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One UPDATE: As Susan notes below:
All, as others have mentioned, Mr. Buxton was likely assigned this crap case. He made a specious argument and deserved to be mocked – and lo we have mocked and it was good.
However, he does not deserve to be contacted or threatened. As your mother told you, it is all fun until somebody does the stupid and gets hurt or arrested.
That means please do not contact him folks. We are trying to stay out of court on civil charges, not add criminal ones to the charging sheets.
We, the crack legal team here at This Ain’t Hell come before you humbled. As some of you may remember, TAH previously featured a series of posts on one Justin Weiss as part of our efforts at outing Stolen Valor posers. Mr. Weiss, who was not amused, told us that: (a) he was in uniform in his role as an actor; (b) he never claimed to have served; and (c) things we found offensive were on the internet because he had been hacked. Because we did not immediately remove the post, Mr. Weiss informed us he would contact an attorney. We hear this every day and completely ignored Mr. Weiss’ threats until we received a letter from one Mr. E. Dale Buxton II (Esq.) an attorney at a very high-priced, high-profile law firm we will not name (because they have some really good lawyers and we don’t want to be buried in paper for the rest of our lives). Mr. Buxton informed us that not only were we guilty of defamation, but also copyright infringement.
We, the crack legal team at TAH were unconvinced. We believed that we had good defenses and that perhaps it would be amusing to match wits with Mr. Buxton. However, after Mr. Buxton’s latest missive, we have decided to admit defeat. One does not do battle with the immortal, or attempt to secure a spot at their side on Olympus or Valhalla or Fiddlers Green when one is not equal to such a task. We come before you as humble as a supplicant lying supine at the altar of Eleos, the Greek daimona of mercy, pity and compassion. We were wrong. We have wronged. We couldn’t have gotten any wronger.
Like Icarus, son of Daedulus, who attempted to escape from Crete by means of wings that his father constructed from feathers and wax, so did your authors and their legal team seek to escape through legal maneuvering the precarious position brought on by their posts. But as the wings of Icarus did melt from the sun, so did our efforts come to failure when we approached too closely the jurisprudential brilliance of E. Dale Buxton, II (Esq.) and we were sent plummeting into our Aegean sea of despair.
Thus, we hereby abjure and renounce without reservation all previous comments regarding Justin Weiss, and have taken down all posts previously present on our website. Much as a child’s teacup is unable to contain all the waters of the world, so unequal to the task at hand are words such as “sorrow” and “guilt” that we must perpetually strive to our dying day to make this right. As renunciation, sorrow and guilt are insufficient to this task, we further pledge ourselves here onward to seek without rest the deification of Justin Weiss and E. Dale Buxton II (Esq.) Like Sísyphos, king of Ephyra (now known as Corinth) punished by being compelled to roll an immense boulder up a hill, only to watch it roll back down, and to repeat this action forever, so shall we endeavor to make right what we once made wrong.
Here, we explain to you, our readers, why.
Mr. Buxton informs us that the pictures posted on TAH are copyrighted works and TAH does not have permission to use them. There are apparently some laws that say we should take them down until we can determine if their use by TAH falls under the “fair use” doctrine. (None of our lawyers can find such a law anywhere.) Nonetheless, we have taken them down and instead give you the following links so that you may enjoy these copyrighted works of art in all their intended splendor and judge them in the appropriate context:
Here is a picture of the
portly hirsute Commando from the Cold Blue Rentals website.
Here is his Facebook page, wherein you get to see him sporting a saucy number with 82nd patch and various tabs.
Here is a picture of him. Look at his forearm. That is not an 82nd Airborne tattoo with tab. If you think it is, see an optometrist.
Now that we have dispensed with our lesser copyright issues, we address the real issue – the fact that TAH wronged Mr. Weiss. You see, due to TAH’s mad google-foo skills, when one Googled Mr. Weiss, TAH was the first entry one would see. This was detrimental to Mr. Weiss’ employment prospects as an actor, business owner and doorman.
Of course, the legal claims of Mr. Weiss are almost EXACTLY the same that John Gidduck decided to press as well. And as you know, they awarded all the Defendants legal fees since the claimwas specious. As the court held there:
Opining that someone is a liar, a fraud or was untruthful about his or her background, is, perhaps unfortunately, a common implement in American discourse. Such epithets are obviously statements of opinion and are protected under the rules enunciated in Milkovich and Burns.
Nonetheless, to avoid an idiotic lawsuit, we must now admit that the authors made these posts, which disparaged Mr. Weiss’ physical appearance di so out of envy. The authors grievously asked:
“How many of you have seen a Ranger with this much stored energy (body fat)?”
What we really meant was that Mr. Weiss has the body of Hercules, the facial hair of a young Brad Pitt, the calves of James Woods, and the winsome smile of Steve Buscemi. Were the man to be immortally carved into granite, it would make even the Aphrodite Kallipygo weep tears of blood. For more perfect buttocks on a man one could search an eternity and find none half so sublime.
We failed to properly recognize in those thoroughly egregious posts that Mr. Weiss is a movie and television actor of unparalleled renown who has never sought to portray himself as having any military service with the armed forces of any country. It is to our everlasting shame that at one point we might have intimated that he did.
As you can see from the Cold Blue website Mr. Weiss has the special skills of:
. “Six years of military experience.”
. “First aid in combat”
. “Crowd control tactics”
. “SWAT tactics”
We believed that this implied that Mr. Weiss had military service. We believed that this website, which is intended to attract business to Cold Blue, likely from US companies among others, and would likely be considered advertising by the Federal Trade Commission, falsely implied that Mr. Weiss (among others of their “T.A.G.” members) had been members of the armed forces of the United States and/or Canada. This was a huge mistake. Nowhere on the internet or even this bright blue planet of ours can this universal truth be circumvented: Justin Weiss has never claimed to have served in the Armed Forces of any country.
As E. Dale Buxton, II (Esq.) informed us, we were reading incorrectly:
Mr. Weiss has never served in the U.S. or Canadian military, nor has he ever said he did. The information on Cold Blue’s site is from Cold Blue. However, they carefully chose their words to NOT say military “service” and instead to say military “experience,” which is quite different and Mr. Weiss does have the six years of military experience as described, and has finished the courses for first aid in combat. Experience = Service. Every day there are mercenaries across the world that are fighting in wars for or against militaries of various countries which nobody would argue is not military experience. Further, every day, the U.S. and Canadian military utilize civilians in practice combat experiences. Why would this not be considered military experience for these civilians?
Much as Einstein taught us that E=MC2 so has E. Dale Buxton II, (Esq.) taught us the universal truth that “Experience = Service.” When Copernicus hit upon a heliocentric theory of the universe, the church tried to stifle this knowledge. When some young Irish lads hit puberty and settle upon a phalleocentric model of the universe, it is beat out of them by nuns at their private Catholic Schools. And so it is with great trepidation and fore-knowledge of the travails that await us that we, the authors of This Ain’t Hell, begin work on our Magnum Opus: expounding on our theory of a Justin Weiss/E. Dale Buxton, II (Esq.)-ocentric universe.
No Lilliputian experience in actual combat could ever compare to the omniscience regarding military matters which was imparted on Mr. Weiss during his 6 years of exhaustive military experiences. Dare I say, the manner in which his expertise dwarfs our own is downright brobdingnagian.
Now do you see why your crack legal team conceded defeat? Would you want to walk into a court of law (in an inconvenient location, likely California, where military services may or may not be appreciated) and argue with a legal mind like that (with the resources of a very large law firm)? A legal mind who is so full of compassion and love for the military that he gave to it his sibling stating:
I personally have a great deal of respect for your site, and come from a military family, including a sibling that is currently a Captain in the U.S. Navy. With that said, I understand that it is perfectly reasonable sometimes to make mistakes in the information posted on your website by inaccurate information provided to you.
What compassion. What humility. What service = experience. We would go on to thank CAPT. Buxton (we do, by the way, thank CAPT. Buxton for his service), but one member of this team needs to go update his military experience to include not just his time in uniform, but the 17 years he spent as a military dependent on bases – is that not experience? Another needs to update her resume to include military experience for her time sending care packages (military logistics), consulting with the United States Marine Corp and to include her designated, honorary rank of Colonel – she gratefully returns your salute. Others amongst us have played battleship, gone fishing, navigated by the sun and moon, and engaged in dangerous pirate hunting expeditions from our bunk beds. No doubt most Navy Captains would assert that this makes us fully qualified to lead an Arleigh Burke class destroyer in operations off the Horn of Africa. If they did not, we would ask that they inspect our fitness reports (scores) from our times leading flotilla of space craft in the game Asteroids in the late 1970’s.
Obviously a quick apology is also needed for the fine folks at Cold Blue Rentals that have heroically supplied men and guns for movie and television show sets for years. Their military experience would shame SEAL Team 6. We should have known right off that nothing you would say on your website would be inaccurate, or in any way shady, as doing so would violate the Federal Trade Commission’s policies against deceptive acts or practices.
In a subsequent case, the Commission explained that “[i]n evaluating advertising representations, we are required to look at the complete advertisement and formulate our opinions on them on the basis of the net general impression conveyed by them and not on isolated excerpts.” Standard Oil of Calif, 84 F.T.C. 1401, 1471 (1974), aff’d as modified, 577 F.2d 653 (9th Cir. 1978), reissued, 96 F.T.C. 380 (1980).
If there is someone out there that would be so misguided as to think that Cold Blue Rentals advertising Mr. Weiss as having “six years of military experience” including “first aid in combat” is in any way implying that he had actually served in combat, and in the military for six years, well then, I say until you….. Let he who is without sin cast the first complaint at the FTC.
The authors of this blog, and their legal team, could not be more contrite, and we wish to address several erroneous reports you might find elsewhere regarding Mr. Weiss.
• He has NEVER had the Friendster account http://search.friendster.com/ranger75
• Mr. Weiss has NEVER claimed on the Friendster account that he doesn’t have that his occupation was “Soldier. CEO of my own company, doorman” nor has he ever claimed that he has an affiliation with the “U.S. Army Ranger Association.”
• When pictured in a Ranger Tab shirt out at a bar, it was NOT to imply to anyone that he was a Ranger, but rather is the efforts of an ex-girlfriend “trying to incriminate me for wearing a t shirt that my friend gave me who was a ranger that died in Afghan istan is not fair. His name was Benjamin Dillon.” It is simple harmless error that Cpl Benjamin Dillon was killed not in Afghanistan but rather in Iraq.
• He DOES NOT wear an Army Ring.
• He DOES NOT have several military tattoos, and if he does, it is simply to honor those who went before him.
• Mr. Weiss have NEVER claimed to be a recipient of the Distinguished Service Cross, nor any other medals or decorations (including the 75th Ranger Scroll) which he may or may not be pictured in across the internet in Copyrighted works used exclusively for getting more movie and television rolls.
• While it is true that the theatrical release of the movie “Sum of all Fears” does not at any point contain anyone wearing either an Army Dress Green Uniform, nor the Tan Beret of the US Army Rangers, the pictures which feature Mr. Weiss in those accoutrements were from that movie. They ended up on the cutting room floor as it were.
• Mr. Weiss has NEVER claimed to be a graduate of US Army Ranger class 5-96, and all sites on the internet which suggest he has said that are patently false and erroneous.
• He DOES NOT now have a very hazy picture up on his new facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/mongooseonthaloose wearing digital camouflage uniform with what appears to be an 82nd patch and various tabs, and if he did, it would be because those pictures were taken on the set of a television or movie which will be forthcoming.
• Mr. Weiss DID NOT post a caption on his Facebook page under a picture of himself in an Army Dress Green Uniform with a Tan Beret on that read “Me, Veterans day, 2006″, but if he did, it was merely to honor those who have had a similar military experience to his own.
• Pictures of Mr. Weiss which appear in various places online wearing a PT shirt in front of a shower curtain, and wearing DCU pants and a Zombieland T-shirt DO NOT mean to imply to any viewer that he ever served in the US Military, and woe unto you who would interpret it to mean so.
• The email wherein someone alleging to be Justin Weiss is quoted as saying “I did at one time post a few pictures on myspace and friendster when I actually had those types of accts but I stopped and have not done that or made any claims of such for a very long time” was NOT FROM Justin Weiss, WAS NOT meant to imply he had engaged in fraudulent activity in the past for which he felt remorse, and SHOULD NOT be attributed to him in any way.
We would like to close by apologizing again, and by reinforcing how serious we intend to take this substantial error in judgment which we displayed. The burning of the city of London in 1666 is insubstantial compared to the magnitude of our error. The Bay of Pigs fiasco? But a momentary blight on the timescale of homo sapiens presence on this Earth. We are ashamed that according to our traffic reports up to 4,000 people may have seen the posts we had up earlier. Granted, no one had looked at them for over two years before receiving communication from E. Dale Buxton, II (Esq.) but, we must reach each and every one of those people in order to mitigate against the potential damage that folks reading our stuff might have assumed that Mr. Weiss had fraudulently claimed military service in the Armed Forces of any country, private military firm, coterie of bodyguards for any potentate or anything else which could be so documented. We must do this together.
Now, go forth and govern yourself accordingly. In the meantime, the Legal Team will follow the advice of James Douglas Morrison: “Let’s go get some Tacos.”