Posts Tagged ‘California’

Leland Yee/Shrimp Boy Chow Update for April 21, 2014

Monday, April 21st, 2014

More details and repercussions from the indictment of California State Senator Leland Yee and his criminal associates on gun-trafficking and other charges:

  • Feds plan to add racketeering charges to the Yee indictment.
  • Prominent Democrat Willie Brown (former Speaker of the California House and Mayor of San Francisco) wonders what the big deal is with the Yee indictment:

    Give the guy a break. When all is said and done, his alleged crimes come down to taking campaign contributions in return for issuing proclamations, using campaign funds to set up a meeting and taking campaign funds for writing a letter.

    Never did he sell his vote, steal public money or actually put money in his own pocket, as far as I can tell.

    None of Yee’s decisions affected the public.

    I’ve gone over the FBI’s criminal complaint and, from what I can see, the biggest crime he was accused of was trying hustle some undercover FBI agents who were out to get alleged Chinatown gang leader Raymond “Shrimp Boy” Chow.

    First, I don’t think Brown has read that indictment carefully enough. Second, notice how prominent Democrats seem to think that some felonies are just no big deal…

  • “Leland Yee symbolizes the pay-to-play virus that has infected our entire body politic.”
  • But don’t worry, Californians! Your Democratic Party-controlled government has the solution to all this slime and corruption: “intensive ethics training for senators and staffers.” Because ordinarily people just wouldn’t know that engaging in illegal arms trafficking to Islamic rebels was wrong. “Was that wrong? Should I not have done that?”
  • Alleged money laundering co-conspirators Leslie Yun and James Pau granted bail. They’re also accused of stolen stolen cigarette smuggling, marijuana distribution, and owning “a massage parlor that provides sexual services for its customers.”
  • Back when Yee was a mere school board President, someone once sent him a message in the form of a pig’s head with a clever embedded in its skull.
  • Yee’s defense team accuses FBI of entrapment.
  • Chow’s lawyers also accuse the FBI of entrapment, saying that the FBI threw millions of dollars at him. His lawyer also says that “the $58,000 Chow received from undercover agents were legal gratuities, not kickbacks for illegal activity.” Yeah, good luck pushing that theory…
  • Gun and Crme Roundup for April 16, 2014

    Wednesday, April 16th, 2014

    The Bundy Ranch story is part of the Second Amendment story (and the Tenth Amendment story), but is too big and sprawling to unpack here. So here are some of the other things that have been happening:

  • Gun grabber Michael Bloomberg has pledged $50 million to defeat the NRA. Since every time Bloomberg opens has wallet, it seems like more Republicans win, we’ll see how long that commitment lasts…
  • But Bloomberg is sure that his Big Gulp and gun banning antics have earned him entry into the kingdom of heaven. “It’s not even close,” says he. Well, when you’re so exalted that you know the mind of God, why bother with the opinions of puny mortals?

  • “We gun owners have been utterly unreasonable and lacking in common sense for roughly 20 years. And by golly, look where it’s got us! We’ve whomped the enemies of gun rights into quivering submission.” (Hat tip: Borepatch, who offers further thoughts.)
  • Fast and Furious helped supply arms to gun trafficking rings in the U.S.
  • Connecticut: Massive non-compliance with new gun registration rules.
  • East Texas citizen terminates meth freak with gun.
  • Eric Holder wants to waste more money on smart guns.
  • A Harvard Law roundup on recent gun cases I haven’t had time to read yet. (Hat tip: Shall Not Be Questioned.)
  • Beaver County, PA Sheriff has around 700 guns seized from his home for violating a court order. Guess what party he’s from? Hint: The media decline to name the party when reporting the story. (Hat tip: Ditto.)
  • Two men rape and murder four women in California while wearing GPS tracking bracelets.
  • Detroit homeowners kill seven intruders in seven weeks.
  • Dumbass in Tuscaloosa finds out once again that gun beats machete.
  • Four pro gun bills (including a preemption bill) make their way through the Arizona legislature. (Hat tip: Alphecca.)
  • Texas vs. California Update for April 15, 2014

    Tuesday, April 15th, 2014

    Today sucks if you still have to finish your taxes. It sucks more in California than Texas, since you have to pay state income taxes as well. That includes a marginal tax rate of 9.3% for all those millionaires making more than $49,774 a year. As opposed to Texas’ marginal rate of 0.0% for all…

  • Rich Californians don’t seem to mind that their green fantasies are screwing the poor.
  • California Democrats are trying to write racial quotas into the state Constitution. Oddly enough, Asian Americans are actually objecting to their children getting screwed out of college admissions. (Hat tip: Instapundit.)
  • “A combination of unfriendly tax policies, military budget cuts and cutthroat competition is wreaking havoc on California’s storied aerospace industry, a new study cautions.” ​​More here, which notes that:

    Texas and Washington offer low corporate income tax and no personal income tax, while providing a stable business climate and skilled work force. Many high-profile corporations have relocated their operations to new states. Recent examples include Northrop Grumman, which moved its headquarters to Northern Virginia; Raytheon Space and Airborne Systems, which moved its headquarters to McKinney, Texas; and Boeing, which moved two aircraft modernization programs, for the C-130 Hercules military transport aircraft and the B-1 bomber, from Long Beach to Oklahoma City.

  • CalPERS latest report proves conclusively that the fund spontaneously generates unicorns, rainbows and jobs. The Wall Street Journal examines the claims, wipes the vaguely yellow liquid off their legs and concludes “This political report offers one more reason why taxpayers and public workers shouldn’t trust Calpers with their money and would be better served by defined-contribution retirement plans that employees own and control.”
  • The California State Teachers’ Retirement System announced it faces $73.7 billion in long-term liabilities. “CalSTRS has a $71 billion unfunded pension liability.”
  • Both CalPERS and CalSTARS are desperately in need of reform.

    The state teacher pension fund, CalSTRS, needs an extra $4.5 billion each year for 30 years to pay off its unfunded liabilities. CalPERS’ local government members will see costs increase by 50 percent during the next six years. And the state needs to contribute $1 billion more per year for retiree health care benefits.

    These obligations for benefits already earned must be paid, and over the next decade, they will continue to drain funding from essential services such as education, public safety, transportation and health care.

    Yet, powerful interests remain all too eager to kick the can down the road and push our pension problems onto future generations.

  • Why California has an affordable housing crisis.
  • Is there a way out of Taxifornia? As such a solution would require liberals to stop acting like liberals, the answer is: probably not.
  • Bell’s corrupt officials agree to plea bargain deal. Bonus: Robert “Ratso” Rizzo gets 33 months on federal tax evasion charges. (Hat tip: Dwight, who has been all over the Bell story.)
  • At least 60 companies have relocated from California to Texas. But Elk Grove, California is striking back, trying to lure Texas companies to California. “The slogan: ‘Don’t wait for high taxes and stifling regulation to come to you, end the suspense and move to California’ just doesn’t seem too appealing to me.”
  • Continuing troubles with California’s high speed rail boondoggle.
  • Sports equipment maker MonkeySports is relocating from Corona, California to Allen, Texas, adding up to some 225 Texas jobs over two years.
  • A closer look at relocations to the Austin area.
  • Leland Yee/Shrimp Boy Chow Update for April 7, 2014

    Monday, April 7th, 2014

    Here are some updates to the story of California Democratic State Senator Leland Yee and Raymond “Shrimp Boy” Chow’s federal weapons trafficking charges, via Dwight and Instapundit (among others):

  • “State Sen. Leland Yee spent campaign donations in recent years to travel to the Philippines, the country from which federal authorities accuse him of arranging to smuggle hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of military-style weapons.” (Hat tip: Dwight.)
  • How did Yee escape terrorism charges? The Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) is not among the “56 foreign terrorist organizations designated by the U.S. State Department.”
  • Both Yee and Chow hire new lawyers.
  • Problem: California Democratic State Senator is illegally trafficking arms to international terrorist groups. Solution: California Democrats ask Obama to ban the import of “assault weapons.” It’s like Al Capone’s fellow mobsters making an impassioned plea for stricter laws on bootlegging. (Hat tip: Instapundit.)
  • Yee wasn’t just a gun control fanatic, he was an anti-corruption crusader as well. (Insta again.)
  • It took more than a week for MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow to finally mention that Yee was indicted for arms trafficking…and she still failed to mention he was a staunch advocate for gun control.
  • The guns of the Leland Yee scandal. I’d like to fire a Tavor Assault Rifle, but they seem to garner a hefty premium over AR-pattern rifles. (Hat tip: Dwight.)
  • Last time I checked, CNN still hasn’t covered the Leland Yee gun trafficking story. But thank God they covered his opposition to banning shark fin soup!
  • And speaking of CNN, maybe it’s not a coincidence that their ratings are near an all-time low.

  • San Francisco journalist spends a thousand or so words not explaining why San Francisco’s numerous professional journalists didn’t even catch a whiff of the the scandal. Hey, I think my tweet above just may have a clue…
  • Though he wasn’t in custody during the initial arraignment, sports agent co-conspirator Marlon Sullivan was taken into custody in Princeton, New Jersey.
  • Well, That Was Quick

    Tuesday, April 1st, 2014

    Lucky Gunner is offering Shrimp Boy Tactical Statesman Ammunition.

    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!

    I don’t currently own a 9mm, so I’ll have to pass. But you have to admire the rapid reaction speed of the American entrepreneur…

    Red States Produce Jobs, Blue States Produce the Homeless

    Friday, March 28th, 2014

    Will Franklin has a detailed piece up correlating homelessness with Democratic Party rule.

    “It turns out that when it comes to mitigating homelessness, the blue state model is just as deeply flawed as the failed blue state model for job creation and economic growth.”

    Substance abuse, broken families, or mental illness– tragedies all– often drive people to homelessness, but long-term unemployment and a general lack of economic vitality play a critical role in pushing people out of their homes (and keeping them out). Indeed, when it comes to reducing homelessness caused by economic hardship, we can chalk up another win for Texas and the red state model.

    Snip.

    California, with just under 12% of the nation’s population, has 22.43% of the nation’s homeless population, giving it a homelessness quotient of 0.88. Quite high, in other words. Almost double the number of homeless people one would predict, given its population.

    Texas, which has roughly 8.2% of the nation’s population, only has 4.85% of the nation’s homeless population (meaning: Texas has a quite low homelessness quotient of -0.41).

    Read the whole thing.

    Leland Yee and Shrimp Boy Chow:
    The Story That Keeps Giving

    Thursday, March 27th, 2014

    There’s just no end to the Leland Yee/Raymond “Shrimp Boy” Chow arms trafficking story, so here are some updates and tidbits:

  • Yee is out on $500,000 bond, his passport has been confiscated, and he’s been told not to leave California. I dunno about you, but $500,000 seems low for someone accused of running a major arms trafficking ring. Good thing Chinese tongs have never been known to smuggle people in or out of a country illegally…
  • Yee also withdrew from the California Secretary of State race. There goes the “any publicity is good publicity” theory…
  • Democrats were all for keeping convicted felon Rod Wright around as a state senator, but now that Yee is making all the wrong headlines, suddenly they want to kick Yee out because he was indicted.
  • Yee was honored last week by the Northern California chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists.
  • A quick rundown on all the key players.
  • And an even quicker look at all the charges.
  • The indictment on Shrimp Boy’s misdeeds: “Chow’s criminal history includes a guilty plea in federal court for racketeering, involving murder for hire, conspiracy to distribute heroin, arson, and conspiracy to collect extensions of credit.” 1. Shrimp Boy is obviously well-rounded, 2. “conspiracy to collect extensions of credit”? YOU MONSTER! (Actually, I’m guessing this may be loan sharking.)
  • Also indicted is a Alan Chiu, who is described as a “close associate” of Chow and is “employed by Men’s Warehouse.” Well, now we know where Shrimp Boy gets all of those natty outfits…
  • Kongphet Chanthavong is described as a Thai citizen with a felony conviction and “an outstanding warrant of deportation; however, country conditions preclude deportation.” What? Which country’s conditions? Ours, because Obama refuses to enforce immigration law, or Thailand? If the later, just get him a one way-ticket to Bangkok and let Thai officials deal with him. Problem solved.
  • Marlon Darrell Sullivan was indicted on narcotics trafficking, gun trafficking, and the murder-for-hire scheme. I’m guessing it’s this Marlon Sullivan, who represents football players Matt Toeaina, Jonathan Fanene, and Pat Williams, and boxer Karim Mayfield. I was unfamiliar with Mayfield until I ran across his name this morning. Where? On Chow’s Facebook page.

    Just how does a sports agent wake up one day and say to himself: “You know, the agent business is good and all, but I really want to break into the lucrative world of contract killing”?

    Maybe because he never left the street. “Marlon Sullivan, according to the federal affidavit, told undercover agents he’d have no trouble pulling off a ‘hit’, saying ‘I got a hundred niggas, I still got my ties to the street. I got young boys who love me.’”

    Also this: “As I write, Sullivan’s whereabouts are unknown. He did not appear at the hearing where more than 20 of the defendants were arraigned.”

  • Yee traveled in the circles you would expect a California state senator to travel in:

    He evidently has friends on the South Side:

    (In case you don’t get the reference, that’s singer Moby. Kids, ask your parents what a “Moby” was…)

  • Lee has a Twitter account.

    Oh my:

  • Iowahawk goes to town on the story (no doubt in a souped-up dragon tong roadster):

  • Iowahawk also pointed out this gem of an Los Angeles Times headline: “For Democrats, politicians in handcuffs point to image problems.”
  • But that’s not the only supergenius headline they offer up on the case. There’s also this sparkling example of the headline-writer’s art: “Leland Yee indictment may mark abrupt end to his political career.” Really? You think? Then again, he is a Democrat. Convictions couldn’t fully derail Marion Barry or Alcee Hastings careers…
  • All the story needs to take it to the next level is Lo Pan casting fireballs from his fingers…

    Shrimping Ain’t Easy

    Thursday, March 27th, 2014

    This is a riff on a story Dwight put up, namely the arrest of California Democratic state senator (and Secretary of State candidate) Leland Yee on arms trafficking and other charges, and his alleged connection with convicted gangster Raymond “Shrimp Boy” Chow (born Kwok Cheung).

    Things worth highlighting:

  • It was inevitable that a Democrat accused of arms trafficking was a devout gun-grabber who was lauded by the Brady Bunch and pushed for an “assault weapons” ban.
  • Yee is also accused of pay-for-play legislative favors and trying to do an end-run around campaign finance laws.
  • Yee wasn’t just against guns, he also ranted against violent video games, despite evidently stealing criminal syndicate ideas from Grant Theft Auto: Chinatown Wars.
  • Yee is the third Democratic California state senator indicted in the past year, along with State Senator Ron Calderon and State Senator Roderick Wright, who has actually been convicted of eight felony counts of voter fraud, and who Democrats refuse to force to resign.
  • Funny how one-party Democratic rule leads to corruption, isn’t it?
  • Chow isn’t just a gangster, he’s a gangster who has his profile in the encyclopedia of gangsters. In other news, there’s an encyclopedia of gangsters (though it seems to be pretty focused on Californian and Asian gangs).

    Raymond "Shrimp Boy" Chow

  • Chow has a really extensive rap sheet:

    In 1978 Shrimp Boy was founded [sic] guilty in 1978 for strong-arm robbery and sentenced to 11 years of which he did 7 years and 4 months…Raymond Chow started running a protution[sic] ring, when he was approached by the leader of the Wah Ching gang “Danny Wong” who ask him to be a part of the Wah organization, but Chow refused.

    On May 31, 1986 Raymond was at a popular night club in Chinatown when a Wah Ching Gang member started an altercation and Chow was accused of 28 counts of assault with a lethal firearm, and attempted murder, Raymond did 3 years behind bars and was released in 1989.

    (Extensive details of shifting Asian gang allegiances omitted.)

    Until 1992, when Chow was apprehended for racketeering which was then divided into 2 different trials. The initial trial for firearm trafficking and the 2nd for prostitution, drug, money laundering, unlawful gambling functions, arson, hire for murder and assault with a deadly weapon. Raymond was pronounced guilty in 1995, Chow was penalized and sentenced to 24 years on 6 counts of firearm-trafficking.

  • Seeing some reports that Chow’s previous indictments included ones for male prostitution, which is pretty unusual (even for San Francisco), but I’m not sure how well sourced those reports are.
  • Chow has a Facebook page:

    It takes a special kind of gangster to carry off that look.

    Ha:

    And here he is with former San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom:

  • According to the official indictment, Chow is still a Chinese citizen. Why was he not deported after serving his first felony sentence? The moment he got out of prison the first time he should have been on a plane back to Hong Kong.
  • Iowahawk’s Twitter feed linked the indictment papers with this observation:

  • Tam says the indictment “reads like a Tarantino production of an Elmore Leonard novel.” Or something out of Paul Malmont’s The Chinatown Death Cloud Peril, which I happen to be reading right now. I suspect the books collection of (real) 1930s pulp writers would be amazed to learn that Chinese criminal tongs were still alive and well in 2014…
  • The indictment (which I’m still reading) also mentions the indictment of Keith Jackson, the former former president of the San Francisco Board of Education, on a murder for hire charge.
  • Here’s a more detailed piece on Chong and Chinatown gang boss Peter Chong. Chong’s house was struck by arson the same night he hosted a concert by sex-bomb Hong Kong actress Amy Yip, who made her bones in movies like Chinese Erotic Ghost Story and Sex and Zen, and who was known far and wide for her tremendous, uh, talents.

    Here you can see more of her fabulous talents:

    \

  • Of course, if Yee was trafficking arms to foreigners, it brings up one important question: Why wasn’t he already working for Obama’s Department of Justice?

    Edited to add: Dwight has done another update, and Yee was evidently willing to sell shoulder-fired rockets to Islamic rebels for $2 million. Wow, this story really does have everything!

    Texas vs. California Update for March 24, 2014

    Monday, March 24th, 2014

    In California, I would say that March Madness is ignoring the looming pension crisis, except that madness extends to every other month as well…

  • Where is income inequality worst in the U.S.? Well, for one thing, in California:

    Perhaps no place is inequality more evident than in the rural reaches of California, the nation’s richest agricultural state. The Golden State is now home to 111 billionaires, by far the most of any state; California billionaires personally hold assets worth $485 billion, more than the entire GDP of all but 24 countries in the world. Yet the state also suffers the highest poverty rate in the country (adjusted for housing costs), above 23%, and a leviathan welfare state. As of 2012, with roughly 12% of the population, California accounted for roughly one-third of the nation’s welfare recipients.

    With the farm economy increasingly mechanized and industrial growth stifled largely by regulation, many rural Californians particularly Latinos, are downwardly mobile, and doing worse than their parents; native-born Latinos actually have shorter lifespans than their parents, according to a 2011 report. Although unemployment remains high in many of the state’s largest urban counties, the highest unemployment is concentrated in the rural counties of the interior. Fresno was found in one study to have the least well-off Congressional district.

    The vast expanse of economic decline in the midst of unprecedented, but very narrow urban luxury has been characterized as “liberal apartheid.” The well-heeled, largely white and Asian coastal denizens live in an economically inaccessible bubble insulated from the largely poor, working-class, heavily Latino communities in the eastern interior of the state.

  • The Myth of the California Renaissance:

    California also has the nation’s highest poverty rate and the most food stamp recipients, and policymakers have done little to address profligate spending, unfunded pensions, and ever-growing retiree health-care obligations.”

    Inland California, from Imperial in the south to Modoc in the north, remains one of the poorest regions in the nation. Though the state unemployment rate fell in February to 8.1 percent, inland unemployment ranges from 9.5 percent in Riverside to 25.9 percent in Colusa. Of the 20 counties in the United States with the largest unemployment rates, 11 are in California.

  • California only has the second highest taxes in the nation! Thank God for New York!
  • Unfavorable ballot language stymies a California pension reform effort
  • …but pension reform advocates are regrouping to make another push in 2016.
  • Indeed, pension reform will be the biggest issue for southern California voters this fall.
  • More on how government at the state and national level is destroying California agriculture in the name of protecting the Delta Smelt.
  • There’s speculation that California Governor Jerry Brown actually wants to see the illegal, underfunded, and ill-fated “bullet train to nowhere” die, he just doesn’t want to get the blame for killing it.
  • How Texas job growth has outpaced both the nation and California.
  • Occidental Petroleum is moving its headquarters to Houston and spinning off its California operations as a separate company.
  • Rick Perry raids again.
  • Telecom company Channell Commercial is relocating from Temecula, California to Rockwell, Texas. “Blaming California for an oppressive business climate for manufacturing growth, Channell said the costs to do business here have made expansion in this state no longer feasible.”
  • And I missed this story from last year on Chevron building a 50 story office building in Houston. That could mean the days of their California headquarters are numbered…
  • Texas vs. California Update for March 13, 2014

    Thursday, March 13th, 2014

    Time for another roundup of Texas vs. California:

  • Texas surpasses California as the top tech exporter.
  • Victor Davis Hanson wants to “save” California by making liberals eat their own dogfood.
  • Texas is creating jobs at all income levels.
  • Vallejo still can’t afford its pensions:

    The California city of Vallejo emerged from bankruptcy just over two years ago, but it is still struggling to pay its bills.

    The main culprit: Ballooning pension costs, which will hit more than $14 million this year, a nearly 40% increase from two years ago.
    Amid threats of legal action from the state’s pension giant, CalPERS, Vallejo did little during its nearly three-year stint in bankruptcy to stem the growth in its pension bills.

  • Rising CalPERS pension costs are also threatening Long Beach’s financial stability.
  • Berkeley is looking a little better for the short term, but after that they too will be feeling the CalPERS squeeze.
  • Pacific Grove is having a referendum to roll back pension increases.
  • California is getting ready to hike gas taxes again, adding another 12¢ a gallon to gas prices.
  • Is there a Democrat-on-Democrat battle over unions brewing in California?
  • California nursing home chain files for bankruptcy. “The dagger in the heart is that we have been overwhelmed by a wave of class-action lawsuits.”
  • A list of former Los Angeles city employees earning six figure pensions. (Hat tip: Pension Tsunami.)
  • California rancher’s are selling their cattle to Texas ranchers due to drought.
  • Cagney Global Logistics relocates from Denver to Irving, Texas.
  • San Jose-based sheet metal manufacturer Cortec is expanding in Pflugerville.
  • Even punk rock queen Exene Cervenka is getting out of California while the getting is good:

    Now when I think about California, I think of a liberal oppressive police state and regulations and taxes and fees. I’d rather go someplace and have my own little place out on the edge of town. I’m a country girl at heart. It makes me happy when I see people in Texas open-carrying. It makes me feel safe. I’m not even a gun owner, but I’d like to see a gun rack in every pickup truck, like my boyfriend had when I was fifteen years old in Florida. An armed society is a polite society.

  • No End In Sight for Texas Oil Boom.