“[F]eminists adore trigger warnings because it reinforces the idea that women are ruled by their emotions, are incapable of recovering from trauma and are just generally hysterical nitwits unprepared to confront adulthood and reality.” (source)
I do not think much of Julien Blanc. That much has made its rounds on the internets due to a letter I wrote. I did not release that letter to the public, so I do not want to link to it.
Despite having a very negative opinion of Blanc, I was dismayed to see this — that he has been denied a visa to enter the UK because of his thoughts. (source)
As objectionable as I find Mr. Blanc, I find no justification to deny a guy entry to your country, because you’re afraid that he will speak bad words.
Fuck the UK. For no other reason than they finally went and did something that makes me side WITH Julien Blanc.
I’m sure you’ve heard the rumors. Some woman claims that Bill Cosby raped her 30 years ago. He allegedly gave her a pill and some wine. Did it happen? I dunno. Maybe I just don’t want to believe that Bill Cosby would ever do anything bad to anyone.
So for now, I’m in the “anything could be true, but doesn’t sound legit” camp.
I would, however, like to take sides against him on one thing, and one thing only. His lawyer’s attempt to claim that a demand letter sent to Buzzfeed is “confidential.” (source)
For those of you who are regular readers, you already know that this is bullshit, because you read “I DECLARE CONFIDENTIALITY!“
No, not the rape thing. The real bullshit is at the top:
CONFIDENTIAL LEGAL NOTICE
PUBLICATION OR DISSEMINATION IS PROHIBITED
No. Wrong. Jesus Hello Kitty Christ on a Rocket-Powered Toboggan, NO!
It is NOT confidential.
You CAN disseminate it.
I have no idea what E-Ventures does. Here’s their website. You figure it out. For all I know, it is the next big thing.
I do know that it brought what seems to be a doomed claim. (Complaint)
Apparently, Google decided that E-Ventures had behaved a little “spammy.” That seems strange to me, since I can’t recall the last time Google made a decision like that. Nevertheless, Google decided to de-list a bunch of E-Ventures’ websites from its directory.
So, now E-Ventures filed a lawsuit over Google’s search results (or lack thereof).
I started writing this post when I first saw the complaint, but one thing led to another and I didn’t have time to write a full post. Fortunately, a San Francisco court essentially did it for me. Google’s search results are its expression, as protected by the First Amendment. Google just won an Anti-SLAPP motion on what seems to functionally be the same exact theories. (source)
I see E-Ventures’ philosophical point. Google is essentially sky net. Lets presume for a second that E-Ventures is an ethical company. Google has every right to just decide to de-list them because they feel like it. That’s their right. Should it be? Maybe not. Maybe Google is so ubiquitous that it should be nationalized. But, we don’t do that here, and we sure as shit don’t compel a search engine to list anything it doesn’t want to list.
This seemed like a dumb-as-hell lawsuit from its inception. As Wolman commented, Paragraph 63 of the complaint essentially says that by Google refusing to speak about E-Ventures, this is defamation.
But, the San Francisco ruling gives that position (that the complaint is stupid) some nice clear authority to rely upon.
Unfortunately, this being Florida, there is no Anti-SLAPP statute. Florida has Fla. Stat. § 57.105, which (if you read the text of it) should result in sanctions against the plaintiff. At this point, so should Rule 11. I can virtually guarantee that it won’t. But, it damn well should.
Most people think that first the Berlin wall fell, and then East Germans got their freedom. “The Collapse: The Accidental Opening of the Berlin Wall,” a recent book by Mary Elise Sarotte explains that it is the opposite.
Whereas the larger context of perestroika and the attractions of the West played an important role, the decisive factor was the conduct of provincial actors—information smugglers, pastors, artists, students, journalists and housewives who met every week mostly at churches, and slowly undermined the regime. (source)
But what made the wall fall?
Apparently, Communist Party Official Günter Schabowski did not know how to handle a press conference. (source) He bungled a question, leading to confusion about a plan to relax travel restrictions a little bit.
The East German government was not, at that time, really all that ready to thaw. There was almost a German Tiananmen Square massacre in Leipzig. (source) And why not? There were no consequences for it in China.
There is a journalist’s credo that one should report the news, not be the news. But, as we remember the fall of the Berlin Wall, lets remember the journalists who simply questioned the Wall out of existence. In doing so, they threw a spark on tinder that was waiting to burn.
I received an inquiry from a party who needs First Amendment counsel in Florida. I have a conflict, so I can’t do it.
It is pro bono or perhaps super-duper low bono.
It will be fun. (It is representing three individuals against Roca Labs in Broward County)
Contact me at mjr at randazza dot com for details if you are interested and licensed in Florida.