Category Archives: Security

Jerry Brown vetoed 2016 bill aimed at preventing powerline wildfires | Nov 14 2018

Gov. Brown vetoed 2016 bill aimed at power line, wildfire safety

|| San Jose Mercury News Oct 2017

 

“Serious questions are once again being asked about the safety of overhead electrical wires in a state prone to drought and fierce winds.”

“A year ago, a bipartisan bill aimed at reducing the risk of wildfires from overhead electrical lines went to Gov. Jerry Brown’s desk.

It was vetoed.

The author of the measure — passed unanimously by both houses of the Legislature — now says the governor missed out on a chance to tackle one of his state’s longstanding vulnerabilities: massive wildfires endangering residential communities. But the governor’s office and the California Public Utilities Commission say the bill duplicated efforts already underway among the CPUC, Cal Fire and utilities like PG&E.

Now, as a series of deadly fires rages in Wine Country, serious questions are once again being asked about the safety of overhead electrical wires in a state prone to drought and fierce winds.

On Wednesday, Cal Fire said that investigators have started looking into whether toppled power wires and exploding transformers Sunday night may have ignited the simultaneous string of blazes.

The acknowledgment followed publication of a review by the Bay Area News Group of Sonoma County firefighters’ radio transmissions in the fires’ infancy that found that there were numerous downed and arcing wires. In the first 90 minutes Sunday night, firefighters were sent to 10 different spots where problems had been reported with the area’s electrical infrastructure. The crews reported seeing sparking lines and transformers.

During that same time period, radio transmissions indicate 28 blazes — both vegetation and structure fires — breaking out, mostly in Sonoma County. Firefighters were sent to eight fallen tree calls, with many reports of blocked roadways.

“Those were witnessed,” Cal Fire spokeswoman Lynne Tolmachoff said Wednesday, regarding the blown transformers and downed wires. “However, you have to go and look to see if it was a cause of the fire or as a result of the fire.”

The state’s fire agency has said it has ruled out lightning, but said the investigation continues for an official cause of the blazes, which as of late Wednesday had killed 23 people and destroyed more than 3,500 structures in Sonoma, Napa and other Northern California counties.

PG&E acknowledges there were troubles with its equipment Sunday night, but says blaming the utility’s electrical system for the fires at this point would be “highly speculative.” It has labeled the conditions in the first hours of the fires a “historic wind event.”

But meterologist Jan Null, owner of Golden Gate Weather Services in Saratoga, said that Sunday night’s winds, while strong, were not “hurricane force” and had been surpassed in previous storms. Atlas Peak had gusts of 32 miles per hour at 9 p.m. on  Sunday night, Null said. By comparison, the peak had gusts of 66 mph in last February.

SB 1463 had been introduced in last year’s legislative session by Sen. John Moorlach, R-Costa Mesa. The bill would have required the state to identify the places most at risk for wildfires and would have required the CPUC to beef up plans to prevent fires sparked by power lines — including moving lines underground if necessary.

But Brown said the bill was unnecessary. “Since May of last year, the Commission and CalFire have been doing just that through the existing proceeding on fire-threat maps and fire-safety regulations,” he said in his veto message. “This deliberative process should continue and the issues this bill seeks to address should be raised in that forum.”

But the senator isn’t buying it.

“Up until my bill those guys were doing nothing,” Moorlach said Wednesday. “I think you got some false information.”

He said his bill would’ve sped up what had become a cumbersome process and given local communities more of a voice by clarifying how fire risk is defined.

Had the governor signed his bill into law, he added, “I think it would have changed things. … I think it would’ve given Cal Fire a whole different set of priorities.”

Brown’s sister Kathleen, he pointed out, served on the board of the energy services holding company, Sempra. Power and utility companies, Moorlach said, “didn’t want to spend the money” making things safer by moving lines underground.

That’s “so outrageous it doesn’t merit a response,” Evan Westrup, a spokesman for the governor’s office, said of the notion that the governor didn’t sign the bill to somehow help out Sempra. “It’s unfortunate this particular individual is trying to score political points by peddling inaccurate, self-serving claims at a time like this.”

CPUC spokeswoman Terrie Prosper said the years-long CPUC and Cal Fire effort has already reached key goals.

Phase One was completed in 2015 and Phase Two is nearly done as well, which will implement new fire safety regulations in high priority areas of the state.

PG&E has paid millions of dollars in fines and settlements over the years for its failure to properly maintain vegetation clearance around its electrical lines when it led to massive fires.

In April, the state Public Utilities Commission fined PG&E $8.3 million for failing to maintain a power line that sparked the Butte fire in Amador County in September 2015. That fire burned for 22 days, killing two people, destroying 549 homes and charring 70,868 acres.”

….Continue reading more @ San Jose Mercury News

California DMV registers Illegal Aliens Doesn’t Know How Many are Voting | Oct 13 2018

California Elections Official Does Not Know if Non-Citizens Have Voted

|| Breitbart

“California Secretary of State Alex Padilla does not know if any of the 1,500 people who were improperly registered to vote by the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) this year voted in the June primary elections, the Associated Press reports.

On Tuesday, multiple news outlets reported that the DMV had erroneously registered 1,500 people, including non-citizens, to vote between April and September. The reports came after the state government insisted for years that its safeguards would prevent that for happening — a significant concern given a 2015 law that allowed illegal aliens to obtain driver’s licenses, and a 2017 law that automatically registered Californians to vote when they obtained driver’s licenses, if otherwise eligible. While the state says that no illegal aliens were registered to vote, at least one legal alien was confirmed as having been registered.

The AP elaborated:

The roughly 1,500 people either told the DMV they were ineligible or didn’t confirm their eligibility but were registered anyway, he said. The group included at least one non-citizen living legally in the state and perhaps many more. It could also include people under 18 or those ineligible to vote because of a criminal conviction, Padilla said. The DMV said none of the people mistakenly registered are people living in the country illegally.

The incorrect registrations occurred between April 23 and Sept. 25 because of a “processing error,” according to the DMV. California held its primary election June 6 [sic].

Early voting for the Nov. 6 election began this week.

California’s motor voter law letting residents automatically register to vote through the DMV took effect in April. Since then, people have newly registered or updated their voter registration more than 3 million times, DMV spokeswoman Jessica Gonzalez said. The new law is aimed at making it easier for people to register and boosting voter turnout.

 

Padilla added that the DMV may have to suspend the “motor voter” program if problems persist. Last month, Padilla admitted that 23,000 registrations had been filed with significant errors.”

….Read more @ Breitbart

“Huntington Beach can immediately start ignoring California’s contentious “sanctuary state” law | Sep 28 2018

Judge rules Huntington Beach can defy California’s sanctuary law

|| OC Register

 

“Huntington Beach can immediately start ignoring California’s contentious “sanctuary state” law, a judge ruled Thursday, Sept. 27.

But even before he announced his decision, Orange County Superior Court Judge James Crandall acknowledged that the case will wend its way through higher courts for months to come.

In April, Huntington Beach City Attorney Michael Gates filed a lawsuit against the state claiming that Senate Bill 54 unconstitutionally interferes with the city’s charter authority to enforce local laws and regulations.

Signed into law last year, SB 54 limits interaction between local law enforcement and federal immigration officials — with exceptions, including cases that involve violent or “serious” felonies.

Crandall opened the hearing complimenting both sides, saying he found the opposing attorneys’ briefs “stimulating, in fact, invigorating.”

“I realize this is a very important case with significant implications,” he said.

From there, still early in the three-hour hearing, Crandall signaled that his sympathies lay with the city. Citing parts of the state constitution that grant charter cities a degree of autonomy, he said, “Laws are protections for the little guy, in this case, the city.”

Century-old constitutional amendments that allowed cities to create their own charters were meant to restrict “the ever-extending tentacles of state government,” Crandall said.

Huntington Beach is one of 121 charter cities in California, a designation decided by voters. Charters accord greater control over “municipal affairs,” such as how a city conducts elections and deals with its employees.

Still, California’s constitution holds that charter cities are subject to the same state laws as “general law cities” on matters considered to be of “statewide concern” — a point emphasized by Supervising Deputy Attorney General Jonathan Eisenberg.

The constitution’s charter rules do not give cities “a get out of jail free card,” Eisenberg said.

Specifically, Gates, Eisenberg and Crandall debated the two “subsections” of Section 5, Article 11, in which the constitution defines charter powers. Subsection A states that charter cities can “be subject to general laws.” Subsection B enumerates four areas over which a charter may bestow control, including “government of the police force.”

Crandall agreed with Gates that the subsections should be viewed as independent of one another, while Eisenberg said, “You do not get to skip whether there’s a matter of statewide concern.”

Huntington Beach, Eisenberg said, “is not a unique city” from the rest of California. And as a tourist destination visited by thousands of nonresidents, he said, what happens there regarding immigration enforcement affects the entire state.

Occasionally, Crandall drifted away from the core of the lawsuit – that SB 54 violates a charter city’s sovereignty – harshly criticizing SB 54 as forcing cities into “one size fits all” policing. He complained that legislators “want to keep bossing people around.”

When Eisenberg said that local law enforcement can still communicate with immigration officials regarding serious crimes under SB 54, Crandall replied, “You haven’t tied their hands and feet, you’ve just taped their mouths.”

Several times, the judge noted the presence of Huntington Beach Police Chief Robert Handy in the courtroom. After granting the city’s request to be free from enforcing SB 54 while the decision undergoes an appeal, Crandall said, “I think Chief Handy wants to get out there and do his good police work as soon as possible.”

….read more @ OC Register

 

Doddering Sen Dianne Feinstein’s Incompetence on Full View in Senate Race | Sep 18 2018

Is Dianne Feinstein the Most Corrupt Senator in the United States?

|| PJMedia

“On top of her McCarthyite smear of Judge Kavanaugh, she’s closely tied to both Chinese and Russian operations in the United States.

To date, only one fairly obscure member of Congress has asked our intel people—in this case, the FBI–to look into the alarming case of a Chinese agent becoming her office manager and personal chauffeur. An excerpt from Rep. Jim Banks’ letter to FBI Director Wray:

It has recently come to light that U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein, the former chair of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, employed a staff member who was using his position to secretly report information to the Ministry of State Security in China. Given the type of information Senator Feinstein had access to and China’s position as a top foreign adversary of the United States, this revelation is alarming.

The Chinese agent is apparently working without annoyance in California. Feinstein is running for reelection. I wonder if he is planning to vote for her.

Banks asked for an investigation and a briefing. That was last month, and I haven’t seen anything since. Have you? Yet the “news” is chock-a-block with thousands of column inches on an unknown event alleged by an unknown woman who claims it happened when she and Judge Kavanaugh were in high school 35-40 years ago.

This is a good way to measure how little Chinese espionage matters to the nation’s law enforcers and opinion makers. Well, of course, and we all know why: nobody is accusing Trump of colluding with Beijing.

Funny world. So many things are backwards. We have apparently hard evidence of Chinese espionage in the office of the number one senator on the Senate Intelligence Committee—the FBI told her about it five years ago, and she did nothing (nor did the bureau)—but nobody seems concerned. Meanwhile, there is no evidence of any collusion between Russia and the Trump campaign, yet half the world constantly frets about “it.”

…Read more @ PJ Media

Anti-Gun Liberals in California Get Free Armed Security at Taxpayer Expense | Sep 10 2018

Taxpayers Funded ‘Unprecedented’ Armed Protection for Gun Control Sen. Kamala Harris

|| Breitbart

 

“An examination of expense reports reveal gun control Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA) received taxpayer-funded armed protection from the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) in 2017 and 2018 at events throughout the state.

NBC 4 reports that the protection was “unprecedented” in that it went beyond the security which the LAPD usually provides “for dignitaries and officials visiting LA.” Taxes from residents of Los Angeles funded armed security personnel to protect Harris not only in LA but in other cities throughout the state as well.

Taxpayers even paid for armed security to go with Harris to a party.

The protection lasted January 2017 through July 2018 and Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti (D) says he was not aware it was occurring.

Garcetti indicated former LAPD Chief Charles Beck put the special protection into place. LAPD spokesman Josh Rubenstein said, “Chief of Police Charlie Beck assigned a security detail for US Senator Kamala Harris shortly before she was sworn into office in 2017, based on a threat assessment he believed to be credible. Funding for the detail was provided by the Department budget.”

On November 22, 2015, Breitbart News reported that California Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom spent millions of taxpayer dollars to surround himself with armed security while Mayor of San Francisco.”

….Read more at: Breitbart

China Hacked Hillary Clinton’s Private Email Server

Sources: CHINA HACKED HILLARY CLINTON’S PRIVATE EMAIL SERVER

|| Daily Caller

  • A Chinese-owned company penetrated former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s private server, according to sources briefed on the matter.
  • The company inserted code that forwarded copies of Clinton’s emails to the Chinese company in real time.
  • The Intelligence Community Inspector General warned of the problem, but the FBI subsequently failed to act, Texas Republican Rep. Louie Gohmert said during a July hearing.

“A Chinese-owned company operating in the Washington, D.C., area hacked Hillary Clinton’s private server throughout her term as secretary of state and obtained nearly all her emails, two sources briefed on the matter told The Daily Caller News Foundation.

The Chinese firm obtained Clinton’s emails in real time as she sent and received communications and documents through her personal server, according to the sources, who said the hacking was conducted as part of an intelligence operation.

The Chinese wrote code that was embedded in the server, which was kept in Clinton’s residence in upstate New York. The code generated an instant “courtesy copy” for nearly all of her emails and forwarded them to the Chinese company, according to the sources.

The Intelligence Community Inspector General (ICIG) found that virtually all of Clinton’s emails were sent to a “foreign entity,” Rep. Louie Gohmert, a Texas Republican, said at a July 12 House Committee on the Judiciary hearing. He did not reveal the entity’s identity, but said it was unrelated to Russia.”

Two officials with the ICIG, investigator Frank Rucker and attorney Janette McMillan, met repeatedly with FBI officials to warn them of the Chinese intrusion, according to a former intelligence officer with expertise in cybersecurity issues, who was briefed on the matter. He spoke anonymously, as he was not authorized to publicly address the Chinese’s role with Clinton’s server.

Among those FBI officials was Peter Strzok, who was then the bureau’s top counterintelligence official. Strzok was fired this month following the discovery he sent anti-Trump texts to his mistress and co-worker, Lisa Page. Strzok didn’t act on the information the ICIG provided him, according to Gohmert.

Gohmert mentioned in the Judiciary Committee hearing that ICIG officials told Strzok and three other top FBI officials that they found an “anomaly” on Clinton’s server.

The former intelligence officer TheDCNF spoke with said the ICIG “discovered the anomaly pretty early in 2015.”

“When [the ICIG] did a very deep dive, they found in the actual metadata — the data which is at the header and footer of all the emails — that a copy, a ‘courtesy copy,’ was being sent to a third party and that third party was a known Chinese public company that was involved in collecting intelligence for China,” the former intelligence officer told TheDCNF.

“The [the ICIG] believe that there was some level of phishing. But once they got into the server something was embedded,” he said. “The Chinese are notorious for embedding little surprises like this.”

The intelligence officer declined to name the Chinese company.

“We do know the name of the company. There are indications there are other ‘cutouts’ that were involved. I would be in a lot of trouble if I gave you the name,” he told TheDCNF.

A government staff official who’s been briefed on the ICIG’s findings told TheDCNF that the Chinese state-owned firm linked to the hacking operates in Washington’s northern Virginia suburbs. The source was not authorized to publicly discuss the matter.

The company that penetrated Clinton’s server was not a technology firm and it served as a “front group” for the Chinese government, the source told TheDCNF.

The Fairfax and Loudoun county governments told TheDCNF that 13 state-owned Chinese companies operate in the area. Of those, three were not technologically oriented.”

….Read more at Daily Caller

 

Decriminalize Invasion with Open Borders? | Aug 24 2018

Decriminalization Debate Moves From Pot To… Illegal Immigration?

|| Hot Air

“How far are Democrats willing to go this year in their efforts to demonstrate their progressive bona fides? In Texas we may be seeing the limits of this swerve to the left on display. Several Democratic candidates for top offices are now pushing a move toward decriminalization, but this time we’re not talking about marijuana. They want to decriminalize illegal immigration, essentially removing the need for most of the office of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) without actually “abolishing” the office. (A subject which doesn’t poll very well.) And we’re not talking about some back bench Democrats running for a county commission seat here. It’s the Democrats’ candidate for Governor, one congressional seat and none other thank Congressman “Beto” O’Rourke, who is currently fighting to flip the Senate seat held by Ted Cruz.

This is the spoon full of sugar approach to pushing for open borders and it appears that at least some Democrats think it could be a winner. Calling to abolish ICE has backfired in a major way and Americans overwhelmingly don’t want open borders. (When given a choice between open borders and secure borders, poll respondents this year chose “secure” by a 79% margin.) Similarly, polling from as recently as last month shows that Americans want to keep ICE by a two to one margin over those who would like to see it abolished.

So here comes the new strategy from the Democrats. Rather than wiping out immigration law or the officials assigned to enforce it, we’ll just do what many states have done with marijuana and simply “decriminalize” it. In other words, illegal aliens – if they are questioned at all – will simply get the equivalent of a parking ticket and be sent on their way. No need for expensive court proceedings and detention centers. Think of the money we’ll save!

Yes. We could wipe out many of the problems we face with gang violence if we simply decriminalized crack dealing, assault, gun crimes and human trafficking. Crime rates would plummet and it would free up the police forces in places like Chicago and Baltimore to focus on the more pressing issues of traffic violations and littering. It’s truly a stunning bit of genius provided you don’t actually think about it for more than two seconds.

The fact is that decriminalization of illegal immigration would be nothing more than running up the white flag. With no fear of repercussions, everyone considering jumping the border would flood into the country in short order. Of course, unless the Democrats also plan on repealing (or at least decriminalizing) all of the laws about employing illegal aliens, all of those people will still wind up either falling into the already strained social safety net or turning to a life of crime.”

….Read more @ HotAir