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Why am I blogging about Brett Kimberlin?

I have been following the Brett Kimberlin case, much linked to of late by Instapundit, with interest, but with some confusion.

It is not that I consider exercises like Everybody Blog About Brett Kimberlin Day to be pointless. It is that I remain genuinely confused about what that point might be. Who, exactly, are we all trying to convince, and of what, exactly?

I get the impression that all those blogging about this do know their answers to this question, but to them, it’s obvious, and if they ever did spell it out, that was many days ago. So, what are those answers?

Kimberlin is a bad, bad man, who has a history of villainy generally, and in particular of trying to intimidate bloggers who point this fact out. So yes, the cost in potential intimidation from Brett Kimberlin of lots of us blogging about Brett Kimberlin is small, and all the smaller for lots and lots of us doing this, especially from a nice safe distance like from London. But what exactly does me mentioning the name of Brett Kimberlin, on the blog that I write for, accomplish?

Does it intimidate Brett Kimberlin himself, and thereby stop him intimidating any more bloggers and from intimidating any more the bloggers he is intimidating now? How? Isn’t Kimberlin rather pleased to have got up the noses of so many bloggers whom he already detests and despises, and turned into a minor internet celebrity like this?

Does it persuade the forces of law and order to stomp all over Kimberlin, more than they have been doing lately? Again, how?

Is the idea to show to mainstream Americans that the mainstream media are rubbish, for not mentioning this story? If so, what exactly is the plan for reaching mainstream America with this proposition?

Leading directly on from the previous question, is the idea to embarrass the mainstream media into mentioning the story? Their current opinion of all this is, presumably, that a lot of stupid right wing blogs are making a gigantic fuss about a small-time crook, who has gone some way towards rejoining polite society by making himself useful to the left-wing cause, which just goes to show that Kimberlin is doing something good, having annoyed all the right right wing nutters. And given that not even that opinion will find its way into the mainstream media any time soon, nothing much would seem to be being accomplished on that front either.

The pieces I have been reading during the last week or so have entirely convinced me that Brett Kimberlin is a bad man, and that those who support him with money, or who did once upon a time, are at best very stupid, and probably not at all stupid but very, very bad also, arguably even worse than Kimberlin himself, in particular Barbra Streisand and Brett Kimberlin’s evil and/or stupid aunt. My opinion of George Soros, to mention another Kimberliner, has gone done (even further). I had not realised until now quite what a brazen villain he is. But convincing someone like me of things as simple as these hardly amounts to much by way of an objective. I have no objection in principle to preaching to the choir. This can often be a very valuable exercise. I am positively asking for exactly such preaching now. But what valuable lesson might this particular chorister be learning from the Kimberlin affair, that I might otherwise have neglected? Or is it that all this just makes me … think about things?

Is it a case of all of the above? The matter is easily blogged about, fun to blog about, and will achieve a wide variety of relatively small but desirable things.

My questions are genuine, rather than sneeringly rhetorical. If I truly thought that Everybody Blog About Brett Kimberlin Day was pointless, I would not have mentioned it here at all. But, please somebody tell me why it is not pointless, and not perhaps even counter-productive on account of being so over-the-top for what it is actually accomplishing.

I am sure that our commentariat will have useful answers to offer me, and I look forward to reading them.

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20 comments to Why am I blogging about Brett Kimberlin?

  • Lee Moore

    As I understand it, the original point was to defeat Mr Kimberlin’s alleged attempts to suppress unfavourable comments about himself, by creating more sources of adverse commentary than he could (allegedly) intimidate.

    But it seems to have morphed into a let’s show up the left wing media thing.

    As you say, by blogging about it, right wing bloggers can’t force the mainstream media to cover it. But they can make right wing media people notice – eg Fox and those occasional right wing pundits who are sometimes allowed on the MSM. And those right wing media people might mention it on the TV or in newspapers.

  • PersonFromPorlock

    The besetting fear of the Republican party has for years been that it will be perceived as unladylike, and for a long time even the conservative/libertarian movement within it preferred being ‘dignified’ to countering quite vile attacks.

    Lately, though, the Tea Party has shown that in-your-face tactics work as well for the right as the left. It may be that the ‘Everybody Dump on Kimberlin Day’ is a sort of celebration of this discovery, and a way of putting the world on notice that from now on, gratuitously attacking the right is going to be a lot riskier than it used to be.

  • I think that the goal is two-fold:

    First, to show that the technique is ineffective. Rather than stifling mention of him, it actually increases coverage of his criminal past and present.

    Second, I think it is to point out the unclean hands of the far left, and how he is, rather than an anomaly, a central point and major mover in the American left.

  • John K

    I’ve never heard of him, but if George Soros and Barbra Streisand are for him, I’m against him.

  • JeremiadBullfrog

    This is a new chapter in the information war that’s been going on for decades. The point is to generate clear and convincing evidence of media malpractice, which is what is generally used to sway people who are young and/or on the fence in order to entice them into opinions that become reinforced through further socialization. Isn’t that why they’re so into education? Lock in people’s opinions when they’re still stupid and malleable so that as the conservatizing forces that occur later in life with increased responsibilities, run into a wall of social pressure.

    This Kimberlin stuff generates evidence that can be used to crack through that wall.

  • One of the things Kimberlin was doing was making frivolous lawsuits against bloggers who mentioned him.

    I think the goal of the “Everybody Blog about Brett Kimberlin Day” was to encourage bloggers who thought his activities needed to be made known, but who were afraid that, if they acted alone, they would be Kimberlin’s next target. It’s easier to target an individual than a pack.

  • MarbellaBoy

    The point of the exercise, as I see it, has parallels with the left-wing attacks on Heartland. By highlighting to the general public actions they disagree with, they try to embarrass the donors into withdrawing support. This is a lot easier when the media will actually follow up on what you have to say.

    Kimberlin’s supporters can pretend to themselves that he’s a reformed character, what he did was’nt so bad, he’s all sweetness and light now, yada yada. And, by bullying his opponents to withdraw any negative cover of him, he’s been very successful at whitewashing his past, up until now that is. This is harder to justify when his past and current behaviour is all over the news media and the internet. The monolithic MSM could, in the past, decide to ignore any news stories that they did not like. When it still managed to break cover, they could spin the story the way that suited their agenda and then poo-poo it.

    As recent events have shown, due to the the advent of the blogosphere and it’s enthusiastic uptake by the right and libertarian viewpoint, this is becoming ever more difficult. See the Trayvon Martin shooting, Elizabeth Warren’s Cherokee background, Anthony Weiner’s…um…weiner. Etc,etc.

    Andrew Breitbart deserves a lot of credit for this new state of affairs. Pushback’s a bitch.

  • RRS

    One great benefit might be that it makes him:

    A “Public Character”

    And thus constricts his use of legal actions as a tool of intimidation under the case of NYT v. Sullivan.

  • Surellin

    A check of Bing for news of Brett Kimberlin shows…nothing. Except for the right-wing stories at Instapundit and Redstate and the like, and a sneer from Wonkette, the media is managing to ignore the whole thing. Shouldn’t have done it before a long weekend, maybe.

    Funny story – some years ago, Barbra Streisand’s house was aerial photographed by some State of California survey of shore erosion or somesuch. The pics were made available online, and she objected strenuously to this invasion of her privacy. The resulting lawsuit and furor absolutely assured that thousands of people would download the pic of her house. So, The Streisand Effect – using the law to intimidate people into ignoring you works very badly indeed. Now this Kimberlin character has stepped into the same bees’ nest. Or that is the idea of Let’s Blog About B.K. Day, I would imagine.

  • Hmm

    The point of the Brett Kimberlin day postings was to protect freedom of speech. Brett Kimberlin had been using the courts to harass anyone who dared mention his illegal activities – including anything he had been found guilty and convicted for (i.e bombings etc) . The combined postings by many bloggers of Kimberlin’s activities makes it less possible that any judge would seriously consider allowing Kimberlin to sue for harrassment etc. just because someone dare speak the truth about him.

    This Brett Kimberlin thing is very important because if it is not dealt with successfully it means that any political body with access to legal means will be able to terrorise any individual or group completely legally.

    It is that important.

  • Hmm

    Ace of Spades has many good posts that explain the situation well – especially as Ace himself is under threat from Kimberlin…(Link)

  • Smaller scale version of “Everybody Draw Mohammed Day”

  • mezzrow

    Another good link to get up to date: (Link)

    This kind of sums it all up:

    …this dust-up is either going to get bigger until Kimberlin and his cohorts are stopped, or people decide it is not worth the trouble and shut up. It’s become zero sum. Stacy McCain is already living at an undisclosed location so for him things are definitely win or lose. Things are very probably going to get worse before they get any better because this one fight nobody can afford to lose.

    So how much worse will it get? Well how does one bound actions like this? Things take on a life of their own at some point, a factor their initiators so often forget. The real significance of the Kimberlin saga is that it suggests that in some quarters at least, the gloves are off. Anything goes. Anything.

  • Johnbigboote

    It was directly related to “Everybody Draw Mohammed Day”. Alan was the anonymous leader of “Everybody Draw Mohammed Day” and, becuase of the danger of being said person, was trying to maintain this anonymity. Kimberlin’ lawsuits where not so much intended to harass Alan with legal paperwork and bills, but to expose his real identity, and therefore put his and his families safety in danger.

  • Paul Marks

    The comments cover a lot of what I might have said.

    As for Mr Soros – suspect that anyone who says (in a television interview) that the “happiest year of his life” was when he was looting Jewish property for the Nazis (he had to flee when the Nazis found out he was Jewish himself) is preparing the ground for an insanity defence in a trial for other crimes he may have committed.

    Given the things that Mr Soros has said (and done) over the years, it would be easy for a good legal team to get him off (of virtually any charge) with an insanity defence. Although I suspect he is sane.

    As for Mr Kimberlin.

    One of a large movement (funded by Mr Soros and many others – via such front organisations as the Tides Foundation).

    The idea is simple – wipe out dissent as an effective force, prevent anyone financing dissent. Thus “world governance” (or “internatinal cooperation” – TOTAL “international cooperation”) will be achieved (“world government” is, of course, “paranoid” which is why I did not use the term).

    What is left of freedom crushed – all over the world.

    Without finance Brian’s point (“how do you reach most people”) becomes impossible to answer.

    Even obscure legal reform foundations have been targeted (smeared as racists and so on) in order to prevent business enterprises financiing them.

    But there is a specific Kimberlin point.

    The effort to SAVE LIVES.

    One “game” of the far left is to contact police forces and pretend that a terrible crime is being committed at such-and-such a place – the home of some libertarian or conservative.

    Armed police go in – desperate to arrive in time to save the (mythical) innocent victim who is being murdered (or whatever).

    That is going to get somone killed.

    All that has to happen is that the target (the conservative or libertarian) happens to have something in his or her hand when the armed police smash the door down.

    It could just be a cell phone or a “Nook” book reader from Barnes and Noble. But in poor light and high tension the armed police will think it is a pistol – and open fire.

    Mr Kimberlin and the rest of the Comrades have to be stopped.

    Or people are going to get killed.

  • Johnathan Pearce

    I was blissfully unaware of this man, and continue to be so.

    That is all.

  • Dom

    Paul Marks got it. The tactic is called SWATTING. It can end in death, and it is meant to end in death, or a deniable death — “who, me? I never made the call.”

    In the age of a new civility, this tactic — and the fact that it is played by the left — should be in the MSM.

  • I don’t buy into any arguments that Striesand or Soros are to blame for these tactics or that the left as a whole are to blame for them. Worse, trying to cast the net too wide undermines the core reason for this.

    The proper reasons for this mass-blogging event, is to undermine the efforts of Kimberlin’s unethical and illegal acts by providing more targets than can be handled, while exposing the tactic to public scrutiny, and hopefully investigation and prosecution of the fraudulent police calls.

  • Paul Marks

    Mr Soros (and the other “Red billionairies”) are responsible of the actions of the people they CHOOSE to fund (this is not tax money).

    Mr Soros (and co) no what sort of people the Tides Foundation funds – and so when they fund it, they are responsible for the actions of those it funds.

    And, in any case, Soros and co fund many of these people and organizations directly.

    “Mr Soros would not fund these people if he knew what sort of things they did” is taking innocence to the level of sillyness.

    He (and the others) fund them because they DO know what sort of things they do.

    The argument is as follows….

    One can not make an omelette without breaking eggs.

    And world “governance” is one big, and important, omelette – worth breaking a lot of “eggs” to achieve.

    An independent United States is (as Mr Soros has stated many times) the biggest thing standing in the way of “international cooperation” leading to world “governnace” therefore an independent United States (and all who defend American independence) must be destroyed – by any means (any means at all).

    Of course Mr Soros hates other countries also (noteably Israel – for which his hatred is so intense I suspect he is trying to kill the “Jew in himself”). But he understands that the enslavement of Americans is the key to international governance.

    A nation the size of Israel will be easy to destroy (at least if one takes an athiest perspective) – once one has destroyed the independence of the United States and it part of the “international community”.

    As Dr Sunstein wrote, what matters about a “conspiracy theory” is not whether it is true or false (he accepts that some are true) but whether it is “anti government” (meaning anti “Progressive” government).

    If people and the things they say are anti Progressive government then these people must be destroyed.

    Hopefully the “Nudge” of lies and smears will be enough (Dr Sunstein argues that is acceptable to use lies against “conspiracy theorists” even if the “conspiracy theories” are true – in fact especially if they are true).

    If “Nudge” (including smear bloggers, “false flag” people, anbd so on) is not enough – then (according to the Progressives) other means must be used.

    As Saul Alinsky (so beloved by the American teacher unions) put it in – “the end justifies the means”.

    The dedication in the first edition of “Rules for Radicals” is fitting.

    Although this dedication has been removed from later editions.

    I doubt that Saul Alinsky, or Cass Sunstein or George Soros, actually believe in an individual being called the Devil.

    They are (were in the case of Alinsky) too arrogant to accept that they have a master.

    They simply try and serve the principle of POWER as best they can.

  • Paul Marks

    “But this is not specifically in the book”.

    Quite correct – although the IMPICATIONS of “Nudge” are obvious.

    However, Dr Sunstein was nice enough to write other things – for example an article on “conspiracy theories” (true as well as false) and how to counter them (via false flag people and so on).

    Perhaps Dr Sunstein did not believe he had dedicated fans “on the right” who will make a special effort to find the things he writes. And the things he (and the others) SAY.

    These people are as careless as a certain 18th century Bavarian – who believed only his friends would read his correspondence.

    Although the principles of this stuff would not have been a surprise to the Abbe de Mably (the person who inspired Rousseau) and so many others.

    But their real enemy is not even nasty “reactionary” people.

    Their basic enemy is OBJECTIVE REALITY.

    Let us assume they destroyed all their human enemies – they would still not achieve what they wish to achieve.

    The would have ultimate power – and yet it would all turn to ashes in the mouth.

    For their desires are IMPOSSIBLE to satisfy.

    The world order they would create would collapse into bankruptcy – both economic and social.

    For example the dream of a world fiat currency would work no better (indeed would be WORSE) than the national fiat currencies that are failing as I type this.

    The universe (including the laws of logical reasoning) are just not in line with their desires – and this has consequences.

    I repeat they could destroy all their human enemies.

    And they would still fail.

    They seek power – but they, in the end, they can only “achieve” destruction.