“Criticism,” the “act of passing judgment on the merit of something,” takes various forms. “Constructive criticism” is not the only type from which one can learn. In debate at both high school and college levels, and, later, in standup comedy, even mindless taunts imparted lessons.
When I was retained as counsel on a SCOTUS case to challenge the 2016 elections, I visited a website where lawyers were said to rip into our case. The culture of the website was familiar. “Regulars,” under pseudonyms, share a slice of reality, take shots at people, and pat each other on the back for snarky comments. Under a header “Falsehoods Unchallenged Only Fester & Grow,” the site is described as “a community of people who follow fringe political movements in American politics” and “formed in 2009 and dedicated to debunking the ‘birther’ movement.”
The culture was familiar because I became a blogger in 2010 in response to “tea party” people. One reason the blogsphere can be tough is use of pseudonyms hides identity and shields the poster from accountability. On the tea party blog, I used a pseudonym, “403US15” (a cite to a 1970s SCOTUS case), for short time. I was new to the medium. I should not have used a pseudonym, even for such a short period.
Yesterday on Twitter I was called a “coward” because I refuse to argue that person, on his website, the merits of removal of Trump from office via Federal courts. I am new to Twitter (although my account was opened a few years ago). I asked the person what his website is. He said the name of his website was at the end of his tweet—like I am a dumbass. No, I am new to the medium.
The website is where people ripped into the case earlier this year. I wrote that I looked forward to argument, would reply later, but I had not visited the website much of the many pseudonyms and ad hominem arguments. The individual called me a coward, boasted of the metrics of his website, and said if I would not go to his website to argue, I should dry up and go away.
I will not post on his website. Neither shall I dry up and go away. I have to address some of the arguments on the website because people who obtain information from the internet tend to believe credibility of those who claim to be plausible. I also need to challenge the following falsehoods because I do not want them to fester and grow.
1) I misrepresent Donahue v. Board of Elections, 435 F.Supp.957 (E.D.N.Y. 1976):
“You probably made him sprains (sic) something, since he obviously never read the entire case he keeps quoting, since it doesn’t even come close to saying what he claims it does.” (Posted by “Notorial Dissent,” 11/13/17, 8:51 a.m.)
Quotation marks appear at beginning and end of passages that I cite from Donohue because the case really says what is within the quotes. The case is available on-line. The reader may go to the text.
2) “Small appears to be confused about what ‘treason is....” (Posted by “Sterngard Friegen,” 11/13/17, 9:39 a.m.)
The definition of “treason,” Const. Art. III, sec. 3, has been cited in several of the blogs I have posted. If one adheres to an Enemy of the United States, “giving them Aid and Comfort,” that person commits treason. Trump, et al, have given comfort and aid and comfort, to Putin and Russia. Putin seems happy. Others agree we have treason here. I am not “confused” about what treason is.
3) “So a state law case on appeal, that FAILED, was denied and dismissed somehow confers jurisdiction and authority in a Federal matter?????” (“Notorial Dissent,” 11/12/17, 4:46 p.m.)
First, Donohue was not a state law case. Lawsuit was filed under 42 U.S.C. 1983, 1985 and 1988 in Federal court—the case is in the Federal Supplement reporter, was handed down by the United States District Court for the Eastern District of New York, and concerned a lawsuit filed in that court. The action was against persons acting under color or title of state law, but that is what a civil rights action is. If it is brought against state actors in Federal court, it is not “a state law case.”
Second, the case never was “on appeal.” There is no indication appeal was taken from Chief Judge Mishler’s Memorandum Decision.
Third, authority can be “controlling” or it can be “persuasive.” I consistently have cited Donohue accurately, and usually point out the authority is persuasive: “Authority that carries some weight but is not binding on a court, often from a court in a different jurisdiction.” Black’s Law Dictionary, 10th ed., 2014.
Finally, I cite Donohue for the position the Federal courts possess authority, through their equitable jurisdiction, to void an election. That is not an argument raised in the context of a F.R.CivP 12 challenge.
4) “Is his agenda to raise money for another dumb lawsuit or is he striving to be the Orly Taitz of the left?” (Q by Sterngard Friegen, 11/12/17, 5:22 pm.) A: “I think more of the latter; he ... fancies himself as the only smart savior (with a Cassandra Complex). And suddenly fancies himself an expert on everything.” (“bob,” 11/12/17, 6:23 pm.)
I guess “bob” read something I did not write. I never have declared myself an expert. As to trying to raise money: litigation costs money and there are people who seek to raise funds for litigation. .
Those are the arguments I shall address this morning. How does one argue with “Notorial Dissent, ‘bob,” and “Sterngard Freigen”? Just a couple of other points:
Noted by “bob”: “I lurve how Small doesn’t even realize that ‘so many pseudonyms and ad hominem attacks’ is itself an ... ad hominem attack.” (11/13/17, 10:11 a.m.) No, “bob,” an “ad hominem attack” is “an argument made by attacking the character, motive, or other attribute of the person making the argument, rather than attacking the argument directly.” I explained why I do not “visit” the website, rife with onanistic posts, in question. So, “bob” needs to think before he writes.
We seek to challenge an illegitimate presidency. I do not see the people on that website working for change.
In a tweet under what I infer is his own name, the website person says pseudonyms are used on his website because people there received death threats, etc. Probably he was imprudent to write that under his own name, but then his rationale for use of pseudonyms probably lacks the quality of legitimacy.