More Political Violence from the Left

Democrats attacking teenagers who disagree with them, because if you dare to disagree with the Left, they will hurt and maybe kill you. Indiana couple drove boys with Trump flags off road: police.

Two teenage boys were riding bicycles with Trump flags attached to fishing poles, when two people suffering from Trump Derangement Syndrome attacked them with a car.

According to a probable cause affidavit, the boys told officers that a vehicle with a man driving and woman passenger followed them before the male driver pulled up nearby and asked one of the boys “if they were Trump supporters” – to which the boy replied that they were.

The driver then swerved at the boys, forcing them onto roadside grass to avoid being struck, according to the affidavit. The driver followed the boys before exiting the car and tearing off the flag from one of the brother’s bikes, the affidavit states.

Details on the incident that the couple in the car posted to their Snapchat account. Including threats to the boys it they ever see the 2 again.

Hat tip to The Other McCain, who calls this “Democrats engaging in political terrorism.”

Seven Years for a Double Murder

Justice7 years and 4 months. What does that work out to per life? And I bet he gets out early for “Good Behavior.” Man connected to Planada double homicide sentenced to 7 years in prison.

So was the case that weak? He was in possession of a firearm. (And isn’t a felon in possession of a firearm more time than that?) Was it the firearm used in the murder?

However, prosecutors dropped the murder charge against Ceja-Prado in December of 2019, and on the same day he pleaded guilty to being a felon in possession of a firearm and violating his probation.

File this under “California’s recipe for more crime.”

The families of the 2 guys who were killed don’t seem to think that Justice prevailed. I have to agree.

[One of the families] still blame Ceja-Prado for the death of their loved one, who authorities said was an innocent bystander.

So you’re walking along, minding your own business, and a felon in possession of a gun (shouldn’t there be a law? Oh, wait…) kills you, and the prosecutor decides, because he really can’t be bothered, that your life isn’t worth very much. Welcome to the United States of Insanity.

More Violence from the Left

Because of course a grown man feels obligated to bash a 15-year-old over a hat. Man arrested after slapping teen Trump supporter during New Hampshire primary, police say.

Patrick Bradley, 34, was leaving a polling place in the southeast New Hampshire town of Windham when he passed a campaign tent for President Trump. Windham police said in a news release that he hit the teenager, who was volunteering at the tent and wearing a “Make America Great Again” hat, across the face.

When two adult Trump supporters tried to intervene, Bradley attacked them, too, police said. He is also accused of attempting to knock over the tent.

Do you think Justice will be served in this case? I don’t. Justice is dead in America.

Real Costs of Bail Reform

Costs in the form of murders committed. Court records reveal even more men charged with murder, shootings while free on “affordable bail”.

Bail reform is all the rage on the Left. It is unfair to keep people in jail. New York, Chicago, and other places are going nuts for bail reform. But is it fair to the people who are paying the ultimate price?

The Left refuses to acknowledge the carnage. The judge, whose brainstorm this was, said there have been no “horrible incidents” due to his “affordable bail” program.

It’s hard to fathom how Evans would conclude that those murders and shootings committed by persons on affordable bail weren’t “horrible incidents.”

Don’t clutter the issue with facts! They are fighting a war of Social Justice, and you are a racist for bringing facts to the discussion.

There were 7 incidents that came to light after the judge made his pronouncement. Now there are more incidents.

Since November, our team has come across new cases in which men have been charged with killing or shooting people while on affordable bail awaiting trial for serious crimes. Here’s a look at these new “not horrible” situations:

The judge is right about one thing. Violent criminals shouldn’t be in jail because they can’t afford their bail. Violent criminals should be in jail because the judge denied them bail on the basis that they represent a threat to the community. But that isn’t happening either.

Because Taking Public Transit Is Such a Crap Shoot

Teens. Not criminals. Not monsters. Teens. EXCLUSIVE: Chicago subway video captures man being attacked by 11 teens.

Eleven teenagers brutally beat and robbed a 68-year-old man aboard a Red Line train near Argyle on Monday. Video of the attack emerged Friday

Yeah, sounds pretty monstrous to me.

Other passengers are seen on the train car, but none intervened and only one is listed as a witness to the crime.

Because getting involved would be dangerous. And all the law-abiding citizens are disarmed on public transit. For their own safety of course.

Van Drives Through Republican Voter Registration Booth

The Headline doesn’t mention “Republican” voter registration booth. Jacksonville, Florida. Van plows through voter registration tent, narrowly missing volunteers.

Jacksonville police say a driver intentionally crashed a van through a tent where Duval County GOP volunteers were registering voters Saturday afternoon.

Nobody was injured in the 3:45 p.m. incident at the Walmart Supercenter

Police are mystified about what the motive might be. Hint: It rhymes with “Trump Derangement Syndrome.”

One of the volunteers managed to snap a photo of the van as it drove away, but it isn’t clear to me if you can make out a license plate.

Security people. The Left has become unhinged from the standards of civilization. Security is now required everywhere.

The Destruction of San Francisco

The breakdown of order begins. Liberalism’s ‘cesspit’?: IAN BIRRELL says tech giants have turned San Francisco into a dystopian nightmare of addiction, homelessness and criminality.

‘Our society is falling apart,’ says Desaulniers.

Gilles Desaulniers has lived in San Francisco for 40 years. He runs a market catering to the needs of the Left Coast. It was 2 markets, but he closed one, and would close this one if he could get out by selling.

Open stealing costing him hundreds per day. Attacked by people in his own store. Drug overdoses in the restroom. People urinating on his door at night.

Living here feels like A Clockwork Orange and Blade Runner have both come true.

And Mr. Desaulniers gets extra points for the reference to A Clockwork Orange.

Hat tip to The Other McCain, who notes.

Liberalism is about using taxpayer money to subsidize irresponsible behavior, and then blaming the predicably bad consequences on scapegoats: The “rich,” the “racists,” the Republicans.

The problem is that, in cities like San Francisco — or Baltimore, Detroit, St. Louis, Chicago, etc. — there simply aren’t enough of those evil white Republicans around to shoulder the blame. Because the disastrous consequences of liberal policy cannot be plausibly explained by liberal theories of what causes social problems, the explanations they offer become increasingly implausible, and the demonization of their chosen scapegoats becomes ever more extreme.

While the breakdown of society usually follows the imposition of socialist order, (think Venezuela as well as San Francisco) I can never tell if it is planned, or if the socialists are actually surprised. Of course the next step is the implementation of a totalitarian regime, so maybe it is planned. (Are the socialists evil, or just stupid? Probably some of both.)

And when you have the Daily Mail expounding on the problems of liberalism (they are about as far to the Left as the BBC) you are so far around the bend, you can’t even see it in the rear-view mirror.

A Hard Man Is Impossible to Find

An interesting take on ministering to your fellow man. Hard Men in a World of Softness.

Several years ago, I was at a gathering with a group of church leaders who hailed from around the country, many of them from major metropolitan areas. As an elder from a town of only a few thousand, and at the time an editor at a gun magazine, I felt a little bit like the crazy uncle someone brought for show-and-tell.

I like this guy already, and I haven’t even gone through his blog.

Hat tip to Knuckledraggin’ My Life Away.

Chicago’s Recipe for More Crime

JusticeBecause keeping violent criminals in jail would be unfair. Man with long history of trouble along Red Line is charged with violent robbery on Jackson platform.

Roderrick K. Sims racked up eight separate arrests near the Red Line downtown last year. And he was supposed to be on electronic monitoring while awaiting trial for one of those incidents when he allegedly skipped bail and brutally attacked a 37-year-old man with four other offenders around 10:50 p.m. on Nov. 29.

So how do you get more crime. Ignore crime when it happens (or after the fact).

Between July 5 and Nov. 26, Sims was arrested and charged with new crimes three separate times. And judges released him on his own recognizance each time.

On July 17, he was charged with battering people at the Starbucks, 42 East Chicago. The charges were later dropped.

Another SWATting

Cops are getting a little bit smarter on the subject. Victim of Greenfield ‘swatting’ incident recalls scary experience.

Greenfield Police Deputy Chief Matt Holland said they figured it out in this case when they “started researching the phone number and found oddities with it.”

He said it pinged back to Florida. But they still had to secure the scene and make sure no one was in danger inside the house and that meant tracking down the homeowner’s phone records.

At least they didn’t burst in, guns blazing. So there’s that.

Breakdown of Order in Baltimore and Chicago

So this all started because I was embroiled in a discussion about the general breakdown of order. Looking into the situation in both Chicago and Baltimore, is disheartening. Crime rates are approaching or surpassing levels only seen in failed states, or states still dealing with the after effects of civil war. So maybe our inner-cities are failed states. Maybe they are embroiled in civil wars.

International Crime statistics are hard to have much faith in. They can vary pretty dramatically depending on where you find them, but using The World Atlas, whose numbers agree with other sources, Chicago has a murder rate similar to South Sudan and Côte d’Ivoire, while Baltimore has a murder rate on par with El Salvador. (Details below) And yet other parts of the country are fairly safe. I don’t pretend to know how to “fix” this. I just know that I don’t want to live in a place that has crime levels you see in South Sudan, or Baltimore.

With enough force, you could probably “impose order” on Baltimore and Chicago. I don’t think that is the answer in the long term. I am sure that doing more of the same, or just “feeling bad” about the situation isn’t going the change anything. Holding hands and singing “Give Peace a Chance” also isn’t going to work. (“Kumbaya” is too religious for the Left today!) What we have to do is face up to reality. And by “we” I mean the entire country. Left and Right, though I really don’t think that is going to happen in the near future.

So here are the statistics:

The FBI released the final edition of Crime in the US for 2018. It used to be called the Uniform Crime Report, but if people didn’t change things, what would they do to justify their enormous salaries? It is worth knowing where to find those stats, because people who operate mostly on emotion, hate it when you provide statistics. They will not refute them, and usually resort to calling math racist.

The USA as a whole in 2018 had a national “Murder, and non-negligent homicide rate” of 5.0 per 100,000. Crime in the US, 2018 Table 4.

From the same table:

Ohio had a rate of 4.8 per 100,000 residents.

South Dakota had a rate of 1.4 per 100,000 (not sure where they stand today, but about a decade ago they had the HIGHEST rate of Concealed Carry license holders in the nation)

For the city level numbers, I went to current year, since data for both Chicago and Baltimore are available.

Chicago has a population of 2,695,598 or 2,705,994 depending on which numbers you use. Via the Wiki.

Chicago has had 476 homicides in 2019, According to HeyJackass! (The best Chicago statistics available.) Now I know math is hard but that means Chicago has a homicide rate of between 17.6 and 17.65 per 100,000. (And yes, since it isn’t the end of the year, the rates in both Chicago and Baltimore will be understated. It still makes my point.)

Baltimore has a population of 602,495 or 620,961 (depending on the numbers you use), once again according to the Wiki.

Baltimore has had 300 murders this year. Once again, doing the math, we find that Baltimore has a murder rate per 100,000 residents of between 48.3 and 49.8. Which is obscene.

The Baltimore stats are pulled from the CBS affiliate in Baltimore, which has another story on how the mayor of that city doesn’t think he (or other leadership) is responsible in anyway for the breakdown of order. ‘I’m Not Committing The Murders’ | Baltimore Mayor Jack Young Says Leadership Not To Blame As City Approaches 300 Homicides. Which I take it to mean that he has no plan for what to do to fix this mess.

I wish I knew how to fix the crime rate. I don’t. People talk about education, but Chicago spends a lot on its public schools. I’m not sure they get much return on that investment. People talk about jobs, but Chicago (which I know more about than I do about Baltimore) is raising taxes, left and right, and generally making it an uninviting place for business. New York City’s recent go-around with Amazon would seem to suggest that cities don’t want those eeeevil capitalists to create jobs for their people.

The math: the ratio of total murders to total population is equal to the ratio of the murder rate to 100,000. So the murder rate = 100,000 X (total murders)/(total population). It is only middle school math, after all.

I originally dumped these statistics in the comments on a post about crime in Baltimore. Which has been especially bad the past few years. They really did deserve a place of their own.

MS-13 Threatens Oklahoma Courthouse. Armed Guards Deployed.

The problems a failed state south-of-the-border begin to impinge on life in the US. Tactical marksmen guard courthouse after murder trial sparks threats.

Armed tactical officers on the roof of an Oklahoma courthouse. What’s wrong with this country.

“We have taken a lot of precautions at all of his (the alleged killer’s) appearances in court for the simple fact that we just never know. It’s my responsibility to keep him safe,” [Ottawa County Sheriff Jeremy] Floyd said.

“Yes, we had some tactical guys on the roof watching over things making sure that if anything should be a red flag they would be there to observe it and let the guys know on the ground.”

I’m sure the only things those “tactical guys” had were binoculars and radios.

The Breakdown of Order in Baltimore Continues

They are on pace for a bad year in Baltimore. Baltimore hits 300 homicides for fifth year in a row.

Two people were killed in front of a grocery store on Nov. 13.

Their deaths marked the city’s fifth consecutive year with at least 300 homicides. The staggering total has become an unofficial milestone in Baltimore’s annual struggle to quell the deadly violence.

For a city Baltimore’s size, that is a staggering number of homicides. (Hat tip to Shot in the Dark.)

And it isn’t just murders. Other crime is also on the rise. Carjackings spike continues in Baltimore, with incidents up 30% from this time last year.

Between 2014 and 2018, the number of carjackings more than tripled, and they’re up again this year.

There have been more than 400 carjackings across Baltimore through Sept. 28, up 29 percent from last year, according to police data. Other auto thefts, while far more common, are down 8.6%.

When do things get so bad, that the people demand a change? I’m sure somehow this is situation is all the Republicans’ fault or Trump’s fault, (according to the Democrats) but that will be hard to sell to anyone who considers that last Republican mayor of Baltimore left office in 1967.

Maritime Piracy in the Gulf of Mexico

Breakdown of law and order goes hand-in-hand with a failing state. Pirates attack ship in Gulf of Mexico.

This details a specific incident in which 2 Italian sailor were injured, but what caught my eye is the admission that the problem is growing.

The southern Gulf of Mexico has seen an increasing number of pirate attacks on oil platforms and boats in recent years.

I wonder how long it will be before they target a cruise ship.

Organized Shoplifting Gangs Include Kids

As HeyJackass! would say, “Illustrating Chicago Values.” Kids, some only 10-years-old, join weekend shoplifting mobs.

Retailers are dealing with a wave of organized shoplifting teams that frequently use juveniles to do their dirty work. North Side locations of Forever 21, H&M, Ulta Beauty, DSW, Patagonia, and Burlington have been struck repeatedly — sometimes twice within hours.

So you have to wonder, “Where are these kids parents?” Are they part of the shoplifting crew? Are they just absent?

And for those who don’t know, HeyJackass! has the best crime stats from Chicago.

New Infrastructure Isn’t Being Built Very Well

My continuing dive into the state of our infrastructure keeps making me want to scream. It isn’t just that we are ignoring our existing infrastructure, (we are ignoring it) we are doing a poor job of building new. While we are apparently building (or maybe rebuilding in this case) roads, we are doing a fairly poor job of it.

So this story from Animal Magnetism: Goodbye, Blue Monday. Which is about the sorry state of Colorado’s Department of Transportation (CDOT). (Normally I would reference the main article, and give Animal a Hat Tip, but the “media organization” in question is really annoying me, so, “No soup link for you!”)

One example cited is the collapse of a highway bridge, 5 years after it was built. Colorado’s Highway 36. It seems that in 2013 Colorado changed the law for building roads from “lowest bid” to “best value.” So how is that working out?

Consider that the Brooklyn Bridge (which currently carries 6 lanes of traffic) openend May of 1883, and the Golden Gate Bridge opened in 1937. Or there is Anji Bridge, which is 1400 years old. (Reference. And the entry in the Wiki.)

Then to fix the problems in CDOT, the governor appointed a new head of the agency, 35-year-old Shoshana Lew. Her greatest qualification seems to be that she was on Michelle Obama’s staff. Ms Obama apparently called in a favor with the governor. Ms. Lew replaces a 56-year-old man with an extensive background in civil engineering. Lew has a master’s degree in history.

So, in other words, Governor Polis has appointed an inexperienced, unqualified political crony of Michelle Obama to oversee Colorado’s collapsing road network.

And while she apparently – as stated on an interview with NPR – is all in favor of bike lanes, and electric vehicles, actually addressing the gridlock that is the state of Colorado’s highway system, not to mention that it’s crumbling around the edges, doesn’t seem to be on her radar. There are a large number of vacancies for snowplow drivers as winter storms are already hitting the high country, so that probably isn’t good either.

The Oroville Dam Near-disaster: The Cost of Ignoring Infrastructure

When I started looking into the dam failures called out in the post, Our Aging Infrastructure, I never dreamed I would find so much information of bureaucratic ineptitude putting people at serious risk, because reasons. Mostly the reasons are around “We don’t want to ask those people for more money,” or “We don’t want to spend money on what the engineers say we should spend money on.” Case in point, the Oroville Dam spillway (near) disaster of February 2017.

Why is all this important? Forget about building new infrastructure, we are not even maintaining the infrastructure we inherited. Members of previous generations now seem like giants — When did we become so small?

When the Oroville Dam spillway failed in early 2017, I didn’t hear too much about it, or I didn’t pay too much attention. The media was mostly in a frenzy about the 2016 election, and the early part of the “Russia, Russia, Russia!” insanity. But it was a bigger deal than I knew at the time. Like the Space Shuttle disasters, it was an engineering problem, compounded by management’s unwillingness to listen to reason. It was also a failure in multiple modes, and the root causes of the failures were known to management. They just didn’t want to believe the engineers.

Bob Bea Takes Us on a Deep Dive Through His Dire Oroville Report.

Bob Bea was a professor of engineering at Cal Berkley. Before he retired he was part of the Center for Catastrophic Risk Management. As outside experts, not hired by or associated with California’s Department of Water Resources (DWR) or The Division of Safety of Dams (DSOD), he and Tony Johnson examined all of the publicly available documents on the incident in Oroville from February of 2017.

A Review: On 7 February 2017 a portion of the main spillway at Oroville Dam failed. Specifically station 3300 failed. The spillway gates were closed. This being in the middle of the wettest winter on record for northern California, the lake levels rose to 900 ft above sea-level, and then the water began to pour over the emergency spillway. It was the first time that had ever happened. Within 24 hours erosion of the emergency spillway threatened to undermine the 30 foot weir, threatening folks living downstream. 180,000 people were ordered to evacuate, and the main spillway was reopened. The resulting destruction of the main spillway and erosion of the surrounding land dumped 1.7 million cubic yards (or so) of debris into the tailrace of the hydroelectric plant at Oroville Dam, The Hyatt Power Station, threatening to flood and destroy the power station.

There is way too much information on the initial emergency to include here. There are hours of video from DWR, and more from Blancliro. Even the link at the top, barely scratches the surface of the report. The main report, can be found at the following link. Root Causes Analyses of the Oroville Dam: Gated Spillway Failures and Other Developments.

That report details several problems going back to the construction of the dam in the 1960s.

Continue reading

The Cost of Politicians Shooting Off Their Mouths

The mayor and bunch of other “Woke” politicos decided that the shooting was definitely murder, and said so, even though the police were still investigating it as a possible self-defense event. Arson investigated at Dayton home where two teens were killed.

Because politicians calling for calm, and reason is SOOO 20th Century.

So of course, since the politicians shot off their mouths, but no one was arrested, the “community” decided they needed to act on their own.

Fire destroyed a home where police said two teenagers were shot and killed by the homeowner in August. Investigators said they believe it was arson.

“Somebody just set that white house on fire,” said a 9-1-1 caller on Thursday night. “I was just parking my car and it exploded and a black car drove off.”

The homeowner of course was long gone. And the house was vandalized with graffiti since the shooting.

“Somebody couldn’t spell ‘murder’ because they came and spray painted it on the house,” said Chris, a Conners Street resident.

Somebody should, but nobody will, call the mayor, et al to account for the reckless words.

Our Aging Infrastructure

So when does this constitute a crisis? I’m only going to cover dams today. Not the California power outages (plural). I am going to limit myself to dams. For today, anyway.

In my post, The Coming Dark Age, I reference an article by Victor Davis Hanson: Members of previous generations now seem like giants — When did we become so small? One of the things he talks about is dams, and how we don’t build any. Of course it appears we aren’t even maintaining any that we have inherited. Then I ran across a gif of a dam failure, and I went looking for more data. And found more than I could have realized.

On May 14th of this year, part of the spillway of a Texas dam failed. Aging steel suspected in dam failure at Lake Dunlap.

The lake is both a source of fresh water and an economic driver through recreation. Boating seems to have been (past tense) a particular driver of the economy.

What caused the failure is still under investigation, but the river authority released a statement Thursday evening saying it believes that “aging structural steel” played a role.

A similar spill gate collapse occurred in 2016 at Lake Wood, 4 miles west of Gonzales, after structural steel inside that gate failed.

This is video from May, showing the exact moment of the dam failure. You can spare the 30 seconds involved.

Guadalupe-Blanco River Authority (GBRA) owns several dams, most over 90 years old, and apparently all in need of repair. And two have failed. Unsafe zones identified in study. These dams are 90 years old. That they would eventually need repair/replacement is NOT a secret. That fact was known the day they were built. So why no plans, no savings, no action? Because as Hanson describes in the link at the top, we are a generation of social-media addicts, who can only castigate previous generations, generations who built all of our infrastructure, for their perceived failings. As if we were perfect.

The river authority has said the aging dams — all upwards of 90 years old — need their spill gates replaced at an astounding cost. Officials have said the authority has no funds to make the necessary upgrades, which has led to safety concerns with the prospect of injury should someone be on a lake or near a dam when the next spill gate fails.

So what has the authority been doing for the past 90 years? All their dams need repair at once, after 2 have failed.

And of course it isn’t just Texas that has an issue.

Warning unheeded: 2010 dam collapse in Hopkinton was destructive, and predictable

At about 5 p.m. on March 30, 2010, as record rainfall pounded Rhode Island, Blue Pond Dam collapsed, releasing 179 million gallons of water that raced through nearby woods before tearing into a road and washing out a bridge over Canonchet Brook.
[SNIP]
Dam failures are almost never expected, but in the case of Blue Pond Dam the warnings were clear.

And it isn’t only one dam in Rhode Island. Dozens of dams across R.I. are considered unsafe or potentially unsafe. ‘We are literally one storm away from loss of life,’ says one expert.

The state does not know who owns 32 unsafe dams. Actions against 60 dams were pursued, but only 3 were fixed.

The State of Oregon is going to finally pony up some money to fix a dam that has been operating at 72% of capacity since 1994. Planning underway to replace Wallowa Dam. If you click thru and look at the image, it looks like the dam has failed, but apparently they reduced levels before it became a disaster.

Anticipating funding would one day become available, the district hired McMillen to draw plans for a new dam. Because of the risk of a failure, he said the dam has been running at 72% of capacity since 1994. The rehabilitated dam would provide more water to irrigators and allow for more water to be released, increasing stream flows for fish.

Plattsburgh, a city in New York, has voted to just remove a dam. City votes to petition removal of dam. Because it isn’t worth “fixing something that is broken.” (Funny, I’ve had any number of cars towed to a mechanic over the years. I didn’t realize it wasn’t worth it, and I should just buy a new car – every time an alternator or water-pump failed.)

More Power Outages for California

You didn’t think that they were done, did you? Blackouts return: Utility cuts off power to 450,000 Californians to avoid igniting wildfires.

Pacific Gas & Electric said it would go through with the planned outages affecting nearly 180,000 residential and business customer accounts, starting at 2 p.m. Pacific Time in the Sierra Foothills and proceeding soon after to San Francisco Bay Area communities. In all, portions of 17 counties will lose power.

There is a great review of the previous blackout from Juan Brown of Blancolirio. (I found that video thanks to The Freeholder.) He notes that this is NOT a function of Global Warming, but a function of deferred maintenance.