What Must We Do?

I propose the following:

Option A:

We should stop arguing about whether or not Our Revolution and Brand New Congress are worth a damn. I think everybody knows, from my comments, where I stand on these organizations, and on the current direction of the Sanders movement. However, the division caused by this argument, and the energy wasted on it, are far worse ills than any we'd encounter by simply allowing those who want to work for those organizations to work for them, and allowing those who don't to move on to other work.

This means that those who believe these organizations are a waste of time will have to live with the fact that some here are wasting their time and resources working there. And those that believe that these organizations are our greatest hope will have to live with the fact that some here refuse to join in, thus making it a weaker effort than it otherwise would be.


The fact that some people here will support those organizations and some won't is not something any amount of discussion here can change.
Until or unless new information comes to light, the argument over Bernie's organizations is worse than useless.

The same goes for arguments over Bernie's character and motives. Later in this essay, I'll get to what I think of Bernie right now, and my comments over the past few days tell you what I think motivated his choices. But that and a quarter will buy me a phone call (maybe). I think we've come to the point where, barring new information coming to light, the argument over Bernie's character and motives is worse than useless.

I can understand that some people might be pissed off at the notion that I'm telling them to stop talking about their topics of choice, so I have a 2nd option:

Option B:

Let's have a weekly window of time when we DON'T talk about Politicians on High. For instance, how about Friday mornings? Let's say from 6 a.m. Pacific to 3 p.m. Pacific. (I thought of calling 'em Hackless Fridays, but that might be needlessly negative). People will commit to do one diary on something that involves nobody famous, and preferably involves something positive that you've seen, heard, or want to do.

Here's my first contribution, which could serve as an example of what I'm talking about:

(I might republish this as a stand-alone diary, apart from the meta, if it seems to need it, because it's a GREAT idea!)

I got this from WindDancer13 last night on EB, so a mighty and massive hat tip to WD!:

Please watch this starting at 5:16

Here is the website the guy (Sam Husseini) set up: http://www.votepact.org/

This is a magnificent idea, even if it fails to dislodge Hillary Clinton from the throat of the country, where we're currently choking on her. It brings the people together. It reaffirms bonds of trust across political lines, and in particular reaffirms the fact that we trust each other--the people we know--a hell of a lot more than we trust any of those bastards who are providing us with our current political "choices." It creates the basis of a movement against the system that produced these rotten choices in the first place. And who knows where a movement like that could go?

So I propose we spread this idea far and wide. My thoughts so far:

1) Town hall-style meetings between us and Republicans who are sick of their own party's BS and the corruption of the country, as much as we are. If there are 2,000 members here, that could be 2,000 meetings. If there are people who can't do the organizing, for health reasons, or whatever, take 50% off that number--and 1,000 meetings still sounds pretty good to me.
Even 500 would be a nice start.

2) A hashtag #IllVoteWithYou

3) A webpage where people can register their pledge--two by two--to vote against the major party candidates, with the ability to upload photos of the fathers and sons, mothers and daughters, neighbors, brothers joining together across party lines.

4)Or perhaps a Tumblr, like We Are the 99 Percent. Perhaps Mr. Husseini would like to put such pictures, or even video, up on his site, or perhaps we could put it up here.

5) Perhaps we could use the Web to find people with whom to make a VotePact, but I worry that might dilute the strength of the idea, which is connection and trust between people who know each other. (I have the idea both of a website where people would come to find such a person, and also of an app that one could use--but I'm very unsure of whether this is a good idea.)

6) If people know how--I wish I did!--we could make videos of people who are making a Vote Pact in our community and put them up on YouTube and here. Imagine this happening around the country. And it would be completely independent of *any* politician.

7)If there are celebrities who could use their visibility to popularize the idea, that might be a good thing (Susan Sarandon? Tim Robbins?)

I think this is a solid idea, with much to recommend it. What do you think?
---

Background/rationale:

Some might notice I'm ganking Lenin's title (which I guess might be better translated What Is To Be Done?) I'm doing this to emphasize the fact that we are in revolution. We are in revolution because we're facing some terrifying political and material conditions, which are a result of what some identify as late-stage capitalism, some as disaster capitalism, some as corporatism or fascism, and some just as corruption. The most evident of these conditions is the complete lack of accountability of the government to the people, with the result that laws are used primarily to protect the rich, and public policy to facilitate the movement of more and more power and money into their hands, no matter the cost. And whoa, Nelly, the cost is getting astronomical. Insane, in fact, so much so that some of the .01%, even some whose job it is to defend capitalism--the type that hangs around Davos intermittently--are starting to worry: https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2015/jan/22/davos-oligarchs-fe...

My aim here is not as ambitious as Lenin's, my scope isn't as wide, and, given the fight I was having on Twitter the other night with a Marxist I respect, I might not come to Lenin's same conclusions (I'm too liberal for some kinds of Marxism. I find myself simply unable to give up the idea of freedom of discourse, or to think that the only way to combat a bad idea is to suppress it. As an intellectual, I just can't go there. Though I admit the issue is more difficult than it appears.)

How does this relate to discussions on caucus99percent?

Well, I'd wager that one of the reasons we talk so much about political celebrities--those we hate, and those we love--is that we don't want to ask the question What Must We Do? I know I don't! At this point in history, it tends to be an ugly question. But I believe we must ask it, now.

The aim of this essay is to make a case for moving some of our energy off of the focus on politicians. But I want to acknowledge that it's not only avoidance, or desire for a savior/messiah (what hecate calls Daddy/Mommy) that has spurred our latest focus on Bernie. At a deeper level, the community is trying to process what just happened and why we failed. In my opinion, the impulse to take stock and do a strategic analysis after a defeat is sound, and when you lose a strong ally and a leader, it's a bad enough blow that people want to figure out why and how it happened. In the absence of evidence, people speculate. This is natural. But it also tends to put way too much focus on one person, and on the personal generally, so that you end up with people angry at each other either because they're attacking or defending the former leader. This is a waste of time, and if I were working for Hillary Clinton, I'd be delighted to see it, given that her strategy can be summed up as the three D's: Demoralization, Division, and Despair.

She works like a dementor, or a ringwraith. It's useful to remember this.

In my opinion, we have, on the left--and perhaps in America generally--a real problem with understanding corruption. Sometimes I feel like my mind is gripping my copy of The Lord of the Rings in a death grip, desperate to hold onto the understanding of corruption that text gives me--because we don't have a hell of a lot else to rely on, in this devastated culture we now inhabit. We were never very good at this question anyway, in the United States. The idea that a meritorious individual can be corrupted, and change from being Good to Bad, or at the very least change from serving good purposes to serving evil ones, is not one we can hold in our head very well. We in the United States deeply need to believe in the Victory of the Meritorious Individual Over Bad Circumstance. Thus, when we're confronted with corruption, there's an incredibly strong tendency to retroactively make the person bad from the beginning, insincere from the beginning, because we just can't handle the notion that someone who previously acted consistently for the good could become someone who serves evil. Instead, we want to believe we were duped from the beginning, so we don't have to face the fact that nobody is strong enough or good enough to be safe from corruption.

This is not the same thing as saying that no one can ever refuse to be corrupted. Heroism exists in the world. It's probably more prevalent than we know, because mass communications are largely devoted to spreading the messages of Demoralization, Division, and Despair. Of course, it's possible to defy the forces of corruption, and even to do so successfully. You can be Faramir, and refuse to even look at the Ring; you can be Bilbo, and successfully say no with the help of a friend; you can be Frodo, and carry the damned thing for months and months without using it.

But nobody is good enough or strong enough to be able to say with certainty they won't be corrupted.

Perhaps if we incorporated this idea into our thinking, we could organize ourselves so that we do not rely so utterly on one visible leader. Perhaps if we did, we could look at our warriors who have fallen with pity, rather than with either a sense of angry betrayal or a defensive refusal to acknowledge that anything is wrong.

Because this is a battle. We are in a war. I know some of you will object to this framing, and if you can suggest a better frame that doesn't violate the material facts of our current reality, I would be delighted to stop looking at this as a war--because that's exactly how Hillary Clinton and the forces she represents look at it, and it's always better not to adopt your enemy's frames. But until somebody helps me out by providing me a convincing alternative--this looks like a war to me.

So when I see Bernie Sanders, since the New Hampshire endorsement, what do I see?

I see a beloved veteran officer who's been taken captive. And as he stumps around the country for Clinton, it doesn't look any different to me than an enemy army parading that beloved veteran in front of his former troops, with the clear aim of destroying their morale.

Obviously, the first order of business under the heading of What Must We Do is to preserve our morale and stick together, and not allow this tactic to work. In order for it not to work, we need, IMO, three things:

1)We need to stop attacking each other.
2)We need meaningful work to do that draws us together.
3)We need to have fun together.

That's my take. If you disagree, I hope you'll put your own ideas for how we could move forward into the comments--or perhaps a diary of your own.

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63 users have voted.

Comments

Raggedy Ann's picture

We are who we are. Why try and control? People can exercise self control, or not. We can only control ourselves. If we agree, we voice it. If we disagree, we voice it. It is what it is. Acceptance of our fellow human beings is not easy, but necessary. It's why we have so many problems - someone always wants control.

Pleasantry

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27 users have voted.

"If there is not justice for the people, let there be no peace for the government." Emiliano Zapata

Thaumlord-Exelbirth's picture

Rather, it's about directing a movement.

As to that acceptance of our fellow humans line, that's pretty vague. What things are you suggesting we accept?

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

We may not. We may want to have a space where we can come and vent our frustrations, and speak the truth to each other.

If that's what the majority wants, then that's what this site should be.

Or, alternatively, there can be a small space within this site--maybe a diary series, or something--where people who want to organize can come together. That's gonna be the next thing I do, because I like the Vote Pact idea a lot.

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20 users have voted.

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

Keep pushing the door open. Light the corners till the melt.
--Magiamma

Morire de cara sol.
--Jose Marti

I like the idea a lot, and am happy to see people taking up this idea. I find myself too busy and too old and tired to be as active as you suggest, and my allergy to social media in general isolates me in these efforts. I can donate though, so I'll check out the effort.

Thanks for creating the change you want to see. This community can be whatever we want to make of it, and I'm happy to see your wisdom and passion brought to bear on this effort.

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28 users have voted.

Please help support caucus99percent!

Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

I really appreciate that!

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13 users have voted.

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

Keep pushing the door open. Light the corners till the melt.
--Magiamma

Morire de cara sol.
--Jose Marti

The idea seems very sound to me and if it can focus our efforts to a significant degree, then we may have a positive effect.

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9 users have voted.

"The justness of individual land right is not justifiable to those to whom the land by right of first claim collectively belonged"

Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

I think there's some value there, in that it taps a serious source of discontent.
The challenges are to get it out where people can see it, and to get people to feel like doing *anything* is worthwhile.

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8 users have voted.

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

Keep pushing the door open. Light the corners till the melt.
--Magiamma

Morire de cara sol.
--Jose Marti

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1 user has voted.
Thumb's picture

It captured so much of how I feel.

We may want to have a space where we can come and vent our frustrations, and speak the truth to each other.

This was a driving force behind several of us ex-kossacks starting WayoftheBern - too much censorship and attempts to control the narrative from people who are supposed to be allies when we should be working together, and accepting that not everyone will have the same approach to the same end goals and this should be okay too. We're also seeing the same dynamics you're describing, fighting over which approach is best (hell if I know) and so we're trying to encourage an 'All of the Above' approach to fighting back.

I'm going to make your essay a Top Post shortly with a link back here. Feel free to join our comments over there as well.

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25 users have voted.

"Polls don't tell us how well a candidate is doing; Polls tell us how well the media is doing." ~ Me

Wink's picture

Above is the approach to take. It seems the Oligarchy is trying to "Divide and Conquer" any and all efforts by The Left (and the right) to end their dominance by starting up a bunch of Bernie-like websites where Lefties can bicker about which one is best and which one is horse$h!t - instead of joining forces (as we did during Bernie's campaign) to end the Oligarchy bull$h!t. Just get in a group(s) you like and work it. "Our Revolution" ain't cutting it? Try something else. Find a group that "gets it," and work it.

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17 users have voted.

the little things you can do are more valuable than the giant things you can't! - @thanatokephaloides. On Twitter @wink1radio. (-1.9) All about building progressive media.

Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

Sorry it took me a while to respond--I've got guests and I had to step AFK.

About to go AFK again, but wanted to check in and see who responded.

Thanks for the crosspost, I really appreciate it.

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9 users have voted.

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

Keep pushing the door open. Light the corners till the melt.
--Magiamma

Morire de cara sol.
--Jose Marti

Older and Wiser Now's picture

The only HUGE PROBLEM with your essay that I can see is that

YOU didn't "do the necessary" to crosspost it over on reddit. And I'm going to call YOU on that here (in the nicest possible way, I hope). Because I think very highly of you, CantStop, and I want your words to make more of an impact.

Here you did all of this work to write a fabulous essay that people should read and actually want to read but DON"T READ BECAUSE THEY DON'T KNOW ABOUT IT!!!! For example, ME. The only reason that I found your essay was because of Thumbs crosspost on WotB (thank you Thumb!!!).

I'm not sure why authors on c99p are not cross-posting over on reddit already. Some do, like Steven_D. But not very many. And it doesn't take that much time. Compared to the time to create the essay, the time to cross-post on reddit is like pennies on the dollar. And for those pennies, your words have the potential to go that much further. And every time you cross-post, you are also sending traffic over here to c99p, which is kind of like watering a plant, IMHO. It's a good thing, it's a WIN/WIN, it is the dreaded-word SYNERGY!

Are people shy? Is that it? Seems to me that if someone is brave enough to publish an essay on c99p, they have a certain amount of non-shyness, don't they?

I'm guessing that authors here may not have registered over on reddit, and basically do not know how reddit works. Is that it? If so, I'm thinking that we need to fix that pronto. It's very different on reddit, so it can be intimidating, even overwhelming at first. But you'll catch on, and fairly quickly. I'm thinking that I should write a HOW TO document to make the process that much easier for folks. If I did that, would people register and at least give reddit a try?

CantStop, I hope you know that i'm only scolding you now because I love you Smile

Diaries that explicity give ideas about things people can actually do are awesome, IMHO.

Best, ~OaWN

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10 users have voted.

~OaWN

Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

Can'tStop No Understand Reddit. Can'tStop Never Use Reddit Before. Urgh, urgh, Dumb Gorilla. Can'tStop Only Understand Blogosphere and that Tweet Thing.

So yes, that is the reason.

What I know (in terms of digital communication) just depends on what I happened to encounter on the Web in my life. I encountered Usenet first, then the blogs (I remember when they went by their full names!)then YouTube; then FB rose, and Twitter.

Usenet died (tear); I rejected FB; all the rest I kept.

Anything you have to share re: Reddit would be delightful. Please do.

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7 users have voted.

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

Keep pushing the door open. Light the corners till the melt.
--Magiamma

Morire de cara sol.
--Jose Marti

Older and Wiser Now's picture

My confession is that I am still not on twitter. I'm thinking I really need to fix that.

We are all the same, I think. Learning something new takes a bit of time, and a bit of fortitude. We kind of need to have both at the same time.

I've added this to my todo list. I'm sure you are not alone.

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7 users have voted.

~OaWN

elenacarlena's picture

expect, and the ups and downs. Reddit doesn't seem to get a lot of respect on the blogs. OTOH, everyone protects their own turf.

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6 users have voted.

Please check out Pet Vet Help, consider joining us to help pets, and follow me @ElenaCarlena on Twitter! Thank you.

Older and Wiser Now's picture

I actually like the little corners of reddit that KFS and WotB have carved out. Moderation is the key, and I think that both are doing a pretty good job. The WotB folks (I'm looking at you, Thumb!) have been especially creative in this regard, they've come up with some automation techniques to get the job done, which is both interesting and great.

IMHO, it's as if I get to go to special versions of Huffington Post focused just on the best progressive news. Some of that carries over here to c99p, but not all of it. So those who aren't using reddit are actually missing out!

For example, there are a few TAKE ACTION threads today encouraging folks to Phonebank for Tim Canova. Here is one of them: https://www.reddit.com/r/Kossacks_for_Sanders/comments/4zzzn2/lines_are_...

And here is a thread for WotB that is marked "EFFIN SCARY", and I think that it true: https://www.reddit.com/r/WayOfTheBern/comments/4zze09/the_secret_justice...

Thanks for chiming in ec! I'm smiling at your kitty avatar and sending you some cyber-love!

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4 users have voted.

~OaWN

Wink's picture

a big fan either. Only got so much time, and Reddit is like reading the NY Times classifieds. Just too hard to read.

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7 users have voted.

the little things you can do are more valuable than the giant things you can't! - @thanatokephaloides. On Twitter @wink1radio. (-1.9) All about building progressive media.

Alphalop's picture

It makes it incredibly difficult to carry on a sequential conversation.

I do use reddit for some things, but it just doesn't work for me for long form political discussion.

Plus, there is something about the site that actually causes my eyes to blur after a short time, Eye fatigue maybe?

I dunno.

Reddit has lots of potential,and potential uses, but it just doesn't fit me personally for most subjects.

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4 users have voted.

"I used to vote Republican & Democrat, I also used to shit my pants. Eventually I got smart enough to stop doing both things." -Me

Older and Wiser Now's picture

Maybe you are wired differently than me, we all are, and different strokes for different folks. That could very well be.

But maybe you never had enough to figure out how the knobs work? Over there, you get MAIL when somebody has replied to your comment, which is awesome. And if you go to your mailbox, you get a page that looks something like the one you are on right now.

All of the mail that you've gotten is written as comments on the page, kind of like they were all responses to some essay you had written. You can bulk-read them all at once very easily. And you can reply to each one on that page, but all of the other ones are still on that page so you "bounce around" a bit less.

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2 users have voted.

~OaWN

Thumb's picture

I only included a couple excerpts with some editorializing and a link back here.

Here's the link to ours.

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13 users have voted.

"Polls don't tell us how well a candidate is doing; Polls tell us how well the media is doing." ~ Me

Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

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5 users have voted.

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

Keep pushing the door open. Light the corners till the melt.
--Magiamma

Morire de cara sol.
--Jose Marti

Wink's picture

disagreement and discontent in any organization. Look at ToP. If you're trying to defuse the disagreement and discontent that will never happen. People are pissed becuz they worked their asses off for Bernie and it appears he has thrown in the towel, caved to the HRC campaign. I would be one of those. But, few have any idea what happened after the Cali primary, but whatever it was affected Bernie and any "Bernie Revolution" effort. My guess is Flash and Vito from the HRC campaign showed up at Bernie's hotel room and made an "offer" he couldn't refuse. But that's just a guess. It could be a Lot more innocent than that, but Something happened after Cali, and Bernie and his "revolution" haven't been the same since. I do not personally blame Bernie for what's happened (or Hasn't happened) since Cali. The "revolution" (if one is ever to happen) has always been up to us, on us. Not Bernie or anyone else. Regardless, we're not going to settle any of that here. This is a board to discuss news and ideas. We're not always going to agree.

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13 users have voted.

the little things you can do are more valuable than the giant things you can't! - @thanatokephaloides. On Twitter @wink1radio. (-1.9) All about building progressive media.

dkmich's picture

If you want a revolution, have one. If you want a revolution with Bernie, do it. What does it matter who agrees or disagrees with any of it?

THIS SITE IS NON-PARTISAN. This is a space where we can come and vent our frustrations and speak the truth, our truth, to each other. We do not have to agree.

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9 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

Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

My point wasn't that we should agree, but that we should agree to disagree, and move on to something other than arguing about Bernie and his orgs, at least for one morning a week. Two things made me write it: first, there were several people saying either that the site was getting "too negative" or "too focused on politicians;" second, I myself was a little worried about the fighting over Bernie, because I could imagine people dividing up, and staying divided, based on how they felt about a politician who, very likely, isn't even going to be in the fight anymore. I'd hate to see that happen to people I like, more than anything b/c it seems like a waste.

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6 users have voted.

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

Keep pushing the door open. Light the corners till the melt.
--Magiamma

Morire de cara sol.
--Jose Marti

dkmich's picture

up
8 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

Steven D's picture

A lot.

I appreciate the time and effort you put into writing this right now.

After the DNC in Philly, I believe a lot of people went a bit mad from anger, despair you name it. I confess I am one of them, though I've tried not to be. And it's affected my writing and my desire to write. A sense of deseutude, that my actions have no purpose or use, has come over me at times. And I've seen far too many people who share common goals attacking and tearing at each other like savages (metaphorically, but nonetheless) as if that will do any good. It isn't so bad at c99 but bad enough, and much worse elsewhere.

So I am with you on the idea to reach out to anyone who is opposed to the two major parties. We can do what we have been doing, which hasn't gotten us very far, or we can try new ways of organizing.

So, thank you for writing this and posting it where I could read it.

Steve

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13 users have voted.

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

Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

anger and despair are like war wounds caused by attacks on us that are happening constantly, but which step up in intensity when we muster any real resistance.

We need a better MASH. Or a better Houses of Healing.

I'm glad you're still around and haven't fallen silent.

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10 users have voted.

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

Keep pushing the door open. Light the corners till the melt.
--Magiamma

Morire de cara sol.
--Jose Marti

riverlover's picture

Here was my FB response

Get real, all members of my coven are avid readers.

That is where I am at now, flip it all around. Hell, I can talk tractors or sports cars or books or make derisive comments about men. But I believe everything and nothing now. Try to nail me down, Did fine in HS debate intramurally.;-)

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3 users have voted.

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

riverlover's picture

school shit, for those of us with no interest but recall of Those Years now having to deal with the Worst Presidential Race in US history has put many of us in a tizzy. Or angst. Or existential crisis. Or, name your worst fears.

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5 users have voted.

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

Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

I mean that sincerely.

It's nice when people don't assume I'm trying to be a jerk.

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14 users have voted.

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

Keep pushing the door open. Light the corners till the melt.
--Magiamma

Morire de cara sol.
--Jose Marti

I see quite a number of examples around here lately where people are quick to take offense, and impute nefarious motives to others with whom they disagree. I hope folks can remember to be a little more generous in spirit when engaging in disagreement around here. I find it easier here to assume people are coming from a good place, even when their conclusions aren't mine. This was not the case previously in another place which shall remain nameless. I would hate to see our dialogue here degenerate to that level of vituperativeness, and hope we can all remember to engage each other with respect whenever possible.

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Thumb's picture

Hey DallasDoc,

As we got bigger at WayoftheBern we started drawing a lot of trolling and jerky comments, and Spud came up with a genius method of dealing with them - he engineered a bot that we assign to commenters who tried to get too jerky or try to cause trouble. It lets them know that their comments won't appear unless they include the phrase "I like turtles" somewhere in the comment. So may of these type of posters just wanted to be banned so they could run back to where they came and brag about being banned from an "open" sub, and that spurred a competition for others to try and see how far they could push their luck before being banned, but there's no 'trophy' in telling anyone you're being forced to include "I like turtles" to post and others who would be inclined to be jerks don't want to be seen wearing the Clown Shoes just to be antagonistic. It's cut down on antagonistic posts by 90%, and it doesn't prevent anyone from expressing their opinion if they feel that strongly about it.

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22 users have voted.

"Polls don't tell us how well a candidate is doing; Polls tell us how well the media is doing." ~ Me

SmartAleq's picture

How much I love the very idea (let alone the actual existence) of the Turtle Clown Shoes? Because it's freaking genius--I hang out on a couple of vBulletin boards that use the "Tachy Goes To Coventry" mod which causes the affected troll to appear as though they're on a universal ignore list. They can read, and post, and do whatever they like but no matter what they do nobody ever responds to them because they've disappeared. The only way you know they're around is that sometimes the post count of a thread is off but usually they get baffled and toddle off to pastures new.

Troll management--both an art AND a science! Biggrin

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6 users have voted.

"Nothing's wrong, son, look at the news!" -- Firesign Theater

Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

It's everybody's site.

I wrote this because there's been a lot of complaint and distress, lately, about how personality- and politician-driven the site is. Was trying to help, but hey, if we just wanna let things ride, that's fine with me. It certainly is the option that requires the least energy!

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16 users have voted.

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

Keep pushing the door open. Light the corners till the melt.
--Magiamma

Morire de cara sol.
--Jose Marti

dance you monster's picture

...I'm afraid it's more common than issue-based politics, even here (and the more so with the March influx of one candidate's supporters). Even if we were to coax participants into a more issue-based discussion in the long term, I suspect we'd have to wait until November and a deeper disappointment and frustration before the personalities could be set aside or diminished as camps from which to argue. I have therefore stayed out of most such discussion of this election season, simply because I have no faith that much good can come of it now -- maybe a 5% threshold attained for the Greens so alternative viewpoints are aired, but little else. The longer discussion of goals and tactics and whether anything useful can come about in our present system will, I think, have to wait until after November. Meaning this is, imo, more a time for thinking and strategy than for fighting battles that already are mostly played out.

That said, I strongly dislike anyone's -- anyone's -- disparagement of another poster for holding a different viewpoint or tactics. Argue the merits, not the personalities. The personalities will be what they will be -- you can't change them (consider, e.g., Hillary's "moving leftward") -- but we can change the framing of the issues, the way they are perceived and absorbed by others. If this site is to have any value at all, it will be in the discussions re-envisioning what should be, how to communicate it more widely, and how to get to that better future. And the path may not be electoral.

Just my $0.02. No more valuable than anyone else's $0.02.

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

That's a measured & sensible response.

It's good to see you, btw.

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2 users have voted.

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

Keep pushing the door open. Light the corners till the melt.
--Magiamma

Morire de cara sol.
--Jose Marti

major points, I think. Your essay was quite a trip. Smile

I think it's healthy to debate and disagree, and sometimes sparring participants come to a greater understanding of each other. I do not think it's helpful to mandate that people do this or that because that's pretty much out of everyone's control. We can only control what we say/type and how we react to others.

When I write my rants, I'm usually blowing off steam. I don't expect a lot of people to agree with me and I can handle disagreements as long as they're respectful. If you go back through my comment history, you'd be hard-pressed to find me calling anyone names because I think that is seriously uncool.

Bernie brought us to where we are but, like you, I'm not real keen on where he is headed now. I have no beef with people who continue to champion Our Revolution or the Sanders Institute. Who the hell am I to tell someone what is important to them?! In the end, I do think Bernie's heart is in the right place -- I'm just pretty grossed out by him taking money from millionaires and billionaires, as is my right.

I think it would be awesome for us, as a community, to have fun threads where we don't talk about politics and just shoot the shit. Cat/dog stuff, or music stuff, or bitching about a bad day stuff. Whatever. You're right in that it would help us to bond as a community, though.

Thanks for giving me lots to chew on this morning. Cheers! Smile

Edit: I have called people names on Dkos occasionally, but those people fucking deserved it. (We're talking people like DHinMI.) And almost everytime I've done that, instead of getting HRed, I was uprated because it was a fairly universal opinion that so-and-so was a major asshole and needed to be shouted down so as not to bully other people.

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20 users have voted.

I miss Colorado.

Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

for the kind disagreement, and I mean that sincerely.

I especially am glad that my essay was a trip. Smile

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8 users have voted.

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

Keep pushing the door open. Light the corners till the melt.
--Magiamma

Morire de cara sol.
--Jose Marti

your essay. Smile And I really should have specified that I disagree with part of it, not the whole thing. You have a lot of really excellent ideas here, sister!

I think your overall goal was to help the community and to try to decrease some of the less-kind aspects here, and who can't appreciate that? We're all human, man.

In light of your essay, I have decided to start a weekly diary series called GOOD NEWS TUES! I'm pretty sure you can guess the day of the week. Blum 3 Hee hee. It's so cheesy, but I'm serious.

Just as a preview, please enjoy this story and read the whole thing, because you will pee your pants laughing:

Omaha dad finds pot brownies, eats 4 of them, says mean things to cat

Have a good one, love! Smile

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5 users have voted.

I miss Colorado.

dkmich's picture

As far as this diary goes, I can agree with its intent but not it's proposal to regulate or schedule our speech. Here are my sentiments as a member and a moderator.

There is no room for adherence to cult of personality in a non-partisan site. I won't be regulated. If people don't remain civil, they will get bounced. We have no rules at this site except one - be civil. It is the reason we left dkos and created this place.

I appreciate the intent to pour oil on the troubled waters, but we are adults. We are responsible for our own behavior. If someone has Bernie, or Hillary, or Jill on a pedestal, they are at the wrong blog.

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

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

was the part about regulating speech. I'm not on board with that.

That being said, it occurred to me while reading your comment that someone who's civil about keeping Bernie or Jill or Hillary on a pedestal could still remain at this place, provided they're civil. I really can't imagine JtC or Joe or the mods wanting to bounce someone who's all "Bernie is my idol, so I'll listen when he tells me to vote for Hillary, but I totally get why people are voting for Jill".

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2 users have voted.

I miss Colorado.

Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

I don't think taking 9 hrs a week and setting them aside to talk about something else destroys freedom of speech, really, but it would only work if a lot of people WANTED to do it.

The thing I left unstated, which I shouldn't have, was that I, myself, have engaged heavily in the personality-based, politician-centered discussions on this site. I didn't say it, b/c I thought it was damned obvious, but in retrospect, I should have. Therefore, the ideas here were not a Discourse Nanny talking from on high, but somebody in the conversation. To me, that 9 hrs weekly would not only have made those who are unhappy with the focus on politicians happier, and maybe defused some fights over who and what Sanders is, BUT ALSO would have been in the nature of a thought experiment: what happens if we stop focusing on DC and Those On High for some hours, but keep talking?

I have no idea what we'd come up with if we stopped mentally focusing on politicians and parties. And trust me, I don't want to NEVER talk about them, but it would be curious to see what came out of us if we took our eyes off them for a while.

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4 users have voted.

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

Keep pushing the door open. Light the corners till the melt.
--Magiamma

Morire de cara sol.
--Jose Marti

Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

was an attempt to gain adherence to a cult of personality--cause I don't have those feelings for Bernie, or anyone, far as I know.

My last pedestalizing attempt ended in 2011. There sure as shit won't be another!

So anyways, no, I'm not trying to protect anybody's cult of personality.

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3 users have voted.

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

Keep pushing the door open. Light the corners till the melt.
--Magiamma

Morire de cara sol.
--Jose Marti

dkmich's picture

I think some people get too emotionally involved with a candidate, be it Hillary or Bernie, and any criticism of that candidate becomes personal and more than they can bear. So they start arguing over who is right and who is wrong instead of sharing their povs and "agreeing to disagree" , which is what you said way back when. We have Trump supporters here and that's ok too. People can support Trump and anyone who calls them names is out of line.

I never trusted Obama, but I did trust Bernie. None the less, facts are facts. I'll draw my conclusions, and they will draw theirs. In order to do that, we both need to be free to discuss the facts as we see them and to follow them to our own conclusions. At ToP, no one was free to go out of the box which is why we are all here. It is why we have no written rules except except don't be a dick and we are non-partisan.

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

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

Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

The Great Argus Pheasant salutes you!

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3 users have voted.

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

Keep pushing the door open. Light the corners till the melt.
--Magiamma

Morire de cara sol.
--Jose Marti

dkmich's picture

I don't know what you think of Counterpunch, but I generally find myself agreeing with them. So look what popped up on FB today.

JULY 21, 2015
Bernie Out of the Closet: Sanders’ Longstanding Deal with the Democrats
http://www.counterpunch.org/2015/07/21/bernie-out-of-the-closet-sanders-...

Cult of personality. Was I guilty? I swore "he" was different.

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4 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

Older and Wiser Now's picture

There is a saying, "best not to judge a man until you've walked in their shoes".

Trying to enact progressive changes is very, very, very, very, very difficult. We all know that, right?

Should one try work within an organization that is somewhat close to your ideals, or should one work outside of it? It is an important question, arguments can be made on both sides.

Working outside of organization is a very difficult thing to do. We should all grok that now, right? Starting a 3rd party is a very non-trivial task. I don't think that the counter-punch article takes that reality into account.

Bernie is not a perfect person. Nobody is. But he has done a TREMENDOUS amount this year to support the progressive cause. People are starting to wake up, and until they did that, nobody was even listening to freaks like us. Change was not possible.

I don't care for the article because I think that the tone of the author is to take potshots at Bernie for taking an approach for most of his career that the author does not agree with: trying to work within an organization to enact change. When one does that, one must compromise, and compromise can be very difficult. The author seems to imply that because Bernie has made compromises throughout his career, he is somehow tainted and turns out not to be "the good guy" we all thought he was.

Let me go a bit off topic for a moment and tell you about a great movie called Lady Jane, which tells the story of a relative of Henry VIII who ruled England for a very short time. Her father went to great effort to finagle the throne for her, for his own reasons (religious ones, he wanted England to remain "non-Catholic"). When Jane becomes Queen, she operates completely as an idealist. She enacts many "progressive" laws. And you know what the net result was? She was beheaded after nine days. Why? Because the people who supported her - initially - didn't see much profit in it for them as time went by, and so they gradually abandoned her. They have a great image in the movie of a certain room with a large table, at which her advisers were seated to discuss matters of state. Early on, the table is packed. During the movie, heads start to disappear. At the end, the table is empty.

I am an idealist myself. After I watched that movie, I began to appreciate the word "pragmatic". Idealism is lovely, but too much of it can be deadly I think. The cold hard fact of the matter is that pragmatism seems to be a necessary evil in order to support a SUSTAINABLE system.

Going one step further, while pragmatism is necessary, there is also the concept of "crossing the line". One needs to be willing to bend a bit, I think, but that does not mean they need to bend "too far". But where is the line?

A fair scale compares both the good and the bad. Only pointing out the bad is not fair, because those are "the price" that Bernie had to pay in order to pay for "the good" he was trying to buy.

I am incredibly grateful to Bernie for "the good" that he as achieved this year. He has exposed the corruption within the Democratic Party, and that is a fucking big and non-trivial accomplishment. It strikes me as unfair to pay him back for that feat by examining his career in the way the author has done, to essentially show him to be a hypocrite or something.

All I can say to the author is "Oh yeah? And what have YOU managed to accomplish that comes anything close to what Bernie has accomplished." Could they have done any better? Until they have, I'll take their words with a grain of salt.

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20 users have voted.

~OaWN

dkmich's picture

Bernie can be both a hero and a goat. We all have our strengths and weaknesses and do things that are both good and bad. To recognize and layout the failings of a human event, particularly when it involves us, is not a bad thing in my book. I know there are people who see "criticism" as a bad thing. A tactless, ungrateful denigration of the other. I don't know what to say to that except we are all our own person. IF Bernie has done something that deserves criticism, so be it. As you point out, he isn't perfect. He gave us things to be thankful for and perhaps things to curse. He'll have to reap what he sowed. Hopefully, it is mostly good.

Idealism is a good thing. Pragmatism is a cop out. Being perfect includes the realization that nothing is perfect. I realize this is a bit circular, but words and intent matters.

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

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

Older and Wiser Now's picture

It is what it is. People have opinions, they shoot their mouths off, even me. It's what humans do.

But it is much easier to point fingers and criticize than to put oneself on the line and actually take action. Bernie has been out there plugging away, we can see where he succeeded and where he failed, it is a matter of history. But the armchair quarterback's advice is never tested, and so the actual consequences of their advice remains unknown.

I remain an idealist, however, I am mindful of the lessons from Lady Jane. However much I might wish it otherwise, there are certain laws in effect in the universe. One can condemn gravity as much as they wish, but in the end it is a silly exercise because gravity exists. One can condemn the tendency of mankind to be driven by our own self-interest, but the fact remains that self-interest seems to be a part of human nature; it is there, no matter how much we wish it were not. Engineers NEED to take gravity into effect when it is relevant if they wish to be successful; ignoring it means failure. Similar, I submit to you that those involved with political movements NEED to face certain realities if THEY too wish to be successful. Ignoring them simply is a recipe for failure. That's what Lady Jane taught me.

In the end, as I said before, the yardstick used by the author was unfair. In any bill, there is a mix, it is a giant collection of trades. It's like trading baseball cards in a way. If you have a fabulous card, you might be willing to trade it but only if you got enough other cards that were "worth it". It's easy to criticize Bernie because he traded away Babe Ruth. But it just is not fair to only look at half of the trade without looking at what he got for it. In other words, one needs to understand the context if one wishes to be fair. And the reality is that most people will not trade with someone who always insists that they get the better end of the deal. IMHO, being 100% committed to one's ideals is not a recipe for success. Now I'm trying to think of some politician who used that approach and accomplished great things with it. I cannot think of one. Can you?

I take it back, perhaps I can think of two: Gandhi and MLK Jr. They were able to achieve a relatively small number of tremendously great things. They are revered as historical giants, though, and their approach was also known for more than a little suffering on the part of their supporters. I'm not sure how often people like those two come along ..

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6 users have voted.

~OaWN

riverlover's picture

from lexicon. Barcalounger barker? Lazyboy lurker? Have you looked into someone's room-with-armchairs recently?

Desk jockey still fits. I can come up with others... Please don't make me. Eames angst. Corbu crowing.

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

orlbucfan's picture

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I have argued since Trump's election...gaining control over the military-industrial [corporate] complex is key...to everything this nation needs to fix.
---Patrick Lawrence

Alphalop's picture

comfort and bitch about how little is being accomplished by people out there actually doing the work.

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5 users have voted.

"I used to vote Republican & Democrat, I also used to shit my pants. Eventually I got smart enough to stop doing both things." -Me

Older and Wiser Now's picture

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3 users have voted.

~OaWN

Older and Wiser Now's picture

You make me aware of changes that I wasn't even aware of. Sigh. Thanks. Thanks a lot. Wink

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0 users have voted.

~OaWN

Unabashed Liberal's picture

Mollie


“I believe in the redemptive powers of a dog’s love. It is in recognition of each dog’s potential to lift the human spirit, and, therefore, to change society for the better, that I fight to make sure every street dog has its day.”
--Stasha Wong, Secretary, Save Our Street Dogs (SOSD)
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2 users have voted.

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

ppnortney's picture

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7 users have voted.

Government is instituted for the common good; for the protection, safety, prosperity, and happiness of the people; and not for the profit, honor, or private interest of any one man, family, or class of men. - John Adams

Damn, as an idealist, I can truly appreciate this. The painful truth is still the truth.

Thanks. I will always love Bernie Sanders and I am still tremendously grateful for all that he's accomplished.

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6 users have voted.

I miss Colorado.

Older and Wiser Now's picture

TBH, I've only been skimming this thread so I didn't even really know what you wrote. I wasn't intending any of my words to be a "Shiz is wrong" post, I hope you know that, and from the sound of it I think you do. I totally had an aha moment when I watched Lady Jane. She fucking got BEHEADED. For trying to do "the right thing".

I encourage you to watch the Lady Jane movie. I think you will LOVE it. It also has Helena Bonham Carter, and what's his name, oh yeah, Cary Elwes. Great actors. Watch that table, and watch the heads disappearing. That image really moved me. Gravity/friction is part of the universe. It just is. To be successful, we need to understand this, and even PLAN for this. I try to remember to tell myself that when I get upset at the "friction" that I see - when one tries to change the status quo, we NEED to EXPECT that RESISTANCE will be there ... and have a PLAN for how to overcome it, as best we can. We just must. That is how the world works. I get so very frustrated too. I am impatient for change.

Thanks for sharing your post ... it REALLY means a lot to me to know that I might have played some small role as a teacher on this, helping other persons (especially smart and talented persons who I greatly respect!) to begin to think about these things in a new way.

And yeah, Bernie deserves to be loved and admired for what he has done, I think. To see him "torn to shreads" (my mind seems to reach for overly colorful metaphors, but I'm going to leave that one there instead of trying to fix) for fucking not being the likes of Gandhi or MLK Jr, that just pushes my buttons big-time. He is an almost-but-not-quite-like-Gandhi kind of guy. He was a blessing to the progressive movement. He never claimed to be perfect, I think he went much farther than even he himself ever predicted when he started this thing. I suspect he only wanted to wake people up, he didn't think he had a chance to make it ... and then, he went so very fucking far!

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2 users have voted.

~OaWN

riverlover's picture

another good one to see with many sighs.

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

Older and Wiser Now's picture

But I'm not quite following your post as it relates to mine. What was the big concept in Fargo that you took away from it?

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0 users have voted.

~OaWN

Your comment kind of reminded me that idealists and pragmatists need each other, in certain respects. I cannot deal with the Democratic Party right now, and I refuse to be a member of it, but somebody's got to. It may as well be the Best of the Best, Bernie Sanders. Smile

He chooses to operate within the system, and I always knew he would endorse Hillary Clinton eventually. I never believed he would run 3rd party, although I did hold out hope. Even now, I'm like FUCK THIS SHIT, BRING BACK BERNIE!

Ugh. 2016 is a goddamned nightmare election.

Btw, feel free to disagree with me anytime you want. Everybody else does. Blum 3 As long as we're not dicks to one another, I'm sure it'll be fine. One of the most common expressions I used to hear on TOP was "I love ya, Shiz, but I gotta disagree with you here ..."

Have a good night, sir! Much love and many hugs to you!

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1 user has voted.

I miss Colorado.

I actually have been meaning to read Counterpunch for quite some time, but have never done so. Imma put them on my bookmarks list (I like to change that up about twice per year, at least) and read the one you suggested.

Hope your weekend is swell! Smile

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3 users have voted.

I miss Colorado.

riverlover's picture

I know you do spar and that is appreciated and enjoyable to me, but at times even I are sat back. Dunno, wait (with trepidation) until you are over 60? You have always been kindly to those who disagree, from my post-concussion memory. I have only a sister-of-dead-husband who is a major asshole, so there is that. Nice rest-o-weekend!

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7 users have voted.

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

I can be off-putting sometimes, even to myself, lol.

But thanks for noticing that I'm mostly not an asshole. Smile Hee hee. Sorry about your sister-in-law. She sounds fun.

Hope your weekend is awesome thus far!

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4 users have voted.

I miss Colorado.

elenacarlena's picture

Caucus Critters, Monday afternoons/evenings, anyone want to sign up just let me know.

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6 users have voted.

Please check out Pet Vet Help, consider joining us to help pets, and follow me @ElenaCarlena on Twitter! Thank you.

Shit. I didn't even notice that we had cat and dog stuff.

Sorry, Elena. Sad I feel like a dick now. Ugh.

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5 users have voted.

I miss Colorado.

elenacarlena's picture

Wink Just watch for the open thread Monday afternoon or evening (I'm not the greatest at keeping a regular schedule!). And/or if anyone would like, y'all can let me know and I'll add you to the group Caucmail that I send when I post.

I'm also in charge of Video News, but can only post one sporadically.

So if anyone would like to join either group (or both!) to add posts under the group queue, please feel free to let me know about that any time too!

See, Shiz, you give me a chance to advertise, it's all good!

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6 users have voted.

Please check out Pet Vet Help, consider joining us to help pets, and follow me @ElenaCarlena on Twitter! Thank you.

I'm glad I could be of some assistance. Smile Hee hee.

Coincidentally, I miss instant spell check on TOP because "assistance" looks wrong. Assistence?

Nope, I just Googled, I was right. Ha. Anyhoo, I will check in occasionally! I don't have either a cat or a dog, but I am a pet lover. I love most pets and they love me. In fact, I don't trust people that pets are wary of.

OMG, that sounded a bit like Donald Trump there, but I really do love pets and they love me, I promise! lol. (Except for, like, lizards and snakes and shit. And birds. They scare the crap out of me.)

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5 users have voted.

I miss Colorado.

elenacarlena's picture

and cartoons. The Infamous Ginger Carlena wants to help, so may be featured prominently in fundraisers. The Video News logo? Cat. Caucus Critters logo? Cat, dog, deer, bunny, etc.

I still get Spellcheck here. Is it a setting on the computer perhaps? (If so, mine must have come already set up that way!)

Not Trumpian enough: I love all pets and all pets love me. I am the biggest lover of pets ever. Pets love me more than anybody else in the world, believe me folks. The love that pets have for me is, like, YUUGE.

A bird somewhere overhead once pooed on my shoulder. Apparently I scare the crap out of them! Wink

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Please check out Pet Vet Help, consider joining us to help pets, and follow me @ElenaCarlena on Twitter! Thank you.

Older and Wiser Now's picture

Love you ec! Give the kitties a snuggle from me.

I happen to be a bit of a dog-whisperer myself. I speak to them in baby talk, and drive them wild ...

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1 user has voted.

~OaWN

elenacarlena's picture

It's a known fact.

Hiya, OaWN. Kitty snuggles accepted with thanks.

Is this your wild dog?

Puppy maybe with melon FsOx7yX[1]_0.jpg

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3 users have voted.

Please check out Pet Vet Help, consider joining us to help pets, and follow me @ElenaCarlena on Twitter! Thank you.

Older and Wiser Now's picture

Norwich Terriers

These are not my dogs, but OMG, they almost could be. The one on the left looks like "Toby", one on the right looks like "Scamp".

The truly dangerous thing about these dogs happens when you take them to the park. Let me tell you, the pied piper could take lessons from me Smile

But the guy in your picture is amazing. From the look of it, he appears to show some tell-tale signs of domestication, however, at least to us dog whisperer types. Other folks might not notice those tiny details though ...

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1 user has voted.

~OaWN

elenacarlena's picture

Any "dog" that snags a watermelon can't be all bad!

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Please check out Pet Vet Help, consider joining us to help pets, and follow me @ElenaCarlena on Twitter! Thank you.

Older and Wiser Now's picture

And I love the "who me?" expression that is written all over his face. My boys are no longer with us, sadly, they've been gone about ten years now I guess (man, time flies, seems like just the other day). But they were awesome, awesome dogs.

Toby was funny because he was practically mute for most of the time, but when he decided to bark it was low and deep, and I always thought "woah, where did THAT come from?". Didn't seem like his body could make that noise, it was so booming.

As for Scamp, first let me tell you that we nicknamed them as Beauty and the Beast. Toby was Beauty, I used to joke that he was a cat trapped in a dog's body. Fetch? Are you kidding? But drag a bit of yarn on the floor, and he was good to go! Scamp on the other hand was my Beast. He was the charmer who always pulled the most stunts too, he was just a character. So very smart. We miss them, but I see their ghosts around the house from time to time.

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1 user has voted.

~OaWN

elenacarlena's picture

I've never seen a dog play with yarn, that would be deserving of a YouTube video!

I am convinced their ghosts visit us too.

True story (stop me if I've told you before!): I never buy the cats toys made in China, which all the store toys are these days (you can find some American toys online). Well, one night I dreamed I was visited by one of my departed pooties, who was playing in a cat tunnel. We didn't have one and it looked like fun and I hadn't bought them anything new in a long time, so next time I was at PetSmart I asked about the tunnels. They had just gotten new ones in (since the last time I shopped there), and they were made in America! Every other brand and every other toy of that brand were made in China. Just that one tunnel was American. So of course I bought it. And the pooties play with it a lot!

Coincidence or visit?

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1 user has voted.

Please check out Pet Vet Help, consider joining us to help pets, and follow me @ElenaCarlena on Twitter! Thank you.

Older and Wiser Now's picture

I have no idea, but I love the thought that whenever you see the tunnel you will now think of that sweet pootie, of course.

But who knows? Maybe THAT was the whole idea ...

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1 user has voted.

~OaWN

riverlover's picture

I have had a few babies, we do not get along. Late husband was good with snakes, I make course changes, great respect for garter snakes here. T-storm Now, maybe 0.001 " sh*t.

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2 users have voted.

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

elenacarlena's picture

combover!

Big T storm here. Stay indoors and safe, RL!

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2 users have voted.

Please check out Pet Vet Help, consider joining us to help pets, and follow me @ElenaCarlena on Twitter! Thank you.

Unabashed Liberal's picture

in a 'timely manner' for the next couple months, but, I would definitely like to be added to that list.

Your CC Series is one of my favs--so, thanks for all that you do!

GoodMollie


“I believe in the redemptive powers of a dog’s love. It is in recognition of each dog’s potential to lift the human spirit, and, therefore, to change society for the better, that I fight to make sure every street dog has its day.”
--Stasha Wong, Secretary, Save Our Street Dogs (SOSD)

National Mill Dog Rescue (NMDR) - Dogs Available For Adoption

Update: Misty May has been adopted. Yeah!

Misty May - NMDR

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5 users have voted.

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

elenacarlena's picture

Hugs to the doggies!

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4 users have voted.

Please check out Pet Vet Help, consider joining us to help pets, and follow me @ElenaCarlena on Twitter! Thank you.

riverlover's picture

way younger than us, we were comparing dog pix on FB, we each have Cairn terriers. His brother just got one, too. OMG, the pup ears-down. New one is wheaten, mine is a very nice brindle.

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3 users have voted.

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Granma's picture

But I see RA's point. Maybe we can do both. How about we have essays on other subjects with a notice at the beginning saying please no campaigns/personality comments here.
There are other things to think and talk about. Even the most dedicated campaign volunteers need a break too. We can discuss climate. Scientists now believe climate change started as early as 1830.
We could discuss how to do something about the homeless situation. We could do a little educating about mental illness. One out of 5 people has a family member with a serious mental illness.
I would like to see discussion of how we reach general population with some actual, real world news.
I'm sure there are other great topics and we may find some concrete actions our group can take.

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16 users have voted.
Big Al's picture

more and better politicians, just for third parties. It's playing within the electoral system, which imo needs to be changed because it cannot provide proper representation for 330 million people. Not nationally. So the focus of VotePact remains on politicians. What I saw with Bernie I'm seeing now with Stein. And so on and so on.

I agree we need actions/movement outside this system, including trying to change the system. I think third party hopes are fool's gold and I don't think we have decades to experiment with it and hope it somehow works.

Personally, I propose a movement to end the war in Syria. That war is becoming very dangerous, I've said many times that they aren't going to give up. I said that back in 2013 when Obama and Kerry lied to the world about the sarin gas attacks then had to back off because their lies wouldn't hold up. And here we are three years later, that war is set to explode when Clinton becomes President, it is being set up that way. And that will expand to Iran (the road to Tehran is through Damascus) which will bring Russia and China into it and all hell will break loose.

This is as serious a time for an antiwar movement as there's been since Vietnam, actually more serious when considering the possible ramifications.

I agree that we're in a war here at home, we're in a war globally. It's a class war in effect, the plutocracy is the common enemy. The duopoly works for the plutocracy and those working with or supporting the duopoly are in effect aiding and abetting the plutocracy, the enemy. Perhaps its even deeper than that in that the entire U.S. representative system is a tool of the plutocracy and those working within it are actually aiding the plutocracy, including those working for and supporting third parties. In a war, it's important to identify exactly who the enemy is.

Can we move forward with perceived de facto enemies among ourselves? Maybe, depends on the goal or goals.

Relative to Sanders, I don't get it, never have. I did my research and saw a democratic politician from the start and now he's doing what comes naturally. I don't think he's a captive in any way, he's just doing what he's always done. He's voted Democratic party lines 96% of the time while in the Senate. That's higher than most democratic politicians. He made clear from the beginning his goals were to defeat the republicans and revitalize the Dem party. So that's what he's doing.

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

1)I'm interested in breaking the duopoly. I hate it.
2)I think it might be very fruitful to build a large-scale movement against corruption and the two-party system, a movement which unites right and left. As I said, later, who knows what that movement could do? Or could turn into?
3)I see the focus of VotePact not as politicians, but as voters. The point is that people no longer be paralyzed in fear of "the greater evil" and come together across ideological and party lines to object to the system.

Of course, this is all true:

That war is becoming very dangerous, I've said many times that they aren't going to give up. I said that back in 2013 when Obama and Kerry lied to the world about the sarin gas attacks then had to back off because their lies wouldn't hold up. And here we are three years later, that war is set to explode when Clinton becomes President, it is being set up that way. And that will expand to Iran (the road to Tehran is through Damascus) which will bring Russia and China into it and all hell will break loose.

This is as serious a time for an antiwar movement as there's been since Vietnam, actually more serious when considering the possible ramifications.

There's never been a time when the need for a strong anti-war movement was so great. However, my impression--perhaps wrong--is that the past 4 years or so have been a low-water mark for anti-war organizing. I think that, after the massive protests against the Iraq War not only DIDN'T stop the war or even slow it down, but instead basically heralded more than a decade of constant, expanding war in the ME, that people no longer believe going out in the streets waving signs is going to do anything. Because the government simply ignores them. The government stops ignoring them when they park their asses there and refuse to leave. Then the government sends out its military might to drag them off and its media to perform character assassinations on them, so said dragging-off is deemed acceptable by at least part of the public. Meanwhile, the same exact policies continue to be implemented and funded in DC, as if nothing ever happened. Rinse, repeat. The old methods of street-based, issues-based protest, at least as they've existed from the 90s on, seem to have absolutely no effect on Congress or the White House, and are arguably as useless as voting--or signing petitions at Whitehouse.gov

The reason I like VotePact is that it brings people together who don't ordinarily flock together, as well as those who do, and focuses attention on the Mother of All Issues: the fact that we have no power here/that those who have power are impossible to hold to account.

If the American people currently had power in their system, most, if not all, of these wars would end. Few people in the US now believe that any good, even the most selfish or mercenary version of good, will accrue to us 99%-ers from these wars. They are clearly--how did it used to be put?--a "gentleman's game," something that Very Rich People do for reasons best known to themselves, probably involving making money.

The anti-war sentiment in America got strong enough during 2013 that I believe Kagan, or one of the other despicable neocons, wrote a lament in the press about how sad and bad it was that America had lost its stomach for war.

Anyway, point is, without power, our protests are useless. Therefore power has to come from somewhere.

Starting with the idea that we could have power, together, and that we don't have any in our current system, and that we object to that seems like a good place to start. For me.

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21 users have voted.

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

Keep pushing the door open. Light the corners till the melt.
--Magiamma

Morire de cara sol.
--Jose Marti

Big Al's picture

who refused to stand during the national anthem, Colin Kapernick of the SF 49ers. He had previously sent a tweet out showing the Star Spangled Banner and the Confederate flag side by side and saying something like, if anyone thinks these flags are different they're wrong. Evidently a protest around racism. I immediately thought, OK, maybe I like this guy after all. If he's got the guts to not stand at an NFL game, that's pretty good in my book.

Then I looked at the comments. Fucking hateful comments by ignorant people. The last couple years I've come to a conclusion that there is no 99%. It's down to fighting for what we believe in against those that don't.

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

on online comments to articles--
While of course it's true that there's still quite a few Americans who have loathsome beliefs about war, it's also true--and important to remember--that the Net is crawling with what are, essentially, robot opinion-generators (Opinion Management Software). Private corporations use them, the NSA, Pentagon, etc., use them, Hillary's campaign uses them--they're all over the place. One person can run up to 20 identities. The idea is to create what looks like a majority of opinion by having lots of "personalities" chime in saying horrible, shitty things. That then sways some people and discourages others.

It's really a good idea not to allow what people say on line to determine your notion of what the American people think--though polls are not always reliable either, they're still a more reliable measure than what often amounts to the NSA or some big mega-corp playing games with itself online.

Not saying this to be shitty or condescending, so I hope it doesn't come off that way; I happen to think this is a fairly serious issue. Because the war here isn't just for the planet but is, overwhelmingly at this point, for our minds. Controlling our perceptions has become an obsession for The Bastards.

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17 users have voted.

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

Keep pushing the door open. Light the corners till the melt.
--Magiamma

Morire de cara sol.
--Jose Marti

Big Al's picture

kind of a closet sociologist. So I know the game.
Look around.

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8 users have voted.
Thaumlord-Exelbirth's picture

The US and the Confederacy aren't really the same. One major difference: the confederacy was more honest about its motives.

There is a 99%. It's just an unfortunate reality that of the 99%, there are a number of those easily manipulated into tribalism tendencies by those with power, and that number grows with a poor economy.

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5 users have voted.
Wink's picture

It's just that 99% of them don't know or don't care that they're in the 99%. Otherwise there Would be a revolution. As for Kapernick he might have a point. He was a pro QB once. And... doesn't matter who wins in 2016. Our policy of perpetual wars will keep the war machine humming. The RW is against abortion becuz it prevents war babies from being born.

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6 users have voted.

the little things you can do are more valuable than the giant things you can't! - @thanatokephaloides. On Twitter @wink1radio. (-1.9) All about building progressive media.

Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

can do anything. They're demoralized, overwhelmed, and freaking exhausted.

And that's before they get involved w/politics.

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7 users have voted.

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

Keep pushing the door open. Light the corners till the melt.
--Magiamma

Morire de cara sol.
--Jose Marti

Big Al's picture

better way for the people to protest than to gather together and do it. It's a basic right protected in the Constitution - 'the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances'

I've long felt we need to find a way to give more people a voice, outside of voting for politicians to make their decisions for them, but protests are still a very valuable tool.

Relative to VotePact, after perusing a number of articles at the site, it appears the goal is to try not to elect Clinton and not to help Trump. I'm not sure what else they're after. I agree that both are unacceptable and that we should reject them which is why I've been an advocate for a boycott of the Presidential election. But I'm not sure how this is going to prevent one of them from becoming President and what impact it has after that.

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14 users have voted.
riverlover's picture

A non-vote (if counted, but I will bet not) is the same as a vote for a "minor" party. We have no sense that going to the ballot box location in November makes any difference at all now. NBC, and rest may declare (as predicted now) a landslide for Clinton and just forget to mention that 100K went out and had their votes counted.

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10 users have voted.

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Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

of control that the parties are using on people: fear. Fear of the so-called "greater evil." There needs to be a way out of that.
The more long-term impact is that, deprived of that fear, which is their only remaining justification, they will lose even more than the 43% of the electorate that's already left the parties. A majority of the population, and even of the electorate, would be outside the parties, and working together, expressing their support for other options. The more that happens--especially with a parallel movement to increase the power of indie media--the more the Inevitability Doctrine of the Clinton/Bushopoly falls apart.

In fact, this would--or could--represent a political realignment on behalf of the people. Which it would be nice to have, since a political realignment is currently happening On High on behalf of the Bastards.

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12 users have voted.

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

Keep pushing the door open. Light the corners till the melt.
--Magiamma

Morire de cara sol.
--Jose Marti

Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

Otherwise the government will rightly assess that the protest can have no impact, because what can those little people do to stop the powerful anyway.

Here's the thing: protest could be very powerful, but not unless somebody is willing to re-think the strategy of protest: why it works, what's not working, what could work better.

So far, pretty much almost nobody I've met is willing to re-think any strategy or even any tactics--not since Occupy.

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7 users have voted.

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

Keep pushing the door open. Light the corners till the melt.
--Magiamma

Morire de cara sol.
--Jose Marti

New thinking is vital to the next step in the movement. Occupy tried street protest and was thumped by the jackbooted thugs. Bernie tried working within the party system and was comprehensively cheated. New approaches are needed.

In a materialistic, oligarchic system, the pressure points may be financial and the illusion of legitimacy of the political system. Organized corporate boycotts have proven effective in some cases, particularly when aimed at progressive values-based campaigns. That might be an avenue to explore, because corporations are more sensitive to majority opinion than political parties.

Exiting the two major political parties and voting for alternate candidates is another promising avenue for protest. That's why I love your idea here. If it went viral on social media the media might be forced to pick it up. If we could see Johnson and Stein getting upward of 15% of the vote, then the LOTE lie could start to break down. I'm not sure if the Republican Party is ready to reform after a probable Trump debacle, but the Democratic Party rot isn't so far advanced yet that the party sees the need to change. It needs to be seriously wounded, if not marginalized and replaced.

I assume that the need for an economic populist, climate radical political movement will continue to exist. Momentum has built since the 2008 economic crash, although there have been periods of retrenchment, as we're in now. We have to learn how to strike the oligarchy where it hurts. Hopefully the next phase of the movement will get a,lot better at that.

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20 users have voted.

Please help support caucus99percent!

where it hurts.

Marcy Wheeler at emptywheel.net is the only infosec/natsec commentator I've run across who has paid attention to the final paragraph of the Shadow Brokers' announcement of their auction of NSA's "keys to the kingdom" for spying on and installing malware on all the Big Boys of Silly Valley and all those dependent on their hardware and software.

Read the Shadow Brokers' final paragraph (the added emphases are my own) and see what you think:

We have final message for “Wealthy Elites”. We know what is wealthy but what is Elites? Elites is making laws protect self and friends, lie and fuck other peoples. Elites is breaking laws, regular peoples go to jail, life ruin, family ruin, but not Elites. Elites is breaking laws, many peoples know Elites guilty, Elites call top friends at law enforcement and government agencies, offer bribes, make promise future handjobs, (but no blowjobs). Elites top friends announce, no law broken, no crime commit. Reporters (not call journalist) make living say write only nice things about Elites, convince dumb cattle, is just politics, everything is awesome, check out our ads and our prostitutes. Then Elites runs for president. Why run for president when already control country like dictatorship? What this have do with fun Cyber Weapons Auction? We want make sure Wealthy Elite recognizes the danger cyber weapons, this message, our auction, poses to their wealth and control. Let us spell out for Elites. Your wealth and control depends on electronic data. You see what “Equation Group” can do. You see what cryptolockers and stuxnet can do. You see free files we give for free. You see attacks on banks and SWIFT in news. Maybe there is Equation Group version of cryptolocker+stuxnet for banks and financial systems? If Equation Group lose control of cyber weapons, who else lose or find cyber weapons? If electronic data go bye bye where leave Wealthy Elites? Maybe with dumb cattle? “Do you feel in charge?” Wealthy Elites, you send bitcoins, you bid in auction, maybe big advantage for you?

https://www.emptywheel.net/2016/08/19/wealthy-elites-and-blowjobs/

Would turning the bank and market accounts of all the oligarchs, their institutions, and their managerial elites (politicians) to zeros in less than the blink of an eye ... affect things?

Captain Keith Alexander certainly thought it was worth $1million/month per client when he retired from heading up the NSA and promptly set up shop selling his insider know-how to defend banks, insurance companies, and other wealthy entities from cyberattacks with the potential to zero-out their accounts.

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13 users have voted.

Only connect. - E.M. Forster

terriertribe's picture

New thinking is vital to the next step in the movement. Occupy tried street protest and was thumped by the jackbooted thugs. Bernie tried working within the party system and was comprehensively cheated. New approaches are needed

Someone always gets thumped in revolutions, one way or another. The public usually doesn't wake up to what the revolution is about until the people getting thumped are people they see as being like themselves, and the thumping is shoved in their faces.

This time around maybe the thumping will be more jail time and exile and fewer body bags, fire hoses and dogs. Maybe instead of clogging the streets we need to clog the media and find out Just How Much Evidence Do You Need to See Before You Do Something? Manning, Assange and Snowden may turn out to be among the first heroes (or martyrs) of the new revolution.

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10 users have voted.

Now interviewing signature candidates. Apply within.

Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

ends up producing little or no change--kind of like the end of a Star Trek episode--everything just resets for the next episode. There's no continuity, no sense of impact from our actions.

When a guy with a broken back gets dragged across the ground by cops at Occupy Seattle (I think it was Seattle, maybe Portland...) and another guy gets beaten till his spleen bursts at Occupy Oakland, I'd like that movement not to be simply erased at the end of the day. There needs to be a way for the movement to continue, to persist, to be visible--if not on the MSM, then somewhere. Multiple local holdings across the US (and maybe the world), is what I envisioned, networked together by Global Rev or somebody. But that didn't happen.

It's harder to take people getting thumped when their sacrifice doesn't seem to make an impact.

I like your idea of going after the media--that's a big pressure point. But I'd rather replace them than anything else.

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7 users have voted.

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

Keep pushing the door open. Light the corners till the melt.
--Magiamma

Morire de cara sol.
--Jose Marti

lotlizard's picture

and their billionaire backers made sure that the status quo remained in place. The previous administration’s policies were allowed to become routine precedent, cemented in place.

http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/StatusQuoIsGod

Resist the Deep State — upset the status quo. But how?

Each of us asking ourselves what principles — what acts — which votes — which tactics, and so on — have the most potential to do that?

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6 users have voted.
josb's picture

Try to get everybody except for vital services to stay home one day. Or for a week, as a stretch goal. See if we can get a large enough number of people to act as one in a way that cannot be ignored. If nothing else, it would show people the power of unity.

I can dream...

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14 users have voted.

Much more effective than demonstrations. It will have to be planned months in advance, with state of the art messaging...
A game changer. etc...

I think it will come to be..

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6 users have voted.
divineorder's picture

I LOVE NNU !

Also up with

Win Without War is a coalition of roughly 40 organizations that promotes a progressive, demilitarized U.S. foreign policy.

Lot of work underway to think about and act on a different way

Right/Left Coalition Proposes $38.6 Billion Worth of Pentagon Savings

http://winwithoutwar.org/pentagon-savings-letter/

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13 users have voted.

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

Thaumlord-Exelbirth's picture

is make a lower voter turnout. What good does that do? How does that prevent Trump or Clinton from gaining power? They lose nothing by your not voting for anybody. Instead, it just further cements their power.

Think of it this way: would it be more effective to refuse to buy gas, or to be like the protesters in South Dakota standing in direct opposition to the oil companies?

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7 users have voted.
Big Al's picture

I no longer try to do that here.

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7 users have voted.
hecate's picture

weirdnesses, al, I openly advocate voting for a duck, or for Annabella Piugattuk, or for no one at all.

And, no one there, most usually, foams at the mouth, and/or climbs up my ass.

These are—how you say—"safe spaces."

Just sayin'. ; )

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8 users have voted.
Big Al's picture

I'll try to frequent the safe spaces more often. You have a way hecate.

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6 users have voted.
hecate's picture

has to be a president, she would be Good.

She is native, to this continent.

Unlike all these foreigner invader white-people candidates.

She is an Inuit throat singer, she can fish, hunt seal and walrus, and make clothing out of caribou hides.

Fuck The Hairball, and The Mad Bomber, and The Cranky Brooklyn Deli Man, and Dr. Frankenstein 2.0. They are freaking flaming white people. They don't belong here. And, they can do, none, of the—Real—shit.

Let's see a debate. Where these hapless, hopeless, white people. Demonstrate a necessary skill. Like making clothing. Out of caribou hide.

Most importantly, she does not want, to be the president.

No one. Who actually wants. To be the president. Should ever. Be allowed. To so serve.

So let it be written. So let it be done.

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11 users have voted.
riverlover's picture

We should select a President who does not want the job, someone smart enough to manage daily tasks there, and run away as soon as allowed. A normal human American (there is that) who never dreamed or groomed their resume, cv, or friggen appearance to get to be Pres. Rhymes with rez. Probably done with 350 million bodies here, break up the banks while breaking up the US. Amicable divorce, but no passports required.

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1 user has voted.

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mimi's picture

on those safe places. It's fun but really exhausting.
18021917663_f135939f51_z.jpg

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10 users have voted.
hecate's picture

we try to wring the life out of you there. So that then. You can rearrive. In new life. ; )

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5 users have voted.
mimi's picture

never stops to amaze me. I love me my breeze of fresh hecate air.
Kiss 3

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5 users have voted.
hecate's picture

totally prompted by you, mimi, let's, totally, despoil this thread, by, embedding, here, "The Air That I Breathe."

; )

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

If we're despoiling, here's my self-immolation:

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5 users have voted.

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

Keep pushing the door open. Light the corners till the melt.
--Magiamma

Morire de cara sol.
--Jose Marti

hecate's picture

pumped out, one of the decade's, simply best, white-people, fucking, songs.

But: Hucknell: he did: he evinced: a soul. After all.

that's all i have today
it's all i have
to say

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7 users have voted.
mimi's picture

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2 users have voted.
Thaumlord-Exelbirth's picture

I call "safe spaces" what they are: echo chambers. Ideas are meant to clash with other ideas. That's how the world is supposed to become a better place over time.

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

and way more complex than it at first appears.

Not everyone engaged in debate is honorable or truthful. Some are not there to win for their position, even; they are there to destroy the conversation itself.

Calling this phenomenon "trolling" was probably a mistake, as it encourages people to trivialize it, or view it as frivolous.
A friend of mine once tracked some trolling tactics back to things spies did behind enemy lines to demoralize and destabilize communities during WWII.

This shit is not frivolous, it's now automated and sockpuppeted, and it's all over the damned place. It makes it difficult to maintain the intellectual dueling that you and I both, I think, value, because there's a bunch of assholes running around not playing by the rules. If we each draw out our swords, salute each other, and start fencing--and then three guys come into the room and throw cherry bombs at our feet--it makes it hard for us to have a real duel. If they're only throwing cherry bombs at one of us, it could decide the duel for the other. If it happens too much, everybody gets sick of the whole thing and leaves. We just watched something very like this happen at DK. Protecting the cherry-bomb-throwers with ideas like freedom of speech and clash of ideas misses the point. They're the linguistic version of arsonists.

Problem is, they pretend to be simply in disagreement. And there's no foolproof way to distinguish them from good-faith actors.

The idea of safe space, for me, is an answer to them, but the problem is that safe space itself can also be turned to nefarious purposes.

Real, serious strategic work needs to be done on this. We need some kind of counter for this, and it's not an easy thing to conceive.

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11 users have voted.

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

Keep pushing the door open. Light the corners till the melt.
--Magiamma

Morire de cara sol.
--Jose Marti

Thaumlord-Exelbirth's picture

We need some kind of counter for this, and it's not an easy thing to conceive.

Over time, I've come to a realization about a problem with free speech: Us. While the idea is great in theory, in practice, it's a complete mess, ruined by those who seek to gain an advantage for themselves or for those they favor. In a way, it's like when communism or libertarian ideology is put into practice. Good people get screwed over.

The internet gives us the freest speech around. Virtually no regulation or accountability. And look at how big a mess that's given us. Sure, anonymity is important. But accountability is equally important.

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5 users have voted.
riverlover's picture

Snow Cloud is a creepy dystopia that gives nightmares but can be used as a manual for computer-driven life. Always be aware that things are not what they seem. RL, or online?

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2 users have voted.

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

thanatokephaloides's picture

I call "safe spaces" what they are: echo chambers. Ideas are meant to clash with other ideas.

Echo chambers -- until they become their inevitable end product: dead, silent voids.

Example: There's a Yahoo! Group called INDOPAGAN which is supposed to be about modern Western Pagans who are drawn to worship the Deities of Southern and Eastern Asia. However, due to Admin ruling that it must remain a completely safe space, there has been no traffic in the Group other than the monthly rules posting for over three years. When the Admins are questioned as to why this is, they blame Facebook. (NOT!)

Diablo

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3 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

Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

and the kind of shitshow DKos has become is a little like the discursive version of being given a choice between Hillary and Trump.

It's all about escaping the binary, these days.

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5 users have voted.

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

Keep pushing the door open. Light the corners till the melt.
--Magiamma

Morire de cara sol.
--Jose Marti

Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

with any of the following options:

1)Not voting.
2)Voting Stein--especially with the Vote Trade/Vote Pact idea attached
3)Writing in Bernie.

I prefer 2, for two reasons: there's a chance to get Stein over the 5% threshhold--or maybe one of the higher threshholds, even--and it potentially brings people together in opposition to the system, which neither of the others does (#1 and #3 are both isolated activities).

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11 users have voted.

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

Keep pushing the door open. Light the corners till the melt.
--Magiamma

Morire de cara sol.
--Jose Marti

k9disc's picture

I think I might be giving this a shot with a buddy.

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11 users have voted.

“Tactics without strategy is the noise before defeat.” ~ Sun Tzu

Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

Spread the word.

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6 users have voted.

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

Keep pushing the door open. Light the corners till the melt.
--Magiamma

Morire de cara sol.
--Jose Marti

riverlover's picture

people, now cast asea. I would like the Left to continue spearhead without the point(man). Maybe we are all personality-driven. I have no answers or solutions.

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7 users have voted.

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

Big Al's picture

politicians to make OUR decisions for us. Maybe we the Serfs need a complete change in our mindset, one away from relying on politicians (ill termed as leaders) to relying on ourselves. The best example is direct democracy practiced in over half the states via a referendum or State initiative process. Voting to legalize marijuana, gay marriage, raise taxes to pay for schools, roads, etc. We the Serfs are in effect making the decisions. There's plenty to improve with those state systems as well, but it's a step forward to real democracy.
I see no reason why we couldn't do that nationally to approve or reject war, regime changes, changes in Social Security, Medicare, deciding on Single Payer, whether to create a Department of Homeland Security, enact the Patriot Act, etc.
That would only be part of a new political system.

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15 users have voted.
mhagle's picture

resilience is up to us.

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6 users have voted.

Marilyn

"Make dirt, not war." eyo

waiting to explode, and HRC is getting ready to light the fuse. We are balanced now, right on the edge of something very ugly and wicked.

And it's all tied together: The plutocracy's stranglehold on US media... the neocon and neoliberal collusion in a globalist program of full spectrum dominance... the NATO overreach to squeeze Russia til she either surrenders or fights back... the so-called "Long War" aka war forever.... the billionaire-funded DC "think tanks" that all but dictate US foreign policy... the massive "defense" industry that promotes and exports war in exchange for enormous profits... all these elements and more are working in tandem to maintain and expand an American Empire that is rotten at its ideological core, and murderous at its extremities.

To be "anti-war" is to denounce this monstrous machinery of death and aggression, and to oppose all of its moving parts.

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18 users have voted.

native

Big Al's picture

and yet we can't get the antiwar movement rev'd up. This election takes the air out of it. I read earlier where these offshoots of Bernies' "revolution" are hardly even mentioning militarism and war in their whatevers. Same thing we saw during the Dem party primary, very little focus on that.
We could be doing the world a great service by starting something.

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14 users have voted.

I think most Americans are still under the illusion that the US military serves primarily to "protect" the nation... while in fact it is being used to do anything and everything but that. It's not easy to separate the respect and honor a nation's military forces deserve, from the various depredations they are being ordered to carry out. I'm afraid much of the top US military brass has been corrupted by careerism - along with lucrative enticements and career paths that the MIC has on offer.

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10 users have voted.

native

thanatokephaloides's picture

Yes Syria is a powder keg waiting to explode, and HRC

...... along with most of our other so-called "leaders", has been hurling lit cigarettes into it as fast as they can!

We really need some peace and principally domestic policy only political leaders, but we can't seem to get any such to run.....

Diablo

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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

The discombobulation that followed the primary season is understandable, and probably a necessary step in moving forward. But the arguments around here and elsewhere about the relative value of the Sanders campaign's pieces can become a distraction, one more example of the splittist tendency that disempowered the Left over and over again. They should and will go on, but putting them in perspective is more important. Kudos to the essayist for doing this.

I love the idea of grassroots efforts to create an alliance between disaffected voters on the right and the left. Many people around here know that I think the essential difference in our politics is not Right vs. Left, but Up vs. Down. Right-Left has become one more way to keep voters divided and conquered, distracting us from the economic agenda of the oligarchy. The great unrealized promise of the Sanders campaign was to reorient politics around the Up-Down axis, to beak down the divisions the ruling class use to keep us powerless and easily manipulated.

The reorientation of politics is the unfinished work of the Sanders campaign, and the central mission of the movement that started with Occupy. Arguing over Jeff Weaver or the Green Party can perhaps help us identify the vehicle for moving the movement forward, but there is at least as great a chance that the arguments can turn into a diversion from the main goal.

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24 users have voted.

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mimi's picture

I love the idea of grassroots efforts to create an alliance between disaffected voters on the right and the left. Many people around here know that I think the essential difference in our politics is not Right vs. Left, but Up vs. Down. Right-Left has become one more way to keep voters divided and conquered, distracting us from the economic agenda of the oligarchy.

Who are the disaffected voters? Those who are in pain and don't believe anymore in any social changes coming from both parties. Who really believes that either party will promote and implement equality and social justice? Nobody, I assume. I would think that those voters simply don't vote.

If the essential difference is between "Up vs Down" to "Right vs Left" I assume that those who are down, ie the powerless and poor masses, will not trust the ones who are "Up". I assumed from what little I know about history that the "UP" people were capitalism loving profiteers, oligarchs and corporations' CEOs and their lobbyists and that the "Down" people were socialism loving exploited folks, who had all the "hope and faith". AFAIK, those "UP" people were the "Right" flank and those "Down" people were the "Left" flank.

The Social Democrats imo have betrayed the "Down" folks, over and over again, world wide. They have betrayed the Left's mission. The became "UP" folks and they played around with the humane desire of the DOWN people to become less "DOWN" and dropped their interests like a hot potato, while telling them they will serve them nice mashed potatoes with gravy.

Nothing is easier than divide the "Down" folks. You can bring any identity issue into the discussion and off they are fighting each other. If you a VERY DOWN person you hope to become a little LESS DOWN person, even if you stay still in the "DOWN" category, they are being used to fight one group of "DOWN" vs. the other group of "DOWNs".

I have never really understood the meaning of Sander's "political revolution". What is political in the UP vs. DOWN divide, when it is not reflected in a party system that would clearly represent the interests of the "UP" folks vs the interests of the "Down" folks? You still can just vote for parties and there ain't one, who represents the interest of the "DOWN" folks.

I know only revolutions. They were always violent, civil unrest was unavoidable. Of course, I don't promote violence or am waiting the social movements turn in civil riots. But then it looks like "political revolution" is just a nice word that is supposed to give you some hope for movements to have an influence. Doesn't look like they will ever have.

But to be frank, if I meet people, which I am supposed to trust, I can't see or know, where they stand on social justice or for how long they will stand to their own expressed self-identification. The trust ain't there and if it's there it is not as stable as it would be needed.

If a political system can afford to ignore the voices of at least 70 percent of its people then you live in a country that is authoritarian, totalitarian and oligarchic. And NOBODY trusts ANYONE in such a system, imo. Dependent on how deep you are fallen in that shitty system, people don't trust their neighbors, friends and family members.

That are the lessons of Nazi Germany and the DDR. Distrust among people has been at its peak in those regimes. And with no real party differences in the US and nothing to vote for that represents your "DOWN" folk's voices, the trust is just going downhill.

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

The problems are 1)how to get people to know about it, 2)how to get people to be willing to give at least a few hours' time to it (like coming out to one meeting, and 3)how to get people out of total despair.

2 and 3 are connected, of course.

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8 users have voted.

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

Keep pushing the door open. Light the corners till the melt.
--Magiamma

Morire de cara sol.
--Jose Marti

mimi's picture

not in specific detail as it relates to the US), so that I have more doubts. Number 2.) I have done 3.) that's tough. I am German, that doesn't lead easily to be trusted by many Americans and I don't know to find the right words to help people get out of despair.

I never meant to say that one should not try and work hard on trusting each other. I kind of think it's hard to trust 'online friends". And in real space meetings it's a completely different situation. At least you get a feeling for the other person. But being confronted with what each single person is up against, it's easy to feel helpless.

To me the best cure against that kind of discouragement is humor among people, who try to connect to each other. I find that a lot here. So, I am not giving up on it.

I do like your essay as much as dallasdoc. But I have seen too much distrust among folks over the long run. That's were my "negative" attitude comes from that is represented in my above comment. It should not bother you at all. One voice among millions.

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9 users have voted.
Alphalop's picture

that the majority of Americans actually LIKE Germany and Germans in general.

Not like those damn dirty Icelanders... Wink (I was trying to think of a group that nobody ever complains about and they and the Finns are the only ones I could think of, lol!)

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1 user has voted.

"I used to vote Republican & Democrat, I also used to shit my pants. Eventually I got smart enough to stop doing both things." -Me

Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

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1 user has voted.

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

Keep pushing the door open. Light the corners till the melt.
--Magiamma

Morire de cara sol.
--Jose Marti

Alphalop's picture

get around to it.

It's been in my Netflix queue for ages.

I may have to check it out now, that was kinda funny, I feel that way sometimes too when I travel, but I still love to do it (at least back when I had that thing they call money, lol!). Smile

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1 user has voted.

"I used to vote Republican & Democrat, I also used to shit my pants. Eventually I got smart enough to stop doing both things." -Me

Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

and I'll just tell you that the last 1/2 season was...disappointing. But it's well worth watching anyway.

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1 user has voted.

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

Keep pushing the door open. Light the corners till the melt.
--Magiamma

Morire de cara sol.
--Jose Marti

I think American political cultural references are different from German ones, although the basics of class-based political dynamics are common. How they're perceived differ, based on our history.

Dividing the 99%, as we call the Down class now, is both easy and necessary to maintaining any oligarchic system, whether an aristocracy, a party despotism or a corporate oligarchy. The reason to push the 99% meme is that it directly counters divide and conquer efforts, identifying the perpetrators in the process. The 99% meme also avoids dividing the "middle class" from the poor. Americans don't really understand class divisions, and won't get the distinctions between the petit bourgeoisie, artisan classes, peasantry and the urban or rural poor. Lumping all of these classes together under a fundamentally democratic-sounding moniker like "99%" is a great way to reintroduce class-based politics to a country like this one.

Up vs. Down is basically class politics, and that's the fundamental reform we need to impose to fight the oligarchic system. Anything that fosters alliances between left-leaning and right-leaning people who aren't wealthy is a good thing, if you ask me. Directing anger at billionaires rather than Muslims, or black people, or working class whites, is how we can bring the movement to success.

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18 users have voted.

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mimi's picture

Anything that fosters alliances between left-leaning and right-leaning people who aren't wealthy is a good thing, if you ask me. Directing anger at billionaires rather than Muslims, or black people, or working class whites, is how we can bring the movement to success.

I have just not seen it much, yet. But I do believe that the younger generation is beyond that "hating the other" group kind of thinking. (the twenty plus year olds). Let's just hope.

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7 users have voted.
Citizen Of Earth's picture

but I hadn't noticed any bitter discussions over Our Revolution. Sure people were arguing different viewpoints about what the hell just happened -- between the Bernie's endorsement and OurRev rollout and reorganization. But I felt it was all healthy debate and I personally learned a lot of new things. And it took a few days for me to reach my own personal conclusions.

So I guess, IMHO C99 is running just fine. I don't see any reasons to change its format.

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10 users have voted.

Donnie The #ShitHole Douchebag. Fake Friend to the Working Class. Real Asshole.

Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

frustrated either by "negativity" on the site, or else by a relentless focus on the politicians (or occasionally, both). So I thought I'd put out a couple of options that should increase a positive focus and break up some of the concentrated focus on politicians.

That was the genesis of this essay--that, and the fact that I noticed people getting mad at each other over Bernie, which seemed not the greatest path to go down. It doesn't seem Bernie is going to be directly involved with any movement stuff going forward, beyond writing a book. He's certainly not involved with OR. Will he be involved with Brand New Congress? Don't know. It seems likely he's not going to be in a position of active leadership. It seemed to me we were risking real division over someone who may not even be involved at all from here on out. So it's not great to become divided by our opinions of Bernie, and I think even Bernie himself would agree.

However, like I said at the beginning to Raggedy, if we just want to let things ride, that's fine too. I'm not in a position of authority over anybody, and the suggestion I made was made with the assumption that we're all peers here. Or, perhaps "equals" is a better word! ("peers" comes from feudal language--aristocrats are peers of each other)

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11 users have voted.

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

Keep pushing the door open. Light the corners till the melt.
--Magiamma

Morire de cara sol.
--Jose Marti

Citizen Of Earth's picture

in the past couple days, so that's a home run in my book. Hahhaha. But yeah, there's a bit of tension about the whole 'What happened to Bernie' subject.

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10 users have voted.

Donnie The #ShitHole Douchebag. Fake Friend to the Working Class. Real Asshole.

gendjinn's picture

There is no peaceful turn. The 1% have decided that vacuuming up all the wealth will give them lifeboats for the coming ecological catastrophes. The 99% will just have to die.

It's violent revolution or extinction. The longer you take to realise this the more likely it is to be the latter.

Study your 19th century. At the end of it we made a deal not to guillotine the aristocratic/criminal families and they agreed to inheritance taxes and high marginal rates (90%+) to transfer the wealth they had stolen back to the people over a few generations.

They have broken that deal.

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27 users have voted.
BrutallyHonest's picture

JFK said it correctly; "Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable."

The sociopaths in our society have been waging war on us and on empathy itself. They believe that money has more value than life, that they have theirs so go fuck yourself, and if you don't agree with their society then you should just fucking die.

There actually are only 4 ways we can move forward:
1) Roll over and die/ give up
2) Fight back and kill everyone who has been, and is trying to kill us
3) Create a parallel society/ economy that is better to live with/ in that people just follow.
4) use the 1% propaganda and their old party ( the GOP) against them.

The last 3 seem to not be in the character of many 99%/ progressives that I do not have high hopes for our society, country, or species anymore

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13 users have voted.
Raggedy Ann's picture

I live in a somewhat parallel society/economy - on a small scale, of course. Raggedy Andy has bartered his whole life. I can't tell you the things he's swapped for that we could never have afforded. We have solar and wind - not tied to the grid - he installed it himself through dedicated study and research. We grow garlic. We're on a mission to grow 1/2 acre. We'll be at 1750 plants next year and 8000 or so, the following year. We will sell some, but we will also trade it with other gardeners/growers. We grow greens all winter and have a small garden in the summer. We want to put up a greenhouse in a few years, which will enable us to be more self sufficient and have more to trade, sell, and give away.

It's a start, for us. Pleasantry

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17 users have voted.

"If there is not justice for the people, let there be no peace for the government." Emiliano Zapata

mhagle's picture

essays on your work!!!

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4 users have voted.

Marilyn

"Make dirt, not war." eyo

mhagle's picture

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1 user has voted.

Marilyn

"Make dirt, not war." eyo

gendjinn's picture

A co-op of local gardeners could each focus on a different crop for trading. The production boost from a little bit of mono-culture could go a long way.

Why garlic?

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2 users have voted.

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