READER COMMENTS ON
"LEGAL THREAT DEJA VU! YANG (YEI) ATTORNEYS THREATEN 'SEMINOLE CHRONICLE' WITH LEGAL ACTION!"
(54 Responses so far...)
COMMENT #1 [Permalink]
said on 12/29/2004 @ 11:55 am PT...
This is where the rubber meets the road. The First Amendment has been defended many times by reporters. But it is weakening. A reporter was jailed recently for failing to reveal a source (No, it wasn't the CIA agent outing case).
The Seminole Chronicle now has stepped up to bat. I say that if they need it we put together some sort of defense fund for their exclusive use.
Why that would be worth it is that the background facts would be investigated via discovery ... meaning questions under oath. And no BS would be tolerated and facts based upon admissible evidence would be required.
YES, Feeney et. al. could face depositions.
Only one caveat ... a fair judge.
COMMENT #2 [Permalink]
said on 12/29/2004 @ 12:25 pm PT...
I am usually suspicious when a lawfirm takes such a bold position. Aside from the obvious bluf potential, have they done their homework?
We would be naive to think the case would be won/lost on just the facts. Powers will be invoked.
I suggest a look at the background of the Seminole Chronicle's insurance carrier. They have a lot of power in a case. They can hire the lawyers, etc. They may be compromised by the powers that be.
Check it out.
If there are any problems then the paper would be better off to get its own attorneys who are expert not only in libel (by papers), but in Florida political power.
To sue a newspaper for libel is a very difficult case to win. It is not like you or I libeling someone. All that is needed in the case of one of us libeling someone is a preponderance of evidence.
But newspapers have a wall of protection by additional First Amendment rights that libel must scale. This is no easy task and under the facts of this case the Feeney lawfirm is bullshitting.
COMMENT #3 [Permalink]
said on 12/29/2004 @ 12:31 pm PT...
I hope those Lawyers are giving them a deal on regurgitating documents.
COMMENT #4 [Permalink]
said on 12/29/2004 @ 12:57 pm PT...
In New York Times vs. Sullivan (1964) the Supreme Court ruled that a public official cannot recover damages "for a defamatory falsehood relating to his official conduct unless he proves that the statement was made with 'actual malice'--that is, with knowledge that it was false or with reckless disregard of whether it was false or not."
In a related case (Associated Press vs. Walker, 1967) the Supreme Court ruling stated: "We therefore hold as a matter of constitutional law that a charge of criminal conduct, no matter how remote in time or place, can never be irrelevant to an official's or a candidate's fitness for office for purposes of application of the "knowing falsehood or reckless disregard' rule of" . . . the aforementioned case.
I think YEI and Feeney's lawyers know these cases. If they don't, they or poor practitioners of the law. This leads me to conclude that their threats are empty and are being made in order to muddy the waters and put out the impression that there is nothing to Curtis' accusations. Let's hope they don't succeed in confusing too many members of the public.
COMMENT #5 [Permalink]
said on 12/29/2004 @ 1:01 pm PT...
For those interested in what Feeney's lawyers must do, take a look at the seminal case NY Times v Sullivan, 376 US 254 (1964).
The essential question in that case was "We are required in this case to determine for the first time the extent to which the constitutional protections for speech and press limit a State's power to award damages in a libel action brought by a public official against critics of his official conduct."
One URL to this case is http://caselaw.lp.findla...mp;vol=376&invol=254.
Note in that case that when people criticize a government official for official acts it is not libel unless the publisher knew the acts were false and they were done for a malicious purpose. These are difficult to prove and the facts here are that Feeney was an official.
And of course, since Feeney is the plaintiff, the burden of proof is on him to prove: 1) Curtis lied in the sworn affidavit (perjury); 2) the newspaper knew Curtis was lying; and 3) the newspaper maliciously published anyway with "actual malice".
That seems like a really steep climb on a slippery premise.
The really good news about this is that Feeney and Yang will have to sit a LONG, LONG time on the HOT seat!
COMMENT #6 [Permalink]
said on 12/29/2004 @ 1:10 pm PT...
It is one thing for the Seminole to allege that an individual or company was involved in possible illegal behavior, and quite another to report the testimony of a third party suggesting that an individual or company may be involved in possible illegal behavior. What is the the specific statute preventing the press from reporting on assertions, allegations and the such, posed by an individual testifying in an open query arena? The Seminole did not assert or allege that Feeney or YEI were involved in election tampering; they simply reported part of the queried response Mr. Curtis gave to the panel in Ohio. Although both letters from YEI's and Feeney's attorneys stress that the State of Florida Commission on Ethics found there was no probable cause to Mr. Curtis' assertions, this information has been currently renewed outside of the state of Florida and needs to be fully reviewed and investigated once again. The mainstream news media has been overtly derelict by not reporting on the Clinton Curtis assertions.
You have enormous support in your quest to ferret out the truth, and you are greatly appreciated for your commitment and tenacity. Thank you Brad.
COMMENT #7 [Permalink]
said on 12/29/2004 @ 1:21 pm PT...
Yeah, let's see Feeney and Yang sit down and explain *EVERYTHING*, nice and s l o w l y.
After all, if they are innocent of all charges, they have nothing to be afraid of.... and no reason to be hiding from most reporters, like they have been.
COMMENT #8 [Permalink]
said on 12/29/2004 @ 1:37 pm PT...
Lot's of laughs! The Florida Ethics Commission violating state law? Violating its own responsibility to ethics? OH MY! OH DEAR! OH BUSH!
The Feeney/Yang attorneys have an affidavit that claims Clint Curtis was a "pathological liar"? So what? There's no relevance unless the newspaper saw the affidavit before they printed their original story! Which is already clear they did not. Who made the affidavit? What's their current political or employment ties to the parties? Let them come out of hiding, if there really is such an affidavit, and be subject to the same scrutiny as Curtis!
A bluff letter is common in the legal profession. If it is not designed to give legal notice, its intended effect is to use scarry legal language and claims to alter the actions of the person or parties to whom it is addressed. The newspaper has nothing to hide, while Yang and Feeney may have everything to hide. Also, besides the libel standards that must be overcome when suing a newspaper, Feeney has an even greater burden to vault over the proof bar as a "public official".
Finally, the facts and not the accusations have to be on their side. If this is a matter of Curtis said versus what Feeney said, I just don't believe that's good enough. What these lawyers are doing is also damaging their own cause, when at the very outset of their legal actions/claims even the substance or veracity of their own letters are subject to question.
I have a suspicion that they might file a legal action, not because they can win on the merits, but because of the intimidation factor against other forms of media or witnesses that might come forward. This may include getting a friendly judge to issue a restraining order to prevent any further press coverage or leaks. In other words, getting everybody to hush up while the attorneys and courts take care of business Florida-style. Ha!
Which brings me back to my dear ol' Florida Congressman, Richard Kelly, and the Florida Ethics Commission. A former attorney, "Judge Kelly", as he was fondly known, getting help from the Florida Ethics Commission to destroy his opponent in a congressional race and then the good Florida judge stuffing $50,000.00 in bribe money in his suit coat while serving as a member of the House Banking Committee.
Florida Ethics Commission! Florida Courts! Florida Congressman! Yep! Electronic voting machines, if they are wired, can change an entire state ballot just as much as a national one! And who are those Congressman and Judges really beholding too? And who do the other state politicians so inclined appoint to the Ethics Commission or any other position? Or what votes are altered to approve a gambling initiative? Or what politicians are threatened that they will not be "electronically" approved at the next election?
There may be other witnesses and evidence out there that backs up or verifies Clint Curtis's allegations, or that actually shows voting machine tampering. If these people or facts come forward it would certainly be explosive indeed and could possibly bring down an entire government! So threatening people with legal action or worse may be just the beginning to keep a lid on the powder keg.
COMMENT #9 [Permalink]
said on 12/29/2004 @ 1:52 pm PT...
COMMENT #10 [Permalink]
said on 12/29/2004 @ 2:39 pm PT...
Ha! Ohio Judiciary? I trust judges about as mush as I trust bribe-taking Congressman, bought and paid for Senators, and oil company US Presidents!
As I have stated all along, I don't expect support for our cause from established institutions or the process they control, from congress to the courts. The Republican Party, the Christian Dominionists, the Military Industrial Complex, and their partisan consortium of electronic voting machine companies and corporate media are not about to let "their" electronically selected control candidates go down the tubes.
This will soon be a matter for the streets for which the media and government can no longer ignore!
COMMENT #11 [Permalink]
Terri in S. FL
said on 12/29/2004 @ 2:45 pm PT...
First off Jim, this has nothing to do with Curtis or the Seminole Chronicle.
Second, some of the filing was granted and the rest will certainly be re-filed. It's a little soon for your freeper victory dance. Actually, I suspect that this whole thing will go on for years, with many glorius indictments of Repugnants to follow.
But a real "atty" would have known that.
There is a time crunch and there are some still hoping to make the case before inauguration day. That seems unlikely.
I, however, will be just as happy to let Smirky be inaugurated, and a few months later, get to watch him do the perp walk down the steps of the White House. Like Nixon, only better.
COMMENT #12 [Permalink]
Terri in S. FL
said on 12/29/2004 @ 2:47 pm PT...
Or, we can do it Freebird's way. Makes no difference to me.
COMMENT #13 [Permalink]
said on 12/29/2004 @ 2:48 pm PT...
What are you finding out to corraborate any of Clint Curtis' allegations.
COMMENT #14 [Permalink]
said on 12/29/2004 @ 4:50 pm PT...
Much, Robinhood. And will be reporting on that here at an appropriate time with, of course, the appropriate detail and corroborating evidence etc.
As well, there are many details related to all of this that I have not yet been able to report on for a number of reasons. Legal sorts and Law enforcement sorts here may be able to glean a few reasons for that. But suffice to say, things continue to move forward, and I'll be reporting whatever I can as soon as it's appropriate on this blog.
COMMENT #15 [Permalink]
said on 12/29/2004 @ 6:11 pm PT...
Thanks again for your good work, Brad.
I've been comparing the posted excerpts from these two letters, and I have to say that the similarity between them must constitute the greatest coincidence since ... since ... since ... aw shucks!
COMMENT #16 [Permalink]
said on 12/29/2004 @ 6:58 pm PT...
Brad: Interpretation: Your getting sued, right?
Hope your premiums are up to date.
COMMENT #17 [Permalink]
said on 12/29/2004 @ 7:25 pm PT...
From what I read in the Seminole Chronicle article, I don't think there's any case against them: they're merely reporting on what took place in a congressional committee meeting, and all the statements are attributed to someone else who said them. Public figures like congressmen generally just have to take the heat of public criticism.
By the way, Oviedo is not Rep. Feeney's home town: He's from somewhere in Pennsylvania. He moved to Orlando in the mid 1980s, and served as a state representative from there until he resigned to run for Lieutenant Governor and lost. He moved from there to Oviedo a few years ago when the Republican Party saw an opportunity to get him back into the state legislature via a special election to replace a fellow named Marvin Couch, who had resigned rather suddenly. Old-time Floridians would call Feeny a carpetbagger.
COMMENT #18 [Permalink]
said on 12/29/2004 @ 7:36 pm PT...
Are the Yang's "off shore" like the lawyer?
"Its 7 Jan 2005: do you know who your president is?"
COMMENT #19 [Permalink]
said on 12/29/2004 @ 7:39 pm PT...
Yes, my understanding (though not personally confirmed) is that Dr. and Mrs. Yang are similarly "offshore" (either literally or ostensibly) until Jan 1 or 2.
COMMENT #20 [Permalink]
said on 12/29/2004 @ 9:11 pm PT...
Oh, God (or Whoever)...
This is so DISGUSTING. HOW did people like this get into positions like this, positions of power over everyone else? If we were watching this on a movie screen instead of in "technicolor" in our own real lives, we'd be booing up a storm at the bad guys and cheering on those in white hats who represent honesty, integrity, and "American" values.
We're Mob-run and Mob-owned and our own media outlets don't even offer a whisper of protest. Money is the be-all and end-all of exitence. Even existence itself pales in importance.
Why don't all of us commit mass suicide, after blasting the rest of the world to smithereens with our finest nuclear warheads, make CERTAIN that nothing beautiful or reminscent of our stupidity survives, and reside forever in the memory (non-existent) of a non-living universe?
I shouldn't be screaming in your space, Brad. You are doing the work of the blessed.
COMMENT #21 [Permalink]
said on 12/29/2004 @ 9:29 pm PT...
I don't speak for Brad, of course, but personally I welcome your comment, Peg. And I thank Brad for providing a forum in which such comments can be posted. If the BradBlog is to be the last bastion of free speech, then I am honored to share it with you.
And speaking of "disgusting" and "people like this" ... if you can handle one more thoroughly disgusting item, read this piece about Tom Feeney and what he wants to 'accomplish' in Washington.
Hang in there, Peg. And keep up the good fight.
COMMENT #22 [Permalink]
said on 12/29/2004 @ 10:10 pm PT...
Thank you, "patriot"...as I am...and I guess I'll plunge into your generously-offered "disgusting item." Should I hold my nose? Need I even ask?
I don't think I could be more incensed, but I'll investigate. If hands trembling with fury and a brain blazing with outrage before it even fully wakes up in the morning (it doesn't want to wake up) are any gauge, I am in the end-stage of outrage: outright rebellion.
Tax refusal, anyone? Do you REALLY want to be paying the bills for torture and slaughter? For a bloated corporatocracy that enriches itself and its "executives" at the expense of the people who keep it going - the workers and consumers?
Heavens, I can't stand even imagining the world I find myself in.
COMMENT #23 [Permalink]
said on 12/29/2004 @ 10:55 pm PT...
Why can't we cripple them economically like they're trying to cripple us? It takes massive numbers, I know, but maybe people will get down enough to act. This has been going on for so long, hopefully it's coming to a head. Boycotts work. We need leadership and organization. we need to pool our money and bypass the large banks. I'm not putting any of my money into unethical businesses. We need to apply the same sanctions against our own corrupt government that it applies to countries that don't want to conform to its criminal business practices. I've started. I'm waiting for everyone. I haven't had a television for 30 years, so I've got a head start on the media boycott.
Now if only I could get my votes to apply.
COMMENT #24 [Permalink]
said on 12/29/2004 @ 11:46 pm PT...
That's a good question, Teresa: "Why can't we cripple them economically like they're trying to cripple us?"
In many foriegn countries, dissidents have had success with a tactic called 'general strike'. It's not so much about not spending money, it's mostly about refusing to work.
When things are going smoothly, the corporations make money much faster than the workers; therefore when things bog down, the corporations lose a lot more than the workers do. So when a general strike is called, all the 'dissidents' call in sick, and rather than going to work, they go downtown. They gather in the commercial and governmental districts and block all the traffic. Then even those who do not support the strike can get nothing done.
Of course, a 'general strike' cannot be truly 'general' unless it is supported by a large percentage of the people. So, if I am reading our situation correctly, the thing we need to do most is to obtain more support.
But all is not lost; even according to the big media, 20% of Americans already know that the election was fraudulent, and that's without any big media publicity. From what we know about big media, it makes sense to assume that the true figure may be higher than 20%. Surely it isn't lower. So we're already a good part of the way there.
I think all of us have to start considering ourselves part of the 'dissident leadership' and trying to build that support. It'll come, if it does come, one supporter at a time. And none of the work will be easy. But ...
There's a lot to be learned from Thomas Paine, who wrote "Tyranny, like hell, is not easily conquered; yet we have this consolation with us, that the harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph."
COMMENT #25 [Permalink]
said on 12/30/2004 @ 3:46 am PT...
You make a good point, winter patriot:
"I think all of us have to start considering ourselves part of the 'dissident leadership'.
I love that concept. We hold the power. We just have to acknowledge it . It's concentric. You start from the self and work outward.
I think we have played victim long enough, and we must recognize our significance, individually. We have a right to live on this earth the way we want to. I believe we can have autonomy. You are so right. Progress comes with one enlightened individual at a time, slowly building momentum to be truly effective and long-lasting.
And I think we are somewhat immature , and look to charismatic peolple to show us the way. If we could see Curtis, Kerry, and the other participants as players in a common game, just doing their part, then we not expect too much, we would be less afraid of misguided people in power, we would all see our own contributions as valuable, and we would see ouselves as part of the leadership.
We do need to build support, and I, for one, want to do that, not through fear, but by arousing enthusiasm.
My military dog trainer friend said that reward was the best way to get a great dog.
COMMENT #26 [Permalink]
said on 12/30/2004 @ 6:24 am PT...
In my HUMBLE opinion:
You cannot build support as long as liberals are perceived to be clinging to rumor, innuendo, partisan desires, & their desires to get everybody else to believe as you do.
Intelligent people have looked at the elections, looked at what Kerry & the Democrats stood for; and voted against them. Nobody but partisans really believe the National election was unfair or fraudulently conducted (now Washington State is a different matter: we know the election was stolen from Rossi, don't we?)!
The best you can do is to work to make the Democrat party move right so that their umbrella encompasses more mainstream America.
COMMENT #27 [Permalink]
said on 12/30/2004 @ 6:30 am PT...
Teresa, go to BuyBlue.com, its not much, but its a start. The lady who runs it is getting some nasty mail, her name is Raven.
COMMENT #28 [Permalink]
said on 12/30/2004 @ 6:52 am PT...
COMMENT #29 [Permalink]
said on 12/30/2004 @ 7:19 am PT...
Brad pointed out that
They are now charging that "at least one of Mr. Curtisís former employers has stated under oath that Mr. Curtis is a pathological liar."
If this was in an affidavit as quoted above it would not be admissible, because it is a conclusion of ultimate fact.
It is the province of the jury, not a witness, to decide who is telling the truth.
Only the jury can determine the credibility of the witness, and only they can make such a determination.
In short, such a conclusion is not generally even admissible in evidence.
COMMENT #30 [Permalink]
Terri in S. FL
said on 12/30/2004 @ 7:28 am PT...
A couple things.
I printed out the list from BuyBlue.com and used it to do my Yule shopping. Whether you realize it or not, every purchase you make makes a political statement or supports some party. We knew this way back in the 60's when we started the food co-op's. I'll be sending Raven a thank you email at BuyBlue. Just this morning one of the radio talk wingnuts mentioned BuyBlue and tried to spin it as un-Ameican of lib-ruls to boycott these "patriotic" red companies. Two words wingnuts: Dixie Chicks.
Second point: why is it that freepers, like Jim, feel it necessary to tell liberals how to run their affairs. The most liberal (by some standards) Senator on the hill just recieved over 58 million votes. And that's evidence that the Dems should take a right turn? This, in spite of a hostile media, an unscrupulous Con spin machine, and case after case of voting shenangigans.
Con logic as fuzzy as Con math.
Just like 2000, it was the WILL OF THE MAJORITY that Kerry be elected in 2004. It's the election system that's broke, not the Democratic party (although there are some improvements needed). If Dems are doing anything wrong, it's constantly "mis-underestimating" just how low Cons are willing to go to maintain power. Here's a hint: No matter how bad you think it is, it's actually much worse.
As for the voting fraud being a liberal "partisan desire", it just seems odd that all the mistakes always seem to favor Booshco. Thousands of votes, buried deep in a black box that no one is allowed to look in to, and the errors ALWAYS swing Con. Really, what are the odds?
And yet, we should follow the advice of good goose steppers like Jim and just suck it up. Not today, not on MY watch! Not as long as there's one Progressive voice alive on this planet.
Again, to Brad and all of you "lib-ruls" fighting the good fight, I am so very proud of you. Here's hoping you all have a safe, happy and blessed New Year.
COMMENT #31 [Permalink]
said on 12/30/2004 @ 7:36 am PT...
Feeney's attorneys stress that the State of Florida Commission on Ethics found there was no probable cause to Mr. Curtis' assertions, this information has been currently renewed outside of the state of Florida and needs to be fully reviewed and investigated once again.
Their angle here is to build upon a foundation of "res judicata", which simply means "the thing has been adjudicated". Which means the fat lady has sung.
But that requires a competent forum with competent jurisdiction.
Usually this means a trial court has made a factual finding (via a jury for example), and the trial has passed appellate muster. Meaning the proceedings that established those facts stood up on appeal.
The Ethics tribunal in Florida does not seem to even come close to a body that would establish res judicata on the relevant facts being discussed.
The reporting of what went on about a congressional hearing has little to do with a limited Florida political tribunal deciding issues of Florida ethics.
It is more of the nature of the recent congressional hearings against Delay concerning ethical matters. These do not tend to establish res judicata, they are for internal discipline, not external finality.
COMMENT #32 [Permalink]
said on 12/30/2004 @ 8:29 am PT...
atty jim sez:
The Ohio judiciary just THREW out the so called Eaton "affidavit" that you all said was legal
What happened was that the Eaton affidavit was procedurally unsound. It was refused because of a technicality based upon pro forma requirements.
For an affidavit to be admissible in Ohio it must be like the Curtis affidavit. It must be based upon personal knowledge and be given under penalty of perjury.
The lawyer who filed the motion did it under emergency conditions, but nevertheless, I think the lawyer or the paralegals or both are incompetent up to this point on this issue. They sure as hell should have known how to do an affidavit.
At any rate, it only reached the issue of whether or not to protect the evidence. The Justice pointed out that Ohio law already makes it a crime to tamper with or destroy evidence of the type they sought to, in an emergency motion, protect.
And it was not the "Ohio judiciary" it was one justice. That same justice also refused to recuse himself from the case. This is a travesty.
The reason is that another justice was appointed by the Governor to handle "another aspect" of the case. The problem is that the same set of facts will be "found" by two seperate trials now.
The underlying allegations are so entertwined that two justices are likely to have different rulings on evidence admissibility, credibility, and weight given in various instances.
In other words if a voting machine scenario in the presidential race requires expert testimony and personal testimony of various witnesses, Justice Moyer will have to issue findings of fact and conclusions of law.
The "other case" that O'Connor is handling (the election of Moyer) contains the exact same set of facts, experts, and law witnesses. She will have to issue findings of fact and conclusions of law.
If these are truly independent and seperate hearings with the same evidence and witnesses, there is a likelihood of conflicting rulings.
At a minimum it is a waste of time to have two hearings on the same facts.
But Justice Moyer declined to recuse himself and to let Justice O'Conner hear the factual aspects of the case alone.
COMMENT #33 [Permalink]
said on 12/30/2004 @ 8:52 am PT...
Revolutions are waged by a minority of the population, including the American Revolution. The revolution in Iraq against occupation and exploitation is being waged by a minority of the population. It's just the nature of revolutions. A small percentage organizes and conducts the revolution, while most people sit on the sidelines and still others, like attorney Jim, support the corrupt status quo. Revolutions can take many forms, but there is no question, America is in need of Round 2.
COMMENT #34 [Permalink]
said on 12/30/2004 @ 10:05 am PT...
Here we are arguing about politics and elections and now some are saying there may be 400,000 dead in Indonesia! Nothing is moving on some islands! Some are GONE!
Unbelievable tragedy in biblical proportions.
For a few days we need to quit squabbling and get them the help they need --- from the whole world now, not just America!
COMMENT #35 [Permalink]
said on 12/30/2004 @ 10:23 am PT...
Jimmy-boy: Agreed that the situation in Indonesia is catastrophic, to say the least.
Why it even got Bush to come out and comment on it - *EVENTUALLY*. Poor guy was on vacation and everything, after all. Awww.
"Bush Biking, Relaxing at Texas Ranch
By Deb Riechmann / Associated Press
CRAWFORD, Texas - Besides monitoring the devastating earthquake in Southeast Asia, President Bush is biking and strolling around his ranch here and pondering tax reform and other goals in his second term.
"He's clearing some brush this morning," deputy White House press secretary Trent Duffy said Tuesday, adding that the president and first lady also planned to host friends at the ranch.
So, Jimmy-boy go ahead and take your "few days ... to quit squabbling", and we'll all miss you here.
And if you go and start a website dedicated to getting help for victims of the tragedy, then I'll be the first one there.
Meanwhile, the focus of concern at *THIS* web site is still ELECTION FRAUD.
And despite your wildest dreams, NONE of us are planning to stop talking about THAT until the TRUTH is known.
But it was a good try, Jimmy-boy.
COMMENT #36 [Permalink]
said on 12/30/2004 @ 12:12 pm PT...
Interesting you should mention biblical proportions. A horrific tragedy indeed, collectively and for all the individuals and their families. But maybe mother nature had a little help from George DUMBYA's buddies in the energy industry.
Check out winter patriot's find at his small site, http://winterpatriot.blogspot.com
Seems oil and gas companies may have (hopefully now under investigation instead of cover-up) triggered a massive earthquake (8.1) with seismic underwater sound blast testing just two days before the Indonesian quake on the Australian Tectonic Plate, which is connected with the Plate that caused the Tsunami two days later.
These tests have been evidently causing massive whale beachings and are conducted with the tax blessings of George DUMBYA's "coalition of the bribed" partner, the Australian government. Of course, our corporate mainstream media won't tell us this, but as usual, they're focused on the result and not the cause.
Something is definitely going on that needs further inquiry! As I had commented on within the last week, 8+ richter scale earthquakes are rare, but there have been several in this area in the past several months. Is our greed for the consumption of oil behind this tragedy, just as it is behind the tragedy of Iraq?
I'll let Winter Patriot take it from there, (don't mean to step on anybody's story or blogs) but this is something, like everything else, that should be brought to light, thoroughly investigated, and redressed.
COMMENT #37 [Permalink]
said on 12/30/2004 @ 12:21 pm PT...
They're suing the paper and not Curtis? I hope the Chronicle is smart and bring Curtis into the mix of an imminent lawsuit. Would the state investigators be able to explain their definition of 'having no probable cause'? A lawsuit would be in Feeney's worst interest as long as the paper argued that Curtis's affidavit is the issue and not journalistic technicality. If Curtis's story is false, than that weight has to fall on Curtis. Let them try to disprove the sworn affidavit (which they'll try to avoid). The Seminole Chronicle has to fight the smart fight, but PLEASE fight. There are a lot of us on your side.
COMMENT #38 [Permalink]
said on 12/30/2004 @ 12:46 pm PT...
kmsor cited Associated Press v Walker, 389 US 28 (1967).
That case cites a case with a strangely familiar name to it. The funny case is:
"Curtis Publishing Co. v Butts"
A link to it is below:
COMMENT #39 [Permalink]
said on 12/30/2004 @ 2:29 pm PT...
I've been reading all of this....do you really think that someone who has made it as far as Feeney has would be dumb enough to just say in front of a total stranger " oh....by the way, I want you to come up with a program that will defraud the entire United States of America".????? Considering that he was about to be the next speaker of the Florida House of Representatives, it does not seem logical!!! I've read and re-read the so-called "affidavit" and while I understand your desire to latch on to anything....I just can't buy it!
COMMENT #40 [Permalink]
said on 12/30/2004 @ 2:42 pm PT...
Do you think than somebody that made it as far as PRESIDENT NIXON would have been dumb enough to get caught, too?
Oops. Too late. President Nixon quite *certainly* was caught doing his dirty deeds. Compared to a sitting U.S. President, Feeney is *small-fry*.
So much for that line of "logical" thinking, Butch.
A much more "logical" approach to most people would be to take the allegations, one by one, and objectively check on their validity. After all, our freedom may depend on it.
When, amid the fact-checking, a company like YEI is proven to have been lying about (1) who it previously employed, and (2) "disgruntled" employees, a "logical" approach would conclude that something is fishy, and MORE IN-DEPTH research is required.
COMMENT #41 [Permalink]
said on 12/30/2004 @ 3:06 pm PT...
Whew! Thanks for the plug, Freebird, but there's no need to be careful about where you step. It's not my story, even though it is my blog.
And anyway, I didn't do any research on this. All I did was post some quotes from, and a link to, a story I had read.
Here's the original story. Read it if you wish, and decide for yourself.
Also, please notice that I am not looking at this as a conspiracy story. I don't think anyone deliberately set out to cause a tsunami. If the disaster was in fact triggered by human actions, it was most likely an accident. A horrible accident, though. If that's what it was.
We seem to have drifted a fair distance from the original point of this thread. That happens sometimes. Oh well.
COMMENT #42 [Permalink]
said on 12/30/2004 @ 3:14 pm PT...
Butch: I can see your argument. But I think you're forgetting something very important.
I agree that it seems strange for an elected official to do something that could ruin his reputation, his career, and his whole party. But I believe such an action would be much stranger in a low-level official than a high-level one.
We've seen it over and over, with politicians of all political stripes: Power corrupts. Absolute power corrupts absolutely. The higher the rank, the more hubris is involved. When people attain a high enough office, they start to see themselves as invincible. And then they start to think that they can get away with absolutely anything.
As MikeyCan has mentioned [good comment, MikeyCan!], this was one of the many things that toppled Richard Nixon. He thought he was above the law. At one point Nixon fed his 'buddy' John Mitchell to the wolves, in a vain attempt to stop the bleeding. And why? Because Mitchell was blackmailing the President.
Really! The Attorney General of the United States was trying to blackmail his own President! How absolutely does absolute power corrupt! They all thought they were above the law. Until it turned out that they weren't.
One more point needs to be mentioned. As far as I understand it, Feeney never told Curtis: "I want you to come up with a program that will defraud the entire United States of America." My understanding of the story is this: Curtis's first impression was that Feeney wanted to know how such a fraud could be done, because he wanted to prevent it. In other words, when Curtis was working on the prototype, he had the impression that Feeney was looking for a way to detect fraud, not a way to commit it.
Maybe I am wrong about this; possibly Brad can clarify things for us.
But I am quite confident of my main point: The fact that somebody holds a high elected office is no guarantee that he will behave honestly. Quite often, the higher the office, the more he will tend to believe that he can get away with anything!
COMMENT #43 [Permalink]
said on 12/30/2004 @ 4:00 pm PT...
Here is a good story on Bushie's "heroic" slow-motion response to the catasrophe in Indonesia.
After all, what is 3 days of extra waiting for help from the U.S. government to millions of homeless, starving people, eh Jimmy-boy?
COMMENT #44 [Permalink]
said on 12/30/2004 @ 4:12 pm PT...
I know Winter Patriot,
A tsunami is off our track here other than how it has consumed the latest news. Yet what angers me about that news coverage, like with the elections, an important possible cause-effect is completely ignored by corporate mainstream media when its disclosure may hurt or embarass a corporate or political connection.
Whatever happened, like you mentioned, it was either a tragic act of nature or tragic accident. The fact the Pentagon is working on and researching weapons to create weather and earthquake producing systems for military application should be cause for pause when you see the devastation of something you can't control once unleashed.
Of course, why should that stop them when we possess the greatest stockpiles of nuclear, chemical, and biological weapons in the world?
COMMENT #45 [Permalink]
said on 12/30/2004 @ 4:22 pm PT...
And please forgive me everyone if I make a quick PS:
If, indeed, oil and gas seismic sound blasts under the ocean are causing these earthquakes, shouldn't there be an immediate international moratorium on such tests untill it can be decided that their testing is safe, in order to avoid any further earthquakes and tsunamis that may cause even more death and destruction? Or is such a possible moratorium why the mainstream media is so silent?
COMMENT #46 [Permalink]
said on 12/30/2004 @ 5:02 pm PT...
OK, Freebird, I'll bite on the tsunami story again:
I don't think sound blasts can cause earthquakes. Earthquakes are caused by the monstrous forces that occur when tectonic plates move [as they do, quite naturally]. But I do think that human actions can possibly trigger such things. If a plate is ready to move, it's gonna move. It's just a question of when. It may well be that there was going to be a major earthquake --- or several of them --- in the area soon anyway. But please remember that, to a geologist, "soon" means "sometime in the next five or ten thousand years".
And here's my take on your question: "[S]houldn't there be an immediate international moratorium on such tests untill it can be decided that their testing is safe[?]"
It is quite possible that such tests are unsafe. And even if they were safe, it would be virtually impossible to prove that they were. So to enforce a moratorium against them until such time as they could be proven safe would be the equivalent of banning them forever.
I happen to believe that these tests are not only unsafe but also inordinately cruel to marine life, especially the animals that navigate by sonar. They have much more sensitive hearing than humans do, and the sounds [or to be more accurate, the shock waves] that we're talking about are way too loud for even us relatively deaf humans to tolerate.
The whales and dolphins which beached themselves in the days and weeks before the tsunami were probably driven out of their minds by the continuous shock-waves going on around them. "Can't stand it in the ocean anymore; the music is awful and it's way too loud!"
Does that remind you of anything? I've been reading lately that in Iraq, music that's awful and way too loud is used as a form of torture. But in the ocean it's regarded as "business as usual".
In my view there's nothing "usual" about this, and environmentalists have been complaining about it for as long as I can remember. Whether they can do anything about it is another question. If we can't even protect people from being tortured, how can we ever do anything for whales and dolphins?
This is only my opinion, but you are entirely welcome to share it.
COMMENT #47 [Permalink]
said on 12/31/2004 @ 3:24 am PT...
I think it is the height of arrogance to think that we can destroy the earth. It seems that the earth created us out of elements on its surface, for some good reason. Now she is dealing with her little monster, and it looks like we are being kicked out of the ocean for bad behavior.
You are absolutely right, winter patriot, about sonar, and about the use of music in Iraq-- continuous American hard rock, I believe, is the torture of choice. Hearing is the first sense to come in, I believe, and the last to leave. It continues for an hour after we die. It is the sense that connects us to the ouside world, even before we are born. And it governs our equilibrium and ability to navigate our environment, given the limited range of our eyes. Quite amazing. We pay good money to swim with the magical dolphins, professing all this love and admiration, then blow out their brains with our hideous noise-making in our typical hypocritical way.
Regarding the Biblical tragedy, and the USA ...Bush is playing with his beloved chain saw, right now, and probably trying to decide what to wear to his 40 million dollar party.
COMMENT #48 [Permalink]
said on 12/31/2004 @ 9:24 am PT...
Attny Jim said:
"Here we are arguing about politics and elections and now some are saying there may be 400,000 dead in Indonesia! Nothing is moving on some islands! Some are GONE!
Unbelievable tragedy in biblical proportions."
Not to belittle the extraordinary tragedy "Jim" points out, but just curious where his moral indignation was when our country, by our own hands and at our own option, decided to kill over 100,000+ (and counting) innocent civilians in Iraq?
Some tragedies, as caused by the forces of nature, may be unavoidable.
As many, if not more, are perfectly avoidable.
It is those tragedies and our culpability therein for which you, me, and most certainly "Attny Jim" will have to ultimately answer to...someone...for.
His selective "outrage" and immoral avoidance of some tragedies in preference of others is, for me at least, terribly disturbing.
COMMENT #49 [Permalink]
said on 12/31/2004 @ 1:22 pm PT...
I agree entirely, Brad. Or at least I agree with most of what you have said here.
But perhaps you will forgive me for pointing out that, contrary to Bush's repeated claims that "everybody thought Saddam Hussein had weapons", many people knew he didn't.
Among those who said so very publicly were Hans Blix and Scott Ritter, both of whom were outrageously smeared, not only for daring to tell the truth, but even more for continuing to tell it, even after they came under fire for doing so.
There were many other people [including --- ahem --- some of us here] who knew it too, and who said so at every opportunity. I was listening to Radio Sweden every day while Hans Blix was in Iraq, and Blix was speaking to the Swedish media every day. And every day he said virtually the same thing: "No problems here. We can go anywhere we want. We can see anything we want. We just can't find any weapons."
To those who were paying attention, it was amply clear that the WMD charge against Iraq was phony. So, clearly, was the allegation of a link between Iraq and 9/11. If Bush really wanted to punish those responsible for the tragedy of 9/11, he would have at least permitted a full investigation of the event. But of course he couldn't afford to do that, because of where it would lead and what it would uncover.
And now that the first set of pretexts for invading Iraq have been shown to be false, Bush wants us to believe that he is serious about bringing 'democracy' to the Middle East. Everyone in the entire world, except for some very vocal and thoroughly brainwashed freepers in the USA, know that this claim is patently untrue. If Bush actually cared about democracy, he and his friends would not be so busy subverting it here. But of course in that case, Bush never would have become president at all.
In my opinion, it is the people who supported [and who continue to support] this blatantly phony war, and the people who supported [and who continue to support] this blatantly phony president, who are going to have to answer for their crimes. The honest and peaceful people, like Hans Blix and Scott Ritter, and --- ahem --- some of us here, have nothing to worry about in that regard. We've tried as hard as we could, not only to prevent this war in the first place but also to get it stopped as soon as possible, and we're continuing to do so.
I wish a very Happy New Year to all the honest and peaceful people of the world, such as Hans Blix and to Scott Ritter, and --- ahem --- some of us here as well.
A modicum of human decency [or maybe a touch of the holiday spirit] prevents me from saying what I wish for the others. But that hardly matters. Their day is coming.
COMMENT #50 [Permalink]
said on 1/1/2005 @ 10:00 am PT...
Might I suggest an English Law precedent for this?
The Seminole Chronicle might wish to consider using the answer given in the celebrated case of Arkle Versus Pressdram, where the the reply of the defendents (Pressdram, the publishers of Private Eye - a satirical magazine) to a similar threatening letter from lawyers was as follows:
COMMENT #51 [Permalink]
said on 1/1/2005 @ 4:07 pm PT...
COMMENT #52 [Permalink]
said on 1/1/2005 @ 9:37 pm PT...
Thanks to Rick Worth. That's a great comment and a wonderful idea. I'd like to see it tried more often, not only in the case in question but in a few other cases too.
COMMENT #53 [Permalink]
said on 11/11/2005 @ 7:50 am PT...
I worked for both these guys for many years (O'Quinn and Feeney); I'm not surprised by these stories. It's kinda standard procedure. If you looked deeper, you would be shocked.
COMMENT #54 [Permalink]
said on 11/11/2005 @ 7:52 am PT...
I worked for both these guys for many years (O'Quinn and Feeney); I'm not surprised by these stories. It's kinda standard procedure. If you looked deeper, you would be shocked.