I’m not talking politics today. It’s too contentious, and I’m not in the mood to fight the stupid today. Frankly, until I read this story, I was in the mood to kill rather than bother with a fair fight, but you know what? You can’t be angry when there’s a lawsuit going on over a raccoon who apparently starred in some porn. It’s a filthy, dark tale of a trash panda gone bad that’s making me giggle like a school kid who saw the word “penis” written down for the first time.
A Russian petting zoo loaned this fat little guy to a production company ostensibly to be used in an advertising video. Things apparently got a bit hinky from there. The zoo claims Thomas the Trash Panda came back from the shoot traumatized and strangely attracted to women’s breasts.
The production company says Thomas wasn’t trained as the zoo claimed, would run off all the time instead of acting like a professional performer, and stole a model’s bra.
As you can imagine,
a lawsuit hilarity ensued.
According to the zoo, the deal in August 2016 was for Thomas to be used in a regular advertisement.
But the zoo says that when it saw the footage on social media, featuring a naked model, it complained and asked for all video and photos to be withdrawn.
After the request failed, the zoo filed a lawsuit in October, also demanding compensation for damages caused to the raccoon.
Art-Msk’s Valery Bogatov argued that the video was not erotic because it was destined to be broadcast on federal television. An erotic film would have been illegal, he said.
Anyone who finds a naked woman petting a raccoon erotic needs mental help in my opinion, but what the hell do I know?
Meanwhile Thomas the Trash Panda was sad, because the zoo claims he was programmed to associate boobs with treats, which is pretty much normal for any straight, human male, and demonstrators gathered in Moscow to protest the exploitation of raccoons. It apparently took them some time to deprogram Thomas from his boob fixation, and Thomas didn’t like that. Because boobs.
I’m wondering where the Social Justice Howler Monkey protests are at this mistreatment of an innocent animal. They are messing with this little guy’s mind by training him to not like boobs! Isn’t it something akin to the anti-gay conversion therapy they’re all concerned about Mike Pence imposing on young, gay individuals using our tax dollars?
You can’t make this shit up.
Worse yet, the production company head Valery Bogatov is threatening to counter-sue the zoo and demand payback for the model’s bra that Thomas stole when he went on his criminal boob crusade!
The only thing funnier than this story is the sign one of the protesters held, featuring a cross-eyed raccoon wearing eyeglasses that read “DOWN WITH THE EXPLOITATION OF RACCOONS IN VIDEO!”
I’m wondering why it is that with western sanctions, low oil prices, high prices for everything from food to housing, censorship, and authoritarianism, these people are focusing on protesting the “mistreatment” of a trash panda, who was apparently enticed with treats to like boobs.
I must be a bad person, because I’m laughing like a lunatic.
In a whining opinion piece in the Washington Post yesterday, a “protester” named Ryan Albert sniveled that he publicly posted his opinion that he doesn’t “want military-grade weapons in [his] town” and is now getting sued merely for expressing his opinion. Before I fisk this particular piece of written dreck, I want to note the irony of someone who is complaining about being rightfully sued for abusing his First Amendment right in order to defame another human being and endanger his livelihood and his family, claiming to be a victim in this scenario.
Apparently, bullies don’t like it when their victims fight back. Well, a fight they got, and now they’re publicly whining about it.
I grew up shooting shotguns and rifles with my grandfather in rural Georgia. He would take this city boy out to the farm that has been in my family for more than 150 years. He would teach me how to safely load, discharge and clean the weapons.
Congratulations, so have many others. This does not give you credibility when talking about firearms – a subject about which you know about as much as I know about neurosurgery.
I understand why people want firearms and I believe there are reasons to own hunting rifles, shotguns and, with proper training, handguns for self-defense.
It’s called the Second Amendment. It has nothing to do with what you believe. It is clear why the Founders ensured that We the People retain the right to keep and bear arms. If you are confused, may I point you to Federalist 28?
If the representatives of the people betray their constituents, there is then no resource left but in the exertion of that original right of self-defense which is paramount to all positive forms of government, and which against the usurpations of the national rulers, may be exerted with infinitely better prospect of success than against those of the rulers of an individual state. In a single state, if the persons intrusted with supreme power become usurpers, the different parcels, subdivisions, or districts of which it consists, having no distinct government in each, can take no regular measures for defense. The citizens must rush tumultuously to arms, without concert, without system, without resource; except in their courage and despair.
Ryan then continues, as if his beliefs are somehow legally applicable to others.
I do not believe, however, that there is any legitimate reason for ordinary citizens to own military-grade weapons or use suppressors (better known as silencers by many among us). Yet these are somehow legal to be bought and to own.
The “legitimate reason” is enshrined in the Constitution. It has nothing to do with what Ryan believes, but apparently he considers his puny little, uninformed belief system more important than the actual, legal rights of other people.
FACT: selling sound suppressors is legal in Virginia.
FACT: what Ryan calls “military-grade weapons,” as he nervously clutches his pearls in despair, are regular, semi-automatic rifles that just look scary. Not to mention that historically, the citizens had better and more advanced firearms than the military, and it was the military that was catching up prior to the implementation of major gun control laws. But Ryan is both historically ignorant and arrogant enough to think that his ignorance on the subject should be the arbiter of others’ rights.
It is because of these beliefs that I posted on Facebook my opposition to Broadstone Security’s Nova Armory opening in Arlington County. The owner opened an online store that sells variants of AK-47s, AR-15s and other semiautomatic weapons, short-barreled rifles and silencers. Those weapons belong in the hands of our trained law enforcement and military personnel. An AR-15 makes a lousy self-defense weapon unless you are worried about guerillas invading your home from a distant ridge.
Because I expressed these beliefs in two Facebook posts, I have been named as a defendant in a frivolous lawsuit that seems designed to intimidate me and 63 of my neighbors and state legislators into silence.
The AR-15 makes a “lousy self defense weapon,” eh? I guess those days on grandpa’s farm didn’t teach Ryan much.
At least one expert prefers the AR as his weapon of choice for self defense.
I guess this homeowner thinks his AR was pretty lousy in preventing a home invasion.
And maybe this tax preparation business considers an AR an unlikely self defense weapon as well.
And yes, an AR is a terrible self defense weapon, especially, when merely brandished to scare the intruder away!
In other words, Ryan, you’re a moron.
Here’s what Ryan just doesn’t seem to understand. He can believe anything he wants, including that the sky is yellow, and as long as he doesn’t try to impose those beliefs on others, he will merely be mocked and ignored by all but the most catatonically stupid.
No, Ryan – your beliefs are not what spurred this suit.
No, Ryan – your posting them publicly on Facebook did not spur this suit.
No, Ryan – your beliefs are not a legal basis for a LEGITIMATE business to be bullied out of existence.
No, Ryan – your ignorance about what types of weapons law-abiding citizens should or should not have, has nothing to do with the law, and your intimidation tactics – as well as those of the legislators in question who colluded and conspired to bully the store’s landlord, and who tried to use their authority as government officials to bully a legitimate business out of existence – are not covered by the First Amendment.
In most states, a blatantly abusive lawsuit would be illegal. The irony is not lost that I can be sued for exercising my First Amendment rights while the owner of a gun store cannot be sued for negligence even if he knowingly sells a weapon to a mentally unstable customer who will later use it to murder innocents.
Is Ryan implying that Dennis Pratte knowingly sold weapons to prohibited persons? Prove it, or shut the fuck up, Ryan, because libelous statements are not helping your cause. And, by the way, you pernicious wart on the ass of everything that is decent, a gun store owner can be prosecuted for knowingly selling firearms to prohibited persons, and that crime is currently punishable by up to 10 years in prison.
My constitutionally established right to freedom of speech and right to assemble have been directly attacked. I must decide whether to surrender and be silent or endanger my welfare and that of my family. And that is before we consider that my rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness are threatened every day by the presence of military-grade weapons in the hands of untrained or, in a worst-case scenario, violent people.
Your rights stop where others rights begin, Ryan. Your right to speak freely does not include libel. It does not include defamation. It does not include threats and intimidation. I’m going to quote attorney Daniel Hawes here, so you can better understand what this lawsuit references.
Simply put, free speech begins and ends with speech. When you take active steps to put someone out of business, that’s a crime in Virginia, even if you do it mainly by the use of words. That goes beyond “free speech”. If I can make an analogy, the fact that, in Virginia, I’ve got a perfect right to strap on a gun and walk around in public with it doesn’t give me the right to pull it out and shoot someone I don’t like. There is a point at which the privileged conduct stops and wrongful action begins. These people are not “random protesters” – they’re not protesters at all – they’re people who have communicated among themselves to effect an unlawful purpose using unlawful means. NoVa Armory is not a governmental agency, and a letter to its landlord is not “petitioning the government for a redress of grievances”. Trying to shut down that business is not an exercise in free speech.
The unlawful acts include defamation, calling NoVa Armory’s manager “gun-slinger Denny” and accusing him of being a terrorist, a liar, and a person who would sell guns to “those people” who live on the other side of the Anacostia river thereby promoting an illegal “black” market in guns and drugs. But it’s not a suit for defamation, it’s a suit for unlawfully conspiring to injure NoVa Armory in its trade or business in violation of Va. Code sections 18.2-499 and 18.2-500.
I’m assuming, Ryan, that you’re literate enough to read the lawsuit that was filed. You might want to do so before publicly whining about your beliefs being threatened. It’s not your beliefs, but your actions that caused harm to another human being, that have you named as a defendant in this suit, despite your continued efforts to pretend that you’re a victim in this scenario.
It saddens me that we live in the only industrialized country with gun-death rates equal to or greater than those of many developing countries. It saddens me that somewhere along the way, we forgot that all of our rights matter, not just those of people who want to make money by selling military-grade weapons. And it saddens me that we are being silenced into not expressing our beliefs and opposition for fear of being financially attacked, vilified and threatened by a minority of armed and aggressive neighbors.
It saddens me that in this day and age, ostensible adults 1) think that their beliefs trump others’ rights and b) think harassment and intimidation are legitimate forms of self expression.
In 2012, a deranged loon shot up a movie theater in Aurora, Colorado. It was a tragedy in which 12 people were killed and 70 others injured. James Holmes fired 76 shots in the theater: six from a shotgun, 65 from a semi-automatic rifle, and five from a .40-caliber handgun. The shooting prompted the usual calls for more gun control, and Holmes this year was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole after jurors failed to reach a unanimous decision over sentencing him to death.
In the aftermath of the shooting, and in an obvious effort to take advantage of an opportunity, the Brady Center and its attorneys brought a pro bono lawsuit on behalf of the parents of one of the victims Jessica Ghawi against Lucky Gunner – the company that sold Holmes ammunition.
Further, they were ordered to pay $203,000 in legal fees for this frivolous lawsuit. They’re now crying that they don’t have the money, while at the same time absolving the Brady Center of responsibility for paying this bill, even though they instigated the suit.
Now, don’t get me wrong. I hurt for Lonnie and Sandy Phillips. I know what it’s like to lose a child, and it’s an agony I don’t wish on anyone. But at the same time, when your reaction to such a tragic loss is to work to relieve others of their rights, abuse the legal system in order to punish lawful citizens for engaging in legal business, and then whine about the legal consequences of your actions, you deserve a fisk.
We brought our lawsuit because we thought it was outrageous that companies could sell a dangerous man an arsenal without getting any information about him, and without making any effort to see if he was a dangerous killer — which he was. When the killer had left a voicemail with a shooting range, the range operator knew that he was bad news and shouldn’t be given access to guns. But these companies set up their business so people just like this killer can arm themselves at the click of a mouse. We wanted to change that. And we still do.
The shooting range operator received bizarre phone calls from Holmes after having applied for a membership there. The range owner tried to call him back, but never got in touch. Holmes never reappeared at the range after having made that call. The range owner thought the call was bizarre, but the claim that he knew the caller was bad news and shouldn’t be given access to gun is disingenuous. As a matter of fact, Glenn Rotkovich called Holmes several times to invite him to a mandatory orientation at the range. What that has to do with an online ammunition company making a legitimate sale is unclear. The company set up an online business to sell a legitimate product in a legitimate manner.
Attorneys at Arnold and Porter and the Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence brought the lawsuit for us, pro bono. We knew the risks of bringing the case. We knew that Colorado and Congress have given special protection of the gun industry, and we knew that under Colorado law we could even be ordered to pay attorneys’ fees because of those special protections.
“Special protection” = Protection from frivolous lawsuits for a legitimate industry to conduct business without being legally harassed by those seeking to cash in on tragedy and hold them accountable for the negligence of others.
They knew the lawsuit was frivolous.
But we thought it was important to take a stand, to fight to prevent other families from suffering as we have. We did not seek any money in our case. We just wanted injunctive relief — to have these companies act reasonably when they sold dangerous materiel, like 100-round ammunition magazines, ammunition, body armor, and tear gas.
Background checks were performed on Holmes. He passed. He bought three different firearms at three different stores. Legally. He also didn’t wear body armor, despite having purchased it, which by the way is designed to protect people. But of course, facts don’t matter when you’re hysterically trying to use emotionalist rhetoric to sway people to your side.
The judge dismissed our case because, he said, these online sellers had special immunity from the general duty to use reasonable care under the federal Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act and a Colorado immunity law. If you couple the PLCAA law with Colorado’s law HB 000-208, (which says in essence: If you bring a civil case against a gun or ammunition seller and the case is dismissed then the plaintiff must pay all the defendant’s costs), you have an impenetrable barrier to using the judicial system to effect change in gun legislation in Colorado.
Actually, that’s not what the judge said. What he said was the suit was filed for propaganda purposes. “It is apparent that this case was filed to pursue the political purposes of the Brady Center and, given the failure to present any cognizable legal claim, bringing these defendants into the Colorado court where the prosecution of James Holmes was proceeding appears to be more of an opportunity to propagandize the public and stigmatize the defendants than to obtain a court order.”
Everyone else in society has a duty to use reasonable care to not injure others — except gun and ammunition sellers.
Selling a legal product to a customer does not qualify as “injuring others.” This is what the Phillips don’t seem to understand and the Brady Center tries to obfuscate. The mere sale of a gun or a box of ammunition does not injure anyone, and holding lawful businesses for the evil of those who misuse their products is absurd. No other industry can be held liable for the misuse of their products by others. Not a single one. The Protection of Lawful Commerce Act merely brings the industry to standards that apply to any other manufacturer of consumer products. It does not prevent gun manufacturers and dealers from being held liable for damages resulting from defective products, breach of contract, criminal misconduct, and other actions for which they are directly responsible.
To make matters worse, the judge ordered that we pay $203,000. This is an outrageous amount, especially given that this case was decided after one single motion! Lucky Gunner has said that it is going to donate all these fees to “gun rights” groups. The thought is disgusting to us that Lucky Gunner does not even plan to use this money to pay for their attorney’s fees.
You knew you’d be obligated to pay for abusing the resources of the court with frivolous suits, trying to ruin a legitimate business via the courts, and doing so for political ends, and now you’re complaining that the company you attempted to abuse is going to donate that money to protect the Second Amendment rights of law-abiding citizens? That is what’s nauseating!
Lucky Gunner wants to use blood money to fund the NRA and like-minded groups. See for yourself. Check out Lucky Gunner’s self-serving description of our case then click on “Head Here” (the green words at the end of Lucky Gunner’s last sentence) to find out how the money is to be distributed.
Translation: the company we tried to destroy wants to donate the money we owe them for trying to ruin their business to groups that protect the rights of all Americans! OH THE HORROR!
The law says we are responsible for these fees, which we recognize. We do not have the money to pay this amount. The Judge insinuated in his order that Brady should pay since he said they were the instigators. If this was a ploy designed to give the appearance that Brady was responsible and turn us against each other, it did not work.
Brady is still fighting for us pro bono and we see no evidence that the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence will not help us raise funds if and when that time comes.
Translation: We’re too stupid to know when we’re being used by a morally corrupt organization for its political and propaganda ends, so we’re going to whine about not having money, while hoping the Brady Center will pay our legal fees – the same group that duped us into this frivolous lawsuit to begin with, knowing there was no chance in hell we were going to win.
Yeah… good luck with that.
We believe that the judge’s decision was wrong, and that it is unconstitutional to financially punish people for bringing a lawsuit, especially a public interest case that did not seek a dime. But rather than risk possibly being ordered to pay even more fees, we are changing our focus from going after these laws in the judicial branch (we have dropped our appeal) to getting them overturned on the legislative level.
You’re not being punished financially for bringing a lawsuit. You’re being forced to pay the legal costs of the company you tried to ruin by abusing the resources of the courts.
We hope that we are spearheading a movement to expose these egregious and unconstitutional laws for what they really are. They are an attack on our civil liberties. With these laws in place ordinary citizens are effectively barred by the exorbitant cost from bringing any civil action against sellers of firearms and ammunition.
Nope. They’re barred from abusing the legal system in order to advance a political agenda.
It is un-American and outrageous that these special laws can deny us our day in court simply because we were victimized by the gun industry. Our lawsuit was not frivolous. Our Jessi was shot multiple times with high-velocity, armor-piercing bullets that were designed by our military to inflict maximum damage on enemy combatants.
Nope. You were victimized by an insane, violent lunatic who will spend the rest of his deranged life in prison. Your lawsuit sought to hold lawful businesses accountable for his actions – actions for which he was already punished. You had your day in court, and you lost – as you knew you would – because you tried to abuse the system with the full knowledge that trying to hold a company accountable for the actions of someone who used its product for nefarious ends is unlawful. And by the way, your daughter was slaughtered by a deranged nutjob, so stop using her loss to garner sympathy for yourselves. The blood dance doesn’t make you more sympathetic figures. It makes you opportunists, who would allow themselves to be used by the Brady charlatans to further their political agenda.
It is abhorrent to us as the parents of a child who has been killed by a person with outwardly obvious mental issues who was able to easily access a one hundred round magazine and 4,000 rounds of armor-piercing bullets online without a valid ID.
Who is our last line of defense that makes that conscious decision to not ask for ID before selling large orders of lethal, military-grade armament? Online sellers, knowing they are shielded by immunity laws, refuse to put into place even minimal safeguards that would save lives. That is abhorrent to us.
See that bit about these so-called “immunity laws” above.
One of the ways that we can level the playing field is to create precedents in our court rooms that make gun and ammunition dealers pay a price for conduct that contributes to gun violence. Another way is to lobby our state and federal legislators to repeal these laws. That is our objective.
So you want to encourage others to make the stupid decision to frivolously abuse the court system? You don’t learn, do you?
We are calling on the citizens of this country and the gun violence prevention community to stand ready to help us get in the face of state and national legislators. Join us in helping to get the word out to the American citizens who are not aware of how these laws take away the rights of victims of gun violence.
Victims have the right to see those who commit these crimes tried in a court of law. This has happened, and Holmes will thankfully never walk free again. Victims certainly do not have the right to use the courts in an attempts to ruin businesses engaged in legal commerce.
Well… I guess they do, but they will lose.
A deal’s a deal, claims an Aurora murder suspect who wants his former hostages to pay up in court for breaking a pledge made at knife- point to hide him out.
First of all, this tool should be taken out of the gene pool, because a) he’s a violent thug and 2) because he’s too stupid to exist.
Second, any lawyer who actually takes this case needs a bullet in the brain.
Dimmick wants $235,000, saying he wants to pay the hospital bills that resulted when he was shot by a SWAT officer as he wielded a knife inside the Rowley home.
Seriously, please sterilize this tool before he finds an equally stupid female whom he can impregnate! Please!!
If he had broken into my home with a knife, he’d have faced the business end of my M1911, and he wouldn’t have survived to have been shot by SWAT.