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genxlib

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Gender: Male
Hometown: South Florida
Member since: Thu Aug 16, 2012, 05:52 PM
Number of posts: 4,422

Journal Archives

Well...this is awkward

So, DeSantis was eager to sign a law allowing drivers to run over protesters.

https://www.vanityfair.com/news/2021/04/ron-desantis-anti-riot-bill

But I am assuming that he imagined that would be applied to protesters of the darker persuasion.

I doubt they counted on this...

https://www.sun-sentinel.com/news/nationworld/fl-ne-cuba-protests-july-13-20210713-562znz3n7fdkdbro47dp3ugkoa-story.html#nt=pf-double%20chain~top-chain~feed-driven%20flex%20feature~automated~centerpiece~562ZNZ3N7FDKDBRO47DP3UGKOA~1~1~1~8~art%20yes

Meanwhile, in Miami-Dade on Tuesday, a large group of demonstrators protesting the Cuban government marched on to the Palmetto Expressway, shutting the highway down for about an hour.

WSVN-Ch. 7 reports the Palmetto Expressway (State Road 826) was blocked near Coral Way and Southwest 32nd Street. Police on the scene helped managed the traffic and crowd, according to reports.



Interview from Surfside

The video at this Miami Herald link is a moving interview from one of our rescue members (specifically a K9 handler). It helps to show the emotional impact of the rescue and how it affects the rescuers. Especially since this was a hometown event for us and many of the rescuers had personal connections to the victims.

https://www.miamiherald.com/opinion/editorials/article252661918.html#storylink=hpdigest_opinion

In case you didn't see it earlier, I say "our" because this is my team..https://www.democraticunderground.com/100215607522

Checking in from Surfside Rescue

Many of you know I do structural support for Search and Rescue and was sent to surfside. For those of you new to this discussion, it started here https://www.democraticunderground.com/100215558334

If you have seen the videos of the rescue effort with all of the blue uniforms, I am one of those guys. Most of the guys are specially trained firemen but there are a few positions for civilians like myself. My role is as a structural engineer to evaluate the building, guard against secondary collapse, mitigate dangers and generally keep the rescuers from further harm. I have been doing it for 25 years and have been to 9/11, Haiti Earthquake, Katrina and others. At this point, I figure I have been involved in four of the worst disasters in the western hemisphere in my lifetime. Crazy.

Among the stories you have seen, this was my team https://www.miamiherald.com/news/local/community/miami-dade/miami-beach/article252528388.html That was a gut-wrenching night.

Anyway, I am back after spending 14 days on the site. My team is still there but I came home a little early because the structural danger dropped dramatically when the remaining building was imploded.

I had promised to check-in when I returned so I wanted to let everyone know I am home safe and sound.

Unfortunately, I can't really say very much or show any pictures because we are on a very strict public relations protocol.

As to cause, I managed to get pretty involved with the investigators from NIST so I will refrain from laying out my opinions. I will comment on it when the report comes out which could be a ways off. Just try to ignore all the chatter on the internet because too many of them are forming opinions without all the facts. I will say that I think the problems were pretty unique to this building so I wouldn't lose any sleep over living in a high rise building.

Thanks for all the well wishes

*UPDATE* May I have a word about the Surfside Building Collapse

*UPDATE*
Edited to add

I am getting deployed after all. I will be onsite in the morning. I had my doubts that my team would get called up for a number of reasons but we are getting mobilized.

I may or may not have time to check in but will let you know what I can when I can.

Wish me luck.



I am seeing speculation all over the place about what happened.

Please, just let it be for now. This is a time to let the professionals go to work. The immediate goal is rescue of the living and recovery of the dead. There will come a time for cause and blame later. For now, let's stick with mourning the dead and hope that more survivors can be found.

One of the reasons that this is bugging the shit out of me is that this is kind of my wheelhouse and even I don't have an opinion yet about what went wrong.

For context, I am a Structural Engineer trained to be a Structural Specialist on FEMA Search and Rescue teams. I have been doing it for over 25 years and have been to disasters like 9/11, Katrina and Haiti. I have spent countless hours training for evaluation of exactly these kinds of issues. At least two of my compatriots (and probably others) are on site as we speak. You may have seen me talk about it before in posts like this one https://www.democraticunderground.com/10028880342#post27 where I fight technical issues with all kinds of misguided opinions.

Aside from all that, I have lived and practiced engineering in South Florida for over 30 years. One of my biggest current projects is right down the street from this disaster. I am familiar with the geology, construction, codes and conditions of this area.

So I say with no small amount of confidence that I am better positioned to have an opinion about this than anyone. And I HAVE NO IDEA what happened yet. It may take weeks or months to figure it out.

So give it a rest. Express grief for the victims and hope for the missing. But please refrain from trying to guess what went wrong.

Highly recommend the "In The Heights" movie

If you are unfamiliar with it, this is the movie version of the Lin Manuel Miranda hit musical that he wrote and starred in before Hamilton.

It is a glorious explosion of latinx culture with music and dancing. What felt kind of constrained on the stage bursts out into the real streets of Washington Heights. It is a lot of fun.

It is running on HBO Max this month as well as the theaters. It is such a spectacle, it is one of those movies that is worth the big screen.

Here is a longer review of it https://www.vox.com/22440448/in-the-heights-movie-review-miranda-ramos-chu-hudes

My whole family loved it.

Such Aggressive Stupidity

I have a mantra; you can be arrogant or you can be stupid but you can't me both. I can live with stupid people if they aren't so sure of themselves that they actively try to teach you their stupidity. I can also live with arrogant people if they have the goods to back it up.

What kills me about these fucking covid deniers is that they are not only stupid but that they feel the need to get in your face about it.

I was at a project site walkthrough with one of my clients today. Where the project adjoins some residential property, the owners came out to find out what was going on. We politely told them what was proposed. The only thing they cared about was "why are you wearing masks". At first the woman was trying to be polite saying that it wasn't necessary outdoors. We know that but sometimes we do just to make the public and each other feel better. But the man has to chime in and start ranting about no need for masks anywhere, it was always nonsense and overblown, yada yada with the typical bullshit.

Mind you, this particular project is behind schedule because the surveyor died from covid while we were waiting for him to get the field measurements made. His widow is currently shutting down his company and trying to put her life back together.

I wanted so badly to tell this guy what I thought but I figured that would be bad form in front of a client. Even if the client approved, it could go badly considering the jackass is a resident of the City where my client is employed.

Sucks to be professional sometimes when I just want to speak my mind.

Anyway, it just shocks me that these people feel the need to be so aggressive about their stupidity. Why do they care if we wear masks? Geez I am so done with these assholes.

A "Dear Evan Hansen" movie is on the way

One of the best musicals in recent history.



It is always complicated to cast an adult in a teenager role but this was always Ben Platt's role. I can overlook that to see him in it.

Love the music. The song featured in the trailer is one of my favorite uplifting songs of all time.

So... I caught the Rona

Real bummer. Had been really careful but it caught up to me. We have been running a small crew in the office of about 6 in a space built for 25. It had been successful for a year but somebody brought it in last week and boom, Iím sick

The frustrating thing is that I had just gotten my first shot three days before. I was so close. I am hoping the shot gives me a minor boost to fight it off better though.

So far it has been just like a moderate cold so I am hopeful.

Hang in there people and continue to be careful

The potential ripple effect of the $15 minimum wage

The increase is absolutely necessary and would be a huge boost to the working class.

What I have been wondering about is how the low end salaries will redistribute.

At face value, there seems to be this presumption that everything below $15 will be raised to $15 and that will settle everything.

I don't see where the impact will stop there. There are lots of people who were never MW that had salaries that were between the old and new numbers. I will call them MW+. If nothing else changed, they would be MW going forward.

But there were reasons those people were MW+. Perhaps they had seniority or some supervisory responsibility. Perhaps they were full time instead of part-time. Perhaps their employer was trying to compete for employees. Whatever the reason, many of them will need to stay above minimum for those same reasons.

So the ripple effect I foresee is that many $12 jobs will jump to $18, etc.

I just don't see how an economy works with too many people stacked at the same wage. There has to be some kind of hierarchy even among the lowest end of the salary spectrum.

In the end, this could have a big impact even beyond the base minimum.

Reframing the question

I think the question of whether Trump incited the insurrection is the wrong framing.

I would ask it this way.

Would the attack on the Capitol have ever occurred if Trump didn't exist? If he didn't lie about results, tell them to come to DC, rally them, tell them to march, etc.

The attack never happens without his involvement. He has to be responsible for it.
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