Government Spending

Success: Empty City, No Business, Carpool Lane, Unfinished Job


As a I predicted yesterday, the government is already trying to spin a story of success out of its outrageously overhyped closure of a stretch of a Los Angeles freeway. Contractor Kiewit Infrastructure West Co. finished the first half of the demolition of a bridge along Interstate 405 17 hours ahead schedule. The road work attracted international fanfare and media panic that depleted activity throughout the City of Angels. The job will be finished next year, during another weekend-long closure of The 405 between Interstate 10 in the south and U.S. Highway 101 in the north. 

The Los Angeles MTA anounces the news with a propaganda photo as creepy and totalitarian as anything Rachel Maddow ever stood next to and got a got a deepdown tingle from: 

Carmageddon: Mulholland Bridge still standing after work completed July 17 2011.

But a California DOT spokeswoman warns against premature optimism, and describes the dire consequences of allowing drivers to think for themselves:

"So far, so good," California Department of Transportation spokeswoman Judy Gish told CNN early Saturday afternoon. She acknowledged Californians have now coined a new word to replace the "Carmageddon" buzzword.

"Carmaheaven, I've heard that," Gish said. "Well, you know, I think what's important to address is if people start driving as usual, we will have Carmaggedon.

"It's been relatively light because people have been listening to the message, and they are not out on the road. We want to make sure they don't get complacent and say, 'There's nothing to get alarmed about and I may as well go out.' And if they do, we may see those delays that we warned them about," Gish said.

I know you're all tired of hearing about Carmageddon. I was tired of Carmageddon myself days ago. But it should be noted that we had a textbook Public Choice phenomenon occur in Los Angeles, which attracted national media attention, and yet we are already in danger of believing this was a government success. We have the distributed costs of day-to-day shitty road conditions in L.A.; we have the concentrated benefits for a service of dubious public benefit (Kiewit is in line for a performance bonus, a good exercise in the math Los Angeles Chief Administrative Officer Miguel Santana once described to me: "In the public sector you get a bonus for doing your job"); and we have something I don't even think Mancur Olson predicted: the concentrated cost of having America's second largest city shut down for a weekend. 

Yet the people who have paid this last cost — the good people of Los Angeles and Orange County and other parts of California, and even people from around the world who avoided LAX this weekend — will not get any credit other than a pat on the head for heeding the government's warnings. In fact, they'll be expected to thank the authorities for a job well (make that half-) done.  

NEXT: Carmageddon: L.A.'s Biggest Nothing Since Tom Bradley

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  1. How is that photo “totalitarian”? A bunch of guys in safety vests, some people in business casual, and a single police car? Is that what passes for a Brownshirt rally these days?

    1. Photos of roads are like Rorschach tests for libertarians. We see what we want.

    2. I wonder how much revenue the city will generate from fining all of the people in the pic that are not wearing a yellow vest and/or a badge.

      Let’s see…at $400 a head * 50 people. Add the OSHA fines for noncompliant hardhats and steeltoe boots out of date. A couple of parking tickets to some of the gawkers at the scene. A few more folks hit with loitering, smoking in public, littering, illegal parking, and myriad other offenses.

      Hey, LA may as well cash in since their scare tactics cost them a shitload of money in lost tax revenue, not to mention the businesses they fucked over.

      1. “You got a permit for that assembly? Hmm – there’s another $500…”

      2. Villaraigosa, the guy in the white shirt waving?

        1. I can’t tell. All those people loo…..

          Oops. Never mind.

    3. reason likes to redefine words:

      “totalitarian” – ” a bunch of highway workers and others standing next to a freeway observing”

      it kind of reminds me of when leftists call EVERYTHING “fascist”.

      when you overuse words and define deviancy up, you’re doing it wrong

      1. yeah, i’m totally not getting the totalitarian thing here, either. a few people standing around gawking at a freeway =/= North Korea

      2. it kind of reminds me of when leftists call EVERYTHING “fascist”

        Or when anarchists call normal people “statists.”

        1. Yes, statist as in they think the state is the ultimate source of goodness and moral authority and direction in life. Mainly because they grew up that way. If any politician said “We have to get out of the way, let people do their thing, and here’s my bill requiring every department and agency to eliminate 99% of their regulations” why by golly we might not have so many statists who look to government for every solution.

          1. are you on drugs? I’m from the government. I can help.

            1. I thought you weren’t allowed to sell drugs. Or are you from the DEA and got jealous of the BATF’s Operation Fast and Furious? I’m game!

    4. Behind every silver lining there’s a cloud.

      1. That isn’t a cloud, it looks like a plume which probably consists of demolition debris that wasn’t cleaned up and is now being being kicked up by the traffic… but I suppose it could be smog.

      2. +1 This article is crap. Come on, Tim. Sunday’s supposed to be a day of rest.

    5. I’d be willing to downgrade that picture to autocratic if it showed a bunch of people waving and one person giving the finger. But it doesn’t even have that.

      1. They all should be waving their Little Red Code Book for maximum effect.

        1. Yeah, unfortunately the L.A. Zoning and Planning Code alone is 1,300 pages long. (A true fact I acquired recently.) Waving it around would give an ape a hernia.

          1. Fuck me!

            The GRAPE APE would have a hard time waving around that thing!

      2. Come on, this is ridiculous. This was a project that went according to plan (leaving aside the quality of that plan). When that happens, workers on the project are generally pretty happy, perhaps even proud of themselves. What’s the beef with a photo op?

      3. When are you going to downgrade your reason for voting for Obama, fuckstick?

    6. How is that photo “totalitarian”? A bunch of guys in safety vests, some people in business casual, and a single police car? Is that what passes for a Brownshirt rally these days?

      The uniformed workers of the public sector hailing into a horizon framed by a bridge, a symbol of technocratic vision and beneficence, is not statist iconography of the first order? You would have to sculpt an image of Caesar in the garments and trappings of Jupiter to be any more blatant.

      Socialist Realism in High Def, brotha!

      Or, maybe they are just waving at cars passing by.

  2. I know you’re all tired of hearing about Carmageddon.

    Cavanaugh seems engaged in some sort of reverse schadenfreude. Give them one, Tim. Just this one.

  3. Is this groundhog day?

      1. EPIC, MUTHAFUCKIN’ +1!

      2. God DAMN MK Ham is cute. Even with that hat on. Maybe MORESO because she had that hat on.

      3. We must understand that just because we can do that thing, it does not mean that we must do that thing.

        1. I just LOVE how the Federation elected Master Pai Mei to the Presidency!

          Nothing gives you an edge when negotiating with Klingons like the Exploding Heart Palm!


      Maddow did another one of these.


        Goddamn, these are hilarious.

    2. Now that is really, really creepy.

      1. I don’t find it creepy at all. Some dumbass asking if we’ve got the balls as a nation to do what she wants to do with other people’s money.

        Reminds me of Obama and his healthcare speeches or GWB rattling the saber for support to go into Iraq.

        Both sides do it. She’s just so much more smug about it than most.

        1. Can these commercials come in poster form and lack the strategically placed dam and bridge…?

          1. No. NO. NO!!!

            1. …that Stanford graduate and a Rhodes Scholar do if she visited the Port of Long Beach? Melt into a little puddle of incoherent goo?

    3. What’s additionally hilarious about that piece might be the fact that the significant portion of the Rachel Maddow audience who are rabid enviros think that projects like the Hoover Dam (which, as a totally irrelevant factoid, my grandfather worked on) are a really bad idea.

      1. We agree.

        1. There are Salmon in the Gulf of California now?

  4. It’s Los Angeles. Even a city as fucked up as, say, Columbus, or Miami, could surprise me with something really extraordinarily retarded from its government, but I can’t take LA seriously. Same with New York.

    This also made me think of something pretty unrelated.

    Have you guys ever noticed, from television shows like Jericho to your plain old friendly conversation with somebody that doesn’t share your sociopolitical views, that one of the things most ridiculously misunderstood is the concept, the dynamic, of people reacting without centralized authority?

    Example: nuclear weaponry destroys some really important shit. Government’s fucked up, and it isn’t there anymore to send help or coordinate. Do the shitheads that make these liberal-leaning shows and organize those really fucking retarded high school faux-debates, or, for that matter, staff our governments, actually believe that people are just going to roll over and die without a fucking mayor or president to tell them what to do?

    I live in a sizable town, a fusion of Dixie culture and Yankee sympathies, if you please. It’s got a pretty huge mix of everything here, and you’ll meet both rabid Republicans and mouth-breathing Democrats regularly, as well as everything imaginable between them in ideology. This is by no means a traditional American, every-man-is-a-sovereign-and-an-army-of-one (concepts I am a proponent of) settlement of patriots, citizen-militias, or government-hating survivalists.

    Yet most of the people in my neighborhood, at least, are proficient with firearms (highly pimped military-style rifles being extremely popular and most common, contrary to shithead media portrayals of bolt-action hunting rifles being the PMG PUT IT AWAY ITS A GUN OOOOOO), are familiar with survival techniques and stockpiling by virtue of the culture here (all the parents I know teach their kids this), shoot leagues better and steadier than any cop you’re ever likely to meet, don’t wear square-patterned shirts, and don’t have bucked teeth, and, surprisingly, don’t fly the white cross and blood flag of the KKK — they also aren’t the type of people that would shoot maniacally and in panic and ravage each other in utter chaos if, say, looters arrived en masse to fuck with them in the aftermath of a disaster. This generally isn’t a world of timid pussies, like Europe. In the event such a thing happened, by the way, it would also be a must to arm everybody old enough to hold a gun, and they’d all do just fine — if my backwater town’s component of American society is good enough, I’m sure there are thousands of places even more fitting of this description.

    So many aspects of our national culture are permeated by, or even stem from, a fundamental debasement (unwitting or otherwise) of the individual, spontaneous order, actual human tendencies and nature, and initiative, among other things, in favor of fucking FEMA, some asshole in a suit and a government-issued badge and his supremacy, and, most profoundly, an uncritical faith in authority/government.

    Are our governments really anywhere near capable or competent enough to handle a disaster of such magnitude to any degree at all? I honestly don’t think so, and crawling under the desk and waiting for Barack on the STAND BY EMERGENCY BROADCAST SYSTEM podium on TV to show up and pat me on the head for being a good little insect and waiting for the National Guard, as that same National Guard probably blocks bridges and roads to prevent movement (see: Katrina), sure as shit isn’t what anybody in the real world would do — except the residents of Chicago, maybe. Fuck them all.

    1. I guess the question that comes from that is whether you guys would be ready for autonomy in such a situation.

      1. You seem to be equating “people in a disaster situation” to “people interacting without government”.

        1. Assume both, simultaneously.

    2. It’s not trying to accurately depict what would happen if government shut down, it’s propaganda to tell everyone that their neighbors are their greatest enemy and the government is there to save them.

      1. But in a quasi-democratic society the government supposed to consist of their neighbors and therefore the government is their greatest enemy. Oh wait, that still works, right?

    3. “I live in a sizable town, a fusion of Dixie culture and Yankee sympathies, if you please.”

      You in Charlotte?

      1. Raleigh or Cary immediately came to my mind.

        Or anywhere in the Tampa/St Pete area.

      2. North Carolina. You guessed right.

    4. country boy can survive!

      fwiw, this is what i like about small town new england, and to a lesser extent rural western WA. the “i don’t give a flying fuck what people do in the privacy of their homes” attitude (sometimes) combined with self-sufficiency.

    5. I live in a sizable town, a fusion of Dixie culture and Yankee sympathies, if you please.

      I need to put this on my “avoid” list. Is it in North Carolina?

      1. Heh, I should have scrolled down further!

        1. It’s a pretty good place, but I’ve got the same problem a lot of you guys seem to, although to a lesser extent — I live in mid-level statist country. 🙁

  5. I’m almost ready for the US to lose this fucking thing so Obama can’t use it to rally national support behind him.


    1. Suck it, USA!


        1. WWII, wassup?

          1. WE’RE #2! WE’RE #2! WE’RE #2!

            1. It’s always good to avoid the stupid calls to national greatness that this world sporting events bring.

              I want to imagine that someone told Hope Solo that Obama was watching and she was like “Shit, I got endorsement deals coming in my future. I don’t wanna pay no fucking 39.5% in income taxes.” and she missed the the saves on purpose.

              1. otoh, if we won and hope did a brandi chastain, the world would be a better place

                1. Dunphy,

                  Can it lack the strategically placed ball and be in poster form so that I can blast wads and wads of jism on it?

                  1. Please try to be more descriptive, ACB. Your innuendo makes it hard to understand what you are really trying to say.

                    1. according to lawrence v. texas any jizz expended over portrayals of hope solo are a GODDAMNED CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHT!

    2. Fuck it!…I’m all out of ideas. Call in the Republicans, and announce my surrender. Let’s go with the Ryan plan.

  6. I tend to think the whole circus of Carmageddon is related to the desire of LA’s political and media classes to make us hate cars and embrace bikes/public transit. New Urbanism isn’t going to sell itself!

    1. I’m pretty sure the old business portion of every meeting of the Santa Monica city council is dominated by “how do we make driving in this city even less tolerable?”

    2. I believe there is a 100% probability that you are correct.

      1. 100%? It’s gotta be higher than that.

  7. Contractor Kiewit Infrastructure West Co. finished the first half of the demolition of a bridge along Interstate 405 17 hours ahead schedule.

    I know nothing about the specifics of this enterprise. Did they replace the bridge with a new one? Are they doing the opposing half of the road next summer?

    1. if any part of a govt. project finishes AHEAD of schedule, *that* is news

      1. No, its called a fucking MIRACLE!

  8. Have they rendered the 405 impassable?

    1. AFAIK, Interstate 405 should be operating as normal. This was to Add an HOV Lane to a 10 mile section of the road. Part of the Mulholland Bridge was taken down, and the remainder of the job that will interfere with traffic is to be done next year.

      1. I believe that’s the still-standing Mulholland Bridge you’re seeing above. The next generation is (or was) supposed to have flying-buttress-type thingees rather than those straight-vertical pillars, which I guess will allow for The Widening.

        I really must take my hat off to them. They got at least half a million people to change their behavior on the pretext that they were replacing a bridge.

        Two days later the same bridge is there looking the same. And the story is that they finished the job ahead of time.

        You can’t be the boutique PR firm that bullshits like this. You can’t be the high-powered image management team that bullshits like this. You can’t even be the locally prominent strategic communications partnership that bullshits like this. You need a whole nation of crisis management flacks to pass this level of gas.

        1. I think that’s one of the pillars laying on the embankment there. If there was a shot without that damn sign in the way, we could tell what structural work they did at street level.

          The first thing I noticed from the pic was the different color of the pillars. They look like newer castings to me, and have different seam patterns than the one lying down beside them.

          I’ve got to go down there this week or next and see this for myself. The guys I know at Kiewit said it would be gravy. I guess they were right.

          1. They did take a big section of the bridge’s roadway down. You can see that in a very good photo essay at the Daily Mail, and Reason TV will have something on the actual project soonish.

            What do I mean, “soonish”? I mean it’s going up in, um, 53 hours? No! No, 53 days. We advise everybody to avoid Reason and use mass transit during that period. Or better yet, just stay home. This is a good opportunity to try preserving and canning your garden produce. No, actually, don’t do that unless you are zoned for residential/light agricultural use. And if you’re zoned res/light ag, you actually are not allowed to be living on your property at all. So just take our word for it: Stop living entirely until our Reason TV Carmageddon video is up in 53 days. And if it comes in so much as a day sooner than that it will be a miracle. And when you’ve worked a miracle, as Jesus said, isn’t that worth time and a half?

            1. Could you get Kiewit to produce the video so we can see it 17 days early?

              1. As somebody who went to Dartmouth, every time I see the name “Kiewit” I think of the lovely 1960s era Kiewit Computation Center (click on the photos to enlarge them), which has since been torn down. It was next to the math buildings, which were affectionately called “the shower towers” because they had a fa?ade which looked like parti-colored shower tiles.

                Lovely, lovely architecture. 🙂

            2. Carmageddon claims its first victim.

  9. I am saddened to see Carmagedon pass.

  10. Proud to say I have managed to avoid LA for my entire life. Except for a few months years ago (and a transfer flight in SF) I could proudly claim never to have stepped foot in the whole fucked up state of Cali.

    1. I convinced my parents that we had to get the fuck outta California when I was 4.

    2. Your loss. It’s a beautiful place.

  11. Thanks, Sloopy.

    Did you get a blowup doll so you can use the HOV lane?

    1. I know a dude who got caught with a mannequin on I-210 once. Got hit with a $450 fine that ended up being almost $800 after court costs.

      Cop on a bike pulled up next to him and wrote the ticket while they were still in their lanes stopped for 20 minutes during the commute.

      That’s the part that gets me laughing. He wasnt gaining a thing by being in the lane. Once you get past Pasadena, the HOV (carpool) lane is just as crowded as the rest of the road, yet the website says it saves 36 minutes a day.

  12. Cop on a bike pulled up next to him and wrote the ticket while they were still in their lanes stopped for 20 minutes during the commute.

    That’s like multi-tasking. I hope his union rep chewed his ass out.

    1. To offset any potential discipline, he spent 45 minutes pummeling a minorIty motorist for having an expired license before his shift ended.

      1. no, he did it AT the end of the shift so he could get his 45 minutes of overtime, per the union contract

        1. Of all people, you’d know best.

          1. i wouldn’t know best about pummeling anybody since i have never had an unjustified use of force. but i know damn well about overtime, although i almost never work it at my advanced age 🙂

            1. It’s hard to have an unjustified use when you give yourself the justification and your department investigates itself.

              1. it’s not hard at all, considering it happens all the frigging time

                the reality is that most uses of force ARE justified. some aren’t.

                i’ve seen a # of cops disciplined, and even some referred for criminal charges. and that’s just in my agency

                1. Have you ever once seen a cop arrest another officer after they abuse their authority and beat the shit out of someone?

                  Have you ever once seen a cop be arrested by another officer at the scene of the crime they committed while on duty?

                  1. summarily arrest? as in place in handcuffs at the scene? no

                    there have been several incidents i am aware of where a cop forcibly stopped another cop from using a force level that was unjustified AND turned him in to superiors for doing so

                    note that the paul schene incident was discovered by a followup detective who promptly notified her supervisors at which point an investigation was started

                    he was fired and criminally charged. he was tried twice, both resulting in hung juries

                    i am also aware of several incidents where dept’s fired cops WITHOUT giving the cops due process and giving too much weight to incriminating but not exculpatory evidence and later on the cops not only got their jobs back, but successfully sued for back pay/overtime pay

                    as is their right

                    the reasonmeme(tm) is that dept.’s jump over backwards to protect rogue cops, when in fact there are ample examples of headhunter IIU cops looking to get credibility with their superiors for nailing cops for shit anyway they can.

                    lemme give you one example

                    school resource officer begins a relationship with an 18 yr old who was a FORMER student at the school he was an officer at

                    school official gets pissed off and spreads a rumour that he was fucking her WHILE he was her resource officer and she was underage (if he has a position of power over her as a SRO, then the age of consent is 18, not 16 as it normally is). she also spread the rumour he was fucking other girls at the school.

                    he is placed on admin leave (with pay) and cops investigate

                    her claims are completely unsubstantiated. not ONE girl can be found to corroborate her story, not one piece of evidence, and substantial evidence is recovered that she had a vendetta against him and lied to try to get him in trouble and ruin his reputation

                    cop is cleared.

                    THEN, he refers to her on a post on his facebook page as a “vindictive bitch” and the dept. disciplines him for”conduct unbecoming”

                    he contacted an attorney about suing her and the attorney said he had a slam dunk case, but the monetary award wouldn’t be worth the attorney’s time

                    1. summarily arrest? as in place in handcuffs at the scene? no

                      there have been several incidents i am aware of where a cop forcibly stopped another cop from using a force level that was unjustified AND turned him in to superiors for doing so

                      Ok, and how many times have you seen a cop stop someone, a “citizen,” in your professional lexicon,

                    2. How many times have you heard of a cop stopping a citizen when they are using excessive force and refer it to his superiors for doing so?

                      This is what we mean by two sets of rules, and your justifications only serve the purpose of digging yourself further into your hole.

                    3. jesus christ, you still can’t understand the difference between criminal and civil

                      excessive force is (often) NOT A CRIME

                      it is a violation of dept. policy and/or civilly actionable.

                      it MAY rise to the level of criminality, or it may not

                      but yes, it’s a terrible world because if a cop witnesses another cop using what he believes is excessive force he does not summarily slap the cuffs on him

                      geez. if this is the kind of ridiculous shit you complain about, then this country is doing fucking awesome

                      also, even when a NON-COP commits an assault we very frequently don’t arrest EITHER.

                      i had one of those cases yesterday.

                      we took statements and referred the case for charges.

                      the vast majority of misdemeanors we witness, let alone investigate via PC do not result in arrest.

                      they result in either

                      1) warning
                      2) criminal cite
                      3) physical arrest

                      you think (3) is the only thing that happens

                    4. excessive force is (often) NOT A CRIME

                      Beating someone with a baton or taxing them without need is assault, at the least, and attempted murder at worst. Excessive force is always a crime because it always falls within that range.

                      The fact that if I do something to someone on the street and it is a felony, and a cop does the same thing to a person in their custody without a need to do so means that we operate without equal protection and it means that you do not hold your fellow officers to the same standard you hold other civilians to.

                      Fuck off. I am done with you.

                    5. Taxing = tazing.

                    6. this is dismissive of the facts. the fact is excessive force is not always a crime for a # of reasons, just like a NON-COP can be civilly sued successfully for a tort involving battery even when their battery does not rise to the level of criminal battery (or in my state, assault)

                      you really don’t understand even BASIC legal concepts.

                      with all thy getting, get some fucking understanding man.

                      differences of opinion are good , but your staggering ignorance is not

                    7. Ignorance of legal concepts?

                      What legal concept says that an unnecessary physical assault committed by one person on another, regardless of what their position is, is not a crime?

                      Please tell me what legal concept says that different standards may be applied and i’ll still point you at the unfiltered definition of the 4th Amendment, which civilians in your profession have been dismantling at breakneck speed to protect their own ass.

                      Exhibit A: prosecutorial Immunity pushed during collective bargaining agreements. Explain why, if you care about justice, do police push for immunity at every turn.

              2. btw, i don’t give myself the justification. the constitution (federal and state), the laws of my state, and our use of force continuum and policies and procedures do.

                1. Those things give you the justification, as well as the authority to determine if that justification was met or not.

                  Who watches the Watchmen?

                  1. plenty of people watch the watchmen – citizen review boards, the agency, other agency, the civil court system the criminal court system, the FBI, the media, etc.

                    yawn… seriously, your “the man has all the power. i’m being oppressed” etc. line is so ridiculous.

                    iow, i don’t get to determine if the force was justified. there are numerous checks on police power, such as those mentioned above

  13. Are you kidding, P Brooks? It’s always time to fill that ticket quota.

    1. Also, what dunphy said.

      1. i used to work for an agency where our cop-o-crat lieutenant required 20 moving and a total of 40 citations a month or we got UNSATISFACTORY on our monthly assessment.

        fellow cop was asked while writing a ticket “do you have a quota?” he says “yes”.

        guy complains to PD, and lieutenant chews out cop “we do NOT have a ticket quota”. “don’t tell people we have a quota”

        cop “if i don’t write 40, i get UNsatisfactory, that’s a quota”

        lieutenant: “it’s not a quota, it’s a “performance mandate””


        cop tells lieutenant he will NOT lie and if somebody asks, he will them “we don’t call it a quota, but we have to write 40 or we get punished”

        lieutenant sputters and walks away

        these are the cop-o-crats we deal with

        and no, my Agency does NOT have a quota.

        1. And I’m sure someone in your unit ratted out the LT for instituting an unethical quota system. I mean, good cops take care of good cops and turn bad cops in, right?


          1. he told a citizen who asked about it. the point is that it is (unfortunately) NOT considered unethical by the “powers that be”.

            we told people point blank about it. “ratting out” implies it was criminal, etc. which was not the case.

            it wasn’t

            it was just profoundly bad policy.

            much like the WOD, i might note

            1. oh, iow how do you “turn somebody in” for behavior that is ENCOURAGED by his supervisors.

              the dept. instituted the quota program. they DEFENDED it

              1. So we can assume that if every driver in that jurisdiction stopped speeding for 2 months, there would be no tickets issued and every cop would just deal with the two black marks on their record?

                Ooh, look! A unicorn!

                1. THIS is your desperate argument?

                  there has never been and will never be a failure of people to break traffic laws.

                  is your claim that cops would perjure themselves to meet this quota if they couldn’t find ACTUAL violators?


                  again, your bigotry clouds your logick(tm)

                  get serious for ten seconds. quotas are awful policy. on that, everybody but the cop-o-crats agreed.

                  and the literally DOZENS of people (not cops) who were told of the system had ample right to redress the county council, the police chief, etc. and get the policy changed

                  democracy. that’s how it works

                  1. democracy. that’s how it works

                    Democracy. That’s how Jim Crow worked.
                    Democracy. That’s how the draft works.
                    Democracy. That’s how imminent domain works.
                    Democracy. That’s how gun control works.
                    Democracy. That’s how speech limits work.
                    Democracy. That’s how the WOD works.
                    Democracy. That’s how forced taxation works.

                    Democracy, while preferable to most systems, is no bromide for what is wrong in every situation. Especially when we are talking about laws that protect individuals from abuse by the state.

                    1. seriously, you are turning into a self parody.

                      my former agency had a quota system. cops routinely criticized it and we told plenty of non-cops about it

                      what more were we supposed to do in your ideal world? go into a bell tower and frag our administrators for dumb policy?

            2. Sorry, dunphy, but I honestly believe that 60% of the average cop’s time is spent generating revenue to justify his position. 20% is spent speeding around in blatant violation of the traffic code they are supposed to be enforcing. 15% is spent fucking off, and the remaining 5% is spent actually protecting and serving the public.

              I may be a bit off on my #’s. Due to higher gas prices, they may spend a higher % of the time fucking off and a lower % speeding around town than in the past.

              1. May I borrow your shoulder?

                1. No, but it sure looks like you need to borrow a pair of testicles.

              2. your #’s don’t reflect reality. setting aside the issue of tickets as assumed to exist for revenue generation (assuming arguendo that is their purpose), in any REAL agency, we don’t have the time even if we wanted to , to spend 20%, let alone 60% of our time writing fucking traffic tickets

                i’ve written less than a dozen tickets in the last 3 yrs (not counting DUI, which is a crime not an infraction and clearly has nothing to do with revenue… )

                seriously., do you have an actual complaint, or just bogus assumptions drawn from a position of actual ignorance?

                go do a few ride-alongs and you will revise your #’s.

                i’ve had shifts where i’ve had pursuits, incustody felony DV’s, etc. and you think we are spending SIXTY PERCENT on TRAFFIC TICKETS?

                that’s astoundingly ignorant

                1. Yes, I wholeheartedly believe what I said. And I have done ride alongs. They inevitably end after about 4-5 hours of cruising around issuing traffic tickets, going to Starbucks and driving 20 over the speed limit in the fast lane on the freeway for no reason.

                  1. unless this was state patrol (whose job is tickets and accidents. and thank god for that, because that shit bores the fuck out of me), then that is the lamest agency on the earth

                    fwiw, i did several ridealongs with LAPD, Santa Monica PD, Oxnard PD, Boston PD, etc. and in none of those agencies was that the case.

                    i was kind of surprised when a Santa Monica PD guy wrote a guy for jaywalking (i was from the east coast and never even heard of a cop writing a jaywalking ticket where i’m from), but he said they had a lot of pressure from the city council to crack down on jaywalking for whatever reason, so they did.

                    the LAPD ridealongs were awesome.

            3. he told a citizen

              Ah, yes, a “citizen” as opposed to a cop. Different animals. Cops are not “experts” and all. Thin blue line, STOP RESISTING, et al.

              Got it. Where the fuck is hmm?

              1. I thought cops were citizens.

                I think dunphy meant “civilian,” as if cops weren’t civilians either.

                Therein lies part of the problem. Cops, as a group, don’t view themselves as peace officers or civilians any more than they view the average person as their equal.

                If their ranks were decreased by 90% and their mission accurately identified, the only noticeable change would be a decrease in revenue and expense for the municipalities they “serve.”

                1. the problem is semantical. feel free to replace “citizen” or “civilian” with the clunky term “non-cop”

                  yet another silly peeve right up there with magazine vs. clip or my favorite – whgen the media refers to “service revolvers”

                  1. Hey, du knead. It’s not a matter of semantics. Cops began referring to non-cops as “civilians” and “citizens” a while ago. Right about the time their uniforms changed from that of a crisp double-knit polyester and cotton to BDU’s and web belts loaded with tactical gear.

                    Trust me, that shit all came from the police, as opposed to from other civilians.

                    Semantics? Pull the other one.

                    1. it’s semantics. what other easy one word replacement is there for “non-cop”?

                    2. dunphy|7.17.11 @ 8:26PM|#
                      it’s semantics. what other easy one word replacement is there for “non-cop”?

                      “Human being” works fine for me, even if it is two words.

                    3. except it doesn’t mean “non-cop” since included in the set of human beings are cops.

                      logick fail(tm)

                      again, i am not aware of any simple one word substitution for “non-cop”

                      get it?

                    4. No, you misunderstood. I was using “human being” as a term to describe a “non cop.”

              2. troll-o-meter: .001

              3. most cops are not firearms experts. that’s a statement of fact, as adjudicated in courts, not opinion

                1. We know they aren’t experts. Thanks for reiterating that point for the ^nth time.

                  There is a bit of irony in the definition of fact given how many incompetent cops there are and firearm incidents.

                  Fact – A truth known by actual experience or observation; something known to be true.

                  We know cops are incompetent in the use of firearms, so them not being experts is therefore logically a fact.

                  I am impressed with the lack of Latin jargon this time. I was expecting more.

              4. I can’t spend my days baiting and defeating dunphy. I have other fish to shoot. They just happen to be in a barrel. Plus he’s boring, redundant, and not really all that much fun to make fun of anymore. You can only make fun of pathetic and stupid for so long before it just becomes pathetic and stupid.

                1. Dunphy, I’m sure you’re entirely aware that the United States is a confederal constitutional republic — or, at least, it was supposed to be. Bringing up the fact that our present state of tyranny is largely a result of democratic processes hardly means anything, except that democracy is an untamed abomination.

  14. Living in LA I can say the Sun definitely didn’t burn out from Carmageddon.

    Lincoln Blvd. was a little busier than normal, but as usual the snarls on that road are from the shitty traffic lights and their timing, not volume of traffic. Life goes on…

    1. snarls on that road are from the shitty traffic lights and their timing, not volume of traffic

      Some say the synchronization of the traffic lights on Santa Monica Blvd. is an elegantly elaborate torture device crafted by Jigsaw. I say Jigsaw’s most deliciously diabolical masterpiece of decadent delirium is the circle one mile in diameter whose center is Lincoln and Venice.

  15. Two days later the same bridge is there looking the same. And the story is that they finished the job ahead of time.

    *Bullwinkle pulls arm from hat, is AMAZED to see rabbit in hand*

  16. i have never had an unjustified use of force.

    “After careful review, the department has concluded events occurred, perpetrators were subdued, procedures were followed.”

    1. considering a metric assload of uses of force are ruled UNjustified and a substantial # are referred for criminal charges, the reason-meme(tm) that police routinely pass bad uses of force in use of force reviews is patently absurd.

      yet another reason-meme(tm) that diverges from reality.

      1. Yes, “patently absurd”. “Patently”.

        Balko’s work alone – never mind the laugh-a-minute local examples from The D – shit, that’d be enough for most folks to extrapolate. Nope, these are just “isolated incidents”.

        This is when I hate you, derpfy

        1. balko’s work, which i respect, does nothing to disprove my point


        2. Being able to legally beat the shit out of people ain’t enough for dunphy. He wants us to believe that it’s justified because the law tells the law it’s okay.

          Not only should we accept it, we should like it. And we would if it weren’t for those dang reason(tm) memes. Really, we should get on our knees and kiss the ass of every honest hardworking law enforcement office for keeping us safe, but those goshdarn memes keep us from fully appreciating those real American heroes.

          1. begs a question

            police are not allowed to “legally the beat the shit” out of anybody

            the constitution (state and federal), etc. do allow use to use reasonable force to do our job and that is a “fair cop” . cry me a fucking river if you don’t like it.

            cops are, in general, pretty restrained in use of force. i’ve had any # of incidents where we did have to use force when witnesses told us they were impressed with how well we handled the situation with a minimal amount of force.

            heck, i was even proned out at gunpoint once (armed robbery suspect) but still treated fairly and respectfully by cops.

            thankfully, capitol l, outside the rarefied climes of , most people do realize that cops are usually justified in their uses of force (to include shootings which happen exceptionally rarely in police-criminal encounters) and thank us for it.

            there’s a real world outside your fantasy selection biased world

            1. cry me a fucking river if you don’t like it.

              Just how I would expect a cop to respond to criticism. If I were your presence you’d probably whack me with a knightstick for not showing sufficient deference.

              When we reasoners use our personal experiences or Balko’s stories to illustrate a point you claim that those are isolated incidents. Your counter evidence is usually your personal experiences or a single news story. Have you ever thought that perhaps you are using the isolated incident.

              1. seriously, man. get a fucking wambulance.

                i respond to stupid criticism with pith, because well… “i used to be disgusted now i try to be amused”

                i use balko’s stories to illustrate the reality which is that

                1) police overuse SWAT
                2) no-knock warrants are overused
                3) the WOD is an abject failure


                none of which negates the points i am making.

                i can use personal experience too.

                i had TONS of encounters with cops due to the fact i played in a (loud as fuck) band.

                i was always treated fairly.

                i was proned out at gunpoint for being an armed robbery suspect.

                and treated fairly.

                as for the whole picture, that’s what i look at. YOU look at selected incidents while ignoring the whole picture

                the reality is that in general, police are well restrained vis a vis use of force and there are obviously exceptions. i also know the vast majority of non-cops , many of whom have had numerous encounter with cops, agree

                heck, when i was undercover, i had multiple convicted felons tell me (and god knows they didn’t know i was a cop) tell me that they were actually treated fairly by the cops and had no beef with them.

                these are people that have been arrested many times, and many of whom spent jail and.or prison time for various offenses.

                again, most people live in the real world

                1. It must suck when you aren’t shown sufficient respect and can’t reinforce your argument with violence. You start fucking up and foaming at the mouth, repeating yourself like a crazy person.
                  Your responses get longer and more nonsensical as you go.

                  Pith? Really?

                  1. it’s the lack of facts and understanding of

                    1) constitutional law
                    2) criminal law
                    3) procedural law
                    4) logic

                    that results in pith

                    please point out what part of my posts qualify as “nonsensical”

                    i note you are not able to refute any of the factual, legal analysis. just offer opinion

                    why does that not shock me?

                    1. I like how your personal experiences are factual legal analysis. Not only that, but you like to conflate legality, with reality and morality.

                      And when you say something like this:

                      heck, when i was undercover, i had multiple convicted felons tell me (and god knows they didn’t know i was a cop) tell me that they were actually treated fairly by the cops and had no beef with them.

                      I think that you are flat out lying.

                    2. not at all. ime, many criminals have a respect for cops.

                      it’s like that old looney bros cartoon where


                      their job is to steal shit and our job is to catch them.

                      granted, some of them fucking HATE us.

                      but i was actually surprised how there are the ones who respect us.

  17. I know you’re all tired of hearing about Carmageddon. I was tired of Carmageddon myself days ago.

    Anyone who follows your Twitter feed, Tim, knows that you were most definitely not tired of Carmageddon days ago.

    But it should be noted that we had a textbook Public Choice phenomenon occur in Los Angeles…

    I’m not sure you understand what public choice theory is.

    …a propaganda photo as creepy and totalitarian…

    Aaaand this is why people like libertarians are crazy.

    1. Hyperbole is the language of libertarianism.

      1. That’s the dumbest thing I’ve ever heard

    2. Posting that photo is why people like libertarians are crazy? Or posting that comment is why people like libertarians are crazy? Or both? Or something else?

      I think what you mean to say is…never mind. I’ll just thank you for demonstrating that English is one of the most-difficult languages to master.

  18. “The Los Angeles MTA anounces the news with a propaganda photo as creepy and totalitarian as anything Rachel Maddow ever stood next to and got a got a deepdown tingle from:”

    It seems Tim isn’t getting enough tingles and is now projecting on others.

    It’s a good thing Reason isn’t forced to be guided by that “invisible hand” and instead is supported by a stroking hand of another sort.

    After all, someone has to pay for this crap.

    1. The great thing about that Maddow clip is not the refreshingly smug celebration of size and power, but that Maddow took a crew all the way to Hoover dam and got nothing but a house ad that’s drawn only 17,000 views in three months. We only went to San Bernardino County and almost three times that many in less than two weeks.

      1. Now, now. That’s just the YouTube views. Added to the number of viewers MSNBC gets, that three month total is probably much closer to 19,000 or even 20,000 views.

  19. when in fact there are ample examples of headhunter IIU cops looking to get credibility with their superiors for nailing cops for shit anyway they can.

    Dude, I saw that movie. Those Internal Affairs guys were total douchebags.

  20. DUI, which is a crime not an infraction and clearly has nothing to do with revenue… )


    1. ^
      Interesting rebuttal. Are there apes in your immediate family?

      1. there’s a fair sized group of DUI apologists here which just boggles my mind.

        the idea that DUI shouldn’t be a crime until the driver actually causes injury or damage is my favorite funhouse mirror libertarian argument here

        seriously, some people are their own worst enemy, as well as for the cause of libertarianism

        also, investigating and prosecuting DUI’s is NOT a revenue generator for govt. it’s the exact opposite.

        it’s expensive as fuck.

        it’s a revenue generator for DEFENSE attorneys, alcohol treatment programs, etc. not the state.

        1. So should I be able to follow and stop a cop that drives 95 mph down the freeway without his flashers on and issue him a citation for reckless endangerment? It’s the same as a DUI, right? He’s not harmed anyone yet, and although he is breaking the law by speeding in excess of 20 over the limit, he hasn’t harmed anyone.


          1. a cop in my dept. DID have a citation issued based on a citizen complaint. so, it DOES happen. she also got a written reprimand.

            again, outside your funhouse mirror world, cops are not allowed to legally go 95 on a freeway without lights and siren.

            who the hell is apologizing for cops that go 95 on the freeway? not me.

            1. who the hell is apologizing for cops that go 95 on the freeway? not me.

              Who would have to apologize for them? We’ve all seen the videos and read the stories about people who try to confront cops on their lawbreaking and/or dangerous behavior. Hospitals, jails and cemeteries are full of them.

              1. no, hospitals and cemeteries are full of people who unlawfully attack cops, just like numerous cops (including two in my squad) are currently on medical leave due to injuries suffered from assaultive suspects.

                if you see a cop doing 95 on the freeway w/.o lights and siren you have every right to call 911 and report it. you can also call the agency and make a report to internal affairs.

                that’s how the cop i worked with got a cite (and note it is VERY rare for ANYBODY in my state to get cited for an traffic infraction NOT witnessed by a cop, but she was)…

                all your whining aside, if you have a problem with police misconduct then report it. that’s what people SHOULD do. cops should be disciplined for doing this shit. it let’s them know it won’t be tolerated AND makes society safer


                1. Yeah, right because cops don’t bear grudges at all, do they?

                  I’m suddenly and quickly reminded of the
                  Day who got arrested recently for unobtrusively filming a cop from her own yard. The people who complained and held a rally about it were summarily harassed and issued parking citations en masse at the rally. The cops even had their rulers out to make sure they could ticket everyone.

                  Is this mass ticketing a coincidence, an isolated incidence or a figment of my imagination? My guess is, none of the above.

                  From my personal experience, I am reminded of the occasion where I got a speeding case thrown out of court because the judge said the cop was either incompetent or lying. The cop told me outside the courtroom that he’d “win in the end,” and I was followed for about 45 miles by local cop when I left the courthouse.

                  Equal protection is a joke when you hold yourselves to a lower standard than you hold other civilians.

                  1. sloopyinca|7.17.11 @ 9:27PM|#
                    Yeah, right because cops don’t bear grudges at all

                    What’s the name of that psychological defense mechanism where one person projects his undesirable feelings or emotions onto someone else?

            2. It may not be allowed, but not a week goes by where I don’t see a cop turn on his lights to get through traffic, then turn them off once clear.

              1. and that is (at least according to our manual) not a violation of policy for certain types of responses.

                95 on the freeway with no lights/siren is not

                one of our response codes allows for “intermittent use of lights/sirens” such as above . depends on the priority nature of the call

                1. Oh, these cocksuckers aren’t responding to anything other than the “hot” sign at the Krispy Kreme.

                  Did you think they were responding to a crime? He’ll no. And I did stop a cop on a motorcycle once. He was zipping up and down the road on a parade route and he almost ran over my friend’s kid. I yelled at him to slow down and he asked me what my problem was. When I told him it was that he almost killed a kid, he asked for my ID.

                  1. sloopy logick(tm) – anecdotes are meaningless unless they come from the great bigot sloopy himself

            3. On Friday I was walking down the street & I saw an officer evidently get tired of waiting for a red light to change, so he turned on his flashers, crossed the street, turned off his flashers & continued driving at the speed limit.

              Anecdotes are fun!

              1. right. and what many people assume is that this is either against policy and./or just plain wrong.

                if he’s going to back up a beat partner on a subject stop or to a seperated DV or some other call that rises above the level of “past event paper” but not to the level of exigency, blue lighting through an intersection is appropriate in most police agencies.

                it LOOKS like the cop just got impatient, and that may be the case, but since we don’t know what if anything he was responding to – there is no way to tell

  21. He’s the hero Los Angeles deserves, but not the one it needs right now. So we’ll hunt him because he can take it. Because he’s not our hero. He’s a silent guardian, a watchful protector. Tim Cavanaugh.

  22. dunphy|7.16.11 @ 5:50PM

    leftists believe the ultimate expression of love of their fellow man is running their lives via the barrel of a gun.

    And you’ll be there to pull the trigger for them, won’t you, Fearless?

    Tell me more about “advancing the cause of liberatarianism”.

    1. troll-o-meter: .0025


  23. Lulz.

  24. Come on, Officer Fosdick, tell us all about your libertarian cred! Give us a stern tut-tutting about how much you love freedom (but THERE ARE LIMITS!!!!).

    Tell us some more anecdotes and war stories, while we make S’mores around the campfire, Troop Leader; wouldja, huh?

    1. Give him a break, Brooksie. He’s just doing his job. Democracy. Blah blah blah.

      1. i’m doing a hell of a lot more for freedom than you are doing , which is whining in a blog from an astounding position of ignorance on the law (Constitutional, criminal AND procedural) as well as basic facts

        being a useless bigot is all you have shown me.

        1. A bigot? If you want to label me as bigoted against armed thugs that repeatedly terrorize the citizenry, establish themselves in a position superior to the general populous and routinely abuse the individual liberties of others under the guise of “following orders,” then I will gladly wear that label.

          1. lol

            res ipsa loquitur

            1. res ipsa loquitur

              You’re goddamn right. Too bad you don’t know why.

              1. wow. pot kettle black

          2. sloopyinca|7.17.11 @ 9:36PM|#
            “armed thugs that repeatedly terrorize the citizenry”

            See: hyperbole, libertarianism is the language of

  25. What do you all have against Mr. Cavana Ugh and his “Carmageddon” fetish?

    At least they didn’t use that obnoxious -gate suffix and call it “Cargate”.

    1. Be careful, you never know when Carmageddongate is about to start

  26. Hey, Tim. You need to read the take by Sam Rubin of KTLA on it.

    Your brain’s gonna hurt a little bit, but you’ll never know it because you’ll be laughing so hard.

    Truly a special guy. And by special, I mean he’s fucking retarded.

    1. Special indeed. I’m actually he didn’t advise just tearing up I405 and turn it into a really long park where people can relax with their family while letting the family dog shit in peace and quiet. Perhaps he might even get M.K. Ham to do the PSA.

      1. D’oh, surprised… I’m actually surprised he didn’t…

  27. being a useless bigot is all you have shown me.

    I never locked anybody in a cage for consensual victimless business transactions “crimes”.

    I’ll just have to live with that.

    1. day by day!

  28. “Carmaheaven, I’ve heard that,” Gish said.

    Carma carma down doobie do down down, I’ve heard that.

  29. Do you realise that L.A. County Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky didn’t in fact coin the phrase but actually borrowed it from a very popular series of mayhem driving based computer games called that have been using the ttle Carmageddon since 1997?

    1. Do you realise that L.A. County Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky didn’t in fact coin the phrase but actually borrowed it from a very popular series of mayhem driving based computer games called that have been using the ttle Carmageddon since 1997?

      1. We do now. 😮

  30. lol

    res ipsa loquitur


    I think our copbot broke.

    1. Fuck him. He thinks because of his stance on the WOD and the glowing analysis he offers of his own abilities give him cred here.

      Too bad he’s exposed as a fuckwit every time he starts commenting on virtually any topic other than the WOD or online poker.

      He’s a fucking stooge.

      1. wow. your gasket broke.

        who gives a flying fuck amongst other anonymous posters whether one has “cred” or not?

        and i have yet to see you with your staggering ignorance of the law, criminal procedure, or policy expose me as a fuckwit on ANYTHING

        please give ONE example

        you are repeated bitch-slapped like simpering little bigots should be and you’ve finally broken


        1. Saying you bitch slapped someone doesn’t mean that you actually did bitch slap them.

          Next thing you know, you’ll be telling us we got served.

          1. as soon as you can actually respond to the points made vis a vis legal issues, etc. lemme know

            “cops r all a bunch of thugz” is about the extent of your legal/constitutional analysis.

      2. @sloop

        At least he’s not a pixies fan, right?

        Wait a minute, dunphy, are you now or have you ever been a member of the pixies fan club?

        1. i’ve never been a member of any official pixies fan club. they are kind of outside of my radar now, but certainly a great band.

          1. Heller stated that he was going to link 100 pixies videos in the threads, and people pitched a fit. Check out the zombie thread after the carmegeddon posts for some reasoners gettin real pissy. Shit’s personal when the pixies are involved.

              1. Listen to this song you idiots.

                1. No. How about you gouge your eyeballs out instead, you tasteless fuck? This shit sounds worse than a cat being raped.

  31. you are repeated bitch-slapped like simpering little bigots should be and you’ve finally broken

    What, no “Troll-o-meter” rating?

    I am disappoint.

    1. if he could make at least ONE valid legal point he might be worth debate.

  32. I can see Fosdick down at the watering hole tonight:

    “Dude, I so totally PWND those basement dwelling pimplefaced dweebs. I was like all, re ipsa loquitur and shit, lol. And I gave ’em the Troll-o-meter, like I always do. What a sweet gig this is. Way better than riding around on that piece of shit scooter, writing parking tickets.”

    1. lol on the scooter. fwiw, cops rarely discuss politics ime.

      1. Overtime gets paid by either administration.

  33. just like the last time someone predicted the end of the world carmageddon turned out to be nothing.

  34. This may seem like a very upset, you never know what will happen the next step,I choose to travel with my lv handbag.

  35. This may seem like a very upset,you never know what they want to do, what to do next.–lv handbag

  36. dunphy, back in the real world, try driving with a sticker “Cops are Pigs” and see how much they respect the constitution and “democracy”.

  37. I have a hard time getting around the fact that the police seem to be able to do lots of things that other citizens are not allowed to do.

    That bothers me. I think its wrong. And I find the argument that we have to give the police special privileges or else their jobs would be too hard, well, repellent.

    That is all.

  38. That looks like it might jsut actually work. Wow.

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