Archive for the Legal / Laws Category

SCOD Constitutions

Posted in Legal / Laws, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , on July 12, 2018 by Drogo

There have been several SCOD Constitutions written, here are two primary versions: the Conventional Law version, and the Fallout 2020 Fictional version. The main difference being the Conventional one has a president and legal framework, and the Fictional one is governed chiefly by Council collective vote with flexible format.

SCOD Conventional Law Constitution

SCOD Non-Profit Organization BY-LAWS

*

ARTICLE I

SCOD Membership and Dues [2015]

Section 1. Any person interested in the purposes of the organization who applies for membership in an appropriate classification of membership and who tenders the necessary dues shall thereby become a member.

Section 2. Annual dues for general members shall be $10.

Section 3. Annual dues for council members shall be $10.

Section 4. Annual dues paid in advance; members more than six months late after payment is due shall be dropped from active membership status.

*

ARTICLE II

Schedule and Quorum for Meetings

Section 1. Regular meetings shall be held on the first Saturday of each month.

Section 2. Meetings are led and may be rescheduled by the President.

Section 3. The council (board of trustees) shall meet every month.

Section 4. Three (3) present council members constitute a quorum.

Section 5. Any member that attends meetings can be in the council.

*

ARTICLE III

Duties of the Officers and Trustees

Section 1. The president shall have executive supervision over the activities of the society within the scope provided by these bylaws; and presides over meetings. The president shall report annually on the activities of the society, and shall appoint members to committees, staff, ambassadors, and delegates.

Section 2. The vice-president shall assume the duties of the president in the event of absence, incapacity, resignation, or removal of the president.

Section 3. The secretary shall keep minutes, records, and documents of meetings and correspondences; maintain member list, and present annual reports.

Section 4. The treasurer shall be responsible for keeping society funds; maintaining adequate financial records; investments and deposit banking in the name of the society. The treasurer will collect dues, keep annual reports, and handle legal and tax laws and requirements.

Section 5. The council shall have the power to conduct all affairs of the society. It shall select candidates for office, pursuant to the constitution. The council shall decide questions of policy for expedient functionality, and follow the by-laws and regional laws to the best of their ability.

*

ARTICLE IV

SCOD Committees

Section 1. The society shall have the following standing committees:

(a) Library Committee. Responsible for collecting; cataloging; publishing; and caring for manuscripts, books, and other SCOD source material.

(b) Tavern Committee. Responsible for ‘Public Hall’ museum, store, library, maintenance, rooms, kitchen, workers, and public communication.

(c) Village Committee. Responsible for finding members, membership drives, processing new candidates, and providing housing options for them.

(d) Project Committee. Responsible for creating and managing programs and projects; and forming sub-groups for supporting productivity.

*

ARTICLE V

Parliamentary Authority

Section 1. The rules contained in Robert’s Rules of Order shall form the basis for meetings, except in such cases as are governed by constitution or the by-laws.

*

ARTICLE VI

Amendment to the By-laws

Section 1. These by-laws may be amended at any regular or special meeting by a two-thirds vote of those voting, provided notice was given at the previous meeting. Or they may be amended at a special meeting called for that purpose, with previous notice and a two-thirds vote. All proposed amendments shall be submitted in writing.

*

ARTICLE VII

SCOD Name and Nonprofit Policy

Section 1. Name. This organization is the ‘Sustainable Cooperative for Organic Development’, referred to as “S.C.O.D.”.

Section 2. Nonprofit Policy. SCOD shall not be operated for profit, and its entire assets shall be devoted to the purposes for which it is organized (see constitution mission statements), by-laws, and amendments.

*

ARTICLE VIII

SCOD Purposes

Section 1. Purposes. The purposes of SCOD as set forth in its constitution are exclusively educational in nature, to wit:

SCOD is an environmental and historical group dedicated to helping humans live more harmoniously with nature.”

a. To design alternative architecture, build organic communities, and support ecological produce (food, art, music, etc.)

b. To think, imagine, design, & create organically together in sustainable ways for environmental and historical education.

c. To love and protect Nature using art, architecture, and technology as stewards.

d. To explore and defend bio-diversity, alternative innovation, history, and environmental efforts.

e. To encourage others in positive, encouraging, cooperative ways.

f. To seek sustainable cooperation for organic dwelling.

g. To seek allies and maintain network communications.

h. To study history, arts, and sciences; and share and trade with many communities.

i. To sustain itself through public forums, communications, meetings, archives, and projects.

j. To handle and settle disputes internally, without involving external parties, for self-sufficiency.

k. To support Nature, cooperatives, environmentalism, history, arts, religious freedom, and peace.

*

ARTICLE IX

SCOD Council (Board of Trustees)

Section 1. Election and Powers. The Council shall have custody, control and direction of SCOD, its collections, properties, and other assets. Council Members (Trustees) shall be selected at the first Annual Meeting. Each Trustee shall serve until their successor is chosen and qualified; unless vacated by resignation, death, removal, or otherwise.

Section 2. Number. The number of Trustees constituting the Council shall be not less than three (3) nor more than twenty-five (25), and shall be fixed by resolution of the Council. Majority votes determine members of the Board, may resolve to increase or decrease the number to the extent permitted, provided that no decrease shall shorten the term of any incumbent Trustee.

Section 3. Classes. Each ‘Trustee Term’ is three (3) years, but council members can serve infinite consecutive terms, unless voted out by the Council.

Section 4. Vacancies. In case of any vacancy in the Council, a majority of the remaining Trustees may elect a successor to fill the unexpired term, and to serve until his or her successor shall have been duly elected and qualified.

Section 5. Absences. If any Trustee shall fail to attend three (3) consecutive Council meetings without excuse accepted as satisfactory by the Board, such Trustee shall be deemed to have resigned and the vacancy shall be filled.

Section 6. Removal. At any meeting of the Board of Trustees duly called, any Trustee may, by vote of two-thirds (2/3) of the entire Board, be removed from office and another may be elected by the Board to fill the unexpired term of the Trustee so removed.

Section 7. Meetings. The Annual Meeting for Council Membership decisions, shall be held in the first month of each year on such date and at such time and place as may be fixed by the Board of Trustees and named in the notice. Regular Meetings shall be held on the first Saturday of each month.

Section 8. Agenda for Regular Meetings. The agenda or order of business for each Regular meeting shall include the following:

(a) Call to order
(b) Roll Call
(c) Approval of Minutes
(d) Financial report
(e) Reports of Regular Committees
(f) Reports of any other Committees
(g) Report of the Director
(h) Old business
(i) New business
(j) Adjournment

Section 9. Notice of Meetings. Notice of the time and place of every meeting shall be sent not less than ten (10) nor more than twenty (20) days before the meeting, but is not mandatory if it is a regularly scheduled meeting.

Section 10. Waiver of Notice. Notice of a meeting need not be given to any Trustee who submits a signed written waiver thereof, whether before or after the meeting, nor to any Trustee who attends the meeting without protesting, prior thereto or at its commencement, the lack of notice.

Section 11. Quorum. Three (3) present council members constitute a quorum.

Section 12. Action Without a Meeting. Any action required or permitted to be taken by Council or any committee thereof, may be taken without a meeting if all Council members or the committee consent in writing to the adoption of a resolution authorizing the action. Such resolution and the written consents thereto by the members shall be filed with the minutes of the proceedings.

Section 13. If SCOD dissolves, assets will be distributed for an exempt purpose as described in section 501(c)3 for a public purpose; such as donations to a local homeless shelter or soup-kitchen.

*

 

*

SCOD Fallout 2020 Fictional Constitution

We the members of SCOD, In order to form a union, seek justice, provide protection, and promote welfare with the blessings of liberty; do ordain and establish this Constitution for our Sustainable Community for Organic Dwelling (SCOD).

We have a round table council of members who act as stewards whose main ranks are based on seniority, skill, duty, and popularity; but are mostly equal socially with basic rights with no king, president, or mayor. When requested we can appoint figure-head representatives and commissions relative to the negotiation or investigation needed. For absentee or abstained votes that result in a stalemate, the Council may select temporary members to cast a tie-breaking votes. Children can partake and have their own ‘kid councils’. Procedures may be conducted by any member who wishes to run a meeting, accepted by a majority, and any can propose voting at any time (needs a ‘second’), unless a temporary vote sustains more formal procedure.

The powers of SCOD council are to allocate functions, share information, to hold court meetings, to judicate group decisions, to write and enforce rules and rights, and to protect property, archives, and treasuries. Meetings should only be a frequent as is reasonable for the group.

to allocate functions – functional positions can be randomly addressed, rotate annually, or be held by vote for conducting: information; meetings; justice (defense); and preservation (architecture, archives, treasury).

to share information – Public bulletin boards, relay of messages, reminding of duties, and monitoring, notices, and reporting of general well-fare and council projects should be kept by a secretary. Also to keep libraries and appoint mentors (teachers) and journalists (reporters) for making general knowledge available in public lectures or archives.

to hold court meetings – SCOD council may act as a jury court for public or personal disputes, as best suits each case; or may appoint commission courts or temporary independent courts. When decisions affect people, those people should be present if possible to have a fair and open hearing.

judicate group decisions – Regular voting is to be conducted as democratically as possible, meaning direct and equal votes by all members within reason. A most neutral or wise judge may be appointed temporarily to run a case proceeding, but in most cases the council can act as a jury of judges for verdict and sentencing. Philosophy of fairness should be studied for justice.

to write and enforce rules and rights – Besides voting, SCOD council should record their decisions, and then be prepared for law enforcement and defense of member rights for the sake of justice and preservation. Basic human rights are: the right to life (air, food, drink), liberty (freedoms), and property (breathable air, shelter space, possessions); the right to have weapons and use martial arts for defense, including safe practice space; freedoms of action (work and travel) and expression (speech, art, writing, garb, dance). How to non-lethally arrest an infringing perpetrator who has infringed on the rights of others, presents a catch-22 hypocrisy that should be defined to maintain prisoner survival rights (life) if possible; while removing their liberty, property, and martial defense.

to protect property, archives, and treasuries – Preservation of landscape, architecture, archives, and treasury can be handled best by officers for each of these subjects, over-lapping with issues of justice and information. Financing should be kept conservative, in favor of savings interest income on loans and debt collection with collateral as a communal bank trust.

The potential of the constitution is only as good as the people that use it.

*

Advertisements

Religious Symbols vs Political Racism

Posted in Atheist/Agnostic, Legal / Laws, news, Pagan, Religions, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , on April 23, 2018 by Drogo

Geometry is not Racist

Religious symbols of Christianity and Paganism are used by racist groups like the KKK and Nazis, but their politics are so full of hate the only religion that racist groups could really claim would be an evil type like Satanism (whose practitioners are usually better behaved than racists), since most Christians and Pagans have no racial doctrines or racist dogmas. Many of us work hard to cleanse our religious practices of those among us who seek to harm others unjustly based on aggressive hostile ignorance. Religions and cultural practices thrive that are based on good-will towards others, hospitality, and celebrating life and sharing.

Simple abstract religious symbols are void of racial prejudice by their nature and historic use. Crosses, runes, spirals, or any other universal symbols are barely the property of any faith, and certainly will not be only used for evil purposes. Even the swastika should not be shunned by most people anymore, as the Nazis should have never been allowed to get the political power they did, which is really what allowed them to restrict other people from wanting to use what was previously a cross-cultural ancient symbol.

Yes racists have the right to protest too (1st Amendment to the US Constitution), but the crimes their leaders were put to death for after WW2 are still crimes no matter who does them in the future. No militarized police force of brown shirts or even SS black shirts will save racist hate from humanitarian justice. Tolerance of extreme intolerance only goes so far, for so long. The more that we are loving to each-other, the less people will want to show hate, even towards those who still want to use hate to harm others.

Blessed be, in the name of the Goddess.

29598173_571238946574399_7023015460245340160_o

Regarding Warlords or Dictators

Posted in History, Military, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , on March 25, 2018 by Drogo

Warlords, Dictators, or Generals of fame are important to History. Yet what does this say about the value of Peace, human life, or Life in general?

Greek, Roman, and Christian Empires used sculpture and architecture to facilitate the public, usually under dictatorships. In Greece stoas, plazas, and theaters promoted democracy; yet cooperative societies get quickly smashed or oppressed by competitive economic and political greed. Many militants consider this a brutal part of human nature, that we will not ‘grow out of’ in our evolution as a species for many eons.

Caesar was a tyrannical dictator who established a line of Emperors, so although very brilliant and important to History, he is not really a SCOD role-model. Yet Queen Boadicea is a SCOD heroine, because of her suffering under oppression and rebelling in defense of her people, not a conquering invader.

Colonial Empires rely on extracting resources from branches of subjugated colonies under threat of military force. Empires can run using monarchies, states, or corporations as legal power. American government began as a corporate conglomerate who represented their home states illegally under a monarchy empire. Gradually US Federal government grew with economic and population expansion, run by corporate business owners who corrupted politicians. Thus began our American Empire.

It is hard to consider what militant leaders do, as ethically good; even if they kill some bad people, or defend their own country, when in the course of their harsh rule they command the killing of thousands. Generals may learn the hard way that war is hell, and have wisdom of campaign strategy and knowledge of will power leadership strategies, but it should always be remembered that they were not the most peaceful people in over-all major ways compared to most great philosophers who are rarely recorded to have killed anyone (unless we include orators and authors like Hitler). Most great philosophers advocate peace more than violence, and this is why the most important SCOD philosophers should consider the morality of their major views regarding conflict resolution and what they are promoting within society. Questions of killing become part of the SCOD theme regarding the important value of Life, and how that value affects civilization.

We should judge our own leaders the harshest, because we have more responsibility and control over ourselves than others.

Drogo_mounds

Free Online Legal Aid

Posted in Legal / Laws, Services, Sales or Trade, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , on February 15, 2018 by Drogo

Civilization is based on laws, and anyone that lives in cities made by laws needs to have access to lawyers to have any power over local authorities to hold them accountable as public servants in a country considered to be democratic.

Rocket Lawyer

State Legal Aid Finder

Maryland Legal Assistance

Law Help Organization

National Legal Aid – NLADA

People’s Law Library of Maryland

 

[more to be added….]

Democratic Voting Problems

Posted in Legal / Laws, Uncategorized with tags , , , , on December 13, 2017 by Drogo

Paper Ballot Vote Counting

We still can barely hold raffles in America without someone being able to easily rig the counting. With political elections it is easy to forge or lose several to dozens of ballots, and therefore hundreds or thousands more when all stations are added up. I worked counting votes and giving ballots once, it was clear that workers could mess with the counts if they wanted to. The people in charge of the voting stations had authority and understood the system, and therefore could do all kinds of things if they had reason to, as the ballot boxes are transferred at night when the clueless hired help like me goes home and they are alone for an ample amount of time. I cannot speak about digital voting, except to say that hackers know more than I do about breaking into computer systems. Vote counting issues still present a problem for modern democracy.

Christian Crusades

Posted in History, Military, Religions, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , on November 8, 2017 by Drogo

The Christian Crusades (1095-1410) invaded Jewish and Muslim territories, and used militant terrorism on locals. In 1095 Byzantine Emperor Alexios Komnenos I requested military aid from Pope Urban II. Whether Alexios was just complaining or wanted a show of mercenary support under Byzantine control, is unclear. Alexios had restored the Empire’s finances and authority, but he still struggled with foreign enemies, particularly the migrating Turks.

At the Council of Clermont later that year, Pope Urban preached for a Crusade to free the holy lands from the infidels. By giving more military forces than Alexios requested, Urban would be in a political position of power in the East. Local clerics through-out Europe were encouraged by Pope Urban’s declaration of holy war. Peter the Hermit led thousands of mostly poor Christians out of Europe in what became known as the People’s Crusade. In 1096 Peter claimed he had a letter from Heaven telling Christians to prepare for the Apocalypse by seizing Jerusalem from the Muslims and Jews. Europe witnessed the first major anti-Semitic massacre when these Crusaders terrorized entire Jewish communities in Rhineland Germany. Before they got close to Jerusalem, the first Crusader army was ambushed by the Turks and suffered heavy losses, causing retreat. The Kings of France and England refused to join Pope Urban’s Crusade of German despotism, but many other nobles began to rally troops from various countries based on bonds of lordship, family, ethnicity, and language. Foremost amongst the noble financiers were Count Raymond IV of France; Prince Bohemond and his nephew Tancred of Norman Italy; and lastly Godfrey and his brother Baldwin I, lords of Lotharingia. Combined with a Northern French army led by lesser lords, the armies totaled about 100,000 people.

The official First Crusade army led by nobles combined with some veterans of the first peasant army, and traveled to Byzantium. Emperor Alexios cautiously welcomed them, and made the princes and counts pledge allegiance to him. This allowed both East and West Christian Empires to unite against the Turkish Sultan Kilij Arslan I. In 1097 after a Crusader siege and a Byzantine naval assault, Nicaea was captured. Crusader envoys were sent to Egypt seeking an alliance. The Turks were not unified in defense of Aleppo and Damascus. The 3-month march to Antioch was plagued by starvation, thirst, and disease. Baldwin used 100 knights to claim his own territory in Edessa. Despite losses, the Crusader army embarked on an 8-month siege stalemate of Antioch. Bohemond persuaded a tower guard to open a gate, and the Crusaders entered and massacred the many Muslims and Christians of Antioch.

Sunni Islam under the Sultan of Baghdad raised an army to recapture Antioch, led by the Iraqi general Kerbogha. Having lost thousands through desertion and starvation in the besieged city, the Crusaders attempted to negotiate surrender. This was rejected by Kerbogha, who wanted to destroy the invaders. Morale within the city was boosted when a mystic soldier claimed to have discovered the Holy Lance of Antioch. Bohemond led his Franks to break the Muslim ranks, who surprisingly retreated and abandoned the counter-siege.

Fatimid Egyptians took Jerusalem from the Turks. Raymond left Bohemond at Antioch, and led his Crusader army rapidly along the South coast to Jerusalem. After some failures, Crusaders constructed two large siege engines; the one commanded by Godfrey breached the walls in 1099. For two days the Crusaders massacred the Jews and Muslims of Jerusalem and pillaged the City of God. Godfrey further secured the Frankish position by surprising the Egyptian Shia soldiers, who retreated to Egypt. By 1100 most of the Crusaders considered their pilgrimage complete and returned to Europe, leaving behind Godfrey, Tancred, and Baldwin. Muslims mistook the Crusaders for the latest in a long line of Byzantine mercenaries (eg Vikings), rather than religious paladins bent on long term conquest and control of people property. During the 1100s Muslims realized they needed to organize their armies like the Europeans were doing, so they could level the playing field at least for defense.

Moses Maimonides was a Jewish rabbi, physician, and philosopher in Morocco and Egypt during the 1100s. Moses Maimonides wrote the tractate ‘Sanhedrin’ in which he formulated 13 Principles of Hebrew Faith. The Sanhedrin summarized his opinion of the required beliefs of Judaism; which included the exaltation of God and Moses, the coming of the Jewish Messiah, and resurrection of the dead. Maimonides also wrote about charity and prophesy.

Knights Hospitallers, aka ‘The Order of Knights of the Hospital of Saint John of Jerusalem’, originated from an Amalfitan monastic Christian hospital cult in Jerusalem. After the first conquest of Jerusalem circa 1100, the Hospitallers also became a military order under Papal charter, charged with the care and defense of the Holy Land. The medieval Catholic military order endured and eventually became the modern Sovereign Military Order of Malta.

The Knights Templar were founded circa 1120 and lasted as an official Catholic paladin military order until 1312. The name ‘Templar’ comes from their full name ‘Poor Fellow-Soldiers of Christ in the Order of Solomon’s Temple’. In the Dark-Ages Frankish knights in the court of Charlemagne paladins (cleric-warriors) tradition based on the legends of Roland and his other knights. Templars admired the image of pauper knights helping each-other by sharing the same horse. Templar knights with their red cross on white field coat-of-arms, became famous for dedication to faith, fighting, and finance.

Teutonic Knights, aka ‘The Brothers of the German House of Saint Mary in Jerusalem’, were a clerical military mercenary order circa 1190. The Teutonic mission was to conquer and protect German Church interests including pilgrims and hospitals. The Teutonic Order has recently been only religious since 1929, but still confers limited honorary ‘knight’ awards.

Arabic philosophy was usually more enlightened than European philosophy under Christian theology during the Middle-Ages. We in the West are still learning from Arabic sources, how to interpret our own records better. Robert of Chester translated the Arabic book of the ‘Composition of Alchemy‘ in 1144.

After the establishment of the religious military orders of Hospitallers, Templars, and Teutonic Knights; Popes were granting money and property to those who fought papal enemies, making the crusades more blatantly political and economic, although many continued to use the theology as justification for war. True believers often cannot be counted, as we cannot know what people truly thought inside. People often are torn inside about loyalties and motivations, and religions are largely based on dealing with dualities in life.

More nobles from all over Europe led campaigns with smaller groups of crusaders. The loss of Aleppo and Edessa before 1150, led to propaganda for the Second Crusade. This time kings got in on the action. King Louis VII and Conrad III led armies from France and Germany to Jerusalem and Damascus, without major victories. Preaching anti-Semitism again led to attacks on Jews including massacres in the German Rhineland and other places, amid claims that the Jews were not contributing financially to Christian society or the rescue of the Holy Land.

In the 1160-80s Islamic power changed leaders from Zengi, to Nur al-Din, and finally to the most famous Saladin. Saladin united Aleppo, Damascus, and Egypt in the Crusade era. Holy Roman Emperor Frederick I, kicked off the Third Crusade by drowning in the Saleph River on route to the Holy Land. Richard the Lionheart, King of England conquered Cyprus in 1191. Philip II of France arrived at the siege of Acre, and with the help of his best buddy Richard, the French and English won. Richard and his English army travelled South along the Mediterranean coast, and defeated Muslims near Arsuf and recaptured Jaffa. Richard the Lionheart came close to Jerusalem, but realized he lacked the resources to capture and keep the city. This marked the end of Richard’s crusading career, but Richard preferred his properties in France so Prince John ran England (see Magna Carta and ‘Legend of Robin Hood’ – 1200s).

In 1200 Pope Innocent III began preaching for the Fourth Crusade in France, England, and Germany. In Venice the Doge plotted to use the Fourth Crusade to overthrow Emperor Alexios III of Byzantium. Crusader knights arrived in Venice and were unable to pay the Venetians for a fleet, so they agreed to attack Constantinople, sack it, and share what could be looted as payment. The crusaders conquered Constantinople twice, pillaging churches, and killing nobles and many citizens. The Fourth Crusade never got near Jerusalem.

Popular ecstatic piety led to the Children’s Crusade in 1212. Large groups of young adults and children gathered, believing their innocence would enable success, where their corrupt elders had failed. Most were captured and sold into slavery. Few went on to the Holy Lands. In 1217 the Fifth Crusade was led by Andrew II of Hungary and Duke Leopold VI of Austria, against Saladin’s Ayyubid successors in Egypt and Syria.

The Sixth Crusade was a negotiated truce, supported by force and concessions. Frederick II was a Holy Roman Emperor with some cultural sympathy for Islam, and arrived at Acre in 1228. The peace treaty gave Christians most of Jerusalem and access to Acre, while the Muslims kept their sacred areas, and the Sultan of Egypt could use crusaders as mercenaries. Pope Gregory IX attacked Frederick II, ruining Christian progress in the area. Next was the Barons’ Crusade, and finally several other crusades including those in modern times.

 

[to be continued]

 

 

 

*

Stupid Crusades Video War commentary by Drogo Empedocles

The Non-profit and Grant Paradox

Posted in Cooperatives / Communities / Networks / Travels, Legal / Laws, SCOD Status Update Reports, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , on August 17, 2017 by Drogo

Non-profit groups have a grant writing Catch-22 paradox that is a real problem for grass-roots activists. There are several dualities that cause dissonance for fund raising functionality. Income is often very vital to motivate groups of people.

About PAY motivation:

  1. Members need to be active often without pay to advance the cause.
  2. People need to pay bills, and are not motivated to follow-through with difficult missions without pay.

About LEGAL status:

  1. Group needs to be legal to get 501C grants.
  2. Group cannot be legal without members paying fees, and being active enough to fill out the applications for grants, and then carry out the mission functions.

Lesson:

Groups need members who believe in the mission strongly and have the personal will-power and discipline to contribute at least equally, regardless of pay. Trust and dedication to the team is vital. Groups can function on a basic level, without all members trusting all other members; the minimum amounts of trust can be between pairs of friends, that help other members to stay involved.