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Friday, June 30, 2017

Government Seeks To Silence Free Media Sources


by Hank McGrath
Several weeks ago Senator Diane Feinstein announced new legislation proposals which would not only restrict “citizen reporters” but would disqualify them from recognition as actual reporters – whether they be bloggers, journalists, independent reporters and so on. Her proposal is in sync with the US Justice Dept report governing concerns for obtaining info from reporters who are protected by a shield (see: ). Thusfar, 40 states have a shield law protecting reporters, journalists and bloggers. The Federal government seeks to pass a law called the FREE FLOW OF INFORMATION ACT OF 2013 ( H.R. 1962 ).  The amendment proposed by Feinstein seeks to insure that ONLY paid reporters who are deemed professional  by federal standards should be protected by the “shield laws”. She suggests that citizen reporters and bloggers should not have any protections under the shield laws.
Problem is that a large portion of news stories  covered by big media originated from citizen reporters and a number of important issues and cases  investigating political or government agency corruption have derived from the work of independent bloggers, whistle-blowers and citizens getting out the news.  If they did not…YOU NEVER WOULD HAVE HEARD A THING ABOUT IT!
Then there is the problem with government classifying what is the requirements of a reporter… Think about that. If you do not fall into the realm of “the govt. reporter” then you can be arrested, detained, forced to give up your sources and so on…Quite like is occurring today in various countries around the world!
According to the Committee To Protect Journalists report in 2012 there was over 232 journalists unjustly imprisoned across the world. In 2013, CPJ reported an increase for the year to 211 imprisoned unjustly…simply because they are reporters and journalists. That does not include the beatings, tortures, murder, rape and disappearance of reporters and journalists across the world – FOR THE EXACT SAME REASON THE POLITICIANS AND POWER BROKERS SEEK TO SILENCE REPORTERS AND CITIZENS RIGHT HERE IN THE UNITED STATES!
NYTimes reporter Campbell Robertson, in his January 11, 2014 article “Bloggers Incarceration Raises First Amendment Question” , revealed a case involving a blogger, Roger Shuler,  who has been targeted and jailed INDEFINITELY by authorities in Alabama because of his blog attacks against local and State officials for being corrupt. BIG GOVERNMENT does not want the citizens to have a voice or the freedom and liberty to exercise that voice – Nor have the freedom to uncover the truth which is a protected right under the first amendment…it is a natural process of that amendments exercise.
Reporters have released a video channel which clearly show the intent of law enforcement against reporters and journalists here in the US (See: C64BETA ). In 2013 I worked on a special project called D.U.P.A. .(Documenting Unjust Police Aggression) with local NY reporters Lisa Petrocelli and Harold Bryant  - a seminar to educate those in the motorcycle culture as to how they may document and report unjust police aggression against themselves and those journalists and citizen reporters covering biker events and how to funnel the news to the media. This information proved valuable and empowering to those in the culture who suffer bias and discrimination by authorities simply because of their lifestyle and beliefs.
If given the powers expressed by Feinstein to amend the federal bill with a discrediting of citizen reporters and bloggers – those citizens in our seminar would instantly become criminals and thereby silenced from their First Amendment Right. Is that our future? Do you desire government controlled media?!
Become a citizen reporter! Download The Reporters Field Guide
Review the Reporters Legal Guide which shows bloggers, journalists, writers, citizens and reporters how to obtain news, disseminating news, FOIA, right to access and more!

The author is a member of iFOIA.Org with Reporters Committee For Freedom Of The Press and has been an investigative reporter with various news agencies for over 15 years and a citizen reporter and rights advocate for over 35 years(since his inception of the Voices of the People newspaper while at Junior College of Albany- Russell Sage, Albany, NY in 1976).

Thursday, June 29, 2017

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

STOP- Motorcycle Profiling-Harassment


I am raising $25,000 in order to continue a lawsuit against the City of Coolidge Arizona, and the State of Arizona for Motorcycle Profiling, Harassment, and Discrimination. My Husband and I moved to this rural community so that I could open a Motorcycle Repair & Tattoo (I am a MMI Graduate and Harley Davidson Certified Mechanic) we also opened a Bar called Momma Juggs. Both businesses were open to all, and unlike the current pattern of discrimination, we encouraged Motorcycle Clubs to come to our establishments. Under Public Records Laws, we have found evidence of a sustained, continuous pattern of abuses by the City and the State. The Chief telling all of his Police Officers to conduct "Intense" Traffic Stops on Motorcyclists, singling out Motorcyclists for "Zero Tolerance", Constant and Continuous Surveillance on my home, and my two businesses, we had a councilman say that he wouldn't vote for a liquor license for a "Biker" bar,(or a Gay, Lesbian, Transgender Bar either). Sadly, due to the harassment, I had to sell my Motorcycle Shop at a loss of $75,000. We have filed a tort claim, but now need help affording our Attorney to carry this forward.

This is a cause not just for us, but for EVERY Motorcycle Enthusiast in the Country....If We don't stop them here.....What's next? No Black, Mexicans, Gays, People Under 5"6" are going to be harassed.

In the last year, My name has been mentioned in a Murder, Two Arson's, a kidnapping, a hate crime, and two Aggravated Assaults, all BS charges just meant to harass. 

Please, anything helps


SPRINGFIELD, Mo. – John F. Wood, United States Attorney for the
Western District of Missouri, announced that a Huntington, W. Va., man
was sentenced in federal court today for defrauding businesses - including a
Richland, Mo., business - who paid nearly $250,000 to be NASCAR
Michael L. Leffingwell, 36, of Huntington, was sentenced by U.S. District
Judge Richard E. Dorr this morning to three years in federal prison without
parole. The court also ordered Leffingwell to pay $249,900 in restitution.
"This occasional NASCAR driver falsely portrayed himself as a successful
professional, and took advantage of the sport’s popularity to defraud
numerous businesses," Wood said. "Today he is being held accountable for
his deceit."
On Nov. 27, 2006, Leffingwell pleaded guilty to wire fraud and to failure to
appear in court.
Leffingwell is a construction worker who received NASCAR event
credentials to race in NASCAR events only four times from September 2001
to July 2005. Using his occasional and minor affiliation with NASCAR,
Leffingwell represented to various companies that he would advertise their
products on his race vehicle, sell merchandise featuring the company that
advertised, and display the company's products at NASCAR events.
Leffingwell would receive an advance payment with the assurance that over
the course of the race season and at specified times, the companies would
get all the initial outlay and more back in return. Leffingwell never raced an
entire season, and only in one year participated in more than one race in a
season. Leffingwell received the monies but never carried out his promises.
Leffingwell admitted to defrauding more than 10 victims by similar
schemes. Only one victim - Playcraft Boats - is in the Western District of
Missouri and is the subject of the federal indictment. Playcraft Boats lost
$40,000 in the fraud scheme, while the total loss by all the victims is more
than $249,900.
Leffingwell, representing himself to be a NASCAR race driver, contacted
Joe Dorris, president of Playcraft Boats, on April 2, 2002. Leffingwell told
Dorris that he had a trucking company, a complete race team, several race
trucks, a pit crew, show trucks, a merchandise trailer, and a large tractor
trailer that hauled his equipment to each race. Leffingwell told Dorris that
for $40,000 he would advertise Playcraft Boats at the races by putting their
logo on the race trucks and transporting vehicles. Additionally, he stated that
he would sell merchandise at the races with the Playcraft Boats logo.
Leffingwell promised to send Dorris a check in the amount of $2,000 after
each race, for 23 remaining races that season, for a total of $46,000. These
representations by Leffingwell were false and misleading.
Dorris contacted Leffingwell numerous times to ask that he refund his
money. Leffingwell never advertised with the Playcraft Boats logo, nor
would he have had the means to do so as he had represented.
Leffingwell's case was set for a plea of guilty on Aug. 25, 2006, but
Leffingwell failed to appear and a warrant was issued for his arrest.
Leffingwell spoke to his supervising pretrial services officer several times
and promised that he would turn himself in. He did not do so, but was
arrested in West Virginia on Sept.12, 2006.
This case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Richard E. Monroe. It
was investigated by the U.S. Postal Inspection Service.

Monday, June 26, 2017

Supreme Court rules cell phones cannot be searched without a warrant

Police need a warrant to search the cell phone of a person who has been arrested, absent special circumstances, a unanimous Supreme Court ruled Wednesday.
“Modern cell phones are not just another technological convenience. With all they contain and all they may reveal, they hold for many Americans ‘the privacies of life,’” Chief Justice John Roberts wrote. “The fact that technology now allows an individual to carry such information in his hand does not make the information any less worthy of the protection for which the Founders fought. Our answer to the question of what police must do before searching a cell phone seized incident to an arrest is accordingly simple — get a warrant.”

MSNBC Live with Tamron Hall , 6/25/14, 11:00 AM ET

SCOTUS: Cell phone searches require warrant

The high court took two cases involving cell phone searches, one involving a smartphone and the other involving a relatively basic flip phone. In both cases, police used information on each phone to connect the plaintiffs to crimes. San Diego Police used pictures in David Leon Riley’s smartphone, and the guns they found in his trunk after pulling him over for a traffic violation, to tie him to a local faction of the Bloods street gang and an earlier shooting. In Boston, Brima Wurie was arrested on suspicion of being involved in selling drugs and a picture linked to a phone call on his flip phone to a stash of crack cocaine.
The decision will likely have long-lasting implications for digital privacy, far beyond the immediate concern surrounding how and when police can search a mobile device. Police are typically allowed to search an individual after an arrest, but Roberts wrote that the amount of personal information contained on a cell phone made such a search different from the usual objects authorities might find when asking someone to empty their pockets.

“A cell phone search would typically expose to the government far more than the most exhaustive search of a house,” he wrote. “A phone not only contains in digital form many sensitive records previously found in the home; it also contains a broad array of private information never found in a home in any form—unless the phone is.”
The court held that the “exigent circumstances” exception to the warrant requirement also applied to cell phones – that is, imminent danger to life or the possibility that evidence would be destroyed might justify searching a phone without a warrant. Justice Samuel Alito, in a concurrence, opened the door to further exceptions. Alito wrote that he would “reconsider the question presented here if either Congress or state legislatures, after assessing the legitimate needs of law enforcement and the privacy interests of cell phone owners, enact legislation that draws reasonable distinctions based on categories of information or perhaps other variables.”
Civil libertarian groups argued that advances in technology mean that the right of individuals to be “secure in their persons, houses, papers or effects” as guaranteed by the Fourth Amendment to the Constitution mean that police should seek warrants before rifling through suspects’ mobile devices. The government countered that those same technological advancements aid criminals, and that remote wiping and encryption could be used to destroy or conceal evidence of serious crimes. At oral argument, the justices seemed split over where to draw the line for when police should seek a warrant to search a mobile device, and some seemed confused about modern social media applications.
Yet ultimately the high court was unanimous in its judgment. Roberts’ opinion embraced arguments long advanced by civil liberties groups about the need to reinterpret the Fourth Amendment in light of new technologies.
“The term ‘cell phone’ is itself misleading shorthand; many of these devices are in fact minicomputers that also happen to have the capacity to be used as a telephone,” Roberts wrote. “They could just as easily be called cameras, video players, rolodexes, calendars, tape recorders, libraries, diaries, albums, televisions, maps, or newspapers.”
Modern cell phones contain an incredible amount of information. At 16 gigabytes, the smallest iPhone model can hold a “football field’s worth of books,” according to a brief filed by the Center for Democracy and Technology and the Electronic Frontier Foundation. Nine out of 10 Americans, according to a survey by the Pew Center, own cell phones, and more than half – 55% – were identified as “smartphones.”
Cell phones, Roberts joked in his opinion, “are now such a pervasive and insistent part of daily life that the proverbial visitor from Mars might conclude they were an important feature of human anatomy.”