A few thoughts.

It seems like everyone is posting their thoughts, so why not.  Here are some of mine.

1. On Boasting

To boast grandly is to set yourself for a grand fall.  As I’ve stated, I’m in Alabama, so I know a good boast when I hears it.  And I’m hearing it loud and clear at a certain blog I won’t link to that is run by this blog’s Best Buddy Bill Schmalfeldt.  In particular he has taken great umbrage to a post at Hogewash!.  In it, WJJ Hoge threatened laughter.  But one wouldn’t want to sink to the level of Hoge, right?

And then, there’s the matter of something I learned the previous evening. The reason why Hoge has been silent on the lawsuit. Something his pet toad “Paul Krendler” either doesn’t understand or doesn’t know because he scoffed at my generous offer to let him out of the case.

Bill Schmalfeldt on his blog

This boast is mistaken on two fronts.  One, that Best Buddy knows why Hoge is being silent.  Two, that Paul Krendler is in any way involved in the Copyright issues of the lawsuit in question.  At best, he is a disinterested third party who may be called at some point as a witness.  Paul did not file an infringement lawsuit against Best Buddy.  In fact, Paul only has to worry about the stuff filed in the counterclaims.  And the counterclaims, specifically against Paul, are weak.

But that’s where Best Buddy’s boasts go even more off the rails.  Reading his writings he’s already claiming victory.  He’s so sure that he’s won that he even made this so called “generous offer” to Krendler to drop the lawsuit.  Here is what Best Buddy needed to make good on the offer.

1. His real name, address, etc.

2. A copy of the signed agreement he made with Hoge selling partial rights to his blog post.

3. A promise to refrain from further defamatory, libelous comments.

4. An apology to my wife for the filthy things he wrote about her.

Bill Schmalfeldt on his blog

This is hardly a generous offer.  To make it, Best Buddy must assume that Paul is an idiot.  That would be a mistake.  I don’t think that is a mistake, I think this is a planned piece of his litigation strategy.  He’s trying to look like he’s willing to settle.  But Paul has no reason to assume that Best Buddy will follow through on his word.  (It doesn’t matter, the offer has been rescinded.) And like the smart man Paul seems to be, he soundly refused the offer.

But let’s parse the offer anyway.  On the first part of the offer, why would Paul ever willingly give up his identity?  Even if Best Buddy follows through on his word and drops Paul from the lawsuit, which would be an interesting concept, Paul would have provided Best Buddy with everything he needs for another lawsuit in the future.  Or when Best Buddy crosses the line with someone else who sues him, which is very close to have happen at the moment.  A fact that I know he is completely clueless about.  So let’s say Best Buddy did drop Paul from the lawsuit, when this person in the wings does their thing, Best Buddy could counterclaim and add Paul back.  In other words, Paul gets nothing out of the deal.

As for the rest, they are even sillier.  If Best Buddy is right and Hoge’s suit is seconds away from being dismissed, then the agreement between Paul and Hoge is meaningless.  If Best Buddy is wrong, then the agreement has nothing to do with Best Buddy.  The first step of an infringement suit is ensuring that the claimed infringement occurred to copyrighted works and the person bringing suit is the person who holds the copyright.  That is between Hoge and the Judge, and has nothing to do with Paul or Best Buddy.  As Best Buddy likes to claim, it has yet to be determined if Paul did write defamatory or libelous comments.  An agreement to this would be meaningless, as if Paul doesn’t believe he’s libeled Best Buddy, he wouldn’t change it at all.  As for the apology, I find that laughable on its face, considering the things Best Buddy wrote about Hoge’s wife that he’s yet to apologize for, and what Paul wrote was a parody of that post.

Best Buddy wasn’t negotiating in good faith, nor was he attempting to truly negotiate at all.  And that may be his biggest mistake and why his recent boasting is a ride for failure.  Best Buddy knows almost nothing about Paul.  I’m not claiming to have inside information into the man behind the pseudonym, but this doxing, which may well be inevitable, is a potential bombshell.  Only not on who Best Buddy thinks.

Paul may be a malnourished teenager living in his mother’s dank basement with cheese curl powder on his face.  In that case, Best Buddy most likely will be right, and it will be devastating to Paul.  Or Paul could be a wealthy owner of a business, with lawyers on retainer for days.  That would be devastating to Best Buddy.  I suspect Paul is somewhere between these two extremes, and that makes it even tricker.  Best Buddy has no idea what Paul’s resources are, and once he finds out it will be too late to do anything but deal with the fallout.

That’s not wise.  I’ve always been told that in legal issues, never ask a question you don’t already know the answer too.  Best Buddy has no idea what the answer to the question he’s asked will be.  Claiming victory before Paul is even known, much less responded to the counterclaims is gutsy, but not smart. Paul said it best in the heavily edited comments on his own blog.

2. On Bill Schmalfeldt

I’ve had a change of heart on the issue of Bill Schmalfeldt, so I’m going to man up about it and do what I should.  I am going to apologize.

Bill, I don’t believe I’ve ever mentioned your Parkinson’s.  I also don’t believe I’ve ever mocked you for it, at least not intentionally.  I haven’t scrubbed through every comment I’ve ever made concerning you, so it is quite possible that I did without realizing it.  For example, I know I’ve called you Cabin Boy, but at the time I thought you chose that name for yourself.  I may have used a phrase someone else used to make fun of your Parkinson’s without realizing it was about your condition.  I don’t think so, but I’ll admit it may have happened.

What I did do is not fully understand the seriousness of the condition, and for that I apologize in complete honesty and sincerity.

Bill, you are not innocent in this affair.  I don’t appreciate the blackmail attempt you made on me here at my own blog.  I think other things, such as the blackmail attempt you currently have on Perfect Tommy and how you handled other doxes have been proper or above board, no mater how you attempt to spin them in your mind.

But what I didn’t really understand is what Parkinson’s had done to you.  I now cringe at the comments on various blogs making fun of you for not having a life.  I understand how angry you must be at Hoge and others.  I now see that your life IS the internet.  You practically do live in a virtual world.  And I can honestly see that from your perspective, the world you thought you controlled has been polluted by the people you rail against.

I’m not going to participate in that any longer.

That’s not to say I trust you, Bill.  That’s to say I have a new respect for your condition.  I fully understand what this could lead to.  I could be inviting the same amount of pollution into my virtual world as you found in yours.  That’s okay, I can take it.  But after reading an eloquent post by another Alabama Blogger that I have shamefully lost the link to, I feel I owe you that.  You commented on the post, so if you would, I’d love for you to leave me the link in comments.

Before you do, and in case (as I think to be true) several other commenters here will know the post I’m talking about, that is not me saying I agree with everything in the post.  I don’t.  I think it is one sided and doesn’t treat your actions with the truth as to the damage you have also done to others.  But it brought home some points that have lead me to this.

As such, I give you my word that I will do my best not to belittle you.  I offer no such promises to your ideas or words.  I don’t suddenly like you, but I can and will show enough respect that I won’t intentionally belittle you as a person.  And, at my discretion, I’ll attempt to moderate others comments here.

I also won’t ban you from posting comments, but I will hold your comments to my rules because this is my bandwidth.  All comments here are moderated, so feel free to let me know when something is private and I won’t publish the comment.

This may be a weak offering to you.  By offering it to you, I may loose the readership I’ve gained so you’ll just be talking to me.  I can live with that too.  I’ve been blogging for decades about stuff I care about that no one else does, so I can return to that in a heartbeat.  But this is the best I can offer you.

3. On blogfare

I enjoy a good heated discussion.  So on one hand, blogfare is fun.  But when blogfare spills over into lawsuits, that’s silly.  I’ve not been harassed to any great degree, so I’m not sure what I’d do if a blogfare opponent stepped over the line.  I’m sure I have a line where I’ll do like others did.  I hope that line is never crossed.  But come on folks, it’s blogfare.  It’s not all there is to life.  Took another ride on the motorcycle today, and this post was bouncing around inside my head.  And I had to force myself to remember that blogfare isn’t that important.  Instead of looking at the sites I was passing, I was thinking about this and that’s just wrong.  Be present in your moments as they come.  This isn’t everything.  This isn’t even real life.  It’s a fun distraction, but that’s all it should be.


12 thoughts on “A few thoughts.

  1. Have you read these? http://leestranahan.com/?s=schmalfeldt

    I’m not a friend of Stranahan’s. I don’t even follow him on twitter. I used to frown at people who used personal attacks against your blog’s best buddy. And then he apologized to Lee, and tried to ostensibly make peace with him when the whole Darby thing blew up. (Or tried to take advantage of it.) Lee accepted his apology.

    Days, or at most weeks later, your blog’s best buddy was inciting ridicule against himself again. Stranahan was not involved and indeed, as he had for many months, basically ignored him, other than the brief contact when the apology was offered and accepted. Out of the blue, your blog’s best buddy dredged up all of the cruel taunts about the death of Stranahan’s daughter.

    Then I understood why others held the positions and used the methods they used. And I joined them.

    How bad do you think the harassment of his wife and family had to be for Lee to spend money he admittedly had very, very little of to fly to MD to try to make it stop?

    It’s all well and good to feel pity. Goodness knows, I would, if your blog’s best buddy wasn’t such a loathsome creature. You’re correct about his lack of a meaningful life; your blog’s best buddy thoroughly described a typical day in a series of now memory-holed tweets. By his own description, his own wife has very, very little contact with him. By his own description he spends his entire day, from the time he gets up until the time he goes to bed (except for meal breaks), at his computer.

    It’s what he does during that time that brings the ridicule, revulsion and enmity. When anyone dares to criticize or return in kind what he dishes out (though I can’t imagine anything as cruel as what he has subjected MRS. Stranahan to), he squeals and attempts to use his PD as a shield. That would be all well and good if he didn’t also use it as a sword.

    My thoughts. Clearly, ymmv.

  2. I agree with you on the boasting. Bill is claiming victory based on things that he can’t possibly know for sure the truth of. If what he thinks is true isn’t, the outcome may not be what he is assuring all of us it will be. I haven’t seen hubris (to use one of Bill’s favorite words) on the other side of the debate, just assurance. Bill is the one who I think has to worry about pride before the fall.

    As for his Parkinsons… Yes, it’s an awful disease. But first, he uses it as his victim card all the time. One of Hoge’s other commenters, whom Bill has attacked, also has Parkinsons, and his is at least as debilitating as Bill’s. Secondly, there are plenty of people with Parkinson’s of the same variety and severity as Bill’s who still have lives off the internet, and what time they do spend online, they don’t spend trying to control other people. I don’t make fun of his disease (because it’s real), nor, contrary to his claims, have I made fun of his weight, though he has made fun of me for being fat, based on a photo (the one he stole) which doesn’t look bad at all. Bill likes to accuse women of being fat, even when he’s never seen a photo of his target, because he thinks it the nastiest thing he can say about our appearance, If Bill acted like a human being who has PD, he’d get treated that way. Unfortunately he likes to make PD his defining feature, thinking it will gain him a free pass to be as disgusting and libelous as he wants, and when people won’t give him his victim status and try to hold him to the normal standards of being a human being, he claims we’re making fun of his PD. After a few months or years of dealing with this, I think a lot of people have decided that Bill made his PD fair game in this flame war.

    Now, if he’d only stop trying to convince everyone that he knows more about the nuances of IP law than anyone else out there, including IP lawyers…..

    • Let him attempt to make his condition his defining thing. It’s his condition. I, for one, will not use his condition to excuse his actions. I will instead point out the actions and the wrongness of them without referring to his condition. And see where things fall after the fact.

  3. I certainly won’t stop looking at your blog because you have decided that Bill Schmalfeldt deserves some sympathy for his Parkinson’s. (I might stop looking for other reasons that come up in the future of course.)

    Some have claimed that his Parkinson’s is fictitious. They have provided no cogent evidence, and I for one ignore those claims. Some have asserted that his Parkinson’s is not as advanced as he asserts. At least one of those who made the latter assertion also asserted that he himself, also a victim of Parkinson’s, was familiar with its symptoms so I believe it possible (though far from certain) that Schmalfeldt has exaggerated the severity of his Parkinson’s. Whether exaggerated or not, it is not relevant.

    What is I think relevant is Schmalfeldt’s attempts to excuse his behavior, behavior going back years, by his illness. Being ill does not excuse being vile. Even if he is demented (which I do not believe), people who are attacked or annoyed by someone demented do not have to submit, and their friends may and should rally in support. I do not believe, however, that Schmalfeldt is demented. I have read his comments. They are cogent (albeit incorrect in my opinion) and reasonably articulate. He seems to me to be in full control of his mental faculties, neither crazy nor particularly stupid. He is arrogant, superficial, and without regard for the feelings or well being of anyone with whom he disagrees. As far as I am concerned, any sympathy that would normally be warranted by his illness is forfeit because of his behavior.

    • I find your position reasonable, and agree with you mostly. I accept that for whatever reason, Bill has been locked into a very small world that his primary outlet is online. And Bill has strong opinions, opinions I happen to disagree with, equally strongly in some cases.

      I also believe this mess started out with a strong opinion by Bill, but quickly became about Bill. I think that Bill has to take some of that blame himself, but not all of it. Frankly, I’d love Bill or someone else to leave a link to a true opinion piece that I can read and perhaps rebut. Shift the focus off his actions and onto his opinions. But I haven’t found one.

      Lastly, I do disagree with you about him being in full control of his mental faculties. I’m not a doctor or a psychologist, so I don’t know if the issue is, like some claim, due to his condition or if it is something innate about his character. He has a serious impulse control problem. I believe that he knows he needs to stop some of his actions, but that for whatever reason, he can’t.

      I think the nasty and vile satire he wrote about Hoge and his family was a prime example of this. The fact that he took it down is also an example of the fact that he knows he has the problem. I don’t buy the excuse that he took it down because he was afraid it would be misunderstood. I think he took it down because of his realization it went too far. But now that he’s used Paul Krendler’s parody of that post in his counterclaims, he can’t back out of it anymore. He never posted a retraction or a clarification, he just attempted to make it vanish.

    • Where it started was with Seth Allen, a left wing blogger, calling out Kimberlin. Aaron gave a bit of pro-bono advice to Allen and became a target and a victim. This led to Stranahan’s idea for “Everyone Write About Brett Kimberlin Day” which made Stranahan a prime target, suitable for vile harassment. McCain took an interest and got hundreds of tweets and email over the course of a weekend from your blog’s best buddy. And so on, all rippling out from Kimberlin’s shutuppery.

      Your blog’s best buddy set about a course of abominable action, then admitted/bragged his sole purpose was horrible harassment of Kimberlin’s targets in his infamous tweet which read something to the effect of: “If everyone would just forget Brett Kimberlin ever existed, no one would be investigating and your lives would be happier.”

      Remember the words of Ken White:

      “… Bill Schmalfeldt doesn’t have principles. Bill Schmalfeldt doesn’t have values. Bill Schmalfeldt doesn’t have beliefs. Bill Schmalfeldt has enemies, and then nothing, a black and dank and empty void of sullenness…”


      If anyone hasn’t read that piece lately, please do. Be sure to pay attention to the quoted tweets and remember they aren’t nearly the worst.

      • I’m not disagreeing with your turn of events, but will say that Seth Allen is his own ball of crazy. I’m not entirely sure that some left wing bloggers aren’t correct in putting forth that Schmalfeldt would have never become an issue if it wasn’t that Seth Allen was so crazy. Had Allen stayed a little saner, he would have remained a central figure, and Schmalfeldt would have been forgotten and ignored.

        That PopeHat post was one of the first pieces that started my mind changing about Schmalfeldt. I agree it is an important read.

  4. Michael,

    you have more charity in your heart than I do. Let’s accept for argument’s sake that his illness has impaired his impulse control. In that case, what he SHOULD do is to retract and apologize for any uncontrollable outburst and use his illness as an excuse for the original outburst, not hide it and pretend that the resulting response is an unprovoked attack on the gravely ill.

    This is not quite the same point that you are making about Krendler’s parody. I might agree that the parody would have been over the top (though not tortious) had Schmalfeldt promptly retracted his post, admitted it was vile, apologized, and blamed his illness for his lack of impulse control for writing and publishing it in the first place. I doubt there is anyone on earth who has not said or written something that was not bitterly regretted later, but there is a way to address such regrets. The fact that Schmalfeldt’s failure to make amends properly (if indeed he even intended to do so) will make any suit against Krendler ridiculous is not particularly important to anyone but the Hoges and Krendler. What it says about Schmalfeldt as a human being is what should be important to everyone else.

    If someone says that I am not being Christian, I care not because I am not.

    I’ll let you have the last word because it is YOUR blog.

    • I agree with everything you’ve written here. Our disagreement is minor and inconsequential. I’ll only point out that my only point in bringing up the Krendler Parody was that it has hurt Bill. Both legally and on matters of honesty and humanity. So there, I don’t think we have even minor disagreement.

  5. In Re #2 of your post: Your display of humanity and compassion, even in light of TBBBBS’ (your title, my acronym) paucity of same, should not turn any decent person away. As such I imagine you’ll find that very few who consider themselves friends of Mr. Hoge will object to this attitude. There may be minor points of contention and perspective, but water is wet.

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