SocraticGadfly: Who is Alan Smithee, aka Actual Flatticus? (The dead and deified god of a cult)

October 13, 2017

Who is Alan Smithee, aka Actual Flatticus?
(The dead and deified god of a cult)

NOTE and BACKGROUND: This blog post, in its original core of reflections about who prolific Tweeter Actual Flatticus by handle, Alan Smithee by sign-in, was, was written four months or more before the death of Flatticus, known in real life as Christopher Chopin (newspaper version of obit here), and worshiped by many on Twitter as a demigod. It has been updated in part to reflect some past history of his that is FAR more disturbing than his Twitter history, but certainly lies behind it. Post has been further updated with additional discoveries about his family that have high relevance to his Twitter history AND to the why behind his Twitter history. The original post was written four months ago, when he blocked me on Twitter, after I actually followed his "investigate what I say" schtick and showed him wrong, later discovering I was far from alone in running into a person who, while sharp-minded, was obstinate, even cantankerous at times, who refused to lose, or accept losing, arguments, to the point of bullying, apparent misogyny, and possible condescension to minorities.

I largely reworked it in the first week after his death after gathering the bulk of information that I found out about Flatty before I ran into him on Twitter, let alone before I made the decision to follow/friend him early in 2017. I will have occasional updates after the end of October, should anything significant cross my timeframe, including any tips coming to investigative journalist Greg AtLast, who has started beating the bushes. Other than that, I will likely simply focus on rearranging flow, addition of Twitter tidbits, etc.

The primary purpose, as the original purpose before Chopin's death, is not to smear him. It is to awaken groupies of him who choose to be awakened. It is to steer other people away from becoming, even after his death, groupies of a quasi-cult or groupies of its leaders. There's plenty of honest information about him without "smearing." With that, let's dig in. After his family, we'll look at his cult, some sidebars to that, my personal history with Flatty, his pre -nternet politics gurudom life story and how it may explain his background and more.


Chris Chopin's father was rich enough and connected enough to be personal friends of Henry Ford II. (The L. Frank Chopin is his dad, per obit.) And more! That puts his felonious road rage (below) into further perspective. Chopin had a sense of entitlement a mile wide, I bet.

(And, speaking of felonious? Let's not forget that, while Hank the Deuce was running Ford, under Argentina's military dictatorship, per Jacobin, Ford Argentina was torturing Argentinian unionists.)

Note that this feud over the Deuce's trust was when our man Flatticus was just 12 years old. Daddy's relationship with Hank the Deuce seems to have been pretty well established. The trust was drawn up some time before Hank died in 1987, so Daddy Chopin knew him well when Chris was just in single digits.

In other words, per where L. Frank lives today, and possibly then, Allen J. Flatticus was born with a fair-sized silver spoon in his mouth. With his dad as a tax attorney to the rich and famous, he surely was and has been raking, and also knew how to hide much of the rake on his own 1040s.

And this subplot gets more fun in and of itself.

Apparently daddy Chopin, acting on behalf of Kathleen Ford several years later, after she'd been robbed of jewels, tried to stiff informants when they wanted reward money. And that wasn't a first, either, apparently. Daddy Chopin, per the link above this, apparently tried to stiff Hank the Deuce's kids out of some of their inheritance, serving as mouthpiece for Kathleen, the Deuce's third wife.

Per the Daily Mail, THAT stiffing the kids, or stepkids, was still in the news just a year ago. (And, you can find other links if you don't like the tabloid Daily Mail.) In fact, L. Frank formed a corporation with Kathleen. You can't make this stuff up!

Per photos I've seen, I wouldn't be too surprised if Frank were maybe, uh, "personally friendly" with Kathleen, either.

L. Frank Chopin with The Donald and unhappy but money-dreaming Melania
Oh, and here's his dad's rich oceanside neighborhood. Which apparently is NOT far from Mar-A-Lago of Donald Trump fame, given this article where Daddy Chopin ran flak against Trump. That said, six months earlier than that, Daddy Chopin, as legal voice for the Palm Beach Preservation Foundation, was leading the tussle with Trump.

But, that flak didn't last forever. After lawsuit threats and check-cutting, Daddy Chopin, per a comment last year, found out that Chopin was just all right with Trump. Per the photo at right, very much just all right.

And, that tussle ended with Trump getting what turned out to be a huge IRS loophole, per a December 2017 investigation by the Palm Beach Post. Trump played the locals and even today, barely meets (if at all) the letter and not the spirit of the easement requirement.

And, it was Republicans in general with the dad. In 2015, on Jeb Bush's Palm Beach County campaign team.

Dad's speciality is tax law. He is still active, it seems, and has a business address, but no website.


Daddy Chopin was giving money to PACs! $12,500 to the Right to Rise PAC in 2015-16 cycle. And, Daddy Chopin was wingnut enough to give Allen West $500 in 2010. Sexting sleaze Mark Foley got $500 in 2006. A cool $1,000 for the Bush for President PAC in the 1999-2000 cycle. Hack Congressional candidate and fellow (West) Palm Beach lawyer Jim Stuber got love in 1994.

Per Funky Chicken on Twitter, I would think THAT would be more a heartbreaker than the Trump love. After all, the money to Jeb's PAC was in 2015, before Daddy Chopin decided to become another truckler to Trump. Chicken, as of mid-afternoon Saturday, Oct. 14, 2017, has yet to answer how heartbreaking it was for Flatty to see his sister as a lobbyist, and a media spin doctor before that.


Per his obit, turns out the Republicans still liked Flatty. One memorial at the online obit:
We already miss your wit and patriotic dedication
Randi, and the rest of the West Palm Beach Republican Executive Committee
Just in case you don't believe me, this Tweet preserves that.

I'm not a conspiracy theorist, but, a piece like that? Make it look like he was a Cold War era double agent. I mean, it looks more and more like Bernie-or-Trump self-promoting windbag H.A. Goodman is something like that. Flatty as far more connected could have done that easily.

Besides, Flatty said:
All posts are satirical and/or in the nature of parody. Nothing posted should ever be believed by anyone, ever, at any time, for any reason.
And, riffing on that, that may have applied to his own comments about the system. How do you know he wasn't taking a bunch of people for a ride as much as being a true believer? I doubt it, but ... his first sentence? He put it there and he left it there.

That would include him saying that both he and his dad wrote in Donald Duck, for president, I guess. That's even though he claims to be a leftist. I guess we can call Flatty a slacktivist. Another: per this exchange, Flatty WAS, if not "All" talk, more talk than deeds.

 My original updates, in the first weeks and month or two after his death, were topped by this special update of Dec. 1, 2017. It starts with this Tweet, from ShirtLost DumbShit Zack Haller, who responded to by Man from Atlantis (who lies in claiming I doxxed Chris), in essence says that the Church of Flatticus is being founded on Twitter. It specifically cites family involvement, which would be his lobbyist and political media flack sister, Alexandra Chopin (Wise.)  I have posted a screengrab in case that Tweet is hauled down or your account is blocked. (I will give credit where credit is due to note that, per comments, Atlantis was the first to tell me Flatty's real name.)

I found her, shortly after his death, on LinkedIn and company website, based on facial features and her getting her undergrad and law degrees both at Chris's undergrad alma mater, Emory.

And the irony, or "something," gets even BIGGER.

She's a lawyer for Squire Patton Boggs, per the "company website" link. A PARTNER, no less! Yes, THAT Patton Boggs. White shoe law firm to the DC insider grifters. Per Wiki, it's the third-largest lobbying firm in the US! And, it says she has past experience with political campaign media, too. That's why I've already called her a "media spin doctor."

(Tidbit update, Oct. 6, 2018: Exactly whatever her experience is, the campaign work was for big ones: Georgia Gov. Zell Miller and Illinois U.S. Senator Dick Durbin. Both Dems. This further undercuts claims, see below, by Flatty fans that he had to "lay low" because of fear of his dad, fear of losing his dad's money, etc.)

And, this is the sister of Flatty, the attacker of campaign finance and hater of corruption.

Given that she appeared to be running his Twitter account after he died and before it was frozen, and is working with professional IT type people, it increases my suspicion level, and further makes me wonder just how much of a Dem sheepdogger, or even agent provacateur, Flatty was. The fact that this is released as an "official family statement" is another eyebrow-raiser.

Flatty was, either despite or because of his family history, very thought provoking and usually very, very sharp on issues of campaign finance, both soft money and dark money. However, outside of that and single-payer national health care, he wasn't necessarily that deep on other major liberal issues, let alone left-liberal and beyond. (And, I had months of observation of him interacting with other Twitter friends before I followed him myself for several months.) He also got things wrong, sometimes even closer within his core areas of expertise. My biggest argument with him, before the one over Jane Sanders for which he blocked me, was on the Emoluments Clause.

Had I known about his aggravated assault with a firearm arrest four months before I started this initial post, of course I would have written about it then. That said, as with Christopher Hitchens becoming a neocon, has a person's death magically changed anything about the last months before they died — or the last years, if it had carry-over effects to the last months?


I misstated earlier about Flatty's contributions or lack thereof. I was just searching the 2017-18 cycle, I think. I've redone my searches. $86 to Act Blue in 2015-16. Three $27 donations plus a $5. $2.70 to Bernie Act Blue in another donation; late night blogging error. Act Blue is a PAC. (And, per that Wiki link, Act Blue is even open to 501(c)4 groups. Dark money as well as soft! And, less than a year later, Flatty called all Dems corrupt. Per his Twitter precis, the donations could themselves be parody, one might argue. And, I'd reply that lighting money on fire for parody, unless he had daddy Frank's money to burn, is kind o dumb itself.)

And, I ran into another Flatty groupie on Twitter. I know how Act Blue works, dude. It's still a PAC, and it's still open to c(4) groups. Just as I've donated money either directly to the Green Party or to Jill Stein, Flatty could have done one or the other of those.

But didn't. Yes, it's not the worst of PACs, but it is, by definition, a PAC. And, it takes a 4 percent surcharge for the privilege of filtering your donation when you could just visit the candidate's website.

And, given that Act Blue takes (c)4 money, one could argue — and I will argue — that Flatty was condoning such behavior. Suck it, muted groupie.


Damn, what we have, I think, otherwise, is an acorn that didn't fall far from the tree. Including that road rage violence below, at the "AN ANGRY MAN."

Now, some of the groupies will insist this is why Smithee had to stay anonymous. (This is in reference to Roger Riga, aka "Lawyer Killer" right now, on Twitter, having talked about doxxing a few days before Chopin's death. A couple of other people in his circle also appear to have mentioned doxxing.

Besides that, as @SocialistTaco mentions in this so-so to OK Medium piece about Smithee's death? He doxxed himself. He had originally been on Twitter by name, apparently (he started in 2008) and didn't object when, with his pipe and other stuff, he was occasionally referenced on Twitter by name.

What? The braggart bully was afraid of his rich parents and their rich friends? Afraid they'd cut off his inheritance like his daddy did to Hank the Deuce's kids?

So, the "yah but" "yah but" "yah but" chatter? Can it.

You make me laugh if you think Smithee the cyberbully was in reality Chris Chopin the titty baby.

Chris Chopin could have further developed his own law firm if the parental gravy train was cut off. He was still a lawyer with many clients, and quite possibly a very good lawyer overall. Maybe go into tax law on his own, like dad.

In other words, if he really wanted to move himself away from the family tree, he could have done a lot more than he actually did, and with his actual name. Besides, per his snooty appreciation for certain pipes in certain Manhattan restaurants, even family law pays big bucks when the divorcees are Fords or Pulitzers or other gold-plated people of the Gold Coast.

I mean, I wrote a newspaper column about being an atheist, after graduating from my dad's divinity school AND having the honesty and integrity not to become a minister myself. (And, yes, there are atheists in pulpits as well as in foxholes.)

And, looking at his own website, I say "snooty" deliberately. How many lawyers (and a great many would qualify) put "Mensa member" on their websites?

Besides, Mensa membership — and Mensa as a group — is vastly overrated. If having an IQ of 130 can't prevent you from believing in astrology — and yes, Mensa has astrology groups within its many subgroups — it's really not a whole lot of fucking good, is it? Second, there are higher-IQ societies than Mensa. (Mensa's cutoff is the 98th percentile of IQ scores. In plainer English, that means if everybody wanted to join Mensa, 2 percent of America is eligible. In other words, it's not THAT big of a deal. (And maybe, to snarkily riff on income inequality, we can call Flatty a "2 percenter"?)

I guess "privilege" was just too tempting, mainly financially, but also in other ways. (I don't write blank checks to the social justice movement, but I most certainly don't reject it out of hand.)


Flatticus/Smithee on Twitter liked to tell people never to believe what he said, but check it out for themselves.

Unfortunately, that was a schtick with him, not reality, as noted above. Albeit a schtick that, even after his death, is being repeated as gospel by his groupies. And, yes, that's what you are, if you're accepting his claim uncritically and/or if you accepted everything he said uncritically.

Indeed, the asshole specifically said he never lost arguments. And, folks, THAT is why he blocked some people, like me. It was after he DID lose an argument and he couldn't stand it. (And yes, when things, not just with me, but with others, especially minorities and women, seemed to reach the point that he was indeed going to lose, he usually became an asshole.)

Smithee, that is, Chris Chopin, and I got in a long argument over Jane Sanders' ongoing federal investigation, and he blocked me. I told that to Kevin Sarpei in a comment on his Medium piece, too. (As part of not thinking past "liberal," I could tell that his mind simply refused to move beyond the Democratic half of the duopoly box. More on that below.)

That was after a shorter argument about whether or not the Emoluments Clause applies to presidents. It does, contra his claims, as I document in detail. And, he got kind of ANGRY (all caps necessary) over that. Per his obit, him being a lawyer may be part of why he got fairly angry in debate over it, along with being a champion debater. It was angry enough that I didn't knock that link into a final blog post until I was thinking about unfriending him, before he blocked me.

And, it goes along with me not calling him out for a link that he used to demean Democracy Now's Amy Goodman as a money-grubber who allegedly made $1 million a year when her show was spun off from Pacifica. It may or may not be correct; in any case, per The Nation, her pay and sidebar moneys were mutually negotiated. Also, the source is biased, having previously sued WBAI.

(My closest friend on Facebook, whom I'd trust far more than Flatty on a broader variety of issues, pointed out on FB that Flatty was wrong on this issue when he cited Educate-Yourself as his source. And that also shows that Chopin, while very well informed on the narrow areas of dark and soft money, and pretty darned well informed on broader campaign finance issues, could be and was in error on broader issues of political influence.)

And, the source has HUGE other problems. As in, it's from a website anti-semitic enough to believe The Protocols of The Elders of Zion are "real," and conspiracy-thinking enough to believe in chemtrails, the New World Order, the Illuminati and all sorts of other shit.

He couldn’t stand Jill Stein, for whatever reason. Rather than pick something truly nutty, like her sexist Mother’s Day comment, rather, in my time w/him on Twitter, he picked on her idealism, saying she “declared war” on Saudi Arabia as his reference to her quite reasonable call for an embargo on arms sales to KSA. (This is one reason why I said above that he didn't seem to think that deeply outside dark money and national health care; certainly, I didn't hear deep thought from him on foreign policy issues, beyond the true enough "Hillary is a warmonger." He may have expressed it elsewhere, but not to me.)

Per comments below, sure, he would have been a nice "get" for supporting Greens. Even as a tactical vote option if he wouldn't fully support the party. But sorry, LeBeau, that wasn't going to happen in 2016, and likely wouldn't have happened in 2020. Even though he could have made a splash as a big fish in a small pond.

More Twitter evidence he hated the Green Party. And more here, though this, plus my interactions with him, make me wonder how much of this was Green Party hatred in general, and how much was misogyny toward Jill Stein as a female Green Party presidential candidate.

Twitter also reminded me of the name Jay Sekulow. The many who Flatty laughably called a constitutional law scholar and meant it as a sincere take.

Update, Dec. 9, 2020: "Friendly" reminder that Sekulow is also a Seth Rich conspiracy theorist

SPECIAL UPDATE — FLATTY AND CONNECTIONS TO RUSSIAGATE:  Forensicator has been touted by a majority of Veterans Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (though by no means all) as offering proof that DNC emails had to have been directly downloaded, rather than hacked from abroad. However, if Computer Weekly is right, Forensicator is, at minimum, a front man for a British self-described black hat hacker and pro-Trumpist Tim Leonard / Adam Carter, if not actually BEING Leonard / Carter. And, Duncan Campbell says that Bill Binney, at least, within VIPS, flipped his stance on the "impossible to download internationally claims" after taking a second look at the files, with Campbell. But Binney claims that Campbell misinterprets him. But, Binney himself misinterprets the VIPS statement. Per the "minority report" linked above, it's clear that not all of VIPS accepted that this had to be a hack, not a download.

(Update, April 8, 2021: Until reading Glenn Greenwald's "No Place to Hide," I didn't know Campbell's background. Well, Duncan Campbell, as the man who first exposed the GCHQ by name and the "Five Eyes," knows his shit. As a man earlier targeted for prosecution under Britain's Official Secrets Act, he has no love lost for the national security state or its smears. So, his pronouncements, and his skill in getting the information, should be taken with the utmost seriousness.)

And, as for Disobedient Media lamenting a "smear" of Leonard/Carter? Good for the goose, good for the gander — Bill Binney apparently believes in microwave mind control weapons. And, the person whose show he is on thinks this is a plot to remove gun rights.)

And, per a Twitter screen grab? Flatty enters the scene, courtesy ShirtLost DumbShit Zach Haller.


Who is Smithee, in more detail?

I didn't think he was a troll per se at the time I originally wrote this post. That said, for him, every problem appeared to be not a nail, but a rock needing to be crushed by a sledgehammer. Given his "champion debater" background, this gained a LOT more clarity.

And ultimately, he left the feeling of a dull, throbbing toothache. I think he did know better, but this had been his modus operandi so long he doesn’t care. 

That said, again, he didn't like to be proven wrong, when he could be proven wrong, despite his calls for people to check out everything he says. Another way of putting this is “he’s got a mind like a steel trap” … and … no, it’s not rusted shut, per an old MASH joke. Rather, it’s a double spring-loaded, or pre-programmed, trap, or something like that. 

Turns out my guess that he was of retirement age was wrong. Per his obit, in comments below? Champion debater and lawyer don't surprise me at all. 

And surely it was the mix of being a lawyer and a champion debater, specifically noted in his obit that led to that intense animosity (no other word for it as I see it) about not wanting to lose. In other words, Twitter just increased his "I won't lose this debate" mindset, put it on steroids.

I mean, I can Tweet a fair amount, but Chris Chopin, in a typical day, would post 3x-4x the number of Tweets I did. And a lawyer, if he or she is driving a spiffy Mercedes, ain't working 40-hour weeks, either, but far more. That's why I originally thought he was a retiree. Since I know he wasn't, a volume that high instead leads me to at least entertain the possibility that multiple people were running the account or at least had feedback into it.

Anyway, having a real life name let me do teh Google.


The rage he showed on Twitter? At least at one time — I don't know about recently — was worse in real life.

Making the front page of the local section of the Palm Beach Post, a fair-sized seven-day daily newspaper, for a road rage incident? Having to post $100,000 bond to get out of the slammer?

The OCR recognition on isn't perfect, but, lest I be accused of tampering, I'll note any edits.
A 27-year-old lawyer was arrested after a midmorning road-rage incident in which he allegedly threatened the occupants of a pickup with a loaded handgun. Christopher Chopin, who practices family law with his mother, was charged with aggravated assault with a firearm. He was released Sunday after posting $ 100,000 bond. The episode occurred at 10:30 a.m. Saturday at the intersection of Okeechobee Boulevard and South Dixie t Highway, according to police reports. Chopin, driving a 1996 Mercedes SL320, beeped his horn and shouted angrily at Francisco Rodriguez, who was driving a pickup when he stopped for a red light. Chopin pulled beside the pickup and seemed to be picking a fight, said Fernando Alvarez, a passenger in Rodriguez's truck. "He said, 'Get out of the car you old man!' " Alvarez said in an intyview. Sleuths go to great wavelengths to catch rogue radio stations his car. "I can't understand why he would have done something like this," Alvarez said Sunday. "Pulling a gun is uncalled for. He made the wrone choice."
I did a strikethrough of the one sentence because that's associated with another story. That's all I touched.

And, I hadn't originally seen it, but here's the jump page, it seems, on that story. Turns out Chopin pulled his gun on the wrong man!
Chopin pulled beside the pickup and seemed to be picking a fight, said Fernando Alvarez, a passenger in Rodriguez's truck. "He said, 'Get out of the car you old man!' " Alvarez said in an interview. Alvarez said Chopin then pulled a .45 caliber pistol and loaded a bullet in the chamber before pointing it at the truck. "Ill shoot your (expletive)," he allegedly told them before he sped off. Unknown to Chopin, Alvarez is a sheriffs deputy with 33 years of experience. Alvarez immediately called West Palm Beach police with a full description of Chopin and his car.

Just wow.  He surely pled guilty to something, but also surely to a lesser charge. I say pled to "something" because the Florida Bar disciplined him a year later.

In turn, now that I know, per my latest updates, how high-profile of a legal beagle his dad was already then, the fact that Chris Chopin got his hands slapped AT ALL means that this road rage with a pistol was surely at least as bad as the story portrays.

And OH SHIT! I not only found out what it was pled down to, but — years later — re the anger and the misogyny? Folks, it's out there. Domestic battery. Looks like it's just one case, with a re-entry of it and a typo. But, there it is.

(On Twitter, Lawyer Killer recently claimed that Flatty and his wife argued over his Twitter. He didn't say whether that was more recent, in early days, or what. Still, considering the arrest, and Flatty's start on Twitter, were both 2008, interesting. That said, I think he claimed the wife, not his sister, took over the account, which isn't true, unless she wrested control from his sister.)

I'm sorry to the sister who may still be monitoring his Twitter page, but per my original blog post that I thought people needed to know more about him? I did the "dot" tag in front of the "@" so it would get tracked. I wasn't attacking her. (That said, I'd never blocked him, even though he had blocked me.) And also, since I now know about Daddy Chopin, while I still feel sorry for their loss ... no, I don't feel quite as sorry as I did 24 hours ago.

I don't know if he showed that level of anger outside the Twitter world today as he did inside it. (He doesn't seem to have a Facebook page.) But, it wouldn't surprise me, even if any such anger level today in meatspace was still a couple of degrees below threatening a viejo. er, a deputy sheriff! with a pistol.

In short, for when I face the inevitable criticism, just as I did with more famous people like Chris Hitchens, I'll say "no, not too soon."

And, this Medium blog by Amy Casil notes that he came off as disrespectful to people of color. And it needs some quoting:
Some people haven’t said anything about Alan Smithee/Christopher Chopin because they are unable to say anything positive. Almost 100% of those people are people of color. 
 I don’t think Smithee had any idea that his very nature was uncommunicative with, noncomprehending of, and disrespectful toward the beliefs, concerns and experiences of people of color.
Actually, I halfway think that he may have had an idea that he was disrepectful, just like he had an idea of being misogynist. And just didn't care. 

Amy herself, earlier in that blog, kind of hints at that herself:
I discerned that Smithee was intelligent and well-educated and for a time, he seemed ethical. Then I saw him toying with his followers, alternating between praise and verbal abuse.
Near the end, she says she thought "he lost his way" fighting the Clinton grifting shitstorm, then adds that this is the best she can say about him. Obviously, even though she wasn't blocked, she had issues. Maybe she felt that misogyny, too.

And, for the same reason I thought he was a retiree, she asked how he had that much time. He said, according to her:
Over the 2016 holiday season, I asked “how can you spend so much time looking up these articles and sending them on Twitter and maintain a law practice?” He didn’t spend that much time online, he said. He didn’t really care about Twitter at all: just a casual thing. He didn’t address the question about his practice at all.
Only answers are? One, lying. Two, psychologically dissociated from how much time he DID spend on line. Three, either some of his resource work was assisted, or the account became a group affair. 

A lot of his followers were groupies, pure and simple. Go ahead and flame me, if you're going to claim this IS too soon.

And, since the groupies are now claiming "his empathy for the less fortunate" or whatever, the parenthetical subhead within the header is going to stay there for a while.

And also, Flatty accusing others of being racist, or of being sexist, is thus hilarious — until one realizes it's also hypocritical. Per Amy, he may well have thought he was neither of those. And, that itself wouldn't surprise me.

And ... this tribute card at his obit is kind of rich, speaking of such things. I also find it interesting by which family members get how much mention, including a four-legged member. Ties in with who took over his Twitter account.
I don't want to delve too much into his personal life, but ... jokes aside — more notice about playing with his dog than love for his wife? His birth family members wrote that more than his wife did, if she was involved at all.


I note that one groupie, in comments, while calling everything else vague, can only call the road rage a "mistake." Er, no. If even 25 percent of that level of anger was behind his Twitter anger, it was a psychological problem still ongoing, not a "mistake." My only "regret" is not knowing about this before he died, and calling him out on it, while being immediately prepared to block him if he entered into any sort of raging. (And, the domestic violence calls to his house indicate the anger behind his road rage was big and persistent. NOT a "mistake.")

Also, per Mr. Joshua? My life's not perfect. That said, I never threatened an old man with a pistol. And, I've pretty well apologized for my top indiscretions — and changed the behavior behind them. Puts me one up on Smithee right there.

So, groupies?

Did you also agree with his bullying women? (From my perception, he liked to do browbeat/beatdown level arguments with women more than men on Twitter.) Or were so intense on him you didn't even notice it? To a woman on Twitter who talked about how much he helped women — I guess this only included the ones he didn't bully.

Ditto, groupies, on his schtick of "investigate everything" yet getting angry — still close to road rage angry, perhaps? — when people like me actually did that? To be honest, I felt enough of his anger oozing through the interwebz on Twitter once or twice myself it scared me. In real life, had he gotten argumentative enough, it probably would have scared the shit out of me.

Re commenter Joshua, the only self-serving part may be me not making an apology to any of the women I saw get bullied at the time he was doing it. And, Mr. Joshua has shown, IMO, that he follows people first, and ideas second, including putting the idea of truth after the person of Chopin.

Also, a shallow attempt to prod me into anger to stop moderating your posts obviously didn't work. Other groupies, save yourselves the time. And, on the subject of shallow? Mr. Joshua, claiming I was "giggling" over Smithee's death, or writing about his criminal history? THAT's shallow.

Actually, though, I am beyond giggling though, and laughing outright while shaking my head — at the likes of you.

Another groupie, starts a blog dedicated to him. The dedication is so accurate that the blog doesn't allow comments, just like Flatty didn't allow dissent.

One semi-groupie, if not a full groupie, Senpai, is an outright racist who I blocked before Flatty blocked me. Flatty apparently didn't have a problem with his racism. That, in turn, reinforces what Amy above said about him.

Per comment above about Jay Sekulow, I don't know if Owl Doctor was a full-on groupie, but I do know that he found me after I friended Flatty, and I never saw him challenge Flatty. He was a nutbar of some sort.

Frankly, even with the marriage and daughter, Flatty might have been sexist IRL, too. A stereotypical Type A male, to some degree. Driving that pricey of a Mercedes, and not too old of one, when he was 27, and other things? While he hated money in politics, and supported single-payer a lot, things like income inequality or addressing it through something like basic income, I doubt floated his boat. During the months we were Twitter friends, I never really saw stuff like that from him. Besides the wheels, he liked other fancier things in life, and having plenty of money to blow on them. Add in the part about his mom also being a lawyer and I know money oozed.

I also love any groupies complaining about trolling when THEY, in their groupiness, created an #ActualFlatticus hashtag on Twitter that's still trending a full week after his death.

And, an irony alert for the groupies. Smithee tweeting about people voting on name recognition alone, just like why most the groupies followed him.

And Flatty is the gift that keeps on giving, as the hashtag gets me new Twitter followers.

One of them had this as his/her précis on his/her home:
"The inability to grasp the pathology of our oligarchic rulers is one of our gravest faults." Chris Hedges "I'm left of you, idiot." Smithee
That, again, is Smithee in one Tweet exchange. Pompous, presumptuous, high Dunning-Kruger level, and, wrong!


I noted above that his sis became at least short-term manager of his Twitter.

Did she know before he died about this part of him? Did the other lawyers in the family? And did his wife?

Speaking more of the sis, I found her, on LinkedIn and company website, based on facial features and her getting her undergrad and law degrees both at Chris's undergrad alma mater, Emory.

And the irony, or "something," gets even BIGGER.

She's a lawyer for Squire Patton Boggs, per the "company website" link. A PARTNER, no less! Yes, THAT Patton Boggs. White shoe law firm to the DC insider grifters. Per Wiki, it's the third-largest lobbying firm in the US! And, it says she has past experience with political campaign media, too.

Age is right. She'd be three years older than Chris. And Intelius confirms! (And another Tweety bird says the name is actually "Alexandra Chopin Wise," tho not listed that way professionally.

Oh, and "representation of targets and witnesses before committees of the US Congress," per the Patton Boggs page? She's a lobbyist, even if no longer at the DC office.

And as a "former journalist and political campaign media specialist," she's — a former spin doctor as well.

At the same time, on the silver spoon angle? LinkedIn says she went to Philips Exeter for high school. Her work includes getting False Claims Acts dismissed against two companies. And, she has Supreme Court appearance rights. And, she's done a lot of speaking work on social media and privacy issues. However, per this Christian Science Monitor piece, it's not clear what her actual stance is on such issues. It sounds likely to be more pro-business than pro-individual.

In other words? If Flatty really stood behind his Tweets, he hated what his sis did (if not necessarily her personally) just as much as what his dad did.

Related? Flatty claimed that Akin Gump was most profitable lobby form in America. Hmmm ....

Well, he's right, but only as of 2015. And, Squire Patton Boggs slumped ... because it got greedy with its merger, maybe? Although she's listed as a partner, she's no longer in DC — maybe she was part of the post-merger flight, choosing to work remotely or something rather than leave?

This is also an object lesson. My memory said Patton Boggs was the largest. And, it WAS — as just "Patton Boggs," before merging with the British company. Flatty was right on this.

That said, did he Tweet before 2014 about pre-merger Patton Boggs? I'll tell you its pre-merger connections include Ron Brown and Lanny Davis on the Dem side and post-merger, John Boehner on the GOP side. Wiki also has information on its more notable, or notorious, cases.

What happened to the old Patton Boggs? Chasing the Ecuadorean rain forest lawsuit crushed it.

How bad did it suck before then? Ken Silverstein has the details. Those details include that Patton Boggs had a big old PAC, and through the date of his 2015 piece, Hillary Clinton was its top beneficiary. Oops.

In fact, the firm, even outside the PAC, helped aid the rise of dark and soft money:

Boggs also lobbied for the American Bankers Association, on whose behalf he helped repeal the Glass-Steagall Act, the Great Depression era law that separated commercial and investment banking. Killing Glass-Steagall led slowly but surely to the 2008 economic meltdown and helped swell the incredible political power of Wall Street.
There you go.


Apparently Smithee thought the Russian sanctions had some real bite. In actuality, Russia has become a net exporter of most foodstuffs for the first time since before the Revolution.

A "non-partisan truth teller"? Not really, per Stein and GP stuff.

The irony or hypocrisy of him calling out others for Twitter abusiveness.

Indeed, the asshole specifically said he never lost arguments. And, folks, THAT is why he blocked some people, like me. It was after he DID lose an argument and he couldn't stand it.

Would he have remained a Democrat in 2020? Per this Tweet, not likely. But, would he have done the duopoly exit? Also not likely.

And, Smithee was wrong about other things.

Or here, where he says Sanders' blather about Syria was pandering to Democratic warmongers, rather than the truth that Sanders HIMSELF is a Democratic warmonger. (Generally, what I saw out of Flatty on foreign policy was generic left-liberal insightfulness but nothing more than that. Certainly not at the level of Mark Ames, Kevin Shorrock or others. Perhaps that's part of why he got his knickers in a knot at Stein's comments over Saudi Arabia.)

Smithee seeming to appoint himself the defender of women kind of makes me laugh, more makes me smh. On that, Joan Walsh was half right. Smithee was mean at times. But smarter by far than her. So am I, for that matter.

If Flatty preferred the thought of Caitlin Johnstone to Ben Dixon, that explains why so many of his groupies also retweet conspiracy theorists. And, per a Caity tribute Tweet, they did think each other kind of hung the moon.

To be blunt, in Flatty language, anybody who thought the nutbar Caitlin Johnstone was all that, was as fucking stupid as the people he called fucking stupid.

Otherwise, despite claims otherwise by his groupies, by and large, per this exchange, Flatty WAS, if not "All" talk, more talk than deeds.

Flatty also, with this Tweet as representative of many, seemed to lean halfway toward the NRA on the Second Amendment and, in all his discussion about all the diabolical PACs, never mentioned the NRA's.

Here, here, here, is an interesting one indeed! Flatty claims that despite his rich daddy — his rich, legally well-connected daddy who surely helped him beat the worst of the rap on pulling a road rage pistol not on just anybody, but on an off-duty deputy sheriff, claims he had to work a lot of "seriously shit jobs." Not sure how much I believe that. Also, this political genius wasn't sure whether it was his local or his state government who banned day laborers from congregating. Hint: It was almost surely municipal government. And, that shows that apparently Flatty didn't care much about local issues.

A Flatty groupie honestly admitting he's not sure he can do critical thinking so well with Flatty gone. Related, another thinking that Flatty had some special pipeline to research. NOT! (Well, unless Greg AtLast is right, and he did have a pipeline in his lobbyist sister ....)

And, the second installation of an #RIPSmithee legacy and archive Twitter feed started producing new, "original" tweets Oct. 31. I don't know whether or not this should give further credibility to Flatty actually being a group account, as some have speculated.

Said archiver isn't up to snuff; s/he gets DC v Heller wrong. SCOTUS never said regulating gun ownership is unconstitutional. Rather, it said they couldn't be banned from personal possession. And, Heller didn't cover the whole US, only DC (and by extension, other federal enclaves). Only McDonald two years later had national application.

Still trying to figure what Flatty himself thought of 2A. But, per this longer Tweet collection, if they're all his, he didn't support more gun control. Let's not forget that he, at least in 2004, kept a pistol in his car.


Either those actually curious about Chris Chopin, aka Flatticus, aka Smithee, or groupies or semi-groupies who actually do want to pursue truth (vs winning, per the subhead) or even haters who want another arrow in the quiver? Let's look at Smithee's schtick, as I called it, vs. reality, in another way.

Anybody who knows anything about competitive high school and college debate knows, just as well as did "champion debater" Chris Chopin, that competitive debate is about winning, not "the truth."

A nickel tour of elements of basic informal logic will explain.

Basic informal logic in a logical argument, not a debater's argument, or a lawyer's argument, has two elements.

One is the logical organization and structure of the argument.

In other words, ignoring any truth values, does Point B logically follow from Point A? Does Point C logically follow from Points A and B together? The classical syllogism illustrates this.

All males are really females
Socrates was male
Ergo, Socrates is really female.

All correctly argued.

As noted, though, LOGICAL argumentation, vs a debate, has two elements.

The other is the truth value of any empirical items in any points.

My syllogism above is hugely fallacious because, of course, "All males are really females" is false.

Smithee/Flatticus was a great debate-type arguer. I have no doubt Chris Chopin was the same in the courtroom.

That said, as a newspaper editor, I know well that the old bon mot about lawyers (on both sides) not caring for the truth indeed has its degree of truth. Lawyers, like other debater types, are worried about winning before they're worried about the truth.

Oh, they both worry about the truth as an element of their argumentation, sure. They're not going to utter a silly syllogism like mine. But, that's, in most cases, because it would wreck their chances of winning, not because the major premise is false per se.

I suspect many groupies and semi-groupies were gulled by not making this distinction.

Well, that's the way logic actually works.

And, to riff on that distinction, groupies?

This is one last ex post facto debate. And, I win. Not him, and not you.

Oh, speaking of? Even though blogs are generally considered opinion, printing matters of fact, contra April Deming, is usually the first line of defense against defamation.

In the case of Flatty, deceased people can't be defamed. Ironic that a groupie of a lawyer wouldn't think that far.

Beyond that, per the normal understanding of defamation and libel, I could argue that Chopin, via Twitter, is a "famous person" and malice aforethought would have to be proven.


Some further background, from his Twitter days.

He hated journalists in general, or so it seemed to me. At least, he hated the big ones. (And, yes, he knew my background.) Black-and-white thinker on this, as on several other things. That said, he knew I didn't think a lot of the worth of a lot of the big MSM myself. (And, I'm now wondering if, after he went deep undercover, or became a double agent, or whatever, there was a "why" to this hatred.) But claiming you know more on something than David Sirota? (That said, Sirota lost a step in my world when he went to work for David Brock.)

On broader politics, he didn't hate, or dislike, just Jill Stein. He didn't like the Green Party in general for whatever reason, as noted above. He didn't hate it, but from what he's discussed of his past voting record, he refused third-party voting.

Based on his citing Educate-Yourself (the link above), and other people referring to Amy Goodman’s alleged $1 million pay as a reason she’s a co-conspirator on suppressing so-called 9/11 “truth,” I wonder if he was a conspiracy theorist. The reality on Goodman is that the parting from Pacifica was mutual, mutually agreed and mutually acceptable, per The Nation. The Educate Yourself piece Flatticus used is also a flat-out lie to claim that her salary is tax-free. NOBODY’s salary is tax free. They may take all sorts of deductions, but it’s NOT “tax free.” 

He could have Googled for that Nation link. A lawyer knows that income is not "tax free" in general. Yes, one can get tax exemptions as well as deductions, but even for ministers, income does not start out with a "presumption" of being tax free.

Do I hate him? No, not at all. Not now and not then.

I found it kind of sad that he couldn't or wouldn't practice what he preaches on the verification issue. Per Educate-Yourself, I don't think he was anti-Semitic, either, but it was also sad to see that he'd cite a website like that, especially when I scrolled through it more. It was even sadder to see an even more obvious conspiracy theory site be used as a reference. That said, given other things I've learned about him IRL, I wouldn't be 100 percent sure he was NOT, in fact, anti-Semitic in some way.

(Media Bias/Fact Check, the best online source I've seen for checking out both factual accuracy/inaccuracy level, and slant on opinion, on news or news-like sites, has a separate rating for conspiracy theory sites. And, it puts Educate-Yourself in that group, ranking it "strong" on both conspiracy thinking and pseudoscience.

I am sad that he had too many groupies who considered him a guru and did not actually check out everything he claimed. Maybe some will flame me, even with comments moderated. That's why I used a secondary Twitter account to post my original update of this piece.


No, contra one other respondent, I don't think Smithee was racist. And, beyond him linking to a blatantly anti-Semitic website, I have no information otherwise on whether or not he was anti-Semitic.

I do, per the one brief note above, express my condolences to his family. That said, I never met them online even. But I have met online many of Flatticus' followers, some of whom indeed stand out as groupies.

That said, I'm not harshing Smithee groupies' mellow as much as in this post as Roger Riga is on Twitter. That said, Riga, on Medium, even if his Twitter feed is "interesting, was a Jill Stein supporter. Puts him ahead of Smithee right there.

Meanwhile, as of the evening of Oct. 15, Riga, aka Lawyer Killer, had locked down his account and since I hadn't "followed" him before then, I can't see his Tweets. I've requested a friending; let's see if he grants it. Interesting, or something, he's also removed the "Murderer of @ActualFlatticus" from his Twitter precis. Probably was getting Twitter-flamed far more than me.

Moving to something first posted above, I disagree with the Medium piece's author, Kevin Sarpei, about how much he alluded to Flatty having "one or two character flaws" (only allusion) or directly referred to his anger management and criminal histories (not at all) in discussing Flatty, including linking here. 

And, this same Sarpei, in Twitter conversation about Tulsi Gabbard, said that mentioning her RSS / BJP connection would be digging up "every bit of dirt" about her. (Sarpei has since unfollowed me on Twitter. That's fine. I don't think he was a total groupie, but ... an acolyte, adept or fellow traveler? Per this Tweet he retweeted without quote-Tweeting, I also will operate on the assumption he is a 9/11 Truther, which doesn't surprise me.)

Makes me wonder yet other things about Flatty. And, yes, I Googled "Actual Flatticus" plus "Islamophobia." Found nothing one way or the other.

Other than that per mentioning Haller, I've got my eye on a couple of other semi-famous political minded people on Twitter. We'll see if they change their worshipfulness or not. Doug Henwood, last I checked, had not followed up his initial mournful Tweet. (And yes, he's got the link to this post.)

(Now that I'm seeing that Haller retweets wingnuts like Gateway Pundit Jim Hoft, that's yet more reason to be skeptical at least of him.)

And, so, I think others on Twitter still need to be warned about him. He's dead. He can't Tweet anymore. His sister has locked his account. But don't let a false legacy live on. And, be Twitter-forewarned. Don't buy schtick. And, per the Palm Beach GOP and his own "parody" in the bio, don't buy anything Flatty without critical thinking.


Update note, Oct. 23: The #ActualFlatticus hashtag has now "faded" on Twitter. It won't autopopulate. I am probably going to do a separate "wrap" of sorts post Thursday or Friday, and that's it. Sorry, but that's enough here. I have fulfilled most my interest in the man. Those who want to remain "groupies" will; most others, like me, will move on. The "groupies" types probably won't move on beyond the Democratic Party and do a #DemExit, though, so I'll run into them in other ways. 

As for some of his more extreme groupies, they don't worry me. I've probably already blocked them on Twitter, or vice versa, and really don't have a lot of desire to investigate them further either.

As a final bit of refutation to both them and less extreme groupies? I made 50 or more Twitter friends after this post went viral. I don't have to prove to myself that I wasn't alone on some of my take on Flatty. I can't prove it to you out there. All I can do is present the evidence.

Other than that, I don't see any conspiracies behind his death. With that said, it doesn't otherwise matter how he died unless it provides warning to others who may need it.

Bottom line? To riff on an old saying I've heard elsewhere, what was true from him was not necessarily new, and what was new from him was not necessarily true.

But a third Twitter tribute account was formed sometime in early 2018. I was pre-emptively blocked from this one.

So, his sister was the one who grabbed and managed his Twitter account. Why her and not his wife? And, announcement made four days after his death.

Did Alexandra know he was doing this before he died? Did any other family members? I have to think his sister did, which is why she took control of his account.

Update note, Oct. 28: Greg AtLast, doppelgänger of Greg Palast, ponders all that and more.

Other tidbits? First, see his comment at the bottom of this lawyers' related blog, the fall after his road rage. I'll say no more.

And, speaking of blogs, he had his own law-related blog. I found that via a comment on a post at Balkinization where Smithee was his usual argumentative self.

Corey Robin, in The Reactionary Mind, reviewed here, calls Balkin a "liberal originalist" as far as constitutional philosophy, giving that same label to Larry Tribe and Akhil Reed Amar, among others. Having negatively reviewed two of Amar's books, and laughed at and scorned Tribe's flip on the Second Amendment, that puts Balkin in more of a light now. (I'd read him occasionally in the past.) And, it certainly puts Flatty in more of a light legally.

He also rubbed people the wrong way outside politics, even in his beloved pipe-smoking world. And, at a /reddit for pipe-smokers, same thing.

And, on another Balkinization post, he was a defender of Nino Scalia's alleged "textualism." Either he was still sucking at the family money-and-politics teat too much then, or maybe he never totally got beyond it. (Post is from 2004.) Anyway, Mr. Mensa Member defending Nino for something Scalia didn't actually do underscores my previous comment about Mensa. That said, per other comments there, he wasn't a blanket defender of Nino, and he sure didn't like a lot of Shrub Bush.

On the other hand, his comment here misrepresents the piece AND shows some of the Smithee misogyny.

As far as political background? He was indeed a registered Democrat last year. That said, per the FEC campaign contributions link for his dad, I saw nothing in federal campaign contributions by him. Dunno if he did anything at the Florida state level or not.

Sidebar? Damn, housing in Florida is expensive.

And, per condolences to the family, they did pick a very good charity in lieu of flowers. Besides general condolences for a family member's death, in general, in some ways, I feel actually sorry for them. And the sister is having to deal with a barnyard, too — even if it's a barnyard she probably already knew something about.

And may be wanting to enshrine. Per complaints from the groupies, I found out only confirmed followers get to see his Tweets now. I wouldn't do that hassle even with a new fake account.

I was just curious if he was this monomaniacal nearly 10 years ago, and the answer is probably yes. He was probably also a sucker for Obama. But, I don't need to waste that much time.

And, per responses to James Dorsey, I apparently was far from alone in thinking he was at least 15 years older than he actually was, if not 25.

I'm curious if she's doing this for any reason other than to prevent tweet-mining. That alone would kind of enshrine it, but is she going to run updates through it?

On the other hand, some people have speculated that maybe Alexandra wants to actually do something with it. I've even seem wondering if she not only knew of his account before he died but was tag-teaming with him on Tweeting. I at least think she knew of it; why did she, not his wife, take it over? And, with that, the idea that she was tag-teaming is at least possible, is it not?

I've seen other wonderment if Flatty was connected to GOP monkey-wrencher Roger Stone, since Palm and West Palm is his current landing zone and has been for years.

Sorry, but teh Google shows zero hits when it's "Christopher Chopin" + "Roger Stone." Only a couple when Frank's name is plugged in, instead, and those that did hit did not have Frank's name in the actual story. That then said, both Frank and Roger had high enough dollars that they surely met at some GOP functions.

Finally, I have thought about possible causes of his death, yes. And commented elsewhere, in response to someone else, once.

I don't think it's really necessary, though, other than to say I certainly don't think there was anything conspiratorial behind it, and that I hope any Flatty Followers who DO think that stop it.


Elizabeth Lee Beck, one half of the Beck lawyers' team running the DNC fraud lawsuit work, has one foot firmly in the conspiracy theory world. She's not the only Flatty fan who has at least a toe in conspiracy waters, and not just about his death.  Shirtless Pundit has at least a toe, I think. Retweeting anybody claiming the Vegas shooting was a false flag? That's it. Retweeting Prison Planet, too.

That said, hubby Jared Beck has three feet in the conspiracy world — believing Twitter was blocking him, touting Seth Rich murder conspiracies, and calling the Parkland school shooting survivors calling for gun control "drama actors." No wonder he showed his true colors and went to Gab. And, per that Jared Beck link, I wonder if Smithee, who wasn't hardcore on gun control, would have gone down the same road as Beck (and ShirtLost DumbShit) on Parkland kids.

Another person thinks that ability to speak multiple languages makes a person a genius. Nope. Hundreds of millions of people around the world, from genius, through smart, through average, to below average, have that ability. Many Catholic priests still speak Latin. Many speak Spanish as well as English AND Latin. Believing otherwise, believing that it IS genius, is American insularity at work.

And, OK, so it's a problem in America. We'll file Flatty the non-monolingual as "genius, American exceptionalist division."

Other Greens, besides Beau in comments, seem to think highly, or too highly, of Flatty, especially via Caitlin Johnstone. (sigh) I've found the additional Tweets above, both anti-Stein and anti-Green in general, enough to tell them to wake up.

To riff on an old saying I've heard elsewhere, what was true from him was not necessarily new, and what was new from him was not necessarily true.

Zack Haller claims on FB, in somebody's thread, that Man from Atlan (who I do give a kudo to alerting me to Chopin's death) has "refuted" me in a Twitter thread. I doubt it. As I doubt anything, these days, from ShirtLost DumbShit Haller.

And, yeah, I'm going to post more like this not just in days, but weeks, ahead. 

Random detritus that I find related to Flatty.


PDiddie said...

I couldn't get on board with that guy/gal right from the get-go.

Also souring on Cait Johnstone, between her call to reach out to the far right last week and her "Good" post about John McCain this week.

(Maybe Aussie Greens really are this nasty, but American Greens are not, in my first-hand experience. She's not showing up as especially helpful of late IMHO.)

As I wrote on FB there:

With no respect intended for John McCain, two things come to mind.

1) For the second time, a prominent senator's glioblastoma alters the trajectory of the nation's healthcare insurance legislation.

2) It seems more than a little incongruous to call for outreach to the conservative far right one week, and celebrate the pending demise of one of their "heroes" (sic) the next. But perhaps this is just my personal cognitive dissonance, as some shade-tree psychologist posting above has advised, sans fee.

Gadfly said...

Agreed that Caitlin is largely lacking in logical coherence.


I had debated friending Smithee or not for some time.

He IS spot-on, on campaign finance issues. But, it's a one-stop thing with him. Like a Scott Santens on basic income.

And, beyond that, his "research what I say" is a schtick, nothing more.

Unknown said...

He died Sunday, October 9th, 2017.

Man From Atlan said...

Obituary notice

Gadfly said...

Atlantan, thanks.

Debate champion, and lawyer? No surprise. Fit totally with the personality I'd observed. (And I had halfway assumed that "Actual Flatticus" was a mash-up on Atticus Finch. The law degree, as well as coming from Atlanta, before Florida, would seem to confirm.)

The age? That's a shock. From the amount of Tweeting alone, I'd thought he was retired.

Gadfly said...

Unfortunately, perhaps, for some of his fans, with a name to associate with him, I've discovered that our man Christopher Chopin's Twitter anger was worse in real life. Note story, bottom right of page:

Gadfly said...

Finally, I moderate comments (normally few and far between) on this blog in general. If I get flamed by groupies from Twitter, don't be surprised if not every comment gets posted.

Unknown said...

I wish hadn't written this. I think someday you will too. Its very self serving and vague.

Gadfly said...

Well, I wasn't flamed, so I had no problem publishing that, Joshua.

But WHY don't you wish it had been published? Other than the road rage, I wrote the rest of it at the time Smithee blocked me, MONTHS before he died.

And, it's all true, and all based on the investigation work he told people to do.

Does it shatter icons? Or illusions?

That's your problem, and the problem of people like you, not me.


That's laughable and I think you know it. Half a dozen or more links, in depth commentary, etc., are NOT vague. The wish that it were vague? That too is your problem, not mine.


Not at all. I told you and others, at the end, why I wrote it. That too was part of the original post.

Unknown said...

"He hated journalists in general, or so it seemed to me. (And, yes, he knew my background.) Black-and-white thinker on this, as on several other things."
-- Speculation with no evidence provided.

"Frankly, even with the marriage and daughter, he might have been sexist IRL, too. A stereotypical Type A male, to some degree."

"Did you also agree with his bullying women? (From my perception, he liked to do browbeat/beatdown level arguments with women more than men on Twitter.) "
-- Again, speculation with no evidence provided

These are all examples of you being both vague and self-serving. This is all opinion fluff with no hard facts attached. You're just reinforcing your own belief that Smitty was a bad dude and grasping at anything at all that might help your case.

Honestly, I did not realize that this post was largely written months ago, as I just saw it last night. That being said, you still decided to update it, on the day his death was announced, with an article (an much associated commentary) detailing an assault he committed some 14 years ago. That's self serving. You're taking the time to point out to everyone "See! I was right! He's a a jerk!" Honestly, how excited were you to post this update? How much did you giggle when you read the article detailing his assault? Did you feel good about yourself?

People make mistakes throughout life, this is an unfortunate fact. To me, Smitty was a Twitter representation of truth, a virtue I value deeply. Updating your post with that article excerpt is merely stroking your own ego while attempting to smear someone based on an action (which I'm willing to bet they regretted and paid a price for) that the guy made a decade and a half ago. I'm not defending what he did, because it was wrong. But the way in which you brought light to it is distasteful at best.

What dirty skeletons are you hiding in your own closet buddy? Should you be publicly smeared for mistakes you've made in the past?

Gadfly said...

Joshua, I published your first comment, but not your second, of today. And, no, it won't get published.

Several reasons for that, with two primary interconnected ones.

Your replies seem self-serving precisely because you seem to be a Smithee groupie perhaps upset his ox is now being gored.

As for your assumption that I "giggled," talk about not only self-serving, but also shallow? Look in the mirror.

As noted, the only possibly self-serving part is not explicitly apologizing to any people he bullied on Twitter.

As it's my blog, and I will have the last word there, I'm not going to waste further comment space on a back-and-forth. Don't like it? Start your own blog.


As for the comment I did publish?

The observations from his Twitter feed are actual observations. No, I didn't do embeds of every relevant Twitter post of his at the time. I have more, different and better things to do with my life. The facts in support are there on his Twitter feed.

Your Smithee as representation of truth? The links show how he, on multiple occasions, clearly represented falsehood, not truth. And, I'm pretty sure such misrepresentations were deliberate and conscious. At a minimum, they were avoidable.

It's true I didn't make clear that this was an update of a four-month old people when I first updated, but my first "NOTE" in the first update yesterday evening — I believe posted before your first comment — at least hinted at that.

Oh, and assuming at least 25 percent of his felony-level road rage was still driving his anger today, that's NOT a "mistake."

Final note?

This is why I follow, and support, ideas first, people second.

Maybe, if you are actually committed to truth, you'll do so yourself someday.

And, given my comment above about your unpublished comment, this is probably good-bye.

Gadfly said...

Nice try with attempt to get in another one, Joshua.

No, not wasting more time on you marks me as pragmatic, not cowardly.

Rather than just delete, I'm deciding to mark that as spam.

Gadfly said...

Well, Joshua, your precious Smithee being arrested for domestic battery ... how's THAT for specificity? Or is that just another "mistake"?

God what a turd.

Gray said...

I saw enough of Smithee's tweets, RTed by others and when I followed him, to confirm the point about black vs white reasoning. And the news about Chopin having been a debate champion & a lawyer explains why he never (afaik) conceded a point, changed his mind in light of better evidence or at least acknoledged that a different point of view had merrit. Twitter apparently was simply a continuation of his successful debate competition carreer for him. Who knows, maybe his job as a lawyer wasn't that fulfilling or going that well (prolly less well than his father's practice or the partnership of his sister), so he needed to have his own field of expertise, for his ego. That would explain a lot. If that's true, that's tragic. He died too young, before being able to leave the golden cage of his family (and maybe a domestic competition he couldn't win) behind and find his own way. He blocked me after a minor disagreement, too, and I saw him as a misguided divider of the left wing resistance recently, but I didn't wish him to die. 41 is way too young, he should have had many more years, giving him the chance to overcome his problems.

As for him hating journalists, I once weighed in when Smithee unfairly & rather unconvincingly criticized David Sirota. Was it because of real enmity towards journos or jealousy towards a progressive heavyweight of the twittersphere (who, btw, has more followers than vitriolic and unsolidaric Flatticus)? I guess we'll never know, especially since all the tweets have been virtually sealed and can't be examined anymore.

About possible misogynism, I can't say anything, I didn't pay much attention to the gender of folks who got attacked by Smithee. I wouldn't rule it out, but I suspect that his major goal was to “win“ arguments in any way he could, without much regard if his temporary adversary was male or female, left or right, friend or foe. He was an interesting character, virtually, and maybe also irl, but there are nicer guys & better liberals. He left an impact (as our writing about a somewhat popular tweep with about 10k followers shows (there's even average folks who have more)), but the memories aren't all positive, sadly. Anyway, farewell, Flatticus, and whereever you are now, I hope there's interesting discussions!

Gadfly said...

Gray, well put on all counts.

I too figured Twitter was a giant debate field, even before I saw the real person's background. And, you could be quite right about him seeing marriage as well as family of origin as a competition.

PDiddie said...

You got a minor cite in this.

Candidly, Flatticus/Smithee made little impression on me, and more negative than positive. Never engaged with him nor followed him and saw too many of his Tweets reTweeted. Seemed like he had a lot of anger, as you have noted, and an "unexpected" death at 41 suggests heart attack or stroke, which wouldn't surprise me at all. Probably faceplanted his keyboard or holding his phone. (I realize this is speculation without supporting evidence.)

Gadfly said...

PD, that was one of three possibilities I thought of — coronary from anger.

Riffing back here to Texas, esp North Texas, he strikes me in hindsight as a younger Brian Loncar. And, we know what took him out; said substance can itself cause coronaries, of course.

LeBeau said...

I am/was a full-on groupie. My favorite Twitter feed, hands down. I can't argue with most of your points, I don't have the research skills or the Tweets to refer to. The charge of sexism is disturbing to me, and I wish I could go back and check. I often defended him on charges of sexism, but those were usually based on his contempt for HRC.
I can add texture to 1 point based on my memory of direct Twitter interactions with him.
I was downright giddy when he followed me. I was pretty active in his feed and had maybe gotten 2 likes and a retweet. I thought I was so witty! In retrospect, tho, I must wonder if it wasn't because I was at the time co-Chair of his county's Green Party after it had been defunct for 8 years (like, maybe he was surprised to discover in my profile that his county suddenly had a Green Party. I also on the state party council and maybe (or maybe not yet) on the national council.
The second texturing of his feelings for the Greens and Jill Stein in particular involves one of the few (2?) times I respectfully. I had long lived in fear of the Smithee block. He could be a dick, but he was almost always on my side and he had the rhetorical goods. Had to have it. Then, after he followed me, I feared losing the follow, the oride point of my little Twitter profile. But one day he said something critical of the GPUS. He was dogging out some Dem, maybe Warren, and I suggested he go Green, because what a get, you know?
He replied with something like "Of you guys want to be taken seriously you have to pick a better candidate" or something like that. I had to say something. I am a member of the national council! So I asked him, politely, what his problem with Stein was, and waited for the 142 character "fuck you",but it didn't happen. Instead, he said he felt that her job was to parrot the party platform, and he felt she often went off the reservation. I counted myself lucky, agreed to disagree and said that I would check it out. My point is, he was claiming to have read the platform for some reason.

Gadfly said...

Tres interessant, LeBeau.

On Jill, I think she followed the party line pretty closely. And, as I said, his KSA comment was laughable.

On Stein, if you'll read through my blog, MY objections are that she's too much an AccommoGreen — the Green equivalent of ConservaDems.

LeBeau said...

That is... reasonable. I would love if she had said "I will nationalize the banks in my first hundred days." But it would have hurt the party, and I don't think any prez could pull that off. She is (in my estimation) a bit to the right of the center of the real members. But unlike conserva-dems, I think most of us agree her agenda would move the country in the right direction in almost every category, and wouldn't make things worse in the remaining. I think most real dems agree conserva-dems would make the country even worse in significant ways. I suspect very few Greens, even if they voted HRC, did so because they were voting AGAINST Stein.
But, to my point... Perhaps our subject identified (to some degree) as Green, or subscribed to the Key Values, but never donated because, well, if you could find it....
I can't help but still identify with Smithee, even in light of much of what you revealed. Before 2016,I was a casual Dem voter. I was a well known political junkie. In a cerebral sense. I loved the horserace and the theory. I was coasting through life, solid middle class, having done nothing to deserve it but being born in the top 10%. Then Sanders comes along and shows me that everything is all fucked up for almost everyone except for me. I suddenly decided to use my voice in a way that would not immediately, directly affect my comfort level (I don't preach to my employer's rich customers, eg). I don't advertise what a comfortable chump I was for so long.
I never had any question that Smithee was a neo-lib at least in 2015. I never thought that he was making a major lifestyle change just so he could walk-the-walk. In the same fashion, my job comes before party business. I live exactly as I did before, I just have more stuff to do and less personal time. I know full well that if I were to lose my job, even be banned from my industry, true hardship and poverty, likely, would not come for me. While I never knew the Smithee was as rich as the people I serve from the island (hell, I most likely have waited on him on many occasions in the last decade), but I was/am a groupie of his writing and research. Again, I am not qualified to dispute your claims of debate tactics, and I can't go back and look. But, man, he fucked up neocons and neolibs like nobody's business, and those bastards fight dirty, too. That is the Smithee that I followed. Large parts of your well-researched profile seem to me to be the lingering remnants of someone he used to be. We don't 180 overnight.

Gadfly said...

Good points overall, again, LeBeau.

Had Smithee lived longer, it's possible that he would have evolved further.

And, I understand the horserace in one sense.

In another, I KNOW I'm more radical than Smithee, and quite possibly than you, too.

The body of our Constitution sucks and I wish we had parliamentary government. Here's a great book about that, which I've re-read more than once.


On my voting background? I"ve voted Green for every president this century. Almost wrote in SPUSA's Soltysik last year. So, beyond "horserace," I take this seriously. Have also voted Green in general, in non-presidential races when I've had the chance.


On the "not 180 overnight" otherwise? That certainly may be true for the political junkie.

However, the anger that is reflected in his arrest record still came through pretty heavy on Twitter. I do not joke and I do not hyperbolize when I say I felt a touch afraid, just through the Interwebz, at times.

I also do not joke when I say it looked like his bullying was directed more at women. And, since his death, my updating of this piece, and more, I've had several women on Twitter offer yet more confirmation.

People who are doubled-down on a "cult" won't address this.

The Joshua, from G+, hasn't come back to comment after I updated about the domestic arrest.

I'm sorry.

But, even if not so knowledgeable, whether fixated or not, there's plenty of other people on Twitter, or beyond, who could, can, did and do shine a pretty reasonable light, if not quite so detailed, on dark money, etc.. and who are saner and safer as far as personalities.

Anonymous said...

Nothing I saw "Dobbs" say or do on Twitter remotely compares with this sanctimonious drivel you've no doubt wasted hours crafting here. Get over yourself and I will try to get over the loss of a friend and ally who chose not to adhere to any party's line. @youwildman

Gadfly said...

Ahh, another groupie drops by!

"Sanctimonious"? Must have learned that from Chopin's own tweets.

"Drivel"? You haven't said anything is inaccurate, or irrelevant.

And, no, Chopin, after (presumably) moving beyond Republicans, did adhere to the Bernie version of the party line, pre-sheepdogging, I believe. Who knows where he would have been in 2020; I do know, as shown, that he refused to do a #duopolyexit.

Gadfly said...

And, Mark, now that I think I know who you're referencing with Dobbs? You're totally wrong. She seems to be a nutbar cyberstalker.

demexited said...

actualflatticus donated to bernie. he never donated to actblue or any pac. per fec rules, bernie 2016 used actblue as a transparent conduit for its donations. people donating to bernie via credit card had their donations flow through actblue because that’s how the bernie 2016 campaign set it up.

like i said on twitter, you have no idea how donations work. act blue doesn’t have a 4% surcharge nor any surcharge, it's free for campaigns to use:
"And we make it free for campaigns and organizations — no tricks or add-ons."

i suppose actualflatticus and all other bernie donors could have mailed checks or flown to vermont... does anyone still use personal checks? i don't. go ahead and click on contribute. see where it takes you.

you're trying to make it seem like giving someone money who's using a free mc donalds cup to collect donations in is the same as writing a check to mc donalds.

might i suggest a new angle of attack? you could argue bernie's use of actblue's free donation platform gives actblue a little advertising so for the sake of purity one must've either mailed/hand delivered a check or boycott sanders altogether. at least that would have some sliver of a connection to reality.

but don't forget to weigh the the benefits of entirely avoiding actblue's platform against the greenhouse gasses generated by physically mailing or hand delivering all those $27 bernie donations.

p.s. muting someone because you're losing an argument badly is like putting a trash can over your head so you won't look like an idiot. good luck with that.

Gadfly said...

PPS: DemExited: You're saying that I should instead act like Flatty, and instead block people when I'm losing arguments badly?

Of course, I wasn't losing this argument badly.


As for your actual argument? Although I'm a Green voter, I'm sure Bernie's website, like Jill's, accepted online donations. Your greenhouse gases comment is at a high level of teh stupidz.

demexited said...

i'd call that losing since everything i pointed out you got wrong.

demexited said...

another suggestion: either make blog corrections or else refute the points in my actual argument with factual information, i.e. not fake 4% surcharges and donations TO actblue.

i think you should go with the first choice, it'll be easier for you.

Gadfly said...

Erm, nothing of the sort, Dude.

And, per my comment on Twitter, but not for Flatty reasons, it is time for the Flatty action.

Gadfly said...

OK, Dudette, re the one non-posted comment, DE.

As for the bullying of women? I'm not the only person on Twitter who saw that. Ditto on the minorities issues he seemed to have. And, on the women issue, I said that long ago.

Put that in your AF pipe and puff it, since you're obviously not getting what I said in my latest Tweet to you.