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Not that it would be a fun experience under any circumstances, but I really, really would not like to be on the new San Francisco Bay Bridge during the next major earthquake.

As the predatory nature of the system entrenches itself, destroying the country from within in order to satiate the unquenchable greed of the ruling class, we are now beginning to see the effects at a faster and faster rate; it's the new face of fascism, as I argued the other day.

Back in August I expressed my opinion about the debacle called the New San Francisco Bay bridge: "The New SF Bay Bridge: Proof We Are Now a Banana Republic."

The focus of that diary was thousands of defective "high-risk steel rods" installed, and the blatant coverup by CALTRANS.

Well, once you see that type of corruption, one should not be surprised about new revelations, as reported today by The San Francisco Chronicle: "Caltrans accused of trying to hide Bay Bridge problems."

A Caltrans engineer and an outside expert working on the Bay Bridge eastern span accused agency officials of discounting warnings about cracked welds on the bridge, and telling them not to put their concerns in writing to keep them from becoming public, according to a report commissioned for a state Senate committee.

An official overseeing the long-delayed, $6.4 billion project told a Caltrans engineer who had examined the Chinese-made welds "not to record his concerns in writing, either on paper or e-mail, but rather to communicate orally," said the report for the Senate Transportation and Housing Committee, which was released Wednesday. A quality-control consultant said Caltrans supervisors "did not want a record that would be legally available through the California Public Records Act," the report said.

~Snip~

Merrill said the company, Shanghai Zhenhua Heavy Industry Co. Ltd. - known as ZPMC - lacked experience in bridge work and was only marginally qualified for the job. Caltrans took a "great risk" in relying on them, he told De Wolk.

"We found hundreds of cracks," many of them visible to the naked eye, the report quotes Merrill as saying. Others were revealed through ultrasonic testing, he said.

Of course, if you want to get to the root of the problem, as they always say, follow the money!  The bonuses, the consulting gigs, the revolving door of corruption.

Folks this is endemic; it is destroying the country from within, and eventually it will come for you no matter how comfortable you are.  And the root is the same: A tiny group of wealthy and powerful individuals and corporate cartels pushing a neoliberal agenda nationwide; an agenda based on the dismantling of the public sector in favor of profiteering.  This is happening in broad daylight.

The solutions are not going to come from government officials.  Here's what West Virginia's Democratic governor said when asked about the chemical poisoning of potable water for up to 300,000 customers, as reported by ThinkProgress:

It’s your decision,” Gov. Tomblin told reporters at a press conference on Monday. “If you do not feel comfortable drinking or cooking with this water then use bottled water.”

~Snip~

At Monday’s press conference, Tomblin also emphasized the 1 ppm safety standard. “We’ve been in this thing for 11 days. It’s a very complicated issue. I’m not a scientist, you know. I have to rely on the best information that I have,” Tomblin said.

Isn't that a classic demonstration of leadership, of profiles in courage?

Remember the massive pipeline explosion in San Bruno, CA back in 2010; the one that killed eight people and destroyed 38 homes?  Here's what The San Francisco Chronicle reported: "PG&E diverted safety money for profit, bonuses."

Pacific Gas and Electric Co. diverted more than $100 million in gas safety and operations money collected from customers over a 15-year period and spent it for other purposes, including profit for stockholders and bonuses for executives, according to a pair of state-ordered reports released Thursday.

An independent audit and a staff report issued by the California Public Utilities Commission depicted a poorly led company well-heeled in its gas operations and more concerned with profit than safety.

The documents link a deficient PG&E safety culture - with its "focus on financial performance" - to the pipeline explosion in San Bruno on Sept. 9, 2010, that killed eight people and destroyed 38 homes.

[The emphasis is mine]

And on and on it goes... Looting by Wall Street destroying the lives of millions of people, wars of choice, war profiteering, war crimes, corruption at federal and state levels, a corporate media on the take peddling misinformation and propaganda.

It's time for direct action from the people!



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Sockpuppets & Trolls Watch: Their aim is to disrupt, to annoy, to introduce "noise" in order to prevent meaningful discussions of issues.  Their tactics include casting aspersions (attack on the reputation or integrity), and ad hominems, where instead of addressing issues, they attack the character of people.  They also engage in mockery, and logical fallacies.  A good source of information about the tactics used by sockpuppets, trolls and hacks is "The 15 Rules of Web Disruption."  Once you familiarize yourself with those tactics, it is pretty easy to spot the potential troll.  Once spotted, the best thing is to ignore them. [Image credit: Jacob Bøtter from Copenhagen, Denmark]

Originally posted to Ray Pensador on Thu Jan 23, 2014 at 04:13 PM PST.

Also republished by California politics and TrueMarket.

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Comment Preferences

  •  okay (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    JeffW, chimene, pvasileff

    now I am depressed.  Christie, and no one caring about West Virginia's residents, and now this.  

  •  Twice a Day - 5 Days a Week (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    divineorder, chimene, pvasileff

    Minimum times I ride the bus across that bridge.  Let's see, look for work this side of the Bay? Spent 2 years out of work till I found this job.  Do more telecommuting ?  Basic job activities need me to be there 80%+. What entrepreneur out there is focusing forecasting earthquakes?

    -approaching Curmudgeonry with pleasure

    by Calfacon on Thu Jan 23, 2014 at 04:28:00 PM PST

    •  If I had to drive into SF (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Ray Pensador, NYFM, sajiocity

      from the East Bay, I would park at West Oakland BART and take BART into SF. Later in the day, I would go back to West Oakland, pick up my car and drive to SF during the evening hours.

      To this day, I would far rather take BART into SF (and now even to the airport) than drive over the bridge (new or old).

      BART was about the only thing that survived the Loma Prieta earthquake. But that was then, this is now.

      I reject your reality and substitute my own - Adam Savage

      by woolibaar on Thu Jan 23, 2014 at 04:52:33 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Park in the City? (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        AoT

        What sane person would do that if he or she could take BART?  

        I once drove to a Friday Night party on Taylor off California and spent more time driving around looking for a parking space than I spent at the party.

        This aggression will not stand, man.

        by kaleidescope on Thu Jan 23, 2014 at 09:03:04 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Arrests and perp walks imminent? (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Fe Bongolan, Ray Pensador, AoT, gerrilea
    Senate report: Caltrans ignored shoddy work on Bay Bridge in China and U.S.
    By Charles Piller
    cpiller@sacbee.com

    Read more here: http://www.sacbee.com/...

    Move Single Payer Forward? Join 18,000 Doctors of PNHP and 185,000 member National Nurses United

    by divineorder on Thu Jan 23, 2014 at 04:36:03 PM PST

    •  We should demand the draft reports by subpoena, (3+ / 0-)

      if possible.

      This will probably mean extra structural work, to remediate the structural cracks from off-shored welding. That cost should be borne by the contractor or agency who ordered it.

      If it came from CALTRANS, we're f-&*ked.

      Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It's not. -- Dr. Seuss

      by Fe Bongolan on Thu Jan 23, 2014 at 04:55:28 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  I would be extremely shocked to see people in (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      AoT, divineorder, BusyinCA, TheMomCat

      power engaged in corruption and criminality face real justice, nowadays.  But if it happens, great!

      •  You're wrong here, Ray. (5+ / 0-)
        Of course, if you want to get to the root of the problem, as they always say, follow the money!  The bonuses, the consulting gigs, the revolving door of corruption.
        This story isn't about money. It's about the government officials tasked with overseeing the project putting timeliness ahead of safety and quality.

        And what does this have to with "the unquenchable greed of the ruling class?"

        It's about a bunch of cowardly bureaucrats putting their schedule ahead of safety.

        This doesn't fit the narrative. You're twisting the story. It's not about money. It's about incompetence and cowardice.

        "Bob Johnson doesn't have special privileges, because really, why would I entrust that guy with ANYTHING?" - kos, November 9, 2013

        by Bob Johnson on Thu Jan 23, 2014 at 05:11:13 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  It's about both, really (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Ray Pensador, Numb Nuts, DeadHead

          They aren't separable. The incompetence of bureaucrats is part and parcel of the money corruption. The more schedule pressure there is on bureaucrats the more money there is to be made.

          I agree it isn't a simple narrative, but what is?

          But the story is about money.

          If knowledge is power and power corrupts, does that mean that knowledge corrupts?

          by AoT on Thu Jan 23, 2014 at 05:25:57 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Where is that part of the story? (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            virginislandsguy
            The more schedule pressure there is on bureaucrats the more money there is to be made.
            Who's making the money? The bureaucrat? The company overseeing the manufacture of parts in China was fired because they said the parts were defective. Over and over.

            If anything, this looks like a case of a few bureaucrats wanting a feather in their caps because they finished the project on time.

            Do you have information that cites that their pay was linked to schedule?

            "Bob Johnson doesn't have special privileges, because really, why would I entrust that guy with ANYTHING?" - kos, November 9, 2013

            by Bob Johnson on Thu Jan 23, 2014 at 05:48:12 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Really? (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Numb Nuts, DeadHead

              You don't see how time constraints can turn into profits? You don't see how bureaucrats cutting corners can turn into profits?

              If knowledge is power and power corrupts, does that mean that knowledge corrupts?

              by AoT on Thu Jan 23, 2014 at 06:03:34 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  For the bureaucrats? (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                divineorder

                "Bob Johnson doesn't have special privileges, because really, why would I entrust that guy with ANYTHING?" - kos, November 9, 2013

                by Bob Johnson on Thu Jan 23, 2014 at 06:05:36 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  Unless there are kick backs, no (4+ / 0-)

                  But this is a systemic problem, not just about a few bureaucrats here and there. I can understand why you take issue with the way Ray puts it, because he puts it in a way that makes it seem like a straight forward and obvious thing, when it really isn't.

                  Pressing for a speed up in production means that companies are going to make more money.

                  If knowledge is power and power corrupts, does that mean that knowledge corrupts?

                  by AoT on Thu Jan 23, 2014 at 06:10:28 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Of course. (2+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    divineorder, erush1345

                    But unless a few of these bureaucrats are about to get indicted for taking money from the contractors, then one has to ask what their motivation was for ignoring quality problems, or, worse, burying quality problems.

                    "Bob Johnson doesn't have special privileges, because really, why would I entrust that guy with ANYTHING?" - kos, November 9, 2013

                    by Bob Johnson on Thu Jan 23, 2014 at 06:17:29 PM PST

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  And we have to look at why they went with (2+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      DeadHead, Ray Pensador

                      the suppliers they did in the first place, which was money. And then everything ran over.

                      If knowledge is power and power corrupts, does that mean that knowledge corrupts?

                      by AoT on Thu Jan 23, 2014 at 06:20:31 PM PST

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  Yeah, but that's not "corruption" or because of (1+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        AoT

                        ... "ruling elite" or some other rolled-up conspiracy. It's because they were probably looking to cut corners on bolts and rods.

                        "Bob Johnson doesn't have special privileges, because really, why would I entrust that guy with ANYTHING?" - kos, November 9, 2013

                        by Bob Johnson on Thu Jan 23, 2014 at 06:22:36 PM PST

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  Of course it's corruption. (2+ / 0-)
                          Recommended by:
                          DeadHead, Ray Pensador

                          Breaking things to save time and money isn't corruption? Setting up a system so that these things happen is part of a larger corruption problem.

                          If you think this is just a problem with a few bureaucrats then it seems like you haven't been paying attention. This sort of stuff is the norm. Privatized crap all over the government. Outsourcing shit. It's a systemic problem, not a conspiracy.

                          If knowledge is power and power corrupts, does that mean that knowledge corrupts?

                          by AoT on Thu Jan 23, 2014 at 06:28:41 PM PST

                          [ Parent ]

                          •  What? (2+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            OrganicChemist, erush1345

                            Since when did the government make bolts or steel struts?

                            Privatized crap all over the government. Outsourcing shit. It's a systemic problem, not a conspiracy.
                            They were buying parts. They probably wanted to spend less so they decided to get parts made in China. But this has nothing to do with privatization or outsourcing. The government was never going to make the parts.

                            "Bob Johnson doesn't have special privileges, because really, why would I entrust that guy with ANYTHING?" - kos, November 9, 2013

                            by Bob Johnson on Thu Jan 23, 2014 at 06:35:50 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

              •  Many major construction projects have clauses (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Ray Pensador, Simplify

                written into the contract that there are financial bonuses for meeting certain time frames, as well as penalties for not making them.  So, there's lots of incentives to cut corners by the contracted companies to make the desired time frames and in theory the laws, regulations, and oversight is to keep it all in check.

        •  Ahead of safety (0+ / 0-)

          That isn't clear necessarily because it depends on the comparison. The previous bridge was not considered earthquake safe. So even with flaws the new one is thought by some to be safer, which is why they opened it (after delays).

          •  The engineer whose company was fired for (3+ / 0-)

            ... repeatedly pointing out the defective parts said the parts wouldn't necessarily make the bridge unsafe, but they likely would lead to costly maintenance and a much shorter life span for the bridge (targeted to be 150 years).

            "Bob Johnson doesn't have special privileges, because really, why would I entrust that guy with ANYTHING?" - kos, November 9, 2013

            by Bob Johnson on Thu Jan 23, 2014 at 06:08:38 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Yeah (0+ / 0-)

              I commented on this in Ray's previous linked diary. There seem to be a variety of opinions on the safety question. I've read about it for several years but am not an engineer. I know they have done some fixes but not all. My sense is that they thought it's flawed but still better than the old Bay Bridge, which while not ideal made a shorter time frame a trade they were willing to make.

  •  Ray, I appreciate your vigilance (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Hey338Too, Ray Pensador, NYFM, sajiocity

    but before we stop using the Bay Bridge in its entirety, I believe the structural problem of the bolts was addressed. What we're dealing with now is the aftermath of the numbskulls who did not know how to say "Duh - we should have strength tested the bolts before we used them!!" when the defects were found.

    There are numerous testing engineers who do that kind of work on site during construction and beyond. And I do recall a great big chunk of money -- $5 million -- that was supposedly set aside for a grand opening day celebration for the New eastern span, diverted instead to test and replace the defective bolts.

    As someone who drives across the Bay Bridge every weekday, I am certainly glad they didn't throw a party. In fact, everyone I know appreciates the new bridge built without the hoopla, as long as we are certain we aren't going to die using it.

    If anything, I hope the public attention paid on the cover-up will be used to ensure public concern and comment at Caltrans, with pressure so that there are testing engineers monitoring the bridge's bolt performance under normal use. That would just be due diligence for any structural consultant or contractor who hopes to have a future working on massive public works jobs like that. If not, they're out of business and up to their necks in lawsuits.

    Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It's not. -- Dr. Seuss

    by Fe Bongolan on Thu Jan 23, 2014 at 04:49:00 PM PST

    •  I also drive on the Bay bridge regularly. What (0+ / 0-)

      are you going to do?  Is just that this corruption engulfing the entire country is really sickening.

      •  You are part of the problem. (0+ / 0-)

        The plutocrats want global warming to continue. By regularly driving (presumably a motor vehicle, unless you're only going halfway) you are helping them.

        mind=blown

        warning: snark probably above

        by NE2 on Thu Jan 23, 2014 at 09:00:18 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Your mind is blown? (5+ / 0-)

          Mine, too, though the reason is different.

          Mine's blown due to the enormous number of people automatically disqualified from saying anything on a variety of issues simply because they happen to drive a car.

          What's the maximum size carbon footprint one is allowed to have in order to speak without being labeled a hypocrite?




          Somebody has to do something, and it's just incredibly pathetic that it has to be us. ~ J. Garcia

          by DeadHead on Thu Jan 23, 2014 at 09:43:07 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  You're supposed to (0+ / 0-)

            live in the woods without any electronics. I'm OK because I'm a Republican.

            warning: snark probably above

            by NE2 on Thu Jan 23, 2014 at 10:48:05 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  You're a Republican? (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Ray Pensador

              Gotta give you credit for your honesty.

              It takes a lot of courage to make such an admission on a Democratic blog.

              I'll keep that in mind, should I come across any comments of yours in the future.

              :)




              Somebody has to do something, and it's just incredibly pathetic that it has to be us. ~ J. Garcia

              by DeadHead on Fri Jan 24, 2014 at 12:29:03 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

        •  Are you also part of the problem? (0+ / 0-)

          Perhaps you should tell us about what kind of car you drive and how often and how far you drive it.

          FOX News: For entertainment purposes only. Not to be confused with actual news broadcasting.

          by IowaBiologist on Fri Jan 24, 2014 at 08:43:30 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  I pick up riders for casual carpool (0+ / 0-)

          it saves them on already expensive BART fare and me on expensive bridge fare. I usually take 3 riders with me.

          Since I do have another life after work -- meetings and rehearsals -- and don't want to commute by transit late at night, its my preferred option.

          Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It's not. -- Dr. Seuss

          by Fe Bongolan on Fri Jan 24, 2014 at 11:34:34 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

  •  Ray, how is this story about what you write here? (8+ / 0-)
    As the predatory nature of the system entrenches itself, destroying the country from within in order to satiate the unquenchable greed of the ruling class, we are now beginning to see the effects at a faster and faster rate;
    How does this relate to the "ruling class?"

    It's a story about government employees, specifically some of the top people tasked with overseeing the bridge project, ignoring safety concerns of the private company hired to oversee the manufacture of components so the state managers could stay on schedule.

    It's not about "corruption." It's about a bunch of incompetent bureaucratic assholes who put timeliness ahead of safety and quality.

    Read the story in the Sacramento Bee. It has even more details that the Chronicle story.

    Jim Merrill, formerly a top manager with MacTec Engineering and Consulting Inc., oversaw Bay Bridge quality control work in China from 2006 through 2008 and was a key source for the report. In 2008 he warned Caltrans officials that parts produced by Zhenhua Port Machinery Co. contained “hundreds of cracks,” prohibited by the contract and by welding codes.

    The work took place on Changxing Island near Shanghai, where most of the steel for the suspension span tower and roadway was assembled.

    The report said Merrill believes that bridge managers were more concerned about the schedule than safety.

    Merrill was sacked by the bureaucrats overseeing the project because they wanted to maintain the schedule, even though the parts were shoddy.

    There is nothing in the story to support this statement from you:

    Of course, if you want to get to the root of the problem, as they always say, follow the money!  The bonuses, the consulting gigs, the revolving door of corruption.
    This wasn't about money. It was about time and saving their own sorry asses.

    "Bob Johnson doesn't have special privileges, because really, why would I entrust that guy with ANYTHING?" - kos, November 9, 2013

    by Bob Johnson on Thu Jan 23, 2014 at 05:06:13 PM PST

    •  How does a government built bridge (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Ray Pensador, Numb Nuts, DeadHead

      relate to the ruling class?

      As for the rest. Do you have evidence that shows they went with Chinese manufactured parts because it was faster and not because it was cheaper? Because I rarely hear of people going with China for speed alone.

      If knowledge is power and power corrupts, does that mean that knowledge corrupts?

      by AoT on Thu Jan 23, 2014 at 05:29:18 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  No, I dont know why they went with Chinese (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        P E Outlier, fcvaguy, erush1345

        ... parts makers. But that's not the point. This story is not about Ray's "ruling elite" and "corporate cartels." It's about idiot bureaucrats who put timeliness ahead of safety.

        Read the story. The private contractor tasked with overseeing the quality of the Chinese manufactured parts kept reporting problems with the parts. The bureaucrats running the project, ultimately, fired that contractor because the contractor was slowing the project down.

        "Bob Johnson doesn't have special privileges, because really, why would I entrust that guy with ANYTHING?" - kos, November 9, 2013

        by Bob Johnson on Thu Jan 23, 2014 at 05:45:47 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  And if you slow the project down with pesky (4+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Numb Nuts, nchristine, DeadHead, TheMomCat

          concerns about safety some folks won't get their performance bonuses.  Bob, firing a contractor who is reporting safety concerns has become the sort of thing that happens with financialization, with the spread of neolibealism, where financial incentives trump safety, the commons, the public good.

          I just don't know why you go out of your way to protect the status quo; it's kind of strange to see that in a progressive Democratic blog.

          •  Ray, why do you always get personal? (4+ / 0-)

            Always.

            I just don't know why you go out of your way to protect the status quo; it's kind of strange to see that in a progressive Democratic blog.
            Typical from you, of course.

            How, in any way, shape or form, are my comments "protecting the status quo?" I was simply pointing out that your claims here are unsupported by the facts.

            The "status quo" and what I wrote here are not related. But the insults from you are par for the course. Just another inane diversion to avoid discussing the facts.

            "Bob Johnson doesn't have special privileges, because really, why would I entrust that guy with ANYTHING?" - kos, November 9, 2013

            by Bob Johnson on Thu Jan 23, 2014 at 06:00:01 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Well, let's test that assumption. It's easy: (5+ / 0-)

              Do you agree with these statements:

              Henry Giroux:

              In his book, Zombie Politics and Culture in the Age of Casino Capitalism, author and scholar Henry Giroux connects the dots to prove his theory that our current system is informed by a “machinery of social and civil death” that chills “any vestige of a robust democracy.”
              No, let's just reform the system. Let's work within it. Let's just run people for office. My argument would be, you have one foot in and you have one foot out. I'm not willing to give up the school board. I'm not willing to give up all forms of electoral politics. But it seems to me at the local level we can do some of that thing, that people can get elected. They can make moderate changes.

              But the real changes are not going to come there. The real changes are going to come in creating movements that are longstanding, that are organized, that basically take questions of governance and policy seriously and begin to spread out and become international. That is going to have to happen.

              Chris Hedges:
              Corporations write our legislation. They control our systems of information. They manage the political theater of electoral politics and impose our educational curriculum. They have turned the judiciary into one of their wholly owned subsidiaries. They have decimated labor unions and other independent mass organizations, as well as having bought off the Democratic Party, which once defended the rights of workers. With the evisceration of piecemeal and incremental reform—the primary role of liberal, democratic institutions—we are left defenseless against corporate power.
              If you agree, you are anti-establishment (the establishment being corrupt to the core).  If you disagree, you are pro-establishment.

              These men are speaking the truth.

              So, which one is it?

              •  Ray, your simplistic take is inane. (4+ / 0-)

                No, I don't think everything is essentially corrupt. I think there is corruption. To suggest  because I -- or anyone else -- doesn't agree with your black-OR-white view of the world that one is marked as "pro-establishment" establishes precisely why a guy like you will forever be confined to wailing at the margins.

                You're fanatical in your beliefs, not unlike the religious right zealots Hunter mocks here on a daily basis

                "Bob Johnson doesn't have special privileges, because really, why would I entrust that guy with ANYTHING?" - kos, November 9, 2013

                by Bob Johnson on Thu Jan 23, 2014 at 06:15:28 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  You resort to insults, as always. That's all you (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  DeadHead, TheMomCat

                  have. Nice try.

                  •  Heh. (3+ / 0-)

                    Now that's funny. After you wrote these comments to me upthread:

                    I just don't know why you go out of your way to protect the status quo; it's kind of strange to see that in a progressive Democratic blog.
                    If you agree, you are anti-establishment (the establishment being corrupt to the core).  If you disagree, you are pro-establishment.

                    These men are speaking the truth.

                    So, which one is it?

                    Hey, Ray, when did you stop beating your wife?

                    See how that works?

                    Like I said, inane...

                    "Bob Johnson doesn't have special privileges, because really, why would I entrust that guy with ANYTHING?" - kos, November 9, 2013

                    by Bob Johnson on Thu Jan 23, 2014 at 06:31:31 PM PST

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  So let me get this straight, you consider (3+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      DeadHead, lostinamerica, TheMomCat

                      someone making an observation about a person being pro-establishment an insult?

                      I just proved to you you are pro-establishment.  Do you feel shame about it?

                      I don't know, maybe you can clarify.  For example, I think the political establishment is corrupt to the core, and therefore I'm anti-establishment.  I want to see fundamental changes.

                      Are you pro-establishment, or an anti-establishment progressive?

                      Is that the same as calling someone a liar or a coward, as you've called me several times?

                      •  Ray, you are a funny, funny guy. (0+ / 0-)

                        Like I said, have you quit beating your wife?

                        Simple Simon.

                        "Bob Johnson doesn't have special privileges, because really, why would I entrust that guy with ANYTHING?" - kos, November 9, 2013

                        by Bob Johnson on Thu Jan 23, 2014 at 06:41:34 PM PST

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  You are losing all credibility with responses... (2+ / 0-)
                          Recommended by:
                          Ray Pensador, mkor7

                          like this. He didn't call you a name, he classified your views as he perceived them and then asked you if he was correct, then you called him a name.

                          I use to consider you an important contributor here, but as the years go by I've seen you turn into some kind of troll who attacks those you partially disagree without adding much of anything.

                          What exactly have you added to this conversation?

                          The greatest shortcoming of the human race is our inability to understand the exponential function [Albert A. Bartlett]

                          by fToRrEeEsSt on Fri Jan 24, 2014 at 05:46:12 AM PST

                          [ Parent ]

                          •  How shall I go on? (0+ / 0-)

                            You disapprove!

                            I am crushed.

                            "Bob Johnson doesn't have special privileges, because really, why would I entrust that guy with ANYTHING?" - kos, November 9, 2013

                            by Bob Johnson on Fri Jan 24, 2014 at 06:48:59 AM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  My intent of pointing this out is not... (0+ / 0-)

                            to 'crush' you, but to possibly make you more self aware of your hypocrisy and trollish behavior in hopes that its just a temporary symptom of some other issue manifesting itself.

                            The fact you refuse to answer any of the more penetrating questions posed to you and instead just make snide remarks, implies you are subconsciously avoiding shining light upon your own actions.

                            Ray asked if you believed certain statements and you ignored it and I asked what have you contributed to the conversation which you also ignored. These questions are not being asked as an attack, but as a means of making you look inward to your own actions and statements.

                            I think at heart we are on the same side, but something has caused you to become adversarial and I am merely attempting to point this out so maybe you can resolve it. You have so many posts in this thread and yet they all boil down to attacking Ray with little real value to the overall conversation.

                            What is it about this diary that makes you want to waste so much time attacking it?

                            The greatest shortcoming of the human race is our inability to understand the exponential function [Albert A. Bartlett]

                            by fToRrEeEsSt on Fri Jan 24, 2014 at 08:18:24 AM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Please... (2+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            serendipityisabitch, Hey338Too

                            Ray's m.o. is to accuse anyone who dares take issue with his posts (even simply to raise factual counterpoints) of being part of a cabal that is out to silence him, you know, because he is such a threat to ruling elite/plutocracy/corporate cartels that run everything. Perhaps you haven't yet been accused by Ray of being paid to post here as I have.

                            So spare me your lectures on what constitutes appropriate behavior in any particular diary. If you want to talk about hypocrisy, check your own first. Ray makes accusations about the intent of posters and concocts conspiracy theories based on those imagined intents without so much as a peep from people like you.

                            "Bob Johnson doesn't have special privileges, because really, why would I entrust that guy with ANYTHING?" - kos, November 9, 2013

                            by Bob Johnson on Fri Jan 24, 2014 at 08:32:04 AM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Just like you said he called you names but... (0+ / 0-)

                            actually he didn't, though you called him names?

                            I read most of his diaries and I do not see him accusing everyone of being in some conspiracy, that is just your perception. He may accuse you of being part of the problem when you defend the status quo, but that doesn't mean he thinks you are 'in on it'.

                            That is what you are using to convince yourself its okay to not take him seriously because you don't want to accept what hes saying and it makes an easy out.

                            I've seen your arguments in this thread and they are tenuous at best and more devil's advocate than astute observation. You are as they say nit picking and it gives the impression its the main point of his diaries you don't like, looking for anything to quibble over.

                            Anyway I'll shut up now, but you have been here a long time and have been a great contributor and I just don't see what your real issue is here, so I am just pointing this out in hopes you do.

                            The greatest shortcoming of the human race is our inability to understand the exponential function [Albert A. Bartlett]

                            by fToRrEeEsSt on Fri Jan 24, 2014 at 11:31:24 AM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Heh. (0+ / 0-)

                            And you accuse me of ignoring your points...

                            Have you been accused by Ray of being paid to post here, or as being part of some nefarious plot to silence him?

                            Didn't think so.

                            Your double standards are appalling.

                            "Bob Johnson doesn't have special privileges, because really, why would I entrust that guy with ANYTHING?" - kos, November 9, 2013

                            by Bob Johnson on Fri Jan 24, 2014 at 11:38:43 AM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  and so it goes (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            Hey338Too

                            You're arguing with someone who apparently sees no problem with "If you disagree [with this quotation], you are pro-establishment." Cut your losses. Remember, Ray plays long, and he is playing you.

                            "I am not sure how we got here, but then, I am not really sure where we are." -Susan from 29

                            by HudsonValleyMark on Fri Jan 24, 2014 at 02:43:52 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  My discussion is not with Ray. (0+ / 0-)

                            "Bob Johnson doesn't have special privileges, because really, why would I entrust that guy with ANYTHING?" - kos, November 9, 2013

                            by Bob Johnson on Fri Jan 24, 2014 at 02:54:51 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  fair point (0+ / 0-)

                            You've gotta walk that lonesome valley by yourself. I'm just mentioning what I see there.

                            "I am not sure how we got here, but then, I am not really sure where we are." -Susan from 29

                            by HudsonValleyMark on Fri Jan 24, 2014 at 03:11:36 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

            •  lol (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Ray Pensador, TheMomCat, fToRrEeEsSt
              But the insults from you are par for the course. Just another inane diversion to avoid discussing the facts.
              Good God, Bob, did you really just type that?

              Your sense of humor is alive and well, after all.

              :)




              Somebody has to do something, and it's just incredibly pathetic that it has to be us. ~ J. Garcia

              by DeadHead on Thu Jan 23, 2014 at 06:49:43 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  No, that was the hint for the possible HRs swarm. (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                DeadHead, TheMomCat
              •  Hey! (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                ord avg guy, virginislandsguy

                It's the President of the Ray Pensador Fan Club! Are you wearing your autographed Guy Fawkes mask?

                "Bob Johnson doesn't have special privileges, because really, why would I entrust that guy with ANYTHING?" - kos, November 9, 2013

                by Bob Johnson on Thu Jan 23, 2014 at 06:54:58 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  My, what thin skin you have, Bob. (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Ray Pensador, TheMomCat

                  It doesn't take much for you to make it "personal," now does it?

                  Considering the imagery you chose for your personally-directed remark, I'd have to say characterizations of your being "pro-establishment" and "pro-status quo" appear to be rather accurate.

                  In which case, I thank you for the compliment.

                  :)




                  Somebody has to do something, and it's just incredibly pathetic that it has to be us. ~ J. Garcia

                  by DeadHead on Thu Jan 23, 2014 at 08:11:14 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Oh, you didn't know? (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    ord avg guy

                    Ray is autographing Guy Fawkes masks and selling them on his website. It's a fundraising effort in advance of publishing his book that's coming out April 15. Which is being preceded by the January 27th meet-up at the Bank of America location in San Francisco. Which follows the sending of four bucks to the Daily Kos fund on the 15th of every month. I hope you are participating in all these events and have plans to buy the book when it comes out, you being the President (and perhaps Vice President, Secretary and Treasurer) of the Ray Pensador Fan Club.

                    "Bob Johnson doesn't have special privileges, because really, why would I entrust that guy with ANYTHING?" - kos, November 9, 2013

                    by Bob Johnson on Thu Jan 23, 2014 at 08:26:14 PM PST

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  Uh-huh (2+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      Ray Pensador, TheMomCat

                      You're the only person who's given me this title, so I think it's all in your head, Bob.

                      Do you hold any titles of similar prestige? I'm sure you must be president of something, aren't you?




                      Somebody has to do something, and it's just incredibly pathetic that it has to be us. ~ J. Garcia

                      by DeadHead on Thu Jan 23, 2014 at 09:53:34 PM PST

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  So are you going to the non-hierarchical movement (2+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        ord avg guy, Hey338Too

                        ... meeting in front of the Bank of America location on January 27?

                        Unfortunately, I will not be able to make it as I have to work that day. I hope that doesn't put me on Ray's "enemies list."

                        "Bob Johnson doesn't have special privileges, because really, why would I entrust that guy with ANYTHING?" - kos, November 9, 2013

                        by Bob Johnson on Thu Jan 23, 2014 at 10:23:48 PM PST

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  Nope. (2+ / 0-)
                          Recommended by:
                          Ray Pensador, TheMomCat

                          I won't be able to attend that particular event in front of that particular Bank of America.

                          See?

                          We've got something in common after all. We're both members of an enemies list you've decided includes yourself, and of course, me.

                          Now that we've bonded a little, perhaps you'll feel more comfortable telling us about your presidency.

                          Are you the President of any clubs related to Ray?

                          I think you are, and you're just being a little bashful.




                          Somebody has to do something, and it's just incredibly pathetic that it has to be us. ~ J. Garcia

                          by DeadHead on Fri Jan 24, 2014 at 12:17:45 AM PST

                          [ Parent ]

                          •  Oh we have a secret club that communicates in code (2+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            ord avg guy, Hey338Too

                            You wouldn't believe the rapid exchange of messages that goes on every time Ray posts a new diary! He must be stopped! So we have this light that shines in the sky, kind of like the "Bat Signal" in the old "Batman" show.

                            All of us are in employ of the ruling elite. I am being paid a handsome salary to stop this threat to my boss's plutocratic power. Lately, I have been admonished by my superiors because I haven't been in all of Ray's diaries. My peers have sent out the "Ray Signal" and I haven't responded. My pay has been docked as a result.

                            "Bob Johnson doesn't have special privileges, because really, why would I entrust that guy with ANYTHING?" - kos, November 9, 2013

                            by Bob Johnson on Fri Jan 24, 2014 at 05:12:12 AM PST

                            [ Parent ]

        •  Really? You don't know why they went with (5+ / 0-)

          the Chinese but you're going to assume it isn't because of money?

          http://www.nytimes.com/...

          But executives and officials who have awarded the various Chinese contracts say their audits have convinced them of the projects’ engineering integrity. And they note that with the full financial force of the Chinese government behind its infrastructure companies, the monumental scale of the work, and the prices bid, are hard for private industry elsewhere to beat.
          I don't see anything about time constraints there. I do see something about money.

          If knowledge is power and power corrupts, does that mean that knowledge corrupts?

          by AoT on Thu Jan 23, 2014 at 06:06:26 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  I said I didn't know why they went with a Chinese (0+ / 0-)

            ... manufacturer. Money may be one reason. Speed may be another reason. Either way, the contractor tasked with tracking quality cited a significant percentage of defective parts. And that contractor was fired as a result.

            "Bob Johnson doesn't have special privileges, because really, why would I entrust that guy with ANYTHING?" - kos, November 9, 2013

            by Bob Johnson on Thu Jan 23, 2014 at 06:10:53 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Money was the prime reason they (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Bob Johnson, Ray Pensador, TheMomCat

              went with the various Chinese contractors they did. This has been documented in the article I linked to, as well as in other sources. Despite that fact the bridge still more than doubled in price.

              And having a large quantity of defective parts will also increase costs.

              Again though. It's both in my eyes. First, the bureaucracy encourages going quickly and does things in such a way that it ends up making companies a shit ton of money.

              That you'd put this down only to going quickly just doesn't make sense.

              If knowledge is power and power corrupts, does that mean that knowledge corrupts?

              by AoT on Thu Jan 23, 2014 at 06:17:49 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  I didn't do that. (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                AoT, erush1345
                That you'd put this down only to going quickly just doesn't make sense.
                I never suggested that. My point was that the contractor overseeing the quality of the Chinese parts was fired for calling into question the parts. He was seen as slowing down the project

                "Bob Johnson doesn't have special privileges, because really, why would I entrust that guy with ANYTHING?" - kos, November 9, 2013

                by Bob Johnson on Thu Jan 23, 2014 at 06:21:16 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  Okay, sorry for that (3+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Bob Johnson, Ray Pensador, TheMomCat

                  But that doesn't change my point. Doing this meant that the company providing these things made more money than they otherwise would have.

                  If knowledge is power and power corrupts, does that mean that knowledge corrupts?

                  by AoT on Thu Jan 23, 2014 at 06:29:49 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  How do you know that? (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    AoT

                    I'm sure the companies building the bridge made more for finishing on time. Not sure if part makers had those kinds of incentives.

                    "Bob Johnson doesn't have special privileges, because really, why would I entrust that guy with ANYTHING?" - kos, November 9, 2013

                    by Bob Johnson on Thu Jan 23, 2014 at 06:32:50 PM PST

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  Ya (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      AoT

                      there could be lots of reasons. None of us have seen the actual terms and conditions of the contract. It may have been a lowest bid contract, the requirements might have been vague or written badly, there may have been incentives and penalties in the contract which motivated the contractor to behave one way or the other, lot of reasons. We'd need to see the contract.

                      If I had written the contract, I would probably have required "Made in America" parts, especially since I was using tax dollars. But, there may have been other reasons why they didn't. Inability to produce the quantity of steel required in the timeframe required? Who knows. But, that doesn't stop some people from drawing their own conclusions or arguing points without substantiating details.

                      KOS: "Mocking partisans focusing on elections? Even less reason to be on Daily Kos."

                      by fcvaguy on Thu Jan 23, 2014 at 09:26:54 PM PST

                      [ Parent ]

            •  On construction projects like this... (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Bob Johnson, fcvaguy, AoT

              ...speed IS money.

              •  Of course (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                AoT

                If it was a fixed price contract, delays are going to cost a lot. If there were penalties in the contract for not meeting schedule, the contractor will do anything required to meet that schedule including cutting corners.

                none of us know anything about the contract.

                KOS: "Mocking partisans focusing on elections? Even less reason to be on Daily Kos."

                by fcvaguy on Thu Jan 23, 2014 at 09:28:24 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

          •  Play out the subtleties (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            AoT

            There are two separate events:

            • The decision to use a foreign manufacturing company
            • The decision to cover up defects

            Government and laws are the agreement we all make to secure everyone's freedom.

            by Simplify on Fri Jan 24, 2014 at 04:03:34 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

        •  Well, you see outcomes like this . . . (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Bob Johnson

          . . . when process, rather than performance and quality, is the important element in project management.

    •  Bob, let me start by asking you a fundamental (7+ / 0-)

      question: Don't you agree that during the last 13 or 14 years we've seen a massive wave of corruption at the highest levels engulfing the country?  Wall Street looting trillions of dollars with total impunity; war of choice, war profiteering, war crimes?

      There is the issue of "moral hazard," when this type of corruption at the highest levels of government and industry go unpunished, then it starts propagating throughout society; it is a sickness.

      Now the poisoning of the water in WV, the catastrophic failures in construction of the SF Bay Bridge, the explosion at San Bruno, and many other similar events can be traced to the issue of thefinancialization of "everything."

      Financialization refers to the dominance of the financial sector, the increasing significance of financial markets, and the increasing independence of the financial system with a shift away from traditional forms of banking and insurance toward speculation. The process can be seen as a postwar phenomenon that intensified after 1980. Financialization reduces any work product or service to an exchangeable financial instrument. It is an aspect of increased symbolization, mathematization and computerization of financial markets that are trends within knowledge capitalism.

      Neoliberalism is an expression of the power of finance that has gathered pace with the internationalization of capital and the globalization of markets. Some scholars suggest that neoliberalism and globalization are themselves expressions of finance, closely tied to the development of derivatives markets and the evolution of an international financial system where the international rentiers have managed to significantly increase their share of national income - often on the basis of systematic fraud, corruption and widespread criminalization of financial practices. The current financial crisis is a systemic crisis of the entire capitalistic system based on interconnected global financial markets. This is a fundamental shift that represents the financialization of the reproductive sphere of life itself.

      ALEC, corporatist Democrats, Third Way, and many other related organizations are systematically pushing Neoliberalism, which basically means the undermining of the public sector (i.e., democracy) in favor of privatization and profiteering.

      This then trickles down to local issues in multiple ways, some of which looks like just stupid people doing stupid things, but in actuality has a genesis in the systematic spread of neoliberalism.

      Regarding the bridge, I've read several articles.  There are issues of bonuses, of dealings between public officials and private contractors, conflicts of interests, etc.  Just like with San Bruno, just like with the poisoning the water in WV.

      If you prefer to bury your head in the sand and insist that there is no relations, that these forces, these influences are not impacting every state of the nation, then that's your choice.  Have at it.  Just don't insist I do likewise.

      •  Where? (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        virginislandsguy, erush1345
        Regarding the bridge, I've read several articles.  There are issues of bonuses, of dealings between public officials and private contractors, conflicts of interests, etc.  Just like with San Bruno, just like with the poisoning the water in WV.

        None of that is mentioned in either of these stories.
        The idiots running the project didn't want to get behind schedule. In fact, it shows the opposite of what you claim. A good contractor overseeing the quality of the manufactured parts was fired for pointing out how many parts were bad because it was putting the project behind schedule.

        I'm not "burying my head in the sand." I'm pointing out facts which you are choosing to ignore so you can claim this is some sort of nefarious plot orchestrated by the "ruling class."

        Where?

        "Bob Johnson doesn't have special privileges, because really, why would I entrust that guy with ANYTHING?" - kos, November 9, 2013

        by Bob Johnson on Thu Jan 23, 2014 at 05:42:51 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Do you own research. I've read over 20 articles (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          TheMomCat

          about issues related to the bridge construction.  There are issues related to "performance" bonuses for finishing certain stages within certain time, and that pushed people to rush things and intimidate and silence those who were bringing up safety issues.  There are issues of private companies involved in the project influencing public officials to accept faulty parts, etc.

          Like I said, I've read multiple articles about it.  If you don't want to believe me, fine, that's your choice.  If you really want to know more, do your own research.  It's pretty easy.

          •  Ray I did my own research (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            serendipityisabitch
            Regarding the bridge, I've read several articles.  There are issues of bonuses, of dealings between public officials and private contractors, conflicts of interests, etc.  Just like with San Bruno, just like with the poisoning the water in WV.on the San Bruno explosion.
            In San Bruno. PG&E did poor work moving that pipeline in 1956, and it failed 54 years later.  

            In West Virginia, careless people took over an old chemical plant that the State failed to inspect.

            If you have evidence in either instance of dealings between public officials and private contractors or conflicts of interest please provide it.

            “The answer must be, I think, that beauty and grace are performed whether or not we will or sense them. The least we can do is try to be there.” ― Annie Dillard, Pilgrim at Tinker Creek

            by 6412093 on Thu Jan 23, 2014 at 06:05:47 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  That's such a softball. Here it is: (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              lostinamerica, TheMomCat, allenjo
              The San Francisco Chronicle reported: "PG&E diverted safety money for profit, bonuses."
              Pacific Gas and Electric Co. diverted more than $100 million in gas safety and operations money collected from customers over a 15-year period and spent it for other purposes, including profit for stockholders and bonuses for executives, according to a pair of state-ordered reports released Thursday.

              An independent audit and a staff report issued by the California Public Utilities Commission depicted a poorly led company well-heeled in its gas operations and more concerned with profit than safety.

              The documents link a deficient PG&E safety culture - with its "focus on financial performance" - to the pipeline explosion in San Bruno on Sept. 9, 2010, that killed eight people and destroyed 38 homes.

              West Virginia: The New York Times: Chemical Spill Muddies Picture in a State Wary of Regulations
              CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Here in West Virginia, residents were still reeling from the chemical spill that left more than 300,000 people without usable water for days, many of them still frightened and unsure whether official assurances that they could once again drink tap water or bathe their children were true.

              But in Washington on Wednesday, among friends at an event sponsored by the American Coalition for Clean Coal Electricity, West Virginia’s junior senator and former governor, Joe Manchin III, was preaching a familiar gospel of an industry under siege by overzealous regulators.

              “You feel like everyone’s turned against you,” he said. He assured his audience that he would continue to fight back against proposed new Environmental Protection Agency regulations on coal, quoting the state motto in Latin: “Montani semper liberi” — “Mountaineers are always free.”

              •  I don't see this (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                serendipityisabitch
                ...of dealings between public officials and private contractors, conflicts of interests, etc...
                in either example.  You provided no examples of dealings between public officials and private contractors, as alleged.

                Conflicts of interest usually refers to a public official serving two masters; for instance regulating a company in which they own stock or has other interests.  You provided no examples of this.  PG&E misdirected corporate funds, but the regulators displayed no conflict of interest.

                Manchin may love the coal industry but where is his financial investment or other conflict of interest regarding Freedom Industries who polluted the water?

                “The answer must be, I think, that beauty and grace are performed whether or not we will or sense them. The least we can do is try to be there.” ― Annie Dillard, Pilgrim at Tinker Creek

                by 6412093 on Thu Jan 23, 2014 at 08:21:23 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

              •  Mountaineers are always free? (0+ / 0-)

                Here's another ironic example of how corporate interests have hijacked our language and turned it to serve their own selfish interests:

                “You feel like everyone’s turned against you,” he [Manchin] said. He assured his audience that he would continue to fight back against proposed new Environmental Protection Agency regulations on coal, quoting the state motto in Latin: “Montani semper liberi” — “Mountaineers are always free.”

                "Mountaineers are always free?"

                Really?

                What an example of turning the WV state motto into precisely the opposite of what it was meant to be!

                FOX News: For entertainment purposes only. Not to be confused with actual news broadcasting.

                by IowaBiologist on Fri Jan 24, 2014 at 09:53:41 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

      •  My thought about your point. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Ray Pensador

        It is correct, but the "financialization" of everything is just one aspect of the irredeemable falsehood that everything is a consumer choice.

        I can't help but think that it is an outcome of allowing poorly educated and socially ignorant MBAs access to management of everything from A&E projects to corporate governance, to banking.

  •  What do you expect . . . (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Ray Pensador

    . . .  when the Architecture and Engineering as well as construction is done by a "caveat emptor" society; china?  

    Yep, the bean counters show that their approach to the public commonwealth is absolutely bankrupt - hell, instead of drowning all the lawyers perhaps we should start with the MBAs and the Chicago School of Economics.  How we have allowed such parasites to have such influence over us is damning and a sad critique of what we are become.

    So, the chinese treat us like fools and we dare not claw back the money to tear down and rebuild their shit construction?  Damn, that's why I call china a 20-foot country; you don't want to look any closer at their construction because anything they do publicly is nearly worthless.  America is getting quite a taste of their attitude towards construction, especially for a non-chinese client.

  •  I was actually going to do a diary about (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Ray Pensador, TheMomCat

    the new bridge.  It is a disaster on many levels.

    I actually took the pedestrian path that makes clear its problems.  The path itself is hideous.  It is actually and mostly a tour of under highway overpasses and Oakland's sewage plant.  When you finally get to the bridge, you realize this is not a bridge, but mostly a viaduct.  And a noisy one.  That ends short of Treasure Island and has no connection to the tower holding the cables.

    Look to the left and you see the old trestle bridge, which blocks all views to the south.  But does reveal that the fancy doodad tower and cables wasn't really necessary.  Indeed, the bridge portion of the bridge is like 3/4 of a mile.  Which you notice when you drive across because you are barely on it long enough to even notice.  

    What would I have done?  Spend less on the tower and cables, do a simpler bridge but one that connects pedestrian- wise to SF and treasure island and has parkland in the middle.  Even a tower that people could access.  

    Right now, the ped walk is ugly, noisy, depressing and the opposite of user friendly.  Made worse by the fact that you realize part of the 6.4 billion we paid went for it.

    "So listen, oh, Don't wait." Vampire Weekend.

    by Publius2008 on Thu Jan 23, 2014 at 07:46:41 PM PST

    •  Thanks for that description. I actually haven't (0+ / 0-)

      gotten on the pedestrian path, and I don't have any intention of doing so.  I believe that soon enough the construction of that bridge will be recognized as one of the major engineering and financial blunders in American history.

      They've done a pretty good job so far as suppressing information, but eventually more will come out.

      It is truly a shame.

  •  Ain't Capitalism Grand? n/t (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Ray Pensador, bluehammer

    This aggression will not stand, man.

    by kaleidescope on Thu Jan 23, 2014 at 09:00:04 PM PST

  •  Caltrans has a history of coverups (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Ray Pensador, mkor7

    On the old bridge a few years ago, some sort of temporary connection came loose and hit a few cars.
    http://sfist.com/...

    Caltrans immediately released a statement saying in part that "no cables were involved". Seriously. Chris Christie couldn't tell a more obvious lie.
    http://baybridgeinfo.org/...

    Nothing was ever proven, but the unofficially accepted reason for the coverup is that the Caltrans director owns a cable company.

    warning: snark probably above

    by NE2 on Thu Jan 23, 2014 at 09:08:36 PM PST

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