Today is the fifth anniversary of the hearing which resulted in the extension of the first peace order issued against Bill Schmalfeldt. I have many pleasant memories of that hearing, but my favorite was of being the witness stand while the judge had interrupted the Cabin Boy’s™ questioning of me in order to explain yet another point of law that Schmalfeldt misunderstood—and looking past him into the gallery to see The Dread Deadbeat Prius-Driver Brett Kimberlin (who had driven the Cabin Boy™ to court) chuckling over Schmalfeldt’s stupidity.
I suspect my memories of the day are more pleasant that Schmalfeldt’s.
I have occasionally observed that the members of Team Kimberlin have delusions of adequacy, but that’s not the only delusional behavior. Five years ago today, I poked fun at one of Bill Schmalfeldt’s attempts at chest-thumping as he prepared to defeat my petition for extension of the first peace order issued against him. The post was titled #BillSchmalfeldt and Bluto.
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What kind of self-image does Bill Schmalfeldt have?
A reader sent me a link to a tweet with a YouTube video that the Cabin Boy posted this morning. The theme of the video is the lopsided defeat of one football team by another which I guess is supposed to symbolize the thrashing he imagines he will give me in court on 9 December. He’s used scenes lifted from an old Popeye cartoon.
In that cartoon, Bluto’s team is a bunch of large thugs who start out winning by brute force and violating the rules. Does Bill Schmalfeldt really self-identify with Bluto?
One more thing … the Cabin Boy’s little video doesn’t show you what happens after Popeye has his spinach and who really wins in the end.
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On second thought, the Cabin Boy™ was thoroughly defeated at the court hearing on my petition and his subsequent attempt to have me charged with perjury went nowhere. So like Bluto, he’s a bully and a loser.
Bullies always whine when they are confronted. They don’t think it’s fair when you hit them back, and indeed, Bill Schmalfeldt was very cross when a court held him accountable for his harassment of me and ordered him to stop. This post called A Snapshot of My Twitter Mentions from five years ago today dealt with some of his whining about that first peace order.
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I’m told that Bill Schmalfeldt is now claiming that I’m crazy because he thinks I follow his every word. I don’t, but I do see all of the tweets he sends me. (Click the image to embiggen it.)@WMSBroadcasting is one of Schmalfeldt’s Twitter accounts.
The Cabin Boy seems to think that I’m under some obligation to block him on Twitter. He has things backwards. The peace order issued against him says that he is supposed to avoid contacting me. If that isn’t convenient for him, too bad.
OTOH, I am free to look at his writing, and I occasionally do. The Cabin Boy sometimes writes things in which I have a legitimate interest. For example, Schmalfeldt’s rantings have been a source of leads for the legal team supporting the defendants in the various vexatious lawsuits filed by Brett Kimberlin.
Meanwhile, the adjudicated and confessed harasser keeps flouting that peace order.
UPDATE—Confessed harasser? Yep. He confessed. He posted this email on Twitter last August.
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As can be seen in the BCC line of that email, the Cabin Boy™ isn’t too sharp on OPSEC either. That gave away … well … let’s just say there were folks who found useful information in that email address.
Bill Schmalfeldt tries to pass himself off as a journalist. Back in 2013, he joined the Society of Professional Journalists, apparently in an attempt bolster his claim in his appeal of the first peace order issued against that he really, truly was a working journalist and that the mean, nasty peace order infringed his First Amendment rights. Of course, his bragging about being a member of that society prompted some pointage, laughery, and mockification, beginning with this post about Professionalism from five years ago today.
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Bill Schmalfeldt is bragging that he’s now a member of the Society of Professional Journalists. I presume that means that he went to our website, ticked the right boxes on the online form, and paid his $75 dues.
In a few years, his dues will be cut in half to the rate I pay as an “Over 62 Retired Member.”Yawn.
UPDATE—Apparently, the Cabin Boy has his panties in a knot because I’m a member of SPJ.A [redacted] fraud? Oh, come now! I presume that we were both are currently qualified for membership under the same standards, and I’m at a loss to understand why the date I joined (or rejoined, as the case may be) is of any relevance to qualification for membership. Basically, anyone who will say that he spends half-time or more doing something related to “journalism,” who is retired from doing such work, or who is studying to do such work and who pays the appropriate dues may be a member. There’s no background check or letters of recommendation required.
I was a working journalist doing broadcast news before Bill Schmalfeldt got to high school. I’m doing it again (part time) as a blogger. In between, I’ve had a career as a soldier, an engineer, and a businessman.
The Cabin Boy did get one thing right.There’s no way I’d waste good money just to pull his chain.
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One of the reasons that Team Kimberlin’s various schemes fail is that the lies they tell to support them are so transparent. Later in the day, five years ago today, I wound up posting about the Forgery the Cabin Boy™ published to try to keep his whining narrative alive.
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Bill Schmalfeldt has tweeted this concerning my membership in the Society of Professional Journalists …… and included this image with his tweet.
His image has some interesting properties. For example, it’s exactly the same dimension (450 X 572 pixels) as this image I published.There are also some differences. Take a look at the Join Date shown on the Cabin Boy’s version. Now, look at the redaction bar for the same information in mine. The reason the bar is so long on mine is that the date and time were shown when I screen capped the information. If Schmalfeldt had removed the redaction bar from mine, the time stamp should be visible.
Also, the numbers shown for the Join Date on the Cabin Boy’s version are slightly larger than those shown on the Birth Date line. It’s almost is if someone pasted a large white rectangle over my redaction bar and then typed in a date with almost, but not quite, the right size font.
BTW, no one would have access to the my membership maintenance page without my username and password. That’s one of the reasons why the last part of my username is obscured.
UPDATE—One commenter asks why the Join Date isn’t in a box. It isn’t a changeable item on the form so it doesn’t have a data entry box.
Speaking of boxes, here are the Birth Date and Join Date from the Cabin Boy’s version with the small box superimposed around them. Note that the slash marks for the Birth Date do not extend the full height of the box, but those for the Join Date do. Close inspection will also show that the numerals are of different height as well.
UPDATE 2—The Gentle Reader will kindly note that I have not said that the Cabin Boy made any representation that the image he posted was of my actual information. I very carefully quoted him by reproducing his tweet. Still, the question remains—is what he posted a forgery?
UPDATE 3—The Cabin Boy says that his personal blog posts and tweets aren’t “journalism.” That’s probably what he thinks is the loophole that gets around this part of the Society of Professional Journalists Code of Ethics with respect to that modified image:
Journalists should: … Never distort the content of news photos or video.
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None of this did anything to help the Cabin Boy’s™ appeal. The Court of Appeals denied his petition, and the Circuit Court denied his motion to amend the order and eventually renewed it for an additional six months. It was a completely wasted effort—except as a source of pointage, laughery, and mockification.
Dealing with the Cabin Boy™ has often been a battle of wits with an unarmed man.
In June, 2013, the Circuit Court for Carroll County issued a peace order against Bill Schmalfeldt requiring him to refrain from contacting me in any way for six months. On the evening of 7 July, 2013, I checked my Twitter timeline and found a tweet which I published as the TKPOTD five years ago today.
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Contacting me via that tweet started the chain of events leading to the first of a half-dozen or so charges (over 360 counts) of failure to obey a peace order and harassment being issued against Schmalfeldt by District Court Commissioners. It was also the first of almost 500 instances of unwanted contacts that led the Circuit Court to renew the peace order in December, 2013.
The real pushback against the Cabin Boy’s™ cyberthuggery was beginning. Within a year, he would have filed and withdrawn his first LOLsuit against bloggers and commenters who wrote truthfully about him and his activities. It’s been downhill for him ever since, and I not through with him yet.
Cabin Boy Bill has posted what appears to be the text of an email to the Howard County State’s Attorney’s Office about Aaron Walker. In describing Aaron Walker’s presence at the three recent hearing in the two Hoge v. Schmalfeldt peace order cases, Schmalfeldt writes:
Walker sat right at Hoge’s side through all of this.
That is not true. At both of the District Court hearings (28 February and 29 March), I represented myself. I was alone at the Petitioner’s table in the courtroom. Mr. Walker was sitting in the public gallery. He was there for two purposes. First, although it turned out that his testimony was not necessary, he was a potential witness. Second, he was there in order to be able to blog about what he saw. The Gentle Reader will notice that from the time I filed a complaint against Bill Schmalfeldt until I won the case in Circuit Court, I refrained from making any substantive comment about matters concerning the two of us that were before the courts. Just as I had written about Aaron’s cases last year, he has written about mine this year.
Aaron Walker was also present during the Hoge v. Schmalfeldt appeal in Circuit Court this month. He was there for the same two reasons. I was ably represent by Zoa Barnes at that hearing, and I sat with her at the Petitioner’s table. Aaron sat near the back of the courtroom on the opposite side from where Brett Kimberlin sat.
In one sense, my friend Aaron Walker has been at my side through all this nonsense with Bill Schmalfeldt. More important, he’s had my back. And so have a lot of other people—if I tried to name them all, I’d probably screw up and forget some of them, but they know who they are. I want to thank all of them.
Schmalfeldt is not only a liar, he’s a loser. The Circuit Court reversed the findings of the District Court in the first Hoge v. Schmalfeldt peace order case. In throwing out Schmalfeldt’s Motion of Dismiss, it effectively ruled that the District Court erred in it’s dismissal of the second peace order case. (I didn’t appeal that case because I felt certain of winning the appeal of the first. Why go to the expense of a redundant peace order appeal?) The Circuit Court found that Schmalfeldt did, in fact, engage in the harassment underlying the peace order petition. The related criminal charges were nolle prossed by the State’s Attorney’s Office. Nolle prosequi is not an adjudication on the merits of the prosecution or on the guilt or innocence of the accused. It isn’t a guarantee that the defendant will not be later recharged. Indeed, prosecutors use nolle prosequi instead of outright dismissals so that a defendant may be recharged without running afoul of a double jeopardy claim. Schmalfeldt has never been found not guilty; he has only temporarily beaten the rap. Now that a higher court has found that Schmalfeldt engaged in harassment, the State’s Attorney could recharge him with a reasonable expectation of getting a conviction in the District Court.
Bill Schmalfeldt is huffing and puffing about legal action again. Before he brings a lawsuit against anyone, he should consider that a plaintiff who does not cooperate with the discovery process can expect to have his case dismissed with prejudice.
He can huff and puff all he pleases. If he’ll look at the pictures of my house he downloaded, he’ll see that I’m the one who lives in a house made of bricks.
UPDATE—Any decision to recharge Bill Schmalfeldt is a matter for the Carroll County State’s Attorney’s Office. Their decision to nolle pros the cases was based on the failure of the related peace order petitions in the District Court where the same judges would try the criminal cases. I was told that a successful appeal might lead them to reevaluate the cases.
My appeal was successful. The State’s Attorney’s Office has the option of refiling some or all of the charges.
I am gratified to know that the Cabin Boy intends to share this post with the Howard County State’s Attorney’s Office, but I don’t understand why. This post documents one of the falsehoods that he uses to try to establish that Aaron Walker has practiced law in Maryland. That may tend to diminish his credibility with the State’s Attorney’s Office. Moreover, it’s one thing to have a hazy recollection of a past event, but it’s quite another to get a whole story substantially wrong. There’s enough provably false material in his email that the Cabin Boy may have bought himself some trouble. See Md. CRIMINAL LAW Code Ann. § 9-503. The idea that Aaron Walker was practicing law in Maryland in the Kimberlin v. Allen case was also part of a accusation Brett Kimberlin made in a bar complaint in Virginia last year. I’ll bet that the Virginia State Bar will be willing to share their findings with their Maryland colleagues. They found the complaint to be baseless.
I’ll also point out that a Circuit Court has found that he has engaged in harassment. If memory serves, the Howard County charges against Schmalfeldt were nolle prossed as well. Is he trying to get the Howard County State’s Attorney to reexamine the complaints by Lee Stranahan and Aaron Walker in light of the Carroll County finding?
As to a malicious prosecution lawsuit such as the Cabin Boy has mentioned, one of the elements he would have to prove is a lack of probable cause in the criminal cases. The Circuit Court’s finding that he engaged in harassment would support that I had probable cause to believe that he was engaged in harassing me by various means. Wouldn’t that gut any potential case?
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There’s a reason why the Cabin Boy™ is referred to as The Dreadful Pro-Se Schmalfeldt. In the case of the first peace order, the facts and the law were so conclusively against him that he couldn’t win even with the assistance of a real lawyer.
It was five years ago today that the first peace order was issued against Bill Schmalfeldt. He’s racked up a dozen or so since then.
Here’s the story of what he did to earn that first one.
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As those of you who have been following the Saga of The Dread Pirate Kimberlin and Team Kimberlin will remember, Cabin Boy Bill Schmalfeldt spent months harassing Lee Stranahan and his family with disgustingly crude filth, including incessant and impertinent questions regarding the death of a child during childbirth. On Monday, 11 February, Lee came to Maryland from Texas to file a harassment charge against Schmalfeldt. I picked Lee up at BWI airport, took him to dinner, took him to the District Court Commissioner’s Office, put him up for the night at my house, and dropped him back at the airport on Tuesday morning. BWI is just off of one of the routes I take to work.
On 14 February, I received 40 tweets in less than one hour from @BreitbartUnmask ranting about Lee Stanahan, Aaron Walker, and me. Just after midnight on 15 February, I posted a notice on this blog and on Twitter addressed to @OldUncleBastard, @BreitbartUnmask, and @OccupyRebellion demanding that they stop communicating directly with me. Note: The date/time stamps on the tweets in this post are in GMT; I’ll convert important ones to Eastern Time for clarity.
Later that day, Schmalfeldt sent a tweet via his @OldUncleBastard identity referencing my demand. He was clearly on notice.
OldUncleBastard @Xcitizen10 @BreitbartUnmask A commentator on @wjjhoge’s blog post http://t.co/uZkIc4lA explains what the right wing mafia cabal wants.
6:37 PM Feb 15th from web
Click on that link yourself and see. The time stamp on the tweet converts to 1:37 pm Eastern Time.
He continued to send tweets to my @wjjhoge account. Between the tweet cited above and around 7:27 pm on 18 February, 2013, Schmalfeldt sent 11 more tweets to @wjjhoge. Because of this continued messaging following my demand to cease as well as other matters, I filed an Application for Statement of Charges on 18 February, 2013. Schmalfeldt was charged with both Harassment under §3-803 and Misuse of Electronic Communication under §3-805. Even though he was on notice and had had criminal harassment charges filed, Schmalfeldt kept sending me tweets and addressed a blog post to me—not a post about me, one addressed to me.
At midday on 18 February, 2013, during his Internet radio broadcast, Schmalfeldt made the following threat at around 1:02:40 into the program:
It’s all horseshit. It’s all absolute horseshit. And I and my family have been put through pain and suffering because Lee Stranahan has a grudge. Because somebody, in my opinion, is paying Lee Stranahan to file these charges against me, in the hopes that I will either break or die. I got some fucking news for you, Stranny [pause] Walker, Hoggy, Frey [pause] and Frey [pause] beware the Ides of March.
Here is an mp3 file of the threat.
If Schmalfeldt were not associated with Team Kimberlin, I would have taken that threat as empty bloviating. But, given his connection to Kimberlin, the persons threatened, and our upcoming schedules, we all took the threat seriously. You see, the Ides of March fell during the Conservative Political Action Conference this year, and three of the persons threatened planned to be at CPAC and to attend BlogBash. BlogBash is a blogger party/awards ceremony that is loosely associated with other events, one of which is the CPAC. As it turned out, there were additional threats made to BlogBash which caused the PG County Police to beef up security around the event. So I was not the only person to take such a threat seriously.
After he was charged on the 18th, he sent an additional 31 tweets. This the last of those tweets, time stamped at 8:17 am ET, Schmalfeldt sent out prior to being served with the peace order:
LiberalGrouch I wonder what @wjjhoge got by way of payment. Something to comb out the poop flakes from his beard? Hah. I kid. I’m a kidder. I kid that way.
1:17 PM Feb 17th from web
Aside from the juvenile attempt at potty humor, this tweet implies that I have been lying about being paid to blog or making money off donations or that I’ve been helping my friends Lee Stranahan and Aaron Walker from any motivation other than friendship. Let me state this very clearly: Until I recently set up a tip jar after my retirement from working full-time, I had never been paid to write anything on this or any other blog. Even today, I have never received any donation or benefit from any of the bloggers or organizations I have promoted on this or any other blog. This blog is a hobby and an expensive one. I have personally borne all of the expense associated with it, including legal costs. I’ve been able to do this because, until the end of May, I have had an above average income working in a very senior engineering position. I’m getting old and have now retired from full-time work. I’ve put up a PayPal tip jar and and Amazon Associate’s link. In the first two weeks, I’ve earned almost as much money as I net from 0.2 hour of part-time work at my current billing rate. If I’m lucky, I may earn enough to keep up with the web hosting expenses for this site.
On 19 February, 2013, the Breitbart Unmasked website published a post with Schmalfeldt’s Liberal Grouch byline. This was not a post about me. It was a post addressed to me. The about versus to is an important distinction. Bill Schmalfeldt, or anyone else for that matter, has a First Amendment right to write and speak about me (assuming he can stay with in the bounds of defamation or illegal threats), but he has no right to speak to me. I have a right to be left alone. The headline addressed the post to me by name:
Stranahan. McCain. Akbar. Worthing. Hoge. Frey. THIS IS ON YOU!
The post contains the following:
Will it make you feel more like a man instead of some crawling thing, Hoge?
Hoge. You are filth. You add nothing to the world. You are a stain. You know it. I know it. And that is why I must be killed.
Neither I nor, so far as I know, any of the others addressed in that post have ever threatened Bill Schmalfeldt.
Because these annoying and alarming communications directed to me continued after I had demanded that they stop, continued after the demand was tacitly acknowledged, and even continued after I had filed a harassment charge, I filed for a peace order on 21 February, 2013, and a temporary order was granted by Judge Rasinsky. According to the report from the Howard County Sheriff’s Office (as reported to me by the Carroll County Sheriff’s Office), Schmalfeldt was served at approximately 9:15 am on 22 February, 2013. At or around 9:17 am on that date, he sent the following tweet:
LiberalGrouch A person who I will refer to by the pseudonym “Hoggy” has served me with a Peace Order. Two very nice Sheriff’s deputies just dropped by.
During the hearing for the permanent peace order on 28 February, 2013, Schmalfeldt authenticated all of the tweets, blog post material, and audio presented to the Court. However, Judge Rasinsky did not understand that Schmalfeldt had sent a tweet that acknowledged the notice to cease and desist, and Schmalfeldt lied, saying that he had received no notice. Lacking notice, Judge Rasinsky did not issue the permanent order, but he put Schmalfeldt on notice to stop:
The warning I want to give you is very specific, and it’s not an unusual warning for me to give. The battle line is drawn. He doesn’t want to hear from you, and that means no specific things addressed to him. If I was convinced that you had been put on notice and there were a course of conduct specifically addressed to him, I believe that that is something in the ordinary context of events that this statute would cover. Ah, I didn’t write the statute, but it’s constitutional up to this point, and it can circumscribe various freedoms that you might, in fact, have. Plus, it can also subject you ultimately, as it already has, to a criminal case where you may or may not win, I don’t know, [inaudible] look at the criminal case. I have it here. [inaudible] You’ve got to ask yourself, “Is it worth it?” You may conclude that it is. Some people, ah, are willing to go to jail for their beliefs, but I see that as a risk in this, ah, ongoing exploration of Internet First Amendment rights. Just a thought to share with you. I’m not going to grant the Peace Order for the reason I stated, but you are on notice, and hopefully, ah, you’ll abide by the conditions that Mr. Hoge has imposed in terms of your contact with him, and, ah, continue your debate in a peaceful, civil, and legal manner.
While I was exiting the courtroom after the hearing, I overheard a very loud conversation between Tae Kim (Schmalfeldt’s counsel), Bill Schmalfeldt, and Brett Kimberlim informing them that they had been lucky that day but could expect to go to jail if they kept up the harassment. This conversation was also overheard by two other witness.
Judge Rasinsky explicitly rejected Schmalfeldt’s contention that as a journalist he has a right to continue to “ask questions” of someone after being told to cease and desist. However, in another peace order hearing in Howard County (Walker v. Schmalfeldt), Judge Zwaig ruled, in what seem to be an odd extension of New York Times v. Sullivan, that Aaron Walker was enough of a public figure that he had to put up with Schmalfeldt’s harassment. In both cases, Schmalfeldt’s lawyer argued that he was a journalist entitled to some sort of special protection.
During early March, Schmalfeldt had continued communicating with me in spite of Judge Rasinsky’s warning. I filed for a second Peace Order. At the final hearing on 25 March, 2013, Judge Ellinghaus-Jones ruled that because the communications were electronic, she could not issue a peace order. After beating that peace order, Schmalfeldt, believing that he could do whatever he pleases, kept up tweeting. During that hearing, Mr. Kim argued the neither his client nor I were journalist but that we were a couple of old cranks having a shouting match on the Internet.
So as of the end of March, Bill Schmalfeldt was able to brag that he had beaten three peace orders. Once by lying and twice by alternately claim that he was or wasn’t a journalist. In mid April, the Carroll County States Attorney’s Office decided not to prosecute any of the charges filed against Scmalfeldt that were related to the peace orders, their reason being that if I couldn’t convince a District Court judge to a clear and convincing standard, they wouldn’t convince the same judge beyond reasonable doubt. The State’s Attorney’s Office did tell me that the charges could be refiled if I were to win a peace order on appeal.
Because I believed that I had air-tight documentation to refute the lie about not being on notice, I appealed the first peace order to the Circuit Court. During the District Court hearings, I had represented myself. I hired a lawyer (Zoa Barnes) to handle the appeal. As part of that appeal, she subpoenaed documents that might be shed light on Schmalfeldt’s motivation to harass me. His lawyer filed a Motion to Quash the subpoenas. The Gentle Reader who has been following this saga may remember that Schmalfeldt was subpoenaed for documents and as a witness for the Hoge v. Kimberlin peace order appeal in May and that he didn’t bother to provide the documents or show up to the hearing. Mr. Kim also filed a Motion to Dismiss based on the same electronic-harassment-isn’t-covered argument that worked in the District Court.
It didn’t work with Judge Stansfield today, and he quickly threw out the Motion to Dismiss. Rather than argue the Motion to Quash, my lawyer asked if Schmalfeldt had brought the subpoenaed document. He hadn’t, so the judge ruled the motion moot, and the hearing began.
After opening statements by the lawyers, I took the stand and outlined for the judge (with greater detail) the facts you’ve just read. On cross examination, Mr. Kim tried to make the case about my “wanting to get” Brett Kimberlin. I replied that the case was based on Bill Schmalfeldt’s behavior toward me. And the petitioner rested.
Bill Schmalfeldt took the stand on his own behalf. He misrepresented Twitter’s Rules and Best Practices about the use of @Replies, but my lawyer had already introduced Twitter’s actual rule into evidence, so the judge was not misled.
During his closing argument, Kim brought up a federal case, U. S. v. Cassidy, that he tried to use a precedent for a First Amendment defense of Schmalfeldt. As Ms. Barnes pointed out, that case was not gemane; it deals with whether Internet harassment is covered under the Violence Against Women Act.
Judge Stansfield ruled in my favor. He found that Bill Schmalfeldt engaged in a continuing pattern of conduct to harass or annoy me, that he continued to do so after being told to stop, and that he did so without any lawful purpose. He also found that Bill Schmalfeldt was likely to continue that behavior and, on that basis, he issued a peace order.
What does that mean?
First, Bill Schmalfeldt has been adjudicated as a harasser.
Second, if he doesn’t leave me alone for the next six months, he can be charged with a crime.
What does it not mean?
It doesn’t mean that the First Amendment is trouble, at least not because of this ruling. Bill Schmalfeldt is still free to write about me so long as he steers clear of threats or defamation. He simply needs to stop addressing me directly.
It does not mean that any Twitter user is in any jeopardy as long has he abides by Twitter’s Rules and Best Practices if he has been told to stop bothering someone else.
As I’m finishing this post, the Cabin Boy is frothing at the keyboard about how his loss in court may shutdown Twitter and end online journalism.
My final word is this—
UPDATE—One more thing … Bill Schmalfeldt has written in the past of how the District Court judges dealt with me. I wish to state that much of what he wrote is categorically untrue. At all times while I was in their courtrooms, Judges Effinghaus-Jones and Green acted professionally and treated me with respect. Indeed, I was particularly impressed with Judge Green’s demeanor and the kindness he showed to everyone who appeared before him.