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Dec 03, 2009

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Roch101

"Which is why I find it hard to believe the crowd has chosen to make Fec the victim of an overly broad state law as opposed to admonishing him for instilling fear in the heart and soul of a single woman who has no husband or father to defend her." -- Jeff

I have publicly said that Fec's behavior was objectionable (and privately that he was acting like an ass). I just don't think that it was criminal -- no more so than when the alleged victim herself wrote things that were annoying, abusive and embarrassing towards me and others.

I cannot know what the alleged victim's emotional response was to the emails. I have an opinion of what a reasonable person's reaction would be: I would say offended. That's why I perceive these charges more about intimidating an adversary than holding someone accountable for a crime.

Spag

Roch, agreeing with you has to cause some amount of embarrassment among the orthodox, which in turn has to be annoying. Sorry to break the rules. I'm sure I'll make up for it later. See YOU in COURT, BUDDY!

Spag

I don't think anyone is defending Fec. I do think there is an important discussion occurring about whether anything that happened rises to the level of criminal behavior considering the set of facts before us.

Ed Cone

Other people are a lot more interested in this case, and my opinion on it, than I am.

But since you asked:

Jeff was unkind and obnoxious to barrage Mary with hostile emails.

I'm no expert on the law, nor do I know how a case like this is likely to play out in the system.

That said, I don't think the emails should be punishable by law.

Bubba

"That said, I don't think the emails should be punishable by law.'

How do you feel about someone sending Exploit Rouge scanner malware?

Does that rise to the level of a crime?

Bubba

"Rouge" should be Rogue in my last post.

Exploit Rouge is undoubtedly some mal-policy of the current federal government controllers.

Roch101

"quite another for you all to dehumanize her to the point of being "an other" that can be ridiculed." -- Jeff

You'll have to point me to where I've done that.

eric

Isn't "Exploit Rogue" Sarah Palin's fundraising strategy?

But seriously, I do think deliberately spreading malware is (and should be) punishable by law. And the appropriate penalty would be a life sentence of having to use MS Vista.

Marshall

I think the law is pretty straight forward on this. Not guilty...no issue.
Guilty the first time---misdemeanor.
If the person is capable of learning then there will not be a second.

Second time---felony

Is this correct and do folks agree that this is as it should be?

I don't see any reason to change the law.

I think it is an interesting blog topic and am glad others are discussing....finally.

I wonder if there are similar cases and how they concluded.

Googlopoly

Threading the needle.

Fecund threat
Jeff Martin, aka Fecund Stench online, altered a post about City Councilman Robbie Perkins and his family after Greensboro police investigated it as a threat.

Martin originally had posted that he wanted to "ruin Robbie Perkins' life and "strike fear in his heart for himself, his family, property and livelihood." The post included a map to Perkins' home.

Ha. Ha. What a hoot.


Dr. Mary Johnson said:
So Allen. You/the N&R staff knew this "threat" was bogus. You knew it was Fec being Fec (albeit way over-the-top . . . but he's been way over-the-top before). Yet you reported it as "news".

Allen it wasn't any kind of real "threat" and you KNOW it.

You/the N&R are sending the clear message that the ONLY way for an ordinary sap to get attention is to pull a Fec (no offense to Fec because he is gifted writer and brilliant satirist - you know that too but that scares you).

Again Allen, the ONLY "threat" was an imaginary one. If the reporters at the N&R didn't know it, the "bloggers" most certainly did.

Spag

Wow. That would be powerful evidence for the defense, and another reason why I think the history of the parties matters as well as the issue of whether the exchange was engaged in by both parties consensually with mutual "attacks" going back and forth regardless of whether the communications were using different platforms.

Ed Cone

Dr. Johnson has posted, as she often does, about our own email history, linking to an exchange between us that she published at her site some time ago.

Dr. Johnson seems to regard this email exchange as evidence of my ill-will toward her. Now she seems to be saying it was a form of harassment.

The exchange begins with me telling her that I don't have the negative opinions about her she ascribes to me, and concludes (on my side) with me saying: "Mary, I regret that you took that initial conversation the way you did. I certainly did not wish you ill. ...Nothing I say seems likely to change your view of me, which I regret...I don't know you. I don't have harsh personal feelings toward you. I have chosen not to drag this out into another protracted public battle, yet you continue to fight me in public, and now you tell me to stop private communication, which I will do."

Here's our initial conversation, also held up by Dr. Johnson as an example of her mistreatment in the blogosphere; it reads to me as a serious, if sometimes brusque, attempt to understand her story and to suggest possible remedies.

And this is from my last extended conversation with Dr. Johnson, after she turned down my request to interview her for the News & Record: "I regret your decision not to participate as I report my upcoming newspaper column on the state of blogging. And I regret our one-sided feud, in which I continue to be a non-combatant. Peace."

Dr. Mary Johnson

Joining in. And I was waiting for it.

Goolopoly, once again, the difference between Robbie Perkins and I is that he is a public figure. And it is the very reason Martin was not arrested when "Fec" went after him on VdM. Mr. Perkins knew that pressing charges wouldn't go anywhere - and bring him a firestorm of press that he didn't need/want.

So did the newspaper that is now painting poor, pitiful, picked-upon Fec as the "victim" of a "woman scorned".

Moreover, the whole bit was playing to Fec's online persona - the one that "rules Greensboro in the absence of effective government".

In stark contrast, hurling 27 threatening e-mails into Asheboro-resident/private citizen's, Mary Johnson's Inbox is not playing to that persona.

Not even close.

Jeff Martin crossed very clear lines defined by law. He went to extreme lengths to stop my free speech . . . to intimidate and embarrass and humiliate . . . to shut me up. But some of you are arguing he's a victim?

When I opened these e-mails and read what was in them, I was TERRIFIED. I know that there are people who would make light of that here - and think it's funny or my just deserts for being the assertive, opinionated, red-state "wack-job" that I am. But the "I know where you live" bit (another person lives in/sits my home) . . . coupled with a very clear threat to cause trouble with the authorities/my licensing board (I've already been on the end of one bogus six-month intestigation by the Board - basically for the sin of cutting-off an angry drug seeking teenager - something I blogged about in the thread of on of the Housecalls' posts on this subject), was something I took very seriously - to the point of notifying the Medical Board that they might get a "complaint" from an angry man in the midst of a keyboard meltdown that I've never seen as a patient.

It's my livelihood that he threatened (and, in fact, still endangers) people. And he's using the lowest/oldest/dirtiest trick in the book ("she's crazy"). Most of the very people "defending" Martin here have previously self-righteously ranted and raved when that sort of thing was done to others (well, except when it was Rachel Hunter).

The very clear message you're sending here is that "we don't like Mary, so it's okay".

Yes, Martin is a gifted writer and can be a brilliant satirist (when he's not spewing four-letter words). A lot of writers are just a little bit (or even a lot) manic.

But this "child-of-a-borderline" clearly needs to get back into anger-management therapy. And his personal history (which, I was quickly reminded includes physical assault against someone else who made him angry . . . an situation I actually once was concerned enough about to discuss with his wife while shopping in her store) gave me very good cause to be afraid of what he could/might do.

As long as Fec kept his act on the blogs, it was "Fec" and "free speech" (which I will defend to my last breath) and we've all put up with it . . . rationalized it . . . enabled it . . . even played along. "Fec" was the community character. And in that sense, all of us are just a little bit responsible for the way things have turned out.

It's not just the N&R sending the messages now.

You people are adults. You have wives and children and mothers and sisters. I wish some of you would start really thinking and acting like it.

Going back to Housecalls now.

Fec

Aaaaack!....

Spag

"Come one. Give me a good comeback. Call me a "lunatic" . . ." Dr. Mary Johnson 11/13/09, addressing Jeff Martin on Joe Guarino's blog.

"It's my livelihood that he threatened (and, in fact, still endangers) people. And he's using the lowest/oldest/dirtiest trick in the book ("she's crazy"). Most of the very people "defending" Martin here have previously self-righteously ranted and raved when that sort of thing was done to others..." Dr. Mary Johnson 12/04/09, explaining why she is so upset at Jeff Martin.

Now we see why it is hard for many people to take sides in this feud. A number of people have been the targets of both parties for various reasons in the past and in the form of the same kind of behavior that is going before the court. I don't care who wins or loses, I do care about how the facts and the law are reconciled. Other than that, I'm certain one of the parties will receive a sort of karmic justice regardless of who wins.

Beelzebubba

spag: karma was going to hold a press conference at 11:00 this AM over this imbloglio but cancelled to dispense with Tiger Woods, data shredding scientists and ManBearPig.

Fec

My Karma train includes getting picked up by FARK. Thank you.

Ed Cone

Dr. Johnson is now complaining that I have not emailed her enough:

"Edward Cone has NEVER sent me even one e-mail asking to look at my evidence against Randolph Hospital exectives."

She does acknowledge that she turned down my request for an interview for the News & Record.

She's right that the request was made in public, as was my subsequent offer to make available all tapes or transcripts of any interview.

But she's wrong that I made the request in public because I just assumed she reads my blog. In fact, I was responding to a comment she had made in that thread twenty minutes earlier, in which she addressed me by name.

Also, as you can see from a previous link, she had asked me not to email her anymore, after my attempts conciliation proved vexing to her.

Roch101

"How do you feel about someone sending Exploit Rouge scanner malware?" -- Bubba

Are you making an accusation, Bob? Because you know, if that is not true and you are attempting to use electronic communications for the purpose of embarrassing Jeff, I am concerned you may be breaking the law.

Fec

He's not. He's helping me solve the problem. My RSS Feed is actually throwing the Exploit Rogue infection warning. Thanks, Bubba, and again I apologize for doubting you. Let's all take it down a notch, what say you?

Spag

Kind of late for that, isn't it Fec? You throw bombs at people and then expect them to "take it down a notch"?

Fec

Jeepers, Spammy. Howl at the moon for all I care.

Fec

Sorry. I forgot you haven't seen the emails either. Have her let you see them.

Bubba

"I am concerned you may be breaking the law."

You should know.

You have expertise at attempting to use electronic communications for the purpose of embarrassing somebody, don't you?

Brandon Burgess

It's not hard to take sides in this. Jeff Martin spammed someone with two dozen+ emails. It doesn't matter if there were smiley faces in the emails, if they were love letters or if they were death threats.

It doesn't matter that his victim used to be his friend or has defended him in the past. He hasn't been charged with talking junk, he has been charged with cyberstalking.

And I've never heard a man call another man a "harpy".

Roch101

" It doesn't matter if there were smiley faces in the emails, if they were love letters or if they were death threats." -- BB

Well, yeah, it does.

Brandon Burgess

Only because threats of violence lead to more serious charges such as communicating threats. What he did is still harrassment.

Spag

What is the legal definition of "harrassment"?

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