It was magical.The marijuana magically appeared in the backseat of a car containing four black boys. Moments before it happened, one of the boys somehow magically knew that the white cops were conjuring up evidence. Police footage showed the entire episode but, for some reason, magically cut off the moment the cop found the weed. Video shows that an invisible blunt must have wondrously lit itself. Prosecutors finally saw the footage and made the case disappear. After a judge saw the video, he magically knew that the police officer would need a lawyer.Yes, there is such a thing as white magic.
A family in Brooklyn is outraged after NYPD officers raided their home, put everyone in handcuffs and then posted a picture of them on social media with the caption “Merry Christmas Its NYPD.” The ordeal led to the suspension of an officer.The Brownsville residents were so upset that not only did they file a report, but they also called 911.
We’ve noted a few times how Verizon has a rich history of taking taxpayer money, subsidies and tax breaks, then promising fiber deployment that never occurs. When it then comes time for local municipalities to hold the telco’s feet to the fire, campaign contributions ensure any investigation is short lived. It happened in Pennsylvania, it happened in New York City, and it recently happened in New Jersey, when state officials let Verizon off the hook for a 1993 promise to evenly deploy fiber across the state in exchange for billions in benefits.
Shortly after state officials let Verizon walk away from its obligations, they also granted Verizon exemption from regulations requiring it continue servicing DSL customers whose lines were paid for in large part thanks to billions in subsidies. As we’ve noted, companies like AT&T and Verizon are hanging up on customers they don’t want to upgrade, and forcing them instead to notably more expensive and capped wireless services. Many customers would prefer Verizon maintain or upgrade their fixed-line broadband connections, since they’ve paid an arm and a leg for them.
About fifty annoyed municipalities have now formed an alliance aimed at holding Verizon’s feet to the fire. Collectively, they’re trying to explore ways to hold Verizon accountable, require it to deliver promised upgrades, or at the very least maintain existing DSL lines until something better comes along. Verizon’s response? To mock these people as Luddites:
“But Verizon New Jersey spokesman Lee Gierczynski has called this “misplaced fear” resulting from “misinformation and misunderstanding about copper networks, fiber networks and the reliability of those networks.” “This is a classic example of how some people fear new technology so they reactively reject it instead of accepting it, no matter how irrational that fear may be,” Gierczynski said.
Jose Arcaya Ph.D., Esq., Etc. is a lawyer/psychotherapist in New York. Many lawyers have to assume the role of psychotherapist; Arcaya appears to have actual qualifications.
One of those qualifications is sensitivity, apparently. A former client left a negative review on Yelp. The review primarily complained about how Arcaya treated the client:
I hired Arcaya to help with a case. I asked him at the outset if he had handled these matters before and he said yes. The ensuing performance suggests otherwise.
When I mentioned his truly pitiful performance he implied that it was my fault. When i reminded him that he was the lawyer and hired to do a professional job he made fun of my medical issues. Absolute scum.
This is America, so you know what happened next: Arcaya sued the client for defamation, representing himself pro se. He demanded the removal of the Yelp review, $80,000, and the cost of his time. The complaint is a bitter denunciation of the client and a smirking recitation of his past misfortunes. Arcaya demands satisfaction for being called “absolute scum” and for the statement that he “made fun” of his client’s medical issues.
The statement that Arcaya is “absolute scum” is a classic example of insult, rhetorical hyperbole, and opinion: it can’t be proved true or false. The statement that Arcaya made fun of his client could be a potentially actionable statement of fact, though ultimately that’s probably a matter of opinion as well. Arcaya represented his client in an attempt to get him academic accommodations based on the client’s disabilities arising from brain damage. In the course of an email dispute about fees, Arcaya said:
In your dreams. You sorted me $2000. I got just $3k for the article 78. The deal had been $5K. Memory problems.
Was it over-sensitive of the client to interpret “memory problems” as a snide reference to his disability? Maybe. The tone of Arcaya’s complaint certainly suggests he’s the sort of person who would indulge in such an insult. Whether over-sensitive or not, it’s certainly not as freakishly over-sensitive as Arcaya suing over this Yelp review.
The client reached out to me, and I reached out to my friend Scott Greenfield. Scott wanted to try to talk Mr. Arcaya back from the precipice. That effort was unsuccessful. Rather than grasping that he was engaged in a self-destructive flirtation with the Streisand Effect, Arcaya doubled down. He subpoened Scott Greenfield for a deposition. No, really. Here’s the subpoena. Challenged, he filed a bizarre rant justifying the subpoena. He spun a tale that Scott threatened him with a “gang” of thousands of internet users. It sounds like a strange person’s misunderstanding of a point Scott often makes: if you act like an ass in the effort to suppress speech, the Streisand Effect will treat you unkindly.