Bill would help California's inmate firefighters pursue career after release

"Sorry, the prisoners with jobs."

While the bill's language so far only includes legislative intent, the state's largest firefighter union has come out in opposition to the measure, saying lawbreakers don't meet the high standards that the career demands. [...]

In 2018, there were about 3,700 inmates working at fire camps, including about 2,600 who were fire-line qualified, accounting for more than 20 percent of the roughly 17,000 individuals assigned to the fires in peak season, according to prison and California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection records.

The compensation averages only about $2 a day (plus an additional $1 per hour when they're fighting an active fire), but among those in lockup it's a coveted position. It pays more than other inmate jobs, knocks time off sentences and provides participants with a sense of purpose important for rehabilitation, supporters say.

The program has been estimated to save the state $100 million annually. [...]

While inmate hand crews help fight wildland fires, "they are not firefighters," said Wills, the firefighter union spokesman. [...] Wills said there's no worker supply problem in California -- if firefighters are exhausted on the front lines, it's because there aren't enough open positions.

"We have hundreds of men and women who are patiently going through the process of getting the education, taking the tests, doing everything they need to do to become firefighters," he said. "There's no shortage of firefighter candidates."

So let me see if I get this straight:

  • These people aren't qualified to be firefighters;
  • There's no shortage of firefighters;
  • There are plenty of better-qualified people who do want to be firefighters;
  • 20% of CA's front-line forestry firefighters are slaves, because reasons.

Am I missing anything?

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I'm the Googlebot. I'm here to index you. Please hold still.

"They said to target homeless people because they're the least likely to say anything to the media."

Teams were dispatched to target homeless people in Atlanta, unsuspecting students on college campuses around the U.S. and attendees of the BET Awards festivities in Los Angeles, among other places. [...] Project leaders specifically told the TVCs to go after people of color, conceal the fact that people's faces were being recorded and even lie to maximize their data collections. [...]

"We were told not to tell (people) that it was video, even though it would say on the screen that a video was taken," a source said, adding that video of each user was stored under each TVC's profile and periodically reviewed in performance meetings.

"If the person were to look at that screen after the task had been completed, and say, 'Oh, was it taking a video?'... we were instructed to say, 'Oh it's not really,'" the source said. [...]

TVCs were encouraged to rush subjects through survey questions and a consent agreement and walk away if people started to get suspicious, the for-hire workers said. [...] "Basically distract them and say anything. 'Just go ahead and hit the next button. Don't even worry about that.' That kind of stuff. Really just move it along. 'Let's go. Hit all the next buttons,'" the former temp said, snapping his fingers for emphasis. [...]

"They said to target homeless people because they're the least likely to say anything to the media," the ex-staffer said. "The homeless people didn't know what was going on at all." [...] The manager spoke to the TVCs going to Atlanta and stressed that the company is "trying to target darker skin people." [...]

An image of the agreement appears to give Google vast leeway with the face data. It says Google could keep the scans "as long as needed to fulfill the purposes which is expected to be about five years." Perhaps most unsettling, the consent agreement gave Google the right to "retain, use or share non-personally identifying or aggregate data without limitation for any purpose," and said the data could be processed "outside the country," including places "where you may have fewer rights."

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John Neely Bryan, Cephalopod

Self-Portrait of John Neely Bryan (hypothetical), 1877
Steel and beaks

Confined in his last days to an insane asylum in Austin, no one knows what final confusions the founding father of Dallas confronted before his death. Did the lines between selfhood and otherhood blur completely? Did fesh confate with metal, the eternal with the temporal, the mammal with the cephalopod? Is the city he began a city in fact or only in shared delusion?

Gift to the City of Dallas
from Margaret McDermott

_johnbradley reports:

A rather interesting art piece under the Kay Bailey Hutchinson Convention Center on S. Lamar, near DART rail.

For what it's worth, John Neely Bryan did found the township of Dallas and later died in the Texas State Lunatic Asylum in Austin. However, it's doubtful this was a gift from Margaret McDermott, after whom the bridge in Dallas is named. Also, it's not made of steel and beaks.

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Halloween, Night Three

Just stole a shuttle from an Offworld mining colony and looking to party. Where all the carbon-based women at?

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Today in nailcare


Related question: as your fingernails grow out, does the skin of the nailbed conveyor-belt itself forward too? Or do the nails snap free and re-adhere farther along, like an earthquake fault settling?

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Bubble failure

Last night I chatted with a guy who thinks the fires are a result of (checks notes) the Socialist California state government intentionally hobbling PG&E in order to discredit Capitalism.

These people vote. In California!

(He also said: You seem very smart, Mr. Dinosaur, and I don't say that often." I said, "I'll bet you don't! When's the last time you complimented a dinosaur?")

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Anything done for the first time unleashes a demon:

Halloween, Night Two.

Meet EXXON, Duke of Hell with dominion over FOSSIL FUELS and burnination of the souls of D̰̞͉̖̤̗̮̉̉̔ͬ̏̇͆͞I͍̱̰̳̒ͭͨ͂N͇̙̣̗͈͓ͬ̑ͧͬ̓̾O̧͎̖̙̠̥͔͊̋͂ͤ̀S̳͎͇͎̕A̗̐̊̓̓͠U͍̗R̄̾ͧ͡S̞̥̖̦ͮ̈ͭ̍ͭ̿.

(Awesome mask by @bueshang.)

"We used to power things by whale souls then we found out there's a ton of souls trapped under the earth just waiting to be burnt."

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Bosstown Dynamics

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The Imperial Currency of NORTON I

Kevin DeMattia, co-owner of the Emperor Norton's Boozeland, bought the note from an Oregon man who contacted the Norton-themed bar via Facebook and offered to sell it.

"I decided to buy it sight unseen and sans authentication," laughed DeMattia who collects Norton memorabilia to display in the bar.

The currency, which the self-proclaimed emperor printed and issued by the thousands during his reign as the city's most eclectic citizen in the 1800s, has become the holy grail for Norton collectors -- with genuine, hand-signed and dated notes fetching more than $10,000.

"They were printed by the thousands, but then the great fire came through and burned everything, so they went from everyone had one to no one had one," DeMattia said. "Now it's one of the rarest currencies." [...]

[Vintage currency expert Don] Kagin said the note, hand-numbered 2573, is the fortieth of known notes that survived Norton's time. The note promises to repay the recipient 50 cents in 1880 -- with interest of five cents. Norton himself died on January 8th, 1880 escaping the note's due date. The promissory bonds, which he had printed by San Francisco printers were often honored by the restaurants, shopkeepers and individuals he encountered during his daily excursions through the city.

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Halloween, Night One. None of the ravers recognized my Screenslaver costume, but with a name like Screenslaver I was really not left with a choice. As if I were... compelled...

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