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Saturday, June 30, 2018

Friday, June 29, 2018

New California Law Limits How Much Water People Can Use

OFF THE WIRE
By Jennifer McGraw
SACRAMENTO (CBS13) – There will soon be more focus on flushes and scrutiny over showers with a new law signed in by the governor.
California is now the first state in the nation to enact tough new water efficiency standards. The controversial rules limit how many gallons a person can use inside their home per day.
“So that everyone in California is at least integrating efficiency into our preparations for climate change,” said Felicia Marcus, Chair of the State Water Resources Control Board.
So, what are the new rules?
In 2022 the new indoor water standard will be 55 gallons per-person, per-day and by 2030 it will fall to 50 gallons.
“With a child and every day having to wash clothes, that’s just my opinion— not feasible. But I get it and I understand that we’re trying to preserve, but 55 gallons a day?” said Tanya Allen, who has a 4-year-old daughter.
Just how many gallons do household chores take?
An 8-minute shower uses about 17 gallons of water, a load of laundry up to 40, and a bathtub can hold 80 to 100 gallons of water.
“She likes to bathe three times a day and she does laundry all day,” said Rocka Mitchell from Texas.
He and his wife Ginger are living in Sacramento for work and say it would be hard to conserve.
“I couldn’t do it my family is way too large,” she said.
Retrofitting homes with water-efficient fixtures could help cut back.
“I think the average new home is 35 gallons per person per day, so we are not talking emergency conservation here,” Marcus said.

Greg Bundesen with the Sacramento Suburban Water District says they already assist customers,
“We offer toilet rebates, we offer complementary showerheads, we offer complementary faucets,” he said.
The new laws also require water districts to perform “stress tests” of their water supply and curb loss due to leaks.
“Right now we lose up to 30 percent of urban water just to leaks in the system,” Marcus said.
Agencies believe fixing those and educating residents is key.
“Some people may not be aware that you’re going to use a lot more water in a bath and you wouldn’t shower and it’s our job to make sure they’re informed,” Bundesen said.
Water districts who don’t comply face fines up to $10,000 a day.
The ultimate goal is to make conservation a way of life in California. Outdoor water use is also covered by the new laws.

Now standards will be based on a region’s climate and other factors instead of just one standard for the whole state.

BABE OF THE DAY


Thursday, June 28, 2018

BABE OF THE DAY


Court seemingly at odds over cell phones and searches

OFF THE WIRE
The justices of the US Supreme Court sit for an official photograph on June 1, 2017. In the front row, from left, are Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Anthony Kennedy, Chief Justice John Roberts, Clarence Thomas and Stephen Breyer. In the back row, from left, are Elena Kagan, Samuel Alito, Sonia Sotomayor and Neil Gorsuch.

The Supreme Court was at odds Tuesday in trying to balance the level of privacy cell phone owners deserve with legitimate concerns of law enforcement.
In oral arguments, the justices tackled the collision of a fundamental constitutional right with omnipresent technology reshaping personal communications, and in many cases, society.
The issue: when and whether police must obtain a warrant to search data on the cell phone of a person under arrest.
What was clear after two hours was that strict constitutional rules favoring one side or the other were not likely to emerge from a seemingly divided and cautious court again examining Fourth Amendment protections in an evolving area of criminal investigation.
Still, potentially far-reaching rulings are expected in June.
The justices offered tough questions to lawyers involved in appeals involving suspects in Massachusetts and California convicted, in part, after phone numbers, text messages, photos and addresses obtained from personal electronic devices linked them to criminal drug and gang activity.
The search cases give the justices a timely opportunity to reenter the public debate over the limits of Americans' privacy rights, with a focus on the ubiquitous cell phone and its vast storage of information and video.
A January Pew Research Center survey found more than 90-percent of Americans now own or regularly use a cellphone, and 58-percent have a more sophisticated smartphone.
They have become the most quickly adopted technology in history. An estimated 6 of the world's 7 billion people have access to the mobile devices, according to the United Nations.
The two criminal cases before the high court present a complex mix of issues to be explored, in the larger context of the popular cell phone and other digital devices. Among the questions:
-- Should law enforcement have near unfettered, warrantless access to possibly incriminating, even embarrassing, digital evidence-- or should exceptions be created?
-- How are searches of cellphones "incident to arrest" different from wallets, purses, briefcases, dairies, compact discs, even vehicle glove compartments?
-- Should other current and future digital devices receive similar legal protections, such as tablets, laptops, separate global positioning systems (GPS) devices, and wearable cameras?
-- What kinds of information are subject to an initial electronic search-- caller ID, call records, contacts list, photos, video -- and how far can police go to thwart encryption devices that are a feature of many newer models?
Lower court judges nationwide have been left divided over how to apply a 40-year-old high court precedent, which allows searches of items a suspect possesses after arrest.
Searches of homes generally require warrants and are given greater constitutional protection than searches of a vehicle or a person out in the public.
Of the two cases addressed by the high court, David Riley's attracted the most scrutiny. He was detained in 2009 for having an expired vehicle registration and driving with a suspended license. When authorities impounded the Lexus, loaded weapons were found hidden under the hood.
After the college student's subsequent arrest, San Diego police looked at his smartphone. Text messages, contacts and video in the touch-screen device led officers to believe Riley had organized crime connections, and a photograph of another vehicle owned by the suspect was linked to an earlier drive-by shooting.
He was convicted in state court and received a 15-year jail sentence.
Separately, Brima Wurie was arrested in 2007 for selling two packets of crack cocaine. He had an old-style flip phone in his pocket, and police in Boston used call logs on the device to trace his real home address, after the suspect gave a bogus one.
There, officers with a search warrant found more drugs, a weapon and ammunition. Wurie was later convicted in federal court and is serving 22 years behind bars.
In neither case did police seek a warrant before the phones were searched. One appeals court upheld Riley's conviction, and another tossed out Wurie's.
During arguments Riley's lawyer Jeffrey Fisher told the justices that giving police too much discretion here "will fundamentally have changed the nature of privacy that Americans fought for at the founding of the Republic and that we've enjoyed ever since."
"Well, including the criminals who are more dangerous, more sophisticated, more elusive with cell phones," replied Justice Anthony Kennedy. "That's the other side of this."
A key divide among the bench was whether cellphones really were different.
"Practically speaking, a person can only carry so much on their person. That is different because carrying a billfold of photographs is a billfold of photograph," said Justice Sonia Sotomayor. "But now we're talking about potentially thousands, because with digital cameras people take endless photos and it spans their entire life. You don't see a difference between the two things?"
Calling it a "nervous concern," Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg worried police could potentially search anybody's electronic devices if they are stopped for any reason-- "that the "cell phone is fair game no matter what the crime, no matter how relatively unimportant the crime. Is it all misdemeanors that opens the world to the police," she asked.
"So I don't understand why we cut the warrant out of this picture," she added later.
Even Justice Antonin Scalia, traditionally supporting of police procedures, said the idea of searching a person's smartphone for a seat belt violation was "absurd."
The Constitution's Fourth Amendment protects against "unreasonable searches and seizures."
But the high court has repeatedly affirmed the government's discretion to conduct warrantless initial pat-downs and searches of people and vehicles -- to ensure officers' safety and prevent destruction of evidence.
That included a 1973 ruling upholding the police search of a suspect's crumpled cigarette box, where heroin capsules were discovered. The motorist had first been stopped on suspicion of driving on a suspended license in Washington, D.C.
Similar law enforcement searches can include other closed containers, such as wallets and address books, even if it is not initially apparent the items are contraband or dangerous.
But privacy advocates and defense attorneys argue that portable, easily storable technology makes these appeals different.
The high court has been the source of jokes over the years over the perception they are technological Luddites, shunning cameras in court-- and computers and email for typewriters and human messengers. But the justices as a whole are voracious digesters of information, and displayed varying amounts of aptitude at the emerging digital society. Yet even 75-year-old Justice Stephen Breyer could not help poking fun at his old-school ways.
"By the way, GPS information, I don't want to admit it, but my wife might put a little note in my pocket: Steven, remember, turn right at the third stoplight, proceed three blocks forward," he said at one point to courtroom laughter.
The cases are U.S. v. Wurie (13-212) and Riley v. California (13-132).

.‘Sneak & peek’ warrants allow police to secretly enter homes without notice

OFF THE WIRE

A little-known police tactic allows cops to covertly enter private residences, perform searches, seize property, and then leave quietly without notifying the homeowner. These searches, affectionately known as “sneak and peek” warrants, have been performed at a rapidly rising rate since 9/11.
One of many glaring problems with this tactic is the risk barging in on unsuspecting people. Despite investigators’ best efforts to avoid contact, a sneak and peek search could easily be performed while a subject or family member is still present in the house. When the police enter without notice, they will appear indistinguishable from criminal home invaders. Violent confrontations may arise, as they often do with the use of standard “no-knock” warrants.
A little-known police tactic allows cops to covertly enter private residences, perform searches, seize property, and then leave quietly without notifying the homeowner. These searches, affectionately known as “sneak and peek” warrants, have been performed at a rapidly rising rate since 9/11.

Covert Tactics

Sneak and Peek warrants in actuality a more extreme version of the over-used “no-knock” raids that we cover so often. After seeking out a judge’s authorization, police are allowed to secretly break into private property without first announcing themselves or presenting the subject of the search with a signed warrant. Using this variety of warrant, officers intentionally wait until the subject is not present. The operations are performed covertly, and with the intention of masking the fact that any police activity took place.
The entire premise encourages government agents to adopt the tactics of criminals in order to gain access to property: breaking and entering, sneaking around, stealing, and risking a surprise confrontation with an unsuspecting civilian.




Burglar with a crowbar.
Legally acceptable in the USA.
Often, the investigators leave the property undisturbed to avoid detection. After taking what they want and/or leaving wiretaps, cameras, or other planted devices, they exit quietly so as not to raise suspicions.
Sometimes, however, the agents literally stage the scenes to resemble robberies — sneak and steal operations. In one 2010 case, federal investigators broke into an Cleveland apartment, collected evidence, and then “trashed the place to make it look like a burglary.”
The feds have used similar tactics when searching vehicles. According to a Department of Justice document, DEA agents used a delayed-notice warrant to literally steal a suspect’s car in March 2004. After following the suspect to a restaurant in Buffalo, NY, one agent “used a duplicate key to enter the vehicle and drive away while other agents spread broken glass in the parking space to create the impression that the vehicle had been stolen.” [1]
The government is supposed to eventually tell the subject that a warrant had been served on them, but that may not happen for months or sometimes more than a year. A report by the Director Director of the Administrative Office (AO) of U.S. Courts found that the period of delay in telling the suspect they had been served a warrant ranged from 1 to 455 days. The most common length of delay was 90 days [2].

Terminology and History

Officially, the government has termed these warrants innocuously as “Delayed-Notice Search Warrants.” Calling the tactics what they are — covert home invasions or “Sneak and Peek” searches — would not be helpful for public relations.
The man that President Obama chose to head the FBI, James Comey, once explained the etymological spin used by the government to present the tactics in a positive light:   “We in law enforcement do not call them [sneak and peek warrants]… because it conveys this image that we are looking through your sock drawer while you are taking a nap.” [3]
In private, the government once used a more honest description of the tactic — back when it was not legally recognized. They were quite literally referred to as “black bag jobs” within the FBI, as Bureau domestic intelligence head William Sullivan revealed in a declassified memo dated July 19, 1966:
“We do not obtain authorization for ‘black bag’ jobs from outside the Bureau. Such a technique involves trespass and is clearly illegal; therefore, it would be impossible to obtain any legal sanction for it. Despite this, ‘black bag’ jobs have been used because they represent an invaluable technique in combating subversive activities of a clandestine nature aimed directly at undermining and destroying our nation.” [4]
Mr. Sullivan was clearly aware that the actions were illegal, yet his memo went on to proudly admit that the tactics have been used to destroy political groups operating within the United States.
Governments have certainly been covertly sneaking and spying on their own citizens for all of history. The legal acceptance is the newer, more concerning development.
As law professor Jonathan Witmer-Rich points out, “There is no evidence of judicially-authorized covert searching, through a delayed notice warrant or any similar mechanism, in the history of search and seizure through 1791 [the drafting of the Fourth Amendment].” [6]
The professor also revealed that the first reference to a “Delayed-Notice Search Warrant” did not occur in U.S. case law until 1985 in United States v. Frietas [6].
The constitutionality of covert searches has been challenged in court several times in the modern era, and the searches were always upheld. In Dalia v. United States (1979), the U.S. Supreme Court called the 4th Amendment challenge “frivolous.” Modern courts have followed suit, holding that the tactics pose no Fourth Amendment concerns. And thus signaled the beginning to an era when “black bag” tactics became legitimate.
Although the courts had condoned the formerly dubious warrants, their issuance remained relatively low (at least searches performed on the record). The rarity of the searches changed after the attacks of September 11, 2001. The USA PATRIOT Act laid out a national standard for using Sneak & Peek tactics, and the floodgates began to open for their widespread usage.
Before the USA PATRIOT Act, only two federal circuits had ever acknowledged the practice of Delayed-Notice Search Warrants [6].
Title 18, Section 3103a provides that for any federal search warrant, “any notice required… may be delayed if… the court finds reasonable cause to believe that providing immediate notification of the execution of the warrant may have an adverse result.”
According to research done by Professor Witmer-Rich, there were only 25 DSW’s issued in 2002, and in a decade, that number had grown to 5,601 DSW’s issued in 2012 [6]. In fact, sneak and peek search warrants now constitute about 10% of all warrants served by the federal government [5].
Evidence shows that judges are rarely rejecting these warrants. Data in a U.S. Courts Administrative Office report shows that there was a 0.7% chance of a judge denying a request for a sneak and peek warrant in 2010. Out of 2,395 total DSW requests, only 16 were rejected [2].

Institutionalized Injustice

The use of these tactics opens the doors for numerous problems, corruption, and unintended consequences.
Secret searches not only reduce/eliminate the privacy and freedom of those targeted in the investigation — who are legally innocent until proven guilty — but also spurs an insecurity within the entire community. As Supreme Court Justice Sonya Sotomayor noted in a 2012 case regarding secret GPS tracking, “awareness that the Government may be watching chills associational and expressive freedoms.”
Another glaring problem is the risk of having police officers barging in on unsuspecting people. Despite investigators’ best efforts to avoid contact, a sneak and peek search could easily be performed while a subject or family member is still present in the house. When the police enter without notice, they will appear indistinguishable from criminal home invaders. Violent confrontations may arise, as they often do with the use of standard “no-knock” warrants.
It is also worth noting that clandestine “black bag jobs” are a perfect working environment for corrupt government agents. If their objective is to stage a robbery, they can quite literally steal property for their own benefit and never report it to the courts. Pocketing cash and valuables would be quite easy for state-sanctioned burglars operating without any witnesses. Officers also have a practically unchecked ability to plant evidence and incriminate the subject.
Indeed, the secrecy and lack of witnesses in these situations makes it incredibly difficult to hold the police accountable for any wrongdoing that might occur.

The problem of Sneak and Peek warrants has been institutionalized by the legislature, and it must be reversed there as well. The courts are unlikely to go against the precedents that have already been established. If clandestine police tactics are of concern to the public, the people must spur a legal change and push back on these advanced state powers.


SOURCES:

1. “Delayed Notice Search Warrants: A Vital and Time-Honored Tool For Fighting Crime,” U.S. Department of Justice. Web. 22 Sep. 2004. [http://www.justice.gov/dag/patriotact213report.pdf]
2. “Report of the Director of the Administrative Office of the United States Courts on Applications for Delayed-Notice Search Warrants and Extensions,” ACLU.org. Web. Accessed 26 Jun. 2014. [https://www.aclu.org/files/assets/aousc_patriot_act_section_213_sneak_and_peek_report.pdf]
3. Comey, James. “Fighting Terrorism and Preserving Civil Liberties”, 40 U. Rich. L. Rev. 403, 410 (2006).
4. Holden, Henry M. FBI 100 Years: An Unofficial History. Zenith Press. 2008.
5. Witmer-Rich, Jonathan. “Covert, Delayed Notice Searching: A Constitutional and Policy Failure — and a Solution,” AmericanBar.org. Web. 05 Oct. 2012. [http://www.americanbar.org/content/dam/aba/events/criminal_justice/Fall2012/Roundtable_WitmerRich_Covert_Searches.authcheckdam.pdf]

6. Witmer-Rich, Jonathan. “The Rapid Rise of Delayed Notice Searches, and the Fourth Amendment Rule Requiring Notice,” SSRN.com. Web. 24 Sep. 2013. [http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=2226977]

Wednesday, June 27, 2018

BABE OF THE DAY


Trump Versus Harley

OFF THE WIRE
The President of the United States reacted angrily to yesterday’s announcement by Harley-Davidson that the Motor Company intended to manufacture the motorcycles it will sell in Europe overseas.
In an SEC filing, the company said “tariffs on Harley-Davidson motorcycles exported from the U.S. have increased from 6% to 31%. Harley-Davidson expects these tariffs will result in an incremental cost of approximately $2,200 per average motorcycle exported from the U.S. to the EU.
“Harley-Davidson believes the tremendous cost increase, if passed onto its dealers and retail customers, would have an immediate and lasting detrimental impact to its business in the region, reducing customer access to Harley-Davidson products and negatively impacting the sustainability of its dealers’ businesses. Therefore, Harley-Davidson will not raise its manufacturer’s suggested retail prices or wholesale prices to its dealers to cover the costs of the retaliatory tariffs. In the near-term, the company will bear the significant impact resulting from these tariffs, and the company estimates the incremental cost for the remainder of 2018 to be approximately $30 to $45 million. On a full-year basis, the company estimates the aggregate annual impact due to the EU tariffs to be approximately $90 to $100 million.”
Not everyone agrees with Harley’s assessment. For one thing, the company sells status symbols rather than basic transportation. And for another, those symbols are intended to evoke an America as long ago as tail fins. People who aspire to own a Harley aren’t necessarily deferred from buying one because they are overpriced.

Trump

Among those who disagreed with the company’s decision was Trump. He has tweeted about the move offshore four times since the company made its announcement. Here, in chronological order, is what he had to say.
“Surprised that Harley-Davidson, of all companies, would be the first to wave the White Flag. I fought hard for them and ultimately they will not pay tariffs selling into the E.U., which has hurt us badly on trade, down $151 Billion. Taxes just a Harley excuse – be patient! #MAGA”
“Early this year Harley-Davidson said they would move much of their plant operations in Kansas City to Thailand. That was long before Tariffs were announced. Hence, they were just using Tariffs/Trade War as an excuse. Shows how unbalanced & unfair trade is, but we will fix it.”
“When I had Harley-Davidson officials over to the White House, I chided them about tariffs in other countries, like India, being too high. Companies are now coming back to America. Harley must know that they won’t be able to sell back into U.S. without paying a big tax!”
“A Harley-Davidson should never be built in another country-never! Their employees and customers are already very angry at them. If they move, watch, it will be the beginning of the end – they surrendered, they quit! The Aura will be gone and they will be taxed like never before!”






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Harley Cutting American Jobs

OFF THE WIRE
In what is called an “8-K Filing” today with the Securities and Exchange Commission Harley-Davidson, Inc. announced it will move manufacturing jobs from the United States overseas, probably to assembly plants in India and Brazil.

An “8K Filing” is a “current report” (as opposed to a “10 K” annual report) that companies must file with the SEC to announce major events that shareholders should know about.

The filing states: “To address the substantial cost of this tariff burden long-term, Harley-Davidson will be implementing a plan to shift production of motorcycles for EU destinations from the U.S. to its international facilities to avoid the tariff burden. Harley-Davidson expects ramping-up production in international plants will require incremental investment and could take at least 9 to 18 months to be fully complete.”
Trade War

Harley-Davidson currently has four plants in the United States: In Kansas City, Missouri; York, Pennsylvania; and Menomonee Falls and Tomahawk, Wisconsin. The company also has assembly plants in Manaus, Brazil; Bawal, India and Rayong, Thailand. Harley announced in January that it intended to close its Kansas City assembly plant. At the time the company said it would add 450 jobs at the York assembly plant.

The move is a direct result of a burgeoning trade war with the European Union, a political and economic coalition of 28 (soon to be 27) European nations. The United Kingdom voted to leave the European Union last year.

This spring, President Trump raised import taxes on European steel and aluminum. The European Union retaliated by raising its own import taxes and numerous, iconic American products including Harleys, Levis, orange juice and American bourbon. The new European tariffs went into effect last Friday.
Casualties

“Consequently,” the filing states, “EU tariffs on Harley-Davidson motorcycles exported from the U.S. have increased from 6% to 31%. Harley-Davidson expects these tariffs will result in an incremental cost of approximately $2,200 per average motorcycle exported from the U.S. to the EU.

“Harley-Davidson believes the tremendous cost increase, if passed onto its dealers and retail customers, would have an immediate and lasting detrimental impact to its business in the region, reducing customer access to Harley-Davidson products and negatively impacting the sustainability of its dealers’ businesses. Therefore, Harley-Davidson will not raise its manufacturer’s suggested retail prices or wholesale prices to its dealers to cover the costs of the retaliatory tariffs. In the near-term, the company will bear the significant impact resulting from these tariffs, and the company estimates the incremental cost for the remainder of 2018 to be approximately $30 to $45 million. On a full-year basis, the company estimates the aggregate annual impact due to the EU tariffs to be approximately $90 to $100 million.”

“Harley-Davidson will provide more details of the financial implications and plans to mitigate the impact of retaliatory EU tariffs during the company’s second quarter earnings conference call on July 24, 2018, at 8:00AM CDT.”
Symbolism

The President has long used Harley-Davidson and Harley riders as symbols of his promise to make America great again and of the people to whom he was making that promise. Less than a month after taking office, Trump invited Harley executives to the White House to discuss their company’s “success.”

Harley-Davidson motorcycle sales have plummeted for the last four years.

At that press event, he called Harley “a true American icon, one of the greats…. Your motorcycles have carried American service members in the war,” Trump said, “and they take care of our police officers…. You’ve given me tremendous support, your workers in particular.”


Tuesday, June 26, 2018

Casualty Of Trade Tensions: Harley-Davidson Shifting More Production Overseas

OFF THE WIRE




Harley-Davidson motorcycle engines are assembled at the company's plant in Menomonee Falls, Wis. Tariffs from the European Union are prompting the company to shift production of some motorcycles for the European market overseas.
Scott Olson/Getty Images

Harley-Davidson says it plans to move production of motorcycles it sells in Europe overseas in response to growing trade friction between the United States and Europe.

European officials last week imposed stiff tariffs on a wide range of U.S.-made goods sold within the European Union. The response came to President Trump's recent decision to slap tariffs on European imports.

In a Securities and Exchange Commission filing Monday, Harley-Davidson said the tariffs imposed by the EU "would have an immediate and lasting detrimental impact to its business in the region."

The company reported $5.65 billion in revenues last year and Europe is its largest overseas market, with almost 40,000 customers buying motorcycles there in 2017.
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EU Tariffs Take Effect, Retaliating For Trump's Tariffs On Steel And Aluminum
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Harley Hopes An Electric Hog Will Appeal To Young, Urban Riders

The European tariffs have jumped from 6 percent to 31 percent, the company said. That increase will add on average $2,200 to the cost of each motorcycle sold in the EU, and would cost the company $90 million to $100 million a year, the filing said.

"Increasing international production to alleviate the EU tariff burden is not the company's preference, but represents the only sustainable option to make its motorcycles accessible to customers in the EU and maintain a viable business in Europe," the filing said.
A History Of Harleys

The company did not say where production would be shifted, or how many jobs might be affected, but said the move would take nine to 18 months to complete.

It also did not say which U.S. factories would be affected. The company's U.S. factories are in York, Pa.; Kansas City, Mo., and Menomonee Falls, Wis. It also has manufacturing operations in Australia, Brazil, India and Thailand.

BABE OF THE DAY










Monday, June 25, 2018

Sunday, June 24, 2018

Saturday, June 23, 2018

Friday, June 22, 2018

Thursday, June 21, 2018

Motorcycle group claims San Marcos PD is profiling riders

OFF THE WIRE

The Motorcycle Profiling Project sent a letter the the police department requesting it stop any discriminatory recommendations.

https://youtu.be/4G6rD6VV5ak

Australia - Police Research confirms the majority of the members of MC Clubs do not have any serious criminal history, and 7 of the 26 clubs subject to VLAD laws do not have members with serious criminal history.

OFF THE WIRE
The innocent deserve protection, and should not be the subject of these draconian VLAD laws.
The research, as provided to the Courier Mail last week, confirms that these laws effect people with no serious criminal history, and target 7 clubs whose members do not have any serious criminal history.
According to an article published on the weekend, police “researchers” told the Courier Mail that “…more than 70 per cent of members of some bikie clubs have serious criminal convictions” and that “nearly half of all members of the top 19 violent outlaw gangs had convictions for serious crimes.”
Statistics can be manipulated and I would like to make some comments on these ones in particular.
The public is being asked to swallow these figures and conclude that the VLAD laws are justified because some of the members of clubs have a criminal history.
It is important to remember these laws allow for severe mandatory sentencing, solitary confinement, fear of being seen in public, the reversal of the right to bail and innocence, and other denials of natural justice and human rights.
These sorts of laws should not be passed lightly, or without careful research on who will be effected.
They should not undermine the rule of law, or civil rights, nor should they prevent freedom of the right to protest, or the right to associate.
Unfortunately this is not the case with the VLAD laws.
This is why these laws have come under strong criticism from Judges, Amnesty, human rights groups, and organisations across the globe.
They offend Australia’s treaty obligations, and involve a serious erosion of civil liberties, freedoms, and rights.
The means never justify the ends, and these means are undeniably draconian.
Let’s look at the police “statistics” – noting the Courier Mail did not provide much detail, because they actually demonstrate that the majority of members of these clubs do not have criminal histories.
Firstly, these statistics choose to only refer to 19 of the 26 clubs named – so how do they justify the laws applying to the other 7 clubs named on the list?
Does that mean they made a mistake naming the other clubs?
Presumably the statistics for those clubs are insignificant which is why they have not be mentioned in the Courier Mail.
Lest we also forget that they have named a club (The Scorpions) that does not even exist in Australia – why include them!
So much for carefully researching and vetting which clubs deserve to be subjected to draconian laws.
Secondly, on their own “statistics”, 2/3rds of members of the majority of clubs DO NOT have any serious convictions.
Why tar all members with no history with the same brush then?
Why are these laws being used to target clubs where less than 1/3 of members have a criminal history?
Why are persons with no criminal history subject to the same draconian laws?
Can the loss of the presumption of innocence really be justified where the majority effected have no history at all?
Finally, the statistics also fail to differentiate between criminal histories which predate membership of a motorcycle club, and therefore have no relevance to their membership of the club, or their current lifestyle. As a lawyer I was always taught that people can rehabilitate, and indeed I have seen first and people change their lives around when they mature and start building a family life.
To judge someone on their past is a mistake. People do change.
Sometimes people need a place to belong – such as a club – to help them achieve their life goals.
Many Vietnam veterans for example joined clubs when they returned from fighting for Australia – yet these guys are also subject to the same draconian laws, even if they only joined for a few months in the 1970s (the laws are retrospective too by the way!).
These are men that fought for Australia, yet now they fear marching on ANZAC Day!
What is happening to our country!
Then there are the funerals that are being stalked by police trying to catch more than 2 club members arriving at the same time to mourn the death of a friend.
I cannot see how that can be justified (especially when the deceased was not even a member at the time of his passing which has been the case on at least two funerals this year).
Surely some things are sacred – births death and marriages would have to be three of the ceremonies that deserve respect.
Laws should not target people simply because of what they might do.
Laws should not punish people for who they choose to befriend, or associate with.
If the majority of members do not have convictions, then why are they being targeted?
If only a minority of members have any criminal history, then how can they justify why are these clubs being declared to be “criminal organisations”?
How can they justify targeting their friends, family and associates?
The innocent deserve protection from these laws.

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Video Proves FBI Uses Local Cops to Profile Bikers

OFF THE WIRE
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hnlb9ny_EP0
Are you planning on attending the Motorcycle Profiling workshop on June 30, 10 am, at Hollywood's Roadhouse in Nashotah? Are you aware that if you attended a funeral, party or other function where 1% club members were present, you might have been photographed and labeled as an associate? You don't have to be in a motorcycle club to come under the scrutiny of the FBI and/or local authorities. Here's a prime example of some club members who were stopped and photographed, solely on the belief they associate with members of a 1% club in Texas. There was no other reason for the stop, and one of the officers explains they routinely stop riders based on information provided by, or requested by the FBI, for intelligence gathering. This is totally an illegal stop, and one example of profiling. You need to attend the workshop conducted by Double D, who is indisputably recognized as the expert in motorcycle profiling issues. Learn what your rights are and how to recognize if you're stopped illegally. You can only exercise your rights to be free from unreasonable search and seizure if you know what those rights are. Be there or be sorry.

Supreme Court Sides With Defendant In Motorcycle Search Case — But Two Conservatives Push Back

OFF THE WIRE
The court's majority said the search was illegal, but Justice Samuel Alito disagreed while Justice Clarence Thomas questioned whether Supreme Court limitations on illegally obtained evidence even apply to the states.

The Supreme Court ruled overwhelmingly in favor of a criminal defendant Tuesday in holding that a Virginia search of a man's motorcycle — parked in his driveway — was unconstitutional.

Nonetheless, the court's two most conservative justices — Justices Clarence Thomas and Samuel Alito — laid out a divergent pair of visions for restricting legal rights against police searches: one that would limit people's protections against illegal searches conducted by state and local police and one that would provide less protection under the Fourth Amendment than any other current justice believes exists.

The case presented a rather straightforward question about what Fourth Amendment protections exist when a person's vehicle is searched when parked on private property adjacent to their house.

Police had probable cause to believe that Ryan Austin Collins' motorcycle — covered by a tarp at the top of the driveway in a space "enclosed on two sides by a brick wall ... and on the third side by the house" — was stolen. After walking up the driveway, uncovering the motorcycle, and getting the license and vehicle identification number, police confirmed that suspicion and arrested Collins.

The decision (link is external) was a lopsided one, with Justice Sonia Sotomayor writing for the 8–1 majority that the warrantless search of Collins' motorcycle was not allowed under the "automobile exception" to the general requirement that police need a warrant to conduct a search at a person's home.

"[T]he ability visually to observe an area protected by the Fourth Amendment does not give officers the green light physically to intrude on it," Sotomayor wrote.

Under the "automobile exception," police generally can search a car if they have probable cause without needing to seek a warrant. This is so, the Supreme Court has ruled, because automobiles are so easily moved and because of "the pervasive regulation of vehicles" by governments. The Virginia Supreme Court ruled the exception applied here, making the search of Collins' motorcycle a legal one.
Calling it an "easy case," however, Sotomayor wrote that "the scope of the automobile exception extends no further than the automobile itself." Because a person's house and the nearby space — referred to as curtilage — are independently protected spaces under the Fourth Amendment, generally requiring a warrant to search, the "automobile exception" doesn't somehow make it OK to access that property to search it without a warrant.
"The automobile exception does not afford the necessary lawful right of access to search a vehicle parked within a home or its curtilage because it does not justify an intrusion on a person’s separate and substantial Fourth Amendment interest in his home and curtilage," she concluded for the court.
Thomas joined Sotomayor's opinion — he agreed that the police officer's actions clearly violated the Fourth Amendment — but nonetheless laid out a view that would fundamentally alter the rules that have applied to state and local policing in the United States since John F. Kennedy was president.
Turning to originalism and the Supremacy Clause, Thomas took issue with the effect of the exclusionary rule on the case. The rule was established by the Supreme Court and says that evidence obtained in violation of the Fourth Amendment is suppressed — unable to be admitted — in any criminal trial.
Thomas presented a vision of the law that would allow states to admit evidence at trial that was obtained in violation of the Fourth Amendment. Noting that the "Founders would not have understood the logic of the exclusionary rule," because there was no such practice at the time, Thomas wrote that Supreme Court rulings made clear the rule is "not required by the Constitution." As such, he wrote, the Supremacy Clause — which raises federal law over state laws — should not apply to this situation, since the exclusionary rule is not based on the Constitution or a federal law.
Thus, Thomas wrote, "I am skeptical of this Court’s authority to impose the exclusionary rule on the States" — a decision (link is external) the court made in 1961.
And he agreed with the court's ruling.
Alito was the only justice who believed the court got the Fourth Amendment ruling itself wrong.
In his dissenting opinion, Alito laid out a view of the Fourth Amendment that potentially could — if ever given effect — allow for a wider swath of warrantless police searches.
"[T]he Court’s strikingly unreasonable decision is based on a misunderstanding of Fourth Amendment basics," he wrote, focusing on the item searched — the motorcycle — and not the location of the search.
"[W]e should ask whether the reasons for the 'automobile exception' are any less valid in this new situation," he wrote, referencing the court's earlier cases on the topic. "Is the vehicle parked in the drive-way any less mobile? Are any greater privacy interests at stake? If the answer to those questions is 'no,' then the automobile exception should apply. And here, the answer to each question is emphatically 'no.'"
While Sotomayor noted that, under Alito's logic, the police officer in this case could have entered the home itself if he saw the motorcycle in the living room from the street, Alito himself insisted otherwise, writing that "a case-specific inquiry regarding the degree of intrusion on privacy is entirely appropriate when the motor vehicle to be searched is located on private property."

It was not clear what actual rule that would establish or how this sliding-rule application of the general warrant requirement for home searches would apply in other cases, but Alito summed up his own general view about Collins' case in the opening to his dissent: "The Fourth Amendment prohibits 'unreasonable' searches. What the police did in this case was entirely reasonable."

BABE OF THE DAY


Supreme Court rules police need warrant to search vehicle on private property

OFF THE WIRE
, USA TODAY
WASHINGTON — The Supreme Court ruled Tuesday that police generally cannot enter private property to search a motor vehicle without first obtaining a warrant.
The 8-1 decision overruling three lower courts was written by Justice Sonia Sotomayor. Justice Samuel Alito dissented, calling a Virginia police officer's actions reasonable when he walked up a private driveway to confirm that a motorcycle had been stolen.
The stolen motorcycle had outrun two different police officers from the same Virginia department in 2013. So when Officer David Rhodes examined what he suspected was the same motorcycle under a tarp in a driveway, he waited patiently for Ryan Collins to come home, then placed him under arrest.
The high court ruled that same year that police need a warrant to search outside a private home. But automobiles are exempt from most Fourth Amendment privacy protections if a crime is suspected, because they can be moved quickly and are highly regulated. In Collins' case, those two precedents collided.
Sotomayor and seven colleagues resolved the collision in favor of privacy. 
"The automobile exception does not permit an officer without a warrant to enter a home or its curtilage in order to search a vehicle therein," Sotomayor ruled. "The scope of the automobile exception extends no further than the automobile itself."
During oral argument, Chief Justice John Roberts said motor vehicles don't get the same privacy rights as houses because they can be driven away at a moment's notice. To make his point, he cited the famous race car from the 1986 film Ferris Bueller's Day Off — mistakenly recalling it as a Porsche when in fact it was a 1961 Ferrari 250 GT California Spider.
But Roberts joined Sotomayor's opinion Tuesday, leaving only Alito in dissent. Alito said the vehicle exception should apply as long as the search isn't unreasonable or a significant breach of privacy. 
"An ordinary person of common sense would react to the court’s decision the way Mr. Bumble famously responded when told about a legal rule that did not comport with the reality of everyday life," Alito said, quoting a Charles Dickens character: "If that is the law, he exclaimed, 'the law is a ass — a idiot.'"
Judge Clarence Thomas joined the majority's conclusion but expressed concern about the potential result -- that evidence against Collins would be excluded at trial. He said the court may lack the authority to impose the federal exclusionary rule on states. 
The Supreme Court in recent years has been a firm defender of the Fourth Amendment protection against unreasonable searches and seizures. It has held that police cannot use GPS equipment to track vehicles or search cellphones without a warrant.
Earlier this term in a pending case, the justices voiced concerns about government monitoring of suspects by tracking the location of their cellphones.
And on the same day that they heard Collins' case, they also considered a privacy challenge from a driver found with 49 bricks of heroin in the trunk of a car rented under someone else's name. The justices ruled that his privacy was invaded as well.

Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Bikers are Being Arrested for Wearing Bandanas; Here’s Why

OFF THE WIRE
It has been reported that in the recent past, as many as 17 arrests have been made in this regard. Bikers in the State of Louisiana have been arrested for wearing bandannas while riding.
Many bikers around the country prefer to wear bandannas while riding.
And we see it as nothing but a targeting of motorcyclists’ rights and freedoms, when they are prevented from wearing bandannas.

Not all the 17 cases of arrest reported have been confirmed yet. However, at least, one arrest has been confirmed till yet.
This biker was arrested on the November 8th, 2016. He was on his way to speak at a Confederation of Clubs and Independents in Alexandria.
As a result of the arrest, he not only missed his opportunity to speak at the conference, but also missed the opportunity to vote in the 2016 National Elections!

He was stopped on the pretext of a traffic violation. However, the arrest was made under an “Anti-mask Law” in force in the state.
He was allegedly in the violation of State Code LSA-R.S. 14:313. This law is apparently in place to prevent people from concealing their identity in public.
As many as 15 states have such general “anti-masking laws”, which can be used to harass motorcyclists!

We think it’s a gross violation of the rights of the bikers.

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Wednesday, June 6, 2018

SENATE TAKES UP NDAA

OFF THE WIRE


SENATE TAKES UP NDAA: The text of the Senate’s version of the fiscal 2019 National Defense Authorization Act could be unveiled today as the chamber is poised to begin floor debate. “Months of hearings and markups allow Congress to direct resources and authorize programs, equipping our brave servicemen and women to confront emerging challenges. The Armed Services Committee should be commended for their earnest, bipartisan work this year. The legislation they’ve produced is strong,” Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said Tuesday. He is expected to bring the bill to the floor today.
The $716 billion must-pass NDAA is named after Sen. John McCain, who helped write the authorization bill from Arizona where he is receiving treatment for brain cancer. McConnell said the annual bill would add ships and aircraft, streamline personnel management, modernize acquisitions, and eliminate duplicative and wasteful programs. “It sends a clear message that we have our warfighters’ backs. How fitting, then, that it’s named for our colleague, Sen. McCain, a stalwart champion for our servicemen and women if this chamber has ever seen one,” he said.
Senators will now be filing proposed amendments and gearing up for debate and voting that could stretch into next week. “I look forward to discussing this legislation at length in the coming days,” McConnell said. The House passed its version of the NDAA on May 24. Once the Senate votes, both chambers’ armed services committees typically name a conference committee to hammer out a final compromise in the fall.

BABE OF THE DAY


Tuesday, June 5, 2018

Monday, June 4, 2018

WHO WE NEED TO THANK!

Page 1
WHO WE NEED TO THANK!
These are the people that supported us with AB 2972. We will need their support again next
year and we want them to remember us! It is my opinion we should also be helping them with
their campaigns to help them get re-elected, but at the very least, call or email them a note of
thanks!
Anna Caballero – D – AD30 (Authored AB 2972)....................................................916.319.2030
Reggie Fair (Anna Caballero staff member who worked with us)
Kevin Mullen – D – AD22 (Co-Authored AB 2972) .................................................916.319.2022
Jay Obernolte – R – AD33 (The only Republican to vote yes on AB 2972) ..............916.319.2033
Bob Bonta – D – AD18 ..............................................................................................916.319.2018
Wendy Carrillo – D – AD51 ......................................................................................916.319.2051
Kansen Chu – D – AD25 ...........................................................................................916.319.2025
Tom Daly – D – AD69...............................................................................................916.319.2069
Laura Friedman – D – AD43 .....................................................................................916.319.2043
Todd Gloria – D – AD78 ...........................................................................................916.319.2078
Lorena S. Gonzalez Fletcher – D – AD80 .................................................................916.319.2080
Reginald Jones-Sawyer Sr – D – AD59 .....................................................................916.319.2059
Ash Kalra – D – AD27...............................................................................................916.319.2027
Sydney Kamlager-Dove – D – AD54 ........................................................................916.319.2054
Marc Levine – D – AD10 ..........................................................................................916.319.2010
Kevin McCarty – D – AD07 ......................................................................................916.319.2007
Nazarian Adrin – D – AD46 ......................................................................................916.319.2046
Anthony Rendon – D – AD63 ...................................................................................916.319.2063
Miguel Santiago – D – AD53 ....................................................................................916.319.2053

AB 2972 Pulled - What to do now

OFF THE WIRE
Please read all the way to the end plus the attachment!  Effort on Motorcyclist Anti-Profiling is not dead.  It will continue with a new bill next year but there is work to do starting NOW. As Robert Tobaldo says:  We may have lost the battle today, but I can assure you that we WILL find a new way to win the war.  We need your help and effort to win the war. 

Nancy Nemecek
ABATE Local 6 – Vice President
California Motorcyclist Anti-Profiling Coalition

June 3, 2018

With regret I have to inform everyone that we and the author – Assembly member Anna Caballero – opted to pull our bill – AB 2972 – after we found out that we could not garner enough votes to get the bill out of the full Assembly floor.  Pulling the bill was better than facing a certain loss.  In Sacramento, a loss makes getting votes for a re-submitted bill next year very difficult.  It would seem that law enforcement lobbied our representatives just a bit harder than we did.  That being said, we may be down this year, but all of us on the committee are dedicated to try new strategies next year to get a Motorcyclist Anti-Profiling bill passed!  With all of your help, we will come back next year wiser and stronger from the lessons we learned this year!

One of the things you CAN do this year and right now is to contact the representatives that did support us.  I have attached a list of all of our friends that did support us and I am asking all of you to please contact them and thank them for their support.  Just a short email or phone call to say thanks really means a lot to them!  And IF you can find just a couple of hours to help one of our supporters in their campaigns this year, that help goes a LONG way!  Just 2-4 hours of hanging signs, phone banking, or many other simple things is a proven way to get their support down the road.  Even if you can’t help with a campaign, please make those calls or emails!

Below, I have attached a note from one of the Coalition members – Robert Tobaldo – who has worked tirelessly for years to try and get this bill passed.  Bobby says it all very clearly in his note!

Thank you for all of your help,

Nick Benson Sr / Member
California Motorcyclist Anti-Profiling Coalition

Message from Robert Tobaldo
Today, we in the CA Motorcycle Anti-Profiling Coalition learned that our bill, AB2972 - Motorcycle Profiling failed to get enough support to get out of the Assembly. We may have lost the battle today, but I can assure you that we WILL find a new way to win the war.
I wish to thank all the members of the CA Motorcycle Anti-Profiling Coalition for all their hard work and unwavering commitment, our bill author, Member Anna Caballero and her staff for believing in our cause as well as their courage to stand up to tyranny, all the Assembly Members who stood by us in the face of great opposition, Double D and Donny Landsman from WA State for their support and guidance, ABATE, BRO and all the CA Confederation of Clubs for their support and contributions as well as everyone who took the time to listen and take action to help end motorcycle profiling in California this year. It was a tremendous effort and one that will not go to waste as we move forward and build a larger, stronger, base of support that will not be silenced or ignored.
We learn a lot over the past 20 months, enough to know that our legislative goals are strong and just. It all starts again immediately. This is an election year and we all have a say in who will represent us next year. The outcome will have a direct bearing on not only motorcycle profiling here in CA, but many important issues that must be addressed.
We will continue to persevere, educate, motivate and take action so stay tuned for upcoming announcements.

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