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URGENT California Action Alert: Demand Yes Votes on These Two Bills to Protect Privacy, Require Warrants

Lately when you hear “California is on the verge of…” it’s likely not to be something positive. But that is not true in this case.

On Tuesday, April 29 the Golden State would be on the verge of revolt against Washington, D.C.’s self-proclaimed right to carry out secret, mass surveillance with state resources. Two bills, SB828 and AB2468 are set up for their first committee hearings, Senate Public Safety and Assembly Judiciary Committee respectively, but the votes are anything but secured for liberty and privacy.

YOUR ACTION IS NEEDED NOW. It doesn’t matter where in California you live, take these actions today. It takes 30 minutes.

1. Call the Committee Chairs:
SB828: Loni Hancock, Chair of the Senate Public Safety Committee. (916) 651-4009
AB2468: Bob Wieckowski, Chair of the Assembly Judiciary Committee. (916) 319-2025
Strongly, but respectfully, urge support for their respective bill. If either doesn’t commit to a YES vote, ask why. If undecided, let them know you’ll call back on Monday. A phone call has 10x the impact of an email. The same goes for calling the rest of the committee members. And leaving one message over the weekend won’t hurt.

2. Call the rest of the committee members:
Again, be strong, but respectful. Urge each of them to take action to move the bill forward and vote YES. If they do not commit to a YES vote, ask them why. If they’re undecided, let them know you’ll call back on Monday.
SB828:
Thank Joel Anderson (Vice Chair) for cosponsoring the bill (916) 651-4036
Kevin de Leon (916) 651-4022
Steve Knight (916) 651-4021
Carol Liu (916) 651-4025
Holly Mitchell (916) 651-4026
Darrell Steinberg (916) 651-4006
AB2468:
Donald P. Wagner (Vice Chair) (916) 319-2068
Luis A. Alejo (916) 319-2030
Ed Chau (916) 319-2049
Roger Dickinson (916) 319-2007
Cristina Garcia (916) 319-2058
Jeff Gorell (916) 319-2044
Brian Maienschein (916) 319-2077
Al Muratsuchi (916) 319-2066
Mark Stone (916) 319-2029

**BONUS** action! Group leaders, send a letter to the committee in support. If you are in a leadership role with a grassroots (or other) group within the state of California, send a letter to the full committee expressing your support for these bills. The committee will be influenced to some degree by the number – and type – of groups which send letters. Keep it to one page, as they tend to just keep a list of groups and those in favor or opposed.
SB828
Senate Standing Committee on Public Safety
State Capitol Building, Room 2031
Sacramento, CA 95814
AB2468
Assembly Judiciary Committee
1020 N Street, Room 104
Sacramento, CA 95814

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Doubling Down: California has a Second Bill to Protect the 4th Amendment

Californians saw their legislators Senators Ted Lieu (D) and Joel Anderson (R) make news earlier this year with SB828, a bill requiring individualized warrants for any state and federal investigation or bulk collection of data as well as denying state resources and assets to such federal operations. Now in the lower chamber Assemblyman Tim Donnelly (R), candidate for Governor and no stranger to taking on the feds, has amended his AB2468, the California Privacy Protection Act, to reflect the same demands.

In Section 1(B) the consequences for state violators are clear:

(2) An officer or employee of the state or a political subdivision of the state who is found to have violated subdivision (b) in a final judicial determination shall be deemed to have resigned from his or her office or employment, and he or she shall thereafter be ineligible to serve in any public office or public employment within this state.
(3) A corporation providing services on behalf of the state or a political subdivision of the state that is found to have violated subdivision (b) in a final judicial determination shall be ineligible to provide services on behalf of, or provide services to, the state or a political subdivision of the state.

There is no set date for the first hearing for AB2468, but all legislation will receive a hearing by May 2 in California, so stay tuned for an update. The upper chamber’s SB828 is slated for a hearing on April 29 at 9:30am in front of the Senate Public Safety Committee.

Donnelly says that AB2468 “asserts California’s right as a state to not comply with the unconstitutional invasion of our privacy by the NSA. If enacted, AB2468 would reserve the people’s right to protect Californians from this suspension of our civil liberties which is the unlawful search and seizure of data from our cell phones and email on California soil.”

YOUR ACTION IS NEEDED NOW. It doesn’t matter where in California you live, take these actions today to support AB2468. Perhaps even more urgently, click here to support SB828 as well.

1. Call your Assemblymember. Strongly, but respectfully urge him/her to support AB2468 vocally now and when it comes to a vote. A phone call has 10x the impact of an email. You can easily find your legislator here.

2. Call Back – any NO or UNDECIDED – in 3-4 days. Ask if they’ve had a chance to review the legislation and what their opposition might be.

4. SHARE this information widely. By facebook, twitter, email, and more.

5. Write a letter to the editor. Look up your local newspaper and submit a letter to the editor voicing your support for AB2468. It is unacceptable for CA officials to comply with the NSA’s blatently unconstitutional spying program. AB2468 would bring that relationship to an end.

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Oakland Residents Continue to Fight Proposed Citywide Surveillance

Oakland, CA – Under the guise of fighting violent crime, Oakland’s proposed Domain Awareness Center project actually intends to track political protesters and monitor large demonstrations. East Bay residents are putting pressure on the city council but it has been a difficult task, as the controversial item continues to be put last on council’s meeting agendas, often discussed in middle of the night.

Phase one of the surveillance system is already underway, using vehicle and pedestrian recognition technologies along with motion sensors. The next phase is having some delay due to the fact that the current contractor is a subsidiary of a company that is a nuclear enterprise. As the City of Oakland is a nuclear-free zone, this could prevent phase two from moving forward for now.

The ACLU of Northern California is also demanding that more transparency and oversight be established before the citywide surveillance center is established on the Port. It is unclear what the true purpose and technological capabilities of the DAC are as it is open-ended in scope. The purported cost of $10.9 million is to be bankrolled by a Department of Homeland Security grant.

This Tuesday, the Oakland Privacy working group is hosting a Stop the DAC party at Oscar Grant Plaza in an attempt to put pressure on the City Council while raising public awareness of this threat to privacy. The rally will be held outside Oakland City Hall as city council members meet to discuss the future of the project.

Posted by Oskar Mosco, Oakland, @CA10th

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But What CAN I Do?

No doubt, we are living in incredibly challenging times.  We are constantly brainwashed, restricted, taxed, lied to, manipulated, and monitored by those who have sworn to serve us.  Though many are waking up to discover that the world we thought we lived in never really existed, most of us are still asleep: going along to get along, sleepwalking through life, placated by a phenomenon known as the normalcy bias and the assumption that somebody will eventually fix whatever it is that needs fixing.

Okay, so you’re awake—what are you doing to fix the problems you now see so clearly?  Are you plagued by analysis paralysis?  Are you just waiting for the next election cycle to cast your vote, and then just hoping for the best?  How’s that working for you?  There’s activism, but people must be ready to be woken up.  Demonstrations don’t seem to be all that effective (just ask the Occupiers and the Tea Partiers), and letter-writing campaigns only seem to waste time, paper, and stamps.  So what can we do?

I have an answer to that question, but I warn you, it will take an open mind to hear it.  It may require a change of lifestyle or a change in your thinking.  You may have heard it before and already dismissed it.  However, it is something that is do-able, it’s guaranteed to make a real difference, and it won’t get you thrown in jail.

Pull your children out of school.  Today.

Do I really need to spell out all the problems with public (and private) school to convince you that school is terrible?  Maybe I’ll write about a few of them another time (or maybe I won’t), but the list is endless and holds few surprises.  Please, set yourself free from the rationalization that it’s not your school that’s the problem, it’s all the other schools that are the problem; believe me, if you’re thinking this, you’ve been duped, and deep down, you know there’s something very, very wrong with the system.

If you live in California, it’s a very easy thing to withdraw your child from school; go to www.HSC.org and let them walk you through the process.  There are very few requirements or restrictions for homeschooling here, and most likely, you will never be bothered by a single public official.

Here are a few tips to get you started:

  • Do not transition through an independent study program or other charter school.
  • Do not let yourself be bullied by your school district.  You have the right—in fact, you have the obligation—to educate your own child in whatever way you see fit.  Besides, they work for you.
  • Do not worry how you are going to teach your child calculus when you couldn’t pass algebra.
  • Do not worry about socialization.
  • Do not worry about college, especially if your child is only 8 years old (or 4, or 12).
  • Do follow the correct homeschooling guidelines for your state (you don’t want your child to become truant).
  • Do throw out all preconceived notions about what education is or how learning happens; you’re probably wrong anyway.

Even if you’re not convinced that homeschooling is right for you (“My kid will just play video games/watch TV/sleep all day!”), let the idea marinate a little bit.  Forget the mental images of kids silently sitting around the kitchen table while hunched over the Bible, or trying to come up with ideas for weekly “educational” field trips.  Whatever it is you’re picturing, just let it go.  Those images have been intentionally implanted into your brain for the very purpose of scaring you into compliance with the system.  Know this: homeschooling can be whatever you choose it to be.

Take a deep breath, say a little prayer, and get those precious kids of yours out from under the government’s thumb.  Free their minds!  You will wish you had done it sooner, I promise.

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Ben Swann Promotes Jury Nullification

Ben Swann just posted a great new video about a new jury nullification program, “Just Us”: www.youtube.com/watch?v=mnOyyCIhM3k

Just Us is a group of journalists and activists who are working to inform Americans about their duty to serve jury duty.  Once on a jury, it is the jurors’ responsibility to judge not only the facts of the case, but also the law itself.  This obligation runs counter to many judges’ instructions directing juries to judge ONLY the facts of a case, NOT the law.

For more about jury nullification and the Just Us program, go to benswann.com/justus/

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Calls for Action — Two Bills Now Propose to Block Warrantless Spying in California

Senate Bill 828 was introduced three weeks ago in an effort to prevent the National Security Agency from setting up shop in the State of California. The bill aims to forbid the State from providing material support – such as water and electricity – as well as barring public universities from NSA research and recruitment. Additionally, sanctions would be instituted to private corporations that might choose to aid the unlawful, federal spy agency.

“State-funded public resources should not be going toward aiding the NSA or any other federal agency from indiscriminate spying on its own citizens and gathering electronic or metadata that violates the Fourth Amendment,” explained Sen. Ted Lieu (D-Torrance) who, along with Sen. Joel Anderson (R-San Diego), introduced the Fourth Amendment Protection Act to prohibit any state support of the NSA.

Learn more about S.B. 828 here.

Take action on S.B. 828 here.

Assembly Bill 1327 was introduced nearly a year ago and has been slower at gaining general support. The bill would limit the use of drones by requiring a warrant prior to their use in all investigations. It would also provide parameters on the information gathered and prohibit weaponry from being added.

The drone bill also outlines certain instances when exceptions may have to be made such as imminent threats to life, hostage situations, search and rescue operations, and emergency situations such as traffic accidents and wild fires. Public agencies other than law enforcement could also use the technology in able “to achieve the core mission of the agency provided that the purpose is unrelated to the gathering of criminal intelligence.”

Learn more about A.B. 1327 here.

Take action on A.B.1327 here.

 

Posted by Oskar Mosco, Oakland, @CA10th

 

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Drone-helicopters in a sky near you

Point Mugu, California – At Naval Base Ventura County, an unmanned spy helicopter completed its maiden voyage the morning of October 31, 2013. The Fire Scout MQ-8C passed over Southern California coastline, demonstrated flight and tracking capabilities, and confirmed a new autonomic control system — meaning the drone flew itself.

The primary function of the Fire Scout fleet is surveillance. Its predecessor, the MQ-8B, has already been used to monitor opposition in Afghanistan and Libya, despite having crashed on several occasions and resulting in a temporary grounding last year. These Blackhawk-style flight vehicles require no human controller and are manufactured by military-industrial kingpin Northrop Grumman at a cost $15.3 million each. The Navy plans to purchase 145 over the next two years. While this represents less than 0.2% of the military’s annual budget, for the fourth-largest weapons manufacturer this deal represents roughly half of their annual profit.

Some features of the model include:

–          UHF/VHF voice communications relay

–          Electro-optical, infrared sensors

–          Laser designator for scanning and tracking targets

This flight test comes just weeks after another Northrop Grumman computer-navigated Navy drone aircraft, the X47-B, made news of its first flight. The X47-B resembles a smaller version of the B-2 stealth bomber and can fly round-trip across the country without landing.

Both types of drone are designed for surveillance and not combat, officials say. And while similar technology is already in use today aboard commercial airliner’s auto-pilot features, the continued funding of computer-controlled technology in our skies is a control shift: pilots replaced by drone operator replaced by computer.

Hours after the test flight, just 50 miles to the east, LAPD helicopters hovered over those reveling on All Hallow’s Eve. While attendees were fixated by stupor and suicide, the desensitization toward a rising surveillance state developed, soon to be managed entirely by computer application.

Oskar Mosco, CA-TAC

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A Great Victory for Constitution Lovers Everywhere….

The jury took only 90 minutes to acquit Sheriff Nick Finch, seeing through this attempt of political assassination.

Nick Finch, the duty elected Sheriff of Liberty County, Florida has been run out of office, suspended without pay and arrested for refusing to deprive Floyd Eugene Parrish of his Second Amendment Rights.

According to court records reveal that the case against Sheriff Finch began when Floyd Parrish was arrested on March 8, 2013 for carrying a concealed weapon. Sergeant James Hoagland of the Liberty County Sheriff’s Office arrested Parrish after pulling him over and finding a loaded pistol in his pocket. Parrish was booked into the Liberty County jail and put into a holding cell, while administrative officers began working up processing documents.

Court records reveal that Sergeant Hoagland left the jail, Sheriff Finch arrived with a member of Parrish’s family and was present while the family member visited Parrish  still in the holding cell. Sheriff Finch than allegedly seized the arrest documents applied “White Out” over his name, released Parrish, and informed him that no charges would be filled against him.

The complaint against Sheriff Finch alleges that Sergeant Hoagland informed (FDLE) Florida Department Law Enforcement agents investigating the case against Finch that he (Hoagland) talked to Finch about the Parrish case and Finch said: “He believes in Second Amendment Rights.”

The out cry from the establishment focused on the irregularity of Finch erasing of Parrish  name from the arrest log. A hearing on October 3, 2013 the State Attorney acknowledged that has been common practice to “White Out” names from the jail log of people released since 2005.

Upon learning of the incident Governor Rick Scott immediately suspended Sheriff Finch and appointed Carl Causey as agent in charge of the (FDLE) Florida Department Law Enforcement as intern Sheriff. Governor Scott actions are nowhere authorized by the Florida Constitution. Sheriff Finch is only answerable to those who elected him to serve as there sheriff.  Finch was never aloud to talk to the (FDLE)  about the Parrish case with them.

So in June Finch was arrested after being charged with misconduct based on his alleged altering an destroying of official  court documents. Finch was booked and released on his own recognizance. Also Floyd Parrish was rearrested on the same charges as before.

So we go to October 29, 2013 the trail begins and the judge denied the Sheriff motion to dismiss.

On October 31, 2013 court day reading of the charges and complete laughter in the court room prosecution presented it’s flimsy case, and the charges were complete nonsense.

A jury of six Liberty County citizens nullified the charges against Sheriff Finch and told the State Officials who brought this case  to trail that they were not having none of there shenanigans.

Just 15 minutes later Sheriff Finch was reinstated as sheriff of Liberty County. And charges against Mr. Parrish were dropped, but was given 50 hours of community service and  fined $200.

Liberty won on Halloween Day in Liberty County!

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BUSTED…California Faces $15 Million-plus in Federal Fines Over AB 484

Last month, California passed AB 484, the widely-popular education bill that did away with the annual, federally-mandated STAR testing required by the No Child Left Behind Act.  On the eve before its signing, U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan warned that its passage would create a conflict between state and federal law and threatened sanctions against the state if the bill was signed into law, though he did not clarify exactly what those sanctions might be.  Now we know: $15 million and possibly much more.

A letter was released Monday, October 28, 2013, from an assistant secretary of the federal Department of Education to Michael Kirst of the California State Board of Education, and to State Superintendent of Public Instruction, Tom Torlakson.  The letter cites that California risks losing the $15 million reserved “in Title I State administrative funds and additional Title I funds in the amount that California spent on assessments last year.”  Additionally, the “Department may also designate California as a ‘high-risk grantee,’ potentially hampering its ability to receive federal discretionary funds or flexibilities available to other states for which California may apply in the future (including flexibilities from requirements under the No Child Left Behind Act).”  The letter goes on to inform that, depending upon how AB 484 is implemented, additional funds could be at risk, including funding for programs from which California received more than $3.5 billion in 2012-2013.

Apparently, the Feds mean business.

Proponents of AB 484 argued that the federally-mandated STAR test has been rendered obsolete by the implementation of the new curriculum designed around the Common Core standards.  Instead, districts across the state will be field testing the new computerized MAPP test…but for the first few years will only require testing in either math or English language arts (not both), ostensibly to allow time for schools to purchase additional computers and for teachers to settle into the new way of teaching.

It will be interesting to see how the State and the Feds resolve this one, as California was an early and ardent supporter of the federal push for national education standards.

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Brown Signs AB484

On October 2, the transformation of education moved forward as California’s Governor Jerry Brown signed Assembly Bill 484.  This law immediately suspends the old standardized STAR test required for most public K-12 students, replacing it with a Common Core-compliant test called Measurement of Academic Performance and Progress, or MAPP.  This new computer-based test, which will be administered by the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium, will be field tested during the current 2013-2014 school year and the year following, and will expand to widespread use in the years following.

Since the new MAPP test is taken on a computer, schools will need to expand their inventory and access to technological resources in order to accommodate their students, as well as provide the necessary support required to maintain the computers and other technology.  This is an expensive proposition, and many California schools are not immediately prepared to meet this new requirement.  To assist the districts in their effort to get up to speed technologically, the state will allow districts to give paper-and-pencil exams for at least the next couple of years while new purchases are made.

While AB 484 enjoyed broad support by many, a number of groups had urged Brown to veto the bill on the grounds that it would leave school districts with a year of missing test data, which is often used to gauge the effectiveness of teachers, administrators, and schools.  State officials are confident that California will receive whatever federal waiver might be necessary to temporarily suspend the federally-mandated testing, since the U.S. DOE has stated that it is willing to work with states that want to avoid double testing as they transition to Common Core.

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