Category: Susan Stanton

Online Harassment, Political Activists, and What to Do about It


In recent years, the internet has provided free rein to busybodies bent on opportunistic criminal behavior.  Never before have people known so much about others, nor have we cultivated so many meaningless “friends” who have coalesced into a militia of activists and tormentors.

In past generations, we went to church, school, or social functions to mingle and truly understand one another.  Nowadays, we park ourselves somewhere quiet and fly solo into an alternate world via our favorite electronic devices.  The internet has become as addictive as drugs and often makes people domineering, obsessive, and mean.  Too much personal information bleeds across social media platforms, resulting in cyber-harassment.  While social media’s “user agreements” supposedly govern their platforms, they may as well be written in beach sand.  Privacy is also a myth.  In this political climate, harassment has become epidemic.  Up until now, no one has had a clear idea how to deal with it.

Two years ago, my life came under attack from a cyber-bully turned stalker, who didn’t like the fact that I supported our president.  Undoubtedly, millions of people in our country are experiencing similar challenges.  Folks who don’t toe the political left’s line are labeled fascist, racist, white supremacists, Nazis, white nationalists, etc.  Attacks come in many forms via email, texts, or public postings designed to smear the victim’s name, reputation, or accomplishments.  Attackers impersonate others to cover their tracks and their malicious deeds.

My motto is, if someone doesn’t like me, I walk away and ignore him.  Ironically, my silence triggered demands from my stalker for a public apology and iron-fisted compliance with the left’s political ideology.

From the start, I confided in an astute friend who had prior experience with this person.  I was advised to log everything this narcissist threw at me and was cautioned never to respond.  Her advice was prophetic.  Knowing my attacker, I didn’t think this foolishness would persist.  I was wrong.  As difficult as it is not to defend oneself, it is important to refrain from responding.  Simply stated, the perpetrator will have nothing to throw at you if the case ends up in court.  Fighting the battle intelligently from the start is crucial.  Ultimately, the stalker will provide the rope, but you get to hang him.

Here are some additional recommendations gleaned from my experience.

Block harassers from your online accounts.  If they find a way around it, take a break and temporarily un-publish your profile.  I finally closed my Facebook account for good when two other people turned ugly.  Things were quiet for a time until this jerk began searching other venues where I could be hunted down and summarily trashed.

Contact web administrators and report inappropriate conduct.  Generally, they won’t do anything to begin with.  Stay persistent.  Seek top-level management.  For example, I contacted Jeff Bezos’s office, which was the only way to effectively ban this individual from writing vile, unrelated taunts regarding my work.  Once he was blocked, an escalated search for additional avenues of attack commenced.  One was a blog post I had written many years before.  The administrator informed me of the specious comments.  We had a good laugh.  This attack taught me another method of protection.

Blog controls will generally log I.P. addresses of commenters.  If you administer a blog or website, I highly recommend paying attention to I.P.s.  Tools exist to block selected I.P. addresses from accessing websites.  However, if your abuser is savvy and determined, he will simply change I.P. addresses or devices to continue his salvos.  Another “workaround” tactic stalkers favor is to use the email client or internet access of an employer.  Universities are particularly vulnerable to this abuse with public computers available in libraries.  If you notice that an official email address or URL is being used inappropriately, report it to the organization’s I.T. department.

Eventually, my stalker began threatening physical harm.  This is where things got serious, and I got angry.  Up until that time, it was simply an irritating daily provocation.  I finally contacted the FBI and an attorney.  State and federal laws stipulate that if you are harassed more than twice by a person, you have a case.  The federal statute (18 USC §875) is detailed in “Cyber Misbehavior.”  Although frustrating and time-consuming, damage control and investigation of these creeps is necessary.  In this era of divisive behavior by politicians, celebrities, and their armies of mindless minions, I recommend the following.

1. If you are a child or a young person, tell your parent(s), your teacher, or a police officer of your concerns.  Parents: Take these incidents seriously, and deal with them promptly.  Children shouldn’t have to deal with a stalker.  Remember: the culprit who is trying to embarrass you, or target your child, is mentally disturbed.  If someone you love has become pensive, is unable to track a conversation, is constantly deep in thought, or is over-using his device – ask questions, then act.

2. Log all activity, including unpleasant emails, texts, posts, phone calls, etc.  Block the culprit if possible.  Keeping a log is important.  Detail complete names, dates, and times, and obtain real-time screen shots displaying the exact email, text, photo, and social media comments.  Record only the facts – no personal commentary.

3. Know his identity and I.P. address.  Gather as much information as possible.  Using an online I.P. locator, you can determine an approximate location and sometimes a physical address.  If you don’t know the stalker’s identity, an I.P. address will identify him.  I.P. locators will list his internet provider.  Supplying the I.P. address of your stalker in a complaint to his internet provider may impede further attacks.  If you know his name and age, fastpeoplesearch.com and advancedbackgroundchecks.com are useful for mining and corroborating details.

4. Do not respond to attacks.  Instinctively, we want to defend ourselves.  It can be unnerving to refrain, but remain silent and calm, and above all, stay alert.  Best case, some bullies will move on if they can’t get a rise out of you.  However, the worst of them may double down on you – and in this case, find an attorney. 

5. If threatened with physical harm and the subject lives nearby, call your local police immediately.  If the threat comes from another state, call the FBI hotline for your area, in addition to your local police.  Threats of physical harm should be taken seriously.  If you are an adult, call your representative in Washington, D.C. and ask him to help you write a complaint to the FBI.  Be prepared with factual, detailed notes.  The FBI investigates all civil rights violations.

6. Hire an attorney to write a Cease and Desist letter on your behalf.  Sometimes threats of law enforcement and litigation will stop a stalker.  Cease and Desist letters are less expensive than putting up with the psychological abuse a stalker hopes to inflict upon you.  Your peace of mind is worth a few hundred dollars.  An attorney’s letterhead is more effective than writing it yourself, plus you will benefit from the attorney’s expertise and have potential backup assistance if a restraining order or litigation becomes necessary.

Stay strong and confident.  Protect your constitutional rights.

In recent years, the internet has provided free rein to busybodies bent on opportunistic criminal behavior.  Never before have people known so much about others, nor have we cultivated so many meaningless “friends” who have coalesced into a militia of activists and tormentors.

In past generations, we went to church, school, or social functions to mingle and truly understand one another.  Nowadays, we park ourselves somewhere quiet and fly solo into an alternate world via our favorite electronic devices.  The internet has become as addictive as drugs and often makes people domineering, obsessive, and mean.  Too much personal information bleeds across social media platforms, resulting in cyber-harassment.  While social media’s “user agreements” supposedly govern their platforms, they may as well be written in beach sand.  Privacy is also a myth.  In this political climate, harassment has become epidemic.  Up until now, no one has had a clear idea how to deal with it.

Two years ago, my life came under attack from a cyber-bully turned stalker, who didn’t like the fact that I supported our president.  Undoubtedly, millions of people in our country are experiencing similar challenges.  Folks who don’t toe the political left’s line are labeled fascist, racist, white supremacists, Nazis, white nationalists, etc.  Attacks come in many forms via email, texts, or public postings designed to smear the victim’s name, reputation, or accomplishments.  Attackers impersonate others to cover their tracks and their malicious deeds.

My motto is, if someone doesn’t like me, I walk away and ignore him.  Ironically, my silence triggered demands from my stalker for a public apology and iron-fisted compliance with the left’s political ideology.

From the start, I confided in an astute friend who had prior experience with this person.  I was advised to log everything this narcissist threw at me and was cautioned never to respond.  Her advice was prophetic.  Knowing my attacker, I didn’t think this foolishness would persist.  I was wrong.  As difficult as it is not to defend oneself, it is important to refrain from responding.  Simply stated, the perpetrator will have nothing to throw at you if the case ends up in court.  Fighting the battle intelligently from the start is crucial.  Ultimately, the stalker will provide the rope, but you get to hang him.

Here are some additional recommendations gleaned from my experience.

Block harassers from your online accounts.  If they find a way around it, take a break and temporarily un-publish your profile.  I finally closed my Facebook account for good when two other people turned ugly.  Things were quiet for a time until this jerk began searching other venues where I could be hunted down and summarily trashed.

Contact web administrators and report inappropriate conduct.  Generally, they won’t do anything to begin with.  Stay persistent.  Seek top-level management.  For example, I contacted Jeff Bezos’s office, which was the only way to effectively ban this individual from writing vile, unrelated taunts regarding my work.  Once he was blocked, an escalated search for additional avenues of attack commenced.  One was a blog post I had written many years before.  The administrator informed me of the specious comments.  We had a good laugh.  This attack taught me another method of protection.

Blog controls will generally log I.P. addresses of commenters.  If you administer a blog or website, I highly recommend paying attention to I.P.s.  Tools exist to block selected I.P. addresses from accessing websites.  However, if your abuser is savvy and determined, he will simply change I.P. addresses or devices to continue his salvos.  Another “workaround” tactic stalkers favor is to use the email client or internet access of an employer.  Universities are particularly vulnerable to this abuse with public computers available in libraries.  If you notice that an official email address or URL is being used inappropriately, report it to the organization’s I.T. department.

Eventually, my stalker began threatening physical harm.  This is where things got serious, and I got angry.  Up until that time, it was simply an irritating daily provocation.  I finally contacted the FBI and an attorney.  State and federal laws stipulate that if you are harassed more than twice by a person, you have a case.  The federal statute (18 USC §875) is detailed in “Cyber Misbehavior.”  Although frustrating and time-consuming, damage control and investigation of these creeps is necessary.  In this era of divisive behavior by politicians, celebrities, and their armies of mindless minions, I recommend the following.

1. If you are a child or a young person, tell your parent(s), your teacher, or a police officer of your concerns.  Parents: Take these incidents seriously, and deal with them promptly.  Children shouldn’t have to deal with a stalker.  Remember: the culprit who is trying to embarrass you, or target your child, is mentally disturbed.  If someone you love has become pensive, is unable to track a conversation, is constantly deep in thought, or is over-using his device – ask questions, then act.

2. Log all activity, including unpleasant emails, texts, posts, phone calls, etc.  Block the culprit if possible.  Keeping a log is important.  Detail complete names, dates, and times, and obtain real-time screen shots displaying the exact email, text, photo, and social media comments.  Record only the facts – no personal commentary.

3. Know his identity and I.P. address.  Gather as much information as possible.  Using an online I.P. locator, you can determine an approximate location and sometimes a physical address.  If you don’t know the stalker’s identity, an I.P. address will identify him.  I.P. locators will list his internet provider.  Supplying the I.P. address of your stalker in a complaint to his internet provider may impede further attacks.  If you know his name and age, fastpeoplesearch.com and advancedbackgroundchecks.com are useful for mining and corroborating details.

4. Do not respond to attacks.  Instinctively, we want to defend ourselves.  It can be unnerving to refrain, but remain silent and calm, and above all, stay alert.  Best case, some bullies will move on if they can’t get a rise out of you.  However, the worst of them may double down on you – and in this case, find an attorney. 

5. If threatened with physical harm and the subject lives nearby, call your local police immediately.  If the threat comes from another state, call the FBI hotline for your area, in addition to your local police.  Threats of physical harm should be taken seriously.  If you are an adult, call your representative in Washington, D.C. and ask him to help you write a complaint to the FBI.  Be prepared with factual, detailed notes.  The FBI investigates all civil rights violations.

6. Hire an attorney to write a Cease and Desist letter on your behalf.  Sometimes threats of law enforcement and litigation will stop a stalker.  Cease and Desist letters are less expensive than putting up with the psychological abuse a stalker hopes to inflict upon you.  Your peace of mind is worth a few hundred dollars.  An attorney’s letterhead is more effective than writing it yourself, plus you will benefit from the attorney’s expertise and have potential backup assistance if a restraining order or litigation becomes necessary.

Stay strong and confident.  Protect your constitutional rights.



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The Bloodless War against American Exceptionalism


 

Unprecedented social and political conflict was laid bare in 2017, the likes of which have seldom been seen before.  Our American social fabric is in tatters.  We are looking less enlightened and more divided than at any time since the Civil War.  Progressives on both seaboards are in a battle for political supremacy over old-school thinkers.  Boundaries are analogous to a resurrection of the Mason-Dixon line, except it’s now the East and West Coasts versus the rest of America.  Comparing more recent history, we look even less unified than we did in the 1960s – which says something painful about our current political climate.  What’s it all about?

It’s about cognitive dissonance and the hatred of one prominent man: our courageous president, Donald Trump.  Because of a startling election victory and the president’s penchant for keeping promises, hideous lies, innuendo, and insults fly from liberal and conservative mouths alike.  Mainly powered by vitriolic progressive henchmen, this election was largely misunderstood by the over-privileged and their cronies.  Zero tolerance for opposing opinions has been widespread.  Meanwhile, the world laughs at the comedic chasing down of an imaginary Russian menace.

As parents, we have sacrificed to put our young people through college and graduate school only to have them emerge with damaged attitudes and socialist beliefs.  Some poorly advised students unwisely shouldered huge college loans.  When they failed to make good on their promissory notes in a fashion commensurate with their earning power, they believed that society should rescue them from their irresponsible choices.  Bernie lost the primary, their socialist ideals crumbled, and they turned to his opponent for consolation.

In the previous century, American citizens would have graciously accepted the election results and moved on with their lives.  Instead of raucous protest, they went back to raising their children and quietly making positive changes within their communities.  Generally, only a few kooks dove off the deep end to lead marches against the establishment.  In bygone days, none acted out like the maniacal banshees currently screaming at the heavens over their lost election.  This achieves nothing, but it demonstrates how foolishly self-involved they are in their attempts to derail this president.

Our new president’s modus operandi continues to prick the softer psyches of the social justice warriors who insist on brutal intervention against those who do not agree with them.  They believe that Trump is taking us backward, but they do not realize how the previous administration was leading us into financial ruin, perpetual social unrest, and quite possibly a world war.  Their belief that the “popular vote” was more important than the Electoral College is a damning commentary on their ignorance.  The Founders understood the need for balance and fairness while extending inclusivity to a vast and diverse national population.  Now it is more critical than ever.

The media are largely to blame.  Their ideological hyperbole is like a plague that never quite disappears.  Frankly, I’m amazed that so many journalists have such little regard for truth-telling and for following the old journalistic code of honoring objectivity.  In many ways, it is akin to a physician’s code of “do no harm.”  But these media are doing harm by siding with any party.  Originally, they were intended to be watchdogs for our Republic – not opinion-generators or facilitators of rage.  Unfortunately, the left’s “in your face” political pedanticism rages on, fueled by dishonesty and revenge.

Academics are the most seriously afflicted.  Many have morphed into disruptive archetypal leaders.  Simpering young progressives, coddled by their egotistical superiors, are propagating radical social engineering while provoking hatred against those who disagree.  Their ill conceived prejudices and selfish forms of social justice are twisted, relentless, and unforgiving.  Delighted with their egocentric superiority, they see themselves as overlords of the “peasant class.”  Why?  It’s because they possess an expensive education.  Such feudalistic attitudes have been rejected time and again over the millennia.  This is why Trump was elected.  By traditional definition, he is not a politician.  However, he is playing by the cutthroat rules invented by the left.  Ironically, leftists don’t like the turnabout, stating that his attitudes are “unpresidential.”

At the beginning of President Trump’s administration, several friends informed me that if I supported the Republican Party or any of its ideals, our relationship would end.  I do not support, nor have I ever supported anyone based on religious, racial, or political affiliation.  Neither will I be intimidated.  My proposal is this: let’s elect diverse leaders with common sense, who will put their countrymen first, demonstrating sympathy to others but only when Americans of all stripes regain an equal footing in their own nation.  Progressivism erodes the sand from beneath our feet.

As we have become painfully aware, social media are spectacularly effective at getting one’s opinion published but have escalated the war.  Those who hurl their negative opinions across the internet are often unprincipled instigators of unrest.  Contributing nothing constructive, they trade in ignorant name-calling, taunts, and obscenities – no facts.  In the adult world, this is unacceptable.  Civil discussion is preferable to street fights.  This is a bloodless war, but nonetheless damaging to our national cohesion.

Faceless internet attacks are one thing, but personal attacks are quite another.  The incendiary rhetoric I’ve personally experienced is amusing but sad.  My main progressive demons are two people whom I formerly admired and loved.  One is an academic, now steeped in anti-American policy, while the other was my best friend of thirty-five years.  Both are blind to anything short of the deification of our previous commander-in-chief, plus both have an unfounded adoration for his female acolyte, who miserably lost the election due to her dishonest intentions.  The academic has unmitigated anger issues and teaches impressionable college students with Alinskyite precision.  Hiding behind the internet for over a year, these two have regularly lobbed hateful emotional bombs from various venues.  Do they honestly believe that these cowardly devices will succeed in changing the course of our nation or my mind?

To paraphrase Nelson Mandela as he expressed his state of mind when he left captivity: “[a]s I walked out of the prison gates toward freedom, I knew if I didn’t leave my bitterness and hatred behind, I’d still be imprisoned.”  Mandela was dedicated to forgiveness, which was his ultimate key to a lifetime of success and admiration.  My progressive friends’ personal prisons are lamentable.  Perhaps they and their wayward army will eventually learn that guerrilla tactics are futile against staunchly rooted American exceptionalism.  It’s all about choices, forgiveness, and working together toward positive outcomes.  We must pray that the new year of 2018 will provide balance, prosperity, and global peace.

 

Unprecedented social and political conflict was laid bare in 2017, the likes of which have seldom been seen before.  Our American social fabric is in tatters.  We are looking less enlightened and more divided than at any time since the Civil War.  Progressives on both seaboards are in a battle for political supremacy over old-school thinkers.  Boundaries are analogous to a resurrection of the Mason-Dixon line, except it’s now the East and West Coasts versus the rest of America.  Comparing more recent history, we look even less unified than we did in the 1960s – which says something painful about our current political climate.  What’s it all about?

It’s about cognitive dissonance and the hatred of one prominent man: our courageous president, Donald Trump.  Because of a startling election victory and the president’s penchant for keeping promises, hideous lies, innuendo, and insults fly from liberal and conservative mouths alike.  Mainly powered by vitriolic progressive henchmen, this election was largely misunderstood by the over-privileged and their cronies.  Zero tolerance for opposing opinions has been widespread.  Meanwhile, the world laughs at the comedic chasing down of an imaginary Russian menace.

As parents, we have sacrificed to put our young people through college and graduate school only to have them emerge with damaged attitudes and socialist beliefs.  Some poorly advised students unwisely shouldered huge college loans.  When they failed to make good on their promissory notes in a fashion commensurate with their earning power, they believed that society should rescue them from their irresponsible choices.  Bernie lost the primary, their socialist ideals crumbled, and they turned to his opponent for consolation.

In the previous century, American citizens would have graciously accepted the election results and moved on with their lives.  Instead of raucous protest, they went back to raising their children and quietly making positive changes within their communities.  Generally, only a few kooks dove off the deep end to lead marches against the establishment.  In bygone days, none acted out like the maniacal banshees currently screaming at the heavens over their lost election.  This achieves nothing, but it demonstrates how foolishly self-involved they are in their attempts to derail this president.

Our new president’s modus operandi continues to prick the softer psyches of the social justice warriors who insist on brutal intervention against those who do not agree with them.  They believe that Trump is taking us backward, but they do not realize how the previous administration was leading us into financial ruin, perpetual social unrest, and quite possibly a world war.  Their belief that the “popular vote” was more important than the Electoral College is a damning commentary on their ignorance.  The Founders understood the need for balance and fairness while extending inclusivity to a vast and diverse national population.  Now it is more critical than ever.

The media are largely to blame.  Their ideological hyperbole is like a plague that never quite disappears.  Frankly, I’m amazed that so many journalists have such little regard for truth-telling and for following the old journalistic code of honoring objectivity.  In many ways, it is akin to a physician’s code of “do no harm.”  But these media are doing harm by siding with any party.  Originally, they were intended to be watchdogs for our Republic – not opinion-generators or facilitators of rage.  Unfortunately, the left’s “in your face” political pedanticism rages on, fueled by dishonesty and revenge.

Academics are the most seriously afflicted.  Many have morphed into disruptive archetypal leaders.  Simpering young progressives, coddled by their egotistical superiors, are propagating radical social engineering while provoking hatred against those who disagree.  Their ill conceived prejudices and selfish forms of social justice are twisted, relentless, and unforgiving.  Delighted with their egocentric superiority, they see themselves as overlords of the “peasant class.”  Why?  It’s because they possess an expensive education.  Such feudalistic attitudes have been rejected time and again over the millennia.  This is why Trump was elected.  By traditional definition, he is not a politician.  However, he is playing by the cutthroat rules invented by the left.  Ironically, leftists don’t like the turnabout, stating that his attitudes are “unpresidential.”

At the beginning of President Trump’s administration, several friends informed me that if I supported the Republican Party or any of its ideals, our relationship would end.  I do not support, nor have I ever supported anyone based on religious, racial, or political affiliation.  Neither will I be intimidated.  My proposal is this: let’s elect diverse leaders with common sense, who will put their countrymen first, demonstrating sympathy to others but only when Americans of all stripes regain an equal footing in their own nation.  Progressivism erodes the sand from beneath our feet.

As we have become painfully aware, social media are spectacularly effective at getting one’s opinion published but have escalated the war.  Those who hurl their negative opinions across the internet are often unprincipled instigators of unrest.  Contributing nothing constructive, they trade in ignorant name-calling, taunts, and obscenities – no facts.  In the adult world, this is unacceptable.  Civil discussion is preferable to street fights.  This is a bloodless war, but nonetheless damaging to our national cohesion.

Faceless internet attacks are one thing, but personal attacks are quite another.  The incendiary rhetoric I’ve personally experienced is amusing but sad.  My main progressive demons are two people whom I formerly admired and loved.  One is an academic, now steeped in anti-American policy, while the other was my best friend of thirty-five years.  Both are blind to anything short of the deification of our previous commander-in-chief, plus both have an unfounded adoration for his female acolyte, who miserably lost the election due to her dishonest intentions.  The academic has unmitigated anger issues and teaches impressionable college students with Alinskyite precision.  Hiding behind the internet for over a year, these two have regularly lobbed hateful emotional bombs from various venues.  Do they honestly believe that these cowardly devices will succeed in changing the course of our nation or my mind?

To paraphrase Nelson Mandela as he expressed his state of mind when he left captivity: “[a]s I walked out of the prison gates toward freedom, I knew if I didn’t leave my bitterness and hatred behind, I’d still be imprisoned.”  Mandela was dedicated to forgiveness, which was his ultimate key to a lifetime of success and admiration.  My progressive friends’ personal prisons are lamentable.  Perhaps they and their wayward army will eventually learn that guerrilla tactics are futile against staunchly rooted American exceptionalism.  It’s all about choices, forgiveness, and working together toward positive outcomes.  We must pray that the new year of 2018 will provide balance, prosperity, and global peace.



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