Tagged: Free Speech

46

"Crisis Manager" Xavier Hermosillo Shrewdly Defuses Immigration Tumult By Threatening Cartoonist

Murrieta, California is a town recently known for angry crowds screaming at Immigration & Customs Enforcement buses full of kids. Apparently Murrieta thinks that sort of coverage is not a selling point for the town, because they hired Xavier Hermosillo, a "Crisis Manager." This is a typical and prudent move. Across America, if you ask public officials "how can we recapture the media narrative, calm hostility and anger, and promote sensible dialogue," they will inevitably reply "hire an internet talk show host." Hermosillo set to work. What could he do to calm the troubled waters, improve the town's reputation, and...

26

Gleeful Troll Todd Kincannon Files First Amendment Suit Against South Carolina Attorney Authorities

Todd Kincannon is a performance artist working in the medium of outrage — his own, and that of easily gulled critics. Surely you've heard of him. Perhaps you noticed him the time he got Salon in a tizzy over his obnoxious tweets about Wendy Davis, or the time he agitated the Huffington Post with his grotesque tweets about Trayvon Martin, or the time he enraged Daily Kos (and, for that matter, nearly everyone else) by saying transgendered people should be put in camps. Todd Kincannon would like to be Ann Coulter if he grows up, but lacks the subtle charm....

22

Monday Schadenfreupdates (Now Updated!)

Why do bad things happen to good people? I can't tell you that. But I can tell you that bad things happen eventually to bad people. For instance: 1. Perhaps you remember David Bell, chief fraudster of the U.S. Telecom fraud ring discussed in my "Anatomy of a Scam" series. He's had criminal charges pending in San Bernardino County since 2011. Recently he entered a no contest plea to two counts of grand theft auto, plus enhancements for priors, thus not admitting guilt but admitting that the government could prove those particular counts against him. He'll be sentenced in September....

New Popehat Signal courtesy of Nigel Lew.  Thanks, Nigel! 96

Popehat Signal: Help A Blogger Threatened By A Multi-Level Marketer WorldVentures

It's time for the Popehat Signal — the call for pro bono assistance for a blogger threatened with frivolous and censorious litigation. This time the victim in need of help is Stephanie Yoder of www.twenty-somethingtravel.com. She needs your help to face a thoroughly bogus and repugnant threat by multi-level marketing scheme "WorldVentures."

48

Poseur Pastor Pouts, Pursues Preposterous Proceeding, Procures Painful Penalty

Ergun Caner was angry. There he was, a successful man of God: a published author, Dean and President of the Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary and Graduate School, a sought-after inspirational speaker. Suddenly, crass miscreants laid him low. Critics pointed out he told puzzlingly inconsistent stories about his background. Though public records and his own book suggested that he emigrated from Sweden to Ohio at the age of four, in his inspirational speeches he claimed he had been raised in Turkey, learned of America only through television, and trained as an Islamic jihadist. Perhaps the story of a foreign jihadist converting...

23

Popehat Signal Update: Dream Team Victory In Texas

I bring good news: top-notch work by generous and dedicated lawyers has produced a free speech victory in Texas. Last year I lit the Popehat Signal seeking help for J. Todd DeShong, a blogger and AIDS activist. DeShong, a longtime critic of the nutty and conspiratorial junk science occasionally directed at AIDS issues, ran afoul of Clark Baker, an ex-cop and full-blown AIDS denialist who offers "expert" "witness" services. You may recall my description of Baker's phone call to DeShong's mother: I interviewed Mr. DeShong's mother, a sweet lady with a spine of Texas steel. She told me about how...

63

Significant Developments In D.C. Anti-SLAPP Law.

UPDATE: Mr. Steyn advises me through Twitter that he has declined appeal of the Anti-Slapp motion to dismiss, because he wishes to conduct discovery against Dr. Mann. That makes the video below something of a wretched abortion, but as the other defendants in the case (Rand Simberg, National Review, and the Competitive Enterprise Institute) are moving forward with the appeal, I leave the video unaltered and unedited. My apologies to Mr. Steyn. _____________________________________ Doe v. Burke is an important decision, handed down last week, on the District of Columbia's Anti-SLAPP statute. The D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals held that an anonymous...

Department of Health And Human Services Threatens Blogger Over Satirical Posts

The blog Addiction Myth is devoted to a very out-of-the-mainstream proposition about medicine: that the entire concept of drug and alcohol addiction is a scam perpetrated by law enforcement, rehab groups, and the entertainment industry. By contrast, the United States Department of Health and Human Services is devoted to mainstream medical and scientific propositions It is perhaps inevitable that these two worldviews would conflict one day. But it was not inevitable that HHS's Office of General Counsel would bumptiously threaten Addiction Myth over obviously satirical posts. That, given minimal good sense, could have been avoided.

D.C. Court of Appeals Agrees To Hear Merits of Anti-SLAPP Appeal In Michael Mann's Defamation Case

In our last episode of the saga of Michael Mann's defamation suit against National Review, Mark Steyn, the Competitive Enterprise Institute, and Rand Simberg, I explained that the matter was wrapped in a dry, but crucial, procedural issue: the District of Columbia Court of Appeal was faced with whether a defendant who loses a motion under D.C.'s anti-SLAPP law may appeal immediately, or must wait until the end of the case. As I argued, the strategic implications are dire for defamation plaintiffs and defendants: if anti-SLAPP denials are not immediately appealable than much of the value of the statute is...

The Procedural Tail That Wags The Substantive Dog: Update On Michael Mann's "Hockey Stick" Lawsuit

I've collected, under this tag, my posts about Michael Mann's defamation lawsuit against National Review, Mark Steyn, the Competitive Enterprise Institute, and Rand Simberg. The lawsuit is back to the District of Columbia Court of Appeal upon the National Review's denial of their renewed anti-SLAPP motion. The key issue currently presented is a procedural one that will strike many non-lawyers as irritatingly dry, obscure, and removed from the heart of the case: when a District of Columbia court denies an anti-SLAPP motion under DC's anti-SLAPP statute, can the losing party appeal immediately, or do they have to wait until the...

Guest Post: Peoria Mayor Jim Ardis On The Rule of Law

Today's guest author, Jim Ardis, is the Mayor of Peoria, Illinois. Ladies and gentlemen, the rule of law is what separates us from animals and barbarians and people from Joliet. It is that rule of law that I now invoke to prevent so-called "satire" from being used to abuse my person and position. By now you have heard that someone pretending to be me on Twitter has breached the peace by suggesting that I am some sort of corrupt, disturbed drug fiend. The statements attributed to me have been scandalous, personally hurtful, and textually ambiguous. Let me clear some things...

Fear Cuts Deeper Than Swords: Bergen Community College Freaks Out Over "Game of Thrones" T-Shirt

Tragedy is inevitable. Our reaction to tragedy is not. We cannot govern every risk, but we must govern our reactions to risks. Here's the question we must ask ourselves: when awful things happen in the world, will we abandon reason and accept any measure urged by officials — petty and great — who invoke those awful things as justifications for action? Or will we think critically and demand that our leaders do so as well? Will we subject cries of "crime" and "drugs" and "terrorism" and "school shootings" to scrutiny? Will we be convinced to turn on each other in...

Anti-SLAPP Victory In Oregon: Anti-Telemarketing Blog Wins Big With Pro Bono Help

Here's a hard fact about free speech: vindicating it in American courts takes either money (and lots of it), or lawyers willing to provide pro bono help. Right is right, and law is law, but court is court — and winning in court generally requires competent representation, which is ruinously expensive for normal people. It's not fair, it's not right, but it's true. Therefore the vitality of the First Amendment depends not just on the law, but on the service of lawyers like Troy Sexton of Motschenbacher & Blattner LLP in Portland, Oregon. Last August I put up the Popehat...

LEAVE HOUSTON CITY ATTORNEY DAVID M. FELDMAN ALONE

ATTENTION ENTITLED MISCREANTS IN HOUSTON AND ELSEWHERE: You may believe that the First Amendment to the United States Constitution gives you a right to petition the government for the redress of grievances. You may also believe that Article I, Section 27 of the Texas Constitution gives you the same right. But those rights must yield to the personal inconvenience and/or annoyance of your betters in government, specifically including but not limited to Houston City Attorney David M. Feldman and the other officials of that city. Look, you pack of sticky-fingered dawdlers, these are busy, busy people, doing important government things...