Archive for the ‘California: Failed State’ Category

U.S. Attorney’s Office February 08, 2013 Northern District of California (415) 436-7200

OAKLAND, CA—Federal agents arrested Matthew Aaron Llaneza, age 28, of San Jose, California, this morning after he allegedly attempted to detonate a vehicle-borne explosive device at a bank branch in Oakland.

Llaneza’s arrest was the culmination of an undercover operation during which he was closely monitored by the FBI’s South Bay Joint Terrorism Task Force. Unbeknownst to Llaneza, the explosive device that he allegedly attempted to use had been rendered inoperable by law enforcement and posed no threat to the public. Llaneza was charged this morning by criminal complaint with attempted use of a weapon of mass destruction against property used in an activity that affects interstate or foreign commerce.

The arrest was announced by Melinda Haag, U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of California; Lisa Monaco, Assistant Attorney General for National Security; and FBI Special Agent in Charge, San Francisco Field Office, David J. Johnson.

According to the affidavit filed in support of the criminal complaint, on November 30, 2012, Llaneza met with a man who led him to believe he was connected with the Taliban and the mujahidin in Afghanistan. In reality, this man was an undercover FBI agent. At this initial meeting, Llaneza proposed conducting a car-bomb attack against a bank in the San Francisco Bay Area. He proposed structuring the attack to make it appear that the responsible party was an umbrella organization for a loose collection of anti-government militias and their sympathizers. Llaneza’s stated goal was to trigger a governmental crackdown, which he expected would trigger a right-wing counter-response against the government followed by, he hoped, civil war.

The complaint further alleges that Llaneza subsequently selected the Bank of America branch at 303 Hegenberger Road in Oakland as the target for the attack. Llaneza ultimately specified a spot next to a support column of the bank building as a good location for the bomb, expressed a desire for the bomb to bring down the entire bank building, and offered to drive the car bomb to the bank at the time of the attack.

According to the complaint, in January and February 2013, Llaneza and the undercover agent constructed the purported explosive device inside a sport utility vehicle (SUV) parked inside a storage facility in Hayward, California. As part of the process of assembling the device, Llaneza purchased two cell phones to be used in creating and operating the trigger device for the car bomb. One of these cell phones was incorporated into the trigger device itself. The other was reserved for use on the night of the attack.

The criminal complaint alleges that on the evening of February 7, 2013, Llaneza drove the SUV containing the purported explosive device to the target bank branch in Oakland. He parked the SUV beneath an overhang of the bank building where he armed the trigger device. He then proceeded on foot to a nearby location a safe distance from the bank building, where he met the undercover agent. Once there, Llaneza attempted to detonate the bomb by using the second cell phone he had purchased to place two calls to the trigger device attached to the car bomb. Federal agents then arrested him.

Llaneza made his initial appearance in federal court in Oakland this morning before U.S. Magistrate Judge Donna M. Ryu. The defendant’s next scheduled appearance is at 9:30 a.m. on February 13, 2013, for a bail hearing before Judge Ryu. If convicted on the charge contained in the criminal complaint, he faces a maximum sentence of life in prison.

The case is being prosecuted by the Special Prosecutions and National Security Unit of the United States Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of California. The prosecution is the result of an investigation by the FBI’s San Jose Resident Agency, with the assistance of the FBI San Francisco Joint Terrorism Task Force, the California Highway Patrol, the San Jose Police Department, the Oakland Police Department, the Hayward Police Department, and the Union City Police Department.

The charges contained in the criminal complaint are mere allegations. As in any criminal case, the defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty in a court of law.

http://www.fbi.gov/sanfrancisco/press-releases/2013/federal-agents-arrest-man-after-he-attempts-to-bomb-bank-in-oakland

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Tuesday, December 04, 2012 – Dennis Prager

If you want to understand Leftism — and everyone needs to because it has been the most dynamic religion of the last one hundred years — one good place to start is with San Francisco.

Or perhaps more precisely — with nudity.

And even more precisely — with public nudity.

Last month, the San Francisco Board of Supervisors voted by the barest (pun not intended) margin — 6 to 5 — to ban public nudity. By public nudity, the law refers only to displaying one’s genitals in public. San Francisco women are still free to walk around topless. But that is not unique to San Francisco. Years ago, the highest court in New York state ruled that since it sees no difference between a man’s chest and a woman’s, women should be free to walk around topless, just as men do.

Now why is all this significant?

Leftism seeks to undo most of the values that are distinct to Judeo-Christian religions. That is why the left has always been so anti-religious and especially anti-Christian. Karl Marx understood that a vibrant leftism and a vibrant Christianity could not coexist. He was right.

Two of the many areas of conflict between Judeo-Christian values and leftism concern the separation between the holy and the profane and separation between humans and animals.

The essence of the Hebrew Bible — as transmitted by Christianity — is separation: between life and death, nature and God, good and evil, man and woman and between the holy and the profane.

The reasons to oppose public nudity emanate from this Judeo-Christian list of separations.

When human beings walk around with their genitals uncovered, they are behaving in a manner indistinguishable from animals. A major difference between humans and animals is clothing; clothing separates us from — and in the biblical view, elevates us above — the animal kingdom.

Seeing any animal’s genitals is normal. Anyone who demanded that animals’ genitals be covered would be regarded as a nut by the most religious Jew or Christian.

But one of our human tasks is to elevate us above the animal. And covering our genitals is one important way to do that.

The world of the left generally finds this animal-human distinction unnecessary. For years now, I have been reading article after article in major liberal newspapers and magazines about how much more alike humans and animals are than we ever thought. The theme of these articles is how narrow the differences really are between humans and animals.

Public nudity certainly forwards that theme.

The second reason to oppose public nudity also comes from the list of separations: the concept of the holy, or sacred.

For the left, little is sacred — certainly little in the ways that Jewish and Christian civilization has usually understood the term.

That is why an “artist” achieved cult-like status in the left-wing cultural world with a depiction of a crucifix in a jar of his urine. The crucifix is sacred to hundreds of millions of people — I will pee on it. Or why a major European art award was given to a German artist for his sculpture of a policewoman crouching and urinating (a puddle of her urine was sculptured beneath her). Whatever Judeo-Christian convention held sacred, true believing leftists have sought to desacralize.

The San Francisco Examiner reported about one of the protesters at the San Francisco Supervisors vote:

“As he pulled his pants up, a nudist named Stardust said the legislation sent the wrong message. ‘It’s telling people they should be ashamed to be naked, and that’s totally wrong,’ he said.”

But to those who believe in Judeo-Christian values, telling people to be ashamed about being naked in public is not totally wrong. It’s the whole point.

The first thing Adam and Eve discovered after eating from the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil was that they were naked. And the first emotion they ever experienced was shame over their nudity.

San Francisco, America and the west are going to have to choose whether Stardust or the Bible is right. By one vote San Francisco decided in favor of the Bible. But a judge, who may well have Stardust’s values, is yet to rule.

And it’s hard to see why a liberal judge would not rule the law unconstitutional. Because the fact is that there is no secular reason to ban public nudity.

http://www.dennisprager.com/columns.aspx?g=f2671be9-31e1-4bb5-9f6c-adb805de17ec&url=whats_wrong_with_public_nudity

By Teresa Carson Reuters -11-29-12

PORTLAND, Oregon (Reuters) – A Canadian environmentalist accused of taking part in a campaign of arson attacks across the U.S. West surrendered on Thursday after a decade on the run to face charges in what authorities call the “largest eco-terrorism case” in U.S. history.

Rebecca Jeanette Rubin turned herself in to FBI agents at the Canadian border in Blaine, Washington, the U.S. Department of Justice said in a statement. She is charged with helping set a wave of arson fires between 1996 and 2001 that were carried out by self-proclaimed members of the Earth Liberation Front and Animal Liberation Front.

              “Rubin’s arrest marks the end of her decade-long period as an international fugitive in the largest eco-terrorism case in United States history,” the Justice Department statement said of the arson spree.

              Officials have given no reason for her surrender.

              Prosecutors said at the time that the case stood out for the number of fires set and damage caused, which was estimated at more than $40 million.

              Rubin, 39, faces arson, destructive device and conspiracy charges in Oregon, California and Colorado. She was expected to make an initial court appearance in Seattle before she is returned to Oregon for trial in U.S. District Court.

The government indicted Rubin in 2006 of taking part in a conspiracy with 12 others involving 20 acts of arson.

              She is charged with participating in a 1997 arson fire at a wild horse and burro facility belonging to the Bureau of Land Management in Burns, Oregon, that was set to retaliate for what the group believed was poor treatment of the horses.

              Animals were set free and firebombs placed around the facility, according to a federal grand jury indictment.

She is also accused of participating in a 1998 attempted arson at the Medford, Oregon, offices of U.S. Forest Industries.

In Colorado, Rubin faces eight counts of arson for the 1998 firebombing of a Vail ski resort to stop an expansion that the group felt would encroach on a lynx habitat.

She is also charged with conspiracy, arson and using a destructive device in a 2001 fire at a Bureau of Land Management horse and burro facility near Susanville, California.

Ten of the other 12 defendants pleaded guilty to conspiracy and multiple counts of arson in 2007 in Eugene, Oregon, while two, Joseph Dibee and Josephine Overaker, remain at large.

              If convicted on all charges, Rubin could face a maximum penalty of hundreds of years in prison, although the other defendants were sentenced to between 37 to 156 months behind bars, Assistant U.S. Attorney Stephen Peifer said.

              Rubin can consent to have the charges from the three states consolidated and be tried in Oregon, or she can be tried in each jurisdiction, Peifer said.

              (Writing and additional reporting by Dan Whitcomb; Editing by Cynthia Johnston, Cynthia Osterman and Lisa Shumaker)

http://news.yahoo.com/environmental-activist-long-wanted-u-arson-attacks-surrenders-015817129.html

By | Healthy Living

A federal judge in Santa Monica ruled on Monday against a church group’s right to reopen a nativity scene display in a public park.

The ruling comes after a contentious battle between the church group and one prominent atheist in the area, Damon Vix. Just last year, Vix put up a banner with images of Santa Claus, Jesus, King Triton and the Devil that asked “what myths do you see?” right next to the church group’s nativity display. The large nativity display, which depicts 14 religious scenes, and Vix’s banner, were located in a public city park, not on the private grounds of the church.

The argument between the church group and the atheists last year resulted in a great deal of vandalism and upheaval in the community. This year, anticipating the same result, the city of Santa Monica barred both the church group and the secular groups from displaying anything at all.

In suing the city, the church had hoped to argue to the court that it should have the right to display in the park as part of its first amendment rights. The judge, however, solved the problem by ruling that any kind of unmanned display in the park is illegal, religious or otherwise.

Group Sues Over Calif. Nativity Display

‘It’s a sad, sad commentary on the attitudes of the day that a nearly 60-year-old Christmas tradition is now having to hunt for a home, something like our savior had to hunt for a place to be born because the world was not interested,” said Hunter Jameson, the head of the nonprofit Santa Monica Nativity Scene Committee in an interview with the Daily Mail.

Vix’s display.The argument between the church and Vix goes back nearly three years, when Vix placed a banner next to a booth in Palisades Park belonging to the church that depicted Jesus’ birth. The banner read: ‘Religions are all alike-founded on fables and mythologies,’ a quote from Thomas Jefferson. ( NOTE: This is a bold faced lie. There is no evidence that Jefferson or any other founding Father ever said this. What is all too common today, is for radical Nihilists to make up quotes and start these rumors in order to gain popularity for their quotes while simultaneously throwing our founders under the bus. This quote has also been blamed on Madison- Another falsehood. To the contrary, here is a letter from James Madison concerning religion:

Madison Letter to Bradford, September 25, 1773

William Bradford, having decided not to pursue the ministry as a career, wrote James Madison asking his advice on the choice between law, medicine, and merchandising. Madison’s response expressed disappointment in Bradford’s decision not to pursue the ministry, yet he remained supportive of any choice his friend would make. The advice that follows is an expression of humility and devotion to Christ. Madison seems to say that too often men in positions of great public influence fail to follow Christ in their public lives. According to Madison, no stronger testimony of Christ can be born than for those who have acquired much reputation and wealth to publicly declare their devotion to the cause of Christ.

 

RJ&L Religious Institutions Group

 

TO WILLIAM BRADFORD

 

September 25, 1773

I cannot however suppress [this] much of my advice on that head that you would always keep the Ministry obliquely in View whatever your profession be. This will lead you to cultivate an acquaintance occasionally with the most sublime of all Sciences and will qualify you for a change of public character if you should hereafter desire it. I have sometimes thought there could be no stronger testimony in favor of Religion or against temporal Enjoyments even the most rational and manly than for men who occupy the most honorable and gainful departments and are rising in reputation and wealth, publicly to declare their unsatisfactoriness by becoming fervent Advocates in the cause of Christ, & I wish you may give in your Evidence in this way. Such instances have seldom occurred, therefore they would be more striking and would be instead of a “Cloud of Witnesses.”

Letter from James Madison to William Bradford, Jr. (September 25, 1773), in 1 Papers of James Madison, at 96 (Robert A. Rutland and William M. E. Rachal eds., 1973).

http://churchstatelaw.com/historicalmaterials/8_7_1.asp )  

 

The other side read ‘Happy Solstice.’

http://shine.yahoo.com/healthy-living/christmas-canceled-santa-monica-park-205100437.html

By LISA LEFF  11-18-12

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — San Francisco may be getting ready to shed its image as a city where anything goes, including clothing.

City lawmakers are scheduled to vote Tuesday on an ordinance that would prohibit nudity in most public places, a blanket ban that represents an escalation of a two-year tiff between a devoted group of men who strut their stuff through the city’s famously gay Castro District and the supervisor who represents the area.

Supervisor Scott Wiener’s proposal would make it illegal for a person over the age of 5 to “expose his or her genitals, perineum or anal region on any public street, sidewalk, street median, parklet or plaza” or while using public transit.

A first offense would carry a maximum penalty of a $100 fine, but prosecutors would have authority to charge a third violation as a misdemeanor punishable by up to a $500 fine and a year in jail. Exemptions would be made for participants at permitted street fairs and parades, such as the city’s annual gay pride event and the Folsom Street Fair, which celebrates sadomasochism and other sexual subcultures.

Wiener said he resisted introducing the ordinance, but felt compelled to act after constituents complained about the naked men who gather in a small Castro plaza most days and sometimes walk the streets au naturel. He persuaded his colleagues last year to pass a law requiring a cloth to be placed between public seating and bare rears, yet the complaints have continued.

“I don’t think having some guys taking their clothes off and hanging out seven days a week at Castro and Market Street is really what San Francisco is about. I think it’s a caricature of what San Francisco is about,” Wiener said.

The proposed ban predictably has produced outrage, as well as a lawsuit. Last week, about two dozen people disrobed in front of City Hall and marched around the block to the amusement of gawking tourists and high school students on a field trip.

Stripped down to his sunglasses and hiking boots, McCray Winpsett, 37, said he understands the disgust of residents who would prefer not to see the body modifications and sex enhancement devices sported by some of the Castro nudists. But he thinks Wiener’s prohibition goes too far in undermining a tradition “that keeps San Francisco weird.”

“A few lewd exhibitionists are really ruining it for the rest of us,” he said. “It’s my time to come out now to present myself in a light and show what true nudity is all about so people can separate the difference between what a nudist is and an exhibitionist is.”

Because clothes are required to enter City Hall itself, demonstrators who try to disrobe at the Board of Supervisors meeting will be escorted out by sheriff’s deputies. That is what happened last Monday when Gypsy Taub removed her dress at a committee hearing where the ban had its first public hearing. Taub, a mother of two, said she got her start as a nudist while hosting a local cable program devoted to the theory that the government was behind the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks.

“I thought if I take my clothes off, I bet they are going to listen,” she said.

San Francisco lawyer Christina DiEdoardo filed a federal lawsuit last week on behalf of Taub and three men that seeks to block Weiner’s ordinance, if it passes and is signed by Mayor Edwin Lee. The complaint alleges that the ban infringes on the free speech rights of nudists and discriminates against those who cannot afford to obtain a city permit.

While it may seem strange that going out in the buff is not already illegal in San Francisco, most California cities do not have local nudity laws, Wiener said. Instead, they are adequately covered by state indecent exposure laws and societal mores. But indecent exposure technically only applies to lewd behavior, so city officials have had to craft a local solution, he said, adding that the cities of Berkeley and San Jose already have done so.

“I suspect there are a lot of places that maybe don’t currently have a local law (and) that if people started getting naked every day would quickly see a local law,” Wiener said.

http://news.yahoo.com/public-nudity-ban-eyed-fed-san-francisco-191355793.html

In order to make sure gays and lesbians are adequately represented on the judicial bench, the state of California is requiring all judges and justices to reveal their sexual orientation. The announcement was made in an internal memo sent to all California judges and justices.

 “[The Administrative Office of the Courts] is contacting all judges and justices to gather data on race/ethnicity, gender identification, and sexual orientation,” reads an email sent by Romunda Price of the Administrative Office of the Courts. A copy of Price’s memo was obtained by THE WEEKLY STANDARD.

“Providing complete and accurate aggregate demographic data is crucial to garnering continuing legislative support for securing critically needed judgeships,” Price writes.

The process of self-revealing one’s sexual orientation is an element of a now yearly process. “To ensure that the AOC reports accurate data and to avoid the need to ask all judges to provide this information on an annual basis, the questionnaire asks that names be provided. The AOC, however, will release only aggregate statistical information, by jurisdiction, as required by the Government Code and will not identify any specific justice or judge.”

Philip R. Carrizosa of the executive office of communications at the Judicial Council of California, the Administrative Office of the Courts, confirmed the authenticity of Price’s email regarding gender identification and sexual orientation to THE WEEKLY STANDARD.

“Yes, the e-mail is authentic and accurate,” Carrizosa confirmed in an email. “The original bill, which simply provided for 50 new judgeships, was amended in the Assembly in August 2006, to address concerns that Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger was not appointing enough women and minorities to the bench. In 2011, Senator Ellen Corbett expanded the reporting requirement to include gender identification and sexual orientation.”

California state senator Corbett, the Democratic majority leader from the San Francisco suburb San Leandro, could not immediately be reached for comment.

Price’s email also reveals that the Administration Office of the Courts (AOC) is asking for this personal information because of the new law. “For the past five years, the AOC has been required to collect and release aggregate demographic data relative to the ethnicity, race, and gender of justices and judges, by specific jurisdiction, on or before March 1 of each year. This requirement is associated with efforts to obtain new judgeships.”

But as a result of Corbett’s 2011 California bill, the office has “expanded the collection and release of aggregate demographic data to include gender identification and sexual orientation.” Therefore, Price explains, judges and justices must reveal their “sexual orientation,” in addition “to their race/ethnicity [and] gender identification.” Price parenthetically adds, “The AOC has gender data for all judges and justices.”

The AOC asked all recipients of the email to “please complete an online questionnaire by Friday, February 17, 2012.” Price made herself available if justices or judges preferred to provide the required information over the phone.

http://worth-reading-blog.blogspot.com/2012/02/ca-forces-judges-to-identify-sexual.html

2-27-12 AP) — At least two law enforcement officers were injured Monday during a clash with members of the Occupy movement who were at the state Capitol to counter a rally by a group protesting violence by blacks against whites in South Africa.

The clash erupted in the afternoon as California Highway Patrol and Sacramento police officers were escorting about 35 members of the South Africa Project to a parking garage after their protest outside the Capitol building.

About 50 members of Occupy Oakland began throwing cans and bottles at the South Africa group and at the officers. The Occupy members then clashed with the officers as people with the pro-whites group hurried into the parking garage.

“It was the activists across the street engaging the officers,” said CHP officer Sean Kennedy.

Two officers suffered minor injuries and were taken to a hospital. CHP Capt. Andy Menard said one officer who was struck in the face by an object was released from the hospital. The second officer was getting X-rays after apprehending a person suspected of throwing objects, Menard said.

Kennedy said the officer who was struck by an object was showing signs of possibly being affected by some type of chemical or pepper spray.

The CHP arrested three members of the Occupy group on suspicion of disobeying an officer.

The violence abated after a large contingent of law enforcement arrived at the scene, about a block from the Capitol.

The clash followed a tense afternoon during which peace officers kept the two groups separated outside the Capitol.

Members of the South Africa Project were trying to draw attention to what they said is black-on-white violence in that country. Organizers said similar demonstrations were planned in other states and elsewhere in California.

The group was mostly male and white, some with shaved heads and prominent tattoos.

Many of the Occupy protesters, some wearing hoods or masks, said they came from the San Francisco Bay area to counter what they called a racist group affiliated with former Louisiana Ku Klux Klan leader David Duke.

Occupy protesters had been cursing at the South Africa Project rally and at officers keeping the two sides apart.

Ryan Stark, 26, who said he is part of Occupy Sacramento, said he joined the protesters challenging the South Africa Project protesters because there needed to be a showdown.

“I didn’t throw anything … but these sorts of demonstrations need to happen,” he said, referring to the counter protest. “They do have the right to say what they want, but we’re not going to let it fly.”

The public was being kept away from the scene of the confrontation by police officers, who were not commenting to reporters. The city’s light rail system was stopped through the section of downtown where the clash occurred, and commuters were not allowed to leave the area.

Earlier in the day, a 17-year-old girl with Occupy Oakland was taken to Juvenile Hall after she became combative and assaulted an officer who asked her to pick up litter, Kennedy said.

http://news.yahoo.com/officers-hurt-occupy-clash-calif-capitol-234713894.html