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Archive for June, 2010

Daily Kos Gulf Watchers

They are still doing this.


This one down to 34 comments. Long diary, short comments.

Still doing it.

For how much longer?


Goodbye, Wings


Goodbye, Wings

Okay, it was all right,

it was all right that I had to do this, it was all right

to throw our wings into the fire.

To let us – nay, force us – to become poor sessile creatures.

It has to have been all right.

Because if it was not all right, I cannot stand it.

And I cannot stand not being able to stand it anymore.

It’s been taking up too much of the story, for too long.

Your story, my story. Any story.

It’s become a bad, tiresome, long, time-consuming, interminable, impossible story.

One I would not have inflicted upon me, or upon you either, dear one.

So…how about we call the story off?

Story over. Happily ever after, the protagonists leave, to their castle.

I’m good with that.

As long as we can just get out of this fucking story,

this story with no fucking,

this story I would have liked to have fucking in it,

but that’s way too long past to even think of now.

All that was left was the castle,

where I might have visited, if you’d managed to invent a proper castle,

but without fucking, what would be the point?

This wasn’t really about art, or even friendship.

I don’t know what it was about. I wish it had been about loyalty, but I’m not sure.

I think maybe it really was about castles.

Sad boys in castles, dreaming, wondering, confused.

Thinking “Isn’t it the girls who are supposed to be in the castles?”

Meanwhile, Rapunzel has left, and is raging amongst the thistles, looking for her boyfriend, and listening to bad music.

Where did you go, oh airie boyfriend, of naught?

Oh well. It was nice, for a bit, in the most perfect manner.

When you never do it, that can create a kind of sublime perfection of memory.

About how you always wanted to.

Peace to you, imaginary boyfriend.

Peace and love to you always.

I expect that sooner or later, you will find the proper cloud,
and love to be upon.

And then you can look down upon us, and wonder.

And wonder.


Latest on Daily Kos Censorship

I posted a piece on Daily Kos yesterday, the title of which was clearly “Size I Tits and a Beard.”

I didn’t start out calling it that, I chickened out. But the title was calling to me…and eventually I changed it, at about 11:30 pm mountain time, IIRC.

Immediately I was told that I was breaking a rule. The rule that says you can’t have anything in your diary title that might set off a profanity filter.

I guess that means I’m shit out of luck with regards to my upcoming essay about the history of garden hoes. Because “hoe” sets off profanity filters. I’ve seen it happen.

Sure, I could call it “The history of garden h**s, but then I wouldn’t get much in the way of comments that didn’t involve a lot of hilarity about the history of garden whores.

Now, I’m all for hilarity, but I’m not as long on silly bullshit censorship rules, and this is one of them.

What’s the rationale? Well, people who are blogging on the sly at work, at places that have profanity filters, will set off the profanity filters by opening up DK if there’s a title of anything right up there on the screen with a Bad Word in it.

I find it hard to believe that profanity filters only work on titles, so it’s interesting to consider just what this accomplishes. People can look at DK on the sly, look at the front page, not open anything up?

More page hits, that’s what it accomplishes. And that at the expense of artistic license.

My essay was about how bullshit I think it is that breasts are considered obscene. So if I was to entitle it, “Size I T!ts and a Beard,” it would trash the thesis.

So I said, no thanks, I’m not gonna change it, and I’m tired of all of this effing censorship.

I received a very nice and supportive email from a Kossack since then, who said I might well not want to go back to that diary.

Okay, I get the picture.

This is a real Maryscott moment for me. Maryscott (My Left Wing) used to blog on DK, back when they were young and not as well known. The last essay she had posted (that I’ve seen) was entitled originally; “You Fuck, You Die.”

It was about the Supreme Court ruling on “partial birth abortions.” The idea that a woman would be disallowed abortions hit a nerve with Maryscott, and she published that diary, and included for good measure a crime photo of a dead young woman crumpled over on a hotel room carpet – victim of a botched illegal abortion.

She caught a lot of shit for the photo and the title both.

But the thing is; they were both appropriate. Maryscott is known for gratuitous usage of the word “fuck,” but in this case, that was the right title. I could not have come up with a better title for her piece.

And when you have the best title, you don’t look for a different one. And you don’t debase it by sticking in asterisks, or exclamation points, or some kind of other goddamned bullshit, just because somebody tells you to.

And if they insist that you do, you go publish elsewhere.

I rest my case.


The Progressive Blogosphere Coalesces

The Great Orange Temple has recently been puzzling over its purpose.

In this Diary I will explore not only what Daily Kos was originally intended to be, and how that may have evolved, but also, more importantly, what the Progressive Blogosphere needs Daily Kos to be.

I will also suggest that Daily Kos has a date with Destiny — a date that it would be wise to keep.

In 2004, Kos said:

“This is a Democratic blog, a partisan blog…with one goal in mind: electoral victory.”

Six years later, in 2010, Kos said:

“Daily Kos will be what Daily Kos is, and that oftentimes evolves. I know everyone wants their clearly defined rules, but nothing is that simple.

The “About Daily Kos” section, significantly, has a very different focus:

Daily Kos is the premier online political community with 2.5 million unique visitors per month and 250,000 registered users. It is at once a news organization, community, and activist hub.

Electing more and better Democrats will probably always be at the core of the DailyKos mission.

However, the strategies and tactics that will best achieve that goal is the part that is “not so simple” and “oftentimes evolves.”

The Daily Kos community has obviously experienced some turmoil recently. Part of that is natural growing pains as we figure out exactly how to BE a community in an environment that (properly) does not provide a lot of structure for interactions.

However, I think most of the anger and frustration results from the disappointment that most progressives feel about the slow pace of change, as I wrote more about in Let’s Leave Obama Out Of This.

This near-universal feeling of frustration, which could result in solidarity, instead turns us against each other because (1) many community members want to blame someone for the bad result, but disagree as to who is the culprit; and (2) many community members are beginning to feel panicked, given the urgency of the task before us.

Probably nearly everyone’s biggest concern is how we can become more effective as a group. We do a lot of good things:

* Aggregating small donations through ActBlue
* Creating a forum for important new voices
* Educating each other
* Signing online petitions
* Occasionally working the phones and email on a specific issue

All good, but we want more. We *need* more.

The “More,” of course, results from turning words into actions. This is obviously central to the site’s objectives, as expressed by Kos himself in “Taking On The System,” and more recently by Meteor Blades in his recent plea to “Tell Us What You’re Doing”:

The next time you’re thinking of writing a meta diary or recommending one or engaging in the inevitable comment-thread battle that these elicit, tell us instead about some on-the-ground action project you’re involved in or have in the past been involved in or are just gearing up to get involved in.

That’s the objective, so here is how Daily Kos can help us advance the cause:

Whether people can come together productively or not depends a lot on the dynamics of the community, which in turn depend on its structure. If you put a 100,000 people in a room and encourage each one to talk about their own agenda, more often than not a food fight will result (or I guess a pie fight).

Daily Kos’s strength comes in part from its numbers, but the large scale also creates a vulnerability — the risk that we devolve into chaos, both dissipating and sapping our collective energies.

Happily, the problem of creating effective communities on a large scale has already been tackled many times, both offline and online. As examples, I would offer Reddit (online) and Megachurches (offline).

In both cases, the problem of size is handled by creating smaller, more cohesive subgroups that work on focused issues, but within a larger framework. Megachurches have small group ministries and specialized ministries; Reddit has topical SubReddits. In both cases, the smaller groups interact closely together, to create effective communities, but nonetheless participate more generally in the larger group.

Here is one example, from among many possibilities, of how Daily Kos might deploy such a strategy:

(1) Create a large number of topical Sub-DKs (e.g., Torture, Clean Elections, Climate Change, EFCA, Gulf Disaster, California, Health Care, etc.);
(2) Allow each SubDK to have its own Diaries and RecLists
(3) Have the main DailyKos page draw from the best of the various RecLists, as well as presenting featured writers.

This would accomplish several obvious things, and two extremely important and more subtle things:

Obviously, the structure would create more space on RecLists, which means more opportunities for reward and inspiration, as well as take some of the pressure off the Rescue Rangers. Also, it would be MUCH easier to find topical stuff of interest. There might even be social benefits from separating the Pooties and the Income Disparity people.

More subtle, and I think more important, the subcommunities would begin to form their own identities, and could be gently charged with creating action plans around their key issues. This would happen for two reasons. First, making it easier for like-minded people to find each other will strengthen our topical communities. Second, once the emphasis moves away from yelling into the wind to try to capture the attention of Kossacks who care about other issues, and instead toward working with clueful, knowledgeable issue-oriented people, the natural next step will be “do something” rather than “talk more.” That’s what we need.

Most important of all, though — and here is where I talk about Destiny — the Progressive Blogosphere needs a central meeting spot where we have shared experiences and group identity. That gives us rudder, strength, and overarching themes. Small blogs can’t do that and Huffington Post can’t do that, and boutique blogs like Digby and Atrios can’t do that. Someone needs to do it, and Daily Kos is far better positioned than any other to quickly and effectively fill this need.

But the Daily Kos perpetual mass meeting hall does not fill the role properly. It has the kind of gravity that tends to suck everybody in. Instead, what the progressive blogosphere needs is a center of gravity that energizes lots of smaller blogs focusing on direct action on specific issues. The transfer of energy occurs by providing a better home for subcommunities.

Of course, this community-building structure would directly advance the specific cause of electing more and better Democrats, but it would also help the progressive blogosphere find its compass, and its ability to focus, more generally.


News of Maquiladoras

From geography.about.com:

There are over one million Mexicans working in over 3,000 maquiladora manufacturing or export assembly plants in northern Mexico, producing parts and products for the United States. Mexican labor is inexpensive and courtesy of NAFTA (the North American Free Trade Agreement), taxes and custom fees are almost nonexistent, which benefit the profits of corportations. Most of these maquiladora lie within a short drive of the U.S.-Mexico border.

Maquiladoras are owned by U.S., Japanese, and European countries and some could be considered “sweatshops” composed of young women working for as little as 50 cents an hour, for up to ten hours a day, six days a week. However, in recent years, NAFTA has started to pay off somewhat – some maquiladoras are improving conditions for their workers, along with wages. Some skilled workers in garment maquiladoras are paid as much as $1-$2 an hour and work in modern, air-conditioned facilities.

Unfortunately, the cost of living in border towns is often 30% higher than in southern Mexico and many of the maquiladora women (many of whom are single) are forced to live in shantytowns that lack electricity and water surrounding the factory cities. Maquiladoras are quite prevalent in Mexican cities such as Tijuana, Ciudad Juarez, and Matamoros that lie directly across the border from the interstate highway-connected U.S. cities of San Diego (California), El Paso (Texas), and Brownsville (Texas), respectively.

Tii Appoints Two New Vice Presidents to Lead International Sales Efforts

PR Newswire, June 16

EDGEWOOD, N.Y. and LONG ISLAND, N.Y., June 16 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ — Tii Network Technologies, Inc. (Nasdaq: TIII), a leader in designing, manufacturing and marketing network products for the communications industry, today announced the appointments of Michael Dawe to Vice President Sales – UK, Europe & Asia, and Monica Gonzalez-Greer to Vice President Sales – Latin America & Caribbean.

In his new role, Mr. Dawe will be responsible for expanding Tii’s sales in the United Kingdom, Europe and Asia; while also continuing his oversight of Tii’s Canadian sales, he will transition his Caribbean sales responsibilities to Ms. Gonzalez-Greer. Mr. Dawe has been with Tii for four years; he has a very strong technical background in telecommunications and has been instrumental in directing Tii’s international sales organization.

In her new role, Ms. Gonzalez-Greer will be responsible for expanding Tii’s sales in all of Latin America and the Caribbean. Most recently, Ms. Gonzalez-Greer had been responsible for the recently acquired Porta Systems’ Mexican sales and manufacturing operations. Ms. Gonzalez-Greer also serves as the President of the Mexican Maquiladora Association and has strong relationships with Mexico’s largest telecom providers.

Matamoros, Cameron County leaders tout cooperation, binational projects

The Monitor, June 16

SAN BENITO — Business and government leaders in Matamoros and Cameron County need to continue working arm-in-arm to build the economic future of the area, despite ongoing drug cartel violence and the economic downturn, Matamoros Mayor Erik Silva Santos and Cameron County Judge Carlos Cascos said Wednesday.

“These projects are much larger than one individual,” Cascos said. Long after he and Silva are no longer in office, future generations will benefit from agreements forged and cooperation between officials on both sides of the Rio Grande.

The two spoke at a joint news conference in San Benito.

Cascos said he and Silva have become close friends, and binational projects that have been in the works for many years have been put on a faster schedule during the past three years due to excellent cooperation from Silva.

Foosball with the Devil: Haiti, Honduras, and Democracy in the Neoliberal Era

Upside Down World, May 31

In 1999, I met the owner of a maquiladora (textile processing factory) producing clothing in the industrial town of Choloma, Honduras, through one of his employees, Lesly Rodriguez (the same Lesly who had been instrumental in bringing down Kathy Lee Gifford in 1996 by exposing the fact that her WalMart clothing line was produced in Honduras by young girls working under abusive conditions). I’ll call the owner Jack. Jack was close friends with Gap’s founder, Don Fisher (1928-2009), and spoke with nostalgia of the first 1969 Gap store in San Francisco, which sold “Levis, records, and tapes.” When Fisher decided to create his own brand, he took the then-innovative decision to subcontract and internationally outsource all production (thus lowering costs and removing Gap from direct responsibility for labor conditions in factories). To set up these factories, he called upon Jack. Over the following decades, Jack set up and ran factories in countries throughout Latin America and the Caribbean to produce Gap and Gap Inc. clothing lines, including Old Navy and Banana Republic. It bears note that the presence of the latter brand is a bitter irony in Honduras, the original “banana republic,” so named for its forced dependence on banana companies that employed mercenary armies to carry out numerous coups in the early 1900s, allowing them free reign to expropriate lands, exploit workers, and shirk paying taxes on the profits off their “green gold.”

El Paso activity is growing again; Foxconn plant boosts Santa Teresa

El Paso Times, June 14

EL PASO — Import and export activity through El Paso’s international ports of entry is rebounding this year after declining in the past two years because of the global recession, data show.

Last year, $43.4 billion worth of imports and exports passed through El Paso’s international bridges and railroad crossings into Mexico. That was a 12.3 percent decline from 2008, and 15.2 percent below 2007, when trade between the United States and Mexico peaked, according to data compiled by the Texas Center for Border Economic and Enterprise Development at Texas A&M International University in Laredo.

In the first three months of this year, El Paso ports saw trade activity, measured by dollar value, increase 23.2 percent compared with the first quarter of 2009.

‘Soul Of A Citizen’: Stories Of Impact Will Push Us To Fix The Oil Spill, Homelessness, And Other Big Problems

OpEdNews.com, May 28

Stories motivate through a sense of connection, whether we encounter them first hand or retold by others. A Long Island teacher named Carol McNulty felt inspired to take a stand after watching a video of a brown-eyed girl, in a documentary called Zoned for Slavery. Though only fifteen, the girl had worked for two years making fifty-six cents an hour sewing clothes for the Gap and Eddie Bauer in a maquiladora, a factory inside a free-trade zone in El Salvador. Her eighteen-hour days left little time for eating, sleeping, or even going to the bathroom. She had to buy her food from the company store. Attending high school was out of the question, though she said shyly that she’d like to someday. The factory bosses prohibited workers from talking with each other, and when some of the bolder ones tried to organize, they were fired.

“I saw such a look of helplessness,” Carol explained. “My own children’s eyes are so bright and cheerful. Hers were equally beautiful, but so beaten down and clouded by despair. It’s wrong for children to live like that–undernourished, without hope, literally chained to machines. She was just one young woman whose life was so blocked. If you multiply that by all the others, it’s horrendous.” It angered Carol that a child could be this abused for greed.

So every Saturday for two months Carol and her husband stood in front of a nearby Gap store, braving biting winter rain and freezing snow, and joined by a dozen others. Like citizens picketing the chain’s stores throughout the country, they handed out literature and talked with customers. They helped promote a Long Island visit by a group of young women who worked in the factory and were touring the U.S. to tell their story. In the face of a growing public outcry, the Gap capitulated, pledging to ensure that contractors allow independent monitoring by churches and human rights groups and free access by unions. The campaign had won at least a beginning step.

China and Mexico autoworkers fight back

Worker’s World, June 10

Two strikes of autoworkers, one in China and one in Mexico, have ended with the workers making gains.

After 400 workers struck a plant of auto parts supplier Johnson Controls in Puebla, Mexico — drawing international support — the company on May 29 agreed to recognize the National Union of Mine and Metal Workers (SNTMMSRM). Ties to the “Protection Contract Union” — a company union that had signed a secret, sweetheart agreement without workers’ knowledge or consent — were severed. Contracts with bona fide, independent unions are the exception rather than the rule, making this a tremendous win.

Some 70 thugs had gone to the factory on May 26 to intimidate the workers, who also had been threatened with discharge if they did not end their affiliation with the SNTMMSRM. In a response, labor organized an international call-in campaign targeting the company. Members of the United Auto Workers, AFL-CIO; Maquiladora Solidarity Network and the International Metalworkers Federation demanded the company recognize the union of the workers’ choosing.

Production and Maintenance Join Forces in TPM

Plantservices.com, June

Why every industrial facility needs TPM

(ed note: TPM = “Total Productive Maintenance”)

Life and death? TPM requires a change in work habits, so like any culture change, it’s doomed unless the alternative is even more disturbing. It is: Facilities that engage production and maintenance increase OEE by as much as 40%, but it takes about two years. At that point, plants without effective TPM are at a distinct competitive disadvantage with no quick means of correction. Can you say maquiladora?

“TPM is simple, but not easy, at least, not in a traditional manufacturing environment. ”
– Paul Studebaker, CMRP, Editor in Chief

Maximizing OEE means balancing productivity and reliability, getting the most from the machine with the least time lost for maintenance or breakdowns. Production operators and maintenance technicians must work in concert, not conflict. But in many facilities, there’s a long tradition of separation that works against cooperation. Experts say the hardest part of TPM is overcoming that tradition.

Do it by showing workers how TPM will relieve their anxieties and frustrations. “On the floor, it’s about work environment, job security and their role in the organization,” says Greg Folts, president, Marshall Institute. “They want to make sure they have a job, and their kids have a job.”

Inside Foxconn Electronics giant grows in the Mexican desert


At Anapra

Foxconn, the Taiwan-based electronics manufacturing giant, has been drawing attention and criticism recently after the suicides of workers at its Shenzhen, China, plant.

Uranga pointed out that the San Jeronimo complex may be large by maquila standards, but it is nothing like the plant in Shenzhen, which is in the largest industrial park in the world, he said.

There are nearly 400,000 workers in the park, most of whom live in dormitories on the site. Except for a few managers who live in dorms at San Jeronimo, workers here go home at night to be with their families.

Crossposted from Daily Kos.


Let’s Leave Obama Out of This

There’s been a running tiff onboard Mothership Orange over whether Obama is good or evil or just lame, and how we should react.

I think it’s the wrong question, and the right answer is to leave Obama out of this entirely. Here’s why:

Obviously the progressive agenda is not moving fast enough. We are not on track to roll back the Bush Years’ significant losses (anyone remember the bad Bankruptcy Bill? There’s 50 similar nasties still on the books), even if Democrats have six more years controlling the Congress, the Senate, and the White House.

Obama is not pushing hard on our agenda. Why not? I don’t know. I see five general possibilities. Either:

1. Obama is a true corporatist centrist and is content with the Patriot Act and all the rest of the unrepealed Bush garbage,


2. Obama believes he is playing his political cards very carefully, gradually building support behind the scenes and maneuvering the country to a place where we can make incremental improvements,


3. Obama believes that the current historic Congressional majorities are inadequate, and he is waiting for a future, even-better Congress, hopefully filled with better democrats selected by the progressive blogosphere,


4. Obama IS trying hard, but he is functionally crippled by the Senate, and he is as frustrated by it as anyone — in fact, this is what Obama looks like when he is frustrated,


5. The Power Elite in the military and corporate gangs have made credible threats to Obama that they will destroy him if he messes with specific areas (e.g., NLRA, Military Budget, Acquisition of Middle East energy and mineral reserves).

Of these I find the last option the most credible. Based on Obama’s background and his work in the Illinois legislature we should rule out the first. The lack of serious institutional/structural changes rules out the second; common sense rules out the third. The fourth is plausible, but he doesn’t look frustrated; instead, he looks like he’s not trying.

But it doesn’t matter whether I am right or wrong, or what the reason is. We know two things for sure:

(1) Obama cannot or will not drive a Progressive Agenda through Congress, and
(2) Obama will not veto any good progressive legislation that reaches his desk.

And that’s all we NEED to know. Obama will be there to sign any good bills we can power through to him, and he will play adequate defense in the judiciary and federal bureaucracy. That’s all we’re going to get. Boo-hoo.

Once we’re done crying, let’s face the fact that if we progressives cannot or will not force the key parts of our agenda to his desk quickly, then we will not be able to reverse the vicious cycle that is enthroning the corporations.

The fact that California’s political viability is crumbling under our feet, see, e.g., Edrie’s Diary, Why Californians Are Sooooo Stoopid, underlines the difficulty of our task. As always, the Right is attacking on a hundred fronts at once to keep us on defense. The fact that an army of Democratic legislative committee chairs cannot employ the same tactic is disappointing.

But we did it before, a hundred years ago, against longer odds. This time we have the Internet, which is a breathtakingly powerful tool on the side of Democracy. They, by contrast, have the Right Wing Noise Machine, which is the most powerful propaganda device yet created, executing Hitler’s “Big Lie” strategy like a well-memorized script.

Where does that leave us? Whining and without a good plan of attack — at least for the moment.

So we talk. But words won’t be enough.

I have a few ideas that I will share soon, but don’t listen to me (at least not yet). Instead, why not re-read Markos’ book, Taking On The System and see if we are doing what he said we should do. If we are, then why isn’t it working? If we aren’t, then why not?


What Goes Around, Comes Around

German Jews ‘inundated’ with requests to join new Gaza aid flotilla; Jewish Voices for a Just Peace seeks second vessel, as dozens more activists ask to take part in aid mission.

Haaretz, June 19

An association of German Jews planning to send a boat with humanitarian aid to break the Gaza blockade is searching for a second vessel, given the high number of requests to travel with the group.

The group, Jewish Voices for a Just Peace, had originally planned to send one small vessel from an unnamed Mediterranean port in mid-July, with the intention of getting aid past the Israeli-imposed blockade of Gaza.

However, spokeswoman Edith Lutz told dpa that “our preparations have been held back somewhat because we have been inundated with requests to travel.”


Fired with Knowledge

Fired for Knowledge

Hyperbolic Pants Explosion posted this beautiful photo yesterday, in a comment to his/her Daily Kos essay The Inoculation Project 6/11/10: Science + Art!

This blogger has been running a series for awhile now that aims at this:

The Inoculation Project: Math & Science in Red State Schools

Solid science education is the best inoculation against ignorance.

The objective of this weekly project is to combat the anti-science push in conservative America by providing direct funding each week to math and science projects in red state classrooms.

Pretty awesome approach.


Open Thread, with Comments from Edrie, from Daily Kos

I don’t usually get this level of response from stray comments, and I thought I’d reproduce it here. I have alerted the commenter that I’m doing this and have been told that it’s okay to do this.

first comment link here:


miep, look at the cause of all

the rifts and you find a few posters who are the catalysts.

this diary is totally unnecessary, divisive, disruptive, offensive and EXACTLY what keith olberman was referring to – the change in this site in the last year.

in the last year we have been overrun by “purists” who consider ANY good news about this administration and the democrats to be cause for attack.

this diarist and others who so virulently slam any democrat who is pleased to see progress happen, albeit slowly due to the political process and reality of the numbers in congress as “blind”.

i offer instead that it is the blindness and ignorance of those who cannot see how difficult it is to move this country from the entrenched positions that have been putrified by the likes of reagan, bush, gingrich, delay, cheney, and many many more over the last 20 years.

the discord that the people who constantly slam democrats and everyone else who supports the slow change that is FINALLY happening is destroying this site.

we have not only driven away keith olbermann, but how many congressmen and women have you seen around here of late? we are becoming irrelevant due to the screeching of the strident few who DEMAND that they get their way NOW! (uh, never mind that this nation does not have a king, is not a dictatorship, is not run by the military).

my fervent hope is that the likes of slinkerwink and those who ardently slam democrats on a democratic blog will go away and form their own g*damned blog and then sit in a big circle and do what ever makes them feel good. they are definitely NOT making anyone on THIS site feel good and they are driving away the people who have been willing to pour out their money, time and labor to make this nation change.

oh, a final thought, don’t think markos is going to be invited on KO anytime soon, do you? how is THAT for shutting down the voice of this site!

these people (those who deliberately disrupt and cause internal conflict) are parasites who feed off anything they can to be recognized. when they are done destroying this site, they will move on (most likely en masse) to another site.

in the meantime, i really hope that markos will consider banning ANY person who tries to divide this community against its stated purpose: a democratic blog dedicated to electing better democrats (NOT a blog to allow republicans to wipe us off the floor in november).

i am embarrassed tonite. i read keith’s blog and i am EMBARRASSED to be a member of this site!

several years ago, i stopped telling people to come and read here – when the first flame wars started, when the naderites stormed in, when the ct’ers tried to take over, i stopped spreading the word.

i haven’t directed anyone here since the purists started slamming democrats. i won’t direct anyone here until markos gets them under control.

why did you just get this rant?

because you asked the question

The left endlessly schisms with this kind of crap. How come the right doesn’t do it?

personally? i think the right DOES do this – they just do it on OUR sites while pretending to BE us.

i’m outta here, this diary (as most of slinkerwink’s diaries do along with her endless small band of supporters) has made me ill.

NOTE: i will no longer engage in rude or disruptive exchanges. if you are waiting for me to respond to one of these, please don’t hold your breath!

I have no particular response to this, but here it is, for what it’s worth.


A Wave of Despair

Wave of Despair

(The photographer is Dave Martin of AP. The picture is from Orange Beach, Alabama, more than 90 miles from the BP disaster. Article here.)

I swiped this from RL Miller’s diary on the Daily Kos rec list today.

Beautiful, mesmerizing, nauseating. As oily waves crash upon hundreds of miles of beaches, perhaps a poem can be written about the death of the Gulf. I’m not that poet. If the Gulf must die, I want its death to mark the end of an era.

Made me think of this:

There is no one; there are no people. It is desolate; it lies desolate. There is nothing edible. Misery abounds, misery emerges, misery spreads. … – Jerome Rothenberg

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