Jo-Ann Shain is my first cousin. She and her partner Mary Jo Kennedy have played a historic role for the past 7 years. This @CNN re-run memorizalizes their long journey. Their fight has been part of an epic battle that will change the lives of so many.  Congratulations to them both. Thank you for your service, ladies. 

 

 

Source: Same-sex couple Jo-Ann Shain and Mary Jo Kennedy won the lottery to wed Sunday in New York.

Backstory

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A Cautionary Tale of Infiltration, Betrayal, and the Activist Community

by Melissa Brewer

I've been busy with worky stuff, so I didn't have time to blog Melissa's moving, informative, and maddening essay when it was first posted. I apologize to her for that. She wrote an important introduction and overview of the noisy Twitter conflagration that made her life a living hell, and has embroiled me and hundreds of other people for months. It is best read together with Matt Osborne's tidy little synopsis of this Ratfucking* of the stopRush effort and me.

Although they'd like everyone to think that what they did was just about me, what Heather E. Chase (@heatherEchase) and Imani Gandy (@angryblacklady) did had an impact on many people. Particularly affected by their selfish machinations were about 3000 #StopRush volunteers, but also several other women who have spent their lives fighting for women's rights. And their fight was much greater than building a small wiki project that died only a few months later when it's founder was able to leverage the attention she received into a paying contractor's job with a bona fide and well respected women's rights organization. Evidently, they made this acqui-hire before Chase and Gandy had admitted what they'd done to us. It might have made a difference in their decision.

Of course, many other people—even well branded bloggers—who never bothered to research any of the story before "defending their friends," were lured into that embarrassing trap based on their modest acquaintances, and these women’s shrieks of "conspiracy theory! conspiracy theory!"  They have been quiet lately, probably due to the fact that their friends, the  purported "victims," Chase and Gandy admitted doing exactly what we said they had done.

Melissa's story will explain a lot of things to you. I urge you to read it. Some highlights:

I’m writing this post today to tell you a story. It’s the story of a man who wanted to “infiltrate” a movement and manipulated many people so that he could “make his way” as the next Breitbart or James O’Keefe.

I felt good about my involvement in StopRush. I was true to the boycott, too. In fact, because of StopRush, I’ve learned how to vote with my wallet in a number of ways. I’m a conscientious consumer. I have StopRush to thank for that.

As depressing as it’s going to sound, this story is also about hypocrisy in its very core form. While #TeamUterati “worked” to further “women’s rights” and decry slutshaming on a public level, none of the “TeamUterati women seemed to think twice about aiding and abetting Jason Wade Taylor in his “war”. The women targeted in his ruse included… (emphasis mine).

If this story doesn't open your eyes to the dangers of bloggers acting as careerists, using any means necessary to promote themselves at the expense of other progressive causes and the broader public interest, nothing will.   

I'd like to be able to say Melissa's post has led to better relationships between like-minded people on Twitter, particularly those who are more than sick of the drama these people continue to flog every day. Unfortunately, all it's done is bring her more strident and vitriolic attacks from those who are now so thoroughly invested in all these manifestations of Internet Disinhibition run amok.

*A Note About The Term “Ratfucking.”

Chase and Gandy and their supporters lamely try to deflect from the selfishness of their deed by saying that Matt Osborne and I have claimed that what they did was "political."  Why? Because Osborne used the term "Ratfucker."  This is a typical Breitbartian trick where you try to obfuscate the guts of a story by picking off tiny tangents that you hope the gullible will be distracted by.  It was just more of the spinning and manipulation that these two cunning women have used since they first started denying that they did anything at all (most stridently argued to friends in private). They had been slowly backing away from their denials before finally admitting what they did—but only after we published hard evidence that proved it.  They excused it all with still more cover-ups, unsupported assertions about my "bullying and abusing women," and of course, their ongoing use of other people to mask their duplicity. Along the way, they shamelessly encouraged their vicious supporters to attack mine (ironically, often women themselves).  

But back to their tangent:  Not only did the term "Ratfucker" long ago escape its Watergate-era boundaries and come to mean any dirty trick done for any kind of gain, but even at face value, it was appropriate  Chase and Gandy were played by Jason Wade Taylor,  a con-man who absolutely had a political agenda and used their greed and epic ethical fails to assist him.  Their motives were never political, and no one ever said they were.

Rather, their motive was to raise funds to pay their salaries in a quick-and-dirty advocacy effort that designed to do just that. I know. I was there when it was formed. In those days, I spoke to Gandy nearly every day. Out of work, and out of money, her constant refrain (very closely paraphrased) was "I have just enough cushion to last until maybe October. I need to make this work or I will need to find a job."

Ratfucking me and StopRush, apparently, was part of "making this work."

Please read Melissa's story in its entirety. It's an important one with many lessons for social media activists.

Update No. 1 

The always dishonest and complicit @MiltShook (a blogger of such stature, he writes his own reviews on Amazon), who continues to deny—and conceal—his major role in this drama, has been spouting off on Twitter about how "Shoq wrote Melissa's piece." This is typical of Shook, who makes straw assertions like these about me almost every day since I eviscerated a truly ridiculous undocumented hit piece he wrote about me on behalf of Chase, Gandy, Jessica, Padilla, and Himself.. Shook postures that he wants all this to stop, while tweeting almost hourly about me. A few examples.  Had I written Melissa's essay (replete with tales of her rape and abuse), I would hardly have been as fuzzy about the perp's motives as she was. She gives them wiggle room. I don't. We already know and proved exactly what their motives were.

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Read this:

  • When Feminists Turn "Mean Girls"  — A series of tweets from just a few of the more obsessive beasts who have trolled my Twitter stream since last August, blathering baseless allegations that I "abuse women."  

    Each of them are frequently encouraged and retweeted by  @angryblacklady, @honeybadgerLA, @vdaze, @semishark, @dvnix, and many others actively engaged in harassing me on Twitter, even having contests to see who can drive down my follower count the fastest. Seriously.  Their goal has been to cover-up their own malfeasance and contrived scandals meant to mask it and they have literally shat on thousands of twitter relationships to do it. Fortunately, as the chirpstory shows, they are now revealing themselves to be incredibly manipulative and vicious, further discrediting their phony narratives. And people are finally starting to  get it and push back.

And then this to explain the horror that you just read: 

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So I was out trying to locate some new voters to register on the next to last day for new registrations, when I came across this street corner populated by some dedicated Teaparty/Romney voters keeping it classy. They had signs for just about every hysterical conspiracy theory that existed for Obama to date.  They would rotate the different messages every few minutes, sometimes marching into the center of the street disrupting traffic when they could get away with it. I decided to ask them what one of them meant.

I apologize for the primitive nature of this little movie. It’s the very first I’ve edited on my own. I promise to get better if I ever decide I need a new hobby.

Related

  • Cloward–Piven strategy  — the teaparty activist in the video is not making-up this bit of strategy, but it never became the lynchpin of anything, as Glenn Beck has suggested. Legions of teaparty activists need these conspiracy theories, half-rooted in reality, so that they have a reason to get up each day.

 


Posted on 9/29/2012

 "No facts?"  In Matt Osborne's "Twitter Brigade Burn Notice" post an update referred to here, Osborne included:

  • 80 factual points, including statements and assertions that people would testify to in court,
  • 32 exhibits  of material evidence, including emails, instant messages, tweets and deleted tweets.

Posted on 10/02/2012

Uh, people writing responsibly (and who have jobs) may require some time to  construct responses using those pesky things called "facts."  Oh, and it also took a week or so to scour this hit piece for the evidence of "bullying" he mentioned so often. I failed. So have others, apparently

Once upon a slime, Milt Shook wrote a 4000 word smoke screen.

In the image at the top of this page, the political blogger Milt Shook suggests that another blogger's detailed look at the possible origins and motives of an organized smear campaign about me reads like the gossip site "TMZ." You know, the sort of site where  allegations and ineuendo get made, but almost no hard facts are presented?  This post shall examine a 4000 word blog hit piece (that Shook claims isn't a  hit piece), where Shook appears to attack OsborneInk's post, but merely as a way of attacking me by-proxy. I think discerning readers will soon see that the gentleman doth protested—and projected— just a bit too much :)

Shook's screed seems to have had 4 objectives.  To 1) discredit Osborne, who unpacked a complex, nearly 2 month smear campaign against me that had been cleverly packaged as victims pushing back against "verbal abuse"; 2)  promote the meme that it was a consequence of my own behavior, as evidenced by rumors, gossip, and self-serving portrayals over the years by various trolls and detractors; 3) minimize and deflect from his own role in the events behind the smears, while simultaenously trying to distance himself from a drama in which he was both an actor and a screenwriter; and finally, 4) posture as a heroic truth teller, using almost no facts whatever so he could bask in the adulation of the people gleefully receptive to any new contribution to the smear campaign.

The fact that Shook would go to press with something this thinly documented, knowing Osborne was bringing out more of the story in series, makes Shook's speculations and assertions look almost like credibility suicide notes. His post mostly speaks for itself (poorly), but I will respond to some of its more reaching or specious sentences with something his post was recklessly short on: evidence. 

UPDATE: Since this post was written, @HeatherEChase admitted that almost everything said here, and in Matt Osborne's posts (with evidence) were completely true. Oopsy! Of course, she continues to manipulate, offering still new lies (without any evidence) to continue her cover-up. And naturally, Shook is quick to defend those lies too. He never appears concerned with, nor makes mentions of the fact that Chase now admits to exactly what Shook says never happened.  What's important is that after all of Shook's lying (which I take apart herein), Heather Chase came right out and made him look like an accomplice, a stooge, and a fool. Given his dishonesty and transparent mendacity, I'm really ok with that.  

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Milt Shook, the Outsider

In many of his tweets shown on  the tweets exhibits page, you can see how hard our Superman, Milt Shook tries to assert that he's just an outsider to the entire drama that has encircled my life for months.  This, almost 4 months since he got involved with StopRush, 11 days before his "Burn notice, burn notice" screed, 15 days after my apology for raising my voice last January, and  33 days since @vdaze and @angryblacklady and their group began their attacks on me (on a daily basis). He alleges here that he knew nothing of my cyber-romance with @vdaze (though it had been famous fodder for almost 6 weeks before he wrote his hit piece).  Here, our outsider volunteers that he knew of "5 women" I had bullied (but he doesn't name any). That number grew to 7 in other tweets. Once again, none of these assertions have been supported with a single example or other form of even hearsay evidence. Nothing. Nada. Like Mitt Romney, he just says it, and assumes a certain audience will assume it's true.

 

 

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To see real time responses or engage me about this drama, please follow @ShoqRetorts

 

Unless you have been living in a cave somewhere, you've probably heard the canard acting as the title of this post.   It's been a recurring meme for 3 years now, and used by enemies, past and present to smear me and assassinate my character.  It gets new life whenever any new drama resurrects it such as the ridiculous "shoq abused vdaze narrative now entering it's third month. Smears work the same way right wing propaganda does. You repeat the lie again and again and again until enough people think "gosh, there must be something to it or all these people wouldn't be saying it, right?."  It's sometimes called "Fox News."  This may all seem pretty juvenile to you, and it is, but it usually does to someone not living through it. These people are now running "unfollower contests."  The followers lost already  mean little to me. But the damages to my name, reputation and professional interests are another matter.

The lack of any real evidence will help me in future actions taken against this vicious character assassination.  So to prove they have never had any, and never did….I am now offering an open invitation to… 

Bring it! Bring your hard evidence against @shoq 

Total (eligible) submissions since 9/30/2021:  0     
 

 


To all of you #shoqboilers out there, here's your moment to shine.  Bring us your evidence of my "bullying" and "abusing women."  Let everyone see the hard evidence of your claims which you push relentlessly, month after month, year after year.  I will let everyone see just what you have. You don't even have to leave an email. Just be sure what you have is at least credible. Only the infamous @vdaze voice message is exempt, as that 8 month old voice mail message has been discussed ad nauseum and was merely a device to triggrer this latest smear. 

As for anything else, please post below any evidence you have below AS A COMMENT on this paqe. This might include:

  • A tweet, blog post, website link that has a real person standing behind it, and not some anonymous smear-merchant with an ax to grind using phony images or unacccountable websites.
  • An accounting or anecdote with a real  witness who would sign an affadavit as to its truthfulness, or testify to it in court.
  • An email (with headers) or instant message that went through Google or some other service where the text can be subpoenaed. 
  • A voice message or other recording
  • If your evidence is a tweet, webpage, or other webobject, you must include a URL or it goes to the garbage-out page.
  • Merely posting Tweets of someone making a claim is not evidence of anything, but if you insist on looking silly, and exposing yourself (and them) to hard questions from commenters, you can post those too.
  • If you provide some lame conversation where a political difference of opinion is what you call "bullying," or my sarcastically dispatching some right wing loon or contrarian or argumentative lefty puritopian, I will let that stand, just to show how ridiculous people can be. Such engagements are not "bullying." That's called "Twitter."

I will allow anything that meets the above criteria. I have enabled posting of media too.

You don't have to leave a real name or email if you don't wish, but if you do, you will seem more credible.  

A few rules:

  • If you try to provide anecdotal or circumtantial evidence with nothing to back it up, I will delete it from this page, but move it to a garbage-out page where they can still be seen, but they won't clutter up the stream of evidence. 
  • What you post must be about yourself, or someone real who has some kind of track record on Twitter or Facebook.  Someone that has had an account for at least 6 months, for example. 
  • You, the abused person, or their appointed legal proxy or representative should be willing to stand behind the claim and discuss it below, answering questions posed by others.  You/they should also be prepared to defend it were it ever brought up in court.
  • If it's just unsupportable bullshit with no real proof it was ever posted or happened, it has no business being mentioned as evidence or a "fact" and will be moved to the garbage-out page.
  • Mere rants will not be allowed at all. If you just want to spew opinions about me, start a blog. This is for what people claim is hard evidence of Shoq's "abusing or bullying of anyone, but particularly women,"  
  • If you provide patently false information, you may expose yourself to charges of defamation or libel.

So why am I doing this?

Because I am disgusted by this daily kangaroo court justice that so many people enable because they 1) don't know or have any the facts, 2) don't want to be bullied for asking questions of the smear mongers, or 3) are simply gullible, naive, or stupid.

There is no evidence of this abuse narrative and there never was. To these #shoqboilers, I was born in Kenya, and that's the end of their story.  I argue politics, and I organize social media projects. And I do both vociferously and enthusiastically. Both have made me a lot of enemies on the Right and the Left. They rarely want to take me down with ideas or debate, so they try to intimidate people into unfollowing me, or attacking me. It's been this way for years.  

I don't bully anyone, nor do IU "abuse women."  I once raised my voice and used an inappropriate word in anger at an cybe-girlfriend who was encouraged to publish a recording of it 8 months after the fact, just to embarass me. I apologized for it here on this blog in several ways. 

So if you want to make some new charge, bring your evidence and back up your story.  But more importantly, if  you encounter anyone making such charges, ask them to post it here where everyone can share it. If they haven't done that yet, or don't want to do that for any reason, 1) ask yourself why, and then, 2) dismiss it for what it is, is: bullshit.

To see real time responses or engage me about this drama, please follow @ShoqRetorts

I especially welcome these participants

@gottalaff, @tymlee, @nicolesandler, @angryblacklady, @vdaze, @jennyjinx, @ttlanes, @rebeccayorkart, @nadiaartist, @semishark, @brandibax, @shoqpaholic_918,@james_x_,  @themanknownasx, @iboudreau, @theXclass, @sickjew, @jc_christian,  @tosFM, @dudeImanegg, @cody_k, @deniseromano, @watergatesummer

Bonus

If you have instant mesages, emails, or Direct Messages with any of the above people to disparage, smear or even urge you to unfollow me, use the contact button in the menu above. I will pay you for it. 

The Evidence Begins Below 

See garbage-out page for crap that didn't qualify as serious evidence.  (01) posts moved there.


 

 

 

 

 

Please see VERY Important Updates below

Early Wednesday morning (9/26/2012), Darshann Simon, aka @honeybadgerLA, the friend and legal associateof @angryblacklady, and brief (but obviously disastrous) romantic connection of mine, decided to blow up my telephone 15 times about 36 hours after OsborneInk's first Shoq's Twitter Brigade Burn Notice.

 
Darshann used her home phone and cell phone to make these calls. I don't know why. Perhaps she figured one was blocked. In fact, I was just not answering her. She also left several voice mails, the longest being 48 seconds.

Anything Darshann needs to say to me can be said by email.

And all of this because a man she thought she fell in love with after barely 3 weeks was a bit squirmy about "treating her like a queen," rather than just treating her well. 

By the choices these smear-mongers have made, this entire story, and all of their roles in it will be locked in Internet amber for generations. That's a shame. But they made this choice. If they choose to retract their nasty lies one day, I might choose to remove all of this documented evidence of them. Might.

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Update #1

I had erroneously reported there were 17 calls, when in fact, it was merely 15. Sorry! Also,  I removed some extraneous verbiage from my earlier post about Darshann's family members, and those related to these other smear-mongers seeing all this someday. Obviously, they will anyway, so there's no point in wasting words saying it. 

Update #2

A member of my family received this, shortly after I posted this item around 3:00am EST last night.  This morning, a family member forwards me this letter which they received from Darshann this morning:  

Anyone who has followed this absurd and calculated drama, and this woman's daily and public role in it can only be stunned by the venality and stupifying revisionism this letter demonstrates. All I and others have done here and elsewhere has been to carefully document what she and her friends have been doing to me (and their possible motives) since August 6th, 2012 on Twitter.  

Notice there is no mention of my "abusing her," or "threatening her or her daughter,"  or any of the other massive conflagrations about Jessica (vdaze) and @angryblacklady she has been engaging in. Nothing. Nada. Zip. She tries to create the impression that she is the victim and not the victimizer, even though the evidence that contradicts that narrative is now all over Twitter and the Internet.  If you search for mentions of her by me, you will find at most two instances of tweets on Twitter since August 6th. This one, and this one. Both responses to things said by she or others in her group. Everything else has been documentation of their contrived and crumbling storyline.

If she, or anyone else had any evidence of "harassment of any kind by me, at any time, at any place, it has not been shown to anyone publicly, nor, to my knowledge, have any charges been filed. If anyone should be doing that, it's me (and it may come to that).  The woman is simply lying on Twitter, and now lying in emails to my family.  And remember, this woman is an attorney—an officer of the court.

 Below are just a few of her many tweets you can sample over the past month. Still not seen enough?  You can see so many others by her, as well as her campaign co-horts, @vdaze and @angryblacklady, here in this document (scroll down to see more of Darshann Padilla).

 

 

 

 

The infamous Randy Hahn (aka @farRightOfLeft), a conservative operative who pretended to be a progressive so he could infiltrate progressive organizations, now has a radio show. Since his entire claim to fame is based on issues with me, it seemed only appropriate that I appear on his second show. Since listening to podcasts can be annoying, I sliced out the key segments and removed the annoying musical breaks.

For those following the @vdaze/@angryblacklady/@shoq drama, you may get some interesting new perspective from listening to BeccaS's segment and from mine, but the order can be reversed without much congruity damage. If you do, please listen to Becca. She's very sincere, and quite articulate about what a true bully victim goes through. 

  • Beccas43 segment — Wherein BeccaS43 discusses social media bullying, and why she first came to @shoq concerned about his behavior, only to learn that he was the one being victimized by an organized smear campaign.
  • Shoq's Segement  — To his marginal credit, "Randy Hahn" invited me on to address the tired old charges made about him by the now semi-legendary "@vdaze/AngryblackLady/HoneybadgerLA" clique and their contrived  smear campaign against me.  We also get into debunking the equally stupid origins of a much earlier smear campaign by the blogger @gottalaff. But the best part is where I get to take Randy apart over… well, everything :) 
     
  • Introduction to the Randy Hahn show — the only really  interesting part of which is "Randy" (aka Jason Wade Taylor, aka James Simon, Jr., aka whatever, whatever)  explaining precisely the reason why a fairly capable bullshit artist with a folksy charm and a Texas drawl can so easily con people in the social media space so easily. 
  • Entire show, with music breaks — if you're masochistic, this might interest you. It includes a weird Stranahan guest segment in the middle where Lee comes on to tell his version of why he filed a false police report and was then accused of "swatting" a blogger named "Liberal Grouch."  Stranahan, a Breitbart.com blogger  has decided—for unexplained reasons— that the @shoq was to blame of Osborneink discussing this story as some kind of deflection from Lee's discussion of something or other that Shoq never cared about. . 

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