An Open Letter To Charles Carreon

Dear Mr. Carreon,

I've written some harsh things about you here in the course of covering the dispute that erupted when you sent a cease-and-desist letter to Matt Inman of The Oatmeal. You, in turn, have had some strong language about me at various locations including your site "" You accuse me of a "reign of terror" on this blog against people I criticize. You also assert that there should be a tort of "Distributed Internet Reputational Attack" allowing plaintiffs to sue when they experience a sustained online attack on their reputation.

I propose an online public debate on these topics.

May I suggest the following:

1. We will each pick one nominee, and those two nominees will agree on a moderator.

2. The moderator will choose where online to post our respective input in the debate.

3. Once a week, for six weeks, one of us will pose a question to the other, or make an assertion. The other will then have a set time to respond — shall we say four days? — and then the initiator of that cycle may reply within two days.

4. We will trade off on initiating questions or assertions. You may go first if you want.

5. We will email our input to the moderator, who will post it and have sole control over it, so that neither of us might fear a biased forum.

6. We can allow comments, or not, at your option.

7. The moderator can be empowered to delete personal attacks, or not, at your option.

8. We will agree not to pose questions that would require the other to breach attorney-client confidences or otherwise interfere with professional duties. So, for instance, I would not ask you to reveal communications between you and your client, FunnyJunk, nor would I seek your evaluation of a ruling against you in a pending case.

9. We will agree that the topics will relate to the intersection of free speech, reputation, online culture, and the role and duties of an attorney. If you agree, the permitted subjects may also include the statements we have made about this public dispute.

10. I will offer two examples. The first is this: "Submitted: the tort of Distributed Internet Reputational Attack, as proposed by Mr. Carreon, cannot be reconciled with the First Amendment as interpreted by modern courts, nor with the value of freedom of expression." The second is this: "Mr. Carreon: on your web site, you list 'David Blade,' Craig Brittain, and Chance Trahan as 'victims' of my 'reign of terror.' Can you explain in what sense they are 'victims,' and in what sense my writing about them is a 'reign of terror?'

Mr. Carreon, I would be happy to entertain proposals from you for amendments to this debate procedure.

Very truly yours,

Ken White

Last 5 posts by Ken White


  1. says

    Dibs on "Carreon will insist this is another form of harassment, as no matter how self-evidently rational, correct, and brilliant his posts are, your deluded and brainwashed army of free speech mafia zombies will attack it, and him" in the pool.

  2. says

    I never understood the "open letter" thing. If the letter is written for everyone to see, isn't it by definition a….OK never mind, I'm just being an asshole.

  3. says

    Set up a very modest pay wall for the debate and you wouldn't need another Amazon click-through for ten years.

  4. Dirkmaster says

    Trying to hold a rational conversation with a slobbering madman does nothing to change the madman's views. It is a waste of time. You reveal what everyone already knows, that the madman is not rational.

  5. mmmwright says

    Oh, I'm IN! Running to begin popping some corn now. I want to be ready for this smackdown!

  6. Anonymous Coward says

    I'll submit my prediction for what's about to happen – Carreon will waffle, weasel, and squirm around in every direction to avoid getting into this debate. He'll call it a sham, claim that you'll cheat on the terms and/or have a biased moderator to edit his words, say that you'll use your fanbase to spread lies about what's being said, etc. Doubtless, he'll be extremely reluctant to even enter into negotiation for terms, and he'll draw out even any pre-negotiations as long as possible.

    He'll say that you're afraid to debate him honestly and openly, in spite of all facts. He'll say that you're afraid of what he's proposing – that it's so self evidently right that you're attacking it in terror. If you can manage to get him to agree to even negotiate terms, CC will weasel, renegotiate endlessly, and leave himself several outs and loopholes in any agreement. During all of this prolonged process, if you lose your cool or slip up even once he'll immediately declare that you're doing all of this in bad faith, declare victory, and run away.

    If he starts losing during the debate, he'll say that you've violated the letter or spirit of the rules and declare victory as he runs away to his website. Actually getting him to go the full three rounds will be at best unlikely, no matter what you manage to do.

    Or maybe he's a good but deluded sort, and he'll go along with everything honestly. Maybe I'm just a pessimist, and we'll see an honestly done debate that leaves both parties feeling like they've had a fair say.

    I'm betting that this will take a lot more dedication to see through than you think, Ken, and I hope that you have the time, energy, and inclination to see it done. Good luck.

  7. Scote says

    " 1. We will each pick one nominee…"

    I think the more apt term might be "seconds." :-)

  8. Nicholas Weaver says

    Ken, be kind to Charles…

    He really should be working, after all, he needs to explain to the appeals court why he wasn't an extraordinary douchebag in the Satirical Charles case, and he has to explain to the court in Oregon why practicing law out of his office in Tucson for the past 2 years hasn't violated the Arizona Bar's Unlicensed Practice of Law regulations.

    I suspect this is really a plot to distract Charles from the much-needed work he needs to complete in the next couple of weeks. You really are oppressing him…

  9. John says

    "7. The moderator can be empowered to delete personal attacks, or not, at your option."

    I might go so far as to add 7.5:

    "If deleted attacks are allowed to be removed at your option, a wholly unedited version of the conversation shall be made available X days after the completion of the debate."

  10. Kilroy says

    Never argue with an idiot; he will bring you down to his level and win from experience.

  11. John says

    (or, you know, 'If personal attacks are allowed….' if I could manage to fast as think as I type.)

  12. says

    Lizard beat me to it. But if this does happen, I so wanna see it. Because I am a brainwashed zombie, after all. I just crave my brains in a readable format.

  13. JT says

    You mean a real debate? With rules and everything? I sorta like the blogwars instead. It's more fun when the opposition shows up uninvited in the comment threads. But go ahead with your grown-up, rational discourse, if that's what makes you happy. [Envisioning let-down on the order of the Palin/Biden debate….]

  14. Union Blue Val says

    You know, Charles really is the gift that keeps on giving. Bless his heart, its been over a year and the "internet lawyer" still doesn't understand the Streisand Effect and the perils of continually poking at men in Popehats with blogs.

  15. says

    Ah, nothing more than a complex method of saying "back up your statements", constructed with enough humor value to entertain your readers. But, still, logic is not the appropriate tool to use when attempting to solve this lock.

    Full disclosure: I was entertained.

  16. Swimmy says

    I doubt Carreon will accept. Not because he's "afraid"–he's shown no sign at all that he fears further damage to his reputation, if anything he seems to be seeking it. But as a fundamental trait of his character, Carreon does not believe in the spirit of a debate: "Speech should be met with counterspeech." Carreon instead believes that speech he doesn't like should be met with legal bullying. Why should he agree to a debate when he thinks a better way to settle disagreements is through unconstitutional legal pressure?

    Have any of the major feminist blogs been made aware of "rapeutation"? Carreon's casual comparison of a traumatic event that frequently causes PTSD with people calling you a douchebag on a blog is sure to be popular with Jezebel and Shakesville writers. If Carreon thinks Ken was vicious. . .

  17. Al says

    Do it, Charles. There's absolutely no way you'll end up looking like a fool so what do you have to loose?

    Unless, of course, you're chicken. You're not chicken are you, Charles?

  18. Ryan says

    I heard a new "arguing on the Internet" adage the other day that may apply to any 'debate' with Mr. Carreon:

    Arguing on the Internet is like trying to play chess with a pigeon. No matter how well-thought-out and executed your moves, sooner or later the pigeon is going to knock over all the pieces, crap on the board, and then strut around like it won.

    Words to live by, I think. I admire what Ken's trying to do, but I think he's just setting himself up for [more?] grey hair and/or hair loss [after he tears it out].

  19. Union Blue Val says

    Oh, and I am so happy I haven't looked at the Rapeutation page in months…

    Here I'd thought the fun was over, only to click on the link and discover a diary that's not actually a diary, replete with photos of Charles in odd poses and funny hats (from my gravatar, you can see that I also like funny hats).

    Here is Charlie – posing by his pool / "cantina," at his desk, with his gee-tar… and comparing himself to "Zumbi do Paumares and Ganga Zumba" who led a Brazilian slave / maroon uprising.

    Um, yeah… Because if anything is similar to the threat / pain of being taken and held as a slave on a sugar plantation in colonial Brazil, its the threat / pain of being an American lawyer who is butthurt from the Streisand Effect he brought on himself.

    You hang tough, Charlie boy. I'm sure that somewhere, Ganga Zumba is weeping for you.

    Please God, let him say yes to the debate… (popcorn popping).

  20. David says

    I'd have to say that In light of this letter, Occam's Razor tells us that Ken has recently purchased stock in Big Popcorn.

  21. Capt Dingleberry says

    @ Lizard:

    If I were a betting man/women/thingy, then yeah, hammer…nail…head…

  22. Bob Brown says

    Others have put forth this idea in different words, but here in the South we say, "Never rassle with a pig. You get all dirty and the pig likes it."

  23. Dan Weber says

    Yeah, the best case scenario is that you look awesome and Chuck looks like a goof. But that's the situation right now.

  24. Salty says

    As a totally interested spectator and consumer of popcorn, I would like to volunteer myself as a candidate for said moderator should this challenge be taken up.

  25. naught_for_naught says

    In the voice of Jessie Pinkman, "Yeah, Mr. White — going all Lincoln-Douglas and shit."

  26. barry says

    If Don King was still alive (oh yeah, he might be) this would be; "Grudge Match in the Web Patch" or "Slog in the Blog", and he'd have the popcorn monopoly, and people would wait for months to see it if actually happened.

  27. says

    Hadn't thought about Charles or Rapeutation in a lonnnnng time. Glad to see Tara still enjoys making art out of my face.

    Looking forward to your…um…reasoned discussion with him.

  28. Ollie says

    @Ann, off topic, but you haven't posted anything new in a long time. I miss the insightful things you had to say! After the chuckles and oatmeal debacle I've been checking regularly. Have you stopped blogging?

  29. says

    Thanks, Ollie. I had to take a sanity break after getting so much hate mail on some of my posts. You know. In lieu of doing rigorous research on all my critics in order to compile an entire website about how butthurt I was over getting hate mail. ;)

  30. Ollie says

    Well, just remember, there are usually a lot more people supporting you than there are criticising you. The ones criticising you are just more likely to act like assholes and be loud and obnoxious about it. I hope you start writing again soon, because you have a lot of really good things to say.

  31. wgering says

    2. The moderator will choose where online to post our respective input in the debate.


  32. Trebuchet says

    Carreon's most likely responses:
    1. Ignore the gauntlet completely, or…
    2. File a lawsuit!

    Somehow I predict the latter.

    Off Topic: I've been unbanned at last! Thank you David. (Ken's IT guy, I guess.)

  33. says

    I'm glad to see that Charles Carreon has decided to try combating speech with more speech, but I am dismayed to see that he is referencing rape in a manner both cavalier and persistent. Also, this DIRA business is a terrible idea. It amounts to a limit on speech because that speech might incite…more speech. I hope Mr. Carreon agrees to this debate, because I want to see this bad idea fully exposed and cross-examined, so that it will wither like a vampire in the sun.

  34. M. Alan Thomas II says

    Carreon's known for continually digging himself in deeper. Hard to predict how he'll jump, I think.

  35. barry says

    "Submitted: the tort of Distributed Internet Reputational Attack, as proposed by Mr. Carreon, cannot be reconciled with the First Amendment as interpreted by modern courts, nor with the value of freedom of expression."

    Interesting example (and trying to sound unbiassed in the hope of scoring a ticket to the big event if they are limited)..

    This looks like there are two elements; the reputational attack element, and the distributive element.
    I don't see any free-speech-mafia problems with the first bit. A 'reputational attack' is defamation, and where the free-speech line is drawn on that doesn't have to change with the number of people doing it. What speech is already protected can stay protected for a DIRA

    The 'distributed' aspect is trickier, it sounds similar to 'conspiracy', but not quite. (it might fit the Assange idea of conspiracy, but that doesn't count). Would "I thought it was just me" be a defense?. Sometimes I skip over a few comments in a blog. Would there have to be an assumption that people commenting on a blog have read all the previous comments before they post? (or any of it? or even the blog itself?).

    If someone comments; "ha ha, I agree!", is that enough to make them part of it? Lumping what a lot of people say together won't work because they won't all be saying the same thing. And it wouldn't be any less complicated than going after everyone individually anyway.

    But (ignoring the whole free will problem) if a DIRA is like a DDOS/zombie attack, and only the zombie-king being counted responsible, that sounds like ordinary defamation except having supporters now making it worse, with extra punishment for being logical and/or popular.
    And if someone thrashes their own reputation, and people find it amusing or outrageous enough to pile on, doesn't that make them the zombie-king ?

  36. Ryan Voots says

    There's a place next door to me where I can get some 50 pound bags of kernels and some oil. Anyone got a kettle we can use for the popcorn?

  37. G Joubedt says

    For a lawyer holding himself out as practicing internet law he seems incredibly ignorant of how the internet works and has worked for the 20 years I've been online.

  38. SharonA says

    I'd like to see the debate. I'd even moderate it, and commit to posting Ken & Charles' statements and responses unedited. Not that you'd have any shortage of volunteers.

    Looking forward to learning stuff here … I'd be reading such a debate for the education more than the entertainment :) That's actually why, if it were my vote, I'd want to see it without comments in the actual debate thread until the question is closed. The pile-on from the readers could very easily obscure the points of the debaters ;)

    Ah well, enough dreaming, back to work …

  39. says


    Trying to hold a rational conversation with a slobbering madman does nothing to change the madman's views. It is a waste of time. You reveal what everyone already knows, that the madman is not rational.

    I beg to differ.

    It is not a waste of time if it provides infinite entertainment for the masses.

    And with all the popcorn and other assorted snacks sold around the world, Ken is actually stimulating the economy. Win, whichever way you look at it.

  40. Analee says

    I can make grilled cheese sandwiches for those who want dinner before their popcorn! (And who, you know, actually LIKE grilled cheese sandwiches.)

  41. Alan Bleiweiss says

    If this new DIRA thing becomes law, wouldn't Tara Carreon be subject of the first lawsuit? I mean do the fifty voices in her head count as "distributed"?

  42. Alan Bleiweiss says

    As a follow-up additional question:

    If DIRA becomes law, and then Carreon posts shit about Ken, wouldn't Carreon be a target of such a lawsuit since his attacks are "distributed" across the interwebs?

  43. AlphaCentauri says

    We need to have a protected forum for non-combatants, where we can decide which words and phrases will be the signal to drink a shot …

  44. says

    I hate to contradict advice that has been useful to me (while I've not heard of Mark Bennett before, his 10 rules are an excellent summation of guidance I've received from many others), but I must state that there is one great benefit of dealing with a crazy person: exposing the madness.

    See, people may not realize that a given person is unhinged, or foolish, or mean or hypocritical or any number of bad traits that you'd prefer to know about someone before associating with them. People can keep certain aspects of themselves hidden, perhaps not well hidden but well enough that you might not notice if you're not careful. As long as this trait goes unexposed, they pose a hidden threat to everyone who might befriend them or work with them.

    But if you bring this trait out into the open and let it shine for the world to see, then at last everyone has the knowledge they need to assess this person and determine if they're worth the trouble.

    Ken has laid out a fair challenge to Charles. This speaks well of what sort of person Ken is. How Charles responds to the challenge will tell us more about what sort of person Charles is (of course, his "Rapeutation" site already tells us a lot about what sort of person he is, so perhaps the challenge is unnecessary at this point).

  45. AlphaCentauri says

    Carreon isn't some random psycho standing on the corner shouting at passing cars. He's a fellow attorney, and Ken is treating him as such by offering a venue for him to make use of the skills he was trained for. The question is whether Carreon's wacky web site is the unfortunate result of a stubborn person digging himself deeper and deeper as things went on, or whether Carreon no longer has the mental capability he once had.

  46. Nicholas Weaver says

    don't see any free-speech-mafia problems with the first bit. A 'reputational attack' is defamation, and where the free-speech line is drawn on that doesn't have to change with the number of people doing it. What speech is already protected can stay protected for a DIRA

    The problem is, that speech that makes up a "DIRA" IS protected, since otherwise there would be no need for the DIRA (someone should backronym DERPY for the same idea) "tort", you just sue under existing libel laws and precident.

    Thus DIRA can only exist as a new tort to sue when existing libel laws don't apply, thus its fundamental incompatibility with 1st amendment principles.

  47. Stephen says

    Off Topic: I've been unbanned at last! Thank you David. (Ken's IT guy, I guess.)

    Ohhh, he's not going to like that. :D

    He's a blogger here as well – generally on topics of art history.

  48. Mark says

    Easily the most fascinatingly long, complete, and complex "Come at me bro" I've ever seen in written form. Bravo!

  49. says

    I never understood the open letter thing either. Put a stamp on this bad boy and mail it to him.

    I can't tell if this post is an honest attempt at engagement, a taunt of the mentally ill, satire, or a proposed popularity contest. You have to know he's not going to take you up on this. You might as well have proposed flintlocks at and told him your seconds will call on his in the morning.

  50. Nicholas Weaver says


    Very cool. But don't forget the tort of "Distributed Electronic Reputational Provocation, Yo!"

  51. mcinsand says

    This does leave the little guy in a tough spot. He has to either put up or participate in showing his lack of standing. If he comes back at you, he has to have his facts straight, or he will be helping to further dismantle his reputation. If he ignores the challenge, then he is effectively acknowledging that he just doesn't have the goods… which will also help to further dismantle his reputation.

    Which will be the lesser loss?

  52. JT says

    I interpret DIRA as ICHAS, which is I Can Has Acronym Syndrome. We have an epidemic of it in academia.

  53. mcinsand says

    Where I have been in industry, the project acronym gets way too much attention. I have been in rush projects where there would be a long meeting to come up with the acronym, taking time away from getting actual work done.

  54. Dan Weber says

    JT: that guy is someone separate who saw that this case was getting some attention and decided to inject his own crazy.

    The president gets sued hundreds or thousands of times a year by crazy people. This is one of those crazy people. Like SMTP, the court system has very poor controls on people injecting whatever they want into it.

  55. Dirkmaster says


    "It is not a waste of time if it provides infinite entertainment for the masses."

    Perhaps, but Charles' venom is disturbing enough to lessen's it's entertainment value.

    Tice with a J

    "exposing the madness."

    That website isn't good enough for you?

    [Fixed markup -D@P]

  56. Dirkmaster says

    Well, my first attempt at quotes is an unmitigated disaster. I humbly beg forgiveness.

    I was TRYING to tell Azteclady that the entertainment value of Carreon is diminished due to his vitriol.

    And I was trying to reply to Tice with a J that we don't need to expose the madness because Charles' website makes it painfully obvious to the most casual observer that he's a nutcase of the first order.

    Again, sorry for the sloppy code above.

  57. says

    Please give Charles another chance, as he's in difficult situation related to freedom of speech court case in New York.

    It is possible that he learned his lessons from dealing with us, and may be trying to be a better Internet citizen.

  58. sorrykb says

    @Nicholas Weaver and Jag:
    "Distributed Electronic Reputational Provocation, on the Internet"
    It's like HADOPI, only with more derp.

  59. Union Blue Val says

    Well, I just checked out the raputation survivors' board, and "as the Native Americans would say, and she is beautiful."

    That kind of quote is what pisses me off most about Charles Carreon and his ilk. They are exactly the kind of posers that constantly throw in bland, irrelevant references to historically oppressed groups in order to give their own banal ramblings the appearance of depth.

    Worse still, they appropriate truly horrific experiences of others to give expression to their butthurt. I mean Charles actually has the cojones to compare himself to rape survivors, Brazilian slaves, and victims of the Nazis. That's fucked up.

    On that note, I would love to see Ken destroy Charlie's "raputation" in a debate.

  60. SharonA says

    Please don't scare Charles off from the debate.

    I honestly want to hear his analysis and explanation.

  61. JT says


    Add to that Abu Ghraib torture victims. It's there, the first reply to Charles, written by Tara. My favorite trope in their whole oeuvre is "Those stupid Nazi asshole bastards really hurt us with all their name calling."

  62. James Pollock says

    "Thus DIRA can only exist as a new tort to sue when existing libel laws don't apply, thus its fundamental incompatibility with 1st amendment principles."
    This does not follow.
    First off, DIRA sounds closer to incitement than to defamation, so it's probably closer to the tort of interference in business relationship than to libel, and nobody, to my knowledge, has argued that awarding damages for tortious interference in business relationship is categorically barred by the first amendment.
    Second, the first amendment limits Congress. It does not limit private parties. The first amendment almost certainly prevents DIRA from becoming recognized as a criminal offense; being recognized as a tort is a different question.

  63. says

    Second, the first amendment limits Congress. It does not limit private parties. The first amendment almost certainly prevents DIRA from becoming recognized as a criminal offense; being recognized as a tort is a different question.

    James, this is quite misleading. The First Amendment applies to private causes of action like defamation, intentional infliction of emotional distress, etc. The reason — among others — is that the state (in the form of the court system) is enforcing these private causes of action.

    But the entire body of defamation law is premised on the First Amendment applying to private causes of action, and it would apply equally to this cause of action.

  64. says

    @James–I know that at least here in Texas you cannot prove tortious interference with business relationships unless you show conduct that is "independently tortious." Merely speaking about someone, or giving your opinoin about them, would not be independently tortious, therefore no tortious interference claim would lie.

  65. Lucius says

    I've never seen Charles Carreon's name in a positive context, and this offer could change that if he is up to it. He may seem odd, or even insane, but does express himself well. To raise his reputation, all he has to do to win is to make intelligent arguments sharply focussed on the topic at hand.

    Whether Ken also makes good arguments is irrelevant. Charles would forever be able to point to a respectable showing making coherent arguments against a worthy adversary. He posts all the negative things said about him on his website. With a respectable showing, he could now post a very positive display of himself for a change. Either way, he would be free to use it with whatever spin he cares to add later.

    Given Charles Carreon's present status, he has everything to gain and little to lose by engaging in the debate. This is an event to be embraced, not avoided.

  66. barry says

    Thus DIRA can only exist as a new tort to sue when existing libel laws don't apply

    Yep, I think I get it now (having since read his legal analysis" (sometimes guessing just isn't enough)). Defamation is only #1 of 8. It's a lot more extreme than I had assumed. And #4 about the third party emails would be a nasty law.

    I am still a bit confused if he means the individual posts would have to be unlawful or not. At first he says the speech has to "provoke unlawful conduct",but later he says " I don’t think the underlying acts all have to be independently unlawful to make IDIRA actionable.". Maybe 'some' unlawful acts will make the others unlawful too?) of course I have no idea what "underlying" means now either.

    (But he can get a pass on being a few Henrys late in his 'foreseeabililty' example. There were way too many Henrys.)

  67. Union Blue Val says

    I'd like to see the debate, but Charles will never agree. For the record, I think the current laws regarding slander etc. give us all adequate protection, but I would be interested in hearing a coherent argument for expansion of said laws (IANAL).

    Look at Chuckie's favored modes of expression – none of them involve a reasonable exchange of ideas under a commonly accepted set of rules moderated by someone more neutral than his batshit wife. When he is upset, he writes bad songs or poetry about his foes. That doesn't translate into Lincoln-Douglas debates.

    Also, by his own definition, he is ALWAYS the victim if you disagree with him. You can't enter a reasoned discussion with that assumption. I would give him a fair hearing provided he could resist comparing himself to someone at Auschwitz or on a sugar plantation for the duration (which seems unlikely). I look forward to seeing his response to Ken.

  68. Dr. Wu says

    Ken White, 15 yard penalty, unsportsmanlike conduct. Attempting to incite a battle of wits with an unarmed opponent.

  69. Gabe says

    Against my better judgment, I actually read through some of that website, and I have to admit, it somewhat changed my opinion of this. He seems to accept that he lost the battle against the Oatmeal, except for some craziness about Inman actually donating the money. He also feels like his reputation has been ruined and it is almost like the DIRA nonsense is his imagined way to fix this. Reading this doesn't really invoke the same sense of schadenfreude and anger like the people at Prenda or some of the other people who abuse the legal system. He comes across as an unhappy, angry, incompetent lunatic who genuinely feels that a bunch of people just started to gang up on him. Of course, his opinions and rhetoric are still ridiculous and his songs are still hilarious, but I honestly feel somewhat bad for the guy and I'm not sure having a well-respected first amendment lawyer thrash him in a debate would help out. It would truly be the equivalent of Usain Bolt running 100 meters against Honey Boo Boo, though I admire your work against SLAPPs wherever they occur and look forward to this debate if it happens. Some amount of mildly guilty schadenfreude is good for the heart.

  70. Nate says

    This would be epic, except, even if he did accept, I can't imagine getting beyond 'deciding on a moderator' because no matter who Ken chooses as a nominee Charlie is almost certain to choose Tararrara and…well, do I really have to spell out the batshit insanity that would come from that? Isn't everyone who isn't in their camp part of the Illuminati (etc drivel)? And, well, who exactly is in their camp?

    (didn't read all the comments so I dunno if someone already pointed that out)

  71. ZarroTsu says


    Ken might have to prepare himself for a debate made entirely through poorly Photoshopped celebrity porn?

  72. Nicholas Weaver says

    @Barry: The problem is Charles is just not a very bright lawyer. He's good at writing blustery threat letters but not much beyond that.

    He has a crazy theory that if you call yourself a library, you have a DMCA exception that allows you to post anything you want for anyone to download on the Internet. This is the crazy theory that he eventually wants to test in Penguin v American Buddha, but he's (not even yet) pro hac vice, and since local council is also responsible for arguments made by pro hac vice attorneys, he's having big problem finding local council in Oregon.

    The current American Buddha lawyer wants to quit due to "conflicts with the client", probably due being asked to file ridiculous legal BS seemingly ghostwritten by Charles like the change of venue motion [1] (AB is an Oregon corporation, Oregon is the proper venue) and the upcoming "DMCA library exception" which would not only get laughed out of court, but would probably generate a sanctions motion.

    And once thing we've learned from Prenda recruits is the magic words "Joint and severalble liability". I doubt Mr Johnson wants to be on the receiving end of such a sanction's motion.

    Similarly, his DERP tort only makes sense if it violates the 1st amendment protections on speech, because if any speech in the DERPY attack is unprotected, you can go after that using existing libel/defamation laws, and the initiator you can go after if its true incitement.

    [1] Metadata on Docket #10, the "motion for defense costs" and 21 "motion to transfer action" both says it was written by "chaz", and also #10's demand is identical to a motion submitted in New York,

  73. Union Blue Val says

    @ Gabe In terms of feeling bad for Charles, the thing is the the guy isn't just incompetent, he is a bully who uses his law license to harass people who may not have the means to defend against a frivolous lawsuit.

    Remember, he didn't just go after Inman and write crazy songs about psycho Santa. He also sent a bullying letter to a someone who started a parody website (which is most definitely protected speech). Luckily the popehat signal went up and, moreover, Public Citizen stepped in, but Chaz deserves pretty much everything he's gotten thrown at him, whether he understands it or not.

    I'd also like to hear how he reconciles his own censorious propositions with the extremely broad interpretation of free speech / fair use that he and Tara advocate in Penguin v. American Buddha (and for that matter, look at all the raputation that goes on at American Buddha!). I would love to hear the mental contortions that allow him to advocate a change in the law that his own wife violates on a routine basis.

  74. JT says


    "I would love to hear the mental contortions that allow him to advocate a change in the law that his own wife violates on a routine basis."

    I worked with someone who was one such bully before. My guess is that it's "splitting," seeing the world in terms of black and white.

    In the mind of this type of bully, the evil people deserve bad treatment and the good people don't. That's as far as the contortions need to go to create the actions we're seeing. As the saying goes, "free speech for me, but not for thee." This kind of person doesn't understand his or her own bullying as bullying, but as a fight for the good side and against evil.

    When I read through the Carreons' sites and Charles's interviews and filings I see a very black and white view of the world. There are good people and bad. Good people deserve defending and rights, bad people don't. Add to this that Carreon is defending his client (i.e. himself) vigorously, maybe seeing himself as an innovator, and the result is he's pushing false rhetoric a lot, bending the truth to the point that it's broken.

    I've witnessed highly intelligent people devolve into cognitive dissonance and obvious hypocrisy, especially when attacked. In what I've seen, there is usually some mental sophistication in defining good and evil, but no awareness of the consequences of defining the world in such a divided way, and no sophistication in applying one's worldview. In my personal example, this person filled a blog with vitriol against all sorts of people encountered at work, including violent fantasies, but reported a "hate crime" to the police when somebody wrote a pretty tame insult on this person's office door. This person eventually resigned in true martyr fashion, proclaiming to be a victim of all the assholes at work who conspired to silence a provocateur. (In truth, we can all barely conspire to agree what day of the week to have a meeting, or what the snacks should be.)

    From what I've seen, no one turns more vitriolic when attacked to the degree that those with the black/white worldview do. Such a view is both comforting and frightening to those who hold it: comforting in that bad things happen for a reason (because of evil people) and frightening because the evil people all seem to be against you. (Thus, according to Charles, Inman was responsible for all the cyber snarkiness that he encountered during the lawsuit.) And I've also seen that such people are the least likely to change, employing the failure-to-discomfirm logical fallacy to a high degree.

    I think that double standards on a small scale are human nature. Most people chuckle at an unfair joke against someone they really don't like, but would get riled up a the same kind of joke against someone they do like. For the Carreons, this tendency is turned up to eleven. And they think the bad people should never be allowed to make jokes at all. Because that would be encouraging evil. In that way, they are fundamentalists, and their religion is the right to criticize, which is only available to the elect.

  75. Mark says

    Charles (or Tara, you never know) has already made clear what (s)he thinks of Ken, right there on the "Reign of Terror" page.

    Ken Popehat White will not be able to make heads or tails out of the foregoing discussion. He will be stumped. His mind, and those of his true followers, will just lock up and decline to process the information.

  76. says

    Off Topic: I've been unbanned at last! Thank you David. (Ken's IT guy, I guess.)

    David is not my IT guy. I am David's marketing guy.

  77. Nicholas Weaver says

    Oh, for those who want to see the quality of Charles's laywering (although filed under another name, the metadata says "chas")

    His request for change of venue:

    Penguin's response:

    Charles's reply (which basically ignores everything Penguin said):

  78. Gabe says

    @Union Blue Val

    That's a good point. I haven't been a target of this sort of lawsuit so I can't really appreciate how damaging they are. I guess I was feeling more sympathetic than I normally would be because he lost resoundingly (thankfully). Still, censorious thuggery must be discouraged and he has no one to blame but himself.

    It would be funny to see him try to justify his "ideas" about speech, but I have a hunch that the mental gymnastics of this particular pompous idiot are beyond the reckoning of us mere mortals.

  79. barry says

    @Sharon A

    Please don't scare Charles off from the debate.I honestly want to hear his analysis and explanation.

    Me too, I figured starting without him might help.

    My suggestion for "where" is a 3-blogs solution. The original question & response posts on an agreed neutral site, and mirrored on both Popehat and Rapeutation, with seperate comment threads on each. I think that Popehat has a larger readership than Rapeutation (on a simple Google search, by 66:1), and he might accept the opportunity to balance out the numbers a little with a megawebshow like this.

    But I'm not holding out much hope of the Malshandir sponsorship.

    If the whole thing falls through, my second choice would be to see a debate on "Is sovereign-citizenship real?" I'm fairly new to the concept, and it seems nutty enough, and apparently has hundreds of thousands of supporters (some of whom might not even be nuts).

  80. Anony Mouse says

    " He also feels like his reputation has been ruined and it is almost like the DIRA nonsense is his imagined way to fix this."

    Except he did the damage himself. DERPI won't prevent him from being an ass in public, and it won't stop his disturbingly unhinged wife.

  81. James Pollock says

    "you can go after that using existing libel/defamation laws, and the initiator you can go after if its true incitement."

    Can you provide a statutory or case law reference for this proposition? "Incitement to defamation" wasn't covered in any class I took. Incitement to violence is not protected (although the borderline's in retreat and has been for some time) but incitement to defamation has probably not been explored much, if at all.

  82. Nicholas weaver says

    IANAL, but isn't there already precedent that inciting someone to commit (*generic*) tort does impose some liability on the inciter?

    If so, DERP is really unnecessary.

  83. perlhaqr says

    Union Blue Val: When he is upset, he writes bad songs or poetry about his foes.

    This was gut-busting, sinus-explodingly hilarious when I misread it the first time as "toes".

    "Ten little piggies
    like winter's discontentment,
    sink into the mud.

    Nine pigs of white now,
    branches bare of foliage
    are all that remain.

    Eight oinking pink sows
    seeking autumn's last truffle,
    they root through the muck.


    No piglets are left.
    Perhaps in springtime's blossom
    they will come again."

  84. Nicholas Weaver says

    Well, American Buddha now has a new attorney in Oregon, Todd Bofferding, who seems to run a 1-man criminal defense shop up in Hood River. (As opposed to his previous attorney, who's specialty seems to be medical malpractice).

    I wonder if Todd is going to be more cooperative than Derek Johnson in signing his name to Charles's legal insights.

    And I wonder if either Todd or Charles are going to strip the metadata on Charles's future filings? Nope, both documents concerning the change have "chas" as the author…

  85. V says

    Nicholas, does the author field change when a 2nd person, like Bofferding for example, edits the document?

  86. Union Blue Val says

    Woah – I cruised over to American Buddha for some light lunchtime reading and it seems their server is down (and they'd like people "prove their love" by buying them better service).

    But, have no fear, popcorn eaters, some of the crazy has moved to , including strange art that very wrongly uses photos of the child and wife of the Carreon's nemesis to attack him. That actually pissed me off more than the routine rambling cray-cray made me laugh.

    At least her web page design is much improved.

  87. LT says

    An update: Penguin v. Carreon is still plugging along despite Chuckles losing his lawyer, and I get the feeling the judge in the case is very, very happy that he found a loophole that lets him say 'fuck this shit', because the whole case is being transferred from Oregon to Arizona.

    I hope they go on a field trip to the actual Chuckles and Tara Comedy Club/'Library'. It's probably some bookshelves they threw together in their basement.