Free Speech

"There's No Reason I Should Have to Shut Up Because Some Guy Doesn't Want His Dirty Laundry Out"


"There's no reason I should have to shut up because some guy doesn't want his dirty laundry out," Mr. Kurtz said. "It's the power of the Internet, man."

Kalamazoo, Michigan college student Jason Kurtz fights against speech-chilling lawsuits with a Facebook group, plus a new federal law in the works to protect people who want to complain about bad service. Read all about it.

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  1. What’s the difference between a dead snake in the middle of the road, and a dead tow-truck driver in the middle of the road?

    1. Uh, kinda lame version of that joke. Replace “tow-truck driver” with “rent seeking lawyer” and the answer would be: There are skid marks leading up to the snake.

      1. You will not dull my triumph.

  2. Is it too much to hope that Ms. Mangu-Ward will shut the fuck up? Not becuase of any law limiting her free speech, but out of a sudden realization that she has nothing at all to say

    1. Project much?

    2. Please stop posting and keep your eyes on the road so you don’t crash your tow truck.

  3. Edward, Bernard, what’s the difference?

    1. Is there a program that comes with this blog? I can’t tell all of the characters apart, to be honest.

      1. I think you’re trying too hard. Just sit back and let the mediocre trolling wash over you.

        1. Is it avant-garde, then?

  4. Reminds me of Frank’s Towing of Arlington, VA that was so godd*mn predacious that a former “customer” registered (now inactive/unregistered) and harangued the crap out of the (former cop, fyi) owner. Residents filed so many complaints that the county felt it necessary to prosecute the owner for tax evasion and, I think, repeal the company’s business license.

  5. A fucking gout ad??? WTF???

    1. I can somewhat understand why I see it, EAP. Not sure about you, although if you are in MN, cooler temps do make the tophi associated with gout worse.

  6. …plus a new federal law in the works to protect people who want to complain about bad service.

    Does that include the poor service of the Nanny State, Federal Government, and all its tentacles, particularly those in leadership positions? Or does this only apply to government approved gripes?

    1. Sounds like both from the article:

      Some First Amendment lawyers see the case differently. They consider the lawsuit an example of the latest incarnation of a decades-old legal maneuver known as a strategic lawsuit against public participation, or Slapp.

      The label has traditionally referred to meritless defamation suits filed by businesses or government officials against citizens who speak out against them. The plaintiffs are not necessarily expecting to succeed ? most do not ? but rather to intimidate critics who are inclined to back down when faced with the prospect of a long, expensive court battle.

    2. This is a textbook Slapp case. I hope Jason Kurtz sues their asses off.

      I guess we can still complain about the government, unless, thanks to McCain and Feingold, we are close to an election. After all, we wouldn’t want people talking about politics before an election, would we?

  7. In the realm of small business, word of mouth is considered the best advertisement, why should it matter if it is positive or negative? If you want to censor my negative comments then your competitor should be able to censor another’s positive comments. I would like somebody to explain to me the difference between me telling my friends and coworkers about my experience with a vendor and me posting it on the Internet.

    1. Is this directed toward H&R commenters?

  8. Tell that to the lady looking at 15 years for putting a video with her ex’s off-color comments on YouTube (note: her ex is a judge).

  9. It really sucks that there needs to be federal law to prevent this sort of thing. One would have thought the first amendment would suffice.

    1. It really sucks that there needs to be federal law to prevent this sort of thing. One would have thought the first amendment would suffice.

      Last I checked, the 1st protects you from GOVERNMENT censorship, not from a private entity trying to censor/stifle.

      Many people can’t afford to defend against a defamation lawsuit even if they are completely in the right, so often times they opt to settle or retract rather than face financial ruin.

      The federal law is necessary to try and alleviate the David v Goliath situation where a deep pocketed actor tries to censor you with the risk of financial ruin for standing up to them.

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