Sunday, December 27, 2015

Jerk Of The Month Harasses Parents of Sandy Hook Shooting Victim

James Tracy might get fired from Florida Atlantic University
for what many his harassment of the parents and relatives
of Sandy Hook massacre victims. 
So many jerks, so little time.

It seems like idiots and mean people keep proliferating, and there's so many it's hard to keep track of them all.

But I'll try by nominated as the Jerk of the Month, one James Tracy, a professor in the school of communications and media studies at Florida Atlantic University.

Gee, with that title, the guy sounds pretty smart and sane.

But oh, no. He's a "Sandy Hook Truther" one of those people who actually believe the 2012 massacre of 26 little kids and teachers at an elementary school in Sandy Hook, Connecticut was an elaborate hoax perpetrated by the government to take all our guns away.

At the behest of some of the people Tracy has allegedly harassed, the unversity is in the process of trying to fire the guy.

I know, I know, firing the guy for his beliefs sounds like a bit of a First Amendment issue. We're all entitled to our opinions, no matter how completely moronic they are.

But it seems Tracy went beyond just talk.

Lenny and Veronique Pozner, parents of a boy murdered at Sandy Hook, published an op-ed in the Broward County, Florida Sun Sentinal in which these so called Sandy Hook truthers, have been harassing and intimidating them.

The Pozners' essay has since been re-published in several other web sites and media outlets.

They Pozners write:

"Tracy even sent us a certified letter demanding proof that Noah once lived, that we were his parents, and that we were the rightful owner of his photographic image. We found this so outrageous and unsettling that we filed a police report for harassment.

Once Tracy realized we would not respond, he subjected us to ridicule and contempt on his blog, boasting to his readers that the 'unfulfilled request' was 'noteworthy' because we had used copyright claims to 'thwart continued research of the Sandy Hook massacre event.'"

No, Tracy, your request went unfulfilled because who in their right mind would respond to such a jerky, horrible demand as yours?

On his Facebook page, Tracy calls the Pozners "fake parents" who profited "handsomely from the fake death of their son."

Earlier, according ot The Trace, the Pozners tried to debunk the so called debunkers by posting Noah'ss birth and death certificates online, shared the medical examiner's reports and Noah's report cards from the school.

Of course I'm afraid the Pozners were naive. You can't convince a conspiracy theorist of anything once you start showing proof they're wrong. The "truthers" dismissed the documents the Pozners provided as fakes.  
Conspiracy theorists are saying the death of Noah Pozner, shown here
was faked, along with every other death at
Sandy Hook Elemetary School in 2012
by a government who wants to take our guns away,
or something. Noah's parents are fighting back.  

To fight back, the Pozners have created an organizaton called the HONR Network, whose stated goal is to "bring awareness to Hoaxer activity." says the web site BoingBoing.

Of course, as good an idea as HONR is, the organization is playing an endless game of whack a mole.

The group does things like when a screed attacking the victims appears on YouTube, HONR contacts YouTube to alert them their terms of use have been violated to get the video removed.

Pozner probably believes that HONR won't change the "truthers'" minds. But it does bring consequences to them. He filed police reports about the harassers and placed them on line, as he put it, "so the hoaxers could see what I was doing," even thoug Pozner knew the police reports wouldn't go anywhere.

But the reports were enough to sometimes get some hoaxers to take down offensive content from their blogs and web pages and such.

Every well publicized violent act or crime ends up drawing in the conspiracy theorists who claim it was all a fake so that the government can cow a frightened populace and oppress them.

As The Trace points out, the so-called Sandy Truth truthers take this to a whole other level. There's the obvious cruelty of abusing parents whose young children have been murdered.

Led, sort of, by a guy named Wolfgang Halbig the conspiracy theorists have been attacking Sandy Hook parents and witnesses to "prove" they were part of a "treasonous" fake shooting staged by the U.S. government.

They claim parents didn't appear "sad enough"' in public appearances. Time stamps on photos of the kids taken before the massacre were wrong, which is a very common bug in digital photos and online memorial pages, such as those run by Google.

Sure, it's fine to be skeptical of what the government or anybody else has to say. But if the evidence is overwhelming, and documents proving what happened are readily available, then geez, give up already.

That idiot professor Tracy isn't the only one to harass Sandy Hook parents. A 32-year old man was arrested for accosting the sister of Vicki Soto, a teacher slain during the massacre, during a Newtown charity event. He demanded to know whether photos of Soto were photoshopped.

As I noted, now there's an effort to get Tracy fired. He's a tenured professor at Florida Atlantic University, so getting him fired is thorny. But possible.

It's true you don't want to get rid of a professor whose views are contrarian. You want vigorous debate and to allow students to see perspectives they haven't thought of.  Even if a few of the perspectives are full of hooey.

But pretty much everyone is in agreement that Tracy has gone too far. He's certainly an embarrassment to Florida Atlantic University.

From the New York Times: "Jeffrey S. Morton, a professor of international law at the university, said in a statement to the Times that Mr. Tracy's "harassment of the parents of murdered children was vulgar, repulsive and an insult to the academic profession."

I guess conspiracy theories are fun. They fuel and define a person's inner unfocused anger and makes them feel better.

But the conspiracy theorists are too stupid and too delusional to understand they are wrong, and they're too stupid and delusional to understand the real harm they do to others.

When conspiracy theorists begin to abuse others, the only way to shake them out of their hallucinations is to do something that really wakes them up. Like make them face criminal or civil sanctions, or have them lose their jobs, if such actions are legal and ethical.

Or at least put the hoaxes on notice that people are watching their awful activities. That maybe would freak them out just a little, who knows?

The Sandy Hook "truthers" seem to be among the people who correctly embrace their free speech rights, but cannot accept that with those rights comes the equal weight of responsibility for your comments.

And consequences for what you say.

So let's fire Professor Tracy!

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