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Monthly Archives: April 2015

CELEBRITIES AND ADLLAW

CELEBRITIES AND ADLLAW

Celebrities and AdLLawThe other day I received a communication that moved me to write this column. The communication wondered why celebrities are prominently mentioned in AdLLaw’s mission to protect the deceased from defamation. Actually, it went beyond wondering why celebrities are included; it went so far as to suggest that celebrities should be excluded. The recommendation was that our focus should be on the average citizen with whom the masses can identify.

AdLLaw uses many people as examples of those who are being defamed after they have passed on. Celebrity examples include Betty Ford, Michael Jackson, Steve Jobs, Whitney Houston, and Amy Winehouse. We also have in our materials records of a young woman who was killed in a terrible car accident whose family endured seeing vile and horrific information being spread on the Internet about their relative.

Read more here: http://abcnews.go.com/TheLaw/story?id=3872556&page=1

We have information on U.S. soldiers whose funerals were picketed by a religious group that used the funerals as a platform to spread their bigotry and hate. The group picketing the funerals of fallen soldiers is not aiming their hate at the individual; however, their actions are mentioned in our materials because they bring hardship to the families of the soldiers in the form of added grief and suffering. One father did try to sue for damages, citing, among other things, the intentional infliction of emotional distress. See more here:

http://www.nbcnews.com/id/36449471/ns/us_news-crime_and_courts/t/dad-sues-thank-god-dead-soldiers-church/#.VUD_qiFViko

Above are listed just a few examples of the defamation of those who are deceased. They range from the most high-profile celebrities to soldiers fighting for our country to anonymous citizens living their private lives. Defamation can touch anyone, and while there is truth in the fact that most people do not know a celebrity and cannot relate to their lifestyles, we can all identify who they are. For that reason, when they are defamed we are more aware and more attention is given.

Several years ago. Dale Earnhardt, a NASCAR icon, was killed in a shocking accident while racing at Daytona (Florida). The accident happened on live television during the race broadcast. Millions of people saw it play out in their living rooms. Dale Earnhardt was a name so synonymous with the sport that almost everyone could identify him. There was a tremendous amount of coverage of his life and death, and the public outpouring of grief and emotion was incredible. My local radio station had a discussion about the event, and people called in commenting on how wrong it was to feel grief for this man who was killed when the focus of our sorrow should be on our troops. I don’t normally call in to talk shows; however, in this instance I did. I was one of those who saw this horrible accident happen. I explained that when people can put a face to a name, and when they see a tragedy happen in real time, it affects them on a different level. People could identify with what happened. It did not mean there was no sorrow for our fallen troops, but the masses do not have faces to put with a soldier who has died, and they don’t see war played out live in their living rooms. That was why there was so much public grief for Mr. Earnhardt: people could relate.

I use the Dale Earnhardt example to explain why celebrities are a part of the AdLLaw campaign. People are aware of the stories of celebrities and may be outraged at the treatment a celebrity receives in the media. One of the problems with the media is the assumption that celebrities cease to be human once they are famous. A celebrity is still a person…they have lives to live; they have feelings; they have loved ones; they deal with the normal issues of being a human being. They deserve the same respect that any human should receive. That is why they are included in AdLLaw’s mission. Not because they are famous, but because they are human.

People are more aware of the treatment Michael Jackson received in the media than they are of the treatment of Nicole Catsouras, the young woman killed in the car accident. The grief endured by the family of Ms. Catsouras is no less important than the grief endured by the family of Mr. Jackson; it is simply that the masses are more aware of Mr. Jackson’s plight.

The goal of AdLLaw is to change the law nationally so that a family can sue for damages when their deceased loved one is defamed. While living, a defamed person can seek relief for themselves in a court of law for slander and libel. However, at the point of death, current law considers the person to no longer exist. That leaves the gates wide open for anyone to maliciously report untrue “information” about the deceased without fear of repercussions. AdLLaw believes that a person lives on in his or her legacy and reputation. When a person, famous or anonymous, is defamed after they are gone, their loved ones should have a way to seek relief in a court of law.

Perhaps when AdLLaw is successful in its mission, we will be one step closer to becoming a kinder and gentler society. Maybe respect and honor will be restored in our media. There might be a return to integrity in reporting and to thought put into words before they are spoken or written — not just in the media, but by each individual also.

The following video sums up why celebrities are included in this initiative. We are all people; we are all a part of the human race. Regardless of our social status, race, sexual orientation, nationality, political affiliation, or religious belief, we are all people — with the same right to dignity and respect after we have passed on. Watch the video here: http://video.foxnews.com/v/3934406/huckabees-opinion/?#sp=show-clips

AdLLaw’s mission is not to curtail freedom of speech, but to hold people accountable for their words. We believe this initiative and our fundamental right to free speech can coexist. To learn more about AdLLaw, please visit us at https://antidefamationlegacylawadvocates.org/2013/10/22/whats-so-special-about-the-adllaw-initiative-and-petition/

Support the #AdLLawInitiative by signing the PETITION

Edited and Republished by: MJ Brookins

Original story posted here:   http://thejamcafe-mjtpmagazine.presspublisher.org/issue/may-issue/article/celebrities-and-AdLLaw

May Issue, ADLLAW – Celebrities and AdLLaw

By Barbara Owens,Journalist and AdLLaw secretary –  Thu, May 31, 2012

 

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THE STAIN OF AN ACCUSATION: CAN IT EVER BE REMOVED?

THE STAIN OF AN ACCUSATION: CAN IT EVER BE REMOVED?

Stain of An AccusationCan the stain of an accusation ever be removed although the accused may have been exonerated in a court of law? Many people including myself do not think so and I’ll explain why. A rose is still considered a rose regardless of the specific names given to each class of roses. It still looks like a rose.

An accusation is a charge of wrongdoing; imputation of guilt or blame. A stain is defined as a cause of reproach; stigma; blemish. Both sounds the same to me.

Let’s talk about stains for a minute. It is possible to cover up the appearance of blood stains but is the stain really gone? I found one Reader’s digest article HERE http://www.rd.com/slideshows/how-to-remove-blood-stains/ that gives us “8 Common Items That Remove Blood Stains”. The items include vinegar, ammonia, hydrogen peroxide (work only on fresh blood stains), cola, WD-40, cornstarch, talcum powder and cold salt water.

Article also states blood stains are relatively easy to remove before they set but can be nearly impossible to wash out after 24 hours and this is the significant problem with the aftermath of a stain. From this article and perhaps many others we understand that it is possible to remove stains, especially blood, if we act quickly but the problem remains: The stain is still there although we cannot see it and it is possible for the stain to be uncovered via other means or methods.

Then we have the chemical “Luminol” used by criminal investigators at violet crime scenes in hopes of discovering blood. Much of crime scene investigation, also called criminalistics, is based on the notion that nothing vanishes without a trace. This is particularly true of violent crime victims. A murderer can dispose of the victim’s body and mop up the pools of blood, but without some heavy-duty cleaning chemicals, some evidence will remain. Tiny particles of blood will cling to most surfaces for years and years, without anyone ever knowing they’re there.

Luminol At WorkThe basic idea of luminol is to reveal these traces with a light-producing chemical reaction between several chemicals and hemoglobin, an oxygen-carrying protein in the blood. The molecules break down and the atoms rearrange to form different molecules (see Microsoft Encarta: Chemical Reaction for more information on chemical reactions). In this particular reaction, the reactants (the original molecules) have more energy than the products (the resulting molecules). The molecules get rid of the extra energy in the form of visible light photons. This process, generally known as chemiluminescence, is the same phenomenon that makes fireflies and light sticks glow.

Investigators will spray a suspicious area, turn out all the lights and block the windows, and look for a bluish-green light. If there are any blood traces in the area, they will glow.

http://science.howstuffworks.com/luminol1.htm

So now we consider the ill effect of the “Stain of An Accusation”. Remember Michael Jackson, marked as a child molester, who seems to be a popular topic of conversation among admirers and skeptics. Many of his admirers are of the opinion or belief that if the accusations are ignored they will eventually disappear. I have to strongly disagree with that kind of thinking. Evil and negative thoughts are always present, though the evidence of it may remain dormant for long periods of time they are still there. Like blood stains may well go undetected to the naked eye they still exist.

Accusations of child molestation is not something to take nonchalantly and I sincerely believe it to be a stigma that will linger and Michael Jackson knew that too. An excerpt from the following people.com article: In 2003 Jackson Faced Charges He Had Molested a Child. He Was Found Not Guilty, but His Reputation Never Fully Recovered.   http://www.people.com/people/archive/article/0,,20292704,00.html

Indeed he seemed to emerge from the trial a broken man, the downward spiral of his life and career only accelerating. His friend Dr. Firpo Carr says that the singer, who spent his last years often traveling abroad and raising his children, continued to be tormented by the stain the accusations had left on his reputation. “It took a great toll on him,” says Carr. “He never recovered from the trial. He never did.” As Carr tells it, Jackson’s planned comeback was not just about money but about some attempt at personal redemption. “That was part of the reason for these concerts: to prove himself again,” says Carr, “to give something great to his fans, the show of all shows, and to have the comeback of all comebacks. This was so everyone would remember him for his music, not for the scandals. He didn’t get a chance to do that. But that’s what it was about.” 

“Never Recovered” is the most significant phrase in the excerpt above. That’s the after effect of the stain I speak of, the stain of a severely injured reputation that can never be repaired or removed. An accusation left unchecked causes the stain to enlarge its territory by way of ravenousness wolves. If the person being accused were living it would be up to them to address their accusers and still that may not halt the public indictments or remove the stain, but the possibility of defending oneself is greater. On the other hand what about the deceased and who will defend them? Who will speak on their behalf?

What can we use to remove that stain or to keep it from spreading further?  Only the existence of an “Antidefamation Legacy Law” to first, protect and preserve the “Legacy of those Deceased” and second to protect the “Sanity of the family members or those left behind”. Why not bring about legislation which will include the deceased among those who, when defamed, can have the same legal protection as the living; by giving their family members a statute upon which to base a civil cause of action?

We, The Anti-Defamation Legacy Law Advocates, see this initiative or law as any other; a possible deterrent for most and a tool for the more serious offenders. If a person is deceased nearly anything can be said or written about them. Even the non-famous can be targets which mean that we and our loved ones are at risk.

Intentional defamation of a decedent does more than just hurt their survivor’s feelings; it can endanger their health and welfare through false public perception, judgments and actions taken. We hold dear our First Amendment rights, but there is nothing in our Constitution about bearing false witness as a legal right.

Try as we have been doing for five years now we cannot do anything about the horrible stain that has been imputed to Michael but we can help his children and family by standing together in favor of this law.

Will you support the Anti-Defamation Legacy Law (AdLLaw) Initiative by signing the petition and contacting your two United States Senators and the President? https://antidefamationlegacylawadvocates.org/

http://www.exploreforensics.co.uk/detecting-evidence-after-bleaching.html

http://www.freestockimages.org/wp-content/uploads/2010/10/coffee-stain-texture.jpg

http://www.freestockimages.org/2010/10/03/free-stock-images-part-36-coffee-stain-textures/

“Alone we’re just an “Echo” in the mountains but TOGETHER we are the “Mountains”. Support the AdLLaw Initiative today.

Please support the #AdLLawInitiative by signing the petition AdLLaw Petition

MJ Brookins, AdLLaw Admin

March 7, 2015

 

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