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Tuesday, March 4, 2008

ELF Arson

Seattle has had a new house burning claimed to be the work of the Earth Liberation Front. I know this sort of zealot claims that nobody was hurt or even targeted, and it was an action against property. Arson is always attempted murder in that the firemen that respond to their handiwork are sworn to attack structure fires aggressively after clearing the building of victims. If you set fire to a structure, you are running a real risk of killing  firemen who are just doing their job. Many firemen are volunteers, as I once was, and unpaid community servants not deserving death by the most horrible method available, fire. When a person burns to death he cannot pass out until the smoke or heat impair his or her lungs to the point where oxygen can no longer be sent to their brains. This can take several minutes especially for people wearing breathing apparatus. Being cooked alive activates every pain receptor in your body, and you die in indescribable agony.  I have seen the result of a person who burned to death, and couldn't eat roast beef for a year. If you ever find yourself in a position of burning to death or some alternative, choose the alternative. The people who jumped from the World Trade Center were just choosing the best of two unacceptable ends.

In the little Canadian town of Grand Forks British Columbia there is a colony of the Doukhobor Russian sect. When we would go through the town to the nearest cinema I would notice the shabby shacks interspersed with the usually neat Canadian bungalows. I later found out that the Doukhobors held an anti materialist  ethos to the extreme. In fits of religious pique the believers would occasionally burn their homes down and run through the snow naked and in spiritual rapture. If the church members thought that a fellow Doukhobor was acting uppity by painting his house, or putting curtains in her windows they would burn the parishioner's home down for them to save the miscreant from materialism. There is much of this ethos in the ELF. The whole idea of helping people by destroying their property is a curious by-product of the otherwise desirable green awareness movement.

I'm going to get to pay for those houses burned last week in next year's insurance premiums, so the ELF did nothing but have a little fit of self righteous fury to the expense of everyone else. Want to do something about sprawl and MacMansions? Get involved in planning process, and if that fails and you feel that the process has been irresponsible then by all means chain yourself to the front door, or to a dozer blade, and make them put you in jail. Then come back and do it again. Skulking about in the night with firebombs is the coward's path.

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