I don't blog about personal disputes on the internet very often, as they can often be mostly pointless and very tedious to try to untangle just who is at fault. Just as often, the story is that both sides are really at fault because both sides could have been a little more gracious and a little less eager to take offense and the whole thing never should have blown up in the first place. This is not one of those stories. This is about one Brett Kimberlin and his close friends and the way they have taken tactics far beyond a flame war on the internet into some very vile real world harassment and intimidation.
Those of us old enough to remember know Kimberlin primarily as the "Speedway Bomber" and the guy who conned a journalist into reporting that he had sold pot to Dan Quayle. For normal people, remorse for blowing a man's leg off(less than two years later the man committed suicide) and the search for redemption would have become lifelong callings, but not for Kimberlin. It appears that in addition to his so-called "activist" work, he has become adept at the legal and workplace harassment of people he disagrees with politically. And make no mistake about it, the actions of Kimberlin and friends are designed to intimidate and silence their political foes.
Memeorandom.com has a whole smorgasboard of links to give you everything you need to know. My friends at The Swilling have a couple of posts up too. Aaron Worthing's long story can be found here and Patrick Frey has one of many posts up on the attacks he's received, this one including the tactic of "Swatting"(which I had never heard of before). Jeff Goldstein has some good posts up and here's an interview with Stacy McCain, who has had his own very recent and ongoing run-in with Kimberlin.
I have not read all of the voluminous documentation that is out there and I don't know some of the players very well. I am fairly familiar with Stacy McCain and Patrick Frey though. They are big-hitters in the blogosphere who are not afraid to stoke some controversy or be a bit aggressive at times. I've found myself disagreeing with the both of them along those lines occasionally both in substance and style. That they experience some pushback and vitriol on the internet is unsurprising. It goes well beyond the bounds of decency though, when spouses and employers are harassed, the courts are weaponized with frivolous lawsuits, and someone starts menacing you with stuff like they know where you live. That has to stop.