Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Handling the Problem of Dissident Bloggers in Gated Community Blogs

One of the noticeable features of American suburbia over the last couple decades is the increased tendency for the upper middle class to barricade themselves in gated communities. There are of course numerous reasons why one might choose to live in such a set-up, including of course the perception of safety as well as the perception of communing among like-minded neighbors free from the undesirable riff-raff that pollute the inner cities and whatnot. I've never of course actually lived in one of these neighborhoods, nor are there any prospects of me ever doing so (not that I lose any sleep over it, mind you). I have however visited a few of them, and they are indeed strange places. The houses are uniformly large (I've heard the term McMansions used to describe them) and similar in appearance. Yards of course are neatly trimmed. The air of similarity pervades the environment. Naturally, of course, there is a gate blocking one's entrance to these places and one must seek permission in order to be buzzed in. It's a bit easier to get out than to get in, perhaps not too surprisingly. Given that at the time that I was invited in to such communities by punks and goth wannabes who just happened to have well-off parental units, I am sure that my arrival would coincide with a depreciation in property values. The car I drove that had peace sign and Crucifucks stickers on it was probably a clue that I was one of the riff-raff that the neighbors had tried to escape.

With that long-winded introduction you might now ask me what any of this has to do with dissident bloggers. Have patience. We will make our way to this weighty topic momentarily. The gated communities are ultimately about having the right appearance, the right car, the right job, the right values. Deviations are simply not to be tolerated - as I am sure any upstanding member of the various neighborhood associations governing these communities will tell you. The pressure to conform has to be enormous. But again, keep in mind that we are dealing with upper-middle class America, here, which really hasn't evolved much since the days of Father Knows Best. The main differences are the spiffy high-tech gadgets, the bling, the Hummer in every driveway, etc. (in other words, mere window dressing).

To a degree, the phenomenon of "community blogging" is itself a middle-to-upper-middle-class endeavor (I told you I was going somewhere with this). Of course there is nothing inherently wrong with this state of affairs per se, but it does lead to some characteristics of these blogging communities which one must take care to notice lest one be subject to public scorn and ridicule. One must understand for instance that taking up space in a gated community blog is viewed as a privilege rather than a right, and that the moderators (who act as the internet equivalent of a neighborhood association) ultimately get to decide on who is privileged and who is not. There are some for whom the gate is not supposed to open. So it goes. Nothing is ever one hundred percent fool-proof of course, and just as one cannot always choose one's neighbors (or the guests of said neighbors), one cannot always choose one's blog members. Needless to say, when saddled with embarrassing neighbors, the association must take action - especially if the other neighbors have failed to do so. That pressure to conform is enormous, suffice it to say, and any good gated community has ample tools at its disposal.

In the gated community blogs, this pressure to conform usually takes on at least a couple forms: one is the in the form of using guilt and shame as a tactic to stifle nonconformist discourse. Those using this particular tactic can proceed in at least two ways. They could try to reminisce about "the good old days" when we "were all on the same side" and lament the current state of dialogue. Another weapon is to take on the role of the victim who has been "attacked" by the hordes of "savage" leftists. The tactic is most effective if delivered with a sufficiently stern motherly or fatherly voice. Sometimes the unruly member might fall for it, and clam up. Others, smelling the stench of manipulation, the embarrassing guests will continue as before, with maybe a flamewar or two added for good effect.

Another tactic I call "you're in danger of not being cool." Let's say the dissident blogger quotes a source considered taboo by the "Liberal Blogging Neighborhood Association." One can play the tactic thusly: "if you're quoting Justin Raimondo (a libertarian), you're just a step away from completing the transition to being a David Horowitz clone." Naturally, no self-respecting leftist blogger would wish to associate with neocon slime such as Horowitz, which is why the tactic can be effective in achieving sufficient conformity in order for the community to keep up appearances of respectability. Actually it's no different than the old junior high school trick of saying "if you keep doing x, you'll end up just like the weird dude who eats his boogers during pep rallies." Again, this tactic is only effective to the extent that the targets don't perceive that they're being manipulated (in which case, all bets are off, except for the endless flame wars that will continue for days on end).

If none of that works, there's always raw coercion. Some respectable member of the community (perhaps even a member of the neighborhood association) might simply go off threatening to clock the offending dissident blogger or even go so far as to threaten the dissident with the use of firearms. That particular tactic smells of desperation, and other than making one question the mental state of those issuing such threats, it's usually fairly safe to assume that the person making the threat will never carry it out. Ultimately, the threatener ends up looking stupid, losing respectability in the process, and the dissident bloggers go merrily about their business (don't forget the flame war!).

Somewhat more effective might be the threat of banishing the dissident bloggers from the neighborhood. To the extent that we humans are social animals who thrive on interaction and who become stressed out by excessive isolation, that threat can carry some substance up to a point. The weakness of that threat is that the internets allow for the formation of multiple communities that can subsequently become homes for wayward dissident bloggers, and some of those communities even exist sans the usual gates and guards and such. The gatekeepers using this tactic should also take care to avoid playing favorites, as leftist bloggers (both dissident and the more "respectable" alike) tend to be especially sensitive to injustices and what should have been a quiet gathering at the country club can quickly turn into a crowd at a pro wrestling match.

Such are the trials and tribulations of the blogging community gatekeepers, who find themselves having to deal with the community they have rather than the one that they wished for. There is another tactic that would be well worthy of consideration, and is one that I humbly offer as preferable: try listening to the dissident bloggers rather than view them as those weird aunts or uncles who must be kept hidden in order to keep up those appearances of perfect normality in blogtopia's Wysteria Lane. Doing so, means giving up the pretense of gated community perfection, and risks the potential for touchy and "embarrassing" topics to be raised (and dare I say it, even front-paged). The benefits though include added potential to learn and to perhaps even change a few opinions here and there (on all sides). Besides, a neighborhood in which all the houses look the same gets boring - wouldn't you much rather have a community with some color to it?

Credit where credit is due: blogtopia was coined by skippy; the term "gated community blogs" was coined by Ductape Fatwa.

99 comments:

glo said...

(scribe)

That's telling it like it is, James.

In my own experience over six decades, the overall concept of "gated groups" has always existed, everywhere I have ever been: work, church, social groups, online communities, any group anywhere

The top layers of course, get to set things up, chose the goals, set the norms and rules. Some of these are clearly written so those desiring to join can decide if they wish to be there or not, but many many of these norms and rule are never written or stated at all, but exist nonetheless.

Members who run afoul of these unstated norms usually find this out in short order, in ways such as you describe above and many many other quite passive aggressive ways.

The elite top layers of these kind of organizational structures DO need contibuting members in order to grow, so often extend what appears to be a welcome and wide open doorway open to all. They refer to themselves as "congregations" or "teams" or "communities", all words that extend the hope of "belongingness", which draws in all kinds of people.

But what is not said is, "You are welcome here...AS LONG AS
a) you conform to our standards and norms, including the unwritten, unspoken ones and
b) as long as you do not challenge the power of top layers of the pyramid.

I have almost always been welcomed in any organization/group I have attempted to join, because I have a lot to offer that can be put to good use, and if the goals of a group are mine also, I am willing to contribute them freely.

But every time, sooner or later, that welcome has eventually been withdrawn, because of my innate inability to consistently conform to enough of unwritten norms or rules.

Especially the one that says never criticize/challenge those at the top, and the one that requires me join in the group shunning and rejection of other others who lose favor for not conforming enough.

Over time and many many extremely painful experiences joining groups I heavily invested my time and talents in, I finally "get it".

Welcomes are not to be trusted to be what they appear to be. They are ALL "conditional" on my ability to conform to group norms. Every one of them. That's just how we organize ourselves in this culture, online and offline.

Only when I lived outside my own white culture (for periods of time, in the Native American and Mexican American culture) did I learn there were other ways for people to come together.

Those were the only two times, in 66 years, I found the kind of welcome that, when well tested, proved to be genuine and unconditional.

I think this is all about our culture: capitalism means learning competition from the cradle on, as a way of life. It connects success with material gain and being "better than" others in every way one can be.

It is next to impossible for trust to flourish along side competition. Living competitively requires is to NOT be too trusting. (ie: You may need to climb over them the next day, on your way ip the pyramid, while busily trying NOT to be stepped on by those coming up behind you.)

And when people mistrust each other, fear each other, they will never feel safe with differences. "Others" will always be a threat.

And so we gather in gated groups with like others, in pursuit of that sense of safety and belonging somewhere ,and by GOD don't anyone DARE threaten this, or you WILL be shunned.

Seeing this all playing out in the blog community is to me, just watching the same old thing repeating itself in a new medium.

alohaleezy said...

You both lay it all out so well.And it all plays into human nature so well doesn't it? Aren't we all continuely trying to fit in or find our place?

I think the closest I ever came to experiencing there are no "rules" only suggestions is AA. Still, I find different areas or groups to be very cliqueish and they won't say anything directly but will exclude you in one way or another. I know I am even guilty of this myself. It's part of being human.

What I am still trying to master is learning to recognise this is not where I belong sooner, not hook into the stomping down on my voice or spirit and just let go.I don't know. Does any of this make sense? We all just want to be a "part of"?

glo said...

I think almost all of us have a desire for belonging with other, yes. I just think different cultures have different values that drive how they structure themselves. I don't happen to be a good fit for how my own culture chooses to do it.

My own basic nature and values leads me to be more attracted to cooperation rather than competition, as my choice of how to with others. It leads me toward collaborating, and sharing resources and strengths, and away from wanting to have "power over" anyone else or allowing others to exert "power over" me to act, be or think in ways not according to my own nature. I also have never had any drive to become filthy rich, enjoy simplky living most, and can live VERY well, and even feel rich, on a SS income only.

Inevitably,all of this has earned me no end of negative labels over my lifetime: boat rocker, whistle blower, rabble rouser, rabid, man- hating feminist and part of some nasty "womens studies set" to name just a few!

It has earned me performance evals that sang my praises for work outcomes, but marked me down for poor time management skills and lack of "team skills" (at the same time!)

Now that I have grown old, I can add "crabby old lady", and "old busy- body", and "unforgiving reader" to my very long list of interesting labels. :)

I have given up looking for where I "belong" in my own culture. I do not belong anywhere! I am an "Other". And everytime I forget that, another reminder experience appears.

Then I remember that I need to move on and go find where other "Others" are gathering, where I don't feel so alone.

It's a sort of nomadic pathway, granted, but an exciting one too. I am still estatatic about how the internet has help me find all of you!

And I will always hold those Native American and Mexican Anmericas who welcomed me and proved that MY personal dream of living "in authentic community" with others actually DOES exist!

Just not in my own culture: not for me anyway.

alohaleezy said...

Had a sponsor once that was listening to me sobbing one of my famous poor me tirades. I finally reached the end and was sobbing saying "I just what to be normal". She just laughed and said "Forget it Leezy. You will never be "normal" and that is a good thing.' I loved her for that. I started caring less about fitting in and following the pack. It just made me miserable to do that most of my first 40 years. I know, some are slow learners but that's ok. I am glad I found all the "others" here too scribe.

Maryscott OConnor said...

There's a reason all that coercion works, too; it's fucking lonely as hell to be shunned by a community where you were once accepted and possibly beloved.

Takes a lot of strength and courage to know that's what's going to happen if you stand your ground, and you choose to stand your ground anyway.

If I do say so myself.

: )

blueneck said...

h/t to ya'll

MSOC, I'm following the thread over at MLW and while I have admired your unwillingness to ban in general, I do agree that vile namecalling and threats should result in banning, at least eventually...

I don't see repetitive threats and thread-hijackings to be worthy of inclusion in any community forum. I don't see that as a 'gated community' issue.

This story has much to recommend it. The 'gated community' phenomenon obviously happens, but the alternative is not bedlam and thuggery.

colleen said...

There's a reason all that coercion works, too; it's fucking lonely as hell to be shunned by a community where you were once accepted and possibly beloved.

It's not so bad if one is emotionally mature. And, contrary to the myth you would no doubt like to sell, you yourself were an outrageous bully at Daily Kos; surely amoungst the top ten assholes there.

No doubt you have forgotten or never noticed....

supersoling said...

"And, contrary to the myth you would no doubt like to sell, you yourself were an outrageous bully at Daily Kos; surely amoungst the top ten assholes there."

I wasn't around dKos for msoc's asshole days. That, or I wasn't paying attention. Truth is I never payed too much attention to that place because it never seemed worth the time to fight the bullshit there. But what I do know of msoc, at least as far as being a bully might go, is that I don't see that in her now. And the fall from grace that eventually comes to just about everyone at dKos is a good lesson learned...I hope.

And no, we're not all on the same side. there are multiple sides. But it would be good to coaless when and where we can. At least as far as Bush is concerned. The problem for all these factions is where we get to the replacing part. I'm sure sick as hell with the measly democrats and their complicity. Almost to the point of bailing off of the continent alltogether. But then, I don't take to getting run off too kindly.

Marisacat said...

But then, I don't take to getting run off too kindly. - supersoling

Well that is precisely why a fair number of us there from 2002 (myself - colleen, Marie, JJB, others predated me at Kos, I arrived Nov 2002) were relentless and stayed.

In 2003 it was hard to discern the origination of the swarms, sweeps, newly minted thugs and soon to be toadies. 2004 under the mess of a messy run, it got worse.

After a while it was clear, with some hard divisions down and within the ranks (for instance, the division between the ARmando ranks, DD ranks and DHinMI ranks), the thugs and toadies were aligned witih the party, factions of the party (and certainly some were and are paid) - and Kos was fine with it. He had a product to shape and sell and the thugs wre part of that "grooming". Otherwise known as purging.

I am certain that mileage, for others, was different.

Some of the more recent (post 2004 election loss) so called "abuse" heaped on people at the site is because they cleve to one or the other of the thugs.

Not so hard to figure out, a lot like life, when people do not stand on their own, but always need a protector. the weak, needy person becomes a proxy.

If someone cannot stand on their own feet at a political discussion site, well, that is beyond weak.

supersoling said...

Marisacat,
getting run off pertained more to the country. Getting run out of dKos, literally or figurativly doesn't meet my richter scale measurement of important things in the big picture. Though there's something to be said for refusing to relinquish ground on what passes at dKos as the accepted voice of the left. Accepted by the system, that is. For me though, it isn't worth sharing pen space with the porcine.

I didn't come to find that place till the week after Kerry's capitulation and wound up there through Understandinglife's efforts to demand recounts and fraud protestations. Which led me to BT eventually. So I don't recall much about msoc. Dem from Connecticut however immediatly pegged my bullshit meter and many more since.

Anyway, I'm not sure I'm following your drift, but if it's to say that msoc can't stand the heat since she's become more or less persona non grata there, then yeah, it's easy to be a badass when you're one of the kewl kids and you have plenty of cliquesters to back you up. To back down when you're no longer in, is lame and weak.

colleen said...

But what I do know of msoc, at least as far as being a bully might go, is that I don't see that in her now.

MOSC established dominance without honour, relentlessly and in precisely the same manner she is decrying in this thread.

ms_xeno said...

I just have to interrupt all the meta to nominate supersoling for President. Anyone with the guts to stand by My Pet Goat as their favorite book despite the terrible blow to its once-prestigious rep in the past few years, well-- Brothers and Sisters, that's the kind of fearlessness we need in these dark times.

supersoling said...

Well,
up till the morning of 911 my favorite book was Curious George, but George ended up being not so curious afterall, and it was all caught on video tape, including the title of my current favorite book. Therefore I admit that my choice was purely coincidental.

With America's sons in the fields far away, with America's future under challenge right here at home, with our hopes and the world's hopes for peace in the balance every day, I do not believe that I should devote an hour or a day of my time to any personal partisan causes or to any duties other than the awesome duties of this office--the Presidency of your country.

Accordingly, I shall not seek, and I will not accept, the nomination of my (Green) party for any term as your President.

Marisacat said...

supersoling.

I am aware of the difference between a blog and the [strangle cough choke] HOmeland.

I made use of a general comment, a sentiment really, within your comment as a jumping off place. It was addressed generally, perhaps that was not clear....

Of course not being at Dkos, what would you know of the years previous to your arrival. Billmon and Steve Soto, even the early days of Gilliard, it was not like DH and DemFromCT and a myriad of others.

Not yet rancid, would be a good description.

I assume, to find something similar (porcine pens) and since you have answered me directly, you found things, people. postings, whatever, at BMT that were attractive. On the other hand an old timer, Mary Mary, clearly told Martin in summer of 2005, that he was "playing favorites, just as Kos did", and it would ''affect his blog''.

She left then. Mileage varies.

Not a problem. People come and go at different times. And inevitably they share space with the porcine, the rendered, the bought and the sold.

No need to ''catch my drift''.

But if you want to defend msoc, and it seems you do, it won't work with some of us.

supersoling said...

It (defending msoc) was not intended to work with you or anyone else Marisacat. Just my opinion. One that isn't as informed as yours regarding dKos history. But I'm all ears. I always am.

Btw, I left BT nearly a month ago for the same favorites/double standards reasons that you say Mary Mary did.

Peace

supersoling said...

In addition Marisacat,
BooMan's front page post defending Delaware Dem was also a huge factor in my leaving that particular night. It's beyond hypocritical to defend a man calling any woman the names you were called while hosting a site that has/had a majority of women as members,who came to that place precisely because of the treatment they got at the hands of DD and those like him.

catnip said...

I wish I had been around dkos in the days of Billmon and Gillard to see what the atmosphere was like then. I showed up there in mid-2004 and the SYFPH scenario that fall over Kerry was absolutely ridiculous. I just couldn't understand it and still don't.

I didn't really pay attention to all of the drama - well except the continual Armando-made drama (how could anyone miss that?) - and I got some strong hints that I didn't belong there along the way. But I kept busy with the live blogging mainly and that was fun. The rest, as they say, is history. Pie wars, health problems.

I didn't really care back then who was paying whom for what but it didn't escape me that the top Dem blogs were quite cushy and incestuous. Just colour me naive as far as the rest of it went though. I was just interested in getting rid of Bush and the Republicans.

If I knew then what I know now, as they say...my decision to participate at the big box blogs would have been quite different.

Maryscott OConnor said...

Colleen,

I have apologised COUNTLESS times for my execrable behaviour at Daily Kos two years ago. TWO YEARS, mind you, it has been, since I adopted a policy of trying like hell to never say anything to anyone on ablog that Iwouldn't say to her face.

I would really really appreciate it if someone could tell me where to pay the fine so I can get the fuck out of this frozen place in time, where I am held forever in contempt for outrageously bad behaviour I have long since repented and made amends for and sworn not to repeat.

Yes, I behaved like a total asshole. I apologise once again for that behaviour. Evidently you have missed the last dozen or so very public apologies I made; I am happy to make another here, for your benefit and mine, hopefully -- and I ask your forgiveness for whatever harm or aggravation I may have caused you. If there is anything I can do to make amends to you for the ill I have done, please let me knoww, and I will do my best to make those amends.

catnip said...

(This has nothing to do with the back and forth between MSOC and others).

Just let me add something that perfectly illustrates the gated community atmosphere that's going on right now. OPOL posts another diary on dkos and now Carnacki is basically telling him to put up or shut up. Why can't these people embrace their differences and work together? Why has this become such an us v. them carnival of foolishness?

It's a power struggle of the worst kind and has no damn place in the so-called "left" blogosphere.

Everybody has their strengths people. This need to show others that you're somehow better than the Joneses across the street or the people you would rather see in the gutter, voiceless and powerless, is nothing but hubris.

It's a waste of energy. It's negative emotion-sucking power games and it's useless.

/end o' rant

Maryscott OConnor said...

Catnip...

Well said. Brava.

Good night, all.

catnip said...

Well, I sure didn't say it as well as TocqueDeville.

supersoling said...

I used to get annoyed that more people on blogs wouldn't or couldn't make it to street protests. I heard excuse after excuse about why they couldn't be there and what bothered me most were the "you're marching for me" comments. Well no, I'm marching for me and my kids. You're not doing anything actually. Then life got in the way of me making it to several marches myself. So I did what I could to support those who could go. I still wish more would get off their asses and realize the peril we're all in. But in the end, I can only control my own actions. And yeah, imo, too much precious time is wasted sniping at each other. We're not all on the same side, and we have different destinations in mind, but there are instances where we should be joining forces instead of slinging arrows at one another. The perfect example of disparate groups/ideals/races/genders/age groups/political factions coalesing can be seen at any anti-war march, where at any given moment you will see an 80 yr. old WWIIvet holding hands with his partner, alongside a Hippy, Rapper, active duty Marine/Soldier, democrat, republican, Mother and children, Anarchists, and on and on....

This blog watching and reporting is interesting in a high school kind of way, but when all is said and done, I highly doubt it will have contributed in any meaningful way to us saving the world from the madman in the oval office and the restructuring of the system that makes him possible.

DavidByron said...

It seems to me to be a problem of how authoritarians and anti-authoritarians can co-exist and perhaps they just cannot. There's a basic divide between people who feel they have the perfect right to tell other people how to live and those who don't. Unfortunately, and I think surprisingly, it looks as if most of the so-called liberals in the blogosphere fall into the authoritarian camp. No doubt it is human nature and the few of us who don't want to get with the program are the odd ones.

I guess I have a unique perspective on this being more anti-authoritarian than just about anyone. (I think I've been banned by three people commenting just on this thread). For whatever reason I lack that animal-like part of the human brain that says all the time that you must belong, either as the boss or the sheep.

Can the two sides co-exist?

Even at MLW you have a situation where the authoritarians have found it remarkably easy to pressurise MSOC to do their bidding time and again. It has become a place where people have to constantly say things like "I know I might get troll rated for saying this but...."

If the authoritarians can ruin a blog so easily even when one of their kind is NOT in charge then that does make it hard to see how any blog with a mixed population could avoid problems.

Having said that it is hard for me to see if MSOC is an authoritarian or not. What she *says* is anti-authoritarian but what she *does* is often rather different. She has allowed authoritarians to rule at MLW for a long long time. She refuses to rein in the self-appointed "gestapo" and generally lends them her legitimacy in a passive (sometimes active) way. She does threaten people frequently, and does ban people -- while pretending she does not. (And the fact that this pretense is universally adhered to at MLW gives me a Stalinist chill - if the bannings were legitimate why pretend they never happened?)

If the authoritarian impulse can poison the well so easily then can the two groups co-exist? Most arguments on blogs are IMO due to these two groups intolerance for each other, or specifically the intolerance of the authoritarians for anyone else. Because the authoritarian has a sense of complete justification for their "policing" of the blog they attack and insult others far more often, yet are often seen as doing it less because of their "policing" role.

The intolerance of the anti-authoritarian is largley limited to "not taking anyone's shit". But that is enough to keep the ball rolling once the authoritarians have started it with a demand for conformity in one form or another. Left to their own thoughts I doubt anti-authoritarians would ever have the same level of hostility because none of them beleives they have the right to control anothers human being. They would fight but without the malice, dogmatism and self-righteousness of the authoritarians. And also without the gang / mob attack of the authoritarian.

It's surprising to me that authoritarians can so easily convince themselves of their own utter righteousness even when, as at MLW recently, they are told their "policing" efforts are not welcome. (Reminds me of the way the US as a state views itself as a global cop) Even more bizarre is that others often fail to question all of this negative behaviour and call out the "police" as nothing but a gang of self-appointed thugs.

I take it for granted that the authoritarian position is fundamentally anti-liberal although it is amazing how many liberals do hold it or endorse it.

So again my question is: can authoritarians and anti-authoritarians mix?

DavidByron said...

If anyone's confused over the term "authoritarian" you should probably read Bob Altemeyer's on-line book about his research. He's publishing a chapter a week and is up to chapter 6 now.

alohaleezy said...

Super..best comment on this thread.

DavidByron said...

Another point... I've been thinking about this alot but I never have the chance to say it.... about the word "community".

What is a community? To me a community is when you have people together that you have to get along with, have to exist with. When authoritarians speak of community they usually have in mind a cluby feel by exclusion of outsiders.

This reminds me of the US Red / Blue state divide. Across the country wherever people are in high population density in cities those areas are blue. In rural areas where people are divided by distance the politcs are red. To me this suggests that when you HAVE TO get along with folks then your politcs become liberal. Authoritarians don't want to accomodate others. They want to have a club where everything is in agrement. That's not community IMO. That's destroying community. That's the gentleman's golf club or the gated "community".

In this respect I think we can agree both concepts of community have some value, but it is important to realise that the authoritarian and the anti-authoritarian have a very different view of the word.

ms_xeno said...

Are you the same David Byron that is active in anti-feminism ?

Just wondering.

If so, I remember you from my days on the Ms.Boards, when I still used the monicker "alsis." Have you re-examined your misogyny and tendency to bash feminists, or do you still, er, "stand your ground" on all that ?

Marisacat said...

Still in Alabama DavidByron??

Marisacat said...

This blog watching and reporting is interesting in a high school kind of way, but when all is said and done, I highly doubt it will have contributed in any meaningful way to us saving the world from the madman in the oval office and the restructuring of the system that makes him possible.

Well the big wild world is there. It is not turning anyone down.

I feel all come to the table and do what they can.

I think the mistake, if there is one, is that people ever thought, or complimented themselves that they Were 'Saving the World'. The value of the nets is to get information out. Then people, where ever they are - whatever they do, are on their own.

Not esp new, in the essence.

Saving The World, The Nation, Our Way of Life etc., certainly ahs been the justification thruout history for everything from wars to murder to tired operative work, as in Ms Marcotte working for Southern White Boy.

"Saving the Nation", that has been used a lot online. Esp by the purveyors of machine politics..

The only way is slowly, incrementally, from the ground up.

And of course offline is but a click away.

DavidByron said...

I don't equate disagreeing with feminists with hating women. In fact it's exactly that kind of response, that kind of authoritarian policing that makes me say that feminism is essentially conservative as a movement.

I'm afraid I don't recall an "alsis" but it's always nice to meet someone again.

Marisacat: well, yes, but what an odd question. Yes I'm still located in the most liberal state in all of Alabama. Why do you ask?

How are you anyway? I heard you banned Pyrrho from your site because he wasn't sufficiently anti-Armando. That was mean.

colleen said...

TWO YEARS, mind you>

More like 2 hours. I mean I just read your snooty display over on Marisa's blog and guess what, you still sound like an asshole.

I wasn't interested in listening to you complain about your victimization by people who have every reason to dislike and distrust you. I was pointing out that your characterization of yourself as a brave little martyr was bullshit.

Marisacat said...

Since you appear to be trying to have an opinion DB, here is the post in which I banned pyrrho.

Clearing the Air.

Ask him yourself about the email he was also sent. Having to do with a private email list he was on.

As you seem to care.

I mention Alabama to indicate you are a known entity to thousands of women online. Offline too I would think. Mostly when one googles "DavidByron banned" it is easy to see sites ban you immediately.

ms_xeno said...

[snerk] Byron, at least own your words. There is nothing "autoritarian" about one woman pointing out to another that a man on a thread is a misogynist. You can smother it all under flowery rhetoric, since most of your more salt-of-the-earth woman-hating buddies would never stick their big toe in a space like this;There is no need for you to impress them with your more openly vulgar side. Hence your pose here as high-minded peacemaker.

If you find your views on women to be a liability in spaces such as this, perhaps you should re-examine them. However, if you are in no way, shape, or form embarrassed by them, or if you feel that they couldn't possibly compromise your ability to stand in solidarity with women who are anti-war, don't start whinging at so-called "authoritarians." Your views are part and parcel of your character, such as it is. No need to lock them in a closet for the sake of others' delicate feelings. No need to pretend that you are being oppressed by me when all it takes is one Google search for me to show the unitiated what you're all about in other spaces.

DavidByron said...

Ah just feel the hate.

Just as criticism of Israel is dismissed as "anti-Semetism" so criticism of feminism must be called misogyny. Let's shut down all debate for god's sake.

Just as anyone who refuses to "support the troops" must be called out as unpatriotic so I must be attacked as anti-liberal because nobody could ever sincerely critique the feminist ideology and be a lefty could they?

I find your presence at this blog a little ironic to put it mildly. My own qualifications are second to none judging by the subtitle of the blog. Serial Blog Wrecker? Why isn't my photograph up there? Good old Ductape.

Marisacat: thanks for the link.

glo said...

(scribe)
Wow, just scanned your website DB, as I had not heard of you before. I am an old woman who has traveled a path from days of trying to be June Cleaver and a good little Stepford wife and Mommy, through my discovery of this thing called "feminism" in my 40's, which propelled me through all the phases from becoming a man hating lesbian separatist marching in the streets, to mellowing out as I finally healed up the worst of my wounds (caused be incest and three rapes,) and finally to a place a bit more balanced within me. That's when I becamw to discover there really are a LOT some decent, trustworthy men on this planet, and since have came to care deeply about many, many of them. Now I can see how sexism and misogyny has hurt men as well as women, albeit not nearly as seriously or in the same deeply damaging ways.

So my own current working definition of "feminism", has been through many changes, and now I define it, for myself, as a movement toward equality for all, regardless of gender.

From an admittedly brief scan of your writings, I have to tell you I saw nothing new at all that I haven heard or have had demonstrated to me by most men, all my life. You just have your own way of wording the same old tired stuff.

It never fails to astound me how many young white males think they can possibly know enough about womens lives, to take on a broad subject like feminism, dissect it, and present lengthy, "important sounding conclusions" about it all, as if you've discovered a whole new exciting intellectual frontier!

DavidByron said...

Far be it from me to stop people talking about my favorite topic - ME - but the link above is to a site that hasn't been updated in seven years. Just so you know. Again I didn't come here to shoot down feminist sloganeering. Oh what the hell.

now I define it, for myself, as a movement toward equality for all, regardless of gender .... It never fails to astound me how many young white males think they can possibly know enough about womens lives, to take on a broad subject like feminism

See any contradiction there?

Another characteristic of authoritarians is their inability to see contradictions in their own views. This is because they have a very compartmentalised way of thinking. Thus "feminism is about both sexes" and "feminism is about women only" are both true to the feminist.

You are making an authoritarian attack on me by saying that I have no right to express my views -- based on my birth as a male in this case. If I was agreeing with you I dare say that my penis wouldn't be an issue though, right? Another self-contradiction.

If anyone else wants to attack me please reconsider unless you want this entire thread taken off-topic because I will defend myself from accusations like "misogynist" thrown around here so easily.

sjct said...

David Byron! Blast from the past! I was trying to remember your name a week or so ago. You were the first person to be banned at BT --by community vote! No one thought you contributed a damn thing to the discourse. I'm of the scroll-on-by school of tolerance but you're so long-winded you even gave my scroll finger a cramp. LOL!

DavidByron said...

Yes. Often the first, never the last.

supersoling said...

"You are making an authoritarian attack on me by saying that I have no right to express my views"-David Byron

I don't see anyone here denying your right to express yourself, unless you consider having your own views and history pointed out to you and the "uninitiated".

Funny too that you should mention "good old Ductape" since it was on his site that I first encountered you when you made an attack on Damnit Janet and Code Pink. Knowing a little about good old Ductape, I would venture to say that he allowed you to continue posting as an example of the worst kind of anti-feminist, as you describe yourself, and probably enjoyed toying with you as a cat does with a cornered mouse.

But at least get this one thing straight, you can post here as far as I'm concerned, but don't start complaining about authoritarianism when your views are challenged.

DavidByron said...

My views were not challenged.

I was called a "misogynist". That is not challenging my views any more than shouting "anti-semite" is challenging views. I was also told that because I have a penis I have no standing to have an opinion on gender equality. That is also not challenging my views.

Can't you tell the difference?

And even the reference to my old site was only used as an ad-hominem attack. Just as you did with your little story there. I disagreed with Janet? Surely I must be evil. Burn the Witch!

Challenge my views?

What happened and what you contributed to, is an example of the negative authoritarian mob behaviour that this thread is supposed to be discussing.

I'd be delighted to have my actual views challenged by any of you. I won't hold my breath though. Authoritarian behaviour is designed to eliminate just such a discussion (which in any case would likely be inappropriate on this blog?)

glo said...

No I don't see a contradiction in my views. I am not saying you don't have a right to your views, whatever they are. I simply expressed by opinion "about" your views, as you have every right to express yours about mine. When did that become an "authoritarian" thing?

And how is offering my opinion on your work an attack on "YOU?" I am perfectly capable of disagreeing with people stances without personally attacking OR "labeling"
their character. Of course, if you choose to take this as a "personal attack" theres not much I can do about that.

Now lets talk about your penis and how important it is to this interesting discussion.

The only important I place on your penis is that it means you are a biological male. You were born a male and and raised as a male in a culture that clearly has attached more "worth and priviledge" to males that it has to females, historically. You just cannot arguer with that plain old fact, can you?

So your perspectives like everyone elses, are heavily influenced by your own life experiences.

I was born without a penis in 1940, into a world that immediately let me know in a million definitive ways that my worth as a human being did not even begin to equate with the worth of those born with a penis.

So of course, DB, my own life experiences were much much different than yours have been. I am a veteran of 66 years of living in this culture as a woman.

Unless you have made a genuine attempt to learn how life as woman in this culture has actually been for us, you will never understand how totally mind blowing it is to hear ANY male claim to be the the "victim" of women!! Have you make that sincere effort?

Have you ever spent any quality time at all with any of us older feminists, and I mean really honestly listening to AND BELIEVING what we have actually experienced and lived through in our lives?

If not I truly wish you would. This should not be a war between men and women. Ww should not be "attacking" each other. We should be standing on the same side of the damned table identifying and attacking THE PROBLEM ITSELF, that has separated is with opposing, warring factions.

But I now this will not happen in my time left here. I honestly thought men and women had made more progress toward this than we have. It has been a very sad and discouraging thing for this old feminist to discover we (both genders)haven't made nearly enough for the long hard battles we have fought so far.

catnip said...

I'd be delighted to have my actual views challenged by any of you. I won't hold my breath though. Authoritarian behaviour is designed to eliminate just such a discussion (which in any case would likely be inappropriate on this blog?)

You've had your views challenged on several blogs, including mine (where you were also banned). Don't play the poor me card under the guise of being anti-authoritarian. You choose to disrupt conversations with your extreme views - and they are extreme and border on hate speech in some cases - and then cry foul when you're banned. Why should any blog owner put up with that - liberal or not?

You're trying to hold yourself up as an example of the divisions outlined in this diary but you're more like someone who whips through the gates of a community with guns blazing and then you wonder why you got arrested. You are not the type of dissident we're talking about here. You deserved to be banned. You are the very definition of a troll and it's shit like this that proves that:

Wayne, what's a piece of human filth like you doing quoting religious stuff anyway? The catholic church wasn't supporting you Nazis back then.
DavidByron | 09.27.06 - 9:17 am | #


And that was an attack against a conservative on my blog who, by his own admission, agreed with you 99.9% of the time.

Calling someone "a piece of human filth" shows exactly how you place yourself above all others and yet you whine when you're not accepted. Why should you be?

ms_xeno said...

I love how a link to a misogynist's own proudly misogynist writings constitutes and "ad hominem attack." The laughs just keeping coming.

To catnip, supersoling, and the rest. I apologize for feeding DB's perpetually gargantuan persecution complex. I was worried that perhaps some of you did not know his history, and I don't think that anything he has to say about women should be read and analyzed without taking that history into account. I apologize for misunderestimating you, as Der Ubershrub would say...

catnip said...

No problem, ms xeno. I'm sure there are people who aren't aware of his history so you've provided a service to them.

supersoling said...

No worries ms_ xeno,
public service announcements are surely welcome in DB's case.

DavidByron said...

Although to be fair the gargantuan persecution complex prize surely belongs to anyone who can still remember a debate opponent ten years later.

It is about ten years isn't it Ms Xeno? or were you much later as perhaps is indicated by the reference to Stand Your Ground? I left there after they banned someone else. That would date you to circa 2002 I suppose.
----------------------------------

Hey there catnip! :)

ms_xeno said...

david byron, stand-up comic wrote:

a debate opponent ten years later.

Try about 6.5 years later, if you're that obsessed with technicalities. Furthermore, I have certainly seen your posts elsewhere since the Ms. Boards bit the dust. You've left quite a formidable internet trail, and I'm not the only person who's noticed as much. Luckily.

You need to work more on honing your vocabulary, so it will look as good to others as it must to you. Once again:

A caution from me to other posters on a blog that you have left quite a troubling trail of opinions regarding feminism is not "authoritian."

When you yourself have demonstrated repeatedly that you hate women (that is, any woman who doesn't want to be cute and submsisive) and I call you a misogynist, that is not an "ad hominem attack."

Finally, my long memory regarding your antics does not equal a "persecution complex."

Congratulations on leaving SYG. I'm sure it soldiers on quite merrily in your absence, and vice versa. There's always a big audience for men (and the occasional woman) who want to cry and whinge all about how Feminism Ruined Their Lives. Nothing is unique about you except, perhaps, the number of spaces you've managed to be ejected from.

At any rate, I am glad you are already known to the regulars here. And I got to read glo's comments, so it wasn't a complete washout.

Thanks, glo.

glo said...

My pleasure. I've pretty much guit writing on this issue since the pie wars. It was just too much of a disillusionment to see the proof unfold before my very eyes that all those hard hard years we put in have had so few lasting effects on so many "liberal men and women." Carry on, sistahs and brothers, you've got the baton now.

supersoling said...

scribe (Glo),
I want you to know that your efforts weren't lost on many of us. Though like most human rights movements, the equality fights and battles you waged and are waging have a long, long way to go, and even seem to take backward steps at times. Of corse I have no statistics to site to back that up, only my own experience. The only proof I have that you made a difference is in the legacy and teachings of one of your sisters...my Mother. She never settled for second class treatment and taught her four sons to respect a person, any person, for their charachter, not their gender or color. I am sure that in those dark days of the fight she took comfort in the support of all of her sisters...you, and in that way, you contributed to the enrichment of my life then, just as much as you enrich my life now.

I admire and appreciate you and your presence in my life for however long it may last.

With love...

glo said...

Thank you, super.
I just love you.

catnip said...

Okay. No group hugs now. We need to retain our appearance of edginess here.

GRRRR...

;)

Marisacat said...

Just let me add something that perfectly illustrates the gated community atmosphere that's going on right now. OPOL posts another diary on dkos and now Carnacki is basically telling him to put up or shut up. Why can't these people embrace their differences and work together? Why has this become such an us v. them carnival of foolishness?

Oh Carnacki, anotehr Pharisee. What a scam it all is...

well I realise this is not Nooz, but had there not been the vicious top down, the early strong whiff of party incursions, then declared as merely a party site for elections (Kos post 2004 loss) had there not been Top Dog Thugs orchestrating, in admin, elevated to the FP at other blogs...

well things might have been different.

I believe, based on observation, that all of that was completely intentional. There may have been stupid dupes along the way, but hey no roses for being fucking dumb.

Other than the dupes, smart people WILL REBEL.

I mean, OPOL diaries (now that I have read a few, truly I do not read the site the way the Boyz think I do... LOL) should NOT BE A PROBLEM. And yet they are. They clearly wish, kos the little fucked lui-meme, to run OPOL off the site.

Shutting dissent, banning VOTERS that don't fit the desired, 'product for sale', 'shillers for hire', presentation .. boxing people up, tying up other sites by aligning them either to Kos or Armando or DH or or or or or.

Just the breaks: People will REBEL. A dying but still barely alive part of the American spirit, rebellion.

And the reason I am not shutting up. I am certainly not the only one, tho the Boyz would wish me to think so.

So tired they are. LOL So many failed attys trying to migrate into bully boy politics.

So typical.

(hey, ya did say this site was about meta... LOL)

DavidByron said...

That's ok catnip. I'm used to women behaving emotionally whenever I'm around.

Marisacat: I read the linked to piece about Pyrrho being banned. It's hard to read because you know how very deep you and he are. In fact it was so deep and meaningful that to someone like me it just looked like he pissed you off over some trivia and then in a fit of pique you slammed him by banning him.

The guy thinks a lot of you and now that he's been banned from Big Orange he's seeing things a little differently.

It seems as if getting banned from dKos can be quite a positive learning experience.

What does it take for you to forgive someone that you have marked as a Pharisee?

supersoling said...

Sorry to go s..quishy. Can't have that now, can we?

I was reading Hunter's pathetic reply to Jerome and his whiney farewell threat this morning:

"
Hmm. (44+ / 0-)

I've read all the comments above. I could argue that the entire meaning of my argument could be found in the part of it that the diarist all-to-conveniently edited down to three dots. I could argue that there is nuance to be had where "consequences" do not have to exclusively mean violence, and where "disproportional" merely means that an attack on an American city will be met with something more substantial and strategic than a single in-kind retaliatory strike.

But I won't, because I find the comments more interesting. And there, too, I could argue that actions of a nation taken in demonstrable self defense do not, by any stretch of sanity, in and of themselves constitute attempts at hegemony, and that thus conflating them in any comparisons of an Afghanistan sponsored attack against American cities and the entirely separate issue of intervention in Iraq is an act of willfully nurtured ignorance. But I will not debate that point either.

Because after reading all the comments, I have come to a different conclusion. If it is the honest contention of the majority of commenters on this site that America should not have responded militarily against the Taliban when they refused to take unequivocal action against al Qaeda, after two substantial and murderous attacks on the American cities of New York and Washington D.C. -- which, from the tone of the debate and the lack of contrary supposition seems every bit as reasonable a distillation of this thread as the diarist's distillation of mine was presumed to be -- than I honestly am not comfortable being a part of a site that thinks that.

I am tired of months of fights in which every diarist tries to out-top the purity of the last, and where every fight is dominated by clownish, overpainted rhetoric that cannot distinguish between the most vile of neocons and some guy three diaries up or down that might have a procedural objection, strategic disagreement or, terror of terrors, different phrasing of the points of an issue.

I think at long last I finally may just be done with this. Have a ball, and I sincerely hope that the new Daily Kos plan of concocting diaried slide shows for each other about your own inherent genius has the world impact you presume it will have.
"


Let's see...so much hypocrisy and message enforcement, so little time. Now the pacifists are persona non grata at dKos? And Jerome didn't even make a pacifist statement to begin with.
For people who sure seem to relish jumping into threads and calling others with inconvenient opinions out on the carpet, they sure do have thin little skins, don't they? And the list of court jesters pleaing with him not to leave is like a who's who of brown nosing. Oh god, go away you little imperialist weasels.

glo said...

DB writes: "I'm used to women behaving emotionally whenever I'm around."

You owe me a keyboard, DB! (That made me spew my morning coffee all over mine!) (lololhahahahehehehehehe..whew!)

My my my. How DO you get your head through the neck hole of your shirts, I wonder?

supersoling said...

db, "Marisacat: I read the linked to piece about Pyrrho being banned. It's hard to read because you know how very deep you and he are. In fact it was so deep and meaningful that to someone like me it just looked like he pissed you off over some trivia and then in a fit of pique you slammed him by banning him. "

No, it looks more like he just ran her into the ground with unwelcome emails that analyzed the shit out of every vowel, not to mention the deep meaning of the consonants. Unwelcome emails suck.

I think she also mentioned that he was a conduit for Armando/BigTentDemocrat. Anyone who excuses that abuser's behavior doesn't deserve a voice wherever and whenever he chooses.

ms_xeno said...

glo:

...My my my. How DO you get your head through the neck hole of your shirts, I wonder?

DB goes to the same tailor Mel Gibson does. Only one of many similarities in terms of tone and raison d'etre, etc...

DavidByron said...

Thank goodness someone is reading dKos META so I don't have to. But a threat to leave by Hunter is about as believable as dhonig's many GBCW's at MLW. Isn't this just another one of the tactics that are used manipulatively? The fact is that these people who use such emotional blackmail are the very last people who will depart on principle. They have too much at stake in the system.

The principled departure is in a sense the flip side of banning. In that fantasy world of free markets where the supplier and the buyer have equal power in mutual contract, in a world where the rhetoric of community being everyone, and not de facto "this is my blog so I make the rules", the loss of any one member is the equivalent of banning albeit in a much weaker form. It's not the same; there is no force, but it shouldn't be taken lightly.
-------------------------------

Why is Armando an "abuser"? Is this some reference to his private life?

Why ban Pyrrho because of Armando? That sounds like trying to form a rival gang with separate loyalties. In any case if to "deserve" a voice you need to prove you are not loyal to the dKos bunch hasn't Pyrrho just established his innocence by getting banned and by promoting that criticism of dKos' business plan?
-------------------------

I never could see the fuss over Mel Gibson's drunk remarks. I've never been drunk but people tell me when you are drunk you sometimes say things you wouldn't say normally. Mel Gibson is an alcoholic who knows he's an alcoholic. I believe in innocent until proven guilty (or in OJ's case innocent until you write a book about how you did it). I don't particularly think for example that Michael Jackson is guilty either.

It's true that I would probably not say those things even if I was drunk. I'm guessing I'd be a maudlin drunk rather than an angry drunk. And if I was angry, and I got angry at the Israeli invasion of Lebannon, which in fact I was concerned about at the time, maybe I would say something nasty (not sure about the remark about "sugar tits" though).

It just didn't seem like a lot to base a charge of racism on. At first I assumed the guy might have a record of racial attacks but if he has nobody ever seems to mention it.

Drunk: shoots mouth of with obscenities.
Sober: apologises.

Which act better characterises a man's nature?

glo said...

Well, it takes all kinds to make a world I guess. :)One of the coolest things about retirement is that one finally gets to choose who to hang out with, and who not to!

glo said...

DB: "Drunk: shoots mouth of with obscenities.
Sober: apologises.

Which act better characterises a man's nature?"

Before I sobered up, I did and said way more than my share of atrocious things, and hurt a hell of a lot of people. That I was drunk at the time does not ecxuse me at all from repsonsibility for what I said and did.

You see, no one tied me down and forced the booze down my throat. I did that. You play, you pay. That's how it works in this world.

ms_xeno said...

Unemployment was like that, too, glo. I actually enjoyed the solitude, but was a little disappointed in how my urge to get drunk dissipated once I was free of the loony tinpot dic(k)tators and their cowed enablers. In fact, I didn't have a regular job for eighteen months and I don't recall getting sauced on a weekday even once, despite all the fantasies about it I had while still on the job.

The main problem with unemployment is that pesky no-money-coming-in-oh-fuck thing. Too bad, because some of the other compensations are, as a certain ad says, priceless. ;)

ms_xeno said...

Sorry. That is, unemployment is like retirement. Your second post came in while I was still typing. :o

glo said...

ms Xeno, one thing I worry about now is whether social security benefits will be there for you when you reach retirement, so you too, have the choices I have had, to simplify my life down to where I can live very comfortably on that small income, and thus claim these years of freedom from the socially sanctioned slavery of the workplace. I am, in most ways, healthier, happier and more fulfilled as a human being, that ever before. I want you to have this option too...

ms_xeno said...

I don't think that folks my age can count on Soc Sec being there when the time comes, glo. Hell, my own Mom is in remission from cancer and she just went back to work. After having run her own business for thirty years. After my Dad's long illness and his death she couldn't keep the business going, and in this economy she couldn't find a buyer for it. She has a good roof over her head and it's a part-time job, thank NOTA. But it's insane to me that after all these years --in her late Sixties-- and even WITH Soc Sec she still must work.

Those bipartisan fuckers will find a way to loot and pillage and leave us in the lurch. We will have to get together and see to one another without them meeting their obligations, whether that would have been our first choice or not...

DavidByron said...

I feel a little deceived by your comment Supersoling. You made me think for a few minutes that the denizens of Kosworld might be getting a clue. But upon inspection I find that just about nobody on that page has a sane view of foreign policy. Not even Jerome himself who Hunter appears to be trying to get banned.

Jerome said (in reply to Hunter),
the early attack on Afghanistan could easily be justified - just not by the sweeping need to take revenge on any attacker, but by the necessity to eliminate a threat and bring to justice the 9/11 organisers

And I do not see even one person on that entire page (haven't read it all) that has what I would call a sane view of foreign policy. The basis of which would be to recognise the existence of the bed rock of international and US law on foreign relations, the UN charter. The charter which outlawed any such attack upon Afghanistan.

If Jerome represents the best at Kosword then it's very poor indeed. He doesn't comprehend he is endorsing a great crime that would and did kill thousands of people. he says that Afghanistan was a threat when it obviously was no threat. He seems to think the ebst way to arrest a suspect in a crime is to invade a country.

That's an insane foreign policy view.

It's true there were a couple of total pacifists on the board mentioning the Quakers principled stand. It's a consistent approach but I don't think total pacifism is a sensible approach either. While in Americas case practically speaking of course there will never be a legitimate war because nobody's going to attack the US, the theory that you wouldn't respond even if there was a legitmate attack on your country seems wrong. Having said that the Quakers must be admired for holding a legitimate and consistent policy.

But in general nobody at dKos appears to realise the political context of the 9-11 attack. I find it incredible the level of sheer bloody ignorance at that site and on the American left in general of course. It's not that these people are (for the most part) aware that there are other arguments and they happen to disagree. They are just totally clueless.

And perhaps worse, there are sure a few people there who do know that there's another side to the story but they are careful not to mention it even just for the sake of accuracy.

It's as if Al Qaeda came out of nowhere. No history of the US "bear trap" in Afghanistan where Carter decided to lure the Soviets into a war that killed a million or more. Carter's a fucking saint over there. No awareness -- and surely even this bunch know it -- that Al Qaeda was supported by the US and US allies. Above all there's no conception that Al Qaeda might represent legitimate greivances against the US such as the US sponsoring of Israel's occupation of Palestine.

They hate us for our freedoms.

That really is about where they are at isn't it. God it's pathetic. The one thing that the blogosphere can do well is enable communication and education and here we are 7 years into this experiment and at dKos we have not got passed the level of George W Bush's most childish war time propaganda.

And this moronic blindness has deadly consequences for the world. Sad to say but the lives of many thousands of people may in some not insignificant part, lie with the education of those willful fucking idiots. Thousands of people, individuals, snuffed out. And here's the liberals of dKos arguing over whether the justification for criminally bombing them ought to be X or ought to be Y.

Seven years into this experiment of people powered communication and education and that's where we are at.

And what does that say about how we who are educated have failed?
-------------------------------------

glo:
Before I sobered up, I did and said way more than my share of atrocious things, and hurt a hell of a lot of people. That I was drunk at the time does not ecxuse me at all from repsonsibility

That is true, but which do you think better characterises you as a person today, drunk glo, or sober glo?

If you got drunk all the time that would be different but as I say Gibson is a self-confesed and long time dry alcoholic who went off the rails this one time.
---------------------------------

Americans work 20% more hours than Europeans and what do they get for it? Americans are pigeons. Like the old joke about mushrooms and Americans. Again education is the key and the blogosphere has such potential for education but where are we at?

DavidByron said...

One guy says "Hey didn't the Taliban offer to hand him over?" and two others tell him he is wrong. He is wrong. The Taliban made at least THREE such offers after 9-11 and others prior to 9-11.

It's like a train wreck. I can't seem to look away.

Oh wait, yes I can.

supersoling said...

I never made a statement in support of Jerome or not. And I agree that threats to leave are used to control as well as threats to ban.

There was no justification for the invasion of Afghanistan. It's simple American righteous revenge. And I'm aware that we're long on provocation around the world and short on taking responsibility for how those actions affect so many, and in the end, like 911, affect us too. But saying that doesn't mean that I don't think a response was necesarry. Just not the response we made. I could see sending Special Forces in small numbers to get to the target, Bin Laden. But instead we went in trying to swat a fly with a sledge hammer. Sledge hammers aren't nible weapons and in the end they wreak mass destruction while missing the fly.

Anyway, what Kossucks know or don't know is beside the point. They are willfully ignorant, and when one steps out of line they're banned. They are doing more online to perpetuate the our ugly Americaness than any other one place. But I'm not inclined to fight them. They are tearing themselves down slowly but surely.

DavidByron said...

Firstly I was not accusing you of anything, not even of being American. In fact you are not American IMO if you do not support that regime. Consider yourself an honorary not-American!

(or else consider that national identification is all a bullshit means of control anyway)

But as for the Kossites can they be considered the enemy? Surely to make them the enemy is to say they have agency - that they have a clue. Do they? Have they?

There is a sense in which their ignorance is wilfull, but it is on a small scale. eg the way they "forget" that Al Qaeda was linked to the US administration and therefore at a minimum 9-11 was an example of blowback. That's wilfull.

But the exceptionalism as a whole, I don't think that's something they exactly chose to be.

In fact per my initial comment in this thread (which I would JUST LOVE for someone to respond to btw) exceptionalism by the US on the international scene reminds me a lot of the authoritarian attitude that was the topic of this thread. Both are situations where you have people getting their sense of morality not from rational ethics but from what perceived leaders tell them. in both cases the authoritarian has a sense of complete self-righteousness which enables them to attack others without any sense of shame. The same authoritarianism makes it hard for them to see their own self-inconsistencies or consider arguments that attack their world view.

On a blog this leads to horrific knock-down arguments. In foreign policy it leads to the occupation of Iraq. But the underlying concept that "the rules don't apply to me" because "we are the good guys" is the same.

One of the things Bob Altemeyer considers in the book linked to above is how do authoritarians come about? He suggests that authoritarians have not had lacked role models of sucessful independence and dissent in their lives. Instead their lives have contained only examples of obeying authority. While he does not claim there is evidence that examples after the formative period of childhood might "cure" someone, you have to think it's a possibility.

boran2 said...

Late, late to the party.

Mcat is right about these here internet tubes, they are best for the spread of information. Changing the world? I don't know, likely not. So much of what is posted is verbal masturbation, and yes I know, I am as guilty of this as anyone, if not more so. (Sat Painting diaries)

James said...

Just noticed Hunter's GBCW tantrum. The jingoistic "cheese eating surrender monkey" commenting that followed was especially sickening.

glo said...

( Response to DB on the alcoholism side topic. He write "That is true, but which do you think better characterises you as a person today, drunk glo, or sober glo?
If you got drunk all the time that would be different but as I say Gibson is a self-confesed and long time dry alcoholic who went off the rails this one time.<<

The sober glo is who I am by nature, of course. Like Mel, I have lots of sober years in (25 ), and like him, I too, could go off the rails.
But it STILL would not absolve me from the responsibility for what I might do or say once drunk gain. like Mel, I know how to run my life so I do stay sober now. Only I can made the choice to stop doing the things that I know keep me sober, and only I can,** while still sober, decide to put the stuff back in my body. I am NOT powerless over alcohol, UNLESS I CHOOSE TO voluntarily swallow the stuff and let it into my bloodstream, where I know for a hard fact it will take over my my judgement, and my behaviors. So while I can certainly feel compassion for any reLapsing alkie, I cannot excuse them for their behaviors While drunk. Hope that makes sense.

Arcturus said...

I saw that too James, over at Mcats. a new party slogan?

OUT NOW!

(you dirty peace-niks . . .

DavidByron said...

glo, I'm not sure we are disagreeing. I am not saying he didn't do anything wrong. But this came up because some people are taking Mel Gibson's remarks while he was drunk to say that's what he's like all the time; that's what he is as a person. They didn't say that's what Mel Gibson is like when gets drunk.

Maybe he is like that when he's sober too but I won't assume that.

I think people assume that when he was drunk his "true feelings" came out and he's that way all the time. Like "in vino veritas". But I think everyone has an internal censor and when you decide to yourself "I don't say things like this because it's nasty" that doesn't mean that you really want to say them but are afraid of looking bad. It can mean that, but also it can mean you want to do the right thing. When people get drunk and say stupid things I don't think that's always "who they really are". "That's the alcohol talking" seems at least as likely.

Ok well anyway I don't think we disagree much. All I wanted to say was I don't think "he's like Mel Gibson" ought to be an insult.

ms_xeno said...

Byronandonandon wrote:

...I don't think "he's like Mel Gibson" ought to be an insult.

Well, rest assured that from me to you, it is.

boran2 said...

Agreed. Unless one prefers to be likened to a racist.

Arcturus said...

in case you missed WhoIsIOZ:

"I don't take Kevin Drum, house bloggah at the lame-o-liberal, daisy-chain technocracy booster mag called The Washington Monthly, very seriously, and Dog knows he's a snore, but with those caveats I admit that I read him daily because he seems to me--more even than your lib columnists at WaPo and the Times--to represent the unthinking, consensus imperialism of the fatty center of American politics: that sea of unexamined assumptions, exceptionalism, and bad history, tempered by a vaguely tolerant social semi-philosophy, dedicated to legacy entitlements, fond of public education, with poor taste in literature and an undue fondness for television, easily convinced by colorful graphs and charts, dismissive of the "anecdotal," enamored of gadgetry, giddily ecumenical, disturbed by George W. Bush, but unconcerned with his ancestors and antecedents."

much more - don't miss

ms_xeno said...

Kevin Drum: Because being an armchair warrior isn't just for fr**p*r assholes anymore...

IOZ is a trip. I want to write like that when I grow up.

spiderleaf said...

I just switched to the new blogger and now I can't post to this site. Can anyone except ductape upgrade mobetta to the new blogger?

James said...

I think ductape is the only one who can switch mobetta to new blogger, and of course he's nowhere to be found these days.

catnip said...

davidByron said...

That's ok catnip. I'm used to women behaving emotionally whenever I'm around.


You are nothing but a blatant mysogynist and I have no desire to communicate with you beyond that statement.

super,

re this:
I was reading Hunter's pathetic reply to Jerome and his whiney farewell threat this morning

What a fucking crock. Excuse my French (pun intended). This "rah rah militarism" is just plain bullshit. So people disagreed with Hunter's position. BFD! Can't have those "creeping pacifists" (of which Jerome is not one) on dkos though. No. They're obviously evil and hate America. As for Hunter, who endorses "disproportionate" attacks? Only bullies. That's who. And he's dished it out as well. In fact his GBCW comment was exactly that: an attack on those who dare to have a different opinion. Maybe he needs to look up debating in the dictionary. Then again, didn't someone recently say dkos is "not a debating club"? How true. It's just a cheerleading squad for the status quo and that status quo is killing hundreds of thousands of people in more ways than one.

spiderleaf said...

alrighty, james and I figured it out, no worries.

Thanks james!

James said...

Let's just say the "creeping pacifism" crapola inspired my own editoral response.

catnip said...

Good stuff James!

DavidByron said...

Jerome aplogises. A lot. And he says that the UN backed the Afghan war (a lie) and calls pacifists "crazies".

Well I'm glad that was settled.

ms_xeno said...

I just love how if you don't want your country running around the world kicking random countries' heads in, your only other option is that of "pacifist."

Haven't these would-be disciplinarians ever heard of having a standing army to protect your own borders, and nothing else ? Tch. I'm not a pacifist. I'm a neo-isolationist. :p

supersoling said...

Well,
we need our military for gunboat diplomacy. You know,
freedom is on the march. McDonalds, Walmart and Microsoft are on the march. We don't ask for much in return. Just all the oil and all the cheap overseas labor. Pffft.

ms_xeno said...

I bought my flag t-shirt at Mal-Wart after 911 !! It was made in China !!! :p

Anyway, it's pretty hilarious that the same clowns who prattle on and on about others' obsessions with "purity" don't notice that they've picked a rather "pure" form of interventionism themselves. If That Other Team's Prexy wants to invade, it's wrong. But if My Team's Prexy wants to invade, it's right.

Buffoons.

James said...

I suppose on the issue of pacifism I'm somewhere between Mohandas Gandhi and Malcom X. Regardless, I view wars as a form of terrorism and as such have no use for them. If that is sufficient to define me as a pacifist, so be it.

DavidByron said...

One of the dictionary definitions of pacifism is simply, "someone opposed to violence as a means of settling disputes".

catnip said...

This article is interesting and disturbing:

WASHINGTON - Those who think that Muslim countries and pro-terrorist attitudes go hand-in-hand might be shocked by new polling research: Americans are more approving of terrorist attacks against civilians than any major Muslim country except for Nigeria.

The survey, conducted in December 2006 by the University of Maryland's prestigious Program on International Public Attitudes, shows that only 46 percent of Americans think that "bombing and other attacks intentionally aimed at civilians" are "never justified," while 24 percent believe these attacks are "often or sometimes justified."

Contrast those numbers with 2006 polling results from the world's most-populous Muslim countries – Indonesia, Pakistan, Bangladesh, and Nigeria. Terror Free Tomorrow, the organization I lead, found that 74 percent of respondents in Indonesia agreed that terrorist attacks are "never justified"; in Pakistan, that figure was 86 percent; in Bangladesh, 81 percent.

Do these findings mean that Americans are closet terrorist sympathizers?

Hardly. Yet, far too often, Americans and other Westerners seem willing to draw that conclusion about Muslims. Public opinion surveys in the United States and Europe show that nearly half of Westerners associate Islam with violence and Muslims with terrorists. Given the many radicals who commit violence in the name of Islam around the world, that's an understandable polling result.

But these stereotypes, affirmed by simplistic media coverage and many radicals themselves, are not supported by the facts – and they are detrimental to the war on terror. When the West wrongly attributes radical views to all of the world's 1.5 billion Muslims, it perpetuates a myth that has the very real effect of marginalizing critical allies in the war on terror...

ms_xeno said...

One of the reasons I feel it's important to NOT identify as a pacifist is because when I do, it cuts off what I think of as a perfectly good reason to oppose the war. Look at how the media depicts the "insurgents" and how the average citizen readily accepts that Iraquis are fighting us for something that WE rightfully own, instead of them. What I frequently tell people who favor this invasion, and other invasions, is "If some other country invaded the United States, deposed its government, and seized its resources, you'd fight that country. It doesn't matter how you feel about the government or whether you personally work to harvest those resources. You'd fight that country tooth and nail because good intentions don't mean shit in an invasion. And don't tell me otherwise, because you'd be a lying dog." :p

glo said...

Right on, ms xeno. If someone invaded America the way we did Iraq, I'd be armoring up my electric scooter, mounting big guns on her, and rolling into battle at a blinding 4mph in a flash, no matter HOW much I hated the current rulers here. I am no pacifist when it comes to protecting my own.

But to attack an entire citizenry, to destroy their homeland, to get at whoever we have currently labeled the "bad guys" is an abomination, period.

DavidByron said...

I've just noticed dKos has a feature on the end of its blogroll called, "10 Random User Blogroll Links (changed daily)". How long has that been there? is it the same ten for everyone?

And does anyone believe they are really random?

NLinStPaul said...

I agree that those who supported our invasion of Iraq would be the first to take up any arms to fight off an invasion of this country.

But, we make a serious mistake if we equate pacifism with passivity. Non-violence is a powerful tool in resistance, whether it is a long term occupation (Gandhi in India) or an immediate response to an invasion (Czechoslovakia).

ms_xeno said...

Sorry, nlinstpaul. I wasn't trying to demean pacifists. In fact, I've averted at least one potentially violent confrontation at a demo through passive resistance. It's a very stressful thing, though, when people get in your face and are angry. It's very hard to fight the urge to take an openly defensive posture. Usually more trouble and risk than it's worth, to me.

Janet said...

America celebrates it's "insurgency" every July 4th.

This nation is a nation made from violence and terror. It glorifies wars while spitting on peace. "Peace" in my coutry means having all the best gadgets and coolest clothes and cars. Financial peace of mind... while others drown, die of disease and starve. ....

As to the risk in opposing this war via non-violent means... it is scary. The only ones left supporting this regime are the military supplier owned media and the crazy asswipes. I like the term "Bush Davidians". They know he's crazy but would rather go down in flames with him than admit they just slaughtered hundreds of thousands of Iraqis and killed and wounded our own. This is why you see so many of the angry, whacked out weirdos who counter-protest.

At Ft. Lewis, one of the most sickening signs was of a jailed man with his head between the bars and his ass sticking out with a slogan that said, "Watada, don't forget your vaseline"...

These people are such fucking morons. Don't they realize that IF Watada gets sent to prison it will be with other MILITARY members? So what does that say about what THEY think of military men?

But then... these are the same people who think a magnet made in China with none of the proceeds going to the troops on their car is some sign of support. I mean, really - it doesn't even STICK to the car.

Maryscott OConnor said...

David Byron,

You're full of shit. In fact, you are the only person who could have been called an actual "member" of MLW who has ever been banned.; anyone else who was banned qualified as outright trolls, whose only purpose in being there was to jump in, cut and paste a bunch of obscenities and leave.

I repeat: You are the ony person I have ever banned who wasn't a "sock puppet," fly-by-night poster.

So your accusations to the contrary are bullshit. Yes, I threaten to ban, quite frequently -- as in, "Cut out the trollish behaviour or I'll ban you." I have also asked Madscientist and Arthur GIlroy (once and twice, respectively) to take leaves of absence, the better to reconsider whether or not they WISHED to be members of MLW. I never banned them, though I DEALRY wished to, and still might, should they ever return and continue their previous trollish behaviour.

That is all I have to say to you about this or anything else; as I said in my explanation to the community when I finally DID ban you, I don't quite know why it took me so LONG to ban you -- but I would never make the mistaking of waiting that long again. You are anathema to every discussion -- indeed, every blog -- you enter.

ms_xeno said...

I dunno', janet. I hear prison-rape jokes bandied about on liberal sites all the time. There's plenty of verbal thuggery to go around out there...

Arcturus said...

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