The First Amendment and Stratford


We are going to take a moment and review a couple of ideas that are supposed to make this country a democracy and a republic. This is a remedial lesson for James R. Miron and John Buturla. The rest of you can sit patiently while we provide this tutorial to the slow students in the class:

Lesson 1: New York Times Co. v. Sullivan No. 39 SUPREME COURT OF THE UNITED STATES 376 U.S. 254

Argued January 6, 1964

Decided March 9, 1964

MR. JUSTICE BRENNAN delivered the opinion of the Court.

“…The conclusion that the Constitution affords the citizen and the press an absolute privilege for criticism of official conduct does not leave the public official without defenses against unsubstantiated opinions or deliberate misstatements. “Under our system of government, counterargument and education are the weapons available to expose these matters, not abridgment . . . of free speech . . . .” Wood v. Georgia, 370 U.S. 375, 389. The public [305] official certainly has equal if not greater access than most private citizens to media of communication. In any event, despite the possibility that some excesses and abuses may go unremedied, we must recognize that “the people of this nation have ordained in the light of history, that, in spite of the probability of excesses and abuses, [certain] liberties are, in the long view, essential to enlightened opinion and right conduct on the part of the citizens of a democracy.” Cantwell v. Connecticut, 310 U.S. 296, 310. As Mr. Justice Brandeis correctly observed, “sunlight is the most powerful of all disinfectants.”[note 7]

For these reasons, I strongly believe that the Constitution accords citizens and press an unconditional freedom to criticize official conduct. It necessarily follows that in a case such as this, where all agree that the allegedly defamatory statements related to official conduct, the judgments for libel cannot constitutionally be sustained.”

Lesson 2. Damages for Libel

Sec. 52-237. Damages in actions for libel. In any action for a libel, the defendant may give proof of intention; and unless the plaintiff proves either malice in fact or that the defendant, after having been requested by the plaintiff in writing to retract the libelous charge, in as public a manner as that in which it was made, failed to do so within a reasonable time, the plaintiff shall recover nothing but such actual damage as the plaintiff may have specially alleged and proved.

Lesson 3. Defamation

Because a statement must be false to be defamatory, a statement of opinion cannot form the basis of a defamation claim because it cannot be proven true or false. For example, the statement that Jim is a short-tempered jerk, is clearly a statement of opinion because it cannot be proven to be true or false. Again, courts will look at the context of the statement as well as its substance to determine whether it is opinion or a factual assertion.

Special note: Finding, or threatening to find, someone’s IP is a clear attempt at intimidation. It is sad ( and probably illegal) for the Chief Law Enforcement Officer in Stratford to behave in this manner. It it also objectionable that the resources of the Connecticut State Police may be wasted in this rumored exercise. It is not an accident or a mistake that the Freedom of Speech is contained in the first amendment and not, say in the 12th or 18th.


25 Responses to “The First Amendment and Stratford”

  1. 1 1george1

    Every once in a while you really shine, when it comes to research.

    I tend to agree with many of your opinion, except about me. 🙂

    I like the 4 th & 5th Amendments too.

    But the 1st Amendment is my favorite, followed closely by the
    9th Amendment – unenumberated / unarticulated individual rights.
    14th Amendment – equal protection of the law
    2nd thru 8th Amendments, except the 7th Amendment, as an umbrella
    8th Amendment – civil court rights
    13th Amendment – equal voting rights -protection of the law
    10th Amendments – unenumberated / unarticulated State’s Rights

    I wonder how FOS & PCS would rank the Bill of Rights and the
    various Amendments.

    Ladies – I put the 13th Amendment of Ladies Voting above my least
    favorist noted Amendment, State’s rights.

    Ladies, since I touched base with equal protection of the law,
    along with unenumberated/unarticulated rights, all Amendments
    except the 10 th amendments pertain to men & women, equally.

  2. 2 mikereynolds

    What prompted this post?

  3. 3 jezebel282


    Let’s call it “pre-emptive”. I am awaiting a development or two.

  4. 4 mikereynolds

    The plot thickens.

  5. 5 nnanerak

    Jez-very well done.
    Goes to show you that those that may represent the law or possibly enforce it are not equipped to interpret it.
    The good news is this may help a certain captain get his position back and get rid of the garbage while he’s at it. Constitution supercedes all……….

  6. 6 1george1

    Food for thought:

    Federalist # 22
    Laws are a dead letter without courts to expound and define
    their true meaning and operation…..

    Federalist # 22
    We often see not only different courts but the judges of the
    same court differing from each other.

    Federalist # 25:
    Provocations to produce the desired appearances….

    Federalist # 25:
    the experience of ages has attested, that the people are always most
    in danger when the means of injuring their rights are in the possession
    of those of whom they entertain the least suspicion….

  7. 7 jezebel282


    “Jez-very well done.”

    Thank you. But Sullivan v NY Times is High School civics. Probably something a Chief of Police or Mayor should know too.

    The Stratford PD is a PUBLIC service. It is NOT the CIA. There are no “National Security” implications. The taxpayers of Stratford have an absolute right to know how their police department is administered. Period.

    We cannot live in a Town where politicians decide who is arrested. It may not seem like big stories, but trimming hedges, killing vermin on private property and taking pictures of cars are not crimes that rise to an arrest level.

    It is an abridgment of our basic freedoms and this Administration or any administration has no consent to abridge our rights.

  8. 8 sudds

    I, personally, am sort of partial to the twenty-first amendment!!! :o}

  9. 9 jezebel282

    I KNEW he was out there lurking somewhere.

    How’d that 18th get passed anyway, Sudds?

  10. 10 1george1

    I do not know the Amendments by heart, yet I am guessing # 21 had something
    to do with repealing something fluid?

    I am guessing the 18th was causal to the 21st?

    Could you now be fearful about POLITICAL ARREST and COURT CONTAMINATION,
    such as I experienced with MOSSMAN in DEC 1998?
    > There were 4 reporters present at that Town Council Meeting. Each reported
    a raucus situation when Debbie Rose went DEMONcrat and appointed Burturla,
    to replace GI – LARD – I.
    > Mossman’s Police Report claimed I was LOUD, OUT OF CONTROL, and a DANGER.
    – NO REPORTERS mentioned me in their reports.
    – NO ARREST on the SPOT.
    – NO attempt to DETAIN ME.
    – NO B & W called to pursue / find me when I left.
    – NOT arrested when I returned.
    – NOT a single WITNESS came forward or concurred with MOSSMAN on discovery.

    – In civil trial, the nephew of former Bpt city attorney was placed NEW
    to my firm and was SO GOOD, I tried to GO PRO SE!
    – The UNCLE graduated 1 year ahead of Berchem @ Fairfield Univ
    – The UNCLE was Bpt City Attorney when:
    A) Burturla was Town Council Chairman
    B) I (& others) was being harrassed unmercifully in Southport USPS,
    which is part of Fairfield.

    I was force to go to Hartford – not Bridgeport / New Haven.
    I was refused Tape / Video Recording devices.
    I was refused to have evidence like News Papers entered as Foundation
    I was refused to have ANY Witnesses
    I was refused to have impeachment documents used versus Barnhart &
    I was refused to be allowed to go Pro Se.

    My Civil Trial was same day as the 2 % CAP TRIAL – Diane & Eleanor were
    subpoena-ed and uncalled, but unavailable to me.

    The untrue VERDICT was entered on the 7th Anniversary of the DEATH

    Every single Trial Lawyer, who I was able to speak to (over 10) in
    Fairfield & New Haven Counties had to Ethically recuse themselves
    since they did Business with B – M – D.
    Bad Medicine.

    I recently learned Kevin Kelly’s mother Millie, was Mossman’s Secretary.


    In all of the comings and goings of Stratford Town Managers / Mayors /
    Department Heads, there have been a couple of (revenue) constants:

    There are also decided connections to the 1991 Town Council
    and 1998 on Pensions / Computations / Team Stfd Award = AVCO.

    Many people among the cast of characters have TAG NAMES,
    as if WE (myself included) were selected by outside personnel
    in a game of HUMAN CHESS.

    These TAG NAMES are also reflected in NomenKlature and Numen
    Klature consistent with simple Martial Codings, which are also found
    in Historical Names, Places, & Dates.

    Included in those DATES are key years and dates in American History,
    Titles and actions in KEY LAWS, based on Historical literary touchstones
    of religion and philosophy.

  11. 11 jezebel282


    Could you now be fearful about POLITICAL ARREST and COURT CONTAMINATION,such as I experienced with MOSSMAN in DEC 1998?”

    No offense, but I and several others have been down this road with you before and it doesn’t end in a happy place. Or at all.

    I’m going to decline the offer, thank you.

  12. 12 1george1

    No offense taken Jeze – It is an accurate description of the views
    of certain others in a very limited circle of commentators, who are
    politically partisan, with “maybe 1 or 2 exceptions.”

    Even the “may be” person or 2 have certain slants/points of views.

    – –

    We tend to agree about who we dislike “politically.”

    We occasionally agree on political directions and objectives.

    We have diametric or dynamic differences on certain other issues.

    ( without meaning any insult, demeaning or any BAD or GOOD subjective viewpoint?)

  13. 13 jezebel282


    It’s fair enough.

    I think we all agree that the only reason government should exist is for the benefit of the people and not the other way around.

  14. 14 nnanerak

    You Nailed It!

  15. 15 jezebel282


    I knew this hammer would come in handy someday.

  16. 16 mikereynolds

    Breaking news….Christian Miron is suing the Police Union, Farmer, McNeil, and Henrick.

  17. 17 nnanerak

    If his brother isn’t re-elected you can add the town to that list……….

  18. 18 1george1


    If men were Angels … Th ief ferson

  19. 19 jezebel282


    “Breaking news….Christian Miron is suing the Police Union, Farmer, McNeil, and Henrick.”

    “Let’s call it “pre-emptive”. I am awaiting a development or two.”

    Personally, I would say that being the Democratic “Campaign Coordinator” and then applying to the PD that your candidate “administrates” makes you a public figure. But that is only one defense of many in this frivolous vindictive suit.

  20. 20 1george1


    I agree Christian is a Public Figure.
    I agree Christian is probably being (willingly) used.

    I feel sorry for the kid, since if he had different role models ….

    I feel badly for McNeil and Farmer, who IF, IF, IF, they did anything,
    I suspect there is a pretty good chance they were SUCKERED and/or

    Jeze, I agreed with your theory, months ago, this would probably be
    the way Tax Dollars paid for Dead Beat Dick’s actions…

  21. 21 citizenkane1

    I thought it was George who came up with that little gem?

    If it is true, then I am sure in true Miron fashion Christian will screw over his Dad if he does get any money and spend it on video games and candy.

  22. 22 jezebel282


    “I thought it was George who came up with that little gem?”

    I can’t remember. I’m old now…..

  23. 23 1george1

    Jeze – It was definitely YOU who pose the possibilities of a LAW SUIT
    to be Dick Miron’s get out of Jail card.

    Someone asked me how Sr. did in Court today, or was there another

  24. 24 jezebel282


    “Jeze – It was definitely YOU who pose the possibilities of a LAW SUIT to be Dick Miron’s get out of Jail card.”

    It could be. Hey, has anyone seen my glasses?

  25. 25 nnanerak

    So in todays’s paper, BMD has decided that McNeil and Farmer will not be defended by the town. What is very interesting is all of the supposed actions were done “on the clock” of the town. While I don’t believe McNeil did anything wrong, I do believe that the Town’s denial of representation denies him of his right of being innocent until proven guilty, which is the outcome that Jimmy wants for his brother Chris. More cashola coming in when the whole “fam damily” is about to be out of work in the next 12 months.
    Message to Jimmy-just remember the legal door swings both ways-and it will be hitting you in the ass on your way out.There are many things that you have done that when the time comes the taxpayers are gonna say NO to paying your legal fees, and rightfully so, your actions personally benefited you, your friends and family in my opinion. The stuff you do makes you look worse and worse every day, which I didn’t think was possible.

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