Some Clarification on Essay Content and Sourcing

C99 is a non-partisan site. That means that the site itself takes no official stance on any political party or candidate. Users are free to support any candidate or party across the political spectrum, from left to right. You are liable to see essays and comments here that also span that political arc. We are an open discussion board that takes pride in tolerance and a lack of censorship unless it is beyond the pale of civility. Beyond the pale of civility is a blanket term but I think we all would agree that there are some things that should be out of bounds and we would all recognize them as such if they were to pop up.

Users are free to mock public figures, but not other users. Those that mock public figures should also expect push back from those that object to said mockery. The key to such interactions is our civility policy. Users must be civil to one another. That's all we ask. Mocking users for mocking public figures is not civil within c99 boundaries. Push back is fine, mocking other users is not. Also, keep in mind that an essay that uses excessive mockery of public figures will most likely not find its way to the front page. Mockery of public officials can be an effective tactic but it may also turn off many readers from taking you seriously.

Taking undue umbrage with civil disagreement on your work is a form of incivility. If a user questions your writing and does it in a civil manner, that does not give you license to jump down the throat of said user just because they disagree with you.

Users are free to source their work as they please. Again, disagreement with the author's sourcing is allowed as long as it's kept within our civility parameters. It would be inconsistent with our non-partisan policy if we were to disallow alternative sourcing. Truth is a relative concept, is it not? With that said, we do urge all authors to be careful in their selection of sources, there are many forms of disinformation and outright propaganda present on the web and a source from a lone opinion with no other source to back it up may not be the best piece to link to or use as a basis for your treatise. We also include in that sites that push the envelope of credibility, that shouldn't have to be explained any further, you should all know what is meant. If you do use sources like that you should expect some strong push back.

About sources and getting your essay promoted to the front page. You may have posted a most relevant and well written essay, but if it contains any sourcing that, at the discretion of the administrators, is deemed dodgy, dubious, or untrustworthy, then it may be withheld from the front page. So, please be careful with the sources you cite.

Please note that the overriding message here is civility and tolerance. That's how we roll.

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it was written in haste this morning. Gotta' run and take care of some errands.

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@JtC
it gets sent to me instead?

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8 users have voted.

The earth is a multibillion-year-old sphere.
The Nazis killed millions of Jews.
On 9/11/01, a Boeing 757 (AA Flight 77) flew into the Pentagon.
If you can't accept these indisputable facts, I can't fake an interest in your opinions about anything else.

@UntimelyRippd
I use a program that obscures much of my presence here. Because of that simply clicking on my username will not work for sending me a PM. To contact me via PM you'll need to click the "Messages" link in the header menu, then click "Write new message", then type "JtC" (without the quotes) in the "To" field and then it will be sent to me.

You can also contact me by using the "Contact Us" link. Make sure "Administrator" is selected in the field with the arrow. I keep a browser window open to my email account all the time when I'm online and will usually see your email right away.

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Amanda Matthews's picture

@JtC
(sort of) for my part in yesterday’s fiasco. And by that, I mean your having to get involved.

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11 users have voted.

I'm tired of this back-slapping "Isn't humanity neat?" bullshit. We're a virus with shoes, okay? That's all we are. - Bill Hicks

Politics is the entertainment branch of industry. - Frank Zappa

Lookout's picture

Truth is a relative concept, is it not?

Now seeking truth may be more common. Another aspect is that truth is a moving target. The truth I see now isn't the truth I thought I saw awhile ago. Luckily I was trained as a scientist and learned early on to base my hypothesis on the best evidence. As evidence emerges, the hypothesis must evolve accordingly.

truth_1.jpg

The reminder about sources is an important topic. However, that too is relative. I've gotten to where it isn't so much the publication but the person reporting or being interviewed....but that isn't infalible either. I normally am in lock step with Noam's perspective...but not his views on Syria as I discovered in this interview.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_EdXNCI51yA (@ about 15 min)

Hope your errands went well. Thanks for all you do!

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21 users have voted.

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

gulfgal98's picture

@Lookout and sources. We all can often get complacent about our sources and which ones we believe to be truthful. But in reality, truth is difficult to verify 100% because even the most reliable sources can get it wrong at times.

I have seen where Daily Caller, Zero Hedge and Disobedient Media, among others, all have been characterized as being fake news and/or conspiracy sites and yet in the past, I have been able to use each of the sites (those cited as examples) in my own essays. It is a fine line we walk when sourcing, even with multiple sources which often may use the same base source for their articles. Sometimes we have to go with our own critical thinking skills to determine the degree of veracity.

Recently, I sat on an essay because I am unsure about the sourcing, not because I believe it to be a bad source, but because it is the only source I have been able to verify as of now.

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11 users have voted.

"I don't want to run the empire, I want to bring it down!" ~Dr. Cornel West

"There is no instance of a nation benefitting from prolonged warfare." Sun Tzu

"Propaganda is one hell of a drug." Abby Martin

"politicians are cowards." Mike Gravel

Anja Geitz's picture

You've outlined what I've had some questions about that now feel a little clearer to me. Sources, yeah. When dealing with the media these days "Truth" really does become a moving target, especially if you take into consideration our own personal biases. Egads! What a conundrum.

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If we surrendered to earth's intelligence we could rise up rooted, like trees
~ Rainer Maria Rilke

Raggedy Ann's picture

of the Community Content and Front Page pages so that other readers - especially new readers - will know how we roll. We are rolling into silly season, so these are good reminders to live by as we move into the upcoming abyss.

Many thanks, as alwyas JtC, for your words of wisdom to the community.
Pleasantry

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20 users have voted.

Women are human beings, not prey.
(I forgot where I read it although it might have been in The Intercept)

@Raggedy Ann
and did as you suggested. I'll also publish this as a FAQ for future reference.

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Raggedy Ann's picture

@JtC
Thanks and others will be grateful as we move forward!
Enjoy! PleasantryDrinks

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8 users have voted.

Women are human beings, not prey.
(I forgot where I read it although it might have been in The Intercept)

EdMass's picture

that if you go somewhere else and quote or reference something originating from here, or are discovered after an exhaustive Google search by basement-dwellers with too much time on their hands to be (aghast!) a contributor here and get outed bad things happen there?

I am much happier here than anywhere else.

Thanks JtC!

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17 users have voted.

Help me Mr. Wizard!

Drizzle, Drazzle, Druzzle, Drome;
Time for this one to come home.

I am EdMass. I approve this message.

Stop the War!

EdMass's picture

@EdMass

susans: And you boasted at C99% that people here are not dealing well with your post. What do you mean by that?

EdMass susans March 14 · 06:26:30 PM
Simply that not all have a sense of humor. That’s all.

Since you went looking for a random person posting on DKOS all over the Interwebs for some unknown reason, I am assuming you are among those with no sense of humor.

You probably killed the thread.

Congratulations.

susans EdMass March 14 · 06:43:24 PM
You are making that up, a totally incorrect assumption about how I saw your post at C99%. I actually looked there to see if members were talking about freeping a poll.

Are we supposed to "freep" polls? Especially after new rules that require ones email to vote?

I missed that memo...

"Paranoia strikes deep. Into your heart it will creep."

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16 users have voted.

Help me Mr. Wizard!

Drizzle, Drazzle, Druzzle, Drome;
Time for this one to come home.

I am EdMass. I approve this message.

Stop the War!

@EdMass
Level IV and higher.

don't worry, you'll get there some day.

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5 users have voted.

The earth is a multibillion-year-old sphere.
The Nazis killed millions of Jews.
On 9/11/01, a Boeing 757 (AA Flight 77) flew into the Pentagon.
If you can't accept these indisputable facts, I can't fake an interest in your opinions about anything else.

Thanks very much for taking the time. And, yeah, it should be at the proverbial top of the list here at C99P, as far as this online community's "rules of the road" are concerned.

Thanks again!

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15 users have voted.

"Freedom is something that dies unless it's used." --Hunter S. Thompson

joe shikspack's picture

and an excellent addition to the faq.

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Not Henry Kissinger's picture

The trouble lies with those who think some propaganda outlets are more mockable than others.

meep the press.jpg

Truth is, arguments attacking 'sourcing' are almost always transparent attempts to derail a thread by those who don't like the topic.

be polite_0.jpg

Same as it ever was.

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25 users have voted.
dance you monster's picture

@Not Henry Kissinger

. . . arguments attacking sourcing are warnings to the unwary reader to question whether that source has presented a complete, unbiased account of the topic. In short, it points out that an essayist might not have considered their own sources to be, in your words, as mockable as any other.

That was the issue in Amanda's essay: the sources she used offered only a premature, incomplete, and partisan framing of the story. It was a hit piece, intentionally biased. Bobswern offered a counter-version. And there was much thrashing thereafter.

IMO, this site should not be about hit pieces. Or, if it is, the writers should be prepared to be rebutted just as vigorously.

And I'm not dismissing the apparent ethical breach by AOC/her campaign.

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8 users have voted.
Anja Geitz's picture

@dance you monster

. . arguments attacking sourcing are warnings to the unwary reader to question whether that source has presented a complete, unbiased account of the topic.

I question everything I read these days, which then leaves me with a lot more questions than answers.

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15 users have voted.

If we surrendered to earth's intelligence we could rise up rooted, like trees
~ Rainer Maria Rilke

Eagles92's picture

@Anja Geitz

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dance you monster's picture

@Anja Geitz

"Back in the day," the professed goal of journalists was to dig up and present the facts, and let the reader assess what was right or wrong or laudable or heinous in those facts. Journalists who wanted to tell readers what to think (which fundamentally disrespects the readers) would do so on the Editorial Page.

Now every page is the Editorial Page.

But there's another layer to all this: intentional propaganda. From the government, now that that's legal, or from private players with a stake in the outcome of what readers conclude from what they hear or read.

Is it this site's purpose to promote propaganda? When we rely on our "sources" to corroborate an agenda, it sure seems to be so. But is that what we want c99% to be? A place where competing propaganda dukes it out?

I. for one, have better things to do with my time than be party or spectator to that.

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8 users have voted.
Wally's picture

@dance you monster @dance you monster

What stake in the outcome can "players" have who don't seek an outcome other than to caste doubt and call into question the integrity of players who have succeeded in some sense?

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Anja Geitz's picture

@dance you monster

Of what you mean by propaganda before I could answer your question. Because from where I sit, most of the media that is covering politicians is itself just another form of propaganda.

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13 users have voted.

If we surrendered to earth's intelligence we could rise up rooted, like trees
~ Rainer Maria Rilke

smiley7's picture

@Anja Geitz @Anja Geitz
a motive.

Art asks, as critical thinking, what is truth?

Good journalism follows long-held guidelines--filtered by editors, upon editors, in large enterprises; and even more carefully in small presses concerned of liability.

The challenge is to see through the fog, not add to it. imho

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7 users have voted.
Anja Geitz's picture

@smiley7

These days strikes me as an oxymoron. Political media coverage not only has an agenda, they follow strategy memos written by the political parties themselves outlining how they'd like candidates to be covered. Like George Carlin once said, "It's a big club and we ain't in it".

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8 users have voted.

If we surrendered to earth's intelligence we could rise up rooted, like trees
~ Rainer Maria Rilke

smiley7's picture

@Anja Geitz

willing recipient close to ink. Yes, we know politics.

But as you said "political journalism", not journalism.
...
Oxymoron, for a long time taboo; so many had apparently misused its meaning.

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2 users have voted.
Centaurea's picture

@Anja Geitz

Nowadays, journalism = PR.

The so-called news media has become an arm of the public relations industry. PR people pitch stories to "journalists". Advertisers pay the news media, who understand who's paying their salaries.

After their news media career ends (often through corporate layoffs), former "journalists" take jobs as, you guessed it, PR consultants.

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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

Not Henry Kissinger's picture

@dance you monster

That was the issue in Amanda's essay: the sources she used offered only a premature, incomplete, and partisan framing of the story. It was a hit piece, intentionally biased. Bobswern offered a counter-version.

Are you saying bobswern's counter-version was any less biased?

Or was it just that you liked that bias better?

Look, I have no problem with offering counter-versions of events - the more the merrier.

I do have a problem when the thread devolves into an ad hominem pissing match about whose biased source is inherently more believable.

Talk about a distinction without a difference.

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16 users have voted.
dance you monster's picture

@Not Henry Kissinger

My point is that, if one biased account is permitted, then all counter-biased accounts should have equal chance to be considered. The essayist, who presented a very biased account, got defensive about the possibility of seeing another version compete. And I have no dog in that battle of biases, or degrees of various biases.

As for this . . .

I do have a problem when the thread devolves into an ad hominem pissing match about whose biased source is inherently more believable.

I addressed that just upthread.

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Not Henry Kissinger's picture

@dance you monster @dance you monster @dance you monster

You sound as if JtC banned bobswern and deleted his comments.

My point is that, if one biased account is permitted, then all counter-biased accounts should have equal chance to be considered.

That's what the comments are for. Or write a new 'counter-biased' (whatever that is) essay.

Is it this site's purpose to promote propaganda? When we rely on our "sources" to corroborate an agenda, it sure seems to be so. But is that what we want c99% to be? A place where competing propaganda dukes it out?

The only individual on this thread actually questioning a user's freedom to post what she likes is you.

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9 users have voted.
dance you monster's picture

@Not Henry Kissinger

The only individual on this thread actually questioning a user's freedom to post what she likes is you.

Show me where I challenged anyone's freedom to post. I only agreed with JtC that they might expect pushback.

And as you quoted I said I hoped personally that we'd not just be a forum reiterating competing streams of propaganda. If that's what others want, then I have better things to do.

I'll leave it at that.

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5 users have voted.
wendy davis's picture

@Not Henry Kissinger

exposé of the FEC complaint amanda had written about at the end of her thread, although no one seems to have noticed it. it's long, but it was noted that the WaPo had finally reported on the story, although rather murkily, and hadn't give the washington examiner any credit. but the pdf's are there, most of the text, and to me it was a bit...confusing.

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QMS's picture

@Not Henry Kissinger

Where does 'properly sourced' opinion lead, in this context? This is a discussion board. We share ideas and sometimes try to back up our understanding with links with some background. The motive is to stimulate debate in an open way, imo. I Don't see the problem, but if you all say there is one, then I''l have to re-investigate the premise, I guess. Tread lightly. Someone's feelings may be hurt.
Sheesh

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9 users have voted.

Listen to your higher mind.

@QMS

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4 users have voted.

The earth is a multibillion-year-old sphere.
The Nazis killed millions of Jews.
On 9/11/01, a Boeing 757 (AA Flight 77) flew into the Pentagon.
If you can't accept these indisputable facts, I can't fake an interest in your opinions about anything else.

Not Henry Kissinger's picture

@QMS

Spin and counter spin collide, and the truth is found in the entrails.

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6 users have voted.
dkmich's picture

@Not Henry Kissinger

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5 users have voted.

"Religion is what keeps the poor from murdering the rich."--Napoleon

*donate to c99 *like us on Facebook *follow us on Twitter

Cassiodorus's picture

and risking repressive tolerance and all that, I think that c99% needs an advocate for Ernst Stavro Blofeld. Maybe he had a point. Both sides in the Cold War were really bad deals; how could dictatorial rule by Blofeld really be worse? Or maybe we could take pointers from his organizational style. After all, he had an extinct volcano, a legion of flunkies, and some powerful rockets. Maybe c99% should acquire those things?

After all, you only live twice, Mr Bond.

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8 users have voted.

"The degree to which liberals are coming to inhabit an alternate reality, impenetrable by facts or reason, is actually frightening." -- Steve Maher

Not Henry Kissinger's picture

@Cassiodorus

He's the true mastermind anyway.

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6 users have voted.

@Cassiodorus
On Her Majesty's Secret Service would have been with Connery/Pleasance instead of Lazenby/Savalas.

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4 users have voted.

The earth is a multibillion-year-old sphere.
The Nazis killed millions of Jews.
On 9/11/01, a Boeing 757 (AA Flight 77) flew into the Pentagon.
If you can't accept these indisputable facts, I can't fake an interest in your opinions about anything else.

Cassiodorus's picture

@UntimelyRippd At the next Portland meetup we will announce the beginning of a fund, with which we will purchase the interior of an extinct volcano and recruit a legion of flunkies!

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6 users have voted.

"The degree to which liberals are coming to inhabit an alternate reality, impenetrable by facts or reason, is actually frightening." -- Steve Maher

@Cassiodorus

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4 users have voted.

The earth is a multibillion-year-old sphere.
The Nazis killed millions of Jews.
On 9/11/01, a Boeing 757 (AA Flight 77) flew into the Pentagon.
If you can't accept these indisputable facts, I can't fake an interest in your opinions about anything else.

QMS's picture

@Cassiodorus
Though, could we just fund the flunkies and recruit a volcano instead? It may be cleaner and easier.

TG
BS
AOS
IO

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5 users have voted.

Listen to your higher mind.

wendy davis's picture

JtC. as to this:

Also, keep in mind that an essay that uses excessive mockery of public figures will most likely not find its way to the front page. Mockery of public officials can be an effective tactic but it may also turn off many readers from taking you seriously.

given that amanda matthews has apologized for her part in ‘yesterday’s fiasco’, i’m left wondering what offense she (and or you, JtC) had committed: undue mockery or source-citing? or: other? and which elected officials do you mean, please? elected dems, not republicans: trump, marco rubio, his administration in general? dem candidates are often mocked here (beto, unless he's an already-elected official, beats me), though that term doesn't really satisfy any sort of standard to me, unless you mean 'unburnishing a Big Brand' like ocasio, ilhan omar, whose stuff is everywhere.

i agree with not henry kissinger, corporate news is worth mocking (NYtimes, Wapo, the guardian, especially as bringing hits on say: julian assange, nicolás maduro, syria’s assad (esp. after the final OPCW report), guaido as president, but then there's sourcing Opinion Pieces to consider, imo, rather a whole different animal, yes?

but yes, unless i'm quoting an op-ed at say, RT.com, i do tend to see what the original source was, even if in the MSM, but often they're mocking the MSM source, so there's that.

on edit: ha, i knew i'd forgotten something:

"Beyond the pale of civility is a blanket term but I think we all would agree that there are some things that should be out of bounds and we would all recognize them as such if they were to pop up."

did remind me of the judges in lenny bruce cases telling jurors that 'you all know obscenity when you see it'. just kidding, of course, but yep it's in the eye of the beholder.

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10 users have voted.

@wendy davis
I pointed no fingers at anyone in this meta essay so your assertion that this was about Amanda is incorrect. I saw several things that needed clarification and if you read this essay closely you'll see that I tried to hit on all cylinders.

The "excessive mockery" is referring to the habit some author's have of twisting names, descriptive nouns, etc. into taunting parody when a straight forward use of the language makes for a stronger case. Many readers will not take it seriously, roll their eyes and stop reading right there.

I'm not saying that folks have to change their style of writing but essays that have an excessive amount of that device will be passed over for the front page.

I think some folks are reading things into this essay that aren't there.

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13 users have voted.
mimi's picture

@JtC
'weirdo' name for a politician in power, was that I wanted to avoid being found too easily by those spy alogrithms or whatever they use to surveill us with. I am that naive to think it could help. If I call the favorite politician in our times Pommpelstiltzchen it's not that funny, because I feel I have to hide the real name. Where does this kind of behavior fall into?

I also was wondering about what I think is true, namely if you are so clearly open to all kind of free ranging political opinions and give them equal space and right to say their piece, you also open up room for abuser and people who are skillfully undermining and co-opting the site. See that in the most freely speaking age, ie online, hate speech, bullying and propaganda have their field day and rise to the top.

Talking civilly is something different for people from different cultures. Germans are more often not talking that civilly, they are pretty blunt. It is considered a sign of being honest. I like being direct and a little borderline in your face better than being indirect and polite. I know that other cultures and nations find that rather dumb. It's soooo easy to understand a German. Honesty is considered being dumb by many, many people. if you don't know how to lie that is just your own fault, dummy, and it's not going to be acceptable. BE civil, darn it and lie a little better. Funny hmm?

I wonder if Pompelcutsymouse happens to pass by here and comments the way he usually does, would you ask him to not be dick and say get lost, we don't roll here that way>?

I have to say I expected when I came here to find a left-leaning site. I realize that this gets a little blurry and foggy these days. And it makes me feel uncomfortable. Just saying, to be honest too.

NOthing for Ungood. I still love a lot of people's writing here and am just an addicted C99p junkie. Thank God, at least I have one little guilty pleasure. Because other than that kind of sin I am a pure angel. Smile

Cheers.

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8 users have voted.
lotlizard's picture

@mimi  
that the regulars at the neighborhood Lutheran church monthly Kaffeeklatsch — these are old working-class Christian ladies who have known each other for decades, since their youth in the old East Germany before reunification — still very much think they have to watch carefully what they say and to whom, when talking about political subjects.

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3 users have voted.
mimi's picture

@lotlizard
I left Germany way before reunifation in the seveties and lived with expectations of a Germany that would be still what it was in the seventies, when I came here in 2017. Can't tell you how shocked I was and I still am of what I found out to be the current political landscape and debate.

If I talk my mind I get bullied, ridiculed and met with utter disbelief. So, I don't talk anymore, just to myself and to the TV. My sister watches me and doesn't get a word, neither of my self-conversations, nor what she hears out of the TV. She falls asleep and only reacts to images that are designed to appeal to your senses during the momenst she wakes up. Then she asks me if I understand how all that is possible. And then I say NO. And by then I am so tired of all of the shit I prefer to fall asleep too. Deeply unhappy, while my sister doesn't get why I seem to be that unhappy either. Bingo.

Often I find myself believing that the brainwashed Germans are more deeply brainwashed and that those who want to prevent them from being brainwashed are not able to de-brainwash them. De-programming seems just a new programming as dangerous as the first programming to begin with. That is something I observed in the US as well, but that would be another story.

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3 users have voted.
wendy davis's picture

@JtC

JtC, when i'd offered this: "given that amanda matthews has apologized for her part in ‘yesterday’s fiasco’, given that amanda matthews has apologized for her part in ‘yesterday’s fiasco’, i’m left wondering what offense she (and or you, JtC) had committed:

should have read more clearly: "given that amanda matthews has apologized for her part in ‘yesterday’s fiasco’, i’m left wondering what offense she or (you may have thought she'd committed".

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2 users have voted.
dkmich's picture

everything. If you write for the front page, JtC gave you insights on the criteria he uses to select diaries for the front page. If you write for the community page, don't change a thing.

There are no reliable sources. CNN, MSNBC, CBS, the Guardian - please, I defy anyone to provide a list of reliable sources. Then give me a list of everyone who works for that source that is also reliable. I do think the suggestion was to google your story and see how many different sources say roughly the same thing so you don't use an outlier written by one crazy person in their PJs in their mom's basement.

Last but not least, we just need to treat others like we want to be treated. It isn't rocket science. We can disagree all we want, we just can't be disagreeable too.

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17 users have voted.

"Religion is what keeps the poor from murdering the rich."--Napoleon

*donate to c99 *like us on Facebook *follow us on Twitter

@dkmich
thank you dk.

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8 users have voted.