Titanica giantkillers

Jan C. Nielsen

Senior Member
Dec 12, 1999
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In "Down With The Old Canoe," Steven Biel characterizes Titanic buffs as very ordinary people who try to become knowledgeable of facts about the Titanic so they can feel important (like they're experts) - - something they long for but otherwise can't achieve outside the buffdom of Titanica.

Well, Biel, you're wrong. This is one buff Biel can't bust with his simplistic perspective.

On May 9, 2000, after a long and laborious effort on behalf of my client, I obtained a judgment in the United States District Court in San Francisco against the United States of America, the United States Department of Energy, and the United States Secretary of Energy, Bill Richardson (who, incidently, is being considered as a possible running mate for Vice President Al Gore).

Richardson, and his departmental cohorts, including DOE General Counsel Mary Anne Sullivan, in Washington, D.C., were directly involved in the case, and they lost. Now they're on their backs. I think they were really mean to my client, too. So I'm going to rub it in by demanding reimbursement for my client's attorney's fees. Then, myself and the other attorneys involved in the case will demand a full blown (and very embarassing for them) jury trial on the merits for the remaining issues.

So, Biel, this lowly unimportant Titanic buff took on the really big boys and beat them hands down. This isn't the first time I've done that, either. Biel, do you think you could ever do such a thing? Does this sound important enough for you? Do you admit you're wrong about Titanic buffs now?

Despite all this going on, and despite Biel's book, I'm still mostly interested in the Titanic, and I don't care if anyone thinks I should get a life. So, for Biel, Secretary Richardson, the United States government, and anyone else, the message is:

You don't tread on Superman's cape,
You don't spit into the wind,
You don't pull the mask off the old Lone Ranger,
And you don't mess around with the buffs of Titanica.

Joe Shomi

P.S. Someone should recommend this site to Al Gore! Any other buff's "giantkiller" stories out there?
 
Nov 27, 2005
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This giant killer beat Westinghouse and Square D in a trademark infringement case. One little law firm against the biggies who have more receptionists than we have employees. Pretty good for our one and only trademark case (I do estate work and business litigation) Life is too short to get hostile with Biel - I enjoyed the book for its overall contents and ignored the "little" editorials. Thought - I believe the percentage of the attorneys on board who survived was pretty high! David Huffaker
 
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Elaine Barnes

Guest
Well... I haven't read the book,yet, and yes, I enjoy reading and doing my own little research about the Titanic, but I feel the most important things in my life are my family. My time "researching" Titanic does not take anything away from them.( P.S. I have a Master's degree in Speech-Language Pathology.)
Regards,
Elaine
 
May 12, 2005
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This must be the most hilarious bit of mess on this board to date. Bravo Titanica comedians, at least to those who were intending to be funny!
 
K

Kibbi Dee

Guest
I haven't read this, but if he thinks that normal Titanic buffs are 'very ordinary people who try to become knowledgeable of facts about the Titanic so they can feel important', then what is he! After all, isn't he a normal person who read up on the facts and wrote a book?
 
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Scott Blair

Guest
Joe and David

Just started reading this thread!

I am a Scottish Trial lawyer known
as an Advocate.As no doubt you know
from old British movies that means I
get to wear a horse hair wig , gown,
wing collar and a few other items of
clothing not worn in the real world
since way back when.

Whilst I have not yet managed to bring
our government to it's knee's ,I have
certainly had my fair share of standing
up for the little guy against the Goliaths
out there.

I am also the author of a fairly large
tome on Scots administrative law.I also
do some other legal writing and teach in
law school.


Whilst there is clearly a danger of our
trumpets being blown, I do think you have
a point.

Whilst enjoying Biel's book as a whole I
felt he was a trifle patronising about buffs.
I suppose we could say to him to get out of his
ivory tower and into the real world , but that
would just fall into the trap about making
generalisations about the value of what
others do.

At the end of the day whether or not
one has got certain qualifications,experience or whatever(academic,professional,or just fulfiment of personal or family goals)is surely simply
irrelevant in assessing the value of
buffdom or drawing conclusions about why
people are interested in Titanic.We all
have our reasons for interest , mine are
not connected to a need to fulfil some
desire for self or peer approval.

There was also a suggestion in the book
at some point that Titanic was the stuff
of popular , therefore not real history.
Academic snobbishness apart -and I say
that this is the real reason for-the
patronising assunptions about buffs-
it is not at all clear to me that
this is a meaningful distinction.Biel
should be a little clearer in defining
his boundaries.

Anyway nice to hear from fellow lawyers.
I thought David's comment about lawyer
survivors was particularly amusing !

Scott Blair

woops forgot to format!
 

Jan C. Nielsen

Senior Member
Dec 12, 1999
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A stipulated judgement has been entered by United States District Court in San Francisco against Bill Richardson and United States, on Plaintiff's motion for reimbursement of attorneys fees and costs - Plaintiff is awarded nearly the entire amount: $37,000!!! Fantastic!
 

Jan C. Nielsen

Senior Member
Dec 12, 1999
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Dee Kotla v. Regents of the University of California dba Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory verdict entered on March 11, 2002, after trial by jury:

$1,000,000.00 for Plaintiff.
 

Jan C. Nielsen

Senior Member
Dec 12, 1999
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I realize that this doesn't have a whole lot to do with Phil's mission here, but I really liked this client, and this case, so here's a picture.
 
Dec 2, 2000
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Easley South Carolina
On May 12th 2000, Jan Neilsen aka Joe Shomi said; "In "Down With The Old Canoe," Steven Biel characterizes Titanic buffs as very ordinary people who try to become knowledgeable of facts about the Titanic so they can feel important (like they're experts) - - something they long for but otherwise can't achieve outside the buffdom of Titanica.

Well, Biel, you're wrong. This is one buff Biel can't bust with his simplistic perspective."

I couldn't agree more. I study the Titanic for the same reasons that I study ships, aircraft and all other history in general, and that reason being that I want to know what happened. If I wanted to be "important" or feel that way, I'd stand for public office or something along those lines.

If by chance, I make a good impression, or help somebody else better understand the events, fine and dandy, but that's gravy. I'm interested in the meat.

If Mr. Beil happens to pop in and read this, you'll find I'm a pretty ordinary chap and happy for it. I served 20 years in the Navy as an enlisted man and currently work at a Lowe's Home Improvement store as a reciever/stocker and also hold a certification in plumbing. Pretty mundane stuff and I have no regrets.

Cordially,
Michael H. Standart
 

Jan C. Nielsen

Senior Member
Dec 12, 1999
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Thanks for the comment, Michael. Just for your information, yesterday it was announced that Congressman Ed Markey asked the Government Accounting Office to look into the U.S. Department of Energy's funding of the weapons laboratories' legal fees. In the above case, they spent at least $400,000 defending that suit. It could have been settled for such an amount one year ago. Specifically referring to my client's case, Markey suspects that the Energy Department isn't monitoring legal costs, and the weapons laboratories are simply fighting off lawsuits, regardless of the merits, because they have a blank check to pay defense lawyers. His letter to the GAO is posted at http://www.house.gov /Markey Check under the "Newsroom" caption.
 
Dec 2, 2000
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Easley South Carolina
Uh oh...Jan...the link gave me one of those irritating "Page Not Found" things. Care to try again

Regarding the Energy Department not monitoring costs, all I can say is "what's new?"
wink.gif


With government anything, fiscal carelessness along with a penny wise pound foolish attitude seems to be in the nature of the beast.
crazy.gif


Cordially,
Michael H. Standart
 
J

Joanna Najfeld

Guest
I think the problem with you guys is that you all took Joe Shomi's interpretation (or rather MISinterpretation) of Biel's book for granted. Where does Biel say he thinks Titanic buffs "very ordinary people who try to become knowledgeable of facts about the Titanic so they can feel important (like they're experts) - - something they long for but otherwise can't achieve outside the buffdom of Titanica" ??? True, Biel does distinguish two groups, academics and antiquarians/'popular' historians and identifies himself with the former, but where exactly does he assign a + or - value to any of these? Where does he convey the message Joe believes him to convey? Sorry Joe, but I get the impression that you just needed a pretext to tell us about how great you are.

Read the book guys. It's good.
 
Dec 2, 2000
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Joanna, if you take a look at the date stamp, you'll notice that this is really a very old thread. Some of us have learned a thing or two since then.

Oh...could you do us all a wee favour and refrain from remarks like "Sorry Joe, but I get the impression that you just needed a pretext to tell us about how great you are." Whether one regards them as justified or not, personal attacks aren't welcome on this forum. Just address the points made rather then the person making them.

Thank you for your co-operation in this matter.
 
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Joanna Najfeld

Guest
Apologies for that unfortunate remark. I'm new to this place, still learning.
 
Dec 2, 2000
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>>Apologies for that unfortunate remark. I'm new to this place, still learning.<<

Not a problem. Have to learn how to wade befor you can swim and all that.
wink.gif
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