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Archive for June, 2009

Time for PETER DOUGLAS to take a hike

Sunday, June 28th, 2009

California Coastal families, farmers, and ranchers are not enemies of the state and deserve equal protection under the law.

Experience hath shewn, that even under the best forms of government those entrusted with power have, in time, and by slow operations, perverted it into tyranny.

-Thomas Jefferson

We celebrate our Nation’s Birthday in a few days. It’s a good time to reflect on what we Americans stand for…and what we don’t.  At a time we are fighting tyranny overseas, let us not forget to stand up to tyranny in our own backyard.

There is a concept in America we call “term limits”. They apply to everyone in office, including  Peter Douglas, Executive Director of the California Coastal Commission. Can anyone name someone besides Mr. Douglas who has reigned in office as long as Sir Peter?

In a Monarchy, kings reign… in a democracy, elected officials serve the people - all of the people for limited terms.

-Richard Oshen filmmaker

Amendment 22 to the United States Constitution ratified February 1951, specifies term limits for the President of the United States. Seems that Mr. Douglas thus declares himself to be above the constitution. Like the rights to property Mr D despises, he seems to view the constitution as a petty annoyance.

In a 1997 speech at a conference in Monterey…Peter Douglas called for the U.S. Constitution to be amended to make courts the “arbiters” in what he called the “debate” over property owners’ rights. That seems to be the issue right there, Mr. Douglas:

Property rights is not a debate. It is the LAW OF THE LAND.

Me thinks this is the trouble in a nutshell. Did Mr. Douglas or did he not take a Civil Service oath to defend and protect the constitution of the United States? If he did, he hasn’t done a good job of it… if not it is a charade on scale unparalleled in California, possibly the nation, and must not be permitted to stand any longer.

In my 90 minute interview with Peter Douglas for SINS OF COMMISSION, Mr. Douglas makes a bold, provocative statement on camera that he is not a civil servant - Question: If Mr. Douglas is not a civil servant, then who or what does Peter Douglas serve?

I was appointed on a seven to five vote. And there have been at least 11 attempts to get rid of me over the years because people don’t, for whatever reason, uh, can’t control me. And I’m (Stammers) the only non-civil service employee of the Coastal Commission. Everybody else is civil service.

- Peter Douglas, SINS OF COMMISSION

If he is not a civil servant…all the more reason to to send him packing. Especially after the Ramirez Canyon travesty SHAME ON YOU!

Time to break up the CCC’s corrupt fiefdom, especially with so many overlapping regulatory agencies in the state. It seems to me the resource agencies can be streamlined - trim the fat, and become much more efficient thus saving an already overburdened budget, and WE the people, lots of money.

The commission’s little scheme works like this: The governor selects 4 commissioners, the speaker 4 and legislature 4 then, they in tern, keep anointing Peter, over, and over, and over again. If that isn’t a racket, a shell game…what do you call it? I call it time for Term Limits. You serve a term, or two -just like the president… then thank you , and buh-bye!

Protection of the environment and protecting our human rights guaranteed under the constitution  ought not be at odds with each other, they support each other, and need each other to survive. Douglas has cunningly put them at odds and uses it to wage class warfare.

-Richard Oshen, Filmmaker

People are inseparable from the land…although the Triple C is trying real hard.

Billion Dollar fires that need not be.

Americans have the constitutional right to own property, Mr. Douglas. ALL their property…and to be secure on that property.

Property Rights is not a privilege like a drivers license - it is an inalienable right.

Mr. Douglas, it seems, does not like the idea of we the people owning land at all, yet he owns land…and a house.

Property and property rights are what separates free men from serfs and indentured servants.

Take away the right to own land and be secure on it and people can never be secure.

Once upon a time, thirty plus years ago, it sounded like a good idea to isolate the CCC from the politics of politics.The point is, over time, that seemingly “good idea” to isolate a regulatory commission from our democratic electoral process contributed mightily to its corruption and, along the way, made it subservient to its political patrons - not the people of the state of California.

-Richard Oshen, Filmmaker

Combining all three branches of government into one entity for “expediency” is a Kangaroo court. It is what the coastal commission has become: writer of its own laws, enforcer of the laws they write, judge, jury, and executioner. That is not America.

Who protects the people?

Not the government of California - and certainly not the attorney general of the state.

The attorney general is litigating the people on behalf of the Triple C to the tune of upwards of $ 2 billion dollars per year. They are using our own money to fight us.

Where are the CCC’s checks and balances? The answer, sadly, for all of us is…there are none.

A dysfunctional coastal commission handsomely benefited the big picture plan of certain self-interest Non Governmental Oragnizations to such a degree it appears the CCC is their de facto enforcer - the legal muscle in the service of the elite ones who secretly contribute to them - not the people of California.

Tom Hayden tried to break up this little PONZI SCHEME back in1988, but it was soundly defeated by the same elitist interests that still pull the CCC’s strings today.

Last year Senator Denise Ducheney introduced a bill that would prohibit the commission from appealing itself. Which to this writer, sounds like a very normal thing to do - to prevent a commission from appealing itself  It too was squashed by these same NGOs and their elite supporters.

Where is the legislative oversight?

There is much more to it….the politics of fire…the devaluation of property,  destruction of the family farm, more open space than we can afford, the destruction of infrastructure from lack of property taxes, people living in fear of retribution if they speak out. The CCC is not the STASI.

When the governor of our state tell us education must be sacrificed because there is no money left, and you cast your eyes up to dark billowing clouds of smoke, and expensive leased aircraft zooming overhead, when a fleet of weed-wackers could have prevented all or most of it - you begin to see the huge scope of the disaster by these Pirates of California.

The tyranny by small imperceptible changes that has been obscured for the last 30+ years comes into focus and once seemingly isolated dots connect.

-Richard Oshen, filmmaker

Yes, well past time for Mr Douglas to go - but to go not because someone is anti this, and someone else is pro that, but because no one is above the law.

It is time we, the people of California get down to the business of determining the Coastal Commission’s next chapter post  Douglas and whether we repair or replace the California Coastal Commission.

It is time for a change in California.Time to breathe fresh air into a stale decadent demagoguery.

General Motors held on to their self righteous beliefs to the very end. We cannot afford to.

The future of California hangs in the balance.

SINS OF COMMISSION needs your help. A work print of the film and “other” material is being subpoenaed by the California Coastal Commission. I believe this is an egregious violation of our 1st Amendment Rights.

If you’ve ever considered making a donation to help the film finish or want to defend freedom of speech, now is the time. All donations made through our fiscal sponsor, The International Documentary Association, a 501 c3 non profit, are tax deductible.

Please click the link on the navigation bar, or you may send a check by mail:

The International Documentary Association
1201 West 5th Street, Suite M270
Los Angeles, CA  90017

attention: Fiscal Sponsorship

Please mark your check “for the account of Sins of Commission”

Thank you.

California Coastal Commission- Sins of Commission- What’s At Stake

Sunday, June 21st, 2009

These are my thoughts on something very un-American… Censorship.

The California Coastal Commission is demanding I produce a work print and raw footage from a film not yet finished. I say this is a violation of the First Amendment.

I wrote my guild, The International Cinematographer’s Guild, the American Society of Cinematographers, the Writers Guild of America, the Directors Guild of America, the Producers Guild of America, and Screen Actor’s Guild alerting them to the gravity of my situation.

What world our world be like if the government censored ON THE WATERFRONT

or FAHRENHEIT 451 -


or any other controversial film.

What happens to the least of us inevitably happens to the most of us - over time.

The suppression of free speech through intimidating legal efforts such as serving you with a subpoena and demanding a copy of a film … and additionally requesting all of your production records is an interesting story of overreaching abuse of power on their part. This story needs to be told to the largest possible audience. It appears that another chapter in the Sins story is being written.

-Jim L

It is vitally important to a free American process that controversial films like SINS OF COMMISSION exist.

The California Coastal Commission doesn’t think so - especially when they are the focus of investigation. Why? because they don’t want you to connect the dots like we did to a crumbling California economy due to fires like the Santa Barbara Fire, and other destructive, anti-people policies.

They don’t want the people of  Californians to ask questions like, why hasn’t anyone taken a weed-wacker to the overgrown brush?

They don’t want you to find they play a big role in destroying infrastructure along the coast,  because if we improve water lines, and sewers, or put in a new high school in Half Moon Bay for instance, that would mean more people might move there.

Can it be that the California Coastal Commission doesn’t want people to live along the coast?

It will be interesting to see if California Coastal Commission trumps the United States Constitution or not.

Given California courts record involving the Triple C and recent attempt to go squash the filming of an inspection by a commission on private property - jury is out on this one as they say.

I’m intending to vigorously defend our right to free speech, and free press - and invite everyone to join me.

I believe the CALIFORNIA COASTAL COMMISSION’s request is unconstitutional and believe I have a right to politely, and firmly refuse to comply on the basis of the First Amendment to the United States Constitution.

Support SINS OF COMMISSION, documentary film, and Freedom of Speech with a tax-deductible donation to our fiscal sponsor the International Documentary Association, a 501 c3 non profit foundation dedicated to promoting and preserving documentary film.

Sins Of Commission in West Hollywood International Film Festival

Thursday, June 18th, 2009

Sins Of Commission in West Hollywood International Film Festival

It’s official, SINS is in.

I would like to publicly say thank you to Martin Deluca the Director / Producer of the West Hollywood International Film Festival for having the courage to screen controversial films from around the world like ours.

Embrace the controversy! Revel in the process of Free Speech. This is Democracy! Use it or loose it as the saying goes.

Whether you agree with SINS OF COMMISSION or not is irrelevant to me as a filmmaker.

What is relevant to me, as a filmmaker, is that Americans are not stopped from being able to choose what to read, or watch.

KNBC reporter Cary Berglund asked the California Coastal Commission’s lawyer [Christina Bull Arndt] in the Attorney General’s Office, (because that’s who defends the Triple C -to the tune of $2 Billion a year…is that right?) why they want a copy of the film.

The assistant A.G said that it is “discovery”, and that the commission is casting a “wide net for information.”

I know how tough things are in California financially right now so rather than burden the state with more costs, I’d like to offer to buy a ticket for Attorney General Edmund Brown Jr. Unfortunately, sir, you would have to provide your own transportation.  I know, with the recent gas tax hike it is kind of expensive but it maybe more cost effective in the long run.. Can you cover your own parking?

Governor Schwarzenegger has a place in Malibu, maybe you can crash there and save the people the cost of a hotel. Come to think of it, I’ll spring for two tickets - Arnie can go too…call it a guys night out kind of thing.

For more information about the festival, SINS OF COMMISSION, and the other fabulous controversial films from around the world please visit the film festival Site

SINS OF COMMISSION featured on KNBC 6 O’clock News

Wednesday, June 17th, 2009

SINS OF COMMISSION - KNBC Los Angeles 6 O’clock News

SINS OF COMMISSION, the documentary film expose of the California Coastal Commission broke into the mainstream news.

The documentary film expose of the secretive commission aired at the top of the hour in the number 2 television market in the US.

A subphoena for a work print of the film has been issued by the commission and Richard Oshen, the filmmaker plans to vigorously defend wht he calls ” a blatant attempt” by the commission to silence the film.

No matter what the commission says regarding their demand for the film… the commission’s history, revealed for the first time in SINS OF COMMISSION,  clearly shows how the California Coastal Commission obscures their real motives and objectives.

They simply want the film blocked, and will go to any length to accomplish their goal - eiven if it means violating the 1st amendment of the US Constitution to do it.

-Richard Oshen, filmmaker

California Coastal Commission expose - KNBC-TV 6PM- Tonight

Tuesday, June 16th, 2009

SINS OF COMMISSION filmmaker Richard Oshen talks to the camera tonight 6pm KNBC, Los Angeles TV 4.

People in California need to know the real story, from both sides…what is going on right now, in their name - and what has been going on for decades. 

Richard Oshen, SINS OF COMMISSION, filmmaker

The televised interview follows hot on the heels of a this morning’s interview with Doug McIntyre on KABC 790 AM  TALK RADIO.

It seems to me that the people, all the people need to revisit the California Coastal Commission, which they have not done in over 30 years to see how it can to be restored to “fairness and balance”, a cornerstone of the Coastal Act and our system of government. 

The people can’t do this as it now stands because of the way the commision has been isolated from the electoral process… and…the legislature seems to be unwilling to step in.

Richard Oshen, SINS OF COMMISSION, filmmaker

California Costal Commission Expose Hot Topic On KABC Radio

Monday, June 15th, 2009

SINS OF COMMISSION airs on McIntyre In the Morning Show

Los Angeles radio station KABC 790 AM TALK RADIO becomes the first radio station int the United States to investigate decades of highly controversial action by the California Coastal Commission.

Popular morning drive time host Doug McIntyre invites Filmmaker Richard Oshen to talk about SINS OF COMMISSION the first documentary expose on the Triple C.

Richard will be Doug’s guest at 6.30 AM PDT Tuesday morning June 16, 2009.

The program will stream over the world wide web at  http://www.kabc.com/

It is going to be a show you won’t want to miss.

California Documentary Filmmaker Faces Censorship Challange from California Coastal Commission

Monday, June 8th, 2009

NEWS RELEASE

SCARY DEVELOPMENT FOR ALL FILMMAKERS

SINS OF COMMISSION, an award winning documentary film by Southern California filmmaker Richard Oshen, is facing legal action by the California Coastal Commission, which has in fact just served Mr. Oshen with a subpoena in order to obtain a copy of the film.

The revealing expose follows ordinary citizens who have come up against the unelected Commission’s autocratic actions wielded, surprisingly, without accountability or oversight.

The California Coastal Commission may try to silence the film because it reveals strong links between California’s increasingly catastrophic wildfires and the Coastal Commission’s prohibition of critical brush clearance.

-Richard Oshen,writer, director, SINS OF COMMISSION

SINS OF COMMISSION examines decades of the Commission’s land use policies and questions how a government body could and, indeed did, unilaterally extend its jurisdiction from 1000 yards landward of the coastline to 5 miles inland.

No matter what your politics, this isn’t America if a quasi-governmental body is going to dictate whether you have the right to see a film. This is a very chilling development, and does not bode well for documentary filmmakers or freedom of speech.

SINS OF COMMISSION is ” a work in progress”. For a governmental body to demand a work print is like asking a journalist for their notes, or an author for a copy of their book before publication.

To think, if the government doesn’t like what the see or read - they could issue an injunction and prevent a story from getting out is scary… very scary.

-Richard Oshen,writer, director SINS OF COMMISSION

Scores of California families and individual landowners have been required to forfeit their constitutional and property rights as a condition for residential development, and in many cases, to avoid arrest and fines reaching the millions.

Help support freedom of speech for all films.

I will vigorously defend SINS OF COMMISSION. This is an out-and-out assault on FREEDOM OF SPEECH and the future of all expose documentary films hangs in the balance.

I urgently need your help. SINS OF COMMISSION is a fiscally sponsored by the International Documentary Association, a 501 c3 non profit organization. Support SINS OF COMMISSION, freedom of speech, documentary film making, and the International Documentary Association all in one fell swoop.

For more information please contact me at:  sinsofcommission@gmail.com

Thank you,

Richard Oshen

Proactive, Environmentally-Friendly Wildfire Protection Bill Passes Assembly

Wednesday, June 3rd, 2009

Its about time!

Legislation authored by Assemblyman Nathan Fletcher (R-San Diego) to provide an incentive for the clearing and transport of dry brush from high fire risk areas passed on the floor of the state Assembly.

Assembly Bill 1300 is part of a fire prevention and mitigation effort to reduce the likelihood of uncontrolled wildfires by creating additional defensible space in an environmentally-conscious way.

Exhausting no general fund moneys, Assembly Bill 1300 establishes a pilot program through CALFIRE for local Fire Safe Councils to offset the cost of clearing and transporting dry brush from high burn areas to biomass energy facilities.

San Diegans know the devastation that wildfires can wreak upon a community. In the 2003 and 2007 fire seasons, the San Diego region I represent burned more than any other in the state.

Assembly Bill 1300 will come to the aid of fire-prone communities like mine by providing a cost-efficient way to remove the brush that fuels fires. In passing this bill the Assembly accomplishes two goals. First, we proactively reduce the threat and impact of wildfires and, second, we contribute to the state’s renewable energy portfolio. Knowing that this legislation can help reduce the number of Californians who lose their property, land and livelihoods in fires makes it a must-have for the people of the 75th District and for California.”

-Assemblyman Nathan Fletcher

AB 1300 is the result of a collaborative effort between Assemblyman Nathan Fletcher, the Sierra Club, California Fire Safe Councils, the California Forestry Association, the Regional Council of Rural Counties, and the Personal Insurance Federation among others.

Assemblyman Fletcher represents the 75th Assembly District, which includes City of San Diego communities of La Jolla, University City, Mira Mesa, Scripps Ranch, Rancho Bernardo, Rancho Peñasquitos, and Carmel Valley, and the communities of Fairbanks Ranch, and Rancho Santa Fe along with the City of Poway and portions of Escondido.

Now lets get busy!

California Here I Come - What would they sing now?

Tuesday, June 2nd, 2009

California was a much different place when Lucy, Ricky Ethel and Fred sang this rousing rendition of California Here I Come on the I Love Lucy Show, episode 110, season 4, original air date 1/10/1955 (Thanks IMDB)

“What would they sing now?” Dunno, but Let’s see what our Governor is singing:

“just three months after our February budget, we once again face a $24 billion deficit. California’s day of reckoning is here.

We have no time to waste. The controller has told us that we have 14 days to act or California is at risk of running out of cash. I’ve already used my executive authority to reduce the state payroll and I’ve proposed the necessary cuts to the three largest areas of our budget, which is education, health care and prisons.

Wait just a gosh durned second….

SAVE EDUCATION!!!

If we don’t teach our kids to be smart and to do math, we’ll never get out of this mess… And if some of the members of  the state’s legislature went to school in California please - get them off the budget committee!

Wonder how much of the budget is wasted year after year fighting fires that wouldn’t have to be fought if crews went out into the dense brush with weed-wackers? Firefighting cost were around  $8 billion bucks last year.  Multiply firefighting costs over the last 10 years, and it doesn’t take a 6th grader to see why we’re going down.

What about all that money the state lost because of Open Space? Once you take land off the tax rolls you say buh-bye to property taxes?  Open space pays no taxes.

We must also restructure the relationship between state and local government. We all hear from the local officials about the heavy hand of Sacramento.

On the coast of California its more like a heavy boot.

I’m also proposing once again to eliminate and consolidate more than a dozen state departments, boards and commissions. These include the Waste Management Board, the Court Reporters Board, the Department of Boating and Waterways and the Inspection and Maintenance Review Committee and so on.

Hmmm - nothing about California Coastal Commission.

I’m also proposing to sell off state property, because Sacramento should not be in the real estate business, especially when we are in a fiscal crisis like this.

Ding, ding, ding! Wait a second gov. You forget! You are in the real estate business… that’s why organizations like the CCC exist and conservancies like Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy exist….so  you take, I mean get, free land to sell for profit.

Sounds kinda rotten to me. Why not give back all the land you’ve taken,not you per se, but state organizations have taken on your behalf, and give it back to the people you took it from?  At least then people can pay taxes on it …if they still have jobs..

Let’s meet those challenges head-on without gimmicks. I don’t want to hand these problems to the next Governor and I know that you don’t want to hand them to the next Legislature.

Isn’t that what you would call a gimmick?

So I have faith in all of you. I have faith in our ability to once again come together for the good of our state.

You mean… put the state first? Instead of self-interest? Gee, can that be done?

So I say let’s move forward and put California back on the path to prosperity.

Thank you very much. Thank you.

Source: Governor’s Press Office

One sure path to prosperity is to give the farmers back their land you took for open space so they can grow the food the people need. The other sure path is to manage the brush, I mean: fuel load, so we don’t get any more huge fires like Santa Barbara that we can’t pay for anyway.

Sounds to me like: California, say buh-bye.



 
 
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