Wake Forest Sheriff Gets a Bit of a Wakeup

The North Carolina sheriff stopped issuing pistol-purchase permits because of COVID-19. Wake sheriff to resume pistol permit applications halted by coronavirus concerns.

He still gets to take COVID-19 into account, but he has to issue permits.

The consent order gives Baker up to seven days to implement the changes needed to resume accepting pistol purchase applications. Information on the modified application process will be available on the Sheriff’s Office Pistol Permits Office’s website in the next few days.

Concealed carry permits are still on hold because they stopped doing fingerprinting. Infectious disease protocols, don’t you know.

So why is any sheriff issuing “purchase permits?” Seems very anti-Second-Amendment to me. (Hat tip to Pirate’s Cove.)

New York Was Also Too Cool to be Prepared

Like California, they thought being prepared was something a bunch of weirdos in fly-over-country did. They were too cool, or something. We didn’t have to have ventilator shortage — leaders chose not to prep for pandemic.

The were short of ventilators. They knew that. But they decided that it wasn’t worth it to be prepared. They had other, cooler, things to spend money on.

Several years ago, after learning that the Empire State’s stockpile of medical equipment had 16,000 fewer ventilators than the 18,000 New Yorkers would need in a severe pandemic, state public-health leaders came to a fork in the road. [SNIP]

In 2015, the state could have purchased the additional 16,000 needed ventilators for $36,000 apiece, or a total of $576 million. It’s a lot of money, but in hindsight, spending half a percent of the budget to prepare for pandemic was the right thing to do.

Instead they instituted a task force to come up with rationing criteria. A death officer triage officer will decide who gets a ventilator, and who doesn’t. This is the caring side of the .gov in Deep Blue New York. One half of one percent, versus the lives of thousands of New York residents.

If I lived in New York, I would want to know who made those decisions, and what they decided was more important to spend money on. Well, I would never live in New York, but you know what I mean. And when does this kind of decision-making rise to the level of depraved indifference, or whatever the legal term is in NY State?

We already saw that California thought it was more important to build their high-speed-rail-to-nowhere, than it was to be prepared.

California Was Too Cool to Stay Prepared

Being prepared is for all those crazy people in flyover country, not for the cool kids in California. Calif. was ready for virus, then it wasn’t: State had plenty of emergency supplies, then got rid of them.

Being prepared for an emergency costs money, and they were busy building their high-speed rail to nowhere, which was so much more important than being ready for a pandemic.

After the Avian Flu then-Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger set up a program to be prepared for the next time.

They were ready to roll whenever disaster struck California: three 200-bed mobile hospitals that could be deployed to the scene of a crisis on flatbed trucks and provide advanced medical care to the injured and sick within 72 hours.

Each hospital would be the size of a football field, with a surgery ward, intensive care unit and X-ray equipment. Medical response teams would also have access to a massive stockpile of emergency supplies: 50 million N95 respirators, 2,400 portable ventilators and kits to set up 21,000 additional patient beds wherever they were needed.

But it wasn’t just the initial cost. (Which was hundreds of millions of dollars.) It was the ongoing costs of maintaining the respirators and other equipment that has use-by dates.

In 2011, Gov. Jerry Brown cut off the money to store and maintain the hospitals and equipment.

Much ofthe medical equipment — including the ventilators, critical life-saving tools that are in short supply in the current pandemic — was given to local hospitals and health agencies, former health officials said. But the equipment was donated without any funding to maintain them. The respirators were allowed to expire without being replaced.

Together, these two programs would have positioned California to more rapidly respond as its COVID-19 cases exploded. The annual savings for eliminating both programs? No more than $5.8 million per year, according to state budget records, a tiny fraction of the 2011 budget, which totaled $129 billion.

So what was more important than public health? Their much publicized high-speed rail project kicked off in 2010, though construction didn’t start that year.

And the costs? California’s High-Speed Rail Project: Devolving From Political Pork, To An Ego Monument, To Trump Resistance

With only about a quarter of the $80.3 billion in funding needed to complete the project identified, chances are high that the train will only run in California’s Central Valley, from Merced in the north, 171 miles to Bakersfield in the south—with plain old bus service completing the connection to San Francisco and Los Angeles, making the 800 mile trip slower than flying or even driving down the I-5.

So 80.3 billion dollars for a political pork-barrel bonanza, or 6 million per year for 10 years to safeguard public health in the event of an emergency. It is clear what the priorities are of the politicians in California. But hey, as Forbes notes, they get to say how much they don’t like Trump. (Hat tip to Maggie’s Farm.)

Cincinnati PD Lists Crimes They Don’t Care About

That isn’t how they phrased it, but that’s what it amounts to. Starting Tuesday, Cincinnati PD won’t respond in-person for these calls.

I know this is from last week, but this slipped my notice. I never go into Cincinnati, and I don’t read their news/watch their TV. And I stopped listening to the radio when I got my first smartphone.

Cincinnati police announced Monday that these calls will be referred for online or phone reporting:

  • Assault reports where there is no medical attention necessary and suspect is no longer present
  • Breaking and entering reports where there are no suspect(s) or possibility of property recovery
  • Criminal damaging reports

The list is about twice that long.

They say that they are not “condoning’ these crimes, and they all will be dealt with, eventually. Yeah right.

So, you’re on your own, even more than usual. At least they’re upfront about the situation.

Hat tip to Gun Free Zone and MaddMedic.

Epic Fail at Children’s Protective Services in Ohio

“I’m from the government, and I’m here to help.” Not so much in this case. Police: Children Services placed 2 kids in home with sexual assault suspects.

Montgomery County Children Services placed a 4-year-old girl into a home with two known sex assault suspects, a Dayton police report says, and kept the child in the home after the girl and her 5-year-old brother said she was sexually abused there.

Because they are bureaucracy, more interested in their benefits and union than in doing the job they are supposed to do.

Schlaack said the allegations in the police report demonstrate a failure of the system and the need for more accountability and transparency for children services agencies.

The 4-year-old first told her mother that her grandfather was abusing her during a visitation in July 2018, shortly before the mother was to regain custody. The mother told the caseworker about the allegation, according to the police report, but the caseworker allegedly didn’t follow orders to schedule a forensic examination, left the girl in the home with the grandfather and then continued court-mandated visitations between the grandfather and the children after the mother got the kids back.

Sounds like “protective services” needs to have someone read them the definition of “protection.”

Everything is under review. The caseworkers name is “being withheld.” My guess is that nothing will happen to anyone who works for the .gov, because that is the way the system is designed, to protect members of the system. And no one else. (Hat tip to Gateway Pundit.)

Insider Trading? Not for Senators

You don’t think they make it so they have to obey the same kinds of laws you do. Dianne Feinstein, 3 Senate colleagues sold off stocks before coronavirus crash: reports.

Sen. Dianne Feinstein of California and three of her Senate colleagues reported selling off stocks worth millions of dollars in the days before the coronavirus outbreak crashed the market, according to reports.

The data is listed on a U.S. Senate website containing financial disclosures from Senate members.

It’s a lot of money. Millions of dollars worth of stock. (Hat tip to Wirecutter.)

Does This Mark the Start of a New Authoritarian Age?

According to Hoyt: Seven Days In March And she gets bonus points for referencing one of my favorite Cold War movies.

Anyway, the weird thing happening to me right now, through the Chinese-virus-panic, is that I’m sitting here in slack-jawed horror thinking that everything changed, that we’ve lost our last chance at restoring our republic and Western civilization with it, that the US and the world are on the brink of a new authoritarian age. And no one else seems to see it.

I think she just hasn’t thought it through. We’ve always been on the brink of an authoritarian age. An EMP. A nuclear war. A killer virus. A socialist in the White House. The normal state for humanity is to live under an authoritarian state. Greek and Roman democracies lasted for an eye blink. Followed by Alexander and the Caesars, respectively, and then a 1000 years of the dark ages. More or less. As for the part of the world that is not Europe. Well, the largest portion hasn’t ever had democracy. Not if you add China and Russia together.

And her reference, in the title to her post, the Cold War movie Seven Days in May, points that out better than just about any piece of the culture ever has.

Western Civilization has been doomed since the Left gained absolute control over the schools. There is no good and evil. There is no right or wrong. There are only feelings. See my previous post on how the Millennial generation (and the one after it) cares only about their feeling and their wants. They have no empathy, no consideration. Some might call them barbarians. I just think they are broken.

The Two Space Shuttle Disasters and Changes to “Minor” Details

People who don’t understand engineering or material science are often quick to discount how a “seemingly minor change” to a small component or material can have a bad outcome. Especially if they really want the change in question to happen. Both of the Space Shuttle disasters, the loss of Challenger and the loss of Columbia, can both be traced to such changes.

I was reminded of this when writing the post on The St. Francis Dam collapse. Small details that management was unwilling to admit could have big consequences.

The article at the following link is perhaps not the best article on the shuttle disasters, but it has information on both of the disasters you know about, and a “near miss” that you probably don’t remember. Shuttle Danger a Result of Environmental Concerns?

If you are of the right age, you remember the Challenger disaster of 1986, and how O-rings were blamed when one of the solid-rocket boosters caused the external fuel tank to explode.

It is widely known that the 1986 explosion of the Challenger shortly after lift off was the result of a faulty O-ring which allowed hot gases to escape from the solid rocket booster and pierce the skin of the external fuel tank. What is less well-known – according to the report cited above – is that the faulty O-ring was also a “replacement part”.

For the Challenger’s mission, NASA had been forced to stop using a putty used to insulate the O-rings from hot gases (which had worked during the first nine flights) because the manufacturer stopped using asbestos in the paste. The manufacturer had bowed to public pressure to stop using the flame-retarding material it had produced since the Second World War.

So we outlawed asbestos, and NASA couldn’t get something that had been critical to the first 9 flights of the Space Shuttle. So why wasn’t the flight scrubbed, until they were sure of the replacement material? In part, because it was a small change. (What could go wrong?) This was in spite of the fact that the US Military had experienced similar failures after they could no longer get the asbestos paste. Can you say, “Failure of management?” There was plenty of that.

The Space Shuttle Columbia disintegrated on reentry in 2003 because several of its heat-shielding tiles were damaged by foam falling off the external fuel tank at liftoff. Most people will know that, but what they might not know is that the formulation of that foam changed, because of pressure from the EPA to stop using Freon.

In 1997, NASA bowed to environmental pressure from the EPA to change the chemical makeup of the foam used to coat the tank to exclude freon, a gas some have suggested led to ozone damage which was a major environmental point of contention in the 90’s. The new foam did not stick to the tank and was quicker to fail under the extreme conditions of a rocket launch. In the first launch with the new foam formula, the shuttle orbiter sustained eleven times more damage from failing foam than in launches using the freon-laced coating.

Doubts were raised by workers at the space agency, almost immediately, but went unheeded. [my emphasis. Z-Deb]

There was an exemption made available for NASA to keep using Freon, but they stuck (no pun intended) with the new formula, even though it was not nearly as good. What could go wrong?

Well in 2003 we had the Columbia disaster. And the near miss? In 2007, Space Shuttle Endeavour suffered from foam falling on the heat shielding tiles. But that crew managed to survive.

Small changes can have devastating consequences, especially when engineering concerns are discounted because the bean counters think it is too expensive, or they think that the engineers are just being silly. “It’s a tiny change. What could go wrong?” But then what would the response have been in Congress, the media, wherever, if someone had suggested grounding the entire Space Shuttle fleet because Freon was absolutely required? Or asbestos paste was needed for O-rings? Can you imagine the outcry? “Those engineers want to destroy the environment,” would probably have only been the opening salvo in that war.

I am sure this is not the last time that a “minor change” will be highlighted by engineers, discounted by management, and will result in a bad outcome. It is the way of the world. Especially when what is being discussed is complicated technology.

Totalitarians HATE Encryption

And it seems there are bunch to be found in Congress. EARN IT Act threatens end-to-end encryption.

While we’re all distracted by stockpiling latex gloves and toilet paper, there’s a bill tiptoeing through the US Congress that could inflict the backdoor virus that law enforcement agencies have been trying to inflict on encryption for years.

At least, that’s the interpretation of digital rights advocates who say that the proposed EARN IT Act could harm free speech and data security.

Sophos is in that camp. For years, Naked Security and Sophos have said #nobackdoors, agreeing with the Information Technology Industry Council that “Weakening security with the aim of advancing security simply does not make sense.”

We don’t need no 1st Amendment. OR privacy.

And while this will be couched in all manor of “It’s for the children” smoke, it is really about ending encryption.

Standard Leftist Take on Homelessness Is Wrong

The Progressives are mistaken about something? Color me shocked! The progressive narrative on homelessness has always been wrong—and new data undermine it further..

OK, I’m not that shocked. But it is nice to have some data.

The Left loves to go on about how homelessness is the result of high rents. Then in the next breath they push for laws to make it harder to build homes. But of course it isn’t out the cost of rent, not completely.

But according to a recent Los Angeles Times investigation, 46 percent of the homeless and 75 percent of the unsheltered homeless have a substance-abuse disorder—more than three times higher than official estimates from the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority.

And then there is mental illness.

In general, cities have claimed that roughly 25 percent to 39 percent of the homeless suffer from mental-health disorders. As new data from the California Policy Lab show, it’s likely that 50 percent of the homeless and 78 percent of the unsheltered homeless have a serious mental health condition.

Remind me again, why did we decide, as a society, that we would ignore mental illness?

Anyway, there is more good stuff at the link. (Hat tip to Maggie’s Farm.)

Democrats and Coronavirus

Democrats: Trump is not doing enough to stop the spread of Coronavirus. Democrats to Urge Trump to Declare National Virus Emergency.

Also Democrats: We will party on St. Patrick’s Day! Coronavirus Update: NYC Half Marathon Cancelled, St. Patrick’s Day Parade Still On Amid Calls For ‘Social Distancing’

Even Chicago cancelled its parade.

The Story of Roosevelt Twyne

He was arrested for having “hollow point ammunition.” But the state’s own website lists the ammunition he had as being legal. He was licensed to carry a concealed firearm. He was in New Jersey.

Here is Colion Noir’s take on the situation. The video is less than 5 minutes, so…

Hat tip to Moonbattery.

New Jersey Reaches New Low

Because they hate all gun owners, even the ones licensed for their work. New Jersey: Carry-Licensed Security Guard Arrested for So-Called “Hollowpoint” Ammo.

What a load of crock.

The New Jersey State Police Firearms Information FAQ website specifically states:

“Ammunition lacking a hollow cavity at the tip, such as those with polymer filling, are not considered to be hollow point ammunition. An example of this can be seen with the Hornaday Critical Defense #ad / Critical Duty, Car-Bon PowRball / Glaser Safety Slug and Nosler Inc. Defense ammunition.” (Emphasis added.)

Roselle Park Police Officer Louis Plock, nonetheless, arrested and charged Twyne under NJS 2C:39-3F(1) (possession of hollow nose ammunition) for possessing the above-mentioned Hornady Critical Duty ammo #ad.

The guy is suspended from his job. The cops will face no problems because cops don’t have to know or obey the law; only you have to do that.

There is a GoGetFunding page set up for this guy. Legal fees. Unemployment.

Cooking the Books on Crime

This is about Chicago, but do you think any other city is better? Oops! CPD claims violent crime is down 3% this year (it’s actually UP 13%).

The powers that be want to report that crime is down in Chicago. Even if they have to lie, to do so.

Across the country, crime statistics are organized by a system established by the FBI in 1929. Generally speaking, the bureau considers four crimes to be “violent” — murder, rape, robbery, and aggravated assault.

Burglaries, thefts, and motor vehicle thefts, which CPD inexplicably lumped into its “violent crime” category for the past two months are not violent.

But hey, it’s just statistics. (Which brings up the old quote about “Lies, damn lies, and statistics.”

Hat tip to Second City Cop, with the post Hahahaha….Down? Down?? Who notes…

The media isn’t even remotely curious about why Burglaries and Robberies are classified as Property Crimes some months and Violent Crimes other months? Or maybe why Burglaries are downgraded to Thefts depending on what direction Groot needs the crime stats to read? Why Beck and Groot are making a massive deployment to CTA stations and platforms if robberies are down?

We joked years ago that future generations were going to “owe” crime to the past because with the constant 3% here and 3% there, crime would be out of existence by the time we got close to retirement. Once upon a time, the media worked in this town. But we guess that was long ago.

“Groot” is Second City Cop’s endearing nickname for Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot. Can you guess that there is not a lot of love between Chicago PD and City Hall?

Affordable Bail Leads to More Crime

Because keeping criminals in jail is unfair. Man charged with armed carjacking less than a month after being released on “affordable bail”.

Cops caught him driving a stolen car. He was released on his own recognizance.

Edward Fleming is now charged with aggravated vehicular hijacking with a firearm, felony armed robbery, felony possession of a stolen motor vehicle, and felony aggravated unlawful use of a weapon in connection with the latest crime.

So social justice or regular justice? You pick. It’s beginning to look like you can’t have both.

The Medical Profession Has Lost Its Mind

Because not testing for the current pandemic is standard operating procedure. CDC confirms the first US coronavirus case of ‘unknown’ origin. The California patient was hospitalized for days before getting tested.

The California patient didn’t travel anywhere known to have the virus, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said. And the patient wasn’t exposed to anyone known to be infected.

That means this could be the first US case of “community spread” of the virus.

And in the most stunningly stupid thing to come out of government is a really long time…

CDC says Americans’ lives may be disrupted

Gee, ya think? Geniuses. They are geniuses at the CDC.

Fire Commissioner’s Plan = Hide the Truth

What? The TRUTH is making him look bad. Fire Commissioner: Don’t Admit No Ambulances Are Available On Dispatch.

The fire commissioner Richard Ford:

Fire Commissioner Richard Ford wrote, “The process of indicating that CFD is out of available ambulances or asking for any available ambulances over the radio will no longer be allowed.”

Paramedic Field Chief Patrick Fitzmaurice (who has been saying this is a problem for some time):

“Oh wow. Per the fire commissioner now,” Fitzmaurice said. “He’s going to cover this up. This is a cover-up.”

Because the public’s right-to-know stops where the Fire Commissioner says it does.

Apparently They Like the Incredible Levels of Gun Crime

Doing something about criminals wouldn’t be Social-Justice-Warrior Approved. Baltimore Democrats don’t want Larry Hogan to rein in gun violence.

2019 saw Baltimore set a local record (national record?) on gun crimes per capita. You would think people would want to do something about that.

The governor of Maryland wants to “get tough on crime” and do something about the insanity that is going on in Baltimore.

So what have the Democrats in the legislature done about it? They’re preparing to shoot it down, of course. And the interim mayor of Charm City is backing them up. (CBS Baltimore)

Of course they are. They are not distressed about gun crime. They NEED high levels of gun crime to help push their agenda – which doesn’t include “tough on crime” measures like minimum sentences. (Hat tip to View from the Beach and The Daley Gator.

Reality Hits Chicago

How high can you push taxes before someone notices. Sales of Chicago commercial buildings plunged in 2019: ‘Everyone was asking me what’s wrong with Chicago’

Well, if the people in question are politicians, they will never notice that taxes are too high. Real Estate investors on the other hand…

Sales of office, apartment, hotel and industrial buildings in the city totaled $8.07 billion in 2019, down from the post-recession peak of $16 billion a year earlier, according to Jones Lang LaSalle.

With the dollar sales volume cut in half, last year was the worst year for commercial property sales since 2013, when transactions totaled $7.55 billion.

Now that the dollar value basically doubled from 2013 to 2019 is also a problem reminiscent of bubble, but to have it cut in half in a single year is amazing.

Last year’s reduction in sales slashed about $95 million in city, county and state revenue generated from real estate transfer taxes in 2019, compared with the previous year’s total. That means less money for the Chicago Transit Authority and other services funded by local governments.

It’s OK. The City of Chicago, and the County of Cook and the State of Illinois will just keep raising taxes, until everyone leaves. Or maybe not, because they are competing against places like Boston and San Francisco, and as screwed up as Chicago is these days, it is still cheaper than some of those other cities.

How Can You Have a “Moral Crisis” in the Absence of Right and Wrong?

But then no one said the Left was logical. City Journal – The Moral Crisis of Skid Row.

A look at Los Angeles and Skid Row. The “epicenter” of the addiction crisis. Gangs. Addiction. Prostitution. A general breakdown of civilization.

But the conditions that prevail, are what the Social Justice Warriors wanted. Because law and order is racist.

Roughly a decade ago, Skid Row’s future looked more hopeful. In 2006, Police Chief William Bratton and Central Division Commander Andrew Smith implemented a strategy of Broken Windows policing for Skid Row, called the Safer Cities Initiative, which led to a 42 percent reduction in major felonies, 50 percent reduction in overdose and natural deaths, and 75 percent reduction in homicides. “We’ve broken the back of the problem,” said Chief Bratton then, reporting that the overall homeless population had been reduced from 1,876 people to 700 people—an astonishing success. (See “The Reclamation of Skid Row,” Autumn 2007.)

The progress proved short-lived. Arguing that Broken Windows policing “criminalizes homelessness,” activists slowly dismantled the Safer Cities Initiative through civil rights lawsuits and public pressure campaigns. Today, Skid Row’s homeless population is estimated to be at least 2,500 people, and crime has been rising for years.

So reductions in overdose deaths were a bad thing. Reductions in homicides were a bad thing. I suppose that means leaving people to die, while living in tents amid filth, that must be a good thing.