A 30-ton shipment of ammonium nitrate, a chemical used as both fertilizer and as a component in explosives, has gone missing during a rail shipment between Wyoming and California last month, resulting in four separate investigations.
A railcar loaded with some 60,000 pounds of the chemical left Cheyenne, Wyoming on April 12, only to be found empty two weeks later at a rail stop in the Mojave Desert, according to a short incident report from the firm which shipped the ammonium, KQED reports.
The company, Dyno Nobel, made the report May 10 to the federal National Response Center, or NRC. The report also appeared last week in an NRC database of California incidents managed by the state Office of Emergency Services last Wednesday.
Ammonium nitrate is commonly used as fertilizer. It’s also an ingredient in high explosives and was used in the homemade bomb detonated in the 1995 attack on the Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City.
According to Dyno Nobel, the Ammonium – transferred in pellet form in a covered hopper car similar to those used to ship coal – must have fallen from the car on the way to a rail siding (where a short track connects with the main track) around 30 miles from the town of Mojave in eastern Kern County, in a city called Saltdale.
“The railcar was sealed when it left the Cheyenne facility, and the seals were still intact when it arrived in Saltdale. The initial assessment is that a leak through the bottom gate on the railcar may have developed in transit,” said the company, adding that the two-week trip included multiple stops. They report having had “limited control” over the railcar operated by Union Pacific.
The railcar is being transported back to Wyoming for inspection.
Meanwhile, a representative for the Federal Railroad Administration says the investigation points to an improperly closed hopper car gate.This post was originally published at Zero Hedge
Democratic Mayor Of Dallas: “American Cities Need Republicans… & I’m Becoming One”
While the Democratic Mayor of Dallas says the city has thrived, Eric Johnson writes in a very frank WSJ op-ed that, elsewhere, Democratic policies have exacerbated crime and homelessness.
“The future of America’s great urban centers depends on the willingness of the nation’s mayors to champion law and order and practice fiscal conservatism.
Our cities desperately need the genuine commitment to these principles (as opposed to the inconsistent, poll-driven commitment of many Democrats) that has long been a defining characteristic of the GOP.”
As we have written in detail previously, cities governed by Democrat mayors have seen the largest increases in homicide rates over the past year as well as registered the highest homicide rate per capita in Q1 out of 45 cities, according to a new report.
Homicide rates in 45 of the most populated American cities rose by approximately 10 percent on average between Q1, 2021 and Q1, 2023, and continue to rise, according to an April 26 report by WalletHub. Blue cities were found to have a higher increase in homicide rates compared to red cities. The report designated a city as red or blue based on the mayor’s political affiliation.
The top five cities that saw the greatest increase in per capita homicide are Richmond, Virginia; Memphis, Tennessee; Durham, North Carolina; Garland, Texas; and Washington, D.C.
Except for Garland, where Mayor Scott LeMay is a Republican, the remaining four cities have mayors who are affiliated with the Democratic Party.
The highest homicide rate per capita in the first quarter of 2023 was in Memphis at 14.19 per 100,000 residents. New Orleans, Louisiana, came in second at 12.76, followed by Baltimore, Maryland, with 10.47, St. Louis, Missouri, with 9.91, and Detroit, Michigan, with 8.52.
Excluding St. Louis, the other four cities have mayors affiliated with the Democratic Party. The mayor of St. Louis, Tishaura Jones, was a former Democrat member of the Missouri House of Representatives.
“In other words,” the Dallas Mayor adds:
“American cities need Republicans – and Republicans need American cities.”
He is able to lift the ‘mask’ and see the problem that troubles so many of America’s cities.
“Unfortunately, many of our cities are in disarray… Most of these local leaders are proud Democrats who view cities as laboratories for liberalism rather than as havens for opportunity and free enterprise.”
Again, he nails it, daring to suggest the unmentionables that we have previously reported, Gregg W. Etter, a professor at the Department of Criminal Justice at the University of Central Missouri, blamed the tendency of politicians to seek “simplistic, one-size-fits-all solutions to complex problems” as a reason behind the spike in homicides across the nation.
Politicians offer such solutions to gain favor with political interest groups during elections, he pointed out. For instance, when faced with the issue of police using force in isolated instances, such politicians might support defunding the police rather than dealing with problematic officers.
This ends up resulting in a less-effective police force, higher response times, lower morale among officers, and an “increasing unwillingness” to engage in proactive policing, he said.
“This has left many police forces in a strictly reactive mode, only responding to crimes that have already occurred. In addition, no-cash bail rulings have put many dangerous criminals back onto the streets even though they are arrested several times for violent crimes,” Etter said.
“In cities where these two things are happening, the crime rate has spiked. You have less police officers and more dangerous criminals at large.”
“Too often, local tax dollars are spent on policies that exacerbate homelessness, coddle criminals and make it harder for ordinary people to make a living,” writes Johnson.
“And too many local Democrats insist on virtue signaling – proposing half-baked government programs that aim to solve every single societal ill – and on finding new ways to thumb their noses at Republicans at the state or federal level. Enough. This makes for good headlines, but not for safer, stronger, more vibrant cities.”
He concludes, with a strong suggestion at the ballot box
“…the overwhelming majority of Americans who call our cities home deserve to have real choices—not “progressive” echo chambers—at city hall.”
We can only imagine the anger raging among the leftists as this one man steps up and unleashes the terrible truth about liberal-run urbania. You’re not supposed to say any of that in your out-loud voice.
Is it time for change?Zero Hedge
Seattle Reverses Course, Makes Public Drug Use Arrestable Crime
According to KIRO7, public drug use can now end in arrest – though there remains a large effort to funnel drug users into treatment programs.
CB 120645 adds the crimes of using a controlled substance in public space and knowing possession of a controlled substance to the statute’s list of crimes. The move follows a Sept. 12 proposed ordinance passed by the Seattle City Council’s Public Safety and Human Services Committee by a vote of 4-1.
Residents were sharply divided over the plan.
“There is no budget to support this and there is no plan, no care, compassion or commitment to do anything other than imprison our most vulnerable citizens,” said one woman during the public comment section during a committee meeting.
Others were for it.
“Restoring a safe and welcoming environment downtown will bring back residents, workers and visitors, increase the momentum needed to get downtown on a sustained path to recovery,” said one man.
The dissenting councilmember, Teresa Mosqueda, said the ordinance lacked attention to diversion efforts.
“I want people to get access to public health services just as much as the people who testified in support of this legislation say they want. But that is not what this legislation does. And without the funding that is purported to come with this bill, we have no assurances that there will be alternative structures and programs and diversion strategies to prevent people from going to jail. We do not have to pass this legislation,” she said.This post was originally published at Zero Hedge
Biden Stumbles on Flag, Fiddles with Earpiece in Awkward Press Conference with Brazil’s President Lula
The press conference featured multiple awkward moments.
President Joe Biden met with fellow socialist chief executive Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva of Brazil on Wednesday to announce a joint initiative on “workers’ rights” intended to promote the restructuring of their economies to fight alleged climate change.
The press conference following their engagement, the second of the year, featured multiple awkward moments between the two leaders, including an instance in which Lula appeared to expect a handshake from Biden, who turned his back and walked offstage (Biden had shaken Lula’s hand earlier during the press conference).
The beginning of the press conference also featured a moment in which Biden walked out without Lula and stumbled into a Brazilian flag.
Biden walks on stage without the Brazilian president, almost knocks down a flag, then does a little jog pic.twitter.com/JbrV7LBMpc— RNC Research (@RNCResearch) September 20, 2023
Biden delivered his remarks without incident, proclaiming his “the most pro-union administration in American history” and promising that the elimination of fossil fuels, gas-powered vehicles, and other staples of daily life in the name of combatting climate change would create more jobs and benefit workers.
“We will advance a worker-centric clean — a worker-centered clean energy transition. Folks, as I’ve told labor from the very beginning: When I think of climate change, I think of jobs,” Biden declared. “Jobs.”
Biden’s call to eliminate established conventional energy-based industries comes less than a week after the United Auto Workers (UAW) union launched a strike to demand fairer wages and worker contracts. The nearly 13,000 American automobile industry workers currently on strike are demanding significant wage increases of up to 40 percent, the return of contract provisions that ensure wages are adjusted according to inflation, and changes in the system that would allow new workers to make as much as workers serving longer but doing the same job, among other demands.
Pivotally, the workers seek protection in the face of Biden’s government dumping massive amounts of taxpayers’ money into electric vehicles and other “green” technology.
The demands for protection from inflation and “green” industrial reform are related: the $1.9-trillion “Inflation Reduction Act” provided millions in subsidies and offered preferential treatment for “green” energy projects, and, in spending so much money, significantly worsened America’s ongoing inflation woes.
UAW representatives have cited the subsidies and extensive bailout payments to major automobile companies as a reason they do not feel compelled to negotiate fairly with workers.
General Motors and Stellantis, two of the companies most directly affected by the strike, announced they would lay off over 2,000 workers on Wednesday as a result of the strike.
“Whether it’s your autoworkers or any other union worker, record corporation profits should mean record contracts for union workers,” Biden said alongside Lula on the same day.
When Lula took the podium to speak, Biden appeared to struggle to untangle his earpiece, meant for live translation of Lula’s comments from Portuguese to English.
🚨 | Tristes imágenes: Biden lucha durante un minuto para intentar ponerse unos audífonos, mientras comparte escenario con el socialista y enemigo declarado de EEUU, Lula da Silva: pic.twitter.com/6v7aMdpQJ2— Emmanuel Rincón (@EmmaRincon) September 20, 2023
The official White House transcript of their conversation shows Lula interrupting his opening statement and repeatedly asking Biden if he could hear his remarks:
PRESIDENT LULA: (As interpreted.) Well, first of all, I would like to greet President Biden and to say to President Biden —
Can you hear me, President Biden?
This is a historical moment for Brazil and for the U.S.
President Biden, can you hear me?
(President Biden nods.)
I — you can? Yes, good.
Technical difficulties ultimately solved, Lula used his remarks to condemn “neoliberal politics” for hurting the global labor movement and to enforce Biden’s claim that the elimination of entire core industries to resolve alleged climate change would result in a thriving economy for workers.
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