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"Black Robe Fever" -- Popehat Reveals His Malady

by Charles Carreon
August 4, 2013

Call it “gaining the first accuser advantage.”  When the chips are down, the fraudster will always accuse their victim of exactly what they themselves are doing.  I learned this rule from Steve Cohen, and explained its operation in the chapter entitled “What Moral High Ground?” in The Sex.Com Chronicles.  The victim is of course infuriated at being falsely accused of exactly what the fraudster himself is doing.  Cohen, who had stolen Sex.Com with a forged letter, leaped on an error Kremen’s lawyers made by creating a new corporation to assert old claims, got the new corporation dismissed from the case, and from then on argued that Kremen’s entire claim was fraudulently concocted.  What had really happened, Cohen argued,­ was that Gary had abandoned Sex.Com, letting Cohen turn it into a moneymaker, then coming back years later and suing to steal all of Cohen’s sweat equity.  Cohen accused me of being a part of this plot, because Gary had scrawled a mysterious reference to “CC” on the Sex.Com “business plan” that he’d written before Cohen induced the domain registrar to transfer the domain to him.  Of course, I had provably not known Gary before June 1999, so he was barking up the wrong tree, but the story had enough apparent substance to be alleged in a cross-complaint against Gary.

The lesson I drew from the experience stuck with me.  I see the first-accuser advantage at work everywhere.  Republicans are big users of the technique.  They use it against the poor, often typified as minorities, when they sound off about the oppression of white males as an excuse to proactively rebuff demands for better treatment of the poor.  Ironically, white males who vote for Republican Congressmen are one of the fastest-growing demographic groups now descending into poverty, so you can see how Republican exploitation of the first-accuser advantage shifts the terms of the debate, and inspires constituent loyalty powerful enough to nullify economic self-interest.  While they’re well aware that they are white males, white male voters don’t realize that their wonderful Congressman is going to sell them down the river economically.  Because the Congressman shifted the debate from poverty and economics to skin color and sex, which are much easier to comprehend.

In Popehat’s Black Robe Fever post, he excoriates Judge Mark Martin of Pennsylvania who dared to lecture the “victim” in some asinine case concocted by frat boys and dismissed by an embarrassed prosecutor before trial.  Popehat launches into this tirade about how this is a classic example of Black Robe Fever.  I’m reading it, and I’m not buying it.  This judge lectured Ernie Perce, who was making fun of Mohamed by dressing as a zombie with a turban and claimed Talaag Elbayomy attacked him with a wet noodle or something.  Popehat fails to inform his readers that dumb prosecutions for trivial injuries that could be avoided by behaving civilly and not provocatively are a regular annoyance to the courts.  Why the prosecutor charged it out is another question, but the “victim” was clearly the nub of the problem.  That someone would become outraged at his antics was utterly foreseeable, and the judge is trying to tell him he should watch his ass because ethnic violence is a reality, and it could be visited upon him.  You know, that’s a little piece of information that the young zombie Mohamed might stick in his turban and profit from.  The judge was just dealing with his misdemeanor calendar and delivering a few homilies for the benefit of society.  That’s why we pay him.  He made no unfair rulings based on a whim.  He delivered a free lecture to a kid who probably needs a dad.  Popehat has attacked this particular judge because he is scoring points with people who think pranking Muslims is an important civil right.  Using the first-accuser advantage, Popehat has slandered a good judge who showed no lack of proper judicial temper.  How unfortunate.

The first-accuser advantage is a very clever, intuitively effective use of what Robert Greene in “The 48 Laws of Power” calls “the Mirror Effect.”  Cohen would say, “Kremen says I’m a fraud because he is one.”  Or as Ken Popehat White himself would say, “people who call people bullies are usually bullies themselves.”  Since Ken White has personally accused more people of bullying than any other human being who has ever lived, he’s a bully by his own definition.  Let us briefly pause to savor this admission, then move on to discussing the evil of Black Robe Fever, from which Ken White has been suffering for years, all to the damage and injury of his victims. 

The evil of this judicial “fever,” as Popehat puts it, is that it strips us of our rights, and submits us to the rule of whim.  I have repeatedly said, “I would rather have a judge who follows the law and takes the time to read it, than one who believes he knows how to rule based on experience and acquired wisdom.”  Judges who feel themselves subject to law, who bother to look it up and acquiesce to its dictates, regardless of their opinion about its rightness, are generally ones whose rulings you can predict based on the case facts and established law.  We call these judges smart.  If they don’t like a rule, they may deconstruct it and find excuses not to apply it – and that’s part of the growth of the law.  On the other hand, the rulings of judges who rule based on their intuitive feel, and who will tread on the law and leave you to appeal the ruling if you have the time and money, are often easier to predict, and without reference to law books, because they’re not reading the law.  A judge’s prejudices become well-known among practitioners, and lawyers are paid to know them as part of the courtroom lore.  We do the best we can with our judges, and much of the time, we get good judicial work out of them.

When judges rule by whim, it retards the growth of the law and brings the judicial system into disrepute by generating arbitrary results instead of well-reasoned, just results.  That is the real problem with judges having episodes of Black Robe Fever.  Whenever it’s happened in my courtroom life, and it’s happened very rarely, everyone’s feeling sorry for the poor lawyer and his client who are getting treated to some kooky rant, and the judge’s reputation declines rather severely.  In fact, the most memorable time was when Judge Kelleher in US District Court in downtown LA reamed the lawyer ahead of me on the docket, asking her “Do you know what rule you just violated?”  The poor creature, not a graduate of the finest school, I’m sure, stumbled, “Yes, your honor.”  Judge Kelleher responded, “Which one?”  For some reason, she said “Rule 9,” which was at that time some kind of rule that got you in trouble, but it was the wrong answer, and all the lawyers in the room knew it.  Judge Kelleher kicked her around with good humored sadism for awhile, and ended up by telling her to go back to her office and get the partner who was going to try the case to show up at the hearing like his order had directed.

I was next up, and no one had told me who was going to try the case.  It was Chuck Mazursky’s case.  Chuck tried all his own cases, and Judge Kelleher knew him well.  So he asks me, “Who’s going to try the case?”  I had re-read the rule again when I saw the gal ahead of me take the blow to the back of the neck, and responded, “I am the attorney presently contemplated to try the case.”  This was just repeating the rule, but on your average day in a courtroom, that’s a good part of what’s required.  So Judge Kelleher goes on and says he expects to see me at trial, and doesn’t want Mr. Mazursky waltzing in here at the last minute.  I reaffirmed my prior statement, knowing of course that when Chuck showed up to try the case, Kelleher would be delighted to see him, and if he remembered me at all, would probably say, “Pretty sharp kid you sent in here to the trial-setting conference.  Weird haircut, though.”

Interestingly enough, Ken White is a downtown LA lawyer, and I gotta say, back when I practiced regularly in LA, everyone knew there was a lot more Black Robe Fever in the downtown LA courthouse of the Central District Federal Court than in other courts. For years, we had Manny Real as Chief Judge, who fined civil rights lawyer Steve Yagman $250,000, overturned on appeal.  Then there was Judge Gadbois, who had two San Diego lawyers taken out of court in leg irons by the Marshals for trying to practice in the Central District without being admitted.  Regarding the current status of the judicial temperament in the Central District, therobingroom.com provides some interesting reads.  It appears that there may be something in the air conditioning there at that old Federal courthouse on Spring Street. 

Of course, that’s the same courthouse where the US Attorney has his office, and where Ken Popehat White parked his abundant bulk for a few years, so maybe he picked up the bug.  However he got it, it has metastasized to the point where there’s very little left of Kenneth Paul White anymore.  During the last four years he has been in a permanent state of Black Robe Fever, convening court each day, receiving the list of miscreants for arraignment from the bloggers who serve as his minions and informants, and reading the charges.  If the accused do not plead guilty instantly, the online chants begin, the Popehat signal goes up, and a DIRA is commenced against the recalcitrant.

Popehat’s Reddit Zombies (PRZs) take up the cry.  “Popehat is here!  Popehat is here!”  The sound of verbal knives unsheathing resounds like ten-thousand cavalrymen drawing their sabers before the attack.  Popehat fires the first cannon-blast and there’s a mighty shout, a charge, and the melee begins.  Truth is the first victim of this war, and soon the most energetic, most witless PRZs move with storm-trooper speed, and their waves of obloquy push virulent threads pulsing with lies to the top spots on Google overnight.  The Free Speech Mafia responds to the Popehat signal, the pro bono defenders of nasty talk mount their armored vehicles, and the victim wakes to find himself in occupied territory.  Outside his windows, weird siege machines are being rolled into place.  Beyond the realm of immediate sight, Popehat is emailing furiously to his network, that goes beyond the Free Speech Mafia, and includes prosecutors and retired FBI agents.  When served with a subpoena in the Recouvreur case, he said he had hundreds of emails about the case, so many it would be burdensome to produce them.  Purportedly, all this furious labor brings him no monetary reward.  If indeed this is true, Popehat’s case of Black Robe Fever is one of the worst on record, because virtually all real judges get paid.  Ken’s is an all-volunteer insanity. 

It’s true, it takes a real judge to sign the order pitching you out of your house, condemning you to serve time in prison, or enter a judgment against you for money due.  Ken Popehat White doesn’t have that power, but of course he could never become a judge.  What group of lawyers would want to see him on the bench?  With the case of Black Robe Fever he so obviously suffers from, he would be a terrifying judge.  It’s quite bad enough that he has found a way to use his connections with the Free Speech Mafia to protect him from reprisals from those whom he injures with such gusto.  It’s enough to make you want to believe in magic, or something similarly effective, to disarm him and put a halt to his sadistic agenda.  If anyone has any ideas, feel free to let me know.