DEA Agents Say, “We Didn’t Do It!”

16Jan08

I just read a news article saying that a group of retired DEA agents are suing NBC. They believe their portrayal in a show called “American Gangster” is slander.

I’ve noticed a lot of this lately. Tom cruise is in the news right now talking about suing some book writer that has authored and unathorized biography. Tom doesn’t agree with things that have been said.

Here are some thoughts. When does slander become something we have to take action against? Are we seriously in trouble when someone says something about us that isn’t true. I understand that Tom Cruise may want his precious career to be protected and bad publicity doesn’t help…or does it? But retired DEA agents suing about something said about them in a fictional show based on fact. Seriously? Is it just about the money? Should we fight to keep media honest? Where is the line drawn?

What do you guys think?

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63 Responses to “DEA Agents Say, “We Didn’t Do It!””

  1. I think I don’t care. hahahahahaa!

    Seriously though, it sounds a bit ridiculous. RETIRED agents, FICTIONAL show, I don’t know…..sounds like it’s about the money. The media will NEVER be honest either. EVER. It’s all tainted. πŸ˜‰

  2. 2 Jason

    I think its just a tort reform issue.

  3. What point have we reached? It seems that our society is too ready to sue someone at the drop of a hat anyway! My wife brought up the question the other day increasing our insurance umbrella policy. Her reasoning? We are expecting our first child in May, therefore, we will eventually have other kids over to our house to play and we need to cover ourselves in case one of those other children hurts themselves. What happened to just going over to so-and-so’s house to play? Now our lawyers have to meet with their lawyers to arrange play dates? What have we come to?

  4. To my mind Tom Cruise doesn’t need any one besmirching his reputation….his Scientology psychosis and his own antics accomplish that goal just fine!

    That said we ARE indeed a very litigious culture.

    We could spend days discussing where THAT stems from!

    R

  5. 5 Jason

    Let’s get hovercraft in here to talk about his take on loser-pays in the english legal system.

  6. Jason said:

    his take on loser-pays in the english legal system.

    Robert says:

    There’s an idea!

  7. 7 Jason

    It creeps me out a little that no politician makes what seems like a clear case for loser-pays.

  8. Sean – I’d agree with you that litigation seems way too common. We are actually in the process of purchasing some sound measuring equipment for our church services because some lawsuits have been made in Oregon that “claim” hearing loss and OSHA wants to be safe. Ridiculous.

    Hey Robert and Jason, Explain this “loser pays” thing. And definitely invite hover over to talk about it.

  9. Curious though…

    Apart from legal issues, when do we as people care about slander. Does it matter?

  10. 10 lazrus2

    I think we should care about slander since there are many references to that in the Psalms and prophets, though it mostly seems to just be making note of it (i.e. crying out to God about it) rather than what (if anything) else we should do. Since it is an ‘offense’, if from a fellow believer, we should go to them as in Matt. 18:15-17 and try to reconcile, but if anyone else (and if that process doesn’t ‘work’), we should leave it in God’s hands (as I just ‘happened’ to be reading today in Ps. 50:16-23).
    I think that’s what Peter was advising in his letter too:
    “… if you suffer for doing right and are patient beneath the blows, God is pleased with you. This suffering is all part of what God has called you to. Christ, who suffered for you, is your example. Follow in his steps. He never sinned, and he never deceived anyone. He did not retaliate when he was insulted. When he suffered, he did not threaten to get even. He left his case in the hands of God, who always judges fairly.” 1 Peter 2:20b-23 NLT

    When we do that, we come to ‘know Him more’ by sharing in His sufferings, I think (Phil 3:10) Not an easy thing for sure, but just a ‘taste’ of what He willingly endured for us.
    He will have the final ‘say’, but in the meantime wants us to have His heart even for those who slander us, praying they will see and turn from their wrong before His judgment comes.
    D-

  11. 11 lazrus2

    In reading my comment again, I may have left the impression that we don’t ‘go to a non-believer’ also to reconcile. I definitely think that should be the first action no matter who it is, because if we are loving and truthful, whether or not the matter is resolved, we will be a living witness of God’s Word to all involved. It definitely takes courage, but retaliating or even ignoring it ultimately helps no one. If no resolution by that, then we just entrust it to God and pray.
    D-

  12. 12 Jason

    Brent,

    do you really want me to write something on tort reform? It doesn’t seem to fit the stream, but I will, it wouldn’t take long.

  13. lazrus2 – I think you are right on in the process of dealing with it. And I did not get the impression that this was a Christian only thing, but thanks for clarifying.

    I think you spoke to both aspects of either dealing with it or not. I think it has to be dealt with. You wrote well to how the scripture deals with that. you also showed that after our pursuit of reconciliation takes place. We let it go and leave it in God’s hands. I think that is most often the hardest part, cause we want to fight against whatever may have been said or done to hurt us. It’s almost common reaction.

    Jason – Obviously my intent on this post is much less legal than spiritual, but I would love to hear your thoughts on tort reform. It would do us all some good considering the elections coming up.

  14. 14 Jason

    OK

    This is totally a far-sideline hobby of mine, so I’ll mention a few simple potential reforms (loser-pays is a subset of tort reform, and tort is legal shorthand for an ill-defined but still existing injustice. A person who has been hurt or wronged in some way that is not clearly laid out in a contract or in criminal law) that have been used in other countries with differing success rates.

    loser-pays – this has whoever is the loser in a civil suit paying the legal and court fees of the whole thing. The goal is two fold, 1. get the bananahead who didn’t know coffee was hot to consider the possibility that she will lose and there by be out twice as much money, 2. get the lawyers to stop courting the bananaheads because they know that even if the plaintiff’s lawyer charges nothing if no award is given their client will have to pay the legal and court fees of the defendant. There is data that backs up both sides of this argument, and it is the system that England uses.

    Cap on pain and suffering damages – some say 250K, some say 500 K, some say one million, and these are somewhat arbitrary numbers, but the idea is to keep stupidly large awards from closing hospitals and business. Any documentable losses, like inability to work, cost of health care, rehab, and ongoing CNA services are not included in that number, it is only the β€œand my feelings were hurt and I have ongoing mental anguish” stuff which would be capped. This would allow the current system to exist and individuals and or groups would still have the concern of being damaged for having, abusively or neglectfully, hurt someone, it would cut the size of awards by a huge margin which consequently limits THE BIG PAYDAY for the weasel ambulance chasers.

    Eliminate juries in civil cases. – Criminal law is a stratification of precedents, and is restrained by those precedents to a degree and thereby the juries are kept on a somewhat well defined legal path, such as it is. But civil law is much more existentialist, much more in the moment, much more emotionally driven. The idea is that the judge may (or may not!) be less prone to flights of Robin Hood complex. England has had this for a long time and it seems to be an effective redoubt against the notion juries sometimes have that they are “sticking it to the man.” This actually is my favorite, because the idea of trusting our fellow citizens to execute correct judgment in these matters of the THE BIG PAYDAY, when it is in fact our fellow citizens who are in perpetual pursuit of THE BIG PAYDAY is a monstrous conflict of interest, in my mind.

    As a ferocious religious, economic, and social conservative, I would like to say that the lack of tort reform over the last 25 years or so is resultant from the Democratic party receiving around 40% of their donations from the bar association, both as a group and from its individuals, but of course there have been Republican congresses which were actually slower to pull their head out in this matter than Democratic congresses. This much resistance to minimal change in our legal system can only be the result of foot dragging by everyone.

    John Adams’ quote about liberty being suitable only for a religious people, though he was not what I would call devout, is based on the presumption that those who think that they are accountable to a far greater power, a far more just God is that which restrains them, is that which draws a line in the sand of their conscience. And so trying to police the conscience, i.e. the amazing legal inequity of hate crime legislation, is the result. I am quite certain we have crossed that line quite a while ago. I actually think that what we witness in these inanities is judgment itself, not the threat of judgment. I really, truly believe that Western society is once again (First in Rome) being given over to its selfishness, proclivities, demands of the rights of the individual and the concerns of the individual, and what has come to be viewed as the unalienable entitlements of the individual, all the while ignoring the commensurate responsibilities of such rights.

    I really believe that our country’s collective consciousness and conscience has been given over to the downward spiral leading to the black hole of “me”.

  15. Wow Jason – Well written and great info. What does Hover think of “loser pays” is he in agreement?

    I am so in agreement with your last statements!

  16. Hey B, of all times, after our little banter about moving, we got word today. 😦
    We will be gone in less than two months!

    Minot ND here we come. It was either that or ABQ New Mexico. We picked Minot.

    (where is the scared smilie!)

  17. 17 Jason

    Why not Minot?

  18. Brandy I am sorry to hear it!

    So you picked 5 feet of snow and sub freezing temps over mild and warm weather?

    Your gonna start to talk like they do…dontcha know…

    we are really gonna miss you guys Brandy. 2 months…gives us time to have some fun before you go!

  19. 19 Jason

    I’m just kidding.

    “Your gonna start to talk like they do…dontcha know…”

    say it with me, “yah, so, its gonna be a chilly one tomorrow, den, I hear, huh?” Repeat one hundred times.

  20. 20 Ed

    I agree that our society has become too litigious. Remember that no one gets a penny unless a jury of citizens agrees with the plaintiff. I don’t know the law that well but I seems to me it’s juries that award these million dollar payoffs. We, the US public, may be the biggest part of the problem.

    I agree with Jason there should be some dollar cap on the amount of the penalty.

    Removing juries comes down to who do we trust, judges or ordinary citizens. If the English system has been working then I go along with Jason on this idea as well.

    The idea of a “loser-pays” system does have appeal. If you have nothing to lose why not sue. My concern would be if it might give too much of an advantage to the rich and big business. The systems needs to give the poorest person in the country the opportunity to sue the richest. How much money you have should not dictate who can sue.

  21. There is probably an agreement here that the lawsuit “business” needs to be reevaluated.

    Ed – If we are to remove juries, we do rely on the judges, but they still have to abide by law and if we as a people don’t like how they are ‘judging” we can vote them out and someone else in. Seems like this system may hold judges more accountable.

    (Was that a really long run on sentence back there…)

  22. 22 Jason

    “We, the US public, may be the biggest part of the problem.”

    Man, Ed, I just LOVE reading this!

  23. 23 Ed

    Brandy, I guess you must like cold weather.

    Good news is Minot has affordable housing. Will you be living on the AF Base?

    From Wikipedia:

    “A Coldwell Banker Home Price Comparison Index listed Minot as the most affordable area of 348 markets in the US, Canada, and Puerto Rico for homebuyers”

  24. 24 Jason

    ’cause they got lotsa room, ya know, den.

  25. I just checked the temperature for Minot and it is supposed to be 2 on Sunday. They must be having a warming trend πŸ™‚

  26. 26 Jason

    When we lived in Two Harbors, MN, we had some friends from Washington D.C. visit. We were listening to the NPR station our of Grand Marais and they said, “we’re gonna have a high of 15. We’re gettin off easy folks. Enjoy it.” Our friends were really quite startled at the nose hair freezing temp. My wife only half jokes in saying that we moved south for the winter when we cam to Boston.

    Anyway,

    I just read this, and it seems to be pertinent:

    http://www.firstthings.com/onthesquare/?p=954

    but anyway

  27. Oooooh boy Jason, don’t get me started on the ACLU. What a horrific self centered, attention hungry organization.

  28. 28 Jason

    “What a horrific self centered, attention hungry organization.”

    Absolutely, parasitic in everyway, eating until its host dies.

  29. I am cracking up over the Minot comments! LOL
    Brent, I think we chat too much online or else you would know I’ve adapted a bit of the slang anway….. not as strong as ND, but my best friend lives in Wisconsin and it’s very similiar! hahaha!! Hey, east of the rockies it’s all downhill anyway!! JUST KIDDING!!! HAHAHAHA!!!

    No I don’t LOVE cold weather, but I really don’t like the blazes of hell either! πŸ˜‰ Minot seems more family friendly, it’s a smaller town, housing cost is MUCH lower than NM, and the crime rate is very low!

    Jason, do you live in ND??

  30. BTW, it’s 25 and snowing lightly in Minot. Smart @$$. πŸ˜‰ heehee

  31. 31 Cheryl

    Hey Brent, have you seen the Tom Cruise video…it just shows that he is as nutty as a loon!!!

    Brandy!! MINOT!!! and you don’t like the cold!!! The crime rate is low b/c the theives freeze before they can get anywhere. Just remember to plug your car in at night…

  32. Brandy – I said Sunday and it’s gonna be 2. It’s supposed to be 8 tomorrow. Of course you haven’t lived till you’ve done through a nice -30* blizzard with -70* wind chill. That should feel nice πŸ™‚

    Hey Cheryl, ya, I am not sure anything someone else can say would hurt him anymore than he has already hurt himself. Interesting video…

  33. 33 Jason

    I used to live in very rural south central minnesota.

    You might think this is weird but I am kind of jealous, Brandy. I like it there.

  34. Ya, Jason…that’s weird πŸ™‚

  35. Well, as most of you know I’m trailer trash that did time in Mizzurra. It felt like a prison sentence. Anyway…the coldest winter day I remember was in Jan. it was about 2 degrees with a -31 wind chill – OU-friggin-CH! That day my mom decided it would be great to bake pies and take them to all our neighbors. What! So we bundled up like Ralphies little brother in A Christmas Story and off we went. Before we got to the first house I was in pain! I kept scratching my nose cuz it hurt so bad. My mom turns to me and her guys get huge…My running snot had frozen, like little snotcicles, and every time I rubbed it it was cutting into my nose…giving me bloody snotcicles. Lovely picture eh? Sorry…had to share!

  36. 36 Jason

    @ B,

    Ya

  37. Jason, I’m actually looking forward to it the more I look at the website.
    We lived in a VERY small town in Missouri (16,000) and I prefer small town to large city.
    For our family this will be a good move I think…..I think.

    *insert foot in mouth* You’re right Brent…. TODAY must be they’re warming trend! HAHAHA!

    Cheryl, that is funny about them freezing! Jake has already talked about getting an engine block! LOL

  38. 38 Ed

    Here in CT we usually have a couple of sub zero days each winter. With the wind chill probably -40 below.

    The coldest I can remember feeling was back when I took my Army basic training in Fort Gordon, Georgia, near Augusta. Our barracks lost heat for a few days. It was colder inside the barracks than outside. Of course we had to take a cold water shower each day.

    A cold water shower when you are freezing to begin with is not a good way to start the day. πŸ™‚

    I have read about tires freezing into blocks up in the north woods were you are going. πŸ™‚

    I also remember the clear, clean winter air in Maine. The snow covered winter landscape. An incredibly beautiful sight……from inside the house with a cup of hot chocolate to drink. πŸ™‚

  39. Now TAM! I was in Missouri for three years and it wasn’t THAT bad! πŸ˜‰ heehee

    Actually, wait, oh yeah….I remember an ice storm or two. Nevermind. πŸ˜‰ πŸ˜› hahahaha!

    I’d much rather wear jeans year round than shorts anyway! LOL B/c it’s all about that ya know. πŸ˜‰

  40. ED you have me terrified with the tires freezing into ice blocks story!!! Dear God please let us have a garage!!! πŸ˜€ πŸ˜‰ πŸ˜›

  41. Amen to the hot chocolate Ed, and you must be up in Litchfield county, down here in Fairfield is a little bit warmer! Just a little!

  42. OK Brandy – We need to have a little “emoticom intervention” here… I’m suspecting a little addiction goin on….

  43. 43 Jason

    We lived on the north shore of Lake Superior and I went to college in St. Cloud, MN for a time.

    Most people don’t believe the stories I tell them.

  44. yeah yeah…… you should see my myspace bulletins. a bit obscene. πŸ˜‰ SEE!! there i go again!!

    πŸ˜€ πŸ˜€ πŸ˜€ πŸ˜€ just for you. πŸ˜‰ (crap!)

  45. wth?

  46. Brandy I fixed it for you πŸ™‚

    Jason I lived the first 5 years of my life in St Cloud. I remember one time we left the house for 2 weeks from a second story bedroom window because we were completely snowed in. And the snow reached our second story. I also remember the power being out for quite a while, but we had a fireplace.

    I also remember the tornado that took out the house 3 doors down from us.

    Ya Brandy your moving to lovely country πŸ™‚

  47. CRAP. My eyes are BULGING out of my head now. Thanks. πŸ˜‰

    Yeah about the tornados….I cannot believe that I chose a place that has them over a place that doesn’t! I still have PTSD from living in missouri!!!
    Every year at the beginning of tornado season I would start having nightmares about them. And still, I chose Minot. Oy! πŸ˜‰

  48. Just say it slowly…

    “there’s no place like home…there’s no place like home…there’s no place like home…”

    πŸ™‚

  49. where are my ruby slippers? πŸ˜‰

    This means I’m gonna have to learn how to shovel snow, huh? craaaaaap. haha!

    I’ve been reading the blog of a mom in Minnesota and last week she was talking about the high for the day being 7…..hahahaha! I thought “NO WAY” I’m eating my words now. ha!

  50. You have to shovel snow? Make Jake do it. ell him to suck it up and get to work πŸ™‚

    Or you can buy one of those cool snowblower thingys.

  51. ooooh a snowblower thingy…. that sounds fun!

  52. Here are a couple of nice options for ya…

    http://tinyurl.com/2h9q5o

  53. I’m scared.

  54. oh hahaha……

    I garauntee Jake will want one of those asap when we get there….since the snow will be FAR from melting. I saw a pic online and it showed two inches in MAY! MAY!

  55. Brandy you are going to have an amazing time there with your family. we know all the fears that come with it, but you are an amazingly strong young lady. Jake is a great Dad and husband and we are ll praying for nothing more than God’s complete blessing and protection for you when your there.

    Now go have a stiff drink and stop thinking about it πŸ™‚

    We love you!

  56. hahaha hahaa

    I meant I’m scared about what website you were leading me to!! HAHAHAHAA!! That is so funny! heehee

    But thanks for the nice words anyway! πŸ˜€

    That is so funny.

    okay ALL kids are up now……. dang. laaaaaaaaaaaater.

  57. Love you guys too!

  58. 58 Cheryl

    Hey Brandy…I have driven through Minot…and I’ll never do it again…it was during a Tornado watch! I never drove so fast in my life. Ya, nice place you’re moving to! πŸ˜‰

  59. 59 Jason

    St. Cloud! That is hilarious!! Man, the last day of classes before Christmans break in 1988 the wind chill was -90 first thing in the morning.

    Ya just don’t outside.

  60. Oh, and snowblowers? One of the coolest pieces of equipment EVER!!!!!!

  61. 61 sdsims

    Okay Brent and everyone else this is Sean… Someone else took my name on WordPress, the nerve of them! I thought I was the only me. Anyway, you can come and look at the new blog if you want (just warning you, it’s still under construction)

  62. 62 Sean

    Brent, you’re a good guy, no matter what everyone else says! Thanks for the info on setup!

  63. What…people are saying stuff…

    Don’t believe anything Tammy says πŸ™‚

    Glad it worked out. If you have any questions on setup, feel free to email me.



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