Tag: Los Angeles

Join Jim and Greg as they cheer one certain Republican win in a congressional election on Tuesday and a likely win in another, but also wonder what a national election based mostly on voting by mail will look like. They also slam officials in Los Angeles County for announcing the stay-at-home order is being extended for another three months. And they blast CNN for booking Greta Thunberg to be an expert guest for its coronavirus town hall.


Christopher Rufo joins Brian Anderson to discuss drug addiction and homelessness in the Los Angeles neighborhood of Skid Row, the subject of Rufo’s story from the Winter 2020 Issue of City Journal, “The Moral Crisis of Skid Row.”

“They call Los Angeles the City of Angels,” writes Rufo, “but it seems that even here, within the five-by-ten-block area of Skid Row, the city contains an entire cosmology—angels and demons, sinners and saints, plagues and treatments.” To address the growing public-health crisis, progressive activists and political leaders have relied on two major policies: “harm reduction” and “housing first.” But despite nearly $1 billion in new spending, more people are on the streets than ever—and the crime and addiction are getting worse.


Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. California History: The Ridge Route

Grapevine Grade looking north of original Ridge Route. Note this is Tejon Pass, not Tehachapi Pass

Early in my engineering career, I used to drive what was and still is colloquially called “the grapevine” to and from work every day for about five years. In fact, I rarely did drive the actual grapevine. I lived in Castaic , which is located in Los Angeles County at the southern end of the Tejon Pass, and worked on construction projects in the Gorman area and so drove I-5 “up the hill” and “down the hill” between these two points. The grapevine is the name for the grade at the northern portion of the Tejon Pass, which is in Kern County and connects Los Angeles with northern California.


Contributor Post Created with Sketch. On ‘Saint’ Nipsey Hussle, an Alternative View


My most recent contribution over at PJ Media concerns what I believe to be the inordinate adulation shown to slain rapper Nipsey Hussle. Hussle, whose true name was Ermias Asghedom, was shot to death on March 31 outside the clothing store he owned in Los Angeles. Eric Holder (no, not that one) has been arrested and charged with murder in the case.

On April 11, Hussle’s funeral was held before an audience of 21,000 in LA’s Staples Center, making him the second person so honored. (The first was Michael Jackson; make of that what you will.) After the funeral, Hussle’s hearse led a chaotic procession on a 25-mile tour of South Los Angeles, a tour which, as I noted in the piece, scarcely passed a single block that hadn’t been the scene of at least one murder in the last 20 years. LAPD brass called the event a success when only four people were shot (one fatally) and only four police cars were vandalized.


Contributor Post Created with Sketch. The Hidden Costs of the LA Teachers Strike


The recent teachers strike in Los Angeles was resolved on terms that have generally been regarded as a victory for the teachers against the embattled Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD). The LAUSD is financially strapped because of ever heavier pension obligations for retired teachers and high operating expenses. Nonetheless, the LAUSD capitulated to the demands of the teachers union, the American Federation of Teachers (AFT). It agreed to a 6% pay raise for the teachers to be phased in over two years, and class size was reduced by two students per class. The District also vowed to beef up its employee base by hiring 300 nurses, 82 librarians, and 17 counselors by 2020.

LA mayor Eric Garcetti, who has higher political ambitions, crowed: “When we see a problem, we fix it.” AFT President Randi Weingarten noted optimistically, “Everything teachers are demanding would strengthen public schools.” Going out on strike, she said, was about “ensuring that all public schools have the conditions they need for student success.” But those remarks, as Jason Riley of the Wall Street Journal notes, must be taken with a large gain of salt, for self-interest offers a better explanation of the AFT’s strategy than its supposed altruism. The AFT thought that its gambit was worthwhile for its members, but a closer look at the settlement shows that in the long-run, the union teachers got less than they hoped for, while everyone else lost big time.


This week Bridget Phetasy interviews Rosie Moss, actress, waitress, Bar/Bat Mitzvah coach, Hebrew school teacher, very busy human. Rosie shares her first experience on a network show in an episode of The Connors. She and Bridget discuss traversing the chasm between your dreams and reality, the curse of always wanting more, why the people you surround yourself with are what make you successful, and how touch football saved her.


Former NYPD and LAPD commissioner William J. Bratton joins City Journal editor Brian Anderson to discuss Bratton’s 40-plus-year career in law enforcement, the lessons learned in New York and Los Angeles, and the challenges facing American police.

Bratton began his career in Boston, where he joined the police department in 1970 after serving three years in the U.S. Army’s Military Police during the Vietnam War. He was named chief of the New York City Transit Police in 1990, where he oversaw dramatic crime reductions in the subway system. In 1994, newly elected mayor Rudy Giuliani appointed Bratton commissioner of the NYPD. From 2002 to 2009, Bratton served as Chief of the Los Angeles Police Department. In 2014, he was again named New York City Police Commissioner by Mayor Bill de Blasio, before stepping down in 2016.


Steven Malanga joins Seth Barron to discuss the dismal economic and fiscal health of New Jersey, where individual and corporate taxes are among the highest in the country and business confidence ranks among the lowest of the 50 states. Jersey also has one of America’s worst-funded government-worker pension systems, which led its leaders in 2017 to divert state-lottery proceeds intended for K-12 and higher education to its pension system.

When Governor Phil Murphy wanted to boost taxes on individuals earning more than $1 million, he claimed that they needed to pay their “fair share.” Murphy signed a budget hiking taxes by about $440 million. But as the recent controversy surrounding a soccer team owned by the governor reminds us, it’s easy to show compassion when you’re using other people’s money.


Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Engineering Failures: St. Francis Dam

St. Francis Dam nearly full.

I’ve been fascinated by the St. Francis Dam failure since I first found out about it. For those who are unaware of or who’ve forgotten about it, the St Francis Dam failure, which occurred in 1928, was the greatest civil engineering failure in the United States in the 20th century (the Johnstown Flood killed many more people, but it took place in 1889), and except for the San Francisco Earthquake, caused more deaths than any other event in California history. Until recently, however, it was relatively hard to find much information on the topic. There was a book about the disaster by a local retired rancher, Charles Outland, who had been a high school senior in Santa Paula at the time the St Francis flood waters raged through town, which was published in the early 1960’s, but that was about it. Since then a couple more books have been published and an engineering professor who has extensively studied the failure and developed a detailed analysis thereof has written and given talks on the subject so that it’s now possible to flesh out the subject in great detail (I’ll provide links to the books at the end of this article; all other links will be in the text). The most interesting aspect of the story to me, however, is the way in which this event touches on and impacts so many other stories.

Los Angeles Aqueduct


Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Homeless in LA


I work as the director of a faith-based homeless shelter. Housing First is the public policy idea that we should first build apartments where people can live, then worry about things like addictions and finding jobs. Case management is optional.

These homes will be centers of drug use, prostitution, and worse. The problems plaguing someone camping four blocks from where he grew up won’t be solved by Housing First because what makes people homeless isn’t the lack of a home. Homelessness is a symptom, not the disease, even in Los Angeles. My fair city of Boise, ID is the fastest-growing city in America. Guess where everyone’s from? People who are enough on the ball can do something about LA housing prices — and they’re doing it.


Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. “I’m with Her,” One Year Later

With the recent news about rampant sexual abuse in Hollywood, I was reminded of my unposted article on Hillary’s ironic campaign slogan. One year later, this piece is now more pertinent than ever.

After a viral video showed looped footage of potential POTUS and Bosnian sniper dodger Hillary Clinton collapsing at the 9/11 Memorial in New York, her campaign proved her unequivocal ability to lead the free world by demonstrating she can open an unsealed jar of kosher dills on Jimmy Kimmel’s late-night enablerthon. Take that, conservatives and sexists! Hillary is woman, hear her Vlasic crunch!

Between ubiquitous Subaru and Pious Prius bumper stickers along with her sycophants screaming at those not as tolerant as them, we cannot escape three little words that The House of Sad came up with to grab her gender-centric voting block — “I’m With Her.” Congratulations Chappaqua, this may be the most accurate combination of nine letters ever to describe today’s Left.


Contributor Post Created with Sketch. David Spady on LA, Stupid People, DACA, and the NFL


David SpadyDavid Spady returns to Whiskey Politics where we discuss if Los Angeles and California can afford the Olympics, the national debt just hit $20 trillion and all we got was this lousy t-shirt (what the heck are Republicans doing to reduce the debt?), Annenberg’s study showing just how stupid people really are, Trump, Pelosi, and Schumer, DACA, and tax reform. Will Trump get a bad deal, and is the Kaepernick effect causing lower ratings and empty stadiums?

David, who has 25 years of experience in media and political consulting, is the California state director of Americans for Prosperity. He also serves as government affairs adviser for Salem Media Group and provides strategic guidance to more than 35 radio talk shows including Larry Elder, Michael Medved, Hugh Hewitt, Dennis Prager, and others. Spady is a columnist for Townhall.com and produced a weekly video series called “Common Sense with David Spady.” He has appeared on numerous television news broadcasts, and his columns have been published in the Wall Street Journal, the Los Angeles Times and the Sacramento Bee, among others.


Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Sorry, LA, But You’re Hosting the Olympics

The new Olympics aquatics center in Rio de Janeiro, six months after the games.

On Monday, the International Olympics Committee “awarded” the 2024 Summer Games to Paris and the 2028 Summer Games to Los Angeles. The leaders of both cities were thrilled at the announcement, pointing to the honor, legacy, and other unmeasurable vagaries the Olympics will bring. But hosting the five-ring circus hasn’t worked out well in modern history:

“Like anything worth fighting for, this was a long journey,” Mayor Eric Garcetti said. “Little by little, we got a victory.”


Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Los Angeles Says, “Goodbye, Columbus”


Today the Los Angeles City Council voted 14-1 to replace the celebration of Columbus Day with Indigenous Peoples Day. Thus, Los Angeles joins a number of other progressive cities including Phoenix, Portland, Seattle, Denver, Minneapolis, Berkeley, and Santa Cruz in kicking Christopher Columbus to the curb in favor of indigenous peoples. The Los Angeles effort was led by Councilman Mitch O’Farrell who is a proud member of the Wyandotte tribe.

I must admit I don’t fully understand the infantile fascination and celebration by progressives of societies and peoples described variously as Native American, Indigenous Peoples, Indians (politically incorrect) or Pre-Columbian Americans (PCA’s) as some sort of numinous people. Mr O’Farrell in making the case for this change stated the following;


Contributor Post Created with Sketch. O.J. and Us


The cover image on iTunes for the Academy Award winning documentary series “O.J. Simpson: Made in America” is a dripping glove in the design of the stars and stripes. It perfectly captures the message of the series — the “trial of the century” was really a reflection of America’s sins.

So, yes, the history of the Rodney King beating, the Watts riots of 1965, Mark Fuhrman’s disgusting racist language, and every curse, slap, and traffic stop ever suffered by a black American at the hands of the police is part of the gloomy backdrop of the Simpson case.


Richard Epstein looks at how both federal interference and local regulations conspire to drive up the cost of housing.


Victor Davis Hanson explains how political and cultural changes in California have eroded the state’s status as a national leader.


Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. The Obamaville Olympics?


I live near Los Angeles’s most infamous green space, the titular grounds of what may be the strangest hit in pop song history (the original hit № 2 on the charts in 1968 for Richard Harris — yes, the actor Richard Harris — while the more famous rendition by Donna Summer topped the charts a decade later). MacArthur Park has seen a lot of problems in the 15 years I’ve lived near it. In that time, it has gone from a No Man’s Land where gangs — notably the 18th Street Gang and Mara Salvatrucha (MS-13), two infamous international criminal organizations with roots in the area — would sell drugs and dump bodies in the lake, to the vital heart of the mostly densely populated area of the country west of the Mississippi River. The area, known as Westlake (because the lake was on Los Angeles’s western periphery about a century ago), is home to Central American immigrants, many of them illegals, though also some Koreans priced-out of neighboring Koreatown.


Richard Epstein describes how government interventions have driven the Golden State’s housing prices to extraordinary heights.


Member Post


At my polling place in central Los Angeles, there were already about two dozen people in line when I arrived just before the polls opened at 7 A.M. Voting moved slowly thanks to a whopping seventeen ballot initiatives – with more than a couple of the vaguely-worded “funding for students and education” ones that always […]

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