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The TOTEM Poll: Totally Off Topic, Everything Media
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Old March 9th, 2003, 10:14 AM   #16
Rextilleon
 
Join Date: Apr 2002
Location: Pleasantville, NY
Posts: 520
Sounds like Much Ado About Nothing----Only person who seems to have benefited was the guy selling the T-Shirts---Thats what I love about America---there is always an opportunity to profit! Speaking of which, I was working on a WTC documentary when I ran across a guy who has actually started a business in which he makes baseball type trading cards with pictures of people who died that day. On the back of the cards are statistics about their lives etc----Wow!
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Old March 9th, 2003, 10:37 AM   #17
Wrangler
 
Join Date: Sep 2002
Location: Los Angeles (recently from San Francisco)
Posts: 954
In most jurisidictions, there are no First Amendment rights in a mall, which is deemed private property. California is a notable exception, however. California's constitution has a first amendment which goes further than that of the US Constitution. Because of this, malls in California are deemed quasi-public forums, and First Amendment rights apply. In California, it would have been illegal to remove the t-shirt wearer, as wearing clothing with political messages is clearly and unambiguously protected speech. See Cohen v. Superior Court (war protester's jacket with words, "f___ the draft" in a court house held to be protected speech).

Where it gets interesting, though, is when malls receive subsidies of some form. The Bill of Rights, including the First Amendment, is a restriction on _government_ action, only, which is why there are no First Amendment rights on private property (except in California). However, I think there is an argument to be made that, if a mall receives a subsidy in the form of tax relief (very common), that may be sufficient government action such that Constitutional protections might apply. At any rate, that's something I would argue with respect to the t-shirt wearer.

As for shooting in malls, I'm not at all certain that the act of making of video constitutes speech in the First Amendment sense. _Showing_ a video is certainly speech. Making one very well may not be. However, in those jurisdictions where there are no First Amendment rights in malls, it is clearly permissible to bar videoing (and still photography, etc.). Even in California, malls are, at most, quasi-public forums, which means that reasonable time, place and manner restrictions can be imposed on First Amendment activities, i.e. the mall can require a permit, limit the hours of shooting, limit the number of crew, etc.
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Old March 9th, 2003, 10:51 AM   #18
Inner Circle
 
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Location: Albany, NY 12210
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I work at a newspaper in Albany, N.Y., near where the mall is located. When the story broke, we were unsure if it was big enough news for us to even follow (we're a business newspaper). Then suddenly it's on CNN and every major news Web site! I have to hand it to those guys. They were really smart. Everything they did seems calculated to push the mall into taking an unreasonable action and get themselves maximum exposure. The fact that they bought the t-shirts in the mall gives the story extra irony and is the sort of detail that lends itself to a short news story. Also, the guy who refused to take his shirt off made sure it only contained an innocuous message about peace. I think its interesting that his son chose to comply with the security guard's orders and took off his shirt, which made specific references to the looming war with Iraq. If it hadn't been for the anti-war slogan, the security guards probably never would have made an issue about the peace shirt, but after stopping the two guys, the mall didn't feel like it could back down. The whole thing appears very well thought out and is a perfect example of how to manipulate the media and get yourself on TV.
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Old March 10th, 2003, 07:00 PM   #19
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Jul 2002
Location: Centreville Va
Posts: 1,828
Instead of a Lawyer joke, how about a true story. Sent to me
by my brother...

A Charlotte, NC lawyer purchased a box of very rare and
expensive cigars, then insured them against fire among
other things. Within a month having smoked his entire
stockpile of these great cigars and without yet having
made even his first premium payment on the policy, the
lawyer filed claim against the insurance company.

In his claim, the lawyer stated the cigars were lost
"in a series of small fires." The insurance company
refused to pay, citing the obvious reason: that the man
had consumed the cigars in the normal fashion.

The lawyer sued ... and won!

In delivering the ruling, the judge agreed with the
insurance company that the claim was frivolous. The
Judge stated nevertheless, that the lawyer held a
policy from the company in which it had warranted that
the cigars were insurable and also guaranteed that it
would insure them against fire, without defining what
is considered to be unacceptable fire, and was
obligated to pay the claim.

Rather than endure lengthy and costly appeal process,
the insurance company accepted the ruling and paid
$15,000 to the lawyer for his loss of the rare cigars
lost in the "fires."

NOW FOR THE BEST PART...

After the lawyer cashed the check, the insurance
company had him arrested on 24 counts of ARSON!!!!
With his own insurance claim and testimony from
the previous case being used against him, the lawyer
was convicted of intentionally burning his insured
property and was sentenced to 24 months in jail and a
$24,000 fine.

This is a true story and was the 1st place winner in
the recent Criminal Lawyers Award Contest.

ONLY IN AMERICA.


This has to be the best one of the year so far.
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Old March 10th, 2003, 08:35 PM   #20
Wrangler
 
Join Date: Sep 2002
Location: Los Angeles (recently from San Francisco)
Posts: 954
Quote:
Instead of a Lawyer joke, how about a true story. Sent to me by my brother...
Sorry, but that story is completely untrue. Go to www.snopes.com and search on "cigar lawyer," and you'll find that it's been circulating since the 60s. As snopes points out,

"Insurance policies are generally written so that deliberate actions on the part of the policyholders cannot trigger payouts. Furthermore, destroying your own property isn't arson, as long as the act isn't intended to defraud anyone. If a court had already ruled that the insurance company was required to pay, then obviously no fraud was committed, and thus the burning could not be considered arson. "

As entertaining as these fictions are, the problem is people believe them and accept them as "proof" that the justice system in general, and lawyers, specifically, are corrupt and need reform.
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Old March 11th, 2003, 11:48 AM   #21
Inner Circle
 
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Location: Centreville Va
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okay, I'll relay that to my brother. I still thought it was funny.
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