Even In The People’s Republic of California…

Self-defense works. Orangevale burglary suspect shot by homeowner.

Around 4 a.m. Thursday, a man called authorities to report a burglary attempt at his home. The man said he confronted the burglar and shot him.

Cops found him a short time later, and took him to a local hospital. He is expected to survive.

Self-defense is a human-right. Good Guys 1, Bad Guys 0.

SFPD Cooks the Books on 911 Response Time

They aren’t the first, and probably won’t be the last, department to do so. SFPD finds crime response times longer than thought. So it adds to its goal.

For years San Francisco has been clocking the average response time to serious crimes at 5.5 minutes, when in fact it takes a median time of 7 minutes from when the 911 call is made for police to arrive on the scene, according to revised calculations just released in a joint Police Department and city controller’s report.

So since they are making it to “serious crimes” in 7 minutes they set a stretch goal of being there in 8 minutes. (Way to beat those metrics!)

This article is not clear at all, but that minute and a half are usually time for the call to be answered, relevant data to be collected. (Place, nature of help needed) and for a cop to be dispatched. Travel time of the cop to the scene will depend on traffic, etc.

Continual improvement? Not so much. Resting on your laurels? Maybe, though if you are penalized for not meeting goals, they should be goals you have a chance to meet, and the circumstances should be completely in you control. (Traffic is not something that is in an officer’s control.)

The Media Admits That a Court Order Isn’t a Magic Spell

They still miss a lot. Restraining orders ‘just a piece of paper’ without a plan, advocates say. Still, they told the truth, even if it was by accident.

A sad story of a woman and her children killed by her estranged husband after she spent a day getting a restraining order.

The day before she was murdered, Rosario spent hours at a San Diego courthouse getting a restraining order against her spouse, Jose Valdivia. She’d threatened to get one before, Rosario wrote in court documents, but Valdivia told her it wouldn’t do her any good.

And it didn’t.

The article quotes people in the victim-support-industry about the need for plans.

Advocates say plans are tailor-made for each individual, but some common components include: putting together a list of emergency contacts, making copies of important documents and giving them to someone you trust, creating new habits — like shopping at a different grocery store — that aren’t familiar to an abuser, changing wireless and cellphone passwords and limiting location sharing on social media.

Self-defense? Pepper spray? A firearm? Anything? Of course not. The victim-support-industry is not interested in getting abused spouses to refuse to be victims. They have shelters to fill, and lawyers to pay. Giving important documents to a friend or relative will not keep you safe. Having a list of contacts will not keep you safe, unless you write it on the inside of a bullet-proof vest. And then you wear the vest.

As for “shopping in a different grocery store” that misses the biggest issues. To and from work. Picking up and dropping off kids at school and daycare. Attending religious services. All of these activities involve being in a known location on a set schedule, and all of those places are “gun free zones” so the potential victim is disarmed. For whose safety? “You don’t need a gun in church!” is a statement I have heard made by folks on the Left. They don’t have a violent stalker. And they aren’t religious anyway…

Then again, this was California, so she couldn’t purchase a weapon if she tried. Or she could, but she would have been dead before the waiting period was up.

A gun may not have saved this woman. “There are no guarantees in this life save for death and next winter’s snow.” But the system did nothing for her, and even if it worked perfectly, was probably never going to save her from this guy. That isn’t what cops do. They are not your personal bodyguards, unless you are an elected representative of the people. Cops show up after bad things have happened and try to figure who did what. In the few seconds to minutes when bad things are happening, or about to happen, you are on your own. You should plan accordingly.

L.A. Seems Shocked that Crime is on the Rise

Because crime is not supposed to impinge of the Progressive Center of the City. Or something. Homicides on the Rise in Downtown.

Since the start of August, eight people have been killed within the Central City. Overall, the killing marked the 15th homicide in Downtown since the start of the year, which has already surpassed last year’s mark of 13 at this time.

But it’s better than it was a few years ago, so that’s OK then.

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.

Stupid Can Get You Killed

You could also file this under, “Don’t bring a fake gun to a real gunfight.” VIDEO: Robber Points Replica Gun At Cop, Gets Shot By Real Bullets.

Cops had been searching for a vehicle involved in a series of crimes, so they were following when the car pulled into a 7-Eleven store.

A masked suspect, later identified as 18-year-old Michael Griffin, jumped out of the passenger seat of the car and ran into the business armed with a handgun, police said.

Security footage showed Griffin as he pointed a gun at the store clerk.

Two customers were standing between the suspect and the clerk at the time.

The detectives rushed into the store behind him and ordered him to drop his weapon, but Griffin refused and turned towards the officers with the gun in his hand, according to the video release.

Can you guess what happened? They shot him. He died. They later figured out that the gun was a BB gun.

Camp Fire – One Year On

I hate it when I miss important anniversaries. California’s Camp Fire started early on the morning of November 8, 2018. It would be an incredibly destructive fire, both in terms of property and lives lost. After a year, the area impacted is coming back to life, but very slowly.

There are no shortage of articles marking the anniversary. Few seem to capture what happened that day. ‘That fearsome day’: I escaped the Camp Fire. One year later, the recovery isn’t over.

Information was hard to come by. Then the phone began to ring and rumors began to spread. I gathered three of our cats and got them in their carriers. The fourth one, always more skittish, saw me coming, heard me coaxing and ran away. I remember the last glimpse of her vividly. She always comes to mind in any inventory of losses.

By the end of that day, nearly a hundred of our fellow ridge residents would be dead. Almost everything familiar to the rest of us would be gone. Almost everyone would spend that fearsome day fleeing the fire in slow motion, caught in traffic that inched along one of the few evacuation routes.

The population of Paradise, California was about 26,000 before the fire. By the end of the year, it will be between 4 and 5 thousand people.

Blancoliro has an update on the situation. Camp Fire UPDATE Rebuilding Nov 2019. It’s a 20 minute video, but I think it’s worth the time. Before and after photos. Video of the situation on the ground. etc.

Nova’s Inside The Megafire

Considering the source, it is fairly well-balanced. Inside the Megafire.

It is a long video at 53 minutes, so make sure you have some time.

From the front line of the Camp Fire, the deadliest wildfire in California history, NOVA tells the stories of residents who had to flee for their lives during the 2018 fire season. Scientists racing to understand what’s behind the rise of record-breaking megafires across the American West take to the forest, and even a fire lab, in search of answers. They investigate how forestry practices, climate change, and the physics of fire itself play a role in the dramatic increase in wildfires in recent decades. (Premiered May 8, 2019)

There’s a nice mix of fire science, and a recognition that more than a century of mismanaging the forest play a role in the megafires. As well as all the building done in the forest. Which I get, but why build incredibly combustible homes in places where fires are a reality? Why not have more fire-resistant building codes? Because reasons. (And remember, FEMA pays for at least some of the cleanup of these fires. That means your tax dollars at work.)

I haven’t watched PBS in decades, but the folks who are responsible for this episode of Nova used some of the aerial footage shot by Juan Browne of Blanoliro. Which is how I ran across it.

“Some animals are more equal than others.”

A sure sign that you live in a police state is the existence of two sets of rules: one for the cops, and one for the little people. Police Officers Accused of Domestic Violence Can Plead Down Charges — and Keep Their Guns.

A VOSD review of domestic violence-related cases involving police officers in San Diego County over the last decade found that prosecutors often find themselves on the opposing end of orders allowing cops to go back to work with their guns. Sometimes, though, prosecutors put up no fight at all.

Justice? Serve and Protect? They have to protect their own, before the rest of us come into consideration.

A one time occurrence? Look at the story of Drew Peterson, a cop in suburban Chicago, who was convicted of murdering one of his wives, only after his last wife went missing. Lots of calls to 911 resulted in not a single police report. Gee, I wonder why.

And since I doubt people read Animal Farm anymore, here is some info on where that title comes from.

Funny How This Isn’t Taken as a Sign of Climate Change

Climate change toward better conditions would be horrible. From the Left’s point of view, that is. After Years of Fiery Hell, California Gets Less of a Scorching in 2019.

Only about 163,000 acres have burned this year, a fraction of the 632,000 or so scorched in the same period last year. A wet, snowy winter led to a widespread greening in the spring, signaling there would be plenty of tinder around after a hot, dry summer. But the landscape stayed relatively moist after clouds moored above the Sierra Nevadas in May slowed the snow melt.

So when is it weather, and when is it climate change? I need a scorecard, or a flowchart, or something.

And maybe the good folks in Kalifornia need to get used to blackouts, because PG&E says it found some 100 instances of wind-damage that could have started fires. In case you missed it, the utility cut power to about 2 million people and the businesses that support them.

While that move has faced fierce criticism, PG&E crews inspecting more than 27,500 miles (44,257 kilometers) of power lines after the blackout found wind damage that included trees tangled with power lines and utility poles knocked to the ground.

Of course either way, PG&E loses. They cut power; they lose. They start fires; they lose.

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

How to Survive the California Blackouts

Or any other opportunity to experience the 19th Century first hand. Calpocolypse 2019.

Or maybe I should say, “How to avoid revisiting the 19th Century.”

That link is to a video on the Blancoliro channel. I would embed the video below, but WP, in its continuing effort to protect me from myself, won’t let me take advantage of the “start=” parameter available in YouTube. I wanted to skip about the 1st half of the video in question. You are of course free to view it, but I wanted to shunt people directly to the portion of interest.

Kincade Fire, Power Outages, and the Complete Lack of Preparation

So the good people of California are not prepared for living in the 19 Century. Strong winds stoke flames, fears as Kincade Fire rages on.

This update was posted by the Mercury News Tuesday night, but in typical newspaper fashion it sounds like it was written on Wednesday morning. Deadlines are a funny thing I guess. Anyway, there is a lot of good info on what took place on Tuesday. Apparently during the day winds were in the 40MPH range. When I checked at about 9:30 Tuesday night (Windy.com) they had dropped to about 14 knots (or 16 MPH).

But this is the part that really caught my attention.

At the same time, temperatures around the Bay Area are expected to drop significantly this week — in some places hovering at freezing or below — potentially making it hard for residents without power to keep warm.

Now partly this is a media organization fanning the flames of panic. OMG!!! Freezing temperatures? Humans can’t survive under those conditions! But there is probably a lot of truth in that statement as well. If 10 percent of the population was prepared for anything like this I would be very shocked.

Now granted, even though PG&E has been talking about preemptive power outages for a year, or more (certainly since before the Camp Fire), the real test will be next year. Now that they know power outages are real, that they will last more than 4 hours, and that there may be more than one a season, will they do anything? Will they have kerosene heat? Or a wood stove? (Though California frowns on those) Will anyone buy a propane refrigerator, or a whole house generator? Will they have canned goods on hand, and a way to cook? Or will they be as completely helpless and useless as it seems they are this year. My guess is that they will do nothing, except bitch and moan about how it is all completely unfair, or that the .gov should take care of everything. Or something.

Rule one of prepping. Have something to drink on hand that doesn’t require ice. I have Scotch, and Bourbon. And a few other things. After a day or 2 of living in 19th Century conditions, you are going to need a drink. OK, OK, maybe that’s rule 4, not rule 1.

More Armed Self-defense in California

Though this may cost this store owner in other ways. Store Owner Shoots Gang Member In North Hollywood ‘Gun Battle,’ Police Say.

According to police, the gun battle broke out between the owner of the supermarket and Armenian gang members who had been trying to extort thousands of dollars from the owner for weeks.

I have no feeling for whether or not this gang will cause him problems over the shooting or not.

The guy who got shot was shot in the arm, was taken to a local hospital, and arrested.

The store owner is facing no charges, because even in the People’s Republic of California, self-defense is both your legal right, and a human-right.

Even in the People’s Republic of California…

Self-defense works. Burglar dies after being shot by homeowner in Oxnard.

Police officers responded to a home on the 400 block of La Canada Avenue at 2:30 a.m. and found a 37-year-old Hispanic male suffering from a gunshot wound. The burglar was taken to the hospital from complications from his injuries.

The investigation continues, but the homeowner is cooperating with the police.

The Kincade Fire

So California wildfires are in the news, and like the 2018 Camp Fire, early indications are that the source of the ignition for the Kincaid Fire was a PG&E high-voltage transmission line, but it will be a while before they actually say what was the cause of this fire. More on that later.

First let’s look at the current status, as of Monday morning. Kincade Fire in Sonoma County grows to 66,000 acres, 5 percent contained.

More than 180,000 people are being evacuated from the devastating Kincade Fire in Sonoma County. The blaze has now burned more than 66,000 acres and is 5 percent contained, according to CAL FIRE. There are 80,000 structures threatened and 96 structures destroyed, including at least 31 homes.

New emergency evacuations were enforced in Santa Rosa Sunday night as large flames spread quickly toward homes in the areas of Markwest, Larkfield, and Wikiup. Police drove through the streets, blasting sirens as a final warning to get out immediately.

For comparison, the Camp Fire burned a total of 153,000 acres before it was through.

And although this hasn’t been positively identified as the source of the fire, it does have that potential. PG&E says transmission line broke as Sonoma fire began

PG&E had been shutting off power to residents to avoid fires sparked by electric lines. The utility company said nearly 28,000 people in Sonoma County, including Geyserville and the surrounding area, lost power when distribution lines were shut off at 3 p.m. Wednesday. The company said transmission lines, which operate at a higher voltage, remained energized at the time the fire started.

CalFire said they found a broken jumper cable on one of the 230,000 volt transmission lines in the area where the fire started. So while PG&E turned off the regional distribution lines, and put a bunch of people in the dark, they left the high-voltage transmission lines energized. As usual, Juan Brown of Blancolirio, has the best information. Be warned, he streamed this video to YouTube from the top of a mountain, and so the quality is pretty low, even if the information is top notch. Mt Patterson, Ca. 11,000′ PG&E UPDATE Kincade Fire, Sonoma Co, CA. He has apparently headed, with his family, to the eastern Sierra mountains, since they had their power cut off at home.

If there is any good news this morning it’s that the winds in the area are down to 2-to-5 knots in the area of the fire. (See Windy.com for info.)

And it may be the NY Slimes, but they do have some stunning photography. The Kincade Fire in Pictures.

Cops Shoot Fleeing Kid in Back of Head

They sat on the video as long as they could, but discovery is a thing in the American legal system. Shooting an unarmed teen in the back of the head was justified, police said. Then video emerged.

Murrietta-Golding, 16, takes eight steps before the officer fires a bullet that shatters the teenager’s head, just above his brain stem.

He died three days later in a hospital.

Cops were searching for his brother when they shot him. Not him.

At the time of the shooting, cops said they “feared for their lives” because he reached for his waistband. He was holding up his pants and running away. He was really executed because he disrespected their authority.

Chandler [an attorney] was denied access to the surveillance video by police and city officials, he said, and received it only as part of the trial’s discovery process.

Deputy Brian Ishmael

End of Watch. Neighbors Shocked By Gunfire That Killed Deputy Brian Ishmael.

An El Dorado County deputy was shot and killed while investigating a theft at a marijuana garden in rural El Dorado County early Wednesday morning.

And neighbors were shocked, but then they always are.

Electric Cars and California’s Blackouts. Plural.

Because nothing says “environmentally responsible” by not driving anywhere. Electric-Car Owners Shocked by California Blackouts. And they are back in the black – out – this week.

So if you’re a Californian who bought an electric car to save the environment, now you can’t drive it because of the risk to the environment. If you really cared about the planet, you wouldn’t go anywhere or do anything or participate in 21st-century life at all.

Of course with no electricity, you are basically living in the 19th Century. Except without the knowledge or tools people in that century had to, you know, live. (Canned goods. Kerosene lanterns. Wood stoves. Non-electric heat.)

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.