He (Joe Morgan) said once you picked up one thing you’d start looking for the others, and you’d see them too. I used to play cards with a guy like that. He’d read your eyes and know what you had. Drive you crazy
Bill James Historical Baseball Abstract pp349 1985 on Joe Morgan and pitch-outs.
Michael Corleone if you don’t listen to me — and marry this man — you’ll disappoint me
The Godfather Part 2 1974
Anyone who has hung out with Robert Stacy McCain notes certain traits he has.
He enjoys his beer, he alternates between coffee and cigarettes in an unending loop, he is never short of an opinion, he doesn’t like to be interrupted when on “deadline” and he is the life of the party, and doesn’t take insults well.
He is a consummate showman, shameless self promoter, and if you have free pads, pencils or items that he might find useful within his reach, he will get them.
He is always at the tip of the spear on a story and has absolutely no problem tweaking the rules when it comes to getting access to get the story, he has tenacity.
But there is something else that, actually two somethings, I’ve seen in him that perhaps others have not. The first reminds me of a story my mother once told me.
She told me the story of a Sicilian in the old country who had a clash with a local Don in the mid 1800. It didn’t end well and he barely made it to America. But she wouldn’t give the names for the safety of their descendents. I scoffed saying: “C’mon Mom it’s over 150 years ago, you think that “family” is still looking for revenge after all these years?”
The look she gave me is the type of look only a full-blooded Sicilian can give and I felt like an idiot asking the question, of COURSE they would, that’s the whole point. It’s the same principle the Islamist uses to terrorize generations how have left the old country to come to America and Europe.
Stacy McCain is not a Sicilian, but he has the memory of a Sicilian. He doesn’t mind you messing with him, but messing with his family is generally a bad idea and while he is in full coverage mode he might not get to you right away, but he WILL get to you.
The second is his mind, Stacy’s library makes mine look small, only Mike Rogers of Granite Grok (who has an actual Library in his house, it’s incredibly cool btw) has more real life hard cover books. His mind is a steel trap, he will remember something he read in one of those book that he hasn’t touched in years and he will draw the connections from them. I remember his great debates with Little Miss Attila. He would quote volumes long past and hold those who wrote them to their words they wrote back when they thought nobody who would oppose them would read them.
Because he goes to so many obscure events people often assume that he simply made his luck by showing up. There is some truth to this but there is something more. What people don’t realize is Stacy is usually thinking four or five steps ahead of the story to make sure he is where the story is when he needs to be. The story is a chessboard and Stacy makes sure his pieces are where he wants them when it is time to move.
Sometimes, if you pay attention, he will telegraph his moves, for example in his current piece concerning Bill Schmalfeldt he says the following hidden in plain site in his 2500 plus words are the following facts:
it goes on all the time, and it’s wrong to blame Internet crime on the Internet. The problem is the criminals and the bullying viciousness that emerges from depraved souls who imagine they will never suffer real-life consequences for their online evil.
This sounds like a rhetorical flourish but this actually contains two important words Internet crime.
The Merriam Webster online dictionary defines “crime” as following:
1: an act or the commission of an act that is forbidden or the omission of a duty that is commanded by a public law and that makes the offender liable to punishment by that law; especially : a gross violation of law
Much later on in his story we have the following paragraph:
Schmalfeldt began attacking me in June, after the end of his “Baltimore” tenure at the Examiner and then, following his brief tenure as “Bill Matthews,” came after me again in late August while I was covering the Republican National Convention in Tampa.
The Key words in this paragraph being “June” and “August“. It has been 3-5 months since this has been going on yet as Stacy reveals he didn’t even mention this fellow until September 4th where he linked to this post at Allergic to Bull. This is a significant link because the the story there has the following passage:
So you got that? You defended Occupyrebellion by saying, “she doesn’t TELL anyone where your wife is.” And then you go and do precisely that: you tell everyone where his wife is and even suggest that people visit Stranahan’s house.
and later on this:
If this lawyer is straight with you, s/he will tell you that your online activities have put you in serious peril and that perhaps you should cool off for a while.
This was not a coincidence. This notice, a subtle notice, that a line, a legal actionable line had been crossed by Mr. Schmalfeldt.
Apparently Mr. Schmalfeldt didn’t take the hint and on Nov 4th he gives a less subtle second warning this time using his own words rather than Aaron Walker’s:
Barrett Brown is in federal custody, y’know. I blame Neal Rauhauser. And starting Nov. 7, I’ll have plenty of leisure to write about monstrous fools who vainly imagine they can distract me for more than a few minutes from my continuing coverage of this historic presidential campaign.
The key words in this post being “Barrett Brown is in federal custody” but apparently Mr. Schmalfeldt still did not appreciate the warning.
Now perhaps post election Mr. Kimberlin, Mr. Rauhauser and Mr. Schmalfeldt assumed that with a friendly justice department they would be protected but the Obama administration has not been shy about throwing people of much more consequence under the bus.
The motions for default judgements against the Kimberlin crowd should have been the final clue but Stacy being Stacy gave one final warning and while he didn’t name Mr. Schmalfeldt directly, he made this warning a lot less subtle than all the others:
Maybe Barrett Brown should have consulted Sue Basko before he began making threats to against an FBI agent and the agent’s family, and conspiring with “another person known to the grand jury” to publish “restricted information” about them. It’s against the law to “dox” a federal employee, that is, to publish their private information — home address, etc. — in order to expose the employee to harassment or intimidation. Furthermore — and some of the script-kiddies are going to be shocked by this — “doxing” is illegal no matter who the target is empahsis mine
and in case Mr. Schmalfeldt doesn’t believe him, he quotes Sue Basko who’s goal is to keep people like Mr. Schalfeldt out of jail.
Misinformation was spread that doxing is legal. I am not sure how or why anyone fell for that misinformation. Surely, people must understand instinctively, even if they were misled about the law, that if they are threatening someone or putting them at risk, or tormenting or harassing the other on the internet, that this must be illegal.
and in case Mr. Schmalfeldt doesn’t get the hit he being the Christian gentleman that he is, gives him one final out:
Within troll world, the people who engaged in “doxing” did so in the belief that their identities would never become known, and so this clearly illegal form of harassment — publishing people’s addresses, workplace phone numbers, etc., in order to intimidate them and expose them to harm — became an accustomed behavior that seemed to them entirely right and legal. (emphasis in original)
This is what we would call a last warning, five days before yesterday’s post. It was a warning that you are over your head, you have violated the law and if I come after you it will not end well. It’s the equivalent of a Sicilian putting his arm around your shoulder saying: “If you do this thing, I will be very disappointed”
Yet on Nov 23rd Mr. Schmalfeldt had not gotten the hint and Stacy was tweeting the following:
The key tweet being this one
@datechguyblog When a troll attacks me daily, sends me 20 Tweets an hour, doxes my wife?
— Robert Stacy McCain (@rsmccain) November 23, 2012
This was the final statement that the last line had been crossed and it was now too late, thus yesterday’s post. “But DaTechGuy”, you say, “too late for what? Stacy McCain just wrote a post, big deal.” I’ll tell you what, Stacy McCain has over the last month established the following:
1.. Mr. Schmalfeldt has been harassing him for at least 3-6 months
2. That said harassment was illegal
3. That others had warned him it was illegal directly
4. That a liberal lawyer who would be delighted to keep liberal trolls like Mr. Schmalfeldt out of trouble has publicly stated that these actions are illegal.
And Stacy McCain established all of these things publicly… yet Mr. Schmalfeldt kept doing them anyway.
And the Pièce de résistance he leads with a screenshot by Mr. Schmalfeldt And he doesn’t even point out this tweet:
@rsmccain Are you going to respond, or do I have to ask your wife and kids this very simple question?
— The Liberal Grouch (@LiberalGrouch) November 23, 2012
before he wrote his 2589 word line in the sand.
I’m sure a judge or jury seeing the photo of Mr. Schmalfeldt opposite a photo of Mrs. The Other McCain will find themselves totally in sympathy with Mr. Schmalfeldt even before they see the evidence of Doxing and Mr. Schmalfeldt’s nearly 700 followers on twitter will be amazed and surprised at how this ends.
I won’t be.
Tangling with Stacy is messing with a person with the Mindset of a Sicilian combined with the gameplay of a chessmaster as I suspect Mr. Schmalfeldt will discover.
Update: An Instalanche on a slow hit week is like finding a fountain in the Sahara. Thanks Glenn.
Update 2: The full power of internet math is about to go to work on the phrase “Bill Schmalfeldt is a liar.”
The Sicilian word you are looking for is “Vendetta”