The Other McCain

"One should either write ruthlessly what one believes to be the truth, or else shut up." — Arthur Koestler

‘Idiocy Is Not a Zero-Sum Game’

Posted on | January 12, 2014 | 26 Comments

Alabama crazy-blogger Roger Shuler.

The title quote is Popehat blogger Ken White’s assessment of the Roger Shuler case as quoted in the New York Times:

For over six years, Roger Shuler has hounded figures of the state legal and political establishment on his blog, Legal Schnauzer, a hothouse of furious but often fuzzily sourced allegations of deep corruption and wide-ranging conspiracy. Some of these allegations he has tested in court, having sued his neighbor, his neighbor’s lawyer, his former employer, the Police Department, the Sheriff’s Department, the Alabama State Bar and two county circuit judges, among others. Mostly, he has lost.
But even those who longed for his muzzling, and there are many, did not see it coming like this: with Mr. Shuler sitting in jail indefinitely, and now on the list of imprisoned journalists worldwide kept by the Committee to Protect Journalists. There, in the company of jailed reporters in China, Iran and Egypt, is Mr. Shuler, the only person on the list in the Western Hemisphere.
A former sports reporter and a former employee in a university’s publications department, Mr. Shuler, 57, was arrested in late October on a contempt charge in connection with a defamation lawsuit filed by the son of a former governor. The circumstances surrounding that arrest, including a judge’s order that many legal experts described as unconstitutional and behavior by Mr. Shuler that some of the same experts described as self-defeating posturing, have made for an exceptionally messy test of constitutional law.
“You’ve got a situation where sometimes there’s no good guys,” said Ken White, a former federal prosecutor in Los Angeles who writes about and practices First Amendment law.

You can read the whole thing. The real point — the key fact, which New York Times reporter Campbell Robertson can’t state in so many words — is that Roger Shuler is nuts. He is deluded, deranged and demented. Roger Shuler is bonkers, wacko, zany, off his rocker, a few fries short of a Happy Meal and cuckoo for Cocoa Puffs.

Donald Douglas at American Power correctly identifies Roger Shuler as an “ax-grinding kook.” The ax-grinder — a person whose “politics” is in fact the manifestation of a deeply personal obsession — has in recent years become a familiar type of lunatic, and the problem is that our culture encourages such pseudo-politics.

What else is feminism, really, except the collective ax-grinding of digruntled female misfits? The insane controversy between radical feminists and transgender activists demonstrates the natural consequence of indulging the more extreme forms of identity politics. And if you start investigating the biographies of fringe activists in such movements, you will find no shortage of evidence of mental illness.

Roger Shuler is a heterosexual white male who claimed he was the victim of employment “discrimination” at the University of Alabama-Birmingham. This is what you might call a symptom.

“Shuler has not shown that any clearly established right has been violated. His only alleged evidence is a recorded phone call that he says supports the notion that he was terminated because of the political content of his blog. However, Shuler’s own transcript of the phone call shows only that his time spent researching content for his blog during working hours was a factor — and an ‘insignificant’ one, at that — in his termination. There is no evidence to suggest that the political content of his blog was a factor at all. Accordingly, we affirm the district court’s grant of summary judgment to the UAB defendants on this claim.”
11th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals, July 3, 2012

It might have been helpful if the 11th Circuit had added: “By the way, you’re crazy. Seek professional help, you nutjob.”

The decisive defeat of Shuler’s claim against UAB was no doubt a tremendous disappointment to him. Shuler’s habit of litigating pro se, acting as his own attorney, was evidence of an unrealistic confidence in his own abilities. He clearly believed he would prevail, and instead he abjectly failed. Are we surprised, then, that the “fuzzily sourced allegations” that led to Shuler being sued for defamation seem to have begun in mid-2012?

His “Legal Schnauzer” blog had trafficked in conspiracy theories and gossip-mongering for years, but in 2012, Shuler started cranking out the most absurd sort of defamatory craziness, publishing a letter by notorious conspiracy theorist Jill Simpson claiming that Karl Rove was sexually involved with Ali Akbar. I have speculated that this absurd falsehood originated with Neal Rauhauser, but wherever it came from, it was Shuler who foolishly decided to run with it — and both Rove and Akbar wisely ignored it. Evidently misinterpreting tactful silence as a license to engage in further defamation, Shuler then embarked on a course of publishing heinous smears for which he never offered any real evidence. Shuler’s reaction to being sued for defamation was as crazy as you might expect:

The Shulers refused to answer the door when officials came to serve court papers, stating their suspicions in blog posts that the visits were part of an “intimidation and harassment campaign” stemming from the reporting on another topic.
One afternoon as the Shulers drove to the local library, where Mr. Shuler had been writing his blog since they could no longer pay for their Internet connection, a member of the Sheriff’s Department pulled them over, saying they had run a stop sign. The officer then served them the papers, which the Shulers refused to accept, contending that service under such a pretext was improper.
“We were both throwing the papers out of the windows as we were driving off,” Ms. Shuler said in an interview.
The Shulers missed a hearing the next day, and the restraining order was superseded by a similarly worded preliminary injunction, which some free-speech advocates saw as a clear violation of Mr. Shuler’s First Amendment rights. . . .
The National Bloggers Club, a group led by the Republican activist Ali Akbar, who has also threatened to sue Mr. Shuler for defamation, released a statement condemning Mr. Shuler’s “rumormonger cyberbullying” but also criticizing the injunction as creating a potential chilling effect on blogging.

 On the one hand, the injunction appears to be unconstitutional. On the other hand, Roger Shuler is crazy. How do you deal with such an irresponsible kook, who goes to the library to blog his reckless nonsense when he can no longer afford an Internet hookup?

Crazy people have rights, but sane people have rights, too.

Somehow, sooner or later, these lunatics must be stopped.



26 Responses to “‘Idiocy Is Not a Zero-Sum Game’”

  1. richard mcenroe
    January 12th, 2014 @ 11:54 am

    Send him to Florida, fix him up with a couple of nice girls, he’ll be fine.

  2. robertstacymccain
    January 12th, 2014 @ 12:25 pm

    Yeah, he’d be right at home in Florida.

  3. rmnixondeceased
    January 12th, 2014 @ 12:29 pm

    We have enough already! We need to export them … perhaps Syria or Saudi would be a good destination for him …

  4. gone galt
    January 12th, 2014 @ 1:42 pm

    It s simple, you exercise some self help. You and the other whinny cry babies like the guy (or girl its hard to tell) over at American Power blog stop whining, writing and crying about these assholes and drive over there and kick his ass (like Evil Knievel did to the guy that wrote bad stuff about him). I’ll bet if his fucking arms are broken he can’t post bad things about your mommie or your wife or your kids or your dog. I am so sick of reading all this drivel. When did we get to the point in this country when somebody threatens your family or tries to take your property and all you fucking do is cry and waste money on a lawyer. The only way to deal with these crazies is harshly very harshly. What a bunch of pussies.

  5. jakee308
    January 12th, 2014 @ 1:48 pm

    Is it just me or does Roger Shuler look like an older Barret Brown?

    Is craziness infectious? Can you get it from the internet? Or is it bird brains of a feather go crazy together?

    Maybe it’s a genetic thing.

  6. Unix-Jedi
    January 12th, 2014 @ 1:52 pm

    Hi, Moby!

  7. jakee308
    January 12th, 2014 @ 1:54 pm

    Well aren’t YOU all macho and big balls and all?

    Feel free to jump up and do your thing big guy.

    Some people have the intelligence and the wit to understand that physical confrontation in this instance would be counter productive.

    And it’s REALLY stupid to make those kind of threats on the internet and it’s even MORE stupid to act all bigger and badder than anybody around when you’re sitting in front of a keyboard some where else. (and everyone knows it.)

    If what you read here bothers you then go away and don’t read stuff you don’t like. That’s what I do. But then I’m don’t get puffed up like a blowhard puffer fish trying to show how tough I am because pixels on screen don’t mean a thing.

  8. jakee308
    January 12th, 2014 @ 1:55 pm

    No he’s a DICK.

    A MOBY DICK!!!1!!!!1

    Nyuck nyuck. I made a funny.

  9. badanov
    January 12th, 2014 @ 1:56 pm

    The hell with that. Fix ME up with a nice girl

  10. Evi L. Bloggerlady
    January 12th, 2014 @ 2:36 pm

    Just a short drive from Alabama! Can’t the Feds make a big reservation for the mentally criminal insane…a Demented Disney World somewhere in Florida.

  11. richard mcenroe
    January 12th, 2014 @ 2:54 pm

    That rules out FL. Some awesome girls in FL, though, as I’m don’t tell my fee-yancy every day…

  12. DaveO
    January 12th, 2014 @ 3:50 pm

    Aside from Shuler’s craziness and that he shares the tendency to go Pro Se with Kimberlin, there is something there: the law is so complex no ordinary citizen can represent him or herself with a 50-50 chance of winning. Even attorneys like Aaron Walker get a nasty surprise from the courts.
    America’s judiciary system is a closed shop and that prevents justice from being done. Worse, because judges are lawyers, there’s no hope for Justice to be served.
    Do I think Shuler’s got major issues – yes. Do I think any citizen reading this blog should be able to fairly and adequately represent him or herself before a judge and/or jury of peers – yes.

  13. Adjoran
    January 12th, 2014 @ 5:51 pm

    Our legal system isn’t set up to deal with nonviolent nut jobs like Shuler or Rauhauser. People can’t be locked up for being annoying kooks.

    As to what they publish on the internet in blogs or comments, unfortunately for their victims our system of torts doesn’t offer relief against those without tangible assets. Many states won’t even allow certain property to be attached to satisfy a lawful judgment, including (depending on state) house, car, clothing, televisions, computers, phones, PDAs, etc.

    This is the Catch-22 of the sue-happy lawfare creeps: most of them don’t have attachable assets, so they are effectively judgment-proof. The only way to shut them up legally, even temporarily, is if they violate a judicial order and are found in contempt.

    Sadly, if history is any guide, these screwballs will keep up their irrational harrassment campaigns until they pick on the wrong victim, who will deal directly with them instead of through the legal system. Which is probably why Rauhauser stays off the grid and is difficult to locate.

  14. Adjoran
    January 12th, 2014 @ 5:54 pm

    The blowhards rarely do anything.

    The ones to worry about are the guys who don’t respond at all to the libel. They just ignore it . . . until one day it stops, without explanation.

  15. Adjoran
    January 12th, 2014 @ 5:56 pm

    Well, Barrett’s Mom used to run with the hippies, evidently, so his might be some sort of fetal drug syndrome.

    Shuler never got off the psychedelics, apparently.

  16. Bob Belvedere
    January 12th, 2014 @ 5:56 pm

    Maybe some high school teachers, eh?

  17. Adjoran
    January 12th, 2014 @ 5:57 pm

    He said, “NICE” girls.

  18. Bob Belvedere
    January 12th, 2014 @ 5:58 pm

    Depends on how you define ‘nice’ – as in ‘nice girl’ or ‘niiiiiiice girl’.

  19. Bob Belvedere
    January 12th, 2014 @ 6:00 pm

    One, continuous Flashback.

  20. Sarahw
    January 12th, 2014 @ 6:12 pm

    And I’m guessing a very big guy. Three cots wide.

  21. Quartermaster
    January 12th, 2014 @ 8:59 pm

    Even Rauhauser can be found, and one day he will be.

  22. Quartermaster
    January 12th, 2014 @ 9:00 pm

    The law is the way it is by design.

  23. Quartermaster
    January 12th, 2014 @ 9:04 pm

    They seem to ignore it. They aren’t. They’re just planning and waiting for the right time. That’s the biggest weakness of the “justice” system. When they can’t do anything, it forces people to take matters into their own hands and solve their own problems.

    Lex Talionis is never a pretty thing, and when it comes to the fore – stopping it can be problematic. The courts have already rendered themselves illegitimate by their incompetence in those things they could do something about, yet refuse. I strongly suspect there is something that could be done about Rauhauser, yet the courts are simply refusing to what they can do.

  24. K-Bob
    January 13th, 2014 @ 12:46 am

    What, like Miami?

  25. K-Bob
    January 13th, 2014 @ 3:23 pm

    Oh, definitely. One aspect of my business is locating people. The stories I’ve heard about real pros at finding folks makes it clear that the only safe way to hide is to stay off the grid, for real.

    And that’s only step one. Moving to where the technology doesn’t exist, like say, deep in the Amazon, would be a good second step.

    Rauhauser can’t resist the grid. The feds could find him anytime.

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