Monday, June 11, 2012

In Reply: "I never thought that person did it because of their political leanings, I think they did it because they were cowardly bullies." (Popehat, Team Kimberlin, Donald Douglas)

Revised, expanded, and now updated, below, in reply to the following comment at the blog post Shut Up, They Explained: Another Blogger Threatened With Imprisonment For Writing About Brett Kimberlin | Popehat:
@Donald Douglas
"They view free speech as a right for those who uphold the progressive agenda."
That's news to me.

And I have been threatened with a defamation suit by someone who's right wing. I never thought that person did it because of their political leanings, I think they did it because they were cowardly bullies.

I feel yer pain...

I won't mention any names (not at Popehat, anyway), but I had a blogger (not so coincidentally named Donald Douglas) threaten to (and, according to what he himself publicly claimed, actually did) speak to two different police departments, unspecified federal authorities, at least one lawyer, AND his congressional representatives (again, at least one), primarily because I played tit-for-tat in the comment section of this fellow's blog whenever he mentioned me, even after he requested I not do so.

(For the record, none of the folks this blogger spoke to ever made any contact with me... ...but after speaking to several folks familiar with the law and/or the internet, and getting variations of the following advice from several of 'em, I pretty much stopped "inciting" said blogger...though we do still travel in some of the same circles.)

Here was that advice: "Any guy crazy enough to think he's entitled to have police officers, the FBI, and his congressman enforce the rules of his blog is likely crazy enough to be dangerous when he discovers that they cannot. In any case, it's probably not a good idea to put yourself in the position of finding out."

(This ties in with my recent comment at an earlier Popehat post on the subject: While those willing to stand up to Team Kimberlin even after being threatened--or actually attacked--by them are free speech heroes, there is something to be said for not poking bears or crazy people with sticks, no matter how richly they deserve it, and there is no great shame in refraining from doing so...)

Posted Jun 11, 2012 @4:22 am, Popehat blog time.

Updates, lots:

The blogger over at Popehat decided to remove a series of comments, beginning with mine, above, and continuing with several others that discussed what I wrote, after Dr. Douglas outed himself as the blogger to whom I was referring. While I believe the thread was discussing / debating important issues that are also at play in the Kimberlin saga, I can understand why Ken did what he did, and it is, after all, his establishment, not mine. I bear him no ill will.

That said, I don't believe the conversation should be lost, and not just because I was so heartened to read that others very quickly saw what I saw in Dr. Douglas' actions against me back then, especially as it relates to his hypocritical and nakedly partisan grandstanding about the Kimberlin matter now... ...though I'd be lying if I ever claimed that it had no bearing at all on my decision to repost the otherwise lost material. Guilty as charged.

Donald Douglas (@AmPowerBlog) • Jun 11, 2012 @9:08 am:
STFU Repsac. I went to the police because you were a ringleader in exactly the kind of campaigns that conservatives are now dealing with. You run an entire blog to attack me and organize workplace attacks: I was only after I took your harassment to the authorities that you finally stopped stalking me.
[It's 99% dormant now, and has been since February, but the "American Nihilist" blog was created to make fun of Dr. Douglas, and especially his at-one-time-pretty-consistant habit of slurring everyone and everything with which he did not agree with the adjective "nihilist." There was no "organization of workplace attacks," there, and no real "ringleader, either. I did start the blog, but there were several authors, all of whom wrote independently, and each of whom were wholly responsible for the content of their own posts. Donald is correct that I stopped responding to his posts and comments, both on my blog and on his --there was no "stalking"-- after he announced his trips to the police and congressman's offices but, as stated above, that was because it was at that moment I realized there really had to be something wrong with him. Normal, well-adjusted people don't appeal to the police and their congressional representatives to enforce their stated blog comment policies. On the advice of friends and law enforcement / legal professionals alike, I stopped poking the crazy man's cage, lest he take more extreme or violent action once he discovered that law enforcement would not make me stop commenting at his blog against his wishes.]


Donald Douglas (@AmPowerBlog) • Jun 11, 2012 @9:24 am:
@Repsac3: "...because I played tit-for-tat in the comment section of this fellow's blog whenever he mentioned me, even after he requested I not do so."
Yes, friends, I told Repsac to stop harassing me at MY BLOG. This is someone who backed a campaign of workplace attacks attempting to get me fired. He was not threatened with a lawsuit for defamation. He was about to prosecuted for criminal activity. So folks, again, please cite the examples of conservative lawfare. The campaign to silence speech is a left-wing phenomenon. That's nice that some "liberals" are speaking up here in the comments, but that doesn't mean that it's not the left that's seeking to clamp down on speech by any means necessary. See Pamela Geller for more: "Ray Bradbury Dead, Censorship On the Rise":
[There was no "harassment." At posts where Donald mentioned or referred to me, I would submit a comment defending myself against whatever slur the man had posted about me. Because he generally moderated his American Power comment section for content before the fact, my comment would not actually appear on his blog unless he allowed it to. And again, at no time did I back any campaign of workplace attacks, or in any way attempt to get to get Donald fired. In fact, I regularly spoke out against every person who ever contacted Donald's employers, whether politically partisan friend or foe, on principle. I cannot prove that I was NOT about to be prosecuted criminal activity--it's kinda hard to prove a negative--but I followed up with one of the police officers that Dr. Douglas spoke to, who assured me in no uncertain terms that I was not in any criminal legal jeopardy as far as her department was concerned (though she was not pleased with the behavior of either party in the dispute, and felt we both ought to grow up, or at least spend more time outside and away from the keyboard--advice I have tried to follow, ever since.) My family lawyer here in NY and a lawyer who specializes in internet reputation-related matters based in CA, each said the same. So maybe I was about to be prosecuted for some kinda criminal activity, or maybe I wasn't...but in point of fact, I was never prosecuted for anything, and no one from any department, office, or firm ever contacted me based on Dr. Douglas' many complaints. Make of that what you will...]


Ken • Jun 11, 2012 @9:27 am:
Pertinent comments are welcome, but please do not use this as a venue to carry on disputes from elsewhere. Thank you.


Scott Jacobs • Jun 11, 2012 @9:40 am:
The "amusing" thing? We likely would never have known Donny was the guy Repsac was talking about had he not spoken up...

Donald Douglas (@AmPowerBlog) • Jun 11, 2012 @9:48 am:
Ken, tell that to Repsac please. I'm not dragging in other disputes. I'm responding to falsehoods. Thanks.
[Ummm... No, no comment. Press on.]


Ken • Jun 11, 2012 @10:08 am:
It was directed to everyone.

Scott Jacobs • Jun 11, 2012 @10:15 am:
Yes, friends, I told Repsac to stop harassing me at MY BLOG.
Did you ever consider, you know, banning him? And I love how you outted who, exactly, he is. That's really classy, and totally not the sort of thing people like Team Kimberlin do. Oh, wait. It is exactly the sort of thing they do. Yeah, my bad there. They also don't go to law enforcement to stop people from saying mean things about them... Oh wait, they do. Shit. Well, I'm sure I'll come up with a way you totally aren't like them, Donny, don't you worry. I'll not rest until I have discovered a way in which you are kinda like them. Well, I'll start right after my nap...
[To be more fair than I really need to be, Dr. Douglas was (and is) on a Google/blogspot blog and was using their comment system, which gives one no method for actually banning someone. One can moderate all comments before the fact, or allow all comments and delete those one does not like after they post. That said, Donald did very clearly announce that I was banned from commenting on his blog, in what I imagined to be his most authoritative voice. As he did not choose to ban himself from attacking me with all manner of slurs and falsehoods in his blog, however, I did not take his verbal banning very seriously, and continued to submit comments to those posts where he referred to me or my blog by name or other identifying feature.]


Goober • Jun 11, 2012 @6:00 pm:
Donald - I followed your link. I found this interesting tidbit:
Harassment consists of the intentional crossing of your emotional or physical safety boundaries. You must have boundaries set in place clearly in order for that to apply.
All I have to say is that while repsac might be an asshat troll, you are even worse.

Are you seriously coming at us with this weak-sauce BS and claiming that you were justified in going to the authorities to get him to stop hurting your feelings because "he crossed your emotional safety boundary?" My guess is that kimberlin feels like his well-established emotional safety boundary has been crossed, too. By your standard, he is perfectly entitled to go to the police.

You want to claim that
1.) you are somehow above Bret Kimberlin and
2.)that right-wing bloggers don't engage in lawfare to stop people from saying things they don't like?

1.) You're not.
2.) You did. Or at least you tried.

You don't get to stand against Bret Kimberlin when you'd be doing the exact same thing to Repsac that Kimberlin is doing to his opponents if the authorities had taken you seriously and acted like you asked them to.

Tell me I'm wrong. Tell me that if the police had mistakenly pursued the matter, that you wouldn't be cheering them along. Tell me that.

And to say that your case is different than Kimberlins, I wonder how...

People said things about you that you didn't like.
They wouldn't stop when you asked them to.
They wouldn't stop when you warned them to.
They wouldn't stop when you demanded them to.

And so you went to the police.

Wait, I forgot, was i just describing your case or Kimberlin's? I lost track...

Ken is right. Stop with the partisan crap, folks. Right is right, wrong is wrong, and it doesn't matter which side of the political spectrum either comes from. if you let politics taint your thinking to the point to where you can condemn a man for doing something that you did, yourself, and justify it by playing a right vs. left game, you've lost track of the target.

Oh, and my politics are probably to the right of Ken's, in case you were preparing to throw insults my way about being a lefty supporter.

repsac3 • Jun 11, 2012 @6:51 pm:

Sorry to cause a kerfuffle...

My intent was just to say that:

1) these things happen, one way or another, all across the political spectrum. It's not about left or right--and especially not about "the left" and "the right," or any other demographic. It's about right and wrong, and that knows no color, creed, or political philosophy; and

2) bloggers and media types who don't discuss this whole "team Kimberlin" thing, whether because they are ignorant of the stories, or because they intentionally choose not to get involved out of confusion (some aspects go pretty far into the weeds) or out of fear of reprisal, are not evil and do not prove anything about the kind of people they are, either as individuals or as members of those demo groups I mentioned above.

As for the rest, both out of deference to the host and because it's all been said already anyway, I got nothin' more to add... (In retrospect, I'd even go back and subtract some, were it possible... But alas, bells cannot be unrung...)


Donald Douglas (@AmPowerBlog) • Jun 11, 2012 @7:04 pm:
To all the ignorant trolls who don't know what they are talking about, especially "Goober":

1. Repsac3 sponsored workplace attacks at his blog, designed to get me fired --- ultimately I found pro bono representation to defend against the left's lies and smears, which he never repudiated. I was defending against HIS BLOG's and his allies' Kimberlin-style attacks.

2. He harassed me at the comments to MY BLOG when he was told repeatedly to cease and desist --- that's not a "free speech" issue.

3. Brett Kimberlin is waging lawfare against anyone who criticizes him ON THEIR BLOGS, whereas I've never filed a lawsuit against anyone.

I'm not going to spam the comments with the evidence of the progressive attacks on me. THIS IS A PARTISAN ISSUE AND IT'S THE LEFT TRYING TO CRUSH FREE SPEECH. Progressives are on jihad. Look at the Atlas Shrugged link above FOR JUST ONE MORE example.

And get a clue, sheesh. Name one example of conservatives doing what Brett Kimberlin is doing. God, comparing me to Kimberlin, a convicted domestic bomber, is seriously deranged. Get some help.

Narad • Jun 11, 2012 @7:15 pm:
To all the ignorant trolls who don't know what they are talking about....
"Trolls"? I'm sorry that your CV as a complete academic washout failed to precede you before I responded previously, but perhaps you shouldn't compound the problem by not knowing what words mean.

Donald Douglas (@AmPowerBlog) • Jun 11, 2012 @7:20 pm:
@Repsac3, the guy who sponsored workplace attacks against my employment:
"...these things happen, one way or another, all across the political spectrum."
Wrong. Where are the conservatives waging lawfare against progressives for blogging the truth about someone? It's always the other way around. It goes like this: Progressives attack people. They then get called out for it by those defending the targets. And then they finally launch campaigns of destruction to obliterate their ideological enemies. The victim is either destroyed or ends up fighting long costly battles to defend themselves, as I did. It's that simple. No one here has evidence of a right-wing campaign against left bloggers who simply wrote the truth. I'll update my views when I see the evidence, but I'm not holding my breath. And with all due respect to Ken, Repsac3 is a proven liar.
[Response to the first link:
American Nihilist: Donald Douglas Says The Devil I Made 'em Do It... (See comments)
And response to the second:
American Nihilist: Donald Douglas: Satire Impaired]


Donald Douglas (@AmPowerBlog) • Jun 11, 2012 @7:24 pm:
"I'm sorry that your CV as a complete academic washout..."
Not. I'm an Associate Professor of Political Science at community college. The opposite of a washout, I'm a teacher and mentor to hundreds of political science students, and thousands of GE students over the years. And you? What do you do, besides launch ad hom attacks on people of which you have no clue?

Scott Jacobs • Jun 11, 2012 @7:25 pm:
No, Donny. While perhaps in this specific case it is about leftist groups funding an attack on free speech by (mostly) right-wing folks, the first target of this lawfare episode is a left-winger. And just because this single instance it is Leftists funding this, if you honestly think the Right is so virtuous as to never resort to threats of legal actions to silence critics, apparently you have never heard of Angela Corey. Nor of efforts to criminalize speech. Efforts that are supported by Republicans. See New York's efforts to pass cyber-bullying laws. See Tennesee's laws to that effect. See any number of similar instances. While, as Ken has said, there are valid partisan issues involved here, if you only care about this from a "Right vs Left" standpoint, you a) aren't helping the story because you become the basis of the Left's dismissal and b) you really don't give a flying fuck about free speech in the first place. I don't care who the fuck you think you are, Donny, but you're acting like a complete tool. How about you cut that out, hmm?

Jess • Jun 11, 2012 @7:31 pm:
Donald, I know I’ve posted this comment before but it bears repeating. It is what YOU make of it. You CHOOSE to make this a partisan issue and therefore in my opinion you are part of the problem. I’m with Scott Jacobs and Goober on this one. I don’t see anything about someone actually actively reaching out and contacting your employer and sending them false content to get you fired, which would be a different story all together. If your employer wastes their time getting hung up on reading some asshat’s blog you have a far bigger problem and that problem is with your employer. If you can’t delete or ignore asshat comments on your own blog you need to either become more technically competent or put on your big boy pants and suck it up knowing thats what happens when you have a blog. Ken has been the ONE place that has focused attention where it needs to be and you are becoming a very annoying distraction. Truly this is not the place for your pissing contest with another blogger. Please go away.

Ken • Jun 11, 2012 @7:34 pm:
I asked people not to drag a dispute from elsewhere to here. Apparently people felt that I didn't mean it. They continued, and others engaged them in it.

I've deleted the comments that were engaging in the dispute. If you have a problem with that, or will have difficulty not engaging in this any more, please go take a breather someplace until you are OK with it.

For now, cut it out. Further persistence will be met with me editing comments to amuse myself.


Following Ken's putting his foot down on this whole thread, Donald tried to justify his participation in it to Ken via Twitter, offering up still more links ostensibly "proving" I am the devil incarnate or whatever, and followed that up with quite the twitter war with Scott Jacobs--who by the way, is romantically involved with Breitbart blogger Mandy Nagy (Liberty_Chick), who in turn, has been intimately involved in this whole Kimberlin affair almost from the beginning.

You can imagine how it all turned out...

Anyway... That's my story, and I'm stickin' to it

1 comment:

Kevin Robbins said...

Reppy, thanks for saving that thread for posterity. It was priceless.

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