Thursday, September 15, 2016

This is How You’ll Bail out Municipal Pension Funds

Wolf does it again.  What.A.Mess
Property owners have already been whacked by a record property tax increase passed last October. It came on top of a reassessment of property values. So the property tax bills this year have jumped on average by 13%.

Phone users get to prop up the Laborers’ Retirement fund, expected to become insolvent “by 2029.” It covers about 5,000 current and retired laborers. So proceeds from the 911-surcharge increase from $2.50 a line to $3.90, imposed in 2014, or about $40 million a year, will be redirected to the fund. The city will also shuffle an extra $30 million a year from city funds covering the operation of O’Hare and Midway airports, water and sewer construction, and the like into the fund.
That last sentence about "shuffling" funds from airport operations. So the city infrastructure and airports will suffer so these pensioners can live the life of Riley.

You wait until we read of a jet that ran off the runway and killed several passengers due to poor runway maintenance due to underfunding.

We already have history in Chicago with EL-Trains derailing due to lack of maintenance and the woman with the cracked skull from falling pieces of Union Station.

Saturday, September 10, 2016

California nears adoption of energy-saving rules for computers

How preposterous.

California regulators moved a step closer on Friday to the first mandatory U.S. energy efficiency standards for computers and monitors, gadgets that account for 3 percent of home electric bills and 7 percent of commercial power costs in the state.

The latest draft standards issued by the California Energy Commission, marking the second revision of rules first proposed in March 2015, would save consumers an estimated $373 million annually when fully implemented, the agency said.

The projected energy savings under the plan are equivalent to the electricity used annually by all the homes in San Francisco, according to the commission.

The Natural Resources Defense Council, an environmental group working with the commission on the standards, said they would cut greenhouse gas emissions from fossil fuel combustion in power generation by 700,000 tons a year.
Most homes now have ditched their desktop computer and have switched to a laptop or even just an iPad or tablet of some sort.  These devices use so little electricity, that to read these guys are trying to control power consumption just makes me want to either laugh....or puke.  So how much power does your laptop use?  Just check out
My Lenovo Thinkpad X61s with a low, but not ultra-low, voltage processor consumes 12W of power with the monitor at about half brightness doing web-based/office tasks (I measured it a few years ago, might double-check this later). This is on the low end of power consumption for a laptop.

Over an hour of usage it uses 12 Wh of electricity, which is 83 hours of use per kWh. With an average cost of electricity of 12c/kWh, this means that for $1 in electricity I can run my laptop for 651 hours.
As usual, the Private Sector is DECADES ahead of bureaucrats.   What a stupid, wasteful law.  Wht a waste of time.  I just can't figure out why it is taking the people of CA to tell these guys to eff off.

And then there is the point that computer, and especially, the internet are not net user of power.  They are net SAVERS of power:

Sunday, September 4, 2016

Workers Place Spire, Take Picture Atop Wilshire Grand as Tower Becomes Tallest on the West Coast

In actuality....this is a bad economic sign.

Construction workers at the Wilshire Grand Tower in downtown Los Angeles installed a spire atop of the building's rooftop on Saturday, thereby making it the tallest building west of the Mississippi River, and they snapped a picture to celebrate the historical moment.

The workers used a crane to lift the final piece of the steel spire and the building’s beacon onto the tower's rooftop, giving the building its final height of 1,100 feet.

The building is now the tallest building on the West Coast, project officials announced Saturday in a news release.
Without a doubt, it's quite a feat!

Left’s California Dream Built on Ignorance

Cultural Suicide.  That's all I can say.
The Democrat-owned legislature -- the ones that are not in jail or under indictment -- passed a bill that would gradually raise the minimum wage from $10 to $15 in 2022. The poll says 64 percent of Californians support that. That is while 66% of them believe that people will be laid off and 65 percent say that businesses will leave the state. What would have been interesting is if the people who took the poll would have asked poll participants: Would you support the increase if your son or daughter were laid off? Would you support it if your spouse’s business relocated to Utah, North Carolina or Texas? It is always easy to say that policies are good when they are affecting the other person or their family.

Saturday, September 3, 2016

California Passes Planned Parenthood-Backed Bill Criminalizing Health Care Sting Videos

The silent scream of murdered children will now only get louder.
The bill was strongly advocated by Planned Parenthood following a series of undercover videos released last summer by theCenter for Medical Progress, which claimed that the organization was unlawfully trafficking in fetal tissue.

"After the video smear campaign last summer, we experienced a ninefold increase in violence against our providers and our health centers," Beth Parker, chief legal counsel of Planned Parenthood Affiliates of California, told the LA Times.

"With the Internet and the tremendous wildfire nature in which news can be spread now through social media, we need to have a crime against distribution by those in particular who did the illegal recording," Parker said. "A slap on the hand of a $2,500 fine isn't sufficient."

State Sen. Hannah-Beth Jackson (D-Santa Barbara) introduced the bill, commenting, "The nation is looking to California to take the lead on protecting access to care and to the doctors who provide that access. This measure will protect reproductive health doctors from violence and intimidation."
Sick and twisted.  Such evil.  Nine fold increase in "violence"?  I think these people have perfected the ability to LIE.

US judge: Gov’t can keep killing salmon-eating birds

These people just don't get it.  You can't control animal populations without horrible unintended consequences.  What the heck are they thinking?  I don't have to tell you how badly all of this will play out.
The effort to protect salmon in the Columbia River has also included the relocation of Caspian tern birds and the killing of sea lions.

Oregon, Washington and Idaho have had federal authorization since 2008 to catch and euthanize California sea lions seen preying on salmon. The sea lions hunt salmon as they go over the Bonneville Dam on the Columbia River between Washington and Oregon states.

Efforts to keep the sea lions away using pyrotechnics and sea gates did not work.

Authorities so far this year have trapped and put down 54 sea lions.

Sea lions are targeted for capture and killing if they are seen eating salmon at the dam between January and May.