For the past several years, STRATFOR has published an annual forecast on al Qaeda and the jihadist movement. Since our first jihadist forecast in January 2006, we have focused heavily on the devolution of jihadism from a phenomenon primarily involving the core al Qaeda group to one based mainly on the wider jihadist movement and the devolving, decentralized threat it poses.

The central theme of last year’s forecast was that al Qaeda was an important force on the ideological battlefield, but that the efforts of the United States and its allies had marginalized the group on the physical battlefield and kept it bottled up in a limited geographic area. Because of this, we forecast that the most significant threat in terms of physical attacks stemmed from regional jihadist franchises and grassroots operatives and not the al Qaeda core. We also wrote that we believed the threat posed by such attacks would remain tactical and not rise to the level of a strategic threat. To reflect this reality, we even dropped al Qaeda from the title of our annual forecast and simply named it Jihadism in 2009: The Trends Continue.

The past year proved to be very busy in terms of attacks and...


Senator George Runner
Senator George Runner
Serving the 17th District which incorporates portions of the Los Angeles, San Bernardino, Ventura and Kern counties.

SACRAMENTO – Sen. George Runner (R-Antelope Valley) today issued the following statements in response to Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger’s annual State of the State address:

On Job creation:
“The Governor hit the nail on the head when he said job creation is California’s number one priority. Unfortunately, he rests too much hope on creating ‘green’ jobs, which do nothing to help the majority of employers or the unemployed. He should focus more on removing the burdensome hurdles created by government.

“The Governor must keep in mind that government does not create jobs; small business owners and entrepreneurs do.”

On Prison spending: CONTINUED »




We were in Chicago on Thurs. for a trade show and were leaving town just as B.O. was arriving and got into a terrible traffic jam. I haven't seen this on the nightly news on any of the networks. Right in Obama's back yard!! I'm more proud of the folks in the windy city than I thought was ever possible! By the way, I didn't see ABC, CBS, NBC, CNN, MSNBC covering this - did you? Wonder why...



Speaking at a town hall meeting on August 21, 2008, in Chester, Virginia, then-candidate Barack Obama promised the American people: “I’m going to have all the negotiations around a big table. We’ll have doctors and nurses and hospital administrators. Insurance companies, drug companies … what we will do is, we’ll have the negotiations televised on C-SPAN, so that people can see who is making arguments on behalf of their constituents … And so, that approach, I think is what is going to allow people to stay involved in this process.” The participants around Obama’s fictional big table may have changed depending on where he was speaking, but throughout his campaign the essential promise was always there: “negotiations televised on C-SPAN.”

Of course, Obama already broke this promise to the American people...



This past weekend the American public learned that not only was the Obama administration briefed about the bombing technique attempted on Flight 253, not only did the United States have information that a Nigerian was being prepared for a terrorist attack by al Qaeda in Yemen, but our government also knew that an “Umar Farouk” was involved.

Following these revelations, the Obama administration again took to the Sunday shows to defend their national security record. Last week Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano tried to convince Americans that “the system worked”. She failed. This Sunday, Deputy National Security Adviser for Homeland Security and Counterterrorism John Brennan did admit that the system failed on Christmas Day but still insisted: “Every other day the system has worked this year….The system is working.”

No, it is not. The complete failure of the Obama administration to...



While millions of Americans are more than ready to put 2009 behind them, they should know that Congress failed to reauthorize dozens of tax breaks for individuals and businesses before the Members scurried home for the Holidays. These “expiring provisions” affect every American in one way or another as individuals or businesses. By allowing them to lapse, Congress has enacted tax increases at time when these taxpayers can least afford it.

The House has passed legislation (H.R. 4213) that would have extended 63...


Refusing to interrupt his Hawaiian golf vacation for almost three full days after the Flight 253 attack, President Barack Obama finally emerged on December 28th to assure the American people that Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab was “an isolated extremist” and that he had already “been charged with attempting to destroy an aircraft.” Continuing to treat the incident like a common law-enforcement problem Obama referred to Abdulmutallab as the “suspect” five times and promised he would “not rest until we find all who were involved and hold them accountable.”

Perhaps Obama should have stayed on the links for another 24...


An attempted jihad attack on Christmas Day has revealed that Americans are much more vulnerable to such attacks than most have believed – while government officials whistle in the dark. Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, the 23-year-old son of a wealthy Nigerian banker, tried to blow up Northwest Airlines Flight 253 just before it landed in Detroit. In response, Barack Obama chose not to cut short his golfing vacation in Hawaii; the White House announced that he would “likely” have something to say about this latest attempted jihad attack on U.S. soil “in the next few days.” Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano was ebullient, maintaining that “the system worked” and “everything happened that should have.”

Unless the “system” consisted of relying on passengers to tackle jihadists...

A grand jury has charged that three Hughson City Council members violated the Brown Act and other rules and ordinances and recommended that they be removed from office

Three Hughson City Council members received not so glad tidings on Tuesday when the Civil Grand Jury handed down a recommendation that they be removed from office.

“The Civil Grand Jury finds that the preponderance of evidence shows that Councilmen A, B, and C promoted their own agenda against the best interests of the citizens of Hughson,” according to the Civil Grand Jury Case No. 010-04.

The three council members are not named in the grand jury recommendation and referred to as Councilman A, B, and C but descriptions of each council member make their identities obvious. Thom Crowder is described as Councilman A, being appointed in January to fill the vacant position by the mayor and owning an ambulance service. Doug Humphreys, who is a former director of the Hughson Fire Protection District, is described as Councilman B. Ben Manley, who was elected in November 2008 and is a former member of the Hughson Planning Commission, is described as Councilman C.

According to the grand jury report, public documents such as e-mails, newspaper articles, and...


Christmas, 1776.
Summer had begun with strong declarations of noble ideals, but by winter the cause of liberty seemed to be at low ebb. Having suffered defeat after defeat, many had all but given up hope. It looked like freedom would succumb yet again, as it had throughout history, to the forces of authoritarianism and tyranny.

Then, on Christmas Day, 1776, a small band of colonial forces...


Why let a holiday season come between the White House and making some political statements? The White House pegged controversial designer Simon Doonan to oversee the Christmas decorations for the White House. Mr. Doonan, who is creative director of Barney’s New York has often caused a stir with his design choices. Like his naughty yuletide window display of Margaret Thatcher as a dowdy dominatrix and Dan Quayle as a ventriloquist’s dummy. For this year’s White House, he didn’t disappoint...


The City is currently accepting applications from persons interested in representing Fillmore on the Board of Commissioners for the Ventura County Area Housing Authority of the County of Ventura.
Fillmore has two seats on the Area Housing Authority Commission, with one seat currently vacant. The Authority, which also includes representatives from the cities of Camarillo, Moorpark, Simi Valley, Thousand Oaks, Ojai, and from unincorporated Ventura County, is responsible for providing a number of services to county residents and holds as its mandate the provision of "decent, affordable housing accommodations for low-income families, elderly, handicapped and disabled residents." The Authority's 15-member Commission generally meets the second and fourth Wednesday of each month at 3 p.m. at the offices of the Area Housing Authority, located at 1400 West Hillcrest Drive in Newbury Park.
Interested persons are urged to apply as soon as possible by submitting a letter of interest and a Citizen Advisory Group Applicant Information Form to the City of Fillmore, City Clerk’s office, attention Ky Spangler, Provisional Administrative Specialist, as soon as possible. Applications are also available at the front desk at Fillmore City Hall (250 Central Avenue) or on the City's website at: For information on the application process please contact Ky Spangler at 805-524-1500, extension 211.
The appointment will be made by the Mayor following a simple interview process. Commissioners are appointed to four-year terms. For more information on the Area Housing Authority of Ventura County, see,; on the Commissioners, see:; or call the Area Housing Authority at (805) 480-9991, extension 850.

City of Fillmore
City of Fillmore

Persons interested in serving on a City Proposal Review Subcommittee are invited to apply by Friday, January 29, 2010.
This limited-term appointment will be for a citizen representative to serve on the Proposal Review Subcommittee. Duties will involve the review of proposals submitted for Concessionaire operations for the 1972 Closed Landfill/Equestrian Center. The full subcommittee will include two City Councilmembers, a representative of the 4-H Farm Board, and City Staff.
Local residents interested in being appointed to this Proposal Review Subcommittee are invited to submit an application and letter of interest to Provisional Administrative Specialist, Ky Spangler, Fillmore City Hall, 250 Central Avenue, Fillmore, CA 93015 no later than 5 p.m. on January 29. Citizen Advisory Group Applicant Information Forms are available in the lobby at Fillmore City Hall or may be found at the City's website at:
Interested persons are encouraged to review the Request for Proposal which can be found on the City’s website at: Copies are also available at the City Clerk’s office.
Appointments to the subcommittee will be made by the Mayor following an interview by the Interview/Selection Committee, and their recommendation to the City Council.
For further information on the application process please call Ky Spangler at 524-1500, extension 211.

Merry Christmas
Senator George Runner
Senator George Runner
Serving the 17th District which incorporates portions of the Los Angeles, San Bernardino, Ventura and Kern counties.

Dear friends:

As we celebrate the Christmas holiday, I hope your household is blessed with health, joy and the love of family and friends.

In his typical eloquent manner, President Ronald Reagan had this to say about Christmas:

On Christmas, we celebrate the birth of Christ with prayer, feasting, and great merriment. But, most of all, we experience it in our hearts. For, more than just a day Christmas is a state of mind. It is found throughout the year whenever faith overcomes doubt, hope conquers despair, and love triumphs over hate. It is present when men of any creed bring love and understanding to the hearts of their fellow man.

The feeling is seen in the wondrous faces of children and in the hopeful eyes of the aged. It overflows the hearts of cheerful givers and the souls of the caring. And it is reflected in the brilliant colors, joyful sounds, and beauty of the winter season.

Let us resolve to honor this spirit of Christmas and CONTINUED »

Senator George Runner
Senator George Runner
Serving the 17th District which incorporates portions of the Los Angeles, San Bernardino, Ventura and Kern counties.

As the United States Senate takes on the health care issue, there is a clear difference of opinion on whether this $850 billion program will rein in rising health care costs or further bankrupt our nation. In a piece written recently in the Sacramento Bee, columnist Dan Walters noted a provision inserted into the 2,000-plus page health care bill that would wreak havoc on California.

Walters wrote that 34 years ago California passed a law that imposed a $250,000 limit on pain and suffering damages in medical malpractice cases. Walters also noted that during the 1970s, in response to the skyrocketing insurance premiums for malpractice insurance, many doctors threatened to leave the state or abandon specialized practices, particularly obstetrics.

However, California’s malpractice cap, which also was enacted in 30 other states, has been put on the chopping block by Speaker Nancy Pelosi in the health care bill pushed through the House. In the recently approved House health care bill, any state that repeals the malpractice cap would receive “incentive payments”— a modern day payoff.

As noted by Walters, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) estimates that state malpractice caps save $54 billion in health care costs over a decade. But, with double-digit unemployment and projected yearly deficits, special interest payoff “incentives” might be too enticing for some of our state officials, even if it creates an ongoing negative impact on Californians’ medical care.

Personally, I don’t see how this bill can get out of the Senate for multiple reasons.

A recently released letter from the CBO noted that a family of four making $66,000 a year would have to pay out $10,000, or 10% of their income, for health care under the House bill. Those costs already include 58% of the premium that the government plans to pick up. But, not increased premiums. The CBO also forecasts that government heath care premiums would be more expensive than for policies sold by private companies, substantially increasing total health care costs for working families.

Furthermore, will seniors allow billion dollar cuts to Medicare? Will labor unions allow a 40% tax on health insurance policies they currently own? It’s highly unlikely, so the bill stands a good chance of dying, but we’ll see.

If the top issues facing our state and nation are paying down the debt and improving our economy, how is spending $850 billion on a new government program going to accomplish those goals? And, with a $21 billion deficit, how will the state of California come up with the $2 billion price tag for this new plan?


California Taxpayers to Lawmakers: Just say ‘No’ to new taxes

As the cold, harsh realities of California’s dismal economy continues to settle in many California households, it’s no wonder taxpayer groups(like Californians Against Higher Taxes) are beating the drum: No new taxes!

Read more:

City of Fillmore
City of Fillmore

Persons interested in serving on the City’s Planning Commission are invited to apply by Friday, January 29, 2010.

One position on the Planning Commission will be filled. The appointment will be for a four-year term, and the person appointed will take their seat in February. The five-member Planning Commission serves an active role in local land-use decisions and generally meets the second Wednesday following the second Tuesday of each month at 6:30 p.m.

This seat on the Planning Commission may be held by a non-City resident. Non-resident commissioners shall be closely associated with issues of the City, per the Fillmore Municipal Code.

Local residents interested in being considered for appointment to the commission must submit a City Commission Application Form no later than 5 p.m. on Friday,
January 29, 2010 to the City Clerk, Fillmore City Hall, 250 Central Avenue, Fillmore, CA 93015. Applications are available at the front desk at Fillmore City Hall (250 Central Avenue) or on the City's website at

Appointments will be made by the Mayor, with approval of the City Council, following an interview with and recommendation from the City Council Interview/Selection Committee.

For further information on the application process please call (805) 524-1500, extension 211.


The climate treaty negotiations inside Copenhagen’s Bella Center at the United Nations Climate Change Conference ground to a halt yesterday when the G-77, the largest group of developing nations, walked out. These poorer nations demanded that richer nations sign a treaty that includes a large transfer of wealth to the developing world to compensate for the developed world’s historical contribution to global warming. The G-77 countries ended their walkout after less than two hours, perhaps because global warming has had no apparent impact on December Copenhagen temperatures.

Stuck out in the cold trying to get into the convention...


Campaigners issued a dossier with 100 reasons why climate change is natural and not man-made. CAMPAIGNERS yesterday attempted to pour scorn on “tenuous” global warming theories by issuing a dossier detailing 100 reasons why climate change is natural and not man-made.

The list includes the controversial claim that there is...