Jack Thompson vs. Entertainment Consumers Association

Let's see if I have it right -- Hollywood sends movies around the world that broadcast the message of freedom so loudly that it brought down the Berlin Wall and caused the Soviet Union to collapse. Here at home the power of media is very weak. Even seeing thousands and thousands of murders at an early age will not cause a child to be more disposed to violence. The most brutal misogynistic sexual violence never causes violent crime against women. Do not attempt to maintain both of these concepts in your mind simultaneously. It could damage your brain.

Jack Thompson vs. Entertainment Consumers Association

Postby admin » Thu Jun 18, 2015 9:33 pm

Jack Thompson vs. Entertainment Consumers Association
By John (Jack) B. Thompson

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Image

Figure 1. The relative strength of known public health threats.
A. Smoking and lung cancer
B. Media violence and aggression
C. Condom use and sexually transmitted HIV
D. Passive smoking and lung cancer at work
E. Exposure to lead and IQ scores in children
F. Nicotine patch and smoking cessation
G. Calcium intake and bone mass
H. Homework and academic achievement
I. Exposure to asbestos and laryngeal cancer
J. Self-examination and extent of breast cancer.

-- The Role of Media Violence in Violent Behavior, by L. Rowell Huesmann and Laramie D. Taylor


A Modest Video Game Proposal
by John (Jack) B. Thompson

[posted on 10th October 2005] [source: Advanced Media Network]

"Do unto others as you would have them do unto you." The Golden Rule

This writer has been saying for seven years that violent video games can be "murder simulators" that incite as well as train some obsessive teen players to be violent.

I've been on 60 Minutes and in Reader's Digest this year explaining how an Alabama teen, with no criminal record, shot two policemen and a dispatcher in their heads and fled in a police car -- a scenario he rehearsed for hundreds of hours on Take-Two/Rockstar's Grand Theft Auto video games.

I have sat with boys in jail cells, their lives over because of murder convictions, after they, with no history of violence, have killed innocents while in a dreamlike state. Said one cop who investigated such a murder in Grand Rapids, Michigan: "The killing was like an extension of the game."

The video game industry, through its lawyers, its spokesmen, and its head lobbyist, Doug Lowenstein, the president of the Entertainment Software Association, all say it is utter nonsense to suggest that what is dumped into a kid's head hour after hour, day after day, year after year, could possibly have behavioral consequences. Cigarette ads can persuade kids to smoke, but interactive simulators in which these same kids punch, hack, bludgeon, and maim affect not a wit their attitudes and behaviors, notwithstanding the findings of the American Psychological Association, published in August 2005.

The video game industry says Sticks and stones can break my bones, but games can never hurt me. Fine. I have a modest proposal for the video game industry. I'll write a check for $10,000 to the favorite charity of Take-Two Interactive Software, Inc's chairman, Paul Eibeler -- a man Bernard Goldberg ranks as #43 in his book 100 People Who Are Screwing Up America -- if any video game company will create, manufacture, distribute, and sell a video game in 2006 like the following:

Osaki Kim is the father of a high school boy beaten to death with a baseball bat by a 14-year-old gamer. The killer obsessively played a violent video game in which one of the favored ways of killing is with a bat. The opening scene, before the interactive game play begins, is the Los Angeles courtroom in which the killer is sentenced "only" to life in prison after the judge and the jury have heard experts explain the connection between the game and the murder.

Osaki Kim (O.K.) exits the courtroom swearing revenge upon the video game industry whom he is convinced contributed to his son's murder. "Vengeance is mine, I will repay" he says. And boy, is O.K. not kidding.

O.K. is provided in his virtual reality playpen a panoply of weapons: machetes, Uzis, revolvers, shotguns, sniper rifles, Molotov cocktails, you name it. Even baseball bats. Especially baseball bats.

O.K. first hops a plane from LAX to New York to reach the Long Island home of the CEO of the company (Take This) that made the murder simulator on which his son's killer trained. O.K. gets "justice" by taking out this female CEO, whose name is Paula Eibel, along with her husband and kids. "An eye for an eye," says O.K., as he urinates onto the severed brain stems of the Eibel family victims, just as you do on the decapitated cops in the real video game Postal2.

O.K. then works his way, methodically back to LA by car, but on his way makes a stop at the Philadelphia law firm of Blank, Stare and goes floor by floor to wipe out the lawyers who protect Take This in its wrongful death law suits. "So sue me" O.K. spits, with singer Jackson Brown's 1980's hit Lawyers in Love blaring.

With the FBI now after him, O.K. keeps moving westward, shooting up high-tech video arcades called GameWerks. "Game over," O.K. laughs.

Of course, O.K. makes the obligatory runs to virtual versions of brick and mortar retailers Best Buy, Circuit City, Target, and Wal-Mart to steal supplies and bludgeon store managers and cash register clerks. "You should have checked kids' IDs!"

O.K. pushes on to Los Angeles. He must get there by May 10, 2006. That is the beginning of "E3" -- the Electronic Entertainment Expo -- the Super Bowl of the video game industry. O.K. must get to E3 to massacre all the video game industry execs with one final, monstrously delicious rampage.

How about it, video game industry? I've got the check and you've got the tech. It's all a fantasy, right? No harm can come from such a game, right? Go ahead, video game moguls. Target yourselves as you target others. I dare you.


ECA’s Hal Halpin: Disbarred Jack Thompson Still a Threat, October 2, 2008: Entertainment Consumers Association (ECA) president Hal Halpin told The Escapist that, despite his recent disbarment, anti-game activist Jack Thompson will still be on the attack. “I did take some selfish joy in receiving Jack’s email announcing his formal disbarment, but you need to understand that Jack and I have a long and quite personal history, and in addition, I must receive a half dozen emails from him a day, so this was one that I appreciated receiving. Let’s put it that way. It’s important that gamers, while having every right to rejoice in their karmic victory, should understand that this really doesn’t diminish his ability to be a force against us. Jack’s not going anywhere… believe me.” Halpin also touched upon the controversy triggered by former ESA boss Doug Lowenstein’s criticism of the gaming press over its coverage of Thompson: “I read Doug’s reaction statement with a lot of interest, actually. As many who have been around the industry for some time know, Doug was my mentor when he ran the ESA and I the IEMA (Interactive Entertainment Merchants Association). I believe I’ve gone on record before saying that one of the single largest mistakes we, collectively, made was ignoring Jack. I was certainly culpable in following Doug’s lead, but in doing so we left Jack as the only voice at the microphone; we empowered him, and it was strategically unsound and, in hindsight, altogether wrong. I know that Doug stands by his decision and instead hoists the blame on the enthusiast press, but I respectfully disagree. It was the endemic media which cast the light on Jack, his misstatements and factual inaccuracies and point-by-point, systematically addressed his assertions… all the while educating their readers, and the mainstream media and public who cared to listen, on the realities of the situation. I’ve always felt that the gaming press was the most underutilized weapon in the arsenal when it comes to battling our detractors and it was one of the first things we went about rectifying when we launched the ECA, just under two years ago.” FULL DISCLOSURE DEPT: The ECA is the parent company of GamePolitics.

Hal Halpin: I get messages (IMs, emails, FB notes, etc.) from members all the time, asking what the (almost daily) notes are from JT. Since this one’s fairly harmless and I’ve redacted anything personal (not that I don’t love getting his threatening cease and desist letters), I thought I’d share it as a pretty typical exchange. They usually begin with a condescending message, addressed to me – and often including Dennis, the EIC of GamePolitics – and carbon copying in an ever-changing list of key enthusiast media (Kotaku, Joystiq, Wired, etc.). Once the pleasantries are finished, he typically closes with any one of his profanity-laden roster of insults (i.e. Hal is/You are an industry whore, shill, a$$h0le etc.). And then he signs off with some holier than thou email sig, which generally contradicts what he just wrote (e.g. I suffer your slander and libel quietly while you rage against injustice wearing the First Amendment like a cloak.). I typically don’t respond, but occasionally will – which sparks a flurry of replies. Fair warning: this stuff is not as exciting as you’re probably hoping, but you asked for it… Oh, one other thing to note: his new – and improved, IMO – sig says, “Only Admitted to Practice in U.S. District Court, Southern District of Florida, Not Admitted in Florida”… Reminds me of those credit card commercials… Priceless… Enjoy!

Jack Thompson, J.D., July 31, 2009: The Honorable Barack Obama, President of the United States, The White House, 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. NW, Washington, D.C. 20500 Via Fax and e-mail, Re: Murder Simulation Video Games Being Played by American Kids. Dear Mr. President: A video game industry lobbying organization disingenuously calling itself the Entertainment Consumers Association (ECA) is presently inundating you with canned, prewritten form e-mails from “voters and gamers” asking you to stop uttering anything negative about kids who are wasting their time and thus their lives playing senseless video games. These are not voters. These kids under 17 you are hearing from who are being sold Mature-rated games by major retailers, as the FTC has repeatedly shown. I commend you for urging parents to have their kids shoot baskets rather than virtual police officers. I thank you for suggesting that doing homework is a better way for a teenaged boy to spend his evenings than having sex with prostitutes who are then killed to get the trick money back. And as a father of a teenaged boy I wish to express my appreciation for your own parental values that tell you that a game in which it is proclaimed, “Let’s kill all the dirty Haitians” is not what American kids need to hear. I have had the disturbing privilege of representing families whose loved ones are dead and in the ground because their teen killers trained on murder simulation games to kill them. I would encourage you to have someone on your White House staff contact me so that you might meet with some of these victims to hear firsthand the horror that the video game industry has brought into their lives. Finally, I encourage you, as Commander in Chief, to shut down the Army’s illicit distribution of killer video games to kids, through the DOD’s Institute for Creative Technologies at USC, to hook them on how “ cool” it is to be a soldier and kill people. The fact is, as I stated on ABC’s World News Tonight, the federal government is a reckless participant in the violent video game business. One of the lessons of Columbine is that this collaboration must stop. A dear friend and collaborator with me is Lt. Col. Dave Grossman, who wrote On Killing, nominated for a Pulitzer Prize. Col. Grossman is the world’s leading expert on how video games millions of kids are playing are turning them into Mini-Manchurian Candidates, ready and able to author the next Columbines. You need to know what he knows. Your warnings to parents are possibly more needed than you know. Thank you, one father to another, Jack Thompson. “Be more concerned with your character than your reputation, because your character is what you really are, while your reputation is merely what others think you are.”

Jack Thompson, J.D., Only Admitted to Practice in U.S. District Court, Southern District of Florida, Not Admitted in Florida, July 22, 2009: Eugene Munin, General Counsel, Chicago Transit Authority, 567 West Lake Street, Chicago, Illinois 60661, Re: ESA Suit against the CTA. Dear Mr. Munin: The lawsuit filed today by the Entertainment Software Association against the Chicago Transit Authority regarding the improper placement of Mature-rated video game ads on buses is legal venturism at its worst. The retail end of the ESA called the Entertainment Retail Council (ERC) has established its own internal but publicly available policies by which Mature-rated game ads cannot be placed in settings in which substantial numbers of minors can see them. Thus, ESA’s own rules prohibit, in principle, the commercial speech that they are suing you all to allow. Put another way, ESA has formally acknowledged the harm that comes from pushing M-rated games to kids with advertising they might see, and yet here they are suing you all for following their lead. Incredible. With this information, you should be able to secure an order dismissing the case. Please contact me for more information. Regards, Jack Thompson

Hal Halpin, by Wikipedia: Hal Halpin (born September 1, 1969) is an American computer game executive and entrepreneur, and is the president and founder of the Entertainment Consumers Association (ECA). Background: Halpin is perhaps best known as the founder of the US video game industry’s retail trade association, Interactive Entertainment Merchants Association (IEMA) which merged with Video Software Dealers Association (VSDA) to form Entertainment Merchants Association (EMA) in 2006. He is currently the president of the Crest Group, a consulting company serving the video game industry. Crest Group is the association management company that previously managed IEMA and now manages the Entertainment Consumers Association (ECA). He is also a Contributing/Guest Editor for 1UP.com, BitMob, Electronic Gaming Monthly (EGM), Game Informer Magazine, GameDaily, GameTheory, IndustryGamers, and The Escapist. Career: The Entertainment Consumers Association was launched in response to the need for consumer rights advocacy following a string of anti-games and anti-gamer legislation which would have criminalized the sale of certain video games if not for the efforts of trade groups in opposition. The industry itself was well represented by the International Game Developers Association (IGDA), the Entertainment Software Association (ESA), and the Entertainment Merchants Association (EMA), but those that purchase and play games went completely unrepresented until the launch of the ECA. Notable ECA publications include GamePolitics, GameCulture and ECA Today. While running the IEMA, Halpin was involved in a number of historically important changes including the Hot Coffee scandal, retailers carding for mature-rated games, and the standardization of PC games packaging and related platform identification marks. During that time he also became a favourite target of noted anti-games activist and attorney, Jack Thompson. The two opponents were scheduled to debate publicly at the 2007 Penny Arcade Expo, but the debate was cancelled and replaced in the schedule with keynote speaker, Wil Wheaton. Prior to Crest, ECA, and IEMA, Halpin was the founder and president of Cyberactive Media Group, a business-to-business publishing company. There he was publisher of Interactive Entertainment Magazine (formerly known as GameWeek Magazine and Video Game Advisor), which was the leading trade publication serving the sector. He also previously founded and was the publisher of GameDaily, the category’s primary daily news outlet. Although he claims credit for coining the phrase “interactive entertainment,” this claim is certainly untrue. Halpin previously founded and was the publisher of GameDaily, the category’s primary daily news outlet and career site and job board, GameJobs.com, which remains a staple HR tool serving the trade. Halpin also re-published David Sheff’s Game Over, a book on the history of the videogame industry considered by many to be the “Bible” of the video game business and re-launched the industry’s first charitable organization, Games for Good. Representation: While acting as president of the IEMA, Halpin was frequently called upon to represent the sector in mass-media outlets, speaking at conventions and trade shows, and in representing the medium to federal and state government representatives. His role became more public as president of the ECA while advocating consumer rights issues such as Net Neutrality and Universal Broadband, Fair Use and DMCA, ACTA negotiations transparency and Taxation on video games and other digital products. On March 25, 2009, speaking at the FTC workshop on Digital Rights, he recommended in testimony that the presence of embedded Digital Rights Management (DRM) technology be disclosed to customers prior to the sale/license of the software and that End User License Agreements (EULA) – also known as software license agreements – be standardized for packaged goods software. Halpin and ECA also represented the position of game consumers via an amicus brief and online petition regarding the U.S. Supreme Court case, Schwarzenegger v. EMA, known as the violent video games case. Controversy: On December 2, 2009, controversy arose regarding the ECA’s membership cancellation policy, in which the association’s membership terms and conditions were changed without notifying ECA users. The change was made due to an exploit in a partner’s coupon codes. The cancellation policy change temporarily required that members mail a physical letter requesting cancellation while the association upgraded their systems. There were also complaints about the change in the terms and conditions being made without notifying the membership, which struck some members as ironic given the ECA’s stance regarding End User License Agreements. The three-week ordeal ended on December 24, 2009, once the promised new modules went public giving members online account termination and an online auto-renewal opt-out functionality similar to Xbox Live and ECA’s listing with the CT Better Business Bureau was raised to an A-. Media Appearances: Halpin’s brother, Spencer, created a feature-length documentary about video game violence, Spencer Halpin’s Moral Kombat, in which Halpin is interviewed. He also appeared in Playing Columbine, a documentary about the controversial videogame, Super Columbine Massacre RPG!. According to IMDb, in addition to many interviews in the enthusiast gaming press, he has also appeared in episodes of Dateline NBC, CNBC Reports, G4 TV Reports and on NPR. Halpin is a vocal consumer advocate, providing reaction quotes and interviews for news media on topically-important issues and making himself available for national news journalists. Awards: “CheapAssGamer.com”‘s Most Memorable CAG Villain 2010 at the “7th Annual Cheapy Awards”

ECA Boss: Jack Thompson’s Still Trouble, by Logan Frederick, 1 October 2008: Gamers may have rejoiced to hear that Jack Thompson was disbarred, but Hal Halpin, the founder of the Entertainment Consumers Association, cautions, “Jack’s not going anywhere…… believe me.” “I did take some selfish joy in receiving Jack’s email announcing his formal disbarment, but you need to understand that Jack and I have a long and quite personal history, and in addition, I must receive a half dozen emails from him a day, so this was one that I appreciated receiving. Let’s put it that way,” stated Halpin. “It’s important that gamers, while having every right to rejoice in their karmic victory, should understand that this really doesn’t diminish his ability to be a force against us. Jack’s not going anywhere… believe me.” Last week, in a court decision celebrated by citizens of gaming-kind, lawyer Jack Thompson, who earned the ire of gamers by vigorously fighting against Grand Theft Auto IV, was disbarred from his the legal system of Florida for “cumulative misconduct…a total lack of remorse or even slight acknowledgment of inappropriate conduct.” “I read Doug’s [Lowenstein, ex-leader of the ESA] reaction statement with a lot of interest, actually. As many who have been around the industry for some time know, Doug was my mentor when he ran the ESA and I the IEMA (Interactive Entertainment Merchants Association),” explained Halpin. “I believe I’ve gone on record before saying that one of the single largest mistakes we, collectively, made was ignoring Jack. I was certainly culpable in following Doug’s lead, but in doing so we left Jack as the only voice at the microphone; we empowered him, and it was strategically unsound and, in hindsight, altogether wrong. I know that Doug stands by his decision and instead hoists the blame on the enthusiast press, but I respectfully disagree. It was the endemic media which cast the light on Jack, his misstatements and factual inaccuracies and point-by-point, systematically addressed his assertions… all the while educating their readers, and the mainstream media and public who cared to listen, on the realities of the situation. I’ve always felt that the gaming press was the most underutilized weapon in the arsenal when it comes to battling our detractors and it was one of the first things we went about rectifying when we launched the ECA, just under two years ago.” Halpin’s statement was in response to Entertainment Software Association founder and former head Doug Lowenstein, who voiced his opinion in a letter to Kotaku that the journalists covering Thompson’s actions legitimized him. “The game press had a schizoid relationship with Thompson,” Lowenstein wrote. The press, according to Lowenstein, “loved to vilify” for the sake of producing controversial stories, as opposed to ignoring his actions and hoping he’d disappear. Whether the press served as a platform for Thompson’s preachings or promoted opposition to his cause is still a divided subject with opinions varying throughout the industry and gaming community.

Former ESA Boss Bashes Press Over Jack Thompson Coverage, by Logan Frederick, 29 September 2008: Doug Lowenstein, the founder and longtime leader of the Entertainment Software Association, has written some choice words to the gaming media outlets for legitimizing the actions of anti-industry lawyer Jack Thompson, to the disagreement of popular political site GamePolitics. “Former game-hating lawyer and questionable loon Jack Thompson was disbarred by the Florida Supreme Court last week for ‘cumulative misconduct,’ much to the delight of game journalists.” Following the feeding frenzy media outlets had with Thompson’s departure, Doug Lowenstein, who started industry trade association ESA to allow game companies to self-regulate the industry and left in 2007 to lead the Private Equity Council, voiced his opinion in a written letter to Kotaku’s Brian Crecente that the games press glorified Thompson by giving his antics excess coverage. Lowenstein explained: “I read with more than passing interest the reports of Jack Thompson’s disbarment. Amid all the celebrating among the game industry, one thing I hope emerges is some degree of self examination by the game press of its own complicity in making Thompson what he became. The game press had a schizoid relationship with Thompson. He was the person they loved to vilify and the person they could not get enough of. Time and again, the game press – and mainstream press – would ask ESA to engage with, or respond to Thompson’s latest excess. The media knew well that he was a charlatan who wholly lacked credibility. But hey, they said, he was news and could not be ignored. That was a cop out. It gave Thompson a platform he might not have had for as long as he did.” Mainstream outlets (The Today Show, CNN, Fox) were worse but the game press knew better. But he was the game press’ crack. And even as they said privately he was a kook, they treated him as if he was a credible, fair minded critic. That represented an abdication of the critical filtering role the media should play. Lowenstein’s thoughts on the industry as part of political activities are generally admired by many in the business, but in this instance GamePolitics is pointing to his leadership at the end of his ESA tenure as the cause of Thompson’s popularity. “On this issue Doug Lowenstein should look in the mirror. It was Lowenstein’s own unwillingness to stand up to Thompson years ago which emboldened the game-hatin’, soon to be ex-attorney,” posted GamePolitics. “By refusing to respond, Doug dropped the ball. Thompson, finding no resistance from the top of the video game industry, was empowered to push harder. In retrospect, it’s important to understand that bullying is the essence of Thompson’s strategy.” The site continued, “As for Doug Lowenstein, he’s way out of line to suggest a ‘critical filtering role’ for the gaming press. He is essentially saying that game sites should censor news that the video game industry doesn’t like – in this case, news about Jack Thompson. Doug seems to be laboring under the impression that the gaming press works for the benefit of big money game publishers instead of readers. Doug Lowenstein, of course, left the video game industry in 2007 for a new gig lobbying on behalf of the hedge fund crowd. Come to think of it, isn’t there enough for Doug to worry about on Wall Street these days? Perhaps he should leave the gaming issues to the gaming press.”
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Re: Jack Thompson vs. Entertainment Consumers Association

Postby admin » Thu Jun 18, 2015 9:37 pm

IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF FLORIDA

CASE NO. Case No. 07-20866

JUDGE PAUL C. HUCK

JOHN B. THOMPSON,
Plaintiff,
versus
THE FLORIDA BAR, R. FRED LEWIS, CHARLES T. WELLS, HARRY LEE ANSTEAD, BARBARA J. PARIENTE, PEGGY A. QUINCE, RAOUL G. CANTERO, KENNETH B. BELL, DAVA J. TUNIS, and GAWKER MEDIA,
Defendants.

THIRD AMENDED COMPLAINT FOR DECLARATORY RELIEF, INJUNCTIVE RELIEF, AND DAMAGES

COMES NOW plaintiff, John B. Thompson, hereinafter Thompson, as a citizen and as an attorney on his own behalf, and seeks declaratory relief, injunctive relief, and monetary damages, to-wit:

THE PARTIES

1. Thompson is an attorney in good standing with The Florida Bar and has been since 1977. He is a citizen of the United States, more than eighteen years of age, and a resident of Miami-Dade County, Florida.

2. Defendant The Florida Bar, hereinafter also referred to as The Bar, has been created by the Florida Supreme Court and is an arm of government of the State of Florida for the ostensible purpose of regulating the practice of law.

3. Defendants R. Fred Lewis, Charles T. Wells, Harry Lee Anstead, Barbara J. Pariente, Peggy A. Quince, Raoul G. Cantero, and Kenneth B. Bell, collectively and individually referred to hereinafter as Justices, are the Chief Justice and Justices, respectively, of the Florida Supreme Court.

4. Defendant Dava J. Tunis, hereinafter Tunis, is an Eleventh Circuit Court Judge chosen to be referee in the prosecution of all pending Bar “disciplinary” matters against Thompson.

5. Defendant Gawker Media is a corporation operating in the United States, incorporated in an unknown state. It is headquartered in New York, New York, and owns and operates a number of web sites on the Internet, including but not limited to a video game enthusiast site at www.kotaku.com.

VENUE AND JURISDICTION

6. This is the appropriate venue for this action, given the residence of Thompson within this federal court district and in light of the fact that The Bar has an office in Miami-Dade County.

7. Subject matter jurisdiction resides within this court on a number of grounds, including but not necessarily limited to the following:

a. 18 USC 2201 grants jurisdiction to this court for the purpose of granting declaratory relief.

b. 42 USC 1983, 42 USC 1985, 42 USC 1988, 18 USC 241, and 18 USC 242 grant jurisdiction to this court by virtue of the deprivation of the civil rights of Thompson by The Bar.

c. Additionally, a “federal question” is at issue between the parties as to the meaning and application of the First Amendment to the United States Constitution, not only as to the “petition clause” thereof but also as to freedom of speech and freedom of religion, as well as to the application of the immediately preceding noted federal civil rights statutes.

d. Thompson seeks monetary damages in excess of the minimum $75,000 jurisdictional limits of this court.

PREFATORY STATEMENT

This week United States Circuit Court of Appeals (D.C) Judge Janice Rogers Brown identified the problem that gives rise to this lawsuit: This African American jurist spoke at Harding University, reported as follows:

Brown said those who attack the religious right “essentially argue (that) the true American religion demands acceptance of, indeed submission to, a common political vision — their vision.”

In the 20th century, secular humanism crept into American and Western governments, promising openness and tolerance for diverse groups, religions and philosophies, she said. “What we got was narrow positivism, moral relativism and the totalitarian reign of the radical multiculturalist,” Brown said. “It promised peace. What we got was a process of permanent revolution, tumult, strife and a ceaseless assault upon the foundations of faith, family and civil society. It promised if not the pursuit of truth, at least rationality and acknowledgment of objective reality. What we got was postmodernism.” The battle, in her view, is not political but theological: “Contrary to the prevailing secularist dogma ... a society cannot exist without a fighting faith. Where society has nothing to die for, it has nothing to live for and cannot long survive.”


Circuit Court Judge Brown would not be surprised by the allegations and the relief sought in this complaint, as The Florida Bar has allowed itself to become an engine for “multiculturalism” at the expense of people of faith.

FACTS COMMON TO ALL COUNTS

THE FIRST SLAPP BAR COMPLAINT, NOW CONCLUDED, BROUGHT IN 2004


8. For twenty years, Thompson has been involved in successful efforts against certain sectors of the American popular entertainment industry which has illegally marketed, distributed, sold, and broadcast adult material to children, adolescents, teens, and minors. Thompson secured the first decency fines ever levied by the Federal Communications Commission by applying 18 USC 1464 to this adult material provided to children, which criminalizes the airing of “indecent” broadcast material. That statute has been held constitutional by the U.S. Supreme Court in FCC v. Pacifica.

9. Between the time of those FCC fines in 1989, which the shock radio stations paid, and now, Thompson has a) secured more FCC decency fines than any other single citizen, b) persuaded Time Warner to stop selling rapper Ice-T’s “Cop Killer worldwide (Ice-T now portrays a cop on television), c) served as amicus curiae in the 2 Live Crew federal obscenity trial in which this very court entered a verdict that a sound recording was obscene under Miller v. California (the first such ruling in the planet’s history), d) stopped the State of Florida from funding, in violation of state law, the exhibition of what were then called “X-rated” movies with taxpayer dollars, e) forced the Howard Stern Show off all Clear Channel Communications radio stations across the country (which prompted Stern to say “This lunatic lawyer in Miami got me off the air), f) has now successfully litigated in Alabama to the brink of trial the first video game copycat murder case, as featured on CBS’ 60 Minutes, and g) just generally annoyed the extremist, scofflaw elements within the American entertainment industry who think they have a “constitutional right,” despite the clear meaning of our laws, to market even adult-rated and labeled entertainment products to children.

10. Thompson has also, along the way, managed to annoy the intolerant liberals, including the Board of Governors, who run The Florida Bar and who side with the porn-to- kids industry when it brings, through its lawyers, SLAPP (strategic litigation against public participation) Bar complaints as a “shoot the messenger” tactic by the industry to chill, infringe upon, and or harm the constitutional rights of Thompson. The Bar has a documented history of animus and intolerance against Thompson upon which it has repeatedly acted.

For example but not in an exhaustive listing of The Bar’s long-standing illegal acts against Thompson, The Bar, in the early 1990s was easily persuaded by the former chairman of the Florida ACLU and a lawyer for one of the shock radio hosts whose three stations Thompson got fined by the FCC, asked for and got from the Florida Supreme Court an order commanding Thompson to submit to a battery of psychiatric and psychological tests by health care providers of The Bar’s own choosing to “determine if Jack Thompson’s obsession against pornography is so severe that he is disabled by it and thus unfit to practice law.” Pause.

11. The happy result was that Thompson is now the only officially Bar-certified sane lawyer in Florida. The Bar’s experts found that “Thompson is a Christian acting out his faith.” The Bar’s insurance carrier compensated Thompson for this illegal Bar attempt to publicly pathologize his faith, which harmed Thompson greatly.

12. Fast forward to 2004. On February 24, 2004, Thompson forced the Howard Stern Show off all Clear Channel stations in America, as already noted, when Stern aired the following comment, coast to coast, to children and adults alike:

“Ever bang any famous nigger chicks? What do they smell like? Watermelons?”


13. Stern was, as a result, off the air in South Florida because of the actions of Thompson which need not be delineated here. African American women have expressed their hearty appreciation to Thompson. There one broadcast station, however, in South Florida, which thought it appropriate to return Stern to our community, and it is a major sports/talk station here in Miami. That return by the South Florida radio market to the sewer occurred on August 16, 2004. This broadcaster apparently did not object to Stern’s on-air request, two days after the catastrophic events of September 11, 2001, to Manhattan “hookers” to serve rescue workers at “Ground Zero” with oral sex on their breaks from sifting through the smoldering rubble.

14. On August 24, 2004, the attorney for this radio station threatened Thompson with a Bar complaint if he did not apologize for filing a new FCC complaint against the Howard Stern Show. Since that threat, by the way, Stern’s syndication broadcaster has admitted to its and his illegal airing of indecent material in a November 2004 $3.5 million Consent Decree with the federal government’s FCC. Thompson was one of the citizens, according to the FCC, which helped forge that Consent Decree. Thompson was happy to help.

15. The aforementioned radio station attorney, however, went ahead and filed his SLAPP Bar complaint to punish Thompson for his public-spirited activism before the FCC regarding Stern. It is important to note that this was the same attorney who collaborated over a decade earlier with the former ACLU chairman and with the The Bar to secure the ill-fated Florida Supreme Court order which attempted, unsuccessfully and illegally, to pathologize Thompson’s faith.

16. The Bar, apparently excited to have another regulatory shot at Thompson, collaborated with the aforementioned broadcast station and its outside attorney, starting on August 24, 2004, for thirty-one (31) months in harassing Thompson with this station’s SLAPP Bar complaint intended to punish Thompson for the exercise of his “petition right” protected by the First Amendment to the United States Constitution.

17. The Bar appointed a respected local attorney by the name of David Pollack of the Stearns Weaver law firm to serve as “outside investigator” of this SLAPP Bar complaint. Pollack issued his written report. He found that there was absolutely no probable cause for The Bar to proceed with it.

18. The Bar did not care what Mr. Pollack found. The Bar on March 16, 2006, convened Grievance Committee 11-F, excluded Thompson from the hearing, and found “probable cause” as to the aforementioned complaint arising out of Thompson’s activism against the Howard Stern Show. The Bar’s “designated reviewer” of this Star Chamber Grievance Committee 11-F hearing was none other than Bar Governor Ben Kuehne, a prominent activist member of the ACLU, whose national organization has consistently targeted Thompson over the years. The Bar did not see the inherent unfairness of having such a person in a First Amendment matter sitting in judgment of the “fairness” of the treatment of Thompson, even given the ACLU’s connection to the earlier attempt to pathologize his faith. The Bar might as well have had Manuel Noriega assure the effectiveness of its anti-drug program.

19. Eleven more months of harassment by The Bar of Thompson with this baseless Bar complaint went on after Grievance Committee 11-F ignored its own outside investigator’s report.

20. During that period of time, The Bar demanded, in writing, that Thompson once again climb onto The Bar’s psychoanalysis couch so that he could be evaluated by the Florida Lawyer’s Assistance Program! There they went again down that bunny trail of harassment, having learned nothing because it wanted to learn nothing.

21. Finally, The Florida Bar, after it got as much mileage as it could out of this SLAPP Bar complaint, which the complainant’s lawyer ballyhooed to others, including the FCC, as proof of Thompson’s unfitness to practice law, dismissed with prejudice the complaint. It did so not as any negotiated agreement or plea with Thompson, but rather because this SLAPP pursuit of Thompson by The Bar had proven too embarrassing to The Bar for even it to want to hang onto it and use it any longer. But the damage to Thompson as well as to his reputation and to his efforts in what he cares deeply about had already been done by virtue of The Bar’s illegal and unconstitutional harassment of Thompson. Thompson’s right to exercise his First Amendment “petition right” to the federal government and the exercise of his religious faith meant absolutely nothing to The Bar. It had been itching for a rematch for quite some time.

THE FLORIDA BAR’S ONGOING VIOLATIONS OF U.S. SUPREME COURT CASE KELLER V. STATE BAR OF CALIFORNIA, WHICH PROHIBITS EXTRANEOUS IDEOLOGICAL/POLITICAL ACTION BY COMPULSORY STATE BARS

22. The liberals and “multiculturalists,” to use Judge Brown’s accurate term, who infest The Bar’s Board of Governors are also doing on the macro level what they have done to Thompson at the micro level. They have an agenda on which they are acting that violates what the federal courts have held state bars can safely, constitutionally do.

23. The Florida Bar for years has been violating the unanimous United States Supreme Court case of Keller v. State Bar of California, 496 US 1 (1990) which prohibits unified, integrated, compulsory state bars from engaging in any activities whose purpose is to do anything other than promote the administration of justice, improve the quality of legal services, and promote the legal profession. Period. To the extent that any state bar goes beyond that, it is in violation of Keller. That is not Thompson’s opinion. That is the unanimous opinion of the U.S. Supreme Court.

24. It is also the opinion of The Florida Bar, at least on paper. The Bar’s own official, written, and published public policies as to what activism The Bar can engage in cite Keller and apply its restrictions to The Bar, but in name only. The Bar also states that even the voluntary “Sections”of The Bar must be careful in what they do. The below is from 9.50, “Legislative Activities of Sections.” A Bar Section may only put forth a position if

“(3) the issue is not one that carries the potential of deep philosophical or emotional division among a substantial segment of the membership of the bar.”


25. Despite the clear authority of Keller and The Bar’s own rules and regulations, The Bar for years has been involved in brazen efforts to impose its unique agenda not only upon its members but also upon the residents of this state. For example,

a. With this state and this country deeply divided over the Terri Schiavo “right to life/right to die” case, then Florida Bar President Kelly Overstreet Johnson, on behalf of the entire Bar, released to the media a “Statement” siding with Circuit Court Judge Greer and his rulings in the case. Ms. Johnson dressed up her defense of the Judge in a call for “judicial independence,” but the message was clear as it was intended to be: “Judge Greer is an ideal representative of this type of judge citizens want to hear their case. His rulings are based on laws, not emotions and not politics.” Thus, those who oppose Judge Greer’s rulings on any basis are to be discounted. That would include the twice democratically elected Governor of the State of Florida, Jeb Bush, who was not impressed with Judge Greer’s “judicial independence.”

Neither were many Americans, who were deeply divided in the Schiavo case, which arguably was the most divisive controversy in Florida’s recent history, eclipsing even the furor over “Elian.” Proof of that is that Governor Bush said he received more mail on the Schiavo matter than on any other issue during his tenure a Governor.

Yet Ms. Johnson’s public comments, made officially on behalf of The Bar, were not the musings of some Bar “Section” chair. Consider the following results from the respected Zogby polling organization:

The Zogby poll found that, if a person becomes incapacitated and has not expressed their preference for medical treatment, as in Terri's case, 43 percent say "the law presume that the person wants to live, even if the person is receiving food and water through a tube" while just 30 percent disagree.

Another Zogby question [bears] directly on Terri's circumstances.

"If a disabled person is not terminally ill, not in a coma, and not being kept alive on life support, and they have no written directive, should or should they not be denied food and water," the poll asked.

A whopping 79 percent said the patient should not have food and water taken away while just 9 percent said yes.


b. This year, U.S. Defense Department’s Charles Stimson, who is in charge of military detainees suspected of terrorism, suggested that corporate clients of large law firms representing these suspected terrorists might want to take their law business elsewhere. Mr. Stimson was not alone. The New York Times reported on January 12: The same point appeared Friday on the editorial page of The Wall Street Journal, where Robert L. Pollock, a member of the newspaper’s editorial board, cited the list of law firms and quoted an unnamed “senior U.S. official” as saying, “Corporate C.E.O.’s seeing this should ask firms to choose between lucrative retainers and representing terrorists.”

The Florida Bar’s current President, Hank Coxe, went off the deep end, issue a torrid news release on behalf of the entire membership of The Florida Bar, ridiculing Stimson, Attorney General Gonzales, and calling upon President Bush to repudiate Stimson for his “ignorance.”

Actually, it was Mr. Coxe who was displaying his “ignorance.” Mr. Stimson has made it very clear that he favors zealous representation of criminal defendants, as he himself had been a criminal defense lawyer. He was simply making the point that clients can vote with their feet as to what law firms they choose. The U.S. Supreme Court case of NAACP v. Claiborne Hardware makes the point about First Amendment-protected economic boycotts quite nicely.

c. Bar President Coxe is not content in using his official post to rail against the right of corporations to choose their own legal counsel. Mr. Coxe during last year’s general election officially condemned the Christian Coalition and the Florida Family Policy Council who sent questionnaires to state judicial candidates seeking their views on the issues of the day. Mr. Coxe thinks voters do not have a right to know what their elected officials believe and may do in office, based upon those beliefs.

Mr. Coxe is thus officially showing his “ignorance” of the law yet again. The U.S. Supreme Court in Republican Party of Minnesota v. White, 536 U.S. 765 (2002) held that judicial candidates can freely give their opinions on the issues of the day. Mr. Coxe may be confused in that the Florida Supreme Court and The Florida Bar chose to ignore that U.S. Supreme Court ruling for quite sometime, just as both are now ignoring the Supreme Court’s ruling in Keller.

Plaintiff could relate more confusions by Florida Bar Presidents, past and present, about whether a Florida Bar President has been elected to represent the profession or the Democratic Party, the ACLU, or some other liberal group, but the court surely gets the idea.

d. If one goes to www.flabar.org, the official web site of The Bar, one can read that The Florida Bar favored and expended funds, officially, on behalf of all Bar members, passage of Amendment 3 to the Florida Constitution. Amendment 3 was known as the “Stupid Voter Amendment” in that its purpose was to thwart the majority of Floridians in making it far more difficult to amend the state constitution, requiring instead a “super majority” to do so.

This is politicking by The Bar for a measure that has no defensible link to the provision of legal services in this state. It is also Orwellian for a Bar that calls its leaders the “Guardians of Democracy” (See Exhibit A Bar brochure cover) to a) expend funds to promote an anti-democratic measure, b) over the wishes of its compulsory dues-paying members. These people are far more accurately called the “Guardians of Tyranny.”

e. Turning to the aggressive left-wing politicking of some of The Bar’s Sections, the court should know that this April 12 and 13 the Equal Opportunity Law Section is hosting its annual Diversity Symposium at FIU. Even though The Bar defines “diversity” as including “religion,” not a single person of faith will be on the official panel to discuss that issue. Instead, the assembled will be treated to the typical “multicultural” mélange, typified by this official topic ballyhooed at The Bar’s official Internet site: “Coming Out and Surviving: The Invisible Minority.” Thus, here we have The Bar, as it has done for quite sometime and in many ways, promoting the homosexual agenda. Does The Bar seriously think that this Section’s promotion of this topic is not violative of its already-noted official warning to itself:

“(3) the issue is not one that carries the potential of deep philosophical or emotional division among a substantial segment of the membership of the bar.”


f. Finally, but not exhaustively, the public can peruse The Bar’s official web site, funded by all Bar member’s compulsory dues, and find that the Entertainment, Arts, and Sports Law Section

1. Supports full and complete state funding for the arts and the arts education programs in Florida, as well as the continued existence of the Corporations Trust Fund, and urges the Florida legislature to continue and increase the funding of these arts programs and organizations. [emphasis added]


Are these people kidding? First of all, what does state funding for the arts have to do with the practice of law? Secondly, where have these people been for the past twenty years so that they missed the public outrage over government funding of the “Piss Christ”—the taxpayer support of the placement of a crucifix in a jar of urine. Plaintiff Thompson was on Oprah as one of five guests on the topic, for Heaven’s sake (is plaintiff allowed to say that?), and apparently The Bar elites missed not only that show but the entire national debate on the issue.

26. Plaintiff could go on, citing other examples of the incredible and sustained and unco5nstitutional headlong lurches by this Bar in pursuit of its Governors’ collective left-wing agenda, but discovery herein will flesh them out more fully.

However, it is important and fair to note that the abiding current obsession of this Bar’s leadership is with what it euphemistically and cleverly calls “judicial independence.” As we all saw in President Johnson’s expedition into the Schiavo swamp, The Bar seeks to insulate the judiciary from any and all democratic impulses by any means possible, even to the extent of President Coxe’s formal opposition to citizens’ asking judicial candidates what in the world they stand for.

27. One can read, with one’s jaw dropped, article after article in The Bar’s official, dues-funded Florida Bar Journal and Florida Bar News that the judicial branch of government is clearly the most important of the three branches. One such article even states that the Founders were wrong in thinking otherwise! This incredible stuff, paid for by all Bar members, and the divisiveness of which is shown by poll after respected poll of Americans that show deep concern about the judiciary’s growing insulation from any accountability. That insulation and arrogance is precisely what The Bar wants. Yet, it has no business whatsoever, in light of Keller, trying to move our state and our nation further down that road to autocratic tyranny.

28. So arrogant is the recent and current leadership of The Florida Bar that it has actually exhibited the shameless audacity to portray themselves, pictorially, as the “Guardians of Democracy” on the attached Bar brochure, Exhibit A, as already noted.

29. Pictured among the self-styled “Guardians of Democracy” is the current President of The Florida Bar, Hank Coxe, who told Thompson and his lawyer, to their faces in a May 15, 2006, meeting in Tallahassee that Thompson “should be suspended from the practice of law for his vitriol.” This may be the first time the head of a state bar has maintained that a lawyer should be suspended from the practice of law for an alleged attitudinal problem. Given The Bar’s growing anti-Christian, anti-faith bias, Mr. Coxe undoubtedly would have found Jesus Christ’s repeated upbraiding of the Pharisees to be unacceptably “vitriolic.”

30. This same Mr. Coxe was tasked by The Bar to perform a specific legitimate Bar duty before he became Bar President. Miles McGrane, then Florida Bar President, ordered and conducted a poll of all Florida Bar members as to their opinion of our Bar’s disciplinary system. . A substantial number of poll respondents stated that discipline is pursued and meted out based not upon what one did but upon who one was or whom one knew. In other words, The Bar’s own members red-flagged the selective prosecution of The Bar. President McGrane appointed a Special Commission to deal with this and other Bar discipline issues, and he named as its chair Mr. Hank Coxe. What did Mr. Coxe do by way of recommendation about the problem of selective prosecution enunciated above? Absolutely nothing.

31. So here we have a Bar, now headed by a man who has the time and the misguided ultra vires desire to weigh in as Bar President on divisive political issues of the day, but who couldn’t find the resolve to fix The Bar’s unfair disciplinary system, despite the clear teaching of Keller that that is precisely what bars and their officials are supposed to do.

32. At all times during which the related events gave rise to this cause of action, the defendant Justices of the Florida Supreme Court had a duty to oversee the functioning, in all respects, of The Florida Bar, so much so that any and all omissions or commissions of The Bar were those of the Supreme Court collectively and the Justices individually, within the clear meaning of federal civil rights laws.

COUNT I.

DECLARATORY AND INJUNCTIVE RELIEF SOUGHT AND THE LEGAL BASIS THEREFOR AS TO THE FLORIDA BAR IN LIGHT OF KELLER


33. Plaintiff reasserts and realleges all of the preceding paragraphs, 1-32.

34. The Bar’s ongoing violation of Keller v. State Bar of California is also violative of the First Amendment rights and other constitutional rights of members of The Florida Bar of which Thompson is one.

35. The Bar’s political, ideological, illegal, and thus unconstitutional acts are violative of Keller and The Bar’s own Rules. The Bar is unified, integrated, and compulsory in nature, and thus they must be declared illegal and unconstitutional by this court and also enjoined thereby, both as to those ultra vires acts as applied to all Bar members and also as to Thompson in whatever form.

WHEREFORE, plaintiff seeks a declaratory judgment that The Bar has violated Keller and that it cannot continue to violate Keller. Further, a permanent injunction is sought giving full force and effect to such a ruling with an order relating to Keller that directs The Florida Bar to cease and desist from future deviations from Keller in light of The Bar’s brazen refusal to abide the U.S. Supreme Court’s unanimous ruling in Keller. The contempt power of the federal judiciary, aimed with specificity at The Florida Bar, apparently must be wielded to accomplish what the rule of precedent has not accomplished with the scofflaws who run our compulsory, integrated Bar.

Further, the declaratory and injunctive relief sought is also intended to declare invalid and enjoin any and all official activities by The Bar, in whatever form, that do not further the legitimate, constitutional purposes of The Bar.

COUNT II.

MONETARY DAMAGES SOUGHT BY PLAINTIFF FOR THE BAR’S VIOLATION OF HIS FEDERAL CIVIL RIGHTS


36. Plaintiff reasserts and realleges all of the preceding paragraphs, 1-32.

37. Plaintiff previously brought a federal civil rights lawsuit against The Bar in this court which was dismissed without prejudice on the basis of Younger abstention because The Bar’s state regulatory proceedings were then pending. These were SLAPP assaults by disgruntled entertainment industry litigation opponents who enlisted the aid of the pliant Bar’s “disciplinary” system to harass Thompson.

That dismissal was an erroneous ruling in light of the case law that makes it clear that a federal civil rights lawsuit for damages arising out a pending state proceeding must only be stayed, and worst, and not dismissed.

38. Be that as it may, the aforementioned SLAPP Bar complaint is no longer pending. Younger abstention, or more accurately The Bar’s faulty use of Younger as a legal theory, cannot be seized upon by The Bar as a basis for dismissal of this action. The complained of Bar complaint is disposed of.

39. To be sure, The Bar, having learned absolutely nothing from its nearly twenty-year illegal, unconstitutional, criminal pursuit of Thompson, is presently maintaining other SLAPP Bar complaints brought by others inconvenienced by Thompson’s successful, public-spirited activism against the porn-to-kids entertainment industry sectors, but Thompson seeks no remedy—not yet—for those pending assaults on the Constitution. The time for that will come. These other SLAPP assaults are corroborative, however, from an evidentiary standpoint, of the incredible denial of Thompson’s First Amendment rights, his right to due process, his right to equal protection denied by The Bar’s selective prosecution of him, and so forth.

40. In what was a spiteful, baseless, and bizarre “disciplinary” pursuit of Thompson which has now been concluded, The Bar violated 18 USC 241 and 18 USC 242, in the latter regard under color of state law, by conspiring to deprive him, within the meaning of those two statutes, of his various constitutional rights as set forth above.

41. 42 USC 1983 and 42 USC 1985 afford Thompson a civil suit remedy in the form of an award of monetary damages to compensate him for the damage done to him by The Bar’s violation of his civil rights.

WHEREFORE, Thompson seeks an award for monetary damages against The Bar, and any other relief in this regard that the court might deem appropriate, including an award of attorney’s fees and costs under 42 USC 1988.

COUNT III.

MONETARY DAMAGES FOR THE FLORIDA BAR’S VIOLATION OF FLORIDA’S RELIGIOUS FREEDOM RESTORATION ACT


42. Plaintiff reasserts and realleges all of the preceding paragraphs, 1-32.

43. Florida Statutes, Chapter 761, is the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, and states as follows:

761.03 Free exercise of religion protected.--

(1) The government shall not substantially burden a person's exercise of religion, even if the burden results from a rule of general applicability, except that government may substantially burden a person's exercise of religion only if it demonstrates that application of the burden to the person:

(a) Is in furtherance of a compelling governmental interest; and

(b) Is the least restrictive means of furthering that compelling governmental interest.

(2) A person whose religious exercise has been burdened in violation of this section may assert that violation as a claim or defense in a judicial proceeding and obtain appropriate relief.


44. The Florida Bar violated this Florida Statute by its harassment of Thompson for thirty-one (31) months to punish him, with no governmental interest whatsoever, let alone a “compelling” one, for his religion-based activism, which The Bar itself officially found to be Thompson’s motivation for what he does.

WHEREFORE, Thompson prays this court for an award of monetary damages, including attorney’s fees and costs, as this statute provides, along with any other relief the court might deem appropriate.

COUNT IV.

INJUNCTIVE RELIEF AND AWARD OF ATTORNEY’S FEES AGAINST FLORIDA SUPREME COURT JUSTICES


45. Plaintiff reasserts and realleges all of the preceding paragraphs, 1-32.

46. The United States Supreme Court in Pulliam v. Allen, 466 U.S. 522 (1984), made it clear that a citizen can secure both injunctive relief and an award of attorney’s fees for violations of 42 USC 1983 by state court judges.

47. Toward that end, the past and ongoing violations of plaintiff’s federal, constitutionally-guaranteed civil rights by the Justices of the Florida Supreme Court are legion and egregious.

48. For example, this same state Supreme Court sought, unsuccessfully and disastrously, to pathologize Thompson’s Christian faith and activism over a decade ago, with many of these same Justices serving on that Court at that time.

49. Upon The Bar’s attempts to do this again, of which it is fully aware and approves, which efforts commenced anew in August 2004, Thompson repeatedly sought writs of mandamus from these Justices as a means of securing timely and appropriate judicial review of The Bar’s misconduct, and yet these Justices ignored Thompson’s state-side efforts to seek relief in that regard from them, even to the point of brazenly misciting case authority that actually stood for the proposition that Thompson was entitled to relief these Justices disingenuously denied him.

50. The calculated, illegal, and unconstitutional indifference to and denial of Thompson’s state and federal rights by these Justices is so full-blown that now these Justices have instructed their Clerk, Tom Hall, to hold onto Thompson’s $300 cashier’s check which is the filing fee for his writ of mandamus intended to secure state-side relief for The Bar’s “disciplinary” pursuit of Thompson that has absolutely nothing to do with discipline and has everything to do with infringing upon Thompson’s First Amendment and other federally-guaranteed constitutional rights. This absconding with the cash filing fee may amount to conversion by the court itself.

Be that as it may, the Justices are literally denying Thompson access to the state court system through which he is entitled at least to seek relief for the ongoing illegal, unconstitutional misconduct of The Bar. This type of arrogance by state officials in a southern state is precisely why the United States Congress passed the civil rights laws, also known as the “Ku Klux Klan” laws. Thompson is targeted not because of his color but because of his faith and his conservative politics. The American South is known for this type of nonsense.

51. If anyone doubts the propensity of these Southern state Justices to go beyond the bounds of the law and the Constitution, they need only read the U.S. Supreme Court’s rebuke of this same court in Bush v. Gore, as well as the stinging dissent by then Florida Supreme Court Chief Justice Wells’ from his own court’s unconstitutional missteps in Bush v. Gore.

52. These defendant Justices of this Florida Supreme Court have instructed through The Bar their outside litigation counsel, Barry Richard of Greenberg Traurig, to previously tell this federal court that Younger abstention prohibits the federal courts from doing anything whatsoever to remedy ongoing civil rights deprivations by this Bar that harm Thompson. Pulliam says otherwise, see supra.

53. Be that as it may, at the same time that these Justices instruct their counsel through The Bar to say Younger prevents a federal court from interfering with an ongoing state regulatory/judicial process which is made manifest by the ultra vires “disciplinary” harassment of Thompson) these same Justices disingenuously and illegally deny Thompson the one lone state remedy to which he is now entitled—a writ of mandamus as a means of addressing a Bar that is presently and irremediably harming Thompson in the Justices’ and The Bar’s denial of due process as well as substantive constitutional rights. Put yet another way, the Justices say: We’ll see you, Mr. Thompson, when we have finally destroyed your career and depleted you of all of your financial resources, and in the meantime we’ll laugh at and ignore your petitions for writ of mandamus, even to the point of pocketing the filing fee.

54. The Florida Supreme Court and these Justices cannot have it both ways. They cannot tell the federal courts to go fly a kite, saying Thompson has a state remedy, and then simultaneously deny Thompson a timely state judicial remedy.

55. These Justices’ duplicity notwithstanding, Pulliam and other U.S. Supreme Court cases control in this area of the law. Thus, since these Justices apparently have no intention whatsoever of conforming their illegal, unconstitutional behavior to what is required of them by the U.S. Constitution and the federal civil rights laws and even required of them by the body of statutory and case law pertaining to writs of mandamus in this state, Thompson seeks federal relief through this action. He has no other remedy, given the illegal conduct of these Justices and their Bar.

WHEREFORE, plaintiff Thompson seeks injunctive relief, under 42 USC 1983 and under Pulliam and other case authority for these Justices’ ongoing illegal, unconstitutional actions at his expense, as well as an award of attorney’s fees incurred as a result of the harm these Justices have already done, as provided for by 42 USC 1988.

COUNT V.

INJUNCTIVE RELIEF AND AWARD OF ATTORNEY’S FEES AGAINST CIRCUIT COURT JUDGE DAVA J. TUNIS


56. Plaintiff reasserts and realleges all of the preceding paragraphs, 1-32.

57. Judge Tunis was chosen by Miami-Dade Circuit Court Judge Joseph Farina to be referee over all “disciplinary” matters brought and pending against Thompson and is serving in that capacity.

58. Under Pulliam, as plaintiff reads it, Judge Tunis is personally liable for attorney’s fees, under the scheme set forth by federal civil rights laws, incurred by Thompson and can be enjoined for violations of Thompson’s federal civil rights, which are presently occurring.

59. This relief sought against Judge Tunis does not turn upon whether or not Judge Tunis bears any animus or any improper intent, as the aforementioned civil rights laws, 42 USC 1983, 1985, 1988 set forth the proper remedies therefore.

60. However, to date Judge Tunis has in fact, disturbingly, indicated by her comments from the bench at preliminary proceedings in pursuit of these SLAPP complaints that she is in fact in lockstep with the politically correct mindset of The Bar in its efforts to punish Thompson for his conservative. public activism.

61. Shockingly, Judge Tunis branded Thompson’s efforts to defend himself in formal pleadings mere “propaganda.” Such a statement about a respondent in a Bar disciplinary proceeding is outrageous but also revealing. This sort of bias that comes in part from being a part of the “legal establishment” is precisely why this federal court, and in fact this particular federal judge felt the need to recuse himself from a lawsuit brought against The Florida Bar, because he, Paul C. Huck, is licensed by The Florida Bar, as is Judge Tunis.

62. Thompson moved Judge Tunis, in the aftermath of her “propaganda” comment, to recuse herself. She refused. Her refusal makes the naming of her as a defendant herein, by a second amended complaint, both necessary and proper, but there are other reasons as well.

63. The Florida Bar has made it very clear that the entire “disciplinary” process it is using to harass Thompson and infringe upon his constitutional rights will enlist the aid even of referees to participate in this illegal, unconstitutional process. When it has gone so far that a referee who is supposed to be impartial is calling the respondent’s defense “propaganda” then any impartial observer can see what is going on here. The Bar, as to Thompson, has become a Star Chamber, presided over presently and conveniently by Miami-Dade Circuit Court Judge Dava J. Tunis. This charade must stop.

WHEREFORE, plaintiff Thompson seeks injunctive relief, under 42 USC 1983 and under Pulliam and other case authority for this Judge Tunis’ ongoing illegal, unconstitutional actions at his expense, as well as an award of attorney’s fees incurred as a result of the harm this Judge already done, as provided for by 42 USC 1988.

COUNT VI. CIVIL RIGHTS ACTION AGAINST GAWKER MEDIA

64. Plaintiff reasserts and realleges all of the preceding paragraphs, 1-32.

65. On April 16, 2007, plaintiff Thompson was asked by the Fox News Channel to be interviewed by Bill Hemmer to explain, given his experience and expertise in school shootings, what might be pieces of the causation puzzle regarding the massacre earlier that morning at Virginia Tech. At that point in time, 3:10 pm Eastern, Cho’s identity was not even known.

66. Thompson, as he has correctly done before in other situations (DC Beltway Sniper, Columbus Ohio Serial Highway Shooter, Southwood Middle School Killer, Columbine Rampage Killers, Red Lake Minnesota High School Killer, etc.) suggested that the “V Tech” rampage killer was probably someone who rehearsed the massacre on a violent video game as has so often been the case in similar situations. Such was the case last year, also, at Dawson College in Montreal when Kimveer Gill, Thompson pointed out on Fox News Channel’s April 16 interview, trained on Super Columbine Massacre and Postal 2, two mass murder simulators.

67. This was a plausible surmise, based upon eyewitnesses’ accounts, already known by the time of Thompson’s Fox interview, that the killer had a flat affect and calmly, methodically stalked and shot his prey. That cannot be done without rehearsal, and the common denominator rehearsal mechanism in a plethora of prior school shootings was a violent video game.

68. Thompson went so far as to tell Bill Hemmer and the international audience that the specific hyper-violent video game Counter-Strike trained Robert Steinhaeuser to author what until last Monday was the worst, as to body count, school massacre in world history. Steinhaeuser killed 16 and then himself after training on Counter-Strike. That fact changed the outcome of the Chancellor’s election in Germany and the law in that country as to the sale of such murder simulators.

69. Bill Hemmer, despite characterizations of plaintiff Thompson to the contrary by the video game industry, by The Florida Bar, and by others who have a vested financial or other interest in seeking to discredit him, told the audience and Thompson “how eloquent” he was, as Thompson lost his composure on the air, explaining that he was in his car with his 14-year-old son, whom he had just picked up from school. “I say a prayer everyday when I leave him at school, knowing there is no place safe, having sat with parents who have lost children in shootings like this one today.”

70. The next day, Thompson was doing a radio interview with a commercial station on the west coast of the United States when the host said, “Mr. Thompson, you’re not going to believe this, or maybe you will. The Washington Post is reporting right now that Cho was a massive player of Counter-Strike.” Indeed he was. Since then, the New York Times has reported this past Sunday that upon driving their son to Virginia Tech, the parents of Cho hoped that in going to college he would leave behind his immersion in video games. The chances of that, with no parental supervision, were slim and none, and Slim just left town.

71. Besides, science has now established the long-term effect of such violent entertainment consumption.

72. Whether Thompson and the mountain of science and the hundreds of scientists and physicians and law enforcement experts and the United States Department of Defense are all right or not, Thompson has a fundamental right to say what he said on Fox and later on MSNBC and other news outlets.

73. There is a whole subculture of people in this country, however, who think that “defense of the First Amendment” means driving people with whom they disagree out of the public square. These people are in the company of SLAPP Bar complainants, The Florida Bar, and others.

74. Specifically, an Internet web site at www.kotaku.com, within mere minutes of Thompson’s appearance on the Fox News Channel, posted a call to action by its “editor” Brian Crecente, who is a video game industry apologists as to its excesses, its illegalities, and its Stalinist tactics.

75. Mr. Crecente specifically referenced the need for The Florida Bar to succeed in its regulatory, “disciplinary” efforts against Thompson, and then proceeded to announce how utterly outrageous it was for Thompson to say such things on the Fox News Channel. So far so good. Mr. Crecente has every right to be what he is and push his agenda. Interestingly, Mr. Crecente has publicly stated and stated to Thompson directly that he has gotten his information about Thompson’s Bar difficulties directly from The Bar. If so, he and The Bar are putting into the public domain demonstrably false information in these regards.

76. What followed this screed by Mr. Crecente at Kotaku.com, owned and operated by Gawker Media, was a rather stunning but predictable response from the bloggers who are video game industry lemmings who are attracted like moths to a flame at Kotaku.com. This histrionic response is precisely what Mr. Crecente, Kotaku.com, and Gawker Media wanted. The entire Gawker Media empire, such as it is, is built upon the wretched excesses of the “blogosphere” and the most famous aphorism of P.T. Barnum. Gawker Media has a long history of acting irresponsibly in various regards. It organized a campaign to stalk actor George Clooney, for example, learning nothing from the stalking of Princess Diana.

77. The first Kotaku blogger out of the box, responding to Mr. Crecente’s tying of the health of the video game industry and freedom as we know it to the success of The Florida Bar against Thompson, stated in his post that “Jack [Thompson] should be shot.”

78. This was followed with other posts that Thompson should be struck with a baseball bat, shot in the face by an irate gamer, castrated and his testicles stuffed down his throat, and the exercise of other basic “constitutional” rights to advocate violence against an individual………………………………………………………………Not!

79. Thompson has repeatedly asked, simply, in writing, that Kotaku and Gawker Media remove from the Kotaku site the calls for physical harm and murder to be visited upon Thompson. Gawker Media’s “lawyer,” who does not appear to be licensed to practice law anywhere in the United States, a Ms. Gaby Darbyshire, has now twice written Thompson and said that such advocacy of physical harm toward Thompson is protected by the law, by the Constitution, and so forth, and that the posts will not, under any circumstances, be removed.

80. Ms. Darbyshire has miscited various cases which stand for the proposition that the operator of a web site that contains libelous posts, etc., unknown to the operator of a site, is not liable for them legally as to state court remedies. This makes sense, but the law is quite clear, at least to a lawyer licensed in this state, that a corporate entity which operates an Internet site, once it knows that its site is being used to advocate the murder of a citizen, has a legal duty to remedy that situation. Indeed, Thompson seeks a federal remedy, not a state remedy, and nobody, while we weren’t looking, repealed the federal civil rights laws that prohibit and punish attempts to intimidate a citizen for the exercise of his constitutional rights. Extortion is still extortion. Solicitation of murder is still solicitation of murder. And knowing conspiracy to facilitate any crime is still a criminal conspiracy.

81. Further, Gawker Media quite clearly states in its written corporate policies, posted on the Internet, along with the threats on Thompson’s life, that it will not allow “harassing” or “threatening” posts, and they will be removed. As such, Thompson is at least a third-party beneficiary of that contractual promise to enforce the posted rules at its Kotaku and other sites. That promise has been breached, to the detriment and harm of Thompson, for which Thompson seeks recompense.

82. The dangerousness of a corporate entity’s allowing the posting of calls for the assassination and brutalization of a citizen via the Internet and the refusal of that company to remove or edit those posts after it becomes aware of it can be demonstrated in a number of ways, but here is just one:

83. Thompson awoke at 5 am on Saturday, April 21, to read an e-mail from someone in Marin County, just east of San Francisco. This e-mailer wanted Thompson to know that he would be shooting to kill 20-30 people on the campus of UC-Berkeley. Thompson immediately called the campus police at Berkeley, and they responded with greater acumen that the negligent folks at Virginia Tech. They did so in part because that day was “Cal Day” when 30,000 people would be massed in an open area which would be akin to a shooting gallery. The e-mailer seemed to know that. To make a long story short, Thompson, campus police, the FBI, and Thompson’s own adroit cyber crimes and counter-terrorism expert friend in Erie, Pennsylvania, investigator Doug Hagmann, who has worked with the Defense Department, identified the sender, who was apprehended and cited later that day. It was a 14-year-old teen, who was incensed by Thompson’s identification of murder simulators as just one piece of V Tech puzzle. He has been cited for a felony. It appears, but it is not absolutely certain, that this kid got Thompson’s e-mail address from Kotaku.com. What a surprise. That will be known in due time, as the FBI is holding onto his computer.

84. Over a year ago, a Houston person was arrested and incarcerated for threatening to castrate and kill Thompson in a phone message he left at Thompson’s home. He was incited by an Internet “video game enthusiast site” to do this. Brian Crecente of Kotaku.com knows full well about this as do the people who run Gawker Media, and yet here at Kotaku.com this very day, still there because Gawker Media refuses to remove the illegal posts, is a call for Thompson to be castrated and his testicles stuffed down his throat.

85. One Internet idiot sent Thompson the following e-mail message just this day, out of the blue, which helps underscore the sociopathy of typical Kotaku knuckleheads:

“I didn't personally know the boy behind the Marin County incident, but I did know him from community forums, and what he did was stupid, yet, it is the only way to fight all of your suits against videogames. How else do you want us to fight back? I am a violent game enthusiast. I enjoy watching limbs fly, blood squirt, and so on.”

86. Gawker Media’s refusal to edit or remove the offending posts constitute a violation of Thompson’s federal civil and constitutional rights, including but not limited to violations of 18 USC 241 and 18 USC 242. He is entitled to injunctive relief as well as an award of monetary damages pursuant to 42 USC 1983, 42 USC 1985, and an award of attorney’s fees under 42 USC 1988.

87. Inherent in the aforementioned federal civil rights remedies is the notion of conspiracy of separate individuals and entities, either loosely or closely knit, who can and do collaborate and combine to infringe upon the rights of targeted individuals. What we have here, encompassed within the corners of this lawsuit, is a convenient collaboration among the video game industry SLAPP Bar complainants, the pliant, politically corrected Florida Bar, a Florida Supreme Court that is apparently too busy to oversee The Bar, a local judge and Bar referee whose loose lips labeled Thompson’s Bar defense “propaganda,” video game blogger sites who learned about the real meaning of the First Amendment from Stalinists, and finally video gamers themselves who, in order to prove violent games have no effect on their attitudes and behaviors, threaten video game industry critic Thompson with death.

88. What has been demonstrably done to Thompson is not some “wild conspiracy theory about The Bar” and others conjured up by Thompson in some paranoid’s delusion. If anyone is paranoid, it is the defendants named herein who can’t seemingly “get” the concept that the public square is for everyone, not just gamers and liberal thought police.

WHEREFORE plaintiff Thompson seeks the aforementioned remedies, both monetary damages, attorneys fees, and injunctive relief, available to him under 42 USC 1983, 42 USC 1985, 42 USC 1988, and any other relief available to him that is appropriate.

COUNT VII. CIVIL CONSPIRACY (ALL DEFENDANTS)

89. Plaintiff reasserts and reallages all of the factual allegations set forth heretofore.

90. In addition to the remedies for conspiracy set forth above, there has existed and exists now a civil conspiracy among the defendants herein as well as others not named as defendants herein, to deprive Thompson of his various basic constitutional rights, in violation of the law and in violation of the United States Constitution.

91. In addition to those already named, commercial radio broadcaster Beasley (Beasley) Broadcast Group, Inc., and its lawyers have filed SLAPP Bar complaints against Thompson for retribution for his successes before the Federal Communications Commission against illegal shock radio broadcasts. Beasley went so far as to have on-air “talent” threaten to beat up Thompson and remove “his kneecaps.”

92. Defendant, The Florida Bar, has actively protected Beasley’s lawyers from the consequences of their illegal, unethical acts, while at the same time processing baseless Bar complaints filed against Thompson by these very same lawyers.” Some of these complaints were so baseless that The Bar, after 31 months gagged on them and got rid of them, after months of intentionally harassing Thompson with them.

93. The SLAPP Bar complaints by Blank Rome, lawyers for violent video game maker Take-Two Interactive Software, Inc., are nothing but a collaboration between The Bar and Blank Rome to gang up on and hector Thompson, while at the same time The Bar actively protects Blank Rome from any disciplinary consequence for the unethical, acts of the Blank Rome lawyers, which includes fraudulent statements to courts and others.

94. Thompson has been a human piñata gleefully whacked by defendants herein, and he has had enough of it. America is not about using either a state regulatory system as if it were the thought police. America is not about using the open public square to target a citizen for death, and in doing so wedding the function of The Florida Bar to that effort to intimidate this undersigned citizen with threats on his life.

WHEREFORE, Thompson seeks monetary damages and any other appropriate relief against the civil conspirators named herein as vindication of his right to speak his mind, to worship God, and to otherwise enjoy the liberties of American citizenship free of reckless, illegal attempts to intimidate, silence, and punish him.

DEMAND FOR JURY TRIAL

Plaintiff demands a trial by jury of all issues so triable.

CERTIFICATE OF SERVICE

I HEREBY CERTIFY that a copy hereof of this second amended complaint has been sent by U.S. mail to John Harkness, Executive Director, The Florida Bar, 651 East Jefferson Street, Tallahassee, Florida 32399, to each of the Supreme Court Justices, to Judge Tunis, and to Gawker Media at their respective addresses on this 26th day of April, 2007.

/Signed/ John B. Thompson, Attorney Plaintiff and Counsel, Florida Bar #231665 1172 South Dixie Hwy., Suite 111 Coral Gables, Florida 33146 305-666-4366, amendmentone@comcast.net
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Re: Jack Thompson vs. Entertainment Consumers Association

Postby admin » Thu Jun 18, 2015 9:39 pm

IN THE CIRCUIT COURT OF THE ELEVENTH JUDICIAL CIRCUIT
IN AND FOR MIAMI-DADE COUNTY, FLORIDA

GENERAL JURISDICTION DIVISION

JOHN B. THOMPSON ON BEHALF
OF THE STATE OF FLORIDA,
Plaintiff,
vs.
BEST BUY CO. OF MINNESOTA, INC.,
TARGET CORPORATION, WAL-MART
STORES, INC., GAMESTOP, INC.,
CIRCUIT CITY STORES, INC.,
And TOYS“R”US,
Defendants.

VERIFIED COMPLAINT FOR INJUNCTIVE RELIEF

COMES NOW Plaintiff, on his own behalf and on behalf of the State of Florida as authorized by the below-noted statute, and as co-counsel with undersigned co-counsel, and files this Complaint for Injunctive Relief, and states as follows:

THE PARTIES

1. Plaintiff has been a resident of Miami-Dade County, Florida, continuously since 1976. He is a citizen of the United States, more than eighteen years of age, and he is otherwise sui juris.

2. Defendants are all major retail distributors of video games, authorized to do business in Miami-Dade County, Florida, at various retail stores located therein as well as other such stores not only in Miami-Dade County but throughout the United States.

THE STATUTORY AUTHORITY FOR THIS ACTION

3. Florida Statute 823.01 states, verbatim, as follows:

823.01 Nuisances; penalty.--All nuisances that tend to annoy the community, injure the health of the citizens in general, or corrupt the public morals are misdemeanors of the second degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.083, except that a violation of s. 823.10 is a felony of the third degree.


4. Florida Statute 823.05 states, verbatim, as follows:

823.05 Places declared a nuisance; may be abated and enjoined.--Whoever shall erect, establish, continue, or maintain, own or lease any building, booth, tent or place which tends to annoy the community or injure the health of the community, or become manifestly injurious to the morals or manners of the people as described in s. 823.01, or shall be frequented by the class of persons mentioned in 1s. 856.02, or any house or place of prostitution, assignation, lewdness or place or building where games of chance are engaged in violation of law or any place where any law of the state is violated, shall be deemed guilty of maintaining a nuisance, and the building, erection, place, tent or booth and the furniture, fixtures and contents are declared a nuisance. All such places or persons shall be abated or enjoined as provided in ss. 60.05 and 60.06.


5. Florida Statute 60.05 states, verbatim, as follows:

60.05 Abatement of nuisances.--

(1) When any nuisance as defined in s. 823.05 exists, the Attorney General, state attorney, city attorney, county attorney, or any citizen of the county may sue in the name of the state on his or her relation to enjoin the nuisance, the person or persons maintaining it, and the owner or agent of the building or ground on which the nuisance exists.

(2) The court may allow a temporary injunction without bond on proper proof being made. If it appears by evidence or affidavit that a temporary injunction should issue, the court, pending the determination on final hearing, may enjoin:

(a) The maintaining of a nuisance;

(b) The operating and maintaining of the place or premises where the nuisance is maintained;

(c) The owner or agent of the building or ground upon which the nuisance exists;

(d) The conduct, operation, or maintenance of any business or activity operated or maintained in the building or on the premises in connection with or incident to the maintenance of the nuisance.


The injunction shall specify the activities enjoined and shall not preclude the operation of any lawful business not conducive to the maintenance of the nuisance complained of. At least 3 days' notice in writing shall be given defendant of the time and place of application for the temporary injunction.

(3) Evidence of the general reputation of the alleged nuisance and place is admissible to prove the existence of the nuisance. No action filed by a citizen shall be dismissed unless the court is satisfied that it should be dismissed. Otherwise the action shall continue and the state attorney notified to proceed with it. If the action is brought by a citizen and the court finds that there was no reasonable ground for the action, the costs shall be taxed against the citizen.

(4) On trial if the existence of a nuisance is shown, the court shall issue a permanent injunction and order the costs to be paid by the persons establishing or maintaining the nuisance and shall adjudge that the costs are a lien on all personal property found in the place of the nuisance and on the failure of the property to bring enough to pay the costs, then on the real estate occupied by the nuisance. No lien shall attach to the real estate of any other than said persons unless 5 days' written notice has been given to the owner or his or her agent who fails to begin to abate the nuisance within said 5 days. In a proceeding abating a nuisance pursuant to s. 823.10 or s. 823.05, if a tenant has been convicted of an offense under chapter 893 or s. 796.07, the court may order the tenant to vacate the property within 72 hours if the tenant and owner of the premises are parties to the nuisance abatement action and the order will lead to the abatement of the nuisance.

(5) If the action was brought by the Attorney General, a state attorney, or any other officer or agency of state government; if the court finds either before or after trial that there was no reasonable ground for the action; and if judgment is rendered for the defendant, the costs and reasonable attorney's fees shall be taxed against the state.

THE FACTS

6. The defendants all plan to sell, commencing on October 5, 2005, a violent video game entitled Bully.

7. Bully is a video game that will allow a virtual student to visit virtual violence upon his classmates and teachers in retribution for their bullying and to, in the promotional language from the game’s makers, “settle scores.” Bludgeoning one’s victims with baseball bats is one of the violent methods that is celebrated, glamorized, and legitimized in the game, which is in its entirety a violence simulator and training device.

8. Bully is designed and manufactured by Take-Two/Rockstar of New York City, whose Grand Theft Auto games have been linked by law enforcement authorities to killing incidents around the country. Some of the same violence scenarios in the Grand Theft Auto games will be found in Take-Two/Rockstar’s Bully.

9. The Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Secret Service, in conducting their respective threat assessments after the “Columbine” massacre in Littleton, Colorado, in April 1999, found that two common threads of causation in recent school killings up to and including Columbine were as follows: a) the school killers often were victims of bullying who sought to settle scores with their fellow students, and b) the killers were immersed in violent entertainment. Klebold and Harris trained for their Columbine massacre, for example, on the violent game Doom. The undersigned plaintiff predicted “Columbine” eight days before it happened, and he did so on NBC’s Today show, even predicting the role of the game Doom.

10. Scientific studies overwhelmingly prove not only that violent video games are spawning real violence, but these same scientific studies also explain why the neurobiological and other scientific reasons why the copycatting is occurring.

11. In the recent United States Supreme Court case of Roper v. Simmons, for example, Justice Kennedy cited as authoritative in this juvenile death penalty case the very same brain scan studies that explain this copycatting phenomenon.


12. Plaintiff will be able to show the court a) that Bully will be used by school-age children to rehearse varying levels of retributive violence in their schools, and b) that there will be a heightened likelihood that such retributive violence will occur in the Miami-Dade schools as a result.

13. The Surgeon General of the United States is presently spearheading the nation’s anti-school bullying campaign, as school bullying is a serious problem in the United States.

14. In the United Kingdom, where school bullying is treated as a very serious problem, one of the most influential anti-bullying organizations has called for a halt to the anticipated distribution of the game Bully because of the strong likelihood that the game will spawn violence.

15. Evidence will be provided to the court that numerous, specific incidents of school violence before and after “Columbine” have been spawned by violent video game play. The number of such known incidents is disturbing.

16. Plaintiff has, in writing, asked the defendants not to sell Bully when this game is made available to the public on October 5, 2005. The defendants refuse to respond to this plea. Once the game Bully is released to the public, “the horse will be out of the barn” and it will be too late to close the door.

17. Sales by defendants at their various retail stores of Bully will constitute a public nuisance, because the sale of this game will, in the words of the aforementioned statute, “tend to annoy the community or injure the health of the community, or become manifestly injurious to the morals or manners of the people.”

18. As already noted, proof is available to this court that the virtual school violence in Bully will likely lead to increased actual violence in Miami-Dade schools. As to one specific example, every parent of school age children in Miami-Dade County is aware of the murder and near beheading last year of Jamie Gough by his 14-year-old friend and classmate Michael Hernandez, at Southwood Middle School in Miami-Dade County. Local parents, and this community as a whole, however, are not as aware of the role that violent entertainment, specifically violent video games, had in training and rehearsing Michael Hernandez to kill. One Michael Hernandez in Miami-Dade County schools is enough.

RELIEF SOUGHT

19. The sale of Bully at the retail stores of defendants will constitute a public nuisance under Florida law. Florida Statute 823.05 provides that public nuisances such as the defendants’ stores can be and should be abated by injunctive relief.

20. Florida Statute 60.05 provides that a citizen of the county in which such a public nuisance exists can secure first a temporary injunction and then a permanent one by the procedural means set forth therein. Plaintiff intends to do just that.

21. Plaintiff asks this Honorable Court for a Temporary Injunction to stop all defendants from selling Bully. Evidence is available to support such a Temporary Injunction.

22. Subsequent to that, plaintiff will seek and asks this Court for the entry of a Permanent Injunction to stop the sale of this game, and for all other remedies and relief set forth in the aforementioned Florida Statutes.

23. Plaintiff may seek a statewide injunction against all defendants to stop the sale of this game in any of their respective Florida stores.

JURY TRIAL

Plaintiff hereby demands trial by jury of all issues by jury as a matter of right.

_____________________________
JOHN B. THOMPSON
STATE OF FLORIDA )
) ss:
COUNTY OF MIAMI-DADE )


The foregoing instrument was acknowledged before me this _______ day of _____________, 2005, by ________________________, who is personally known to me and who did not take an oath.

________________________________
NOTARY PUBLIC, State of Florida

________________________________
Printed Name

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Re: Jack Thompson vs. Entertainment Consumers Association

Postby admin » Thu Jun 18, 2015 9:43 pm

Manhunt Lawyer Speaks. We talk to the man who wants to bring Rockstar down.
by Ed Lewis
August 4, 2004

Last week 17 year-old Warren Leblanc pleaded guilty to the crime of killing 14 year-old Stefan Pakeerah. Leblanc was supposedly strongly influenced by Rockstar's Manhunt and the focus from the murder has shifted from Leblanc to the role of violent videogames in modern culture. UK retailer Dixons has responded to the front-page headlines by pulling the title from their shelves. What's next is yet to be determined, but the mother of the victim has taken on American lawyer Jack Thompson as her lawyer to provide counsel.

Jack Thompson has made a name for himself by going after various publishers and artists from 2 Live Crew to Howard Stern and Clear Channel to several other videogame companies. His own site, www.stopkill.com is devoted to those who have a problem with violence in videogames. In order to get an idea of just what's in store for the gaming community in the next few months following this controversy, we called up Jack Thompson to hear what he had to say.

IGN: Hello, we were wondering if we could get some comments from you about the recent events concerning Manhunt in England. What is your relationship with the parents of the child at this time?

Jack Thompson: I'm representing the mother.

IGN: In England?

Thompson: Yes.

IGN: And so now you are going after Rockstar, Take-Two and Sony, is that right?

Thompson: We're presently pinning the tail on the videogame donkey. What form it will take I don't know. The London Times reported that we filed a lawsuit. That's false. They even made up a headline and the dollar figure (50 million pounds) as to what we would ask for. We demanded a retraction from the Times. The writer simply made all that up. No determination has been made whether or not to file a lawsuit. I told the Times Mrs. Pakeerah needs counsel as to what can be done in the Tort system.

So my purpose is to assist her in other ways. There are some things that are in place that I'm not at liberty to talk about that will turn up the heat tremendously on the industry. A lot's happened over the last several days, but filing a lawsuit isn't one of them and there hasn't been a determination to file a lawsuit.

I'm a lawyer who's a litigator and I have been for 28 years and I said to the Times and others that just because there are nuclear warheads just because you go to war you use them as a first resort and suing somebody should always be the last resort. I wouldn't necessarily favor litigation.

IGN: Is there anything that you can mention about actions that you are taking?

Thompson: No, not besides the ones that are obvious. No, the last thing I would do is talk to a publication that is pro-videogame industry and tell them what our strategy was.

Image

IGN: Fair enough...

Thompson: By the way, the reports that the game belonged to the victim are false. Somebody in a gaming magazine in Scotland or England put that out. That's false. The game belonged to the murderer.

IGN: To the kid that killed him?

Thompson: Yeah, he left it at the house of the victim. It wasn't the victim's, it was the killer's. There's corroboration of that from other sources.

IGN: How did the killer get the game in the first place?

Thompson: I don't know, but he had it.

IGN: And you don't feel that there are any restrictions that could be put upon games that would've prevented him getting it?

Thompson: I don't know, but the ones that are in place now aren't working because the day this was on the front page in London a kid was taken by one of the newspapers into a store and he bought it. It's well documented here in the states as well. The Federal Trade Commission just last month proved that despite the promises after Columbine not to market this stuff to kids that M-rated games are still marketed directly to some people under-17 and despite Wal-Mart's and Target's and other retailers' age restrictions, you can buy those games in those stores if you're under age. The restrictions aren't working and that's going to come back and bite the industry because they're not serious about them.

In fact, the age restrictions really act as a marketing tool to where kids want what they shouldn't have and they can get. There're no restrictions on sales over the Internet. In the states you can walk into Best Buy and buy any game regardless of your age, no questions asked. The age restrictions are an attempt to avoid culpability, but there's no sanctions visited by the manufacturers on the retailers to try to make them adhere to the age restrictions. It's a joke. It's a subterfuge. It's a dodge, it's not intended to be effective. It's a fig leaf that they think can cover their culpability, but it doesn't really cover it.

IGN: In what way is the video game industry marketing M-rated games to kids?

Thompson: They're putting ads in comic books.

IGN: Which ones?

Thompson: I don't know, I don't have them in front of me right now, but we've heard that from law enforcement.

IGN: There are some comic books that are for mature readers as well.

Thompson: Grand Theft Auto: Vice City I believe was found in Spider-Man.

IGN: How recently was this?

Thompson: I think within the last couple of months. I'd say an ad I saw the other day for Full Spectrum Warrior on World Wrestling is an ad for an M-rated game on a largely teen watched program which the industry promised not to do. Doug Lowenstein [president of the Entertainment Software Association] promised that the industry after Columbine would visit sanctions upon companies that did that. Now that they think the coast is clear, they have no compunction about advertising these games in those venues.

IGN: I looked at your website, www.stopkill.com, and found that you focus on video games. Why do you have this focus on games rather than other forms of violent media like movies?

Thompson: They're interactive and therefore far more dangerous. Military doesn't show movies to their new recruits, they have them play killing games to suppress their inhibition to kill.

IGN: And there have been reports that show this connection?



Thompson: Yeah, and at this point I'd like to grab people by their lapel and set them down in a library in front of some newspapers. It'd do them good rather than being behind a video screen for much of the day. The heads of six major health care organizations testified in June of 2000 before a Joint Committee of Congress that the studies they looked at established a link between this kind of entertainment and violence in teens. And no one's paying off the president of the American Medical Association to testify that way whereas when the industry gets a study they commission people.

Image

We lawyers who do litigation call those people "whores" and they, in effect, skew the results and do the studies to get the results. And they're paid to do it! It's beyond belief to suggest that the president of the AMA would make up, since he's testifying under oath, that there are studies out there that prove the causal nexus between this type of entertainment and this type of violence.

The FBI, after Columbine, found that in all but one of school killing incidents, the killers were immersed in violent entertainment, including violent videogames. And nobody's paying the FBI to make that up either. All of this stuff I read in places like your magazine or others that say there are no studies that suggest there's a linkage or that they aren't reliable or so forth. People who say that ought to be in the Flat Earth Society.

I'm a parent, and anybody's who's around kids, who's a parent or observed kids, knows that kids act out what you fill their days and their minds with. It's common sense. It's in the education process. Nintendo, by the way, the dumbest ad campaign in the history of the world has decided to go with "You are what you play" [as their motto]. Thank you very much. Exhibit A. Every Jack Thompson and other "wacky" lawyer out there, as so described, appreciates Nintendo's in your face ad campaign which is irrefutable and is a gift to all of us who are trying to make the point. You are what you play.

IGN: So what kinds of changes or reforms do you want to see from all of this?

Thompson: I want them to stop selling, and marketing, violent games to children. Studies out of Harvard and elsewhere that show they have demonstrable and more deleterious effects on kids because they process them in a different part of the brain than adults do. If some wacked-out adult wants to spend his time playing GTA: Vice City one has to wonder why he doesn't get a life, but when it comes to kids it has a demonstrable impact on their behavior and the development of the frontal lobes of their brain. It's been proven at Harvard and Indiana University.

Children have always been a protected class of citizens when it comes to alcohol, tobacco, driving, firearms, voting and so forth, and movies by their ratings system. There needs to be an across the board recognition that there's some things that kids shouldn't fill their heads up with. I think the Pakeerah tragedy underscores that.

IGN: So what about the effect of these games on adults? What have studies shown for the results of adults playing violent games?

EXPERIMENTS

Generally, experiments have demonstrated that exposing people, especially children and youth, to violent behavior on film and TV increases the likelihood that they will behave aggressively immediately afterwards (for reviews see 28, 84). In the typical paradigm, randomly selected individuals are shown either a violent or nonviolent short film and are then observed as they have the opportunity to aggress—for children, this generally means playing with other children, and for adults, it generally means participating in an activity involving the infliction of punishment on what they believe is another research participant.

Children in such experiments who see the violent film clip behave more aggressively immediately afterward than do those viewing the nonviolent clip (10, 24, 69). For example, Josephson (69) randomly assigned 396 seven- to nine-year-old boys to watch either a violent or a nonviolent film before they played a game of floor hockey in school. Observers who did not know what movie any boy had seen recorded the number of times each boy physically attacked another boy during the game. Physical attack was defined as hitting, elbowing, or shoving another player to the floor, as well as tripping, kneeing, and other assaultive behaviors that would be penalized in hockey. For some children, the referees carried a walkie-talkie, a specific cue that had appeared in the violent film, which was expected to remind the boys of the movie they had seen earlier. For boys rated by their teacher as frequently aggressive, the combination of seeing a violent film and seeing the movie-associated cue stimulated significantly more assaultive behavior than any other combination of film and cue.

Parallel effects have been observed among older adolescents and young adults. Those who watch the violent clips tend to behave more aggressively than do those who view nonviolent clips. In a typical experiment, a randomly selected group of adults viewed violent or nonviolent television content before being asked to play a game against another research participant. During the course of the game, participants have the opportunity to blast their opponent with unpleasant noise and are allowed to vary the volume and duration of the noise. Those who view violent television content consistently select higher volume and greater duration than do those who view nonviolent clips (26). The same pattern holds true for thoughts and beliefs, as well. African American adolescent girls who viewed violent music videos were more accepting of dating violence than were those who watched no videos (66). For men, watching violent videos has been found to cause endorsement of violent behavior in response to conflict (67), increasingly adversarial sexual beliefs (85), and greater acceptance of antisocial behavior in general (51).

In experiments like this, causal effects have been demonstrated for children and adults, for males and females, and for people who are normally aggressive and those who are normally nonaggressive. In these well-controlled laboratory studies, the observation of the violent television or film content is clearly causing the changes in behavior. In and of itself, however, this evidence is insufficient to demonstrate that violent television content poses a true threat to public health; such would be the case only if these causal relationships also exist in the world outside the laboratory. Does media violence cause real aggression in the real world?

-- The Role of Media Violence in Violent Behavior, by L. Rowell Huesmann and Laramie D. Taylor


Thompson: I don't know. A society that doesn't keep it out of the hands on kids probably not worth studying the effect it has on adults. We know the effect it has on kids. We also know that brains don't stop growing until you're about 25. If you start playing these games, you actually have a retardative effect upon the development of the brain if you start doing it before you're 25. So you wind up with a wacko like Charles McCoy who was obsessively playing shooter video games for hours. He's the Columbus serial highway shooter. He may be the functional equivalent of a 15 year-old.

IGN: Sorry to change the subject, but what do you feel about the similarity between ads that tout simulated violence to kids and Army ads that promote the possibility of killing real people?

Thompson: Well, exactly. That's why I was on ABC World News Tonight in October of 2002 pointing out that while the Department of Defense was trying to catch Mohammad and Malvo, they were training their replacements. I wrote about this in a Washington Times Op-Ed that ran on July 2nd. Forget the encouragement of violence, it's an outrage that the industry takes our taxpayer dollars given them by the DOD and the Institute for Creative Technologies creates for the DOD Full Spectrum Warrior and then turns around and sells it to kids on the consumer market.

Our government is subsidizing the videogame industry. And I love it though in a way because if it suppresses the inhibition to kill in new recruits which is what the games are created for. It's not to teach tactics or strategy, that's a lie. We can prove it's a lie. If it's to suppress the inhibition to kill then how can the industry say that's not the effect it has on teenage civilians. It's a non-sequitor.

IGN: So you feel that the army does want these games out there for kids to play?

Thompson: They want videogames for their new recruits to kill and they don't care that they're going out there to civilian teenagers. And they are, I think, very inappropriately using the army website to teach kids that it's really cool to kill people. I think there are problems with that on a whole lot of levels.

By the way, I love the email that I'm getting now by the hundreds from people who want to convince me that the games have had no effect on them that say things like "f*** you" and "I hope you die" and so forth. That's really persuasive stuff. They're really thoughtful, cordial people. If I point that out to them, I'm not sure they'd get it.

Image

IGN: I'm sure you've been getting a lot of other emails as well.

Thompson: I've been getting some encouragement and some very specific help from some appreciated sectors too, which I'm not at liberty to tell you, but the videogame industry will be a bit unnerved by that eventually.

IGN: What kind of contact have you received from the videogame industry itself?

Thompson: None. They don't talk to me. They don't really want to communicate about this, they just want to make money and tell people like me to bugger off, but they don't even bother to do that, they're just too busy making money. Plus their position's indefensible, so they don't engage in discourse. Rockstar won't allow anyone to go on camera with me or anybody else. Sony won't allow anyone either. Fox News is trying to put together a segment with me and Rockstar, but they won't do it. They don't have a philosophical leg to stand on, and they know their products are indefensible for being sold to children, and they won't go on camera about it. Listen, I gotta go.

IGN: All right, well, thanks for your time.

Thompson: You bet.
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Re: Jack Thompson vs. Entertainment Consumers Association

Postby admin » Thu Jun 18, 2015 9:48 pm

July 16, 2005

The Honorable Amy Klobuchar
Hennepin County Attorney

The Honorable Mike Hatch
Attorney General of the State of Minnesota

Re: Probable Criminal Sale of Sexual Material Harmful to Minors by Best Buy and Target in Hennepin County in Violation of Minnesota Statute 617.291, et sequitur

Dear Ms. Klobuchar and Mr. Hatch:

There is a Q & A available today at http://xbox.ign.com/articles/634/634243p1.html between game site IGN and California Assemblyman Yee, who is the Speaker pro tempore of the California Assembly. He is a child psychologist who has been actively seeking legislation prohibiting the sale of mature video games to kids. What he has to say about GTA: San Andreas flies in the face of what Best Buy's attorney, Elliot Kaplan, has written to you all, as you can see.

I do believe that Mr. Kaplan's letter to you all sinks to the level of intentional deception, so much so that his letter of yesterday actually facilitates the criminal distribution of sexual material harmful to minors. He has now written you two prosecutors and said there is no problem. There is a very big problem. You will note that in the below exchange the representative of the gaming magazine states that there is "a lot of evidence that the third-party mod simply reveals what is already in the game..."

Mr. Kaplan either does not know what he is talking about (the benign option) or he is knowingly deceiving both of you to facilitate the possible criminal activity of Best Buy.

I do believe you ought to impanel a grand jury. Maybe Mr. Kaplan would like to start saying what he says under oath.

What we have here is an AO game, as you can see below, masquerading as an M game. Mr. Kaplan is masquerading, as is Best Buy, as being concerned about children. Hogwash.

Keeping Kids from Hot Coffee: Calif. pol Leland Yee talks to us about GTA and keeping violent games from kids.
by David Adams
July 15, 2005

Little has dominated gaming headlines recently like the now-notorious "hot coffee" mod for Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas. Whether by adding content or unlocking what was simply hidden, some San Andreas owners have found a way to play a sexually explicit mini-game in Rockstar's latest opus. The "hot coffee" content has, of course, ignited a blaze of controversy, with media watchdog groups, local politicians, and even Senator Hillary Clinton (D-N.Y.) crying foul.

At stake, at least for many, is not just the explicit content, but also the larger issue of mature themes in video games and how well the industry makes sure adult content stays with adults. California assemblyman Leland Yee is one of the most outspoken public figures on the issue of video game violence. Concerned that the game industry's own ESRB ratings aren't sufficiently keeping mature games from kids, Yee is championing a bill which would heavily fine retailers caught selling Mature-rated games to minors. When the "hot coffee" scandal broke, Yee was among the first to speak out.

A San Francisco Democrat who now serves as speaker pro tem for the Assembly, Yee approaches the issue of video game violence not just as a politician, but also as a child psychologist and a father. We spoke with Assemblyman Yee about the "hot coffee" controversy, his proposed violent games legislation, and the gaming industry in general.

IGN: Obviously violent videogames have been in the news a lot recently. Could you tell us a little about your position on violent video games?

Yee: The bill that we have before the California State Assembly is to limit the sale of violent videogames and not allow that to happen to children, to say that if you are a child you cannot go into a store and purchase an ultra-violent videogame. So we're not talking about all violent video games, we're talking about a particular subset, albeit small, but an important subset. These are what we call the ultra-violent videogames. By that we mean those that are first-person, third-person shooter violent video games, virtual combat, those kinds of activities, where in real life they would be seen as a crime. It is those games that we are looking to limit [as far as] sale to kids.

IGN: How does your proposed legislation differ from what the game industry is already doing in terms of identifying content?

Yee: The industry has a voluntary system right now whereby they rate various games, "M" for mature audiences, "Adults Only," or for all ages. There is a rating system that the ESRB has established. The gaming industry has argued that the voluntary rating system should be sufficient to deter any [under-age] individual from going in and purchasing a game. The problem with that is that it is a voluntary system, and that voluntary system doesn't work. There are two reasons why it doesn't work. If the voluntary system works, why don't we have a voluntary system in the sale of cigarettes to children, the sale of alcohol or adult magazines to children? The reality is that just doesn't work. Secondly, by statistical data and anecdotal data, the Federal Trade Commission has reported that in 80% of cases you can find young people under-age going into stores and purchasing these games. We've got emails from students on school projects. In one case in the East Bay, they've gone out and in 50% of the cases they've been able to purchase "M" rated video games while clearly under-age. It simply doesn't work.

What our bill proposes to do is say to retailers, you cannot go and sell these ultra-violent video games to children.

IGN: Do you think that the gaming industry, via the ESRB, has done an adequate job in identifying the content of games? Under your proposed legislation, would the ESRB still be the ones determining what is mature or adults-only?

Yee: I think the recent revelation of the "hot coffee" mod for Grand Theft Auto raises some serious questions about the ability of the ESRB to rate games adequately. There are two problems with the ESRB rating. Number one: there is an inherent conflict of interest. [Companies] don't want their game rated "AO," they want it rated "M" or lower so that more people can buy the game. So there is a tremendous pressure on the ESRB to not rate [games] "AO." The industry is paying the [ESRB] to do the rating. Secondly, that Grand Theft Auto included "hot coffee" and the ESRB didn't know about it suggests to me there is a problem in the review process.

IGN: Rockstar is saying that the user-created mod introduces the content, and that Rockstar didn't put it in the game. There is, however, a lot of evidence that the third-party mod simply reveals what is already in the game. In either case, it could be argued that as shipped -- the game consumers are intended to use -- would not have that content available. Do you find that problematic?

Yee: We'll let the FTC and ESRB investigation ferret out who did what and who is responsible for what. What does concern me is that Rockstar is at least admitting that these elements were probably in there, but they disabled it. That was never forthcoming to the ESRB. At the very least what should have happened is Rockstar should have revealed that there are these embedded games in there. That's why I've raised concern about whether or not the ESRB has an appropriate review procedure to determine what's in these games and appropriately rate them. As it stands right now, if I'm a parent, I can't be sure whether or not the ESRB descriptor is accurate. I can't be assured that what I'm [told I'm] purchasing from Rockstar is exactly what I'm getting. The ESRB rating is a false one, and it has shaken the confidence of those of us who are parents.

IGN: It sounds like the focus here isn't even so much on that particular content -- however adult it may be -- but rather that in this case the rating system failed.

Yee: Exactly.

IGN: Right now the ESA, which oversees the ESRB, claims that its end is precisely to keep these games out of the hands of children. Where do you see them having an issue with your legislation? Obviously they see this as a challenge.

Yee: The ESA clearly is in the business of selling games and making money. That's just the reality of it. They're not a non-profit or a charity program; they're a business. They have to respond to their stockholders and their investors, and they have to turn a profit. They would rather there is no encumbrance on whatever they would do. The fact that we would somehow put some restrictions on these sales terrifies them. It is interesting that the ESA is opposed to any restriction when they've already said that the voluntary system works, that they don't sell "M" rated games to children. If that's the case they don't have anything to worry about. It is because it does not work that they are worried that their sales are going to plummet if our law is enacted.

IGN: Of course it would be okay for parents or a guardian to purchase a game for their child.

Yee: Exactly. Many individuals have argued that my bill is unnecessary because we should give the authority and responsibility of what kids do, see, and play, to the parents. In an interesting way, my bill would in fact give parents even more power, meaning that kids would not be able to buy these ultra-violent videogames -- but if parents wanted to do that, they are perfectly okay to go into a store and purchase these games and give them to their kids to play. At least at that point the parents would know what their kids are playing. Right now, kids can go into stores and purchase ultra-violent video games and parents won't even know about it.

IGN: Do you think there could be side-effects with kids being determined to play these games? Would this be encouragement or incentive for illegal activity as kids try to get these games?

Yee: I'm not that naive to believe that if my bill were to be enacted, everything's going to be fine, the sun's going to shine, the flowers bloom, and everything's going to be okay. This is simply one additional tool that we parents have to monitor what our kids can or cannot do. That's all it is. For example, if this bill were passed, someone could secretly give a game to my child, and my child would do with it whatever he wanted. Or he could pull it off the Internet in some way. But at least one area we have some control over, which is the sale of these games, we can close that particular loophole.

IGN: Obviously at this point in our society, violence is fairly acceptable as a form of entertainment. This is clearly a widespread issue that no legislation can magically resolve. What do you see as one of the most important places where real change can happen?

Yee: It's going to be a combination. I am not prepared to say let's take violence completely out of our entertainment menu for our children. As you indicated, violence is unfortunately part of a lot of people's lives. What I'm trying to do with this bill is to say let's at least not expose our children to learn the skills of violence. It is these interactive games we're particularly targeting. Not violent games in general, but the interactive violent games. The technology is in these games to train our children how to stalk, how to aim, how to pull the trigger, how to slice a head off, to maim or burn someone. It is that interactive nature, that repetitiveness, which generates the desensitization of individual's sensibility that I am particularly concerned about.

In the larger scheme of things, we have to help our children understand, what are the appropriate ways of dealing with anger and frustration? What are the appropriate behaviors we should demonstrate to our kids as far as how to deal with this aggression and violence? That's a larger issue. One of the things I'm concerned about is that these ultra-violent games teach our children how to be violent. That is a big problem.

IGN: Do you think there is an analogy here with the way movies have been rated? Or is this different?

Yee: It is. One argues, well, it seems as if the movie ratings seem to work, in that they prevent young people from coming into a movie that is not age-appropriate. Why not then use this voluntary rating system and apply it to videogames and call it a day? The difference is that it's two different social contexts. In a movie theater, if you walk in with an under-age child, there are all kinds of glares, whispering -- there may be someone so offended that they get up and see the manager and say, "there's a child seeing an adult movie." You can be sure the manager is going to come in and escort the child out and reprimand the parent. When you go into a video [game] store, you walk up as a young person, you pull that game off the shelf, you pay the money, you walk out -- nobody watches you, nobody's glaring at you. That's why in the theater the voluntary rating system works, but for ultra-violent video games, it doesn't work.

IGN: What is your general perspective on the gaming industry right now?

Yee: As a whole, I have a lot of respect for the gaming industry. I applaud it for its ingenuity, for its creativeness, for its entrepreneurial attitude. I am absolutely amazed as to how far and quickly this industry has matured over the years. Each year the graphics are more life-like. For children, it's a great teaching tool in the right hands, with the right content. Unfortunately there is also adult material in many of these games that is not appropriate to children. What I'm trying to do is be "hands off" with the industry. I'm a strong First Amendment supporter, and I don't want to inhibit any [of the industry's] self-expression whatsoever. As a parent, as a father, as a child psychologist I have a responsibility to my children and to other children to say that these adult materials, these ultra-violent activities, should not be in the hands of our children.

I'm the last one to limit people's self-expression. I don't think we in government should define what's appropriate or not, what's tasteful or not tasteful. That's the last thing I want government to do. But for the sake of kids, I think we do have a responsibility to come in and protect our children.

Regards, Jack Thompson
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Re: Jack Thompson vs. Entertainment Consumers Association

Postby admin » Thu Jun 18, 2015 9:51 pm

John B. Thompson, Attorney at Law
1172 South Dixie Hwy., Suite 111
Coral Gables, Florida 33146
305-666-4366
jackpeace@comcast.net

July 14, 2005

Open Letter to the Members of the Entertainment Software Association:

Activision, Inc.
Atari, Inc.
Buena Vista Games, Inc.
Capcom USA, Inc.
Crave Entertainment
Eidos Interactive
Electronic Arts
Her Interactive, Inc.
id Software
Konami Digital Entertainment America
LucasArts
Microsoft Corporation
Midway Games, Inc.
Namco Hometek, Inc.
Nintendo of America Inc.
NovaLogic, Inc.
SEGA of America, Inc.
Sony Computer Entertainment America
Square Enix, Inc.
Take-Two Interactive Software, Inc.
THQ, Inc.
Ubisoft Entertainment, Inc.
Vivendi Universal Games
Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment Inc.
Wild Tangent

Dear ESA Members:

Today, United States Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton, with initiatives she will announce at a 10 am news conference in our nation’s capital, is acting decisively in furtherance of what for her has been a strong leadership role on these issues since Columbine -- a tragedy caused in part by the violent video game industry. Millions of American parents should be thankful to the Senator for striking back against what can be fairly called “Grand Theft Innocence” at the expense of our children by only some within your industry.

It has been my privilege, as a lifelong Republican, to provide facts -- not feelings -- about the reckless practices of certain members of this industry, some of which are Members of the ESA, in the midst of responsible fact-gathering by Senator Rodham Clinton’s staff. The Senator is not a newcomer on this issue. She has been an abiding and loyal advocate for parents who oppose predatory, fraudulent practices by some within your video game industry.

I am happy to help the Senator, just as I have worked with Democrats like Senator Joseph Lieberman and Washington State Representative Mary Lou Dickerson, as well as with fellow Republicans, for what for me have been nearly seven years of effort to try to get certain companies within the video game industry to start acting like good corporate citizens. Senator Rodham Clinton is today at the forefront of an issue that is not partisan in nature, nor should it be. The Republican Party would do well to wake up and realize that Senator Clinton is about the work that needs to be done. Today is a mere extension of her years of commitment. This is not politics. This is leadership.

As a lifelong Republican who ran against Janet Reno, I can note that whereas the largest chapter of the National Organization for Women, located in New York, has had me address them regarding the misogyny and violence against women depicted in the Grand Theft Auto games, the supposedly “family values” Republican President of the United States, George W. Bush, has consistently turned away from parents who have asked him to speak out against the entertainment industry’s assault on our children.

The evening in January 2000 that I appeared on NBC Nightly News to talk about the link between violent games and Columbine, Tom Brokaw asked then Governor Bush about that link and what he as President would do about it? George Bush simply said “Parents just have to be better parents.” He should trying telling that to my clients in Paducah whose three daughters were gunned down by 14-year-old video gamer Michael Carneal, who trained on Doom to become a more efficient killer. What did they, as parents, Mr. President, do wrong? Was sending their kids to school their mistake?

George Bush, as Governor of Texas, gave a state tax break to Id Software of Dallas, the makers of Doom, after Columbine, for Heaven’s sake, and it is his Department of Defense which has subsidized with taxpayer dollars the creation of violent video games for teen consumption at the Institute for Creative Technologies at the University of Southern California. Defense Secretary Rumsfeld has increased funding for this taxpayer rip-off since my appearance on ABC’s World News Tonight more than two years ago exposing this scandal. Don Rumsfeld is supposed to be catching terrorists, not training them.

But I turn to the one man most responsible for the valuable initiative taken by Senator Rodham Clinton today. That man is the Entertainment Software Association’s president, Doug Lowenstein. Let me explain to you ESA Members exactly why that is the case:

The inept fashion in which ESA has “managed” the “Hot Coffee” mod scandal swirling around your industry and Take-Two’s Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas has given Senator Rodham Clinton a reason and a mandate to act. She has filled the leadership void caused by Doug Lowenstein. For a month Doug Lowenstein and his ESA pretended that there was no mod, that there was no scandal, that there was no need for any action whatsoever by ESA. How wrong he was. Today proves it.

While Mr. Lowenstein dithered and fiddled, concerns about the scandal grew deeper, and knowledge about its details were more widely disseminated. When the scandal spread, I found out about it and acted, as did Dr. David Walsh, a clinical psychologist who is going to be at the Senator’s side today in Washington. Doug Lowenstein could have prevented what is going to happen today, but he preferred to shoot the messengers. It is his chronic style.

Instead of acting like a responsible adult by trying to get to the bottom of this scandal, Doug Lowenstein did what he has always done at the ESA: He has first said there is “no problem” and then he has embarked on his scorched earth policy to try to discredit anyone who suggests there is a problem. Lowenstein has unleashed his p.r. (pillory and ruin) squad on respected and powerful legislators like California Assemblyman Yee, also a psychologist, who have expressed concerns about Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas and the mod scandal. Lowenstein’s approach, as always, is to question Assemblyman Yee’s motives. No opponent could possibly be acting upon principle, in the world according to Doug Lowenstein. Only he is the oracle of truth. All others are scum. It is his way.

His approach, as the President of your Entertainment Software Association, is to demonize critics and to engage in ad hominem jihads intended to obscure real concerns about real industry abuses. All this does is deepen the resolve of your critics to act. I know.


I saw this attack dog mentality by Lowenstein in full bloom in the two appearances I was privileged to enjoy on CBS’s 60 Minutes in 1999, the Sunday after Columbine, and more recently in March of this year. Lowenstein tried to bully CBS both times, achieving by his scare tactics the distrust of an entire news organization. News organizations don’t trust ESA because Doug Lowenstein is its head. Why should they? He treats them like dirt.

Lowenstein has done this time and time again, alienating lawmakers and turning off media with his “You’re a fool, and I’m a genius” mindset. With friends like Lowenstein, your industry doesn’t need any enemies. But he winds up growing them like topsy.

Jack Valenti, as the head of the MPAA, had the grace and the courage to debate me and other critics on occasion. He felt that was his job. Lowenstein, on the other hand, has a standing policy to refuse to appear together with me on any stage or on any television program in which I might debate him face to face. Jack Valenti had the courage of his convictions. Doug Lowenstein travels with his own private make-up artist. Did you all know that? Obscuring personal and industry warts is a full time job for this man.

Doug Lowenstein has merely the courage to stand up at E3 and rant to the video game faithful about people like Senator Rodham Clinton. This is not courage. This is cowardice. It is the cowardice that all bullies display.

Take-Two’s new game coming out in October featuring violence by students in a school setting (the next scandal that is brewing on Lowenstein’s watch) ought to be renamed “Doug.” Bullying is not real leadership. It is a stopgap measure until real leadership shows up. Enter Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton.

Is Lowenstein’s the kind of “leadership” the Members of ESA are paying for?

When Hitler invaded Russia, opening up an Eastern offensive on the eve of winter, Britain’s Prime Minister Winston Churchill noted that “Hitler must have been rather loosely educated, not having learned the lesson of Napoleon’s autumn advance on Moscow.”

Your Doug Lowenstein is similarly “loosely educated” about the United States Constitution. I have never, in my eighteen years of public interest law practice against the excesses of the entertainment industry, run into an individual more devoid of even an elementary understanding of the meaning and scope of the First Amendment. Even Howard Stern’s lawyers look like Alexander Hamilton compared to Lowenstein.

Doug Lowenstein embarrasses each and every one of you when he holds forth about what the “Founders” intended when they drafted the Bill of Rights. For Doug, the Founders are GTA’s Tommy Vercetti and Carl Johnson. Doug never met a pixilated prostitute he didn’t like, and I’m sure James Madison would be impressed.


If the ESA wants as its president a thug who demonizes critics of your industry’s criminal, fraudulent excesses, thereby earning their wrath and their determination, then by all means keep Mr. Lowenstein at the helm. Only someone like Doug Lowenstein would embrace Take-Two, a company that just had to pay the Security and Exchange Commission $8.75 million for fraudulent auditing practices, while scourging under-siege parents.

My fervent prayer as a Christian is not “Lord, give me more friends.” It is rather “Lord, give me more enemies like Doug Lowenstein.” He makes what I do so easy.

Your ESA leader in all of this is a man who has gone way, way out of his way to mock every single parent who has said to the Take-Two’s of your industry “Enough already!” When well-intended citizens and legislators have tried to get your industry to adhere to the logic of the “M for mature” ratings label, Lowenstein has flown into a fury, claiming children have a constitutional right to consume pornography and violence. Nobody but Doug Lowenstein and the sociopaths at Take-Two believe that.

After today, when Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton speaks the truth and calls upon Americans to act on that truth regarding the violence and the scandal and the hurt coming from the extremists in your industry, pause and ask yourself: Whom can we thank for this day? I, as a lifelong Republican, am going to thank Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton.

You all, in your industry, ought to thank Doug Lowenstein. His extremism has painted a bullseye on your industry. Doug Lowenstein has the brush and Take-Two has provided the blood red paint.

If you want your industry destroyed, keep Mr. Lowenstein right where he is. If those of you who understand that any technology can be used for either good or for ill and that “responsibility” is something that adults are supposed to exercise in all walks of life, even in the entertainment industry, then get rid of this highly-paid thug and replace him with someone with sense.

Maybe Jack Valenti should be asked whom he would recommend who can act like a grown-up in this role. I’ll bet he has a list without Lowenstein’s name on it.

Senator Rodham Clinton, thankfully, is filling the void of real leadership in your industry created by Doug Lowenstein. It is about time.

If you want your fledgling industry destroyed for all of you, keep Doug Lowenstein right where he is. Events, like Columbine to the factor of ten, will take care of that. You won’t be able to blame Senator Rodham Clinton. She is trying to prevent that calamity.

But if you want to be a partner with America’s parents by together taking our children out of harm’s way, then look for an ESA president who has the common decency to recognize the truth, speak it, and then act upon it.

It’s your choice. You’ve made some pretty bad choices to date. Make a good one for a change. Dump Doug.

Regards, Jack Thompson
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Re: Jack Thompson vs. Entertainment Consumers Association

Postby admin » Thu Jun 18, 2015 9:51 pm

John B. Thompson, Attorney at Law
1172 South Dixie Hwy., Suite 111
Coral Gables, Florida 33146
305-666-4366
jackpeace@comcast.net

July 14, 2005

The Honorable Amy Klobuchar
Hennepin County Attorney
C-2000 Government Center
Minneapolis, Minnesota Via Fax to 612-348-9712

The Honorable Mike Hatch
Attorney General of the State of Minnesota
St. Paul, Minnesota Via Fax to 651-282-2155

Re: Probable Criminal Sale of Sexual Material Harmful to Minors by Best Buy and Target in Hennepin County in Violation of Minnesota Statute 617.291, et sequitur

Dear Ms. Klobuchar and Mr. Hatch:

Recently I had the distinct pleasure of meeting personally with two fine lawyers in the Hennepin County Attorney’s office regarding the distribution of violent, mature-rated video games to minors. I appreciate that opportunity.

My wife, who is also a lawyer, is from the Twin Cities area and a graduate of St. Olaf College. I have spent many wonderful days in your community over the past thirty years. Unfortunately, I was sitting in the old Bloomington stadium with my future father-in-law when Drew Pearson committed offensive interference to catch Roger Staubach’s “Hail Mary” pass in the 1975 NFC title game.

I write to inform you of a flagrant breach of the rules far more consequential. It involves the knowing theft of the innocence of hundreds of thousands of children in the Twin Cities and around the country by two Hennepin County, Minnesota corporations-Target and Best Buy.

I spent time this week working with U.S. Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton’s office which effort culminated in her nationally-reported news conference today from our nation’s capital. Senator Clinton decried the ongoing distribution across the nation of a violent video game entitled Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas, which sales are resulting in the viewing of sexually explicit material by minors.

Given the facts, which are too numerous to relate here, it would appear that there is probable cause that Best Buy and Target are at their highest corporate levels involved in the criminal distribution and/or conspiracy to distribute sexual material harmful to minors in violation of Minnesota Statute 617.291 et sequitur.

As you both know, your respective offices have certain injunctive remedies available to you under that statute, in addition to straightforward criminal prosecutions of the companies and their corporate officers.

I encourage you both to proceed on this urgent matter immediately. I and others can provide sworn testimony to any grand jury before whom you might choose to bring this disturbing matter.

Finally, I have urged both Best Buy’s and Target’s CEO’s, Mr. Anderson and Mr. Ulrich, to stop this activity, and they refuse. Please enjoin them or indict them or do both.

Regards, Jack Thompson
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Re: Jack Thompson vs. Entertainment Consumers Association

Postby admin » Thu Jun 18, 2015 9:53 pm

Letter To Senator Joe Lieberman, Concerning Walsh

[posted on 17th October 2005] [source: Gamepolitics]

Dear Senator Lieberman:

I received late last Thursday a remarkably false and hurtful letter from someone who is a friend of yours and who used to be a friend of mine, Dr. David Walsh of the National Institute on Media and the Family. Two people who got Walsh's letter are you and Doug Lowenstein of the ESA. Therein is the explanation of why it was really sent.

I have over the years repeatedly told Dr. Walsh of my admiration for his knowledge as to the harm caused by mature video games sold to minors. I have done nothing for years but praise him to others, especially those in the media. Dr. Walsh has gotten himself on plenty of prominent news shows about this issue on his own, but I got him on 60 Minutes this year and in Reader's Digest. Dave indicated that he was pleased that I did. Neither of us seeks the publicity for its own sake. We both care about the message. It will save lives.

The three of us, obviously, have shared this same concern about adult games sold to kids for a very long time. When you meet the bereaved families of these victims, they change your life forever, as did the families in Paducah whom I represented. Critics of the three of us don't understand our concern. They haven't met the victims.

The very day I sent Dave a draft of an affidavit for him to sign for our wrongful death case in Alabama, Dave, instead of calling me wrote this letter saying that I needed to stop suggesting publicly and otherwise that he endorses what I do. I have NEVER suggested such a thing, ever. Dave and I have joked about how he is the "good cop" on this issue, and I am the "bad cop."

But if Dave had a problem with my "tactics," I believe you and I both know, as people of faith, that the Biblical principle is that you go privately to the person with whom you have a disagreement and express the concern. Dave NEVER did that. Why?

You see, Senator, I am presently suing Best Buy and Target over Take-Two's planned release of Bully, a Columbine simulator in which you can bludgeon your classmates and teachers. I was on ABC World News Tonight and CNN's Lou Dobbs Tonight about Bully and my lawsuit against these retailers. The stakes here are very high.

Dave's organization is funded by Target and Best Buy. Elliot Kaplan is a lawyer who defended Best Buy the last time I sued it successfully, and it is his foundation that, in Kaplan's words "has given millions of dollars to Dave Walsh." Kaplan is a director on the Board of Best Buy. You and I both learned to "follow the money" a long time ago. It can explain why friends write letters that have absolutely no basis in fact but which help those who fund them. Why else would Dave tell me publicly to stop doing something he could have asked me to do privately and which I have never done?

Dave copied you with that letter. He did that because he knew of my relationship with your office, how I have sat with your people the day we were both interviewed for Spencer Halpin's Moral Kombat documentary that is coming out this fall. I am deeply appreciative of your Chief of Staff's tremendous concern and interest in this issue. I have a lovely letter from you thanking me for my abiding involvement in this issue. Nobody here is saying you endorse my methods. You appreciate my concern.

Why did Dave Walsh send his letter to Doug Lowenstein -- to make sure that it would be spread all over the world. That is precisely what has happened. You should hear the things Dave has said to me about Doug, about his prevarications. I think Doug is a liar. Dave is too nice a guy to say so publicly, but I am not. Doug Lowenstein, in my opinion, is personally responsible for a number of deaths. He is paid well to spin like the worst propagandists in history. I don't need to tell you the harm that propagandists can cause, the lives they can cost. The Third Reich was founded upon propaganda as surely as it was founded upon armaments. When Doug Lowenstein says the industry wants kids not to buy these games, he is lying. When he says there is no proof that these games hurt kids, he is lying. Dave would not say so. I say so. I'm not nice, and I don't pretend to be.

The reason Dave sent that letter is the same reason the Philadelphia law firm of Blank Rome has embarked on character assassination of me in our case in Alabama arising out of Take-Two's GTA games. Blank Rome has as one of its partners Barbara Comstock, the head of "opposition research" at the RNC. Blank Rome has unethically used her RNC techniques on me because they know they can't win this case, covered on 60 Minutes and in Reader's Digest on the merits, so they have cranked up their Swift Boat Vets approach and used it on me, with no facts to back them up. As Twain said, "A lie is half way around the world before the truth puts on its shoes." Dave Walsh's money people took a page out of the Blank Rome/RNC playbook. I am getting used to it. All it has accomplished is make me more determined to destroy the Take-Two's of the world, by God's grace.

Dave Walsh is a very nice man who blew this one. I happen to think there is room in the world for Dave's approach on games, but I also think somebody has to be willing to get in the trenches and slug it out with sociopaths. Take-Two's Mr. Houser proves in today's New York Times he is just such a sociopath.

With all respect, Dave's Annual Video Game Report Card has not slowed down Take-Two, has it? I have used lawsuits in the past to accomplish some very good things. I made enemies in the process. I am proud to count Doug Lowenstein as one of them.

I wish you all of God's best. I wish people like Take-Two all of Satan's worst. Dave Walsh would not say that, and that is part of his charm. Some of us were not called to be charming. I want to win this thing, not for my sake, but because lives are at stake.

That is what makes what Dave did so hurtful. Instead of calling me up and talking to me man to man, he wrote a letter to Doug Lowenstein.

Blessings, Jack Thompson
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Re: Jack Thompson vs. Entertainment Consumers Association

Postby admin » Thu Jun 18, 2015 9:53 pm

Letter To Dean Walsh II

[posted on 14th October 2005] [source: Gamepolitics]

October 14, 2005

Dear Dave:

It is interesting that you sent your useful letter (useful to us) to Doug Lowenstein immediately after you received my request for an affidavit in Strickland v. Sony.

If you shared this confidential affidavit with Doug Lowenstein, or with anybody else, as you shared your letter with the video game industry, then you have a problem.

Unfortunately, Dave, you have opened up the issue of your organization's funding. Bad move.

You liked your collaboration with me when I got you on 60 Minutes, but not when it inconvenienced your cozy relationship with Best Buy and the rest of the video game industry.

You got some pretty bad legal advice in this, Dave, but that does not surprise. You're talking to attorney Elliott Kaplan, who sits on the Best Buy board.

Regards, Jack Thompson
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Re: Jack Thompson vs. Entertainment Consumers Association

Postby admin » Thu Jun 18, 2015 9:55 pm

Letter To Dean Walsh I

[posted on 14th October 2005] [source: Gamepolitics]

Sent: Thursday, October 13, 2005 6:01 PM

Dave, I received your letter today. A couple of clarifications, if I'm allowed to do that.

I have never given the impression that you are anything other than a remarkably talented and insightful professional who has been sounding the alarm for many years about the dangers of adult entertainment when consumed by kids. I started doing that in 1987. Not sure as to the precise date you started, but it has been a long time.

I have never said to anyone that you and I are in league with one another. I did recommend that 60 Minutes and Reader's Digest talk to you about the Alabama wrongful death case. I think it is fair to say you would not have been on those programs if I had not recommended you. I was happen to do it. As you recall, I got you the video gamer to sit with in Tuscaloosa to show the violent content of GTA: Vice City. I was happy to do it.

You will also recall that it was I that urged you to go forward on the "Hot Coffee mod" scandal. You repeatedly called me for legal advice and I freely gave it. As you know, I prepped Senator Clinton, per her staff's request, before she had her splendid "Hot Coffee" news conference. As you will recall, you called me to let me know you were on your way to Washington to do that press conference with her. I was happy for you.

I certainly did, however, lose respect for Senator Clinton when she decided, after that, to attend a fundraiser thrown for her by the video game industry and by ESA's Doug Lowenstein. To me, that was a sell-out for campaign cash. It may be that because you raise money for your organization you understand the needs of fundraising, but to take money from the ESA is to take blood money. The parents I represented in Paducah would not understand, nor do I. I note you send Doug Lowenstein, your letter to me. That is quite odd, given the things you have said to me about him in the past.

I am wondering just who, David, these people are whom I have criticized "who have worked to improve the lives of children." Do you have in mind the folks at Best Buy, one of whom you copied with your letter? I know you get money from people connected with these folks, David, but you do know that Best Buy is presently pre-selling, to adults and to children, the Columbine simulator game, Bully? You do know that, right, David? Of course you do. I told you Best Buy was doing that. So is the Target Corporation, whose Chairman Bob Ulrich you copy with your letter. I am wondering, David, what these men have to do to get on your bad side? Do they actually have to do the physical bullying of kids, as selling a bullying rehearsal trainer to kids is okay?

Finally, Dave, I understand that your letter is more about protecting your funding sources than criticizing me, so I understand what you felt you had to do. But there is something else here. Your role in this fight is indispensable -- or I should say has been, as you maybe have decided to go a different route now -- and I applaud you for what you have done.

But the thing that makes you feel uncomfortable with me is no so much that I have gone too far but that you have not gone far enough. The time for hand-wringing and trying to "persuade" the bad guys to stop being bad was over quite sometime ago. Now I understand the mindset of the upper Midwest, especially in the Twin Cities. Everybody likes to get along, assume that everyone "means well," and things will all just work out for the best in the end.

I know, and you know, if you are being honest, that that is not how the world works. Evil people sometimes have to be stopped, or at least their evil has to be stopped. You can cite all the studies and all the findings and keep giving your video game report card to Congress, and it will not matter unless somebody gets into the trenches and stops these people. While you have been giving report cards on a bunch of sociopaths, the violent games have been getting more violent.

Senator Lieberman, bless his heart, wants with Senator Clinton to fund a study with taxpayer dollars to find out if violence in entertainment really makes kids violent. That was decided years ago. It is a dodge from having to do something about the violence. The entire ESRB rating system is a joke. It is a tool for marketing violence to kids. It does not stop the sale of violence to kids. You know that. It would be better if we had no system, and then parents would not have been fooled for more than a decade into thinking that the system was actually protecting their kids.

Liberals, like you, love to label things and then think that the labeling has accomplished something. If that had been the case, then Churchill's calling Hitler a Nazi would have ended the war. But no, people like me had to get into the trenches and stop the Nazis. And there were always those tut-tutting back home about what a nasty business it is to stop the bad people, and can't we all just "get along."

Actually, Dave, and this is the point: We can't just all get along. You want to criticize retailers like Best Buy, while at the same time taking their money. That is what prompts your letter to me decrying my tactics and my hyperbole and so forth.

I have been dismayed by your being on both sides of the fence, because it undercuts your credibility.

Dave, it is laughable, it is absurd, that you have copied your email to Bill Gates, of all people. This is a guy whose Halo trained Malvo to kill in D.C. This is a guy who now has put all the Grand Theft Auto games on his XBox. This is a man who is going to release Bully when the coast is clear in the spring.

Gates is a man who wants to be on both sides of a fence. Sound familiar?

Regards, Jack Thompson
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