Politicians Releasing Rapists and Murderers in the Name of Social Justice

So how’s that working out? ‘Her Death Is On YOU’: Police Union Blames NYC Mayor de Blasio’s Sanctuary Policy For Homicide.

  • The Sergeants Benevolent Association on Sunday blamed NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio for the death of a 92-year-old woman, who was allegedly killed by an illegal alien.
  • The illegal alien, Reeaz Khan, had been previously arrested by the NYPD, and ICE had issued a detainer request for him, but the request was ignored and he was released back into the public.

Because not even public safety is more important than their views of Social Justice.

Puerto Rico’s .gov Hording Disaster Supplies

Because government lackeys get paid whether or not they actually do their jobs. Chaos in Puerto Rico as mob finds unused disaster supplies.

An angry crowd in earthquake-rattled Puerto Rico stormed a warehouse Saturday after learning that it contained a stash of emergency supplies — that had been sitting untouched since Hurricane Maria slammed the island in 2017.

After the hurricane they went without. Now they are suffering through the aftermath of an earthquake that has forced many into shelters. And then they find supplies, like bottled water, sitting a warehouse.

The governor fired a bunch of folks including the director of emergency management.

Secretary of State Elmer Roman told Univision news Saturday that there may also be other warehouses on the island with unused stores of supplies.

And the list of stuff found in the warehouse – the size of 4 football fields – is staggering.

“I’m from the government, and I’m here to help.” (Hat tip to 90 Miles From Tyranny.)

I’m not sure how, but I’m reasonably certain CNN et al will be blaming this on Trump in about 3 seconds.

Because Actually Charging People for Non-emergency Ambulance Rides Would Be Wrong

Or something. ‘Frequent Fliers’ Are Hidden Drain On Chicago’s Ambulance Services; One Patient Called 911 400 Times In 18 Months.

On the streets, where paramedics barely get a break, let alone the opportunity to return to headquarters, there is a group of patients known as “frequent fliers.”

These are the people who routinely call 911 for an ambulance, even though it might not be medically necessary. Sometimes the patient may need a prescription refill or maybe a ride to a doctor’s appointment.

And so people who really need an ambulance wait. Does this count as abuse of socialized medicine?

This story is from Chicago. Do you think it is any different anyplace else?

Electronics Form Part of Your Infrastructure

And anyone who purchased a smartphone in the past 5 years knows that technology isn’t cheap. Public safety committee considering new Hawkins Co. emergency communication equipment after major malfunctions.

As Miller explained, Hawkins Co.’s radio communication equipment, which is used by law enforcement, EMS and fire departments within the county, has been malfunctioning off and on since the beginning of November and has been completely offline since Dec. 18.

Nothing lasts forever, and that includes electronic communications gear. In this case, however, while they talk about recent outages, it isn’t clear that the radio system deployed ever really lived up to what the county needed.

Areas around Clinch and Slate Hill had poor to no service even when the communication was properly functioning.

Replacing the radio system will cost hundreds of thousands of dollars.

When you call 911 for a crime situation, you are counting on police to come and save your ass, but if officers can’t communicate with each other, or the 911 dispatch center, there are so many more opportunities for things to go wrong. They will move slow, and they may not have all the messages you’ve given the dispatcher. You don’t have to imagine all the ways that can go bad, all you have to do is read the news.

Infrastructure Rebuild and Old-fashioned Pork (The Political Variety)

The Chicago Transit Authority’s Red line on the North Side, was built in 1924. It certainly is due for a rebuild. Can you guess where the funding is coming from? About the Red & Purple Modernization Program.

First the history.

The Red and Purple Modernization (RPM) corridor is a 9.6-mile stretch of track that was built close to a century ago—much of it in 1924, when Calvin Coolidge was U.S. President and the Wrigley Building had just been constructed. Most of this infrastructure is at the end of its useful lifespan. Frequent maintenance to repair tracks and remove slow zones is costly and hinders service.

OK, the elevated trains in Chicago are old. It is loud when a train goes by. The structures (steel) are mostly rusting, and things have been known to fall off of train cars. All of that will be replaced, with a more modern-looking arrangement. And certainly all infrastructure needs to be replaced eventually.

But then there is where the funding came from.

RPM Phase One is funded by $957 million from federal Core Capacity Funds that was formally approved by a Full Funding Grant Agreement with the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) on Jan. 9, 2017. The remaining Phase One funding includes a federal $125 million Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality Improvement (CMAQ) grant from the Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning (CMAP), $622 million in Transit TIF funds from the City of Chicago and CTA financing.

January 9th, 2017. Not quite two weeks before Obama left office, the federal government drops $1 trillion, and then some, on Chicago. Because heaven forbid that people who use the system should actually pay for the system.

If this is SOP for federal funding of local transit, I’m not sure I think it is a good idea. But then I doubt my county could get a similar grant to replace some of our failing bridges. (We just raised local taxes, because it is an issue. And one bridge, about 5 miles from here, is closed while we try to figure out how to pay for its replacement.)

Bail Reform – Because Keeping Criminals In Jail Is Wong

JusticeOr so the Democrats keep telling me. Soros-Funded Crime Spree Continues.

After 13-year-old Sienna Carter vanished in downtown San Francisco a week ago, a frantic search ensued. The girl was found, a suspect was arrested but now has been set free to prey on other children. Why? In recent years, progressives funded by billionaire George Soros have pursued an agenda of targeting elections for state attorneys general and local district attorneys, while simultaneously promoting so-called “bail reform” initiatives.

See Chicago’s Recipe for more crime, and New York’s getting in on the act.

New York’s Recipe for More Crime

Taking a page out of Chicago’s book? No, just the way Democrats want to do things. Thief who robbed four banks is FREED on New York’s no-bail policy – then knocks over another bank 24 hours after shouting ‘I can’t believe they let me out’

The headline kinda sums up the whole story.

Woodberry was then alleged to have robbed a fifth bank on Friday in Downtown Brooklyn, and the police have asked the public’s help in finding him

Hat tip to Wirecutter at Knuckledraggin’ My Life Away, who notes – Persistent fucker, ain’t he?

Austin Neighborhood Patrols

So what is deep blue Austin, Texas spending money on aside from things like police and fire protection? North Austin homeowners patrolling neighborhood after increase in break-ins. But it does mean they aren’t getting the police coverage they think they need.

So people breaking into cars overnight is an issue in parts of Austin. So much of an issue that people are getting up in the middle of the night to patrol their neighborhoods.

Video from the neighborhood association show that the break-ins have ramped up over the last several months between 1 a.m. to 5 a.m.

“They come by the car load sometimes and they will just scatter out of the car like ants and hit all the cars in the area and jump back in the car and take off to the next,” said [The Retreat at Tech Ridge HOA Vice President, Cristie] Purple.

The patrols apparently get better response from 911. And media attention usually helps.

Homeowners want more police to patrol the area during that time window. APD is basically saying they don’t have the extra resources. I wonder what Austin is spending money on. Do they pay for “Art in the Park” or something similar? Do they fund a needle exchange?

Corruption Worthy of Chicago

This is a beautiful little set piece of “How to screw the taxpayers.” Opinion: S/p/a/c/e/ GRAFTport Camden.

For years, a group of cronies in Camden County, Georgia have been sucking up millions of local taxpayer dollars for an alleged “spaceport.”

There will never be a “spaceport.” The US Navy forced them to close the local airport over security concerns. And there are other reasons as well. Doesn’t stop the graft from being real.

Your Tax Dollars At Work – Austin, TX Edition

Because they want to help, they keep spending money. Austin City Council is the Grinch Who Stole Everyone’s Money.

They keep taxing and spending. And spending. They spend about twice what Dallas and Houston do on a per capita basis.

For example, consider the $1 billion they spent on an ill-advised biomass power plant that produced energy for only six months; the whole project has since been shut down because it was such an expensive disaster.

Or how about the $140 million overspent on a flawed tunnel, $450,000 blown on two public toilets, $115,000 tossed to clean one public toilet

But Biomass is Green Energy. So they’re helping. Or something.

Chicago’s New “L” Cars Built With Child Labor

Is anyone surprised? Chicago is corrupt on a good day; on a bad day you can add stupid into the mix. L Cars made in China? Another decision made by short-sighted idiots.

CTA officials have asked the Chinese manufacturer of new L cars coming to Chicago for answers about the materials it’s using after NBC News reported children as young as 4 are mining minerals in Africa that might be used in their production.

Now partly this is the way mica is sourced.

It’s funny how very few people take Apple or Tesla to task for the way Lithum or Cobalt is mined. But then it is easy to pick on the CTA, and they deserve it. (No one in America builds subway cars?)

But hey, public transportation is good for the environment. (As long as you don’t look at the effects of lithium mining.)

What’s the Cost of Ignoring Infrastructure?

If bridges can’t support fire trucks, you better hope you don’t have a fire. Unsafe Bridges Impact Lansing Emergency Response.

Lansing, New York Fire Chief Scott Purcell is concerned because the load-limit on a bunch of bridges in his town have been reduced. Because basically they have been ignore for so long, they can no longer support the weight of a fire truck. The town doesn’t actually do maintenance of the bridges, as that falls to either the state or the county. The town is just stuck dealing with the consequences.

What I am asking is that the Town Board use whatever power it has to reach out to other government officials such as members of the State Assembly and State Senate to find the funding to fix these bridges and make them capable of supporting large fire apparatus again. I know there will not be an overnight solution to the problem, but it needs to be addressed and a plan put in motion to fix this problem before there is a large loss of property, or, even worse, the loss of human life.”

So when did we decide that government had so many other things to do? Roads and bridges. Basic services like fire and police. I know that there are a lot of other things people think government should do, but are any of them more important than making sure firetrucks can get to the scene of a house fire in time to do some good?

Your Tax Dollars at Work: The $600K Shipping Container Edition

Facepalm X 2Government sucks, and California government sucks like a Dyson vacuum cleaner, but this is insane. L.A.’s New Project Housing Homeless In Shipping Containers Costs $600k Per Home.

That 600K is higher than the median price of condos in L.A.

The containers will be arranged into towers, then connected by walkways to create a single, unified building topped with rooftop terraces and gardens. They have been specifically manufactured as modular, prefabricated homes because building codes prevent the developer from using recycled containers.

So right off the bat, L.A. is lying to everyone because they are not shipping containers. They just look that way.

“We aren’t actually building housing cheaply; we are just simulating building cheap housing as expensively as possible,” [J.F.] Mailander [a retired banker who has been a vocal critic of Garcetti’s housing policies] said.

But government is “doing something” even if it is insane. Bets on how long it takes for those “rooftop gardens” to be overrun by drug addicts? “I’m from the government and I’m here to help.” That is still the most frightening sentence in the English language.

Higher Education

A case of life imitating art. Breaking Bad: College Edition: Two Professors Charged With Making Meth.

Two chemistry professors at Henderson State University in Arkansas were arrested for allegedly manufacturing methamphetamine on campus. Authorities began investigating Terry Bateman, 45, and Bradley Rowland, 40, after a chemical spill forced the evacuation of the Reynolds Science Center on October 8. The school had to hire an environmental service company to clean the air and ventilate the building.

Not the sharpest tools in the shed

So, I wonder if the folks at Henderson State knew what was going on before the chemical spill.

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

Alcohol Breath Tests Are NOT Reliable

What a surprise! Bureaucrats ignoring the truth to make themselves look better. And if it puts people in jail? Well, no one cares about the little people. These Machines Can Put You in Jail. Don’t Trust Them..

But those tests — a bedrock of the criminal justice system — are often unreliable, a New York Times investigation found. The devices, found in virtually every police station in America, generate skewed results with alarming frequency, even though they are marketed as precise to the third decimal place.

Judges in Massachusetts and New Jersey have thrown out more than 30,000 breath tests in the past 12 months alone, largely because of human errors and lax governmental oversight. Across the country, thousands of other tests also have been invalidated in recent years.

The manufacturers are covering their assets. The people in the states responsible for the machines are just lying through their teeth. And DAs are only interested in winning, not in Justice.

Your Tax Dollars At Work – New York City Edition

Because actually paying for transport would be expensive, and cops don’t have anything better to do, right? Mayor Bill de Blasio repeatedly ordered his NYPD security detail to drive his 22-year-old son Dante 75 miles to and from Yale University.

Executive Protection Unit detectives escorted Dante back and forth between New York City and New Haven, Connecticut, seven or eight times during his first year at the Ivy League – even though the mayor’s son didn’t face any security risks at the time, insiders told the New York Daily News.

Do I expect anything to come of this? Of course not. A politician making fast and loose with taxpayer funds and taxpayer services isn’t anything that anyone (in politics) will get upset about.

First Login to ARPANET – Oct. 29, 1969

50 years ago today, the Internet was born. Sort of. I think that says it all.

On October 29, 1969, at 10:30pm Pacific Time, the first two letters were transmitted over ARPANET. And then it crashed. About an hour later, after some debugging, the first actual remote connection between two computers was established over what would someday evolve into the modern Internet.

Funded by the Advanced Research Projects Agency (the predecessor of DARPA), ARPANET was built to explore technologies related to building a military command and control network that could survive a nuclear attack

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.)