In Classical Mythology, the Furies are Goddesses of retribution who exacted punishment for murder and other serious crimes, particularly of kin against kin, and who guarded the established order of the world. Hesiod says that they were born from an act of violence of son against father: from the drops of blood that fell on Gaia, the Earth, when Cronus hacked off the genitals of Uranus. Thus they belong to the oldest generation of divinities, more ancient and more primitive than the Olympian gods. Aeschylus makes them the daughters of Night, which is also appropriate to the aura of dread that surrounded them. They were later said to be three in number, and to be name Alecto, Megaera and Tisiphone. They were also given the propitiatory names of Eumenides, 'Kindly ones' and Semnai, 'Revered Ones.'
The Furies came to be seen as goddesses who not only exacted vengeance on earth for crimes committed, but also punished sinners after death, torturing and terrifying the shades of the dead in the Underworld. In art they are usually depicted as winged, their hair entwined with snakes, and carrying torches and scourges.
LIBEL AND SLANDER 21ST CENTURY STYLE
A judge on Monday ruled that Stephanie Clifford must pay President Trump’s legal fees in a defamation lawsuit she filed against him.CreditCreditRalf Hirschberger/DPA, via Agence France-Presse — Getty Images
A federal judge on Monday dismissed a defamation lawsuit filed by the pornographic film actress Stephanie Clifford against President Trump, ruling that the president had not defamed her on Twitter last spring and ordering her to pay his legal fees.
The tweet in question was posted by the president on April 18, one day after Ms. Clifford, known professionally as Stormy Daniels, posted a sketch of a man who, she alleged, threatened her in 2011 as she was first considering speaking out about the affair she said she had with Mr. Trump. Mr. Trump called the sketch “a total con job,” depicting “a nonexistent man.”
A sketch years later about a nonexistent man. A total con job, playing the Fake News Media for Fools (but they know it)! https://t.co/9Is7mHBFda— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) April 18, 2018
In its decision, the court sided with Mr. Trump’s lawyers’ argument that the tweet included an opinion, which the president was free to express.
“The court agrees with Mr. Trump’s argument because the tweet in question constitutes ‘rhetorical hyperbole’ normally associated with politics and public discourse in the United States,” Judge S. James Otero wrote in his decision. “The First Amendment protects this type of rhetorical statement.”
Ms. Clifford’s lawyer, Michael Avenatti, had called the tweet an attack on his client’s credibility, arguing that Ms. Clifford should be compensated for what he called the resulting “harm to her reputation, emotional harm, exposure to contempt, ridicule, and shame,” along with threats to her physical safety.
The money now owed by Ms. Clifford to compensate Mr. Trump’s team of lawyers for their work on the case over nearly six months will not be insignificant. While Charles J. Harder, a lawyer for Mr. Trump, said Monday that the fees had yet to be determined, the case required several lawyers and multiple court filings. At least four lawyers represented the president at a recent court hearing in Los Angeles, and one filing drew on research that cited more than three dozen cases as precedent.
The defamation suit — filed last April in federal court in Manhattan and later transferred to California at the request of Mr. Trump’s lawyers — stands apart from Mr. Avenatti’s efforts to nullify the nondisclosure agreement that Ms. Clifford signed days before the 2016 election, agreeing to keep quiet about the affair that Ms. Clifford said occurred in 2006. Mr. Trump, whose statements about that nondisclosure agreement and the $130,000 payment that went along with it have changed over the course of the year, has denied there was an affair.
On Twitter on Monday, Mr. Avenatti emphasized his continuing litigation relating to Mr. Trump and his former personal lawyer, Michael Cohen, who in August pleaded guilty to multiple federal crimes and implicated the president in violating campaign-finance law. “We will appeal the dismissal of the defamation cause of action and are confident in a reversal,” he wrote. He added, “There is something really rich in Trump relying on the First Amendment to justify defaming a woman.”
In a statement on Monday, Mr. Harder, the lawyer for the president, said, “No amount of spin or commentary by Stormy Daniels or her lawyer, Mr. Avenatti, can truthfully characterize today’s ruling in any way other than total victory for President Trump and total defeat for Stormy Daniels.” https://www.nytimes.com/2018/10/15/admin/stormy-daniels-lawsuit-dis...
CAN SOCIAL MEDIA BE CLASSIFIED AS PUBLICATIONS
Barron's Law Dictionary Legal Definitions
Libel is a tort consisting of a false and malicious publication printed for the purpose of defaming one who is living; (spoken defamation is called slander). In tort law, only a living person may be defamed; statutes in several states have made defamation of the dead a crime but no civil liability has been implied.
“Libel” includes “any unprivileged, false and malicious publication which by printing, writing, signs or pictures tends to expose a person to public scorn, hatred, contempt or ridicule and also embraced therein is any such publication that relates to a person's office, trade, business or employment, if the publication imputes to him some incapacity or lack of the qualifications to fill the position, or some positive past misconduct which will injuriously affect him in it.” The truth of the published statement creates a valid defense to an action for libel.
The First Amendment protects the press against certain libel actions unless actual malice is shown. Public officials and public figures must prove that the published information is false and that the defendant published it with reckless disregard of the truth.
In contrast, the common law presumed that published information was false and forced the publisher to prove its truthfulness. The constitutional limitation does not apply to defamation by a newspaper of private persons, where only some degree of fault on the part of the newspaper is required.
Tort is a wrong; a private or civil wrong or injury resulting from a breach of a legal duty that exists by virtue of society's expectations regarding interpersonal conduct, rather than by contract or other private relationship. “The word is derived from the Latin 'tortus' or 'twisted.'”
There are many kinds of torts each with different elements, but they can be generally classified into three groups: those involving intent negligence or strict liability. The essential elements of a tort are existence of a legal duty owed by a defendant to a plaintiff, breach of that duty, and a causal relation between defendant's conduct and the resulting damage to plaintiff.
Seditious Libel in English law is a misdemeanor involving the publishing of any words or document, with a seditious intention. “A seditious intention means an intention to bring into contempt or excite disaffection against the government or to promote feelings of ill will between the classes. If the seditious statement is published, the publisher is guilty of a seditious libel: law of seditious libel is now severely circumscribed in the United States by the First Amendment to the Constitution:
Freedom of Expression is the general term referring to the freedom of press, religion, and speech.
Freedom of Press is the right to publish and circulate one's views, as guaranteed by the First Amendment. It is closely related to Freedom Of Speech.
Freedom Of Speech is the right to express one's thoughts without governmental restrictions on the contents thereof, as guaranteed by the First Amendment.
Slander defamation are words falsely spoken that tend to damage the reputation of another. Under modern legal and constitutional concepts, slander is limited to false remarks inasmuch as truth is an absolute defense to an action for slander.
Unlike libel, slanderous utterances may not be actionable without proof of actual temporal damages. Only where the words impute crime, loathsome disease or un-chastity, or when they relate to an individual's business or profession is this requirement of proving “special damages” dispensed with.
Slander may take the form of either Slander Per Se or Slander Per Quad. If the defamatory meaning is apparent on the face of the statement, then the statement is slanderous per se. If the defamatory meaning arises only from extrinsic fats, not apparent upon the face of the statement, then the statement is slanderous per quod.
The Associated Press Stylebook Briefing On Media Law
What is libel? At its most basic, libel means injury to reputation. Each state, however has adopted its own definition of the term libel. In some states libel is distinguished from slander, in that a libel is written, or otherwise printed, whereas a slander is spoken; in either case, the term deformation generally includes both terms. Words, pictures, cartoons, photo captions and headlines can give rise to a claim for libel.
INCIDENTS IN DANIELS VS TRUMP: NEW YORK VS CALIFORNIA LIBEL LAWS
In New York, a libelous statement is one which tends to expose a person to hatred, contempt or aversion or to induce an evil or unsavory opinion of him in the minds of a substantial number of people in the community.
In California is an example of a state that distinguishes substantively between libel and slander. In California a slander, also defined by statute, is a false and unprivileged publication, orally uttered (including over the radio) which: (1) charges a person with committing a crime or with having been indicted, convicted or punished for a crime; (2) alleges that a person is infected with a contagious or loathsome disease; (3) imputes a person is generally unqualified to perform his job or tends to lessen the profits of someone's profession, trade or business; (4) imputes impotence or want of chastity, or (5) by natural consequence charges actual damage. The—so the speaker you quote may not be guilty of slander, but your written publication of the same matter may constitute a libel.
Finally, many states, such as California, draw a distinction between a libel which defames the plaintiff without reference by extrinsic explanatory matter and a libel which requires reference to extrinsic matters. A claim for damages based on a statement that is not libelous without reference to extrinsic matter usually must be accompanied by a showing of specific damages suffered. A claim based on libel that does not require external reference can generally stand without a showing of specific damage.
LIBEL OR SLANDER OR BOTH & WHAT ARE FACEBOOK AND TWITTER
Facebook and Twitter are classified as “social media.” If these are truly media then they fall under the purview of what the Constitution calls press. This will be acceptable to all except the Originalist who believe as Justice Scalia that the Constitution is sealed in the semiotics of the 18th century. However, this will be for Stormy Daniels' lawyer to argue in his appeal.
Summer Zervos, left, with her lawyer, Mariann Wang on Thursday. Ms. Zervos had said Mr. Trump twice made unwanted sexual advances on her.CreditCreditMary Altaffer/Associated Press
By Tyler Pager
Days after President Trump had one defamation lawsuit dismissed, his lawyers were back in court Thursday arguing to have another suit tossed out.
Mr. Trump’s lawyers appeared before the New York Supreme Court’s Appellate Division to argue the president could not, while he is in office, be sued for defamation by Summer Zervos, a former contestant on Mr. Trump’s show “The Apprentice.”
Ms. Zervos sued Mr. Trump last year after he disparaged her and nine other women who accused him of sexual misconduct during the 2016 presidential campaign. Mr. Trump called their accusations “made-up nonsense to steal the election” and “total lies.” Ms. Zervos had said Mr. Trump twice made unwanted sexual advances on her.
In March, a trial court judge in New York ruled Ms. Zervos’s case could go forward because his comments had nothing to do with his official duties. The ruling set up the possibility the president might be deposed under oath about allegations he sexually harassed not only Ms. Zervos, but several other women.
The only case addressing the issue of whether the president can be sued for nonofficial acts stems from President Bill Clinton’s court battle with Paula Jones. Ms. Jones sued Mr. Clinton for sexual harassment in 1994, more than a year after he took office. She claimed Mr. Clinton, when he still was governor of Arkansas, had lured her to a hotel room in 1991 and asked her to perform oral sex.
In 1997, the U.S. Supreme Court found that sitting presidents are not immune from suits filed in federal court, but it left open the question of whether or not the president could be sued in state court.
Marc E. Kasowitz, Mr. Trump’s lawyer, argued to the five-judge panel in New York on Thursday that the supremacy clause of the Constitution prevents a state court from having jurisdiction over a sitting president. “The president occupies a special position,” Mr. Kasowitz said.
Even if the president could be sued in state court, Mr. Kasowitz said, Mr. Trump’s statements were political speech protected under the First Amendment.
But, Mariann Wang, one of Ms. Zervos’s lawyers, argued that the Supreme Court ruling in Clinton versus Jones should apply to state courts as well.
“The president does not stand above the law,” Ms. Wang said.
The appellate judges peppered Mr. Kasowitz and Ms. Wang with questions, and it was hard to tell which way each judge was leaning. They questioned Mr. Kasowitz’s argument about why the Supreme Court ruling in Clinton versus Jones should not apply to the president, asking if the ruling meant all federal officials should have immunity in state court.
The judges also pestered Ms. Wang with hypothetical scenarios about how far the Clinton ruling should be carried. Justice Angela Mazzarelli asked Ms. Wang if a state judge, for instance, could send Mr. Trump to jail if he was held in contempt of court? And Justice Peter Tom asked if a president could be sued in small claims court?
In the trial court, Ms. Wang’s argument prevailed, as Justice Jennifer Schecter of the State Supreme Court in Manhattan rejected Mr. Kasowitz’s arguments. “It is settled that the president of the United States has no immunity and is ‘subject to the laws’ for purely private acts,” Justice Schecter wrote in her ruling.
Mr. Kasowitz also accused the plaintiff and her lawyers of launching a politically motivated lawsuit, a charge Ms. Wang denied.
In October 2016, Ms. Zervos came forward and said Mr. Trump kissed and groped her without her consent on two occasions in 2007. One incident occurred during a job interview in his New York office and the second one happened during a business meeting at the Beverly Hills Hotel in Los Angeles. If she prevails, her lawsuit could open the door for Mr. Trump’s other accusers to submit depositions, and some of the women have signaled they would.
On Monday, a federal judge in California dismissed another defamation lawsuit against Mr. Trump filed by Stephanie Clifford, the pornographic film actress known professionally as Stormy Daniels.
Ms. Clifford had argued Mr. Trump damaged her reputation when he said her claim that someone threatened her to keep her from speaking about her affair with him was “a total con job.” The court sided with Mr. Trump, ruling the tweet expressed an opinion protected by the First Amendment. https://www.nytimes.com/2018/10/18/nyregion/trump-summer-zervos-law...
STICKS AND STONES AND TEA PARTY APPROPRIATION
Ronald P. Formisano in The Tea Party: A Brief History (2012) disputes the Republican charge of mob-rule against the women protesting Trump rule. He writes that the true mob rule came with the Tea Party movement, promoted by the powerful media billionaire Rupert Murdoch (Fox News Corporation) and Republican operative Roger Ailes, which now makes up the GOP/Tea Party dominated Congress, co-opted Saul Alinsky's methodology in Rules For Radicals: A Pragmatic Primer for Realistic Radicals (1971).
Formisano charges that intertwined as the Fox News Corporation was with the Tea Party during its explosive growth in 2009, when the 2010 midterm elections approached Fox News became as much or more integrated with the Republican Party. The mission of Fox, indeed, appeared to be to fold the Tea Party into the GOP. The mission succeeded fully with the nomination of Donald Trump at the 2018 National Republican Convention.
THE TEA PARTY AND BIG BUSINESS
Liberal bloggers reported that the libertarian billionaire brothers David and Charles Koch were founders of Tea Party supportive groups behind the scenes.
Corporate libertarians believe that hot-button social issues—the right to life, same-sex marriage, immigration, school prayer, religious displays in public places, and so forth—are at best distractions and at worst provocations that will alienate independent and moderate voters. This reflects in part a longstanding division in the Republican Party between “country-club Republicans,” who tend to be moderate on social issues, and middle-and working-class “values voters” more concerned with moral issues.
Freedom Works, a leading proponent of corporate libertarianism, is the offspring of Americans for Prosperity (AFP). AFP emerged in 2003 as a successor to Citizens for a Sound Economy, created and funded by the Koch Family Foundation, and continued its multi-pronged campaigns to weaken labor unions, oppose health care reform and stimulus spending, and stymie efforts to make industries accountable for the pollution they create.
Between 2000 and 2009 Koch Industries dramatically increased the amount it spent directly lobbying Congress and state legislatures, spending, for example, $857,000 in 2004 and $20 million in 2008.
For decades the Koch brothers operated under the radar, funding astroturf lobbying fronts, right-wing think tanks, books, magazines, and what must candidly be called propaganda efforts to advance a libertarian vision that relentlessly promotes their own economic interests.
They have poured millions of dollars into efforts to deny climate change, to oppose laws to reduce carbon emissions, and to keep regulation of pollution lax. Recently, they have put their resources into lobbying against Wall Street regulation and net neutrality, an internet ground rule opposed to broadband suppliers who want to charge for different levels of service. They have contributed millions to the campaigns of conservative politicians at the national and state levels, mostly Republicans and, recently, Tea Party candidates.
Formisano goes on to state that the Kochs' relative invisibility as political activists and ideological warriors came to an end, however, with an investigative essay by Jane Mayer in the New Yorker, August 30, 2010. “Indeed,” wrote Mayer, “the brothers have funded opposition campaigns against so many Obama Administration policies—from health-care reform to the economic-stimulus program---that, in political circles, their ideological network is known as the Kochtopus.”
The ties of the Kochs and AFP to the Tea party have been well documented. In April 2009, AFP's thirty-four national office employees and thirty-five state-level employees worked hand in glove with the Tea Party to promote the Tax Day protests.
In August the organization spent several million dollars to fund “Hands Off My Health Care” bus tours of Tea party activists to attend and disrupt the town hall meetings at which congressmen were attempting to discuss the new health care legislation. Thus, some of the angry protesters at those town hall meetings did not actually reside in those districts.
A Freedom Works organizer reportedly circulated a memo to trainees for the movable protest: “You need to rock-the-boat early in the Rep's presentation.” Freedom Works and its President Dick Armey claim to be authentic representatives of the Tea Party. However, talking points and speakers for the Tea Party Patriots are frequently arranged by Americans for Prosperity and other political operatives on the Koch payroll.
Freedom Works training draws heavily on imitating liberal pressure groups such as MoveOn.org and urges Tea Party activists to read the writings of Saul Alinsky, a hero too many progressives who influenced community organizing of the poor and other disadvantaged groups as early as the 1950s. It preaches the gospel of “imitate the enemy.”
The GOP/Tea Party Congress and the Trumpsters are Cake Walking: they are imitating Liberals imitating while imitating the Republicans that were killed off at the 2016 RNC.
For author and New York magazine writer Rebecca Traister, Thursday's contentious hearing highlighted important differences in the way Kavanaugh and Christine Blasey Ford, who testified to the allegations, told their stories.
Traister says Ford's polite and constrained demeanor was in stark contrast to Kavanaugh's use of a full range of expression.
"He had in his arsenal the ability to use anger, fury, tears in a way that he felt confident would resonate with the American people. I don't think that Dr. Christine Blasey Ford — I can't imagine a scenario in which she would have gone into that hearing room armed with that same weapon, that same tool; that she could yell and be furious in her retelling of what happened to her," Traister tells NPR's Rachel Martin.
Traister's new book, Good and Mad: The Revolutionary Power of Women's Anger, is a deeper exploration of that dynamic. She says the idea for the book came to her just before the 2017 Women's March. She describes a buildup of anger — her own anger, the anger of other women that spilled over from the 2016 election of President Trump, and anger at many of the white women who voted for Trump in that election — as a catalyst for her book.
Though the Women's March had a massive turnout and has been followed by "a year that has women protesters opposing the health care repeal, teacher strikes, women running for office in historic numbers, and then #MeToo," Traister says the potency of women's anger and activism is still routinely diminished.
In an interview with Morning Edition, she discusses why she chose to examine women's anger and how it has been both politically transformative and perilous for women throughout U.S. history.
On why women's anger has been historically perceived as threatening
Well, in part, that anger of the founding — our founders who were the white men chafing against their lack of representation and who were angry and protested in ways that we understand correctly to this is our revolutionary moment. But when they made their new nation, they codified some of the very inequities that they themselves were angry about with regard to the British government. So they built the nation on slavery and the disenfranchisement of women.
On the silencing of women of color in the #MeToo movement
I think it's almost impossible for us to conceive of the voices of women of color as being heard loudly enough because they have been so unheard and so marginalized for so long. In fact, it's women of color who have been the leaders and the leading thinkers of so many of our social movements, in ways that have remained invisible to us. So when we think about #MeToo, one of the things that gets lost is that the definition of sexual harassment stems from cases that were brought in the '70s by women of color. ...
In 1991, it was Anita Hill, whose testimony against Clarence Thomas, claiming that he sexually harassed her, sort of cemented the idea that sexual harassment wasn't individual behavior but damage done to a class. It's Tarana Burke, who in 2006 pioneers and leads the #MeToo movement. And then when the #MeToo movement erupts — I think it's really important that we understand that the first people to get attention were very wealthy white actresses. ... I don't say that to diminish the experience or the reality of the harm they sustained. But in fact, all of that is foregrounded by women of color whose stories so often get lost or kind of erased.
On why the power of women's anger is not limited to a progressive partisan agenda
My argument is not that women's anger is always righteous. It's that it's very often politically potent and yet we're told not to take it seriously, still. I think that it's the anger that women are feeling across the country that is having a catalytic connective impact. And this is part of a long process — social movements take a long time. The kind of anger that women are feeling in this moment around Kavanaugh is going to be part of a far longer story that's going to extend deep into our future. https://www.npr.org/2018/10/02/653570004/good-and-mad-examines-how-...
Noor Wazwaz and Ashley Brown produced and edited this story for broadcast. Cameron Jenkins adapted it for the Web.
The Tea Party took Saul Alinsky's admonition in Rules For Radicals seriously and took over the United States governments: Federal and State:
Lest we forget at least an over-the shoulder acknowledgment to the very first radical: from all our legends, mythology, and history (and who is to know where mythology leaves off and history begins—or which is which), the first radical known to man who rebelled against the establishment and did it so effectively that he at least won his own kingdom—Lucifer.
In Rules For Radicals, Alinsky offers salient advice and cautions to Progressives: The democratic ideal springs from the ideas of liberty, equality, majority rule through free elections, protection of the rights of minorities, and freedom to subscribe to multiple loyalties in matters of religion, economics, and politics rather than to a total loyalty to the state. The spirit of democracy is the idea of importance and worth in the individual, and faith in the kind of world where the worth in the individual, and faith in the kind of world where the individual can achieve as much of his potential as possible.
We are not here concerned with people who profess the democratic faith but yearn for the dark security of dependency where they can be spared the burden of decisions. Reluctant to grow up, or incapable of doing so, they want to remain children and be cared for by others. Those who can, should be encouraged to grow; for the others, the fault lies not in the system but in themselves.
Here we are desperately concerned with the vast mass of our people who, thwarted through lack of interest or opportunity, or both, do not participate in the endless responsibilities of citizenship and are resigned to lives determined by others. To lose your “identity” as a citizen of democracy is but a step from losing your identity as a person. People react to this frustration by not acting at all. The separation of the people from the routine daily functions of citizenship is heartbreak in a democracy.
From time to time there have been external enemies at our gates; there has always been the enemy within, the hidden and malignant inertia that foreshadows more certain destruction to our life and future than any nuclear warhead. There can be no darker or more devastating tragedy than the death of a man's [or woman's] faith in him [or herself] and in his [or her] power to direct his [or her] future.
What follows in “The Purpose” is for those who want to change the world from what it is to what they believe it should be. The Prince was written by Machiavelli for the Haves on how to hold power. Rules for Radicals is written for the Have-Nots on how to take it away.
In Rules for Radicals we are concerned with how to create mass organizations to seize power and give it to the people; to realize the democratic dream of equality, justice, peace, cooperation, equal and full opportunities for education, full and useful employment, health, and the creation of those circumstances in which man can have the chance to live by values that fie meaning to life. We are talking about a mass power organization which will change the world into a place where all men and women walk erect, in the spirit of that credo of the Spanish Civil War, “Better to die on your feet than to live on your knees.” This means revolution.
THANKS SAUL ALINSKY FOR RENEWING WOMEN AS THE FURIES WE ARE