Episode 8

Blogsmoke

SOUND: MODEM CONNECTING FADES UP TO FULL MIKE—SINGLE SHOT—RICHOCHET

MUSIC: UP AND UNDER—RECORDED—CUT 1

ANNOUNCER: (VOICE OVER MUSIC) Around Twitter Town and in the territory of the net—there’s just one way to handle the harassers and the stalkers—and that’s with an Internet Sheriff and the smell of “BLOGSMOKE”!

MUSIC: THEME HITS: FULL BROAD SWEEP AND UNDER—RECORDED—CUT 2

ANNOUNCER: “BLOGSMOKE” starring W. J. J. Hoge. The story of the trolling that moved into the young Internet—and the story of a man who moved against it. (MUSIC: OUT)

JOHN: I’m that man, John Hoge, Internet Sheriff—the first man they look for and the last they want to meet. It’s a chancy job—and it makes a man watchful … and a little lonely.

MUSIC: MAIN TITLE—RECORDED—CUT 3

THE GROUCH: (THROUGH A SMALL SPEAKER) October 10th. Well, I think 49 exhibits is enough. Unless Hoge gives me more to work with. All I need is to write my closing.

JOHN: Res judicata. That’s a Latin phrase which translates into English as “the decided business.” As a legal doctrine, res judicata means that a court’s final judgment is, in fact, final. Decisions don’t get relitigated unless they are overturned on appeal. The Grouch was telling his handful of followers on the Interwebz about how he was going to retry the peace order case during his motions hearing. He scoffed at the idea that res judicata might apply to him.

THE GROUCH: (THROUGH A SMALL SPEAKER) October 12th. Before I even utter a WORD in court Wednesday, Hoge will know the true meaning of the word (BLEEP)ed.

October 15th. Hoge’s biggest mistake has been a combination of hubris and assuming I am stupid. That will bite his ass tomorrow.

MUSIC: SCENE BUMPER MUSIC—RECORDED—CUT 4

THE GROUCH: Mr. Hoge, are you aware of the U.S. District Court case, Cassidy v. The United States?

ZOA: Objection! The relevance of that case was dealt with during the trial, Your Honor.

THE GROUCH: Cassidy declares that tweets sent via Twitter are not contact.

ZOA: Your Honor, as we noted at trial, that case as about tweets written about someone not written to someone.

THE GROUCH: But it’s a federal court decision. Can this Court simply ignore it?

JUDGE: Yes, it is a federal court decision, but it is about a particular application of a federal law, not a Maryland law. While it might offer guidance to this Court in some instances, it isn’t applicable to this case. As I explained during the trial, there is a difference between writing about someone and continuing to write to him after being asked to stop. The former enjoys robust protection under the First Amendment. The later is harassment which enjoys no such protection.

This is a hearing on a motion to amend the peace order. We are not here to retry the case. You need to explain to the Court what circumstances have changed that would require such a modification.

JOHN: The judge left the order intact.

ANNOUNCER: Thanksgiving’s coming, and that means … leftovers. Turkey soup. Turkey sandwiches. Just the stuff to pack for those brown bag lunches. You can pack those lunches with style in a Team Lickspittle Neoprene Lunch Bag available exclusively at The Hogewash Store. It’s just one of the goodies available there. Drop by today and show your support of Team Lickspittle.

And now back to our story.

MUSIC: SCENE BUMPER MUSIC—RECORDED—CUT 5

JOHN: The Grouch was not amused.

THE GROUCH: (THROUGH A SMALL SPEAKER) (FADING UP) … be decided not by a moron who wouldn’t even allow me to introduce evidence. Maryland Court of Appeals will call it.

Later October 16th. Accused racketeer WJJ Hoge lies about “res judicata” AGAIN!

October 18th. @/wjjhoge And when the Court of Appeals throws that out?

CHIEF JUDGE: (FEMALE VOICE THROUGH A SMALL SPEAKER) (FADING IN) Upon consideration of the petition for a writ of certiorari to the Circuit Court for Carroll County, the motion to reconsider the Court’s denial of motion to stay, the supplement and the answers filed thereto, in the above entitled case, it is ORDERED, by the Court of Appeals of Maryland, the the petition, the supplement and the motion be, and they are hereby, denied as there has been no showing that review by certiorari is desirable and in the public interest. October 21st, 2013.

JOHN: Thus, the Court of Appeals put a stake through the heart of The Grouch’s case. There would be no modification. There would be no appeal. The Grouch was left an adjudicated harasser, and the peace order was left intact. But The Grouch was not done yet.

MUSIC: CLOSING TITLE UP AND UNDER—RECORDED—CUT 6

ANNOUNCER: (VOICE OVER MUSIC) Stupid is as stupid does—as we will see in the next episode of “BLOGSMOKE”!

MUSIC: SWELL AND CONTINUE TO MUSIC OUT

ANNOUNCER: The Legal Department wishes the following declaimer read: “‘BLOGSMOKE’ is a work of fiction. Anyone who feels it might be about him should read Proverbs 28:1.” This is LBS, the Lickspittle Broadcasting System.

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