You want to see why the power is still out in parts of NY?

Just look at this picture.

Image via WFTV

What did that man do to get assaulted?

Applewhite said he had just finished working a 13-hour day and was going to get dinner with the rest of his crew when he stepped out of his utility truck and was attacked by a resident.

Honestly if I was with any utility crew that was in the area to help restore power I’d pack up and leave.  They were up all the way from Florida to help.  Even if I lived in the area and worked locally, I’d pack up and move.  When you attack the people trying to help you, you don’t deserve help.  You deserve to suffer and be stuck solving the problem on your own.

He left his family to go help and work long hours in the process.  His reward for that was a broken jaw and multiple fractures.

Can someone please explain to me how this was some how supposed to aid in the restoration of power?  Does a black eye and broken jaw help a lineman do his job safely?  Does it some how give him magical powers to see what needs to be done to the line to bring it back into service?

What I do absolutely love though is that idiot Mayor absolutely doesn’t care because it didn’t involve the use of a firearm.  Heaven forbid he actually bring in the National Guard to help maintain order and provide a safe working environment for utility crews.  Nope, only his anointed class can carry firearms in the city.  In the mean time utility workers are being assaulted for trying to get the lights back on.

Personally, I say leave them in the dark and let them rot if that’s how they’re going to behave.  Things aren’t magically fixed overnight no matter how bad you want them to be.  Evidently massive damage can be magically undone with a snap of the fingers.  Up to and including transformer replacement, line replacement, pole replacement, substation replacement, protective relay replacement, and line communication replacement.  Will the individual who discovered this ability to fix things at the snap of their fingers please start a company to provide services, they could certainly be used in a time like this.

As for dealing with this problem, at minimum leave the lights off till that man’s buddies turn him in.  You know he went and bragged to someone about beating up a utility crew to “show them they mean business.”  Well just leave the lights off until the car and owner is found.

Seriously, incidents like this piss me right the hell off and I am being quite honest about letting them fix this crap themselves if that’s how they’re going to behave.  You think a couple of weeks are bad, try a couple of years when no one helps next time.

Yeah, That’s Always the Solution

Yes, read that title with a serious sense of sarcasm because unsurprisingly we have the following.

Some officials are calling for the U.S. military to take over the managerial structure of the Long Island Power Authority until power is restored on Long Island, where more than a quarter million homes and businesses are still in the dark after Sandy and a snowstorm.

Because fighting a war is so close to restoring and rebuilding the electric power system?  Don’t get me wrong, I have the utmost respect for the military, but there is nothing to indicate they have the skills or abilities necessary to fix this problem.

Now it must be noted that the Navy does have a few men who actually do know something about the power system and distribution, but they also focus on it being aboard ship, with a smaller system with redundancy designed to survive casualties.  Others would look at the military and say, “Well the military has to supply power to their bases.”  Well even the military is lacking the people and skills to do that now days.

By September 30, 2003, most of the over two thousand utility systems owned and operated by the Military Departments are to be privatized. See DoD Reform Initiative Directive #49. Utility systems include systems: (1) for the generation and supply of electric power; (2) for the supply of natural gas; (3) for the transmission of telecommunications; (4) for the treatment or supply of water; (5) for the collection or treatment of wastewater; and (6) for the generation or supply of steam, hot water, and chilled water.

So what exactly would involving the government in the power restoration process do other than create an additional layer of bureaucratic red tape to go through?

There was a considerable amount of damage and it is very serious and not simple.  Many lines that have been repaired remain out of service because there isn’t enough power feeding in to support the line currently.  Not to mention the fact that there has also been damage to the natural gas system and other areas will not have power restored until the gas problems are fixed.

As I said previously:

So what we have is a bunch of distribution points that were/are full of water, need to be drained, the equipment cleaned, checked, maintained, and replaced possibly in some instances.  All of this must be done before re-energizing that circuit.

That takes time, it doesn’t happen overnight, and given the fact that salt water, metal, and electricity is involved  you better do it right.  If you don’t it will be more likely to fail in the future.

Does it suck being out of power?  Yes it does and anyone who thinks a utility doesn’t care about it’s customers being out of power, specifically a significant amount, doesn’t have a brain between their ears.  Each day service is down is a day of lost revenue.  Figure how many people there are, not to mention commercial customers, and then think about how much they’re loosing overall.

Yet again a group of people are screaming the government will magically solve the problem.  Most of those same people actually don’t have a clue about what’s actually going on.

How Desperate They Are For Members…

It is no hidden fact that I hate unions with a dead level passion.  At one time they had a purpose but honestly if you dislike your working conditions, quit and go work some place else.  No one is holding a gun to your head to work there.

Well it seems that some union shops, in an effort to gain more members, are using the fallout and suffering from hurricane Sandy to intimidate others into either joining or no helping.  You think I’m lying?

The hurricane-ravaged east coast has been receiving north Alabama help, but crews learned they could not help out in New Jersey unless they affiliated with a union.

These guys drove up from Alabama to help and were greeted with a join our club or [email protected]#$ off.  But people are without power, power that many need to survive.  In the end though their own neighbors don’t care.  If the outside assistance doesn’t want to join their coercive club to funnel money to a political party the group offering help might disagree with the locals would rather their neighbors freeze and starve.

You know what, I’d drive my ass back home too.  Screw ’em, if that’s the attitude you have towards helping in a time of an emergency I say let Darwin weed out a few more of you bastards.  Maybe the people will find out exactly what you did and they’ll run you and your union out of town on a rail.  I would like to point out I spend a lot of my own time and money volunteering to help, but by god I don’t need to be treated like that when I volunteer to help.

Now my coworker said they should just shoot the bastards who are telling help to turn around and leave over not being unionized.  My only issue with that is that it shouldn’t be the people trying to help getting their hands dirty, it should be the people who’s suffering is being used for political leverage.  Seriously, those who are without power need to be beating the hell out of these men who are prolonging the emergency unnecessarily.

Unsurprisingly you didn’t hear about any government officials telling the unions to STFU and do what’s necessary to get the job done.  This isn’t the first time unions have used tragedy to further their position.  My suggestion is if you live in New Jersey, start yelling at utility workers for refusing help.  Even if it isn’t the same utility, put the pressure back on them for not keeping their brothers in check.

h/t Bitter.

No, I Think You Missed The Point…

“If you think a control-system attack that takes down a utility even for a few hours is not serious, just look at what is happening now that Mother Nature has taken out those utilities,” Napolitano said at a Washington Post cybersecurity event, noting the effects in some cases can be “life threatening.”

While yes, cybersecurity should be taken seriously, Sandy is not an example of how dangerous a cyber attack could be.

What do I mean I hear you cry?  Sandy is a prime example of what someone could do to physically interrupt the power system.  While you could find a way to get a breaker to open or close unintentionally, the easier method of disrupting utilities is to find critical points and physically knock them out.

First, let me do a quick explanation of what’s going on in the NYC area.  Most power distribution in the NYC area is below ground.  This makes it below sea level.  This is one of the reasons they shut down many areas early, in an effort to protect equipment so that it can return to service more quickly.  Still, that equipment has to be cleaned, transformers for example have to be washed, insulation checked, and refilled with cooling oil.  This takes time, though much less time than having to fly in a replacement transformer, removing the old one, and installing and commissioning the new one.

So what we have is a bunch of distribution points that were/are full of water, need to be drained, the equipment cleaned, checked, maintained, and replaced possibly in some instances.  All of this must be done before re-energizing that circuit.

So why did I take the time to explain all that?  Well because it illustrates that if done properly, a physical attack, can easily do more damage than any cyber attack, and even more than that you have decreased the potential recovery time.  But that’s not all.  Say you execute an attack on physical infrastructure and take out 2 transmission level transformers on a main artery.

You have now done triple digit damage in the millions if not more.  Plus it will take 2-3 years, at a minimum, to replace the transformers.  Any stock they have for those transformers is in very limited supply.  This means if you hit a couple of places at once, you could very well permanently cripple the ability for a region to get the power necessary to operate.

Seriously, think about this, cyber-security to protect assets worth millions of dollars and provide hundreds of millions in revenue are going to be left unguarded by their owners and operators?  Get real.  The bigger and harder problem is physical security.  How do you stop someone from running a truck into a transmission tower?

Why do I bring all this up?  Because our overlords often start screaming about “necessity” in an effort to create new regulations and requirements which honestly are unnecessary.  They’re unnecessary because do you think a utility company doesn’t want to protect its equipment?  For every minute a transmission line is down they’re loosing millions of dollars in lost revenue.

We’ve seen these cries before and yet again it is to drum up “FUD” among people who don’t really understand how the system works.  FUD is how you make a bunch of people clamor to do something when nothing really needs to be done.  That’s what Janet’s doing with her latest ramblings.

Continuing on My Series About the Food Chain

So I saw this today and wanted to make a quote of the day but just couldn’t figure out how.  The stupid is so heavy it hurts.

An Irvine resident is requesting that the city install a sign to memorialize the hundreds of fish killed in a traffic crash in early October as they were being taken to Irvine Ranch Market.

In the letter, Dina Kourda, on behalf of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, asks the city’s street maintenance superintendent to place the sign at the site of the crash on Walnut and Yale avenues.

I think my favorite though was this quote from the boy genius himself:

“Research tells us that fish use tools, tell time, sing, and have impressive long-term memories and complex social structures, yet fish used for food are routinely crushed, impaled, cut open, and gutted, all while still conscious. Sparing them from being tossed from a speeding truck and slowly dying from injuries and suffocation seems the least that we can do,” the letter continued.

Tell me, what hands do the fish use to pick up their “tools”?  They were food there sport and while you may be well intentioned, the fact is, death is a part of life and humans are omnivores.  That’s right, we eat both plants and animals.  You do realize a plant is a living organism too right?  It is the behavior of people like you who have created an environment where things like this occur.  Today I got a new one to add to the list.

Berlin authorities say they shot and killed a 120 kilogram (265-pound) wild boar after it attacked and injured four people including a police officer in a residential neighborhood.

I’m sure that Mr. Kourda weeps for the wild boar, that could have easily killed someone, and I’m sure he wishes that they erect a sign to remember the boar time immemorial.  This is what happens when animals stop viewing you as a predator.  We, as a species, have progressed to the point where many just go to the store and pick up food.  Many, like Mr. Kourda feel that it is no longer necessary to kill animals for food.

Well, here’s a random though, that pile of grain you eat because it’s not from the back of an animal?  How many mice were killed to prevent them from eating it so it can be on your table?  Say you avoid producers and go “organic” which doesn’t use pesticide or kill the little vermin, the reason for the higher costs, which not everyone can afford, is because the lower crop yield due to the pests.

Tell me, what about mouse infestations in your house?  See I live on the edge of town surrounded by farm fields.  The little bastards have chewed their way into my crawlspace and now into my house.  Would you like to put up memorials for all the mice I’ve had to kill Mr. Kourda?  They bring with them disease and damage to property.  Hire an exterminator I hear you say?

Well I’ve done exactly that, and they poison the little bastards so that people like you can think that they’ve just ran off to live somewhere else.  That way you don’t their handy work, or in this case my handy work.

We have been steadily removing ourselves as being a predator in the pool of animals.  Many, like Mr. Kourda would like to forcefully prevent those who still act predatory to stop.  The thing is, just because we stop being predatory, doesn’t mean other animals won’t view us as prey.

If you would like to voultarily vacate your position at the top of the food chain, that’s your choice.  Me, I’m going to stay right here at the top and keep my family and my self free from disease and vermin while keeping them healthy and well fed.

Concealed Carry on Campus

Both the University of Idaho and Washington State University forbid concealed carry on campus.  Luckily the ban at WSU doesn’t have any teeth in that all they can do is ask you to leave at which point if you refuse you’ll be trespassed.  Students and faculty though can face administrative punishment however.  I do not remember the exact details regarding carry at the University of Idaho.

I bring this up because so often I hear the following phrase, “Why would you need a gun on campus?”  Well maybe you live in the dorms or university housing.  Maybe you have a night class and will have to walk across campus in the dark.  Ultimately though people seem to think that bad things never happen on campus.  Reality always has a habit of showing up though.

Moscow Police arrested a man Sunday for the alleged rape of a University of Idaho student on the Moscow campus.

Nothing says stop faster than a hunk of lead flying at 900 fps.  Bad things happen everywhere, even college campuses.  Even more than that, it isn’t always the random person you don’t know.

“The victim knew the suspect from working with him in Twin Falls at a restaurant, so they were acquainted, but on a friendship level only,” said Chief of Police David Duke.

It’s best that we all remember these things can and do happen.  If you can, support Students for Concealed Carry on Campus, the fight is a significant and real one.  I wore an empty holster on to campus on more than one occasion specifically in support.  The one debate that I saw occur on campus ended squarely in favor for campus carry.

The thing is, at least with WSU, the board of regents will not move to change the administrative code and the only way you can bring about a legal challenge is if they exercise the code against you.  For this reason, many of my friends followed the rule of better to be judged by 12 than carried by 6.  Not everyone is so willing to do that though.  Then again, when the building you work in has been attacked by ALF, your desire to survive should they return usually wins.

Though the school would prefer you to be disarmed to be easy prey.  It’s not like it’s their life that’s on the line though.  It’s like the government and politicians only care about criminals, not the law-abiding.

Quote of the Day – Spencer Ackerman(10/4/2012)

The Department of Homeland Security compiled and disseminated the following information as part of a post-9/11 partnership with state and local law enforcement to prevent terrorism: DHS doesn’t appear to care how it spends its cash. The Senate inquiry determined that DHS was “unable to produce a complete and accurate tally of the expense of its support for fusion centers.” Its estimates range between $289 million and $1.4 billion. In other words, DHS doesn’t even know how much money it’s spent on what it calls a centerpiece of its counterterrorism strategy.

Spencer Ackerman – DHS Counterterror Centers Produce ‘a Bunch of Crap,’ Senate Finds
October 2, 2012


[Well, when you know and realize that the TSA, and by proxy it’s parent the DHS is a complete and utter security theater the above is kind of obvious.

Besides it’s not their money they’re spending, it’s our money, well at least the money earned by 53% of us. Why should they worry about how much they spend.  They can just tax us for more right? -B]

SSCC #417-TSA

A convicted TSA security officer says he was part of a “culture” of indifference that allowed corrupt employees to prey on passengers’ luggage and personal belongings with impunity, thanks to lax oversight and tip-offs from TSA colleagues.

“It was very commonplace, very,” said Pythias Brown, a former TSA officer at Newark Liberty International Airport in New Jersey who admits he stole more than $800,000 worth of items from luggage and security checkpoints over a four-year period.

What is most disturbing though is even in light of this information people continue to defend the TSA.  Ignoring that it is merely a theater that allows criminals to prey upon the citizenry with the aid of the state.

State Sponsored Criminal #417: Pythias Brown

Because the American public is merely an ATM for those who work for the government.