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Tell the police to let him go! Nov. 30th, 2009 @ 02:10 am
This is a repost of a Facebook note. It was not written by me. I am posting it on my journal so I can show other people and ask for help.

Call to action - re: illegal arrest - updated
Today at 4:30pm
Activist Gustavo Rendon was just arrested for placing flyers regarding an eminent domain issue on cars parked on the public street. The arresting officer told him to take the flyers off the cars, Gustavo refused and was arrested. There were many witnesses to this event, including his wife, fellow church members and fellow activists that were collecting signatures regarding this issue at the time.

I called my city police station to find out if it is against the law to place flyers on a car and was told only if it was on a private property lot ie Walgreens or there was a sign nearby that said no soliciting.

So I called the police station he was booked at to find out the charge. I was transferred to booking, I spoke to the woman on duty, Cambell, she said he was booked for "illegal fixed advertisement" a "city ordinance". She refused to give me the ordinance number, by repeating that it was a "city ordinance"; I told her I needed the number of the ordinance in order to look it up and she hung up on me. I called her back, she threatened to hang up on me because she did not know, I asked her if there was an ordinance number on the booking sheet, she said no. I then asked if she could transfer me to someone that would know the ordinance number; she transferred me to the arresting officer, Officer Soomro. The transfer was not accepted by his desk/voicemail, I got the message that he was not taking calls at this time. I called Cambell back again and apologized for calling again, explaining that officer Soomro was not taking calls at this time. She put me on hold for a real long time, she came back and gave me ordinance number 86220990, I thanked her.

I looked up the ordinance number - it doesn't exist. So I called back my police station and asked them to look it up. I gave them both the number and the deception of "illegal fixed advertisement" - they did not find any such ordinance number and had never heard of that charge. I explained the situation to the officer and he informed me that when someone is booked, the ordinance number and the charge code must be on the booking slip. He then suggested that I call my alderman or the city council tomorrow morning at 314-657-1844.

I called back the police station that arrested Gustavo and spoke with an officer, didn't get name, he said that the ordinance number doesn't have to be on the booking slip but the charge code does (wow, the same city, but they have different rules on booking, depending on which part of town you are in- unacceptable!). I asked to be transferred back to booking to get the charge code on the booking slip. Cambell answered this question by saying that she didn't have time for this, asked me for my name and said that Gustavo could tell me when he got his one phone call. I told her that I am a concerned citizen and didn't know Gustavo, she laughed, said she was busy booking prisoners and that I needed to call back later.

The number of the police station is 314.444.2500 - Please call and demand that Gustavo be released immediately, as well as these bogus charges be dropped immediately.

A veteran activist added - We have run into obstacles from the police in the past. Sometimes it's clear that they are hostile to our effort to stop eminent domain abuse and other times they are just ignorant of our First Amendment rights.

In any event, in order to assert your rights, everyone should understand the difference between a political activity and a commercial enterprise.

Laws against commercial activity, like street vending or soliciting, do not directly relate to petitioning and expressions of political opinions, like pamphleteering. The latter are considered expressions of "core political speech" and as such enjoy greater constitutional protection.

If the police question your activities ask them what law or ordinance they think you are breaking and then ask them if that ordinance pertains to commercial activities or expression of core political speech. If they don't know, politely suggest that they look it up and then come back later with the answer (while you go about your business).

UPDATE:
The police department finally told us the ordinance number- 15.84.020

http://www.slpl.lib.mo.us/cco/code/data/t1584.htm

Which says:
15.84.020 Affixing advertisements on any structures.
Any person who shall wilfully or maliciously paint, post, place or affix any
business, commercial, amusement or exhibition advertisement, or cause same to
be done, on or to any curbstone, flagstone, or any other portion of any street,
or sidewalk, or upon any tree, lamppost, hitching post, telegraph pole,
telephone pole, hydrant, bridge or any public structure within the city, or to
any wall, window, door, fence, gate, advertising structure, building or other
object, which is the property of another, without first having secured the
written consent of the owner thereof, or his duly authorized agent, shall be
guilty of a misdemeanor. Nothing herein shall apply to any notice required by
law or ordinance to be posted, or to any official notices by public officers.
(1948 C. Ch. 3 § 3: 1960 C. §§ 737.010--737.030.)

City Counselor Ops.: 8088, 8310, 9003, 9626

The ordinance cited above does not apply if Gustavo was affixing a political document to cars on public property. The law makes clear distinctions between commercial and political speech.

Federal landmark cases have established "tests" for determining the constitutionality of laws forbidding passing out or attaching pamphlets. There is a body of well-established case law on exactly this matter.

See: http://www.firstamendmentcenter.org/speech/personal/topic.aspx?topic=leafleting

I called the police department back after getting this update. I told the officer that answered the phone that I was calling in regards to an arrest that was made earlier that was unconstitutional. He stated "We already gave you guys the ordinance number." I said yes sir, you did and upon reviewing the ordinance, it is clear that it only applies to commercial leafleting and not political leafleting. The ordinance was purposely written this way, since political leafleting is protected by our first amendment rights. He then put me on hold.

Lieutenant Anderson then got on the phone and I repeated myself. I then asked the Lt if he could pull the case up to review it and to please drop the charges and release Gustavo immediately. He said he could not do that. I asked him why. He said once he's arrested and booked, it goes to the courts, the prosecuting attorney is to decide. I responded by asking why are we were going to waste taxpayer's money on a mistake made by a police officer, don't get me wrong I appreciate and am grateful for the work you do, but we have got to protect the constitution. He still told me he couldn't do anything. I asked if this was St Louis City policy, since other police departments have dropped charges before going to the court, prosecuting attorney? He said every district is different. I said as a St Louis city resident I would really appreciate if you would look over these charges and not waste taxpayers money. It shouldn't be that hard to say there was a mistake, we apologize, we didn't mean to infringe upon anyone's constitutional rights. He didn't really say much - I either got through to him, he didn't want to hear that or he realized the St Louis city police department is looking at a lawsuit. I asked his name again, which was Lt Anderson, thanked him for hearing me out and then my phone died.

Again -
The number of the police station is 314.444.2500 - Please call and demand that Gustavo be released immediately, as well as these bogus charges be dropped immediately.

I said I wanted to keep the FCC away from the internet. Nov. 15th, 2009 @ 08:33 pm
I'm an optimist. I need to be an optimist. So when I found myself wishing my cell phone was a little more intelligent earlier today I started thinking of the non-obvious things it can do thanks to services like Jott, Slydial and Google 411 and decided to go looking for more. The obvious starting point was Lifehacker and they did not disappoint. I quickly found an article full of nifty service tricks (although I still couldn't do half because I can't send/receive texts) one of which was a service that would call you with one of several half conversations at the time you specified so that people around you would hear someone on your phone and you'd be able to respond naturally should you be in need of a fake phone call. While I appreciate violetdusk calling and pretending to be my boyfriend when some creep at the coffee shop wouldn't leave me alone (<3 C ) it probably would have worked better if I wasn't hiding the fact that the person on the other end of the line was female. This service had some great potential!

I clicked over to Popularity Dialer and was greeted on the front page by this notice

November 28, 2007

Dear Friends,

Many of you have asked us about the "down for maintenance" banner we posted on the website on September 26th. The real issue, which we initially hoped to sort out quickly, is that the FCC (the Federal Communications Commission) served us with a citation stating that we violated section "227(b)(1)(A)" of the Communications of 1934 and section "64.1200(a)(1)" of the Commission's rules. Thus, we've taken the functionality of the site down until we hear back regarding our appeal.

The citation arose when a senior attorney for the FCC received an unrequested popularitydialer call on her cell phone and then filed a complaint. The main issue at hand is that people in the US pay for their incoming cell minutes so if they receive calls they don't request, they still have to pay for them. We've talked to a few lawyers who said the real issue is finding out what the FCC considers "express consent" regarding agreeing to incoming cell phones calls from a website.

Interestingly, there isn't much a precedent in this context because there are relatively few projects/companies that use web-to-phone as their method of execution. We do not verify phone numbers on our site before we make the call, but neither do the other venues that have similar services. When we initially contacted the FCC to see if we could work things out they sent the following:

"Mr. Forsyth,
I don't see how a website falls within the jurisdiction of the FCC or how it would cause TCPA violations. We would not give any advice on how to legally continue the operation of your business. That would have to come from your own attorney. "

Apparently, the FCC has no idea why our website should have resulted in the citation they handed us.

Also a weird twist, the phone call upon which the citation was based was requested from an FAA (Federal Aviation Administation) IP address. Thus, the call was both elected and received by employees of goverment agencies. It seems a little strange.

Why the FCC doesn't have better things to do with its time than shut down a student-founded project is beyond our understanding. In the meantime, standby and keep your fingers crossed.

We delivered our appeal to the FCC weeks ago. Hopefully, we'll get some news soon.

Thanks to the various members of the telephony community and the lawyers that have helped out with the appeal.

Love and Popularity,

Jenny and Cory


There was also a link to a scan of the citation seen below.






Really? It should have taken less than a minute for the lawyer to recognize the call was a recording and hang up. I will be happy to send this lady a dime if she will stop the nonsense. I feel this offer is quite generous as one minute costs less than ten cents on every contract plan I've ever seen and I seriously doubt this lady is rocking the pick up more minutes at 7-11 type of phone. There is no question that this an abuse of power. We all receive calls we don't want. Many of us sensibly avoid these calls by not answering when we don't know the number but everyone has at some point received a call from someone with the wrong number, giggling prepubescent girls who hang up, and/or teenage boys destined to spend many lonely nights on 4chan who think Arnold Schwarzenegger soundboards are funny. We don't then file complaints with the freaking Federal Communications Commission because someone dared to waste 30 seconds of our life. If you answer the phone you are consenting to the call. If you want to withdraw your consent you hang up. This really isn't that complicated.

Aside from the absoludicrousness (Thanks Mr. T) of the situation what caught my eye here was the FCC saying they didn't have jurisdiction over a website. There's a chance this will all blow over and the site will be fine. I was just saying a couple days ago that one of the reasons I oppose net neutrality is that the FCC is in favor of it and I don't want them anywhere near the internet. Can you imagine this case if they did have jurisdiction? An agency that can both regulate the internet and decide on punishment for infractions? There's no way it's worth the trade off.


Jun. 15th, 2009 @ 02:51 am
I spent a lot of time reading logs today and I must say I love you guys SBRN.

Katie Apr. 6th, 2009 @ 04:40 pm
A friend of mine joined a Facebook Group for stripping the Mormon Church of their tax exempt status. I asked why and she said because of political lobbying. The following is a paste of my reply which generally gives my answer to you as well.


To be consistent on that stance one would have to strip the tax exempt status of about 75% of those that are and I'd say the obvious first place to start would be w/ the Catholics not the Mormons. It is ridiculously important that churches be tax exempt, both because of the tenant of freedom of religion but more importantly as a division of church and state. Church members are fired up about paying bills for things that go against their principals as INDIVIDUALS. Make the churches themselves pay and the whole damn thing is going to explode.

As a side note because I suspect this is about Prop 8 (although I haven't looked at the group) people are taking entirely the wrong tactic there. The WORD marriage means something religious to those with the religion. And while there's plenty of evidence that the Bible could more accurately be said to say that homosexuality is not tolerated by the community and is against their customs than to say homosexuality is actually a sin (aside from the fact that all sexual activity outside marriage is sinful ((although that itself could potentially spring from their misconceptions about reproduction- they thought women were basically incubators and the sperm WERE the babies hence the spilling the seed stuff))) plenty of people still believe that it is and that by the government allowing gay MARRIAGE that what they are allowing is a uniting by GOD against God's will of two people. It really is about the word and the use of by the government (because they believe government has the power to do these things).

This movement is going to be infinitely more successful if they look instead to PRIVATIZE marriage. Marriage from a legal standpoint is two things- a license, and a contract. This is an important distinction. The contract is the traditional part of marriage legally. It is your vows, it is what is being argued about when you go to divorce court, it's why for instance a cheating spouse will get reamed in divorce court- they failed to meet their contractual obligations! Any two (or more) people can make a contract with each other to do ANYTHING that is legally permissible (you're not getting retribution from the assassin you hired enforced in court) and have it enforced in a court of law. Article I Section 10 of the Constitution protects the right of contract and states that no state shall pass law impairing the obligation of contracts. These protected contracts (aside from the social, ceremonial and religious aspects) are what marriage was for basically forever. The second part of marriages legally- the licenses are part of what I call the "Big Three"- it is one of three laws born out of racism that are having the most obvious impact in the US today. Marriage licenses basically DID NOT EXIST before 1929. The idea of asking the government for PERMISSION to get married would have seemed ABSOLUDICROUS to people before that time. But back in the 20s the government were getting their knickers all in a bunch over something truly horrifying to them- BLACK PEOPLE WERE GETTING MARRIED TO WHITE PEOPLE!!!!!! Heavens no!!! They had to DO SOMETHING about that. So like basically all licenses marriage licenses were created in order to be able to deny some licenses. It is the LICENSE that gay people cannot get today. They cannot be denied contract enforcement. But they can't use the term marriage in those contracts because marriage requires the government's permission- which they can't get. If you do away with marriage licensing and go back to marriage being a legally binding contract with a social function and possibly religious trappings (if that's your bag) attached you will end the debate. Will the churches perform marriages for gay people? No. Most won't and they shouldn't be forced to. But can they BE married? HELL YES THEY CAN. This one is easy to get the religious community in line with too. Unlike a legalization of gay marriage licenses you are not forcing them to back with their money and the force of the state something they don't believe in, and when you take that away most people are more than reasonable enough to not care about what other people do. Even better they can be appealed to by the fact that they currently are having to interject the state into a holy communion of souls by God. It is like God having to ask the US government for permission. Abhorrent!

AFRICAN SCAM LETTERS GO META! Mar. 28th, 2009 @ 11:53 pm
From:
"kwinebre@kent.edu" <kwinebre@kent.edu>
Add sender to Contacts
To:
undisclosed-recipients
Message contains attachments
kwinebre.vcf (126b)

-----Inline Attachment Follows-----



FEDERAL REPUBLIC OF NIGERIA
(PANEL ON CONTRACT PAYMENT AND COMPENSATION)

It has been resolved by the Senate special committee on Foreign
Relations
& Debt Compensation, that a blanket sum be paid out to individuals
owed.
Beneficiaries are {1} Contractors owed by the government. {2} Victims
of
internet scam activities (you fall under this category) perpetrated by
unscrupulous people including some Nigerians.

Hence, be officially informed that (ATM Card Number 5951390123652671)
has
been accredited in your favor. Your Personal Identification Number
(PIN) is 0147.
The ATM Card Value is $100, 000.00. You are advised to contact my
secetary
with the requested data below for the delivery of your ATM at the
shortest
possible time.

NAME, MAILING ADDRESS FOR ATM DELIVERY, PHONE NUMBER, PHONE & EMAIL OF
SCAMMER WHO
DUPED (OR INTENDED TO DUPE) YOU. Please send these details to Hon. Femi
Pedro Email: pedrofemi@live.com
Sincere Regards,
Dr Kimberly C Winebrenne (Ministry of Foreign Affairs)
Abuja, Nigeria.

For Mook Nov. 29th, 2008 @ 04:41 pm



Capitalization is OFFENSIVE. Nov. 14th, 2008 @ 11:39 pm
(10:31:07 PM) Calisc: man
(10:31:13 PM) Calisc: something about the way cap speaks
(10:31:17 PM) Calisc: def rubs me the wrong way
(10:31:24 PM) Calisc: maybe its the grammer
(10:31:26 PM) Calisc: like
(10:31:30 PM) Calisc: eg
(10:31:44 PM) Calisc: [14:09:58] -Capwork- Children cramp your weekend style.
(10:31:48 PM) EvilMidge: or grammar
(10:31:49 PM) EvilMidge: whichever
(10:31:51 PM) Calisc: who capitalizes and .'s
(10:31:58 PM) Calisc: or that!

THIS IS HILARIOUS Nov. 5th, 2008 @ 04:50 am
STATE REPRESENTATIVE DISTRICT 105
(Vote for ) 1
(WITH 1 OF 1 PRECINCTS COUNTED)
NO CANDIDATE FILED . . . . . . . 0
MICHAEL FRAME (DEM) . . . . . . . 0
WRITE-IN. . . . . . . . . . . 1 100.00

In one district for a state rep ONE person voted on the state rep and rather than vote for the ONLY guy on the ballot HE WROTE SOMEONE IN. This person is a hero.

Nov. 4th, 2008 @ 11:26 am
My polling place is magical. It's just for like one condo community so unlike everywhere else that has waiting times of at least a half hour just to get to the table where they make sure you are registered, I was behind three people. Seriously.

Some old guy was on his way out and asked me who I thought was going to win and then he started raving about how electronic voting makes it so much faster for him because after the candidates when he gets to the should judges be retained and ballot issues he just quickly pushed yes on everything. I couldn't help myself I almost fell down laughing. He was very confused but I was taking this statement and combining it w/ when I was trying to explain to Hannah that you can't tell what people voted for and no one sits there w/ a ballot like oh S/A said voted for Jack, Joe and Dave and then said yes 1 no 2 yes 3 etc. If someone actually was reading this ballot given our current ballot issues it would be pretty amazing. I know I'd be like Who IS this guy?!?!?

It got me thinking though. If someone always voted all yes or no (which yes I realize is bad) which would be worse? In MO voting all no would be superior because it'd deny the 3278249732439287 requests for funds for god knows what every election. Do you think someone voting all yes or all no would be better?

Sometimes... Nov. 3rd, 2008 @ 01:52 am
there is too much internet for me. I have to stop internetting and instead play Windows hearts or something because I have more tabs of stuff I want to read or write in depth replies to than anyone could possibly consider reasonable and if I don't stop myself from doing so I WILL be on the computer for days straight and not sleep and trigger a manic state and fuck up the next month.
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