Real threats

Others have written far better than I on the issues of real threats. To sum up, if a threat is real, there must be a cause for the mythical reasonable person to believe it is real. In other words, if I “threaten” to beat up the current MMA heavyweight champion, a reasonable person ( again, a hypothetical person) would have to believe I’m serious. And truthfully, a reasonable person might believe it. I run a personal security concern. I’m an avid biker and ride with members of various motorcycle clubs. So maybe a reasonable person would believe it is true.

Now if I said I would buy Walmart, just to fire a manager, then a reasonable person would laugh. I suspect the people who could manage to get a controlling interest in Walmart is tiny. And any hypothetical reasonable person wouldn’t think I’d be one of them. Not a real threat.

So I found a threat on the Internet. The question is, is it real. Here is the threat.

If it turns out he lied, I will eat one of his eyeballs as he watches with the other.

Bill Schmalfeldt on his blog concerning the anonymous blogger Paul Krendler

Now is that a real threat? It would depend on which set of facts you have. If you view the threat only in terms of Bill Schmalfeldt, an old man with advanced Parkinson’s, then a reasonable person would not think it is real.

But if you knew that Bill had filed for a a subpoena to reveal Krendler’s identity to force him to appear in Bill’s home state and get him to face Bill in person, suddenly the reality of the threat is clear. Bill is doing everything he can to get Krendler within arms reach, so it is reasonable to assume he is serious about eating an eyeball.  Even more damning is that while Bill himself may not be able to subdue Krendler himself, Bill associates with people who have a, shall we say, sketchy past.  As such, it could be reasonable to assume that it isn’t idle, that he may have help waiting when and if he can force Krendler to appear.

Now I’m not telling anyone what to think or do, but if I was the anonymous blogger Paul Krendler, I might use any contacts I might have in Maryland to file a peace order, or file a motion in the counterclaim lawsuit against him to squash the subpoena on the basis of the threat.

But I’m not Paul Krendler. Or anyone else the followers of Bill Schmalfeldt have accused me of being. I’m just a observer of the festivities.

Side note:  Post body updated to include Bill’s associations as reasonable to believe the threat is real.


21 thoughts on “Real threats

  1. By Schmalfeldt’s own demonstrated practices it is a threat. How? Lets just day because we want it to be a threat that we get red-faced and breathless over and pretend to report it to LE and then use the imagined threat to beat anyone
    we please about the head shoulders with.

    Or maybe I should just send a letter to the other me in Tampa and ask him if it’s a threat?

  2. If the tables were turned, it would be considered a threat. If a physically challenged but unstable Lickspittle told Bill Schmalfeldt he’s eat his eyeball, the law would already have been called. But the real threat is from the convicted serial bomber Brett Kimberlin, who reacted very poorly when in a crisis many years ago. Kimberlin was Mr. Schmalfeldt’s driver when he went to court. What kind of threat is implied when you bring a domestic terrorist to court with you?

  3. Brilliant. Have anonymous blogger file a peace order that would require use of his real name on the forms. Have peace order served to guy who wants his real name. Self doxing achieved!

    • Actually, no. That’s not true. While Krendler would have to find representation in Maryland, being Anonymous is a first amendment right. Through representation, a lawyer could file for either the peace order or the motion to quash without revealing anything at all about him. It sucks that the only way to do that is through a lawyer, but that’s the cost of remaining anonymous.

      • no being anonymous is clearly not a first or any amendment right – this is where most people get it wrong

      • nope, you have the right to confront your accuser, free speech isn’t free from retaliation. I know it sucks but its been a long standard

      • Anonymous speech is protected, yes. But I have to think that swearing out a complaint could not possibly be protected speech when weighed against the Fifth Amemdment right to confront one’s accusers.

        In my case it’s a moot point; Bill is a worthless coward who talks a horrible game, and plays even worse.

      • no anon speech IS NOT PROTECTED – I don’t mean to be argumentative – just try and put up a billboard saying something or take out an ad or right letter to newspaper….

      • I think we are wondering into the weeds. Clearly anonymous speech is no more or no less protected than any other kind of speech. If you slander, libel, or threaten, obviously the “victim” can attempt to legally find the identity.

  4. It is true. Go try to file a P.O. and find out what is required. I’ve done it and know first hand. You don’t have to go to Maryland. You file in your own state. You go to the court house. You see the clerk of the court. Then you see a judge. Then you file the P.O. with another clerk who contacts the sheriffs dept. in Maryland who serves it. What would a lawyer do besides take your money? You need a lawyer to hold your hand while you ask a judge for a P.O. based on vague threats and innuendo? A judge would grant a P.O. to some anonymous guy with no address?

    Yeah, your legal mind is as sharp as Bills.

    • Of course the lawyer is going to charge you money, but the point is the lawyer can do it with revealing Paul’s identity. I wouldn’t think a peace order, and you’re wrong I couldn’t do it in my state, I’d have to sue for an injunction, would be worth it. It’s the squashing the subpoena that would be worth lawyering up for. Especially when Bill makes it so easy to quash.

      But hey, you wanna get stuck on the peace order, fine. Ignore the bigger picture.

  5. Malone, I must have been busy when he posted that. Please send me a link to that post.

    He wants to eat my eyeball while forcing me to watch with the other?

    Hell, he wouldn’t have to force me! I’d pay damn good money to see him slather my eyeball with mayonnaise and try to choke it down.

    I’d bet $10,000 against all his fingers that he couldn’t keep it down for 5 minutes.

  6. Actually, the issue of preserving anonymity is being litigated as part of the RICO case against Hoge et al. This is not a black and white issue. The leading case involved clearly political speech during an election. No one has an absolute privilege to remain anonymous under all circumstances. Criminals routinely try to remain anonymous. And of course the First Amendment relates only to action by the state.

    Consider the following hypothetical. A is anonymously and falsely accusing B of being a pedophile. B sues for libel and damages. Is A allowed to escape because there is a First Amendment Right to libel someone anonymously?

    • Absolutely not. But if A is getting threats and argues that the purpose for the lawsuit is only to out his identity to carry out those threats…

      • My point exactly: anonymity is a privilege that is not absolute. For example, A writes something anonymously, and B discovers (without breaching any criminal laws or contractual duty) and then publishes A’s identity. A has no cause of action against B for violating A’s “right to anonymity.” B has in fact exercised his right to free speech.

      • … without breaching any criminal laws…

        There’s the rub. Publishing someone’s identity can (but may not necessarily) run afoul of criminal laws. It all depends on what information is published and the intent with which it is published.

    • there isn’t but if the judge rules it not germane to the case at hand then they remain anon by default

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