Even in Deep Blue Los Angeles, People Are Beginning To Say “Enough!”

That is, “Enough with the taxes, already.” A shrug from voters to struggling L.A. schools, and have a nice summer, kids.

The LA Times is heartbroken that given a choice, taxpayers who already feel overburdened don’t want to pay more in taxes. Isn’t it the Democratic Way to collect more taxes? Not that any problems are ever solved…

A new levy of some kind has failed. Measure EE it was called. Here are some of the comments the reporter has heard.

The district administration is inept, they carped. The union is corrupt and teacher benefits are bloated. Taxes are already too high. Parents are derelict. More money wouldn’t make a difference. Illegal immigration is bankrupting the district.

The last one is telling. Can it really be that in the Liberal Bastion, of LA in the heart of The People’s Republic of California, that voters are finally seeing the impact of illegal immigration? (I’m sure the LA Times will be labeling all of them Racist Trump-supporters in the next day or two.)

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Grenfell Tower Disaster – Two Years On

It’s hard to say who they are painting as the villain, because almost no information has been released. Grenfell investigation: Scotland Yard carries out 13 interviews under caution.

On June 14th, 2017, there was a fire in the publicly owned Grenfell Tower in London. 12 people died. Many were hurt.

Fire fighters initially told people to NOT evacuate. (They didn’t want all those fleeing civilians in their way.) Then the firefighters figured out that they were not going to contain that blaze. In so many ways, this reminds me of Paradise, California.

The city owned the building. The city maintained the building – there was no working alarm throughout the entire building. The city “renovated” the building with materials and in a fashion that would never be allowed by US building codes. Once on fire, the tower went up like a torch. (Click thru for a photo of the blackened hulk.)

Two years, and the investigation is only getting started.

Grenfell Tower info at this link, and Paradise, California info, specifically info on the Camp Fire, at this link. There is a good disturbing photo of the fire at that first link.

Baltimore Wants You to Pay for Their Lack of Planing

Because even though they’ve been told for the past 4 years that they are doing things wrong, why should they be responsible for their actions. Baltimore calls for federal emergency declaration after cyber attack.

City council president wants the federal government to have a larger supporting role in helping the city recover from the attack that disabled computer systems and key citizen services.

This will tell every city, county and state that they don’t need to do anything about cyber security, because when bad things happen, and they will, the federal .gov will bail you out. Can you spell “blank check?”

What is happening in Baltimore isn’t a disaster. It is the completely predictable outcome of the way they have been managing information technology. Refusing to listen even to the people that they hired to fix the mess. I, for one, don’t want to pay for their stupidity. For details on that stupidity, see this link.

The Sad State of Education in America

Because actually learning something in school is SO 20th Century. I was let go as substitute teacher because I corrected my students’ grammar.

Without standards, the whole system is a sham — a very expensive waste of money, cheating both kids and taxpayers.

You would think that a teacher would be let go because they did something awful. The awful in this case was teaching and demanding standards be met.

What students apparently objected to was me handing back their papers, hectoring them about language errors. I told them unapologetically, “This is your native language, people! Second grade mistakes — not distinguishing between ‘your’ and ‘you’re,’ misspelling ex(c)ercise, leaving off caps and periods — from freshmen and sophomores are unacceptable … “

The Left has already destroyed America, they just have to sit back and wait. Anyway, go read the whole thing. (Hat tip to Wirecutter.)

Baltimore Hoping to Blame Anyone But Themselves

Because they have a lot of blame piled up. Eternally Blue: Baltimore City leaders blame NSA for ransomware attack.

This is from a week ago, but apparently not much has changed. And I wanted to see what created this catastrophe of no planning.

City Leaders would like it to be “all NSA’s fault,” but the truth is, they built this catastrophe day by day for the past decade.

Baltimore’s ongoing ransomware dilemma is in many ways a product of more than a decade of neglect of the city’s information technology infrastructure. Since 2012, four Baltimore City chief information officers have been fired or have resigned; two left while under investigation.

Baltimore spends about half of what similar cities do on Information Technology, and most of what they spend is not centrally controlled, so a push to fix problems – like hardening against ransomware – has almost no chance of moving forward.

The Current CIO hired Gartner Group to do a 5-year plan. Not much has been done. His report on the plan says, in part…

Decades of decentralized information technology (IT) management and insufficient enterprise investment has led to a system that struggles to support city priorities and deliver service improvements for both residents and businesses. Furthermore, many of the city’s IT capabilities are outdated and lack the modern-day range of capabilities offered by comparable cities.

He said that BEFORE they got hit with ransomware. So I can see why they want to blame anyone else.

Baltimore: The Insanity Continues

So how’s that “Let’s save money by not updating our systems” working out? Baltimore estimates cost of ransomware attack at $18.2 million as government begins to restore email accounts.

And the BEST part of the story? They want YOU to pay for the fact that for 2 years they didn’t update their systems. Even though 2 years ago, these attacks were in the news for months. How stupid do you need to be to not heed those warnings?

He added that he has talked with Democratic U.S. Rep. Elijah Cummings of Baltimore and plans to reach out to other members of Maryland’s congressional delegation to talk about getting financial help from the federal government because of “the virus that they let out,” referencing a New York Times report that a tool leaked from the National Security Agency played a role in the Baltimore hack.

If you have critical infrastructure that is running on outdated and not updated software, then you need to review the definitions of “Critical” and “Infrastructure.” (I’m sure if you ask nicely, someone will be willing to read them aloud for you.)

Your tax dollars at work in Baltimore. More on the attack can be found at this link.

The Tin-pot Despots of City Bureaucracies

The City of Houston has a bunch of would-be-dictators in the City Planning Dept. Houston Family Without Sewage for 17 Months Due to City Regulations.

“Nobody stands up to this because they literally have the authority to retaliate so hard that you will lose your livelihood,” Krieger expressed in frustration.

Aside from the fact that they are giving him grief – just because the can – they have no standards for what is approved and what is denied.

More broadly, Spelz’s business has had building plans rejected that were exactly the same as ones that were approved, with the only difference being the address. They would have exactly similar plans get vastly different procedural instructions.

Say that again. He gets a project approved in the City of Houston. Then he wants to build an EXACT COPY of that house on a different lot. Now it doesn’t meet City of Houston requirements. Why? Because the can. Because there are no checks and balances. And the result.

Blain continued, saying, “Local officials, especially in dense, urban areas often talk about housing affordability, but support policies that keep affordability from becoming a reality. Burdensome regulations and permitting delays keep housing supply from ever meeting demand and that’s exactly what we’re seeing here.”

And this isn’t even like California – in the middle of an epic housing crisis – that keeps passing regulations to make housing even more expensive. (Yeah, that should help!) This is just Texas, where the Bureaucrats can do whatever the hell they want, and no one calls them to account for their actions.

And if you think this only occurs in Houston, you never dealt with local building codes.