So it's Us vs. Them now, huh?

OOOOkay.

It appears the spirit of caucus99percent is dead. It took 4 years for the experiment to be done in by factionalism. I always thought that the left/right divide would be the undoing, I guess I was wrong. It was a good try though.

I now fully understand why political sites have hard standing rules.

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magiamma's picture

Coming down, but if there is anything I can do let me know please. Thank you for all you do. ( I mean it. )

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Stop Climate Change Silence - Start the Conversation

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@magiamma
To be clear the site itself is not going anywhere. The spirit is dying though, post by post, comment by comment. I've been watching it in real time for a while now. I don't know for sure myself what may be coming down, that's mostly up to the members here.

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@JtC

Where is it supposed to go?

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"Without the right to offend, freedom of speech does not exist." Taslima Nasrin

edg's picture

@Fishtroller 02

Back to the roving HR gangs at Daily Whatsitsname!!

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@edg

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"Without the right to offend, freedom of speech does not exist." Taslima Nasrin

lotlizard's picture

@JtC  
https://jackpineradicals.com/boards/topic/how-the-democratic-netroots-died/

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Anja Geitz's picture

@lotlizard

Is the beneficiary of both:

JPR is evidence that the Democrats are playing whack a mole with the blogosphere.

Another example is Caucus 99%.

When the authoritarians take custody of a forum or blog, another rises in it’s place, and it is typically, more radical than the one that was coopted before it. Probably because the displaced members are slightly pissed off. Probably because some of the brightest minds and skilled communicators are driven off, leaving blind followers behind.

It harkens back to a favorite saying from the days of #Occupy.

“You can’t kill an idea.”

Amen to that.

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29 users have voted.

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

mimi's picture

@JtC
to be destroyed and divisiveness increased. As I am not an American and now thrown into Germany since 2 1/2 years in which my morals and civil conversation degraded and disappeared slowly but surely, I would like to say that all of it was my fault since quite a while.

I have started to see many issues differently from how I saw them before 2017, when I was still in the US.

I can't express my changed view points clearly or calmly. It also shouldn't be of any interest for Americans, so I should not try to let my huge political frustrations hang out and express them like I did.

If Us versus Them is killing the spirit of this site, I am willing to never talk here again.

I don't want to be the one who caused "the idea" to be killed. I believe I was. I am sorry for that.

I will be gone for at least twelve weeks. Time to recover the spirit for all of you, I hope.

Feel like crying now. Bye.

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Alligator Ed's picture

@mimi You are far too hard on yourself. For instance, I could do a much better job at castigating comments than any you have wrote. Besides, you and lotlizard are my only hopes to revive my dormant skills in Deutsche Sprechen.

Your world view is valuable because of an independent mind set, since you were not indoctrinated in Amerika and Amerikanism as a child.

Gustav Mahler wrote a song cycle about the great Amerikan experiment on educating young children, called Kindertotenlieder. The title refers to the minds of the kinder. I heartily recommend this musical enterprise to anyone feeling down in the dumps if you wish to become suicidal.

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mimi's picture

@Alligator Ed @Alligator Ed (edited spelling error)
PS I just go into a hospital and into a long rehabiliation care afterwards. I use that time to not be connected, because there is no way to be connected to the intertubes inside the hospital anyway.

Die Ärzte sagen, ich sollte mal abschalten. Und das tue ich auch. Verstanden? Vielleicht gehe ich ja einmal in den Zoo und schaue mir die Krokodile an. Dann denke ich an Dich. Wink

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Alligator Ed's picture

@mimi Aber ich bin eine Alligator--nicht Krokodile--niemals!

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mimi's picture

@Alligator Ed
so if I am going to see you in person, I imagine you as a Krokodil. Let's meet us in the middle. If you come to Germany, you will be my Krokodil, If I come to the US, you will be my beloved alligator.

In the spirit of civility ... I think we are doing fine. Preved

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Alligator Ed's picture

@mimi

Drinks

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lotlizard's picture

@mimi  
http://journal-club.ru/?q=image/tid/72

Oh-oh . . . Rachel Maddow and the Washington Post’s PropOrNot people are gonna see this thread and think, "Aha! — knew it all along — proof positive their little so-called ‘caucus’ over there is Putin’s parrot 99 percent.”

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Pricknick's picture

@lotlizard

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Regardless of the path in life I chose, I realize it's always forward, never straight.

mimi's picture

@lotlizard

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@mimi Please take good care and do not desert this nice place.

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@mimi

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lotlizard's picture

@mimi

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Dawn's Meta's picture

@mimi Beste Wünsche für eine bessere Gesundheit und eine gute Erholung. Es tut mir leid für mein schreckliches Deutsch.

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A society grows great when old men plant trees in whose shade they know they shall never sit. Allegedly Greek, but more possibly fairly modern quote.

Consider helping by donating using the button in the upper left hand corner. Thank you.

Alligator Ed's picture

@Dawn's Meta I could interpret almost every you wrote auf Deutsche. Ist das eine "regrezzion" to a former Aryan reptile hood?

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Dawn's Meta's picture

@Alligator Ed @Alligator Ed @Alligator Ed Absolut nein. Meine Mutter war Deutsche und Elsässerin. Deshalb habe ich drei Jahre Deutsch für Ausländer studiert bei Portland Community College und Lewis und Clark College. (Deutsche Sommerschule am Pacifik - da mit H. F. Peters Lou Andreas Salome )

Lou and Rilke

Leider war es vor über dreißig Jahren ohne viel Übung.

Mein Vater war total Sizilianisch.

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1 user has voted.

A society grows great when old men plant trees in whose shade they know they shall never sit. Allegedly Greek, but more possibly fairly modern quote.

Consider helping by donating using the button in the upper left hand corner. Thank you.

@mimi Actually I'M the one who is guilty, of something I'm sure. Probably a lot in fact. Mea culpa, mea maxima bob culpa. So, don't leave. I'm willing to step up and take the beatings for you. Preferably after the standard 24-hours notice.

Of course, I'm the type, when I'm in close proximity for instance to the po-lice, I always think: Well, the time had to come. They've finally found me. Might as well make it easy on all concerned and turn myself in.

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@mimi

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"Without the right to offend, freedom of speech does not exist." Taslima Nasrin

lotlizard's picture

@magiamma

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Can you add some details?

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@gjohnsit
in my response to magi above.

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Is that related to capitalism and imperialism?

Seriously. Could you identify the factions please. I think some of the arguing going on here is great! And often funny. Most are kidding around with each other or catching up on pet news. Others are getting into good side bar discussions on topics like Ronald Reagan.
I think there still is a community, although a loose one, and I certainly would not agree with any obituary writings.

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"Without the right to offend, freedom of speech does not exist." Taslima Nasrin

@Fishtroller 02
my eyeballs again.

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Anja Geitz's picture

@JtC

Empties out the communal refrigerator in our break room every Sunday. He's been doing it for as long as I can remember. Each Sunday. Same time. With a warning over the loudspeaker. Yet, he still hears complaints that he threw out someone's half eaten sandwich, or soda bottle.

The other day he said he was going to stop emptying out the refrigerator because he doesn't want to be the Father to 100 kids anymore.

I suspect right now you might sympathize with the Captain of our store?

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

@JtC

But while I'm here replying to you, I want to know what you mean by understanding why political blogs button up on the rules. What rules did you have in mind?

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"Without the right to offend, freedom of speech does not exist." Taslima Nasrin

@Fishtroller 02
about changing the rules?

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@JtC

You said that you understood why political sites have 'hard standing rules'. I wondered what you meant by that and what rules you were referring to.

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"Without the right to offend, freedom of speech does not exist." Taslima Nasrin

@Fishtroller 02
that I'm almost always measurably vague in these meta essays. That's my style. These (meta essays) usually have a cathartic effect in opening up discussion among the membership as is in full display in these threads.

I do admit that sometimes I may come off as being a jerk, which is many times true, but that's OK by me if it leads to the membership talking it out among themselves.

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@JtC
Orwell wrote about life and politics in the trenches during the three months he spent with the Anarchist POUM militia during the Spanish Civil War. In Chapter Three, there's this wonderful portrait of how megaphones are more important than bullets. But the most powerful weapon of all was the promise of buttered toast:

There seemed no hope of any real fighting. When we left Monte Pocero I had
counted my cartridges and found that in nearly three weeks I had fired just
three shots at the enemy. They say it takes a thousand bullets to kill a man,
and at this rate it would be twenty years before I killed my first Fascist. At
Monte Oscuro the lines were closer and one fired oftener, but I am reasonably
certain that I never hit anyone. As a matter of fact, on this front and at this
period of the war the real weapon was not the rifle but the megaphone. Being
unable to kill your enemy you shouted at him instead. This method of warfare is
so extraordinary that it needs explaining.

Wherever the lines were within hailing distance of one another there was
always a good deal of shouting from trench to trench. From ourselves: 'Fascistas
--maricones!' From the Fascists: ''Viva Espana! Viva Franco!'--or, when they
knew that there were English opposite them: 'Go home, you English! We don't want
foreigners here!' On the Government side, in the party militias, the shouting of
propaganda to undermine the enemy morale had been developed into a regular
technique. In every suitable position men, usually machine-gunners, were told
off for shouting-duty and provided with megaphones. Generally they shouted a
set-piece, full of revolutionary sentiments which explained to the Fascist
soldiers that they were merely the hirelings of international capitalism, that
they were fighting against their own class, etc., etc., and urged them to come
over to our side.

This was repeated over and over by relays of men; sometimes it
continued almost the whole night. There is very little doubt that it had its
effect; everyone agreed that the trickle of Fascist deserters was partly caused
by it. If one comes to think of it, when some poor devil of a sentry--very
likely a Socialist or Anarchist trade union member who has been conscripted
against his will--is freezing at his post, the slogan 'Don't fight against your
own class!' ringing again and again through the darkness is bound to make an
impression on him. It might make just the difference between deserting and not
deserting.

Of course such a proceeding does not fit in with the English
conception of war. I admit I was amazed and scandalized when I first saw it
done. The idea of trying to convert your enemy instead of shooting him! I now
think that from any point of view it was a legitimate manoeuvre. In ordinary
trench warfare, when there is no artillery, it is extremely difficult to inflict
casualties on the enemy without receiving an equal number yourself. If you can
immobilize a certain number of men by making them desert, so much the better;
deserters are actually more useful to you than corpses, because they can give
information. But at the beginning it dismayed all of us; it made us fed that the
Spaniards were not taking this war of theirs sufficiently seriously.

The man who did the shouting at the P.S.U.C. post down on our right was an artist at the
job. Sometimes, instead of shouting revolutionary slogans he simply told the
Fascists how much better we were fed than they were. His account of the
Government rations was apt to be a little imaginative.' Buttered toast!'--you
could hear his voice echoing across the lonely valley--'We're just sitting down
to buttered toast over here! Lovely slices of buttered toast!' I do not doubt
that, like the rest of us, he had not seen butter for weeks or months past, but
in the icy night the news of buttered toast probably set many a Fascist mouth
watering. It even made mine water, though I knew he was lying.

_____________

I believe you too, JtC, are such an artist.

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@leveymg

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@leveymg

from the trenches.

And it’s one, two, three, four,
what are we fighting for?

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@JtC

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"Without the right to offend, freedom of speech does not exist." Taslima Nasrin

Lily O Lady's picture

our society. If I have unthinkingly been too harsh, please let me know. I try not to engage in protracted arguments, but may have overstepped.

Which brings me to the increasing level of anger I see around me. Yesterday, the President of the United States of America conducted a “Two Minutes Hate” focusing on United States Representative Ilhan Omar. He led the chant, “Send her back!” to the country of her birth. This atmosphere has to affect us all, like itching powder on our skin.

It should bring us pause, when hatred is so openly displayed. Instead of countering with more anger, we need to take a step back. We risk losing ourselves if we meet anger with anger.

Edit: changed “to” to “not”.

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"The object of persecution is persecution. The object of torture is torture. The object of power is power. Now do you begin to understand me?" ~Orwell, "1984"

gulfgal98's picture

Sorry, JtC, I have no words to add. I have tried to state my position in a few previous essays, but sometimes saying nothing is better. Right now, I am just sad. Sad

Edit to add: I have been guilty of not writing essays that I had in mind for various reasons. So in that regard, I am one of those who has not contributed my fair share to this site.

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"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

@gulfgal98

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"Without the right to offend, freedom of speech does not exist." Taslima Nasrin

@gulfgal98 because you always say what I'm thinking. Smile

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Anja Geitz's picture

To talk about politics and not feel contentious. The very nature of it breeds factionalism, doesn't it? The trick is finding a way where the focus is not on the -ism part and more on the human part. Which admittedly is easier said than done when hot button issues come to the fore. My own transgressions are proof of that.

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

magiamma's picture

And tRump-like, tweet-jerk reactions, not so much. Dunno. Peace.

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Stop Climate Change Silence - Start the Conversation

Hot Air Website, Twitter, Facebook

What you've successfully created here is, in my experience, pretty much unique among political forums. What initially caught my eye was the calm civility, relaxed (mature) atmosphere, underlying intelligence and sophistication, interesting mix of voices and points of view, and the, well, ineffable beauty of your shared history as former members of Daily Kos who, when push came to shove, refused to sell out. This place is a diaspora of morally robust survivors. I've loved coming here and reading and still have doubts as to the wisdom of joining in, since there is an element of privacy in what you've created here. After years of pleasant lurkitude, some of you emerged as "main characters," and I hope the presence of a relative stranger has not frightened them off. Two that come to mind at present are the incredibly deep, sensitive, "Can't stop the macedonian music," and the nice fellow whose videos used to appear regularly on the front page (can't remember his name). They seem to have disappeared, and I hope it's not because of outsiders barging in on what probably felt like a private world. I would not want my outsider presence to weaken something I value and admire. IOW, I would not mind relinquishing my sign-in/ posting privileges, if it would help. This place would still be a good read, a good voice in the world.

As for differing understandings of how the world works (e.g., is AOC a fake, are the Dems at war with one another, are some whom we think we know and love actually imposters serving "the other side") -- isn't that profoundly human and therefore open to discussion and analysis? It's hard to give up illusions. Really hard, and when we've successfully accomplished it, we should be sensitive to those who cling to familiar institutions. After all, I worked my ass off for Obama's 2012 reelection. It took the Dems screwing Bernie three years later to pry my eyes open, and now I view my former local Democrats as souls lost in time (sort of). Perhaps when someone refers to AOC as "not what she seems," those who still take her at face value could suggest a discussion thread on the subject? Analyzing these differences/ discrepancies would be good for the community and also for the broader lurking/voting public. And if we still don't all agree, it's not the end of the world.

But don't give up something this great at the slightest outbreak of very human conflicts and irritations. Things don't have to be consistently perfect to be entirely worthwhile.

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Anja Geitz's picture

@laurel

What initially caught my eye was the calm civility, relaxed (mature) atmosphere, underlying intelligence and sophistication, interesting mix of voices and points of view, and the, well, ineffable beauty of your shared history as former members of Daily Kos who, when push came to shove, refused to sell out.

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

@laurel
I'm giving up?

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thanatokephaloides's picture

@JtC

Who said...I'm giving up?

Not fact, but fear. You giving up on us is what we fear.

The fact is that through your various efforts, you have, in fact, created a community here which regularly discusses political things without the bitter rancor which usually attends such discussions. Even at our worst, we're still far better than most at this.

The c99 spirit is far from dead. Please don't let occasional deviances from it convince you otherwise. The deviances are the "occupational hazard" of doing what we are doing in the c99 way that we are doing it, just as dealing with 30,000 volts of DC was an "occupational hazard" for me when I was working on old-school TV sets. Yes, I got "bit" now and again. But I fixed quite a few sets, too. Likewise, the c99 spirit goes on from strength to strength. Some of the Comments in this very thread are proof positive of this.

Nihil illegitimis carborundum, amice! Smile

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"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

lotlizard's picture

@thanatokephaloides  
https://caucus99percent.com/comment/146721#comment-146721

just as dealing with 30,000 volts of DC was an "occupational hazard" for me when I was working on old-school TV sets.

1950s TVs had a “high-voltage doghouse” — beware of that dog!

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thanatokephaloides's picture

@lotlizard

1950s TVs had a “high-voltage doghouse” — beware of that dog!

Ah, memories..... Smile

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"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

ggersh's picture

@JtC Just kidding

EDIT:my dry sense of humor hopefully gets a giggle

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trump amerika's last president

Caitlin Johnstone

Anyone who's sure they know what humanity is and where we're headed is suffering from a psilocybin deficiency.

@JtC you said something a few months ago that sorta sounded like it. I'm glad it's not true; maybe you're just a very conscientious forum administrator. You have so much to be proud of -- enjoy!

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@laurel
comment that I just posted to Fishtroller 02, it may help explain why I'm so hard to pin down.

https://caucus99percent.com/comment/431359#comment-431359

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Anja Geitz's picture

@laurel

CStMS Is still here and I'm not sure who the other poster you mentioned is. Might be NCTim who does the Friday OT and who is motorcycling through Europe right now? At any rate, please, please do not feel like you are intruding. I can only speak for myself, (irony aside) but I welcome new voices into the mix. Keeps things fresh and our minds nimble!

You have a voice here too, Laurel, and from what I've seen already, I think I'm going to enjoying hearing more of it.

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

Lily O Lady's picture

@Anja Geitz

He may be dealing with illness at home.

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"The object of persecution is persecution. The object of torture is torture. The object of power is power. Now do you begin to understand me?" ~Orwell, "1984"

karl pearson's picture

@Lily O Lady I think you're right. I followed Steven D over to c99% when he left another blog. Hope he is feeling better and will be back sometime.

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WoodsDweller's picture

@laurel
"diaspora of morally robust survivors". Nice.

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"I cannot ignore reality, but I can embrace beauty." -- magiamma

lotlizard's picture

@laurel

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Anja Geitz's picture

@lotlizard

Is that who Laurel meant? I was thinking music videos.

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

@lotlizard When Anja said he's currently motorcycling through Europe, it made me so happy to learn that he'd recovered his physical strength to such an amazing extent. I hope all is well with him; for a long time he seemed like the "face" of C99%.

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lotlizard's picture

@laurel  
But yes, Steve D did later have to deal with health issues — I share your hope that he has recovered his strength and all is well, or as well as can reasonably be expected.

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Anja Geitz's picture

@laurel

I did hear from Steven a few weeks ago when I posted my first OT. He stopped by in the comments.

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

snoopydawg's picture

@laurel
As to this:

I've loved coming here and reading and still have doubts as to the wisdom of joining in, since there is an element of privacy in what you've created here.

I am glad that you finally added your voice to the blue blog and that you feel welcome here.

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America is a pathetic nation; a fascist state fueled by the greed, malice, and stupidity of her own people.
- strife delivery

@snoopydawg And thanks to others who commented similarly. It's nice to hear, though I'm really not seeking attention, nor do I enjoy it very much. Please understand. Smile Hopefully, what anyone may have learned from my comment is how you all come across to others and what a good thing you have here.

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@laurel

We left daily kos because we didn't like roving gangs of cliques intimidating others into following an ideology or a party line. This is not a closed-minded blog. The day it becomes one, we will all leave. The surest way to get people to leave is to threaten and bully them. The second surest way is to bore them to death with an echo chamber.

Hope you will speak out more often. As someone noted below, who else would say "a diaspora of morally robust survivors".

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

Anja Geitz's picture

@dkmich

The surest way to get people to leave is to threaten and bully them. The second surest way is to bore them to death with an echo chamber.

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9 users have voted.

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

Shahryar's picture

@dkmich

dk, you know we love you and that we sometimes disagree...which is a good thing. We can only get to some sort of truth if we look at different angles. And you know that thing that we disagree on? You might be right. Or I might be. And that's another good thing, to be able to keep the thought that someone else might have better insight at any particular time.

However....I don't mind tweaking right-wingers who make no sense.

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@Shahryar

resolving disagreements is where the challenge and the fun lies.

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

Unabashed Liberal's picture

@dkmich

OkMollie

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10 users have voted.

Everyone thinks they have the best dog, and none of them are wrong.

Eagles92's picture

@dkmich Maybe @JtC could occasionally swap this in for our temporary tagline, much like he substituted the rose and Vlad icons for the comment thumbs-ups. Smile

(Hat tip to you, @Laurel -- glad you're here and participating in the conversation).

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gulfgal98's picture

@laurel Despite the fact that most of us try not to do so, sometimes we can get mired in our own echo chamber. Fresh voices bring new ideas an a fresh perspective that all of us can use. Your comment above is evidence of this fact. I hope you will continue to comment and even post an essay here. Welcome.

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"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

@laurel sentiments, laurel. But the "private world" angle makes me uneasy. It might tend to have some built-in notions of conformity and unity of thought, insider vs outsider, long-timer vs newbie stranger, which I don't think is welcoming or healthy, and is not what this site is supposed to be about. I know you meant well, but some of that has vague echoes of other things in the news lately, which I'm sure you'd not want to be associated with. But right now I can't help but feel rather "outsider-y" in this blog.

Re AOC: Isn't it up the those making the charges against her, as a fraud, an actress, not really a True Progressive etc, to argue their case, show some proof, rather than those who disagree having to prove a negative? And if they do step up, please note that a cite to the "Mr Reagan" video means you automatically lose the argument.

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14 users have voted.

@wokkamile and I appreciate it. I'm not familiar enough to know if you're a newbie like me or an oldie, but if you're feeling "outsiderish," then you're probably a relative newbie. The subtlety of what you said seemed at first like a dense forest I wasn't sure I could navigate as my own limitations render me somewhat impervious to nuance and perhaps overly reliant on reason, logic, and plain-spokenness. But what I think you're indicating is that my respect for the C99% community's shared history and earned familiarity/trust with one another lends a certain exclusivity to my depiction of them -- and "exclusivity is, of course, inherently bad." And interestingly enough, this does in fact dovetail with an aspect of my currently evolving political consciousness which is coming about as a result of attempts to comprehend the rightwing worldview, now that I have a better understanding of how we have been manipulated by those who purport to represent the left.

Formerly, I would have sided with the "open borders" crowd (of which Hillary is a proud member) against the border protectionists -- and who knows, I probably would have virtue-signaled like crazy around that. Now, as I begin to comprehend how fundamental group familiarity, cohesion and comfort are to some very basic aspects of civilization, social harmony, and personal well-being, I find myself questioning the wisdom of forcibly ripping nations apart, spilling their traumatized, incredibly needy inhabitants en masse into unprepared countries, and then telling the recipient communities, who suddenly find their longstanding traditions, day-to-day life cycles, social/ cultural infrastructure upended, to just suck it up. IOW, I've begun to understand the importance of slowly, organically developed communities to the very possibility of a sustainable civilization. See, I'm starting to think that (warning: CT coming) the brilliant think-tank minds who gave us 911 as a perfect justification for the development of a "national security" surveillance state and endless regime-change wars, were fully cognizant, even desirous, of the inevitable mass emigrations from bombed, invaded, occupied countries and the resulting repercussions across Europe and the Americas. Social scientists could have informed them -- and probably did -- about limitations on the ability of communities to sustain themselves under mass influx from without.

But the purveyors of the past 2 decades of destruction and mass disruption do not give a shit about the people of the countries on either side (incoming and outgoing) and in fact I wouldn't be surprised if they intended the breakdown of entire societies and even civil wars to break out on mass scales. (Even bigger CT) I think it's entirely possible that they wanted these events as justification for a full-blown police state and (CTs snowballing) a global New World Order of the totalitarian variety. In fact, I'll bet it gives our oligarchic superiors the same kind of satisfaction that floated across Dick Cheney's face as he quietly observed footage of the 911 assault on NY.

When I think of "community," I think of people raising their children, sending them to decent affordable schools, having meaningful employment, tending their gardens, participating in school activities like PTA, sports, festivals, and I think of people openly discussing politics in coffee shops and sometimes putting together petitions or demonstrations, and I think of people in parks feeding the ducks, making music, sharing food, laughing, going home at night to cook, relax, bond in relative peace and quiet, tuck in their kids, sleep safely and soundly.

Much of that depends on basic trust, a degree of certainty, in the supporting social structures. That's what an established community can do, and though change and improvement are always necessary, I think the community as a whole should be honored and maintained.

Tired now. This may not address all your concerns, but maybe some of them.

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21 users have voted.
Alligator Ed's picture

@laurel

Formerly, I would have sided with the "open borders" crowd (of which Hillary is a proud member) against the border protectionists -- and who knows, I probably would have virtue-signaled like crazy around that. Now, as I begin to comprehend how fundamental group familiarity, cohesion and comfort are to some very basic aspects of civilization, social harmony, and personal well-being, I find myself questioning the wisdom of forcibly ripping nations apart, spilling their traumatized, incredibly needy inhabitants en masse into unprepared countries, and then telling the recipient communities, who suddenly find their longstanding traditions, day-to-day life cycles, social/ cultural infrastructure upended, to just suck it up. IOW, I've begun to understand the importance of slowly, organically developed communities to the very possibility of a sustainable civilization. See, I'm starting to think that (warning: CT coming) the brilliant think-tank minds who gave us 911 as a perfect justification for the development of a "national security" surveillance state and endless regime-change wars, were fully cognizant, even desirous, of the inevitable mass emigrations from bombed, invaded, occupied countries and the resulting repercussions across Europe and the Americas. Social scientists could have informed them -- and probably did -- about limitations on the ability of communities to sustain themselves under mass influx from without.

Your insight on immigration, at least, is congruent with mine. Without cultural cohesion, there can be no culture--only chaos. This is just fine with Killary and her crowd (including G.S.) because all they care about is wealth and personal luxury. You and I are just tolerated impediments to their unfettered well-developed means of self-promotion financially and influentially.

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10 users have voted.

@Alligator Ed
to our betters. Where's the fun of being a lord in a world with no serfs?

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11 users have voted.
Alligator Ed's picture

@FuturePassed Were I physically able, I would bow to you. You are lurking less and hopefully enjoying it more. Generally this group is well mannered. Do not think for one second that I am referring to me. As they say in the swamp: "Jump in the water, and I'll dine"

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7 users have voted.

@laurel comments, and especially many of those in your 2d para. The CT there is not far-fetched at all.

And I'm sure TPTB have even more horrible ideas in the works for the near future, alas.

Meanwhile, as we discuss meta here, this country is sliding into fascism. Even one of the experts in that area, Jason Stanley from Yale, called Trump's NC rally "the face of evil"

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10 users have voted.
Alligator Ed's picture

@wokkamile but what made the observer or reporter making that statement showed EVIL. I am not prejudiced in either direction.
After reading comments upon the speech, then I'll watch (maybe).

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3 users have voted.
lotlizard's picture

@laurel  
Much gratitude to you for all you have expressed here.

The psychological conditioning induced by the media and other gatekeepers of goodthink lead so many of us to stay silent, thinking we are alone, a negligible minority, in questioning the approved narratives of the day.

In actuality we are the majority — the tiny minority are the billionaire beneficiaries of the behavior patterns the system’s conditioning tries to instill.

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12 users have voted.
Alligator Ed's picture

@lotlizard

In actuality we are the majority — the tiny minority are the billionaire beneficiaries of the behavior patterns the system’s conditioning tries to instill.

And anybody that doesn't know is either congenitally or acquisitively retarded*.

P.S. I'll amend the proposal. You as the co-founder of die Partei in America, will be the first elected, do-nothing-on-purpose representative. I will await the next election cycle to claim out two seats in the halls of power.

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4 users have voted.
polkageist's picture

@laurel
Don't stop now. I no longer write essays because others here do so just as well or better than me. But I pay attention to what is written. So I will be happy to read what you have to say.

I'm not sure what this current problem is because I don't participate in conversations outside of C99's main page. There are a couple of men whose postings I don't read. I don't like their way of stating things. I have found that it's easier to just ignore one or two unpleasant people and stick with the majority who are reasonable. On C99 the reasonable people far outnumber the problem children.

As an example, I like the points you bring up about AOC. For me the jury is still out. But the discussions are interesting and I would love to see more with persuasive arguments pro and con. These are what this site does so well: few personal attacks but lots of opinions and discussion. As I have found, ignoring silly people on websites usually works pretty well. They thrive only when they get an audience.

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23 users have voted.

Greed is not a virtue.
Socialism: the radical idea of sharing.

snoopydawg's picture

@polkageist

I don't participate in conversations outside of C99's main page.

Not all essays get bumped to the front page so if you're aren't reading the community page you might have missed some good ones. Some times I post a funny twitt that gets lots of great comments on them and others post great stuff, but stays on CC... just checking..

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10 users have voted.

America is a pathetic nation; a fascist state fueled by the greed, malice, and stupidity of her own people.
- strife delivery

polkageist's picture

@snoopydawg
Snoopy dog I always read your posts.

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10 users have voted.

Greed is not a virtue.
Socialism: the radical idea of sharing.

@laurel

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7 users have voted.

"Without the right to offend, freedom of speech does not exist." Taslima Nasrin

edg's picture

I often take the contrary view to other members here and feel safe in doing so. Unlike another, orangey site I used to visit, the members here are overwhelmingly cordial even when they strongly disagree with your contrary view.

For me, that's the best reason for this site existing. There's the member who's an obvious Trump fan and outright conservative, yet doesn't get ban-hammered or HR-ed out of existence. There's the lady who lives in Germany and provides not only divergence but often head-scratching comic relief. There's the prolific essayist who obviously never sleeps because their output is prodigious and generally well-researched.

And then there's numbskulls like me that sometimes swim upstream against popular opinion and, amazingly for the Internet, survive the experience.

Keep the faith. As Red Green says, I'm pulling for you. We're all in this together.

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25 users have voted.

@edg myself. So we have at least that in common. Though I'm sure my diplomatic skills in the course of disagreeing could use some polishing. Averill Harriman I am not.

And I would hate to see this place become just a Kumbaya Love Fest where people tip-toe around lest the most sensitive here might have to take to the fainting couch, or a site with Stalinist thought conformity being imposed from above, like that there Kos place seems to have become.

Cheers ...

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8 users have voted.
edg's picture

@wokkamile

You nailed it.

I would hate to see this place become just a Kumbaya Love Fest where people tip-toe around lest the most sensitive here might have to take to the fainting couch, or a site with Stalinist thought conformity being imposed from above

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5 users have voted.
Raggedy Ann's picture

us or them. Hmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm...............

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17 users have voted.

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

WoodsDweller's picture

@Raggedy Ann
There is no "them". There's only "us".

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20 users have voted.

"I cannot ignore reality, but I can embrace beauty." -- magiamma

@Raggedy Ann

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6 users have voted.

"Without the right to offend, freedom of speech does not exist." Taslima Nasrin

mimi's picture

@Raggedy Ann

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8 users have voted.

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7 users have voted.

"Without the right to offend, freedom of speech does not exist." Taslima Nasrin

Raggedy Ann's picture

@mimi
Look out, folks! As fishtroller indicated - only the shadow knows and it ain't talking! Pleasantry

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6 users have voted.

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

lotlizard's picture

@mimi  
Peter Pan’s shadow gets detached from him and runs off, turning up in the children’s room of a Victorian house in London — Wendy, the oldest of the children, catches it and later sews it back on.

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8 users have voted.
thanatokephaloides's picture

..... and after all, we're only ordinary men.....

Wink

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12 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

@thanatokephaloides

Excerpt:

Haven't you heard it's a battle of words
The poster bearer cried
"Listen son", said the man with the gun
There's room for you inside
"I mean, they're not gonna kill ya
So if you give 'em a quick short, sharp, shock
They won't do it again. Dig it?
I mean he get off lightly, 'cause I would've given him a thrashing
I only hit him once! It was only a difference of opinion, but really
I mean good manners don't cost nothing do they, eh?"
Down (down, down, down, down)
And out (out, out, out, out)
It can't be helped that there's a lot of it about
With (with, with, with), without
And who'll deny it's what the fighting's all about?
Out of the way
It's a busy day
I've got things on my mind
For the want of the price
Of tea and a slice
The old man died

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13 users have voted.

wave monster, I was thinking about this thread. I started picturing people from the DNC and DKos having a party to celebrate C99's demise. I have to say, I really haven't found any other site like this that keeps those 'others' in check and exposes their shenanigans.

So how about WE all agree to spoil their party?

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19 users have voted.

"Without the right to offend, freedom of speech does not exist." Taslima Nasrin

Unabashed Liberal's picture

Clearly, JtC nailed it when he said,

I don't know for sure myself what may be coming down, that's mostly up to the members here.

I have one suggestion - please read the excerpt below, from one of Joe's excellent meta essays:

Here are some ways that you can help make the site better:

Among our aspirations for this site are to make this a place with very few rules, not because we thrive on chaos, but because we'd like to foster the sort of community that values and respects the site and each other, such that respectful discussions happen between people with diverse views in an organic manner.

Our one current rule is, don't be a dick.

I could be wrong, but, I sincerely believe that this sentiment would preclude behavior which has seemed to proliferate (here) lately--blanket passive-aggressive insults hurled at perceived 'groups' or 'categories' of C99'ers.

This behavior is clearly destructive and/or totally unproductive. Period.

It's my 'opinion' that strong negative feelings should be constructively dealt with, in real time. (Either on, or off the Board.) IOW, not allowed to fester, which may result in an emotional blow-up, later--often, at inappropriate times and/or targets.

Now, in the case of Joe-Smo lawmaker--he/she would be a 'public figure.' Therefore, one can say, "I love him," or, "I despise him." That's one's prerogative.

What is not acceptable, under any circumstance, is issuing threats to life or limb of anyone--including public figures. (JtC has addressed this issue, recently.)

Having said that, my understanding is that all members, posters, commenters should be shown courtesy and respect at all times.

Including, when another member(s) vehemently disagrees with their opinions.

Personally, I'm fully aware that it is I who's totally responsible for my feelings--not some outside force, including another C99 member. (This sentiment obviously does not include such instances, as when one member attacks another, ad hominem.)

At one time, this was a place of 'healing'--for me. And, now, I barely recognize what it's becoming.

But, it doesn't have to be this way.

As JtC said upthread--"that's mostly up to the members here."

I hope we don't let him down.

Here's my 'wish' for this wonderful blogging Community, and Everyone, for that matter,

Give roseMollie

“Dogs have given us their absolute all. We are the center of their universe. We are the focus of their love and faith and trust. They serve us in return for scraps. It is without a doubt the best deal man has ever made.
~~Roger Caras

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19 users have voted.

Everyone thinks they have the best dog, and none of them are wrong.

Eagles92's picture

@Unabashed Liberal But We Are the World is cringe-worthy.

(I know you mean well with the sentiment it purports to express, but ... ew.)

There's an excellent analysis of it, including the outsized influence Brian Eno had on its production, that I can't put my finger on right now. Will try to find it for anyone who's interested.

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8 users have voted.
Unabashed Liberal's picture

@Eagles92

that you don't care for the tune.

Frankly, I luv many of the vocalists--most of them, for that matter.

So, that's one reason I particularly like this song. The lyrics, probably not the most apt--but, not sure I could find one that would be, for a thread war--or, whatever one wants to call recent events. Biggrin

Hey, feel free to post the analysis of the production.

And, thanks for recognizing that I was well-intentioned.

SmileMollie

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6 users have voted.

Everyone thinks they have the best dog, and none of them are wrong.

Eagles92's picture

@Unabashed Liberal And the artists, many of whom comprised the soundtrack to my formative years.

And, as it turns out, I conflated it with Do They Know It's Christmas -- the truly cringe-worthy song. Still searching for that article I remember, though ...

Have a good Friday!

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4 users have voted.
Alligator Ed's picture

The credit goes to you, JtC, primarily--and Joe--and the many people who contribute here--and even the lurkers, whom I encourage to add their thoughts. Laurel's comment is fine one. She should do this more often.

After exiting the Great Orange Swamp (GOS), I found the congenial home here and cherish the opportunity to be part of it. Several essays by me attest to my appreciation of this site.

c99 shines brightly!

c99: University or Technical School?

A recent blogstorm involving myself may have been one inciting incident, though really, my personal involvement matters not--unless my contributions might lead to more harmony. Certain people require more restraint imposed from external sources than are available to those people, periodically--or permanently. Some people, such as me, are unafraid to voice their opinions. But courtesy and consideration for the viewpoints of others is necessary. So, even alligators pulling at their leashes may be brought to more civil discourse, some others cannot. This is a matter of temperament and world view. In turn, those factors of temperament and world view are irrevocably connected to one's self-image. When Eeyores bray, tune them out. If they continue braying, then perhaps an "intervention" is needed.

In one particular example raised above, the AOC controversy was mentioned. I for one think AOC is a con artist--but this thread is not the place to delve deeply into that subject. Every undertaking, animate and inanimate, has its ups and downs. Hold steady on the downs as the course will reverse. Hold firmly on the ups as the next down turn might throw one completely off the ride.

c99 is still Alive and Well.

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19 users have voted.

referring to and thinking.... well, OK, but what is the definition of 'being a dick' and who gets to decide someone's "being a dick" status? I felt the same way when it was used ad nauseum over at DKos. I was accused of it for saying that the Pope was not a true environmentalist.

There has been a person on here who flames a lot in his essays and comments to the point that I feel it's counterproductive for this site, not to mention highly repetitive. He has supporters, which is fine, but it feels like one or two of them is/are picking up on that angry tone and passing it along to the conversation in a way that gets others agitated too. THIS is what has had me concerned here recently, but it represents such a small portion of the site, it never occurred to me that it meant the whole place was going downhill.

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12 users have voted.

"Without the right to offend, freedom of speech does not exist." Taslima Nasrin

@Fishtroller 02

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5 users have voted.

"Without the right to offend, freedom of speech does not exist." Taslima Nasrin

Unabashed Liberal's picture

@Fishtroller 02

it's pretty much left up to their discretion as to who is acting like a 'D.' (to be polite)

Of course, it's up to each and every one of us to try our best to use common sense, when determining if our language is civil, and therefore, acceptable by C99 Community standards.

Your second paragraph is indicative of a point I was 'trying' to make earlier--why not address the person that you have a problem with, directly?

The reason I say that is, (IMO) your description could fit more than one member--so, it tells me nothing.

All a statement like that does is make (some) members who've, perhaps, had a past difference with the commenter, wonder, "Is he referring to me?" And, it's totally, counterproductive. Again, IMO.

This 'anonymous' pointing fingers does no one any good, that I can see. I simply can't understand why adults cannot respectfully address their differences. After all, there are always PM's, if members prefer to try to work out differences in private. (sometimes, probably best to do so) Which is not to say that it's not a difficult task, since it can be--but, it's necessary, if we are to maintain a healthy blogging Community. (IMO)

You made a comment elsewhere, which I was going to address (here), but, now can't find it. I'll catch up with you, again, if I run across it.

Mollie

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12 users have voted.

Everyone thinks they have the best dog, and none of them are wrong.

smiley7's picture

@Unabashed Liberal
rests within our membership's ability to push back upon unacceptable musings; isn't it?

Sure, admins have authority; but it is "we," members, who collectively hold 'the power" and in our writings and comments set the tone of that which is desired and undesired on any given day; the failure, if one exists, is in ourselves for allowing 'dickish' behavior to fester.

"The fault is not in our stars, but in ourselves," for not standing up to brutes and writers with private agendas; taking advantage of our community's wonderful openness.

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21 users have voted.
Unabashed Liberal's picture

@smiley7

didn't clearly express my thoughts, and, if it sounds as though I'm wanting to shut down dissent and/or disagreement among members, expressed in a civil manner. Please, allow me to take another stab at explaining my stance.

To clarify, I'm not at all against anyone disagreeing with any POV, or, vigorously debating issues.

I love that!

(Doesn't it show? Biggrin When have I ever been a shrinking violet?)

Heck, I'm the one who just reminded folks that 'public figures' are just that--they can be talked about favorably, or unfavorably--so long as there's no threat to limb or life attached to said remarks. (as I understand the DBAD Rule)

Frankly, it seems to me that some members have confused what is appropriate to say about public figures, with what is appropriate to say about other members. (I'll elaborate on that later.)

Now, what I don't care for, is when a member refuses to address various issues--and by extension, other members--directly.

And, as of late, it seems that hurling invectives and insults at broad 'categories' or 'groups' of fellow members has begun to pass as 'enlightened discussion.' (which I think is ridiculous on its face)

To me, it's the very definition of 'being a D.'

Not to confuse what I'm saying, here, with the use of non-inflammatory language and/or generalizations when having a 'policy' discussion.

Example: Not long ago UR, myself and other members were discussing 'patterns of voting' in the South. In that context, a 'generalized' discussion was quite appropriate; but, we weren't doing it with the intention of slandering, bullying, or insulting any groups, or cohorts of people.

Smiley, I'd be interested in hearing 'why' the other mode of communication is preferable, to rational discourse with a big dose of common courtesy.

You know you're one of my fav Buds, so, please don't take offense that I'm asking so directly for some clarification. But, admittedly, I'm confused (if you are saying) that erring on the side of civil discourse, would not be preferable. Give rose

Hey, got another thought or two on this topic, but, for now, gotta take Kaity out.

Later.

PleasantryMollie

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8 users have voted.

Everyone thinks they have the best dog, and none of them are wrong.

smiley7's picture

@Unabashed Liberal
BS/trolls in many ways. Let's not burden JtC and Joe or lean on them to do it for us.

Nothing to do with you, my friend, i was adding to your thinking.

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7 users have voted.
Unabashed Liberal's picture

@smiley7 @smiley7

up to Admin and/or each individual member, as to whether or not they care to engage in CM, or 'Community Moderation.'

Hey, I have my hands totally full right now, preparing for Mr M's retirement. So, I'll happily let others hash out this matter. Pleasantry

BTW, if you saw my comment (last weekend) about the medication you were denied, and want me to see if any of the NC Part D plans offer it, please, just let me know the name of the RX.

Obviously, hope all goes well on that front, and, with your medical care, in general. Sounds like you've got some really nice and top notch Docs. Smile

Take care.

Mollie

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7 users have voted.

Everyone thinks they have the best dog, and none of them are wrong.

smiley7's picture

@Unabashed Liberal
engaged with the drug denial; important issue.

Thanks for understanding. Not really moderation, i speak of, it's tone, the music, the score collectively set down that needs nourishing; trolls and BSer's do not.

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7 users have voted.
Unabashed Liberal's picture

@smiley7

Hope to hear real soon that your 'appeal'--which I'm guessing you've filed--has come through. Please keep us updated.

My how time flies--we're only several months out from having to slog through those dastardly Part D plans, again.

UGH!!!!!

BiggrinMollie

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6 users have voted.

Everyone thinks they have the best dog, and none of them are wrong.

@smiley7

a benevolent hierarchy has its virtues, including orderliness.

I would not want to be posting among board vigilantes or what the Pilgrims called "common scolds." Nor do I want to be swarmed by peers, each of whom imagines he or she has a right to pile on.

In my view, this board is the province of the admins. I am the equivalent of their dinner guest. If I don't behave myself, it's their right to call that to my attention and/or throw me out. Same for their private security team, the mods, each of whom was chosen for good reasons. My peers, my fellow dinner guests, who are neither owners nor the owners' chosen security team, however, are different. Not to stran the analogy too much, I'd rather not have food fights sanctioned.

IMO, each of the rest of us gets to try to control only one person, no more. Not having your elegant genteelness and polish, I bristle when a fellow poster tries to control my posting behavior, instead of, or in addition to, his or her own.

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8 users have voted.
smiley7's picture

@HenryAWallace
to gather before wading into this essay, i see, i missed the mark with both you and Mollie, thus far and if with my friends, probably more so to readers who don't know me a little.

So, thinking upon this more, when i was quite satisfied with my thinking above, i now draw with a fresh palette.

Let's not condemn Johnny and Joe to do our work for us. And having said as much, when in future, if i or anyone calls out a troll or bullshit or bad manners; let's at least let that opinion stand without piling on screaming free speech when in fact, most times when BS occurs, its intent ain't free.

Complex, not really, communities set the norms of behavior, or so i've read for decades from astute anthropologists.

This very discussion moves community in some way.

Better to move than stagnate.

Sundance Kid said "Better when i move."

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15 users have voted.

@smiley7

I feel we would be respecting their authority to run this board as they choose and respecting the structures that they have established. If they are okay with having something on the board they run, who would I be to chastise someone for posting it?

As for free speech, that is the obligation of government, not of Jtc or Jim. As a guest in someone else's home, I have no free speech "right" other than the one my host(s) permit me. They are within their rights to draw a line and/or to throw me out. As for me, I have the right to leave if I'd rather not observe their rules.

Should you tell me that my posts are out of line, I would not argue with you. I will not, however, make that promise as to all others here.

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7 users have voted.

@smiley7

a different opinion abut something than opinionated I have does not equal missing the mark.

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6 users have voted.
hecate's picture

when peeder started pff? His idealistic goal a site where everything would be permitted, nothing would be banned. Almost immediately, arrived the trolls. Intent on pushing, pushing, pushing, until they could make him take it back; behave so outre, that he would be forced, to establish some rules. And when he did, they were ecstatic, overcome, in glee. And shortly thereafter, he took the site down. And went off to be a chef.

This is the internet. Where the trolls always win. Always. Always, they have more energy, zeal, drive, than anyone else. And now they are out of the tubes, and into the world. That is why there is this president. For, at root, that is what he is. A troll. The first internet troll president. Troll uber alles.

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25 users have voted.
thanatokephaloides's picture

@hecate

This is the internet. Where the trolls always win. Always. Always, they have more energy, zeal, drive, than anyone else. And now they are out of the tubes, and into the world. That is why there is this president. For, at root, that is what he is. A troll. The first internet troll president. Troll uber alles.

I'm beginning to think that the writers of the computer game NetHack are correct about trolls in real life as well as on-screen. In NetHack, one must not just kill the trolls, but then one must destroy the corpse thereafter or the troll will rise from the dead to fuck with you again. I think that's what's happening here: just like in the NetHack world, ordinary characters die and stay dead while trolls are eternal.

Gak! Bad

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9 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

@hecate
oh, around 2011, 20012 if I remember correctly that I will mot name except for the acronym, witr, that was based on that same concept but for a few simple rules of civility. It was open to everyone.

It didn't take long for the trolls to find it and as a matter of fact they too came from pff that was under new management at the time, different site, different owner, same name. They were very likely the very same players as you allude to. I picked up on it immediately and warned the owner in private that the site had been infiltrated, to no avail. The site's admin who I'll identify as M wanted to, in his words, "kill the snake in the crib" and ban them as they registered but the owner pulled him back.

It didn't take long at all for them to make a complete mockery of the site and drove the members of a once vibrant site away. It only took a short time to make it a ghost town. They were gleeful and proud of their work. They would go back to pff and brag about it. The owner kept it open for a few months afterwards but in all reality it had become a victim, a troll victory.

I watched and learned that lesson very well and I still carry with me.

Our open discussion policy is both an asset and a liability. An asset in the sense that it attracts open minded folks here, and a liability in the sense that it may attract folks that bring a personal agenda to the table.

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19 users have voted.
WoodsDweller's picture

@JtC
I used to hang out (under another name) at The Oil Drum while it was in its heyday. Thousands of posts per day. It was a magnificent community. Many articulate people, free thinkers, petroleum industry folks, academics.
And trolls. Two of them to be exact. They tied the entire site in knots, doing whatever they could to derail conversations. Importantly, the comments on the site were nested to indicate the threads below the top level posts.
The site owner was very reluctant to ban anyone, strongly believing in free speech.
I hated seeing such a terrific site brought low, so I did something about it. I wrote a plugin for FireFox that implemented a blacklist feature on the client side. Users (not the site admins) were able to block the posts by anyone they chose to put on their blacklist, along with ALL responses to the subthread under their posts.
Not very many people used it, not many people used FireFox. I used it myself and loved it. One of the site's major posters tried it and took it to the site owner. He used it to show that HALF THE SITE's TRAFFIC was a result of exactly two trolls and the community's responses to them. He finally banned those two users and the site returned to normal. Happily, they didn't create sock puppet accounts to continue their work.
A blacklist feature works differently than downrating, and differently than banning. A ban is imposed by an admin who gets to decide what I read. Downrating means that other users decide what I get to read (and one of the truly great design decisions for this site was to have only upratings). A blacklist lets an individual user make the decision themselves.
Trolls troll in order to affect the site. They want to disrupt it, change the direction of the discussion, hijack it to their own ends, and always they're the victims of heartless censorship. If nobody listens to them, they give up and go away. It's the only thing that really works.
Of course, a paid troll will continue as long as he is paid, but without readers they don't cause any harm, and without results they may not continue to be paid.
I've only participated in one community that implemented a server side blacklist feature, and I only used it on one guy who liked to get drunk and insult people, never having anything of value to say.
C99P isn't big enough to need this yet, but it's something to keep in mind for the future.

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16 users have voted.

"I cannot ignore reality, but I can embrace beauty." -- magiamma

@WoodsDweller
or blocking feature has been requested and is possible to implement here, but because of limited server resource isn't really a viable option, and as you say, isn't really needed.

Most trolls are easily spotted, but the very best are quite subtle in their technique, but they will eventually show themselves for what they are.

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15 users have voted.
Eagles92's picture

@JtC And, at least at this point, I feel they're easily identified.

I understand your fears. I want to assure you that most of us are open-minded and won't be intimidated or influenced by the shit-stirring trolls, who are indeed few.

I think that's the singular beauty of what you and Joe have created here. Many of us are refugees from a place (or places) where psy-ops and bullying ruled the day, and we don't want to replicate that particularly unpleasant and abusive atmosphere. For that reason, we can mostly approach all topics and conversations rationally -- with the added bonus that we are willing to welcome ANY contributors who want to join. Some of them may have ulterior motives. But, because we don't exist in an echo chamber, and because we've lived through many attempts at thought control, we're able to separate the wheat from the chaff. And we don't need to discard the chaff, or gang up on it with down votes and shrieking. Because we are who we are, we ignore it and move on.

(I now fear I'm not making sense. 'Cause it's been a tremendously difficult few weeks and I'm heavy into the grape juice, lol). Anyway, JtC, not to worry.

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15 users have voted.
Dawn's Meta's picture

@Eagles92

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4 users have voted.

A society grows great when old men plant trees in whose shade they know they shall never sit. Allegedly Greek, but more possibly fairly modern quote.

Consider helping by donating using the button in the upper left hand corner. Thank you.

only had an occasional hiccup.

It appears the spirit of caucus99percent is dead.

But, I'll take your word for it because no one knows a baby like its parents.

ETA: BTW, I think the right/left divide is the cause. That it is not a Democrat/Republican divide does not mean its not a right/left divide or an establishment/anti-establishment divide. Just my two cents. Maybe even less.

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6 users have voted.
Unabashed Liberal's picture

@HenryAWallace

since all of the Dem Party candidates are Establishment candidates.

(Even Warren and Bernie have official Dem Party Leadership positions. And, if there were any one candidate who'd consider running third party, it would probably be Gravel. Maybe, Gabbard--but, not that likely, IMO.)

I 'think' that the deepest divide is probably between members who are interested in policy/issues versus Dem Party electoral politics.

Now, a year or two ago, I thought it was between Dem Partisans and the true left--or, hard left, as some would say.

Who knows? My hope is that once this election cycle's over, things will return to normal. (At least, until the next election. Smile )

Mollie

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7 users have voted.

Everyone thinks they have the best dog, and none of them are wrong.

@Unabashed Liberal

establishment candidates. However, my observation is that some posters here are indeed "Blue, no matter what or who." aka LOTE voters. They don't say that in so many words or in that way because the ones on the other side of that particular divide are "vocal," for want of a better descriptor.

I 'think' that the deepest divide is probably between members who are interested in policy/issues versus Dem Party electoral politics.

That particular divide involves you, so you may perceive it as the deepest one. However, I think there is more than one kind of divide among Caucusers. I don't know that any of them is THE deepest divide. However, each and every one of the divides is deep enough to set off someone or other, which, IMO

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7 users have voted.
Unabashed Liberal's picture

@HenryAWallace @HenryAWallace @HenryAWallace

maybe 'deepest' divide was a poor choice of words for issue-oriented advocacy. Still, I do believe that it's a significant divide.

[Edited: deleted 'however'; added introductory phrase]

For a little bit of background, a couple of issues that propelled (some in) our breakaway Google Group were two topics--interest in issue-oriented advocacy (and not just the constant drumbeat of electoral politics that DKos was known for), and, not having to feel pressured into LOTE thinking/voting--as was the 'house rule' at DKos. Certainly, there were other issues, as well.

Anyhoo, to the best of my recollection, for CStMS (who formed the GG) it was 'climate change.' For me, as usual/always, it was trying to stop a 'Grand Bargain,' or, so-called entitlement reform.

Clearly, this blog is a different kind of animal, with different rules.

Most importantly, it is 'open to all.'

Which is one of many reasons that I'm so thankful that JtC has given us C99!

Give roseMollie

“Dogs have given us their absolute all. We are the center of their universe. We are the focus of their love and faith and trust. They serve us in return for scraps. It is without a doubt the best deal man has ever made.
~~Roger Caras

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8 users have voted.

Everyone thinks they have the best dog, and none of them are wrong.

lotlizard's picture

@Unabashed Liberal  
The first phase was when I noticed that every time some contributors, for instance OPOL or Buhdydharma, posted something I liked, the same crew of disrupters would barge in at the top of the comments and crap on it, while being backed up by site management in an apparent and flagrant contradiction of the site’s own rules.

The second phase was when, partly in response to the above problem, someone suggested the site institute “caucus” posts, where a special rule would come into play that commenters must accept the issue focus and certain premises defined by the OP (original poster). That is, “trolling” against the OP’s framing and purposes would not be allowed, creating a “safe space” for discussion of a specific proposal or issue. Such protection had already been afforded to, for example, the so-called IGTNT or “I Got The News Today” posts mourning fallen veterans, the just-for-fun posts about pets and other animals, and posts showcasing the Obama White House photo op of the week. Site management crapped on this suggestion.

The third phase began when site management turned right around and allowed pro-Hillary posts to enjoy the same “safe space” rule they had just denied for the proposed “caucus” posts in phase two. This phase culminated in the Ides of March decree, crowning Hillary as the winner and giving the site owner’s imprimatur to bullying behavior crapping on anyone who dared to voice further criticism of Her or continued support for Bernie.

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4 users have voted.
Unabashed Liberal's picture

@lotlizard

to the discussion.

Knowing a bit of the background regarding why some of the predecessors (Groups and Boards) of C99 were formed, may shed a bit of light on the mindset or thinking of some of the so-called old-timers. (Not that it was, or is, a monolithic group of folks.)

Have a good one.

PleasantryMollie

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0 users have voted.

Everyone thinks they have the best dog, and none of them are wrong.

travelerxxx's picture

My take on the recent Squirrel post from JtC (now vanished into the ether) was that JtC was the squirrel. I felt the comments missed that. If just a chuckle was intended to be provoked, there were millions of other memes which he could have posted.

On first consideration of that posted squirrel meme, I made an assumption that some recent thinly-veiled threats of violence and/or personal harm were the issue. As owner of the site, JtC (and maybe even joe shikspack - I don't know) can be held to some form of liability for what is posted. Certainly, the site can be blacklisted by the likes of Google. JtC mentioned in a previous plea that he doesn't really need "the alphabets" knocking on his door. He's right, and as members of this site we could all be dragged in as accomplices of a sort. None of us need that, nor is it advancing the plight of the 99%.

Now, I'm considering that there's more to it than what I just mentioned. Evidently, a lot more.

It appears the spirit of caucus99percent is dead.

Man, it hurts to read that. It really hurts coming from JtC.

What is this "spirit of caucus99percent?" I believe it's put rather simply in these words from the C99 Frequently Asked Questions page:

Like the Occupy movement from which the name of this site derives (many of the early members of the site were active members and supporters of Occupy) we are open to people with all kinds of different ideas about how to make the world a better place. The folks already here represent a broad range of left-leaning to far-left orientations.

Further, and JtC has mentioned this over and over again:

C99 is not a partisan site. This site does not endorse any candidate or ask that anyone support a candidate or party.

There are few rules, but the subject is broached:

We are disinclined to create a lot of rules, not because we thrive on chaos, but because we'd like to foster the sort of community that values and respects the site and each other, such that respectful discussions happen between people with diverse views in an organic manner.

We have only one universal, all-weather, one size fits all, batteries not required rule, "don't be an ass." (DBAA)

It's a little blunt, but it seems the sort of thing that just about everyone understands intuitively.

The coin of the realm here is kindness to others and articulate discussion of your point of view in a way that respects other people's ideas. Discussions that are characterized by the coherent exposition of evidence, facts, logic and reason, which honor the bonds of friendship that hold us together, are what this community thrives on.

And now, read that last part once again, as I believe it describes the spirit of caucus99percent:

The coin of the realm here is kindness to others and articulate discussion of your point of view in a way that respects other people's ideas. Discussions that are characterized by the coherent exposition of evidence, facts, logic and reason, which honor the bonds of friendship that hold us together, are what this community thrives on.

We are the 99%. The person who would re-write the constitution, the lady who would vote for Warren, the man who believes there is virtue in Trump, the folks who would shut down immigration, those who would open borders wide, the lady who would push Bolton off a cliff, the man who doesn't know where his next meal may come from, those who are not at all certain they will have a home tomorrow, those of us who are slowly dying from lack of affordable medical attention -- we are all part of the 99%. None of them are our enemies, although we may disagree. We are the 99%.

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26 users have voted.

@travelerxxx
that is the essence, you nailed it traveler.

One correction though: Joe penned that FAQ. If only I could be so eloquent as he.

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18 users have voted.
snoopydawg's picture

@travelerxxx

Succinct and to the point. Especially...

None of them are our enemies, although we may disagree. We are the 99%.

Yup!

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12 users have voted.

America is a pathetic nation; a fascist state fueled by the greed, malice, and stupidity of her own people.
- strife delivery

@travelerxxx

"spitballs" at other boards.

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4 users have voted.

This site is a great place for freethinkers. I was just thinking the other day that caucus99percent is heating up in a good way for the 2020 elections. There seems to be more participants (and all the good ones from gos) and varied opinions.

Thank you everybody!

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16 users have voted.
Lookout's picture

...you see the glass as 3/4 full, and I must admit to my polyannish POV. I operate on the power of positive vibes. As a result I (perhaps mistakenly) see our c99 community as a family....complete with lefty uncles, curmudgeons, crazy cousins, and annoying aunts. Sometimes the family can get into a kerfluffle, but mostly it flows along with a familial friendly relationship.

Over the last few years as the devastating effects of climate collapse have become increasingly obvious, the normal political disagreements seem relatively trivial to me. The complete corporate coup has co-opted my youthful thoughts of political solutions. So many times after reading an essay I think that people are chasing their tails worry about this issue. However instead of weighing in, I choose a course of silence. Why offend someone to no purpose? Other than the OT's where I often chitchat, I don't comment unless I feel I have something of value to offer.

So, I'm trying to say that I love our little community. I think of you as family with all the subtleties that involves. I hope those of you who have gotten to know me through c99 think I add that family feel to our site. Onward my friends. Be not discouraged as we face the future because the supportive friendships we foster here will buoy our spirits and hearts.

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15 users have voted.

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

the comment thread would look NOTHING like this one does.

Wow, I'm happy!

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10 users have voted.

"Without the right to offend, freedom of speech does not exist." Taslima Nasrin

Dawn's Meta's picture

Ditto Lookout's comments and so many others here.

JtC, this site is your and Joe's baby. I agree with the dinner party metaphor. I have been disappointed when various guests have either chosen to leave or have been banned. Some have been good writers who somehow went sideways. It's been my nature all my life to keep the 'family' together. so I miss now silent voices.

I enjoy quirky writers as well as those who share their thinking on a subject and the well-researched incredibly intense posts some are willing to create and watch what happens. I also enjoy the deliberate involvement of voices in opposition to most members, as I want to see what others are thinking and why. I would never encourage someone who is say conservative to leave, unless they are simply trolling. But if it helps me see what is thought and hopefully, why, all is good.

If someone consistently throws bombs in threads, especially if said bombs might cause unwanted attention, then hey, we want the village to continue.

Sometimes what I see happening, is that a comment written so wryly and dryly it sails over/under most of our heads, it can be easy to take offense. Tentatively, I asked one writer if what I saw was snark. I got a straight answer..."no". So I quit the thread.

Recently, offense was taken in one thread, and very harsh things were said. It may have been a misunderstanding. Maybe a few questions thrown in would have solved the problem. Several peacemakers, which I note often, stepped in and tried to get things to quiet down.

Maybe more often any of us (me included) could say, ok is this what you meant?

But offense given purposely, must be met with restraint if we are going to help keep this village together.

Out here in the hinterlands of France, this is one place I can visit, where I understand most of the culture, the language and can express my opinions. It means the world to me.

I am hoping given the platform and structure JtC has created, that the diner guests and villagers can help keep things from derailing and unravelling.

Just blew up my second Mac Mini and have just now fully come back. It died a slow lingering death, which really restricted my activities. Not to mention a stone house we are having to rebuild---ack!

Just dipping my oar in, and hoping that there are not terrible things I don't understand, things sailing by and all.

JtC, bonne courage, et, bonne village. From a grateful guest.

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9 users have voted.

A society grows great when old men plant trees in whose shade they know they shall never sit. Allegedly Greek, but more possibly fairly modern quote.

Consider helping by donating using the button in the upper left hand corner. Thank you.

Big Al's picture

Congrats.

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10 users have voted.
Eagles92's picture

@Big Al ::heart emoji::

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4 users have voted.
thanatokephaloides's picture

@Big Al

Looks like us won. Congrats.

You must try some of my purple berries!

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5 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