An open letter to Mr. Walter L. Wagner

>> Monday, January 05, 2009

I was hoping that things might die down, but I see today that Mr. Walter Louis Wagner has again commented on this blog. Mr. Wagner's comment reads as follows:

Mr. Wright:

While you seem to be quite familiar with what a 'butt-monkey' is, whether from personal experience or otherwise is not clear, I am afraid I don't know what you mean. I have never met or spoken with Mr. Jim Tankersley, though we have exchanged a few emails.

He is being quite candid with Eric when he stated that the 'Identity Theft' charge was dismissed as unfounded. The minute orders of the Court clearly show that. Minute Orders are not generally included in the list of pleadings referenced by Eric [which did list the motion to dismiss that charge, which motion was heard during the due course of proceedings, and granted by the Court, as the Minute Orders fully reflect].

Further, my email to you merely stated the other charge ['attempted theft'] is technically still pending, not that both charges are still pending, but apparently either I did not make myself clear, or you have a difficult time with English comprehension.

Further, that case is at a 'pre-trial' stage and not on appeal, with a second motion to dismiss [the remaining false charge] to be filed later this week by the attorneys.

The underlying civil suit I filed [which trial-court loss (the loss was caused by an unlawful granting of summary judgment when four witnesses presented facts in support of my claim for monies owed to me, and only a crony-attorney presented 'evidence' by way of his 'argument' to the contrary) is the basis for the false claim that I was engaged in 'attempted theft' for filing a losing civil suit.

"If you lose a civil suit you weren't owed the money, so you must have been trying to steal it through the court system." is apparently the 'reasoning' behind the false charge of "attempted theft". It is that civil suit case that is on appeal, seeking a reversal of the 'summary judgment' and entry of a default judgmnet in my favor [due to the failure to timely file an answer which resulted in a clerical entry of default against the defendant].

Once again, you need to retract your false assertion regarding my email to you.

Eric will be separately retracting his assertion that the 'identity theft' charge is still pending, I presume, as I requested in a private email to him [which he might not yet have received, as during my conversation with him at his place of employment he declined to provide me with his office email].

I'm sure he prefers to remain on this roster [ -- see Defender District 27A] rather than being added to this roster [].

On an entirely different note, you have stated that you served as an officer on the bridge of naval vessel(s), and you have been awarded medals for your combat role in Iraq.

I am familiar with how Naval officers such as John Kerry were awarded combat medals by running his Swift Boat ashore, and going ashore to engage in combat; but I don't believe there's been any Swift Boat action in Iraq. Would you be so kind as to enlighten us as to such conduct on your part. Perhaps I've misjudged you in previous writings, and I'm sure others who read your writings would enjoy knowing that conduct as well that resulted in combat medals.

Best regards,

Walter L. Wagner

Mr. Wagner: I have not received your letter as of this date. Since you couldn't have mailed it before Friday, this shouldn't surprise you. I hoped, somehow, you would have had the sense to simply contain yourself to an explanation, and I could have responded to you privately. I fear, however, from the tenor of your comment to Mr. Wright, that you made the mistake of threatening me. I hope I am wrong and your letter is far more cordial than the above comment leads me to expect.

It should be obvious to anyone with any grasp of the law whatsoever, that there is nothing actionable in any of the things I've written here. Every single assertion I've made has been made upon information and belief that it was true and pertains to a public figure who was at least deemed newsworthy by The New York Times, People magazine and Newsweek, amongst other places. Every statement I've made has been sourced and verified. Furthermore, notwithstanding the implicit threat in your comment, I have no doubt that the NC State Bar would not find any cause for disciplinary action in anything I've written on this blog. Of all the possible threats you could have made, the idea that you think the State Bar would have a problem with anything written here is the most ludicrous.

The assertion that you are under indictment for two felony counts as of this date, January 5, 2009, remains accurate as far as the Ho'ohiki system is concerned. If there is an error in the Ho'ohiki system, it seems to me you might ask Mr. Vaughn, your defense attorney of record as of this date, to take it up with the State Of Hawai'i. As I have said previously, I am willing to write an update--not a retraction--should I be provided with proof that one or both counts is dismissed.

But I am not going to take your word for it, Mr. Wagner. And I have reason not to.

I have next to me, Mr. Wagner, a copy of Morton v. Wagner (2003 Cal. App. Unpub. LEXIS 6054, 2003). This is an opinion of the California Court Of Appeals, available on LEXISOne (free registration required). You may recall this case, Mr. Wagner: you were the Defendant and Appellant.

Appellate Judges Premo, Rushing and Elia did not seem to think much of you, Mr. Wagner. There is, for example, an interesting discussion of your motions to continue, denied by the District Court that had heard the case, and flight schedules to and from Hawai'i. Lest you think I'm writing something actionable, here's a direct quote, Mr. Wagner, from page 23:

The court granted defendant's first request for a continuance. His second request was based first on a demonstrated untruth, i.e., that there were no available flights from Hawaii. When plaintiff pointed out the inaccuracy of his assertion, he then claimed his inability to attend the December 28 hearing was a matter of inconvenience.

The rest of the court's opinion is far, far, far worse.

I've already written a blog entry, unpublished. But I don't have to, Mr. Wagner: I could simply post the entire opinion here. California opinions, as you may know, are not copyrighted, and the fact that it's an unpublished opinion only pertains to whether it has any authority as precedent in California courts with regard to unrelated cases--it's still an official statement of law and facts from a legal tribunal. There is absolutely nothing to keep me from posting the whole thing, with or without annotations and/or links to related sources.

But I'd rather not do that. Not because you scare me, Mr. Wagner (your win/loss record in the courts, frankly, has failed to impress), but because you're simply not that interesting.

See, Standing On The Shoulders Of Giant Midgets was conceived of as an entertaining writing outlet where I could share things to amuse friends and try to get a certain amount of mandatory writing in each week. Contrary to what Mr. Tankersley thinks or thought, it's not here to harangue the anti-LHC crowd.

Indeed, I only began to write about you and your crusades after you and Mr. Tankersley appeared in person on a friend's blog to make increasingly ridiculous claims. Support for those claims failed to materialize, which led me to simply try to find out whether you really went to law school, Mr. Wagner, whereupon I stumbled upon your history with Ms. Morton, previous uranium tiles crusade, and legal misadventures. Had you said nothing, had you simply looked at my friend's blog and comments and laughed them off, this whole thing would have gone nowhere and been nothing. Had you simply answered direct questions about your legal experience, I doubt anyone would have questioned further. But once I had to do the work, and once I stumbled upon these interesting and terrible things--then more posts ensued.

And things died down again until December, 2008, when Mr. Tankersley apparently became obsessed with Mr. Wright's blog, leading to your threats against Mr. Wright; with the result that I wrote another post about your current legal status, making a point to keep it 100% factually verifiable.

Now you say those facts aren't what they appear to be, and you demand a retraction. But let's face it, Mr. Wagner: you may think you want a retraction, but what you really ought to be wanting is for me to stop writing about you at all. Because if I write a retraction, Mr. Wagner, it will not read "I was wrong, Walter Wagner is a great guy." If I write a retraction, it will read, "I have discovered an error in my earlier reporting, now let me tell you about something else I found in my research," or, "I was wrong, but here's why it doesn't matter." If you think I can't write an utterly blistering retraction, you haven't been paying attention.

But, Mr. Wagner, you're boring me and you're tiring me out. And the fact is that if I look at your Alexa graph at, I have to suspect the UCF has generated the bulk of your recent web traffic, since your cases against the LHC were tossed out of court.

So I'm willing to make you an offer, Mr. Wagner: I'm willing to stop writing about you. I am willing to never mention the name Walter Louis Wagner ever again on Giant Midgets and to refrain from publicly commenting on you on the blogs of others. And all you have to do is agree never to contact me again beyond an acknowledgement (preferably in the comments section of this thread, which I will leave open so that you can acknowledge agreement) that you're agreeable.

This is the best offer you'll get. If you don't take it, the best you'll get is a correction--not a retraction--on the matter of how many pending charges you have in Hawai'i if I see satisfactory proof a correction is warranted. And you will also see this blog publish every single unfavorable court opinion in every case you were involved in that I can find, starting with the complete text of the aforementioned Morton v. Wagner, and if you think there's a cause of action to be found in publishing and commenting upon a unanimous decision of a sitting panel of the California Court Of Appeals, you might want to get a second opinion on that from Mr. Vaughn or another licensed attorney.

I'm tired of you, Mr. Wagner. You're not interesting. You will note that between the publication of the "Radiation Man" piece and "Still Under Indictment," you were not a subject of conversation here. There were eighty other blog entries here that managed not to mention Walter L. Wagner once, seventy-nine if you're going to count the satirical piece responding to Tankersley's "Uniformed Counter-Intelligence Force" fantasy as somehow being indirectly related to you on a kind of tangent.

I don't want this to become the "Heeeeere's Walter!" blog. I don't want to write about you anymore. I don't want to be writing this. But if you're going to insist on making threats, I'll have to insist on posting official records of what you've been up to for the past thirty years. And, like I said, some of the official court documents are not flattering. I realize there's your version and Ms. Morton's version; I don't have to relate either one, I can simply refer to a court's version. But I suspect other people are as sick of you as a conversational topic as I am.

So, please, I'm asking: accept the proposition. Leave a comment saying you agree not to have any further contact with me if I agree never to write about you in public ever again, and we'll call it some kind of draw. I can ignore your letter when it comes, and you can worry about more pressing matters than an idiot blogger in North Carolina whose readership once reached triple-digits when he wrote a blog entry about a dead science-fiction writer. Don't tell me why you think the deal isn't fair or why you expect me to delete my archives or why you must insist on a retraction that you won't get and don't really want. No, simply state in the comments section, "Yes, I agree, goodbye," or clear and unambiguous words to that effect, and I will happily ignore your existence in public from here on out.

That's the offer. Take it or leave it.

(And you might separately advise Mr. Tankersley that he's done you no favors and might have done better to leave well enough alone--but that's your business and Tankersley's.)


Eric Monday, January 5, 2009 at 2:09:00 PM EST  

I'm leaving this thread open for now in the hope that Mr. Wagner will be reasonable, but I'm going to ask people who are not Mr. Wagner to please refrain from commenting on this post, and will consider deleting comments from anyone who isn't Walter L. Wagner.

Thank you for understanding.

Eric Monday, January 5, 2009 at 3:35:00 PM EST  

(Oh, and one more thing....)

Re-reading Mr. Wagner's comment, he seems to think he's sent me an e-mail; if he has, it has not been received as of this date. It probably won't be, as I have not provided Mr. Wagner with an e-mail address and cannot vouch for the reliability of any address he may have found online.

I have offered Mr. Wagner a perfectly-valid physical address to which he can mail any documents certifying his claims, should he choose to do so. I was also explicit in my brief phone conversation with Mr. Wagner on January 2, 2009: this physical address is the means by which he must communicate any request containing documentation. And I have been clear that a simple assertion will not be sufficient to prompt an update or correction: (1) I have represented too many clients who were under a misapprehension regarding the status of old or even pending charges, (2) the paragraph cited in today's post leads me to conclude corroboration is necessary when dealing with Mr. Wagner's assertions, and (3) Mr. Wagner's assertions are not corroborated by the Ho'ohiki computer system maintained by the State of Hawai'i to keep the public informed about legal proceedings, at least not as of January 5, 2009, around 1:00 EST.

But this is the kind of thing that I've become tired of, and it's why I'm hoping Mr. Wagner will accept the proposition I've made: I will refrain from further public comment on the subject of one Walter L. Wagner if said Walter L. Wagner never contacts me again. Again, I implore Mr. Wagner to accept this offer: I'd be happy never to mention him again and I think Mr. Wagner would be happy not to see his name appear in any further blog posts at this site.

I optimistically await a response.

Anonymous,  Tuesday, January 6, 2009 at 11:47:00 AM EST  


The email I had sent was kicked back as undeliverable.

You should realize that not everything that is written is true, and that even includes what is written by appellate courts.

I will accept your offer, as I'm not interested in a pissing contest, which is where this would likely otherwise be headed.

The Hawaii system will slowly update as the formal orders prepared for the Court's signature are included at a later date. Interested parties may check back from time to time with that link.

Walter L. Wagner

Eric Tuesday, January 6, 2009 at 12:18:00 PM EST  

Thank you, Walter. I shall never mention your name in this blog again nor shall I mention it on anyone else's so long as I continue to not hear from you and have no further attempts at direct or indirect contact from you. I would also ask readers to refrain from commenting on Mr. Wagner here.

I am closing comments on this post, as it's accomplished it's purpose.

Thank you.

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