It’s about time that we have a sensible man finally stand up to the vileness that is public participation, saying quite simply, “I AM THE SENATOR. YOU ARE THE CITIZEN. YOU NEED TO BE QUIET.” As a blog writer and reader I can personally attest to the sheer barbaric revelry some of our so called citizens participate in when commenting on the internet. People like Jay, a poster at popehat.com who mock Tommy Tucker with his own heroic words by creating these pictures:
I for one stand with the great State Senator Tucker, saying forcefully and loudly that you citizens need to quiet down. Stop commenting on blogs, articles, reddit, etc. Stop making a mockery of the legislative process. We are a nation of laws, laws that you should fear because as they say, “anything can and will be used against you in a court of law.” So to honor the great philosopher of North Carolina, I declare today Tommy Tucker Recognition Day. Commenting will be closed on this post in his honor.
Reading Popehat tonight I came across this article. Apparently eBay seller Med Express Sales thinks that just because Ohio doesn’t have an Anti-Slapp law, that it can blatantly flaunt the legal system, threaten, extort, and generally become a vexatious twat-waffle over an admittedly truthful review.
Luckily Amy Nicholls has the free-speech-guru-attorney Paul Levy of Public Citizen on her side. The fact that good decent people like Mr. Levy exist is a comfort to those who he can help when such legal nonsense happens, however Paul Levy is but one man, and the world is filled with numerous censorious douchebags. Mr. Levy even helped me recently claim a valant victory over the forces of censorship, legal thuggery, and bad behavior. This is why we need a national Anti-Slapp law, to prevent such blatant abuses of the legal system and shoot down expensive lawsuits before people who might not know all their available avenues fold or are forced to incur massive legal fees.
This is especially true when the vexatious twat-waffle, knows for a fact that they have no legal precedent backing up their claims. These sort of thugs dare you to risk financial ruin just to protect your constitutional rights. Mr. Levy writes:
I contacted James Amodio, Med Express’s lawyer, to explain to him the many ways in which his lawsuit is untenable. He readily admitted that, as the complaint admits, everything that the customer had posted in her feedback was true; he did not deny that a statement has to be false to be actionable as defamation; but he just plain didn’t care. To the contrary, he told me that I could come up to Medina, Ohio, and argue whatever I might like, but that the case was going to continue unless the feedback was taken down or changed to positive. And he explained why his client was insisting on this change — he said that it sells exclusively over eBay, where a sufficient level of negative feedback can increase the cost of such sales as well as possibly driving away customers.
Obviously Mr. Amodio is using the new legal tort: Whatever, whatever, I do what I want. Which is a most popular tort these days. However it is just as imaginary as my alter-egos obsession with dinosaurs. Our legal system is many ways is a shambles, patent law is a mess, and companies use lawsuits as business strategies, and those in positions of financial power think they can even use the judiciary or the threat of it’s power to silence us, remove our rights, and terrify us into silence. This cannot be allowed to happen. Luckily good people stand up to these forces every day like Kenneth P. White, Paul Alan Levy, Catherine Gellis, Adam Steinbaugh, and so many others.
“Better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak out and remove all doubt.” – Abraham Lincoln. If people would just listen to President Lincoln, they could avoid a lot of embarrassing situations.
Take Christopher Dietz of Dietz Development for instance, he must have been very upset about a review on Yelp so he sued the reviewer and made sure hundreds of thousands of people saw it. It’s one thing to take a licking in private, but it’s entirely another thing for your disgrace to go national news. Already picked up by CNBC, Forbes, Ars Technica, Politico, etc. Dietz has inadvertently triggered what we on the internet call “The Streisand Effect.” The Streisand Effect is named after Barbra Streisand who in the process of trying to get photos of her house off the internet (which had a total of 4 or 5 views beforehand) alerted the general public that those photos were available and suddenly they were viewed millions of times.
Now we have Dietz, who was so unhappy with a review in which Jane Perez said he put her doors on crooked and might have accessed her home inappropriately, that he had to sue her for $750,000. It’s the classic case of a censor trying to make a defendant fold with a sum so large you’d have to be crazy to litigate. What censors don’t realize is that there is another condition other than mental insanity that would make a person fight back, it’s called passion. Passion for what is right, passion for justice, passion for our Constitutional rights. When you pit a person who has served our country in the military (Jane Perez) against a bully and a censor, I know whose side I am going to choose 10 out of 10 times. w
Anyone who uses Yelp knows that you have to take individual bad reviews lightly. Business owners should know that encouraging happy clients to leave positive feedback is the best way to combat negative reviews. Once I left a scathing review of a local business and the manager contacted me personally to assure me the experience was not typical and that if I gave them a second chance I’d see that, which I did, and I promptly updated my review to express my new opinion. What Dietz has effectively done is spread the word about his bad review, not worked to deliver positive impressions to combat the negative, and told all future clients that if they aren’t happy with his work, he’ll just sue them. That is not how you repair your reputation.
Jane Perez now faces an uncertain legal and financial future because she wanted to share her opinion of a contractor on Yelp. Unyielding to the staggering sum she is being sued for, Perez has found legal assistance in the ACLU and Public Citizen with star attorney Paul Levy helping her cause. Even if and when she prevails she can be assured substantial legal costs, for that reason she has setup an Indiegogo fundraiser to help offset these burdens. I have already kicked in, I hope you will to, lets send a message to bullies that our opinions aren’t fodder for their legal escapades. Let’s remind Dietz that sometimes as Lincoln said, it’s best to just roll with the punches.
Glenn Beck created an uproar on the internet recently by auctioning on e-Bay a Barack Obama figurine dunked in “piss” in a mason jar. Unfortunately e-Bay’s lack of humor and inability to read lead to the auction being pulled prematurely. e-Bay claimed that since the listing contained bodily fluids it could not be auctioned. Humorously the auction never contained real urine and though not required by law to respect Beck’s First Amendment rights, e-Bay should have had the spine to resist faux moral outrage generated by the left. e-Bay’s job is not to critique art, it’s job is to sell it. Beck had originally wanted to auction the piece for charity and now is left looking for another way to raise funds with his artwork.
By overreacting to this bait liberals have exposed themselves as censors as much as conservatives did during the Piss Christ episode of the 80’s. This of course was Beck’s intention and by acting in outrage, the left has show itself as easily betrayed by it’s zealotry as they claim conservatives can be. This is America where having the freedom of expression has the side affect of having to deal with other’s freedom of expression. Whoever reported Beck, and I assume it must have been a lot of people, betrayed their un-American values without Beck even breaking a sweat. “Give me liberty of give me death,” applies to freedom of expression, not just of religious conviction or political opinion.
This is a further escalation of the left and their supporters trying to censor the right for disagreeing with them. I myself found my twitter account @dese1ect in twitter gulag as many conservatives recently have. This happens by people filing complaints and mass blocking certain people for disagreeing with them. In fact it’s well documented that left wing activist encourage this activity. My only discernable reason for my account’s suspension was at the time I was communicating my support of Israel. I have no problems with people disagreeing with me, and wether your opinion makes my skin crawl or I agree with you completely, I would never try to silence your opinion. Censors are the first guard of fascism.
Another troubling issue is that certain people have apparently raised human beings such as Barrack Obama to heights held exclusively for religious idols like Jesus or Muhammad. While westerners greatly admonished Islamist reactions to the Muhammad Cartoons they seem just as willing to gnash teeth and restrict other person’s freedom over imagery of their idols if they find such expressions offensive. No man is equal to or above God, truth, liberty or justice.
On a side note, disrespecting an African American is no more racist than disrespecting a white American. Racism is the belief that one race is above another race, not disagreeing with anyone who doesn’t look like you. I have found liberals very willing to partake in accusing conservatives like Beck of racism due to their political beliefs. This further divides our country and downplays the impact of real racism.
I was reading a post on the GOP in California and reflecting on what I’ve seen since the election on various conservative blogs and news sites. It is a warning to the rest of the nation’s conservatives. A lesson which the GOP has yet to learn and needs to learn now. People have been saying that they need to double down on the conservatism, fiscally I agree. However the problems alienating Americans from the GOP have nothing to do with fiscal issues, as Tuesday proved. People are concerned about their jobs, the economy, and the debt we are incurring. However they are still concerned about their and their loved ones’ pursuit of happiness. This includes things like the freedom of religion and freedom to make our own social decisions. The California Republican Party doubled down in the 90’s and is now near extinct. They took the land of Reagan and turned it into the land of Clinton and now the land of Obama.
Conservatives need to stop trying to take away the other half of the country’s liberties and start preaching a message of fiscal responsibility. This doesn’t mean conservatives abandon their social values, it means they recognize other people have different values and they don’t need to bring government in on people’s private lives. For a party that claims to be against big government they really want to regulate people’s actual lives.
Let me put it more bluntly. Either you believe the government should outlaw all things you personally find immoral, or not. Creating government regulation based on what people can do with their own bodies or in their own private lives is the ultimate creation of the Nanny State. Does the government decide what you can do in every aspect of your life or not? We cannot deplore the government’s regulation of business, insurance, and entitlement system, while begging that same government to regulate the very way people live their lives.
Once we can unite our nation on the premise that liberty was granted to all of us through our Constitution, then we can solve the big problems like $16,000,000,000,000 in debt.
Update: Also talk about a coming race war is probably not going to win elections.