In Congress, the vulnerability of the power grid has emerged as among the most pressing domestic security concerns
For the LATimes, Evan Halper writes: Adam Crain assumed that tapping into the computer networks used by power companies to keep electricity zipping through transmission lines would be nearly impossible in these days of heightened vigilance over cybersecurity.
When he discovered how wrong he was, his work sent Homeland Security Department officials into a scramble.
Crain, the owner of a small tech firm in Raleigh, N.C., along with a research partner, found penetrating transmission systems used by dozens of utilities to be startlingly easy. After they shared their discovery with beleaguered utility security officials, the Homeland Security Department began sending alerts to power grid operators, advising them to upgrade their software.
The alerts haven’t stopped because Crain keeps finding new security holes he can exploit.
“There are a lot of people going through various stages of denial” about how easily terrorists could disrupt the power grid, he said. “If I could write a tool that does this, you can be sure a nation state or someone with more resources could.”
“Many of the grid’s important components sit out in the open, often in remote locations, protected by little more than cameras and chain-link fences.”
Those sorts of warnings, along with vivid demonstrations of the grid’s vulnerability, such as an incident a year ago in which unknown assailants fired on a power station near San Jose, nearly knocking out electricity to Silicon Valley, have grabbed official attention. In Congress, the vulnerability of the power grid has emerged as among the most pressing domestic security concerns.
It is also among the most vexing. Read the rest of this entry »
Defending the right to sell and trade arms
David B. Kopel writes: The First Amendment protects both book buyers and booksellers. Does the Second Amendment protect only people who buy guns, or does it also protect people who sell guns? Though this question has divided the federal courts, the answer is quite clear: operating a business that provides Second Amendment services is protected by the Second Amendment. District of Columbia v. Heller1 teaches that regulation of how firearms are commercially sold enjoys a presumption of constitutionality, which does not extend to prohibitions of firearms sales.
[Related: Find John Lott's essential book: More Guns, Less Crime: Understanding Crime and Gun Control Laws, Third Edition (Studies in Law and Economics) at Amazon]
In the lower federal courts, there is a developing split about whether firearms sellers have Second Amendment rights which the courts are bound to respect. Seventh Circuit courts view firearms sellers like booksellers — as holders of constitutional rights. While gun sellers are subject to much stricter regulation than are booksellers, they are both protected by the Bill of Rights. Conversely, in the courts of the Fourth Circuit, gun sellers have no Second Amendment rights.
Brown v. Board of Education was not exactly a popular decision among some state and local governments, and among some lower court judges. The same is true of Heller. One form of resistance to Heller has been to read the opinion in the narrowest possible way, excluding from Second Amendment protection many normal activities involving firearms. One such form of resistance is the claim that the Second Amendment does not apply to gun sales.
Jackass Quote of the Week: Former Arizona Sheriff Threatens to Use Women as Human Shields During Bundy Ranch StandoffPosted: April 14, 2014
“We were actually strategizing to put all the women up at the front. If they are going to start shooting, it’s going to be women that are going to be televised all across the world getting shot by these rogue federal officers.”
Who is this “we”, I wonder? “We” were “actually strategizing?” When hatching this brilliant idea, were any of the actual women involved consulted? Did his group agree on this “strategy”? Highly doubtful. I suspect Richard Mack was “strategizing” out of his ass, in front of a TV camera, on his own.
What would be televised, is Mack leading his group of “Patriots” into a permeant cloud of shame, colossal public humiliation, an act of cowardice and dishonor from which his movement would never recover. Hiding behind women? That sounds more like something some extremist moron from the far Left would do.
Former Arizona Sheriff Richard Mack revealed on Monday that he and other organizers who traveled to Clark County, Nev., to support Cliven Bundy during his land dispute with the feds planned to put women on the front lines in case the “rogue federal officers” started shooting.
Mack made the chilling revelation on Fox News’ “The Real Story” Monday, two days after the tense standoff between Bundy and the federal government came to a peaceful end.
Mack apparently identifies with the Tea Party and claims to have spoken at numerous rallies. He also appeared on MSNBC’s “Hardball” with host Chris Matthews to promote the movement.
Mack was elected as Graham County sheriff in 1988 and he served two terms until 1997. The former sheriff also reportedly fought against the so-called “Brady Bill,” a 1993 gun control law that instituted federal background checks on firearms purchasers in the United States.
And Eric Holder is not exactly brilliant either.
Charles C. W. Cooke writes: Addressing the assembled congressmen in his inimitable style last Friday, Attorney General Holder told a House appropriations subcommittee that he wished to “explore” the opportunities that might arise were he to be given millions of dollars of taxpayers’ money and a copy of the movie Skyfall:
I think that one of the things that we learned when we were trying to get passed those common sense reforms last year, Vice President Biden and I had a meeting with a group of technology people and we talked about how guns can be made more safe.
By making them either through fingerprint identification, the gun talks to a bracelet or something that you might wear, how guns can be used only by the person who is lawfully in possession of the weapon.
It’s those kinds of things that I think we want to try to explore so that we can make sure that people have the ability to enjoy their Second Amendment rights, but at the same time decreasing the misuse of weapons that lead to the kinds of things that we see on a daily basis.
There is much that is remarkable about this rather ugly little disquisition, not least of which is Holder’s apparent inability to construct coherent, intelligible, and appropriate trains of thought. Eccentric syntax notwithstanding, the request is absolutely dripping with noblesse oblige, the clear implication being that the government remains prepared to indulge the exercise of basic liberties providing that it can find a way to ensure that the nation’s dilettantes don’t hurt themselves in the process. Read the rest of this entry »
AWR Hawkins reports: On April 2, Deborah Hughes looked out her front window and saw Steve Utash on the ground being brutally beaten by a gang of men–she grabbed her pistol and ran to his aid.
According to the Daily Mail, Utash had stopped to check on a 10-year-old child “he had accidentally hit.”
When Utash got out of the car a gang converged on him and had beat him unconscious “by the time [Hughes] got to his side.”
[VIDEO] Anti-Gun Senator Leland Yee: ‘The Laws He Was Pushing Pale in Comparison to The Laws He Was Breaking’Posted: April 5, 2014
NRA News‘ Ginny Simone reports the story the way CNN should have
California State Senator Leland Yee, a leading gun-control activist, was arrested March 26 in an FBI sting and charged with conspiring to traffic in firearms and public corruption. “This is heavy-duty international arms trafficking with organized crime figures,” says Civil Rights Attorney Chuck Michel. “The laws that he was pushing pale in comparison to the laws that he was breaking.”
The Leland Yee story is one of the most remarkable in years. A California State Senator, Yee has long been a leading spokesman for gun control–it’s all for the children, you know. A popular politician who represents around one-half of San Francisco, Yee was about to run for Secretary of State when he was arrested for gun running. Specifically, he acted as an intermediary to buy shoulder-fired missiles and automatic weapons from a Muslim terrorist group in the Philippines and import them into the U.S. There were other charges, too; the usual bribery, money laundering, and so on.
On MSNBC, no less, interviewed by Frank Sinatra Jr.
“We’ve asked for the incident to be reclassified from ‘workplace violence,’ of all things, to what it was, which was a terroristic attack.”
Munley, who was shot three times as she and her partner confronted the shooter, sat next to Michelle Obama during the president’s State of the Union address in 2010, and told ABC News that she believes the White House used her seating arrangement for political gain.
In November, on the third anniversary of the Fort Hood army base shooting, 148 victims and family members sued the government, alleging that the Defense Department dodged legal ramifications by classifying the shootings as “workplace violence” rather than a terrorist attack, the Associated Press reported.
For The Daily Caller, Robby Soave writes: A Connecticut community college suspended a student veteran for his aggressive questioning of Democratic Gov. Dannel Malloy during a public forum, prompting a First Amendment advocacy group to condemn the college for its flagrant disrespect for free speech and due process.
The student, Nicholas Saucier, tried to get Malloy to answer questions about his support for gun control legislation, which has put Saucier’s ammunition manufacturing business in jeopardy. Saucier followed Malloy to his car after the governor finished speaking at a public forum at Asnuntuck Community College. The exchange took place in October of last year, and was captured on video.
Soldier at Fort Hood Purchased Handgun Off Base, Brought It into Gun-Free Zone
AWR Hawkins writes: Ivan Lopez, identified by authorities as the soldier who opened fire at Ft. Hood on April 2nd, purchased his handgun off base and brought it into the gun-free zone to commit his crime, according to a military officer.
During a nighttime press conference on April 2nd, Lt. General Mark Milley said the soldier used a .45 caliber Smith & Wesson handgun. If brought onto the base the gun was supposed to be “registered on the base;” however, Milley said, “this gun was not registered.”
The wide-ranging criminal complaint against California State Sen. Leland Yee and many others describes a dark world of deceit and intrigue with high-powered weapons at its core.
Sure, CNN is fraudulently insisting the reason they’re ignoring the scandal is because Yee is not a national figure, even taking to Twitter to mock those who suggests otherwise, while declining to cover the story, dismissing it as not newsworthy. Really? A Democrat who’s a gun-control advocate getting caught in a sting, exposed running guns to Muslim militants is terribly inconvenient, isn’t it?
One would think that any story with the words “Shrimp Boy” in the headline would automatically be impossible to resist. It certainly works for us, here at punditfromanotherplanet, hell, just typing Shrimp Boy is hard to resist.
It’s the guns and ammo we want to see, right? You know you want to see the hardware. Well, today’s your lucky day. Leave it to Popular Mechanics to show us who’s packing what, in the scandal of Leland Yee. A few samples for your viewing. Check out Popular Mechanics to see the rest of their photo series.
Dragonmaster Chow’s Choice
The FBI accuses 54-year-old Kwok Sheung Chow of leading the Chee Kung Tong (CKT) criminal group. (The bureau tapped the ceremony swearing him in as the Dragonhead of the group.) The criminal complaint paints him as a leader who wants his organization to be seen as legit, but who keeps a direct hand in some of the felonious operations that ensnared other CKT-affiliated players, including State Sen. Leland Yee (D-San Francisco), a gun control advocate caught on FBI recordings brokering arms deals and accepting money to pass legislation. Chow is the person who introduced Keith Jackson, the senator’s political operative, to the undercover FBI agents. (read more)
Tavor Assault Rifle
On March 11, 2014, Yee met with political consultant Keith Jackson (more on him soon) and Wilson Lim, who claimed to have a relative in the Philippines military who could steal weapons and was supposedly selling the military gear to Islamic rebels in Mindanao. An FBI undercover employee (UCE 4599) also in attendance asked Lim what kinds of weapons he could get. “Lim told UCE 4599 the Israeli-made Tavor assault rifle was very common in the Philippines,” the affidavit says. “Lim described the Tavor as being the equivalent of the M16 assault rifle.” Read the rest of this entry »
USS Pennsylvania is a United States Navy Ohio-class ballistic missile submarine which has been in commission since 1989. The Ohio class is a class of nuclear powered submarines used by the United States Navy.
I can’t tell if this is an April Fool’s announcement, or real, but I got this in the mail this morning, and had to share it:
Lucky Gunner is proud to announce that we now have in stock a special batch of 9mm Statesman Ammunition™. Originally made as a special production run for a California state official, the ammo will not reach its intended customer due to pending legal proceedings and is now being offered for sale to the public at a deep discount!
Featuring the Triad-Tech™ bullet from Shrimp Boy Tactical for enhanced accuracy, each round is meticulously made to ensure reliable ignition and all rounds are incredibly corrosive. Don’t get caught feeling stung, elect to buy some Statesman 9mm ammo today!