Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Yes, You Can Say a Fat-Cat Businessman Commits "Legalized Highway Robbery"

Three years ago, daTruthSquad faced a taxpayer-funded lawsuit initiated by what you can describe as some politicians that were way "too big for their britches." In the end, thanks to the Electronic Frontier Foundation, they affirmed our right to hand out "BaconHead Awards" if we so choose, and say that Manalapan taxpayers could lose and lose big their case of "DaTownship of Manalapan vs Da Mosked Man," which of course, they not only lost big, but, as daTruthSquad claimed can and would happen when they lost, da town would face a potential defamation lawsuit and a lawsuit for wrongful prosecution brought by da then-defendant in da case - da Mosked Man.

DaTruthSquad was sued using a subpoena that was for all intensive purposes illegal and unenforceable, something even da prosecution bringing da case would later be forced to admit. When da case was heard by a judge, da case brought by da Manalapan Legal Dream Team crumbled much like a 3-piece suit bought at a 99 cent store. A case that even then-Mayor and current Manalapan Mayor Andy Boy said cost "in excess of $100,000" was tossed out by a judge on First Amendment grounds, becoming a precedent-setting First Amendment law case, and later forced to be dropped by Manalapan's Dream Team after 25 months of taxpayer-funded legal billing!

Almost sounds like someone should write a book about that.

While you can't scream "fire' in a crowded theater, you can speak your mind, and you should be allowed to do just that without fear of retribution. In Pennsylvania, an anonymous blogger took aim at a company he or she believed wasn't doing things above-board. The anonymous blogger wrote about USA Technologies and its CEO, George Jensen, Jr. (no relation to the futuristic comic guy who worked for "Spacely Sprockets), writing and "drawing attention to plummeting stock prices, high compensation rates for executives, and a consistent lack of profitability."

Da blogger in this case wrote da company in question was a "Not one penny profit in this fugly company's sad history, yet millions have been paid in bonuses and directors fees," "Da top 2 people at USAT have skimmed $30 million from this hugely unprofitable venture," "Definition of 'soft Ponzi?"

Da blogger also wrote," The NASDAQ Small and Micro Cap exchanges are lousy with scam companies that, if they were limited partnerships, would have closed their doors in short order. USAT is a failure. It always was; it always will be. Jensen is a known liar. Several years ago (my memory fails; approx 2005-06; perhaps someone can nail down the exact year), he assured investors that USAT would be profitable in the same fiscal year. The company didn’t even come close. No apologies, no explanations, no nothing. Just more spin."

There was more that this anonymous blogger wrote, but da point here is, da company didn't like someone writing anything negative about it, so they, much like Manalapan Township's politicians did three years ago, filed a lawsuit to out da blogger.

Good news for da First Amendment - They failed.

Da reason they failed is thanks to da law firm of Phillips, Erlewine & Given LLP and da Electronic Frontier Foundation, who they went to court to challenge da deep-pocketed company's attorneys and in da end, da court took this case, crumbled it up, and tossed it into da garbage can.

First, it's already been proven in court that the right to speak anonymously extends to speech via the Internet.

Second, another case proved that "Internet anonymity facilitates the rich, diverse, and far ranging exchange of ideas."

Third, another case deemed "People who have committed no wrong should be able to participate online without fear that someone who wishes to harass or embarrass them can file a frivolous lawsuit and thereby gain the power of the court's order to discover their identity."

Fourth, just as da Manalapan Legal Dream Team discovered when they went after daTruthSquad at taxpayer expense, their case against daTruthSquad was "an unjust infringement on the blogger's First Amendment rights."

In da end, da case was tossed by a judge, because much like da Manalapan Legal Dream Team in da case against daTruthSquad, they failed to establish a prime facie case, or any case for that matter worthy of note against this particular blogger in question.

Why bring all of this up?

There are people out there who either don't like anonymous blogging, or don't like their dirty laundry washed in public, or think they are too big for their own britches for whatever reason.

DaTruth is, anyone has the right to anonymously blog, and people also have the right to not like it, or like it if they prefer. If you don't like it - don't read it.

DaTruth is, it's safe to say nobody likes their dirty laundry aired for others to read. However opinions have a right, and a legal right in this great nation, and whether they like it or not, we da people have been given da right in da Constitution and Bill of Rights to Freedom of Speech, and we should be free of persecution to exercise that Freedom of Speech. There are some who, either using their business clout, or township's taxpayer money, or even on their own allegedly using their own $$$$ to take anonymous critics to court to out them. In this great nation, they have that right. However, they and those who support their ventures should also remember that there are great attorneys out there who know and understand da Constitution, and da rights of individuals for Free Speech, and understand right from wrong, and they should be made aware that da Constitution is not something that you should be trying to make a paper airplane out of.

There will always be those who think they are too big for their britches, or wear expensive suits who feel they can intimidate or for whatever reason and file lawsuits for things they don't like.

Fortunately for all of us, there are legal experts who can see through all of this and do da right thing for da little guy or gal.

And, if you have any questions, da Electronic Frontier Foundations has a "Bloggers Rights" page that will answer all of your questions - as it has answered ours.

And, as David M. Given of Phillips, Erlewine & Given LLP said in response to his victory in the Pennsylvania case, "The First Amendment principle at stake in this case is paramount to preserving the free interchange of ideas and opinions on the Internet."

That's what our brave men and women who fought in wars in rice paddies and French forests, mountains in Afghanistan and islands in the Pacific fought for, as well as here at home in places like Bunker Hill and right down the street in Monmouth - for our rights to liberty and Freedom of Speech. And we remember each and every one of them this Memorial Day.

And that's daTruth.


Anonymous said...

We'll probably never know how much money Andy and Michelle spent on that lawsuit. So much for transparancy in government. I hope Andy doesn't use that mantra to run on.

Anonymous said...

Let that be a lesson to ANYONE who tries to warp the First Amendment for their own perverted reasons.

Re: ' there are great attorneys out there who know and understand da Constitution, and da rights of individuals for Free Speech, and understand right from wrong' said...

We see not-so-great attorneys (who think they are great) claim all the First Amendment rights and privileges for themselves and their partisans but not extend them to anyone with contrary opinions.

In a startling example, one of those not-so-greats loudly and publicly pushed the Moskovitz case and was apparently derelict in failing to warn the plaintiff of the folly of her actions. Of course, the plaintiff is well known not to take lightly any contrary suggestions.

But the not-so-great saw fit to place political expediency far above any respect for basic constitutional principles like the First Amendment. Worse, it seems as if we are witnessing a sordid continuation or repetition of that maniacal lunacy in the Chief Brown case.

american war veteran said... american soldiers died for your right to defame people anonymously?

Anonymous said...

The first amendment protects the anonymity of someone who commits libel? Could you show me the case that says that?

Anonymous said...

Whom you referring to about having been libeled?

Anonymous said...

OK vet, where and when did you serve?

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

I like that Bordentown Mayor Sucks site. Nice job Squad of standing by a blogger in need.

Anonymous said...

Some of these big business people seem to have forgotten that that they live in this great nation, and without capitalism and our Constitution they'd have nothing. Bravo for this Pennsylvania blogger. More power to him.

Anonymous said...

"George" has not won a single decision on libel in any court. And that is a 35-year history of losing.