Tuesday, April 03, 2007

With friends like these

It's been an interesting 24 hours. I started yesterday evening reading the following on the Yahoo! SCOX message board under the title "Beebe Still on PJ's Case".
Googled for "SCOX" in blogs for the last day, found this:

http://dv3b.ppoyl.com/First-Amendement-R...

Wherein Bill Beebe reiterates his unique take on the First Amendment in his quest to vilify PJ:

"[beebe] What applies to the court of law should apply to the court of public opinion. In a long fight such as this one, the desire to remain hidden while voicing strong editorial opinions, especially when they are at times inflammatory, is morally and ethically corrupt, and lessons the stature of the person making them as well as those who support that individual."

Nobody tell Bill that the Bill of Rights likely wouldn't exist but for anonymous pamphleteers. His "argument" was shredded to bits last time he floated it here, which might explain why he elects to post this stuff so far off of the beaten path.

This is the best rebuttal of Bill's lunacy from the last time, which I will quote in full:

http://messages.finance.yahoo.com/Stocks...

Excuse me, but the Supreme Court has said that it is right, not only right, but entirely what the first amendment embodies:

MCINTYRE v. OHIO ELECTIONS COMM'N [514 U.S. 334]
http://law s.findlaw.com/us/514/334.html

"Anonymous pamphlets, leaflets, brochures and even books have played an important role in the progress of mankind." Great works of literature have frequently been produced by authors writing under assumed names. Despite readers' curiosity and the public's interest in identifying the creator of a work of art, an author generally is free to decide whether or not to disclose her true identity. The decision in favor of anonymity may be motivated by fear of economic or official retaliation, by concern about social ostracism, or merely by a desire to preserve as much of one's privacy as possible. Whatever the motivation may be, at least in the field of literary endeavor, the interest in having anonymous works enter the marketplace of ideas unquestionably outweighs any public interest in requiring disclosure as a condition of entry. Accordingly, an author's decision to remain anonymous, like other decisions concerning omissions or additions to the content of a publication, is an aspect of the freedom of speech protected by the First Amendment."
[Internal citations omitted]

and also, in the same ruling:

"Under our Constitution, anonymous pamphleteering is not a pernicious, fraudulent practice, but an honorable tradition of advocacy and of dissent. Anonymity is a shield from the tyranny of the majority. It thus exemplifies the purpose behind the Bill of Rights, and of the First Amendment in particular: to protect unpopular individuals from retaliation - and their ideas from suppression - at the hand of an intolerant society."
[Internal citations omitted]

It "exemplifies the *purpose* behind ... the First Amendment".

You can't get a much more powerful statement than that.

PJ may have her reasons for wanting to remain anonymous. Whatever they may be, they are hers, and it is her *constitutional right* to remain anonymous, if she so chooses.

The fact that she "has made herself a high-profile celebrity" does not strip her of her rights. Even in the case of the subpoena, I would guess that a lawyer could request that her personal information be protected from public disclosure. Much the same as the financial information of that one expert for SCOX was.

It is extremely hypocritical to claim that she has First Amendment rights, and then proclaim that using those rights is "not right".

Mr. Beebe, before you go spouting off about rights, I suggest you educate yourself first.
Now, anybody can post on the web, and they can pretty much post anything they want (within reason). The issue wasn't being flamed over the post, the issue was the fact that somebody (who I have very good reason to assume was the poster, timransom@rogers.com) had lifted the entire contents of the original post and placed it on another site, without attribution, and without a poster's name.

The implication was that I posted it anonymously, a fact that quickly became a topic of discussion in the developing thread. Not only was I being accused of not understanding the First Amendment, but it was made to look like I was being hypocritical posting anonymously. Over a period of an hour (from 8:30pm to 9:30 pm) I posted four responses, one of them a thank-you to diogenese19348 for his lone message of support.

And of course, he was taken to task over that by poster drone_ckx:
Re: It's Dio's Fault!

"[dio] Much as I hate to get in the middle of a pissing contest (you get no satisfaction from it, and end up covered in piss), Since Bill SIGNS all his work, there is absolutaly no reason to believe he placed his own article anonimously on another blog. Hence, I think Tim is wrong on that part, and should have known it."

Read Tim's post. Show us where he said Beebe posted "anonimously on another blog". I'll save you the time. He didn't. Not anywhere.

"[dio] Second, unless you relegiously read Bill's blog (I don't), there isn't anything in that copy that points back to him, which must mean Tim follows Bill's blog pretty closely."

Tim posted about Bill's previous writings on the topic, so chances are he would remember them. I did. Without religion.

"[dio] Just observations. It does not mean Tim had anything to do with an anonimous posting of Bill's work on a different blog, I just don't believe Bill did it either."

And NOBODY else has said he did either. Except you. And Wally. And Frehely. Curiously, despite what you say, Tim *didn't*.

"[dio] It is quite possible everybody and their pet chipmunk is jumping to conclusions on this one."

Well you and Bill certainly did. Based on your post here, Bill called Tim a "lying, conniving SOB".

"[dio] Lastly, anonymous character assassination on the Internet is starting to be quite a problem. Free speech does not override libel laws, and we are getting close to the time congress may decide to do something about it (shudder)."

Okay. What does this have to do with anything, except possibly Bill calling Tim a "lying, conniving SOB"?

"[dio] As far as Grokwars, I see no reason not to continue staying out of them, they are sort of the Grand Wookie at this point."

A discussion about the First Amendment and the right to anonymity isn't actually a "Grokwar", yet you didn't "stay out of it". Instead, you accused Tim of something he didn't do, prompting Beebe to call him a "lying, conniving SOB". Congratulations!
I'll make a confession. I did call timransom a "lying, conniving SOB." He might be lying and conniving, but I shouldn't have called him an SOB. And I called him that before dio posted, but without the thread to back this up, it's now my word against drone_ckx. Thus do the SCOX forum posters turn on their own when it looks to the group like any individual strays from their fanatical straight and narrow.

In the end I took the advice of the firebrands who post on the SCOX board. I clicked the abuse link on the messages and filed a complaint with Yahoo. Not only was the first thread completely removed, but when timransom re-posted the same message (with a link to my original post), I complained again about harassment and had that removed. I then complained about timransom himself. The last message I got back from Yahoo about tim was that Yahoo had "taken appropriate action." Unfortunately, he's back at his old tricks.

As for the bogus site, I have no idea what happened to it. Before I could complain to its hosting service, it had already been taken down, I suspect by timransom. That's why I have a screen capture of the site, made before it disappeared. I also saved a copy of the front page as html.

Update

This from the mouth of timransom himself:
Beebe Has Another Thread Deleted

What was that about the First Amendment?

*snort*

You're a liar and a coward. Not to mention that you aren't willing to defend your opinion. Can't say I blame you.

Think I'll put the old blog back up. You will be my first topic.

Good luck.
So we can now say that he did indeed put up the original site and then took it down. Welcome to the blogosphere, tim. Just a few words of advice. Free speech is not a license to libel or abuse.

A Waste of Time and Effort

If tim had published his rebuttal with a link back to the original article without the fancy attempt at obfuscation, then there wouldn't have been a thing I could do or say. Nor would I have. But tim, in his attempt to make a point, went way over the top. The link to he had to MCINTYRE v. OHIO was an excellent counter point to my argument. I'm no fan of Pamela Jones, and I don't believe it applies to her particular case. It's a shame his message got lost in the noise and fury of his own making.

Oh. The reason I don't go back to "defend" my opinion is that there's no winning with that group. The strident fanaticism that permeates that forum is so intense as to destroy any chance for civil discorse, especially on highly-charged subjects you don't agree on. For me winning in discussions is not a zero-sum game the way it is with the SCOX forum crowd. I'll wait and see what tim has to write. Maybe I'll respond here.

2 comments:

  1. Oh, BTW, I did notice that you two were arguing about the right to post anonymously. I write under the pseudonym "La Gringa" because I write from and about a country where people get murdered for speaking their mind.

    ReplyDelete
  2. I don't know Tim Ransom, I don't know you, and I don't even know what SCOX is. I stumbled upon Tim Ransom's blog because it had a link to mine.

    The anonymous blog that you are referring to is from a group of 1000's of splogs (spam blogs) that steal material from all over the internet, mine included. The format of the blogs is always the same. As soon as some are taken down, they start new ones to replace it. The purpose of the splogs are the Google Ads.

    I've found my articles republished 100's of times. I've had success in getting my stolen articles removed a few times and others not so much.

    I'll bet that you will find more of your articles on those spam sites. Do a Google search using a sentence or two from one or more of your articles and you will probably find more splogs using your material.

    Anyway, I can assure you that your argument with Tim or anyone else had nothing to do with your article being posted on this site or the site being taken down.

    Here is my article about this content theft in which you may be interested.

    Sorry, no posts match your criteria

    ReplyDelete

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