Prevarication Du Jour

LR201310201911ZWords have meaning. Here’s the meaning of the English intransitive verb to rail

rail \ˈrāl\ : to revile or scold in harsh, insolent, or abusive language.

Here’s the meaning of the English noun racketeer

rack·e·teer \ˌra-kə-ˈtir\ : a person who makes money through illegal activities.

If the link in that tweet were live (it isn’t, at least not from this blog), it would take you to a post at the Cabin Boy’s patriot-ombudsman dot com website that claims to show how The Dread Pirate Kimberlin has the defendants in his Kimberlin v. The Universe, et al. RICO suit dead to rights. As usual, his presentation is the sort that would be shredded in a high school debate contest.

Now, as to whether Schmalfeldt should describe the various commentaries on his “coverage” of the suit as railing, let me admit that some most of them do, in fact, revile the Cabin Boy. However, for that to be railing the comments would have to be harsh or insolent or abusive.

Harsh? While he might have found some comments jarring, they haven’t been cruel in so far as the truth isn’t cruel.

Insolent? While he might rightly think that most of the comments show little or no respect for him, that lack of respect stems not from the arrogance of the commenters but from the Cabin Boy’s truly inferior understanding of the facts and the law.

Abusive? Oh, come now. Certainly, it would be abusive to speak of most people as many commenters speak of Bill Schmalfeldt, but, in this case, telling the truth isn’t abuse. It’s earned.

The Schmalfledt Standard of Journalistic Ethics™ (don’t laugh) holds that one may not label someone as criminal until that person has been convicted of the crime in question. By that standard one may call Brett Kimberlin a perjurer, a drug smuggler, or a bomber but not a stalker or harasser, and that standard is so strict that even someone such as myself who is an eyewitness to his stalking and a victim of his harassment shouldn’t do so.

Fine. Then why is Schmalfeldt referring to my 20 codefendants and me in Kimberlin’s RICO suit as “racketeers”? Not only have none of us been convicted of racketeering or any related crime, none of us have been charged with racketeering or a related crime. Yes, TDPK has alleged that we formed an illegal conspiracy against him, but that’s a civil matter. It isn’t a criminal charge.

OTOH, Kimberlin has been convicted of making money through illegal activities. Thus, under The Schmalfeldt Standard of Journalistic Ethics™, I am in the clear if I refer to Brett Kimberlin as a convicted racketeer.

Of course, Kimberlin’s allegations don’t pass the laugh test. Does he really think that Glenn Beck takes orders from Patrick Frey? Does he really believe that I’ve been working with Simon & Schuster to oppress him? Is there any wonder why we’re laughing at his bogus suit?

We defendants will have to dot a few Is and cross a few Ts to get the suit thrown out of court, so we have to take it seriously to that extent, but, as a real legal threat, it’s bullshit.

So is all the PR flacking coming from Bill Schmalfeldt.

UPDATE—Ken White analyzes the fragility of Kimberlin’s lawsuits over at Popehat.

11 thoughts on “Prevarication Du Jour

  1. I would beg to differ that the Schmalfeldt Standard of Journalistic Ethics “holds that one may not label someone as criminal until that person has been convicted of the crime in question.” I would suggest that Schmalfeldt has asserted that that is a necessary condition, but, not a sufficient one. Schmalfeldt has consistently reserved the right to discount convictions of which he disapproves. For instance, Brett Kimberlin continues to persist in various conspiracy theories that he was falsely imprisoned and convicted by a malicious, and politically motivated, prosecutor. That is good enough for Bill Schmalfeldt to place his conviction in doubt. Nor, has Schmalfeldt been entirely consistent in asserting that standard as necessary. It is certainly necessary for you, if he finds it convenient!

    Fundamentally, there is only one Journalistic Ethic to which Bill Schmalfeldt adheres: the omniscience of Bill Schmalfeldt.

  2. Please feel free to delete this comment.

    As I’ve read links, commentaries, lawsuits, etc., I have noted people’s varied reactions to the word “pedophile.” The dictionary is quite clear on this, as are other sources: it is an ATTRACTION to children, up to and including 13 year olds. An attraction. Does saying that everybody wants to “f*ck a teenage girl” evince a sexual attraction to teenage girls, a group to which 13 year-olds belong? You decide.

    • We are dealing with a word which is a term of art in medicine and psychology but has a slight more expansive common meaning. So far as I know, none of the people being sued are medical or psychological practitioners, so I suspect they may not have been using the term in the more restricted sense.

      And which dictionary are you using? My Random House Dictionary of the English Language defines pedophilia as “sexual desire in an adult for a child.” Most adults consider a 15 year old to still be a child. Certainly, the law does.

      • My Random House says the same, but I also said “other sources.” Wikipedia, for example, states the following:

        “As a medical diagnosis, pedophilia or paedophilia is a psychiatric disorder in persons 16 years of age or older typically characterized by a primary or exclusive sexual interest toward prepubescent children (generally age 11 years or younger, though specific diagnostic criteria for the disorder extends the cut-off point for prepubescence to age 13).”

        • Many words have a common meaning that is not the same as their meanings when used as technical terms of art. The common usage of paranoid does not fully align with the medical/psychological usage.

          In engineering a lamp is what most people would call a light bulb, a bulb is the glass envelope around the lamp, and what most people would call a lamp is a light fixture. However, that in no way makes illegal someone referring to the light source on his desk as a “lamp” or asking how many ______s it takes to screw in a light bulb.

      • Which, I think, is my point. A close family friend is a practicing psychologist, Ph.D., with over 20 years of experience. When you say that word to her, she does not think “convicted”; she thinks in terms of attraction, not in terms of a criminal conviction.

  3. One of my favorite parts of Ken White’s post:

    “Kimberlin, through his complaint, has put squarely at issue his reputation and the grounds for it, the financing of his “charities,” and his interactions with his confederates and friends. Those would be some interesting depositions.”

    Yes, interesting depositions.

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