Archive for December, 2010

Sanitation Dept. sabotages NYC blizzard cleanup

Posted in BIG Government, FAIL, Government Folly, UGH!, Unions Suck on December 31, 2010 by DaMook
NYC Blizzard1

Brooklyn street 3 days after blizzard

New York City is no stranger to blizzards (more here) – they usually have one or two a year. Generally the city does a pretty good job getting everything back to working order, considering the sheer size of the metropolitan area. The blizzard that struck the city on Christmas weekend was a different story, however. Apparently they underestimated the severity of the storm and were hesitant to engage the emergency with an all-out response by the Sanitation Department, which is responsible for snow removal. To add insult to injury, it appears that the Sanitation Department may have also engaged in a work slowdown as payback for some modest cuts by the mayor (story here from the NY Post).

Selfish Sanitation Department bosses from the snow-slammed outer boroughs ordered their drivers to snarl the blizzard cleanup to protest budget cuts — a disastrous move that turned streets into a minefield for emergency-services vehicles, The Post has learned.

Miles of roads stretching from as north as Whitestone, Queens, to the south shore of Staten Island still remained treacherously unplowed last night because of the shameless job action, several sources and a city lawmaker said, which was over a raft of demotions, attrition and budget cuts.

“They sent a message to the rest of the city that these particular labor issues are more important,” said City Councilman Dan Halloran (R-Queens), who was visited yesterday by a group of guilt-ridden sanitation workers who confessed the shameless plot.

The snitches “didn’t want to be identified because they were afraid of retaliation,” Halloran said. “They were told [by supervisors] to take off routes [and] not do the plowing of some of the major arteries in a timely manner. They were told to make the mayor pay for the layoffs, the reductions in rank for the supervisors, shrinking the rolls of the rank-and-file.”

New York’s Strongest used a variety of tactics to drag out the plowing process — and pad overtime checks — which included keeping plows slightly higher than the roadways and skipping over streets along their routes, the sources said.

The snow-removal snitches said they were told to keep their plows off most streets and to wait for orders before attacking the accumulating piles of snow.

The workers said the work slowdown was the result of growing hostility between the mayor and the workers responsible for clearing the snow.

In the last two years, the agency’s workforce has been slashed by 400 trash haulers and supervisors — down from 6,300 — because of the city’s budget crisis. And, effective tomorrow, 100 department supervisors are to be demoted and their salaries slashed as an added cost-saving move.

Lovely. The department bosses were pissed off at the mayor so a city of almost 8 million people suffers for it. There were also stories of people waiting hours for emergency services that could not navigate snow-clogged streets (more here from the NY Daily News).

A blizzard baby delivered inside the lobby of a snowbound Brooklyn building died after an emergency call of a woman in labor brought no help for nine excruciating hours.

The baby’s mother, a 22-year-old college senior, was recovering Tuesday night at Interfaith Medical Center, where her newborn was pronounced dead at 6:34 p.m. on Monday. That was 10 hours after the first 911 call from the bloody vestibule on Brooklyn Ave. in Crown Heights.

“No one could get to her. Crown Heights was not plowed, and no medical aid came for hours,” said the student’s mother.

By the time a horde of firefighters and cops finally trooped to her aid through snow-covered blocks, the baby was unconscious and unresponsive, sources said.

Lawsuits filed in 3…2…1… Just put them on the Sanitation Department’s tab.

NYC Blizzard2

Unpassable Queens street 3 days after blizzard

As of Thursday, four days after the storm, numerous streets still had not been plowed – even once. The head of the Sanitation Department promised that would be fixed.

Sanitation Commissioner John Doherty promised that every street will have been plowed by 7 this morning, but then he offered this hedge: “Will somebody find a street that I missed? Maybe.”

Bloomberg and Doherty also offered a series of excuses for the failed response to the blizzard. They blamed residents for shoveling snow into streets that had already been plowed and for tying up 911 with non-emergency calls.

Nice – blame residents for trying to clean up.

Soon-to-be former governor David Patterson has called for an investigation (more here). Let the circular firing squad of blame and finger pointing begin…

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King of the NYC “rubber rooms”

Posted in Culture, FAIL, Government Schools, UGH!, Unions Suck on December 29, 2010 by DaMook

What do you do with tenured teachers who are unfit (or downright dangerous) for the classroom? Well in cases where there’s strong union protection, you assign them to what’s euphemistically-called a “rubber room” (more here and here) where they spend 7 hours a day watching TV, reading the paper, and fighting amongst themselves. Of course, they’re still collecting full pay and benefits. In NYC, these rubber rooms cost the city over $65M a year and some teachers have spent years there. This story profiles the King of the NYC rubber rooms.

At age 75, Roland Pierre is the granddaddy of the rubber room — 13 years in the purgatory of teachers yanked from the classroom for alleged wrongdoing.

But the Department of Education can’t fire Pierre, and he’s stuck around long past the minimum retirement age.

Pierre was permanently removed from the classroom in 1997 after he was accused of sexually molesting a sixth-grade girl at PS 138 in Brooklyn.

But since then, Pierre has continued to receive full pay and fringe benefits, including health, pension and vacation, officials said. He pulls down $97,101 a year.

He’s one of six tenured teachers that Chancellor Joel Klein has refused to return to the classroom, even though any criminal charges were dropped and DOE hearing officers let them off the hook.

Pierre has been “permanently reassigned” the longest of all.

On June 26, 1997, Pierre, then 62, was arrested on felony sex-abuse charges after he allegedly called one of his students into an empty classroom where he taught English as a second language, closed the door and molested her.

Officials would not explain what happened since, but sources said the criminal charges were apparently dismissed, and a DOE disciplinary case was “dropped on a technicality.”

Even if dropped, the arrest and disciplinary case would almost certainly prevent Pierre from ever getting another teaching job, said lawyer Joy Hochstadt, who has represented other teachers.

“Every application asks, ‘Have you ever been brought up on charges?’ ” she said.

The DOE has no required retirement age. Hired in 1986, Pierre could have retired at age 62. At his age, he can collect Social Security as well as his full salary, so his income may be close to $125,000 a year, sources said.

Pierre, reached yesterday at his Wyandanch, LI, home, refused to identify himself or comment.

Ah, those wonderful teachers unions…

Wind power FAIL in England

Posted in BIG Government, Climategate, FAIL, Goin' Green on December 29, 2010 by DaMook

Despite the massive documented failure of wind power (more here and here) that has done nothing but create “green jobs” in China and increase the cost of electricity, England is pushing ahead to build up to 12,500 wind turbines. With 3,150 turbines already in operation, how has this worked out so far? According to this story (from the Daily Mail), not so well.

Over the past three weeks, with demand for power at record levels because of the freezing weather, there have been days when the contribution of our forests of wind turbines has been precisely nothing.

It gets better. As the temperature has plummeted, the turbines have had to be heated to prevent them seizing up. Consequently, they have been consuming more electricity than they generate.

Even on a good day they rarely work above a quarter of their theoretical capacity. And in high winds they have to be switched off altogether to prevent damage.

At best, the combined output of these monstrosities is equal only to that of a single, medium-sized, gas-fired power station.

To make matters worse, there is no way of storing the electricity generated on the rare occasions when they are working.

Yet the Government is ploughing ahead with plans to erect 12,500 of these War Of The Worlds windmills in the sea and across our green and pleasant. Some of them will be up to three times the size of the present structures.

Great. Typical government response to FAIL – double or triple down on it. Ultimately if it just doesn’t work out, think of all the “green” jobs it will create to tear them all down (remember the LILCO/Shoreham debacle?).

And on a related note, the article describes why British authorities have been so woefully unprepared for the 3rd winter in a row of severe winter weather.

Airports, rail operators and local authorities all subscribe to the Met Office’s long-term forecasts. And over the past few years, the Met Office has become evangelical about ‘man-made global warming’.

Every weather forecast is now extruded through the prism of so-called climate change, even when all evidence points to the fact that the Earth is actually getting colder.

The Met Office’s predictions are based on a computer model which assumes ever-rising temperatures — so much so that it forecast that this winter would be significantly milder than the past two years.

Even though the winters of 2008 and 2009 were ferociously cold, they were dismissed as ‘random events’. The Met Office put the odds on a third harsh winter no higher than 20-1.

Those responsible for keeping our transport network running were stupid enough to swallow this bogus, optimistic forecast, and consequently failed to make proper provision for the blizzards which duly followed.

This, of course, was the same Met Office which predicted a ‘barbecue summer’ shortly before Britain was hit by gales and widespread flooding.

For this wildly inaccurate and deliberately skewed service, the British taxpayer is charged a staggering £200million a year.

Needless to say, the head of the Met Office is not even a weatherman. He’s a leading ‘climate change activist’ who buys into the propaganda pumped out by the fanatics at the University of East Anglia’s Climatic Research Unit (CRU) — exposed for blatantly suppressing evidence which contradicts their messianic belief in ­‘global warming’.

Back in 2000, the CRU’s Dr David Viner told The Independent that winter snowfalls would soon be a thing of the past.

‘Children just aren’t going to know what snow is,’ he predicted confidently.

Even when they are proved wrong, the warmists will never admit it. They simply move the goalposts — which is how global warming morphed into ‘climate change’.

You can’t argue with them. That’s because ‘climate change’ isn’t a ­science, it’s a religion. Sceptics are trashed as heretics.

The climate change lobby is a curious mix of cultists and cynical opportunists. As I write, Sky News is spotlighting a project on Humberside aimed at brainwashing ­children into believing that wind is the fuel of the future.

Call Me Dave bangs on about all the jobs which will be created by the ‘green economy’ — ignoring the fact that almost all Britain’s wind turbines are built and installed by foreign firms.

The defining characteristic of all fanatics is that they have no sense of the ridiculous.

Indeed. And our government is hurtling down the road to becoming more European.

Corruptocrat Rangel creates legal defense fund – Wait, WHAT?

Posted in Congress, Huh? WTF?, UGH! on December 29, 2010 by DaMook

After getting his wrist slapped for years of corrupt behavior that would have sent the average person to prison, corruptocrat Charlie Rangel (D-NY) was given permission by the House Ethics Committee (oxymoron alert) to create a legal “defense” fund. Huh? WTF? Shouldn’t he have done this a couple of years ago when the investigations started? (story here)

Rep. Charles Rangel (D-N.Y.) has created a legal defense fund to help pay attorneys’ fees following a lengthy ethics investigation that ended with his censure on the House floor.

The 20-term lawmaker has been given permission by the House ethics committee to create the Charles B. Rangel Legal Defense Trust, which is soliciting donations of up to $5,000. Rangel press secretary Hannah Kim confirmed the creation of the fund, first reported by the website Politics Daily.

Not only does he still owe legal fees for his corruption defense, but it appears that there are new investigations into his nefarious behavior. The Federal Election Commission (FEC) is now investigating new charges against the 20 term corruptocrat.

In a statement, Rangel said the fund will help him “retain counsel for on-going activities related to the recently-concluded ethics investigations and other on-going matters” and to combat new charges brought before the Federal Election Commission (FEC) by a conservative nonprofit group.
The FEC earlier this month opened a probe into allegations by the National Legal and Policy Center that the former Ways and Means Committee chairman improperly used funds from his National Leadership PAC to pay for his legal counsel in his ethics case.

“The repeated filings of allegations, no matter how unsubstantiated, by the National Legal Policy Committee, a politically-motivated right wing group dedicated to eviscerating civil rights and labor union protections, have led me to this action,” Rangel said in the statement.

Hmmm – “…right wing group dedicated to eviscerating civil rights and labor union protections…” Labor union protections? What the hell does that have to do with this? Probably a shout out to his union buddies for some “cash for the cause” I guess.

The fund is permitted to accept corporate donations, but may not accept money from federally registered lobbyists, Politics Daily reported. Former New York State Comptroller H. Carl McCall will serve as trustee of the fund.

“All contributions to the trust will be reported as required on a quarterly basis with the committee as well as the Legislative Resource Center for public disclosure,” Rangel said.

Yeah, probably like his public disclosures of 17 years of unpaid taxes and his use of 4 rent-controlled apartments.

“I am confident any continuing or subsequent investigations will find a similar lack of any intent to violate any rules or any actions designed in any way to personally benefit me or my family,” Rangel said.

Poor Charlie. He didn’t intend to violate any rules or enrich himself and his family. It just worked out that way.

Douchebag…

111th congress added more debt than first 100 congresses combined

Posted in BIG Government, Congress, FAIL, State-run media, Take back America on December 28, 2010 by DaMook

On January 3rd the 111th congress will officially become history. The Wicked Witch of the West will cede the Speaker’s gavel to John Boehner and a republican majority will take control of the House of Representatives. According to this article, the 111th congress wasn’t exactly frugal – it added more new debt than the first 100 congresses combined.

The federal government has accumulated more new debt–$3.22 trillion ($3,220,103,625,307.29)—during the tenure of the 111th Congress than it did during the first 100 Congresses combined, according to official debt figures published by the U.S. Treasury.That equals $10,429.64 in new debt for each and every one of the 308,745,538 people counted in the United States by the 2010 Census.

The total national debt of $13,858,529,371,601.09 (or $13.859 trillion), as recorded by the U.S. Treasury at the close of business on Dec. 22, now equals $44,886.57 for every man, woman and child in the United States.

In fact, the 111th Congress not only has set the record as the most debt-accumulating Congress in U.S. history, but also has out-stripped its nearest competitor, the 110th, by an astounding $1.262 trillion in new debt.

During the 110th Congress—which, according to the Clerk of the House, officially convened on Jan. 4, 2007 and adjourned on Jan. 4, 2009–the national debt increased $1.957 trillion. When that Congress adjourned less than two years ago, it claimed the record as the most debt-accumulating Congress in U.S. history. As it turned out, however, its record did not last long.

The $3.22 trillion in new federal debt run up during the 111th Congress exceeds by 64 percent the $1.957 trillion in new debt run up during the 110th.

Historically, according to the U.S. Treasury, the federal debt did not reach $3.22 trillion until September 1990, during the 101st Congress. Between the first Congress, which adjourned in 1791 leaving behind approximately $75 million in debt, and the convening of the 101st Congress, which occurred on Jan. 3, 1989, the national debt grew to $2.684 trillion.

During the Rep. Nancy Pelosi’s (D-Calif.) tenure as speaker, which commenced on Jan. 4, 2007, the federal government has run up $5.177 trillion in new debt. That is about equal to the total debt the federal government accumulated in the first 120 years of the nation’s existence, with the federal debt rising from $5.173 trillion on July 24, 1996 to $5.181 trillion on July 24, 1996.

In her inaugural address as speaker, Pelosi vowed that Congress would engage in no new deficit spending.

Not only did this hideous congress spend us deeper into the poorhouse, but they were responsible for some of the worst legislation ever foisted upon the beleaguered citizenry. Here are just some of the more devastating:

They also extended unemployment benefits at least 3 times (to 99 weeks) which has caused 41 states to borrow billions to cover their unemployment obligations. All this “work” and they couldn’t even pass a budget (more here).

And while the state-run media tries to spin this as a good thing (example here), public approval of this congress sunk to historically low levels (more here).

All I can say is good riddance…

Bottoms Up beer dispenser – WOW!

Posted in Cool Stuff, Culture on December 27, 2010 by DaMook

This new beer dispenser is awesome. If you’ve ever waited in line for an over priced beer at a stadium only to get mostly foam, you’ll appreciate this little beauty (story here).

“Grin On Industries” (Motto: “Keep Your Grin On.” I’m serious.) has developed the “Bottoms Up” draft beer dispensing system, “the fastest dispensing system in the world,” the Bottoms Up machine “fills [cups] at a rate of up to nine times that of traditional beer taps.”

As you can see from the video, it also seems to reduce the overall foaminess of your beer. If you’ve ever been poured a Budweiser at a baseball game by a hurried person who doesn’t want to be there, you know how huge this is.

A perfect pour every time hands free. This is an awesome invention.

I want one!

Merry Christmas!

Posted in Cool Stuff, Culture on December 25, 2010 by DaMook

Merry ChristmasChristmas is a special time of year and I make no apologies for saying Merry Christmas instead of the bland Happy Holidays. I hope each and every one who reads this has a wonderful and joyful Christmas. I hope your day is filled with good cheer and family tidings. Eat well and drink well for we celebrate the birth of Our Savior Jesus Christ.

While giving thanks at mealtime please put in a special word for the awesome men and women in our military services who are serving in the Middle East and cannot be with their loved ones during this special time. Remember – they are giving this sacrifice for you and your freedom. Even in the present circumstances America is the Greatest country in the world and our troops are a big reason why.

Military Christmas

Merry Christmas Soldiers!

Here is one of my all time favorite video clips. If this doesn’t put a lump in your throat or give you goosebumps, there’s something wrong with you. David Phelps is one of the most amazing tenors alive and this rendition of Oh Holy Night is simply incredible!

God Bless You All…