atomic_fungus (atomic_fungus) wrote,

#7403: I'm so tired I can't even.

I'm going to write a blog post; then I'm going to make and eat tacos.

* * *

Teachers unions reliably vote Democrat which is why they get all kinds of money from the Chicago Democrat machine. That's why the police department lost $34 million from its budget but the school district got $67 million more, despite a 4% drop in enrollments.

Do you know why they panicked when they discovered that 4% drop in enrollment? For the same reason even the most violent and stupid assholes aren't kicked out of school before age 18: FEDERAL EDUCATION DOLLARS. The school district wants those kids attending school because each one of them has a dollar sign attached to him. Every student gets them some cash from the feds, and they want that money so bad they don't give a rat's ass about anything other than that kid being in the school building during school hours. Does he want to be there? Is he capable of learning anything, let alone have the desire to? Or is he just going to cause trouble the entire time he's there and make it impossible for anyone else to learn anything? The school district literally could not care less about any of that. All they care about is having butts in seats so they get the federal money.

Seattle, by the way, is reaping the bitter harvest of that "defund the police" horseshit. "A man stabbed a social worker to death on Monday at the site where the worker provides services to homeless clients." This worker isn't out there for charity; it was her job to provide those services. It's a city program that's designed (or at least meant) to function without police, to handle certain homeless issues without getting the police involved. Reportedly, she "provided services to Seattle's chronically homeless as a full-time housing case manager." Past-tense because she was stabbed to death by a homeless man, one of the people she was out there to help.

This was the third such stabbing in a four-day period.

* * *

Ultimately, it happened because of indifference. One of the grandest scientific instruments on the planet lies in ruins because support cables started breaking.

The Aricebo Radio Observatory was an enormous radio telescope built in a hollow between hills. The dish was essentially a parabolic screen set something like fifteen feet above the ground, and the feedhorn was suspended over the dish on cables stretching from three towers.

"The separate failures of two cables earlier in the year suggested that the support system was in a fragile state," the article says. How did the support system get into "a fragile state" unless the necessary maintenance was neglected?

I don't know near enough about the circumstances to make any real assertion about it, but I do know that if you maintain a machine properly, it doesn't suddenly enter "a fragile state". You replace cables that show signs of wear. You scrape rust and repaint, and replace parts that are wearing out or getting too corroded. You make arrangements, plans, and budget for downtime well in advance of when it's needed so you can maintain the instrument in the best possible repair, and you don't skimp on it.

However, if you're a government bureaucrat? "Our budget didn't increase as much as we wanted it to this year, so we don't have the money to hire those extra three engineers we wanted to hire. Well, we're still hiring them. We'll just take the money from somewhere else. How about the maintenance budget? We can do that for one year, and next year we'll just make up for it." Only "next year" there's something else you want to do, or the deferred maintenance means that you need to spend 2x or 5x or more to get the thing back to nominal.

Your status depends on how many underlings you have and no one is impressed at how well you stuck to a maintenance schedule. The result? Well, "The separate failures of two cables earlier in the year suggested that the support system was in a fragile state," and the whole schmeer comes crashing down, wrecking the thing.


* * *

I wasn't kidding about being tired, nor was I kidding about those tacos.

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