Sunday, August 31, 2008

How it started and who started it

[This article is written by Jim, Dona, Ty, Jess, Mike, Wally, Cedric, Ruth, Rebecca, Elaine, Marcia and Kat.]

Last week, a woman launched a prolonged attack on Dona, Jess, Jim, Mike, Rebecca and C.I.

Mike, Rebecca and C.I. had not had any contact with her Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, through Thursday evening. (C.I. had never had contact with the woman. In 2007, Mike had replied nicely to one of her frantic fan mails and ignored the rest as she turned complete whack-job. In 2007, Rebecca and she had exchanged angry e-mails.) But every day she attacked all of us at her blog, sometimes in a new post, sometimes in new comments she left to her own post.

The backstory is that she e-mailed both Mike and Rebecca in 2007. With both of them she started off cordial or so it seemed. Rebecca sensed right away what was going on and was very clear in her replies (there were several) that she wasn't in the mood for Gutter Trash's crap. Mike caught on after he made the mistake of replying originally. He wrote a kind e-mail. He received multiple replies which he wasn't aware of because they'd gone into his "spam" folder and not his "inbox." "Nutcase," was his dismissal of her and he never replied to her other than his original e-mail.

For anyone who doesn't know this (readers of this site know it), we do share which nutcases e-mail. When C.I. found out about the run-ins, Gutter Trash was no longer linked to at any community site (only C.I. had ever linked to her) and that was the end of it.

On our end.

Monday Jess, pulling e-mail account duty at The Common Ills, found an e-mail from Gutter Trash and she wanted to play the 'nice' game. She represented herself as part of "organization" and wanted to say "thank you" to C.I. for C.I. doing her part to get the word out on war resisters but, oh, by the way, you're wrong about Robin Long being extradited.

C.I. is not wrong about that. Judge Anne Mactavish initiated an extradition and called it a "deportation" because to call it what it was would kick it up for review (she neither has the power to extradite, nor does she have any laws or treaties backing her extradition up). It was an illegal extradition and legal scholars have weighed in publicly calling it that and the international press has reported it as such.

But Gutter Trash knows everything. Or think she does.

Jess wrote her back only because she was part of the 'organization.' He explained to her that we don't have time for her e-mails unless they are about an event or news to highlight, so don't write for any other reasons.

That was apparently difficult for her to understand because she wrote repeatedly. Dona saw them the next day. She read through all that garbage. In her final e-mail, Gutter Trash's meds appeared to kick-in and she was on even keel. Thinking she could make the point better by explaining slowly, Dona e-mailed her back.

Had Dona known (no one did) that Gutter Trash had already posted Jess' e-mail online (without his permission), Dona wouldn't have written back. Gutter Trash was spoiling for a fight and the mistake made on the part of Jess, Dona and Jim was in not ignoring her in the first place. Had she not been a representative of the 'organization,' they never would have replied her to begin with.

Dona's post goes up and includes a single sentence that mentioned C.I.'s recent week of exams. That comes into play shortly.

Gutter Trash still hasn't gone away despite being asked not to e-mail unless it was news of or event of the 'organization' she represents. Jim had e-mail duty at the public account of The Common Ills next. He was already fed up with Gutter Trash and, being Jim, didn't have much to say to her to begin with. He wrote her a short e-mail that repeated the main point of when it was acceptable to write.

She posted Jim's e-mail.

During all of this, Gutter Trash was actively trashing Jim, Dona and Jess. She broke the law posting their e-mails but that wasn't enough for her. Early on, a commentator who either never came back to her site (she was the first to post when Gutter Trash published the first e-mail) said she didn't think it was appropriate to be posting an e-mail without the sender's permission. She either stopped visiting Gutter Trash's posts trashing everyone or else Gutter Trash stopped allowing her comments to be published. We have no idea which.

Because, Jim, Jess and Dona had mentioned they knew what Gutter Trash had pulled with Rebecca and Mike, Gutter Trash decided to produce an e-mail to Rebecca and two to Mike. That's her right, she wrote those e-mails. She wasn't being honest (Rebecca and she had a lengthy e-mail exchange) but posting her e-mails to them didn't break any laws.

However, Gutter Trash also decided to post Mike's e-mail responding to her. (Mike says today that had he seen all of her e-mails that ended up in the "spam" folder as they came in, he would have written another reply and it would have given her something to whine about.) Mike's not said anything rude in that e-mail and Gutter Trash was delighted with it.

Her argument for posting Jess' e-mail (and later Dona and Jim's) without their permission (and breaking the law) was that they were 'mean' to her. There is no such excuse when it comes to Mike. And, strangely, at that point she didn't even feel the need to offer excuses for breaking the law and ethical behavior.

And her sock puppet squadron (a very dumb crowd) never thought to ask, "Gutter Trash, did you ask Mike for his permission?"

As Mike has pointed out, she felt so 'powerful' in getting away with her first lie, she started forgetting them as she rushed to her next lie.

Thursday, Ty received a phone call from C.I.'s oldest son.

Gutter Trash's week long trashing paid off. She finally got some attention. A man stumbled across it and called C.I. son to ask if the cancer was back? The son had been trying to call around (Ava, Kat, Rebecca, Wally and C.I. were speaking about Iraq and have their ringers turned all the way down during speaking engagements) to find out. He called Ty, who called (and texted) an emergency call to ask C.I. to call immediately.

To be clear, the cancer was back. The bulk of us didn't know that. C.I. told Elaine and Ava and told Ava that, if she needed to tell someone, she could tell Jess but swear him to privacy. C.I. had Dona (who didn't know anything was wrong) cancel all of September and October's speaking events. Dona did and we all assumed that C.I. was just sick of being on the road (C.I. had stated it was time for a break). That's not surprising since the schedule since August 2006 has seen them on the road every week except for one week in July 2007 and one week in July 2008 (both weeks, they spoke locally). Kat has been saying for months (to us and her site) she needs a break. So in that context, it didn't strike us as odd that the calendar would be cleared.

This was Parents Weekend at C.I.'s. C.I. had long floated that we needed to do that. While Dona was clearing the calendar, C.I. made plans for that. Jess, Ava, Dona, Jim, Ty and Wally live at C.I.'s. Their parents were invited (Wally's father is deceased -- it was his mother and his grandfather -- and Ty was raised by his grandparents who were invited and did show up). Except for Wally and Ava, everyone's visitors came in on Friday because Ava and Wally were on the road and would be returning Saturday with Kat and C.I. Everyone would leave Sunday afternoon. C.I. had invited her three kids to take part and has asked that they stay through Monday (leaving on Tuesday). She had explained that to them as the family day being planned. Sunday afternoon, after people's relatives left, C.I. was to break the news to her children and Ava would break the news to Jim, Dona and Ty (Jess already knew).

That had been the plan.

That all changed due to Gutter Trash's attacks.

Already one person had called C.I.'s oldest son. C.I. had to break the news over the phone to him. C.I. then had to do the same with her daughter and youngest son to avoid them learning elsewhere.

Rebecca got on the laptop somewhere in there ("I was in shock, I have no idea when it was, late Thursday afternoon or evening, we were in the Mountain Time Zone"), went in search of Gutter Trash's site, found it, logged into Blogger/Blogspot and attempted to leave a comment.

"I said that C.I. has cancer and the post needs to come down right away. I said that the woman wasn't telling the truth about her interation with me and that there were many replies from me to her and from her to me in 2007 that she wasn't honest about," Rebecca remembers.

By signing in via Blogger/Blogspot, Rebecca's comment would be linked to with her name. There would be no confusion as to who left it unless someone had stolen or figured out Rebecca's pass word. The comment never made it up. That's important in terms of Gutter Trash's sock puppet crowd. It's also important in a later detail.

C.I. e-mails Gutter Trash to tell her to pull it. C.I. contacts the 'organization' expressing dismay and asking if the woman is indeed part of their 'organization.' (Dona had already written them telling them that it needed to come down. C.I. had no idea.) The head of the organization e-mailed Dona and C.I. (though he thought he was e-mailing one person -- reading is fundamental) in a lackadaisical manner where he praised Gutter Trash and said he'd pass the concerns on to her.

C.I. was legally advised Friday to e-mail the 'organization' again and state that it needed to come down. C.I. sent that e-mail and received no response (to this day).

Thursday, C.I. dictated the snapshot and went through with the other speaking engagements scheduled. The snapshot went up the latest it ever has. It was dictated and it was held.

It alludes to what happened and though many in the community knew (Shirley went into overdrive getting the news out after Ty gave his okay), not everyone did. Kat and Rebecca broke the news to Betty over the phone. C.I. was going to have Elaine break the news to Mike. (Mike doesn't handle illness well. He's blogged about that many times and, last month, blogged about how difficult it was to move out of his parents' home and shared about how it reminded him of when his dog died senior year of high school). C.I. called Mike's father and mother to see if Mike had said anything to them yet. He hadn't called them and C.I. knew they'd be the first he'd called after Elaine. So C.I. asked Wally to call Mike (who was at Elaine's office; Elaine was doing her Thursday night group session with Iraq War vets) and to keep him on the phone, make up a problem, anything to keep him on the phone and off the computer. As soon as Mike indicated that Elaine was done (Wally was to say he really wanted Elaine's take on it -- for those interested, Wally invented a story that his ex-girlfriend was pregnant with his child) and was putting her on the phone, the snapshot could go up. (And did.) Wally explained to Elaine briefly what had happened, that she needed to tell Mike and please call C.I. in a few hours.

[Others? Trina drove to Ruth's to tell her in person. Ava broke the news to Cedric over the phone. Ruth and Trina drove to Marcia's to tell her in person. Ty learned of it from C.I. when C.I. returned Ty's call. C.I.'s response to the rumor was such that Ty knew it was true. C.I. confirmed it and asked Ty to figure out how to let the community members know and that she thought Jess already knew so check with him and then inform Dona and Jim together. Kat and Rebecca learned it as C.I. was on the phone because they were standing right next to her. Ty and Shirley made every effort possible to contact as many members as possible.]

Gifting the woman with "Gutter Trash" as a name, C.I. wrote about it late Thursday night.

Since that time, many e-mails have come in expressing disbelief and anger at the stunt Gutter Trash pulled. That's visitors and community members. Two never heard from outsiders have written to ask 'Can't we all just get along.'

It's a funny concern and one never posted to Gutter Trash's site.

No concerns posted at Gutter Trash's site. She's the representative for the 'organization' and she's got all that crap at her site and no one ever explained to her, "Hey Gutter Trash, when Audrey Hepburn was a UNICEF ambassador, I don't think she would have done this. I'd think she'd worry about how this would reflect on herself and the UN."

'Concern' only came when C.I. responded about the harm caused to her kids by this garbage.

Gutter Trash wrote late Thursday and Ava saw it and pointed out that C.I. was correct. Shortly after C.I.'s Thursday night entry posted, Gutter Trash and/or boyfriend and/or sock puppet showed up with an e-mail. How was C.I. correct? C.I. had said Gutter Trash was a drama queen and would come up with some way to make it all about Gutter Trash which is exactly what Gutter Trash did shortly after C.I. finally responded.

If you read C.I.'s entries on the topic, you're aware that C.I.'s kids were the focus. The harm done to them. The horror that they had to find out over the phone.

C.I. had planned this all out and it was her news to break. She was going to do so in person. Days before she could, Gutter Trash made that impossible.

But she/he/it did manage to write and make it all about her. Expressing no remorse for what she'd done, admitting no guilt over her own actions, Gutter Trash offered that there was this troll out there, this evil twin posing as her.

Gutter Trash doesn't like it that this is being discussed. Tough s**t. She started it and Jim, Dona and Jess will reply next week. This group piece was too hard to write. Finally, Ava and C.I. excused themselves from it (to work on the TV commentary) and Dona polled everyone on what they felt needed to be said right now.

Betty's always been the most gifted with reaching readers with her no-nonsense, from the Deep South, let it all hang out so we quickly jotted down her comments which seemed to sum up the main posts being made by all.

Betty: I guess I would first say, "Kiss my Black ass, Gutter Trash." I would then scream at her, "Do you know suffer any guilt for what you did?" I would ask her where she thought she could get away with breaking the law? I would tell her that no mother 'needs' to tell their kids they have cancer. But when they have to, they shouldn't be forced to because of something that is online. I have three kids myself. After Rebecca and Kat's call, I just got my kids to sit on the couch with me. I told him I got some bad news I didn't want to talk about but just sit with Mommy for awhile. Does that insane woman have no idea what it's like to be a parent? Does she have no idea what it's like to be a child? I would ask if her if she was happy with being so disgusting and filthy? I would point out that even after learning what had happened due to her actions, she was still tearing apart C.I. online. I would tell her there's no justification for what she did, that it was illegal and that she has the morals of an alley cat for keeping those posts up there and for continuing to write new ones. The woman that wrote pleading to all get along is an idiot and sounds that way in her e-mail. As for the one who showed up pretending he just learned about it, in the church I was raised in, we call that "lying." He pulled that in my community, we'd be planning a "Come to Jesus" moment for him right about now. We'd be telling him to get honest about his actions and point out that if you walk in on a trashing and don't call it out, you're at fault. If you walk in on a trashing and add anything to it that is not "Stop it!" then you have participated. It's very Judas like and I'm guessing that a man who can't take accountablity for his actions in a trashing really doesn't know the story of Judas. What kind of people are these? And what kind of an 'organization' is that? These people are disgusting freaks. They are trying to win public support for an issue and they're caught online publishing private e-mails and having ha-has about a woman with cancer. They're freaks. They live in their own little amoral world. And apparently without any adult supervision. That's my real question, is there no damn adult in that country? There's certainly no adult in the 'organization,' but is there no damn adult in that country that can step in and say, "You went too far. You went way too far."

They are an amoral bunch.

In one of the most laughable remarks posted online about this is the claim that C.I. has troubled the 'organization' with this.

That's a completely rewriting of history. C.I. had no contact with the woman until she had launched four days of public trashing of C.I. All C.I. did was respond to what was taking place. And the response wouldn't have even gone up to begin with if the woman had done what she was requested. Seven hours before C.I. responded online, seven hours after learning that for four days in a row, that woman had been attacking.

And they want to talk about the trouble they think C.I. caused?

C.I. has not responded to this personally. C.I. has never written, "I'm going to tell you how this makes me feel." C.I. has consistently focused on her children and the damage this has done to them.

The claim that C.I. 'started' anything is insane.

Gutter Trash has revealed her malice. Jim, Dona and Jess already knew how she was. That's why they repeatedly told her, no news or event, don't e-mail us again.

Most people who receive an e-mail they don't like, move on with their lives.

It was never about her not liking an e-mail. It was about her wanting to start a fight. It was about her wanting to get attention.

She started it and continued it for days (and has continued it since). Don't try to pin this on C.I.

Next week, if nothing's done, Jim, Dona and Jess respond. If more garbage continues, you will read about it on community sites.

C.I.'s kids want Gutter Trash exposed and much more. We were all in holding position until knowing where they stood. And while C.I. may play high minded, the rest of us will not.

If you think this is 'bothersome' now, you haven't seen anything yet.

Jim, Dona, Jess and C.I. have been trashed all last week at Gutter Trash's site. It wasn't just posting those e-mails, it was non-stop trashing.

If someone's concerned about the 'organization,' they should have the sense to realize Gutter Trash's actions weren't helping the 'organization' on Monday, or on Tuesday, or on Wednesday or on Thursday. C.I. has yet to name the woman or the 'organization.' Gutter Trash didn't invent names for us. She named us, she named our sites. She ridiculed us, trashed us and slimed us. And did all of that while it reads on her site that Gutter Trash is a part of that 'organization.' Her actions should have worried you.

Don't drop the problem Gutter Trash created in our laps. Like Bully Boy, she decided to launch her own little war. We have every right to defend ourselves and we will. Again, Dona, Jim and Jess are waiting until next Sunday to respond. (At C.I.'s request.) When they air their responses, they won't be as kind as C.I. They won't say "Gutter Trash," they'll name her. They won't say, "The 'organization'," they'll name it. The three of them were trashed all last week. Gutter Trash started that. Not them.
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