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

Related

 

 

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.

Related

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


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.  

Continue reading