The line blurs even more.

This story deals with a situation I'm only vaguely familiar with--the destruction of fruit trees in south Florida in an effort to stop a blight of some kind. Folks down there have been more than a little testy about this, since it has involved cutting down healthy trees that were within 1900 feet of infected ones. There have been lawsuits pending for quite a while over compensation, which is what struck me about this article:

The case was filed by Brian and Barbara Patchen, of Miami Beach, after the state cut down their orange, lime and grapefruit trees because they were within 1,900 feet of infected trees. The state provided a $100 Wal-Mart voucher for the first tree destroyed and $55 for each additional tree, compensation that has been called an insult by many homeowners angry at the destruction of their property.

Wal-Mart vouchers? They're not even getting cash for their trees? Fuck the amount--I'd be pissed off that the state was telling me that if I wanted any sort of compensation for my property loss, I'd have to spend my settlement at a place that offends my economic, political, and social sensibilities. The people who sued are right to be upset about the paltry sum they've been given, but they ought to be more upset at this government partnership with Wal-Mart. We really are returning to the days of the company store, it seems.

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