When the Gander Objects

Politics & Current Events, WTF?

Imagine that you're an extremist. You suggest that the targets of your advocacy should be killed. You proudly advocate harassing and terrorizing people you disagree with. You relish their fear — fear for their homes, fear for their families, fear for themselves. You sneer that any law that prevents you from terrorizing your political opponents is an unjust law with no moral force, and you scorn the mechanisms of the state. You associate with, and promote, crews of people who share your views and who put them into action.

Now imagine that one of your compatriots, a former ally in your movement, begins to use those same tactics on you — the very tactics you've endorsed and applauded. Imagine that you are the one being subjected to fear.

Would you abandon your principles? Would you run to the very authorities you previously condemned as tools of a racist oppressor state? Would you point to the deeds your adversary has done as evidence of dangerousness — even though you previously endorsed those very deeds? Would you beg the oppressor state to protect you — the advocate of using fear as a political weapon — from fear?

Of course you wouldn't. Notwithstanding the fact that you read this site, you're a human being with dignity and self respect. Not even a dog would sink to that sort of self-denying groveling, and bear in mind that a dog will sit down in the middle of your book club and lick its own balls.

But Dr. Steven Best, of the Department of Philosophy of the University of Texas at El Paso, has less dignity than a dog.

If Dr. Best isn't a terrorist himself, he's a philosophical cheerleader and apologist for terrorists. His cause is animal rights. This article at the Southern Poverty Law Center illustrates first his self-seriousness and immersion in revolutionary rhetoric:

Best declined repeated interview requests from the Report, saying via E-mail that a productive conversation would not be possible unless the Southern Poverty Law Center (the Report’s publisher) gets its “moral bearings straight” and takes on the “academic-industrial complex” as “the true forces of hate.”

Next SPLC gives a bit of background on some of Best's advocacy and activities:

“Let every motherfucker who shoots animals be shot; Let every motherfucker who poisons animals be injected with a barrel of battery acid; Let every motherfucking vivisector be vivisected and thrown away like the shit they are,” he wrote in 2011. “May this upside down world be set right … and the human voice never again be heard.”

Best has never faced criminal sanctions for acting on his beliefs, but he has flirted with what activists call “direct action.” In April 2010, he posted on NIO a video of himself attempting to confront a man rumored to trap and poison cats that wandered into his yard. The man wasn’t home, but his wife and small daughter were. “If I hear he’s hurting cats, I’m going to be all over his office,” Best told them. “You tell him I’ll have a thousand people all over this place. You tell him Steve Best dropped by. You remember that name.”

Best posted the man’s phone numbers and addresses, along with pictures of his wife and children, beneath the video. In an update the next day, he thanked “all who called and expressed concern” for letting the alleged cat-poisoner know “he is being watched.”

Best is much admired within the radical fringe of the animal liberation movement. As co-founder of the North American Animal Liberation Press Office (with which Marino is also involved), he’s helped enable “underground” activists — like the Animal Liberation Brigade member who firebombed Jentsch’s car — to anonymously claim credit for terrorist acts.

His biggest contribution to the movement is ideological. Under his notion of “extensional self-defense,” humans are morally justified to act as “proxy agents” for animals and use violence against their “oppressors.” This doctrine is virtually identical to that embraced by anti-abortion extremists, who call the murder of abortion practitioners “defensive action” and celebrate those who do it.

Is Dr. Best the sort who believes in "the system?" Well, look at his blog and judge for yourself:

Fuck this corrupt, omnicidal, nihilistic, corporate-controlled, fascist world-system; you don’t reform evil, you destroy it. Not a chance in hell to create a culture of life until we destroy the culture of death. Disease has consumed the entire body of civilization. We live among ruins, we inhabit a graveyard, an apocalyptic wasteland strewn with corpses, carrion, and zombies.

Strong words. Surely this is a man who would never appeal to the fascist world-system himself.

Or would he?

See, one of the people Dr. Best used to endorse and applaud and encourage is Camile Marino of "Negotiation is Over."

Using language and tactics consciously borrowed from violent anti-abortion extremists, Marino sends threatening E-mails, publicizes the personal information of her targets, and encourages NIO sympathizers to destroy their lives by whatever means they deem appropriate, whether lawful or not.

No one is off limits. The group has verbally attacked students — among them an undergraduate researcher at Florida Atlantic University whose work involved fruit flies. And it has gone after professors who don’t work directly with animals but use open source data collected by others who have.

Previously Dr. Best has supported Marino by, for instance, helping her put bounties on the contact information of biomedical students so that her group could threaten and harass them. (Edited to add: Dr. Best asserts that he merely allowed Marino to use an account and did not know of or endorse her activities.)

But Dr. Best, for all his fondness for animals, apparently never learned a very fundamental lesson about them: when you lay down with dogs, you get fleas. Put another way: when you associate with the sort of people who eagerly throw themselves into threatening and menacing scientists and grad students, sometimes you learn to your regret that they are terrifyingly crazy.

As the blog Speaking of Research reported this week, Dr. Best felt it necessary to appeal to the fascist oppressor state to get a temporary restraining order against Marino, who apparently turned against him and began deluging him with frightening threats and invective. His TRO application — available through the Speaking of Research link, with relevant portions also hosted here in case he makes further use of the oppressor state to attack their site — represents a man abandoning his stated principles the moment they are turned against him.

I hope you see how little regard this woman has for the law, for the rights and respect of others. . . . Please help stop these vile terrorist tactics against me, before she inflicts further damage to my reputation, my psychological well-being and health, and even possibly to my physical body.

In the TRO application, Dr. Best describes Marino's animal rights campaign — the campaign which he encouraged and endorsed, the campaign for which he provided philosophical underpinnings — as evidence of why Marino is dangerous and why the court should issue a TRO against her.

She has a history of this, in fact the Wayne State University has her banned from there and a Professor has obtained an order of protection against her to stay away from his home and the University but she violated that and was arrested. I know that this last part has nothing to do with me but I just want the court to understand the kind of person we are dealing with and why I fear her and her threats.

Also note that Dr. Best — an open advocate and user of vivid language, a outspoken defender of vivid free speech — wants a court not just to prevent Marino from contacting and threatening him, but to silence her:

I want a full cease and desist order to stop her from ever again contacting me in any way, including ever mentioning my name in any public forum or context whatsoever, including her website and n [sic] Facebook.

Perhaps Dr. Best has had a complete change of heart, and we'll soon see a new essay from him renouncing threats and violence. Or perhaps the TRO application should simply be seen as an extension of his prior work, this time used to protect the most important, the most majestic, the most noble of animals — Dr. Steven Best:

I am a Dr. Professor [sic] at UTEP and I can't have her slandering my name and the treats she is posting. Please help me.

Being an internationally known and respected author, speaker, and (UTEP) professor, these are no minor concerns for me.

No doubt Dr. Best would dismiss all of this by saying that he's not actually a sniveling hypocrite who abandons his principles at the first sign of them being turned against him — he'd say that this is different. He advocates threatened violence and violence for principle, but Marino is using it against him out of madness and personal pique. Let's leave aside the utter foolishness of anyone surprised to encounter madness among terrorists. Let's instead focus on Dr. Best's insipid utopian idiocy. Dr. Best apparently believes that his ideas — that violence and threats of violence are morally justifiable — will only be employed in the service of politics he likes. Only a damned fool thinks that. The rule of law is what defends us not just from animal rights terrorists, but from people who kill doctors who perform abortions, and people who kill "blasphemers," and people who kill gays, and people who kill people of different races, and people who kill people of different politics. We abandon it at our collective peril.

Based on the documents Dr. Best has submitted, the New Mexico court should probably issue a temporary restraining order against Marino. It appears that she has engaged in true threats, as opposed to mere rhetoric, and that she may pose a genuine physical danger to Dr. Best if she ever comes near him. The rule of law protects even those who scorn it. Just as freedom of expression protects the Phelpses and the Skokie Nazis who would ditch it in a heartbeat if they took power, laws against threats of violence protect even those who sneer at them, like Dr. Best.

But I can't see why anyone either inside our outside of the animal rights movement should ever take Dr. Steven Best seriously again.

Edited to add: Commenter Dan Weber points out this revealing gem:

She has always talked about killing herself, and that she would "take someone out with her"; I now fear that person will not be a medical researcher/vivesector she loathes so intensely, but rather me.

Emphasis, and evidence of sociopathy, in original.

Last 5 posts by Ken White

66 Comments

63 Comments

  1. TJIC  •  Oct 26, 2012 @8:26 am

    > Imagine that you're an extremist. You suggest that the targets of your advocacy should be killed.

    OK, done.

    So here I am, sitting in the Oval Office. What's the next step? Do I have to target the drones PERSONALLY, or can I delegate that?

  2. Hal 10000  •  Oct 26, 2012 @8:32 am

    This joker was on Penn and Teller's show on Animal Rights, claiming that animals are are moral equals and possibly moral superiors. He's a big ALF and ELF supporter and compares them to Holocaust camp liberators.

    Frankly, he crossed me then and especially crosses me now as another bogus "campus radical" — a professor in a comfy tenured job working for the state who tries to adopt radical views as a way of being cool. He and his ilk are nothing but poseurs — talking revolution while living in their comfy homes in rich neighborhoods. Now his BS has blown up on him.

  3. Jess  •  Oct 26, 2012 @8:37 am

    Wow until I got partway down the post I thought you were writing about Kimberlin.

  4. John  •  Oct 26, 2012 @8:44 am

    I just love it when people get hoist on their own petard. And while I can see and understand the need for tenure in higher education… I can also see where it fails miserably. How to balance those two conflicting needs? Probably to err on the side of tenure of course.

    John

  5. rmv  •  Oct 26, 2012 @8:45 am

    @TJIC

    Initial reaction: Laughed at the wit of your comment.
    Second reaction: Got depressed

    Thanks for ruining my day.

  6. Tom Holder  •  Oct 26, 2012 @8:49 am

    Fantastic piece!! Steve Best is a nutter and a hypocrite.

  7. Peter H  •  Oct 26, 2012 @8:52 am

    This joker was on Penn and Teller's show on Animal Rights, claiming that animals are are moral equals and possibly moral superiors.

    I remember that episode.

    He has the right to speak his bile, and even for state protection against the violent consequences of that bile, but he really is an awful excuse for a human being animal.

  8. John David Galt  •  Oct 26, 2012 @8:58 am

    The important question for me is the one left unanswered: will Steve Best continue to advocate violence and thus be a hypocrite, or will he turn out to have learned from his experience? I hope the police watch him, so if he continues to ask for it he can get it.

  9. Ted Francis  •  Oct 26, 2012 @9:18 am

    You believe in the Golden Rule. Dr. Best doesn't believe in the Golden Rule. Has he ever claimed to? I doubt it, but if he did, he probably made it clear at the time that it only applied to bad people, not to good people like him. Best sounds like a fan of Stanley Fish: A bad person isn't a person who does bad things; it's a person who is on the Other Side.

    In a way, kinda sorta, if you squint, that's not insane: Is it hypocritical to imprison people for kidnapping? Most of us would say that for the state to imprison a violent criminal, with (optimistically speaking) due process, is very different than for me to grab the neighbor's toddler and imprison her in my basement. Those two cases of "imprisonment" are very different, but they do both involve one human being locking up another.

    If Fish and Best WERE the sort of infallible, omniscient Olympian beings that their tenure leads them to imagine they are, they'd have a point. They'd also have a point if they were correct in assuming that anybody they consider "Other" is so degraded and subhuman that he doesn't have any rights a progressive academic is bound to respect anyhow.

    Anyway, long story short, Best lives by a different moral system than you, and by his lights he is no hypocrite. He goes after the Other by any means necessary, because he's a Good Man and the Other is a loathsome subhuman monster who has it coming. He defends himself by any means necessary, because he's a Good Man so he has a right to be defended. By appealing to the state, he's just using the devil's money to do the Lord's work, so to speak. He would laugh out loud at the suggestion that he and his victims have the same set of rights.

    Right is when he wins. Wrong is when he loses. Perfectly consistent. If you're a malignant narcissist like him or Stanley Fish. But don't go thinking you can be one too, unless you're on their side. That's Different (TM).

  10. Trebuchet  •  Oct 26, 2012 @9:23 am

    Having read Best's petition, I have a question: How did this illiterate manage to become a "Dr. Professor"?

    And another: Marino appears to be genuinely mentally ill. What's Best's excuse?

  11. Art  •  Oct 26, 2012 @9:58 am

    What an insufferable scumbag. If he wants to leave the world to animals, he's more than welcome to lead the charge and get the hell off this planet.

    "Animal liberation" supporters genuinely terrify me.

  12. Library Nachos  •  Oct 26, 2012 @9:59 am


    Having read Best's petition, I have a question: How did this illiterate manage to become a "Dr. Professor"?

    And another: Marino appears to be genuinely mentally ill. What's Best's excuse?

    While at a large, private university in Boston located right on the river I had the chance to live adjacent to a certain professor who is an authority on James Joyce. I can tell you that a Venn diagram of "professor" and "crazy" would have a great deal of overlap.

  13. Nicholas Weaver  •  Oct 26, 2012 @10:19 am

    Of course, neither of these clowns are extreme enough. Yes, I'm talking about the violent splinter vegetable rights movement. Free the broccoli from the yoke of imperialist aggression!

    (Although, I admit, I almost got a UC Berkeley student senate seat running on a militant vegetable rights platform…)

  14. Marty  •  Oct 26, 2012 @10:35 am

    Oh my god!!! This guy euthanized his cancer stricken son and buried him in the front yard!

    Oh..wait…it was a cat.

  15. Shane  •  Oct 26, 2012 @10:59 am

    @Ted Francis
    Ted, one quibble. He doesn't live by a moral system. I think that that is the problem here.

  16. Trebuchet  •  Oct 26, 2012 @11:02 am

    Free the broccoli from the yoke of imperialist aggression!

    You can liberate all of it, as far as I'm concerned. I've had more than one steak dinner ruined by someone sticking that awful stuff on the plate. (OK, it didn't ruin the dinner, but certainly added nothing to it!)

  17. M.  •  Oct 26, 2012 @11:06 am

    Um…Dad, is that you?

    Seriously, he sounds exactly like my father. Eerie.

  18. somebody  •  Oct 26, 2012 @11:22 am

    @Trebuchet: The "Dr. Professor" paragraph reads like it was dictated to somebody — somebody who spelled "stalking" as "stacking." The stuff in the following pages, in the Popehat-posted PDF, is written differently, and appears to have been spiral-bound and sent along with the TRO application.

    My blind, optimistic hope is that this filing represents a permanent change of heart for Steven Best — that he never knew what it was like to be on the receiving end of this kind of verbal abuse, and this kind of experience is enlightening and moving to him. Maybe, just maybe, he's learned that violence and abuse are not the answer.

    Probably not, though. He's probably still convinced that it's okay to murder animal researchers, because that's what the animals would have wanted. Sigh.

  19. C. S. P. Schofield  •  Oct 26, 2012 @11:39 am

    John,

    I'm sure this pillock was hired to be exactly what he is; A radical-chic generator of fashionable controversy and attracter of certain kinds of grant money and students. It is very rare that one of these twerps actually gets in enough trouble to get fired – in fact the only one I can think of who did is Ward Churchill, and he was a serial plagiarist, research thief, and fraud.

  20. Nicholas Weaver  •  Oct 26, 2012 @11:42 am

    I'm more impressed at the threat that:

    That she is going to FUCKEN destroy me.

    or

    Just the threats alone because I feel like it's a fatal attraction thing and it's getting real bad I fer her and what she will do, since she is known to do this and has serious charges against her for it.

    The quality of writing on the petition is remarkably abysmal for a Doctor of Philosophy in Philosophy.

  21. Nicholas Weaver  •  Oct 26, 2012 @11:43 am

    (oh, one typo of mine, it should be "fear", but otherwise its, to the best of my abilities, [sic])

  22. Nicholas Weaver  •  Oct 26, 2012 @11:50 am

    Also, I think the better lesson:

    Don't hang out with and encourage The Crazy, it gets you into trouble.

  23. Grandy  •  Oct 26, 2012 @12:00 pm

    @TJIC – I imagine that when you sit down at the Presidential Desk(tm), there's a little button on the underside you press. It then semi-transforms, popping up a monitor, a keyboard, and 2 joysticks and a holopgrahic display projector which then shows you a map of the world.

    Yes, it looks exactly like the setup from Never Say Never Again, except there is only one player.

    The question them becomes this: sure you can delegate it. But don't you want to take it for a spin at least once?

  24. Dave Ruddell  •  Oct 26, 2012 @12:38 pm

    Reading through the petition, we get to Section II "The Attacks Start". It opens:

    Flash forward to the end of July 2012: My son, my soul mate, the love and joy of my life, all I truly had and loved, died a terrible death from cancer.

    And I think, wow, poor guy, can't imagine what it's like to lose your kid. However, it continues:

    I went through this with him minute by minute, I was there when he was euthanized, and I buried him in my front yard.

    Which makes me think, WTF? His son was euthanized!? They buried him in the yard?! Of course, reading a little further, one discovers that he's talking about his cat.

  25. Ancel De Lambert  •  Oct 26, 2012 @12:39 pm

    "Best declined repeated interview requests from the Report, saying via E-mail that a productive conversation would not be possible unless the Southern Poverty Law Center (the Report’s publisher) gets its “moral bearings straight” and takes on the “academic-industrial complex” as “the true forces of hate.”
    Only an utter and complete moron thinks that a LACK of debate, rather than the action itself, will sway people to his cause. He thinks radiant light pours off himself, doesn't he? Whatever will we do without his glorious state in our presence?

  26. Lizard  •  Oct 26, 2012 @12:40 pm

    Is it wrong of me to ask why someone whose philosophy is, evidently, "Human are t3h evulz!" is still alive? I mean, why hasn't he killed himself long ago? Dear Dr. Best — Rippy the Razor says, "It's down the block, not across the street." (http://www.somethingpositive.net/sp08312004.shtml)

  27. Lizard  •  Oct 26, 2012 @12:45 pm

    As a quick addendum… I often refer to my cats as "my furry little kids" or say things like "Aw, he wants to snuggle with Daddy" or whatever, but I suspect that if I ever told someone who'd just lost a human child "Yeah, I understand what you're going through, I had to put my cat down a few years back", I'd be punched in the snoot — and deserve to be.

  28. ElSuerte  •  Oct 26, 2012 @1:55 pm

    It never occurred to me that somebody would attack the SPLC from the left.

    This organized stalking business is really scary. The possibility of being a target has impacted the way I communicate on the internet. I had a close call the other year when a well known political blogger, in the midst of a blog war, started outing his ex-commentators using information from his comment registration system and paypal tip jar. I'd used personal business email which had my real name in it to sign up for the site, and I ended up on the 'other side' of the blog war. I'm just lucky he didn't notice me, or I'd have gotten harrassed online and in IRL like the others.

    I know this blog has covered the Pattrico and Aaron Worthing Kimberlin/Rauhauser affair, so you guys might be interested in this story. http://theothermccain.com/2012/10/25/jennifer-emick-profiles-neal-rauhauser/

    Jennifer Emick is some sort of antihacker researcher who's been targeted for harrasment by various hacker communities. The harassment really picked up when Rauhauser began fixating on her, much like he did with Patterico and Worthing. She's been SWATed too.

  29. Dan Weber  •  Oct 26, 2012 @2:10 pm

    Did you see this bullshit?

    She has always talked about killing herself, and that she would "take someone out with her"; I know fear that person will not be a medical researcher/vivisector she loathes so intensely, but rather me.

    That is not my emphasis; it is in the original.

    Holy cow. "I always thought she was going to kill someone, but now I think she might kill me, so please do something."

  30. Ken  •  Oct 26, 2012 @2:20 pm

    Yep. Pure sociopathy.

  31. bw1  •  Oct 26, 2012 @3:06 pm

    maybe I missed this in the post or comments, and if so, let me know.
    Just what did Best do to piss Marino off?

  32. Kelly  •  Oct 26, 2012 @4:00 pm

    Oh dear, two psychopaths battling it out. Does Best know what Karma is?

  33. Bill  •  Oct 26, 2012 @4:32 pm

    I just asked my sausage dog what he thought of this guy since Ken biased me after the title of this post. He looked at the scene with Best on it, did this really awesome move where he licks both his bunghole and nads in one iick, then looked at me wondering what the point was. I can only assume he's not a Best fan.

  34. darius404  •  Oct 26, 2012 @4:34 pm

    @Nicholas Weaver

    As a lover of vegetable rights, you may enjoy this revolutionary video on the matter: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KmK0bZl4ILM

    Spread the word, Brother! They will be free, and the vile vegetarians will be the first into the mulcher!

  35. Lounging Lizard  •  Oct 26, 2012 @5:30 pm

    Karma is a wonderful thing. These two deserve each other. Perhaps a Wendy's Baconator could restore their mental balance.

    Ok, a legal question. According to the SPLC article, Marino violated an injunction in Michigan prohibiting her from mentioning a doctor on her facebook page or any other public communications. Presumably this followed her making explicit threats against him. How does the First Amendment come into play here? Shouldn't the order have been limited to threatening, false, libelous, etc. comments? Despite her psychoses, shouldn't she be permitted to say things that are true, even if it mentions the doctor's name? For example, couldn't she say "I've been ordered to stay away from Dr. [name]" on her Facebook page?

  36. wgering  •  Oct 26, 2012 @6:34 pm

    @darius404:
    Damn, beat me to it. Or perhaps beet me to it.

  37. Lago  •  Oct 26, 2012 @7:18 pm

    People who advocate violence should be be shot on the spot.

    *giggles*

  38. James Pollock  •  Oct 26, 2012 @7:21 pm

    Lounging Lizard, courts can order broad (temporary) orders that people do or do not do things. These can and often do include infringements of the right to speak freely (e.g., gag orders) or limitations on the ability to travel freely (e.g., stay away from place X or person Y). What protects us? A couple of things. First, the orders are of limited duration. Second, if an order is overbroad or too onerous, the person limited may go to another judge and attempt to get the order lifted or altered.

  39. Waldo  •  Oct 26, 2012 @7:45 pm

    Lounging Lizard, the referenced injunction sounds like a 1A violation to me. However, it doesn't really surprise me that stuff like that gets included in an injunction. Counsel for party seeking the injunction will draft the order and move the court to sign it. If she didn't have a lawyer and didn't contest this on 1A grounds and possibly appeal it, then a lot of judges will rubber stamp anything uncontested.

  40. C. S. P. Schofield  •  Oct 26, 2012 @8:04 pm

    I can't be bothered to look up the original source and exact quote; I get this version from Kipling's STALKY & CO.:

    "He 'nursed the pinion that impelled the steel', naturally he does not approve."

  41. Rob  •  Oct 26, 2012 @8:49 pm

    The nice thing about being a hunter is when you're targeted by environuts, they generally try to stay out of range.

    It's too bad most animal research facilities do not allow their employees to conceal carry.

  42. AlphaCentauri  •  Oct 26, 2012 @11:20 pm

    Do the students at UTEP lack all imagination that they have allowed this fellow to spout that type of evil without targeting him with enough pranks to make him reconsider how much he values that tenure he's got? In my day, pompous faculty and administrators suffered greatly for far less outrageous offenses. (Like the one involving cutting the nozzle off the firehose and sliding the remaining fabric tube under the office door and turning it on… not that I was involved in any of it personally, but there were times the destructive frat boys who were usually an annoyance to the rest of us gave us some vicarious thrills.)

  43. Jess  •  Oct 27, 2012 @5:57 am

    @Joe Schmoe • Oct 26, 2012 @10:08 pm

    What makes you think she is referring to Ken? The only thing I get from that post is that you posted an insult and she (or someone from NIO responded).

    On another note I could imagine a threat from Best or Marino to the effect of "I will dress you up as lettuce and feed you to the bunnies, it will be a very slow death by a thousand nibbles . . ."

  44. Ken  •  Oct 27, 2012 @7:22 am

    I'm pretty sure she's referring to Best. I use metric.

  45. AWM  •  Oct 27, 2012 @8:14 am

    Nice one Ken. What a twat this bloke is.

    The sort of behaviour he is now so afraid of is exactly why I was critical of mirroring UK animal rights extremist websites in the US without redacting personal contact details of their supposed enemies, their famillies etc.

    These people are truly deranged.

  46. Personanongrata  •  Oct 27, 2012 @2:17 pm

    "Heaven has no rage like love to hatred turned, Nor hell a fury like a woman scorned," ~ from William Congreve's play, The Morning Bride

  47. David Jones  •  Oct 28, 2012 @8:26 am

    Interesting. In the TRO, Dr. Best remarks on having his cat euthanized. So it is okay to kill animals…sometimes. Well, it is okay to kill them when we know it is best for them. Hmm. And if animals are our equals or superior to us (his belief as suggested in the Popehat blog post), we can make that decision for an equal or superior? Perhaps his cat spoke to him, so he knew the cat preferred death to life!

  48. Damon  •  Oct 29, 2012 @4:44 am

    If I were the judge reviewing the TRO I'd be SO tempted to say something like "I really don't see what the problem is here. Sounds like she's doing what you advocated. Defendant approach the bench. Whisper: you get what you deserve bitch. Enjoy. CASE DISMISSED"

  49. Bob  •  Oct 29, 2012 @7:56 am

    How the hell do you not get put away for several years for SWATing someone? That should be looked at more like a home invasion than an accidental dialing of 911.

  50. Nicholas Weaver  •  Oct 29, 2012 @8:05 am

    Bob: Because SWATing is very hard to prove. There are several ways to make an untraceable phone call to 911.

  51. mojo  •  Oct 29, 2012 @9:40 am

    You knew the broad was dangerous when you employed her, doc.

    In sum: tough noogies. Deal with your own mess.

  52. markm  •  Oct 29, 2012 @2:35 pm

    Nicholas: It might be possible to anonymize a phone call so well that it can't be traced through phone records with a warrant and due effort, but I doubt that many nutcases would manage to do that. It's far more likely that the cops and prosecutors just don't take SWATting seriously enough to put in the manhours needed to prove it. After all, if they treated this as a serious crime, they'd be admitting that when they send out the SWAT team to serve a warrant, they are knowingly imposing punishment before proof.

  53. AlphaCentauri  •  Oct 29, 2012 @8:57 pm

    It actually isn't that easy to track spoofed caller ID, what with voice over internet and phone number portability. The "Cardmember Services" scammers and junk fax senders exploit that to prevent people from tracking them down or blocking their calls. If the caller ID was even vaguely related to their phone carrier, you could block a whole range of numbers. But it's really just totally made up.

  54. Rob Crawford  •  Oct 31, 2012 @9:59 am

    This organized stalking business is really scary.

    Make sure you live in a state with good "castle doctrine" laws.

  55. Slartibartfast  •  Oct 31, 2012 @10:33 am

    This is a guy who could write endlessly about himself.

  56. Sigivald  •  Oct 31, 2012 @10:56 am

    "So, now you give the Devil the benefit of law!"

    "Yes! What would you do? Cut a great road through the law to get after the Devil?"

    "Yes, I'd cut down every law in England to do that!"

    "Oh? And when the last law was down, and the Devil turned 'round on you, where would you hide, Roper, the laws all being flat? This country is planted thick with laws, from coast to coast, Man's laws, not God's! And if you cut them down, and you're just the man to do it, do you really think you could stand upright in the winds that would blow then? Yes, I'd give the Devil benefit of law, for my own safety's sake! "

  57. WhangoTango  •  Oct 31, 2012 @10:57 am

    "Using language and tactics consciously borrowed from violent anti-abortion extremists, Marino sends threatening E-mails, publicizes the personal information of her targets…"

    Ken should be A-OK with that last bit because, after all, societal opprobrium plays a vital role in encouraging reprehensible people to stop doing reprehensible things, and it stands to reason that you can't shun someone if you don't know their personal information!

  58. Ken  •  Oct 31, 2012 @11:04 am

    @Sigivald: one of my favorite quotes from any movie. And I quite agree, as indicated in one of the closing paragraphs of the post.

    @WhangoTango: You seem to be arguing that I'm saying something inconsistent here, perhaps in reference to my posts about Reddit and Violentacrez. I'd be happy to hear more. As a matter of law, publicizing personal information is often/usually protected, with nuances that would take a long time to describe. Social opprobrium can, indeed, be an effective tool, whether used against bad actors or against "doxxers" with whom you disagree.

    Also, @WhangoTango, a question: is it wrong to investigate and write about and try to unmask "David Blade," as discussed in this post?

  59. Challeron  •  Oct 31, 2012 @1:07 pm

    Am I missing something here? Why does someone who pontificates on "the human voice never again be[ing] heard" object to his own untimely demise?

  60. Nate Whilk  •  Oct 31, 2012 @1:26 pm

    The P&T episode mentioned by Hal 10000 is on YouTube for the moment. If anyone wants to see Best, there's the URL (positioned a few seconds early for interesting stuff). link

  61. Gene Varner  •  Oct 31, 2012 @2:59 pm

    Hey, Best! I shot three squirrels this a.m. Wanna come and enjoy some squirrel stew with me?

  62. Angstela  •  Oct 31, 2012 @5:18 pm

    You know, years ago, I'd advocated counter-annoying abortion protesters by stalking them through their lives and showing them gory slaughterhouse photos every time they ended up at Wendy's, and so on. It was an amusing fantasy, but I never did it because I'm not insane.

    There's really something very wrong with stalker-activists.

  63. atypicaloracle  •  Nov 9, 2012 @3:46 am

    In regard to the above reference to Stalky & Co. (one of my favorites despite the bullying scene and the odious treatment of a harmless cat), if anyone cared to know but not enough to look it up, Hartopp was quoting Lord Byron's 'English Bards and Scotch Reviewers: A Satire.'

    This guy makes me sick. And people think that domestic terrorists are all going to be far-right wingnuts with guns hiding up in the hills? Ho ho, no, son. No, some of them will also be far-left wingnuts, sometimes espousing some truly amazingly idiotic ideology and using things more insidious and hard to fight than just guns.

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