Thursday, December 19, 2013
Censorship and smear campaign against Legal Schnauzer
Roger Shuler has been reporting on the abuses of power in Alabama and the surrounding states for years on his blog, "Legal Schnauzer." This has often involved reporting of abuses of power in personal or sex related affairs, which I normally try not to pay too much attention to although when it includes abuse of power it should be reported. However contrary to what some people seem to be reporting this isn't all that Roger Shuler reports on.
He was arrested last October outside of his home for failure to stop posting any material about an alleged affair between Robert Riley Jr, a lawyer linked to the Republican Party, and lobbyist Liberty Duke. This was reported in numerous, relatively low profile news reports including, United States - Blogger held after ignoring prior censorship order in libel case. 11/14/2013 A more extensive story was reported by "Who What Why," In Jailhouse Interview, Alabama Blogger Says He Won’t Budge By David J. Krajicek; 11/25/2013 and there are more listed below including some of his opponents for those of you who might be interested.
Roger Shuler has also reported on a nude photo allegedly of Judge William Pryor and numerous stories about Ted Rollins a prominent business man from the area who has been involved in numerous activities including child abuse and abuse of power in a previous divorce as well as environmental related stories that involve his families company, Rollins Environmental Services, which disposes of hazardous waste and has been involved in numerous lawsuits including one in Alsen, Louisiana.
The people he reports on deny most of the activities that he claims they've been involved in including the affair with Robert Riley Jr, and lobbyist Liberty Duke and the nude photo allegedly of Judge William Pryor.
Just for the sake of argument, lets assume they're actually right. What would be the most reasonable and effective way of defending themselves?
Should it involve censorship intimidation and smear tactics as bad if not worse than the ones they claim are being used against them? Should the legal system order that all related material be held under seal so that the public won't know why a reporter is being held?
Or should it involve denying the stories and debunking the evidence that is allegedly being presented against them?
These aren't necessarily easy questions to answer, assuming the allegations that are being made by Roger Shuler are false; however it is hard to imagine that the way his critics have responded is rational and it seems, to me at least, that the way they, or supporters of them have responded implies that they might be acting out of desperation and doing more to harm their own cause than they are to helping it, assuming the target audience for their defense is reasonably rational.
The most prominent attempts that I can find to debunk Roger Shuler seems to be "Legal Schnauzer Exposed;" which wants to "Stop Cyber Bullying." unfortunately the web site seems to be doing more to conduct Cyber Bullying than it does to stop it. Ironically his critics seem to be doing more to support his claims than they do to refute them by doing such an incompetent job debunking them, which might imply, to some people, that the reason they use these tactics might be because they can't refute at least some of the claims that Roger Shuler has made.
Anyone that gets past the obvious bullying tactics being used by a web page that claims to be opposed to "Cyber Bullying" could easily check the facts from this site and find that they are seriously flawed raising more credibility problems.
One of the claims is that Roger Shuler is a racist based on a post that is not linked to at "Legal Schnauzer Exposed;" so if anyone wants to confirm it they would have to find it themselves or take the word this site. However Roger Shuler has written several times about possible racism defending minorities and woman including, Has White Judicial Panel Already Stacked The Deck Against Black Alabama Judge Dorothea Batiste? and How Far Will One Company Go to Avoid Hiring Blacks?, which cites participation from Ted Rollins.
"Legal Schnauzer Exposed" makes a point of defending Ted Rollins on one of their earlier posts which is, perhaps, part of the reason why Roger Shuler thinks it is run by Ted Rollins. I reviewed one of their claims that he is the CEO of an "Eco-friendly, publicly traded company," in Trade Secrecy laws provide license to commit negligent mass murder where I reviewed some of the activities of Rollins Environmental Services, which was actually run by his father at the time of many of the complaints that have involved law suits that I cited, but they were very reluctant to settle more than they had to. This was based partially on research from Robert Bullard, author of "Dumping in Dixie" who has done extensive research into environmental damage and how it is often much more common where low income people especially minorities live. This raises doubts about both Rollins environmental record and the possibility that he might be the one that is acting racist.
Another obvious attempt to smear Roger Shuler is 'Roger Shuler "Satan's Earthly Emmissary"' which is an incredibly obvious fake, but it means that someone went to the trouble to buy up a domain name. This isn't expensive but it is more than most people would be inclined to do, although it isn't much for someone with financial backing.
It is hard to imagine any rational person wouldn't see right through this web site and recognize it for what it seems to be, a smear on Roger Shuler; but it is so bad that it would only convince the most insecure people and perhaps least stable, if it is believed by anyone at all. What could the person running this site possibly be trying to accomplish? And who could they expect to fall for this?
Unfortunately even though any rational person should easily see right through these tactics similar ones have been used throughout history, including in the south which has a long history of racial problems, and they may often seem to help maintain control of the public although it comes at a high price. There is actually a significant amount of research into why some people might think these tactics might work and in some cases they might intimidate people enough to benefit the bullies using it.
This involves the way people are taught at an early age. the behavior of the people writing these smears isn't any better than foolish things that you might expect out of teenagers in junior high schools that don't know any better but I doubt if this is being done by teenagers. However they still act like them and use the same tactics. It is as if their emotional growth might be impaired and there is a strong possibility that is what happened. As I have indicated in previous blogs including Does child abuse and bullying lead to more violence? and Child abuse and bullying link in study long over due I believe there is an enormous amount of evidence to indicate that early child upbringing and often abuse is a leading contributing cause to crime and authoritarian behavior.
A study by John Guthrow in December 2002, Correlation Between High Rates of Corporal Punishment in Public Schools and Social Pathologies, might also provide some supporting evidence to this belief. A couple of the relatively simple statistical findings that this study show is: Of the states with the ten highest murder rates in the United States, educators paddle children in eight of them, including Alabama which has the fifth highest murder rate tied with New Mexico and is 3rd by percentage of students struck by educators; Of the states with the ten lowest murder rates in the nation, educators paddle children in one of them; Of the ten states with the highest percentage of the population in prison, educators paddle children in nine of them, including Alabama, which has the 6th highest incarceration rate and is 3rd by percentage of students hit; and Of the ten states with the lowest percentage of the population in prison, educators do not paddle children in any of them.
Additional supporting research includes Corporal Punishment Makes Children Dumb By Dr. Shaun Whittaker and Corporal Punishment and Political Missions By Alice Miller. Dysfunctional political environments almost certainly begin when the people participating in them, especially those with the most political power develop dysfunctional attitudes and this almost always begins early in life and escalates from their unless something is done to correct it. By starting out with authoritarian, violent and intimidating child rearing tactics many people teach children that using violence and intimidation to get a point across is more effective than using reason or checking the facts to find what is more rational.
This probably isn't the typical review of a situation like this.
In all fairness, in the short run it isn't the most important thing especially to Roger Shuler who remains in jail as Christmas approaches and is now having problems with theft as well according to his latest posts. The defenses from the ACLU, Justice Integrity Project and other activists will almost certainly have much more impact on his immediate situation. However in addition to solving the immediate problem additional efforts should be made to understand why some areas have more dysfunctional political environments than others and address these causes as well for the long run. If this had been done better twenty years ago then he would be much less likely to be having this problem now and if both the long term and short term contributing causes to this problem were addressed then in twenty years other people will be much less likely to have this problem.
The dysfunctional political system is also partially responsible for the environmental problems and other social inequalities that are greater in some areas than others. I haven't done a thorough check like the report from John Guthrow but I suspect that the states that rely most on corporal punishment have some of the biggest economic inequalities, environmental problems and lowest education rates. a glance at some of the states cited by John Guthrow and a rough review of the research into environmental damage by Robert Bullard seems to at least partially support this.
Regardless of whether you agree with that it is hard to believe that the best work from Roger Shuler's critics seems to have much credibility. Some questions about his credibility seem to be because he doesn't represent a major institution, however many of the biggest institutions fail to report many of the most important news due to the fact that they're all funded by the same economic political establishment. the best news outlets now seem to be some of the lowest profile ones operating with limited funds and no access to the traditional media. If this is the case the best way to judge their credibility or lack of it would involve reviewing their work. Roger Shuler is certainly not perfect of course but the biggest problems, assuming you don't agree with his views will almost certainly be much more credible if they come from his own work than his critics. One possible concern is why he didn't show up in court or check to see if the alleged law suit actually has been filed. His response to this according to his blogs seems to be that he felt intimidated by the legal system and the local enforcement agencies. If anything the foolish behavior of his critics might support this claim.
Additional information, both pro and con, is available on the following sites for those that are interested.
Alabama Kangaroo Court Parades Blogger in Chains, Continues Indefinite Jailing By Andrew Kreig
Huffington Post: Censorship at Issue in Alabama Blogger's Case 11/14/2013
Alabama journalist beaten and jailed 10/28/2013
What’s the matter with Alabama? Roger Shuler kept in jail indefinitely, paraded into court IN CHAINS
Alabama Deputies Beat, Arrest Corruption-Fighting Reporter
Kook Update: Roger Shuler
Did Roger Shuler Commit Unauthorized Practice of Law?
Accusations of Bias in 11th Cir. Judge Pryor's Nude Photo Scandal 09/20/2013
Alabama Blogger Arrested, Jailed For Writing About Former Governor’s Son
We must dare to defend Roger Shuler's rights, too (Our view)
Truth-teller or bomb-thrower? Legal Schnauzer blogger jailed after violating court order
Legal Schnauzer: Nude Photographs Of Federal Judge Bill Pryor Appeared In The 1990s On A Gay Pornography Site 09/27/2013
Legal Schnauzer: As Reports Mount About His '90s Ties To Gay Porn, Judge Bill Pryor Rides The Luther Strange Love Train 09/23/2013
Legal Schnauzer: Alan Colmes And His Liberaland Web Site Pick Up On Reports About Gay-Porn Photos Of Judge Bill Pryor 09/20/2013
Legal Schnauzer: Concerns About Blackmail Prompted Investigative Action On Tip About Gay Porn Photographs of Bill Pryor In '90s 10/02/2013
Legal Schnauzer: Bill Pryor
Legal Schnauzer: Bullying Continues Even When You Become an Adult
NOW: The Truth About William H. Pryor