A Blogger's Dialogue With A Critic

The blogger in question is not me. (I wish it were.) But it is someone you have heard of, if you read me. The precipitating event was a post about the Zimmerman trial.

From: Very Upset Person [mailto:Very.Upset.Person@federalagency.gov]
Sent: Tuesday, July 16, 2013 11:46 AM
To: Blogger
Cc: some wanker
Subject: Your asshole speaks.

You’re a prick, low life in a profession I see lower than whores. The real problem with the law it has nothing to do with truth and justice. It’s about manipulating true and justice. So tell everyone who’s pissed of about a punk with a gun killing someone for walking home they are wrong. No, you penis drip, your whole life is a dishonor to truth. You and your whore, friends of fucked up laws, along with the pimp judges and less than crap polictians [sic] (mostly Republican, what the fuck are you?) are responsible for passing “stand your ground” laws to protect punks like you and your friend ,George Zimmermans. When the shit hits the fan (and it will) , lawers [sic] will be eaten first then punks second.

Mr. Very Upset Person,

Thank you for your email. I always appreciate people taking the time to provide feedback on my writing, whether it’s a lawyer, school teacher, poet, pizza delivery boy, or an employee of the [agency facility] in [location] since 2004.

I was wondering if you would be so kind to let me know whether your boss, either Director [Name], or Chief of Staff [Name], suggest that when penning a profanity laced personal screed like yours, that it come from your official federalagency.gov email address?

Actually, never mind, I’ll ask them myself.

Have a great day!

Blogger
[full and really rather too long signature block]

One takes fun where one finds it.

Last 5 posts by Ken White

Comments

  1. eigenperson says

    The blogger in question is not me. (I wish it were.) But it is someone you have heard of, if you read me.

    It's Via Angus, isn't it?

  2. Grifter says

    Here's hoping said unnamed blogger follows through…and gets a response…and we get updates.

  3. jeh says

    Seriously, I'd love to see where this leads. I wonder if said person will get yelled at by their boss?

    I'm horrible. I think I would have wrote back rewriting their message with proper grammar and spelling. It's a bit of a mess. I hope the full extent of their job involves getting coffee and donuts for their superiors. Based on the state of their letter, I'm not sure they're qualified for much else.

  4. Mark says

    Would the director or chief of staff care? It's a federal agency, they don't need to do PR related stuff. That's the reason the DMV is so horrible when you go in there. It's not like you're going to head down the street to their competition. (That said, the DMV here in Illinois was actually very good the last few times I went. Yes, I'm fine with providing evidence against my own argument.)

  5. Mark Jessup says

    If the federal government were a human body enveloped with chloracne, the writer of that agitated message would qualify only as just one more infected pustule. It doesn't surprise me one iota. That once-upon-a-time government "of the people, by the people and for the people" is dead as a doornail and this latter day East German Stasi-controlled version is what we are now dealing with.

  6. Aaron says

    I think it's that it's coming from an official government email address. Supposed to be used only for official purposes. And presents a very poor image of the agency and it's employees.

    Sure, casual emails between friends/departments/etc that aren't directly related to work technically falls outside the bounds of acceptable use of official government emails, but it's such a tiny thing it's not a big deal. It's when government employees send such emails from their _official_ email addresses, that it presents the _image_ of being an official statement. It's all about perception really.

  7. Anon says

    If contacted, the employee is pretty much going to be in hot water. You don't do these kinds of things with any work email address you have.

  8. Chris K. says

    But Ken I remember a few months ago you having a post and a heated discussion in the comments where you made it clear in no uncertain terms to us rubes that these folks enjoyed unqualified 1st amendment protections!

  9. Myk says

    Does Tara have a government email address perchance? Has Chucky started working for The Man?

  10. En Passant says

    Clark wrote Jul 18, 2013 @3:17 pm:

    …says a government employee who lives off of stolen money.

    They got to get it from somewhere. Keeping the gravy trains running on time ain't cheap!

  11. ZK says

    I assume if this were someone like Paterico, the names would be left in. Who do we know that's nice enough to obfuscate?

  12. Gubmint Worker says

    As a federal employee I find it a) disappointing someone would email this period, much less from work and b) ironic that several people in this thread paint feds with the same all encompassing demonic paintbrush the unfortunate author of the email used. Pot—>Kettle

  13. Matthew says

    I can't believe someone took the time out of their day to actually write an angry email like that. If that arrived in my inbox, I'd just delete it. Really just an exercise in angry masturbation for the letter writer. Doing it from your work email is just dumb on so many levels… Don't know how I feel about someone actually contacting this angry person's employer, but I suppose that is the risk you take when you're dumb and let yourself go off half cocked.

  14. AlphaCentauri says

    It's possible someone went to the bathroom at work and forgot to log off their workstation …

  15. says

    Hearing whores get beat up on all the time gets really old but this really makes me think of Clark's recent 1984 post – Outer party members really do hate non-party members. There's a cliche about hating cops until you need one, well, that's an absurd statement IMHO. however it's really easy to hate lawyers until one saves your a55. If you absolutely have to hate on lawyers, how on earth do you hate Defense Lawyers – they're the best kind. I'll admit, in some ways I wish Ken wasn't ever a prosecutor b/c it impedes me from "Prosecutors are the lowest form of life" streams I like to engage in some times, but if he wan't a prosecutor he wouldn't be as awesome so I'm forced to concede there's been one exception to the rule. Our system is far from perfect, but Defense Lawyers damn sure aren't the problem and if we got rid of all ranting govt employees (positive no 'social contract' i ever made includes tax support for hate mail to private citizens) and replaced them with defense lawyers, I'd be way cool with that.

  16. Richard says

    Email headers can easily be forged. That wouldn't be an epic troll, but it would be a good one.

  17. says

    @Qitaana – that's what I thought, and while we need as much Randazza in this world as we can have, it'd almost be worth it just to watch Marc lay down that smack down.

  18. Penny T. says

    (long timer lurker here) I think it's sad that the Zimmerman case has caused such polarization and made it impossible–for the short term, at least–to have a serious discussion about racism in the U.S. Don't get me wrong, I followed the case since the beginning and 100% agree with the jury's verdict. Absolutely 100% agree it was self-defense. I wish that we could all work together to solve the problems facing the U.S. rather than having certain political and racial factions use misplaced and manufactured outrage to advance their cause. It turns off rational and educated people. …(OK, back to lurking again)

  19. machintelligence says

    I really wish that I could believe, had the races of the parties involved been reversed, the jury verdict would have been the same. I can't quite manage it though.

  20. Delvan Neville says

    But Ken I remember a few months ago you having a post and a heated discussion in the comments where you made it clear in no uncertain terms to us rubes that these folks enjoyed unqualified 1st amendment protections!

    It isn't that this person doesn't have the right to say it, but that they're using a work-related service to say it. The latter is not a right, but a misappropriation of federal property.

  21. Rick H. says

    Bill: Yeah, those people who employ time-honored serial-killer-style moral rhetoric to beat up on "lowly" whores cause the little hairs on my neck to stand up. Regardless of political affiliation, it's pretty much my litmus test for scumbags.

  22. Pablo says

    machintelligence, had the races of the parties been reversed, there never would have been a verdict. Agitation by the race hustlers is the only reason those evidence free charges were ever filed. That case had no business going before a jury.

  23. Spade says

    For the people wondering what would e happened if the races were reversed, look up the case of Roderick Scott. It happened in Greece, NY; not a very gun friendly state.

  24. Luke G says

    Wait, all of the profanity crammed into that e-mail and he includes "Penis Drip?" Did he not think of "Poophead?"

  25. Bob Brown says

    I am disappointed that you redacted the name of the Federal employee and of the agency. This is, after all, an example of our tax dollars at work. It is easy to surmise that we taxpayers paid not only for the time to compose the message and the network used to send it, but also the time to read the blog that precipitated the comments.

  26. benning says

    Luke G: That's too hard for a real poophead. LOL

    I do want to see if this goes further!

  27. Tom Servo says

    You know, if it wasn't for the "federal agency" thing I would say that HAD to be Angela Corey!

  28. No Name Given says

    My guess is the anonymization is Ken's (and has nothing to do with whoever got it). About the email now: using your working email address for personal emails is stupid, especially for this kind of hate-filled language abortion. And while government agencies do not need to worry about concurrence, they probably don't want too much bad publicity either. I'd like to see the consequences of the email being forwarded to the boss.

  29. Jay says

    Pablo: Actually, available data maybe shows that if the races were reversed, Martin would have been more likely to be convicted. As that link discusses, this doesn't necessarily show bias, but I think it's worth considering before reaching the conclusion that Martin wouldn't have undergone a trial, much less been convicted.

  30. X says

    it's actually a crime. a violation of the Hatch Act. we don't pay these people to be political parisans, yet they insist on it. publish it unredacted.

  31. christopher swift (@wyatt99) says

    The civil service is full of people who scored really low on qualification exams and couldn't get into a law school.

  32. princessartemis says

    For the "race reversal" commenters: In some circles there are only two races, White and of Color. Both men involved were of Color, so reversal isn't really possible there. In other circles, Hispanic is considered a race. If the races were reversed, it would have been considered Hispanic on Black crime. I'd hazard that, in similar circumstances, the media wouldn't decide that the Hispanic involved was really White and then try to turn it into a firestorm by editing phone calls to make it sound racially motivated, so Florida's original findings would have stood and there would not have been a trial.

  33. Neo says

    Thanks for providing the best example of why not to use your work e-mail for personal use.

  34. Alan Bleiweiss says

    So this post got listed in the open Prenda threads post today. Odd. Mistaken association or something else entirely? Maybe we should file a FOIA request with Ken to find out!

  35. Zac Morris says

    Chance the address was spoofed? Find it really hard to fathom that someone would post from a "real" government address; but easy to believe someone would be "killing two birds" with such a letter…

  36. En Passant says

    Zac Morris wrote Jul 19, 2013 @11:02 am:

    Chance the address was spoofed?

    We haven't seen the email headers. With full headers available, finding the actual originating domain is usually straightforward.

    The "from" and "reply to" email address headers are easily spoofed. But the path headers inserted by the SMTP servers actually transporting the email are more difficult to spoof. The sender can only spoof those headers up to the last domain over which SMTP servers he has actual control.

    Ordinary users of ISP or corporate or government email usually don't have control over even their own SMTP servers.

    Anti-spam organizations routinely find the actual sources of email, using automated header analysis methods.

  37. azazel1024 says

    Yes, yes that is stupid. Because Hatch act.

    Sigh. Bad enough to even do it from the work place using your work place computer and internet connection…but from your darn gov't email account. Couldn't even bother to login to your personal email account from work to send it (which possibly, maybe, might not violate the hatch act then, so long as you weren't saying you were a federal employee…but might raise questions of "resonable use of work place equipment")?

  38. James Pollock says

    "I'd hazard that, in similar circumstances, the media wouldn't decide that the Hispanic involved was really White and then try to turn it into a firestorm by editing phone calls to make it sound racially motivated, so Florida's original findings would have stood and there would not have been a trial."

    But the gun-control advocates still would have latched onto the "guy walks after shooting an unarmed kid", regardless of race, so I don't think the firestorm completely disappears, even if you subtract race.

  39. JohnC says

    "When the shit hits the fan (and it will) , lawers [sic] will be eaten first then punks second."

    Well, I guess that's better than the other war around.

  40. JWH says

    Apparently, "I strongly disagree with your opinion on this matter" is not sufficient …

  41. Dustin says

    " available data maybe shows that if the races were reversed, Martin would have been more likely to be convicted."

    No it doesn't. With race and crime conviction statistics, correlation doesn't equal causation. We have known for years that there are real differences, unfortunately, between the crimes committed and races.

    Frankly, I don't like worrying about what race someone is and wish people would stop referencing it all the time, especially if we're not going to do anything about it. The fatherlessness and poverty and culture issues that have led to black men committing more crimes are solvable issues, but I think a lot of grievance mongers have concluded these issues are ultimately caused by slavery, so instead of working to fix them they decide to use them as political capital… something that needs to be preserved, even!

    Anyway, unless you intend to deny that black males were guilty of crimes at a rate different from "what their proportion of the population would predict", the conviction stats for lawful self defense do not prove racism.

  42. says

    The State of Florida investigators / prosecutors have released a video taken of Zimmerman co-operating with them, the day after.

    No lawyer, no script.

    There is a reason the regular prosecutor ( State / DA ) refused to bring charges.

    The video :


    If I got the vid url wrong I will repost a better link

    Note that many who watched the trial are saying that Zimmerman's accounting did not change at all.

    Personal Opinion :
    This was "Self Defense". Calling it "Racist" means you are a bigot with an agenda.

  43. says

    One thing worth noting here, as long as we're talking Zimmerman and Martin, is the conduct of the local police. My information on this may be incorrect, but what I have heard is that, from the start, the local police wanted to let Zimmerman off. They didn't take him into custody, they didn't cross-examine him, they didn't take his gun, and they didn't check him for signs of intoxication… but they DID check Martin's body for signs of drugs. Indeed, if there had not been a large showing of public outrage, Zimmerman would never have been charged at all. If my sources are correct, then the cops acted as though Zimmerman had already been declared innocent, and Martin guilty. If this is the case, then it's another data point of cops giving black people the short shrift, and it indicates a conflict of interest in the prosecution.

  44. M says

    "I really wish that I could believe, had the races of the parties involved been reversed, the jury verdict would have been the same. I can't quite manage it though."

    I hear things like this, and just think, "Whoever said that MUST be a Yankee." You people seriously cannot believe that a Florida jury was racially biased IN FAVOR of the Hispanic guy. Really?

  45. says

    Pablo wrote: "had the races of the parties been reversed, there never would have been a verdict."

    Very true. If the cops had shown up to a black kid standing with a gun over a dead white(ish) guy, it would have been death-by-cop. No trial needed.

  46. Black Betty says

    @Tice With A J

    You are mistaken. I researched this case thoroughly. I watched it gavel to gavel (including voir dire). I collected every piece of evidence that made it's way online (including the autopsy and DNA reports).

    There was disagreement with some of the officers as to whether Zimmerman should have been charged with a crime, however the lead investigator determined that Zimmerman could not be charged with a crime.

    The police immediately handcuffed and took Zimmerman into custody. They questioned him extensively (I have both interrogation sessions and the voice stress analysis test). They took his gun into evidence that night. One of the investigators was from the narcotics investigation unit and did a visual observation on Zimmerman. She determined that he was not impaired in any way.

    Martin's body was only "checked" for signs of drugs via the toxicology tests done by NMS Laboratories. Which, to my knowledge, has not yet been released to the public. Or rather, I have not been able to locate a copy.

    In our justice system everyone is considered innocent. They are innocent unless the state can prove them guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. In this case, the state could not even come close. You're sources are not correct.

    While there may be injustices against blacks in our courts, this case was not one of them. The injustice was that the state allowed political and social pressure to override the law. This is a perilous road to go down. It endangers every citizen, when any man can be prosecuted at the whim of politicians and society. It is lawlessness.

  47. Rich Rostrom says

    Mark • Jul 18, 2013 @3:00 pm: the DMV here in Illinois was actually very good the last few times I went.

    Yep. If we had to have a black politician from Illinois as President, Jesse White would have been a much better choice.

  48. Steven H. says

    @Joshuaism:

    " Turns out New York really isn't so gun friendly after all."

    Whatever gave you the notion that New York was "gun friendly"? They're well out on the "ban them! ban them all!" side of the issue. Hell, they pretty much started it with the Sullivan Act, which goes back over 100 years.

  49. Postman says

    Even if the headers reveal that the message passed through the proper domain smtp servers, it does not prove that it was written or sent by anyone in particular. Regardless of whether you think it is a good or bad thing that it occurs, the number of people that can and do utilize mail servers of all sorts (commercial, educational, government, military, political, etc.) for their own purposes each hour of the day is staggering. If you are concerned about what sorts of information that the NSA and other parts of the U.S. government have access to and record, you're really worried about the wrong parties. In other words, this email may have been written and sent by a really short sighted federal employee, or not.

  50. says

    Thank you for responding to my reply, Black Betty. I did some further investigation, and it backs up what you told me. I should have known; after all the extensive posts here on Popehat on what the media gets so thoroughly wrong, I have reason enough not to trust them on matters like this.

    Thank you again for correcting me. Please ignore my previous post, as it was written in ignorance.

  51. Matthew says

    Its truly fascinating how many of you are absolutely sure of your position one way or another. It must be a nice way to go through life.

  52. Manatee says

    @M

    @Pablo et. al. This if of course just one anecdotal example with slightly different circumstances, but Angela Corey is pretty well known for her role in another arguably overzealous prosecution in a self-defense case. This one involved a black woman who fired a warning shot to scare off an abusive ex-boyfriend who had come into her home and started acting threatening while her children were present. I don't really need to comment on what counts as "acting like a lethal threat" in this case, since the ex later testified that he was. She was convicted and given a heavy sentence because she discharged her firearm during the commission of her "crime." Apparently the prosecution emphasized the fact that she was able to go to her car to get the gun and came back; the jury was apparently less moved by the fact that she was in her house (no duty to retreat, even if she could, even before SYG) and that her children were still in the house after she was able to escape (defense of others–the relationship of the third party you defend is legally irrelevant, but I would imagine juries would be more sympathetic when you're defending close relatives rather than random strangers.) I didn't find the race of the "victim" in the first page of google results, and I'm too lazy to look further.

    I'm not sure whether it logically follows that higher crime rates among blacks should lead to lower success with self-defense claims. Statistically speaking, violent criminals are more likely to victimize their own race than others, at least as a proportion of population. If that is true, and if blacks commit crimes at higher rates than other ethnic groups, it should follow that blacks are victims of crimes at higher rates than other ethnic groups, which should in turn give you a greater pool of potential self-defense incidents.

    Of course, it also doesn't logically follow that, even if the amended law is applied with racial bias by juries and prosecutors, the law itself must be flawed. As I stated before, followed strictly the 2005 amendment limits prosecutorial and police discretion any time self-defense is successfully raised. Generally speaking, I'm pretty happy any time that discretion is restrained by law.

  53. says

    @Black Betty – it sounds like you really did your homework – I can't seem to find much evidence regarding Cellebrite but it was obviously a huge factor in the case – do you know anything about it? If so, did the Martins ever give consent for the phone to be searched? If a kid is < 18 I believe the parents need to give consent for a search (especially if they are the victim vs the accused ) right? That whole aspect of the trial doesn't make any sense to me and I don't really have the expertise to go through all fo the legal docs – really hoping anyone familiar with the law could explain ;-)

  54. different Jess says

    @Postman: Even if the headers reveal that the message passed through the proper domain smtp servers, it does not prove that it was written or sent by anyone in particular.

    So true! And actually this is a good reason to respond to the email, because if they in turn respond it almost certainly means they sent the original. (Unless they got hacked like Sarah Palin, but that tends to happen to Yahoo! rather than government agency accounts.)

    Off-topic: This guy got a rather vague and threatening C&D from distributing software he wrote, from Snapchat.

  55. says

    I'm just glad the psychology profession, political activists and other people who care are finally standing up to stop the cruel practice of race-reversal therapy.

  56. Dion starfire says

    "it's actually a crime. a violation of the Hatch Act. …"

    Curse you!!! Can't we get through at least one comment section without making me google something? Don't you know how easily that becomes a rabbit hole? You start out reading about the "Hatch act' 9 hours later you're drooling zombielike as you read up on the mating habits of the Chilean pygmy tree squirrel.

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