Mobbing and the Martha Mitchell effect: When defamation in the neighborhood violates due process in the courtroom (part 2)

“You can’t believe it,” said Martha Mitchell of the bizarre events of the Watergate years. “I can’t believe what’s happened to me.” I had to smile when I watched the David Frost interview clip on the BBC website and listened to those statements (“Martha Mitchell speaks out about Nixon, Watergate,” on the BBC website, http://www.bbc.com/news/av/world-us-canada-18436516/martha-mitchell-speaks-out-about-nixon-watergate). I have made similar statements numerous times these last years as a victim of a real estate mobbing—truly, an organized crime—at the hands of speculators and a corrupt neighborhood watch in northeast Seattle.

The incredible events that unfolded as speculators moved in around my rental home in northeast Seattle and began their attempt to harass me out of it have been beyond imagination. Making sense of the what, how and why of mobbing has required a significant amount of observation, research, and thoughtfulness.

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A business model of buying up rental housing

San Francisco is perhaps one of the most difficult markets for a tenant to negotiate. With high demand in a city where a six-figure income can be considered low income (“In costly Bay Area, even six-figure salaries are considered ‘low income’,” The Mercury News, http://www.mercurynews.com/2017/04/22/in-costly-bay-area-even-six-figure-salaries-are-considered-low-income/), and where tenants have been known to carry resumes with them to viewings, landlords seldom have problems getting their asking price.

In major metropolitan areas like the San Francisco Bay Area, landlords fight to ensure that the rights of owners are not constrained by the rights of their tenants. The 1995 Costa-Hawkins Rental Housing Act, signed into law by Republican Governor Pete Wilson, was seen as an attack on hard-fought rent control measures of the 1970s in cities like San Francisco and Berkeley (Costa-Hawkins Rental Housing Act, Wikipedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Costa-Hawkins_Rental_Housing_Act#The_Costa-Hawkins_legistlation). Costa-Hawkins effectively “limited” municipal rent control ordinances. One of its greatest impacts was to prohibit rent control over new construction and single family dwellings.

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Home again

Another two weeks of working in San Francisco, and now I’m home again. It’s been difficult to keep the posts up these last months, with flying in and out of town, trying to perform in my new role, and trying to get enough sleep despite the fact that the balance of harassment in the San Francisco Bay Area versus here in northeast Seattle has been subtlety but surely altered these last months.

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Mobbing and the Martha Mitchell effect: When defamation in the neighborhood violates due process in the courtroom (part 1)

In 1974, Martha Mitchell, estranged wife of President Nixon’s attorney general John Mitchell, sat with David Frost to talk about Watergate on the BBC.

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A characteristic image by the Associated Press of Martha Mitchell, lampooned as “mouth of the south” as she blew a whistle few heard in the earliest days of the Watergate scandal

 

“The whole thing is incredible,” Mitchell exclaimed. “It’s like reading a James Bond novel. You can’t believe it. I can’t believe what’s happened to me.” (“Martha Mitchell speaks out about Nixon, Watergate,” in BBC News, http://www.bbc.com/news/av/world-us-canada-18436516/martha-mitchell-speaks-out-about-nixon-watergate)

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News flash: “House flippers triggered the US housing market crash, not poor subprime borrowers”

I may need another day or two to finish off the promised piece on how mobbing can undermine the due process rights of victims who wind up defending themselves in court. But in addition to the blog entry I posted today on tactics that could have been used in the “sonic attack” of American diplomats in Cuba, I wanted to get this article out that the San Francisco Tenants’ Union was kind enough to share on Twitter.

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“House flippers triggered the US housing market crash, not poor subprime borrowers” (https://qz.com/1064061/house-flippers-triggered-the-us-housing-market-crash-not-poor-subprime-borrowers-a-new-study-shows/) shouldn’t come as a surprise to any who’ve observed the appalling greed and unsavory practices of real estate speculators in the aggressive pursuit of property. In a nutshell, Gwynn Guilford’s piece elaborates on “a new NBER working paper arguing that it was wealthy or middle-class house-flipping speculators who blew up the bubble to cataclysmic proportions, and then wrecked local housing markets when they defaulted en masse.” As cited in the article, “the rise in mortgage delinquencies is virtually exclusively accounted for by real estate investors.”

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Was the sonic attack of US diplomats in Cuba a drone or “neighbor” attack?

As crime begins to incorporate digital components, presence is increasingly severed from criminal act and crime scene. The portability and affordability of the microprocessor, emblematic in the Raspberry Pi, combine with apps, the smartphone, the stick, the dongle and now the drone, to make the remoting of malicious activity tantalizingly easy. It is as though crime becomes headless; acts without state of mind that are denied by the perpetrator who can flatly and honestly say, “Not me. I wasn’t there.”

In crimes such as these, what meaning can we take from the report of an eyewitness who sees the accused depart the scene? How does the legal concept of alibi change when motion detection, radar and biometric systems are chained together to create complex systems of crime? Between the proliferation of botnets, the distribution channels for malware, tracking by hardware and software, and sensor technology, crime is transforming from an act to a system.

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Mobbing in the San Francisco Bay Area

Last night I left the house late for a drive. I avoided the impulse to head east to the Berkeley Hills, along Grizzly Peak and out to Wildcat Canyon, opting instead for a drive over the windy bridges of the Bay. It was late enough on Saturday night so that 80 West was open, and so too were the toll booths, where even without FasTrak, I would have quickly passed onto the new span of the Bay Bridge. It was a hot day yesterday, upwards of 90 inland and about 80 closer to the mudflats, in the neighborhoods of Berkeley that stretch along the highway where the wild turkeys travel. Even before I rolled onto the Bay Bridge, the wind cut through the ever-present sound of the mobbers’ verbal abuse.

This consistent amelioration of the mobbing harassment in conditions of wind is what led me early on to conclude that radio waves and air transmission figured prominently in the mobbing harassment, and those references I’ve found online to harassment such as I’ve endured as a result of a real estate mobbing in my Seattle neighborhood have tended to describe modes of delivery that involve transmission over the air, radios of varying bands, and antennas onto different kinds of speakers or surfaces that are conductive or otherwise act as speakers.

I drove over the Bay Bridge, passing the exit I usually take to work and finding my way over to Van Ness and to the route to the Golden Gate Bridge. The lights of the Golden Gate reflected through a misty cloud cover under the nighttime sky and as my small car rolled along the deck between the suspension cables it was as close to silence as I have gotten during the real estate mobbing of these last years.

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Lock down wireless access points with IoT protection

This weekend I’m in Seattle, and today I learned something new. I had realized that the verbal abuse that is the primary component of “surround-sound” real estate mobbing, at least that ordered up by the nasty neighborhood watch of NE Seattle and its speculator friends, takes advantage of speakers at the cashier’s stand. But it didn’t occur to me that the volume of those speakers could be controlled by customers.

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Next up: Put mobbers out of business by treating access points as IoT devices

I meant to get a blog on securing access points in commercial buildings done tonight, but this weekend I’m once again in Seattle, trying to catch up on gardening, maintaining the house that some scumbag speculators are trying to harass me out of, caring for my cat, and trying to enjoy this home for which I’ve had to sacrifice so much.

Anyway, the next blog is about securing those pesky access points and speaker-enabled access points to keep hackers and mobbers off of them. No promises on efficacy; I’m no network security expert, but I’ve learned a bit these last years and from time to time have a few ideas.

Stay tuned.

Mobbing: Mobility harassment (part 2), Harassment that begins at home

Real estate mobbing, as it is practiced in my own northeastern neighborhood of Seattle where the tricks are dirty and real estate speculators run free, is stalking with the intent to drive legal residents from their homes and turn them over for speculation. When a crime is committed to turn over a property, and when the goal is to punish the victim into keeping his or her mouth shut, mobbers stalk everywhere they can, and using every device.

Mobbing may begin at home, but it is mobility harassment that follows the victim everywhere, online and off. The strategy behind mobbing appears to be to make the victim believe that she is continually being watched, until she is terrorized to the point where she flees. Because the big bad wolf chasing her is not visible to authorities, a mobbing victim who reports is easily dismissed as paranoid or mentally unstable.

Mobbing is a real estate scam. It’s the kind of wet dream that a racketeering ring of lot-seeking real estate speculators would come up with. It’s the kind of crime in which the nasty and the greedy violate their neighbors’ civil and human rights, indemnifying themselves against their crimes by using defamation of their victims. The scum who pursue mobbing, this crime I’ve called a hoax inside a con inside a scam, use a kitchen sink of methods old and new, combining the techniques of surveillance with those of cyber-thugs, wreaking havoc in the lives of their victims as they straddle the physical and virtual worlds.

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