New letters have arrived: See Updates

About two and half hours ago, I published this blog post about  Dr. David M. House and my choice for anonymity. 

At 10:47 (on May 29th), this email arrived, demonstrating nicely exactly why I remain anonymous. It's because critics will always try to intimidate or silence people by any means they think are available to them.

Now, there are elements of this person's writing that are clearly similar to one or more of my regular twitter harassers. Not the clown car hood ornaments like @Nadia_artist or @heferdust.  They're just disturbed and annoying, but not particularly  dangerous.  You can sense in this person a much deeper pathology.

It is almost certainly the same person as "Hurtlocker" who posted comments much like this on @TheReidReport's site in February, after she ran a story on Bradley Manning and David House.

The site doesn't link to comments, so you'll have to scroll down to find "Hurtlocker." Since this crank implied that it was all over for me, but nothing happened, well.. perhaps their dirt was raptured?

Also around this same time, one of the vicious sock puppets always harassing me was making similarly random assertions about "Ana Marie Cox."  For the record, Ana and I have communicated by email and IMs before, and met in person once in New York during a conference. We have never had any kind of personal relationship, nor any problems of any kind. I suspect this person is simply aware that we've engaged in the past, and is tossing anything against the wall they think might stick—or scare me. (I ain't scared).

As for Skype? Well, I don't do Skype sex, so maybe they're confusing it with the Anthony Weiner situation? (Just kidding, Congressman).

The Nicole Sandler reference is concerning not one letter, but three letters exchanged with Nicole, concerning what I regarded as her tacit support of a smear job done on me by another blogger in a Progressive Email list. To complete strangers, this blogger was trying to imply that I was engaged in some ongoing harassment of her, similar to some well known cranks harassing her on her own website. Not only was this an undocumented fabrication, but in fact, it was consistent with the very low-grade whisper campaign that she herself had been conducting  against me for over a year and a half. One that I have tried my best to ignore, no matter how often she and her friends have reintroduced the smears to my public or private Twitter streams.  There are many people who can attest to the lengths I have gone to ignore this high school nonsense, but they continually find ways to rekindle it. Perhaps they need the attention more than she does.

In any event, three mutual friends sent me copies of Nicole's messages to the list within minutes of it happening. I contacted her immediately, and expressed my disappointment. Clearly caught in an unpleasant situation, she responded that she didn't say anything she wouldn't say in person,  and that I was being far too harsh on Bradley Manning and Glenn Greenwald. I had contemplated going public with this hard evidence of  a deliberate smear campaign by this blogger, but after consulting with @Karoli and other close friends, I decided to chalk up her animosity to a legacy of a long defunct friendship with a mutual acquaintance, show a modicum of respect for our past friendship, and just let the matter drop.

I treated our email exchange as quite private, so I can only assume Nicole shared at least one of them with her network of twitter pals, and one of them either is this harasser, or passed on a copy to him or her. Of course, they might only be aware of the letter, too, because Nicole or her friends discussed it. Either way, if it gets published, that's unfortunate, but more for Nicole than for me.

As for tax returns, and cyber sex, and the rest? Well, this is just more noise to try and intimidate and silence me. I know hundreds of women on the Internet. If I had a reputation of disrespectful behavior toward them, you can be damn well sure they would have come forward long before now.  But since many of them are my dearest and closest friends, I wouldn't expect that to be happening any time soon :)

My gut sense? This was not written by a woman, as it first appears to be, but rather, a particularly nasty and manipulative male investigative journalist that I trusted once who is trying hard to make it sound like this was written by some scorned or rejected woman with "a long memory."  He deeply resents the work that both Joy Ann Reid and I have done on Manning, feels I've maligned him at times, and has found numerous ways to attack both of us. He, like Glenn Greenwald, is also very well known for sock puppetry, and has a long history of dirty tricks and sending threatening letters, posts, and comments to various progressives in several communities. Finally, this person has close relations with the blogger from the smear effort, and is ideally positioned to know of both the smear, and the letters with Nicole. If I am right, and he is the culprit, I suspect he will reveal himself soon enough. His obsession with me seems to build monthly and he loses control easily.

Of course, there are other suspects. The fun thing about Twitter is that the crowd has a way of coming forward with lots information. I am betting that happens by morning.

If you have any insights about this matter, please email or dm me.

All in all, this is pretty good demo of what I was getting at in my post. Political speech on the Internet has a cost, and it isn't always a whole lot of fun. If you think this is ugly, it's actually rather tame compared to things done to me and my family in the past. If you're going to speak, know the risks.

Good night, friends.


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Letters Received: May 30th

Three new letters arrived this morning. Brief comments follow each:

I've redacted the party host's name, and since 1) none of the guests are mentioned (and 2 are good friends), and b) everyone had gone to sleep when we left, I have virtually no reason to believe this is anything more than more tossing of wall stickies.

The last line is typical of the manipulative sociopathic personality, who always thinks they are the smartest person in the room. They can "imply" that I need to be distrustful of my friends and confidants. They always think that's so clever. It's actually rather college-grade smear tactic. I'm getting embarrassed that this person is so lame. Why can't I have quality stalkers?

Of course, no picture arrived with it, as no picture exists.

At this point, the person is just playing to the audience for my posts, thinking that I am somehow fearful of how this looks to my readers. In fact, I am amused, as I know many of them are. This kind of lameness is as telling of how far we've fallen as a nation, when so-called moral progressives (whom I am fairly certain this person pretends to be), stoop to such tactics.  The pathetic incompetence of it just adds insult to injury.

More lame "cleverness." This person is clearly a formidable intellect, capable of grand deceptions. By the subject line, the sender tries to imply I must be holding something back in my reprints, knowing that readers would never know the difference. Sure, I might be. But there also might be giant alien obelisks on the moon, and those fuckwits at NASA redacted the photos.

Next, we can expect "I love the way you removed that picture of us in bed together with that underaged penguin. You are such a bastard, Shoq. And soon, all the other penguins will know."

Yeah, my friends are fabulous actors. I am not even going to charge this stalker for the show. Now, the penguin sex, on the other hand.  Hell, I might make enough from that to cover my Skype sex charges.

The @stopbeck thing is a bit weird. I mean, given that almost anyone who is even marginally aware of life on Twitter would know that Angelo and I are quite close friends. But fine, more of that see what sticks to the wall stuff. Let's try whatever we haven't yet.

Which brings us to the letter's final entry, Gottalaff. 

No surprise that the topic finally gets here, as expected, to an unfortunate topic which I try to avoid, no matter how hard she and her associates continue to trot it out again and again, usually in private, or slightly veiled public threads, for whatever ongoing motive compels them. My friends, followers and readers have never understood the tenacity with which they engage in this annoying, petty, and completely unrequited blood feud. But they seem to enjoy it, and planetary catastrophes notwithstanding, all things will be revealed to us in time.

And yes indeed, there were more than a few emails with her back when we still spoke (over 1.5 years ago). And IMs too. Sadly, they were mostly advice and guidance on how to build and promote web traffic, brand, what things like "server" and "host computer" meant, and what interesting, effective, and ethical blogging should be about.  Alas, this too is not exactly good penguin sex. But ok, sure, whatever. They might be entertaining to see published, I suppose, if you're really into rubbernecking very pedestrian dialog between former friends who just fell out.

Letters Received: May 31st


And a pig who is into penguin sex.  It doesn't get better than this.

Clearly my tormentors are confident they are in the final stages of assembling (or more likely… producing) whatever exhibits they intend to soon proffer to the entire world, which will almost certainly deal a fatal blow to the Dread Pirate Shoq.

I just hope someone in my Twitter stream works for Gawker, E! or Insider Edition. This kind of ugly negative publicity is the stuff of which fortunes are made in America. I've harassed, molested, and banged enough innocent penguins. It's my turn, god damn it! I want that same piece of the pie that O.J, Mel Gibson, and Robert Blake have already gotten. This could be my ticket to finally getting that date with @kimkardashian, and scamming a backstage pass to the X Factor finale. Holy fuckballz… I am gonna finally meet Simon Cowell!

I just hope my accusers have acquainted themselves with laws of libel, slander, blackmail, disparagement, defamation, and cyber-bullying, as well as how easy it is for skilled sleuths to track internet email and IP addresses. If they produce something convincing enough to appear genuine to the gullible, I might have to mess up their fun with that unpleasant litigation stuff. It's such an orgasm killer, and they probably don't get many of those otherwise. And hell, they might even get sufficiently upset that they would go say something bad about me on Twitter. Oh, what a Little Shoq of Horrors that would be, eh?

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Oh dear. We're recycling the name dropping now.

As previously discussed above, Nicole's "note" was a reply to a lengthy letter about her direct and unambiguous Heatheresque complicity in a deliberate, calculated smear of me by one of her good friends—with evidence attached.

There were no insults, but merely expressions of disappointment, an admonishment for revising history in a transparent and self-serving manner (sometimes known as "trying to blow smoke)," and more than a few invitations to simply apologize to me. This she refused to do, preferring instead to merely regret responding to the email thread at all. If she didn't mean it then, I am quite sure she does now.

As stated earlier, I would imagine that several people would be hurt by the publication of those letters (and by this, I mean the complete letters, replete with the entire Progressive email group transcripts enclosed). At least one of the participants would see her image as an obsequious, goody-two shoes blasted to smithereens, and converted into one of a rather slimy mean girl, who behind the scenes was walking in manure up to her bobby socks, using a well-intentioned Progressive's mailing list to spread dirt and defamation for nothing more than her personal agendas.

Again, some might be hurt by the publication of these letters. I am quite confident that I would not be one of them. In fact, I would welcome it. And I would happily provide the full texts of anything left incomplete in the record.

Oh double-dear. Louise's typing is starting to show the emotional stresses and strains of an ill-conceived public campaign to disparage me that has gone horribly wrong.

Louise, if you DM me, I can link you to some excellent counseling sites, as well as some professional primers on the very best psychotropic drugs that money can buy.

I didn't black out Nicole's name, because, as previously stated, she's directly connected to real events, and common sense says that she's directly or indirectly connected to the most guilty party in all of this. That person, my theory says, is not actually Louise, who is probably only trying to serve as an avenger on their behalf, for whatever obsessive-compulsive neurosis compels him or her.

The other blacked-out party is someone I have seen no evidence of complicity from whatever, thus far, and choose to believe that the name was simply thrown into these missives to deflect from the fact that Louise and her little group of tire biters actually have very little hard information. I've seen stiffer cases in Anthony Weiner's twitter stream.

And speaking of dicks, I am starting to think that this little group of defamers, whether male, female, or both, are actually rather limp and somewhat impotent. But at least they can be proud of having embarrassed others. Well done! 

I hope we've seen the end of these letters. I will continue to chronicle them because each time I do, some new person peeks out of the Twitter firmament with some new scrap of information about "Louise" and her malodorous mini-mob. Bring it :)



See Updates at bottom

There I was, out enjoying some well deserved sunshine on a lovely South Florida Memorial Day weekend, when, against my better judgment, I happened to peek at my Twitter timeline appearing on my ever-present Android mobile phone. Prominently littering my stream were many tweets from one David M. House (aka @axiarch), the semi-famous Boston attention hound from Alabama who masks his accent with a Charles Emerson Winchester affectation.

House was busy thinking he was “outing” my identity on Twitter.  As I will get to in a moment, this happens fairly often on Twitter, but before we go there, let me give you some pertinent background on House, and myself (sort of).

Background on David Maurice House

This is the same opportunistic operator, and self-styled “hacker” who knew Pfc. Bradley Manning for about 15 minutes during  a party in Boston, and upon hearing he was arrested in the Wikileaks saga, cleverly recognized a gravy train when he saw one.

With travel funds from an unspecified source, he made the long journey to visit Manning about 8 or so different times at the Marine brig in Quantico, Virginia. Returning from one such visit, he told any blogger or media outlet that would listen that his dear friend “Brod-lee” (apply  Brahmin accent from Beacon Hill here liberally), who was once such a charming, alert, and intelligent “fellohhh,” was now nearly “catatonic” as the result of relentless and inhuman torture he was receiving at the hands of his Quantico guards, according to his accounts, and those told by Salon blogger Glenn Greenwald, and House’s co-bloggers at Fire Dog Lake.  This was a very interesting professional diagnosis coming from a computer programmer with—according to renowned hacker and co-wikileaks celebrity, Adrian Lamo—only limited computer talents, and of course, no medical degree.

It was House’s (clearly coached) diagnosis that was widely blogged by Glenn Greenwald and Jane Hamsher’s Firedoglake, that was mostly used to catapult the “torture” meme into and around the global Internet and media blatherspaces. And it happened with barely a single serious effort to confirm or validate much of anything that was claimed. Virtually all of the “Manning torture” hysteria was based on the specious, totally undocumented stories of two bloggers, and this unverified, anecdotal medical “evidence” from Dr. David House. It was ludicrous, and remains an indictment of a global media that is content to just take dictation from bloggers, because it’s much cheaper than covering a hot story themselves.

House’s trips to see Manning unceremoniously ended when Manning’s father, Brian Manning, and evidently Manning himself, were sickened by the relentless ways that House was using Manning’s incarceration to promote himself, and I suppose  whatever book and movie deals he felt were waiting for him at the end of his 15 minutes of lame.

You can see this in a PBS Frontline Chat, down around the 2-minute mark:

2:02 Comment From David House
This is David House. You say I was using Bradley for 15 minutes of fame… this is very hurtful and surprising to hear. In earnest, on what basis do you make the remark?

2:03 Brian Manning:
Please clean your own house. Bradley told us. If you do not believe me ask him!

Oh snap! “Ask him.” Well, he may not be able to do that for awhile, but you can be sure we’ll hear more about that soon from Manning himself in some future letter or statement.

As I once predicted after only the most modest investigations of Manning’s reported “torture,” the layers of hyperbole and bullshit surrounding Manning would eventually unravel, and it would embarrass a lot of people.  That’s just now starting with David House. I remain confident that before this is over, he will be exposed as the pretentious operator who jumped on Manning and rode that pony for all the mileage he could get out of it.

Since that bit of opportunistic wanderlust is coming to an end, House has now moved on, probably again with Greenwald’s help (but I can’t say for sure), to file a lawsuit against the government with the assistance of the ACLU. They are protesting the “seizure” of his laptop at an airport last year, when the Government was clearly interested in finding out who helped Manning. I think House forgot to check the security rules at the airport, because they can do almost anything they wish with what you choose to bring through security.

Ok, so much for the background on House. Now a bit about me.

Background on Shoq and his damned “anonymity.”

It should come as no surprise to my Twitter stream that I prefer to tweet anonymously. I have several reasons for choosing to do that. The two most important of them are these:

  1. First and foremost is the security of my aging mother who, thanks to my political nature, has been relentlessly harassed in the past. But it’s also for the sake of my brothers, sisters, nieces, nephews, partners, friends, and acquaintances who have a constitutional right to privacy, or at least a moral right to not be annoyed or harassed because some guy with a cat avatar likes to piss on Republicans, conservatives, pretentious phonies, or plain old crappy bloggers in cyberspace.
  2. Secondly, way back in the AOL days, CEO Steve Case took a lot of grief of allowing “screen names” and allowing identities to be anonymous. He defended his decision because he believed that without anonymity, people would not be free to speak their mind politically for fear of reprisals from employers, churches, friends, etc. And as digital information sharing in the medical and insurance community was only recently becoming common, he also felt that any such medical issues should be openly discussable without fear of insurance companies, familes, or employers learning of it.

In my view, Steve Case was exactly right on both counts.To this day, I have many close friends who say they wish that they had kept at least one online persona anonymous so they were free to speak politically, or personally, without fear of their words showing up at the office the next morning—or in the NY Times.

I could spend 10,000 words on this topic, or you could Google for literally millions of discussions on it. You can even read what I’ve written about my choice to be anonymous right here on this very blog. To make it easy for you, I’ll even give you this link to that discussion.  Regardless of your own views on the subject of anonymity on the Internet, in the end, we all choose our paths, and mine was to remain anonymous. I don’t really owe anyone an explanation for that. So long as I am not breaking any laws, misleading, nor harming anyone, my identity online should be my business.

I am not alone. Whether we consider the noted bloggers, @Digby56, @Atrios and @mudflats (legends in the progressive space who were once anonymous), Mark Twain, Publius, or the more typical twitter personalities, such as the anonymous Gottalaff, I am hardly the first person to choose anonymity in the entire running history of on or offline social spaces.

If you don’t like my choice to be anonymous, the simple solution is to just not follow me, block me, and ignore me whenever you see me. It’s just that simple. And some do choose that path, and I would never contest their right to do so. But for thousands of others who choose otherwise, they see my “identity” as that which I have tweeted or blogged under quite consistently for many years, and am quite protective of my virtual reputation.

Now, if you don’t think there’s a reputation worth protecting in that history, you either haven’t been online very long, or have virtually no need or desire for people to trust you.  I have both that need and that desire, so I am quite conscientious about how my “Shoq” persona behaves publicly and privately. At times he can be just as thoughtful, kind, helpful, rambunctious, annoying, condescending, insightful, defensive, inspiring, sexy, tiring, insipid, hilarious, tedious, or as just plain dull as almost anyone else on the Internet.  That is who he actually “is” on the Internet. Who he actually is in real life  (IRL) is not really relevant. What he looks like, what he wears, his place of residence, who he works for, whom he falls in love with or sleeps with at night¸ are all absolutely immaterial to that defined persona which so many have come to know in that far reaching identity-space called the Interwebs. It may not always be so, but it is now.

For almost two decades now, I have concealed my actual identity, using a variety of planted names, pseudonyms, account IDs, avatars, etc. Every few months, some new rocket scientist discovers one—-or is directed to one—and they scream “Eureka! I’ve got that damn cat by the tail at last.” When they finally recover from their orgasmic frenzy, they rush off to tell all their friends, pat themselves on the back, and then tweet a frenzy of self-congratulatory reverie, as David House (aka @locklean) can be seen doing here, just today:!/lockean/status/74909129482838016!/lockean/status/73849578465665024

Now, as I have blogged and tweeted, House is not the brightest LED on the panel. So, given a bit of bad information from any one of hundreds of conservatives that had it, he might have spent even a few minutes asking around. He would have discovered that this same bogus account (which, amusingly enough is not even one of the many decoy accounts I’ve created, but just the handiwork of some random conservative dolt who  planted the account himself based on a tip he received from someone else that was wrong earlier) is just one of many names that have been traveling around the #TCOT and #P2 communities on Twitter since mid-2009.

Had Dr. House been a wee bit sharper, and done just the teensiest bit of research, he would have found this tweet way, way back in January of 2011, which was proffered by me when his quasi-boss, Jane Hamsher came up with the exact some bad information, as I had chronicled in this lengthy screed, which continues to haunt her and her staff to this very day.

So Dr. House, like many before him, thinks he has “outed me,” and in so doing, only outed himself as a petty, venal, churlish little man who seeks to  win arguments not with facts or merits, but with intimidation, disparagement, or or whatever other bullying tactics he feels might work.

Unfortunately for the good doctor, he’s about the 50th person to use the same bad information, and as such, must go to sleep tonight with the sad realization that he’s not pulled the mask off the Dread Pirate Roberts after all. But even if he had, the blackguard would never admit it. But as important, none of his many friends would tell you either. In fact, most of his enemies wouldn’t tell you either.

Why wouldn’t people reveal Shoq if they knew?

The short answer is because it looks really bad for them to do that. What would be their motive, their own friends and associates might ask?  Are they trying to intimidate Shoq? To embarrass him? To ruin his career? To drive him from cyberspace? To do the very thing he remains anonymous to prevent?

Are they trying to keep him from speaking his own brand of truth to power?  Are they trying to deflect from whatever questions he asks about them or their activities or positions?  What exactly has this Shoq done but offer his opinions online, as millions of others do every day? Why would they be stupid enough to risk violating someone’s trust by exposing his personal information, just because someone else was mad at him for an opinion?  Would it be a random act of pettiness, a professional character assassination, or just a blatant act of nastiness that made them feel good?

Whatever their motive, they would need to explain it, and explain it well. They would have to explain to their friends, family, co-workers,and Twitter streams, and do it in such a way that those people would understand the motive, and later be comfortable knowing that the same fate might await their own private and personal information.

No, as Jane Hamsher learned, even threatening to “out” people’s identities is almost always seen as the worst kind of unethical dirty trick, most often performed by Right wing operatives for whom ethics always takes a back seat to strategic objective. But the Right wing lives in a cultural cesspool of such nastiness, and many actually take pride in the unctuous skullduggery

On the left, however, such depraved character demonstrations are not only frowned upon, but often seen as a stake through the heart of one’s own credibility. The people with character, protective of their own reputations, just don’t do it.