Colorado Springs is Warming Up to Big Government Now That The Place is Burning Down
I have a very misanthropic friend who likes to say: “Calamity is the teacher of fools.” I am beginning to think that perhaps he is overly optimistic. Fools are fundamentally incapable of learning anything, even from disaster.
Wildfires raging in Colorado are now eating away at the city of Colorado Springs. At least one person is dead, 346 homes and 34 streets have been destroyed, and thousands of people have been evacuated – although, this being Colorado Springs(see below), I am not sure what exactly those evacuation efforts entailed, other than people simply running for their lives. Mayor Steve Bach, a conservative who campaigned on the Tea-Party darling issue of “small government”, has told residents that he appreciates the President coming to the city, and that he plans to ask for money. Federal money. Evil money. Socialist-communist-fascist money.
Colorado Springs is a conservative stronghold in an otherwise moderate state. It was not quite a year and a half ago that the city experienced a so-called tax “revolt”, which resulted in drastic reductions or complete elimination of basic municipal services, including those that ensure public safety. From the Denver Post on January 31, 2010:
More than a third of the streetlights in Colorado Springs will go dark Monday. The police helicopters are for sale on the Internet. The city is dumping firefighting jobs, a vice team, burglary investigators, beat cops — dozens of police and fire positions will go unfilled.
The parks department removed trash cans last week, replacing them with signs urging users to pack out their own litter.
Neighbors are encouraged to bring their own lawn mowers to local green spaces, because parks workers will mow them only once every two weeks. If that.
Water cutbacks mean most parks will be dead, brown turf by July; the flower and fertilizer budget is zero.
City recreation centers, indoor and outdoor pools, and a handful of museums will close for good March 31 unless they find private funding to stay open. Buses no longer run on evenings and weekends. The city won’t pay for any street paving, relying instead on a regional authority that can meet only about 10 percent of the need.
There are a number of factors that cause a destructive urban fire and the extent of the damage that results from it. Mother nature, for one, obviously, and the reckless, irresponsible overdevelopment during the housing bubble years are clearly to blame. But I have little doubt that skeleton fire and police departments, a lack of maintenance of urban structures and trash-strewn streets play a significant role.
And isn’t it ironic how this city, the majority of whose residents detest the President, detest the Federal government, and detest the idea of government aid (when it goes to other people, because PERSONAL RESPONSIBILITY), is now planning to admit that it can’t handle the problem on its own and ask Big Daddy to save its ass. I’ve read a few news reports on this, and I’m not seeing the Tea Party scheduling any protests against the “Big Brother” getting involved in their business. How strangely quiet they are.
Being a liberal, I do want the Federal government to get involved, I do want the city restored, and those who have lost their homes to be provided with something more than the “love and encouragement” that their mayor promised. But I also would really like it if the next time that city’s resident idiots in tricornered hats pontificate about how they don’t need no stinkin’ gubmint and how those who can’t take care of themselves should just up and die, they would at least briefly choke on their own words.
But they probably won’t, right?