“Brownie, you’re doing a heck of a job,” were among George W. Bush’s most famous last words. (Remember Mission Accomplished?) Trump risks pulling a Katrina with his messaging on Coronavirus.
- “The Coronavirus is very much under control in the USA. We are in contact with everyone and all relevant countries. CDC & World Health have been working hard and very smart. Stock Market starting to look very good to me!” – Trump, Feb. 24
- “Low Ratings Fake News MSDNC (Comcast) & @CNN are doing everything possible to make the Caronavirus look as bad as possible, including panicking markets, if possible. Likewise their incompetent Do Nothing Democrat comrades are all talk, no action. USA in great shape!” – Trump, Feb. 26.
At best Coronavirus is “only” like the flu. I put only in quotes because man a lot of people talking about coronavirus are moronic and glib. When people say that Coronavirus is only like the flu, I wonder if they’ve ever had a 104 degree temperature.
The flu is awful, and in the 2018-2019 flu season, 61,200 people died. Are we prepared for an additional 60,000+ to die from a new strain of flu?
How many Americans might die due to Coronavirus?
61,200 people died of the flu in 2018-2019 flu season.
The death rate from coronavirus is 10-20 times that of the flu.
There will be 600,000+ American deaths if coronavirus spreads like the flu. That’s more than all American deaths in WWII.
Some estimates, coronavirus has a 40-70% contagion rate. I hope that number lowers!
If early estimates are accurate, as many as 1.5 to 5 million Americans could die from the Coronavirus.
How to Avoid Causing a Panic While Telling the Truth
The early estimated of coronavirus could be wrong. Maybe coronavirus wont’ spread. Maybe it’s not as deadly as early estimated show.
But which side of the messaging bet would you take?
Tell people everything is OK, and then the world collapses.
Tell people to be prepared (here’s a guide) and that you’re ON IT!
Coronavirus was a slam dunk for Trump,
“This is why we need border security and domestic manufacturing!”
Instead, Democrats are taking the high ground on trade, with Elizabeth Warren tweeting: “We should be taking action right now to mitigate the supply chain impacts of the outbreak. The government should be helping American manufacturers find alternative sources for parts and production and helping American exporters find new purchasers.”
We should be taking action right now to mitigate the supply chain impacts of the outbreak. The government should be helping American manufacturers find alternative sources for parts and production and helping American exporters find new purchasers.
— Elizabeth Warren (@ewarren) February 25, 2020
Instead he tweeted some Bush / “heckuva job” b.s. Coronavirus is Trump’s Katrina.
Trump’s great strengths include pretending he never said something that he did say, so people will forget all of this.
Unless coronavirus hits as hard as some very smart people think, in which case no one will ignore the millions of people overfilling hospital beds.
P.S. Here Is how to prepare for coronavirus.
The Patreon Lawsuit Involving Owen Benjamin Explained by a Lawyer
Patreon, a platform popular with podcasts, journalists, and comedian faces significant legal peril due a fascinating quirk of California law that no one seemed to have noticed.
- Summary: Patreon banned Owen Benjamin. Owen Benjamin’s backers moved for arbitration, alleging various causes of action. Under the arbitration procedures spelled out in Patreon’s Terms of Service, Patreon must pay the filing fees, which could total millions of dollars. Patreon cannot collect those fees back, even if Patreon wins the arbitrations.
Tech companies face almost total protection from lawsuits due to a law created by Congress to encourage freedom of speech on the web. Because of this, companies have gotten sloppy with the Terms of Service.
Patreon’s Terms of Service, like nearly every other tech companies, provide that anyone who wants to use Patreon must do so in arbitration. Patreon’s TOS also ban class actions or any joint actions.
Patreon’s TOS mandate arbitration and ban class actions because individual consumers who suffer small harms aren’t able to find a lawyer to take their case. Again, all tech companies do this. Let’s not single out Patreon. Here is Amazon:
- Any dispute or claim relating in any way to your use of any Amazon Service, or to any products or services sold or distributed by Amazon or through Amazon.com will be resolved by binding arbitration, rather than in court, except that you may assert claims in small claims court if your claims qualify.
Here is PayPal:
- By opening and using a PayPal account, you agree to comply with all of the terms and conditions in this user agreement. The terms include an agreement to resolve disputes by arbitration on an individual basis.
Owen Benjamin Gets Banned. Dozens of his backers individual claims for arbitration.
Patreon, by banning a Creator, disrupts the economic relationship between Creator and Backer. In legal terms this is called tortious interference with a business relationship.
Patreon, under California law, must pay the arbitration fees in advance. These fees can be upward of $10,000 per case.
If dozens of backers move for individual arbitration against Patreon, you can start doing the math.
Benjamins’ Backers Put Patreon on Notice; Patreon Unilaterally Amends its TOS to Bar the Claims the Parties were Going to Bring.
In early December, numerous defendants told Patreon that they intended to move for individual arbitration.
Patreon’s TOS suggest that contacting them before seeking arbitration is required, although this provision could be read as a request rather than a demand.
- We encourage you to contact us if you have an issue. If a dispute does arise out of these terms or related to your use of Patreon, and it cannot be resolved after you talk with us, then it must be resolved by arbitration.
Because Patreon wrote the TOS, the terms will be resolved against Patreon. In law this is known as contra proferentem. Any ambiguous language will be read in favor of the party who did not draft it.
The TOS, to me and many others, looks like a pre-filing demand. Others may claim the terms read otherwise. Contra proferentem applies.
Two or three weeks later, Patreon unilaterally altered the Terms of Service by adding this clause:
- You may not bring a claim against us for suspending or terminating another person’s account, and you agree you will not bring such a claim. If you try to bring such a claim, you are responsible for the damages caused, including attorneys fees and costs. These terms remain in effect even if you no longer have an account.
Patreon claimed that its unilateral change to the TOS “remain in effect even if you no longer have an account.”
Yes, Patreon literally changed its TOS after it was contacted by arbitration claimants, who were required to contact Patreon before moving for arbitration.
Patreon filed a Mass Action against the Arbitration Claimants.
Patreon lost several procedural motions before arbitrations. After losing these motions, they sued the arbitration claimants in California State Court.
Realizing that the arbitration fees would be in the millions of dollars range, Patreon filed a group action against all 72 arbitration claimants. Patreon sought an injunction, that is, they want the Court to order the arbitrations to be stopped.
Here is what Patreon’s TOS says about group actions:
- Arbitrations may only take place on an individual basis. No class arbitrations or other grouping of parties is allowed. By agreeing to these terms you are waiving your right to trial by jury or to participate in a class action or representative proceeding; we are also waiving these rights.
To drop my lawyer’s latin again, contra proferentem. Patreon can’t claim that when they said that “other groupings of parties is allowed,” applies only to arbitrations. That provision is subject to an ambiguous reading at best.
How can Patreon file a group action against 72 defendants when Patreon barred group actions? They can’t.
The Patreon Hearing.
The 72 defendants were represented by well-known First Amendment lawyer Marc Randazza.
The Court issued a tentative (not final) order denying the injunctions.
During the hearing, Patreon’s counsel brought up additional cases that it claimed applied to the lawsuit.
The Court suggested that Randazza file a supplemental motion addressing those new cases Patreon’s counsel cited.
Reporting live from a major legal action involving Patreon and several former patrons of Owen Benjamin.
Several former patrons of Benjamin filed arbitration actions against Patreon after Benjamin was banned.
Patreon then sued those former backers in California state court.
— Cernovich (@Cernovich) July 13, 2020
Under the Court's preliminary ruling,
ANY LARGE CREATOR banned by Patreon
can have his or her backers move for arbitration.
Patreon will have to pay millions of dollars in legal fees upfront.
This is a HUGE workaround for Big Tech censorship.
— Cernovich (@Cernovich) July 13, 2020
The judge is seeking further briefing on a procedural legal issue and will take the matter under submission.
The tentative ruling went against Patreon, but the Court is going to ask for further briefing.
We will have to wait a couple of weeks for a formal judgment!
— Cernovich (@Cernovich) July 13, 2020
Patreon will probably lose, and should lose, its State Court action.
Patreon’s TOS required parties to use arbitration. Group actions were banned. The parties complied with the TOS, first by putting Patreon on notice as to their claims.
Once the parties put Patreon on notice of their claim, Patreon was barred by well-established law from amending the TOS in a way that would foreclose those claims.
If a popular creator were banned from PayPal, could he or she have her backers move for arbitration as well?
That’s a specific question that many lawyers are looking at now.
Patreon, like Door Dash before it, banned class actions before decision that group actions are in fact an inefficient way of resolving cases.
Here is what a federal judge told one tech company who complained about a “loophole” being used by the parties:
DoorDash Ordered to Pay $9.5M to Arbitrate 5,000 Labor Disputes:
SAN FRANCISCO (CN) – Rejecting claims that the legal process it forced on workers is unfair, a federal judge Monday ordered food-delivery service DoorDash to pay $9.5 million in arbitration fees for 5,010 delivery drivers’ labor demands against the company.
“You’re going to pay that money,” U.S. District Judge William Alsup said in court. “You don’t want to pay millions of dollars, but that’s what you bargained to do and you’re going to do it.”
Of course anything can happen in a court of law, and the judge will be issuing a final ruling in a few weeks from now.
CNN’s Brian Stelter Apologizes for Mistake (Good Man)
Update: Brian Stelter has apologized.
This was a full and unequivocal apology, and all of us should applaud it and remember it when our time to own up to mistakes arises.
(Because that day is coming for all of us, sooner or later.) pic.twitter.com/QWtBLDsK4s
— Essential Cernovich (@Cernovich) June 1, 2020
CNN’s Brian Stelter falsely accused a woman of spreading disinformation tonight, in a Tweet Stelte deleted without apology after it was revealed that Stelter lying.
The lie concerned a fire started by rioters in Washington D.C. Katrina B. Haydon reported that St. John’s church near the White House was on fire.
Box Alarm 1525 H St NW. #DCsBravest had fire in basement of church. Fire extinguishing. Checking for extension.
— DC Fire and EMS #StayHomeDC Lite (@dcfireems) June 1, 2020
NEW: Fire was in basement of St. Johns, and is out, my @washingtonpost colleague @phscoop reports from DC fire department. Firefighters got there w/ a police escort and quickly put out the blaze. Did NOT appear to cause any significant damage, and it is unclear how it started.
— Michelle Boorstein (@mboorstein) June 1, 2020
Stelter attacked the woman, baselessly accusing her of lying.
Brian Stelter has yet to apologize to spreading disinformation.
Shannon Bream and live video feed on Fox
— Katrina B Haydon (@katrinabhaydon) June 1, 2020
He called you a liar and then deleted it. Amazing.
— Jarvis (@jarvis_best) June 1, 2020
— Derek Hunter (@derekahunter) June 1, 2020
Accuses me of either lying or being too dumb to communicate what I’m seeing on live TV, then deletes it pic.twitter.com/A8tCQ5JOdT
— Katrina B Haydon (@katrinabhaydon) June 1, 2020
Did Brian Stelter lie to protect violent protesters?
Why did Stelter lie?
Is he trying to provide propaganda for violent protesters and domestic terrorists?
— Charlie Spiering (@charliespiering) June 1, 2020
“Burn It Down,” ESPN Writer Encourages Arson of Low Income Housing
ESPN sportswriter Chris Palmer Martin Tweeted, “Burn that shit down. Burn it all down.” The burning building was a low-income housing area in Minneapolis. (Minneapolis vandalism targets include 189-unit affordable housing development.)
When rioters neared Martin’s home, he called them “animals.”
— Jack Posobiec (@JackPosobiec) May 31, 2020
The media has a history of supporting ANTIFA.
CNN in 2017: Antifa opposes hate and seek peace through violence
— Scooter Downey (@TrueLegendFilms) May 30, 2020
Media bro’s went from ANTIFA is good to ANTIFA doesn’t exist https://t.co/XWormC5xNE
— Essential Cernovich (@Cernovich) May 31, 2020
Hoaxed Movie Uncovers the Media’s Relationship with ANTIFA
Watch the Hoaxed Movie Trailer