The coming SLAPPocracy

MSJ Exhibit Bajardi v Pincus:  elected official compiles a "list of occurrences"

I spent a couple of bucks on legal fees, and they spent a whole lot more,” [Trump] told The Washington Post in March about the hefty sum he spent on the case against O’Brien. “I did it to make his life miserable, which I’m happy about.

-Donald Trump NY Times Magazine-Nov. 22, 2016

That's President-elect Trump boasting that one of his seven libel suits was perpetrated in bad faith-  "I did it to make his life miserable"- the very definition of a SLAPP (Strategic Lawsuit Against Public Participation).   Trump lost that one and five more- only winning one libel suit when the Defendant failed to show up in court.

What does this portend for free online speech in the Trumpocalyse?

The Trumpocalyptic threat to "open up the courts on libel lawsis chilling.

Not only big media outlets have to worry; the most vulnerable and lowest hanging fruit are the "little guys" like MSV and GA.

Been there!  Done that!

click image to read

The little guys are the most vulnerable, and most easily picked off  by any wealthy public figure who wants to shut them up.  Such wealthy, powerful tyrants can freely use our courts to smite the pens of critics to punish them. These tryants may compile a list of occurrences where they felt others "lied" about them, future targets for a SLAPP-venture.  They may also SLAPP simply because it makes them "happy" to make the other guy's life "miserable"

What these enemies of free speech all have in common is resources; money is no object for the SLAPPer.

It all starts with a list.  In one famous list,  the Nixon administration pondered "how we can maximize our incumbency in dealing with persons known to be active in their opposition to our administration... how we can use the available federal machinery to screw our political enemies."

Watergate hearing Exhibit- cover page of Nixon's Enemies List' 'memorandum

A SLAPPer does not have to control the wheels of government in order to "screw" an enemy,  all it takes is (heaps of) money to file crushing litigation against him/her/them.

Which makes the Trumpocalyse and its "opened up" libel law a scary unknown.

GA fears the Trumpocalypse will open the floodgates of politically-motivated, bad faith litigation against journalists and other critics of the incoming Administration. 

Further, the identities of wealthy underwriters in a Trumpocalyptic wave of SLAPP suits against journalists, media groups, bloggers, etc., may be hidden behind proxies,  In other words, a SLAPP underwriter wishing to keep his/her hands clean may enlist proxies to litigate the bad faith suit against the free speech of enemies.

For example, an "ordinary couple."

This is a dire situation for Defendants, who invariably cannot match the resources of the SLAPP underwriter.

In many- not all, cases, Defendants will succumb to the will of the SLAPP underwriter, which is to go silent.

However, sometimes the proxies and underwriter diverge in their goals. When that happens, the litigation becomes more complicated and the outcome less certain.

For example, if a proxy wants to "get rich quick" and uses the pressure of excessive, punishing litigation (dozens of motions) to shakedown a Defendant for huge sums of money, if a proxy demands a giant payday under the threat of perpetual litigation, well, anything goes.  It all depends on the fortitude of the Defendant(s).

Hence, GA is not optimistic for the "little guy"  vs. the incoming Administration.  The ACLU is going to be very, very busy.

At the end of the day, whats important is to protect our constitutional right of free speech, to weather whatever comes and survive the Trumpocalyspe with our precious First Amendment rights intact.

The big and "little guys"must stay vigilant.

MSJ Exhibit  Bajardi v Pincus: targeting political speech in 2010


  1. Anyone who witnessed the SLAPP suit from the Reform side and voted for Trump was essentially helping to elect a National Beth Mason. They should hang their heads in shame if they did. Or they should just go over to Beth's house this Thursday and serve Turkey dinner for her. Cause they are nothing but a slave to stupidity. Next 4 years will be ugly for our freedoms

    1. Considering the unhinged reactions we've seen since Election Day and the ugly attacks on the First Amendment by Hillary Clinton's crew and her plans to dismantle speech, we should all be feeling very lucky.

      Americans rose up and spared us that nightmare.
      No one is more against political speech than Bit Mazin & Hillary Clinton.

      Even after Hillary's drubbing across the country, they are trying to censor like never before. The lying fake news people and their masters want to silence Americans from "fake" news sites.

      Holy Cow! The totalitarian face of evil just showed you its actual face.
      Wake up and open you eyes!

    2. Trump is putting up Sen. Jeff Sessions, a highly respected former US Attorney. He put a KKK member up on death row and desegregated schools.
      The Consitution is safe with his leadership and the rule of law will be upheld.

      The First Amenment is also safe. Any adjustments on the law would need vetting through the Congress & Senate. There's not likely to be any changes or anything of major significance. Certainly, nothing is in the works to modify closer to the standards in Western Europe.

      The attacks of recent days should dispel the ideological torrent of lies from the Left. Hillary Clinton and her media sycophants were and are trying to snuff the speech of others. Wrapping "news" into one world government control with approved media lackeys as seen in WikiLeaks is not freedom of speech, political speech or any freedom at all.

    3. 10:51 and 10:57- your commentary is unsupported by fact- you sound like an Alt-Right ignoramus. Your orange-boy has already backtracked on his "throw her in jail" promise, on trashing Obamacare in its entirety, and did not mention the "wall" in his "First 100 Days" agenda video, yet you are so certain of what he will and will not do. So certain... you are the only one. What wall? More like a traffic cone.

      Stop babbling about Hillary- she is defeated. If you think Hillary is "the Left" no wonder you think Gateway Pundit is a genius.

      That said, I/we heard you. Now scoot on back to where this white-nationalist KKK-protectin' kookiness is welcome.

    4. Thanks GA!! I agree with you. I hope 10:51 and 10:57 have a great time screaming Heil Trump at their next White Supremacy meeting (I refuse to call it alt-right)

      While 10:57 claims laws won't be changed Mason enjoyed the same attitude that Trump has regarding lawsuits. Maybe you won't win your frivolous lawsuit but boy you sure may bankrupt your opponent, or at least intimidate them. What a lovely group to support.

      And hey 10:51 and 10:57, it looks like PK over at 411 agrees with you. Lovely company you keep

  2. those are indeed some chilling thoughts, but reading that "nj pulse" article always warms my heart. the good guys won, justice prevailed.

    agree with anon@4:32, seems pretty odd if not downright hypocritical to go on and on about freedom of the press and first amendment yet vote for an authoritarian figure who has spoken publicly many times about his wish to loosen liable laws and crack down on media that he deems "unfair" to him. smh.

  3. Amazing. Lane and Perry discussing a libel lawsuit as a remedy for political speech by a SCREEN NAME. No wonder his condo is going on the block.

  4. Exhibit 1 shows just how paranoid and crazy Beth was.
    Exhibit 2 shows how just as crazy Lane was.

    Amazing that in a city of 55,000 Beth, Lane, Kim, Sara, Ines, John and Alice all found each other and all believed the voices in their heads.

    Beth thinks two people put her name on a petition... wow a real Watergate 2 there Beth. What an a-hole

  5. You represent the hate that Trump spews. You are an evil vile bitch.

    1. Go fuck yourself

    2. anon@11:30, you don't even make sense. take your meds, please.

  6. I think Hillary and Trump both show a lot of Beth qualities. That's why I voted 3rd party.

    1. no comparison and a false equivalency, actually. unlike beth, hillary is quite smart and has accomplished a lot in her life for worthy causes like young girl's education in Arkansas, pushing for healthcare reform back during bill's presidency, women's rights, 9/11 first responders, cease fires and peace treaties, etc.

    2. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

    3. Don't let the barn door hit you in the horse's ass. No one here is interested in your Alt Right nonsense.

    4. 11:13- Alt-Right, KKK-luvin' links are not welcome in my 'house.'

    5. I missed the comment by 11:13 - but I wasn't trying to evoke an alt-right response.

      Anyway, I don't want a political debate. I think Lane & Beth & Co are on display for what they are and while it must suck to be them now, it's great to be us & reading it.

    6. snoopy, you certainly didn't. Hate makes people stupid- on the Left and the Right.

    7. Calling it "alt-right" makes it seem more legitimate than it is. I wish that label had never been given. Bigoted is bigoted. It's not "alt-right" or alt-anything. It's not normal, it's wrong and it shouldn't exist. And if it must exist, it should be so shameful that those who buy into it try to hide their feelings.

  7. America was given two bad choices, but Trump is urgently more scary.

    We Hobokenites abandoned one alt-right site year's ago; during this election season we learned that we had another one. Glad that GA is here so that I can get Hoboken news and tidbits without all the alt-right rot.

    1. Bragging about censorhsip is not very becoming. Using the word "scary" and name-calling as a substitute for political speech is less than impressive.

      Pure cowardice!

    2. Name calling IS political speech, and protected speech- like "Crooked Hillary. " I agree, it was less than impressive when the tangerine monster said it.

  8. Pro tip: "Neo-Nazi" is shorter than "Alt-right" by an entire character space! Save space in your tweets AND be less euphemistic!

  9. One more general thought: can we somehow spread the idea that saying "you can't believe anything any more" or "they're all as bad as each other" is WEAK? People who say these things seem to think they're daring and iconoclastic, rather than that they're rolling over and giving up.

  10. The rage that the American people rose up against all odds against Hillary Clinton, the entitled corrupt class, the Corporate Media doesn't change anything.

    No matter how much you hit the delete button, stay in your SNL approved "bubble" or try to censor others and "unapproved" news sources like Breitbart or the huge collection of news sources on Drudge Report, Americans rose up and said no more!

    The Alt-Left has failed and been sent packing to the wilderness.
    Hey, be thankful, you still have Venezuela and Cuba.
    The Alt-Left should be less racist too. Try going south and stop always with Canada.

    Happy Thanksgiving!
    Lord Hear Our Prayer.

    1. Hilarious.

      Hillary Clinton got 2,000,000 more votes than the Orange Monster. I would say the American People rose up against Alt Right racists and were defeated by the electoral college. Spin as you wish. Like your site, this one has rules. Respect them. Don't post your shitty links here.

      Racism exists on the Left and the Right. Now it's reached the highest levels of American government.

      Your Alt-Right news sources are shit, but by all means read them, quote them, be inspired by them, live them to the fullest.

      By the way, I hit the delete button at your request this week- so I leave it for you to decide what is and isn't censorship over here, but keep it to yourself. I am not interested.

      Happy Thanksgiving.


    2. Just go fuck yourself

    3. Happy Thansgiving GA!

      It's irrelevant how many extra votes Hillary Clinton generates among illegal aliens and the dead especially in California or Mexifornia as some call it now. National elections are set by national standards, in ALL 50 states under the US Constitution, you may want to look up that 200 plus year old policy. See: Electoral College and Trump Electoral Landslide for more information.

      No one gets to play by the same rules going into an election and argue for a different set of rules after the election. It doesn't work that way, spin away.

      Upholding American law is not racist and every UN country has set sovereign laws on maintaining its borders. Do Japan and Israel take steps to maintain the same as nations like others? Of course one say they are all racists and Americans too if it makes you feel better that's why they voted Hillary Clinton to begone. Everyone is entitled to an opinion.

      But do you call those nations racist, the KKK or Neo-Nazis? I think not. Ignoring the natural order and international law of nation-states while wishing to defend law-breaking in these United States? That's fine; so go ahead and defend it but childish name-calling with loaded perjoratives isn't an argument; it's emotionalism reduced to infantilism. It changes neither international or US law.

      Some earlier links had nothing to do with alt anything. They were merely sourcing widely available information such as the DNC employee murdered and his mother now asking for aid in finding who murdered her son in Washington shortly after the DNC email fiasco became public. Similar links by the way appears in the NY Daily News only two days ago. Anyone can do a search with words: "seth dnc death" and discover the same with tens of thousands of related stories. That's not a Nazi-KKK conspiracy against anyone.

      You did not hit the delete button at my request. You hit the delete button at the written request of the offender who is quoted in your own comments section in the Dean Kemph story. They admitted to it so please see that written request again.

      If you want to delete comments, you certainly can but you may want to at least tell readers what the criteria is that will initiates that "trigger." If you want others to "respect" your "policy", you may want to tell them exactly what the policy is. Is the NY Daily News an okay link? How about the Wall Street Journal? Is Breitbart with 45 million hits a month a news site considered KKK? Perhaps inform your readers.

      Fair is fair. If we expect our comments to be given due respect elsewhere, we should aim to apply the same everywhere. Or at least try.

    4. Go back to Heil Square View and make up more names that agree with you Perry Junior.

    5. You're going to make anyone do anything in your wack-a-doole head exactly how?

    6. In fact, it was after you notified me of the remark which offended you, I contacted said offender. Said offender posted he/she had asked me to take down the post. I believe I took down the post before said offender made that comment. Irregardless, you did want me to take the post down, and I deferred to your sensitivities. No argument. BTW, you have deleted my comments in the past and I've never whined like a little bitch, nor challenged your rules. Discourse gets hot, sometimes over the line of the host. I respect your sensitivities, why can't you respect mine?

      So, save the lecture.

      This is my cyber-home. I will sweep out Alt-Right spam with my cyber-broom. No white pointy-hats allowed. No white nationalist trash. No Breitbart, Gateway Pundit, Stormfront, Hoboken411 or any other jackass fake news sites are welcome.

      You have been incredibly obnoxious and disrespectful to your host on Thanksgiving, of all days. This debate can wait, can't it? I have food to cook.

      I am thankful for all of my blessings.

    7. Any contact you had wth "said offender" has nothing to do with me. I pointed out their comment written under the Dean Kemph story. No request from me came to take anything down. That's completely incorrect.

      I have nothing to do with allegedly censoring anyone anywhere other than ask rather politely here and a nice request on illumination on linking to widely available facts. I didn't curse anyone out or attack anyone personally in any way.

      It wasn't me paying anyone to attack the First Amendment rights of other Americans, that's on videos released by Project Veritas with the SAME people connected to Hillary Clinton visiting the WH hundreds of times. To call it what it is, an obvious threat to the First Amendment rights of Americans is not unsubstantiated. A NY Times transcript of President-elect Trump says there's no change on First Amendment. Anyone who wants to read it can see the transcript. Obviously anyone viciously lied about by the Corporate Media would feel they can rattle a saber. They certainly engendered that animosity.
      This is not being obnoxious or disrespectful. It's been polite but the attitude toward anyone who dares to disagree within the zeitgeist is not being guest-friendly IMHO. That's something others said too. So trying to make this about me or who you think the individual is, well that's not only not guest-friendly, it's counterproductive.

      Won't repost the comment again but I think the Hoboken Journal/MSV policy was very good where they didn't try to guess the commenter and discourage them from posting an alternative view. Recall a commenter on Hoboken411 that went through that named Journey. Didn't you publish that in the SLAPP?
      Think so. Maybe good to take a look at it again.

      Enjoy a great Thanksgiving!

    8. free your mind: i hope these posts are worth it to you because every one of them costs you a long time reader on your web site

    9. Every time you attack an innocent farm animal, GA loses three readers.
      Maybe both of you doing it should stop.

    10. PETA, people are telling you what you need to hear. If you don't want to listen thats on you.

    11. Yes, I can hear all two of them in my head. Listen. Obey. Follow.

      Yeah, I believe that.

    12. And Yoko Ono has some tone deaf fans of her god awful voice. So wail away, while no one listens.

    13. The President-elect isn't listening. So why all this rabid partisan attack stuff here? No one cares and it's inaccurate to boot. Pyuuuu-tin, Pyuuuu-tin the crybaby whine heard throughout the land. Why isn't this on that blogspot?

  11. I miss the old MSV, and will never go back there again. I'm not alone. RIP.

    1. Yes, done with it as well

    2. Just my opinion but MSV is far better now without handful the self-serving posters who make being pissed off and condesending at everything their life.

    3. Anon@11:19, I don'r agree with yo about the commenters but also that's not relevant to me. I didn't comment on MSV, just read about Hoboken politics. That's what I -- and apparently, many others -- miss about that blog.

    4. 11:19, Insert 411 where you wrote MSV and you could be quoting PK in 2010

    5. I like MSV.

      I thought many of the comments were useless noise.

      I also think some of those useless noisemakers may have migrated.

    6. "I also think some of those useless noisemakers may have migrated."

      I have no idea what that means. Do you mean some readers/commenters have left the site? If so, that's what I said earlier.

    7. 6:23 That is the same sort of passive aggressive useless comment that some of MSV posters were well known. Do some post here ? I would say so.
      I would also say that some point constant stream of negativity translates to just being "bitchy."

    8. anon@1:24...I was just asking a question because I didn't understand what anon@4:59 meant by "some those useless noisemakers may have migrated". Does he mean they may have left MSV and "migrated" to GA? If so, I pointed out that I agree and made that exact point in one of my earlier comments.

      It was a simple, legit question. I'm not being bitchy or passive aggressive (unsure if you are accusing me or anon@4:59), just want to understand the point.

      Keep in mind the first amendment cuts both ways: bloggers are free to post whatever they want...and readers/commenters are just as free to express their disagreement/displeasure and subsequently never return to said blog and "migrate" to another one. Is there a problem with that?

      Reap what you sow.

    9. Yeah right. 7:32 Not buying it for a second.

    10. Well, anon@8:39, I know what I meant. If you insist on being dickish about it, that's your choice. And I couldn't care less.

  12. GA

    The smell of horse dung is permeating this site. Perhaps I can curry some favor and bale you out by suggesting that you close the barn door on the comments so the rest of us are not saddled with having to listen to his giddy up braying of Alt Right gelding giblets while on his way to the glue factory.

    1. Why not just limit comments to registered users? That way it'll be safe for the two or three people who are offended with any opposing facts/views. Shoot, make the whole website private so it's a safe space for-evah!

  13. Nothing would have to be done if a certain idiot could stay on the topic and not inject bull shit, not relevant, unresponsive and random Alt Right crap. You know who you are, moron.

  14. i'm not in favor of closing comments. i whole-heartedly support the right of delusional tinfoil hat-wearing alt-right "experts" to embarrass themselves in public and suffer the consequences.

    i'm sure it's probably a pain sometimes for GA to monitor and moderate comments, but the open and free exchange of ideas (and opposing reaction comments) is what makes this blog great.

    1. "It's irrelevant how many extra votes Hillary Clinton generates among illegal aliens and the dead especially in California or Mexifornia as some call it now."

      It is posts like this, which are verifiably not true and racist, which are gratuitous on this site and that make the discourse vile.

    2. I jumped off this train on Thanksgiving; this thread's been on autopilot. The commenting system is fine as-is. I see that I may need to clarify rules of (dis)order for serial offenders and cereal offenders. That means you, Captain Crunch.

    3. Yeah, the autopilot failed. It crashed into the side of the Constitution or was it Constitution Ave.?

      Hey, let's protect the illegal alien and dead vote.
      Here in Hudson County, that's sacred, contesting either is racist.

      Who knew?

    4. Ah, he is just jealous as his site has become irrelevant. So he needs to make himself feel somewhat less obscure than he has become by trying to hi-jack your posts. Completely lacking in self awareness idiot.

    5. I'll always come here for President Trump news and MSV for Hoboken news.

  15. This thread did get a bit crazy. Holy shit.

    1. Hector Torres JunyaNovember 28, 2016 at 3:20 PM

      Yeah, but my ef-GF disagrees but won't comment about it. She was born in Mexico and doesn't want her relatives who came in illegally to stay. Most Latinos feel the same about illegal immigration. There's a poll on that recently (58%) but I won't link to it. Cuz you know, racist.

      Please don't tell my Mexican-American ex she's racist.
      That'll be big news to her.

    2. Please stop Hector. It's OK that you support Trump. Lot's of people do. After all he's President-elect because 46% of american voters voted for him just as you did. But spamming GA's site with conspiracy theories drawn from fake news sites is not OK. Publish them on your own site. That's your right, and feel free to wear your loss of credibility as a badge of honor. But this is GA's house and she is your friend - give her the courtesy leaving this stuff at the door when you come to visit.

    3. Thank you, Anonymous 4:36. This has forced me to draft house rules, which will be posted shortly. I really appreciate your sentiments, Anon. You hit it.

    4. "There's a poll on that recently (58%) but I won't link to it. Cuz you know, racist."

      So says Hector.

      Here's a few other possibilities.

      1) Cuz, you know,Breitbart. Yeah, you got it from Breitbart. But you don't want to name them because they are hopelessly discredited. But you raise the specter of "racism" instead to explain the ommission cuz, you know, intellectually dishonest.

      2) Cuz, you know, not all that recent. The poll, such as it is, was taken in January of 2015.

      3) Cuz, you know, the poll was taken by notorious data-cooker-for-hire, Paragon Insights.

      This is the problem with people calling themselves conservatives these days. They do not really want to participate in an honest discussion. They want to post garbage data, fake news or just say "Benghazi" whenever pressed to outline a position. They remind me of the old guard dragging "scratch-off tickets" out of mothballs every time they're asked to explain how they disagree with Zimmer.

      Possibly the best thing about Clinton losing is that people may start saying something about the proposed privitization of medicare other than "Clinton had an email server."

      What we are seeing is the death of debate. All responses are asymmetrical - and this goes on on both sides.

      Side A raises a thesis. Side B does not raise an anti-thesis. Side B says Side A is harboring criminals, is soft on terrorism, is enriching itself at the expense of its sheeplike followers. This is not a debate. It's intellectually lazy and intellectually dishonest. But it makes up a very dangerous percentage of all political dialog, if it even deserves to be called dialog.

      There are serious conservatives, and they know better. I suspect Snoopy is one, or is at least a little right of center and reached that position through a serious consideration of options. I am not even sure if this new breed are actually conservatives or simply people who like to emote and feel smart, however undeservedly, by getting "the last word" largely because they have changed the subject. But they are a destructive force, regardless of who seems to benefit from one moment to the next.

      We all need to go back to forming arguments in the manner that was acceptable in highschool. Make a point, make a second point, make a third point,layer one upon the other in a logical progression, summarize, source. Now do it again. When your teacher asked you to take a position on Dred Scott you didn't yell "Benghazi!"

      What changed?

      Alternatively, we can all keep doing what we're doing. But you know how it sounds?

      It sounds like YOU think you're wrong. YOU believe the old Colbert line "the facts have a liberal bias." YOU believe you can't win on facts so you resort to the Breitbarts and even that heartless bastard, Sandy Hook denier Alex Jones. No answers, just memes, cut-and-pasted argument fragments, embarrassing photographs of the enemy. None of which has any place in discussions between adults trying to solve the major issues of the day.

      As a nation we are simply not speaking to one another anymore. Who benefits?

    5. Guilty. I lean right on many issues, but most social issues I'm left of center (gun control is necessary, gay marriage should be allowed, pro-choice). I'd tweak medicare and medicaid, and I'd tweak Obamacare (I might tweak it to a single payer system, but what I'd really like is for doctors/hospital admin to be involved in the tweaking, they're the experts).

      I'd like to believe that I've come to my positions through thoughtful discussions, research and actual thinking. I wish everyone did the same. Unfortunately, I agree with DangCatfish that most people are intellectually lazy when discussing politics and just pull the lever for their side, A or B. What's really sad is you can literally swap in republican or democrat for either letter.

  16. It's sad to watch the decline of that other blog, but hey it's his right to self-sabotage and live happily ever after with his small cadre of fellow tinfoil hat buddies. The saddest part is Team Mason is watching it happen too, and I'm sure they love every minute of it.

  17. Drumpf already trying to crush the First Amendment! Threatening to withdraw citizenship for Americans for flag burning which the Supreme Court TWICE ruled was constitutional. Drumpf will not last 4 years.


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