The Mother of All Destroyers (Updated)

“Now I am become Death, the destroyer of worlds”

Many years ago, if I remember correctly it was 2009-2010, I was a member of a vibrant left leaning blogging community that was about the same size as this one. In retrospect it very much reminds me of c99p and I know several of our members here were also members there and may recognize the scenario that I'm about to expand upon. As a matter of fact much of the design and concept of this site was borrowed from that site. There are many similarities.

But there appeared a dark cloud on the horizon. I personally witnessed this community destroy itself.

This community I speak of blew itself up over a very divisive issue, IP (Israel/Palestine). If I remember the timeline correctly a comment was made in a diary that the administrator deemed as antisemitic and the commenter was banned. Several folks disagreed with the banning. This led to several dueling heated diaries on the I/P subject, tempers came to the boiling point. Members lashed out at each other, it was ugly. Lines were drawn, fingers were pointed, folks that were allies became enemies. This war dragged on for several days and did eventually settled down. But the damage was done. Several members were banned and many folks left and never came back. The site limped on for a while after that but never recovered from that fiasco. One by one more and more people left. The site lost its mojo and became a ghost town. It still survives but the original community was totally and utterly destroyed. It was a sad and sorrowful situation.

Witnessing that destruction left a lasting impression on me. I loved that community. It was fun, very smart and mostly open, as we are. I learned the lesson well. I am hyper-vigilant that the same does not happen here. A case in point: about a year ago a very heated essay and comment thread threatened this very community. Essentially it was about the same issue. It immediately brought back memories of the demise of the community that I mention above. With that debacle vivid in my mind I took action to stop what I saw as a very possible rerun of what I had witnessed before. So after much deliberation I decided to shut down the comment section of that essay. I took quite a bit of heat for doing that but in my mind it was worth it knowing what the vitriol could lead to. People were pissed at me, stating my action as censorship, but the site did not blow up.

Now we are faced with an issue that very well may be the catalyst of demise of this site, and that is not hyperbole. We need to get a handle on it now before it's too late. The sexual harassment issue is tearing this site apart and I as the lead moderator am not sure what to do about it. Something must be done before we go too far down the road of destruction. But what?

We take pride in our open discussion tenet so how do we reconcile that with an issue that is so volatile and divisive and destructive. Initially I thought that letting essayist and commenters have at it that it would get it out of our collective systems and eventually calm down. That hasn't proven to be the case. It dies down after a while only to rekindle again and every iteration seems to get worse. This issue is only going to get worse in the day/weeks/months ahead on the local and national stage so it's not going to go away any time soon. I expect it will be the same here. Lines are being drawn, sides are being taken, feelings are being hurt and folks are leaving. We are becoming what we all loathed elsewhere.

It would be much easier if we proceed as most sites do and just make certain issues verboten. But that's not us. Didn't the vast majority of us leave other sites because of that very thing? We lose our identity if we make certain issues unmentionable. I despise that idea. But how do we stop ourselves from tripping into the abyss?

Here are the options as I see them:

* Make the issue verboten. Not good. We become what we hate.
* Ban folks. Not good. We become what we hate.
* Close down comments on all essays on this issue. Yes, this is a viable option but could lead to dueling essays rather than dueling comments.
* Close down comments when they take a wrong turn. Yes, this is viable but how does one arbitrate without taking sides?
* Warnings and vacations (I hate the term timeout). This leads to hard feelings and folks will leave.
* Let things go as they are and let the chips fall. Nope, too much work went into this site to sit back and let it fail.
* Everyone make a concerted effort to be civil. That's our only standing rule here and so far it hasn't worked too well on this issue.

I have my own opinions on this issue and believe me many times I want to speak out, so I wrestle with myself to stay as neutral as possible. This is tearing me up watching this happen to this community.

Before I take a course of action, and possibly the wrong one, I want to pose this to the community. Personally, I am leaning towards closing all comments that breach this issue.

Please folks, how do we pull back from the abyss? I need your help. We need our help.

Update: There is much wisdom flowing from the comments which is what I was hoping for. I'll refrain from commenting for now. I'll just listen to what you have to say. Thanks folks.

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61 users have voted.

Comments

Raggedy Ann's picture

Man v. Woman. We will always be divided until we decide to completely engage in our humanity and respect each other unconditionally. Can this happen? I don't know - I have no crystal ball. What I push back on is when what has happened to me is discounted. I admit, I fell into this abyss, but I'm pretty tired of men minimizing women's experiences - they bottom line have no concept what we are up against, daily.

Once we can find compassion and our humanity, the world will be a better place, but we have only begun to broach this subject and begin to work through the issue. Everything takes time and nothing will be resolved until it's time comes.

Thank you for being the one to start the process to reign us in and make us begin to have civil discourse. I'll do my best not to react to future dismissals of my reality.

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36 users have voted.

"They'll say we're disturbing the peace, but there is no peace. What really bothers them is that we are disturbing the war." Howard Zinn

detroitmechworks's picture

And will continue to do so.

Here's my logic for it:

I feel that I personally am too emotional about the subject because I have been too close to it. Therefore, anything I state on the issue will not be fair, because of my own biases and predilections. I have similar issues with discussions about certain religions.

I'm not saying that emotion needs to be excised from the conversation, but rather I have to acknowledge my blind spots, and where my emotional involvement can cause a net negative in a conversation.

I see this as another ploy by the powerful to use a very emotional topic as a wedge issue. But then, I'm the freaking pervert whose kinks actually kinda require me to get affirmative consent before pretty much anything, and add in my already total paranoia from PTSD...

Seriously, I'm over the harassment discussion... it's just fuckin' boring now.

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24 users have voted.

I do not pretend I know what I do not know.

thanatokephaloides's picture

@detroitmechworks

I see this as another ploy by the powerful to use a very emotional topic as a wedge issue. But then, I'm the freaking pervert whose kinks actually kinda require me to get affirmative consent before pretty much anything, and add in my already total paranoia from PTSD...

Seriously, I'm over the harassment discussion... it's just fuckin' boring now.

I'm with you here. Not only does this discussion not yield anything of value to anyone, but, as JtC points out, it bodes ill for the health of our community here.

I doubt seriously that anyone who needs to read and heed the rightful concerns of those of us who have experienced sexual harassment ever have eyes on c99's pages. So the threat to our community is really being sustained for next to nothing.

And I say this as a man who has experienced sexual harassment himself, for non-participation in the sexual culture of his high school.

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13 users have voted.

"I say enough! If Israel wants to be the only superpower in the Middle East then they can put their own asses on the line and do it themselves. I want to continue to eat."
-- snoopydawg

I made a few comments that I regret. Not so much for what I said but for how I said them.

Partly it was because I was in a great deal of pain from my recent injury (and the painkiller).
Partly because I'm a jerk sometimes.
Partly for another reason I will get into later.

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36 users have voted.
divineorder's picture

@gjohnsit Then later I was thinking, sometimes I go off as well like that and it probably is not helpful.

Hope you continue to progress in your recovery.

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20 users have voted.

A truth of the nuclear age/climate change: we can no longer have endless war and survive on this planet. Oh sh*t.

Lookout's picture

I live in lala land much of the time, and I've been unaware of the rancor. But, in my 17 years in the 8th grade, I found open honest conversation is the best solution to disagreements and issues.

So to cut to the chase, I trust you to be a fair and honest arbitrator. Perhaps if and when you cut off a comment thread that is the message that things are out of hand. In the past I believe you have entered the comment thread suggesting a little calm be exercised. Often that seems to work. However, when it doesn't, stopping the thread seems an effective approach.

...and I would add, the thing I love about this site is the civil nature of our comments and respect for others views. I appreciate honesty, and we can honestly disagree...about the nature of gender, Israel and Palestine, or whatever... let's just respect the rights of others to hold their own ideas. And please inform me if I have give offense to any of you.

I like you all and do not feel adversarial with any of you. You're my e-buddies.
And a special thanks to JtC for everything!

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38 users have voted.

“Until justice rolls down like water and righteousness like a mighty stream.”

WoodsDweller's picture

For your work on the site in general and on this specific issue.
I've been avoiding commenting in the various threads. By extension, this would be comment-free essays. YouTube allows posters to disable comments on particular videos, it seems like a good feature to offer. If the essayist doesn't disable comments, site admins could disable them if/when things spiral out of control. I can live with dueling essays without comments, most people won't bother writing them. Maybe couple it with a timeout on essay publishing? I doubt anyone needs to post more than one essay per hour - that's not an essay it's a comment posted as an essay and a clear sign you should take a breath.

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19 users have voted.

The lesser evil is still evil. Vote your conscience, not your fear.

Big Al's picture

Tough one. I looked in the "How to Run a Blog Bible" and the page was blank for this subject.

Let's see,

People have left here for other reasons also. Some because of the general, but not universal, opposition to the democratic party. Some because of the hatred of Hillary Clinton. I'm sure there are other reasons because of differences in opinion on an issue or issues.

Everywhere you look in comment sections there are disagreements that turn to fights and ugly words. I noticed on CNN they've turned off the comment sections under articles posted, they no longer even mess with it.

You can turn off comments on one issue but it's not going to prevent other issues from doing the same things. Pretty soon no one is left to discuss any issues.

On the WSWS, they moderate so strictly that I personally don't like participating there. And they let a certain segment of commenters run the place, make disparaging comments to others, much like on Daily Kos.

No great options here. I would vote for continuing to require civil and calm discussions and time outs (or worse if absolutely necessary) for those that don't want to abide. That's a pain in the ass too, but banning the discussion of an issue is contrary to what this blog was supposed to be about. Of course I'm not the one to have to do that level of moderating so easy for me to say.

As for the I/P issue, things have changed a lot since the days of Daily Kos and directly after. The cat is out of the bag on that one. This sex harassment issue is a lot like the racism issue. It can get heated but they are crucial issues that we simply can't turn off just because of the disagreements.

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27 users have voted.

@Big Al

turn off comments. death move, imo.

fuckers have started choosing teams.
might be over for the site.

would be cool to do a post mortem on threads & see who did what.
said much the same as you in my comment down.

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4 users have voted.
Steven D's picture

@irishking @irishking Have much respect for you. If JtC has shut down some comment threads I am going to give him the benefit of the doubt. Also, can you link to threads where comments were shut down? I would like to educate myself on what the problems are between people where the arguments have crossed some line.

I can understand it is easy to jump to the conclusion that this site will be damaged by what has been going on in threads I haven’t been involved in. However, I would be hesitant to say anything done by JtC is a death move at this point. Let’s see if people can be their better selves, before making that leap. Just my opinion.

Ps. If I have misunderstood your comment please correct my mistake.
Steve

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20 users have voted.

"You can't just leave those who created the problem in charge of the solution."---Tyree Scott

@Steven D

I noticed that my reply buttons on gjohnsit thread disappeared late yesterday.
I could reply elsewhere. did this happen to others? was that a timeout?

they are back today & I made a few comments!
I do think we should go over that thread very carefully and see what happened.

have my opinion, but it is out there for all to read.
I think we better figure it out.
won't last if we get to calling names.

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6 users have voted.
Steven D's picture

Because I haven't been involved in any discussions that seemed that divisive on this issue.

I wrote my own essay about my experience with sexual assault, but not out any desire to alienate others here. It was more a personal thing for me. I was triggered. It happens. I hope that essay had some value for others here, if only in understanding where I come from on this issue.

And while I cannot say with any certainty what is the proper course for this community to take on what JtC (and I presume others) see as a crisis, I do know this much. It's very easy to get caught up in online forums in our own emotions about certain issues, and fail to see that those with whom we are engaged in a "confrontation" are not merely the words they post here. There are always people behind the words. People living lives under enormous stress at this moment in history. People in pain. People living complex lives in difficult and trying circumstances.

No one has a the right answer for everything under the sun. No one is the sole arbiter of truth. Each of us come from varied backgrounds and have experienced life's joys and sorrows in our own unique ways. All of us have our flaws and limitations, our biases and ideological preferences. No one is immune from making mistakes in our interactions with others, and that is especially the case where we do not converse in person, face to face, but intermittently, through the written word.

I believe that all of us need to remember who we are (limited and flawed human beings) and that regardless of how we feel about the posts we read here, our interpretations regarding the people who publish them are just that: ours. And that those opinions about what others say are just as capable of being incorrect or mistaken as those of the person with whom we find ourselves engaged in argument.

It has generally been my experience that I cannot convince someone else that my position is true and theirs is false with mere written words. What I can do, however, is try to always keep in mind the essential humanity of that other person across the digital divide. It may seem a cliche, but I strongly believe that respect for others is the most important value any community can foster.

R-E-S-P-E-C-T to quote a very famous song. It can go a long way in my humble opinion toward avoiding a breakdown in communication, and lasting damage to any community, including this one. Call me a sentimental fool, but I am convinced that values matter a great deal in human interaction, and respect for the dignity and humanity of other community members is at the top of that list.

You cannot impose values on anyone, and I am not demanding that my personal value system is the end all and be all on how to avoid conflict. Indeed, I am certainly not immune to the same failure to respect the opinions of others when I am angry or upset. For I am a flawed and limited individual as many of you well know. But I try as best I can to respect others and I do my best to keep my values in the forefront of my consciousness before I post any response to anyone here. And when I fail in that regard, or to be more accurate and honest, when I recognize that I have failed to abide by those principles, I do my best to make it right between myself and the individual who I wronged.

One of the joys of this community is what it is not. It's not too big. Or too regulated by the people who own and run the site. It's not too "my way or the highway." It allows for a diversity of opinions, or at least it has until apparently now, as JtC notes above. Those of us who have been on other sites know full well what happens when a site becomes too large and anonymous. Or when the opinions expressed on a site are censored either from the top down or from the bottom up through what Daily Kos calls euphemistically "community moderation."

How do we avoid a "community collapse disorder" of the type JtC describes in his essay? I don't know. Perhaps it is impossible to prevent. But I believe the answer lies with each of us who are members to find it within ourselves to act toward other community members as we would wish to be treated. Easier said than done, to be honest. Anger, bitterness, stress - these are strong emotions that once triggered can lead any of us into a very dark place, a place where we fail to see the humanity of others, a place where we lash out and hurt others because of our own pain.

There is a popular word these days, borrowed from Buddhist thought, perhaps, which many people use to describe their current state regarding politics or life in general. Woke. It is used a little too (pardon the pun) liberally in my view, but the basic concept behind its usage is one that I find valuable. An awakened person is aware of their surroundings, of the situation in which they find themselves. To be "woke" should mean more than that, however. It should also reflect an appreciation and understanding of the views of others and their situation. It should be based not on some grand individual enlightenment or self-actualization, but on the humble admission that all of us are in this world, this very flawed and yet beautiful world, and that we are dependent upon one another if we are not only to survive, but thrive. In short it should demand of us the nurturing and practice of empathy.

Disagreements are inevitable. Conflicts are inevitable. But they need not be fatal to the culture of any group of people. That can only happen if we fail to acknowledge our own shortcomings, and fail to acknowledge the validity of others experience, which is often very different from our own. It can only happen when we fail to see the value of each person, to see them as whole and complicated individuals, and instead see them as labels, i.e., as either our ally or our enemy.

For myself, I hope that my interactions with all of you at C99 have been respectful and that I have not mistreated anyone simply because we disagreed on any matter. If that is not the case (and undoubtedly I have failed many times here to live up to my credo) please let me know, regardless of what the issue or matter under discussion. No one can grow, mature, or become a "better person" without the help and instruction of others. No one.

So, my two cents worth.

Steve

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39 users have voted.

"You can't just leave those who created the problem in charge of the solution."---Tyree Scott

@Steven D

For myself, I hope that my interactions with all of you at C99 have been respectful and that I have not mistreated anyone simply because we disagreed on any matter. If that is not the case (and undoubtedly I have failed many times here to live up to my credo) please let me know, regardless of what the issue or matter under discussion. No one can grow, mature, or become a "better person" without the help and instruction of others. No one.

well- put.

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16 users have voted.
Eagles92's picture

@Steven D I appreciate the time you took to offer this wisdom. I think, if we can all read and digest it, your suggestions will go a long way toward potential devolvement (is that even a word?) over particular issues.

I have done my best to stay out of the sexual harassment discussion because 1) I recognize I would not easily maintain a level head and would therefore contribute nothing useful; and 2) I also believe, at this point in time, none of us is going to convince anyone else whose opinion differs to change their mind. I guess in this way, I agree with DMW. Yes, it's an important topic; but at this point I'd kind of like to put it on the shelf for awhile. (Voluntarily speaking: I'm not advocating for "off-limit" topics).

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12 users have voted.
mhagle's picture

@Eagles92
@Steven D

Heartfelt and wise.

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11 users have voted.

Marilyn

Let's save the planet for our kids. Tree Hugger to the end.

@Steven D

Bursts into spontaneous applause, can't stop and am therefore typing with my nose...

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6 users have voted.

Psychopathy is not a political position, whether labeled 'conservatism', 'centrism' or 'left'.

A tin labeled 'coffee' may be a can of worms or pathology identified by a lack of empathy/willingness to harm others to achieve personal desires.

Meteor Man's picture

I was raised to treat every woman as if she was my sister or mother. I have learned, however, that I have very little or no influence over the conduct and speech of other men. Anthony Bourdain is trying:

Right now he’s hitting hard at the ‘bro culture’ in the restaurant industry — a scene he feels partially complicit in fomenting, through his book Kitchen Confidential. Bourdain has been rectifying this by using his pulpit to amplify women’s voices and offer a sort of ‘stop-being-assholes’ guidance to those who will listen.

http://uproxx.com/life/anthony-bourdain-sexual-harassment-bro-culture/amp/

The problem that Men Are From Mars is magnified by hero worship in sports, business and how a "manly man" is defined in the overarching culture of American Exceptionalism.

This embedded cultural problem is as deeply ingrained as racism. The solution will be just as difficult for American society. Here's hopeing we can reach a detente at c99p.

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32 users have voted.

"They'll say we're disturbing the peace, but there is no peace. What really bothers them is that we are disturbing the war." Howard Zinn

gulfgal98's picture

Yes, Big Al, I agree with you. Wink

Seriously, from my own perspective, my number one issue when it comes to a blog site is censorship. My very first protest in college was against censorship. I am passionate about the free exchange of ideas so I really hope we can avoid going down the road towards censoring the discussion of certain topics.

All that said, with the free exchange of ideas comes responsibility and this is where occasionally we falter. After all we are human beings, and each of us comes with our own flaws and biases. Our biases evolve from our own life experiences and the environment in which we were raised. And often it can take a lot to overcome them.

I know that I stumble myself in this regard. But I do try to avoid fueling an already heated controversy by asking myself two questions. (1) Am I fueling this controversy to satisfy my own ego? If the answer is yes, I should rethink my post. And (2) Does my participation do anything to further the main objective of what I view this site to be? If the answer to that question is no, then I should either not comment or re-frame it in a way that promotes the goals of this site. Asking myself these two questions has often helped me to avoid what I would call needless controversy that feeds into the PTB's ultimate goal of keeping us divided against ourselves.

We are never going to agree on every issue here. That would be absolutely boring and would do more to kill this site than anything else I can think of. In fact, we have had some very lively discussions on many topics that have proved to be enlightening and valuable. We just need to realize who and what is our real enemy. Hint: it is not each other.

JiC has asked for our input in how we want him to handle this. I am hoping that JtC should not be burdened with that decision. But if necessary, my preferred method for handling this and similar issues is simply to close the comments. However, it would be great if JtC does not even have to do that. And that is up to us.

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35 users have voted.

"I don't want to run the empire, I want to bring it down!" ~Dr. Cornel West "...isn't the problem here that the government takes on, arbitrarily and without justification, an adversarial attitude towards its citizenry?" ~CantStoptheMacedonianSignal

SnappleBC's picture

@gulfgal98

JtC has asked for our input in how we want him to handle this. I am hoping that JtC should not be burdened with that decision.

In my own reply I feel like it's hopeless to expect JtC to make us all seek community rather than division. He cannot do that. Only we can do that. I think this is perhaps the first time we get to choose what we actually want.

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19 users have voted.

A lot of wanderers in the U.S. political desert recognize that all the duopoly has to offer is a choice of mirages. Come, let us trudge towards empty expanse of sand #1, littered with the bleached bones of Deaniacs and Hope and Changers.
-- lotlizard

@gulfgal98

Bursts into further, uncontrollable applause. Luckily, it turns out that I seem to make fewer typos typing with my nose...

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2 users have voted.

Psychopathy is not a political position, whether labeled 'conservatism', 'centrism' or 'left'.

A tin labeled 'coffee' may be a can of worms or pathology identified by a lack of empathy/willingness to harm others to achieve personal desires.

edg's picture

Granted, I'm not a 24/7 site user, but I haven't noticed much heated rhetoric about this issue. For what it's worth, my personal opinion is that conflating rape with sexual harassment does a disservice to both.

When I was 7 years old, I was sexually molested by my 13 year old sister. It caused me many years of pain and caused me to act out for many years. I went from an A-student teacher's pet to the kid who spent most of each day in the principal's office and was sent to a psychiatrist by the school system.

As far as c99p, my only suggestion is for moderators to send site members that cross the line (a line that varies, of course) a private message telling them to shut the hell up. And for us site members, it doesn't hurt to point it out to someone when we see their comments cross the line. That's often enough for them to back off, catch their breath, and moderate their own behavior.

I like this site. Unlike that other site, there's no hunter-killer packs waiting to gang TR someone that expresses an unpopular thought. And I hope we can keep it that way.

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28 users have voted.
Deja's picture

@edg
I've been on the receiving end of one. JtC was extremely respectful when he did it too, and I obliged by knocking it off in that particular essay, and with those particular people. I do, however, speak up in others, because I feel I have to. And, calling people out for their abrasive or insensitive comments is taken as agitation, whereas I feel the agitation began with the shitty comment I'm responding to. He said/she said, and JtC left being the babysitter.

If only I could be more like Steven D and gg. And, if only some of the ones I've been sparring with could be more like Big Al and Meteor Man.

I'm very sorry you experienced what you did as a little boy. I can only imagine how traumatic it must have been, and the difficulties you faced, and possibly still do.

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24 users have voted.

"The gatekeepers must change."
Prince

My personal opinion is that you have been doing a great job at handling this issue and since you are the one responsible for the site I think you should go with your gut on this one. After reading most of these posts and comments it seems to me that it is fairly obvious that the same few people choose to get obnoxious, they are the same ones that Imo like to dish it out, but cant take it.

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23 users have voted.
Unabashed Liberal's picture

@pro left

for stepping in to handle this situation.

Mollie


"Being deeply loved by someone gives you strength, while loving someone deeply gives you courage."--Lao Tzu
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13 users have voted.

"The power of accurate observation is commonly called cynicism by those who have not got it."
--George Bernard Shaw, Irish Dramatist & Socialist
"We [corporations] are the government!" Actor John Colicos (1978)

ggersh's picture

@Unabashed Liberal and jtc keep up the great work!!!!

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13 users have voted.

“We now live in a nation where doctors destroy health, lawyers destroy justice, universities destroy knowledge, governments destroy freedom, the press destroys information, religion destroys morals, and our banks destroy the economy”

Chris Hedges

Citizen Of Earth's picture

@pro left

JtC owns the site and has shown excellent judgement in the past. I see no problem with JtC freezing threads that are going off the rails and giving members warnings about 'out of line' comments. I'm sure if someone gets a warning from JtC it will be well deserved.

I remember the threads last year about calling Hellery a B****. We survived that one.

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11 users have voted.

Donnie The #ShitHole Douchebag. The Douchebag Who Would Be King.

QMS's picture

If reason and civility can't dampen hot topics, sometimes a splash of cold water will help. I'm usually taken by surprise when comments turn aggressive. Your warnings seem to cool things off quite a bit. Perhaps it is then others should catch the signal and assist in dousing the flames?

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24 users have voted.
SnappleBC's picture

I had also gathered I've been identified as a guilty party in some war/debate that I'm not even aware exists. So my input here is bound to be unhelpful.

I guess what I'd say is that I consider such things a litmus test. If the various parties cannot resolve their differences up to at least "agree to disagree" then yes, there is a split in the community and perhaps the community dies. For any who care about the community, that ought to be some incentive to find a way to resolve them. If there are insufficient such people then that community isn't much of a loss to start with, is it?

I don't really see what covering up problems has to do with a helpful solution nor do I see how any sort of mediation can cause the community members to seek commonality rather than division if that is what they want.

For myself, I've already identified this issue as "too triggery to touch" and don't intend on commenting on it further. It's not the first such issue that I have in that list for this site nor will it be the last. That's not necessarily such a bad thing.

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11 users have voted.

A lot of wanderers in the U.S. political desert recognize that all the duopoly has to offer is a choice of mirages. Come, let us trudge towards empty expanse of sand #1, littered with the bleached bones of Deaniacs and Hope and Changers.
-- lotlizard

riverlover's picture

in DC. A new subject every day. Recall that a week ago we gathered to remember native. We CAN cooperate and stay gracious or at least civil. I would prefer some discussion to none. But self-policing might be possible, without feeling self-censoring.

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20 users have voted.

Hey! my dear friends or soon-to-be's, JtC could use the donations to keep this site functioning for those of us who can still see the life preserver or flotsam in the water.

dance you monster's picture

I've been preoccupied with activities off-site lately, and only wandered into some of the posts in question long after the threads were dead (though some of them proved to be undead).

And yup, I have an opinion in this battle. One I've not elaborated upon, but one I don't mind being associated with, either.

But the question here is how to cope with the battle and not forever obliterate the battleground, the site.

The word that came to mind at the outset of the contentious threads in question is one that I'm happy to see several have iterated here: respect. That word comes to mind for me because of a Quaker background that welcomes debate over contentious issues and still survives intact after centuries of the to and fro. It shows it is possible to let the debate take place. So it's a model to consider. Respect is the sine qua non of Quaker thought and discussion. Open expression of one's beliefs is the core of the Quaker service, and everyone in the congregation (Quakers call them meetings) gets a chance to speak their piece.

As for how to implement it, that could be a free-for-all duke-it-out post -- one singular monster battleground that lets the site persist in every other way and topic. Or I'd lay another idea out for people to consider: The site can take a stand. It can voice a position -- an editorial, as it were, from the site creators/moderators -- that permits c99ers to disagree and argue their own counterpositions while still keeping the site centered, anchored in a bedrock it believes in. Perhaps that bedrock might be the word "respect." That's up to the management, though.

In this particular instance the fight, or let's say the most defensible sides of it, seem most to be between those who want to end the harassment of women at long last and those who feel the few who would proffer fraudulent claims preclude the adoption of any such anti-harassment climate. That's terribly oversimplified, but most of the arguments I've seen (that aren't just seeking license to be harassers) seem to connect to one or the other of these poles. Personally, I think the few who would make up claims to ruin another's career or life would be little different from those who make up claims that someone committed other crimes, and we have remedies for such false accusations. The remedies I'd envision for those who just want license to be cavemen would be more untidy and not pertinent to this thread. So, yeah, I have an opinion.

But respect -- toward women, toward men, and toward the interlocutor you face in a debate of a really, really old battle -- might be the kernel around which a site policy or editorial stance could grow.

Sorry I can't stick around to argue this better, but them's my two cents'.

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21 users have voted.

@dance you monster @dance you monster

No, you make great points, although I have to admit that, while I may well have missed a lot, I did see some of these threads and comments and didn't read anything which I took to indicate comment by '...those who feel the few who would proffer fraudulent claims preclude the adoption of any such anti-harassment climate. ...'

I did read some expressions of personal viewpoints which differed from anything I'd like to think still existed, but didn't see any indication of anyone advocating for such behaviour, and I personally would actually rather hear what they have to say, even though the subject itself is, in this case, painful and distressing to me, as it is to so very, very many others.

As stated, though, I probably simply haven't come across these examples. (And my major concern still lies with what seems to me as another case of TPTB opportunistically using long-existing 'routine' injustice and predation they normally, at best, have tacitly encouraged, [this being their own modus operandi,] in order to publicize and twist an important issue to create further division to destroy solidarity between genders among those working toward the same goal of a just, caring and sustainable society. This also forming their own modus operandi.)

Edited for fouled-up brackets. Maybe I should continue typing with my nose...

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2 users have voted.

Psychopathy is not a political position, whether labeled 'conservatism', 'centrism' or 'left'.

A tin labeled 'coffee' may be a can of worms or pathology identified by a lack of empathy/willingness to harm others to achieve personal desires.

Pluto's Republic's picture

…just to keep it instinctive.

I didn't hesitate a moment before I chose one of the options:

Close down comments on all essays on this issue. Yes, this is a viable option but could lead to dueling essays rather than dueling comments.

I just noticed that JtC selected this one, too. I have some reservations and modifications, but I think it's the best of the choices given. Some thoughts:

I suggest you should add an expiration date, ie. Effective January 1, 2018 through March 20, 2018. Pick any dates you like, you can always change them. There are lots of psychological reasons for this….

I think dueling essays are not a big problem, one way or the other.

I assume the notice will go where the first comment would be, when you catch it.

I know people take this topic seriously, but I feel that view does not respect the fact that this is a completely propagandized culture — cradle to grave — and these particular arguments (i/P and sex) are bait. They are binary-based identity triggers that are designed to distract, polarize, and freeze tight-knit communities like this one. They work on the same principle that our binary Party system does, collapsing undesirable unity where ever it rears its ugly communist head. This propaganda device uses people up and achieves nothing, with the ridiculous final effect of creating mortal enemies for life (as per the brainwashing).

Perhaps post a link to Reddit topics where they can go to discuss these issues. Although, I seem to recall that Reddit has locked them down, too.

Let's err on the side of dignity and self respect.

::

PS: I have not witnessed much of what has brought you to this point, JtC. It physically hurts me to think people have been damaged here, due to this cynical political IED.

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26 users have voted.
Deja's picture

@Pluto's Republic
Several people have stated it's propaganda, a wedge used against us, to divide us, and see how well it's working, etc..

That sounds like a really nice way of saying shut up woman, it's all in your head, it may or may not have happened, but it doesn't matter (I've actually read that one). Get over it. Move on. Bigger fish to fry than your being victimized.

Where's the unifying happy medium, that doesn't leave one side feeling exactly like they've been openly treated basically forever, and the other side justified in their unacceptable behavior as well as the defense of others perpetrating said behavior?

To me, saying it's all a sham, means my experiences and other's experiences didn't happen, we're not valued, and we should move on to something someone else tells us to, already.

I've yet to get a coherent answer to this. Ellen North tried, when I asked CStMS to explain it, but it still isn't getting through. If I'm not supposed to give a shit about myself or other women, our experiences, and dismissive behavior toward the perpetrators, what exactly am I supposed to be caring about instead?

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19 users have voted.

"The gatekeepers must change."
Prince

Pluto's Republic's picture

@Deja

…coalesced into a "meeting of the minds" in an organic, socialistic way, with feeling. We are potent cells. We are the seeds of change. We are the few good, well-intentioned people with the potential to change the world. It starts with people like us.

As for looser groups, like magazine commenters or even the world-at-large — you go git 'em, girl. I know what this is about and I've got your back.

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14 users have voted.
mhagle's picture

@Deja

On c99 we need to be compassionate to each other. I have not read all of the threads, but holding up the truth is important.

This issue is not the same in all geographic locations and societies. I have been away from the upper Midwest for 25 years so I don't know if it is the same now. But I was slapped in the face when I moved to Texas and experienced the blatant sexism.

Yes, the popular attitude in Texas would be "shut the fuck up and submit."

But the c99 community is not Texas.

And here in Texas there is something I had not seen before. "Polite Abuse" I have seen both men and women do this. Where their words are polite, but they are condescending, demeaning, and exclude the other person.

But let's hold out a hand to each other here.

Hope that was helpful. Sorry if it wasn't.

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28 users have voted.

Marilyn

Let's save the planet for our kids. Tree Hugger to the end.

Deja's picture

@mhagle
What I'm not understanding is how an issue that's been divisive since humans came to be, is now supposedly orchestrated propaganda, meant to do nothing more than divide, all of a sudden, since it's finally being talked about and in the news.

That's what several people here have said, and it's dismissive to me, and reminds me of "shut up and submit".

How can it be an actual reality and propaganda at the same time? How am I supposed to speak out about it elsewhere, but not here, which is what I think Pluto was getting at? I am actually disappointed that anyone has to call it out here, but we do.

up
17 users have voted.

"The gatekeepers must change."
Prince

@Deja

how an issue that's been divisive since humans came to be, is now supposedly orchestrated propaganda, meant to do nothing more than divide, all of a sudden, since it's finally being talked about and in the news.

I think the question is- why is it being talked about now?

or now that it is being talked about, will it be stage- managed as propaganda by tptb?

should take more than an accusation to finish someone.
want to be careful.

I never said "shut up & submit".

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12 users have voted.
Deja's picture

@irishking
Read the thread, and you'll see where it came from.

It's being talked about now because it's about goddamn time! There's safety in numbers, as they say. Just because some people would like to pretend it never happened or doesn't happen every single day, and want victims to stfu is not my problem.

I'm not going to "finish" anyone, and telling me to be careful about it is uncalled for. No victim should be guilted into not reporting something because of what might happen to the aggressor.

Why are you dragging your hostility onto this essay? You kept doing that on gjohnsit's, and, according to you, the comments got shut down. I refuse to let you drag me into whatever it is that you're doing.

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14 users have voted.

"The gatekeepers must change."
Prince

mhagle's picture

@Deja

We absolutely need to talk about it.

And somehow find a higher ground. I don't know how to do that though.

up
14 users have voted.

Marilyn

Let's save the planet for our kids. Tree Hugger to the end.

Deja's picture

@mhagle

up
9 users have voted.

"The gatekeepers must change."
Prince

SnappleBC's picture

@Deja

But I'm still wary of this. The question was, "Why is it being talked about now?" and that's a great question. The fact that it's important is not enough to get the MSM talking about something. The fact that it's real or poignant is not enough. The fact that some aggrieved woman, famous or not, told her story [yet again] is clearly not enough to get MSM talking. Were that true then this same woman telling this same story would've already gotten this ball rolling. "Why now?" is an excellent question.

That doesn't mean we can't seek to utilize this moment. But it's good to be aware that other, less benign forces are trying to do the same. I'm willing to ask what's going among the power brokers even as I wonder what useful thing can be done to change things. For me, the change required is summed up in CantStopTheSignal's excellent question, "Why is this bit of barbarity allowed in our culture and others are not?" I think the fix is cultural. I think great feminist thinkers before me came to that conclusion. So how do we leverage this moment for some cultural change beyond getting rid of a few dirt bags?

Honestly I'm more worried about Democrats sweeping this under the rug than I am C99'ers. What do you think is going to come of this after it's run it's political usefulness to them? This issue is a two edged sword since Democrats are hardly exempt. I bet it's put away the very moment there's no more political gain in it.

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11 users have voted.

A lot of wanderers in the U.S. political desert recognize that all the duopoly has to offer is a choice of mirages. Come, let us trudge towards empty expanse of sand #1, littered with the bleached bones of Deaniacs and Hope and Changers.
-- lotlizard

Deja's picture

@SnappleBC
There are lots of 'em.

Now what?

We're here. Now. Talking about it. Yet, we're told it doesn't matter. It's decisive - and it is, forever has been. People are leaving (some of 'em actually donated to the site on a regular basis).

How do we move forward, without eating our own, and killing the best site I've been on in a very, very long time?

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10 users have voted.

"The gatekeepers must change."
Prince

SnappleBC's picture

@Deja

I just wrote in a previous comment that this topic was off my "good to be discussed" list. I don't want to wade from the site meta back into the swamp until the bullets stop flying.

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8 users have voted.

A lot of wanderers in the U.S. political desert recognize that all the duopoly has to offer is a choice of mirages. Come, let us trudge towards empty expanse of sand #1, littered with the bleached bones of Deaniacs and Hope and Changers.
-- lotlizard

QMS's picture

@Deja Deja.

We're here. Now. Talking about it.

We are all part of the discussion. It all matters. Please don't feel shut out, because all opinions are inclusive, until one starts denigrating the opinions of another. We are trying to support an open dialog, to allow many points of view to coalesce into a framework, to move forward and develop a transformative new vision which can be built upon.

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10 users have voted.

@SnappleBC

thx.

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4 users have voted.

@Deja

see how it works?

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3 users have voted.

@irishking
this essay is about solving this issue. The fighting that has occurred in several other essays should not have been brought here, and yet here it is. I don't appreciate that.

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10 users have voted.

@JtC

why blame me for what she said?

Deja continues to insist that I am showing "hostility."
I don't see that.

I did not bring an argument here.
nope.
I ran into one.

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3 users have voted.

@JtC

see where I went wrong.

reply

Submitted by Deja on Sun, 12/17/2017 - 3:31pm
Deja's picture
I completely understand

@mhagle
What I'm not understanding is how an issue that's been divisive since humans came to be, is now supposedly orchestrated propaganda, meant to do nothing more than divide, all of a sudden, since it's finally being talked about and in the news.

That's what several people here have said, and it's dismissive to me, and reminds me of "shut up and submit".

How can it be an actual reality and propaganda at the same time? How am I supposed to speak out about it elsewhere, but not here, which is what I think Pluto was getting at? I am actually disappointed that anyone has to call it out here, but we do.
up
15 users have voted, including you.

"The gatekeepers must change."
Prince

reply

Submitted by irishking on Sun, 12/17/2017 - 3:46pm
found the essay, thx.

@Deja

how an issue that's been divisive since humans came to be, is now supposedly orchestrated propaganda, meant to do nothing more than divide, all of a sudden, since it's finally being talked about and in the news.

I think the question is- why is it being talked about now?

or now that it is being talked about, will it be stage- managed as propaganda by tptb?

should take more than an accusation to finish someone.
want to be careful.

I never said "shut up & submit".
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9 users have voted.

edit reply

Submitted by Deja on Sun, 12/17/2017 - 4:10pm
Deja's picture
I never said you said that, irishking

@irishking
Read the thread, and you'll see where it came from.

It's being talked about now because it's about goddamn time! There's safety in numbers, as they say. Just because some people would like to pretend it never happened or doesn't happen every single day, and want victims to stfu is not my problem.

I'm not going to "finish" anyone, and telling me to be careful about it is uncalled for. No victim should be guilted into not reporting something because of what might happen to the aggressor.

Why are you dragging your hostility onto this essay
? You kept doing that on gjohnsit's, and, according to you, the comments got shut down. I refuse to let you drag me into whatever it is that you're doing.

you tell me.
I don't see my "hostility" here.

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2 users have voted.

@Deja

"want to be careful" was not directed at you personally.

I only meant that we might well proceed with caution here.
someone else said "wary".

If MSNBC said the sky is blue, I would look outside.
that is what I meant. tried to be brief, but was unclear.
my error.

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5 users have voted.

@irishking interpreting words the way they want to, there is little you can do.

I don't believe anyone here has ever had the attitude of shut up and submit.

Not to mention that the entire thread has now been hijacked by someone who cannot stay on topic.

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3 users have voted.

dfarrah

SnappleBC's picture

@irishking

Even though the powers that be are clearly trying to make hay with this situation, what if anything can be done regarding the actual problem? I think that simply because an issue has become the tool of the powerful doesn't mean the issue has gone away or even that at this moment we cannot wrest reality back.

After all, the plutocrats will suck up ANY populist sounding meme or message and try to subvert it. We cannot abandon the field every time they do.

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14 users have voted.

A lot of wanderers in the U.S. political desert recognize that all the duopoly has to offer is a choice of mirages. Come, let us trudge towards empty expanse of sand #1, littered with the bleached bones of Deaniacs and Hope and Changers.
-- lotlizard

Unabashed Liberal's picture

@SnappleBC

Even though the powers that be are clearly trying to make hay with this situation, what if anything can be done regarding the actual problem? I think that simply because an issue has become the tool of the powerful . . .

My (conspiracy) theory is that the Weinstein story et al served as a 'tool of the powerful,' as you put it. As I see it, though, the end goal wasn't to resolve the very real and tragic social problem of sexual assault/abuse.

Instead, the MSM latched onto the Weinstein 'narrative,' in order to reintroduce and/or relitigate the cases of DT's accusers.

As they saw it, if they could 'change the environment' in which these charges were viewed--which some of us would probably agree that they have accomplished--perhaps they could lay a foundation for impeachment proceedings, in case the 'Russia Ruse/Probe' yielded nada.

Just my 2 cents!

Wink

Mollie

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18 users have voted.

"The power of accurate observation is commonly called cynicism by those who have not got it."
--George Bernard Shaw, Irish Dramatist & Socialist
"We [corporations] are the government!" Actor John Colicos (1978)

Centaurea's picture

@SnappleBC

After all, the plutocrats will suck up ANY populist sounding meme or message and try to subvert it. We cannot abandon the field every time they do.

When you think about it, doing so would just give TPTB more power over us, the power to control our priorities and what we discuss.

"TPTB and MSM might use this issue, so we should stay far away from it and not talk about it."

I don't think it's in our best interests to take that approach. It would keep us on TPTB's playing field, reacting rather than being proactive.

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9 users have voted.

"Don't go back to sleep ... Don't go back to sleep ... Don't go back to sleep."
~Rumi

"If you want revolution, be it."
~Caitlin Johnstone

@SnappleBC

don't think I said anything different.

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3 users have voted.

@SnappleBC various laws that protect people against harassment? It is as if no one has ever heard of using the tools they have available for redress.

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2 users have voted.

dfarrah

@SnappleBC

...After all, the plutocrats will suck up ANY populist sounding meme or message and try to subvert it. We cannot abandon the field every time they do. ...

Out of all of the many true words you've 'spoken' on here, none could be truer.

We just have to try to remember to be wary of anything that makes us unduly suspicious of each other/allies based on generalizations rather than established character, and try to remember to closely examine anything we may interpret as a unexpected betrayal from a long-trusted ally we then entirely reject, in case we are being manipulated into yet another sundering of the Left, an ally at a time.

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3 users have voted.

Psychopathy is not a political position, whether labeled 'conservatism', 'centrism' or 'left'.

A tin labeled 'coffee' may be a can of worms or pathology identified by a lack of empathy/willingness to harm others to achieve personal desires.

@Deja

... If I'm not supposed to give a shit about myself or other women, our experiences, and dismissive behavior toward the perpetrators, what exactly am I supposed to be caring about instead? ...

I evidently failed to explain myself well in my attempt - that would be the last thing I can imagine anyone here ever thinking or suggesting!

Of course we all care about abuses and those suffering them; the women here have indubitably all also experienced these ourselves - and we are certainly not dismissive of the abusers!

The issue to which people have been referring is the manner in which public exposure and condemnation of such abuses seem almost invariably to be twisted by propagandists into a source of division among activists and the general public.

We've all seen that twisting process of, in example, the protests against the appallingly routine police abuses and murders of Black people throughout America, with activists separated, in too many cases, based on (of all things) rejection according to skin colour, and culminating in propaganda claims, an example essentially boiling down to one that anyone even mentioning the fact that Black Lives Matter exists, even in an ad, must be a diabolical Russian spy seeking to divide Americans and control their votes so that they so unreasonably wouldn't vote for a woman involved in so much misery being inflicted upon so many, especially Black Americans, whether man, woman or child - and predominately darker-skinned people around the world.

Here, we've already had an incident posted regarding a Tweet seeking women willing to fake up 8 sexual harassment claims against Bernie Sanders to get him out of the way and publicized stories indicating that men were going to have to shut women out of meetings in order to feel comfortable, the implication being that women (being the sexual Lilith-descended creatures that they are) would be, by necessity, unable to meet with men other than their husbands and so be unable to do their jobs, being shut out of better-paying, managerial or political careers or any situation where they could be alone with a man - much like the Cheney-mentored Vice President Pence's religious view, only rather than mentioning fundie-type religious paranoia and misogyny, the terror of a false accusation of sexual harassment is substituted.

We know what TPTB are, we know what they have done, and we know what they do. And this publicity campaign, seemingly finally addressing the issue and getting us all cheering this, reeks not of actually addressing sexual harassment but of adding in a propaganda campaign of using the very real abuses committed against women in so many businesses to shut them out of high-paid careers and silencing their political voices by shutting them out of public office via this excuse.

And, importantly, to create division between male and female activists, as they did between Black and White activists who could have been working together on stopping the police murders and other abuses of US citizens viewed as being more immediately disposable than others, based on skin colour, poverty, autism or other mental challenges making them perceived as being more vulnerable as far as liability goes, since the murdering police officers are often rewarded with a paid vacation, rather than being locked away from society, the inhabitants of which they could then no longer treat as they pleased with impunity.

In my view, what we're saying is, let's not go there. Let's work together on gaining human and citizen rights for all rather than viewing our allies as our enemies, as has been engineered too often before and which has stymied too many movements - until we wound up here.

I hope this explains my position a little better?

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10 users have voted.

Psychopathy is not a political position, whether labeled 'conservatism', 'centrism' or 'left'.

A tin labeled 'coffee' may be a can of worms or pathology identified by a lack of empathy/willingness to harm others to achieve personal desires.

Deja's picture

@Ellen North
I get it now, to a point.

By the time Franken came into the picture (no pun intended), there were actually three women here, on c99, who excused his behavior because his victim had been on the cover of Playboy. They also said that women should just move seats or give the guy a look if he's creeping or touching on them. I don't count them as "we", and this isn't 1950. To me, these women were, in no way, led to this type of antiquated thinking by recent news stories.

From the Boy Scouts letting girls join, to Franken, to Weinstein, to this latest essay, some of the men have made crude and/or hostile, sometimes outright shocking comments, that show that these are deeply held beliefs, not something they're being manipulated into thinking and feeling by TPTB. One wrote an essay about hurt fee fees, and chastised one of our members when she posted her horrendous experience with her stepdad when she was just a child. That member left, and took her substantial monthly site donation with her. I don't consider those men in "we" either.

I'm extremely grateful for the rest, who I do consider "we". I would happily hang out and have a beer or iced tea with any one of, or better yet, all of them. They are the ones who don't excuse the pervs. They are the ones listen, comfort and defend. They are what makes this such a great site!

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5 users have voted.

"The gatekeepers must change."
Prince

@Deja in perception also play a part. One of my friend's and I agree our outlooks on misogyny are generationally different maybe, and we're only 8 years apart, she's younger. For me, it also may have to do with the fact I've never had the really pernicious harassment that she did and to be blunt, she was a much better looking young woman than I was and was screamed at on the street relentlessly, I wasn't so much although my sister had it bad too. So there's shadings to it, and we've had some really good conversations exploring why we think that is.

My own mother did make cracks sometimes about "babes" and women "taking advantage of men" and this was a woman who was at least minimally feminist that she supported abortion long before any of her contemporaries did, even as a Tea Bag Repugnant. She worked and experienced her own harassment by a boss or two, but they were taught to accept it more maybe? And how she could listen to Limbaugh, I used to tell her "you have daughters you know, not sons. So I'm a feminazi too?" That just adds, in my opinion, one more element of these types of issues that maybe we can learn from. Maybe if we figure out where it's coming from, old programmed behavior perhaps, we can work through that? To shut down conversation gets us nowhere, IMHO.

But I do agree heartily with Ellen and others - the MSM right now is using this as they've used all other extremely emotional issues to divide. I do not believe they are making a truly good faith effort to bring this to light in order to eradicate it. They use it like they use race, gender and LGBT, as an accessory and a symbol of their virtue. I'm now on the full cynic side here as I am in party politics, can't help it, I don't trust them.

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5 users have voted.

@Deja

Yeah, there are a lot of ingrained attitudes which I'd have expected to have passed on some time ago, at least in the younger gens.

Some of those Playboy associations really surprised me, too, as though anyone modeling naked then was supposed to expect to be expected to 'put out' on demand, as though showing her skin made her public property. But some really do think that way...

You are so right; women shouldn't have to be always ready to tactfully edge away or remove errant hands from any portion of their anatomy just because some fat-headed egoist never learnt basic manners or apparently thinks he can push his way into getting his dick wet.

The onus shouldn't be on us to have to deal with crude passes/invasive moves, and most especially not in the workplace/when seeking employment!

One of our previous roommates (long gone, thank goodness, college student with some mental challenges of some kind) once made a statement about his dating attempt fails, and said something about not wanting to go out with 'a village bicycle that anyone could have', which I think is one of the most disgusting and telling statements I feel that anyone could make, in describing how they objectify women as potentially useful server-bots, showing how they feel that a woman - unlike a real human man - cannot choose even to have sex, but must be used and only by one man, or maybe a few in her life.

And he could not understand what that mindset revealed about him - and how it explained why he had trouble starting or having a relationship with one of those presumably 'privately owned-type' women. Not that I tried to tactfully cover the use of this phrase (left the rest) with him for long (he ran away, although I was very polite, I hope) - but the odd thing is that my other, female roommate didn't seem to really get it either. Or why I felt that he was creepy even before this, although she got that part before he actually left. But we couldn't afford him anyway, as he always seemed to expect us to supply him with things he never bothered to budget for, my feeling being that this was because we were female 'service-bots'.

I'm afraid that I'm not very good at explanations... but to me that's clearly rape culture unthinking.

In any event, as you've seen, I was viewing this current issue from the viewpoint of what seems to me (and others) as an opportunistic use made of this rather bizarre view of half the human race by some of the other half by propagandists and, importantly, of its effect on the perceptions and trust-level of both halves, (as with the previously mentioned propaganda use of that in the division of Black and White American activists in an essential and long over-due fight) as I was attempting to explain earlier. And the mere fact of having to separate Americans by their colour continues to strike me as very strange, as here, from my childhood, we've all just been Canadians, regardless of personal descriptions... not that the corporations now running our government will ultimately leave us anything of our remaining culture, even that. The corporate Division of Division hates it when we unify...

But I understand that not everyone had the advantage of being raised by a mother who was big on Women's Lib, buying books and taking Adult Ed psychology courses at a local university so that her adolescent daughter could read her texts as well (and pick holes in those trying to make one restricted pet theory fit all individuals) resulting in having been being sorta steeped (not that I remember details anymore, lol,) in the history of the struggle for person-hood for women from a fairly early age, which many people evidently haven't been.

So, I can accept that some people, especially when raised in an earlier time/more primitive religion, may never throw off their inculcated perceptions but, where necessary, they do have to learn to control their actions when they feel an urge to use anyone else, which is what law is supposed to reinforce. At least, in a country of law, not men. Sigh...

This is a stressful and depressing topic, but I am glad that at least we get to discuss it here. Not much hope of progress if understanding is stymied by a lack of conversation. And I don't get any feeling of anyone here supporting sexual or other predation, thank goodness!

up
6 users have voted.

Psychopathy is not a political position, whether labeled 'conservatism', 'centrism' or 'left'.

A tin labeled 'coffee' may be a can of worms or pathology identified by a lack of empathy/willingness to harm others to achieve personal desires.

Centaurea's picture

@Ellen North Now it's my turn to applaud uncontrollably :D. Seriously, I appreciate very much the comments you're making here. You're tying together a lot of the elements surrounding this issue, and are mirroring what I think is the common female experience of life.

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3 users have voted.

"Don't go back to sleep ... Don't go back to sleep ... Don't go back to sleep."
~Rumi

"If you want revolution, be it."
~Caitlin Johnstone

@Centaurea

Thanks and hugs!

Unfortunately, multiple self-interests/agenda-benders generally seem to wind up playing us to our detriment in so many ways on so many issues...

Rape is devastating, seriously messes the victim's life up, and sexual assault/harassment has caused so much damage to so many that it's difficult for a number of us to discuss this calmly precisely because it is so common, and also because it has been so often dismissed, even with the victims blamed, that some come to expect and may even perceive this as occurring where the opposite is intended, which is certainly understandable under the circumstances.

But this needs to be discussed - and needs to eliminated as an 'acceptable' thing for anyone to inflict on anyone, of either gender.

This will not happen without free discussion, public awareness and our successful avoidance of the seemingly usual PR manipulation intended to divide and weaken us. I suspect that this sort of divisive manipulation is what's been breaking up and destroying the Left all along; they always accuse their intended victims of what they do themselves. That's their MO. In this circumstance, it could be said that we have nothing to fear but again falling for their social-engineering-generated fear and distrust of ourselves and our allies. Divided, we fall.

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2 users have voted.

Psychopathy is not a political position, whether labeled 'conservatism', 'centrism' or 'left'.

A tin labeled 'coffee' may be a can of worms or pathology identified by a lack of empathy/willingness to harm others to achieve personal desires.

@Ellen North anything.

You aren't necessarily responsible for other people's assumptions and conclusions.

By writing a lengthy clarification, you've essentially told the person that his/her assumptions and conclusions are correct, when, in this case, his/her conclusion seems quite a leap, IMO.

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2 users have voted.

dfarrah

Pluto's Republic's picture

In my opinion, under no circumstances should you personally attempt to moderate such discussions on a comment-by-comment basis, even though you are very good at it.

But… I have a profound anti-moderation bias, and a discerning anti-authoritian streak wide enough to protect an entire continent from bullshit propaganda. So, I could be overprotective and completely wrong about this one last piece of advice.

@Pluto's Republic

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13 users have voted.

@Pluto's Republic

Back to typing with my nose, due to compulsive applause keeping both typing fingers busy - you guys are really keeping my nose running, lol. You'd think I'd be used to the outstanding commentary here...

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4 users have voted.

Psychopathy is not a political position, whether labeled 'conservatism', 'centrism' or 'left'.

A tin labeled 'coffee' may be a can of worms or pathology identified by a lack of empathy/willingness to harm others to achieve personal desires.

divineorder's picture

@Ellen North of reading them I experience them as being unifying.

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0 users have voted.

A truth of the nuclear age/climate change: we can no longer have endless war and survive on this planet. Oh sh*t.

TheOtherMaven's picture

but in some respects it still could have been written today. Men and women still do inhabit two different worlds. Men and women still don't understand each other and have trouble communicating with each other.

The book drifts in and out of publication, maybe because it tells a few too many home truths. Wikipoodia claims it deals with "gender roles and sexual identity", but it's ever so much more than that. It's also the way society structures gender roles and expectations, and what happens when those roles and expectations are forced poles apart and the connection is broken. (Not surprisingly, Wikipoodia has NO link to a description of the actual book.)

I think it's out of print again now, surprise surprise, but copies can still be obtained...for a price.

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18 users have voted.

There is no justice. There can be no peace.

QMS's picture

@TheOtherMaven respectfully shared without antagonism, at least in the sphere in which I care to live. Where you find separation there can also be found inclusion. Commonality and the language of shared hope transcends the false divides being cast at us. I try to find a better us.

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12 users have voted.
TheOtherMaven's picture

@QMS
because if we don't try, nothing will ever change.

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15 users have voted.

There is no justice. There can be no peace.

QMS's picture

@TheOtherMaven change can be trying. Agreed. Without willful change we diminish constructive solutions.

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11 users have voted.
Centaurea's picture

@QMS
Bravo. I can't stop smiling, reading this.

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9 users have voted.

"Don't go back to sleep ... Don't go back to sleep ... Don't go back to sleep."
~Rumi

"If you want revolution, be it."
~Caitlin Johnstone

@TheOtherMaven

Maybe I'll wind up with one of those cute little snub noses, since so many fabulous comments and points, as with yours about societal expectations, keep me too busy clapping and cheering to type with anything else. Bonus!

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4 users have voted.

Psychopathy is not a political position, whether labeled 'conservatism', 'centrism' or 'left'.

A tin labeled 'coffee' may be a can of worms or pathology identified by a lack of empathy/willingness to harm others to achieve personal desires.

mhagle's picture

That is why we are passionate. Thank you for the essay and comments that encourage us all to view each other with greater deference and compassion. As for the angst between the sexes, it is real. The past five years I came to see it everywhere. But we have an opportunity here to go higher, and recognize that everyone is affected. I have known female pain, but I also know that any male aggressors I knew were in their own pain. So as everyone has stated here so far . . . humility, respect, empathy, non-judgement. We will give those things to each other.

I am so thankful for c99 because I don't have anyone - except my 16 year old son on most subjects - with whom I can speak frankly in person.

Poetry for c99:

Arthur O'Shaughnessy

We are the music makers,
And we are the dreamers of dreams,
Wandering by lone sea-breakers
And sitting by desolate streams;—
World-losers and world-forsakers,
On whom the pale moon gleams:
Yet we are the movers and shakers
Of the world for ever, it seems.

One of those historic catholic dudes who got it right and had the heart of a c99er:

Pierre Teilhard de Chardin

On the steppes of Asia, Chardin found himself without bread, or wine or an altar. He prayed to the Lord,

"I, your priest, will make the whole earth my altar and on it will offer you all the labors and suffering of the world. ... all the things in the world to which this day will bring increase; all those that will diminish; all those too that will die; all of them Lord, I try to gather into my arms so as to hold them out to you in offering."

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23 users have voted.

Marilyn

Let's save the planet for our kids. Tree Hugger to the end.

Everyone make a concerted effort to be civil.

if we can't do this, we are finished anyway. do not try to sweep it under the rug.

I would say that the much - applauded TB mare arrived insulting people.

tell her to find another way to say it.
what happened to " we are adults who can discuss anything."

wink and a "list" of about ten bad actors?
bullshit.

let's get back to "make your case, pal."

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8 users have voted.

@irishking
this is not fight club and not the essay to bring it to.

As far as being civil go reread your comments in the essay you jumped over from and I don't appreciate you dragging it here.

Do you have anything constructive to say about this essay?

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25 users have voted.

@JtC

Do you have anything constructive to say about this essay?

I will reply in a separate comment, mi jefe.

let me collect myself. un momento.

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3 users have voted.

@JtC @JtC

here is my take. ymmv.

Anyone interested should read the thread in its entirety and judge for themselves what happened. some highlights.

1.RA arrived with "whining men" and STFU.

2. Big Al says some welcome things and is ok.

2. TB mare arrived with "poor,poor, man" and "cry me a fucking river, you poor,poor, man."

3. TB mare immediately hooks up with RA. team good to go.

4. Untimely Ripped answers TB mare and gets tagteamed pronto.
hostile to the max. it is over, folks!

5. I ask RA to consider the effect of STFU and "whiners" I ask if we are being encouraged to fight among ourselves. RA responds to none of that but objects to use of "as a wedge" description.

6. Big Al asks if "anyone has yet been innocent". (to applause.)

7. ik says "we don't know." WRONG!

9. RA says "oh, but we do know" since some have admitted to something.
To claim that this means all are guilty was just too much for me to take.
in my opinion, use of the word "once" in my reply title was condescending, but civil in view of the provocation. With the exception of that one word I double down on everything I said on that thread and this.


I believe that the arrival of TB mare was the tipping point.
RA now had an ally even more hostile than she was. the exchange with Untimely was very nasty. TB mare led off and set the tone.

while you said nothing. Ra could have been brought up short. TBm also. nada.
Wink gets a stern talking to. wink may have been wrong and clueless, but I don't remember him being mean and angry. That is where we went wrong, in my opinion.

and that is what I bring to the essay. If anyone wants to address the problem, read the thread and see what happened.

gracias, senores.


condenadme,no importa, la historia me absolvera.

edit. corrected timeline. style .

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6 users have voted.

@irishking
for fucking up this thread partner. Where does it say in my essay to drag shit here from another essay. I asked for solutions to the problem not a laundry list of grievances. All you're doing is perpetuating the fighting. It's getting old, bud.

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9 users have voted.

@JtC

that is what I saw happen on the thread. I have no problem with the truth.
If I got it wrong, show me.

not a list of grievances, but an attempt to show what happened .
my conclusions are as stated.

that is how you solve a problem.
you have to be willing to look.

if you consider that to be dragging shit over for a fight, then we see things very differently.

I have called no names, made no wild accusations.

I stand by every word I said but "once". lol.

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2 users have voted.

@JtC

por favor!

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0 users have voted.

well, two. I think we missed an opportunity to find a solution to the "What to do about sexual harassment?" question when Franken was accused. He was a sympathetic figure in that he was supporting legislation aimed at bolstering women's rights. It was a time to say how bad is bad, and what would it take to make amends, and how do we prevent this in the future? That's what I see forums such as this being the ideal. But, it takes a community, people who have enough trust and wisdom in each other to hash out what is acceptable or not between themselves. And this situation (sexual harassment)is unacceptable.

As for the destruction of a forum (such as this) maybe the hosts could declare a free for all or free wheeling discussion (be polite) or something, for 2...3...days and then close the question, and then ask for solutions, maybe vote, and anything not striving for a positive solution is banned?

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11 users have voted.
mimi's picture

I would like to apologize for having gotten sucked into comments about the sexual/gender harassment issue here. I would say it was unintended, because I had no clue what kind of a reaction my first initial comment would trigger. I regret to not have backed out of responding to comments. In fact, I had no special interest in the issue. I just couldn't believe what happened and why.

I feel the issue is used to drive a community into a divisive discussion on purpose. Unfortunately I am that cynical these days to believe that. It took me years to understand that when I was reading dailykos. I have to say that I was really surprised about how people responded to me. I learned a lot through it. I regret if my comments caused others to leave this site. I realize many people leave this site and I don't understand why. It would be nice they would explain themselves. I miss a lot who left and wished they came back. And then, leaving is easy, staying and participating is hard. I think it's not very kind to leave towards those, who put so much work into this site.

I stopped reading dailykos and left there after 11 years. Most of the times things I read on dailykos either angered me or triggered too much of a fan-like respect for some authors. Both I thought was not 'quite right'. I left out of emotional exhaustion reading essays and discussions there. I am a little less tired reading here, but certain issues lead me to think, oh gosh, do you have to repeat your pov so often?

I happened to come here, because I really like the Evening Blues and lookout's Sunday's Weekly watch and political/economic analysis essays. And some of the authors just for their way of using words or for their special knowledge in issues. They are funny, educational and enlightening.

I hope the site sticks mostly to political issues.

As for moderating essays and discussions. As this site is small, a few users can drive the site's atmosphere into directions of their own choice and 'occupy' the site. As most here might have been righteous occupiers themselves, I think they have to be able to handle to be on the receiving end as well. But make some noise if they pee on the site and point them to the nearest 'restroom' and lock them in there til they 'have done their business of peeing'.

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15 users have voted.

@mimi

As far as I can recall, there was nothing in any of your comments there which I read last night (assuming that this is all referring to the same thread, although I will have missed any additions there following my shutting-down for the night) which I would have thought in any way offensive and am not sure how they might have taken that way...

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1 user has voted.

Psychopathy is not a political position, whether labeled 'conservatism', 'centrism' or 'left'.

A tin labeled 'coffee' may be a can of worms or pathology identified by a lack of empathy/willingness to harm others to achieve personal desires.

mimi's picture

@Ellen North
essay from December 11th about Sexual Harrassment and the Court of Public Opinion.

But really these discussions are extending now over a week and I have not the slightest interest to continue them. Give it a rest. This answer is just for your own clarification.

I would say, blame it all on God, that's easy and we are good and can continue wondering about 'the little differences' between the genders, races and religions in the privacy of our minds.

Peace, please.

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2 users have voted.
janis b's picture

Possibly, it might be helpful if some of the other site-moderators, as long as they feel comfortable, share the moderation with you. I say that for two reasons. One, so the responsibility is not yours alone; and two, because the people being addressed may hear things differently from different moderators, and then possibly respond differently.

If that, along with self-moderation doesn’t work, then I lean toward closing down the comments. If the issues can’t be discussed with the consideration they deserve then maybe they should be addressed at another time, when the subject is not so hot everywhere you look. I think the catalyst is clearly present, and that’s a good thing. I just wonder if everyone needs more time for reflection. The result might ultimately be favourable all around. I relate it to the volatile experiences we’ve all had in our closest real life relationships. If satisfaction and understanding can be reached, it’s because we paused for a minute or two to listen to the other and consider.

Your care and dedication to the site is a very special thing, as is the community here. If we all don’t show more respect and take time for consideration, then it could be lost.

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16 users have voted.
gulfgal98's picture

@janis b I am one of those on site moderators. I have expressed my opinion above on discussion of hot button topics. Regardless, in the end, JtC is the benevolent owner of this site and it is his name that goes with it, so his opinion carries greater weight with me. As a mod, I try to keep that in mind.

Despite the fact that we are moderators, we all also have our own slants and biases on various issues. I know that I clearly do and often do not express my personal bias if I do not believe it adds value to this site and the discussions we are having here. My personal opinions that I do express come from my own long range and big picture view on issues that affect us all. That does not mean I believe we should sweep other issues under the rug, but my personal focus has been in a different and broader direction.

I think that one thing each of us should ask ourselves is what do we see as the purpose of this website. And perhaps this is a discussion we have been overlooking. I am sure that everyone's opinion may be different and part of my comment above goes to that bigger picture view of this site as far as my own personal opinion.

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14 users have voted.

"I don't want to run the empire, I want to bring it down!" ~Dr. Cornel West "...isn't the problem here that the government takes on, arbitrarily and without justification, an adversarial attitude towards its citizenry?" ~CantStoptheMacedonianSignal

janis b's picture

@gulfgal98

I very much appreciate both yours and Mollie’s contributions as moderators. You’re both so well informed and considered in your comments and responses, whether as moderators or in a personal context. You elevate the discussions. The two questions you ask yourself are ones that are most relevant and supportive of the conversations here. Thank you.

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6 users have voted.
gulfgal98's picture

@janis b You are most kind.

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3 users have voted.

"I don't want to run the empire, I want to bring it down!" ~Dr. Cornel West "...isn't the problem here that the government takes on, arbitrarily and without justification, an adversarial attitude towards its citizenry?" ~CantStoptheMacedonianSignal

smiley7's picture

quality trumps quantity, love hate and so on given time.

"We are here to learn," ~ JtC

As Shakespeare shared, we are not too old that we may learn.

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16 users have voted.
Unabashed Liberal's picture

because this issue is so painful and emotional, I've opted--with the exception of expressing myself to Steven D, some time ago--to comment only on the 'political' aspect of this topic, as it relates to the MSM and politicians/lawmakers/candidates. (I have a 14 December NYT piece to post on this topic, later.)

Personally, I don't see this topic as a wedge issue, although I suppose that it could be in conservative blogging communities, considering their more patriarchal tendencies/worldview. Thank goodness, that's not C99P!

Pleasantry

For certain, by expressing this 'political' viewpoint, it's not my aim or intention to shutdown, or belittle discussion of this painful topic. My apologies to Deja or any other member, or reader, if that's how my words have come across. My comments have been related to the conduct of the media, not the conduct of the survivors of abuse.

Believe me, I'm well aware that the ability to open up, and speak of sexual abuse violations in a friendly and supportive environment, can be healing, in and of itself.

Mollie


"Being deeply loved by someone gives you strength, while loving someone deeply gives you courage."--Lao Tzu
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17 users have voted.

"The power of accurate observation is commonly called cynicism by those who have not got it."
--George Bernard Shaw, Irish Dramatist & Socialist
"We [corporations] are the government!" Actor John Colicos (1978)

Deja's picture

@Unabashed Liberal
I just need someone to, please, connect the dots between a subject as old as human existence (with very slow progress made since then), and it being called orchestrated propaganda, now that it's finally being talked about, out in the open and in the media.

If someone, anyone, can connect the dots, I'd be greatly appreciative. If I can't see the connection, which has been the case, every time I've tried to get an explanation that makes sense to me, then I see it as a dismissal. Doesn't make it so, but it's certainly what it feels like, to me.

I have the utmost respect for you, and hope you can help me understand the connection that you see.

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12 users have voted.

"The gatekeepers must change."
Prince

Unabashed Liberal's picture

@Deja

I may have hurt you (after reading your comments in this thread), and that was the farthest thing from my mind. I am very sorry.

Let me run 'the B' out. Then, I'll be back, and give it my best try.

Mollie

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6 users have voted.

"The power of accurate observation is commonly called cynicism by those who have not got it."
--George Bernard Shaw, Irish Dramatist & Socialist
"We [corporations] are the government!" Actor John Colicos (1978)

Unabashed Liberal's picture

@Unabashed Liberal

in rain, and 'the B' is getting pretty feeble.

Okay, maybe I should begin with 'there's absolutely no smoking gun that I can offer.' Actually, over the past couple weeks or so, I did try to lay out my thinking on the topic of the MSM's attempt to create [what I perceive as] a milieu in which to 'retry' the Donald. I am, of course, referring to the fact that there were a slew of (DT) sexual assault accusers who came forward with their stories in October of 2016, but, it appears that the charges were mostly ignored, since some 63-65 million Americans went to the polls in November, and cast a vote for him. The rest is history, as they say.

As pretty much a news hound, I've noticed that since the Romney speech in March 2016, most of Cable News has been a relentless onslaught of negative commentary, etc., about anything and everything to do with DT, his family, and his Administration (much of it deserved, undoubtedly). Excepting Fox News Channel, of course. And, even when there are what would normally have been considered major news stories--terrorist attacks (San Bernardino, NYC), hurricanes (Harvey, etc.), or mass shootings (Orlando, Nevada, etc.)--Cable News coverage of it is mostly cursory. (To be fair, they did give a couple or three days, each, to Harvey and Orlando and Nevada, before they fell off the radar.)

Including, when TV icon--Bill Cosby, who had approximately 60 charges of documented (alleged) assault charges--went to trial this past spring/summer. From my observation, the Cable News channels mostly covered this spectacle as an 'aside.'

So, when the Weinstein accusations came up, and the MSM/Cables News hosts/ jumped into the conversation with great relish for several weeks--nonstop--it caught my attention. (And it wasn't, at all, because I regarded these events/accusations as unimportant. It was because it was so unusual for the MSM to allow their attention to be diverted.)

Somewhere around week three (after Weinstein's story broke), the talking heads began to make reference to DT's earlier accusers. Soon, stories retelling their accounts/stories begin to crop up in MSM print media (WaPo, NYT, etc.). In a couple more weeks, after the resignations of Franken and Conyers--there were loud calls for DT's resignation, and/or calls for him to be 'held accountable.'

To be clear, it's not that I believe that the accusers' stories have been fabrications. My point has always been that I believe that when the Weinstein story first broke, the MSM decided that pursuing this story would provide them a 'platform' to call for the re-litigation of DT's accusers' charges.

IOW, they were both 'opportunistic' and/or cynical in their pursuit of these stories.

Folks may recall that I looked it up, and it was 3 October when the Weinstein story broke. At that time, the Comey/Mueller investigations had been ongoing since July of 2015--and had yet to yield an indictment, or a smoking gun. I 'suspect' that the bipartisan Deep State/One Percent/MSM had concerns that the Russia saga would be a bust. As a result, they may have reasoned that sexual assault charges could provide them with a 'backup' narrative, upon which they could build a case for bringing articles of Impeachment--if Russia didn't pan out.

Regardless, however, of the MSM's ulterior motive--or my impression of it--in no way does it detract from anyone's account of sexual abuse/assault/harassment. Period. End of story. At least, not in my opinion.

Or, to put it another way, my obvious disdain for the MSM should not be mistaken for disdain of any survivors (or accusers) of sexual assault.

Hope that helps explain my views. If others don't share them, it's okay with me, and probably to be expected. It is quite simply my 'opinion.' Nothing more.

I hope this helps clarify my points, Deja.

(But ask away, if it doesn't. Pleasantry )

Mollie

[In advance, please excuse typos. For the sake of time, I'll come back and proof it, and make corrections, accordingly.]

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21 users have voted.

"The power of accurate observation is commonly called cynicism by those who have not got it."
--George Bernard Shaw, Irish Dramatist & Socialist
"We [corporations] are the government!" Actor John Colicos (1978)

@Unabashed Liberal

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8 users have voted.
Unabashed Liberal's picture

@irishking

got anything out of my long-winded comment--considering all the typos!

Biggrin

Mollie


"Being deeply loved by someone gives you strength, while loving someone deeply gives you courage."--Lao Tzu
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4 users have voted.

"The power of accurate observation is commonly called cynicism by those who have not got it."
--George Bernard Shaw, Irish Dramatist & Socialist
"We [corporations] are the government!" Actor John Colicos (1978)

Deja's picture

@Unabashed Liberal
That certainly helps. Sure wish others could be that easy to understand. Several just say it's propaganda, and that's that. No further explanation, which definitely comes across as an attempt to shut down the conversation - especially when clarification is requested.

I'm not going to stop calling out people who defend ogres and/or slut shame, though - especially here, because it's an insult to my sensibilities to read it here, of all places. I still remember Anita Hill. That was a travesty. Not going to sit silently. I just can't.

Thanks again, for your easy to follow explanation. Smile

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12 users have voted.

"The gatekeepers must change."
Prince

@Deja I've mentioned that here once before I believe. Being married to a black man at the time, we both took that as trying to not put a black judge on the SC. Bought it hook, line and sinker. He's my ex now and I wonder sometimes if he feels the same about that as I do now. He does have a daughter...

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4 users have voted.
Unabashed Liberal's picture

@Deja

'say your peace.'

I hope that my comments/opinions are never responsible for squelching another Community member's ability, or willingness to express themselves freely; so, never hesitate to ask me for clarification, if it appears that I'm trying to shut down a conversation. (That would basically be counter to everything that I believe in.)

Have a good one!

Mollie


"Being deeply loved by someone gives you strength, while loving someone deeply gives you courage."--Lao Tzu
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5 users have voted.

"The power of accurate observation is commonly called cynicism by those who have not got it."
--George Bernard Shaw, Irish Dramatist & Socialist
"We [corporations] are the government!" Actor John Colicos (1978)

janis b's picture

@Unabashed Liberal

you are beyond belief ; ).

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4 users have voted.
Unabashed Liberal's picture

@janis b

beyond kind and supportive; always so quick to find 'the good' in Everybody.

Pleasantry

Mollie

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4 users have voted.

"The power of accurate observation is commonly called cynicism by those who have not got it."
--George Bernard Shaw, Irish Dramatist & Socialist
"We [corporations] are the government!" Actor John Colicos (1978)

janis b's picture

@Unabashed Liberal

the downer of looking for ‘the bad’ ; ).

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2 users have voted.

Thanks Jtc for all the work you do to keep this site running.

Have tried to comment twice and the gremlins are giving me grief. Would be nice if we could always have civil discourse but it does not work that way. At some point if people cannot agree to disagree,I feel it is OK to step in and if this does not calm the comments then end the comments for that thread.

Find the comments are a valuable part of any essay posted and bring more to the table. It also makes this feel like we are a community on life's highway and I personally gain a lot from this community.

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18 users have voted.

Life is what you make it, so make it something worthwhile.

This ain't no dress rehearsal!

Not Henry Kissinger's picture

Except not quite this way:

This community I speak of blew itself up over a very divisive issue, IP (Israel/Palestine). If I remember the timeline correctly a comment was made in a diary that the administrator deemed as antisemitic and the commenter was banned. Several folks disagreed with the banning. This led to several dueling heated diaries on the I/P subject, tempers came to the boiling point. Members lashed out at each other, it was ugly. Lines were drawn, fingers were pointed, folks that were allies became enemies.

You're being too nice to the people responsible.

The way I remember it, a couple of power hungry admins (who were not the owners) went on a mad banning spree because they simply would not tolerate any criticism of the Israeli government and the IDF in suppressing Palestinian protests.

In order to justify their blogrom, they dishonestly conflated criticism of Israel with anti-semitism and used this pretext as an excuse to abuse their positions of authority and summarily ban anybody who disagreed with them.

Once they banned enough folks (yes, I was one), the rest left in disgust over the ham-fisted censorship.

So no, I don't believe the community blew itself up over the I/P debate. It was blown up by two fanatics who simply didn't want to hear the debate, and who frankly had no business 'moderating' a blog community in the first place.

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18 users have voted.

"Friends don't let friends Russiagate." - Caitlin Johnstone

@Not Henry Kissinger

thx.

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6 users have voted.

@Not Henry Kissinger
You and I were good buds on that blog. Your memory is better than mine, and you are correct I purposely was more kind than you. But technically even if it was the excuse for what happened, it was I/P that was the catalyst. And wasn't the whole thing touched off when Inky was banned for a comment he made? I really don't remember that well. But I do remember the total destruction of the blog and that is what stuck with me.

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10 users have voted.
Not Henry Kissinger's picture

@JtC

@JtC But technically even if it was the excuse for what happened, it was I/P that was the catalyst.

wasn't the topic. In fact, before the admins took it upon themselves to censor opposing views, the discussion, while heated at times, was surprisingly civil and thoughtful. It was only after the bad behavior of the people running the blog made the situation untenable that people started leaving in droves - a point a number of us made at the time.

In fairness, Buhdy didn't much like IP discussions because he said they were too divisive, but by that time he had pretty much checked out from his own blog (for personal reasons) and left us to the tender mercies of the bullies, who cited that fear as a justification for suppressing opinions they didn't like. In that way I think Budhy's fear of IP destroying the blog became a self fulfilling prophesy.

The point is that it wasn't the topic that killed the blog, it was the admins' suppression of the topic that was the true culprit. I strongly believe that if those two hadn't acted the way they did, the blog would have been just fine. People would have made their points, had their arguments, moved on to the next issue, and the community in the long run would have been stronger for it.

Bottom line, bad management killed docudharma, not bad topics.

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11 users have voted.

"Friends don't let friends Russiagate." - Caitlin Johnstone

@Not Henry Kissinger
as I said, your memory of the incident is better than mine.

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6 users have voted.
Not Henry Kissinger's picture

@JtC

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7 users have voted.

"Friends don't let friends Russiagate." - Caitlin Johnstone

Not Henry Kissinger's picture

@JtC @JtC

about inky being the first casualty, but what really got the ball rolling was when they banned dharmasyd, a sweet old lady with a keen intellect, a great sense of humor, and a kind word for just about everybody.

For many, including me, that was a bridge too far. My last comment before I was banned said just that.

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9 users have voted.

"Friends don't let friends Russiagate." - Caitlin Johnstone

@Not Henry Kissinger
wasn't Syd accused of being a nazi or some such. That one was really over the top.

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8 users have voted.
Not Henry Kissinger's picture

@JtC

It was a real travesty what happened. We had all put a lot into that place, and to see it suddenly suicided like that was tough.

Nice to have an opportunity to chat about all this.

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5 users have voted.

"Friends don't let friends Russiagate." - Caitlin Johnstone

@Not Henry Kissinger
old buddy.

I lurked at DKos starting in 2003-2004, read the site every day, but couldn't bring myself to join. Then one day I followed one of buhdy's links to his site, read just a little bit and knew I had found a home, I joined right then and there. That was 2009.

What happened in the conflagration there was like a kick in the stomach. I didn't get banned but I banished myself to wandering the void. Then we found writingintheraw and something similar happened there.

You are absolutely right about the mismanagement and I learned a great deal from that. I hope that reflects in my style here. I witnessed the pitfalls and try like hell to avoid them.

Thanks man, yeah it is therapeutic.

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9 users have voted.
Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

@Not Henry Kissinger How can you ban dharmasyd? Holy cannoli.

It would be like banning mhagle!

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4 users have voted.

The part of John Edwards could easily be played by a burnt out light bulb.
--strollingone

The issue is patriotism. You've got to get back to your planet and stop the Commies. All it takes is a few good men.
--Q

Morire de cara sol.
--Jose Marti

Not Henry Kissinger's picture

@Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal @Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal

@Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal How can you ban dharmasyd?

Just goes to show how beserk they went.

Between the two of them I figure they must have banned at least ten hardcore regulars - many of whom had been with Budhy since he first broke from Agent Orange. I think I was the fourth or fifth to get banned.

They ripped the guts out of the place, all so they could lord over the corpse.

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6 users have voted.

"Friends don't let friends Russiagate." - Caitlin Johnstone

Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

@Not Henry Kissinger Sheee-iiittt!

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3 users have voted.

The part of John Edwards could easily be played by a burnt out light bulb.
--strollingone

The issue is patriotism. You've got to get back to your planet and stop the Commies. All it takes is a few good men.
--Q

Morire de cara sol.
--Jose Marti

mhagle's picture

@deja

IMO this woman articulates how TPTB diminished the severity of this issue by using it to their political advantage.

"A Survivor’s Defense of Al Franken” @SIIPCampaigns https://medium.com/@SIIPCampaigns/a-survivors-defense-of-al-franken-ea99...

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9 users have voted.

Marilyn

Let's save the planet for our kids. Tree Hugger to the end.

EdMass's picture

accused and accusers, whatever that may be in each of the individual cases.

C99 cannot decide a general due process for all cases.

C99 can decry that all that is coming out is disturbing and wrong.

We can debate the cultural and sociological circumstances that have brought us to this point.

Don't know if this is Waterloo based on your take.

If you feel you have to do something, better to exclude the topic rather than take administrative actions. I think this community is better than that.

You might peg this at the top of the Home Page so all can see it rather than let it drift down the posts lists and many might not get the message

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2 users have voted.

"I'd love to change the world
But I don't know what to do
So I'll leave it up to you"

Alvin Lee - Ten Years After

Stop the War!

LeChienHarry's picture

for the information provided by JtC and the commenters in the thread, I have my own observation.

It seems that a well thought out essay with the difficulties stated clearly from JtC and other mods seems to have brought out the best in all the comments ( a couple of exceptions).

Personally, after reading through all this I come down on a different answer: when things get contentious a nice essay just as this one from the owner and maybe mods seems to bring out the best in us all.

Those who have stoked the chooses sides and you're the bad guy line need the quiet suggestions to step away from the keyboard. Then before people leave or the first one sends a private message, get on with an essay while we take a collective time out.

Using what I have seen here in this essay and thread as a model. Thank you all for trying so hard to make this work, and especially JtC. I really appreciate those who have rewritten words to clarify and to issue apologies for previous possible too strong comments.

I do wish some voices I truly miss would come back as they offer part of the glue which keeps us together. I have watched and gotten caught up in truly awful POV on the other site without meaning to. This resonates as the community means as much as any information or analysis I may gain.

Thank you all and Joyeuses Fêtes whatever they may be.

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12 users have voted.

You may choose to look the other way, but you can never say again you did not know. ~ William Wiberforce

If you can donate, please! POP Money is available for bank-to-bank transfers. Email JtC to make a monthly donation.

Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

as people interpret my attempts to hold us together and preserve the site as "not caring" about women, survivors of sexual assault, etc.

The reason I have talked so much about media manipulation is that I truly believe the reason this issue is being highlighted by the five media multinationals is to create the exact result we are experiencing here, online and offline, across the country, just as they did previously with race. I believed that if we recognized that, we could engage with one another on this topic differently, with an eye toward making sure the manipulation didn't work--and perhaps even reclaiming the topic for ourselves.

It hasn't had the desired result. People just got angry. Maybe they thought I was saying we shouldn't discuss the subject; sometimes they said that I believed the stories weren't true, though I was as clear about that as I could be.

My idea for this site was to have a place where people could discuss things without fear of censorship or reprisal, AND take a civic responsibility to preserve the site and treat members with respect--because we care about each other and want this place to continue to exist.

I want that to succeed. It's more important than people think. That kind of discussion is in sharp decline everywhere.

However, I've only got one remaining thing I've thought of that might help, which is to tell my story, thus bringing everything down to earth: this happened to this one woman (girl, at the time), this is how she felt about it, this is how she feels about the way the issue is being dealt with on high at this time, etc.

But every time I think about writing my story I feel a profound distaste and reluctance to do so. There's about fifteen things I'd rather write about than that. C99, though important to me, has not yet been important enough that I want to dredge up the feelings I had over 35 years ago when I was under the domination of a pretty terrible person. At 12, the rapist fills the sky, especially when he is a persistent presence in your life. I don't especially want to revisit that in the way I would have to if I wrote my story. Those of you who are writers will understand--you can't exactly insulate yourself while writing.

I'd really like us to be able to solve this with reason, so that I don't have to dredge up some of the worst emotions of my life in order to (hopefully) short-circuit the hostility around here.

Three basic ideas.

Freedom of speech is fine, but speech also has consequences. The wise man--or woman--takes them into consideration before speaking.

It's a truism that the elites and, therefore, the media that they own, want to divide non-elites up. Preferably, they'd like them split into warring camps spitting vitriol at one another. If you accept that as true, seems to me that you would want to refuse to cooperate with them. If not, why would you be here in the first place? That doesn't mean take any behavior that's handed out, in order to preserve a fake harmony. It does mean that everyone should be skeptical of any impulse to divide ourselves up into warring camps, whether it comes from oneself or others.

If you care about caucus99percent, or want it to be around in the future, in the midst of your emotions, whatever they may be and whichever side of this issue you are on, spare a thought for the site. It would be really easy for it to wither and die. How would you feel the morning you came to the site and realized it was all over?

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10 users have voted.

The part of John Edwards could easily be played by a burnt out light bulb.
--strollingone

The issue is patriotism. You've got to get back to your planet and stop the Commies. All it takes is a few good men.
--Q

Morire de cara sol.
--Jose Marti

@Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal

Just going to pause in my thunderous applause long enough to send a giant hug to that 12-year-old... and pass the kleenex as soon as I grab another. I'm so sorry...

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7 users have voted.

Psychopathy is not a political position, whether labeled 'conservatism', 'centrism' or 'left'.

A tin labeled 'coffee' may be a can of worms or pathology identified by a lack of empathy/willingness to harm others to achieve personal desires.

Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

@Ellen North I won. Smile

I'm an independent woman with my own mind and a life that I'm pretty happy with.

But thank you for the hug, and the support. I felt very alone back then, and a little crazy. Didn't really understand what was happening. Hysterical amnesia (boy do they need another name for that) is a bitch.

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3 users have voted.

The part of John Edwards could easily be played by a burnt out light bulb.
--strollingone

The issue is patriotism. You've got to get back to your planet and stop the Commies. All it takes is a few good men.
--Q

Morire de cara sol.
--Jose Marti

@Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal

One small correction:

'...I'm an amazing and independent woman with my own mind and a life that I'm pretty happy with....'

I was 17, and utterly devastated by that single incident. At 12, I think I'd never have recovered... I knew you were amazing before, just not how much and in how many ways!

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2 users have voted.

Psychopathy is not a political position, whether labeled 'conservatism', 'centrism' or 'left'.

A tin labeled 'coffee' may be a can of worms or pathology identified by a lack of empathy/willingness to harm others to achieve personal desires.

@Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal And I don't want you to have to dredge up some horrible thing from the past to justify your position. I don't think that's fair to ask. I think you have more than made your very good points. IMHO.

I don't think I've written anything too tactless but I very well may have. I am not always good at tact and in fact, find it very difficult sometimes. But I agree media is cheapening and demeaning women's, and men's, very real trauma for ratings and the PTB agenda. These people will use or say anything to get their way, they do not have shame or empathy or anything much resembling human. Not anymore, they sold that a long time ago.

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6 users have voted.
Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

@lizzyh7 Well, my view is that they can't be a bunch of corrupt, untrustworthy bastards reporting lies from Feb-November 2016 and then suddenly become a bunch of reliable narrators who report things for the sake of the truth and the common good; not unless they've had a huge turnover in their CEOs and corporate boards.

Very few people on this board have ever been tactless to me. It's one of the reasons I like it so well!

You and me are fine, lizzy.

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3 users have voted.

The part of John Edwards could easily be played by a burnt out light bulb.
--strollingone

The issue is patriotism. You've got to get back to your planet and stop the Commies. All it takes is a few good men.
--Q

Morire de cara sol.
--Jose Marti

divineorder's picture

@Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal @Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal Use a few links to back up your speculation on the collusion of the press, or a least be clear that this a best guess and not hard fact.

One additional thing would be to encourage you and a few others to back off feeling you have to police anyone who thinks the way forward is to work with the shell and legal advantages of the Democratic Party and the institutional bars to a third party.

Thanks.

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4 users have voted.

A truth of the nuclear age/climate change: we can no longer have endless war and survive on this planet. Oh sh*t.

Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

@divineorder No problem; I'd already decided that conversation had come to the point where I was ceasing to say anything useful.

However, if somebody actually asks me my opinion--or asks those of us who share my views--I'm going to respond honestly, of course.

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6 users have voted.

The part of John Edwards could easily be played by a burnt out light bulb.
--strollingone

The issue is patriotism. You've got to get back to your planet and stop the Commies. All it takes is a few good men.
--Q

Morire de cara sol.
--Jose Marti

divineorder's picture

@Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal

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3 users have voted.

A truth of the nuclear age/climate change: we can no longer have endless war and survive on this planet. Oh sh*t.

janis b's picture

it seems to me that there is a great desire to reinforce what is essential and productive in meaningful conversation. That is something special to honour and work towards. I find it interesting and inspiring to experience a communal effort toward something so worthwhile.

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13 users have voted.
Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

@janis b That's exactly what I was hoping for when we first conceived of the site.

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6 users have voted.

The part of John Edwards could easily be played by a burnt out light bulb.
--strollingone

The issue is patriotism. You've got to get back to your planet and stop the Commies. All it takes is a few good men.
--Q

Morire de cara sol.
--Jose Marti

janis b's picture

@Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal

I didn't know that before this recent discussion.

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5 users have voted.
Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

@janis b You're welcome. Hopefully, some day soon, I'll tell that story.

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3 users have voted.

The part of John Edwards could easily be played by a burnt out light bulb.
--strollingone

The issue is patriotism. You've got to get back to your planet and stop the Commies. All it takes is a few good men.
--Q

Morire de cara sol.
--Jose Marti

travelerxxx's picture

@Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal

Hopefully, some day soon, I'll tell that story.

As someone who wasn't here for the genesis of C99, but rather an Ides of March exile, I'd love to read that story.

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2 users have voted.