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Author Topic: "Wiccan Ritual Killing" Tied to Blue Moon in Florida  (Read 3320 times)

Stormwise

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Re: "Wiccan Ritual Killing" Tied to Blue Moon in Florida
« Reply #15 on: August 05, 2015, 05:31:45 pm »
Quote from: Jake_;178261
It still seems that you think someone being able to sue over something that was no fault of their own and that did serious damage to her, and that the company knew had happened many many times before, is a bad thing?

Also in the context of American Healthcare it makes sense that she would sue, she may not have been able to pay her medical expenses otherwise

Actually, I don't think it was a bad thing, the law suit, that is; and I'm not even a fan of McDonald's foods or practices. What I think is unjust is that a private company gets successfully sued (or settles) for selling a product that damages someone (or even someones), a product that millions of people were ordering at the time without being damaged; and a public official slandering a religion in a public statement to the press gets little more reaction than a few groans of resignation and displeasure. America has a reputation for being a highly litigious society - I find it surprising that in situations like this, this tool that seems to be applied in so many other cases can't be used.

You are right about medical costs. Why couldn't a law suit in this case be used to help fund religious or interfaith recognition and education efforts? Does that not also cost money?

I brought up the McDonald's coffee case as an example of how the legal system is used, as a reaction to being told here that in this case, there would likely be no legal ramifications. In the case of McDonald's, they were clearly negligent, and they were also arrogant in how they approached the entire situation. They got punished for it. With this sheriff saying what he said, which in some parts of America might just be the excuse some might need to make life even harder for Wiccans, I feel like he crossed a line and should also be able to be held accountable for it. That he apparently can't be held accountable for slandering a religion on public record is something I find confusing.

It seems to me that McDonald's has become the issue as a response to my comment, when it was meant originally as a contrasting example of what seems to me an inconsistent application of justice. I don't know how to explain this any more clearly than I already have.

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Re: "Wiccan Ritual Killing" Tied to Blue Moon in Florida
« Reply #16 on: August 05, 2015, 05:40:26 pm »
Quote from: rinceoir;178257
I agree. I think the only thing could be to sue for slander/libel, but even then since he said this about a religion and not a person I'm not sure someone could bring a case.

 

In the UK, where admittedly we have a different attitude to freedom of speech, It's legal to say pretty much anything as long as it does not "incite Violence" How this law is used obviously depends on social Status, Class, Race, Religion etc
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Re: "Wiccan Ritual Killing" Tied to Blue Moon in Florida
« Reply #17 on: August 05, 2015, 05:48:20 pm »
Quote from: Stormwise;178265
Actually, I don't think it was a bad thing, the law suit, that is; and I'm not even a fan of McDonald's foods or practices.


Perhaps this is a second language problem, given you're in Germany?  When you said that they got sued "for serving hot coffee, when that is what was ordered" you sounded like you were saying that the person in question ordered coffee to be served at the skin-melting temperature she got it.

This is the usual arrant nonsense that people with a particular political agenda or their dupes put around.  And it is so very easy to read that as "people can sue for getting the hot food they ordered, how can they not sue for people spreading lies about their religion?"

The fact of the matter is: they can sue.  But, well, they don't have a strong legal case, I'm not sure there's a case there at all - unlike the woman with the third degree burns - and money does not fall from the sky just because someone said something ignorant.
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Stormwise

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Re: "Wiccan Ritual Killing" Tied to Blue Moon in Florida
« Reply #18 on: August 05, 2015, 06:24:27 pm »
Quote from: Darkhawk;178272
Perhaps this is a second language problem, given you're in Germany?  When you said that they got sued "for serving hot coffee, when that is what was ordered" you sounded like you were saying that the person in question ordered coffee to be served at the skin-melting temperature she got it.

I doubt it's as much a language problem as it is that we simply don't know each other well enough to readily catch the tones and inflections that the Internet just can't convey within only a few days of reading one another. I've known people who have been together romantically for quite some time who went at each others' throats over this same kind of thing, when their relationship became long distance. I can see where you read into the meaning of what I wrote, and I can understand your reaction to that interpretation; but once you get to know me better, you'll know that if I had meant that I felt the old lady got what she deserved (and in all honesty, I do not think a melted genital region is something I would wish on someone), I would have said so directly. After reading this last reply of yours, I think (or at least hope) you have a more clear picture of the point I was trying to make.

In the future, I will make an effort to clarify myself better - I made an assumption here, that my examples would be readily understood the way I intended them to be understood; and for my part I apologize for any confusion this may have caused.

Quote from: Darkhawk;178272
This is the usual arrant nonsense that people with a particular political agenda or their dupes put around.  And it is so very easy to read that as "people can sue for getting the hot food they ordered, how can they not sue for people spreading lies about their religion?"

I have no political agenda. I am actually not very pro-politics in general; which adds to my frustration when a public official steps over a line like this, and it seems like there is no way to insist on some sort of correction.

Quote from: Darkhawk;178272
The fact of the matter is: they can sue.  But, well, they don't have a strong legal case, I'm not sure there's a case there at all - unlike the woman with the third degree burns - and money does not fall from the sky just because someone said something ignorant.

If it did, money would cease to have any* value at all! But this is the heart of my real frustration with the original articles linked to in this thread: I am baffled that this is not seen as being serious enough to warrant real action. Statements like this aren't just ignorant, they can cause damage by perpetuating an erroneous and often malignant perspective in parts of the public opinion - especially when they are allowed to remain unchallenged. A public official causes a scandal in America when he or she, in the course of carrying out his or her official duties, promotes a religion ... why should the slander against a religion be any different?
« Last Edit: August 05, 2015, 06:27:30 pm by Stormwise »

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Re: "Wiccan Ritual Killing" Tied to Blue Moon in Florida
« Reply #19 on: August 05, 2015, 09:02:35 pm »
Quote from: rinceoir;178257
I agree. I think the only thing could be to sue for slander/libel, but even then since he said this about a religion and not a person I'm not sure someone could bring a case.

 
Not a lawyer, but I think it'd be up to the plaintiff to prove standing to sue, and also to specify damages (ie how someone's stupid words hurt them, etc.)

Failing that, there's always the aforementioned public outcry.  In cyberspace, there's twittershaming and trendy hashtags.  #NotAllWiccans, f'ex.
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Re: "Wiccan Ritual Killing" Tied to Blue Moon in Florida
« Reply #20 on: August 05, 2015, 11:15:58 pm »
Quote from: Stormwise;178278
I can see where you read into the meaning of what I wrote, and I can understand your reaction to that interpretation; but once you get to know me better, you'll know that if I had meant that I felt the old lady got what she deserved (and in all honesty, I do not think a melted genital region is something I would wish on someone), I would have said so directly. After reading this last reply of yours, I think (or at least hope) you have a more clear picture of the point I was trying to make.

In the future, I will make an effort to clarify myself better - I made an assumption here, that my examples would be readily understood the way I intended them to be understood; and for my part I apologize for any confusion this may have caused.

 
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Re: "Wiccan Ritual Killing" Tied to Blue Moon in Florida
« Reply #21 on: August 05, 2015, 11:48:11 pm »
Quote from: Stormwise;178278
After reading this last reply of yours, I think (or at least hope) you have a more clear picture of the point I was trying to make.

 
Speaking here in my own person, not my staff role, I'm still somewhat confused. I still have the impression that the point you were trying to make was, 'It's weird and unjust that people in the US can and do use litigation for even trivial things, but can't litigate for misrepresentation of their religion,' and that the McDonald's coffee case was originally meant as an example of 'even trivial things'. That might be partly because I'm used to it being the thing people bring up when they want to talk about frivolous litigation, so whenever someone brings up the case, my first thought is that 'frivolous litigation' is what they're talking about.

But, when I carefully and intentionally read your posts as not using it as an instance of triviality in litigation, I become more confused, because I can't figure out, in that case, why it's relevant at all, or what it's an example of.

Can you clarify?

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Stormwise

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Re: "Wiccan Ritual Killing" Tied to Blue Moon in Florida
« Reply #22 on: August 06, 2015, 12:55:36 am »
Quote from: SunflowerP;178288
Speaking here in my own person, not my staff role, I'm still somewhat confused. I still have the impression that the point you were trying to make was, 'It's weird and unjust that people in the US can and do use litigation for even trivial things, but can't litigate for misrepresentation of their religion,' and that the McDonald's coffee case was originally meant as an example of 'even trivial things'. That might be partly because I'm used to it being the thing people bring up when they want to talk about frivolous litigation, so whenever someone brings up the case, my first thought is that 'frivolous litigation' is what they're talking about.

But, when I carefully and intentionally read your posts as not using it as an instance of triviality in litigation, I become more confused, because I can't figure out, in that case, why it's relevant at all, or what it's an example of.

Can you clarify?

Sunflower

It's nothing more than an example of a famous law suit in America, with which I'm partly familiar (one of the very few that came to mind when I responded with this example). If you are used to it being 'the thing' people bring up as an example of a frivolous law suit, I was unaware of it until just now. The reason I thought it was relevant as an example is because it's an example of a very large, wealthy company having legal action taken against it by a single person who was injured while handling something millions of others were handling on a daily basis with no injury ... to my mind, if this can happen, then a public official making the kind of outrageous and - also in my opinion - injurious statement that prompted this entire thread should also be able to be held liable for his actions. Frivolity has nothing to do with this, from my perspective.

Allaya

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Re: "Wiccan Ritual Killing" Tied to Blue Moon in Florida
« Reply #23 on: August 06, 2015, 06:58:53 am »
Quote from: Stormwise;178290
It's nothing more than an example of a famous law suit in America, with which I'm partly familiar (one of the very few that came to mind when I responded with this example). If you are used to it being 'the thing' people bring up as an example of a frivolous law suit, I was unaware of it until just now. The reason I thought it was relevant as an example is because it's an example of a very large, wealthy company having legal action taken against it by a single person who was injured while handling something millions of others were handling on a daily basis with no injury ... to my mind, if this can happen, then a public official making the kind of outrageous and - also in my opinion - injurious statement that prompted this entire thread should also be able to be held liable for his actions. Frivolity has nothing to do with this, from my perspective.

 
Actually, there had been numerous previous complaints about the temperature.

And yes, the McDonalds Coffee Lawsuit is very much THE THING that people erroneously bring up as an example of a frivolous lawsuit. And it makes those of us who are familiar with the case want to rip the hair out of our skulls in frustration because it was very, very much not a frivolous lawsuit.

Here is a brief rundown of the stupid shit we're used to people trying to claim about the case. I'm going to spoiler-tag the link because the blog post includes a picture of the woman's injuries and not everyone will want to see them (because holy fuck they look awful).


Just as a sidenote: you may wish to rethink using the McDonalds Coffee Lawsuit as an example of comparison in the future. As you can see, it comes with a great deal of baggage in American culture.
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Re: "Wiccan Ritual Killing" Tied to Blue Moon in Florida
« Reply #24 on: August 06, 2015, 07:51:48 am »
Quote from: Stormwise;178255
I think that's pretty sad: in a country where someone can sue a fast-food chain for serving hot coffee, when that is what was ordered, members of a minority religion have no legal recourse to prevent elected officials from slandering their religion in public statements. Especially when this public official's job has to do with gathering evidence to support the accusations he's paid to come up with.

Freedom of Speech in the US allows a lot that many (perhaps most) European countries would not allow. I'm generally very much in favor of the US way as I would rather tolerate some insults rather than have speech limited by law.

The problem as I see it here isn't that some public officials said something negative about Wicca, but that a public official charged with the duty of gathering facts for a criminal investigation apparently knows so little about Wicca and did not bother to find out before opening his mouth to the press. However, it isn't surprising as law enforcement is always doing this -- and not just about religion.
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Stormwise

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Re: "Wiccan Ritual Killing" Tied to Blue Moon in Florida
« Reply #25 on: August 06, 2015, 07:54:25 am »
Quote from: Allaya;178300
And yes, the McDonalds Coffee Lawsuit is very much THE THING that people erroneously bring up as an example of a frivolous lawsuit. And it makes those of us who are familiar with the case want to rip the hair out of our skulls in frustration because it was very, very much not a frivolous lawsuit.

Fair enough, as I've said already, I was unaware of how deep an issue this was with people here. I think I'm more than aware of it now. I think I have done all that I can be asked to do to explain myself multiple times, I don't think I can add further information that is going to alter anyone's opinion. I am still confused why my using this case as an example in this thread generated more passion and outrage than the statement that this thread was originally reporting - I still see one to be as bad as the other.

Quote from: Allaya;178300
Here is a brief rundown of the stupid shit we're used to people trying to claim about the case.

Thank you for this information, and I am sorry if you or anyone else feels like I was trying to claim stupid shit. Again, it was not my intention.

Quote from: Allaya;178300
Just as a sidenote: you may wish to rethink using the McDonalds Coffee Lawsuit as an example of comparison in the future. As you can see, it comes with a great deal of baggage in American culture.

I would say this position has been made quite clear. Thanks for the friendly advice, I'll certainly take it under consideration the next time I feel the urge to respond here.

Stormwise

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Re: "Wiccan Ritual Killing" Tied to Blue Moon in Florida
« Reply #26 on: August 06, 2015, 07:57:54 am »
Quote from: RandallS;178302
The problem as I see it here isn't that some public officials said something negative about Wicca, but that a public official charged with the duty of gathering facts for a criminal investigation apparently knows so little about Wicca and did not bother to find out before opening his mouth to the press. However, it isn't surprising as law enforcement is always doing this -- and not just about religion.

I see both acts here - the ignorance and the slanderous remark, as equally problematic. I agree that free speech is important; but I think when someone is serving in a public capacity, making a statement to this effect should not be allowed, public officials should be held to a higher standard.

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Re: "Wiccan Ritual Killing" Tied to Blue Moon in Florida
« Reply #27 on: August 06, 2015, 10:07:38 am »
Quote from: Stormwise;178303
Fair enough, as I've said already, I was unaware of how deep an issue this was with people here. I think I'm more than aware of it now. I think I have done all that I can be asked to do to explain myself multiple times, I don't think I can add further information that is going to alter anyone's opinion. I am still confused why my using this case as an example in this thread generated more passion and outrage than the statement that this thread was originally reporting - I still see one to be as bad as the other.


There is a lot of cultural context that is required to 'get' the full impact of why the comparison is...not ideal...and I'm not sure that I can adequately explain it. As I said, there is a lot of baggage attached to that particular lawsuit and it's perhaps best avoided if one doesn't have a solid grip on why that is.

I think part of it has to do with how intensely the media, lawyers, and corporation appeared to collude on how best to vilify and defame the victim who only wanted her costs for medical treatment (which included several skin grafts) covered.

It strikes a very raw nerve, even all these years later, at how successful they were at manipulating public sentiment regarding an old lady with third degree burns. Over twenty years later and too many people still think she was a greedy old bitch...all due to the brainwashing of the Media Hate Machine.


Quote
Thank you for this information, and I am sorry if you or anyone else feels like I was trying to claim stupid shit. Again, it was not my intention.


You're fine. Don't worry overmuch about it. It's just one of those things that is hard to explain without getting into an education lecture on all the cultural factors at play. I'm sure there's stuff where you are that is equally hard to explain as well.
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rinceoir

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Re: "Wiccan Ritual Killing" Tied to Blue Moon in Florida
« Reply #28 on: August 07, 2015, 10:52:42 am »
Quote from: Jake_;178270
In the UK, where admittedly we have a different attitude to freedom of speech, It's legal to say pretty much anything as long as it does not "incite Violence" How this law is used obviously depends on social Status, Class, Race, Religion etc

 
We have an ordinance in the city where I work called "fighting words". It is illegal (I think it's a fine rather than a proper arrest) to use "fighting words", which would be inciting violence. However that's a local ordinance that gets a lot of grief for limiting free speech.

There is freedom of speech but not freedom of consequences. As others in the thread say, although there may not be a legal recourse for response there is always public outcry/backlash. Unfortunately the Wiccan/witchcraft-practicing/pagan population of the country is small enough compared to the population that may be prone to Satanic Panic that I'm not sure there will be much of a backlash at all. There are several news articles refuting what he said up on the net though. For example:

http://www.pnj.com/story/news/local/escambia-county/2015/08/06/pensacola-wiccan-community/31255013/

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