All lawyers are trolls but not all trolls are lawyers. 

Update on our appeal in the 9th Circuit Volkswagen Diesel Fraud Case

The Appellate Panel consolidated our Bosch appeal with the Volkswagen appeal and a decision should be announced soon.  If successful the appeal would set aside the largest consumer fraud settlement in history while leaving Volkswagen on the hook.  The settlement allowed Volkswagen to "hide and conceal" claims from the Court and Settlement Master Robert Mueller. 
We filed an action in Butte County yesterday with the intent of having a jury decide punitive damages. We would be the first party to bring the defeat device case to jury trial.  Peer reviewed studies proved thousands of people with lung diseases died from the fraud.  

 

The First Amendment is still First

Posted by Fred Fletcher on Saturday, March 24, 2018 Under: First Amendment
The expansion of the First Amendment over the past decade has eclipsed all the other fundamental rights. Only one Court can universally expand the boundaries of the First Amendment, which is the Supreme Court.

The Supreme Court is hearing argument on Nation Institute of Family and Life Advocates v. Becerra.  The case involves a California law requiring religious based pregnancy centers to display notices for access to state funded abortions. The centers argue the law infringes on their right of free expression.  Humboldt has it's own center J Rophe which previously caught the attention of at least one local journalist

All 9 of our Supreme Court justices appeared concerned the law violated the First Amended. Liberal Justice Kagan remarked she felt the law improperly "targeted" specific groups. Justice Sotomayor described the law as an "undue burden."  There is no doubt the right not to express an idea can be as powerful as the right to express an idea. What we chose to express and not express stem from the same primary right. 

Citizens United was a controversial decision because it has been popularized as the case declaring money is speech and corporations are people. But this is an unfair critique of a more nuanced decision. The Supreme Court acknowledged in this age of mass and strategic marketing financing is required to create noise. Free speech is without impact if no one hears the speech being delivered. We live in an age where individual expression is often lost in a sea of chatter, whether online, in print, on television or radio. Limiting one's access to financing required to make noise has the same result as censorship. 

One may argue correlating money with speech will provide only a platform for big money to express their ideas. But something funny happens when the big get bigger.  Dissenting voices become louder the more we are saturated with distractions from big money. In other words, the larger the matrix becomes the more vulnerable it is to cracks. Cracks are dissenting voices. This is referred to as the "fish swimming upstream" effect. The more fish swimming downstream, the more noticeable the fish swimming upstream. People who have mastered this technique are trolls of the white hat variety. Much like the wild west, we serve as self-appointed sheriffs of the information age.


We geographically disperse ourselves as opposed to consolidating in large cities. This amplifies our efforts to protect free expression on a national level. We understand corruption starts at the local level and the United States must improve, city by city, and county by county.  In the event one of our hats is attacked we can divert our national network to the matter, which often results in hillarity. Our core values are free expression and decentralization which are closely related. I will write about decentralization in a future post. 

As for corporations having free speech rights, I find it impossible to say an individual should have the right of free expression but a group should not, whether the group is a corporation, a church, a cult, or an association, etc. I read Citizens United as recognizing group participation should not limit the right of free expression. 

Despite my agreement or disagreement with the political implications of these decisions, I will always celebrate a judge expanding Free Speech rights. Every provocative statement I make is in honor of the First Amendment, and perhaps an invitation to explore it's outer boundaries on a decade long voyage to the Supreme Court.

Free Expression prevents a core problem from developing in a society. The core problem is consolidated power clinging onto power, after their ideas are outdated. When leadership no longer fits the needs of a society the leadership is vulnerable to being ousted. In nations without free expression, as power-over-the-masses weakens the grip of the powerful tightens. This tightening is often in the form of censorship which is increasing in China, Russia, and North Korea all tinderboxes.  Hell in my opinion would be born a comedian in one of these crap holes, endless material but then the death penalty for cracking a joke.

With the passage of time, leadership naturally becomes ill fitted for a society, which perpetually becomes younger from leadership's perspective. The more outdated leadership becomes the more censorship is needed to keep the fictitious narrative alive. 

While the 2nd Amendment gives us the capacity to kill an individual or few, the First Amendment gives us the capacity to  revolutionize the status quo again and again. If the First Amendment is the Sun on a clear day, the 2nd Amendment would be Mars on a clear night. 

Free expression enables us to criticize and replace those in power. For this reason the First Amendment must transcend all static human values and perspectives. Otherwise our values will never evolve.  As Supreme Court Justice Brandeis in Whitney v. California stated in 1927, "If there be time to expose through discussion the falsehood and fallacies, to avert the evil by the processes of education, the remedy to be applied is more speech, not enforced silence." Joseph Goebbels' propaganda would have surely failed had other voices not been censored in Germany during WWII.  

Censorship in any form is corrosive to a marketplace of free expression.  As we are exposed to more forms of expression it is our responsibility to filter out the bullshit not the government's.  

 

In : First Amendment 


Tags: humboldt  first amendment 

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