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Michael Gaffney and Turtleboy Sports: flailing, desperate, and trying to deflect from the issues

Poor Michael Gaffney and Turtleboy Sports.

If they weren’t so sleazy, it would be tempting to feel bad for them in their desperation. They’ve become so desperate – Gaffney to defend any shred of dignity and Turtleboy to convince people that their blog isn’t just have haven for bullies, those who sexualize children, and others – that they are flailing to defend themselves.

Why won’t you just answer the questions I posed, Michael Gaffney?

The sort of comments you see on Turtleboy Sports

The sort of comments you see on Turtleboy Sports

Again: do you think it’s okay for a semi-local blog to tell your constituents to commit suicide? Do you support sexualizing children? Because that’s where your dollars are going.

To recap, after I wrote an open letter to Michael Gaffney, who wants to be mayor, about his support for a blog that sexualizes children and encourages his constituents to commit suicide, he responded not with an apology, or even an explanation. Instead, he took to Facebook to accuse the author of the letter, me, of doing it as part of a scheme to take down the American government.

That’s right: instead of answering the question of why he supports a blog that talks about whether a 13-year-old girl is a virgin and discusses her as part of a “dick sandwich,” his response was that it was a plot to end America.

And instead of answering why he thought it was okay for his favorite blog to tell his constituents they should kill themselves, he used it as an opportunity to tar his political opponents for connections to some supposed enemy of America. (Of course, it’s apparently lost on Gaffney that, as chair of the Republican Party in Worcester, he is actually in the leadership of an organization whose leader actually is under FBI investigation for possibly collaborating with the Russians – the irony!)

Not exactly the kind of leadership Worcester needs.

Apparently, after my open letter, Gaffney and his ally Aiden Kearney desperately began Googling my past and found that, years ago, I was associated with the Communist Party, including chair of its New York district. Yeah, that was a mistake on my part, and I’ve since broken that association. I was foolish, and, unlike some people, I take responsibility for my mistakes. I naively hoped that I would take part in it becoming a democratic left organization, something like a Bernie Sanders-type group. Again, I take full responsibility for this mistake.

Just like always, Turtleboy Sports plays fast and loose with the facts – meaning they lie. I am not a member of the Communist Party, and have not been for nearly a decade. But, again, I ask you: what’s worse? Having been a member of a political party that, while ill-advised, was ultimately harmless, or promoting a blog that openly promotes the sexualization of children and encourages your constituents to commit suicide? Which is worse, Michael?

On a side note: I am incredibly flattered that Turtleboy and Gaffney portray me as some kind of mastermind, taking over the world from my modest apartment in Worcester – surely the place one would expect the center of a communist revolution. But, if I were really that powerful, Council Member Gaffney, why would I be spending my time writing open letters to you on my little blog? Am I a balding, substitute-teacher loser, or am I a brilliant mastermind about to seize control of the U.S.? You guys seem to think I’m both.

But our pasts don’t define us. If they did, then, sure, you could say that I’m a communist. You would also be able to say that Aiden Kearney, who runs Turtleboy, is a teacher in good standing. Neither of those things are true anymore. And I suspect that much of the currently remaining members of the CPUSA feel the same way about me as Kearney’s old colleagues at Shepherd Hill (ask him about why he had to “voluntarily” resign): not too popular.

During my days with the CPUSA, I worked on the Obama campaign, on Clinton’s electoral campaign, and on progressive issues. Aiden and Gaffney, to show how “crazy” I am, have to go to some, to put it lightly, “interesting” lengths.

For example, they accuse me supporting the Chinese genocide in Tibet. Their source? A weird little blog called “Tom’s News,” published by a guy who had a restraining order on him, to keep him away from Betsy Gotbaum, the New York City public advocate. I encourage anyone to check it out. You know who else Tom’s News accused of covering up the Chinese genocide? Hillary Clinton. Actually, the animosity this guy felt for me came not from the communist thing, but from my refusal to write about him or support him in his quixotic bid for New York senate seat. I was supporting Hillary. He’s not some kind of heroic Chinese dissident, either. Instead, he’s known in Staten Island as a local crackpot. But don’t take my word for it; check out this article in the Staten Island Advance.

Great sources, Turtleboy.

Or, they talk about my supposed hatred of America and love for Vietnam, showing a picture of me with the Vietnamese ambassador. While there is hardly anyone around who thinks the Vietnam War was sound policy on the part of the U.S., my article was about the growing friendship between the United States and Vietnam, and how good it was that our two countries could put the past behind us. They also conveniently leave out the part of the article where I mention my pride at having been named after a valiant American Marine who lost his life in the Vietnam war.

These people are incredibly dishonest. They refer to my “wiki page,” implying that they’ve taken information from Wikipedia. Actually, the page is that of keywiki, run by New Zealand fringe figure Trevor Loudon, who also seems to think that every leading Democrat is a Communist, and is an adherent of “Zenith Applied Philosophy,” some combination of Scientology, Eastern mysticism, and the John Birch Society. Again, great sources, Turtleboy.

And of course, they’ve left out any mention of my denunciations of communist dictatorships – like this one or my discussions about why I broke my association with the Communist Party, like this one, recorded some time ago. Aiden/Gaffney also seem to get easily confused: the site they took the painting of me from? It’s not a “communist” site, but the site of an independent artist, who is great at painting, but not so good at transcribing interviews. Actually, the artist is opposed to communism, and was created the paintings as a way to come to terms with what happened in his homeland.

Going even further into cuckoo, alt-right territory, Gaffney or Aiden, whoever wrote the article, simply made up a quote from “someone who has been following Margolis for years,” saying that I was under surveillance by the authorities, and stating that I am attempting to get others to cause violence. Are we really supposed to believe that Turtleboy Sports has a source who was at a dinner where Mitt Romney was talking about me? You read that right: according to TBS, Mitt Romney was actually so worried about me that he talked about me over dinner with Turtleboy’s source.

Sure he did.

Who promotes violence?

Who promotes violence?

Michael Gaffney and Turtleboy Sports realize that the tide is turning against them. This isn’t because of me, but an article I wrote tipped them off to that fact. They’d been riding high on the victory of Donald Trump and, as it seemed, the rise of extreme right ideology in America. Gaffney thought that would make him mayor.

Now, though, Michael Gaffney’s been on the defensive: his campaign to get people to believe that anyone supporting the undocumented is a criminal failed miserably, and his anti-immigrant resolution brought 1,000 people out against him. So, trying to deal with the failure of their agenda, they are lashing out.

Interesting that Turtleboy is accusing me of trying to foment violence. Aiden and Gaffney are projecting: It was my pointing that out that this is what Turtleboy Sports, with funding from Gaffney, is doing is exactly what earned me Turtleboy’s animosity.

Just to be clear: I don’t want anyone to do anything violent to Aiden or Gaffney. I do want people to wise up, stop supporting Turtleboy – and for those in Worcester, to vote Gaffney out of office.