Charles Carreon, The Arizona Kid

For the sake of ornament and illumination.

Re: Charles Carreon, The Arizona Kid

Postby admin » Fri Jul 24, 2015 4:12 am

The Crucifixion of David Geithner, In Which Gawker Learns the Meaning of "Don't Shit Where You Eat," and Conde Nast Gets a Clue About What to Do With Reddit
by Charles Carreon
July 23, 2015

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Condé Nast

Condé Montrose Nast, founder of the Conde Nast publishing empire, found his métier selling advertising for Collier’s Weekly back at the start of the last century. He had a knack for finding the unexploited niche. He bought Vogue and Vanity Fair and grew them into arbiters of culture. House & Garden, Glamour, Travel, and other special interest publications harvested a fortune in advertising revenue. He died in 1942, having lost most of his fortune in the Great Depression. Today, “Conde Nast Publications” the dba of “Advance Magazine Publishers, Inc.” is at the center of an international media corporation such as the founding Condé could not likely have imagined. But in an ironic twist, the old advertising man’s ghost may have put the stake in the heart of that feckless media outlet known as Gawker.

Don’t Shit Where You Eat

Let’s start by discussing Gawker’s faux pas du jour, outing David Geithner, brother of the former Treasury Secretary, for the sin of trying to meet with a gay porn star at the Four Seasons and make love like crazed weasels, as Akbar and Jeff might have put it. Somehow, all of the news media appears to be missing the obvious angle on this story, that clearly illustrates the wisdom of that old aphorism: “Don’t shit where you eat.”

Nick Denton, Gawker’s founder, has told the world that he engaged in some soul-searching, and realized that Gawker had crossed some line that only he can see:

“The point of this story was not in my view sufficient to offset the embarrassment to the subject and his family…”


But the New York Times captured this far more salient quote:

“If the post had remained up, we probably would have triggered advertising losses this week into seven figures.”


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Gee, why would Gawker have been at risk of suffering over a million a week in advertising losses? Since their total ad revenue last year was only $45 Million, it sounds like they were essentially about to have their plug pulled. Well, maybe this factoid has something to do with it: David Geithner, the victim of the gay-outing story, is Conde Nast’s Chief Financial Officer. Which is discoverable by googling “David+Geithner+LinkedIn”. See my stellar research results above, with David’s features compassionately blurred. Hmmm, you would think that an editor like Tommy Craggs, who teaches Journalism at NYU, and purportedly resigned in a fit of pique when Gawker pulled the Geithner piece, might have sniffed out the fact that they were about to embarrass a man who is not only politically connected at the highest levels of U.S. politics, but also was in a position to throttle Gawker’s flow of advertising dollars. David Geithner has a contact list with many billion dollar names in it. When a man like David Geithner is unhappy, cornered, endangered, he does have resources to strike back. And he did.

Gawker Media’s Offshore Incorporation In the Media-Unfriendly Cayman Islands – A Strange Choice for A First Amendment Fundamentalist

Gawker Media, parent company for Gawker, Deadspin, and Jezebel, relies on the First Amendment to legitimize what it does: embarrass and pick people apart whose primary sin is having a name that can serve as link-bait. Gawker’s so dedicated to the American Way, and so fearless of legal consequences of its irresponsible web-speech, that it’s incorporated in the Cayman Islands. As we know, that’s where corporations hide their money to avoid paying taxes in the U.S. But what you may not know is that it’s got very media-unfriendly libel laws, [1] and maintains a list of banned books, magazines, and trade publications that it is a crime to import into the islands. [2] Ah, well, as Mark Twain breezily said of his choices for the afterlife: “Hell for company, Heaven for climate.”

Wrestling With A Greater Force

I do think Hulk Hogan, who’s suing Gawker Media for publishing a sex tape of the wrestler grappling in the nude with the wife of a friend, might want to consider filing suit in the Caymans. Hogan’s lawsuit, filed in Florida, has apparently put the fear into Denton. When trial was delayed earlier this year, the New York Post quoted Denton: “‘I will be able to take a summer vacation after all,’ he said, visibly breathing a sigh of relief.”

During this lawsuit, signs of desperation have emerged. Denton has disclosed disappointing financial results for Gawker Media in an apparent effort to minimize the risk of a large punitive damages award. [3] Gawker has tried to prevent the Cayman Islands incorporation of Gawker Media from coming before the jury, and his lawyers have pushed the strained theory that Hogan, whose true name is Terry Bollea, conspired with the FBI to alter the evidence [4]:

Gawker Lawyer: “In my judgment Mr. Bollea has used the arms of the federal grand jury to try and suppress [evidence] … I didn’t know that the FBI was in the business of doing that…”

The Court: “Well, I would be very surprised if that’s what’s going on here. I realize why it’s in your best interests to say something like that, but I would be very surprised to say that’s going on.”


Gawker’s Labor Troubles and the GamerGate Revenue Hit

Gawker Media is a real cool company to work for anyway, or at least that’s what Gawker’s unpaid interns thought until they decided to file a class-action lawsuit under the Fair Labor Standards Act for their unpaid years of working at Gawker from 2008 - 2010. The lawsuit has been certified as a class action, and Gawker is now battling over procedural issues, such as whether, as Gawker's lawyers argue, the plaintiffs should be prevented from using the “inflammatory” Twitter hashtags “#fairpay” and “#livingwage” to notify their fellow class-members of their eligibility to participate in the case. Seriously -- “fair pay” is inflammatory? You can see Nick Denton peering down at the New York plebes swarming the sidewalks below his corner office, grumbling to himself, “Fair labor, my ass! Communism!”

Gawker’s lawyers also are trying to prevent the plaintiffs from linking to online material about Gawker’s “GamerGate” troubles – that the lawyers characterize as an “unrelated political issue.” Whatever the judge concludes, the financial community paid plenty of attention to GamerGate. What happened there? Poor little old Gawker has been crying the blues, claiming it got “rolled” by the “dishonest fascists of Gamergate,” that Gawker author Max Read called “a campaign of dedicated anti-feminist internet trolls using an ill-informed mob of alienated and resentful video game-playing teenagers and young men to harass and intimidate female activist, journalists, and critics.”

Well, that’s not a very nice thing to say about your readership, is it now? Gawker has been the news outlet of choice for alienated and resentful video game-playing teenagers. Gawker claims that the Gamergaters injured its revenues with an effective, damaging campaign to get major advertisers to pull their ads from Gawker, but it seems equally likely that it was angry social warriors who set about damaging Gawker’s advertising revenue picture. It's hard to know where the truth lies when all the reportage on the issue is from Gawker itself, that is simultaneously trying to keep psycho gamer bullies from destroying its business model without alienating those casually sadistic mainstream readers who think that scandal and public humiliation are good fun so long as they don't get "out of hand." Trotting out the schizophrenic Gawker party line, Read wrote:

“Mercedes-Benz—listed on the site as a former partner, and therefore a target—briefly paused its ads on a network that serves ads to Gawker. I've been told that we've lost thousands of dollars already, and could potentially lose thousands more, if not millions. Consequently, the editorial director of Gawker Media, Joel Johnson, took to the front page of Gawker to clarify that Sam Biddle does not want to bully anyone, and that Gawker Media as a company and institution is not pro-bullying.”


Gawker’s (former) Editor Tommy Craggs’ Journalistic Ethics: “The Measure of Scurrilousness Your Brand Will Bear”

Tommy Craggs, the Gawker editor who reportedly “resigned” when Denton pulled the David Geithner smear piece, is one of the die-hard Free Hate-Speech editors who have been substituting malice and injury for insight and clarity in the journalistic profession. He has a job at NYU teaching sports journalism, because he became an important guy when he worked at the Gawker sports-site, Deadspin, where he apparently fostered sports scandals for a living. Craggs was gifted in this field, because he was quicker to publish the questionable statements of unreliable witnesses than his competitors, or perhaps, allowed his reporters to imagine having heard things that were never said.

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Just about a year ago, while at Deadspin, Craggs was forced to retract an article about a Republican Congressman, Cory Gardner, entitled “Is a Colorado Senate Candidate Lying About His Football Career?”The football “career” referred to by Deadspin, that usually covers college and professional sports, was Rep. Gardner’s high school career as a varsity footballer. Gardner had joked that his school was so small that he played both offense and defense positions because there were not enough student players to allow them to specialize. Gawker’s “source,” a fellow who knew Gardner back in his high school days, later denied misinforming Gawker about the facts, telling the Denver Post that during high school, Rep. Gardner “was not a starter, but he played in those years.” The Daily Caller’s Alex Griswold laid into Deadspin "reporter" Dave McKenna for his “reportage” of totally false facts after Rep. Gardner posted a photo of himself dressed in football gear, wearing his high school jersey:

“It isn’t entirely clear why McKenna thought a Senate candidate’s offhand comment about his high school football days was worthy of such serious inquiry to begin with, but perhaps his characterization of Gardner’s views as ‘homo-hatin’ and climate-change-denyin’ conservatism’ ought to give you a clue.” [6]


Yes, you can see there’s nothing like being too eager to throw a brickbat to screw up your aim. Typically, Craggs blamed the source for the slanderous publication: “After the story was published, the main source we’d relied on reversed himself on a key point….” Because, you know, Gawker’s always right.

Gawker’s slander of Rep. Gardner was overlooked as a bit of necessary roughness inflicted by a man who had earned his bones by toppling a modern-day legend -- Manti Te’o – the Notre Dame football player who was fooled by a love-besotted gay Internet prankster, who impersonated a young woman to flirt online with Teo, a guileless Mormon, then kicked the hoax over the top, telling Te'o the girl had died in a heart-wringingly tragic fashion. Te'o's teammates took over at that point, making her their posthumous mascot, for whom with the latter-day fervor of chivalrous knights seeking the grail for the glory of their lady, they battled their way to Catholic grid-iron glory on the fields hallowed by Knut Rockne, as played by Ronald Reagan. When presented with the possibility of breaking this story, Craggs, without texting a picture of his penis, IM'd his source: “Oh man, I have such a hard-on. I want this story. I want it I want it I want it.”

Craggs was hailed for having scooped ESPN and the major media, but in the aftermath of the celebration, it turned out that there was no evidence that Manti Te’o himself was anything other than a victim of the hoax. The National Sports Journalism Center (NSJC) questioned Craggs about whether it was journalistically proper to quote a “friend” of Manti’s as saying he was “80% sure” the footballer was in on the hoax, [7] and Craggs was dismissive of the charge, replying, “This is a concern troll’s complaint. It’s moronic.” [8] Craggs responded to the NSJC reporter’s questions with bellicose rants, disclosing without being asked, that he never tried to contact the football player, Notre Dame, or family members who might have offered his side of the story. Explaining the "no rules" rule that Gawker lives by, he inadvertently revealed what can only be called a sociopathic editorial policy:

“We’re a tabloid at heart. You ask if we have a policy. There is no policy for this, or for anything, really. The whole point of the company is that we trust our reporters to be smart and judicious without having to adopt the ethical pretense that what they’re doing is anything but a sort of professionalized rudeness. I’ll get killed for this, but: Journalism ethics is nothing more than a measure of the scurrilousness your brand will bear. That’s it. Ethics has nothing to do with the truth of things, only with the proper etiquette for obtaining it, so as to piss off the fewest number of people possible.”


Well, the day came when Gawker pissed off not only a large number of people, but a large number of rich people who buy advertising from Gawker. And Craggs was right – they didn’t want to reveal the truth, they wanted to hide it, because a very powerful man was being hurt. The smell of shit had invaded the cafeteria.

In trying to figure out why Tommy Craggs is a bellicose, self-justifying turd-slinger, we can shortcut heavy analysis. He doesn’t really like to work, and he thinks he’s a journalistic genius who oozes worldly wisdom. You pick up on that when you read the "syllabus" for his sports-writing class at the Arthur L. Carter Journalism Institute, where he described the six weeks of classwork with a repetitious recitation that aims to be droll but comes off as smug and lazy:

Tentative syllabus, subject to complete revision if I come up with some better ideas:

Week 1: Blogging. We'll talk about the advantages and disadvantages of writing about sports from your couch.

Week 2: Beat reporting/statistics. We'll talk about the advantages and disadvantages of writing about sports from a press box. We'll look at statistically informed sportswriting, and the idiotic civil war that erupted a decade or so ago over the rise of analytics.

Week 3: Column writing. How to craft an argument. How not to craft an argument. How not to come off like a dull, sermonizing crank less interested in sports as an entertaining spectacle than as an apparatus of moral justice.

Week 4: Features. We'll dissect some of the great works of sports journalism.

Week 5: Investigations/FOIA. We'll look at the many underutilized tools at an enterprising sportswriter's disposal.

Week 6: Scandal reporting/presentation of final assignments.


You know, this class Tommy Craggs is teaching is supposed to be happening “this summer,” so there may be time to catch that last class on “scandal reporting.” He’s really mastered the art, at this point, I think all would agree. As the New York Times said in its July 21, 2015 front page article entitled "2 Gawker Editors Resign Over Article's Removal":

“When Gawker posted an article on Thursday night about a married male media executive’s futile attempt to hire a gay escort, it was hoping to create a scandal.

But this was not the scandal it had in mind.”


The 80/20 Rule

Have you heard of the 80/20 rule? According to this rule, said to apply generally to dynamic systems, 80% of the traffic runs on 20% of the roads, businesses earn 80% of their profits from 20% of their customers, etc. It applies negatively as well – a business gets 80% of its problems from 20% of its customers. In this case, Gawker is getting 80% of its problems from 20% of its content, and I suspect that much of that toxic 20% has been flowing from the pens of Craggs’ bilious minions.

Ignorance Has A Price

We might say that the problem comes from Craggs’ belief that “Ethics has nothing to do with the truth of things, only with the proper etiquette for obtaining it…” Such a blithe attitude towards truth, and the reduction of ethics to a matter of procedure, will always lead to self-destructive arrogance that ignores first one norm of conscience, then another, then another, until at last, the entire sense of responsibility to society for one’s actions completely collapses.

A person reduced to that condition cannot even remember basic rules like, “Don’t shit where you eat.” A company like Conde Nast may not have a cool site name like Gawker, or its own troll army, but it can still protect its CFO from an Internet lynching. David Geithner was not a man to be trifled with. He sits where the original Conde Montrose Nast sat – in the office where the money gets counted, and the checks get written. In this age, and every age, ink-stained wretches have done the dirty work of the powerful, and rarely rise up against them. Like Buzzfeed, that got busted pulling posts that slammed its advertisers, Gawker has been revealed cravenly bending its knee before power. I can hear satisfied laughter issuing from the grave where Condé Montrose Nast rests.

People Who Live in Glass Houses Shouldn't Fund Stone-Throwing Competitions

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David Geithner had the power to take down a Gawker post after it had already been read 400,000 times. That is a not inconsiderable power, as the departure of Craggs the Ogre indicates. True vileness will not abide suppression, and whatever Geithner did to pull in the chokechain on Denton's penile shaft, Craggs felt the pressure on his own throat. The separation of Denton and Craggs at this point may have required surgical intervention from lawyers working overtime to manage the extraction.

Whatever the terms of Craggs' departure agreement, I assure you they were not amicable, or unprofitable to Craggs. Denton has too many problems living like gremlins in his office, threatening to hurl him down from his ultramontane heights into the surging crowds of nobodies below, to tolerate any more endangerment of Gawker's fragile financial status. He's got to get rid of the crazies now, and the king of the crazies was Craggs. When Denton sent his missive to those disgruntled by the takedown of the Geithner post, telling them that he certainly understood that they might want to enjoy freer speech elsewhere, I do believe he was saying "don't let the door bump you in the ass on the way out."

Now you've got to wonder whether David Geithner is going to clean his own house. After all, he stood silently by, counting cash, and fiddling with spreadsheets, while Ellen Pao was burned alive at the stake by Reddit communities whose bandwidth is paid for by Conde Nast, that owns that entire stockyards/slaughterhouse operation. That is the business that Reddit is in, right? It sure as hell smells like about 10,000 cows shitting on each other, about to die. While Ellen was burning, Geithner was fiddling like Nero, you might say, because Ellen was his employee, and the symbol of corporate authority at Reddit. By spending his time hooking up with boytoys instead of managing his business responsibly and humanely, he created a hazardous environment for himself. When it exploded into flames around him, he should have thought, "I shouldn't have let all of those flammable materials build up at Reddit, and I should have realized that what happened to Ellen could happen to me." But he probably still hasn't thought that.

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Even now, the crucifixion of David Geithner is being sold as the moment of redemption for a sick Internet. Thanks to the sacrifice of a young, noble, white man, the minds of the mighty have been turned towards a weighty problem. Additionally, the psychic murder of Ellen Pao is being covered up by the glad tidings of Geithner's resurrection. His suffering, and the subsequent reestablishment of the primacy of money as the final bulwark of moral worth, has put the publishing world right. The bullies have been reduced to servants subordinate to the right of the lord to have first place in human society. Thou shalt not cast stones at the mighty.

But David Geithner looks all about him and sees the broken windows that once provided lovely views, and feels the howling wind that they once kept out. Surely he is free now to separate himself from the mob of unruly stonethrowers, and like Denton, who has found repentance at the bottom of an emptying checkbook, adopt a practical morality. People who live in glass houses are ill advised to fund stone throwing competitions.

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Notes:

1. “A Reprobate’s Best Friend,” by D. Marchant http://www.compasscayman.com/cfr/2012/0 ... libel-law/
2. “Banned Books, Libel, Voodoo, remain criminal in Cayman Islands” http://repeatingislands.com/2015/02/19/ ... n-islands/
3. http://observer.com/2015/07/breaking-de ... ney-moves/
4. http://theralphretort.com/gawker-in-a-b ... te-704015/
5. http://gawker.com/how-we-got-rolled-by- ... 1649496579
6. “Deadspin Badly Fumbles Hit Piece on Republican Candidate” http://dailycaller.com/2014/10/15/deads ... candidate/
7. http://www.shermanreport.com/deadspin-s ... volvement/
8. http://sportsjournalism.org/uncategoriz ... my-craggs/
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Re: Charles Carreon, The Arizona Kid

Postby admin » Wed Mar 30, 2016 7:40 am

This is Not a Conspiracy: Jon Ronson Draws a Dubious Conclusion in Them: Adventures With Extremists
by Charles Carreon

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REPTILIAN, SCHMEPTILIAN, THESE GUYS RUN THE WORLD

Does a small group of people run the world? Well, duh. How many people even write their own paychecks? Of course power means leverage, and leverage means many little people turning over a piece of their productive value to the people above them. Multilevel marketing is a notably obvious way of aggregating wealth, but all commercial systems operate that way. You have a little money, and the bank has a lot. No one even has enough money to buy a house without taking out a loan. Of course, Ken Lay could buy your whole neighborhood with pocket change, at least until just the end of last week. And his defense is that he was stupid. Well all I can say is that's some profitable stupidity and few are they that come by it honestly.

This English guy Jon Ronson wrote a book called "Them -- Adventures With Extremists," that I read a few weeks ago. Not bad. I finished it, and without any difficulty, which is saying something since only one out of five books holds my interest all the way through. Life is short, and there's plenty to read, so I like to give books the weight they deserve. This one is worth reading all the way through, according to my inner reader. Check out a few chapters. THEM: ADVENTURES WITH EXTREMISTS, by Jon Ronson

Ronson is a non-observant Jew who wants to know why a British Islamic fundamentalist, Randy Weaver, Timothy McVeigh, the KKK, David Icke, the publisher of a right-wing newspaper, and a Texas talk show host, all believe that a secret group called "Bilderberg" runs the world. Following leads provided by a wheezing Washington right wing newspaperman, he goes to Portugal to find the Bilderberg meeting. It sounds like it might be a wasted trip, because at the large resort hotel where everyone denies that anything important is happening, nothing appears to be happening. Until suddenly scores of world leaders and financiers suddenly come rolling up the tiny gravel road in cabs and private autos, no security or fanfare or anything, just arriving from everywhere all at once? Ronson has a practiced eye for English, European, and American political and financial eminences, and is blown away by the parade. Then they were followed. He was scared. The British embassy tells them to stay calm.

The book is ostensibly about the extremists, but Ronson is really looking for Bilderberg. He's hanging out with the extremists, because they want to do it, too. They jointly set out to penetrate the yearly bash at the Bohemian Grove, where apparently about a thousand world bank and military-industrial complex cronies get together in a gigantic park like campus done up in full frat party theatrical style with great big stone owls everywhere, and swimming and champagne and shindigging with the tunes crankin'. Then they have a great big theatrical ceremony where they incinerate an effigy of "Dull Care" and then whoop and holler and get it on big time. Apparently this puts a strain on the local working girls, so they jet in a substantial contingent from Reno and the Bay Area.

The evidence-gathering throughout this book is good. Ronson has a cool-headed way, and occasionally finds himself walking the edge of violence, at one time with a bunch of hostile Islamics in England at a Jihadi camp, and later, with a bunch of white racist punks in Idaho. Being Jewish was the problem, both times. The Klan is much nicer, really, even the hateful ones. And the nice ones are truly Sara Lee sweet. Not like the old Klan at all. It's all about lovin' your own sweet, white ass.

The "extremist" portrayals are pretty human. Randy Weaver sounds like a man who's learned the lesson of a lifetime, and hasn't got all that much intellect anyhow. David Icke, a top-shelf British telly personality who morphed into a reptilian-outer, is shown fighting a pitched battle with left wing Vancouverites in British Columbia, who mobilize Canadian Customs to try to seal Icke out of the country on the grounds that "reptilians" are actually "Jews" in a secret "code" that Icke uses to "spread hate." That sounds Canadian, doesn't it? Liberal, but.

Ronson talks a lot about the B'nai Brith Anti-Defamation League, which has a lot of clout shaping public opinion. A hell of a bruiser of an organization, you do not want them to call you an anti-Semite. Even me. I just went to my first Bar Mitzvah last weekend. I loved it. There must be a Yiddish word for the feelings that overcame me. The ceremony was fun, and the food was great. Now I want to go to an Arab wedding, one that doesn't get strafed by an Apache helicopter, of course. We'll hold it at the Ashland Gun Club, for safety's sake, so that the celebratory firing of AK47s won't attract an antiterrorist response. In fact, I think I'll call the Gun Club president about it. We can wear turbans and fire .308 ammo all night long.

Yeah, I love Southern Oregon. I saw a bumpersticker that said "Charlton Heston is My President." I figured it was possible he was in agreement when he saw my bumpersticker, that says "Bush Knew."
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Re: Charles Carreon, The Arizona Kid

Postby admin » Tue Oct 11, 2016 8:41 pm

It Takes A Lot to Laugh (It Takes A Train to Cry): The Tragedy of Hulk Hogan
by Charles Carreon
March 12, 2016

NOTICE: THIS WORK MAY BE PROTECTED BY COPYRIGHT

YOU ARE REQUIRED TO READ THE COPYRIGHT NOTICE AT THIS LINK BEFORE YOU READ THE FOLLOWING WORK, THAT IS AVAILABLE SOLELY FOR PRIVATE STUDY, SCHOLARSHIP OR RESEARCH PURSUANT TO 17 U.S.C. SECTION 107 AND 108. IN THE EVENT THAT THE LIBRARY DETERMINES THAT UNLAWFUL COPYING OF THIS WORK HAS OCCURRED, THE LIBRARY HAS THE RIGHT TO BLOCK THE I.P. ADDRESS AT WHICH THE UNLAWFUL COPYING APPEARED TO HAVE OCCURRED. THANK YOU FOR RESPECTING THE RIGHTS OF COPYRIGHT OWNERS.


The Hulk Hogan vs. Gawker Media trial is a spectacle that takes shape in the eye of the beholder. Lies and distortion spin out of the courthouse like gravity waves emanating from a Hollywood black hole. Any apparent truth extracted from the event will decay into falsehood within instants of its discovery, displaying a half life shorter than a Beryllium isotope. However, I have been always fond of rarities, and perhaps by inspecting the wreckage surrounding the collision between Hulk Hogan, the unstoppable human force, and Gawker Media, the immovable corporate object, we can find some subatomic remnants worthy of attention.

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Hogan's giant fall is the story. Hogan enjoyed worldwide adulation, on a par with Bruce Jenner and Lance Armstrong, whose bones were recently picked clean by the slander cartel. Falls of this magnitude drag down legions of fans, disappointing the entire tribe of sport, casting nations into despondency. And pain is a matter of degree. When there's farther to fall, the fall hurts more. As Edward II in Christopher Marlowe's play cries, in a howl of agony, "The sorrows of kings are not like the sorrows of other men!"

But sympathy for those who fall from the empyrean realms is rare. Scandal vampires, mumbling pious sympathy while chewing the cud of revenge, devour pictures of bloated starlets on the beach and burned out leading men breathing through tubes. When stars fall, they become psychic food for jealous mobs. No longer stars, their misery does not tarnish the illusion that wealth immunizes against pain.

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The belief that rich people defeat misery and possess pleasure fires the popular imagination, motivates social climbers, and mutes political complaints. Actually a myth for which evidence is lacking, the belief that wealth preempts suffering is reinforced by the media at every turn. "Oh!" we are urged to dream -- "What it must be like to live like the Few!" F. Scott Fitzgerald was equating wealth with happiness and perhaps even moral superiority when he told Hemingway that "the rich are not like other people." Hemingway's retort, "Yes, they have more money," ensured a reverent place for his memory in the hearts of broke people everywhere.

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Nonetheless, the empyrean heights are dangerous, and falls calamitous. Murdered by torture in the Tower of London, the agonies of Edward the Second were indeed excessive. Compared to such a devastating leveling, Hogan's sufferings may seem small; however, we should not blind ourselves to his pain and its cause. Wealth made him a target and created his problem. His name is a publicity magnet that others, like Gawker, were eager to exploit. The sex video, being a true voyeuristic theft of a famous man's privacy, was enormously valuable in the right hands. The sex happened, and the video existed, only because a man Hogan thought was his friend set it up to happen and made the film. Like an elephant in the bush, Hogan was bagged for his tusks.

Hogan's testimony about how shame and humiliation now emanate from his own mind, destroying his ability to relate with others with confidence and self-respect, is direct, first-person evidence of how a public shaming gives the victim a heart transplant. In exchange for the familiar, self-confident, self-respecting heart that usually beats in your chest, you get a filthy, defiled, garbage-pumping organ that circulates humiliation through every cell in your body, and makes you fear every human interaction as another challenge to your right to exist.

As I thought over the transcript of Hulk Hogan's trial testimony, and that of his furious estranged wife, who put her unhealed pain on record, I felt the poignancy of seeing a big man beat down to nothing. When I started writing this piece, casting about for some way to express that pain, I thought of the title of that Dylan song, "It Takes a Lot to Laugh, It Takes A Train to Cry." Although the news reports don't mention the world's most famous wrestler crying in the courtroom, I am sure it took a trainload of strength for him to give that testimony [1] , to reveal the foolish behavior that launched him on the road to total personal destruction.

Martin Luther King and the Invention of "New York Times Malice"

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While the miseries of the powerful might lead us to sympathize with them when their names are dragged through the muck, the law proceeds from entirely different suppositions. The famous are deemed to have the means to "talk back" in the media, so they are "public figures," and the media doesn't have to be as careful to tell the truth about them.

This wasn't the case until March 9, 1964, when the United States Supreme Court published New York Times v. Sullivan, and punched a hole in defamation law big enough to launch a communication satellite mounted on a Saturn V rocket straight through. Before NYT v. Sullivan, suing people for talking dirt about you required only some basic allegations: your neighbor had "published" a "false statement" to third persons who understood the statement to be "of and concerning" you, and as a result, people no longer want to associate with you. And it wasn't any safer to tell lies about a "public figure" than it was to tell lies about regular people. Strangely enough, it was a certain Martin Luther King, Jr., who had begun stirring the pot of American history, whose activities prompted this momentous change in the law of defamation. Ironically, he likely did more to liberate the news media from caution and restraint than he did to improve the condition of African-Americans. Not by preference, of course, but rather because even greatness does not empower us to defy fate, that uses us for its own purposes.

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Yes, the Sullivan case had an unusual origin [2], intimately connected with the activities of Dr. King. The plaintiff who gave his name to the case was the police chief of Montgomery, Alabama, who alleged that the nation's newspaper of record had defamed him by publishing an advertisement seeking to raise funds for Dr. King's legal defense, signed by luminaries such as Marlon Brando, Shelley Winters, Harry Belafonte, Sammy Davis Jr., and Dr. Ralph Bunche. Among other factual inaccuracies, the advertisement overstated the number of times King had been arrested. Although not named in the advertisement, Sullivan said that criticism of the Montgomery police was "of and concerning" him. Published by the Committee to Defend Martin Luther King and the Struggle for Freedom in the South, the advertisement included a clip-out coupon to send with a contribution or to request more information.

It has often been said that hard cases make bad law, which is to say that, when the social issues are stacked up ten stories high on either side, it's going to be hard for the judge to make a ruling that will apply well as precedent in future cases. The Montgomery Police Chief's legal attack on the nation's pre-eminent liberal periodical caused the Supreme Court to circle the wagons. The Sullivan case produced this rule: A "public figure" cannot win a defamation lawsuit against a "media defendant" unless he proves that the defendant published a lie, and did so with "reckless disregard for the truth." My torts teacher Steve Schiffrin liked to call this "New York Times malice," a term that I see hasn't caught on, although I find it an excellent mnemonic to remember just how far a newspaper can go when treading on the faces of the famous.

Subsequent cases made it clear that there are two types of public figures: those who, like Hulk Hogan, have names that are as well-known as popular brands, and those who, because of their desire to speak in the public forum, "inject themselves into events," and therefore themselves become "newsworthy topics." Of course, there was a time when Hulk Hogan was just Terry Bollea, a person he would now gladly remain forever, happily eschewing any possible reversion to Hulk-hood. But Terry was at one time eager to become Hulk Hogan, and vigorously injected himself into public life. He was so feckless about super-sizing his image that he went on the Howard Stern show, which always seems like a good idea at the time, but turns out to be nothing but an opportunity to take a shit shower provided by a man with a skanky mind whose special ability is to induce people who should know better to engage in offbeat behavior for which they will later apologize, or wish they could.

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So just to review, based upon a decision that got rid of a frivolous lawsuit that was intended to silence African-American speech on the issue of white racism, we got a rule that says the newspapers can be less careful about being correct when they say negative things that might be lies about famous people, because they're famous and have means of shooting back at their defamers. Then that rule expanded to allow newspapers to be less careful about saying nasty things about anyone who speaks out on an issue of public importance. This second rule turns into a third rule that anyone whose statement on a public issue gets printed in the paper is presumed to have "injected themselves into the public debate," thereby becoming a "limited public figure," about whom the newspaper can safely make false statements, so long as they don't do so with "reckless disregard for the truth." The third rule, as you can see, essentially turns anyone who speaks out and gets publicity for it into that type of person who has a "bummer of a birthmark." [4]

What Is this "Privacy" of Which You Speak?

Some people live in the world as they wish it were. Want to find some of those people? Google the phrase "no constitutional right to privacy." You will find lots of articles proclaiming this to be the truth, but it is just plain wrong. Ten States' Constitutions protect the Right to Privacy, and Florida, where the Hogan trial is taking place, is one of them. [3] Article I, Section 23 of the Florida Constitution states in relevant part: "Every natural person has the right to be let alone and free from governmental intrusion into the person's private life except as otherwise provided herein." Take note that the first part of the sentence protects the "right to be let alone," and while the second part of the sentence seems to limit the effect of Sec. 23 to protection from "governmental intrusion," this is in fact the place where it is most needed in the forty states that lack such a constitutional protection. [5]

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This phrase "the right to be let alone" has a history. It was coined by Thomas M. Cooley in his law treatise, "Law of Torts," first published in 1880. [6] The phrase was adopted by Samuel Warren and Louis Brandeis in a Harvard Law Review article published in 1890, because Warren had been suffering from attacks in the press. This article popularized the idea, which motivated judges to recognize a right to privacy under certain circumstances, and moved legislatures to enact statutes that gave the victims of privacy invasion the right to sue for damages.

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There are four types of privacy invasion lawsuits, all of which can be pursued in Florida, as well as California and many other states: (1) appropriation of name or likeness (stealing publicity), (2) intrusion into private spaces (peeping and spying),(3) public disclosure of private facts (spreading embarrassing truths), and (4) publicizing true facts that cast the victim in a false light (very similar to the previous type of claim, but the misleading facts need not have been private).

Stealing Publicity to Sell Advertising

In his case against Gawker, Hogan has invoked Florida's "right of publicity" statute, Section 540.08, just as he did back in May 2010, when he sued the cereal company, Post Foods [7], for screening an ad with a cartoon character named "Hulk Boulder" who pushed chocolate frosted sugar bombs while infringing on Hogan's famous moniker and visage. Nineteen other states [8] have right of publicity statutes, that make it unlawful for anyone to "publish, print, display or otherwise publicly use for purposes of trade or for any commercial or advertising purpose the name, portrait, photograph, or other likeness of any natural person without the express written or oral consent [of the] person." In the lawsuit over the cartoon-Hulk, Post wised up after a few months, and pulled the commercial.

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In that battle, Hogan was essentially saying, "If you want me to sell your stupid cereal, call my agent, don't call a cartoonist! I'm already a cartoon!" But Gawker wasn't selling cereal, were they? No, they were selling Gawker, so Gawker made a few improvements to the video, that was long and tedious, for the most part, editing it to less than a tenth of its original length, turning it into a real porn flick by cutting out everything but the oral sex and penetration scenes, and providing a crude account of the full-length production authored by a fellow named A.J. Daulerio, a one-hit bungler if ever there was one. Oh yes, he's no longer with Gawker.

To connect up the pillaging of Hogan's privacy with the misappropriation of Hogan's mega-publicity, his lawyers alleged that: "The Gawker Defendants posted the Video and Narrative [to profit from] the sale of advertisements" and [by] "attracting new viewers to the Gawker Site," whereupon "numerous media outlets and websites picked up on the Video and Narrative posted at the Gawker Site, and posted links to it, thus exposing hundreds of millions of people to the Video and Narrative [and] massive numbers of individuals were drawn to the Gawker Site, for which the Gawker Defendants have reaped tremendous revenues and profits ... for a prolonged period of time ... as a direct result of the tremendous fame and goodwill of Plaintiff."

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You know it's hard to argue with that statement. When traffic goes up on Gawker, it doesn't do so because they published a picture of A.J. Daulerio wanking off wearing Kiss makeup and high heels. That wouldn't really be much of a draw, even if Nick Denton was doing performance art in the background, dressed in a black rubber suit. Nope, it was a case of Hulkmania, and probably sparked a lot of fan-sex. If every couple that made a baby while watching that short had named their kid "Hulk," there'd likely be preschools full of them right now.

Peeping and Spying, aka Intrusion Upon Seclusion

Now life has gotten pretty sketchy, but you can take it to the bank: it is illegal to film someone having sex in private without their permission. It doesn't matter what kind of sexual behavior they are engaged in, whether they are alone or with company, or whether one of the participants to the sex knows it's being filmed. It is illegal if it is your friend, your enemy, your neighbor, your teacher, your parents, your girlfriend, your boyfriend, your wife, or anyone. It is illegal to trick your way into a place where you've been told you aren't allowed to film, and then film there. (Caveat) [9]

"Intrusion upon seclusion" is the legal name for peeping and spying. The right to enjoy seclusion is simply "the right to be left alone." A recent law review article [10] explained what constitutes an "intrusion" into one's protected seclusion:

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"Examples of intrusion include the illegal diversion or interception and opening of one's mail, peeping into one's home, the viewing of a department store's changing room by someone of the opposite sex where no adequate notice has been provided, persistent and unwanted telephone calls, wiretapping, or prying into a plaintiff's bank account. To be actionable, the intrusion must be offensive or objectionable to a reasonable person, and the thing intruded upon must be private."


Think about what this means, and you'll realize that this rule sets up a flexible standard that can easily bite nosey people with cameras right in the face. "Seclusion" is being enjoyed by anyone who thinks they are alone, whether they're sitting on the toilet, putting on makeup in the bathroom mirror, or changing their clothes in a dressing room. Once the privacy is set up, the person enjoying the privacy is protected from "intrusion." Anytime someone breaks through that seclusion without permission, or without giving sufficient notice to avoid an embarrassing revelation, they risk liability.

Is this right to enjoy seclusion unlimited? No, because it only protects things that have been kept private in the first place. As a key legal treatise on the subject states: "The rule stated in this Section applies only to publicity given to matters concerning the private, as distinguished from the public, life of the individual. There is no liability when the defendant merely gives further publicity to information about the plaintiff which is already public. * * Likewise there is no liability for giving further publicity to what the plaintiff himself leaves open to the public eye." Thus, Gawker is arguing that Hogan has made the size of his penis and other sexual topics a matter of public discussion, and cannot be heard to complain that Gawker has revealed the identity of a secret sexual partner, the shape of his body, the sound of his voice as he engages in sexual activity.

Additionally, as Gawker keeps reminding us, the individual's right to keep things private is counterbalanced against the public's right to have knowledge of "newsworthy matters." Since this defense also applies to our last two privacy torts of "public disclosure of private facts," and "publicizing true facts that cast the victim in a false light," I will discuss these two torts first, then turn to the "newsworthiness" defense.

The Good, the Bad and the Seriously Misunderstood

Truth hurts. Often more than a lie, because you can't deny it. This is the problem that Hulk Hogan has. That really is him in the video, engaging in tawdry sex with a person he has no business being in bed with. Still, this is America, and just because you did something stupid doesn't mean that everyone automatically has the right to spread it all over. There are such things as "private facts" that it is tortious to "publicly disclose."

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Now, in truth, this is a tort that business has got to love, because it's all about relationships and expectations. If a fellow gets drunk and goes down to the bar and foolishly spills the beans about the affair he's been having with his secretary, he cannot sue the bartender for telling the secretary's husband. Nothing was kept private, the cat got outta the bag, and them's the breaks.

But take another situation. The bartender overhears a quiet, murmured conversation between two doctors from the hospital around the corner, sharing health information about a person in the neighborhood who has HIV. The bartender tells all of his customers what he overheard. A private fact, that would normally be kept hidden from the public and is highly offensive to a reasonable person, has been disclosed to the public. Okay, now that's a tort, and neither truth nor lack of malice is a defense. Damages for plaintiff.

What about the last privacy tort on our list, "publicizing true facts that cast the victim in a false light"? To help you understand this one, I'll quote my Dad: "Son, don't do good things that look bad, or bad things that look good." I took issue with his exhortation, arguing that we shouldn't refrain from doing good things because others might criticize. Dad countered that there were plenty of good things to do that no one would say looked bad, so when I was done with all of those, I could indulge in good works that might endanger my reputation.

So let's imagine I finally did all the goodie-two-shoes stuff, and wanted to do something good that looked bad. I would go to strip bars and give out Christmas presents for the dancers who had kids, and give the bouncers back rubs. Of course, some paparazzi would photograph me coming out the back door of a dive and caption it with something misleading like, "PunkLawyer eighty-sixed for pawing dancers!" Then I would sue them for false light privacy invasion and call the bouncers as witnesses that they were the only people I laid hands on.

Gawker and the Advent of Newsworthy Porn

According to Hogan's lawyers, Gawker's edit of the Video was watched 7 Million times. Obviously people wanted to watch it. The defense of "newsworthiness" has been tendered by Gawker. Does it have any validity? According to the U.S. Supreme Court [11], when the defense of newsworthiness is offered to excuse a breach of privacy, "the first inquiry is whether the newspaper 'lawfully obtained truthful information about a matter of public significance.'"

So, let's get to it: (1) Did Gawker get the sex tape lawfully? (2) Are the sex tape and the narrative truthful? (3) Are the sex tape and written narrative of public significance?

Unlawful Acquisition of the Tape

Gawker and other media outlets keep suggesting that Hogan knew he was being videotaped having sex with Heather Clem, but the evidence cuts the other way. Hogan has always been consistent in saying that he didn't know. Heather Clem corroborated that statement. Hogan's lawyer argued at length that the video had been made in violation of the Florida Video Voyeurism law. Sixth Judicial District Pinellas County Case No. 12012447-CT011, Transcript of Preliminary Injunction Hearing, Hon. A.M. Campbell (April 24, 2013). And there's that snippet of the video where Bubba Clem tells Heather that this tape is "their retirement." Conclusion: The video was created by deception with the intent to profit from Hogan's fame, and therefore was illegally made. Thereafter, the taint of its unlawful creation cannot be purged, and anyone who uses such a videotape has united their intention with that of the phony lover and her wretched spouse, the secret videographer. Gawker could only have used the tape by getting permission from Hogan and his sex partner. Gawker did not try to get permission, and knew the tape had been made and distributed without Hogan's consent.

Editing the Tape and Adding the Narrative Distorted the Truth

It's undisputed that the tape that people watched 7 Million times was not the one recorded by Bubba Clem. Rather, it was a clip less than two minutes long that Gawker called a "Highlights Reel." Now why did they do that? Because it makes the whole thing much more likely to be watched by people who are busy, and just want to see if it's really Hulk Hogan having sex. Because it makes it more like pornography. Because it objectifies the Hulk and his sex partner, making them seem more like disposable action figures that we can set into action and play for our pleasure. The editing and the tasteless, horrible narrative written by A.J. Daulerio to accompany it, are not truthful depictions of what happened in the Hulk's tryst with Heather Clem. He didn't set out to make a porn tape. Even Bubba Clem didn't. Gawker did.

The Sex Tape and Narrative Were Not Sufficiently Significant to the Public to Justify the Invasion of Hogan's Privacy
The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals posed a rhetorical question in a 1975 case [12]: "Does the spirit of the Bill of Rights require that individuals be free to pry into the unnewsworthy private affairs of their fellowmen?" The answer was in the negative: "In our view it does not [because] privacy must have the protection of law if the quality of life is to continue to be reasonably acceptable. The public's right to know is, then, subject to reasonable limitations so far as concerns the private facts of its individual members."

The media's invasion of a famous person's privacy isn't made lawful simply because the public is curious about everything they do. The Restatement of Torts explains where we draw the line on "determining what is of legitimate public interest" for purposes of the defense of newsworthiness:

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"In determining what is a matter of legitimate public interest, account must be taken of the customs and conventions of the community; and in the last analysis what is proper becomes a matter of the community mores. The line is to be drawn when the publicity ceases to be the giving of information to which the public is entitled, and becomes a morbid and sensational prying into private lives for its own sake, with which a reasonable member of the public, with decent standards, would say that he had no concern. * * *"


Nor does the revelation of true facts by means of an invasion of privacy make the invasion lawful. The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals explained why it does not:

"To hold that privilege extends to all true statements would seem to deny the existence of "private" facts, for if facts be facts -- that is, if they be true -- they would not (at least to the press) be private, and the press would be free to publicize them to the extent it sees fit. The extent to which areas of privacy continue to exist, then, would appear to be based not on rights bestowed by law but on the taste and discretion of the press. We cannot accept this result."


Based on these simple directives from the judiciary, that place a value on preserving a sense of decency and decorum in society, and protecting its members from outrageous revelations that can turn them into social pariahs overnight, it is hard to see where a legitimate newsworthiness defense can be presented to justify Gawker's act of turning a secretly filmed, objectively boring video into a piece of celebrity porn by means of editing and low-life promotional tactics.

The testimony of Gawker's own witness, former Editor in Chief A.J. Daulerio, was played at the Florida trial, and did the defendant no favors on the newsworthiness issue. Daulerio, no doubt thinking he sounded clever in New York, testified that he would not publish a sex tape of a four-year old, and explained that his "editorial litmus test" requires only two factors: "Is it true, and is it interesting?" And of course, he found the surreptitiously recorded video of a famous wrestler having sex with a radio announcer's wife so "interesting" that he introduced it to the world with this deep, engaging contemplation: "Because the Internet has made it easier for all of us to be shameless voyeurs and deviants, we love to watch famous people have sex."

Hogan put a journalism professor on the stand to testify that Gawker's publication of the video and Daulerio's narrative was not responsible journalism, was unduly intrusive, and violated journalistic ethics. The public's need to know, said Prof. Mike Foley of the University of Florida, would've been satisfied with an article. They didn't need to see the tape. That sounds right to me. I haven't seen the tape, and I've written this whole article. Predictably, the Ethics Chairman for the Society of Professional Journalists objected to Prof. Foley's testimony about journalistic ethics, emailing his cronies at media outlets to urge them to push this line: "The SPJ Code of Ethics is not relevant to whether an act is or is not legal. The words 'ethical' and 'legal' are not synonyms."

Yes, of course, we lawyers know very well the difference. We have been trained to teach our clients how to act both legally and unethically. However, in this case, Gawker and its editors had no interest in listening to lawyers. They've been teaching their lawyers to help them pretend that the law is what they want it to be. Thus, we have received this lovely journalistic gift that they devised for the delight of all: "newsworthy" porn.

Let's Make a Little Media History

Edward the Second spoke from experience. Historic events often ensue from the unseemly dramas that ensnare heroes and cause them to topple from the heights. Hogan's sufferings are big, way bigger than those of his fans, and because of his size, he's able to grapple with beasts too big for the likes of us. In this battle, humans must wish him luck, because Gawker, his foe, is a tax-dodging, human-exploiting corporate monster that has crippled and maimed reputations worldwide. Body-slam that beast, Hulk! Take it down so it can't stand up.



_______________

Notes:

1. http://abcnews.go.com/GMA/video/hulk-ho ... e-37364319

2. G. Epps, The Civil Right Heroes the Court Ignored in New York Times v. Sullivan
http://www.theatlantic.com/national/arc ... em/284550/

3. The other nine are Alaska (Art. 1, Sec. 22), Arizona (Art. II, Sec. 8), California (Art. 1, Sec. 1), Montana (Art. II, Sec. 10), Hawaii (Art. I, Sec. 7), Illinois (Art I, Sec. 6), Louisiana (Art. I, Sec. 5), Oregon (Art. I, Sec. 9, as interpreted by case precedent), and South Carolina (Art. I, Sec. 10), also explicitly declare this right. M.J. Gorman, Survey: State Search and Seizure Analogs, 77 Mississippi Law Journal 417 (Dec 1, 2007).

4. The law of libel and defamation has become a specialty so recondite that only truly dizzying intellects can fathom it. To explore the profundities of the public figure doctrine as applied to the theory of privacy law, see S.M. Gilles, Public Plaintiffs and Private Facts: Should the "Public Figure" Doctrine Be Transplanted into Privacy Law? 83 Nebraska Law Review (2014) http://digitalcommons.unl.edu/nlr/vol83/iss4/6

5. Most states have made “invasion of privacy” by private persons into a statutory claim that private parties can use to sue each other. It’s when the government gets all up in your business that you gotta start looking to the Constitution.

6. Hon. B.F.Overton and K.E. Giddings, The Right of Privacy in Florida in the Age of Technology and the Twenty-First Century: A Need for Protection from Private and Commercial Intrusion
http://archive.law.fsu.edu/journals/law ... verton.pdf

7. https://www.manatt.com/uploadedFiles/Ne ... att/Bollea v. Post Foods.pdf

8. J.A. Johnson, The Right of Publicity and the Student-Athlete, 7 Elon Law Review 536, 537 (2015) https://www.elon.edu/docs/e-web/law/law ... ohnson.pdf

9. Investigative filmmakers may have legitimate first amendment defenses for this kind of trickery, though. Think animal rights activists filming in slaughterhouses, and prison activists filming in jails and prisons.

10. Hon. B.F. Overton and K.E. Giddings, The Right of Privacy in Florida in the Age of Technology and the Twenty-First Century: A Need for Protection from Private and Commercial Intrusion
http://archive.law.fsu.edu/journals/law ... verton.pdf

11. Florida Star v. BJF, 491 U.S. 524, 536 (1989)

12. Virgil v. Time, Inc., 527 F.2d 1122, 1128 (9th Cir. 1975).

Bibliography

1. Internet Law: Cases & Problems, by Grimmelman Internet Law

2. First Amended Complaint, Terry Gene Bollea vs. Heather Clem; Gawker Media, et al.

3. Motion for Temporary Injunction, Terry Gene Bollea vs. Heather Clem; Gawker Media, et al.

4. Opinion: Gawker Media, Appellant v. Terry Gene Bollea, et al., Appellees

5. Order: Plaintiff's Motion for Remand, Terry Gene Bollea v. Heather Clem, et al.

6. Public Plaintiffs and Private Facts: Should the "Public Figure" Doctrine Be Transplanted into Privacy Law?, by Susan M. Gilles

7. The Right of Privacy in Florida in the Age of Technology and the Twenty-First Century: A Need for Protection From Private and Commercial Intrusion, by Ben. F. Overton and Katherine E. Giddings

8. The Right of Publicity and the Student-Athlete, by James A. Johnson
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Re: Charles Carreon, The Arizona Kid

Postby admin » Tue Oct 11, 2016 9:01 pm

Trump, the Protesters, and Public Forum Law
by Charles Carreon
March 15, 2016

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Oregon v. Huberty

In around 1998, I represented a retired airman named Don Huberty in People v. State of Oregon v. Huberty against a charge of Second Degree Trespass in probably the longest trespass trial in Josephine County history: three days. It took so long because Don’s defense against his refusal to leave the County offices was because he was exercising his right to free speech. As a well-known disputant with the Commissioners, his contention was credible, and Judge Mackey sent the case to the jury. Despite my fiery oratory and citation to the Oregon Revised Statutes that gave my client the right to be found innocent if his trespass was for reasons of free speech, the jury convicted Don. I don’t recall any punishment being imposed by Judge Mackey, who thought it was all a hoot, and the whole thing became part of history.

Free Speech Defense to Trespass on Public Property

Currently, the Oregon criminal law of trespass provides, in relevant part:

a police officer or authorized employee may exclude any person who violates any applicable provision of the rules of conduct in any place subject to this chapter. Nothing in this section shall be construed to authorize the exclusion of any person lawfully exercising free speech rights or other rights protected by the Oregon or U.S. Constitution. However, a person engaged in such protected activity who commits acts that are not protected, but that violate applicable provisions of law or rules of conduct, shall be subject to exclusion as provided by this chapter.

So, the question is “Can someone act up on public property?”

The answer is clearly “YES”

Right to First Amendment Activity On Private Property

What about private property? Even private property doesn’t give the absolute right to exclude, as the US Supreme Court held in Marsh v. Alabama, the case where the Jehovah’s Witnesses won the right to distribute religious literature in a company town. The opinion of Justice Black, the great Constitutionalist, was concurred in by Justice Frankfurter, and is a little roundabout in expressing the sentiment, but the bottom line is, the right to exclude others from your private property may end where the 1st Amendment right of the JW’s to proselytize their religion begins:

Our question then narrows down to this: Can those people who live in or come to Chickasaw be denied freedom of press and religion simply because a single company has legal title to all the town? … We do not agree that the corporation’s property interests settle the question.

Before the Marsh case, there was Martin v. City of Struthers, where Black told governments not to be gatekeepers of ideas:

For centuries it has been a common practice in this and other countries for persons not specifically invited to go from home to home and knock on doors or ring doorbells to communicate ideas to the occupants or to invite them to political, religious, or other kinds of public meetings. Whether such visiting shall be permitted has in general been deemed to depend upon the will of the individual master of each household, and not upon the determination of the community. In the instant case, the City of Struthers, Ohio, has attempted to make this decision for all its inhabitants.

When an opinion starts like that, you know where the City of Struthers is going: down.

Private Property Ain’t What You Think It Is: Mineral Rights

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SPLIT ESTATE A MOVIE ABOUT FRACKING

Wring your hands and bemoan your fate as an Americano, because private property, even real estate, is not the citadel you thought it was. It is a porous castle. It’s kind of like fracking, when you think about it. You own your land, and enjoy it without interference. A trespasser shows up, and you run him off. But one day you get a letter from a lawyer, and a month later, a drill rig shows up because you don’t own the mineral rights. Watch these little movies about it if you don’t believe it.

Bundle of Rights Theory: Constitutional Limits on the Right to Exclude

How the heck can that be the case? Your property is just a bundle of rights, and the right to exclude others has limits. You can’t exclude the owners of mineral rights, or the owners of an easement for ingress and egress. And you can’t exclude “protesters” from a “public event” because by holding a “public event,” you have created a “public forum” that is subject to First Amendment rules.

However much it may seem to defy “common sense,” if there is such a thing, Trump does not have the right to control all speech in a rented hall, open to the public, as a national candidate for public office, presenting political ideas. He is speaking in a public forum, from a 1st Amendment perspective. So as to avoid burdening this post with more legal prose, I will just let you click the link to this article entitled “Fair Trespass” from the Columbia Law Review, that summarizes the important case law after introducing the topic in this fashion:

“[L]andowners who open their land to the public consequently face wide-ranging restrictions on the right to exclude that follow from state and federal constitutional protections of fundamental rights, such as (but not limited to) discrimination, equal protection, and free speech.”

How To Control Speech on Your Property: Don’t Hold a Public Event

Don’t want to do that to your property? Don’t hold a public event. Hold one of those private parties with $50K/plate dinners. Then all you have to worry about is the child of some closet liberal taking an iPhone video of you when you start spewing self-convicting Romneyisms.
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Re: Charles Carreon, The Arizona Kid

Postby admin » Tue Oct 11, 2016 9:02 pm

The Combustible Arrogance of Hillary Clinton
by Charles Carreon
4/19/16

NOTICE: THIS WORK MAY BE PROTECTED BY COPYRIGHT

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BERN 'EM OUT!
by Tara Carreon


One thing the Clinton machine does not claim to be is pretty. They make no pretense — people, individual voters, do not matter. Delegates matter. Math will decide the outcome — math that has nothing to do with the popular vote. Victory is assured and they don’t mind letting you know.

In an ordinary year, with no viable alternative to being mothered by a full-metal hen, Democratic voters would accept Hillary without cavil. But this unexpected headwind of discontent among the young has derailed her plans. Yes, along came Bernie, blowing her plan to inherit the White House from her boss. Everyone in the world had been kissing up to her, except for those Republicans with their Benghazi email nonsense, and they would surely come to heel.

Hillary and Bill do not attempt to conceal their sense of entitlement to rule. They have put together a network of world connections that will keep them very wealthy for a very long time, whether she returns as President to the White House, or not. She will be another great lady regardless how the nation’s process allocates the presidency.

The cost of another Clinton presidency will be far more consequential to the nation and the earth. Take simply this matter — that the world teeters on the precipice of climate catastrophe, and Hillary is an international fracking cheerleader and fixer for the oil industry.

Most young Democratic voters are rejecting Clinton’s appointment to the presidency by an ingrown technocratic elite. The privileged have led America into a morass. People are out of work, broke, unable to retire, unable to find work, unable to find homes, overdosing on lethal drugs. The privileged don’t know this, though. And up until this presidential election, it was possible to condition the mass mind with injections of television advertising. The connection was pretty much direct — deal the right spin at the right moment, inject enough ad dollars into prime time, and the election was yours.

This is not so easy these days. First, you can’t be influenced by TV if you don’t watch it, and a lot of the young voters don’t. Second, the young are less gullible about political advertising, in part because there’s so much of it, and in part because the ubiquity of digital advertising has deflated the persuasive value of all advertising. Third, the opposition now pushes counterspin through social media. And fourth, contrary to Hillary’s comment, the kids do a little research on political issues these days.

Precisely because the fix is in, the kids are not all right with the situation. Precisely because Hillary will tell you that she’s a sure thing, she is perhaps, not. I mean, it just burns you.
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Re: Charles Carreon, The Arizona Kid

Postby admin » Tue Oct 11, 2016 9:02 pm

The Arc of Trump
by Charles Carreon
May 5, 2016

NOTICE: THIS WORK MAY BE PROTECTED BY COPYRIGHT

YOU ARE REQUIRED TO READ THE COPYRIGHT NOTICE AT THIS LINK BEFORE YOU READ THE FOLLOWING WORK, THAT IS AVAILABLE SOLELY FOR PRIVATE STUDY, SCHOLARSHIP OR RESEARCH PURSUANT TO 17 U.S.C. SECTION 107 AND 108. IN THE EVENT THAT THE LIBRARY DETERMINES THAT UNLAWFUL COPYING OF THIS WORK HAS OCCURRED, THE LIBRARY HAS THE RIGHT TO BLOCK THE I.P. ADDRESS AT WHICH THE UNLAWFUL COPYING APPEARED TO HAVE OCCURRED. THANK YOU FOR RESPECTING THE RIGHTS OF COPYRIGHT OWNERS.


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"In Your Dreams: Bullshit, And They Will Come," by Tara Carreon

Sometimes you can tell you’re dreaming, because you notice that something you are seeing, or something you are doing, is impossible. The Tibetans teach you to stimulate this kind of observation by asking yourself, while wide awake, “Am I dreaming?” They say you develop the habit, and it creeps into your dreams, and then you look around, and you notice, for example, that the sidewalk you are walking on is made of transparent glass, which is clearly not reality, and you think, “Ah, I must be dreaming. Incredible dream sidewalk.” Or you wake up,. A year ago, if you’d dreamt of Donald Trump in the Oval Office, signing legislation under the Great Seal of the United States, you might have awakened your bed partner, laughing. That wouldn’t happen today. You would wake up in a cold sweat, in the grip of a prophetic nightmare. Nor could your bedmate offer real comfort — a dread chill would settle over your soul, and the long months of uncertainty from now until November of this year would become a purgatory of anxious waiting, hope and fear. We’ve crossed over into the borderland of a collective dreamworld. The impossible is now likely. What formerly seemed impossible, now seems fated in some noir reality.

There is no doubt that Mr. Trump is delusional. It has been some years since I realized that great wealth transfers almost always result from extortion tactics, not productive exchanges. Trump’s “Art of the Deal” approach to life was recently extolled in an op-ed by some farsighted Republican toady with mainstream credentials. According to this inveigling soul, “The Art of the Deal” showcases a mind that is apt, sharp, clever, cutting, incisive, demanding, and brooks no interference from lesser minds; therefore, he can maybe “do the job.”

Yes, but what is “the job?” Since Ronald Reagan was able to do it, and George W. Bush, it cannot be that difficult. Reagan is endlessly extolled for a Presidential performance that was eighty-percent posturing and twenty percent senility. Those who still express respect for George W. Bush, in whatever private place one performs that antisocial ritual, no doubt were simply won over by his ability to make it seem like he was “doing the job,” when he was actually just checking in with Dick between bike rides and shit. “The job” ostensibly involves being able to converse easily with high dignitaries of other nations, but George Herbert Walker Bush passed out and puked in the lap of the Prime Minister of Japan at a state dinner, so this requirement can obviously be fudged.

Pundits will compose lists of Presidential Qualifications, and then they’ll compare Trump’s qualifications with Hillary’s on a chart that excludes Bernie Sanders, because three would not be a lucky number for either Hillary or Trump. Trump will not have any of the qualifications and so, the pundits hope, like witch doctors concocting a particularly noxious spell, Trump will not be able to win. After Trump won the Indiana primary in early May, the Washington Post broke out in commentaries by pundits giving Hillary tips on how to avoid being mugged by Trump and his thuggish tactics. One guy was fretting about the situation like Hillary was Little Red Riding Hood, and Trump was the Big, Bad Wolf. If pundits populated the Electoral College, Trump would not have a chance.

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But the Electoral College is stuffed with Political Animals and superdelegates, the Killer Klownz of our political universe. Every four years they come down in their spaceship and carry off any real candidates, leaving behind pod Presidents who rule over us and farm us as a food source. The experiment with Trump is a novel one. Pure wish fulfillment is all that is offered. No concrete policies, no promises of shit. Just the privilege of Riding with The King.

“Riding With The King”
by John Hiatt

I dreamed I had a good job and I got well paid
I blew it all at the Penny Arcade
A hundred dollars on a kewpie doll
No pretty chick is gonna make me crawl

Get on a TWA to the promised land
Every woman, child and man
Gets a Cadillac and a great big diamond ring
Don’t you know you’re riding with the king?

He’s on a mission of mercy to the new frontier
He’s gonna check us all on out of here
Up to that mansion on a hill
Where you can get your prescription filled

Get on a TWA to the promised land
Everybody clap your hands
And don’t you just love the way that he sings?
Don’t you know we’re riding with the king?

Riding with the king
Don’t you know we’re riding with the king?

A tuxedo and shiny three-thirty-five
You can see it in his face, the blue never lie
Tonight everybody’s getting their angel wings
And don’t you know we’re riding with the king?

I stepped out of Mississippi when I was ten years old
With a suit cut sharp as a razor and a heart made of gold
I had a guitar hanging just about waist high
And I’m gonna play this thing until the day I die

Don’t you know we’re riding with the king?
Don’t you know we’re riding with the king?
You’re riding, you’re riding with the king
You’re riding, you’re riding with the king

Riding with the king
Don’t you know we’re riding with the king?
Riding with the king, riding with the king


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Re: Charles Carreon, The Arizona Kid

Postby admin » Tue Oct 11, 2016 9:03 pm

No Lesser Evil
By Charles Carreon
October 9, 2016

NOTICE: THIS WORK MAY BE PROTECTED BY COPYRIGHT

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Good afternoon, evening, morning or whatever time it is for you, this is LofiNikita, signing on for the first time in a long time, because we have news, real news, for the first time in a long time. John Podesta's emails were hacked, according to the Obama Securitat, by an official Russian government hacker, as if you could believe anything the Obama Securitat said.

What was revealed by Podesta's Emails was, for those who give a damn, absolutely terrifying. Like looking down Grannie's throat and seeing that she had swallowed the big bad wolf, but this was not a good thing, because she'd turned out to be a Killer Klown from outer space, and she'd devoured the woodsman, too. Clearly a chilling moment for Little Red Riding Hood, who ran screaming from the old woman's house, all the way to town, where she was no more likely to be believed than the boy who cried wolf.

You see, the Podesta Emails reveal that large numbers of people have known all along that Hillary could only win against a very weak candidate. Given ordinary political dynamics, the GOP would have fielded a reasonable, middle of the road candidate, likeable and free of scandal, like John Kasich. But thanks to Citizens United, there are no ordinary political dynamics. Citizens United gave every billionaire with a spare $10 Million enough money to field a nutcase candidate whose kooky kreed appealed to a miniscule proportion of the Republican constituency.

The Citizens United money hit the cable channels like Global Warming hit the weather, driving presumed partisans into soundbite-driven conflicts, triggering hurricanes of anger in the electorate, splintering the old alliance like Moby Dick smashing Captain Ahab's ship, leaving the GOP rudderless, in a lifeboat, with Donald Trump as the skipper. And unlike Gregory Peck in the famous movie, Lifeboat, Trump was not born to the leadership role. A passable bandit leader the man could have been, but only in the day of mass communication, backed by a thoroughly-corrupt financial system, and enabled by government patsies like Pam Bondi and the other numberless shills Trump's braggadocious character has procured him, only in this age, could he pass for a national leader.

Oh, that was so easy to say, and before the Podesta Emails, I would have thought it was the whole story. A craven press, a lapdog government, the flaccid minds of the electorate, a complete picture. But false. Bad as it is, that's not the problem. The problem is that Hillary's Campaign orchestrated all of this, aided and abetted Trump's rise to power. Now, let's look at this nicely. We could be flattered. Hillary is so confident that we will not vote for a pussygrabbing, authoritarian, white-power advocate who cheats on his taxes and lies about everything that she is willing to back a movement to make Trump a legitimate candidate.

Trump himself, of course, couldn't believe it. He had to call Bill Clinton for reassurance, rapist to rapist, that this was for real. We can imagine the conversation:

Trump: Bill, thanks for taking the call.

Clinton: Haha, who wouldn't take your call? Haha. You're fired! I love that!

Trump: You do? I didn't know you watched.

Clinton: Oh, get serious. What are you calling about? Oh, I know.

Trump: Yeah, you probably do.

Clinton: What can I say, Donald, you got the chops. I know politics are new to you, but there's a tide in the affairs of men that ...

Trump: Yeah, yeah, but how do you feel about it? Man to man?

Clinton: Take the bull by the horns, Donald. Remember Kissinger, "Power is the greatest aphrodisiac." There's pleasures yet to be discovered.

Trump: Don't distract me with the spoils, Bill. As you know, war is war. If I'm in the race, I'm running to win, and I throw stones. You might get hit.

Clinton: If you can save the GOP from itself, you deserve to win. As for throwing stones, we both live in glass houses.

Trump: Truth to that. Okay, see you at the inauguration.

Clinton: That's a promise.


You can well imagine that Trump, the wannabe great dictator, is not thinking at this time, "These dudes are going to dick me." Shit, he's snorted coke with Bill, he's boffed the same chicks. This is cool. He feels like Saddam, just had a chat with April Glaspie, and he's ready to move on Kuwait. He doesn't know he's just been selected as one of the only potential candidates who can lose to Hillary.

This maneuver, the induction of Trump as her chosen adversary, is probably not unique in the annals of US political history. George Herbert Walker Bush became the 41st President in the United States, despite a reedy voice, low testosterone, and a personality best described as absent, by running against Michael J. Dukakis, a man who managed to look ridiculous riding in a tank, and allegedly went down to defeat because he'd paroled a black man. I actually could not remember who Bush 41 had managed to defeat. Dukakis was that much of a nonentity.

Consider also Barack Obama's surprising, media-powered ascent from junior, Chicago-machine, present-voting flack to undistinguished U.S. Senator, to the Oval Office. He had to get past Hillary, but given the well-oiled machine that the Democratic National Convention has become, this was likely in the cards, an arrangement to which Hillary consented, with the understanding that she'd get her turn. Inferring that what the Podesta Emails reveal is not a new strategy, but rather an old one, being run through with merciless efficiency, we can see that the Republicans probably got some help from the media making that McCain/Palin ticket look like a glass of soda pop when anybody with a nose could smell the poison in the mix. In the end, it was like McCain was trying to get away from himself, and Palin, since then, has done nothing but give Alaska and perky brunettes a bad name. Of course, she still pulls a long string of fools in her train. She's what the Democrats call a "Pied Piper Candidate."

Image

You remember the Pied Piper? When the people of Hamelin failed to pay him for seducing the rats out of the town with his magic flute, he piped a different tune, and led the children of the town right out the city gates, and they were never seen again. That's a grim fairy tale.

The Podesta Emails reveal that the DNC's media power is such that they were able to deligitimize the best Republican candidates, judged on their ability to defeat Hillary. But how did they do that? They didn't do it by having Keith Olbermann scold them. They didn't do it by having Rachel Maddow analyze them. No, they gave them enough rope, and how did they do that? Well, that happened over at Fox News, where every shitbag with his own bag of shit can find a window to throw it out of. Fox News actually became the Pied Piper, selling, strangely enough, to that most bloodless of people, those least given to careless rage, the young white men of the nation, a diet of rage, frustration, and resentment. And they have left the village, following that Pied Piper whose furious tune intoxicates them with promises of glory, of a beautiful wall, tremendous strength, restoration of personal power, and renewed national influence. Common sense resurgent.

Here's the rub. Or a couple of them. The Clinton-dominated DNC invoked a demon to drive us into Clinton's big tent filled with fearful people. In James Blish's "Black Easter," an industrialist who thinks he can harness the Devil to his work arranges to open the Gates of Hell for one nasty Halloween celebration, and is most disappointed to discover that he cannot close them, and Hell has come to reign on earth. The only man standing between us and global perdition is a little priest, a Catholic exorcist, and his only power is to invoke the Biblical prophecy that the Lord of Heaven will triumph when the last Trump blows. The Devil's response is chilling: "Each of the opposing sides in any war always predicts victory. They cannot both be right.”

The gates of hell are open, and the Devil's armies are on the march. Our purported Savior, Dame Hillary, is revealed as a very witch, a conjurer of dread forms. The Devil here, the Witch there. There is no Lesser Evil.

Image
Time to Pay the Piper
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Re: Charles Carreon, The Arizona Kid

Postby admin » Sun Dec 11, 2016 7:55 pm

Fake News, Self-Censorship and the Three Stupid Monkeys
by Charles Carreon
December 10, 2016

NOTICE: THIS WORK MAY BE PROTECTED BY COPYRIGHT

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“See no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil.” This formulation was first declared to me by some peer at the age of three or four – a veritable wise man he seemed to me – revealing the meaning of the mysterious three-monkey tableux so often encountered among the knick knacks adults accumulated in those days. It was a big revelation: the three monkeys, the first covering his eyes, the second his ears, and the third, his mouth – were a visual representation of the concept. Oh, now that I understood, how wise and virtuous those monkeys seemed. I understood in a flash why they were venerated by so many of the great and powerful big people. They were not taking in, or spreading “evil.” These monkeys were definitely on the right side of the game, since everybody knew “evil” was the worst thing of all.

So I was really surprised when I told my dad that I’d realized how important the wisdom of the three monkeys was, and he told me it was a bunch of crap. Nobody, he explained, should keep their mouth shut about evil. If there was evil going on, we needed to find out about it. We needed to see it, hear it, talk about it, and put an end to it. My namby-pamby see-no, hear-no, speak-no-evil pose went up in flames that day, and I’ve held a grudge against those cowardly monkeys ever since for leading me to make an ass out of myself in front of my dad.

Recently, I heard that an anonymous website had just come up with a list of suspect websites proliferating “fake news” to advance a Russian agenda, and the Washington Post elevated this website to the status of a genuine news-origin certifying authority. I did not bother to be concerned. People who will avoid the blacklisted news outlets are engaged in proactive self-censorship. By supporting the list, they tell everyone in earshot that they aren’t hearing or seeing fake news, so it’s impossible that they will speak it. Their minds won’t be contaminated by fake news, and no one can blame them for spreading it. If the thought police look in their heads, they will find them empty.

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Three-monkey relief carving (hear no evil, see no evil, speak no evil) on Shinkyusha. Nikko, Japan

Fake News (To the tune of “Downtown”)
by Charles Carreon
12/10/16

Turn on the TV
Hear the things that they’re saying
Well it sounds a lot
Like News

Pick up the paper
Read the things that are written
Well it surely looks
Like News

But now the “Prop or Not” List
Has landed in my Twitter
And Huff-po, WaPo, Daily Beast
They all are in a flutter –
What to Believe?
The Rooskies are under the Bed
The Chinese are here to be fed
This is
Fake News!
Let’s see if it’s on the list
Oh dear, Look at it right here,
Fake News!
Straight from the Kremlin, they say!

Power’s corrupting
And media has power
To sell Fake News!
Now who do you think
Might be in a position
To buy Fake News?

I mean the news is spozed to
Give you all the skinny
The straight dope and the lowdown
And the truly on the level.
Good luck with that!
Citizens United took over your head
Now the screaming liberals
Say Conservatives are Red
This is Fake News
Don’t try to sell me this
Fake News
I know this shit’s on the list
Fake News
Just stick this right up your ass.

Truth is expensive,
So they use it quite sparingly in
Fake News
Like the sun’s in the sky
And there’s a base on the moon
You call that Fake News?
Your mind is just a playground
For thoughts of other’s making
Your choices like a baby’s candy
Right there for the taking.

They have to lie, too
The Rooskies are under the Bed
The Chinese are here to be fed
This is
Fake News!
Let’s see if it’s on the list
Oh dear, Look at it right here,
Fake News!
Straight from the Kremlin, they say!
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Re: Charles Carreon, The Arizona Kid

Postby admin » Sun Jan 22, 2017 4:55 am

The Royal Hunt of Donald the Terrible
by Charles Carreon
January 21, 2017

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THE PLEASURES OF SHOOTING. AFTER LUNCHEON THE "BEATING" IS A LITTLE WILD.
[Michael J. Morell, Michael V. Hayden, James Clapper, Hillary Clinton, John Brennan, Hunters; Donald Trump, Tiger]


Washington loves nothing so much as a hunt, and the hunt started by the CIA, that set CNN and the rest of the press to croaking like a swamp full of bullfrogs, has been a Royal Hunt, indeed. Built of purest innuendo, the “intelligence dossier” that gave room for full-bore accusations of treason against the President Elect, has been elevated to the level of “credibility” by circuitous statements that hang from nothing but their own brazen assertions. Take this sampling of tautological statements that attempt to turn the “intelligence dossier” into something other than naked slander:

Jesus fucking Christ. This gun isn't smoking. It's burst into flame. "The memos describe several purported meetings during the 2016 presidential campaign between Trump representatives and Russian officials to discuss matters of mutual interest, including the Russian hacking of the Democratic National Committee and Mrs. Clinton's campaign chairman, John D. Podesta." This is the evidence that the election was corrupted by the Trump team's collusion with a foreign power, and it seems very very very likely Trump knew. Treason.
-- Rebecca Solnit (Tweet), The New York Times

“Look, don't take anything in this dossier as gospel. But it's definitely evidence in favor of some pretty extraordinary claims.”
-- Zack Beauchamp @zackbeauchamp

Stunning and believable narrative in leaked docs describing alleged rift in Kremlin over meddling in US elections … Bombshell if true: Trump lawyer @MichaelCohen212 & Kremlin reps allegedly held clandestine August meeting in Prague
-- Borzou Daragahi @borzou

With CNN confirming that intelligence chiefs consider this report credible, it's about time to start using the word "treason."
-- Markos Moulitsas @markos

The evidence is questionable, but the idea looks entirely plausibleUnverifiable sensational details aside, the Trump dossier is a good reflection of how things are run in the Kremlin … with methods borrowed from the KGB … [so] whatever the truth of Putin’s connections with Trump, [it’s all] pretty scary.
-- Andrei Soldatov, The Guardian

Regardless of truth or falsity, I can see why they thought the president-elect should know.
-- Former CIA Director Michael Hayden


The New Journalism: Believing Double-talk From People Who Lie for A Living

Using weasel-words like “alleged,” “purported,” and “not-Gospel,” to describe the “intelligence dossier,” while simultaneously citing it as “evidence of treason” is just doubletalk. Journalists used to help us make the distinction between allegations and evidence, but that’s not the approach they’re taking here – urging readers to believe for the sake of believing whenever the story is good enough to believe. That a narrative is “stunning and believable” is a description of good fiction, not an indication of its accuracy. That an idea is “plausible” does not commend it to the wise for acceptance, but merely for consideration. That intelligence agents sometimes pass on information “regardless of truth or falsity” does not suggest that, by being passed along, false information becomes true.

But the authors of these words are all urging us to jump to another conclusion, not so tediously weighed down with logic: “When an ‘intelligence agent’ says something, even without a witness or anything more than their own words to support it, we must all stand up and salute it as ‘evidence’”. Well, for those of us with a memory longer than, say, 18 months, we can remember all the way back to when a spook was a spook, and his word, without evidence, was the worthless doubletalk of people who would have to kill you if they told you the truth. How times have changed.

“Less Here Than Meets the Eye”

Americans have been given a choice: to believe that Russia has its hand up Trump’s butt, and is running him like a puppet, or to deny that this is a proven fact. Those of us who are less than convinced that we are facing a commie takeover by Donald the Terrible don’t get a second chance to believe. We’re out of the discussion, exiled from “liberal” society, that has somehow decided to believe whatever the CIA has to say about the guy who was headed for, and now is sitting in, the White House. When we try to run down the facts behind the “intelligence dossier” that has been adopted as true by the same crowd that told us to watch out for “fake news,” we discover there are none. It’s all conjecture. As Tallula Bankhead famously observed, “There is less here than meets the eye.”

The Goal? To Imprison the President in Failed Policies

But the lack of evidence never sways the faith of believers. The beaters in this Royal Hunt have dedicated all of their firepower and noisemaking ability at flushing the President out of his lair and straight into the policy prison where the entire Establishment is now wailing that all Presidents must reside. Or what? There is a possibility of what? A rupture with past policies? An overturning of existing relationships? The reordering of relationships?

All those briefing books Trump refuses to read – they’re full of catechism, not knowledge. They are the latest advice from a cadre of pinheads who haven’t done anything particularly right in US foreign policy as far back as they’ve been an influence. Their catechism teaches that military expansionism is good foreign policy, and their dominance of all Washington thinking has now metastasized into the giant boil of pissed-off spies erupting on the forehead of official Washington in a grotesque, pulsing tumor. The only thing more grotesque than the CIA's resort to McCarthy-era propaganda tactics is the convulsive Seig-Heiling of the media lackeys as one body, thrilled at last to be part of the "liberal agenda."

Mistake me not for a Trumper, on this day or any of the remaining days of his administration. Nevertheless, the McCarthyite clamor now resonating the echo-chambers of the media regarding Donald Trump and the “Russian hacking scandal” is mere journalistic flatulence occasioned by gluttonous consumption of fact-free propaganda. What effect it will have on the policies of a man who seems to be hell bent on driving his motorcade through the front yard of the approved political habitation has yet to be seen.
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Re: Charles Carreon, The Arizona Kid

Postby admin » Mon Jan 23, 2017 5:24 am

A Brief Introduction to Jaynesian Bicameralism
by Charles Carreon
January 22, 2017

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Julian Jaynes didn’t quite convince Richard Dawkins that the theory of mind proposed in his 1976 psych-classic, “The Origin of Consciousness in the Breakdown of the Bicameral Mind” was correct – Dawkins remains on the fence about whether it’s pure bullshit or pure genius – but Jaynes certainly won first prize for Most Provoking Title for A Serious Book. Jaynes was competing in the burgeoning post-Freudian psych-theory market where Szasz, Laing, Leary and Lilly had already pitched their tents, so he undoubtedly wanted to cut through clutter and get people to hear his idea. The only drawback to his strategy is that, to the pedestrian ear, Jaynes’ dramatic declaration sounds a little like, “We Come From Crazy Ancestors Who Had A Breakdown, and Became Us.”

Bicameralism, Split-Brain Syndrome in Pre-Iliadic Humanity

Jaynes argues that our ability to cognize ourselves as human beings results from the linguistic integration of the two hemispheres of our brain. Jaynes further argues that for millennia, our human ancestors possessed a “bicameral mind,” in which the two brain hemispheres collaborated without the medium of self-conscious awareness, before the activity of naming events, objects and living beings blossomed into the magic of individual consciousness. If you were equipped with a bicameral mind living in the Indian subcontinent in 4000 BC, according to Jaynes, you literally could not think “I,” much less, “I should pick these mangos to eat later.” You’d just pick the mangos, eat as many as you could, and save some for later, because of learned responses generated by your nervous system, that he calls “aptic” systems, i.e., systems that make us apt at performing certain actions, what used to be called “instinct.”

The above illustration presumes that mangos are familiar, and thus no stress is created when they are seen. The person sees the mango, knows it is food, eats and stores it. But suppose the same person discovers an unfamiliar fruit outside of their usual domain. Now the bicameral mind might kick into action. The right brain might manifest as a voice, emanating from a haze around the fruit tree, and that voice might say, “Eat of this tree, for it is good.” Why? Since the idea of the self does not exist in the bicameral mind, the idea of aiding the self to survive cannot arise. Jaynes’ vision of these type of people includes even the heroes of the Iliad, such as Achilles, Hector, and Menelaus, all of whom ascribe what seem like rash, passionate actions to the irresistible power of the gods, whose voices drive them to act in ways that modern humans would call intemperate.

The bicameral condition of pre-Iliadic man, is therefore one of unconscious action, directed by forces either automatic or hallucinated. The automatic forces are the “aptic systems,” and the “divine” hallucinations are provoked by the untethered right hemisphere. Jaynes supports his interesting theory with evidence derived from split-brain research that proves that, in cases where the physical mechanism of hemispheric interconnection is physically damaged, the right brain and the left brain fail to integrate two things: perceptions and concepts. The integration of perceptions and concepts is a metaphor-fueled activity that occurs due to the interaction of brain hemispheres and the speech centers of the brain. Self-awareness and self-interest then supplants the visionary hallucinations.

Bicameralism in Westworld

A modern Jaynes fan, Marcel Kuijsten, head of an Institute dedicated to his theory, was recently interviewed on the topic of bicameralism after the term was uttered on the current TV series, “Westworld.” Kuijsten described the bicameral mind as what humans have “after language develops, but before we learn consciousness [so that instead] of an introspective mind-space, we’re hearing a commanding voice when we have decisions to make [until eventually humans] develop the ability to have introspection and little by little, the hallucinations are suppressed.”

“The hallucinations” that are associated with the “voices of the gods” must be understood to be quite different from something like “the voice of conscience,” which is a conscious structure constructed of concepts, that couldn’t exist in a bicameral mind. Unlike Jehovah, these “gods” perform no miracles, command no one to do the impossible, and exert a pure authority. By “pure authority,” I mean that when their inner voices speak, the bicameral people act. Bicameral minds cannot ponder the “influence of the divine” upon the “self,” nor can they choose by an act of “free will” to behave as “a sinner” or “a saint.”

Submission, Not Anarchy, Is the Bicameral Condition

So far, so good, but without a coordinating authority, would not all of these “gods,” shooting off their mouths in everyone’s head, create chaos? How can it be that, as Jaynes argues, bicameral minds operated the first agrarian societies, managing vast irrigated fields and timed harvests, gathering all the grain into central granaries, and operating complex administrative systems? As Kuijsten helpfully explains, summarizing Jaynes’ idea – bicameral people tended to hear the boss’ voice:

“You would hear the voice of the chief of the tribe, or the king, and then as the leader died, what would happen was that followers would still hear his commanding voice. So that’s why you see all around the world, the dead are treated as living, and fed, and propped up, and worshiped. So in the death of the leader, we see the birth of the concept of the gods. In ancient Egypt, for example, each king that dies becomes the God of Osiris.”


Thus, argues Jaynes, when the Chief died, people continued to get advice from him, a lot like the Clooney character showing up to help out the Sandra Bullock character in Gravity, described in this review:[1]

“[T]he scene in question involves the return of Clooney’s veteran astronaut, Matt Kowalski. Late in the game, Dr. Ryan Stone (Sandra Bullock) has reached her breaking point. She thinks that she has exhausted every possible opportunity to return home. She shuts down the oxygen the capsule that contains her, and prepares to asphyxiate. But she’s woken out of her stupor by her supervisor (Clooney), who reminds her of one last option she hadn’t explored. Only the catch is, Kowalski’s still dead, and Stone was – what? Imagining him? Envisioning him? Conjuring his essence? The scene is open to multiple interpretations.”


Well, if you were about to pull the plug on your ventilator because you couldn’t figure out how to save yourself, it might push you right back into a bicameral condition. Note the Bullock character has exhausted all of her conscious resources. This is a situation that, however good it is for the rest of her life, is just not being adequately addressed by “consciousness,” and so, she reverts to bicamerality long enough to get that “aha” experience, and rediscover what is beyond the known. But how would she explain it to the folks back at home? So she would quickly revert from bicamerality to consciousness, as soon as the danger was over.

Brain Plasticity and Post-Conscious Humanity

How did humans graduate from bicameralism to “consciousness?” As best I can tell at this stage of the reading, through language. By learning to attach names to perceptions, to discrete objects, to persons, and then, to the self. Having cognized the self, we can begin to experience it, to use it, and to recognize it in others.

Because Jaynes was arguing that human brains now operate differently from those of our ancestors with the same cerebral hardware, he also had to argue that this change in function was possible, thus throwing in his lot with the newly-emerging paradigm of brain plasticity. Today, we have plenty of evidence that the brain repurposes its neural resources with great flexibility, and can thus agree that the functioning of the brain has evolved as linguistic capacities developed, causing newer brains to be wired more efficiently as generations have grown up with ever-more sophisticated speech resources, including of course, the Internet.

So one must ask: if our consciousness arose from the “breakdown” of the bicameral mind, due toits inability to handle the stress of ambiguous situations as efficiently as a “conscious” interface, what could lead to the “breakdown” of consciousness? Could it be the labor of keeping up with machine intelligence? Could it be the overtaxing of consciousness by loading it with too many alternatives for a single mind to process? And if so, what would the next evolutionary stage be?

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Notes:

[1] http://www.cinemablend.com/new/George-C ... 39723.html
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