Category: California

July 17th, 2017 by Staff Writer

Transgender activist and former Olympic gold medalist Caitlyn Jenner, formerly Bruce Jenner, told a radio host she is considering running for the U.S. Senate.

In an interview that aired on Sunday on WNYM-AM with John Catsimatidis, Jenner said she would “look for a senatorial run” and that she “like[s] the political side.”

“There’s a rumor you want to run for the United States Senate in California,” Catsimatidis said.

“How did it get back to you? … I have considered it. I like the political side of it,” Jenner said. “If there’s one thing, I work very closely with a group called the American Unity Fund, that their sole purpose, their mission statement is to get the Republican Party to do a better job when it comes to LGBT issues. That’s kind of my issue.”

“The political side of it has also always been very intriguing to me,” Jenner added. “Over the next six months or so, I got to find out where I can do a better job. Can I do a better job from the outside? Kind of working the perimeter of the political scene, being open to talking to anybody? Or, are you better from the inside? And we are in the process of determining that. But yeah, I would look for a senatorial run.”

Jenner’s “six month” timeline suggests if she does choose to run, it would likely be in 2018. Incumbent Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D), who has held the seat since 1992, is very popular in California, but it’s not clear whether Feinstein, who is 84 years old and the oldest member of the Senate, will run for reelection in 2018.

In January, Feinstein told a reporter she had not decided whether she would run in 2018, but she hinted she would like to if her health holds up, according to a report by the Los Angeles Times.

“What I’ve said is, as long as I feel I can get things done, and I can, then I think I benefit the people of my state as opposed to someone new coming in. That, I realize is in anyone’s mind is different, but you asked me what I think. If I can produce, and I can produce, and I can continue to produce, then I will continue to produce. If I believe I can’t, either by health or any other way, I won’t, but as long as I believe I can, I will,” Feinstein said. “Is that pretty clear?”

If Jenner does choose to run for the Senate and Feinstein also goes for reelection, it’s likely Jenner would run as a Republican. She has roots in the Republican Party, identifies as fiscally conservative, and it’s hard to believe anyone, even someone as high-profile as Jenner, could beat the entrenched Feinstein in a Democratic Party primary race.

In Jenner’s interview with Catsimatidis, she was very critical of the Democratic Party on the controversial issue of whether Democrats should align with Islamic groups that, according to Catsimatidis, promote Sharia law.

“Being a part of the [LGBT] community, and the Democrats mostly being the pro-Muslim, pro-Sharia law — how do the Democrats justify liking the LGBT community when they’re also pushing Sharia law?” Catsimatidis asked.

“I totally agree with you,” Jenner replied. “We’re talking about equality for everybody. Actually, this afternoon, I’m going to meet with [U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations] Nikki Haley, and we’re going to discuss the international ramifications of being in the LGBT community … Yes, around the world, it’s very hard to support Saudi Arabia — ”

“When they’d rather cut your head off,” Catsimatidis interjected.

“Yes, they’re not very friendly to our community,” Jenner replied. “And so, yeah, I think the Democrats in a lot of ways — although in the United States, the perception of the Democrats is they’re pro-equality, pro-LGBT and this and that. And the perception of the Republican Party is that they are all about rich white guys trying to make money. I would hope in the next generation — because it’ll take a generation for this to change — that we can change the perception of the Republican Party and make it the party of equality. If you can do that — if you can be socially aware of what’s going on but conservatively economically [sic], I mean, that’s the way to go.”

Jenner also said she believes in “limited government” and conservative economic policies.

“Give the people of this country the freedom to go out into the workforce without tons and tons and tons and tons of regulations, and all the things that go on,” Jenner said. “I believe in the people, not in massive government.”

Posted in Bruce Jenner, Caitlyn Jenner, California, Dianne Feinstein, LGBT, Politics

July 4th, 2017 by Staff Writer

The Sheriff of Orange County, California, said that the state’s new proposed “sanctuary state” bill is “very political,” “anti-Trump,” and would endanger residents. The sanctuary state bill would extend “sanctuary city” policies to apply to the entire state, and order all authorities to not cooperate with immigration officials seeking to capture illegal aliens.

“The public’s gonna be angry at the sheriff,” said Orange County Sheriff Sandra Hutchens. “And they should be. If I had the ability to protect them and I did not.”

“It’s very political, it’s anti-Trump,” she said of the sanctuary state policies. “For me, you have to think about what’s best for Californians, instead of making a statement.”

In February, Hutchens met with officials of the Trump administration to press for greater cooperation on immigration enforcement. She was praised by President Trump publicly for her efforts.

“I believe that this sanctuary state thing is really just absurd,” said Kern County Sheriff Donny Youngblood. “To give people sanctuary who are criminals.” Youngblood has asked county officials to declare Kern County a “law and order” county, not a “sanctuary” county.

“What I can tell ya is that there’s a greater cooperation between local law enforcement and their federal partners than there ever was,” he told CNN’s Kyung Lah.

“How do you view that greater cooperation?” Lah asked.

“Well I think it’s a very positive thing for our communities,” Youngblood replied. “From my standpoint, it’s just absolutely crazy to look at some of the bills that come out of there.”

Sheriffs side with Trump’s stance on sanctuary cities@KyungLahCNN has the report. https://t.co/uU7K19g1U4

— OutFrontCNN (@OutFrontCNN) July 4, 2017

State officials who are pushing the sanctuary state policies disagree. Advocates of the policies say they help reduce crime by encouraging all residents, legal and otherwise, to report crime instead of hiding from police.

“I don’t think it’s crazy at all because what I want to do is make sure we don’t increase crime,” said California State Senator Kevin De Leon (D-Los Angeles), the author of the bill. “You will increase crime if local police officers are actually acting as cogs of the Trump deportation machine.”

Lah said the sanctuary state law would be a message to residents of California as well as a message to Washington D.C. from the Democrats who control the state government.

“No where in my lifetime have I ever felt this real insecurity with the current president of the United States, who I believe is a very clear and present danger,” DeLeon concluded.

Senate Bill 54 would institute the “sanctuary state” policies, and is still being debated in the California state legislature.

Senate Bill 54 would prevent local law enforcement from helping federal Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents conduct their work.

Posted in California, California politics, Donald Trump, Illegal Immigration, Politics, President Donald Trump, sanctuary cities, Sanctuary Policy, Trump

May 2nd, 2017 by Staff Writer

Documents discovered by the Daily Caller have revealed that the Antifa group present at the Berkeley anti-conservative riots have connections to the pedophile group known as the North American Man/Boy Love Association.

The Antifa group known as the Coalition to Defend Affirmative Action, Integration & Immigrant Rights, and Fight for Equality By Any Means Necessary (BAMN), have led several anti-right riots, including the one against provocateur Milo Yiannopoulos, and were behind the plans to disrupt Ann Coulter’s Berkeley appearance before it was canceled.

According to the Daily Caller, BAMN’s parent organization, the Revolutionary Workers League in Detroit, has worked directly with NAMBLA. Additionally, BAMN’s co-founder, Eileen Scheff is a member of the Revolutionary Workers League, and an admitted member of NAMBLA. Reportedly, she describes NAMBLA as being the victum of a “witch-hunt.”

From Daily Caller:

Shanta Driver, described by the Capital Research Center as BAMN’s founder and co-chair, was affiliated with RWL as early as 1983, according to the Workers Vanguard, a communist publication. She also identified herself to the Los Angeles Times as an activist with RWL in late 1995 while protesting in Berkeley.

Driver argued before the Supreme Court on behalf of BAMN as recently as 2013.

Driver’s former law partner, Eileen Scheff — who has represented BAMN on multiple occasions, including at the Supreme Court — has been a self-described “member of NAMBLA.” The bulletin identified Scheff as an RWL member.

“As an activist in the legal and political struggle for lesbian/gay rights and for freedom of sexual expression, I am here to support NAMBLA and to demand that the witch-hunt against it must be stopped,” Scheff said at a 1991 NAMBLA conference. “The media and police are targeting NAMBLA because it stands for the rights of young people to have consensual sex with whomever they want.”

During her speech, Scheff called for “youth-controlled centers” where adults can have sex with children. She advocated for the women’s movement, the LGBT community, and progressives to unite behind NAMBLA’s cause.

 

The Daily Caller reportedly got their hands on internal NAMBLA documents thanks to anonymous internet sleuths who wished not to be identified as they feared retaliation from BAMN.

 

Posted in anti-Trump, Antifa, Berkeley, California, Crime, pedophile

April 22nd, 2017 by Staff Writer

Last week supporters of President Donald Trump clashed with members of the leftist group known as Antifa (short for anti-fascist) in Berkeley California. The meeting of the two groups soon erupted in violence, with Antifa using mace, M80’s, and various other weapons to attack Trump supporters.

According to Rebel Media’s Lauren Southern, Trump supporters were told by police not to bring any weapons, as police would protect them. Upon Anitfa’s arrival, the police retreated, leaving the Trump supporters to utilize whatever weapons they could get their hands on. Regardless, the Trump supporters routed Antifa after one of their members threw a smoke bomb, not realizing the wind was blowing in Antifa’s direction.

This loss prompted Antifa members to begin discussion about how they could better prepare themselves for future skirmishes against Trump supporters.

In the subreddit r/anarchism, one Anitfa member acknowledged the loss, and suggested that members find a way to become “better organized and better trained.” Another member agreed, saying that too many of their “comrades” went into battle “no combat training,” and suggested they start “seminars or something of that sort.”

This conversation continued, with suggestions for better equipment such as helmets and padding over the typical hoodie and facemask being worn. Another person on this r/anarchism thread suggested they rally behind a leader who can organize and direct actions. The conversation soon turned to weapons, however, and one member in particular suggested they bring firearms.

Not getting disarmed is a big part of the problem, yes, but we need more than flags and bats. We need to take notes from the John Brown Gun Club and get firearms and training. I know getting firearms in states and cities we have a presence in is usually a hassle, but even handguns would help. It would certainly put a psychological element in while holding fash back. Who do you think a fascist is more afraid of? People with only flags and bats, or people with flags, bats, and guns?”

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Antifa is known for their willingness to use violence and intimidation to silence political, and ideological opponents. An Antifa chapter at Clemson University, known as “Upstate Antifa” have made an effort to justify the violence and destruction committed against what they loosely base as “Nazis” and “fascists.”

Recently, Antifa members inadvertently turned on one of their own after his mask was forcibly removed, spraying him with pepper spray, and hitting him with a skateboard as they retreated from pro-Trump marchers.

Another instance of violence occurred while Trump supporters and Antifa were engaging in trash talk. One of Antifa’s members used a bike lock to strike a Trump supporter in the head without warning, causing him to bleed a good deal from his scalp.

Posted in Antifa, Berkeley, California, Crime, Trump Supporters

April 18th, 2017 by Staff Writer

California law enforcement policies are spurring heavy debate as some are pointing to plummeting arrests and early prison release for a spike in crime.

Fox News reported that many are blaming liberal law enforcement policies for the increase in crime, including early prison release. The program is supposed to decrease the number of persons imprisoned while keeping people safe, but critics say it does far too much of the former and does little if any of the latter.

Prosecutors and police have an explanation — a series of prison reform measures, which reduce the state prison population by 20,000 inmates by releasing non-violent offenders early and making some felonies misdemeanors. One law, Assembly Bill 109, transferred 60,000 felony parole violators a year from state prison to county control. The measure saved California $100 million but some argue it was not without casualties.

Arrests in California are also plummeting precipitously, but the cause is much more murky than for imprisonments.

According to the Los Angeles Times, arrests by the Los Angeles Police Department fell by 25% from 2013 to 2015. Similar decreases were noted throughout the state, but it is unclear why this is the trend. The California attorney general’s office reported that police arrests decreased from 1.5 million in 2006 to 1.1 million in 2015, a 26% drop over 9 years. That’s also the lowest arrests recorded in almost 50 years.

Some point to advanced police policies that prevent crime instead of waiting to arrest perpetrators after the fact. Others say that liberal law enforcement policies as well as a national debate on police tactics has driven morale down.

But crime in California is on the rise, despite the promise of liberal law enforcement policies to decrease the “cycle” of crime. A report from the Public Policy Institute of California for 2015 shows that violent crime rose by 8.4%, property crime was up by 6.6%, both violent crime and property crime increased in a majority of counties. They note, however, that over the longterm, crime is at historical lows.

In Los Angeles, the drop in arrests comes amid a persistent increase in crime, which began in 2014. LAPD Chief Charlie Beck noted that arrests for the most serious crimes have risen along with the numbers of those offenses, while the decrease comes largely from narcotics arrests.

Whittier Police Chief  Jeff Piper criticized the policies after one of his officers was killed by a criminal released early. “You’re passing these propositions, you’re creating these laws that are raising crime. It’s not good for our community and it’s not good for our officers.”

Whittier Police Chief Jeff Piper spoke out Monday night against propositions recently passed in California after one of his officers was killed in the line of duty by a parolee. "We need to wake up. Enough is enough! You're passing these propositions, you're creating these laws that is raising crime," he said. California voters passed propositions 47 and 57. Prop 47 stopped some non-violent criminals from going into the prison system, while Prop 57 accelerates their departure from the system.

Law enforcement advocates note that imprisonment has increased while crime has decreased overall in the United States.

Posted in California, law enforcement, Police, Police Abuse, Politics

April 16th, 2017 by Staff Writer

The Secret Service is reportedly investigating a liberal California professor who tweeted in February that President Donald Trump “must hang,” alleging the president is a threat to American democracy.

As TheBlaze reported, Fresno State university history professor Lars Maischak ignited a firestorm after his tweets were discovered, many of which called for Trump and other Republicans to be assassinated.

“To save American democracy, Trump must hang. The sooner and the higher, the better,” Maischak tweeted about Trump in February.

Now, according to Fresno State president Joseph Castro, federal agents are investigating Maischak for those comments. Castro told local newspaper the Fresno Bee that he has been in “regular” contact with officials from the Secret Service, Homeland Security and FBI since Maischak’s comments went nationwide last weekend.

More from Law Newz:

It’s unclear what specific law that the feds think Maischak, a German-born professor of United States and European history, may have broken. A Class E felony, threatening the president of the United States, is one option.

Regardless, prosecutors will likely face an uphill battle if this ever gets to official charges. Courts tend to interpret the First Amendment pretty broadly even in situations like this. For example, lawyers on both sides will likely have to review the 1969 Supreme Court case Watts v. United States. Justices overturned the conviction of a man who allegedly threatened President Lyndon B. Johnson at a rally: “I am not going [to Vietnam]. If they ever make me carry a rifle the first man I want to get in my sights is L.B.J.””

Justices believed that this was “crude political hyperbole which, in light of its context and conditional nature, did not constitute a knowing and willful threat against the President” in terms of federal statue.

In a written statement given to the Bee earlier this week, Maischek apologized for his tweets and said that he has since deleted his Twitter account.

“I apologize for the tone and content of my statements made on Twitter. I ask forgiveness of those who felt threatened or offended by them,” he wrote. “It was never my intent to harm anyone, nor to encourage others to harm anyone.”

“My statements each represent the end point of a dark train of thought triggered by my despair over the actions of the present U.S. government,” the professor explained.

Still, Maischek accused Castro of “allowing himself to be instrumentalized for a right-wing smear campaign.”

Fresno State officials say they are carrying out their own investigation into Maischek and his comments. Castro says his number one goal is to ensure the safety of his students and faculty.

Posted in California, Education, Secret Service

April 5th, 2017 by Staff Writer

A California high school in an affluent neighborhood has removed all the mirrors from the girls’ bathroom and replaced them with signs of positive affirmation instead.

Laguna Hills High School made the move after a student belonging to the “Kindness Club” proposed the idea as a way to encourage unity. Seventeen-year-old Sabrina Astle told ABC News that she “wanted to find a way to make a difference” through the Kindness Club on campus.

“This is why I started making the posters in the first place,” Astle said.

Somewhere along the way, the decision was made to not only hang the posters in the bathroom, but get rid of the mirrors altogether. The school held a “What If Week” that was meant to bring the students together. Astle explained, “Each day has a specific message. The message for Thursday, March 23, 2017, was ‘What if we showed more love?’”

“I felt that this would be a good time to hang the signs. I put the signs in the bathroom the night before so students would see them throughout the next day,” Astle said.

Several questions may come to mind, including but not limited to: do mirrors still exist in the boys’ bathroom? What should a female student do if she has food in her teeth? What about all of the obvious reasons to use a mirror that don’t involve vanity?

It appears the message of positivity and acceptance supersedes any of these logical questions, as the school’s activities director Chelsea Maxwell claimed the response was so positive that they decided to leave the signs up indefinitely. It is unclear why the signs could not be displayed around the mirror, or why they had to appear in the bathroom in place of the mirror as opposed to any of the other rooms in the school.

Astle added, “The signs have helped people remember that everyone is beautiful, everyone is important, everyone is good enough and everyone should be treated equally. I did this because I am passionate about the fact that everyone is important and everyone needs to be cared for.”

A request for comment from TheBlaze were not immediately returned.

 

Posted in California, Campus, Feminism

March 28th, 2017 by Staff Writer

According to KABC-TV Walter Reed Middle School in North Hollywood is facing layoffs and increased class sizes due to budget cuts. The reason for the budget cuts?

Too much of the student body is white.

The Los Angeles Unified School District provides increased funding for schools so long as that school has a white attendance of only 30 percent. According to a letter from the district to the parents, the school’s white population had been above that level for the past couple of years.

The rule itself is due to an imposition from a court ruling dating all the way back to 1970 that was originally designed to prohibit segregation in schools. Now, it effectively punishes schools for having too many white students.

“A school qualifies for PHBAO status if 70 percent or more of its students who live within the school’s attendance boundary are identified as ‘Hispanic, Black, Asian, or non-Anglo,’” said Local District Northeast Superintendent Linda Del Cueto in a letter to parents. “Under a court-ordered integration program that has been in place since 1978, PHBAO schools qualify for smaller class sizes and additional positions. When a school no longer qualifies for PHBAO status, fewer positions are funded.”

In order to stop the bleeding, the school is going to try to change the spending formula to one based on the number of students. There will still be cuts to the budget, but at least some of the school’s jobs will be saved. Regardless, class sizes are still set to grow.

“In order to maintain continuity of instructional services to students and families within demographic and budgetary realities, the District researched alternative funding models and has identified Reed as a ‘per-pupil spending model’ school,” wrote Del Cueto. “Under this model, Reed will retain more teachers than originally anticipated and discussed at the March 15, 2017 community meeting.

“Thankfully we’re going to keep our librarian. We’re going to keep our nurse, but we may lose a few teachers, but not as many as we once thought,” said Sheila Edmiston, a parent of one of the students.

Posted in Budget, California, Campus, Los Angeles, public school, Racism, White Privilege

March 26th, 2017 by Staff Writer

Lucy, the 17-year-old founder of Kittenfeed.com, a website that allows users to simulate scratching President Donald Trump’s face with kitten paws, has claimed Trump’s lawyers are demanding she shut the operation down. However, new reports suggest Lucy made the whole story up, but many media outlets have failed or are refusing to correct their stories.

Kittenfeed.com allows users to knock pictures of Trump’s head around a screen using kitten paws, all to the tune of Rick Astley’s “Never Gonna Give You Up.” With each hit, bloody markings appear on the pictures of Trump.

Lucy told The Hollywood Reporter in March Kittenfeed.com was designed to help her find jobs working as a developer. According to a report by Fox News, the website first launched in February under the domain Trumpscratch.com.

Lucy told The Hollywood Reporter upon learning of the website, the Trump Organization demanded Lucy shut the website down. According to Lucy, Trump’s lawyers sent her a cease-and-desist letter on March 1. The alleged letter claims the website infringes on Trump’s trademark.

The story was picked up by numerous prominent media outlets, including Newsweek, Fox News, and the International Business Times. However, the Trump Organization’s chief lawyer is categorically denying any such letter was ever sent.

“It’s a fake,” said Alan Garten, legal counsel for the Trump Organization, to The Hollywood Reporter. “This letter did not come from us.”

The Hollywood Reporter issued a retraction of the story on Thursday, stating on its site, “The Hollywood Reporter has significant doubts about the authenticity of the cease-and-desist letter that was initially provided and is retracting the below article.”

Despite The Hollywood Reporter’s retraction, numerous websites are continuing to run the story as though it’s true. Incredibly, Newsweek even acknowledged Garten’s letter, but it continues to report the story, saying, “Neither the letter or the denial are particularly surprising. Yes, Donald Trump is the president of the United States, but just over two months into his administration, such distractions have become routine.”

Trump, going all the way back to the early stages of his presidential campaign, has repeatedly accused the media of bias, and he, high-ranking members of his staff and his high-profile supporters have referred to mainstream media outlets as “fake news” on numerous occasions, including as recently as Thursday.

Just watched the totally biased and fake news reports of the so-called Russia story on NBC and ABC. Such dishonesty!

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 23, 2017

In this case, at least, they appear to be right.

Posted in California, Donald Trump, fake news, Media, Newsweek

March 26th, 2017 by Staff Writer

At least one person was arrested after violence broke out at a pro-Trump rally in Huntington Beach, California, on Saturday, where counter-protesters allegedly pepper strayed and attacked pro-Trump demonstrators.

According to the Orange County Register, fights broke out when a crowd of pro-Trump demonstrators wearing red “Make America Great Again” hats and waving American flags passed a group of about 40 anti-Trump counter-protesters.

From the Register:

In no time, people were shoving, pushing others to the ground and throwing punches.

One protester peppered sprayed a Trump supporter, and a crowd broke off and ran into a parking lot, where a person was beaten.

One of the counter-protesters told the newspaper that an anti-Trump protester only used pepper spray in defense, but other accounts dispute that. The Los Angeles Times reports that the man with the pepper spray, dressed in black with a mask, attacked first after which pro-Trump demonstrators fought back by tackling, punching and kicking the man.

Social media captured the confrontations:

Violence erupting at Trump rally when pro and anti Trump protestors collide. #MAGAMARCH in Huntington Beach pic.twitter.com/MDxGhX2GoO

— Cindy Carcamo (@theCindyCarcamo) March 25, 2017

Man in black mask chased onto PCH, marchers said he pepper sprayed them #MAGAMARCH in #HuntingtonBeach pic.twitter.com/ZPNWJaVYol

— Ben Brazil (@benbrazilpilot) March 25, 2017

Absolute unrest at the #MAGAmarch, anti-Trump protestors defending themselves while being ganged up on by Trump supporters. pic.twitter.com/7c8xu0J7N3

— budo (@hectorarzula) March 25, 2017

Tasers, insults, and shoves from the #MAGAmarch as they push through the anti-Trump protest. pic.twitter.com/pLx2OoOD7a

— budo (@hectorarzula) March 25, 2017

Including the moment officers from the California Highway Patrol detained one of the counter-protesters who assaulted a pro-Trump demonstrator:

Violence erupting at Trump rally when pro and anti Trump protestors collide. #MAGAMARCH in Huntington Beach pic.twitter.com/vaLRWGotEp

— Cindy Carcamo (@theCindyCarcamo) March 25, 2017

Anti-Trump protestor arrested by the police as unrest continues at the #MAGAmarch pic.twitter.com/Rm5M98YPua

— budo (@hectorarzula) March 25, 2017

Watch more video captured from the chaotic scene. (Warning: Viewer discretion is advised for crude language.):

According to the Register, the “Make America Great Again” rally at Bolsa Chica State Beach drew about 1,000 demonstrators, most of them pro-Trump while just several dozen were anti-Trump.

Event organizers said they were gathering on the beach to show support for Trump, law enforcement and military veterans. The event coincided with about 40 other similar demonstrations nationwide on Saturday.

Posted in Business, California, Donald Trump, Protests, watch

March 26th, 2017 by Staff Writer

Despite grim warnings issued by climate change alarmists over the past few years, California’s drought appears to be ending in spectacular fashion, with the state having experienced relatively high amounts of precipitation during the most recent winter.

According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, a federal government agency, “For the first time since 2011, California’s drought is significantly weakening—a result of one of the wettest winters on record. California has experienced record levels of precipitation this winter, and unlike last winter, cooler temperatures over the 2016–2017 winter season have enabled the precipitation to build up snowpack (the total accumulated snow and ice on the ground).”

The EIA reported some of the biggest changes have occurred in the Sierra Nevada Mountains.

“Snowpack levels have increased significantly from the near-zero levels measured in the Sierra Nevada Mountains in April 2015,” said EIA’s report. “As of March 21, 2017, the California Department of Water Resources reported that statewide snowpack was 158% of normal for that date. A more important metric when considering snowpack is the snow water equivalent (SWE)—the total amount of water contained within the snowpack. California’s SWE levels have noticeably increased this year, and as of March 21, the California Department of Water Resources reported that the statewide snow water equivalent was also 158% of average for that date.”

In 2015, climate change researchers at the University of Arizona claimed their findings revealed the “extreme character” of the Sierra Nevada snowpack and the changing nature of California winters.

“Our study really points to the extreme character of the 2014-15 winter,” said Valerie Trouet, a professor at the University of Arizona’s Laboratory of Tree-Ring Research. “This is not just unprecedented over 80 years—it’s unprecedented over 500 years.”

“We should be prepared for this type of snow drought to occur much more frequently because of rising temperatures,” Trouet said. “Anthropogenic warming is making the drought more severe.”

Earlier in March, researchers at UCLA released a study predicting the end of snow in California by the year 2100, a problem it says will be caused by “human-induced climate change.”

According to a press release issued by the university: “The Sierra Nevada snowpack, which provides 60 percent of the state’s water via a vast network of dams and reservoirs, has already been diminished by human-induced climate change and if emissions levels aren’t reduced, the snowpack could largely disappear during droughts, according to findings in the study published today in the journal Geophysical Research Letters.”

(H/T: Watts Up With That?)

Posted in California, Climate Change, Environment, University of California

March 3rd, 2017 by Staff Writer

A leader of the Trans-Pecos pipeline protest in West Texas has been revealed to be a criminal with an excessively long and very disturbing rap sheet, according to The Houston Chronicle.

Inspired by the Dakota Access Pipeline protests, Sierra Club affiliate Peter Hefflin has been leading a protest in Presido County Texas against the Trans-Pecos pipeline. Hefflin has helped establish the protest camp by which activists have been attempting to stop the pipeline’s construction.

However, Presido County Sheriff’s Deputy Angel Velasquez had gotten a tip off about Hefflin’s true identity. As Hefflin waited for his wife — a fellow protester — to be released from jail, Hefflin was asked to show his ID. He presented Velasquez with a social security card that later came back as fake.

That Sunday, Velasquez, accompanied by several other deputies and Sheriff Danny Dominguez, went to arrest Hefflin. Protesters surrounded Hefflin in an attempt to protect him, and reportedly jabbed their fingers at Velasquez, demanding to see a warrant. Undetered, however, Velasquez loaded Hefflin into the truck and left.

“They bark like little Chihuahua dogs,” said Dominguez. “But they don’t got no bite.”

After fingerprinting Hefflin, it was revealed that they actually had a man by the name of Pedro Rabago Gutierrez, a wanted criminal in California with major convictions.

Gutierrez, 56, has a long criminal history, according to the California Department of Corrections. In 1984, he was sentenced to nine years for forcible rape, seven years for forcible oral sex and three years for possession of a controlled substance with an intent to sell, the California Department of Corrections said. He served the sentences concurrently and got out of prison about six years later, released on parole.

Between 1990 and 1997, he was reimprisoned at least five times for parole violations, according to corrections records, and in 1998, was convicted of having sex with a minor under 18. He went back to jail, but gained parole again in April of 2002. The California Department of Corrections never heard from him again.

Gutierrez is being held at Presido County Jail, where he is set to be returned to California.

While his fellow protesters are shocked, they say this will not deter them from their continued efforts to block the pipeline. Lori Glover, co-founder of the anti-pipeline protest group Defend Big Bend, said that Gutierrez’s treatment by the law has been “cruel and vengeful.”

“He served his time, made a new start,” Glover said. “I was unaware of any of this past history. Despite that, I feel very privileged to have worked with Pete Hefflin.”

Lately, pipeline protests have gotten a very bad rap after the Dakota Access Pipeline protesters had revealed to have destroyed acres of sensitive wildlife habitat to set up their camp where they left mountains of trash, toxic to the environment they said they were protecting. Protesters had also abandoned pets at the camp after their departure, leaving them to sickness and frostbite.

Posted in California, Crime, Dakota Access Pipeline, Protests, Texas, Trans-Pecos Pipeline

February 13th, 2017 by Staff Writer

OROVILLE, Calif. (AP) — Officials have ordered residents near one of the nation’s biggest dams to evacuate the area, saying a “hazardous situation is developing” after an emergency spillway severely eroded.

EMERGENCY EVACUATION: Auxiliary spillway at Oroville Dam predicted to fail within the next hour. Oroville residents evacuate northward.

— CA – DWR (@CA_DWR) February 13, 2017

The emergency spillway of the Oroville Dam in Northern California could fail within an hour unleashing uncontrolled flood waters from Lake Oroville, the California Department of Water Resources said on Sunday afternoon.

#OrovilleSpillway #OrovilleDam just now pic.twitter.com/boWzCPoi1L

— Judy Brandt (@judywbrandt) February 13, 2017

WATCH: Drone footage of the emergency spillway in Oroville. #OrovilleDam #OrovilleSpillway pic.twitter.com/CEDN1t0dj8

— KRCR News Channel 7 (@KRCR7) February 11, 2017

People in downstream areas need to leave the area immediately, the department said.

Officials earlier Sunday stressed the dam was structurally sound and said there was no threat to the public.

Residents of Oroville, a town of 16,000 people, should head north toward Chico, and other cities should follow orders from their local law enforcement agencies, the Butte County Sheriff’s office said.

The Yuba County Office of Emergency Services asked residents in the valley floor, including Marysville, a city of 12,000 people, to evacuate and take routes to the east, south, or west and avoid traveling north toward Oroville.

Traffic builds along HWY 162 as the town of Oroville is being evacuated #OroSpillway #OrovilleDam pic.twitter.com/6iLhnpX3y3

— Emily Bertolino (@EmilyBertolino) February 13, 2017

The California Department of Water Resources said it is releasing as much as 100,000 cubic feet per second from the main, heavily damaged spillway to try to drain the lake.

Department Kevin Dossey tells the Sacramento Bee the emergency spillway was rated to handle 250,000 cubic feet per second, but it began to show weakness Sunday at a small fraction of that. Flows through the spillway peaked at 12,600 cubic feet per second at 1 a.m. Sunday and were down to 8,000 cubic feet per second by midday.

Water began flowing over the emergency spillway at the Oroville Dam in Northern California on Saturday for the first time in its nearly 50-year history after heavy rainfall.

In this Saturday, Feb. 11, 2017, water flows down Oroville Dam's main spillway near Oroville, Calif. Officials have ordered residents near the Oroville Dam in Northern California to evacuate the area Sunday, Feb. 12, saying a "hazardous situation is developing" after an emergency spillway severely eroded. (AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli)
In this Saturday, Feb. 11, 2017, water flows down Oroville Dam’s main spillway near Oroville, Calif. Officials have ordered residents near the Oroville Dam in Northern California to evacuate the area Sunday, Feb. 12, saying a “hazardous situation is developing” after an emergency spillway severely eroded. (AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli)

Unexpected erosion chewed through the main spillway earlier this week, sending chunks of concrete flying and creating a 200-foot-long, 30-foot-deep hole that continues growing. Engineers don’t know what caused the cave-in, but Chris Orrock, a spokesman for the state Department of Water Resources, said it appears the dam’s main spillway has stopped crumbling even though it’s being used for water releases.

About 150 miles northeast of San Francisco, Lake Oroville is one of California’s largest man-made lakes, and the 770-foot-tall Oroville Dam is the nation’s tallest. The lake is a central piece of California’s government-run water delivery network, supplying water for agriculture in the Central Valley and residents and businesses in Southern California.

Editor’s note: Story by the Associated Press; curated by Chris Enloe.

Posted in California, US, Weather

February 6th, 2017 by Staff Writer

President Donald Trump won’t rule out the possibility of defunding the entire state of California if it declares statewide sanctuary status for illegal immigrants.

A small group of lawmakers in California, the largest state by population, voted last week in favor of making the entire state a safe haven for illegal immigrants. The state’s Senate Public Safety Committee voted 5-2 along party lines to approve the measure, the Associated Press reported. Democrats on the committee supported the bill while Republicans opposed it.

The California bill in question, known as SB 54, was referred Tuesday to the Senate Appropriations Committee.

Los Angeles, San Francisco, Oakland and Sacramento have all declared themselves to be sanctuary cities, meaning that local law enforcement won’t arrest or detain individuals solely for being in the country illegally, KQED-TV reported. The new effort originating in the California State Senate would extend sanctuary status to every city in the state, meaning that the estimated 2.3 million illegal immigrants currently living in California would be shielded from deportation.

Fox News host Bill O’Reilly asked Trump for his thoughts about the proposed law during an exclusive pre-Super Bowl interview Sunday.

“I think it’s ridiculous — sanctuary cities. As you know I’m very much opposed to sanctuary cities. They breed crime. There’s a lot of problems,” Trump said.

“If we have to we’ll defund. We give tremendous amounts of money to California. California in many ways is out of control. Obviously the voters agree. Otherwise they wouldn’t have voted for me,” the president added.

California voted for Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton over Trump by more than 4.2 million votes in last year’s presidential election, the New York Times reported.

“So defunding is your weapon of choice —” O’Reilly followed up.

“Well, it’s a weapon. I don’t want to defund a state or a city,” Trump replied.

“But you’re willing to do it?” O’Reilly asked again.

“I don’t want to defund anybody. I want to give them the money they need to properly operate as a city or state. If they’re going to have sanctuary cities, we may have to do that. Certainly, that would be a weapon,” Trump said.

Trump’s comment came just days after he issued an executive order saying that he would “employ all lawful means” to enforce existing immigration laws in sanctuary cities, even if that meant withdrawing federal funds.

California receives about $1.2 billion per year from the federal government. The state applies the money toward services such as housing, health and social services and homeless aid, the AP reported.

Posted in California, Donald Trump, Illegal Immigration, Politics, Video, watch

January 28th, 2017 by Staff Writer

According to the LA Times, two California state senators, both Democrats, are seeking to expand the number of genders officially available for birth certificates, and even drivers licenses.

Toni Atkins (D-San Diego) and Scott Wiener (D-San Francisco) want official documents to now include the option of “non-binary,” in an effort to “keep California at the forefront of LGBTQ civil rights.”

The bill, SB 179, also would streamline the process for people to change their gender on such documents. It would remove the requirement that an individual obtain a sworn statement from a physician certifying medical treatment for gender transition. It also would create a process for people younger than 18 to apply for a change of gender on their birth certificate.

In other words, if a child or teen decides he or she would rather identify as something else, they would be able to alter their information in order to suit the gender they feel more like.

Wiener has stated that he feels this puts California on the opposite side of states like North Carolina who passed a bill that would not allow publicly owned restrooms to be open to transgender individuals identifying as the opposite sex, stating that “California needs to go in the opposite direction and embrace the trans community and support the trans community and modernize these laws.”

Posted in California, Politics, Transgender

January 13th, 2017 by Staff Writer

Newly elected Senator Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) demanded Kansas Republican Rep. Mike Pompeo answer to the threat of climate change during his questioning. Pompeo is President-elect Donald Trump’s pick for CIA Director, and he appeared confounded that Harris was asking him about the catastrophic weather prediction many Republicans consider a hoax.

Her question began by quoting another CIA Director:

CIA Director Brennan who spent a 25-year career at the CIA an an analyst, a senior manager, a station chief in the field, has said that, “when CIA analysts look for deeper causes of rising instability in the world, one of the cause those CIA analysts see is the impact of climate change. Do you have any reason to doubt the assessment of these CIA analysts?

Pompeo responded:

Senator Harris, I haven’t had a change to read those materials with respect to climate change. I do know the agency’s role there. Its role is to collect foreign intelligence, to understand threats to the world, that would certainly include threats from poor governance, regional instability, threats from all sources and deliver that information to policy makers, and to the extent that changes in climactic activity are a part of that foreign intelligence collection task, we will deliver that information to you all and to the president.

But Harris was not dissuaded, and brought up with his past statement on the issue:

In the past you have questioned the scientific consensus on climate change. Nevertheless, according to NASA, multiple studies published in peer-reviewed scientific journals show that 97% or more of actively published climate scientists agree that climate warming trends over the past century are extremely likely due to human activities. In addition most of the leading scientific organizations worldwide have issued public statements endorsing this position. Do you have any reason to doubt NASA’s findings?

Pompeo responded politely but declined to go into detail about it:

Senator, I’ve actually spoken to this in my political life some. My commentary most all been directed to ensuring that the policies that America put in place actually achieve the objective ensuring that we didn’t have catastrophic harm that resulted from change in climate. I continue to hold that view. I frankly, as the director of CIA, would today prefer not to get into the details of climate debate and science. My role is going to be so different and unique from that. It is going to be to work alongside warriors keeping Americans safe, so I stand by the things that I’ve said previously with respect to that issue.

Harris pressed again on the issue a third time, and he refused to answer more fully but agreed to have a “follow up conversation” about climate change at a later date.

Senator @kamalaharris (D-CA) asks #CIA Director Nominee Rep. Mike #Pompeo about #ClimateChange. pic.twitter.com/q7Owx39D1Q

— CSPAN (@cspan) January 12, 2017

President-elect Donald Trump has said in the past that climate change was invented by the Chinese to undermine America, but later met with chief climate change preacher Al Gore at Trump Towers, leaving his detractors mystified as to what they can expect from his administration. According to some reports, Trump has also sought avenues to withdraw from the Paris Agreement, a treaty between nations promising to address the climate change issue.

Pompeo, under questioning by the other California Senator, Barbara Boxer, said that he would refuse an order by Trump to perform acts of enhanced interrogation that are considered to be torture.

Posted in California, CIA, Climate Change, Donald Trump, Global Warming, Politics, Trump, Trump administration

January 13th, 2017 by Staff Writer

Newly elected Senator Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) demanded Kansas Republican Rep. Mike Pompeo answer to the threat of climate change during his questioning. Pompeo is President-elect Donald Trump’s pick for CIA Director, and he appeared confounded that Harris was asking him about the catastrophic weather prediction many Republicans consider a hoax.

Her question began by quoting another CIA Director:

CIA Director Brennan who spent a 25-year career at the CIA an an analyst, a senior manager, a station chief in the field, has said that, “when CIA analysts look for deeper causes of rising instability in the world, one of the cause those CIA analysts see is the impact of climate change. Do you have any reason to doubt the assessment of these CIA analysts?

Pompeo responded:

Senator Harris, I haven’t had a change to read those materials with respect to climate change. I do know the agency’s role there. Its role is to collect foreign intelligence, to understand threats to the world, that would certainly include threats from poor governance, regional instability, threats from all sources and deliver that information to policy makers, and to the extent that changes in climactic activity are a part of that foreign intelligence collection task, we will deliver that information to you all and to the president.

But Harris was not dissuaded, and brought up with his past statement on the issue:

In the past you have questioned the scientific consensus on climate change. Nevertheless, according to NASA, multiple studies published in peer-reviewed scientific journals show that 97% or more of actively published climate scientists agree that climate warming trends over the past century are extremely likely due to human activities. In addition most of the leading scientific organizations worldwide have issued public statements endorsing this position. Do you have any reason to doubt NASA’s findings?

Pompeo responded politely but declined to go into detail about it:

Senator, I’ve actually spoken to this in my political life some. My commentary most all been directed to ensuring that the policies that America put in place actually achieve the objective ensuring that we didn’t have catastrophic harm that resulted from change in climate. I continue to hold that view. I frankly, as the director of CIA, would today prefer not to get into the details of climate debate and science. My role is going to be so different and unique from that. It is going to be to work alongside warriors keeping Americans safe, so I stand by the things that I’ve said previously with respect to that issue.

Harris pressed again on the issue a third time, and he refused to answer more fully but agreed to have a “follow up conversation” about climate change at a later date.

Senator @kamalaharris (D-CA) asks #CIA Director Nominee Rep. Mike #Pompeo about #ClimateChange. pic.twitter.com/q7Owx39D1Q

— CSPAN (@cspan) January 12, 2017

President-elect Donald Trump has said in the past that climate change was invented by the Chinese to undermine America, but later met with chief climate change preacher Al Gore at Trump Towers, leaving his detractors mystified as to what they can expect from his administration. According to some reports, Trump has also sought avenues to withdraw from the Paris Agreement, a treaty between nations promising to address the climate change issue.

Pompeo, under questioning by the other California Senator, Barbara Boxer, said that he would refuse an order by Trump to perform acts of enhanced interrogation that are considered to be torture.

Posted in California, CIA, Climate Change, Donald Trump, Global Warming, Politics, Trump, Trump administration

December 28th, 2016 by Staff Writer

Last week, TheBlaze reported that the state of California had seen an uptick in gun sales. It would appear that this trend continued to see spikes in sales.

After San Bernardino, California lawmakers were quick to use the tragedy in order to push further restrictions on firearms within the state. Among the six bills signed into law by Governor Jerry Brown, is a law that requires semi-automatic rifles with “evil features” to be registered upon purchase.

Naturally, even in the Smurf-blue state of California, Americans are looking to get their firearms purchased before the laws kick in, and California starts keeping track of how they practice their Second Amendment right. Chris Ostrom who manages Pacific Outfitters, a gun store in California, has been sold out of many an accessory, or gun part for weeks.

The Press Democrat has more:

The new gun controls reclassified semiautomatic rifles that have what are called “evil features” as assault weapons, which have been banned in California since 1989. The features added to the prohibited list include a protruding or forward pistol grip, a thumbhole stock, a folding stock or a flash suppressor.

The law was meant to address what’s often called the “bullet button” loophole developed as a workaround to an earlier ban of detachable magazines. The bullet button enables a shooter to use a bullet or small tool to depress a button to eject spent magazines. There’s a way gun owners can keep their so-called “evil features,” but it’s an unpopular one, according to Ostrom and others.

California residents can register the assault weapon with the state, which costs $15. Ostrom said the gun cannot be sold or gifted and must be destroyed if a person no longer wishes to have it or when the owner dies.

There are ways around it, but they aren’t at all helpful.

The first method uses what’s called an AR Mag Lock, a fixed magazine lock-and-release kit that makes the bullet button inoperable and forces the shooter to partly disassemble the gun — by opening the receiver — to reload a magazine.

Another option is to replace the pistol grip with a fixed stock, which so far has been the more popular option, said Ostrom. He outfitted his AR-10 with a fixed stock and uses it as a display in the store to show customers what to do. The change does impact comfort and accuracy, he said.

“What the state calls an ‘evil feature’ is nothing more than ergonomics,” Ostrom said.

However, as seen during the Obama administration, whenever a leftist politician so much as looks askance in the general direction of a firearm, American citizens rush to purchase them. California is no different. Reports indicate that in the month of December alone, nearly 1 million firearms have been sold in California. Compare this to 700,000 guns sold in all of 2015.

The sale of semi-automatic rifles as also jumped, with 364,643 sold by December 9th.

California’s hike in gun purchases follows a national trend. Gun sales have hit record highs for reasons ranging from President Barack Obama’s negative view on them, to fears that failed Democratic Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton would win.

Posted in California, Gun Control, gun sales, Jerry Brown, Politics, skyrocket

December 24th, 2016 by Staff Writer

The 2017 San Diego County Fair had a slogan all set and ready to go — but a Native American tribe took umbrage with the moniker and let officials know about it.

“The logo is extremely offensive in light of the history and experience of genocide for the Kumeyaay Nation and other Native nations during the so-called settling of the west,” Angela Elliott Santos, tribal chairwoman of the Manzanita Band of the Kumeyaay Nation, noted in a letter, the Rancho Santa Fe Review reported.

And what was the offending slogan?

“How the West Was Fun.”

San Diego County Fair 2017 Theme: How the West was Fun.https://t.co/qTaTF1nP9l pic.twitter.com/DTWWjieY87

— CBS News 8 (@CBS8) October 12, 2016

Fred Schenk — a member of the 22nd District Agricultural Association board, which operates the state-owned Del Mar Fairgrounds and runs the annual county fair — told the paper “How the West Was Fun” (a play on the iconic handle, “How the West Was Won”) may have suggested winning the American West from Native Americans had been “fun.”

“When I read that [letter], my reaction was, ‘I want to make sure we don’t disappoint any group that we respect and want to have come to the fair,’” Schenk told the Review. “I want to work with anyone who feels that we didn’t give adequate thought to the slogan.”

The new moniker — “Where the West Is Fun” — was agreed upon Tuesday morning in a meeting between Del Mar Fairgrounds’ officials and representatives of the Southern California Tribal Chairmen’s Association, a consortium of 19 tribes, the paper said.

Schenk added to the paper that the county fair website will be updated with the new slogan as soon as possible. As of Friday afternoon, “How the West Was Fun” was still prominently displayed on the website.

“We worked that out and everybody is very pleased,” Schenk told the Review.

Since serving on the fair board on and off for the last 13 years, Schenk told the Review he couldn’t recall a similar instance involving a theme that offended a community group.

(H/T: Heat Street)

Posted in California, San Diego, US

December 5th, 2016 by Staff Writer

OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) — The death toll from a fire that tore through a warehouse hosting a late-night dance party climbed to 33 on Sunday as firefighters painstakingly combed through rubble for others believed to still be missing.

Less than half of the charred remains of the partly collapsed structure had been searched, and crews clearing debris were expected to find more bodies as they advanced, Alameda County Sheriff’s Sgt. Ray Kelly said.

Officials said they have identified seven people who were killed.

Among them is Donna Kellogg, according to her father, Keith Slocum. He declined additional comment.

Kelly said those killed range in age from teenagers to 30-plus years old.

Anxious family members who feared the worst gathered at the sheriff’s office to await word on their loved ones. They were told they may have to provide DNA samples to help identify remains.

The building known as the “Ghost Ship” had been carved into artist studios and was an illegal home for a rotating cast of a dozen or more people, according to former denizens who said it was a cluttered death trap with few exits, piles of wood and a mess of snaking electric cords.

“If you were going there for a party, you wouldn’t be aware of the maze that you have to go through to get out,” said Danielle Boudreaux, a former friend of the couple who ran the warehouse.

As many as 100 people were there for a party Friday night when the fire broke out just before midnight. Fire officials were still investigating the cause of the blaze, but they said clutter fueled the flames, there were no sprinklers inside and few exits to escape.

Boudreaux identified the operators of the Satya Yuga collective as Derick Ion Almena and Micah Allison. She had a falling out with Almena when she convinced Allison’s parents and sister about a year ago that the warehouse was a dangerous place for the couple’s three children to live.

The couple rented out five recreational vehicles and other nooks on the ground floor as living spaces. A rickety makeshift staircase led to a second floor where concerts were held. Former residents said there frequently was no electricity or running water.

Oakland planning officials opened an investigation last month after repeated complaints from neighbors who said trash was piling up and people were illegally living in the building zoned as a warehouse. An inspector who went to the premises couldn’t get inside, said Darin Ranelletti, of the Oakland Planning Department.

OAKLAND, CA - DECEMBER 03: Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf speaks at a press conference following an overnight fire that claimed the lives of at least nine people at a warehouse in the Fruitvale neighborhood on December 3, 2016 in Oakland, California. The warehouse was hosting an electronic music party.  (Photo by Elijah Nouvelage/Getty Images)
OAKLAND, CA – DECEMBER 03: Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf speaks at a press conference following an overnight fire that claimed the lives of at least nine people at a warehouse in the Fruitvale neighborhood on December 3, 2016 in Oakland, California. The warehouse was hosting an electronic music party. (Photo by Elijah Nouvelage/Getty Images)

The city had not confirmed people lived there, but a former resident said she had been lured in part by reasonable rents in a region beset with a housing shortage and exorbitant leases driven by the tech boom.

Shelley Mack said she wasn’t told the residence was illegal until after she moved in a couple years ago and stayed for four to five months, paying about $700 a month. She said she was instructed to tell visitors it was a 24-hour workspace for artists and when outsiders or inspectors planned to visit, residents would scurry to hide clothes and bedding.

“It’s like a horror house. Just horrors in there,” she said.

To a first-time visitor, though, the labyrinth of uniquely designed spaces was “stunning,” said Alastair Boone, a University of California, Berkeley student who arrived at the party with five friends around 11 p.m.

Photographs from before the fire showed that the Bohemian community of musicians, painters, woodworkers, dancers and other artists had decorated the scene with Tibetan prayer flags, Christmas lights and scores of wooden statues of Buddha, the virgin Mary, Jesus Christ, elephants and dragons that sat atop pianos and turntables. Tapestries hung from the walls, mannequin legs and arms stuck out from the ceiling and a small wooden spot of floor was used for art performances.

“It was obvious to me everyone who lives there cared about each other and were invested in a space they made a home,” Boone said.

Almena did not immediately respond to emails or phone numbers associated with him. Authorities declined to talk about the manager, saying they were focused on recovering the bodies and consoling families.

A man identified as Derick Ion posted a Facebook message early Saturday, saying, “Everything I worked so hard for is gone. Blessed that my children and Micah were at a hotel safe and sound.” He drew rebukes online from others who said he was warned the building was unsafe.

OAKLAND, CA - DECEMBER 03: A woman places flowers on a fence outside a police line  following an overnight fire that claimed the lives of at least nine people at a warehouse in the Fruitvale neighborhood on December 3, 2016 in Oakland, California. The warehouse was hosting an electronic music party.  (Photo by Elijah Nouvelage/Getty Imag
OAKLAND, CA – DECEMBER 03: A woman places flowers on a fence outside a police line following an overnight fire that claimed the lives of at least nine people at a warehouse in the Fruitvale neighborhood on December 3, 2016 in Oakland, California. The warehouse was hosting an electronic music party. (Photo by Elijah Nouvelage/Getty Images)

Almena, 46, has lived in California since at least 1990, mostly in Los Angeles, where public records show he was evicted from a North Hollywood apartment in Los Angeles in 1993.

Allison, 40, spent much of her life residing in Northern California, although she had also lived in Southern California, where she filed for a fictitious business name, Sacred Image, at a Los Angeles address.

Online records listed the building’s owner as Nar Siu Chor. The Associated Press could not locate a telephone number for her Saturday. Efforts to reach her at other Oakland addresses associated with her were not successful.

Boone said she had just received a tour of the property and stepped outside when someone yelled, “Fire!”

“In a couple of minutes there were flames coming out of the windows and black smoke was just billowing out of the house,” she said.

Some of the people who got out were crying and others stood silently in shock as firefighters arrived to put the flames out.

“The people who lived there were clustered together, and they were just so sad,” Boone said. “They were losing their loved ones, and there was nothing they could do.”

Monica Kat was outside the warehouse Saturday and said she feared four of her friends are dead. “They’re still not accounted for, and I can only think the worst at this point,” she said.

Story by the Associated Press; curated by Chris Enloe.

Posted in California, Oakland, US

December 4th, 2016 by Staff Writer

OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) — At least nine people died and authorities said they feared the toll could rise as high as 40 in a fire that broke out during a rave at a converted warehouse in the San Francisco Bay Area.

Oakland fire chief Teresa Deloche-Reed said at least another 25 people were unaccounted for as of Saturday morning and authorities were working to verify who was in the cluttered warehouse when the fire broke out around 11:30 p.m. Friday.

Alameda County Sheriff’s Office spokesman Sgt. Ray Kelly said authorities were prepared to deal with 30 to 40 deaths.

Between 50 and 100 people were believed to have been at the party when the fire started, Deloche-Reed said. It was not immediately clear what started the fire, but there did not appear to be sprinklers in the building, she said.

The interior of the warehouse “made it difficult for people to escape,” Deloche-Reed said.

.@dansimoncnn on “horrific” Oakland warehouse fire: “Folks had a very difficult time getting out of the building” https://t.co/iFOerhbXtj

— CNN (@CNN) December 3, 2016

The warehouse was partitioned into artist studios and was packed with furniture, mannequins, statues, lamps, and other objects and did not have a clear entry or exit path, the fire chief said. The only way out of the second floor was a makeshift stairwell made of pallets.

“There is still a large portion of the building that still needs to be searched,” she said. “There is large timber and debris that will need to be removed and it’s going to have to be removed in a slow and methodical way.”

The fire caused the building’s roof to collapse and investigators were having trouble entering parts of the warehouse to search for any remaining bodies because the structure was deemed unsafe, Deloche-Reed said.

The building in a gritty part of Oakland was still smoldering Saturday as firefighters used tools to chop a path through debris.

The fire tore through the building during an event featuring musician Golden Donna’s 100% Silk West Coast tour.

Survivors said they struggled to find working fire extinguishers.

“It was too hot, too much smoke, I had to get out of there,” Bob Mule, a photographer and artist who lives at the building and suffered minor burns, told the East Bay Times. “I literally felt my skin peeling and my lungs being suffocated by smoke. I couldn’t get the fire extinguisher to work.”

People used a Facebook page Saturday to post and seek information on family and friends who may have been in the building.

Oakland police urged those concerned about missing people to call the Alameda County Sheriff’s Coroner’s Bureau at 510-382-3000.

We’re here to help. If you need information about a loved one in last night’s fire, please call 510-382-3000. @ACSOSheriffs #oaklandfire

— City of Oakland (@Oakland) December 3, 2016

The office said the coroners were also at the scene Saturday morning and unavailable for comment.

Story by the Associated Press; curated by Chris Enloe.

Posted in California, US

November 11th, 2016 by Staff Writer

Fresh off of President-elect Donald Trump’s victory, California residents got a wild idea about their place in the United States, and it’s that they don’t have one.

Inspired in part by Britains departure from the European Union — under the popular nickname “Brexit” — Californias are now getting behind the idea of a “Calexit,” with a hashtag to match.

The idea, as sold to us by YesCalifornia.org, is that the state doesn’t need the rest of the 49, and should break away due to the ideological differences this election has proven it has with the rest of America. According to the site, California can stand on its own two feet, and be its own nation.

California is a nation, not a state. This is the campaign to secede and make California an independent country. https://t.co/qRVfC2TG21 pic.twitter.com/eeTUtsThpX

— Yes California (@YesCalifornia) November 9, 2016

“As the sixth largest economy in the world, California is more economically powerful than France and has a population larger than Poland. Point by point, California compares and competes with countries, not just the 49 other states.”

“It is about California taking its place in the world, standing as an equal among nations,” the site continues. “We believe in two fundamental truths: (1) California exerts a positive influence on the rest of the world, and (2) California could do more good as an independent country than it is able to do as a just a U.S. state.”

Some Californians took to Twitter show they were definitely onboard with the idea of the state’s departure from the Union.

A couple of things: 1) Okay. Bye. and 2) Red parts of NoCal can stay if they want. #Calexit https://t.co/LJYyUzbAFI

— Camaran (@Camaran) November 11, 2016

#calexit
I am 100% on board. To thoughs of you who think we can’t sustain our debt, go screw yourselves. #6thBestEconomyInTheWorld

— ACE Aidan (@realaceaidan) November 11, 2016

The vote to leave the Union will take place in the Spring of 2019, but may be a bit more difficult than some fans of #Calexit may think. In 1869, Texas broached the subject and thus the 1869 Supreme Court ruling on Texas v White said that a state can only secede from the Union through consent of the states, or a revolution.  Even if the state itself voted overwhelmingly to leave, it wouldn’t make a lick of difference.

 

Posted in Calexit, California, Politics, secession, Texas v White, YesCalifornia.org

November 5th, 2016 by Staff Writer

On Tuesday, news broke about a robocall circulating around Utah that accused independent presidential candidate Evan McMullin of being a “closet homosexual.” The call itself was created by a self-described white nationalist and discouraged a vote for McMullin in favor of Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump.

“Evan has two mommies. His mother is a lesbian, married to another woman. Evan is OK with that,” said the caller. “Indeed, Evan supports the Supreme Court ruling legalizing gay marriage. Evan is over 40 years old and is not married and doesn’t even have a girlfriend. I believe Evan is a closet homosexual. Don’t vote for Evan McMullin. Vote for Donald Trump. He will respect all women and be a president we can all be proud of.”

But now more information has been released about the man behind the robocall. William Johnson is a California resident, a Los Angeles attorney and chairman of the white separatist American Freedom Party. Furthermore, he was an official convention delegate approved by the Trump campaign.

In the state Johnson resides, in order to become a delegate, voters must be approved by the campaign itself, as the Los Angeles Times reported:

In California, Republican voters seeking to become convention delegates apply directly to their candidates’ campaigns, which then sort through the submissions and select their slate of delegates. These names are later submitted to the Secretary of State’s office.

The Trump campaign attempted to wash Johnson off their delegate list back in May, but while the campaign has the ability to select delegates, it does not have the power to remove them. The best the campaign could hope for was that Johnson did not show up to the convention, where he would then be replaced with someone else.

Which is exactly what happened. Johnson decided not to show of his own accord, stating that the Trump campaign did not “need the baggage that came along with my signing up as a delegate.”

However, this obviously did not stop Johnson from continuing to advocate for Trump through his robocalls, which cost him $2,000 and reached 193,000 homes in Utah in order to accuse McMullin and his mother of being homosexual. Johnson has since apologized for the robocalls, however, stating he only did it because the white birthrate is low, and McMullin’s attitudes were contributing to it.

“I am sorry for the mean-spirited message and I humbly retract its contents,” said Johnson. “I sent the robocalls out because Utah is a strong family-values state and America and the West is gripped by an extreme and fatal malady: failure to marry and have children. The white birthrate is so astonishingly low that Western Civilization will soon cease to exist. I felt Evan McMullin typified that perfidious mentality.”

This is not the only trouble McMullin has gotten from Trump supporters as he continues to lead in Utah. The independent candidate and Utah native has stated he has received death threats from white supremacists on top of Johnson’s robocalls. McMullin has said that as shocking as this is, none of it surprises him.

“Donald Trump himself has bragged about sexually assaulting women and attacked people for the color of their skin and their faith,” McMullin told CNN. “I mean, this is the Republican nominee and none of this should surprise any of us. This is exactly the narrative and the approach that the Donald Trump campaign has had. I just thought, well of course, this is more of the same.”

Trump has a history of attracting white supremacists to his cause, including former Ku Klux Klan Grand Wizard David Duke, who at one point sent forth his own robocalls promoting Trump.

Posted in California, David Duke, Donald Trump, Evan McMullin, KKK, Politics, Republican, Utah

October 16th, 2016 by Staff Writer

LOS ANGELES (AP) — An early morning argument at a Los Angeles restaurant apparently triggered gunfire that left 3 people dead and 12 wounded, authorities said Saturday.

Police who arrived at the scene in a working class neighborhood dotted by tall palm trees found shell casings and blood throughout the restaurant, located west of downtown Los Angeles.

Two possible suspects were being questioned.

A body is removed by the Los Angeles County coroner staff after three people were killed during a shooting after a dispute at a pop-up Jamaican restaurant in Los Angeles on Saturday. (Getty Images/Mark Ralston/AFP)

A body is removed by the Los Angeles County coroner staff after three people were killed during a shooting after a dispute at a pop-up Jamaican restaurant in Los Angeles on Saturday. (Getty Images/Mark Ralston/AFP)

Los Angeles Police Department Officer Mike Lopez said a preliminary investigation found a party was underway at 12:30 a.m. Saturday in the restaurant, operating out of a converted home, when an argument started.

A man and woman left, then returned, and the restaurant erupted in gunfire.

Mayor Eric Garcetti said he was confident police would unravel questions surrounding the shooting, and expressed sympathy for victims’ families.

He called it “the latest example of a senseless gun violence epidemic that causes so much pain and sorrow in our city and across the nation.”

“We cannot tolerate these tragedies multiplying in communities across America.”

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“We cannot tolerate these tragedies multiplying in communities across America,” Garcetti said in a statement.

The shooting occurred in a residential area of modest homes. Investigators were snapping photographs and scouring the ground in an area that extended over two blocks.

Three people died at the scene, and 12 others were transported to local hospitals. Their conditions ranged from critical to stable but serious.

Police did not disclose the names or ages of the fatalities or the wounded.

“There was some type of party there,” Lopez said. After the couple left the restaurant and returned “that’s when the shooting occurred.”

Neighbor Sheryl Cobb said she was awakened by screaming and gunfire, but never left her home for fear of getting caught in a crossfire.

“Bullets don’t have names on them,” she said.

LAPD Sgt. Frank Preciado told The Los Angeles Times that the restaurant was “a bloody scene with shell casings everywhere.”

One firearm was recovered.

The Times described the restaurant as a popular Jamaican eatery that features a DJ on Friday night.

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Posted in California, Crime, Los Angeles, Shooting

October 1st, 2016 by Staff Writer

Gov. Jerry Brown (D-Calif.) signed a Planned Parenthood-sponsored bill Friday designed to target the filmmaker behind controversial undercover videos of Planned Parenthood executives.

Brown’s office announced that he signed the legislation — Assembly Bill 1671 — without additional comment.

California Gov. Jerry Brown (D) speaks at Los Angeles City Hall on January 18, 2012 in Los Angeles, California. (Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)

California Gov. Jerry Brown (D) speaks at Los Angeles City Hall on January 18, 2012 in Los Angeles, California. (Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)

The bill was written in response to videos released by the Center for Medical Progress that showed Planned Parenthood employees describing the sale of aborted fetal body parts. It criminalizes the recording or distribution of a private conversation with a health care provider.

In a statement, David Daleiden, the founder of the Center for Medical Progress, said his organization “never recorded ‘confidential’ communications, so California’s existing recording law and the new distribution provision are simply inapplicable to our work.”

“However, it is clear that Planned Parenthood does not want to be held accountable to the public whose taxpayer money it gladly takes by the hundreds of millions, and will even attack freedom of speech and the freedom of the press in order to maintain its own arbitrary levels of secrecy,” Daleiden said.

Planned Parenthood Affiliates of California applauded Brown’s signature.


“Gov. Brown sent a clear message to anti-abortion extremists that you cannot break the law in California or you will be held accountable,” Kathy Kneer, president of Planned Parenthood Affiliates of California, said in a statement provided to the Los Angeles Times.

TheBlaze previously reported that California Attorney General Kamala Harris’ office consulted with with Planned Parenthood to draft legislation targeting the pro-life group.

The Los Angeles Times editorial board called the bill “bad for whistleblowers.”

The videos released by the Center for Medical Progress raised allegations that Planned Parenthood profited from the sale of aborted fetal body parts. Profiting from the sale of human organs – including those of the unborn – is a felony in the United States. Planned Parenthood has denied illegal conduct. The allegations are under an ongoing congressional investigation.


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Posted in Abortion, California, Center for Medical Progress, First Amendment, Free Speech, Freedom of Speech, Planned Parenthood, Planned Parenthood videos, Politics

September 21st, 2016 by Staff Writer

SUTTER, Calif. (AP) — One American pilot was killed and another injured when they ejected from a U-2 spy plane shortly before it crashed in Northern California on Tuesday morning, the U.S. Air Force said.

The plane crashed shortly after taking off from Beale Air Force Base on a training mission around 9 a.m., military officials said. They did not release the pilots’ names or any information about the condition of the surviving airman.

Smoke rises from the wreckage of a U.S. Air Force U-2 spy plane that crashed in the Sutter Butte mountains, Tuesday, Sept. 20, 2016, near Yuba City, Calif. The plane had just taken off on a training mission from nearby Beale Air Force Base. The two pilots ejected before the crash. (AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli)

Smoke rises from the wreckage of a U.S. Air Force U-2 spy plane that crashed in the Sutter Butte mountains, Tuesday, Sept. 20, 2016, near Yuba City, Calif. The plane had just taken off on a training mission from nearby Beale Air Force Base. The two pilots ejected before the crash. (AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli)

The aircraft, assigned to the 1st Reconnaissance Squadron, crashed in the Sutter Buttes, a mountain range about 60 miles (97 kilometers) north of Sacramento.

Col. Larry Broadwell, the base commander, said the flight, including its flight path was routine before the crash. He pledged to support the family of the deceased pilot and said surveillance pilots will mourn the loss.

“These incidents, while extremely tragic and hard for us to overcome, they’re incidents that we do overcome,” Broadwell said. “I am confident that the U-2 squadrons here and the U-2 squadrons around the world are going to come off the mat stronger than they were before.”

The U-2 “Dragon Lady” is a surveillance and reconnaissance plane capable of flying above 70,000 feet (21,336 meters), an extremely high altitude that’s twice as high as a typical commercial airliner flies. The U-2 is known as one of the most difficult aircraft to fly at low altitudes due to the characteristics that allow it to travel near space, according to an Air Force fact sheet.

Beale Air Force Base is home to the Air Force’s fleet of single-seat U-2s and a double-seat variant used for training pilots to fly the specialized aircraft. It also is the base for the T-38 Talon, a training aircraft, and the RQ-4 Global Hawk, an unmanned surveillance drone. It houses 4,500 military personnel.

“We are saddened by our Airman’s death & offer condolences to the family & all who are mourning this tremendous loss,” Gen. Dave Goldfein, the Air Force chief of staff, said on Twitter.

Ejection seats allow military pilots to get out of a stricken plane and parachute safely to the ground. After the death in this instance, military investigators will look into whether the chute properly deployed and whether the pilot hit debris after ejecting, said Michael Barr, an aviation safety instructor at University of Southern California who flew fighter missions in Vietnam.

“If the chute didn’t properly deploy, that would be fatal,” Barr said.

The U-2 is slated for retirement in 2019 as the military relies increasingly on unmanned aircraft for intelligence gathering, though senior U.S. lawmakers from California are pressuring the Air Force to delay the retirement.

A U-2 based at Beale crashed in 1996 and slammed into the parking lot of a newspaper in Oroville, California. The pilot and a woman who had just renewed her newspaper subscription were killed.

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Posted in California, U.S. Air Force, US

September 2nd, 2016 by Staff Writer

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — California delivered on its reputation as a testing ground for liberal ideas as state lawmakers wrapped up a legislative session that extended the nation’s most ambitious climate change programs, raised the minimum wage to $15 and toughened gun laws.

While they failed to address some of the maddening challenges afflicting Californians’ daily lives — most notably, skyrocketing housing costs and crumbling roads — lawmakers advanced top priorities for the labor, environmental, gun-control and anti-tobacco movements.

Democrats, who have strong majorities in both the Assembly and the Senate, celebrated their victories and said the nation’s largest state should be the model that others emulate.

State Sen. Mark Leno, D-San Francisco, center, is congratulated by Senate President pro tempore Kevin de Leon, D-Los Angeles, left, and Sen. William Monning, D-Carmel, after the end of the two-year legislative session, Thursday, Sept. 1, 2016, in Sacramento, Calif. Leno is leaving the Senate due to term limits. (AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli)

State Sen. Mark Leno, D-San Francisco, center, is congratulated by Senate President pro tempore Kevin de Leon, D-Los Angeles, left, and Sen. William Monning, D-Carmel, after the end of the two-year legislative session, Thursday, Sept. 1, 2016, in Sacramento, Calif. Leno is leaving the Senate due to term limits. (AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli)

“I am very proud to say that the California dream is the new American dream,” Senate President Pro Tem Kevin de Leon, D-Los Angeles, said before formally adjourning the session early Thursday.

The advances for Democrats’ liberal base left conservatives dejected and concerned that the crushing weight of new business mandates will take a toll on important sectors ranging from agriculture to retail and restaurants — hurting California’s massive economy.

Assemblywoman Cheryl Brown, D-San Bernardino, and Assemblyman Katcho Achadjian, R-San Luis Obispo, say goodbye after the assembly adjourned at the end of their two-year legislative session in the early morning hours of Thursday, Sept. 1, 2016, in Sacramento, Calif. Brown is running for reelection in November, and Achadjian is leaving the Assembly due to term limits. (AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli)

Assemblywoman Cheryl Brown, D-San Bernardino, and Assemblyman Katcho Achadjian, R-San Luis Obispo, say goodbye after the assembly adjourned at the end of their two-year legislative session in the early morning hours of Thursday, Sept. 1, 2016, in Sacramento, Calif. Brown is running for reelection in November, and Achadjian is leaving the Assembly due to term limits. (AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli)

“Can’t they pace themselves?” said Tim Scott, California director for the National Federation of Independent Business. “It seems like they were literally trying to go through their whole agenda in one year. We have time. Let’s have a thoughtful discussion.”

With the U.S. Congress controlled by Republicans, U.S. liberals are extremely limited in how far they can advance their vision for the country. In California, they have found a willing partner.

California was the first state to increase the minimum wage to $15 per hour following years of lobbying and public demonstrations staged by unions. The new target will phase in through 2022, more than doubling the federal wage floor of $7.25 and providing a real-world test for whether employers can absorb such a large increase in labor costs.

Democratic lawmakers also sent Gov. Jerry Brown legislation that would make California the first state to require that farmworkers be paid overtime under the same rules as workers in other industries, which would end an eight-decade exemption for agricultural workers. Brown has not yet said whether he will sign it.

Legislators also asked Brown to expand a state-funded paid family leave program that allows workers to take up to six weeks off to bond with a new child or care for sick family members and receive a portion of their salary.

On the environmental front, the Legislature extended California’s landmark climate change law, which will now seek to vastly reduce carbon emissions through 2030, once Brown signs it as he has indicated he will do. The state’s wide-ranging programs include a cap on carbon pollution, electric vehicle incentives and restrictions on the carbon content of gasoline.

For the first time, lawmakers voted to expand the climate-change initiatives beyond carbon pollutants to include a category of gases known as short-lived climate pollutants. The rules would require regulations of methane emissions from dairy farms and landfills.

Among other victories for liberals, Democratic lawmakers approved a series of anti-smoking measures — including raising the age for buying tobacco and e-cigarettes from 18 to 21 and enacting gun control measures that limit the size of magazines and require background checks for ammunition sales.

Liberals repealed a decades-old welfare payment cap that critics called racist, created a state-run retirement plan that will automatically enroll nearly 7 million workers without access to retirement savings from their employer, and won tougher background checks for Uber and Lyft drivers.

“We had an especially good run this year,” said Sen. Mark Leno, a D-San Francisco, a champion of liberal ideas in the Legislature for 14 years.

Leno is one of a handful of long-serving liberal icons in the Senate barred by term limits from seeking another term. Their departure could remake the ideological balance of the legislative Democrats, depending on the November election outcome.

But for all they delivered to their liberal base and progressives around the country, the Democrats failed to advance some key priorities.

No consensus was reached for the second year in a row on funding for a backlog of road and bridge repairs that have left motorists inching their way through California’s notoriously miserable traffic.

Democrats want to raise taxes to pay the $57 billion cost, but Republicans have balked and tax hikes require a super-majority with GOP support for passage.

“Everybody agrees that our transportation infrastructure deficit issues have to be addressed, but the political will and leadership to act on this issue has been lacking,” Chris McKenzie, director of the League of California Cities that lobbies for local governments, said in a statement.

They also were unable to push forward measures to alleviate the state’s housing crisis.

Legislative leaders and the governor agreed to spend $400 million to build subsidized housing, but only if the Legislature approved a proposal by Brown to speed up construction of housing projects with subsidized units that also include apartments sold at free market prices.

Liberal lawmakers balked at eliminating avenues for their constituents to delay or block new construction.

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Posted in California, Government, Liberals

August 31st, 2016 by Staff Writer

TEMECULA, Calif. (AP) — The bodies of five people were found after a fire gutted a board-and-care home for developmentally disabled people southeast of Los Angeles, authorities said Tuesday.

Remains of the five adults were discovered Monday morning after firefighters put out a fire at the home, said a statement from the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department.

Image source: KCAL-TV

Image source: KCAL-TV

The cause of the fire had not been determined but it was labeled suspicious and arson and homicide investigators were working at the scene, authorities said.

The Sheriff’s Department said coroners were trying to identify the remains found at the house, one of two on a lot set amid ranches and vineyards in an unincorporated area of the city of Temecula.

Coroner’s officials were trying to identify the remains but a relative told the Riverside Press-Enterprise (http://bit.ly/2c69eGm ) that one victim was James Jennex.

Jennex was administrator of the Renee Jennex Small Family Home, which was licensed to care for up to four adults with developmental disabilities, state records indicated.

“James Jennex will be deeply missed,” his brother, Jerry Jennex, told the newspaper. “On behalf of our family, we also pray for and support other families who have lost loved ones in the same tragedy.”

The home was licensed in 2003 and no deficiencies were found during its most recent annual inspection in November, according to records from California’s Department of Social Services.

Neighbor Sofia Villalobos told the Press-Enterprise that her husband called the county Fire Department after the blaze erupted around 5 a.m. Monday, then jumped a fence to reach the scene.

Told that several people were inside, he and another man tried to get inside the burning home but could not because the doorway was too hot. They then broke a window, but the fire intensified, Villalobos said.

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Posted in California, Crime, Video, watch

July 29th, 2016 by Staff Writer

The U.S. Navy is expected to name one of its ships after gay rights icon and San Francisco politician Harvey Milk, who became the first openly gay man to hold public office in California, according to a new report.

A July 14 notification, obtained by the U.S. Naval Institute’s news service, indicated the Navy will name a Military Sealift Command fleet oiler after the activist. The vessel, which will be constructed by General Dynamics NASSCO in San Diego, California, will be officially titled USNS Harvey Milk.

This file photo from April 1977 shows San Francisco Supervisor Harvey Milk in the mayor's office during the signing of the city's gay rights bill in San Francisco. A proposal to name a street after pioneering gay leader Harvey Milk is the latest display of Salt Lake City standing out as a blue dot in a deep-red state where the prevailing Mormon faith still has a fraught relationship with the LGBT community. (AP Photo/File)

This file photo from April 1977 shows San Francisco Supervisor Harvey Milk in the mayor’s office during the signing of the city’s gay rights bill in San Francisco. A proposal to name a street after pioneering gay leader Harvey Milk is the latest display of Salt Lake City standing out as a blue dot in a deep-red state where the prevailing Mormon faith still has a fraught relationship with the LGBT community. (AP Photo/File)

According to the USNI, Ray Mambus, the secretary of the Navy who issued the notification, will not release any more details about the ship until the formal naming announcement.

Milk came from a Navy family, according to the report, and joined in 1951, when he served as a diving officer doing the Korean War. He later received an honorable discharge as a lieutenant junior grade. After his time in the military, Milk was elected to the San Francisco board of supervisors in 1977. One year later, Milk — donning his Navy diver’s belt buckle — was killed by a fellow city official.

Ever since the 2011 repeal of the “Don’t ask, don’t tell” legislation then-President Bill Clinton signed into law, California lawmakers have been pushing for a ship to be named after the assassinated politician.

“This action by the U.S. Secretary of the Navy will further send a green light to all the brave men and women who serve our nation that honesty, acceptance and authenticity are held up among the highest ideals of our military,” Milk’s nephew, Stuart Milk, told San Diego LGBT Weekly in 2012.

Milk will now join a fleet, known as the John Lewis-class, named after civil rights leader Rep. John Lewis (D-Ga.), of other ships named after well-known civil rights icons. Other names in the class include Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy, abolitionist and women’s rights activist Sojourner Truth and former Supreme Court Chief Justice Earl Warren, according to the USNI.

The USNS Harvey Milk will be the second oiler commissioned out of San Diego. The ships serve as support vessels to other Navy ships by replenishing them with fuel, ammunition, mail, food and other necessities.


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July 26th, 2016 by Staff Writer

Administrators at California State University, Los Angeles, tried canceling a speaking event by conservative commentator Ben Shapiro earlier this year. The university quickly gained national attention as students, parents, alumni and members of the media criticized the decision as stomping on free speech.

Shapiro ended up speaking at Cal State anyway on Feb. 25, but Black Lives Matter and other campus social justice organizations attempted to shut down the event by pulling the fire alarm in the auditorium where the conservative journalist was lecturing.

Image source: YouTube

Image source: YouTube

“Where the f*** is the administration on this campus?” he asked the audience after the alarm was pulled. “Where the hell is the administration on this campus?”

Over the weekend, conservative news site Heat Street released emails surrounding the campus controversy obtained through the Freedom of Information Act.

According to the more than 1,000 emails, administrators at Cal State L.A. received complaints from students comparing the event to an “undercover KKK meeting” and claiming they feared for their safety.

Five days before Shapiro delivered his lecture titled, “When Diversity Becomes a Problem,” a student, whose name was redacted, emailed President William Covino, writing in the subject line, “I DO NOT FEEL SAFE!”

“The fact that so many right wing conservatives that own guns RSVPd to this event makes me feel extremely uncomfortable,” the student wrote. “We should be able to go to an event without worrying about our safety. And frankly this event sounds like an undercover KKK meeting. This event in general speaks volumes as to how little our lives matter …”

More than two months before Shapiro visited the school, Dean of the College of Natural and Social Sciences Scott Bowman sent a Dec. 7, 2015, email to administrators, including university President Covino, to let them know a conservative group on campus planned to invite Shapiro to speak.

“I think the students have the right to hear what he has to say,” Bowman said, mentioning that he had listened to Shapiro’s earlier address at the University of Missouri. “On the other hand, it could be explosive in the current environment. Nothing he says is hate speech in my view but his critiques of the Left’s obsession with micro-aggressions and various tactics of groups (e.g., Black Lives Matter) would be labeled racist by them, which is his point, by the way.”

In May, Covino hosted a “healing space” meeting to brainstorm ways the university could block speakers like Shapiro from visiting the school in the future.

A video of the event shows Covino emphatically declaring he would “never” invite Shapiro to speak on campus, adding that students invited the conservative pundit and funded the event.

During the same session, professor Melinda Abdullah, chair of the college’s Pan-African Studies department, told Covino she likened Shapiro to an advocate of “anti-blackness” and referred to him as a “neo-Nazi” — which she said is “ironic” because he’s Jewish.

“I get he’s Jewish, so that’s ironic that I’m calling him a neo-Nazi,” she said, “but that’s basically what he is. A neo-KKK member — let’s call him that.”

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Posted in Ben Shapiro, Black Lives Matter, California, Campus, Free Speech

July 11th, 2016 by Staff Writer

In the wake of police-involved fatal shootings over the last week — culminating with an ambush against cops in Dallas that took five of their lives —  a city councilwoman from Nevada City, California, posted her thoughts about the matter on Facebook.

And officers in her hometown aren’t happy.

What did Reinette Senum write in her now-deleted post? “This was completely incited by America’s police force. They have obviously been given directives to go out there and kill.” She also wrote that “we can expect this when police murder somebody. It’s the oldest trick in the book …”

Image source: KMAX-TV

Image source: KMAX-TV

So outraged were local officers that the Nevada City Police Association unanimously issued a vote of no confidence and asked for her resignation, KMAX-TV reported.

“You paint a picture that every police officer is corrupt and that were out looking to kill somebody is just completely unacceptable,” Nevada City officer Tim Ewing told the station, also noting that “it’s not something that anybody wants to do and certainly there’s been no directive for us to go do such a thing.”

(Image source: KMAX-TV)

Nevada City officer Tim Ewing (Image source: KMAX-TV)

But Senum defended her post to a KMAX reporter and tried to clarify her words.

“Black lives lost, the lives of police officers lost is a tragedy,” Senum told the station. “It’s not mutually exclusive to the fact that we need to have high standards with our police force. We lost a lot of those high standards and we want them back.”

Nevada City Councilwoman Renee Senum (Image source: KMAX-TV)

Nevada City Councilwoman Renee Senum (Image source: KMAX-TV)

She also told KMAX she was referring to corruption and not necessarily to Nevada City Police.

“The good police officers who are out there doing their job, I have the highest regard for them,” Senum added.

It isn’t clear exactly when Senum posted her Facebook entry, but KMAX reported that it had been deleted Friday night.

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June 10th, 2016 by Staff Writer

A California mother was reunited with her son who was kidnapped over 20 years ago on Thursday, according to the Associated Press.

Steve Hernandez wipes a tear from his mother's eye after seeing her for the first time in 20 years in San Diego, Calif., on Thursday, June 9, 2016. Steve Hernandez was abducted by his father Valentin Hernandez from their Rancho Cucamonga residence in 1995 when he was 18-months-old. Since that time, 42-year-old Maria Mancia had searched for her son to no avail. The boy, Steve Hernandez, now a man of about 22, has been found in Mexico. On Thursday he was brought to the U.S. to meet his mother.Authorities interviewed the boy and took a DNA swab. The facts of his life, and the DNA, matched. (Christopher Lee/San Bernardino County District Attorney's Office via AP)

Steve Hernandez wipes a tear from his mother’s eye after seeing her for the first time in 20 years in San Diego, Calif., on Thursday, June 9, 2016. (Christopher Lee/San Bernardino County District Attorney’s Office via AP)

In 1995, Maria Mancia returned home from work to find both her 18-month-old son and his father, Valentin Hernandez, missing.

She immediately reported her son missing and investigators have been trying to locate him ever since.

Mancia also discovered that Hernandez also took all of the pictures of their son, including her ultrasound picture. She had to write to a relative to ask for a copy of a picture of her son.

In this undated photo released by the San Bernardino County District Attorney's Office shows a family photo of Steve Hernandez, pictured in the only photograph Maria Mancia had of her kidnapped son for the last 20 years. (San Bernardino County District Attorney's Office via AP)

In this undated photo released by the San Bernardino County District Attorney’s Office shows a family photo of Steve Hernandez, pictured in the only photograph Maria Mancia had of her kidnapped son for the last 20 years. (San Bernardino County District Attorney’s Office via AP)

Investigator Karen Cragg, who led the San Bernardino County District Attorney’s Child Abduction Unit’s search, told the AP that “That became the only photograph she had of Steve for the last 21 years.”

Mancia’s son, Steve Hernandez, now 22, was discovered living in Puebla, Mexico.

“We used a ruse to contact him,” Cragg said. “We told him we were investigating his father and we needed his DNA to help locate his father. We didn’t want to scare him off. We weren’t sure what the circumstances were down there. We had to tread very carefully.”

Steve Hernandez hugs his mother after seeing her for the first time in 20 years in San Diego, Calif., on Thursday, June 9, 2016. Steve Hernandez was abducted by his father Valentin Hernandez from their Rancho Cucamonga residence in 1995 when he was 18-months-old. Since that time, 42-year-old Maria Mancia had searched for her son to no avail. The boy, Steve Hernandez, now a man of about 22, has been found in Mexico. On Thursday he was brought to the U.S. to meet his mother.Authorities interviewed the boy and took a DNA swab. The facts of his life, and the DNA, matched. (Christopher Lee/San Bernardino County District Attorney's Office via AP)

Steve Hernandez hugs his mother after seeing her for the first time in 20 years in San Diego, Calif., on Thursday, June 9, 2016. Steve Hernandez was abducted by his father Valentin Hernandez from their Rancho Cucamonga residence in 1995 when he was 18-months-old. Since that time, 42-year-old Maria Mancia had searched for her son to no avail. The boy, Steve Hernandez, now a man of about 22, has been found in Mexico. On Thursday he was brought to the U.S. to meet his mother.Authorities interviewed the boy and took a DNA swab. The facts of his life, and the DNA, matched. (Christopher Lee/San Bernardino County District Attorney’s Office via AP)

According to the AP, once Cragg received the positive DNA test, she and her partner “drove straight to Mancia’s house.”

“It was like she didn’t believe us at first,” Cragg said. “She began to cry. She said she couldn’t believe he was still alive.”

Steve Hernandez is a U.S. citizen, and authorities in both the U.S. and Mexico worked to quickly reunite him with his mother.

According to the AP, Hernandez’s father, Valentin Hernandez, told him that his mother abandoned them, and he now knows that isn’t the case.

Valentin Hernandez is “missing and believed to be dead,” according to the AP.


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Posted in California, Crime, Good News, Mexico, US

May 25th, 2016 by Staff Writer

Paypal co-founder and Facebook board member Peter Thiel is reportedly paying for Hulk Hogan’s lawsuits against Gawker Media, according to Forbes.

Gawker founder Nick Denton was not surprised by the development, telling the New York Times Tuesday he had a “personal hunch” that Hogan’s financial assistance could be coming from someone in Silicon Valley.

Photo by Neilson Barnard/Getty Images for New York Times

Photo by Neilson Barnard/Getty Images for New York Times

“If you’re a billionaire and you don’t like the coverage of you, and you don’t particularly want to embroil yourself any further in a public scandal, it’s a pretty smart, rational thing to fund other legal cases,” he said.

“Third-party litigation funding” is not illegal and has in fact become more popular in the United States. Hogan’s connection to Thiel, who is worth $2.7 billion, is unclear, according to Forbes, though. Thiel is the only outside financial backer of the lawsuits against Gawker, but it is not yet known if the entrepreneur will see any of the $140 million won by Hogan in March.

But Thiel’s motivation may be about much more than money. Thiel, who is gay, has been open about his issues with Gawker, which tried to leak details about his sexuality before he publicly announced his orientation, Forbes reported.

In a 2009 interview, Thiel told PEHub that the since-shuttered Valley-centered publication Valleywag, a defunct Gawker project, had the “psychology of a terrorist.”

“Valleywag is the Silicon Valley equivalent of Al Qaeda,” he said at the time.

Hogan, whose real name is Terry Bollea, originally brought a lawsuit against Gawker for leaking a sex tape, claiming the organization violated his privacy. He was awarded a total of $140 million in the trial. But when asked why he felt the lawsuits’ funding was coming from the Valley, Denton said it’s because Gawker has recently focused on exposing the tech industry.

“We write stories about powerful people in New York, but there are plenty of outlets writing stories about powerful people in New York,” he told Forbes. “We write stories about powerful people in L.A., but there are plenty of outlets writing stories about powerful people in L.A. What’s unique about Gawker is that we’re an Internet publication and the tech industry is of particular interest to us. There are powerful people in Silicon Valley and the power of Silicon Valley is a relatively new phenomenon.”

As a result of the Hogan lawsuits, Gawker has been ordered to pay $15 million and Denton must personally pay $10 million. Additionally, A.J. Daulerio, the former editor of Deadspin, where the sex tape was first published, must pay Hogan $100,000.


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Posted in California, Donald Trump, Gawker, Hulk Hogan, Media, Technology

April 30th, 2016 by Staff Writer

Republican presidential front-runner Donald Trump used the massive crowds of protesters that greeted him Friday at the California GOP Convention as a segway to his popular refrain about the U.S.-Mexico border wall, joking that avoiding protesters was like “crossing the border.”

“That was not the easiest entrance I’ve ever made…I felt like I was crossing the border” – #DonaldTrump jokeshttps://t.co/MaTNEwqxYt

— Fox News (@FoxNews) April 29, 2016

News cameras followed the billionaire businessman and his crew as demonstrators forced him to abandon his motorcade and find an unconventional way into the Hyatt Regency hotel in Burlingame, California. In order to get to the venue, Trump had to make his way around a fence, step over a concrete embankment and find his way through one of the hotel’s back entrances.

#CNN @BrookeBCNN with help of #KPIX captured moments #Trump avoided protesters from highway to hotel. https://t.co/Ch6ytTZuxW

— Tina Kim (@TinaKimCNN) April 29, 2016

“That was not the easiest entrance I’ve ever made,” Trump joked when he finally took the stage at the convention.

“My wife called,” he continued. “She said, ‘There are helicopters following you, and we did, we went under a fence and through a fence, and, oh boy, it felt like I was crossing the border, actually.”

As the audience broke out into laughter, Trump told the crowd: “It’s true.”

Anti-Trump protesters blocked roads leading to the convention location while police stood guard at the front entrance of the Hyatt Regency. Friday was the second day the Republican front-runner was met with wild protests in California.

GOP rival Ted Cruz condemned the violent protests against Trump Friday, telling “leftist agitators” to stop “trying to silence” the New York real estate mogul.

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Posted in California, Campaign 2016, Donald Trump, GOP Convention 2016, Politics, Video, watch

April 30th, 2016 by Staff Writer

As protesters continued to swarm around the venue of Republican presidential front-runner Donald Trump’s speech at California’s GOP Convention Friday, rival Ted Cruz found himself in somewhat of an alignment with his chief Republican rival.

In a rare moment of solidarity, Cruz said the massive groups of anti-Trump protesters have “crossed the line,” adding that they are “leftist agitators” who are “trying to silence a voice they don’t like.”

“The First Amendment protects everyone’s right to speak, but you don’t have a right to threaten violence, you don’t have a right to shout down others, and these protesters appear to be trying to use violence and threats,” Cruz said. “These are the strategies of MoveOn.org, of the leftist agitators who try to silence a voice they don’t like.”

Ted Cruz on Trump protests by DailyPolitics

The Texas senator, who named Carly Fiorina as his running mate earlier this week, said instead of protesting, dissenters need to practice “civil” and “respectful” discourse.

“You know, when I have protesters, that’s how I deal with protesters,” he continued, “not inciting violence, not shouting people down, but engaging in civil discourse.”

Ultimately, Cruz said the wild protests breaking out in California are “not acceptable” and “inappropriate” because it “muzzles others.”

(H/T: Mediaite)

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April 29th, 2016 by Staff Writer

Following the posting of a controversial flier at San Diego State University that listed names of anti-Israel students, alleging they had connections to terrorist groups, dozens of protesters trapped the college president in a car for about two hours.

Image source: CBS 8 screen grab

Image source: CBS 8 screen grab

The ordeal began on the third floor of the Student Union, where students knew president Elliott Hirshman would be, according to CBS 8. From there, the protesters followed him down the stairs and out the door, when he ended up huddled inside a police car for more than one hour.

Students hang one of many posters closer to where president Hirshman is addressing students. pic.twitter.com/113bKZi2RT

— The Daily Aztec (@TheDailyAztec) April 28, 2016

The controversial poster was first circulated around SDSU’s campus by conservative writer David Horowitz’s Freedom Center, which is known for posting provocative broadsides at various college campuses.

The frustration with Hirshman began when, after the poster was brought to his attention, he failed to offer a response that satisfied the anti-Israel students who were accused of associating themselves with Palestinian terrorist organizations.

Protesters surround a car with Hirshman in it. Currently chanting for him to step down pic.twitter.com/x7Z0yj15Yi

— The Daily Aztec (@TheDailyAztec) April 28, 2016

pic.twitter.com/E1xCIsrpUR

— The Daily Aztec (@TheDailyAztec) April 28, 2016

Protesters taking time to pray pic.twitter.com/BeMaxJX3MK

— The Daily Aztec (@TheDailyAztec) April 28, 2016

“I had people from my classes that did not know I was part of activism, and they were like, ‘Why is your name up there?’” student Tessa Wiley, whose name was on the poster, said.

In the email the president first published, he said the university supports the rights of all groups to voice their opinions on political issues, but recognizes the problems that could arise from publishing specific individuals’ names, adding that it could discourage other students from taking part in the campus’s political discourse.

But that answer was not bold enough for some protesters.

“He did not condemn it,” Wiley said. “He did not come out and say, ‘We do not stand for this.’ These are students, not terrorists.”

After a little more than an hour, Hirshman finally stepped out of the police cruiser to speak with the student protesters, who immediately began calling on the college leader to resign his post.

Hirshman apologizes and exits pic.twitter.com/d8LNooLJCL

— The Daily Aztec (@TheDailyAztec) April 28, 2016

Each of the students listed on the poster were contacted by college administration, according to a spokesperson from SDSU’s Student Affairs office. He said student frustration has nothing to do with the school not responding, but because protesters didn’t like the university’s comment.

Noting that many students remain frustrated with the way Hirshman handled the issue, the spokesperson said a potential meeting between administration and protesters should take place in the near future.

Woman in the crowd speaks out against the protest and sparks dialogue with the student protesters. pic.twitter.com/lrHNSS3jnB

— The Daily Aztec (@TheDailyAztec) April 28, 2016

Similar posters have shown up at the campuses of UC Berkeley and UC Los Angeles. Administration officials at both colleges have publicly condemned the postings.

CBS News 8 – San Diego, CA News Station – KFMB Channel 8

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Posted in Anti-Semitism, California, Campus, Israel, Pro-Israel, Protests, San Diego, Video, watch

April 28th, 2016 by Staff Writer

Barbara Boxer

Florina & Cruz: Mean and Meaner

Barbara Boxer, Senator of California, went on a Twitter rant about the newly-announced partnership of Ted Cruz and Carly Florina. Cruz announced Florina to be his running mate. Boxer, who is Florina’s rival, called the new duo “mean” and “meaner.”

 

 

Barbara Boxer

Boxer is a surrogate for the Democratic front-runner Hillary Clinton, and has long time had problems with Florina. In her comments on Wednesday, Boxer made a jab at Cruz for picking a partner who “skirted the law to sell computer parts” to Iran.

The rant from Boxer can be viewed on Twitter.

 

Her comments went on from talking about the computer parts in Iran to dissing Florina because Boxer had won against her in the run for Senate. She won the vote by 52 percent to 42 percent.

Posted in Barbara Boxer, California, Campaign 2016, Carly Fiorina, GOP Convention 2016, Politics, Ted Cruz

April 23rd, 2016 by Staff Writer

Billionaire businessman Donald Trump holds a commanding lead over his 2016 GOP rivals in California, according to results from a Fox News poll released Friday.

49 percent of the 583 likely Republican primary voters surveyed April 18-21 said they supported Trump.

Fox Poll shows @realDonaldTrump with a commanding lead in California. #SpecialReport pic.twitter.com/1zJWC3GIfO

— Fox News (@FoxNews) April 22, 2016

Texas Senator Ted Cruz was far behind, earning 22 percent of support. Ohio Gov. John Kasich came in third place, winning over 20 percent of those surveyed.

The poll had a margin of error of plus or minus four percentage points. According to the Real Clear Politics average, Trump holds a commanding 15-point lead over Cruz in California.

_

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April 18th, 2016 by Staff Writer

LOS ANGELES (AP) — A University of California, Berkeley student who came to the U.S. as an Iraqi refugee says he was unfairly removed from a flight at Los Angeles International Airport earlier this month because a fellow passenger was alarmed by an innocent conversation he was having in Arabic.

Southwest Airlines said in a statement Sunday that the passenger, Khairuldeen Makhzoomi, was taken off the April 9 flight from Los Angeles to Oakland, California, for questioning and the plane took off while that was happening. But the airline said it has not received a direct complaint from Makhzoomi, and he has not responded to several attempts to reach him.

Student Khairuldeen Makhzoomi kicked off Southwest Airlines flight after speaking in Arabic https://t.co/2n5NLhPr8G pic.twitter.com/kCXDRgkcC5

— IBTimes UK (@IBTimesUK) April 18, 2016

Makhzoomi, a 26-year-old senior at UC Berkeley, said that he was calling his uncle before the flight to tell him about a speech he had attended by United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon.

“I was very excited about the event, so I called my uncle to tell him about it,” Makhzoomi told the New York Times.

Makhzoomi told his uncle about asking a question on the Islamic State group at the event. He said he used the phrase “inshallah,” meaning “god willing,” at the end of the conversation, and those things might have led to suspicion.

He said the woman sitting in front of him on the plane began staring at him. “That is when I thought, ‘Oh, I hope she is not reporting me,’ ” Makhzoomi said.

Makhzoomi said an Arabic-speaking Southwest employee came and escorted him off the plane and asked him why he had been speaking Arabic.

Makhzoomi said he told the employee, “This is what Islamophobia got this country into.” Makhzoomi said that made the man angry and that was when he was told he could not get back on the plane.

The FBI in Los Angeles said in a statement that it investigated the situation by request and found no further action was necessary.

Southwest said it could not offer specific comments before talking to Makhzoomi. The airline’s statement said it regrets any less-than-positive experience by a customer, but its primary focus is on safety and its crew members followed protocol. It added that the company “neither condones nor tolerates discrimination of any kind.”

Sounds like @SouthwestAir owes UC Berkeley senior Khairuldeen Makhzoomi an apology. https://t.co/LZ7miklYAR @KhairyMakhzoomi

— Seth Grimes (@SethGrimes) April 16, 2016

Makhzoomi said he was able to get book a flight on another airline and got home eight hours later than planned.

“My family and I have been through a lot, and this is just another one of the experiences I have had,” he told the Times. “Human dignity is the most valuable thing in the world, not money. If they apologized, maybe it would teach them to treat people equally.”

Very disappointed in @SouthwestAir treatment of Khairuldeen Makhzoomi. He deserves more than an apology!! https://t.co/FJCOz9gcCN

— Mark Ganzer (@mtganzer) April 18, 2016

Seriously disappointed in @SouthwestAir for removing someone for speaking Arabic. I’m sorry, Khairuldeen Makhzoomi.

— Jay Shirley (@jshirley) April 17, 2016

at very least, @SouthwestAir owes Khairuldeen Makhzoomi an apology, refund 4the additional ticket he had 2buy, & compensation @LibyaLiberty

— Mia Bloom (@MiaMBloom) April 16, 2016

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Posted in Airplanes, Airport Security, Berkeley, California, Higher Education, University of California, World

April 14th, 2016 by Staff Writer

Western Civilization lost its battle once again at Stanford University when the campus referendum to reinstate the class as part of the school’s humanities core was voted down by a 6-to-1 margin in election results released Monday.

Although some of the students at Stanford called for the campus to pass a referendum requiring all students to study Western Civilization, less than 15 percent of the student body supported the effort and the referendum was voted down 1,992 to 342, according to the Daily Caller.

“While I’m disappointed students didn’t show interest in the initiative this time round, I’m proud of the dialogue our initiative created and the likely progress Stanford is now making towards a coherent humanities core,” Harry Elliott, editor-in-chief of the Stanford Review, told the College Fix.

Photo credit: Shutterstock

Photo credit: Shutterstock

The Western Civilization dilemma first became an issue during the 1980s when the Rev. Jesse Jackson marched alongside students who were demanding that the course be dropped from its place as a required part of the curriculum because of its allegedly “racist” and “sexist” undertones, according to Campus Reform.

This year, the Stanford Review campaigned to reinstate the study of Western Civilization as a core course and a key component in shaping the students’ studies. After the Stanford Review passed out a petition to restore the course to its original place, it received more than 370 signatures, Campus Reform noted. If the referendum had passed, it would have forced faculty and administrators to consider making two courses of study in Western Civilization a core requirement for each student.

When these issues were announced in February, immediate backlash occurred within several segments of the student body as students described the courses as filled with “European-Western and male bias” as well as “sexist and racist stereotypes,” Campus Reform reported. But the Stanford Review disagreed, instead maintaining that the study of Western Civilization was necessary to the students’ accurate understanding of the world.

“The West’s history of colonization and racial oppression is also essential to understanding why the events at Yale and Mizzou arose in the first place,” petition writers originally stated, according to Campus Reform. “Although Western history has stories of repression, so do the histories of every global civilization. And Western values of free speech, rationalism, and individual liberty fueled the intellectual destruction of colonialism in Western and other societies.”

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Front-page image via Shutterstock

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