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Westlake Legal Group > California

Babylon Bee Dunks on LeBron James After Basketball Superstar Said Daryl Morey “Could Have Waited a Week”

Westlake Legal Group LeBronJamesAPimage-620x317 Babylon Bee Dunks on LeBron James After Basketball Superstar Said Daryl Morey “Could Have Waited a Week” Sports Social Media Politics North Carolina Los Angeles Lakers los angeles lebron james Human Rights Hong Kong Front Page Stories Front Page Featured Story Featured Post Education democrats Culture communism China California basketball Babylon Bee Allow Media Exception

Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James partakes in warm ups before an NBA basketball game against the Portland Trail Blazers in Portland, Ore., Thursday, Oct. 18, 2018. (AP Photo/Craig Mitchelldyer)

Nick wrote this morning about the appalling statement the Los Angeles Lakers’ LeBron James gave on the Daryl Morey Hong Kong tweet controversy.

Here’s a quick recap of what James said in pregame comments Monday night at the Staples Center in L.A. about Morey’s comments, via The Hill:

“I don’t want to get into a feud with Daryl Morey, but I believe he wasn’t educated on the situation at hand, and he spoke,” James said. “So many people could have been harmed, not just financially, but physically, emotionally, spiritually.”

After the comment sparked a firestorm on social media, James clarified his remarks.

“I do not believe there was any consideration for the consequences and ramifications of the tweet,” James tweeted. “I’m not discussing the substance. Others can talk about that.”

James expanded on his thoughts in another tweet, where he stated Morey “could have waited” a week to make his comments in support of Hong Kong’s protesters because “My team and this league just went through a difficult week”:

James’ response was a really, really bad look for a guy who has been treated as though he is the “wokest” of all NBA players. James has definitely not been shy about using his platform as a basketball superstar and future Hall of Famer to show support for Colin Kaepernick’s NFL kneeling, campaign for Hillary Clinton, and declare that people who voted for Donald Trump in 2016 were “uneducated.”

He even tweeted this MLK, Jr. quote in January 2018:

Because James has clearly changed his tune on the injustices of the world and the need to speak out against those injustices, the Babylon Bee decided to deliver a dunk of their own against him for his staggering ignorance on Hong Kong as well as his woke hypocrisy:

LOS ANGELES, CA—NBA superstar Lebron James recently told reporters that while he respects what Rosa Parks did for civil rights by refusing to give up her seat on a bus in 1955 Alabama, he thinks her protest “probably could have waited a week.”
[…]
James, an expert in geopolitical relations as well as the game of basketball, went on to explain that people in power stand to lose a lot of money when protesters challenge the status quo.

Perfect.

Make sure to read the whole thing.

——-
— Based in North Carolina, Sister Toldjah is a former liberal and a 15+ year veteran of blogging with an emphasis on media bias, social issues, and the culture wars. Read her Red State archives here. Connect with her on Twitter. –

The post Babylon Bee Dunks on LeBron James After Basketball Superstar Said Daryl Morey “Could Have Waited a Week” appeared first on RedState.

Westlake Legal Group LeBronJamesAPimage-300x153 Babylon Bee Dunks on LeBron James After Basketball Superstar Said Daryl Morey “Could Have Waited a Week” Sports Social Media Politics North Carolina Los Angeles Lakers los angeles lebron james Human Rights Hong Kong Front Page Stories Front Page Featured Story Featured Post Education democrats Culture communism China California basketball Babylon Bee Allow Media Exception   Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

California to allow illegal aliens to serve on government boards

Westlake Legal Group newsom-campaign California to allow illegal aliens to serve on government boards The Blog sanctuary illegal aliens governor Gavin Newsom California

The sanctuary state is at it again. California Governor Gavin Newsom has been burning through pens signing a raft of new bills into law at the close of his first legislative session. In addition to dozens of new gun laws, he also signed a bill further undermining federal immigration laws. This took the form of a bill that will allow illegal aliens to serve on government boards and commissions. A second measure claims to ban federal immigration officers from making arrests in courthouses. They seem to have missed the one where each illegal alien gets a free house and a lollipop after they cross the border. (LA Times)

California lawmakers continued the state’s expansion of rights and protections this year for immigrants who enter the country illegally, with laws signed by Gov. Gavin Newsom allowing them to serve on government boards and commissions and banning arrests for immigration violations in courthouses across the state.

The efforts by Newsom and Democrats in the California Legislature to provide refuge to immigrants stand in sharp contrast to the policies of President Trump, who continues to push for a new wall on the U.S.-Mexico border and also crack down on asylum seekers.

“Our state doesn’t succeed in spite of our diversity — our state succeeds because of it,” Newsom said in a written statement on Saturday after signing some of the bills into law.

The clown show continues on the left coast. The first element of the new legislation detailed above is probably legal, but relatively meaningless, and could very well backfire on them. If state or local governments begin publicly appointing illegal aliens to sit on boards and commissions, they can probably invite them to attend meetings. Of course, if it’s a paid position, then the government is in violation of federal law and should be eligible for prosecution because it’s illegal to hire an illegal alien for any paid position. It’s conceivable that offering them such a position could run afoul of the bringing in and harboring statues, but that’s less clear.

The way that part could backfire is just as clear. If I’m the local ICE supervisor and I see on the local news that an illegal alien has been appointed to a particular commission, I’m probably going to consider having some agents stop by the next time the commission meets. I mean, that’s just serving up dinner on a tray. And for many ICE offices, I wouldn’t put it past them, if only to prove a point.

The provision making it illegal for federal agents to take an illegal alien into custody at a courthouse is preposterous. That’s an attempt at nullification, which has never been supported in federal courts or at the Supreme Court. Also, attempting to interrupt a federal law enforcement official in the performance of their duties is a felony. I’d love to see Governor Newsom try that one personally.

But this is the form of insanity currently gripping the Golden State. Flee while you can.

The post California to allow illegal aliens to serve on government boards appeared first on Hot Air.

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Mark Zuckerberg Is Meeting In Secret With Conservatives Discussing Free Speech

Westlake Legal Group AP_18100671669782-300x184 Mark Zuckerberg Is Meeting In Secret With Conservatives Discussing Free Speech white house washington D.C. warren Social Media progressives President Trump Media Mainstream Media Front Page Stories facebook Elizabeth Warren donald trump democrats Cybersecurity Culture & Faith Courts Cory Booker Conservatives Congress California Bipartisanship Allow Media Exception 2019

 (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

Well, what do you know?

Seems that CEO of Facebook, Mark Zuckerberg, has been sitting down in secret with conservative pundits, writers and even a congressperson as of late. Maybe he realizes that Elizabeth Warren and her merry bunch of zealots are worse than dealing with people he opposes politically.

According to Politico this has been going on for a short time…

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has been hosting informal talks and small, off-the-record dinners with conservative journalists, commentators and at least one Republican lawmaker in recent months to discuss issues like free speech and discuss partnerships.

The dinners, which began in July, are part of Zuckerberg’s broader effort to cultivate friends on the right amid outrage by President Donald Trump and his allies over alleged “bias” against conservatives at Facebook and other major social media companies. “I’m under no illusions that he’s a conservative but I think he does care about some of our concerns,” said one person familiar with the gatherings, which multiple sources have confirmed.

Some of the people who have been rumored to have attended the meetings are Mary Katharine Ham, Ben Shapiro, Matt Continetti, Guy Benson, and Brent Bozell. Byron York confirmed he attended one of the dinners but refused to discuss what was talked about.

The article does say that this outreach was to try and ease some of the fears of those that might have some influence with the Trump administration in the hope to quiet some of the saber-rattling.

Trump is not your problem Mark.

Elizabeth Warren is on the warpath (PUN FULLY INTENDED) and she is coming for your monopoly buddy.

This is a classic example of liberals wanting to claim the higher ground while shutting down any discussion of any ground under the rules of feelings being hurt. Zuckerberg is part of this mindset no matter how many dinners he holds to try a charm offensive and act otherwise.

All you have to do is treat both sides equally.

In this case, what that means is to let the words fly. Don’t referee to any side and you will not have any issue. The notion that Facebook has been treating all sides fairly is ludicrous. Just go and google how many grievances people that are “right” leaning have been banned as opposed to “left” leaning. The complaints are numerous on the right. If you think the left doesn’t like to complain when they get axed I have a bridge to sell you in Chappaquiddick.

Hopefully, these meetings do show Mark that conservatives are not that scary and these concerns should be dealt with going from the top down.

Otherwise, you will have to deal with Elizabeth Warren and no one rational wants to do that.

Check out my other posts here on Red State and my podcast Bourbon On The Rocks plus like Bourbon On The Rocks on Facebook and follow me on the twitters at IRISHDUKE2 

The post Mark Zuckerberg Is Meeting In Secret With Conservatives Discussing Free Speech appeared first on RedState.

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Watch: Lee Zeldin Blasts Schiff’s “Impeachment Cocktail”, Demands Vote on Impeachment Inquiry

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Rep. Lee Zeldin, R-N.Y., speaks during a news conference, with other House members, where they called for a second prosecutor to investigate the Dept. of Justice and FBI, Tuesday, May 22, 2018, on Capitol Hill in Washington. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)

Last week, I wrote about how Rep. Lee Zeldin (R-NY) absolutely ripped House Intel Chair Adam Schiff and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi over what he called a “clown show” impeachment inquiry process where selective bits of information were allegedly being leaked to the media by Democrats in order to paint a distorted picture of what had been said behind closed doors so far.

Zeldin, the ranking member on the Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee, continued hammering this point home over the weekend in several interviews, including one he did on ABC Sunday with Jonathan Karl.

During the interview, Zeldin blasted the fact that Pelosi still refuses to hold an impeachment inquiry vote on the House floor, which would give Republicans subpoena power and President Trump’s legal team the ability to do things like cross-examine witnesses.

He also pointed out that Schiff was trying to get Americans drunk on an “impeachment cocktail”, which he said contained three ingredients.

Here’s a partial transcript:

KARL: So you’re OK with all — all the transcripts coming out? You want to see Fiona Hill, who’s testifying next week, you want to see all — all the people that the administration does not want to testify, you want those transcripts to be out?

ZELDIN: No, the president wants there to be a process. The president is saying that there should be a vote for an impeachment inquiry, as you just pointed out with Congressman Himes, there should be a process. The minority parties should have subpoena power. The president should have counsel present. He should be able to cross-exam witnesses; he should be able to present evidence. There should be a process, but instead what Adam Schiff wants is to get United States of America drunk on his favorite cocktail. There’s three ingredients. One is cherry-picking leaks, second is withholding facts, and three is just outright lying. I mean he is — he lied about his whistleblower contact, he lied when he gave his opening statement in front of the Acting Director of National Intelligence, he lied when he said that President Trump requested President Zelensky to, quote, manufacture dirt. Now, if we all had Ambassador Volker’s testimony, we would know that that’s not true. We would also know that it obliterated the quid pro quo charge, that fairytale, that President Trump supposedly demanded that there would be an investigation open against the Bidens in order to get aid from the United States to Ukraine.

KARL: It’s clear that he brought this up exactly when the issue with aid to Ukraine was raised.

ZELDIN: No — well let’s — this, what Ambassador Volker’s transcript would show you substantively.

Zeldin also stated that contra to media/Democrat talking points that suggest otherwise, the assertions Trump made about Joe Biden and Hunter Biden as it relates to the Ukrainian prosecutor and Burisma Holdings have not been debunked.

Watch the interview below:

Related –>> Lindsey Graham Warns House Dems: Release The Full Volker Transcript Or I Will Have Him Testify Publicly

——-
— Based in North Carolina, Sister Toldjah is a former liberal and a 15+ year veteran of blogging with an emphasis on media bias, social issues, and the culture wars. Read her Red State archives here. Connect with her on Twitter. –

The post Watch: Lee Zeldin Blasts Schiff’s “Impeachment Cocktail”, Demands Vote on Impeachment Inquiry appeared first on RedState.

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Marxists Have Taken Control of the California Democrat Party

From time to time, I like to promote the Combat Veterans for Congress Political Action Committee, as their cause is righteous. Their mission is to support the election of combat veterans to the US Congress because there is a need for our elected representatives to understand the total costs of combat operations – especially the human costs – in future deliberations regarding committing US military forces to overseas conflicts.

I agree wholeheartedly with almost all of their stances on issues, as they regularly publish commentary on a wide variety of topics – almost always from a constitutional conservative point of view. Here is one of those opinion pieces that I’m certain will resonate with you, too:

In 2007, four U.S. Communist groups formed an alliance, in order to first take control of the Democrat Party at every level in California, then in a number of other states, with the ultimate goal of taking control of the Democrat National Committee. The long-term plans included the indoctrination of students at all levels of public-school education, to convince millions of students that the government of the United States has been a massive failure, while at the same time, portraying a positive image of Socialism. The programmed goal was to gain the support of generations of naïve students, who would help the four Communists groups gain control of local, state, and the federal government. Their detailed plan is outlined in a document called “The Inside/Outside Project,” as described in this article.

Communists have always focused on younger generations, as this infamous quotation elucidates:

“Give me just one generation of youth and I’ll transform the world.”

                           –   Vladimir Lenin, Chairman of the Council of Commissars of the USSR

In order to support the four US Communist Groups referred to in The Inside/Outside Project, Tom Perez was selected as the Chairman of the Democrat National Committee. Perez was Obama’s Radical Left Labor Secretary and longtime leader of Casa de Maryland, a Communist militant “Immigration Rights Group” that lobbies to give Illegal Aliens the right to vote. When Perez was the leader of Casa de Maryland, Hugo Chavez, the Communist President of Venezuela, and protégé of Fidel Castro, was transmitting $1 million in donations to him each year, while directing Perez to use the funds to keep the southern border wide open.

Perez has a long history of anti-white views, and has been quoted in many published articles, as stating “White people should not be entitled to protection under the Voting Rights Act.” In the 2012 campaign to re-elect Obama, for the first time in US history at the Democrat Party’s National Convention, Perez took “God” out of the Democrat Party’s Platform.

Ambassador Armando Valladares, the former US Ambassador to the UN For Human Rights, identified Perez as a racist who hates the Bible, and is anti-Semitic. He said Perez’ goals are to destroy the Free Enterprise System, the Christian Society of the US, and to turn the US into a Marxist nation. Three of the four groups planning to crush the Free Enterprise System and eliminate the US Constitution are loyal to Beijing:

  • Communist Party USA (CPUSA)
  • Committees of Correspondence for Democracy and Socialism (CCDS)
  • Freedom Road Socialist Organization (FRSO)
  • The Democratic Socialists of America (DSA) (the DSA is not closely connected to Beijing as the other three groups, but the DSA is connected to European and the Latin American Communist and Socialist Parties.

There are roughly 100 leftists (Marxists, Socialist, Communists, Progressives, and Muslim Brotherhood supporters) voting as Democrats in the House of Representatives and about 25 Democrats in the US Senate voting in concert with that leftist block in the House. Trevor London’s DVD, ”Enemies Within,” identifies each of the leftists in the House and their loyalties to radical anti-American organizations. They can be easily located by searching the Internet. Many leftist members of Congress are pictured on the Internet, seated with their arms crossed, while the Pledge of Allegiance is being recited in the House of Representatives by standing members with their right hands over their hearts.

Today, the Communist Party USA (CPUSA) is strongest in the cities of New York, Boston, Chicago, Detroit, St. Louis, and in the states of Connecticut, Texas, Arizona, and California. In San Diego, two CPUSA members (Carl Wood and Emiliana Sparaco) are currently running for the California Democratic Party Central Committee from Assembly Districts 76 and 80. If elected, Wood will push the “Healthy California Act” providing “Medicare For All”; a $15/hour Living Wage; and the “Green New Deal”, at a cost of $93 trillion, or approximately $600,000.00 per household, according to a study co-authored by the former director of the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office.

Emiliana Sparaco traveled to Russia in 2017 as part of a US Communist delegation to celebrate the 100th Anniversary of the Bolshevik Revolution, the event was keynoted by Vladimir Putin. In 2018, Sparaco led the effort to flip the 49th Congressional District from Republican to Democrat, which helped elect Mike Levin to Congress in the 49th.

In Northern California around the Sacramento area, Democrat Representative Ami Bera, who now represents the 7th Congressional District and serves on the House Foreign Relations Committee. She won several very close elections with the support of the CPUSA.

In 1996, Committees of Correspondence for Democracy and Socialism (CCDS) leader Paul Krehbiel led the Communist/labor coalition that ousted conservative Republican Congressman “B1 Bob” Dornan from his previous safe Republican 27th CD seat in Orange County. That was the first step in a concerted effort by a Communist led campaign to turn all of Orange County’s once safe Republican Congressional Districts to Democrat seats.

In the 2018 the Ballot Harvesting Law was passed by the Democrat controlled California Legislature. Then in the 2018 Congressional election, the four above listed Communist organizations mobilized thousands of their operatives to execute the Democrat ballot harvesting program, by collecting millions of the absentee ballots from non-voting Californians, and illegally submitting them as being votes cast by California voters in certain Congressional Districts at the Registrar of Voters on election day. The four above listed Communist organizations substantially helped to defeat Republican Congressional candidates in 7 formerly safe Republican Congressional Districts. Ballot harvesting is illegal in every one of the other 49 states that consider it voter fraud, and if individuals in those states are caught perpetrating ballot harvesting, they would be indicted, tried, convicted, and possibly sent to prison.

The Democrat Socialist of America (DSA), founded in 1992, is America’s largest Marxist organization, with 60,000 dues-paying members. DSA has been strongly supporting Bernie Sanders, and been mobilizing the anti-Trump movements. In California, the DSA will be running over 150 DSA members or allies in the March 2020 primary election, to elect members of the California Democratic Party Central Committee.

Daraka Larimore-Hall, the California Deputy Democrat State Party Chairman, is a Marxist. Having a DSA Marxist in such a key position, of the largest Democratic State Party in the United States, is foreboding. Larimore-Hall has a large number of Socialist Democrat Central Committee members supporting him. The linked article above outlines how the Marxist and Communists took over the once Patriotic Democrat Party. Much of the preceding information was also sourced from that article.

In 2020, California voters will be asked again by Democrat operatives whether they need help in filling out their absentee ballots. If the voters say they are not going to vote, they will be asked again as they were asked in 2018 whether their blank absentee ballots can be picked up (by Democrat operatives).

California Republican candidates can oppose Ballot Harvesting in the 2020 primary and general elections by contacting every registered voter in their districts and requesting that they do not give their blank Absentee Ballots to anyone who asks them for their ballot. As they did in 2018, the Democrats operatives will fill out the blank absentee ballots with the name and address of the California resident who will not be voting, will illegally sign the voters’ names on the absentee ballots, and will then submit the absentee ballots at the Registrar of Voters on election day. And that will mean that the votes of Republicans will be for all practical purposes by these absentee ballots submitted on the behalf of Democrat candidates!

In Orange County California alone during the 2018 election, over 250,000 harvested ballots were submitted to the Registrar of Voters on election day. Fred Whitaker, Chairman of the Orange County Republican Party, said in a note to supporters: “This (the loss) is a direct result of Ballot Harvesting allowed under California law for the first time. That directly caused the switch from being ahead (in 7 safe Republican Congressional races) on election night, to losing those elections two weeks later.”

Can the political machinations of the CPUSA, DSA and other Communist-oriented groups be stymied in the 2020 elections in California? Can ballot harvesting be stopped in its tracks? Are there enough fair-minded Californians left in the state to return the state to a semblance of political balance? One would think that that contemplating nearly $5 a gallon gasoline and other taxes to come would wake up a few people. It’s imperative to at least attempt to level the playing field to give Republican candidates a chance!

The end.

Addendum. Here is the author’s contact information. Please consider a generous donation to the Combat Veterans for Combat Political Action Committee if you are able.

Joseph R. John, USNA ‘62

CAPT, USN(Ret)/Former FBI

Chairman, Combat Veterans For Congress PAC

2307 Fenton Parkway, Suite 107-184

San Diego, CA 92108

CVFC PAC website.

CVFC PAC Facebook page.

The post Marxists Have Taken Control of the California Democrat Party appeared first on RedState.

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Rep. Jim Jordan to the MSM: Why Won’t You Ask Democrats These Important Impeachment Questions?

Westlake Legal Group JimJordanAPPhoto-620x317 Rep. Jim Jordan to the MSM: Why Won’t You Ask Democrats These Important Impeachment Questions? washington D.C. Social Media republicans Politics Ohio North Carolina Nancy Pelosi Media journalism Jim Jordan Impeachment of President Trump impeachment Front Page Stories Front Page Featured Story Featured Post donald trump democrats Culture Congress California Allow Media Exception adam schiff

Ranking Member Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, asks questions to Michael Cohen, President Donald Trump’s former personal lawyer, during a hearing of the House Oversight and Reform Committee on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, Feb. 27, 2019. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH) has been one of the leading Republican voices speaking out against the deceptive tactics House Intel Chair Adam Schiff and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi have been using to conduct the secretive “impeachment inquiry” currently underway in Washington, D.C.

Just last week, Jordan wrote an op/ed that was published in the USA Today slamming Democrats for their use of impeachment as a tool to oust someone from office over political disagreements. He also condemned what he called the “secrecy” of their process.

Here’s some of what he wrote:

Democrats put the nation through three years of the “Russia collusion” hoax, only for those allegations to completely unravel. Democrats have spent the past 10 months embarking on a series of partisan fishing expeditions, all in a concerted effort to take down a duly elected president. Now Democrats are accusing President Trump of orchestrating a quid pro quo to pressure the Ukrainian government.
[…]
When we began to interview people with firsthand knowledge, the Democrats’ narrative fell apart. Ambassador Kurt Volker, the U.S. special envoy to Ukraine, was very clear in his testimony last week: He was aware of no quid pro quo, and the Ukrainian government never raised concerns about a quid pro quo. He testified that the U.S. officials were working at all times in the best interests of the United States and for the success and security of Ukraine.
[…]
President Trump displayed unprecedented transparency by releasing a transcript of his call with a foreign leader. However, the Democrats’ impeachment push is shrouded in secrecy. Americans deserve more. Americans deserve to know exactly how Democrats are misusing their authority to undo the results of the 2016 election.

Jordan, who is the ranking member on the House Oversight and Reform Committee, has continued to bang this drum, and over the weekend he tweeted out a number of questions directed towards Pelosi and Schiff. At the end of his rant, he asked the media why they weren’t asking them these same questions.

Indeed. Why won’t they?

Jordan asked a total of 18 questions. You can read them all in sequence by clicking here.

——-
— Based in North Carolina, Sister Toldjah is a former liberal and a 15+ year veteran of blogging with an emphasis on media bias, social issues, and the culture wars. Read her Red State archives here. Connect with her on Twitter. –

The post Rep. Jim Jordan to the MSM: Why Won’t You Ask Democrats These Important Impeachment Questions? appeared first on RedState.

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California man mysteriously freed after selling illegal AR-15s

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Here’s an odd story out of California that dates back nearly a decade but I’m only just hearing about it now. It deals with a man named Joseph Roh who lived in a suburb of Los Angeles. After a lengthy BATFE investigation, it was determined that Roh had been illegally manufacturing AR-15 style, semiautomatic rifles (without serial numbers) in his own warehouse. What’s more, he had been selling them for $1,000 a pop to people, many of whom were not legally allowed to purchase a firearm due to having a criminal record. In fact, one of his customers turned out to be John Zawahri, who you may recall from a mass shooting in Santa Monica in 2013.

Simple enough, right? Lock the guy up. Even the most strident Second Amendment supporters don’t want freelance gunsmiths circumventing the law and arming criminals. And yet, after years of investigation and legal gymnastics, California decided to quietly let the guy go earlier this year. How the heck did that happen? (Mercury News)

The judge in the case had issued a tentative order that, in the eyes of prosecutors, threatened to upend the decades-old Gun Control Act and “seriously undermine the ATF’s ability to trace and regulate firearms nationwide.”

A case once touted by prosecutors as a crackdown on an illicit firearms factory was suddenly seen as having the potential to pave the way to unfettered access to one of the most demonized guns in America.

Federal authorities preferred to let Roh go free rather than have the ruling become final and potentially create case law that could have a crippling effect on the enforcement of gun laws, several sources familiar with the matter told CNN. Each requested anonymity due to the sensitive nature of the case and its possible implications.

Roh appears to have gotten off the hook by way of one of the oddest technicalities in recent memory. Because of some obscure codicils in the Gun Control Act, the judge was responding to claims from the defense in a way that might have declared what Roh was doing to be at least mostly legal.

How is that possible? Roh apparently wasn’t selling completely finished weapons. It’s legal for anyone to manufacture or sell nearly all of the components that go into making a firearm. The exception to the rule is that you can’t sell the frame or receiver. That’s the part that encloses, among other things, the firing pin and the hammer. That part needs a serial number on it and you need an FFL to sell it.

The problem with AR-15 style rifles is that the receiver comes in two pieces. Each, by itself, isn’t sufficient to meet the federal definition of a receiver. Roh was selling pieces that a felon could assemble into a functional weapon with relative ease, but none of the pieces he was dishing out technically qualified as a firearm.

If that case had been allowed to proceed and the judge ruled in Roh’s favor, it could have set a precedent allowing anyone to do the same thing. Rather than open the barn door and let all the horses out, prosecutors decided to cut a deal and let Roh go. As the linked report indicates, the same thing happened in another case in 2016 where a convicted felon named Alejandro Jimenez was cut loose after purchasing an AR-15 receiver in an ATF sting operation.

It appears that this may continue unless the current law is modified to cover this particular design. I’m really not sure who’s at fault here for allowing Roh to go free, except possibly Congress. They’ve known about this loophole for several years and taken no action on it. Sounds like something that you could generate some bipartisan support for if anyone was willing to get the ball rolling.

The post California man mysteriously freed after selling illegal AR-15s appeared first on Hot Air.

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CLIMATE FLASHBACK: In 1978 Mr. Spock Told Us Another Ice Age Would Be Here By Now.

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LIVE LONG AND FREEZE

I love Star Trek. The whole notion that we survive the mess we see the world in now and actually get to go for drinks on the moon and take a quick spin around Jupiter for fun is just a warm and fuzzy concept.

The show became part of our cultural DNA and the stars of the show went out to successful careers in other areas. Leonard Nimoy A.K.A. Mr. Spock was one of these Trek stars that found other things to do while not on the bridge of the Enterprise.

Nimoy hosted a fantastic show called “In Search Of…from 1978 until 1982 and it covered a wide range of topics that were explored. Material such as, is there a bigfoot, UFO’s and the lost city of Atlantis were some of its episodes.

They also in May of 1978 covered something according to their IMDb page called “In Search Of… The Coming Ice Age”. Of course, with all the interest of climate change and the 1.5-degree shift of getting warmer and all of us dying in less than 12 years ( Not my words ask A.O.C.  Ocasio-Cortez says the world will end in 12 years. She is absolutely right.) I was absolutely intrigued.

Below is a video clip from that show.

Below I have taken some short clips that Nimoy says here to add my stellar commentary.

The data shows that the average temperatures in the Arctic have fallen dramatically over the last 30 years. In most locations, the drop has been 2 degrees centigrade.

According to NOAA we are up almost 1.42 F since 2000. I’m gonna call this a draw.

The whole Northern hemisphere has grown steadily cooler.

Check the NOAA link above. I guess we are getting warmer. Which is really nice for Michigan in Feb.

If we are unprepared for the next advance ( Ice Age) the result could be hunger and death on a scale unprecedented in all of history.

Whether it is massive ice sheets rolling our way or Florida flooding out, it’s always doom and gloom with these people. How about the world comes together like in the movie Independence Day and either does a huge BBQ or use the ice for drinks. CMON PEOPLE.

What scientists are telling us now is the threat of an ice age is not as remote as they once thought.

Well, scientists are telling us something different now. Now I’m not gonna blame them here. They get stuff wrong like this all the time.

During the lifetime of our grandchildren, arctic cold and perpetual snow could turn most of the inhabitable portions of our planet into a polar desert.

Nimoy has 5 grandchildren and from what the scientists are telling us is that we will be all fried before frozen. I’m not sure which one is worse actually.

What does this all mean?

That 41 years ago a show on network television with a beloved actor who played a character that relied on “logic,” scared the crap out of a 9-year-old Duke, making me think the ice was going to kill my family and I.

They were not just wrong but fabulously wrong.

Now those that believe the current dire warnings will say the technology is better, the computer models are more accurate and we have learned so much since 1978.

Well, how about if we do this as a test. Get the current weather reports you do EXACTLY RIGHT for 30 days, then we can chat about making predictions 40 years or 12 years maybe even just 30 months into the future.

Back in 1978, the climate alarmists used an actor who played a Vulcan ( who is not supposed to lie) as a messenger to get people ginned up about impending doom. In 2019 they used a 16-year Lil kid to do the same thing. They were wrong in 1978 and I’m willing to bet Al Gores billions that he made on this fantasy that they are wrong now also.

Predicting the weather, stocks or what women are thinking when they are really mad is a dangerous proposition. Doing any one of these things is just…

Illogical.

P.S. Kirk is the best Captain E-V-E-R.

Check out my other posts here on Red State and my podcast Bourbon On The Rocks plus like Bourbon On The Rocks on Facebook and follow me on the twitters at IRISHDUKE2 

The post CLIMATE FLASHBACK: In 1978 Mr. Spock Told Us Another Ice Age Would Be Here By Now. appeared first on RedState.

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In a High-Tech State, Blackouts Are a Low-Tech Way to Prevent Fires

Westlake Legal Group 12grid-1-facebookJumbo In a High-Tech State, Blackouts Are a Low-Tech Way to Prevent Fires Wildfires Solar Energy Schneider Electric SA San Diego Gas&Electric Regulation and Deregulation of Industry Power Failures and Blackouts Lovins, Amory B California Public Utilities Commission California Bloom Energy

California has a reputation as a haven for technological innovation. But the state’s largest power utility is using the lowest of low-tech solutions — rolling blackouts — to protect dry landscapes from live power lines that could spark or overheat and set wildfires.

The utility, Pacific Gas & Electric, turned off power to broad areas, including urban and suburban developments far from the risk of fire, this past week. And the utility had to send some crews into the field to start the blackouts and then restore power — an antiquated method, energy experts said — rather than relying on a more centrally controlled operation.

But there are several rapidly developing types of technology that can reduce the need for some of the most dangerous lines and limit the extent of territory left in the dark.

“It’s an incredible travesty, this sort of really crude and unsophisticated approach for dealing with what is a very serious issue,” said Jack Brouwer, an engineering professor and director of the National Fuel Cell Research Center at the University of California, Irvine.

“We have technological solutions for this that exist,” Mr. Brouwer said. Unfortunately, he said, California regulations and planning have been “insufficient for that technology to be used instead of just turning the power off.”

One of the approaches, called microgrids, involves using power sources like solar panels and diesel engines to provide electricity for a community, a cluster of buildings or even a manufacturing site. Because that electricity circulates only locally, a microgrid can eliminate the need to transmit power over long distances.

Depending on how the microgrid is designed, some or all of the lights can stay on, whether or not the main grid is energized.

Amory Lovins, a co-founder and former chief scientist of Rocky Mountain Institute, a nonprofit group that focuses on energy, said that the vast majority of power outages begin with failures of the grid — the transmission and distribution lines and the equipment surrounding them — rather than with power plants. In places like California, those failed power lines can generate fires.

“That’s part of the logic of microgrids,” Mr. Lovins said. “It’s not big enough to need long-distance transmission, which is where a lot of the fire issues are arising.”

“It could be part of the solution in California,” Mr. Lovins added.

Some industry experts defended PG&E’s use of the blackouts.

“It’s one of the tools in the toolbox, and given that safety is paramount, they are erring on the side of caution,” said Scott Aaronson, vice president for security and preparedness at the Edison Electric Institute, an industry group. “It’s not exactly an elegant solution, but it does save lives and property.”

He added, “They’re doing what they can given the topography that they serve and where the threats of ignition are.”

A town that uses microgrids can disconnect from the main grid either temporarily or permanently, depending on how the microgrid is designed. Some communities that have experienced frequent blackouts are taking a closer look at using microgrids to unplug themselves from the broader power system during emergencies. That way, they can use a variety of local power sources, like diesel generators, solar panels, gas turbines or fuel cells.

Fuel cells are a particularly efficient power generator. Both fuel cells and gas turbines usually rely on another grid — the highly reliable network of natural gas pipelines beneath the ground.

The town of Borrego Springs, which is 86 miles northeast of San Diego and is served by a single long-distance transmission line, uses a microgrid. After a wildfire took down that line in 2007, leaving the town’s 3,500 residents stranded without power for two days, the local utility, San Diego Gas & Electric, built a microgrid demonstration project for the town.

Today, if the transmission line feeding power to Borrego Springs goes down, the town can detach itself from the grid and draw power from an array of diesel generators, solar farms, rooftop solar panels and batteries. The system faced an early test in 2013, when severe storms knocked out the power lines and the microgrid fed power to more than 1,000 customers and critical facilities — such as gas stations, stores and a cooling center at the library — for more than 20 hours while the line was being repaired.

The drawback of microgrids is that they can take years to build and they tend to be more expensive than the traditional grid. San Diego Gas & Electric relied on $13 million in state and federal grants to set up the Borrego Springs project and is still working to refine the system. But the costs of blackouts can also be high: Borrego Springs has a large elderly population and can experience 100-degree heat in the summer.

Interest in microgrids is rapidly growing around the United States. Philadelphia’s Navy Yard, Alcatraz Island and an affordable housing complex in Brooklyn all have versions of microgrids that can operate autonomously when the larger power grid goes down. And while many of these microgrids rely on diesel or gas power to provide electricity around the clock, some are incorporating cleaner energies like solar power and batteries as the prices of those technologies drop.

“A lot of interest in minigrids in the United States has been in response to disasters,” said Paulina Jaramillo, a professor of engineering and public policy at Carnegie Mellon University. “Large centralized grids usually have a cost advantage because of economies of scale, but if there are reliability risks, it makes sense for communities to take into account the cost of those outages.”

In the earliest years of electrical service in cities, all the networks were so small that they were, effectively, microgrids, said Harold L. Platt, author of “The Electric City” and professor of history emeritus at Loyola University Chicago.

“From the 1900s into the nuclear era, you could keep building them bigger and bigger,” Mr. Platt said. “You achieve efficiencies by having high-voltage transmission lines, so you could connect all these local grids and power them from these giant generator stations.”

The expansion meant efficiency, but also the potential for much larger outages — as in 2003, when power lines in Ohio sagged into trees and became inoperable, setting off a blackout that swept north as far as Canada and then down the East Coast of the United States. The cost of a line sparking or shorting out in dry zones like the California hills can be far greater — leading to not just a blackout but also a fire.

Mark Feasel, vice president of Smart Grid at Schneider Electric, said that the argument that utilities or private organizations lack the expertise to set up microgrids no longer holds. Schneider, for example, offers a service that designs the system, connects the various sources of power and provides the technology to operate it.

That service provides a “bespoke utility” for customers, Mr. Feasel said. He said there is “nothing standing in the way” of using those microgrids in California, except that regulated utilities like PG&E rely on the public utility commission to allow spending on such projects and create regulations to make the approach viable. The state commissions are often reluctant to make those outlays, Mr. Feasel said.

“Which is why the real innovation is happening outside the utility structure,” Mr. Feasel said.

The California Public Utilities Commission did not respond to a request for comment.

K.R. Sridhar, the chief executive of Bloom Energy, a company based in Silicon Valley that makes fuel cell-based microgrids, called them a “homegrown technology” in California.

“This is a technology that has to be adopted in California to save property and the lives of people,” Mr. Sridhar said.

“In spite of that, political leadership and the regulatory framework is not enabling this,” Mr. Sridhar said. “The people of California have a right to be upset at its leadership and demand better solutions, because they exist.”

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‘This Did Not Go Well’: Inside PG&E’s Blackout Control Room

SAN FRANCISCO — It was a problem that California had come to dread. Weather models were signaling extreme winds and dry conditions from one end of the state to the other. The risk of wildfires was high.

Pacific Gas & Electric, the giant utility whose power lines and transformers have been blamed for a series of disastrous wildfires in recent years, was determined to prevent another one.

Just before last weekend, the company informed state officials that it might shut off power to a large area of Northern California, potentially leaving millions of people in the dark — something no United States utility had done in recent memory. It made that news public on Monday. By Tuesday morning, about a hundred utility executives, state officials, meteorologists and others had gathered at an operations center in San Francisco to coordinate the effort.

Things quickly began going wrong. PG&E’s communications and computer systems faltered, and its website went down as customers tried to find out whether they would be cut off or spared. As the company struggled to tell people what areas would be affected and when, chaos and confusion unspooled outside. Roads and businesses went dark without warning, nursing homes and other critical services scrambled to find backup power and even government agencies calling the company were put on hold for hours.

All told, more than 700,000 homes or businesses — from the state’s northernmost reaches to the outskirts of Silicon Valley — lost electricity beginning early Wednesday morning, and the state’s emergency center usually used for natural disasters was activated. Most residents had power restored by noon on Friday, and just over 12,000 were still without it on Saturday morning.

“There were definitely missteps,” said Elizaveta Malashenko, a representative for the state Public Utilities Commission who was in the control center. “It’s pretty much safe in saying, this did not go well.”

While California prides itself on its technical prowess and economic might, PG&E had to send crews out into the fields, in a few cases, to manually flip switches to turn off power and then turn it back on, rather than doing it remotely.

Residents were left asking why so many people had to lose power and whether rolling blackouts would become routine as climate change makes wildfires more frequent and intense.

The company, which is facing $30 billion in liabilities from recent wildfires started by its equipment, has drawn intense scorn from both its customers and state officials.

“This current operation is unacceptable,” Gov. Gavin Newsom said Thursday. “The current conditions and circumstances are unacceptable.”

Trouble has long dogged PG&E, California’s largest utility and one of the biggest in the country. The company has said one of its transmission lines was probably responsible for the most destructive wildfire in state history, the Camp Fire, which killed more than 80 people and destroyed the town of Paradise last November. About a decade earlier, one of the company’s gas lines south of San Francisco exploded, destroying a neighborhood and killing eight people.

This summer, PG&E and its newly appointed chief executive, Bill Johnson, had promised to do better. Blamed for its lax safety practices, the utility submitted a detailed plan to regulators on the protocol it would use to pre-emptively black out parts of its service area to prevent fires. It also promised to step up the trimming of trees along its transmission lines and make other changes.

“We did not deliver on this commitment this time,” Mr. Johnson said Thursday evening as hundreds of thousands of his customers sat in the dark. “We were not prepared to manage the operational event.”

ImageWestlake Legal Group merlin_162483345_614a4b23-9b15-47d3-af8b-e716307ecf26-articleLarge ‘This Did Not Go Well’: Inside PG&E’s Blackout Control Room Wildfires Power Failures and Blackouts Pacific Gas and Electric Co Electric Light and Power California Public Utilities Commission California Accidents and Safety

At Colonial Donuts in Oakland, pastries were available but no hot drinks. The only illumination came from a large window in the front of the store.CreditJim Wilson/The New York Times

Catherine Maynes, who handles logistics for Generators Unlimited, which supplies power backup equipment throughout Northern California, said she knew it was going to be a busy week as early as last weekend, when reports of the growing fire hazard started to surface.

Monday was a normal day at Generators Unlimited because it was not yet clear when the blackouts would start and who would be affected. It was on Tuesday that everything changed.

“First thing in the morning, as we opened the door, the calls started pouring in,” said Ms. Maynes, who works in Brisbane, south of San Francisco. “It never stopped ringing.”

While people and companies with means could turn to businesses like Ms. Maynes for backup power, many others did not have that luxury. When they tried to get more information, answers were often not forthcoming.

One option was community resource centers, places run by the utility where affected residents were supposed to be able to cool off and charge their phones. But they often got little information or assistance there because PG&E had not adequately staffed the centers, a senior state official with knowledge of the situation who was not authorized to speak publicly.

Meanwhile, state agencies, in charge of services like railways and the water supply, were forced to open the state’s emergency operations center, which is normally used for actual disasters like earthquakes and fires, the official said. The center was running at Level 2, the same level it operated on during the Ridgecrest earthquake over the summer. And the local authorities were forced to bear the cost of additional staffing, including overtime hours for police officers, to deal with the shutdown.

This was a big moment for PG&E, which does not have extensive experience using what California officials refer to as a “public safety power shut-off.” Its previous wildfire shut-offs had been limited to tens of thousands of customers — and it was ill prepared for the task.

Ms. Malashenko, deputy executive director for safety and enforcement at the California Public Utilities Commission, arrived at 9 a.m. on Tuesday for the first of her two 12-hour shifts at PG&E’s operations center. She said she was stunned by what she saw. PG&E’s website crashed just ahead of the first rounds of power shut-offs that would leave thousands in the dark.

In addition, the systems the company uses to alert residents and businesses that they would lose power didn’t work as they were supposed to, Mr. Johnson, the chief executive, later acknowledged.

The situation got so bad at one point that Ms. Malashenko called in information technology specialists from the state to help restore PG&E’s systems. (Besides Ms. Malashenko, representatives from the state emergency services and forestry and fire prevention agencies were also at the center to help coordinate the government’s response with the utility and to relay information to state leaders, including Mr. Newsom.)

PG&E declined requests for interviews for this article with company officials who were at the emergency center.

Communication seemed to improve later on Tuesday before the first round of shut-offs began at 2 a.m. on Wednesday after Ms. Malashenko’s colleagues from the state lent the company a hand. But within four hours after those blackouts began, PG&E’s website crashed again.

“It never got to the point where it worked well,” Ms. Malashenko said.

At the same time, on Tuesday, the weather forecast was becoming even more dire. PG&E’s team of meteorologists were now identifying 34 counties as under threat from strong winds and dry conditions, up from 30 earlier.

Utility executives rely on the meteorology team, along with information from the National Weather Service, to decide what areas will lose power and when conditions are safe enough for crews to restore power.

Based on its models, PG&E now anticipated that the winds would reach 40 to 55 miles per hour from Wednesday morning through Thursday morning, with isolated gusts up to 60 to 70 m.p.h.

That forecast was off a good bit: Winds reached as high as 77 m.p.h. at Mount St. Helena in Northern California. Wind speeds are important because strong gusts can blow trees into power lines or knock utility equipment into brush, setting off fires.

By Thursday evening, as the winds died down, PG&E began dispatching its 44 helicopters and 6,300 employees and contractors to inspect damage and restore power to some areas.

While some experts think utilities ought to have better ways to prevent wildfires than cutting off power, the utility industry considers this acceptable in cases of grave weather threats, and other California utilities have used the approach.

What was unusual about PG&E’s approach was that other utilities had never targeted as many customers.

“Today marks an unprecedented turn in the history of electricity in California,” State Senator Jerry Hill, chairman of the Subcommittee on Energy, Utilities and Communications, said in a letter on Wednesday to the utilities commission. “This situation is not acceptable nor sustainable.”

Mr. Hill said PG&E appeared not to have reviewed or learned from the utility that pioneered use of blackouts to prevent wildfires, San Diego Gas & Electric.

The San Diego utility was widely criticized when it first used power shut-offs as a wildfire prevention tool in the late 2000s.

“Our journey began over a decade ago with the devastating wildfires of 2007,” said Caroline Winn, chief operating officer for SDG&E. “Those fires became a game changer for our company.”

Ms. Winn said there was no blueprint that her company could consult when it created its wildfire prevention program. Among the steps it took early on were hiring a large team of meteorologists, including veterans of the National Weather Service; installing devices that measure weather conditions at various locations in its service area; and using technology that allowed the utility to remotely switch off power to designated areas.

Even though many fire and energy experts credit the company with being proactive and thoughtful, residents and lawmakers in its service area initially expressed frustration with the utility’s approach.

“It was met with fierce opposition,” Ms. Winn said. “Why are you doing it? Nobody else is doing that.”

To address those concerns, Ms. Winn said the San Diego utility conducted town hall meetings and adjusted its efforts by, for example, limiting the size of areas that were blacked out.

The president of the state utilities commission, Marybel Batjer, said PG&E needed to similarly adapt its approach and learn from its mistakes.

“The situation frankly has been unacceptable,” Ms. Batjer said at a commission meeting on Thursday while PG&E was still wrestling with its blackouts. “The impacts to individual communities, to individual people, to the commerce of our state, to the safety of our people, has been less than exemplary. This cannot be the new normal. We can’t accept it as the new normal. And we won’t.”

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