Friday, June 4, 2010

It's Free Speech Friday! Sample Topic: Is The Phrase "Partner In Crime" Defamation? Should I "Cease And Desist" Or Just Laugh My Ass Off?

Photo and Blog Post By John Hoff

It's been a while since we had a formal Free Speech Friday here on Johnny Northside Dot Com because, really, every day is free speech Friday. Even trolls get their chance to say all kinds of stupid stuff--yes, even the known trolls--when they are behaving themselves to some degree and not, for example, making threats, i.e. "post something about (Spanky) Pete and I'll put personal information about you all over the internet."

Whatever. Sucky trolls.

Free Speech Friday started for two reasons: one, people use Johnny Northside as a forum to discuss all kinds of North Minneapolis subjects, which sometimes means posting stuff "off topic" on various threads. We tried to use Free Speech Friday to control, prevent, or at least channel that, but people still post off-topic.

Oh, well.

Second, sometimes I just get busy on Friday with picking up my son (pictured above) for weekend visitation. I can hardly wait to pick him up, to the point I arrive HOURS early just to see him. So Fridays get busy and yet I want to get some good content up on Friday. So Free Speech Friday was an attempt to deal with both issues--topic creep in the comments and busy Fridays.

Feel free to discuss what you like, but I'll start by throwing out a topic for you.

Consider, if you will, the phrase "partner in crime." If I were to say, "The Hawthorne Hawkman is my partner in crime," do I literally mean we commit misdemeanors and felonies together? Or do I mean we have adventures together, get into and out of scrapes together, that kind of thing? (Like, oh gee, urban dictionary defines the phrase, as well as common ordinary understanding defines the phrase)

Let us say I used the phrase and...

...some lawyer, with a TERRIBLE professional reputation, whose legal "other half" just got suspended from the practice of law, INDEFINITELY, were to tell me, in effect, and in so many words, "You, John Hoff, are defaming me by calling me the 'partner in crime' of Jill M. Waite."

What should I do? Should I shake in my boots?

Or should I laugh all the way to the place where the U.S. Constitution is displayed behind bullet proof glass for visitors in Washington D.C., a constitution which includes the First Amendment?

I know what I'm GOING to do but, hey, it's FREE SPEECH FRIDAY. Somebody, anybody, tell me YOUR thoughts on this matter or some other matter.

Same rules as always apply to sucky trolls.


Anonymous said...

I vote for "laugh your ass off" and have a cold one.

Johnny Northside! said...

A cold what? The one thing I don't drink is beer.

Johnny Northside! said...

Somebody sent me this comment by email instead of using the comments function:
Jill should know that "social context of the statement" is one part of a 4-part test for determining if a statement is opinion and therefore protected. She's tried this before. I guess she's a slow learner.

Hanson v Friends

A PDF was attached of the case above.

Hey, thanks.

Anonymous said...

Laugh your ass off!!

She's full of it. She couldn't have thought the Minnesota Supreme Court would bite on any of those crazy theory like "computer phobia"! Look what they said:

"The referee was free to reject Waite's testimony as lacking credibility..."

Folwell Fox said...


Anonymous said...

Jager and Red Bull!

T Jaramillo

Serious Question said...

Why do so many people jaywalk and/or walk down the center of the street in NoMi?

Johnny Northside! said...

It's a power thing among young, very NOT affluent individuals, mostly. They walk in the street and make the cars go around them, and it makes them feel powerful. Also, it just becomes a habit, I suppose.

You can tell the difference between the folks with manners and those with no manners just by how they walk. Except I make exceptions for WINTER, when sidewalks are not shoveled.

Serious Question said...

Honestly, driving down Broadway in the summertime feels like being in a video game, what with all the jaywalkers and double-parking one must avoid.

Anonymous said...

If I'm really late, and I don't want to miss my bus, sometimes I look both ways and the cross even though I really shouldn't. I see the looks of disappointment, but I can't miss my bus or my wife will yell at me. And me with my fancy tie and everything. I feel so worthless and empty when I do it. But my wife is MEAN. You have no idea! Wait, how did we get on this subject?

NoMi Passenger said...

That Anon720 comment is one of the most ridiculous troll comments I've read yet. Way to go troll, topping your own stupidity. Stupid troll always trying to make up some justified reason that folks behave badly around the neighborhoods.

So, do people rob other people because their mean wife told them to also?

Anonymous said...

When can we expect to see a Hmong police officer on the day shift? Has this blog made any progress on this yet?

Anonymous said...

How is the prostitute situation in NOMI, is it getting better or worse? I'm not seeing many pictures here related to that.

Kevin Sawyer said...

"Honestly, driving down Broadway in the summertime feels like being in a video game, what with all the jaywalkers and double-parking one must avoid. "

Which video game?

Johnny Northside! said...

I removed a comment because it was a troll comment and, upon further reflection, I decided the troll wasn't "behaving himself."

I'll say this: Jeff Skrenes picks up phonebooks and drops them off at Dex and writes about it ALL ON HIS OWN TIME. The trolls just casually say false and potentially libelous things.

Anonymous said...

So now free for all Friday is just free for some and not others? This blog is becoming just like the StarTribune.

Anonymous said...

Hey I just read today that you can now jail people who owe money and do not show up for court. I wonder if that strategy could be used in Nomi to help get no accounts out of the neighborhood.

Anonymous said...

I think the jailing would be great for those absent owners who do not pay the property taxes that support the city. Budgets are strained as is and freeloaders just further stress the things that keep NOMI alfloat.

Anonymous said...

@anon1050am, when this blog is plagued by trolls who need to be exterminated just like the strib is plagued by comment trolls, then yes, this blog needs to be occasionally choosey with the ridiculous and/or false and/or libelous and/or harassing comments like the strib is.

Ever read up on cyber-harassment? Fascinating new territory of law.

Save The Prairie Grass said...

It seems to me the problem is this new campaign to call 311 every time you
see a problem on your neighbors property.
Apparently some people have nothing better to do with their time and find it
necessary to drive around and look for property violations to report.
My suggestion to them is: Mind you own gosh darn business and let the people
on each block handle their own problems. I know my neighbors well enough to
be able to mention to them that their grass is getting a little long. As a
matter of fact, I mowed a neighbors lawn last week because I know she is
going through a tough personal problem. I pulled the weeds from her garden
I didn't see any reason to call 311. That's not what good neighbors do. Good
neighbors ask if they can help.
This is Minnesota and we're known for "Minnesota Nice". It would be grand
if we could keep that reputation.

Anonymous said...

Why is Alex wearing a falconry glove?

Anonymous said...

alex must have been somewhere where birds were, or atleast where bird equipment was. mind your business and leave alex alone.

Johnny Northside said...

Alex was visiting a guy who keeps falcons. I might get around to writing about that visit in the future but I liked the photo because it was, like, hey, maybe special gloves will be needed to handle the comments on Free Speech Friday.

Cookie Monster said...

A case like this is an excellent opportunity for Hoff to brush up on his legal skills. He should welcome this litigation. Perhaps there are some counterclaims to be made? This could be very lucrative.

Jill Hanson said...

Cops piss me off. They come at you with an attitude that you are guilty and they are going to get you to admit it with a few verbal tricks. Just once, I'd like to meet a pig with an attitude like I have a shining aura of civil rights around my body and possessions. Criminals with guns and badges, that's all they are.

Anonymous said...

It might have been Free Speech Friday, but it turned out more like "Plagiarism Friday".
I read Save the Prairie Grass' comments on the Mpls Issues forum on Saturday, written by someone else.
And Jill Hanson's comments are from John's Book.
You don't need to be Sherlock Holmes to find Jim Watkins fingerprints here...

Anonymous said...

I used to work with raptors at a nature center and that's why I recognized the glove. Holding an Eagle on your arm is amazing. They could crush your arm without the proper gear.
I have some old but good equipment I thought I could send your way. But since Anon@2:17 told me to mind my own business. I will. Sorry Alex.

UACBB said...

Don't forget the owner of a certain chocolate brown building. The slum lord troll campaign will fail.

Johnny Northside said...

Using this old thread to post this:

My girlfriend tried to sell a fox fur jacket on Craigslist and got a series of text messages--which turned more and more creepy--from this number:


I am posting this information so it will turn up in search engines since when I search the number, all I get is information that it's been searched over and over.

Johnny Northside said...

So some troll comes along and submits a comment with the original craigslist ad, including my girlfriend's phone number...only the troll wrote out the number, modifying the ad from the way it was posted on Craigslist.

Creepy, troll. Very creepy. Your comment is rejected.