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Posts Tagged ‘Los Angeles

Good news from a simple solution

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In the last few weeks I’ve written a couple of posts on the supply chain problems cropping up around the world, in particular across the Pacific and especially between the USA and China:

The Shipping News

World’s Worst Job

Since then the problem has actually got worse, with even more ships parked outside the Port of Los Angeles. In reading one of my foreign sources I came across a link to the Twitter account of a guy called Ryan Petersen who had rented a boat to go and look at the port to see what was happening.

But that was as far as I read and it merely confirmed other news about the situation. As it happens I should have read further, because he discovered something amazing that is almost beyond belief.

As this commentator summarises while listing out the entire Twitter thread:

  1. There was a rule in the Port saying you could only stack shipping containers two containers high.
  2. This is despite the whole point of shipping containers being to stack them on top of each other so you can have a container ship.
  3. This rule was created, and I am not making this up, because it was decided that higher stacks were not sufficiently aesthetically pleasing.
  4. If you violated this rule, you lost your right to operate at the port.
  5. In normal times, this was annoying but not a huge deal.

The last point on that list is this:

None of those people managed to do anything about the rule, or even get word out about the rule. No reporters wrote up news reports. No one was calling for a fix. The supply chain problems kept getting worse and mostly everyone agreed not to talk about it much and hope it would go away.

It’s incredible that this one stupid bureaucratic rule could be so obviously part of a massive and growing problem and not have anything done about it.

As it happens the Twitter guy did do something about. Having spotted the problem he suggested the obvious solution of suspending the rule so that containers could be stacked more than two high.

So far, so what you may say. Well this is where the power of connecting people on Social Media, in this case Twitter, was made obvious and for once in a good way. That initial tweet got 16k retweets and 33k likes, and even the others got thousands of likes as well, so this successfully got many people’s attention – including the people who make decisions, like the Mayor of Long Beach where the port is located:

That decision was made just eight hours after Petersen’s Tweet thread was posted.

EIGHT HOURS!

You can read the following blog post – An Unexpected Victory – for a (lengthy) analysis of this incident as an example of problem solving – and a glimmer of hope for solving other problems:

If you’re not terrified that the United States is a dead player, you haven’t been paying attention – the whole reason this is a miracle, and that it shocked so many people, is that we didn’t think the system was capable of noticing a stupid, massively destructive rule with no non-trivial benefits and no defenders and scrapping it, certainly not within a day. If your model did expect it, I’m very curious to know how that is possible, and how you explain the years 2020 and 2021.

Sadly there are multiple problems involved in the supply chain crisis, of which this was just one.

Written by Tom Hunter

November 9, 2021 at 10:08 am

Flyover State

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The term “Flyover country” was invented by US Progressives some years ago as a pejorative smear against all the rubes living in the USA between the East and West Coasts, over whom the Advanced Thought Leaders jet back and forth on their way to making the world a better place.

Other such descriptors are “Jesusland” and my personal favourite, “The Land Of The Low Sloping Foreheads”.

😅😅😅😅😅😅😅😅😅😅😅😅 Oh those English graduates. Such wit.

Incidentally the reporter who coined that term died of cancer and heart disease just a while later after collapsing in the newsroom of The New York Times, which seems very appropriate when you consider that this attitude had been around long before, as this famous 1976 New Yorker cover shows.

But what else could you expect from a magazine for whom this cover became its logo.

“Flyover Country” has stuck and even rebounded on them a bit in recent years, particularly after the mid-term elections of 2010 that booted Nancy from power after just four years when she thought had twenty, and of course in 2016.

I say rebound both in terms of the shock the Coastal Progressives suffered at discovering those people still mattered and had power, plus the inland yokels grabbing the term and starting to wear it with pride.

However, the one thing never considered was that it might be applied by any Democrat Progressive to their own State. Yet that is exactly what the idiot Governor of California did just the other day in a staggeringly brain-dead admission he made while being interviewed by The Atlantic magazine for their article on his recall election, What California’s Recall Election Says About America:

Still, he had to get moving—he was driving to Los Angeles, not flying, so that he could make stops along the way and talk with voters on his own. Flying over California his whole life, he had “never fully absorbed and appreciated it,” he told me. He’s hoping that the state cares enough to appreciate him, at least a little longer.

Incredible, and this guy is sold as “smart”. This is what happens to disconnected politicians; they don’t even realise how disconnected they’ve become from the voters. This guy was born and raised in the state and has never even driven between San Francisco and Los Angeles? That’s flyover country to him. No wonder the I-5 and CA-99 are in such shocking states of disrepair; the local pols don’t drive them, don’t know and don’t care.

Governor Hair Gel rose in politics because he was a Democrat in a One Party state and because he was mates with some of the richest families in San Francisco (Nancy Pelosi’s being one of them).

At the RedState news site there’s also an excellent summary of both The Atlantic article and a similar one from The Economist (“The Trials of Gavin Newsom“), where both are stripped apart for being nothing more than perfect reflections of Newsom and his class. On The Economist article:

It is interesting how these lefty writers always view it from their filter, rather than from the actual filter of the people who have spoken out in favor of recall. Did this writer bother to watch that heart wrenching video of Angela Marsden of Pineapple Hill Saloon & Grill? Did this writer bother to interview any of the mothers whose children were shut out of school for almost two years? How about the mothers who had to quit their work to manage their children on Zoom?

I loved the following Tweet response to that news of Newsom’s fly-not-drive:

If you’ve wondered why Trump made serious gains with Hispanic and Black voters across the USA, that Tweet sums it up.

I subscribed to The Economist in the 1990’s because detailed news of the world can be hard to come by in the US, but clearly it’s gone well to the Left and shallow. RedState notes a reference to the awful “Recall” actions as “They should try to fix the quirk”, and points out that:

It is a 110-year old provision baked into the California constitutional republic. The fact that it has only succeeded once in 110 years shows the solidity behind its intent. The persistent dismissiveness of it shows that the Left has no issue with the Recall law, as much as they have issue that it has been successfully used against them.

Something the useless Economist writer should have known. The Atlantic writer gets the same treatment for ignoring the very real and genuine factors driving Newsom down in the polls:

However, this writer prefers to fixate on what he knows: Trumpism, COVID hysteria, and why Republicans are so stupid. He touts an unspecified poll about how people blame the unvaccinated for this latest surge (so original). When, according to Hair Gel, 80 percent of California is fully vaccinated. The major population centers (read Los Angeles, Ventura, and Alameda counties) are still restricted and masked to the hilt—so how is it possible that the unvaccinated are causing this surge? But, the Left loves their narratives, and they are not going to let this one go. Always in need of a bogeyman instead of actually looking at their failed policies.

It’s that last part that is the reason I’ve paid so little attention to this election to date. Even if Newsom is recalled and replaced by a Republican, the failed Democrat policies will remain in place because the Democrats have overwhelming control of the State House and Senate. For almost twenty years now they’ve been able to pass whatever laws they wanted and override the Governor’s veto. It’s why Arrrnuullld (RHINO) was turned into a pussy so quickly when he became Governor after Gray Davis’s recall – although judging from comments in recent years, there was not much difference between him and the Democrats anyway.

It’s possible that Larry Elder, a Black Conservative talk radio star, might actually win the election. Certainly he’s viewed as the Number One Danger by the LA Times, who went so batshit insane that they produced this headline, complete with a pure Post-Modernist argument explaining why.

As to the election itself, it seems to be moving along the lines of a Preference Cascade. People who six months ago did not consider recalling Newsom and probably thought the petition to do so a waste of time, have seemingly come to think that now they have the opportunity they may as well give him the boot. The polls have shifted dramatically from “will never happen” to “almost certainly will happen” – hence all these worried Lefty reports on Newsom and his sudden transition from dismissiveness to flop-sweat efforts at currying favour with the voters.

Either way, for the rest of the USA the following warning will still apply.

Written by Tom Hunter

August 30, 2021 at 2:30 pm

“Magic Stick”

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The craziness just isn’t stopping in the culture wars of the USA (and likely here in NZ before you know it).

This time it’s a woman at an upscale LA gym called Wi Spa, who decided to go full “Karen” on the admin staff at the front desk.

Her complaint was not that of some whiny-ass White Woman. No, you can tell by the accent that it’s a Black Lady and she’s pissed big time about … well, a dude deciding to flop himself down in the women’s section with all his junk hanging out because he’s a “trans-women” and that’s the law, as the staff try to explain to her.

That last guy at one point just makes a complete idiot out of himself by indicating that a man would not necessarily have an issue with a woman who identified as a man coming into the men’s locker room and showing their female lady parts, insinuating that because of that women shouldn’t have a problem with men who identify as women flashing their genitalia in the locker room.

Fuck I hate mansplainers (click the link: you know you want to). Judge Holden material.

It’s 2021 and there are now people arguing in a court of law that women should be totally comfortable and not unsafe at all in situations like this, that it should be viewed as perfectly normal.

Raises all sorts of interesting intersectionality questions though. In the video you can see another woman who’s demanding a refund. She’s Asian. Who are the biggest bigotted H8r’s here?

Apparently there have also been moderately violent protests outside this spa in the wake of this. You can guess who has been violent but I’ll give you a hint: it’s the people who know they can get away with it because they’re the best victims. Naturally Antifa are involved, but whether they punched any Black Nazi’s in the face I don’t know. They did apparently scream about “transphobes” but even in these enlightened times that’s tough to do when you’re on the side of defending an adult man exposing his dick to little girls, as one of the woman in that article details:

This woman describing the incident from last year explains in great detail how a naked person with a beard and a penis came where the woman, her six-year-old daughter, and older Korean ladies were — all naked — at the women’s hot tub. The woman explained she was a registered Democrat and it wasn’t about a person being trans but about the exposure to her little daughter and the other women.

The “registered Democrat” is a nice touch but it won’t work. Be quiet and sit down, bigot.

Written by Tom Hunter

July 7, 2021 at 12:00 pm

California Screaming – an energy desert

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From the 1930’s to the 1970’s California made huge plans for its future, building large numbers of power stations and the transmission grid to link them, bridges and expressways for transport, and dams, canals, and aqueducts as part of a vast system to bring water from the snowy mountains of the Sierra Nevadas to the desert of the Central Valley and the coastal cities.

It was a golden era and it was planned for 25 million people. As the 1970’s rolled around new plans for further development were made in all these areas, for a 21st century population of 40 million or more.

And then in the 1970’s it all came grinding to a halt as the newborn environmental movement cranked up, with California seeing itself as the leader, starting with Jerry Brown, the son of the legendary California Governor, Pat Brown. While Pat became known as “The Builder of California”, his son stopped almost every project in its tracks in his first term as Governor after Ronald Reagan, serving from 1975 to 1983. Legendary Chicago journalist Mike Royko labeled Brown “Governor Moonbeam” and it stuck. There is no sign that he has ever regretted his earlier decisions.

There’s plenty of evidence that the rest of California is, although that has not yet shown up in the voting, with heavier totals for the Democrat Party than ever. Just like its two most famous cities, Los Angeles and San Francisco, the state has slowly stumbled into a miasma of failure, almost entirely due to the complete domination of the Democrat Party and the resulting unconstrained implementation of some of the Left’s most insane ideas of how to run a society. Even in the areas of energy.

Recently Governor Newsom ordered CARB (California Air Resources Board) to implement the phaseout of new gas powered cars and light trucks by 2035, barely 14 years from now. He also called on the state legislature to ban fracking. Meanwhile California, which has always had its own oil and gas fields, but which now is steadily banning the exploitation of them, increased its crude oil imports from foreign countries from 5% in 1992 to 57% in 2018.

In addition, the problems with electricity in the state have resulted in memes like this one, which are a direct result of similar government control in the area of power production.

In 2006 the state passed the Global Warming Solutions Act (or Assembly Bill 32), which mandated state-wide reduction of GHG emissions to 1990 levels by 2020, a 30% reduction statewide, with mandatory caps beginning in 2012 for significant emissions sources. As part of this the aim was to get “renewables” (excluding hydro) to 33% by 2020. Spinoffs of this legislation created retail and corporate tax and pricing incentives to push that move.

It worked within its narrow field of vision, with solar rising from almost nothing to 14% of capacity and wind to 7% by 2018. Some 170,000 distributed solar systems are now hooked into the state’s grid. Excited by this success AB 32 was pushed further in 2015 with legislation known as SB 350 that requires California to generate 50 percent of its electricity from “renewables” by 2050 – with emissions-free nuclear power not eligible for inclusion. The latter hardly matters since the only remaining nuclear power plant in the state, Diablo Canyon, is slated to close by 2022 anyway despite having decades of life remaining. In August 2018, California passed a mandate to have 100% carbon-free electricity generation by 2045. Strangely, hydroelectric facilities greater than 30 megawatts don’t qualify as renewable under the state’s Renewable Portfolio Standard requirement. Both large and small hydro generation in California have plummeted over 60% in recent years.

But as exciting as these renewable numbers may be there are also negative consequences arising from the “success”. Since wind and solar power are non-dispatchable – meaning they can’t produce power when it’s demanded – there are unusual factors to consider:

  • Baseload power generators like coal-fired, gas-fired, hydro and nuclear can fill the supply gap, but it means they have to be idling away in the background all the time and they have to be able to crank up fast, which they’re not designed to do. Still, having such power is better than nothing when the wind drops and the sun goes down and their marginal running costs are very low.
  • But of course such stations are being shut-down so California has to reach out for alternative supplies.
  • One of those are “peaker” plants, natural-gas-fired units that can fire up in minutes. These have high marginal running costs.
  • Another source is imported electricity from other states.
  • The huge surges in power from solar and wind place additional stress on the transmission network that was designed for baseload, and these surges almost always occur when the power is not needed, meaning the power has to be given away for free – assuming anybody else wants it – or the sources have to disconnected from the grid, both of which screw the profits of solar and wind producers.

And the results of these factors are the following.

First, California was the largest net electricity importer of any state in 2019

Second, because the peak hours for electricity use are from 4pm to 7pm when solar and wind are the least available the gas peakers have to ramp up, which of course pushes the costs higher even before subsidies or price support for solar/wind is taken into account. (Incidentally this is called the Duck Curve because the time demand energy use profile looks like the silhouette of a duck.)

Good times for natural gas and also the reason why so many fossil fuel outfits are right behind the renewable energy push. The fewer baseload power supplies that exist the more gas-fired peaker plants needed. This is the Achilles Heel of the “carbon-free electricity” goal.

Third, the inevitable result is that electricity prices have increased faster in California than in the rest of the USA and it now has the highest average electricity rates of the lower 48 states—nearly twice as high as the national average (18.64 versus 11.10 cents per kilowatt hour), and even almost twice as high as nearby Oregon and Washington.

Fourth, this electricity is not only expensive but unreliable as the Duck curve grows greater and increases the cost pressure via gas-fired peaker generation, renewable subsidies and the grid. By 2014 California easily led the nation with nearly 470 power outages a year (compared to 160 for second place Texas, which is really amazing because Texas produces 125% more electricity). They’ve only grown worse since then as the outages become deliberate actions taken to save the system.

Things have got so bad that the Babylon Bee produced a mocking headline, Texas Luring Jobs Away From California With Promises Of Electricity, based on actual arguments being put to California businesses by Texas officials. The joke has rebounded in just the last few days as Texas has suffered rolling power outages – with wind power (23% of Texas supply) again at the heart of the problem.

Fifth, despite all the subsidies and price support, the solar/wind movement continues to struggle financially, with the Tonopah solar station filing for bankruptcy, even though it was being paid $139 per megawatt-hour, five times that of other solar producers, and the Ivanpah solar station being classed as GHG emitter because it’s been forced to use natural gas to run, again despite being paid four to five times as much per megawatt-hour as natural-gas powered plants.

Sixth, none of this flood of subsidies has improved the grid, let alone turned it into the “Smart Grid” needed to support renewable energy. The American Society of Civil Engineers recently gave the nation’s power infrastructure a grade of D+. Some elements of the interconnected transmission and distribution systems, including 400,000 miles of electric lines, date to the World War II era, and even the 1880s. But when the power utilities in the state requested modest rate increases to pay for such maintenance, the California Public Utilities Commission refused – because nothing says private sector than only be able to charge what the government allows you to. Undoubtedly one of the reasons for the refusal was the already sky-high price of power in the state.

You too can have a decrepit grid like this when you pay twice the national average for electricity that doesn’t work when you need it. The utilities might as well be government-owned, except the government is terrified of the ensuing responsibility, which involves….

Seventh, wildfires. This, in 2020, was the latest reason for the rolling blackouts. In 2018 one of the worst wildfires in the state’s history, the Camp Fire, killed 85 people and the cause was ultimately traced to a steel hook on a PG&E (Pacific Gas and Electric) transmission tower that broke in windy conditions, causing sparks. Within a couple of months PG&E filed for bankruptcy as it faced lawsuits totalling $30billion, ultimately paying out about $13 billion.

In 2020, lacking the money to upgrade the transmission grid and with no other options, the company simply started switching off large chunks of the system. The state government could not force them to do otherwise without becoming a party to any wildfire lawsuits.

The following cartoon is therefore entirely appropriate, and California’s increasing problems with fire will be the focus of the next post, for it is not just the decrepit power grid that is a factor in them but more wonderful “environmental” ideas.

Written by Tom Hunter

February 23, 2021 at 6:00 am

California Screaming – Filth, Drugs and Poverty

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Humans have done well in California, building one of the world’s most advanced tech industries and growing rich in the process. At least up until the 1960’s it poured the resulting tax revenues into massive amounts of infrastructure in the form of cities, expressways, water systems and so forth.

This spirit was still evident in 1988 when the Los Angeles Times Magazine pub­lished a 25-year look ahead to the year 2013 and used this piece of cover art.

Wonderful vision isn’t it? More like a 1960’s view of the future than what I’d expect from the 1980’s, but then it was as much of a “Go Go” decade, Material Girls and all.

Instead, this is the reality of LA in the 2010’s and 2020’s. Homelessness and poverty on a scale never imagined in the state.

And don’t think that the housed, employed locals are all that isolated from this, with what The Atlantic magazine described accurately as the return of medieval diseases:

Infectious diseases—some that ravaged populations in the Middle Ages—are resurging in California and around the country, and are hitting homeless populations especially hard. Los Angeles recently experienced an outbreak of typhus—a disease spread by infected fleas on rats and other animals—in downtown streets. Officials briefly closed part of City Hall after reporting that rodents had invaded the building.

Typhus, in a “modern” major American city FFS. There’s not much information yet on the impact of Chinese Lung Rot on the LA and SF homeless populations, but with weakened immune systems because of drugs, poor hygiene, bad food, and all the other stuff that comes with living on the street, it’s hard to believe that the virus won’t hit them.

And then are incidents like this every day, as shown by this video of a deranged, homeless man punching a random woman in the head as she walks her little kid along a perfectly ordinary street in San Francisco.

David Thomas, who works the area as a security guard, told KPIX 5 it appears that the suspect was having some mental problems, which may have caused him to lash out at the woman. “Of course I would try to help the lady. But there’s a lot of people like that, who walk around like ghosts, not a care to the world,”.

Ghosts is probably the best description of these sad, hopeless people, but it could well apply to the useless Democrat politicians of San Francisco, LA and California, and their empty Words on homelessness:

Ten to 15 years ago, homelessness policymakers had vision to spare: they were ramping up their “campaign to end homelessness,” and Newsom, then mayor of San Francisco, participated energetically in that nationwide push. It wasn’t successful, but the “end homelessness” rhetoric has endured. In his speech this week, Newsom asserted—as if we’re still in 2004—“I don’t think homelessness can be solved; I know homelessness can be solved.” Bold applause lines and “make no small plans” promises long ago ceased to be inspiring—or even credible—for most people.

Newsom’s words did address mental health, which is one of the big problems and the one that has to be solved first to at least get these people into shelter – except that there are “Do-Gooders” in charge:

I’m not a sociologist, anthropologist, or field reporter. I’ve only taken care of homeless douchebags (and, to be fair, that insults the other 0.5%, to whom I offer my apologies) for a quarter of a century, …

People are homeless for several reasons, most of them intertwined like the trunk of a braided ficus tree.

1) They’re batshit crazy, in ways that, until the mid- to late-1960s, would have seen them happily locked up for life in appropriate facilities in perpetuity. No small number for violent behavior and poor impulse control.

2) The don’t take their psych meds for that, because those drugs make them feel “weird”. (Normal people call that feeling “sanity”, by no coincidence.)

3) They self-medicate with alcohol and drugs

And as he points out, homeless shelters have rules banning booze and dope – which the homeless don’t want to obey, naturally enough. It’s much easier to live on the streets where there are effectively no rules anymore:

… former San Francisco District Attorney George Gascon decriminalized anti-social behaviors – open-air drugging, urinating and pooping on the streets. He refused to enforce the law and, indeed, wrote Proposition 47 – passed by voters – that has made the homeless problem even worse.

Incredibly, Gascon is now the Los Angeles district attorney and shows every sign that he will pursue the same policies in that city. San Francisco celebrated his departure by electing one Chesa Boudin, raised by 1960’s Weather Underground terrorist leaders Bill Ayers and Bernardine Dohrn, who has vowed to go further than Gascon in ignoring “quality-of-life crimes” like “public camping, offering or soliciting sex, public urination, and blocking a sidewalk.”

No word on how he’ll deal with the homeless increasingly using SF’s BART rail system as a homeless shelter, which is interesting because it directly screws up the Left-Wing desire for mass public transport; BART loses 10 million riders in five years:

Last Friday at the Richmond Station parking garage, there were four elevators. One was broken, one had a large pool of vomit at the elevator entrance and inside, and on the sixth floor (top level), there was tons of pigeon poop in front of the elevator doors. So walk through vomit to get on the elevator and bird poop to get off. There was no agent in the booth, and no visible police or security. Separately, the double-tall pay gate made me feel like I was entering and exiting a prison.

That last comment perhaps points to the plan; make ordinary people feel like they’re in prison and they’ll commit to higher taxes and whatever other societal ideas that Far Lefters like Gascon and Boudin have. Is it any wonder that California homelessness and poverty has actually increased dramatically in the last twenty years, despite all the money spent:

However, after covering administrative costs and paying for those on the brink of becoming homeless, Oakland spends just $13 a day on each homeless person, while San Jose spends only $1 daily. About $36 a day is spent on each homeless person in San Francisco.

And in San Francisco that money is doled out by a bureaucracy with a $12 billion annual budget and 31,800 staff with average annual pay and benefit packages of $175,000. 

But while the truly homeless crash out on the street, the Middle-Class that has to co-exist with them are also getting squeezed to death by rising house prices and rents, courtesy of zoning regulations, building codes and NIMBYISM that has severely restricted house building. It’s not just general infrastructure that now takes decades to build. San Francisco is famous for that but surrounding cities are no different:

One of the strangest sights in California is the horde of trailers, ratty cars, and dilapidated Winnebagos parked throughout moralistic Menlo Park, Palo Alto, and Sunnyvale, juxtaposed with gleaming high-tech corporate campuses. The most empathetic and caring people in the world, as they remind us hourly, turn out to be pretty callous about the “losers” in their midst who live in mobile and makeshift quarters on the street to keep Silicon Valley humming.

The coders slaving away in the hopes of hitting the stock-option-tech-startup-jackpot not only live in Winebagos on the street but in cheap, crowded “hotels” explicitly set up like the university dorms they just graduated from. Then there’s Santa Monica:

Santa Monica, like the rest of the city, is a shell. As I wrote a few months ago120 stores were smashed and looted in the business district during the May/June Floyd riots. To this day, it’s a ghost town with plywood on nearly every window.

You know what else is everywhere? Homeless people. Not just glassy-eyed gutter punks lounging in decrepit tents. I mean ranting, fully naked zombies defecating and peeing on every corner. It’s been called Skid Row by the Sea for years, but today Skid Marks by the Sea is more accurate. 

(Side note: the median price of a home in Santa Monica is $3,750,000, making it the third most expensive ZIP code in America.) 

Plenty of money then and California has tried to take advantage of that with the highest income tax rate in the US, plus plenty of other taxes, none of which have any affect on the IT billionaires but which the Middle Class can only escape from on foot, further turning the state into a feudal one. As lifetime resident and historian Victor Hanson put it:

California has become a cruel and unusual state because callousness and narcissism were redefined as caring and compassion.

As can be seen by all that tax revenue having done nothing for the homeless and the poor except create or attract more of them to the state:

I’ll leave the last word to former homeless man, Thomas Wolf:

Wolf, who now works for the Salvation Army helping homeless people rebuild lives and has just been appointed to a specialist civic taskforce, sees untreated addiction as the root cause of the city’s problem. He says most people living on the streets are hooked on either drugs or drink.

‘If you see someone shouting at the wall, it is crystal meth, not mental illness – although meth might have destroyed their mind.’

Wolf claims that while the city distributes drug paraphernalia, he was never asked to quit or offered help. He says many users sell their monthly welfare $190 food stamps on receipt to go on a binge. And he wants to see generous welfare benefits – almost $600 a month in return for 12 hours of voluntary work – slashed…

Wolf believes that the decision by a state ballot six years ago to reclassify thefts of property below the value of $950 as misdemeanours has backfired badly, leading to a huge increase in shoplifting.

But what would lowly people like him know compared to the credentialed classes like Breed, and Newsom and the Far Left fanatics like Boudin and Gascon? Judging by actions they clearly could not care less, just like all other Californian Democrats, including especially their voters.

Written by Tom Hunter

February 8, 2021 at 6:00 am

The Democrat Cities: New York and Los Angeles

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It seems to have come as a surprise to the Democrat politicians who run these places, but if you’re going to pull the cops back from doing their job then criminals are going to take advantage of that.

We’ve already seen this in Chicago and Minneapolis, but since the same theories are being applied elsewhere it’s not surprising to see the same results.

NEW YORK

An almost identical situation: a Mayor who has basically sided with anybody who is against the NYPD and done so over several years, even as cops were literally getting assassinated in the street. For all the talk of defunding the NYPD by $1 billion, Mayor De Bolshevik has proved that you can do just as much damage by simply demoralising the cops:

The demoralization of the police department actually started several years ago. It first came to a head in 2014 following the assassination of officers Wenjian Liu and Rafael Ramos. There was such disdain for the mayor and his comments about law enforcement that preceded the shooting that hundreds of officers turned their backs on him at the officers’ funerals.

The backlash against defunding has produced a few squeaks that such is not what the Democrat city leaders really want, but their activist opponents inside the Democrat Party, including the new darling heavyweight Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, have made it clear that defunding is exactly what they want, and they’ll primary moderate Dems until they get it:

“Mayor de Blasio and Speaker Johnson are using funny math and budget tricks to try to mislead New Yorkers into thinking that they plan to meet the movement’s demands for at least $1B in direct cuts. This is a lie”

DeBlasio managed to survive his earlier issues with the NYPD, and of course needed them to enforce the Covid lockdown. But the Floyd murder saw him return to his happy place as he ordered the NYPD to disband their specialist undercover anti-street-crime unit, adding to a list of anti-crime systems that he has shut down since he became Mayor. And so came the flood:

“New York City shootings over the last seven days skyrocketed by more than 358 percent compared with the same time period in 2019, from just 12 last year to 55 in 2020, according to NYPD data News 4 reported Monday.

Murders are up 27 percent over the first half of 2019; over the last four weeks, more than 300 people have been shot in New York City, up from 100 during the same period last year.

That particular unit had focused on getting illegal guns off the street: so much for gun control. But perhaps it would not have mattered anyway because between no-cash bail policies and court closures, over 1,800 people arrested on illegal gun charges have been released to walk the streets.

“This is what the politicians wanted — no bail, nobody in Rikers, cops not arresting anyone,”

We are all asking the same question: ‘How can we keep doing our job in this environment?’” 

Ed Mullins, president of the Sergeants Benevolent Association, said that nearly 80 of his members have recently filed for retirement and morale is at the lowest levels he’s seen in 38 years.

“People have had enough and no longer feel it’s worth risking their personal well-being for a thankless position,” Mullins said. “There is no leadership, no direction, no training for new policies,… Department brass is paralyzed (and) too afraid to uphold their sworn oath in fear of losing their jobs. Sadly, the people of this city will soon experience what New York City was like in the 1980s.”

In 1990 NYC suffered 2,245 homicides. Increased numbers of Police and funding, plus new tactics, have reduced that to the lowest levels seen since the early 1960’s. But if the city is determined to reverse all of that then an increase in homicides and other violent crimes is to be expected. It should also be no surprise that Police retirements are up by 50%.

“And that is exactly what the anti-cop crowd wants. If we have no cops because no one wants to be a cop, they will have achieved their ultimate goal.”

And in this they’re joining NYC citizens who are “retiring” to safer and more livable places – although it’s not just because of the crime:

The slow exodus of recent years has quickened in recent months, with natives, long-timers and recent arrivals clogging the exits. They’re going to the suburbs, to Florida — anywhere but here. Always before, the departed were replaced by new seekers. It is impossible to believe that swap will continue.

The problems are many, but the linchpin is Mayor Bill de Blasio, whose performance grows worse by the day. There is nothing endearing about his act, only a long list of examples of how little he cares.

And how little he does. New York has had its share of corrupt and incompetent mayors, but never has it had one who is both of those and also a lazy bum. With restaurants wanting to know the rules for reopening, de Blasio diddled until the last minute. Their survival was at stake, but he couldn’t be bothered. What’s the plan for schools in the fall? Good question, but don’t ask the mayor. He hasn’t gotten around to that yet.

I doubt his replacement will either. Here’s Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez with the Les Misérables explanation:

“Maybe this has to do with the fact that people aren’t paying their rent, and are scared to pay their rent and so they go out and they need to feed their child and they don’t have money so you maybe have to . . . they are put in a position where they feel they either need to shoplift some bread or go hungry that night.”

Nope! Petty larceny, such as shoplifting, is substantially dpwm on 2019, as is grand larceny. Robbery is also down across the city so this wave of increased killings is not related to such things.

The truth is that the Democrat leaders of NYC do not want to accept that they have given carte blanche to criminals to commit crime – who have are therefore committing more crime.

LOS ANGELES

Same again, as Mayor Eric Garcetti recently described the LAPD cops as “killers”. This coming after two decades of work between Civil Rights lawyers, city administrations and the cops to improve things, which they had done by all accounts, especially in terms of relations between the cops and the people of Los Angeles.

Until now.

“Morale across the rank-and-file is at a record low. Especially out on the street in patrol. We have been vilified and abandoned by the mayor, all but three of the city council members, as well as many business owners and residents of the city of Los Angeles.”

And for the same reasons as Chicago and New York, with DA’s releasing not just people arrested and failing to prosecute, but also releasing thousands of prisoners – plus the usual cheap and easy condemnation of the cops, and threats of defunding of course.

The results are the same too, starting with the cops effectively giving up on preempting crime.

“The citizens think crime and homelessness is bad now? They have seen nothing yet… Wait till a couple of months go by. Pro-activity is all but gone. It sucks. But the community has allowed cops to be vilified.”

And naturally…

Homicides rose by 250% in Los Angeles, and the number of shooting victims rose by 56%, during the week ending June 6, according to the Los Angeles Police Department

Thanks to the work that’s been done, LA does not seem to have suffered as NYC and Chicago have: the murder rate has not increased dramatically above average following the “Floyd spike” in early June. But crime is lagging indicator; those other cities already had Police problems long before now, whereas LA did not. However, since the same factors are being applied it’s hard to see why the results will not eventually be the same.

Another expected result is that LAPD retirements are up:

“Cops are retiring and looking to leave ASAP. Why put our families through this garbage for an ungrateful public”

This is not going to end well.

Written by Tom Hunter

July 20, 2020 at 6:00 am