Please Help Prevent A Litter

I should be working today.  I should be happy that I have the freedom to play “Have laptop, will travel.”  I should be happy I’m hard at work for clients in need, serving with great pride as the “voice of the voiceless. ”  I’m not in any of those positions right now, because I’m fucking pissed someone decided to rob thirty people of the ability to get their pets spayed today in Morristown.

Damage Photo One

Prevent A Litter Connections is a low-cost spay/neuter organization that uses a mobile clinic.  It travels to rural areas using an RV “repurposed” as a surgical facility.  Last night, it was parked in Morristown, Tennessee, ready for thirty surgeries scheduled today despite the air conditioning unit blowing out last week.  Those surgeries didn’t happen because someone, most likely in an intoxicated state, broke into the RV and caused heavy damage.

Damage Photo Two

When one of the PAL staff arrived this morning she caught the guy rummaging through all the supplies.  He’d busted the window pictured above and was heavily intoxicated.  The staffer screamed and the guy screamed back before trying to make a timely run for the hills.  Fortunately, police arrived quickly, the guy arrested, and taken to a hospital in an ambulance.  I’d say most likely he’ll get his day in court, but the big problem remains thirty families had to be called today and told their pets wouldn’t get treatment.  There’s a good possibility thirty-one will get the same call tomorrow.

Damage Photo Three

In an attempt to drive off with the RV and all the goodies inside, the dirtbag damaged the steering column as well as bust the one window providing any sort of airflow in the mobile clinic.  We don’t know how much, if any, of the sedatives used during the procedures were taken, or surgical supplies stolen.  Luckily, Prevent A Litter’s got people on site right now assessing the damage and totaling what needs to be done in order to start helping people and their pets again.

Damage Photo Four

Spaying and neutering your pets is important and will help them live longer, happier lives.  It decreases roaming behaviors, stops aggression in males and eliminates heat cycles in females, and reduces the risks of your pet developing cancer.  It prevents the spread of rabies and other diseases, and reduces pet overpopulation.  It’s a treatment worth paying for, and still many low-income families can’t pay a regular vet to perform the surgery.  That’s why we need Prevent A Litter up and running again as soon as possible, and why I’m asking for your help.

We’re still figuring out how to get things fixed quickly so Prevent A Litter’s work can get back up and running quickly.  In the meantime, I’ve taken the liberty of establishing a GoFundMe for Prevent A Litter so they can fix the RV and get back to work.  You can find it here.

Any donations you can make are great, even if it’s just a dollar.  If you can’t donate, that’s cool too, but I’d appreciate at least the small help of sharing this blog post on your social media website of choice.

Let’s get Prevent A Litter back to work.

The Murfreesboro Ten: Justice Deferred

The Murfreesboro Ten will face no charges in Rutherford County’s Juvenile Court.  I couldn’t believe my eyes when I saw the headline in Thursday’s TBA Journal Email, and clicking through to the KnoxBlogs post didn’t help much either in alleviating the shock.  Yet Rutherford County prosecutor Jennings Jones did the right thing, and there will be no case going forward.

“The state’s intent is not to proceed on the charges,” Jones said. He declined to explain why.

He doesn’t need to explain the rationale for dropping the asinine charges of “criminal responsibility for the conduct of another,” as outlined through my posts at Fault Lines.  Prosecuting a case of this nature is nothing short of a nightmare, as absent other charges no jurist could impose a realistic sentence.  It’s a waste of taxpayer dollars, and an embarrassment to Murfreesboro, a quiet town sitting in a county embroiled in yet another scandal, this one of a Federal nature.  Jones’ decision reveals a telling decision about his office, though.  He’s got an understanding of the law, command of his office, and knows when to take a case to trial.  This is the exact opposite of Murfreesboro Chief Karl Durr, whose ineptitude caused this debacle.

One of Durr’s deputies saw a video on the internet of an alleged “fight.”  Because we can’t stand bullying in any form, and the new normalization is criminalizing childhood behavior, one of Durr’s subordinates obtained delinquency petitions for the Murfreesboro Ten and initiated protocol to have at least four of them arrested on school grounds.  When school administrators learned of the plan, the offended officer justified her scheme through absolute lies and a complete failure to communicate with the School Resource Officer assigned to Hobgood Elementary that day, who did not want to see these kids handcuffed and perp walked in front of other children.

The four kids arrested that fateful day at Hobgood Elementary perp walked in front of their peers, placed in squad cars, and taken to the Rutherford County Juvenile Detention Center, in direct violation of Tennessee law, since none of the children were a threat to themselves or others.  This irritating, blatant disregard for the law is best summed by a quote from Knox County Public Defender Christina Kleiser during the “Indigent Representation Task Force’s” May 20 stop in Knoxville.

“I apologize for my passion, but what angers me most is we have a statute in place that says children are not to be detained in a secure facility unless they are a direct threat to themselves or others.  Despite this law, the practice continues daily.”

And it will continue in Rutherford County until someone holds the Police and Sheriff’s Departments accountable for violating the law, since they set their own policies, and really have no regard for silly things like Tennessee statutes.

[Under] Rutherford County’s rules, children must be brought to the juvenile detention center for even the most minor infractions, unless an officer decides to issue a verbal warning.

There you have it, ladies and gentlemen of the Tennessee Legislature.  Rutherford County really doesn’t give a damn about the laws you enact.  They’ll do as they please, and if you don’t like it then you can knock on Sheriff Arnold or Chief Durr’s doors and plant your lips firmly against their rectums.

Several made good decisions in the aftermath of the Murfreesboro Ten’s arrest.  Chief Durr promised transparency to the greatest possible extent.  He conducted a review of the incident and issued sanctions against the officers who brought this cluster bomb of injustice to national attention.  DA Jones did the right thing and dropped all charges against the Murfreesboro Ten.  Logic, ration, and reason prevailed at the end, but the story isn’t wrapped in a neat bow and ready for conclusion.  The Murfreesboro Ten beat the rap, but they didn’t beat the ride.

It’s taken almost two months for this insanity to end.  In the meantime, the Murfreesboro Ten had to face a judge.  Their families either hired attorneys or got court appointed counsel, for which they may have had to pay an administrative fee.  Four were detained in a secure facility in violation of Tennessee law.  This entire mess could have ended sooner, and was preventable but for the actions of one rogue cop and the Murfreesboro PD’s decision to back up her stupid for any reason is enough to make one’s blood boil. When justice is deferred it’s bad enough.  When that justice involves children and police misconduct, it’s unconscionable.

Cut a break for the lawyer in hard times.

There’s a local, very prominent attorney experiencing rough times. People are happy to spread memes and info regarding the incident all over social media. I cannot and will not support this, and those of you who benefit from the services of an attorney, no matter how great or small the issue, honestly shouldn’t either. All you’re doing is participating in a public shaming of someone who’s fought for the rights of so many citizens in court.

It’s fun participating in online lynch mobs. I get it. You get to sit behind a keyboard and call someone an asshole, call for their firing, and create neat cat pictures featuring your jokes on a person. You have that right, and it’s one I’ll defend, no matter how reprehensible I personally may find the practice. It’s also fun exposing double standards, and who doesn’t like a great lawyer joke? Most of us have a great sense of humor, but when you’re turning on a guy going through hard times who’s probably walked a few of you from criminal charges you might want to reconsider participating in a public pillorying.

This job requires commitment to all others but yourself first. It’s a profession where those in private practice help others unsure if the final bill will ever be paid. Substance abuse is rampant as those who bend or break under pressure tend to take the easy way out. When the law school bubble burst around the time I was sworn in, I saw first hand how eager this state was to fuck attorneys and their clients. I kept to my oath, defended those charged with offenses, and never bitched about it.  I imagine this brother in the Bar was of like mind when he started his practice.

None of this changes my commitment to free speech or the open exchange of ideas. If it’s your desire to make fun of someone going through a rough patch, go ahead. Just remember it might happen to you some day, and make sure you have thick enough skin to withstand the internet assault coming with criminal charges.

Verdict in the Legion of Doom Twitter Fight

Today, in case you hate fun and intelligent conversation, Andrew King, our resident prosecutor at Fault Lines, wrote a post defending the freedom of speech of both Milo Yiannopolous and the NJ Weedman.  It was one of those times King wrote something I didn’t want to excessively drink over, throw something, or punch him regarding.  He was right, and the post merits a good read.  What I took issue with was him calling the league of us Internet super villains the “Legion of Doom.”  Specifically, because he referred to Milo as “Lex Luther.” With hair no less.

Now I’m a DC neophyte, and I remember a timeline where Luthor (not “Luther”) had hair.  But I remembered a bit where the author of that storyline declared it non-cannon.  I called King out on his shit, and it turns out I have to give him at least some credit.  He knows his comic book references.  This time I was in the right.  I was sure of it.  And I needed a third party neutral to prove me right.  So I pooled my resources and got a comics shop owner who is a DC comics guru to issue a ruling.  The response was so classic it didn’t merit a Twitter response.  I had to share it here.  The owner didn’t just settle the debate, he did so in legalese form that was so hysterical it merited a blog post.

“Plaintiff Seaton wishes to prove the Alexander Luthor storyline non-cannon in the DC universe.  In doing so, Plaintiff fails to describe an accurate description of the word “cannon,” as DC has fucked themselves with cannon regularly. See “New 52,” and “Flashpoint.”  However, the Dollar Comics Universe regularly fucks itself in the ass with canonical resets and erasures. See “Hush,” for an example.”

“Defendant King wishes to prove the Alexander Luthor story is cannon. Technically, the New 52 and Flashpoint erases Defendant King’s argument since they render the Alexander Luthor story invalid.  Plaintiff Seaton has the better argument here, but I cannot ignore the will of the writers or the company when making this ruling.”

“Accordingly, the holding of this “judge,” (which I find hysterical, by the way), is that Plaintiff Seaton has failed to meet his standard of proof the Alexander Luthor storyline, buttressed by decades of DC cannon and only erased by stupid corporate moves, is not cannon.  Therefore, Defendant King wins, and the Internet Supervillain group called “The Legion of Doom” involving Milo Yiannopolous (who’s done more for free speech than most Americans) may be called as such.  This is remanded to both assholes for work consistent with my findings.   And the next time King and Seaton engage me in this I’m charging a consulting fee.”

So I publicly apologize to Andrew King for not getting comic book cannon right.  I was wrong.  I will admit it.  And you need to read Fault Lines to get any sort of understanding of why this debate is so important.