Thursday, October 13, 2011

Fullerton council member describes a completely dysfunctional City Hall

Fullerton City Council Member Bruce Whitaker spoke on camera about the dysfunction plaguing Fullerton City Hall.  He describes receiving reports that were complete fabrications and being stonewalled by City Manager Joe Felz and the City's Risk Manager. 

Fullerton's previous risk manager, Darryl Raymond Phillips, pleaded guilty in June to several work-related felonies. 

After all of the signs of government corruption that we have seen in recent months its no surprise that managers and department directors are not cooperating.  Their actions beg the question, what are they hiding?  Public humiliation or something much larger?

Please watch this video through to the end. 


Fullerton Fire Department warns business about bogus safety inspections

The Fullerton Fire Department is cautioning business owners to be on the alert for a group of individuals who conduct unsolicited “inspections” of a business’ fire safety systems.
           
At the conclusion of the “inspection,” the individuals will present the business owner with a document that resembles an inspection report, but is actually a bill.
           
Fullerton Fire Marshal Julie Kunze said approximately six local businesses have been targeted by the individuals over the past month, adding the group’s activities seem to be picking up pace. She also noted they are hitting surrounding cities, and have targeted businesses in Los Angeles County, as well.
           
Kunze said while the individuals do not specifically say they are from the Fire Department, they wear dark blue shirts and pants resembling a firefighter’s uniform. They then inform the owner or manager of the business that they are there to conduct an inspection of their business or the fire safety system.
           
“They walk around the business while marking off items on a clipboard,” Kunze said. “At the conclusion of the ‘inspection,’ they ask the business owner to sign the ‘inspection’ form. By signing, the business owner has agreed to pay a fee for the work, and if they don’t pay immediately, they are turned over to an aggressive collection agency.”
           
Kunze said fees charged for the alleged ‘inspections’ have ranged from $100-$300.
           
The Fullerton Fire Department does conduct annual inspections of businesses and fire safety systems; however, “the Fire Department does not charge for the service,” Kunze said. “The department never contracts with a private business to conduct the inspections.”
           
Kunze added when fire personnel conduct an inspection, “They will always be in a Fire Department uniform, wearing a Fullerton Fire Department badge, as well as a department patch on one sleeve, and driving a department vehicle, such as a fire engine or clearly marked fire car.” 
           
Kunze said businesses approached by the phony inspectors should immediately call the Fire Prevention Division of the Fullerton Fire Department at (714) 738-6500. “It would be very helpful if the business owners could provide us with descriptions of the individuals, as well as their vehicle, including the license plate number,” she said.
           
However, she added business owners should never attempt to challenge these people or in any way or put their personal safety in jeopardy. “Business owners do not have to allow these people on their premises,” Kunze said. “They can politely decline the inspection and then call the Fire Department.”
           
Further information about the Fire Department’s business fire safety inspections may also be obtained by calling the Fire Prevention Division.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Two Men Charged in Alleged Plot to Assassinate Saudi Arabian Ambassador to the United States

WASHINGTON – Two individuals have been charged in New York for their alleged participation in a plot directed by elements of the Iranian government to murder the Saudi Ambassador to the United States with explosives while the Ambassador was in the United States.

The charges were announced by Attorney General Eric Holder; FBI Director Robert S. Mueller; Lisa Monaco, Assistant Attorney General for National Security; and Preet Bharara, U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York.

A criminal complaint filed today in the Southern District of New York charges Manssor Arbabsiar, a 56-year-old naturalized U.S. citizen holding both Iranian and U.S. passports, and Gholam Shakuri, an Iran-based member of Iran’s Qods Force, which is a special operations unit of the Iranian Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) that is said to sponsor and promote terrorist activities abroad.    

Both defendants are charged with conspiracy to murder a foreign official; conspiracy to engage in foreign travel and use of interstate and foreign commerce facilities in the commission of murder-for-hire; conspiracy to use a weapon of mass destruction (explosives); and conspiracy to commit an act of international terrorism transcending national boundaries.   Arbabsiar is further charged with an additional count of foreign travel and use of interstate and foreign commerce facilities in the commission of murder-for-hire.

Shakuri remains at large. Arbabsiar was arrested on Sept. 29, 2011, at New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport and will make his initial appearance today before in federal court in Manhattan.   He faces a maximum potential sentence of life in prison if convicted of all the charges.

“ The criminal complaint unsealed today exposes a deadly plot directed by factions of the Iranian government to assassinate a foreign Ambassador on U.S. soil with explosives,” said Attorney General Holder. “Through the diligent and coordinated efforts of our law enforcement and intelligence agencies, we were able to disrupt this plot before anyone was harmed.  We will continue to investigate this matter vigorously and bring those who have violated any laws to justice.”

“The investigation leading to today’s charges illustrates both the challenges and complexities of the international threat environment, and our increased ability today to bring together the intelligence and law enforcement resources necessary to better identify and disrupt those threats, regardless of their origin,” said FBI Director Mueller.
 “The disruption of this plot is a significant milestone that stems from months of hard work by our law enforcement and intelligence professionals,” said Assistant Attorney General Monaco.   “I applaud the many agents, analysts and prosecutors who helped bring about today’s case.”
“As alleged, these defendants were part of a well-funded and pernicious plot that had, as its first priority, the assassination of the Saudi Ambassador to the United States, without care or concern for the mass casualties that would result from their planned attack,” said U.S. Attorney Bharara.   “Today’s charges should make crystal clear that we will not let other countries use our soil as their battleground.”  
The Alleged Plot

The criminal complaint alleges that, from the spring of 2011 to October 2011, Arbabsiar and his Iran-based co-conspirators, including Shakuri of the Qods Force, have been plotting the murder of the Saudi Ambassador to the United States.   In furtherance of this conspiracy, Arbabsiar allegedly met on a number of occasions in Mexico with a DEA confidential source (CS-1) who has posed as an associate of a violent international drug trafficking cartel.   According to the complaint, Arbabsiar arranged to hire CS-1 and CS-1’s purported accomplices to murder the Ambassador, and Shakuri and other Iran-based co-conspirators were aware of and approved the plan.   With Shakuri’s approval, Arbabsiar has allegedly caused approximately $100,000 to be wired into a bank account in the United States as a down payment to CS-1 for the anticipated killing of the Ambassador, which was to take place in the United States.

According to the criminal complaint, the IRCG is an arm of the Iranian military that is composed of a number of branches, one of which is the Qods Force.  The Qods Force conducts sensitive covert operations abroad, including terrorist attacks, assassinations and kidnappings, and is believed to sponsor attacks against Coalition Forces in Iraq.   In October 2007, the U.S. Treasury Department designated the Qods Force for providing material support to the Taliban and other terrorist organizations.

The complaint alleges that Arbabsiar met with CS-1 in Mexico on May 24, 2011, where Arbabsiar inquired as to CS-1’s knowledge with respect to explosives and explained that he was interested in, among other things, attacking an embassy of Saudi Arabia.   In response, CS-1 allegedly indicated that he was knowledgeable with respect to C-4 explosives.   In June and July 2011, the complaint alleges, Arbabsiar returned to Mexico and held additional meetings with CS-1, where Arbabsiar explained that his associates in Iran had discussed a number of violent missions for CS-1 and his associates to perform, including the murder of the Ambassador.  

$1.5 Million Fee for Alleged Assassination

In a July 14, 2011, meeting in Mexico, CS-1 allegedly told Arbabsiar that he would need to use four men to carry out the Ambassador’s murder and that his price for carrying out the murder was $1.5 million. Arbabsiar allegedly agreed and stated that the murder of the Ambassador should be handled first, before the execution of other attacks.   Arbabsiar also allegedly indicated he and his associates had $100,000 in Iran to pay CS-1 as a first payment toward the assassination and discussed the manner in which that payment would be made.  

During the same meeting, Arbabsiar allegedly described to CS-1 his cousin in Iran, who he said had requested that Arbabsiar find someone to carry out the Ambassador’s assassination.   According to the complaint, Arbabsiar indicated that his cousin was a “big general” in the Iranian military; that he focuses on matters outside Iran and that he had taken certain unspecified actions related to a bombing in Iraq.

In a July 17, 2011, meeting in Mexico, CS-1 noted to Arbabsiar that one of his workers had already traveled to Washington, D.C., to surveill the Ambassador.   CS-1 also raised the possibility of innocent bystander casualties. The complaint alleges that Arbabsiar made it clear that the assassination needed to go forward, despite mass casualties, telling CS-1, “They want that guy [the Ambassador] done [killed], if the hundred go with him f**k ‘em.”  CS-1 and Arbabsiar allegedly discussed bombing a restaurant in the United States that the Ambassador frequented.   When CS-1 noted that others could be killed in the attack, including U.S. senators who dine at the restaurant, Arbabsiar allegedly dismissed these concerns as “no big deal.”

On Aug. 1, and Aug. 9, 2011, with Shakuri’s approval, Arbabsiar allegedly caused two overseas wire transfers totaling approximately $100,000 to be sent to an FBI undercover account as a down payment for CS-1 to carry out the assassination.   Later, Arbabsiar allegedly explained to CS-1 that he would provide the remainder of the $1.5 million after the assassination. On Sept. 20, 2011, CS-1 allegedly told Arbabsiar that the operation was ready and requested that Arbabsiar either pay one half of the agreed upon price ($1.5 million) for the murder or that Arbabsiar personally travel to Mexico as collateral for the final payment of the fee.   According to the complaint, Arbabsiar agreed to travel to Mexico to guarantee final payment for the murder.  

Arrest and Alleged Confession

On or about Sept. 28, 2011, Arbabsiar flew to Mexico.   Arbabsiar was refused entry into Mexico by Mexican authorities and, according to Mexican law and international agreements; he was placed on a return flight destined for his last point of departure.    On Sept. 29, 2011, Arbabsiar was arrested by federal agents during a flight layover at JFK International Airport in New York.   Several hours after his arrest, Arbabsiar was advised of his Miranda rights and he agreed to waive those rights and speak with law enforcement agents.   During a series of Mirandized interviews, Arbabsiar allegedly confessed to his participation in the murder plot.
          
According to the complaint, Arbabsiar also admitted to agents that, in connection with this plot, he was recruited, funded and directed by men he understood to be senior officials in Iran’s Qods Force.   He allegedly said these Iranian officials were aware of and approved of the use of CS-1 in connection with the plot; as well as payments to CS-1; the means by which the Ambassador would be killed in the United States and the casualties that would likely result.

Arbabsiar allegedly told agents that his cousin, who he had long understood to be a senior member of the Qods Force, had approached him in the early spring of 2011 about recruiting narco-traffickers to kidnap the Ambassador.   Arbabsiar told agents that he then met with the CS-1 in Mexico and discussed assassinating the Ambassador.   According to the complaint, Arbabsiar said that, afterwards, he met several times in Iran with Shakuri and another senior Qods Force official, where he explained that the plan was to blow up a restaurant in the United States frequented by the Ambassador and that numerous bystanders could be killed, according to the complaint.   The plan was allegedly approved by these officials.  

In October 2011, according to the complaint, Arbabsiar made phone calls at the direction of law enforcement to Shakuri in Iran that were monitored.  During these phone calls, Shakuri allegedly confirmed that Arbabsiar should move forward with the plot to murder the Ambassador and that he should accomplish the task as quickly as possible, stating on Oct. 5, 2011, “[j]ust do it quickly, it’s late . . .”  The complaint alleges that Shakuri also told Arbabsiar that he would consult with his superiors about whether they would be willing to pay CS-1 additional money.

This investigation is being conducted by the FBI Houston Division and DEA Houston Division, with assistance from the FBI New York Joint Terrorism Task Force.   The prosecution is being handled by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Glen Kopp and Edward Kim, of the Terrorism and International Narcotics Unit of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York, with assistance from the Counterterrorism Section of the Justice Department’s National Security Division. The Office of International Affairs of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division and the U.S. State Department provided substantial assistance.  We thank the government of Mexico for its close coordination and collaboration in this matter, and for its role in ensuring that the defendant was safely apprehended.

The charges contained in a criminal complaint are mere allegations and defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.

Monday, October 10, 2011

September Tax Revenue Shows California $705.5-Million Behind Budget

From State Controller John Chiang

SACRAMENTO – State Controller John Chiang today released his monthly report covering California's cash balance, receipts and disbursements in September, showing revenues came in $301.6 million below projections from the recently passed state budget.  
"For better or worse, the potential for revenue shortfalls is precisely why the Governor and Legislature included trigger cuts in this year's State spending plan," said State Controller John Chiang.  "September's revenues alone do not guarantee that triggers will be pulled. But as the largest revenue month before December, these numbers do not paint a hopeful picture."
After accounting for September revenues, total year-to-date general fund revenues are now behind the budget's estimates by $705.5 million.
The State ended last fiscal year with a cash deficit of $8.2 billion. The combined current year cash deficit stands at $17.6 billion.  Those deficits are being covered with $12.2 billion of internal borrowing (temporary loans from special funds) and $5.4 billion of external borrowing.
For more details, read September 2011's financial statement and summary analysis.

Governor Brown Signs Far-Reaching Anti-Gun Law

Unless you are an insurance adjuster or broker, person engaged solely in the business of securing information about persons or property from public records, a secured creditor engaged in repossession, security guard, movie maker, attorney, banker, collections agent, or other "specially" and specifically designated persons you will no longer be allowed to carry an UNLOADED and UNCONCEALED firearm.

"untrained, unscreened, self-appointed vigilante"

AB 144 was signed into law over the weekend and takes affect January 1, 2012.  The law is convoluted and misguided with countless exceptions having little rhyme or reason. 

There is an exemption granted to "savings association" and another for persons engaged in or attempting to make a lawful arrest.  That's right, you can have a completely useless unloaded gun if you are attempting to lawfully arrest someone or if you are somehow a savings association.

This new infringement on our the 2nd Amendment is in response to concerns from several police chiefs and sheriffs around California. 

According to the L.A. Times, LAPD Chief Charlie Beck says officers waste time responding to calls about people with guns who are otherwise being lawful.  It seems that officers and the public have a hard time distinguishing the difference between criminal and non-criminal activities.


Brian Malte

Under AB 144 what use to be harmless and lawful is at least a misdemeanor and probably a felony.

Brian Malte, director of state legislation for the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, told the L.A. Times "California families will now be able to take their families to the park or out to eat without the worry of getting shot by some untrained, unscreened, self-appointed vigilante." 

But wait.  This law only concerns possession of an UNLOADED gun.  How does Malte make the jump from a unloaded guns to loaded guns??  It was already a crime to exercise vigilante justice as well as negligently discharge a firearm in a public place.  Now, no UNLOADED guns will be discharged??  What is Malte and his fascist Brady brats smoking??

Let's recap.  Brown has just criminalized something that cannot by its own definition hurt anyone- carrying an UNCONCEALED and UNLOADED gun. 


Ca. Assemblyman Anthony Portafino (D)

"The bottom line is the streets will be safer for law enforcement and families," said the bill's author, Assemblyman Anthony Portantino (D-La Canada Flintridge). "California is no longer the wild west, where citizens had to carry six-shooters on their hips for protection." 

Someone needs to tell Portantino that those six-shooters he is referring to are UNLOADED and completely inert.

The argument for passing AB 144 is completely baseless and does NOTHING to make California safer.  Some people just don't get it.

Did Fullerton Police Chief Violate Contract?

From KTLA

KTLA: Council member Whitaker says police chief violated his contract by living in San Clemente


Chief Michael Sellers, who is currently on medical leave, never moved to Fullerton as required by his employment contract. KTLA’s David Begnaud’s filed this report Thursday night:

 

SAN CLEMENTE, Calif. (KTLA) -- Fullerton Police Chief Michael Sellers, who has been on medical leave since August, has some questions to answer about one of the terms of his contract with the city.

Chief Sellers' contract -- signed on April 1, 2009 -- dictated that he had to "make a bona fide effort" to make Fullerton his primary residence by December 2010.

That deadline passed almost a year ago, but Sellers still lives some 40 miles away, in a gated community in San Clemente.

Property records indicate that he has lived there for the past 10 years.

"I think there were no efforts of any sort that he exhibited," Fullerton City Councilman Bruce Whitaker told KTLA.

Whitaker is one of two councilmembers who have, in the past, called for Sellers to resign.

"I think we should press the matter," Whitaker said.

"On behalf of taxpayers, they understand right now that we're paying large amounts of money for a chief not to be on the job."

Sellers was hired at a salary of $192,000 per year -- about $16,000 every month.

"If he hasn't lived up to the terms of this agreement, I'd be in favor of pushing our side of the equation," Whitaker said.

But legal expert Ken Rosenfeld says the phrase "make a bona fide effort" is so vauge that it would almost be impossible to prove that Sellers did not make an effort.

Councilman Whitaker says he will try anyways.

"I've talked to the city manager about it, but we haven't pressed for an internal opinion about it," Whitaker said. "I imagine that will follow shortly."

Sellers' medical leave began in August amid growing scrutiny of his department's handling of a violent altercation between six police officers and 37-year-old homeless man Kelly Thomas.

He recently asked a second extension to his medical leave, which would last at least another 60 days.

City Manager Jose Felz says Sellers is legally allowed to take up to 12 months medical leave as a law enforcement officer.

The city has hired a doctor to review Sellers' medical records, however, then make a recommendation to the city.

Capt. Kevin Hamilton has taken over as acting chief in his absence.

Greg Sebourn

Orange County Bail Bonds

The Beauty of a Storm

The Beauty of a Storm
Orange County, Ca.

My Grandma - A Eulogy

LET'S TALK ABOUT 1914 FOR A MOMENT.



FOR STARTERS, GRANDMA WAS BORN TUESDAY, DECEMBER 22, 1914 IN HER FAMILY'S ATWOOD RANCH HOUSE.



IT IS WORTH NOTING THOSE ALSO BORN IN 1914:

JACK LALANNE

JOE DIMAGGIO

DANNY THOMAS



AND WHO DIED IN 1914:

JOHN MUIR, THE FAMOUS NATURALIST FOR WHICH NUMEROUS ROADS, PARKS, HOTELS, AND NATURE RESERVES ARE NAMED.



IT IS ALSO WORTH NOTING THAT IN 1914 WOODROW WILSON SIGNS MOTHER'S DAY PROCLAMATION AND BABE RUTH MAKES HIS MAJOR LEAGUE DEBUT WITH THE RED SOX. MOTHER'S DAY AND BASEBALL- TWO OF MY FAVORITES!! (PERHAPS HER NICKNAME "BABE" CAME FROM BABE RUTH???)



GRANDMA WAS BORN INTO A PERIOD OF TIME FILLED WITH TURMOIL. IN JUNE OF 1914 ARCHDUKE FRANZS FERDINAND WAS ASSASSINATED. WITHIN ONE MONTH WORLD WAR I RAGED ACROSS EUROPE. TWO DAYS AFTER HER BIRTH HOWEVER, GERMAN AND BRITISH TROOPS INTERRUPTED WWI TO CELEBRATE CHRISTMAS. (PERHAPS THEY PAUSE KNOWING THAT A GREAT WOMAN WAS BORNE) WORLD WAR I CONTINUED UNTIL THE TREATY OF VERSAILLES IN 1919.



ALTHOUGH SHE WAS ONLY 5 YEARS OLD, SHE SAW THE LEAGUE OF NATIONS CREATED AND THE 19TH AMENDMENT WAS APPROVED BY THE U.S. CONGRESS GUARANTEEING THE RIGHTS OF WOMEN TO VOTE.



SHE LIVED THROUGH MANY NOTABLE EVENTS. LIKE THE 1933 LONG BEACH EARTHQUAKE OR WHEN ATWOOD FLOODED ALONG WITH MOST OF ORANGE COUNTY IN 1938 AND THE FLOOD-WATERS CLAIMED MORE THAN 50 PEOPLE, 43 OF WHICH WERE FROM ATWOOD! ALL OF THIS DURING A TIME THAT WE READ ABOUT IN SCHOOL AND KNOWN AS "THE GREAT DEPRESSION". SOMEWHERE IN ALL OF THAT SHE FOUND THE LOVE OF HER LIFE, GRANDPA LEO, GRADUATED HIGH SCHOOL, GOT MARRIED, AND HAD KIDS!



THEN THERE WAS WORLD WAR II. FROM PEARL HARBOR TO HIROSHIMA, GRANDMA WAS RAISING MY UNCLE BOB AND MOM ARLINE. WITH AIR-RAID SIRENS AND BLACKOUTS SHE WAS A WIFE AND MOTHER. WHAT A TIME TO RAISE CHILDREN! I BET GRANDMA'S PARENTS WERE ABEL TO TELL HER A THING OR TWO ABOUT RAISING KIDS IN WARTIME.



GRANDMA WAS THERE WHEN THE BOY SCOUTS OF AMERICA HELD THEIR 3RD ANNUAL NATIONAL JAMBOREE IN 1953. SHE SAW AIRBASES OPEN IN '42 AND CLOSE IN '99. SHE WATCHED WALTER KNOTT START UP HIS BERRY FARM AND WALT DISNEY TURN ORANGE GROVES AND STRAWBERRY PATCHES INTO DISNEYLAND!



SHE SAW THE HORSE AND CARRIAGE FADE AWAY INTO HISTORY AND SPACE TRAVEL EXPLODE BEFORE HER WITH THE FIRST LUNAR LANDING. JUST IMAGINE HOW MUCH TECHNOLOGY HAS CHANGED OVER THE LAST 100 YEARS. FROM TUBE RECTIFIERS TO SUPERCONDUCTORS; FROM TRANS-ATLANTIC TELEGRAPH CABLES TO SATELLITE TV.



SHE SAW MORE IN HER 93 YEARS THAN MOST OF US WILL EVER READ ABOUT, LET ALONE LIVE THROUGH!



OF THOSE 93 YEARS IT IS MY HONOR TO HAVE BEEN HER GRANDSON FOR 35 OF THEM. SHE WAS MY MOTHER WHEN MOM HAD TO WORK. SHE WIPED MY NOSE AND PUT FOOD IN MY MOUTH. SHE LET ME PLAY WITH GRANDPA EVEN THOUGH SHE NEEDED HIM TO TAKE HER TO THE STORE. SHE WAS MY GRANDMA AND I WILL MISS HER IMMENSELY.



JUST LOOK AROUND THIS ROOM; SHE DID THIS. SHE IS RESPONSIBLE FOR BRINGING SO MANY GOOD PEOPLE INTO THIS WORLD AND TOGETHER TODAY. THIS IS HER LEGACY.



A Dedication To My Loving Wife, Stacey. Thank you for all you do for me!

Brad Paisley - I Thought I Loved You Then


I remember trying not to stare the night that I first met you
You had me mesmerized
3 weeks later in the front porch light taking 45 min to kiss you goodnight
I hadn’t told you yet but I thought I loved you then

Chorus
Now you’re my whole life now you’re my whole world
I just can’t believe the way I feel about you girl
Like a river meets the sea
Stronger than it’s ever been
We’ve come so far since that day
And I thought I loved you then.

I remember taking you back to right where I first met you
You were so surprised
There were people around
But I didn’t care I got down on one knee right there
And once again I thought I loved you then

Chorus
Now you’re my whole life now you’re my whole world
I just can’t believe the way I feel about you girl
Like a river meets the sea
Stronger than it’s ever been
We’ve come so far since that day
And I thought I loved you then.

I can just see you with a baby on the way
I can just see you when your hair is turning gray
What I can’t see is how I’m ever gonna love you more
But I’ve said that before.

Now you’re my whole life now you’re my whole world
I just can’t believe the way I feel about you girl
Well look back some day at this moment that we’re in
And I'll look at you and say I thought I loved you then
And I thought I loved you then...

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