Drones Uncategorized

Ban Warrantless Drone Surveillance

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Drone

Drone

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Two California bills under consideration this year would restrict the use of unmanned aeriFor Other States: Take steps to stop warrantless drone spying by clicking HERE.al vehicleFor Other States: Take steps to stop warrantless drone spying by clicking HERE.s (drones) by government officials, banning their use in surveillance by law enforcement without a warrant based on probable cause.

Assembly Bill 37 (AB37) was filed by Assemblywoman Nora Campos (D-San Jose), and Assembly Bill 56 (AB56) was authored by Assemblyman Bill Quirk (D-Hayward). The bills are virtually identical outside of some technical differences that do not affect the privacy protections in the legislation.

Under these bills, government agencies are banned from using drones except in specific situations. Law enforcement agencies can only use drones for surveillance when they have obtained a warrant based upon probable cause. Those agencies could also use drones in non-spying situations, such as assistance for search and rescue missions, surveying environmental disasters like oil spills, and to inspect state parks and wilderness areas.

Such prohibitions would bring nearly all nefarious use of drones by government agencies to an end in California.

Other government agencies would be able to use drones for “to achieve the core mission of the agency provided that the purpose is unrelated to the gathering of criminal intelligence.”

Before using drones, these agencies would have to provide appropriate notice to the public, which would “at a minimum, consist of a one-time announcement regarding the agency’s intent to deploy unmanned aircraft system technology and a description of the technology’s capabilities.” And even that information would not be made available to law enforcement agencies without a warrant based upon probable cause.

“Images, footage, or data obtained through the use of an unmanned aircraft system” would be required to be “permanently destroyed within one year” with limited exceptions.

Although drone use would still be permitted in specific circumstances, these bills set a nearly-total prohibition on their use in areas of great concern, warrantless surveillance.

OffNow director Mike Maharrey noted that California is ready to join a growing chorus of states putting strict limits on drones. “Already, a number of states have passed similar bills into law, and we are expecting more in the coming weeks and months,” he said. “Legislators and the general public from left to right want to see a dangerous future stopped before it happens.”

Maharrey said that this kind of bill has significant ramifications at the federal level because Washington D.C. is pushing and funding drone use at the state level. He noted that the federal government serves as the primary engine behind the expansion of drone surveillance carried out by states and local communities. The Department of Homeland Security issues large grants to local governments so they can purchase drones. “Those grants, in and of themselves, represent an unconstitutional expansion of power.”

“The feds want to push these on the states, and if the states refuse, it’ll foil their plan,” he said. “They already spy on Americans so much that Rand Paul said it numbered in the ‘Gazillions’ after a secret meeting with intelligence officials. If the feds can get the states to start buying up and running drones over our cities, they’ll certainly want access to all that surveillance information in the future. It’s important that states begin drawing a line in the sand now – no aerial spying here.”

“If enough states pass bills like these, it’ll foil their plans before they ever take off.”

ACTION ITEMS

For California: To support AB37 and AB56, contact your state assemblymember and politely urge them to support and co-sponsor both important pieces of legislation. Afterward, contact your state senator and politely urge them to introduce similar legislation in their chamber to ban warrantless drone surveillance. You can find their contact information HERE

For Other States: Take steps to stop warrantless drone spying by clicking HERE.

Marijuana Uncategorized

Alaska Marijuana Legalization 2/24/2015

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Legal in Alaska

Legal in Alaska

Alaska joined Oregon, Washington D.C., Washington State, and Colorado in voting to end marijuana prohibition.

The successful marijuana legalization initiative in Alaska won 53.23% to 46.77% during the 2014 Election, which was a solid margin. The initiative takes effect 2/24/2015.

Ballot Measure 2 will become effective on Tuesday 2/24/2015, and many Alaskans are wondering what will change on that date. The simple answer is: Everything, and not much at all.

It will be lawful for someone 21 years of age or over to possess up to 1 ounce of marijuana. Those with a green thumb may legally grow up to six marijuana plants (only three of them can be mature at any time) in their homes. Generous Alaskans may gift, without payment, up to 1 ounce of marijuana to someone age 21 or over and give them up to six immature marijuana plants. Private consumption will be completely legal for those 21 and over.

So, for adults, personal cultivation, possession, and consumption will be lawful within certain limits, in private, and as long as no money changes hands.

For those who have been consuming for years, this may not seem significant, but from a legal perspective it represents a huge shift.

People will not be able to buy marijuana in stores, yet. People that have been consuming marijuana for years will continue to do so. Marijuana opponents will try as hard as they can to find evidence that the beginning of the zombie apocalypse is upon us, to no avail.

There will no be mayhem on public roadways, teen marijuana consumption will not spike, and per a Harvard study, there will not be a huge spike in new people consuming marijuana. What is a guarantee is that cops will finally be freed up to go after real criminals instead of wasting time busting people for a plant that is safer than alcohol.

As per Alaska Dispatch News

Silver Uncategorized

Buying and Selling Silver

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Silver Eagle

Silver Eagle

Silver before you exchange your hard-earned green for some metals, it’s a good idea to nail down the basics.

How do you buy precious metals ?

Just as with gold, investing in silver can take numerous forms. Broadly speaking, silver investors have two options right from the outset: Invest in the physical metal or purchase a financial security that moves with the price of silver.

If it’s actual silver that an investor seeks, he or she can choose to buy coins, bars or rounds (privately minted coins).

Silver bars can be purchased from major banks, as well as bullion dealers.

Investing in precious metal  coins presents another fork in the road for investors. On the one hand, there are collectible coins that often rise and fall in value based on factors having to do with the demand for that particular collectible. While those coins contain silver, the metal usually isn’t the primary driver of the price, according to Zeches, who cautions against buying collectible coins if you’re just interested in a silver investment. By contrast, bullion coins work much like silver bars, deriving their value solely from the amount of silver they contain.

Be careful with real silver.

While the price of metals is determined by trading on the commodities market, investors who buy physical precious metals still need to be careful about their investments, says Terry Hanlon, president of Dillon Gage Metals in Addison, Texas.

To start, Hanlon says that buyers interested in bullion coins can use a software tool on the U.S. Mint’s website to find recommended dealers. To avoid scams, it’s also a good idea to vet the dealer with some simple Internet research.

But even if you work with a trustworthy dealer, Hanlon says many novice silver investors fail to do the homework necessary to understand the minutiae of silver trading. The result is that they often buy at too high of a price to make any real money or rely too much on the dealer and make investments that aren’t right for them, he says.

If it’s not in your hands you don’t own it!