Radio Head: Cell phones are radios; mobbing is radio-based harassment (part 1)

Baby your mind is a radio
Got a receiver inside my head
Baby I’m tuned to your wavelength
Lemme tell you what it says:

Transmitter!
Oh! Picking up something good
Hey, radio head!
The sound…of a brand-new world.

—The Talking Heads, “Radio Head” (1986)

A dictum of mobbing is that everything is a radio. I’ve written about mobbers and radio in the past, albeit with a superficial understanding of radio. I’ve also written about the mobbers’ use of telephone technologies, about how the mobbing moved from street-side games of rousting the renter to the explicitly criminal as verbal abuse crept into the infrastructure of my modest 1940s home. Even before the mobbers marshaled the systems of my home and flooded them with verbal abuse, they made exploratory forays into  the communications systems that tied my interior world to the exterior world, those binding the individual to society. At the onset of the mob it was indeed a brand new world as the robo-calls mounted to my unsecure cordless phone, as an unused intercom for the phone in my bedroom lit up, and as I began to hear the voices of my “neighbors” tittering about a “party line” when I picked up the phone. In an earlier blog about mobbing, I wrote that everything that isn’t a radio is a phone. That statement, however, doesn’t help to tell the story of real estate mobbing. The technical reality of phones and cell phones is pretty much the same. When it comes to mobbing, a phone is just another radio.

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Seattle cyberbullies fly Alaska Airlines

Halloween is almost upon us, and this early Friday morning I’m back in Seattle for the witching hours. Now that I have roommates on both floors of the house again, the mobbing harassment is quieted, at least when they’re home. It’s quieter than where I stay in the Berkeley area to work in San Francisco, and even more muffled than on most of the Alaska Airlines flights I take between the Bay Area and Seattle, as I continue to maintain my home here while pursuing my livelihood in the Bay Area.

It’s been a while since I’ve written about how the “mobbing” appears on airline flights. I note that “mobbing” is a term that is probably not coincidentally used for those who bully over cell phones. In Flying the friendly skies, I wrote about the experience of hearing the familiar voices of the “mobbers” who moved in around my rental home now more than three years ago, in secured areas of airports as well as on the plane.

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Monitor the entertainment and communications lines of mobbing victims

Tonight I’m in the San Francisco East Bay at a home that not only has Comcast subscription television, but a cordless landline. Over the course of the real estate mobbing that has victimized me in my northeast Seattle home, I’ve abandoned a cordless phone for a cell phone and Comcast for Century Link, and then for over-the-air television. But in the East Bay, I stay in the home of an elderly relative whose hearing has changed and become much less sensitive. In this house, I lack control over the services that are in use and over the volume at which they are used.

As I’ve noted before, the mobbers freely mob me over the television here, despite the presence of my relative. And I suspect that in the same way the mobbers pretended that a “party line” suddenly existed at my Seattle home when the voices of the south mobbing house owner and his then-franchise family girlfriend turned up on my phone line whenever I made a call, they “phreak” the cordless phone in this house, perhaps forwarding robocalls in a ploy to activate the speaker on the cordless phone base station, and then using the open channel to mob from inside the victim home.

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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.

martha

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.

Ω

“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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