More Liberal Insanity

| December 9, 2016

Over at American Thinker, publisher, Thomas Lifson, has a lead piece today about what investigations into the Oakland warehouse fire which killed thirty-six have uncovered so far. Not so unsurprisingly, the decrepit building had not been inspected for thirty years but what is much more enlightening (and infuriating) is the annual compensation paid to those city employees responsible for such public safety inspections:

…in 2015, Craig K. Chew, the assistant chief of inspectors, made $362,211, $147,000 of which was “benefits.” The Alameda County administrator Susan Muranishi made $729,162 in 2015, of which $313,503 was in “benefits,” which included bonuses.

The Alameda County sheriff, Greg Ahern, made $627,935 in that one year.

One has to wonder what the chief of inspectors makes if his assistant gets that kind of money. And of course none of these overpaid hogs at the public trough will be held accountable for all those needless deaths. The entire state of California, like most political entities under the governance of liberal Democrats and in thrall to public unions is headed for financial disaster when all these overpaid public servants retire at 80% of their highest pay. The Dallas Police and Fireman’s Pension Fund board had to put an emergency stop on lump-sum pension distributions this week, after panic withdrawals threatened to swamp its cash reserves.

There’s a lot more of that coming in Democrat-controlled enclaves like New York City, Chicago, and Detroit, for starters. Stay tuned…

Category: Politics

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Wilted Willy

I really hope California leaves the Union! They are truly the land of fruits and nuts.


Tom Kratman, over on, has some really thoughtful commentary that boils down to “Let the Left secede, then invade and conquer them, so they are never again a threat to the USA.”

His stuff is quite harsh, sometimes, but he has a Gimlet eye for the essence of the problem.

Read at your own risk.

(Also, some other stuff at the site is NSFW.)

Commissar Poodle

We would be better off. We are among the 6 least tax dependent states and as the countries largest economy we contribute far more than we get back.

Most of the “freeloader” (get more than they contribute) states are conservative run states.

Silentium Est Aureum

Least tax dependent?

Stop. Hurt. Sides. Laughing.

Seriously, were it not for immigration, both legal and illegal, the population of Commiefornia would be dropping like a rock. Your tax base, both individual and corporate, is leaving enough masse, and those left behind are stuck with ever increasing tax bills.

And yet what services do these taxes get you, Larsie? I recruited in high schools where the graduation rate was less than 30 percent. SAT/ACT scores were abysmal. Cost per student was well in excess of $12k/yr, and that was 15 years ago. Don’t even get me started on the welfare benefits doled out.

It’s called, “Cutting off your nose to spite your face. Go ahead, Larsie. Do it. I dare you, I double-dare ya, muthafucka!

Bottom line, CA needs the US more than we need it.


Native Californian

Sgt M

Really? California has12% of the nations population and34% of the nations welfare takers. Not a state of freeloaders? I actually work in California and what the gang of clowns in Sacramento have done to this state is appalling, roads and infrastructure deteriorating at a fast rate. But hey, they got rid of those pesky bags and now a third of the state are felons. Newsome is sure to get those horrible magazines just mailed to him. Just waiting for the day the EBT cards stop working. Brown and the clown crew will be on a flight somewhere they deem safe.

2/17 Air Cav

He is correct, though it pains me to say it. Of course, what that means is that California takes less federal tax dollars per capita than nearly all other states. Meanwhile, the poor states take the most. There is much to be said about that and what it means, what variables are in play, but it’s actually true. Dammit. It does hurt but I don’t want that commie SOB to have any fun throwing his first-ever proof around.


California is certainly a rich state. The left believes the rich should be forced to help the less fortunate, so are they now griping about it?

Besides, didn’t the left write most of the transfer” laws?

Go ahead. Make the play! Once you are on your own, unrestrained by reason or reality, California will be as bankrupt as Venezuela.

Watch for $15+ minimum wage (and more!), confiscatory taxes, more taxes, and taxes to fix what the other taxes broke, regulations for every fish, midge, and microspeck, bans on using the resources that might fund all the spending (for a while), borrowing on their own credit while it lasts, wide open borders to let in al the newcomers who want in, and then the inevitable border controls to stop all the high-productive folks from departing for freer pastures, “land reform” to take big farms away from “the greedy rich” and re-assignment of valuable land to cronies and connected folks (and maybe a handful of newcomers, for show), and every other bit of leftist “ism” that appeases the Hippy-Dippy types. Along the way, the end of individual rights via speech codes, disarming ordinary folks, hobbling law enforcement outside of gated communities, rules to redress every imaginable legacy grievance and “privilege”, “nationalization” of the inevitably failing industries, and on and on and on. Always “more control will fix it!” will be the mantra.

Venezuela 2.0, on its way to Cuba, then on to The Peoples Democratic Socialist Republic of Moonbeam, so well “managed” as to make the Norks look like Objectivists. Becase -this time- the Left will put the -proper- folks in charge, and try -really- hard this time.

Somewhere along that path to Gulag-land, they become ripe pickings for re-assimilation into the USA, minus the influence of the Lefties that ruined it.


California is a ‘rich’ state? It is that way ONLY because of the film industry, which was originally located in Chicago in what was Harpo Studios, and is now destined to be a McDonald’s HQ, and ONLY because of Silicon Valley.
If those two industries from the top down moved out of California, the state would drop somewhere well below the middle level on that scale.

Without those two ‘industries’ – and I use that term advisedly – California has grocery food crop farming (not grains), some dairy and beef, and some tourism. That’s about it.


Minerals and petroleum, largely undeveloped. Lots of other resources.

Badly managed or over-regulated, mostly.


And what of all the Californians outside the “blue” areas, that are not nearly so leftist and would not want to secede? Gonna force them to go along? They tend to be your most productive agriculture areas.

Oh, snap, … -water-! The folks upstream might no longer want to be cooperative with their newly-foreign neighbors.

Hmm. The Lefties force through secession in California, and then a whole bunch of red counties say “Oh yeah? Well -we- secede from -you-!” That will get rather messy, no?

This all goes back to Kratman’s articles. A seceded California (and other places) will fall apart almost immediately. Their own un-checked policies doom them, and the patriot/red sections -won’t- go willingly. The remaining “sane” USA will go back to normal-conservative, and turn around and -eat- the would be secessionist areas. The legal precedent is already there, 160 years set in stone.

Be careful what you wish for, Zampolit. You might just get it.

Oh, wait. Did a -commissioned officer- of the US Army just speak in -favor- of Secession? How does that square with the Oath? Ooopsie. Maybe not -actionably-, but I do hope you realize the precipice you stand upon, right? You wouldn’t -actually- go any further to advocate such a thing, right? Maybe I misunderstood. You were speaking against secession, actually?


Crypto-Commies like poodledick don’t take an oath to support the Constitution seriously. Their only loyalty is to their progtard belief system/ideology which they believe will lead to their socialist utopian world order.

A Proud Infidel®™

California is like a gargantuan bowl of granola. Get rid of the fruits and nuts and all you’ll have left is FLAKES! I’d love to see that State secede, I wonder how soon they’d be bawling for Foreign Aid afterward?


All I got to add to that is this:

“Here’s your water, California!” *FLUSH*

Some Idahoans might remember that. 😉


I keep hoping that Madigan will find his chokehold on the state’s funds cut off. The pension system is completely out of cash, so where is it supposed to come from? Yet Madigan refuses to even discuss a real budget with the governor, never mind Preckwinkle dinging Cook County residents for buying soda in Cook County stores. If they live close enough to the county line, e.g., Lake-Cook Road, to go to a different store to shop, how would she expect to collect a 1.5% tax on something bought out of the county?
Mind you, the majority of Illinois counties are not run by or inhabited by dumbocraps. It’s just the collar counties.
I’m just waiting for these states to implode under their own stoopid crap.

Perry Gaskill

Something that led to inflated salaries is that some years ago, California passed a law saying that compensation for public employees needed to be competitive with the private sector. Up until that time, if you went to work for local government, you had strong job security but the trade-off was less money. Businesses, on the other hand, tended to pay more but, being subject to market dynamics, there was no guarantee one would stay in business for an extended period.

The rationale for competitive salaries was that the public sector would be able to attract and retain qualified public employees. An actual effect as an unintended consequence is that compensation has gotten out of control.

Here’s a suggested simple experiment: Call up a random sample of private-sector building inspectors in the Bay Area, and ask them what they make in annual salary and benefits. The chances are very good that none will approach the $362,211 that Craig K. Chew is making.


One of the things that happens around here is that towns will commission a survey on salaries for public employees to compare the town to other towns in the area and then raise salaries to meet the “average.”

There are two problems with that. First, the bottom half of the towns in salaries will raise their pay to meet the top half, thereby raising the entire ranges of salaries.

The other problem is that the salaries – even those with direct equivalencies in the private sector – are not compared to the private sector at all. That means a grass cutter who makes $30K in the private sector gets $50K in the public sector.

It’s a scam that the taxpayers pay for,


Remember folks, Kalifornia, like the PDRofMD, is run by the Democrat population centers. Until that changes, there will be more and more insanity like this. When state government comes crashing down from the weight of debt and immature ‘feel good’ legislation, it’ll get REAL ugly.
I plan to be elsewhere when that happens.

The Other Whitey

I’m just dreaming of a day when dipshit Jerry Brown doesn’t call the shots anymore.

Silentium Est Aureum

Moonbeam is just the symptom.

Liberalism is the disease.

Cpl/Major Mike

Some other fucking nut will just take his place, conservatives don’t stand a chance out here without the state breaking up into smaller states.


I sometimes wonder if it might be time to apply an “Eleectoral College” system to the Governors’ offices of the States. In other words, make it a vote by counties, not direct headcount.

This might make the Governor of a State more reflective of the State as a whole, not a few big cities.

Yeah, I know, pipe dream. But it has -worked- for the US President for over two centuries. Well except that one time in 1860….

The Other Whitey

That’s California for ya. The Domed Whorehouse in Sacramento panders to the hippies in LA and the Bay Area (who count tourists and commuters as population when dividing up seats in the legislature), and fuck everybody else. Many people in many counties are sick to death of being dictated by idiots in cities hundreds of miles away, but nothing ever changes.


There is even a mechanism to impose it: Convention of the States, to propose an Amendment requiring it.

There is a standing precedent to support such a thing. The Constitution itself has a clause that guarantees a “republican” form of government. One could counter-argue that the 10th amendment prevent applying such a thing, but it is awfully hard to argue for protection by the 10th on just this one point, but not on any other topic. Besides, as an -Amendment- it -is- Constitutional, because by definition the Constitution -must- be Constitutional.

Hmmm… Force a decentralization of -voter- power, to better reflect -all- parts of the states, not just machine-run cities. I like it better and better, the more I consider all the ramifications.

I can hear the howls of indignation already! But, but, but… -we- speak for the masses! -We- are the self-selected elites! -We- are the educated ones! You -must- obey your betters, in the name of liberty and equality, you must obey your betters!

2/17 Air Cav

11B-Mailclerk. I am not following that at all. Why would you look to Article V of the US Constitution to address a purely state issue? The feds are not involved. If a state plan runs afoul of the one man, one vote principle, that’s another matter, but a state could borrow from the EC and its voters elect electors to choose, say, the state’s governor.

2/17 Air Cav

I am Mr. Federalism. I need more–many more–like-minded citizens. The powers taken by and surrendered to the national government are mind boggling. Much has changed sine that weak, national gov’t was provided for by the Founders. The culprits are many, but ignorance is chief among them, followed by the Supreme Court and states that sold their souls for federal tax dollars.


Certainly, any state can do so, now.

What i am considering, is do we dare allow any state to -not- do so? Can any state effectively remain a “republic” absent such a change?


I heard that the owner of the building had a child who was living in less than ideal circumstances. Exposure to strangers using drugs. But I am sure if he was home schooled they would have had a home inspection immediately.


Thank you for your input. Now fuck off, troll.


Oops, sorry, disregard. Misread you post. That’s what I get for multi-tasking.

*slinks off*

Carolyn Bowman

They had their three children living in that horrid place. When they were in Los Angeles Children’s Protective Service removed them for some time. The children should have never been returned to those two drug-addled misfits.

The Other Whitey

Personally hoping that more people will recognize the common connection between liberal policies and failed government. Failing that, I’d rather not have California secede, though there are a few counties we could do without.

If secession were to happen, there’s a lot of Californians who would want to stay in the US. Those Californians tend to be the ones who both have guns and don’t hold them sideways. I’m one of them. People sometimes ask me why I don’t move east, and the answer is that I was born here, it’s my home state, it’s a nice place (hippies generally avoid the area where I live), and I refuse to be run out.

Just An Old Dog

By and Large most areas in California are conservative. The cess pools of LA, Frisco and Sacramento push the state Blue.
Interesting fact:
Other than Florida and Texas, no other state had more people Vote for Trump than California.


I am all for starting a, “West Virginia” movement within this state. Just as West Virginia seceded from Virginia to rejoin the United States after Virginia seceded, so we would secede from California to rejoin the U.S. Just look at all the “red” counties in this supposedly “blue” state.

Carolyn Bowman

That movement for several northern Counties to secede from the State of California is well underway. The supporters for the State of Jefferson have been growing.


There is secession, and there is also expelling SF, LA and Sacramento from the rest of the state, and designating them as autonomous city-states, with no authority over the rest of the state.

The other option for states that have been invaded by people with peculiar non-native accents (I’m thinking of Texas) is to make them so wretched and uncomfortable living there that they finally decide it isn’t worth it to stick around. After all, if you cut off the flow of fresh vegs, fruits and water to Los Angeles and the city was forced to build desalination plants so that the state’s fresh water went to farmers, you might see a change in attitude. But that’s just me.


Environs will go nuts over desalination plants.

+ They consume huge quantities of electricity (Carbon footprint = huge, or Nassty Nukes!)

+ They drastically change the aquatic environment, by sucking in huge volumes of water, and outputting huge quantities of salt.

The eco freaks have prevented California from building additional basins to catch -rainwater-. There is no way these loons would go for desalination. They would, however, try to force upstream folks to send more “fair share” downstream. The Angelenos being, of course, “more needy” and the upstream folks will be perpetually declared “more able”.


Yeah, I did think about that, too, but they may just have to sacrifice a little. That’s only fair, right? (Yeah, I know, it’s only fair for OTHERS.)
But since sea salt is such a popular item, you’d think they’d catch onto the potential for a whole new industry. They’re on the ocean, fer Pete’s sake! But I have to remember that it’s California, and they don’t like industries there. I wonder how the Angelenos tolerate oil production in that state…. 😉

A Proud Infidel®™

I also read that there were numerous complaints of outdoor clutter around that warehouse and it had a second floor haphazardly built from pallets and that it was quite cluttered inside as well.


Well, hippies are slobs, API. Thought you knew that.

Just An Old Dog

It has to be taken into consideration that the City has openly embraced the use of warehouses as “space” for artists.
It’s just like the cities who let the hobos sleep on the streets and panhandle where they want.
The owner of the place was doing what he pleased as far as holding events and renting out living spaces, even though it was not an approved residence.
My guess is that he would scream descrimation in he was ever cited.


I have known quite a few artists over the years. Their various arts have a tendency to use significant quantities of highly flammable materials.

The smart ones have studios separate from inhabited spaces.

I once spent a semester working for a college art department. The pottery storeroom had enough precursors to make over 50 pounds of Thermite, stored right next to each other, in easily breached containers.

My initial “you might wanna separate those items” fell on deaf ears. I was persistent, and wiser heads intervened to assist.

Semper Idem

That reminds me of a story. I recently visited the Torpedo Factory Art Center in Alexandria, Virginia. The big industrial sinks there had big signs over them with a long, long list of stuff that must never go down the sink, ever.

Why do I mention that, you ask? No real reason…


I once installed an exhaust fan in a pottery studio for a massive propane fired kiln. It was in an old broiler house (chicken barn) and the propane company told her she was nuts.
It didn’t burn down but watching that monster eat 375 gallons of propane a day was something to see. You could literally see through the mortar free brick joints and watch the pottery cook. When she cut off the gas at the end of the bake the pottery went into “reduction”? She gave me one of the pots from it but my ex ran off it. Bitch.


When I was in college taking art classes, the painting studio was a huge, open room with easels everywhere, widely separated from each other. Everyone used turp and a painting medium of equal parts turp, damar varnish and stand oil (boiled linseed oil). As much as I love the smell of Venetian turpentine, I know it’s an extremely volatile fire hazard, so mine was either in a glass jar with a lid, or in the metal container. No one else did that. And the cleaning lady would just pour stuff down the deep sink, then scrub the deep sink with scouring powder. Tons of toxic chemicals going into the water supply that simply don’t get filtered out, period. I think that was why the Cuyahoga River ignited a few decades ago.
I will still use turp and my painting medium, but I let the pigments settle to the bottom of the jar, decant the turp, then wipe out the sludge with paper towels, bag it, and dispose of it with the used cat litter.
On the other hand, I seldom have an open flame anywhere but the stovetop in my house, but frankly, almost everything we use is flammable or has a toxic chemistry to it. So are we supposed to go back to dwelling in caves and wearing bear hides? No thanks!

2/17 Air Cav

As a result of the article, I read some on the warehouse fire, previously in my “Don’t know and don’t care” bag. Anyway, it’s a laugh riot that even with all of the deaths, locals are blaming everybody and his brother, from a shortage of affordable housing to a need for safe places from patriarchy and white something or other. Cripes. The place was a shithole, a filthy, cluttered, hippie paradise. Inside stairs consisted of a pallet or two on end. There were more toxic materials in there than you can shake a stick at. Cripes. If I have a beef with a place being a fire trap, I don’t stay there and keep calling the landlord. Do you? Knuckleheads. Dead knuckleheads. Thank goodness Oakland is a sanctuary city. That’s an irrelevant point, but I just wanted to throw it out there.


Most young people these days, have probably never intentionally started a fire larger than lighting a cigarette. (And even that is frowned upon these days.) They have no -understanding- of “fire”, the needs of fires, the construction of fires, the feeding of fires, etc.

Scary, huh? The game-changing original technology, -fire-, is now beyond the control and comprehension of ~75% of our population.

As a result, they have absolutely -no- clue what “fire-trap” even means.

And, some of them may be neighbors of yours…..

2/17 Air Cav

No, none of them are my neighbors, although I do appreciate the comforting thought. I like to keep my life in the “My” file, so I’ll let it go at that. As for the young people, with one exception, those killed were not kids. Most were in their 30s. The youngest was 17 and the oldest 61.


Yup. But the current “kid cohort” will have even -less- fire sense.


Several years ago, a bunch of squatters in a very big empty brick building on Chicago’s south side started a fire that very quickly got completely out of control. It was an extra alarm fire in the dead of winter. It took the fire department hours to put it out, the real concern being that it might get out of control and get into the neighborhood.

Last spring, a warehouse for The Room Place was set on fire by a disgruntled employee.

The fire department decided to let it burn itself out and just try to keep it from spreading. Total loss, because one person did something stupid. There were 50 employees in that building when it started.

I see no excuse for what happened in that warehouse. The greed of those officials doesn’t surprise me, nor does their lack of interest in public safety. But it isn’t the first time it has happened, and won’t be the last, either.

Silentium Est Aureum

You’d be amazed how many of the wildfires in CA are arson.


No, I wouldn’t be a bit surprised.

In my county, in the early spring, there will be controlled burns in various forest preserve places, but the local fire department will have people there while it’s going on. The spring fires are meant to mimic nature. And yet, people fleeing the city are so dumb about this kind of thing that they ignore the notices posted in the newspaper and online, and panic over it.

Guard Bum

I am a Fire Fighter and all commercial structures in cities like this are required to be inspected and the Fire Marshall has the legal authority to shut any unauthorized or non compliant use down and he has arrest powers.

Old warehouses like this may have a cool “vibe” for the unwashed set but they are inherently fire traps and adding to the fire load by partitioning them off and loading them up with flammable crap is a disaster in waiting.

Normally in a fire in one of these old buildings you fight it defensively and protect exposures since they shouldn’t be occupied; someone shit the bed letting the use go unchecked like this and I doubt they had sprinklers or even a functioning standpipe.

It ought to bring criminal negligence charges on the Fire Chief, Fire Marshall and any city ding a ling that allowed this along with the building owner.

Guard Bum

I should further state, they want to make that kind of money then they should have to take the circumstances when they fail so spectacularly.

Guard Bum

Damn it…should have to take the “consequences”.


They in fact had no sprinklers and the building was not permitted or zoned to contain residences. Nor was it legal to operate “raves” or any other type of large public gathering there. The owner is a convicted felon. He lived there with his wife and children but moved them to a hotel the night of the fire because the music was so loud his kids couldn’t sleep.


Oh, my. The “conspiracy” types are gonna run -riot- with that little factoid…..


Except that this factoid won’t further the lefty moonbat narrative, so the MSM will never report such a “conspiracy.” It doesn’t serve their Republicans are evil meme like “Russia elected Trump” does.

A Proud Infidel®™

HERE some Oakland Firefighters came out and said their Department is so mismanaged they didn’t even have any inspection records on that warehouse”


Why would anyone be surprised by that?


But, I’ll bet that the upper ranks of the Oakland FD check all the appropriate boxes for “diversity”.
I can’t fathom a county administrator making roughly 5 times the average salary of a state governor in the U.S. There’s no way that county is going to be a viable entity in another 5 or 10 years.

Silentium Est Aureum

Hell, half the cities in the East Bay area are bankrupt already, and don’t even get me started on southern CA.


I wonder when the lefties will start demanding that the rest of us bail them out?


Now that a Republican will be in the White House, expect the first demands around early February.


“Craig K. Chew, the assistant chief of inspectors, made $362,211, $147,000 of which was “benefits.””

The Alameda County administrator Susan Muranishi made $729,162 in 2015, of which $313,503 was in “benefits,” which included bonuses.

Seriously, what the fuck?


A woman, possibly the one mentioned above, held a press conference in which she stated that there had been no inspection for 30 +/- years due to budget concerns/cuts. I guess the exorbitant salaries cut too deeply into operational funding. Seems though, the county/city/state could have found the money to send a couple of inspectors to the building for half a day to do an inspection. But, no, that would be expecting too much. Somehow this will be laid at the feet of a Republican county commissioner who has been in office six months. /sarc People died due to the incompetence of those making more in one year than most usually make in a decade of honest work.

Re pensions, there is no freaking way the system, as it presently exists, is sustainable. How long can it last? Who knows. After all, the money has the backing of the U.S. Government. /more sarc


Also, let’s not forget that Gov. Moonbeam himself was mayor of Oakland for about 8 years or more about ten years ago. Then he was elected AG before he ran for his third term as governor. Being a lawer he really knows how to enforce the law, fire codes and all.


Chewy is the Assistant Chief Inspector?