Posted on | April 27, 2014 | 37 Comments
“Vile Lie-Peddler @Karoli Kuns,” as I have sometimes called her, is one of the members of Team Kimberlin whose harassment of the perjuring bomber’s Enemies List is intermittent, rather than habitual and constant. It has been months since I paid any attention at all to her and, honestly, the whole Kimberlin drama has begun to bore me. The $1 million Maryland lawsuit Kimberlin v. Walker, et al., continues shuffling along in zombie fashion, while the $2 million federal lawsuit (Kimberlin v. the Universe, et al., as John Hoge calls it) seems to be approaching the point at which, as the lawyers say, it will be “ripe” for dismissal.
The fundamental dishonesty of Kimberlin’s litigation, however, is a self-evident fact with which my readers are so abundantly familiar by now that I don’t see much point in updating regularly — “Oh, look, another lie from the Pro Se Pipsqueak!” — and I’ve resolved personally to pay as little attention to it as a defendant must necessarily pay.
Maybe I should have included a “Trigger Alert” for those who have traumatic reactions to Bill Schamfeldt’s face. With a truly amazing persistence, Schmalfeldt has continued his obsessive fixation on John Hoge, who many months ago seems to have decided that stoic indifference was an insufficient response to Schmalfeldt’s sadistic harassment. Hoge has been quite active in seeking to hold Schmalfeldt legally accountable. Predictably, Schmalfeldt has turned this around in his demented mind, absurdly claiming that Hoge is harassing him, whereas the truth of the matter is, of course, the exact opposite of what Schmalfeldt says. It is now 10 months since a Carroll County judge granted Hoge’s peace order against Schmalfeldt. All that is required of Schmalfeldt is to cease his harassment of Hoge, but Schmalfeldt is like that old Led Zeppelin tune, “I Can’t Quit You Baby”: He’s hooked. He’s addicted. He’s got a monkey on his back. He’s got a harassment jones.
“He’s banned on Daily Kos. He’s banned at the Examiner. He gets angry about being ignored, and erupts in frothing rage. So then people pay Bill the only kind of attention he deserves — pointing out that he’s a brain-damaged troll — at which point he claims victimhood. Then the cycle begins again, and Bill makes new threats . . .”
— Robert Stacy McCain, Oct. 6, 2013
So the endless provocations continue — “How Many More Times,” another early Zeppelin classic — and when Hoge responds to Schmalfeldt’s provocations, this gives Schmalfeldt a new occasion to claim helpless victimhood. Bill’s existence has become a Mobius Loop of self-inflicted humiliation.
@stephensheiko Just wait. 1. Bill Schmalfeldt seeks attention. 2. Bill Schmalfeldt gets attention. 3. Bill Schmalfeldt claims victimhood.
— Robert Stacy McCain (@rsmccain) March 17, 2014
Schmalfeldt has a penchant for “monkey see, monkey do” mimicry, and anyone who has ever been in conflict with Bill quickly learns to recognize how he habitually imitates whatever rhetorical method his antagonist employs against him. Call attention to Schmalfeldt’s characteristic remorseless sadism, then start the clock to count the moments until he accuses you of sadism. And as often as we have remarked the obsessive nature of Schmalfeldt’s harassment of Hoge — this is an indisputable truth — yet we have now become accustomed to Bill claiming that he is the victim of harassment and that Hoge is obsessed with him. There’s an alternative universe inside Schmalfeldt’s mind, you see, where everything is the mirror reverse of reality, and his delusions would only be of interest as a clinical study in dementia, were it not for the fact that Schmalfeldt continues publicizing his perverse fantasies on the Internet.
Enter, now, Karoli Kuns . . .
What inspired the Vile Lie-Peddler to take an interest in Bill Schmalfeldt’s imaginary victimhood? I have no idea, but she evidently decided to recycle Schmalfeldt’s intentionally dishonest (or, perhaps, delusionally paranoid) version of events at Crooks & Liars:
You can click the headline and read it — it’s nearly 3,000 words — but permit me to excerpt just a few choice selections:
Right-wingers have discovered that it is a relatively simple trick to turn a legal process intended to protect those at risk of domestic abuse into a weapon of personal destruction. All that’s needed is a friendly judge, obsessive-compulsive tendencies, a deep mean streak, and time. On one level, this is the story of one man’s experience with vicious right-wing online operatives. On another, it’s representative of the overall right-wing strategy of using scorched-earth tactics to discredit and destroy their opponents. . . .
(In her opening paragraph, Karoli uses “right-wing” three times, which functions to prejudice progressive readers who are willing to believe any evil thing anyone says about right-wingers.)
In 2012, a group of right-wing bloggers decided to go after Brett Kimberlin — a guy with a past ripe for exploitation. . . .
(Which is not what happened, actually. There was no “group” decision, despite the conspiracy theory Kimberlin offers in his federal lawsuit. What happened was that Aaron Walker published a lengthy account of his legal battles with Kimberlin, mentioning also the role of Kimberlin’s “associate” Neal Rauhauser. My previous familiarity with Rauhauser, a disgraced Democrat political operative, caused me to take an interest in the story. Four days after I began writing about this, Kimberlin contacted my wife’s employer, ranting feverishly and accusing me of “harassing” him. This resulted in a security alert at my wife’s place of employment, which led me to depart to the “Undisclosed Location” so that I could continue covering the story without endangering my family or my wife’s employer. This action drew widespread attention, and Lee Stranahan decided to declare the next Friday — May 25, 2012 — “Everybody Blog About Brett Kimberlin Day,” a declaration that resulted in the story gaining national attention. We now return to Karoli’s version of events . . .)
Schmalfeldt wrote stories in Kimberlin’s defense which took dead aim at the Breitbart cabal. In the process, Schmalfeldt became an easy proxy for their real target. Disabled and housebound, Schmalfeldt’s ability to write and speak was his outlet for activism, which he used liberally.
Schmalfeldt wasn’t gentle. In some cases, he stepped outside the boundaries of normal journalistic standards and climbed down in his opponents’ gutter. At other times, he hit them just a little too close to home for their comfort, exposing lies, funding sources and possible motives for their anti-Kimberlin campaign. . . .
OK, I’ll stop with the back-and-forth now. Anyone familiar with the trajectory of Schmalfeldt’s antics clearly recognizes that Karoli Kuns’ telling of the tale is a cloud cuckooland fantasy.
After July 5, 2012 — when a Maryland court lifted a previously imposed gag order on Aaron Walker — the Kimberlin story faded away and would have ceased to be a story at all, were it not for the fact that a discernible Enemies List (including Walker, Patterico, Ali Akbar, Lee Stranahan, Brandon Darby and others) continued to be targeted for a steady stream of harassing tactics. Mostly, this took the form of Twitter stalking, and most of it I suspected was incited or orchestrated by Neal Rauhauser. The question of Rauhauser’s motives, especially whether he was being paid by Kimberlin to mastermind this troll operation, has been much disputed. Nevertheless, Neal’s distinctive fingerprints were visible often enough (mainly because Rauhauser is such an inveterate braggart) that I inferred that the visible incidents were evidence of a vast iceberg of behind-the-scenes activity by Neal.
Such was the case when Barrett Brown began harassing me right before I left to cover the 2012 Democratic convention — provably the result of Rauhauser’s incitement — and, after Brown melted down and was arrested by the FBI, I noticed a steady escalation of harassment directed at me by Bill Schmalfeldt.
Post hoc ergo propter hoc? Well, I’ve never claimed that this was the case. Nevertheless, it is remarkable that after Rauhauser tried (and spectacularly failed) to use Barrett Brown as a weapon against me in September 2012, Bill Schmalfeldt became increasingly obsessed with me in October 2012. For a couple of weeks, I simply ignored Schmalfeldt’s trademark tactics — making lurid accusations and demanding that I respond — because I was busy covering the presidential campaign. But that last weekend before Election Day in Ohio, when Bill was sending me dozens of hostile messages daily, I finally took notice: “Monsters on the Internet: Sociopathic Sadism and Bill Schmalfeldt’s Madness.”
Implicit message: “Don’t mistake my silence for cowardice and don’t imagine that you are deceiving anyone about your motives.”
If Bill wanted to play games with me, he wasn’t going to be able to dictate the rules of the game and, predictably, my refusal to cooperate with his agenda enraged him to the point that, over Thanksgiving weekend 2012, Schmalfeldt sent me more than 200 hostile Twitter messages in the span of 48 hours. His motives were no secret.
Everybody saw what Bill Schmalfeldt was doing, and everybody knew why he was doing it, yet he continued escalating the harassment until, in February 2013, Lee Stranahan got fed up with it. Stranahan flew from Texas to Baltimore to swear out a peace order complaint against Schmalfeldt. John Hoge gave Stranahan a ride from the airport to the courthouse for the purpose, which is how “Destroy John Hoge” became Schmalfeldt’s Prime Directive. Hoge then decided to seek his own peace order against Schmalfeldt, which was granted in June 2013. This court order — in effect, a judicial declaration that Schmalfeldt is guilty of harassment — has been upheld on appeal, and in December 2013 the order was extended another six months.
So now, evidently hoping to generate sympathy for Schmalfeldt, Karoli Kuns has volunteered her, uh, creative abilities on his behalf. John Hoge refutes a few of her falsehoods here, and I noticed a commenter on the Crooks & Liars post employ the phrase “Hoge and McCain and ilk.” Being lumped into an “ilk” pissed me off, so I replied in a comment that I suspect C&L will delete, and which I therefore repeat here:
It is perhaps of no interest to you, but nonetheless relevant, that during this long ordeal that began (for me) nearly two years ago, I have never sued anyone, never sought a peace order against anyone, and never filed criminal charges against anyone.
The facts of this can be ascertained by anyone who cares to investigate. Likewise, any curious person can easily learn that the person who initiated this entire chain of extraordinary events — lawsuits, peace orders, criminal charges, et cetera — was Brett Kimberlin.
People can believe what they want to believe, but this does not change the facts which are, as John Adams said, stubborn things.
Their attempt to re-write history so as to transfer agency — to blame the consequences of their own actions on the innocent people they have wronged — is destined to fail. Nothing enrages the dishonest and evil so much as when honest people refuse to be intimidated. And they shriek as if they had suffered a fatal injury every time readers hit my tip jar.
Fuck you, Bill Schmalfeldt. And fuck you, Karoli Kuns.