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