phoenix Wright x Professor Layton Crossover for 3DS
« on: October 19, 2010, 07:54:41 PM »
I think I just suffered a fanboy induced heart attack.

As if there weren't already enough reasons to get a 3DS.

I really have nothing more to comment on this topic and I retain my original stance, but I would like to say that I find my new title humorous despite its derogatory underpinnings.

I think you missed the part about them being trained professionals, not aspirants. So no, actually I'm not wrong about that. And also, you should read what you quote: "even though the written examination and physical requirements eliminate many applicants". That's right, in the end the qualified people are far and few between. And then you have to train them. Also, pulling data from the federal handbook is nice and all but things are different in small rural areas, where half the departments are manned by volunteers.

Qualified is qualified. It means that they are fully capable and ready to take on the job at hand. That likely includes those with experience. As for the quote, it's saying that there's stiff competition even after those eliminations. They're run by volunteers in small rural areas due to lack of funding to handle such large areas, not because there isn't lack of a demand for a job.

Quote from:  Aazealh
And so are you, and I'll wager that my guess is more accurate than yours. You keep going back to rules and orders when the hypothetical situation clearly called for initiative from the team there and everyone knows it. Everyone except you.

If you actually look around or go to that page Lithrael mentioned and read the comments, you'll see that not everyone 'knows it'. Plenty of people are arguing both sides. It's part of the reason the media went with this story in the first place. To spark controversy. As for the accuracy, in the comments the same fire chief continued his statement and there's some interesting stuff there.

Would the Chief of South Fulton been fired? South Fulton has what they call a “Grace Period.” As i understand it, it is a time frame prior to the deadline; (of course one can sign up at any time, just not during a fire)that they give to make sure they have everyone in the system that should be there. 1 to 2 weeks prior to this incident the Chief was written up for actually putting a house out that did not have a subscription. His feeling was that this was what part of what the “Grace period” was for. So you tell me what they would have done. Wrong? I think so.

As I have tried to say, to the rest of the country I’m sure it’s unheard of not having a fire tax for county residents. We all want it. At this time the county won’t do that. We (the chiefs) are looking at a county wide subscription not as a solution; but as a stepping stone to get to that goal.

I have been told this past week that I have no Christian up bringing. I think I remember something to the fact to “Render therefore to Cesar the things which are Cesar’s.” life sometimes dictates we have to do what we have to do. Doesn’t mean I have to like it. At this point in our journey we can spend our time twiddling our thumbs worrying about the minority of residents who don’t want the coverage or think it is owed to them (Which in THIS case, it isn’t) Or we can march ahead and continue to take care of the majority who understand the problem and who are willing to support us. We’ll get through this. God does work in mysterious ways. Eyes are now opened.

This doesn't sound like a man who truly thinks the city would have brushed all this off. Add to that this:

Also, my statement that if the fire were in our district that we would have handled it somewhat differently should be no negative reflection on South Fulton Fire Department. (I’ve only got “one of my wrists in cuffs at this time.”)

Quote from:  Aazealh
I was commenting on what the guy said, about firing the chief and the whole team. Pay attention.

I'll admit getting the streams crossed here. The fact still remains though: One job or them all, I don't see it as worth the sacrifice and they may not either.

Quote from:  Aazealh
No there's definitely no quandary here and I'd say it's not even related. That the department gets no money from the county is a different problem, a political one. It's not at all related to individual firefighters being desperate to keep their jobs or even to their jobs being extremely endangered. In fact, if they even have trouble putting gas in their truck, I'd argue that in the event that they'd already been there, not doing anything would have been a pretty bad waste of resources. It's what I said in the beginning. You're clearly grasping at straws here because you're desperate to prove a point you can't prove. Not to mention that, like I said above, many of those small rural departments are manned by volunteers in the first place, people who aren't getting paid for their work. Is that altruist enough for you?

You're thinking too short term. By setting a precedent that the fire department will always be there to help you out fee or no fee if you can find a way to get them out to your property, you're actually insuring much more wasted resources in the long run. That's exactly why those mentioned fire departments are in such bad shape to begin with. They're stretched beyond their limits as is which is definitely leaving more problems for other people. This was in response to the challenge: "I'd like to know how it could be ethically better for a fireman not to put out a fire"

Quote from:  Aazealh
Being disciplined isn't being laid off. There's a pretty big difference.

My stance was/is that they should not be disciplined, nor laid off. It just went more in the direction of lost jobs.

Quote from:  Aazealh
The profession of firefighter is held to a greater standard than that of burger flipper, yeah. It's not a matter of should or shouldn't. People do hold firefighters in high esteem. They're looked up to. But that's not "a greater standard than everyone else in the world." Putting words in my mouth and exaggerating what I said to try to refute it more easily is a sign that you can't actually refute it at all.

And now you're going to the opposite extreme. Be it a burger flipper or a fireman, you have a given set of guidelines to follow. You can challenge them if you want, but you do so at your own risk. I wouldn't expect a fireman to be held to any different standard than that of a burger flipper when it comes to their own personal decision about breaking the rules. Being punished for doing your job the way your employer set it out for you is outright madness.

Quote from:  Aazealh
Yeah, I mean whatever mayor takes drastic actions against a fire department for selflessly helping citizens is likely not getting re-elected if the word gets out.

Actually, again, you might be surprised. An interesting quote showing another side to this:

What most people fail to realize is that the attitude towards government, including the fire service, is changing. The concept of “Americas Heroes” is one that is rapidly fading along with municipal revenues. Today, the public demands more transparency and accountability with their tax dollars than ever before.

As a resident of Hometown, I demand that the city government looks out for my interests and those of my fellow Hometown neighbors. I do not want to subsidize protection for any neighboring agency, especially one that makes NO effort to provide fire protection service for their citizens.

The Hometown Fire Dept, as well as the agency that I work for, does have mutual aid agreements with neighboring agencies. The difference is that these agreements are reciprocal! The neighboring agencies can provide assistance to Hometown if needed.

Obion County brings NOTHING to the table!!! Their solution is to place the burden of providing protection onto the cities and the optional funding of it onto the residents.

Somehow, the uproar is misdirected toward the South Fulton Fire Dept. instead of toward the homeowner who opted not to participate in the program or the County Supervisors/Directors who opted not to provide service to their citizens.

If this sounds crass, get used to it. The “hero” days of firefighting are coming to a close. The pendulum is swinging toward a more pragmatic view of the fire service, one that views fire protection as just another revenue consuming service that local government is required to provide.

If you don’t believe me, attend a ICMA conference sometime. You might be a little stunned.

Other interesting things: Cranick reported that it took 2 hours for the fire to reach his house and that it was started by his grandson lighting barrels of trash on fire on a windy day.

More from Kelly Edmison:
Yes, Mr. Cranick claims he forgot. Tonight’s Union City Messenger newspaper has quoted both he and his wife stating that yes they got the original notice of the fee being due. Stuck the letter away and forgot. she also says that yes she did get a phone call from the fire department reminding them again that they hadn’t paid. It has also been told to me from SFFD sources that this is the 2nd or 3rd fire he or his family has had in the last five years or so

Funny enough, the wife says she actually doesn't blame the fire department for not responding and even said that she thought apologies she got from the department were unnecessary.

and if true, this is rather disgusting:
I need to share 2 emails with you. They are both from Chief Russell Schwan. He is the Chief of Martin Fire Department. (City Department) located in Weakley County, Tn They are boardered our our east and they are the other county in TN that has no county department.

His first email was sent to us yesterday:

“I was awaken this morning with a burden that has been put on me. That burden is one of the blown out accusations toward the SF firemen in Obion County.

I am literally disgusted that people would get on a forum and literally insult, threaten, and believe false accusations on fellow firefighters.

If we are a so called BROTHERHOOD, it should not be tolerated. I stand not in judgement of these fellow men and women, because I sit here 11 miles away and a $100 subscription fee away of having that same situation happen in my own Weakley County and department.

These same men and women firefighters everyone has been bashing, insulting and threatening are the same one’s that have got up at 1 am to go and put fires out inside the city of South Fulton before and will continue to do so after all the National News has went on to other stories. Everyone has gotten on these forums and asked this and that, and if they knew God they wouldn’t have let this happen. Well the Bible also says if you “love not your brother, than you love not the Son of God”

I am asking for everyone that will read this and can join me I will be standing at the Weakley/Obion county line on Highway 45 North between Martin and South Fulton Tennessee at 4 pm on Saturday October 9, 2010 to reach my hand across the county line to a fellow BROTHER in the fire service whether he or she is on the SFFD or one in Obion County. I will stand not in judgement, but to show support of the Brotherhood.

The news has put some bad PR out there, lets at least show them we are a much prouder people than they tend to believe.

I am hoping as a member of that Brotherhood that I am not standing out their alone.

Thanks and GOD Bless,

Now this morning, I just received this:

“Fellow firefighters,

Due to the safety of my Family and others that might have showed up I will not be at the Obion/Weakley County line today at 4 pm

It is apparent that this is a hot issue but due to death threats, and other bodily harm to firemen and their families it is not worth risking.

I appreciate everyones POSITIVE response to the event but unfortunately it will not happen.

Thanks and God Bless,”

I’ll keep everyone posted.

As far as the guy saying the whole department would have been fired by the mayor if they'd tried to put out the fire though, I'm going to go ahead and say it's the Chief trying to protect his colleagues. Would be ridiculously out of proportion given that they would have already been there, and it would have unleashed a complete shitstorm in the media/citizens. Not to mention that it's not like trained professionals are waiting in line to get hired in their place.

You're wrong about the last part.
Job prospects. Prospective fire fighters are expected to face keen competition for available job openings. Many people are attracted to fire fighting because (1) it is challenging and provides the opportunity to perform an essential public service, (2) a high school education is usually sufficient for entry, and (3) a pension is usually guaranteed after 25 years of service. Consequently, the number of qualified applicants in most areas far exceeds the number of job openings, even though the written examination and physical requirements eliminate many applicants. This situation is expected to persist in coming years.

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Outlook Handbook 2010-2011

That doesn't even take into account the near 10% unemployment rate in this country.

Here's another article, albeit not in the same state, but still relevant as some places literally do have lines of people looking for work as a firefighter:
The only stories I've seen involving shortages of firefighters comes from the lack of government willing to pay for the positions.

For the first part, you're just making guesses. Same as the firefighters would have had to do. Everyone knows that no matter the profession, you break the rules, no matter how stupid, you're at risk of losing your job. You almost make it sound like some sort of guarantee simply because the rule is dumb. Who's to say it even had to be the whole department? It could have just been one or two people to be used as an example. Guessing is fun.

And if you haven't read the rest of the article that Lithrael posted, you really should. Someone not even involved is being demonized by overzealous people out for blood.

The remaining 5 departments (city departments) in the county have been going out into the county without a subscription service with the hope that after responding they will bill the home owner and collect. It hasn’t been working. One of these departments even though it is a city department, has to get change out of their outside coke machine that sits on the front of their station just to have money to put fuel in their tank. They get very little help from their own city, let alone NO revenue from the county. Financially these departments will be forced to either go to a subscription based service or draw back into their respective city limits. If that happens, there won’t be any fire protection in three quarters of the county.

If that isn't enough to show you an ethical quandary over saving a trailer with no one in it, then nothing ever will. Apparently, as long as your neighbor pays the bill or the two of you go in together to pay half the cost, it's ok if something happens. The fire department has to put out your fire because they're already there.

As for other comments, everything I argued was in direct response to these quotes:

"Honestly, not doing anything while they were already at the scene sounds like an aberration to me. There's a point where common sense should take precedence over procedure. I don't like scapegoating but I think the guys present at the time should all be disciplined."

"Well, I think it's pretty simple. If I had a say in it, they would all be fired for showing a obscene lack of character and sense of moral duty."

I'm sorry, are you stopping? What's this then? Did you not just reply?

Just because I said I wouldn't argue the morality behind the firefighters decisions anymore doesn't mean I wouldn't post in the thread anymore. My last comment was only geared at pointing out the ideologies and stating that it was useless to argue further. As for your later comment: "You mean you have nothing to add, aren't even addressing what I said and can't refute it and basically aren't listening to what others say." I'm not addressing these things anymore because I don't see the point. If I keep commenting then the argument will never end and there'll be a million more posts the size of this one.

No, I didn't say that.

"And there are certain professions that engage people's responsibilities more than others. That's why they're considered "noble" and why people doing them are honored. It's a vocation, like being a doctor or a cop, not just something you do because it pays well."

IE: Firefighters should be held to a greater standard than most other people trying to make a living.

And like Walter told you, that house was pretty much on their "territory" and the reason they weren't dispatched is because of that subscription business. When the neighbor called they responded and took care of the fire. Don't try to make the argument into something it isn't.

No, everything within city limits is their territory. Everything outside of it isn't. Unless the residents pay a subscription fee. 'Pretty much' doesn't cut it.

Then maybe you ought to do what you've been promising and keep quiet? In any case please spare me your whiny tirade about imaginary "personal" attacks since your whole posture in this thread has been offensive to begin with.

I take an offensive stance towards what I see to be offensive declarations. You can argue the effectiveness of that all you want.

Video Games / Re: Castlevania: Lords of Shadow
« on: October 13, 2010, 09:31:47 PM »
Weird~  :casca:

Video Games / Re: Castlevania: Lords of Shadow
« on: October 13, 2010, 09:18:15 PM »
I heard the collector's edition came in a pretty cool metal case at least, no?

Movies, TV, Books & Music / Re: Movies to dread
« on: October 13, 2010, 09:13:10 PM »
I think the real problem with Portman is the idea that she should play the role of "a female Colonial Marine general.”. What does she weigh? 100 pounds?

I'm stopping because we've gotten to a point where nothing being said by your side is convincing me any more than anything on my side is convincing you.

You say that firefighters must be held to a greater standard than everyone else in the world. If they aren't constantly going above and beyond, even at the cost of their own livelihood, they should be fired (which, ironically, is taking away personal choice as they should be drones to black and white ethics systems).

I say that they should only be responsible for their own territories and if they decide to go above and beyond, good for them (which is all I've ever said. You can try to take me out of context all you want). They should not be punished for following the rules; bad rules should be challenged and those who implemented them should receive the scrutiny. As for the guy's life supposedly being ruined, well he was already flirting with disaster by forgetting about such an important service.

I disagree with your notion that everyone who works within public services should have to be some sort of hero and I find the idea unrealistic at best.

There's really nothing more to be said about it. You can resort to personal attacks all you want but my mind won't change on this subject and I recognize that neither will yours.

Movies, TV, Books & Music / Re: Movies to dread
« on: October 13, 2010, 08:21:52 PM »

Reports are coming in that the co-creator of Lost has just turned in his script for the Untitled Alien Prequel for director Ridley Scott  and the executives at 20th Century Fox love it. Why do they love it? Well, because Scott originally budgeted the film around $150 million and Lindelof’s script has a distinct lack of large action set pieces, thereby bringing that number down. Plus the script reportedly has a more PG-13 edge in terms of language and off camera violence - much like the original 1979 film. And finally, Natalie Portman has met with Scott’s team and is at the top of their list for the lead female role of “a female Colonial Marine general.”


I'm not going to argue this anymore past this point because it's getting ridiculous and circular, but I'll end my arguments with the statement that it's easy to sit and judge what you would call black and white ethics from your computer chair and a very different thing when faced with a tall list of consequences that may affect other people than just yourself.

The fact is, these firemen were not responsible for this group of people and at that point whether they help or not becomes a pure act of altruism. Ethically it may have been better to save the trailer (which I still say is completely debatable), but it's still up to the individual. To call for the dismissal of firefighters for not acting outside of their responsibility is unfair and in and of itself unethical. It's like saying a fireman should be fired for not running into a nearby burning building to save someone while he's on vacation in a different city. Ridiculous.

Video Games / Re: What Are You Playing?
« on: October 13, 2010, 05:00:32 PM »
Reach is a lot of fun and arguably one of the best fps multi-player experiences on consoles. It honestly deserves most of the praise it gets. Sure, it may not be the most cerebral experience, but it's great for what it is.

I bet more people wished they had the financial backing to call out their bosses even in the face of being fired. Especially when you consider pensions at stake, you can be damned sure that most people aren't going to be willing to toss away what could be decades of work because of someone else's irresponsibility. When I say that these people would literally be throwing their lives away, I mean it. It's not fair to even expect them to. It's rare that someone would be fired for following rules. The likelihood of a boss tossing you out on your can because they can't trust you to follow their judgment however... (Especially in a chain-of-command type outfit that fire departments follow)

I can't believe anyone still subscribes to the old "just following orders" defense, we settled that one at Nuremberg.

Talk about your extreme examples.

Which again, is nice, but not everyone has the luxury of throwing themselves on the sword. If it were me and I only had this job to support me (it's not like most firemen are incredibly rich or even have a lot of disposable income after all), I sure as heck would let the guy's house burn down if I was ordered to do so as long as no one was burning inside (Again, I feel bad for the animals, but I'm not putting my livelihood on the line for a dog. If I believed that much in equal animal rights, I'd be a vegan).

Honestly, if you have a family it's downright selfish to not take their futures into consideration when a situation like this arises. I'll agree that there are times when morality should have an all overriding effect (again, mostly when someone's life is directly in danger), but I would never throw away my entire life to save the house of someone who forgot to follow known rules.

If you're willing to do that, that's fine, but it seems wrong to expect everyone to live to such a harsh standard. You may be willing to sacrifice your life and the life of your family for a morally ambiguous situation, but you just can't expect everyone to.

Aaaaah the French! The French!  :ganishka: Hilarious.

Edit: I'd never seen the original video of that. Man oh man...

I can't help but think he'd just walk away looking awesome in the flames. "Not my problem."

Puck might have something to say about it though.  :puck: (which usually leads to Guts' life ending up a lot more complicated) That Puck emoticon so fits this whole situation.  :ganishka:

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