When Geraldo Rivera suggested that George Zimmerman was as focused on Travyvon Martin's hoodie as his skin color, people shrieked. I shrugged my shoulders.
Although I'm white as snow, I wear hoodies with the hoods up. Growing up, teachers would call me a "hood." My dad would get pissed at me for "leaving the house looking like an idiot."
To this day, I have an assortment of hoodies, including ones adorned with a certain technology company's logo and even a James Perse.
When you wear a hoodie with the hood up, girls move across the sidewalk. When they get into an elevator with you, there's an awkard silence. First they move to the other side of the elevator. Then then look down at their iPhones, as if closing their eyes to the violence that is about to befall them.
There actually is something spooky about a hoodie.
A hoodie adds gives the illusion that you're 20 pounds heavier than you actually are. It also puts the imaginary bulk in the masculine place - on your neck and shoulder girdle.
When police are short guys for a line-up, they'll throw a hoodie on the skinny guy to make him appear more like the bulkier, t-shirt clad suspect.
I also could see myself in Trayvon's shoes. If some nosy fuck ran up on me, asking why I was doing in the neighborhood, I would have said, "Who the fuck are you?"
This isn't make-believe. One day I was sitting in a dog park when a woman approached me. Mistaking me for someone else, she said, "Clean up after your dog!"
I am the most polite guy you'll meet unless you, "Come at me, bro."
So fuck busy bodies like Zimmerman. He's not owed an explanation, and he approaches, he gets his ass kicked.
If I got shot, it wouldn't be a hate crime. It'd be what happens when you go "street" on a person instead of saying, as Trayvon could have told Zimmerman: "Hey, I'm visiting my uncle, and that's why you don't recognize me. Thanks for watching the neighborhood."
Then again, there's often no reasoning with people like Zimmerman. He probably would have asked for identification before effectuating a citizen's arrest.
Martin, like I would have, kicked Zimmerman's ass for being a busybody.
There are thus non-racial angles in the Trayvon Martin case. When you roll around wearing a hoodie, you need to have some self-awareness. People are going to think you're suspicious.
You can either acknowledge them as being of good faith. ("Way to watch the neighborhood.") Or you can get street.
When you go street on someone, you can get stabbed or shot. And it won't have anything to do with your skin color.
None of us can say what happened. To go hysterical in the face of ignorance is madness.
Marc Randazza, who I hired when a lunatic falsely accused me of defamation, recently gave his toughts on the Rush Limbaugh Slutgate fiasco. It's an excellent discussion on modern politics. No one wants to debate ideas. Instead, both the Left and Right attempt to shut down speakers. Marc Randazza also discusses concentration of media ownership.
Judge Holden's speech on war brings Nietzsche into the Wild West. Blood Meridian has been a phenomenal read:
Every child knows that play is nobler than work. He knows too that the worth or merit of a game is not inherent in the game itself but rather in the value of that which is put at hazard. Games of chance require a wager to have meaning at all. Games of sport involve the skill and strength of the opponents and the humiliation of defeat and the pride of victory are in themselves sufficient stake because they inhere in the worth of the principals and define them. But the trial of chance or trial of worth all games aspire to the condition of war for here that which is wagered swallows up the game, player, all.
This is the nature of war, whose stake is at once the game and the authority and the justification. Seen so, war is the truest form of divination. It is the testing of one’s will and the will of another within that larger will which because it binds them is therefore forced to select. War is the ultimate game because war is at last a forcing of the unity of existence. War is god.
Brown studied the Judge. You’re crazy Holden. Crazy at last.
The judge smiled.
Might does not make right, said Irving. The man that wins in some combat is not vindicated morally.
Moral law is an invention of mankind for the disenfranchisement of the powerful in favor of the weak. Historical law subverts it at every turn. A moral view can never be proven right or wrong by any ultimate test. A man falling dead in a duel is not thought thereby to be proven in error as to his views. His very involvement in such a trial gives evidence of a new and broader view. The willingness of the principals to forgo further argument as the triviality which it in fact is and to petition directly the chambers of the historical absolute clearly indicates of how little moment are the opinions and of what great moment the divergences thereof. For the argument is indeed trivial, but not so the separate wills thereby made manifest. Man’s vanity may well approach the infinite in capacity but his knowledge remains imperfect and howevermuch he comes to value his judgements ultimately he must submit them before a higher court. Here there can be no special pleading. Here are considerations of equity and rectitude and moral right rendered void and without warrant and here are the views of the litigants despised. Decisions of life and death, of what shall be and what shall not, beggar all question of right. In elections of these magnitudes are all lesser ones subsumed, moral, spiritual, natural.
The judge searched out the circle for disputants. But what says the priest? he said.
Tobin looked up. The priest does not say.
The priest does not say, said the judge. Nihil decit. But the priest has said. For the priest has put by the robes of his craft and taken up the tools of that higher calling which all men honor. The priest also would be no godserver but a god himself.
Tobin shook his head. You’ve a blasphemous tongue, Holden. And in truth, I was never a priest but only a novitiate to the order.
Journeyman priest or apprentice priest, said the judge. Men of god and men of war have strange affinities.
I’ll not secondsay you in your notions, said Tobin. Dont ask it.
Ah Priest, said the judge. What could I ask of you that you’ve not already given?
Some call this an "urban legend." Others will note that the truth can only be found in fiction.
Congressman Charles A. Lindbergh, Sr. revealed the Bankers Manifesto of 1892 to the U.S. Congress somewhere between 1907 and 1917.
We (the bankers) must proceed with caution and guard every move made, for the lower order of people are already showing signs of restless commotion. Prudence will therefore show a policy of apparently yielding to the popular will until our plans are so far consummated that we can declare our designs without fear of any organized resistance.
Organizations in the United States should be carefully watched by our trusted men, and we must take immediate steps to control these organizations in our interest or disrupt them.
At the coming Omaha convention to be held July 4, 1892, our men must attend and direct its movement or else there will be set on foot such antagonism to our designs as may require force to overcome.
This at the present time would be premature. We are not yet ready for such a crisis. Capital must protect itself in every possible manner through combination (conspiracy) and legislation.
The courts must be called to our aid, debts must be collected, bonds and mortgages foreclosed as rapidly as possible.
When, through the process of law, the common people have lost their homes, they will be more tractable and easily governed through the influence of the strong arm of the government applied to a central power of imperial wealth under the control of the leading financiers.
People without homes will not quarrel with their leaders. History repeats itself in regular cycles. This truth is well known among our principal men who are engaged in forming an imperialism of the world. While they are doing this, the people must be kept in a state of political antagonism.
The question of tariff reform must be urged through the organization known as the Democratic Party, and the question of protection with the reciprocity must be forced to view through the Republican Party.
By thus dividing voters, we can get them to expend their energies in fighting over questions of no importance to us, except as teachers to the common herd. Thus, by discrete actions, we can secure all that has been so generously planned and successfully accomplished.
Civil defense lawyers occasionally find this humble blog after Googling, "lawyers who have beat Rex Paris." Instead of learning about those alleged lawyers, they are likely to find reports of huge personal injury verdicts and awards.
Last week the Rex Parris Law Firm, with Alexander Wheeler as co-counsel, settled a personal injury action for $10.5 million dollars.
In 2009, the same duo obtained a record, $370 million dollar verdict against all around scoundrel Georges Marciano. $370 million almost makes the $135 State Farm settlement seem small.
Defense counsel looking for lawyers who beat Rex Parris will need to keep looking.
DHL Express and Consolidated Deliveries & Logistics to Pay $10.5 Million to Woman Severely Injured in 2005 Vehicle Collision, Announces R. Rex Parris
The R. Rex Parris Law Firm Wins Major Victory for Accident Victim
LANCASTER, Calif., Jan. 5, 2012 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- The crash that almost killed L.M. was violent. Now, 6 1/2 years after L.M.'s vehicle was hit by a DHL package delivery truck driven by DHL driver Susan McKinley, Ms. M finally received justice in the form of a settlement agreement under which defendants DHL Express, Consolidated Deliveries & Logistics and other defendants have agreed to pay the plaintiff $10,500,000.
On the morning of May 23, 2005, Ms. M'S car was struck by Susan McKinley's package delivery truck in Lancaster, California. Ms. McKinley ran a red light while travelling over 50 mph and struck the front-passenger side of M'S car while M was waiting to make a left turn. Ms. M was trapped in her car for 10-15 minutes before she was extricated and airlifted to the hospital. She lost consciousness and remained in a coma for several days after the crash. She was initially hospitalized for over two weeks and then went between the hospital and a skilled nursing facility for another month. Eventually, Ms. M was discharged to intensive home health care, living assistance and physical therapy.
At the time of the crash, the defendant McKinley was in a DHL uniform driving her delivery truck that was used to deliver DHL packages. The investigating Sheriff's Deputy who accompanied McKinley to the hospital after the crash testified that McKinley admitted to smoking marijuana the morning of the crash. At the time of the crash, Ms. McKinley was on her way to the "CD&L" station in Lancaster, California, where all DHL packages that either went to or left the Antelope Valley were sorted and processed for delivery.
DHL and CD&L claimed McKinley was an independent contractor, not an employee, and that they thus had no liability for McKinley's conduct. The case settled on October 31, 2011 before the damages portion of the trial was to start and over a year after a seven-day jury trial in 2010 on the issue of whether McKinley was an employee or an independent contractor. "The jury that decided the employment issues found DHL and CD&L were Ms. McKinley's direct employers," said Alexander R. Wheeler one of M'S trial attorneys.
Ms. M suffered severe injuries in the crash, including traumatic brain injuries (subdural hematoma left frontal lobe), acute respiratory failure, a lacerated spleen, fractured left pelvis and sacrum and fractured ribs.
"The case is an example of the hard fight that injury lawyers must mount against companies that do everything they can to deny accountability and leave their innocent victims holding the bag. I am proud that we were able to represent Linda M and achieve a hard-fought victory against a team of corporate lawyers," said Alexander R. Wheeler.
About The R. Rex Parris Law Firm
The R. Rex Parris Law Firm prides itself on offering experienced representation with integrity and compassion. Our lawyers fight aggressively against corporate defense attorneys and insurance companies ensuring proper compensation for our clients. Between auto accidents, defective products and class action/employment law cases, the attorneys at R. Rex Parris Law Firm deliver outstanding results for hard-working families throughout the state of California.
CONTACT: Alexander R. Wheeler (661) 949-2595 firstname.lastname@example.org
If you went by Lori Palmieri's website advertising her wares as a criminal defense lawyer, you'd think Michael Lewis was describing her when he wrote about Big Swinging Dicks.
Palmieri's website depicts a ghostly, almost intimidating figure with chilly blue eyes. Fans of Blood Meridian can only imagine her as a Judge Holden figure. Badges orbit around her head, as if caught in the gravitational field of her awesomeness.
Palmieri revealed that she is no fighter. She is a coward whose career mattered only when she was able to hide behind the shields of her office. With a "badge and gun," she was somebody. Stripped of official symbols of authority, she is a worm.
When Joseph Rakofsky sued her for speaking out against incompetent lawyers, what did Palmieri do? Did she insist that, as a Florida lawyer, she could be not sued in New York? (Long-arm statutes, how do they work?) Did she insist that she would fight when attacked, just as she would claim to fight for her clients?
No. She knelt down on her knees, and gave Rakofsky a virtual blow job. The text is so revolting that I shall not reprint it here. Her stench can be smelled on every coast. I link to it only as a case study in lawyer cowardice.
As with Martha Perry, Lori Palmieri did not disclose that she had settled her lawsuit with Rakofsky. Thus, her post was almost certainly required as part of a settlement agreement. (Whether Palmieri paid the $5,000 Rakofsky demanded of other defendants also isn't disclosed.)
Choosing a Tampa criminal defense lawyer is serious business. I for one would never hire a lawyer who, at the first sign of a fight, takes her knees and grovels.
When Joseph Rakofsky filed a frivolous lawsuit against me and 84 or so other people for writing that Rakofsky is incompetent and unethical, settlement never occurred to me. There are First Amendment issues at stake. If lawyers won't stand behind their words, how can people untrained in the law ever speak?
As the author of the First Amendment and a lawyer himself wrote, "On matters of style, swim with the current, on matters of principle, stand like a rock."
There's also the issue of courage. When someone files a frivolous lawsuit against you, you must stand and fight. Otherwise, you're a miserable coward - a worm slinking on its belly.
When Joseph Rakofsky sued Martha Sperry of Advocate's Studio, she had a choice. She could fight. Or she could run.
She choose to run.
On December 3, 2011, Martha Sperry published an ingratiating post to Rakofsky. Perry kisses Rakofsky's ass and insults everyone who dares defend themselves from the frivolous attacks of a loon.
What Perry did not do, however, is disclose a material fact. She settled her case with Rakofsky, and thus her kiss-ass post was almost certainly mandated by the settlement agreement.
What sort of lawyer would fail to disclose a material fact to her readers?
Rakofsky seemingly demanded $5,000 from each defendant, as evidenced by St. Thomas Law School's decision to settle with Rakofsky for that very amount.
Did Martha Sperry write a check for $5,000 to Joseph Rakofsky? Or did licking his boots suffice?
It's clear that Sperry is a coward. It's almost certainly the case she's incompetent, since no competent lawyer would have settled a frivolous lawsuit brought against her.
We should now ask if Sperry is ethical. If Sperry was required to write her December 3, 2011 blog post as part of a settlement agreement: Why did she hide that fact from her readers?
I posted a comment to her blog, asking her whether she was required to write her blog post as part of a settlement agreement. She has kept the comment in moderation rather than address my question.
What does her silence say?
Holding in anger is the virtue of slaves. The Christian bias against anger exists because early Christians were slaves rather than masters. If early Christians had not been forced to hold their tongues (being gentle as doves and sneaky as snakes), Western men would have a healthier relationship with anger.
Aristotle approved of anger, when at "the right time, and for the right purpose and in the right way." As Dr. Bruce Banner was fond of saying, "don't make me angry. You wouldn't like me when I'm angry." People wouldn't listen, and yet they'd still blame the Hulk.
It is usually scoundrels and passive-aggressive who preach against anger. It is of course in their best interests to disarm the very people they seek to harm.
I enjoy being angry. It fuels my soul and moves my body. You wouldn't like me when I'm angry. Please make me angry.
When most people think of the First Amendment, they think of the evils of government censorship. Yet the current greatest threat to free speech does not come from the Internet. It comes from litigious private parties. It's a dangerous threat because it's stealthy.
If the DOJ threatened to shut down Crime & Federalism, you'd all be livid. Everyone recognizes that the government should not be allowed to threaten free speech.
Fits would be thrown and apologies would be made.
What if a court threatened to shut me down. Would the threat be as obvious?
When someone files a frivolous lawsuit, he's trying to use the power of government to do what no other branch of government would do.
What happens when a private person tries using the power of the court to shut down a website?
One victim of private censorship is Clayton Cramer, a leading historian on the Second Amendment.
Clayton Cramer was almost forced to shutter his blog after Righthaven, sued him for copyright infringement.
Right Haven was a copyright troll. They purchased all of the Las Vegas Review-Journal and Denver Post's copyrights. They'd then troll the web, looking for websites containing LVR and Post articles.
Righthaven had many victims. Many victims included small website operators who did not themselves reproduce any copyrighted articles. Instead, commenters posted articles to the websites. Although clearly a website owner cannot be held liable for infringement
Righthaven is almost dead, because the Randazza Firm kicked the shit out of it.
But not everyone can afford legal help. Many people allowed Righthaven to extort it, as a purely economic matter. If defending a lawsuit costs $20,000 that you don't have, then putting a $5,00 settlement on a credid card makes sense (especially when you consider that the maxium exposure for copyright infringement is $150,000).
Even your humble narrator has faced threats of litigation, and actual litigation. Joseph Rakofsky, another private actor, filed a frivolous lawsuit against the American Bar Association, Washington Post, and about 80 other people - including me. (I'm proud to disclose that the Randazza Firm, the lawyers who shut down Righthaven, are defending me against Rakofsky's frivolous lawsuit.)
Now some of you will be hard asses. "Freedom isn't free." Cute sloan that is ignorant of constitutional text. Speech is supposed to be free. The First Amendment protects, after all, "freedom of speech." Read the Constitution. It's all in there.
If something is causing maritial strife, or if some parent has to choose beteween college fund payment and legal bills, there's a major problem.
Yet as highly as I think of myself (count the I's in this sentence!), I'm also humble enough to realize that I read far more than I write. People who run most websites are surprisingly civil, middle-class people who offer fascinating and diverse perspectives on life.
They also have family relationships to preserve. They had kids who need braces. They, unlike the Washington Post, don't have lawyers on retainer. Righthaven poses the greatest danger to the people we need most.
Not many of the sites I read are run by guys like me. Most are, you know, not looking for a fight. Sue me. I'll fight like hell, and if you think a civil lawsuit scares me, you haven't done much dilligence. Lawsuits only add to my life story.
But I'm a man with a calloused heart. Should speech only be free for guys like me?
Government censorhip is an evil we all recognize, unite to defend against, and thus usually defeat.
We haven't paid attention to harm private litigants cause. We need to start, we need to unite, and we need to take the firehouse to sewage like Joseph Rakofsky, Marc Stephens, and Righthaven.