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Old 03-31-2010, 01:10 AM   #61
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But don't expect too much in the way of paved roads (plenty of county roads in this state are shell, caliche or dirt), bone up on water wells and pumps, and volunteer fire departments and EMS. If you're lucky you will have access to private trash pickup, or you'll have to dig your own little dump pile. Don't forget to budget for a gun, because lots of sheriff's departments in Texas are on call after midnightish - or there are just a couple of deputies on duty in counties that are several hundred square miles in area.

.
However when someone having a gun pointed at them makes the local paper, or a DWI, that gives some indication of the crime rate. Note that in many areas the new trend is emergency services district that levy low taxes for fire service.
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Old 03-31-2010, 07:01 AM   #62
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I have spent very little time in FL or TX but based on the ER forum there are a lot of ER's in texas.
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Old 03-31-2010, 07:14 AM   #63
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I have spent very little time in FL or TX but based on the ER forum there are a lot of ER's in texas.
Might be interesting to know how many of them are posting from inside a cell...
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Old 03-31-2010, 07:24 AM   #64
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Might be interesting to know how many of them are posting from inside a cell...
Yeah, REWahoo - you're the first one I suspect!!!!

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Old 03-31-2010, 07:30 AM   #65
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Hey! No steel bars around me, just well-cushioned walls.
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Old 03-31-2010, 07:34 AM   #66
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I have spent very little time in FL or TX but based on the ER forum there are a lot of ER's in texas.
Nah, there's not all that many of us...
we just talk a lot.
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Old 03-31-2010, 07:52 AM   #67
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However when someone having a gun pointed at them makes the local paper, or a DWI, that gives some indication of the crime rate.
Sorry, I'm not sure what it is you're saying there.
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Note that in many areas the new trend is emergency services district that levy low taxes for fire service.
I've seen some of those and even lived in such an area. In fact, over the years where I live I've seen it go from pure volunteer services, to a sort-of "hidden" tax that supported the volunteers, to a mixture of full-time paid employees and volunteers, to being annexed by a city and paying taxes for a professional fire service. I like it the way it is now - because I can hold off a burglar with a gun 'til el sherrif arrives, but I'm not equally confident in my ability to douse my burning house with the garden hose.
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Heck, in Texas HPD told me what to do if I shot someone...my kinda law enforcement. I miss that mentality up here totally where citizens are so brainwashed they act terrified if you even say the word "gun."
I'm glad we were of service!

It's not just a way of thinking, it's the law. This is the city where a long standing DA once said "If the Penal Code says you're justified in shooting somebody it doesn't restrict how many times you are allowed to shoot. If you're justified in shooting once, you're justified in shooting until they're dead."
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Old 03-31-2010, 08:11 AM   #68
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It's not just a way of thinking, it's the law. This is the city where a long standing DA once said "If the Penal Code says you're justified in shooting somebody it doesn't restrict how many times you are allowed to shoot. If you're justified in shooting once, you're justified in shooting until they're dead."
Not to mention the fact "he needed killin'".
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Old 03-31-2010, 08:28 AM   #69
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We have a volunteer fire dpt. Most feel that they will do a good job of saving the house next door to the one burning. You just accept it and don't let your insurance laps. While they are trained and well equipped there is still and additional time thing for them to get to the equipment.
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Old 03-31-2010, 09:25 AM   #70
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Nah, there's not all that many of us...
we just talk a lot.
Or to quote another texas saying Big hat no cattle. LOL
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Old 03-31-2010, 04:49 PM   #71
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Budget problems in Texas...

"The Employee Retirement System of Texas fired off an early warning to lawmakers on Wednesday that it will need an additional $400 million to $700 million in the next budget for its health care program"


Yes, the mentally ill in Texas walk around. The county facility will accept them if they're a threat to themselves or others (sometimes the call comes too late...) and they'll be given some drugs and released after a few weeks. Yes, this is a sad state of affairs.
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Old 03-31-2010, 04:58 PM   #72
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A friend of mine who is a doctor at the local county/charity hospital told me that they had so much trouble with cronically ill (with things like TB) street people not taking their meds and then showing up repeatedly in the emergency room that the hospital finally rented apartments for the worst of them and pays to have a home care nurse observe their medication.

Apparently, the program has saved huge amounts of money.
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Old 03-31-2010, 05:29 PM   #73
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Well, I'm not retired yet, but it looks like it's going to be TX even though I have family in FL (and they offered to give me their house!!). They are both great states, in my estimation, but I guess I'm a bit more partial to TX for some reason (half the family coming from there over the years maybe - although the other half is from northeastern US and I grew up in AZ - love it there, but unfortunately, I see AZ going the way of CA - sigh). I'll keep in mind the 'living out in the country' issues regarding services, although, frankly, even when I lived in areas that had services provided, I didn't get quick service....did I mention living in CA?

Things I like about TX - the state legislature does not work year-round. I understand that the state of TX has a balanced budget requirement - so they must balance the budget and can't go into debt - the independent spirit I sense in Texans - self-supporting yet generous and *really friendly* to all. I was amazed when I went to the Lavender Festival in Hill Country outside of San Antonio at how really friendly everyone was - even when I didn't purchase something. That was anathema to what I experienced in CA.

As for heat - well, did I say I grew up in AZ? Heat is relative - and it's hot in FL, too.
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Old 03-31-2010, 05:42 PM   #74
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I was amazed when I went to the Lavender Festival in Hill Country outside of San Antonio at how really friendly everyone was - even when I didn't purchase something.
That's because they appreciated the fact you were walking through the lavender fields as a form of live chigger bait. We've got a saying in these parts: "The more on you the less on me."
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Old 03-31-2010, 06:32 PM   #75
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Official answer. Looks like FL wins but they both are good.

How High Is Your Tax Burden? - Forbes.com
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Old 03-31-2010, 07:31 PM   #76
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Official answer. Looks like FL wins but they both are good.

How High Is Your Tax Burden? - Forbes.com
Cool tool to play with - moving the slider back and forth.

And look at little New Hampshire being all below national average and all.
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Old 03-31-2010, 09:29 PM   #77
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Official answer. Looks like FL wins but they both are good.
How High Is Your Tax Burden? - Forbes.com
I miss the ol' Bloomberg "Wealth Management" tax surveys. They'd break it down by workers, retirees, and various types of taxes (payroll/investments/property). Hawaii retirees usually came out pretty good in those rankings.

Our kid will have very low taxes while she's at college, but once she starts getting those humongous O-1 paychecks in 2014 she's going to get a nasty tax surprise.
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Old 03-31-2010, 09:54 PM   #78
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Budget problems in Texas...

"The Employee Retirement System of Texas fired off an early warning to lawmakers on Wednesday that it will need an additional $400 million to $700 million in the next budget for its health care program"


Yes, the mentally ill in Texas walk around. The county facility will accept them if they're a threat to themselves or others (sometimes the call comes too late...) and they'll be given some drugs and released after a few weeks. Yes, this is a sad state of affairs.
OK, this is what I was hearing about a few days ago. A $400-700 million hickey is mighty big even for Texas.

I think the mentally ill are on every other corner begging in innercity Houston it seemed when I was there. Since you saw a different person each day, I wonder if they sign up for a corner or how this works? And, more importantly, why does the city of Houston allow it? Leonidas...do you know?
Never give any of the bums a dollar...except a lady bum with two dogs I saw one day with her shopping cart. I just looked at her thinking, "there but for the grace of God go I." I can handle the men bums...but a woman out there really got to me. I just wondered how many times she's raped a week or pushed around out there. How sad there is no place to put these people for food and shelter permanently.
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Old 04-01-2010, 12:03 AM   #79
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I think the mentally ill are on every other corner begging in innercity Houston it seemed when I was there. Since you saw a different person each day, I wonder if they sign up for a corner or how this works? And, more importantly, why does the city of Houston allow it? Leonidas...do you know?
Simple answer is that the majority of the citizenry can't be bothered with it, don't want to pay the additional taxes needed to establish an effective system, and politicians don't want to strain themselves so they only swat at low-hanging fruit - and this issue is much higher than they care to extend themselves. I hit it pretty good last year in this post: Help! Suicide note on Craigslist

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Now, as to the case of the mentally ill who come to the attention of the police, it's a slightly different story: When their behavior disrupts society's peaceful repose, we immediately dispatch a highly trained mental health care professional with a PhD in psychology and years of experience in treating the mentally ill. He/She is accompanied by a team of healtchare professionals, a pharmacist ready with medication if needed, and a social worker to find the appropriate setting for the individual in his/her time of need. 24/7/365 these folks are standing by ready to be launched out into the dark to fix...er...no. No. No, that's not what we do.

Sorry, I confused reality with something that made sense. I'll try to keep that from happening again.

No, we send a couple of 26 year-olds with associates degrees and limited experience in dealing with the mentally ill, and almost no training in diagnosing or treating them. They look around and see no psychologist, pharmacist or social worker. What tools did we give them to fix the problem? A gun, a metal baton, a set of handcuffs and a cage in the backseat of their car. Are they specialists in dealing with sick individuals? No, but they have tons of experience in confronting violent, combative, intoxicated and uncooperative people, and just oodles of experience in applying physical force to those same people who say "NO!" to requests for cooperation and compliance. Cops are by training, nature and experience, perfectly suited for turning, "No" into "Yessss ow, ow, Okay, okay, I quit! Please stop! I said yes dammit! Yes!"

Is it any wonder that hardly a year passes around here in which a mentally disturbed person doesn't die during a confrontation with the police?

Society is sending a message. It doesn't want the mentally ill in institutions, and prefers them out in the population where they all live happy productive lives while their illness is controlled by medication and therapy. Except that is not what always happens. They stop taking their medications, they can't afford them, they self-medicate with booze or drugs, etc.

Now, if the person's behavior rises to the level where they are demonstrably a danger to themselves or another, then they can be involuntarily committed to a mental health care facility. If you can convince a magistrate with your articulation of the facts. And if there is space available. Then of course the hold is only for 24-hours at the most, and 90% of the time they are released back into the same environment from which they failed.

And the people who are having less serious problems, are homeless, or are in situations that are not healthy? Well, the cops all have a nice list of names and phone numbers of shelters intended to help those folks. Except, they're already full and refuse to take any newcomers, "maybe next month" is the best you get. Unless a caring family member will take the person in, the only other alternative is to arrest them for one of the offenses designed to keep Bob the Bum at bay. But you help with one hand by getting them off the street and simultaneously hurt them by putting them into the giant uncaring criminal justice system. If there was some real help available to them in jail that might make it worth it, but that is so seldom the case. So, they get told "stay off the street" and are left to do their thing until the police get called again. It follows the philosophy of, "if you can't make it better, be damn sure you don't do something that makes it worse."

So, society sends the wrong people out to do the job and equips and trains them for near certain failure, and then provides them with almost no viable alternatives. Society doesn't want to help these people, it just wants to keep them out of too much mischief. Stay out of the way of the working folks all you crazy people.
The good news is that efforts are being made to improve the situation, and I can't recall any recent killings of mentally disturbed individuals that have shocked the conscience. It all comes down to money in the end, and folks around here think they pay enough in taxes and politicians haven't been struggling to overcome that.
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Old 04-01-2010, 08:53 AM   #80
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I worked Downtown Houston for 8 years till 2005. I was never approached by a beggar. San Francisco, however, was another question. Almost every day on the way to work, at lunch, and going home!
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